Pakistan’s Yousuf placed third in world rankings

Friday, December 26, 2008

Star Pakistan cricketer Muhammad Yousuf has been placed third in world rankings of batsmen whereas fast bowler Shoaib Akhter has gone to the tenth ranking among the bowlers frpm all the Test playing countries.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) released on Wednesday the latest rankings showing Indian opener Gautam Gambhir slipping into the top 10 of the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings.

England captain Kevin Pietersen has returned to the top five for the first time in 14 months and now placed fifth after jumping three places due to a magnificent innings of 144.

Meanwhile, Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies has strengthened his hold on the top of the rankings by becoming only the 25th batsman in the history of Test cricket and the sixth West Indian to reach the magic 900-point mark.

The 34-year-old from Guyana, who won the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2008 award
at the LG ICC Awards in Dubai, reached the milestone while making 126 not out in the first innings against New Zealand in the Napier Test which ended in a draw on Tuesday.

The bowlers’ list is still headed by Sri Lanka’s great spinner Muttiah Muralidaran.
There is no change in the top five in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings
for Test all-rounders as South Africa’s Jacques Kallis enjoys a commanding lead over New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori.

Reliance Mobile ICC Test Rankings (as of December 24)

Batsmen, tabulated under Rank (+/-) Player Team Points Ave HS Rating
1(-) S.Chanderpaul WI 900! 49.71 900 v NZ at Napier 2008
2 (-) KSangakkara SL 886 54.79 938 v Eng at Kandy 2007
3 ( - ) Mohd Yousuf Pak 880 55.49 933 v WI at Karachi 2006
4 (+1) M Jayawardena SL 837 52.41 847 v Ind at Colombo (SSC) 2008
5 (+3) Kevin Pietersen Eng 832 50.48 905 v WI at Headingley 2007
6 (-2) Mike Hussey Aus 803 61.56 921 v WI at Kingston 2008
7 ( - ) Yunus Khan Pak 799 49.14 856 v Eng at Headingley 2006
8 (+1) Graeme Smith SA 797! 50.42 797 v Aus at Perth 2008
9 (-3) Ricky Ponting Aus 778 56.74 942 v Eng at Adelaide 2006
10 (+10) Gautam Gambhir Ind 771*! 49.35 771 v Eng at Mohali 2008

Bowlers. Tabulated under Rank (+/-) Player Team Points Ave HS Rating
1 (-) M Muralidaran SL 895 21.96 920 v Ban at Kandy 2007
2 ( - ) Dale Steyn SA 807 23.18 897 v Ind at Ahmedabad 2008
3 (+1) Makhaya Ntini SA 805 27.71 863 v Ind at Durban 2006
4 (-1) Stuart Clark Aus 798* 22.96 863 v WI at Bridgetown 2008
5 (+2) Mitchell Johnson Aus 779*! 27.11 779 v SA at Perth 2008
6 ( - ) Ryan Sidebottom Eng 723* 25.68 769 v SA at Lord’s 2008
7 (-2) Brett Lee Aus 717 30.44 811 v WI at Antigua 2008
8 (+2) Harbhajan Singh Ind 686 30.88 765 v NZ at Wellington 2002
9-(-2) Chaminda Vaas SL 684 29.31 800 v Ind at Chennai 2005
10-(-2) Shoaib Akhtar Pak 684 25.69 855 v NZ at Wellington 2003


Pakistan to play five ODIs in BD next year

Pakistan will tour Bangladesh to play five one-day internationals in March next year, an official said Wednesday.

Pakistan have not played a bilateral series in Bangladesh since 2002 although they toured the nation to play a tri-series in May this year.

"There is an opinion that Pakistan has been isolated at international level but it's not correct and we have arranged tours for the team,"
Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer Salim Altaf told reporters.

"As part of our team playing more cricket we will play five one-day matches in Bangladesh starting the tour on March 3,"
Altaf said.

Pakistan has been deprived of quality cricket on home soil as foreign teams have refused to tour over security fears.

India pulled out of next month's planned visit to Pakistan after New Delhi refused to clear the tour as tension mounted between the two countries in the wake of terror attacks in Mumbai last month.

Pakistan have also arranged a stop-gap series of five one-dayers and three Tests with Sri Lanka next month.

Altaf said he hoped Australia, who postponed their tour of Pakistan in March this year over security fears, would play five one-day matches in Pakistan in March-April next year.

"I have talked to Cricket Australia on the five-match series and there is always the option of playing Australia at a neutral venue if they have any reservations on playing in Pakistan,"
said Altaf.

Australia have not toured Pakistan since 1998.


ICC meeting on Jan 31 to decide Champions Trophy in Pakistan

Friday, December 19, 2008

The holding of the Champions Trophy in Pakistan would be decided at the meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The two-day ICC meeting will be held in Perth from January 31 next year.

Spokesman ICC Samiul Hasan Burney told Geo News that it was decided in the previous meeting of the ICC executive board that holding of the Champions Trophy in Pakistan would be decided in view of the security situation during the Indian team’s tour of Pakistan but now the situation has been changed after India refused to tour Pakistan. Therefore, decision about holding the tournament would be made in the two-day meeting, beginning on January 31 in Perth.


Sri Lanka confirm Pak tour

Sri Lankan Cricket Board has confirmed on Friday its team would tour Pakistan in the third week of January.

Director media Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Asif Sohail while talking to Geo News said Sri Lankan Cricket Board chairman Arjuna Ranatunga has made it confirm that Sri Lankan team would tour Pakistan in the third week of January.

Asif Sohail said Sri Lanka would play three tests, three one-day matches and a 20twenty match during the tour.

PCB spokesman said PCB is finalizing the schedule of Sri Lankan series, which would be announced likely within couple of days.


India calls off Pakistan cricket tour

India has called off its proposed cricket tour of Pakistan next year amid simmering tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours over last month's Mumbai attacks, an official said on Thursday.

