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Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Sri Lanka paceman Lasith Malinga on Tuesday brushed aside criticism that he quit Test cricket to be able to make quick money from tournaments such as the Indian Premier League.

The injury-prone bowler invited controversy when he made himself unavailable for Tests during a forthcoming tour of England because of a knee injury, but continued to play in the lucrative Twenty20 competition in India.

Malinga announced his retirement from Tests last week, saying the injury prevented him from playing in the longest version of the game, and has since been under fire for picking club cricket over country.

"The Test retirement was never about money," Malinga, 27, told reporters in Colombo.

"I can't be a commentator, coach or umpire. But I can bowl well and get wickets. It's unfair to say money was the root cause of my decision," said the fast bowler, who is on a three-day return visit to Sri Lanka from India.

Malinga, the highest wicket-taker so far in the IPL with 16 scalps from six games, hoped his decision would allow him to play for at least four more years.

"My right knee is getting weaker each day. I have a long-standing degenerative condition that I need to carefully manage," he said.

"I love playing for Sri Lanka. It's my dream to play for my country. I'm not sure if my knee will inflame again."

Malinga said he was looking forward to playing the one-dayers and Twenty20s during Sri Lanka's tour of England, which starts next month.

Pakistan Cricket team at motorway for Namaz | video

2nd ODI v WI: Ahmad Shazad's interview


Sri Lanka’s new skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan, one of the stars of the Indian Premier League, has said he wants to leave the event early to travel with the national team to England on tour.

Dilshan is keen to join the Sri Lankan squad when they fly to England on May 10, which means he would have to abandon his Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL side three weeks before the tournament ends.

Sri Lanka are set to play three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 international during the tour.

“Dilshan is keen to travel with the team, to try and create a bond as some of the senior players will be joining the squad a bit late,” Dilshan’s manager Roshan Abeysinghe told AFP.

Sri Lanka Cricket last week allowed its IPL players to stay on in India until May 18, rowing back on a request for them to return by May 5 to prepare for the tour.

Dilshan took over as skipper last week after Kumar Sangakkara quit following Sri Lanka’s defeat to India in the World Cup final in Mumbai earlier this month.

Dilshan has scored 105 runs from five games for Bangalore, who have won two of their six matches in the money-spinning Twenty20 tournament so far.


West Indies skipper Darren Sammy rued his team’s inability to capitalise on the good start to post a par score as the hosts lost their second successive One Day International against Pakistan at St Lucia on Monday.
The 27-year-old medium pacer said that his side failed to capitalise in the key moments both in batting and bowling and this led to their seven-wicket defeat at the hands of the Men in Green. However, Sammy was happy that they were not totally rolled over as Pakistan took 47 overs to win the match.
“We could have tried to squeeze their batsmen more and when we batted we got a good start, but did not capitalise on it,” said Sammy. “We weren't rolled over today. We kept ourselves in the match right to the finish. There were moments when things could have gone either way, but we didn't make it happen.”
Sammy urged his side to find ways to come out of tight situations successfully. He insisted that they need to win the next game of the five-match ODI series in order to keep their prospects alive.
The West Indies batting line-up collapsed miserably against the Pakistan attack as none of the batsmen could cross the 30-run mark sans opener Lendl Simmons who struck a level-headed half century. Eight of the Caribbean batsmen failed to get past even 20. As a result, the hosts returned with a gettable score of 220 for 9 that was comfortably chased down by the tourists for the loss of just 3 wickets.
The home side was unable to post an impressive total in the opening One day International of the series as well as they made just 221 before Pakistan chased it down with more than 8 overs to go and 8 wickets in hand.
The visiting captain, Shahid Afridi was happy with the “discipline” shown by his team in Monday’s game and said that the reason behind their victories is that they are sticking to the game plan. He was also happy with the improved batting at the top of the order.
Pakistan lead the five-match ODI series by 2-0. The third match of the series will be played in Barbados on April 28, 2011.


