A DIFFICULT TOUR FOR PAKISTAN

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Razzaq needs to realise that his bowling and fielding are not good enough for international standards

Pakistan faced defeat in the Asia Cup at the hands of India and Sri Lanka and as is the convention, they beat minnows Bangladesh by a substantial margin. There are whispers that the team is somehow improving under the new captain and coach. It is difficult to examine just how Pakistan improved, when their key bowlers Asif, Akhtar and Aamer failed to make a memorable impression. In terms of batting Pakistan were predictable- the openers were not up to the mark, Shoaib Malik was mediocre and Umar Akmal demonstrated his usual signs of measured competence. Pakistan’s main weakness was their fielding as usual.

Even though players like Razzaq, Butt, Ajmal, Malik etc have shown some improvement compared to how they used to field years ago, the problem Pakistan is facing is that the standard of fielding is not improving in line with how fielding has improved in countries like Sri Lanka, India and West Indies. This is sadly again due to the fact that, other teams are selecting players on the basis of their fielding ability and

Political selections such as that of Malik and Misbah have obviously prevented the selection of good players

then giving them exposure to cricket so that they can get better in other departments. At one time Pakistan could dismiss this strategy with minimal fuss because they had match winners like Anwar, Inzamam, Wasim, Waqar etc. But now for whatever reason the same calibre of players is not emerging, and therefore Pakistan needs to rethink its strategy. For example, Sri Lanka played Dilshan whose bowling was like Shoaib Malik’s when he started, and batting was like a tailender’s. But, he was in the team mainly due to his fielding and now he is one of the best batsmen in limited overs cricket. India used Suresh Raina who was also an expert fielder but then he improved his batting and has now become one of India’s most reliable players. Pakistan introduced Fawad Alam three years too late and he responded by playing some match winning knocks in T20, and an unprecedented century on a seaming track in Tests, but he has been sidelined due to politics. As a batsman and fielder both, Fawad was miles better than Dilshan and Raina (keeping in mind how they were when they started) but now his international cricket future is uncertain, simply because his countrymen would prefer to see someone like Shoaib Malik in the team rather than him.

The form of Pakistan's key bowlers is worrying

The Pakistan think tank cannot impose a system where merit is the main factor in selection, and Pakistan cricket is suffering because of this. An important tour lies ahead for this underperforming team, and if predictions are anything to go by Pakistan is likely to lose the Test series against England and Australia.

The summer weather in England so far this year has been drier than normal, and how much that would impact the pitches remains to be seen. It goes without saying that Pakistani bowlers would prefer bowling on England’s pitches compared to how they would have

Pakistan will miss the batting prowess of Yousuf and Younis

felt bowling on Sri Lankan pitches, but their batting on England’s pitches has never been satisfactory. The batting card for Pakistan on the tour of England should have read- S Butt, Yousuf, Younis, U Akmal, F Alam, S Afridi, but now three players from that card are not playing, which means that the batting has halved in strength. Naturally with drier weather, spin bowling becomes a useful option but Pakistan does not need to worry as much regarding their spin attack because Kaneria has experience in England, and Ajmal and Afridi are reliable.

Australia has shown improvement in T20 and this was clearly visible in the last T20 Cup. Pakistan showed some signs of concern in that Cup as they seemed to excel in neither bowling, batting or fielding. The signs are clearly ominous for Pakistan because they are not a force to be reckoned with in T20 anymore, they are worsening in ODI’s and they are weakest in Test cricket.

There are many challenges for Afridi- keeping the excellent batting form, uniting the team on a difficult tour, and devising some ingenious plans to produce winning results

Pakistan plays some country matches before their first T20 against Australia on 5th July. They will probably win the county matches and they may win against Australia in T20, but they need to put up a good fight in Tests. In fact they will probably be treating the Tests against Australia as a testing ground for the Tests against England.

What Pakistan should have learned for the T20 Cup and the Asia Cup, is that it needs an improvement in all areas- batting, bowling and fielding. Improvement does not come overnight, but ratings do not change overnight too and Pakistan has constantly plummeted in international ratings. After watching Pakistan lose to India in the Asia Cup, one should realise that Pakistan- India matches are not “50-50 chance” contests anymore- one team is clearly stronger than the other. Shahid Afridi will have to work some miracles to make his team put up a decent show against Australia in Tests- and to his misfortune he is pitted against the deplorable standard of fielding, political selections of undeserving players and pathetic management of the PCB of over a decade.

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  1. #1 by khansahab on June 26, 2010 - 10:42 AM

    WAQAR OFFERS STEADY HAND

    If anyone can make a success of Pakistan’s four-Test series against England – and perhaps even his own largely unenviable position in the longer term – it may just be coach Waqar Younis.

    Pakistan’s troubled 2010 so far has encompassed a uniquely unsuccessful tour to Australia, defeat from an unfathomably advantageous position against those same opponents in an ICC World Twenty20 semi-final in St Lucia and a string of player revolts.

    You can also throw in the sacking of Waqar’s predecessor Intikhab Alam after the whitewashing in all formats down under, a merry-go-round of captains over the past year and a clutch of ‘temporary’ life bans for senior players unable to be civil with one another on or off the pitch.

    For any other country, these would be unprecedented times. For Pakistan, normal rules do not apply.

    Controversies too numerous to list have become routine in their modern cricket history.

    Yet an innate genius also dwells within them, and for the time being it falls to Waqar to try to unlock it.

    By his side as captain is perhaps the one player who encapsulates Pakistan cricket better than any other.

    Shahid Afridi is capable of, and regularly produces, just about the best and worst things you can reasonably expect to witness on a cricket field.

    If he is to be a unifying force for a team just as likely to destroy itself as the opposition, Waqar’s influence will surely need to be significant.

    There is reason, though, to hope that the former world-beating fast bowler may just have the right personality and necessary patience to gel the various factions together.

    Where Afridi can be almost guaranteed to go to extremes – along with many of his team-mates – Waqar will not.

    Like Intikhab before him, and belying his previous standing as one of the most fearsome fast bowlers of his generation, Waqar has a benign demeanour.

    Unlike Intikhab, though, Waqar’s generation is perhaps near enough to that of his charges to ensure he can get through to the players and communicate a calming presence both within the team and to those paid to comment from afar.

    There was a telling indication that Waqar can handle the abundant pressures when he conducted perhaps the shortest, and one of the most surprising, of press conferences in Barbados just under two months ago.

    Pakistan had just suffered a demoralising ICC World Twenty20 group defeat to England, and everyone knew they had done themselves scant justice.

  2. #2 by khansahab on June 26, 2010 - 11:10 AM

    Dear friends

    We have changed the look of our blog. Please comment on how you like it.

  3. #3 by khansahab on June 26, 2010 - 11:47 AM

    After Pakistan’s dismal performance in the Asia Cup Rashid Latif suggested that his picked team can beat a Pakistan XI:

    01- Khalid Lateef.

    02- Shahzaib Hassan.

    03- Younis Khan.

    04- Mohammad Yousaf.

    05- Asad Shafique.

    06- Asim Kamal.

    07- Faisal Iqbal.

    08- Sarfaraz Ahmed.

    09- Mohammad Sami.

    10- Sohaiol Khan.

    11- Anwar Ali.

    12- Azam Hussain.

    13- Danish Kaneria.

    I have visited some other blogs, and one of these blogs is a world famous blog but it is regrettable how Punjab based commentators have vented their frustration out on Latif, saying he only wants players from Karachi.

    I think in Test cricket and to an extent in ODI cricket this team can give a Pakistan XI a run for its money. Kaneria, Sohail Khan are amongst the best bowling talents, whereas Sarfraz Ahmed is a better keeper than Akmal. Faisal Iqbal is a better Test player than Malik. Shahzaib Hassan is a talented opener too.

    It is shocking how regional bias can sometimes overlook good common sense. Rashid Latif is known to be one of the most committed and honest cricketers in the country, and it is because of his honesty he will never get a top post within the PCB.

    Also, in every Karachi team there are 2-3 players originally from NWFP. So, that fact dilutes a regional bias because regionalism is commonly considered in racial terms- as in, Punjabis living in Punjab, Pathans living in NWFP etc. But in terms of Karachi, there are always Pathans present in the team.

    So it appears it is the regionalism of Punjabis which should be criticised more as opposed to the supposed regionalism of Karachiites like Rashid Latif?

    If regional bias can come in the way of promoting well intentioned people like Rashid Latif in cricket, is it fair to say it has come in the way of promoting possibly the brightest and best in Pakistan in every field- the arts/education/science/law etc?

  4. #4 by khansahab on June 26, 2010 - 12:02 PM

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

    In my opinion the following players’ selection is laughable:

    Farhat- Khurram Manzoor/Ahmed Shahzad should have been picked
    Malik- Fawad Alam should have been picked
    Akmal- Sarfraz Ahmed
    Tanvir Ahmed- Sohail Khan/Mohd Irfan

  5. #5 by khansahab on June 26, 2010 - 12:07 PM

    Afridi for extra effort on England tour

    (AFP) – 2 hours ago
    KARACHI — Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi Saturday asked his players for extra effort on the tour of England as the squad left for London from Sri Lanka.
    “It’s a challenging tour because we will face Australia and England,” Afridi told AFP from Colombo. “I have told every player to give extra effort and take every opportunity that comes our way because both rivals are strong.”
    Pakistan open the tour with a limited overs match against MCC on June 28 before taking on Australia in two Twenty20 internationals on July 5 and 6 in Birmingham.
    They then will play Ricky Ponting’s men in the first of two Tests at Lord’s from July 13 in a series moved out of Pakistan after Australia refused to tour over security fears.
    Pakistan will also play four Tests, two Twenty20s and five one-dayers against hosts England on the tour which ends on September 22.
    Afridi, who was appointed captain last month following Pakistan’s disastrous tour of Australia, said coping with pressure will be the key.
    “Australia is a great side, but the key will be not to take extra pressure and do every effort until the last ball of the match,” said Afridi, who said he was happy with his team’s Asia Cup performance despite losing to Sri Lanka and India.
    “I am satisfied with team’s performance because we fought hard in both the matches and showed that if we put extra effort we can beat the best sides,” said Afridi, who smashed centuries against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
    India beat Sri Lanka to win the Asia Cup on Thursday.
    “We lost both the matches because of poor finishing so this is one area where we have to work and then better results will come,” the big-hitting all-rounder said.

  6. #6 by newguy on June 26, 2010 - 12:38 PM

    Khansahab,

    First up, I don’t like the new look of the blog, sorry but it’s too jazzy and hard to read the white letters against teal background. I prefer the older format. May be I am an old fashioned guy, but I am sure you will appreciate my honesty 🙂

    Spot on the comments about what Pakistan needs to do. You are right in the past with players of high caliber they needn’t worry too much about fielding, batting an bowling were filled with so many match winners so that they could make up for poor fielding. Plus others teams standards were also not high, except Aus, SA.

    You said Pakistan-India matches are no longer 50-50, but then they were never really except may be in the late 70’s or early 80’s. Late 80′ and all through 90’s Pakistan had a better team, with many match winners, while India’s talent pool were not so great. It just seems the tables are reversed, but only slightly so. Matches are still evenly contested.

  7. #7 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 26, 2010 - 12:48 PM

    khansahab

    A very balanced assessment of the current Pakistani team and “I am agree” with you.
    “I am also agree” with newguy that white font is difficult to read.
    My computer monitor has a wide screen and I don’t want to readjust the settings only for this.

    Its too early in the morning for me to comment on the England tour and I will do that later, except for one little comment which is a fact that the team is very weak and its a very poor selection. Without YY the team for test matches is a joke. England is in great form and they are beating Australia in ALL formats of the game and for Pakistan to beat Australia would be a challenge. I will comment later.

