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Friday, May 6, 2011


ECB Director defends selection of captains of the England national team – Cricket NewsEngland and Wales Cricket Board managing director, Hugh Morris, has defended his decision to have different English captains for all three formats of international cricket.
Alastair Cook was given the charge of the One Day International format, after Andrew Strauss announced his retirement from the version of the game.
Former English captain, Morris, said, “Andrew has typically led from the front in his role as England’s captain over the past two years.”
He added, “We understand and support his decision to step down as the one-day captain.”
Stuart Broad has been appointed as the new skipper for England’s T20 squad. He has been selected for the post in place of Paul Collingwood.
Morris said that after a lengthy debate on the matter, they were very pleased to appoint left- handed opener, Alastair Cook, as the ODI captain of the side while young fast bowler, Stuart Broad was given the role to lead in the shortest version of the game.
ECB Director, while speaking on Cook’s selection, said, “We believe Alastair has the ability and leadership attributes to successfully continue England’s progress in one-day cricket and we’re excited by what the future holds.”
Cook began his ODI cricket career in 2006, against Sri Lanka. He gained fame in a very short span of time, in both editions of cricket. In 26 ODIs, he has scored 858 at an average of 33.00. The left-hander opener has also played 65 Tests, scoring 5130 runs at an average of 47.50.
The English team is looking forward to see Cook as the new skipper for ODIs. They hope that he will lead the team with commitment and dedication.
Stuart Broad, on the other hand, is one of the finest bowlers of England. He has played 34 Tests, 76 ODIs and 44 T20 games. He played his first T20 match in 2006, against Pakistan. In his T20 career, he has taken 55 wickets at an average of 19.49.
Strauss will continue his role of leading the English side in the Test format of the game.
With England making a number of crucial decisions to give the responsibility of leading the side to young players, all is left to see whether both men take up the initiative and prove their worth, in the near future.


Shane Warne has Great Mind says Australian all-rounder Shane Watson

Australia’s most valuable player, Shane Watson, says legendary leg-spinner, Shane Warne, King of Spin, has a great influence on his cricket.
The all-rounder concludes that his way of thinking and perceiving the game has received a great boost by playing under the legendary leg-spinner.
Watson has been part of Rajasthan Royals, Indian Premier League franchise, captained by Warne, for four straight seasons.
"Warney's influence on me, throughout the last three or four years, since I've been able to spend a lot more time playing with him, has been very significant on my game, the way I bowl, and reading the game more”, said the Aussie all-rounder.  
Watson also known as Watto expressed that watching Warne helps him and the tactics applied by him opens his eyes. Watto further says Michael Clarke, current skipper of Australian cricket team, and close friend of Warne, has the same mind as former cricketer.
He postulates that the King of Spin has been an inspirational figure behind Clarke’s mindset and it is quite evident by the fielding he sets and decisions he make.
Watson tags Warney, as probably the best mind that has ever played cricket. Watson said that he does not get enough chance to play Warne much in the nets but hopes he faces him more before Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka.
He feels the Lankans have a good spin attack and playing someone of Warne’s calibre will enhance his skills against spin.
“Seeing the things that Warney does, his tactical thinking, really seeing that at work, continues to open my eyes. It’s pretty amazing to see the decisions he makes, and the fields that he sets come off nine out of 10 times. There’s no doubt in my mind that Warney is one of the best minds that's ever played the game”, said Watson.
Watson has been promoted to the rank of vice-captain in the Australian side. He has been in supreme form for Kangaroos and because of his consistent performances, the all-rounder has been awarded with Allan Border medals, Australia’s highest cricket award, for two years in a row.
Watto has grown much in the past three to four years. From an injury prone cricketer, to probably the best all-rounder in the world right now, the Aussie has come a long way. However, Watson still considers himself in the developmental stage. And with players such as Rahul Dravid and Warne in his IPL side he will learn a lot.
Watto is keen on taking up his leadership role along with skipper Clarke. But he is fully aware of the fact that they may not be able to accomplish the feats that Australia did when Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Glen McGrath, and Matthew Hayden were in the side.
He said that fans expect them to perform the same way as his predecessors did. They want them to go in with aggressive intent but there is no shame in admitting that the whole Aussie side during that time was filled with brilliant cricketers. However, he was determined to develop their current side into similar superstars.  

