ASIA CUP 2010

The Football World Cup has shifted focus from cricket to football to some extent, but the Asia Cup commencing in 2 days will redirect the interest of Asian fans towards cricket. 4 teams are competing in this Cup and it is expected to be a competitive contest as none of India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have a significant advantage over the other in ODI cricket.

Key players for India- not just in bowling but also in batting

India is ranked no 3 in ODI cricket compared to Sri Lanka and Pakistan’s unimpressive rankings (6 and 7 respectively) but they are without two star players, Tendulkar and Yuvraj. Also, India’s bowling has only two consistent performers- Harbhajan and Zaheer. As expected India is carrying a strong spin attack- they have Ojha, Ashwin, Jadeja and of course the reliable Harbhajan. It seems the bowling attack could comprise of Zaheer, Nehra, Praveen, Harbhajan, Jadeja/Ojha and of course Sehwag can assist with a few overs. India is going ahead with a balanced line up- they have a decent amount of all rounders, their wicketkeeper is one of their best batsmen and they have a young, athletic side. What I consider to be a huge advantage from India’s point of view is that, Zaheer and Harbhajan can contribute with batting whereas Sehwag’s bowling form has been impressive over the past 2 years. So, unless the key players fail to perform it does not appear India will miss Tendulkar or Yuvraj.

India’s problems would be too much reliance on young players and lack of mental strength in

8 out the 15 players in the Indian squad are below the age of 25. Tiwary is a promising batsman who gets a chance to make a name in this Asia Cup

pressure situations. India still lacks reliable finishers, and one of the reasons for this has been the mastery of India’s top order with players like Gambhir, Sehwag, Dravid and Tendulkar- because these players have almost always been in decent form, the lower middle order has remained relatively underexposed to pressure situations. It is interesting to see that the average age of this Indian squad is only 25, which shows the emphasis of the BCCI on grooming youngsters and getting them ready for World Cup 2011.

Sri Lanka has proven to be an unpredictable side, much like Pakistan. Sri Lanka has often been accused of carrying players who have talent, but do not have the propensity to develop this talent into consistent match winning performances. Sri Lanka is going into this Cup with mostly experienced players; certainly the only 2 players who have played less than 15 matches are Welegedara and Randiv. However experience is a big advantage that Sri Lanka have, and it remains to be seen whether the batting prowess and experience of Sangakkara, Dilshan and Jayawerdene

Murali has not been in top bowling form, but will the Asia Cup revive his status as a leading bowler?

can dominate the Indians and Pakistanis? However, India can argue that Sehwag, Dhoni and Gambhir are no less than the Sri Lankan batting stalwarts.

In bowling, Sri Lanka appears to be the weakest of the 3 main sides. They have the experienced Murali, but everyone knows he is beyond his best. Maharoof, Samaraweera, Malinga, Kulasekara can all be effective on their day, but are prone to inconsistency. The Sri Lankan team, as always, will have to rely on a team effort as they always do when they want to win. Provided their bowlers maintain discipline and their key batsmen contribute with runs, they can win this Cup. They are probably the best fielding side in the tournament. The average age of the Sri Lankan squad is 29.

Pakistan is the most mercurial side in this Cup and they have a new captain who does not have immense captaincy experience in ODI’s. Pakistan is also without its star batsmen Yousuf and

Captain Afridi has begged his team to remain united

Younis but has been bolstered to an extent by the return of Shoaib Akhtar. I say, to an extent because if Akhtar gets injured or does not show form he can prove to be a big liability and affect the team morale badly. In fact the egregious error of selecting Akhtar and Malik has

The PCB has not been able to justify Fawad's exclusion

saddened many fans, many who were looking to the future and hoping that underperformers would be sidelined from the team. There have also been question marks over the omission of promising batsmen Fawad Alam and Hammad Azam. Politics has clearly played its part and Pakistan is not going ahead with its premier squad.

Batting wise Pakistan remain as unstable as ever. Umar Akmal, Salman Butt and Malik are going ahead has Pakistan’s main batsmen in this Cup. Whereas Malik and Butt have still not been able to convince the fans that they deserve selection to play international cricket, U Akmal is

Umar Akmal is one of the best young batsmen in the world

some cause for optimism. He is aggressive, reads the situation well and is very good at playing cross batted shots, which is often a rarity in international cricket. However, already U Akmal has been involved in controversy and this Cup will test his demeanour as to whether he can focus on his game and detract from dressing room politics. The biggest advantage that is held by Pakistan is that that their main batsmen- Malik, Butt and U Akmal have stellar records against Asian teams, particularly India.

In bowling, Pakistan is going ahead with the strongest line up on paper. Asif, Akhtar, Aamer and Ajmal are considered to be amongst the best in the world. However if one considers Akhtar’s normal fitness problems and Asif’s mediocre form over the past few months, then the Pakistani bowling appears vulnerable. Since Pakistan rarely ever plays as a team unit, they will be looking up to their potentially match winning bowlers and players like Afridi, Razzaq and U Akmal to swing matches in their favour.

In conlusion, the Asia Cup ought to be an exciting tournament with balanced teams. India can be beaten if their top order is dismissed cheaply, Sri Lanka can be beaten by performing basic tasks right, and Pakistan can be beaten by any means, by anyone at any time. Now it remains to be seen who exploits the other’s weakness best and who utilises their strengths in the best possible manner.

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  1. #1 by khansahab on June 13, 2010 - 11:38 AM

    The problem with Imran Khan is, how does he convince the people he is the right leader?

    The two biggest centres anyone needs to appease are Punjab and Karachi- Punjab, for its population and being the centre of Pakistan, and Karachi, for being the economic centre and harbouring a significant chunk of the country’s brainpower.

    But, the N League is committed to Punjab like none other. The Sharifs are extremely popular in Lahore, the heart of Punjab.

    Whereas, MQM has given the Urdu Speakers a voice and now the magnificent work done by Mustafa Kamal has convinced the people of Karachi (whichever ethnicity they might belong to) that MQM is the right party to represent them.

    So Imran is really stuck.

  2. #2 by Mohammed Munir on June 14, 2010 - 7:05 AM

    Anyone following Football ❓

    Seeing Australia getting crushed by Germany 4-0, was such lovely feelings. 😆

    It was like the Aussies loosing by an innings. 😉

  3. #3 by Mohammed Munir on June 14, 2010 - 7:11 AM

    Khansahab …

    Good article on Asian Cup, and yes you are right the focus have rightly shifted to Football these days.

    Asian Cup have only top 4 teams, becuase the ‘big-guys’ didn’t want the ‘Associates’ to play, otherwise UAE too could have played in the Asian Cup along with Afghanistan. 😦

    Hope we have good game against Sri Lanka and then the ‘all-important’ India Pakistan clash. 😉

  4. #4 by newguy on June 15, 2010 - 2:13 AM

    Hi Guys,

    I am watching world cup football. Cricket will have to take backseat for this one month, Cricket cannot match the excitement of watching a football game live. It makes you realize Cricket is not a proper sport, it’s just too slow and not as athletic. Because of this I will only follow this Asia cup with passing interest, really don’t care what happens.

    India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh are playing this colonial game while the 32 other nations who qualified are playing a real game. These four are no where in ranking in football, India is ranked #133 out of 202 teams, and Pakistan, SL, Bangla are even lower. Meanwhile impoverished African nations are playing, and even North Korea qualified to play.

    I think I will follow the India-Pak game in Asia cup, but really where is the context for this Asia cup anyway? What does it signify?

  5. #5 by newguy on June 15, 2010 - 2:17 AM

    Munir,

    Yeah Soccaroos got crushed, but then they are nothing in football while Germany is a powerhouse traditionally. I was wondering what happened to “Australianism”? 😉

    Remember how they drum it up when Australia win cricket matches, making it appear that they can make impossible things possible. Turns out only in cricket by beating some of the commonwealth teams is all they could, but when it comes to real test in a real sport Australianism is gettting crushed by powerful opponents.

  6. #6 by Mohammed Munir on June 15, 2010 - 12:33 PM

    Newguy …

    I agree with you on Football, and the proof is that even on ‘Cricinfo’ you will see football news while most countries playing football will not even know what cricinfo or even what cricket is for that matter. 😉

    And well said on that “Australianism”, I think the “Australianism” works well for “Cricketism” and not for “Footballism”. 😆

  7. #7 by Pawan on June 15, 2010 - 12:33 PM

    Newyguy,

    On what basis you think cricket is not a “real sport” or a “real test”? Nothing has made me (and millions of other Indians, Pakistanis) “realize” that cricket is not a “proper” sport. Of course you can have your own opinion, but please don’t talk down the Asian nations (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, SL) just because they don’t play the “real” sport. Shabbakhair. Keep it real – Pawan.

  8. #8 by M. Y. Kasim on June 15, 2010 - 7:06 PM

    Today’s loss to SL is very unfortunate. Twice or thrice Pak had it under control and every time they threw it away.

    Untill and unless they (the selectors and above all the PCB) realise that Kamran Akmal is not a proper keeper, the better.

    He again missed an easy catch and a stumping. Those two lapses cost about 50 runs. He is a good batsman, play him as such and for God’s sake have an efficient keeper even if he is not as good a batsman as Kamran Akmal. I and millions and millions of fans are saying this for last three or four years but PCB is adamant and does not listen to any one, may be it is under immense pressure from some quarter.

  9. #9 by khansahab on June 15, 2010 - 7:30 PM

    Kasim sahab

    Afridi played a superb knock and it was a decent return for Akhtar, but apart from that Pakistan were below average. The biggest blame should be apportioned to Akmal and the trio of Butt, Malik and U Akmal who only contributed 30 runs amongst them.

    Malik as usual had a bad game. Afridi will probably have no choice but to go with the same team against India. Playing Saeed Ajmal means weakening the batting. I think Afridi should only play Ajmal if Malik is dropped.

    I have said time and again that Akmal’s keeping lowers the morale of the team. Akmal is not a proper batsman like Sangakkara, therefore he must not be in the team.

    I also don’t know why Razzaq was so defensive today? The only reason why Razzaq is in the team is so that he can take his chances in such situations.

  10. #10 by newguy on June 15, 2010 - 9:38 PM

    Pawan,

    Relax. I enjoy Cricket as much as you do. But, it is not a real sport in the sense that it requires the level of athleticism required by other sports such as Football. For instance, if you watch the WC Football you will see how amazingly fit these footballers are, the amount of torture their bodies have to go through in 90 minutes is unbelievable and you need massive fitness to do this. Have you seen any footballer play more than two or three WC’s? no, because the burnout ratio is that high, and the level of intensity required is that high. Cricket on the other hand you have Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra who bowled in 2003 WC still going to play in 2011 WC. If Sachin Tendulkar was a footballer how long would he have lasted? He is able to last because the fitness required for Cricket is not as high as a real sport like Football.

    The millions of fans in India may be misguided into thinking Cricket is all they need to play, even in that they are not able to get to dominate. I mean, I like Cricket, but c’mon Billion Indians and cannot make it to WC Football? same goes for China. But I guess in their case it is a different issue, they don’t do well in team sports compared to individual items like in Olympics.

    India is a Football playing and loving country, let me tell you, just that kirikat has taken over everything and killed it all.

  11. #11 by newguy on June 15, 2010 - 9:44 PM

    What a wonderful knock from Afridi, too bad Pakistan lost, but it was a lost cause if not for Afridi. He was battling it all by himself. Way to go and show responsibility. In his younger days he would have hit 10 sixes on such a day and win the match easily, today he got tired after reaching hundred he could not carry on and I knew it was a matter of minutes before he got out in fatigue and the rest could not carry on.

    Fittingly he was awarded MoM, even though Malinga performance won the match and he did a carrer best 5/34, and even Mathews had a 50+ and couple of wickets. Afridi was the right choice today even if Pakistan lost. I wonder if Javed Khan agree now that Tendulkar was right choice MoM on that Chennai test in a losing cause where Afridi also got a hundred. JAK still haven’t forgiven Tendulkar given MoM instead of Afridi in that match 😉 I think Tendulkar was right choice then because he single handedly brought match to Indian side and almost won it, and Afridi is the right choice today because he did a similar thing. But of course the Chennai test was a bigger event than today’s match 🙂 Great knock from Captain though and it is good he is in form.

    We should see a mouth watering contest on Saturday then. Shoaib vs Sehwag.

  12. #12 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 16, 2010 - 2:53 AM

    I would say that today’s century from Afridi was more like an aggressive cricket player and not a slogger. All those previous hundreds were achieved through slogging. It is unfortunate that no one except him and Umar Akmal played well. Malik, when he came in to bat Ramiz Raja was showering praises and accolades in favour of Shoaib Malik that he was a darling of the media when he got married to Sania Mirza, what a load of BS, I dunno why Ramiz blabs so much and openly praises Malik even he fails, whereas, he did not give the due to Afridi for his century in which he tormented Murali. I think Fawad Alam would have scored more runs than Malik. The two new rookies were trying to cement their place and wasted so many balls.

    newguy, the reason Afridi got MoM award is because there is no other player who scored so many runs in this match, and he bowled well too. In case of Tendulkar vs. Shahid Afridi in that match, Afridi scored more runs than Tendulkar and also took wickets and he deserved the MoM award. And, I will still not forgive those people who gave Tendulkar that MoM award. If there was any other player in place of Tendulkar they wouldn’t have given it to him but, Tendulkar got it because of his reputation and the celebrity status. The other thing is in this match there were so many prizes that were given to so many players like they gave one to Malinga for his 5 wickets, one to Jayawardene for his so-called stylish batting and, another one for Mathews for his 55 n.o. Therefore, I am not surprised if they gave the MoM award to Afridi, in fact he deserved it.

  13. #13 by Mohammed Munir on June 16, 2010 - 8:58 AM

    Pakistan again lost after putting up a good fight.

    The major positives out of this game are Shahid Afridi’s century, his brave leadership and exceptional fighting sprit. Afridi played so well that in post-match analysis a commentator was saying that every batsman (Sri Lankan/ Pakistani) struggled on Dambulla pitch, but Afridi played so well that it looked as if he was playing on a different wicket altogether. Secondly, some credit for Shoaib Actor who not only ably completed his quota of 10 overs but bowled with good speed and took 3 wickets in the process. But still better was that Shoaib bowled with shorter run-up and didn’t try to use too much power, plus he was also acting normal and not showing-off. Umar Akmal also played well and got ‘run-out’ after adding 30 quick runs which was second highest score after Afridi’s superb century. It was unfortunate to have two consecutive run-outs of both Akmal brothers.

    Negatives – Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal more with gloves, and although somewhere in the middle we had Sri Lanka under control at around 160 for 7 but still we allowed them to score 242 which was always going to be tough on pathetic Dambulla ground. Another thing is that on this ground, winning the toss and batting first is the key and team batting second will always have huge disadvantage.

    Another point is that the team management made a mistake by playing two new batsmen, Amin and Shahzeb, on top of batting order. They took ten overs between them to score only 18 runs (Amin 7 in 26 balls and Shahzeb 11 in 33 balls), and it was particularly disappointing to see a natural stroke player like Shahzeb getting bogged down. Management should have played only Shahzeb along with Imran Farhat, and although I am not a big fan of Farhat but under the circumstances he was a better choice then debutant Amin.

