CRICKET IN THE CARIBBEAN

THE COUNT DOWN HAS BEGUN, it is hardly a week left now for the first match to start.  A few teams are already there and some are about to fly and reach the Caribbean to play the 3rd T20 WC tournament. Pakistan are title holders and champions of the world in this format. Its no fluke that they’ve won the championship last year in England, they were the finalist in the first T20 WC in South Africa and lost to India in a tense final.

This time Shahid Afridi who played the vital roles in the previous two tournaments is Captain of the Pakistan team and is very confident of retaining the Cup. But, there are many a slip between the lip and the cup, so lets see what happens next.

He is looking ahead and seems more determined than ever. In his interview he has asked the media to remain positive and also asked the nation to pray for the team’s performance. But, that is not the only criteria that will make them the world champions, they have to play like professionals and take every game seriously. They are already without their ace bowler Umar Gul due to an injury.  The injury could have been avoided if the coach, trainers and selectors have not gone for such rigorous training before a big event. This was bound to happen that a few players would be left out due to injuries. India is without their ace opener Sehwag.  There are rumours about his injuries which may or many not be true that he is once again in conflict with Dhoni.

Like most people say that T20 is more like a lottery and any team can win this game. It may be true but, Pakistan can prove it wrong if they win the Cup again. Because, the odds of winning a lottery for the same team again and again are very minimal and they can justify by saying that they play this game with a lot of passion and emotions. If it is just a lottery then, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe can also win or at least reach the finals, but that doesn’t happen.  There has to be a certain level of professionalism, quality, skills and temperament that is needed and not just luck.  Luck may play its part but, only to a certain extent when the match is very, very close. Once again it is the nerves of steel that wins the game.

Australia has started taking this T20 game more seriously than it used to and they have a very good and balanced team now. Especially their fast bowlers are the best in the world. Shaun Tait, Mictchel Johnson, Bollinger, and Watson are in good form. Its a shame that Harris couldn’t find a place in their squad.  Their openers, Werner and Watson have been doing wonders, their middle order is also very stable in MJ Clarke, Cameron White and the two Hussies and not to mention the agile wicketkeeper Haddin.  It is very likely that they will win the cup this time or at least reach the finals.

India has always been a very good team on paper but, they have been playing too much cricket and like last time they might end up somewhere even before reaching the semis. Especially since Sehwag is not there and Gambhir et Yuvi both not in good nick, I wonder how many times Raina and Yousuf Pathan would be able to pull out a magic card out of their sleeves to take India home? Vijay, Rohit, Jadeja et all cannot be the same as Sehwag.

Pakistan may not win the cup this time, although I want them to win but it is like if wishes were horses…….?  The reason is not because of the law of averages but, because the team is not balanced. I would have never included Salman Butt in the side, instead I would have opted for Shahzaib Hasan Khan or even Imran Nazir.

South Africa have the most balanced side but, there is one word that separates them from the rest and that is they carry the  “Chokers” tag.

Sri Lanka and New Zealand are playing the first match and it is good that they are in the same side both teams are similar at the moment perhaps Sri Lanka has an edge. But, NZ on their day can beat any team in the world. The out of form Jacob Oram is roaring to go and play big shots but, it is Taylor and McCullum who will be dominating their batting prowess and a lot depends on them.

England are not so good in this T20 format but, they can surprise many a teams even Pakistan i.e., if they play against them, I can be sure that they will win. But, it all depends on KP and Collingwood.

West Indies may not win the cup as no host country has ever won the cup be it ODI or T20 but, their three players, Chris Gayle, Bravo and Pollard are in great form and they can destroy and ruin the opposition.

Now it is up to the bloggers to decide and predict which team will win the cup and who will be the semi-finalists and finalists etc.

Date and Time Match
Fri Apr 30
17:00 GMT | 13:00 local
1st Match, Group B – New Zealand v Sri Lanka
Providence Stadium, Guyana
N/A
Fri Apr 30
21:00 GMT | 17:00 local
2nd Match, Group D – West Indies v Ireland
Providence Stadium, Guyana
N/A
Sat May 1
13:30 GMT | 09:30 local
3rd Match, Group C – Afghanistan v India
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
N/A
Sat May 1
17:30 GMT | 13:30 local
4th Match, Group A – Bangladesh v Pakistan
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
N/A
Sun May 2
13:30 GMT | 09:30 local
5th Match, Group C – India v South Africa
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
N/A
Sun May 2
17:30 GMT | 13:30 local
6th Match, Group A – Australia v Pakistan
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
N/A
Mon May 3
13:30 GMT | 09:30 local
7th Match, Group B – Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe
Providence Stadium, Guyana
N/A
Mon May 3
17:30 GMT | 13:30 local
8th Match, Group D – West Indies v England
Providence Stadium, Guyana
N/A
Tue May 4
13:30 GMT | 09:30 local
9th Match, Group B – New Zealand v Zimbabwe
Providence Stadium, Guyana
N/A
Tue May 4
17:30 GMT | 13:30 local
10th Match, Group D – England v Ireland
Providence Stadium, Guyana
N/A
Wed May 5
13:30 GMT | 09:30 local
11th Match, Group A – Australia v Bangladesh
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
N/A
Wed May 5
17:30 GMT | 13:30 local
12th Match, Group C – Afghanistan v South Africa
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
N/A
Thu May 6
13:30 GMT | 09:30 local
13th Match – TBC v TBC (A1 v D2)
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
N/A
Thu May 6
17:30 GMT | 13:30 local
14th Match – TBC v TBC (C1 v B2)
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
N/A
Fri May 7
13:30 GMT | 09:30 local
15th Match – TBC v TBC (A2 v C2)
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
N/A
Fri May 7
17:30 GMT | 13:30 local
16th Match – TBC v TBC (B1 v D1)
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
N/A
Sat May 8
13:30 GMT | 09:30 local
17th Match – TBC v TBC (A1 v B2)
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
N/A
Sat May 8
17:30 GMT | 13:30 local
18th Match – TBC v TBC (D2 v C1)
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
N/A
Sun May 9
13:30 GMT | 09:30 local
19th Match – TBC v TBC (C2 v D1)
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
N/A
Sun May 9
17:30 GMT | 13:30 local
20th Match – TBC v TBC (B1 v A2)
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
N/A
Mon May 10
13:30 GMT | 09:30 local
21st Match – TBC v TBC (A1 v C1)
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
N/A
Mon May 10
17:30 GMT | 13:30 local
22nd Match – TBC v TBC (B2 v D2)
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
N/A
Tue May 11
17:00 GMT | 13:00 local
23rd Match – TBC v TBC (B1 v C2)
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
N/A
Tue May 11
21:00 GMT | 17:00 local
24th Match – TBC v TBC (D1 v A2)
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
N/A
Thu May 13
15:30 GMT | 11:30 local
1st Semi-Final – TBC v TBC
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
N/A
Fri May 14
15:30 GMT | 11:30 local
2nd Semi-Final – TBC v TBC
Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
N/A
Sun May 16
15:30 GMT | 11:30 local
Final – TBC v TBC
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
N/A
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  1. #1 by khansahab on April 24, 2010 - 7:34 AM

    Afridi to present kurta to Malik, scarf to Sania

    LAHORE: Pakistan T20 cricket team captain Shahid Afridi said he will present kurta to Shoaib Malik and scarf to Sania Mirza.

    Talking to media outside National Cricket Academy before leaving to West Indies for Twenty20 World Cup, Afridi said he had a brief meeting with Shoaib and Sania and will present kurta to Shoaib and scarf to Sania on the wish of Shoaib.

    Afridi said Pakistan team will put their best efforts for the success. On the other hand, Pakistan cricket team coach Waqar Younis said will not take any match easy and put best efforts to achieve the target.

  2. #2 by khansahab on April 24, 2010 - 7:35 AM

    Even before Ijaz Butt was appointed, Javed A Khan and myself were sceptical of his abilities because we knew the emotions and bias that were behind his appointment.
    We were blamed for bias and for not supporting a Chairman from Punjab. However, we did not oppose which region Butt came from, but the reasons for his appointment and his personality.

    As with everything else time has proved us right and look how Nauman Niaz is frustrated with Mr Butt who has transported Pakistan cricket from a point of worry to a point of disaster.

    PCB chairman Ijaz Butt – the one man army

    By Dr Nauman Niaz

    Is there something sane about Pakistan cricket? Is there something sensible about cricket management? Is the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) being run with a method and diligently by the high-salaried ‘professional team’? Are the decisions taken collective and untainted and is there any delegation of power? Or is that just the old imperialistic propaganda? Why does Pakistan cricket see such an acute expression of the Pakistan frustration and self-doubt?

    Cricket in the 1970s and 1980s was taken as reflection of the Pakistani society. Now it reflects the idiocies and brazenness of the PCB’s top tier who are only proficient at issuing rebuttals, backtracking decisions and leaving newer and talented players like Mohammad Irfan disillusioned and giving the flavour of their callousness and double standards to Waqar Younis. The PCB’s newfangled and trendy methodology to administer players and buffoonery alike should now have left the high-flying and exceptionally tall Irfan grounded, or a little beneath the drivel.

    Readily, there was a flimsy excuse that the selectors couldn’t pick up any player outside the thirty already announced for the Twenty20 World Cup. And if it was the case, then Mohsin Khan, the chief selector, and Waqar should have been hung on the lamppost. Ijaz Butt’s regime is a picture of the Pakistani game at its worst and delineates its ever-increasing malaise. What does it mean to call cricket as the nerve root of the people of this country? Is there something left in cricket that links it to the destinies of the Pakistani people? And which Pakistani people? Which Pakistan? Or rather, whose?

    In trying to answer these questions it seems to me losing marbles could be the only resolve. Pakistan cricket is being run with whimsicality and on the orders of quintessentially a ‘genius’ of a man, all-wise and wonderful. Cricket administration could be so frivolously outdated and outmoded, so inconsequential, and at the same time oblivious, double-meaning, so complex and so changeable. I do not believe this is a regime of lead. Cricket in Pakistan is desolate, beset with problems and conflicts – that is what makes it such an excellent mirror of the time and the place. The stresses and strains of despondency have killed the essence of cricket and destroyed it.

    Mr Ijaz and the PCB stand for themselves whilst none is standing for cricket? Mr Ijaz has put Pakistan cricket on trial, and people often mock his anachronism and his delusions. He has been berating the authority for acting as if he has the legal authority of a sovereign state. Aamir Sohail, an ex-captain and an equally brilliant commentator, has publicly suggested sacking every employee of the PCB since Mr Ijaz was taking all the decisions, according to him it would be saving a big chunk being dispensed as salaries to the gauntlet of the sycophants? Mr Ijaz, of course, has effectively emerged as a one-man army.

    What are the remedies? The only remedial measure to be taken is to winch Mr Ijaz out of the system, if any left and getting to the basics, evolving ground-plans and identifying the future course of action rather than to slither back and subconsciously being party to the killing of Pakistan game. Pakistan’s senior sports journalist Mr Gul Hameed Bhatti died anxiously hoping to see Pakistan cricket having a turnaround whilst I you or anyone other than Mr Ijaz are half-way meeting the death with no hope aground. It seems scrupulous and capable people like Dr Zafar Altaf would die without seeing the phoenix of Pakistan cricket rising from the ashes. Until Mr Ijaz and his sycophants are adhering to power, there wouldn’t be any phoenix, not even cricket’s existence, it has already been challenged.

  3. #3 by khansahab on April 24, 2010 - 7:37 AM

    Fawad Alam — an asset or a liability?

    KARACHI: When Fawad Alam produced a string of impressive performances on the domestic circuit a few years back, many hoped Pakistan’s search for a top quality left-handed allrounder was finally over, writes Khalid Hussain.

    And when the youngster stroked his way to a superb 168 on debut in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo last July, even some of the skeptics were convinced that Fawad has a glorious future in international cricket.

    It was a huge knock considering the fact that Pakistan were bowled out for a paltry 90 in the first innings. The tourists went on to lose the Test but Fawad made history by becoming the first Pakistani batsman to score a century on debut away from home.

    Almost nine months after that courageous knock, the 24-year-old Fawad has failed to cement his place in the Pakistan team. In fact, some experts are even questioning his credentials and want Pakistan to stop relying on players like him.

    But Fawad has a huge supporter in Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi, who believes that the allrounder’s critics should think twice before targeting the youngster’s abilities.

    “I think people should stop questioning his (Fawad’s_ abilities. I have played with him and I know that he is a really good cricketer,” Afridi told ‘The News’ in an interview.

    “The best quality Fawad has is that he is a fighter and we need players like him in the team,” added Afridi.

    “He is an aggressive player and a great fielder and that makes him an important player for me,” stressed Afridi, who will be leading Pakistan’s title defence in the ICC World Twenty20 which gets underway from April 30 in Guyana.

    Some experts question Fawad’s credentials and underline the fact that he is yet to win any matches for Pakistan.

    “I have no doubts in my mind that he will do that. It’s a question of getting the opportunities. What we need to do is to give players like him ample opportunities and then start expecting results from them.”

    Afridi is expecting Fawad to shine in the Caribbean where Pakistan will be going all out to retain the ICC World Twenty20 title they won in England last summer.

    “Its boys like Fawad, who can give our title campaign a huge boost in the West Indies,” he said. “They have the potential to deliver the goods and I’m confident that they will do it.”

    Fawad, meanwhile, is working hard at the preparatory camp for the World Twenty20 in Lahore. “I’ve always tried to give my best for Pakistan and hope to play my role in the West Indies,” says the youngster.