  8. #8 by khansahab on June 26, 2010 - 12:51 PM

    Newguy/Juwaid Khan

    The blog is back to how it was before, with some very minor changes.

    The appearance of that theme which I used before seemed perfect on my computer- but it does not matter.

    I am happy that at least we can have Ijaz Butt’s image in the sidebar!

  9. #9 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 26, 2010 - 3:04 PM

    khansahab

    Thanks for that, its better now.

    newguy
    I don’t understand Indian team selection for a 3 test series against Sri Lanka starting July 18th., especially that of the additional wicketkeeper Saha. How can the selectors justify Saha over Dinesh Karthik? In terms of batting he is better than many batsmen. He was the man of the match for the Asia Cup final. Without him, India may not have won the Asia Cup. Even when Karthik is not keeping the wickets, he shows his presence in the field like a live wire. Its a shame that because of Dhoni his career is ruined. Even if selected Karthik may have sat outside and the only remote possibility would have been IF, and only IF Dhoni gets injured.

    The second point is about Yuvraj’s selection in test team. Up till recent past Yuvraj was not considered as a test player and then they dropped him from the Asia Cup squad and now suddenly he is fit for the test series? The batting line up for India is strengthened because of Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman. Also, back in the squad are Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth. I am not sure how these two bowlers will perform but, Praveen Kumar was doing well along with Nehra but, people likes to label certain players as experts in T20 and ODI etc., it is hard to convince them because they are influenced by some former – ex- so-called great or greats who must have blabbed on TV that so and so is good for this format and so and so is good for that format. I don’t believe in that when it comes to quality batsmen and quality bowlers.

    Tendulkar silenced his critics by scoring fast and at a good strike rate in IPL he wasn’t slogging but, he played good cricketing shots, mostly fours. Dravid also played fast and scored runs in the IPL. Inzamam played well in ICL, Laxman and Yousuf may not do well in T20 but, to say that is easy because they never got as many chances to play T20 as Malik, Misbah and a few other sifarishi players got. Afridi’s test batting average is better than his ODI and T20 and also better than Malik, Misbah, Butt and a few others. We have to wait and see till he performs in the test series against England and Australia. So, people should stop labeling players, especially the greats.

  10. #10 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 26, 2010 - 3:13 PM

    khansahab

    On your comment about some other blogs and how they have vented their frustration. There is a famous quote which I always love to quote, ” If a purblind nocturnal mouse sees not the sunlight it is not the later to be blamed” befits them. In Urdu we call them Chhachoondars.

    Those who criticize Younus Khan for reasons other than cricket should know that he is the only player at the moment whose test average has not gone below 50 runs, the rest of the Jeeyalays are capable of turning a winning match into a losing one. Remember the Sydney Test? Pakistan could have easily won that match by an innings but, they lost bakaoz, “those who score and win matches (in their dreams) are the culprits who get involved in betting or in revolting against their captain.” They are the PPP’s…… Perpetually Pukka Paindoo 🙂

    Their aim is not to win for the country, their aim is to make money by hook or by crook or, play petty politics (PPP again) and spoil the spirit of the game, create regional biases and raise slogans of jingoism. And, this is not new it has been happening even before Pakistan was created. Take a glance at the history and you will know who I am talking about. My advise to you is keep a focus on what you believe and ignore the trash.

  11. #11 by newguy on June 26, 2010 - 9:46 PM

    Javed Khan,

    I will try to explain what I think is the rational for selection policy of India team for SL test series.

    Saha is included as reserve keeper in case Dhoni gets injured, in reality he will never get chance to play, so he is there to keep the regional balance and make the Bengalis happy. Karthik is from Chennai and there is already M Vijay as back up opener there. I guess K Srikanth being from Chennai had to do some concession by not including both Dinesh and Vijay as reserves even though Dinesh may be better keeper and definitely better batsman. Also it seems like Saha did well on England A tour recently. It definitely regional balance in the end.

    Youvraj pick does not makes sense, but it seems like there is pressure from Dhoni to get Yuvraj back and selectors thought may be Yuvraj learned the lesson. I am not convinced that this is the right thing to do. Yuvraj needed to be kept out for more time and asked to work on his fitness.

    In bowling, neither Praveen or Nehra are test quality. Sreesanth and Ishant are better in my opinion, especially Sreesanth when it gets his rhythm right is a match winning bowler. Nehra himself it seems don’t want to play tests, may be he wants to preserve himself for T20 and ODI, his fitness is not so great for test bowling. Praveen is too slow as a test bowler and not attacking enough.

    So, in the end, I agree with bowling selections, but don’t like idea of Yuvraj coming back, or Karthik not being selected only because of regional balance to have a East Zone representative (Saha) in the team.

  12. #12 by 420 on June 26, 2010 - 10:01 PM

    JAK
    i just came to know from your comments about saha’s selection. as much as i suspect dhoni’s hand in that, you got remember that for India and pak, the regional lobbies play an important role. yes, DK can make it into the team on the basis of his batting and fielding alone. all said, this is a meaningless series at the moment, tooo much of cricket wit SL! the other day i was reading an article, where they discussed about the batting averages of kohli,sharma,jadeja and co. all of them have good stats bcos of the nonstop nonsense games with SL, played in the sub continent! at the moment , the WC chances for us look in a disarray.

  13. #13 by khansahab on June 26, 2010 - 10:26 PM

    Newguy/420

    I’ve had a peek at the Indian Test squad and they seem to have selected the best players, with the exception of Saha for Karthik perhaps.

    But, they have the best openers and middle order- Laxman, Dravid and Tendulkar are back. Raina and Yuvraj are the second string middle order. And in the bowling they have Zaheer, Ishant and Sreesanth back. These were the bowlers that took India into the top 2/top 3 bracket when they were in form a few years ago.

  14. #14 by 420 on June 27, 2010 - 12:41 AM

    KhanSahab
    given a chance some of the heads of bcci are ready to fire dravid and laxman. they realized without them the test team FAILS. i cant count how many times laxman was almost shown the axe, for nothing.the golden period for the Indian test team ends the day sachin,laxmand and dravid hang their boots 😦

  15. #15 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 27, 2010 - 1:30 AM

    newguy

    So the regional bias or the jingoistic approach also exist in Indian cricket too and BCCI is not so different from the PCB. Still they have some morals and they have choices i.e., to choose from 4 zones whereas, in Pakistan it is Punjab and only Punjab. A Karachi player has to be exceptionally good to get into the playing XI. Mind you Shahid Afridi and Younus Khan are not originally from Karachi they are from the Pakhtoonkhwa or former NWFP and they are treated like Karachiites. Zaheer Abbass is from Sialkot but, he lived in Karachi all his life. There was a time when players like, Hanif Mohammad & Bros. and Javed Miandad were exceptional batsmen and no one could stop them as long as they played. Although politics was still there, Miandad was twice ousted from his captaincy by Wasim Akram who used to call him “Kalia” as if Wasim himself is Angrez ki aulaad.

    Anyways, back to Indian team, personally I like Dinesh Karthik because he never gives up, he is a live wire, I would anytime trade off with Kamran Akmal. 420, I agree with you that the day Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman retire the Indian test team would be spineless. Dhoni will then know his worth, at the moment he is a demi-god in India, ruining the careers of players like Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Robin Uthappa who are any time better than Ravindra Jadeja, Kohli and a few others.

  16. #16 by newguy on June 27, 2010 - 1:48 AM

    JAK,

    Regional bias in selection exists in India? ha, that would be an understatement 😉 It exists big time. It was there always, as you said it is four zone based though, with North, West, and South zone mostly dominating, in that order, East Zone comes last. Mainly has to do with talent pool in East that is shallow than rest. North zone and West Zone, especially Delhi and Mumbai cricketers always used to get better opportunities. It has changed quite a bit in recent times, and become more merit oriented. This why you see a player like Dhoni who comes from Ranchi a very small town in small state of Jharkhand now as captain, used to be unthinkable back in the days.

    I never knew the strong bias in Pakistan for Punjabis until I started reading this blog, but I see that now, in every walk of life in Pakistan be it cricket or military or government that people from Punjab dominate.

  17. #17 by 420 on June 27, 2010 - 2:37 AM

    JAK
    Irfan pathan gets benefit of doubt, in the sense, he really did not perform great at ranji matches of late. all said ,he deserves a chance, i agree. munaf, no way! he is supposed to be one of our best bowlers, hides injuries lot of times and has disciplinary issues. uthappa deserves a chance, but again, its tough to make a comeback after kohli and co have averages to boast about(which are against SL in subcontinent!)

    last 2 years dhoni has lot of setbacks, and he knows now where he stands. all said, what i like about dhoni is that he knows the reality and tries to adapt. unlike yuvi,rohit etc.

  18. #18 by Mohammed Munir on June 27, 2010 - 5:10 AM

    A nice thought to share …

    A good way to change someone else’s attitude is to change our own first, because the same sun which melts the butter, also hardens the clay.

    Life is as we think it is, so think beautifully !!

  19. #19 by Mohammed Munir on June 27, 2010 - 6:16 AM

    Kassim Sahab / Newguy …

    The Football World Cup have entered the round of 16 and from here on all the remaining matches will be on knockout basis.

    It’s unfortunate, but Italy and France are out of the World Cup and both could not even reach the second stage, in spite of Italy being the defending World Champions.

    The most interesting game today will be between Germany and England, as they are old foe. Actually, in Football the game between Germany / England is comparable to India / Pakistan match in cricket and imagine that too in a World Cup knockout stage. 😉

    My favorites, Brazil are going to play their next game in the round 16 against Chile tomorrow, while if they win this game their next match in the quarter-final stage will be against the winner of (Netherland / Slovakia), which could be Netherland. So this will be a very tough game for both the sides and one big team will have to go out, I hope it is not Brazil. 😉

    BTW, if Brazil won the quarter-final game, their semi-final match will come against the winner of Uruguay / Ghana match and again it looks that Uruguay may beat Ghana and play Brazil in the semis.

    Most importantly, if Brazil keeps on winning their round of 16, quarter-final and semi-final games and similarly Argentina also wins their next 3 matches then they will both face each others in the final and that could be MEGA Event.

  20. #20 by khansahab on June 27, 2010 - 7:43 AM

    Newguy

    Juwaid Khan has already touched upon this, but regionalism in India is very limited compared to Pakistan. In India the BCCI, government bodies/organisations work on a quota to keep everyone happy. For example, they will try and have 2 Muslims, 1 Christian, 1 Sikh in the team, they will get some extraordinary players from South and East Zones (Ganguly, Dravid, Kumble). So sometimes this regionalism works to actually make the team more diversified and to keep everyone happy.

    The other issue obviously is that if the team performance is satisfactory, people do not complain. In Pakistan non Punjabi players used to get treated the same way in the time of Wasim/Waqar/Imran and that era, but people would not complain as much because the team’s performance was satisfactory. In Pakistan and India people are just so emotional about cricket that when the team does not perform, they can blame virtually everything under the sun.

    Sometimes people make sweeping statements that Punjabis dominate everything in all respects in Pakistan. This is true, but you would think this is plausible keeping in mind that their province has 5 rivers and is the most fertile province. If you disregard Karachi, then central/east Punjab is the most prosperous region of the country if you consider education/infrastructure/wealth etc.

    I do not make sweeping statements and I can understand that if 2/3rds of your countrymen belong to a specific kind, then it is inevitable they will dominate and you will be marginalised. But, some realities irk me which is why I am touchy about this issue:

    1) When you talk about getting sources and political support, Punjabi players benefit more from that than others. If you look at Malik, Misbah, Akmal- these players would never have played for so long if they did not have the backing they did

    2) If you look at the treatment of players like Fawad Alam and Asim Kamal- they were from Karachi and no one can explain why the team couldn’t find a place for them. Asim made 8 fifties in 13 innings and most of those knocks were played under pressure. Compared to Pakistani standards Fawad’s century was amongst the best I have ever seen by a newcomer- he was aggressive, there was no flaw in his strokeplay etc. So you start thinking when Akmal, Malik can get selected after repeated failures, that there is a bias in selection

    3) Unjustified criticism meted out on Younis Khan and Afridi, compared to Malik, Misbah and Akmal. In fact, I can say with conviction that if the Karachi lobby/MQM had not been backing these players for so long, they would not have been in the team.

