Friday, December 31, 2010

Hameed says sorry over cricket-fixing 'interview'

Former Pakistan opener Yasir Hameed said on Friday he had apologised to cricket authorities over an interview with a British tabloid in which he accused fellow players of fixing matches.

"I was trapped into it but I should not have said all that before a stranger and I apologise to all the players who were hurt because of that," Hameed told AFP.

Hameed was secretly filmed telling undercover reporters from the News of the World in September that his fellow players fix matches with impunity.

"They were doing it (fixing) in almost every match," Yasir said. "God knows what they were up to.

"Scotland Yard was after them for ages. It makes me angry because I'm playing my best and they are trying to lose."

The conversation was broadcast two days after three Pakistani players -- Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer -- were suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on charges of spot-fixing during the team's Lord's Test against England in August.

The trio will find out at the ICC's anti-corruption tribunal in Doha, Qatar, from January 6-11 whether the suspensions are to be turned into bans or they are absolved.

Hameed initially denied he had given any interview but admitted he was trapped by an undercover reporter who was in the guise of an airline representative who wanted him and other players to sign up to a commercial.

Hameed, 32, has not been picked since the scandal erupted.

"I have been doing well in the domestic matches and still hope that I will be selected in the team for the future series," he said.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ind Vs SA: Sehwag ruled out of ODI series

In a big blow to Team India's preparations for the 2011 Cricket world Cup, Virender Sehwag was on Thursday ruled out of the forthcoming one-day series against South Africa due to his nagging shoulder injury.

According to a statement issued by the BCCI, Rohit Sharma will replace the opener, while Murali Vijay will stay back in South Africa for the ODI series as the 17th playing member of the squad. It is still unclear if Sehwag's injury is serious enough for him to be withdrawn for the third Test scheduled to be played from January 2 at Cape Town.

This is the third time in the calendar year that Sehwag has had to pull out of a tournament becuase of his shoulder injury. Earlier in the year, he missed out on the World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies and was rested for the subsequent tour of Zimbabwe as well. Also, during the Asia Cup he was ruled out of the final with a strained hamstring.

Even in 2009, Sehwag missed out on a place in India's squad for the World Twenty20 event in England after injuring his shoulder during the second season of the Indian Premier League that was played in South Africa.

The India-South Africa Test series is even as 1-1 with the deciding Test to be played in Cape Town from January 2. The two sides will then play a T20 game on January 9. The five-match ODI series starts on January 12.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Saheba, Tarapore to officiate in cricket World Cup

Indian umpires Amiesh Saheba and Shavir Tarapore were on Saunday named among the umpires who would officiate in the upcoming cricket World Cup scheduled to begin in Dhaka on February 19. Apart from Saheba and Tarapore, umpires Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka), Bruce Oxenford (Australia), Richard. Kettleborough and Nigel Llong (both from England) have been named to stand alongside umpires of ICC's Elite Panel during the quadrennial event.

While Saheba has officiated in 44 One Day Internationals, three Twenty20s and two Test Matches, Tarapore has stood in 16 ODIs and three T20s.

These six have been identified as emerging and talented match officials, who have already officiated at international level with experience of conditions in the Asian sub-continent and are now ready to umpire at cricket's flagship event, ICC said in a statement.

The reserve umpire for the tournament has been named as Enamul Hoque-Moni, also from the international panel. He will officiate during the warm-up phase of the tournament and be available, if required, during the event proper.

The match referees for the event will be: Chris Broad, Jeff Crowe, Ranjan Madugalle, Roshan Mahanama and Andy Pycroft (all from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees).

The umpire selection panel consists of David Richardson (ICC General Manager – Cricket), Ranjan Madugalle (ICC Chief Match Referee), David Lloyd (former player, coach, umpire and now television commentator) and Srinivas Venkataraghavan (former elite panel umpire).

The full list of umpires is: Billy Bowden, Aleem Dar, Steve Davis, Billy Doctrove, Marais Erasmus, Ian Gould, Daryl Harper, Tony Hill, Asad Rauf, Asoka de Silva, Simon Taufel, Rod Tucker (all from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires), Kumar Dharmasena, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Bruce Oxenford, Amish Saheba and Shahvir Tarapore (all from the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires).


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sri Lanka-West Indies ODI series postponed

Sri Lanka and the West Indies have postponed their five-match limited-overs cricket series and a Twenty20 match citing bad weather.

Sri Lanka Cricket announced on Thursday that the one-day series has been rescheduled for next year but the dates have not been decided yet.

Most of an earlier three-Test series was disrupted by rain and ended in a 0-0 draw.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Indian team leave for South Africa

Nine members of the Indian cricket team, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar, left for South Africa in the wee hours here on Wednesday.

Apart from Dhoni and Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, S. Sreesanth, Wriddhiman Saha, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma and Team manager Ranjib Biswal also departed for Cape Town via Dubai for the three-match Test series beginning December 16.

Sehwag was supposed to leave with the first batch of the touring party members on December 6 but changed his plans as he was indisposed.

The first batch comprised of players Cheteshwar Pujara, Jaydev Unadkat and Umesh Yadav and coach Gary Kirsten.

V.V.S. Laxman and Rahul Dravid left for South Africa on Tuesday.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

India vs New Zealand live cricket score, 4th ODI, Ind favorite to win against NZ

India vs New Zealand live cricket score, 4th ODI, Ind favorite to win against NZ as they have failed to inspire confidence by repeated bad performances

Bangalore: India and New Zealand are going to meet in the fourth match of the one day international series and the only thing that people want to know is whether New Zealand is capable of winning a single match against a capable opponent like India.

I am bemused by the way New Zealand players have completely failed to deliver during their Indian tour.

If they came up with some good performances during the test series when some of the players performed well, in the one day series, they have completely given up without any fight at all.

They have lost three matches of the series and if we include the one day series disaster in Bangladesh they have already lost seven matches in a row.

Vettori has failed to inspire his team. Individual players too have failed to take their team forward and lift the morale. So far no player of the team has come up with any exceptional or match winning knock.

On the other hand the Indian bowlers have come up with terrific performances in match after match amazing both admirers and detractors. The best performers during the series is captain Gautam Gambhir and the emerging powerhouse of Indian batting Virat Kohli. Both have played well constantly and given a head start to their team in all the three matches.

Indian bowlers particularly Sreesanth, Zaheer and spinner Ashwin have amazed many in the cricket world with their dazzling performance.

Indian Team

G Gambhir, R Ashwin, RA Jadeja, Z Khan, V Kohli, P Kumar, A Nehra, MM Patel, PA Patel, YK Pathan, RG Sharma, SS Tiwary, M Vijay, Yuvraj Singh

New Zealand Team

DL Vettori, GD Elliott, JEC Franklin, MJ Guptill, GJ Hopkins, JM How, BB McCullum†, NL McCullum, AJ McKay, KD Mills, TG Southee, SB Styris, LRPL Taylor, KS Williamson

Monday, December 06, 2010

Kochi To Play In IPL 2011

The IPL Governing Council confirms that the Kochi franchisee has satisfactorily responded to the notice issued to them by the BCCI | By Yentha

Trivandrum: The Board of Cricket Control of India has finally given the green signal for the team to play in the fourth edition of IPL, scheduled to begin in April 2011. Kochi IPL team will play in the 2011 edition of the much popular T20 tournament.

After investigating the documents and confirmation from all the owners over the issue of ownership and holdings, N Sreenivsan, Secretary, BCCI, said in a statement that the Kochi franchisee had satisfactorily responded to the notice issued to them by the BCCI and decided that the franchisee, Kochi Cricket Private Limited, would play in the Indian Premier League from 2011 onwards.

Earlier, in November, the BCCI had issued a termination notice to the Kochi team. The Board of Cricket Control also asked the Rendezvous consortium to sort out all the disparities among the stakeholders.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Cricket News: Tendulkar in fray for Laureus award

Come February and master blaster Sachin Tendulkar could join a very select and privileged group of sportsmen, which includes Roger Federer, Usain Bolt and Michael Schumacher, who have been honoured with the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.

But first he has to beat the likes of Muttiah Muralidharan, one of the world’s greatest spinners, tennis star Rafael Nadal, Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel, star footballers Diego Forlan, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, and boxer Manny Pacquiao. Six nominees will be chosen from this elite list before the Laureus Media Selection Panel votes to chose the 2011 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.

The other sportsmen in the nomination ring are golfer Graeme McDowell, MotoGP racer Jorge Lorenzo, swimmer Camille Lacourt and jockey AP McCoy. The names of the final six nominees will be announced in early January.

Tendulkar along with Vettel, Nadal are the favourites to get nominated. Tendulkar has had an amazing year. In February, he became the first man to score a double century in a one-day international, hitting an unbeaten 200 for India against South Africa. Then in October he became the first man to score 14,000 runs in Test cricket during the second Test against Australia in Bangalore. It was in this match that he scored his 49th Test century.

Unsurprisingly, he was named International Cricket Council Player of the Year. Muralidharan, on the other hand, is unarguably one of the greatest spinners of all time. The Sri Lankan took his world record 800th Test wicket on the final day of his career in Galle in July 2010. It left him 92 wickets ahead of his nearest rival, Australian's Shane Warne, now also retired.

Star footballers Forlan, Iniesta and Messi will also hope to become the first ever team sport players to win this individual award.

The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during 2010, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.

The eventual winner will then be chosen from the final list of nominees by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, and will be unveiled during a televised Awards Ceremony in Abu Dhabi on February 7.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Cricket-Australia 159-5 v England - second Ashes test - tea

Australia had made 159 for five wickets in their first innings at tea on the first day of the second Ashes test against England on Friday.