  4. #4 by khansahab on April 24, 2010 - 8:00 AM

    Unruly crowd in Lahore brings tears in Sania’s eyes

    Lahore, Apr 23 (ANI): The madness of Lahorites made former cricket captain Shoaib Malik upset and his wife Sania Mirza was more frustrated with tears in her eyes

    When Shoaib reached the Pearl-Continental Hotel with his bride from the Allama Iqbal Airport, a huge crowd was present there to get a glimpse of the newly-married couple due to which a severe mismanagement was seen at the hotel.

    Both Shoaib and Sania had to make their way to an elevator through the hotel corridor jam packed with a cheering crowd, The News reported.

    As they passed through the crowd they faced a severe pushing and shoving disbalancing Sania who was about to fall but Shoaib jumped into action to avoid it by taking her into his arms.

    This brought tears into Sania’s eyes who then placed her head on her mother’s shoulder while walking towards the room as her mother consoled her, the paper reports.

    Earlier, they reached Lahore through a PIA flight PK-391, which landed at the Allama Iqbal Airport and both, were driven from a different route via Haj terminal on their way to hotel. (ANI)

  5. #5 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 24, 2010 - 1:46 PM

    Pakistan so far is the most successful team in this shorter version of the game, they have won 22 out of the 30 international games they have played. A success rate of 733.33% and this time they are without their ace fast bowler Umar Gul who is the highest wicket taker so far. I am unable to understand the logic behind selecting Abdul Rahman, a spinner as a replacement for Arafat or Gul? I liked the comment someone made that. “Abdul Rahman is also a fast bowler who bowls a disguised slow delivery all the time.”

    khansahab

    On Afridi, he also mentioned that the added pressure of captaincy might affect his performance, it was obvious from the game in Australia where he bit the ball to over perform. I hope he keeps his cool and play sensibly. He has a good track record in the Caribbean, he scored one of the fastest test centuries there.

    It is not just Ijaz Butt, we have also been saying things about Shoaib Malik years before others started revealing his trivial politics and groupings that he was creating within the team on the basis of regionalism. I hope Afridi’s Kurta and Sania’s company might change him into a better person.

    Btw, whatever is happening in Pakistan upon Sania’s arrival is really very crazy, people are getting mad just to get a glimpse of Sania Mirza, she should have known that this is the kinda reception she would be getting where mad people would be dying to get a pose with her. I think it should be OK once the euphoria is over. Right now they seems to have concurred Hindustan. I heard a guy from the street when interviewed by a TV reporter, he said, “The Indians do this in their movies but, we have actually done this.” The TV compere later explained in the program that the man was referring to the Indian movie Veer Zara – which I have not seen.

  6. #6 by khansahab on April 24, 2010 - 6:33 PM

    Javed A Khan

    I don’t know what the euphoria is about regarding Malik and Sania. Malik is not a great cricketer and Sania is not an international calibre tennis player. The only difference is, Malik has not been able to become a good Test player whereas Sania is amongst India’s greatest tennis players.

  7. #7 by khansahab on April 24, 2010 - 6:41 PM

    This is just insane. Ijaz Butt needs to go. How more do we have to tolerate this rubbish Chairman?

    ARY News Alert

    PCB has issued a Show Cause Notice to the Chief Selector for announcing the names of replacements of Gul and Arafat without permission of Ijaz Butt . They have also issued warning to Afridi and Coach Waqar to be careful in future.

  8. #8 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 24, 2010 - 10:14 PM

    Chairman is not a selector. So, why the eff does he need to poke his Butt in every little matter? The most frustrating thing that has happened to Pakistan cricket is IJAZ BUTT.

    He is like “Saanp kay Moo may Chachoonder” na ungla jai, na ningla jai. Zardari cannot kick Butt out because someone needs to kick Zardari’s ass. So, its Zardari who needs to go first which is not going to happen for the next 2-3 years, he will complete his term and that is what the opposition wants to do, because they also want to come and rule for 5 years. Yeah, rule.

    These days you open TV or see any newspaper, you see the photograph of Benazir Bhutto, WHY? How much more we need to see the face of this woman? She is dead forget about her and get rid of this bloody Bhutto Dynasty.

  9. #9 by khansahab on April 25, 2010 - 12:16 PM

    I’ll give fair chance to players to defend: Justice (retd) Irfan Qadir

    Staff Report

    KARACHI: The retired Supreme Court judge who has been appointed to head the appeals process of the six Pakistan cricketers banned and fined by the cricket board in March has promised to give a fair opportunity to players to clear and defend themselves. Justice (retd) Irfan Qadir was quoted as saying on Saturday that he would soon be meeting individually with the six players who had filed appeals against their punishments. “I will meet with them and their legal representatives separately as I want to hear what they have to say and I also want to give them a fair chance to defend themselves before I start formal hearings into their appeals,” Qadir said.

    Qadir was nominated by the governing council of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) from a panel of three retired judges to head the appeals process. The retired judge said he would ensure that the whole process of disposing off the appeals was completed in two to three months time. “I don’t want this to linger on as it does affect the players and their focus on their primary job which is to play cricket,” he said. Qadir said he wanted to meet with the players before formal proceedings as some of them had complained they didn’t know the reasons why they were penalised.

    “The board has sent me their appeals and the charges against them so that is why I want to meet with them and talk to them first,” he said. The PCB last month imposed bans on former captains, Younus Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, and also all-rounder Rana Navedul Hassan besides fining Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal heavily. The hard actions were taken on the basis of an inquiry into the poor performances of the national team in Australia and into reports of infighting on the tour. Pakistan led by Yousuf were whitewashed in the Test and one-day series and also failed to win the lone Twenty20 international on the controversial tour. Except Yousuf who decided to retire from international cricket soon after he was banned all the other players have appealed against their penalties.

    Justice Qadir said that if player or legal representative wanted appeal proceedings on camera, he would discuss this with them. “My job is to ensure the law is followed properly as it is the board constitution and both parties are treated fairly,” he added. Three of the six players who have appealed Saturday left with Pakistan team for the World T20 Cup while Naved is playing county cricket in England.

  10. #10 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 25, 2010 - 1:00 PM

    The Pakistan team left for Caribbean and following are the officials who have accompanied the team:

    Management: Yawar Saeed (manager), Waqar Younis (head coach), Ijaz Ahmed (assistant coach), Faisal Hayat (physiotherapist), David Dwyer (trainer), Talha Butt (analyst), Khawaja Najam (security manager), Shafqat Rana (associate manager).

    Why the HELLO you need an associate manager? Shafqat Rana is a corrupt man who reportedly took huge sums of money previously from Wahab Riaz to get him in the team and now he is an ASSociate Manager. The more such people go on trips at official expenses there are more chances of disharmony and disagreement in the team as they create groups and disunity.

  11. #11 by khansahab on April 25, 2010 - 1:25 PM

    Afridi, Waqar have said that the Pakistan team would need to be aggressive to retain the WC.

    Now, that means playing as many batsmen as possible and 5 bowlers. If Afridi players Hafeez and Ajmal both, in my mind that is a waste of a batsman. That position would be better served by any one of Khalid Latif, Hammad Azam, Butt, Misbah etc.

    The first 3-4 batsmen should just go out and slog, the middle order of Misbah, U Akmal and Fawad should consolidate and then whoever is coming after them (Razzaq, K Latif, Azam) should slog. Luckily, all 3 of Misbah, U Akmal and Alam can hit boundaries.

  12. #12 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 25, 2010 - 6:46 PM

    khansahab

    Yeah, I’ve read that news item in which Waqar’s picture is there and he is pointing his finger to his eye and saying, “I will revive Pakistan’s trademark style of the 90s.” I dunno how he is going to do that in such a short time with the given resources on hand?

    After reading Afridi’s interview in which he has praised Fawad Alam’s capabilities so much it appears that he is going to play him in the first round against BD and Aus for sure. He has also mentioned about playing Hafeez as an opener with Akmal. That means the the team would be like this:

    Hafiz
    Kamran
    Alam
    Umar
    Misbah/Azam
    Afridi
    Razzaq
    Aamer
    Asif
    Sami
    Ajmal

  13. #13 by khansahab on April 25, 2010 - 8:38 PM

    MQM holds party convention in Punjab

    LAHORE: MQM Chief Altaf Hussain has shot out a warning to feudals in the Punjab. In the largest ever convention of the party in the province, Altaf Hussain says the massive gathering is aimed at freeing the people of Punjab from the clutches of feudalism.

    Simultaneously addressing huge crowds which gathered in Lahore, Rawalpindi and in parts Punjab, the MQM Chief said that political slogans, promising the people of Punjab food, clothing and shelter have been raised for the last 62 years, but residents still have nothing.

    The MQM chief says that his party’s resolve to save Pakistan is stronger than ever. He believes that the large crowds that have gathered at these conventions are also here to save Pakistan.

    He added that this is just the beginning of MQM’s journey into the province of Punjab.

    Altah Hussain claims that in the past, the MQM has not been allowed to campaign in the province. He also spoke about the Kashmir issue and said the matter cannot be resolved without taking the Kashmiris themselves into confidence. -DawnNews

  14. #14 by khansahab on April 25, 2010 - 8:40 PM

    I saw a some highlights of the aftermath of MQM’s convention in Punjab. A lot of people attended and I was surprised at the level of support working class and middle class Punjabis gave to MQM. They said things like,

    “We have had enough of these Choudharies who have looted our money”

    “Only MQM represents the poor and middle classes of Pakastan”

    “Altaf Bhai’s vision is incredible and it will rescue Pakastan”

  15. #15 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 25, 2010 - 10:00 PM

    khansahab

    was Altaf Hussain present in Lahore during the convention or, was it one of his telephone speeches? I would be more impressed if he comes down to Pakistan in person and address the people of Pakistan and tackle these issues like a Public Leader.

  16. #16 by Mohammed Munir on April 26, 2010 - 8:08 AM

    Javed Khan …

    A very good and well timed article in the preparations of the T20 World Cup.

    Although, I think Pakistan have a good chance and they may once again make a good outing in this shorter version of the game, but I seriously doubt the possibility of them winning this game of uncertainties, again.

    Although, after Pakistan my second favorite will be West Indies, but they are also playing similar to Pakistani style and are equally ‘unpredictable’. I agree that Pollard and Bravo are in good forms but IMO Gayle is not in good touch, because except for one or two games Gayle had quite ordinary performances in the IPL. Gayle is a type of player who would not need much time to change his form but still West Indies doesn’t have realistic chances of winning. That being said, I would love to see them winning though.

    Sri Lank are a serious contenders and with players like Dilshan, Jayewardene, Captain Sangakara, Malinga and others they are in with good chances. Similarly, India having IPL/ ICL expertise and the largest reserve-pool of T20 players in the world is also a team to watch. Unfortunately, injuries to their few star players, excessive cricket and playing on bouncier pitches will be some of their hindrances entering into the tournament.

    I agree with you on South Africa being ‘chokers’ and England being week, however, I won’t discount the New Zealanders while the mighty Australians are always a dangerous side in any format of the game of cricket.

    In conclusion, although my ‘heart’ wants Pakistan or at least West Indies to win this prestigious T20 World Cup but my ‘head’ says it could be one of the Australians/ Indians or Sri Lankan teams who may walk away with the glory.

  17. #17 by Mohammed Munir on April 26, 2010 - 8:09 AM

    A bit strange news but not totally impossible ……. “Punjab Da Puttar” Imran Nazir is playing for Khyber-Pukhtunkhuwa (previously NWFP).

    Although, he is not performing and his bad form with the bat continues, but we Pathans know well which one of them to select 😆

    http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/454861.html

  18. #18 by Mohammed Munir on April 26, 2010 - 8:13 AM

    BCCI suspends Lalit Modi

    The public confirmation of his suspension came in a statement from BCCI president Shashank Manohar issued shortly after the end of Sunday’s final. “Alleged acts of individual misdemeanours of Mr Lalit K Modi, chairman IPL and vice president BCCI, have brought a bad name to the administration of cricket and the game itself,” it said.

    http://www.cricinfo.com/ipl2010/content/current/story/457273.html

    In another related news …

    Chirayu Amin named IPL interim chairman

  19. #19 by Mohammed Munir on April 26, 2010 - 8:16 AM

    Altah Hussain claims that in the past, the MQM has not been allowed to campaign in the province. DawnNews.

    Well, why should they (MQM) be allowed to campaign in Punjab ??

    I want to remind Altaf Hussain that if MQM can stop the Chief Justice of Pakistan from entering Karachi and address Karachi Bar and if they can also threaten Imran Khan to even enter Karachi or conduct a rally there, then what is so strange for MQM not being allowed to enter Punjab ??

    MQM brought in this culture of blocking the roads by using empty containers to stop the entries of Iftikhar Chaudry and Imran Khan, and the containers were brought in from Karachi Ports, by the orders of that guy Baber Gauri.

    At least Punjab have not done this for MQM.

    At one time, MQM supporters were openly saying that Imran Khan will require a ‘special visa’ from Altaf Hussain to enter Karachi, and now they are complaining about their own entry into Punjab. What a load of cow mature 😉 (In Javed Khan’s words).

  20. #20 by Mohammed Munir on April 26, 2010 - 8:21 AM

    Javed Khan …

    Altal Hussain and in Pakistan and that too Lahore ?? 😆

    You must be kidding me … that coward doesn’t even plan to visit Karachi, how the hello can he ever plan to visit Lahore/ Punjab ?

