Friday, November 4, 2011

Four accused sentenced for penitentiary for the tenure of 6 – 32 months in Spot-Fixing scandal

Muhammad Aamir, Mazhar Majeed, Muhammad Asif, Salman Butt

A London court has handed out jail terms to the three players and their agent found guilty in the spot-fixing case, drawing the curtains on one of cricket's most sordid and shameful sagas. Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain, has been sentenced to two years and six months; Mohammad Asif has got a one-year jail sentence and his fellow fast bowler Mohammad Amir six months. Mazhar Majeed, the players' agent, has been sentenced to two years and eight months.

They will serve half the time in custody and then be released on license, with conditions which, if broken, would see them back in detention for the remainder of their term.

The four men had been charged with conspiracy to accept corrupt payments, and conspiracy to cheat in regard to the Lord's Test against England in August 2010, when the three pre-determined no-balls were bowled - two by Amir and one by Asif, orchestrated by Butt and arranged by Majeed. While Amir and Majeed had pleaded guilty before the trial began, Butt and Asif denied the charges and were found guilty by a jury on Tuesday.

The sentences were handed down in Southwark Crown Court on Thursday morning - the 22nd day of the trial - by Justice Cooke, who prefaced the quantum of punishment with some stinging remarks on the four convicted men and a sobering reminder on the legacy of their actions on the sport itself. He also made clear to Majeed and Amir that their sentences had been reduced - from four years and nine months, respectively - because they had pleaded guilty, and told all the players that the bans imposed by the ICC had also had a mitigating effect.

The incarceration began immediately, with the players - who had all come to court with bags - driven away in prison vans after leaving a courtroom packed beyond capacity. Amir will not be sent to jail but to a young offenders' detention centre.

In the aftermath of the sentencing process, while TV crews hovered outside the courthouse, the one main area of debate was what would happen with regards to appeals. Butt's solicitor Paul Harris confirmed on the entrance steps of the courthouse that his team would be lodging an appeal "in the next 24 hours".

Amir's team met with the judge behind closed doors immediately, and grounds for appeal were rejected then, which is apparently normal practice as the sentencing judge is hardly going to admit his punishment was incorrect minutes after meting it out. They are, though, awaiting further clearance, probably in the next 24 hours, which will allow them to lodge an appeal.

Majeed and Asif's legal representatives are yet to announce appeal plans though these are expected soon. There is no suggestion that any of the quartets are seeking bail, while awaiting appeals.

The PCB called it a "sad day" for Pakistan cricket. "Instead of having pride in playing for their country, these players chose to disappoint their supporters, damage the image of their country and bring the noble game of cricket into disrepute. There is little sympathy in Pakistan for the sorry pass they have come to."

In Lahore, the families of the convicted players were stunned by the sentences. Amir's father said the Pakistan government should have helped his son. His brother Saleem said: "He is a kid, he can't understand things. These six months are a lot for a boy who is immature."

Butt's father Zulfiqar was more aggressive, saying his son was innocent. "Our own friends conspired against us," he said. "You can check our bank balance; we haven't even been able to build our own house."

The judge began the day's proceedings with his summation of the case of each of the four found guilty, reading out their sentences one at a time, and his initial words suggested jail terms for all four guilty.

"Now, when people look back at a surprising event in a game or a surprising result or ever in the future there are surprising results, followers of the game who have paid to watch cricket or who have watched cricket on TV will wonder whether there has been a fix or what they have watched was natural."

Cooke had harsh words for Butt, whom he called "the orchestrator of these matters...you had to be to make sure these two bowlers were bowling at the time of the fix." Butt's leadership status, he said, made him more culpable than his bowlers.

He specifically mentioned Butt's role in involving Amir in the corruption. "An 18 year old from a poverty stricken village background, very different to your own privileged one, who, whilst a very talented bowler, would be inclined to do what his senior players and particularly his captain told him, especially when told there was money in it for him and this was part of the common culture. For an impressionable youngster, not long in the team to stand out against the blandishments of his captain would have been hard."

To Asif he said: "Whilst no money was found in your possession, it's clear that you conspired to bowl a no-ball. There's no evidence on your part of prior fixing but it's hard to see that this could have been an isolated incident."

For Amir there was praise for accepting his guilt and a re-assertion of Butt's influence on Amir but a refusal to accept the basis of his plea, that his only involvement in spot fixing was at Lord's on August 26 and 27 and that he only became involved as a result of pressure and threats to his career.

In this regard he referred to evidence, in the shape of texts and telephone calls with a Pakistani number, of Amir's involvement in discussions about fixing brackets at The Oval during the period of the indictment, though there was no evidence that such fixing actually occurred. That discussion, Justice Cooke noted, did not relate to Majeed.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Spot fixing! Jury scrutinized all phone calls and video tapes


The alleged spot-fixing trial, involving Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif at Southwark Crown Court, has entered another operative phase with the first witness, the ICC's chief investigator Ravi Sawani, being called. Before this the jury was shown video footage of the now infamous no-balls during the Lord's Test last year and also records of phone and text conversations.

Aftab Jafferjee QC, for the prosecution, resumed his opening address from the previous afternoon and went on to detail an alleged corrupt relationship between then Test captain Butt and his agent Mazhar Majeed. He finished off details of meetings, phone conversations and text messages surrounding The Oval Test against England last year, before moving on to details of the Lord's Test.

The jury was shown a replay of Mohammad Amir's no-ball from the first delivery of the third over before the proceedings were interrupted for lunch, and two more alleged pre-planned no-balls by Asif and Amir after the break. All sets of legal representatives had agreed previously that sound and commentary would not be played, presumably so as not to influence the jury's conclusion of the footage.

Butt and Asif are facing charges of conspiracy to cheat, and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, following that Lord's Test in August last year when they allegedly conspired with Majeed, teenage fast bowler Amir and other people unknown to bowl pre-determined no-balls. Butt and Asif deny the charges.

They were exposed by the now defunct British tabloid the News of the World in an undercover sting operation. Majeed was filmed revealing when no-balls would be delivered by the bowlers. That footage from secret cameras was also played to the jury on Thursday morning.

After lunch the undercover News of the World journalist Mazhar Mahmood, otherwise known as 'the fake Sheikh' from the time he snared former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, was to give his evidence. But because Jafferjee did not complete his opening until 15.28, there was no time for Mahmood and Ravi Sawani, the ICC's senior consultant in anti-corruption and security matters, was last to appear. Mahmood is now expected to appear on Monday as the case is adjourned until then.

Butt and Asif again sat through the proceedings in the dock, with Asif accompanied by Mr Khan from the national database of interpreters, while Butt sat two seats down from his former team-mate, wearing a brown velvet jacket, jeans and Adidas trainers.

An interesting aspect of the morning's account centred around conversations between Mahmood, referred to in court as 'the journalist' to avoid confusion with Majeed, and Majeed himself. Jafferjee told how Mahmood was expecting no-balls to be delivered that had been promised him as proof that would appease his fictitious backers in the Far East.

But Majeed said they could not be delivered on the third day as coach Waqar Younis had held a team meeting and ordered his bowlers to cut down on the extras after 32 had been allowed on the second day - six wides and five no-balls. Instead, the prosecution went on to explain, an alternative plan was hatched whereby Butt would bat out a maiden. That did not happen in the event.

Of further interest was the heavy phone and text traffic between Butt, Majeed and Amir leading up to the Lord's Test - Asif less so. In fact, Majeed called Amir at 1.27am at his hotel while he was sleeping, the morning before the match was due to begin, after having collected £140,000 from Mahmood for the promise of three pre-determined no-balls and future fixing, the jury heard.

All stories of phone and text traffic were substantiated with official records from phone companies that proved the dialogue between the various parties. Jafferjee then told how Amir messaged Majeed at 6.24am on the morning of the Lord's Test and said 'this is my friend's number in Pakistan, when you're done send them a message'.

Amir then made repeated calls to a number in Pakistan. Majeed later that morning made a call to a regular Indian number he had often phoned. The prosecution had already told of how Majeed boasted his betting contacts were in India.

But while the jury had been swamped with so much information and evidence of alleged corrupt dealings between the defendants, Jafferjee was clear in what he wanted them to remember the most. And that was the phone traffic between all four alleged conspirators on the evening before the third no-ball was delivered.

The sequence in Jafferjee's address that best supports this sentiment was the evening after a weather-affected first day at Lord's. The bet was for three pre-determined no-balls but bad light ended play for the day before the third no-ball could be bowled, the jury heard.

A series of "frenetic activity" on the phone between all four then takes place within a couple of hours of the match being called off for the day.

"It is an irresistible inference, say the prosecution, that between these four men, what is being sorted out is that third no-ball," Jafferjee told the court. "How will that now take place? The credibility staked - as well as money exchanged - is high. An arrangement for the next day is still not finalised.

"Why do we say that? Because when the journalist calls Majeed, it is plain that things are not finalised. More texts have to follow between them. Furthermore, that triangulation of calls has to be repeated, involving the three players and Majeed," which phone records in the hands of the jury apparently exhibit.

The prosecution also detailed the monies found in the players' rooms and on Majeed - whose wife had £500 of marked £50 notes from the News of the World found in her purse and a further £2,500 was found in his Aston Martin car.

Butt had the most cash in his room at the Regents Park Marriott Hotel when it was raided by police on the Saturday night of the Test - after Mahmood had alerted the police of his investigation. That cash included various currencies and totalled more than double the amount of cash that could be explained for through daily expenses - players received £114 a day in England, while Butt pocked a £250 weekly bonus for being captain.

Much of the money was found in a locked suitcase that Butt said belonged to his wife and for which he did not have the key. When it was opened they found a "large" amount of currency - some of which was in envelopes and some not. In total the stash included £14,003 in one spot, and £15,999 in various denominations in envelopes. There was also US$12,617, 24,300 of UAE dirhams, AUS$710, 26,015 Pakistani rupees, $350 Canadian, 440 South African rand - as well as four mobile phones.