    There are many other issues but I want them to be limited on cricket. If there was no regionalism then Faisal Iqbal, who is the nephew of Pakistan’s best all time batsman, would have been preferred over Malik in Tests. Unlike Malik, Faisal has some fighting spirit, is a better fielder and considered to be a team man. Unlike Malik, he chose to bat at no 3 on tours when Malik refused to do so.

  21. #21 by khansahab on June 27, 2010 - 7:54 AM

    M’nir sahab

    “Be the change you want to see in the world”

    I think this was said by Gandhi.

  22. #22 by khansahab on June 27, 2010 - 8:03 AM

    Inzamam denies plotting rebellion against Younis Khan

    Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, on Saturday, denied allegations of masterminding a players’ rebellion last year against the then captain Younis Khan.

    “It is totally untrue that any players met at my home to take an oath against Younis Khan’s captaincy,” Inzamam told the media on Saturday.

    A Pakistan Cricket Board probe into the team’s poor performance in Australia this year led to some players admitting that they had held meetings at the residence of Inzamam and taken an oath against Younis.

    A miffed Younis quit captaincy in November and made himself unavailable after the ODI series defeat to New Zealand in the UAE. Younis didn’t go to New Zealand and Australia and was replaced by Mohammad Yousuf who was among the players who had revolted against him.

    Inzamam insisted he was not involved in the whole affair and said Yousuf’s decision to retire from international cricket — after the board had banned him — was not right. “I don’t think Yousuf’s decision to retire was correct and he didn’t consult me at all on this issue,” Inzamam said.

    The former captain in fact insisted that he would have liked to see both Yousuf and Younis in the national team for the England tour. “They are quality batsmen and they should have been in the team. I see it will be very difficult for Pakistan to win Tests in England without these two who have so much experience,” Inzamam said.

    He also advised captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis not to talk to the players through media. “I think they should give advice to the players in the dressing room or even if they want to pull up some player it should be in privacy not through the media,” he added.

  23. #23 by Mohammed Munir on June 27, 2010 - 10:45 AM

    Khansahab …

    I am noticing a ‘change’ in you too. 😉

  24. #24 by 420 on June 27, 2010 - 1:23 PM

    khansahab
    if u remember, i was asking you people about asim kamal some time back. that guy was like a thorn in the opponent’s flesh , like abdul razzaq. i still remember his partnerships with the lower middle order, tough guy

  25. #25 by khansahab on June 27, 2010 - 4:34 PM

    M’nir sahab

    I don’t know what change you refer to, the only change to have taken place is me spelling your and Juwaid Khan’s first names differently, in line with how they are commonly pronounced in Pakastan.

  26. #26 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 27, 2010 - 7:39 PM

    “in line with how they are commonly pronounced in Pakastan.” Khansahab

    khansahab

    It depends on where you are located . And, it depends on who is addressing you.

    420

    Yes, Asim Kamal is or was a tough guy. I am saying was because he is a victim of regional bias, perhaps he will never make it to the national team again. He was given a chance to play test cricket for the first time after playing for 5 years of domestic cricket and his debut was against South Africa and he was out on 99 perhaps that was his bad luck. In the Mohali test in 2005 when all the players were throwing away their wickets he scored 91 in the first innings and 48 in the second innings. All people remember about the Mohali test is how Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq played in the second innings and earned a draw. Unfortunately no one remembers Asim Kamal’s contribution and later he was not included in the team after one single bad performance. His test average is about 38 which is better than most players playing today in the Pakistan team.

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

    Newguy

    On the same point, if you look at Afridi’s selection of players- he has not used his position to back selection of his friends into the team.

    One of the reasons for this is that, Ijaz Butt is running the show and Mohsin Khan picked up the team Butt wanted (it has been reported).

    It is common knowledge that Afridi is close to Younis Khan, Gul, Fawad Alam and one or two other Karachi players. So far it does not appear that there have been a disproportionate number of Karachi players in any squad.

    That is the quality about Afridi which is admirable- when he is playing for Pakistan, he is not playing for a region or ethnicity. He has complained about regionalism before, but he will never pick a Pathan or Karachi wala ahead of a Punjabi due to bias.

    In this squad they have a mediocre player from Karachi called Tanvir Ahmed, he must be a political selection. Apart from that they have Kaneria, whose Test selection was guaranteed. And of course the captain is from Karachi.

  28. #28 by Mohammed Munir on June 28, 2010 - 7:48 AM

    Khansahab …

    So you are trying to be the change, that you want to see in the world … right ? 😆

    Kahin Change Hotay Hotay, Bilkul Hee Change Naan Hojaain Aap. 😉

  29. #29 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 28, 2010 - 1:54 PM

    After Pakistan and India, Bangladesh selectors too has shocked most cricket fans by re-appointing Masraf-e-Murtaza as captain of the team. Perhaps Saqib ul Hasan is more shocked because, the announcement came just before the team’s departure. Although MeM was captain earlier but, he got injured and SuH took over as Captain. Except for one test match against the West Indies “A” team they did not win any other match and SuH’s own performance with the bat has gone down. Ashraf-ul-Maqlooq has also been out of form and they dropped him this time. There is something wrong with his focus, he is such a good stroke player and has entertained the crowd on several occasions but, his recent form is very pathetic and BD selectors wants him to wear a thinking hat and work out the problems that he is facing.

    Munir

    A change is always for a good cause otherwise, it is called as a ‘disaster’.

    Btw, Pakistan had to struggle against the MCC in the first match of the tour which was a twenty20 game. Only Chhotta Akmal scored well, the rest struggled. Actor was economical but took only one wicket. Gul took 2 but, was expensive. If they play like this against Australia and England, they have no chance to win a single match. They will always be saying ‘we lost, but we played well,’ that is so typical of Pakistan team that they convert a winning match into a losing one because of their poor fielding.

    England players are in good form and their middle order is more stable than before with Eion Morgan and Tim Bresnon. Whereas, Pakistan’s top order is very fragile and on paper we have Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq as middle order batsmen but, they are not reliable.

  30. #30 by khansahab on June 28, 2010 - 5:39 PM

    M’nir sahab

    Regarding change, all I can say is- if you can’t beat them, join them 🙂

  31. #31 by khansahab on June 28, 2010 - 5:59 PM

    Pakistan played against Kent today and made a respectable 360; Kent is not the strongest county side in England but apart from U Akmal, no one else was able to perform.

    The main batsmen, Malik and Butt failed yet again and this raises concerns of the batting abilities of these so called specialist batsmen. Fawad was wrongly adjudged LBW as he got an inside edge, but it does not matter because even if he scored 300 he would still not be in the team. He was sent in to bat at no 3 naturally because Malik and U Akmal would not bat in that difficult position.

    This is simply not good enough, and one can only fear the destruction for the team that lies ahead. There is no Yousuf, Younis or F Alam in the team and therefore U Akmal will have to score most of the runs.

  32. #32 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 28, 2010 - 8:00 PM

    Umar Akmal is a good batsman, but he needs to be consistent against the big teams and that is more important. Malik and Butt did what was expected of them. And, I don’t understand what is the role of Umar Amin here? If Abdur Rahman can take wickets at a good strike rate and also bat like this he would be more potent and effective than Kaneria and Ajmal. This may sound ridiculous but its a fact. Because, he is a slow left arm orthodox bowler, difficult to hit especially by right hand batsmen.

    Afridi is back to his zeros and this time he played 6 balls instead of one or two when he gets out on a zero. I hope he plays on the big occasion. Bowling and fielding department are very weak and I don’t see they would be effective against Australia and England.

  33. #33 by khansahab on June 28, 2010 - 8:49 PM

    Reading some discussion on a different blog, I have come to the conclusion that the biggest match losers for Pakistan in the past 3 years have been Akmal, Malik and Misbah.

    Akmal must have dropped 100+ catches, and many of them must have come within his reach when a batsman would have been well settled.

    Malik has made 20s and 30s and then lost concentration in most matches he has played, whether they are T20, ODI or Tests.

    Misbah has been particularly disappointing because he has been projected as a middle order stalwart, but he has always failed against the moving ball and has never been able to rescue the team from a difficult situation. In fact you feel more angry with him because not only has he looked uncomfortable playing against good sides on difficult pitches, he has also been dismissed in unique ways due to his stupidity.

  34. #34 by M. Y. Kasim on June 28, 2010 - 11:09 PM

    Munir Sahab,

    I apologise for not responding to you earlier because of my health problem.

    I just finished watching both the Netherland/Slovakia and Brazil/Chile games. The most important point that I wish to emphasise is the un-selfish play of Dutch player Arjen Robben who went all the way on the left wing but saw that two defenders are covering him. Instead of trying to score, which would have been his second, he passed the ball to Wesley Sniefder who was totally un-marked and all he has to do was to push the ball into the net while nobody was there to stop him.

    He was not thinking of “ME” but his thoughts were “WE”. That is the difference between a well educated and decent sportsman and a illiterate, uncouth PAINDOO.

    The Chileans started very agessively and put a lot of pressure on Brazilian team. But the Brazilians took the pressure very calmly and slowly and surely took control of the game. That makes them apart from the rest.

    I also watched OUR Serena Williams beating yours all SHEER-KHURMA (lol)

    I watched Sher-Khurma after a long time, and it looks like Kisi Nay Usko Nichhore Diya Hai.

    Talking of Tennis, I remember a long time ago an American player by the name of Pancho Gonzales, who beat all and sundry but was denied entry to the Wimbledon by the snobbish British because he was not a GENTLEMAN. (with due apology to Khansahab since he is a Briton!! )

    This guy, Pancho joined Jack Kramer’s Tennis Tour. This was created by another victim of British snobbery. It was just like Kerry Packer’s breakaway from establishment. Every Grand Slam winner joined it because of large sum of money, everybody suffered defeat at the hands of Pancho, who the poor guy never won any title since he was not eligible to compete.

  35. #35 by Varunsuri on June 29, 2010 - 1:58 PM

    M.Y. Kasim sir,

    Although I agree with your comments about the Un-Selfish Play, but Arjen Robben actually scored the first goal for the Dutch Team and in the second goal it was actually the Dutch Mid-fielder Dirk Kuyt who made that Goal possible for Sneijder.
    Another example of such an Un-selfish play was by a certain German-Turk Mesut Özil who helped MÜller score the 4th Game against England.

    English football team was as pathetic as the English Cricket Team used to be…

    Well, I have been living in the Netherlands for almost 4 Years so atleast I should know and share whatever I know about them with everyone:)

    I am not particularly impressed by Brazilian performance because this time they have no big names Kaka and Robinho have not been impressive so far, even their coach Dunga is not happy and wanting improvement in every game. it is just that they play so well as a unit that so far no team has been able to severely test them.

    I am in Germany all this week due to work and would be following both the Dutch-Brazil and Germany-Argentina with interest the coming weekend.

    I would love to see a Germany-Netherlands Final..Why? Following link will help

    http://www.ajax-usa.com/desk/cheeseheads-vs-krauts-30-years-of-enmity.html

  36. #36 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 29, 2010 - 3:20 PM

    Varun

    Don’t you think the umpiring in this FIFA WC is one of the worst so far? English and Irish teams both have suffered due to bad umpiring. I am not following soccer this time for the simple reason that I have no time and if I had started watching, then it would have been difficult for me to discontinue ‘coz then you get hooked on to it. Dunga may not be happy because the police is after him. 😉

  37. #37 by Varun Suri on June 29, 2010 - 4:00 PM

    Javed,

    Both the Umpiring and Goal Scoring has been at it’s worst in this World Cup. But I would not say that England suffered because of Lampard’s disallowed goal, they were pathetic throughout the tournament and deserved to be shown their real standing amongst the World’s top teams. Infact in 1966 when England beat West Germany in England to win their only world cup, there was an exactly similar goal scored by the English Geoff Hurst where the ball did not actually cross the line as it is required but it was given in England’s favour and they won 4-2.