    Altaf Hussain may or may not be a bad person, but what I just can not digest is that this person who left Pakistan and is now fully enjoying life in UK and never speaks about coming back, still he is ruling Karachi/ Sindh and wants to rule full Pakistan through MQM. What a joke !!

    Personally speaking I believe that MQM is a better option then the two other main parties (PPP & MLN), however, that being said, I will NEVER vote for MQM as long as this guy Altaf Bhai is their leader and the MQM peoples in Pakistan keep taking their dictations from someone sitting out of the country. I think today MQM is loosing it’s respect in the eyes of atleast educated minority of Pakistan by having such a drama-baaz, ‘paindoo’, brutal, spineless dictator as their ultimate messiah.

    Javed … have you ever had a chance to listen to his clowning speeches ?? And just notice the number of poor peoples (men, women, children, old and young) who are ‘forced’ to come out and sit on grounds listening to his BS speeches.

    He doesn’t have balls to at least return to the country he wants to rule !! In this he much worst then Benazir, Nawaz Sharif and even Zardari who all were sitting outside Pakistan and they could have continued to enjoy life but they all dared to comeback, which he can not. And what Altaf and his supporters say is that some one may kill him, well all I want to say is that doesn’t peoples die in UK ?? He can not live for ever even in UK, so why not die a hero’s death like Benazir then being a COWARD and protecting his a$$ in foreign land.

    Shame on Altaf Bhai !!

  21. #21 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 26, 2010 - 8:59 AM

    Munir

    One Chariya replaces another Chariya? IMO, the whole of IPL is a “Ch2punti” a big drama to fool the masses. The standards of bowling and batting of good players have gone down. Look at Sehwag, Yuvraj and Gambhir, they have not scored in any match. Yuvraj was famous for being the best fielder in India and reportedly he is not only dropping catches but also fielding badly like Rana Naveed. Perhaps its good for the unknown Indian players like, Vijay, Vinay, Jadega, Mishra etc., to play against some age old experienced and retired international players like Gilchrist, Hayden, Warne, Symonds etc., who have also not performed in the IPL. Their only interest is to make a few millions and go back into a good retired life in Australia and elsewhere.

  22. #22 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 26, 2010 - 9:18 AM

    Munir

    I have been saying this since a long time that Altaf Hussain should come back to Pakistan and stay in Karachi or Lalookhet, wherever but, he must come back instead of living in a “Fort Knox” in the UK under the protection of MI5 and Scotland yard. If he is a people’s leader then he should be among the people and not hiding somewhere and giving speeches through telephone. But, at the same time I am not favouring or supporting Justice Paindoo Chaudhary or even Imran Khan. Both of them have their own defects and faults. Chaudhary is a bloody hypocrite and a puppet. Imran Khan has not grown as a politician and his recent comments against Baber Ghauri were very racists which he should have not said irrespective of the fact that he retaliated to whatever Baber Ghauri said to him.

    Secondly, both (Chaudhary and Imran Khan) talk about Justice and democracy but both of them behave like dictators and wants to implement dictatorship. Imran is a one man show in his Tehrik-e-Insaaf Party. And, Justice Chaudhary never questioned Pervez Musharaff when he superseded him above six other senior judges and made him chief justice. He gladly accepted it in the name of democracy. Why did he not refuse that offer and stood up in support of other judges? Why did he do that only when he was put in the same shoes? It proves that he is a cheap justice and a hypocrite. Both Zardari and Nawaz used him for the second time and he deserves that. And, Imran Khan, he will never grow as a matured statesman.

  23. #23 by Mohammed Munir on April 26, 2010 - 9:55 AM

    Javed Khan …

    I agree with you, in parts, about Imran Khan and Justice Chaudhry, but to me Altaf Hussain is a much bigger DICTATOR then Chaudhry and Imran both put together.

    And even Altaf speak about the democracy as if he is the biggest Sur-Chashma-e-Demo-Crazy in Pakistan.

    I mean whatmore can be dictatorship then sitting in UK and calling your shots back home in Pakistan and running your own jails (Aqoobat Khanay).

  24. #24 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 26, 2010 - 10:00 AM

    Agreeing with me in parts? OK laikin iss hum-maam may sab nungay hain. It means they are all the same “nung bhujangs” but, don’t say kisi nay kaccha paya aur kisi nay langooti baandhi tou wo kum nungay hain. Whoever gets the opportunity tries to screw others. Look at Ijaz Butt, the old fart is the biggest dictator in the history of cricket in Pakistan and no one can do anything to that MFB.

  25. #25 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 26, 2010 - 10:12 AM

    CAPTAIN COOL – DHONI
    ………………VS……………

    KAPTAIN KHAN – AFRIDI

    India is relying a lot on Dhoni like Pakistan is relying on Afridi. Both are in different groups and only a miracle can bring them against each other i.e., if they keep their cool and aggression under control. India meets Afghanistan and Pakistan greets Bangladesh. Both teams have their second tough opponents in South Africa and Australia.

    Although Indian team is in rhythm and in practice owing to the IPL but, it may also act like a two way sword. In the first T20 WC they won and claimed the IPL helped them and in the second they blamed IPL for their failure and for not qualifying to the semis.

    The Pakistanis have failed once and succeeded in the second attempt but, their consistency is the main problem and now they are out with a few key players and let us see what they can do without Umar Gul. Gul was not in good nick before the selection especially in the tests and ODI’s he was pretty mediocre but, you never know how he would have performed in this T20 WC but, it is only a matter of IFs and Butts so lets keep that equation out and see how the other bowlers especially, Aamer, Asif and Sami will bowl?

  26. #26 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 26, 2010 - 10:18 AM

    In Pakistan everyone is trying to protect their back, Shoaib Malik is busy protecting Sania Mirza’s back. In every single photo that appear in the newspapers he is seen behind Sania trying to protect her back from the unruly crowd that is trying to get a glimpse of her. Perhaps they want to see the difference between the photos and her real self? Whatever it is, it is not a good thing to do. People should leave them alone and let them enjoy. Its a shame that no celebrity has any privacy.

    Malik couldn’t achieve so much publicity in his entire life as much as he got in the last one month owing to Sania. Behind every mediocre husband is a great wife. 😀

    And, behind every successful woman ————————————- is a pile of unwashed laundry! 😀

  27. #27 by Theossa on April 26, 2010 - 1:03 PM

    T20 WC:

    In the last T20 WC Pakistan team got hot at the right time under the captaincy of Younis Khan, Gul was in exceptional form and Afridi brought his ‘A game’ for the finals. Pakistan do have the talent and match winners but winning back to back championships is not easy and other teams will target Pakistan by bringing their best against them. I’ll pick Australia to win it this time. Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and South Africa should make it to the semi finals. West Indies could be a sleeper team with their home field advantage.

    Fawad Alam:

    I think Fawad Alam has not delivered to his potential yet. He should play more aggressively in T20s. often times it seems as if he is just trying to consolidate his place in the team rather than playing a match winning innings. Since Afridi has shown a lot of support and confidence in Fawad, this T20 WC is his chance to prove his worth.

    P.S. Khansahab supporting the consolidator role in T20? I remember you criticized Younis for that in the last T20 WC even when he had an overall strike rate of 140. I also see Javed talking about captaincy pressure affecting Afridi’s performance 😀

    Munir:

    The problem with MQM leadership is if Altaf Hussain is removed; there will be internal fights among MQM leadership and possibly disintegration of MQM. Knowing how things work in Karachi if MQM is dismantled there will be free lance gangs operating in every other street and block of the city. I do not agree or support MQM but I can see the flip side of the coin in the life without MQM.

  28. #28 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 26, 2010 - 2:41 PM

    Theo

    It is good to see you contributing. Btw, I am not saying that captaincy will affect Afridi’s performance, I had only quoted from DAWN and later that news was denied by Afridi himself. Afridi is such an Akhroat that when he is on the field he doesn’t think of anything except for hitting sixes or taking wickets. And, I agree with you on what you wrote about Alam. This is a last chance for Fawad Alam to perform aggressively and consolidate his place in all forms of the game. Same goes for Afridi too, he needs to lead the team effectively and win the cup so that they offer him test and ODI captaincy. Having two different captains in Pakistan will have more politics among the players.

    I never thought of that before i.e., what theo wrote above regarding MQM leadership without Altaf the Altar of MQM. Probably he is right, without him there will be too many divisions and factions in the party already I guess there is a real and fake one that is Haqeeqi and non Haqeeqi, right?

  29. #29 by khansahab on April 26, 2010 - 10:09 PM

    Munir sahab/Javed A Khan

    I have heard MQM people say this and I think there is a lot of sense in this, that if Altaf is granted the amnesty that has been provided to Zardari, Altaf will come to Pakistan.

    Munir sahab, it all depends on what the chances are that Altaf will be killed if he is in Karachi. More than half of the city’s population opposes MQM. This includes not just the Punjabis, Sindhis and Pathans but also the Haqiqi people. So there is a massive chance Altaf’s life is in danger. If Altaf had a national appeal like Benazir or if he was popular in all of Sindh like Nawaz is popular in all of Punjab, then I think he would have come.

    He can live a life of luxury even at Nine-zero. All Pakistani politicians prefer living in Pakistan as opposed to abroad because Pakistan is heaven for the filthy-rich. Would Altaf not prefer living in Karachi, where his word is the law? He can live like a king. In the UK he still has to abide by the laws, pay all kinds of taxes, stand in queues for everything, carry an umbrella all the time, pay for parking in almost every other street and road etc.

    I do not like Altaf Hussein and I laugh at his speeches. But, without Altaf Hussein there would be no Mustafa Kamal. Without Altaf no middle class person would have the guts to stand before the feudals. And without Altaf the rest of the provinces would be subservient to Punjab. The reason why hardly anyone wants to accept this is because we are still largely influenced by this psyche that anything to do with MQM and Altaf Hussein is bad. Whoever thinks like that is very biased. Altaf is the reason for as much bad in the MQM as good.

    He is a dictator, yet no one in the leadership of his party is his relative. People like Farooq Sattar and Mustafa Kamal got positions because of their intellectual capability and not because of their wealth, status, lands etc. The purpose of mentioning all this is that, Altaf is a complicated person and you just can’t label him as XYZ. I don’t consider him worse than Zardari and Nawaz Sharif because

    1) He is not amongst the richest people in the country, looting money from the masses
    2) None of his relatives is in the senior leadership of his party

    In all successful countries, prosperity happened because the power was shifted towards the middle classes and taken away from monarchs and landowners. There will always be corruption and the common man in Pakistan will always be fooled as long as the feudals of Punjab carry on wielding their power in this way. MQM has tried to take power away from these feudals and tried to transfer this power to the middle classes, the religious minorities- in other words, the less privileged segment of the country.

    MQM should be given a chance for Pakistan’s sake. Pakistan needs to abandon the feudal system of governance and adopt the MQM system of governance where merit is rewarded and everyone is equal irrespective of language, wealth, religious differences. It is not the case that there is no hope in Pakistan. There is hope in the form of MQM, but people are ignoring it because of their hatred for the reasons why MQM came into being.

    Now if I speak from the Urdu Speaking man’s point of view (which is probably a biased view), consider when Karachi became a developed city filled with opportunity. People from interior Sindh, Punjab and NWFP flocked to this city to get jobs and establish businesses. Apart from the Urdu Speakers, everyone had their provinces to go back to, say if something didn’t happen right. In other words, everyone had “two homes”- one their own province/region, and the other, Karachi. Now, did the Urdu Speakers have that facility? Could they “shift” elsewhere to seek an alternative life as a contingency plan? No, Karachi was where they settled and grew up, and Karachi was their home. Hence, when they saw people from different “homes” coming into “their home” and then discriminating against them, they decided to form a party.

    This kind of mentality is seen even in developed countries like the UK and USA, so it can happen anywhere- Karachi, Punjab or anywhere. I am not saying that Karachi “belongs” to Urdu Speakers, but this statement is very difficult in the light of Punjab belonging to Punjabis, Sindh being a province for Sindhis, and Pukhtoonkhwa being a province for Pukhtoons.

    I am speaking the brutal facts here and I don’t feel the need to apologise to anyone for saying the above, as I have spoken the bitter truth and have not insulted or hurt anyone’s sentiments.

  30. #30 by khansahab on April 26, 2010 - 10:25 PM

    Theossa

    Fawad not delivering to his potential can either mean he has not been good enough, or it can mean that he has not been given enough chances. I would say the latter. He has played most of his innings lower down the order where he has not had a chance to build an innings. The only batsmen who can make a mark in that situation are sloggers, and he is not a slogger.
    This is not to say that he cannot play aggressively, because a batsman can still be aggressive by hitting the occasional four or six. There is a difference between a slogger, whose expertise is hitting boundaries and an aggressive player can be someone who makes runs at a fast pace but not necessarily the vast majority of them in fours and sixes.

    If you are not a natural slogger and you are being sent into bat towards the end of the innings, you will have a record like Alam’s. We have seen players like Malik, Misbah, Younis Khan, Afridi, openers etc fail in so many batting positions yet we have persisted with them. I don’t know why Fawad Alam can’t be given these chances. Imran Farhat was kept as an opener for a year continuously, under Inzamam. But, Fawad Alam can’t be allowed to bat in the same position in 2 series.

  31. #31 by khansahab on April 26, 2010 - 10:41 PM

    Look at Zaheer Abbas’s words of genius:

    “Pakistan is really going to have to work hard to defend their title successfully in the World Cup because this team is not as strong as the one that won the World Cup last year in England,” former Test captain Zaheer Abbas said.

    Zaheer, known as the “Asian Bradman” for his batting feats, said with a new-look team, the defending champions would be under tremendous pressure.

