16 Players announced for the first 2 ODIs against Bangladesh

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Selection Committee headed by Mr. Salahuddin Ahmed has announced the following players for the first 2-ODIs to be played against Bangladesh starting from 8th April 2008. The names are as follows:

1. Shoaib Malik - (Captain)
2. Salman Butt
3. Nasir Jamshed
4. Younis Khan
5. Mohammad Yousuf
6. Misbah-ul-Haq
7. Shahid Afridi
8. Kamran Akmal - (Wicket Keeper)
9. Umar Gul
10. Sohail Tanvir
11. Iftikhar Anjum
12. Sohail Khan
13. Wahab Riaz
14. Fawad Alam
15. Bazid Khan
16. Sarfraz Ahmed - (Wicket Keeper)

The players such as Yasir Hamid, Yasir Arafat, Faisal Iqbal, Naumanullah, Abdur Rauf, Kamran Hussain, Junaid Zia, Yasir Ali, Umair Khan and others who are performing well in Domestic Cricket (Patangular & ABN AMRO One Day Cup) will also be considered for the next 3ODIs.


Academy Squad & Officials for Tri-angular Series of Academy Teams in Bangladesh

Pakistan Cricket Board has announced 14 players for the Tri-angular Series of Academy Teams (Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa) in Bangladesh starting from 14th April to 5th May, 2008 Following is the list of selected players.

Khurram Manzoor - [Vice Captain]
Raheel Majeed
Khalid Latif - [Captain]
Asad Shafiq
Ali Asad
Ahmed Shehzad
Azhar Ali
Naeem Anjum - (Wicket Keeper)
Anwar Ali
Adil Raza
Mohammad Aamer
Imad Wasim
Yasir Shah

Team Officials

1. Manager - Azhar Zaidi
2. Coach - Ijaz Ahmed
3. Trainer - Saboor
4. Physio - Adeel Bajwa
5. Analyst - Umar Farooq


PCB will not stop rebels playing in England

Pakistan’s cricket board will not try to stop players from the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) taking part in English county cricket, officials said on Saturday.

“Our policy on the ICL players is clear. They are not contracted to us nor are they eligible to play in any tournament in Pakistan. But if they go and play county or shield cricket we can’t stop them,”
Shafqat Naghmi, the chief operating officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told Reuters.

“We have no legal or moral reason to stop ICL players from playing in any event in any other country apart from Pakistan,”
he said.

“If anyone in any other country wants to play them it is their decision.”

Around 16 players from Pakistan are appearing in the ICL, a Twenty20 event in its second year, at the moment.

The PCB has banned ICL players from playing domestic cricket.

The ICL is bankrolled by the controllers of India’s largest listed media firm but has not been sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC).


Verdict on Yousuf against IPL participation on April 30

An Indian arbitration panel which heard the case filed by Indian Cricket League (ICL) to stop Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf from playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) would not announce its final order before April 30, ICL lawyer said.

ICL legal adviser Hitesh Jain told Geo television from Mumbai that the panel had reserved its final order on the case to announce it on April 30.

This would rule out Yousuf, who was not put on IPL players’ auction in February because of the case, from playing a major part of the IPL which starts on April 18 even if the panel rules in his favour.

ICL had filed a case against Yousuf that he had first signed a contract with it and hence could not join IPL. The league had also disputed Yousuf’s claim that he had returned the advance payment amount he got from ICL to an ICL agent in Pakistan.

Jain said since the arbitration panel had reserved its order for final pronouncement the stay order on Yousuf from playing in the IPL remained.

“We are expecting a judgement where Yousuf will be prevented from participating in the IPL. Our case is that Yousuf has not returned the advance amount to ICL or to an authorised agent of ICL,”
Jain said.

“The person to whom Yousuf claimed to have returned the money is not ICL’s agent in Pakistan and therefore ICL has not received any money from Yousuf. ICL still holds that there is a binding contract between ICL and Yousuf and he can’t participate in any competing league during the term of the contract,”
Jain said.


Pak squad against BD to be announced tomorrow

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Chief Selector of Pakistan Cricket team Salahuddin Sallu has said the squad for Pak- Bangladesh series will be announced tomorrow (Sunday).

Talking to newsmen before the selection committee’s meeting at Qaddafi stadium Lahore he said that squad for the first two one dayers will be announced tomorrow after consulting Geoff Lawson and Chairman PCB.

He also said that inclusion of Muhammad Asif and Umer Gul is conditional to their fitness reports.


Shoaib Akhtar not to be included in Pak squad against BD

Chief Selector of Pakistan Cricket team Salahuddin Sallu hinted Saturday that fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar will not be included in Pakistan squad for first two one-days against Bangladesh.

Talking to newsmen here he said that since disciplinary committee has not sent report regarding Shoaib Akhtar to the Selection Committee therefore he is not being considered for the squad, which will be announced tomorrow.

He also said that inclusion of Muhammad Asif and Umer Gul is conditional to their fitness reports.


Under-15 squad after Wrist Tests

Pakistan will name their squad for the Under-15 World Cricket Tournament after results of Wrist Tests of the selected players areavailable in a couple of days.

The Under-15 tournament is scheduled to be played in the West Indies from April 15 to May 6.

“Wrist Tests of the selected players are being conducted right now, which will be completed in a couple of days and the team will then be finalised”,
said Chairman Junior Selection Committee, Col. Naushad Ali.

He said that 20 Under-15 players, including five officials, have been selected for the trip to the West Indies.

They were selected after trials at Muridke among 36 players. The Wrist Tests are now being conducted for age scrutiny.


Lahore Badshahs beat Kolkata Tigers to remain unbeaten in ICL

Lahore Badshahs maintained their winning record in the Indian Cricket League when they won by 22 runs against Kolkata Tigers.

Twenty-two were also the runs conceded by Kolkata Tigers medium-pacer Abu Nechim in one over.

The Lahore Badshahs had been unconquered in five matches so far in the tournament.

The Tigers seemed to have them on the mat, but they ended up being tamed. The Badshahs, without captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, were put in to bat by the Tigers and a tight performance from the bowlers left them at only 53 for 2 at the half-way stage.

Taufeeq Umar held together the innings with a 35-ball 41, and his dismissal paved the way for Hasan Raza and Naved Latif to take charge. They didn't disappoint, as 64 runs were scored off the final five overs.

Latif got the momentum going with a six off Upul Chandana in the 16th, before both he and Raza belted a four and a six in the next from Nechim, which went for 22. The same Nechim had been the star for the Tigers on Wednesday, wrecking the Chandigarh Lions' semi-final hopes with his 4 for 27.

Further punishment was inflicted in the 20th over bowled by Nantie Hayward, with Azhar Mahmood - facing his first ball - hitting a six off the final delivery. Raza was run out for 48, while Latif was unbeaten on 30 from 17.

Mahmood struck soon after as the Tigers began their hunt, and when his new-ball partner Mohammad Sami scalped the dangerous Lance Klusener, which was soon followed by Deep Dasgupta's run-out, the Tigers were tottering at 12 for 4.

Despite a run-a-ball 46 from Rohan Gavaskar, and captain Craig McMillan's 30, the Tigers couldn't upstage the Badshahs. They finished at 131 for 7. For the Badshahs, it was an impressive collective bowling effort; of the five bowlers used, offspinner Arshad Khan, playing his first match of the tournament, was the most expensive with 26 coming off his four.

The Badshahs next take on the bottom-placed Ahmedabad Rockets in their final encounter on Sunday, while the Kolkata Tigers take on the Delhi Giants in an important clash to determine a semi-final spot.


Pakistan want South Africa Test series

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pakistan is aiming for a home or away Test cricket series against South Africa in October after Australia pulled out of a tour due to security fears, the country's cricket chief said.

Pakistan are due to play only three Test series over the next two years, hosting India in December-January and then touring Sri Lanka and Australia in 2009.

Australia were due to play three Tests, five one-day matches and a Twenty20 here in March-April but the tour was postponed this month due to a wave of Islamic militant violence across Pakistan.

"The lack of Tests is worrying for us so we have negotiated with a number of countries and are hopeful to either host or tour South Africa for a Test series in October this year,"

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf told AFP.

Pakistan's Australian coach Geoff Lawson said earlier this month he was surprised at his team's lack of Test series.

"It is strange that we play only three Test series in two years but I am not responsible for the FTP (Future Tours Programme) and I don't organise the programme,"

Lawson said earlier this month.

The FTP is a programme of Tests and one-day matches to take place between ten full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) between 2001 and 2011.

Pakistan have partially filled the gap created by the Australian tour postponement by arranging a five-match one-day and one Twenty20 international series with Bangladesh.

Bangladesh arrive here on April 6 and start the one-day series with the first match in Lahore two days later.

"We are playing Bangladesh and then hope to have another five-match series with Sri Lanka before the Asia Cup in June. New Zealand and the West Indies have also shown interest to tour for a one-day series,"

said Ashraf.

"We also hope that Australia fulfil their commitment to tour us in April next year and we are negotiating on that as well."

Ashraf said he hoped either New Zealand or the West Indies would agree to tour before the ICC Champions Trophy, which Pakistan hosts from September 11-28.

Pakistan's hopes of hosting Sri Lanka soon after Bangladesh were dashed as the proposed programme (April 23-May 5) clashed with the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) which starts from April 18.


PCB selection Committee meeting on Saturday

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection Committee will hold a meeting on Saturday to finalize the national squad for the upcoming series against Bangladesh.

Fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif are less likely to be included in the squad.

Chief Selector Salahud Din Sallu will chair the PCB meeting on Saturday at Gaddafi Stadium.

Talking to Geo News, the chief selector said the players would be short-listed for five-match series against Bangladesh. The 15 to 16-member team is expected to be declared for the first two matches.

Salahud Din said the case of Shoaib Akhtar is with the disciplinary committee; whereas Mohammed Asif and Umer Gul are injured, that is why, these bowlers could not get clearance.


Muhammad Asif barred from Surrey

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif on Thursday said he has been barred from playing for English county Surrey this season as he recovers from an elbow injury.

Asif signed for Surrey in October but has been denied clearance by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which believes the English season is putting extra strain on its players.
“I am not going to play for Surrey this year. It would have been a great honour to play for them but Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not allowed me due to a hectic international schedule,”
Asif told AFP.

Umar Gul, another injury-plagued fast bowler, has also been barred by the PCB which is hosting the Asia Cup in July and the ICC Champions Trophy in September. Only leg-spinner Danish Kaneria and all-rounder Yasir Arafat have been cleared for this year’s English season. Kaneria will play for Essex while Arafat has signed for Kent.

Asif, 25, is recovering from an elbow surgery suffered in Australia in December last year. He has not played since a one-day match against South Africa in October and has been ruled out of next month’s home one-day series with Bangladesh.

The paceman faces a race against time to be fit for next month’s lucrative Indian Premier League, when he is scheduled to play for Delhi.
“I have started bowling four to five overs in the net and hope to be back at my full fitness later next month,”
he said.


Pakistan hopeful of Australia tour in October

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pakistan Cricket Board is hopeful South Africa will tour the country in October to play Tests so that the national cricketers get to play maximum amount of cricket.

Dr Nasim Ashraf told Geo Super that the board is doing its best to ensure Pakistan continues to play quality cricket at home.

He however, said Pakistan Cricket Board was not contacted by the England Cricket Board for a series between Australia and Pakistan in England.

PCB has roped in Bangladesh for a one-day series in April and is in negotiations with Sri Lanka for a five-match series after Australia pulled out of its tour earlier this month.


Asif expects to be fit before series against BD

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fast bowler Mohammad Asif has expressed hope that he would be 100 per cent fit before the series against Bangladesh and would be seen in action in the series.

Mohammad Asif did full training under supervision of coach Jeff Lawson and trainer David Dyer at the National Cricket Academy, Lahore.

Talking with Geo News, Mohammad Asif said that he is bowling these days and he die not face any pain in his right elbow.

Mohammad Asif has been suffering from elbow problem for the last six months. He played his last one-day international last year against South Africa in Multan after which he went through an operation in Asutralia.


PCB selection committee meeting on March 29

The meeting of the PCB selection committee will be held on March 29 in Lahore.

According to the PCB sources, names of the players for the home series against Bangladesh will be finalized in the meeting, which will be presided over by chief selector Salahuddin Sallu.

This is likely that no training camp of the national team will be held for preparation of the series. The players will continue to take part in the national one-day cricket tournament and their selection will be made on the basis of their performance in the national one-day tournament.

Captain Shoaib Malik is not participating in the tournament due to illness of his mother.

Mohammad Yousuf is also absent from the tournament whereas Umar Gul and Mohammad Asif are included in the injury list.


Sri Lanka asks Pakistan to make way for Indian league

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sri Lanka have asked Pakistan to re-schedule a proposed one-day international series in order to allow their players to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL), a top official said here Monday.

Chief executive of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Duleep Mendis said the team would tour Pakistan only if the dates did not clash with those of the IPL.

"We have told Pakistan that we are keen to help Pakistan only if it did not clash with the IPL,"
Mendis said.

Sri Lanka had offered to play in a short series of five one-day matches in Pakistan after Australia pulled out of a scheduled tour in March-April due to security concerns.

However the dates proposed for the series in Pakistan (April 23 to May 5) were clashing with those of the money-spinning league, set to take place at various venues in India from April 18 to June 1.

The date clash resulted in some of the top Sri Lankan players contracted to the IPL threatening to skip the series.

Mendis said SLC had already released players for the IPL and it would cause inconvenience if the Pakistan tour was to clash with the IPL.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has said that it was willing to offer SLC 800,000 dollars for the five ODIs but only if they sent their full team.

Niranjan Shah, the Indian board secretary, had also telephoned SLC on Friday to note their displeasure over the Pakistan tour, SLC sources said.

The IPL is a city-based tournament with eight teams bought by franchises who selected their respective line-ups via auction in Mumbai last month.

The tournament will see international cricketers put aside their national allegiances to play for privately-owned teams for the first time ever.

Players have received huge pay packets, starting from 100,000 dollars for the first year, to take part in the 44-day, 59-match extravaganza.


Home series schedule against Bangladesh announced

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the schedule for home series pf five one-dayers and a 20twenty match against Bangladesh on Monday.

Bangladeshi team would reach Karachi on April 6. First match of the series would be played on April 8 in Lahore, second on April 11 in Faisalabad, third on April 13 in Lahore, fourth in Multan on April 16 whereas fifth one-dayer would be played in Karachi on April 19.

All the matches would be day-night whereas the only 20twenty match of the series would be played in Karachi on April 20.


PCB proposes to host South Africa for a three-match series in October this year

Pakistani cricket officials are making efforts to line up a three-match Test series against South Africa this fall in a bid to give their Test-starved cricketers a wholesome contest against one of the best teams in the cricket world.

After chasing several Test-playing nations to fill in the blanks left in their Future Tour Programme (FTP) by Australia’s pull-out earlier this month by lining up one-day matches, Pakistan’s cricket authorities have finally started to think more sensibly.

In a year when Pakistan are guaranteed to play dozens of One-day Internationals (ODIs) and just three Tests, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been in a mad rush in recent weeks, trying to fix ODIs with any team that was willing to oblige.

But not anymore, it was learnt here on Sunday. A top Board official told ‘The News’ that that the PCB will soon be sending a formal proposal to the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) for a three-match Test series immediately after this September’s ICC Champions Trophy.

“We have had a verbal communication with them (South Africa) over a possible Test series and their response is encouraging,”
said Shafqat Naghmi, PCB’s Chief Operating Officer. Naghmi said that Pakistan want to host South Africa for the Test series which will be an arrangement outside the FTP.

“Our first priority is to host the South Africans for the proposed Test series in October but if because of any reason they cannot visit then we will be willing to send our team to South Africa,”
he said.

Naghmi said that the PCB did its research before sounding out the South Africans for a Test series.
“We scanned the FTP and other tour commitments of the top Test-playing teams and found out that South Africa are the only leading side that has a window big enough in their FTP to fit in a Test series this year,”
he added.

The PCB official said that the Board has made contact with the UCBSA, realising the fact that their team might end up playing hardly any Test cricket in 2008.
“Following the postponement of the Test series against Australia, Pakistan have been just left with three Tests (against India) during the whole of this year,”
he pointed out.

Pakistan’s last Test outing was against India in Bangalore last December and if PCB’s proposed Test series against South Africa fails to materialise then they would begin their Test year in November when they host India for a three-match Test series.

Naghmi said that UCBSA officials reacted positively to the PCB proposal and have asked for a detailed offer in black and white.South Africa were the last team to tour Pakistan for Tests and ODIs last October. Under Graeme Smith, the Proteas won the two-match Test series 1-0 and the ODI series 3-2.

This January, Pakistan hosted Zimbabwe for a five-match ODI series and were scheduled to meet world champions Australia in a home series during March-April that was initially supposed to include three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 International.

But the Aussies refused to honour their FTP commitment, citing security fears and the PCB was left with the tough task of saving the home season from becoming a complete disaster.The Board tried to line up one-dayers against India and Sri Lanka but so far it has only managed to confirm a home series against lowly Bangladesh involving five ODIs and a Twenty20 game next month.

Efforts are on to confirm five one-dayers against Sri Lanka but after an initial breakthrough that came in the form of a recent promise from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chairman Arjuna Ranatunga, the hurriedly-planned series is likely to fall victim to the Indian Premier League (IPL).


Lahore Badshahs cruise to Giant victory over Delhi Giants

The Lahore Badshahs reinforced their championship class as they demolished the Delhi Giants by eight wickets in what could largely be described as a one-sided match.

After restricting the Giants to a paltry 103 runs in their twenty overs, the Badshahs made short work of the chase with Imran Nazir once again coming to the party with a swashbuckling 60 and his rollicking 64 run partnership with Humayun Farhat, who himself scored 16 runs off 19 deliveries with two boundaries.

With the asking rate never in the reckoning, the Lahore Badshahs decided to take things easy and played out a few dot balls towards the end though Hasan Raza decided to put the Giants out of their misery in the eleventh over by smashing medium pacer Abid Nabi for a six over cover and a flick for four over square-leg. Raza was unbeaten on 20 off 19 deliveries while Nazir made 60 not out.

Nazir was at his destructive best as he set about the bowling and smashed five boundaries and a six to demoralise the Giants bowlers led by Shane Bond. Though Nazir lost his opening partner Imran Farhat early, he found an able ally in the other Farhat brother Humayun.

Earlier, former test leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed took three wickets for 33 runs to curtail the Delhi Giants to just 103 for the loss of seven wickets in their 20 overs, with Monish Mishra top-scoring with 33 runs off 31 deliveries with five hits to the boundary.

The Giants began with a flourish scoring 19 runs within the third over, but the wicket of Avishka Gunawardene took a bit of steam off their batting. Mishra was joined by his captain Marvan Atapattu and the duo took the score to 53 before Mishra was bowled by Mushtaq Ahmed, who also accounted for Abbas Ali and Abhinav Bali.

The Delhi batsmen kept getting set and losing their wickets at the most untimely manner and it was left to the late pyrotechnics of Kiwi fast bowler Shane Bond and keeper Nic Pothas that the Giants managed to even complete their quota of twenty overs. The duo put on 23 runs off four overs to ensure that their team crossed the 100 mark.

For the Badshahs apart from Mushtaq Ahmed, the other bowlers too came to the party with Shahid Nazir bowling the most economical spell in the history of ICL, conceding just 11 runs off four overs and accounting for the wicket of Giants captain Marvan Atapattu.

Mohammed Sami picked up a wicket for 22 runs, the same as Azhar Mahmood while Rana Naveed conceded 26 runs off his four overs without taking a wicket.


Rawalpindi Rams among 4 leaders after 2 rounds of ABN-AMRO CUP

Rawalpindi Rams moved to the top of their respective preliminary group after two rounds of matches in the ABN-AMRO Cup One-Day National Cricket Tournament.

Rawalpindi Rams and PIA both earned eight points each after the second round on Satuday. Rams, the only regional outfit to top their group, were ahead of PIA on the basis of net run-rate n Group D.

The other group leaders were all departmental teams—KRL in Group A, Wapda in B and National Bank in C.

In Group A, KRL and Islamabad were tied with eight points each but the former was on top because of average run rate. The other teams in this groups with respective points were Habib Bank and Peshawar (4 each) and Lahore Lions and Quetta Bears (Nil each).

Wapda emerged as hands-down leader in Group B with
eight points, followed by Sialkot Stallion and Hyderabad Hawks (4 each) and SNGPL

and Multan Tigers (Nil each).

The Group C also followed the same pattern with National Bank leading with eight points, followed by Lahore Eagles and Customs (4 each) and Faislabad Wolves and Karachi Zebras (Nil).

Pursuing leaders Rawalpindi Rams and PIA in Group D were ZTBL and SSGC (4 each) and Karachi Dolphins and Abbottabad Rhinos (0 each).


Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan hits IPL roadblock

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sri Lanka's proposed series of one-day internationals against Pakistan next month is in jeopardy due to a clash of dates with the cash-rich Indian Premier League.

Sri Lanka had offered to play in the short series following a pull-out by Australia from a full tour of Pakistan in March-April due to security concerns. But the dates of the series -- from April 23 to May 5 -- are in direct clash with the inaugural Twenty20 league, to be played over 44 days at various venues in India from April 18 to June 1.

The lure of playing in the cash-rich IPL ahead of the Pakistan series could prompt top Sri Lankan players to shun their national colours, media reports said Sunday.

Captain Mahela Jayawardene, key batsman Kumar Sangakkara and spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan are among a host of Sri Lankan players contracted to play in the IPL.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the governing body for the sport here, would be helpless to prevent the players from playing in the league as they are currently bound only by the West Indies tour contract, a news publication reported.

It said the players, currently in the West Indies to play two Tests and three one-day internationals, had deliberated at length over the clash.

"It is reliably learnt that there was a meeting amongst the Lankan cricketers on Friday at Guyana on the next course of action they were to take if they don't get the required permission to play in the IPL,"
the daily said.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has said that it was willing to offer SLC 800,000 dollars for the series of five one-day internationals, slated to be held from April 23 to May 5, but only if they send their full team.

The clash of dates has apparently also upset the Indian Cricket Board with a top official reported to have expressed his displeasure over the Pakistan tour to his counterpart in Sri Lanka over telephone.

SLC chief Arjuna Ranatunga is banking on the Indian tour in July-August to pull the board out of financial difficulties. A possible Indian decision to cancel the tour would cost Sri Lanka more than a million dollars.


Akbar’s unbeaten ton fails to save Dolphins against SSGC

Akbar Rehman smashed a sparkling unbeaten century but that failed to save Karachi Dolphins from 28 runs defeat at the hands of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) in one- Day National Cricket Tournament at NBP Sports Complex Ground here on Saturday.

Defiant Akbar failed to get support from the other batsman and finished 106 off 87 deliveries. It was studded with ten boundaries and one six as Dolphins were bowled out for 293 in their 50 overs.

Earlier inserted to bat first SSGC recovered after losing opener Mohtashim Ali in the first over to post a mammoth 321 all out in 49.2 overs.

Asif Zakir hit 15 boundaries and one six in his 87 off 76 balls and Ashraf Ali belted eight 4s and four 6s in his 81 off 80 balls. They shared 162 runs for the second wickets in 23 overs.

Slow left arm spinner Afzal Hussain bowled out in a difficult situation to finish on excellent figures of four wickets for 36 runs.


ICC expresses satisfaction over Champions Trophy arrangements

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A four-member delegation of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has expressed satisfaction over the arrangements taken Champions Trophy, which will be held in Pakistan from 11 to 28 September.

The ICC delegation was briefed about the arrangements taken Champions Trophy in a meeting here on Friday.

The ICC delegation is in Lahore to inspect arrangements for this year's Champions Trophy to be hosted by Pakistan.

This visit is seen as significant after the concerns being expressed by visiting teams about the security situation in Pakistan.

The ICC delegation includes event and communications managers who met with Pakistan Cricket Board officials here.

They will also visit venues in Karachi, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan where Champions Trophy matches will be held in September.

ICC's General Manager, commercial Campbell Jameson said that issues related to budget, match schedules, match timings, venues and dates have been discussed with PCB.

PCB Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi said that both parties had discussed modalities and they are on track for holding the champions trophy in September.


ICC team visit Pindi cricket stadium

A three-member delegation of International Cricket Council (ICC) has visited Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium and reviewed the arrangements for Champions Trophy.

Regional manager Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Khateeb Rizwan has briefed the delegation about renovation work and said that additional seats are being installed.

Communication Manager ICC Samiul Hasan Burni told media that another delegation of ICC would visit Pakistan in May or June to review the security arrangements.

He expressed hope that Champions Trophy would be organized in Pakistan.


Allowing Hair for umpiring will harm cricket: Rameez Raja

Former captain of Pakistan cricket team Rameez Raja said that giving again a permission of umpiring to Darrel Hair is very shocking and this would be harmful for cricket.

He said that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should not having shown any weakness in this matter.

Talking with Geo News at the National Academy, Rameez Raja said that the PCB should have boycotted the ICC meeting in which Darrel Hair was permitted umpiring.

He said that the ICC did it to avoid any court case.

Rameez asked the ICC to tell how the communication of Darrel Hair was improved that he has been given a permission of umpiring.

He said that today the ICC has reinstated Hair and tomorrow it would appoint him in the matches of Pakistan.


Asia Cup 2008 Schedule:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Match Schedule:
June 24 Bangladesh v UAE at Lahore
Pakistan v Hong Kong at Karachi
June 25 Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Lahore
India v Hong Kong at Karachi
June 26 Sri Lanka v UAE at Lahore
Pakistan v India at Karachi
June 28 A2 v B2 at Karachi
June 29 A1 v B1 at Karachi
June 30 A1 v A2 at Karachi
July 2 B1 v B2 at Karachi
July 3 A1 v B2 at Karachi
July 4 A2 v B1 at Karachi
July 6 FINAL at Karachi


Sharex cricket club beat Shaheen cricket club by 7 wickets

Sharex cricket club Sadiqabad beat Shaheen cricket club Rahim Yar Khan by seven wickets in the opening match of annual district cricket championship-2008 being played here in Mehmood stadium on Friday.

The first round of the tournament is being played on knock out basis.

Second match will be played between City cricket club R Y Khan and Khawaja Fareed cricket club RY Khan on Saturday.


ICC team arrives in Lahore to review Champions’ Trophy arrangements

A four-member delegation of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has arrived in Lahore from Dubai for a two-day visit to review the arrangements for the ICC Champions Trophy, which is to be held in September this year.

The four-member ICC team consists of event manager Chris Tetley, sponsor service manager Errol Stewart, communication manager Samiul Hasan and general manager commercial Campbell Genon.

The team will meet today the officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

Besides touring Lahore, the ICC team during its two-day tour will also pay visit to Rawalpindi and Karachi where the matches of the ICC Champions Trophy would be played.

The ICC team will be briefed regarding security by the police officials and the representatives of the interior ministry.

During the tour, the ICC team will visit the cricket stadiums of Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi and review various matters regarding the ICC Champions Trophy scheduled for September this year.


Shahid Afridi blitz gives HBL smashing start

Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Islamabad Leopards and Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) won their opening round Group A matches, in the 2007-08 National ABN AMRO Cup One-day Cricket Championship, at various centres on Thursday.

Habib Bank easily defeated Quetta Bears at Arbab Niaz Stadium Peshawar by five wickets. They bowled the Quetta team out for a modest 213 runs in 48.5 overs and then, thanks to a marvellous 84 by skipper Shahid Afridi, off a mere 27 balls with eight fours and seven sixes, scored 214-5 in a matter of 28.2 overs.

At the Diamond Club Ground here, Islamabad Leopards had the better of Peshawar Panthers by a four-wicket margin. Opener Umair Khan provided Islamabad just the right incentive, as he hit a brilliant 109 off 134 balls with 13 fours to set the ball rolling.

After Peshawar had scored 255 all out in 49.5 overs, Islamabad overhauled their total making 258 runs in reply for the loss of six wickets and won with 10 balls to spare. Aided by an unbeaten 106 off 89 balls with six fours and four sixes by Azhar Ali, KRL rattled up a score of 288-3 in their fifty overs at the KRL Stadium in Rawalpindi. Lahore Lions were then dismissed for 181 for a 107-run win.

Quetta Bears 213 in 48.5 overs (Shoaib Khan 50, Nasim Khan 62, Faisal Irfan 46*; Abdul Rehman 4-37).
Habib Bank
214-5 in 28.2 overs (Khaqan Arsal 38, Shahid Afridi 84, Salman Qadir 37*).

Peshawar Panthers 255 in 49.5 overs (Usman Zaib 42, Mohammad Fayyaz 36, Nawaz Ahmed 56; Raheel Majeed 4-47).
Islamabad Leopards 258-6 in 48.2 overs (Umair Khan 109, Naeem Anjum 53*, Rauf Akbar 41*).

KRL 288-3 in 50 overs (Saeed Anwar 71, Mohammad Wasim 32, Azhar Ali 106*, Bazid Khan 45).
Lahore Lions 181 in 37.2 overs (Haroon Rasheed 32, Asif Khan 39; Saeed Anwar 3-28).


Rawalpindi Rams through with one-wicket win

Rawalpindi Rams started the 2007-08 National ABN AMRO One-day Cup Cricket Championship on a successful note, as they defeated Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) by a one-wicket margin in a thriller of a Group D first-round match, here at the Niaz Stadium on Thursday.

SSGC, who batted first after winning the toss, appeared to have compiled a safe total of 244 for eight in their allotted 50 overs. Rawalpindi reached 245 with their last pair in and won with just one over remaining.

Their opening stand was worth 120 runs in 23 overs, as both Umar Amin (51) and Babar Naeem (56) contributed half-centuries. Pace bowler Rajesh Ramesh (2-57) and slow left-armer Adnan Malik (3-49) struck some quick blows as Rawalpindi fell to 172-5 in the 35th over.

In spite of three more wickets by SSGC’s successful fast bowler Sohail Khan (3-46 in 10), the Rams attained their target with nine wickets down. Earlier, the left-handed Mohtashim Ali hammered an unbeaten 90 off 109 balls with five fours and two sixes for SSGC. His fifth-wicket stand with Mohammad Zafar was worth 110 runs. Zafar made 51 off 56 deliveries with five fours.


SSGC 244-8 in 50 overs (Saeed Bin Nasir 33, Mohtashim Ali 90*, Mohammad Zafar 51; Mohammad Aamer 3-35).

Rawalpindi Rams 245-9 in 49 overs (Umar Amin 51, Babar Naeem 56, Extras 35; Sohail Khan 3-46, Adnan Malik 3-49).


Hyderabad Hawks, WAPDA gain easy wins

Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) made short work of Sialkot Stallions, as they won their first round Group B match by eight wickets, in the 2007-08 National ABN AMRO Cup One-day Cricket Championship, here at the Jinnah Stadium on Thursday.

Opener Naeemuddin top-scored for Sialkot with 76 runs off 74 balls with 11 boundaries as, after being put in first, the hosts managed a modest 219 and were bowled out in 48.5 overs. WAPDA got through to 220 for two in 45.2 overs as their third-wicket pair added 149 runs for the unbroken partnership. Tariq Aziz hit 78 not out off 104 balls with 10 fours while Aamer Sajjad contributed an identical unbeaten 78, that came off 105 balls with five fours and two sixes.

In the other Group B match played yesterday, at the Sheikhupura Stadium, Hyderabad Hawks surprised Multan Tigers by winning by a seven-wicket margin.

Batting first, the Multan team scored only 217 runs before being dismissed on the last ball of their fifty overs. The Hawks replied with 218 for three and won with just 39.5 of their overs consumed.

Former Pakistan One-day International representative Faisal Athar missed his hundred for Hyderabad by just two runs. His 98 came off just 90 deliveries with 13 fours and three sixes.


Sialkot Stallions
219 in 48.5 overs (Naeemuddin 76; Sarfraz Ahmed 4-39). WAPDA 220-2 in 45.2 overs (Ahmed Said 35, Tariq Aziz 78*, Aamer Sajjad 78*).

Multan Tigers 217 in 50 overs (Hammad Tariq 68, Zulfiqar Babar 31*; Nauman Ali 3-26). Hyderabad Hawks 218-3 in 39.5 overs (Aqeel Anjum 44, Faisal Athar 98).


Asian Cricket Cup in Pakistan from June 24: ACC

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chief Executive Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Ashraful Haque Thursday said that he was satisfied with the arrangements for the Asian Cricket Cup that will be played from June 24 to July 6 in Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference he said all the matches in the cup will be day and night fixtures.

He said six teams would participate in the event.
“The schedule of the tournament is confirmed and all teams have confirmed their participation,”
Ashraful Haque further said.

Three matches of the event will be played in Lahore and 10 in Karachi.

Hosts Pakistan have been placed in Group B of the tournament with India and Hong Kong.


Pak cricket suffered due to cancellation of tours, Rana Tunga

Chairman, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) ,Arjuna Rana Tunga admitted that Pakistan cricket suffered a lot due to cancellation of home series on security concerns and called for stopping this trend.

“ It is a hard fact that Pakistan cricket was badly damaged in terms of earning revenue and most importantly depriving followers of the game from watching quality cricket as foreign teams refused to come to Pakistan and this trend should be stopped,”
he said in interview here on Thursday at ACC Development Committee meeting.

Rana Tunga while supporting the stance of Pakistan Cricket Board on security measures said there was nothing wrong here as far as security of the teams are concerned and international cricket can be played here peacefully.

“ Tell me which country of the world is now safe, there are problems every where and similar is happening in Pakistan which does not mean that cricket should not be played here,"
he said.

Answering a question,he said, ACC fully stands with Pakistan for having prime cricket activities and holding of the Asia Cup in many ways will be a joint declaration or resolution that Pakistan is fully safe for international cricket activities.

“ We have a strong stance that Pakistan must organise this tournament which will put an end to such propaganda raised on security issues,"
he said.

“ ACC is standing firm with its affiliated members because it (ACC) is fully committed to its cause of promoting cricket in the continent,"
he added.

He said by having Asia Cup in Pakistan a clear message will be given to the outer world specially Australia that things are normal for cricket events in Pakistan.

“ Pakistan has organised a lot of interactional cricket including World Cups and they should not be penalised on security concerns,"
he added.
“ we are ready to play here any time."

ACC Chief said ACC will soon form a committee comprising former test cricketers to further develop cricket in Asia specially at junior level besides having adequate test matches and series among the Asian countries.

He admitted that due to tight international cricket activities Asian countries are having less cricket events among themselves and assured that efforts will be made to fill the void by generating a programme in which Asian Junior events will also be organised besides organising women cricket championships.

Answering a question, he said, Asian Test championship has not been dropped that the event has been deferred for the time being due to heavy engagements of the asian test playing countries in international cricket.


Pakistan, India in same group for Asia Cup

Arch-rivals India and Pakistan have been placed in the same group for this year's Asia Cup, the Asian Cricket Council announced on Thursday.

Hong Kong complete the group B line-up, while defending champions Sri Lanka are joined by Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Group A for the ninth edition of the tournament, to be hosted by Pakistan in June-July.

"All the participating nations have confirmed their participation and we hope to have a safe and highly competitive Asia Cup in three months' time,"
ACC chief executive Ashraful Huq said.

The Asia Cup, originally supposed to held every two years, did not take place in 2006 due to a hectic international schedule. Sri Lanka won the tournament on home soil in 2004.

Ashraful dispelled fears the 200,000 dollar event was in doubt after Australia postponed their tour of Pakistan over security fears earlier this month following a wave of Islamic militant attacks.

"The Australians are unaware of our culture and they don't have an idea that no sporting activity has ever been hurt in Asia. All the teams are going to take part barring any major disaster,"
he said.

And Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf promised
"extraordinary security reserved for state heads in the past"
for the event.

After a round-robin first stage, the top two nations in each group qualify for the second phase, where the teams play each other once.

The top two then qualify for the final.
"Karachi will host ten of the 13 matches, while Lahore will host three and, since the event is played in the summer season, all matches will be day-night, starting late in the afternoon,"
Ashraful later said in a press conference.
"Karachi will host the final, while the Pakistan Cricket Board will announce the full schedule of the event in due course."

The first Asia Cup was held in 1984 at Sharjah in the UAE. India have won it four times, Sri Lanka three times and Pakistan once.

It is the first time Pakistan ahs hosted the event. The 1993 edition was to be played there but was cancelled after India refused to tour for political reasons.

ACC President Arjuna Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to their only Asia Cup in 1996, said:
"Being a player I was lucky to play in the first Asia Cup and now as an administrator I feel this is the most prestigious event in Asia and all the nations will ensure to send their best teams."


Kamran, Fahad setup easy-win for PIA

Kamran Sajid produced an excellent all-round show and Fahad Iqbal smashed an unbeaten 92 to spearhead PIA’s to one-sided eight-wicket victory over Karachi Dolphins in ABN AMRO One-day Cricket Tournament at National Stadium on Thursday.

Fahad and Kamran shared a enterprising 163 runs unbroken third wicket to lead airlines to commanding victory with 22 balls to spare.

Fahad banged ten boundaries and one six in his 89-ball knock of 92 and Kamran Sajid made 69 not out off 88 deliveries with five hits to the boundary. Yasir Hameed contributed an aggressive 46 with eight 4s and one six.

Former test batsman Shadab Kabir cracked 66 off 77 balls laced eight boundaries as Karachi Dolphins were bowled out for 245 in 49 overs after elected to bat first.

Pace quartet of Fazle Akbar, Anwar Ali, Imran Ali Pasha and Kamran Sajid snapped-up two wickets apiece.

Kamran Sajid was named man of the match from PIA and Shabab picked up honor from Karachi Dolphins.

Summarized scores:

Karachi Dolphins 245 all out in 49 overs (Shadab Kabir 66, Faraz Patel 39, Shaheryar Ghani 34, Akbar Rehman 33, Fazle Akbar 2-40, Anwar ali 2-56, Kamran Sajid 2-35 Imran Ali 2-44) PIA 249-2 in 46.2 overs (Fahad Iqbal 92 not out, Kamran Sajid 69 not out, Yasir Hameed 46, Khurram Mansoor 33.


Pakistan urge Sri Lanka to fill Australia gap

Pakistan are asking to Sri Lanka to help fill their scheduling gap after Australia shelved a planned tour over security fears, an official said Wednesday.

Pakistan want Sri Lanka to visit in the second half of April after Bangladesh agreed to play earlier in the month. Australia were due to tour from March 29 to April 29.

"Sri Lankan Board's president Arjuna Ranatunga is coming to Pakistan on Thursday and I hope that he will agree to send his team for a one-day series,"
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf said.

Bangladesh will play five one-day matches next month here, Ashraf added. Sri Lanka are touring the West Indies until April 15.

Ashraf also brushed off doubts over Pakistan's hosting of the ICC Champions Trophy in September and the Asia Cup in June and July.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that Pakistan will host the elite Champions Trophy from September 11-28. But it named Sri Lanka as an alternative venue in case Pakistan is not cleared on security issues.

"ICC is sending an advanced party to Pakistan on Thursday which will assess facilities and security in Pakistan and we hope to host the event in a befitting manner,"
Ashraf said.
Separately, an Asian Cricket Council delegation is in Pakistan and will announce the dates and venues for the Asian Cup in Lahore on Thursday.

"We have unequivocal confirmation from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong to come for the Asia Cup,"
said Ashraf.

Ashraf also said he held meetings with Cricket Australia (CA) chief Creagh O'Conner in Dubai and hoped that the postponed Australia series will be rescheduled very soon.

CA has invited the PCB chairman to visit Australia to fix new dates for the tour. Australia's tour had been in doubt for months amid questions about security following a series of major blasts and serious political upheaval.


Pakistan promise ‘heads of state’ security for Champions Trophy

Pakistan are willing to offer a security cover generally reserved for visiting heads of state to competing teams and officials during this September’s ICC Champions Trophy in a bid to calm down any security concerns.

A top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told ‘The News’ on Wednesday that water-tight security arrangements will be made to ensure the safety of the visiting players and officials during the Champions Trophy to be held in Pakistan for the first time. The tournament is under a cloud due to the current wave of bombings in the country that forced Australia to postpone a full Test and one-day tour earlier this month.

“We are ready to offer all possible assurances to assuage any fears regarding the safety of players and officials,”
said Shafqat Nagmi, the Board’s Chief Operating Officer.
“The Champions Trophy is still more than five months away and we are hopeful that things will get better in Pakistan in the coming days. We see no reason why anybody be talking about taking the tournament away from here,”
he added.

Naghmi said that Pakistan will provide personal bodyguards and other security measures to visiting players if they expressed any security concerns.
“The players and officials will be provided with a security cover generally reserved for visiting VIPs,”
he said.

Pakistan offered similar security assurances to Cricket Australia (CA) in a bid to convince it to send the Aussies for a bilateral series here in March-April but CA decided against approving that trip on security grounds.

Their move triggered speculations that competing teams like Australia may withdraw from the Champions Trophy as well. Already, reports have suggested that Australia and New Zealand have raised security concerns over the eight-nation Champions Trophy.

Though the International Cricket Council (ICC) has made it clear that the Champions Trophy stays in Pakistan in spite of such security fears, their decision to name Sri Lanka as a back-up venue have only added fuel to speculations that it may be planning to relocate the tournament just months after the ICC Women’s World Cup qualifying event was taken out from Pakistan to South Africa when competing teams raised security issues.

However, PCB officials remain confident that the tournament will go ahead here according to schedule. Nagmi said that arrangements are being made for the successful hosting of the Champions Trophy, international cricket’s second most important tournament after the quadrennial World Cup.

“We are working on improving the infrastructure for the Champions Trophy and are in close contact with the ICC to sort out other details involved in the staging of such a mega event,”
Naghmi said.

An ICC delegation is to arrive in Pakistan today (Thursday) but Naghmi dispelled the impression that the officials will be carrying out a security inspection.
“The ICC officials are coming here to discuss the (tournament) budget and to inspect the venues and other arrangements. Any security inspection is not on their agenda,”
he said.

Naghmi said that the ICC can send its security experts at a later stage.
“But so far nothing has been discussed about such an inspection.”
Defending champions Australia are the top seeds for the Champions Trophy. They are grouped with Pakistan, India and former winners West Indies in Group A. Former champions South Africa and New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England are in Group B. The two top teams in each group after the round robin stage will qualify for the knockout semifinals.


One-day Cup begins today

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will play their first round Group D match, in the 2007-08 National ABN AMRO Cup One-day Cricket Championship, against Karachi Dolphins here at the National Stadium today (Thursday), in an encounter that will be telecast live.

The two field umpires nominated for the opening match are Akbar Khan and Iqbal Butt with Ahsan Raza to serve as TV umpire. Former first-class off-spinner Ilyas Khan is the match referee while Mohammad Ahsan has been named as the official scorer.

In the 22-team national limited overs competition, which starts today with 10 matches in four groups all over the country, six teams will feature in Group D. Another match being played in this pool today is between Abbottabad Rhinos and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) here at the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Sports Complex Stadium.

The umpires for this match are Riazuddin and Saleem Badar. Anwar Khan is the match referee and Syed Salman Hussain Kazmi the official scorer. The third match in Group D wil be played today at the Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad, between Rawalpindi Rams and national one-day debutants Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC). The umpires named are Islam Khan and Khalid Mahmood Senior, Naeem Ahmed is the match referee and Arif Majeed Arif the official scorer. All 15 Group D matches will be played here at the National Stadium and NBP Sports Complex Stadium, in addition to Hyderabad’s Niaz Stadium.

After the completion of the group league, the second-placed Group D team will join three other outfits in Pool A of the Super Eights stage, playing its matches at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore and Iqbal Stadium Faisalabad from March 31 to April 4.

On the same dates, the team finishing on top of the Group D table will play its three matches in Pool B of the Super Eights round, here at the NBP Sports Complex Stadium, the United Bank Limited (UBL) Sports Complex Ground No.1 and the National Stadium. The semifinals will be played on April 7 and 8, with the day/night final scheduled for Gaddafi Stadium Lahore on April 10.


National Women’s Cricket Championship starts today

The 2007-08 National Women’s Cricket Championship, the fourth edition of the competition, starts with six matches in three different groups at various centres around the country from today (Thursday).

Twelve teams in all are taking part in the limited overs tournament, representing all the 11 cricketing regions of Pakistan, plus a team from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) which is also alternatively known as the Pakistan Universities Women.

In Zone A, based in Faisalabad, the two opening round matches are being played between Abbottabad Women and Rawalpindi Women at the Jawad Sports Complex Ground in the city and between Faisalabad Women and Lahore Women at the Bagh-e-Jinnah (or Bohranwali) Ground.

The Zone B matches will be played in the twin cities of Islamabad and Lahore. The first two matches being played today are between Islamabad Women and Peshawar Women at Islamabad’s Shalimar Ground and between Pakistan Universities Women and Sialkot Women at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi.

All matches in Zone C are being staged in cities located in the Sindh province. The first round match today between Hyderabad Women and Quetta Women is being played at Sindh University Ground Jamshoro. The other match today is between Karachi Women and Multan Women at the Nawabshah Cricket Stadium.

After the completion of the group-league round, the top team from each group will qualify for the Final Round to be staged at Sindh University Jamshoro and Niaz Stadium Hyderabad from March 27 to 29. The top two sides will then play the final in Hyderabad on March 31.

The tournament has gained increased importance with the Women’s Asia Cup competition coming up in Sri Lanka in May this year. Moreover, the Pakistan Women’s team is flying high after having qualified for next year’s World Cup in Australia as it made the final of the recent ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa. Karachi Women are the holders of Pakistan’s national title, having beaten Lahore Women in the final played at Rawalpindi in the 2006-07 season, by the narrow margin of five runs.


Imran Khan’s father passed away

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mr. Ikramullah Khan Niazi, father of Imran Khan passed away today in Lahore. His funeral/Janaza will be held tomorrow morning, March 20th at 9 o’clock from Imran Khan’s residence at Zaman Park.

“Verily we belong to Allah, and to Allah we return.”

May Allah grant him the highest level in Jannah and ease his family of pain. Ameen!


Yousuf's IPL future to be decided on March 29

A decision on whether or not Mohammad Yousuf will be allowed to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is expected to be made on March 29, following a final hearing of the Mumbai-based arbitration court looking into the dispute.

Yousuf had initially signed up for the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL) last year, seemingly in protest after he was dropped from the Pakistan squad for the Twenty20 World Championships. The Pakistan board, however, eventually convinced him to change his mind and renege on his contract, luring him back with the promise of an IPL contract.

The ICL, understandably, took the matter to an arbitration court, claiming that Yousuf had already signed up and his contract prevented him from playing in any rival league. The matter has been stuck in a legal limbo since then, a few hearings this year so far not resolving anything.

Yousuf was the only player whose services remained unsold at the recent IPL auctions, franchises undoubtedly hesitant over his legal status. Yousuf himself is said to be annoyed that the Pakistan board hasn't resolved the matter yet, but officials maintain that full support is being provided.

"The PCB is fully defending Yousuf's decision to play in the IPL,"

Nasim Ashraf, chairman PCB, told Cricinfo.

"We have lawyers in India handling the matter and a legal representative from the board has also been there at the hearings. The last hearing went on for considerably longer than expected but a final decision is now expected on March 29."

Ashraf also revealed that though Yousuf had not been 'bought' by any franchise, the IPL had guaranteed to match the package that the ICL had offered to him initially.


Sri Lanka an alternate venue for Champions Trophy

The ICC has confirmed Sri Lanka will be an alternate venue to host the ICC Champions Trophy in September this year. This decision comes in the wake of Australia postponing their tour to Pakistan on the grounds of security reasons.

If Australia's apprehensions about the security situation in Pakistan don't change in the next few months, the ICC could be faced with a situation where they will have to decide on switching venues. Australia and New Zealand have raised the most concerns, sources said.

"We have named Sri Lanka an alternative venue,"

an ICC spokesperson told Cricinfo.

"As of now, Pakistan will host the tournament and we don't intend to take it away from them."

Sri Lanka last hosted the tournament in 2002 and the ICC expressed satisfaction with regard to all the arrangements and support they received from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

In a new development, the board is likely to be caught in a Catch 22 situation whether to oblige the Pakistan Cricket Board and play a series of three to five ODIs in Pakistan next month, a decision which may upset the Indian board because it will clash with the much anticipated Indian Premier League (IPL) which is due to start on April 18. Several of Sri Lanka's top cricketers have signed for the tournament. If Sri Lanka agree to Pakistan's request, their one-day squad will fly directly from the West Indies to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the selection committee is due to meet the Cricket Committee headed by former Sri Lankan batsman Aravinda de Silva today to finalise the tour and player contracts for the next 12 months. Among the clauses that are due to be included in the contracts are for players to be accompanied by their wives on tour, and also to make it compulsory for the cricketers to play domestic cricket to be eligible for national selection.

The latter clause could jeopardise the players from signing up to play for English counties and for the IPL, both of which would require sanction from SLC. It is learnt that the Sri Lankan players, currently touring the Caribbean, are not happy with this clause, but highly-placed sources said the Cricket Committee is strongly pressing for its inclusion.


Pakistan disappointed by Hair's return

Darrell Hair's reinstatement to Tests and ODIs is being viewed with understandable caution by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the PCB, said Pakistan had made its position on the matter clear at the ICC board meeting; he also indicated that Hair might not stand in Pakistan matches over the next year, until his contract with the ICC ends.

"The PCB's position, views and opinions were clearly reiterated at the meeting with regard to this issue,"

Ashraf told Cricinfo.

Ashraf's countrymen were more forcible in their reactions. Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was banned for four matches for refusing to take his side back on to the field during the Oval Test in August 2006 after Hair accused them of ball-tampering, said he was "shocked and disgusted" by the news.

"I would blame the Pakistan board for bowing down in Hair's case and no player will now stand against injustices at the international level,"

Inzamam said.

"Hair was at fault but he is reinstated like a hero. The PCB needs to learn a lesson from the Indian board. See how they backed their players in Australia recently on contentious issues."

Pakistan did not return to the field after tea on day four at The Oval, in protest against Hair's decision to dock them five penalty runs for ball-tampering. Hair subsequently declared the match forfeited by Pakistan, handing the win to England. It was the first time a Test had ever been forfeited.

Shaharyar Khan, Ashraf's predecessor and chairman during The Oval Test, shared Inzamam's sentiments.

"He [Hair] should never have been reinstated after committing so many gross irregularities during the [2006] Oval Test,"

Shaharyar told Reuters.

"The ICC board decided beyond doubt Hair's conduct was not up to the mark. This man violated his responsibilities as a senior umpire. How the ICC can restore him is hard to comprehend."

Ramiz Raja, former captain and widely-respected commentator, said the decision highlighted Pakistan's weak hand at international level.

"The decision of Hair's recall shows Pakistan's lack of presence at international forums. It is surprising that Hair was reinstated without being tried and tested. It shows that the international community is ready to walk over Pakistan whenever they want."


Darrell Hair reinstated by ICC

Darrell Hair will return to umpiring in Tests and ODIs after the ICC decided that he had successfully completed a six-month rehabilitation period. Hair has not stood in a major match since the Oval Test between England and Pakistan in 2006 when he and Billy Doctrove penalised Pakistan for ball-tampering, which led to the game being abandoned.

Hair withdrew his allegations of racial discrimination against the ICC - with whom he is contracted till March 2009 - seven days into a tribunal in London last October. It was then recommended that he enter a period of rehabilitation. While he was never removed from the ICC's elite panel, he was in effect isolated as it was made clear he would not be appointed to any game involving a Full Member.

Since he was suspended from standing in major cricket, Hair has officiated in a few ODIs involving Associate countries as well as umpiring in three ICC Intercontinental Cup matches. The ICC maintained that the decision was unanimous but it seems that a deal has been done behind the scenes as only yesterday a senior Pakistan board official said that the PCB would never countenance Hair standing in any of their matches.

Hair's response was brief.

"My commitment to cricket and umpiring is as strong as ever and I wish to get back on to the field as soon as possible."

The wording of the statement from the ICC gave every indication that Hair's contract would not be extended and it stated he was free to umpire any match "in the next 12 months".

Cricket Australia welcomed the decision to reinstate Hair.

"We're pleased to see Darrell back,"

Peter Young, the Cricket Australia spokesman, told AFP.

"Cricket Australia has always had a view that he is, in a technical sense, an excellent umpire, one of the best two or three in the world. World cricket needs good umpires. We look forward to seeing him back on the circuit."


Asia Cup, ICC Champions trophy to be held as per schedule: Shafqat Naghmi

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pakistan Cricket Board’s chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi has said that proposed Asia Cup and ICC Champions trophy will take place as per schedule and there will be no change of venue or dates.

Talking to newsmen here he said that Bangladesh will tour Pakistan from 6th to 22nd of April. Lahore will host two one day matches whereas Faisalabad, Multan and Karachi will host one match each.

He said that a twenty-twenty match has also been scheduled which will be played at Karachi. He said that Sri Lanka is not offering itself as an alternative option now but has already been a nominated as a substitute venue.

Shafqat Naghmi said that PCB is also considering a series of five one-day matches with Sri Lanka for which they are in touch with the Sri Lankan board.


Controversial Darrell Hair reinstated by ICC as Test umpire

The reinstatement of Darrell Hair to the full international panel of umpires was the most surprising outcome of the International Cricket Council's two-day meeting in Dubai, which finished today.

Hair has been undergoing what the ICC call "rehabilitation" since his decision to penalise the Pakistan team five runs for ball-tampering during the Oval Test of 2006 resulted in the first forfeited match in Test history.

An ICC spokesman said:
"The board have decided that he can he can be appointed to matches involving full member countries once more."

David Morgan, the incoming ICC president, said yesterday that Hair would be assigned to a full international programme.

"Mr Hair is a very good and a very competent umpire,"
he told reporters.
"He has had time away from the coalface and umpired other activities."

However, Morgan would not comment on whether Hair would be assigned to matches involving Pakistan, saying only that the allocation process would be handled by the ICC's operations manager David Richardson.

The Pakistan board are understood to be opposed to Hair's return, and it seems likely that this will be only a partial reprieve in which Hair officiates in selected matches – ie. those not involving sub-continental teams.

Today's press conference also revealed that there would be no sanctions taken against Zimbabwe Cricket, despite financial anomalies in their accounting which have been investigated by KPMG.

According to Ray Mali - the South African who is coming to the end of his term as ICC president –
"no individual or individuals have been singled out as having benefited from the finances in any way".

Instead, Mali explained, the problems – or "irregularities" – resulted from the seizure of important documentation by police and banking authorities. This ruling is unlikely to please the England and Wales Cricket Board, who are scheduled to host the Zimbabwean team twice next summer.

The press conference also included details of Inder Singh Bindra's appointment as "principal advisor" to the ICC. He will have a major role in the "promotion and development of the game", with special attention to the American market. He will also "assist host boards with the smooth functioning of ICC events".

Morgan said that Bindra had been appointed after the realisation that
"the image of the ICC could be improved, and so could relations between members".

Meanwhile, Imtiaz Patel, the man picked out as the ICC's preferred candidate to succeed Malcolm Speed as chief executive, has made it clear that this is far from being a done deal.

"I am humbled that the ICC has stated that it will invite me to fulfil such an important role within cricket, a sport that has a very special place in my heart,"
he said in a statement.

"I enjoy a most rewarding and happy career in my current role as CEO of SuperSport, which is a dynamic organisation within a wonderful international group.

"I will therefore be considering my position very carefully during the coming weeks and will be engaging in discussions with the ICC during this period."


KB in Disable Cricket final despite Azeem’s heroics

Left arm spinner Azeem Qureshi grabbed five wickets but Karachi Blues (KB) stormed into the final of All Karachi Disable Cricket Tournament with a commanding 44-runs victory over Karachi Whites (KW) at Aga Khan Gymkhana Ground on Tuesday.

Right handless, Azeem finished with an excellent figures of five wicket for 41 runs in 12 overs while off-spinner Farooq Khattak grabbed four wickets for 24 runs in 9.2 over to spin out KB for 121 in 34th over. Abdul Rehman top-scored with 31. Sakhi Jan got 28 and Danish Ahmed contributed 20.

KW in reply crashed to 77 allout in 23 overs. Captain Saleem Karim made 16. Ameer Ahmed, whose right handed is affected by polio, captured four wickets for 23 runs with his left arm spin and leg-spinner Danish Ahmed got three wickets for 17 runs.

Abdul Rehman (best batsman), Azeem Qureshi (best bowler), Nadeem Qureshi (best fielder) and Danish Ahmed (man of the match) were given special awards.

KB will now take on Karachi Greens in the final for which date and venue will be decided later.

Summarized scores:

KB 121 all out in 33.2 overs (Abdul Rehman 31, Sakhi Jan 28, Danish Ahmed 20, Azeem Qureshi 5-41, Farooq Khattak 4-24) KW 77 all out in 23 overs (Saleem Karim 16, Farooq Khattak 14, Ameer Ahmed 4-23, Danish Ahmed 3-17).

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