YET ANOTHER PAKISTANI BLAMED FOR MATCH FIXING

Kaneria has vehemently denied these allegations but what is the truth?

Danish Kaneria is the most recent addition to the ever-growing and ever-prominent list of Pakistani players whose names have been mentioned in any sort of wrongdoing. It has been alleged that Kaneria and one more Essex player were involved in match fixing in a county match

Are Pakistani players really involved in these shady dealings or is this just some kind of scheme contrived by haters to demean and demoralise Pakistani cricketers and fans? Will we ever know the truth?

Kaneria has had ups and downs in his career and invites a range of opinion about his value to the team. Statistically he is amongst the best bowlers Pakistan has produced, yet there have been innumerable occasions where his control and accuracy have been substandard and calls have been made to drop him from the team. Kaneria’s golden period came under Inzamam’s time when not only was Kaneria the team’s “trump card”, Inzamam also fed off Kaneria’s successes and Kaneria made Inzamam appear a better batsman than Inzamam actually was, as Kaneria kept taking 4 and 5 wicket hauls in those matches in which Inzamam scored heavily. However, after Inzamam’s departure Kaneria has seemed unable to control his bowling and frequently releases pressure off the batsmen after bowling a few good deliveries.

This shocking news comes against the backdrop of PCB penalising Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved for alleged match fixing (although no official reports have emerged as to why these players were actually banned). Previously, almost all of the players who played under Wasim Akram (Inzamam, Malik, Ijaz, Saqlain, Waqar, Ata-ur-Rehman)- all of these names were mentioned in the Qayyum Report which was the first judicial enquiry into sport of its kind in the world. In fact Qayyum in his interview said that, normally boards that run sport have to conduct an internal enquiry but it was considered that the PCB was itself involved in  match fixing at the highest level, which is why a judge was asked to conduct an independent enquiry. 

This raises many questions, about the integrity of Pakistani cricketers and the people of Pakistan in general. Strangely enough, Sohaib Alvi of Dawn wrote an article yesterday citing that character has disappeared from modern cricket and the cricketers are uneducated and arrogant with no regard for the country or pride. Yet, how far are we, the observers of this unique drama, expected to take this statement? Is match fixing so prevalent that we have to assume it is just a part of Pakistan cricket which cannot be eradicated? What ramifications does this have on the morale of the Pakistani people, and the future of sport in the country?

Although match fixing is associated mainly with Pakistani players, it is considered that its origins lie within the Mumbai underworld. Although we hear of Lahore bookies and Karachi bookies, the roots of modern-day match fixing are in India. Yet, it is surprising how Indian players are generally not suspected of this evil, but almost every Pakistani player has been associated with it. Why is it that the bookies find it so easy to approach Pakistani players? Why does the PCB not do anything about this? And why is it considered that senior officials like Shafqat Rana, Yawar Saeed and Ijaz Butt themselves are involved in corruption?

This thread raises more questions than answers, because the concept of match fixing is something that remains clouded in mystery. There is no smoke without fire and the players and Board officials will have to be more forthright about this. The Pakistani public deserves to know about what actually happens behind closed doors and why the links between Pakistani players and bookies are so inextricable that we keep hearing the words “match fixing” with the word, “Pakistan”.

gbdr

Wasim Akram's name was mentioned in the Qayyum Report. Wasim is considered to have been an expert, proactive match fixer

Advertisements

, , , ,

  1. #1 by khansahab on April 11, 2010 - 9:08 AM

    Munir sahab

    Following on from your comment in the previous thread, would you agree that not hailing from major cities is the reason why these cricketers are turning out this way?

    You have said that we have to pay the price if we are to select 16/17 year olds. But, Miandad and Mushtaq Mohammed were very young too when they made their debut. I think they were both about 17/18. I don’t think age has that much to do with it.

  2. #2 by khansahab on April 11, 2010 - 9:16 AM

    Amir

    I don’t think speaking English is that important. Shoaib Malik, Akmal, Rana- all these guys have improved their English but what effect has that had on performance? Younis Khan’s performance has been static for some time- he has shown no improvement over the years but his English has improved.

    Afridi’s English has improved but his batting and bowling have also improved, so he is the odd one out here.

    I feel very strongly about this because a lot of people seem to think the players should learn to speak English. Wasim/Waqar have improved their English, but their controversial past cannot be buried. Miandad still can’t speak good English but he is very much respected and admired for his dedication and quality as a cricketer.

    As far as handling the media goes, any intelligent person can handle the media, I don’t think you need courses to handle media. When players feel strongly about something they will want the whole world to know about it. So, Yousuf and Malik stabbed each other in front of the media, Younis said he lost command of his team etc.

  3. #3 by Mohammed Munir on April 11, 2010 - 10:19 AM

    Khansahab …

    A well written and a very bold article on match-fixing.

    I think the menace of match-fixing in sports generally and in cricket specifically is a worldwide phenomena, but many countries try to cover it up and walk-on , while in Pakistan, we give it much more importance and undue publicity.

    Coming back to your above comment, yes I agree that players from major cities are well-groomed and have better sense and general knowledge, when compared to someone coming from a village.

    I again agree with you that age is not the only reason, but it definitely plays it’s part. Although, Javed Miandad was a very good player but he would have been totally different personality had he completed his education, which remained uncompleted due to his joining the team at a very early age.

  4. #4 by amir on April 11, 2010 - 7:30 PM

    KHANSAHAB that is my point that if the players are feeling strong about somthing they dnt have to come in media and sort out thier differences in front of whole world. And specialy when seniors do that it has bad influence on younger players as they always try to copy seniors. Ur thread is a true reflection of match fixing and pakistan. I dnt understand that when ever pakistani players are mentioned in matchfixing thier is always mention of some indian bookies. Now why these indian bookies always aproach only pakistan players and not indian players i mean thier history is also as bad as ours. Or its an indian media thing to always promote and highlight negativies about pakistan.

  5. #5 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 11, 2010 - 7:38 PM

    Yes, betting and bookies hovering around the sports arena, especially in the cricket world is not new. It started from the days of Mumbai’s underworld DON’s. What is bad is if the players get involved in match fixing then they need to be punished. However, the media reaction to any news related to Pakistani cricket players is blown out of proportion and they make a mountain out of a mole hill. Last week the English cricket player Graeme Swann was caught on the road by the police for drunk driving. He was even arrested and later released the funny thing is the media reported:, “he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.” Why would the police arrest someone on suspicion? They do the breath analyzer test on the spot and then make the arrest. He was later released because the MCC or the cricket board do not want any undue publicity against their ace spin bowler who was named Man of the Series against both South Africa and Bangladesh during England’s winter tours. Swann is due to head to the World Twenty20 at the end of April.

    Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson
    did ball tampering in SA and got away without any punishment. This is so common that the English, Australian and other white players get away without any punishment. These double standards must not be there and the ICC must take appropriate action against ALL and not just against a few.

  6. #6 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 11, 2010 - 7:48 PM

    amir

    like khansahab has pointed out in this thread and I have been raving and ranting for so many years that WASIM AKRAM is the biggest culprit in match fixing, he reportedly took 1 crore 40 lac rupees in the 1996 WC quarter finals against India in Bangalore. He did not announce his injury (pulled chest muscle, as if he was breast feeding some mafia guy) 10 minutes before the start of the match. Aamir Sohail over heard the discussion Wasim Akram had with one of the bookies and he kept saying that he will appear before the Justice Qayyum commission and write his swear testimony. When the time came, Aamir Sohail was either bribed or chickened out, he changed his statement.

    Wasim Akram after that 96 WC kept playing for Pakistan and lost against Bangladesh under his captaincy in the next WC in England, there was no ending he was making money left right and center and no one stopped him until that commission report came out and even the Justice Qayyum report said, Wasim Akram could have been banned for life but, because of his celebrity status they are letting him go. Still he was not allowed to play for Pakistan and the irony some people still consider him as a hero. ALL he needs now is an INDIA PASSPORT because he lives in India and having affair with Shushmita Sen, earlier he was lamenting about the death of his wife, shedding crocodile tears and wanted to sue the doctors in Pakistan whereas, the doctors have sued him and he ran away back to India. I don’t understand how and why Ijaz Butt included him in that committee to investigate what went wrong with the Pakistani team during the recently concluded Australian tour. What does he knows about that tour? Was he there? He was probably in the lap of some Indian Sharmuta.

  7. #7 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 11, 2010 - 8:24 PM

    TOO MUCH OR TOO STRESSED MATCH PRACTICE?

    I am deviating the subject from this thread and it is related to the news of 5 injuries in the Pakistani cricket camp which is more like a RIGOROUS IMPRISONMENT CELL for the players. FIVE of their key players from the current WCT20 squad are reportedly injured during the hectic practice sessions. This is too much. I AM OF THE OPINION THAT IT IS UNNECESSARY AND TOO PRECAUTIONARY. The fielding standards will not improve in a 4-5 week camp, but it will certainly raise the risks of some key players getting injured before the WC and that will be a big disaster.

    There is no need for them to worry too much about the rigorous physical training, they should do some jogging, light exercises on the field and in the gym to keep themselves in shape rather than stretching them to a level where they will breakdown or get so tired that they may injure themselves. The injuries to these 5 players is AN ADVANCED WARNING hence, the coach, trainer and the officials should take note of this and use rest of the time in giving them some touch mental training related to game plan, strategy, watching the videos of the key opponent players and their own follies and weaknesses and iron them out. The psychiatrist who has been hired by the board should get involved and hold sessions with them and train them to get mentally tough to handle crisis situation.

    I know a family from the UP India and they speak Poorbi language which is more of a dialect than language and they use this expression for this kinda situation: “Shikaar ke June Kutiya Huggasi.” I dunno how many of you understand this expression. But, this will happen to the Pakistani team if they continue to do such real hard, rigorous physical training before the WC.

  8. #8 by Mohammed Munir on April 12, 2010 - 4:01 AM

    LOL @ “Shikaar ke June Kutiya Huggasi”.

    I hope our ‘Kutiyaz’ are not ‘Huggasi’ on World Cup. 😆

  9. #9 by Mohammed Munir on April 12, 2010 - 4:41 AM

    Thought for the day …

    Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.

  10. #10 by amir on April 12, 2010 - 8:04 AM

    According to THE NEWS Umer Gul and Yasir Arafat are certain to miss the world cup through injuries. They are likely to be replaced by Sami and Shahzaib. Umer Akmal also got injured but his injury is not serious and he is expected to play in world cup but i agree with JAVED A KHAN that what is the need for this type of training its not that the players are coming from off seasön instead they are playing continuosly for last year or so. This type of methods are only going to harm Pakistans chances to defend thier title.

  11. #11 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 12, 2010 - 10:15 AM

    Munir

    That quote is specifically apt for Dubai people. That is exactly how they run the real estate market by spending money they didn’t have and the market eventually collapsed, they were buying properties they didn’t want to live, they were trying to attract and impress the rest of the world *they don’t like the west*

  12. #12 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 12, 2010 - 10:28 AM

    confirming amir‘s news from THE NEWS

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=233853

    When I wrote that comment, I was afraid that it may happen that out of the five one or two may not be able to recover in time and may miss the WC. But, we heard from the captain and the coach that these are minor injuries and the players will recover in time. BUT, it happened and it is confirmed now that, Umar Gul is the highest wicket taker in the T20 format will miss the WC. Agreed that he is not in form but, in this format you never know when a player can get back into form. Afridi’s batting form was questionable for so many years but, in the previous WC he just peaked up in the last three games and that paid off. Pakistan won the last 3 crucial games because of one man’s form. Sri Lanka lost the cup just because of one man, Dilshan who played well through out except for the final.

    Its a shame that people in authority and people with so much experience cannot see this coming. Whereas, a lay person like me was screaming shouting and yelling that this is wrong it should not be done and my worst fears came true, Umer Gul is out of the squad. What a shame! Wait till Umar Akmal announces his full fitness. NO HALF FIT player should be allowed to play. That will be the biggest disaster.

    The ACTOR is roaring like an old lion through the media and pleading that he has achieved his fitness level. But, he has done that so many times and failed to deliver when it was much needed.

  13. #13 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 12, 2010 - 10:52 AM

    Like the caption of the previous thread, Shoania’s marriage is the most hyped and sensationalized marriage by the media, there are so many twists and turns in it so far and only God knows how and when they will end up and stabilize? Now, today’s news is, they eventually got married and it is confirmed. The other day it was like that joke, ” Now you see him now you don’t.” Yes, they got married, NO they didn’t, Oh yeah they got married, OH no they didn’t. Now, the biggest drama will end up in Sialkot and Lahore when the couple will arrive Malik’s home town after conquering “Chittor.”

    What next? I mean after Lahore and then to Dubai Shoaib and Sania will settle down, but there is another pot on the back burner right now and that pot is Sushmita Sen sitting on top of the old burner Wasim Akram who is suffering from chronic, persistent, sinuses disorder, he thinks that his nasal voice is very attractive? He is singing Hindi songs with his BAYSURI awaaz. This will remain most likely like an affair and not end up in marriage. Because, Wasim’s wife Huma died not long ago, not even six months and he is having fun in India a couple of months after her death.