Score: Australia 159-5 (S. Watson 51, M. Hussey 71 not out; J. Anderson 3-31) v England.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Live updates: India make early breakthrough

New Zealand made a disastrous start against India in the second One-Day International at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur, on Wednesday.

After four overs, the visitors had made 15 for one.

Sreesanth had opener Jamie How (5) caught behind in the fourth over. For How, who had survived a loud leg before appeal off Nehra in the previous over, it was a second successive failure.

Earlier, India captain Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to field. Gambhir said he was worried about dew affecting the bowlers in the second half and therefore had elected to bowl first.

India, who won the opening match by 40 runs, opted the retain the same side.

Daniel Vettori was back to lead New Zealand, replacing all-rounder Grant Elliott, while Tim Southee came in for the injured Daryl Tuffey.

However, the groundstaff are hoping to reduce the impact of dew by using the ropes and super sopers at regular intervals during the second innings.


India: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Murali Vijay , Virat Kohli , Yuvraj Singh , Suresh Raina , Yusuf Pathan , Wridhimann Saha, R Ashwin, Ashish Nehra , S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel.

New Zealand: Daniel Vettori, (captain), Jamie How, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Kane Williamson , Gareth Hopkins, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Andy McKay, Tim Southee.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cricket-England all out for 260 as Siddle shines

Australian paceman Peter Siddle destroyed England's first innings as he took a stunning hat-trick and ended with six for 54 as England were dismissed for 260 on the first day of the first Ashes test on Thursday.

Celebrating his 26th birthday, Siddle took the key wickets of Kevin Pietersen (43) and Alastair Cook (67) in two brilliant spells that pegged the tourists back just when they looked like taking control.

Ian Bell, who made a gutsy 76, was the last recognised batsman to fall as Xavier Doherty took his first test wicket on his debut and the left-arm spinner added his second to end the innings when he bowled James Anderson for 11.

Australia will face 11 overs before the close of play, anxious to avoid the early drama England suffered when, having won the toss, skipper Andrew Strauss was caught for a duck on the third ball of the match.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sri Lanka join Afghanistan in semifinals

Mighty Sri Lanka, the world's third-best Test team, looked distinctly second-rate on Wednesday when minnows Nepal came agonisingly close to pulling off a stunning Asian Games upset.

Despite boasting 11 players in their squad who have played international one-day cricket, Sri Lanka only squeezed past Nepal's amateurs by two wickets to set-up a semi-final clash with Bangladesh.

Thursday's other last-four showdown will feature Pakistan against Afghanistan who comfortably saw off Hong Kong by eight wickets in their quarter-final.

After Nepal had been restricted to 72 all out, with former Test player Jehan Mubarak claiming three wickets, Sri Lanka reached 31-1 before suffering a worrying middle order collapse, losing six wickets for just 11 runs.

Captain Paras Khadra, Basant Regmi and Amrit Bhattarai took two wickets each for Nepal, who play in the World Cricket League Division Four.

But Sri Lanka steadied themselves and Sajeewa Weerakoon hit the winning runs with seven balls to spare.

Earlier, Afghanistan restricted Hong Kong to just 63 in a one-sided contest.

Hong Kong had no answer to Afghan opening pair Shahpur Zadran and Merwais Ashraf, slumping to 15-6 in the eighth over.

Zadran grabbed 2-9 and Ashraf took 3-8 in their allotted four-over spells as the Hong Kong batsmen looked out of their depth on a pitch offering some encouragement to the bowlers.

Hong Kong's opening bowlers Aizaz Khan and Irfan Ahmed looked lively but failed to make the early breakthroughs required and Afghanistan reached their target in the 14th over for the loss of just two wickets.

Mohammad Shahzad and Nawroz Mangal both finished unbeaten on 20.

"We are a good bowling side. We have two fast bowlers and it's difficult to bat on this wicket as it's a seaming wicket," said skipper Mohammad Nabi.

"It's not going to be easy to play Pakistan. They are a good team, but we've played very well in the past three or four years and we have played together as a team."

Coach Rashid Latif, a former Pakistan Test player, said he was confident Afghanistan could beat Pakistan, predicting a low-scoring contest on the bowler-friendly pitch.

"On paper Afghanistan are stronger than Pakistan and I'm very hopeful because my players are mentally and physically tough.

"We have a good fast bowling and spinning attack and are agile in the field," he said.

Last year Afghanistan rose to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Division One, narrowly missing out on a place in the World Cup to be held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh next year.

They qualified for the World Twenty20 held in the West Indies earlier this year by winning qualifying rounds in Dubai.

Read more:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

India crushed New Zealand & win Test series

Finally the correct script reached the actors. The groundsman was the first person to get the revised lines: the ball turned and bounced, kicked and spat angrily, not from day one but the third evening onwards. With a big lead in the bag, the Indian bowlers got into character without wasting time. They were all over the New Zealand batsmen, who were surrounded by all kinds of close-in fieldsmen.

The arm balls arrived too to trap the unsure batsmen, who crumbled under the pressure, as almost everybody thought they were supposed to do right through the series. The umpires felt the heat too, which is expected with the ball dancing all over and a gang of fielders around the bat.

As the three spinners shared the wickets - Suresh Raina being the third - and Ishant cleared up the tail, the Test win that India had to wait for longer than expected arrived remarkably quickly, half an hour after lunch on the fourth day. This was also India's third-biggest win ever.

Pragyan Ojha has spent most of his young career bowling on slow and low tracks, and has duly come across as a restrictive and a robotic bowler. It might still be too early to call - given the buffer of runs and the assistance from the pitch - but Ojha showed today he can attack too. He started off by outsmarting Brendon McCullum who tried the old bullying tactic of hitting early boundaries and trying to get the fielders out of his face. Ojha kept pitching the ball up, flighting it, giving it the best chance to turn and bounce. McCullum played back, and Ojha did the thing to do on a turner, slip in the straighter one. Dead plumb.

However, because the pitch was offering so much turn, the decision to give Martin Guptill lbw was ordinary. Being Ojha's regulation offbreak, it could either have pitched within the stumps or hit the stumps. As the replays showed, it was hitting the stumps all right, but after having pitched outside leg.

Harbhajan, who set the template of mixing in the straighter ones yesterday, came to get nightwatchman Gareth Hopkins with a flighted, dipping offbreak. Gautam Gambhir, who showed signs of return to form with the bat during this match, made the lunging bat-pad catch to his right, two balls after he was hit a by a full-blooded sweep from Ross Taylor.

Taylor, who was troubled by the outswing from Sreesanth in the morning, decided there was no point in hanging around and waiting for the one that jumps at him and takes the edge. So he started moving across and throwing his bat around, along the way surviving one plumb lbw when he missed a sweep right in front of the stumps. As it turned out, he didn't have to wait for the one that jumps and takes the edge: he was given caught bat-pad off the pad.

Taylor was so bemused he laughed all the way back to the pavilion, and Guptill, Jesse Ryder's runner, was so stunned he found it tough to close his gaping mouth. Ryder was the only batsman who looked at ease against the turning ball, but he got out trying to dominate the part-time spin of Suresh Raina, the second time he has fallen to the bowler.

Raina was not done yet. In his second over, he bowled the straighter one too, trapping Daniel Vettori in front, the third time he has taken the New Zealand captain.

Tim Southee swung the bat a little bit, hitting three sixes, but he only delayed the inevitable. This game will also be remembered for Chris Martin's first duck against India in six Tests.

With the breaking of New Zealand's resistance complete, India have not lost any of their last nine series. However, given the big difference in the two teams' rankings, the 1-0 result earned India a one-rating-point penalty in the ICC Test rankings.

Read more>>

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pakistan wins first cricket gold at Asian Games

Nida Rashid's brilliant allround performance has helped Pakistan win the first cricket gold medal ever awarded at the Asian Games with a 10-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the women's Twenty20 final.

After being sent into bat, Bangladesh was bowled out for 92 in 20 overs, with offspinner Rashid taking four wickets for 16 runs.

Rashid then scored a superb unbeaten 51 to guide her team to 93-0 in 15.4 overs. Javeria Wadood hit the winning boundary and was not out 39.

It was Pakistan's first gold at Guangzhou, after collecting silver in wushu and a bronze in snooker.

Earlier, Japan defeated China by seven wickets to clinch bronze. The men's competition starts on the weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sri Lanka forced to follow-on by West Indies

Spinner Shane Shillingford and pacer Kemar Roach shared seven wickets as the West Indies bowled out Sri Lanka for 378 in its first innings, forcing a follow-on in the first Test.


Prasanna Jayawardene and tailender Dammika Prasad shared a 72-run stand in 73 balls for the eighth wicket on Thursday and brought the host team close to avoiding the follow-on.

But after Prasad was dismissed for 47, Sri Lanka's remaining wickets fell with the hosts three runs short of the target. Jayawardene was last out for 58.

Shillingford took 4-123 while Roach returned 3-75. Captain Kumar Sangakkara top scored for Sri Lanka with 73.

Earlier, Sri Lanka resumed on 165 for three in response to the tourists' first innings total of 580-9 declared.

The hosts need a further 117 runs to avoid having to bat again.

On a bright and sunny morning, West Indies broke through in the sixth over when paceman Kemar Roach had Mahela Jayawardene caught behind by wicket-keeper Carlton Baugh for 59, ending a 61-run fourth wicket partnership with Thilan Samaraweera.

In the previous over, Jayawardene was dropped by Dwayne Bravo at leg slip off Shane Shillingford, who bowled a tidy but luckless spell.