'Pakistan shown extraordinary talent'

Dubai, May 6 (IBNS) Former captain Wasim Akram discusses Pakistan’s ongoing tour of the West Indies while ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 winner Yuvraj Singh looks back at his early days on this week’s ICC Cricket World Radio Show.

“Pakistan has shown extraordinary talent. Results in the ODI series show that Pakistan cricket is on a rise and it is a great sign,” says Wasim who took 502 wickets in ODIs, including 89 against the West Indies.

Looking ahead at the Test series, Wasim says: “I think Pakistan are favourites. They have good spinners. Saeed Ajmal, can’t be picked by the West Indies batsmen while Umar Gul will be there. Wahab Riaz is the workhorse who runs in hard. Misbah will take over the captaincy which is again a good sign.

“The Guyana pitch is flat, like sub-continent. I have played a lot of cricket in Guyana. Those wickets will suit Pakistan for sure.”

Joining Wasim on the show this week is Yuvraj Singh who was named as ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 player of the tournament.

Looking back at his early days, Yuvraj says: “I remember going to school at 6am and returning at 5pm. I spent the day studying and playing sports.

“Then playing cricket in the backyard, and breaking the helmets of guys driving on the road and people chasing us. I played tennis and roller-skating till I was 10-11. Then my dad said that you only have to play cricket,” he said

Gunmen kill eight people at Pakistan cricket match

An ethnic Hazara Shia man is smeared in blood after bringing victims of a shooting to a local hospital in Quetta, Pakistan on Friday.
islamabad - At least eight people were killed Friday and 15 more injured when unidentified gunmen attacked a local cricket ground in south-western Pakistan, police said.
The attack took place in a suburb of Quetta city, the capital of Baluchistan province, which has seen increasingly violent ethnic clashes.
After bursting into the ground in two vehicles, the attackers 'first fired rockets and then opened fire at the people with assault rifles,' police officer Hamid Shakeel told the German Press Agency dpa.
'Eight people have died while 15 more injured in the attack so far,' Shakeel said. The victims included both spectators and players of the informal match that was in progress.
Witness Raza Hamid was quoted by Dunya television broadcaster as saying that the attack was carried out by 12 to 15 men and lasted for 25 minutes.
The motive was not clear. All those killed belonged to the predominately Shiite Hazara community, which has come under attack from Sunni extremists.
The Hazara have also been targeted by ethnic Baluch tribesmen, who frequently attack other ethnic groups in their fight for more autonomy for the province and a greater stake in its natural resources.

The Batting Dilemma OF pak Batting failure

Mohammad Hafeez was bowled for 55
The batting has never been their strength since many years,as they are the side which often fails to deliver on troublesome pitches.If you critically analyse the main performers of past some years,you can count them on fingure tips as they are just a few names and most of them are bowlers.None of the pakistani batsman has been able to perform consistently since many years which is an alarming aspect of pak cricket side.
The recent world cup losses from NEW ZEALAND and INDIA are the most considerable failures.
Many question could be asked on current pakistani batting squad of ODIs and tests from slection committe specially from the chief selector Mohsin Hassan Khan,tough he is often called rubber-stamp chief selector which is another teasing aspect of
pak cricket.They have been giving chances to same faces like Imran farhat,Taufiq umar,Ahmed Shehzad etc.The exclusion of players like Adnan akmal,Azhar ALi(the consistent performer in tests) ,Danish kaneria and the Mohsin hassan khan's protest against interference form top officials of PCB tells the exact story.The political selections in the teams must have to be stopped if any positives have to been seen in upcoming years.
Now coming to the current ODI series,the issues dont seem to be resolved.In the opening 3 matches,the pakistani spinners kept them quiet and caused their batting order stumble on crucial times.The batting skills of Pak batting order were tested twice in the last matches of series,but they delievred nothing more than despair and disappointment with their irresponsible shots,tough Muhammad Hafeez's performance is some thing to cheer about for pakistani spectators.The weak West Indies side showed great fight with their much inexpericenced side,given their main expericenced players have been jettisoned from the side.
The last ODI was the great opportunity for pak to achieve a great land mark by winning their 400th ODI,thus becoming the 2nd country to mark the history,but they are on the verge of loosing the spree.Its a pity that the captain Shahid afridi has not been able to make any considerable statement neither with bowling nor with batting...The future will ask many questions,if these kind of disappointing performances continued ...
writer;Ahsan Ul haq Torino,Italy

Mohsin makes peace with PCB, says differences sorted out

Pakistan's chief selector Mohsin Khan has apparently sorted out his differences with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over the selection of the Test squad for the series against the West Indies.
Mohsin met with the Chairman Ijaz Butt and other officials here today and told media that he was sati 

sfied with the outcome of the meeting.
"I am happy this meeting took place. I put my point of view across to the PCB Chairman and he gave me a patient hearing. I am satisfied with the outcome of the meeting and the situation now," Mohsin, a former Test player, said.
Mohsin had threatened to resign on Wednesday after the PCB made some changes in the squad, submitted by the national
selection committee.
Mohsin had blamed team head coach Waqar Younis for being behind the move to change the squad.
Butt told the media that the selection committee was an independent body and there would be no interference in its working.
"After listening to what Mohsin had to say I don't think there is any need to say more on this subject," Butt said.
"Everything is sorted out now and we appreciate the fact that Mohsin and his selectors have done a good job since last
year," Butt said. But the PCB chief declined to elaborate on the points on which the chief selector had disagreements with the Board.
Sources said Mohsin told the Chairman that he was not happy with the fact that the Pakistan coach was interfering in
selection of the touring squad.
"Mohsin made it clear that once the selectors gave the 15-man squad after consulting the team management which they had always done, it was the prerogative of the tour selection committee to play the team they wanted," the source said.
Already three chief selectors have either resigned or have been told to resign since Butt took over as Chairman in October, 2008.
The inclusion of wicket-keeper Mohammad Salman, pace bowler Junaid Khan and young allrounder Hammad Azam in the
Test squad in place of more deserving players who have done well at the domestic level has left the cricket circles surprised.
Many former players have criticised the selectors for making a mockery of the selection process.
They were no immediate indications that the two players who the selectors had included in the test squad -- batsman Khurrum Manzoor and keeper Adnan Akmal -- would be included and sent to the West Indies before the start of the first Test
from May 12.

Afridi takes swipe at WICB for excluding most experienced players

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi took a swipe at the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for its exclusion of the region’s most experienced players for the current Digicel ODI Home Series.
While Afridi said he can identify with the WICB’s thrust to develop its players and lift the standard of play in the West Indies, he said that…..

All-rounder Hafeez jumps to 6th in ICC ODI rankings

 Pakistan and its bowlers have slipped in the Reliance ICC Rankings for the One Day Internationals despite winning the five-match series by 3-2 but all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has scampered to career-high sixth position.
Mohammad Hafeez. Courtesy: AP PHOTO
In the latest edition of the ICC ODI rankings released Friday, Pakistan’s orthodox off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has dropped from second to third position, while skipper Shahid Khan Afridi has also gone out of the top ten ODI bowlers list at 14th position.
Pakistan cricket team has 4397 points and have a rating of 100 and still find them at sixth position while West Indies are at eighth position.
The series proved good one for opening batsman Mohammad Hafeez who has jumped to his career-high sixth position in the all-rounders list with 323 rating points. Skipper Shahid Afridi is still the third best all rounder in the ICC ODIs Rankings.
Mohammad Hafeez. Courtesy: GETTY IMAGES
West Indian fast bowler Ravi Rampaul has also achieved his career-high 29th position in the rankings while captain Darrey Sammy and Dwayne Bravo are at 35th and 39th position respectively.
Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal is at 23rd position, Misbah-ul-Haq at 31st, while West Indian young sensation Lendl Simmons has jumped to 67th position after a brilliant show in the series.
It’s important to mention here that Pakistani skipper Shahid Khan Afridi had recently criticised the ICC Rankings as despite of winning an overseas series Pakistan have got their points cut in the list.

Afridi: This is a disappointing end

Rampaul strikes in Guyana.
Shahid Afridi was left to lament a shoddy performance with the bat as Pakistan crashed to a 10-wicket loss in Thursday's fifth and final ODI against the West Indies at the Providence Stadium in Guyana.
Heading into the clash with an unassailable three-one series lead, the tourists won the toss and opted to bat first for the first time in the five-match affair and promptly capitulated to 139 all out in 41.2 overs. Mohammad Hafeez's 55 was as good as it got for Pakistan, while Umar Akmal's 24 at least entertained.
Pakistan's batsmen, admittedly, had no individual nor collective answer to the sharp bounce and superb line and lengths churned out by the West Indian seamers.
While Darren Sammy's three for 30 started the rot at the top of the knock, Ravi Rampaul bagged four for 45 through the middle overs before Dwayne Bravo undid the tail-enders with two for 16.
The Windies' pursuit was a veritable walk in the park as Lendl Simmons secured 77 not out and the Man of the Match award, while fellow opener Kirk Edwards weighed in with an unbeaten 40 in their unbroken 140-run alliance across 23.3 overs.
"This is a disappointing end to the series. This was not a 139-run pitch. We struggled in the batting. The main thing was a lack of partnerships. Just Hafeez played well," said Afridi. "We all wanted to bat first, but we didn't play well."
While Man of the Match Simmons later lauded the input of West Indian batting coach Desmond Haynes, Afridi was left to question a lack thereof after former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad snubbed the position last month.
"We need someone to teach us how to bat in a situation like we had here," he added. "Morale needs to stay high."
All-rounder Hafeez enjoyed the Man of the Series accolade for his 267 runs in five knocks at an average of 53.40 and six wickets at 23.50 apiece.
"It's a bit disappointing the way we ended the series, but we will learn from it. As far as my performance is concerned, I like to thank the people who trusted my ability, who supported me," concluded Hafeez.

Pakistan Cricket: Afridi-Waqar row leads Pakistan to loss in Game 5

After winning the first three One Day Internationals against West Indies, Pakistan lost the final two matches surprisingly but the people who know Pakistan cricket can understand what could be the reasons.
Shahid Afridi, Waqar Younis.
Pakistan skipper Shahid Khan Afridi and coach Waqar Younis are at odds in team selection and before the final ODI both had a serious debate over inclusions and exclusions of players in the team.
Sources told The Sports Encounter scribe here that coach Waqar Younis is not happy with the captaincy and selection skills of Shahid Afridi and thus interfered in the matters so much that it irked Afridi.
The situation gone as worse as Boom Boom Afridi threatened to pull out of the final ODI but with manager Intikhab Alam and some senior players cooling him down the skipper did play the match but he never looked like an interested captain in the field during the course of the Guyana ODI.
West Indies defeated Pakistan by a huge margin of 10 wickets in the last ODI which doesn’t really speak for the Men in Green’s performance in the first four matches of the series.
Sources said that the repercussions of the Afridi-Waqar row will also have its negative impact on the upcoming Test series as a bunch of senior players is unhappy with Waqar Younis as coach.
As always has been the case, Pakistan cricket team never comes out of any series without leaving behind a controversy and the fade end of a rather promising ODI series will see Pakistan Cricket Board and its top officials taking some decisions in future.


Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi satisfied with team’s performance in the Caribbean - Cricket update
Pakistan’s limited-over captain, Shahid Afridi, was pleased with the One Day International (ODI) series win against West Indies, despite the team losing the final two games of the five-match series. He claimed that the win in Caribbean will boost the confidence in the dressing room and will be helpful for future series against other teams.
The aggressive all-rounder stated, “The series victory is important for us. We are not playing any cricket at home, so winning this series is very important and will keep the morale high, and I think for the future it will be good for us.”
Afridi also praised the efforts of all-rounder, Mohammad Hafeez, who did a terrific job during the matches. He scored runs and took wickets for the team with consistency, which earned him the Player-of-the-Series award.
Hafeez was also satisfied with his performance, but wanted a better finish by the team. He stated, “It’s a bit disappointing the way we ended the series, but we will learn from it. As far as my performance is concerned, I like to thank the people trusted my ability, who supported me during my tough times. My family, too.”
Pakistan started the ODI series brilliantly, winning the first three matches. However, the team was unable to continue the winning momentum and lost the final two games. West Indies had a bit of luck in the fourth match of the series, as it was rain affected. The hosts managed to win the game by just one run using the Duckworth-Lewis method.
The main concern for the Windies has been their lower-order batsmen, who have failed to perform against the quality spin bowling of the Men-in-Green. Had the penultimate match been a complete one, the visitors might have been on the winning side.
The final game proved to be a one-sided affair though, as Pakistan were bundled-up for 139 in the 42nd over of their innings. The West Indian opening pair of Lendl Simmons and Kirk Edwards had no trouble when they came out to bat and the target was achieved successfully with all wickets intact.
Both teams will now feature in a two-match test series, which kicks off from Thursday, May 12th, 2011.
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