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;


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)

Z Khan
S Sreesanth
MM Patel
Harbhajan Singh
Yuvraj Singh
SR Tendulkar
V Kohli

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)

SL Malinga
KMDN Kulasekara
NLTC Perera
S Randiv
TM Dilshan
M Muralitharan

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.

Toss was taken twice in the huge final

The Final started with a controversial incident with the toss having threw twice
The World Cup Final started with a huge controversy even no teams had started the game. The coin had to be tossed twice after the Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara forgot to call at the first time. The Wankhede Stadium was not yet occupied to its full capacity, yet the noise was to its peak. The match referee Jeff Crowe had not heard the call from Sangakkara at first time while India's skipper MS Dhoni threw up the coin. Commentator Ravi Shastri, who was hosting the toss, said that it had turned to heads the first time. There were then a few confusions over there as Crowe said that he had not heard the call from the Sagakkara so the toss was void. MS Dhoni again threw up the coin, Sangakkara called heads and he won the turn.
Replays of the toss pointed to that Sangakkara called heads the first time as well. Sangakkara's head was lowered when he spoke. But neither Crowe nor Shastri had heard Sangakkara's call, Crowe did not hear due to the noise while Shastri was looking up at the coin. When Shastri looked across to Crowe, the referee said, "I didn't listen to it." There was then a concise chat and it was decided the toss had to be held again.

Tendulkar LBW defer baffled Ajmal

TV Replays showed that ball pitched in line but missing leg stump
Saeed Ajmal, The Pakistan Off-spinner, has said that he is completely shocked when the Decision Review System (UDRS) deferred the On-Field Umpire Ian Gould's LBW decision against Sachin Tendulkar during the World Cup Semi-Final against India in Mohali. Gould declared Tendulkar LBW while he was facing Ajmal in the 11th over of the innings, but the batsman called for Decision Review System (UDRS). Replays showed that the ball pitched in line but the Hawk eye announced him "not-out" as the ball was missing the leg stump.
Ajmal said, "I don't know how the replays showed my ball turning towards the leg side as I had delivered an arm ball and it went straight. I was 110% convinced when the referral was made that the batsman was out". Tendulkar was playing on 23 at that point and survived four dropped chanced before he was dismissed while made vital 85 runs with the title of Player of the Match award. Ajmal took two important wickets and he was satisfied with his bowling performance but it was disappointed that Pakistan lost a huge clash to India by 29 runs.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Aleem Dar and Simon Taufel will officiate at World Cup Final

Aleem Dar and Simon Tufel will be named for on-field umpires for the World Cup Final in Mumbai
Pakistan's Aleem Dar and Australia's Simon Taufel will be announced on-field Umpires for the World Cup Final between India and Sri Lanka on 2nd April. Ian Gould will be third umpire whereas Steve Davis would be named as reserved umpire. Jeff Crowe will perform as match referee for that contest. The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) has played a vital role in the tournament as sometimes controversially but both on-field named umpires at World Cup Final Taufel and Dar have performed their duties more accurately whereas Gould and Davis had also flawless verdicts in the competition.
Taufel officiated in his first one-day International in January 1999 while Dar came in ICC's elite panel in next year 2000, both younger umpires earned reputations for consistent accurate decision makings. Taufel was announced Umpire of the Year for five successive years from 2004 to 2008, whereas next two years, Dar won the award.
Dar was one of the on-field umpires for the final between Australia and Sri Lanka in 2007 while Taufel officiated in the final of the Champions Trophy held in 2004 and also in the ICC T20 World Cup in South Africa where he was on on-field umpire in the match between Pakistan and India.

Afridi praised the performance of his boys

Pakistan made their route to semi-final after getting six victories from seven games
Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has eulogized the efforts of his boys in the World Cup as his team got an achievement of semi-final although the expectations were considerably lesser. Pakistan lost by 29 runs to India in Mohali's contest in which they showed iffy batting techniques while chasing of 260, doing not great job with the ball and desolately in the fielding department.
Afridi said, "The batting had been challenging again for us as there were no opening stand greater than 44, we were consistently struggling for building partnerships throughout the tournament. In the semi-final clash, we could not succeed in making partnerships and chose bad shots selection at the wrong time as well". Afridi's XI lost only one game in six games before entering into knockouts as they had lost three key players involved in spot fixing scandal named Salman Butt (opening batsman), Muhammad Aamir and Muhammad Asif (two tricky pace bowlers). They beat Sri Lanka, Australia and West Indies to clear their route to Semi-Final. Afridi had announced before starting the tournament that his team had strength to play in Semi-Final.
He said, "I am proud of my team and the boys have done a great job in this World Cup. Youngsters are very capable and did excellent job. Winning and losing is something unusual but we really played a good cricket and no one can expect from us like this, as a captain, I am very pleased". Pakistan was the runners-up in 1999 when they lost to Australia while in 2003 and 2007; they were eliminated before the knock-out stages.