The off-spinner also rapped the batsmen several times on the pads but West Indies were reluctant to make use of their last available referral.

Samaraweera completed his half-century off 69 balls but was unfortunate to be run out when backing up at the non-striker's end.

Dwayne Bravo stuck out his boot to block an Angelo Mathews drive and the ball went straight on to hit the stumps with Samaraweera (52) slightly out of the crease.

Mathews and Prasanna Jayawardene appeared to be taking Sri Lanka to lunch without any further loss but West Indies captain Darren Sammy made a crucial change in the last over before the break.

The skipper brought Shillingford back on and the spinner duly obliged by dismissing Mathews for 27 when he edged a catch to Sammy at first slip.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

India missing spinning tracks against New Zealand

Placid wickets dished out for the first two cricket Tests against New Zealand have put the spotlight back on India's waning home advantage.

Spin has been India's traditional strength while playing at home but both Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha have struggled for breakthroughs in the three-Test series so far.

Harbhajan, India's most successful off-spinner, has taken just six wickets while giving away 305 runs at an average of more than 50 and left-arm spinner Ojha has fared no better, managing seven wickets at the cost of 324 runs.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was scathing in his assessment of the wickets prepared for the first Test in Ahmedabad and the second in Hyderabad, both of which ended in draws.

"We might have to play 10 days instead of five to get a result on wickets like these," he said at the end of the Hyderabad Test on Tuesday.

"That's what I frankly believe. The wickets have been on the flatter side. Other than the one hour in the Ahmedabad Test when (Chris) Martin bowled that five-wicket spell, there has been nothing in the wickets for the bowlers.

"There has not been any turn for the spinners on even the fourth and fifth days. In fact, of the Test matches we have played lately, very few have been on turners.

"I can remember Ahmedabad against Sri Lanka (2005). After that, Kanpur (2008, against South Africa) to some extent. The wicket in Mumbai against Sri Lanka in 2009 also gave a bit of assistance in the morning."

India beat Sri Lanka in the Ahmedabad match by 259 runs with Harbhajan bagging 10 wickets and the now-retired leg-spinner Anil Kumble taking seven.

At Kanpur, India wrapped an eight-wicket win inside three days with Harbhajan again leading the way with a seven-wicket match haul.

The Mumbai match saw Harbhajan and Ojha share 11 wickets to help India win by an innings and 24 runs.

"As a foreign team coming to India, you think of how you are going to play the fourth and fifth days," Dhoni said. "But when there is no assistance for the bowlers, things change.

"I don't think visiting teams are under the same pressure that they were in the past when handling spinners. You used to see them practise throw-downs on scuffed surfaces with rough areas.

"I don't think it is like that any more."

Dhoni was praying the script would be different when the teams square up for the third and series-deciding final Test starting in Nagpur on Saturday.

"The wicket at Nagpur is known to assist bowlers and specially spinners. So, I am hoping for a result in the last match."

Harbhajan was at pains to answer why India have been so reluctant to cash in on their spin strength.

"I think you should ask those people who make the wickets because I don't know," said the bowler whose strike-rate with the ball this year is an embarrassing 97.4.

"In every country the conditions are different. In Australia, there is bounce. In India, I don't know when I last played on a turner. On the fourth and fifth days, if there is turn and bounce, what's wrong with it?"

Perhaps, it is the nature of the wickets that has turned Harbhajan into a batsman of sorts in this series. Batting at number eight, Harbhajan has aggregated 295 runs from three innings, including two centuries.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hyderabad Test ends in a draw

The second Test match between India and New Zealand ended in a draw after both captains agreed that the tie could not garner any other result. With the series tied 0-0 after two matches, all would be decided in the final rubber in Nagpur on November 20.

India had started the run-chase with the feisty opening duo of Delhi lads Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. Sehwag in his typical style, spanked fours all over the park and raced to his 25th Test fifty in lesser balls.

New Zealand scoreboard had read 448/8 at tea time and the visitors subsequently declared their innings with a target of 327 runs and just a session to go for the home team.

In a Test where Harbhajan (111*, 5 wickets), Gautam Gambhir (54, 14*), Brendon McCullum (225), Tim McIntosh (102, 49), Virender Sehwag (96 and 54*) and Martin Guptill (85) had a good run, the real credit would go to the pitch that offered most to the batsmen while giving a bit of a chance to pacers only in the initial one hour of the day.

From the time when Daniel Vettori won the toss and decided to make India play the last innings and perhaps crumble under pressure to the time when Harbhajan’s innings almost took the game away from them to the final double centurion song of McCullum, the balance of either sides tilted to and fro.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cricket-India v New Zealand - second test scoreboard

Scoreboard at the close of the opening day of the second test between India and New Zealand at
Hyderabad on Friday.

New Zealand first innings
T. McIntosh b Khan 102
B. McCullum c Dhoni b Sreesanth 4
M. Guptill lbw b Ojha 85
R. Taylor c Dhoni b Khan 24
J. Ryder not out 22
G. Hopkins not out 0
Extras (b-1, lb-15, w-1, nb-4) 21
Total (four wickets; 90 overs) 258

To bat: K. Williamson, D. Vettori, T. Southee, C. Martin, B.
Fall of wicket: 1-4 2-151 3-206 4-253

Bowling (to date): Khan 18-7-41-2, Sreesanth 15-1-60-1 (4nb,
1w), Harbhajan 27-6-66-0, Ojha 23-4-60-1, Raina 7-2-15-0.

India: V. Sehwag, G. Gambhir, R. Dravid, S. Tendulkar, VVS
Laxman, S. Raina, MS Dhoni (captain), H. Singh, Z. Khan, P.
Ojha, S. Sreesanth.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

South African cricket's flag was at half-mast

South African cricket's flag was at half-mast on Wednesday as it mourned sporting great Herbert Roy "Tiger" Lance, who died at the age of 70 of complications following a car crash.

"He was both a powerful cricketer and a powerful personality and was a legend in his own lifetime," said Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Gerald Majola.

Lance dislocated his right hip, sustained internal bleeding of the lung, and possibly a perforated diaphragm in a head-on collision near Leeuwkop Prison, in Sunninghill, on October 15.

At the time, police said Lance's car was hit by a woman driving on the wrong side of the road. She was critically injured in the crash.

"South African cricket mourns the loss of Tiger Lance in such tragic circumstances," said Majola.

Born on June 6 1940 in Pretoria, Lance played 13 Test matches for South Africa between 1962 and 1970, scoring 591 runs at an average of 28,14 and taking 12 wickets at 39,91.

He played 103 first-class games for North-eastern Transvaal, Northern Transvaal and Transvaal. He scored 5 336 first-class runs at an average of 34,87 and claimed 167 wickets at average of 25,65.

"Tiger was always a most-valued VIP guest in the CSA's Presidential Suite at the Wanderers during international matches in recent times, and we are shocked and dismayed at his passing in these tragic circumstances," said Majola.

"CSA extends its condolences to his family and friends at this sad time and South African cricket's flag is now at half-mast in tribute to him."


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Indian cricket team to get a Toss Coach

Mumbai: Under the helm of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India may be the number one ranked Test team in the world. But the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) seems to see a big chink in his captaincy armour —- his continued lack of form with the all-important toss. And with a view to addressing this lacuna, the BCCI today announced the most radical plan of appointing a Toss Coach for the Indian team.

'This is the first of its kind in the history of sports. As a cricketing administrative body with a modern outlook, we have shown the way for others,' a BCCI spokesperson crowed.

Explaining the rationale behind the appointment of the Toss Coach, the BCCI spokesperson, who was not Rajiv Shukla because he was able to speak in full sentences, said: 'The most important thing in a cricketing contest is, of course, the advertising revenue. But after that the toss is the most vital aspect. India may have been winning matches but we cannot overlook the fact that we have been also losing tosses with alarming regularity.'

'What's the point in winning the war and still losing the battle', the BCCI spokesperson said, not minding the fact that he had completely mixed and messed up a popular idiom.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Cricket World Cup on display as countdown begins

The cricket World Cup trophy was displayed by South African players Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn in the Dubai aquarium as the 100-day countdown to the event began here Tuesday.

Morkel and Steyn, who were later joined by members of the South African and Pakistani teams, dived into the aquarium to start the ceremony which was also attended by officials of International Cricket Council (ICC).

The opening ceremony of the World Cup will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on February 17. India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka jointly host the 10th World Cup from February 19 to April 2.

"It was spectacular to watch the 100-day countdown ceremony and the ICC and the three host countries are gearing up for the World Cup," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat told reporters.

Pakistan were also due to co-host the 2011 party, but were stripped of their rights due to security concerns in the volatile nation in the aftermath of the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in March last year.

Lorgat said he feels for Pakistan's fans.

"Due to unavoidable circumstances we had to shift the matches from Pakistan and I welcome all the fans there to come to Sri Lanka and support their team as they always do," said Lorgat.

Pakistan will play all its group matches in Sri Lanka.

The 43-day, 49-match tournament will be played under a new format with India hosting a majority of matches (29), including the final at the new-look Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on April 2.

Lorgat said the ICC had learnt lessons from the past World Cup, especially the problem of low turn outs due to the high prices of tickets in the last event held in the West Indies three years ago.

"I hope lessons learnt from the 2007 event will help us and we have done everything to make this event in the sub-continent a special one," said Lorgat, who also hails from South Africa.

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis hoped Pakistan do well in the World Cup.

"It was nice to begin the 100-day countdown here," said Waqar, who was Pakistan captain in the 2003 World Cup. "We still have one series to play in New Zealand and hope that we remain focused to win the mega event."

