DANCE BABY DANCE

 

Bollywood and cricket merge on the IPL platform and the outcome is neither pure cricket, nor pure Bollywood

Bollywood is a global phenomena and this is not doubted by anyone. Singing and dancing is an integral component of Indian culture. The combination of various forms of entertainment; namely, singing, dancing and acting have combined in India to form a global industry like none another.

It’s greatness notwithstanding, there are issues when this singing and dancing culture is mixed

Indian TV channels are deluged with dance and singing shows

with cricket, big businesses and big money and the result is something that is neither pure cricket, nor pure business and nor pure entertainment. What exactly is IPL? It is a platform where cricketers are bought in auctions, paid ridiculous amounts of money to mingle with actors, singers and dancers. On its face the IPL is considered to be a cricket extravaganza but in reality it does not promote real cricket at the highest level.

Does the rest of the world really care about IPL?

Real cricket at the highest level can only be played when a country’s pride or international reputation is at stake. The IPL would not have been criticised in this thread if it was an exclusive Indian cricket platform. Unfortunately, cricketers from around the world are tempted to play in this contest by money and they do not play for patriotism, but for cash. They have no special admiration for Indian entertainment industry, its cricket system or culture, they are simply motivated by money. This is the reason why outside India, almost no one pays attention to IPL.

Pakistani players have not performed to a high standard in IPL so far but, Pakistanis are not so

Sure, there is a lot of money circulated in IPL? But, is there any substance?

despondent about their players’ spineless performances. What disappoints them is that their players are so motivated by money that they sacrifice pride and succumb to global humiliation. Australians, Englishmen, West Indians- barely anyone cares about which of their players is performing in IPL. That is a slap on the faces of ICC and BCCI.

It is accepted that the IPL is not an ICC “World” League as such, but an Indian league. Yet, if that is so why the need to hold it out to be a global event? Why are top players around the world included in the auctions? Why the need to boast and brag about the billions of rupees that are invested every year in this League?

IPL auction

An argument in support of IPL is that it bolsters the Indian domestic cricket system and gives a chance to youngsters to play with the best players in the world. From India’s perspective, this is a valid point. Yet, this has to be balanced against the disgrace of cricketers being auctioned like mere items. This has to be balanced against the degrading quality of cricket that is seen around the world where pitches are becoming more batsmen friendly and not many matches produce convincing results. It appears batsmen are forgetting how to play Test cricket and the promotion of T20 cricket is to be blamed. But, with IPL it is an overkill of T20.

Pakistani cricketers have disappointed their fans by expressing relentless, desperate interest in

Wasim Akram is bowling consultant of Kolkota Knight Riders. He is desperate to provide any advice and expertise to BCCI, but the BCCI still chose Venkatesh Prasad over Akram to coach the Indian team

IPL. Not long ago Pakistani players suffered global humiliation when there were no auctions for them in IPL. Even in an earlier IPL event, Pakistani players were sold for peanuts compared to some lesser renowned T20 players. Yet, in the face of this obvious disgrace Pakistanis are desperate to be a part of IPL: the movie. The travesty is that these Pakistani players already earn millions from match fees, sponsorships and hosting events. Yet, why is there such a lust for money? Recently Pakistan cricket has been hit by a spot fixing scandal and there are reports much of the team is involved in spot and match fixing. If this is true then surely these players will have made millions. Even then, the lust for money remains? At what cost?

Even players like Afridi who are known to be honest and committed to their country, want to play in IPL

The Pakistan Cricket Board has recently released  a statement that it wants its players to play in IPL. This is depolorable. The cricket board is governed in part by the Sports Ministry so apparently this move is being encouraged by the government. This government has no shame, integrity or commitment to the country. Ijaz Butt is a failure. Under his leadership Pakistan cricket has transformed from a failing organisation to a circus.

The PCB wants to encourage players to humiliate Pakistan in IPL

There were reports of financial irregularities and corruption in IPL, but it is not known exactly whether investigations have concluded and findings have been drawn. It was believed Lalit Modi has been involved in corruption. This adds to the controversy surrounding IPL. Mumbai and Dubai are considered to be centres of match fixing and betting and all links between IPL and bookies must be investigated.

Controversial Lalit Modi was probed for possible involvement in corruption in IPL

Cricket was a game invented by noblemen to be played in a certain manner. Over time the game has evolved. This blog is not against T20 cricket, but against this extreme commercialisation of cricket which detaches all the charm that is associated with cricket. There is no point mixing cricket with Bollywood, singing, dancing, razmatazz and auctions. The result is a complete lack of substance. The IPL has failed to be the global cricket extravaganza BCCI and ICC envisaged it to be. Its interest is only limited to India and even many Indian fans who prefer substance over style disapprove of IPL. Cricket is best played with the heart, passion and a desire to compete for the sake of one’s country and pride. International sport is meant to be played like that. The IPL sucks the charm out of cricket.

As far as this blog is concerned, the lack of interest globally will affect IPL detrimentally and it will not last. Substance will trounce style and the real spirit of cricket will be reinvigorated. Forget the hype of billions of rupees. This Indian Premier League is destined to fail.

 

Naach Bhajji Naach!!!!

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  1. #1 by khansahab on December 25, 2010 - 5:20 PM

    We have a new thread

  2. #2 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 25, 2010 - 9:53 PM

    Dance Baby Dance is Nuch lay Nuch lay or, Nuch Punjaban Nuch.

    The time when the first IPL was launch and the way the players were auctioned, I said: “cricket players are being paraded on the stage like models and, then they are auctioned like cattle.” I detest this idea of players being auctioned like cattle. But, anyways those who were being paraded and sold were acting like His Master’s Puppies. They were paid so much that when asked to “sit down” they would, “lie down” they would and when you say, Good Boy, “Roll Over” and they would.

    In IPL it is not just the glitz and glamour created by the cheer leaders but, cricket is being slaughtered in public, I have never liked it and I will never like it.

    The IPL then moved from India to South Africa in the name of fear from terrorism. And, when they moved there to play the Pakistani Gashtees were so desperate that they wanted to go and play and when they were ignored they lamented and sobbed for being left alone and left behind. They have no patriotism and no self respect, hence they don’t care about national pride and national interest ALL they want is money, money, money! And, no matter how it comes.

    Like Khansahab wrote, me too I have nothing against India but, the Pakistani players have no business in playing for the IPL. It appears that Ijaz Baii certainly has some interest in the IPL in the name of cuts and commissions and not only that, he will then get the chance to go to India and his get rid of his “Thurkiism” he is a senile old bastard who has ruined the game of cricket in Pakistan and is continuing to destroy it rather decimate it. It is during his reign as the Chairman of the PCB, Pakistan cricket has hit to the lows, rather lowest of the lows. If Pakistan has won a few matches it is because of the sheer talent but, the board did everything in massacring the game.

  3. #3 by khansahab on December 26, 2010 - 7:21 AM

    A few months ago I raised concern over Pakistan’s T20 form and remarked that something needs to be done asap. Pakistan has performed poorly in its few T20 matches.

    Again Afridi made the mistake of opening the bowling with Razzaq who went for 15 in one over. Tired Bull took wickets but he was expensive. The match was probably lost after Razzaq’s over who in the bowling department is a genuine match loser.

    In the batting there were no noteworthy contributions from the main batsmen, with the tailenders having to perform with the bat. Pakistan might as well open their batting with Gul and Riaz.

    These continuous defeats mean that soon Pakistan will attain the status of a minnow team.

  4. #4 by khansahab on December 26, 2010 - 7:56 AM

    Why Zardari became a red rag for the president; Altaf scores in the heart of Sindh over PPP; Nawaz unable to see coming freight train

    By Shaheen Sehbai

    DUBAI: It was a momentous day in Sindh and the winners and losers were more than evident.

    Hitherto dubbed and considered urban, the MQM of Altaf Hussain went and struck a knockout blow to the PPP in the heart of Sindh at Bhit Shah, located east of Hala, west of Tando Adam, south of Nawabshah and north of Hyderabad.

    President Asif Zardari picked the MQM’s stronghold to deliver a speech which conceded more political points than it earned. The key admission was that he no longer wanted pro-Zardari slogans but wanted to use the Bhutto name. No more “Aik Zardari, Sub par bhaari” slogan, he said. Only “Jiye Bhutto”. For him as well, Zardari has become a taboo, a red rag.

    Altaf Hussain was greeted by Sindhis and others alike in large numbers and it was because he had gone into a head-on confrontation with Zardari’s cronies, especially Zulfiqar Mirza and company. What a sea change in politics and attitudes that Sindhis of all the parties are flocking to the MQM to express their hate and dissent against Mirza and company, who virtually run the province as warlords. Altaf Hussain said these people will be dragged on the sands of Sindh and I will save Sindh from these people who will be jailed and shackled.

    Zardari depended on rhetoric, saying: “We look at history and not headlines”; “We are performers not political actors on TV”; “We will leave Pakistan much better than we inherited”; — all promises to do something in future, nothing to answer for what he and his people have done in the past three years. This only shows Zardari is also getting into the “election mode” when the slogan of Bhutto may work, Zardari will definitely not.

    Altaf Hussain repeatedly asked the question whether the MQM should quit the PPP coalition and warned that fears of Mujahir-Sindhi riots were being raised if that decision was taken. But the public meeting practically showed that both Sindhis and Mujahirs were together and were raising the same slogans when Altaf Bhai was attacking Zardari and his friends. The meeting also pledged to stand by the MQM if it was attacked after quitting the coalition.

    Zardari depended on unsound financial announcements to perk up his audience. He announced all PIA/CAA employees would be regularised and given a house, something which may have given nightmares to every serious economic institution in and outside the country.

    His finance and economic managers would be wondering at the decision-making ability of the president as PIA is neck deep in trouble, losses and near bankruptcy and putting such extraordinary baggage on a dying corporation can never be called prudent financial management.

    Altaf Hussain struck hard on burning issues and took positions which resonate with the masses. He demanded release of Dr Aafia Siddiqi, said a big no to the RGST, spoke emotionally about handing over the ISI chief to the US, called for tax on agriculture and feudals, spoke against runaway inflation, talked of a French Revolution, accused Zardari of throwing Pakistan to the wolves of the World Bank and IMF.

    Zardari talked of his days of imprisonment by “Takht-e-Lahore” or by Punjabis, a direct use of the so-called Sindh Card. He spoke about the achievements of Bhutto, not his own. He spoke about his enemies, some outsiders and some within his sleeve.

    Altaf Hussain ended his address with the slogan of “Jiye Pakistan and Jiye Sindh”. Zardari ended his speech with “Jiye Bhutto”.

    The levels of playing fields for both these leaders, sitting as part of a coalition which is sinking, or doomed to sink no matter how long it is artificially stretched, are noteworthy. Altaf Bhai appears to have acquired a much higher moral ground because Zulfiqar Mirza and company have pulled Zardari and the PPP down to below ground level.

    But the level Zardari has set for sticking to some morals in politics is pathetically sub-surface and almost non-existent. An important columnist and writer recently remarked that he had never heard the word “corruption” in any of Zardari’s speeches and addresses. Anti-corruption and accountability for the present rulers means how to escape and kill both these dragons.

    The unfortunate part of the Pakistani scene is that every player has been caught in a vicious trap.

    The establishment clearly is unnerved and understands that the way the PPP is destroying everything, there would not be much left to salvage in a short time, but it finds its hands are tied elsewhere. Fata, Pata and now Balochistan have entangled them deep enough to look after political robbers.

    The opposition, led by Nawaz Sharif, is the most confused lot as they share power and fear the Army but by ignoring the rapid collapse of every institution, they are proving that the political system is unable to correct itself. If the politicians cannot stop the rot, someone will have to do so. By not doing anything, Nawaz Sharif is inviting others to intervene. This is what he fears but this he probably does not understand.

    The most recent standoff which Nawaz has picked up with the Army establishment is on Shahzain Bugti. Nawaz says the Balochistan government should act in this case. It may be the politically correct thing to say but is he living in Cuckoo land? Shahzain has been directly nabbed on the Army’s orders as the arms that were recovered, or planted as Bugti claims, were mostly Indian. My sources say a blitz against Nawaz is coming in the media by ex-military experts, who are still in touch with Rawalpindi. Musharraf may also jump at him.

    All smaller players have a field day and are making hay till the sun shines. When the curtain drops, they will look for other avenues and the current high momentum of cross party talks and dialogues is nothing but to find out from each other if anyone knows what is happening.

    I recently wrote that the RGST was a big obstacle to carrying out any concerted behind-the-scene effort to stop the out of control Zardari freight train. If the RGST had been approved and IMF programme come back on track, full focus would have been on bringing about the political change.

    Zardari very smartly played the RGST card by pushing it only as much that it may clear him in front of the IMF and US but not pushing so much that it may be passed. Now he has asked for a nine-month reprieve and he believes the political change has been delayed for that long. So now he is back on the Jiye Bhutto track and offering goodies to his supporters in billions when there is no money in the kitty.

    But Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Ch Shujaat, Altaf Hussain, Imran Khan and all others, except Nawaz Sharif, now believe the Zardari freight train has to be stopped. Only Nawaz has to be convinced and I was surprised when an informed person recently said Nawaz had been approached by the right quarters “numerous times” but he was stuck with the Musharraf phobia.

    These quarters see a falling out between the Sharif brothers, Shahbaz and Nawaz, on many issues but they are clear that if Nawaz does not come around and leaves no political option to stop the Zardari train, he would be the one to blame if non-political actors make a definite move.

    Shahbaz would then be the good boy for the next set-up and both Zardari and Nawaz would be treated alike. Some food for thought for both of them! And us all.

  5. #5 by Mohammed Munir on December 26, 2010 - 8:00 AM

    Notes for the Day …

    – Keeping very busy these last few days, so will keep it short & sweet. 8)

    – Happy X’Mas to whoever is celebrating. 😉

    – Good interesting new thread. Liked it.

    – Pakistan lost first T20 against NZ. But the culprits were UMPIRES. 😦

    – Pakistan should never play without Neutral Umpires and UDRS, in any format of the game. 😛

    – I hope they have UDRS for Tests and ODIs.

    – And the best for last, Australia is Fcuked-up again. 😉

    – They should get ready for another Inning’s Defeat. 😆

  6. #6 by Mohammed Munir on December 26, 2010 - 8:02 AM

    Khansahab …

    Pardais Musharraf was recently in UAE and that interview which you posted in last thread, where he was praising Imran Khan, was also done in UAE.

  7. #7 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 26, 2010 - 11:05 AM

    Munir

    Agreed the fact that the umpiring was below par, but Pakistan is also to be blamed for erratic batting (especially the NZ umpire Tindo – Takloo) The BIG FOOT …. I mean BG Frost was giving LBW decisions like Christmas gifts to his players. Perhaps Tim Southee was his blue eyed boy he awarded him a Christmas and New Year’s Day prize. Umar Akmal was definitely not out, there not just a nick but it was a simple case of ball hitting the bat’s handle and BGF was caught by the enthusiasm of Southee and NZ players and gave him a hat-rick.

    Pakistan is famous for helping the demoralized teams and battered players and grooming them into champions. After Bangladesh and India defeated them, rather white-washed them Pakistan showed some sympathy in building their morale. Without Vettori and without Brendon McCullum they have won this match.

    The Pakistan cricket team needs to make one change in the team and i.e., bring in Asad Shafiq and pull out Younus Khan. Not because YK played poorly in this match. He was heavily criticized by many and even the captain was not in favour of his selection in T20 because of his style of batting. When he came in to bat, I told my friends who were watching with me that, YK will not score and even if he does he it will at a very low strike rate because he wants to prove to the critics that he stabilized the innings but, that would have created a “BUTT EFFECT” (Salman Butt as an opener used to play negative cricket) on the team i.e., if they score less runs then they will not be able to defend the score.

    YK is not a T20 player, PERIOD. So, play someone young to groom for the future T20 team. Ahmad Shahzad appeared aggressive but, did not last long. On these smaller grounds in NZ the team winning the toss must always bat first and put up a big total.

    Opening the bowling with Abdul Razzaq is a big gamble, and I said that he will give away too many runs in the first over making the chase easy. Akhtar and Wahab should open the bowling. Gul in the later part of the innings. With Afridi, Ajmal and Hafeez you don’t need Abdul Razzaq to bowl on pitches like these. So far I have never understood why Fawad Alam is not given a chance to bowl? He has been labeled as a batsman and a very good fielder by not making him bowl his confidence in his own bowling would be shattered.

  8. #8 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 26, 2010 - 11:15 AM

    I am glad to see Australia playing like Zimbabwe on the Boxing Day against England in Melbourne in front of 100,000 sons of xxxxxxxx. It must be an embarrassing day for the Australians they could not even reach 100 mark and England dominated the day by scoring 157 for no wicket. Both batsmen are set to score a hundred.

    M Vijay did nothing much in helping his side, he got out soon after Sehwag and now it is once again up to Tendulkar and Dravid to stretch the runs in the second session.

  9. #9 by khansahab on December 27, 2010 - 2:41 PM

    Sohail Tanvir to Join Pakistan Squad in New Zealand

    Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to send all rounder Sohail Tanvir to join the Pakistan Squad in New Zealand. Tanvir had initially been selected for the National Squads for T20 and Test matches against New Zealand for the ongoing series however he could not get fitness clearance for the T20matches.

    According to Sohail Tanvir, he had no pain, discomfort anywhere in the body. However he was having stiffness in his lower back and legs during the last concluded camp for which he was treated appropriately.

    PCB’s team comprising doctor, physio and coaches have re-evaluated his fitness. The PCB team consulted the Australian doctor who performed surgery on Sohail Tanvir in whose view it takes approximately 18 months to 2 years for a graft to settle.

    Sohail has been participating and performing in domestic cricket and so far has claimed 33 wickets in 5 Matches that he played.

    After evaluating Sohail Tanvir, the PCB team is of the view that the more he plays the graft will settle and bending of the knee will improve with the passage of time. Therefore Sohail should carry on normally in cricket and try to avoid fielding positions in circle especially that require sharp bending as his bowling and batting ability can be fully utilized without further deterioration or pain in his left knee.

    In view of this advice, the Selection Committee in consultation with Pakistan team management in New Zealand recommended that Sohail Tanvir should be sent to New Zealand immediately. Sohail Tanvir is therefore being sent to New Zealand.

  10. #10 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 27, 2010 - 3:33 PM

    Despite Tendulkar’s departure in the 2nd innings, India has a fairly good chance to level the series. The way SA batsmen fell against Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, it goes to prove how effective the same spin bowling becomes when the fast bowlers makes initial break-through. Zaheer set the pace and all other bowlers evolved around his spell. With India gaining 1st innings lead, if they can take the total lead over 250, it would be enough for the chokers to choke.

    On the Eastern Front, England is building up an insurmountable lead against Australia and only at the end of the 2nd day they have stamped their authority by scoring 444 for 5. The Australian media is already mourning the death of cricket at the MCG. The funny thing is their ex-greats are now talking about having a spinner in the team at the MCG. This match is in England’s bag unless the rain gods come to rescue Australia.

    Seeing the weather conditions I would have declared the innings and allowed Aussies to play for the next whatever number of days they want to play. That would just be their dream. The Aussies were all out on the first day within a few hours, so in my opinion they won’t last longer than a day. They need to score 342 runs to avoid a defeat, which is rather impossible and even if they do get a meager lead, the England 2nd innings is still to be played and the match will be in their bag for sure.

  11. #11 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 27, 2010 - 3:38 PM

    khansahab

    There was no need to send Sohail Tanvir to NZ, they haven’t tried Tanvir Ahmad in the shorter version of the game and assumed that he is a test player, whereas Sohail has no match practice after his injury. By the time he will reach there and get over with his jet lag the T20 matches would be over. So, are they going to play him for the ODI’s? Which are not now, but after the test match. So, I really don’t understand the urgency of sending him now. This is the PCB, they panic when the team loses and make drastic changes. What they don’t realize is the players psyche. If they keep making changes based on a single performance then no one can perform. Even the one who has just arrived would be under pressure to perform. Cricket like many other games is a mental game if the players are mentally stressed out and are not sure about their spot in the playing X1 then no one can perform.

  12. #12 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 27, 2010 - 3:46 PM

    “After evaluating Sohail Tanvir, the PCB team is of the view that the more he plays the graft will settle and bending of the knee will improve with the passage of time. Therefore Sohail should carry on normally in cricket and try to avoid fielding positions in circle especially that require sharp bending as his bowling and batting ability can be fully utilized without further deterioration or pain in his left knee.”

    This is a rubbish statement coming out of some rubbish can. Suddenly the PCB selector has become an orthopedic surgeon to make such comments with authority. Pain, in any part of the body is a warning message to the brain which then tries to protect the injury getting aggravated. If Sohail is 1% unfit then he should not be played. Because, he would be reluctant to bend especially if he has a back injury. And, which doctor or a therapist would advise him to bowl when he has to bend his back. If he is doing that he will be aggravating his pain, if he doesn’t then he is not performing 100% which is not good for the team.

    Sohail Tanvir must be eager to play and he might be dreaming to come back into the regular playing X1 but, his enthusiasm alone should not be taken into consideration and compromise the team’s performance. This is a very stupid decision, like always they make blunders and never learn from their mistakes.

  13. #13 by newguy on December 27, 2010 - 9:32 PM

    Javed Khan,

    Zaheer is very critical to the Indian bowling lineup, especially in test matches, he has the skill with ball to produce breakthroughs and he brings a level of confidence into the unit that without him India lack. Every bowling attack needs a leader, in case of SA, Dale Steyn clearly is the one providing everything without him they will be lost as well. When pressure has been created by others then Harbhajan also becomes another bowler, he gets wickets.

    Anyhow, I think the Indians sort of blew away the advantage by losing 4 wickets for only 92 runs in second innings. It was the time to go for the kill and nail them while they were still in shock. In fact it looked like when Sehwag hit several boundaries off Steyn then Smith took him off the attack, so that the entire unit won’t lose confidence. Sehwag then threw it away by going after a wide delivery off that Tsotobe guy. If he had not thrown it away and stayed for another hour, they could have buried SA. Instead they let SA back in and then Tendulkar and Dravid too blew it. This was the time for Tendulkar to play big innings, if not big at least a 40 to 50 runs from him was needed.

    If India lose the match from here on they have only themselves to blame. They had the opportunity, they still can, but they need to focus on not losing wicket to Steyn and not playing careless shots against others. Then score at least another 100 to 150 runs. In my opinion India need at least 300 to be safe, then put SA under some pressure.

    Looks to be though that SA is back in and they just might win this game by getting India out cheaply and then scoring another 200 odd runs in second innings. They have Hashim Amla and Kallis, these two are too good to fail twice, especially Amla, some of his shots were so awesome, and he has no particular weakness at this point in time. It will be difficult for India since they gave back the initiative.

    In MCG, Australia is facing a big defeat and lot of shame to go along with it. This will be the third Ashes defeat for Pointing, and second consecutive one. Ponting is showing his ugly face, as he went on to argue with Aleem Dar, one of the most respected umpires today. More on this later.

  14. #14 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 27, 2010 - 10:55 PM

    newguy

    Don’t lose your hopes, as long as Laxman is there India is safe, he can play the role of an anchor and keep scoring whereas Pujara and Dhoni needs to play around him. I agree with you that Sehwag in the pursuit of scoring quick runs got carried away, he should have stayed longer. If the wickets are tumbling like that, then there must be something in the pitch and I am sure the SA chokers will not be able to play Harbhajan in their second innings. Amla is a very wristy player like Laxman is and that is why they can place the ball in the gaps and keep scoring. Today (for us tonight) it would be a decisive night for all the matches i.e. Aussies, SA and Pakistan, they are playing the second T20 in about 7 1/2 hours from now.

  15. #15 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 27, 2010 - 11:13 PM

    newguy

    Here is the report on Ricky’s Cheekiness:

    “Ponting could face charges after referral row


    MELBOURNE: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting faced the possibility of disciplinary charges after clashing heatedly with the match umpires over an unsuccessful video review at the fourth Ashes Test Monday.

    With his team struggling on the field against England, Ponting argued with Aleem Dar for some time and then spoke with the other umpire Tony Hill after Kevin Pietersen was adjudged not to have edged the ball for a caught behind.

    The umpires were reviewing the incident and team officials said it could become a disciplinary matter for the International Cricket Council.

    “We haven’t been advised by the ICC of any charges from today’s play,” an Australia team spokesman said after the day’s play at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

    “We do know the umpires are still reviewing play from today and they also told us that any information regarding a charge or the result of that charge will come from the Dubai office of the ICC.”

    Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland was reluctant to pass judgement on Ponting’s on-field behaviour, which drew a disapproving slow-handclap from sections of the crowd.

    “At this stage, I wouldn’t be saying whether it’s good for the game, let’s see what the actual substance was,” he said.

    “The match referee is effectively the tribunal, if you like. If there is a report, he’s the one who hears the report and makes a judgement on it.”

    Pietersen was on 49 when wicketkeeper Brad Haddin persuaded Ponting to go for a review.

    But “hot spot” replays showed no edge and Pietersen stayed, much to the annoyance of Ponting, who argued with both umpires and had sharp words with Pietersen about the decision, believing he had made contact with the ball.

    England century-maker Jonathan Trott, who was at the non-striker’s end as Ponting lost his cool, was non-committal when questioned at his press conference.

    Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle weighed in as Ponting clashed with Dar, wagging a finger at the Pakistani match official.

    It was the first of two reviews to go against Australia before tea on the second day of the fourth Test at the MCG, with Dar calling on the third umpire to rule that Matt Prior was not out.

    Pietersen had played and missed at a Ryan Harris delivery, with the ball going between bat and pad.

    Wicketkeeper Haddin appeared to be the only Australian player who appealed for the “catch” and persuaded Ponting to call for the review.

    Replays of the “hot spot” technology showed a bright mark at the bottom of Pietersen’s bat, but not near where the ball had passed his bat.

    However, Pietersen only made two more runs before Siddle trapped him lbw.

    Ponting voiced his frustration during the first Brisbane Test when England opener Alastair Cook refused to walk after the Australian skipper took what he claimed was a fair catch low to the ground.

    In another technology intervention in the last over before Monday’s tea break, Prior had made five and was starting to walk from the crease after he nicked Mitchell Johnson to the slips.

    But Dar called Prior back and the uncertain umpire called for a video review, which showed Johnson had over-stepped for a no-ball. “

  16. #16 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 28, 2010 - 5:32 AM

    Afridi, Waqar, Najam’s statements confirm doubts on trio

    (5 hours ago) Today

    The eye-opening statements have further spoiled the case of the three ‘tainted’ players.—File photo

    LAHORE: One-day skipper Shahid Afridi, team coach Waqar Younis and former security manager of Pakistan team Major (retd) Khawaja Najam Javed, in their startling eye witness accounts to the ICC’s Code of Conduct Commission probing the spot-fixing case, have admitted that ‘bookie’ Mazhar Majeed had kept constant contact with the three ‘tainted’ Pakistan players during the last England tour in August and even stayed at the team’s hotel despite several warnings.

    But while the eye-opening statements by the three officials further spoil the case of the three ‘tainted’ players Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif, they also highlight the incompetence and laxity on part of the ICC’s Anti-corruption Unit and the Pakistan Cricket Board in the spot-fixing scam which was exposed by British tabloid News of the World during the Lord’s Test last summer.

    The statements from the three officials confirm ‘bookie’ Mazhar Majeed’s frequent visits to the team hotel to meet the suspect players and that he continued meeting the players in and outside the hotel despite several warnings from the security manager Major Najam.

    The question that arises here is: why did Waqar or Major Najam not bring the suspect activities of Mazhar and his brother Azhar Majeed to the notice of either the ICC’s Anti-corruption Unit or the PCB?

    It is also amazing how the ICC Anti-corruption Unit, whose agents are always deployed at the team hotel and other places during any international series, failed to observe any of the ‘shady’ moves from the Majeed brothers.

    The witness statements, obtained by Dawn recently, hugely dent any hopes of the ‘tainted’ trio, particularly Salman Butt, of defending themselves at the ICC hearing which is set for Jan 6, 2011.

    The statements also claim that Mazhar had definite contacts with wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal apart from the three tainted players.

    Major Najam, who was recently removed from his job after the series against South Africa in the UAE, claims in his statement: “During the Scotland Yard search of the players’ rooms at the team hotel, two police officers found cash in a bag and a small suitcase which they seized. Most of the cash was in the suitcase. I asked the police officers to put on record the amount of money they had confiscated and they did so immediately. I have retained that note and attached a copy of it which reads as follows: Room No. 714 — 24,300 UAE Dirhams, 29,787 Pound Sterlings, 12,617 US dollars, 10 Australian dollars, 26,015 Pakistani Rupees, 350 Canadian dollars and 440 South African Rands.”

    Najam’s statement adds: “While we were there, the police officers asked Salman Butt why he had so much cash in his room and Mr Butt stated, ‘It’s for my two sisters, they are getting married, it’s for their dowry’.

    The security manager further says that during the search of Mohammad Asif’s room, the bowler remained quite calm but the other pacer, Mohammad Aamir looked very, very upset.

    “I offered them support and told them to cooperate with the police. From Mohammad Aamir’s room, a Tag Heuer mobile phone and possibly other mobile phones, 5,000 pounds in cash, a few hundred US dollars and a white envelope with 2,500 pounds was recovered.”

    Commenting on rookie pacer Wahab Riaz’s role, the security manager says: “In light of the fact that the News of the World story included photographs of Wahab Riaz wearing a jacket at Al Shishawi restaurant (on Edgware Road) that allegedly belonged to Mazhar Majeed contained 10,000 pounds, I decided to speak to Mr Riaz. Upon inquiry, Mr Riaz told me that he had met Mazhar only twice before this tour — once in 2008/09 and again in 2009-2010 — both times in Pakistan when Mazhar had come to visit Salman Butt and his family.

    “He had visited Majeed’s house in the UK once during the first part of the tour, when Pakistan was playing against Australia. He explained that he was driven down there by Mazhar in a Range Rover with Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal for lunch. On the evening in question at the restaurant on the Edgware Road — standing in a T-shirt only and eating ice-cream amid the drizzle, Wahab said he was shivering when Salman Butt insisted he borrowed the jacket from Mazhar to avoid catching a cold in the middle of The Oval Test. Wahab just wore the jacket but did not notice any money in it. He then returned the jacket as they travelled back together by taxi to the team hotel.

    “On the basis of Salman Butt’s recommendation he signed Mazhar as his agent after The Oval Test (in which Wahab had made his debut and taken five wickets in the first innings).

    The security manager further claims that he had been watching Mazhar Majeed mingling with the Pakistan players since his first tour as official, which was in the T20 World Cup in the West Indies.

