Thursday, April 30, 2009

Andrew Flintoff Underwent Successful Knee Surgery

Star English cricketer Andrew Flintoff has successfully had a surgery on his right knee recently and is aiming to recover from the surgery in time to take part in World Twenty20 starting from June 5 in England. The all rounder recently sustained a tear in a degenerative meniscus on his right knee. After suffering the injury, Andrew Flintoff flew to England from South Africa where he was representing his IPL team Chennai Super Kings. However, it has been reported that there is noting to worry about his injury. ECB managing director Hugh Morris recently confirmed a successful operation, having been informed so by the surgeon. Andrew Flintoff, however, would have to miss the upcoming test and ODI series against West Indies at home.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Inter-Corporate Cricket Tournament in India to Take Place in September 2009

BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) is going to organize an Inter-Corporate cricket tournament in India in September 2009. 16 corporate teams will take part in the tournament and all the players taking part in the tournament will be given permanent employment. In fact, creating employment for 300 cricketers is the main objective of organizing such a tournament. BCCI will hold a meeting with banks, private companies and other corporates very soon to discuss about the Inter-Corporate tournament. BCCI has already formed a six-member committee, led by BCCI joint secretary Sanjay Jagdale, to work on this tournament.

Well, this is a good initiative taken by BCCI to ensure financial safety for the players. However, I am not sure what kind of jobs will be handed to the cricketers and if the salaries will be enough to assure the financial security of the players. Winning team of the tournament will be awarded with Rs10 million prize money, while Rs5 million will be given to the runners up team in the 16-team tournament. Two semi finalists of the 50-over competition will receive Rs2.5 million each.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

India Women’s Cricket Team Declared for ICC World Twenty20 2009

You already know that ICC World Twenty20 2009 kicks off from 5 June in England and it will continue till 21 June. However, you may not know that ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2009 will also take place at the same time in England, starting from 5 June. So, women’s cricket fans are also very excited now. Recently, 15-member Indian women’s team for the Twenty20 world cup has been picked up by the selection committee of Indian women’s cricket team.

Indian women’s cricket team will be led by star pacer Jhulan Goswami who also led India in this year’s ODI world cup held in Australia. Amita Sharma has remained Jhulan’s deputy in the team

India Women’s Cricket Team for ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2009

Jhulan Goswami (captain), Amita Sharma (vice-captain), Mithali Raj, Anjum Chopra, Rumeli Dhar, Sulakshana Naik (wk), Anagha Deshpande (wk), Priyanka Roy, Reema Malhotra, Gauhar Sultana, Harman Preet Kaur, Poonam Raut, Babita Mandlik, Latika Kumari, Diana David.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Brett Lee Returns to Australia Squad for the Last 2 ODI Matches against Pakistan

It has been reported that Brett Lee could be available for selection for the remaining two ODI matches against Pakistan in UAE. Australia is currently leading 2-1 in the five-match ODI series against Pakistan with two matches left in the series. Lee was picked up in the Australia squad for the series against Pakistan, but was dropped after medical staff of Australian team had informed Cricket Australia (CA) that Lee did not shake of the ankle injury fully.

However, Trefor James, Australian team doctor, has recently revealed that the bowler has recovered very well during his fortnight stay in South Africa and is now ready for selection for the remainder of the series. With Australia already leading in the series, I think, they could hand Lee a chance to prove his fitness and form ahead of ICC World Twenty20 2009 due to start from 5 June in England.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Zealand Asked Sri Lanka to Arrange Iraq-like Security

New Zealand is supposed to visit Sri Lanka in August 2009 on a tour. However, the ongoing conflict between Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers has stimulated the security concern. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has recently decided to ask Sri Lanka to arrange the kind of security which is only available for big US companies in Iraq.

