Pakistan’s upredictability will be surprise weapon: Lawson

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

KARACHI: Pakistan’s new coach Geoff Lawson plans to use his team’s unpredictability as a surprise weapon against opponents in his bid to turn it into the world’s number one side.

“Unpredictability can be an advantage as much as a drawback, we will use that characteristic to take teams by surprise,”
Lawson told ‘The News’ in an exclusive interview from Sydney on Monday.

Pakistan are notorious in the cricket world for their unpredictability and their reputation was further dented following embarrassing first round exits from the ICC Champions Trophy last September in India and the World Cup in the Caribbean this March. Most pundits blamed Pakistan’s unpredictability and inconsistency as the biggest reasons behind their downfall.

Lawson, 49, was appointed as Pakistan’s new coach earlier this month following the death of Bob Woolmer during the World Cup in March. The former Australian Test pacer spoke on several issues ranging from his players’ weaknesses to the security problems in Pakistan. He sounded very optimistic and believed Pakistan have the potential to become the world’s best team.

Lawson described his charges as
“talented, skilled and entertaining”
and sounded confident that they can rule the world.
“Of course Pakistan can be number one, they have the natural talent and skills to match the best in the world,”
he said.

Coaching Pakistan can be a highly stressful job, but Lawson is not worried. “Stress is only produced when the players and coaching staff feel outside influences are determining their own personal goals. If the players can come to a situation where they are in charge of their own performances and destiny then they will enjoy all of their cricket and life experiences whether they are winning or losing.

“Learning how to train with discipline and intensity will make sure they are prepared for anything they might encounter in a game situation, therefore avoiding stressful situations,”
he said.

Known as Henry among friends and peers, Lawson doesn’t have any security fears either.
“I am coming to Pakistan without any issues,”
he said.
“I don’t have any more fears than if I was in London or New York or Istanbul. Cricket people are safe and sensible people.”

Lawson is also well-prepared for the so-called cultural shock that generally greets Westerners in Pakistan and in facts believes that he knows more about the Pakistani society than most locals.
“As a regular visitor to the sub-continent (India in particular) I won’t find anything I am not expecting. I am currently reading ‘A History of Islamic Societies’ by Ira M Lapidus so I will probably know more about Pakistan society than most locals!”

Lawson is yet to take over as Pakistan coach but is already on the receiving end of some scathing criticism. But even that doesn’t bother him.
“A part of what the team must learn if they are to become more focused is to use outside influences as a positive including the press and the fan reaction, I will be looking for something positive in all that is said and written. I have worked extensively in the media so I know what it is like on the other side of the boundary rope,”
he said.

Lawson doesn’t believe the gap between Pakistan and world champions Australia is too big.
“Pakistan can beat everyone in the world and I don’t think the gap (between Pakistan and Australia) is all that significant.”

The coach is planning to begin his first international stint with a bang by leading Pakistan to the title in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September.
“Pakistan have the players to do well at this short form of the game. Our aim in South Africa will certainly be to win the Cup.”


Pakistan’s upredictability will be surprise weapon: Lawson

KARACHI: Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar finally competed in a practice game here on Monday but failed to impress much in two three-over spells here at the National Stadium.

Shoaib was wayward and lacked the sort of sharpness that earned him high praise from team officials during the Lahore-leg of the national training camp earlier this month. He bowled in both the innings of the practice T20 match played between Tigers and Panthers and in a total of six overs gave away 65 runs at almost 11 an over without taking a single wicket.

Shoaib, 31, gave away 24 in three overs in the first innings when he bowled against youngsters Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif and Shahid Yousuf of Pakistan Panthers. He was more expensive in the second innings when he was faced by the in-form openers Salman Butt and Imran Nazir of Pakistan Tigers and gave away 41 in three overs.

The pacer didn’t field in either innings and raised concern among the media people when he went out of the field after bowling three overs in the first innings. However, team manager Talat Ali Malik said that his bowler suffered from dehydration which is why he had to take a break.

“Shoaib felt a bit dehydrated and came back to take some liquids. He did go back and bowled more overs in the second innings as well,”
said Talat, a former Pakistan Test cricketer. Shoaib hasn’t played for Pakistan since limping out of the second Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth this January because of a knee injury. He has recovered from the injury and is now all set to lead Pakistan’s pace attack in the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in South Africa in September.


Indian Cricket League approaches Inzamam

All in favour say 'Aye': "Players who are out of favour, or not international cricketers, or who are nearing the end of their careers will rightly see this as an opportunity to benefit financially", says Inzamam-ul-Haq

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, is the latest international star to have been approached by the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Inzamam, who announced his retirement from one-day cricket after Pakistan's failed World Cup campaign, confirmed that ICL officials had contacted him.

"They have been in touch with me and I am considering their offer,"

Inzamam told

"If the terms are right, I will play."

The parallel league has stirred the cricket world, evoking visions of a Kerry Packer-style circuit. The players it has targeted so far, however, are those who have retired from international cricket in one form or another. Brian Lara has already signed on, while Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Stephen Fleming have also expressed an interest.

The PCB announced recently that centrally contracted players would be unable to join the league but kept the door open for ex-internationals or players not contracted.

Nasim Ashraf, PCB chairman, told AFP that any player joining the league would be ruled out of future internationals.

"Our position on the breakaway Indian league is clear and firm. Since it [league] is not approved by the ICC any player joining it will not be considered for future selection. No current player will be allowed to sign the league and all cricket boards of the world have this same stance."

Inzamam said he believed the league would ultimately benefit Indian cricket itself.

"What harm is there if it means that more people will watch cricket, come to the grounds and watch stars in action? It furthers the profile of cricket."

Inzamam did acknowledge that ultimately the choice will come down to financial benefits to the player. "Players who are out of favour, or not international cricketers, or who are nearing the end of their careers will rightly see this as an opportunity to benefit financially and I don't see anything wrong with that.

"For younger players too, there are rewards. Playing alongside players such as Lara or McGrath can only be a good thing for your development as a young player."

Inzamam's own international future is currently uncertain. Though he has left one-day cricket, he wants to carry on playing Test cricket

"for as long as I feel I am performing."