  14. #14 by amir on April 12, 2010 - 3:05 PM

    I think that Sami is the best choice to replace Gul. And shahzaib is the best choice to replace Arafat. They musnt even think about Actor even if he says that he is 200% fit. Its too many times he declared himself fit only to break down half way.

  15. #15 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 12, 2010 - 3:31 PM

    amir

    Mr. M. Y. Kasim
    calls him Rawalpindi Maal Gaari, I am sure the selectors have also realized that he is a spent force and good for nothing bloke. He won’t be back.

    Sami is good if he keeps his cool, very often he gets infuriated after being hit and especially if the batsman provokes him. Like, Gambhir did once and Sami lost his cool and was bowling wayward after that. Its just like Afridi used to get upset after Kamran Akmal drops a catch or misses stumping and says, “koi baat nai Shaid Bhai, Koi Baat nai.” Lucky for Afridi that in the previous WC against SA when Kamran dropped AB Divilliers he said the same thing but, the next ball was so good that Afridi clean bowled him.

    If Shahzaib Hasan Khan plays then one of the two i.e., Salman Butt or Khalid Latif will have to sit out. IMO, neither of them should have been in the squad.

  16. #16 by amir on April 12, 2010 - 6:59 PM

    LOL@ Rawalpindi Maal Gaari that is what he truely is now he can huff and puff for 2 overs and after that he is out of steam. But unfortunately this is sub continents tradition that mostly players dnt want to retire unless board stops to select them then they retire. He should had retired last year but he dnt want to let it go respectably. Any how Salman and Khalid both should be 14 th and 15th man. Pakistan should open with Shahzaib/Hafeez/Kamran. Dnt knw why those two test players are in t20 team.

  17. #17 by M. Y. Kasim on April 12, 2010 - 10:37 PM

    I just finished reading “All-time Pakistan XI” in Cricinfo.

    I beleive Legslip should also start an special thread on this subject. It will give our bloggers a free hand to express their opinion, not restricted to small type comments but allowing them to have their say with reason and stastics.

    Let me start with my All-time Pakistan XI.

    1. Hanif Mohammad
    2. Majid Khan
    3. Zaheer Abbas
    4. Javed Miandad
    5. Inzimam ul Haq
    6. Imran Khan
    7. Wasim Akram
    8. Saqlain Mushtaq
    9. Abdul Qadir
    10. Wasim Bari
    11. Waqar Younis

    12th. Mohammed Yousuf
    13th. Younus Khan

  18. #18 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 13, 2010 - 12:57 AM

    Mr. M. Y. Kasim

    Except for one player in your team, I agree to all. And, that is wicketkeeper Wasim Bari. I would like to select Rashid Latif in his place because, in my opinion Bari was the most hyped wicketkeeper and no one was given any chance. Like today Kamran Akmal is the dominant wicketkeeper Bari was the same as him, except that he did not drop as many catches as Akmal did, but Akmal’s batting is far more superior than Bari. And, Bari had a prolonged cricket career because of Intikhab and Imran, both supported him.

    In case of Rashid Latif, he had a tough battle to fight against Moin Khan hence his cricketing career is limited.

  19. #19 by Mohammed Munir on April 13, 2010 - 7:08 AM

    Javed Khan …

    You are right that quote really suits Dubai well, but at the same time, it suits USA (and may be Canada) also because this is where all the credit cards culture have come from. By credit cards, I mean spending money which one haven’t yet earned. Similarly, we all know that American consumers are the biggest spenders and wasters of world resources as they buy FMCGs which they really don’t need. To me, the Americans and may be Canadians, their distant cousins, 😉 are the most materialistic peoples when it comes to that, and this is all done in the name of fashion, new-look, trends and show-offs to impress their peer groups, whom they off course don’t like.

    Living on plastic and borrowed money is a way of life in USA, at least if not Canada, and we in the Middle East are catching-up fast with that 😛

    Calling yourself a ‘lay person’ on cricket issues is purely being modest of you. I am sure your cricketing sense and general knowledge of the game is way better then Waddi Butt, his cronies and so many of Pakistani player.

    Nobody will be missing Yasser Arafat and I think his injury shall serve as a blessing in disguise for Pakistan, however, there is no match for Gul who will be dearly missed in the forthcoming T20 World Cup. It will be absolutely unfortunate if Gul could not play and his absence shall seriously hurt Pakistan’s cause. Salman Butt and Khalid Latif both definitely don’t deserve to be in T20 squad, but then again ‘this is PakAstan meri jaan’ 😆

    There is a news about both Fawad Alam and Umar Akmal also being injured and I hope and pray that both are fit for the all important World Cup. Althoug, Fawad plays a bit too slow for my liking and he is more of an ODI and Test player then T20, but to use his full potential Afridi should allow him to bowl also. Moreover, now that Malik is out, we need some one to consolidate and play slow in the middle order. Whereas Umar Akmal is an absolute must for all three formats.

  20. #20 by Mohammed Munir on April 13, 2010 - 7:11 AM

    M. Y. Kassim …

    Regarding the Pakistan’s All-time XI, I beg to differ with you on a few players. In my top eleven Saeed Anwar will have to be there as one of the openers, no matter what, while I would also like to see Rashid Latif in there, not only for his superb keeping abilities but also considering his, much-better-then-Bari, batting. With all due respect, I haven’t seen a lot of Bari in his playing days, but what I know is that he wasn’t a good batsman and this is also proved by your placing him at number 10 in the batting order below, whereas Latif should comfortably play at around no. 6 or 7, at the most.

    So this is what I think about the All-time Pakistan XI …

    1. Hanif Mohammad
    2. Saeed Anwar
    3. Zaheer Abbas
    4. Javed Miandad
    5. Inzimam ul Haq
    6. Imran Khan
    7. Rashid Latif
    8. Wasim Akram
    9. Saqlain Mushtaq
    10. Abdul Qadir
    11. Waqar Younis

    12th. Mohammed Yousuf
    13th. Younus Khan

    Although, I would broadly agree for the above names, but I am not sure if we really need two specialist spinners in Saqlain/ Qadir, whereas Javed can also be used as a part-time spinner. So given a chance, I would try to put Mohammed Yousuf in the playing eleven by resting one of the specialist spinners, if not Yousuf then we can also go with Wasim Hasan Raja who would not only provide variety with his left-hand swashbuckling batting but would also support our bowling attack with his right-arm leg spinners.

