Monday, June 29, 2009

PCB Should not Blame World Cup Co-hosts

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has recently blamed three other world cup co-hosts India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for being stripped of its share of 14 world cup 2011 matches. Pakistan lost its world cup hosting right after the deadly terror attack on Sri Lankan team bus which left 6 policemen and a van driver dead last March during a test series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

PCB then sent a legal notice to ICC on this regard and proposed to host the 14 world cup matches in a neutral venue like United Arab Emirates. However, ICC did not accept that proposal, but ensured that it would give PCB the world cup hosting fee of US$10.5 million and Pakistan would have its participation in the central organizing committee of world cup tournament.

However, PCB chief Ijaz Butt said that it could have found out a solution of the venues for 14 matches as well as a suitable location for world cup secretariat which has recently been shifted from Lahore to Mumbai.

I think, it is really disappointing for PCB that they now allowed to host the world cup matches, but PCB should understand that the problem does not exist in any other three co-hosts. The problem relies in Pakistan and ICC is doing its best to ensure the highest possible security for the participating teams and cricket fans. So, naturally considering the current situation of Pakistan, ICC has taken the right decision. It is true that Pakistan is a cricket crazy nation and they have shown Pakistan is still a cricket powerhouse by winning the twenty20 world cup 2009. However, when it comes to security, ICC must ensure the safety of the players. I think, PCB should not blame its neighboring cricket control bodies. Rather, PCB should request Pakistan government to take some more initiatives in order to stop the terrorist activities so that the security condition of the country comes under control.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

England to Host Pakistan vs Australia Cricket Series in July 2010

England is going to organize 2 tests and 2 twenty20 internationals between Pakistan and Australia in July 2010. This is, in fact, a home series for Pakistan, but England will host it because Australia is unwilling to visit Pakistan due to security concern. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has also announced that England will take on Pakistan in a four-match test series, five-match ODI series and two-match Twenty20 series in August and September 2010.

Pakistan has been isolated as a cricket venue since the deadly terror attack on Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore last March. Since then, Pakistan is yet to host any international match yet and Pakistan has been stripped off its 14 world cup matches by ICC.

I think, it has been a right decision to organize the Pakistan-Australia series in England because Pakistan has a very big fan base in England. Moreover, English timing is also pretty much comfortable for the cricket fans in Pakistan. Here, it is notable that Pakistan faced Australia earlier this year in UAE and initially, UAE was also thought to be a possible for the next series between Pakistan and Australia.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shane Warne: Kevin Pietersen is Key for England in Ashes 2009

Former Australian legend Shane Warne believes that England can not retain Ashes without Kevin Pietersen. The English middle order batsman is currently suffering from an Achilles tendon injury which forced him out from England’s home ODI series against West Indies. Though Pietersen took part in twenty20 world cup 2009, he is now uncertain for the Ashes 2009 because he has not got over the injury fully.

An inspired England retained Ashes title in 2005 and Pietersen played a big role behind England’s Ashes triumph. However, England lost the title two years later in Australia in 2007. Now, England is determined to retain the Ashes title this year. So, I also think that Pietersen’s presence would be vital for England.

Related article:

FOX Sports

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chris Gayle Takes India Seriously ahead of ODI Series

West Indies captain Chris Gayle said that India would throw some challenge to the home against during the upcoming four-match ODI series which gets underway with the first ODI taking place on Friday. Gayle led West Indies to reach the semi final of twenty20 world cup 2009 recently, whereas India suffered a shocking elimination from the Super Eight stage in the same tournament.

Gayle thinks that India has some quality players and the team has enough experience in ODI. Moreover, the opening batsman also believes that India would be looking to beat West Indies in order to compensate for their disappointing show in the twenty20 world cup.

I also agree with Chris Gayle on this regard. India may have failed to live up to the expectation in twenty20, but the squad has some big hitters like Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir as well as some bowlers like Harbhajan Singh and Ishant Sharma. Though India is missing Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan due to injuries, I think, West Indies will face some strong challenge from India, despite the home advantage of the Caribbean side.

Related article:


Monday, June 22, 2009

Younis Khan Urged Cricket Community to Come to Pakistan

After lifting the twenty20 world cup 2009 title, Pakistan captain Younis Khan has asked other cricket playing nations to visit Pakistan where security concern has become a very big issue over the last few years. Pakistan’s deteriorating security condition got aggravated after the terror attack on Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore last March.

Younis Khan has also added that if Pakistan does not have home series then cricket would not develop in the country as young generation would not have the inspiration to play cricket. That is why, he requested other cricket team to tour Pakistan, even though he admitted the security condition of Pakistan is not good at this moment.

Related article:


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ramiz Raja: Terror Attack can not Kill Passion for Cricket

You already know that Sri Lanka and Pakistan are going to playing against each other in the twenty20 world cup 2009 in England tomorrow. There is no doubt, both the teams were not among the top favorites of the tournament, but it is interesting to see that both sides are now going to play in the tournament final. This is a big achievement for both Pakistan and Sri Lanka where cricket has been suffering from security concern over the last few years. Specially, Pakistan cricket has been badly hit by terrorism. In fact, Pakistan has been isolated by world cricket community as most of the cricket playing nations are unwilling to go to Pakistan on cricket tour.

