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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Longest Umpiring Decision Ever

PCB to overhaul club structure

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday revealed plans of overhauling the country’s club cricket structure following a meeting of its Governing Board in Lahore.

Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, said that the Board will make all out investment in lifting club cricket all over the country.

The Board has decided to appoint former Pakistan Test spinner Abdul Qadir as the project’s coordinator. Qadir, who resigned as Pakistan’s chief selector after falling out with Butt in 2009, is expected to get the support of several other former Test cricketers including Sarfraz Nawaz, a former Pakisan fast bowler. Sarfraz has been an ardent critic of PCB but softened his stance against the Board during its bitter dispute with former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi.

According to the PCB, Sarfraz has been offered to join the project but the Board is still awaiting his response. Ijaz Ahmed, a former Pakistan Test batsman, is also expected to be hired for the project.

The Board has also decided to award contacts to 20 players from each of its 11 regions.

Speaking to reporters, Butt said that the PCB will make best possible efforts to revive the Pakistan-India series.

He also rejected the impression that the PCB has been suffering from major losses by hosting its ‘home’ matches on neutral venues. According to him, some of the series played abroad are profitable while others end in financial losses for the Board.

Security problems in Pakistan have forced the PCB o host its ‘home’ matches on offshore venues in UAE and England.

The PCB’s governing board approved the budget but did not disclose its total amount. “A deficit budget has been approved,” said Butt.

He claimed that the board had various plans to overcome the deficit. “We have plans to lift club cricket so that our domestic cricket improves and for that we have planned around 5,000 matches at club level in the country in the next season.”

He added that PCB was also making efforts to host its own Twenty20 league, modelled on the lucrative Indian Premier League.

“We want to stage our own Twenty20 league although we do not have the expertise but we are still trying,” he added. A panel of 12 lawyers has also been appointed to help the PCB on the legal front.

PCB committee to review Ilyas suspension case

: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formed a two-member committee to review the suspension case of Mohammad Ilyas, member of national selection committee, Geo News reported.

The two-member disciplinary committee includes PCB Director Domestic, Sultan Rana and General Manager Domestic, Shafiq Pasha.

The committee meeting is expected to be held in two days.

Mohammad Ilyas was issued show cause notice on appearing before media and in a television program. The board suspended Ilyas on not providing a satisfactory reply.

'Gayle willing to apologise if needed'

'Gayle willing to apologise if needed'
The long-standing feud between Chris Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board could finally end as the WICB wants to meet him again.
This comes after the Players' Association vice-president Wavell Hinds said the batsman is willing to apologise if needed.
Gayle was left out of the West Indies squad for the ongoing Test series against India after a June 14 meeting to sort out their differences ended on a stormy note.
The feud originally started when Gayle criticised the WICB for leaving him in a lurch during his injury problems.
But after months of bickering, the WICB has written to Gayle again stating that "the June 14 meeting failed as the discussions were repeatedly diverted to peripheral issues instead of being focussed on finding a constructive solution to the matter before us".
"However, the Board does recognise your contributions to West Indies cricket and the value which you bring to a West Indies team; and remains available to meet with you, should you be willing to do so, so that we can bring some resolution to this matter. We await your response to discuss a mutually acceptable way forward," 'ESPN Cricinfo' quoted WICB chief Ernest Hilaire as saying in the letter.
The latest letter comes after Hinds said Gayle was willing to explain himself and even apologise.
"He (Gayle) is prepared to answer the charges as honestly as he can and if there is a need to say sorry, I think he will say sorry," Hinds said.
"Where he feels firm and has strong substance to back up his claims he will stand by them. If there are claims he has made where he has been a little excessive he is prepared to put his hand up and say sorry," he added.
But the WICB continues to be miffed with WIPA chief Dinanath Ramnarine, who it alleged threatened Hilaire with a chair during the June 14 meeting.
"WIPA should either facilitate an apology to the CEO from Ramnarine, together with an assurance/undertaking that he will not engage in any physical or verbal threats during meetings with representatives of the West Indies Cricket Board or identify alternative WIPA representatives to engage in meetings with the WICB," the board said in a statement.  

Boycott: Outvote India on DRS

Boycott: Outvote India on DRS

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott feels cricket-playing countries should combine to outvote BCCI's opposition to the Decision Review System in the ICC.
"If a majority of the ICC countries believe that the DRS is a good improvement for international cricket, they should vote for it and say, 'Sorry India, you are in a minority.' It's supposed to be a democracy around the world, where the majority takes precedence," Boycott said.
"But there is fear to offend, and some countries are totally afraid to offend India. They should get around to it and say, 'No. Since a majority of us believe it is good, we're going to do it,' the better. Simple as that. India won't like it, but you can't be run by one country," he added.
India has vehemently opposed the DRS, saying it does not trust the technology to be foolproof, blocking its usage in the upcoming tour of England most recently.
Boycott said it is just the fear of BCCI's money might that is preventing other Boards from speaking up in favour of DRS.
"Many countries that play cricket are frightened to death of India's financial power. You've got to understand that before you get to voting on anything at the ICC," he said.  

Afridi remains under PCB’s ‘hawk eye’

While Shahid Afridi seeks a fresh start in the ongoing county season, the former captain will remain under the scanner of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which will not hesitate in taking further action against the retired all-rounder in case of ‘foul play’, according to a PCB official.
Afridi, after a long stand-off with the PCB that also involved a legal battle, finally left for England to play for Hampshire after getting his NOC back.
The all-rounder – currently focusing on foreign leagues in the aftermath of his retirement from international cricket – was confident of getting the board’s permission for tournaments like next month’s Sri Lanka Premier League.
However, a PCB official warned that Afridi should not take things for granted.
“Afridi is still being monitored closely,” the official told The Express Tribune.
“The board is keeping a hawk eye on his interviews. Any harsh statement against the board may lead him to trouble again.
“He will have to apply for NOCs for other tournaments again and any foul play will surely block his participation.
“The PCB still has the right to take action against him and block his participation in foreign leagues.
“Legally, the board can take action against a player within 12 months after the suspension of the central contract.”
Afridi had to return from England after the board revoked his NOC for county cricket, following the 31-year-old’s retirement decision and statements against the board. The all-rounder had to face a fine of Rs4.5 million to get his NOC back, even after the out-of-court settlement.
‘I still have zeal to play for Pakistan’
Meanwhile, Afridi insisted that playing for the country always remained his top priority.
“Representing Pakistan has always been my top priority,” the flamboyant all-rounder said before leaving for England yesterday.
“I still have the zeal and energy to play for Pakistan.
“I will make a comeback to the national team when the situation improves,” said the cricketer, who had earlier retired saying he will not play under the current PCB set-up led by Chairman Ijaz Butt.
However, the former captain said he was happy to return to cricket.
“The positive thing is that I am returning to cricket after weeks of tension, which is a good sign.
“Currently my all-out focus would be on performing for my county.”
Afridi is likely to play his first county match for Hampshire this season in a Friends Life T20 game against Essex today.

Sami to lead Karachi Dolphins in T20 cricket

Veteran test fast bowler Muhammad Sami has been named to lead Karachi Dolphins in the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cricket Tournament being staged at Faisalabad from June 24 to July 1.

“Due to unavailability of Shahid Afridi, Muhammad Sami has been appointed the captain of the team”, President Karachi City Cricket Association, Syed Sirajul Islam Bokhari announced on Monday.

Due to unavailability of Shahid Afridi KCCA has inducted two spinners Azam Hussain and Haris Ayaz in the Karachi Dolphins team. Karachi Dolphins squad: Muhammad Sami (Captain), Khalid Latif, Shahzaib Hassan, Asad Shafiq, Rameez Raja, Fawad Alam, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Tariq Haroon, Misbah Khan, Sohail Khan, Tanvir Ahmed, Rameez Aziz, Azam Hussain and Haris Ayaz.

Muhammad Waqas, Junaid Ilyas, Ali Mudassar and Fazal Subhan are reserve players. The selected players are advised to report to Manager Mushir Rabbani or Coach Azam Khan.—APP

Bangladesh give up the chance to head the ICC

Calcutta: Even as there are whispers that India’s tough posture on the Sri Lanka Premier League could have much to do with Sri Lanka abstaining from a crucial “resolution via circular” vote, in the International Cricket Council (ICC), many have been shocked by Bangladesh’s stand.
By supporting that resolution, which seeks to amend the constitution and end the rotation policy where the presidency is concerned, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has actually signed away the chance of its nominee getting to head the ICC in 2014.
It was, after all, Bangladesh’s ‘turn’ to nominate a vice-president who’d eventually succeed New Zealand’s Alan Isaac in 2014. Isaac becomes the president next year, when Sharad Pawar’s tenure comes to an end.
Bangladesh and Pakistan have been clubbed together in the rotation cycle and, given that the latter have already had their chance (Ehsan Mani was the ICC president from 2003-06), Bangladesh had the strongest claim this time.
“Clearly, the BCB has fallen in line with the wishes of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which wants the rotation to be scrapped... Obviously, the BCB must have been promised something in return, but what has happened is nothing short of a scandal,” a top source told The Telegraph.
A senior BCB official neither took calls nor responded to a text message on Wednesday afternoon.
Once the rotation policy is done away with, during the ICC’s Annual Conference week later this month, in Hong Kong, the road will be clear for a ‘Suitable Man’ to succeed Isaac.
Problem, of course, is that the ‘Suitable Man’ may not really bethe most suitable.
The scrapping was recommended by the ICC’s governance review committee, which met in Chennai around the time of the IPL-IV final. A “resolution via circular” was then moved. While the Pakistan Cricket Board opposed it, Sri Lanka Cricket abstained.
Eight of the 10 Full (or Test-playing) Members have to support a constitutional change and that number is with the BCCI and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who’re understood to be spearheading the move.
However, that’s not all.
A further 30 votes out of 40 are going to be needed when the change is put to vote before a much larger house, in Hong Kong. Of those 40, 35 will be Associate Members, with the remaining being Affiliates.
The buzz is that the BCCI and the ECB won’t mind backing a 14-team World Cup, in 2015, just to ensure that the Associates (like Ireland and The Netherlands) don’t get together and defeat the constitutional amendment.
After initially dumping the Associates, the ICC is “reviewing” the composition of the next World Cup, to be hosted by Australia-New Zealand. Pawar had to himself step in after a furore.
What’s more interesting is talk that Narayanswamy Srinivasan, the BCCI’s secretary and president-elect, and ECB chairman Giles Clarke (at 58, eight years younger) possibly have their sights on the presidency, in 2014.
As things stand, though, the path there is via the vice-president’s chair and, right now, the ICC’s constitution doesn’t allow the incumbent to simultaneously hold any position in his home Board.
However, if the rotation bit can be thrown out, nothing stops the BCCI, in particular, from getting that clause removed as well. It has the muscle, it has the money and, to put it bluntly, is controlling world cricket.
Not that there’s anything wrong, but Srinivasan is known to be ambitious. Significantly, his term as the BCCI president ends in 2014, the year Isaac vacates the No.1 post.
Clarke is in office till next year.
Meanwhile, speaking from London, Mani (who once worked very closely with the BCCI, during the Jagmohan Dalmiya days) said: “I don’t wish to comment on individuals and specific instances, but governance is lacking in the ICC... It’s bending to suit the BCCI’s interests.”
The Tony Greigs, too, have been saying that.
Footnote: Confirmation was awaited, but one learns that Isaac's successor won't have a fixed term.
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