    Waqar, the head coach, in his statement endorsed the security manager’s statement that both Mazhar and Azhar Majeed are the agents of some of the Pakistani players and claimed that Salman Butt introduced Mazhar to him as his agent and as a good friend. Waqar also expresses surprise over the controversial ‘no-ball’ bowled by Aaamir in the Lord’s Test.

    “I remember that the no-ball bowled by Mohammad Aamir on the third ball of his third full over on the second day of the Lord’s Test surprised me greatly. This was because Aamir’s front foot stepped over the line by a great distance whereas usually, if anything, Aamir tends to bowl from well behind the front-footline. I was so surprised by the delivery that when we went back into the dressing room at the end of that morning session I said to Aamir in Punjabi, ‘What the hell was that’.
    “But before Aaamir had the chance to answer my question, Salman Butt interrupted from across the dressing room, saying: ‘I told him to do it because the batsman was coming on the front foot. I told him to come forward and bowl him a bouncer’.”

    Lastly, Pakistan’s ODI captain Shahid Afridi, in his statement, says: “When I arrived at the team hotel, I saw the three players (Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif) in a room together and I thought that they looked guilty. When I spoke to them they told me that they had done nothing wrong, to which I replied: ‘If you have done nothing wrong, there is no need to feel guilty.’ I did not speak to them again after that about the allegations. I was subsequently told by team management that the Metropolitan Police had found 20,000 pounds in Salman Butt’s room in different currencies.”

    Afridi also claims that he had informed the team management about the suspect role of Mazhar and his brother Azhar.

    He admitted that Mazhar’s elder brother Azhar had been his agent about seven or eight years back and added that he had parted ways after Mazhar misguided him about a deal.

    Endorsing the security manager view point, Afridi said he saw Mazhar staying in the Pakistan team hotel during several series in the past.

  17. #17 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 28, 2010 - 5:37 AM

    I (Waqar) said to Aamir in Punjabi, ‘What the hell was that’. “But before Aaamir had the chance to answer my question, Salman Butt interrupted from across the dressing room, saying: ‘I told him to do it because the batsman was coming on the front foot. I told him to come forward and bowl him a bouncer’.”

    Does anyone remember the photo that we posted on the blog the one in which Aamer bowled that huge no-ball? We drew the attention of our bloggers to Salman Butt in the photo, he was watching Aamer’s foot whether he will bowl a no-ball or not? The normal reaction of any fielder is to watch the batsman whereas, Salman Butt knew that he is supposed to bowl that ball a no-ball, he was focused on that. And, this is rubbish that he is now claiming that he asked him to bowl a no-ball because he saw the batsman was coming on the front foot.

    Salman Butt thinks the whole world is full of idiots and no one will notice him and believe in whatever trash he is saying now. First, it was for ONE sister and now the second one has emerged out of nowhere. Salman Butt definitely needs to be banned for life. MF, he ruined the image of the country and the future of a few young players.

  18. #18 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 28, 2010 - 5:37 AM

    I (Waqar) said to Aamir in Punjabi, ‘What the hell was that’. “But before Aaamir had the chance to answer my question, Salman Butt interrupted from across the dressing room, saying: ‘I told him to do it because the batsman was coming on the front foot. I told him to come forward and bowl him a bouncer’.”

    Does anyone remember the photo that we posted on the blog the one in which Aamer bowled that huge no-ball? We drew the attention of our bloggers to Salman Butt in the photo, he was watching Aamer’s foot whether he will bowl a no-ball or not? The normal reaction of any fielder is to watch the batsman whereas, Salman Butt knew that he is supposed to bowl that ball a no-ball, he was focused on that. And, this is rubbish that he is now claiming that he asked him to bowl a no-ball because he saw the batsman was coming on the front foot.

    Salman Butt thinks the whole world is full of idiots and no one will notice him and believe in whatever trash he is saying now. First, it was for ONE sister and now the second one has emerged out of nowhere. Salman Butt definitely needs to be banned for life. MF, he ruined the image of the country and the future of a few young players.

  19. #19 by magagee on December 28, 2010 - 7:39 AM

    PAKISTAN”S CRICKET CURE: DIVINE RETRIBUTION

    The selection of the Pakistan Team for the New Zealand tour and the 30 players to be nominated for the World Cup has finally provided proof if that was necessary that to save his own hide the Chairman of the PCB has sold his Country out to the ICC. I am advised on reasonable authority that two months ago Ejaz Butt under took to only select players that were pre cleared by the ICC. This would seem to be proven by the inability of the Board to stick to any schedule to announce its lists. This shameful act gave away sovereign authority of selection to a third party. It tacitly accepted that the PCB is either too incompetent or too ‘misguided’ to select its own players. I cannot think of another incident in cricket history where the Board has almost declared that they cannot be assured of selecting thirty clean cricketers from its own country. One must take into account that this comes in on the end of a saga whereby too little too late by our crickets keepers has brought this shame and insult to Pakistan. Should the PCB have acted promptly against the allegations against its players this would not have come about? I am advised and I cannot agree with it as one has no proof that the reason the Board did not take immediate action was because of a threat by one of the players that he would blow the lid off the matter by naming important individuals who were also involved with the book making mafia. It bears repetition that the core of this evil is in our neighboring country. It also bears repetition that the ICC who is gung ho about sorting out our players has taken no notice of the IPL scandal that has hit the criminal courts in India. It is shameful that because of its own sins and incompetence the PCB has kept silent. On the other hand individuals from India have had no such compunctions.

    It has pained me to read about the sanctimonious comments made by Ramiz Raja about how our players should be taught a lesson and punished. I would recall for our readers that this person was the CEO of the PCB when Justice Qayum was tasked to investigate various allegations against some of our leading players. This Committee found some players very guilty and others just a little guilty. How this was worked out is still a mystery. However the PCB took almost no action upon the judgments. This born again moralist may well say that he was not the Chairman but can any one recall any dissent from him. I give heavy odds that there was none. Just possibly he was too involved in assisting in award of the Television Rights of the PCB to a new company who had to join up with another entity to provide annual accounts as it had not been in operation for that period. This plain speaking may appear harsh to some readers but I hope they will agree that people who live in glass house just ‘should’nt’. May I suggest that should the PCB have acted firmly, honestly and fairly in the interest of our cricket and our players Pakistan may have been saved the ignominy of today.
    Meanwhile back to the selection of the touring party. I am surprised that Butt has any committees for the different tasks of the Board. All his committees should have him as Chairman and he himself alone should fill the other spots. He is big enough to do so being larger than life. In any case if the news reports are to be believed one or another of the selectors always leaves after just five minutes whilst the meeting goes on for many hours with no decisions. Is it any surprise that we have become the pariahs of world cricket and also the laughing stock of this game? We have few friends left and those that may want to support us find us an embarrassment.
    I am sure the readers would like to wish the selected players all the best of luck for the up coming tour. We are fortunate that New Zealand is having a very poor time of it and thus they should be less demanding than the South Africans. I wish our young lads all the very best and hope that they will do their utmost to do us proud in spite of the huge weight they carry in the shape of the Chairman and Selection Committee of the PCB. In conclusion it was encouraging to see Javed Miandad assisting our batsmen in their preparations. I believe he was right not to tour with the team.

    Malik Arshed Gilani. p.s.n. December 15th 2010.

  20. #20 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 8:49 AM

    Dropping Fawad Alam does not seem to result in victories. I am not defending Fawad Alam as I don’t think he is an ideal T20 player (especially when players like U Akmal, Younis, K Akmal are playing who can consolidate).

    I see little point in playing Shafiq if he will come to bat at no 6, Afridi might as well play Alam who is clearly a better fielder.

    I would drop Younis Khan or Asad Shafiq in the next match and play F Alam.

    Umar Gul has not been at his best for some time now, maybe he needs a little rest. Tired Bull was expensive again today and Afridi should drop Bull in the 3rd T20.

  21. #21 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 8:52 AM

    Umar Akmal, 20 runs in 24 balls- what is the point of playing like that?

    Pakistan cannot win this match so he should go on the attack.

    This is an example of selfish cricket that was promoted by Shoaib Malik and Misbah, when players don’t try to win if the target seems difficult but just play for their averages.

  22. #22 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 9:01 AM

    Malik Gilani

    Welcome to LS. I enjoyed reading your analytical comment about the state of Pakistan cricket.

    What is your take on whether the trio of Asif, Aamer and Butt is guilty? Do you think the ICC has ample proof? I know you bemoan the way the matter was handled by Ijaz Butt and ICC and we share similar sentiments here on LS. But it would be interesting to see how strong you believe the case is for the terrible trio.

  23. #23 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 9:07 AM

    Disappointing stuff by U Akmal. 32 balls wasted, his score should have been 40+ considering his slogging prowess and reasonable T20 experience.

    Afridi has not been able to find the right combination and he keeps chopping and changing Fawad Alam with no change in the team’s performance.

    Waqar Younis is a bowling coach but why can’t he improve the form of Umar Gul and Tired Bull?

  24. #24 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 28, 2010 - 9:22 AM

    Mr Gilani

    Thanks for enlightening the bloggers with your in-depth analysis of the current situation in Pakistan cricket board, you are absolutely right about the shameful behaviour of Ijaz Butt and his cronies but, the irony is, no one can do anything in getting rid of Butt. I will comment more on the subject in light of your comments but, today I would like to express my feelings about the 2nd T20 that Pakistan has lost so shamelessly.

    I wonder who is Afridi’s adviser who guides him in making decisions about team selection and about the option to field after winning the toss.

    1. Everyone knows that in the shorter version of the game the team batting first has no pressure and the batsmen can score runs freely, whereas if you bat second and if the target is bigger or stiffer then the pressure is there from the onset. Today, it was no exception, Afridi after hitting a six got carried away like he always does and was clean bowled the next ball on a full toss. What a way to go for the captain. He should not have opted to field, he should tie this advise in his trousers and remember it for future.

    2. Playing Younus Khan was a blunder, after the first match I wrote here that YK will remain under pressure to perform in T20 because he has been identified as a test player and not a T20 player. It is Pakistan’s tradition to drop a youngster when there is a choice between him and a senior. Dropping Fawad Alam was a blunder.

    3. The bowling was very pathetic and the supposedly best bowler of Pakistan – Umar Gul – was the worst today. Pete Mcglashan hammered him for 25 runs in one over and the second culprit was Shoaib Akhtar. Once again the same old mistake i.e., giving Ajmal the last over. He bowled his 3 overs pretty well and was hammered in the last one. So, when are they going to learn? Abdul Razzak should never open the bowling. Mr. Afridi please open your “Cerebral Akhroatex” and use your “wise nails” – Aqal kay naqoon.

    The umpiring was OK today, so who are you going to blame? Pakistan has lost its winning streak in T20 and they have lost 4 or may be 5 matches in a row. The next T20 will be a mere formality. But, if they win it won’t be a consolation but, a morale booster.

    I wonder what Afridi or those who are not playing test and would be playing the ODI’s would be doing? I mean whether they will stay in NZ or go back home for 3 weeks?

  25. #25 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 28, 2010 - 9:30 AM

    khansahab

    All NZ bowlers bowled well today and Southee was once again on a hat-trick, their spinners bowled well too. Nathan McCullum and even the new Lakri Ka xUND Woodcock bowled well. They dropped a few catches but, the target was very stiff for Pakistan and even with those dropped catches they managed to win this match.

  26. #26 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 11:22 AM

    There is a rumour that Misbah might be made captain for the World Cup 2011.

    I think it will be a bad decision. Afridi is getting along okay with the team and as a leader he is liked and respected. It is a young team and most of the individuals who could pose problems for him (Malik, Misbah, Butt, K Akmal) are not present.

    Misbah performed decently in recent Tests, but it is only in one series and it is too early to shower accolades on him. That performance may have just been to cement his status in the team. Misbah has to be analysed very cautiously. This SA series aside, his performance in the last 2 years has been poor, he has failed to click in important situations, he has faced problems playing pace and swing. I believe he is beyond his best and will not be able to deliver.

    This happens in Pakistan that whenever a captain is changed, the team looks energetic and performs with good morale. It happened when Malik was made captain and the team performed decently in Sri Lanka, it happened with Younis Khan when the team won the T20 Cup, it happened with Salman Butt when Pakistan beat Australia. However after a while the performance deteriorates. Therefore, PCB needs to look at long term solutions and Afridi is the best man to captain Pakistan when considering a long term solution.

    Even if Afridi was out of the picture, the captaincy for limited overs should go to either Umar Akmal or Saeed Ajmal. Ajmal has plenty of domestic experience, he is popular in the team and recently Mazhar Majeed claimed that he is “religious” and not interested in spot fixing. So, Ajmal can be a decent option; probably the best long term option after Afridi.

  27. #27 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 11:26 AM

    Misbah calls for aggression in Tests

    LAHORE: Pakistan Test captain Misbahul Haq has urged his players to be on the offensive, advising the batsmen to be more attacking in their approach in order to put pressure on the hosts.

    “I’m pleased with the way we’ve played on the last tour [against South Africa in the UAE] but the batsmen should be more focused this time and should be more aggressive in their approach than they were against South Africa,” Misbah told The Express Tribune. “The players are confident and looking forward to the challenge in New Zealand even though the conditions will test our temperament.

    “We batted well in the UAE and each batsman is ready to carry on the good work.”

    According to Misbah, the bowlers, who underperformed in the ‘home’ series in the UAE, have the potential to guide Pakistan to victory if the batting line-up supports them.

    “The bowling suffered against South Africa when Wahab Riaz was pulled out due to injury. We had to carry on with one fast-bowler and that made it difficult against a strong batting line-up. But our bowling has the capacity to do the damage provided we put runs on the board first.”

    Pakistan will take on the hosts in the Test series minus three of its key players – Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf – who missed out due to various reasons.

  28. #28 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 11:27 AM

    Pakistan still up there with the best: Miandad

    LAHORE: Despite the storm of allegations, under-performance and lack of trophies, former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad believes that the team is still considered a top cricket nation in the world.

    While Pakistan won the 2009 World Twenty20, their performance has been less than satisfactory since then, touching an all-time low following the spate of allegations. “Pakistan has had a respectable status in the cricketing world,” said Miandad. “The country has been well respected due to top players in the past which is why as many as nine players have been nominated for the International Cricket Council dream One-Day International team.”

    The former coach did acknowledge that the game had changed over the years, blaming the increase in matches the main reason behind the fall in quality. “Previously, we played less but the game was competitive. Every team had star players playing tough and competitive cricket and there were selected teams playing cricket that generated greater interest and excitement.”

    Miandad, holder of the record for the longest ODI career – 20 years and 272 days – rued how the “standard of cricket had fallen” and the game is left with less and less players who the fans could enjoy watching.

    According to Miandad, who helped the New Zealand bound squad, the current squad had the potential to do well provided the players learn from their mistakes.

    “Defeat teaches you how to win. I know problems are there in our players but by losing a single match, you can’t act like you’ve lost everything. Teams achieve greatness only because they’ve learnt how to survive after losing.

    “Winning and losing is part of the game but with losing you can understand your flaws that give you an opportunity to come hard with a new strategy.”

  29. #29 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 11:43 AM

    Once again Laxman plays a fighting knock.

    Laxman is one of the rare breed of cricketers who ONLY perform when the team is in dire straits.

    Tendulkar, Sehwag and Dravid tend to walk away with most appreciation but India has actually become the no 1 team because of Gambhir and Dhoni.

    Laxman is in his own league, he is not a consistent run accumulator like Tendulkar and Dravid, he is not a morale-destroyer/attacker like Sehwag, at the same time planning plays a significant part in his batting. He plans, waits for the bad ball, reads the opposition very well, he does not rely on slogging to get his way. I think he must be a very good diplomat or negotiator, it is amazing how he inspires tailenders to hold their ground while he absorbs the pressure from the other end. What a player.

    The genius of Indian batting is that, you have some players who are in their own league. Tendulkar on sheer technique is unmatched, Sehwag is just a juggernaut and he has no comparison, the sheer amount of times Laxman has been involved in valuable partnerships with tailenders, speaks for itself.

  30. #30 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 12:30 PM

    This is disgusting and makes me sick.

    Butchers ‘branching out’ of their market

    OKARA: Police officials arrested a butcher, Shakeel, on Tuesday for selling dog meat in the district.
    After residents in the district began complaining of stray dogs that had bitten several people, police officials said that they began to conduct raids in the area looking to impound the dogs. “I led a team at night to search for stray dogs to take off the streets when we caught two men capturing dogs in sacks,” Constable Ishfaq said.

    The constable said that police followed the brothers, Muhammad and Shakeel, and discovered that they had set up a secret slaughtering operation in their house. “We discovered that they had been picking up dogs off the street and were butchering them at home. Then they sold the meat to local burger shops in the morning,” Ishfaq said.

    Police officials arrested the brothers and interrogated them. A raiding team visited three kebab shops in the district and had the meat tested by local veterinarian, Dr Ahmed Hoti, who confirmed that it was dog meat.

    “This is incredibly dangerous, not to mention immoral. The dog meat can cause several stomach-related diseases not to mention the danger of rabies,” he said.

    Okara district police officer (DPO), Shaheen Zar, said that another set of raiding teams had arrested a man for selling donkey meat in the district. After testing the meat, veterinarian, Rashid Kaleem, confirmed that the meat belonged to a donkey and that it was being served as lamb by several hotels. Police officials said that they had also arrested the owners of the hotels responsible for purchasing the meat.

    Syed Ehteshamul Haq Gillani, the secretary general of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam district Okara, said that such incidents were on the rise after the floods as diseased animal meat was often unfit for use and butchers had begun to use different animals. Gillani said that unhygienic meat was not only being sold in the local market but was also being supplied to hotels in Islamabad and Peshawar.

    “Sheikh Basti Okara has become the leading market for the sale of dead animal meat or that of animals that are not fit for consumption,” a doctor at the THQ hospital, Tanveer Athar said.

    “Hundreds of kilos of contaminated meat are being supplied to various cities in the province on a daily basis and it all goes from here,” Athar said.

    The district coordination officer has taken notice of these incidents and said that all the accused would be arrested. The DPO has ordered raiding teams to patrol the district on a daily basis in this regard.

  31. #31 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 28, 2010 - 12:59 PM

    Ajmal is already 33 years and 75 days old so, he cannot be considered as a long term option.

  32. #32 by newguy on December 28, 2010 - 1:30 PM

    As Javed Khan predicted so long as Laxman was there India was safe, he played yet another brilliant 4th innings under pressure with only tail for company, he got India to a respectable total that they could defend provided they bowl and field excellently. However, Smith went on the offense and got them off to a good start, with Amla, Kallis and DeVilliers in middle order 230+ more to get don’t look threatening, and Indian bowlers are not looking threatening as well. Zaheer and Harbhajan have to bowl extremely well and do some magic, as the 2nd and 3rd seamers aren’t looking good. If they can put SA under pressure then they will choke, but if SA gets off to good partnership then there is no stopping them as they have chased many 4th innings scores of 300+. Anyhow, Indian batters did not do too poorly because of Laxman, but bowlers need to do well now.

  33. #33 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 1:42 PM

    Javed A Khan

    In Pakistan a tenure of 3 years will be a very long term 🙂

  34. #34 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 1:54 PM

    Newguy

    This is the 4th innings and all it comes down to is pressure management. Harbhajan Singh is the key and because of Harbhajan I feel India has a better chance of winning this Test. SA tend to choke under pressure and Kallis is not the best man to anchor a 4th innings chase. DeVilliers is the man Harbhajan has to target.

    Sreesanth is taking quite a few wickets these days- I thought his career was over before this series. Also, I am surprised by Ashish Nehra’s return to international cricket earlier this year, if I remember correctly he was so unreliable that I thought we had seen the last of him.

  35. #35 by newguy on December 28, 2010 - 2:10 PM

    I wasn’t following Pak-NZ T20 matches closely as I consider them as fun warm up games before the real actions begins. Another factor is that I don’t know some of these new players as well, who is Mohd Hafeez? he looks like a good batsman, is he? and Wahab Riaz is a left arm fast bowler I believe, how is his performance so far? and what is Younis Khan doing in a T20 game? Anyhow, NZ are good T20 players in their own backyard and it’s no surprise they won both games as Pakistan tries to acclimatize. I think bowling will be a worry for Pakistan though this time since no Amir and Asif who were so good last time they toured NZ. Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz need to step up, as I don’t think Akhtar can hold up for too long.

    In Ashes, Australia facing an innings defeat after another poor showing with bat. Ponting is looking a shadow of himself as he made 20 runs from 73 balls at a strike rate of 27. He used to dominate bowling sides, now the captaincy is bringing him down, perhaps it is time to step down as captain and focus on batting to save his career for another couple of years, like Rahul Dravid did. Ponting but is too proud to play as non-captain, so I doubt if he will ever do that, he might rather stop playing. Anyway, we will see some hard changes in Australian cricket after this series is over.

    Regarding the issue with Aleem Dar, I saw the video, and I am wondering why was Dar even discussing with Ponting. He should have been very strict and ask Ponting to get back to his position and get on with the game. Umpire decision is final and must not be questioned by on field players or captain. Even Siddle was crowding up to the umpire with an ugly scowl on his face and arguing with umpire. Why is he not charged by match referee? I wonder if Ponting would have done this to an umpire like say that NZ guy or Simon Taufel. He has a history of doing this though. It was rude and unacceptable. Good thing ex-captain like Ina Chapel came out and openly criticized Ponting for this.

    SA just lost two more wickets after tea, the big wicket of Amla should make Indians feel better. But Kallis and DeVilliers are out there, and I agree with Khansahab that DeVillers is key player. In fact both of them are according to me. Let’s see if India can deliver one last punch today.

  36. #36 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 28, 2010 - 4:40 PM

    khansahab

    My comment about Ajmal was in response to yours in which you wrote, “After Afridi……” IF you are terminating Afridi’s role as a captain right now, then the tenure of 3 years come into calculation. Afridi will be 31 in March so, if he stays for 2-3 years then Ajmal would be down the hill like Misbah and Yousuf. Pakistani players are NO Tendulkar to keep blooming even after 37 years of age.

  37. #37 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 28, 2010 - 4:47 PM

    newguy

    I watched the last 3-4 overs of India’s second innings and Laxman was out attempting a desperate shot to reach his hundred. He decided to go after every ball after seeing wickets tumbling around him. Styen was moving the old ball away from his bat and he was beaten twice before edging it to the keeper. But, what an innings he played under pressure. I know Laxman always plays well under pressure, he is a cool cucumber. He was running out of partners I think Dhoni should have been more sensible and responsible in the second innings after seeing Tendulkar and Dravid. What Tendulkar did in the 1st innings (got out flashing at Tsotsobe, Dravid did the same to Tsotsobe in 2nd innings.) Dhoni being the captain and seeing 2 great players getting out against the same bowler in a simlar fashion should have played cautiously, but he fell in the same manner to Tsotsobe.

    Anyways, I am still 80% hopeful that India will win this match. If Zaheer can break this partnership early, Harbhajan will wrap up the innings and India will win by 70-80 runs.

  38. #38 by khansahab on December 28, 2010 - 5:17 PM

    Javed A Khan

    I see your point. I was simply referring to this rumour that Misbah might be appointed captain very soon. I don’t think Misbah should be a candidate for captaincy and if they have to remove Afridi, the next best person is probably Ajmal.

  39. #39 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 29, 2010 - 5:25 AM

    England won the match by an innings and a million plus runs. Ricky must be hiding his face from the media. This Boxing Day test match is always a very special one for the Aussies and it is always played at the MCG and I don’t remember Aussies losing with such a big margin at the i.e., since the time I have been watching cricket. May be I am wrong but, in any case this is a humiliating defeat for Punter & Co.

  40. #40 by newguy on December 29, 2010 - 12:10 PM

    India won and leveled the series 1-1. Javed Khan got two predictions correct in two days, first Laxman coming in with a big performance, and second India winning by about 80 odd runs. That’s two in two for JAK, good going 🙂

    This was a wonderful performance by the Indians after the humiliation in 1st test. It was very important that they hit back because the South Africans were becoming very arrogant, with their captain Smith getting too cocky in pres meets as well as some words from Steyn et al. Of course Indians are not far behind in giving back, especially Zaheer Khan brings lot of positive attitude and aggression to the bowling unit. Certainly Zaheer had a hand in Sreesanth raising his performance. The snorter that got Kallis was an absolute unplayable delivery. Hopefully they can do this again in Cape Town and win a series for first time in SA.

  41. #41 by Sagaat on December 29, 2010 - 12:22 PM

    Javed Khan,

    This was bound to happen, as Australia doesn’t have the ingredients to beat England. The bowling is very, very average and the batsmen are consistently exposed on pitches that offer some movement. If you look at the make-up of the team, people like Watson are more bits-and-pieces than thorough players

    On the other hand England has complete batsmen and bowlers. England deserved to win.

    As far as Ponting is concerned, I think he is just going through a bad patch. Tendulkar went through a similar bad patch earlier in his career. It is just that such players can average low in certain years and then average very, very high in others. I don’t think it is the end of Ponting, he might average very high when he comes back in form. Ponting is being unduly blamed by the media, as if you look at the teams pound for pound, England are the better team and hence they would win more times than they would lose against Australia, barring the outside chance that a rare event happens (which is what it is if Australia are to win a 5-match series rather than 1 match or an abridged three-match series).

    Ponting should just relinquish captaincy / pressure, bat 2-down, and makes runs for himself like Tendulkar does.

  42. #42 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 29, 2010 - 4:08 PM

    newguy

    Since I knew the result, I slept through the night and did not watch the game on TV 😀 (actually I was very tired and sleepy). Laxman carries a lot of experience behind him he is Mr. Reliable, and a very determined test player. I remember how he won that match against Australia with his big double hundred when Steve Waugh wanted to wrap up the Indian innings and go for fishing. He has done it on a number of occasions. It is good to see that he is still surviving despite all that politics (I mean players like Ganguly are out). I keep wondering what will happen to India when Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman will retire? Dhoni is not that reliable.

    The way the pitch was behaving, I knew that the chokers won’t make 300 runs for sure especially in the 4th innings. So, it was easy for me to predict I am NO Nostradamus or Peer-in-Zamam

  43. #43 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 29, 2010 - 4:09 PM

    Sagaat

    You wait and see, the Aussies will lose the next test too. They are down and under these days just like they were in 1992. Good news for Pakistan and India is Australian fast bowler Harris is not playing 2011 WC.

  44. #44 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 29, 2010 - 4:09 PM

    Sagaat

    You wait and see, the Aussies will lose the next test too. They are down and under these days just like they were in 1992. Good news for Pakistan and India is Australian fast bowler Harris is not playing 2011 WC.

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2010-11/content/current/story/494546.html

  45. #45 by khansahab on December 29, 2010 - 11:10 PM

    ‘Pak game plan devoid of any sense’ : Zaheer Abbas

    KARACHI: Former Test batsman Zaheer Abbas criticised Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi for having an absurd game-plan and an insensible approach towards cricket following their second T20 defeat against hosts New Zealand.

    The way Afridi is playing is grotesque. I cannot understand what he wants to do in the match. A captain of the team has huge impact on the overall morale of the team and the way he has been playing in T20s is absurd. Cricket is much more than just hitting the ball,” Zaheer Abbas told PPI.

    Zaheer said that when a captain decides to open the innings, he should play sensibly and stay at the crease at least for 10 overs.

    “A player should have the temperament to stay on the crease and not go for every ball like an angry bull,” he said.

    Zaheer said that he had a high opinion for the Pakistani T20 squad before the series started, but the team’s performances against the Kiwis have disappointed him.

    Pakistan lost the three-match T20 series as New Zealand recorded a convincing five-wicket win in the first match before following it up with a 39-run triumph in the second on Tuesday.

    Zaheer said that although it can be understood that the pitch in Auckland favored the hosts in the first match, however, the pitch at Hamilton was just like pitches in Pakistan. “They should have performed well. However, they all played miserably except for opener Mohammad Hafeez,” Zaheer added.

  46. #46 by khansahab on December 29, 2010 - 11:15 PM

    I have not dropped my pace: Shoaib Akhtar

    Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who recently made a return to Pakistan squad against South Africa after almost two years’ gap, said he has not dropped his pace and is looking to play a match-winner’s role for Pakistan in the World Cup February-April.

    Shoaib, who was once discarded as a spent force, said he can still bowl at 150 kmph.

    Shoaib said on Wednesday he has modified his run-up and is feeling comfortable even after bowling longer spells.

    “I have shortened my run-up but am still bowling at almost 150 kmph. It would have been great for my career had I modified my run-up 10 years ago,” said the 35-year-old from Rawalpindi.

    “But I am still bowling well and am confident of playing a match-winner’s role in the World Cup and will try to make it a memorable event for Pakistan,” said Shoaib, who took three wickets in three overs in the Twenty20 match against New Zealand at Auckland on Sunday.

    Akhtar said that he wants to make a difference for Pakistan, currently experiencing a cricketing turmoil because of spot-fixing allegations against some of the country’s top players.

    “I’m always an optimist when it comes to my fitness, I just want to make a difference and lead this team to some good results,” said Akhtar, who is currently in New Zealand with the Pakistan team.

    “We are going to win matches and show respect and show the world we are honourable people,” he said.

  47. #47 by khansahab on December 29, 2010 - 11:31 PM

    Axe Afridi from captaincy, demands Sarfraz

    ISLAMABAD: After suffering sixth consecutive defeat in the Twenty20 internationals, former Pakistan fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz has demanded major reshuffling in Pakistan team and axing of Afridi from captaincy. Pakistan have lost the third consecutive Twenty20 series in last four months against England, South Africa and New Zealand and Pakistan’s poor and dismal performance in international circuit continued with no signs of improvement.

    Sarfraz said there was no place of Younus Khan in the Twenty20 squad and the PCB was forcing Younus to play in the T20 format. “The decision of opening with Afridi has dismantled the balance of the middle order batting and there was no strategy seen in the last two T20 matches played against New Zealand,” Sarfraz was quoted as saying.

    Afridi, who was the star performer for Pakistan in last three years in one-day internationals and T20s, has lost his form and focus since becoming captain of Pakistan. Pakistan failed to win a single one-day series in 2010 and also lost to Australia in the semifinal of the ICC World Twenty20 when they were defending their title. Afridi failed to impress as captain and cricket fans and experts now demanding to dump Afridi as captain before the start of mega event of ICC World Cup 2011 and appoint either Younus, who won the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009 for Pakistan, or Misbah, who was impressive with his captaincy in two match Test series against South Africa in United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month.

  48. #48 by khansahab on December 29, 2010 - 11:40 PM

    Aamer to lodge protest to ICC over info leakage on spot-fixing

    KARACHI: Suspended Pakistan pacer Mohammad Aamer will lodge a protest with the International Cricket Council over the continued leakage of confidential information relating to the spot-fixing allegations, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

    Aamer’s lawyer Shahid Karim said that the fresh leak of the statements made by Pakistan coach Waqar Younis, captain Shahid Afridi and the national team’s former security manager Javed Najam given to the ICC on the case was damaging for his client.

