Toronto could host West Indies for Twenty20s

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Toronto could host a Twenty20 tournament involving Pakistan, West Indies and Canada in August. If plans go ahead, the teams will play some warm-up matches ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa the following month.

Contrary to other reports, however, nothing has been set in stone. A spokesman for the Canada board told Cricinfo there had been preliminary discussions with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). "The CCA is most certainly supportive of the proposed event," he said, "particularly as we believe the 20/20 format is ideal for the North American market which is geared to three-hour Major League Baseball games.

"But, as yet, nothing is finalised. The prime consideration is the securing of global television rights - which are not yet in place."

The CCA had held preliminary discussions with the WICB in the early part of 2007 and it is understood that the WICB has also been in contact with Pakistan's board about the same event.
The tournament would have many benefits, not least for West Indies and Pakistan on a playing level. Pakistan have only played two Twenty20 matches to date, while West Indies have only played one.

Canada haven't played any, nor are they in the World Cup, but they would benefit financially. Another plus for them is that cricket in North America would be promoted at the same time.


Imran won’t be able to keep Chennai date

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

KOLKATA: The Asian Cricket Council (ACC), who will organise a seminar in Chennai on the eve of two Afro-Asia Cup matches there next month, has ‘lost’ its star speaker and legendary cricketer — Imran Khan.

“There are too many things happening on political front in Pakistan and, so,
Imran has expressed his regrets for not participating in the seminar. We’re

ACC chief executive Syed Ashraful Huq said. The seminar, with `Leading Cricket’ as its theme, will be held on June 8.Huq said Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene and senior pro Shaun Pollock, a former South African captain, are “certain” to participate. Jayawardene is captaining Asia and there’s a good chance Pollock is going to be Graeme Smith’s (injured) replacement as South Africa captain.

“ICC President Percy Sonn’s death has come in way of a meeting involving
Africa’s selectors. We’ve been busy making arrangements for Saturday’s funeral
in Cape Town,”

is what somebody involved with selection process said.

A decision is expected in a day or two.

“Right now, there are plans for two Board chiefs (India’s Sharad Pawar and
Pakistan’s Dr Nasim Ashraf), too, to take part in the seminar,”

Huq added.

Besides a representative from women’s cricket, there could be a guest speaker from Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

Afro-Asia Cup gets underway in Bangalore on June 6. Edition No 1 was hosted by South Africa in August 2005.


Rixon considered for Pakistan role

Steve Rixon, the former Australia wicketkeeper, has been sounded out as a potential coach of Pakistan. However, Rixon said the unexplained death of Bob Woolmer had left him in doubt whether he wanted the job and he has not officially applied.

Pakistan's board was reportedly impressed by Rixon's successful stretch as New Zealand's coach from 1996 to 1999, and specifically his work with the captain Stephen Fleming. Rixon said whether he put in for the Pakistan position might depend on what police uncovered about Woolmer's death in Jamaica at the World Cup.

"They [Pakistan] have made contact with me, I have spoken to them,"

Rixon told .

"I haven't indicated whether I'm interested yet. I'm finding it extremely hard
to get over the fact Bob Woolmer is no longer with us, to be honest. I'd never
say never, but I'll be interested in the results of the inquiry."

As well as Pakistan, there are still senior coaching vacancies in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Without naming specific nations, Rixon confirmed he had

"spoken to a few different countries"

but had not committed to applying for any of the roles.

Rixon, who is based in Sydney, said coaching on the subcontinent would be a very different challenge, if he chose to pursue it.

"It's something that's not grabbing me and saying 'you've got to come and do

Rixon said of a potential move to Asia.

"But who knows? This interest might be the spark that gets me there."

Rixon spent two years at the helm of Surrey from 2004-05 and has also had two separate stints as the coach of New South Wales. He hoped to return to the international ranks as John Buchanan's replacement this year, although Australia instead chose Tim Nielsen.


Akram proposes fast-bowling fund

Wasim Akram has proposed setting up a fast-bowling fund as a way of continuing to contribute to Pakistan's fast-bowling future. Akram, along with Aaqib Javed and Mudassar Nazar, is currently overseeing a PCB-organised camp for the country's most promising fast bowlers and opening batsmen at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

The experience has already spurred him to consider broadening his role in the future. A more regular, involved position was all but ruled out given his media and business commitments, but he is keen to make some kind of contribution.

"It's too early to say right now about a permanent role as it depends on my

Akram told .

"I have media commitments and I'm away from Pakistan a lot. But I think whenever
I have time, a week or two off, I could come back and help out. "

"But my idea really is to set up a kind of fund, a Wasim Akram fast-bowling
fund. Depending on how much time I can give, instead of payments, the money can
go into this fund. From this, we can then send, say two bowlers and cover their
costs at the academy in Pakistan or an academy in Australia to hone their
fast-bowling talent. I have given the idea to the chairman and he liked it, so
it could be a regular thing."

Akram, regarded by many to be the best left-arm fast bowler ever and one of the best outright, has often offered informal, impromptu help to Indian and Pakistani fast bowlers, since he retired from the game in 2003. Often it has had telling effect, but this is his first official involvement of any kind and it came about on his own prompting.

"It just came up like that,"

he said.

"I think this much I owe to Pakistan cricket that when I have time and I am in
the country, I can work with some younger bowlers, give them some advice, some
help, pass on some things I learnt."


Shahryar denies making Inzamam a dictator

Shahryar Khan, former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has denied reports that he made Inzamam-ul-Haq a dictator while expressing disagreement over the findings by the Performance Evaluation Committee (PEC).

The PEC, formed by the PCB in order to dig into the World Cup debacle, released its report earlier this month and claimed that the former chairman had backed Inzamam during the Oval fiasco that made him a dictator and, in turn, led to Pakistan's poor performance in the World Cup.

"The PEC, in its proceedings, has discussed my tenure and criticised me, but its
claim that I made Inzamam a 'dictator' is absolutely wrong,"

Shaharyar told the daily Dawn.

"I am not saying Inzamam was an ideal captain but he was a better choice. He had
been performing well with the bat and as captain, too. There was not a single
true cricket lover, who could say two years ago to change Inzamam as captain
because he is a 'dictator' or more religious."

"I believe Inzamam was Pakistan's only reliable batsman during the critical
period as Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan improved later to strengthen the
middle order,"

he said. "There are some shortcomings in Inzamam but his collaboration with coach, the late Bob Woolmer, had lifted Pakistan from seventh to the third spot in world rankings.