"The proposed tour of the Indian cricket team to Pakistan stands cancelled,"
Rajeev Shukla, a senior official from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, told reporters.

India were scheduled to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match during the five-week tour from January 6 to February 19.

"We received a communication from the government stating that in the present circumstances, it is not feasible to tour Pakistan,"
Ratnakar Shetty, chief administrative officer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said, without elaborating.

He said no discussions had taken place over whether the series could instead have been played at neutral venues.

Shetty denied that the decision could wreck the next Cricket World Cup, which is meant to be jointly hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"It will not affect the 2011 World Cup as that is a different tournament,"
he said, adding he believed that relations between the Indian and Pakistani cricket boards would not suffer due to India scrapping the tour.

But Pakistan cricket officials said they were unhappy with Thursday's announcement.

"We take this decision as disappointing -- something which will hurt Pakistan cricket badly -- but it was beyond our control,"
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt told a foreign news agency.

Indian Sports Minister Manohar Singh Gill had said last week he was not in favour of the team playing in Pakistan when "people from their soil were indulging in mass murder in India."

It was to have been the fifth series between the two countries since 2004, when cricket ties resumed after a 15-year gap caused by cross-border tensions.

Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar had said it would be "impossible" for India to tour Pakistan in the current climate.

"Diplomatically, there has been a fall-out between the two nations and I don't see why cricket won't follow suit. So at the moment it is impossible to go ahead with the tour,"
he told a television channel recently.

The tour was first put in doubt when the Indian government denied permission to the national junior hockey team to visit Pakistan.


Punjab beat Federal Area in Pentangular Cup

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Punjab Stallions defeated Federal Area Leopards by 98 runs in the first match of the Pentangular Cup One-day cricket tournament here in Saturday.

Federal Area Leopards won the toss and elected to fielf first in the match played at the Gaddafi Stadium.

Punjab Stallions scored 305 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 50 overs.

Captain Shoaib Malik batted aggressively and made 86 while Nasir Jamshed hit 40.

Sohail Tanvir captured four wickets and Shoaib Akhtar claimed two wickets.

In reply, Federal Area Leopards were all out for 207 runs in the 42nd over. Afaq Rahim top scored with 55 while Mansoor Ahmed took three wickets.

Despite the presence of senior players of the national team, the stadium was seen empty as very few spectators watched the match.

Shoaib Malik said after the match that he is a professional player and wherever the series would be held he would go there to play under the directive of the PCB.


Indian minister opposes cricket team’s tour of Pakistan

India’s sports minister is opposed to the national cricket team going ahead with next month’s scheduled tour of Pakistan in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

India’s cricket board is awaiting approval from the government, but the comments on Friday by Sports Minister MS Gill make it unlikely that will be granted.

The minister said it was not the right time to play cricket with Pakistan when
"people from their soil were indulging in mass murder in India,”
the Indian news agency quoted Gill as saying.

The minister said he was not in favour of the Indian team playing in Pakistan, but it was up to the government to make a final decision.

“Is it possible for one team to arrive in Mumbai and indulge in mass murder, and have another team go and play cricket in the winter afternoon sun at Lahore, immediately after?”
Gill was quoted as saying.

The Indian government has blamed elements in Pakistan for the attacks on the country's financial capital which left 172 dead, including nine gunmen, and wounded more than 300.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is awaiting a response from the government on its request for security clearance for the tour.

India are scheduled to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match during the five-week tour from January 6 to February 19.


Rawalpindi, Port Qasim in Benazir Bhutto Twenty20 final

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rawapindi’s prolific left-handed opener Babar Naeem butchered the Lahore bowling attack to help his team sail into the final of the Shaheed-e-Jamhooriat Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Twenty20 Cricket Championship 2008, here on Saturday at the Diamond Club Ground.

By this move upward, Rawalpindi will clash with Port Qasim Authority (PQA) in the final to be played on Sunday (today) here at the Diamond Club Ground, as PQA had staged a mammoth nine-wicket win over star-studded National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) at National Stadium Karachi on Friday.

In Islamabad yesterday, Babar Naeem hit up an unbeaten 42-ball 75 embellished with four sixes and six fours before he bade farewell to Lahore as they lost the keenly-contested semifinal battle.

Lahore set up a decent target of 154 for seven in 20 overs but not before consistent run-getter Azhar Ali scored a 52-ball 54 with one six and five fours. Umar Akmal hit a brisk 17-ball 25 and Mohammad Hussain got 20 runs off 13 balls.

Emerging world star Sohail Tanvir claimed two wickets for 23 in the four overs he bowled. Another quality all-rounder Yasir Arafat had two for 25 with left-arm spinner Yasim Murtaza and Mohammad Irfan sharing one wicket each.

Rawalpindi hit the jackpot by reaching the target on the penultimate ball of the innings, as Babar Naeem remained unbeaten with his belligerent 42-ball 75 runs innings which enthralled the crowd.

Awais Zia hit up 19 and Naved Malik scored 17 with Yasir Arafat also hitting making 17 runs.

The final will start at 1.00 pm today at the Diamond Club Ground and coaches of both the teams, Sabih Azhar and Ashiq Hussain (Rawalpindi) and Rashid Latif (PQA), are showing their optimism to lift the first-ever Shaheed-e-Jamhooriat Championship.



