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.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Angry Afridi cuts Irfan down to size

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi called for the review system to be introduced into one-day internationals but saved his strongest criticism for Mohammad Irfan after another loss to England. In what turned out to be a tense finish, England won the second one-day international yesterday by four
wickets with three balls to spare as they went 2-0 up in their five-match series against Pakistan.

But the result might have been different had not 7ft seamer Irfan, positioned at short fine leg, dropped a glance from Andrew Strauss when the England captain had made just 23. It was a costly error with Strauss going on to make 126 as England, replying to Pakistan's 294 for eight, finished on 295 for six.

Strauss also appeared to be given another reprieve on 38 when wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, changing direction and diving full length to his right, held what he thought was a one-handed catch off fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

But the decision review system (DRS), increasingly common in Test cricket, has yet to be introduced into the one-day international format and Pakistan were unable to challenge West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove's not out verdict.

Afridi, asked if DRS should feature in limited overs internationals, replied: "It will be good in matches like this and big series like this.

"It's important in cricket now. I know in Twenty20 you don't have much time but in one-day cricket you would." But Strauss said: "I wasn't sure it hit my glove. The umpires are there to make a decision." Any thoughts about DRS in one-day cricket would have been stilled if Irfan had caught Strauss.

Poor fielding has plagued Pakistan for several years and Afridi's patience is clearly at an end. "I'm really disappointed with this guy (Irfan)," he said. "Cricket is not all about just batting and bowling, nowadays fielding is very important.

Maybe if he is good in the field I will give him a chance but otherwise I am not happy." But Pakistan, with Kamran Akmal making 74 and Asad Shafiq a maiden fifty, at least ran England close.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Indian Premier League 4 wishlist

The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI's) decision to allow the existing eight Indian Premier League franchises to retain upto four players has caused an uproar among the teams. It's common knowledge that six of the eight team owners preferred to have all players going into an auction pool. At the same time, it's also a fact that the IPL governing council was mulling a formula where seven players could be retained by each team. With that as a backdrop, it was baffling to see the final announcement that each team could retain upto four players.

“The governing council felt that a maximum of four players would be enough to keep the continuity factor going into the next season,” a member of the governing council, preferring anonymity, told the Hindustan Times.

Interestingly, the governing council headed by suspended IPL chief Lalit Modi had zeroed in on the decision to retain at least seven players per team on December 17, 2009.

According to the minutes of the meeting, “Chairman presented 7 of the 8 franchises views to feature all players in the auction for 2O11 season. Members deliberated on this and felt there should be continuity in teams and that a minimum of 4 Indian players and 3 foreign players should be retained by the existing Franchisees.”

However, after Modi's ouster from the BCCI following allegations of misappropriation of funds, the governing council had asked the three former captains on the committee to discuss the issue and suggest a solution.

“The seven players suggestion included three players to be sold on a 'matching-on' basis,” the governing council member said. “It meant that three of the seven players were to be a part of the auction. But once the highest bid was received, the original franchisee of the player was given an option to match that fee and retain the player. This would have made the procedure too complex, so the governing council decided to allow retention of only four players.”

But when the 2010 auction issue was first discussed during the franchisee owners' workshop with the IPL management last year, all teams had expressed reservations about player retention (see box). Still, the BCCI has had the final say because “in principle, the franchisees can only give their opinion, but the decision making power rests with the BCCI.”

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

T20 Live Score: England vs. Pakistan Live Cricket Score

T20 Live Score: England vs. Pakistan Live Cricket Score: The second T20 match between England and Pakistan is all set to begin in sometime soon.

The match would begin at 22:30 Indian Standard Time. In the last game of T20, the English team managed to beat Pakistan by 5 wickets.

If we talk about form, Pakistan have managed to win 3 of their last 5 matches and will desperately want a win under their belts to lift the spirits in their dressing room.

At the same time, England have won 6 matches on the trot now and will be looking to maintain the momentum ahead of the ODI series.

Teams update:
England: Craig Kieswetter, Steve Davies(w), Ravi Bopara, Paul Collingwood(c), Eoin Morgan, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Ryan Sidebottom.

Pakistan: Kamran Akmal(w), Shahzaib Hasan, Mohammad Yousuf, Fawad Alam, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi(c), Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Indian cricket board charged with forex violations in IPL

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to charge the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) with having violated foreign exchange regulations. It believes the BCCI kept the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the dark about financial guarantees of around $13.4 million (R62 crore) it gave to international cricketers to ensure their participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

In a confidential report, the ED has said the Board entered into agreements with as many as 72 foreign players to pay them a base fee in foreign exchange without seeking necessary approvals.

This payment was entirely separate from whatever the IPL franchisees paid to buy players at the auctions, and has never been disclosed publicly.

"Investigations have revealed that in order to facilitate the franchisees to contract international players, the BCCI-IPL entered into a memorandum of understanding with 72 foreign players as per which the BCCI extended guarantee to pay the base fee to the foreign players irrespective of the outcome of the bid,” the ED says in its report. “These guarantees were given by the BCCI without the permission of the RBI.”

When contacted, BCCI officials claimed ignorance. "I am not aware of it (alleged violation)," said Prof Ratnakar Shetty, the Board’s chief administrative officer.

Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), no resident Indian can offer financial guarantee in foreign exchange without RBI approval.

The ED’s findings are part of a multi-agency probe launched by the government in April, after allegations of financial irregularities relating to the tournament and its then chief organiser, Lalit Modi, surfaced.

The ED has also found that foreign exchange payments worth $2.5 million (R 11.5 crore) were made by BCCI to different entities in South Africa where tournament was held in its second year in 2009, says the report.

"The expenses incurred by the BCCI for staging the tournament in South Africa are stated to have been 'netted off' with the money earned in South Africa through the tournament," said a senior official, who did not wish to be identified by HT.

This means that the BCCI told finance authorities that whatever payments it made in advance to South African entities should not be considered as loss of foreign exchange.

Instead, these should be deducted from the foreign exchange earnings during the tournament. "But remittances made as advances and netting off of accounts amounts to contravention of FEMA rules,” the official pointed out.