Meanwhile, Sawani was in front of the jury for just over half an hour. His responses, while not very specific as to the case itself, will have left the the jury more familiar with the vast sums of money involved in the illegal cricket betting industry.

"One single legal betting company could generate £40 million for a one-day international," Sawani told the court, "For an India-Pakistan one-day international in Mumbai, you can have as much as $200 million bet in the illegal betting market in Mumbai and then (additionally) there are the cities around India, the UK, the South East (Asia) and Dubai."

Sawani told of the sinister underworld that exists in the illegal betting industry and said that accounts are settled the day after a bet is made and that there are no defaulters because "mafias are the enforcers".

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jonathan Trott was titled with the Cricketer of the Year 2011

Aleem Dar with ICC Award

Jonathan Trott, the England batsman, has been named the Cricketer of the Year for 2011, the ICC's top accolade. He received the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy at the annual ceremony in London, after his team-mate Alastair Cook had won the Test Cricketer of the Year award.

"It's fantastic to be part of a successful team and I never envisaged winning this award. It's a brilliant feeling to be recognized," Trott said.

In 12 Tests during the period under consideration, Trott scored 1042 runs at an average of 65.12, including four centuries and three half-centuries. He also played 24 ODIs, scoring 1064 runs at an average of 48.36 with two centuries and nine 50s. Trott was chosen for the award ahead of Cook, last-year's winner Sachin Tendulkar and South Africa batsman Hashim Amla.

Jonathan TrottEngland opener Alastair Cook has been named the Test Cricketer of the Year at the ICC Awards ceremony in London. Cook beat off competition from his team-mates James Anderson and Jonathan Trott, and South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis.

"I think the highlight of year was when we won in Sydney to beat Australia, and Chris Tremlett to take that final wicket, it was truly a great year," Cook said after receiving the award from ICC Hall of Fame inductee Curtly Ambrose. "This award is about the rest of the team not just me."

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has been named the ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2011 during the ICC Awards ceremony in London. Sangakkara also won the ICC People's Choice Award, capping a memorable evening for him.

"It's a great honor first of all to have been nominated for this award [ODI Cricketer] and a great honor to have actually won it," said Sangakkara, who was not in London because of the ongoing home series against Australia.

"I would like to thank the rest of my team-mates, they have done a great job over the years in one-day cricket and I am privileged to be part of this and [to have] led these guys for just over two years. I thank you again, I feel very proud."

MS Dhoni, the India captain, has won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award for his decision to recall Ian Bell after his controversial run-out during the Trent Bridge Test. Dhoni was unavailable to collect his award, though the Indian team was present in England.

"While the initial appeal and umpire decision were correct to the letter of the law, the decision by Mahendra and his team to withdraw the appeal shows great maturity," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said. "To see players and officials uphold the great spirit of cricket, which has underpinned the game for more than a century, is very special."

West Indies leg spinner Devendra Bishoo has been named the Emerging Player of the Year for 2011 at the ICC Awards ceremony in London. He had competition from his team-mate Darren Bravo and the Pakistan pair of Wahab Riaz and Azhar Ali.

Bishoo, 25, played five Tests in the voting period - August 11, 2010 to August 3, 2011 - and took 21 wickets at an average of 35.42. He also picked up 19 wickets at 21.57 each in 11 ODIs.

"I could not believe it when I was nominated for the ICC Emerging Player of the Year but to win it feels great," Bishoo said. "I would like to dedicate the award to my father. He played a great role in my life and encouraged me to play cricket. After he died I made a promise to always give my best and reach for the top.

Ryan ten Doeschate, the Netherlands all-rounder, has been named the ICC Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year for the third time in four years, and for the second year running. Ten Doeschate was chosen ahead of Afghanistan all-rounder Hamid Hassan, and the Irish duo of Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien, both centurions in the 2011 World Cup, during the awards ceremony in London.

Ten Doeschate, 31, played six ODIs in the voting period - August 11, 2010 to August 3, 2011 - all of them in the World Cup. He scored two centuries and a half-century, and averaged 61.40 for the period with a strike rate of 89.24.

New Zealand seamer Tim Southee has won the award for ICC Twenty20 International Performance of the Year, for his spell of 5 for 18 against Pakistan in Auckland.

"Looking at the nominees, it's a great achievement to have even been nominated and to win it is something I will never forget," Southee, who could not make it to the awards function, said. "Looking back at the game which has won me the award, it was Boxing Day in a full house at Eden Park and it was a big game for us as we'd been going through a rough patch of losing, something like 12 or 13 games on the trot and it was our first win in a long time. It was great to be able to contribute to that win and also put in a great performance."

Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar has won the David Shepherd trophy for the Umpire of the Year for the third consecutive year at the ICC Awards ceremony in London. He beat competition from Steve Davis, Ian Gould and five-time winner Simon Taufel.

Dar, 43, officiated in five Tests and 13 ODIs during the voting period - August 11, 2010 to August 3, 2011 - including the World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka.

Widely regarded for his umpiring standards, Dar was voted to the award by the 10 Full Member captains as well as the eight-man elite panel of match referees.

"It's a great honor and I'm thankful to everyone at the ICC and also my colleagues on the Elite Panel of ICC umpires along with the Pakistan Cricket Board," Dar said. "I'd like to also thank all my family for all their support since I'm away nearly eight months of the year umpiring."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

England would play with Pakistan Next year

United Kingdom has been the accumulation of two weeks in the Middle East before their Daphnia against Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi after the data for the two-month tour that included four one-day international and three Twenty20s, confirmed.

England are two heating period the matches the claim is not yet complete, but for a period of inactivity before the coming from the rare for Christmas with them is vital to the team working on the test matches, starting on 17 January in Dubai. England showed the importance of a good lead, during the test series, when she had to in fact a first class three games.

United Kingdom hoped that as there is decent quality to find opposition for two warm up games in the UAE is no first class structure. The series ' home "contest for Pakistan is the responsibility of the resistance, but the PCB, ECB spokesman confirmed that the factors that are not regular with a neutral place, taking into account a number of options examined."

Second round then takes place in Abu Dhabi from 25. January before the teams return to Dubai to the final test on 3 February. The series of a new day is divided between the two cities, while Dubai will be hosting the first two National international before the trip ends with the final T20 returns to Abu Dhabi.

Itinerary:

Jan 3 - England depart for UAE

Jan 7-9 - Three-day warm-up match

Jan 11-13 - Three-day warm-up match

Jan 17-21 - 1st Test, Dubai

Jan 25-29 - 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi

Feb 3-7 - 3rd Test, Dubai

Feb 10 - One-day warm-up match, Abu Dhabi

Feb 13 - 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi

Feb 15 - 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi

Feb 18 - 3rd ODI, Dubai

Feb 21 - 4th ODI, Dubai

Feb 23 - 1st T20, Dubai

Feb 25 - 2nd T20, Dubai

Feb 27 - 3rd T20, Dubai

Floodlit would be applied for Test Matches in coming year

Test cricket was able to see to the fixture as a day/night, first in January next year after the MCC said that in discussions with New Zealand cricket.

Zimbabwe tour of New Zealand and test match at Napier could play under the lights with a pink ball if turns out successful trials set for October. The ECB announced to meet with the championship game between Kent and Glamorgan next week will be a night and MCC has ambitious plans.

"Ben is in discussions with New Zealand cricket, hoping to organize a first-class match under lights with a pink ball between my client and the northern districts in Hamilton at the end of October," my client Center Director of Cricket John Stephenson told. "If that happens, and it goes well and the ICC and NZC are all happy we hope that the precursor of the Zimbabwe New Zealand in a Test-match under lights at the end of January would play."

MCC has been an essential day and night in first-class cricket in the lead. Test for large parts of the world, fewer crowds are finding new ways to develop the essential reasons for the people. Floodlit game would people come after work and see half a day to play and it is hoped to increase spectator turnout.

Stephenson is the most important indicator of success in the game the crowd numbers of the Canterbury. "What is in fact a dead game would be successful in helping support matches. Is that really the be all and end all?

"We had two very good games in Abu Dhabi where custom players, and there are periods of the game where, as in any form of cricket, you have to adapt. The only hope players enjoy playing in a different format, and I hope you see the ball well. It is always a risk with something new, if something goes wrong, or someone drops the catch or missing a straight, blamed the color of the ball. However, it is something that happens in any form of cricket, with a dark red ball, sometimes you don't this collection or losing a straight. "

Although illuminated first-class cricket could prove to be a crowd puller in other parts of the world, is in England, especially in mid-September, the less suitable. Not just spectators will brave the cold evening dew but can also come in the game.

"There is Concern that in mid-September in conditions not ideal in Canterbury won the" Stephenson said. "But we are asking for good weather and no raw, and hopefully, get an idea of how it works.

Dave Richardson, the ICC General cricket Manager, said the ICC Cricket Committee meeting in May that rosy was an important factor to consider in day-night game, but Stephenson is promising that won the fixture Kent-Glamorgan ' t New Zealand Cricket too much power if conditions prove fragile.

"You never know what the weather will be like," he said. "They want to of course [NZC] take a closer look at what is going on there, but hopefully next week in Canterbury that will not stop them making it the … "

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

England rattled India to occupy No. 1 spot in Test Ranking!

England Test Team
The six goals, including the pyrgoy Tendulkar 91 Graeme Swann Turkey, the United Kingdom to reduce the difference through the night to help the famous oval, the other day why fell dramatically. After the Collapse of small, but increasingly turbulent course pages India's Tendulkar and the rest of the surgical and frustrated with the resistance, such as a four door in the next field of 144 Amit added. The victory by the United Kingdom running eight folded 15 still shots and shot you are having problems with.

Success in Swan made to England where everyone plays an important role in the deposition of sediment or protect the profits of the series. It is the view of high quality for the attack, although he wore during the smile of aufsbin was selected dragging his gambher principles fifth Gautam slides back, triumph of complete VI, not clear not only to an earlier date in the section. However, frustration, wikeez by klater.

Through the morning save an extra loss, India had reached his wicketless first encounter in the series, will increase the options for the drawing, which would have been a bit of pride. The century was overshadowed by mahendra's have completed their hundredth HUNDRED development, international landmark, forced the entire series. He continued to prove Elusive.

England won 4-0 or greater than the margin of dumping only seven times in the history test.
India for their sixth defeat in a series of RAND, was the last in Australia in 1991-92.
10 episodes of the first paint India defeat against England test machine I Nee two/in the corridors of the hotel chain Mazet third time.
The average England passes the window and 59.76 loses 47 sets of counters. Average of 25.55 80 and lost and India.

Tim Bresnan, with the first ball of the new spelling, load on the back of Tendulkar, who hit the pad and Rod Tucker held down the toes. Replays showed that he cut his leg stump. It "has no t classic Tendulkar innings in any way, but in fact had at least three high-the belief that life is his birthday.

Temporarily remove the previous night, Tendulkar, and the number of likely to lose the last day in the United Kingdom the two legs of the hypothesis. Short leg was missing his shot, and Alastair Cook Tendulkar 70 85 to release him in the thick edges of Matt is relatively easy in advance. Swann also appeal to the low birth weight with beautiful sweeping losses during the game, there is a drs and United Kingdom reviewed, will be back. Tendulkar when they finally got the chance to be reviewed given the facial expression, but it is important to pay ", recommends the

Tendulkar has not played, stressing flexibility is an association which result in Mishra and English can be a headache. The second test, his 50th leaves 103 balls and use his leg while playing football on the side and hit Swann pay quickly, I can't see where Tendulkar Bat

For all its shortcomings with ball bat workloads appearance themes disappeared from some friends. With his team, while the partner still seems WINS and three numbers, but keep the apothiki is useful when you send a skotid edge issues and close opportunities with tindolkar undoubtedly have English, hot in the throat Andrew westraus received an official warning for players leaving the field.

England /, you can prepare the State of mind, but it showed that hunger after the victory. In the past two days, this party was an incredible value, even if your feet do not hurt players cannot be accepted, so "try t won easily." We must work as if it were yesterday, Rahul Dravid and Tendulkar and Mishra and State in good condition with the victory.

England know how feelings and grow by the General Assembly. Suresh Reina full horror game with two LBW, which uses up to 42 products, even if it is a bad decision Tufail Simon. The Inside Scoop on the edge and the ball, also intended for the keyboard at the top of the stumps.

Immediately, it is a hard top, as well as the region and the main-man series, Stuart Broad-range, fast cash rates in the United Kingdom would have preferred that said on the last day of the new ball was taken as Swann raids. ms Dhoni aneflegi at one end of the second slide and three balls later, rp Singh edged behind. Now the only question is whether, at least in the UK again bat Turkey.

Even that proved to be quite as Swann hit up innings against odbijajÄ…cego where he decided to take the coverage during the games. Sreesanth was finally falling "on the edge of the stumps." to send to England for a second round of celebrations was known scenes in this series, running actions, which will remain in the game's history as one of the most dominant screenshots. England has established a reference value for the test generation and other now must follow.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A new wave of captaincy as Cook and Broad captured the seats of captains of English team

England's leaders in all formats of game, as Alastair Cook for 50-over, Andrew Strauss in Test Cricket and Stuart Broad for T20I
ECB management announced new skippers for English team as Alastair Cook has been named Captain for 50-over format game whereas Stuart Broad would carry out the responsibilities of leadership for T20 International side. Andrew Strauss stepped down the captaincy for limited over game but he proclaimed his decision to focus on his Test career. He also announced his retirement from one-day cricket. This announcement means that England will have different captains for each format of the game. Cook has already lead his team on the tour to Bangladesh last year when Strauss was advised to rest but Broad would stand on the ground first time for his team, he has also a hype when England will defend their T20 title in Sri Lanka next year.
On the Bangladesh tour Cook made scores of 64, 60 and 32 in a 3-0 triumph in the One Day Internationals, before anchoring England's twin Test wins with a duo of centuries at Chittagong and Dhaka. Cook said, "I have worked hard in 50-over format games in recent times and not focusing enormously myself as a Test batsman. I am very thrilled by the challenge of taking leadership in limited over game and deem for a central role with the bat as well as captain".
Collingwood, who led England's Twenty20 side on 30 occasions and oversaw England's successful World Twenty20 campaign in 2010, retired from Test cricket following the Ashes earlier this year but remains available for the limited-over side, Broad will make his debut as captain when he leads England's Twenty20 side against Sri Lanka in Bristol on June 25.
New skipper of Twenty20I's of English side, Broad said, "It is a colossal esteem to be titled England T20 skipper that I have no qualm for my new deal of synergy. I have always enjoyed playing the shortest form of the game and I savor the golden opportunity to click my leadership skills for my side".

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Captaincy would be a daunting task for new Dilshan

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka's new captain, and Duleep Mendis, new chief selector, Colombo, April 20, 2011
Tillakaratne Dilshan was announced new captain of Sri Lanka for all three formats of cricket for the upcoming tour of England by the former Sri Lankan Cricketers and management as Kumar Sangakkara resigned from his captaincy job. Dilshan was the top run-scorer in the World Cup. After the resignation of Kumar Sangakkara, All-rounder Angelo Mathews and Dilshan were the successors of the skipper but the announcement of Dilshan's captaincy in all formats eradicated the speculation over Mathews. Sangakkara told in his recent interview that Dilshan, if selected, was good choice as he was likely to do a good job in such conditions.
Sidath Wettimuny, former Sri Lanka cricketer and former chairman of selectors said, "He is an emerging player no doubt but the time would decide whether he can transform his form into his captaincy. He will surely be tested. Captaincy will be a daunting task for him".
Kushil Gunasekera, former Sri Lanka Cricket administrator, was more optimistic, suggesting that the captaincy would act as a catalyst to stimulate Dilshan. He said, "When skillful and talented players are given errands they have potential to rise to the occasion. Hopefully Dilshan will fit into that category and showcase to the others as a role model".
Since discussing about the opener's slot in 2009, Dilshan has been among Sri Lanka's best players across all three formats. Ranjit Fernando, former Sri Lanka cricketer and former national selector, said, "Dilshan's form, predominantly over the last six months portended well for his new character. He may not be the conformist skipper that everyone anticipates him to be. But there is also a positive side to it."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Javed Miandad declined batting coach offer

Javed Miandad
Javed Miandad has declined the Pakistan's batting coach offer from PCB due to personal reasons. Miandad had said earlier that he would be considering taking up the batting role for Pakistan's team after Pakistan's tour of West Indies which starts from April 18. The team manager Intikhab Alam said, "The Pakistan team definitely requires a batting coach and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) approached Miandad but he unfortunately rebuffed the offer owing to personal reasons. But I am sure that he will assist the players in the near future".
Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan skipper and PCB chairman Ijaz Butt contacted Miandad following a shaky batting performance in the World Cup, during which there was no Pakistan batsman in the top 10 run-scorer list. Miandad had said in early April that he would not travel with the team to the West Indies but would work with them before their leaving as he did for Pakistan's tour of New Zealand last year.
Afridi asked to the board after the refusal from Miandad that they should look for other batting greats to take up the batting role for his team. He said, "If Miandad is not available then the board should hire other great batting persons that this country has produced or look for foreign batting coach".

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pakistan players should be allowed for IPL - Afridi

Shahid Afridi in his aggressive stride
Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan skipper, has said that Pakistan players should be allowed back into IPL as the relations between two countries India and Pakistan progressively getting better. Pakistan played India in the World Cup Semi-Final in Mohali, a contest watched by both Premiers of nations. Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was invited by his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh.
Afridi said, "It is the best time the Pakistani cricketers can book a place in the IPL season 4. For last three seasons, we were included only once. We have no problems playing in India as we have recently played a big contest there. I am not saying that I want to play the IPL but it might be a great opportunity for the youth. They could show their abilities for themselves. We should play more with India".
Pakistan players were included in the inaugural season of IPL but following the Mumbai terrorist attack in November 2008, none of franchises had chosen them for next two editions and they would also not comprised for version 4.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sangakkara renounces captaincy in ODI and T20

Kumar Sangakkara relinquished captaincy after the defeat in the Final
Kumar Sangakkara has relinquished the captaincy of Sri Lanka's ODI and T20 teams but has proposed to continue as the Test Captain on an interim tenure for the forthcoming series versus England and Australia if this would be useful for the new skipper. He will continue his character in all formats of the game as a player. His decision exposed after he led his side to the World Cup Final. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews are strong contenders to take charge of 50-over format games and T20 while Thilan Samaraweera is another choice for leading the Test side.
Sangakkara was one of the highest runs-score player in the World Cup 2011 and played a 48-run innings in their defeat to India in the World Cup final. He was dejected after the defeat in the final, he said, "I would like to proclaim that I have concluded that it is in the best long-term interests of the team that I renounce as a skipper so that a new skipper can be accurately trained for the next World Cup in Australia-New Zealand. I have no plans of retirement from International Cricket so far and it would be considered by the selection team who would decide my availability in all three formats of the games for upcoming times subject to my fitness and form".
He said, "It has been a true esteem and a great privilege to serve my homeland as skipper during the past two years and it is bitterly disappointed that we could not make triumph in the final, but I am proud of the performances of my team. I took this decision prior to the World Cup 2011 as I will be 37 years at the next World Cup and I cannot be definite of my place in the team. It is better that a young and promising player would lead the Sri Lanka's team so that his career would be at peak during that tournament".

Time to train a new wicketkeeper – Coach Waqar

Akmal's glove-work was under serious criticism as he was dropped for next West Indies tour
Waqar Younis, the Pakistan Coach, has said it is time for a young wicketkeeper to be trained as a replacement for Kamran Akmal. He said, "The change for the wicketkeeper is a difficult task but I feel the Pakistan team now needs a younger and energetic wicketkeeper who can carry his momentum for the new few years. It is the right time to groom a new wicketkeeper". Kamran Akmal had come under a serious criticism in the recent times as his glove-work was much disappointing especially during the Pakistan's tour of Australia in early 2010 as well as in the recent contest World Cup. He dribbled several key catches.
Pakistan was defeated in the semi-final of the World Cup by India and it was a huge loss for the team. He advised board to make sweeping alterations. He said, "I agree that it is time to build a fresh team but it doesn't mean that you replace all the players with the youngsters as it was done after the World Cup 2003. We need to maintain a balance between the youngsters and experienced which will assure the steadiness in the side".

Sangakkara named captain for ICC’s World Cup XI

Kumar Sangakkara was selected as a skipper of ICC's World Cup XI
Kumar Sangakkara has been announced the skipper of the ICC's World Cup XI that is dominated by the players from India and Sri Lanka having seven going to the finalists. The side was selected on the basis with subcontinent conditions in mind and individual performances in the tournament. It was chosen by the same jury of the officials and media team who proclaimed Yuvraj Singh as the Player of the Tournament.
Tillakaratane Dilshan and Sachin Tendulkar would be the team's openers on the basis of their top scores of the tournament, while Zaheer Khan, who was jointly wicket-taker with Shahid Afridi, and Dale Steyn having one of the best bowling averages, will open with new-ball. Muttiah Muralitharan will play the specialist spinner role and Shane Watson and Shahid Afridi joined Yuvraj Singh as the team's all-rounders. Mahela Jayawardene and AB de Villiers participate in the middle order. Tim Southee, the second-highest wicket taker of the tournament, was named 12th man.
Ross Taylor, Jacob Oram, Jonathan Trott, Graeme Swann, Kevin O'Brien, Kemar Roach, Kieron Pollard, Imran Tahir, Ryan ten Doeschate, Upul Tharanga and Lasith Malinga were also called for discussion during the assembling of team.

I have found the best captain Dhoni - Tendulkar

An emotional MS Dhoni is hugged by Sachin Tendulkar after India's victory
After the crowning of World Champions, Sachin Tendulkar, Indian batsman, has rated Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the best skipper he has played under during his 22 years cricket career. Tendulkar has played under six captains, including Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble. He said, "Dhoni is the best captain I have played under. He is very smart and active in the ground. He studies the circumstances well and is open to sharing ideas. He has always made discussions with the batsman, bowlers separately. He is always calm and never shows his frustration. There are some qualities in a human being which have made him such a good captain".
India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final in Mumbai after coming through the knockout stages with hard-fought prevails over Australia and Pakistan. Tendulkar said, "In the knockout stage we elevated at the right time; it was most significant. We knew either the batting was clicking, or bowling, or fielding, but in the last three vital games. Everybody contributed, right from seniors to the juniors in the team".
Tendulkar said, "The crowning of World Champions, every member of team focused to restrict Sri Lanka to a par score, we went through the process and accomplished the task. The pre-World Cup preliminary camp the team had in Bangalore also played a momentous role in the team's preparation".
After the victory in the final, Dhoni said, "The team felt the pressure right through the tournament". Tendulkar said, "The key to handling that pressure lay in focusing on individual performances. Pressure and expectations are always so high and we are looking for best performances. The responsibility is on all the team members equally to lift the trophy as it was the dream of all the team members to get the World Cup".

Monday, April 4, 2011

Next two World Cups will be 10-team events - ICC

The Official Logo for 2015 World Cup
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has assured that ten teams will play in next two World Cups. Australia and New Zealand will host the 2015 edition of the premier 50-over tournament whereas the 2019 World Cup will be hosted by England. The ICC chief-executive, Haroon Logart said that the 1992 World Cup format could be revised wherein all the teams play each other in group matches and the top four make the places in the semi-finals.
The recently concluded World Cup featured 14 teams and the group stage was played among seven teams each, having top eight fighting in the quarter-finals. The trimming of the event means that associates teams will not participate in next contest while the T20 World comprises 16 teams, having six Associate of Affiliate members a chance to play in a premier World event every two years. For 2019, there will be a qualification antagonism, the nature of which is yet to be defined.
Logart said, "We have got a programmed in place. The way Ireland is now performing is a corollary of that. Similarly, Netherlands have improved. To some extent you may say that we were disenchanted with the way Kenya and Canada have in fact in some respects gone backwards. We do spend a lot of time on the high-performance countries, and going into the next strategic plan we want to bring into play what we call targeted investment, which will further support those sorts of high-performance countries".

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Final India vs Sri Lanka (Mumbai) 2nd April

ICC World Cup 2011 – 2nd April

49th Match – The Final     (day/night    50-over match)

Played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai,

India won by 6 wickets (with 10 balls remaining) and notched up 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup;

Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat first;

Scoreboard:

Sri Lanka            274/6    (50 over)

Sri Lanka Innings50 over maximumRB4s6sS/R
WU Tharangac Sehwag b Khan2200010.00
TM Dilshanb Harbhajan Singh33493067.34
KC Sangakkara*†c †Dhoni b Yuvraj Singh48675071.64
DPMD Jayawardenenot out10388130117.04
TT Samaraweeralbw b Yuvraj Singh21342061.76
CK Kapugederac Raina b Khan150020.00
KMDN Kulasekararun out (†Dhoni)323011106.66
NLTC Pereranot out22931244.44
Extras(b 1, lb 3, w 6, nb 2)12
Total (6 wickets; 50 over) 274 (5.48 runs per over)
Did not bat:

SL Malinga, S Randiv, M Muralitharan 

Fall of wickets:

1-17 (Tharanga, 6.1 over), 2-60 (Dilshan, 16.3 over), 3-122 (Sangakkara, 27.5 over), 4-179 (Samaraweera, 38.1 over), 5-182 (Kapugedera, 39.5 over), 6-248 (Kulasekara, 47.6 over)

Bowling
O
M
R
W
Econ.
Z Khan
10
3
60
2
6.00
(1w)
S Sreesanth
8
0
52
0
6.50
(2nb)
MM Patel
9
0
41
0
4.55
(1w)
Harbhajan Singh
10
0
50
1
5.00
(1w)
Yuvraj Singh
10
0
49
2
4.90
SR Tendulkar
2
0
12
0
6.00
(3w)
V Kohli
1
0
6
0
6.00


India                277/4    (48.2 over)    (won by 6 wickets)

India Innings(target: 275 runs from 50 overs)RB4s6sS/R
V Sehwaglbw b Malinga02000.00
SR Tendulkarc †Sangakkara b Malinga181420128.57
G Gambhirb Perera971229079.50
V Kohlic & b Dilshan35494071.42
MS Dhoni*†not out917982115.18
Yuvraj Singhnot out21242087.50
Extras(b 1, lb 6, w 8)15
Total (4 wickets; 48.2 over) 277 (5.73 runs per over)
Did not bat:

SK Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, MM Patel, S Sreesanth 

Fall of wickets:

1-0 (Sehwag, 0.2 over), 2-31 (Tendulkar, 6.1 over), 3-114 (Kohli, 21.4 over), 4-223 (Gambhir, 41.2 over)

Bowling
O
M
R
W
Econ.
SL Malinga
9
0
42
2
4.66
(2w)
KMDN Kulasekara
8.2
0
64
0
7.68
NLTC Perera
9
0
55
1
6.11
(2w)
S Randiv
9
0
43
0
4.77
TM Dilshan
5
0
27
1
5.40
(1w)
M Muralitharan
8
0
39
0
4.87
(1w)


Player of the match:    MS Dhoni (India)

Player of the series:    Yuvraj Singh (India)

Umpires:        Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and SJA Taufel (Australia)

TV umpire:        IJ Gould (England)

The Champions celebrate with the ICC World Cup trophy, India vs Sri Lanka, The Final, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
The history of Twenty eight years ago repeated when India captured the crown first time that Kapil Dev and his boys lifted at Lord's in 1983 and today, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team occupied the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in Mumbai. Indian side was now made themselves in the list that nation got the World Cup more than once. Australia, West Indies and India are included in that line. A finest innings of 97 from Gautam Gambhir and unbeaten 91-runs from the Indian skipper MS Dhoni thrashed Sri Lanka in the nerve thrilling finale before Mahela Jayawardene accomplished his unbeaten hundred.
Against dominant conditions at the Wankhede Stadium, victory was achieved by six wickets with 10 balls to spare. However India's luck got worse before they triumphed, Virender Sehwag got LBW on the furious delivery of Lasith Malinga with second-ball duck; it was skidded into his back-pad and the Sachin Tendulkar was preyed by him when he was playing on 18 facing 14 deliveries.
Kumar Sangakkara disappointed as MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh snatched the trophy from them, India vs Sri Lanka, The Final, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
At 31 for 2 in the seventh over, Indian side was struggling to keep their grip in the game. But Gambhir and Virat Kohli typified a generation that does not easily accept defeat, and their third-wicket stand of 83 laid the foundations for an epic turnaround. After the dismissal of Virat Kohli who was caught by Dilshan in an involuntarily catch, Gambhir struck nine fours in a 122-ball innings, and both he and Dhoni required treatment for stiff backs. Dhoni at one stage looked so immobile that a preventive retirement seemed the only rational response, but after some callous work from the medical guy he resumed his stance and responded with another trademark filleting of the extra cover boundary, an area in which he scored six of his eight fours.