Saturday, December 6, 2008

Punjab Stallions-Federal Areas Leopards
Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
11:00 a.m.
Sindh Dolphins-Baluchistan Bears
National Stadium Karachi
1:00 p.m.
Punjab Stallions-NWFP Panthers
National Stadium Karachi
1:00 p.m.
Federal Areas Leopards-Baluchistan Bears
National Stadium Karachi
1:00 p.m.
Punjab Stallions-Baluchistan Bears
National Stadium Karachi
1:00 p.m.
Sindh Dolphins-NWFP Panthers
National Stadium Karachi
1:00 p.m.
Sindh Dolphins-Federal Areas Leopards
National Stadium Karachi
1:00 p.m.
NWFP Panthers-Baluchistan Bears
National Stadium Karachi
1:00 p.m.
Punjab Stallions-Sindh Dolphins
National Stadium Karachi
1:00 p.m.
NWFP Panthers-Federal Areas Leopards
National Stadium Karachi
1:00 p.m.
National Stadium Karachi
1:00 p.m.
Note: All Matches will be played Day/Night.


Asif apologises for repeated mistakes

Mohammad Asif, the Pakistan fast bowler, has apologised to the nation for his repeated misdemeanours. Asif, who was in tears during an interview to a TV channel, vowed to come back a reformed man.

"I have committed mistake after mistake and for that I apologise to the nation,"

Asif said on the Geo Super channel.

"I have disregarded the green Pakistan blazer but I promise that if I get the next chance I will be a totally changed player."

Asif has been at the centre of controversies during the past 15 months. Before the World Twenty20 in South Africa in September last year, fellow fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar struck him with a bat. Asif did not face any caution but Akhtar was sent back home. In June this year, soon after the IPL, Asif was detained at Dubai airport for allegedly possessing opium. He was released after 19 days. In July the IPL announced that Asif's urine sample had tested positive for nandrolone, which was confirmed by the B sample as well.

Asif, though, appealed against the results of his test, on the basis that the level of the drug varied in both samples.

"They announced the report of the test after two and a half months and are now not conducting any hearing,"

Asif said.

"It's piling frustration on me and I anxiously wait to get cleared so that I can resume my cricket."

Asif has been suspended by the PCB from all forms of the game pending the result of the IPL inquiry. The board had ordered an investigation into his Dubai detention, but it is unlikely they will take any action on that front soon.

He had previously tested positive for nandrolone just before the 2006 Champions Trophy in India. Though he was banned for one year by a PCB tribunal, the punishment was overturned a month later on appeal.


PCB decides to insure cricket events, series

Friday, December 5, 2008

David Borman, representative of a British insurance company, gave a briefing to the officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regarding insurance.

The PCB sources told that the board has decided to insure the cricket events and the series to avoid any monetary loss in case of cancellation or postponement of cricket events and series in the present circumstances.

In this regard, the PCB has contacted a British company a representative of which gave a detailed briefing to PCB chief operating officer Saleem Altaf and other officials at the National Cricket Academy here on Wednesday.

He told a procedure of insurance through which monetary loss of the board can be minimized.

Earlier, the previous management of the PCB had also insured an Australian series and had to bear a loss of about Rs 55 million on account of premium.


'ACC cannot play further role for Pak-India cricket series'

Chief executive Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Syed Ashraful Haq said that the uncertain situation of the cricket series between Pakistan and India is thought provoking but we cannot play further role to make the series certain.

In an exclusive talk with Geo News, Syed Ashraful Haq said that the Pak-India series is the biggest event not only in Asia but in the world of cricket and everybody wants this series to be held in time.

He said that if the Pak-India series is postponed due to political reasons then the game would be badly affected.

He said the Asian Cricket Council cannot play enough role to make this series certain because this matter is to be finalized not by the boards but the two governments have to deal it.


Rawalpindi reaches semi-finals in Benazir Bhutto T20

Rawalpindi Region has been placed in semi-finals from group ‘D’ in the Benazir Bhutto Twenty20 Cricket Tournament.

In the first match of the event played at the Diamond Cricket Ground, the Rawalpindi Region made 187 runs for the loss of seven wickets in the allotted 220 overs.

Babar Naeem top-scored with 55 while Sajid Ali for Islamabad Region claimed three wickets.

In reply, Islamabad Region team was all out for 133 due to accurate bowling from Babar Naeem and Rizwan Akbar as both took three wickets each.

Thus, Rawalpindi Region won this match by 34 runs.

In other match, CDA scored 156-5 against NWFP.

Adnan Mufti made 65 runs while Asif Ali got two wickets.

NWFP scored 160-5 in 18.4 overs and won the match by five wickets.

Fawad Khan top scored with 49.


Miandad vows to strengthen national cricket

The Director General of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Javed Miandad has said that he will devise policies to improve the standards of cricket at grass root level in the country.

Talking to journalists here, Miandad said Australia remains the strongest team in the world because of their strong cricket system, which allows nurturing young talent.

He underlined that no talent would be wasted and no injustice would be done to any meritorious cricketer.


India and Pakistan should back each other in cricket: Miandad

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Javed Miandad, the PCB director-general, has said India and Pakistan should back each other in terms of cricket in the wake of the recent Mumbai terror attacks.

He said that Pakistan were keen to play in India and as a reciprocal gesture of goodwill, India should go ahead with their tour of Pakistan in January next year.

"Both India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism and cricket will bridge the gap between the two nations,"
he told an Indian newspaper.

"Pakistan has gone through the same ordeal and suffered not just economically but in terms of cricket too. Our players are starved of international matches and this is the right time for India and Pakistan to complement each other."

Miandad, a former Pakistan captain, said he hoped that India was not isolated in international cricket, given that the ODI series against England was curtailed, the two-Test series hangs in the balance and the Champions League scheduled for December 3-10 has been postponed.

"The English team is sulking and the Champions League is also cancelled,"
said Miandad.
"This is the right time for the Asian bloc to show some solidarity by coming together and assuring the world that the subcontinent is safe for cricket."

India had visited Pakistan in June-July for the Asia Cup this year, but concerns increased when the Champions Trophy, due to be held in September, was postponed following security concerns by some participating nations.

The January tour has been thrown into further jeopardy after the Indian overnment's charge that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai had Pakistani links - a charge Pakistan has denied.

