Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Monday, 11 July 2011



India lose points, but still No.1 in Tests

Dubai: India maintained their number one status in the latest ICC Test Rankings but lost a couple of rating points after drawing two matches in their 1-0 series triumph over a lower-ranked West Indies.
Leading the points table, India now have 126 points while the seventh-placed West Indies (88) have gained two rating points despite losing the three-match series which concluded on Sunday.

South Africa (117) is the second-placed team, followed by England (116).
Among the players, Harbhajan Singh has moved one place to seventh. The offie took 11 wickets and interestingly replaced teammate and Man-of-the series Ishant Sharma, who had an impressive tally of 22 wickets in three matches.
The off-spinner took six wickets in the final Test and in the process passed the 400-wicket mark.
Praveen Kumar broke into the top 50 for the first time.
The medium-pace bowler from Uttar Pradesh walked away with four wickets in the final Test and is now ranked 42nd.
West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards achieved his career-best ranking 16th, a gain of two places. He holds the 16th place jointly with South Africa spinner Paul Harris.
The top three remain unchanged with Dale Steyn of South Africa still leading the way ahead of England's Graeme Swann in second position and James Anderson in third.
Among the batsmen, West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul rose to seventh following his match-saving 116 not out in the second innings at Roseau.
The top five remain unchanged with Jacques Kallis of South Africa still leading the way ahead of India's Sachin Tendulkar in second position. Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Tendulkar, who did not play in the West Indies series, have fallen back because a player loses one per cent of his ratings points for every Test he misses.
There was no change in the top five of the player rankings for Test all-rounders with Kallis leading the way, followed by New Zealand's Daniel Vettori.

Sammy happy with team's effort in third Test

Roseau: West Indies captain Darren Sammy has praised his team for showing a fighting spirit in the third cricket Test against India that ended in a draw.
Sammy and his counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni agreed for a draw on day five with India needing 86 runs off minimum 90 balls in their chase of 180.

India looked set for a 2-0 series win at the close of play on day four but Shivnarine Chanderpaul's unbeaten 116 in the West Indies' second innings the next morning changed the equation.
However, it was also contributions from debutant batsman Kirk Edwards (110) and a five-wicket haul from speedster Fidel Edwards that helped West Indies get a result that seemed improbable at one stage.
"That's exactly what the coach and the public have been asking for," said Sammy.
"Even if we are not winning games, as long as we go and show the fight that we showed in this Test … the batsmen saw how hard the bowlers worked to get the wickets, so that was motivation enough for them to go out and give them some rest and more time in the dressing room. The way we batted in the second innings: Shiv, Kirk and even Fidel who faced more than a 100 balls. It was really pleasing to see the fight shown by both the batting and the bowling departments."
The crowd at Windsor Park gave a standing ovation to the home team for hanging on till the end. Sammy said it was heartening to see the fans supporting them though they eventually lost the series 0-1.
"As you saw, the crowd, who are very understanding, treated the drawn result as a win for us because we got out there and fought."

3rd Test: No. 1 but can't make 86 off 90

New Delhi: MS Dhoni can sense an opening and he instinctively pounces on it. But at the Windsor Park on Sunday, he chose not to crouch and attack his prey. Instead, he let West Indies run away with a draw when a win was all but on a platter for India.
Only 86 runs to get in 15 overs with seven wickets in hand! Any team would have risked that for a Test win. Ironically, the No. 1 Test team chose not to, more out of fear than sanity.

A run-rate of less than six runs per over, albeit in a Test, can be swallowed by hitters like Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and captain Dhoni himself. And Rahul Dravid is still eager to play the IPL. So why didn't they go for it?
It goes without saying that Virender Sehwag's presence would have made a difference. But it was still doable, even without Sehwag's roller-coaster start. Probably, it was the fear of drawing a series that prevailed over the sanity of winning it 2-0. And Dhoni was honest enough to admit it.
"Not disappointed about stopping the run-chase. We were risking a series win going after the target," said captain cool in the post-match conference.
Though a honest admission, it sounded like the old cliche 'better safe than sorry'. But that's not how you keep your Test No. 1 status intact, by withdrawing when you should have attacked. One doesn't associate such tactics with a team that sits on top of Test rankings, and is incidentally also the ODI champion.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Cook trumps critics after Sri Lanka triumph

Although 26-year-old left-handed opener Cook managed just 31 in this match, his runs came in 35 balls.
Only a few months earlier he had been left out of the World Cup squad on account of supposedly being unable to score quickly enough.
Cook then found himself labelled a "plodder" by former England captain Michael Atherton when promoted to the one-day leadership following Test skipper Andrew Strauss's decision to quit the shorter format.
Yet the 26-year-old left-handed opener's series return against Sri Lanka of 298 runs at 74.50, including a career-best of 119 at Lord's, and at a strike-rate of 96.75 backed up cricket great Sir Garfield Sobers's assertion that "Alastair Cook can play as good as any one-day player".
However, Ashes star Cook insisted barbs from the likes of Atherton had not provided him with additional motivation.
"I don't do it to prove anyone wrong," Cook said after a hard-fought victory in front of a capacity 19,000 crowd at a sun-drenched Old Trafford.
"I do it for the satisfaction that we got in that final half-hour of the game, and you can't replicate that. That's why you play the game."

