A MEMORABLE YEAR FOR TEAM INDIA

2008 was a spectacular for the Indian team. We are now approaching the end of the year and India is ranked no 2 in Tests and 3 in ODI’s, being only marginally behind the 2nd placed South Africans. This thread will consider those individuals who made this possible for India, and also those who were not that impressive.

ODI’s

Raina established himself as a formidable middle order batsmen in 2008

Raina established himself as a formidable middle order batsman in 2008

In ODI’s, the three best batsmen of India were the openers Sehwag, Gambhir and Dhoni, averaging 50, 47 and 58 respectively. However special mention must also be made of Suresh Raina who clobbered 680 runs in 19 matches at a striking average of 45. In fact, it won’t be wrong to say from the ODI batting point of view, this year belonged to the left handers Gambhir and Raina who were not as impressive before this year. From the batting point of view the two disappointments have to be Rohit Sharma and Robin Uthappa. Waqar Younas famously said, “This Robin, he is a good Batman” but that was not the case in 2008 because Robin only averaged 20 from 13 matches.

Dhoni was imperious this year, averaging 58 in ODI's and developing as a captain

Dhoni was imperious this year, averaging 58 in ODI's and developing as a captain

Sharma was touted as the next big thing of the Indian batting line-up, but he could only muster an average of 25 in 28 matches.

Zaheer had a special 2008, and rose in world rankings

Zaheer had a special 2008, and rose in world rankings

On the bowling front, Zaheer Khan was the key bowler taking 17 wickers at an average of 20 and strike rate of 30 balls per wicket. However Ishant Sharma was the pleasant revelation for India, being the leading wicket taker with 27 wickets from 19 matches at a wicket per every 33 balls.

The bowling pair of Ishant and Zaheer has emerged as one of the more successful ones for India

The bowling pair of Ishant and Zaheer has emerged as one of the more successful ones for India

Praveen Kumar also deserves mention for his 21 wickets in 14 games.

TESTS

In Tests, India’s most successful batsmen were again unsurprisingly, Gambhir and Sehwag.

Easily the best opening pair of 2008 in any form of cricket

Easily the best opening pair of 2008 in any form of cricket

Gambhir averaged 71, which has to be one of the highest averages of all time in a calender year. Gambhir has provided some sense and stability to the Indian top order which India had been looking for some time. His consistency this year was unbelievable and he smashed 3 hundreds and 6 50’s. The best aspect of Gambhir’s technique is the way he can switch very easily between attack and defence. Sehwag averaged 56 in 2008.

Tendulkar was the 3rd most successful batsman of the Indian line-up, showing some consistency this year and fans will be hoping this consistency remains. He averaged 48 with 4 hundreds and 3 50’s.

Rahul Dravid was a disappointment this year, with many

Suffered many failures this year, one which he will want to forget

Suffered many failures this year, one which he will want to forget

people including Sunil Gavaskar calling for his retirement. Dravid averages 31 this year but more than figures, what was saddening to see was his slow reflexes and vulnerable defence. He did strike a century in India’s last Test of the year, but it remains to be seen whether that will save his place in the team.

Ganguly was also not brilliant this year but he has retired from international cricket as one of the best batsmen to ever play for India and the best captain India produced.

India bowled very well in Test cricket this year and all the leading bowlers have negligible difference in stats. India’s leading bowlers were Harbhajan,

Mishra had a dream debut and outshone Kumble and Harbhajan

Mishra had a dream debut and outshone Kumble and Harbhajan

Ishant, Kumble, Mishra and Zaheer. From this list, Mishra should be considered in some detail because he made his debut this year. Mishra bowled in the right places, applied pressure and took wickets when they mattered. India did not miss the legspin of Anil Kumble because the new kid on the block, Amit Mishra, is very good and he left everyone behind.

Speaking of Kumble, 2008 also saw this legend’s exit from the game. Kumble was India’s greatest match winner, and the travesty is that he never got appreciated for it. Appreciation or no appreciation, his name was always be mentioned amongst the legends of Indian cricket.

No bowler playing a reasonable number of matches disappointed for India in Tests, and perhaps this is one of the reasons why India is placed at no 2 in the world today.

So many names to mention and so many astounding performances; this was an amazing year for the Indian cricket team. The world order in international cricket definitely seems to be changing and it seems soon there will be 3 top sides in the world as opposed to just 1. India is quite busy in 2009 and the way things are going at the moment, it is very likely we will sing the same praises for the Indian team this time next year.

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  1. #1 by khansahab on December 28, 2008 - 6:19 PM

    2008: Cancelled tours mar Pakistan Cricket

    By Khalid H. Khan

    Sunday, 28 Dec, 2008

    KARACHI, Dec 27: Pakistan cricket never experienced such a sequence of reversals as it did in 2008. For the first time in living memory Pakistan went through an entire year without playing a single Test match after the solitary scheduled series in 2008 was scrapped following Australia’s refusal to honour their commitment.

    Australia, who were due to play three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 International on a month-long trip that was slated to start from March 29, expressed safety concerns after some of the leading players indicated they would stay home rather than play in Pakistan if the tour went ahead.

    While a compromise was reached between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Cricket Australia (CA) during an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai to split the rescheduled series in two parts with the one-dayers planned for March 2009 and the Tests the following year, Pakistan suffered considerable financial losses from the one-day series against no-hopers Bangladesh, who were invited to fill the breach.

    Pakistan were to suffer another body blow later in the year when the ICC postponed September’s Champions Trophy, the second biggest tournament after the Word Cup, until October 2009 after five of the eight competing teams raised security concerns. chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Nasim Ashraf, Advisor to Pakistan's Prime Minister Rehman Malik, ICC President Ray Mali stand next to the ICC Champions Trophy during a function in Lahore June 18, 2008.

    On the field, it came as no surprise that Bangladesh hardly challenged Pakistan during the 5-0 whitewash in April and completed an ill-fated trip with another demoralising defeat at Karachi in the first-ever Twenty20 International played in this country.

    By comparison, Zimbabwe, who lost the one-day series by an identical margin earlier in the year, at least offered some resistance in no less than two games during their tour of Pakistan.

    The biggest event to take place on this soil was undoubtedly, the ninth edition of Asia Cup with three matches taking place in Lahore and the remaining 10 in Karachi which also hosted the final, emphatically won by defending champions Sri Lanka thanks to ‘carrom ball’ specialist Ajantha Mendis’ incredible haul of six for 13 in eight overs against clueless Indian batsmen.

    Pakistan, who failed to qualify for the final in a disappointing campaign, scored a creditable eight-wicket win over old foes India in the Super Four stage. Vice-captain Misbah-ul-Haq, standing in for an injured Shoaib Malik, celebrated his first match in charge on a triumphant note.

    A three-nation tournament in Bangladesh, which preceded the Asia Cup, was clinched by Pakistan after Salman Butt and Younis Khan scored praiseworthy centuries against India in an exciting final at Dhaka.

    Pakistan finished the year on a high with a 3-0 rout of the West Indies in Abu Dhabi that made them the top-ranked One-day International side with a success ratio of 85.71 per cent, ahead of second-placed world champions Australia (76.47) and New Zealand (75.00). Without being disparagement of their performance, it has to be put on record that 12 of Pakistan’s 18 wins in 21 games were against wooden-spoonists Bangladesh (seven) and Zimbabwe (five).

    In terms of individual achievements in the year, Younis Khan was the sixth highest run-getter in ODIs (865 runs in 18 games at 54.06), followed by Salman Butt, seventh with 861 runs (ave 50.64).

    In the bowling department, Sohail Tanvir and Shahid Afridi also finished among the top 10 wicket-takers. Sohail picked up 32 wickets (ave 23.87) and Afridi (30 wickets at 28.36) with both men playing 19 matches apiece. Umar Gul was 12th in the list with 24 scalps in 12 games (ave 19.79) while Rao Iftikhar took the 13th spot with the same number of wickets (ave 26.00) in 14 matches.

    Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik performed more than satisfactorily both with the bat and the ball. The all-rounder scored 681 runs (ave 48.64) and claimed 16 wickets (ave 35.31) in 20 One-day Internationals. Malik’s efforts on the field and a marked change

    in attitude (which was at its lowest during the Asia Cup) install him as the favourite to retain the captaincy, which will be decided at the end of his current tenure on Dec 31.

    Speaking of tenure, the PCB had a change of guard after the resignation of Dr Nasim Ashraf on Aug 18. Former wicket-keeper/batsman Ijaz Butt was appointed the new chairman of the most prestigious sports body in the country on Oct 7.

    Ijaz, who brought in a number of ex-Test players to run the cricket board including Javed Miandad and Aamir Sohail, made a significant first move when he told national coach Geoff Lawson — hired in July 2007 for a two-year term — to pack up and replaced the 50-year-old Australian with the 68-year-old former Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam.

    Lawson, the former Test paceman, earned the wrath of the Pakistani (and foreign) media when he angrily marched off from a press conference during the Asia Cup after his team had lost to Sri Lanka in a Super Four match. An expected media boycott the next day forced Lawson to apologise unconditionally for his unwarranted outburst.

    Among other controversies to afflict Pakistan cricket in 2008, Shoaib Akhtar had a five-year ban, imposed by Dr Nasim Ashraf’s regime for a number of disciplinary breaches committed by the fiery fast bowler, and which was shortened to 18 months by an appellate committee that also fined him Rs7 million. The case is still pending in the Lahore High Court.

    Shoaib made a brief return to the national side in October during the Twenty20 quadrangular tournament in Canada where Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka in the final.

    Mohammad Asif disgraced himself when he was held for 19 days at Dubai airport after being allegedly found carrying illegal substance in his wallet while he was ‘returning’ from India after representing Delhi Daredevils in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

    The doping controversy continued to haunt one of the most talented pacemen to play for Pakistan when Asif tested positive for nandrolone during the IPL. Subsequently, the PCB banned him from all forms of the game pending the IPL inquiry.

    Perhaps the most devastating on-field setback that Pakistan cricket had to endure in 2008 was the astonishing defection of their premier batsman Mohammad Yousuf to the breakaway Indian Cricket League (ICL). The elegant player, after being overlooked by the ICC sanctioned Indian Premier League (IPL), took a hasty decision to join ICL’s Lahore Badshahs in November, resulting in his ban to represent Pakistan by the PCB. The disgruntled player mentioned differences with captain Shoaib Malik and a few board officials as the major reason to leave Pakistan cricket.

    On the domestic front, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) won the prestigious Quaid-i-Azam Trophy for the first time. The Pentangular Cup (first-class segment) was played twice in 2008 with the winners being Sindh and the NWFP, respectively. Sialkot Stallions completed a hat-trick of National Twenty20 titles, defeating Sindh Dolphins in the final at Lahore, while the Punjab Stallions lifted the first Pentangular Cup one-day event, easily beating Federal Areas Leopards in the final at Karachi.

    As the year was about to end, Pakistan received more bad news when India opted to cancel their tour, that would have started on Jan 4, 2009, in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

    Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja summed up the current tense situation perfectly when he recently wrote the following lines: ‘Right now, India-Pakistan cricket is caught in a whirlwind of emotions and politics. For cricket between the two countries to resume, there has to be time and space. Let the clouds of mistrust lift and the dust settle before we broach the subject of cricket.’

    A year of virtual cricketing inactivity from Pakistan’s point of view got an unexpected boost from close friends Sri Lanka, who have graciously agreed to play in Pakistan to make up for India’s self-proclaimed absence.

  2. #2 by Abdul on December 28, 2008 - 7:31 PM

    Yes Khanshab u are right in dedicating a thread to India who have certainly stolen the headlines in 2008. Perhaps one thing you didn’t mention was this tri series triumph against Srilnaka and Australia in the CB series and the under 19 world cup victory which were memorable moments and memorable day.

    But the highlight of the year by far was the test series victory against Australia which turned the fate of world cricket and proved that India are probably the best side in the world currently with Southafrica not far behind.

    Despite the Mumbai attacks this has been a golden year for India from general overviews. The film industry has been doing fantastically and has produced many great productions, they were also thriving from an economical aspect by their mission to the moon, they owned these big franchises in IPL and ICL and their popularity with visitors from abroad were increasing all the time.

    Certainly this year belongs to Indian cricket and they should be proud of their achievements.

  3. #3 by Abdul on December 28, 2008 - 7:33 PM

    By the way has anyone wacthed that program that happens in Ramiz’s house to discuss the fate of Pakistan and unleash the memorable and light hearted moments of there playing days. If u haven’t already you should watch the one with Mushy and Inzi or even Shoiab or Kamran Akmarl on youtube.

  4. #4 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 29, 2008 - 2:56 AM

    khansahab

    A good and thoughtful thread covering all the individual and team performances by Indian players during the year 2008.

    The events during the year 2008 also makes this year a very unfortunate one too. Some of the top Indian players were reluctant to visit India for the forthcoming (now canceled) series and they aired their security concerns a few days prior to the Mumbai attack and dented the prospects of not only the future series between the two countries but, also the possibility of jointly hosting the 2011 World Cup.

    I don’t see they will play cricket anymore for the next decade or so, especially in view of the political tensions that are growing everyday since the 26/11/2008, it is simply not possible.

    I don’t feel bitter but, I will be very honest in admitting that I have simply lost my interest in Indian cricket team.

  5. #5 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 29, 2008 - 3:37 AM

    The South Africans are tightening their grip and it is very likely that they will win this match too. At the moment the Australian lead is only 88 and 5 wickets in hand.

    Although Duminy played a great innings 166 runs, but Dale Steyn is the Man who took 5 wickets in the first innings and made 76 runs gave great support to Duniy plus, he has already taken 4 more wickets in the second innings.

    Ricky Ponting (78 n.o.) is playing with grit and determination but, he is running out of partners. He may score another century (38th) to take his tally of centuries closer to Tendulkar’s (41) but may not be able to win this match. BUT, cricket is a strange game!

  6. #6 by Mohammed Munir on December 29, 2008 - 7:26 AM

    Khan Sahab …

    A very balanced and a superbly written article on the advancement of Team India during 2008.

    Being a patriotic Pakistani yourself, you must be having a very big heart writing such nice comments about Indian team. All the more so, at this juncture, when BCCI is not in any mood to support PCB or is even willing to ‘try to stop’ any other country from playing in Pakistan 😦

    LS has shown to be a truly Cricketing Loving Site 😉

  7. #7 by Abdul on December 29, 2008 - 10:19 AM

    Well Southafrica are on the brink of clinching a series victory at the MCG.Could this be the moment were all waiting for ?

    Anway elsewhere the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy commences today with plenty of matches being held.

  8. #8 by khansahab on December 29, 2008 - 10:58 AM

    Munir sahab

    Patriotism, like “love” or “lust”, is a feeling that is very hard to describe. So much so that some people can accuse the same person of being a revolutionary and putting Pakistan first, whereas some people can accuse the same person of being a traitor and being a foreign agent (hint, hint)…..

    🙂

    According to Oscar Wilde, “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious”. What he is trying to say is, the ideology of patriotism, which is the feeling of pre eminence of one country over others, results in hostility, emotion, and negative feelings. This has the effect of making humanity seem less important, and a particular people, or a particular culture or religion, seem more important.

    I do appreciate your compliments in acknowledging I have a big heart (maybe I do), but I don’t see Pakistan’s greatness or preeminence in India’s damnation. Maybe that makes me unpatriotic, but I would rather be that than be jingoistic.

    Or maybe it is simply because I believe in peace and reconciliation, or that I believe respecting someone before they respect you, or initiating the process of peace if the other side shows hostility, does not reduce or affect in any way the respect I deserve. As they say in Urdu, “Kissi ki izzat karo toh apni izzat kam nahi ho jaati” and also, “Izzat ka haqdaar woh zaada hota hai joh doosrey ki izzat karta hai”.

  9. #9 by khansahab on December 29, 2008 - 2:39 PM

    Hayden has averaged only 32 this year and there are rumours he will retire after this Test series.

    Australia are going downhill which means they will come to the same level of India and South Africa.

    Just look how vulnerable they can appear if Hayden or 1 or 2 more batsmen are not performing and if Brett Lee is not performing!

    By the way, some people in Pakistan pronounce “Hayden” as “Haddin”. LOL It’s so funny, and the same people probably also pronounce “Brad Haddin” as “Braide Hay-den”.

  10. #10 by Wasim on December 29, 2008 - 6:43 PM

    The pundits declared India as the #1 team in the world after they defeated Australia at home now South Africa is almost on the verge of a series victory in Australia, South Africa defeated India in a test match in India earlier this year the Indian team struggled against Srilanka at home earlier this year,so which one of the two is the unofficial #1 team?

    Australia unless they make a few changes in there line up are not going to recover and will remain vulnerable. They need to replace Hayden, they need to replace Symonds, and they should rest Brett Lee, even if they make all these changes they would still need a world class spinner to retain their #1 position.

  11. #11 by khansahab on December 29, 2008 - 7:19 PM

    Wasim sahab

    South Africa and India are going neck to neck. In batting both teams are equal, in pace bowling SA is slightly better but in spin India is clearly ahead.

    India has traditionally been weak playing South Africa, like Pakistan, so I will say SA is a better team. Of course SA can field much better than India.

    I don’t think Australia will let other teams dominate them, I think what we will see is that the difference between these 3 teams will be negligible. Australia have batsmen to replace Hayden and they also have a good pace attack. Brad Haddin is also improving his batting and he is already batting like a “proper batsman”.

    India did struggle against Mendis but I think every team will struggle against Murali and Mendis.

  12. #12 by Abdul on December 29, 2008 - 8:02 PM

    The time has arrived and Adil Rashid has been picked for England. I really back his inclusion as he’s proved in county cricket he’s a unique prospect and can have a massive impact on the future and fate of English cricket.

    Rashid who’s from Pakistani ancestry has been coached by spin doctor Terry Jerner , who has famously assisted Shane Warne during his career. This is a moment of celebration for us . Even though we support Pakistan back home we should be proud of the achievments of people like Adil.

    He will certainly benefit from Mushy’s role with the development English spinners.

  13. #13 by khansahab on December 29, 2008 - 8:51 PM

    Omer

    Glenn McGrath played his last international match in April 2007 and Warne played his last international match in January 2007, almost 2 years ago.

    Since then Australia have played about 20-25 Tests, but they are still no 1. At the moment the difference between the 1st placed Australia and 2nd placed India is 12 rating points.

    Clark, Johnson, Bracken and Lee are all very good bowlers and I don’t see how you can doubt their potential.
    Brett Lee has the same stats as Shoaib in ODI’s and Shoaib has slightly better stats in Tests, I admit Lee is declining in form because a year ago all of his stats were better than Shoaib, but that doesn’t mean he is not talented or can’t take wickets.

    I don’t know what you mean by saying Lee is a “support” bowler; do you mean that he doesn’t pick up important wickets, or do you mean he could only pick up wickets when bowling in tandem with Warne or McGrath? Both of these are false, because Lee always picks up top order wickets and in many matches he outperformed McGrath. For what it’s worth, Lee still has a better strike rate than McGrath in ODI’s although I admit McGrath was better in Tests.

    Line and length does not bring wickets in the Subcontinent, agreed, although it did for Glenn McGrath. But sheer pace does and Lee has sheer pace. He is out of form and I agree his performance is waning but that doesn’t mean he has not been a great bowler; he is more fit than Shoaib, can bat better than him, field better than him and has played more matches than Shoaib.

    I agree Australia are missing the services of Warne, but South Africa does not also have a quality spinner. India has quality spinners but they don’t have the same fast bowlers.

    As I said, in the near future I see all these teams sharing the 1st, 2nd and 3rd ranking places amongst themselves, but I don’t think Australia will be pushed down that much. The only area I see them struggling in is spin, but if they can keep producing good batsmen and bowlers I doubt they will have a problem in the long run.

  14. #14 by khansahab on December 29, 2008 - 9:37 PM

    Omer

    Harbhajan is ranked no 8 in Test cricket whereas Harris is ranked 27.

    Harbhajan has taken wickets at average of 31 and strike rate of 65, whereas Harris’ average is 32 and strike rate, 70.

    More than this, Harbhajan is a bowler who has taken crucial wickets at crucial stages- he did that against Australia and Sri Lanka, whereas Harris is just someone who “may” work if the pitch is producing spin. He is treated as a side bowler by SA, but Harbhajan is a main bowler for India.

    Even Vettori of New Zealand is rated above Harris, at no 11.

  15. #15 by Wasim on December 30, 2008 - 1:32 AM

    Khansahab & Omer

    Australia has no confidence in it’s batting look at the flat tracks they prepared for this series both wickets eased further after the first day.

    With the exception of Bracken nobody in the current Australian bowling line up can reverse the ball but he is just a bit faster than an off spinner.

    I agree with Omer that Lee has been mediocre and was just taking advantage of the pressure created by Warne and Mcgrath.

    Australia will be able to fix their batting but I don’t see a quality bowler on their bench.

    South Africa has not lost a series since 2006, I think the Aussies are no longer favorites for the Ashes and if they lose they will certainly lose their #1 position.

    As regards India their status will be determined when they win a series outside India.

  16. #16 by Wasim on December 30, 2008 - 1:48 AM

    I think we should all thank Srilankan cricket board for agreeing to send their team to Pakistan and should also praise Miandad for making it possible.

    The upcoming series will provide Pakistan team a perfect opportunity to make a come back in test cricket and win back their lost status in the world of test cricket.

    Can Pakistan beat Srilanka?

    Can our batsmen deal with the threat posed by M & M?

    Our bowling looks good, but can our batting line hold up against Srilankan bowling in the absence of Mohammad Yousaf?

  17. #17 by Wasim on December 30, 2008 - 6:02 AM

    Shane Watson is injured again and is out for six months because of a back fracture, its a big blow for Rajasthan Royals, they will be missing both of their frontline all rounders Tanvir and Watson in the upcoming season.

  18. #18 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 30, 2008 - 6:12 AM

    Not just Rajhastan Royals but the whole of IPL. They will play the IPL tournament, but it will not be the same.

    Sir Utha tay hee ho gayeh Paamaal
    Sabza-o-nao damida ki maanind.

  19. #19 by Abdul on December 30, 2008 - 9:32 AM

    Fantastic,Southafrica have sealed the series and now Aussies are fearing a whiteash to add to their ongoing woes since the absence of the big daddies(warne,mcgrath and gilly)

    Now we can admitt Australia’s bowling attack lacks fire power and quality and Australian cricket is currently under a crisis which is so pleasing from the eyes because after so long dominanting test cricket,they are really struggling making cricket more compelling and worthy.

    In the last 8 tests Austrlia have lost 4 and won only 2 both against no 7/8 ranked Newzeland. It’s a new era in the cricket world and it’s only just begun.

  20. #20 by Abdul on December 30, 2008 - 9:38 AM

    The greatest Pakistan test side of all time.