Pakistan themselves have suffered from the postponements this year and if India refuse to tour, it could leave Pakistan without a Test from December 2007 to June 2009, when they are scheduled to visit Sri Lanka.

India's tour, scheduled from January 4 to February 19, includes three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 international.


Pakistan blind beat Sri Lanka in 3rd ODI

Pakistan blind cricket team, rode on a dazzling century (116) by man of the match Nisar Ali fashioned out a fine 7 wicket win over visiting Sri Lankan blind team in the third one-day international at Quaid-e-Azam Cricket Stadium, Mir Pur Aazad Kashmir on Monday.

According to information available here the home team won the toss and decided to field first on a placid wicket. Sri Lanka in their stipulated 40 overs posted a total of 255 runs on the loss of 8 wickets. Ravi parera top scored with 68 runs and was ably assisted by Abhirathne who scored 58 runs. Muhammad Waqas took three wickets.

Pakistan in reply, achieved the target with ease in just 24.4 Overs for the loss 3 wickets.

Nisar led Pakistan to success with a high profile display of skilful batting. Irfan Majeed shone with a half century (51). Chaminda and Chandana Kumara claimed a wicket each.

The fourth ODI will be played tomorrow, Tuesday at the same venue.


Cancellation of Pakistan tour is media’s speculation: BCCI

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Vice president of Indian cricket board Rajiv Shukla said that the Indian government did not refuse to permit the Indian team for touring Pakistan and the news of the tour cancellation is a mere media speculation.

He said that the tour at the moment has not been cancelled.

Rajiv Shukla said that the terrorists are nobody’s friends.

He said that 80 Muslims were killed in the Mumbai attacks.


NWFP crowned champions after 28-run win

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Resistance from Baluchistan did not last long on the final day of the Pentangular Cup final at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. They began the fifth day needing 38 to beat NWFP, but the tenth-wicket pair of Azharullah and Zulfiqar Babar - who had added 17 runs on the fourth day - could manage only nine more.

Umar Gul, the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) captain, struck a timely blow to seal the title. He bowled Azharullah for 5, his first wicket in Baluchistan's second innings. Babar was left stranded on 21. It ended a tense, low-scoring final and denied Baluchistan a remarkable win: the province has historically been the weakest in terms of cricket talent in Pakistan and this side was made up of a number of guest players invited from around the country, including captain Misbah-ul-Haq, from Punjab.

NWFP, who began the final as favourites, won all five games on the way to their first Pentangular title (the tournament has only been contested exclusively by provinces since 2005-06). They were comfortably the most stable side through the tournament, brushing aside the heavily-favoured Sind and Punjab, two provinces which have provided historically the bulk of the national team.

Baluchistan's Saeed Bin Nasir - originally from Sind - brought some cheer, finishing leading run-scorer in the tournament, with 419 at an average of 52.37, closely followed by NWFP's Adnan Raees. NWFP medium-pacers Shakeel-ur-Rehman and Junaid Khan - with the odd Gul cameo - were crucial to their side's success and the highest wicket-takers, taking 55 wickets between them.

The Pentangular ODI cup is due to begin from December 15, with the bulk of the tournament to be played in Karachi.


India cancels T20 Champions League after attacks in Mumbai

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The inaugural six-million dollar Twenty20 Champions League has been called off because of the deadly attacks in Mumbai, organisers said on Thursday.

The tournament, featuring the top eight Twenty20 domestic teams from Australia, South Africa, India, England and Pakistan, was due to be held from December 3-10 in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.

"We held consultations among all the stakeholders including the founding members, the participating teams and members of the Governing Council after the unfortunate terrorist attacks in Mumbai on Wednesday night,"
League chairman Lalit Modi said in a statement.

"It was agreed that in the best interests of all concerned, the inaugural edition of the Champions League should be postponed."

"We very strongly condemn this dastardly and heinous criminal act of a few which has resulted in the loss of precious lives and injury to hundreds.

"We offer our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and we are with them in their hour of grief."

Modi did not say when the tournament will be played.

The teams taking part were Victoria and Western Australia (Australia), Dolphins and Titans (South Africa), Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals (India), Middlesex (England) and Sialkot Stallions (Pakistan).

The touring England team had earlier on Thursday cancelled the last two One-day Internationals of their seven-game series against India and were in talks with Indian officials over next month's two Test matches.


Rawalpindi ruled out for India's Pakistan tour

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Ijaz Butt on Tuesday said Rawalpindi has been dropped as a venue for the upcoming home series against India because the central city's stadium is not ready.

"We will not be able to finish the renovation work that includes the relaying of the outfield, so the matches scheduled for Rawalpindi will be shifted to other cities,"
the PCB chairman said.

Rawalpindi was scheduled to host the second of three Test series and the third match of the five limited-overs international match series.

Ijaz Butt said Faisalabad or Multan, due to host one-day internationals during the India series, were likely replacements.

Rawalpindi's Pindi cricket stadium was also excluded from the list of venues for the Champions Trophy, which was to be held in September this year but was put off for 12 months due to security fears.

Pakistan's main concern remains to convince India that issues over safety should not stop the tourists visiting.

The Indian government's refusal to send its junior hockey team to Pakistan earlier this month raised fears that the cricket series might suffer the same fate.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India last week told the PCB it had sought New Delhi's clearance for the tour and would give further details early next month.

Butt said he hoped the tour would continue as scheduled and briefed the Indian high commissioner Satya Pal about PCB's plans for the series.

"I am hopeful that India will tour and we are preparing for it,"
said Butt, who refused to disclose any details of his meeting -- his second with the Indian high commissioner in a week.

Butt added that he would travel to India early next month to allay the country's security concerns.

"Our first priority should be that they come to Pakistan as per schedule but in the worst scenario we have back up plans of playing the series at neutral venues,"
said Butt.

Pakistan is in talks with the organisers in the United Arab Emirates to host the India series in case the need arises.


Pentangular Cup to begin from Dec 15

Punjab will play Federal Areas in the opening match of the Pentangular Cup one day cricket tournament on December 15 at Gadaffi stadium.

Apart from Lahore the matches will also be played at Karachi. The tournament will be played under lights, said a spokesman of Pakistan Cricket Board here on Monday.

Following is the programme of the matches to be read as dates, teams, venues, umpires, referee ,scorer and tv umpire.

(Dec 15) Punjab-Federal Areas, Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, Iftikhar Malik-Mian Aslam, Khalid Niazi, Abdul Hameed.

(Dec 16) Sindh-Balochistan, National Stadium Karachi, Rasheed Bhatti-Saleem Badar, Ishtiaq Ahmed, Muhammad Ahsan, Iftikhar Malik.

(Dec 17) Punjab-NWFP, National Stadium Karachi, Mian Aslam-Iftikhar Malik, Ishtiaq Ahmed, Salman Hussain, Rasheed Bhatti.

(Dec 18) Federal Areas-Baluchistan, National Stadium Karachi, Rasheed Bhatti-Riazuddin, Anwar Khan, Imran Ali, Mian Aslam.

(Dec 19) Punjab-Baluchistan, National Stadium Karachi, Zameer Haider-Iqbal Butt, Anwar Khan, Muhammad Ahsan, Riazuddin.

(Dec 20) Sindh-NWFP, National Stadium Karachi, Iqbal Butt-Zameer Haider, Khalid Niazi, Salman Hussain, Saleem Badar.

(Dec 21) Sindh-Federal Areas, National Stadium Karachi, Saleem Badar-Riazuddin, Naeem Ahmed, Imran Ali, Iqbal Butt.

(Dec 22) NWFP-Baluchistan, National Stadium Karachi, Nadeem Ghouri-Ahmed Shahab, Naeem Ahmed, Muhammad Ahsan, Ahsan Raza.

(Dec 23) Punjab-Sindh, National Stadium Karachi, Nadeem Ghouri-Ahsan Raza, Abdul Sami Khan, Salman Hussain, Ahmed Shahab.

(Dec 24) NWFP-Federal Areas, National Stadium Karachi, Ahsan Raza-Ahmed Shahab, Abdul Sami Khan, Imran Ali, Nadeem Ghouri.

(Dec 26) FINAL, National Stadium Karachi.


Abdul Qadir made national cricket chief selector

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) here on Thursday appointed former leg-spinner Abdul Qadir as chairman of the national cricket selection committee.

The 53-year-old takes over from former fast bowler Salim Jaffer, who was made head of an interim selection committee last month.

"Qadir will be our new chief selector,"
PCB chairman Ijaz Butt told reporters, adding that other members of the selection committee will be announced shortly.

Qadir's appointment is part of the PCB's drive to use the experience of former players to put Pakistan's team cricket back on track. The Board on Wednesday also appointed former captain Javed Miandad as its director general.

Abdul Qadir said his priority will be to select the most deserving players.

"I want to give my honest dedication and will select players on merit and devise a system where no first class player can complain that he was not selected despite doing well,"
Qadir told media.

Abdul Qadir played 67 Tests for Pakistan in the 1970s and 80s and took 236 wickets. He also played 104 one-day internationals. This is the first time that Qadir has been appointed to the selection committee.

"I want to make the most of the opportunity and hopefully help Pakistan cricket with my experience,"
said Qadir, whose first task will be to select the team for a high profile home series against India.

"The first task is difficult, but we will do a honest selection so that we can put the best fight against India who are improving by leaps and bounds,"
said Qadir.

India is scheduled to go on a January-February tour of Pakistan, but it is still unclear whether the side will receive clearance by its government because of security fears in the wake of suicide bombings in Pakistan by militants.

India are slated to play a side game, three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international.


PCB begins downsizing

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has begun downsizing to minimize monetary burden of the board.

In the first phase, the PCB has retrenched 60 employees including regional development managers and general managers.

According to the PCB sources, the regional offices were set up four years ago and an expenditure of five million rupees was incurred annually on the people posted on various positions in the board.

Now the board expressing non-confidence on the performance of the regional offices have relieved off the employees.


Miandad appointed Director General PCB

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cricket legend and former Pakistan captain and coach Javed Miandad has been appointed director-general of the Pakistan Cricket Board here on Wednesday.

Talking with Geo News, Javed Miandad said that he thanked chairman PCB for assigning him this responsibility.

He said that he would make his best efforts to help the Pakistan cricket team to regain its lost place.

Miandad, 51, said that as director-general PCB, he would look after all local and international cricket affairs.

Javed Miandad was one of the best batsmen in the world of cricket. He represented Pakistan in international cricket for almost 20 years.

He also captained Pakistan in Test and One-day International cricket. After retiring from cricket in 1996, he coached the national team for two times and played an important role in building a good image of Pakistan in international cricket.

He scored 8,832 runs at an average of 52.57 with 23 hundreds and 43 fifties. He also made 7,381 runs (ave 41.70) with eight centuries and 50 half-centuries in One-day international cricket.

In first-class cricket, Miandad scored 28,663 runs (ave 53.37) with 80 hundreds and 139 fifties.


Private leagues must earn ICC recognition first: Wasim Akram

Former Pakistan great Wasim Akram on Tuesday stressed private cricket leagues must get recognition from the game's governing body before being launched to avoid clashes with international sides.

"All the private leagues must get recognition from the International Cricket Council (ICC) or from respective boards before they start, otherwise more and more private leagues could affect international cricket,"
Wasim Kram said.

"These private leagues can offer more money than players get at the international level and that would harm the game at international level, so there must be steps to stop that."

Wasim was reacting to complaints by some Pakistani players banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board for joining the unrecognised Indian Cricket League (ICL).