    SO In a way it’s all even now and no point crying over spilled milk, even if that goal was given it was difficult for the English players to catch up with the likes of Klose, Podolski and Mesut Oezil

    What has happened with the English football team will happen very soon with Indian Cricket Team where in both the teams players will play at their peak when playing for their clubs (IPL for Indians) but when they play for the country they will not perform.

    England have big Premiership stars like Terry, Lampard, Rooney and Gerrard but unfortunately the British Media had only themselves to blame as they say in hindi Sar pe Chada ke Rakha hua thha. All the English fans thought that their Golden Generation which actually is not even Silver or Bronze would bring back the World Cup to England for the first time after 1966 so that they stop selling T-shirts with 1966 written on it but instead sell T-shirts and other memorabillia with 2010 written on it. While on the other hand the German Brigade kept low and when it mattered in their typical Blitzkrieg fashion rolled over the docile Englanders.

    It seems Great Britain has lost many of it’s qualities which made it Great few centuries ago but the Gora Saabs are yet to realise this and sooner they do that the better it will be for them.

    Although, I am not a big football fan but I only watch the World Cup matches and occasional Club Games such as Champions League e.t.c

  38. #38 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 29, 2010 - 7:39 PM

    Varun

    Yes, I saw that video clip on TV last night when they showed how England’s goal was missed by the referee and they also showed the England / Germany goal of 1966. However, things have changed since then, now the technology is available and it is religiously used in Tennis and sparsely used in cricket so, why not in soccer. There must be a referral system for goals in Soccer and Hockey. And, the ICC must make it compulsory for all formats of the game in every country irrespective of which country is rich and which one is poor and they can afford or not. Because, cricket brings so much money these days and no country is so poor not to use that technology. I also want to implement the hot spot technology as well.

  39. #39 by Omer on June 29, 2010 - 11:36 PM

    Varun,

    Either of Brazil or Argentina will win.

    I was also thinking Germany and Spain had a chance, but look at this link:

    Zoom in on this link, and you will see South America and Africa side-by-side.

    If you go to the same latitude along with SA: The name of the teams that appear are…Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay…

    In other words the conditions are similar to SA, which is why many South American teams are doing well.

    Now go to this link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_World_Cup

    No world cup has been won by a non-South American team in South America.

    Paraguay has no chance. I think Uruguay might have outside chance, but lets ignore Uruguay given that Brazil and Argentina are there.

    Argentina’s odds are 7:2 and Brazil’s 5:2. I’d say both have an even chance, since even though Argentina is the better team, Brazil has an easier round.

    In other words, for every 100 you bet for the winning team, bet 50 for Brazil and 50 for Argentina. In expectation your odds are 3:1 or you can make 200 from those 100. I wish I was richer– this is what I’d do with a lot of money. Lets see if I am right or the markets are right this time.

  40. #40 by Omer on June 29, 2010 - 11:47 PM

    Germany is 1:7. I’d use it as a hedge, put 20 for every 100 on Brazil+Argentina.

  41. #41 by Omer on June 30, 2010 - 12:02 AM

    So, the pay-off with the above strategy is:

    you put in 120…if Argentina wins, you make 125..if Brazil, 75…if Germany you break even. Not a bad bet in my opinion. The only way you lose is that Netherlands beats Brazil and Spain beats Germany/Argentina.

  42. #42 by Omer on June 30, 2010 - 12:09 AM

    The other thing that could be done with a large sum of money is to bet it for all the teams apart from Ghana and Paraguay. The winnings wouldn’t be much, but they will be certain.

  43. #43 by Omer on June 30, 2010 - 1:00 AM

    Actually, the above is wrong, as if Argentina wins, then the pay-off is 175 and what you make is just 55. In other words, the odds are favoring Germany/Brazil a lot for it to be a good bet. One Could also include 20 at 1:7 for netherlands in the above system. So, you make 35 if Argentina wins, and break even/close to break even in other cases. This bet simply sucks though.

    I’d just bet instead (some combination of) Germany/Argentina since with Germany the odds are 1;7 and with Argentina they are much better than Brazil (I personally think one of them will win the WC).

  44. #44 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 30, 2010 - 2:43 AM

    Afridi in minor injury scare

    http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan-v-australia-2010/content/current/story/465252.html

    June 29, 2010

    Pakistan need Shahid Afridi fit and firing in England © AFP

    Pakistan have had an injury scare involving their captain Shahid Afridi on the second day of the tour game against Kent. Afridi, clutching his back on the way to the dressing room at lunch, has what he said is a side strain and will visit a clinic tomorrow morning to ascertain the full extent of the injury.

    “I just had a minor side strain,” Afridi confirmed to Cricinfo, adding that there was no cause for serious concern. Earlier in the morning he had appeared comfortable during fielding drills and played touch football with his team-mates. However, Afridi did not return after lunch and only took the field towards the end of the Kent innings for a couple of overs. He hasn’t had much of an impact on the tour game, batting only six balls for a duck in the first innings.

    In the absence of any senior and experienced batsmen, Shoaib Malik apart, Pakistan need Afridi in healthy form in order to pose a challenge in the upcoming Test series against Australia and England.

    Afridi, who has scored 1683 runs in 26 Tests, played his last Test during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2006 but failed to impress in two Tests at Manchester and Lord’s. He had announced a surprise temporary retirement from Tests in early 2006, saying he wanted to concentrate on the game’s shorter formats, but changed his mind less than a fortnight later after the then PCB chairman, Shaharyar Khan, and coach Bob Woolmer persuaded him to reverse his decision.

    Afridi was recently appointed Pakistan’s captain in all three formats following Pakistan’s winless tour to Australia in 2009-10.

  45. #45 by Mohammed Munir on June 30, 2010 - 7:40 AM

    Kasim Sahab …

    Nice to read your comments.

    I pray for your good health and hope you are feeling much better after Brazil’s comfortable win over Chile. 😉

    I agree with you that most unselfish individual performances from all players is an absolute must for a good team showing. The same is true with all group games be it football, cricket, hockey, etc. In Brazilian team, Kaka is the most selfless player and in spite of his involvement in almost all Brazilian goals and creating goal opportunities for his teammates, he is not much tempted to score the goals himself. Most interestingly though, Kaka is not much educated but I think the love for the game, faith in God, professionalism, loyalty to your ‘colours’ and patriotism are the traits which our ‘Paindoo’ cricket players should learn from this great football legend, in making.

    Speaking of good combination of players, the Spanish forwards David Villa and Fernando Torres are not very fond of each others and have some issues between them. One reason is that both are super stars in their own ways and have very high individual standings and as the saying goes … Aik Faqeer Ko Doosra Faqeer Kabhi Achh Nahin Lagta. 😉

    BTW, yesterday, Japan played well against Paraguay and it was heartrending to see them finally loosing on penalty shootouts after 120 minutes of goalless draw. 😦

    Varun …

    I can very well understand your loyalties divided between Germany and Netherland and your wishes to see a German/ Netherlands final, but it will be grossly unfortunate not to have any of the top two South American teams (Argentina / Brazil) in the finals. But it seems for the Quarter-final stages both of your favourits, German and Netherlands are pitted against my two most favourite teams, Brazil and Argentina. 😛

    To be fair not only to the Argentinean and Brazilian fans, but also to all football fans the world-over, Brazil or Argentina have to win the World Cup.

    In fact if you ask me, I would love to see an all-South American Final of the World Cup between A & B, and the dream finish for me will be to see the post-final Samba dances in the streets of Brazil. 😉 By seeing the ways things are today, there is a strong possibility of exactly that.

    Omer …

    Welcome back and thanks for some interesting tricks to make quick bucks, by way of gambling off course. 😉

    Javed Khan …

    I agree with you, unfortunately the umpiring standards in this World Cup are pretty ordinary and besides the England goal issue, Brazilian super star Kaka has been shown a red card in their match against Ivory Coast which was absolutely ridiculous and he missed their next encounter against Portugal. Now once again Kaka was show an another unfair yellow card in their Chile match and it will be unfortunate if he misses any of their forthcoming games. Similarly, so many other players are being booked unnecessary.

    And Finally on Cricket …

    Sorry, but there is nothing much to follow these days and there is so much ‘Halla Ghulla’ attached to the Football fever that it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. 😉

    As expected, the West Indians are getting ‘overhauled’ by the South Africans. I wonder how much more patience the West Indian fans will have with Chris Gayle because if someone as useless as him had stayed captain for as long, then at least the Pakistani fans would have ‘killed’ him by now. 😉

    BTW, I read about Umar Akmal’s 150 runs and Aamir’s 5 wickets performances !!

  46. #46 by Varunsuri on June 30, 2010 - 10:58 AM

    Omer,

    Well, as far as i am concerned, Mind says Brazil-Argentina final but heart says Netherlands-Germany final.

    I might be a bit biased due to my personal circumstances here as I am shuttling between Netherlands and Germany now and for the next few weeks for Work before I finally return to India for good…

    Also, In Sports somehow I always support the Underdogs or the Non-Monopolists for example the reason I do not support Brazil but of course admire their football is because of their dominance in the World Cups. I would rather see Maradona`s Argentina lift the cup(if not Dutch or German) than the Brazilians!

  47. #47 by Omer on June 30, 2010 - 3:12 PM

    Varun,

    Yeah, but that is unlikely given the conditions are similar to South America and only South American teams tend to win the WC in such conditions. In fact I was surprised to see that not any European team has won the WC outside Europe. But Germany is a very good team nevertheless.

    Anyway, the system I was saying wasn’t working because the betting side takes 30-50 percent of each dollar you bet (just for brokery!).

    So, Brazil is 5:2… the probability of Brazil winning WC is 5*p=2…something like 40-odd percent. When you add all the ps this way, it comes down to around 1.5. And, assuming the ratio of probabilities of the various teams is still right, if you normalize it, then around .4/1.5= .26667..corresponding to actual odds of 3.75:1. Whereas what they are offering is 2.5:1. This is the problem when the market is not free for online betting, it shouldn’t be more than 1 percent since it is just an online website (but it is 30-50 percent they are taking on each dollar). The system of betting I was saying is actually a pretty good one with fair odds.

  48. #48 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 30, 2010 - 7:19 PM

    Omer

    Are you working with some bookies or what? 😀

    Varun

    You have quoted my passage on Howard’s selection. This morning when I read that article by Peter English on cricinfo, I was not surprised because I knew what was going to happen. Now, Australia and New Zealand are outraged – let them be – how long do they want to monopolize the ICC? It is time for them to realize that there are others too in this game and the “Powar” is where the Money is 😀

  49. #49 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 1, 2010 - 12:01 AM

    Senate to probe the injustice in test team selection…………. this is the latest news from Pakistan. But, who can move the unmovable BUTT? As usual nothing will happen, no one can challenge Ijaz Butt, he is like the ” hand of Satan ” who will destroy the game of cricket in Pakistan.

    Every person in Pakistan except for a few die hard P dot jingoists are saying that dropping Younus and Yousuf from the test squad is a big mistake.

  50. #50 by M. Y. Kasim on July 1, 2010 - 2:15 AM

    Have patience, Javed Khan,

    Sadre Mamlukat is busy collecting his share of the thousand of containers missing recently and to deposit the loot at some secure place since all his assets in UAE, England, USA, Spain, Switzerland etc. have become known world over. He does not want to put all his eggs in one basket.