Noises coming from the board in recent months suggest Inzamam may not be a part of Pakistan's next Test squad against South Africa but the selectors have publicly said he will be called to the probables camp for the series in September and October.

Inzamam is currently Pakistan's second-highest run-scorer in Tests, just 19 runs behind Javed Miandad and he plans to fight for his place

. "I want to pass 10,000 Test runs and I believe I am capable of doing that, given the opportunity."

He has limited opportunities to prove his form and fitness to selectors, however. Pakistan's domestic season is not due to start till December. Reports linked him to some county sides earlier in the season but those plans have fallen through. Until the season starts, Inzamam will play club cricket for Lahore Gymkhana.


PCB advertises for post of assistant coach now

Sunday, July 29, 2007

KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has placed an advertisement on its official website for the post of assistant coach.

The PCB is seeking a computer-literate coach with at least a Level-II qualification. Candidates have been given an August 15 deadline to apply for the job.

The advertisement says that the assistant coach would work under Pakistan’s new coach Geoff Lawson. The Australian is scheduled to join the national team by August 20. It says that the selected candidate would initially be offered a two-year contract.

It is widely believed that the PCB would hire a local coach to work under Lawson though top Board officials have said in the recent past that Lawson would get a free-hand to hire his support staff.

Currently, former Test batsman Haroon Rasheed and ex-Test pacer Aaqib Javed are front-runners for the job of assistant coach. These days, both are involved in the training camp of the national team in Karachi.

A PCB official said that the candidates for the job would be interviewed by a Board panel next month.

The Board also placed a similar advertisement for the post of national coach but did not get any worthwhile response from top international coaches. All three candidates short-listed by the PCB for the job — Lawson, Dav Whatmore and Richard Done — were contacted directly by the Board officials.

By placing an advertisement and making it clear that only a coach with a minimum qualification of Level-II would be considered for the job, the Board has effectively slammed the door on former Pakistan greats like Javed Miandad and Intikhab Alam, who do not hold any such formal qualification.


Younis hammers double-ton for Yorks

LONDON: Pakistan’s prominent batsman Younis Khan hammered out his second unbeaten double century of the season as English cricket county Yorkshire made sure of maximum batting bonus points in a County Championship match against Kent which ended in a predictable draw at Scarborough after first two days had been hit by bad weather.

Younis Khan was in formidable form while amassing 217 not out and his broad bat helped Yorkshire reach 550 for nine declared which secured them a first innings lead of 64, the game ending with Kent on 17 without loss in their second innings.

Yorkshire took 12 points out of the match to remain top of Division One table and Kent managed 11 points.

Younis completed his century just before lunch off 131 balls including 10 fours and a six and he ended with 18 fours and six sixes from 252 deliveries.

His first double century — 202 not out — came early in May against Hampshire at Rose Bowl when he also rapped out a century to become the first Yorkshire batsman ever to achieve the feat and this latest effort was the only other occasion that he had made it to the 50 mark in a Championship match.


Inzamam invited for Test fitness trials

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee called up former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq for fitness trials for the Test series against South Africa. Inzamam’s fitness will be ascertained at a week-long fitness camp that will be established ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in South Africa in September.
“We have decided to invite a few players including Inzamam-ul-Haq to check their fitness for the Test series against South Africa. A week long training camp will be established to ascertain the fitness of players including former captain Inzamam,”
Salauddin Sallu, chairman PCB selection committee, told ‘The News’ on telephone from Lahore.
He said there would be no time to organise the training camp after the Twenty20 World Cup as the South Africa team is expected to reach Pakistan within a week at the conclusion of the world event.
“We have decided to arrange a one-week training camp ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup as it would be too difficult to have an idea of players’ fitness at the eleventh hour of the start of the series,”
he said.

Sallu said some of the players who have had fitness problems would be given the opportunity to prove their fitness in the camp.

Considering the fresh rethinking on the part the PCB, the chances of Inzamam’s making a comeback to the national team for Test matches now look good.
“It all depends on his fitness. If Inzamam proves his fitness, he would could be selected on the team fot series against South Africa,”
he said.

Meanwhile, the cricket selectors have called up the entire Twenty20 World Cup provisional squad — barring four playing cricket in England — for the third phase of the national camp getting under way at the National Stadium Karachi from July 27.

Four leading players, Yasir Arafat, Younis Khan, Danish Kaneria and Zulqarnain Haider who are busy playing cricket in England, however, have been exempted from the camp.
“We have decided to invite all the 26 remaining players for the third phase of the training camp starting at the National Stadium from July 27. All the 26 probables have been asked to report in Karachi on July 26 for the ten-day training camp,”
Salauddin told ‘The News’.

He said during the camp training in Karachi, the probables would mostly be involved in trial matches.
“They could play just four matches in Lahore. However, in Karachi these probables would be involved in trial matches. At least eight to ten Twenty20 matches will be played during the camp in Karachi,”
he said.

The first phase of the training camp was held in Abbottabad followed by the second phase that concluded in Lahore on Monday.
“All the players have been given three-day break and have been asked to report in Karachi on July 26,”
he said.

Probables invited for third phase: Shoaib Malik (captain), Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Yousuf, Yasir Hameed, Fawad Alam, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Imran Farhat, Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Mohammd Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq, Naved Latif, Faisal Iqbal, Shahid Yousuf, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irshad, Najaf Shah and Abdul Rehman.


Pakistan hopes violence will not affect tours

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pakistan cricket officials said they hoped a surge in violence will not affect upcoming tours by South Africa and Australia.

"We are preparing for all the tours and have no feelings that anyone has shown reservations or concerns,"

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director operations Zakir Khan said.

"An Australian security delegation is touring Pakistan and today they inspected Rawalpindi stadium and we have received no such [concerns] from South Africa."

The six-man Australian delegation is here to assess security and facilities for their A and Under-19 teams' tours to Pakistan in September-October this year. The Australian senior team is also due to tour Pakistan in March-April next year, their first visit to the country in ten years.