    On Sri Lankan side, Mathew played well with bowling as well as batting. Malinga ‘Salinga’ also ‘chucked’ so well that he came out with career best ‘chucking’ figures of 5 for 34. His ‘chucking’ was unplayable for Pakistan batsmen. Whereas, Murli got thrashed like anything and was specially punished by Afridi. Murli gave away 71 runs in his allotted overs and Sangakara said in the post-match presentation that Murli rarely goes for over 50 runs in ODIs.

    Lastly, Sangakara is such an A$$ because he refused Afridi a runner, after Afridi had severe cramps and had to go down twice. We know that Dambulla climate is hot and playing under lights, Afridi was seating like ice and it was so obvious that he was going through lot of cramps. So when he fell down on the ground and was in pains, the Pakistan physio was called in, and the umpires went upto Sangakara who was seen having extended discussions with the umpires and after a while the umpires came back to Afridi and told him to either bat or go out of the ground and get treatment for his condition. Afridi did not go out and continued playing in spite of being in obvious pains and after a while he got out. After the match a reporter asked Atapattu (expert commentator) as to why Sangakara refused the runner to Afridi, and Atapattu said I can not comment but what Sangakara did (refusing a runner) must be within some rules. Venkatesh Parsad also added that Afridi didn’t get any external injury and dehydration/ cramps were internal condition, so Sangakara had the right to refuse the runner. Another angle was that as per the new rules the umpires have authority to allow the runners and so they should not have asked the Sri Lankan captain’s permission, rather they should have taken their own decision after assessing the situation. I think the umpires went to take Sangakara’s consent as a courtesy but when Sangakara refused they stick to his decision and refused Afridi a runner, which cost Pakistan dearly.

  14. #14 by Mohammed Munir on June 16, 2010 - 11:45 AM

    Oopps … Afridi was sweating like ice … 😉

  15. #15 by khansahab on June 16, 2010 - 5:19 PM

    Afridi yet to come to terms with challenges concerning captaincy: Rameez

    Former Pakistan cricket captain Rameez Raza believes that incumbent skipper Shahid Afridi is still to come to terms with the challenges attached with the post.

    Rameez said that though Afridi’s cherished dream of leading the national side in all the three formats of the game has come true, he has yet to come to terms with the pressures that accompany the captaincy.

    “His long-cherished dream to captain Pakistan in all formats of cricket may have come true but he would have a tough time dealing with the pressure that the job brings with it,” The Nation quoted Rameez, as saying.

    Rameez also backed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to appoint Afridi as the captain for all three formats, saying the step would bring stability in the team.

    “I back the PCB decision to appoint him captain for all three formats of the sport despite Afridi’s reluctance to play Test cricket. Afridi being captain for all three forms of the game will bring consistency and stability to the captaincy,” he said.

    He pointed out that the ongoing Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and the subsequent England tour would not only test Afridi’s capability as a skipper but his performance as a player would also be under severe scrutiny.

  16. #16 by khansahab on June 16, 2010 - 5:23 PM

    Pakistani commentators need to keep their mouths shut. Earlier it was Mohsin Khan who said that there are many youngsters on the bench and Shahzaib, Umar Amin and Shafiq need to grab this opportunity in the Asia Cup 2010 with both hands, otherwise PCB would try other youngsters. The MF should not have selected Malik, yet he has the guts to scare the youngsters like this.

    Similarly Ramiz Raja told Cricinfo a few days ago that Afridi’s captaincy would not work in the long term. I agree it is natural to speculate whose captaincy will and will not work, but the way he has said this only a few days before the Asia Cup seems in bad faith, and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

  17. #17 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 16, 2010 - 7:18 PM

    Munir

    Good observation and nice assessment about the match, I totally agree with all your points. I want to add one more point and that is when Hammad Azam went to the Caribbean for the T20 WC he was made to sit on the dugout all the time, whereas these two new rookies made their debut only to add pressure on the team by taking so much time, balls and not scoring. Both of them struggled and gave simple catches to end their painful innings. And the way Butt got out his confidence must have been shattered and against India he will try to play defensive cricket only to make runs and retain his place. Even that is not bad if he stays up to 20 overs because this is not T20. As long as wickets are in hand they can make up with the run rate in the last 15 overs. Its a shame that Sangakara & Co., did not allow Afridi a runner and even after that he hit Murali a big six and before the ball landed, Afridi was on the ground in pain and agony. He took a chance to go for big hits because he was not able to run and take singles and twos and after that I knew that he will not last long, first it was groin and then it was back and he was totally dehydrated. But, it was an excellent innings better than his previous ones in which he slogged throughout whereas here he was batting like a seasoned, matured and aggressive cricket player.

    khansahab

    Ramiz Raja is a Phatta Baja, like the Big Butt he speaks the same language and says something and then he changes his words after seeing the result. No one can shut their mouth, besides how many mouths can you shut? 😉 He was showering praise and accolades in favour of Malik when he came into bat and was saying that he was darling of the media and so was his wife Sania Mirza. Geeeez they should top talking about Sania and his henpecked husband. MF Malik can change is attitude like a chameleon and one cannot be sure about his next move. Because, he has connections and he can get away with a VIP pass which is his wife. He will use her to influence the hierarchy and keep him in the playing XI irrespective of his pathetic performance. And, Kamran Akmal missed an easy stumping chance, Butt dropped a sitter, Malik held the catch only to add a SIX in the Sri Lankan total.

    They were criticizing that Afridi’s appointment as a captain will affect his performance, he has shut all the traps of those big mouth blabbers by scoring a century and fought a lonely battle in this match. No one other than Umar Akmal helped him or in contributing runs. Razzaq was playing like a novice and he was unable to handle chest level bouncers that allowed the bowlers to dominate and the biggest mistake he made was running for a single on the 5th ball which exposed Asif and Malinga took advantage, I knew even before he bowled the last ball of his over that he will get Asif through a yorker and he did. Razzaq should have taken a single on the last ball but, he was kinda deluded in his own world. He wasn’t looking like the same Razzaq who goes berserk he looked scary, intimidated and appeared very timid. Scoring 18 runs in 24 balls was not that difficult. But, the Pakistani batsmen caved in after Afridi’s departure.

  18. #18 by M. Y. Kasim on June 16, 2010 - 11:26 PM

    Razzak is “Popey the Sailor” he eats so much spinach that his brain stops working. He does not know when to defend and when to attack, it is as simple as that. After Afridi was gone, he should have taken the task to finish the game. A couple of fours and a six along with singles to farm the strike would have done the job.

    It is time to bring in the youngsters. We are losing all the time, why not try them to build for the future. It can not be any worse. Had Hammad Azam been in place of Razzak, he would have gone for the kill. Similarly, had Mohammed Waqas been keeping the wicket, he would have grabbed the catch and carried out the stumping, which not only saved the runs but would have given a boost to the bowlers and SL could not have even reached 170-180.

    And in place of “The Darling of Pakistan” because he married Sania Mirza,(and we all “jakh marey”) Fawad Alam selected, the team would have been boosted in the
    fielding department. Look at the way Salman Butt dropped the catch when he had it in his hand (as the saying goes “like a hot Potato”) And Malik caught the ball and stepped over the boundary line, giving up a six instead of four.

    It seems that all our voices are like BEHRON KE AAGE BEEN BAJANA.

  19. #19 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 17, 2010 - 3:51 AM

    LOL at Mr. Kasim‘s comments

    I am still dumbfounded and perplexed about the team selection. What is the reason behind dropping Fawad Alam and Hammad Azam? Fawad Alam scored a test century on debut in Sri Lanka, and leaving him behind for the Asia Cup being played in Sri Lanka is very foolish and stupid. He would have certainly been better than Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amin and Shahzaib Hasan Khan. The later (Shahzaib) may be good for T20 but in ODI he was trying to cement his place and played like Salman Butt. And, why Hammad Azam was not given a chance in the T20 WC in the Caribbean is a mystery and even bigger mystery is when he is not in the squad for the Asia Cup.

    Here is what Afridi expressed his views after the team’s defeat. “Talking with Ateequr Rehman in Geo News program “ Captain’s Corner”, Afiridi said Shoaib Malik should also bear responsibility.” You have to read the message between the lines as how much Afridi is disappointed by Malik’s performance.

    Any player who deliberately under-performs in any match while playing for his country is committing an act of treason by betraying his own country. His personal interest to avenge against the captain(s) is of paramount interest and, not just this time under Afridi but, many times under the captaincy of Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf he did the same. And, not only he did it alone, he lured, enticed and conspired with others and pushed them do the same. He created groups and factions within the team. This is not just my view but, it is based on the reports by the team managers, selectors, players etc. and based on that he was fined, penalized and banned for a year only to show it to the world and then the farcical and comical drama of his second marriage with another Hyderabadi girl made him “darling of Sialkot and Punjab”.) And, the ban was overturned and penalties were reduced and he was rewarded to play for the Asia Cup by taking a spot of another young and deserving player. It is a universal practice that, when a person commits an act of treason by betraying his own country the punishment is either death or life imprisonment. In sports obviously there is no death penalty or imprisonment but, he should be banned for life to play any form of cricket neither international nor domestic.

    I am highlighting the above paragraph in bold because, I want people to read this with an open mind and to take a peep in their conscience and make some self-assessment whether Malik deserves to be in the team or not? If the selection is based on the basis of pure regionalism and nepotism it will create a lot of ill-feelings and bad taste in mouth for the players who could not make into the squad but, the millions of fans and supporters who want to see their country playing top quality cricket also feel the same.

    There is one dead and stinking fish in the pond which has polluted the whole pond and destroyed the life of others. I dunno how long Shoaib Malik would be floating in the team like a dead fish? This reminds me of the famous quote by the darling of America, the woman who got most attention in the recent Presidential elections, the Republican candidate for the vice President when she said on 3 July 2009. “ Only dead fish go with the flow”….. 😀 Thank you Sarah Palin,

  20. #20 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 17, 2010 - 5:05 AM

    Mr. Kasim

    on BEHRON KAY AAGE BEEN BAJANA…….. is it not BHAINS KAY AAGE BEEN BAJANA? 😀

    And, I think if you say ‘BUTT KAY AAGAY BEEN BAJANA’ at least he will GYRATE HIS BUTT. That is another thing that he cannot Mutkao it in rhythm because all he could do is a Bhangra 😀

  21. #21 by Mohammed Munir on June 17, 2010 - 9:16 AM

    Newguy …

    So then, are you shocked enough with the Spanish loss to the Swiss ? 😉

    Spain, being the European champion, was made into the highly favorites of the World Champion contenders, but their defeat to Switzerland who are second-line team among the Europeans, have put Spain into serious problems. The Spanish team now have to win their next both games to make it to next round, where IMO winning from Honduras may be easier then the South American team, Chile. BTW, this was Spain’s firstever defeat to Switzerland in their 85 years of World Cup history and 19 previous encounters.

    Further, now Spain may end-up second in their group and the second of this group will play against the first placed team of the Brazil group. So there is a good possibility that Spain may face Brazil in the second round knockout games and if so happened, it will be unfortunate because one good team will have to go, and that may not be Brazil. 😉

    I first favorites are Brazil, although I like Argentine but I think they have very good team while their coach, Maradona, who was a fantastic player himself is not such a good coach. I also support Italy and Germany, but in that order only. Spain … nah.

    BTW, which teams are you cheering up for ?

  22. #22 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 17, 2010 - 11:00 AM

    This interview was published on cricinfo TWO DAYS before the start of Asia Cup. Please read the views of the participants very carefully and note their biases.

    Leading in to the Asia Cup, Pakistan cricket is showing signs of recovering from yet another period of turmoil – one that coach Waqar Younis has referred to as the worst in the last few decades. A disastrous tour of Australia unleashed a heavy-handed reaction from the PCB. Players were banned, fined, placed on probation and even accused of deliberately underperforming.

    While player indiscipline was widely considered the root cause of the crisis, were there other factors at play as well? What prompted Waqar, someone familiar with phases of instability in Pakistan cricket, to label this the worst ever? And what is the way forward? We spoke to former cricketer and CEO of the PCB, Ramiz Raja, and the Pakistan editor of Cricinfo, Osman Samiuddin

    Ramiz Raja: Pakistan cricket has oscillated over decades from wonderful to woeful, so in that regard Waqar Younis is completely right. I wish I could put a finger on one reason for the flip flop. I think the lack of discipline at the grassroots level – at club and junior-level cricket – develops a feeling of being above the law and bigger than the game. [There is also] a lack of trust in people running the show – that is another major area of concern. Thirdly it’s the government committees who have been bent in giving cricket and cricketers a bad name by involving politics in the sport.

    Osman Samiuddin: This is up there with some of the worst times in Pakistan cricket. The difference that Waqar was trying to stress was that in his time they were still performing on the field; they still had guys like himself, Wasim Akram, Salim Malik and Inzamam-ul-Haq, who could go out there and win matches. It will be very tough for them [to regroup].

    The PCB’s announcement of the punishments in March was a bombshell. But just three months later, almost all of them have been overturned, on the PCB’s own initiative. What purpose then did those punishments serve?

    OS: I think the way they suddenly lifted all the punishments without giving any real reason for it was pretty pathetic. I think it showed how ad hoc and incompetent this PCB has become. This kind of stupidity sends out all the wrong messages. What a lot of people now want is for some cricket to start.

    RR: It’s a difficult question to answer. Indiscipline has been Pakistan’s problem. While some people say that these players should not have been considered, others feel that you have got to get the best talent available, and work with the players who are a little difficult but who could contribute to Pakistan’s chances of winning. But from the start I felt the punishments were harsh. The PCB probably wanted to send a strong signal, that no one is above board and no one is bigger than the game, but I think they went overboard in this regard.

    One of the immediate results of this decision is that Shoaib Malik – whose name had figured frequently in allegations of inciting player unrest, for which he was subsequently banned for a year – is part of the Asia Cup squad. Shoaib Akhtar, who last played for Pakistan a year ago, finds himself back in the team after an impressive comeback in the domestic Pentangular limited-overs tournament. The return of the two Shoaibs could mean that the touring party is a potentially volatile one. Just how they fit in the scheme of things for Pakistan could well determine the fortunes of the team.

    RR: It’s a catch-22 situation. I think we tried to experiment with this kind of combination by involving senior and junior players in the 2003 World Cup team, and it backfired. It turned out to be an aging team that didn’t perform, though it had star material. I hope that is not the scenario in this Asia Cup.

    It provides an opportunity for both these players to do something special for Pakistan. Pakistan cricket needs to think fresh, right and positively. This is going back a little in that regard, even though both Malik and Shoaib Akhtar will give their level best to get Pakistan going in this Asia Cup, because they have a reputation to protect. But it can be a managerial nightmare. They’ll be dealing with a management, a new captain, and with some players they’ve rubbed up the wrong way.

    Shahid Afridi being a young captain wants his major players with great reputation to fall in line and perform, not only for the team but for the captain. Pakistan is desperately looking to win matches and tournaments, and they feel that Shoaib Akhtar will provide them with that opening.

    “Afridi admits there are problems and that there will be issues, but he wants to be clear that if you are open about it and speak openly to his face about it, then it is a good thing and a step forward” Osman Samiuddin

    OS: I know from experience, and having been in touch with him, that Shoaib Akhtar on the surface seems like he has understood that this probably is his last chance. He seems to be keen to do as much as he can now with his Pakistan career. Waqar put it best when he referred to how Akhtar is a wizened head, and his experience and smarts as a bowler could be used by some of the younger bowlers.