  21. #21 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 13, 2010 - 7:55 AM

    Well, I missed Saeed Anwar’s name simply because his name wasn’t in Mr. Kassim’s list. Hanif is too slow for my liking but, in test matches there is no one who can beat the little master, hence we need to make another side for ODI’s where Majid Khan can open with Saeed Anwar. Also, I did not even think of the Oval hero, Fazal Mahmood who can get in the side by dropping of one of the spinners (Qadir or Saqlain) similarly, Asif Iqbal and Mushtaq Mohammad could be included somewhere, at least in the squad of 15 players.

  22. #22 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 13, 2010 - 8:07 AM

    Munir,

    You are right about the spendthrift nature among the new generation here who spend their six months advance salary in vacation by using credit cards. It is a curse and for that I blame the banks for targeting the youth. They go to the med-schools and lure the would be doctors to take loans that they don’t need and make them pay through their nose for the rest of their life or at least for good 8-10 years. First they offer, study loan and credit cards and then they offer mortgage loan and make them slaves.

    The banks have booths and stands in the business exhibitions where they try to sell credit cards to almost all the grad students who visit there by telling them that they can give them “no fees” debit and credit cards, whereas from the other side when the account is overdrawn they charge up to 24% interest after giving them 6-9 months of interest free buying.

    Kids who study and also work odd jobs like working for fast food chains etc., during the night or during the holiday season to save some money are getting more and more used too in borrowing money from banks and using credit cards, so the whole culture is credit culture or you call it the vulture culture.

    Ps.

    What is FMCG’s? Do you mean FMG’s (Foreign Medical Graduates)?

  23. #23 by Mohammed Munir on April 13, 2010 - 10:37 AM

    Javed Khan …

    I am sorry I am a banker, but you are right, we bankers overload peoples with easy loans. As I said, we in the Middle East are right behind the American system and banks here also ‘catch’ customers and ‘force’ them to spend what they haven’t yet earned. Although, I am in Corporate Banking to be exact, but in the Middle East the Consumer Banking is spoiling public with easy loans, car loans, credit cards, education loans, vacations, etc. etc. while we spoil the corporate companies 😉 BTW, some peoples take loans to go on holidays for enjoying a week or two and then repaying loans for a year or two, doesn’t make sense to me.

    In UAE Sheikh Zayed, in his time, had put a maximum loan limit for individuals, so that the banks should not lure them into over-borrowing, but still peoples as well as banks make their ways through.

    FMCGs = Fast Moving Consumer Goods 😉

    Basically, it means almost all retail products and some more.

  24. #24 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 13, 2010 - 1:28 PM

    UMER GUL’s injury will be a FULL RECOVERY or will it just be a GULCOVERY ? Last time, Umer Gul claimed he has recovered fully but, he was half fit hopefully this time he is not covering up his injury only to be in the side? Yawar Saeed has said that no half fit player will be taken in the side,I hope he does what he says! Still two more weeks to go if Umer Gul gives ample rest to his shoulder and do proper exercises he should be match fit i.e., if he is able to bowl now without any pain as he claims. Besides, in T20 you only need to bowl 4 overs per match. And, I don’t know why Umar Akmal gets a side strain every now and then? After faking one in Australia, his form took a dip and he did not make any big score. But, this time there is no reason to fake as his “Bhaijaan” is already in the team and doing well.

  25. #25 by khansahab on April 13, 2010 - 8:42 PM

    I consider Younis Khan to be a better batsman than Inzamam and Yousuf. Younis has played difficult bowling better than these 2. If we talk about consistency then Younis is probably worse than the 2, but in terms of class I would place him above them.

    Saeed Anwar
    Hanif Mohammad
    Zaheer Abbas
    Younis Khan
    Javed Miandad
    Imran Khan
    Rashid Latif
    Wasim Akram
    Saqlain Mushtaq
    Abdul Qadir
    Waqar Younis

    12. Inzamam
    13. Yousuf
    14. Shoaib Akhtar

  26. #26 by amir on April 14, 2010 - 6:37 AM

    If it is a one day team i would like to include Majid Khan in place of Hanif Muhammed. And in place of Abdul Qadir i would include Afridi. So my ODI TEAM is as following. SAEED ANWAR, MAJID KHAN,ZAHIR ABAAS, INZIMAM UL HAQ, MIANDAD, IMRAN KHAN, AFRIDI, RASHID LATIF, WASIM AKRAM, SAQLAIN MUSHTAQ, WAQAR YOUNIS. 12 th man MUHAMMED YOUSAF.

  27. #27 by amir on April 14, 2010 - 7:09 AM

    My test team will be as following HANIF MUHAMMED, SAEED ANWAR, ZAHEER ABAAS, INZIMAM, MIANDAD,YOUSAF, IMRAN, RASHID LATIF, WASIM AKRAM, ABDUL QADIR, WAQAR YOUNIS. 12 th man SAQLAIN MUSHTAQ. My captain for both formats will be IMRAN KHAN and MIANDAD as his deputy. But again it can be changed depanding on that we r playing at home or away.

  28. #28 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 14, 2010 - 3:30 PM

    LOL amir

    Why do you want the laziest fielder Mohammad Yousuf to be the 12th man? I would keep Fawad Alam as the 12th man if he is to do only fielding, he is the best fielder in Pakistan at the moment.
    And, I agree with you that if it is an ODI team, then Shahid Afridi must be in the team. He is any time more useful than Abdul Qadir with his current bowling form and his powerful batting plus he is a better fielder than Abdul Qadir.

  29. #29 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 14, 2010 - 3:41 PM

    Yasir Arafat is out of the T20 WC due to his injury. Shahzaib Hasan Khan is the likely replacement. . One casualty another one (Gul) critical, two (Umer Akmal) serious so lets see what happens next? Well, there goes my point. What is the need for stretching beyond the limits? No one can become the best fielder in the world in 4 weeks. Instead of keeping the general fitness level to the optimum they were trying to make them into Jonty Rhodes. Excess of everything is bad and all this because of being over cautious and extra paranoid that they should not drop catches like they did in Australia. They should take those chances during the world cup and not during practice. How many times it has happened that players got injured during practice sessions? Malik twisted his ankle while playing soccer and was out for the rest of the series in India. Can anyone remember some other players getting injured during practice? I think Yuvraj Singh?

  30. #30 by Mohammed Munir on April 15, 2010 - 10:06 AM

    The IPL Hullabaloo … The Gentleman’s Game being RAPED !!