We could have played better: Dilshan

It was much closer contest at Old Trafford on Saturday where a match of fluctuating fortunes saw England recover to make 268 for nine after Cook won the toss.
Sri Lanka then collapsed to 29 for three in reply, with opener Dilshan out for just four, before a sixth-wicket stand of 102 between Angelo Mathews (62) and Jeevan Mendis (48) gave the islanders hope of victory.
But it was not to be, seamer Jade Dernbach striking twice in two deliveries as England won with 10 balls to spare.Dilshan, who made 193 in the drawn second Test at Lord's only to have his thumb broken that innings, was deeply dejected by his own one-day series return of just 17 runs in five matches.
But he took heart from the likes of 21-year-old Dinesh Chandimal, who made 54 at Old Trafford and topped Sri Lanka's one-day series batting averages with 164 runs at 54.66 including an unbeaten 105 in a six-wicket win at Lord's.
"As a captain I didn't get any runs and I'm really disappointed with that," he said.
"We had a big issue in the last three or four years with the middle order not doing well for Sri Lanka.
"The top order was always getting runs but now we have more confidence in the middle order and that is good for the future. We can look forward to the upcoming series with the youngsters."
Cook was named man-of-the-series for a return of 298 runs at 74.50 including a career-best 119 at Lord's.
"He's scoring a lot of runs in Test cricket and he's come into the one-dayers with confidence," said Dilshan, whose side conclude their tour with one-day internationals against Ireland and Scotland in Edinburgh next week.
"He isn't a bad one-day player and batted really well for his man-of-the-series award."
England's next challenge sees them at home to India, the world's number one ranked Test side and the team that beat Sri Lanka in the World Cup final, for Test and one-day series starting later this month.
"India are playing good cricket in the last couple of years and England are also playing well," said Dilshan. "It will be a good series and I think it's a fifty-fifty call who will win."

3rd Test: WI finish at 224/6 on Day 4

Roseau, Dominica: A fighting century on debut by Kirk Edwards, and some hostile fast bowling by his namesake Fidel Edwards led to a comeback of sorts by the West Indies at the end of the fourth day’s play of the third and final Test against India at Dominica, Roseau on Saturday.
At stumps, the hosts were 224/6 with Shivnarine Chanderpaul at the crease on 73 along with his skipper Darren Sammy who was batting on 1. West Indies lead by 81 with four second innings wickets in hand.
Praveen Kumar sent back West Indies wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh (10) in the fag end of the day after Harbhajan Singh’s twin blow in one over helped India regain the momentum.
Edwards became the 14th West Indian to score a Test century on debut as he along with Chanderpaul put on161 runs for the fourth wicket after the West Indies were looking down the barrel at 40/3 early on in their innings.
Edwards struck nine boundaries and a six during his 195 ball stay before falling to Harbhajan for 110.
Edwards was caught behind by Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Samuels followed suit soon after for a duck as the home team lost their fifth wicket.
Samuels was adjudged leg before wicket, though replays suggested that the ball would have gone on to miss the off stump.
Earlier, Edwards brought up his maiden Test fifty, and was involved in an unbeaten stand of 76 runs with Chanderpaul as the West Indies went into tea at 116/3.
The hosts lost their third wicket after lunch when Darren Bravo's attempt to hit Harbhajan Singh out of the ground only went as far as Praveen Kumar at the wide mid-off region who took a comfortable catch.
Bravo made 14 and was involved in a 30 run partnership with Chanderpaul.
India's new ball bowlers, Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar struck early by removing the West Indian openers in the opening session. While Adrian Barath fell to Kumar for six, Kieron Powell was snapped up by Sharma after making just four.
West Indies pace bowler Fidel Edwards grabbed his 10th five wicket haul in the traditional form of the game as the Indian innings folded up for 347.
Carrying on from their overnight score of 308/6, the visitors added 39 more runs to take a healthy lead of 143 before being bowled out.
Edwards returned with figures of 5/103 and took three of the four Indian wickets to fall on day four which included the prized scalp of Dhoni who top scored with 74.
Full Scorecard

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Eng, SL lock horns in series decider

Manchester: Alastair Cook is determined to show the world that he can change perceptions of his batting style, and change them quickly.
In little more than a week Cook has gone a long way to shedding his tag as a plodder. Before the ODI series began Cook had scored 868 runs at an average of 33.00 and a strike rate of 71.38. After four matches against Sri Lanka his overall average and strike rate have risen to 38.79 and 76.27. He is the leading run-scorer on either side in the series with 267 at 89.00, at a strike rate of 97.80.