"As a captain Inzamam has the right to make a demand to the PCB. But on many
occasions I did not accept his demands. For example he wanted to retain Moin
Khan in the team but we introduced Kamran Akmal and similarly the selectors had
called up Yasir Hameed from the last tour of India, though Inzamam did not agree
to that."

He dispelled the impression that he supported Inzamam, even after The Oval Test.

"After the Oval flop, I did not support Inzamam,"

Shahryar said. He also said that Inzamam was not only the team's leader but their spiritual head as well.

Shahryar resigned as PCB's chairman last year. He was under pressure due to the handling of The Oval forfeiture and following Younis's refusal to act as captain when Inzamam was unavailable for the Champions Trophy.


Gul likely to replace Vaas in Asia squad

Saturday, May 26, 2007

KARACHI: Pakistan medium pacer Umar Gul is in contention to feature in next month’s Afro-Asia Cup for Asia following Sri Lanka fast bowler Chaminda Vaas’s withdrawal from the competition to be played next month.

Gul, 24, was not even considered among the reserves for the 14-man Asia’s squad but is now likely to play in the Afro-Asia Cup because of the pull-out of the team’s two key pacers including Shoaib Akhtar.

“I personally believe that Umar Gul can be a good replacement for Vaas because
he is a good pacer and is in fine touch these days,”

said Mohsin Hassan Khan, a member of the selection committee that picked Asia’s earlier this month.

Mohsin, a former Pakistan Test opener, told ‘The News’ on Friday that the selectors will have to look for a pacer to replace Vaas because neither of the two remaining reserve players chosen for Asia’s one-day squad is a fast bowler.

“We had kept three standbys and one of them was Bangladesh’s fast bowler
Mashrafe Mortaza. But he has already replaced Shoaib Akhtar and now we will have
to look beyond the pool of players we have got for the Afro-Asia Cup to find
Vaas’s replacement,”

he explained.

Mohsin and three other selectors from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka chose Asia’s squad on May 11 in Dhaka.He said that the other two reserve players are Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi and young wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik from India.

“I believe on current form Afridi could have been a good choice but we need a
fast bowler to come in for Vaas,”

he added.

Vaas, Sri Lanka’s most successful fast bowler, withdrew from the Afro-Asia Cup just days after Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was dropped from Asia’s squad because of suspect fitness.

The news that Vaas has opted out of the event came from Kangadaran Mathivanan, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary, who said that the bowler, who is currently involved in county cricket with Middlesex, will not be able to play in the Afro-Asia Cup because of his county commitments.

Vaas joined Middlesex to play in the early part of the English season before he returns to Sri Lanka mid-June to play in the home series against Bangladesh.

Mohsin said that the exit of Shoaib and Vaas would weaken Asia’s pace attack.

“Shoaib and Vaas are among the world’s most experienced and accomplished fast
bowlers and there absence would be felt by Asia,”

he said.He said that either Gul or Indian pacer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth should replace Vaas.

“But the final decision would be made after a discussion among the selectors,”

he added.

Gul, who has taken 61 wickets from 14 Tests and has 39 ODI wickets from 30 games, is a key member of Pakistan’s pace attack.

Asia led by Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene would meet Africa in the Afro-Asia series which is due to get underway with a Twenty20 game on June 5 followed by a three-match ODI series in Bangalore on June 6 and in Chennai on June 9 and 10.


National team doesn’t need coach, says Afridi

Friday, May 25, 2007

KARACHI: Star all rounder of Pakistan cricket team Shahid Khan Afridi said that team does not need a coach, however, a fielding coach would play a better role for the team.

In an exclusive chat with News after his arrival from Abu Dhabi, Afridi said that Shoaib Malik delivered impressive performance as a captain. He praised Malik for his treatment with senior players.

Afridi said that he scored 32 runs in an over in the first match of the series in contrast of his thinking to play careful cricket.


‘Players should control their aggression’

KARACHI: Pakistani players have been asked to control their aggression following a warning handed out to the team’s vice-captain Mohammad Asif during the one-day series against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi earlier this week.

Team manager Talat Ali told this correspondent on Thursday that Asif and all his teammates have been told to mind their conduct on and off the field because they are Pakistan’s ambassador

.“All the players know that there is an ICC Code of Conduct, we have just
reminded them that it exists,”

Talat said.

“Our players are all mostly well-behaved and disciplined but even such minor
incident like a warning for Asif can and should be avoided in the future,”

added the former Test cricketer.

Asif received an official reprimand for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during his Pakistan’s second ODI against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The offence related to the medium pacer’s reaction when he dismissed Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene. Asif was found guilty of conduct contrary to the spirit of the game by ICC match referee Javagal Srinath. The charge was laid by on-field umpires Russell Tiffin and Suresh Shastri and third official Mark Benson.

Talat said that Asif committed the offence in the heat of the moment and meant no harm.

“It was a case of a fast bowler getting a bit too aggressive,”

he said.

“Jayawardene didn’t even protest. It were the umpires who reported the incident
to the match referee,”

he added.

Talat said that an aggressive approach is helpful for players but was quick to add that they should be aware of their limits.

“I believe the best show of aggression from a bowler is a wicket-taking delivery
and Asif knows that art,”

he remarked.

Asif is currently Pakistan’s key bowler in the absence of pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar. The pacer was rewarded for a spate of impressive performances, in 2006 and during the tour of South Africa this year, earlier this month when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed him as the vice-captain for the three-match series against Sri Lanka played in Abu Dhabi from May 18-22.


PCB to have national coach shortlist by next week

KARACHI: National cricket officials would meet in Lahore next week to shortlist candidates for the post of national coach, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said on Thursday.

Zakir Khan, PCB’s Director of Cricket Operations, told this correspondent that a committee formed by the PCB to help it out in the appointment of a new national coach would meet in ‘about a week’s time’ to discuss the appointment of a new coach.

“We have received several applications for the job and the committee appointed
by the Board to make recommendations over the appointment of a new coach will
meet next week to discuss the issue,”

Zakir said.Zakir is a member of a three-man committee appointed by the PCB to identify a best possible coach for Pakistan. Former Test cricketers Mudassar Nazar, currently serving as the head of the National Cricket Academy, and Imtiaz Ahmed are the other members.

Pakistan are on the lookout for a new coach after losing Bob Woolmer in March. Woolmer, 58, was found dead in his hotel room in Kingston, Jamaica on March 18 and local Police later said that he was murdered.The tragic incident occurred less than 24 hours after Pakistan were knocked out of the World Cup following a shock defeat against minnows Ireland.