    Please see the attached links for full details …

    Modi offered $50m as bribe

    The Indian Premier League controversy involving Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Taroor and IPL commissioner Lalit Modi took a new twist on Wednesday.
    The IPL Kochi team CEO Shailandra Gaikwad alleged that Modi had offered a $50 million bribe to withdraw from the race.

    “We were offered $50 million by Modi to withdraw from the Kochi team,” Gaikwad was quoted as saying by the Indian media hours after Modi insisted that there was a question mark over the new franchise’s fate.

    Modi, who termed the charges as “rubbish”, asked: “Are they mad? Who will offer them Rs200 crore? I will take legal recourse.”

    “Today they are saying $50 million. Tomorrow they may say some different figures. Every communication and conversations, including that of Mr. Tharoor wherein the minister asked not to identify the owners, was recorded in the meeting,” he claimed.

    In an interview to a TV channel, he (Gaikwad) said Modi desperately wanted a new IPL franchise in another part of the country instead of Kochi.

    In other related developments on Wednesday, a section of the Indian media reported that Modi is associated with as many as three IPL teams through his family members and friends.

    Modi, who chose to publish information regarding Kochi team through his Twitter updates, said in Mumbai on Wednesday: “As regards all earlier franchisees we know who the owners are. They come, they attend conferences and meetings but as far as Kochi IPL is concerned we had a question mark. Even those who presented the bid documents do not know who they (owners) are.” “How otherwise would I know where the money is coming from,” he (Modi) asked.

    To a question about his interest in Rajasthan Royals team, he said, “I have no hidden agenda or hidden stake.”

    “We are being put to an unnecessary process and the reasons are obvious. If we did not have all the papers in place how could we win the bid. It is unfair now to make us go through these problems,” Gaikwad said in New Delhi.

    According to media reports, Suresh Chellaram, co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, is Modi’s wife’s brother-in-law. His step-daughter is married to the Burman family which co-owns Kings XI Punjab.

    His close friends, the Moranis, bought into the Kolkata Knight Riders when the IPL was launched, according to an NDTV report.

    A man was detained by the New Delhi police on the suspicion of sending an SMS threat to Tharoor, police sources said.

    “We have picked up Manik Verma from west Delhi for questioning. He has not yet been arrested,” a police source said.

    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/inside_sport.asp?xfile=/data/cricket/2010/April/cricket_April90.xml&section=cricket

    Second News …

    IPL scandal – Modi vs Tharoor

    With the public showdown between Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor over the Kochi team’s stake-holding structure snowballing into a major controversy.

    “BCCI president has decided to convene an IPL Governing Council meeting within 10 days to discuss all the issues and take a decision,” Shukla told reporters after a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence.

    “I don’t want to make a comment or any observation on what one has said against the other. All I was trying to suggest that all these issues will be discussed in the meeting convened by the BCCI president,” he said.

    Modi had on Sunday disclosed the names of the free equity holders in the little known Rendezvous Sports World (RSW) which coughed up approximately Rs1, 533 Crores to bag the Kochi franchise, a move which put Tharoor in a spot of bother as Sunanda Pushkar, a lady reportedly close to the minister, figured in the list.

    “I was told not to get into who owns Rendezvous, specially Sunanda Pushkar. Why?” said Modi.

    In a lengthy rejoinder today, Tharoor denied calling Modi and requesting him not to disclose details of the RSW stakeholders.

    Union minister Shashi Tharoor, locked in a fresh controversy around the Kochi IPL team which he helped set up, on Monday hit back at IPL boss Lalit Modi alleging he had made attempts to pressure the winning consortium to abandon their bid for the Kerala outfit.

    “I deny Mr Lalit Modi’s allegation that I called him during his meeting with investors in the Kochi consortium in Bangalore on Saturday night in order to press him not to question the composition of the consortium,” Tharoor said. Voicing his displeasure at the turn of events which saw him pitted against Lalit Modi, Tharoor also tweeted, “I have had enough.”

    “Rendezvous includes a number of people including many I have never met, and Sunanda Pushkar, whom I know well,” he said. Tharoor is reportedly planning to marry Sunanda.

    He said Rendezvous bid successfully in an open and transparent process. “Their unexpected success upset the plans of a lot of powerful people, who had wanted the franchise to go elsewhere,” he added. “Mr Modi raised assorted objections to the bid documents but finally had no choice but to approve them, “ he said.

    “My role in mentoring the consortium included several conversations with Mr Lalit Modi, who guided us through the process and presented himself as a trusted friend,” he said.

    Tharoor said contemptible efforts have been made to drag in matters of personal life which “I do not intend to dignify by commenting on them.”

    The minister said he called Modi to ask why he was further delaying the approval of the franchise when all the legal requirements had been fulfilled.

    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/inside_sport.asp?xfile=/data/cricket/2010/April/cricket_April92.xml&section=cricket

    Third News …

    BCCI may ‘run’ to the rescue

    After witnessing some intriguing Twenty20 battles on the field, the Indian Premier League (IPL) fans have a chance to watch certain exciting off-field encounters as well. The high-profile battle between Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor and IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi took an interesting turn on Tuesday.

    Drug Peddler

    Tharoor’s officer on special duty Jacob Joseph also raised allegations against Modi, calling the IPL commissioner a ‘drug peddler’.

    “Modi is someone who was convicted for possession of 400 grams of cocaine and charged with assault and kidnapping. He has even served a two-year sentence and those are the kind of people who we put in charge of cricket in this country,” he said in a TV interview.

    “Why isn’t he releasing the ownership of other team members? Why does he not release the holding of Rajasthan Royals?”

    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/inside_sport.asp?xfile=/data/cricket/2010/April/cricket_April91.xml&section=cricket

  31. #31 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 15, 2010 - 10:20 AM

    Munir

    Rape nahi, BALATKAAR kaho. Modi shuroo say GhalatKar may baith ker Balatkaar kerta reha hai, he has been a drug peddler since his student years, so what else do you expect from him? He is a big time Gambler, SuttayBaaz, JooAari and a playboy. Kala hai tou kya hua dil wala hai. 😀

    khansahab‘s favourite Neha Dhupia is attending Shoania Marriage Reception today! Is Umer Armani wearing a “Gilanni” Versace outfit these days?

  32. #32 by khansahab on April 16, 2010 - 7:03 PM

    Butt has no interest in Pakistan Premier League

    KARACHI: Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is still sleeping to the idea of launching a full-fledged Pakistan Premier League to attract international players to play in Pakistan.

    Indian and Bangladeshi cricket boards have already launched their own premier leagues which have lured not only cricket fans but the foreign players to play on attractive prices in these competitions.