South Africa, due to tour Pakistan for two Tests and five one-day internationals in September-October this year, have however expressed concerns over the situation in Pakistan. Cricket South Africa general manager Brian Basson told a newspaper that cricket bosses were worried about the situation in Pakistan but their tour was still on.

South Africa have confirmed a tour itinerary in which they play a Test in the southwestern city of Karachi and a one-day match in Peshawar - both venues rejected by international teams in the recent past over security fears.

PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf earlier this week brushed aside security reservations in Pakistan.

"Pakistan is as safe as Sydney and we are confident that our home series will not be affected. We still have time and hope things will settle down,"

Ashraf said on Monday.

Pakistan became a perceived danger zone for international teams in the wake of 9/11 incidents of 2001. The West Indies and Australia refused to tour Pakistan and only agreed to play their series at neutral venues. New Zealand were also forced to cut short a tour after a bomb blast near their team hotel in Karachi killed 14 people, including 11 French naval staff, on May 8 2002. South Africa also refused to play a Test in Karachi on their 2003 tour due to security fears in the wake of a bomb blast two weeks before their arrival.

India finally broke the deadlock by playing a one-dayer in the port city in 2004 and also played a five-day Test here two years later.


Miandad responds positively to Lawson’s offer to ‘join in’

KARACHI: Former Pakistan great Javed Miandad on Wednesday responded positively to Pakistan’s new coach Geoff Lawson offer to work with him for the benefit of the national team but said that the move from the Australian is a ‘slap on the faces’ of people at the helm of cricket affairs in this country.

“Geoff Lawson is most welcome, anytime,”
he told ‘The News’ while responding to Lawson’s comment that Miandad ‘has much to offer Pakistan cricket’.

“I was and am always available whenever Pakistan cricket would need me,”
added the former Pakistan captain who had three stints as the national coach but was ignored this time by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) which opted for a foreigner to replace former coach Bob Woolmer recently.

However, Miandad was non-committal when asked whether he would be interested to work as a specialist batting coach under Lawson.
“It is premature to say anything on it,”
he said.
“There is no such offer at the moment so I would only think about it if there is any such possibility in the future.”
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed Lawson, a fast bowler, as the national team coach on Monday and said that they have the option of roping in a batting coach to assist the Australian.
Lawson’s appointment was bitterly criticised by several former Pakistani captains including Miandad, who believed that the ex-Aussie Test pacer was a bad choice as the national coach.
However, Lawson, who is scheduled to take over as Pakistan coach ahead of September’s Twenty20 Cup in South Africa, responded positively to the wave of criticism and said that he would try to get the support of his top critics, especially Miandad.

In an interview that appeared in an Australian newspaper on Wednesday, Lawson said that Miandad was a great cricketer and can still contribute a lot to Pakistan cricket.

“I’d like to get Javed on board to be part of the coaching crew, to be part of the system and help out, because he was an outstanding player and a tough bloke as well,”
Lawson was quoted as saying.
“We could do with a few of those characteristics among the guys at the moment.”

Lawson added,
“I’m hoping to talk to all those people and see what contributions they can make. We can’t control outside influences but it would be good if we could have some of those outside influences being positive.”

Miandad claimed that Lawson’s offer to help him with his assignment was a slap on the faces of top PCB officials.

“Lawson and many other cricket personalities from around the world like (Sir Vivian) Richards or (Sunil) Gavaskar fully acknowledge the part I have played in the growth of Pakistan cricket both as a cricketer and coach. Unfortunately, the only people who are not even bothered to know about it are the ones who are running Pakistan cricket now. Lawson’s offer is a slap on the faces of those officials.”

Miandad and two more former captains Intikhab Alam and Zaheer Abbas had slammed the PCB for hiring a foreign coach saying that local coaches could do a better job.

“You cannot expect a foreigner to have the same feeling of patriotism or nationalism that a Pakistani does? Instead of bringing in foreigners the board should first try to improve the grass-root cricket level,”
Miandad had said while commenting on the appointment of Lawson earlier this week.

“If these foreign coaches can give a guarantee that the team will achieve a certain level of performance, fine. Otherwise it is a waste of money for me.”

Lawson, however, pointed out that few teams in international sports these days are doing without foreign coaches.
“In the contemporary era of any professional sport, people just want the personnel who are going to do the best for the team,”
Lawson was quoted as saying by The Australian.

“In soccer, the world game, how many teams are actually coached by someone from their own country?”

Miandad rubbished such claims but said that he would willingly give Lawson useful advise on cricket matters once he takes over as coach.

“When Bob Woolmer took over as coach, I invited him for dinner and assured him my complete support,”
Miandad recalled.
“Even though he came in as coach after I was removed from the post. But I didn’t mind helping him out because I thought it was for the betterment of our cricket. But the problem was that after taking just one advise, Woolmer grew so allergic of me that he started avoiding me. I hope it would be different with Lawson.”


Geoff Lawson confirms himself to be appointed Pakistan coach

Monday, July 16, 2007

Lahore: Former Australian test cricketer Geoff Lawson will replace Bob Woolmer as Pakistan coach, the one-time fast bowler said Monday.

Lawson said he received a call from the Pakistan Cricket Board on Sunday confirming his appointment as successor to Woolmer, whose mysterious death at the cricket World Cup in March sparked a murder investigation in the Caribbean.

The PCB was expected to make an official announcement later today.

Lawson, 49, took 180 wickets in 46 Tests for Australia between 1980-1989. He has never coached before at international level, but beat fellow Australians Dav Whatmore and Richard Done to the post.

“It's a challenge, I think it's a wonderful challenge to have because it's such a talented squad they have over there.

“They're coming off a poor World Cup and controversially being beaten by Ireland, and all the things that accompany that, but when you look at the class of player they have you've just got to be excited about being involved with them.''

Lawson's appointment follows the recent recruitment of Trevor Bayliss to succeed fellow Australian Tom Moody as coach of Sri Lanka.

Lawson says he expects to arrive at Pakistan in the next month.

Pakistan doesn’t play again until the Twenty20 World Cup at South Africa in September.

“Probably in the next month I'll be heading over to Lahore to their academy to prepare for the Twenty20 World Cup,”
he said.