Craig Kieswetter, recalled as opener to provide impetus at the top of the order has 161 runs at 53.66 in the series, with a strike rate of 96.41, but has been overshadowed by the new captain's strokeplay.
Thanks to a 10-wicket win in the fourth ODI at Trent Bridge — following an unbeaten opening stand of 171 by the pair — England now has a chance to win the series, currently tied at 2-2.
The Old Trafford wicket used to have a reputation for pace and bounce, though that has changed since the square was turned 90 degrees during ground renovations over the winter. It is the most spin-friendly pitch of the regular international venues in England, with an average of 3.16 wickets a match falling to spin in ODIs.
The prospect of turn for the slow bowlers may prompt the selectors to pick Samit Patel, though he has yet to play in this series. His only outing for England this summer was in the Twenty20 international at Bristol, where he was run out third ball without scoring and bowled two overs for 18. Patel last played an ODI in November 2008.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Afridi joins Renegades for Big Bash

Sydney: Melbourne Renegades named Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi as one of their two overseas recruits for Australia's revamped domestic Twenty20 league on Friday.

The former Pakistan captain ignored more lucrative offers to join compatriot Abdul Razzaq, who was also named in the Renegades' 16-member squad, local media said.

Afridi retired in acrimony in May, citing differences with the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Meanwhile, England's Owais Shah has joined Pakistani paceman Rana Naveed as the second foreign recruit at Hobart Hurricanes.

West Indian Chris Gayle (Sydney Thunder) and Englishman Paul Collingwood (Perth Scorchers) are among other foreign players who have signed for the eight-team 'Big Bash' tournament starting on December 16

Ganguly fans wish him on 39th birthday

Kolkata: He may have quit international cricket for three years now but the love and affection Sourav Ganguly received on his 39th birthday was enviable.

As a large number of his fans gathered outside his Behala residence this morning, the former Team India captain took time off from his hectic shooting schedule for a TV show to cut the customary birthday cake for the photojournalists before rushing to a studio at Rajarhat.

Later in the day, the Ganguly fans distributed cakes and sweets to schoolchildren and donated a football kit to an underprivileged 10-year-old kid from Sarsuna.

There were more such scenes on the streets of Kolkata.

At Gariahat, 'Dada Force' a Facebook fan club with 880 members, have plans to celebrate Ganguly's birthday by paying a visit to Rajarhat studio in the evening.

"We have fixed an appointment with him through a private agency. We will give him flowers and gifts besides cutting the cake," Sourav Bhattacharya of the club said.

He further said Ganguly will release a book titled 'Dadagiri Unplugged' written by the group members.

Vendors were also seen selling potraits of Ganguly and former Bengal chief minister Late Jyoti Basu, both of whom share their birthday.

Ganguly these days is busy shooting for a popular Bengali quiz show where he recently hosted Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and his producer-director wife Kiran Rao. He is soon to shoot a special episode with current India opener Gautam Gambhir before leaving to do television commentary in England

Feisty Harbhajan joins elite club

There have arguably been better spinners than Harbhajan Singh in Test history but on Thursday he became the 11th bowler to take 400 wickets. And that's no mean achievement
In his 96th Test, off his 26,961st delivery, Harbhajan Singh became the 11th man in Test history, and the fourth spinner, to claim 400 wickets. The relief-drenched celebration came out with a pumped fist and a roar. It would have been perhaps even more fitting had it come through a shout for an lbw or a catch as Harbhajan would then have performed his signature backpedal-and-appeal routine.

The mode of celebration was understandable as he was made to wait for the landmark. He needed seven wickets at the start of the series and in the first two Tests, on pitches that suited the seamers, he took five wickets at an average of 35.60. The wait ended today. With Ishant Sharma threatening to run through the tail, Harbhajan removed Darren Sammy with the typical bat-and-pad dismissal he is known for. The ball dipped and bounced as it turned in and Sammy edged his defensive poke to the short-leg fielder. In his next over, he got one to turn in from just outside off and cramped Carlton Baugh for room. Baugh went for the cut, almost stumbled out to the leg side and lost his stumps.

Cameras flashed in the Indian dressing room. Out in the middle, Harbhajan was enveloped by warm hugs from his team-mates. Slowly he extricated himself, walked towards the top of his run-up, placed his right hand on his chest and looked up to the skies.

It's been a common sight through his 13-year career. Often he gives the feeling he is fighting the world. Often you get the feeling the world is fighting against him. It's been a career with heady peaks and puzzling troughs.