South African captain Graeme Smith said he hoped the World Cup will be a success.

"The World Cup is a prestigious event and being held in the sub-continent, where cricket is a passion, makes it a special event," said Smith whose country has never won the mega event since re-admitted to international fold in 1992 after a lengthy ban due to aparthied.

"Every team wants to win the World Cup and we will also make extra effort to win it," said Smith."

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Kumble, Srinath to lead Karnataka cricket

At a time when the BCCI is in direct confrontation with one of India's greatest players Sunil Gavaskar over IPL payments, there is a change being ushered in here at the Karnataka State Cricket Association with former greats Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad all set to make the transformation from the pitch to the boardroom.

Just a day after KSCA secretary and former Test player Brajesh Patel said in a statement that he will do everything to facilitate the election of Kumble and Srinath as new chief office-bearers for the 2010-13 term, the three at a joint press conference on Wednesday said it was "important for cricketers to be a part of the association and the KSCA has led the way".

"Cricketers of our generation must get involved in governing cricket. Our motive is to improve Karnataka cricket and hope to make more international cricketers," said Kumble.

"We will give our hundred per cent for Karnataka Cricket. Our attempt will be to make Kartnataka Association the number one in India," he added.

Former pacer Srinath, who is now an ICC match referee, said: "Under the leadership of Kumble, we are ready to serve Karnataka cricket."

Patel said he had served the KSCA as secretary for 12 years and "contributed to the growth of the association with all my might putting my heart and soul. I have now decided not contest the election.

"With the changing times I firmly believe that fresh energy, new ideas and young feet are good for any institution," Patel said.

The KSCA election is slated to be held on November 21.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Cricket: Indian team arrives in Ahmedabad for Test against NZ

The Indian team arrived here on Monday for their first match of the three-Test series against visitors New Zealand, starting November 4 at the Sardar Patel stadium, Motera.

The players including Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, coach Gary Kirsten, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, spinner Pragyan Ojha and others arrived at the Ahmedabad airport on Monday morning.

The Indian team is likely to practice at the stadium later in the afternoon, officials of the Gujarat Cricket Association said.

For Tendulkar this venue has always been a happy hunting ground. He had scored his career's first double century at Motera stadium against New Zealand in 1999.

He also celebrated his 20 years in Test cricket at the same stadium by scoring a century against Sri Lanka in November 2009.

The batting maestro, who is just one ton short of scoring his 50th Test century, would be looking forward to setting up one more record during the Test match here.

Tendulkar has 49 Test and 58 half centuries, and has the highest number of runs 14,240, in the longer format of the game.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Bad cricket match bets turned them into thieves

Four youths, who allegedly turned to burglary after losing money in cricket betting, were arrested in south Delhi, police said on Friday.

The arrested have been identified as Anil Verma (25), the gang leader, Vikas Jain (22), Danish Ahmad (24) and Sumit Sharma (23). Jain holds a degree in computer applications.

With their arrest, five incidents of burglaries and thefts have been solved and 100 grams of gold ornaments, two laptops and Rs. 55,000 cash have been recovered.

The youths were arrested from Chirag Dilli on Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) HGS Dhaliwal said.

Verma, the leader of the gang, had been hospitalised with a leg injury which he had sustained while jumping from the rooftop after a burglary.

"Rest of the accused persons shared the booty and after giving share to Verma were planning to flee when they were caught," Dhaliwal said.

All the arrested were neighbours and childhood friends. Since their families had limited means, they took to other ways to pay for their needs. Subsequently they started betting on cricket matches and lost a huge amount.

"They borrowed money from the local money lender at 10 per cent per month. But soon they were under huge debt. In order to come out of their debt they hatched the plan of committing thefts in the neighbourhood," Dhaliwal said.

The gang used to target flats on top floors. Jain and Sharma used to stay on the roadside while Ahmad and Verma used to enter the house through terrace after breaking open the window or door of the house from the terrace, he said.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kochi IPL team gets termination notice

The Kochi team has been given one last chance at survival with the Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council unanimously deciding to issue a termination notice to it and giving it 30 days to explain why the franchise should not be terminated.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar said after the council meeting in Nagpur today, that the Kochi franchise's breach was a remedial one and not like that of the other two teams that had been disqualified - the Rajasthan Royals and the Kings XI Punjab. So, he said, it had been given a month to respond.

Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals were ousted earlier this month due to several violations of their contract with the BCCI.

The Kochi IPL team is owned by the Gaikwad family's Rendezvous Sports World Private Limited. Speaking to NDTV after the decision, Satyajit Gaikwad said, "We are thankful that they have given us enough time to tie up our differences. We had asked for a grace period of 10 days but we got 30, so I am sure we will do it at the earliest."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tendulkar Admires His Selection in All Time World XI

Recently the ESPNcricinfo has released the all time World XI team comprising of current and past legends of cricket. In fact two teams have been released by them as World XI first team and World XI second team.

The selection was purely on the basis of voting by 12 member jury. Sachin Tendulkar was the only cricketer who got a place in the World XI team among all cricketers of India.

That is really marvelous and a prestige symbol for Tendulkar and for whole India.

Tendulkar reportedly is quite amazed on his selection in the team and is still trying to come out of this sweet surprise.

He said that being a part of the team comprising of all extraordinary cricketers from around the globe is really fascinating for him.

The all time World XI declared by ESPN-cricinfo four players from Australia, three from West Indies, two from England and one from Pakistan besides Sachin Tendulkar. No players from other cricket playing countries like Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, South Africa or Bangladesh could get a place in the all time World XI team.

For Sachin Tendulkar getting selected in a team having Don Bradman is something like a ‘dream come true’ for him. Sir Don Bradman once told in a press conference that when he sees Tendulkar playing cricket, it reminded him as if he himself was playing.

Such is the similarity Sir Don Bradman finds in the playing style of Sachin Tendulkar. That statement itself is a precious and priceless award from Sir Don Bradman.

Tendulkar said he would have loved to play in real with all the players of all time World XI specifically Sir Don Bradman with whom he would have loved to bat on field, discuss the game, walk with him and have lunch together during the break.

He also would have liked to play a memorable partnership innings with Sir Vivian Richards. He further added that the great bowlers like Hobbs and Hutton would be the best company on a ground to discuss about playing on an uncovered wicket or similar ideas.

He finds it very good that during his tenure of more than two decades in cricket career, he has played in one form or the other (or has watched them playing) with around 60% of the players of all time World XI team.

Remembering his golden time with most of these players is a collection of great moments for Tendulkar. He remembers his playing county with Malcolm Marshall, playing against Viv Richards in an exhibition match, playing Lillee’s bowling in a net practice at the MRF Pace Academy and so on.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Afridi wanted Shoaib Malik, not Younis Khan

Pakistan's cricket selectors ignored suggestions from the national team's captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis by recalling former captain Younis Khan for the one-day International series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates.

The captain and coach wanted all-rounder Shoaib Malik in the team as a replacement for injured Mohammad Yousuf, but the selectors instead picked up Younis Khan on Wednesday.

Yousuf was ruled out of the limited-overs series against South Africa after he ruptured a muscle in his right leg.

A report in The News said Thursday that Afridi and Waqar had instead asked for the inclusion of discarded all-rounder Shoaib Malik in the squad for the two Twenty20 and five One-day Internationals against South Africa to be played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

" Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the national selectors did not agree with the suggestions coming from the captain and the coach, and opted to go for Younis Khan's inclusion in the team," the report said.

Interestingly, Younis, who is a Test specialist, will now have to prove his form and fitness in one-day games to be considered for next month's two-Test series against the Proteas.

According to Mohsin Khan, Pakistan's chief selector, Younis Khan has only been selected for the one-day series (he has already retired from Twenty20 internationals) and might play in the Tests if he proves his form before the series.

The report said that Afridi and Waqar were of the view that Malik could have been useful for Pakistan in the Twenty20 and one-day games because of his utility as an all-rounder.

However, the PCB decided against recalling Malik in the national team and have given him the command of a team that will represent the country in Hong Kong Sixes tournament to be played next month.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Younis Khan cleared to play for Pakistan

Pakistan's former captain Younis Khan was cleared to play for his country on Wednesday after resolving a long-running battle with the cricket board.

"Younis has given a written undertaking which was required to clear him and he will be soon be back in the team," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi said.

"Younis has got a letter of clearance," confirmed close friend, Basit Ali.

The 32-year-old batsman had been banned indefinitely on charges of violating a players' code of conduct after Pakistan's disastrous tour of Australia, which ended in February.

Six other players, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal, were also banned and fined.

Except for Yousuf, who retired, they all appealed against the sanctions.

A tribunal run by retired judge Irfan Qadir overturned the bans and halved the fines against six players. Yousuf was allowed to play on Pakistan's recent tour of England, which was mired in a separate spot-fixing scandal.

The PCB ordered Younis to apologise for statements made to the media criticising the cricket board for having taken strict steps, but the former captain refused.

Chief selector Mohsin Khan told reporters that Younis would be part of the limited over squad against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates.

After monitoring his progress, he may also be included for a Test series against South Africa, Khan said.

Experienced batsman Mohammad Yousuf has been ruled out of the limited overs due to injury.

Pakistan plays the first Twenty20 match in Abu Dhabi on October 27.

Younis last played a one-day for Pakistan in January during the tour of Australia. He played the last of his 63 Tests in Sri Lanka last year.