    May be, being a banker or retired banker, you can help the “poor” guy find some secure way to keep his hard-earned money!!!!!

    When he is done, he may give some thoughts to the happenings in the PCB.

    Till then, DUAA KARO.

  51. #51 by M. Y. Kasim on July 1, 2010 - 2:25 AM

    Munir Sahab,

    Thank you for your good wishes about my health.

    I am sick and tired of Chemo-Therapy. Finally I told my Doctor to take the “Pick-Line” off which he agreed and did so. May be in a couple of weeks, I will have to undergo “Radio Frequency Ablation” to get rid of cancer, God willing.

    It is not that it will give me long life but the pain and suffering might diminish to some extent.

    Thank you all for praying for my recovery and good health.

  52. #52 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 1, 2010 - 9:39 AM

    Kasim Sahab;

    We all know about your health and needless to say we all pray for your well being, we also admire your courage and strength that despite all the pain and sufferings you still take out time to read the blog and contribute your valuable thoughts and share your experiences with us, may God help you in easing your pain and reward you with happiness and comfort – Ameen.

    Not even in my next life (if there is any) I would think of helping out Zardari. The PPP workers raise a slogan “Zinda hai Bibi Zinda hai….” I saw a cartoon depicting that a policeman hitting a PPP worker with a baton when he raised this slogan and telling the worker, “Salay, jab tu yae naara lagata hai, Sadar Sahab ka peshaab chhoot jaata hai.” don’t you ever dare to raise this slogan. I think we should remind Zardari that if you don’t sack Ijaz Butt, then we will chant this slogan till all your diapers have finished.

    Btw, John Howard has learnt a trait from Ijaz Butt, after he has been vetoed out by the Asian and African group of countries and getting full support from Australia, New Zealand as well as from his buddy Malcolm in the Middle, Speedy Gonzales” Howard said, he is standing firm despite the embarrassing turn of events. “I haven’t withdrawn, I’m still the nomination and I won’t be withdrawing,” His nomination is valid till August 31st and reportedly Australia and NZ will push his case again. As usual England is doing the backseat mothering here, tight lipped gora sahab but, both fingers are busy, one in Australia and the other in NZ. 😀

  53. #53 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 1, 2010 - 9:46 AM

    BIZARRE TRAVEL PLANS FOR PLAYERS – BUT VIP TRAVEL PLANS FOR HIS HIGHNESS BUTT

    “LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has deprived its own cricketers from much-needed practice for the challenging Test series against world champions Australia, to be played at neutral venue in England from July 13.

    In a bizarre plan, the PCB has finalised the travelling schedule of five key Pakistan players in such a manner that they will not be getting any practice whatsoever in the England conditions prior to the tough Test series against Ricky Ponting’s men later this month.The five — Yasir Hameed, Azhar Ali, Zulqernain Haider, Mohammad Asif, and Tanvir Ahmad — will literally be thrown at the deep end since they are scheduled to arrive in England on July 10, just three days before the start of the first Test against Australia at Lord’s.

    Two other players, Imran Farhat and Danish Kaneria, who have also been named in the Test side are already in England and will join the team from there.

    Pakistan’s last two-day side match prior to the Aussie Tests is scheduled against Leicestershire from July 8 and the five players will not be able to participate in that game for the much-needed practice which is a clear case of bad planning from the PCB.

    When contacted, a PCB spokesman confirmed that the Board had initially made the plans to send the Test team players on July 10 but they could leave earlier to get some practice in the England conditions.

    Pakistan will take on Essex in a T20 match on July 2 and the very next day face Northamptonshire before meeting Australia in two Twenty20 matches on July 5 and 6.

    The first Test between Pakistan and Australia will be played at Lord’s from July 13 while second Test will commence on July 21 at Headingley, Leeds.

    Soon afterwards, Pakistan will be facing England in a four-Test series starting from July 29. England is hosting the ‘home series’ for Pakistan after Australia refused to visit Pakistan on security grounds. ”

    Source: DAWN, Karachi

  54. #54 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 1, 2010 - 9:53 AM

    THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS AND GROSSLY OFFENSIVE……….. MALCOLM SPEED NEEDS TO BE PENALIZED FOR SAYING THIS

    Quote:

    Malcolm Speed out of frustration described Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, as a “buffoon” and cricket in Pakistan as “a basket case”.

    He said that the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board is a nominee of the prime minister, and added that two of the BCB cricket presidents during his time with the ICC, had ended up in jail when there was a change of government.

    “The last BCB president I encountered was an army general. He did not know the name of the Bangladesh captain, the team’s next opponents and the capacity of the new ground that had just been inaugurated in Dhaka. I was too polite to ask him whether he had ever been to a cricket match,” Speed said.

    “When these two countries (Pakistan and Bangladesh) come forward with their joint nominee, Australia and New Zealand should politely refrain from voting.

    Unquote. Geo News.

  55. #55 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 1, 2010 - 10:04 AM

    Its a fact that we all criticize and make fun of Ijaz Butt, as public we have the right to do so. But, Malcolm Speed has no right to be so grossly offensive and atrocious, he crossed all the boundaries of decency. Who the hell he thinks he is to say this? And, that too publicly in front of the media. He is also spitting venom against Pakistan and Bangladesh by saying when they will nominate their candidates we should politely refrain from voting. He does not have the BALLS to say anything against India or Powar and he knows which side of the Butt he needs to butter.

    And, look at him he is saying politely refrain from voting. He is hatching, plotting, scheming and planning in advance, sowing seeds of hatred and that too so openly? I hope the media takes care of this comment and grill him. The irony is these guys get away with a slap on the wrist.

    I was not against Howard’s nomination but, the way this whole thing is turning out into a racial drama, I hate to admit that its good in a way that the Asia and African countries have shown them their place – the shoe closet – that is where they belong.

    This is such a gross comment from Malcolm Speed that we should be dedicating an exclusive thread on this subject.

  56. #56 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 1, 2010 - 10:13 AM

    Btw, this is the same Sharad Pawar who was pushed from the podium by Ricky Ponting and his uncouth team mates when Pawar was on the stage giving away the prizes and Ricky and his eager beavers wanted to pose for the camera and in the process Ricky Ponting actually pushed Pawar. That was an ugly and disgusting act for which there is no apology. I wonder where the mannerism and politeness stands? Had this been Malcolm Speed in India and or, Pakistan and if the Indian or Pakistani team had done this, there would have been headlines and hundreds of photographs in every newspaper in Australia, NZ and England. Not only this, they would have shown the video clipping a zillion times.

    I dunno if Varun, newguy and 420 have seen this? I want to see their comments on this.

  57. #57 by newguy on July 1, 2010 - 12:19 PM

    Javed Khan,

    On the rejection of John Howard as ICC President in waiting and the subsequent outrage, my views are as follows.

    Australia arm twisted New Zealand to select Howard when in the first place New Zealand had one of their reportedly best administrators as first choice. NZL had to agree to Aus because they had more clout and may even have offered some back room deals for supporting Howard. So, they should stop crying about power when used against them.

    More importantly though, Aus/NZ knew that Howard was a controversial choice from the beginning and would get challenged, may be they though they would get the backing of BCCI when it comes to crunch time, but it seems BCCI stayed away from persuading other boards in this case and eventually 7 boards voted against him.

    This is very simple, if the 2/3rd majority do not want him as their future board president of a body that governs how cricket should be played, then he is not fit to be president.

    There is no need in elections to show cause as is purported by Australian media, people don’t have to come out in general election and say why they chose to vote one way or other, if they didn’t like the candidate for one reason or other they are free to vote against him. This is not a court trail, Sambit Bal the editor of Cricinfo fails to understand this when he said even the worst criminals deserve to be told why they were given the verdict against them. Smbit Bal fails to understand that this is not a trail but an election, and in the election the members who voted did not want him. Simple as that, next time chose someone who gets the backing of majority.

    As for Australians pushing Pawar from the podium few years back, yes, I have seen the video and it was on Indian media for a while at that time.

    But, what else is expected of the uncouth Australian players? Everyone knows that Australians are not the best behaved society in the world, their sports culture shows off the ugly side of it. I have zero expectation of civility from Aussies, so this does not bother me.

    If Indians have the power to do things in their interest and if it happens to be against Australian interest, they should do so. I don’t really care if Australians are upset, they did not do it when they had the power.

    Howard nomination as you said sometime back should be called “How Awkward” – the whole thing is a farce from Australia.

  58. #58 by Varun Suri on July 1, 2010 - 3:33 PM

    Javed,

    I remember seeing that video, but since it is Mr. Powar I was not too bothered about it. I have mixed feelings about Mr Pawar on one hand all the sugar farmer community of Maharashtra see him as their saviour and worship him like a God, I have also heard Mr Powar has a very good memory and he can remember names of people whom he might not have met for 20 Years.

    But on the other hand he also has a darker side to him on which someone needs to dwell further and find out the facts.

    As far as Malcolm Speed and other Englishmen are concerned Time will show them their “real” place in this Century.

    Just the other day I read that the Original East India Company has been bought by an Indian. It is only the beginning and I personally want the British Government to pay for all the Cotton and Jute they looted from Bengal both West and East, which aided the Industrial Revolution and led to the rise of cities like Liverpool and Manchester.

  59. #59 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 1, 2010 - 4:46 PM

    Varun

    Not only Mehta bought EIC recently, remember Harrods was bought by Fayed and in the US many big MNC’s have been bought by the Japanese so ‘what goes up must come down’

    newguy

    I agree that its an election and you don’t owe explanation to people when they lose elections and by calling it “verdict” Sambit Bal is probably referring to him as a son of convict. 😀 But, he should stop buttering the goras.

    I want to see how Butt would be reacting to the media in his next public appearance when they will ask him this question of Malcolm calling him a Buffoon.

  60. #60 by khansahab on July 1, 2010 - 7:32 PM

    Javed A Khan

    Whether Speed should have been politically correct is another argument I think, but do you not think he has been generous by just calling Butt, “buffoon”?

  61. #61 by Omer on July 1, 2010 - 8:01 PM

    Javed Khan,

    The whole Howard drama is hilarious.

    Now Powar just needs to offer Howard and Speed a good retirement package with a post in the IPL and they would surely accept the friendly gesture, and as with Hayden, Symonds, and Warne, all the outwardly bickering would cease. Tough on the field and quite malleable off it– the Australian way 😉

  62. #62 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 2, 2010 - 1:11 AM

    khansahab & Omer;

    It doesn’t matter how bad, uncouth, uncivilized and Paindoo Ijaz Butt is, but Speed has no right to call him a “buffoon” also his comments that “cricket in Pakistan as “a basket case”. It is exactly what Howard did by calling Murali a Chucker. Being a Prime Minister of a country you have to have some dignity in choosing words for people from a different country. There is a decorum, decency and a courtesy that has to be taken into account. They are diplomats and they are not sitting in their living room and talking about anyone, they said this in front of the media. I am deeply offended by these comments. Because, when someone calls them “Sons of Convicts” which is a reality they start whining and consider it as a racial slur. Reportedly, Ian Bothom said this to the media when asked about his wish. He said, ” I want to beat Australia at the MCG in front of 100,000 sons of convicts.” There was a huge uproar and a big hue and cry from the Australians but, they themselves are very crude, uncouth and uncivilized and spare no one. Whenever they are losing they are the biggest whiners and cry babies. I have no sympathy for them.

    In the previous T20 WC, I remember seeing a play card displayed in the stands, it said, “I support any team which is playing against Australia.” Very rightly so.

  63. #63 by Omer on July 2, 2010 - 7:04 AM

    Correction on the betting thing. I assumed 5:2 implies a profit of 3 on 2, whereas it actually implies a profit of 5 on 2…so that whole thing about the 30-40 percent thing would be wrong. It did sound ridiculous, its just impossible to make that much in brokery.

    So, if we put 50 on Brazil (to win) and 50 on Argentina..we get a payoff of 175 if Brazil wins and 225 if Argentina wins. And, put 20 on Germany and 20 on Netherlands at 1:7 or payoff of 160. So, you put in 140 altogether. Spain is the risk. To play relatively safe, you could also put 20 on spain at around 4:1 so 100 is the lower bound fo loss…primarily betting on Argentina and Brazil to win…now thinking about it this way–if argentina and brazil have an equal chance of winning, then 15*.5+.5*65=40 is your expected payoff, with 60 being your loss if Spain loses.

    This is what I just did.

  64. #64 by Varunsuri on July 2, 2010 - 10:19 AM

    Omer,

    looks like you have already made millions betting on football, as far as I am concerned I would rather goto a Casino and play Russian Roulette. It is more fun and atleast you have only yourself to blame if you lose big time!!

  65. #65 by M. Y. Kasim on July 2, 2010 - 2:53 PM

    The horrible blasts at Data Darbar in Lahore has shocked every Pakistani, whichever sect they belong to.

    One thing is sure. Pakistan has to fight and eliminate this menace created by foreign countries who wants to de-stabilise and thereby destroy it.

    I fully support Imran Khan’s view that the present system has to change before a bloody revolution takes over and millions of lives are lost.

    People are commiting suicide and killing their own wife and children because they could not provide for them, target killings has become a way of life, bomb blasts and suicide attacks are rampant, floods are not controlled and water is scarce, electricity for poor citizens and industrial purpose are denied while the rich and powerfull are enjoying can not and will not last forever.

    There has to be a change, the sooner the better.

  66. #66 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 2, 2010 - 3:23 PM

    Varun

    It seems like Omer‘s betting is more like that Sardarji who went to a train station and started asking hundreds of questions about the dozens of inbound and outbound trains on all platforms, the station master got fed up and asked him, what exactly do you want? The Sardarji replied, I want to cross the train tracks. (Menu Patree Paar Kerni hai)

    Similarly, Omer is working out all the possible combination and permutations of betting and imagining which team to bet on and how much he will get, blah, blah……. by the time he decides, the Soccer World Cup would be over. 😀

    Kasim Sahab

    Your dream is too far fetched, the first step to move in the right direction is to get rid of Zardari from power and the second is to ban Nawaz Sharif’s Party. Third would be to wipe off the Feudal Lords Culture. Once this is over, the first and foremost thing would be to improve the level of education and increase the literacy rate. Otherwise, Jahilon ko samjhana bara mushkil kaam hai.

  67. #67 by Varun Suri on July 2, 2010 - 3:37 PM

    What an exciting game of football is going on at the moment with Netherlands coming from behind to lead 2-1 with just 15 minutes left in the Game. Brazilians are acting like cry babies and have commited so many fouls if not for the Japani Referee they would have already bagged 3-4 Red Cards. Already they have one.

    SO the favourites are almost out and to be honest I couldn’t tell if it was Brazil playing today.

  68. #68 by Varun Suri on July 2, 2010 - 5:05 PM

    It’s a pity that I am not in Netherlands today as I will miss out on the Euphoria surrounding today’s win already the streets of Holland are completely Orange as everyone is on the streets and there is another sort of heat wave across Europe with temperatures touching 38 degrees in parts of Germany here.

    In my experience of meeting and dealing with the Western Europeans, I found the Dutch to be most amiable and foreigner friendly even though people like Geert Wilders exist here but to a certain extent such people are present in all European Countries and having travelled to all Western European countries except Spain I get the feeling that the Muslims in Holland are much more integrated compared to other countries and you all would be surprised to know that the city from which Geert Wilders won that is Almere is a Dutch minority and immigrant majority city so there are many Dutch-Morroccan and Dutch-Turkish supporters of Geert Wilders.

    One reason why I feel that the Dutch to be foreigner friendly is because majority of Dutch people speak more than 2 languages usually English and German in case of older generation or English and French/Spanish amongst the younger generation so in all the cases they do not attach great importance to their own language which is Dutch and it is this quality which sets them apart from other Europeans who are too proud of their language and culture to make an conscious effort to speak another language fluently.

    Okay back to Football, I think Netherlands have a good chance to reach the Finals now unless Hungary/Ghana can stop the 24 match unbeaten run of the Dutch Team, they have won their last 9 consequitive matches which is a Dutch National Record as well.

    My Home Team is already in the Semis now I want my favourite team to also be there.

    Let’s see if Maradona’s Argentina can beat Deutschland until then…

    Auf Wiedersehen und Schoenes Wochenende

  69. #69 by khansahab on July 2, 2010 - 6:47 PM

    Kasim sahab

    Sir I mean no disrespect but I feel Amran Khan has to change himself first before wanting to change the system.

    And the first step towards that change is that if he hears anyone pronouncing his name as “Amran” he should realise it is an incorrect pronunciation.

  70. #70 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 2, 2010 - 7:14 PM

    In today’s match against Essex, Fawad Alam played for records only. Just to add one more match to his career where he did not get a chance to bat or bowl a single ball. He took a catch and that’s it. Afridi has taken some rest and Salman Butt was in-charge. Normally, Kamran Akmal comes down the order but to keep Fawad Alam at bay he was promoted up the order. Its a shame that he seldom gets a fair treatment.

  71. #71 by khansahab on July 2, 2010 - 7:38 PM

    Abaadi

    Dekh maroof shayar ka mazaaqya tanz

    “FALSAFAA-E-I AM AGREE”

    Falsafaa! Falsafaa! Falsafaa e I am agree!
    Imran kaisay bana “Amran”!? Aray, “Abrar” ya “Ibrar”?
    Bechaari Mohsina…..”Mosna” kaisay banee!!!!
    Falsafaa-e-I am agree…Falsafaa-e-I am agree….

  72. #72 by newguy on July 2, 2010 - 9:42 PM

    What a sad day today in WC football – my feelings are exactly opposite of Varun’s. My perennial favorite team since I started following WC finals in 1986 is Brazil, and they lost shockingly to the Dutch. Brazil dominated first half in typical fashion but somehow lost the plot in 2nd. To make it worser, I was backing up Ghana, the black stars team and only team to remain from the continent, to win and make history by going in to WC semi-final first time for an African nation. This support was in spite of them having beaten USA in previous round. They played with all their heart and almost won in the last minute of extra time, but for a huge misfortune.

    What a tragic day.

    My only hope remains with Argentina now, second most all time favorite team after Brazil. Tomorrow against Germany I wish Argentina to win and retain the South American magic into the semis and then to the finals.

    I do not want to see a Germany-Netherlands final, making it another lackluster affair like last time France-Italy final.

  73. #73 by Omer on July 2, 2010 - 10:47 PM

    Varun,

    My gut instinct was either Germany/Argentina would win the WC. But I was trying to make a systematic strategy with betting. Anyway, from whichever team’s perspective, there are three big matches so it would be thoroughly deserved if either of them win the world cup.

    I don’t think Netherlands played very attractive soccer, they kept on diving and hitting Brazilian players at crucial times. This is what I like about cricket, they have got UDRS and the umpire doesn’t decide the outcome of the match. In soccer players can practice diving and then dive at crucial times during the game, getting the opponent a yellow/red card. All this acting aspect of soccer undermines what is otherwise a very enthralling sport.

    Netherlands has reached the final twice so far and lost twice. You could say history is also created as much as it is repeated, but they haven’t so far played a game in which they have dominated or looked very good. There is also a good chance that Uruguay might win against them. On the other hand, Spain is a complete team, yet it tends to historically fold on the big occassion. Anyway I think the match tomorrow will decide the world cup winners. The two best teams of the tournament are playing tommorrow, and I think whoever wins the match would win the world cup.

  74. #74 by Varun Suri on July 3, 2010 - 8:05 AM

    Newguy and Omer,

    I don’t know how you can think that Netherlands-Germany Final would be boring as Italy-France.

    If you’d readd the link which I had posted before you would realise that Netherlands-Germany is never short of excitement and Brazilian Coach Dunga himself said that Netherlands is the most “South American” team in Europe.

    Well you can’t entirely blame the Dutch for playing unattractive football it was the Brazilians who were after Arjen Robben all the time and in the first 30 minutes of the Game there was hardly any football. And for all the talk of Brazilian Samba football e.t.c It was hard to believe that we were watching Brazil play yesterday. I don’t like Robinho as he seems to be very arrogant and he couldn’t do much after the easy first goal.

    France/Italy can never match a Germany/Netherlands final as they have completely different style of Football.

    I think this is a World Cup of upsets so it is unwise to jump to conclusions and say that Uruguay will beat Netherlands and the winner of Argentina/Germany will lift the cup. The Dutch haven’t played upto their strength until now and even then they have won all the matches comfortably. If the likes of Van Persie and Robben get going the Uruguan duo of Diego Forlan and Suarez will not be able to do much. Oh wait a minute Suarez was the one who got a Red Card so that means their 2nd best player would not be playing against Netherlands. I think the Dutch are in the finals as they should beat Uruguay comfortably.

  75. #75 by newguy on July 3, 2010 - 1:02 PM

    Varun,

    I don’t think Germany-Netherlands will as as boring as Italy-France, just that it’s one step closer to that 😉

    I like Germany, but only behind Brazil, Argentina. I also don’t want two Euro teams in final, one is good.

    Suarez is out of semi-final, which is a big blow as he is one of the two strikers who can score for Uruguay. So, Dutch has one foot in the final already, but let’s see what happens.

    Rooting for Argentina today.

  76. #76 by Varun Suri on July 3, 2010 - 3:09 PM

    Still rooting for Argentina today…?

  77. #77 by Varun Suri on July 3, 2010 - 3:32 PM

    Happy Birthday Maradona!

    Deutschland über Alles!!!!

  78. #78 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 3, 2010 - 3:59 PM

    Argentina were no match to the German attack, they were on the defensive after the first goal by Muller and their attack lacked penetration and finish. Lets see what Paraguay will do in the next match, if they are out then it will be all European affair. I wasn’t supporting any team so I am not sad like newguy on Brazilian exit and now Argentina’s. Like someone said, my guess too is it will be a Germany vs. Holland final. Lets see what SuttayBaaz Omer has to say? 😀

  79. #79 by newguy on July 3, 2010 - 4:10 PM

    Well .. what can I say now. Germans outclassed Argentina all along. Their defense was impeccable and their offense was very efficient, that is whenever they got chance they played the 1-2 player tactic like in the game against England to score. They also played as a team. Argentina as is the case with most south american teams play with flair and natural instincts, but not efficient, so it was their undoing, but that is also what makes them so likeable.

    It should be a Germany-Netherlands final as Varun wanted. Or could there be an upset with Paraguay or Uruguay remaining?

  80. #80 by Omer on July 3, 2010 - 4:23 PM

    Varun,

    It was a very one-sided match, Argentina didn’t play the natural attacking soccer they had been playing through the tournament before.

    German defense was pretty solid.It was a little weak when they lost to Spain in the euro cup in the final, I think this time around they should start as favorites. However, Spain started the world cup as betting favorites, they are a very complete team, with no weak links. It should be a good match.

    Javed Khan,

    Actually I always thought Germany was a very good bet at 7:1. That is why I used it as a hedge. It seemed to me that one major South American team would at least go through between Argentina and Brazil. It didn’t happen, but that is the risk you take. When you predict, you can come out wrong as well. The safest way to say it is that of the pure mathematician– each team has an equal chance, and you could say, I said so after either of the team wins. Kind of like they do on the weather channels when it comes to predicting rain 😉

  81. #81 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 3, 2010 - 4:44 PM

    Soccer has taken over cricket and very rightly so bakaoz the world is watching soccer. Anyways whatever the news is, England is struggling against Hussey’s effort and only hope is Collingwood still a long way to go.