    Nobody is irredeemable in this world. Even if Malik has had problems in the past, if he knows he is coming back into the side with this kind of pressure and scrutiny and context, who knows, he might just stop behaving the way he has done over the past year and get on with his game. The biggest thing with Malik is that he just needed to concentrate on his game. It’s okay, they are in the team and there might be problems there, but I would equally say that this might be the opportunity for these guys to finally clean up their act and do something they would be remembered for.

    With the World Cup less than a year away, is the return of Malik and Akhtar the right step towards building Pakistan’s ODI team? Ramiz and Osman offer contrasting views.

    RR: As far as finding the right direction is concerned, I would have preferred somebody young, fresh and new for the Asia Cup. At the end of the day if you’re preparing for World Cup cricket, you’ve got to take your chances in tournaments [like the Asia Cup] where there is not a lot at stake. Obviously winning is important but also experimenting before the World Cup is crucial.

    OS: I worry about the personalities in the side and the disruption they can cause but I don’t think that there is any doubt that on paper this is a pretty decent team. Salman Butt’s form over the last few months in Tests and the Twenty20 has been a huge, underrated bonus for Pakistan, in that they have finally found an opener. They should now stick with him. They have discovered Umar Akmal, who is one of the most exciting middle-order talents. They have Mohammad Aamer, who is an exciting fast-bowling prospect. And they have Mohammad Asif. On paper they have a number of players and they should make up a good team. The road map is there, in that Pakistan should know what their best team is. They have done a good thing for the Asia Cup, taking guys like Umar Amin and Asad Shafiq. As ever, the tools are very much there for Pakistan to be a force; it’s just that they need some leadership in terms of the PCB getting its act together. On the field. for now at least, Afridi [is] doing something.

    The Asia Cup will be a big Test for Afridi. He has said one of his immediate priorities will be to ensure his players aren’t guilty of any unruly behaviour while on tour. Both Ramiz and Osman believe it will not be an easy task.

    RR: As far as Pakistan is concerned, we’ll be looking at consistency from them and a bit of predictability from them, as well as some of the young performers. Importantly, we’ll be looking at how Afridi operates as captain. It’s going to be an important tournament for him because he’s talked a great deal about bonding with players off the field, but he hasn’t said much about how he’ll conduct himself on the field as a captain. While his team’s performance was patchy during the World Twenty20, his own performance as a captain was a bit patchy as well. The idea is to not burden him with a lot of stress, because he is obviously a key player when it comes to limited-overs cricket. Others would have to take a bit of the burden off his shoulders so that he can also consistently work as their leader.

    OS: I think Afridi has stressed he wants open communication in the team. He doesn’t want players to go around each other’s backs and badmouth each other and work against them. He admits there are problems and that there will be issues, but he wants to be clear that if you are open about it and speak openly to his face about it then it is a good thing and a step forward. He has a volatile set of players – guys like Malik and Akhtar are not easy to handle. But in this [limited-overs] format, because he brings so much to it, he will have more success as a captain.

    Afridi has also been appointed Pakistan’s Test captain for their upcoming tour of England, where they will play Tests against the hosts and Australia. He is returning to Test cricket after a gap of about four years, and while he is at best a reluctant Test captain, he has to be lauded for his move. But will this bring about some stability in Pakistan cricket?

    OS: As much as I would like to think of some stability coming, it is difficult to reconcile to the idea of Afridi being Test captain. He is probably the best choice as a captain the Twenty20 and ODI format. If you pick an XI, then he is almost the first name in both teams, and he is probably the most influential in those formats in the last couple of years. But I really worry about him in Tests. He hasn’t played for about the last four years; he has played very little first-class cricket in that time, and even before he gave up Test cricket nobody could say with any certainty that he was a Test specialist. Those questions were there before and now with him being captain those questions are still there. I don’t see it turning out long-term. Having spoken to him myself, he himself is unsure how long he will last as a Test player. That is one of the reasons he left the format; he is more interested in the shorter format, which is fine. It is a brave thing that he has done because he knows the problems, he knows the team is not united and he knows it is a format that he is not used to. It is a brave decision and it has to be lauded.

    RR: He’s taken that jump once again, has Shahid Afridi, because he was a reluctant player when it came to Test cricket. He felt he was not good enough to hold his place and play consistently well for Pakistan as a Test player and gave up his position. Now, and I felt it was a very good and brave decision, he’s allowed himself to come back and work for the country and the team as a leader. I think it gives a lot of consistency to the thought of stabilising the unit under one captain. This is where the PCB has done really well, to invite Shahid Afridi out of this interim retirement and work for them as a leader in Test match cricket.

    Now it is going to be extremely difficult for Afridi. His job is cut out. He is coming back into Test cricket after a lapse; he will be up against two formidable sides in Australia and England. And we know that all good teams go after the captain. So he will be tested as a leader and as a batsman. So his first task will be to play well as a player and the rest will take care of itself. The captaincy part will come later; he has to lead them by playing well as an all-round cricketer but it won’t be easy. The decision is a brave one and we have to back Afridi in this turning point for Pakistan cricket.

    How Afridi performs at the helm could well determine if Pakistan achieve the stability they so desperately seek.
    .

  23. #23 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 17, 2010 - 11:50 AM

    The above interview took a lot of space on our blog, in order to comment on the future of Pakistan cricket team’s performance it is important to read the above interview and express your views on whether RR and OS are right or wrong?

    In my opinion both RR and OS are stuck in their own minds or, have fixation on one thing which is more like a sheep tendency, they don’t use their own brains but, follow the leader. In this case both RR and OS are ‘talking about Afridi’s return to the test arena after 4 years,’ in their minds they are skeptical about his performance as a captain/player for the test team because, someone important and influential must have said this and they took it to their heart and consider it as a word of Gospel and follow that path which leads the sheep in a big hole.

    What I fail to understand is if a player is playing cricket without any break (like Afridi in the last 4 years after quitting test cricket) cannot adjust himself in the longer format of the game i.e., test cricket? He has been playing international and domestic cricket. To say or to doubt about his abilities to succeed is something like, ‘trying to make a fish learn how to swim.’ If Afridi was not playing ANY cricket for those many years then, I would have said, yes they are right. (No one talked about Asif not playing any cricket for over a year. Or, Sohail Tanvir is out of cricket for more than a year now and some of his fans want him to be in the team not aware that he is still nursing an injury and is not fully fit).

    While blabbing from their lounge they are simply wagging their tongue without any thinking or without any statistics to substantiate their claims. Why he decided to retire from test cricket is because he knew that those who are after him will drop him from the test XI if he doesn’t score a fifty. In the last test he played for Pakistan was in Manchester England where no one except Younus Khan scored a fifty. In the past they dropped him on a regular basis to shatter his confidence, even Malik did the same when he was captain and sent Afridi back home from India.

    Now, that he is the captain of the team, he knows that one or two bad performances will not lead him to the exit door. And, I am certain that he will prove his critics wrong because, his test averages in batting and bowling are better than any of these players except for YY. He was careless before but, now he is fearless as there is no sword dangling over his head and he has batted and bowled very well in England while playing for his county and for his country.

    Just a few days ago people were talking about his role, they were saying that in the recent T20 WC his performance was below par because of the added burden of captaincy. He proved them wrong by scoring a classy hundred at a strike rate of 143 and it wasn’t slogging but good cricketing shots. Hitting Murali for 5 sixes and tormenting him is not easy, Murali for the first time gave away 71 runs in his 10 overs. I am sure he will prove his critics wrong when he plays test cricket next month.

  24. #24 by newguy on June 17, 2010 - 12:12 PM

    Munir,

    Spain’s loss to Switzerland was a shocker, since Spain is ranked #2 and has not lost a game to Switzerland. In these opening games teams are finding their groves and sometimes the weaker team on paper is able to put up a good show. North Korea held Brazil to 0-0 until half time and even scored a goal before the end. Brazil is ranked #1 and NK is ranked #105.

    My favorite team as always has been is Brazil. There is a flair to their game that you cannot find in anyone else’s. When they get going it is so much exciting to watch, did you see the two goals they scored? they made it look so effortless, and yet they were work of precision.

    I like Argentina too, and among European teams I liked Germany traditionally followed by France. I don’t like Italy style of playing, and don’t like England in any sport, whether cricket or football.

  25. #25 by newguy on June 17, 2010 - 1:51 PM

    Hi Guys,

    I don’t agree with the concept of a runner for a tired/injured batsman in cricket. Let me explain the fallacy of this concept. If a bowler gets tired or injured he has to go back to pavilion and cannot get a substitute bowler. A fielder gets the same treatment, except they can put a substitute. Running in is part of the job of the bowler and the fielder, if so, then why isn’t running part of the job of the batsman, they cannot run then they cannot do their job and they should go back.

    This leads me to a larger topic, which I cannot discuss now due to shortage of time. But I’ll throw in the argument now.

    Batsmen are considered an elite class, while bowlers and fielders are working class. Traditionally when English created Cricket it was all about batting, and the bowlers are there to throw the ball in to the batsman for hitting and fielders are there to run and fetch the ball back. In other words bowlers and fielders were simply enablers for the batsman to have fun. Over time things have evolved to make to look more like they too have a job and there are nuances to their game. Bowling and Fielding evolved over time.

    But, even now Batsmen are elite class, and this is why they get a runner, and they usually get the captaincy 90% of the time.

    Back to the runner topic, I think it should be denied, period.

  26. #26 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 17, 2010 - 4:02 PM

    newguy

    if it should be denied, then there should be no option left for the fielding captain to give his approval, the umpires must decide on their own. There should be no confusion, provision or a loophole in the rules that a runner is allowed if a batsman is injured by a ball or, because of falling on the ground and denied if he get cramps. Besides, only umpires should decide not the fielding captains.

    As regards batsmen being considered as elite class, perhaps this information below will help you in assessing the origins of cricket which I have found on the internet and I am copy pasting only the relevant part of how it started?

    “Cricket has been traced to shepherds in England who started playing the early forms of cricket sometime in the 17th century. The first laws of cricket were written in 1774. Since then they have been changed on numerous occasions. Pretty much everything has changed since then. The early cricket bats were long curved pieces of wood resembling a thick hockey stick. The stumps consisted of two wickets and one bail in between. The only law of the game that has remained constant is the length of the pitch at 22 yards.

    Speaking of the stumps, initially the afore-mentioned shepherds would bat in-front of a tree stump, hence the term “stumps”. As the game progressed it was at times played in front of a wicket-gate – which led to the term “wickets”.
    Early bowlers would bowl the ball underarm – and cricket records tell stories of great underarm lob bowlers. Overarm bowling was initially illegal. It was introduced to cricket by a Kent cricketer, John Willes. He actually learnt it from his sister, Christina Willes who found her skirt was getting in the way when she tried to bowl underarm!

    In 1868 an Englishman called Charles Lawrence based in Australia put together a team of aborigines and took them to England. This was the first ever Australian tour to England, and each player wore a cap of a different colour so that the spectators could identify them. The team played 47 matches against a number of local teams of which they won 14, lost 14 and drew the rest. Apart from playing cricket the aborigines showcased a number of unique sports including the backwards race, boomerang throwing and cricket ball dodging. “

    After reading these 3 paragraphs I came to the conclusion that men can boast about cricket but, women have contributed the most important aspect of the game by introducing overarm bowling. Behind every great man there is a woman, in Arabic it is, “Wara’a kullo Rajulun Azeemun — Amra’atun.” Unfortunately for women, behind every successful woman there is a pile of unwashed laundry. 😀

  27. #27 by khansahab on June 17, 2010 - 8:12 PM

    Younus set to miss out due to bitter relations with PCB

    Former Pakistan captain Younus Khan may not find a place in the squad for the tour of England due to bitter relations with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in the aftermath of his battle against the board for the indefinite ban.

    According to sources in the board, PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt will force Younus’ omission when chief selector Mohsin Khan, captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis meet to finalise the squad on June 20 in Dambulla.

    Butt, according to sources, is not happy with the statements given by Younus’ lawyer Ahmed Qayyum against the PCB after the former captain’s indefinite ban was lifted earlier this month. The chairman has also questioned Younus’ recent performance for Pakistan which, according to him, may not make him an automatic selection for the tour of England.

    “The PCB took a positive step by lifting Younus’ ban but he and his lawyer are still giving nonsense statements against the board,” Butt told The Express Tribune before adding that the former captain was not eligible for selection since he required an approval, which he said was a long process.

    “Younus still needs a go-ahead from me and it’s a long process. He’s still not cleared to play for Pakistan.”

  28. #28 by M. Y. Kasim on June 17, 2010 - 9:21 PM

    Is PCB the personal property of that MF Ejaz Butt? He is acting like PCB is his forefathers’ jagir and nothing should be done without his approval.

    Mohsin Khan, who was saying a lot of things before, has became his “Pitthoo” and is acting according to HIS MASTERS’ VOICE. A couple of days ago, he said he will have to get Ejaz Buut’s approval regarding Younus Khan’s inclusion in the England bound team.

    It looks like everybody in the Board has to take permission to go to relieve himself and must also take approval to use the LOTA from Butt. Just like we used to do in our childhood.

    What has become of Pakistan?

  29. #29 by khansahab on June 17, 2010 - 9:49 PM

    Younus to be served with a new ban: PCB

    KARACHI: Following Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt’s reminder that Younus Khan’s ban has not been overturned by the board, the former captain suffered another huge setback when it was revealed that the board will issue a new ban to him thus making him ineligible to play international cricket.

    PCB advocate Talib Rizvi confirmed that Younus was not cleared despite the clearance issued by the PCB-appointed one-man tribunal that set aside his indefinite ban earlier this month.

    “I need to make it clear that Irfan Qadir, while removing the indefinite ban, ordered a remand of his case, seeking a fresh but defined ban for him,” Talib told The Express Tribune while explaining that Qadir was not content with the nature of ban imposed since there was no time duration.

    “Qadir asked for a new ban and because of this Younus is still not cleared and is ineligible to play for Pakistan.”

    The stance contradicts an earlier one given by PCB’s legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi when he told The Express Tribune that Younus was eligible for selection despite the hearings, which were active at that point.

    Younus was also included in the 35-man squad for the Asia Cup and the tour of England, a notion enough to suggest that the PCB had decided to include him in future squads.

    Talib added that the PCB will shortly issue a show-cause notice to Younus in which it would redefine the nature and length of the ban.

    “It’s up to the chairman to decide the duration but I can confirm one thing that Younus will get the notice before the team’s selection for the tour of England tour that takes place on June 20,” said Talib before adding that all the punished players except Younus assured the chairman that they would not repeat their mistakes.

    “The Akmal brothers and Shoaib Malik regretted their actions after their fines and bans were overturned but Younus and his lawyer kept on giving statements against the PCB.”

    Meanwhile, Tafazzul confirmed that Younus’ lawyer Ahmed Qayyum, who was unable for comments, was aware of the outcome of last hearing that was held on June 5. Qayyum, in an earlier statement, said he was ready for a second ‘battle’ with the board if required.