Rarely has any other bowler with 400 Test wickets received so much criticism. It's as if his critics expect greatness from him and feel disappointed that he has let them down.

On his bad days his line drifts to leg and middle, the pace is too quick and his attacking instincts evaporate. The critics have a field day announcing the end and then suddenly he shuts them up with a match-winning spell. On his good days he can be a handful. The ball will drift, dip, and bite and batsmen will succumb, unable to contend with the extra bounce and turn. It's as if there are two different bowlers. Other top spinners rarely gave this illusion of split personality. Harbhajan does.

He is a good bowler. Some believe he can be better than good. Some believe he is not as good as he is purported to be. The truth must lie somewhere in the middle. He has confounded his critics through his career. It's often been said that he needs spin-friendly tracks to be effective. However, in his previous two outings away from home, in New Zealand in 2009 and in South Africa in 2010, he has excelled. He was perhaps at his best away from home during that tour of New Zealand. Deploying over spin, side spin, and top spin, he was at the top of his art. The drift he got was mesmerising. A couple of months after that tour, Daniel Vettori named Harbhajan as the bowler whom he admired the most in international cricket.

Later, in the Cape Town Test, a wicketless first innings that had the critics hollering was followed by 7 for 120 in the second. Through his career he has been a different bowler once he's got early wickets. In recent times, he hasn't used the doosra much and has preferred to use the topspinner. It's been a puzzling development.

Today, however, was a day to bask in personal glory. The list of top wicket-taking spinners reads: Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh. There might have been better spinners than Harbhajan in Test history but only three others have picked up 400 wickets. And it's no mean achievement. It will be interesting to see how history views him. Will he judged by what he has done or will he be judged by what some think he could have done - what more he could have done?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

SLPL will go as planned: Aluthgamage

Colombo: Sri Lanka Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage rubbished claims that Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) has been stalled due to non-participation of Indian players and sponsorship issues.
"The tournament will go ahead as per plan with or without the Indian players. There is no final word yet on the non availability of Indian players," Aluthgamage told PTI.

Earlier, there were reports that the cash-strapped Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is likely to scale down the T20 league and not include the foreign players.
The Lankan Sports Minister feels that the reports have emerged from the fact that he had written a letter to his Indian counterpart, asking him to intervene in the dispute over releasing Indian cricketers.
BCCI had earlier refused 'No Objection Certificates' to 12 Indian players to play in the SLPL, stating that former IPL Chairman Lalit Modi has a stake in the Singapore-based company, which is organising SLPL on behalf of the SLC

Ishant, Praveen injured ahead of 3rd Test

Dominica: In what could be a big blow to the Indian team ahead of the third Test here, two of India's best fast bowlers Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar on the tour sustained injuries in a collision while playing football.
Ishant was escorted back to the dressing room by his teammates after he sustained a bruise beneath his right eye after colliding with Praveen.
What could make matters worse for India is that Praveen also was seen holding his head after the collision and seems to have injured himself as well. He also left the field.
Incidentally Ishant has been India's most successful bowler so far in the ongoing Test series and also won the man-of-the-match for his performance in the second Test at Barbados where he claimed a 10-wicket haul.
But team's senior player Rahul Dravid did not give any heed to the incident saying the injury is a minor one ane will be healed before the match starts.
"It's just a small bruise, little bit of a cut may be, but apparently it's not very serious. So it should be okay. I think it's a small cut underneath the eye," said Dravid when asked about the Ishant's injury.
It is expected that the home team will test their visitors by providing pacy and bouncy pitch at the Windsor Park Stadium for the match starting Wednesday.

3rd Test: Series win, over-rate on India's mind

Roseau, Dominica: India eye completing a first-ever double of an ODI and Test series victory in the Caribbean and also improve their over-rate when they take on the West Indies in the third and final Test that starts at the Windsor Park Stadium here on Wednesday.
Visiting skipper MS Dhoni was fined 50 per cent of his match fee in the second Test for slow over-rate, leaving him with the risk of being banned for one Test should his bowlers once again fall behind. So besides taking wickets and winning the series, the Indian bowlers will also be required to return to their bowling mark quicker than they have done in the first two Tests.