    When asked about launching such a league during the World T20 Trophy’s launching ceremony at a local hotel Thursday, the PCB chairman replied in a way that suggested he was still unaware of the concept, showing his lethargic approach towards a high-profile cricket league.

  33. #33 by khansahab on April 16, 2010 - 7:05 PM

    If we can do it once then we can do it again as well: Afridi

    ISLAMABAD, Apr 15 (APP): Skipper Shahid Afridi says Pakistan can capture the World Twenty20 title twice in a row provided they hit the right form in the Caribbean in a fortnight from now. The Pakistan Twenty20 captain was speaking alongside PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt and Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Haroon Lorgat, at a ceremony in Karachi on Thursday with ICC official unveiling the World Twenty20 Trophy on the occasion, according to information made available here.

    All-rounder Shahid Afridi said that having won the 2nd World Twenty20 in England last year, Pakistan will participate as the defending champion in the third edition in the West Indies and there will definitely be pressure on the boys.

    However he went on to remark, “If we can do it once then we can do it again as well.”

    Earlier in a statement while unveiling the trophy, Lorgat said, “It’s a great pleasure to be heading back to Pakistan. We are always assured of a warm welcome here.”

    Cricket’s world governing body has assured support for Pakistan and expressed hope that they will play as much international cricket as possible, even at neutral venues.

    On the occasion, Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board Ijaz Butt said that Pakistan’s performance has remained impressive in the T20 format and he expects national team to continue the pace.

  34. #34 by khansahab on April 16, 2010 - 7:06 PM

    Tanvir hopes to play in IPL in future

    Kolkata, April 16 (IANS) Pakistani pacer Sohail Tanvir, who finished as the top wicket-taker in the maiden edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), is hopeful of playing in the future chapters of the event.
    Tanvir and his compatriots could not turn out in the ongoing IPL-3 due to visa-related problems.

    Asked whether he was missing the IPL, Tanvir said: “Definitely. I got lot of respect in the first season.”

    The left arm medium pacer, who occasionally bowls spin, had taken 22 wickets in the 2008 IPL.

    Tanvir, who came to India to attend the marriage of former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik with tennis star Sania Mirza, said he was hoping to return to the league once the “situation changes”.

    “Pakistani cricketers are liked in India. And IPL is an international tournament where lot of players from different parts of the world take part. This year also we thought we will be playing. But the night before we were to catch the flight we were told we cannot play.”

  35. #35 by khansahab on April 16, 2010 - 7:19 PM

    Shane Warne should not have spoken about Wasim Akram like this. I DO NOT like Wasim Akram for match fixing allegations and his reluctance to work with Pakistani bowlers, but he deserves a little more respect than this.

    —————————-
    Warne trashes Akram’s allegations of ball tampering

    Kolkata, April 16 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Warne Friday trashed Kolkata Knight Riders’ bowling coach Wasim Akram’s allegations of ball tampering in the Indian Premier League (IPL) saying he was hearing such things for the first time.
    “I don’t agree with it. I have been hearing this for the first time. You better ask Akram. Maybe he is an expert on this,” Warne told reporters at the Eden Gardens here.

    A website Cricinfo, quoted legendary Pakistani fast bowler Akram as saying that he has seen players indulge in ball tampering by rubbing mud on it.

    Akram, however, did not name any one of the alleged offenders.

    “If umpires are not watching then I don’t know who is. In this IPL, umpires should look for players who are putting mud on the ball because you can’t alter the state of the ball with anything,” Akram said in the website.

  36. #36 by Omer on April 17, 2010 - 7:49 AM

    Javed Khan,

    I was, kind of, caught up in exams, and I realized I tend to get caught up in arguments and decided it is not best to write that first comment which might induce the next one.

    In any case, Abdul has been doing pretty thorough analysis, so ‘in a sense’ our chief selectors can rely upon the ‘all-outcomes-considered’ analysis of Abdul. There is nothing to add(+), or subtract(-), as they are so perfect (square) if you check him out.

  37. #37 by Omer on April 17, 2010 - 7:56 AM

    I did mean ‘spin dr.’, not Abdul.

  38. #38 by khansahab on April 17, 2010 - 3:00 PM

    Ebad awards Afridi ground for cricket academy

    KARACHI: Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan has announced a cricket ground for Shahid Khan Afridi to help the swashbuckling all-rounder set up a cricket academy in North Karachi to promote and develop young talent.

    The Governor made the announcement during his meeting with Shahid Afridi, who called on him with ICC Chief Executive Haroon Logart, PCB Chairman, Ijaz Butt and Sindh Sports Minister Dr.Muhammad Ali Shah.

    Dr Mohamamd Ali Shah told The Sports Encounter after the meeting with Shahid Afridi that ground located in the vicinity of Nagan Chowrangi will be named as Shahid Afridi Cricket Ground.

  39. #39 by Mohammed Munir on April 18, 2010 - 11:09 AM

    Quote of the Day …

    “Sachin Tendulkar is a great cricketer but he walks and goes to the toilet like all of us.”

    Royal Challengers Bangalore coach, Ray Jennings, says his team will attack the Mumbai Indians captain.

  40. #40 by amir on April 18, 2010 - 5:51 PM

    According to Geo News Muhammed Sami and Muhammed Irfan are included in the squad to replace Gul and Arafat who failed to pass fitness test on the last day of camp. Both players r inclueded in team on the request of coach and captain.

  41. #41 by Mohammed Munir on April 19, 2010 - 3:58 AM

    Amir, Asif, Sami, Irfan, Razzaq …. how many fast/ medium-fast bowlers we need ??

    Is this influenced by the coach, who himself was a fast bowler ??

    BTW, who, the hell, will bat ??

    I don’t think the pitches will be that fast, seeing the commercial side of T20 cricket 😉

  42. #42 by Theossa on April 19, 2010 - 12:48 PM

    Shahid Afridi and Waqar Younis must be smoking crack to include ‘yet another bowler’ Muhammad Irfan to the Pakistan T20 side. I totally agree with the inclusion of ‘in form’ Sami in place of injured Gul but the inclusion of a bowler who is known more for his height than bowling raise some definite questions. I’m all for the introduction of youngsters but for this particular T20 squad a batsman should have been included. I think Shehzaib Hasan Khan with previous T20 WC experience and with his recent form has been robbed in the day light. I don’t know what the need was to include another bowler to an already fat group of bowlers in the current squad. More likely he won’t be able to bowl a single delivery in the entire tournament. This is insane!

  43. #43 by Mohammed Munir on April 20, 2010 - 5:48 AM

    Gul and Arafat out … and Sami and Abdul Rehman in !!