  30. #30 by newguy on June 17, 2010 - 9:51 PM

    JAK,

    Yeah, this is what I am saying, no loopholes allowed, and it should not be a decision of opposing captain, don’t allow runner for a batsman at all. It should not be a subjective decision. Otherwise, level the field by allowing a substitute when a bowler is also injured or tired during an innings, but no one would think this is a reasonable thing to do, so why let batsman use a runner.

  31. #31 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 17, 2010 - 11:18 PM

    newguy

    In case of a bowler getting injured due to cramps or for any other reason, a substitute fielder is provided, it is not ice hockey power play to carry on playing with one fielder short. And, mind you the substitute is not allowed to bowl, he is only allowed to field. So, there is a difference here between the runner for a batsman and a substitute fielder for a bowler. The same rule is already under application that the runner is not allowed to bat for the injured batsman and neither anyone else is allowed to replace a retired hurt batsman.

  32. #32 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 17, 2010 - 11:27 PM

    Mr. Kasim

    You are right this MFB Butt thinks that the PCB is his jageer which he has inherited from his forefathers. That bastard keeps talking something one day and keeps denying his own statement the second day and instead of speaking in English or Urdu he answers the media by say, ” Mai enj nai kainda, tusi ghalat samaj rai O, Mai kitta see………………………………” teri maa dee, BC sala. I hate this bastard, shouldn’t someone go and stuff a dirty pair of socks in his mouth and in his Butt? And, you are also right about Mohsin Khan acting like a puppet and a spineless chief selector. He is on Butt’s Rehm-O-Karam. I have also said the same thing earlier that Mohsin when he was appearing on TV shows during the break of a match, he along with Asif Iqbal were talking a lot of sense but, now he has changed. The reason is he wants to save his ass and make some money.

    khansahab

    The PCB mafia is screwing the game of cricket in Pakistan and they cannot bear anyone standing on his feet and challenging them. Younus and his lawyer simply asked Butt to tell the public why he was banned? What was the reason to ban him? We all know the reasons for banning Malik and the Akmals. Neither in case of Younus or Yousuf they have come up with a plausible reply to justify their action of banning these two players. And, it will be a real tragedy if Younus Khan is not included in the test squad. He is such a good player and he along with Yousuf can really give the opposition a tough time. Laikin Butt kay aagay kon been bajaye?

  33. #33 by khansahab on June 18, 2010 - 8:40 PM

    CJ biased against PML-N, angry with PPP, says Fauzia

    Business Plus Report

    LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party Information Secretary MNA Fauzia Wahab has said that the PPP was fully aware of the biased attitude of Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudary towards Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Mian Nawaz Sharif soon after his restoration as the chief justice on July 20, 2007.

    Talking to Shahzeb Khanzada in his Newsline Plus programme at the Business Plus channel on Thursday, she said that the bail application of senior PML-N leader Javed Hashmi remained pending for four years but it was approved in just a week soon after Justice Iftikhar was restored as the chief justice.

    She said that the chief justice also approved the application of Nawaz Sharif and granted him the permission to return to Pakistan. Former Lebanese prime minister Sa’ad al Hariri had to clarify that Nawaz Sharif couldn’t return to Pakistan according to the agreement.

    MNA Fauzia said that the late former prime minister Benazir Bhutto also showed her reservations regarding the chief justice on December 13, 2007. She said that it was not clear why the chief justice was angry with the PPP. “Whoever represents the PPP government in the court faces pressure, consequently matters get mishandled except in the case of Federal Law Minister Dr Babar Awan who was treated with courtesy, otherwise the court humiliated everyone else,” she said.

    The PPP leader asked the chief justice to clear his position regarding the allegations he faced pertaining to references filed against him regarding his son, during the government of former president Pervez Musharraf.

  34. #34 by newguy on June 18, 2010 - 9:42 PM

    Hi Guys,

    Surprising no one has commented on tomorrow’s big match, a rare event this is, India vs. Pakistan. Let’s see some analysis, or is everyone too afraid to speak and jinx their teams chances 😉

    I think Pakistan hold the edge because of the return of Shoaib and young Indian batsmen’s recent weakness against short pitch bowling. Sehwag, Ganbhir, Dhoni are only three capable of combating Rawalpindi express & Co. Pakistan is weaker in batting, but against India there are two giants in Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik who scores big time everytime. So, I say edge to Pakistan. But we’ll have to wait and see who bats first.

  35. #35 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 18, 2010 - 10:50 PM

    newguy

    TGIF is the reason and I guess everyone is busy and, I know most of my friends here are having preparations for breakfast parties for tomorrow. The match starts at 4:30 a.m. local time and around 09:00 hrs is the innings break and goes on till 1:00 pm.

    Your views about the two giants are the views from cricinfo, I read that this morning. But, I don’t take into account what they say. I think Pakistan is making one change and that is Imran Farhat coming in place of one of the rookies. Also, they are going to play Kamran Akmal as an opener. Expecting Shahid Afridi to score another hundred or even a 50 is like having “Khayali Pulao”, Abdul Razzaq should be able to do something extra ordinary and the rest of them if they chip in 30-40 that is more than enough.

    As regards Rawalpindi Maal Gaari, if Sehwag starts whacking him in the first few overs, he will be huffing and puffing. If, Afridi is smart he should remove him from the first over i.e., if he gives away more than 12 runs. He should bring him back later. Asif is totally off colour and has no sting in his bowling. Aamir is inexperienced and he may take a couple of wickets of the tail-enders like he did against SL.

    In my opinion if Pakistan wins the toss they must bat first and put up a big total. Team batting second will be at a disadvantage. Today’s pitch is good for batsmen and you have seen how Dilshan was playing even Tamim and Zunaid were making good shots as the ball is coming well up to them. From India’s side Gambhir is more consistent than Sehwag and he will play the sheet anchor role and Raina & Rohit will click. The disadvantage India will have is if Nehra is not in, there are doubts about his inclusion as he is not fully fit. He is very effective and has bowled well against Pakistan.

    Dhoni’s “Jaddu” is going to play and, I dunno why he is Dhoni’s favourite? Btw, the way Dhoni arranges his field using his street language sounds very awkward. For e.g., he was telling Jadeja to bowl a fuller length ball, he said: “Jaddu abi baher hai, thora ander daal.” Then, while he was fielding at the deep fine leg, he said, “Jaddu tu thora ooper aaa.”

  36. #36 by khansahab on June 19, 2010 - 9:18 AM

    Amran Farhat averages 17 against India only, whereas Malik averages 52.

  37. #37 by khansahab on June 19, 2010 - 9:21 AM

    Slow start for Pakastan. Pakistan has 3 consolidators playing- Malik, Amin and U Akmal. They should have used an attacking opener instead of Farhat- either they should have opened with K Akmal or used Shahzaib.

  38. #38 by Mohammed Munir on June 19, 2010 - 10:49 AM

    I am watching the India Pakistan and it’s a weekend too, so I will comment later.

    Pakistan is playing nicely for now with 136 runs in 27 overs and only one wicket down.

    Newguy… I will reply you on football and its bad that Germany lost to Serbia and are now in doubt for next round 😦 France is almost out too and England will have to win to have a chance.

  39. #39 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 19, 2010 - 12:49 PM

    Pathetic batting by Farhat, Amin and Razzaq. I don’t understand why the Pakistani think tank can see the obvious? Farhat did not play ODI for the last 3 1/2 years and he wants to cement his place for obvious reasons and he scored his first run after 11 dot balls. Kamran Akmal should have opened with Butt. Amin was promoted for what reasons? He failed in the first match and he was nervous against India and could not score. Malik was going good but, then he left his gate open for Zaheer to push a straighter one. Each time the partnership progressed and couldn’t go beyond 73 runs. May be I am wrong but, to me Afridi was not looking fully fit, he was walking for singles and limping a wee bit. Salman Butt should improve his running between the wickets, at least on 4 occasions where 3 were possible he was content with 2 and eventually himself got run out when there was no run. He is a mini Inzamam and Yousuf in getting run out.

    If Sehwag and Gambhir T’s off with a 50 in 6-7 overs then they have Raina, Rohit, Kohli, Jadeja and Dhoni to continue. Like, I’ve said above Gambhir will play the anchor role and Sehwag will wag. Although the stats of the ground says that team batting second could make only 221 as the highest score, there is always a first time to break records and Indian batting is capable of doing that. Unless, both openers are out early in the innings then, they will go defensive, still it is a gettable score. Pakistan are at least 30-40 runs short.

    newguy may not agree with me and he will say Pakistan will win. KION? 😀

  40. #40 by newguy on June 19, 2010 - 1:08 PM

    JAK,

    You judged correct, I will say Pakistan hold the edge at this point.

    KYON KI the following reasons 🙂

    267 is a good score on Dambulla, and in any Sri Lankan ground team batting first hold edge. Unless they get a score below 240.

    As I said Butt batted well against India to lay the platform. India was lethargic on field, even though stats will say most of them bowled well, except Nehra, I would say Pakistani batsmen played poorly and not because of bowling.

    India dropped crucial catches, this will cost them. First Gambhir dropped Afridi on a difficult catch, then Zaheer dropped on his own bowling. I thought this will become expensive, but lucky for India Afridi played across to a simple straight ball from Praveen and got out.

    But, Zaheer having not had enough with dropping his own bowling wanted to share it with Nehra too, and he dropped Kamran Akmal on Nehra’s bowling. Akmal was on 33 then and he went on to make 51. If they got Akmal then they would have got Pakistan all out under 250. Akmal scored 18 more runs with two sixes off full tosses after that, and even gifted one to India by getting out on a full toss.

    In the end, the 20 more runs will be crucial. JAK says Pakistan is short 30-40 runs, and I will say India gave 20-30 runs more.

    It is true though that with this Indian bowling and fielding Pakistan should have gotten 300 easily. Any other team would have. But Pakistan considering that they make only 30-40 runs short against other teams on such situations they did well.

    Both teams are equally lethargic in my opinion, and this is no way to prepare for the ODI WC next year.

    I really don’t care if India win or lose from here, because they do not have the intensity on the field of a team with hunger to win. They can’t expect batting to win matches always, they need good intensity on the field.

    Chairman of selectors say fielding and fitness are key, and he dropped Yuvraj for it, but it seems like he need to drop half the team. Even some of the younger players like Rohit Sharma is seen slouching on the field and yawning as if he did not get enough sleep.

    Anyhow, let’s see if Sehwag can entertain, or the Rawalpindi Maal Gaari as JAK called him will choke Indians.

  41. #41 by 420 on June 19, 2010 - 1:47 PM

    thx to afridi for not doing a sanga in denying a runner to the batsman.

  42. #42 by Mohammed Munir on June 19, 2010 - 1:49 PM

    Sehwag got a runner in 6 over … and “they” gave him ?

    This is not so fair.

    Newguy … what do you have to say about runners now ? 😉

    It’s lovely seeing Aamir and Actor bowling full throttle and Indian batsmen bogged down. 😀

  43. #43 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 19, 2010 - 3:24 PM

    Butter fingered Aamer once again dropped a sitter and that too of Gambhir. They don’t deserve to win with this kind of fielding. When Aamer dropped Ponting at zero, he scored a double hundred. Now Gambhir is going to win this match for India.

  44. #44 by newguy on June 19, 2010 - 3:44 PM

    Munir,

    Absolutely no change in my view. Sehwag or Afridi, does not matter. A batsman is not capable of carrying on his job which I believe includes running then he should go back. Sehwag was better off going back and not making it worse. He was off color all throughout and did not look fit from the beginning.

  45. #45 by Mohammed Munir on June 19, 2010 - 4:16 PM

    Akmal also dropped another easy one off Akhter 😦

    But the game is not yet over and this one is going to the wire 🙂

    Dhoni is the key for India.

  46. #46 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 19, 2010 - 5:03 PM

    newguy

    You should believe in me from now onwards. I told you that don’t go by ground stats and there is always a first time. Pak fielding was very very sloppy and they don’t deserve to win. Anyways, congratulations to you on India’s win.

  47. #47 by Varun Suri on June 19, 2010 - 5:07 PM

    What an amazing match. I missed the Pakistani Innings as I was returning from Germany.I am glad I switched on the telecast on the internet just as i reached home.

    Between the Football craze all Cricket needed was a close One-Day between India and Pakistan which truly lived up to it’s expectations.

    Although there were fielding errors from both the sides but between India and Pakistan Cricket is only about Batting and Bowling!!

    Today a Sardar did it for India the way a Pathan does it for Pakistan:):)

  48. #48 by Mohammed Munir on June 19, 2010 - 5:28 PM

    What a game … WHAT A GAME.

    Congrats to India !!

    PS: About the details, I will come back laters.

  49. #49 by Ali Ahad on June 19, 2010 - 5:48 PM

    Ok what is going on with Pakistan cricket they are worst then a club cricket I mean seriously, they should be greeted with garland of shoes once they come back so they can have some shame. Was this a vacation trip to Sri Lanka, they did the same thing in T20 they give away the match now they have given three in a row. Salman Butt, he scored a fifty after3 ducks, when I used to play galli cricket and if I got an duck they never call me to play again and this MF got three chances to play at international level. Shoaib Malik as pathetic as ever but that is understandable he just got married and he is still in the honey moon phase but honey moons are done in nice places not in a cricket ground. And that BIG Akmal he should come with samad bond on his gloves and then come into the field, I mean in 8 out of 10 matches he has to drop a catch, someone should tell him that he is a wicketkeeper batsman which means he is a wicketkeeper first then a batsman. Finally Actor, from today’s match I think there not much natural coal left for this Rawalpindi Express, I never has doubt in his bowling capablities but he is not that same old that he used to be or he is famous for, he lacks rhythm, if age is the issue than he should hang up his boats.

    P.S. Why that MF Big Butt is at the stage with a smile showing yellow crooked teeth? Does ACC his ‘jagir’ too

  50. #50 by newguy on June 19, 2010 - 6:38 PM

    Well .. what can I say, what a match and what a finish!!!

    But let’s not lose perspective here and acknowledge both teams had nightmares in the field. Once again this is not the way to prepare for WC 2011. A team like Australia would defeat both India and Pakistan in a situation like this if they were given early game advantages like they did to each other.

    Pakistan reciprocated the generosity from Indian bowling and fielding by returning the favor with wides, no balls, dropped catches, and misfileds, converting one run into two runs and two runs into three runs. Earlier India did same.

    In the end, I thought when Dhoni and Sharma were together, if they got the runs under 50 without losing one more wicket then game will slip away from Pakistan, and at that moment Afridi had Sharma trapped LBW. Then the freak dismissal of Dhoni with a rubbish ball from Malik seemed to have sealed the match for Pakistan. Jadeja as usual could not get the ball away and was too much overcome by the situation. Raina and in the end Harbhajan as usual showed the fight.

    Pakistan lost two matches, but no disgrace, since both matches they showed passion and team spirit, both matches could have gone either way.

    I thought Ajmal was the pick of the bowlers, he looked like taking a wicket every time he came on to bowl. Akhtar and Amir was not threatening, just tidy and tight bowling.

    I don’t know who started the altercation between Bhajji and Akhtar, but both are no angels, I saw clearly Akhtar calling Bhajji “b*enchod”. Anyway, they looked like friends after the game. Which is good.

  51. #51 by khansahab on June 19, 2010 - 7:50 PM

    Pakistan team’s pathetic performances will continue as long as Butt, Malik, Akmal and Misbah are part of the team.