Yousuf served legal notice: Saleem Altaf

Friday, November 7, 2008

Director-general Pakistan Cricket Board Saleem Altaf has said that Mohammad Yousuf has been sent the legal notice for signing contract with the Indian Cricket League (IPL).

Addressing at a press conference here on Friday, he said that the Cricket World Cup 2011 would commence in February and the final would be played on March 31.

Saleem Altaf said that the 14 matches of the World Cup would be played in four cities of Pakistan – Karachi, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore.

He said that the International Cricket Council (ICC) did not make any objection on the venue of Rawalpindi. However, if the Pindi Stadium is not built in time then the match of the Pakistan-India series would be played in Faisalabad.

Saleem Altaf said that the central secretariat of the World Cup central organizing committee would be based in Lahore and chairman PCB Ejaz Butt would be the convener of the committee.

He told that an international committee would be set up which would review the 15 venues for the World Cup.

Saleem Altaf said that all the four host countries would form their local organizing committees.

He said that the Pak-Indo series would be held in January 2009 as per schedule.


Yousuf blames PCB, captain for ICL move

An angry Mohammad Yousuf on Friday blamed the attitude of Pakistan cricket authorities and captain Shoaib Malik for his move to the unofficial Indian league, denying he was motivated by money.

The 34-year-old was banned from all cricket in Pakistan after he joined the lucrative Indian Cricket League (ICL) on Wednesday.

Yousuf said the attitude of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Malik pushed him towards the ICL.

"Everyone is saying that I have signed (up for) the ICL because of money but the real reason was the attitude of the PCB and Malik which forced me to join the league,"
Yousuf told in a radio interview.

Yousuf left for India on Monday, hours after being named in Pakistan's squad to play three one-day internationals against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi.

The player had previously been left out of the side for a four-nation Twenty20 competition in Canada in October because of visa problems. But he said that was not the whole story.

"I was told that my visa for Canada was delayed. In fact afterwards I got to know that my visa was applied (for) in a wrong manner and I was left out of the team and no one from the PCB bothered to talk to me,"
he added.

"I am the senior most player and team's best performer for the last several years but I was left out of the team. They don't want me in the team so why not I join a league where I am welcomed?"
said Yousuf.

"(The) captain never gave me the respect I deserved."

Yousuf signed for the ICL in September last year after being left out of Pakistan's Twenty20 World Cup squad. The PCB managed to convince him to continue playing for the national side and return the ICL signing-on fee.

But he was lured back to the ICL once more after missing the Canada tournament.

"The PCB must give respect to the senior players and if they don't, more and more senior players will leave for the ICL. That has been the case since last year,"
said Yousuf.

The ICL authorities said they have dropped all the cases against Yousuf for breach of contract in 2007. Yousuf will now make his ICL debut for Lahore Badshahs on Friday.

Yousuf said he still harbours hopes of playing for Pakistan.

"I know I still have three to four years of cricket left in me, so I can still play for Pakistan provided I am accepted by the PCB and my team-mates, especially the captain."


PCB bans Yousuf, terminates his central contract

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) terminating the central contract of the country’s renowned batsman Mohammad Yousuf has banned him on playing cricket in the country after he has joined the controversial Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Director operations PCB Zakir Khan said at a press conference here on Wednesday that the ban on Mohammad Yousuf on playing cricket in the country or for the country would continue as long as he would be playing the ICL.

He said that the central contract of Mohammad Yousuf has been terminated and with that the board would recover from him all the expenses incurred on his case against the ICL.

Zakir Khan further said that the PCB has learnt that the Indian Premier League (IPL) would also approach to the court on the case of Yousuf.

He said that the chairman PCB has given his approval for including Khalid Lateef in the national squad for the series against the West Indies, to be played in Abu Dhabi, in place of Mohammad Yousuf.

Zakir Khan said that former captain Saleem Malik was not offered any position in the board and Rashid Lateef has taken hasty decision in this regard. Rashid should had taken any step after confirming from the board.


PCB faces opposition on Salem Malik's appointment

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Wednesday that it wants answers from Pakistan over the appointment of former captain Saleem Malik as coach of their National Cricket Academy as one of his former teammates resigned in disgust.

Malik was banned from the sport for life in 2000 over claims that he asked Australian players to underperform during their tour of Pakistan in 1994. He appealed and last month overturned the ban, freeing him to accept the job.

An ICC spokesman told that "we will write a 'please explain' letter" to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about the appointment.

Saleem Malik, 45, confirmed his appointment on Monday but so far the PCB has made no formal announcement, despite scheduling a statement for Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Malik's former teammate Rashid Lateef resigned in protest as the national youth academy's wicketkeeping coach.

"I oppose Malik's appointment. It is shocking for me to know that Malik has been appointed as the head coach of the national academy,"
Rashid wrote in his resignation letter to the PCB.

Rashid blew the whistle on match-fixing, giving evidence against Saleem Malik and several other team-mates before a judicial commission investigating the allegations in the late 1990s.

The commission banned Malik and fined former skippers Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul Haq, Saeed Anwar, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed and Akram Raza.

Paceman Ataur Rehman was also banned for life on charges of perjury, although that ban was later lifted.

Malik's name was linked to an Indian match-fixing inquiry that led to a life ban -- later overturned -- for former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin in 2000.

The late South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, also banned for life for involvement in match-fixing, named Malik as an offender.

Malik played 103 Tests and 263 one-day internationals for Pakistan between 1981 and 1999. He led his country in 12 Tests and 34 one-day internationals.


Yousuf wants to play for Pakistan despite joining ICL

Star batsman Mohammad Yousuf on Wednesday said he was still keen to play for Pakistan despite signing up with a rebel Twenty20 league in India.

Yousuf, 34, was set to stage a comeback for Pakistan in next week's three matches against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi after missing a Twenty20 event in Canada last month because of visa problems.