    Shahid Afridi came and blasted 42 runs in two overs and the match was virtually over. Shahzaib is playing well and needs to continue his form in big matches against big teams. Fawad Alam got a chance and did nothing. Lets see what happens on July 5th, is it going to be Hussey vs. Ajmal or Tait vs Pak openers? Pakistan must win their first T20 against Australia to boost their confidence.

    Bangladesh were beaten by Sussex like they are a under-19 club side.

  82. #82 by khansahab on July 3, 2010 - 11:10 PM

    Time will tell whether these T20’s against county teams mean anything for Pakistan.

    Today Afridi blasted 40 odd in 12 balls, it must have been a breathtaking innings. Shahzaib Hasan also played very well. Bad game for F Alam and Umar Gul to some extent.

    Afridi is likely to play the following team:

    Butt
    S Hasan
    K Akmal
    S Malik
    U Akmal
    S Afridi
    F Alam
    Razzaq
    Akhtar
    Ajmal
    Gul/Aamer

    In T20 it does not make much sense to play Fawad up the order unless there has been a batting disaster. But, this should not be an excuse for NOT playing him. Afridi should ideally send himself and Razzaq in to bat before Malik.

  83. #83 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 4, 2010 - 4:58 AM

    khansahab

    Gul and Aamer both will play and Alam will sit outside. If he had scored 50 odd runs at a strike rate of 150 then he may have had a chance, still there is no room for him because Shahzaib is playing well and he is opening the innings, Kamran will play because of his wicketkeeping and Umar Akmal is in good form no way he can be dropped. Malik? No one can drop Malik unless he performs very badly in three consecutive innings. So, from your team Fawad Alam will be the 12th man.

  84. #84 by khansahab on July 4, 2010 - 9:27 AM

    Javed A Khan

    Fawad had a good game against Kent, he was the highest scorer (I think) in the 2nd innings and then retired himself out so Malik could come and get some batting practice.

    He also took a catch and effected a run out.

    This is just politics which is again coming into play. For Malik, Butt, Misbah, Akmal, a few bad matches are tolerated, but for Fawad, one bad match means he has to miss out on the next one.

  85. #85 by Mohammed Munir on July 4, 2010 - 9:31 AM

    I have stopped following Football, for now at least. 😉

    Cricket … here I come, again.

    Varun. Good luck with 'your' final.

    My only hope is that Netherlands loose it once again in the finals in a most humiliating fashion at the hands of mighty Germans. 😆

  86. #86 by Mohammed Munir on July 4, 2010 - 9:33 AM

    Omer …

    Good I haven’t ‘invested’ my hard earned money on your intutions or even your gambling skills.

  87. #87 by newguy on July 4, 2010 - 2:33 PM

    Dhoni stumps media, getting married in the next 24 hours

    Dhoni as is his style on the field with unsuspecting moves has made another on in his personal life too. While the media is crazy running around trying to attach him to Bollywood damsels and other celebrities, he is getting married to his former School mate and daughter of his father’s friend. What is more, he got engaged last night in a quiet ceremony and getting married next day, media is not allowed inside.

    Here is more:

    DEHRADUN/LUCKNOW: Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is set to tie the knot with fiancee Sakshi Rawat at a very private affair on the outskirts of Dehradun on Sunday evening, a day after the couple’s hush-hush engagement.

    The media is being kept far away. The hordes of media persons and television OB vans gathered there is not being allowed to proceed by private security guards, around more than one and a half kilometre from the venue, the source said.

    Director General of Police Uttarakhand, Subhash Joshi said that he too has not been invited. “I have not got an invite. They are taking the assistance of local police.”

    “They want to have their privacy and we don’t want to encroach on it,” he said.

    Among the cricketers who have arrived are Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra and RP Singh. Among Bollywood personalities, John Abraham is reported to have reached the venue.

    The girl’s cousin Abhilasha Bhisht, a Deputy Inspector General of Police who is on deputation on an UN assignment, belongs to the place, said a source.

    Dhoni has been reported to have visited Dehradun and Mussoori frequently over the last two years. The girl’s father and Dhoni’s father were working together in Ranchi. Her grandfather, a retired divisional forest officer, lives in Dehradun.

    Well done Dhoni!!!

  88. #88 by M. Y. Kasim on July 4, 2010 - 4:13 PM

    I feel embrassed and dis-hearted because three of my four favorit semi-finalists are out.

    I had predicted Brazil, Argentina, Portugal and Germany as the semi-finalists. I hope nobody took my “Expert” analysis seriously and bet their bottom dollars on my permutation!!!

    As much as I admire the performance of the German team, I am still rooting for the only South American team, the Uruguay for obvious reason.

  89. #89 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 4, 2010 - 4:48 PM

    Munir

    Besides, soccer you were also following the gossip column about Dhoni who decided to give up on Bollywood “aikasstrass” like Paddukone and going after Sexy Rawat, his old school buddy and Dad’s friends daughter. It is good that he has kept the media out of the gates of his house and the media should respect this because, it is his private matter. At least it is not going to happen like it did during the Shoania ShowBiz which was so farcical and comical. But, the couple actually was tormented by the media vultures.

    George Bernard Shaw said, “An American has no sense of privacy. He does not know what it means. There is no such thing in the country.” But, now this vulture culture is everywhere and there is no privacy for celebrities. Thank God that we are not celebrities, otherwise our private lives would have been in the living room of every house when they air it on TV.

  90. #90 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 4, 2010 - 4:58 PM

    Varun

    Did you read the latest from Howard? He is now talking about democracy in the ICC by saying: “No one country should dominate.” Pointing directly towards India. For the last 100 years or so England and Australia dominated the ICC and these are his exact words.

    quote:
    “I think it is very important we understand there’s got to be a fair sharing of responsibilities and no one part of the world, no one country, should dominate. “People in the past criticized the fact it was dominated by England and Australia and now we don’t want to replace one perceived domination with another. “That in a way is why the ICC put in place this rotation system and that’s one of the issues CA have got to take into account when it responds to what has happened.” unquote

    My question is what took them so long to realize that, in the past England and Australia dominated and now he doesn’t want to replace one perceived domination with another?

    Although initially my reaction to Howard’s nomination was different, I thought he should be given a chance and Pakistan should not get into petty politics. But, Howard, Speed and Australia, NZ reactions at his ouster has made me realize that there was an agenda behind this and they feel very sad for not getting Howard in the ICC and are blabbing and badmouthing against India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Whereas, the fact is Zimbabwe and SA have more valid reasons to keep Howard out and neither him nor Speed or any of the ICC officials are talking against them (Zim & SA).

  91. #91 by Varun Suri on July 4, 2010 - 5:55 PM

    Munir,

    As much as I admire and support the Der Mannschaft It would be too harsh and heart-breaking for Netherlands to lose again to Germany in a World Cup final as it happened in 1974. Netherlands made into the final of 1978 again but only to lose again to Italy i think, not sure about that.

    So because of this reason I want De Oranje to beat Germany in the Final and claim their first World Cup title which they deserve but it all matters how they play in the next two matches.

    Javed,

    When I started reading that article I was thinking exactly what you wrote and I got so pissed that I did not even read the whole thing. Who cares about Whitemen of Mr Howard’s generation in about 2 decades most of such people would be gone and their future generation has already started accepting the realities of the New World Order not only in Cricket but in other fields as well.

    If you read the article by Harsha Bhogle, he mentioned few instances in the history of the Game when the White Bloc changed the rules of the Game to suit themselves. I hope someone should communicate this to Mr Howard and then get his opinion. He’s one Racist M*****F***** who is a total politician to the core and his only credentials to become the VP of ICC are that he visited the MRF Pace academy in Chennai and also a short trip to Zimbabwe but it was of no use.
    Not that I am a big supporter of MR Powar but atleast he has been involved with the Game for some years now and is not a complete novice like Mr. Howard.

    Australia has a big Lebanese-Arabic immigrant population and when Howard was the PM there few E-mails being circulated against the Australian Muslims which made me wonder if he is a clone of George the Twat Bush, no wonder Bush honored Howard with some Amrikan medal of honour or whatever..

    As for your reference to the lack of privacy, I see it as a direct consequence of the American Consumerism which has encroached upon every possible Country and the smallest Town possible.

    Right now I am in Hameln (the same place which we know from the famous story of Pied Piper of Hamlin, just that the Anglophiles could never pronounce a City’s name in a different Country as it happened with places like Cawnpore which is Kanpur hence we know it as Hamlin instead of Hameln in German, same goes for Dunkirk which is actually Dunkerque in French or Danzig for Gdansk in Polish.) Even in this small town in this remote part of Germany, I have seen numerous Burger Kings and Mcdonalds and this is what I fear when I would be returning to Delhi in few months time where Gurgaon is a place where I have heard parents scolding their Children in Mcdonalds for talking in Hindi.

    When George Bush was nearing the end of it’s term his popularity ratings were at an all time low everywhere except in India where I don’t know for what reason he was still very popular. Combine this with the 70000 plus students going to USA who will never return to India and by 2030 After the Jews, Blacks and Hispanics they will become the 4th biggest majority in the US so one could only imagine the American influence on India in the coming few years. I fear the day when in Indian Schools they start teaching American English as against the British English. Once that happens we will be fully Americanised

    There is a very apt song on this subject by a German Industrial Rock band called Rammstein which goes like…

    We are living in America,We are living in America, Es ist Wünderbar….

    der Mannschaft = German Football team
    de Oranje = Dutch Football team
    Wünderbar = Wonderful

  92. #92 by Varun Suri on July 4, 2010 - 5:59 PM

    Excuses…two corrections

    1. 70000+ Indian Students are travelling to USA Every Year from India

    2. We are all living in Amerika….

  93. #93 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 5, 2010 - 3:23 AM

    Varun

    Among the list of your corrections, please add one more i.e., about the Jewish population in America. They are only 2.5% in terms of population but, there are more than 60% Jews in the Congress.

    As regards Howard, not only he is a racist but, he made certain changes in the immigration policies and was profiling them and wanted only the whites to come to Australia and restricted the non-whites from immigration into Australia. Howard government’s immigration policy was like a new version of the old bipartisan white Australia policy. For Whites there were no prerequisites on immigration but for non-whites his government imposed tougher English tests, tougher skills tests and had to show a minimum $40,000 in bank accounts in every category. Whereas, in Canada and other countries the minimum cash requirement is not applicable for professionals.

  94. #94 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 5, 2010 - 3:29 AM

    On tomorrow’s T20 between Pakistan and Australia. I am very certain that Pakistan will win this match and end the losing pattern which they have brought to the figure of 12 so far. The team Pakistan appears to be good at least on paper and Actor might be inclined to compete against Tait and may achieve some initial success against Watson and Warner. My only concern is Pakistani openers if they don’t lose a wicket till 60 odd runs in 7-8 overs then the chances of Pakistan putting up a total of 180-190 are very bright. This time if they end up in a similar situation like the last one where Hussey smashed Ajmal, it will not be a repeat for Hussey. Pakistan if they bat first and score the above number of runs then they are likely to win.

    Edgbaston wicket helps the bowlers and it is very likely that the ball will swing and it will swing more in favour of Pakistan than Australia. Harris is injured and that is a blessing for Pakistan because he is very unassuming but, he is a wicket taker. Good Luck Pakistan.

  95. #95 by khansahab on July 5, 2010 - 5:24 AM

    Omer

    I thought you may find this interesting. Whilst not establishing anything it does a good job of reinforcing opinions. By the way I am not posting this to start a debate.

  96. #96 by Mohammed Munir on July 5, 2010 - 6:16 AM

    Kasim Sahab …

    I respect your love for the South American style of Football rather then the European game, but to be frank, Uruguay doesn’t stand a realistic chance of even making it to the finals let alone winning it. Uruguay played pathetically in the quarter-finals and they are lucky to be in the semis after how they beat Ghana.

    BTW, my dad, who is also a diehard South American fan likes Uruguay to win the cup. As for me, I am not very emotional about any of the four semi-finalists but somehow I want the Germany to win and Netherland to rot in hell. 😉

    Varun …

    You must be a very luck man hoping for a Netherland – Germany final and it may happen too, but trust me the Germans will squish the ‘Oranges’ 😉

    Netherland is the most unlucky team to have reached the finals a few times but they never won the cup. They lost to Germany in 1974 and in 1978 they lost to the Argentina.

    Javed Khan …

    “Thank God that we are not celebrities”, Well this is your humbleness because some peoples are dying to be celebrities and are willing to pay any price for that.

    Sorry, I did not follow Dhoni’s marriage but what I liked about it is that he kept it private and did not sell his wedding rights to media like some other Indian celebrities did.

  97. #97 by Mohammed Munir on July 5, 2010 - 6:23 AM

    Amazing football facts …..Would this become a reality this time?….. The way things are heading at the moment …. who’ll say no?

    Have a look here …

    This world cup is already determined by the numbers….

    1. Brazil won the World Cup in 1994; before that they also won in 1970. Adding1970 + 1994 = 3964

    2. Argentina won its last World Cup in 1986; before that they also won in 1978. Adding 1978 + 1986 = 3964

    3. Germany won its last World Cup in 1990; before that they also won in 1974. Adding 1974 + 1990 = 3964

    4. Brazil also won the World Cup in 2002; before that they also won in 1962. Adding 1962 + 2002 = 3964

    Therefore if you want to know what nation is going to win the World Cup in 2010, you only have to subtract 2010 from the magic number that we have determined: 3964.

    So then, 3964 minus 2010 = 1954 …

    In 1954 the World Cup was won by Germany !!!

    PS: Omer … seems like this works better then your statistics. 😉

  98. #98 by Varun Suri on July 5, 2010 - 11:29 AM

    Javed,

    I did not know that the Jewish population in Amerika is only 2% but sure their influence is much more than that.

    As far as Canada v/s Australia is concerned, Canada is much better in terms of welcoming the foreigners and only yesterday the Queen has lavished praises at the Candian Human Rights record. Infact when I was about to leave India in 2003 to study in the UK, I just did a short French language course at Alliance Francaise in Delhi juste pour le plaisir and except me in a class of 25 everyone else just came to learn French because they would have got 10 points if they’d done 2 Levels of French out of the required 75 or so Points to be able to immigrate to Canada even without a Job.

    Infact Canada was in such dire need of Techies in that time(not sure about now) that it was one of the easiest destinations for people from the Indian Subcontinent to immigrate.

    Even Australia had certain strange rules where in if a Person did 2 Master degrees and was able to stay there for 4 Continuous Years and was able to pass the required tests he would get a Permanent Residentship no matter that the person has not paid even a Dollar in Income Tax and has spent his years only studying, it isn’t so easy in the UK or USA to get a PR.

  99. #99 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 5, 2010 - 12:16 PM

    Ref. my comment number 91. Sorry I take back my words about my prediction i.e., on who will win today’s match.

    My new prediction is based on a new theory by a well known cricket blog on cricinfo, it says: “The England tour (of Pakistan cricket team) could liberate or incarcerate.” Wow, these are the words of wisdom, even Nostradamus predictions would turn pale in front of this one. So, based on this new theory on prediction, I would like to say the same. And, I must tie a knot to remember it for the rest of my life that predictions should be made in this fashion “WonLee.” 😀

  100. #100 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 5, 2010 - 4:09 PM

    In one of my comments above I wrote that Shahzaib Hasan Khan is scoring well (against the county teams) but, his real test would be against big teams in big matches. He is gone facing his first ball (Nannes’s 5th of his first over).

  101. #101 by khansahab on July 5, 2010 - 6:21 PM

    This is world class bowling from Afridi. He is not giving any room to the batsmen. He has also taken a very good catch.

    He is an excellent player.

  102. #102 by khansahab on July 5, 2010 - 6:33 PM

    Excellent stuff by Ajmal. He is total paindoo if you look at this chaal, mizaaj etc but an excellent T20 bowler.

  103. #103 by khansahab on July 5, 2010 - 6:58 PM

    Gul gets Hussey. How do you play a ball like that?

  104. #104 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 5, 2010 - 7:13 PM

    TWO excellent deliveries from Umar Gul, one for Hussey and the for Paine in the xxx and both times the wicket went flying. For Hussey it was an inswinger and for Paine it was a real painful outswinger.

    Like I said, Pakistan will win today and end Australia’s winning streak, THEY HAVE.

    Umar Akmal batted really well and deserves the MoM award. Gul, Ajmal and Aamer bowled well so did Afridi and his two brilliant catches BUT the biggest disappointment was SHOAIB ACTOR. Five fours in a row from Warner and then 34 runs in 2 overs, he should be sent home, declare him unfit and get a replacement, may be Mohammad Irfan the tall guy.

  105. #105 by Varun Suri on July 5, 2010 - 7:21 PM

    What a crushing win by Pakistan as Australia is bowled out withing 19 overs. Umar Akmal is already proving to be a great asset to the team and if only he does not emulate his brother’s footsteps and stays away from petty politics and keep performing for Pakistan like this he will truly be one of the great batsmen for Pakistan.

    I hope Pakistan keeps performing like this and not only thrash the Aussies but also England so that Mr. Speed will realise whose Cricket is in Basket-Case. This is the problem with Englishmen they have just won a series against Aussies and already they think that they are the best an start talking about Ashes as if everything else is irrelevant and eventually they got beaten in the last two games thus they can continue dreaming of a Series White-wash against Australia.

  106. #106 by khansahab on July 5, 2010 - 7:25 PM

    Javed A Khan

    What I want to know is how long will we have to keep tolerating mediocre performances from Malik?

    How many more times do we have see him make 20 odd runs in any format and get out?

  107. #107 by khansahab on July 5, 2010 - 7:54 PM

    My worry with this tour is that although Pakistan may win tomorrow’s game even, how badly will they lose in Tests?

    Imran Farhat and Malik are the weakest links in the Test XI.

  108. #108 by khansahab on July 5, 2010 - 7:59 PM

    This is the squad:

    Openers: Butt, Farhat, Hameed, Azhar Ali

    Middle order: U Amin, Malik, U Akmal, Afridi,

    Spinners: Kaneria, Ajmal

    Fast bowlers: Asif, Riaz, Tanvir, Aamer, Gul

    Keepers: Akmal, Zulqernain

    They should go with:

    Butt
    Azhar
    Hameed
    Amin
    U Akmal
    Afridi
    Akmal
    Aamer
    Gul
    Asif
    Kaneria

    But, I think instead of Hameed and Azhar, they will play Malik and Farhat.

  109. #109 by khansahab on July 5, 2010 - 8:10 PM

    Waqar Younis said in the press conference, “U Akmal is the most talented cricketer I have seen in the last 15 years”.

    Waqar has forgotten:

    Afridi
    Younas Khan
    Yousaf
    Almost all of the Australian team
    Sehwag, Gambhir, Dhoni
    KP
    Half of the South African team

  110. #110 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 5, 2010 - 9:26 PM

    khansahab

    There is no doubt that Umar Akmal is very talented and my views before I spelled them out Varun has already spoken and I can echo his comments by saying Umar Akmal should not get into petty politics and keep his focus on the game. In today’s match some people might say his two sixes were glorious but, in my opinion his two fours that he played, one a late cut in the first slip region and another of Nannes which he took it as a full toss from good length and scooped it over the keeper’s head for a four proves that he can see the ball very well and his hand eye coordination is excellent.

    Malik was rather unlucky to get out in that unusual fashion, Aleem Dar almost declared it as a over and Malik tried to take a cheeky single and then they appealed for a catch and the 3rd umpire gave him out. To me it was a doubtful catch and the benefit of doubt should go in batsmen favour. He played well today scored fast and like I said, rather unlucky to get out. It was Salman Butt who ruined the match in terms of batting and Shoaib Akhtar in terms of bowling. But scored at a strike rate of 61 which is pathetic and he even got Kamran Akmal run out who was playing very well. I want someone to find out how many times Butt was involved in run outs? Like Yousuf said, Salman Butt is a very selfish player and I am agree with him because he seldom converts his singles into twos and twos into threes whereas there is always an extra run that he misses out only to play safe.

  111. #111 by khansahab on July 5, 2010 - 9:59 PM

    Javed A Khan

    I said in a thread that U Akmal is one of the best young batsmen in the world and that I think is a fair comment. It is too ambitious to say things like he is the most talented batsmen etc. We have seen some glorious players like Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting etc and neither of them could perform at their best when they were in their late teens or early twenties. So whereas raw talent can be exhibited from your first match, class is something that is acquired with experience.

    I think Pakistanis are overreacting to this victory. First it was Waqar’s surprising comment and then Ramiz said that Aamer is better than Wasim Akram, because when Akram was 18 he could not bowl as well as Aamer. That is a counterproductive comment.

    The amount of backing the public has given to Aamer and U Akmal- if this was not the worst phase of Pakistan cricket I am sure the success would have gone to their heads and they would have turned like Shoaib Akhtar. Perhaps the chaos in the PCB and the country is helping these youngsters keep their feet on the ground.

    Regarding Malik, Cricinfo said that the keeper took a clean catch. It does not matter whether the catch was clean or not, but somehow this is just another T20 occasion when Malik has not wriggled past the 20s.

  112. #112 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 6, 2010 - 2:13 AM

    khansahab

    like I said, Malik played better from his own standards, he was aggressive and smashed two consecutive fours and his other shots were also good but, they were stopped by the fielders, and he was unlucky to be given out in that fashion. Cricinfo may say anything but, I saw the match live and I can say for sure that it was not conclusive that the ball went straight into the gloves of the keeper. It is one of the reasons that the keeper did not appeal at first and, Malik took a cheeky single (at hindsight one may call it greediness, if he wasn’t given out they might have said, good presence of mind) and that single gave the opportunity to a couple of close-in Aussie fielders to appeal for the catch and then the keeper joined them. Before the appeal Aleem Dar had already declared the over, because it was the last ball. When they took the single he had to refer it to the 3rd umpire Ahsan Raza whoever that idiot is gave a wrong decision under pressure because, both the field umpires were Pakistanis and he may have thought that people might say ALL PAKISTANI umpires helped their team to win. If that was on his mind then he is not a good umpire.

  113. #113 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 6, 2010 - 2:19 AM

    Winning is such a tasteful tonic that enhances euphoria and people tend to forget the culprits who performed badly. No one is talking about Shoaib Akhtar who gave away 34 runs in 2 overs. If Pakistan had lost this match then everyone would have been talking about his bad bowling and Butt’s problem in getting his partners run out or, the opener and the captain getting out on a first ball duck. Well, Afridi to some extent has compensated his first ball duck by his good bowling and two brilliant catches and his excellent captaincy, he was motivating every single player including the Actor. If Pakistan had lost this match he would have also been a victim of criticism by the media and the so-called EX greats.

  114. #114 by khansahab on July 6, 2010 - 4:56 PM

    Another mediocre effort by Malik, 12 from 16 balls. He was dismissed on the first ball of an express fast bowler, further evidence that he can’t play pace and swing.

  115. #115 by khansahab on July 6, 2010 - 5:13 PM

    This is a really stupid shot by Afridi.

  116. #116 by khansahab on July 6, 2010 - 7:24 PM

    Good performance by Pakistan. A team effort and many commendable performances- U Akmal, Gul, Ajmal, Aamer and the captain himself for his motivation of his team.

    Now the real test comes in the forthcoming Tests. It is almost impossible for Pakastan to win, but their real test will be in their fighting spirit and how their batsmen handle good bowling.

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