The PCB claims it has carried out a major shake-up by bringing in a new selection committee and replacing previous captain Inzamam-ul-Haq with young all-rounder Shoaib Malik as the new skipper.

Now the Board is making efforts to find Woolmer’s replacement but has so far been snubbed by top coaches like Bangladesh’s Dav Whatmore and Sri Lanka’s outgoing coach Tom Moody.

But Zakir said that PCB has received applications from several good coaches from countries like Australia and England and was confident that Pakistan will have a solid coach by the end of next month.

He said that the PCB would not extend the May 15 deadline for receiving applications from coaches.

To a question, Zakir said that Pakistan has far not received any invitation from Abu Dhabi cricket officials to participate in a proposed one-day tournament in 2008.

“So far there has been no such invitation,”

he said adding that Pakistan would consider any such proposal only if their players are free of any international or domestic commitments during the period when the tournament will take place. Pakistan recently featured in a three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi.

He said that the PCB is focusing on its domestic competitions and wants the country’s leading players to feature in them.

“We want to upgrade the quality of our first-class events and one way to do it
is by assuring that our top players compete in them.”


Kaneria makes availability for India match

Thursday, May 24, 2007

KARACHI: Pakistan’s ace spinner Danish Kaneria has said he wants to play (the one-day match) against arch-rivals India in Scotland later this summer.

“I am making myself available for the match and looking forward to play against
India as representing Pakistan has always been by first priority,”

Kaneria said in an interview with a UK-based website on Wednesday.

Pakistan and India are to play a special one-day match in Glasgow on July 3 at the invitation of Prince of Wales. It is hoped that the game will raise up to £2.5 million for charities in the UK and sub-continent.

Kaneria, who is representing Essex in the ongoing county season in England, said he was in contact with the selectors to show his availability for the July fixture.

The champion leg-spinner said he was enjoying the county season taking wickets for his outfit which he believes has given him great respite after the World Cup disappointment in the West Indies.

He also congratulated his teammates for registering a 2-1 series win over Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi.

“I may be a fair distance from my country here at Essex but I was still
delighted to see the boys beat Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi and I want to congratulate
the team for doing so well,”

he expressed.

Kaneria also congratulated new skipper Shoaib Malik for leading the team to victory in his first series as captain saying the selectors seem to have got things right with their selection.


Series win a turning point: Talat Ali

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates: Pakistan assistant coach and team manager Talat Ali said their 2-1 one-day series triumph over World Cup finalists Sri Lanka here will be a turning point in Pakistan cricket.

The former Test batsman, who is at the helm of team in absence of a full-time coach, said,

"Winning the first two matches and series here against Sri Lanka is a turning
point and for the good of Pakistan cricket.”

After the disastrous show of Pakistan in the World Cup, he believes captain Shoaib Malik and company has done hard work to achieve positive result here.“

The team had under-performed and was down. However, the boys have been working
very, very hard, both during the short camp as well as here on the tour,”

Talat told Gulf News.

Pakistan won the first One-day International (ODI) by five wickets, series-clinching second by 98 runs while Sri Lanka won the third match by 115 runs.


Don’t take on officials, rivals: Inzi

KARACHI: Concerned about Pakistani players getting frequent reprimands for their on-field conduct, former skipper Inzamam-ul Haq has advised his teammates to avoid getting into skirmishes with match officials and rival cricketers.

Referring to the reprimand issued to pacer Mohammad Asif during the recent one-day series against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, Inzamam said players should be very cautious in their behaviour on the field.

“Nowadays, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is very strict about
enforcing its Code of Conduct. And players, specially the senior ones, should
avoid getting into minor skirmishes on the field as if they are suspended or
banned it hurts them and the team in future matches,”

Inzamam said

.“We suffered because of this in the World Cup when Shahid Afridi was
unavailable for two crucial games. I myself have been banned a number of times
in the past and it didn’t do the team any good. The players must show patience
and tolerance on the field,”

he added.

Asif had rushed at Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene after bowling him out in the second match of the just-concluded one-day series on Sunday.


Kaneria hits career’s first fifty

NOTTINGHAM, England: Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, with almost no pretentions as a batsman, scored his first-class career’s first half-century — in his 113th such match — on Wednesday, when he contributed a brilliant knock of 65 batting at number nine, for Essex against Nottinghamshire on the opening day of an English County Championship Division Two match here at Trent Bridge. Essex were all out for 317 runs in 73.4 overs, after having been six down for a mere 94 runs at one stage. The lower order boosted the total by 223 runs. The highest score was made by James Middlebrook (81) with Graham Napier chipping in with 40. Kaneria’s 65 came off just 55 balls with 10 fours and a six, his eighth-wicket stand with Middlebrook realising 89 runs.


SPB overwhelm PMS in Inter-Bank tournament

KARACHI: Imran Rizvi excelled with the bat as Saudi Pak Bank (SPB) trounced PMS by 117 runs in the Daniyal Inter-Bank Cricket Cup here on Tuesday at the UBL Sports Complex Ground. Imran Rizvi hit an explosive knock of 58, laced with ten fours as SPB posted 236 runs in the stipulated 25 overs while batting first. Ubaid Rabnawaz with 49 runs was the other notable scorer. Later, the winners restricted their opponents to only 119 in 23.4 overs to secure a massive triumph. Sheraz Asghar with 45 runs was the only batsman from PMS to offer any resistance. Mohammad Salim snapped three while Vijay Hazare, Syed Zahad and Ali Sani took two wickets apiece for SPB.


Cric-Pakistan condoles on death of Faisal Iqbal's father

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Management of www.Cric-Pakistan.blogspot.com express their deep sorrow on the sad demise of Test Cricketer Faisal Iqbal’s father. The deceased was also the brother in law of Javed Miandad. Cric-Pakistan fully shares the family’s grief and prays that his soul rests in peace.

May Allah Almighty give the family strength to bear this huge loss.


Shoaib Malik regrets for not making a clean sweep in series

ABU DHABI: Pakistan Cricket team captain Shoaib Malik has said that he was sorry for not having made a clean sweep in the series against Sri Lanka.

Talking in Geo News program ‘Captain Corner’, the young all-rounder and the new captain of the team told that the third match of the series should have been played in a way, as if playing the maiden match. He regretted for not making a sweep in the series.

Shoaib Malik said that the decision of making changes in the team was taken after consultations with everyone, while the objective was to test the talents of the players.


Sri Lanka earn consolation victory in 3rd ODI against Pakistan, 22 May 2007

Sri Lanka won the third and final match of the One-Day International series against Pakistan by 115 runs in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to claim a consolation victory.

The 2007 World Cup finalist had already lost the Warid Cup series after being defeated by Pakistan in the first two matches.

Batting first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka put up 296/9 from their 50 overs with skipper Mahela Jayawardene top-scoring with 83.

In reply Pakistan were never in the hunt and were bowled out for 181 in the 43rd over.

For the Lankans, Chamara Silva made 64 adding 124 runs with his skipper to steady the innings after Pakistan pacer Iftikhar Anjum had rattled them with three quick wickets.

For the Sri Lanka, Dilhara Fernando was the bowling hero claiming three wickets for 20 runs as Pakistan lost their way.

Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik was the only saving grace scoring 79 not out from 85 balls, including four sixes and four fours.

They were dealt an early jolt as opener Salman Butt lost his wicket to Farveez Maharoof in the third over. Pakistan fought back with Mohammad Hafeez and Yasir Hameed sharing a partnership of 56, but Hafeez was run out for 34.

Sri Lanka then tore into the Pakistani batting as they lost their next four wickets in the space of nine runs, the Pakistanis needing a mountain to climb.

Earlier, Jayawardene and Silva slammed half-centuries to lead their charge.

Having lost the series 0-2 already, Sri Lanka’s regular openers Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya got them off to a strong start.

Pakistan, resting their premier players after pocketing the series, got their first breakthrough in the 11th over as Rao Iftikhar Anjum rattled Jayasuriya’s defences for 19.

Iftikhar Anjum was in the thick of the action in Pakistan’s next two dismissals as well, as he removed Tharanga for a quickfire 40 from 37 balls, and then Chamara Kapugedera for 15 with the Lankan score on 101 for three.

But Jayawardene and Silva took over the reins and built momentum to their tally with some aggressive strokeplay.

Jayawardene struck a typically fluent 83 from just 81 balls including seven fours and two sixes. Silva added 64 to the Sri Lankan score before Tillekaratne Dilshan crashed 28 runs from 14 balls to propel their score to 296.Pakistan rested all-rounders Shahid Afridi for the game after his match-winning efforts in both the earlier games, and Abdul Razzaq, while bowlers Umar Gul and Mohammad Sami, and batsman Imran Nazit, too, warmed the bench. Left-arm spinner Fawad Alam, left-arm medium pacer Najah Shah, Mohammad Hafeez and Rao Iftikhar Anjum made the cut.

Sri Lanka, playing under Tom Moody for the last time, brought back Sanath Jayasuriya and Lasith Malinga, and spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi got his first game of the series.


Waseem Akram to train players in camp from May 25

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

LAHORE: Former captain and star fast bowler Waseem Akram will once again train playersin Special Coacing Camp here from May 25.

NCA director Mudassar Nazr told Geo News that Akram did not leave the camp and held training sessions for three days as per schedule here in Gaddafi Stadium. However, he was not scheduled to train players for five days owing to his former committment, but he will re-join it from May 25 to July 4.

Now the camp will include eight Pakistan team players, who are representing the national squad in Abu Dhabi series, he said.


Pakistan to play Scotland in July

Pakistan will play a full ODI against Scotland at Edinburgh on July 1 as preparation for their Friendship Cup one-dayer against India two days later.

"It's fantastic news for the public to have two such games in the same week,"

Scotland coach Peter Drinnen told The Scotsman. "It's great for Cricket Scotland to attract such a fixture as India v Pakistan, and it's tremendous for our players to get another game against a full member nation.

"We have a big Asian population who follow the game very closely, and to have
both those teams in town at the same time would be a major, significant gain for
any country. It will certainly raise the profile of cricket in Scotland yet
again, after all the strides we have taken, and it will be tremendous if it
attracts more kids to the game, whether Asian or not."


Pakistan's Second ODI in Picturial view Vs S.L in Abu Dhabi, 20th May 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007


Afridi bowls Pakistan to series win

Try as Sri Lanka might, keeping Shahid Afridi from tinkering with matches is proving beyond them currently. Having laughed, and walloped, in the face of a taut game two nights ago, Afridi conjured up another opportune intervention to lead Pakistan to a 98-run win and a series triumph at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Afridi's bowling has kept his place in the team in recent months. The leg-spin is more pick n' mix than mystical, but its effectiveness is in little doubt. Shoaib Malik knew it when he shunned the third powerplay and brought him on as early as the 17th over.

He had little choice, for Sri Lanka were picking their way delightfully into a daunting 314-run target. Their openers had set the tone, in a wonderfully free-spirited, attacking opening. Mohammaf Asif and Mohammad Sami attacked in contrasting manner, Chamara Kapugedera and Upul Tharanga responded in kind. By the fifth over, Tharanga was putting away Asif for three fours, of which the last - a punch down the ground - was the pick.

Two wickets fell, whereupon began the real game. Outside Australia, there cannot currently be a more assured presence at the crease than Mahela Jayawardene. If Pakistan needed proof, he soon gave it to them. Having already clipped Sami square, he pulled Umar Gul so elegantly that the resulting gargantuan six seemed too uncouth a result for it. Tharanaga kept up, driving Asif relentlessly; in the 15th over, a fifty union came up, as well as, staggeringly, the 100.

It was then that Afridi's itchy fingers clicked. Tharanga fell in his second over and almost every delivery asked a question different from the last. Some bounced, some spun more, some went the other way, some had more hustle. Malik, who had come on himself, ensured that runs dried up.

Both went through their ten overs unchanged, Afridi adding Chamara Silva and Prasanna Jayawardene to his tally. The latter, dismissed one over after Malik trapped Tillakaratne Dilshan, effectively ended the match. Jayawardene, the skipper, refused to forego his grace under fire but when he fell at the start of the third Powerplay, with him went the series.

As with the chase, so with the fielding: Sri Lanka were well in at various stages only to give it away. Having started by resting Lasith Malinga and Sanath Jayasuriya, the World Cup finalists didn't help their cause.

An attack more notable for who wasn't there rather than who was thus presented Pakistan's batting with plentiful gifts. Salman Butt and Yasir Hameed took advantage, with a blazing sun and a no-frills track to help, to post a pair of pretty fifties.

Ruchira Perera in particular seemed to have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed: left-arm and of indeterminate pace he may be, Chaminda Vaas he isn't. The no-ball to begin the innings was careless, the two leg-side half-volleys that Butt clipped through square leg were worse.

It was a recurring leitmotif in those first overs, Perera honing in on Butt's shins and toes, the batsman honing in on the square leg hoarding. Dilhara Fernando was quicker, but no better. Though he sent back Imran Nazir early, the start had been given away.

Butt and Hameed slipped into a delicious groove, their timing not betraying lengthy absences. Not a slog was seen during the duo's 98-run partnership, as befits batsmen of such poise, yet they still went at nearly a run a ball. Drives, angled bats, flicks, punches all slipped past fielders on the surface rather than the air, Butt bringing up an important fifty - his first in 15 months - inevitably putting Perera away.

Sri Lanka then clawed back in: Farvez Maharoof had already brought in some discipline but Malinga Bandara's arrival gave his side a chance. That 32-run over actually defaced a decent spell and so it showed here; Hameed was troubled then and was troubled now. Upon reaching fifty, he immediately chipped a lame drive back.

Two more Bandara overs later, bravely flighted much of it, Butt did likewise. Malik, keen to impose, succeeded in a dangerous dance down the pitch once, but succumbed in Bandara's next over striving for an encore.

Dilshan helped out, a spell typifying what modern ODI offspin bowling has become: flat, speared in, little turn and hardly time to blink between balls. Boundaries vanished, runs threatened to and wickets fell just when they needn't have.

Sri Lanka had hopes of restricting Pakistan to under 300 then, but four dropped catches and one poor over from Maharoof spoiled it. Ultimately, as they squandered a good start to Afridi, it mattered not.


Referee reserves decision on misconduct charge against Asif

ABU DHABI: Match referee Srinath has reserved decision against Pakistan fast bowler Muhammad Asif for inappropriate conduct in the second one day international against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi.

Asif has been charged of improper behaviour while appealing against the Sri Lankan Captain Mahela Jaywardane.

The umpires referred the matter to match referee India’s Javgal Srinath. The referee had called Muhammad Asif for hearing on Monday.

Asif appeared before the referee along with team manager Talat Ali and recorded his statement.

The referee has reserved decision on the issue till Tuesday (tomorrow).


Younis stays away from Pakistan cricket

KARACHI: Pakistan’s senior batsman, Younis Khan, is to play for English county Yorkshire until the end of September.

Younis said on Friday that he was committed to Yorkshire until September 23 and was unlikely to represent his country in this period.
“I am not sure about my availability for Pakistan during this period. But after
September I am always willing to play for my country,”
he said.

Younis refused to accept the Pakistan captaincy after the World Cup when Inzamam-ul-Haq retired from One-day Internationals (ODIs) and stepped down from the captaincy.


Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in First ODI by 5 wickets

Saturday, May 19, 2007

ABU DHABI: Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the 1st ODI here on Friday after a superb 73 off just 34 balls from Shahid Afridi.

He even managed to hit 32 off just one over for the second highest number of runs scored in an over, to convert what could have been a tough match into an easy victory with eight overs to spare.

Earlier, a half-century from Farvez Maharoof had helped put Sri Lanka on a final total of 235 for nine in the opening innings at the packed, Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Pakistan responded with half-centuries from both Kamran Akmal (51 no) and Shahid Afridi (73 no) on their way to 239 for five after just 42 overs.

Umar Gul had been the best bowler for Pakistan with three wickets though he managed to concede 14 runs on the final over as Maharoof went on his way to his unbeaten, 54-ball 69.

Shoaib Malik, captaining Pakistan for the first time, saw his side take the ascendancy early on as Sri Lanka were reduced to 103 for five after 26 overs.

The captain had had a good game, although he lost the toss and Sri Lanka chose to bat first.

Sri Lanka, battinf after winning the toss, scored 235 for nine in the allotted 50 overs. Pakistani seamers gave them a tough time as the wickets were falling at regular intervals. However, Chamara Silva batted with responsibility to score 47 from 67 balls with six fours.

Later, Mahroof changed the whole complexion of the game. Batting at number eight, he smashed nine fours and a huge six for his aggressive 69 off 54 balls. He reached his second ODI fifty in 46 balls. In the 50th over, bowled by Umar Gul, Maharoof plundered 14 runs with the help of one six and two fours.

Umar Gul was the most successful bowler from Pakistan with three wickets for 61 runs in 10 overs. Other pace bowlers, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Sami and Abdul Razzaq took one wicket each. Three Sri Lankan batsmen were run out.


Pakistan's First ODI in Picturial view Vs S.L in Abu Dhabi, 18th May 2007

Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal celebrate the win, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi, May 18, 2007

Kamran Akmal sweeps during his fifty, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi, May 18, 2007

Shahid Afridi winds up to free his arms, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi, May 18, 2007

Shahid Afridi blasts one of his four sixes during his 34-ball 73, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi, May 18, 2007

Shoaib Malik marshals his troops in his first game as captain, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi, May 18, 2007

Umar Gul is delighted after dismissing Mahela Jayawardene, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi, May 18, 2007

Shoaib Malik shows his delight as Mohammad Asif strikes, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi, May 18, 2007

Kamran Akmal whips off the bails to run out Upul Tharanga, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi, May 18, 2007


Younis Khan ‘available’ for T20 World Cup, SA series

Thursday, May 17, 2007

KARACHI: Former Pakistan vice-captain Younis Khan has confirmed his availability for the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa and a home series against the Proteas later this year, ‘The News’ learnt here on Wednesday, writes Khalid Hussain.

According to well-placed sources, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official recently contacted the experienced batsman, who is currently in England, to talk to him about his future with the national team.

Younis assured the official that he was looking forward to making a comeback in the Pakistan squad at the end of the English County season after this summer. The Mardan-born player is currently playing for Yorkshire.Younis, who has scored 4291 runs from 53 Tests and 3988 runs from 151 ODIs, dropped a bombshell last month when he turned down a PCB offer to take over as the Pakistan captain following the resignation of former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Younis said that he was unable to cope with the stress which he believed was a part and parcel of the job.It is, however, an open secret that Younis, who was groomed by Pakistan as their long-term future captain during Inzamam’s reign, had backed out following fears that some of the team’s senior players would gang up against him.

Younis, 29, signed a contract with Yorkshire and later made himself unavailable for a three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka to be played in Abu Dhabi from May 18-22. There was some speculation that Younis opted to stay away from the series because he was unhappy with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s move to appoint young all-rounder Shoaib Malik as the new Pakistan captain.

Whatever the reasons, his decision to skip the series raised doubts about his place in the Pakistan team which is why the Pakistan Cricket Board official approached him to discuss the player’s future plans.Sources say that Younis assured the official that he would be available for Pakistan’s next international assignment — the inaugural Twenty20 Cup in South Africa to be held in September.“Younis said that he wants to be a part of the Pakistan team for the Twenty20 World Cup and also for the home series against the South Africans in September-October,” said one source.

The official also asked him about his reasons for turning down the captaincy offer but Younis refrained from answering to the query, said the source.

However, Younis assured the official that he would have no problems playing under Shoaib Malik.In Inzamam’s absence, Younis led Pakistan in several matches but after an impressice debut as captain in 2005, his last such assignment — the 2006 Champions Trophy in India — ended in disaster for Pakistan.

By refusing to lead Pakistan, Younis has fallen out of favour with the top Pakistan Cricket Board officials but the fact that he is currently among the country’s most prolific batsmen makes him a player which they cannot afford to lose.

He is currently one of the best run-getters in this county season with a series of impressive knocks for Yorkshire including a match double of a hundred and a double ton.


Inzamam’s attitude authoritarian in World Cup - PEC report

LAHORE: The Peformance Evaluation Committee (PEC) has submitted its report on investigation of Pakistan’s debacle in the Cricket World Cup tournament.

During a press conference at a local hotel of Lahore, committee chief Ejaz Butt, presenting the report before the media said that Inzamam-ul-Haq’s attitude in the World Cup was violent and authoritarian. He suggested Inzamam-ul-Haq to leave cricket of all types.

He said that there was lack of leadership seen in the match against Ireland.

Ejaz Butt said that the management ‘s failure was the basic reason of Pakistan’s defeat.

He said that Pakistan team does not need any full-time coach. For avoiding such defeats in future. We should work for a better infrastructure.

He further said that the selection committee was unable to do its work during the World Cup and Inzamam himself took every decision.


Fielding would play key role in Abu Dhabi series: Malik

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

LAHORE: Captain of Pakistan cricket team Shoaib Malik said that all players are completely fit with high morale.

Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday at the end of training camp held at Gaddafi Stadium, Shoaib said that team would give its best possible performance against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi series whereas fielding would play a key role in the series..

Absence of coach had created some problems at the start of the camp but with the cooperation of senior players, Manager Talat Ali supervised the camp in a professional manner. Waism Akram’s tips benefited players during the camp, he added.

Pakistan team Manager Talat Ali said that players including Vice Captain Muhammad Asif are completely fit. He termed the upcoming series as important one for Pakistan.

During the camp, players put extra efforts in fielding and fitness departments and team would display better performance in these two departments, he added.


'I am not nervous at all' - Shoaib Malik

Shoaib Malik, Pakistan captain, denied he would be nervous as he tries to rebuild his beleaguered side after a disastrous World Cup.

Malik spoke ahead of Pakistan's departure on Wednesday night for Abu Dhabi for a three-match one-day international series against Sri Lanka.

"I am not nervous at all,"

Malik said. "I know the season ahead is difficult but I will live up to the confidence placed in me by the Pakistan Cricket Board and the fans. I am confident that all the players will work hard to put the team back on a winning track and forget what happened in the World Cup," added Malik, who has played 18 Tests and 137 one-dayers.

The games against Sri Lanka on May 18, 20 and 22 are Pakistan's first assignment since crashing out in the first round of the World Cup in March after losing to minnows Ireland. Coach Bob Woolmer was also found dead at the team hotel in Jamaica the day after the defeat.

Jamaican police insist he was murdered despite reports that Woolmer died of a heart attack. Pakistan's humiliating exit forced burly Inzamam-ul-Haq to relinquish the captaincy and quit one-day cricket. Malik replaced Inzamam as captain after senior player Younis Khan refused to take over.

Pakistan have yet to find a replacement for Woolmer and manager Talat Ali, a former Test opener, will supervise the coaching during the Abu Dhabi series. The 25-year-old Malik said Pakistan, the 1992 World Cup champions, were determined to forget the last edition of the tournament.

"Whatever happened in the past is now past and the best thing about this current
team is that all the senior players are very co-operative and once we win the
morale of the team will go up,"

he said.

Malik admitted that Pakistan would have to be on top form to win against Sri Lanka, who lost to Australia in a farcical World Cup final.

"Sri Lanka are a formidable team and even without [Muthiah] Muralitharan,
[Chaminda] Vaas and [Kumar] Sangakkara [all not in Sri Lanka team due to their
county commitments] we will have to be at our best to beat them,"

he said. Pakistan would also be tested by their rigorous coming season, he said.

"We have a tough season ahead in which we face South Africa, India and Australia
so we must shape up quickly and all the players are experienced and know what it
takes to become world's best side,"

said Malik.

Pakistan feature in the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September before hosting South Africa in October. They tour India in November-December and then host Australia early next year.


Claims grow that Woolmer was not murdered

A report in today's London Times has backed claims at the weekend that a Home Office pathologist has concluded Bob Woolmer died of natural causes and was not murdered.
Reports from the post-mortem, photographs and other material have been examined by Dr Nat Carey, the pathologist who examined the bodies in the Soham murder case.

The original post-mortem, carried out in Jamaica, decided that strangulation was possible because a bone on Woolmer's neck had been broken.

Police are reported to be waiting for the results of a toxicology report after traces of a herbicide were found in Woolmer's body. The chemical is sometimes used on cricket pitches as a weedkiller, and one theory is that he might have accidentally ingested it. The report will show if the level of the toxin were suspiciously high or whether they could have built up over a period of time.

The Times noted that the herbicide can cause sickness and diarrhea, both of which Woolmer suffered on the night he died. The broken bone could have been the result of a fall as he collapsed in his hotel bathroom.

The report also claimed that the possibility that he was attacked by a disgruntled fan or player have been ruled out.

There were also criticisms of the handling of the investigation by the Jamaica police, with delays in retrieving and examining the CCTV, a failure to take swabs from Woolmer's hands and body, and the fact that the body was embalmed within hours of the post mortem.

The Jamaica Gleaner published a hard-hitting editorial on Tuesday in which the local police were openly slammed. "The now-it-is-now-it-isn't spectacle being played out in the international media over Woolmer's death must be particularly upsetting to his family and makes Jamaica's constabulary appear a bunch of incompetent boobs. It couldn't hurt the investigation, we feel, to publish the pathology report so as to clear the air. There should also be some official statement why the scheduled coroner's inquest appears to have been postponed indefinitely."


Shoaib Akhtar available for Afro-Asia Cup

Shoaib Akhtar, the Pakistan fast bowler, is available for the Afro-Asia Cup to be held in Bangalore and Chennai in June.

Akhtar was thinking of opting out of the tournament, which comprises three ODIs and a Twenty20, because of family commitments but announced his availability after consulting his doctors and family members.

"I am available and I am keen to play and do well,"

Akhtar told PTI.

"The series is a good platform for me to make a strong comeback."

He said that he had recovered from his knee injury and a slight hamstring problem.

"I am fit now and I have also been consulting with Wasim Akram and Imran Khan on
how best to preserve myself and keep myself in top shape for future assignments.
They have been of great help."

Akhtar was one of three Pakistanis, the other two being Mohammad Yousuf and Mohammad Asif, to be included in the Asia squad for the Afro-Asia Cup.


Wasim Akram & Aaqib Javed to supervise Pakistan Pace

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wasim Akram explains the finer points of fast bowling to Umar Gul during a net session in Lahore, May 13, 2007

Wasim Akram observes as Mohammad Sami runs in to bowl at the nets in Lahore, May 13, 2007

Najaf Shah charges in under the watchful eyes of Wasim Akram, May 13, 2007


Shoaib Akhtar in doubt for Afro-Asia Cup

Shoaib Akhtar, the Pakistan fast bowler, is unlikely to take part in the Afro-Asia Cup in India next month, citing personal commitments. He added that he needs more time to recover fully from his knee injury, which ruled him out of the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi later this month.

"I have some personal commitments in June, so it is unlikely that I will play,
although these are international matches,"

Shoaib was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"I have informed the Pakistan Cricket Board about this."

Shoaib was included in the Asian one-day squad for the Afro Asia Cup earlier this week after he told ten days before the squad was announced that he was confident of recovering in time. However, he later stated that he needed more time to get his rhythm back and was hopeful of playing in the one-off Twenty20 international against the Africa XI which precedes the three-match series.

"I have offered to play the Twenty20 match instead as it will give me a chance
to bowl a few overs in competitive conditions,''

he was quoted by PTI.

"I am fit but I want to be super fit and make a permanent return to
international cricket.''


Akram to supervise camp from May 16

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A special 19-day camp for fast bowlers and opening batsmen will be held at the National Cricket Academy from May 16th onwards, under the auspices, among others of fast bowling champion Wasim Akram.
Twenty-two of the country's leading fast bowlers, including the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Sami, will attend the camp as well as 13 opening batsmen, including Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Nazir.
Aaqib Javed, former Test fast bowler and chief coach of the academies, will work with Akram as well as Mudassar Nazar, the former Test opener and current director, game development.
Eight players taking part in the ODI series in Abu Dhabi against Sri Lanka will join the camp from May 25th onwards.

Fast bowlers to attend: Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Rao Iftikhar, Najaf Shah, Abdul Rauf, Mohammad Irshad, Mohammad Khalil, Junaid Zia, Uzair-ul-Haq, Anwar Ali, Kashif Daud, Shakil-ur-Rehman, Muhammad Amir, Rahat Ullah, Akhtar Ayub, Jamshed Ahmed, Farhan Ayub, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanveer, Mohammad Junaid Khan

Opening batsmen to attend: Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Khurram Manzoor, Babar Naeem, Khalid Latif, Shan Masood, Agha Sabir, Wajid Ali, Nasir Jamshed , Ahmed Shahzad, Asif Zakir


Asia Cup to be held in Pakistan next year

Asia Cup will be next held in Pakistan from April 17 to May 3 next year after a gap of two years, according to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). The tournament was scheduled to be held in 2006 but was postponed due to an already-packed international schedule for the four Test playing nations.
"We could not hold the Cup in 2006 as the international calendar was packed. None of the Test playing teams had the time to squeeze in the tourney," said Ashraful Huq, chief executive of the ACC.
Referring to the 2010 Asian Games to be held in China, where Twenty20 cricket will be a part of it, Huq pointed out ACC's efforts to induct China into its fold. "The biggest job at hand is to get China to play cricket."
There would be eight teams, the four Test playing nations India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka - as also four qualifiers from the continent.


Selector files complaint against Imran Farhat

Friday, May 11, 2007

Salahuddin Ahmed, the chief selector of the PCB, has filed an official complaint against Imran Farhat, after the opener dissented at being left out of the Pakistan squad for the Abu Dhabi series against Sri Lanka. The development comes on the heels of a public rift between the selector and Mohammad Ilyas, the former Test opener and father-in-law of Farhat.

Salahuddin told The News that the national selection committee has sent a complaint to the board recommending disciplinary action against Farhat after he called up the selector and asked why he was left out of the squad.

"We have filed a complaint against Imran Farhat for trying to interfere with selection matters," said Salahuddin, a former Test cricketer.

"It was a violation of the code of conduct. No player is allowed to talk to the
chief selector or other members of the selection committee and raise objection
over the selection process."

According to Salahuddin Farhat asked,

"Why wasn't I selected in the team? What was my fault? I have no contract and if
I can't be in the team what would become of my future? You will have to give me
a reason why I was not considered?"

Farhat was quoted by a local agency denying any misbehaviour.

"I just met the selectors and asked the reasons behind my exclusion but, they
snubbed me and told me that selection committee is not answerable to any

Dawn also reported, quoting sources, that Farhat later apologised to the selectors and assured them of their full cooperation in the future.

Farhat has not been a part of Pakistan's ODI plans in recent months, missing the ODI series against South Africa and the World Cup. The selectors opted instead for Salman Butt and Imran Nazir as openers in the 16-man squad for the series against Sri Lanka.

Farhat's protest came just a day after his father-in-law Ilyas exchanged heated words with Salahuddin and selection committee member Shafqat Rana soon after the Pakistan team was named in Lahore. Ilyas reportedly lost his cool when he discovered that Farhat had not been picked, ending the altercation with the words,

"the war is now on."

Ilyas told Dawn,

"It is not a threat but a fact that the selectors did not make the selection
fairly and it will ruin the career of many youngsters. If they consider it a
threat, let them."

An official notification about his behaviour has also been sent to the board. Farhat faces a fine for alleged violation of the PCB code of conduct.


Jamaican police insist Woolmer was murdered

Jamaican police are insisting that Bob Woolmer was murdered amid reports that Pakistani investigators have suggested otherwise due to lack of conclusive evidence. Karl Angell, director of communication for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), said that the investigation was based on credible evidence.

"The pathologist did an autopsy. He said to us in a written report that the man died from asphyxiation occasioned by manual strangulation, based on that our investigation proceeded but we have always said that the investigation is an open investigation and all angles are being looked at," Angell told The Gleaner.

Mir Zubair Mahmood, one of the two investigators sent by the Pakistani government to assist with the police probe in Jamaica, told reporters that there is no evidence to suggest that the Pakistan coach was murdered. However, according to Angell, Mahmood denied speaking to any reporters with such claims.

"Mahmood has indicated to us that a report was submitted to his boss that he had no discussion with any journalists or with anybody else regarding the report," confirmed Angell. "In private conversation with the Constabulary Force, Mahmood said that he is pleased with the way the investigation was going and he made no such deductions."

The complete report from the pathology and toxicology results is being analysed with the help of the Scotland Yard and are yet to be released.


‘Dave Whatmore interested in coaching Pakistan’

KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Nasim Ashraf said on Wednesday that Bangladesh’s outgoing coach Dav Whatmore has shown an interest in coaching Pakistan.Ashraf said that Whatmore has talked to Pakistani officials recently and sounds interested in signing as the national team coach later this summer.

The PCB chief said that Pakistan would make it sure that the best coach is selected to train the national team which flopped miserably in the World Cup.Whatmore, 53, is regarded as one of the top coaches in international cricket after a successful stint with former world champions Sri Lanka as well as the current one with Bangladesh.

Pakistan have been looking for a new coach in recent weeks after losing Bob Woolmer in March. Woolmer, 58, was found seemingly lifeless in his hotel room in Kingston (Jamaica) on March 18 and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital there. Jamaican authorities later announced that the Pakistani coach was murdered.The PCB officials last month posted an advertisement in national and international web portals which said that they were looking for a qualified coach with solid credentials to succeed Woolmer.The Colombo-born Whatmore fits the description as the former Australian Test batsman has achieved splendid results as a top coach.

He masterminded Sri Lanka’s memorable World Cup triumph in 1996. Whatmore later had a brief spell at Lancashire where he saw them win a one-day double in 1998, and the National League in 1999.He returned as Sri Lanka’s coach for a second stint. In 2003, he took over as Bangladesh’s coach, and was able to bring a marked improvement in their performance in Tests and one-dayers. Bangladesh did better than both Pakistan and India in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. He decided to quit after the World Cup and showed interest in coaching India.

Like Whatmore, John Wright, a former New Zealand Test cricketer who once coached India, is also said to be interested in taking over as Pakistan coach. The home-grown Aaqib Javed is also included in the list of strong candidates for the job.

The Board has set May 15 as the deadline for CVs after which a three-man committee would make its recommendation following interviews with short-listed candidates. The PCB is expected to decide on a coach next month and plans to award him a contract starting from July 1.


Rashid Latif slams Pakistan team’s selection

Thursday, May 10, 2007

KARACHI: Former captain of the Pakistan cricket team, Rashid Latif, on Wednesday slammed the selection of the team for three-match One-day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi.

“Apart from two newcomers, this is almost the same team picked by the previous selection committee. So what is the change?” Rashid questioned. “We must think about the future ahead and pick the players accordingly,” he added.

The selection committee headed by Salahuddin Ahmed with Shafqat Rana and Saleem Jaffar as it members picked two uncapped players, all-rounder Fawad Alam from Karachi and left-arm paceman Najaf Shah from Rawalpindi.

Rashid said the selectors should only do one job; not like Shafqat Rana, who is also the coach of KPT. “They should fully focus on selecting the best players who are also mentally tough and rugged for international cricket,” Rashid said.He said the selectors, apart from watching the players in action, must also get information from match referees and umpires about the conditions of the pitches the team plays on, quality of bowling and batting of the opposition before picking the players for the matches.


Aleem Dar questions World Cup duration

Monday, May 7, 2007

The duration of the World Cup, which spanned 47 days, has been questioned by Aleem Dar, the Pakistani umpire who stood in the final of the tournament. His comments come after the umpires and the match-referee were severely criticised for failing to apply the rules correctly in the rain-affected final at the Kensington Oval.

Dar felt that the World Cup was well-organised, but was too long and it was not only the players who got tired but the duration also took its toll on the umpires.

"It was a bit too long and in the end tired out the players and umpires. I think
the World Cup should be of shorter duration,"

he told reporters.

Dar, however, defended himself when asked what went wrong as heavy rain and bad light interrupted the final, by saying the confusion did not occur because of the on-field officials (Dar and Steve Bucknor).

"I think there was a communication breakdown and we acted on instructions from
outside. But the feeling was that the match had to be completed on the reserve
day but the captains told us this is the rule,"

he clarified.

"At times mistakes do happen. The International Cricket Council (ICC) and match
officials have done the right thing by apologising for the mistake made in the

Dar, who has supervised 37 Tests and 88 ODIs, was standing in his first World Cup final while Bucknor was officiating his fifth successive final.


Sangakkara, Vaas and Murali to miss Abu Dhabi series

The three-match one-day international series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will take place in Abu Dhabi between May 18 and 22. Sri Lanka, however, will be missing Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas and Kumar Sangakkara who have county commitments in England.

K Mathivanan, the Sri Lanka Cricket secretary, said he had received confirmation that the series would be played from May 18-22 and that Sri Lanka would receive US$ 750,000 as participation fees from the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council (ADCC) who have organised the matches. He said Sri Lanka would leave for Abu Dhabi on May 15 and the matches would take place on May 18, 20 and 22.

The series was originally slated to begin on May 9 but Sri Lanka sought a postponement after they qualified for the World Cup final against Australia and were later stranded in London without a connecting flight to Colombo following the cancellation of flights to the capital due to air raids conducted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The team eventually arrived in Colombo on May 3.


PCB Nominates Mohsin Khan As Member Afro Asia Selection Committee

Friday, May 4, 2007

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has nominated former Test opening batsman Mohsin Hassan Khan to represent Pakistan as the member of the Afro Asia Cup Selection Committee. The committee will select an Asian team for the Afro Asia event to be held in India.

The committee will select a team for the following events:

5th June - Twenty20 (Afro-Asia) match in Bangalore

6th June - 1st ODI (Afro-Asia) in Bangalore

9th June - 2nd ODI (Afro-Asia) in Chennai

10th June - 3rd ODI (Afro-Asia) in Chennai

Other members of the Selection Committee are ASM Fauque from Bangladesh, Chetan Chauhan from India and Lalith Kaluperuma from Bangladesh. The committee will meet on May 11 in Dhaka.

Mohsin Khan has also remained associated with PCB in the past as the coach and manager of junior teams.

Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?