Shoaib Akhtar can play outside Pakistan

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was cleared Wednesday to resume his career outside the country.

"Akhtar can play anywhere in the world except for Pakistan,''
said Farrukh Aftab, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board appeal tribunal, told reporters.

He said that Shoaib could not play cricket within Pakistan and for the national team.

The fast bowler however has not been banned to play cricket outside Pakistan. He said the disciplinary committee has only imposed ban on him over playing in Pakistan.

The committee chairman further said that the fast bowler would not be selected for the national team for five years.

Replying a question he said the ban on Shoaib has not been softened due to any pressure.


Shoaib Akhtar tenders apology to tribunal

Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has tendered an unconditional apology to a tribunal hearing his appeal against a five-year ban, the tribunal head said

The 32-year-old paceman was banned earlier this month for breaching the players' code of conduct by publicly criticising the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after he was not offered a central contract in January.

The three-member tribunal, headed by retired judge Aftab Farrukh, met here Monday and will meet again on Wednesday to take a decision on the maverick Shoaib Akhtar's appeal.

"After arguments from both sides, Akhtar voluntarily asked to tender an unqualified apology to all the public, the chairman of the PCB and all his teammates for his actions,"
Justice Aftab said.

Shoaib Akhtar lashed out at the PCB in January after he was dropped from the list of 15 contracted players, following Pakistan's 1-0 defeat against arch rivals India a month before.

He was already on two-years' probation for hitting teammate Mohammad Asif with a bat a few days before the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September last year.

A statement read by Akthar's lawyer said:
"I (Akhtar) would like to apologise from the bottom of my heart for any grief or embarrassment that may have been caused to the nation, particularly to the PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf.

"I have resolved to alter my habits to refrain from such incidents in future and I will obey the PCB rules and regulations,"
the statement said.

Justice Farrukh said the tribunal will now wait for the PCB's response.

"Though Akhtar's apology has made the case easier to decide, we have to see what is the PCB's response. His apology may bring a mitigation factor in the case. The punishment may be reduced or it can be increased too,"
Justice Farrukh said.


Pakistan Juniors wrap up SA tour with win

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Pakistan Juniors ended their tour of South Africa taking the five-Test match series with an emphatic 5-3 win against their Juniors in the fifth and final hockey Test at Durban on Saturday with a double strike from Kashif Ali, according to a message received here on Sunday.

Pakistan won the series against the Proteas 4-0 with one match drawn.

Pakistan took the South African citadel by storm and were soon leading from Kashif Ali’s penalty corner conversion in the 5th minute of the first half.

Ten minutes later left winger Muhammad Zubair doubled the lead with a brilliant field goal and then Kashif Ali stretched the lead further with a penalty stroke conversion, the result of a penalty corner strike.

In spite of Pakistan having taken an impregnable 3-0 lead at half time, the South Africans, on resumption, strongly came back in the game.

Taking advantage of the Pakistanis’ misplaced complacency, South African forwards tore through the opponents defenses which earned them a plethora of penalty corners, which they converted successfully to bring the two sides at even keel.

Pakistan came out of their slumber and succeeded in taking the lead through left winger Muhammad Zubair’s exquisite field goal.

Right half Khurrum Shehzad culminated a superb move with a fine goal just before the final hooter. Pakistan got four penalty corners while South Africa were awarded eight.


New Zealand confirm three-match ODI series in Pakistan

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Zealand have given a go-ahead to a three-match one-day series against Pakistan agreeing to the hosts' proposal, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced Friday.

"New Zealand will play three one-day matches in late August in Pakistan. The first match will be played at Multan on August 24 while the remaining two games will be played at Faisalabad on August 27 and 30," said a PCB announcement.

The one-day series will also allow the Black Caps to warm up for the Champions Trophy to be staged in Pakistan from 11-28 September.

It will be New Zealand's first visit to Pakistan in six years. They were forced to cut short a tour of Pakistan after a suicide bomb blast outside their team hotel in Karachi in May 2002 which killed 14 people, including 11 French naval staff.

The news is a further fillip for Pakistan following Australia's acceptance to reschedule their postponed tour in 2009 and 2010.

Australia had postponed their tour, originally scheduled for March and April this year, owing to security concerns arising from suicide bombings in Pakistan.


No financial irregularities in PCB: Nasim Ashraf

Friday, April 25, 2008

Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Dr Nasim Ashraf, said on Thursday that no financial irregularities were committed in the Board and a wrong impression was being portrayed in a section of the press in this regard.
“We are running the PCB in a transparent manner and it is wrong to say that financial irregularities have been committed,”
he told reporters here at Gaddafi Stadium.

He said a probe will be conducted to know the responsible persons for providing wrong information to the Senate regarding salaries of some Board officials.
“We respect the Parliament and we are ready to provide all information to them besides extending cooperation on cricket related matters,”
he said.

The PCB Chief said a delegation of the game’s ruling body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), will be reaching here today (Friday) to discuss a number of issues relating to security, marketing and finances for staging the ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan in September this year.


New Zealand cricket officials agree to play in Pakistan

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Pakistan cricket team will warm up for the Champions Trophy in September with a three-ODI series against New Zealand.

According to a foreign news agency, New Zealand cricket officials have accepted Pakistani offer to play in a three-ODI series, subject to safety approval.

Pakistan Cricket Board requested New Zealand to play five matches after West Indies turned down Pakistan's offer. New Zealand officials said security matters would be reviewed before the tour.


Australia to tour Pakistan in 2009 and 2010

Monday, April 21, 2008

Australia will travel to Pakistan twice over the next two years to make up for its canceled tour in March and April over security concerns.

Cricket Australia and the Pakistan Cricket Board said Monday that Australia will tour Pakistan in April/May of 2009 for a one-day series and then return in 2010 for a three-match test series.

Pakistan will also travel to Australia in 2009-10 for a previously scheduled tour, which includes three tests.

On March 11, Cricket Australia postponed its tour to Pakistan just hours after two bombs killed at least 15 people and injured many more in the eastern city of Lahore.

The tour, which had been scheduled to start March 29, had been in jeopardy due to security concerns expressed by Australian players and officials amid a wave of violence that swirled around the Feb.18 elections in Pakistan.


Pakistan v Bangladesh, Twenty20, Karachi

Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by 102 runs in the Twenty20 international at National Stadium on Sunday.

Misbah-ul Haq led Pakistan's charge in guiding the home team to a comfortable 102-run win in the one-off Twenty20 international at the National Stadium here on Sunday. The 33-year-old scored his only over.

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik was full of praise for his team.

"We showed true team spirit and the way we have played in this whole series gives me a lot of satisfaction that this team can do better against tougher opponents in the coming season,"
he said.

Bangladesh skipper Ashraful said his young team needed time to improve.

"Credit to Pakistan, they outclassed us. We have a young team so we need time to improve but I feel that we are learning with every match,"
he said.

Earlier, Misbah shared two important stands of 78 for the third wicket with Younis Khan (47) and 63 for the fourth wicket with captain Shoaib Malik (37) after Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat.

Misbah hit five towering sixes and three boundaries off just 53 balls to build Pakistan's highest total in a Twenty20 international, beating 191-7 also against Bangladesh in Nairobi last year.

Pakistan, who blanked the visitors 5-0 in the preceding one-day series, lost openers Salman Butt (one) and Kamran Akmal (nought) in paceman Mashrafe Mortaza's first over, but Misbah put the team back on track.

Butt was run out after he failed to regain his crease off the second ball, while Akmal was bowled off Mortaza's sixth delivery.

Younis matched Misbah stroke for stroke, hitting seven boundaries during his 28-ball knock before left-arm spinner Hasan caught him off his own bowling.

Malik upped the tempo as Pakistan made 90 off their first 10 overs. He hit two boundaries and three sixes before he was stumped off left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak.

Misbah lifted Razzak for a six over long-on to cross his previous highest Twenty20 score of 66 made against Australia. His 87 also becomes the highest score by a Pakistani batsmen in a Twenty20 match.

The previous highest by a Pakistani batsman in a T20 match was Misbah's own 66.


Salman Butt breaks record as Pakistan whitewash Bangladesh

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Opener Salman Butt smashed a record-breaking century to help Pakistan beat Bangladesh by 150 runs in the fifth and final day-night international here on Saturday for a 5-0 series whitewash.

The left-hander scored a career-best 136 to lift Pakistan to their highest one-day total against Bangladesh of 329-9 in their 50 overs before the tourists succumbed to 179 all out in 40.5 overs at the National Stadium.

The 23-year-old opener, who had scores of 33, 76, 132 and 74 in the series, amassed 451 in all. It was the highest ever aggregate in a bilateral five-match one-day series, beating countryman Mohammad Yousuf's 405 against Zimbabwe in 2002.

Pakistan's previous highest total against Bangladesh was achieved in the first match of this series in Lahore when they made 322-5.

The victory gave Pakistan their 11th successive one-day win, beating the previous sequence of ten victories achieved between April and November 1990. Australia holds the record of most successive wins, with 21 in 2003.


Pakistan v Bangladesh, 5th ODI, Karachi

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pakistan 329 for 9 (Butt 136, Younis 69) beat Bangladesh 179 (Mahmudullah 37, Asif 3-35) by 150 runs

It was as if the series result was decided even before Bangladesh agreed to tour the country. Pakistan took their second consecutive 5-0 series sweep at home - their first was against Zimbabwe - with a comprehensive 150-run victory in the fifth and final one-dayer at the National Stadium and extended their winning streak to a record 11. The win was set up by a career-best 136 off 124 balls by Salman Butt, and his stand of 179 for the second wicket with Younis Khan propelled Pakistan to a massive 329 which proved way beyond reach for Bangladesh who effectively lost the game after Mohammad Asif inflicted a top-order wobble.

Shoaib Malik had no hesitation in batting first after winning the toss, a move prompted by the fact that there was little chance of dew troubling the bowlers later in the evening. It was a good toss to win, as the batsmen were rarely challenged under the blazing afternoon sun.

The pitch had a sprinkling of grass, though it only helped to bind the cracks together. The opening bowlers, Mashrafe Mortaza and Shahadat Hossain, bent their backs early, hoping to get some pace and nip but the pitch wasn't very cooperative. That was to be the trend through Pakistan's innings after Kamran Akmal's early departure, when Butt and Younis took control and milked the bowling authoritatively.

The feature of Butt's innings was the ease with which he lofted the ball into the gaps while staying rooted to the crease. The surface wasn't by any means quick, and Butt merely stayed back, waited for the ball to come to him before powering it past the infield. The outfield was lightning quick and all Butt had to do was to place it just wide of the fielders to get a boundary. All this meant that the margin for error was minimal for the bowlers and once again it was Butt who made them pay. Bangladesh could have had him on 57 had Mortaza hung on to a difficult diving catch to his right at mid-off after the batsman had given Shakib Al Hasan the charge.

Younis was his usual busy self at the crease, pushing the singles, and the pair brought up the 50 stand in 49 balls. The introduction of the spinners did little to stem the run rate. Shakib and Abdur Razzak, the left-arm spinners, varied their lengths, pushing it in quicker, sometimes giving it more flight, but the lack of turn allowed the pair to get the singles. Younis brought up his half-century with a reverse-sweep and by then the pair had gone past Pakistan's highest second-wicket stand against Bangladesh, beating the 123 between Rameez Raja and Saeed Anwar in 1997.

Mohammad Ashraful decided to bring on his seamers in the middle overs and the move paid off when Younis fell to a miscued pull off Shahadat. Mohammad Yousuf joined Butt and the pair clattered 17 off one Shahadat over, before Butt finally fell to a well-judged catch at long-on by Shakib. With two centuries and as many 70-plus scores, Butt entered the record books by going past Javed Miandad for the most runs scored by a Pakistan batsman - 451- in any tournament or series.

Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq later added a breakneck 52 off just 5.4 overs to take Pakistan past 300. In the middle of the carnage, Mortaza managed 4 for 65 the only bright spot for the visitors.

Batting, however, didn't appear as easy under lights when Bangladesh took guard. Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique faced some quality seam bowling from Asif and Umar Gul and the pair lacked the technical nous to see off the new ball and then attack. Shakib was squared up by a brute of a delivery which beat him for pace and shaved the top of the offstump. With that wicket, Bangladesh lost their in-form player and it was only a matter of time before the rest tumbled.

There were only two periods of resistance in the chase, though very contrasting in nature. Ashraful went on the attack in characteristic manner, peppering the on side with pulls and hoicks. Though not all came off the middle of the bat, it was entertaining all the same. The cameo knock of 30, off 26 balls, ended thanks Misbah's quick reflexes at slip. A slow seventh-wicket stand of 57 between Mahmudullah and Dhiman Ghosh was never threatening, as it was only to prevent them from being rolled over quickly. Razzak then delayed the inevitable with some lusty blows before the chase ended in the 41st over. The Twenty20 international on Sunday gives Bangladesh the only chance to save face on this tour.


Yousuf dropped from Pakistan’s T20 squad

Pakistan on Friday dropped experienced batsman Mohammad Yousuf for their first ever home Twenty20 international, against Bangladesh.

The prolific Yousuf, 33, was also left out for Pakistan's Twenty20 World Cup campaign when they finished runners-up to India.

Pakistan have already secured the five-match one-day series 4-0 with the final fixture being played here on Saturday. The Twenty20 match is on Sunday.

Pakistan Twenty20 squad: Shoaib Malik (captain), Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Nasir Jamshed, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Rao Iftikhar, Wahab Riaz, Fawad Alam, Shoaib Khan, Mansoor Amjad.


Kolkata crush Bangalore by 140 runs in IPL opener

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kolkata Knight Riders recorded a massive victory of 140 runs over Bangalore Royal Challengers in the inaugural match of the Indian Premier League here at the Chinnaswami Stadium on Friday.

Set an improbable target of 223 runs in 20 overs, Bangalore batsmen were seen in trouble right from the beginning and the whole team was bundled out for 82 in 15.1 overs.

None of their batsmen could enter into double figure except Praveen Kumar, who made 18 runs and remained not out.

However, it was interesting to note that Bangalore’s highest scorer was not any batsman but ‘Mr. Extras’, who contributed 19 runs with eight leg-byes and eleven wides.

From Kolkata Knight Riders, pacer Ajit Agarkar was the most successful bowler with three wickets for 25 runs while Ashok Dinda and captain Sourav Ganguly claimed two wickets each for nine and 21 runs, respectively.

Earlier, Rahul Dravid, captain of the Bangalore Royal Challengers won the toss and opted to field but his decision went wrong when the Kolkata batsmen severely punished his bowlers to amass a huge score of 222 runs for three wickets in the allotted 20 overs.

However, this was one man show as Kolkata’s opener Brendon McCullum hammered an unbeaten 158 off just 73 balls with 14 big sixes and nine fours.

This is the highest individual score by any batsman in Twenty20 cricket.

No other batsman made any significant score as Ricky Ponting (20), Michael Hussey (12) and captain Sourav Ganguly(10) went back to pavilion one after another.

Mohammad Hafeez from Pakistan was unbeaten on five.

Zaheer Khan, A. Noffke and Jacques Kallis claimed one wicket each.

Geo Super gave the live coverage of the match as it obtained the exclusive telecast rights for showing all matches of the tournament, which will continue till June 8.

The commencement of IPL has taken the entire world of cricket by storm. IPL is literally a cricket league but this is in fact the beginning of a revolution which will change the history of cricket.

The opening ceremony was a blend of fireworks, stilt walkers, aerial gymnasts, performers in a bubble and some Bollywood glitter with the presence of Shah Rukh Khan, also the co-owner of the Kolkata team.


Kolkata and Bangalore teams clash in IPL opener tomorrow

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tomorrow, there will be a powerful blast which will affect the entire world of cricket.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is literally a cricket league but this is in fact the beginning of a revolution which will change the history of cricket.

There will be a sensational contest between Kolkata Knight Riders and Bangalore Royal Challengers at the Chinnaswamy Stadium of Bangalore.

Former captains of India Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly are leading the teams of Bangalore Royal Challengers and Kolkata Knight Riders, respectively.

Great cricket stars like Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies, Nathan Baracken and David Hussey of Australia, Mark Boucher and Jaques Kallis of South Africa and others will be seen in action in this inaugural match of the IPL.

Together with the glamour of Bollywood, a new style of sports and entertainment will take place at the Chinnaswamy Stadium of Bangalore on April 18.

The opening ceremony will be a blend of fireworks, stilt walkers, aerial gymnasts, performers in a bubble and some Bollywood glitter with the presence of Shah Rukh Khan, also the co-owner of the Kolkata team, and Preity Zinta, co-owner of the Mohali franchise.

The Bangalore Royal Challengers, to be led by Rahul Dravid, will include Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mark Boucher, Wasim Jaffer, Sunil Joshi, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Misbah-ul-Haq, Devraj Patil, Jacques Kallis, Dayle Steyn, Vinay Kumar, Cameron White and Nathan Bracken.

The Kolkata Knight Riders, to be captained by Sourav Ganguly, will consist of Ajit Agarkar, Akash Chopra, Chris Gayle, David Hussey, Murali Kartik, Mohammad Hafeez, Tetenda Taibu, Brendon McCullum, Ricky Ponting, Ishant Sharma, Laxmi Shukla and Yashpal Singh.

Bangalore Royal Challengers, which is owned by Vijay Mallya, the business tycoon, is playing a key role in organising the opening ceremony on their home ground in association with the Karnataka State Cricket Association and the IPL.


Pakistan v Bangladesh, 4th ODI, MULTAN

Pakistan gained 4-0 lead in the series by defeating Bangladesh by seven wickets in the fourth One-day International here on Wednesday.

In reply to Bangladesh’s 210, Pakistan easily achieved the winning target for the loss of only three wickets.

From Pakistan, opener Salman Butt made 74 and Bazid Khan scored 51 while Mohammad Yousuf and Fawad Alam remained not out on 37 and five, respectively.

From Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur Razzaq took one wicket each.

Earlier, Bangladesh were all out for 210 in 49.1 overs, setting Pakistan a winning target of 211 runs.

Left-handed batsman Shakib Al Hasan scored 108 from 120 balls with eight fours. This was the first individual hundred from a Bangladeshi in the current series.

Batting at number five, Shakib added 97 runs for the ninth wicket with Mashrafe Mortaza, who came at number ten to make 38.

Winning the toss, Bangladesh batted first but none of their batsmen could make any significant score except Shakib Al Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza.

From Pakistan, pacers Sohail Khan and Umar Gul captured three wickets each while Mohammad Asif claimed two wickets. Spinners Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik took one wicket each.


Pakistan team announced for Women’s Asia Cup

The Pakistan Cricket Board has announced the 14-member Pakistan squad for the Women’s Asia Cup.

The fourth Women’s Asia Cup Cricket Tournament will be held in Sri Lanka from May 2 to 11.

Besides Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India will participate in the tournament.

Urooj Mumtaz will lead the national women’s team. Other players of the team will be: Taskeen Qadir, Sajida Shah, Mismah Muarif, Nain Abedi, Sana Javed, Sana Mir, Qanita Jaleel, Asmavia Iqbal, Batool Fatima, Shumaila Mushtaq, Almas Akram, Javeria Khan and Sadia Yousuf.


U-15 cricket team left for West Indies

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pakistan’s under-15 cricket team left for West Indies Tuesday morning from Lahore.

The squad led by Babar Azam left Lahore via Doha to Caribbean this morning to participate in Under-15 International Cricket Championship. The Championship will be played from April-16 to May 5.

“The young members of the team are fully prepared for the event",
team manager Haroon Rasheed said.


Pakistan v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Lahore

Monday, April 14, 2008

A total of 309, disappointing given that Pakistan had been 151 for 0 in the 23rd over, ultimately proved sufficient as they wrapped up the series with a 23-run win over Bangladesh. The bulk of the total came from centurions Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt, one trailblazing and the other smoothing over some middle-order cracks.

Tamim Iqbal and Aftab Ahmed's sparkling approach to a daunting target and Shakib Al Hasan's 75 with the lower order kept visions of a memorable chase under satisfactory lights at the Gaddafi Stadium flickering but it all proved a bit quixotic as Shahid Afridi snapped up two wickets in the 46th over to end their hopes.

Promoted to open in the absence of an injured Nasir Jamshed, Akmal teed off with a manic 81-ball 100 before Butt rounded off with a more measured and career-best 132. From 17 in seven overs Pakistan went to 51 from ten and after the completion of the Powerplays they were 132, thanks largely to Akmal's belligerence. Given lives on 1 and 19 he revved up the pace after a watchful start with a three consecutive fours in the eighth over.

He took a particular liking to Abdur Razzak, making room to cut square off the pitch repeatedly as he reached fifty off 43 balls. Razzak continued to struggle for length and with no assistance from the surface Akmal milked runs. His timing only improved as he trained his attention towards Farhad Reza, smacking three fours in one over. A fourth hundred came shortly afterwards and was raucously cheered by a sparse crowd - 70 runs had come in boundaries - but Akmal remained on 100. Backing away once too many in an attempt to steer spin away cheekily, he was bowled by Mahmudullah. It was his first score of fifty or more in just shy of a year.

Pakistan's total should have been sizably larger but Bangladesh pulled matters back superbly with three more wickets in six overs. Butt stuck around to ensure a superb platform wasn't entirely squandered, scoring his fifth ODI hundred and first against anyone but India. Butt has often stepped on the accelerator early in his innings but today he kept up one end tightly. His shots remained positive while his footwork minimal and it paid off on a track without much spin. There were few boundaries along the way but Butt scored at a healthy clip and eased to his hundred.

Here Bangladesh, through their pace bowlers, hit back again to limit the damage in the last ten overs efficiently with four wickets for 72 runs, Pakistan basically crawling past 300. Tamim and Aftab shrugged off a watchful first few overs, during which Pakistan drew first blood with the wicket of Shahriar Nafees, to add 90 in 13 overs. Tamim's shots were almost all power and beauty and no crude hoicks. The two Sohails, Tanvir and Khan, didn't allow any free runs with the new ball and Tamim made room to carve the ball through extra cover or drill it straight. His driving was especially eye-pleasing as he kept the run rate at bay and his fifty came up from 52 balls.

However, a bullet piece of fielding from Fawab Alam at third man cut Tamim short on 63 and Aftab's repeated attempts at reverse-sweeping proved his downfall after a perky 42, with Akmal holding onto a simple catch. Mohammad Ashraful succeeded in running himself out for 16 and it left much for Shakib and the lower order to do under a burgeoning run rate. They didn't throw in the towel, refreshingly. With ten overs to go, 103 needed, and six wickets in hands Bangladesh had a sniff as Shakib and Mahmudullah (24) combined for to add 59.

Shakib top-scored with a plucky 75 that limited the margin of defeat, highlighted by some fine inside-out shots against Alam and some great running. It helped Bangladesh past their previous best against Pakistan, 245, but as the asking rate kissed 13 a truly fine knock came to an end with a paddle against Afridi, whose double-wicket over properly ended the chase. Mortaza and Dhiman Ghosh took 19 off the 47th over from Iftikhar Anjum to rattle Pakistan a bit and Bangladesh's 285 was their best against quality opposition. Sadly, the series's most compelling match was watched by a threadbare crowd. With two games to go the hosts may well ring in some changes with bigger challenges to come this season.

Man of The Match: Salman Butt


Younis opts out of remaining ODIs

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Younis Khan has pulled out of Pakistan's squad for the remaining three one-day internationals against Bangladesh, citing the need for rest. Younis asked the selectors to be omitted from the squad, a wish the committee granted.

"He asked us for rest and we agreed,"

Salahuddin Ahmed, chief selector, told Cricinfo.

"It gives us a chance to give some other players a go as well, guys like Bazid Khan and Fawad Alam in the batting."

Younis has seemed out of sorts in the first two matches, scoring 1 and 13. Before the first ODI in Lahore he had threatened to pull out of the match, apparently disturbed by an interview with officers from the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) about a function he attended on the tour to India in 2007. There is bound to be speculation that the pull-out is related to that, though Salahuddin denied it, saying only that Younis had cited 'personal reasons.'

No other changes have been made to the squad ahead of the third ODI against, with Pakistan sticking to a reduced 15-man squad. If Pakistan wrap up the series on Sunday in Lahore, it is likely new faces will be inducted into the squad for the remaining games.

Squad: Shoaib Malik (capt), Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Bazid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Fawad Alam


Pakistan v Bangladesh, 2nd ODI, Faisalabad

Friday, April 11, 2008

Pakistan 160 for 3 (Butt 76) beat Bangladesh 225 for 8 (Tamim 60, Mahmudullah 58*) by 7 wickets on D/L method

A blazing 76 by Salman Butt led Pakistan to a comprehensive seven-wicket win in a rain-curtailed match at the Iqbal Stadium. Heavy rain at the fag end of Bangladesh's innings kept the players off the field for more than two hours and the target of 226 was reduced to 158 in 25 overs by the D/L method. Pakistan made easy work of the target, despite an asking-rate of more than six an over, and extended their lead to 2-0 in the five-match series.

Despite the heavy defeat, Bangladesh had something to write home about, especially the lower-order revival. Mahmudullah's unbeaten half-century pushed Bangladesh to a respectable score of 225 for 8 after a characteristic top-order wobble. Tamim Iqbal piloted the early charge with an attacking 60 but the excitement was rather shortlived, with half the side back in the pavilion by the 25th over. Mahmudullah then proceeded to add 37 with Farhad Reza, doubled that effort with Dhiman Ghosh, and those stands were significant in ensuring that Bangladesh didn't fold up before the allotted overs.

Tamim set the pace with some gorgeous drives through extra cover and controlled flicks off the pads off the opening bowlers and it was fairly obvious from the start that the margin for error on this surface was minimal. The high elbows were a feature of his technique as punched crisply through the off side and back past the bowler.

Nafees wasn't as technically correct and like a repeat offender, perished in identical fashion to the Lahore game, swatting at a wide delivery away from the body. Aftab Ahmed's dismissal was unfortunate as replays indicated the ball struck him above the knee roll off Gul, who picked up his 50th ODI wicket in the process.

Ashraful walked in and went on the offensive with an exquisite cover drive off Tanvir to go past Habibul Bashar as the highest run-getter in ODIs for Bangladesh, before taking Gul to task with three fours in a single over.

However, Bangladesh lost two quick wickets against the run of play - including Ashraful - and Tamim fell shortly after bringing up his fifty. Shahid Afridi pulled back the initiative and Bangladesh lost their mainstay for 60.

Mahmudullah and Reza got together for damage control after Tamim's wicket, and the pair brought some stability to the innings. With spinners bowling from either end, the pair grafted, staying back, waiting for the turn and pushing the ball into the gaps and fetching the odd boundary. The partnership was worth 37 before Reza lunged forward to Afridi and was trapped lbw just after a drinks break, in the 34th over.

Luckily for Mahmudullah, he found an able partner in Ghosh and the pair strung together the most fruitful stand of the evening. In the five overs after Reza's dismissal, Bangladesh added 34. Pakistan lost the plot, and the introduction of Younis Khan to break the stand only leaked more runs. Mahmudullah never got tied down at any stage, and shortly after the pair brought up their 50 stand, he brought up his own half-century, giving Sohail Tanvir the charge and punching him through extra cover and then glancing one down to fine leg the following ball. Rain intervened with ten balls left, leaving Mahmudullah unbeaten on 58.

The overcast conditions mattered little for Pakistan as the openers blazed away in a stand of 46 in just over seven overs. Butt took to Mortaza early, punching him through extra cover and followed it up with a pull over midwicket in the same over. His innings was a suitably classy affair, full of proper cricket shots, drives, cuts and the odd pull.

The early pounding forced Ashraful to bring his slow bowlers on in the fifth over and the move worked as the left-armers, Abdur Razzak and Shakib plugged the scoring for three consecutive overs. Nasir Jamshed fell after attempting one ugly heave too many, bowled by Shakib.

Younis Khan walked in and carted Mahmudullah for a huge six over midwicket before a swing and a miss off Reza sent him back for 13. Yousuf joined Butt and in his cameo knock of 32, and on 19 became the second Pakistani to cross 9000 ODI runs behind Inzamam-ul-Haq. Butt brought up his fifty in the 18th over, launched Mahmudullah for a six over long-off before he was run-out off a direct hit for 76. His 72-ball knock had all but sealed the victory, with Pakistan needing just seven to win.


Pakistan XI outplays World XI by 9 wickets in ICL

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The ICL Pakistan XI outplayed the ICL World XI by nine wickets in their first match of the ICL triangular tournament here at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium on Thursday.

Set a rather easy target of 131, the Pakistani openers gave a sound start of 119 runs off 16.1 overs.

Imran Nazir departed after scoring a magnificent 69 off 62 balls with nine fours and one six, his team needed just 12 runs in 23 balls which Abdul Razzaq and Imran Farhat got in just eight balls.

Abdul Razzaq remained unbeaten at 55 which he made off 42 deliveries with three sixes and the same number of fours.

Imran Nazir was declared the man-of-the-match.

Earlier, the ICL World XI won the toss and elected to bat but could not make any big score and were restricted by Inzamam-ul-Haq’s men to 130 runs for nine wickets in the allotted 20 overs.

Their main scorers were Lou Vincent(26), Russell Arnold (23 not out) and Ian Harvey (21).

From Pakistan XI, off-spinner Arshad Khan claimed three wickets for 24 runs while pace bowlers Shahid Nazir, Naved-ul-Hasan and Abdul Razzaq took two wickets each.


Bangladesh aims to improve in Pakistan series

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said Thursday he hoped his team would put up a better show in the second match against Pakistan here following an embarrassing defeat in the series opener.

The tourists were thrashed by 152 runs in the first of five matches in Lahore on Tuesday. The teams next meet Friday.

"It was a bit embarrassing to lose by that margin and we need to lift ourselves, but it is always tough against a team like Pakistan,"
said Siddons, blaming two power failure stoppages for derailing his team's run-chase.

Two power outages, stopping play for 48 minutes in all, saw Bangladesh's target revised from 323 to 282 in 39 overs, which proved beyond their reach after a poor start.

Bangladesh finally folded at 129 in 29.5 overs.

"At the start, we were chasing six plus an over but after lights went off twice we were left chasing nine an over, which proved tough,"
Siddons said.

Bangladesh surprisingly left out their front-line fast bowlers Shahadat Hossain and Syed Rasel -- a move Siddons admitted backfired.

"We were one bowler short and that cost us dearly. The fifth bowler cost us nearly 106 runs in ten overs. But one slip does not make a series,"
said Siddons, who took over as coach last year.

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said Bangladesh was a quality opponent.

"They are a good side and we are not taking them lightly,"
said Malik of the Bangladesh team, who are here as a replacement to Australia, which postponed their Pakistan tour over security fears.

"At least we are playing some cricket, which is better than not having cricket at all. We did some experiments against Zimbabwe, and now we will do more against Bangladesh, and these will help us in the future."


ICC powerless to stop match fixing, says Sarfraz

Pakistan's whistleblowers on match fixing Sarfraz Nawaz and Rashid Latif said Friday that cricket authorities were powerless to stop match fixing in the Indian private leagues.

Banned Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar last week triggered a new controversy by claiming in a television interview that he was offered money to underperform in South Africa in 2003 and in India.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-corruption Unit quizzed Akhtar and three other Pakistani players -- Younis Khan, Danish Kaneria and Umar Gul -- last week.

Nawaz said the ICC was not serious about stopping match fixing.

"I have given a lot of information on fixing to the ICC but they are not serious in stopping the rot. Now, through the various private leagues which offer millions of dollars, this menace will boom,"
said Nawaz, who played 55 Tests for Pakistan.

He said the ICC-recognised multi-billion dollar Indian Premier League (IPL), which starts on April 18, should be monitored.

"Millions of dollars are spent on this league, and I see an open field for bookmakers to fix matches and the players will be approached to lose matches. There should be some serious monitoring on that,"
he added.

The former paceman -- nicknamed the Sultan of Swing -- said the ICC had double standards in recognising the IPL and ruling a rival faction, the Indian Cricket League (ICL), unauthorised.

"I think boards of the country are getting big money and that is why they have allowed their players to feature in the IPL and have banned players who joined the other league,"
said Nawaz.

"I hope Kapil Dev (former Indian captain who heads the ICL) must sue the ICC in an international court."

Former Pakistan captain Latif said players would be vulnerable to corruption in private leagues.

"Players are more likely to fall prey to corruption in private leagues as the national honour was not at stake there, so IPL people must monitor it seriously,"
said Latif.

Latif blew the whistle on fixing in 1995, saying some players were involved in the malpractice.

Latif blamed the ICC for not providing support to the players who reveal facts about fixing and demanded support for Akhtar.

"They (ICC) are ready to take action against a player who does not disclose information but does the ICC or ACSU offer proper protection, rewards and show respect to players who come forward and reveal the truth?"
Latif asked.

"They are questioning Akhtar for not disclosing the offers (made) to him but why should any player come forward and reveal details about offers from bookies,"
the former wicket-keeper added.

Latif stressed fixing still existed in the game.

"Fancy fixing, and other methods are being used to corrupt players and it still exists in cricket,"
he said, referring to a type of fixing in which people can bet on various aspects of a match.


ICC Question Pakistan Trio

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The International Cricket Council have confirmed their Anti-Corruption and Security Unit interviewed three Pakistan players last weekend.

Danish Kaneria, Younus Khan and Umar Gul were all questioned but the ICC have not said what the matter relates to and nor is there any suggestion of any wrongdoing from the trio.

A statement read:

"The purpose of these interviews was to seek specific information and the ACSU has confirmed that this information was provided by the players.

"It was clarified that these interviews were not conducted in relation to any alleged breach of the ICC code of conduct."


Pakistan v Bangladesh, 1st ODI, Lahore

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pakistan 322 for 7 (Yousuf 108*, Malik 85) beat
Bangladesh 129 (Tanvir 3-29, Afridi 3-41) by 152 runs

Bangladesh suffered one of their most embarssing defeats in one-dayers when they went down by 152 runs in the first match at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

A 145-run fourth-wicket partnership between Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik propelled Pakistan to an imposing 322 for 7 and set up the victory on a flat batting strip, before the seamers dented Bangladesh's reply. Two interruptions early in the chase - caused by floodlight failures - reduced the target to 282 from 39 overs and offered no respite as the innings folded up within 30 overs.

The experienced duo of Yousuf and Malik steadied the ship after the top order failed to capitalise in conditions tailor-made for batting, especially with the afternoon start negating effects of early swing. They took on Bangladesh's slow bowlers, who've earned a reputation for applying the stranglehold in the middle overs, and the stand came at over a run-a-ball - Malik contributed 85 and Yousuf carried on to an unbeaten 103-ball 108, his 15th ODI hundred.

The pair came together at 70 for 3 in the 18th over and took little time to settle down and push the scoring. The spinners were rendered impotent as the batting conditions eased out further through the evening - with no turn on offer, the pair picked off easy singles and never failed to put away the long-hops and half volleys.

Malik got his eye in quickly and peppered the offside boundary. If it was pitched fractionally short and wide, he gave himself room and creamed it past backward point. A punch to long-off brought up his fifty, off just 45 balls, and the pair clocked 100 runs off only 92. Mohammad Ashraful and Aftab Ahmed were at the receiving end of the pounding early on and Malik adjusted well at the crease each time they varied the length of the ball. If it was full, it was creamed past the covers; if it was pitched fractionally short, it was slashed past backward point. Malik looked set for a century but perished after giving Shakib Al Hasan the charge, sending one down Shahriar Nafees' throat at long-off.

Yousuf initially played second fiddle to Malik and was more intent in rotating the strike. He then took Mahmudullah, the part-time offspinner, to the cleaners, sweeping with precision to the on side boundaries and even improvising with a reverse-sweep. Mahmudullah conceded 21 in one over, which included two consecutive sixes by Misbah-ul-Haq, and conceded a dubious 59 off five overs before he was finally pulled out.

Yousuf brought up his 15th ODI ton with a sweep to the deep on the on side and the team's 300 with a slash wide of backward point. Shahid Afridi added his fireworks in the end to push the score to 322.

Bangladesh's new opening pair of Shahriar Nafees and Tamim Iqbal failed to carry on their success in the recent series against Ireland when faced with a world class bowling attack. Umar Gul and Sohail Tanvir challenged the pair with bounce and exaggerated seam movement as the batting conditions appeared considerably difficult. Tamim was all at sea against Tanvir and was squared up by an inswinger which took the off stump.

Nafees then fell off an injudicious stroke off an equally poor delivery. Nailed to the crease, he flashed at a delivery so wide - even by Test match standards - and managed a thin edge to Kamran Akmal. Four overs later, Tanvir changed his line of attack to round the wicket and immediately got a wicket. Aftab Ahmed, who survived a nervous start charged down the track to launch him downtown, misread the shorter length and got a thick outside edge to Akmal. The lights went out at the end of the 12th over, forcing the players off the field and a second interruption, four balls into the next over didn't help Bangladesh's cause.

The situation deteriorated further when Rao Iftikhar Anjum struck twice in successive deliveries to send back Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib Al Hasan shortly after resumption. Ashraful's lost his offstump while attempting a wild swing across the line and Shakib got a thick edge to Akmal off a loose drive away from his body. A mix-up in the running compounded their woes as Raqibul Hasan called for a risky single and sent back Mahmudullah. At 68 for 6, it was all one-way traffic as Afridi and Malik shared the last four wickets to mop up the tail.

Man of the Match: Muhammad Yousuf


Pakistan squad announced for Under-15 World Cup

The junior selection committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board has announced the 14-member team for the Under-15 World Cup to be held in the West Indies from April 16.

Babar Azam has been appointed captain of the Pakistan Under-15 team while Mirza Ahsan Jamil will be his deputy.

Among other players selected for the team are Mohammad Qazzafi, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Waqar Khan, Gohar Zafar, Mohammad Hasan Azan, Faizan Khan, Naqqash Basharat, Mohammad Naeem, Syed Kumail Abbas, Ahsan Ali, Hafiz Usman Qadir and Ahsan Ali Abbasi.

Haroon Rasheed will be the manager and Ameer Akbar the coach of the team.


NWFP cricket team returns from India

The NWFP cricket team has returned here from the tour of India on Tuesday.

During the tour of India, the NWFP team played a series of four matches in Delhi and Jaipur and the hosts association won it 3-1.

The NWFP’s Adil Ameen was declared the best batsman and Arshad Iqbal the best bowler of the series.

After the NWFP’s tour of India, now the Delhi District Cricket Association will make a reply tour of the province of the NWFP next year.


Hearing of Shoaib’s appeal likely to open Saturday

The proceedings on the appeal of Shoaib Akhtar against five-year ban likely to be started next week, the head of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appellate tribunal here said.

The PCB appellate tribunal chief Justice (Rtd) Aftab Farrukh talking to Geo News Tuesday said that he would consult with other two members of the tribunal, Salman Taseer and Haseeb Ahsan, after receiving the notification about formation of the tribunal.

“I can not comment on Shoaib Akhtar case as I have not studied it,”
he said.

He said he was busy in other cases, so he would possibly hear the case on Saturday. The proceedings on appeal of Shoaib Akhtar likely to be started from Saturday, he added.


Three-man tribunal to look into Akhtar’s appeal

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has constituted a three-man appellate tribunal to look into Shoaib Akhtar’s appeal against the five-year ban he was handed by the board last week.

As is the norm, the tribunal is headed by a retired justice, Aftab Farrukh, who is a former judge of the Lahore High Court. The panel also includes former Test cricketer Haseeb Ahsan and Salman Taseer, an entrepreneur and former government minister.

Proceedings on the matter will begin with immediate effect. Coincidentally, Ahsan was also a member of the last appellate tribunal which Shoaib had to face. Then, in November 2006, the tribunal had overturned a two-year ban on Shoaib and Mohammad Asif after the pair tested positive for steroids.

“The proceedings will begin as early as Tuesday (today),”
Mansoor Suhael, PCB spokesman said.
“There is no timeframe on the tribunal and it will take its natural course,”
he added. Shoaib was handed the ban for a disciplinary breach of the players’ Code of Conduct, having publicly criticised various board policies after he was overlooked for a central contract in January.

The board’s disciplinary committee took into account various past transgressions when handing him the ban, one which effectively ends his career and which has subsequently come in for widespread criticism.

The matter has since escalated in to a very public war of words between Shoaib and Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the PCB. The former has been slapped with a lawsuit by the chairman for defamatory comments he made in a string of TV appearances after the ban was announced.

Shoaib is also facing questioning from the International Cricket Council (ICC) over separate comments that he was offered money to under-perform in South Africa and India. Inzamam-ul-Haq and Moin Khan are also considering legal action, after a local TV host claimed that Shoaib told him the pair had offered him money to under-perform as well.


Schedule (Bangladesh in Pakistan 2007/08)

Monday, April 7, 2008

08 Apr 2008 1st ODI
Pakistan v Bangladesh Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore ODI

11 Apr 2008 2nd ODI
Pakistan v Bangladesh Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad ODI

13 Apr 2008 3rd ODI
Pakistan v Bangladesh Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore ODI

16 Apr 2008 4th ODI
Pakistan v Bangladesh Multan Cricket Stadium ODI

19 Apr 2008 5th ODI
Pakistan v Bangladesh National Stadium, Karachi ODI

20 Apr 2008 Twenty20
Pakistan v Bangladesh National Stadium, Karachi T20


Squad for Bangladesh (Bangladesh in Pakistan 2007/08)

Abdur Razzak
Aftab Ahmed
Dhiman Ghosh (wicket-keeper)
Farhad Reza
Junaid Siddique
Mashrafe Mortaza (vice-captain)
Mehrab Hossain
Mohammad Ashraful (captain)
Mushfiqur Rahim
Nazmul Hossain
Shahadat Hossain
Shahriar Nafees
Shakib Al Hasan
Syed Rasel
Tamim Iqbal


Heroes beat Badshahs on bowl-out basis to win ICL

Sunday, April 6, 2008

In a sensational contest, Hyderabad Heroes emerged champions in the Indian Cricket League when they defeated Lahore Badshahs 3-0 on bowl-out after the second final ended in a tie.

Three of the four bowlers from Hyderabad Heroes, Nicky Boje, Alfred Absolem and Chris Harris hit the stumps while all three from Lahore Badshahs – Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Shahid Nazir and Naved Lateef - missed and lost the match and the tournament.

Earlier, the eventful final over from Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, which had two no-balls and wide besides two wickets, left the Lahore Badshahs with the task to win the bowl-out to stay alive in the competition.
Rana Naved had earlier turned the game on its head in his third over, with three wickets startling the Hyderabad Heroes when they were cruising towards to the title.
After winning the toss, Lahore Badshahs batted first but were restricted to 130 for nine in the allotted 20 overs.

Imran Nazir and Imran Farhat top scored with 30 runs each while left-arm spinner Inder Sheker Reddy claimed four wickets for 19 and medium-pacer Stuart Binny took three for nine runs.

In reply, Hyderabad Heroes were going very strong towards victory when in the final over, Rana Naved dismissed three batsmen in four balls and unbelievably turned the match into a tie.

He captured five wickets for 19 runs in 3.4 overs while leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed took two for 19 runs.

The main scorer from the Heroes was Ambati Rayudu who remained unbeaten on 46.

Pakistani all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who played for Hyderabad Heroes in the ICL, was declared the man-of-the-series.


We’ll give tough time to Pakistan: Ashraful

Bangladesh cricket team captain Mohammad Ashraful has said that his team would not be an easy prey for Pakistan in the forthcoming series while Bangladesh coach Jemmie Seddon, belonging to Australia, said that his team wwould not feel any danger in Pakistan.

In a press conference, held at a local hotel in Karachi, Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful said that his team comprises of young players but they all are talented.

However, he said that it would take a year or two in becoming a good team but it would give Pakistan a tough time in the forthcoming series.

Replying to a question regarding Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Ashraful said that Shoaib is not representing Pakistan during the last two or three series and it would not make any difference if he does not play this series also.


Bangladesh cricket team arrives in Lahore

Bangladesh cricket team, after staying for a few hours in Karachi, has arrived in Lahore where besides playing a practice match it will play two One-day Internationals against Pakistan.

The Bangladesh cricket team will play five One-day internationals and a Twenty20 International match in Pakistan.

The first and the third match of the series will be played in Lahore, second in Faisalabad, fourth in Multan and the fifth and the final ODI and the solitary T20 International match will be played in Karachi.

It may be recalled that after Australia withdrew from touring Pakistan, Bangladesh cricket team has come on the tour of Pakistan.


Cricket image hurt in recent years, says Haroon Logart

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Haroon Lorgat, the next chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has said the image of cricket was one of the challenges he will face when he takes over from Malcolm Speed in July.

"There have been certain incidents over the past few years that have impacted on the image of cricket,"
he said in response to a question at a press conference in Cape Town to confirm his appointment.

"Being such a global sport it is a challenge that is always going to be there, to protect the image and manage the potential conflicts that one might see coming. There's some work to done to ensure we better manage those sort of situations."


Lahore Badshahs lose first ICL final against Hyderabad Heroes

Friday, April 4, 2008

Lahore Badshahs who were undefeated earlier in the tournament lost the first of the best of three finals against Hyderabad Heroes here on Friday.

The Badshahs were in with more than a chance till the last over but in the end they tasted their first defeat of the tournament.

Set a target of 144 runs, the Badshahs could reach 137 for nine in the allotted 20 overs and were beaten by seven runs here at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium.

Earlier, the Heroes batted first after winning the toss and made143 runs for the loss of six wickets.

Their main scorers were Ambati Rayudu (44) and Jimmy Maher (33) while Abdul Razzaq played a breezy innings of 21 off 12 balls with one four and two sixes.

Pacer Naved-ul-Hasan claimed two wickets for 47 runs.

From Lahore Badshahs, Taufiq Umar top scored with 43 runs while all-rounder Azhar Mahmood smashed 34 off 16 balls with three fours and two sixes.

Abdul Razzaq, after blasting 21runs, captured three wickets for 18 runs and was instrumental in the victory of the Heroes.


Lahore Badshahs stop Klusener heroics to reach ICL final

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Despite a hurricane innings by Lance Klusener Lahore Badshahs emerged victorious in the second semi-final of the Indian Cricket League here on Thursday.

Klusener smashed 91 off 57 balls with 11 fours and three sixes but his efforts went in vain as Lahore Badshahs won the exciting match by seven runs to qualify for the final.

Winning the toss, the Badshahs batted first and scored 182 runs for seven wickets in the allotted 20 overs.
Their main scorers were opener Imran Nazir (42), wicketkeeper Humayun Farhat (39) and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq (33).
Besides, Azhar Mahmood played a breezy innings of 24 off just eight balls while Naved Lateef made 27 off 17 balls. Both hit three sixes each.
In reply, Kolkata Tigers made a sound start and were looking to win the match as their all rounder Lance Klusener set a fine tempo right from the beginning but he failed to guide his team to a possible victory.
Shaid Nazir claimed two for 12 runs from Lahore Badshahs while from Kolkata Tigers, S. Singh, Klusener and M.Hayward took two wickets each.


IPL also imposes ban on Shoaib Akhtar

Indian Premier League (IPL) also banned Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, following the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announcement banning the player for five years, saying Thursday Shoaib cannot play cricket in India.

IPL commissioner Lalith Modi, said that Shoaib Akhtar cannot play for IPL according to the IPL law until the PCB clears him, as chairman PCB banned him from playing not only the domestic cricket but also international cricket.

Replying to a question, Lalith Modi said that the IPL law says that it cannot allow a player who is banned by the cricket board of his own country.

On the other hand, the Indian Cricket League (ICL) Chairman Kapil Dev said the restriction may end Shoaib’s career, adding he feels sorry for the cricketer; however, it seems quite strange to take such a player who is banned in his own country.

Talking to Geo News, sources said Shah Rukh has another option in place of the ace Pakistani bowler.


PCB sues Shoaib Akhtar for Rs 200 million

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sued fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar for 200 million rupees (three million dollars) on Thursday for making allegedly defamatory comments after he was banned for five years.

Shoaib Akhtar was banned by the PCB on Tuesday, a move that effectively ends his career after a series of disciplinary problems culminating in a public outburst against the board for not giving him a contract.

"We demand immediate retraction of allegations from Shoaib Akhtar in various statements which were malicious and baseless,"
PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf told a foreign news agency.

"He must apologise and pay damages of 100 million rupees to the PCB and damages of 100 million rupees to me."

In a letter made public by the board, lawyers for PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf demanded the money for a "malicious and vile piece of defamation" allegedly made by Akhtar in a television interview on Wednesday.

In the interview with a private television channel, Shoaib Akhtar alleged that Nasim Ashraf had "pressurised you for and tried to extort from you" payments from Akhtar's
Indian Premier League contract, and that the five-year ban was a response to Shoaib Akhtar's alleged refusal, the letter said.

Shoaib Akhtar and several other Pakistan players have signed for the multi-billion dollar IPL, which starts from April 18.

The lawyers' letter said he should pay Nasim Ashraf 100 million rupees "for defaming him personally" and the same amount again "for sullying the name of the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Pakistan cricket team."

It was further said in the letter that if Shoaib Akhtar fails to pay the damages the the Pakistan Cricket Board is authorized to take further legal action against him.


Younis calls for compromise over Shoaib Akhtar

Pakistan batsman Younis Khan called Thursday for a compromise to end the spiralling row between the country's cricket board and banned fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

A disciplinary committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Tuesday banned Akhtar from all national and international cricket for five years after a series of disciplinary violations.

PCB chief Nasim Ashraf then demanded 200 million rupees (three million dollars) in damages from Akhtar for alleged defamation.

"I think the matter has gone too far. This whole issue is damaging for Pakistan cricket so I hope that a compromise is reached,"
said Younis, a former Pakistan captain.

"Of course he is my friend, my senior and I have played alongside him for years, so my sympathies are with him,"
batsman Younis told reporters.

"I think the player (Shoaib Akhtar) must think about his problems and the board must talk to him and solve this matter."

Younis said Pakistani cricket could not afford such controversies.

"We have too many issues in Pakistan cricket. Teams are not coming to Pakistan (due to security fears) and issues like Shoaib Akhtar's will further hit Pakistan cricket,"
he said.

Shoaib Akhtar said he will appeal against the ban.


Shoaib to file appeal tomorrow

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhter would file an appeal tomorrow against fiver years ban imposed on him by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and said that he would go to Supreme Court if PCB would not give him relief.

Shoaib had received a cordially welcome from his fans as soon as he arrived at Allama Iqbal International Airport here on Thursday.They chanted slogans in favor of Shoaib and against PCB.

Talking to media, Shoaib said that he would likely file the appeal tomorrow after consultations with his lawyer Abid Hasan Minto.

He said that PCB would give him relief because he did not sign the central contract. He also thanked his fans.

Shoaib expressed hope that he will get justice as Prime Minister had taken the notice of the issue.


Altaf Hussain demands lifting ‘unfair’ ban on Shoaib Akhtar

Quaid of the Muttehadda Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain demanded from prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to take immediate notice of the ‘unfair’ ban imposed on national cricket team’s fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar and take this decision back.

In a statement issued from London, he said that due to decisions taken on the basis of likes and dislikes and nepotism the standard of the national cricket has been going down.

He said that the five-year ban imposed on Shoaib Akhtar cannot be condemned more.

Altaf Hussain demanded from prime minister to lift the ban imposed on Shoaib Akhtar.


Shoaib Akhtar accuses PCB of excessive behavior

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has termed the cricket board’s decision of five-year’s ban on him excess against him adding he was awarded major punishment for a minor offence.

Addressing a press conference outside the Rawalpindi Press Club on Wednesday, Shoaib thanked the media and people for their support.

He advised his supporters to control their emotions and avoid any unruly behavior. He said he would file appeal with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) against the ban and would go to the Supreme Court for justice.

"I have been victimised, I have been pinpoint targeted. I should be told what I did and when I violated discipline,"
the maverick paceman told a news conference in Islamabad.

"I did not commit any crime. This is a great injustice with me. But I assure people that everything will be alright,"
said the 32-year-old, who has vowed to fight the ban in court.

He said the board was prejudiced against him.

Akhtar was hauled before a Pakistan Cricket Board disciplinary panel after publicly slamming the board for refusing to award him a central contract in January.

The board said it took the harsh step of a five-year ban, effectively ending his international career, because he was on two years' probation for hitting teammate Mohammad Asif with a bat in October.

Akhtar, who has twice hit the coveted 100 mile-per-hour (161 kilometres) mark, has had a controversial career plagued by injuries, discipline problems and a doping scandal in 2007.

He addressed his fans, adding:
"I appeal to people not to damage public property and to remain calm. I will appeal to higher authorities, I will contest the ban."


ABN-AMRO Cup 2007-08, Super Eights

Pool A

The business end of the tournament began with a tie between Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) at the Sheikhupura Stadium. Chasing 268, KRL were on course to win after a middle-order slide with Ali Khan slamming a 30-ball 54, but the ninth-wicket pair of Zulfiqar Jan and Saeed Ajmal failed to see their side through.

NBP, after being asked to bat first, were powered by Kamran Akmal's 118 and Naumanullah's 66. The pair added 190 for the third wicket before Yasir Arafat took 5 for 42 to bowl them out just before the 50 overs. Akmal's knock included 11 fours and three sixes while Naumanullah hit seven fours in his 87-ball knock. Saeed Anwar Jnr and Ali Naqvi led the chase with half-centuries and KRL progressed well thanks to their stand of 131 for the second wicket. However, the middle order succumbed to Qaier Abbas' left-arm spin and Akmal made a strong impact behind the stumps as well by claiming five victims, which included four stumpings. Khan revived the chase from 178 for 5 and smashed five sixes in his knock but his efforts weren't enough to seal the victory.

An undefeated ninth-wicket stand of 57 between Yasir Ali and Mohammad Rameez guided Rawalpindi Rams to a tense two-wicket win against Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) in Lahore. Chasing a modest 202, the Rams had all but lost it at 148 for 8 before the pair combined to see their side home in the 45th over. Rameez compiled a run-a-ball 27 with four fours and a six while Ali's 26 off 36 balls included three fours. Earlier, WAPDA failed to bat out their fifty overs, with Aamer Sajjad op scoring with 49. Babbar Naeem, the left-arm spinner, finished with 3 for 50.

Pool B

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) began their Super Eights campaign with a three-wicket win over Lahore Eagles at the National Stadium in Karachi. Shahid Afridi wrecked the Eagles with figures of 5 for 49 and rounded off a solid all-round performance with a quickfire 45 off 29 balls as his side chased down 220 with more than seven overs to spare. Aftab Alam and Younis Khan too compiled 40s to back Afridi's effort.

For the Eagles, Ahmed Shehzad and Ashraf Ali compiled half-centuries after they were sent in to bat. The innings wobbled at 157 for 7 before an eighth-wicket stand of 52 lifted the score past 200. Junaid Zia, the right-arm seamer, inflicted early blows in HBL's chase to reduce them to 49 for 3 before the middle order stepped up. Younis missed his half-century by a run, Alam compiled 40 off 62 balls, while Afridi slammed two sixes and a four in his knock before Zia returned to dismiss him and finish with figures of 4 for 45.

A half-century by the opener Khurram Manzoor helped Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) ease to a six-wicket win against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex. Manzoor scored 68 off 90 balls with nine fours to lay the platform for PIA to chase down a modest 206. Fahad Iqbal chipped in with 40 while Faisal Iqbal finished with an unbeaten 39 to seal the victory in 46.4 overs. Earlier, SNGPL were rescued by Tauqeer Hussain's battling 51 at No.8 after the innings wobbled at 96 for 6. The PIA seam attack of Anwar Ali, Najaf Shah and Ali Imran claimed three wickets each.


Munawwar-ul-Haq passes away at 76

Former first-class player and newspaper columnist Munawwar-ul-Haq passed away in Karachi on Monday night. He was 76 years old.

Munawwar played for Punjab in the inaugural Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in 1953-54. In the final against Bahawalpur in January 1954 Munawwar, batting at No. 6, got his highest first-class of 49. As a close-in fielder he also took four catches in the Bahawalpur first innings. Next season he represented Sind in a tour match against the visiting Indians in Hyderabad.

But Munawwar only played three first-class matches, in which he scored 78 runs at 13, before quitting the game for business commitments. He was the president for the Karachi Cricket Association in the 1970s, a life member of the Pakistan board and a member of the MCC. He was a long-time cricket columnist for Pakistan newspaper the Daily Times.

He came from a cricketing family with his father, Ahsan-ul-Haq, having opened the batting for the MCC in 1901 and then played for Middlesex in 1902. Iman-ul-Haq, Munawwar's older brother, played first-class cricket in pre-Partition India.


Hanif Abbasi submits adjournment motion against ban on Shoaib Akhtar

Member National Assembly Hanif Abbasi along with four other MNAs has submitted at the National Assembly secretariat an adjournment motion against the ban imposed on Shoaib Akhtar from playing cricket for five years.

Talking with media after submitting the adjournment motion, PML (N) leader Hanif Abbasi said that he has raised questions in his request about the appointment of the PCB chairman, his perks, tenure of his office and the list of the PCB employees.

Hanif Abbasi on this occasion said that PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf has destroyed the career of Shoaib Akhtar on the basis of his personal enmity and this issue would be raised in the fullest way in the National Assembly.

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