Pakistan's young gun, Ahmed Shehzad scored a ton and led his side to victory in the 2nd One Day International between Pakistan and West Indies in St Lucia on 25 April, 2011.
Speaking at the match presentation after being named the Player of the Match, Shehzad stated that the skipper, Afridi was the man to follow.
Describing Afridi as an astonishing captain, the right-hand batsman expressed his faith in the skipper’s ability to lead the Men in Green through turbulent times.
Shehzad has been retained in the national side despite his unimpressive performance throughout the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. He also acknowledged the support of his captain and the team management in this regard.
The 19-year old cricketer said, “I would like to thank team management for supporting me, Vicky bhai (Waqar Younis), Aaqib Javed, and Shahid bhai. He (Afridi) is the man to follow, he has been astonishing, if we follow him he will take us through. The wicket was on the slower side, I knew if we kept the wickets, we will do it.”
Shehzad put forth a redeeming 102 run knock off 148 deliveries which included seven fours and one six. The ton was his second One Day International century.
Afridi in return, also complimented Shehzad on his performance. The skipper acknowledged Shehzad’s poor record in the past but praised his comeback.
“Shehzad is a very talented guy who performed well in New Zealand tour. He didn't do well in World cup, he took some time, its ok he took time but he finished the game. The management has been supporting him,” said Afridi.
The skipper further expressed his satisfaction with how the team was following the game plan and performing as expected.
After losing the first Twenty20 match against the Windies, the Green Shirts bounced back with two consecutive wins.
The Men in Green have been on a roll, performing well in One Day Internationals. They reached the Semi-Finals of 2011 ICC World Cup and prior to that, had won the ODI series in New Zealand.
Spinners have been Pakistan’s weapon of choice against the young West Indian side. The 2nd ODI saw the spin trio of Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal share six wickets between them.
The West Indian skipper Darren Sammy had asserted earlier that his side needed to work hard in the nets to face the Pakistani spinners.
The third match of the series will be played on Thursday, 28 April, 2011 at Bridgetown. If Pakistan wins the match they will have an unassailable lead in the series.


Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal’s father-in-law has filed a Rs. 100 million defamation suit against Zulqarnain Haider.
Haider, who returned back to Pakistan after five months since he fled from Dubai to seek asylum in England, told the media on Monday that Akmal’s father-in-law worked as a bookmaker and was involved in match-fixing.
The runaway keeper, who had to face angry protests when he arrived at the Islamabad International Airport, has urged the Pakistan government and the concerned officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board to look into the matter.
Badruzaman, who is a lawyer hired by Kamran’s father-in-law, stated that a notice for the defamation suit has been mailed to Haider at his home address. He also confirmed that Akmal’s father-in-law has sued Haider for Rs. 100 million.
Badruzaman spoke firmly about the matter and said that his client is a reputable individual in the business world. He added that no tolerance will be exercised towards such slandering statements.
The lawyer asked Haider to produce evidence to support his allegations or issue an apology. He affirmed that failure to do so would result in legal action against the player.
“My client is a well reputed businessman and he will not tolerate such allegations. Haider now has to either produce evidence to back his allegations or make a public apology or face legal action,” Badruzaman maintained.
Kamran Akmal, who has been dropped due to his poor form by the selection committee for Pakistan’s tour of West Indies, earlier warned Zulqarnain Haider to produce evidence or face legal charges.
He said that Haider, who was like a brother to him, has hurt his sentiments by making baseless claims about his father-in-law who is a reputable individual.
“I always considered Haider as my brother but after coming to know about his baseless allegations he has made against my father-in-law I am very disappointed and upset. Because he has slandered a respectable man,” said Akmal.

50 new cricket grounds in Lahore likely : Shahbaz Sharif

LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister M Shahbaz Sharif has said the Punjab government is implementing a comprehensive programme for the promotion of sports activities in the province and a network of playgrounds will be built in the province for providing sports facilities to the youth. 
“Fifty new cricket grounds will be developed in the City while separate grounds will be reserved for women,” he said. He also directed the Commissioner Lahore to identify locations for 50 new cricket grounds in City in consultation with elected representatives and submit a comprehensive plan in this regard within seven days. Six acre of land which was used for dumping garbage has been transformed into a modern cricket ground at a cost of Rs 4.2 million.
He was talking to media after inaugurating cricket ground and pavilion at Model Town. MPAs Kh Salman Rafiq, Dr Saeed Elahi, Commissioner Lahore Division and DG PHA, players and a large number of people were also present. 
He congratulated the Lahore administration and office-bearers of LCCA for developing an excellent cricket ground in Model Town for providing modern sports facilities to the players. The CM also played cricket at the inauguration of the cricket ground. Players thanked the CM for the improvement of cricket ground, and construction of a modern pavilion.
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