His name featured in the 15-man squad announced on Monday, but shortly afterwards it was revealed that he had signed for the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

"I had a misunderstanding with the ICL. Now that has been sorted out and I will play for them,"
Yousuf, sporting a skull cap and traditional kurta-pyjama, said at a press conference here.

"But I still want to play for my country. This matter is in the hands of the (Pakistan) board, if I get a call-up, I will definitely represent the country."

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has a strict policy of banning all players who have joined the unofficial ICL, which is backed by India's largest media group, Zee television.

About 15 Pakistani players, including former captain Inzamam-ul Haq, joined the league last year and were barred from playing international and national cricket by the PCB.

Yousuf, whose 1,788 runs in 2006 is a calendar-year record, previously signed a contract with the ICL after he was omitted from Pakistan's Twenty20 World Cup squad in September last year.

But the PCB later convinced him to tear up the contract and instead sign with the official Indian Premier League (IPL).

The ICL filed a legal case against Yousuf in Mumbai for breach of contract while the IPL also threatened to take him to court.

ICL business head Himanshu Mody said they had dropped the case against Yousuf.

"We have settled the case with Yousuf. We have signed him for a three-year deal,"
Mody said.

He also claimed that the IPL could not take Yousuf to court because the batsman had not inked any deal with them.

"Yousuf has not taken any money from the IPL. There was no agreement between the two, so the IPL cannot take any action against him. However, if something does come up, we will stand by Yousuf,"
Mody said.

Yousuf, part of the Lahore Badshah team, will make his ICL debut in western Ahmedabad on Saturday with a match against Dhaka Warriors, which comprises players from Bangladesh.


Mohammad Yousuf set to rejoin ICL

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mohammad Yousuf is on the verge of signing up again with the ICL, in what will represent one of the league's biggest coups. The news comes on a day that he was named in a 15-man squad to take on West Indies in three ODIs later this month in Abu Dhabi.

Although the ICL is yet to make an official announcement, Cricinfo has learnt that Yousuf has arrived in Delhi ahead of final talks with top league officials on Tuesday. And ICL sources confirmed to Cricinfo that he was close to signing up to play in the ongoing second season. It is not yet known which team he will play for.

When contacted, the PCB said it was trying to confirm whether Yousuf had joined the ICL, before taking any action.

"We called his family home after hearing of these reports. They told us he has gone to India to play cricket,"

Zakir Khan, the PCB's director of cricket operations, told Cricinfo.

"We want to get in touch with him, as we have not been told anything, to see what the facts of the situation are before we take any further steps."

Some important legal questions remain unanswered at the moment, for the ICL's latest acquisition is a long-running saga. Yousuf had initially signed up with the league in September 2007, in protest at being axed from Pakistan's squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

He was later lured out of playing in the ICL by the Pakistan board, with the promise of a lucrative contract in the IPL. But the ICL took the matter to an arbitration court in Mumbai, arguing that as Yousuf had signed up with them, he was ineligible to play for any other league.

A stay order was passed against Yousuf's participation in the IPL, though an appeal was later filed by the PCB on Yousuf's behalf in the Bombay High Court. There the matter has so far remained.

The IPL, meanwhile, is looking at the legal options available.

"I don't have the papers with me but we will be definitely exploring all legal options,"

Niranjan Shah, the IPL's vice-chairman, told Cricinfo.

Also in the spotlight will come Yousuf's international future with Pakistan. All boards around the world have taken their cue from the BCCI in barring ICL-contracted players from playing for the national team, or in some cases, even domestic sides. The PCB was no different: under the previous chairman Nasim Ashraf, all of Pakistan's ICL players have been barred from representing Pakistan or playing domestic cricket. As per that policy, Yousuf will not represent Pakistan again which will put their selectors in a fix, having just announced the squad.

But the present administration - not available for comment currently - has hinted at a different, though not yet fully-formed, stance. At his first press conference after taking over as chairman, Ijaz Butt said the bans on ICL players would have to be looked at again as he didn't see a difference between the ICL and the IPL. Inzamam-ul-Haq, currently leading the Lahore Badshahs in the ICL, has been in touch with Butt directly about the issue and is likely to pursue it in an effort to allow players back into the national fold. Zakir Khan, though, maintained that the PCB's policy on ICL "remains the same".

Yousuf's limited-overs future has been the subject of increasing debate in Pakistan, despite a stellar record in recent years. His relatively poor fielding skills have been held against him regularly, as are his advancing years now. He has been open in his criticisms of this view, recently hitting out at the previous selection committee for continuing to ignore him from the Twenty20 side. That attack prompted the committee to select him for the Twenty20 tournament in Canada in August, though ultimately Yousuf couldn't go because of problems with his visa.


Intikhab’s contract finalized, Saleem Malik to be academy’s chief coach

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has finalized the contract with the new coach Intikhab Alam while this ahs been decided to appoint former captain Saleem Malik as chief coach of the National Cricket Academy.

The PCB sources told that the cricket board has made a two-year contract with coach Intikhab Alam under which he would be paid an annual salary of six million rupees besides other perks.

Intikhab Alam will get an additional amount of Rs 1,000,000 on winning the final of the ICC event and Rs 500,000 on qualifying for the final.

He will not be allowed to write column for any newspaper or magazine and take part in commentary for electronic media.

Meanwhile, former captain Saleem Malik has been assigned the responsibility of the chief coach of the PCB’s National Cricket Academy. This post was vacated after the appointment of Aaqib Javed as assistant coach of the national cricket team.


Shoaib Akhtar gives bat in gift to Petangular Cup’s best batsman

Pakistan cricket team’s fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar gave away Sachin Tendulkar’s bat in gift to Umer Amin, the best batsman of Federal Area in the Pentangular Cup.

Umer Amin has played an important role in the victory of his team Federal Area with his unbeaten innings of 76 runs.