But the Indians, leading the three-match series 1-0, may have to counter pace and bounce on the Windsor Park track, demanding a few changes in their batting lineup that hasn't performed as expected.
Dropped for the England tour, Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli have had a forgetful outing in the series so far. Kohli has been a revelation for India in the limited-overs format but with just 46 runs in his debut Test series, the young gun is discovering the other side of the green. Filling in for regular openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, Vijay has fared even worse with just 22 runs in two matches.
So Dhoni might be forced to consider Parthiv Patel and S Badrinath as replacements to bolster India at the top and in the middle, though Vijay and Kohli are undoubtedly more talented than their suggested replacements.
India's bowling, which has so far been well served by pacers Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar, was delivered a blow on Tuesday when the two bowlers collided while playing football in practice. While Ishant suffered a cut underneath his left eye, Praveen reportedly looked concussed.
However, both should be fine as per reports and with a fit-again Munaf Patel available for selection, Dhoni will be tempted to ask Abhimanyu Mithun to sit out to make place for Munaf.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who is far from his best with a thin tally of five wickets in the series, will also like to end the tour on a high. He is just two wickets away from getting to 400 Test wickets and would hope that the landmark coincides with an Indian victory.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Laxman returns to top 10 in ICC rankings

Bridgetown: Veteran Indian batsman VVS Laxman on Sunday rose seven places to a career-best sixth in the ICC Rankings for Test batsmen after playing two crucial half centuries in the drawn match against the West Indies here.
The 36-year-old from Hyderabad, who hit 85 and 87 in a low-scoring match, has moved above compatriot Virender Sehwag and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who both lose ground in the latest rankings.The top five remain unchanged with Jacques Kallis of South Africa still leading the way ahead of Sachin Tendulkar in second postion.
Sehwag and Tendulkar, who are not playing in the West Indies, have fallen back because a player loses one per cent of his ratings points for every Test he misses.
The news is also good for 10-wicket hero Ishant Sharma who has broken into the top-10 of the Rankings for Test bowlers following his stellar performance here.
With match figures of 41.2-11-108-10, Ishant gained four places to seventh, overtaking team-mate Harbhajan Singh in the process and making him the second highest-ranked India bowler at the moment.
It was a productive match for West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards as he returned to the top-20 following an eight-wicket haul in the Test, the ICC said in a statement.
South Africa leads the way in the bowling chart, too, with speedster Dale Steyn top of the list, followed by England off-spinner Graeme Swann.
There was no change in the top five of the Rankings for Test all-rounders with Kallis leading the way, followed by New Zealand's Daniel Vettori.

Team India fined for slow over rate

New Delhi: The Indian cricket team has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the second Test against the West Indies at Barbados which eneded in a thrilling draw on Saturday.
Chris Broad of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed the fines after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side was ruled to be three overs short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration.

According to the International Cricket Council (ICC) rules, players are fined 10 per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.
Dhoni was fined 60 percent of his match fee while his players received 30 percent fines.
India lead the three match Test series 1-0 after their 63 run victory in the first Test at Kingston, Jamaica. The third and final Test between the two sides gets underway on Wednesday at Windsor Park, Dominica.

I am happy with the draw: Sammy

Bridgetown: West Indian skipper Darren Sammy believes his side had a good chance to win the second Test against India before rain intervened but he is not too disheartened with the draw either.
"We believe we had a chance. The coach (Ottis Gibson) had outlined the game in stages and with 15 overs remaining, we were right on course," stated Sammy after the match on Saturday.

Sammy didn't believe that his tailenders would have failed to save the Test if rain hadn't intervened.
"I think our tailenders have shown they are capable of batting for long periods. But I am happy with the result, we can go to Dominica and still level the series," he said referring to the third Test starting July 6.
But Sammy couldn't stop himself from criticising his batsmen and believed the failure to take a first innings lead after getting India out for 201 had a key bearing on the match.
"We are not getting the 300-run target. We could do much better even though (Marlon) Samuels and (Darren) Bravo batted well," he said.
Ramnaresh Sarwan, at number three, has been a constant failure for the West Indies but Sammy had a word of encouragement for him.
"He is one of our more experienced players. We all know he is going through a lean patch right now. We give him all the encouragement he needs," he said.
Sammy was lavish on his praise about Ishant Sharma who picked up a 10-wicket haul from the match.
"He bowled really well. He extracted bounce from the pitch and continuously ran in. He is working hard for his team, just like our bowlers.
"We have to go back to the drawing board because unlike the Pakistan series, where the spinners were taking wickets, it is now the seamers," he said.
"We would look at his footage and play him better," he added.

Rain ruined my plan: Dhoni

Bridgetown: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni didn't hide his disappointed stating that his plan was "ruined due to the rain" that stopped play for around 32 minutes during the final session of the second Test against West Indies that ended in a draw.
"I am disappointed to some extent. The last session was evenly poised. My plan was ruined because of the rain, we got couple of wickets that were needed but bad light spoiled the party," a dejected Dhoni stated at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

ICC Warning, PCB Suspension for Trio of Butt, Aamir and Asif

The ICC and the Pakistan Cricket Board are delivering warnings to the suspended trio ahead of an independent hearing.
The ICC has been closely following the statements of the two Pakistan cricketers at the ICC hearing last weekend - Mohammad Aamer and Salman Butt - and has decided a warning was in order.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has also taken action following the decision of the ICC to uphold the suspension until an independent hearing can be arranged.

Aamer and Butt expressed disappointment that despite their appeal, the ICC upheld their ban. Both, Aamer and Butt, expressed individually that they did not think they were given a fair hearing and were of the opinion that there was an “anti Pakistan agenda” and that their word was dismissed as a matter of formality even when they felt there was not enough evidence to implicate them.

The ICC has now warned them from speculating in the media and it is a valid warning given that there is another hearing in the offing.

The PCB, for their part, have now suspended the contracts of the three players, including Mohammad Asif, following the ICC decision at the hearing. Until the ICC hearing is brought to a decisive conclusion, the trio will have to continue to fight to clear their name of the spot fixing scandal that erupted on Pakistan’s tour of England

Shane Watson Joins Chorus Against Selectors’ Decision to drop Katich

The case of the current lot of Australian cricketers raising their voice against the supposed injustice meted out to one of their own is not likely to die down any soon. Unless the next batch of Australian openers can help ease the wounds of the Australian selectors, they will simply have to cop more flak, this time from Simon Katich’s opening partner, Shane Watson.

Harper: Mistakes as Common as Indians Eating Beef Burgers

Given that Daryl Harper has been attributed as having made that statement, it would be hard to argue as to whether his or Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s remarks were more controversial as the umpire is furious over India’s comments in the media.

ICC Keeps ICC World Twenty20 at 12 Teams Despite Earlier Plans for 16

The ICC may have placated the Associate nations with the decision to retain them for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 but have thrown another brick at them in the form of changing their original plans of expansion of teams in the ICC World Twenty20.

Tendulkar in India squad for England series, chasing 100th international century

CHENNAI, India - Sachin Tendulkar can clinch his 100th international century after being included in India's squad for the upcoming series against England.
The 38-year-old batting great has scored 51 centuries in test matches and 48 in one-day internationals.
Tendulkar, who opted out of India's ongoing tour of the West Indies, returned to the 17-strong test squad on Saturday along with strike bowler Zaheer Khan, opener Gautam Gambhir and pace bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth, who were all out with injuries.
Middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh was also picked after recovering from a lung infection, while flamboyant opener Virender Sehwag was selected despite still recovering from a shoulder injury.
Tendulkar had asked to rest during the West Indies tour after a hectic few months that included the World Cup and the Indian Premier League, in which he leads Mumbai Indians.
Yuvraj and Gambhir (shoulder injury) had been ruled out of the West Indies tour while Zaheer (ankle) and Sreesanth (elbow) were replaced just before the series.
The first test starts at Lord's on July 21.

India squad for Test series in England announced

Star players Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan expectedly returned to the team as the national selectors today announced a full-strength 17-member Test squad for India's upcoming tour of England starting mid-July.

Yuvraj Singh, who skipped the tour of West Indies because of a chest infection, also made a comeback to the Test squad along with Kerela speedstar S Sreesanth.

Bengal wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha got the nod ahead of Parthiv patel as the second wicketkeeper, while Virat Kohli and opener Murali Vijay were dropped from the squad announced by BCCI secretary N Srinivasan after a meeting of the selection committee here.

Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund was retained in the squad but pacer Abhimanyu Mithun couldn't get the favour from the selectors.

Dashing opener Virender Sehwag, who was also forced to skip the Caribbean tour because of a shoulder surgery, will miss the first test but will join the team after a fortnight. The team, to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, will have Gambhir as the vice-captain.

The squad has as many as five pace bowlers considering the seaming conditions in England. It has two spinners in Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra.

Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt), Gautam Gambhir (vice Capt), Abhivan Mukund, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, S Sreesanth, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Virender Sehwag.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Cook must learn from Morgan

Alastair Cook begins his stint as full time ODI captain when England face Sri Lanka but there's much he needs to do in order to improve his record as a limited-overs batsman, says Derek Pringle in the Daily Telegraph.

The notion that an opener should anchor a one-day innings by batting through it probably still existed when he began his career but the widespread tactic now is to make hay during the power plays, a period English batsmen have been among the worst at exploiting. In any case, Jonathan Trott, England’s No3, has bagged the accumulator role, so Cook will have to play something other than Shylock if it is not to end badly.
In the Daily Mail, Stuart Broad reflects on the defeat to Sri Lanka in a game that marked the start of his Twenty20 captaincy.


Alastair Cook takes over as England's ODI captain, knowing that if he succeeds the Test job could be his, writes Stephen Brenkley in the Independent.

More than his change of style, Cook has a steely resolve which has been seen in the manner that he has dominated the Test arena in the past eight months after his very career was put in doubt. But combining the roles of opening batsman and captain will push him to the limits.
Cook might not be a flair player but he'll thrive on the challenge of captaincy, says Nasser Hussain in the Daily Mail.