    He said it was a matter of concern that documents relating to the case were coming in public before the hearing was held.

    “I have no idea who could have leaked out these documents but it does concern my client as he feels he is being portrayed negatively before hand,” Karim said.

  49. #49 by khansahab on December 29, 2010 - 11:41 PM

    Akmal, Malik to make it to WC squad?

    Former captain Shoaib Malik and stumper batsman Kamran Akmal are likely to be included in Pakistan’s 2011 World Cup preliminary squad and also in the squad for the ODI series in New Zealand, sources said on Wednesday.

    The source said the two players along with spinner Danish Kaneria have submitted the relevant documents, required by the PCB’s integrity committee, which is probing the backgrounds of the players in the wake of spot-allegations against Pakistani cricketers.

    The two-day meet of the committee will begin on Thursday and is expected to give clearance to both Malik and Akmal.

    There is every likelihood that Kamran and Malik will be cleared by the integrity committee as they have submitted most of the relevant documents about their assets that they were asked to give by the integrity committee,” the source said.

  50. #50 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 30, 2010 - 1:54 AM

    khansahab

    I think the PCB should put a duct tape on the mouth of these so called ex-greats especially “the naam nehaad Asian Bradman,” before doing that they must stuff a few used and smelly socks in his much so that they stop giving such statements to the media especially in the middle of the tour because, that creates a negative impact on the morale of the players. We as bloggers can criticize because, our comments are not being published by the media in any of the major newspapers and neither any of the players are reading our comments on this blog. When a team is going through a bad patch and the morale of the team is low, you don’t shun them to sink them. Zaheer must have this much basic knowledge, but else do you expect from this Paindoo?

    Zaheer Abbass when he was the manager of the Pak team what did he do? When the whole ball tampering episode was at its peak, Inzamam, Bob Woolmer and others were trying to solve the problem, this idiot team manager Zaheer Abbass was seen on the TV with his mobile phone stuck to his ear for hours. He was talking to God knows who for hours and hours. And, when he came back to Pakistan he was sacked for doing nothing. He thought going to England with the team was like going on a holiday!

    Zaheer has always been venting his frustration against the players because, he wants a job at the PCB, as a coach or, as a selector or, something like a cog in the wheel or, at least to be called as “Butt Da Chamcha” and the main reason is he wants to make some money, “behti ganga hai hath dho lo.” Has anyone ever seen his comment against the PCB, the selector or against Ijaz Butt? He is such a negative person that when he is around the players he creates an air of negativity. His contribution is zilch because, Javed Miandad is already there and he can give more and better tips to the batsmen. Zaheer cannot even talk properly because he is as much educated as Miandad is but, despite that Miandad still speaks better than Zaheer.

    Zaheer Abbass you better keep your trap shut or else someone will put lid on it.

  51. #51 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 30, 2010 - 1:54 AM

    khansahab

    I think the PCB should put a duct tape on the mouth of these so called ex-greats especially “the naam nehaad Asian Bradman,” before doing that they must stuff a few used and smelly socks in his much so that they stop giving such statements to the media especially in the middle of the tour because, that creates a negative impact on the morale of the players. We as bloggers can criticize because, our comments are not being published by the media in any of the major newspapers and neither any of the players are reading our comments on this blog. When a team is going through a bad patch and the morale of the team is low, you don’t shun them to sink them. Zaheer must have this much basic knowledge, but else do you expect from this Paindoo?

    Zaheer Abbass when he was the manager of the Pak team what did he do? When the whole ball tampering episode was at its peak, Inzamam, Bob Woolmer and others were trying to solve the problem, this idiot team manager Zaheer Abbass was seen on the TV with his mobile phone stuck to his ear for hours. He was talking to God knows who for hours and hours. And, when he came back to Pakistan he was sacked for doing nothing. He thought going to England with the team was like going on a holiday!

    Zaheer has always been venting his frustration against the players because, he wants a job at the PCB, as a coach or, as a selector or, something like a cog in the wheel or, at least to be called as “Butt Da Chamcha” and the main reason is he wants to make some money, “behti ganga hai hath dho lo.” Has anyone ever seen his comment against the PCB, the selector or against Ijaz Butt? He is such a negative person that when he is around the players he creates an air of negativity. His contribution is zilch because, Javed Miandad is already there and he can give more and better tips to the batsmen. Zaheer cannot even talk properly because he is as much educated as Miandad is but, despite that Miandad still speaks better than Zaheer.

    Zaheer Abbass you better keep your trap shut or else someone will put lid on it.

  52. #52 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 30, 2010 - 1:59 AM

    “I have shortened my run-up but am still bowling at almost 150 kmph. It would have been great for my career had I modified my run-up 10 years ago,” said the 35-year-old from Rawalpindi Maal Gaadi.

    Sub Kuch Luttaa Kay Hosh May Aye Tou Kya Kiya
    Din May Agar Chiragh Jalaye Tou Kya Kiya? 😀 😀 😀

  53. #53 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 30, 2010 - 2:02 AM

    So Sarfaraz Nawaz wants to lead the T20 team now? Should someone give him a framed photograph of the deceased film actress RANI along with a bottle of Whisky to Sarfaraz and tell him, Jaa baachay issi say guzara ker lay! Saamnay Rani ki tasveer, ek hath may bowtul, tay doosray may Jannat. 😉

    ps

    Only Munir will get this …. 😀

  54. #54 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 30, 2010 - 2:05 AM

    khansahab

    Someone should tell Aamer to keep quiet and accept the 2 years ban or else the ICC will hand him with a 7 year ban to enjoy Butt and Mazhar Majeed’s company.

    Sarfaraz is such a Ch2So4 that in one breath he is saying dump Younus Khan and in the same breath he wants him to be appointed as a captain for the 2011WC

  55. #55 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 30, 2010 - 7:36 AM

    At least one thing Afridi has learned i.e., the advise we gave him “in T20 NEVER opt to field after winning the toss. So, today he won the toss and elected to bat. The other things he will NEVER learn is, controlling his emotions. His batting form is letting him down because of his own stupid mind. He wants to hit every ball for a six and today he was clean bowled yet another time because of trying to imitate Misbah ul Haq. What was the need to play that stupid shot by exposing ALL the wickets and moving away on the off side to flick an straight ball towards fine leg?

    Thanks to Abdul Razzaq’s whirlwind innings in the end he scored 34 in 11 balls. He was lucky to have been dropped but, after that he never looked back. Ahmad Shahzad and Hafeez gave a fine start but, YOUNUS KHAN nearly ruined that. Did anyone notice that he wanted to run away to the non-striker’s end from the first ball. He was almost run out on the first ball he played and he was nearly run out on the 2nd ball he played and on the 9th ball he was run out for 5. It was very obvious that he was trying to escape to the non-striker’s end.

  56. #56 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 30, 2010 - 7:39 AM

    Btw, I am not very sure whether the umpire was right in giving Ahmad Shahzad LBW? Since I was watching on computer, there was no replay, no slow motion nothing and to me it appeared that the ball hit just below his rib cage! Any comments on that from anyone?

  57. #57 by salman on December 30, 2010 - 12:22 PM

    To be honest I have not read the whole thread, but , looking at the pictures I suspect it is unnecessary IPL bashing. IPL is an entertainment vehicle. It is not trying to masquerade as the epitome of Cricket. It is pure entertainment. And as long as there are people who like watching movies, there will be plenty watching IPL. I am not a supporter, but I can understand the popularity. And I have no problems with it.

  58. #58 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 30, 2010 - 4:00 PM

    Salman;

    With due respect to you and everyone else who expresses his views here is more than welcome. Our view of cricket is mainly related to sports whereas, “Entertainment” is another thing. We believe that cricket being a sport should be left alone from the cheap distraction, diversion, recreation and deployment of imported white skin cheer leaders, their dancing, the music and hoopla that over takes the spirit of the game is absolutely unnecessary and it is poisoning the game.

    Secondly, it is not just the IPL or Indian bashing, you better read the whole thread because, we have criticized the Pakistani players even more harshly than others because, they have shown greediness over the integrity and respect for the country. Not only the cricket players, we have also criticized on this blog, the Pakistani TV artistes and singers who have lost their dignity and also ruining the name of the country by bending over backwards and by playing so cheap for the sake of a few dollars. Because, none of the Indian artiste or singer ever comes to Pakistan to perform on TV shows or, a stage show whereas, there is a regular one way traffic from Pakistan to India and people like Wasim Akram, Adnan Sami Khan etc., who are literally living in India are condemned by us.

    There is an expression that, “Every country gets the circus it deserves. Spain gets bullfights. Italy gets the Catholic Church. America gets Hollywood.” To add to a few names to the list, India has Bollywood ….. as long as the Bollywoodians keep their NaoTunki inside their studios it is fine but, when they enter the cricket-circuit they should only be spectators and not cheer leaders or, real big time gamblers and are labeled as cricket mafia. Because, it is not just the glitz and glamour of the cheer leaders but, hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake in the betting world. If anyone is not aware of it or, says he, she has never heard of betting in the IPL matches then, either they are simpletons or they are burying their heads under the sand and playing Ostrich. 😀

  59. #59 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 30, 2010 - 4:18 PM

    The way Pakistan won this match has amused a lot of its supporters and the skipper himself is very pleased with the the performance of the team. I was keeping my fingers cross when Abdul Razzaq opened the bowling for Pakistan. I was thinking that he will give away too many runs in the initial over and NZ would be on top but, the reverse happened. Tanvir Ahmad also supported him combined with excellent fielding New Zealand in 5 overs were 5 down for 11. It appeared that they may not make even 50 runs. Thanks to the experienced Styris he scored 45 out of the NZ total of 80. Otherwise, NZ would have scored only 35 runs without him scoring the bulk for them.

    I have said this a zillion times that in T20 under any circumstances winning the toss and electing to bat first is like 80% winning the match. Even in 50 overs game (except in cases where the pitch is very bad due to the weather) it is better to bat first. In my previous comment i.e., after the 2nd T20 I wrote here that Afridi should have batted first after winning the toss and he should tie this suggestion of mine to his trousers to remember it forever.

    He bowled very well and became the first player in the world to take more than 50 wickets in T20, his bowling has been an asset but, his batting has suddenly become a concern. He needs to understand that if he scores over 40 runs in 10-15 balls he turns the game into his favour but, that doesn’t mean he can always do it by hitting sixes. Perhaps this will never register in his Cerebral Akhroatex and he will always be playing like this. “12 saal in a Phukni wali baat hai.”

    This team with four spinners is very good. In places where the pitches are favourable to the spinners playing Abdur Rahman and Saeed Ajmal would be ideal besides, Afridi himself and Mohammad Hafeez as another option. Hafeez cannot be dropped because he has been playing so well, it is a nice comeback from him. Abdur Rahman also bowls very effectively but, Ajmal has more wickets to his name, other than a few bad last overs, Ajmal has bowled well.

    If the pitches are favouring fast bowlers then, one of the full time spinners needs to be sacrificed for Umar Gul. But, Umar Gul’s recent form has been very poor and Wahab has not only bowled well but, he can bat a bit too. Tanvir Ahmad should not be dropped in favour of Sohail Tanvir because, Ahmad bowls pretty straight and he is bang on the target all the time. He is economical as well as a wicket taker.

  60. #60 by M. Y. Kasim on December 30, 2010 - 8:12 PM

    Well, something to cheer about but not gloat over 😀

    Has somebody noticed the spelling of Ahmed Shehzad’s shirt? It says AMHAD instead of AHMAD or AHMED 🙂

    I watched this morning on Geo Super, gist of which is that we have several young fast bowlers waiting to get a chance. The host named two such aspiring youngster as Junaid Khan and Asad Ali.

    Never heared of them, but what the host was telling is that these are the identical to Amir and Asif and they should have been sent to NZ to give an exposer.

    Has anybody any feedfack?

  61. #61 by khansahab on December 30, 2010 - 8:24 PM

    Salman

    Your views are respected.

    We have attempted to separate entertainment from cricket. The purpose of this thread is to say that cricket should not be corrupted through this unnecessary addition of singing, dancing and big bucks.

    If you read the whole thread maybe you will form a different opinion.

    Also, what is the point of this insertion of “entertainment”, when it does not even entertain? Indians that visit Legslip don’t like IPL a lot and it is definitely not considered “entertainment” outside India.

  62. #62 by khansahab on December 30, 2010 - 8:27 PM

    In my opinion this victory means nothing as Pakistan has lost the series. These sporadic victories just establish that Pakistan is not Bangladesh or Zimbabwe. Pakistan needs to win more games than it loses and only then can one feel happy about their victories.

    Razzaq proved he is amongst the best in the business in T20. Afridi silenced his critics with an excellent bowling performance.

  63. #63 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 30, 2010 - 9:02 PM

    Like I have said before, a few bad performances from any player, the whole nation starts condemning him. All these so-called ex-greats can only wag their tongue and do nothing, instead of blabbing out that, Afridi should not open the innings they should help him out, or talk to him separately to curb his intense aggression from ball no. 1. That they will never do and whenever they get a chance to criticize, they ooze out venom against him. If any of these idiots go through Afridi’s stats he will find that Afridi has scored more runs as an opener and not at number 6 or 7.

    Ramiz Raja started a campaign against Afridi’s batting, in fact he was even criticizing his bowling as well but, Afridi has silenced him and a few others by taking 4 wickets and a tally of 53 in T20, the highest number of wickets in this format also scoring more than 670 runs as a batsman. Last night when he clean bowled Tim Southee with a ripper, it was 134 kph. I think it was the fastest ball ever bowled by a spinner. He was on a hat-trick after taking that wicket.

    If people like Raja, Zaheer Abbass, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Wasim Akram etc., were made the selectors, leave aside making Afridi the captain they would have never selected him as a player in any format of the game. They are so biased against him. They would prefer anyone from Punjab and not accept him because he is not from Punjab.

    Ramiz was showering praises and accolades on Abdur Rahman last night by saying, Abdur Rahman has improved as a batsman tremendously and he is a good genuine bowler and an excellent fielder etc., etc. Whereas, the fact is Abdur Rahman’s batting average in ODI and T20 is only 8. And, he has taken 12 and 9 wickets respectively from 20 games and his fielding is just average. When it comes to Fawad Alam, the cat takes away Ramiz’s tongue. A few years ago when Ramiz started commentating he was fair and unbiased, I dunno what happened to him now that he is so pro-Punjab and anti-everyone else.

  64. #64 by newguy on December 31, 2010 - 12:17 AM

    Guys,

    I did not comment specifically on “eye pee el” because in general there are some threads originated here and some of you talk about them, but mostly people post of whatever is the current series or game that is going on. Right now we have several serious matches of interest, so this IPL tamasha is no interest. But since it is brought up again, I will tell you honestly I don’t like it a bit. I agree that it is a marriage of everything that is vulgar in bollywood with cricket, and it is to enable money for the crooks, the rich businessmen to promote their interests, and for people like Modi, and the current people in-charge.

    Some young cricketers get some level of recognition and earn a living, but I think they are better off playing serious first class games where they develop real skills. Take a look at IPL heros like Ravidra Jadeja, Abhisehk Nayar, Suarabh Tiwari, or the likes of those, now consider if any one of them stand a chance facing one over from Dale Steyn in a test match in the ongoing series.

    Answer is clear, IPL is not cricket, and these overpaid heros won’t be able to keep their head in their place facing a fast bowler in a real cricket game. All the other vulgar stuff with bollywood extras and the imported cheap easter European dancing girls for the fancy of frustrated common man makes me sick in the stomach. I have no problem with anyone doing this on their own time and privacy, but I just don’t want it displayed on national TV and celebrated like this is something of a proud thing for Indians. It is not, it should not. But sadly many Indian are deluded that this is something of national importance to them, something like showcasing India’s clout in the world economy. I feel really sorry for these folks who are easily mislead by the likes of Modi. Sure I have followed some matches, but I was never impressed with the quality of it, it was mostly because I had no other cricket to watch.

    Coming to Bollywood, I like to disagree that it is synonymous with Indian arts and culture and entertainment. Today’s bollywood is a brainless perverted form of entertainment. There is so much more to Indian cinema, arts, and culture than this silly thing. I don’t watch a single Bollywood movies these days, most of them are just trying to imitate western life, as if all Indians are somehow now talking like New Yorkers and living like that. I watch movies that are out of mainstream, they are rare, but when I watch I like to watch only independent ones made with some sense to them.

    Everyone knows that A.R Rahman won the Oscar award and Golden Globe award last year for his musical score. Resul Pookutty also won an Oscar for his sound mixing (?) But neither of them are from Bollywood, many people don’t know this. In fact, Bollywood copy cat experts are so jealous of Rehman and Pookutty that these folks from South film industry won the Oscar, while the Bollywood folks are dreaming of a celebrity life in LA or New York. They had to just shut up and admire these people.

    Some Indians are living in delusion, there is so much to be done and so many people need to be uplifted and brought up to have basic necessities before Indians can call real progress is made. Sure they should be proud of the recent strides, but it’s only a beginning, so much needs to be done.

    Sorry for the long rant, but this whole thing about Bollywood and IPL being the so called new India riled me up.

  65. #65 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 31, 2010 - 2:01 AM

    newguy

    I know how you feel about IPL and Bollywood and I am sure Varun and Pawan who write here also have similar feelings. As you all know this thread was written by khansahab, if he had not written it the day he wrote, perhaps I would have because I feel the same way as he does. It is just a co-incidence that we have a few like minded people on the blog. However, we respect everyone’s comments and Salman has his own views and we respect them too.

    I haven’t developed any kinda hatred against IPL for excluding the Pakistani players from this Tamasha, in fact I have been against it the first time when I saw the auction and I do remember that Kamran Abbassi also wrote a thread against it then. Perhaps the caption was something like “What is this IPL, Shy Pee El..” or whatever. It was ICL which fell apart and there will be a time this Soap Opera will also come to an end. But, it has polluted cricket and ruined the talents of some youngsters and you have very rightly mentioned the names of Jaddoo Jaaa and his likes.

    It is a kinda blessing that Pakistan does not have the resources (neither financially nor human resources wise – like Bollywood) nor there is a platform to launch such an event in the midst of Mullahs and terrorists. Otherwise, to match the Bollywoodians they would have brought the HeeraMandians. 😉

  66. #66 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 31, 2010 - 7:04 AM

    BASS KI IJJAT KA SAWAL HAI,

    MELBOURNE: Michael Clarke is happy as stand-in captain while Ricky Ponting’s broken finger heals, but he’s vowed never to lead a side with Ponting in the starting XI.

    Clarke, the usual vice captain, will captain Australia for the first time to start a test when he leads Australia against England in the fifth Ashes test beginning Monday in Sydney.

    England has retained the Ashes and leads the series 2-1, marking the third time that Ponting has lost an Ashes series as captain.

    Clarke, asked if he would captain an Australian test side with Ponting in it if asked by selectors, said: ”No. I’ve always said from day one Ricky Ponting is my leader, my captain, and I’m certain he’ll be back captaining ASAP.”

  67. #67 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 31, 2010 - 7:04 AM

    BASS KI IJJAT KA SAWAL HAI,

    MELBOURNE: Michael Clarke is happy as stand-in captain while Ricky Ponting’s broken finger heals, but he’s vowed never to lead a side with Ponting in the starting XI.

    Clarke, the usual vice captain, will captain Australia for the first time to start a test when he leads Australia against England in the fifth Ashes test beginning Monday in Sydney.

    England has retained the Ashes and leads the series 2-1, marking the third time that Ponting has lost an Ashes series as captain.

    Clarke, asked if he would captain an Australian test side with Ponting in it if asked by selectors, said: ”No. I’ve always said from day one Ricky Ponting is my leader, my captain, and I’m certain he’ll be back captaining ASAP.”

  68. #68 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 31, 2010 - 7:08 AM

    ICC may probe leakage of confidential information

    KARACHI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is mulling over the option of carrying out a probe into leakages of sensitive documents to the media in the lead up to next month’s full hearing in Doha regarding the spot-fixing case. Well-placed sources told ‘The News’ on Thursday that senior ICC officials are ‘curious’ about the people leaking confidential documents to the media as well as their motives and could investigate into the matter ahead of the January 6-11 hearing.

    “The ICC is curious over the leakages,” said a source. “Sensitive information is being constantly leaked to the media, which the ICC fears can have a negative impact on the hearing in Doha,” he added. “It can begin investigating the issue before the hearing.” Three Pakistan cricketers — Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif — will appear before an independent tribunal in Doha to defend themselves over allegations of spot-fixing. Amir and Asif are accused of bowling deliberate no-balls on Butt’s instructions during the fourth Test against England at Lord’s last August. Butt captained Pakistan during that Test series. The trio were provisionally suspended by the ICC and could be banned for life if found guilty following the hearing.

    In recent weeks, confidential information related to the spot-fixing case has been continuously leaked to the media. According to the source, ICC is of the view that leaking of the documents which are yet to be reviewed by the ICC tribunal can “affect the entire process”. “It’s a breach of the confidentiality agreement,” said the source adding that lawyers representing the three players and the ICC had agreed on keeping all documents pertaining to the case completely confidential. “But it didn’t happen and because of constant leakages, a media trial has begun on the case which is being seen as a negative development before the full hearing,” said another source. Mohammad Amir has already decided to lodge a protest with the ICC over the leakage of sensitive information.
    Shahid Karim, Amir’s lawyer, has said that fresh leak of statements made by Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, coach Waqar Younis and the team’s former security manager Khawaja Najam was damaging for his client.

    In their statements given to the ICC, Afridi and Waqar confirmed their suspicions against the suspended trio.

  69. #69 by JAVED A. KHAN on December 31, 2010 - 7:22 AM

    There is a strong rumour in the market that Sania Mirza has approached Asif Ali Zardari to include Shoaib Malik in the team for 2011 WC. Pakistan is such a country where nothing is permissible but, everything is possible.

    Nawaz Sharif admits that until yesterday he used to play DIRTY POLITICS. Here is his statement in today’s DAWN

    “We won’t become part of any puppet show as we’ve buried the dirty politics forever,” Nawaz said.

    From the above statement it is a confirmation that he used to play dirty politics and he was also a part of the puppet show.

    What Nawaz thinks that ALL the people in Pakistan are Paindoo like him.

    Je me Souviens, it means, “I haven’t forgotten.” It was Nawaz who was Zia ul Haq’s puppet and used to call Zia as his “Roohani Baap.” Spiritual Father.

    It was Nawaz who was jealous of Monica Lewensky because, he wanted to be in Clinton’s lap all the time. Whenever he was summoned he ran up to Washington like a rat and took orders from him. Kargil is one bloody example.

    It was Nawaz who fired top three personalities of Army, Navy and Air Force and also fired the Chief Justice during the time he was on power trip.

    Now with a hair lifting he thinks that his face has changed and people don’t recognize that Tindoo Nawaz. He is the same old Custard who loves to take a dip in Shab Degh and take a bath in Nihari and gulp a gallon of Badaam Doodh and is proud to marry the grand daughter of Gama Pahelwan and thinks that he is the strongest Duddoo in his own dry well i.e., from where he croaks and moans. Elsewhere in Pakistan he is Zilch, Zero, Nothing.

  70. #70 by khansahab on December 31, 2010 - 10:02 AM

    There were a lot of people crying about the exclusion of Malik and Akmal and that it is contributing in Pakistan’s T20 and ODI defeats.

    The reason why Pakistan has been losing in T20 is because the bowlers have lost form. It has nothing to do with batting. Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Ahmed Shahzad, they are better batsmen than Malik and K Akmal. In ODI’s Pakistan’s performance under Afridi has improved.

    Look at the deterioration of the form of Tired Bull, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, even Afridi has not been performing up to the mark of late.

    I have said this many times, Malik and Misbah are totally mediocre players and their presence in the XI does not help at all.

  71. #71 by khansahab on December 31, 2010 - 5:48 PM

    Controlling spot-fixing almost impossible’

    KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt believes it is impossible to completely eradicate spot-fixing, not only for the board but also for the International Cricket Council (ICC).

    “To control the spot-fixing, especially prior to its happening, is almost impossible not only for the PCB but for the ICC as well,” The Nation quoted Butt, as saying in an interview to News One channel.

    “It has to be an all out effort from all concerned to ensure that such wrongdoing does not occur in the future,” he added.

  72. #72 by khansahab on December 31, 2010 - 6:03 PM

    PCB delays announcing preliminary Pak squad for World Cup

    KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) national selection committee has delayed announcing the preliminary squad for the World Cup as the board is still deliberating the fate of Kamran Akmal, Danish Kaneria and Shoaib Malik.

    The national selectors concluded a two-day meeting in Lahore on Friday but postponed the announcement of the squad for the tournament, scheduled to be played in the sub-continent from February, as the trio is yet to be cleared by the PCB over their alleged links with bookmakers.

    Chief selector Mohsin Khan, who chaired the meeting, admitted that the announcement had been delayed due to questions over availability of some players.

  73. #73 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 1, 2011 - 1:30 AM

    Dear Bloggers

    On behalf of Leg Slip I am wishing you ALL a very HAPPY, PROSPEROUS AND PEACEFUL NEW YEAR. May God shower his mercies upon you and your families and friends and brings happiness, peace, good health and wealth in your life and help you in achieving your future endeavours. What we are today is all because of you and your participation, the time that you have taken from your undoubtedly busy schedules of your life in writing your comments and expressing your feelings here. If we have hurt you intentionally or unintentionally by not agreeing with your views or opinions please forgive us for that. Because, our intentions are not to hurt anyone but, to err is human.

    My special thanks to Mr. Kasim who despite being so ill has always contributed his views and enlightened us with his rich experience, may God give him good health. And another special thanks to Mr. Consistent our newguy who never hesitates in calling a spade, a spade. Varun used to be a regular but he is busy in India hopefully once he settles down he will be writing regularly. Pawan is like Pawan (the gentle breeze) he keeps contributing every now and then with his honest views, Munir despite his regular visits to Turkey is a leg slip Thurkey without him there won’t be any spice. Where Art Thou Munir? Sagaat who is here with this new name but he is our bold, young old blogger, Salman who writes from Australia many thanks to ALL of you.

    And those who used to write regularly on this blog like, Theossa, Sweetie, etc. many thanks to them as well. I wonder where our dear friend AWAS has gone? Its rather shocking for me that I hear nothing from him neither on the blog or through email. I hope he is fine and well and my best and sincere wishes are for him. Last but not the least my dear khansahab without him we wouldn’t have started this blog. It is because of him that we have started this blog, for him cricket is a way of life, many thanks to him for his courageous and consistent efforts.

    All of you are welcome to express your views here and once again A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL.

  74. #74 by khansahab on January 1, 2011 - 9:16 AM

    Javed A Khan

    Thanks for the message. A very happy new year to you too. It has been 3 years and Legslip has survived the tests of time.

  75. #75 by khansahab on January 1, 2011 - 9:22 AM

    Shahid Afridi’s leadership not been up to the mark : Wasim Akram

    Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels that Shahid Afridi’s leadership in the ongoing New Zealand tour has not been up to the mark and the players were also not performing to their abilities.

    Akram told a television channel that Pakistan lost the Twenty20 series in New Zealand because the players were not playing as a unit and if they continue like this it will be difficult to make an impact in World Cup starting next month.

    “Because the team is not playing as one they are facing many problems and their performances are suffering,” he said.

    One saw a lack of leadership in the team and the players also did not play to their ability and if they continue playing this way then they will also lose the Test and ODI series in New Zealand,” the former left-arm pacer said.
    Akram though felt that the difficult conditions in New Zealand and the presence of many inexperienced players in the team had also contributed to the poor performance of the side.

  76. #76 by khansahab on January 1, 2011 - 11:35 AM

    FULL Wasim Akram column in ESPN STAR

    There can’t be a better way than ending the year on a high. India and England must be feeling on top of the world after their recent Test victories against South Africa and Australia, respectively.

    India’s great comeback in Durban underlined the quality and depth of their team. More importantly, it showed that India have several match-winners in their squad. More than his runs, VVS Laxman’s application should be a lesson for the youngsters. Laxman’s ability to stand tall when the chips are down is commendable and that is why I keep saying there is no substitute for experience.

    Sachin Tendulkar has hogged the limelight in the series against South Africa for his runs and records, but I think Laxman, Zaheer, Harbhajan and even Dhoni have made great contribution for the team’s success. India have looked like a complete team and if they are No. 1 in the world, there are enough reasons for that.

    Before the South Africa series started, I was a bit iffy about how India would play on seaming wickets, but I am happy India have proved me wrong. They are looking confident and even if Cape Town produces a green-top, a buoyant India will be up for it. South Africa better watch out.

    Down Under, England have definitely surprised me with their terrific all-round cricket against Australia. England have shown what team cricket is all about. Quite like India, the team spirit is showing in their batting and bowling and ahead of the World Cup, these are great signs. Unfortunately for Australia, things have not fallen in place.

    The Aussies would have now realized that without the likes of Shane Warne, Mathew Hayden, Glenn McGrath, it’s not easy to win against quality sides in Test cricket. After the star players retired, the Aussies have struggled to bring in proper replacements and their bench strength is very weak. The problem with Australia is that apart from Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey, they don’t have the batsmen to combat real quality bowling.

    The media has been hard on Ponting, who has been clearly out of form. This is Ponting’s third Ashes loss and he has got to face the music from every quarter. Punter is a great player but he too succumbed to the pressure and stress of paying in the Ashes. Ponting’s future is certainly in the dock but I still feel he is one of the greatest players we have ever seen. You must respect a man like Ponting and he must be backed and encouraged.

    Pakistan’s opportunity to close the year on a winning note has been dashed. The T20 series loss in New Zealand just goes to show Pakistan are still not playing as a unit. Lack of experienced players and seaming conditions in New Zealand are certainly not helping their cause. I get the feeling that without the likes of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, Pakistan will always struggle against quality sides. There is lack of leadership and direction in the team and the boys are just not playing to their potential. If this continues, I am sure that they will struggle in the coming Test and ODI series.

    Here’s wishing my readers a very Happy New Year. Sachin Tendulkar wins my vote as the top cricketer of 2010 and I am sure we have not heard the last of him. The New Year is full of cricket and I am looking forward to some nail-biting action. God Bless!

  77. #77 by khansahab on January 1, 2011 - 11:44 AM

    “I’ve presented all documents asked for by PCB Integrity Committee”: Kamran Akmal

    Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal has said he has presented full details regarding his movable and immovable properties, and activities other than cricket to the Pakistan Cricket Board.

    “Whatever the PCB Integrity Committee has asked for, I have provided them. I have cooperated fully with the Committee and I have presented all of the documents that they had requested,” PakPassion.net quoted Akmal, as saying.

    Akmal is one of the three players currently facing PCB inquiries over their possible roles in the spot-fixing scandal.