A deadly terror attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on 3 March left seven Sri Lankan cricketers and their assistant coach injured, besides killing 8 security personnel in the attack. After the attack, International Cricket Council (ICC) decided not to host any cricket match in the country in the near future and has already taken away Pakistan’s world cup 2011 hosting status.

Now former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has said that it has been a big boost up for Pakistan and Sri Lanka as they are going to play in the final of twenty20 world cup 2009 because it shows that any terror attack or any kind of uncertain circumstances can not kill the passion that the cricket fans of both the countries hold. He also asked both captains of Younis Khan and Kumar Sangakkara to make strong comment on this regard to world community so that they do not leave the two countries alone.

Sri Lanka’s problem with Tamil Guerillas has been put an end recently and it seems that the condition could improve in the near future. However, there is no indication that the condition of Pakistan would improve in the near future. Rather, terror attack in the country still continues. So, I think, Pakistan government should take huge initiative in this regard so that the security condition in the country becomes normal which could lead ICC to allow Pakistan to organize world cup matches.

Related article:


Friday, June 19, 2009

Sir Allen Stanford Surrendered to FBI on Alleged Fraud Charge

Texas-based billionaire Sir Allen Stanford has recently surrendered to FBI in Fredericksburg, Virginia and is now facing criminal charges filed against him earlier. The business tycoon, who is involved in Caribbean cricket, is charged for allegedly selling certificates of deposit worth $8bn (£4.9bn) from his Stanford International Bank headquartered in Antigua. He is also facing a charge filed by US Securities and Exchange Commission. Stanford will now have to attend court hearing for the charged brought against him.

Allen Stanford is also known as a cricket entrepreneur who has bankrolled a multi-million dollar Twenty20 Cricket Tournament in West Indies. Last year, he invited England national cricket team to play a million-dollar Twenty20 match against the Caribbean champions. Every member of the winning team of the match received $1m as prize money.

Related article:

Sky News

Kolkata Knight Riders Looking for New Coach, after Sacking John Buchanan

Kolkata Knight Riders sacked their Australian coach John Buchanan and is now looking for a new coach. There are several names doing round the tables now as a possible new coach of IPL’s Kolkata franchise. Dev Whatmore, Michael Bevan and Mark Waugh are currently in the list of possible coach of Kolkata knight Riders.

Kolkata Knight Riders finished eighth among eight teams in IPL 2009 and could manage to win only 2 games out of 14 matches besides a tie. Naturally, team owner Shah Rukh Khan as well as Kolkata fans are very much upset and I am not surprised to see that Kolkata has sacked the former coach of Australian team.

John Buchanan created a controversy when he came up with his multiple captain theory prior to the IPL 2009. In the face of huge criticism, Buchanan later on did not apply his theory in the tournament, but stripped off veteran Sourav Ganguly from captaincy. Now, let us see who is going to become the new coach of Kolkata Knight Riders.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wasim Bari Appointed Interim Chief Selector of Pakistan Team

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed former captain Wasim Bari as interim chief of selectors for the upcoming tour to Sri Lanka. The news of Bari’s appointment has come after Abdul Qadir’s quit as chief selector earlier. He will work with other selectors to name the Pakistan squad for the tour during which Pakistan and Sri Lanka will face each other in three tests, five one-day internationals and only twenty20 international.

Former Pakistan legend Abdul Qadir stepped down as the chief selector blaming Coach Intikhab Alam, captain Younus Khan, and team manager Yawar Saeed for interfering in his job. He said that he did not have enough independence in carrying out his job successfully.

Related article:


Monday, June 15, 2009

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Abdul Razzaq to Replace Injured Yasir Arafat in Pakistan Squad

Pakistan all rounder Abdul Razzaq has been cleared by International Cricket Council (ICC) to join the Pakistan twenty20 squad in England as a replacement of pacer Yasir Arafat who has picked up an injury during Pakistan’s opening fixture against England. Abdul Razzaq is pretty much delighted at being called up so early in the Pakistan squad. Two years back, Razzaq joined ICL as a protest after being dropped from Pakistan squad for 2007 t20 world cup.

However, Razzaq now thinks that he has made a mistake by joining the unauthorized league and now hopes to revive his career. He is expectedly very much delighted at the news of ICC’s clearance over his participation in the twenty20 world cup 2009. Thus, Abdul Razzaq is going to become the first ICL player who is now going to start his international career.

Related article:


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Big TV Offering Interactive Cricket to Subscribers

Big TV, a direct-to-home (DTH) service provided by the Reliance ADAG, has made a deal with ESPN Star Sports by which they can now offer interactive cricket service to their viewers. The service is called ‘iCricket’. The subscribers of Big TV can now also enjoy twenty20 world cup 2009 matches with multi-view options by which they can switch between live action, extra camera or highlights.

The viewers are also left with an option to choose a language from four languages: English, Hindi, Tamil and Telegu. Sanjay Behl, CEO of Reliance Big TV, said that the company launched iCricket, having realized the mass appeal of cricket to the fans during twenty20 world cup.

