The week in review: Sport

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The Independent Online
WHEREVER the current crop of England batsmen bunked off to in their formative years when the spin bowlers were operating in the nets, their footwork suggests they were not watching Come Dancing. Apparently working on the assumption that if this is the subcontinent the spinners must be wily and unplayable, one by one Graham Gooch's gang put their foot in it in Calcutta and in no time Indian spectators were celebrating only the fourth home win in 27 Tests at Eden Gardens since the 1933-34 season.

It was also only the second success of Mohammad Azharuddin's 18-Test reign as captain and he helped to changed his own fortune with a magnificent innings of 182.

There was another triumph for India, one they shared with Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and again it came courtesy of an England surrender. After 13 hours of talks at an International Cricket Council meeting England withdrew their bid to stage the 1995 World Cup in order to break the deadlock, leaving the way open for the Asian triumvirate. In exchange England were promised the right to host the tournament in 1999.

Arsenal and Leeds United, past and present Football League champions who have not found it so easy to baffle opponents this season, served up a cracking FA Cup fourth-round replay at Elland Road. Gary McAllister gave Leeds the advantage with a thunderous free-kick but Ian Wright earned the Gunners an extra half- hour and then scored the winner.

Pretenders to Leeds' crown continue to shoot themselves in the foot, the no-expense-spared Blackburn Rovers team going down to their third successive League defeat, this time at home to Crystal Palace, to remain fifth.

Those who explain a perceived decline in football standards by suggesting that the best players earn too much money too quickly might have despaired at the future of boxing on learning that Lennox Lewis will earn pounds 6.5m for defending his WBC heavyweight title against Tony Tucker in a Don King promotion. But then is there really an easy way to earn money in the ring?

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