    The mafia and political support of these players is so strong that some of them will always be in a squad.

  52. #52 by khansahab on June 19, 2010 - 8:20 PM

    Umar Amin should now be dropped and Asad Shafiq and Shahzaib should replace Amin and Farhat.

    Pakistan lost against Sri Lanka mainly due to their batting and lost to India because of their bowling and fielding- it seems there will be no major changes for the England tour because the selectors will not be able to find a weak area.

  53. #53 by khansahab on June 19, 2010 - 8:32 PM

    This should be Pakistan’s 15 man squad for the England tour, considering Yousuf and Younis are not playing:

    Fast Bowlers: Asif, Aamer, Gul, Wahab Riaz, Mohd Irfan

    Spinners: Kaneria, Ajmal, Afridi

    Openers: Butt, Manzoor

    Middle order: Alam, U Akmal, Sheheryar Ghani/Asad Shafiq/Hammad Azam (Alam to open if Butt/Manzoor fail)

    Keepers: Sarfraz Ahmed, K Akmal

  54. #54 by 420 on June 19, 2010 - 9:30 PM

    thanks to bhajji for preventing another heartbreak for me and millions of Indians. gambhir and dhoni with some support from raina did it for India again, as usual. Jadeja flops with the bat when ever there is pressure, I guess we can have ojha in his place.

    For pak, shoaib was good in his first spell.
    I was yelling at viru for wasting so many balls,now i think he did a great job. the middle order would not have survived shoaib’s first spell.
    not sure why razzaq did not bowl in the later part of the game. . ajmal and afridi are so much consistent than the Indian spinners in the last 2-3 years.

    all said, am happy that i did not go out last night so that i can watch the game in the morning 🙂

    and, I will NOT watch the next India vs SL game and the final. too many times, and too many losses lol

  55. #55 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 20, 2010 - 2:58 AM

    newguy

    Yesterday I mentioned that Gambhir will play the anchor role and he did. I also said that the ground stats are no guarantee that no one can score more than 221 runs, its rubbish because any team can score better if they play well. Against Sri Lanka, everyone said that the wicket is not suitable for batting but, Afridi scored a 100 and that was not slogging but, pure cricketing shots albeit aggressive yet it was controlled aggression, so the point is stats and expert comments are nothing more than BS.

    Pakistan’s present team does not have the clinical precision to translate victories in a normal way let alone converting wins from the jaws of defeat. The reason is their fielding is PATHETIC if they keep dropping catches, keep missing run outs and keep fumbling they will not win any match. Aamer dropped a sitter of Gambhir, Kamran Akmal dropped an easy one of Rohit and Shoaib Malik missed a dolly chance to run out Raina. All these things matter, not only the batsmen are out but, when the new batsman comes in the momentum is lost and the desired run rate increases and that mounts the pressure. These are very simple things but, they make a big difference. Even in the last over when Shoaib Akhtar fumbled he gave away the second run, in tense situation every run counts.

    Shoaib Akhtar is a spent force, he should realize this and hang his boots instead of hanging on till death i.e., till such time when he is finally kicked out, he should announce his retirement gracefully. He was out of breath in the second spell and if there is any new format such as 10/10 like 20/20 then he should play because he cannot bowl more than 2 overs. He must give room to new fast bowlers, he is over weight he has big muscles like Rambo and he doesn’t look like a fast bowler. And who is afraid of the speed these days? NO ONE, because everyone is wearing protective gears from top to toe and they know that they can’t be hurt so they go after him. Even Harbhajan was able to hit a straight six of his bowling. I remember 5 years ago even Balaji hit Shoaib Akhtar for a six in Rawalpindi. My request to the Rawalpindi Maal Gaari is to retire gracefully, PERIOD.

  56. #56 by Mohammed Munir on June 20, 2010 - 10:02 AM

    Newguy …

    Let me first talk about the football scenarios and then I will give you my point on ‘runners’ and why I think a batsmen should be allowed one.

    First and foremost I am happy with the strong Argentinean win over Korea and I think the Korean team needed to be reminded about their position in the circle of World Football Cup 😉 because after defeating Greece in the opener, Korea started acting like world champions. However, at the same time, France loosing 2-0 to Mexico was another shocker, ok a bit less then an absolute shockers, but I think it was an upset. Now France is almost out and they will need a miracle to qualify for the second round (something like Pakistan is so good at doing in major tournaments). 😉

    This World Cup, the football results are also like cricket, totally unpredictable and inconsistent. Germany loosing to Serbia was very bad and moreover they also missed a penalty when they were one down. After putting a good show in the first game, the Germans lost their way and went down to Serbia 1-0; now Germany also has to win the next game against Ghana, which will never be easy, to reach to the next stage. Similarly, the much talked about England side was held-up by Algeria to a goalless draw. England have not yet won a single game and after two draws, they will have to play out of their skin to win the next match and have any real chances to make it to the round of 16. As I said before, I am not a big fan of England, France or Spain but I want these big teams to at least reach to the second round, because without these football giants the next stage will not be the same. It will be like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh reaching to the ‘Super Six’ stage in cricket, which no one will like. 😉

    You are correct about the Brazilian flavour and their free flowing style of football, it is smooth like their Samba dancing. 😉 The Brazil plays their best football specially, when are down by a goal and the opposition have scored, because they play most lively game when they are under pressure. Actually, most of the South Americans teams play like that with shorter-passes, dribbling, technique, and they also play attackingly to score goals, whereas the European style of football is much more rough and tough with higher fouls and aggressive games consisting of longer passes, higher shots, and long kicks, whereas they also waste times when they are winning.

    BTW, my dad is following all the game religiously and so is my son, whereas I see the important ones with major teams and pass the less important matches. Nevertheless, the atmosphere at home is more about football and I get my updates without spending a dime. During one of the discussions with my dad, he was of the opinion that this time round the South American teams (Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, etc) are in much better form whereas the European teams are generally not so strong. Secondly, there also seems to be some issue with the new footballs used by the SA, because the teams are not happy and this could also be a reason for low scoring games, so far.

    Anyways, Brazil is going to play today with Ivory Coast and I will be supporting them, no doubt.

    Ok, this comment has grown too lengthy and I have to stop here, and comeback with ‘runners’ issue.

    PS: I wonder which teams Javed, Khansahab and our other bloggers are supporting in football.

  57. #57 by Mohammed Munir on June 20, 2010 - 10:35 AM

    Newguy …

    On allowing “Runners” to batsmen in Cricket …

    I think they should allow the batsmen to have runners.

    I agree that the bowlers do not get any outside helpers, but my point is that the bowlers as well as the fielders are allowed to leave the ground as many times as they wish and neither the game stops nor anyone really notices, while the batsmen do not have this luxury. Secondly, at least in ODIs, the bowlers do not bowl continuously for more then 5/ 6 overs and that too with regular breaks when other bowler is in action and similarly the fielders do not have every bowl coming in their direction, so they can ‘rest’ whereas the batsmen are continuously playing without any real break, and even when they are not batting they are running for the second player. Thirdly, and more importantly, the bowlers and fielders beside leaving the ground as often as they want, can also take drinks refreshments standing in the ground near the boundary line, which the batsman can not, except for a little break between the overs.

    Another point is that the bowler or fielder can go and comeback into the ground whenever they want, while even if a batsman leaves the ground he can only comeback when another replacement batsman gets out, and by that time the game can be changed.

    Finally, all I have to is that cricket should have a uniform rule, on this issue and it should not depend on the moods and decency or otherwise of the captains or even umpires to decide allowing the runners, because this way it gives chance to more foul play and this is not fair.

    What I mean is that if Afridi can not get a runner after playing for more then an hour and scoring 70/ 80 runs and when he is in obvious pains/ cramps, then WTH Sehwag got a runner only in the 6th over of the innings. Is it only because Sangakara is an A$$ and Afridi is a gentleman ? Or is it because the umpires are bias ? Whatever, the case may be, but Pakistan were at the receiving end both times. 😦

    This is something which is bad about cricket, as ICC is not having any uniform rules and a lot depends on mood/ luck/ umpires/ player/ captain/ etc.

  58. #58 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 20, 2010 - 1:36 PM

    Munir

    In Sri Lanka, Popoye The Sailor Man is not getting any spinach and he forgot to bring his spinach cans, that is why he is having withdrawal symptoms.

  59. #59 by M. Y. Kasim on June 20, 2010 - 3:20 PM

    This is in response to Mohammed Munir’s querry about which team we the bloggers are supporting in Football.

    As far as I am concerned, Brazil and only Brazil is the team to watch and support. I hate those mechanical and methodical European teams. The Latin American teams play as if they are ballerinas. And Brazil is the epitome of them. They are the ARTIST. Similarly I like the African teams. Their aggressive style and play makes one junp on their seats.

    I have been supporting Brazil since I first saw them play in 1958 World Cup finals at Sweden. That was the time when Pele the Suprimo first made his debut as an 16 years old rookie. There were no television in those days but special movies were shown of these games, just like the Ashes series were shown.

    These shows were held either at The British Council or YMCA. Thats how I watched Sir Donald Bradman, Ray Lidwall, Kieth Miller and other Australian stalwards and Walter Hammond, Sir Leonard Hutton, Dennis Compton, Alec Bedser and other English stalwards of those era. That was as early as 1947-48.

  60. #60 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 20, 2010 - 7:18 PM

    For soccer lovers, please click on this link below and see the calender for this WC. I must say that it is amazing and I wish the ICC or cricinfo or someone makes a similar calender for the ICC 2011 Cricket WC championship.

    http://www.marca.com/deporte/futbol/mundial/sudafrica-2010/calendario-english.html

    Please move the cursor to see the time table and even the results of the previous matches for any particular country you want to, all at your finger tips. 😀

  61. #61 by Varun Suri on June 20, 2010 - 8:18 PM

    To M.Y.Kasim and other football fans,

    I agree with you on your views regarding Brazil no doubt football is in their blood but one should give some credit to the European teams as well. The most succesfull teams in the World Cup have been Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Italy

    I have been a Germany supporter and have always admired their never say die spirit something which i identified with Pakistani Circket Team 15 years ago. I started watching both Cricket and Football in and West Germany won the Cup that year and Pakistan was also at it’s peak.

    Both Germany and Italians have been quite succesful as compared to the other Europeans and in this World Cup of upsets it is difficult to predict what will happen although both Brazil and Argentina are looking in good nick.

  62. #62 by Varun Suri on June 20, 2010 - 8:19 PM

    Oops I missed the Year 1990 it was…

  63. #63 by khansahab on June 20, 2010 - 8:20 PM

    Test squad: Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Azhar Ali, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Zulqarnain Haider, Kamran Akmal, Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif, Wahab Riaz, Tanvir Ahmed, Danish Kaneria, Saeed Ajmal.

    ————
    This Test squad is one of the worst squads chosen by PCB in a long time. I suppose the only thing worse would have been to select Misbah ul Haq.

    No Fawad Alam- they have space for Imran Farhat, Malik and the rookie Umar Amin who has so far not impressed, but they don’t have space for Fawad Alam?

    They have selected Tanvir Ahmed- as far as I know he is a medium pacer who has not performed any exceptional feat to warrant selection. What is the criteria for selection? Is this a political selection?

    Younis Khan has refused to succumb to corruption and politics and he is being punished because of that.

  64. #64 by khansahab on June 20, 2010 - 8:23 PM

    Varun

    I support England because I don’t follow football normally and only check the scores when the World Cup is on. The English get totally crazy when England are playing football, even people who don’t know anything about the game watch matches and discuss them. It is hard not to join them when there is this kind of frenzy.

    They have some good players in their team, but no one is good enough to be a world beater. Rooney is probably the only world class player they have at the moment.

  65. #65 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 20, 2010 - 10:27 PM

    khansahab

    This will be a real test for Shahid Afridi’s captaincy to win a test match with such mediocre players in his team. The PCB has made a mockery of decision making. The omission of Younus Khan and Mohammed Yousuf as well as Fawad Alam is a grave mistake on their part. They are taking this matter personally whereas, in the national interest they should have kept the differences aside and selected a good and balanced side. The selection of Hammad Azam was justified by saying he is a very talented player and the irony is he was never tested, all the time they made him sit in the dugout and then he is not in the Asia Cup squad and for the England tour in any format. What wrong has he done? Did he say something to annoy any official? Or, he didn’t butter the backside of Ijaz’s Butt? There is definitely something more than what meets the eye.

    Also, this stupid method of selecting a squad for matches to be played against Australia and then announcing another squad for matches to be played against England makes no sense. In fact it will be a deterrent for the new comers to play very cautiously to score as many runs as possible and in doing so they will not play their natural game, it will be a negative out put because, they know if they don’t play well they will not be selected for the matches against England. Whereas, players who deliberately under perform, i.e., Malik, Akmal and C0 will remain in the squad. Salman Butt will also remain in the side because he is the vice captain.

    IMO, they should have selected a good balanced squad for ALL the matches and give assurance to the players that they will not be dropped on the basis of one bad performance. But, who can plant the seeds of wisdom in Butt’s shitty mind? For Heavens sake get this OLD MAN out and clean the system and the organization.

  66. #66 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 21, 2010 - 4:30 AM

    In view of the chronic persistent opening conundrum that the Pakistani team is facing since a long time, Shahid Afridi needs to make some bold decisions. I would suggest that he follows the pursuit of Imran Khan, Ricky Ponting, Graeme Smith and even in the last ODI against India M. S. Dhoni did the same i.e., to come and bat at number 3. In fact I would be more than happy to see him opening for Pakistan. Since his batting form is some what better than before, he should go back to the old spot where he has scored most runs in his career i.e., as an opener.

    Since this match between Pakistan and Bangladesh has no significance at all except for a formality and also a matter of face saving for Pakistan to bag at least one win in the Asia Cup Tournament. Therefore, he should not hesitate in opening for Pakistan along with Salman Butt or with Kamran Akmal.

    As a captain he has to make some bold changes in batting order otherwise this problem will persist and there is no immediate cure in the near future. Pakistan is not producing any good wicketkeepers, opening batsmen and “A” grade fast bowlers. There are just a few mediocre players who are coming up and showing some sporadic brilliance and they are not consistent at all. I don’t consider Umar Akmal as a reliable batsman either.

    If Afridi can make this change in tomorrow’s match it will give the team some idea about how to deal with the England tour. They must drop Shoaib Akhtar and include Abdur Rahman in the team, I know it sounds weird that replacing a fast bowler with a spinner, but there is no choice Asif is in pathetic form and is of no use. In fact if I play Abdur Rahman, I will use him as an opening bowler to stop the aggression of Tamim Iqbal, Imranul Kayees and Zunaid. From the other end Aamer can bowl like before.

    The match will start in about 4 hours from now and lets see whether Afridi is thinking the same as I am thinking? It is possible because there is some kinda ESP between akhroat brains. 😉

  67. #67 by Mohammed Munir on June 21, 2010 - 8:59 AM

    Kasim Sahab …

    It was lovely reading your comments on football, and I am happy that you too like Brazil. ‘Mugambo Khush Huwa’. 🙂

    I am sure you would have watched .. no no .. rather fully enjoyed the Brazil’s 3 – 1, win over Ivory Coast last night. They played their natural game and scored three sweet goals. Actually, in that game the referee was a total ‘Harami’ and he was too lenient on the rash Ivory Coast players, who after the third goal started playing very aggressive and hurting the Brazilian players on purpose. The referee was from France and so I guess he was taking sides with Ivory Coast for obvious reasons. The Red Card (twice Yellow Cards) which he has shown to Brazilian star Kaka was so not right. Both the bookings were needless and could have been easily avoided, in fact in the second yellow card (which got converted into red), the Ivory Coast player totally faked the injury and made a drama which the referee could not see and he penalized Kaka. Now the worst part is that due to red card Kaka not only was dismissed from this game but he will also miss their next important match with Portugal, unless there is timely review by FIFA on this issue.