    “The team will have to really gel together and play as a unit to do well this time. They have the capability to win the World Cup but it will only be possible through really hard work,” he said.

  32. #32 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 27, 2010 - 2:32 PM

    Pakistani openers once again failed. The first warm up match is being played right now between PK and Windward Islands and both Pakistani openers Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt are out and they are 33/2 in 4 overs at the moment. Afridi has walked in and is playing with Mohammad Hafeez as his partner.

    If the openers are not going to make 50 plus in 5 overs the team will always be under pressure.

  33. #33 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 27, 2010 - 4:29 PM

    Pakistan managed to score only 160 runs in the allotted 20 overs with Hafeez being the top scorer (57) and that is not a good sign to see Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal Abdul Razzaq scoring a combined total of 16 runs. While fielding Pakistan has given away 13 extras in 65 which is 20% of the total. It shows how much they worked in the training camps where several players were injured. These extras are not the result of fielding but, no balls, wides, byes and leg byes. If they play like this against stronger teams they will not win a single match.

  34. #34 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 27, 2010 - 8:07 PM

    Although Pakistan won the match by 68 runs but, their batting was below par. Mohammad Hafeez is one of those players who always score in such matches BUT he has NEVER produced a match winning role in any of the international events at big level. Therefore, I don’t reckon him as a player who can perform well in crucial matches and win the match for Pakistan. Today he did but, he will not do it at the international level when it matters.

  35. #35 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 27, 2010 - 8:14 PM

    Chigumbura nay Australia kay sath Bahutbura salook kiya.

    Chigumbura smashed 76 in 33 balls and Zimbabwe played well against Australia. It was Watson whose bowling was torn apart, the Zims smashed 34 runs in his 2 overs also got him out on 2 runs. But, equally devastating batting by Warner who is in good form these days is keeping Australia’s hopes to win the match and if they do – it will be a tough one. Right now they need 80 runs in 42 balls with Warner still 72not out in 50 balls.

  36. #36 by khansahab on April 27, 2010 - 8:19 PM

    Pakistan has enough ‘firepower” to defend World T20 title: Raja

    LAHORE: Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja has said that though some of the key players are missing from the squad, it still has got the ‘firepower’ to defend the ICC World T20 title in the West Indies.

    Raja said the incumbent skipper Shahid Afridi has been performing brilliantly in the shortest version of the game, and expressed the hope that he would lead the team from the front during the April 30-May 16 tournament.

    “Pakistan have very good players for this format of cricket. Afridi is a very good player and he performed very well in last two editions of World Twenty20. He will be a good captain and can lead from the front. We have good players and our bowling is our strength,” The Nation quoted Raja, as saying.

    He also backed the PCB”s decision to include left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman in the squad for the T20 championship. “If we analyse the pitches and conditions in the West Indies, selection of Rehman is justified because he is a very good spin bowler and he can also bowl well in pressure situations,” Raja said.

  37. #37 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 27, 2010 - 10:35 PM

    Zimbabwe won by one run.

    When I wrote, Warner is on 72 in 50 balls, he was out the next ball, if he had stayed at the crease Australia would have won in 18 overs, the match went on to the last ball, a nail biting finish, 34 runs were needed in the last two overs and Australia made only 32 and lost by a run.

    I think Bangladesh must have watched this match with a lot of interest and they can upset Australia.

  38. #38 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 27, 2010 - 10:43 PM

    khansahab

    I was reading on the internet I think Aaj TV or Geo, one of them reported that someone from Sialkot is suing Shoaib Malik for charging Rs.15,000 per person for attending his valima reception and there is a hearing on May 3rd. I think this is ridiculous.

    Why should Shoaib Malik invite anyone and everyone from the public for free? If he is charging Rs15,000 or Rs.50,000 it is his prerogative. He can invite his relatives, friends or colleagues but from the general public, if someone wants to boast about attending the reception of Shoaib and Sania must pay the price. If the city of Sialkot gave a good rousing welcome to the couple it is their choice or their way of expressing their feelings but, that doesn’t mean that Shoaib should invite the whole city for free? There are security issues, there are logistics issues and on top of that how can anyone organize and manage indefinite number of guests?

    In some charity dinners or even in case of some celebrity dinners people pay a price to go there i.e., whoever can afford to dish out that kinda money should not complain. Besides, everyone or a common man does not attend the big functions, it is either for the VIP’s or those who can afford to pay. Therefore, whoever this fan who got upset has no right to sue Malik or Sania.

  39. #39 by Mohammed Munir on April 28, 2010 - 5:40 AM

    Although Pakistan won the warm-up match but surely, I will agree with Javed Khan, their batting was below satisfactory. While bowling was good as they were able to restrict the opponents only on 92 and that too in spite of only four wickets going down. The good news is that Afridi and Hafeez both bowled well and played their part with decent economical bowling and picking one wicket a piece. It would have been good to see Fawad bowling, but that was not meant to be. I think in this tournament Pakistan should play with only two main bowlers (Asif and Aamir), while Hafeez, Afridi, Razzaq and Fawad Alam can bowl 12 overs among the fours of them. This should give us enough firepower in our weaker batting department. Salman-the-Butt, as expected played dead slow and also could not contribute much, while his presence on the wicket is always putting extra pressure on the other batsman as he is taking is easy and playing Test on one end while the other batsmen tries to hit and gets out invariably.

    I would have preferred if they gave chance to Khalid Latif as well as young Hammad before the crunch game, but they went in with Butt. I hope this time round Afridi takes full control of the playing eleven, along with coach, and doesn’t include unfit players (Salman/ Abdul Rahman), same like Younis Khan did under pressures during his captaincy days. Afridi is a strong character plus coach and selectors are reasonable persons who support the captain, definitely not the likes of Wasim Bari and Intikhab Alam respectively, who undermined Younis Khan.

    Javed Khan …

    There are two more cases against Shoaib Malik, one for having a lavish Valima with many dishes opposing to the one-dish-Valimas being practiced in Pakistan and second for excessive usage of electricity during his wedding functions, as there is shortage of electricity in the country and a lot of peoples suffer due to long hours of load shedding.

    I tell you, Pakistani media is making peoples do all the crazy things for publicity and some money. It is more like USA/ Europe where everyone is looking for an excuse to sue everyone else 😉

  40. #40 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 28, 2010 - 10:17 AM

    Brett Lee out of the T20 WC. I think Harris will replace him, although Bollinger did very well recently but, Harris would be more effective. And, I think Australia will play different against BD and will play Cameron White and Shaun Tait for sure. But, it was one good partnership between Ervine and Chigumbura that changed the complexion of the game. After 36/4 they scored 114 runs in the next 10 overs. Australia tried to much but somehow crumbled under pressure.

    Munir

    I dunno whether including Butt was the result of pressure or a deliberate attempt to test him and prove before the tournament that Salman Butt is not a T20 player. But, Afridi as well as the selectors have good reason to drop him against BD. No matter what you say about Hafeez, imo he is a bits and pieces player. Ajmal bowled well and I don’t think they will drop Ajmal. BD has 4 spinners and if the pitch is holding the ball it would be very difficult for the batsmen to score runs easily, they have to really hit it hard and then there are chances of losing the wickets. In the presence of a regular spin bowler, they may not give chance to Fawad Alam in crucial matches. For Pakistan, all matches are crucial matches. He has to prove his worth in batting and scoring more runs at a good strike rate.

    As regards Malik’s reception in Sialkot it was not from his pocket expenses but from the people and it was not a Valima. The Valima reception was at Lahore and one dish was served. Also, as regards lighting the streets or the house it was a public gesture and they did it. Anyways this euphoria will soon be over and both of them have careers ahead.

    After a week of warm weather and sunny days with 20C plus temperatures set the early spring here and suddenly mother nature started playing yo-yo with us. It is snowing here since yesterday and will snow all day today with almost zero temp., the whole landscape has turned white. But, from tomorrow it will again be warm again with temp going back into the twenties, so all the snow will be gone. People coming back from Lahore, Karachi and Dubai were saying its been HOT over there.

    I hope there will be no rain interruptions in the Caribbean? Btw, we are in the same time zone as Caribbean so the matches will be all during the day.

  41. #41 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 28, 2010 - 11:50 AM

    Let us see what Pakistan will do against Zimbabwe tomorrow? That is the last warm up match for Pakistan before they meet Bangladesh. And, Bangladesh captain has warned Pakistan before departing from Dhakka that they can upset Pakistan as the team is not yet gelled and its key bowler Umar Gul is not in the squad and they will do everything to beat Pakistan. This message must not be taken lightly because, they are capable of beating Pakistan and even Australia in this format.

    I think for tomorrow’s match, Afridi must give a chance to Hammad Azam and also try out Abdul Rahman the fast bowler who disguises all his deliveries like a slow bowler. 😀 Perhaps the Caribbean wicket may suit his kinda bowling. Afridi’s leg spin is more like a medium paced delivery if the wicket is holding the ball for a while then the real slow spinners are more effective than the faster ones like Afridi.

  42. #42 by khansahab on April 28, 2010 - 6:34 PM

    Pakistan’s performance in the warm up was average. Fawad Alam was their worst batsman because he made 24 from 25 balls. I have said before that if a batsman has faced more than 15 balls in T20, his strike rate should be much higher than 100.

    Unfortunately Alam is trying to bat like Malik- the so called consolidator who plays slowly because he is afraid of getting out and getting kicked out from the team because his fielding or bowling are not good enough for him to remain in the team. Fawad’s fielding is very good but he needs to take more liberties with his batting, although the poor guy knows if he makes 1 little mistake the management will sideline him completely.

  43. #43 by khansahab on April 28, 2010 - 6:39 PM

    Javed A Khan

    Celebrities are public property because the public makes them what they are. Yet at the same time they have a right to privacy. I agree with you that Malik has the prerogative as to who should be invited and who should not.

    The people of Sialkot and Punjab generally love Malik a lot. I have seen so many interviews of people saying he is the “son of Sialkot” etc. I am amazed how a mediocre Test player can be so popular, regardless of what city or province it is.

  44. #44 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 29, 2010 - 9:01 AM

    Pakistan hungry to avenge Oz tour

    ST LUCIA: Shahid Afridi believes he has united the Pakistani team following the disastrous tour of Australia last summer and intends to lead a reversal of fortunes in Sunday’s clash against Michael Clarke’s men.

    Now leading the defending champions in the Caribbean for the third World Twenty20 tournament, Afridi said the issues between squabbling players had been settled.

    “We have been going through some difficult times with guys being suspended and fined, but this time it’s a new captain,” Afridi said. “The first thing I was thinking was to keep the guys united, the communication gap between the players was too much, so I tried to make it as close as possible. I think (the problems are) gone now. We are all professionals, we can’t carry these things. We are all here with fresh minds, we’re here to play good cricket.”

    Afridi remained coy when asked if he felt his national board exerted too much influence on his running of the team. “I think it’s better I call my manager for you to ask him.”

    New coach Waqar Younis declared his plan was to inject the same ruthlessness seen in the world champion side he was part of past decade. “I will try to induct the same kind of aggression and fire in the team, which was Pakistan’s trademark in the 1990s, as it is necessary for us to win and retain the title,” Waqar said.

    Australia, meanwhile, had their own plans of attack, David Hussey said. “Every ball that’s bowled, we want to win that little competition,” he said. “Come the first game against Pakistan, I think we’ll put on a decent show and be very, very aggressive.

    “Spin bowing is probably going to be the key for them, they’ve got three very talented bowlers with Afridi and (Saeed) Ajmal leading them, and (Abdul) Rehman as well.

    “I think our pace bowling trio, or the four of them, is probably a key to our game. Hopefully we’ll be really aggressive and have intent up front, maybe a bit of attitude and get in their face a bit, and hopefully use that tone to carry on with the fielding and batting and just play a complete, perfect all-round game against the Pakistanis that would be good.

    “All the boys are pretty determined to right the wrongs of last year, I think we were all embarrassed getting knocked out — I know it was a difficult group — but not even making it to the Super Eights was a bit embarrassing, I thought.

    “This year we’ve got an opportunity to right the wrongs and hopefully go a long way in this tournament because it is an awful long way to come not to do well.”

  45. #45 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 29, 2010 - 9:09 AM

    The AFGHANS are sending warning signals to other teams. They beat the Shamrocks yesterday very comfortably and without any problem in the warm up match. They have already declared that they will surprise the world by beating some of the best teams in the world. IMO, if they beat one in the first round they are in for the second. So, it is quite possible that they may really create some surprises in the WC like the Irish and BD did in the 50 overs WC in the Caribbean 3 years ago by beating Pakistan and India in the first round and packed them back home.

    Wasim Akram thinks that India and Pakistan are favourites. How can he not say this? 😀 He is loyal to both countries. 😀

  46. #46 by newguy on April 29, 2010 - 12:40 PM

    I am remaining silent on all the analysis, although I am reading all the experts on what they have to say, it’s amusing to read the pre-tournament predictions and then see it all fall apart when the real results come through.

    I retain the opinion that T20 is such an unpredictable game that a few overs can change the result of the match, a couple of dropped catches, a couple of big sixes, so on, can change the end result dramatically.

    Despite all that though, top 4 teams will need some skill to get there, from there on it is all who takes the best chances on the day,and in a sense that is the real beauty of this format, everyone who gets to semis will have an equal chance to lift the cup, unlike 50 over format where you know some teams have better chance than other.

  47. #47 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 29, 2010 - 3:04 PM

    newguy

    you have already broken the long silence by commenting. 😀 welcome back.