“Then Pakistan have a huge series against India which is their sort of Ashes-style series.''

Lawson, a trained optometrist, has helped with the New South Wales state cricket team and has worked as a cricket commentator since retiring from playing.


Yousuf keen on playing Twenty20s

KARACHI: Pakistan’s middle-order batsman Mohammad Yousuf has shown his interest to play in the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa this September.

“Whether it is a Test, a One-day International or a Twenty20, I am always ready and proud to represent my country at the top level,”
Yousuf said.

He added:
“As a professional you are supposed to perform at every level of the game. I have never had a pick and choose policy when it comes to play for my country.”

Though Yousuf and other seniors have been named in the preliminary squad for the tournament, their selection in the final 15 remains doubtful.

“I want to play every form of the game. Test cricket is the real challenge for a player, but you can’t deny that twenty overs game is gaining popularity,”
he added.


Afridi happy with new free-hit rule

KARACHI: Pakistan’s much celebrated all-rounder Shahid Afridi believes that the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s new rule of awarding a free hit to batsmen after a no ball delivery in one-dayers, was a nice innovation in the game, saying it would make the sport more entertaining and exciting.

The swashbuckling Afridi said he understood the apprehensions of fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, who feel the new rule penalised a bowler harshly if he sent down a no-ball, but felt the two bowlers would not face any problem.

“Shoaib and Asif are two of the most accurate bowlers I have seen in One-day Internationals. They bowl very few no-balls. So I don’t see them facing any problems,”
he said.

“The new rule will make the other bowlers also more accurate and disciplined to avoid giving away bonus runs and that is a good thing as less wides and no balls means less time lost in a match.”

Shoaib and Asif have expressed reservations over the rule, effective from October 1, which says on the very next delivery after after a no-ball, the batsman can take a free hit without any danger of being dismissed unless he is run-out.

The Pakistani pace duo has said the new rule would only increase the pressure on the bowlers in a game whose rules are increasingly a big advantage to the batsmen.


English lessons for Shoaib Malik

Friday, July 13, 2007

KARACHI: In a bid to change the image of Pakistani cricketers and become “media savy” himself, captain Shoaib Malik has started taking English classes from a specially appointed tutor.
“Shoaib Malik is very serious about his image and that of the country.
“He realises the importance of a modern day cricket captain being media savvy and having the confidence and proficiency in an international language,”
a source close to the 25-year-old Malik said.

Malik’s endeavour has found support from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which has asked other players to follow suit. The PCB, in fact, is contemplating starting classes in English for young players attending the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and training camps.

Poor command over English has been a cause of embarrassment for the Pakistani players and has often put them into unwanted controversies generated by an international media unable to interpret them properly after a press conference or prize distribution ceremony.

During the World Cup in the West Indies, the Pakistani team created a stir when its media manager Pervez Mir said that captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and other players would not address press conferences in English.

Mir said he would act as a translator for the benefit of international media.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) had to step in and remind the team management of the necessity to speak in English at prize distribution ceremonies for an international television audience.


Saqlain ponders England options

LONDON: Pakistan and English county Sussex spinner Saqlain Mushtaq believes he could become the first player to represent England having already played international cricket for Pakistan.

Saqlain is playing for Sussex as a home player because of a British passport gained from marrying an English woman. The 30-year-old, sidelined by injury in 2004, qualifies for England in 2008.
“It’s an exciting prospect to know I might get a chance for England,”
he said.
“But it is an option I will only think about after a successful season,”
he added.

Saqlain must wait until April to qualify for England because it is compulsory to wait four years if changing nationality.

He last played for Pakistan in 2004, the year in which he suffered a serious knee problem that effectively ruled him out of first-class cricket until this season, when Sussex moved to secure his services.

The spinner duly obliged by taking four wickets on his first-class debut for the county champions in their tour match against India.

“Getting a chance to play for Sussex as a local player was the lucky break I was looking for after the agony and misery I went through,”
he said.

“It made me realise I am not finished as an international player yet,” he explained. “It now depends how desperate I am for the big comeback,”
he added.

Saqlain admits he retains deep affection for Pakistan, but is dismayed by the way he says he was treated during his recuperation from injury.

“It hurts that no one bothered to just call me or ask me how I was doing,”
he lamented.
“It was as if I didn’t exist. I didn’t care about them footing my medical bills but the moral support was never there,”
he added.

Having regained his fitness, Saqlain is determined not to think too far ahead.
“I am first concentrating on completing a good season without any more fitness problems,”
he said.
“Then I will see who is keener to play me and consider the best option. But playing for Pakistan has always been an honour for me,”
he added.


Free hit law nonsense, says Akhtar

KARACHI: Pakistan’s fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has described as nonsense the free hit experimental law to be enforced in One-day Internationals from October 1 this year.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) last month agreed to penalise bowlers for sending down a no-ball by allowing the batsman to take a free hit off the next ball without being dismissed in one-dayers.

The law will be tested on an experimental basis and is already allowed in a different form in Twenty20 cricket.

“I don’t support this law because already life is tough for the bowlers. It is nonsense. Why make it more difficult us,”
Shoaib told reporters in the Pakistan camp on Thursday.

He said they already had to bowl on flat pitches and had the rules loaded against them.
“Why put more pressure on them (bowlers) with such laws that give the full advantage to the batsmen,”
he added.

He said the free hit law was fine for Twenty20 cricket, which was not really that serious, but not meant for one-dayers which are a more competitive brand of cricket.

Shoaib also said he was keen to make an impact in September’s Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa if selected because he was making a comeback after a long time.


Shoaib rules out differences over any coach

Thursday, July 12, 2007

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Team Captain Shoaib Malik said that he had no differences with the cricket board over any coach, as the players want to play for the country regardless of any coach.

Talking to media, All Rounder Shoaib Malik said Shahid Afridi has reported at the camp; he did not come to the camp owing to the fever.

Shoaib said that fielding has been made the focal point at the camp, for the better fielding is inevitable for the Twenty20 World cup.

Senior and junior players will be included in the squad in accordance with team combination.