    Varun Suri …

    Nice to see your interest in football and I am sure you being in Europe/ Germany would definitely like German team. 😉

    I agree Germany is good but nowhere near Brazil, while I consider even the Italians a touch better then the Germans.

    BTW, both Germany and Italy are in a mess and have difficult situation to qualify for the second round. Germany after am impressive game against the minnows (yes Australians are minnow in football 😉 ) lost to Serbia, who is not even a class-A European team. The Germans now will have to win their last league game against Ghana to reach to the knockout stages. Whereas Italy who drawn two games against Paraguay and New Zealand, have only 2 points and they must win the third game against Slovakia. Although, both Germans and Italians had relatively easier groups then Brazil but still these teams are in trouble with reaching the next stage.

    BTW, I like both Italy and Germans, but in my list of favourites, they come after Brazil and Argentina. 😛

  68. #68 by Varun Suri on June 21, 2010 - 10:20 AM

    khansahab,

    England has the same problem as Spain and Netherlands have they both have excelleent club players but for some reason they are not able to re-produce their best when playing for their national team. While England atleast won the world cup once in 1966 the other two have not been able to win it even once.

    I want England to reach atleast the next round where most probably they will be meeting the Germans and in football England-Germany could be compared to India- Pakistan and it’s always nice to see the English team at the receiving end from the not so great mediocre German Team.

    On the current form I would not be surprised if England is not able to make it to the next round, their match against Algeria could be the worst I have seen them play in my living memory.

  69. #69 by Mohammed Munir on June 21, 2010 - 10:37 AM

    Javed Khan …

    LOL @ Popeye the Sailor Man.

    Yes, I think Razzaq is also carrying some ‘baggage’ which is negatively effecting his performances for some time now. It’s either he wants to be the captain, since he thinks he is senior enough, or may be he is upset because of injustice done to his ICL buddy, Mohammed Yousuf or even Younis Khan. He may also be having some issues with Shoaib Malik back in the side and with whom he had problems or it could be due to Salman Butt being made vice captain, because Razzaq was upset when he was removed from captainship of Lahore team in domestic RBS T20 tournament and nikki Butt replaced him, unjustifiably.

    Whatever the reasons, Razzaq is not playing with his heart and it is showing in his below par performances in batting as well as bowling departments.

    I am very upset with Younis and Yousuf being kept out of the England tour and it will be a recipe for disaster. Similarly, in the absence of Y & Y, Fawad Alam was an absolute must-have in the test squads and what has Amin Umer achieved so special to be included in T20 as well as test team and where the F… is Hammad Azam gone and why ? Poor fellow, he went for T20 World Cup and is being ousted without even getting a single chance and the tragedy is that he is not even included in 35 probables. I wonder what he did wrong, and to whom ? But what can one say except that this is all happening to Pakistan Cricket only and only because of &(*%##@(^!(#*#^_!)#*#)@*#()$&&*&^%^$#%@%#%$^^(*&))(*)(**O&*%&$#$%@#$#$!$!$@#%^$^^$&%%*&^(^(* Ijaz the-Butt.

    About the recent selections for the T20 / Tests matches in England, and also reading some of the above comments regarding Mohsin Khan, Waqar, Afridi, Hammad Azam and others, I think the root cause of all these issues is the one and only culprit, Ijaz the-Butt. It is so very unfortunate that this guy is single handedly fcuking the whole cricket scene in Pakistan and no one, and I mean NO ONE, can do anything about it. At times, I have serious doubts that even President Ghaddari is helpless in front of this *&^$@%$%*&# Waddi Butt.

    On the other hand and more realistically, speaking I will not place a major blame on Mohsin, Waqar, Afridi or anyone else because they all have to earn their livelihood and feed their families, so they have well understood the Butt-Power and given-up to his idiocies and stubbornness. Further, they also know what have happened and is still happening to Iqbal Qassim, Abdul Qader, Younis Khan, Mohammed Yousuf, etc. etc. who have gone even one inch against the dirty wishes of Butt.

    In Pakistan it is called “Gadhay Ko Baap Kehna”, and in fact everyone around PCB is doing just the same.

    Believe me with issues like these, I am finding it really hard to keep my interest in Pakistan Cricket alive. 😦

    PS: Thanks for pasting an interesting football link it will be useful to our bloggers. As for me, I had been using the same site since day, but missed to share it will others. 😉

  70. #70 by Mohammed Munir on June 21, 2010 - 11:45 AM

  71. #71 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 21, 2010 - 1:24 PM

    Afridi scored yet another hundred in this tournament, the so-called burden of captaincy has brought the best out of him and has silenced his critics once again by scoring 124 in 60 balls and now he tops the top six fastest hundred three times. Also, he has surpassed Jayasuriya’s most sixes by two more sixes. Jayasuriya may not play for Sri Lanka any more but, Afridi is likely to stay for 3-4 years more and will definitely surpass the magical figures of 300 sixes.

    His aggression is controlled, he played dot balls, singles, twos and threes besides 17 fours and 4 sixes in his 124 runs. I can’t see why he cannot play up the order? If not as an opener he should at least consolidate his place at number 3 in T20 and ODI’s. Especially in T20 he is wasted if he plays at number 6 or 7.

    Whatever the outcome or the result of this match would be when Bangladesh resumes their innings, there is one thing that has come clear is Afridi as a captain has consolidated his position. It is very unlikely that Bangladesh can score 386 against Pakistan and that too batting second on this ground. I think it will be a one sided match, but I want to see some stroke play from BD’s top order.

    The way Umar Amin was run out today is very comical, right at the early stage of his career he is joining the list of players like Inzamam, Misbah who find new ways to get out. IMO, Bangladesh should have been more sporty and should not have claimed a run out. In fact the bowler whipped the bail off not to get the batsman run out but, he did that as a reflex action and the other fielder appealed and the 3rd umpire confirmed that Amin who was tapping the bat on the ground (like he is gardening), his bat was in the air for a fraction of a second when the bails were whipped off. Sad enough for Amin, perhaps he will remember it for the rest of is life and learn from it.

  72. #72 by khansahab on June 21, 2010 - 6:40 PM

    Miandad says Younis and Akhtar should have been included in Pakistan Test team

    By Rizwan Ali (CP) – 3 hours ago
    ISLAMABAD — Former captain Younis Khan and Shoaib Akhtar should have been included in the Pakistan Test team for twin series against Australia and England, says cricket great Javed Miandad.
    “Both series are tough and we need experienced players to compete in English conditions,” Miandad told The Associated Press on Monday.
    Pakistan is scheduled to play two Tests against Australia next month as part of its ‘home’ series due to security concerns. The series will be followed with four Tests against England.
    Pakistan chief selector Mohsin Khan named a 17-member Test squad on Sunday in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, where the team is competing in the Asia Cup.
    The PCB media release said the chief selector consulted coach Waqar Younis, captain Shahid Afridi and manager Yawar Saeed before finalizing the Test squad.
    There were reports in the local media on Monday that members of the selection committee were not consulted.
    Leading urdu language daily Jang said selectors Salim Jaffar, Mohammad Ilyas and Azhar Khan might even resign as they were not happy with Mohsin Khan’s selected squad.
    Miandad, the director general of the Pakistan Cricket Board, also felt the team comprised too many youngsters.
    “I fail to understand the logic (of the selection committee) to drop both Younis and Akhtar,” he said.
    “It’s not fair to expect youngsters to perform in difficult playing conditions in England where Younis and Akhtar could have made the difference with their experience.”
    It is not the first time Miandad has openly criticized the workings of the PCB.
    Last year he resigned after developing differences with PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, then he was reinstated.
    “I am not in the PCB because of money,” Miandad said.
    “If there’s something wrong, it’s my duty to point it out.”
    Earlier this month, the cricket board lifted an indefinite ban on Younis, who is playing for Surrey in the English County Championship.
    He (Younis) is our most established Test batsman and it’s nothing but a big shock to me that he is not in the Test squad,” Miandad said.
    Fast bowler Akhtar played in all three one-dayers at the Asia Cup, and Miandad felt the paceman could have benefited the team in Tests, too.
    “The only way you give someone confidence is by playing him in international matches,” he said.
    “Akhtar has proved his fitness in the Asia Cup, then what’s the harm in including him for the Test matches, too?”
    Pakistan also surprisingly excluded fast bowler Mohammad Sami and Miandad’s nephew, middle-order batsman Faisal Iqbal, for the test series despite both playing against Australia this year.
    “My only point is that if you give someone a chance he should be given an extended run to prove whether he is suitable for international matches or not,” Miandad said.
    “The selectors put the label of Test match on Iqbal and now when we are competing in Test matches he is out of the squad.”
    Miandad said he would soon be meeting with the patron of the PCB — President Asif Ali Zardari — and brief him about the affairs of the PCB.
    I am not afraid to lose the job,” he said.
    “The president is a cricket lover, he encouraged me to take up the job in the PCB for the betterment of the game.

    “He must know what’s wrong in the PCB.”

  73. #73 by M. Y. Kasim on June 21, 2010 - 7:50 PM

    Mohammed Munir,

    I am glad you and I have the same passion and liking for the Football beside Cricket.

    Here is something I came to know from the commentators after the match between Brazil and Ivory coast, I would like to share with you all.

    The goal scored by the Ivory Coast team against Brazil is the first and ONLY goal conceded by Brazil to an Africa side in the 85 years of history of World Cup Fianls!!

    My prediction for the semi-final is:

    Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Portugal.

    Portugal made a mockery of World Cup Finals by scring 7 goals against North Korea. (My observasance)

  74. #74 by khansahab on June 21, 2010 - 8:15 PM

    I was watching the highlights of India-Pakistan Asia Cup match. I’ve noticed India’s Praveen Kumar acts and behaves like a paindoo.

    Umar Akmal walks like a paindoo, like sticking his stomach out, it’s a very unique stride.

  75. #75 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 21, 2010 - 9:24 PM

    Mr. Kasim

    The thing that you missed out in that very match between Brazil and Ivory Coast is, the second goal scored by Brazil was actually not a goal, because before netting the ball in the goal post two Brazilian players touched the ball by hand, (Two handballs) and the umpire did not notice, whereas the Ivory Coast defenders assumed that the umpire must have seen and were expecting a whistle but, it was too late. It was shown later many many times that there was not one but two handballs.

    Another thing is KAKA got an unnecessary Red Card, because he was not even looking at the Ivory Coast player who came and crashed into him, it was his fault and Kaka did not even bother to look at him because it was not his mistake. I would blame the Brazilian coach to allow Kaka to continue playing after a yellow card, he should have taken him off to avoid this situation because Kaka is one of their star performer and he won’t be able to play in the next match.

  76. #76 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 21, 2010 - 9:28 PM

    khansahab

    I hope Miandad’s comments are echoed by the media and they should talk more about it on the TV shows so that Butt gets under pressure and reverse his decision. The irony is no one challenges this MF and he keeps on doing things apni munn maani. As if cricket and the PCB is his baap ki jageer.

    The squad selected for England consist of very immature players and Afridi will have a real tough time in winning the test matches without Yousuf and Younus. And, look at the way Asif bowled today against BD, he was thrashed for 60 runs in 10 overs. Both bowling and batting department looks impotent to me. And they will lose all the test matches against Australia and England.

  77. #77 by newguy on June 21, 2010 - 9:46 PM

    What an innings from Afridi. Unbelievable striking!!!

    It’s good to see that after a long string of failures with bat over last 2-3 years he is coming good with two stunning hundreds. That said, it’s about time others pulled their weight in the team too.

    I would like to see Afridi batting like this against England and Australia, it will be bit of a challenge though under different conditions, but he is hitting form and able to strike the ball cleanly again, so he should be able to do well.

  78. #78 by newguy on June 21, 2010 - 9:55 PM

    On Football. Things are getting heated up. Portugal hit form today after the first match disappointment. France, Germany, England, and Italy has had shockers so far. This is not unusual in early stages, though this time many European teams are struggling more than usual. I like South American style better, as many others have said. They have more grace and play with short passes, and always makes the scoring look so easy. Since I play football at amateur level I know in reality how hard is to do this, you only have split second response time to line up the ball and strike before the defenders boot takes away the ball.

    I am eagerly waiting for USA to qualify for the group of 16, USA has done quite well so far given the standards for football is not very high in this country and that it is not the number one sport in the country. If USA qualify to group of 16 then we have done really well. USA must win against Algeria to ensure a place. A tie may also do the trick, but then it will depend on permutations and combinations, so a win is nicer.

    I too think Ivory Coast was too rough in match against Brazil and the referee had a bad day. Same goes for the referee is USA match against Slovania, when he disallowed the 3rd goal scored by USA, clearly Slovania was fouling against USA even at the time to scoring the goal. It is a shocker that this is allowed and there is not reversal process.

    Argentina is looking good, so is Brazil, but it’s early, strange things can happen.

  79. #79 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 22, 2010 - 12:22 AM

    newguy

    Not only that he is playing dot balls, singles and twos as well which I never saw before from Afridi. And, he is mastering the art of hitting inside out sixes and fours over the extra cover boundary which is very difficult to score and you can do it only if you have the power. His straight sixes and also on the long-on are easy but playing against the spin over the extra cover, especially against the likes of Murali is not an easy thing. And, I agree with you if he can do that in England which is different in both ways – stronger teams and different pitches – But, in the English conditions his bowling will come good. I think his career best in ODI’s is against Zimbabwe in England.

  80. #80 by Mohammed Munir on June 22, 2010 - 6:30 AM

    On Afridi …

    If this is what captaincy can do to a player then there should be 12 captains in a team. 😉

    Afridi, with his back-to-back superb centuries has proved that when one takes responsibility with sincerity the result is exceptional. No matter what peoples say about Pakistan loosing and not reaching the final of Asian Cup but the fact remains that we have played the best two games of the tournament so far, and Pakistan gave peoples what they like the best in cricket, entertainment.

    After the match, Ramiz Raja was all praise for Afridi and his captaincy/ leadership, and besides many other comments, Ramiz said that Afridi is the best entertainer in the world of cricket today and in his opinion, Afridi should be given his due credit for providing best entertainment to the cricket fans as he is doing great service to cricket by popularizing the game and help fill-up the stadiums as many fans come only to see Afridi hit sixes.

    I hope Afridi continues his good form with the bat, but more importantly I want to see him as a successful leader/ captain of Pakistan in all three formats of the game.

    On Bangladesh …

    Call me heartless and mean, but the thing is that Bangladesh played the most gutless, boring, cowardly, meaningless, and tedious cricket ever. It is never about winning or loosing the game but it is all about “TRYING” and the stupid Bangalis did not even try. It seemed as if the Bangladesh were seeing the target as 285 and not 385, and they lost the match and gave-up pathetically before even start of their innings. If there was a rule in ODIs similar to the one in test cricket where both captains can stop the game on the fifth day, then I think Bangladeshi captain would have accepted his defeat without batting after Pakistan scored 385, and in doing so he would have saved the Bangali cricket fans some misery. In chess when one player sees his obvious weakness and he knows that he will be lost, so he “Resigns” and do not continue the game any further. This saves unnecessary dragging of the game till the finish. I think the Bangladeshi captain and their entire team ‘Resigned’ and accepted their fate without fight.

    In the end Bangladesh could reach to 246 with five wickets down, I would have been happy for Bangladesh if they scored around 325 with 9 wickets down or may be even getting all out in 45 overs or even playing some entertaining cricket in the start of the innings. But it seems they not only lacked self confidence, but they decided in their mind before their innings that they will never try to chase the target.

    IMO, next time only 3 teams should play the Asian Cup to keep the interest of the tournament alive.

    Kasim Sahab …

    Interesting fact about the Ivory Cost goal against Brazil.

    Another interesting news is that Brazil played around 95 matches in World Cup Finals history till today and they won around 65 out of those, while they drew around 16 and lost only 14 times.

    Brazil is not the King of World Football for no reasons !!

    But the icing on the cake is that they are not aggressive in their style and they play fair, clean, fluid and smooth game of football with cool head and typical Brazilian flavour. Just like the Samba or even the ‘ballerinas’. 😉

    I wish ‘Aap Kay Moun Mein Ghee Shakar’ for predicting the four semi-finalists as Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Portugal. And possibly the only thing better then this will be to have Italy replacing Portugal in the semis. 😀

    BTW, what Portugal did to Korea in Football (7-0) is same to what Pakistan did to Bangladesh in cricket. 😆

    Javed Khan …

    Yes you are right Brazil’s second goal against Ivory Coast was not clean and their player Fabiano had two handballs before striking the goal. Actually, it was the one and same player who had two handballs (one clear and one more doubtful where the ball touched near his shoulder). I also agree with you that after scoring 3 goals and when Kaka was shown first yellow card the Brazil coach Dunga should have replaced Kaka, but he made a mistake and secondly, I think the gap in Kaka’s first and second yellow card was too short.

    Although, Brazil have a tough third league game ahead of them against Portugal, but the best part is that they have already qualified to the next round with two wins, and winning or loosing against Portugal doesn’t really makes any major difference, except that they will be top or second from their group. BTW, in the next round, the top two teams from this group (which most probably will be Brazil and Portugal) will be playing against the top two teams from the group of Spain, Switzerland, Chile, and Honduras. While I have a feeling that Spain and Chile will qualify who will both fight tough with Brazil.

  81. #81 by Mohammed Munir on June 22, 2010 - 8:43 AM

    Finally a Pakistan-born Muslim, Usman Khawaja, has been selected in the squad to represent Australia at the test levels and that too against his own birth country, Pakistan. What is more surprising is that he is only 23, which by Australian standards is very young to play at highest levels, a country where Mike Hussey could debut only at 30/ 31 years of mature age, when most Asian players are thinking about retiring.

    Have a look …

    http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan-v-australia-2010/content/current/story/464222.html

  82. #82 by Mohammed Munir on June 22, 2010 - 10:06 AM

    Pakistan’s unintelligent use of ‘Batting Power Play’ …

    I want to bring an issue on the discussion table here.

    It has been observed that Pakistan is never using their brains while selecting the ‘batting power-play’, which is almost always taken in the end from overs 46 to 50 irrespective of the match circumstances. Although, the bowling power-play is having far less technicalities attached to it and most of the bowling teams go straight from over no. 11 to 15, immediately after the initial ten overs of first power-play, however, the third or batting power-play is something which can be used by the batting sides with lot of skills and considering the demands of the match situation.

    What I mean is that it is of no use to have batting power-play from 46 to 50 overs when the team is left with no batsmen to hit. In fact the batting teams should avail the power-play to the best of their advantages specially in situations when they are having wickets in hand. Like yesterday’s game against Bangladesh, there was absolutely no need to delay the power-play till over no. 46 when Pakistan had 5 wickets in hand, because Afridi got out in 47th overs with three overs of power-play to spare. Had Pakistan availed it around 40 overs mark, then they would have got the required tempo much before and the same momentum would have continued in the remaining overs even after the power-play finished in 45th over. Pakistan could have easily crossed 400 mark, if not more.

    Similarly, several times before Pakistan is saving the batting power-play till the end and in some matches against Australia/ NZ there were no batsmen left to take advantage of the fielding restrictions.

    I would not place the entire responsibility of selecting the batting power-play more proficiently on captain, because this is something which the management/ coaches (Pakistan have at least 3 main coaches) should plan while formulating the strategy from match to match, and not to follow it like a ‘Lakeer Ka Fakeer’ from 46 to 50 overs without taking into account any other factors.

    It would be interesting to know what our expert bloggers think on this subject.

  83. #83 by Mohammed Munir on June 22, 2010 - 10:16 AM

    In case of Pakistan, the batting power-play should start the moment Shahid Afridi comes on the pitch. 😉

  84. #84 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 22, 2010 - 12:11 PM

    Munir

    I watched Pakistan’s innings live on TV and when Bangladesh started their innings I thought they might go berserk and score fast, but after seeing a couple of overs and hardly any runs on the board and showing no signs of aggression, I turned off the TV. I dunno how “Zunaid Zamsaid” scored that 97 runs? Their only aggressive player is Tamim Iqbal.

    MahaROOF is over the roof today, he took 5 wickets including a hat-rick and and India bundled out for 209. Lets see how SL batsmen will play?

  85. #85 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 22, 2010 - 12:13 PM

    As regards batting power play other than the captain (if he is batting) it is the job of the coach and manager to send a message and take the power play. In any case they must consider it as part of their critical planning and implement it at the right time and not leave it till the 45th over.

  86. #86 by khansahab on June 22, 2010 - 6:57 PM

    Pakistan has what it takes to beat England: Zulqarnain

    While talking he said “condition in England wouldn’t suit the home team much because the raining season is just about to end and there’s still some time left in the series, so the weather would get better in due course. Pakistan has good strength in bowling and batting as players like Salman Butt, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul can play important role in the series.”

    While talking about the wicket keeping, he said “wicket keeping is an important part of the game and Kamran Akmal will have to be on his toes all the time because now he has some people eyeing his place in the team. My batting is good enough and I have been performing on the domestic circuit and if given a chance would play important role in Pakistan’s victory as I have the experience of playing under the English conditions.”

    Zulqarnain, who has represented Pakistan in Twenty20 match against South Africa in 2007, is making his comeback to Pakistan side after three-and-half years.

    “Waqar bhai and Shahid bhai have reposed their confidence in me and I’m sure of getting a chance to prove my mettle in the series. The two-match series against Australia would be harder when compared with England as they are in prime touch and all of their guns are firing therefore we will have to play our best game. Shahid Afridi is gaining confidence as a skipper and he has taken himself to a position where nobody can argue his place in the ODI or test team,” he added.

  87. #87 by khansahab on June 22, 2010 - 7:01 PM

    I was watching the interview of Sarfraz Nawaz and these were his observations:

    “Safarish has killed Pakastan cricket. The Chairman himself got the job because of being the brother in law of a Minister, so how do you expect the players to be”?

    “The Board suffers from poor management”

  88. #88 by khansahab on June 22, 2010 - 7:11 PM

    Musharraf will lead Pak against ‘tsunami of corruption’

    2010-06-22 16:10:00
    A key aide of Pervez Musharraf has said that the former Pakistan President is determined to lift the country from the prevalent chaos and the ‘tsunami of corruption’.

    “Musharraf would return soon and would fix the date for his return himself. He is committed to going back to Pakistan,” The News quoted Qureshi, Musharraf’s spokesperson and a key strategist, as saying.

    “The decision is up to him, he will go back soon and you will see him participating in elections and leading the people against the tsunami of corruption unleashed on Pakistan,” he added.

    Qureshi also said that the launch of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and the party’s membership drive have received remarkable response, and emphasized that political leaders from national parties have welcomed the launch and assured their support.

    He was quick to highlight that APML is not just another addition to the long list of political parties.

    “APML is determined get Pakistan’s true potential recognized in the world as was the case under Pervez Musharraf. Our agenda is crystal clear. We want to serve Pakistan, not our personal interests,” Qureshi said.

    “Corruption, plunder and nepotism have forced Pakistanis to think hard about their future and they are not satisfied with the pace and nature of the current order. They are vying for change,” he added. (ANI)

  89. #89 by khansahab on June 22, 2010 - 7:19 PM

    I have always opposed the selection of Faisal Akbal but he is better than Malik in Tests.
    ———————-
    Faisal Iqbal accuses PCB of victimisation

    Javed Miandad’s nephew Faisal Iqbal has accused the PCB of unfairly targeting him after being left out of the team that will play six tests in England this summer. “I’m really disheartened,” Faisal told the News. “They have given me the shock of my life by discarding me without any due reason. It’s pure victimisation and nothing else,” he said.

    Faisal last played for Pakistan on the disastrous tour of Australia, where he averaged 24.25 in the first two Tests before being replaced for the third Test. His exclusion from the England tour has left him disheartened and he claimed his shabby treatment would serve as a deterrent to young players coming through the system.

    “I’ve played as a replacement player for the last nine years,” he said. I’ve scored even in difficult conditions though the chances I was given were few and far between. I’m young and fit and have matured now but they have just discarded me without any fault of mine. Such treatment of players like me, who are loyal to their country, will dishearten the next generation of cricketers.”

    He also argued that he turned down lucrative contract offers from the ICL because of his love for his country, unlike some of the players named in the squad. “I just wanted to play for my country and give my best for it.” Faisal has played 26 Tests for Pakistan since making his debut in 2002/03 against Australia, averaging a tad under 27 with one century and eight half-centuries.

  90. #90 by khansahab on June 22, 2010 - 7:27 PM

    Juwaid A Khan

    Afridi’s critics are totally gobsmacked bakaouz of this outstanding performance in the Asia Cup. I have visited some Pakastani blogs and found there to be zero mention of Shahad Fridee.

    ‘Fridee has a tough job in England bakaouz the batting is weak and the England team has been in decent farm.

  91. #91 by newguy on June 23, 2010 - 12:59 PM

    India lost the final dead match to SL and gifted Maharoof with his career best performance including a hat-trick. They did the same for Michaelangelo Mathews last year in a tri-series before they eventually won the finals on Tendulkar’s brilliance and Harbhajan five-for.

    This time there won’t be any such heroics, this is the Asia cup final and Sri Lanka has a monopoly over this cup.

    Now, Javed Khan may correct me for relying on statistics once again, but it’s not just based on statistics. Indian team do not have decent bowling options, even Zaheer Khan is not at his best. I expect SL to win the finals, unless India bats first and put up a big score, close to 300 runs.

    As far as World Cup preparations go, Sri Lanka looks like the only Asian team to have a good plan and decent reserve of talent. India and Pakistan are both no where, Pakistan has plenty to figure out in terms of fielding and batting, while getting their bowling unit to handle pressure. India has no bowling attack at all, which is very worrying and they have no reserve talent left over. This is a team going down the hill very fast, they are ranked #3 in ODI, but that is all based on past performance, and not indicative of where they are going. My assessment is that they are somewhere close to Pakistan and New Zealand, which should be around #5 or #6.

  92. #92 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 23, 2010 - 4:43 PM

    newguy

    As regards stats on Asia Cup, both teams have won the cup six times each and there is a very marginal difference in comparison between the two teams, with Sri Lanka 51% and India 49%. If India plays like they did against Pakistan while batting second, then they can win. I agree that India’s bowling attack is very weak, other than Harbhajan there is no one at the moment who is a wicket taker or who can contain runs. Dhoni’s “Jaddu” has no Jadoo (magic) yet, he will still play despite Dhoni suggesting that he should improve his batting.

    Maharoof became a hero from Zero by virtue of that hat-rick otherwise, he was under pressure after Afridi bashing – two straight sixes in a row – He was looking up into the Heavens and he did the same again after taking a hat-rick. The only difference was, “Save me my Lord” and the other was, “Thank you my Lord.” In any case the final will not be a piece of cake for Sri Lanka like this round match, not only because of the absence of Harbhajan and Nehra but, India will play better in the final. If they bat first and put up 300 plus then it would be hard for Sri Lanka to reach there. In that case what India should do is put a lot of pressure in the initial overs and keep the asking run rate high and that way they will be under pressure. If they let Dilshan loose then he will release the pressure, rather he will turn it on the opposition. They should get him out first and contain Tharanga.

    Sri Lanka’s back bone is Sangakara and Jayawardene and if they lose 4 wickets under 150 in 27-28 overs then the others cannot make 300 plus.

  93. #93 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 23, 2010 - 4:49 PM

    Pakistan teams’ fielding is their worst department and I don’t understand why they can’t improve their fielding? There were so many training camps for such a long time and there was a big talk about fielding practice, yet when it comes to deliver they fail. And, bad fielding, dropped catches derails the morale of other players especially bowlers. I haven’t seen Aamer collecting a single ball without a fumble, same is the case with Razzaq and Butt. And, the less we talk about Kamran Akmal the better it is.

    I think more than fielding practice, their diets must be checked because, they seems to have unhealthy food which makes them sleepy and lethargic. I remember in Sharjah, Inzamam, Aaqib Javed, Saleem Malik they all used to go to that Delhi Restaurant a night before the match to eat Nihari. Apart from the coach and physio, they must have a dietitian to check their eating habits at least during the tours, otherwise, they go searching for desi restaurants and eat all heavy food and get lethargic.

  94. #94 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 23, 2010 - 6:44 PM

    We just experienced an earthquake here it was in the magnitude of 5.5 on the richter scale, people from office buildings in Toronto reportedly got evacuated. I was at home and the whole house was shaking, immediately I realized that it is an earthquake and ran out of the house. Luckily it lasted for a few seconds no damage done but in other parts of Ontario and Quebec it lasted for about a minute, whereas we only experienced a few tremors. I thought we are free from earthquakes but, no one is safe, whenever mother nature wants to play with us she bowls a googly or a doosra 😉

  95. #95 by khansahab on June 23, 2010 - 7:28 PM

    Juwaid Khan

    Luckily you are unhurt following the earthquake.

  96. #96 by khansahab on June 23, 2010 - 9:58 PM

    Butt behind Younis Khan’s England tour exclusion: Mohsin

    KARACHI: Pakistan’s chief selector, Mohsin Khan has claimed that the Cricket Board (PCB) didn’t give clearance to the national selection committee to consider former captain, Younis Khan for the Test tour to England.

    Explaining the reason behind not picking Younis, a decision that had caused surprise in the cricketing circle, Mohsin said that PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt didn’t give clearance for Younis’ selection.

    “Normally if a player is unfit the PCB medical board gives the selection committee clearance for him and if a player has disciplinary issues then the PCB Chairman gives clearance which we didn’t get in case of Younis,” the former Test opener said.

    Mohsin’s statement is likely to cause more bitterness and controversy as the appeals commissioner of the board, Justice (retd) Irfan Qadir had earlier this month lifted an indefinite ban on Younis Khan.

