Now the Indian gamesmen, whose players are at their best on a slow surface, have surpassed themselves. This year's proposed victim: the speedy U.S. team in the Davis Cup Interzone Final in Bombay. Last week the U.S. team, already in India, was officially informed that the Indians had opted to play on "sand" courts.
Now what in the name of all that is Eastern and mysterious is a "sand" tennis court?
A once-ranked Indian player, seemingly surprised that we should ask, has explained to our New Delhi correspondent that this curious playing surface is "a specialty of Bombay." Sand is not a very precise term for it.
"The courts," our informant says, "are surfaced with a mixture of cow dung and sand spread smoothly over the playing surface. The cow dung binds the sand together, and the grains of sand give the court a rough, slow surface."
A Westerner might think otherwise, but the addition of sand is the truly Machiavellian touch.
"These courts," says the former Indian star, "are even slower than pure cow-dung courts."
HEARD: A CRY FOR HELP
It begins to look as if baseball fans in Los Angeles and Washington may get some much-needed help from the American League. Last season the Senators finished 48� games behind the Yankees and dipped almost 200,000 in attendance to become the poorest gate attraction in the majors; the Angels finished 34 games out of first and slipped 300,000 in attendance. More important to the American League's prestige, however, is the fact that in 1963 the Angels drew 1,700,000 fewer fans than the Dodgers.
There may be denials, but two plans of assistance are currently being thought about. Both are worthy.
The first calls for each of the other eight teams in the American League to freeze 15 players from its 40-man roster of Oct. 15 and to make available the other 25 at a cost of $20,000 each. Los Angeles and Washington would be able to buy one player from each team for a total of eight. The second plan calls for each of the eight teams to freeze 15 players from its 25-man roster of last Aug. 31, thus making available the other 10, again at the price of $20,000 each.