He has so far scored about 250 runs in the Pentangular Tournament.

The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ Shoaib Akhtar, to encourage the young batsman, gave him the bat which he had received in gift from Indian star batsman Sachin Tendulkar and expressed his kind wishes for him.


Aamir Sohail likely to be PCB chief selector

Former skipper Pakistan cricket team Aamir Sohail is likely to become the Chief Selector of national cricket team, sources said.

The current selection committee, under Saleem Jafar had responsibility to select players of Abu Dhabi series, was temporary and this would be dissolved after the series against West Indies.

Former captain Aamir Sohail is the strong frontrunner for the post and sources added that he has been offered the post by the PCB.

However, Sohail will have to bid fare well to cricket commentary as long as he remains on the job.

Sohail is scheduled to meet Chairman PCB Ejaz Butt in Lahore on Wednesday to discuss and settle down all the related issues in this regard.

He remained the Chief Selector in 2003 and some additional charges would also be provided to him.


Intikhab prefers domestic games over camps

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Intikhab Alam, the new Pakistan coach, has given preference to match experience in domestic tournaments over camps to prepare for the home series against India in January next year. Intikhab took over from Geoff Lawson in late October and his first assignment will be the ODI series against West Indies in Abu Dhabi starting November 12.

"I would say there is no better way to prepare national team probables than to make them play every competitive match of the forthcoming Quaid-e-Azam Trophy,"

Intikhab told the Karachi-based News.

"It is useless organising and arranging long-duration camps when the top domestic competition is in progress."

Pakistan's national players are currently participating in the Pentangular Trophy, a provincial four-day domestic tournament, which will be followed by the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the country's premier first-class competition.

Intikhab said even though Pakistan have played no Test cricket since early this year they have an advantage over India, who have played 11 Tests, including the ongoing one in Delhi, as well as four ODI series.

"[India] must be feeling exhausted by the time they play the series against Pakistan starting at the turn of year. By the time the Indians will be here, the probables after playing good and hard domestic cricket would be in a better position to deliver."

Intikhab, who coached Pakistan during their victorious World Cup campaign in 1992 and then again in 2000, said the job was about man management.

"Most of the boys emerging to the forefront already have the knowledge of basic coaching. What a coach does is to make slight adjustments in the technique of a player if he goes wrong somewhere or to work mentally on him if he has got a habit of committing the same mistake regularly. A coach is the one who earns respect from the boys leading by example. Cricket is all about discipline, patience and training and learning in a friendly atmosphere."

Intikhab said he was fortunate to have played alongside Ijaz Butt, the current Pakistan board chairman.

"It is always easy to do your job when you feel you would not get interrupted."


Cricket’ll be destroyed if foreign teams don’t tour Pakistan: Younus Khan

Senior batsman of Pakistan cricket team Younus Khan said that cricket in Pakistan would be destroyed if foreign team do not tour the country.

In an interview to an Australian newspaper, Younus Khan said that Australia did not tour Pakistan since 1998 for security reasons. They refused to participate in an important event like the Champions Trophy and insisted to shift the series to neutral grounds. These decisions are going to be causes of destruction of cricket in Pakistan.

He said that the people of Pakistan are taking great interest in cricket and they want to watch Brett Lee, Shaun Tate and Ricky Ponting playing at Pakistan grounds.

Younus said that if Australians do not tour Pakistan then Pakistan cricket would be damaged. Australia should think over it and should take it seriously because it is the duty of the international teams to promote cricket and not to destroy it.


West Indies call off Abu Dhabi Tests

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The proposed Test series between West Indies and Pakistan, planned originally for Abu Dhabi in November, will not be going ahead, after West Indies cited problems in their schedule. The decision leaves Pakistan with no Test cricket this year, despite repeated efforts by the board in the recent months to slot them in.

"The West Indies board have informed us that they cannot go ahead with the series,"

Salim Altaf, the Pakistan Cricket Board's director-general, told.

Had it gone ahead, the two-Test series would've taken place after the three ODIs between the two countries at the same venue in mid-November. The short amount of time left between now and then, however, turned out to be a hurdle.

"Their board said there wasn't enough time for them to negotiate touring terms for players with the WIPA (West Indies Player Association),"

Altaf said.

"They also have to go to New Zealand soon after, so the schedule would have been a bit hectic for them."

Dr Donald Peters, the WICB CEO, while making the announcement said the possibility of playing two Test matches against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi was explored by both boards but such an arrangement could not be put in place.

"There was a proposal to play two Tests matches against Pakistan, also in Abu Dhabi, but logistically this proved too difficult for us, so we had to decline that request,"

he said.

"The team will have a camp in New Zealand as part of the build-up for what will be a very important tour. This will allow them to get fully acclimatized to the conditions."

Even if West Indies had agreed to the Tests, the financial benefits for a cash-strapped Pakistan board would have been questionable. The postponement of the Australia home series and the Champions Trophy due to security concerns has hurt Pakistan badly. Organising the series with West Indies, a board official revealed to Cricinfo, would have cost roughly US$2 million.

Whether that would have been recovered, let alone a profit made, is doubtful. Few TV broadcasters were interested in a series on neutral territory with little spectator interest. One local sports channel, said the official, offered "the grand sum of US$40,000 to broadcast the series." Though playing Tests might have helped the team, "commercially it just wasn't very viable for us," the official said. Local reports also suggested that the amount the West Indies board had asked for as payment for what would be, in effect, a home series for Pakistan, wasn't something the PCB could afford.

However, Altaf revealed that the boards had agreed to talk again in Dubai in December to try and fit the tour in to the Future Tours Programme.

"That is a positive thing. We will meet again and hopefully we can organise this series at a more suitable date."

While West Indies will play two Tests, two Twenty20 Internationals and five ODIs from December 5 to January 13, Pakistan's next scheduled Test assignment is the home series against India starting in January.

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