NZC has asked Sri Lanka to arrange high quality security in Sri Lanka. The security condition in the sub-continent has been deteriorated over the last one year. Since the Mumbai terror attack, safety has become a big issue to address. After last month’s Lahore terror attack on Sri Lankan team bus, security condition has been deteriorated in the region. Now, let us see if Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) can manage to convince NZC to send its team to Sri Lanka on a scheduled tour by ensuring enough safety measure.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

If cricket is a religion, Sachin is God: A Book on Sachin Tendulkar

A book titled If cricket is a religion, Sachin is God has been released on the occasion of 36th birthday of legendary cricket Sachin Tendulkar recently. Written by two students of IIM-Ahmedabad (Indian Institute of Management)- Vijay Santhanam and Shyam Balasubramaniam- the book was official launched in Mumbai by famous billiards player Geet Sethi and former captain of Indian test team Nari Contractor. Both of them were full of praise about Sachin Tendulkar who turned 36 recently. Sachin is currently leading Mumbai Indians in IPL 2009 in South Africa. At the book launching ceremony, Krishnamachari Srikanth, the former cricketer and the current chief of selectors of Indian team, was present.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Andrew Flintoff to Undergo Knee Injury

Andrew Flintoff has been ruled out for England’s home series against West Indies as the all rounder is all set to undergo a knee surgery very soon. However, it has been reported that the player will be available for England’s Twenty20 world cup 2009 and Ashes 2009 missions. Flintoff was participating in the IPL 2009 tournament in South Africa. He has now flown back to England from South Africa in order to undergo the surgery as early as possible ahead of world Twenty20 and Ashes series.

Andrew Flintoff is an injury prone player who missed lots of cricket actions during his career so far due to injury problems. Keeping his past history of his injury in mind, England fans are now hardly convinced that he will be available for the two important series at home. Many are also blaming him for taking part in the IPL 2009 tournament as he has just suffered a injury during England’s recent tour of West Indies which eventually forced him to miss the a big part of the tour. Now, let us see if Andrew Flintoff can return from his injury in time to take part in the ICC World Twenty20 2009 and Ashes 2009 tournaments.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Imran Khan, Clive Lloyd and Ali Bacher Full of Praise about Dubai Sports City Stadium

Five match ODI series between Pakistan and Australia kicked off yesterday (22 April 2009) with the first match being held in the Dubai Sports City stadium. This has been the first international cricket match in the Dubai Sports City stadium, Dubai. Naturally, the local crowds were full of excited with this match and there were many Pakistani cricket fans as many Pakistani people reside in this city. To be honest, Pakistani cricketers must have felt a homely environment in the ground. With all modern facilities available in the stadium, it seems that the stadium has become a big contender to host Pakistan’s home test matches.

Pakistani bowling great Imran Khan has also spoken of highly regarding this new stadium, stating that the beautiful stadium and its innovative lights will add to the attraction of the game. Mr. Khan has also said that the condition is very similar to Pakistan, where the series was supposed to take place.

Former West Indies great Clive Lloyd opened this stadium last year when the construction work of the stadium was completed. Ali Bacher, former captain of South African cricket team, has added that the stadium has come at the right time for Pakistan cricket.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kolkata Knight Riders Clinched First Victory of IPL 2009 Season

After suffering an 8-wicket humiliating victory to Deccan Chargers in their first match, Kolkata Knight Riders have bounced back with full swing, winning the second match against Kings XI Punjab. Kolkata clinched a 11-run victory on D/L method today thanks to excellent bowling performance from former skipper Sourav Ganguly and thrashing batting performance from opener Chris Gayle. Kolkata Captain Brendon McCullum won the toss and elected to field first.

Punjab did not have a very good start as they lost opener Goel for a duck, but the second wicket partnership between Bopara and Irfan Pathan started dominated the Kolkata bowlers. However, Sourav Ganguly dismissed both of them in one over, bringing Kolkata back into the match. Pathan played a blistering knock of 32 off just 17 balls, hitting five 4s and a 6. Then Sangakkara’s 24-ball 26, Yuvraj Singh’s 28-ball 38 and Jayawardene’s 31 from 19 balls guided Kings XI Punjab towards a fighting total of 158, losing 6 wickets.