    As regards pre-tournament predictions, predictions are always prior to something happening or already happened otherwise they are not predictions. 😉 and that is the fun part that you predict the results by choosing your own own team. During the 1992 WC in Australia the local newspaper in Dubai sent a poster size chart to their subscribers asking us to clip it somewhere and keep updating the results or predict the winners. I filled out the entire chart and clipped it up in my room. My friends and cousins after seeing that I wrote Pakistan as winners and champions laughed at me and my wishful thinking. That was not the point that you say which team will be the champion? All my predictions which I filled in that charge just at the start of the tournament ALL were right, except for ONE and that is, Zimbabwe beating England.

    There were a couple of drawn matches due to rain and when predicting Pakistan’s chances I placed them in the winner slot. England vs. Pakistan match was abandoned due to rain, it was a lucky escape for Pakistan and their luck changed after that. During this time of the year the weather in Caribbean is good but, that region is not free from rain. That is the worst thing to happen for cricket lovers to sit there and wait and then they announce the match is abandoned.

    So from now onwards just for fun keep posting your views and your predictions, if you go wrong no one will blame you or hold you responsible for that. If we start predicting right then we all will be Saints and Sufis, I doubt that even they predicted everything right? So come on guys, its all starting from tomorrow. Australia’s Warner is in great form he scored his second fifty at a blistering pace in the second warm up match against Windward Islands today.

  48. #48 by newguy on April 29, 2010 - 4:21 PM

    Javed Khan,

    Thanks for the welcome. I will go ahead and predict since there is nothing to lose. Here goes … I predict the winner will be South Africa!!!

    No one ever will dare pick them since everyone thinks they will choke when it matters most, but by picking them if I am proven right then I will be the genius among all 😉

  49. #49 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 29, 2010 - 5:10 PM

    newguy

    SA’s chance of winning the WC since 1992 have been over 90% but, that 10% has become their destiny. Be it 50 overs or 20 overs tournament they choke at the crucial moment. There is no doubt that they are the most balanced side but, that is not what is needed, you need nerves of steel and a big heart. So, if this time they win you will not be a gene ass but, genius for sure. 😀

  50. #50 by khansahab on April 29, 2010 - 9:01 PM

    Pakistan have lost to Zimbabwe. A lot of people will say that this is a warm up, but in T20 nothing is guaranteed and a warm up can play exactly like a final.

    The middle order collapsed. Fawad Alam showed again why he is better than Malik (he often gets compared to Malik) because, in the 1st warm up he played like Malik and in this 2nd warm up he improved. All that he needs to work on is to hit a few more boundaries and I think that will come with confidence. At the moment he plays the role of a facilitator rather than someone who can win matches singlehandedly, but I feel he is improving every game.

    Afridi bowled very well and Akmal gave Pakistan a great start. Although Hafeez has failed to take many wickets he is bowling economically. I think it would be folly to play both Hafeez and Ajmal. Afridi needs to play Hafeez so that the batting can get a boost. They just need to drop 1 bowler and accommodate Hammad Azam or Khalid Latif.

    Misbah played badly with 21 runs in 23 balls, in my opinion he lost the match for Pakistan. Although I guess the middle order of Umer Akmal, Hafeez and Afridi deserve blame too but Misbah played exactly like how he was playing before he was dropped from the team. It is criminal to come at no 7 and then play so slowly, Razzaq was the ideal batsman at that position. That is why Misbah is not an automatic selection for me in this T20 Cup.

  51. #51 by khansahab on April 29, 2010 - 9:06 PM

    I don’t like Mohammad Sami and I don’t think he should be played. Although T20 is a game for batsmen mainly, Sami has a propensity to lose control of his bowling. Asif, Aamer and Razzaq should form the pace attack. Afridi and Hafeez should form the spin attack and Alam can have 1 or 2 overs if Hafeez is not working.

    Asif can lose effectiveness once the ball has been hit around but he can at least bowl straight, which Sami can’t.

  52. #52 by newguy on April 29, 2010 - 10:34 PM

    Javed,

    Actually I am only being playful when I say I am predicting SA to win – in T20 you cannot make any predictions, I think all test playing nations in this tournament has a chance and it’s going to be a toss up between the 4 teams who gets to semis. Like I have said so many times before, a few sixes, couple of catches, a run out, one or two good economical overs, all can determine a game in this format, unlike longer formats where teams can recover, re-group, and launch a comeback later on. In T20 once you lose the opportunity you lose the match. So, I would still say any one of the eight test paying nations could win it.

  53. #53 by newguy on April 29, 2010 - 10:39 PM

    Pak-Zim game just shows that the difference between teams can narrow in this format, and things happen so quickly that you don’t get second chances.

    SA lost to Eng, and in my opinion they are making a mistake by not letting Jaques Kallis open the innings, he was in form in IPL and was very successful opening the batting.

  54. #54 by newguy on April 29, 2010 - 10:46 PM

    Ind should not play Yuvraj since he is not in good form and can ruin the opportunities, but he being Dhoni’s best buddy will play and Dhoni will keep drumming him up and their best player. Actually Dhoni should start playing very aggressively like he did in the last IPL league game where he hit huge sixes and won the match. He should bring his old style out for this format. Instead of Yuvraj they should try some of the younger and less played memebers, like Karthik or even they should have included someone like Saurabh Tripathi who looks like a younger version of Dhoni. If they don’t do well that is still fine. In this format teams have to try different things, and go for more daring and audacious players who have nothing to lose.

  55. #55 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 29, 2010 - 11:45 PM

    newguy

    I know you were not serious about SA, moi aussi, I just pulled your leg. Yes, I agree with you that any of the eight test playing nations could win the cup after reaching the semis they need a good strategy and sound planning and most importantly the execution of the plans, luck does play its part but not as much when you really work hard. Today, I saw on TV just a bit of Dhoni’s batting against KKR in the IPL in which he remained not out with 64 or something and his partner was Badrinath. The last 4 overs he played very well. I think Chennai scored more than 60 runs in those 4 overs, he needs to play like that and that is his natural game which he changed lately by avoiding big sixes and playing ground shots very cautiously. Yuvraj will play because Sehwag is already not in the team and he needs big names. He won’t drop him even if he fails in the first match. I have no idea about who is Tripathi and how he plays?

    khansahab

    Hafeez is a bits and pieces player, he played well in the first match and I said that he won’t be repeating this again. Yes, he bowled economically in this match but it is not the bowling the batting was needed. Pakistan’s batting, especially the opening pair is very weak and they need to strengthen their batting. I think Hammad Azam must play against Bangladesh otherwise, he won’t get a chance, against Australia they will not be making his debut. Umer Akmal’s poor showing is a concern but, they will play him because of his past record whereas, Hammad Azam needs to prove his worth and this is the best time to play him against BD, he is a handy bowler too.

    Also the fast bowling department without Umar Gul looks very fragile, Asif cannot concentrate after he his hit for a couple of fours or a six, he is good when he takes a wicket in his first or second over. Sami is erratic and Aamer is still inexperienced. To a certain extent I agree with you that Hafiz can be more effective than Ajmal because of his batting and between him and Alam they can share the 4 overs. But, at times it is important to have a specialist spinner. I dunno why Abdul Rahman was not used as a bowler in today’s match. He batted and scored 7 runs. What is the point here? Is he a bowler or a batsman?

    Misbah – don’t expect anything from Misbah, he scored those 17 runs in 8 balls the other day with two sixes, but today he played his usual stuff. In any case Pakistan needs to improve their batting otherwise they will lose the match against BD. And, BD players like, India can play spin better than other western teams, so Pakistan needs to post a big total if they bat first.

  56. #56 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 30, 2010 - 1:42 AM

    My prediction for Pakistan team selection against BD is like the one I am writing below, it may not be the right choice or combination that I want but, this is what they will play:

    1. Salman Butt
    2. Kamran Akmal
    3. Mohammad Hafeez
    4. Umar Akmal
    5. Shahid Afridi
    6. Fawad Alam
    7. Misbah ul Haq
    8. Abdul Razzaq
    9. Mohammad Aamir
    10. Mohammad Aasif
    11. Saeed Ajmal

    On paper Pakistan has 8 batsmen, yet in my opinion not a single one is reliable. Usually one or two batsmen score 30 odd runs and that is a very low percentage, at least 4 of them must score 30 odd runs in order to take the total to 160 level. In T20 format, the moment a team scores more than 170 – 180 the total looks very challenging and anything over 200 is very daunting. It also depends on the pitches. Pakistan will play their match against Bangladesh on the same ground they played Zimbabwe today. It is a better ground than Providence where NZ and SL are playing the opening game, that pitch is very, very slow and any team playing on that pitch needs to play more spinners than fast bowlers.

    Although Afridi took 4 wickets at a good average but, he couldn’t get the wicket of Chigumbura who is in very good form. He has remained not out on 49. Pakistan may not play against Zimbabwe unless they meet in semis or in final (which seems to be out of question) but, the point is good batsmen can avoid Afridi and score against other bowlers. Therefore, the need to have a second specialist spinner is necessary.

    This defeat against Zimbabwe will do some good for Pakistan because now they will definitely take BD very seriously and will also play with full potential knowing what happened today.

  57. #57 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 30, 2010 - 1:50 AM

    RAMBO RAMIZ has been chosen as a commentator in the panel of ICC commentators for the Twenty20 World cup. Besides Ramiz, the panel includes Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Harsha Bhogle from India, Ian Bishop from West Indies, Simon Doul from New Zealand, Nasser Hussain and David Lyod from England, Ian Chappell from Australia and M Bingwa from Zimbabwe. We will be missing WAQAR YOUNAS as a commentator.

  58. #58 by 420 on April 30, 2010 - 3:28 AM

    it is saurabh tiwari 🙂 he played for mumbai Indians, he along with rayudu formed a formidable middle order for mumbai this IPL.

    i really think India should have taken ojha above piyush chawla. and i doubt if yuvi will perform any good this WC

  59. #59 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 30, 2010 - 8:40 AM

    Thanks 420

    Yes, I know a bit about Tiwary from Mumbai. You are probably right about Ojha but Chawla is more famous, perhaps that is the reason he is selected. Similarly I think Robin Uthappa should have been selected in place of either Murali Viyay or Vinay Kumar. Perhaps they are included in the team because they can also bowl. But, Uthappa is in good batting form and he is a big hitter plus he fields well, he should have been in the squad. Yuvraj is playing because of his reputation but, I have a feeling that he is not 100% fit. I haven’t seen IPL but one of my friends who has was saying it is obvious from his fielding that he is not the same Yuvraj the attacking fielder. Perhaps that is the reason he is not playing up to his potential. But, you never know he might play on a big occasion and prove Dhoni right.

  60. #60 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 30, 2010 - 8:50 AM

    We have been saying here on this blog since a long time that gone are the days when there were fast paced and hard tracks in the Caribbean. Now their pitches are more suitable for the spinners.

    Now, suddenly ALL the PAKISTANI HEROES like, Wasim Akram, Ramiz Raja, Inzamam ul Haq et all are saying the same. Read what DAWN is reporting in today’s newspaper:

    quote:
    KARACHI: In the Caribbean islands which spawned a conveyor belt of intimidating pacemen in the 1970s and 1980s, spin is poised to dominate the World T20.

    Gone are the days when lightning fast tracks were the norm in the West Indies and the slower bowlers are expected to prosper in the third edition of the 17-day run-fest which starts in Guyana on Friday.

    India, who won the inaugural T20 world title in 2007, and Pakistan, the 2009 champions, have the best spinners in the tournament and could dominate, according to former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram.

    “The pitches in the West Indies are more suited to spin now and Pakistan and India have plenty of options to bank upon,” Akram told reporters.

    Pakistan has included two specialist spinners, Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman, in their squad while India has Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla.
    Both teams also have several spin bowling all-rounders.

    Former captain Ramiz Raja said while they were no favourites in the fastest format of cricket Pakistan and India had to be feared because of their records.

    “When it comes down to T20 cricket then certainly Pakistani and Indian players have adapted better compared to the Australians, English or South African players,” Raja told Reuters.

    He said teams will plenty of spin options would have the edge in the World Cup.

    “Those days are gone when you had fast paced and hard tracks in the Caribbean. Nowadays spinners do well there,” Raja added.

    Former captain and Pakistan’s most capped player, Inzamam-ul-Haq said that Pakistani players had an advantage since they had not appeared in the Indian Premier League matches before the World Cup.

    “Our players are fresh and short of international cricket so they will be craving to do well in a mega event,” Inzamam told Reuters.

    “Spinners will definitely play an influential role in this World Cup, it just shows that slow bowlers can be effective in any format of cricket,” he added.

    Former India captain Rahul Dravid said the combination of a strong spin attack and the inspirational leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni could fire the Indians to another title.

    “The conditions should suit India with the kind of spinners we have and I think he (Dhoni) will be very confident with the team we are taking to the West Indies,” he told Reuters.

    “From the Indian side, Suresh Raina is someone I’m very keen to watch at the world level. He should be someone who will be absolutely sensational to watch.”

    The World T20 kicks off on Friday with two matches in Guyana
    with the final in Barbados on May 16.

  61. #61 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 30, 2010 - 8:56 AM

    SAYEEN PIR INZAMAM says:

    ISLAMABAD :
    Pakistan’s former captain Inzamam- ul-Haq has said that Pakistan has a very strong bowling line-up but they need to be firm in their batting but the team is well balanced.

    “The bowling is strong and has variety so that will be their strength but the batting has issues and the senior players will have to shoulder the main responsibility,” cricistan.com quoted Inzamam as saying.