Pakistani cricket team captain said that Lahore severe weather would prove beneficial for the camp players, as it will help them improve their fitness.

The players are quite satisfied with the contract modus operandi and have no objection against any coach whosoever, he added.


Kaneria completes 50 wickets in 2007 English season

KARACHI: Pakistan’s star leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has joined England pace bowler Steve Harmison as the only two bowlers to have completed 50 wickets in first-class matches, in the ongoing cricket season in England. Both bowlers now have a total of an exact 50 wickets each, either having appeared in nine matches enjoying first-class status.

Harmison’s figures of 50 wickets are slightly better than Kaneria’s. For his haul in matches for Durham, England and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), Harmison has conceded only 21.54 runs apiece. Kaneria’s 50, all for Essex, have been picked up at a rate of 26.52 runs each.

By 9.00pm Pakistan Standard Time on Wednesday, which meant 5.00pm British Time, Durham were placed second in the English County Championship Division One’s nine-team table just behind leaders Yorkshire. They have won and lost three each of their eight matches so far for a points tally of 94.5.

Danish Kaneria’s Essex were at number three, behind Nottinghamshire and Somerset, in the nine-team English County Championship Division Two table at 9.00pm yesterday. The first three teams will be promoted to Division One next summer, so Essex have a good enough chance to be one of those teams.

On Wednesday, the last day of Essex’s four-day County Championship match against table leaders Nottinghamshire at County Ground Chelmsford, Kaneria didn’t really have complementary bowling figures. In his 42 overs he conceded 153 runs for three wickets.

Essex had compiled a massive 700 runs in their first innings for the loss of nine wickets and then they declared. Nottinghamshire replied with an even bigger total of 791. By the time we went to the press, the match was predictably heading towards a tame draw.

In his first season as an Essex player back in 2004, Danish Kaneria had a prosperous summer as he captured 63 wickets at 25.53 in 11 first-class matches. He can certainly do better this year, in case he is not called up for national duty by Pakistan earlier than expected.

Sussex’s Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has bagged 41 wickets in eight first-class matches this season at 29.43 each with teammate Naved-ul-Hasan, the medium-fast bowler, having taken 29 wickets in eight matches at 30.72 runs apiece.

Defending champions Sussex are currently placed number three in the Division One table. Kent are at number seven and faced with the danger of relegation to Division Two. Kent’s Pakistan medium-pacer Yasir Arafat has taken 26 wickets in seven matches at 29.88 each.

Kaneria is also one of the leading wicket-takers on England’s limited overs circuit. In eight such matches for Essex this summer, he has taken 17 wickets at just 13.17 runs apiece.

There are only two bowlers ahead of him. Australia’s pace bowler Stuart Clark, playing for Hampshire, has 21 wickets in seven matches at 11.38 while former West Indies fast bowler Ottis Gibson has taken 19 wickets in nine matches for Durham at 17.84 runs each.

Former Pakistan vice-captain Younis Khan has scored 477 runs in eight matches for County Championship Division One table leaders Yorkshire at an average of 43.36. He has a highest of 202 not out among his two hundreds.


PCB mulls dope testing T20 World Cup-bound squad

KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is planning to conduct internal dope tests on the players included in Pakistan’s preliminary squad for this September’s Twenty20 World Cup.
A PCB official said on Wednesday that the Board is seriously considering the idea of carrying out dope tests on all the 30 players in the provisional squad later this month.

By carrying out internal dope tests, the PCB wants to avoid any fresh doping scandal after having recently managed to finally bury the drug controversy involving their top strike bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif.

The pace duo tested positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone last September and was pulled out of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy squad while the tournament had just began in India. The withdrawal proved fatal for Pakistan who were knocked out of the opening rounds of the contest. Later, Pakistan, still without Shoaib and Asif, were knocked out of the World Cup opening rounds in the Caribbean this March following a shock defeat against Associate members Ireland.

Shoaib and Asif were initially banned for substance abuse but a PCB appeals committee later cleared them, a verdict that was challenged by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed the case saying that it has no jurisdiction.
The PCB official conceded that the doping scandal caused a lot of damage to Pakistan cricket which is why the PCB plans to make it sure that this kind of incidents do not happen in the future.

He said that the PCB anti-doping policy was now WADA compliant and any players testing positive for banned substances in the future will have to face strict sanctions.

The official said that the final decision on whether to conduct internal dope tests ahead of the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup would be taken by the PCB ad-hoc committee which meets in Karachi on July 16.

Pakistan have recently announced a 30-man provisional squad for the Twenty20 World Cup and would select their final team for the assignment next month during a training camp in Karachi. Shoaib and Asif, who avoided dope tests ahead of the World Cup apparently for the fear of testing positive, are included in the preliminary squad.


‘PCB chief also backing Lawson’

KARACHI: Pakistan’s cricket chiefs are ‘more or less’ agreed on appointing former Australian Test pacer Geoff Lawson as the new national coach next week.

Sources told ‘The News’ that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf is now also favouring Lawson for the job which means that Dav Whatmore could be in for another snub after losing out in the race to become India’s coach last month.

It has been learnt that Pakistan manager Talat Ali met with Ashraf in Lahore on the sidelines of the national training camp on Wednesday and informed him about the reservation the team management and senior players have against the possible appointment of Whatmore as the Pakistan coach.

Talat, a former Test cricketer, also briefed the PCB chief about his meeting with former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga, who did not speak very positively about Whatmore, who masterminded Sri Lanka’s successful campaign in the 1996 captain when Ranatunga was the captain.

According to sources, Ashraf told Talat that he is aware of the fact that most of the Pakistan team players would be more comfortable with Lawson than Whatmore.

The Colombo-born Whatmore, who recently quit as Bangladesh coach, is believed to be tough taskmaster and is generally not very popular with most of his previous charges. Lawson, 49, on the other hand left a very positive impression on the national players when he visited their training camp in Abbottabad last month.

Sources say that initially Whatmore was the favourite to become Pakistan coach mainly on the basis of his solid credentials but now the top PCB officials are tilting towards Lawson, who took 180 wickets for Australia in a successful Test career.

The group lobbying for Lawson believes that since the Australian has never been a high-profile coach, he might show more hunger for success as compared to Whatmore who enjoyed a lot of success during his tenure as Sri Lanka’s coach.

Pakistan’s previous coach Bob Woolmer was also a high profile coach who had a successful stint with South Africa in the nineties.

However, the Englishman did not enjoy much success during his association with Pakistan that was tragically cut short with the coach’s death in Kingston on March 18.

His team was thrown out of the World Cup following a stunning loss against underdogs Ireland in March. The next morning Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room. His death was treated as murder but later Jamaican Police announced that he died of heart failure.

Because of the controversy involving Woolmer’s death, not many coaches including Whatmore showed interest in an advertisement placed by the PCB. The Board later short-listed three coaches — Whatmore, Lawson and Richard Done — and is to select either one of them at the PCB ad-hoc committee meeting on July 16.


Shahid Afridi joins training camp

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

LAHORE: Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi joined the Pakistan cricket team training camp on Wednesday, which began in Lahore yesterday.

Shahid Afridi was absent on the opening day of the camp due to personal engagements.

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was yet to fully recover from a viral infection, camp commandant Talat Ali said.

The other players invited to attend the Lahore phase of the training camp underwent training sessions at the Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday. The camp would conclude on July 23.


All ‘big names’ in preliminary T20 World Cup squad

KARACHI: Pakistan on Tuesday named their 30-man preliminary squad for the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup and almost all their leading players are included in the list.

Contrary to speculations that national selectors might overlook a few aging stars, the extended squad includes all the big names besides having place for a few rookies as well.

Young all-rounder Shoaib Malik would lead Pakistan in the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in South Africa in September. Pakistan are to announce their final 15-man squad for the 12-nation contest in August. Pakistan have been placed in Group D of the event alongside old rivals India and minnows Scotland. The Twenty20 World Cup would be played from September 11-24.

The preliminary squad includes premier batsman Mohammad Yousuf, whom many thought might not be considered because of his unimpressive fielding. In the fast-paced Twenty20 version, a player’s fielding abilities are regarded as vital. Also in the list are pace spearheads Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, who missed this year’s World Cup in the Caribbean because of fitness and doping-related problems.

However, the pace duo is now fully cleared to play international cricket after the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS) dismissed an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against them. The bowlers failed a drug test last September and had to miss the World Cup where Pakistan were knocked out of the opening round following a shock defeat against tournament underdogs Ireland.

Former vice-captain Younis Khan, who has not played for Pakistan since refusing to lead the team following Inzamam-ul-Haq’s resignation this March, is also included in the list.
There are some new faces in the team like Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif and Sohail Tanvir. Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, who was dropped from Pakistan’s ODI squad after a disappointing World Cup is also included in the squad.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said that the national selection committee would announce the final squad for the T20 World Cup next month during the final phase of the national training camp in Karachi next month after consultations with the team captain.

Preliminary squad: Shoaib Malik (capt), Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Yasir Hameed, Fawad Alam, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Imran Farhat, Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq, Naved Latif, Faisal Iqbal, Shahid Yousuf, Yasir Arafat, Sohail Tanvir, Zulqarnain Haider, Mohammad Irshad, Najaf Shah, Danish Kaneria, Abdul Rehman.


Special drills await Pakistan players in Lahore training camp

KARACHI: With an eye on this September’s Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa, Pakistani team management has planned special drills for the second phase of the national training camp that got underway in Lahore on Tuesday.

Team manager Talat Ali told ‘The News’ that the Pakistani players would undergo a series of training sessions during the Lahore camp and once again the emphasis would be on improving their fitness and fielding skills.

In addition, the players would be asked to go through special drills designed at helping them improve their abilities to hit the stumps from various parts of the ground.

“I believe the team with fitter players and better fielders would have greater chances of doing well in the Twenty20 World Cup,”
said Talat, a former Pakistan Test cricketer.

“We want to take along super fit players to South Africa and would also assure that they improve their fielding abilities ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup because we believe these two aspects are of utmost importance when we are talking about this shortest version of the game,”
he added.

Talat said that in Twenty20 matches, there are more run-out opportunities and fielders who are good at hitting the stumps can be quite valuable.

“Getting two or three opposition batsmen run out can really help your cause and that can be achieved mainly through direct hits at the stumps. We would be carrying out special drills to help improve our players’ abilities to hit the stumps from various parts of the field,”
he said.
Pakistan are generally not regarded among the better fielding sides in the world and in spite of a lot of efforts by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), most of the national team players are still found lacking this area of the game.

Last month, the PCB staged a physical conditioning camp in Abbottabad where the players worked on improving their fitness and also underwent a lot of fielding drills.

Talat said that the team’s coaches would also be working with the bowlers in a bid to help them improve their abilities to contain an opposition.

“I think in Twenty20 matches, sometimes it is more important to contain an opposition than to take wickets which is why our bowlers will have to assure that they bowl to a neat line and length in the tournament,”
he explained.

Talat, who is also looking after the coaching aspect in the absence of a national coach, said that the team management has planned a series of Twenty20 matches among the camp probables next week.

“We would conclude this phase of the training camp with three Twenty20 matches. Those would game should help us judge our players’ strengths and weaknesses in this type of cricket,”
he added.

The manager said that the players would switch to a more advanced mode of training in the final phase of the T20 World Cup training camp scheduled to get underway in Karachi from July 26.


Whatmore surprised at Ranatunga’s ‘criticism’

KARACHI: Dav Whatmore has expressed his surprise and disappointment at reports that Arjuna Ranatunga, the former Sri Lanka captain, has advised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) against hiring him as their next coach.

According to a report, Ranatunga had a chance encounter with Talat Ali, the Pakistan manager, in Scotland recently. When asked for his thoughts on Whatmore as an option, given that the two had worked together extensively and led Sri Lanka to their 1996 World Cup triumph, Ranatunga reportedly offered the advice that Whatmore should be avoided.

“I don’t know what his motivations were but he is entitled to his own personal views and I have no desire to get dragged into a public argument with him,”
Whatmore said.