Kolkata Knight Riders started off very well to their innings thanks to two openers McCullum and Gayle as the openers put on 57 runs on the board within 5.2 overs before McCullum got dismissed by Vikramjeet Malik for 21. However, Gayle remained not out on 44 off 26 balls during which the West Indies captain hit 2 boundaries and 4 over-boundaries. Brad Hodge remained not out on 10 along with Gayle when the rain interrupted in the match when Kolkata reached at 79 for 1 in 9. 1 overs. Eventually, Kolkata was declared as the winner of the match on D/L method. Chris Gayle was awarded the man of the match award.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Are you Impressed by IPL 2009?

First of all, I am not that impressed. When BCCI announced that they would shift the event to South Africa, I felt that there would be hardly any excitement among the spectators as they would not now which team to support. If you are in Durban then you would have hardly any idea about Calcutta or Bangalore and how would you know which team to support. Or why you should feel excited about it. This matter has really happened and it seems that back at home in India, TV viewers are not that excited so far.

Related News

Television viewership for IPL-2 lower than expected

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pakistan Dropped as Host of ICC World Cup 2011

International Cricket Council (ICC) has already decided that Pakistan will not be one of the co-hosts of 2011 world cup along with Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka due to security concern in the country. Following last month’s terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricket team near Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium, there was an uncertainty over the possible of Pakistan hosting its 14 world cup matches.

ICC said that it was less likely international cricket would be back in Pakistan before 2011 cricket world cup due to lack of security in the country. However, ICC president David Morgan has assured that Pakistan will not be left isolated in the cricket world as the country has already produced some of the greatest cricketers of all time.

The decision of dropping Pakistan as one of the hosts of 2011 world cup was taken in the recent ICC Executive Board meeting held on Friday. Pakistan could not accept the decision positively as some of its former cricketers expressed their concerned over the situation. Javed Miandad said that it was a shocking new for Pakistan and ICC members should have shown more patience as there were sometimes before the world cup.

ICC, on the other hand, has taken the decision pretty early in order to avoid any last minute uncertainty and postponement of the tournament as it happened for last year’s ICC Champions Trophy, which was supposed to take place in Pakistan last September, but was later on postponed to September this year and the tournament was shifted from Pakistan to South Africa due to the same security reasons. Well, there is no doubt, it is a big blow for Pakistan being dropped as the host of world cup 2011.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

South Africa Spinner Johan Botha Out for Fifth ODI against Australia

South African team management has decided not to feature the team’s prime spinner Johan Botha in the fifth match of the five-match ODI series which South Africa has already won as they are currently leading by 3-1. After the fourth ODI, matches officials including Brian Jerling, Asoka de Silva and TV umpire Rudi Koertzen reported to ICC regarding suspicion bowling action of the South African spinner who had been banned by ICC on same ground in 2006.

Johan Botha was instrumental behind South Africa’s ODI series win against Australian on Australian soil earlier this year. He has also played a big role behind South Africa’s win over Australia in the ongoing ODI series at home. His economical bowling and the ability to bring out early breakthroughs helped South Africa to retain the no. 1 spot in ODI ranking as well.

Now, ahead of world Twenty20, starting from 5 June 2009 in England, South African cricket fans are pretty much disappointed with Botha being reported on suspicion bowling action. Now, the spinner will go to University of Western Australia, Perth where he will undergo a bowling test in his bid to prove his bowling action right.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

IPL 2009 Twenty20: South Africa is the Ultimate Winner?

You know that IPL 2009 is going to take place in South Africa with the tournament getting underway on 18 April 2009. The tournament was shifted to South Africa just three weeks back amidst fear of government’s failure to provide adequate security to the tournament due to the country’s general election being taken place at the same time. No doubt, organizing the tournament in South Africa will help IPL to become a global brand, but in many ways, South Africa is the ultimate winner. How?