    “The way I see it this Pakistan team is well balanced and so strong for this format of the game that it shouldn’t lose to any team unless they self-destruct with internal issues,”
    he said.

    Inzamam who played 120 Tests and 318 one-day internationals said that Pakistan needed to play wise cricket and keep their head to do well.

    “South Africa and India to me are the greatest threats to Pakistan’s desire to win the ICC World Twenty20”.

    Inzamam said that Misbah-ul-Haq would have to anchor the innings as he is competent of playing long innings but the others must play their natural game.

    “Shahid Afridi is perfect for T20 cricket and he has lot of energy and enthusiasm as a captain.

    He will be vital to Pakistan’s success in the tournament.

    This ICC World Twenty20 will be all about which team shows better talent and plays clinical and sensible cricket,” he added.

  62. #62 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 30, 2010 - 9:03 AM

    Inzamam says that the bowling is strong and has a variety and that will be their strength but, the batting has issues and in the same breath he said, the Pakistan team is well balanced? He is negating his own statement by saying the team is balanced, the team is not balanced. Anyways, the truth is batting is not reliable. If one compares Pakistan team with India, Indian batting is more reliable and that is their strength whereas, their bowling is not that great and because of their batting they have been winning matches. Pakistan relies on one or two players if they score Pakistan wins whereas, in India there are quite a few who can score and put up a decent total to defend. If Pakistan can do that they have no issues. Their first 5 batsmen needs to score and that is not happening. Only one scores more than 30 and then the team collapse. 140-150 is not a defend-able total.

  63. #63 by newguy on April 30, 2010 - 1:10 PM

    In this format you need many players who can score 20s and 30s and may be one or two going to 40s, and 50s, and that is all you need. You don’t need all of them doing this at same time, one batsman scoring a 50+ with one or two scores of 30s and/or 20s can get you to 160-180 runs which is very much a good score.

    The key is to score at more than run a ball strike rate, score 20 runs but do it in 10 balls and you have given your team advantage. Score 50 runs but do it in 40 balls and you have done your team a disadvantage, unless you have other batsman making it up. But I prefer the 20 and 30 score done at 150 to 200 strike rate, not easy to do, but some players with strong arms have proven capable of doing this.

    In bowling slower ball is important, pitches are not very fast anymore in Caribbean, in addition to Pak and Ind, let’s not forget Sri Lanka and NZ. They too have good spinners.

  64. #64 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 30, 2010 - 1:21 PM

    newguy

    this is what I meant by saying that at least 4-5 guys should score 30 odd runs and a few to chip in 15-20. Also, I have mentioned that the top 5 batsmen of Pakistan are not scoring in the previous two matches just two of them did. So, that is what it is worrying that the batting is not so reliable. No matter how good your bowling attack may be you need to have a defendable total. IMO, it must be 170 plus.

  65. #65 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 30, 2010 - 6:34 PM

    New Zealand has restricted Sri Lanka to 135 but, they have to face Murali, Mendis and Malinga.

    Today’s bloopers by commentators Daren Ganga and Alain Witkins and the main problem for both of them was pronouncing Mahela Jayawardene’s name:

    Alain said: Jahela Mayawarna after that he was very embarrassed and corrected him but, Ganga kept calling him with a different name each time:

    Jaya Marwana
    Jaya Warna and,
    Maleeha Jayawarwana
    for Jacob Oram he said, Jason Oram.

    When Scot Styris was bowling the wicketkeeper was standing up and he said, “The wicketSkeeper standing way above.

  66. #66 by 420 on April 30, 2010 - 11:03 PM

    i followed the score on cricinfo for the NZ-SL match, and was happy that NZ won it. eagerly waiting to see afghan, heard a lot about them, gives a good feeling when a underdog performs way beyond the expectations.

    is it mere coincidence , india and pak play their neighbors on saturday and AUS/SA on sunday.

  67. #67 by JAVED A. KHAN on April 30, 2010 - 11:25 PM

    I am also pleased with the NZ victory especially in the dying overs it seems that they might lose the match but out of all the people Nathan McCullum became the hero by scoring those required runs and a six on the penultimate ball of the over and that too on Malinga’s bowling.

    Right now the play has just resumed after rain between West Indies and Ireland. I thought West Indies played very poorly but the Irish lost 3 wickets in 3 overs and are 14/3 now.

    I am waiting for the Pakistan Bangladesh match tomorrow.

  68. #68 by M. Y. Kasim on May 1, 2010 - 9:27 PM

    Pakistan has won.

    It was a spirited fight by the Tigers!

    But Shahid Afridi marshalled his troops well. The most pleasing aspect from Pakistan’s view is the re-emergence of Mohammad Sami. Although he did not bowl as fast as he could, he kept his cool and bowled beatifully. He should be adjudged as the Man of the Match for his 4-0-29-3 spell.

    Another point! Are there no wicket-keepers left in Pakistan? As I have been saying this for last four or five years, Kamran Akmal is a very good batsman and suitably for the openers job and we should not burden him with w/k duties. He is not fit for the job. Today also he missed at least three chances. Fortunately, the bowlers did not lose their plot and did their duty.

    Any other team like Aussies who are our next opponents and India, South Africa or NZ would take full toll of these opportunities and punish us greatly.

    Wicket-keepers are naturally born for this job. However they try, they can not fulfill the requirements. Imtiaz Ahmed, Wasim Bari and Rashid Latif were natural keepers while Saleem Yousuf, Moin Khan and Kamran Akmal are not born keepers, however big their contribution to the batting.

    We tried Sarfraz Ahmed and found out that he is not upto the mark. But now, we have finally spotted a natural keeper in the person of Mohammed Waqas, the young lad of the U-19 team. We must give him a break, he does not need any grooming except to give him a chance and select him in the national team as the first choice w/k.

  69. #69 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 2, 2010 - 2:40 AM

    Mr. Kasim

    Yes, Pakistan won but not convincingly. If they play like this against the better teams their chances of winning are bleak. Kamran Akmal dropped 2 catches one of the bowling of Hafeez and another one of Sami. Me too, I don’t understand how come there aren’t any wicketkeepers in Pakistan? And, I also agree with you that Sarfarz is not up to the mark. He did not impress me at all, in fact Kamran is much better than him as an all-rounder.

    The worrying thing is the poor form of Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi, both of them are not performing with the bat. Afridi got 4 wickets against Zimbabwe in the warm up match but, today he and Abdul Razzaq both were bowling like mediocres and both were very expensive, Ashraful-Maqlooq and Shakib Al Khaliq were both hitting sixes and fours at will. Ashraful played a gem of an innings the only mistake he made was that silly scoop and he got out that was not an easy catch but Kamran took it to put an end to his great innings. In my opinion that was the last nail on the coffin and the turning point was when Shakibul got out.

    The Bangla Tigers played well, had their openers stayed a bit longer they would have won the match in 18 overs. Shahid Afridi set aggressive field and his ploy to bring Hafeez earlier on paid dividends when Tamim Iqbal gave a simple return catch to Mohammad Hafeez.

    When Mohammad Sami bowled his first over and was hit for a four, Ramiz Raja started to criticize him by saying Sami has the speed and this and that but, he is very expensive and that is the reason he is in and out of the team. But, Afridi had faith in him and brought him back and he bowled his later overs superbly. Raja was also leaving no stone unturned in praising Salman Butt for his 73 and for the player of the match award. But this is just one innings if he can play like this in the entire tournament then I would really be happy. Because, it is Butt who gets out early after wasting so many balls and the other batsmen get under pressure because of this.

    Pakistan should have scored at least 190 but, none of the stroke makers (Afridi, Razzaq and Mishbah) were able to connect the ball, whereas Ashraful and Shakib ul were timing the ball very sweetly.

    Tomorrow is another day and it is Australia, they must beat Australia to keep their morale up. Perhaps they will keep the same side or may be Hammad Azam might come in place of Fawad Alam.

  70. #70 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 2, 2010 - 2:49 AM

    THIS IS WHAT SHAHID AFRIDI SAID:
    http://www.cricinfo.com/world-twenty20-2010/content/story/458100.html

    Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan captain, told Salman Butt he was his “main guy” before the opener produced a Man-of-the-Match performance in the 21-run victory over Bangladesh. Butt and Kamran Akmal, who both posted 73, started the contest with a partnership of 142, but it was Butt’s smooth display that stood out.

    He employed more traditional shots during his 46-ball stay and collected eight fours and two sixes to set up the total of 172 for 3. The effort impressed Afridi, who had been watching Butt closely since a pre-tournament camp in Pakistan.

    “I thought maybe he was going to the West Indies with me but I don’t think he will get a chance,” Afridi said. “But when I saw him he was batting very well, especially in the first six overs. I told Salman Butt: ‘You are my main guy.’

    “He was playing proper shots as well. In the six overs, you don’t need two [Sanath] Jayasuriyas, two [Virender] Sehwags or two Afridis.”

    After six overs against Bangladesh Butt was 15 off 10 balls and he maintained a high tempo as the team’s score proved to be too big for their opponents

  71. #71 by Mohammed Munir on May 2, 2010 - 4:38 AM

    Sorry guys had been a bit busy but had to comment anyway. So here is what I think, short and sweet !!

    Kamran Akmal – Good with batting as expected, and very bad with keep also as expected 😉

    Salman Butt – Good with batting but Butt is Butt and it’s only first game.

    Shahid Afridi – Bad with batting (9 balls for 9 runs) and also bad with bowling, but very good and impressive with captaining. (field-placing, bowling changes, body-language, etc.).

    Mohammed Sami – Very good with the bowling, a bit unexpectedly.

    Mohammed Aamir – Very good with the bowling. (16 runs in 4 over with 2 wickets).

    Abdul Razzaq – Bad with batting and very bad with bowling.

    Saeed Ajmal – So so with his bowling, although his last over was superb.

    Misbah, Umer Akmal, Fawad, etc. – No comments.

    Conclusion – We won, but the performance was not enough to beat better teams.

  72. #72 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 2, 2010 - 11:40 AM

    The real test for India and Pakistan is today. Both teams are facing the real Pros after defeating the minnows. In Pakistan’s match against Australia, two players may play crucial roles they are Afridi and David Warner. Warner is a very aggressive opener and so far he has proved to be better than Watson and Shaun Mark. Afridi did not get a single wicket against Bangladesh and was expensive also his contribution with the bat was poor. But his captaincy was definitely what Pakistan needed. Today he is likely to produce results.

    I don’t think the openers will play the same way as they did against BD but, even if they score half of what they did i.e., an opening partnership of 70 odd runs would be just good. The other players were not tested because the openers played 15 overs between themselves and there was not enough time for the later batsmen to settle down and play a meaningful innings. They came with the intention of hitting out sixes, on this ground and the wicket being slow it is not easy to hit sixes straightaway. A batsman needs to settle down first assess the bounce and the spin and then play shots.

    Ashraful and Shakib Al both did that, they rebuild the innings after the openers collapsed and then started hitting big. Afridi should take lesson from that and must not try hitting sixes from the first ball.

    I know that most teams when they win a match do not disturb the winning combination but, some players did not get a chance to contribute with the bat and they are not bowlers they are, like Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam. So, there is a possibility that Hammad Azam may replace one of them and most likely Fawad Alam because, Umar Akmal has a reputation of hitting big and scoring fast as compared to Fawad Alam. This is the only change I forsee and that is only to test Hammad Azam’s abilities. They may try him because Pakistan is almost guaranteed for the next round. (Unless they lose badly against Australia and Bangladesh beats Australia with a big margin)

  73. #73 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 2, 2010 - 11:53 AM

    About India Today.

    I think 420, newguy, Varun etc., may be able to predict the result better than me because, they have followed the IPL (I didn’t) so they must be knowing who is in good form and what are their chances? Murali Vijay reportedly tagged as test player opened the innings for India against Afghanistan and after settling down he blasted a few big shots. Gambhir looks out of touch, Dhoni looks like he is in real good form. Dunno much about Yuvraj’s performance but reportedly he is in poor form. Although he remained not out with 23 in 22 balls to me this is his below par performance according to his own potential. Raina comes and goes in a flash, he is slightly better than Imran Nazir and Afridi meaning he flashes on every ball but his average in T20 (18) is marginally better than Afridi’s (17) and surprisingly Imran Nazir has better average (23) than both of them.

  74. #74 by 420 on May 2, 2010 - 1:24 PM

    JAK
    yuvi either underperformed in IPL because he is stripped of captaincy or he could not play well. either ways, on current form he does not deserve to be in the squad. on current form uthappa should have made it. and yes,murali vijay hit a 127 in IPL. which was more about class than wham bham 2020 shots.

    from what i think, pak has the best batting lineup on paper. only their bowling can be the weak link.

  75. #75 by newguy on May 2, 2010 - 1:39 PM

    M Vijay has done very well in IPL, he was aggressive and scored a big hundred in one game where he hit several big sixes, and there onwards he played big shots in all games. It is good that he is opening and in form, let’s see if he can replicate this in Caribbean against top team today. Suresh Raina is in good form and he can play big shots, again let’s see if he can do it consistently against big teams. Dhoni is in form too. Youvraj is not in form and if he doesn’t perform against top teams in first round then they should let him sit out of rest of the games, but again he is Dhoni’s best buddy so that may not happen. Regarding rest, Karthik is a good player, he can also play his shots, and we all know about my name is YKP my nickname YKP, he either hits them out of the ground or give catching practice.

    On the bowling side, they have a few worries, but if spinners come to play on slow wickets then they may have a few good options.