Related article:

Indian television

Monday, June 8, 2009

More Bangladeshi Cricketers Quit ICL

You already know that former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar has quit ICL and joined the BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board) fold, followed by some other ICL players including Mosharraf Rubel, Manjurul Islam, Tapash Baishya and Mahbubul Karim. Now, reports out in the media suggest that seven more Bangladeshi players who were involved with ‘so called’ rebel cricket league submitted their NOC to BCB recently. These seven players are: Shahriar Nafees, Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Nazimuddin, Mohammad Sharif, Forhad Reza and Golam Mabud- who are now on their way to get the amnesty given by BCB. There are still 2 Bangladeshi players left in ICL: left arm spinner Mohammad Rafique and Dhiman Ghosh. It is expected that both of them would follow the footstep of 12 Bangladeshi players to seek amnesty to BCB.

Related article:

The Times of India

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Alexia Walker: New Cricket Director of Brighton College, Sussex

Alexia Walker, current member of England women’s ODI team and the captain of Sussex women’s team, has been appointed cricket director at Brighton College in Sussex. The 26-year-old Walker also leads England women’s academy team that is currently playing a 3-match series against Pakistan. By this appointment, Alexia Walker, will supervises the training and coaching programs at the college which has so far produced a number of national cricketers including Matt Prior, the wicketkeeper-batsman for England national team and Sussex county side, Clare Connor, former captain of England women’s team and chief of England women’s cricket, and the youngest ever cricketer of England women’s team, Holly Colvin.

So, you can see that Brighton College has a rich tradition of cricket and this is perhaps the only college in the country where girls are also allowed to play alongside boys. Alexia Walker is one of the most promising cricketers of England national women’s team and given his current role as a cricket director of Brighton College, it seems that she could pursue a coaching career after her retirement as a cricketer.

Related article:


Andrew Symonds: End of International Career?

Andrew Symonds has been the most controversial character in Australian cricket over the last one year due to various off-field issues. His series of disciplinary problems started last year when he missed a mandatory team meeting to go to fishing ahead of the series against Bangladesh that led the team management to send him home. After that he breached Cricket Australia code of conduct on a number of occasions. He was dropped from Australian squad for the South Africa tour after using some bad words for a New Zealand cricket during a radio interview when he was drunk.

After that he was advised to go through a rehabilitation program to get over his alcohol problem. After going through the program, he made a come back with the Pakistan series in UAE and eventually made it to the twenty20 world cup squad after retaining his central contract in May. Now that, he has been sent home after breaching the team rules once again, it seems that this is the end of Symonds’ international career which is really very impressive.

Cricket Australia Chief James Sutherland has also said that he is disappointed with Andrew and his central contract is now under review. Symonds reached home and told the media that he would appear with his statement later. Do you see any hope at the end of the tunnel for once influential all rounder of world cricket?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Andrew Symonds Ruled out of Twenty20 World Cup 2009 on Disciplinary Ground

Andrew Symonds is all set to be sent home from Australian squad currently in England to take part in the twenty20 world cup 2009 starting from 5 June. It has been reported that the all rounder, who has been involved in a number of off-field problems over the last over year, has once again breached the code of conduct of Cricket Australia. Symonds has just returned to the national team after a brief suspension period. It has been reported that Symonds has broken a number of rules regarding alcohol and others, and thus, being accused to breaching code of conduct. Cricket Australia (CA) chairman James Sutherland confirmed that news of Symonds’ breaching rules.

I am not sure whether this is the end of Andrew Symonds career, but one thing is for sure that he must change himself if he wants to extend his international career for few more years.

Related article:

The Guardian

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

FICA Asked ICC to Find a Window for IPL

It has been an issue whether international players would start preferring their IPL to their international duties in the coming future. Recently, Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) has asked International Cricket Council (ICC) to find a specific window for IPL in the cricket calendar.

Tim May, the chief executive of FICA, said that ICC should rework on its future tour programs so that players would not have to make a decision between international cricket and IPL-like tournaments. He also suggested ICC to keep more twenty20 tournaments in its calendar so that players remain on international cricket more in what, he thinks, would bring a healthy balance between commercial revenue and workload of players.

Well, I agree with Mr. May on the fact that ICC should organize more and more twenty20 games so that the shortest form of the game can get out of his exhibition image.

Related article:

The Statesman

Monday, June 1, 2009

Paul Collingwood: Kevin Pietersen to Play Major Role in Twenty20 World Cup 2009

England captain Paul Collingwood has said that key batsman Kevin Pietersen will be 100 percent fit to take part in the upcoming twenty20 world cup 2009 at the home. Pietersen is now recovering from Achilles heel injury and reports out in the media suggest uncertainty over his participation in the tournament.

However, Captain Paul Collingwood is confident that Kevin Pietersen will play a major role for England during twenty20 world cup 2009. England is already missing star all rounder Andrew Flintoff who failed to recover from knee surgery and has been ruled out of the tournament recently. So, getting the service of Kevin Pietersen is very important for England.

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