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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pakistan-origin British boxer Aamir to defend world title today

 Pakistan-origin British boxer Aamir Khan will enter in arena here today to defend his the World Boxing Association (WBA) light-welterweight title against Paul McCloskey of Northern Ireland.

Aamir Khan, 24, insists he is fully focused on his world title defence against Paul McCloskey on Saturday to set up a world title unification fight against American Timothy Bradley, who holds the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) titles.

Khan, 24, maintains he is unconcerned by the huge reduction in the size of his purse and is confident he will come through McCloskey.

There have already been discussions for Khan to face Bradley in America on July 23, but the 2004 Olympic silver medalist insists he is not overlooking the threat posed by unbeaten European champion McCloskey.

"I'm so focused on my job, and my job is to fight and win. McCloskey's going to come to win but I'm the best guy he has fought. He has never fought anyone who is as strong or quick as me.

McCloskey, 31, is confident he can ruin Khan's plans to face Bradley and aims to exploit the Bolton boxer's punch resistance in front of 16,000 fans.

Khan was rocking in the tenth round of his last fight against Argentina's Marcos Maidana in December and was halted in the first round by Colombian Breidis Prescott - his only professional defeat - in 2008. 

Pakistan Cricket Team Arrives In West Indies | VIDEO

PCB, Punjab Govt announce cash rewards for Pak cricket team selectors

 The Pakistan Cricket Board and the Punjab Government have announced cash rewards for the national selectors, close on the heels of chief selector Mohsin Khan's demand that the selectors should also be rewarded for the national team's performance. 

Pakistan, considered underdogs before the start of the 2011 World Cup, made it to the last four stage of the tournament before their campaign ended in a 29-run defeat at the hands of India in the semi final clash at Mohali on March 30.

Following Pakistan's impressive show in the mega event, Mohsin had demanded that the PCB should also reward the selectors for the national team's performance. 

Close on the heels of his demand, both the PCB and the Punjab government announced cash prizes of 500,000 rupees each. Mohsin said that he would be sharing the money with his colleagues. 

"I am really grateful to the board and the chief minister of Punjab for their kind gesture in accepting my point of view which was a valid one," The Nation quoted Mohsin, as saying.

Citing the example of Indian selectors, who were given bonuses of 2.5 million rupees each for the Indian team's World Cup triumph, Mohsin said that Pakistani selectors also deserved a similar treatment. 

The former Test opener stated that it was necessary for the PCB and the government to reward the players, management and selectors after a good performance, as it would only encourage them to do better in the future. 

He pointed out that the selectors had played a vital role in the Pakistan team's resurrection in the last few months, as did the team management and the players. 

"I thought all of us equally deserved credit for the team's good show," Mohsin added.

Ever since the Pakistan team returned home from the World Cup, the central and provincial governments have announced cash rewards for the players and officials, but this is for the first time that the selectors have also been given monetary bonuses. 

Besides Mohsin, the national selection committee includes four other selectors, including M Ilyas, Azhar Khan and two co-opted members. 

Mohsin insisted that he and his colleagues would share the amount, as they all deserved the credit for the team's good showing in the recently concluded tournament. 

"My selectors have cooperated a lot with me and backed my decisions and they deserve this reward as much as I do," he said.

PCB contacts BCCI for resumption of bilateral ties, reports say

Officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have contacted their Indian counterparts as they seek a resumption of cricket ties with their neighbours, reports on Saturday said.
There have been reports that both countries are set to resume bilateral ties following last month’s World Cup semi-final meeting at Mohali..
PCB’s Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed revealed that the board has been in touch with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over e-mail, according cricket website Cricinfo.
“We sent them an email and they replied but as they are busy with the Indian Premier League (IPL) currently, talks will begin after the IPL is over,” Subhan was quoted as saying.
While recent reports in the Indian media suggested a bilateral series could be planned soon, the International Cricket Council’s Future Tours Program (FTP) shows there is no window for either team to play a full-fledged series before early 2012.
“Both sides are very busy with FTP requirements in the near future so finding a window will be the first thing. Then we’ll talk about the matches themselves and what kind they will be, a three match ODI series or whatever.”
If such a series is planned, it will most likely be played at a neutral venue, although PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt ruled out the option, saying Pakistan wants to host India on its soil.
“The prime minister has directed us to host this series in Pakistan so we are not looking at the option of a neutral venue,” Butt told reporters.
Primer ministers of both countries met and held talks at the Mohali semi-final, showing signs of revival of ties between the arch-rivals.

Chance for Pakistan to make history

Pakistan cricket team has left for West Indies to play one T20, five ODIs and two Tests; and surely it is a real chance after a gap of over 40 years for Pakistan to beat West Indies at their own backyard.
Although this time the current West Indian side is much weaker as compared to past sides, which were full of big starts such as Viv Richards, Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Michael Holding, Clive Lloyd, Walsh, Ambrose and many more. The counting will have to be stopped but the players' list will continue. And any chance of West Indian backlash was further dampened with the axing of Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpul and Ramnaresh Sarwan. 
Without these players, West Indies will find it almost impossible to beat Pakistan, who are playing well and their morale is high after reaching the World Cup semi-final. The Pakistani selectors have almost selected the same side, which took part in the recently concluded World Cup with one or two minor changes.
On cards Pakistan will not face much difficulty in disposing of West Indies, but one never knows these Pakistanis are known for gifting relatively easy matches to the opponents. If Pakistan take West Indies easy there is every possibility of losing not only the matches but also the series as the West Indian team has the advantage of playing in front of their supporters who are known for backing their team through thick and thin.
The West Indian tracks always support both sets of bowlers as the fast bowlers and the spinners enjoy same success. The wickets in the Caribbean's are normally batting friendly but the bowlers can take advantage of the situation and early moisture on the track with their line and length. Pakistan as always enjoy upper hand in bowling department but the main area of concern for Pakistan is their batting and fielding, which always let the team down and Pakistan had lost matches in past due to their batting and fielding.
The World Cup semi-final is one such example where the Pakistani fielders almost dropped more than half a dozen catches which eventually led to their downfall. 
The PCB has retained the same team management with Waqar Younis being the coach and Intikhab Alam is the manager of the side, what wonders what they have done exceptionally which forced the PCB tom continued with them. In realty these two gentlemen had done nothing for the team, the players until now what had achieved is just because of their potential not because of coach or manager. It is the duty of a coach to take note of all the mistakes of a team on the pitch and try to remove or at least cut them in nets but in Pakistan's case the coach doesn't even bother to discuss these mistakes instead he puts blame on others. Pakistan cricket team is badly in need of a batting coach, who can help them in overcoming their mistakes and help them improve their technique.

Shahid Afridi sets sights on World Twenty20

After falling to old rivals India in the World Cup semifinal last month, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has set his sights on the ICC World Twenty20 Championship to be played in Sri Lanka next year.

"The only way I can really overcome the disappointment of our defeat against India is by winning the Twenty20 World Cup," Afridi told The News in an interview.

Afridi said that he is focusing on the 2012 World Twenty20 Championship because he doesn't know whether he will be playing international cricket in 2015 when the next edition of the World Cup takes place in Australia and New Zealand.

"I would love to be around for the 2015 World Cup but that's like four years away. That's why I'm just focusing on the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka and want us to take the right steps to ensure that we raise a team that is good enough to win that tournament," he said.

Pakistan reached the final of the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007 with Afridi emerging as one of their best players in the event. Later he played a pivotal role in Pakistan's title-winning triumph in the second edition of the tournament in 2009 in England.

Afridi was Pakistan's captain in the third ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies in 2010 when the Greenshirts fell to Australia in the semifinals from a seemingly-winning position.

Afridi, who is regarded as one of the most destructive all-rounders in the Twenty20 format, is confident that Pakistan can go all the way in Sri Lanka which will host the next edition of the hugely-popular tournament.

"We have won the Twenty20 World Cup before and we can do it again," he said.

But Afridi was quick to add that Pakistan will have to put together a winning formula in the lead up to the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Championship. And to achieve that, Afridi believes that Pakistan will have to learn a thing or two from India.

"The Indians started preparing for the World Cup almost two years before the event," he said. "We, too, will have to start right away in our preparations for the Twenty20 World Cup. We should be selecting players for limited-overs matches with an eye on that assignment. That's the only way we can prepare ourselves in the best possible manner."

Afridi is of the view that Pakistan can bank on the existing pool of bowlers but their batting line-up is a different story.

"We have some of the world's best spinners when it comes to limited-overs matches, especially Twenty20 Internationals. Same is the case with our pacers which is why I'm sure we won't face many problems in raising a strong bowling attack for the Twenty World Cup," he said.

"But when it comes to batsmen, I'm not that sure. We lack quality batters both at the top and the middle-order. We need some really good, young guys who can strengthen our batting in the Twenty20 format."

The attitude of the nation has changed but will the performance of Team Pakistan change?

Pakistan cricket team received a warm welcome when they arrived from India after a defeat from India in the semi final of cricket world cup 2011. Later on Pakistan team received prizes from Chief Minister of Punjab and Sindh. They have also receive a reception from Prime Minster of Pakistan and PM has announced 1 million rupees for each player. This is the first time in history of Pakistan that any team lost in world cup receiving such welcome from this nation. The reason is that no one expected team to reach semi final and team led by Shahid Khan Afridi played some superb cricket breaking the winning streak of former World Champions Australia, beating Sirilanka in their pool match and in quarter outclassed west Indies.

My point is that the attitude of this nation has changed but will the performance of Team Pakistan change?

After 1999 World Cup this team is not changed a bit, in last 12 years we have struggled for finding a right opening combination, we have been dropping important catches at important stages which has really cost us many times, our batting always been unpredictable in last decade we have struggled in batting, and when our batting performs our bowling let us down that day, we have lost many matches which we were supposed to win at half way stage. When I see last 12 years of Pakistan cricket I am amazed that we have not changed or we haven’t tried to improve our self. I hope after the change in attitude of Pakistani nation, Pakistani cricket team will also try to improve themselves and will not repeat the mistakes which they are doing for a decade

Written by :- Abdullah Suleman
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