    As we are inching close to the start of T20 World Cup, the PCB bloopers have also started.

    Firstly, it was with the selection and unnecessary announcing the squad much before the deadline and now the changes in selected squad.

    If Gul and Arafat are injured then technically speaking, we should replace them with one main fast bowler and one all-rounder. Why and how come the Captain, Coach and Chief Selector announced the names of Sami and Mohammed Irfan, an uncapped/ untested fast bowler. Seeing our overall bowling strength with Asif, Amir, Ajmal, Razzaq, Afridi, Sami and optional Fawad and Hafeez, we needed to reinforce our weaker batting line-up with inclusion of Shehzaib Hasan, but that was not to be.

    Instead Mr. Butt, after removing Irfan and neglecting Shehzaib have brought in another mediocre, 30+, spinner in Abdul Rahman, who, in my opinion, is even a worst choice then Irfan.

    Source:

    http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/current/story/456615.html?wrappertype=print

    PS: Where are Javed Khan and Khansahab these days ❓

  44. #44 by khansahab on April 20, 2010 - 8:29 PM

    Munir sahab/Theossa

    What would your preferred line up be now that Gul has been withdrawn from the team?

    I think the automatic selections are:
    Afridi, Alam, Akmal brothers, Asif, Aamer, Razzaq

    Now it comes to the players who are preferred over others:

    I would go with Azam, Hafeez, K Latif and Misbah

    K Akmal
    Hafeez
    Afridi
    U Akmal
    Misbah
    Alam
    Azam
    K Latif
    Razzaq
    Aamer
    Asif

    There are 5 specialist bowlers in this line up, which should be sufficient. If problems arise Alam can bowl a couple of overs. I am not in favour of playing both Hafeez and Ajmal in the same line up, simply because Hafeez can bowl OK and another off spinner is not needed. In T20 barely any team uses more than 5 bowlers.

  45. #45 by khansahab on April 20, 2010 - 8:55 PM

    Waqar Younis apologises to PCB chief

    Karachi: Pakistan chief coach Waqar Younis has apologised to PCB chairman Ejaz Butt after his announcement of replacement players in the World Twenty20 squad snowballed into a major controversy.
    Leading newspapers Jang and Express reported on Tuesday that Waqar had called up Butt who is in Dubai attending the executive board meeting of the ICC and expressed his regrets at announcing the replacements for the Pakistan World Cup squad in place of the injured Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat.
    “Waqar told the Chairman he regretted the misunderstanding as he was not aware of the policy and regulations governing the announcement of replacement players for the World Cup,” one source said.
    “But the board has still decided to issue a showcause notice to Waqar for his blunder that caused the board a lot of embarrassment and led to another controversy.
    Waqar while addressing a press conference with captain, Shahid Afridi in Lahore announced that since Umar and Yasir were injured they had been replaced by fast bowlers, Muhammad Sami and rookie Muhammad Irfan.
    The announcement of Irfan’s selection caused a surprise since he was not even among the 30 probables named for the World Cup by the board.
    When asked why left arm spinner Abdul Rehman was not considered as a replacement when he was among the reserve players for the tournament, Waqar said the team already had three spinners and didn’t require one more spinner.
    Ironically on Monday PCB issued a release announcing that the Chairman of the board approved the selection of Sami and Rehman as the replacements for Umar and Yasir and Ejaz Butt also explained that Irfan was not considered since he was not picked in the provisional squad of 30 players.
    But the whole incident left a bad taste in the mouth and sources said that Butt was furious that the captain and coach had announced the replacements without first getting his approval or waiting for the chief selector to first get clearance from the board.

  46. #46 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 20, 2010 - 10:58 PM

    Munir, theossa, khansahab

    I was out of town and very busy during the week-end as well as yesterday (Monday), I am back now and will write more laters.

    I agree with theossa about Irfan’s inclusion and Shahzaib’s exclusion. BUT, there is a rumour that instead of Mohammad Irfan it will be Abdul Rahman. Once again its a wrong decision you don’t need Abdul Rahman when you have Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi. You need an opener. They are really stupid.

    Munir, how is your brother’s finger now? Is it OK?

  47. #47 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 20, 2010 - 11:00 PM

    Sehwag OUT of the T20 WC due to injury..…………. see too much cricket and too much practice before a big event is not always good.

  48. #48 by Mohammed Munir on April 21, 2010 - 6:50 AM

    Khansahab …

    For once, I fully and unconditionally agree with your above selection of the playing eleven. You are right, Pakistan’s batting needs more reinforcement as we already have good all-rounder bowlers in Afridi, Hafeez and Razzaq plus Alam can also bowl. So it will be appropriate to strengthen our batting line-up, as you have rightly done. Although, I haven’t seen Azam playing but going by his U19 performances and his good reputation, I am sure he deserves fair chance in the playing eleven. I am also not a big fan of Khalid Latif and ideally speaking Shahzaib Hasan should have been included, however, since Shahzaib is not in the squad, Khalid is any day much better then Salman-the-Butt.

    Seeing how well Hafeez bowls and how well Khalid Latif performs, we can explore the option of including Saeed Ajmal, if need be.

    Javed Khan …

    Welcome back after a busy weekend.

    My brother fractured his right hand pinky figure and had to undergo some surgical procedure. He plays mainly as a right hand off-spinner and bats down the order, so he is not of much use without his bowling finger. Secondly, UAE could not qualify for the T20 World Cup as they lost to Afghanistan, so he is keeping his cool and is in no hurry to take more risks with a broken finger. That is why he is out of action for some time now.

    BTW, did I tell you about his finger or is it one of your inside sources ? 😉

    On injuries before the T20 World Cup …

    Yes you are right, it is so unfortunate that a lot of good players seems to be missing a main cricketing event.

    On Sehwag …

    Is Sehwag really injured or is he having ‘issues’ with Dhoni again ?

    Last year Sehwag was sent back from England during the T20 World Cup and they said he is injured, but it later came out that he had some un-reconcilable differences with his younger captain, MS Dhoni. This year, the symptoms are almost similar.

    Sehwag is a typical character and it is so obvious that in spite of his good cricketing abilities, he is not a very diplomatic person. This year he has also been relieved from the captainship of Delhi team in IPL and Gautam have replaced him.

    I tell you, this Indian Paisa Lesage is creating some serious issues for the BCCI, on and off the field. I mean just imagine the god himself (Sachin) playing brilliantly on Indian soil and none of the Indian fans applauding him, rather some booing and getting furious with his super master strokes. (This happens when Mumbai Indians plays their ‘away-games’ against other IPL franchisees in ‘their’ cities).

