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Thursday, September 8, 2011


Serving a five-year ban for involvement in spot-fixing, Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif says he has been watching James Anderson's performance against India very closely and would try employing the England seamer's tactics if he manages to make a comeback.

Mohammad Asif says he has been watching James Anderson's performance against India very closely and would try employing the England seamer's tactics if he manages to make a comeback. © Getty Images
"I have watched James Anderson's bowling very closely again and again and it has been very interesting watching him bowl. When I come back to cricket even after the time away I will be thinking about how Anderson bowled against India and will use that for my benefit. If you think you are the finished article and don't need to learn from others then you are wrong," Asif told
"I love watching Test cricket. Test cricket for me is the pinnacle, the real deal. The England versus India Test series was fascinating, I really enjoyed it. I watched more of the England vs India match as I wanted to see Anderson bowling," he said.
Asif also felt that Anderson is bowling with the similar skills and tactics that he had previously used.
"Only someone like myself who has bowled like Anderson, with a similar style of bowling can truly appreciate what he is doing with the cricket ball and how well he is bowling these days. Anderson has not been playing cricket against the Indians, he has been playing with their minds," he elaborated.
"He has truly out-thought and baffled the Indians with his artistry and skill. It reminded me so much of what (Mohammad) Amir and I did at times last year to the Australian and English batsmen. If Anderson carries on bowling the way he has been recently and continues to improve then he can become a cricket legend," he said.
Asif has admitted that being caught up in the spot-fixing scandal and then being banned has been mentally very tough for him and the events had left him extremely disappointed.
"Mentally, it's been really tough. Cricket is my life and always will be, and for that to be taken away from me in the circumstances it was, has been terribly difficult to cope with," Asif said.
"When you have served your country as a professional sportsman, then you don't want that to ever be taken away from you. I've been practising regularly with some of my friends but it's heartbreaking to think that not so long ago I was playing cricket at the top tier of the game and now I'm occasionally playing nowhere near that standard," he added.
Asked about his future, Asif, who has taken 106 wickets in 23 Tests, said it was difficult for him to predict where he would be in four year's time when the ban ends.
"It's four years into the future, it's difficult to predict what can happen in those four years I don't know what the situation will be like in four years. I guess only time will tell. Anyone who has been involved in the game finds it hard to totally move away from the sport," he added.
The pace bowler maintained he was innocent and said the Pakistan Cricket Board had not done enough to help him.
"I am confident of being cleared of the criminal charges at next month's trial under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 at Southwark Crown Court, London," he said.
"I'm hopeful that I will be cleared of everything and I can resume playing cricket again as soon as possible. Whoever committed any alleged crime, the Pakistan Cricket Board should have dealt with that individual and taken the appropriate action against that individual.
The PCB had taken offence to Asif's complaint against it, insisting it had done everything in its power to assist the players during the spot-fixing scandal.

Yash Raj Films files FIR against ICC

International Cricket Council (ICC) is in trouble over playing music from Yash Chopra's films at World Cup without the production house's permission.

Yash Raj Films had sent legal notices to ICC, MCA (Marylebone Cricket Club) and BCCI (The Board Of Control For Cricket In India) nearly five

months back. Now, Mid Day reports that an FIR has been registered against MCA and ICC through YRF's distributor company - Novex Communications.

The FIR was registered on Monday under section 63, 69 of Copyright Act.

- Organising body at the Wankhede stadium played audio clips from YRF's popular films - Band Baaja Baarat and Chak De India, during World Cup.
- On Feb 25, 2011, Novex communication informed Dhiraj Malhotra, joint secretary ICC, through an email that the ICC would have to seek the necessary licences to play audio clips from YRF.
- On March 22, 2011, Novex communication sent letters to MCA's Ratnakar Shetty, Hemant Waigankar and Lalchand Rajput.
- Unhappy with the response from MCA and ICC, YRF issued legal notices to them shortly after the World Cup final on April 2, 2011 demanding Rs 25 lakh.
- On September 5, 2011 an FIR is lodged against ICC and MCA

‘Conscious’ Pakistan players avoiding scandals

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Education and Training Programme is paying dividends as the players are now well aware of their boundaries and have stopped inviting unnecessary scandals by ignoring strangers and prohibited ways of communication, according to programme incharge Wasim Bari.

The programme was launched after guidelines from the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal last year.

“There may not be clear benefits but there are effects of the programme making their impact,” Bari told The Express Tribune. “Players who knew little about the dangers of corruption are now well aware of the menace.”

Bari added that he also held a session with the Pakistan squad before they left for Zimbabwe, reminding the players of their duties and the code of conduct. The players, according to the former wicket-keeper, were also staying away from communication through social networking sites.

“The success of the programme can be gauged from the fact that we’ve hardly had any scandals since its inception.”

Seeks more information from ACSU

Bari added that the PCB has sought more information and literature from the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit for the forthcoming domestic season.

“It’s a programme which will continue to evolve with changes,” he said. “We remain in touch with the ACSU and follow its guidelines and have asked them to share information regarding the programme which we can use in the coming domestic season.”

Pakistan snatch Zimbabwe ODI in last over

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe — Pakistan scrambled a five-run victory over Zimbabwe at Queens Sports Club in the first of three one-day internationals here on Thursday.

That was the official result, but the reality is that Zimbabwe lost it in the final over when they needed 12 runs to win but made only seven.

It could hardly have been closer as both sides struggled against good and varied bowling all day.

Winning the toss, Pakistan went into bat first and made 247 runs, somewhat below their expectations on a slow but reliable batting wicket.

Zimbabwe, losing fewer wickets in the early stages, looked to have it wrapped up during the middle period.

But two excellent overs from Saeed Ajmal in the latter critical stages that conceded only five runs left Zimbabwe with too much to do.

The story is told by Zimbabwe's final run-in.

They needed 125 runs from 20 overs, 74 from 10 overs, 42 from 40 balls, when they appeared to have the match well in hand, 25 from 18 balls, 22 from 12 and finally 12 from the last six.

Elton Chigumbura, returning from a knee injury, was going well in the final stages but just could not get the runs needed at the end.

Pakistan lost Imrun Farhat in the first over of the day but Younis Khan struck 78 in 72 balls to steady the tourists.

Misbah ul-Haq weighed in with 54 in a partnership of 60 for the fourth wicket.

The Akmal brothers, Umar and Adnan, made 36 and 27 respectively but Adnan's wild and fruitless swipes cost Pakistan quite a few runs.

Their 247-7 total did not seem to be enough and the Pakistanis were certainly stifled in general by consistent Zimbabwe bowling, which was mainly spin and medium pace.

For Zimbabwe, in reply Vusi Sibanda made 73 but the main performer for the home team was Brendan Taylor with 84, recovering from a run of low scores.

Tatenda Taibu made 26 in his usual brisk manner and Chigumbura, who might have become match-winner with big hitting early on, could not maintain the necessary momentum.

Aizaz Cheema was the most successful bowler with 3-36 and it was he who saw Pakistan through in the end by conceding just five runs in the final over.

Man of the match was named as Younis Khan.

ICC Test rankings: Misbah in top-20 for first time

Pakistan cricket team captain Misbah-ul-Haq has been included for the first time in the top-20 batsmen at the ICC Test rankings and he has achieved the 17th position in the latest rankings.

According to the rankings updated after the Bulawayo Test, former Pakistan captain Younis Khan moved one grade ahead to the 15th position.

Young Azhar Ali went up from 37th to 34th position while Umar Akmal remained on 35th. Among Pakistani bowlers, Saeed Ajmal moved four grades up to 23rd while Aizaz Cheema joining the ICC Test rankings for the first time is on 50th position.

And another report says, Pakistani captain, Misbah-ul-Haq said that new players will get a chance during the ODI series against Zimbabwe. Pakistan will play its first match of the ODI series on Thursday.

Pakistan will play three ODIs against Zimbabwe, and according to the skipper the team will include new players. He said that winning was of the utmost important and the team will be selected with this in mind. Meanwhile the coach for Zimbabwe said that his team would provide stiff competition to Pakistan during the ODI series.

PCB is wrong 90 per cent of the time: Miandad

Lamenting the lack of required power to work right from his day one in office as director general of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), former captain Javed Miandad on Wednesday slammed the decisions taken by the game’s authorities, claiming 90 per cent of those were erroneous.

“While closely watching the functioning of the PCB I am disappointed and feel that 90 per cent decisions [taken by the board] are wrong, and are spoiling the sport in the country. I am not part of the PCB planning only because I require power and freedom to work, since I have given 35 years to Pakistan cricket and earned a good name,” Miandad said while talking to Dawn on Wednesday.

“People around the world regard my services as a cricketer but the PCB doesn’t want to give me authority to improve [Pakistan] cricket,” the 54-year-old Miandad remarked.

“I have already brought this matter into the notice of PCB patron, President Asif Ali Zardari. Soon I will meet him again to apprise him of the poor condition of cricket in Pakistan. I will request him to either take necessary steps [to improve cricketing matters] or allow me to leave the DG post,” stated Miandad, who has been criticised for not leaving the position despite receiving the cold shoulder from the PCB right from day one.

The primary cause of friction between PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and Miandad from day one has been that the former is not ready to give latter the appropriate power to work, while the latter is not keen to operate without the authority he demands.

“The PCB did not even follow the instructions of President Zardari which he had given to the board last time on my suggestions,” lamented Miandad who featured in 124 Tests and 233 One-day Internationals for Pakistan.

Though Miandad avoided pinpointing wrong decisions of the PCB, sources said, he was not happy after the board didn’t take his advice on the appointment of new coach for the Pakistan team following Waqar Younis’s announcement to quit as national head coach after the ongoing Zimbabwe tour.

While former Test cricketers Zaheer Abbas and Ramiz Raja (both not employed by the PCB), are part of the coach-searching committee, Miandad has not been given any role in this regard.

Miandad, who has had three stints as national coach in the past, also didn’t feel delighted after the PCB decided to give former Test leg-spinner Abdul Qadir the responsibility to control club cricket. Miandad, sources said, held the view that holding club cricket was the prime duty of regional and district bodies.
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