  97. #97 by khansahab on June 23, 2010 - 10:00 PM

    Miandad, nephew face PCB action
    2010-06-23 21:30:00

    Former captain Javed Miandad and his nephew Faisal Iqbal may face action from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for criticising it and the selection committee following the team’s announcement for the England tour.

    Miandad, who also holds the position of PCB director general, lashed out the selectors for not including former captain Younis Khan and other players in the side who he believed deserved a place in the team.

    Faisal, who has been given the PCB’s B category contract, on the other hand, rued his omission from the national squad, saying he was victimised by the board for being Miandad’s nephew.

    A source in the PCB said that the board is reviewing the recent statements by Miandad and Faisal and would decide on action against the duo after assessing them.

    ‘Since both Miandad and Faisal are employees of the board, they should follow the code of conduct according to their contract which they have violated and may face action’, the source said.

    He said after reviewing the statements PCB would send a showcause notice to the duo seeking explanation of their recent outburst against the board.

  98. #98 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 23, 2010 - 10:19 PM

    What is that “Bloody Code of Conduct?” That MF Ijaz Butt farts in front of the media and keeps denying that he didn’t do that. Every now and then he changes his statements and talks like a buffoon, he has no morals, no ethics, no education, no nothing. He acts like a dictator and the irony is no one does anything against him. Shouldn’t the people of Pakistan take out processions against him? They must demand his ouster ASAP. The irony is President Asif Ali Zaradari himself came into power from the backdoor and Ijaz Butt has been appointed as Chairman of the PCB because his brother-in-law is the Minister.

    If that one man appellate board commissioner so-called Justice (retired and justice denied) Irfan Qadir can clear Shoaib Malik against all odds, how come he cannot do the same for Younus Khan? This is all dramay-baazi, they are all chips of the same block, a hand in glove and they don’t want Younus Khan to be in the team. Mohammad Yousuf has given up, he probably find solace in Tableegh and may not play cricket again!

  99. #99 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 23, 2010 - 10:23 PM

    “Form and discipline kept Younis out – Afridi

    Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan captain, has said that he wanted former captain Younis Khan in the squad for the tour of England but various issues, such as form and discipline, had prevented the batsman’s selection.

    “I wanted Younis to be in the team but, besides the issue of his recent form, there was also a bit of a disciplinary issue with Younis,” Afridi told Geo TV. “One must understand I don’t pick the team alone. The input of the coach and selectors is also involved in this process.”

    Younis, whose ban had been overturned by the PCB after an appeal, was not included in Pakistan’s Test or Twenty20 squad for the trip to England. Ijaz Butt, chairman of the board, said last week that Younis’ return would require clearance from the board, an issue that wasn’t deemed to be an issue at all with Shoaib Malik, Afridi and the Akmal brothers, who had all apologised for their mistakes.

    Afridi also said that fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who made a comeback in the Asia Cup, would only play limited-over cricket for now. “We don’t want to waste him or damage his remaining career by playing him in Test cricket,” Afridi said.

    Although Pakistan made an early exit from the Asia Cup, after beating only Bangladesh, they competed hard against Sri Lanka and India. Afridi’s performances were impressive in the tournament: he scored centuries against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and took three wickets at an economy-rate of 4.60. “The truth is that in the Twenty20 World Cup, I had taken the pressure of captaincy which affected my individual form as well, but this time I focused on my own performances,” he said.

    Afridi will make a return to Test cricket after four years when he leads the team in Pakistan’s ‘home’ series against Australia in England this summer.

  100. #100 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 23, 2010 - 11:03 PM

    After hitting two centuries and scoring highest number or runs in three matches, Afridi can boast about his form. As regards discipline he should have looked back and see the ball that he bit and a few other incidents. On the contrary Younus Khan hasn’t done anything wrong in terms of discipline. The only thing he has been asking is: “What is the reason for his ban?” Because, we all know he did nothing wrong and the PCB also knows that he did nothing wrong. But, they don’t want to say that we banned him for no reason aur yae HUTT-DHARMI hai Butt MC ki. And, simply because he will be exposed he is keeping Younus Khan out of the team. As regards form, it is temporary it is the class that is permanent. If Afridi can get back into form with a century, Younus Khan can also get back his form in no time. Can anyone deny that Younus is a bad test player? Maintaining an average of 50 plus runs in test cricket having played 63 test matches and scoring 5260 runs is not a joke. Ricky Ponting was out of form through out the season, he is grateful to Mohammad Aamer for dropping a sitter when he was on zero and he hit a double century.

    Therefore, Afridi must think before he speaks, he tried to be cautious and careful and gave a stupid statement, sometimes it is better to keep quiet rather than uttering nonsense.

  101. #101 by Mohammed Munir on June 24, 2010 - 8:24 AM

    Javed Khan …

    IMO, Shahid Afridi tried to handle the sensitive issue of Younis’s exclusion very well, and I did not see anything wrong with it. In fact Afridi has been very diplomatic and exceptionally good in handling the Yousuf/ Younis matter, beside other player problems, and also keeping PCB in comfortable position.

    I agree that Younis does not have form issue, but for PCB (who is his employer) Younis have serious disciplinary problems.

    The truth is that Afridi single-handedly persuaded PCB to reconsider the bans of Younis & Yousuf and opened an opportunity for them both to come back, which they did not take. Now in this situation, how low can Afridi go for bringing in these guys who are themselves not making things easy for him ?

    I like Younis Khan and I respect him for his honest stand and I would still pray that he somehow joins the team for England tour, but how can we all forget that Younis put-up his resignation several times even when the PCB Chairman Butt was supportive of him. Younis also left the team alone for the NZ and Australia tour when we badly needed him and he went fishing/ hunting, whereas even Yousuf sent a SOS and was trying to get him back for the tour. Younis also left his local team in the middle of a domestic tournament, I think it was RBS T20 or may be Pent-angular Cup. Furthermore, now out of all other players only Younis wants an open-trial from PCB and that too in the presence of media/ journalists. The thing is Afridi himself was already penalized by ICC, but still PCB slapped a hefty fine on him and put him under probation.

    I fully agree that Ijaz Butt is an A$$ and PCB was wrong with Younis and all that, but the fact remains that at times we have to live with the system even when we know the system is fcuked-up. Similar situations can arises with one’s job and in spite of one being correct, he has to accept the BS from bosses/ employers. I understand that it is wrong and against principals, but who is at loss now, PCB or Younis Khan ?

    Let’s say for discussion that suppose if Afridi stated the obvious fact that Younis is correct in demanding explanation from PCB and that Butt is excluding him as a personal vendetta, then what will happen is that Younis will still be not included and moreover Afridi will be kicked out of the captaincy/ team, and the entire country including President Ghaddari would not be able to do anything against Ijaz Butt and we all be sitting here blaming Afridi for being outspoken and a fool. The examples of Abdul Qader, Qassim, Salahuddin, Yousuf, Younis are all around us and they paid the price because nobody could do anything against Butt. Just wait and see what happens to Mohsin Khan and Faisal Iqbal next.

    I think Afridi is not only showing superior on-field personal performances but he is also having excellent leadership/ captaincy characteristics. Afridi has not only successfully united our rowdy players but has successfully convinced PCB to try to include Yousuf, Younis and Akhter.

    PS: BTW, why you had to publish your last comment against Afridi twice ? 😉

  102. #102 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 24, 2010 - 2:14 PM

    Munir

    I did not publish my comment twice its either the system or my computer did that repetition, there is no reason why I should do that. Anyways, thanks for pointing out, I have just deleted one.

    As regards Afridi, I never said he should have said the obvious my emphasis was on remaining quiet. I agree that most of the times the media tries to put words in your mouth to get something out of it. In situations like this, you can always say, I am in no position to comment on that. Because, sometimes they twist your comment and give a different meaning out of it. And definitely I am not saying Afridi’s captaincy is bad or weak, in fact by scoring two centuries albeit in a lost case has raised his respect in the eyes of his team mates and the public in general. In one of my comments previously I wrote that, ‘the so-called burden of captaincy is bringing the best out of Afridi.”

    And you say who is losing, Younus or Butt? Butt is and he was never in a wining position it is the game of cricket that we are losing in Pakistan because of Butt.

  103. #103 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 24, 2010 - 2:21 PM

    newguy

    I am sure you must be watching the Asia Cup final right now. Remember what I said? If you get the top 4, Sri Lanka team becomes impotent.

    India could not make 300 plus but 268 is good enough runs to defend, just like Pakistan made 267 (almost the same total) and in the last 4 overs India needed 47 runs and they managed to get them. However, here at the moment India is in commanding position with 50-4. The fast bowlers are doing a good job especially Nehra’s two wickets in one over and Zaheer Khan’s first 4 overs were great. I was thinking Sangakara and Jayawardene will take the total to 140-150 but they failed and now The Asia Cup is certainly, surely and definitely India’s. I have to go now, I cannot wait and watch, because from now on it will be a one sided affair. CONGRATULATIONS IN ADVANCE

  104. #104 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 24, 2010 - 2:31 PM

    Last nail in the coffin, Sangakar et tu? Nehra got his 3rd wicket Zaheer took an easy catch and now SL are caving in 53/5 what a farcical ending to this final? Sri Lanka can boast their unbeaten record but, they crumbled like a cookie in the finals.

  105. #105 by newguy on June 24, 2010 - 3:18 PM

    Javed Khan,

    Yes, I have been watching the Asia cup proceedings, and at one point thought India would fall short with the bat, especially when “Jaddu” could not get the ball away in the final overs. But 268 is a good total for a final since there is extra pressure in chasing total under lights in a final. It needed a good bowling effort though, and Indians did it when they first got Dilshan before he could cause any damage, then followed up with superb couple of overs from Zaheer. In fact, Zaheer lead the way and rest fell in line. Once Mahela and Mathews got out in one over, I knew it will be tough.

    At this time Kandamby and Kapugedera are fighting, but it needs a miracle from here on and very poor show from Indians.

    Winning Asia cup will be sweet revenge for Indians after having lost last time when Mendis mesmerized them.

  106. #106 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 24, 2010 - 3:46 PM

    newguy

    Kandamby is gone too, run out foolishly on a no-ball and its a matter of completing mere formalities. Earlier when Kohli bowled his first over, Billy Doctrove called a no-ball which was not because of the front foot crossing the line but, because he bowled from outside the side line. Is there a FREE HIT allowed on such deliveries? IF not then the batsman should have been given out as he was caught on the so-called free hit. In any case the decision cannot be reversed but, this point needs to be clarified by the ICC and umpires must be sure about it.

    Dilshan is not a man for BIG occasions, in the previous T20 WC in England he scored 324 runs but, in the final he was out on a duck, just like here today but, the only difference is he did not score as many runs as he did on that previous occasion. In that T20 WC, despite getting out on a duck he was adjudged as “POT” Player of the Tournament. In my opinion it was a bad decision because, when his country needed him most, he failed. Whereas, Afridi who was Man of the match in the last round match and in the semi-final and finals too but, he was not adjudged as the player of the tournament. He scored 178 runs and he also took 13 wickets, imo he should have been adjudged as POT.

    In this tournament Afridi is the highest scorer and no one is near him, so lets see who gets the POT award?

    Zaheer Khan took his second wicket and SL are slowly and surely sinking in the loose sand.

  107. #107 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 24, 2010 - 3:52 PM

  108. #108 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 24, 2010 - 3:57 PM

    newguy

    No one is talking about Dinesh Karthik, he is the man who stood firm on the ground and played a gritty innings in building up that total, otherwise Gambhir, Dhoni and all others failed. If he had gone on zero India were all out for 200

    Raina just now missed a run out just like Shoaib Malik did in the match against India and it was Raina I guess?

  109. #109 by newguy on June 24, 2010 - 4:05 PM

    Some late flourish from SL in the batting power play, something for crowd to cheer.

    Afridi should get the player of tournament this time since he has got most runs and he is the only one to score century, in fact two of them.

    Yes, Karthik came good, it was about time though since he got so many chances.

  110. #110 by khansahab on June 24, 2010 - 6:19 PM

    Munir sahab

    Your comments on Afridi and Younis are appreciated and noted. However since at LS we do not hold biases, we want to be fair and criticise everyone who makes a blooper irrespective of what region that individual comes from.

    One may comment we support Afridi but that is because he has been victimised at times and criticised disproportionately by a certain segment of the Pakistan commentators. Put simply, he is a good player and does not get the credit he deserves. In relation to players like Fawad Alam and Asim Kamal, they have suffered blatant injustice.

  111. #111 by khansahab on June 24, 2010 - 6:24 PM

    Juwaid Khan

    In relation to Dalshan, I just want you to know that:

    “This Dilshan, his batting not good and bowling also not good butta the only reason he is a KEEP in the team is bakaouz of his fielding………”

  112. #112 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 24, 2010 - 7:13 PM

    Finally Afridi got that POT award for the Asia Cup, it is a well deserved and well earned reward for his batting and captaincy. Unfortunately Pakistan exited early from the tournament but, in both matches i.e., against Sri Lanka and India, Pakistan fought well till the end and earned some respect. But, on both occasions the poor fielding let them down. They must focus on this weakness and work hard to come out good this summer in England.

    If Afridi plays like this in England, no one would be able to raise his finger against him and the culprits who plots mutiny within the team shall not remain in the team, he will uproot them and shove them off, and he will keep the dirty politics out of the dressing room and playground. He is a very devoted and committed player often gets very excited and does silly things, but as a captain he is taking that extra burden with ease, in fact he is enjoying it and silencing his critics who are after him with a vendetta.

    I hope Younus Khan gets clearance and play for Pakistan in England in the test and ODI’s.

  113. #113 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 24, 2010 - 7:26 PM

    After seeing how Sri Lanka caved in against India in the final today, I have my serious doubts about their chances of going ahead, even in the semi-final of the 2011 WC. Like, New Zealand in the 1992 WC defeated every side they played at home and Pakistan was the last team to play the last round match and Pakistan defeated them and again in the semi-final. So, I guess Sri Lanka might end up like that without even reaching the semifinals. Because, their batting revolves around Jayawardene and Sangakara. Dilshan at the top and Mathews in the middle order perform well but, they are not consistent or good for the big match. Therefore, any good bowling side if they contain Dilshan, Jayawardene and Sangakara, can easily beat Sri Lanka.

    Today, the Indian fast bowlers bowled very well and within the first 11 overs 5 wickets were taken at a paltry score of 51. That was THE-END of Sri Lanka, the remaining part of the game was the last rites or “Untim, Kirya Karam.”

    I am sure Tendulkar will play so will Yuvraj and Sehwag in the 2011 WC and once again Dinesh Karthik will be out whereas Dhoni’s Juddoo Buddoo will remain in the playing XI.

    As for Pakistan, a lot depends on their summer tour and they should be able to find a decent and reliable opening pair plus they need to find a couple of really good fast bowlers besides Umar Gul. Asif is not so effective in India and Sri Lanka and playing Shoaib Akhtar would be a disaster recipe. Abdul Razzaq is so inconsistent that one cannot depend on him. I suggest Pakistan must play with three spinners, Afridi, Ajmal and Abdur Rahman and two fast bowlers, Umar Gul and Mohammad Aamer. But, they must have reserve fast bowler in case of need (injury or, condition of the pitch)

    Afridi must play at number 3 to take advantage of the power play, in fact I would be happy to see him opening for Pakistan along with Butt or Akmal.

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