    Game started with Ind batting, let’s see how it goes, because Ind-SA have not played a T20 since last WC I think, so I am not making any bets.

  76. #76 by newguy on May 2, 2010 - 1:44 PM

    Vijay goes without troubling scorer and on the first ball he face, so much goes for his form. Let’s see how the rest plays Steyn & Co. There is some early movement in the wicket.

  77. #77 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 2, 2010 - 4:52 PM

    CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL INDIAN BLOGGERS for this fantastic win over South Africa. Raina played a superb innings with lady luck on his side, first he was caught on a no-ball and then he survived 3 very easy run outs, perhaps the South African fielders who are generally very sharp in the field were a bit nervous playing this big match, in any case they will qualify for the second round IF they beat Afghanistan.

    The mistake South Africa made today was in the early overs they played very slow both Kallis and Boosman, when you have 187 to score you cannot go at an average of 6 runs in the first 6-7 overs and then expect to score the remaining in 10-11 runs per over.

    For a while I thought that Dhoni made a mistake by giving YKP the penultimate over when Albie Morkel hit him for a huge six on the first ball, but then on the third ball he got his wicket, still the over was very expensive. I dunno why he did not give it to Praveen Kumar?

    420

    despite the fact that Yuvi played a bit better today but he is still not in his usual form and in terms of fielding I saw him diving at a ball near the boundary line and it was well within his reach but, he couldn’t stop it. I think he has slowed down a bit, he was also struggling running between the wickets and almost got run out on a direct hit but lucky for him. Dhoni is in good touch his two sixes in the end made the difference. But, over all it was Raina’s day.

  78. #78 by newguy on May 2, 2010 - 6:14 PM

    JAK,

    A good win in the end for Ind after an excellent batting show by Raina.I too thought Dhoni’s use of spinner towards the end confusing, he defended it in the end, but to many runs were given. Overall good for Ind, but they need to watch out in the fielding and bowling dept going forward.

  79. #79 by Omer on May 2, 2010 - 6:50 PM

    Pakistan should play Asif. There is absolutely no point playing Hafeez. Hafeez needs a few more years in domestic cricket. Until he is able to spin the ball or be able to bat, there is no point for Hafeez to be in the squad.

    Bowling: Asif, Aamer, Ajmal, Afridi, and fifth one (not sure about Sami, but whoever it is should be practice bowling 4 overs at the death only). Asif should bowl his 4 overs with the new ball.
    Now they are regretting sending another nothing bowler, the let-arm spinner, when they could have sent another pace bowler, especially when he is close to 7 feet (who would have bowled very good bouncers at the death).

    Batting should be in this order: Butt, Afridi, Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Farwad Alam.

  80. #80 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 2, 2010 - 7:49 PM

    Rameez Raja is such a biased person that he breeds regionalism. He is criticizing Shahid Afridi for bad choice in bowling Hafeez who was taken to cleaners by the Australians. Rameez is not telling the reason why that happened? Hafeez bowled the first 5 balls of his over very well and the last ball went for a six. And, that didn’t matter because it happens. But, in his second over he almost got Shane Watson and Misbah dropped a catch after which Watson greeted him with another six. But, then Hafeez got MJ Clarke, clean bowled him. Obviously Afridi was inclined to bowl him again and Misbah again dropped Shane Watson. On both occasions Rameez Raja said, Misbah tried his best but mind you he is 35. So bloody what? If you are 35 years old take retirement.

    When Salman Butt dropped an easy catch of David Hussey, Raja said “Generally he is renowned to be a very good catcher.”
    Huh, since when Salman Butt is a good catcher? Like Kamran Akmal he dropped three catches in one match in Australia.

    Sami bowled one very bad over (28 runs) otherwise he bowled pretty decently. However, when Aamir came in to bowl the last over, jokingly I said to my friends that Aamir will not only take a hat-trick but he will take a FIVER. It turned out 50% correct. I couldn’t believe myself having said that and seeing it happen just a little differently. And, I think it must be a world record to have 5 wickets in an over maiden?

    Omer, the reason Asif is not playing is, reportedly he is not fit. We don’t know the real reason but this is what they said. Like, Gambhir did not play today and was reportedly sick. It is obvious that he is not in form and they tried Karthik in his place. Similarly I am not surprised why Abdul Razzaq did not bowl today? Because he bowled very badly in the previous match.

  81. #81 by Omer on May 2, 2010 - 8:55 PM

    Javed Khan,

    They should play Razzaq as a batsman only, but up the order. He neeeds 8-10 balls to get set before he can hit very cleanly. The batting order is completely messed up.

    Starting with spin wasn’t a bad idea, but Mohammad Hafeez is a medium-slow bowler, not a spinner. Once Hafeez got smacked, Australia never lost momentum. Hafeez needs to be replaced with Asif. Someone is needed to bowl at the death as well, and that tall fast bowler would have been much better than Sami.

    I think there is a 30-40 percent chance that Bangladesh would beat Aus. And if they do, then Pakistan is certainly out. Therefore, it pretty much depends on that match. Pakistan played very low-standard cricket today and still got close. Zimbabwe beat Aus a few days ago. Bangladesh have lately been playng attacking cricket, and they have a few spinners who can spin the ball. Therefore, that match can go either way and Pakistan could have at least tried to get closer to the target. But Misbah did what he does, his average is around 50 now.

  82. #82 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 3, 2010 - 4:40 AM

    Omer

    Abdul Razzaq plays once in a blue moon innings, so based on his poor batting form and almost zero bowling performance it is better he stays out of the team. I would try Hammad Azam instead, he is a big hitter and a useful bowler besides he is young and energetic unlike Razzaq who is slow and sluggish. On one hand you want fast bowlers in Pakistan team and on the other you are saying Bangladesh has good spinners who can spin the ball and there is a chance that they might upset Australia. Yeah, they might upset Australia if only their batting clicks which is not likely to happen because, Australia played poorly against Zimbabwe and it was not a full strength team, there was no Shaun Tait and Shane Watson in it. But, today they played a full strength team and not only batted well but, bowled and fielded well. If they play all their matches like this, they will certainly win the cup.

    Pakistan has always been playing like this since I remember. The 1992 WC is a classic example that they lost against, India, South Africa, West Indies, drew against England (match abandoned by rain) won against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Australia and New Zealand. Even after winning their last round match against the undefeated New Zealand they were depending on the match result between Australia and West Indies. Just because Australia defeated West Indies, both teams were eliminated from the tournament and Pakistan got into the semi-final. So, this 30-40 percent chance that you are referring is nothing new. I hope that doesn’t happen and I wish it doesn’t happen and Pakistan will move into the second round. But, I think it is not that simple that BD beats Australia, they have to beat Australia with a big margin or score the required runs in like 17-18 overs to qualify on better run rate. Right now I dunno that equation but, I am sure on cricinfo it will appear soon.

    You cannot discard Sami because of one bad over in which he gave 28 runs. Just look at Misbah he dropped Watson twice and it goes unnoticed and without any criticism because, he is the top scorer for a losing side. Misbah has never won a match for Pakistan. And Ramiz was saying “He tried his best and mind you he is 35.” What an excuse. And when Salman Butt dropped a sitter at the boundary line Ramiz said, “Generally he is renowned to be a good catcher.” I don’t understand this condescending and patronizing attitude which Ramiz has developed lately. He used to be a fair critic but, now it is so obvious from his comments and from his program “Ramiz’s Lounge” where he is more vocal and biased.

    Anyways, it was expected that Salman Butt will not score more than 20, he played that innings and that is it. Once again it was the openers and the top order batsmen who failed Pakistan and Umar Akmal is continuously showing his poor form right from the time he faked an injury about a side strain in Australia. Prior to that he was scoring big but, after that you can check out his stats there is nothing much to write home about.

  83. #83 by Mohammed Munir on May 3, 2010 - 6:13 AM

    Omer …

    Welcome back and hope you have finished your exams well. We missed your expert comments here.

    About your idea of playing Asif, I fully agree with you, however, Asif should replace Sami and not Hafeez (another batsman). BTW, if Asif is not really injured then I think it is unimaginable not to include him in the playing eleven, because no matter how good or bad Sami may be, he is no substitute to Asif or Gul. Secondly, in T20 format Sami is inexperienced as he didn’t play any T20 Internationals before this World Cup, whereas Asif is much more experienced T20 player.

    As you have suggested above, if we went in with bowling attack comprising of Asif, Aamir, Ajmal and Afridi (which is a very good bowling line), then there is no need to play Sami or any other full time bowler, because we can bowl four overs between Razzaq, Fawad and Hafeez. BTW, what I mean by this is that we should play one extra batsman and not necessarily Hafeez, instead we can also give chance to Azam or even Khalid Latif. The reason to include one extra batsman is to strengthen our weaker batting lineup.

    Anyways, about Afridi’s Captaincy, I am really surprised as to why he didn’t bowl Razzaq at all and why he is so reluctant to try out left-arm spinners of Fawad by giving him an over or two, atleast. Another point is even if Hafeez may be a good spinner, but he is not the best Pakistani spinner to have been allowed to bowl within 6 overs and that too to a team like Australia.

    The thoughts of Bangladesh beating Australia are scary and if that happens, then it is ta-ta for us.

    Before the tournament started, there was much talk about the slower Caribbean pitches and spinners/ slower bowlers playing an important part and all that. Now what happened to that, and why Afridi and Razzaq are not bowling well ?

  84. #84 by Mohammed Munir on May 3, 2010 - 7:01 AM

    “I have joked before that there is a good chance that I might retire before Tendulkar”.

    MS Dhoni teasing Sachin Tendulkar, who is still going strong at 37.

  85. #85 by Mohammed Munir on May 3, 2010 - 9:35 AM

    Where is Khansahab these days ??

    Is he watching the World Cup or not ??

  86. #86 by newguy on May 3, 2010 - 12:35 PM

    I believe Pakistan will proceed to the next round regardless of what happens in the initial round, I read it somewhere in the previews that since Pakistan is defending champions and there is a seeding system they cannot get out even if they lose all matches in first round. Someone need to verify this is true.

    Anyhow, Pakistan are always slow starters in a tournament and they come to party in the knockout stages. So, nothing can be taken from the last match.

    Australia needed this win though to prove they are not pushovers in T20. India too needed a win yesterday against a top team since they were bundled out last time and they needed to prove they are not pushovers either.

    I think the seeding system would have pushed Aus or Ind out of first round if they lose some matches since they come behind in rankings, but not Pakistan.

  87. #87 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 3, 2010 - 3:27 PM

    Munir

    khansahab was away for the week-end, he should be back by now.

    newguy

    I’ve never heard or read anywhere about the seeding system. I doubt if there is any such thing like a privileged spot for the world champions. But, like I said before I doubt BD can beat Australia with a big margin. So, Pakistan will proceed to the second round.

    Theo

    Yousuf was not in T20 in any case and Younus announced his retirement from T20. So, there has to be a new captain and, who in your opinion should have been the captain? It is our normal reaction to blame the captain whenever the team loses. I don’t think there was any slackness in his captaincy if the top order did not perform in batting, there is nothing you can do. Don’t expect miracles from Butt and Akmal in every match. I think their 142 runs opening stand against BD will remain their career best partnership in T20.

    I think using Hafeez in the early overs worked against Bangladesh when he got the opener in his first over. He almost got Shane Watson in the first over had Misbah not floored that first catch when Watson was on 8 and that was the turning point because the next ball Watson smashed him for a six. Then again on Hafeez’s bowling Misbah dropped another catch of Watson was on 21. Sami was hammered by David Hussey but, on Sami’s bowling Salman Butt dropped a dolly catch of the same batsman. If you give Australians a few chances then this is bound to happen. Remember in Sydney Pakistan was winning that test match by an innings and thanks to Kamran Akmal for dropping 3 catches of Mike Hussey and the bowler was Danish Kaneria.

    If Afridi’s bowling is worrying you, to me Abdul Razzaq’s bowling, batting and fielding is worrying me. I would certainly try Hammad Azam in place of Abdul Razzaq. As regards Asif, I guess it is not just Afridi’s decision but, Waqar and Yawar Saeed are also part of that decision making committee. But, the news is Asif is not fit. Who doesn’t want to play a fully fit and roaring Asif or Shoaib Akhtar?

  88. #88 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 3, 2010 - 3:33 PM

    This is what Waqar Younus said:

    Waqar also praised Afridi as captain of the national team, saying, “I think he has probably realised that he wants to do more, and I think he is the best choice as captain, he is an all-rounder and he leads from the front. In the past three years he has been the key for the one-day and Twenty20 side because of his bowling. He is bowling superbly; he is a match-winning bowler. And with his quick 30-odd off 10 balls or whatever, that really puts the game in your favour. Since he has become captain he’s taken the responsibility, he has become more of a leader.”

  89. #89 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 3, 2010 - 3:37 PM

    Murali is out of the T20 WC due to injury sustained during the SL / NZ match and he probably will retire from test cricket as well. With the absence of Murali the SL team has fewer chances of beating other strong teams. In today’s match against Zimbabwe SL made 173/7 and Jayawardene scored a century. Right now the match is held due to rain, if there is no game then, both teams will get 1-1 points. However, it will be more serious if it rains tomorrow and there is no game then, Zimbabwe will get another point and Sri Lanka will be out of the tournament.

  90. #90 by Omer on May 3, 2010 - 5:09 PM

    Muhammad Munir,

    I would play a fifth bowler to bowl at the death. Asif is a genuine matchwinner with the new ball (and therefore he has to play in any form of the game), but he isn’t as good a bowler at the death. Besides, his 4 overs are best utilized in the beginning.

    Think about it this way. Hafeez will make his 10-15 runs and Asif would make 5-6 runs, so why play Hafeez?

    However, our management has chosen the left-arm spinner. What can we say, if the option is Sami, then we might as well not play a fifth bowler. Sami is very unreliable and like Hafeez, can go for plenty runs. It is ok if a bowler can go for that many runs, if the bowler has an upside (that is, on his day he can win a match), but both are nothing players.

    Razzaq is a matchwinner with the bat– but it is not like he is Kamran Akmal, who will step up on the crease and just throw his bat around from the first ball (and make it work against Bangladesh). He needs time to get set but he can hit very, very cleanly when he does so.

    Besides that, the point is maximum utilization of players, and as far as I can see, not sending hitters like Afridi, Razzaq up the order (openeing or one-down) is wasting the new ball which comes on the bat really good on these slower pitches, as well as not utilizing the powerplays completely. Kamran Akmal is better-suited down the order, because his upside is not as high as Afrdi or Razzaq while his downside is the same.

  91. #91 by khansahab on May 3, 2010 - 6:44 PM

    I’m not marrying Shoaib Akhtar: Dia Mirza

    Bollywood actress Dia Mirza is upset about rumours of her wedding plans with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar, saying this was “untrue”.
    “I would like to place on record that the story that I’m marrying Shoaib Akhtar is patently untrue, unfounded and wildly speculative,” Dia posted on her Twitter page on Saturday.
    “I don’t like this fictitious story gaining any more momentum and I do not desire such attention,” she added.
    Dia is, however, trying to deal with the matter as lightly as possible. She mentioned on Twitter that her fashion designer friend Rocky S. had sent her some clothes, and wished he hadn’t sent them after believing the marriage rumours.
    “I just walked into my home and was greeted by the most amazing surprise. My friend Rocky S. has sent me the most gorgeous clothes! Amazing amazing clothes! Wait…I hope he doesn’t actually think I’m getting married…” she added.

  92. #92 by khansahab on May 3, 2010 - 6:49 PM

    Theossa

    In the first warm up when Fawad Alam played like Shoaib Malik, I criticised him. But I don’t know what he did wrong in the Australia match?

    He came to bat just before the tailenders when Pakistan had already lost the match. He took 2 safe catches and proved to be a much more reliable fielder than Butt, Misbah and the like.

    Sami and Hafeez should be dropped in favour of Asif and Hammad Azam.

    Misbah only played like how he played because his pathetic fielding enabled Australia to score 190+, otherwise Misbah would have been dropped.

    I really feel criticism should be levelled against the players who actually performed poorly when it mattered such as Misbah (dropped catches), Butt (dropped catch, misfieldings), Hafeez for his bowling and batting, Sami for his bowling and Umer Akmal who played a pathetic shot.

    Also, I think Butt dropped a catch off Sami. How long will Sami have to tolerate fielders not supporting him? In his comeback match a few months ago, the Akmal brothers dropped catches off his bowling and he then bowled a fiery spell and took 3 wickets.

  93. #93 by khansahab on May 3, 2010 - 6:52 PM

    Poor fielding behind Pakistan’s defeat: Afridi

    SAINT LUCIA: Pakistan cricket team captain Shahid Afridi said poor fielding and bowling performance is the major cause of Pakistan’s defeat against Australia.

    Afridi while talking to media at the end of the match said Pakistan should improve its fielding to grab victory in the future because dropping catches in 20 overs match could cost expensive for any team.

  94. #94 by khansahab on May 3, 2010 - 7:13 PM

    When Fawad Alam came into bat 71 runs were needed from 30 balls.

    Misbah was out 7 balls later and Pakistan needed 66 from 24 balls.

    It would have taken a miracle for Alam to win Pakistan the match from that situation especially with batting companions like Sami and Aamer.

    Theossa, this is not a challenge to you because I find you quite balanced. But, I just want to know what was expected from Alam in that situation?

  95. #95 by M. Y. Kasim on May 3, 2010 - 10:15 PM

    I had already said in my last blog that dropped catches against teams like Australia would be suicidal. Everybody knows and agree with that. Thats what happened. To score 157 against Australia is no joke. If only our fielders had taken those catches, this match would have been very close and interesting.

    Since this was a Round Robin round, it does not matter much but now that those A to Z teams (Afghanistan to Zimbabwe) are out and done with, any team losing in the Super Eight will be eliminated straight away. And those dropped catches will end our hopes!

    I agree with most bloggers that it is time to make some changes to the composition of the team. Asif and Hammad Azam must be included in the line up in place of Razzaq and Hafeez.

    I know many would argue about Razzaq but he is past his best and in any case, he is out of form these days. And we dont have many options or choices.

  96. #96 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 3, 2010 - 10:51 PM

    Today’s both matches ended in a very FARCICAL WAY. This is absolutely not cricket. A team scoring 191 on a pitch where 170 is hard to make ended up on the losing side because of this STUPID D/L method. Earlier in the day Zimbabwe lost to Sri Lanka in a similar fashion that you calculate the average based on the first five overs and the team having a better run rate in the beginning is the winner, HOW STUPID? Sometimes, some teams start slow and build a momentum and sometimes some teams start with a bang and collapse all of a sudden. How many times it happened with West Indies when Gayle is out after scoring big, there is a flurry of wickets after that. So, England after making 191 were pretty confident to defend the match but were declared losers without any competition.

    THIS DL METHOD MUST CHANGE. IF THE ICC HAS NO BRAINS THEN THEY SHOULD HIRE SOMEONE AND WORK OUT A BETTER METHOD.

    From the beginning I was saying that there will be rain and if that happens we might lose two matches in a day and that happened today. It is possible that it might rain tomorrow as well. It might be good for Pakistan if they win one point because of the rain. But, is it fun? I am really cheesed off by this DL method. Its a shame that it happened and Zimbabwe lost the opportunity to reach to the second round and England are pretty frustrated with today’s result.

  97. #97 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 3, 2010 - 11:00 PM

    I agree with khansahab‘s views about the undue criticism on Fawad Alam, whereas no one is talking anything about Umer Akmal, he has failed on more occasions than Alam. And when he came into bat the fate of the match was already sealed. Had Abdul Razzaq stayed there – which is not happening because of his poor form – things might have been different. But, the main problem was the top order that failed. Salman Butt will still be Afridi’s main guy, I dunno what he saw in Butt? Yes, he played well in that match against Bangladesh but, against Australia not only he failed in batting but, he dropped a simple catch of David Hussey – it was a sitter – and that was the last nail in the coffin after Misbah dropping two catches of Shane Watson.

  98. #98 by Mohammed Munir on May 4, 2010 - 4:18 AM

    What’s the connection with this Mirza and Shoaib ??

    I mean first we had the Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik episode and now this new twist with Dia Mirza and Shoaib Akhtar.

  99. #99 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 4, 2010 - 8:25 AM

    Munir

    There is no connection, she denied these rumours. Either it is she who created this or it is the Actor but, basically it is a cheap ploy or, even it is possible that some cheap journalist tried to get some attention to their publication. These days people love cheap publicity. There aren’t any ethics, any values or respect for people, “sirf company ki mashoori kay liyeh” they can do anything. If you have traveled in Karachi public bus transport you know what that phrase “company ki mashoori kay liyeh” means?

  100. #100 by Theossa on May 4, 2010 - 5:17 PM

    LOL. I’m just getting even with Khansahab and Javed for getting under my skin during the last years T20 WC when they did not spare an opportunity to criticize Younis. Poor Khansahab is all worked up but I love his reaction, a true Pathan indeed, full of emotions and passion!

    Javed: Btw Afridi’s team selection is even worse and he is kissing ass of lot’s of trash players and Management personnel. Not to mention the playing order is whacky at best 😀 But I know Javed will defend him at all costs because It’s a Pathan thing, remember that? 😛

    Khansahab:

    Quotes from the same thread dedicated to Fawad Alam:

    He hit 3 sixes in 5 balls and played a match winning knock against Sri Lanka in Canada’

    The travesty is that, we expect Alam to do something which is his weakest point- hit 4s and 6s

    Hmmm…So he can hit 3 sixes in 5 balls and that too early in his career but now when he his more experienced and well groomed it’s not excepted from him anymore? 😛

    Ok, it was all pulling legs, no hard feelings guys. All is well 😀

    Long Live Afridi and Alam…. 😆

  101. #101 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 4, 2010 - 5:45 PM

    Theo

    Its not that I don’t like Younus and Yousuf, I have always supported them wherever they deserved praise and imo they are great players and I feel sorry for the way they have been sacked by the management, in fact I am very much against the management especially Butt and Bari. Yousuf has not played any T20 game so lets keep him out of this debate and Younus Khan himself announced his retirement from T20 so what can anyone say or do about it? You still did not answer my question that, after Younus who in your opinion should have been the captain of the T20 team for Pakistan?

    Some people are talking about Abdul Razzaq playing up the order. For that the player himself should have done something like, he should have played as an opener or at number 3 or 4 position in the domestic matches. But, even the domestic matches he preferred to play at number 6 or 7 so how can you make these ad hoc changes and experimenting new batting order during the tournament? He has tagged himself as a slogger who can come late and swing the ball, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But, these days most of the time it is not working. Razzaq’s current form is exactly like that of Jacob Oram’s batting and bowling form these days (Oram’s fielding is much better than Razzaq’s).

    Mohammad Asif’s exclusion is a mystery. It is true that he bowled badly in the warm matches even Razzaq bowled badly but, he is being included because of his batting and hard hitting. Having him in the team at that order is only a matter of comfort on paper that he is there, but his presence is actually producing a negative impact when he goes out there and does nothing. You cannot expect Misbah to do miracles, he has never won a match for Pakistan, he created sensation in the first WC but failed twice. And he is not a bowler to compensate poor batting and as a fielder if he drops two very important catches and that actually cost the match to Pakistan his 40 odd runs are actually in minus or negative. Because, when he dropped Watson first time he was on 8 and second time he was on 21 and he went on to make 81 and don’t forget the unbroken partnership with David Hussey who was also dropped by Butt.

    Had Pakistan held these catches the match was Pakistan’s, because Pakistan lost by 34 runs and dropped catches cost Pakistan 70-80 odd extra runs. Why don’t people talk about poor fielding and dropped catches instead of criticizing poor captaincy or poor show by Alam? What about Umer Akmal’s poor form?

  102. #102 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 4, 2010 - 5:52 PM

    Today, another match (Zimbabwe vs. New Zealand) was decided on DL method and poor Zimbabwe had to suffer twice. And, those two idiots Duckworth and Lewis defend their method of calculation and appears to be very happy that it is the best way to work out a result. Both gave their statements to cricinfo and they think that great minds think alike, I would say FOOLS SELDOM DISAGREE.

    Guys, khansahab has written a new thread so please start writing there. Thanks.

  103. #103 by JAVED A. KHAN on May 4, 2010 - 5:55 PM

    Afridi’s team selection is even worse and he is kissing ass of lot’s of trash players (Theossa)

    Are you referring to Salman’s Butt here? That is so natural theo so why are you making it obvious? 😉

  104. #104 by khansahab on May 4, 2010 - 6:02 PM

    Rashid wants Pakistan coaches to remain calm under pressure

    KARACHI, May. 4 (APP)- Former Pakistan Captain Rashid Latif has called upon the Pakistan coaches to exercise calm and be composed under pressure. “Waqar and Ijaz looked under pressure during Pakistan’s match against Australia. Their body language was not good,” he told APP in an interview here on Tuesday.

    “World T20 is tough event and absorbing the pressure in tough game by players and coaches is very vital”, he said adding that team and coach must keep their nerves under control.

    “Positivity of coaches is very important because it will send good message to players,” he viewed.

    “Its not end of the world with one defeat against Australia. Our bowlers failed to bowl with variations when came under pressure,” he said.

    “Sami under came thrashing because he did not vary his pace and bowled short which allowed Australian batsmen to punish him. However, he praised Muhammad Aamir for outstanding performance.

    “These things are part of the game and anything can happen in this version of the game”, he pointed out.

    He dispelled the impression that Caribbean pitches are low and slow and more suited to spinners.

    “Only experienced spinners can exploit these pitches and pace bowlers can also get success if they bowled intelligently with varying pace and bowling in the right areas,” Rashid Latif said.

    He complimented captain Shahid Afridi for his innovative approach of starting with off-spinner Muhammad Hafeez against Australia.

    He said Australian’s are an improved side and they have learnt the trick of trade in T20 and are among the favorites.

    T20 brand is very unpredictable and English batsmen played great cricket but still suffered defeat against West Indies in Guyana,” he maintained.

    “No team can be sure of result till the end of match. Situation can change in few balls so teams have to remain focussed throughout”. he stated.

    Pakistan team which has moved to Barbados will be waiting for the result between Australia and Bangladesh on Wednesday for a place in the super eight round in the event.

    Pakistan played well against Bangladesh and 142 runs opening stand between Kamran Akmal and Salman But was instrumental in our victory, Rashid Lateef said.

    He emphasized that Pakistan will have to show improvement in all the compartments of batting, bowling and fielding, no matter whatever the outcome of match.

  105. #105 by khansahab on May 4, 2010 - 6:03 PM

    Luck, poor bowling choices by Shahid Afridi behind big Australia loss: Mudassar Nazar

    LAHORE: Former Pakistan opener Mudassar Nazar while criticising skipper Shahid Afridi for making some wrong moves against Australia during their encounter in the ICC T20 World Championship, has said that lady luck also did not favour the captain.

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