Pakistan’s Yousuf placed third in world rankings

Friday, December 26, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reliance Mobile ICC Test Rankings (as of December 24)

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

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


Pakistan to play five ODIs in BD next year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australia have not toured Pakistan since 1998.


ICC meeting on Jan 31 to decide Champions Trophy in Pakistan

Friday, December 19, 2008

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

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

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


Sri Lanka confirm Pak tour

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

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

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

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


India calls off Pakistan cricket tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Punjab beat Federal Area in Pentangular Cup

Saturday, December 13, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Indian minister opposes cricket team’s tour of Pakistan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Rawalpindi, Port Qasim in Benazir Bhutto Twenty20 final

Sunday, December 7, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Saturday, December 6, 2008

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


Asif apologises for repeated mistakes

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

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

Asif said on the Geo Super channel.

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

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

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

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

Asif said.

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

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

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


PCB decides to insure cricket events, series

Friday, December 5, 2008

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Rawalpindi reaches semi-finals in Benazir Bhutto T20

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

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

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

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

Thus, Rawalpindi Region won this match by 34 runs.

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

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

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

Fawad Khan top scored with 49.


Miandad vows to strengthen national cricket

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

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

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


India and Pakistan should back each other in cricket: Miandad

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Pakistan blind beat Sri Lanka in 3rd ODI

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

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

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

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

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

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