He led Pakistan to its World Twenty20 title in England last year. He relinquished the captaincy after falling out with teammates in November.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Clarke to play every Test, ODI and Twenty20 in next five months

Australia Test vice-captain Michael Clarke, who has put cricket first, is planning to play every single Test, ODI and Twenty20 match on Australia's agenda for the next five months.

That includes two ODIs in India, a Twenty20 against Sri Lanka in Perth on October 31, three ODIs against Sri Lanka, five Ashes Tests after a possible two Sheffield Shield games for NSW, seven ODIs and two Twenty20s against England and then a return to the subcontinent for a maximum of nine matches at the World Cup.

Clarke may be cricket's most eligible bachelor but he only has room in his life for one thing at the moment.

"I don't let anything get in the way of my cricket these days. Media commitments, sponsorship commitments, my personal life, my family, my friends, that all has to wait. If I've got training at a certain time, I've got training," FOX Sports quoted him, as saying.

Cricket Australian has rested Ricky Ponting, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson ahead of a gruelling summer, but Clarke is yet to receive any instructions from the board about having a break.

"I'm lucky that I've got so much support from family, friends, sponsors, everyone. It's like doing an interview. I'm happy to talk but it's last on the list. Once training is done, I'm fine. But preparing for our next match, every day, is what comes first," he said. (ANI)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Indian Premier League cancels two franchises

India's cricket board has cancelled two Indian Premier League franchises partly owned by leading Bollywood actresses, deepening the turmoil in the country's highest profile sports league.
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The league has attracted the world's best players and leading multinational advertisers, including Citigroup C and Vodafone but has been in tumult since the auction of two new franchises early this year led to accusations of interference in the sale by Lalit Modi, the founder and then head of the league, against a government minister.

Both men were subsequently forced to leave their jobs and last month Mr Modi was banished from all posts at the Board of Control for Cricket in India amid allegations of financial irregularities during his tenure at the league when more than USD 4bn in sponsorship, advertising, team franchise and other commercial deals were signed.

The cricket board, a non-profit trust, late Sunday announced it would cancel the franchises of the Rajasthan Royals and the Kings XI Punjab, partly controlled by actresses Shipla Shetty and Preity Zinta respectively, over ambiguities in their ownership. The Royals won the league's first tournament in 2008.

"In both these cases, the initial bid was made by one company, but the agreement with the IPL was entered into with another company," said Shashank Manohar, the board's president.

The board did not indicate why the discrepancy had become of such import since the two 10-year franchises were sold almost three years ago, but local media tied the expulsion to Mr Modi's own ouster. The board declined comment.

The board though also warned the investors who won the franchise for Kochi - whose sale in March set off the league's tumult - that they would need quickly to resolve internal disagreements over the ownership structure for the new team. The Kochi and Pune franchises sold for a combined $703m, more than the combined price paid for the original eight teams.

The latest controversy, after a string of others involving politicians, players and cricket barons, could lead some big sponsors to reconsider their affiliation with the six-week annual league tournament.

Shane Warne, the Royals' Australian skipper and a three-year veteran of the squad, expressed shock at the expulsion of his team.

"Just woke up to news that Royals and Kings out of IPL4, don't know anything yet,'' he wrote on his Twitter feed. "It's a big shock for Royals, will hopefully get to the bottom of it all. I hope the BCCI come to their senses, fingers crossed."

Based on the abbreviated made-for-TV Twenty20 format of the game, the Indian Premier League is counted as one of the proudest symbols of a modern India.

Vijay Mallya, the flamboyant industrialist and owner of the Bangalore Royal Challengers team, came out in support of the ejected teams. "This is downright ridiculous and raises serious questions on the attitude of the BCCI towards IPL franchisees," he said in a Twitter message.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

India-Australia classic lifts the shadow

Test cricket is alive and well and lets thank India and Australia. These two teams, no matter what the rankings say, or where they play, have developed an extraordinary competitive chemistry that takes the highest form of the game to the highest plane.

Uncannily, when the shadow of corruption looms darkly over the game, it seems to fall on these sides to bring light again. In 2001 they delivered one of the greatest Test series of all, after cricket's foundations had been jolted by the match-fixing scandal. The spot-fixing allegations were relatively less damaging, so suitably, they restricted themselves to one great Test this time. Notwithstanding the wretched saga of the IPL, which rumbles on, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy managed to put cricket on the front pages for the right reasons once again.

Australia aren't the team they used to be, and it will be long before they can elicit awe again, but it must not be forgotten that they came within inches, literally, of winning the first Test. The Indian batting had far more class, and their bowling more experience and nous, but despite the 2-0 margin Australia were not rolled over. Even in Bangalore, where India ended up jogging to a win, Australia weren't out of the game until the second hour of the final day.

The Mohali Test will be impossible to better, but in its own way, Bangalore produced a multi-layered and satisfying game. And most satisfyingly, it was played before stands vibrating with passion and enthusiasm. It was a largely partisan and raucous crowd, and a few of them shamed themselves by booing the Australians on the opening day, but sitting in the stands it was also easy to find those who were knowledgeable and appreciative of the unique appeal of Test cricket.

In the row ahead of us sat a gentleman who spoke of the days when the great Indian spinners, and then Sunil Gavaskar and GR Viswanath, sustained his love for the game. He had travelled from Chennai and was spending five days in a guest house in Bangalore to watch the game. He applauded the Australians and appreciated the judgement of the umpire who ruled a close lbw decision in favour of an Australian batsman, but the sight of Sachin Tendulkar brought out the child in him. His whistling was one the highlights of the day. It was piercing and energetic, but the joyousness of it was striking. It was infectious.

There were many like him, and they went home rewarded, not merely by an Indian victory or a virtuoso performance from their adored hero, but by a game that stayed alive and full of possibilities for the most part.

The worry about dwindling crowds for Test cricket is legitimate and justifiable. But it is sometimes overstated and some of the suggested remedies are based on unsound assumptions. Sections of the print media have begun to realise the folly of trying to compete with the immediacy and visceral appeal of television. The sensuous and contemplative aspects of Test cricket are what appeal to its followers. It is true that it has gained from the energy and vitality that the players have brought to it from the shorter forms, but it doesn't need to tart itself up to remain attractive.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bangalore Test chase India's 8th best

India's win on Wednesday in the second Test match against Australia is their eighth best win while chasing and their 10th overall while chasing a target of 200 or more in the fourth innings.

Interestingly, seven of the 10 wins have come after 2000 and three have come in the last three Tests. India's first win while chasing a total in excess of 200 also game against the Aussies at home way back in 1964-65. India had then chased 254 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

And India's biggest victory while chasing still remains the 403 against West Indies that was achieved in Port-of-Spain in the 1975-76 series.

Here's a list of India's top 10 200-plus Test wins achieved while chasing:

403 vs West Indies at Port-of-Spain in 1975-76

387 vs England at Chennai in 2008-09

264 vs Sri Lanka at Kandy in 2001-02

257 vs Sri Lanka at Colombo in 2010

254 vs Australia in Mumbai (Brabourne Stadium) in 1964-65

230 vs Australia at Adelaide in 2003-04

216 vs Australia at Mohali in 2010-11

207 vs Australia at Bangalore in 2010-11

203 vs Pakistan at Delhi in 2007-08

200 vs New Zealand at Dunedin in 1967-68

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spinners restrict Australia to 202 for seven

Indian spinners raised hopes of an exciting finish to the second and final cricket Test against Australia by reducing the visitors to 202 for seven after Sachin Tendulkar slammed his sixth double hundred here today.

Riding on Tendulkar’s marathon 214, India took a slender 17-run first innings as they folded for 495 at stroke of lunch in reply to Australia’s 478.

Indian tweakers Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh then bowled superbly to reduce Australia to 202 for seven at stumps on day four at M Chinnaswamy stadium.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting batted with resolve for his 72 before being trapped by paceman Zaheer Khan at the fag end of the penultimate day of the match.

Ponting was the highest-scorer for the team and struck seven boundaries and a six in his 117-ball knock.

Australia, who are seeking a series—levelling win, are leading by 185 runs with lower-order batsmen to contend a fired-up Indian bowling unit.

Mitchell Johnson (7) and Nathan Hauritz (8) will resume the Australian innings tomorrow.

Pragyan Ojha snared three batsmen while Harbhajan Singh took two wickets as Australia slumped from 94 for three to 202 for seven in the last session.

Openers Shane Watson (34) and Simon Katich (24) made a good start by adding 58 runs for the first wicket but India clawed their way back by striking thrice swiftly.

Left—armer Ojha trapped Watson to draw first blood in the 17th over while Harbhajan Singh removed Katich three balls later to rattle the Australians.

A tremendous piece of work by Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the wickets resulted in Michael Clarke’s dismissal.

A sharply turning ball from Ojha deceived Clarke to reach the gloves of Dhoni, who took the bails off with lightening speed leaving the batsman short of crease.

Earlier, India suffered a dramatic lower-order collapse after Tendulkar was bowled by debutant Peter George as the hosts lost last four wickets for just nine runs.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tendulkar leads India's charge on Day 3

Sachin Tendulkar closed in on yet another double hundred, as India piled on the runs against Australia in the second Test at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Monday.

At stumps, on day three (after 122 overs), the home team had amassed 435 for five, just 43 runs adrift of Australia's first innings total.

Play was called off because of bad light for the third successive day with three overs left to be bowled.

Tendulkar was unbeaten on a superlative 191. Giving him company was captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, on 11.

Tendulkar's 319-ball knock was inclusive of 20 hits to the fence and two over it.

The Master Blaster, having become the first batsman in Test history to surpass 14,000 runs (when on 27) a day earlier, reached his 49th Test ton before lunch with a six off Nathan Hauritz. It was his first century in Bangalore in 12 years and he ensured it was an occasion to remember.

Success was certainly sweet for the legend, who missed out on a hundred in the opening Test at Mohali, getting out on 98 in the first innings.

Tendulkar didn't stop there. He closed in on a double hundred, his aggressive innings regaling a vociferous crowd that kept chanting his name throughout the day.

In the course of his innings, Tendulkar also became the contemporary batsman with the highest Test average.

Mitchell Johnson, with figures of three for 89, was the best bowler in what was otherwise a vapid Australian bowling performance.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Legend called Laxman

I love watching cricket matches only in my casual pastime and with the unending controversy over match-fixing my interest in the sport has waned further. However, I enjoyed Team India’s thrilling victory over the formidable Aussies at Mohali recently.

The twists and turns throughout the match and India’s poor show reminded me of a car driving on a bumpy road and sometimes a boat sailing smoothly in a calm sea. The match ended with the Indian team beating their fierce rivals in an unusual display of courage to fight back. VVS Laxman- the stylish stroke-maker, who made possible what looked “impossible”, once again proved that he is India’s man at the moment.

It’s not that Laxman has become important all of a sudden only after this match. He is a valuable player and has been instrumental in Team India’s victory in crucial matches in past, especially in fourth innings chases.

However, this time by steering his side to a remarkable victory despite all odds, Laxman has proved that he truly is indispensable and of the same stature as Dravid, Ganguly or even Tendulkar in the longer version of the sport.

At Mohali, he came to the crease at a time when all big names had fallen. He kept the strike rotating on his own although wickets tumbled at the other end. With brilliant support from tail-ender Ishant Sharma, Laxman not only battled severe back-pain but also single-handedly enabled his side to register a spectacular one-wicket Test victory over Australia.

When many of us doubted India’s prospect of winning against a team like Australia, it was Laxman, who kept alive our hopes that victory can still be ours even if the scorecard read 124/8 and predicted a different story.


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Sachin on ICC award

Sachin Tendulkar has won his first ICC award, the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, by being named the Cricketer of the Year during the 2010 ICC Award ceremony in Bangalore. He also won the LG People's Choice Award for 2010.

Tendulkar spoke to NDTV in an exclusive interview after the ceremony. Here is the transcript.

NDTV: Well.. ICC cricketer of the year and of course people's choice also, Sachin many many congratulations. Of course it's very special coming as it does a day after the spectacular win coming from Mohali. Were you at any point nervous, like the rest of us chewing on our nails?

Sachin Tendulkar: Yes, we were actually sitting in the dressing room..I was sitting with MS, Sehwag.. Ya, I mean only three of us basically, and we had one topic going on and we didn't want to change that topic. We ran out of stories but we said no, we need to continue doing that, a bit of superstitious thing but it was fantastic victory and unbelievable what Laxman did for us and also not to forget what a tremendous character Ishant Sharma has shown.

NDTV: Sachin speaking of tremendous achievement, a huge achievement for you today, two awards, a surprise really for all of us who've followed your career that this is the first time you are actually getting the award.

Sachin Tendulkar: It's better late than never. You keep working hard for it and you know it's come in the 21st year of my international career. So, it's fantastic. As I said earlier, better late than it feels great.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Clarke to lead Australia in ODI series against India

Michael Clarke will lead a largely inexperienced Australian side in one-day series against India after regular skipper Ricky Ponting was rested as part of the team’s World Cup and Ashes plans.

Apart from Ponting, paceman Mitchell Johnson and all-rounder Shane Watson will also skip the three-match series, Cricket Australia said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Player workload management is particularly important over the course of the next seven months as we prepare a squad to defend the World Cup in India and the subcontinent and to win the Ashes back from England,” national selection panel (NSP) chairman Andrew Hilditch said in the statement.

“With that in mind, Ricky Ponting will not take part in this one-day series. The NSP has decided as part of the ongoing management of Ricky’s workload he should not take part in this series. The demands of back-to-back test matches in tough Indian conditions have been taken into consideration.”

Hilditch said it was also important to manage the workload of both Johnson and Watson who figure prominently in Australia’s World Cup scheme.

Uncapped fast bowlers James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc will join Clint McKay and Doug Bollinger in the four-man pace attack, while Callum Ferguson returned after a knee injury.

The one day series starts on October 17 in Kochi with Visakhapatnam (October 20) and Margao (October 24) hosting the other matches.

Squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Cameron White (vice captain), Doug Bollinger, Callum Ferguson, Nathan Hauritz, James Hopes, Mike Hussey, Shaun Marsh, Clint McKay, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

Friday, October 01, 2010

India vs Australia Test Series Preview

BCCI reschedule the Australia in India tour with a 2-Test and 3-ODI series instead of the originally scheduled 7-match ODI series. They changed the schedule of the tour after, India’s team reached the Number one rank in the five-day game format.

Now India team is the current champions in the five-day game format. They did not take the light in this series against former No-1 side. India will not lose their first rank after this series as well. Indian team will continue in top spot even though they lost the test series with 0-2. If India won this series with 2-0 then their position will stronger.

Australia played more test matches than India played in last three years. The team has more wins and more losses compared to India. Australia played 33 matches, in that they won 17 matches, lost 9 matches and made draw in 7 matches in the past three years. India played 28 matches, in that they won 13 matches, lost 6 matches and made draw in 9 matches in the past three years.

In their 13 head-to-head matches both teams are won four matches each and made draw in five matches in last six years

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Modi can make a comeback: Bindra

The former chairman and commissioner of IPL Lalit Modi has yet again found support from former BCCI and current Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) President I S Bindra.

"I have never believed that anyone can be marginalised for ever. Everyone is bound to make a Justify Fullcomeback," Bindra told the reporters during an interaction on Thursday.

He was speaking in reference to BCCI's decision to completely shun Modi from Board's activities including revamping the IPL governing council.

Bindra cited Jagmohan Dalmiya's example, who was once the biggest enemy of the board and has now been cleared off all charges during the AGM in Mumbai on Wednesday.

"My friend Mr Dalmiya is back. So you can't say that you can keep someone out forever," he said.

Bindra and BCCI treasurer M P Pandove who is secretary of PCA also clarified that despite BCCI removing Modi from all important posts, he will remain PCA's vice-president.

"The board is investigating all charges against Modi. As far as PCA is concerned, he remains one of our vice-presidents," Pandove informed.

Meanwhile, Bindra played down the issue of former India captain and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar not retained in the IPL Governing Council and subsequently not informed about his removal.

"Sunil is not a part of the board. As a PCA president, I am a part of the board. Sunil has freedom of expression and accordingly he has said that he is surprised," Bindra said.

The PCA has got 44 acres of land to built another state of the art stadium in New Chandigarh. Bindra, who is not keeping well these days, said that once the stadium takes shape, he plans to quit as a cricket administrator in 2012.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back to Google News Cricket captain Salman Butt appeals against ban

Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt has appealed against his provisional suspension from cricket over spot-fixing allegations, International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said Wednesday.

Butt, together with fast bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif, was banned from playing by the ICC after allegations made by Britain's News of the World they'd been involved in a plot to bowl deliberate no-balls during last month's Test against England at Lord's as part of a betting scam.

The allegations have since become the subject of a Scotland Yard investigation.

All the trio had the right of appeal and Lorgat said Butt had taken up the option, which will now be subject to a new hearing.

"We are making good progress," Lorgat told BBC television

"Just yesterday (Tuesday) we received a request from Salman Butt to consider lifting the suspension," the South African added. "As expeditiously as possible, we will conduct a hearing to consider that appeal."

Lorgat's comments came just hours after Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt flew into England and refused to apologise for his part in the ongoing 'fixing' row.

Pakistan's recent tour of England, where they also played Australia in a neutral series, was marred by spot-fixing allegations.

The tour ended in acrimony when Ijaz Butt alleged England players were paid "enormous amounts of money" to lose the third one-day international at The Oval, sparking a furious row between the two countries' cricket officials.

England players and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have threatened legal action unless they receive an unreserved apology from Ijaz Butt who, at the time, said he was just repeating something he'd heard from bookmakers.

Lorgat added Ijaz Butt, who flew into London on Tuesday, was due to meet with ECB chairman Giles Clarke later on Wednesday.

Ijaz Butt gave little away when asked by reporters after getting off his plane Tuesday if he'd apologise.

"I will talk to you people once I am through with my visit here."

As to whether he was ready for legal action if he didn't apologise, Ijaz Butt said: "It depends, we'll see what happens.

"There is a lot of confusion, once I am through (with this visit) most of this confusion will be overcome."

His comments could lead to his own suspension as an ICC director, a post he holds by virtue of his PCB role, because he appears to have breached the code of ethics that governs all those who are directors of cricket's global governing body.

However, the ICC are waiting to see if England and Pakistan can resolve the matter between them before taking any action themselves.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Srinivasan all set to be elected as BCCI chief

N. Srinivasan, currently the Cricket Board’s secretary, is all set to be elevated as the next president-elect at the BCCI’s 81st Annual General Meeting here on Wednesday.

As per BCCI rotation policy, it is the turn of south zone, to which Mr. Srinivasan belongs, to take over the reins of the Board next year after the turn of central zone.

The Board’s general body is also expected to oust suspended Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi from his post of vice-president from the central zone with Rajiv Shukla being the front-runner to replace him.

All the current office bearers of the Board, including president Shashank Manohar and secretary Srinivasan, are well-poised to be elected unopposed for another year in the two plus one system of governance adopted by the BCCI.

The list includes treasurer M.P. Pandove and joint secretary Sanjay Jagdale. All of them have completed two years in their posts and have to be re-elected for the third year.

While Arun Jaitley (north), N Shivlal Yadav (south) and Arindam Ganguly (east) are set to retain their seats, Chirayu Amin (west) has to give way to another person from the same zone after having completed his term.

Through an amendment to its memorandum of rules and regulations, which is to be done at the AGM, the BCCI is also set to bring the IPL Governing Council’s tenure to one year like all its other sub-committees. Its tenure originally is for five years.

This move, being done in the aftermath of the suspension of Modi against whom several charges of irregularities in running the Twenty20 League have been levelled by the Board, will effectively also see his ouster from the BCCI altogether.

The charges against Modi are currently being investigated by a three-member disciplinary panel of the Board, whose findings would determine his immediate future in the Board.

The Governing Council will be reconstituted after this amendment and according to BCCI sources five members would be appointed by the AGM along with two ex-cricketers while all the principal office bearers of the Board will be its ex-officio members.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Gambhir does not come out to bat against Australia

India opener Gautam Gambhir, who was hit on his wrist by a rising delivery during Australia's tour opener against Board President XI, did not came out to bat on Monday and opted to take rest.

However the doctor who attended him on Sunday said it was just a precautionary measure and there was nothing to worry about.

"It's only natural for him to rest and not to aggravate things (in a practice game). He should be fit and fine soon," the doctor said.

Making a comeback after an injury, the Board President's XI skipper on Sunday got out to a rising delivery from Australian speedster Ben Hilfenhaus during their warm-up.

The southpaw was hit near the right hand wrist area making him shake his hand for a while before returning to the pavilion.

His hand wrapped in an ice pack, the Indian opener was rushed to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital at Sector 16 and a senior orthopedician from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) was summoned.

An MRI of his hand was also done, but luckily there was no injury, the doctor who accompanied Gambhir from the stadium to the hospital, had said.

On Monday, Gambhir did not come out to field when the Aussies resumed their second innings.

Later, when Australia declared their second innings, Gambhir did not come out to bat as Ajinkaya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings.

Ironically, Dhawan retired hurt after a speeding delivery from Hilfenhaus struck him close to his ear.

In another incident on Sunday, Virender Sehwag was hit on his right knee and he was immediately taken off after an Ishant Sharma delivery hit the batsman.

The incident had happened when the Indian Test squad members were practising at the PCA stadium at Mohali.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The future stars of the England cricket team

Selecting players with an eye on the future rather than winning in the present is a devilishly tricky business. Other criteria tend to apply such as promise and potential, and there is a willingness to experiment or back a hunch which may not be affordable when the stakes are higher.

Thus, the Performance Programme Squad which was announced yesterday as a shadow unit for the Ashes, may be the England team somewhere down the line. But it probably will not.

For instance, there were no fewer than 41 players named in the Performance Programme last year (you had to be a real dud not to receive the nod) split into categories. Of the 15 in the top two loists A and B - that is, judged to be closest to the England team - eight are absent from yesterday's list, presumably consigned to international history. Of the 22 in list C only two have earned promotion.

But there are undoubtedly some exciting names and in choosing them the selectors are not only sticking a pin in the donkey's tail.

Jonny Bairstow

Two years ago he was the first Wisden School Cricketer of the Year after an astonishing season for St Peter's School, York. This summer he played enough swashbuckling, mature innings for Yorkshire to suggest that such future plaudits may have a wider base.

He is the son of the late Yorkshire and England wicketkeeper, David, and like his dad has the nickname, Blue (because he has red hair obviously). Yet to score a first-class hundred, there were eight fifties in his 29 innings this year and a willingness to ensure that he took the responsibility.

He has also been tried as a wicketkeeper, a role at which he may not excel. In an exciting Yorkshire side, ably led by Andrew Gale, Bairstow's assurance at the crease regularly caught the eye. England are clearly keen now that he be part of the next generation.

Full Story >>

Thursday, September 23, 2010

CL T20: Chennai win, face B'lore in semis

Chennai went on to beat the Warriors by 10 runs on Wednesday and set up a semifinal clash with Bangalore in the Champions League. The spinners played an instrumental role in defending a paltry 136 by claiming six of the eight wickets to fall.

Warriors' chase never gained momentum, more so against the spinners than the faster men. The South African club never looked in against R Ashwin who opened the bowling with Doug Bollinger. And later spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan, Shadab Jakati and part-timer Suresh Raina joined Ashwin to have Warriors in knots.

They kept losing way with wickets at regular intervals. Ashwell Prince (9) fell to a superb one-handed diving catch from fellow South-African Justin Kemp at the slips. It started the slide with the score at 24, which soon became 63/3 once Davy Jacobs (32) and Colin Ingram (17) fell to Shadab Jakati and Suresh Raina respectively.

It was clear that Warriors had one eye on 109, a score which would ensure a semifinal outing for them. But in doing that, they almost conceded the match to Chennai.

Once Warriors had 109 on board, Boucher did try to press home for a win, which in the end proved a little too late on a spinning track.

With 15 needed off the 20th over, bowled by Murali, the Warriors had their backs against the wall facing the wily Sri Lankan legend.

All-rounder Johan Botha looked at sea against the turning ball and in the end Warriors were found 10 runs short of the target.

Earlier in the evening, Justin Kreusch's 3/19 raised serious question marks over Chennai registering a win and qualifying for the semifinals in the must-win encounter against tournament favourites Warriors.

Chennai openers backed skipper MS Dhoni's decision to bat first with an opening stand that went from steady to authoritative as Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay registered fifty of the partnership.

But the hero of Warriors' bowling lineup, Justin Kreusch, struck in the nick of time by removing Vijay (35 off 27). It triggered a mini collapse for Chennai who lost 4 wickets for 36 runs after being 63 for no loss.

Suresh Raina (6) and S Badrinath (2) too fell prey to Kreusch's dream spell of 4-0-19-3. But the scorecard wore a worried look when Johan Botha got rid of top-scorer Hussey (50) soon after.

From there on, Warriors tightened their grip on the proceedings, stifling Dhoni and Anirudh Srikkanth for runs that came in ones and rare twos.

Just when it seemed the Warriors were executing their death-bowling plans to perfection, arrived a 17-run penultimate over that gave Chennai hope to finish with a flourish but it wasn't to be.

Rusty Theron removed Srikkanth (7) in the last over, followed by Justin Kemp's one-ball stay at the wicket that ended with him sacrificing his wicket to get Dhoni on strike.

The desperation didn't work for Dhoni and Chennai as Theron finished with a five-run last over that restricted Chennai to a paltry total of 136/6.

Chennai now face Bangalore and Warriors take on the Redbacks in the semifinals.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Guyana v South Australia Champions League Twenty20 Betting

A winless Guyana take on a South Australia side, that is unbeaten in the tournament so far, in the first dead-rubber of the Champions League 2010.

Guyana haven’t been able to maintain the reputation that Trinidad & Tobago built for West Indian club cricket in last year’s inaugural Champions League event when their fellow countrymen reached the final in India. Three resounding defeats so far offers little hope that they can salvage any pride against one of the tournament favourites in today’s early match.

With South Australia as short as 1/8 with many bookmakers there will be few interested in betting on the match odds market for this one. Instead I would advise looking at the top South Australia batsman market.

Michael Klinger has scored 197 runs from 153 balls in his three matches to date. To say that he is in scintillating form would be an underestimation of gross proportions, he is likely to thrive against the average bowling class of Guyana and at odds of 3/1 with Betfred to top score he is a very good value bet.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Australian cricket team arrive in Chandigarh

The Australian cricket team, led by captain Ricky Ponting, arrived in Chandigarh on Monday for a two-Test and three One-day International (ODI) series beginning Oct 1. The cricketers arrived in Chandigarh via Mumbai and New Delhi amid security concerns in the national capital following Sunday's shooting incident near Jama Masjid.

Ponting did not reply to any of the questions posed to him even though the Australian players looked relaxed.

Australian team manager Steve Bernard told IANS that the team was looking forward to the Test series in India.

"We are looking forward to a good tour here," Bernard said.

The Australian side will play a three-day warm-up game against the Board President's XI at Chandigarh's Sector 16 stadium in Chandigarh Sep 25-27.

The Australians will play their first Test at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium in nearby Mohali from Oct 1.

Friday, September 17, 2010

ICC will take strict action: Pawar

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will take strict action against any player found guilty of indulging in any act of corruption that could harm the image of the game. ICC president Sharad Pawar said the probe into recent allegations of spot fixing was likely to be completed soon and the guilty would not be spared.

Mr. Pawar's observation came at the end of a meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt, who flew into the capital on Wednesday to meet the ICC president. Mr. Butt's visit comes following the spot-fixing scandal that involves three Pakistan cricketers — Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif. All three have been suspended by the ICC.

Butt, Aamir and Asif are facing charges of colluding with a London-based bookie and indulging in spot fixing during Pakistan's tour of England. The three players were pulled out of the tour and sent to Pakistan on an understanding that they would return to England whenever the investigators (Scotland Yard) needed.

The ICC, stressed Mr. Pawar, was doing its best to tackle the issues of alleged corruption that have dented the image of cricket. “The ICC, and that includes the PCB, will never tolerate any nonsense or any corruption in the game of cricket. We would like to maintain the sanctity of cricket,” said Mr. Pawar.

The PCB chairman insisted that the PCB too would not tolerate any corruption in cricket. He added that the PCB was not “offended” by the ICC's decision to provisionally suspend the three cricketers. Mr. Butt supported the ICC's Code of Conduct that deals with corruption and also hoped that India and Pakistan would resume their cricketing ties soon.

Denies India's role

Denying any role by India in getting the three Pakistan players suspended, Mr. Pawar said, “The Scotland Yard is in the process of inquiring into the entire episode. When the investigation is completed and the report comes, and something is established, the ICC and Pakistan will take strong action.”

The ICC chief, however, cautioned that “without getting any authentic information or proof, we don't want to react and come to any conclusion.”

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Andrew Flintoff calls time on cricket career

Andrew Flintoff has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket "with disappointment and sadness".

The injury-plagued all-rounder, 32, revealed the decision came after consultation with medical advisers.

He said: "Having been told my body would no longer stand up to the rigours of cricket, I had no alternative."

Lancashire star Flintoff played a key role in England's Ashes successes of 2005 and 2009 but had been dogged by knee problems in recent years.

He added in a statement: "I was told the problems I have been trying to overcome in rehab for the last year, following the latest of a series of operations, would not recover sufficiently to allow a comeback.

"I would like to thank my family, Lancashire, England, all my sponsors, friends and advisers for all the help and support they have given me throughout my career.

"Last, but by no means least, I am indebted to the encouragement and support I have always received from England's magnificent supporters.

"I will now be taking a break before deciding which future direction to take."

Flintoff retired from Test cricket at the end of the 2009 Ashes series, having another knee operation two days later, while turning down the offer of a new central contract from the England and Wales Cricket Board.

However, he repeatedly expressed his desire "to be the best one-day player in the world" and underlined his continued commitment to his country for limited-overs matches.

Flintoff signed a new three-year contract with Lancashire in November 2009 while undergoing injury rehabilitation in Dubai but was forced to call off a planned comeback for the county's 2nd XI this summer.

Although he was named in Indian Premier League side Chennai Super Kings' provisional squad for the Champions League Twenty20 and his agent Andrew Chandler revealed that Flintoff was close to signing a deal to play domestic Twenty20 cricket for Queensland, fears grew that he might never represent England again.

In 79 Tests, he scored 3,845 runs at an average of 31.77, with five centuries - and although he captured 226 wickets at 32.78, he only took five wickets in an innings on three occasions.

Born in Preston, Flintoff made his reputation in schoolboy cricket as a hard-hitting right-hander and right-arm fast bowler and he made his Test debut against South Africa in July 1998 at the age of 20.

England had struggled for much of the 1990s as Australia became the pre-eminent power of the cricketing world, and Flintoff was the latest of a number of all-rounders weighed down under the expectation of being "the new Ian Botham".

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

4 Pak cricketers to undergo dope tests in England

Four Pakistani cricketers will undergo dope tests before the third one-day international against England on Friday, a Pakistan team official said.

Team manager Yawar Saeed confirmed that a team of experts from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had reached London and had notified the Pakistan team that random dope tests would be conducted before the match to be played at The Oval.

Yawar said WADA had not conveyed which players would be picked for the tests on Wednesday but sources in the team said that four senior players had been shortlisted.

" Captain, Shahid Afridi, fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar and batsmen Mohammad Yousuf and Umar Akmal have been shortlisted for the tests," one source said.

Yawar said the dope tests were a routine matter as Pakistan Cricket Board was a signatory to the WADA anti-doping code which other boards had signed as well.

"Under this agreement WADA can conduct random dope tests during any competition or out of competition at any time of the year," he said.

Pakistan cricket in the past has been tainted by positive dope tests of star players such as mercurial pacer Shoaib Akhtar and the currently suspended Mohammad Asif.

Both the pacers had tested positive during out of competition tests by the PCB before the 2006 Champions Trophy and were banned but then had their bans removed on appeal on technical grounds.

Asif, who has been released from the team and is serving a provincial suspension by the ICC for his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing and betting scandal, also served a 12-month suspension period in 2008-2009 for flunking a dope test during the Indian Premier League.

He was also detained for 19 days in 2008 at the Dubai airport for possession of small quantity of hashish but later released without any criminal charges against him.

Pakistan sports has been rocked by doping scandals in recent months and a few weeks back, the country's anti-doping agency banned 10 female and male athletes for testing positive in the national championship and during a camp for the Commonwealth Games.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I want to look like a girl: Mandira

Popular cricket presenter and Bollywood actress Mandira Bedi wants to grow her hair and wants to look like a girl.

"I have experimented a lot with my looks. Now I want to grow my hair and want to look like a girl. Growing hair will surely take some time," said Mandira while talking to reporters after walking the ramp as a showstopper in a fashion show.

Mandira hogged the limelight after her stint as a cricket presenter with noted cricket analyst Charu Sharma. Her sexy looks as cricket presenter were well acclaimed both nationally and internationally.

She has experimented a lot with her looks which has metamorphosed her image from that of a girl next door in the title role of mega serial Shanti to a sexy cricket presenter on television.

Mandira said whenever her husband introduces her to friends "he says meet my 'chota bhai' (younger brother)".

"That is the reason I want to grow my hair and look like a girl," added Mandira.

Recently, Mandira walked the ramp as showstopper at the sixth edition of the Seagram's Blenders Pride Fashion Tour in Kolkata.

Monday, September 13, 2010

England's Steve Davies provides cheer for ODI series

There was a decent, albeit rain-affected, one-day international at Durham last Friday. England were not without blemish, but again they offered sufficient reasons for their ever-loftier standing in international one-day cricket. Pakistan at last displayed some gumption.

Only the most cynical of observers doubts the veracity of the contests at the moment: only the most foolish of participants would ever think of providing such doubt right now. So let us just enjoy the contests. Sport is still a triviality, a pleasurable counterpoint to life's harsh realities. Nothing more.

So it was a joy to watch Steve Davies play such a convincing hand as England's wicketkeeper/batsman. Amid the brouhaha about Kevin Pietersen's omission it was easily overlooked that Davies' inclusion ahead of Craig Kieswetter was much the more significant. Pietersen will return swiftly; Kieswetter won't for some time. It was a big call.

Care should be taken about leaping to conclusions over Davies' slick and controlled 87 at Durham (Eoin Morgan made a Test century at Trent Bridge but will probably not start the Ashes, and I still have sneaking suspicion that Matt Prior could still oust Davies), but it was easy to envisage England's World Cup starting eleven on Friday. Pietersen for an unfortunate Jonathan Trott and away you go.

Roles have become ingrained and are always performed with an energy that opponents find difficult to match. Plans are well-hatched, even if the constant use of the short ball may not be so effective in the subcontinent. And Ravi Bopara at No 6 instead of Luke Wright now lends a real reassurance, as well as some seriously damaging late-innings, leg-side hitting. That the likes of Ian Bell and Ryan Sidebottom also wait in the wings displays a sign of considerable depth. And if England ever wish to change tack and desire a wicketkeeper/batsman down the order they possess two precociously gifted youngsters in Somerset's Jos Buttler and Yorkshire's Jonathan Bairstow. Both will play for England, mark my words. And they will not necessarily have to wear the gloves. They are both that good as batsmen alone.

The crowd at Durham was encouragingly close to capacity. Headingley will be similarly stocked today. Of the remaining venues in this five-match ODI series Lord's is the biggest worry, with just 16,000 tickets sold so far. But to point to doomsday scenarios is overly hasty. For the corresponding one-day series against Pakistan in 2006, the five venues were filled to 82 per cent of capacity. Currently this series is panning out at 75 per cent, with obvious potential for more. It is not bad for a recession.

There are problems, of course, though. Without the latest scandals, it has been a poor summer, with crazy scheduling and unappetising opposition. Ticket prices desperately require re-examining.

Which brings us neatly to last Tuesday's T20 international at Cardiff. It was a calamity. A £55 calamity, if you were paying full whack. I have never attended a more dispiriting international sporting occasion. A crowd of little more than 5,000, an embarrassingly one-sided contest, and all on a chilly, damp autumnal evening.

Lessons must be learnt. Firstly two T20s in the same city in the space of three days is madness. Especially when it is Sunday to Tuesday rather than the more attractive Friday to Sunday, especially during Ramadan when the opponents are Pakistan and especially in a rugby-mad nation when the oval-ball season has just begun. Hilariously there were suggestions that England's football international against Switzerland on the same evening might have affected numbers, but finding anyone in Wales actually aware of that event might have been rather time-consuming. The match-fixing farrago played its part, of course, but it was only a minor part. Such a paltry attendance was flagged and feared long before that appeared. Glamorgan made a huge mistake in bidding for both games.

Secondly floodlit cricket in September should be banned. The last two ODIs at Lord's and Southampton will certainly be chilly affairs. I have long questioned the wisdom of the England & Wales Cricket Board's huge investments in floodlights for counties. Such cricket is a novelty that has long worn off. It does not work for much of the summer, either, when it is too light, too dewy or just too cold.

So it beggars belief that next Saturday's Clydesdale Bank40 final at Lord's is to start at 3pm and conclude under lights. The tin pot competition just got pottier. ECB officials insist it is not at the behest of television, and even suggest that the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur is a factor in the timing. This makes no sense. Prepare then, I'm afraid, for the lowest ever crowd for a domestic final.

There is a vital meeting on Sept 23 about the future structure of the domestic game. I believe it may be the first time that all the chairmen, chief executives and directors of cricket from each county will be present in the same room. Let's just hope the cricketing men can be heard, because the balance between cricketing and commercial needs has to be redressed urgently. t is a situation running out of control.

Cricket is right to worry about the cancer that is corruption, but, in my view, greedy, egotistical administrators are just as great a threat to its future.