First of all, about 40,000 hotel rooms have been booked in the cities which will host IPL matches. Summer is not a rush season for the tourists, but due to IPL, hotel business will see a boom for the next one month. It has been reported that IPL will add $150-200 million to the local economy. Most importantly, it is a big chance for South Africa to promote their tourism. If South African government can act smartly, then South Africa’s tourism industry could receive a boom with this tournament. Moreover, a number of bollywood stars including some of the franchise owners like Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty will also be heading towards South Africa in what South Africa could become a potential film venues for Bollywood movies in future too.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Harbhajan Singh to Quit Cricket if Proven Guilty of Shooting a Commercial in stead of Attending Padma Shri Award Ceremony

Harbhajan Singh reacted strongly against the allegation that the Indian star off-spinner missed the Padmashri award ceremony for shooting a commercial in New Delhi. Harbhajan even said that he would stop playing cricket, if the allegation is proven. Both Harbhajan Singh and Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni were honored with Padmashri award, but both of them missed the award giving ceremony which took place on Tuesday in New Delhi, and both of them have been fully criticized for doing so.

Regarding reasons of missing the Padmashri award ceremony, Harbhajan Singh indicated family problem. He said that he had felt bad for not being able to present at the award giving ceremony, but he was left with no other option as there were some serious family commitments.

Well, I think, it is not fair to take a charge against anybody without having enough proof. One simple thing is that no body would like to miss a ceremony where he or she will be awarded with the country’s one of the highest civilian awards. So, it is pretty much understandable that Harbhajan Singh could not attend the ceremony due to some serious family bindings and problems.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

South African Spinner Johan Botha Suspected for Wrong Bowling Action

South Africa has clicnhed the five-match ODI series winning the fourth ODI against Australia and this is definitely good news for the South Africans. However, there is bad news too as their prime off spinner Johan Botha has been suspected by match officials for illegal bowling action. So, he will now undergo a bio-mechanical test of his bowling action, but he will be able to play the fifth ODI. In fact, he will be eligible to represent South Africa in international cricket until the result of the test comes out.

Three umpires of Monday’s fourth ODI match: Brian Jerling and Rudi Koertzen from South Africa and Sri Lankan Asoka de Silva suspected Botha’s quicker and doosra deliveries. Now, if he is proven to have wrong bowling action, then he will have to correct his bowling action to play for South Africa.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Afghanistan out of 2011 ICC World Cup

Following a historic victory over tournament favorite Ireland just two days ago, hopes of Afghanistan to clinch one of the four spots of 2011 ICC World Cup has now literally been finished as they were beaten to in-from Canada by 6 wickets. To reach the tournament semi final, Afghanistan was needed to win three of their last three super eight matches after defeating Ireland. However, the tournament’s surprise package failed to bring about another surprise against Canada who did not face any problem while chasing Afghanistan’s fighting total of 265 runs.

Canada won the toss and sent Afghanistan to bat first and the Afghans put on 265 runs losing 8 wickets, despite a wrenched start. Opener Noor Ali played a tremendous innings of 122 off 140, hitting 8 boundaries and an over-boundary. Along with Captain Nowroz Mangal, Ali added 118 runs for the third wicket, guiding Afghanistan towards a 250-plus total. Mangal got out just one run short of his half century. Rizwan Cheema picked up 3 wickets for Canada.

In reply, Canada reached the target losing just 4 wickets because of fiery batting display from Ian Billcliff who scored an unbeaten 96, hitting 8 boundaries and 2 over-boundaries. Before that, opener Rizwan Cheema brought a brisk start for Canada as they reached at 67 in 8 overs. Cheema got out when he was just 4 runs short of his half century. Canada captain Bagai scored 68 runs to ensure Canada’s easy victory. Despite Cheema’s all rounder performance, it was Billcliff who was awarded the man of the match award for his hard-hitting batting display.

Well, Afghanistan may have been ruled out of 2011 world cup, but the kind of performance they showed in the tournament this time, it is pretty much certain that the South Asian team will be seen among the elite members of cricket very soon, and I think, Afghanistan should not have any reason to be frustrated for not having been qualified for the next world cup cricket which is due to take place in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Virender Sehwag: Performing for India Most Important than Wisden Award

Virender Sehwag has been award the Wisden player of the year award for his excellent performance last year. However, the hard hitting opener has recently said that playing for India and helping India to win games are most prestigious than Wisden award.

Virender Sehwag went through a very tough time during which he was struggling for form. However, the Indian opener got his form back during India’s tour of Australia last year. Since then, he has been in scintillating form in both ODI and Test cricket. Along with Gautam Gambhir, Sehwag has formed a very successful opening pair which was instrumental behind the excellent recent performance of Indian team over the last one year. Sehwag has also said that the recent success in New Zealand has put the current Indian team as one of the contenders of becoming best Indian test team ever. He thinks that if India can continue playing like this then the current Indian team could become the best ever Indian team.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Pakistan to Host New Zealand on New Zealand Soil!

Pakistan cricket has been badly hit by the security condition of the country following the Lahore terror attack on Sri Lankan cricketers last month. So, it is pretty much understandable that no international cricket team would tour Pakistan in the near future until the security condition of Pakistan improves dramatically. In fact, you already know that Pakistan is going to play its home series against Australia in UAE, starting from 22 April 2009. Pakistan is also scheduled to host New Zealand this year and it has been already certain that New Zealand is not going to tour Pakistan and the series would definitely be relocated to somewhere else.

Recently, Justin Vaughan, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive, has indicated that they would offer Pakistan to play the ODI and the test series against New Zealand on New Zealand soil. Though the series is expected to take place in November-December, nothing has been confirmed yet.

Well, UAE is one of the major venues where Pakistan has lots of supports and it is pretty much clear that Pakistan would prefer UAE to host New Zealand in ODI and test series, UAE has not hosted any test match yet. So, it is unlikely that UAE would host the test series between India and New Zealand. Justin Vaughan, the CEO of New Zealand Cricket, has recently said that he would make Pakistan officials next week when he will be in Dubai to attend an executive board meeting of ICC.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has recently revealed that it has received offers from Ireland, Scotland, England and Malaysia. To organize the test and ODI matches between Pakistan and New Zealand over there. It is less likely that the series could be relocated to Northern American region like Canada because of the severe cold in that part of the region during November-December. However, Malaysia could be a viable option as they have past experience of organizing U-19 Championship last year. However, there is every possibility that Pakistan could host New Zealand on New Zealand soil towards the end of this year, but to do that, the countries must agree on the financial terms and conditions as it seems to become a major concern.

Related article:

NZ Herald

Thursday, April 9, 2009

2009 Wisden Almanack Criticizes ECB on Several Grounds

You already know that the performance of England cricket team was not very impressive over the last one year. In fact, England was defeated by South Africa in the home test series and then was thrashed in test and ODI series at the hands of surging Indian cricket team. The 2009 Wisden Almanack says that the overcrowding of international cricket is one of the major reasons behind the mediocre performance of England cricket team.

Scyld Berry, the editor of Wisden Almanack, picks up some other problems regarding English cricket at this moment. One of the major problems that he talks about is the subsidies that England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is currently providing to the counties through the revenue earned by England cricket team, and he is also furious over the counties for spending big part of that money by paying high amount to the foreign players.

Berry also slams ECB for making the England’s international schedule too much packed in order to generate more revenue. He thinks that the ECB’s financial dependence on England team is taking its toll on England players, and thus, affecting their performance on the field. Scyld Berry also indicates the condition of former opener Marcus Trescothick who was forced to retire due to too much mental pressure.

Scyld Berry also talks about the evolution of Twenty20 format of cricket and its impact on the overall development on the game. He praises Indian Premier League and thinks that it will accelerate the development of cricket. However, he also calls for a balance in the amount of twenty20, ODI and test cricket. Berry thinks that there should be considerable amount of test and ODI cricket too, alongside twenty20 cricket.

Overall, it seems that the 2009 Wisden Almanack will feature some of the problems that the ECB officials should take into account and should focus on working out those problems.