    Similarly, that gentleman Shashi Tharoor who was the Indian State Minister for Foreign Affairs and reportedly was highly educated and respected individual, previously holding good position at United Nation and at one time a contender for the post of Secretary General of UN, has resigned in the background of IPL’s new proposed franchisee Kochi. Whereas Mr. Modi, a corrupt-to-the-core convicted criminal and a drug-peddler who has served jail sentences is still in his position as Chairman of IPL. Can you understand the humiliation and disgrace the BCCI have to undergo because of this fellow ?

    If over a Billion Indian Cricket Fans are following this game like a religion, then this guys “Moody” have done their Dharam-Bhrasht 😉

  49. #49 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 21, 2010 - 11:36 AM

    Munir

    If you have told me about your bro’s injury, you would have remembered unless you are suffering from “Old Timerz” disease. 😀 Btw, I agree with you that Sehwag’s case is not that simple, he is out of form. If you look at his batting in the Eye Pee Elle, he hasn’t scored at all and neither has Gambhir done anything significant. (I may be excused because, I am not following that tournament and my comments are based on hearsay.)

    The reason, Abdul Rahman has been selected is because Butt wanted to fulfill the Sialkot quota. If that is the case, then he should have asked Shoaib Malik to come back because Abdul Rahman is a useless guy. Aamir Churail is right about Ijaz’s Butt poking role in the selection o f players. He acts like a bloody dictator. Where are those people who used to say that DNA is not good as a chairman? Butt is the worst ever Chairman the PCB has ever got one.

  50. #50 by Mohammed Munir on April 21, 2010 - 11:48 AM

    Javed Khan …

    I myself had been a staunch critic of DNA, but today he looks like a saint compared to this BUTT !!

    Same goes for the Musharaf and Zardari case, as in comparison to what Zardari is doing in the name of democracy, Pervaiz Musharraf now seems like a hundred times better choice.

    This really is an irony for Pakistan that each new person is so pathetic that the earlier one looks an innocent and a much better option 😦

  51. #51 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 21, 2010 - 11:51 AM

    Munir

    based on your own analysis, it would be better to be happy and content with what you have. Known devil is better than unknown devil. 😀

  52. #52 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 23, 2010 - 11:20 AM

    Mohsin Hasan Khan the chief selector of Pakistan cricket has said, Shoaib Akhtar can be considered for England tour. He said this based on his “Brilliant” domestic performance during the Pentangular Cup in which he is the leading wicket taker. The point is, how big a piece of string is, a meter, 10 meters or a mile long? Shoaib Akhtar sometimes cannot bowl 4 overs in a row and if he does he is whacked around. Imagine what he may end up doing in a test match? At this age he has not yet given up his long run up, how can he bowl so many overs with same speed, line and length?

    There seems to be a lull in cricket at the moment, a moment that is very similar to the silence before the storm. All eyes are focused on the Caribbean and some teams are already there. We need to start a new thread on the world cup even before it starts so that we can discuss more about the probabilities and make our own predictions. I don’t want to comment too much about it here on this thread but, I cannot resist writing that this time West Indies team will be doing much better than expectations. Especially Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Bravo.

  53. #53 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 23, 2010 - 10:55 PM

    THE COUNT DOWN BEGINS, THE TRAVELING TOMORROW:

    KARACHI: While declaring that his talented brigade is ready to meet the challenge, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Friday looked for support and prayers of the nation and backing of the media in their endeavour to retain their World Twenty20 title in the West Indies.

    “My team and I are geared up to, tactically and technically, live up to the expectations of the nation for accomplishing the task [of winning] in the West Indies,” Afridi said in an interview here on Friday, prior to his squad’s departure to Lahore on their way to St Lucia on Saturday morning.

    “Without the prayers of the nation and supporters across the world, the Pakistan [cricket] team cannot achieve anything. Besides playing patriotically for Pakistan we need support of countrymen and the media,” the aggressive player added.

    “My appeal to the national media is to go for healthy criticism while keeping Pakistan’s interest above everything,” he emphasised.

    “My mission as captain, with the support of my players and team management, is to keep the team away from any controversy,”
    he asserted.

    Making it clear that he was not under any kind of pressure, Afridi, the 2009 World Twenty20 hero, said: “I like to lead the team from the front because it’s my style. And I always believe in an aggressive approach.

    “We are fully equipped to face the challenges in the West Indies.

    “I have a well balanced team in batting and bowling. And we have to further lift the standard of fielding,” Afridi said. The skipper noted fielding would be vital in the Caribbean.

    “Fielding is crucial area in this fastest version of the game [Twenty20] and a lot of hard work was done to raise the standard. We are ready give our best and rest with Allah The Almighty,” he stressed.

    The captain dispelled the impression that Pakistan might face trouble in batting department. “It’s altogether different in T20 cricket. We got a lot of firepower in our batting.”

    He said they were initially planning to start the innings with Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal.
    “We have experienced Misbah-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, young Umar Akmal, Khalid Latif and Salman Butt.

    “As we expect spinning tracks and for this we have good options in Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez and myself,” Afridi maintained. “[In pace department] we have Mohammad Aamir, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Asif and Abdul Razzaq.

    “Twenty20 is very tough and demanding cricket and we cannot afford to take any team lightly. We even cannot take Bangladesh lightly as they possess a number of talented cricketers in their line-up,” he remarked.

    Meanwhile, a number of Afridi and Pakistan supporters including former Test opener and captain Saeed Anwar, former PCB Chairman Lt Gen (r) Tauqir Zia, Sindh Sports Minister Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, former chief selector Salahuddin Sallu, former city nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal and others visited his house here on Thursday and wished him and Pakistan team great luck in the World Twenty20 contest.

    With the exception of two fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Sami, the rest of the Pakistan team will leave together from Lahore for the West Indies via Dubai- London on Saturday morning to defend their title in the World Twenty20, starting on April 30.

    Asif will leave for London on a direct flight from Lahore, while Sami, who does not have a British visa, will travel to the Caribbean via New York from Karachi the same day.

    Asif will team up with the rest of the team in England, Sami will join them in St. Lucia.

    Pakistan have displayed fine performances in World T20 events so far as in the first World Cup’s edition which was held in South Africa, Pakistan lost the final to India closely, but in the second edition in England last year it defeated Sri Lanka to lift the cup, under Younus Khan’s captaincy.

    However, Younus is not part of the team for this edition, because he had announced his retirement from this shorter version of the game soon after winning the mega event. Pakistan are also without without fast bowler Umar Gul, who is nursing a shoulder injury.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: