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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ambrose vs Waugh - Ambrose gone mad

Javed Miandad and Dennis Lillee fight .. very funny

Afridi not assured of leading Pakistan in ODIs, says Butt

KARACHI: Shahid Afridi has not been given any guarantee that he would continue as captain of thePakistan one-day team, PCB chairman Ijaz Buttsaid on Wednesday.

"No assurance has been rendered to Shahid Afridi of retaining him as skipper for the upcoming one-day international matches in Ireland," Butt told a television channel.

His remarks immediately set off a debate and speculation on whether Afridi's statement about differences in the team management on the West Indies tour might have finally got him into a big trouble.

The ODI skipper was slapped with a notice for his remarks which he made soon after returning from the West Indies.

But earlier in the day, media reports have speculated that Afridi had spoken to Butt before leaving for the United States and confirmed his availability for the two ODIs against Ireland.

The reports said that PCB chief had indicated to Afridi that he would continue as skipper and the matter of him being served a notice would not derail his captaincy bid.

But later Butt insisted that he had given no such assurances to Afridi.

Butt said during his discussion with Afridi he had told him clearly that because of the disciplinary issue pending against him (Afridi), no decision has been taken yet on his captaincy.

"I didn't give any assurances to anyone and we are still in the process of debating the changes for the series against Ireland which is also important," the PCB chief added.

Butt said he had spoken to Afridi about the latter's statement in the media.

Well placed sources also said that Butt had spoken to chief selector, Mohsin Khan about the series against Ireland.

"The majority chances are that the board will not take the risk of naming a new ODI captain for the Ireland series but with Butt at helm of affairs anything is possible. There is no doubt that he is unhappy with Afridi's habit of going to the media on every issue under the sun," one source said.

Afridi has made himself available for the Ireland series and insisted he is keen to play and lead the team.

Before leaving for the US, the flamboyant all-rounder said he had no intentions of quitting captaincy and was, in fact, thinking about leading Pakistan in next year's T20 World Cup.

Shahid Afridi goes on USA fundraising tour for charity

Pakistan's 2011 World Cup captain Shahid Afridi will embark on a three-day, three-city fundraising tour this week for Islamic Relief USA. The first “Building for the Future” dinner will take place tonight May 18 in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Wash., before Afridi moves on to Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday May 19. The final dinner will be held on Friday May 20 in the Dallas suburb of Richardson, Texas.
“We wanted to target specifically our Pakistani community and in order to do that there’s various ways,” said Daud Mohmand, Special Events Manager at Islamic Relief USA. “You’ve gotta bring some sort of celebrity and what better celebrity to bring from Pakistan besides the cricket players.” According to Mohmand, this will be the fifth year that a tour of Building for the Future dinners has been organized across the USA involving Pakistani cricketers.
In February 2008, Afridi made a six-city tour – San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Dallas and Secaucus, New Jersey – of “Building for the Future” dinners in the USA which helped raise $1.2 million dollars in aid for relief projects. Much of the money went to help people affected by floods in the Balochistan province of Pakistan.
“When we get into the fundraising aspect, the way we do it at Islamic Relief, we show people the projects that we’re doing and then we ask people to contribute to those projects,” said Mohmand. “People raise their hands, they write a check or fill out a credit card form for us and from that, or they provide pledges, that’s where most of our money is gained. The other item that we do in the end, because we have one of the largest one-to-one sponsorship services, as a donor you can sponsor an orphan. We also do that and then the last item, the fun portion if you will of our event, we have usually that particular athlete’s jersey, a bat or a ball, caps as well for him to sign and we also auction those off.”
Mohmand says that on average, 500 people typically attend the dinners but when Afridi came in 2008, the turnout swelled to between 700 and 800 in Los Angeles and Dallas. Tickets are $35 for the dinner in Bellevue, $40 for the dinner in Texas and $40 if purchased beforehand in Anaheim or else $45 at the door. Also featured to appear with Afridi on the event listing is Pakistani poet Alamgir.
Mohmand says that Afridi has been helpful not just in raising funds in the USA, but also in visiting the areas receiving the aid in Pakistan in order to help projects on site.

“He had also helped and assisted us in Pakistan as well,” said Mohmand. “He has visited our field projects. He went to our beneficiary in Pakistan and seen the projects and has even had press conferences about what we do and who we are and kind of given his support to Islamic Relief in the States as well as overseas.”
“What we do is not just the emergency relief, but it’s also for the development work we do. Just because an emergency or a flood or another natural disaster has passed, that doesn’t mean the people still don’t need any help. So we have various projects, ongoing projects, making sure there is redevelopment of those areas. If the schools have been washed away or people are living in tents or they’re displaced, we assist with that as well as providing the basic necessities, meals and shelter.”
Afridi and Younis Khan were also involved in a series of “Building for the Future” dinners across the UK in 2009. The two cricketers embarked on a five-city fundraising tour in August that year that took them to Birmingham, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Leicester.
Aside from projects in Pakistan, Islamic Relief has also aided in numerous other projects recently including earthquake relief in Haiti, humanitarian support in Libya and tornado disaster relief efforts in Alabama.
Ismlamic Relief is a non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in the UK in 1984 by Dr. Hany El Banna. Currently, there are fundraising offices for Islamic Relief located in 15 countries. Islamic Relief USA was started in 1993 and has offices in New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, California and a headquarters in Alexandria, Va. For more information about the “Building for the Future” fundraising dinners with Shahid Afridi and Alamgir, visit or call818-450-7561. 


Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif off to London to face criminal charges

Pakistan’s banned pacer Mohammad Asif, left for England to attend a criminal charges hearing at the South Crown Court in London yesterday, while Salman Butt has been advised by his lawyer Yasin Patel to stay back as the lawyer will attend the hearing.
Mohammad Amir however, is still waiting for a visa which he believes he will get within a few days. The hearing is set to take place on the May 20, 2011.
The trio has been banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after a hearing organized by the world body found the three players guilty of taking bribes from a bookie to deliberately bowl no-balls in the Lord’s Test against England in the summer of 2010.
Butt has been banned for 10 years, Asif for seven and Amir for five. During this time the players cannot take part in any cricket event organized by the ICC or its member cricket boards. However, the players can take part in cricket activities such as working for television channels as commentators or cricket experts.
The players will face the trial along bookie Mazhar Majeed, who has been accused of bribing the players. If convicted all four could serve time in an English jail for up to seven years or might be slapped with unlimited fines.
Meanwhile, Asif has once again reiterated that he is innocent and has vowed to prove this in the court of law. The lanky bowler also said that he had challenged his seven year ban from cricket in the Court of Arbitration for Sports.
Even after being convicted by the ICC, the three players still maintain their innocence and deny any wrong doings. The players have vowed to resume their cricket career after getting their names cleared, however, that seems unlikely due to the fact that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not lend them any support and there is not much hope for the ICC to reconsider their verdict against the players.
Earlier, the Crown Prosecution Service allowed the players to leave the country on one condition that they will attend further hearings in the trial, failing to do so will cause severe repercussions.


Some Bollywood directors have offered the South African born cheerleader, Gabriella Pasqualotto, different roles in the Indian movies along with an invitation to attend the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.
The 22-year-old had been a cheerleader for the Mumbai Indians in the ongoing IPL, but was sent home some days ago for allegedly uploading the antics of some players on her blog.
After her appearance at the IPL stage, Gabriella has become a media goldmine. An American TV, NBC, and an Australian radio have also offered her roles.
The young Gabriella possesses a charming personality with fresh skin and excellent acting skills that have attracted many media and film pundits to her.
Gabriella is not happy with her exile from India. She considers that her blogs were just for the sake for fun and she never meant anything wrong.
She says, “I mentioned Graeme Smith, but that was old news anyway. When I called Aussies ‘naughty’, it was meant as mischievous and not in a sexual way.”
Gabriella’s mother is also quite annoyed at the treatment that was meted out to her daughter in India and she is not ready to send her again back to India for Bollywood.
On the other side, the cheerleader’s blogs show many dark aspects of some of the world’s top cricketers. They tell about players’ kissing, drinking, dancing and even sexual attacks on cheerleaders after the matches.
However, Gabriella has termed the Indian players to be somewhat polite and friendly. Her major target is her national player, Smith, whom she has termed to be a flirt.
Bollywood is the second biggest film industry in the world. It produces and several popular movies every year and many actors and actresses have touched the peak of fame from the platform.
Now, Gabriella is being offered the opportunity, however, she is finding it hard to decide. Most analysts think that she will opt for Bollywood as it contains more cash and incentives.

Zulqarnain fails to produce anything new in his response

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday constituted a three-man panel to further investigate the case of Zulqarnain Haider, the runaway wicketkeeper who is now making effort to revive his international career.

A PCB spokesman told ‘The News’ that the Board has received a response from Zulqarnain to a show-cause letter issued by it to the player on December 6 last year, weeks after he fled to Britain from UAE where Pakistan were featuring in a one-day series against South Africa at that time.

Nadeem Sarwar, the PCB spokesman, said that a three-man disciplinary committee headed by Sultan Rana, PCB’s Director Domestic Cricket, will now look into the case. Wasim Ahmed, the security manager of the Pakistan team and Khawaja Muhammad Awais are the other members of the committee.

But the committee will only begin its proceedings early in June when Pakistan’s cricket team, which is currently in the Caribbean, will return home from Ireland after playing in a brief limited-overs series there.

“The committee will start its proceedings as soon as all concerned persons are available in Pakistan which will be soon after the return of the Pakistan team players and officials from the tour of Ireland,” said Sarwar.

Waseem was Pakistan’s security manager when Zulqarnain disappeared from the team hotel in Dubai just hours before their one-day game against the Proteas. Intikhab Alam, Pakistan’s team manager, is also expected to play an important role in the proceedings that will most likely decide Zulqarnain’s future as an international cricketer.

Meanwhile, well-placed sources told ‘The News’ that the Board believes that Zulqarnain has written nothing new in his response to the letter of explanation.

“He (Zulqarnain) has just repeated what he has been saying since deserting his team last November,” said a source. “The Board was expecting that Zulqarnain will come out with some new arguments to defend his conduct but was left disappointed with his response.”

Meanwhile, PCB has also announced that a ‘clearance’ letter sent by discarded Test legspinner Danish Kaneria has failed to satisfy the Board’s Integrity Committee.

“PCB today responded the 12th May letter sent Danish Kaneria,” said Sarwar.

“The supporting email he has sent was more than six months old and is already on the records of PCB. After taking legal opinion and after confirming with the ECB, PCB considers that said document fails to satisfy the requirements by PCB,” he added.

“Kaneria has been advised to provide the clearance certificate at the earliest.”

The Board had asked Kaneria to send them a certificate of clearance from Essex following his arrest by London police and eventual release last summer in a spot-fixing case.

Though Kaneria is Pakistan’s most successful spinner in Test history, he hasn’t played for the country since last summer. Keen to revive his career, Kaneria sent the PCB an email from Essex in which the club thanked him for his services and explained the reasons he was not being offered another contract. But the Board has rejected it saying that it wants something more concrete.

Kaneria''s career in jeopardy, fails to satisfy PCB yet again

Danish Kaneria's international career still hangs in balance as the controversial leg-spinner has yet again failed to satisfy the Pakistan Cricket Board of his innocence in a 2009 spot-fixing case involving his former county side Essex. The PCB had earlier this month asked Kaneria to get a clearance letter from Essex in order to be considered for selection in the national team. Kaneria said last week he had sent the Essex letter to the board. But a PCB official today confirmed that the letter sent by the leg-spinner was at least six months old. "We can confirm we got an email from Kaneria with the Essex letter on May 12," a PCB spokesman, Nadeem Sarwar said. "But the letter given by Kaneria is six months old and already in the records of the PCB. After taking legal opinion and after confirming with the ECB, the PCB considers that the said document sent by Kaneria has failed to satisfy the requirements of the board. "As such he has been reminded again to submit the required clearance certificate at the earliest," Sarwar added. Kaneria's brother said that they had resent the letter that was issued to them by the Essex chief executive last November. "In the letter he stated that the county was not able to sign on Kaneria because of financial constraints and there was no other reason for not signing him again," Kaneria's brother said. However, a PCB official said that what they wanted from Kaneria was a clearance letter from Essex clearly stating that he was no longer required in the spot-fixing case proceedings. The leg-spinner, only the second Hindu to play Tests for Pakistan, was investigated by the Essex police last year alongwith teammate, Mervyn Westfield after allegations of spot-fixing emerged in a Pro-40 match against Durham. The police after questioning Kaneria did not press any charges against him but have filed a case against Westfield. The PCB had initially asked Kaneria to provide a copy of the statement he gave to the Essex police but the leg-spinner failed to provide the same, saying his lawyer had contacted the police who said the matter was subjudice.

Raza can't officiate in matches until cleared: PCB

former Pakistan off-spinner-turned umpire Akram Raza will not be considered to officiate any domestic matches until he was cleared of the illegal betting case that amounted to his arrest, a PCB official said on Tuesday.

The Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman, Nadeem Sarwar also clarified that the board will not hold any inquiry into the matter until the case against Raza in the Lahore court was over.

Raza, a former off-break bowler who played nine Tests and 49 one-day internationals for Pakistan, was arrested on Saturday with six others after a police raid on a plaza in Gulberg area for running a betting racket.

Police said they had busted a gang of bookmakers who were taking illegal bets on the ongoing Indian Premier League matches.

Raza, who is now a first-class umpire, got bail from a court on Monday but will have to appear in court next week in connection with the case.

Sarwar said since the case was already with competent authorities the PCB would not initiate any inquiry.

"We will let the law take its own course and wait for the competent authorities to take a decision," he said.

"But until a decision is taken by competent authorities, it is unlikely that Raza will be considered for any umpiring duties," Sarwar added.

Earlier, Sultan Rana, who heads the domestic cricket department in the PCB, had said that the Raza incident warranted an inquiry and the board would like to hear out both the parties.

However, Raza pleaded innocence and said he would fight his case.

"I will prove my innocence because I don't want my umpiring career derailed now. I have already gone through enough in the past as well and I will fight my case through my lawyer," he said.

Raza said that he was called to the plaza by a friend and then the police raided the place.

"I really don't know why I have been trapped in this case but I have nothing to do with any betting racket on the IPL matches. I will also be writing to the Pakistan Cricket Board to inform them of my innocence," he said.

The off-spinner was one of six players fined by the Justice Malik Qayyum judicial commission after a match-fixing inquiry against Pakistani players between 1998 and 2000.

Pakistani batsmen lack the right attitude

Pakistani batsmen lack the right attitude and for which they are being victimized of pathetic defeats
By Faisal Caesar
While batting in a cricket match a batsman must have the right attitude. It is very important to perform to the best of one’s abilities. Attitude plays a very important part in achieving success. Some highly gifted batsman in world cricket could not reach the top because of their negative attitude, whereas less talented batsmen could do so because of their positive attitude. The perfect combination would, of course, be both talent and attitude.
Pakistani batsmen’s talent is beyond one’s doubt. They are a gifted bunch of talented customers who have all the ingredients to bring the best bowlers on their knees with their charisma. But sadly, it’s not happening. They fall a prey to bowlers who hardly have the abilities to put shiver down the spine of even the most mediocre of batsmen.
In the recently concluded first Test against the West Indies, Pakistani batsmen gifted their opposition another win by virtue of another pathetic batting display. Misbah-ul Haq had an incredible opportunity to carve his name in history by leading a first Pakistan victory in a Caribbean Test series. Those dreams were dusted. The West Indian fast bowlers who, other than Roach, lack pace and enough venom to outfox any batmen of the World tormented the much talented Pakistani batting lineup than the Caribbiean as if the Pakistani batsmen were novices.
Where are the things going wrong? Names like Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Mohamamd Hafeez might not be the best batsmen of the World but are very good batsmen with enough abilities and certainly are not the customers to be capitulated against the likes of either Darren Sammy or Ravi Rampaul. So, again, where are the things going wrong?
The problem is with the attitude. Pakistani batsmen, who once were blessed with an ideal blend of talent and attitude, are now seemed to be born losers. They come to bat and exhibit the most ridiculous display of batting which leaves the likes of Hanif Mohamad and Javed Miandad in complete shame. Their technique, which once was the role model for all, is a sorry tale while their laid back stay at the crease is frustrating for the critics and fans. None have the patience or the attitude to counter the deadliest of wickets or none have the guts to dominate the mediocre of attacks.
Sammy, Rampaul or Bishoo didn’t show the art of an Ajmal, Rehman or Riaz. Their odd balls pitched on a length and being aided by the wicket curled, twisted and jumped which were needed to be countered by the bat and not by the foot. Had the batsmen had the right attitude then it was not a rocket science. All first class players who graduate to play Test cricket know what the plan to execute on tricky tracks is: Buckle down and be countered. On that Guyana track the Pakistani batsmen moved too early to play forward even before correctly judging the line and length of the ball and thus fell a prey. Lack of proper attitude has led them to be derailed from the basics.
Many are advising of a batting consultant or a coach. But what can a coach do if the players don’t get their attitude right? The coach certainly will guide on the grey areas but if the players keep on exploding their brains then even the coach would want to commit suicide!
The fundamental skills of batting have vanished from Pakistan cricket. The attitude is wrong and for which the men in green are being victimized again and again. Who is to solve this problem? A batting coach? I don’t think so. It’s up to the Pakistani batters to get their attitude back to the right track.

PCB forms panel to investigate Haider fiasco

he Pakistan Cricket Board has set up a three-member committee to investigate the Zulqarnain Haider fiasco after the runaway wicket-keeper returned home from London last month.
Haider had deserted the national team midway through an one-day series against South Africa the in Dubai last November and sought asylum in London, citing death threats from bookmakers.But the PCB today confirmed that it had got a response from Haider to its notice sent to the cricketer after his return.
"We can confirm that we have received response from Zulqarnain Haider and in accordance with our code of disciplinary proceedings we have formed a three-member committee to look into the matter," a PCB statement said.
The committee is headed by Sultan Rana, head of PCB's domestic cricket operations and includes board members, Colonel Waseem Ahmed (security manager) and Khawaja Ovais.
The board said the committee would meet after Colonel Waseem, who is presently in the West Indies as security manager of the touring Pakistan team, returns to the country.
Reliable sources said that Haider, in his response to the PCB notice, made it clear that he did not inform the team management because he did not have faith in them.
"Basically he has repeated the same things he has been saying for the last six months that he left the team hotel because he was threatened by an unknown person for not cooperating with him in fixing a match of the one-day series against South Africa," one source said.
"He has said nothing new or given any clear explanation to what prompted him to flee the team hotel and fly to London," the source said, adding: "Neither has he named anyone in the team responsible for his act."
Haider, who made his Test debut for Pakistan last year in England, applied for political asylum in London on grounds that his life was under threat.
But he agreed to return to his native country after receiving assurances of security and safety from Pakistan's interior minister, Rehman Malik whom he had met in London.
He returned home late last month and said he was ready to cooperate with any PCB or ICC investigation into corruption in the game.
Haider has also withdrawn his retirement from international cricket which he had made in London.
A PCB source said the stumper could only be allowed to play domestic cricket or considered for Pakistan again if the disciplinary committee clears him.

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