    Along with Shoaib Malik and Danish Kaneria, the 28-year-old has not played for Pakistan since their controversial tour of England in August, and they were also left out of Pakistan’s United Arab Emirates tour to play South Africa.

    Akmal and Malik were also recently denied permission to play league cricket in Bangladesh, despite Test batsman Mohammad Yousuf being allowed to do so.

  78. #78 by khansahab on January 1, 2011 - 11:54 AM

    The PCB said it is not taking any dictation from ICC, but its behaviour seems to show otherwise.

    Mohammad Yousuf was sent to play in a Bangladeshi League, but why not Malik and Akmal?

    Surely there is suspicion about these players. Kaneria was cleared by ICC for an alleged spot fixing charge in England, but why is his name included with Malik and Akmal? Surely this means Kaneria is involved in some other activity that the public does not know about?

  79. #79 by khansahab on January 1, 2011 - 1:17 PM

    Shahid Afridi and Waqar Younis are expected to be witnesses for the prosecution in the hearing of 6 January that will determine what happens to Salman Butt, Aamer and Asif.

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci-icc/content/story/494926.html

    This means their evidence will assist the ICC in finding these players guilty.

    What a shame for Pakistan, the captain and coach are giving evidence before an international tribunal that these players are involved in these disgraceful activities.

  80. #80 by khansahab on January 1, 2011 - 4:31 PM

    Moin Khan just said that Afridi should not publicly criticise his team mates. Wasim Akram criticised Afridi’s leadership. In any event, Misbah ul Haq has only performed in 1 series on his comeback and now because of Misbah, politics is being played.

    Pressure should not be put on Afridi. I don’t understand how people have quickly forgotten Misbah’s pathetic form over the last 2 years?

    “One Day Series in New Zealand Will Determine Afridi’s Future as Captain”

    Sources close to the Pakistan Cricket Board under the guarantee of anonymity disclosed to PakPassion.net that Shahid Afridi is currently not assured of leading Pakistan in the forthcoming World Cup.

    Afridi’s performance as captain has come under severe scrutiny of late, with former players such as Moin Khan and Wasim Akram criticising aspects of Afridi’s leadership.

    “Afridi’s recent performances as captain have not impressed too many Board members and one of the biggest issues that is irking them is his public criticism of his team mates. Results have not been great, but the public criticism of team mates is not going down too well with the decision makers.”

    Afridi retired from test cricket last year after just one test match at Lords where Pakistan were defeated heavily by England, and closely fought one day series’ defeats against England and South Africa have followed. However the team’s performances in Twenty20 cricket under Afridi’s leadership have declined since the World Cup in the Caribbean and the dead rubber victory over New Zealand was the first victory in the twenty over format, after a run of six consecutive defeats.

    The source confirmed that Afridi’s performance as captain in the upcoming six one day matches in New Zealand will determine whether he is appointed captain for the World Cup.

    “The Board will look at Afridi’s personal performance and also how well he leads the team, as well as how he conducts himself, before deciding on whether he (Afridi) will lead the team in the World Cup. I would be very surprised if the Board makes a decision regarding Afridi, before the six match series in New Zealand.”

    Whilst a change of captain ahead of the presitgious World Cup would be a surprising move, it’s certainly not out of the question given Pakistan cricket’s track record ahead of major tournaments. Preparations ahead of the World Cup are far from ideal, with the allegations against the spot fixing trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif virtually ruling them out of the World Cup, a lack of clarity also regarding Kamran Akmal’s, Shoaib Malik’s and Danish Kaneria’s availability and now the uncertainty over the captaincy.

    In addition to the discontent regarding Afridi’s public criticism of team mates, the source added that there were strong differences of opinion between Afridi and some selectors regarding Fawad Alam and Shahzaib Hasan.

    “There are some selectors who do not think Fawad Alam and Shahzaib Hasan should be in the one day and Twenty20 squads, but Afridi has a different opinion to them. There have been previous disagreements between the selectors and Afridi regarding the two players (Alam and Hasan) and the issue will rear it’s head once again when the final squad for the World Cup is due to be selected.”

  81. #81 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 1, 2011 - 7:09 PM

    khansahab

    Wasim Chameleon, quickly changed his views about India i.e., after India beating SA in the second test. He is saying: “I am happy that, India has proved me wrong.” Sala Bolay Ga Kion Nai? Namak Halal jo hai. He realized that the media would be asking him questions because he said, India is burning themselves out before the world cup and they will not play well, but just one win in SA and he has shoved his tail between his legs and hopping like a Kangaroo.

    As regards criticism on Afridi from Akram and Moin Thurkee, this is nothing but, dirty politics. When Shoaib Malik was playing dirty politics in the recent NZ and Australia tour, Mohammad Yousuf as a captain publicly criticized Malik during the tour and spilled the beans, and he also talked about Salman Butt by saying he is the most selfish and lazy player i.e., when the later got him run out. Click the link below and read about Shoaib Malik:

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/content/story/460164.html

    While criticizing Afridi, Wasim Akram said: “the boys are just not playing to their potential. If this continues, I am sure that they will struggle in the coming Test and ODI series.” Afridi is not responsible for test matches, he has already left NZ and pathetic Misbah has taken the captaincy role for the test matches. I know they are ALL aiming their guns at Afridi, IF Pakistan loses the ODI series against NZ they will demand the PCB to replace him as captain and appoint someone else.

    The boys are not playing to their potential…………. HOW many matches have these boys played? In two T20 they failed but in the third one they gelled and played well. So, what is Chakram trying to say here? Can he make the boys play to their potential by offering them dollars to lose the match? That is what this MF did in the world cup when Pakistan lost to Bangladesh. How easily he forgets his own “Kartoot” ?

    And, Moin Khan the Chronic Alcoholic Addict should drink more and take his vengeance out on “wife bashing” instead of giving statements to the media. I wonder why these cheap journalist approach these idiots and publish their stupid comments?

  82. #82 by Mohammed Munir on January 2, 2011 - 7:59 AM

    Happy Belated New Year to One and All Bloggers @ LS ….

    Have a Blessed and Peaceful 2011.

  83. #83 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 2, 2011 - 8:02 AM

    Brendon McCullum has scored a double century against Pakistan in the warm up match before the test series against NZ. Pakistan bowling appeared pathetic and NZ cricket XI scored 342 for 4. I doubt Pakistan can win a test match in NZ.

    The T20 series they played against Pakistan which they won 2-1 was without Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vittori. So, imagine how they would have played if these two players were in the team?

  84. #84 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 2, 2011 - 8:04 AM

    Munir

    Same to you, please browse through the comments that you have missed and comment on them. It is 3:00 a.m. here and I am going to hit the sack now, it is too late for me, it is all because of NY parties with friends.

  85. #85 by Mohammed Munir on January 2, 2011 - 8:06 AM

    Javed Khan …

    Thanks for your lovely words of appreciation and remembering all bloggers (frankly speaking it’s a rarity from you). 😉 I had to say that. 😛

    Did you miss Omer Admani … Where is he anyways ❓

    Jokes apart, it’s been really a great feeling to be ‘connected’ to all at LS and being able to express ourselves fair & square without any fear of our comments being deleted or censored. This is what is so amazing about LS.

    BTW, I was on my winter holidays and had a few close relative visiting us from Pakistan. So this is what was keeping me away from LS, but I am back and shall try to contribute regularly.

    On Cricket …

    I guess the last Ashes Test was suppose to start on 2nd January, but I don’t know why is it been postponed to begin on Monday 3rd ?

    On the Australian side, a Pakistani origin Usman Khawaja is about to make a debut and it will be something really big to achieve for an Asian, Muslim, Pakistani to make it to the playing elevens of a racist-to-the-core and All-White Australian team. BTW, I don’t remember any Indian/ Asian ever playing from Australian side (anybody ?). Although so many Indians have migrated to Australia and are living and working there for years, but I think they don’t get ample chances to play at national levels. Plus, I don’t remember many originals (Aboriginals), except for Symonds may be.

    While on the contrary, England have many Indian/ Pakistani origin players and so does New Zealand. Even West Indies is having several Indian origin players whereas South Africa is also opening up to many Africans.

    Still on South Africa, good luck to team India for their third and deciding Test and as expected the “Chockers did Chock” during the second Test. The Indian/ SA series is at an intresting point, and Dhoni has already indicated that he wants to win the last Test of the series and make history by defeating the ‘Chockers’ in their own home.

  86. #86 by Mohammed Munir on January 2, 2011 - 8:13 AM

    Javed Khan …

    Sleep Well. 😉

    Your comment above no. 84 was posted at 8.04 am (LS time), whereas I already prepared my comments before that which I posted at 8.06 am (comment no. 85).

    Actually I had ‘skimmed’ through some of the comments and tried to address a few.

    Late night parties with friends, long sleeping hours, late brunches … Kiya Baat Hai Aap Ki. 😛

  87. #87 by khansahab on January 2, 2011 - 9:57 AM

    According to Express Tribune, Aamer Sohail wants Afridi to be replaced as captain.

    Sohail feels Afridi is not a leader and a captain must be changed for the World Cup.

  88. #88 by khansahab on January 2, 2011 - 3:46 PM

    Malik, Akmal doubtful for Pak WC squad

    Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal have so far been unable to obtain a clean chit from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and remain doubtful to feature in the World Cup squad.
    The duo has failed to provide convincing answers to queries by PCB’s integrity committee, well-placed sources were quoted as saying in The News Sunday.

    “There is information available to the integrity committee that Malik received 90,000 British pounds in one of his bank accounts,” said a source. “When questioned by the integrity committee, Malik expressed complete ignorance about the amount which was transferred to his bank account in the UK,” he added, stressing that the committee told the all-rounder that he will have to explain from where and why such a big amount was transferred to his account.
    Kamran, too, has been unable to explain certain transactions made to his bank account in Dubai.
    Early next week, Pakistan’s cricket chiefs will decide whether to clear the duo for national duty. Also awaiting a decision on the issue by the PCB is legspinner Danish Kaneria. But unlike Malik and Kamran, Kaneria won’t really be able to make the cut the squad even if he is cleared to play for the country.
    There are no formal charges against the three players but unofficially it’s confirmed that all of them are match-fixing suspects and need to prove their innocence to obtain clearance for national duty.
    The three players were summoned by the integrity committee at the PCB headquarters in Lahore on Thursday and Friday but in spite of marathon meetings, the Board was unable to decide their case. A decision, however, is expected on Tuesday when the national selectors will meet to decide Pakistan’s preliminary World Cup squad and the One-day team for the series against New Zealand.

  89. #89 by khansahab on January 2, 2011 - 7:18 PM

    Afridi rejects criticism, wants support ahead of World Cup

    KARACHI: Pakistan Twenty20 and One-Day International (ODI) captain Shahid Afridi has asked for support ahead of the World Cup and said that criticism before the global event will discourage the young team. Following the recent Twenty20 series loss to New Zealand – the third consecutive series defeat after England and South Africa won 2-0 – former players lashed out at Afridi and questioned his leadership skills.

    “I don’t want to react to the criticism,” Afridi told The Express Tribune. “All I expect is support for my team which is going through a tough phase with the World Cup not very far away.

    “The former cricketers are well aware of the current crisis in the team and should avoid comments that would leave a negative impact before the tournament.”

    Afridi said that times had changed and with the team facing various issues, the attack was uncalled for.

    “It is not the same time as it was when Imran Khan and Javed Miandad were playing. The situation now is totally different.

    “Some [ex-cricketers] just wait for a bad performance to launch an attack on the team or on certain players. It happens. The same people praise you when the team does well.”

  90. #90 by khansahab on January 2, 2011 - 7:24 PM

    My message to Shahid Afridi is this:

    You’re a good player, do what you believe in and do not listen to others. Alhamdulillah you have many fans, you have a political party that backs you and you do not need to worry. Your intentions are good and you do not indulge in match fixing etc and although you want to play in IPL (a decision we criticise) you are not desperate. There will always be people who will support you and you need to forget the criticism. Just play with a clear mind and play your natural game. You have survived international cricket for 14 years and inshallah you still have a few years left. You had bleak patches in your career but you overcame all odds. God will be with you, all the best, we are proud of you.

  91. #91 by M. Y. Kasim on January 2, 2011 - 10:36 PM

    Happy New Year to all, and special thanks to Mr. Javed A. Khan for keeping me in his thoughts….. It is really heartening to know that several people who never met me nor I met them before have become so close like a family due to the magic of the guys who runs it (meaning LEG SLIP) so nicely.

  92. #92 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 3, 2011 - 6:17 AM

    Afridi to meet Ijaz Butt today to decide the 30 probables which is more of a formality for the ICC but, the main reason is to discuss the WC 2011 15 man squad. According to sources, Afridi is in favour of getting Malik back in the team the only hitch is the ICC which has objections against Malik who has reportedly received £90,000 in his personal bank account in the UK. And, Malik has not been able to convince the authorities how that money came into his account? Kamran Akmal has also received amount in his bank account in Dubai. It would be hard for the PCB to by-pass the ICC and get these two players in the team.

    In my view Shoaib Akhtar should not be in the WC2011 squad because he cannot bowl 10 overs, it would be better to have Tanvir Ahmad in the team who bowls straight and also bowls economically, Wahab has also improved and a left arm medium pacer is required in the team. Gul should improve his form in the ODI series in NZ otherwise he will be a liability in the team perhaps they will declare him unfit and drop him. I also think that Umar Akmal should keep the wickets so that an additional specialist or an all-rounder can be included in the team.

    As for Fawad Alam, I am 100% sure he will not be in the WC 2011 squad. Ahmad Shahzad and Asad Shafiq have shown sporadic performances but, they need to be more consistent. You don’t need to have them in the team if they are not performing because they are just specialist batsmen. Mohammad Hafiz is definitely in because of his good form, he is not only batting well, he is also a handy bowler. But, bringing in Misbah in the WC squad would be a mistake.

  93. #93 by Mohammed Munir on January 3, 2011 - 8:57 AM

    Javed Khan …

    I agree with most of your above suggestions for the World Cup final squad.

    Umar Akmal as a permanent T20 & ODIs (and may be for Tests too) keeper is a fantastic idea and should be persisted with. Not will we have better utilized Umar Akmal and a decent batsman in the side, but we will also get rid of Kamran Akmal, who is dangerous for team unity. Before Umar Akmal, I had been suggesting Younis Khan to be utilized as T20 & ODIs keeper to include one more batsman/ all-rounder.

    Fawad Alam should definitely be in the team and excluding him will be a mistake, specially, Fawad should replace Shoaib Malik with his ‘consolidating’ role plus part-time spin bowling option, which will be helpful on Asian wickets. I think the main problem with Fawad is that they want to treat him only as a batsman, while in my opinion he should be allowed to bowl as well for better utility.

    You are right about Shoaib Actor, he is fine for T20 and ‘may be’ ODIs on foreign (UK, NZ, SA & Australian) wickets but not on Asian pitches, where he will be murdered, plus his age and stamina are also not on his side. But I do not agree with you on Umar Gul, as he is still dependable and should be included for World Cup. Gul had one bad performance in T20 in NZ, but it doesn’t mean that he should not play World Cup games, because in the absence of Aamir & Asif, Gul is an absolute must.

    I haven’t seen Sohail Tanvir for sometime now, but I think he should be included because he has good experience on Indian/ Asian pitches and with his unorthodox bowling action and handy hard-hitting batting, he can be useful. I guess, in fast bowling department, we should go with four regular bowlers in our squad of 15, with Gul, Tanvir Ahmed, Shoail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz. Off course 2 or 3 can play depending on wickets, but we should have four options in our squad, while Razzaq will be available as extra medium pacer.

    I don’t like Misbah, but I think in the absence of Mohammed Yousuf, the Captain as well as the Selectors want someone senior in the team, whereas Misbah fits the bill not only as educated/ sober-looking/ senior batsman but also, and more importantly, because he has ‘Punjabi’ vote from the PCB Management. 😉

    Personally speaking, I think Misbah should be out and Mohammed Yousuf should be included for World Cup.

  94. #94 by khansahab on January 3, 2011 - 9:09 AM

    Kasim sahab

    Thank you for your kind words. We are all like one family here, and it does not matter whether we have met each other or not.

    Dil sey dil ko rah milti hai. I think that is the correct phrase and you will have understood what I am trying to say.

  95. #95 by khansahab on January 3, 2011 - 11:44 AM

    Kallis has taken SA from a position of crisis to a position of respectability. This 350 is a good score on this pitch. Sreesanth has made a surprise comeback and the essential question is whether he will be able to carry this performance in the World Cup?

    Harbhajan Singh has not taken a single wicket but will undoubtedly be more effective in SA’s second innings.

    Pujara is playing in this match, maybe playing another spinner would have helped. Dhoni should have tried Sehwag instead of making Harbhajan bowl so many overs; Sehwag can get settled batsmen out at times.

    This has to be one of Sreesanth’s better spells in his 23 Test old career? He has captured 3 important wickets against a strong team- and 2 of those are SA’s best batsmen on current form (Amla and Devilliers).

  96. #96 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 3, 2011 - 3:03 PM

    khansahab

    Sehwag has a problem with his shoulder that is why he is not bowling and that is why he is opting out of the ODI series to get his shoulder some rest and treatment.

    I am not sure but the correct phrase is:
    Dil say dil ko raah hoti hai.

    There is a Ghazal too, “Dil ko jab dil se rah hoti hai Aah hoti hai wah hoti hai.”

    Misbah is 99 not out.

  97. #97 by khansahab on January 3, 2011 - 5:56 PM

    “I have a clean conscience,” Afridi says before ICC hearing

    KARACHI: Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi will testify at a hearing of players suspended for alleged spot-fixing despite believing he has nothing to add to his earlier testimony, a report said Monday.

    Afridi has been summoned to appear before the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal for a hearing of charges against Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, in Doha from January 6-11.

    Salman, Asif and Aamer were suspended over claims of spot-fixing during Pakistan’s Lord’s Test against England in August and face severe punishment, including lengthy bans.

    Both Afridi, along with team coach Waqar Younis and security manager Khawaja Najam, who will also attend the Doha hearing — made statements to the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit last month.

    According to Pakistani media, these statements link the suspended players to alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed and allege that large sums of money were confiscated from the players’ hotel rooms.

    Afridi reportedly said he had not lied to the ICC, and had given a full account of what he had witnessed during the team’s tour of England.

    “I have already said what I had to say and what I saw,” Afridi was quoted as saying by Pakistani daily Jang on Monday.

    “I could not have lied before the ICC because they already had enough information about the case.”

    Afridi said he would participate in the hearing by teleconference and not attend in person because of family problems. Waqar is expected to participate by telephone as he is on tour with the Pakistan team in New Zealand.

    The ICC tribunal, headed by Michael Beloff QC, is likely to use Afridi, Waqar and Najam as witnesses in the light of their statements last month.

    Afridi said he had no animosity towards any player.

    “I have a clean conscience… I was asked about Majeed (the alleged bookmaker) and his brother Azhar (Majeed) so whatever I knew I told the ICC,” said Afridi.

    Pakistan’s tour of England last June to September was hit by a sting operation arranged by British tabloid News of the World, which claimed that several players took money from a bookmaker to perform specific acts during the Lord’s Test, such as bowling a no-ball.

    Scotland Yard then raided the Pakistani team’s hotel and reportedly confiscated money from players’ rooms and later interrogated Salman, Asif, Aamer and a fourth player, Wahab Riaz, who was not suspended.

    The ICC provisionally suspended the three players on September 3.

  98. #98 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 3, 2011 - 7:22 PM

    And, WAQAR YOUNIS SAID:

    “I have dry-cleaned my conscience.”

    And, both of them are giving their statements to the ICC on telephone.

  99. #99 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 3, 2011 - 8:34 PM

    The PCB Chairman can shit anywhere and everywhere in public and he is a laughing stock in the world. People are sick and tired of this double sided big barrel double BUTT Chairman Ijaz. And, he can summon anyone and take out his vengeance over the captain, the players or, the officials simply to relieve the high density turbulence in his bowls by #arting all over.

    Afridi was warned by him for giving a statement in the media about the weak middle order batting. Also, the PCB did some analysis of his batting averages which are published in today’s DAWN and they have criticized him and demanded him to improve it. Here is a copy / paste of a paragraph from DAWN:

    “The sources said, Afridi’s own performance as a player also remains debatable as he could only muster 601 runs in 18 matches during the year 2010 at an ordinary average of 33.38 with two centuries, one being against Bangladesh. “

    If an average of 33.38 from 18 matches is ORDINARY then they should compare it with others in the same team. Who has a better average than Afridi? How many Pakistani players have scored 2 centuries in ODI’s during the year 2010? The other century is against Sri Lanka who are last time’s (2007) World Cup finalists. They are 1996 World Champions. They had Murali and Mendis in the team when he scored a hundred against Sri Lanka. There is no mention of Sri Lanka but only of Bangladesh. And, Bangladesh is not a bad team, they have defeated NZ 4-0 in their recent series and Sakib ul Hasan is currently world number 1 all-rounder.

    Afridi has hit the highest number of sixes in the world in the ODI format, yet cricinfo and other media especially Afridi haters always publish his picture with the wickets being shattered behind him. Why don’t they show him hitting SIXES?

    The PCB Duddooz are trying their best to appoint Misbah as the Captain of ODI team over Afridi. And, if they do it will be their biggest mistake STILL, they will do it. They want an opportunity to give the leadership role to a Punjabi whether he is fit for the job or not they simply cannot tolerate others. Now, Misbah is 99 not out in this practice match in NZ and he may score a century today. But, wait for the test results and see. To me this test team doesn’t look like a reliable team at all.

  100. #100 by M. Y. Kasim on January 3, 2011 - 10:59 PM

    The PCB and its Selectors are making heavy weather for no reason.

    To select 15 players for the final squad is no Rocket Science.

    Anybody who follows the game could pin-point these 15 players with only one dissent among them.

    Here is my choice:

    1. Mohammad Hafeez
    2. Asad Shafiq
    3. Younus Khan
    4. Moammad Yousuf
    5. Umar Akmal
    6. Misbah-ul-Haq
    7. Shahid Afridi
    8. Abdur Razzak
    9. Abdur Rahman
    10. Saeed Ajmal
    11. Umer Gul
    12 .Wahab Riaz
    13. Tanvir Ahmaed
    14. Fawad Alam
    15. Sohail Tanvir

    I have not selected Shoaib Akhtar as in my opipnion, he would not last the tourney and in any case, he could not bowl more than 4 overs for sure. 😦 . Plus I am not in favor of utilising Umar Akmal as w/k but then, it will be his brother who will be in at the expense of no other than but poor Fawad Alam 😀

    I am also not in favor of Abdur Razzak. To me, he is a spent force. One unexpected innings in ten matches does not qualify him a slot.

    Similarly, I will not include Misbah, but you all know the way how Pakistan cricket works 😦

    And finally, we must not wait on the tinted and un-cleared players. Dump the garbage and move ahead, that should be spirit.
    .

  101. #101 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 4, 2011 - 3:15 AM

    Mr. Kasim,

    I think your 15 is a good choice and I understand why and how you have included Akmals and Misbahs. Abdul Razzaq if he is awake and play like an aggressive batsman then he is worth watching. But, most of the time he is half asleep and not sure what he is doing. So, he is not a confident player but, he has his fan fare and supporters who might not his exclusion from the squad.

    The problem is not in 15 but, the problem is in 11. So first let us see who will be the captain for the WC 2011?

    Ps
    Mohammed Yousuf has already been tipped off as a candidate for the 2011 WC

  102. #102 by Mohammed Munir on January 4, 2011 - 7:12 AM

    A General with a ‘rescue’ plan

    Former Pakistan president promises that he “will be back” in his homeland to contest the 2013 elections.

    http://gulfnews.com/news/world/pakistan/a-general-with-a-rescue-plan-1.739855

    Ex Army General and former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf is in UAE these days where he owns a personal apartment at Burj Khalifa, the World’s Highest and one of the most expensive and highly prestigious building in Dubai, UAE. Attached above is his most recent and well detailed interview given to Gulf News, a local UAE newspaper.

    This is an interesting piece of information and those who are interesting into politics, can read and enjoy it.

    This is specially dedicated for KhanSahab. 😉

  103. #103 by Mohammed Munir on January 4, 2011 - 7:14 AM

    * Oopps … interested into politics. 😀

  104. #104 by newguy on January 4, 2011 - 2:37 PM

    What a cracking contest going on between IND and SA in the 3rd test!!!

    I was up early watching. Dale Steyn was at his furious best with the new ball and Sachin Tendulkar was equal to the task. A wonderful century from Tendulkar to take India close to the SA 1st innings, and Steyn took a five-for. Then lusty blows from Harbhajan and Zaheer gave India a 2 run lead. Psychologically this is important as SA would have felt they had the upper hand if they took the lead.

    The match is even stevens at this time. Who ever holds the nerve in 2nd innings will win this test. I would say the next 1 hour is cruicial, if SA gets to a good start then knowing 4th innings batting against Steyn on this pitch is going to be very tough India will find it hard. If they get a handful of wickets today then India will feel they have the chance.

    I hope Zaheer and Sreesanth is all riled up positively from the bouncers and sledging from SA. Dhoni did a terrible thing to put down Sreesanth in front of public in the press conference by saying it is hard to control him. Dhoni needed to back his bowler no matter what publicly. Australians captains always backs their uncouth bowlers even when McGrath said personal things to Sarwan. This is where Dhoni is not a good leader, he wants to look good in public and gives up on his wicket taking bowler. Sreesanth got a mouthful from south africans today when he came in. Steyn had seveal words to say to Tendulkar as well, but Tendulkar kept his cool unlike hot headed Smith and did not lose his wicket.

    Hope India can now put the fight back with the ball, they surely fought hard with the bat.

  105. #105 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 4, 2011 - 4:44 PM

    BREAKING NEWS:

    SALMAN TASEER, Governor of Punjab gunned down by his own body guard in Islamabad today.

  106. #106 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 4, 2011 - 5:04 PM

    newguy

    I was watching the match live on TV and when Tendulkar was out, I turned off the TV and slept.

    I just saw the score on the internet SA are 52/2 and both wickets taken by Harbhajan Singh. The wicket is going to take more turn as it is getting dried up and cracking.

    Tendulkar played a great innings once again, now they should restrict SA under 200 to win this match and the series. I don’t expect Tendulkar to score another hundred but, I expect Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman and Dhoni to put up some show in the second innings. I was disappointed by the shot Dhoni played. Pujara was out on a very good swinging ball but, Dhoni being the captain and the last hope to give support to Tendulkar shouldn’t have played so recklessly.

  107. #107 by newguy on January 4, 2011 - 6:07 PM

    Javed Khan,

    Regarding the Ind-SA test match, my thoughts are similar to yours, India need to restrict them under 200 to win this match and the series. If the score goes up to 250 and beyond then it will impossible to win from India’s point of view. Sachin played out of skin and so did Gambhir. But Sehwag has been a big disappointment throughout the series and so is Rahul Dravid. Laxman played a big part in last test and it is too much to expect him to play lone had in every game to pull the team out. Dhoni and Pujara is not really up to the task to face Steyn, especially he was realy making the ball talk, bowling outswingers at will and at great speed. But I agree that Dhoni being the captain should take it up on him to stay at the wicket.

    Sehwag’s failures are a huge problem that India are always on the back foot in the start of innings, except that 2nd innings in first test he never really got going. May be it is the bounce of the wickets that is unsettling him, what ever it is I feel he should work it, may be curb his aggression a bit and play out Steyn, then go for runs. As of now he is getting out to Steyn trying to drive most of the time. Dravid is causing another big disappointment at #3, he scores slow and without any confidence and lets momentum down. It all comes down to Tendulkar and Laxman.

    But as of now, it will all depend on whether bowlers can repeat what they did in Durban. My personal opinion is that the team are evenly matched and Steyn is the big difference between the two, he just might pull it in their favor.

  108. #108 by khansahab on January 4, 2011 - 6:29 PM

    Salman Taseer has been shot dead by one of his own guards.

    A lot of people will blame religious extremists for this as Taseer wanted amendments made to the Blasphemy Law, but it is known that Taseer was an enemy of the Sharif brothers and he was pro MQM and pro Musharraf. In fact there were rumours that Taseer was encouraging Musharraf to come to Pakistan.

    How strange that such shameful incidents happen in Punjab under the noses of the Sharif brothers, yet they are so popular in that province?

    Benazir murdered, attack on Sri Lankan cricket team, emergence of Punjabi Taliban, and now Taseer shot dead.

    Why doesn’t anyone interrogate the Sharif dynasty for these incidents?

  109. #109 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 4, 2011 - 6:34 PM

    newguy

    The reason I mentioned Dravid and Laxman’s name is because they both got run out in the first innings and it is not likely to happen again. I noticed that Tendulkar was playing with caution against Styen and Tsotsobe but, he was more aggressive towards Monie Morkel, eventually he got out on his ball which kept low and Tendulkar misjudged it. It depends on how Harbhajan continues from here to get rid of Amla, Kallis, D’Villiers. Yes Styen would be the only difference but the Indians need to play his 8-10 overs with the new ball without giving him any wicket the rest is easy. Tsotsobe keeps pushing the ball across the right handers just like Sohail Tanvir used to do so they have to frustrate him by leaving the ball alone and whenever he bowls a bad delivery they should score. And, scoring on Morkel’s bowling is easy. So, India should not let this opportunity go by. Kallis, Amla and D’Villiers are the main hindrance and Prince is out of form. So, no one else is left after these three.

  110. #110 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 4, 2011 - 6:34 PM

    newguy

    The reason I mentioned Dravid and Laxman’s name is because they both got run out in the first innings and it is not likely to happen again. I noticed that Tendulkar was playing with caution against Styen and Tsotsobe but, he was more aggressive towards Monie Morkel, eventually he got out on his ball which kept low and Tendulkar misjudged it. It depends on how Harbhajan continues from here to get rid of Amla, Kallis, D’Villiers. Yes Styen would be the only difference but the Indians need to play his 8-10 overs with the new ball without giving him any wicket the rest is easy. Tsotsobe keeps pushing the ball across the right handers just like Sohail Tanvir used to do so they have to frustrate him by leaving the ball alone and whenever he bowls a bad delivery they should score. And, scoring on Morkel’s bowling is easy. So, India should not let this opportunity go by. Kallis, Amla and D’Villiers are the main hindrance and Prince is out of form. So, no one else is left after these three.

  111. #111 by khansahab on January 4, 2011 - 6:40 PM

    Tendulkar played a good knock but I think more praise should be levelled on Gambhir who absorbed a lot of pressure in his 93, especially with the quick departures of Sehwag and Dravid. He did really well although Tendulkar’s experience must have helped.

    This is the best batting lineup in the world versus the best bowling attack, which is what makes the series interesting for me.

  112. #112 by khansahab on January 4, 2011 - 6:46 PM

    Fawad Alam’s career has come to an end now that he was not even selected for the 30 man probables.