In the Guardian, however, Mike Selvey writes there must be doubts about whether Cook will be able to raise his game to the level required to succeed.

A victory for both ICC and BCCI

The decision to make a modified DRS mandatory across Tests and ODIs is being considered a victory by both sides. The BCCI was quick to emphasise that they had not changed their stance on the DRS and the ICC was confident it had won over the last and strongest opponent of the review system in its previous form.

At the end of a day that contained several meetings at the annual conference in Hong Kong, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat had only one comment to make. "This is only the end of day two of what is a Test match," he told ESPNcricinfo as he left a cocktail party held for all the delegates.

The DRS decision had not been brought to a vote during the morning session of the chief executives' committee meeting. Later in the afternoon, the word "unanimous" was quickly and repeatedly used to explain how smoothly all the differences had been resolved.

The discussions over the DRS and the FTP were expected to begin on the first day of the ICC's conference, along with the cricket committee's other recommendations concerning playing conditions. ESPNcricinfo learned that they were deferred to the second day because there were said to be fairly frosty exchanges during the meeting. Members were given the impression by the BCCI's statements that there was a possibility that the FTP's final design could be linked to their opinions on how the DRS recommendation was handled at the meeting. Some officials strongly implied this was the case, though others like Gerald Majola, the Cricket South Africa chief executive, dismissed it outright.

The FTP agreement, which has been sent up to the ICC's executive board for approval, is vital for all Members as television rights are sold based on the itineraries drawn up in advance. The presence of India in the schedule brings the largest chunk of member boards' earnings. It is important to note that seven of the ten Full Member nations (excluding Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India) will draft new television deals in the next 12 months. Any freeze in relations with India reflecting in the FTP would have a direct bearing on the value of those broadcasting agreements.

When the meetings resumed on Monday the common opinion was that, while everyone agreed on the necessity of the DRS, it would be advisable to opt only for the technologies that everyone agreed with. This led to the ball-tracking technology being removed and the infra-red camera being included in the list of mandatory requirements for the DRS.

The BCCI's acceptance of the DRS is particularly ironic. The suggestion of a review system for umpiring decisions was first brought to the ICC's attention, an official said, "about six to eight years ago," by Duncan Fletcher - then coaching England but now working with the Indian team. In his first press conference as India coach, Fletcher's comment on the DRS was cut short by the BCCI secretary N Srinivasan with the statement, "Mr. Fletcher doesn't know BCCI's stance on DRS". It has now changed. Or perhaps it has been allowed to stay the same.

IPL 2012 from April 4 to May 27

The fifth edition of the IPL will be held from April 4 to May 27, 2012. The tournament is scheduled after India's return from their tour of Australia and South Africa's tour of New Zealand in March. The tournament will feature 74 matches - the same as this year's IPL - and the match schedule will be announced soon.

The structure of the Future Tours Programme [FTP] is one of the major points up for discussion in the ongoing ICC annual conference in Hong Kong, amid calls for a separate window for the IPL within that schedule. There are several series next year that are expected to overlap with the IPL, and may result in the absence of some international stars. England are scheduled to host West Indies, Australia are expected to tour the West Indies, and Pakistan are due to play Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The 2011 IPL took place barely a week after the World Cup, and the arrival of some Australian cricketers, including Shane Watson, was delayed due to their tour of Bangladesh. The number of teams grew from eight - as in the previous three versions - to ten, with Sahara Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers Kerala joining the league but failing to qualify for the knockouts. Chennai Super Kings defended their title successfully, beating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final.

Associates included in 2015 World Cup

The 2015 World Cup will comprise 14 teams, a change from the original ten-team format, which means the Associates are back in the competition, ESPNcricinfo has learned. Four Associate teams will line up alongside ten Full Members in Australia and New Zealand, just like it was during the 2011 World Cup. The decision to reinstate the Associates, which was taken on the third day of the ICC's annual conference in Hong Kong, is a reversal of the ICC's heavily criticised move to restrict the 2015 tournament to the Full Members.

The ICC, however, has reduced the number of teams in the World Twenty20s in 2012 and 2014 from 16 to 12 (ten Full Members and two Associates).

It had also said previously that the 2019 World Cup would have a qualifying tournament to determine its participants. At the annual conference it was decided that the 2019 tournament would have only ten teams, with the top-eight ranked sides gaining automatic entry while the remaining two spots would be decided by a qualification competition.

The decision to exclude Associates from 2015 was made shortly after the 2011 World Cup final and it sparked a wave of protests, especially since Ireland, who are the leading Associate team, had performed creditably in the competition. They had upset England and competed in most of their other games.

Warren Deutrom, the Cricket Ireland chief executive, was "delighted" with the decision made in Hong Kong.

