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Saturday, September 17, 2011

We can plan better for SL series after Zimbabwe tour: Mohsin

Mohsin Khan AFP

Chief selector Mohsin Hasan Khan has praised the performance of the Pakistan team against Zimbabwe and has expressed hope that it will help in developing a solid combination against Sri Lanka in the upcoming series starting in the United Arab Emirates next month.

“As a whole, the team performance is very satisfactory and even though Zimbabwe was not a weak opposition our boys played well to win every game,” Mohsin told Dawn on Thursday. Pakistan not only won the one-off Test but also scored a clean sweep in the ODI series against Zimbabwe. They are now getting ready to face the hosts in the two T20 matches series starting Friday.

“This tour of Zimbabwe will help us a lot in putting together a solid combination for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka, which is one of the best teams in the world,” said Mohsin. “Since the Sri Lankan series will be played in the UAE where the conditions are different, we will make the combination accordingly,” he added.

Mohsin further said that 80 per cent target set for the series against Zimbabwe had been achieved and the combination of the senior and new players earned the convincing success. “It was great to see captain Misbah-ul-Haq leading from the front throughout the series with his performance and the way the seniors and new players responded which is a good sign for Pakistan cricket,” he said.

He also lauded the role of team management on the tour.

The former opener has special praise for fast bowler Aizaz Cheema and said the bowler had given an outstanding performance on the tour. In the batting department, he was all praise for seasoned campaigner Younis Khan, Mohammad Hafeez besides Misbah and added they had played a tremendous role to set a guideline for the new players and for the whole team. About Shoaib Malik, who was included in the team after almost a year but failed to deliver, Mohsin said the all-rounder could not utilize the opportunity but still he had a lot of cricket left in him.

He said wicket-keeper Adnan Akmal had again proved himself as a fine performer behind the stumps. He expressed the hope the team management would give a chance to Ramiz Raja Junior in the upcoming two T20 series against Zimbabwe.

PCB top brass to meet over T20 event

Pressure is mounting on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to delay or shift the forthcoming domestic Twenty20 championship from Lahore because of a major dengue threat.

For that purpose, a meeting is scheduled to take place between PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and other senior board officials, it was learnt by ‘The News’ here on Friday.

There is a growing concern among some PCB officials and they feel that there is a need to sit down and re-think over staging of the event in Lahore, a city that has been badly affected by the dengue virus.

“According to reports the dengue outbreak will only get worse which is why we have decided to hold a meeting to discuss our options,” a source said.

The Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) had earlier requested the board to either postpone or shift the event to Karachi for security reasons.

However, the official said that there is hardly any chance that the tournament will be moved to Karachi since dengue cases have also been reported here.

But he revealed that there is a chance that the event can be moved to Multan if the PCB decides to shift it.

“Multan remains in pole position to host the event if the board decides to move the tournament,” he revealed.

“It’s the board’s policy is to take cricket to smaller cities. We originally planned to stage the event in Rawalpindi but renovation work forced us to bring it to Lahore.”

Meanwhile, KCCA warned on Friday that the PCB will be responsible if any player or official is hit by dengue outbreak during the Faysal Bank T20 tournament in Lahore.

KCCA sent an email to ‘The News’ stating: “In view of the assurance by Punjab Government and insistence of PCB to have this tournament in Lahore we have agreed to go to Lahore. However if anything happens to our players or officials it will be the responsibility of PCB.”

A team from Afghanistan is scheduled to take part in the event but they too remain concerned about the prospects of playing in Lahore.

Wisal Durrani, president of Peshawar District Cricket Association (PDCA) said: “It would be good if the board postpones the event. But I am aware of the problem PCB faces as it will get in problem with sponsors and broadcasters.

“In addition, the domestic calendar is very tight and if the tournament is delayed then the top international players, who are the biggest attraction for the public, won’t be able to take part in the tournament.”

Atique Ahmed, secretary Hyderabad region, said that they have no reservations and are ready to play in Lahore.

Khalid Mehmood, secretary Sialkot region, said that they too have no problem in playing in Lahore but the board and the local administration should take all possible measures to ensure a safe and secure tournament. He also said that the biggest cause for concern would be from public point of view, as thousands of people would turn up to witness the event, which makes the risk of people getting attacked by dengue even higher.

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Pak players should be consulted regarding head coach selection: Akram
Islamabad: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has said that had he been the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief, he would have tried to have one leader for the national cricket team for at least an year, and would also consult the players before selecting the head coach.

When asked during an interview about the first couple of things he would implement straight away, if he were given the role of the PCB Chairman, Akram said: “First of all I would just try to have one leader [of the cricket team] and at least announce him for a year, and then get a coach and obviously get a guy who the boys will get along with.”

“Either it`s a foreign coach, or it`s a Pakistani coach, whoever, you should ask the boys first because they are going to be working with him. Bring stability into the system and I think everything will eventually work,” he told

After implementing the above-mentioned steps, Akram said, he would concentrate on stuff like looking for the right talent and getting it to the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

“The PCB have such wonderful facilities in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, everywhere, have people getting their youngsters, especially in summer where nobody does anything for a couple of months, to come. Also, try to get the Pakistan "A "and emerging sides on tours to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, wherever it can be arranged – the more tours, the more the players will improve and learn,” he added.

Akram also said that while he was not against the hiring of a foreigner to succeed outgoing coach Waqar Younis, he would suggest finding someone from Pakistan.
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