Whatmore was one of three Australians shortlisted by the Pakistan board for the coaching position, lying vacant since the death of Bob Woolmer in March. Geoff Lawson, the former Test fast bowler, and Richard Done, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) High performance manager, are the others.

“The facts are that I have indicated my desire to coach Pakistan and, if appointed, I am confident of being able to do an extremely good job with a very talented group of players,”
Whatmore said.

Kumar Sangakkara, who made his debut while Whatmore was in charge, endorsed his credentials to be the Pakistan coach.
“I have absolutely no doubt that Dav is exactly the kind of coach Pakistan needs right now,”
Sangakkara said.

“He has the expertise and the experience, including a World Cup win, the pinnacle of coaching success. I count myself as very fortunate to have broken into the national side with him as coach. It helped me to hone the right attitude towards hard work and getting out of my comfort zone that has stood me in good stead ever since,”
he said.


Lawson now favourite to become Pak coach as Whatmore loses ground

KARACHI: Dav Whatmore is slowly losing ground as fellow Australian Geoffrey Francis Lawson has now emerged as a new favourite to take over as Pakistan’s cricket coach later this month.
‘The News’ has learnt through reliable sources that as the two-horse race is nearing its climax, the tide is slowly turning in the favour of Lawson, a former Australian Test pacer as the Pakistani team management and most of the senior players are backing him to become Bob Woolmer’s successor. Pakistan are to announce their new coach next week.

Lawson, 49, was interviewed by top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials in Bhurban last month and he also met with the Pakistani players who were at that time training in Abbottabad.
Sources say that both the PCB officials and the players were impressed by Lawson, who may not be a high-profile coach like Whatmore but ‘he did came across as a man capable of producing positive results’.

Whatmore, 53, was the last man to be interviewed by the PCB officials and he was touted as the favourite for the post because of his solid credentials.

The Colombo-born Whatmore had an insignificant international career for Australia in which he played just seven Tests and scored 293 runs at 22.53. He also played a solitary One-day International.

But he had a successful career as coach leading Sri Lanka to their only World Cup triumph in 1996. He quit as Bangladesh coach after the World Cup where his team reached the second round.

In stark contrast, Lawson doesn’t have a world title under his belt as a coach but he did enjoy an illustrious career with Australia during which he played 46 Tests and took 180 wickets.

Whatmore was touted as a hot favourite to take over as India’s coach after the World Cup but could not even make the short list for the job. After missing out on that opportunity, Whatmore showed an interest in coaching Pakistan.

Sources say that senior team players and a couple of officials have told top PCB officials that they would be more comfortable working with Lawson than Whatmore.

Recently, team manager Talat Ali was ‘warned’ by former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga against appointing Whatmore as the Pakistan coach. Ranatunga was the captain and Whatmore coach when Sri Lanka won the World Cup held in the sub-continent.

Sources say that Talat will have a meeting with PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf in Lahore today and one of the main items on the agenda would be the selection of the coach.

Though Talat, a former Test cricketer doesn’t have a say in the appointment of the coach, sources said that he would express his personal feelings as well as conveying reservations shown by senior players over the appointment of Whatmore as the coach.

The new Pakistan coach is likely to begin his tenure with a training camp to be held in Karachi from July 26 in preparation for the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup to be held in South Africa in September.


Foreigners not capable of coaching Pakistan: Miandad

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

KARACHI: Former batting maestro Javed Miandad believes that Australian coaches Dav Whatmore, Jeff Lawson and Richard Done — who have been shortlisted for Pakistan coach job — are not capable of coaching the national team.

Talking to reporters Miandad said:
“Foreign coaches have not done any good to the Pakistan team in the past. And after looking at the past performances, one could easily say that they are not better than local coaches.”

He opined that all three Australians coaches are not as much experienced as former national maestros so they could be given the chance to coach the national team. Citing his own example, Miandad said that in his era of coaching the Pakistan team, he delivered better results than any body else but due to poor policies of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) he stepped down.

“Pakistan’s biggest achievement, winning the 1992 World Cup, was due to the efforts of players and local coach (Intikhab Alam),”
he said.

Answering to a query he said:
“There is no question of player power in the team. The players have no right to say anything on appointment of coach or other issues. PCB should have strong policy regarding to player power. But due to their incompetence they (PCB) have to listen to the players also.”

The former captain said that Salman Butt after being made the vice-captain should be accepted by the players with open hearts.
“Players should focus on their performances and not on such issues,”
he explained.

About Twenty20 form of cricket Miandad said:
“This format is suitable for other teams like Australia, South Africa, England etc because they need money. But in the subcontinent we have enough money. It will only destroy cricket and will do no good to Pakistan cricketers.”

He opined that national cricketers are not capable of playing long innings and they are weak in fielding so T20 cricket will further destroy them. On the doping issue he said:
“I must say that the PCB seemed really stupid on the issue. First they held both the bowlers (Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif) responsible and called them back from the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy. Then they themselves formed the tribunal to look on the issue which also held them responsible. But afterwards they made another committee which proved that both the bowlers are innocent.”
He further said that handling the case in such ridiculous manner not only tarnished the image of many respective personalities but also made the people of Pakistan ashamed.


Avoid Whatmore, says Ranatunga

KARACHI: Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga has advised Pakistani players and team management not to have Australian Dav Whatmore as their new coach, sources said.
Ranatunga, who captained Sri Lanka to 1996 World Cup glory with Whatmore as the coach, is learnt to have given a “run-down” on the Australian when he had a chance meeting with manager-cum-coach Talat Ali in Scotland where the team had recently gone to play two one-day games, according to reliable sources in the Pakistan team.
“Ranatunga was asked for his opinion about Whatmore as he has worked for a number of years in the Sri Lankan team,”
one source said.
“Ranatunga during his talks with Talat and some senior players gave them a run down on Whatmore and eventually his advice was to avoid him,”
he added.
“Ranatunga did admit that Whatmore was coach when Sri Lanka won the 1996 World Cup but said the players had a big credit in this as well,”
he continued. When Whatmore was Sri Lankan coach he had problems with Ranatunga with both speaking out against each other publicly.


Pakistan coach to be named in a few days

ISLAMABAD: The coach for the national cricket team is expected to be named in a few days, it was officially learnt on Monday. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is expected to finalise the name of the coach, who will probably be a foreigner, before July 15. The vacancy of the coach has been vacant since the death of Bob Woolmer on March 18 — a day after Pakistan were eliminated from the World Cup in the very first round in the West Indies. Prominent among the foreigners in line for the job of Pakistan cricket coach are Geoff Lawson and Dav Whatmore, both from Australia.


Shahid Afirid's Innings against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, 2007

Monday, July 9, 2007


National cricket team training camp to open tomorrow

LAHORE: Pakistan cricket team’s fitness and training camp will begin in Lahore from tomorrow (Tuesday). The players will report to the camp tonight.

Pakistan Cricket Board has invited 22 players for the training camp, which will attend two sessions of physical training and net practice in morning and evening daily.

The players will be divided in two groups to participate in the physical training and net practice sessions.

The players will report for the camp at the National Cricket Academy tonight.

The Future Players’ Training Programme was underway at the national academy due to which the players’ stay has been arranged at a local hotel.

All cricketers invited to the camp are in Pakistan except Shoaib Akhtar. Shoaib is expected to return from Malaysia tonight.


Fitness and Training Camp at Quetta

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The National Selection Committee has given the names of 22 players for the Quetta camp. This will be a two weeks’ duration camp from July 10, 2007 to July 23, 2007.

Following are the names of players selected for this camp:

1. Salman Butt
2. Imran Nazir
3. Mohammad Hafeez
4. Imran Farhat
5. Mohammad Yousuf
6. Yasir Hameed
7. Misbah-ul-Haq
8. Naved Latif
9. Faisal Iqbal
10. Asim Kamal
11. Fawad Alam
12. Shoaib Malik
13. Shahid Afridi
14. Abdul Razzaq
15. Kamran Akmal
16. Mohammad Asif
17. Shoaib Akhtar
18. Mohammad Sami
19. Umar Gul
20. Iftikhar Anjum
21. Najaf Shah
22. Abdur Rehman


1. Talat Ali Malik - Camp Commandant
2. Haroon Rasheed - Batting Coach
3. Aaqib Javed - Bowling Coach
4. Mohtashim Rasheed - Fielding Coach
5. DSr. Riaz Ahmed - Trainer
6. Faisal Hayat - Physio
7. Usman Hashmi - Analyst
8. Malang Ali - Kit Man

The Players & officials will travel to Quetta on July 9, 2007.


Game Development Activities

The Under-19 Regional Academies Programme will start from 16th July, 2007 for duration of 12 Weeks in all eleven regions. Two Day Planning Workshop with all the Regional Head Coaches was held on 2nd & 3rd July, 2007 before the start of the Regional Academies.

The two day workshop with head coaches is followed by Specialized Fielding Workshop with the Regional Assistant and Fielding Coaches for the preparation of Regional Academies.

A Refresher Workshop of Physical Trainers is also planned on 10th of this month.


India v Pakistan, One-off ODI, Glasgow

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Rain washes out much-awaited clash

The one-off game for the Friendship Cup between India and Pakistan in Glasgow - part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of independence for both India and Pakistan - was a victim of the poor weather that has lashed the United Kingdom over the past ten days. The10:45am start was thwarted by persistent drizzle, and though there was an inspection at 2pm, the intermittent rain and slushy ground conditions meant that not even a 20-overs-a-side game was possible.

India travelled to Glasgow after defeating South Africa in a three-match series in Belfast, while Pakistan haven't played since they went up against Sri Lanka at Abu Dhabi in May. The two great rivals haven't played each other since April last year, and unfortunately the weather meant that 5000-odd fans who had bought tickets for the game went home disappointed.

As for the teams, the interminable wait for play to start included a dressing-room meeting with Prince Charles, heir to the English throne. Once that was over, they left for the hotel, India to ponder a series against England, and Pakistan more time off before they gather for the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.


Court has no jurisdiction in doping case

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Court of Arbitration for Sports has been forced to dismiss an appeal by the World Anti Doping Agency over the reprieves for the Pakistan fast bowlers, Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, saying it had no jurisdiction to overturn the decision.

The CAS panel said in a statement that the conclusion had been reached "with some considerable regret". Shoaib and Asif tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in internal tests conducted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last year, and were banned for two years and one year respectively in November 2006.

However, a month later, both were controversially reinstated by a Pakistani appellate committee, prompting WADA to appeal to CAS in Lausanne. Dick Pound, the chairman of WADA, had told the BBC last December that the ICC - the game's governing body - was "a signatory to the anti-doping code" and that Pakistan, as a full member of the ICC, was bound by its rules.

However CAS, which set up a special panel to examine the issue, found that the PCB does not provide a right of appeal to the international sports court. Furthermore, it added, the ICC's code did not contain any rules that obliged the Pakistan board to allow appeals to CAS.

Shoaib and Asif were both removed from their country's squad for the World Cup in March and April, although the PCB insisted they had missed the event because of injuries. That explanation, however, was countered by Malcolm Speed, the ICC's chief executive, who said at the beginning of the tournament in March that the duo had escaped a drugs test by not being selected for the World Cup.

The PCB had announced beforehand that 11 of its 15-man squad and seven reserves had passed domestic, pre-World Cup dope tests, but Shoaib and Asif were left out of the testing.


Play abandoned after intermittent rain

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The one-off ODI between Scotland and Pakistan was abandoned due to persistent rain without a ball being bowled. The match was due to start at 10:45am local time but was delayed due to a wet outfield caused by overnight rain. As the teams arrived, the officials decided to have an inspection at 12noon local time after which the playing conditions were to be decided.

Minutes before the inspection, however, heavy rain resulted in an early lunch that never finished as the umpires and the match referee deemed that the outfield and the weather would not improve in time to get in the minimum requirement of 20 overs.

Pakistan now travel to Glasgow where they take on India on Tuesday in their second and final ODI on this short tour of Scotland.

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