    This has clearly happened because Mohammad Ilyas has said Alam cannot be selected over Farhat, and if Farhat has to be dropped then so must Alam.

    Ijaz Butt is complicit in this.

    Sad end to the career of a very misunderstood youngster who made an unforgettable century on debut, single handedly won a T20 match and participated in many ODI partnerships that resulted in match victories.

    He is already amongst the best batsmen in domestic cricket so one can’t exactly hope that good domestic performances will bring him back into the team.

    History will not forget that Alam was treated pathetically throughout his career because of players like Farhat, Malik and Misbah.

  113. #113 by khansahab on January 4, 2011 - 6:56 PM

    Munir sahab

    Pervez Musharraf is in UAE these days where he owns a personal apartment at Burj Khalifa, the World’s Highest and one of the most expensive and highly prestigious building in Dubai, UAE

    Thank you for pasting this Gulf News link. You have missed out the word, “overlooking” in reference to Musharraf’s Dubai residence. If you read the article you will note that his home “overlooks” the Burj Khalifa, it is not IN the Burj Khalifa.

    This is what the article says:

    “I have a plan,” he told Gulf News in a one-hour conversation at his Dubai home, overlooking the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

    You also thought Musharraf owned a “palace” near Islamabad, whereas it is actually a farmhouse.

  114. #114 by newguy on January 5, 2011 - 12:29 AM

    Khansahab,

    Gambhir did play well and he provided the support and did not let one end collapse. But, the most important thing is that Tendulkar faced bulk of Steyn while he shielded Gambhir. Steyn bowled 13 overs yesterday in three short spells and Tendulkar faced 8 of his first 10 overs during which time Steyn was unplayable. Even though he did not score many runs off Steyn, Tendulkar prevented him from taking his wicket or any other wicket, this is why this knock is very valuable.

  115. #115 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 5, 2011 - 12:59 AM

    It is a shame that the PCB has announced the 30 man probables for the 2011 WC because of the ICC pressure. But, they have not announced the ODI squad for the series against New Zealand will be announced next week. Also, they have not announced the Captain for the NZ ODI series. They are such smelly Custards that a skunk would shy away from them when they release their stench.

    Squad: Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Taufiq Umar, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Naveed Yasin, Kamran Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Salman Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Yasir Arafat, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Abdul Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanveer, Tanvir Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Asad Ali

    Kamran Akmal has been included but, imagine a guy like RANA NAYEE HAS BEEN SELECTED IN THE LIST OF 30 !!!!

    Shoaib Akhtar would be useless on Indian pitches and he will NEVER last 10 overs. So, there is no need to take him in the team.

  116. #116 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 5, 2011 - 12:59 AM

    It is a shame that the PCB has announced the 30 man probables for the 2011 WC because of the ICC pressure. But, they have not announced the ODI squad for the series against New Zealand will be announced next week. Also, they have not announced the Captain for the NZ ODI series. They are such smelly Custards that a skunk would shy away from them when they release their stench.

    Squad: Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Taufiq Umar, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Naveed Yasin, Kamran Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Salman Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Yasir Arafat, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Abdul Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanveer, Tanvir Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Asad Ali

    Kamran Akmal has been included but, imagine a guy like RANA NAYEE HAS BEEN SELECTED IN THE LIST OF 30 !!!!

    Shoaib Akhtar would be useless on Indian pitches and he will NEVER last 10 overs. So, there is no need to take him in the team.

  117. #117 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 5, 2011 - 1:10 AM

    LOL @ khansahab ki Teer-e-Nazar, I did not read that interview in Gulf News bakaoz, I had no time to go through that, but I am glad that khansahab has clarified that point of “overlooking.” Having properties in Dubai is no biggy, even a person like Munir can own a few properties then Musharraf is Musharraf. 😉 This is just like a bureaucrat approving a case by writing on the file, “May be allowed” and his “Baboo” sub-ordinates refuse to do it by saying: “May be” doesn’t mean “Sactree Saab” has approved it.

    Btw, I have seen that Musharraf’s farm house in the outskirts of Islamabad, which again, too many Lulloo Panjooz own farms in that area, so no biggy once again.

    If a culprit like Khawaja Asif of PML-N who used to be just a Senator and for a short term he was also a Minister for a couple of portfolios, has reportedly amassed wealth in hundreds of millions of dollars. there is no accountability for him where is that EHTESAAB (ACCOUNTABILITY) BOARD that Nawaz Sharif used to talk so much about it? Why don’t they ask ASAF from where he has acquired so much wealth and how?

  118. #118 by Mohammed Munir on January 5, 2011 - 12:09 PM

    Khansahab …

    I accept my ‘mistake’, yes you are right it is ‘overlooking’ the Burj Khalifa and not exactly ‘inside’. But trust me, the Burj Khalifa vicinity will be roughly as much expensive as ‘inside’, because I know the areas and the Dubai property scene.

    Point well noted and it was bad on my part. Nevertheless, I must acknowledge your “Teer-e-Nazar”. 😉

    Since you have gone through the entire interview in details (which I & Javed Khan didn’t 😛 ), I would like to get your opinion on the following few questions & PM’s answers.

    How does a general make so much money to buy flats in London, Dubai and to launch a political party? Please remember launching a political party and contesting elections is no mean business and costs millions of rupees in Pakistan.

    PM Replies : First of all, it is my own money. I am being looked after by Harry Walker Agency, which looks after Bill Clinton as well. So I am not a useless man going around giving lectures, they pay me and I am paid very well.

    I have friends who are there to give me money and I know I can generate a lot of money. Leave it at that.

    Are individuals or states financing you?

    PM Replies : We will look into that — leave it for now.

    Why were you denied an Indian visa?

    PM Replies : [Laughs] They [the Indians] did not give me any reason. I am really upset, disappointed and annoyed. I think it shows, may I say very frankly, a lack of confidence in oneself. Other than that I don’t see any reason.

    I think the people of India do not dislike me. I am reasonably popular amongst the people of India.

    What I have unofficially been told is that they denied me a visa because they believe that I am going to say things about Kashmir, about Muslims of India or about India interfering in Pakistan [especially] Balochistan, during my visit.

    It is true that I will say all that because it is a reality and I believe in speaking the truth. But I don’t understand that when I go alone and I am alone in front of thousands of people who can question me with all the media there, why they are scared of me.

    You can tear me apart, I am giving you a chance. If I say something, counter it with logic but unfortunately there is no logic. It is all on my side.

    Will you try to go to India in future?

    PM Replies : I was never trying to go there, rather I was invited. If someone invites me again, I will look into that.

    Javed Khan …

    Your point is well received too, the properties in UAE and Pakistan may not be very expensive, but what would you say to UK property ?

    Secondly, as questioned by the journalist above, there must be some ‘individuals’ or ‘states’ funding Mr. Pardais Musharraf. PM has also accepted in his replies that, “I have friends who are there to give me money and I know I can generate a lot of money. Leave it at that”.

    Now it’s How & Why would his friends give him money ❓ When we all know there is no such thing as free lunches. 😉

    Another point is that from outset this Harry Walker Agency, seems to be “fishy” going by the names on their list.

    May be financed by Jewish Lobby, who knows ❓

  119. #119 by khansahab on January 5, 2011 - 9:08 PM

    Munir sahab

    I cannot believe that the properties in the vicinity of the Burj will be as expensive as a property within the Burj. The properties around Buckingham Palace, Raiwind, Bilawal House etc are nowhere as expensive as these properties themselves. I can accept that no doubt Musharraf has an expensive flat in Dubai, but I don’t think it is fair to say it is anything extravagant. A lot of people thought he was living in a mansion on Edgware Road in London and there were a lot of rumours that it must have been some lavish abode but when the pictures came out it was a modest two bedroom flat or something like that, and its price was modest considering the average price of a house in London.

    Honestly, I just skim read the interview and when you told me that Musharraf owns a property in the Burj and pasted a link, I was expecting to see exactly what you had told me. I was not expecting any suprises but my eye did catch the word, “overlook”.

    I don’t know what you are expecting me to say about Musharraf’s remark that he has financiers. There is no political party that runs without the support of banks, charities, pressure groups, donations, business gifts etc. If Musharraf was financing the party from his own pocket this would have led to greater criticism. We know he can generate a lot of money because he is honest and trustworthy- he raised Rs 3 million in no time on a charity show in the UK because people know if money goes to him it will not go in the pockets of looters. So, there is nothing such as a “free lunch” but there is also no political party that runs without financiers.

    This Harry Walker Agency, you can see their website here

    http://www.harrywalker.com/about.cfm

    They represent speakers and have represented politicians, musicians etc. Musharraf stands for Pakistan’s interest so if he is being financed by the Jewish lobby then surely the Jewish lobby is financing what is in the interest of Pakistan. Musharraf revealed in a recent Geo interview that he had made some kind of deal with Imran Khan after his election as President but Imran Khan asked for more seats in the National Assembly than what Musharraf thought was proportionate (Imran Khan has not refuted this by the way). So, in the lust for power Imran acted against Pakistan’s interest (it would seem!). I think may be his English wife persuaded him to do that, or maybe there was a Hindu or Jewish lobby behind it 🙂

  120. #120 by khansahab on January 5, 2011 - 9:19 PM

    Ex players slam PCB on preliminary WC squad

    Former captain and Asian Bradman Zaheer Abbas has criticized selection committee and asked them to clarify that whether Malik and Kaneria are involved in match fixing or not. Zaheer also raised concerns on selection of veteran batsman Mohammad Yousuf in preliminary squad and said “Yousuf hasn’t played any competitive cricket for long time. Yousuf is struggling with his form and fitness and he is not match fit. You aren’t sure whether he will be able to play three to four matches on the trot in the world cup.”

    Zaheer also questioned the timing of announcement of squad and said “we all know that the suspended trio is facing ICC independent tribunal hearing in Doha from January 6 and if any of the three players get clearance from the tribunal then how can you bring that player in the world cup squad?”

    Former middle order batsman Basit Ali also slammed selection committee for non selection of Malik and Kaneria and also said that why bowlers like Abdul Rauf and Sohail Khan neglected from the World Cup squad? These players have taken over 50 wickets in the current season and if bowler who took over 50 wickets in domestic season cannot find place in the 30-man squad, then PCB should ban domestic tournaments and cricket.”

  121. #121 by khansahab on January 5, 2011 - 9:36 PM

    Butt’s former lawyer predicts long-term ban

    Karachi: The former lawyer for Pakistan’s suspended Test captain Salman Butt has predicted that the International Cricket Council (ICC) may hand out long-term bans for Butt and the two other suspended players, Mohammed Amir and Mohammad Asif at the hearing of the anti-corruption tribunal in Doha.

    “I think the writing is on the wall for these three players,” Khalid Ranjha said.

    Ranjha represented Butt in the appeal’s hearing held by the ICC in Dubai in late October where the chairman of the ICC code of conduct commission, Michael Beloff rejected the appeals of Butt and Amir.

    “We wanted the ICC not to have Beloff heading the ICC tribunal for the full hearing which will decide on the charges against the three players,” he said.

    “Our argument was and still remains how can a person (Beloff) rule against his own decision and that was to reject their appeals two months back now at the full hearing, because the case boils down to the same causes,” Ranjha told the German radio station, Deutshe Welle.

    “It does not happen like this in law. That is why, I see the writing on the wall for these three players,” he added.

    “I say it openly that the ICC has been biased against our players,” Ranjha said.

    He said the ICC anti-corruption unit had no evidence against the players except for the things provided to them by the News of the World tabloid.

    “That is why now they are banking on Shahid Afridi and Waqar Younis to turn witnesses for them at the hearing.”

    The seasoned lawyer pointed out that while Afridi and Waqar might be great cricketers but they had raised doubts over their intentions by giving statements to the ICC three months after the players were suspended.

    “I don’t understand why these players and the security manager of the team waited for so long before giving their statements to the ICC in which they have cast shadows on the three players,” he said and added.

    “After such a long period even the evidence of the police is not permissible in any court of law. Ranjha also blamed the

    Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for turning against the suspended trio by allowing Waqar and Afridi to appear as witnesses at

    the full hearing.”

    “Even if Waqar and Afridi had not given statements, I don’t think the outcome of the hearing would be any different. But by agreeing to appear as witnesses the two players have also damaged their own reputations.”

    The senior lawyer also claimed that the PCB chairman kept on pressurising lawyers representing the players to step aside.

  122. #122 by khansahab on January 5, 2011 - 11:10 PM

    My 15 man squad out of the 30 probables is:

    Openers:
    Hafeez
    Shehzad
    K Akmal

    Middle order:
    Younis
    U Akmal
    Shafiq
    Naved Yasin
    Afridi
    Razzaq

    Spinners (Afridi and Hafeez will complement)
    Rehman
    Ajmal

    Pacers:
    Gul
    Riaz
    Sohail Tanvir
    Aizaz Cheema

    I think K Akmal has done an okay job as opener and Pakistan does not have great openers anyway. I would open with Hafeez and K Akmal.

    K Akmal
    Hafeez
    Younis
    U Akmal
    Shafiq
    Afridi
    Razzaq
    Gul
    Riaz
    Cheema
    Ajmal

    Sohail Tanveer is a wildcard selection but I would opt for him over Tanvir Ahmed. I think Tanvir’s bowling in limited overs will not suit subcontinental pitches. Cheema is an established domestic level fast bowler and has been picking up wickets regularly, I would give him a chance. The captain must play Saeed Ajmal, Afridi and Hafeez to form a good spin attack because it will be crucial on these pitches.

    I think the captain might be tempted to play an extra batsman in place of a fast bowler, there are arguments for and against this. On one hand the pitches will be so docile that most fast bowlers will go for runs, so it is probably better to limit the fast bowling department. On the other hand, easy pitches mean that batsmen should be able to cope well enough and hence, bolstering the pace attack might bear fruit. It will be interesting how Pakistan play their XI. Personally I don’t want Shoaib Akhtar and Yousuf to be selected in the squad.

  123. #123 by khansahab on January 5, 2011 - 11:23 PM

    Karachi targeted killings claimed 748 lives last year: HRCP

    KARACHI: A total of 748 people lost their lives to targeted killings in the city last year, up from the 272 victims in 2009, says a report released by the Sindh chapter of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday.

    The figure includes targeted killings of 447 people on political, ethnic and sectarian grounds and 301 on other grounds.

    According to the report, a total of 1,981 people — 1,726 men, 177 women and 78 children — were killed last year. The data does not include those killed in road accidents.

    Of the 447 victims of targeted killings, 215 were killed apparently for their association with major political, religious and nationalist parties, 187 for their ethnic background and 23 on sectarian grounds.

    Twenty-two people belonging to banned militant groups, including Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan and Jaish Mohammad, were gunned down in the city.

    The report says that of the 215 victims who were killed reportedly due to their association with political, religious and nationalist parties, 64 belonged to the MQM, 44 to the ANP, 43 to the MQM(H), 32 to the PPP, four to the PPP(S), one each to the PML(N), PML(Q), PML(F) and Punjabi Front, eight to the ST, three to the JI, two to the JUI, 15 to the JAS, seven to the PPI and two to the JSQM.

  124. #124 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 7, 2011 - 4:00 AM

    ICC TEST RANKINGS AS OF JAN. 07, 2011

    Team Matches Points Rating
    India 42 5357 128
    S. Africa 36 4228 117
    England 45 5165 115
    Sri Lanka 27 2951 109
    Australia 43 4583 107
    Pakistan 26 2275 88
    W.Indies 25 2128 85
    N Zealand 29 2318 80
    B’desh 19 131 7

  125. #125 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 7, 2011 - 4:18 AM

    I dunno how the ICC give those points and ranking but, I have my own observation and analysis for the above rankings. In my opinion the ranking is not based on the basis of matches played but, on the basis of winning, which is incorrect and not in consistent with how you arrive at rating a team and rank them accordingly. There is no even criteria especially from the number of matches played, means more opportunities to win or lose. Hence the matches played factor must be included in arriving at ranking a team otherwise, this is a very ridiculous and farcical system just like the D&L method of calculating runs and arriving at a decision based on that stupid method. Now, look at the matches played by India, Australia and England as opposed to other teams. I take Pakistan as team to compare with others.

    1. India has played almost as many matches as England and Australia, whereas, the others have not.
    2. India has played most matches at home against all these teams.
    3. Australia is at its lows in the last 2 decades hence beating them is no Biggy. Once again they lost by an innings against England.
    4. Pakistan has played 61.53% less matches than India, 73.07% less than England and 65.38% less than Australia.

    Had Pakistan played as many matches as India, England and Australia and also played against these teams at home, the results may have been different. Because, beating Bangladesh and New Zealand at home is very easy. Your winning total increases exponentially thereby increasing your ranking.

    Despite the fact Pakistan is playing without their ace bowlers and more than mediocre batting have still managed to beat SA and England in the UAE and in the UK. They have not won the series but, they beat these teams whereas, Australia is struggling and lost very badly at home.

    Hence in my opinion these ICC rankings are just a joke. They better find another way to calculate the rankings.

  126. #126 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 7, 2011 - 4:25 AM

    Some people don’t learn no matter how much you fine them or slap them on their face, it is just like “Kuttay Ki Dumm Terhi Ki Terhi” Sreesanth was showing a lot of dissent against SA batsmen and he had a argument with Graeme Smith, kicked the rope against two of his LBW decisions were turned down by the umpire. Although he said “Thank God for the 10% fine because he was expecting a ban or something more.” But, he is a stubborn rogue who will do it again.

  127. #127 by khansahab on January 7, 2011 - 4:43 PM

    Javed A Khan

    I agree with you about these ratings. I don’t think the ICC itself takes these ratings very seriously. I think they just highlight how many matches a team has played and won/lost, rather than which team is necessarily better.

    Although, taking the example of Pakistan, I think the top 3 teams and Australia can beat Pakistan very easily. In early 2009 a second string Australian team beat Pakistan easily. So, even though the ratings are not reflecting who is the best, they do appear to have some merit in indicating the calibre of a given team.

    However, considering my Australia-Pakistan example, the ratings don’t take into account the fact that Pakistan has traditionally found beating Australia very tough and Australia has always had a psychological edge over them. Neither do they take into account factors such as, Pakistan has always traditionally found beating New Zealand easy (although I think both teams played a series last year in which NZ won more matches, although I may be wrong).

  128. #128 by khansahab on January 7, 2011 - 4:52 PM

    KCCA representative is alleging regionalism below. I don’t agree with the inclusion of Sami, Khalid Latif and Kaneria in ODI’s, but Fawad Alam and Sohail Khan should have been selected in the 30 probables. The KCCA needs to stop this stupidity about moaning about Sami, Kaneria or Latif’s inclusion because these players are tested failures in ODI.

    ‘Selectors are influenced by match-fixers’

    KARACHI: Pakistan’s selection committee has come under heavy fire from the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) which has termed the omission of various Karachi-based players from the 30-man World Cup squad a way to promote match-fixing.

    Notable omissions from the preliminary squad include Fawad Alam, Mohammad Sami and Khalid Latif, all of whom represented Pakistan in the last year.

    However, according to the KCCA President Sirajul Islam Bukhari, the trio’s absence is because of their clean background.

    These players have a clean background which is why they haven’t been selected for the World Cup,” Bukhari told The Express Tribune. “The selection committee is under the influence of match-fixers and that’s the reason they’ve selected players with a questionable past.

    “We see a gradual overlooking of Karachi players and it’s all because of the match-fixing issues. None of the cricketers coming under the scanner recently are from Karachi. Danish Kaneria [questioned by Scotland Yard] was the only one suspected but was cleared last year.”

    Bukhari also questioned the continued omission of fast-bowler Sohail Khan who made his debut for Pakistan in 2008 but has failed to cement a regular spot in the squad.

    Kamran Akmal, according to the KCCA president, was glaring proof of how suspected individuals keep returning to the squad.

    “Akmal was a doubtful inclusion due to his alleged involvements with bookmakers and now he’s back in the squad despite being overlooked for the last two tours.

    “I’m glad Shoaib Malik hasn’t been included otherwise things would’ve been worse for Pakistan cricket at a time when we’re already under so much scrutiny.”

    Akmal is the second highest run-scorer in the ongoing Quaid-i-Azam Trophy with 767 runs from nine matches while Malik has scored 745 in just five matches at an average of over 120.

  129. #129 by khansahab on January 7, 2011 - 5:00 PM

    Trio plead not guilty at tribunal hearing

    The independent tribunal hearing the case of spot-fixing allegations against Pakistani cricketers resumed in Doha on Friday.

    Thursday’s hearing saw Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir giving statements to the tribunal and sitting through more than seven hours of evidence.

    According to a report by the BBC, Butt told the tribunal that he did not know how Mazhar Majeed could have predicted when the no-balls would be bowled while Amir, towing the same line, told them that he did not know why Majeed said what he said to the News of the World.

    However, Asif told them that his no ball was a mistake as he was just trying to bowl a faster delivery on the instructions of the then-captain Butt.

    Pakistan’s one-day captain Shahid Afridi is expected to give his testimony to the tribunal via video link today from Karachi. The News of the World journalist who broke the story, Mazher Mahmood, will also talk to the tribunal. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is relying heavily on the newspaper’s evidence.

    ICC’s Code of Conduct Commissioner Michael Beloff will chair the tribunal with the two other Code of Conduct Commissioners, Justice Albie Sachs from South Africa and Sharad Rao from Kenya, completing the tribunal.

    The three players have pleaded not guilty and remain hopeful of getting their names cleared during the six-day hearing.

  130. #130 by khansahab on January 7, 2011 - 5:07 PM

    Can Pakistan team afford a change in leadership?

    KARACHI: At a time when all other title contenders are giving final shape to their preparations for World Cup 2011, Pakistan cricket is teeming with conspiracy theories.

    It took weeks for the country’s cricket chiefs to underline their 30-man preliminary squad for the quadrennial spectacle which begins on February 19 and now speculations are rife that they are mulling over the option of bringing in a new man to lead their World Cup campaign.

    Shahid Afridi, the seasoned all-rounder who has served as Pakistan’s captain in limited-overs matches in recent times, is supposed to be at the helm of his team’s World Cup campaign but the possibility of a last-minute surprise cannot be ruled out.

    The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has nobody else but itself to blame for this uncertainty.

    When the Board announced Pakistan’s World Cup probables earlier this week it decided against naming the captain, prompting conspiracy theorists to claim that a change is in the offing.

    Afridi’s supporters believe that a particular lobby based in Lahore is already pushing for his sacking as captain and wants him to be replaced by Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s Test captain.

    Some former Pakistan Test cricketers believe Afridi’s personal performance is below-par and have also questioned his leadership skills.

    All of this is happening at a time when World Cup 2011 is just about six weeks away and Pakistan are already dogged by a series of problems including a spot-fixing scandal involving some of the country’s leading cricketers.

    Afridi, 30, however is not concerned. The flamboyant allrounder said that he is keeping his eyes on the ball and wants to give his best in the World Cup as his team’s senior players and captain, if the PCB decides to retain him for the all-important assignment.

    “It’s my greatest desire to play a major role in our World Cup campaign,” he told ‘The News’ on Thursday. “As a senior player it’s my responsibility to lead from the front. As captain, if I’m leading Pakistan, it will be my duty to get the best out of my players,” he stressed.

    Afridi wants to improve his personal performance.

    “To get the best out of your teammates, you have to give your best first,” he said.

    Afridi may not have ended 2010 with great stats, but he still finished the year as Pakistan’s highest run-getter in One-day Internationals as well as their joint highest wicket-taker with paceman Shoaib Akhtar. He scored 601 runs at 33.38 and picked up 19 wickets from 18 ODI appearances in 2010.

    But his critics believe Afridi has been unable to impress much in recent times both as a senior player and team captain.

    There are indications that even some senior PCB officials are double-minded over Afridi’s role.

    Initially when Afridi was installed as Pakistan’s captain he was given the luxury to almost handpick his team. But in recent times, he has lost much of his say.

    Earlier this week, national selectors almost snubbed Afridi by overlooking Fawad Alam while deciding Pakistan’s preliminary World Cup squad.

    Afridi rates Fawad as a very useful ODI player and wanted him in Pakistan’s World Cup squad. But under pressure from various quarters, national selectors ignored the youngster in spite of the fact that his ODI performance has not been that bad. In 2010, Fawad scored 393 runs from 13 ODI Games at 35.7, which makes him one of his country’s top performers during what was quite a disappointing year for Pakistan.

    The fact that Fawad is counted among Pakistan’s best fielders is another reason why Afridi believed that he should have been in Pakistan’s World Cup squad.

  131. #131 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 7, 2011 - 11:22 PM

    khansahab

    Although the trio is pleading NOT guilty but, “The indications are that Salman will get a life long ban while Asif and Aamir may escape with shorter ones, like two-year bans each,” one source said.

    “quote / unquote DAWN newspaper.”

  132. #132 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 7, 2011 - 11:30 PM

    newguy

    I am disappointed by the way India played this last test match. They could have easily won this match but, Dhoni went defensive in fielding and bowling and allowed Jacques Kallis to score yet another hundred. Harbhajan’s fantastic efforts in curbing SA to score went in vain when others couldn’t bowl them out. Only Zaheer got the wicket of AB De Villiers but, neither Sharma nor Sreesanth did anything except staring and snaring. And, the moment the target was past 300 Indian batting also went defensive from the outset and they were playing for a draw instead of a win. Poor cricket.

    Pakistan got a great opportunity when NZ were out at 177/7 the wicketkeeper dropped a catch of Williamson when he was on 11 he not only scored 50 but was involved in a big partnership with Southee. When the new ball was taken after the 82nd over. Tanvir Ahmad wasn’t able to bowl at a pace of 125 kmph. His max was 123 whereas, Wahab was constantly bowling between 140 -145 kmph. He should have been given the new ball along with Umar Gul. Tanvir took 4 wickets but that was the next day and not yesterday when he was seen stiff, tired and lethargic. Misbah should have seen that. Also, I don’t agree with the decision of winning the toss and electing to field. Hafeez went off on a duck. Pakistan needs a big total here to put NZ under pressure. Let us see how YK, Misbah and Umar Akmal plays!

  133. #133 by khansahab on January 8, 2011 - 12:08 PM

    Misbah ul Haq is playing to keep this place. So far his performance since comeback has been flawless. It is too early to judge him yet, but he needs to perform consistently in this series. New Zealand is one of the weaker teams in international cricket so Pakistan needs to win every match. It will be interesting to see how Misbah performs in the ODI series. It is certain Misbah will be selected for the World Cup squad, in my opinion the selectors should have seen his ODI performance vs New Zealand before selecting him.

    Rather than rushing Misbah back into international cricket the PCB should have given a chance to a youngster- maybe Hammad Azam or Naved Yasin. New Zealand would have been an ideal testing ground for these young batsmen- green pitches but short boundaries and a weak host team. Misbah can perform like Bradman from now on but it does not matter to me; his career is almost over and for the past 2 years he has performed poorly.

  134. #134 by khansahab on January 8, 2011 - 12:22 PM

    Sri Lanka World Cup squad: Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath.

    This is SL’s best ODI squad. It is a strong ODI team and I believe they can give any team a run for their money. The squad has been chosen on merit and there is no Vaas or Jayasuria as both players are beyond their best.

    Shahid Afridi recently said that the competition for the World Cup is between 4 teams- Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Australia. South Africa in my opinion has an equal chance of winning as Australia or India. That is because even though South Africa choke under pressure, their batting is just too good and the reason why they have an edge in this World Cup is because Steyn and Morkel have no comparison currently.

    I would rate the teams in the following way, in terms of their chances of winning the World Cup

    1. Sri Lanka/Australia (SL is a more balanced ODI team, but Australia is the strongest mentally)

    2. South Africa/India (South Africa is very strong but mentally weak, India is very strong but lacks in bowling, plus it finds it hard to get past semi finals in World Cups)

    3. Pakistan (strength is all rounders- Afridi, Razzaq and Hafiz)

    4. England (balanced side, improving in ODI’s but not experienced enough in that format, however this is probably their best ODI team for a long time, watch out for Pieterson and Swann)

    5. New Zealand (their biggest strength is the potential to surprise, plus they are always underdogs)

    6. West Indies (plenty of raw talent but not enough experience, dearth of match winners)

    I may be wrong about all rounders being Pakistan’s strength, but if they are to win matches the all rounders must fire. Even if Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt were in the ODI team, Pakistan would still lack the talent to see their specialists see them through the semi finals. Therefore, Afridi, Razzaq and Hafiz will have to contribute both with bat and ball to assist the specialists. Hafiz is emerging to be a very important player in this World Cup- his job will be to give Pakistan good starts and also reduce the burden off Ajmal/Rehman in the spin department.

    I would like the views of everyone, especially the Indian bloggers to see if they agree with the above analysis?

  135. #135 by khansahab on January 8, 2011 - 12:31 PM

    Shoaib Malik’s assets challenged in session court

    A petition has been filed in a Session Court here on Saturday, seeking confiscation of assets owned by former skipper Shoaib Malik, Dunya News reported.
    The application against Shoaib Malik was moved by advocate Ishtiaq Chaudhry in which it is stated that Shoaib Malik was omitted from the World Cup squad on suspicions of corruption; he said that all his assets should be confiscated the completion of inquiry. The appeal also claims that the value of Shoaib Malik’s assets is higher than any cricketer’s income.

  136. #136 by khansahab on January 8, 2011 - 1:52 PM

    Haider urges PCB to clear his dues

    Karachi: Runaway wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board to clear his dues amounting to Rs 1.5 million.

    Zulqarnain, who attended an important hearing of the British home department in London on Thursday pertaining to his asylum application in UK, said that before leaving the team in Dubai in November last year, he had featured in two T20 and four ODIs against South Africa in UAE.

    “Therefore the PCB owes around Rs 1.5 million to me which I dearly need as I have been finding it difficult to meet my expenses in the UK,” Zulqarnain Haider told the News One channel.

    The board released part payments of outstanding dues to suspended players, Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir despite them being under investigation for alleged spot-fixing.

    Haider left the team in Dubai after allegedly receiving a threat after the fourth ODI match against South Africa. Later he applied for asylum citing fears for his life in Pakistan.

    “My interview at the home office went very well, they asked about my security concerns and this is all I can share at this moment. I am hoping a verdict in my favour next week,” added Haider who played only one Test match for Pakistan.

    Sources close to him said that Zulqarnain had taken the plea at the hearing that when the former Prime Minister of the country, late Benazir Bhutto and more recently the Governor of Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab, Salman Taseer were not safe in Pakistan who could guarantee his security after receiving threats from bookmakers.

    “Zulqarnain has taken the plea that he does not feel secure enough to go back to Pakistan and that he is under so much stress that he is not even keeping regular contact with his family in Lahore for fear of exposing them to those making threats to him,” one source said.

    Asked about his threats to expose corrupt elements in Pakistan cricket, Zulqarnain maintained he could not do it until he got asylum in the UK.