    Saead Anwar
    Zaheer Abass
    Javed Miandad
    Mohammed Yousuf
    Inzamam ul Huq
    Imran Khan (c)
    Moin Khan (wk)
    Wasim Akarn
    Saqlain Muhstaq
    Mushtaq Ahmed
    Waqar Younis

    To be a no 1 side you need all these names come along at once which happened for Austrlia. Just imagine all these great names featuring in one side.

    Anyone got a different side to mine ?

  21. #21 by khansahab on December 30, 2008 - 11:25 AM

    Abdul

    I would replace Moin Khan with either Rashid Latif or Wasim Bari, who were better keepers.

    Get Mushtaq Ahmed out, replace with Abdul Qadir. In fact just have one spinner, and get Shoaib Akhtar in there.

  22. #22 by Mohammed Munir on December 30, 2008 - 12:11 PM

    Abdul & Khan Sahab …

    Good debate guys.

    Rashid Latif was our best wicketkeeper and he was also a better batsman then Wasim Bari, so I guess Rashid Latif should be there.

    On the other hand, I guess having three fast bowlers in Wasim, Waqar and Imran is enough and we don’t have to bring Shoaib Actor, but may be we have to play with only one (best among Mushy, Saqy, and Abdul Qadir) spinner, and bring in one more batsman, may be Wasim Raja who use to bowl also, to strengthen our batting line-up. As most our abovementioned batsmen (Zaheer, Saeed Anwar, Yousef, Inzimam) could not bowl at all. Miandad could also be used as second part-time spinner.

    Was Zaheer Abbas an opener ? If not then who will open with Saeed Anwer ? 😉

  23. #23 by khansahab on December 30, 2008 - 3:36 PM

    Munir sahab

    I don’t think Pakistan produced any world class opener apart from Saeed Anwar and Hanif Mohammad.

    I think Abdul chose Zaheer Abbas over Hanif, which was probably the better thing to do.

    I think the batting is already strong, going down to Wasim Akram. That’s why I would have Shoaib Akhtar in place of Qadir or Saqlain. I think Pakistan will be more potent with 4 great fast bowlers and 1 great spinner than 3 great fast bowlers and 2 great spinners. Maybe that’s because Pakistan’s traditional strength has been pace.

    Is anyone following the Quaid e Azam trophy? There have been some good matches. I think National Bank of Pakistan has the best team, just check out the team:

    Butt, Jamshed, Umar Amin, Rashid Riaz, Fawad Alam, Qaiser Abbas, Kamran Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Talha, Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Imran

  24. #24 by khansahab on December 30, 2008 - 5:14 PM

    Pak cricketers reluctant to sign central contracts

    Karachi: Several of Pakistan’s senior players, including captain Shoaib Malik, are reluctant to sign a reduced package in the newly-devised central contracts which will be offered to them later this week.

    Sources within the Pakistan team confirmed that captain Malik has approached Younus Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal and Umar Gul in an attempt to convince them not to sign the central contracts as it offers lesser remunerations to the players.

    A senior Pakistan player confirmed to cricketnirvana.com that he was approached by Malik over the issue. “Malik has approached some other senior players and has asked them not to sign the central contract as there is a fear that it offers no win bonuses and the package is also reduced. But there is a lack of confidence in Malik too as previously too he has ditched the players and himself signed it first,” said the player, who did not want to be identified.

    According to sources within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the cash-strapped Board is thinking of reducing the packages of the players and are also set to scrap the cash incentives given to players on special performances and wins.

    The PCB is of the view that after the cancellation of its high-profile series against Australia and India, and the postponement of the Champions Trophy, which hit its coffers hard, a restructuring was inevitable. In this regard with the Board’s over-sized staff already being cut to size.

    The players are also thinking of finally forming a Union so that they have a body to represent them at the national and international level.

  25. #25 by Wasim on December 30, 2008 - 5:18 PM

    Watch out for this guy Mohammad Aamer he is quite promising every match he plays he leaves a mark on it,he took 4 wickets the other day against HBL and bundled the star studded team for just 80 runs.

    We have Sohail khan, Aamir Mohammed Talha, and Anwar Ali as the new upcoming fast bowlers I am not much impressed by Wahab Riaz and Abdul Rauf.

    Kamran Hussain is quite old but is taking wickets regularly, I haven’t seen anybody swinging the ball so much as he does.

    Kineria is also coming back in form he took 7 wickets the other day in one match. Saeed Ajmal is also performing quite nicely.
    The duo if played together against SriLanka can cause some problems for them.

    Batting is still a worry for Pakistan, Misbah, Younis, Afridi, Butt they all look out of form.
    Although Younis in recent times always score when it is required but the form of other three with the bat is a concern.

    Rizwan Ahmed, Umer Amin, Kamran Younis, and Azhar Ali are a few young players who have been performing well with the bat in the last few domestic tournaments.

  26. #26 by khansahab on December 30, 2008 - 5:25 PM

    Wasim sahab

    I also didn’t like Wahab Riaz and Abdur Rauf, although I like Rauf’s action and he is tall. He was too wayward but I think with some more opportunities he can come good. I especially feel he is more of a Test match bowler.

    Kamran Hussain I think as an all rounder will do good, but Sohail Tanvir and Yasir Arafat are better than him I think.

    Anwar Ali is inconsistent and he came with a bang. I was supporting his inclusion but now I don’t like him anymore. Plus he lacks pace.

    From batting point of view, Azhar Ali and Adnan Raza are two most impressive batsmen recently. Now is the time to pick them up. I would say drop Butt who is out of form and pick up Azhar Ali and Nasir Jamshed for ODI’s. Make them play in every match and if they don’t perform then they can be dropped in the future.

    By the way Kamran Hussein has played 100+ first class matches, surely Pakistan can benefit from his experience. His place is just threatened by Tanvir.

  27. #27 by Abdul on December 30, 2008 - 7:13 PM

    Khanshab,are u going to listen to my request on the videos page please?

    Kind regards-Abdul

  28. #28 by Wasim on December 30, 2008 - 7:29 PM

    Khansahab

    As regards Anwer Ali he can be deadly where conditions are conducive for swing but he will be ordinary on flat tracks,Yasir Arafat hasn’t done anything in the last few domestic tournaments as compared to some other bowlers.

    If Shoaib Akhtar comes in and Gul is also fit then I guess none of these poor guys will get any chance, Shoaib should not be given a long term automatic selection he should be kept under close observation and if he performs only then he should be allowed to play, Aamir, Talha and Kamran Hussain deserve a chance in ODI’s.

    Azhar Ali and Omer Amin should get a chance.You are right Butt is out of form he usually scores in domestic matches but this time around the standard of domestic matches have improved because almost all the top players are playing and the teams are more balanced, he is finding it hard to score.

  29. #29 by khansahab on December 30, 2008 - 7:59 PM

    Omer

    To succeed in Test matches you either need to have pace, or control or excellent line and length. I think at the moment Tanvir has neither of these.

    He has a propensity to get wayward and he still hasn’t mastered his swing. That said, he is already showing improvement because he has developed the inswing. So he just needs to work on it.

    Akhtar and Gul can provide pace and bounce and Pakistan might go with someone like Abdur Rauf who is very tall, has a clean action and can generate good bounce. Of course we have Sohail Khan who can bowl at decent pace and can also swing the ball.
    Maybe I am being too harsh on Tanvir but he doesn’t “look” the Test type to me.

    I didn’t consider Ajmal to be a great turner of the ball, I think Kaneria is still my first priority. Yasir Shah is a good legspinner and he has been very successful of late.

  30. #30 by khansahab on December 30, 2008 - 8:22 PM

    Abdul

    I told you to write on V talk. We can’t have new pages for every forsaken topic in this world.

  31. #31 by Awas on December 30, 2008 - 9:31 PM

    Wasim & khansahab

    I often find you guys have remarkable understanding of the game. I guess you guys observe the game closely. The spin master Adul sometimes makes a gem of a comment, as he plays the game himself.

    The only thing I would like to add is Shoaib and Asif don’t really deserve a come back after what they have done. Other than that Shoaib is a spent force and you can bet that he is bound to breakdown. I would rather try out some of the promising names you guys have mentioned.

  32. #32 by Wasim on December 31, 2008 - 1:35 AM

    Omer

    You forgot about Gul, if he is not injured he will be an automatic selection,as regards Tanvir he has started to move the ball both ways but he does not have the test match accuracy he tends to bowl too much on the pads to left handers,this guy Aamir has a Wasim Akram like accuracy he is quite tall and can move the ball both ways, I hope they give him a chance in this series.

    Sohail Khan is the most suitable replacement for Shoaib he is very fast but his skills are quite limited regarding moving the ball.
    But he is very fit and can bowl long spells if the management decides to make supporting wickets he can prove to be quite a handful.

    Awas

    I saw a few matches in which Shoaib bowled my biggest concern was his speed he bowls around 135km
    now and no longer can be regarded as the fastest bowler in the world, he performed well in the last Pentangular cup but in the finals Azhar Ali and Nasir Jamshed thrashed him all over the park, especially Nasir he was walking down the pitch like Hayden against him and treating him with no respect.

    I don’t think he can play for another 4 years as he says, at most he will last another year.

  33. #33 by Wasim on December 31, 2008 - 2:01 AM

    Sohail Tanvir and Umar gul went head to head against each other in their debut match in Australia,the match was won by Tanvir’s South Australia by D/L method.

    Batting first South Australia scored 180 runs in 20 overs, Umar Gul was the best bowler for western Australia he took 4/15 in 3.2 overs, he also took the wicket of Sohail Tanvir on the first ball he bowled to him. But his team could’nt win the match as their key player SE Marsh got out after scoring just 1 run.Tanvir took 1/21 in his 4 overs.

  34. #34 by khansahab on December 31, 2008 - 11:58 AM

    Miandad to shoot down Qadir proposals

    KARACHI: Javed Miandad, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Director-General, has decided to shoot down chief selector Abdul Qadir’s proposal to host a series of trial matches ahead of the home series against Australia.

    But the former Pakistan captain is awaiting the return of PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, who is currently on a personal visit of Australia, before voicing his opinion regarding the proposed trial matches. Butt, a former Pakistan Test opener, is likely to return home on Wednesday (today).

    According to sources in the PCB, Miandad has rejected Qadir’s proposal to hold Test-style trials matches and one-day games in the lead up to the series against Sri Lanka. Qadir, a former Pakistan leg-spinner believes that such games would help him and fellow selectors pick the best possible team for the home assignment apart from providing the players a perfect opportunity to the Pakistani cricketers to get ready for the challenging assignment.

    However, Qadir has failed to convince two of the most influential men in the current national cricket set-up.

    Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam has made it clear that he would prefer national cricketers to feature in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy — the country’s premier domestic event.

    Now Miandad has decided against supporting Qadir’s suggestion. Sources said that Miandad does not agree with the idea of hosting separate trial matches as he believes that a brief conditioning camp should be enough for the players to get ready for the series against Sri Lanka.

    Miandad, who is slowly making his bones as a no-nonsense administrator, is of the view that selecting the Pakistan team should not be a tough job for the selectors.

    He has also rejected Qadir’s proposal to have separate Pakistan teams for Tests and One-day Internationals. He believes that Pakistan would be better off with one balanced squad for all versions of the game.

    Sources said that a final decision on these issues would be taken by Butt later this week.

  35. #35 by khansahab on December 31, 2008 - 12:01 PM

    Qadir was right. I think Pakistan needs a different team for ODI’s, Tests and T20.

    Pakistan has been performing poorly (a lot of that is due to their captain) but in order to elevate its international status the idea of specialist teams should have gone forward.

    Eg, In Tests, people like Younis, Misbah and Asim Kamal should be encouraged and there are many players in the domestic circuit who can play with patience and sense.

    In ODI’s you can have a mixture of Test and T20- Afridi, Misbah, Younis, Fawad Alam etc

    Whereas in T20, players like Yasir Arafat, Mansoor Amjad, Nasir Jamshed- young and fit players who can perform more than 1 role.

    This was a good decision by Qadir but the PCB would have had to spend more money and hassle to adopt this measure. I still think it would work.

  36. #36 by khansahab on December 31, 2008 - 2:02 PM

    India beef up security around Dhoni after threat

    Wednesday, 31 Dec, 2008

    RANCHI: Police have beefed up security around India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni after he received extortion letters from a man claiming to be an associate of the country’s most wanted gangster.

    Police said on Wednesday they had sent more than 45 commandos to Dhoni’s house in his hometown of Ranchi, the capital of the eastern state of Jharkhand, one of India’s poorest states.

    The first letter, sent on Monday, threatened Dhoni’s family with dire consequences if the player failed to pay 5 million rupees ($102,000), police said.

    A second letter on Wednesday threatened to blow up the captain’s family home if police were asked for help.

    Dhoni arrived in Ranchi on Tuesday and met a local police official on Wednesday to discuss the threat.

    ‘The letter has been sent by one Taslim who claims to be a close associate of Dawood Ibrahim,’ Satya Narayan Pradhan, a Jharkhand police spokesman, told Reuters.

    Dawood Ibrahim is India’s most wanted man for allegedly masterminding the country’s most deadly bombings in 1993, which killed at least 250 people in Mumbai.

    The underworld boss has eluded authorities for the past 15 years. By the 1980s and 1990s, he was one of Mumbai’s top gangland leaders

    Police say they have started an investigation into the letters.

    Dhoni had already received extra security cover after Maoist rebels made death threats against him last year, police said.

    But he was unhappy with the arrangements and applied for government permission for his security to carry more sophisticated weapons.

  37. #37 by khansahab on December 31, 2008 - 2:53 PM

    PCB seeks legal opinion on Asif’s suspension

    Shahid Hashmi Wednesday, December 31, 2008 3

    Karachi: As pressure mounts from the sidelined Mohammad Asif, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sought legal and expert advice on how to keep the suspension on the paceman, who is contemplating legal action against his suspension.

    Sources in the PCB confirmed that the Board has sought advice from doping experts Dr Waqar Ahmed and Dr Danish Zaheer on how they can clear Asif, who is under suspension since he was named as the player who failed a dope test in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in July 2008. Since then Asif has been suspended from playing all cricket for and in Pakistan.

    Asif’s lawyer has challenged the ban and threatened legal action against the ban. Lawyer Shahid Karim had publicly said that since the suspension was unjust, he is confident that Asif will get a stay order against the punishment which has stopped him from playing at the domestic level as well.

    Karim is also confident that Asif will be exonerated from the IPL tribunal on the grounds of faulty doping procedure, as the A and B sample reported discrepency in the amount of nandrolone found.

    Because of the tenison between India and Pakistan following the terror attacks in Mumbai last month, the IPL doping tribunal has chosen London as the venue of the hearing which will now be conducted on January 24.

    Sources said the PCB, in fear of being legally pushed, had almost decided to clear the paceman to play before Director General Javed Miandad and COO Salim Altaf advised the chairman Ijaz Butt to seek advice from doping experts.

    PCB is expected to take a decision on the matter by next week as Asif is desperate to play in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Tropy, Pakistan’s premier first-class tournament.

  38. #38 by abdul on December 31, 2008 - 6:35 PM

    Danish kaneria has gained some form in the current domestic tournament. He has taken wickets at a good average and strike rate which makes a “matchwinner”. Nice to see him get back in the groove of proceedings after struggling in the limited overs tournament even though it was in vain for Habib Bank .

  39. #39 by abdul on December 31, 2008 - 6:49 PM

    Khanshab,regarding the great pakistan test team u commented Pakistan’s tradition has been pace bowling.

    Let me kindly disagree with your views here because I can ensure you that when u see the streets of Pakistan spinners are very common . Many imitate the action of Saqlain and qadir and we are brought up with that. For example if you see 4 or 5 asian teenagers u would probably see at least 2 of them being spinners and that’s why we produce quality spinners unlike countires such as Southafrica,westindies and British born and butter.

    Yes we have produced some extreme pace and expert swing bowlers such as Waqar,wasim and Shoaib but overall I think tradition seems to be spin and reverse swing bowling for what we are refined as in Pakistani culture and that’s were other side rates around the world rate our specialities.

    Anyway now lets to a dream t20 team for this years tournament in England.

    nazir
    farhat
    rana
    Y khan
    M yousuf
    Malik
    Afridi
    Akmarl
    Sohail Tavir
    Umar Gul
    Mansoor Amjad.

    many players have developed experience in this format playing in Australia , ICL and county and following our formidable form in the previous competetion I rate US as favourites this summer. It should be great fun!

  40. #40 by khansahab on December 31, 2008 - 6:51 PM

    Abdul
    Good choice, I am agree with your team.

    My team:

    Imran Nazir
    Shahid Afridi
    Nasir Jamshed
    Shoaib Malik
    Misbah
    Fawad Alam
    Sarfraz Ahmad (or any keeper apart from Akmal)
    Kamran Hussein
    Yasir Arafat (if Shoaib isn’t playing)
    Sohail Tanvir
    Umar Gul

  41. #41 by Awas on December 31, 2008 - 7:36 PM

    Abdul

    Good observations coming from a real cunning spinner 🙂

    Tell me somrthing, why do Pak spinners fizzle out after showing so much promise? I thought they say you get better with age but that never ssemed to apply with Saqlain, Maulvy Mushy, Kaneria etc. compared to Warne and Murli?

  42. #42 by Abdul on December 31, 2008 - 8:10 PM

    As I’m bit of an expert in this area of cricket Awas I’ll tell you from what I know.

    Now I must say that they don’t really begin to fade with age. I mean my favourite bowler of all time along with Shane Warne and Anil Kumble , Muhstaq Ahmed was at the peak of his career when he was 35/36 and was picking up wickets at a brilliant average and strike rate and turning around matches so easily. Agian same applies to Saqlain would have become a real asset as Know he knows his game inside out and is only 30 odd and has even developed the “teesra”.

    Pakistan have developed some real mystery spinners in the 2 Mushtaq’s. However,they weren’t able to reach a milestone like Warne or Murali because of a lack of faith and persiverance from selectors. I mean Muhsy and Saqlain had the odd poor performance and were immediately shown the exit door. I really feel as do many other Pakistani supporters that Mushy should have been playing while he was bowling so invincibly in county cricket but wasn’t utilised due to braniless managment.

    I feel these Mystery Pakistan produced were of high quality and have had fabulous careers one can admire but feel that “brainless managment” was the ultimate downfall on why they couldn’t add to there impressive tally.

  43. #43 by Abdul on December 31, 2008 - 8:12 PM

    Awas , any other questions you may have please don’t hesitate to ask as I know this area of cricket inside out.

  44. #44 by Awas on December 31, 2008 - 9:28 PM

    Abdul

    I can’t disagree with you entirely here as you may well be right.

    Both, Saqi and Mushy when playing for Pakistan towards the end of their careers were pretty mediocre actually, hence my question. But it might well have been a temporary phase, who knows.

    One good point you made is that both Warne and Murli were given the impression by all around them (players and management) that they were pretty much indispensable and that is va ery important factor.

  45. #45 by khansahab on January 1, 2009 - 3:38 PM

    Give Malik another chance, says Inzamam

    KARACHI: Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq did a U-turn on his comments about Shoaib Malik’s captaincy and now feels that he is the best person to lead the side.

    Inzamam had criticised Malik for his inadequate captaincy skills last month, but told a daily on Wednesday that the young all-rounder deserves another chance to prove his credentials as captain.

    Inzamam said on Wednesday that Pakistan did not play a single Test in 2008 and so it is not right to judge Malik’s captaincy.

    “It is in Test matches that the real worth of a captain gets displayed,” Inzamam was quoted as saying in the daily Jang.

    “Pakistan has failed to win a single Test with Malik as captain but then they have just played five with him in-charge,” said Inzamam.

    Under Malik, Pakistan lost the home Test series against South Africa 0-1 last year and then suffered a similar series defeat in India. The last time Pakistan won a Test was in Jan 2007, when Inzamam led a stunning triumph over the Proteas in Port Elizabeth. But Pakistan went on to lose the series 1-2.

    Inzamam said that Malik doesn’t have all the ingredients required to become a successful captain but was quick to add that Pakistan have no other options.

    “Mohammad Yousuf is unavailable for national duty while Younis Khan is not interested in captaincy. That is why instead of experimenting with anybody else, Pakistan should give Malik another opportunity,” he said.

    The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is all set to extend Malik’s stint by one year. The decision is likely to be announced within a week.

  46. #46 by khansahab on January 1, 2009 - 3:45 PM

    It’s strange how one month, and 2 domestic tournaments can change the perception of a person.

    In November Inzamam said Malik lacked captaincy skills and now after Malik’s performances in T20 and ODI domestic tournaments he is backing Malik to remain captain.

    In fact everyone is now supporting Malik- all former cricketers.

    The problem is that, Afridi may not be selected again for some time, following his disappointing batting performances of late (although he should be given credit for his bowling). So that only leaves Misbah, who is the vice captain. People were already hinting that once Aamir Sohail and Abdul Qadir come into the PCB set up, Afridi will not be selected again.

    Younis is still not interested in captaincy. Misbah should be preferred over Malik because Misbah is now in category A of the PCB contract system, and he is an automatic selection in all forms of the game.

    Misbah has not won any major tournaments domestically but his team has always been amongst the weaker teams, whether he has been playing for Baluchistan or any second-grade team from Punjab. Malik is actually very lucky he has always had good players playing under him.

  47. #47 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 2, 2009 - 5:31 AM

    There shouldn’t be any MAY NOT, it must be definite that they should not participate in ICL and IPL both, period.

  48. #48 by abdul on January 2, 2009 - 9:49 AM

    Guys with Malik’s captaincy taking a twist there are other options Pakistan can look at. Malik overall has done reasonably well so far but we have been unable to make overall judgements on his captaincy yet due to a lack of mathces featuring Pakistan in 2008.

    Alternatives are Afridi,Younis Khan and possibly even Shoiab Akthar. But I would stick with Malik for another year and at least give him more opportunities in the spotlight position.

  49. #49 by khansahab on January 2, 2009 - 11:26 AM

    Abdul

    Why do you have a soft spot for Malik, Mushtaq Ahmad and Mansoor Amjad?

    Malik has not done well, anyone can beat minnows; Afridi should be captain for all forms of the game.

  50. #50 by Awas on January 2, 2009 - 11:47 AM

    What happened to Malik’s performance that the Board was going to review at the end of the year?

  51. #51 by khansahab on January 2, 2009 - 11:47 AM

    DAMNATION FOR PAKISTAN CRICKET…..

    Butt gives Malik vote of confidence

    Cricinfo staff

    January 2, 2009

    Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, has suggested that Shoaib Malik will stay on as captain of Pakistan in 2009 despite calls for him to be replaced. Malik’s performance was due to be reviewed on December 31, 2008 – when his tenure was originally supposed to end – but it’s highly likely he will be retained, especially after gaining Butt’s vote of confidence.

    “Shoaib Malik will remain as the Pakistan captain till the time he continues to deliver,” Butt was quoted as saying in the News. “I believe that he has done a good job in recent times.”

    Malik was appointed after Pakistan were eliminated from the group stages of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. His achievements include reaching the finals of the ICC World Twenty20 the same year, beating India in the Kitply Cup final in Bangladesh the following year and a 3-0 sweep in the ODI series against West Indies in Abu Dhabi in November. He led Pakistan to a country record 12 successive ODI wins though the bulk of them came against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh earlier this year.

    However, he’s had limited opportunities to lead Pakistan in Tests as they’ve been deprived of Test action in 2008 due to security concerns. His skills as a leader were questioned when his former team-mate Mohammad Yousuf and, other senior players, criticised him for being a poor communicator.

    But Malik found support from his coach Intikhab Alam who believed he should be retained for another year. A final decision on his tenure is expected soon.

  52. #52 by khansahab on January 2, 2009 - 11:54 AM

    Abdul

    A captain is born, not made. That is the reason why people like Pataudi and Graeme Smith were made captains so early in their careers, because they had that capability.

    I don’t know what criteria people in Pakistan look at when they consider who should be the captain. People say Malik’s batting and bowling has been good of late so he should be the captain. If performance is the criterion then why didn’t they make Yousuf the captain, who is easily Pakistan’s best batsman?

    The other criterion may be, appoint a person who is aggressive, intelligent and a good man manager, but Malik is neither.

    Fine, in early 2007 I was supporting his captaincy because there was no one else available and at that time Malik was performing brilliantly with the bat. But now Afridi has improved his bowling and matured as a person. Misbah is also a new find who is an automatic selection, so PCB can’t say there is no one else.

  53. #53 by Awas on January 2, 2009 - 12:13 PM

    khansahab

    It looks like my question and your answer was posted at the same time – 11:47

    Wow! Telepathy.

    What a shame the status quo continues!

  54. #54 by khansahab on January 2, 2009 - 6:35 PM

    Pakistan cancels hockey and squash teams tour to India

    Pakistan on Friday decided not to send its hockey and squash teams to India citing security concerns for players.

    The Pakistan hockey team was supposed to take part in the four-nation Punjab Gold Cup, scheduled to start in Chandigarh from January 31, while the squash team was to defend its Asian Junior title in Chennai. The tournament was supposed to start from January 16.

    However, the decision to cancel the hockey team’s trip was taken after Pakistan was replaced by New Zealand in the double-leg tournament that also features Beijing Olympic gold medallist Germany, the Netherlands, besides hosts India.

    “The hockey and squash federations had applied for clearance to travel to India which we have not given as we have security concerns for our sportsmen and women in India,” Pakistan Sports Minister Aftab Shah Jillani said.

    He said due to the existing tension between the two countries, the ministry thought it prudent not to send the teams to India.

    “Until the relations and conditions improve between the two countries we don’t think it is wise to send our teams there. They are security threats,” Jillani said.

    However, Sports Secretary Ashraf Khan said the decision does not mean out that Pakistan has suspended sporting ties with India.

    “I wouldn’t say we have suspended sporting ties with India. We are willing to play India in any sport at a neutral venue,” Khan said.

  55. #55 by Wasim on January 2, 2009 - 7:21 PM

    Khansahab

    With his current form it will be hard for Afridi to get selected in the team.

    I kind of agree with Qadir we should have different captains for tests and shorter version, If Younis is willing he should be the test captain.

  56. #56 by khansahab on January 2, 2009 - 8:02 PM

    Wasim sahab

    PCB is filled with stupid people, so I don’t know what they are going to do.

    The reason why I don’t think Younis is a good choice is because of his reluctance to captain in the past. I know in 2008 he has said he might consider captaincy, but he is known to have changed his mind very quickly because he also said in the same year that he is backing Malik.

    If someone is giving you an important job, you have to prove that you really want it. Unless you really want to do something, you will not be able to do it passionately. For example, Misbah has already said that captaincy is something he will like although no one has approached him for the position. That is why I keep suggesting Afridi’s name because he has always wanted captaincy.

    PCB officials think that by performing with the bat, Malik will gain respect of his seniors but that is not correct in my opinion. Dhoni is not respected by Tendulkar & Co just because he is a good batsman, but because he is an intelligent cricketer and good man manager. Dhoni’s on field decisions bring success to the Indian team. Malik is not in the same league.

    If Afridi is going to be dropped, then I see no other option than Misbah. Misbah will play for another 2-3 years, and in that time he can probably improve the team morale and team performances.

  57. #57 by khansahab on January 2, 2009 - 8:36 PM

    Wasim sahab

    Mohd Aamer’s interview has been pasted on the Interviews page, thought you might be interested.

  58. #58 by khansahab on January 2, 2009 - 11:30 PM

    One point I want to make is about fast bowlers in Pakistan. There is a very fine line between confidence and arrogance and I think people have to be careful they don’t cross this line.

    For eg this young 18 year old Mohammad Aamer, who is bowling fast and can swing the ball both ways. He is young and inexperienced, he has no idea how life in international cricket will be like. So he shouldn’t make arrogant statements like “I don’t fear any batsman”.

    By respecting others and acknowledging the talent of others he will not become any less talented himself. Sohail Tanvir said the same thing, “I don’t care if Tendulkar or Lara is standing before me”.

    This trend was started by Wasim who used to say things like, “I have so much confidence that I am better than everyone else”. Agreed Wasim was a great bowler who duped every batsman, including Lara and Tendulkar, but there were also occasions when he got smacked around by these batsmen. So you win some and lose some.

    Tanvir was very arrogant when he came and repeated Wasim’s exact words but I read one of his recent interviews where he changed his stance. During a match against India, Tanvir had poor stats and was very expensive and he was asked which batsman he has difficulty bowling to, and he said Tendulkar’s name and explained,

    “Tendulkar is hard to get out because he is attacking and he can create a shot out of any kind of delivery, so I am extra careful when I am bowling at him”.

    This contradicts his earlier statement that he is better than Tendulkar or Lara and he is not afraid of them.

    I wish this new kid Aamer all the best, but he needs to nurture his attitude. You have to do that in international cricket these days, because otherwise you will become like Asif and Shoaib.

  59. #59 by Wasim on January 3, 2009 - 1:55 AM

    Khansahab

    The only concern I have about him is that he too thin and fragile for a fast bowler and to have back stress fracture at such an early age can prove to be a big problem in future, other than that he seems to be quite confident and intelligent, if you look at his bowling stats in recent domestic tournaments no batsman could give him any problem, even the likes of Younis and Misbah struggled against him, so if he says he is not worried about any batsman it’s a positive attitude. Lets hope he becomes less injury prone and become an asset for Pakistan in future.

  60. #60 by Abdul on January 3, 2009 - 9:24 AM

    Due to the disussion I don’t feel anyone took any notice of these uploads of v talk.

    Guys please watch these classy vidoes of Mushy and the 3rd upload is of the impressive Adil Rashid whose been selected for England in the forthcoming tour of the Carribean. The first one also features Mushy being the dressing room comedian and playing footabll whilst the rest show some magic wickets and deliveries of the leg spinner.

    Sit back,relax and enjoy the legspin kings.

    http://www.sussexcricket.co.uk/sussex-tv/sctv-player/?m_sctv_moviesID=630#breadcrumbs

    http://www.sussexcricket.co.uk/sussex-tv/sctv-player/?m_sctv_moviesID=158

    http://www.sussexcricket.co.uk/sussex-tv/sctv-player/?m_sctv_moviesID=628

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=G43bzzwfe_4

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=E6FpT7B6kyc&feature=related

  61. #61 by khansahab on January 3, 2009 - 12:11 PM

    Malik wants long tenure as captain

    Shoaib Malik says he would prefer to have a long-term tenure as the captain of the Pakistan cricket team as appointment on series to series basis puts any skipper any under more pressure.

    However, chief selector Abdul Qadir has insisted that the captain should be appointed on series to series basis.

    Malik’s tenure as captain expired on December 31 but PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt has said Malik will be retained as captain when the governing council of the Board meets on January 15.

    “I am happy with whatever the Board decides but it is a fact that appointing the captain on a series to series basis adds pressure on him. It is better if the captain knows his terms clearly,” Malik told reporters in Lahore.

    “If the Board wants to retain me as captain I would be very happy and feel honoured,” he added.

    Qadir though said there should be separate captains for the Test and one-day teams and the leader of the team should be announced only ahead of the series.

    “I have full regard if the Chairman has said Malik will be retained as captain but I would suggest having the captain on a series to series basis,” the former Test leg-spinner said.

    Malik said leading different teams in domestic cricket has also helped him enhance his leadership skills in the last 18 months.

    “I have captained the Sialkot and Punjab teams to domestic titles in recent months and it has helped me grow in confidence.”

    Malik said he was looking forward to the home series against Sri Lanka but admitted it would not a tough series as Pakistan had not played a Test for 12 months.

  62. #62 by Awas on January 3, 2009 - 1:53 PM

    I like Abdul Qadir’s idea that a captain should be appointed on series to series basis. I hope he succeeds with his quest. Even Imran didn’t have that luxury that Malik wants.

    I dunno why DNA thought so highly of Malik?

  63. #63 by khansahab on January 3, 2009 - 2:01 PM

    Awas

    When Malik’s name was suggested by DNA, Malik did seem like an able performer with some intelligence. He did gain respect of many people because of how quickly he adjusted to international cricket. Like I said, when he was made captain, he was performing brilliantly and I will go as far as to say he was Pakistan’s best ODI batsman along with Yousuf.

    Like Inzamam, a very good batsman but not a good captain. I don’t blame DNA for thinking all that for Malik because there was no alternative at that time. Afridi wasn’t bowling that well- in fact Afridi only became a reliable bowler when Malik became captain.

    Younis was uninterested in captaincy and Yousuf was said to be very meek and religious. DNA didn’t want another Inzamam-like player to captain Pakistan.

    That’s why I blame Ijaz Butt because a lot has happened since the 19 months Malik has been captain of the team. He can’t command respect of senior players, he can’t make clever decisions on the field and he has shown some very basic personality deficiencies which a captain should not have, such as arrogance, problem of communication and playing politics.

  64. #64 by Awas on January 3, 2009 - 3:07 PM

    khansahab

    Good observation and I agree to all you said.

    When I said “why DNA…” that was in the context of why making him captain for life…almost 🙂

    As is normal for a newbie, what should have happened is “okay, we’ll make up our mind after a couple of series”

    Initially, even Graham Smith was given a term but when he had bad patches he was persisted with. He is turning out to be one of a kind though. Wow!

  65. #65 by khansahab on January 3, 2009 - 3:17 PM

    Awas

    Yeah I agree, Malik shouldn’t have been appointed as captain for so long. But they were sympathetic to him and wanted him to prove his worth. That’s why he got 18 months.

    However, it wasn’t to be.

  66. #66 by Abdul on January 3, 2009 - 3:20 PM

    I agree with Qadir. He seems to have been doing very well in his position with the board and has employed some impressive strategies to improve the fate of Pakistan cricket.

    Here is a story about his 14 year old son whose a future prospect………….
    http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/341277.html

    He played awesomly for Pakistan to runners up in the U15 world cup. Pakistan have been successful at junior levels in the last decade but there seems to be no systmen in order for player gateways to utilise hidden and unique talent.

  67. #67 by khansahab on January 3, 2009 - 3:57 PM

    Hanif, Imran and Miandad in ICC Hall of Fame

    Saturday, 03 Jan, 2009

    SYDNEY, Jan 2: Three Pakistani cricketing legends Hanif Mohammad, Imran Khan and Javed Miandad have figured among the 55 former players named on Friday in the ICC’s inaugural Hall of Fame list as part of its centenary celebrations.

    Launching the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said the initiative, in association with Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA), would provide the chance for the game to recognise its greatest achievers.

    ‘Given a key theme of the ICC’s centenary year is celebrating the game’s heritage then the foundation of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame is an entirely logical step,’ he said. ‘It will provide a means of recognising the historical contribution of past players, officials and even institutions in making cricket what it is today, a great sport with a great spirit,’ he added.

    Legendary opening batsman Hanif Mohammad, nicknamed the ‘Little Master’ by world critics for his magnificent batsmanship features alongwith Pakistan’s greatest skipper and all-rounder Imran Khan and batting maestro Javed Miandad who remains Pakistan’s highest run-getter in Tests.

    ‘I feel truly honoured to be bracketed among the greatest cricketing legends of all time,’ said Hanif. ‘In fact, I am a little surprised because I haven’t really achieved so much as to be placed in this exclusive list of greats. But I did my best for Pakistan and in getting this honour, I feel proud that I have done something of note for my country.’

    The three players will be receiving commemorative caps from the ICC later this month.

    Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar, who also features in the list alongwitrh Kapil Dev and Bishen Singh Bedi, said he felt honoured being named along with Sir Donald Bradman and Sir Garfield Sobers.

    ‘To be recognised by the premier authority in the game, the ICC, and that, too, in its centenary year, is an honour indeed. It is a privilege and I am overwhelmed and humbled to be included in such august company as Sir Donald Bradman and the one and only Sir Garry Sobers,’ he said.

    Former Australia wicket-keeper Rodney Marsh became the first Hall of Famer to receive his commemorative cap from ICC President David Morgan. ‘I’m deeply honoured to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Being recognised in this way is humbling, especially when I look at the names of the players in this list and think about those who will join it in the years to come,’ Marsh said. ‘It [ICC Cricket Hall of Fame] is another way of showing what a great history our game has and anything that does that has to be a good thing,’ Marsh said.

    The career statistics and biographies of the 55 inductees can be found at the new ICC centenary website, also launched, http://www.catchthespirit.com.

    Each year, starting 2009, new inductees will be announced during the ICC awards ceremony. The initial inductees or, in the case of those who have passed away, their relatives will be presented with a commemorative ICC Cricket Hall of Fame cap at an appropriate stage during the ICC centenary year.

    The living members of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame will also have the chance to choose new inductees. ‘We have studied numerous Halls of Fame in other sports to see what works and what doesn’t and how best we can achieve our goal, to recognise the game’s greatest achievers. We want to ensure that as many of the game’s stakeholders as possible, including current ICC Cricket Hall of Famers and members of the public, get the chance to have their say in the process of choosing the game’s true legends,’ Lorgat said.

    FICA chief executive Tim May was delighted at the new joint initiative of cricketers’ association and the ICC. ‘FICA believes it is important to honour the outstanding contributions many individuals have made to the game,’ said May.

    ‘The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in association with FICA is obviously the appropriate forum to do so and we are delighted to join with the ICC in this great venture,’ he added.

    ICC Cricket Hall of Fame inductees: Sydney Barnes, Bishen Singh Bedi, Alec Bedser, Richie Benaud, Allan Border, Ian Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Donald Bradman, Greg Chappell, Ian Chappell, Denis Compton, Colin Cowdrey, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Lance Gibbs, Graham Gooch, David Gower, WG Grace, Tom Graveney, Gordon Greenidge, Richard Hadlee, Walter Hammond, Neil Harvey, George Headley, Jack Hobbs, Michael Holding, Leonard Hutton, Rohan Kanhai, Imran Khan, Alan Knott, Jim Laker, Harold Larwood, Dennis Lillee, Ray Lindwall, Clive Lloyd, Hanif Mohammad, Rodney Marsh, Malcolm Marshall, Peter May, Javed Miandad, Keith Miller, Bill O’Reilly, Graeme Pollock, Wilfred Rhodes, Barry Richards, Vivian Richards, Andy Roberts, Garfield Sobers, Brian Statham, Fred Trueman, Derek Underwood, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Frank Woolley, Frank Worrell.

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