"The board should be greatly commended in the first instance for agreeing to look again at the matter, and then for being courageous enough to review their original decision - that isn't easy," Deutrom told ESPNcricinfo. "As for Ireland, we now have to get our heads down and try to qualify for it [2015 World Cup]!"

On Monday, the second day of the conference, the ICC's chief executives' committee (CEC) had recommended to the executive board that there be a qualifying tournament for the 2015 World Cup, giving the Associates hope. It did not specify the number of slots open to Associates though, nor did it recommend a change in the competition's format. The executive board acted on the CEC's recommendation and ensured Associate participation by expanding the tournament from 10 to 14 teams.

As earlier reported, some Members believe the stretch to 14 teams is part of a deal to build support for the last major issue for discussion at the conference: scrapping the rotation policy for the appointment of the ICC president.

Pakistan and Bangladesh - the two Members who were to nominate the next candidates for president and vice-president by the rotation system - are opposed to the change. In order to pass a resolution amending the rule about the appointment of the ICC chief, eight of ten Full Members and 38 of 50 Associates will have to vote in favour of the motion. That vote could now be a formality with the Associates being placated by Tuesday's decision.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tony Greig calls for end to India 'domination' of ICC

Former England captain Tony Greig has called for an end to India's "domination" of the International Cricket Council, saying it would be the first thing he'd change if he was in charge of the governing body.

"Number one, we have got to try and get the ICC right," Greig said. "We have a situation at the moment where the ICC is dominated by India.
"They tell Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and one or two other countries what to do and they always get the vote.
"It's very hard, but somehow we have got to change things at that level."
South Africa-born Greig added: "We are playing too much cricket. I would be getting all the countries from the world and saying hey listen, what is this nonsense of giving Indian domestic cricket an open window?
"To give the IPL (Indian Premier League) an open window, and reduce by two months the time available for cricketers to play around the world, in the current environment is just ridiculous.

tony cheap comments on ipl

You were critical of the IPL.
We have seen some wonderful things as a result of the IPL. It’s really good that the players are getting paid decent wages. There are problems that are thrown up because as we have seen, there is the second Indian team going to the West Indies. I don’t like that because when players say we are playing too much and do not go to a major international tour, then it is not good for international cricket.

So, IPL is creating some good things and some serious problems at the same time. I would be asking the BCCI, are you considering other people at the same time that you are considering yourself. It is very well to have astrong and vibrant IPL but please remember to take into consideration the problems that have happened in the other countries.

Do you mean to say it created problems in smaller boards like Sri Lanka and West Indies?

Not just the smaller boards. I think everybody. Australia have lost cricketers who have retired early. Adam Gilchrist retired because of the IPL. Andrew Symonds left cricket early because of the IPL. There are a few guys from New Zealand. Definitely from Sri Lanka and the West Indies and it will get worse. We have to come up with a sensible argument to make sure that this tournament doesn’t turn out to be detrimental for world cricket.

tony greig wrong comments

Won’t rate 100 centuries highly: Tony Greig

Tony Greig, known for his strong views, tells DNA that IPL should not be allowed to become detrimental for world cricket. Excerpts:

How do you analyse India’s performance in the ODIs vs West Indies?

Satisfactory! I wouldn’t say that it’s been wonderful or exceptional. I think India would be concerned by one or two of their batsmen who haven’t performed consistently enough. Rohit Sharma has performed consistently. He is very unlucky that he is not being kept back for the Test matches. I think if I was an Indian selector, I would be saying to Rohit ‘you can stay inWest Indies based on your performance.’ He has performed better than some of the players who are staying back.

How do you rate India’s new coach, Duncan Fletcher,
so far?

Anyone who tries at this stage either one way or other to asses Duncan Fletcher’s performance with the Indian team is very stupid because really, any assessment of the involvement of a coach or player needs time. Fletcher has been there for just five minutes.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

IPL gave injuries for india

Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth have been ruled out of the Test series against West Indies, further weakening an Indian squad already missing several first-choice players. Zaheer has a right ankle problem, Sreesanth has a right elbow problem and both are undergoing rehabilitation. Medium-pacers Abhimanyu Mithun and Praveen Kumar have been named as their replacements in the Test squad.
Shoulder injuries to Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir had forced the selectors to opt for a pair of inexperienced openers in M Vijay and the uncapped Abhinav Mukund. Sachin Tendulkar wanted to spend some time with his family and opted out of the tour as well.
While the batting was hit hard by these withdrawals, the bowling initially had a stronger look with Zaheer - who skipped the limited-overs leg of the tour - expected to lead a full-strength attack in the Caribbean. His and Sreesanth's absence will now add further fuel to the debate on the impact of a cramped IPL schedule on the Indian team.