    “I am worried about my family’s security in Pakistan at the moment. Once they reach here (London) I will definitely unearth the corruption in Pakistan cricket,” maintained Haider.

    He also claimed to have turned down lucrative offers from the News of the World (NoTW) and others for giving them sensational stories.

    “Not just the NOW, but a few Indian channels have also offered me a lot of money for their story, however I refused. let me tell you that the offers were huge, but I turned them down,” he said.

  137. #137 by newguy on January 8, 2011 - 4:25 PM

    Javed Khan,

    I too was very disappointed that India could not finish SA 2nd innings after having them down at 130/6. That one partnership between Kallis and Boucher took the game away, and to make it worse Boucher was not in any form. But then when players are fighting for their place in team we have seen they come up with last ditch effort, like Boucher did. Indians bowled poorly I thought, especially Harbhajan kept on bowling into the rough and not trying anything else. Zaheer too looked tired after having cleaned up AB Devillier with a good ball. Sreesanth tried but had no assistance from pitch and could not repeat his first innings performance, and he was very uncouth to boot after two LBW appeals were turned down. Umpires were right on both occasions.

    Kallis batted superbly and there is no way past him, I understand this, but they could have taken the other end out for 100+ runs and they would have been looking at 250 odd which they could have chased. But then having given away 340 runs there is no way India could win chasing that in a day. Even if Sehwag has performed they could not have done it because they would have lost 3-4 quick wickets and then pressure will be on them. Having lost the advantage on 4th day afternoon, India did well on 5th day to draw the test. Many South African commentators thought, Steyn and Morkel will rip out India on a 5th day pitch. But they proved no better than Indian seamers, taking only 3 wickets between them. Overall the pitch was not really great for forcing a win, and Kallis saved SA.

    Overall Indian point of view they should be happy with drawn series because at the beginning everyone including neutrals were saying that SA will trounce India on fast and pacy wickets, instead India performed far better coming from behind and then dominated key moments of last test. Dhoni was may be defensive, but Smith was equally defensive in not declaring after 280 runs lead and at least 1 hour to bowl at India openers on 4th day. That would have forced a result, either India lose two quick wickets and SA get advantage, or India score some 50 runs without a wicket and then chase 230 odd easily on last day.

    I am happy with the fight this Indian team has shown time and again, they have proved they are not easy to beat in a series in any condition.

    On the Pak-NZ front, it seems like under Misbah Pakistan is showing some fight, it is still too early to say anything, but the UAE series they showed fight in drawing tests even though pitches were flat, and now against NZ they are showing fight after losing 4 top order wickets. They have a 100 run partnership to rebuild innings, which is like a proper test cricket unfolding. Earlier Pakistan would just give up after 4 down. Bowling is still not great, but they could still get NZ out under 300. Let’s see if Pakistan can build a first innings lead and then put pressure on 2nd innings.

  138. #138 by newguy on January 8, 2011 - 4:46 PM

    Khansahab,

    I agree with on SL team that this is a very strong and well balanced ODI team. Do they have the right leadership to go on and win big matches? I don’t know. Sanga is too much of a process oriented captain, and not the imaginative captain that Ranatunga was.

    I disagree with on Australia’s chances. You are other commentators that I read are rating them based on their past performances. But this Australia team is not strong mentally too, they cannot be ruled out totally, but look at their ODI losses to Sri Lanka at home recently, and they were trounced in India in the ODI as well recently.

    It is a mistake to overlook England, they are a strong contenders, England do not have weakness and they play well sometimes in the sub-continent having more experience traditionally than any other non subcontinental teams. They are also now mentally strong which used to be their one main problem.

    India of course will always have chance since they are playing home, their bowling is weaker, but I think it is enough to win key matches if they field well and compensate with the bat. Mental strength in key games will come in to play here too.

    Pakistan can never be ruled out in any ICC tournaments and Pakistan has no problems with conditions, it suits Pakistan and they always play well in sub-continent. Pakistan’s challenge will be motivation and consistency.

    South Africa is strong on paper, but they lack the variety required in sub-continental pitches. They don’t have good spin or slow ball option, this will hurt them in the middle overs. They also choke as we all know.

    In my view, all three sub-continental teams have a chance, plus England, and I will give outside chance to Australia, with SA coming last.

    Of course a lot of things will change between now and then, key players fitness levels will be important. Too much time left to make any predictions.

  139. #139 by khansahab on January 8, 2011 - 5:31 PM

    Newguy

    Australia have a knack of performing in big tournaments. Their ODI performance has not been as poor as their Test performance. They are still the no 1 ODI team at the moment.

    Their fast bowlers Johnson, Harris, Bollinger etc do the job in ODI’s and their batting is decent- Hussey is ranked the 3rd best ODI batsman at the moment, and Ponting, Clarke, Haddin, Watson, all of these players are in decent ODI form. I agree that mentally they are at their lowest for perhaps more than a decade, but they have players like Hussey, Clarke, Johnson who absorb pressure really well and don’t get bogged down easily. South Africa and India lack that kind of instinct.

    If Ponting gets in form and I am sure Australia will at least make it to the semis- Haddin and Watson will probably open and with a top order of Watson, Haddin, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey etc, you are looking at a formidable line up.

  140. #140 by newguy on January 8, 2011 - 5:41 PM

    Khansahab,

    Agree Australia is never a pushover team and form in ODI is better, but last thing anyone should do is to talk up Australians, they thrive on it, prey on the fear of opposition, instead other teams should play them down but not take them lightly on field if you know what I mean. The moment you agree on paper that another team is stronger than yours you lose half the match already. Instead teams should go out with confidence that they are the champions and play positively. I don’t think Ponting is going to get into cracking form, he has too many problems going on. They are clearly not the Australians than won three world cups by dominating everyone, they are more like the WC team of 1987 that came from behind scrapping their way. I think they have a chance, but there are 6 teams that are on equal footing in my opinion which makes this WC interesting.

  141. #141 by khansahab on January 8, 2011 - 11:04 PM

    Misbah is so vulnerable to the moving ball, new ball introduced and he is out LBW. That is why I keep saying he is not a reliable batsman.

  142. #142 by khansahab on January 8, 2011 - 11:07 PM

    Newguy

    What World Cup XI would you like to see for India?

    I think it is likely to be a no brainer:

    Sehwag
    Gambhir
    Tendulkar
    Kohli
    Raina
    Dhoni
    Y Pathan
    Harbhajan
    Zaheer
    Sreesanth
    Ojha/Nehra/Ishant (depending on pitch)

  143. #143 by khansahab on January 8, 2011 - 11:09 PM

    Why is Ijaz Butt waiting until 19 January to announce the captain? This is because if Pakistan win or draw the series with NZ, Butt will probably announce Misbah as the captain for the World Cup. What relevance does captaincy in Tests have to do with ODI’s? And on what basis does Misbah deserve a) a position in the ODI playing XI and b) captaincy of the ODI team?

    ‘Afridi not a certain choice as captain’

    KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt has said that limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi is not certain to be retained as the leader for the World Cup that starts on February 19.

    Ijaz said the final decision will be taken on January 19 — the day when the Test series between Pakistan and New Zealand ends. Afridi, who has come under scathing attack for his leadership skills by former players, was the leading run-scorer in One-Day Internationals for Pakistan last year with 601 and also claimed the highest 19 wickets with Shoaib Akhtar.

    However, after the Twenty20 losses against South Africa and New Zealand, there were questions regarding his captaincy skills as the PCB decides on a successor.

    Asked if changing the captain right before the World Cup would harm the team, the chairman said, “The media is going create a ruckus if we announce it now and if we do it later. So it’s better if we wait.”

  144. #144 by khansahab on January 8, 2011 - 11:13 PM

    Kaneria’s performance over the past few years has been pathetic, but he does not deserve this kind of treatment. Shame on Ijaz Butt.

    If PCB doesn’t reply I cannot rule out the option of taking a legal course: Kaneria

    A lawyer for leg-spinner Danish Kaneria warned Saturday he may go to court if Pakistan’s cricket authorities do not clear his client of suspicions of match-fixing.
    The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) omitted the 30-year-old Kaneria from 30-man squad for next month’s World Cup and the Test series now under way in New Zealand, after his arrest in England on suspicion of corruption last year.
    The leg-spinner was arrested in May on charges of spot-fixing during a Pro40 match between Essex and Durham a year earlier, but released without charge.
    British lawyer Steven Haurigan told reporters Kaneria had been cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC), and by police in Britain, but that the PCB had refused to discuss the matter with them.

  145. #145 by khansahab on January 8, 2011 - 11:27 PM

    LOL @ PCB.

    The Jang reported that Afridi was not consulted by the selectors in choosing the Pakistan WC squad.

    Mohsin Khan did not face the media after the decision, because he knew he would be asked difficult questions about the omission of Fawad Alam. Instead PCB issued a press release.

  146. #146 by 420 on January 9, 2011 - 1:15 AM

    hi guys
    am back after a long time….not really busy, but did not find anything interesting to post…
    as the WC is nearing, i do have a reason to post 🙂

    my WC favs are AUS, SL,Safa, India/pak in the order…

    it would be interesting to see the impact of the ashes defeat on the aus team. i guess there would be no diff, they are the best ODI team for the last decade without a doubt, atleast wrt WC.

    lankan team meets most of the reqs for a WC winning team, but again, too much dependence on dilshan and sanga.

    Safa improved a LOT and would be desperate to shake their chokers tag.

    India look strong on paper, but our batting still revolves around sachin. feels so nostalgic for us who grew up watching 92WC.
    i doubt if kohli will make it to the final 11. mostly yuvi would get in, unless he messes it up bigtime with his usual attitude probs
    zak and sree look good so far, and there is nehra too. pace bowling looks good 🙂
    And spin department is worrisome for us. bhajji does not pefrorm well until he is under the scanner!

    Pak as always are the unpredictable. may be fawad alam inclusion would have increased their chances, as its always middle order which compiles runs for PAK. inspite of the absence of amir and asif, you guys still have a good bowling attack.
    But for the T20 semis drubbing, the afridi-ajmal combo is the best spin attack for ODIs in the last 2-3 years.

    now i remember that england is looking pretty solid too, with all their imports 😀

    well this WC should be exciting, and i feel i should have taken my vacation during the WC.
    hopefully the WC will end the meaningless discussion about “boring ODIs”

  147. #147 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 9, 2011 - 6:05 AM

    I didn’t watch the NZ/PK game and when I came back home very late, I was shocked to see the match is over and Pakistan won it by 10 wickets!

    Hey Chaar Sao Bees, welcome back to the blog.

    Its too late for me to reply to you all (newguy, 420 and khansahab) so I will reply tomorrow. Take care.

  148. #148 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 9, 2011 - 6:05 AM

    I didn’t watch the NZ/PK game and when I came back home very late, I was shocked to see the match is over and Pakistan won it by 10 wickets!

    Hey Chaar Sao Bees, welcome back to the blog.

    Its too late for me to reply to you all (newguy, 420 and khansahab) so I will reply tomorrow. Take care.

  149. #149 by Mohammed Munir on January 9, 2011 - 6:13 AM

    Breaking News …

    Pakistan won the first Test by 10 wickets against NZ on day 3.

    Seeing how Pakistan disastrously started their T20 matches and earlier 3 day game, comfortably winning a Test match within 3 days is some achievement, no matter how good or bad New Zealand may be.

    The good news for Pakistan is that everyone contributed in a small way and it was not a one or two player’s individual performance.

    Weldone Pakistan !!

  150. #150 by khansahab on January 9, 2011 - 8:36 AM

    Munir sahab

    I agree this is a special achievement because it is rare that Pakistan relies on a team performance to win matches.

    The general observation is that Misbah is a good captain. I have not seen a single match this tour so I would not know but now the focus should be on consistency.

  151. #151 by Mohammed Munir on January 9, 2011 - 10:40 AM

    Khansahab …

    I don’t agree that Misbah is a good captain, but rather the team was lately going through so much and were cornered that their efforts (individual & team) have improved.

    Secondly, with the World Cup comming, everyone is trying to make a case for himself.

    Although, I think Misbah is ok player for the Tests only. Not ODIs and NEVER T20s.

  152. #152 by khansahab on January 9, 2011 - 11:33 AM

    Munir sahab

    There is a “shayari” competition on V talk in your honour……..

  153. #153 by khansahab on January 9, 2011 - 11:57 AM

    Munir sahab

    If you remember one of the first victories the team achieved under Afridi, was also a result of the players performing as a team rather than brilliant individual performances. This was observed here on LS.

    So, there is a trend that whenever a new captain is brought in, the team is motivated and raring to go but eventually selfish interests take over and the team spirit disintegrates.

    This is due to to the poor management by the PCB, this failure to keep the players united and consistent.

  154. #154 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 9, 2011 - 2:34 PM

    khansahab & Munir

    The failure for not being consistent is because of uncertainty in selection and no one else but the PCB is responsible for this. Right now I am being distracted by the T20 match being played in SA between India and SA. So, I will write later.

  155. #155 by khansahab on January 9, 2011 - 4:17 PM

    PCB staffers get Rs250m per year

    Saturday, January 08, 2011

    By Muhammad Anis
    ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) having around 500 employees is drawing Rs250 million under the head of salary every year, which may be more than that of many other public sector organisations.

    According to the information placed in the National Assembly on Friday, as many as 26 employees, who also include some former Test and first class cricketers besides some administrative staffer, are getting more than Rs100,000 each as per month salary.

    Javed Miandad who holds charge of the PCB director general since April, 2009, is the highest paid employee with salary of Rs750,000. The document shows that the total salary bill of PCB employees every month is Rs21.1 million.

    The PCB officials provided the record to the National Assembly Secretariat in response to a question asked by Tasneem Siddiqui.

    The list of 489 employees starts with name of Ahmed Raza Khan who is tubewell operator in Abbottabad Cricket Stadium with Rs11,300 salary.

    The coach of Pakistan cricket team Waqar Younas is getting Rs650,001 per month.

    PCB director operations Zakir Khan is in his 12th year of association with the board and is drawing Rs440,497 per month. He was appointed in the PCB in November, 1999.

    The name of Ejaz Butt is not mentioned in the list.

    The General Manager Media Nadeem Sarwar is getting monthly payment of Rs196,000 having completed over two years with the cricket body.

    Another prominent name is of Sultan Rana, currently holding charge of director domestic cricket with package of Rs369,601 per month.

    Other regular and contract employees with include Assistant Coach Aaqib Javed Rs350,001; Pakistan Cricket Team Assistant Coach Ijaz Ahmed Rs252,000; Assistant Manager Shafqat Rana Rs200,000; GM Marketing Tariq Hakim Rs224,000; Talent Hunt Officer Tauseef Ahmed- Rs146,448; National Cricket Academy (NCA) Coach Rashid Khan Rs125,000; NCA Coach Mansoor Rana Rs141,000; NCA Coach Azmat Rana Rs146,448; SGM Academies Ali Zia Rs220,149; Chief Financial Officer Mian Raza Ahmed Rs425,601; GM Accounts Omar Khan Ghazanvi Rs140,000; the resident sports physician Rs165,000; Youth Development head Haroon Rashid Rs262,000; Bowling Coach Moatashim Rasheed Rs154,000; SGM International Subhan Ahmed Rs212,714; Domestic Operations Manager Saqib Irfan Rs151,611; the coordinator for grounds in Sindh Rs100,000; Security Manager Wasim Ahmed Shahid – Rs120,000; Infrastructure Senior Manager Muhammad Ashraf Rs127,000; HR Manager Alveena Alam Rs106,900; GM Internal Audit Mushtaq Ahmed Rs133,056; Physiotherapist Faisal Hayat Rs187,000; and Karachi Regional Head Coach Muhammad Azam Khan Rs101,588.

  156. #156 by khansahab on January 9, 2011 - 6:33 PM

    Imran Khan signs up with Geo Super for WC 2011

    KARACHI: Geo Super has exclusively signed Imran Khan to participate, provide commentary, and be the brand ambassador for its Cricket World Cup presentation in Pakistan.

    Imran Khan is one of the icons who ruled the international cricket for two decades and also led the Pakistani team to World Cup glory in 1992.

    Khan will feature in Geo Super expert reviews, opinions and analyses leading up to and during the ICC Cricket World Cup matches due to start on February 19. The tournament is one of the most widely-viewed sporting events in the world and the number one TV event for Pakistan in terms of revenue and TV ratings.

    Geo Super has the exclusive rights to broadcast all the matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 over cable and satellite networks throughout Pakistan.

  157. #157 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 9, 2011 - 8:50 PM

    khansahab

    Not just the PCB, but PIA which is the national airline of Pakistan has even worst situation in terms of misappropriation of funds. Reportedly PIA has a negative net worth and they have recently sold their rights to Turkish Airline to operate on their behalf in Europe and America. The PIA will will take its passengers up to Istanbul in PIA but, from there Turkish Airlines will take over and fly the PIA passengers to various destinations in the USA and Europe. Its a shame isn’t it? Some people say that the PIA is paying salaries to more than twice the number of actual employees. Meaning, there are so many “sifarishi” employees who never go to work in any department but, they are on the Pay Roll of PIA. Obviously the net worth would be negative. It is only in Pakistan such things can happen. People say that the airline on its own cannot sign such contracts until and unless the government has approved it. With Mr. 10% ruling the country everything is possible.

    And, these days Zardari has reportedly moved to Bilawal House Karachi BAKAOZ his NAJOOMI told him that he should not trust his bodyguards anymore i.e., after Salman Tasir was shot dead by his own bodyguard. So, that is why he has moved to Karachi. Some people were joking that he goes to Dubai at night to sleep and comes back to Karachi in the morning. LOL……. if this is true what a leader he is?

  158. #158 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 9, 2011 - 8:55 PM

    Fears over readiness of India World Cup venues

    NEW DELHI: Just six weeks before the cricket World Cup, several venues including India’s most famous stadium are chaotic scenes of cranes and rubble, raising fears they will not be ready in time.

    The tournament, being held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 19, will attract huge crowds and worldwide television audiences drawn by the best international players competing in 49 matches.

    But it threatens to be a replay of New Delhi’s recent Commonwealth Games, which instead of marking the arrival of a new, modern India on the world stage became a national embarrassment of delays, shoddy works, and alleged corruption.

    As the cricket clock ticks down, anxiety is growing over the preparedness of organisers, with a ten-million-dollar upgrade to the 80,000-seater Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata causing the biggest headache.

    Amid the diggers, dust and bare concrete, hundreds of labourers wearing virtually no safety equipment are toiling day and night to finish off two new blocks of stands which are still covered in scaffolding.

    Pillars rise out of the new stands awaiting roofs that have not been begun, while the club house is still under renovation, with many toilets broken or blocked. Old team photographs are covered in builders’ dust.

    Seats are not fitted in many tiers, the outer wall surrounding the venue has collapsed in sections, corporate boxes are far from complete, and parts of the stadium are still being dug up.

    The ground — one of the great pilgrimage sites of international cricket — also has major security problems, with curious members of the public free to walk around it despite the risks of militant attacks in volatile South Asia.

    The situation with the World Cup venues is similar to the preparations for the Commonwealth Games, which were undermined by delayed and scruffily finished
    venues after months of hurried work.

    Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium, where the final will be held, is another venue rushing to be ready on time after two years of renovations at a cost of 55 million dollars.

    A report by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport’s governing body, leaked to the Deccan Herald newspaper last month named Wankhede, along with Eden Gardens, as not certain to meet a January 31 deadline for hand-over to the ICC.

    The report said areas of concern include the floodlights’ power supply, new glass that reflects into batsmen’s eyes, the umpires’ room put in the wrong place and unsuitable anti-doping facilities and medical rooms.

    New Delhi’s ground — the Feroz Shah Kotla — had a crisis in 2009 when a game against Sri Lanka was abandoned after the pitch was deemed too dangerous, but inspectors have since passed the surface following a complete re-lay.

    Sri Lanka is confident that its two brand new stadiums — one in Kandy costing nine million dollars and another in Hambantota costing 13.6 million dollars — will cope with the rigours of World Cup cricket and large crowds despite being largely untested.

    And in Bangladesh, which has never hosted a major sporting tournament before, officials have reassured excited fans that preparations are in full swing with 42 million dollars being spent sprucing up venues.

    Tournament director Ratnakar Shetty said that all venues would be completed and tidied up in time for the first ball to be bowled.

  159. #159 by khansahab on January 10, 2011 - 7:58 PM

    I will walk away next year – Abdul Razzaq

    LAHORE: Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has decided that 2012 would be his last in international cricket as he prepares to retire after the 2012 World Twenty20.

    The 31-year-old said that though he was at the top of his game at the moment, he saw himself walking away after the Twenty20 tournament.

    “Retirement is always a tough decision,” Razzaq told The Express Tribune. “But looking at my form and fitness, I see myself walking away after the 2012 World Twenty20. During this time I will try to finish my career on a high, which is very important for me so I would like to give as much as I can give to my country.”

  160. #160 by khansahab on January 10, 2011 - 10:06 PM

    Asif insists he didn’t bowl deliberate no-balls, but admits evidence is ‘convincing’

    Mohammad Asif is thought to have told the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption tribunal in Doha on Monday that evidence suggests there was corruption during Pakistan’s fourth Test against England at Lord’s last August.

    But Asif says he bowled the no-ball which has become central to the inquiry only because Pakistan captain Salman Butt told him to send down a faster delivery and not because of a spot-fixing plot.

    Pakistan players Asif, Butt and Mohammad Aamer have all denied ICC charges of corruption.

  161. #161 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 11, 2011 - 10:45 AM

    khansahab – Today’s headlines are:

    Final decision on Asif, Amir and Butt’s future expected today – ICC’s verdict could be heavily influenced by the statement of Asif who has steadily distanced himself from Amir and Butt.

    Have you not heard the expression, “Jisko Veena Rekkhay, Usko Kaun Chakkhay?”

    Asaf, is not a Kuccha Khilaree, he has distanced himself from Butt and Aamir to save his own Suckin (skin).

    Everyone knows that Salman Butt is the ring leader and the main culprit and, everyone pities for Aamir because of his age. And, Asaf had a track record of Hashish, Charas, Gaanja, Daaru, Veena, Sheena and Meena. So, he knew that his survival is in drifting away from them and pleading his own case of innocence. Aisayee KILLA THOKKA Nai Aye. 😀

  162. #162 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 12, 2011 - 5:28 AM

    All the so-called Pakistani cricket ex-greats are giving statements to the media and saying they are surprised on the ICC delaying the decision till Feb. 5th and saying; this is strange and blady blah and dady dah. Why are they surprised? Don’t they know it from the beginning that the ICC don’t want the trio to play for the 2011 WC? And, why blame the ICC, the PCB is delaying it decision to announce the captain for the NZ ODI series, only to appoint Misbah as Captain of the team not only for the NZ/PK ODI series but also for the 2011 WC. They are chips of the same block or feathers of the same cap whatever!

  163. #163 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 12, 2011 - 5:31 AM

    Kamran Akmal has been cleared recently by the PCB’s integrity committee.—Reuters

    LA’HORE: While wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal is likely to make a return to national ranks for the upcoming One-day International series against New Zealand, veteran batsman Mohammad Yousuf’s induction remains doubtful as the selectors meet here on Wednesday to finalize the 15-member squad for the said series.

    Likely squad as reported by DAWN:

    Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shahzad, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Yousuf/Azhar Ali, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Sohail Tanvir, Shoaib Akhtar, Tanvir Ahmed, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman.

    I don’t see Misbah in it but, you bet he will be there.

  164. #164 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 12, 2011 - 6:02 PM

    Tendulkar has still not shed off the habit of getting out off the bowling of new or mediocre bowlers. If I am not mistaken he got out off the bowling of Tsotsobe quite a few times on this tour. I reckon when Asif was new he used to get Tendulkar quite often. Even the chucker Shabbir Ahmad got him at the end of his first over after bowling 4 or 5 no balls and wides. I wonder what is on Tendulkar’s mind when he is playing against these weak and new bowlers? He plays so well against Styen but when it comes to Tsotsobe he throws away his wicket.

    India at the moment is playing very badly and is bound to lose this match. Without Gambhir and Sehwag their batting is very vulnerable and today Nehra was the most expensive bowler and Bhajji too wasn’t good. SA managed to score a decent total without Jacques Kallis. Amla was very impressive with a quick 50 in 35 balls.

  165. #165 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 13, 2011 - 4:28 AM

    BREAKING NEWS AND BROKEN SQUAD

    The six-match ODI series begins at Wellington on Jan. 22.

    Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq Vice Captain , Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir, Tanvir Ahmed.

    Shoaib Akhtar in T20 is OK but in ODI’s he cannot last 10 overs, he starts huffing and puffing. So, I don’t understand why he is included in the squad?

    Misbah‘s inclusion is a stepping stone for him to get into the 2011 WC also, if Pakistan loses this series in NZ, they will make him captain for the WC2011

  166. #166 by Pawan on January 13, 2011 - 5:27 AM

    Guys,

    Misbah is not a bad choice for captaincy. He looks very calm and I think might do a better job than Afridi in pressure situations. Pak team is looking good. Definite contenders for WC 2011.

    Ind lost to SA, not much of a surprise there – conditions against them. Also it takes time to wake up these guys, so a couple of defeats is mandatory especially on a tour like SA. Sachin looked out of form, obviously. Good he chose to come back now than in WC.

    Pakistan meanwhile are taking on NZ in their backyard. Pak has always been a good T20 and ODI side as far as I am concerned, but a mediocre test side. First, they need good batsmen (openers and middle order) like Younis and Yousuf to consistently score runs and stay at the wicket. Then they need a good match wining spinner. Fast bowlers are okay at the moment, not extraordinary. NZ team is hopeless. Only one international class player – Vettori. Other than that rest are just filling up. Guess the rankings do justice – NZ 8th and Pak 6th.

    Stay warm Javed and Khansahab and all the bloggers in US

  167. #167 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 13, 2011 - 7:17 AM

    Pawan

    Misbah has remained calm ever since he is been playing but, in his calmness he does a lot of Ch2yapay too much bigger than Afridi‘s. Twice he took the Pak team to the brink of victory and twice he shattered the dreams of millions of Pakistanis by playing real stupid shots. And, he finds new ways to get out. His inclusion in the ODI as a middle order may not be that bad but, it has nothing to do with his captaincy. Pakistan needs an aggressive captain, like Imran Khan – Afridi is also a very aggressive captain on the field. His batting has always remained a big question mark. But it is Afridi who has brought the best out of Mohammad Hafeez. He yells at him, swears at him but, he keeps him in the team. Inzamam, Shoaib Malik and others have dropped him on one failure. But, Afridi has kept him in the team despite a few failures and today Hafeez is a different player.

    Kamran is a culprit but he has welcomed the PCB decision to bring him back in the team. If Kamran gives up his SuttayBaazi and Haram Tobeez, he is an asset in the shorter version of the game as a batsman.

    Afridi selects players on merit basis whereas others do that on regional basis. Ajmal is or was good but, his recent form is questionable, he gave Abdur Rahman a chance and he proved to be a better bowler at the moment and even in the last test Abdur Rahman bowled very well. He is establishing his place in the team. And, he is handy with the bat as opposed to Ajmal.

    Asad Shafiq has talent and Afridi recognizes it and gives him chances. He gave Umar Akmal a chance by asking him to wear the gloves to keep him in the team otherwise his batting form was fading. So, Afridi sees the utility of a player in totality and not in terms of one aspect that is batting or bowling or on the basis of regionalism.

  168. #168 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 13, 2011 - 7:25 AM

    The way India played the first ODI was pathetic, the moment Yuvraj was out, I said it is all over. Although Kohli, Dhoni and Raina were there but Dhoni’s form is lacking whereas Raina and Kohli are not the same material as Gambhir and Sehwag. When the going is good all these Lulloo, Punjoo and Neechoo players contribute and, when Tendulkar is gone they all surrender.

    SA fast bowling department is way better than India’s especially Nehra is so erratic and inconsistent that India cannot rely on him. The only plus point India has is they shall be playing the WC in their own backyard where the wickets suits their bowlers and hopefully Sehwag would be fully fit. Rohit Sharma was unlucky to be given out by the umpire the ball touched his thigh pad and he gave him out as caught behind. I wonder why they don’t implement the UDRS? World Cup without UDRS would be a real setback for teams getting such decisions from umpires.

  169. #169 by khansahab on January 13, 2011 - 5:47 PM

    Javed A Khan

    The importance of Sehwag is that when he came into the side and settled in the top order, India became a top 3/4 team.

    When Gambhir came and settled as an opener India became a top 1/2 team.

    So, without this pair they are an average team. The bowling has become a bit better but that is almost wholly to do with Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan.

    One just needs to check how many matches India loses when either Gambhir or Sehwag are not playing, to see how heavily India depends on them. Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Dhoni perform more or less the same way all the time but the real boost comes from the top opening pair. By saying this I am not undermining the class of Tendulkar and Laxman, one is a legendary batsman and the other is an incredible pressure player.

  170. #170 by Pawan on January 13, 2011 - 9:17 PM

    Javed,

    There is no way you can compare Afridi with Imran Khan. Imran changed the face of Pakistan cricket. He is the one who put Pakistan on the map of world cricket, just like Dev did to India. Khan was a great leader who could be calm and aggressive as the need be. Afridi is as dumb as they come. You have agreed to his “akroatness” yourself. If aggression on field was the only criteria then Inzi wouldn’t have been counted as successful, motivating captain as he was. No doubt he introduced the mulla culture in the team, but it was under his leadership and coach Woolmers tenure that Pak again rose back to the top 3-4 teams in the world. Afridi himself has never been able to find his feet in the team, what kind of role model or leadership he can command? His batting is equivalent to Harbhajan’s while Bhajji has done well on batting front, his bowling has degraded to an abysmal level.

    I still think Misbah, though whatever politics he has played, is more suited to become the captain of a team than Afridi. But this is again an opinion from someone who hasn’t followed Pak cricket like you or Khansahab has. So may be I am wrong. But that’s what my thought process is.

  171. #171 by Pawan on January 13, 2011 - 9:27 PM

    Javed, Khansahab,

    Sehwag and Gambhir are one of the greatest openers in the making, like Tendulkar/Ganguly, Haynes/Greenidge, Anwar/Sohail. and so on. If they remain fit I am sure they can surpass all the records, but apart from that they can win more games for team India. With such heavy-weights missing from the team, it is apparent to have an effect on the team.

    At the same time Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid have been class players in their own. Like Khansahab aptly said about Tendulkar being a legendary batsman and Laxman being an incredible pressure player – so true. Dravid was a model of consistency not so long ago. People like Azhar ali and Cheteshwar Pujara, the rising stars have modeled themselves on Dravid’s batting technique. So these players have also made this Indian team as one of the greatest teams produced by India.

  172. #172 by Pawan on January 13, 2011 - 9:39 PM

    Ragarding Kohli, Raina and R. Sharma, they are definitely learning and learning fast. It would be too much of a haste to not to count them as the budding stars. Of course they have to do a lot to become the Tendulkars, Pietersens and Bevans, but they are getting there my friend. One cannot expect them to come on a tour and get going first game especially to make that transit mentally and technically from sub-continent wickets to the bouncy SA wickets.

    Kohli himself has shown incredible maturity in his short career. He sure was going awry, but somehow has managed to get on rack and easily is the most consistent ODI batsmen in India for a year now – among the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir, Dhoni, and other stalwarts. That was apparent from the RCB decision to keep him away from auction (where they didn’t spare Dravid, Kumble et al).

    Raina brings along with him disciplined fielding and bowling to go along with swashbuckling batsmanship. If there is one guy who I would say can become no. 1 batsman for India, that would be Raina. The reason is he is so hard working. I like those guys that work hard on their game. Initially when he came on the scene, he was a stubby fat and sluggish fella who couldn’t field better than Ganguly. But with Chappels advice (one the few good things Chappel gave to Indian cricket), he improved tremendously not only fielding but became disciplined in every aspect. He needs to tighten up his batting technique now. And he can do it. He is very talented batsman.

    Sharma is someone I doubt will make it big. Typical laid back fellow. Thrives on criticism. A while ago Bhogle wrote an scathing article on Sharma and Y. Singh. I agree to that 100%. He just mentioned that talent can take you to certain extent, but to get cross that line and become great, one has to have that fire within and discipline to become the best.

  173. #173 by khansahab on January 13, 2011 - 10:56 PM

    Pawan

    I will go so far as to say that Gambhir and Sehwag are the best opening partnership of at least my lifetime.

    Ganguly and Tendulkar were of course very good both Gambhir and Sehwag are miles better than Ganguly.

    Ganguly was only a decent Test batsman- nothing special in Tests.

    You can’t use Aamer Sohail’s name in the same paragraph as all these other players like Greenidge and Anwar!! Compared to them Sohail was mediocre.

  174. #174 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 13, 2011 - 10:58 PM

    Pawan

    I did not compare Imran Khan with Afridi in terms of caliber – yes they are poles apart – what I meant is the team needs an aggressive captain and Afridi has the ability to control them on the field. Inzamam was calm and quiet but he was very powerful in terms of team selection he never listened to anyone whereas, Chakram and Waqar were not the same as Inzi. Chamrak was corrupt and Waqar is Waqar he is a simpleton when it comes to anything other than bowling. Miandad was very shrewd as a player and as a captain but, Wasim & Co.’s politics didn’t let him survive as a captain. Misbah, I don’t consider him as a leader, simply because he is an MBA or speaks better English than other Duddooz that doesn’t mean he is an automatic choice to lead. NO WAY JOSE.

    On, Indian players I reserve my comments for the time being. But you please exclude AAMIR CHURAIL from that list, Yes Saeed Anwar was great but not Aamir Sohail.

  175. #175 by Pawan on January 13, 2011 - 11:38 PM

    Khansahab,

    I won’t go as far as making Sehwag and Gambhir the greatest to take the field as openers simply because not a long time ago Sehwag had problems keeping his place in the team, leave alone setting the match alight with his stroke play. Dravid, the captain at that time took long understand Sehwag needed time to rejuvenate and come back stronger and like a sissy kept giving him chances. As destiny would have it Sehwag went the Kaif way, but came back unlike kaif 🙂

    So we’ve to wait and watch what happens next. Sehwag didn’t do much to warrant his place in the last SA series. I just hope he doesn’t get smitten by the complacency disease.

  176. #176 by Pawan on January 13, 2011 - 11:46 PM

    Javed

    Why do you want to control the players on field? Are they some kind of animals ala sheep/cows? Unless Afridi can warrant a place in the team unequivocally, he has no right to captain the side. He is also an emotional fool like Younis Khan to retire/give up captaincy at the drop of a hat. Another towel thrower – Mohd Yousuf – how many times will he retire man? Am sorry to say but he has become a call boy of PCB. When PCB needs him he comes back even before they whistle. While when they don’t need him, he is discarded like a stray dog.

    Captaincy is an issue that is way too complicated than it looks. A few years back Ind was struggling after Azhar was kicked out to see who can captain the side. Even Tendulkar has had his hands burnt. Its not an easy job. Since then Ind has been lucky they have had Gang-ungli and Dho-ni to take the reins and they have done this thankless job much better than anyone of their era.

    Even Australia are struggling to find the right captain. Puppy Clarke is too soft they say. Punter is running out of luck. Its total dark over there for Aussies.

  177. #177 by newguy on January 14, 2011 - 12:04 AM

    Hi Guys,

    Lots going on here and I haven’t posted a comment in a while. Well, the test series between Ind-SA was too good that anything followed wasn’t worth commenting and I was still recovering from what an engrossing two tests we had. If only we could get 5 tests instead of these meaningless ODI series. Make it 2 ODI and 1 T20 and 5 tests, especially given SA pitches are result oriented, tests are always better and both teams have better test teams than ODI teams.

    On the Pak-NZ front I was surprised at the speed with which the test ended in Pakistan’s favor, I expected NZ to score at least 250 odd then make Pak bat for 100 plus runs, instead they folded meekly. Good performance overall from Pakistan in batting and bowling. Combined with some lack luster batting show from NZ, but credit should be given to the winning team. I don’t know if Misbah is a good captain and if this is the reason they are doing relatively well in the 3 tests so far, 2 against SA and 1 against NZ. I think Pakistan is a team of individuals coming along and performing their acts, it was always like that, except when Imran led them to WC win. All other times I have seen Pakistan is loosely built around the players and their individual skills. Someone will come up with a good performance to win, but otherwise leadership is not something Pakistan has worried too much about. Imran as I stated was of course different.

    India losing the ODI is no surprise, you expect them to do so in SA conditions, they have never done well in SA conditions in ODI, in tests they are just about coming to terms now because of great middle order bats and decent test bowling. ODI record of India is worst against SA in SA. Of course all that is past and it can be changed, but this is a rag tag team. Not full strength, and besides they should not care much about the result of this series. With WC so near, this type of bilateral series is only there to get some bat to ball for players and get some form going and to see who fits in. But subcontinent conditions are going to be so different that I don’t think they can even evaluate players based on performance here. I expect India to lose 4-1 or 3-2, more likely 4-1. We’ll wait and see.

    I expect Pakistan to do well in NZ in the tests and ODIs.

    Almost every team is having some match practice before WC and that is what matters.

    Let’s see how it all shapes up.

    Agree on Sehwag – Gambhir opening pair being one of main reasons for India doing well recently. Again no surprise here, as all successful team had great openers providing solid platform. Think of Greenidge-Haynes for WI, I have seen so many of their match winning partnerships. They made it so easy for Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd to come in and whack the bowling from the get go, of course these players were so good that even when openers failed they made it count. Hayden and Gilchrist, and Hayden and Langer was instrumental in Australia being so good. Everyone talks about Warne-McGrath and Ponting, but it is the opening pair of Hayden and Langer that made them solid platforms so that Ponting can come in and attack or build on top of what was done. In ODI, Hayden and Gilchrist won games so many times even before any one else needed to come out. Sehwag and Gambhir are not exactly in the league of Greenidge-Haynes and Hayden-Langer in my view, but they are close.

  178. #178 by Pawan on January 14, 2011 - 3:04 AM

    Malik crying

  179. #179 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 14, 2011 - 4:44 AM

    Pawan

    I saw this programme live and ask khansahab how he was laughing after seeing this programme. I am not saying that one should not cry especially when his father passed away, but that was ages ago when he had died and for him to cry on a TV talk show especially when he was the Captain of the Pak team was a bit sissy of him to do that.

  180. #180 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 14, 2011 - 4:48 AM

    newguy;

    Actually when Sehwag scores India is in the driving seat because he scores at a very high strike rate whereas, Gambhir does not always score big when Sehwag fails in the shorter version of the game (not talking of tests) and even if he does his strike rate is not that great to give India an edge, it is Tendulkar whose partnership evolves around him. So, like Saeed Anwar, Sehwag is a more dominating force whereas, Aamir Sohail and Gamhir always played the second fiddle role.

  181. #181 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 14, 2011 - 1:13 PM

    Below is a copy paste of a news item from INDIA, which the INDIAN PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE has posed a question on top BCCI and IPL officials on CHEER GIRLS & AUCTION OF PLAYERS. They are talking about it now whereas, we at this blog have been questioning it ever since the IPL started. The only difference is they are calling it “Gladiators” like, whereas we have been saying it looks like an auction of cattle and prostitutes.

    How do cheergirls help cricket, ask lawmakers ………….

    NEW DELHI: How do cheergirls promote the cause of cricket? Why are players auctioned like “gladiators” in IPL system of cricket?

    These were some of the questions that members of the Indian Parliamentary Standing Committee on finance posed to top BCCI officials, including its president Shashank Manohar, secretary N Srinivasan and IPL commissioner Chirayu Amin during a hearing on financial transactions related to the conduct of IPL.
    “While the BCCI top brass claimed that IPL would help the cause of cricket and attract more talent, it was at loss to explain the role of cheergirls,” sources said.
    It is learnt that the BCCI officials put the onus of introducing the concept on sacked IPL chief Lalit Modi.

    Some of the members of the committee, headed by BJP MP Yashwant Sinha, also questioned the concept of auctioning the players like “gladiators”. They said it reminded them of the Roman empire when men were sold to bidders on the basis of their physical strength. Manohar, Srinivasan and Amin were quizzed by the MPs for about two-and-a-half hours about the alleged FEMA violations. The BCCI was asked about the funding pattern of the highly popular IPL and the methods adopted for payment to foreign and Indian players. The committee also sought details of the expenses incurred on the conduct of the second edition of the Twenty20 tournament in South Africa in 2009.

  182. #182 by newguy on January 14, 2011 - 2:02 PM

    Javed Khan,

    It is about time someone in authority questioned this ugly practice of player auctions. Sharada Ugra wrote a critical article on Cricinfo two days back. More people should question and put an end to this farce. In my view, this is the ugly side of corporate India flexing it’s muscles and laughing at everyone else. Showing off their wealth and power to buy and sell international cricketers and put a price tag to them, taking perverted pleasures and inflating their egos.

    This is all attributed to this thug Modi, but BCCI is to blame for not overhauling it after they got rid of Modi. IPL requires huge overhaul, I am not sure Indian authorities have matured into handling this, I am sure there are capable people, but just that those in charge are not.

    Sadly many Indians think some mediocre cricketers earning tons of money is progress and empowerment.

  183. #183 by Pawan on January 14, 2011 - 2:27 PM

    Javed Khan

    Thats democracy for you. Question everything and then question the questions. Some people find it crazy, some people find it appropriate, there are differences which is completely acceptable. You question cheer leaders, people have also questioned why the players should wear colored uniforms? What is decent for you might not be decent for someone else and vice versa. Some people have also questioned the existence of IPL, while some have argued what is the need for cricket at all. Thats democracy.

  184. #184 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 14, 2011 - 4:42 PM

    Pawan

    As regards coloured clothes or white cricket ball, it is fine with me because, mostly it is night cricket and it is also a question of visibility and practicality. But, the way the IPL is conducting auctions of players sounds like bidding for whores. And cheer leaders, mostly teenage girls with their half naked dresses dancing on every four, six or a wicket is not India’s culture and neither it is cricket’s culture or tradition, nor it is good for the future generation to choose it as a career. It is sheer distraction and for some it is vulgarity and for some it is virtual prostitution.

    India is a huge country and most people are deprived of entertainment and for them it is entertainment. Whoever thought about it made best use of combining NAOTANKI (Bollywood) with cricket. Hence a majority of the youngsters both, in India and Pakistan go for it. But, I am glad to see there are people like newguy, Varun, khansahab etc., who are against this farcical drama which is ruining the game of cricket.

    For me, cricket if played in its true sense is more enjoyable than movies and other forms of entertainment. I do like movies but, not the current Indian movies that you see these days and I also enjoy music and songs but, not the recent songs which has no lyrics, no rhythm no sense in it. Doesn’t mean I am old because that is a cliche which people often say, Oh you don’t like it? It means you are old. No, there is some class, some finesse and some taste and among the current Bollywood movies there is hardly any.

    When Inzamam & Co., playing in England, went out on the ground before the match prayed in congregation in front of the public in the stadium and also watched by millions of viewers is an example of another extreme. On this blog we criticized it and called it a big drama, because they could have easily prayed in the dressing room instead of the ground in an attempt to please the Mullahs back home and considering it as a moral, religious and cultural victory. That was all BS from Inzamam.

    Reportedly, Inzi also made a big fuss on the flight when he asked “HIZ BOYZ” to stand up for “on-flight prayers” and he lead the prayers. I think it was PJ Mir the manager who reported in his match tour report and condemned it by saying, Inzi disobeyed the flight attendants requests that it could be dangerous if a lot of people congregate in one place the balance of the aircraft could shift and may cause serious problems. But, he ignored all that and prayed.

    Therefore, we are very moderate in our approach and we condemn both forms of extremism. One needs to be realistic and pragmatic and we think we are. As regards implementing technology in decision making we are for it as long as it helps the game and as long as players are satisfied with the decision making. We want UDRS in the 2011 WC in ALL the matches.

    Pawan: Did you hear this joke?

    “Congratulations Inzi, you have a baby boy.”
    Inzi: “BAA… Yes, I am thankful to Allah and me really happy the boyz have helped me a lot and I am really proud of them.”

  185. #185 by khansahab on January 14, 2011 - 6:39 PM

    Pawan/Javed A Khan

    I think a lot of criticism has been levied on the cheer leader girls for their nudity.

    The IPL organisers who invite them should be criticised.

    I saw a few matches of the first IPL and some of these girls were beautiful and we will have to go into ethical and philosophical arguments about whether someone should make money out of their looks, appearance, sex appeal etc.

    I don’t like singing and dancing being mixed with cricket but for most of these Western girls, there is nothing wrong with showing skin or attracting attention.

    I just think we have to be a little careful with whom we are actually criticising.

  186. #186 by khansahab on January 14, 2011 - 9:20 PM

    Qasim urges PCB to retain Afridi as WCup leader

    KARACHI: Former test cricketer Iqbal Qasim believes that change of skipper for the upcoming World Cup 2011 will prove detrimental to the national team.

    Speaking to journalists at KDA Officers Club here on Friday, he urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to keep faith with Shahid Afridi as the team leader in limited-over cricket.

    His advice came amid rumors that PCB may replace Afridi with Test captain Misbah ul Haq to lead the side in the World Cup.

    Afridi was retained as captain for the one-day series against New Zealand, which will be Pakistan’s last assignment before the World Cup. His performance will be closely monitored by the cricket board. SAMAA

  187. #187 by khansahab on January 14, 2011 - 9:22 PM

    Afridi retained as captain

    Lahore: Local media reports had said PCB chairman Ijaz Butt was ready to strip Afridi off the captaincy, angry at comments made by the all-rounder about three Pakistan cricketers at the centre of a spot-fixing scandal.

  188. #188 by newguy on January 14, 2011 - 11:57 PM

    Hi Guys,

    On this topic of cheerleaders my view is that it is a very American thing, it just doesn’t lend itself to those girls jumping on stages behind grid iron fences. In American sports cheer leaders are not on stage but they are actually on the sidelines of ground and there is no iron fence separating them from the crowd. Americans are quite used to cheer leaders from high school level and they won’t hyperventilate like the Indian masses who have no exposure with the opposite sex most of the time. Westerners and people used to wester culture know how to deal with opposite sex, especially scantly clad attractive women, there is a level of control required. But frustrated men behind iron fences look at it only one way and this is where cheer leading do not lend well to Indian culture and sports. Enough said about that.

    Coming to cricket, I think Pakistan is the most under rated team going into the competition and in my view Pakistan is a very dangerous team in Indian conditions. Captain or no captain Pakistan has the bowlers and batsmen to succeed in Indian conditions, and they are well rounded attack with spin and pace options, and the batsmen will have no problem playing spin, pace will not be so much of an equation in Indian wickets especially on ODIs. Wickets will be flat and fit for batting. Australia, England, and SA will struggle in my opinion, with Australia being better equipped than Eng, SA in Indian conditions.

  189. #189 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 15, 2011 - 11:34 AM

    Hey guys, I am worried about the weather conditions in Sri Lanka, (Australia and Brazil too) with the La Nina effect, the country is devastated with floods and whether they would be able to cope with these calamities and stage the world cup matches in SL smoothly. There is nothing they could do in dealing with mother nature which is not so kind to her. The BCCI should also take into account the matches that will be played in the South of India and we don’t know how long this unusual rainy season will continue?

    Normally in during January and February we go into deep deep freeze ranging between -20C to -35C and with wind chill factor it feels like -45C but so far it has been hovering between -5C to -10C only which is very, very mild for us. People in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad are complaining of +6C to zero degrees centigrade temperatures. I can imagine their reaction because they are not used to dealing with such weather conditions also, the houses over there and the running tap water is not heated too so that makes a big difference.

  190. #190 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 15, 2011 - 11:45 AM

    NZ were 166/5 and now they are 246/6 and still the newspapers are carrying headlines by saying:” Pakistan holds advantage in 2nd test.” And, things like Pakistani bowlers dominate the scene on the first day. I don’t see that, because first it was Taylor and then Young and Vittori have carried the score to some respectability and if they take it over 320 Pakistan will not be able to take any advantage because, they won’t make anything more than that like 500-600 runs i.e., like India did against SA recently. Talking about India and SA the match is about to start in a few minutes, unfortunately I am too busy today and won’t be able to see the live match on TV today.

  191. #191 by Mohammed Munir on January 16, 2011 - 5:22 AM

    Javed Khan …

    NZ scored 356 in their first innings, and that is from 180 for 6. Although, Pakistan has got a start, but I don’t think they can win it, unless, NZ repeat their previous Tests second innings performance ;). But I guess it is now Pakistan’s turn to have a batting collapse. 😀

    On India SA second ODI, Indian somehow won even after scoring 189 runs, while SA once again proved us right for their CHOKKER tage. 😉

    PS: If this was Pakistan getting out like SA and loosing the game after a very very strong position then we would have suggested “Match Fixing”, but with SA I think we can’t say that … right ❓ 😉

  192. #192 by Mohammed Munir on January 16, 2011 - 5:31 AM

    Cricket is fast becoming a rotten dirty business and I guess we had been lucky to have enjoyed this game (in the past) without so much of Politics and Corruption. The greed and lust for huge Money and Power has ruined the gentleman’s game and deprived the fans of fair cricket.

    Have a look on below Cricinfo articles:

    Lorgat defends World Cup stadium preparations

    The lead-up to last year’s Delhi Commonwealth Games was dominated by eleventh-hour efforts to get all the venues up and running, despite the city having had seven years to prepare. The World Cup is arguably more complicated in that it is being held at 13 grounds across three countries, and construction work is just one issue.

    “You’re probably referring to Kolkata or Wankhede,” Lorgat said in Melbourne, when asked about the readiness of the venues. “There are certain stadia that are behind our schedule; we would have liked them to have been completed [by now]. I certainly do not envisage, and all of our reports do not indicate, anything like what transpired during the Commonwealth Games.”
    “The stadiums are slightly behind – there’s four in particular, I think – but we’ll be done before the start of the World Cup. Most of the stadiums are complete and ready. There are no alarm bells ringing. I’m sure that we’ll be ready well before the start of the World Cup.”

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-cricket-world-cup-2011/content/current/story/496821.html

    A Fan’s Comments from Cricinfo … “Well Well Well If Haroon Lorgat is not going to support India then who else on this earth will do? Haroon Lorgat even though is from South Africa but he heart, mind & soul is behind India. and India is riding over his head to get all the undue favours from ICC.”

    Earlier news of 17th December 2010 …

    ICC report slams Eden Gardens, Wankhede renovations

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-cricket-world-cup-2011/content/story/492996.html

    A Fan’s Comments from Cricinfo … “It is a war between ICC(Sharad Pawar) and BCCI(Shashank Manohar or Srinivasan or Jagmohan Dalmiya). Because When Sharad Pawar became ICC President ,BCCI neglected him; and to counter Pawar and Lalit Modi ,he roped in Dalmiya the No.1 competitor for Pawar. Hence this slamming. Please don’t read too much into this, this is my guess.”

  193. #193 by khansahab on January 16, 2011 - 11:05 AM

    On current form it seems the strongest ODI teams are South Africa, India, England and Australia. But,where does Pakistan factor in?

    Plus Sri Lanka is a very balanced team and they have good ODI players.

  194. #194 by khansahab on January 16, 2011 - 11:13 AM

    Captaincy issue haunts Pakistan again

    Lahore: The ghosts of captaincy have once again come back to haunt the Pakistan cricket team with some players and officials raising questions over the behaviour and attitude of current skipper Shahid Afridi.

    Well placed sources aware of developments in Pakistan cricket have told PTI that Afridi retained the captaincy for the one-day series in New Zealand just by a whisker.

    “They were serious deliberations within the board on retaining him as captain after getting some negative reports about his behaviour and attitude after the T20 series in New Zealand,” one source disclosed.

    “Right now there is a 50-50 split within the board and in the team management on whether Afridi should be allowed to captain the team in the World Cup or this responsibility should pass to Misbah-ul-Haq,” the source said.

    He said there were different reasons for Afridi losing favour with the establishment. One of them were growing complaints from fellow players and team and board officials that he was too friendly with the media.

    “The second complaint was that he was too over bearing and was making some players uncomfortable and unhappy with his attitude. Plus the crucial issue of his own performances have also come under the scanner,” another source said.

    He said that team manager Intikhab Alam and coach Waqar Younis had conveyed to the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt after the one-day series in the UAE against South Africa that some players were not feeling comfortable playing under Afridi.

    “That is the reason why Ijaz Butt called him for a meeting in Lahore recently in which he was told in clear terms to change his attitude and pull himself up,” the source added.

    The PCB has announced Afridi as captain for the ODIs in New Zealand but have stopped short of announcing him as World Cup captain although the tournament begins from February 19 while the series in New Zealand ends on February 5th.

    “This is because Butt is still uncertain about what to do,” the source said.

    He said that the selectors were keen to also name the World Cup squad this week but it was put off because of the captaincy issue.

    “There is a possibility now that the board might announce the World Cup squad on January 19th but wait until the series is over in New Zealand before announcing the captain for the World Cup,” the source said.

    The source said that the selectors had also decided to drop former captain and senior batsman Muhammad Yousuf for the World Cup although he was in the list of 30 probables.

    “Yousuf is out of the World Cup and this could spell the end of his career,” the source said.

    The source said one reason why Butt was still reluctant to change Afridi at this stage was because of the short time left for the World Cup.

    “There is a concern that if the move backfires and if the team flops in the tournament the blame will come on the board that it made a big mistake changing the captain so late,” the source said.

    Former captain Wasim Akram has also advised the board now to retain Afridi as captain as their was little time left for the World Cup.

    “But there is a strong lobby in the board and in the selection committee that believes if Misbah-ul-Haq is able to guide the team to its first Test series win in four years time he becomes a certain choice to lead the team in the World Cup as well because he is in form and also because of his mature approach and better communication skills with the players,” the source said.

    This is not the first time that Pakistan cricket is facing a tough choice of this nature as in 2009 after winning the T20 World Cup, Younis Khan faced the same situation from his own players.

  195. #195 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 16, 2011 - 3:48 PM

    I did not watch the Indian innings and the way the played against SA and with that total, I thought India will lose the match for sure. But, they surprised me and won the match. A win is a win even if it is by one run. It will definitely be a morale booster for the team to have beaten them in their own backyard without their key opening batsmen. I am not sure how much time the Indian players will take in relaxing themselves both physically and mentally before the start of the world cup? Physically, unless there is an injury they should be able to deal with it. But, mentally when you go back into the game after playing so many matches and traveling to so many places it is not easy to get off with the mental fatigue.

    The selectors would want them to train at a camp before the start of the world cup for conditioning them but, it would be best if they don’t let them get physically exhausted. Because, some coaches have this attitude of asking the players to go rigorously in training camps. For world class international players, they don’t learn anything new in the camp. I mean what are they going to teach Tendulkar? Or, would they be able to tell Sehwag to correct his footwork now? They need good rest and be with their families and only a week at the training camp should be enough for them to get back into the stride.

  196. #196 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 16, 2011 - 3:59 PM

    khansahab

    The Pakistani culture is slowly and gradually changing towards the worst be it politics, cricket or any other social event. People in power are incompetent and they have no knowledge yet they consider themselves as authority because, it is the power that corrupts them and they think whatever decision they will make or they are making is the best DE-C-YEN. They put their personal interest before and above the national interest and that is one of the reasons that they are corrupt.

    The charges against Afridi that some players are not comfortable under him is because, he is harsh at them as a captain. He may have yelled at Hafiz but, he got the best of Hafiz out of him by keeping him no his toes. Look at him now in both test matches he has gone cheaply and Misbah is not even using him as a bowler whereas, Afridi not only yelled and pushed him to the corner when he is fielding poorly but, he gave him opportunities to bowl and take wickets.

    IF, Afridi performs with his bat and ball say he makes 50+ in every match and takes 3-4 wickets and even then the team lose then they will still blame him for poor captaincy on the field. Whereas, Malik, Misbah & Co., would get away if they score 40-50 runs they will say the other players are not performing so what can he do? Inzamam was powerful as a captain because he used to score and whenever he scored big Pakistan has won besides, he is a silent type of person, more like “still water runs deep” whereas, Afridi loves to blab and appears shallow. But, there is no doubt that as a captain he is the best choice under the available resources.

    Like Malik, Misbah is a pimple on the ass of mediocrity and he has not played any role in winning the first test, it was NZ who crumbled like a cookie in the second innings and he is getting praise and accolades that Pakistan won a test match against NZ in 4 years. Even Salman Butt was praised the same way when the team won the test match and we all know what happened after that. Tanvir Ahmad may not look like a live wire but, his line and length is so consistent that he has been getting wickets. I hope they don’t replace him with another mediocre i.e., Rana Nayee!

  197. #197 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 16, 2011 - 4:08 PM

    BREAKING NEWS

    JOHANNESBURG: Sachin Tendulkar handed India a World Cup injury worry on Saturday when he was reported to have pulled out of the tour of South Africa.

    The veteran batsman equaled Sanath Jayasuriya’s world record of 444 one-day international appearances in the one-run win over South Africa but struggled to make 24 off 44 balls.

    Tendulkar did not field during the South African innings and there was no immediate explanation of the reason.

    But quoted Cricinfo, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said: “Most likely he is going back”.

    A tour insider said that Tendulkar had injured a hamstring, a worrying development with the World Cup starting in South Asia on February 19.

    *******

    A 15-member Indian squad for the World Cup will be announced in Chennai on Monday i.e. tomorrow. Will Tendulkar be in it?

  198. #198 by newguy on January 16, 2011 - 6:31 PM

    I think the 15 member Indian squad for WC that will be announced tomorrow will be as follows:

    Sehwag
    Gambhir
    Tendulkar
    Youvraj
    Kohli
    Raina
    Dhoni
    YK Pathan
    Harbhajan
    Zaheer
    Munaf
    P Kumar
    Sreesanth
    Nehra
    Ojha

    As for chances of each team, in the league phase both groups have tough opponents to overcome, but they also have minnows to bash. Minnow bashing will help should net run rate comes into play in case of three way or four way ties for Quarter final spots. After that each match is a knockout and the team that wins three games will win the competition.

    Pakistan is in a group with Australia, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand. Pakistan and Sri Lanka will hopefully come out of it. Pakistan should beat minnows as well as New Zealand easily with current form, then it is a question of whether they beat either of Australia or Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka will play at home and will be having crowd support. But SL matches will also be determined to a large extend based on toss. Some of the grounds favor team batting first very much that it is as good as winning the game if you win the toss. It will be three way tie between Aus, SL, Pak in my opinion.

    India, SA, Eng are in same league along with WI, Bang, and minnows. I hope India will win a three of four way race between Ind, SA, Eng, and Bang (outside chance). Home conditions should help Ind overcome SA and Eng, and they should beat Bang and minnows fairly easily.

    After that it all depends on who wins three knockout matches.

  199. #199 by khansahab on January 16, 2011 - 11:03 PM

    Waqar Against Afridi as Skipper for the World Cup / Afridi Not Consulted for NZ Squad

    Pakistan’s troubled World Cup preparations turned for the worse this week, as the stand off continued between Head Coach Waqar Younis and One day and Twenty20 skipper Shahid Afridi.

    Whilst the Pakistan test team has shown stability and good performances under the leadership of Misbah ul Haq in the drawn test series in UAE against South Africa and during the ongoing series in New Zealand, the Pakistan one day side has lost closely fought series against England and South Africa.

    The one day team lost both series against England and South Africa 3-2, but it would seem that all is not well in the camp ahead of the prestigious 50 over competition. Ahead of the announcement of the one day sqaud for New Zealand, PCB Chairman had summoned Afridi to inquire about the reasons behind recent losses. Afridi struggled with his batting and captaincy in the series, and was criticised back home for his lack of vision and leadership from many quarters.

    Sources close to the selection committee confirmed to PakPassion.net that Waqar Younis has expressed his reservations to the PCB Chairman regarding Afridi’s captaincy and the effect it is having on the team and whether it is damaging the team’s chances at the upcoming World Cup.

    The source stated “Waqar’s extremely concerned about whats going on with regards to the one day captaincy and has expressed strong reservations about whether Afridi is the right man to lead Pakistan’s challenge at the World Cup.”

    The source added further “The divide between Waqar and Afridi is growing and some of Afridi’s team mates are also unsure of Afridi’s leadership style and credentials. There are quite a few issues with Afridi at the moment and all is not well and harmonious.”

    Afridi was named as skipper for the six match one day series in New Zealand which starts next week, but was not named as captain for the World Cup, leading to further speculation that the skipper for the World Cup could be named after the analysis of Afridi and the team’s performance in New Zealand.

    Afridi’s lack of involvement in the selection of the one day squad for the series in New Zealand was also clarified by the source.

    “Afridi played no part in the selection of the one day squad for the series in New Zealand. The selectors picked the squad without any input from Afridi.”

  200. #200 by Pawan on January 17, 2011 - 12:00 AM

    New guy,

    We have to first cross the Bangladesh hurdle 😀
    If BD matches are played at their home grounds then they are gonna be tough on not just Eng and SA as well as Ind.
    I think the groups this year are very fair and gives opportunity to a team which is playing well and is in form to win the tournament.
    There is no clear contender like the last few WCs.
    So it is going to be fun.

    For India I think what will work is:

    1. Their captain cool. No other side can boast of a captain like Dhoni who is really cool under pressure. I rate him highly on captaincy front for the ODIs, not for the tests. Also he is a good and sensible batsman unlike some other ‘superstars’ like Yuvraj, R. Sharma, etc.
    2. The Tendulkar experience. He has fire in his belly to win this world cup as this would be his last. That is going to be the driving point at some stage of the tournament. Tendulkar ‘factor’ is good for chasing small, tricky totals on difficult (possibly SL pitches). He is also a good run accumulator to anchor the innings like Dhoni. His on-field experience of 20 odd years is tremendous. Such small things can make big difference in winning/losing an ODI.
    3. The spinners: Our’s will know what lengths to bowl. This would be crucial for matches against SA, Eng as they arn’t really used to good quality spin bowling. Same goes with our batters. They have been trained from the word go on how to play spin. So thats a big big plus in these conditions.

    What might go against India is:

    1. The crowd and huge expectations. Normally this should go in favor of home team in case of any bilateral or tri-series, but this is WC. Out of the 9 world cups that have been played since 1975 only one home country (SL 1996) have been able to win it and that too because majority of matches were played in Ind and Pak.

    Lets see what happens!

  201. #201 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 17, 2011 - 12:37 AM

    Pawan

    That SL World Cup win in 1996 is not considered as a home team win because the semifinals and final were played in India and Pakistan and not in Sri Lanka.

    My question was about Tendulkar’s fitness, he is injured and gone back home means he is seriously injured, I am sure not only him but the whole country wants him to play for the WC which will be his last. So, will he be fit for the WC?

  202. #202 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 17, 2011 - 12:43 AM

    khansahab

    Waqar is a chutiyum suplhate uski baat choro he was good as a bowler and a commentator who entertains us with his bloopers otherwise he is just a Duddoo. I don’t think he deserves the job of a coach. First of all his appointment as a coach is illegal, the Justice Qayyum Report has clearly and explicitly mentioned that none of these players i.e., Wasim, Waqar, Mushtaq, Salim Malik, Ejaz Ahmad and Ata ur Rahman should ever play for Pakistan or get employment from the PCB. And, I wonder how they can ignore him and offer him a job? Secondly, Waqar has neither the experience nor the capability to be a coach.

    In my opinion none of these players have any qualifications to be a coach neither from the past team nor from the current team. In fact the current team is so full of uneducated, uncouth idiots they don’t even know the morals, ethics of the game, they don’t know how to carry on or present themselves in public or in front of the media. So, this ritual of appointing ex-players as coach, selector etc. should NEVER be considered as a qualification. Being a good player is something else and coaching someone is something else. A good student cannot be a good teacher, those skills are very different and not all are blessed with that. Take care.

  203. #203 by Pawan on January 17, 2011 - 12:45 AM

    Javed,

    Its a do or die situation for Tendulkar. I can bet he will play no matter what. He has no option.

  204. #204 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 17, 2011 - 12:50 AM

    Pawan

    Its not about you or me betting or he is dying to play, the point is how serious is his injury? May be they will include him in the squad hoping he will be fine. What if he is not? Do you think they will include someone else then? The WC is starting in 5 weeks from now and it is important that they make the right decision.

  205. #205 by Pawan on January 17, 2011 - 12:53 AM

    Javed,

    They’ve said its a hamstring injury. For a hamstring injury, it doesn’t take up to 5 weeks to recover. I think its not serious. And they will include him.

  206. #206 by Pawan on January 17, 2011 - 12:57 AM

    Since being the captain Misbah has made 9, 76 not out, 77, 58 not out vs SA and 62, 30 (currently batting) vs NZ. Average of 104. Impressive.

  207. #207 by newguy on January 17, 2011 - 12:59 AM

    Pawan / Javed,

    On Tendulkar, I don’t think he has any serious injury, we don’t even know he has an injury, they said something like he has something of a injury. Is this true, or is it just another way to pull another player out of SA without displeasing the hosts? May be not. I think it is something minor.

    Coming to tournament itself, I don’t think any one player will make a difference to the winning team, they have to play as a team to win. You don’t need a Tendulkar scoring 200 or Dhoni’s captaincy, you need 11 guys pulling their bit in the field and with the bat, if a team does that then they will win the tournament. Most WC wins were won by teams that pulled together, except the Australian team from 1999 to 2007 who were superior to everyone else and the WI team of 1975 and 1979.

    India in 1983 did it with 11 guys pulling together, Australia in ’87 same and Pakistan in ’92 same, and SL in ’96 also same. Of course there were some special performance and some captaincy involved, but mostly team work will get a team through.

  208. #208 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 17, 2011 - 1:07 AM

    newguy

    It is true that you need 11 players to play as a unit, but one or two key players make a big difference in winning and losing. In the 1996 WC at the semifinal in Bangalore when Wasim Chakram the Suttay Baaz reportedly too 1 crore and 40 lac rupees and decided to withdraw from the team 10 minutes before the start of the game made so much difference that the team lost.

    Why is Australia so weak without McGrath and Warne? Tendulkar’s presence in the team has lifted the morale of the team and I think if he is not playing, India will have a definite setback despite the fact Sehwag and Gambhir will be in the team. Just one bad performance from the openers…………. there is no stability without Tendulkar. So, its my concern. And, I want him to play because, whoever wins against India with Gambhir, Sehwag and Tendulkar can boast that they have defeated full strength team and not the one without the key players. So, I wish him all the best and I want to see GREAT cricket.

  209. #209 by Pawan on January 17, 2011 - 1:09 AM

    New guy,

    Of course its a team game, but you need special performance from someone to start the team engine. Inzi did that in world cup 92. What an innings he played! That started the team engine which then just got better with great team performances. You can even look at Watson’s 161 yesterday. That has infused amounts of enthusiasm in the team unknown previously.

    There is no denying the fact that the team has to perform, but that one special performance is needed.. Kapil 175 against Zim?

  210. #210 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 17, 2011 - 4:22 AM

    Pawan

    That Kapil’s knock of 175 was the turning point, he came in when the chips were down, all the big guns have gone cheaply especially Gavaskar and Srikant were out on a duck and there was no hope and then came Kapil he started hammering all over the park I remember he hit something like 6 sixes and dunno how many fours but, it was a great innings in any world cup so far.

  211. #211 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 17, 2011 - 2:06 PM

    Following is the 15 man squad of Indian team for the WC:

    MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla, R Ashwin

    The team looks good on paper, if there are no injuries they are the best team at home ground with home crowd support to win the WC.

  212. #212 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 17, 2011 - 2:10 PM

    Younis philosophical after umpiring howler

    The Pakistan-New Zealand series has become an advert for the benefits of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) after Pakistan’s Younis Khan became the latest victim of an umpiring error.

    The third day of the second test at Wellington was marred by a hint of controversy with Khan given out caught in close by Jesse Ryder for 73 off Daniel Vettori on the final ball before the tea break.

    Television replays showed the ball had ballooned off the batsman’s pad, without touching his bat, to Ryder at forward short leg.

    It was the seventh decision in the match that could have potentially been overturned by the UDRS, which is not in use in the series, though Khan remained philosophical.

    “It was a good partnership with the captain, we were a little bit unlucky because it was 150 runs partnership and we could have gone on,” he said.

    “It’s the nature of the game, the umpires are human. You can’t blame anyone for the decision.

    “In future we need it (UDRS) regularly in the test game and one-dayers, and also Twenty20 as well.”
    Share

  213. #213 by newguy on January 17, 2011 - 5:24 PM

    India WC team selection is over and it is a good one, only two minor changes from the list I put out yesterday. Ashwin and Chawla in place of Sreesanth and Ojha, I must say this is a better selection because Sreesanth is not a good ODI bowler and Chawla instead of Ojha is for including a leg spinner against SA and Eng who are weak against leg spin bowling. This could prove crucial in league phase or even in knockouts.

    When is Pakistan announcing their WC team? what will it look like?

  214. #214 by khansahab on January 17, 2011 - 6:01 PM

    Yousuf not happy with Pakistan selectors

    KARACHI: Pakistan’s former captain and senior batsman Mohammed Yousuf has expressed disappointment at the treatment being meted out to him by the national selectors but stopped short of announcing retirement plans.

    Yousuf told the media while playing a match of the national one-day championship in Karachi for Lahore that he was disappointed at not being picked for the one-day series in New Zealand.

    “I don’t know what is the criteria of the selectors for selecting someone. I am in form and I am fit what more can I do to convince them I should play for Pakistan,” Yousuf said.

    The national selectors did not consider him for the ODIs in New Zealand but have named in the preliminary list of 30 players for the World Cup.

    But sources close to the selectors say that they are not convinced that Yousuf is 100 percent match fit for a major tournament like the World Cup.

    But Yousuf, who scored 63 for Lahore on Sunday, said he was match fit or would not be playing in domestic cricket.

    “I had some problem with a strained muscle while touring UAE for the South Africa series but now I have made a complete recovery. An unfit batsman cannot take three and two runs regularly during his innings,” he said while referring to his innings.

  215. #215 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 17, 2011 - 7:25 PM

    Pawan

    You wrote: “Javed, They’ve said its a hamstring injury. For a hamstring injury, it doesn’t take up to 5 weeks to recover. I think its not serious. And they will include him.”

    I knew they would include him and they did. But, hamstring injury is not as simple as you think especially when you have to play for 7-8 hours during an ODI and you have to play quite a few matches with 100% fitness and perform well.

    Now, take a look at the news about Mike Hussey, whose selection is now doubtful because of hamstring injury. “Scans on Hussey’s left hamstring have revealed the left-hander has ripped part of a tendon off the bone near the gluteus muscle on the upper thigh. While the injury will certainly curtail Hussey’s involvement in the seven-match one-day series against England, it also casts doubt over his selection for the World Cup with Australia due to name their 15-man squad for the tournament, which starts on February 19, by Wednesday. “

    There is no doubt that every injury is different from person to person but, when a player is not 100% fit its a different matter. There was a time when Tendulkar was in real trouble with his elbow injury and during that year and a half his performance wasn’t as good as it is when he is fit.

  216. #216 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 17, 2011 - 7:31 PM

    newguy

    Besides Chawla’s leg spin bowling he is also a better batsman than Ohja and I agree with the rest of your comments. As regards Pak team selection “Yae Baree Gambhir Samasiya hai.” A few of the known jingoists have to sit with their BIG BUTTS on a round table in a Oval room and think crooked about whom to axe and how to accommodate a sifarishi player?

    They would love to wait as long as they can, they make announcement at the 11th hour, if given a choice they can even wait till the toss but, that again is a problem for them because they have to announce the captain first. So, in any case they are in a dilemma and “DE-C-YEN” making is a big, big problem for them.

  217. #217 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 18, 2011 - 4:17 AM

    This is the first time Misbah has given Hafeez more than 2 overs and Hafeez has taken 2 wickets in his 7 overs so far. Misbah is a slow learner it is obvious from his career, it took him ages to recognize himself a candidate for playing XI, he was in and out of the team from the time he made his debut. This is the only time he has captained the team and just a couple of draws and so far one win and people are talking about making him captain of the ODI team for the World Cup. The selectors and supporters of Pakistan cricket often worship the rising sun and they welcome their heroes with garlands and rose petals and then they shower shoes and pelt stones to get them out. I am not surprised at this attitude, it is a part of the culture and no wonder Pakistan leadership is full of uneducated, uncouth, selfish and ruthless leaders.

  218. #218 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 18, 2011 - 4:19 AM

    At the moment New Zealand are 200 runs ahead with 5 wickets in hand, Taylor is still batting with Reece Young and Daniel Vittori yet to come. If they take the lead past 300, it will be difficult for Pakistan to score. They need to restrict the lead under 250-260 max otherwise they will be under pressure from the outset.

  219. #219 by Mohammed Munir on January 18, 2011 - 7:04 AM

    Javed Khan …

    NZ are all-out for 293 and now Pakistan needs 273 on a full fifth and final day of the Test.

    You were hoping for 250-260, and I think 273 is still a good bet.

    Having that being said, it would not be a cakewalk for Pakistan to get 273 on the final day with Vittori coming into play. Moreover, since Pakistan are one-up in the series, they don’t have to take undue risks and are not in a must-win situation.

    Umer Gull bowled exceptionally well and so did Hafeez. I think Hafeez is also due for a good innings as he couldn’t contribute much with the bat so far on this tour. Asad Shafiq is also unable to cement his place and would like to be among the scores.

    Misbah has played really good so far and he has five consecutive 50s (Five consecutive Test fifties in a row). It seems Misbah is grabbing the Captaincy opportunity with both hands and his teeth also. 😉

    As is expected, Misbah will be definitely in for the World Cup squad, however, I think making him ODI Captain for World Cup will be a big big mistake.

    Butt then again, Woh Butt Hee Kiya Jo Mistaaike Na Karay. 😆

  220. #220 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 18, 2011 - 12:17 PM

    Pakistan announces its 15 man squad for the World Cup 2011 but, not the captain.

    Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal (wk), Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir, Ahmed Shehzad.

    There is definitely a conspiracy going on when and how to announce Misbah as the captain. Waiting for Afridi to flop in the ODI or waiting for Misbah to win the 2nd test also.

    Tanvir Ahmad would have been better than Sohail Tanvir or Shoaib Akhtar, he bowls straight and he has taken wickets so far he is definitely better than both of them. But, politics in cricket has always ruined the lives and careers of so many players and he is just another victim. His only sin is, he is from Karachi.

  221. #221 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 18, 2011 - 12:25 PM

    Munir

    Whether the Butt roars from the rear or, misfires his stinking missile the exploding effect is enough to destroy the surroundings. 😀

    I agree that Misbah is batting well so far but, his captaincy has nothing to do with it. He has no clue about field placements, bowling changes and he is not an aggressive captain. It is a matter of luck that the test matches against SA were drawn and against NZ they are one up so far and 50/50 chance to win the second test. But, he should not be the captain for the WC team.

  222. #222 by Pawan on January 18, 2011 - 1:59 PM

    Javed,

    Agreed that Hussey’s hamstring injury was indeed serious. But that was apparent from the way they treated it – immediate operation. I am not an expert in the area of physiotherapy, but that was my observation. Indeed if Tendulkar’s injury was serious he would’ve been operated immediately and there would’ve been a lot of noise about it everywhere. So through common sense I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a serious one.

  223. #223 by Pawan on January 18, 2011 - 2:03 PM

    A good team for Pakistan IMO.
    Misbah is a better choice for captain IMO.
    But its a close call.

    Make no mistake, this is a very strong and talented Pakistan team and they will be fired up to win the WC11 after what they have and are going through as a team and a nation.

    Adversity can bring forth unimaginable motivation.

  224. #224 by newguy on January 18, 2011 - 2:03 PM

    Javed Khan,

    We spoke about Pakistan team selection yesterday and out of the blue they have announced the team today. Did anyone know they were going to? Anyway, most teams are finalizing their 15 member squad in these two weeks and Pakistan selection is keeping up with it.

    I had similar thoughts as yours about captaincy selection, i.e, even before I read your comment about 2nd test result I thought they are waiting for 2nd test result and if Pakistan wins it they will pick Misbah as captain. They will then have a reason to show that Misbah is bringing solidity to the team and they want to have the same solidity in ODI team.

    Coming to 2nd test, Pakistan cannot lost this test anyway since NZ cannot bowl out Pakistan in a day. In my view Pakistan should go for a win and not settle for a draw. There is no need to score runs at a brisk pace either, they need to score 3 runs an over throughout the day and whether not interfering this should not be a problem, since this team doesn’t look like they will collapse like the earlier ones.

    I think it was a mistake to announce the team without a captain, I also feel Akhtar is a spent force and should not have been included, Sohail Tanveer I don’t know since I haven’t seen him play lately. My feeling is that Tanvir Ahmed looks like in better bowling form than both.

    My gut feeling is that Misbah will be captain, but I could be wrong. Anyway, whoever can be captain but Pakistan should make Quarter finals for sure because unlike I thought earlier four teams will make it from the league phase, so surely Pakistan along with Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka will make it. Then it is a question of three knockout games to the top. Teams will get one month match practice in the league phase since real competition is only starting with knockout games.

  225. #225 by Pawan on January 18, 2011 - 4:29 PM

    Javed

    Don’t be so dissapointed over Akhtar. Even if he is in the squad, I doubt if he will make the starting eleven. You have what Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul and if a third seamer is needed then Wahab Riaz. So Actor will have to wait until someone gets injured or the captain suffers brain explosion.

  226. #226 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 18, 2011 - 4:33 PM

    newguy

    India needs to win this ODI after dismissing SA for a paltry score of 220 with 6 wickets falling in the last 5 overs. Ravi Shastri was saying that the wicket is very tricky and to score 220 will not be that easy. Probably he is right, the ball was keeping very low. But, Zaheer bowled very well today, with the new ball he was constantly beating Smith who knew nothing about where and which way the ball is moving. On more than 6 occasions he was beaten and eventually he was smiling to save embarrassment.

    As regards Pakistan winning the second test like I said, it is a 50-50 chance, it all depends on how the openers play. Misbah, Azhar Ali and Younus Khan have both scored well so I am not expecting them to score the same amount of runs in the second innings. Taufeeq, Hafeez and Ashad Shafiq should score and that will not be easy against Vittori.

    Regarding the WC we will discuss about it later.

  227. #227 by newguy on January 18, 2011 - 4:37 PM

    Hi Guys,

    I will reserve my comments on Pakistan team selected for WC until later. I think the team looks strong on paper, not many complaints on the bowling side except the odd last spot may be. Batting is where I am not sure whether this is a good ODI line up that can win big matches. But then one can never underestimate a team that has the likes of Younus Khan, Kamran Akmal and Misbah especially on sub-continent wickets. I would say opening may be a bit weaker since no Butt there.

  228. #228 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 18, 2011 - 4:38 PM

    Pawan

    Akhtar has eaten up a place and in a 50 overs match he is a liability because just after 2 overs he starts huffing and puffing inhalers at the boundary line. So, it is a disappointment and sad thing that they kept him only because of his name and experience. Once upon a time he was good but he is a spent force now. Btw, you think this Pak team looks very good to you? I don’t think so, there is not one player who is reliable they all perform individually and once in blue moon and when they do, the team wins. Here its a tournament and the team needs consistency which is lacking. Reaching quarterfinals would be an achievement for them.

  229. #229 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 18, 2011 - 4:40 PM

    newguy

    I think Salman Butt’s absence is a blessing, he is a negative player if one needs to choose between a devil and the deep sea, I would choose the devil called Shoaib Malik because he can bat, bowl and also fields well i.e., only if he remains honest.

  230. #230 by Pawan on January 18, 2011 - 4:48 PM

    Javed, New guy,

    Pak team is definitely a good ODI team. Younis Khan is of course the lead batsman and he is the key according to me. I understand that they are a bit weak on the batting, but they’ve a very very good bowling line up. Of course they don’t start favorites, but hey, they can upset anyone and I for one, expect them to do so quite genuinely. Regarding their travails in this WC, its anyones (or should we say bookies?!) guess. But I strongly believe that if Pak can make it to the quarter-finals then they have every chance of winning the cup. but agreed they need not be complacent about the minnows. Regarding India, it is also the same, they have to be careful of the minnows, so they have to guard themselves not from complacency, but from public pressure – shut down those TV’s, newspapers or stop reading stuff on the internet – thats what I would suggest to the Indian players during the course of this big long tournament.

    By the way, one thing in favor of Afridi is that I expect him to be honest till his last drop of blood as opposed to Misbah..

  231. #231 by Pawan on January 18, 2011 - 4:53 PM

    Javed,

    In a pressure tournament like this note that:

    1. You need an experienced bowler. It doesn’t matter if he is in the playing 11 or not. But there is always this back-up cushion that hey we have someone who has been through this a couple of times. It also helps dressing room immensely. Agreed, he is not super-fit, but he being around is not a negative influence like Malik/Butt.

    2. You need a captain who is cool and calm, rather than spontaneous and too aggressive like Afridi. I saw his videos of him abusing Hafeez. That is not good. Do it all in the dressing room. Don’t start stripping on the field. Especially, during pressure tournaments like the WC. Agreed he has woken Hafeez up, but he could’ve done that bashing in-house.

  232. #232 by newguy on January 18, 2011 - 5:53 PM

    Javed Khan,

    Shoaib Malik is the other player I was going to say is missing from the line up, but that is obvious, but if Malik is included who will you exclude? When I said Butt not able to play is a problem is because he can anchor the innings at the top and that is very useful if an opener can stabilize the innings and go on to play a long innings. Agreed about his non cricketing “skills” makes him good to omit.

    As for the team itself, we got to wait and see, they will get plenty of practice in the league as no pressure other than beat Canada, Kenya, and Zimbabwe to get into Quarter final. There onwards you need impact players, on paper you got Afridi, Razzaq, Younus Khan, Kamran Akmal, Misbah, and Umar Akmal who are impact players with the bat. It’s a question of whether they can deliver and motivate themselves as a team.

    But plenty of time to go still, so no point commenting now.

    As for Ind-SA game, India did well to bowl SA out, but I think they will struggle to get 221 because of inexperienced batting line up. As we speak now, they have lost Kohli who was batting reasonably well but he was losing concentration and got out trying to drive Morkel. It is not easy to drive on this wicket is what commentators are saying, and Morkel is not the easiest to do that, Kohli wasted his wicket, otherwise I would have said they were well positioned. Now with Yuvraj and Sharma at crease anything can happen.

    If India pull this off, I will say they played really well, but it’s marginally on the SA side at this time.

  233. #233 by newguy on January 18, 2011 - 5:59 PM

    I just said anything can happen in Ind-SA game and Sharma is gone now. Ind are 61/3 with the two most experienced players in this side at the crease, Dhoni and Yuvraj need to have a partnership of at least 100 runs if India are to win this game, otherwise it’s as good as SA win.

  234. #234 by newguy on January 18, 2011 - 7:31 PM

    YKP provided some entertainment by hitting three big sixes in one over and some good hits for four, as of now he scored a 50. This is good to see Pathan succeeding in SA where everyone thought he may be vulnerable. He looks like he has done some hard work and his game has improved.

    But Suresh Raina threw the game away when it looked like India could have been back in the game and put pressure on SA. Morkel was not the man to try and hot against, especially when less than 4 runs were required. I don’t understand the thinking and shot selection of some of these young Indian batsmen like Kohli and Raina taking on the most difficult bowler to hit against when all they need is to play him out.

    I think India will still lose this match although YKP has taken India closer, they are done if he makes a mistake and gets out. India could have won this game easily only if some of the players were sensible.

  235. #235 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 18, 2011 - 8:29 PM

    India wins

    What a game, it was very tense. The platform was laid by My Nick Name is Yousuf Pathan and Raina, but in the end Harbhajan kept his cool and finished off the game by stuffing the ball into the chokers throat.

    Congratulations to our Indian bloggers.

    Something in Urdu:

    “Yousuf Pathan nay maar, maar kay Johan Ka Bootha suja diya.”

    Ps. Bootha in Punjabi means face.

  236. #236 by newguy on January 18, 2011 - 8:31 PM

    Well, what a game, and India won again despite poor shot selections, SA just could not handle the pressure again. I think I underestimated Harbhajan and Zaheer after Yousuf got out I had given up. But what a knock from YKP, this really should boost his confidence as he has played a match winning innings outside of the sub continent.

  237. #237 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 18, 2011 - 8:34 PM

    newguy

    now relax India has won again without Tendulkar, Gambhir and Sehwag and that too in SA so these CHOKERS will never be able to finish off a game cleanly. Congratulations to you once again.

  238. #238 by Mohammed Munir on January 19, 2011 - 6:30 AM

    Congratulations to our Indian bloggers.

    SA, after getting out for only 220, never really had a serious chance in this match, but then early Indian wickets made it an interesting game for viewers. In the end, what happened was exactly as expected to happen from the start of second innings.

    ‘My-nick-name-is-Yousuf-Pathan’ has played well and although Steyn and Morkel hit him with few nasty bouncers on shoulder/ body, but he proved what is he made of … Solid Stainless Steel. 😉

    On Pakistan Drawing the Second Test against NZ, and Winning the Test Series 1 – 0 ….

    Well what else can be said about a defensive and chicken-hearted Captain.

    Misbah played a very negative game and deprived real cricket fans of a good match.

    Although it sounds good to win a Test Series in NZ, but the fact is that we were so close to make history and whitewashing NZ 2 – 0. But the fact is that this is Pakistan’s first Test Series win since 2006, so one can imagine how important it was to win it.

    However, on the other hand, no one can deny Misbah full credit for his humongous efforts of “Six Consecutive Test Fifties” coming against SA in UAE and NZ in NZ. It is worth mentioning here that a few of those innings were played under huge pressure and saved Pakistan of sure defeats. This is no mean task by any stretch of imagination, and when we see our current Pakistani batting lineup, it is something really special in the face of all the inconsistency that our team as well as individual players are so famous for.

    I would like to know what the World Record is for highest number of consecutive Test Fifties by any player, but it will be more interesting to know how many Pakistani batting greats, if any, have achieved this feat before.

    I think Khansahab would like to throw some light on record books for us. 😉

    Another point to take home from this Test is that Younis Khan has regained his lost batting form and this is great positive for Team Pakistan. Similarly, Umer Gul also revived his bowling performance.

    Fit and in-form Younis and Gul are an absolute much for Pakistan to have some outside chances in the World Cup games.

  239. #239 by Mohammed Munir on January 19, 2011 - 6:41 AM

    Pakistan’s 15 man Squad for World Cup …

    First and foremost, it is such a shame that PCB have announced the squad without the Captain. I really pitty Afridi, I mean what the guy must be going through with this uncertainty, whereas Misbah will also be hoping that the captaincy-cap falls on his head.

    PCB management and it’s Selectors have once again proved that what are they made up of … ‘Pure Crap’. 😆

    Coming back to the players, although, it seems more or less ‘ok’ with the options available, but I think had we had Aamir/ Asif in there, it would have been an altogether different team. Shoaib Akhter is definitely not required and I agree with most of the above comments that ‘Shoaib is a spent-force’ and he can not bowl 10 overs in a match and that too on dead Asian wickets and under hot/ humid Sri Lankan weather.

    My biggest disappointment among the world cup squad is missing Mohammed Yousuf, and IMO Yousuf should have been selected ahead of Asad Shafiq. I don’t have anything against Asad and he may be good and all that, but the fact remains that for such an important and pressure tournament you can not ignore “Experience”. Secondly, since WC is going to be played in Asia, batting will always be more important then bowling department.

    But unfortunately for Pakistan, the bowling department can not be as strong (without Aamir & Asif) as it should have been, and at the same time the batting area is also not as mature and experienced as it could have become with Mohammed Yousuf’s inclusion in the squad.

    Anyways, this has been the story of Pakistan team. 😦

  240. #240 by Mohammed Munir on January 19, 2011 - 10:50 AM

    When are we going to have a new thread ❓ 😉

  241. #241 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 19, 2011 - 1:11 PM

    Defensive Captaincy, negative and un-entertaining cricket can make people Heroes in Pakistan especially if you are from the elite province of Pakistan. Anyone else would be condemned and criticized for playing for himself and not for the country. Drawing a test series and drawing another match is considered as an achievement. People like Osman Samiuddin has hailed Misbahul Haq’s efforts as extraordinary and heroics, in his latest article on cricinfo he has showered praises and accolades on him so much that, one can see it as an obvious flattery. The purpose of which is obvious, he too wants Misbah to captain the Pakistan side for the 2011 WC. See below what he has written:

    “The pressing need of the moment is a book on Misbah-ul-Haq. If cards are played sharply, perhaps a film can be considered too. All that remains is for him to take over as ODI captain – and given that he only played two ODIs last year after which he was dropped, that is all but assured – and win Pakistan the 2011 World Cup. Sir Don Bradman’s average as captain was Misbah-esque: the Don averages merely 101.75 to Misbah’s 112.75. Misbah would make a great chairman of the PCB in another 15 years!!”

    1. A Book on Misbah
    2. A Movie on Misbah
    3. Misbah’s average better than Sir Don Bradman
    4. Misbah to be the future Chairman of the PCB.

    I think Osman Samiuddin has gone BONKERS and so has many of those Jiyalas who think so high of Misbah.

  242. #242 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 19, 2011 - 1:16 PM

    Captaincy drama doesn’t bother Afridi

    “I am a senior professional and I know what I have to do. I have to lead the team to win the series and perform well as player,” said Afridi.

    KARACHI: Shahid Afridi on Tuesday said he was not worried over not being named Pakistan captain because it was a job he had never coveted.

    The 30-year-old all-rounder is tipped to lead the team in next month’s World Cup, to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

    But when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the 15-man squad on Tuesday, no captain was named, leading to speculation Pakistan’s Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq may take the honours.

    “I am not worried about the captaincy, it never worries me,” Afridi told reporters before leaving for New Zealand, where a six-match one day series starts in Wellington on January 22.

    The Test team is already in New Zealand.

    Afridi said being named to play for his country was the most important thing.

    “I have never run after captaincy in my entire career. It is something for the cricket board to decide

    “If they feel I am the right man they will appoint me and if they don’t they will make someone else captain,” said Afridi, whose position looked precarious after the team’s 2-1 defeat in the Twenty20 series in New Zealand last month.

    Afridi, 30, said he did not feel under any undue pressure.

    “I am a senior professional and I know what I have to do. I have to lead the team to win the series and perform well as player,” said Afridi.

    “I know our winning the series will be very important because if we win in New Zealand it will give us a boost for the World Cup,” said Afridi.

  243. #243 by newguy on January 19, 2011 - 2:04 PM

    Hi Guys,

    I too was disappointed with the way Pakistan approached the game yesterday, granted that they lost three early wickets and that would have put them on a defensive mindset. But after that second session in which Younus and Misbah had a good partnership they were in a position to go for a win. In the last session Pakistan needed 100 odd runs in 32 overs at around 3 runs an over, their overall scoring rate was around 2.5, so upping the run rate a bit with just about 30 overs to go and six wickets in hand with a set batsman in Misbah who can defend one end should things to wrong was not at all out of question. All they needed was to attack from the other end and try to get 2 or 3 good overs, then continue scoring at their normal rate. Instead they have decided they will block and contend with a draw, even that is being hailed as a great achievement, so why bother must be the thinking. But it made very boring watching especially since NZ bowling lacked any teeth, there was no need to defend like they were under attack.

    I think Younus and Misbah has brought solidity to the middle order in tests, but remains to be seen how good he is in ODIs.

  244. #244 by JAVED A. KHAN on January 19, 2011 - 5:26 PM

    newguy

    We have a new thread so please comment on that.

    As regards your observation, I have the same feeling but, what can you do with a captain whose mindset was defensive from the onset? He was aiming for a draw to hold the cup and win the hearts of his supporters. A two test match series is not a series at all and calling it a series win is a joke. Secondly, the NZ team is at its low and beating them is not a biggy. Bangladesh and India have thrashed and whitewashed them recently. Lets see what these TEES MAAR KHANS will do in the 5 match ODI series?

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