Related article:


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Michael Vaughan Included in 25-Men England Performance Squad

Michael Vaughan has been handed a new central contract as he has been recalled to 25-men performances squad. The former captain stepped down from English captaincy following defeat to South Africa in the home test series last year. Since then, he could not yet retain his place in England test and ODI squad and missed England’s tour to India and West Indies. Now that, he has been handed a 12-month central contract, Vaughan can now work harder to retain his place in England squad ahead of this year’s Ashes series.

Yorkshire spinner Adil Rashid has also earned a central contract, becoming the only uncapped player among the 25-member squad. Wicketkeeper James Foster, who plays for Essex, and Lancashire pacer Sajid Mahmood have been recalled to the England squad. Kent captain Robert Key has also earned a recall to the England’s performance squad and has come under central contract with ECB.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nasser Hussain: Andy Flower Could be an Excellent England Coach

You know that England cricket team is now without a permanent coach after the sacking of Peter Moores following a dispute with the former captain Kevin Pietersen. England selectors have not appointed any permanent manager yet as stand-in manager Andy Flower guided the team in West Indies. Nasser Hussain, former captain of England, has recently expressed that Flower should be appointed as the new permanent coach for the England team as he thinks the Flower can fit the bills excellently to guide the England team.

Hussain has also added that the former Zimbabwe captain developed a good relationship with Captain Andrew Strauss and Geoff Miller, the chief of the selectors. No doubt, the support Andy Flower has received from Hussain would only strengthen his probability of becoming the new full time coach of England national team.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

England 30-Member Preliminary Squad for ICC World Twent20 2009

England selectors have announced the preliminary 30-member squad for ICC World Twenty20, starting from 5 June in England. The biggest surprise of the squad is the omission of Andrew Strauss who is the current captain of England test and ODI team. While talking about the reason behind the exclusion of Strauss, England selector Geoff Miller has said that England selectors and Strauss himself believe that he fits the test and ODI format of the game better than twenty20. Here, it is notable that Strauss returned to ODI squad of England in the recently-concluded ODI series against West Indies where he was most consistent batsman with a century. Still, he failed to impress the England selectors to make it to the initial twent20 squad of England for the twenty20 world cup.

There are five uncapped players in the 30-men probable including Joe Denly, Eion Morgan, all rounder Graham Napier, who plays for Essex, Chris Woakes and Yorkshire spinner Adil Rashid who was in England’s trip to West Indies. Chris Woakes took 49 wickets in domestic cricket to become the leading wicket taker of Warwickshire. England’s pace attack includes all rounder Tim Bresnan, Kabir Ali, Liam Plunkett, Chris Tremlett, and Sajid Mahmood. Tim Bresnan last played for England last August. Another surprise inclusion is Shaun Udal who has just reached at 40, but the spinner, who represented England in 4 tests, has got the reward of his excellent domestic form in twenty20 format. Another spinner in the squad is Samit Patel who missed the West Indies tour due to lack of fitness.

Here, I am giving the full list of 30-member preliminary squad of England for ICC World Twenty20 2009 from Cricinfo:

England squad:
Kevin Pietersen, Kabir Ali, James Anderson, Gareth Batty, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Stephen Davies, Joe Denly, James Foster, Andrew Flintoff, Stephen Harmison, Rob Key, Sajid Mahmood, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Eoin Morgan, Graham Napier, Samit Patel, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior, Adil Rashid, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, Shaun Udal, Chris Woakes, Luke Wright.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

India Holds 531-run Lead with 5 Wickets in Hands against New Zealand

At the end of the third day, it seems India is on the verge of another victory against host New Zealand as the visitors already have 531-run lead with 5 wickets remaining in the second innings. At stumps, India’s second innings total reached at 349 for 5 with Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni not out on 15 and 16 respectively. The star of the day is definitely Indian opener Gautam Gambhir who played a brilliant innings of 167 adorned with 16 boundaries and two over-boundaries. Dravid’s 60 and Laxman’s 61 also helped India towards an imposing total. O’Brien and Vettori took 2 wickets each, while Chris Martin picked up one wicket.

India has not declared their innings yet, though the current lead seems to be enough for the Indian bowlers to defend. Now, let us see when India will declare their second innings tomorrow.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Australia Defeated South Africa by 142 runs in the 1st ODI

In the first of the five-match ODI series, Australia thrashed South Africa by 141 runs at Kingsmead, Durban yesterday. Australia showed all out dominance in all three departments in the match. Winning the toss, Australia decided to bat first and scored 286 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. In reply, South Africa got all out only for 145 runs.

England did not have a very good start to their innings as they lost the wicket of opener Michael Clarke in the second over. Then Captain Ricky Ponting and opener Brad Haddin added 77 runs at a striker rate of 5.84 runs per over. Haddin scored 53 runs off just 60 balls hitting 6 boundaries and an over-boundary. Ponting became the first victim of Morne Morkel on 37. Highest 83 runs came from Michael Hussey who hit 6 boundaries and 2 over-boundaries.

Along with Ferguson Hussey added 53 runs for the fifth wicket which came to an end when Ferguson got out on 25. Hussey then shared a 67-run partnership with James Hopes for the sixth wicket. Hopes got out on 38, becoming the second victim of Morne Morkel another effective partnership with James Hopes. In the end, Hauritz chipped in with an 11-ball 20 that pushed Australia towards a challenging total of 286 losing 7 wickets.

Chasing a challenging target of 287, South Africa did not have start which they were looking for as they lost opener Hamish Amla only for 7. However, opener Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs shared 74 runs for the 2nd wicket with a striker rate of 6.16. Smith got out on 52, while Gibbs was dismissed for 33.

Following their dismissals, no South African batsmen could show enough resistance against Australian bowlers. Specially, off spinner Nathan Hauritz appeared with his top form and picked up 4 South African wickets. Mitchell Johnson and James Hopes got 2 wickets each, while Bracken and debutant pacer Ben Laughlin took one wicket each. For excellent batting performance of Michael Hussey, he was awarded the man of the match award.

Friday, April 3, 2009

ICC president David Morgan: International Cricket to be Back in Pakistan

ICC president David Morgan has recently put some hopes in the future of Pakistan cricket which is now badly hit by security concern of the country. Morgan expressed that international cricket would come back in Pakistan again, but not in the immediate future. However, he insists that the security condition of Pakistan must be improved before ICC would allow international teams to tour Pakistan. Mr. Morgan is hopeful that the condition would improve in Pakistan.

After the bloody terror attack on Sri Lankan team bus on 3 March near Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium, Pakistan cricket seems to have left in isolation in world cricket because it is pretty much clear that no international team would like to tour Pakistan very soon. Now that, ICC president has affirmed to provide all the supports to Pakistan, cricket fans and players of Pakistan can hold their hope high.

Related article:

Associated Press

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Andrew Symonds in Australian Squad for Twenty20 World Cup 2009

Selectors of Australian cricket team are going to announce the preliminary Australian squad for the twenty20 world cup due to take place in June in England. It is expected that Australian selectors would recall the star all rounder Andrew Symonds in the 30-member preliminary squad. Symonds is currently suspended by Cricket Australia (CA) on disciplinary ground. He was ruled out of the Australia’s tour of South Africa after calling New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum a "a lump of s***" during a radio interview. Following the incident, he publicly apologized to McCullum, but cricket Australia suggested him to undergo rehabilitation and change his behavior.

Andrew Symonds started making newspaper headlines for wrong reasons since last August when he went for fishing in stead of attending an important team meeting and the incident led CA to send him back to home from Darwin. Then he was found in a clash at a Brisbane pub last November. Moreover, he also suffered from a knee injury and had o undergo a surgery on his knee.

The good news for Symonds fans is that there has been a considerable prospect in his behavior of late. Though he is struggling with bat, his bowling has been very useful to his state team Queensland towards the end of the season. Now, if he is included in the 30-men preliminary squad for the twenty20 world cup, then there is a huge possibility that Symonds could make his come back into Australian team for the Pakistan series to be held in UAE at the end of this month.

Related article: