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The miracle of Shahid Afridi

Pakistan cricket cannot be explained without references to miracles, madness and unpredictability. Perhaps these three words signify Shahid Afridi the most.

This blog has done exclusive threads on many players before- Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Asif, Tendulkar, Sehwag etc but never on Afridi. Shahid Afridi’s journey in international cricket has been fraught with various accomplishments but some controversies as well. He enjoys immense fan following but divides immense opinion amongst fans and critics.

Those who saw Afridi's debut fastest century against Sri Lanka realised that Pakistan had discovered something very special

At Nairobi in 1996 the Pakistani team management decided to take a gamble by sending a leg spinner by the name of Shahid Khan Afridi to bat in the top order. Afridi was known at domestic level for an occasional pinch hitter but primarily as a bowler. And what a gamble it turned out to be. As Afridi hit Muralitharan and other bowlers for sixes, people realised the effect of clean, fearless hitting.

This type of hitting was never seen before in international cricket. People speak of players who make batting look easy and who change trends in cricket. There are many Pakistani players who have accomplished heroic and unprecedented deeds and have found their way in history books. Imran Khan for captaincy, Miandad for his tenacity and last ball six, Wasim and Waqar for their reverse swing, Saqlain for his doosra and so on and forth. Yet, we rarely ever discuss that Afridi has played such a significant part in the way cricket has eventually become a batsman’s game. Adam Gilchrist, Chris Cairns, Imran Nazir, Dhoni, Sehwag etc, these players started making their presence felt and hitting the ball cleanly in attempts to hit all the way for six. I believe Shahid Afridi has played a monumental

Inconsistent he can be, incapable he is not

role in certainly influencing, if not changing the art of modern batting.

In fact when it comes to quick runs Afridi is better than the abovementioned players because of his strike rate. Afridi’s strike rate is 114 in ODI’s compared to Dhoni’s 88 and Sehwag’s 104. One must not forget he has played 314 ODI’s and his playing style has largely remained the same in this 15 year career. Afridi has 6 centuries in ODI cricket and 31 fifties; this is for those critics who think he can only score big by fluke. Speaking of flukes, Afridi proved that the Nairobi 37 ball 100 was not a fluke when he scored the 2nd fastest century in ODI’s against India in India.

Afridi the dangerous bowler

2007 saw the rise of Afridi the expert bowler. Since 2007 Afridi has been world class. Recently I divulged that Afridi’s bowling statistics since 2007 are better than Harbhajan’s and Vettori’s career statistics. Recently Harsha Bhogle commented that Afridi is arguably the best spinner of the world. It is the transition from being an ordinary legspinner to being the best ODI spinner that speaks in volumes of the talent this man possesses.

Normally bowlers become batsmen as they reach towards the end of their careers. This happened with Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Saqlain, and this has also happened with players like Gillespie, Warne, Harbhajan and Zaheer Khan. However with Afridi the reverse seems to have happened. Although Afridi started off as a legspinner, it was

Afridi has also taken some of the most memorable catches taken by Pakistanis. This is his catch which arguably made Pakistan believe they could win the T20 World Cup

obvious that his batting was the more commendable aspect of his attributes, not least because he broke a few batting records. However Afridi has become a wicket taking bowler as time has progressed. This is something that has cemented his place in the ODI team. In my opinion Afridi was born to play cricket. That he has diversified from being an ordinary bowler, to a pinch hitting specialist to a world class bowler shows that he was born for this sport. It also shows the range of his talent.

Yet, his bowling and batting are not the only admirable traits of his. Afridi is also a charismatic leader. He does know of any alternatives to playing except with

Afridi can be stupid and emotional but he has never been accused or found guilty of match fixing

patriotism and passion. He may have scuffed a pitch, eaten a ball or pointed his bat towards an aggressive spectator, but he has never been involved in bribery or spot or match fixing. The former acts can be attributed to stupidity as they have not by themselves been committed outside the public gaze. However, the latter acts are done outside the public domain with a deliberate scheme to change the outcome of a match. A wrongdoer who commits a shameful act in front of the world has a different mindset to one who does it in hiding or worse still, one who does it in hiding with the intention of underperforming for his country. This is the difference between players like Wasim Akram, Saleem Malik, Salman Butt etc and Afridi.

In this World Cup Afridi has breathed life into the team which is high on morale. There were plenty of hurdles Pakistan had to go through but they have conquered all of them yet. Pakistan’s challenge is now solely the danger that Australian and South African pacemen pose. Whatever the outcome of Pakistan’s campaign in this Cup, this victorious start will long be remembered. Shahid Afridi’s team is one that was being laughed at before the Cup for its controversies and disorganisation but one week into the World Cup and Pakistan are being hailed as favourites. This is the magic of Afridi.

In conclusion, Afridi is the pulse of Pakistan cricket. He embodies Pakistan’s unpredictability, the excitement, the fairy-tale glories and I cautiously say, the genius. He has hit the most sixes in international cricket, he is only the 2nd ODI player to have made 6000 runs and taken 300 wickets, but his greatness is neither limited to nor is evident by numbers. His greatness is the effect his energy and his passion has on the opposition. His talent is evident in the way he has played some of the most stunning limited overs’ knocks, taken some miraculous catches and his uncanny but dangerous legspin. He is a seriously under rated cricketer and we would not support him so much on this blog if he was rated fairly. His critics do not look beyond his average of 23-24 in ODI’s. With this cricketer, you need to look at the overall picture and not one statistic.

He will not retire as the highest wicket taker or the highest run scorer. However, he will retire as a damn good contender to be one of the most influential and iconic cricketers the world has ever seen.

 

The pulse of Pakistan cricket, and one of its most iconic cricketers

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  1. #1 by khansahab on February 27, 2011 - 8:42 PM

    we have a new thread

  2. #2 by newguy on February 27, 2011 - 11:23 PM

    I have a question for those of you who support UDRS completely.

    There was a decision in today’s game against Ian Bell that Billy Bowden gave NOT OUT and after India called for review the Hawkeye showed the ball hitting middle of middle stump. Computer showed that impact as hitting wicket, and it was in line and height was not a problem at all.

    But even after it was confirmed to Billy Bowden he decided to overrule the review decision. This was shocking to everyone on the ground and on TV. The reason it seems that the impact was 2.5 meters away from stump. If 2.5 meters away from stump is not conclusive for a decision then how did Hawkey came up with ball hitting middle of middle stump.

    It seems like the human decision prevailed even after technology showing Ian Bell was out. At that time he was on 17 and he went on to make 60 odd runs, which in the end would have turned the match in India’s favor.

    This does not mean India was inept in the field.

    But my question is if UDRS is supported then why is a human umpire allowed to overrule the decision even when the review shows something different?

    If this is the case, then what is the point of UDRS anyway?

  3. #3 by M . Y. Kasim on February 27, 2011 - 11:39 PM

    What an excellent and thought-provoking articles by both of you 😀

    Those se-called “greats” are nothing but jealous of their short-comings. they wish they could have done and/or achieved what he has achieved so far and know very well what he is capable to do further.

    Look at the way Imran Khan has described him thus: when goes to bat and has played two balls according to merit, THE WHOLE WORLD knows he will go for a big hit, including the bowler: who plans and send down the third ball accordingly and he is OUT trying to send the ball out of the Stadium. HE IS SO PREDICTABLLE 🙂

    Imran Khan forgot that if the whole world knows what he is going to do next, then Afridi could certainly have planned to do the un-expected as well to out-fox the bowler.

    The others. I dont give them much attention 😀

  4. #4 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 28, 2011 - 12:25 AM

    newguy

    I would blame the BCCI for not implementing the whole package of the UDRS, they should have gone for the hotspot as well as for the snickometer. Right now I have to go and when I come back later in the night I will write more.

    khansahab

    On similar thread, that is because you and me are one person, remember? 😀 A lot of people on PakSpin used to think like that and used to say that khansahab and Javed A. Khan are one person. Well most people might say great minds think alike, but I always say, “fools seldom disagree.” Well, this is not humility but the truth. 😉

  5. #5 by newguy on February 28, 2011 - 1:10 AM

    JAK,

    How is BCCI to blame for an ICC event? I thought ICC decided on using UDRS for WC and everything goes as per ICC directions. Is BCCI deciding not to use hotspot and snicko for India matches? what about other games in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh? are they using it? I don’t understand. Here the problem is different, Hawkey showed ball hitting stumps, but still on field umpire overruled it, since his first decision is to give not out based on what he thought as too far down the pitch then it is not going to change, so the review in this instance was a moot point. He wasn’t going to give out, and he was going to overrule even with hotspot or whatnot.

  6. #6 by khansahab on February 28, 2011 - 9:25 AM

    Man or machine? Decision review system under fire

    NEW DELHI: In a whirl of high-definition graphics, the Umpire Decision Review System is drawing flak at the World Cup as the men in the middle endure trial by TV.

    The system, which allows teams to question an official’s on-field decision, is being used for the first time in a World Cup after making its debut during the first Test between New Zealand and Pakistan in November 2009.

    But India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes the system is flawed and was furious that his side were denied a wicket following a review in their epic tie with England on Sunday.

    India spinner Yuvraj Singh thought he had Ian Bell lbw on review when the batsman had made just 17, with replays showing the ball would have hit the stumps.

    Bell was given not out by New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden but had started to walk off. However, the decision was returned to Bowden by Australian replay official Rod Tucker and the Kiwi deemed Bell to be too far down the pitch to be dismissed.

    “The adulteration of technology with human thinking meant we didn’t get that (Bell) wicket,” said Dhoni, whose country refuses to use the system in home series.

    He was unhappy with the instruction to umpires that says if a batsman is more than 2.5 metres down the pitch he should be given not out, unless the ball would have hit middle stump.

    It was not certain if Bell’s middle stump would have been knocked over but Dhoni said: “If Hawk-Eye says it’s good and going to hit middle stump, I see no reason why the distance matters.”Bell went on to make 69 and shared a crucial third-wicket partnership of 170 with captain Andrew Strauss.

    At the World Cup, the UDRS is missing two of its vital aids – the Hot Spot and the Snickometer.

    The Hot Spot is an infra-red imaging system used to determine whether the ball has struck the batsman’s bat or pad while Snickometer is used to ascertain if the ball touched the bat on its way to the wicketkeeper.

    The unavailability of the Hot Spot and Snickometer means the third umpire only has the ball-tracker or Hawk-Eye, slow-motion replays and the stump microphone at his disposal.

    The review system came under early scrutiny during Sri Lanka’s World Cup opener with Canada.

    Mahela Jayawardene, who scored a match-winning century, was the focus of two referrals from Canada for caught behind decisions, both of which went against the minnows.

    TV replays in both cases were inconclusive and the benefit of doubt was given to the batsman.

    “For us, this was the first time we were playing under that rule and our guys were not experienced with it,” said Canada coach Pubudu Dassanayake.

    “Definitely without Hot Spot you can’t take proper decisions for caught behinds.”

    Jayawardene, despite benefiting in the absence of Hot Spot, said later it was a concern not having it as part of the UDRS.

    “They don’t have Hot Spot, and that’s probably the downside to it. I don’t think they have Snicko either.

    “You need to make sure that fair decisions are being made and we need to help the umpires especially because in the conditions it’s not easy for them to make correct decisions all the time.”

    That the technology is not foolproof was evident once again when Australia played New Zealand in Nagpur last week.

    The umpires employed UDRS to determine whether Australian skipper Ricky Ponting edged a leg-side delivery to wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum but in vain.

    Former Australian umpire Darrell Hair was scathing in his criticism of the review system, calling it detrimental to an umpire’s confidence.

    “If the game is going to sap the confidence of umpires to that extent, where they cannot trust their own calls to be made on basic bread-and-butter decisions, then the system has failed them,” he said in comments carried by the Herald Sun newspaper.

    “The ICC (International Cricket Council) should be working with their umpires to give them the skills and confidence to make correct decisions on the majority of occasions.

    “A review system by its very nature will uncover mistakes but management of why these mistakes occur in the first place should be the priority.”

  7. #7 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 28, 2011 - 11:19 AM

    newguy

    I am not talking about the particular incident but, from what I heard and what I read months ago before the WC, when the ICC approached the Australian company which sells the hotspot technology, the BCCI refused to chip in the bulk money that was demanded by the Australian company. The argument was about the cost which according to the BCCI was exorbitantly high. What I don’t understand is why snickometer was also not used, especially since India has the technology and they have used it before?

    khansahab has already copy pasted the news item above and to some extent it is also because of the ICC umpires who find themselves incompetent in front of the machines and technology. In my opinion one or two doubtful instances of hotspot does not make it obsolete or ineffective because, the umpires also make many mistakes, if the two can work together the chances of eliminating the mistakes could be reduced and players/teams will get a fair chance with the help of the UDRS.

    I don’t understand why such petty things come into debate by the cricket boards, the ICC, the players and even the umpires when it clearly helps in the benefit of the game in general? I don’t know if you remember or not, it was Pakistan (Imran Khan in particular) who were trying to force the neutral umpires for all international matches and there was a lot of resistance and finally it was Pakistan who first used the neutral umpires, since then it is history.

  8. #8 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 28, 2011 - 11:24 AM

    BATTING POWER PLAY A BLESSING FOR THE BATTING SIDE OR FOR THE FIELDING SIDE?

    The debate goes on “to take it or leave it”, and there is no conclusion yet, especially since yesterday’s match between India and England, both teams lost the momentum after taking the batting power play and today West Indies against Netherlands took the batting power play after the 36th over and just on the second ball, Chris Gayle who was well set on 80 runs, got caught out in the deep trying to hit a big six.

  9. #9 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 28, 2011 - 11:43 AM

    khansahab

    Your BOOM BOOM overshadowed my GO AFRIDI GO, :D. I am just kidding, it is OK because we always discuss things in general and not specifically restricted to the topic of the thread, besides the topic is almost the same as your brainwave coincided with mine or vice versa. Call it a psychic act, telephathy or “telephathetic” but this thing has happened a few times already that we both have said the same thing at the same time (may be in different words). I dunno about you, but in my case it has happened a few times with different people within my family and close friends, whatever they wanted to say, I have said it a second before they opened their mouth. Or, sometimes we have said the same thing at the same time. I know kids usually call it JINX. But, I believe it is not just co-incidence, it is definitely a mysterious link between conscious and subconscious minds between two people.

  10. #10 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 28, 2011 - 11:57 AM

    khansahab

    We wrote this new thread on Feb. 27th and, today i.e., on Feb. 28th someone called Faisal Kapadia wrote a blog on DAWN newspaper titled, “A letter to Lala, also known as BOOM BOOM.” This is not telepathy it is definitely “telephathetic,” because, he not only copied the theme, but also used the same suggestions in his blog which he considers it as “pearls of wisdom.” Actually we have said all this in these two threads and also been raving and ranting since ages i.e., about getting rid of Kamran Akmal and to promote Abdul Razzaq higher up the order etc., etc. So, we have geniuses in Pakistan who are very good at plagiarism.

  11. #11 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 28, 2011 - 12:01 PM

    In the previous thread i wrote something about betting in this WC, here is what Rashid Latif said today:

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/27/latif-fears-world-cup-format-encourages-fixing-report.html

  12. #12 by khansahab on February 28, 2011 - 9:20 PM

    Akhtar salutes captain Afridi

    By KHALID HUSSAIN | ARAB NEWS

    COLOMBO: Just weeks before World Cup 2011 got underway, Pakistan’s cricket chiefs had serious second thought about retaining Shahid Afridi as their captain for the global tournament.

    Apparently not convinced that the experienced all-rounder was their best choice for World Cup captaincy, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) mulled over the option of installing Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s Test captain, as the national team’s one-day skipper but in the end decided to persist with Afridi.

    The Board was severely criticized for its indecision though some experts did believe that the PCB has erred by sticking with Afridi.

    With two impressive World Cup wins against Kenya and co-hosts Sri Lanka, the flamboyant Afridi has certainly silenced his critics.

    He led Pakistan from the front in Hambantota against Kenya last week, picking up 5-16 – the best World Cup figures by a Pakistani bowler.

    More importantly, he took four wickets in Pakistan’s morale-boosting 11-run win over the Sri Lankans here on Saturday night.

    Afridi, 30, has impressed all with the way he has been performing both as the team’s senior player and its captain. It’s hardly surprising that he is getting all out support from his teammates.

    “He (Afridi) is a match winner,” Shoaib Akhtar, the experienced Pakistan fast bowler, told reporters here on Monday at the P Sara Stadium where Pakistan trained ahead of their Pool A game against Canada.

    “Everyone is supporting him as captain, even when he lost the semifinal in the World Twenty20,” added Akhtar who was referring to Pakistan’s shock defeat against Australia in the World Twenty20 semis in St Lucia last year. Pakistan lost that match from a seemingly winning position.

    “He (Afridi) a bit hyper but that’s okay,” said Akhtar. “He took some time to blend the team which is natural and is now doing a great job as captain.” Akhtar, 35, believes that Afridi’s strong point is that he gets the best out of his players and is making it sure that each and every member of his team, especially the seniors, stay fully involved. “We are complimenting each other, he takes advice from all of us. We are looking at each other in difficult situations.” Akhtar said that he has always been telling Afridi to focus on his bowling more than his batting.

    “I’ve always believed that he is a better bowler than a batsman and is a match winner. Something that he has proved time and again,” said Akhtar.

    Afridi, who on Saturday became the only Pakistani all-rounder to have 6000 runs and 300 wickets in One-day Internationals, is pleased that he has been doing a good job as captain.

    “I’ve always said that how the captain performs is vital for his team.

    It’s great that I’m doing my bit,” he said.

  13. #13 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 28, 2011 - 10:07 PM

    Abdur Rahman and Misbah ul Haq will sit out in the match against Canada due to injuries. It is likely that Ajmal and Asad Shafiq will replace them both. I wonder why they don’t give Junaid Khan a chance? Akhtar also needs some rest, he should be used in big matches only. Also, Gul should be replaced by Wahab Riaz against Canada. This is my opinion because, if you don’t give them a chance against minnows then, when are they going to give them the opportunity to play?

    As regards Gul, he is not a bad bowler at all, but he needs to focus, he is having bad days like Jimmy Anderson who gave away 82 runs against Netherlands and 89 against India. And, based on these two performances one cannot rule him out of the tournament, he was a star performer in the past World Cups. Like Gul he is also unable to maintain his line and length. Gul was bowling either short pitch or full tosses. He wanted to bowl yorkers which were resulting in full tosses, so he needs Waqar Younus’ help in correcting the anomaly. Last night some one said, Gul is bowling full toss because the pitches in Sri Lanka are like that! And, I had to ROTFLOL for that, because full toss has nothing to do with the pitch but, the bowler himself.

    When Inzamam was clean bowled by Dave Mohammed on a full toss ball in one of the matches, he told Ramiz Raja (who was reading the pitch report) that this pitch is very suitable for full toss bowling. That is Inzi’s dry sense of humour.

  14. #14 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 28, 2011 - 10:17 PM

    newguy

    I was searching on the net about the news in which it was mentioned that the BCCI originally refused to install the HOT SPOT cameras due to exorbitant price and also because some of their players and a few International umpires also opposed its installation for the 2011 WC, but I am yet to find it. However, there is another news item which I am copy pasting it below, so that there is no confusion in it if I write my version:

    “The use of Hot Spot cameras are originated from military usage as in their hardware , war ships, and tanks, hence their usage is very restricted and requires a temporary licence of export from the ADD (Australian Defense Department) whenever these technologies are exported from Australia. And that license only allow the party to borrow the technology for 7 days limited time period and after that it should be returned to the entity by hook or crook.

    These beautiful cameras were first introduced in India during the IPL 20-20 matches. It is suspected that the hurdle of sensitive security equipment and expense plus moving of camera here and there , in and out of India and Sri Lanka may have been a provoking point that have made the suppliers to make such a decision.

    One of the amazing fact of this camera is that during the ashes tour this camera played an astonishing role when some referrals put forth against umpire Aleem Dar, and when decisions were seen through the hot spot cameras -they favored Aleem Dar’s decisions all the time, hence making that tour very memorable for Aleem Dar, thanks to the brand new technology in cricket world the “Hot Spot” cameras. We really wish if it was used indeed for the world cup matches, at least for Semi Finals and Final, but then again. Sigh!”

  15. #15 by JAVED A. KHAN on February 28, 2011 - 10:29 PM

    Another news item on HOT SPOT”

    “Under the current system, the cost for installing the Hot Spot technology is borne by the broadcaster and not everyone is willing. They (the ICC) know that if they want to take the system further, they have to figure out the funding models,” Warren Brennan said.” ****

    The Hot Spot Technology uses infra-red imaging to determine whether the ball has touched the bat, pad or any other object in the frame. It is quite an expensive technology and a two camera arrangement costs $6000 per day while the four camera setup can cost $10,000 per day. Warren Brennan has asked the International Cricket Council and its affiliated boards to help BBG Sports in reducing this cost.

    ICC’s spokesperson (Dave Richardson) on the other hand has said that Hot Spot is desirable but not a requirement. They believe that it is not the only technology being used for the Umpire Decision Review System.

    **** The news that I’ve read a few months ago in one of the Indian newspapers or Sify, it said that the BCCI wanted the costs to be shared equally by SL, BD and India but, India’s share was more than double hence the BCCI objected to it. However, Sachin Tendulkar favours HOT SPOT and recommended it very strongly.

  16. #16 by khansahab on February 28, 2011 - 11:05 PM

    LHC dismisses petition requesting lifetime ban on Butt, Asif, Amir

    LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC), on Monday, dismissed a petition requesting lifetime ban and confiscation of assets of three Pakistani cricketers, namely Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir, for their alleged involvement in the corruption case which, according to the petitioner, brought bad name to the country.

    The court held a preliminary hearing on Monday and rejected the petition on the ground that “Petitioner, Advocate Rana Ilamudin Ghazi, is not liable to move the petition since he had not been affected by the issue directly”.

    Ilamudin submitted that these three players were sentenced by an anti-corruption tribunal of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

    He stated that the convicts not only violated the ICC and PCB rules but also worked against the country and its people’s benefit. “The punishment given by the ICC to the cricketers is much lesser than that what they deserve,” he said.

    “Cricketers, due to the popularity of the game, have become role models for the citizens and therefore, there was no room for corruption in cricket,” he said, adding, “Along with the cricketers, investigations needed to be held against the PCB high-ups as well.”

    Referring to the former cricketer Sarfaraz Nawaz’s statement, Ilamudin said that stern action should be taken against all guilty persons in order to improve the state of cricket in country.

    In addition to the freezing of accounts of the above-mentioned players, Ilamudin requested to freeze all assets of the PCB high-ups as well as the PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt, Pakistani cricket team manager, and the coach as well, accusing them of being part of all the corruption in the board.

  17. #17 by khansahab on February 28, 2011 - 11:25 PM

    Javed A Khan

    You asked about whether Navjot Sidhu had spoken incorrect English when saying that Afridi is not the best spinner. I copied that news piece from another website so I don’t know whether he spoke correctly or not.

    But he is an idiot.

  18. #18 by newguy on February 28, 2011 - 11:49 PM

    JAK,

    Thanks for trying to find an answer for my question. Personally I don’t believe the theory that BCCI is behind every little thing that goes on with ICC, but that’s irrelevant to this discussion, so moving on.. I am in fact in support of using technology, note that I did not say supporting UDRS, because UDRS is not just technology, it is all the process and procedures and cumbersome rules involved in it. Technology can help, and it is already helping in this WC, but the system allows human umpire to withhold his “incorrect” decision even after Technology showed he was incorrect. Why? it sounded in this case the batsman was 2.5 meters outside, so the umpire decided technology is not reliable, by that logic then no umpire in the world should even give out someone if they are 2.5 meters outside, and batsman can stand that far out and pad out any deliveries safely. This is not the case, umpire need to accept Technology when presented, and not second guess it.

    Moving on to India’s performance .. I don’t like Dhoni’s attitude even after such a pathetic performance in the field, for 170 runs stand between Strauss and Bell they were milking singles and doubles and hitting the odd boundary. There was no effort to stop the singles and doubles. This is already written by many sports writers now. Dhoni’s attitude is one of defiance, he has the negative attitude that India do not have bowlers and batting is the strength which will win matches. He also seems to saying fielding is not so great and they simply have to work with what they got. This is overconfidence and arrogance. He does not deserve to be national cricket captain with that attitude.

    Also during the match yesterday, he looked clueless and lacking confidence, seemed like he has given up trying and England was cruising, he was hoping Zaheer would do something and Zaheer did. It sounds like then someone aggressive like Zaheer or Gambhir should be captain, not Dhoni with his negative attitude. This has been going on for a while now. How can they play with only 4 bowlers, with pie chucking from Yuvraj and Pathan for 10 overs against major teams, even the 4 bowlers are not great. It is clear they need 5 bowlers. I don’t think Dhoni will get it, and he will end up losing in Quarter or Semi Final.

    Perhaps people will ask for Dhoni’s head then? He need to step down in my opinion, and let someone with fresh ideas take over. But WC would have been lost by then.

  19. #19 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 1, 2011 - 4:18 AM

    newguy

    The reason Dhoni is being criticized now is because, in the past as most people say he was lucky that India had won many matches under his captaincy. Right now his own performance as a batsman is in question. He is no more as effective as he used to be. Even when he was not the captain of India he used to score a lot of runs. I may be wrong but, I agree with some people who say, stardom has got into his head. He is very popular and makes a lot of money and when this happens fast, it effects you. He has improved his English and he talks reasonably good, reportedly he has hired an image manager who is a gora and he keeps grooming him to build his image, that is good and that is nothing bad at all, in fact it is a positive thing but, his focus is not there anymore and the lady luck has also deserted him. Perhaps this is a phase and he will get over with it soon. Otherwise, someone else will take over the captaincy role and Gambhir is already in the making perhaps the only reason he remained behind Dhoni is because he is known to be arrogant and big mouths every now and then.

  20. #20 by Sagaat on March 1, 2011 - 7:19 AM

    Javed Khan,

    I think Newguy is ranting and raving about the fact that the umpire overuled the technology at his own behest. I think it is important that the umpires respect the technology– in fact there should be a clear code and guideline as to what the umpires are there to do and what not. I don’t personally believe in the theory that the umpires are there to exercise their authority over the players; rather, they are there to facilitate the game. This is because the game is primarily about the players, and not the umpires. We saw in the earlier matches how erratic decision-making by the umpires can change the complexion of a game and how technology can help correct those incorrect decisions. The system can only get controversial if it is made controversial by will– as Bowden tried to exercise his superiority over the system. Therefore, it is imperative that the ICC defines clear guidelines as to when the system can/can’t be overuled by the umpire. No-one questions the role of technology in ruling on run-outs and in time such will suffice for UDRS.

    The reason BCCI is against technology being used is that India lost in Sri Lanka to Sri Lanka because the technology corrected a lot of incorrect decisions. Since then, they have been averse to the idea of using technology. Personally, I find it ridiculous when they start comparing the role of technology in terms of how many times it favored each team. The technology isn’t favoring any team. A better way to think about it is, how many incorrect decisions were made during the match and how many incorrect decisions were made correct with the use of technology.

    Lastly, I think it would be a good idea to rate umpires against the technology in that, there should be a statistic on how many times the umpire got it right relative to the technology. Or, how many reviews reversed the umpires’ decisions versus how many didn’t. It would be a good way to rate the umpires accordingly. Aleem Dar and Simon Taufel get it right very often and they deserve to be rated amongst the top. The technology almost always proves them correct.

  21. #21 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 1, 2011 - 7:36 AM

    Sagat

    I know what newguy was talking about.

    As regards your point that the game is about the players and not the umpires, I do agree with that and I have also seen that more often some of the umpires namely Billy Bowden, Daryl Harper, Rudi Koertzen and the Hitler of the past Daryl Hair used and misused their authority more than others. They need to respect the code of conduct i.e., in implementing technology when it proves the umpire wrong. After all there are others who see that besides the on-field umpire i.e., the third umpire and more importantly the players who ask for a UDRS and appeal against the umpires decision. An umpire is a human being and he can make mistakes and the technology is there to assist him and promote the game and not over rule the umpire’s decision or, make him feel insignificant or unimportant.

  22. #22 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 1, 2011 - 7:54 AM

    I am copy pasting an excerpt from Osman Samiuddin’s latest article on cricinfo:

    “Tum kitne Bhutto maaroge? Har ghar se Bhutto niklega!” or, “How many Bhuttos will you kill? From every home there will come a Bhutto!”

    A similar sentiment, lighter on the morbidity, can be adapted for fast bowlers from Pakistan. No matter how many are lost, new ones keep appearing. “

    Honestly speaking, I don’t like this analogy because:

    1. Bhuttos are not a Kingdom or a Dynasty that is born to rule Pakistan. Pakistan belongs to the people of Pakistan and they should not act dumb and keep bringing back every single simpleton Bhutto.
    2. Already, there is an end to the Bhutto clan after she died. There is no need to call her a martyr. She died because of her own stupidities i.e., against the advise of the government and against the advise of her own security.
    3. The present President of Pakistan is already a crook, a thief, a dakoo and a lutera with no conscience and no character. He changed his son’s name from Bilawal Zardari to Bilawal Bhutto to deceive the uneducated, uncouth masses. The masses should not be fooled anyone.

    About the fast bowlers, especially about the crooks i.e., Asif and Aamir there is no need to lament about their absence. They deserved the punishment and there should be no sympathies for them. Along with Salman Butt, even if these two are banned for life, I won’t regret for not having them in the team. In fact to teach a lesson to the new breed of fast bowlers he should be banned for life, so that they never dare to even think about doing what he did. He is not all that BHOLA BUCCHA. He is a matured adult, if he was married a few years ago, he would have been a father of at least 2 – 3 kids. So, people please don’t call him a kid or an innocent child.

  23. #23 by Mohammed Munir on March 1, 2011 - 11:52 AM

    Mr. Boom-Bastic … Is Very Fantastic …

    Wow, two nice new simultaneous threads and that too on the same topic, “AFRIDI”.

    I agree with almost all of what has been said by both the administrators (Javed Khan & Khansahab) with regards to Shahid Afridi.

    Unfortunately, Afridi remains one of the most underrated players, and what hurts the most is that even though he is regarded highly by many neutrals/ foreign experts and commentators, but Afridi has not earned his fair share of recognition and respect from some of the Pakistani ex-players, including but not restricted to Imran Khan, Ramiz and Wasim Chakram.

    That being said, I am very much sure there is another area which we are overseeing and that is where Sahibzada Mohammed Shahid Khan Afridi is not only fortunate and blessed but he is one among the luckiest cricketers in the entire cricketing world, and that is his charismatic fan-following and attraction power. It is a well-known fact that in almost all cricketing nations, Shahid Afridi has his own individual charisma with the cricket-loving fans. There are peoples who go out only to see Afridi in action and for some fans the game is actually over the moment Afridi is out, while some others even leave the ground when our hero gets out. Why restrict only to cricket fans, I personally know peoples who don’t see or follow any cricket at all, but even they are big time fans of Afridi.

    Be it Pakistan, Sharjah (UAE), Sri Lanka, India (IPL), or any other place, there is a certain rush of adrenalin when Afridi is on the pitch and no game is ever over as long he is on the wicket.

    Wishing all the luck to Shahid Afridi and Pakistan Cricket.

  24. #24 by Mohammed Munir on March 1, 2011 - 11:53 AM

    Canada Vs Zimbabwe …

    It was unfortunate to see Canada crumble in front of Zimbabwe, although seeing their earlier performances including the warm-up game against England, I was of the opinion that they would give a good fight to Zimbabwe, but it all ended as a one sided contest. 😦

    BTW, have anyone noticed that both Zimbabwe and Canada were playing in extremely identical uniforms (both teams wearing identical red colours). In fact at times it very was confusing to see who was who. In football, as well as many other games, there are two different sets of uniforms for each team (Home & Away) and if one of them looks similar to the opposition team they are requested to wear a different colour. For example, Brazil wears trademark yellow shirt with blue short, but at times they are also seen wearing blue coloured shirts and white shorts. ICC should try to ‘evolve’ with time.

    India Vs England …

    Enough is being said on this very interesting and ‘on-the-edge-of-your-seat’ thriller of a game. I am happy with the result being a tie because neither of the teams deserved to loose this game.

    On a different note, I have noticed that Dhoni is always taking undue advantage of his position as a captain of the Indian team. What I mean is that whenever the team is in good position and runs are coming hard and fast, Captain-Sahab upgrades himself higher in the batting order and jumps in to bat, whereas on the contrary when the team seems in a bit of a trouble he lowers his batting position. During India/ England game, there was no need for him to come early because Yuvraj was playing fast and Virat Kohli had been in fantastic touch and he can hit well, while if a hard-hitter was so very necessary at that time then who better than Yousuf Pathan to come in ❓

  25. #25 by Mohammed Munir on March 1, 2011 - 11:59 AM

    Khansahab …

    Thank you very much for going back in time and digging-out, as well as ‘cutting & pasting’ my old comments of July 2009.

    But it seemed you had not really read them even this time around, because if you had, then you would not have asked me if I have ‘soft-spot’ for Mianwali peoples.

    Please go back and read them once again, it is obviously clear from my comments that I was very vocal and cursing Misbah, who is from Mianwali … right ❓

    Ok, now if that this is out of the way, would you like to please tell us if you have ‘spot-spots’ for Karachi-Walas ❓ 😉

    My Dear Khansahab, the most important and apparently noticeable difference between you and me is that I will blame and curse ANY player (Misbah in this cas) if he fails, but on a different day if that same player performs well then I will also be open in appreciating and praising him. Whereas as you, it seems, are a staunch believer in ‘once a bad performer, always a bad performer’, and you don’t want to change the way you think about a certain player, no matter how well they perform, here again I will quote Misbah’s example. Although, Shoaib Malik also fits this criteria but let’s keep it at Misbah for now. 😀

    Coming back to the Test match you referred, actually Misbah got out for 0 & 3 (as you have mentione) and so I was obviously upset and I cursed him, but on present day when Misbah is scoring, I am appreciative of him no doubts. The problem arises when someone criticises and tries to find fault with Misbah’s game today and that too when Misbah is performing very well. Similarly, you are reluctant and unwilling to criticise Fawad Alam even when he was not performing and was excluded from the team, whereas I praised Fawad Alam back in 2009 when he scored that century on debut.

    The fact is, I will never carry any badge and for me the formula is simple, criticise a bad performance any day and similarly appraise a good efforts without any qualms, conspiracy-theories, or reluctance no matter from whichever player it comes. I will practice this principal, irrespective of any players, so be it Younis Khan, Misbah, Malik, Afridi, Fawad Alam, etc. etc.

    I have NOT signed a life-long loyalty-contract with any one player in particular among the Karachiwalas, Punjabis, or even Pathans.

    I am a fan of good performance and want Pakistan to win, even if the entire team consists of Karachi players, it doesn’t bother me one bit.

    I hope and sincerely wish, if everyone of us thought the same way then Pakistan would have been a better place.

  26. #26 by khansahab on March 1, 2011 - 1:32 PM

    Munir sahab

    My opinions don’t switch with the way the wind blows. Fawad was a good player then and he is a good player now. There have been injustices with him and this is evident. During the T20 World Cup when Pakistan reached the final, I was full of praise for Misbah and even commented that he is a natural choice for captaincy. That was T20 though, not ODI or Test cricket. As he played these two versions it became apparent that his batting is very selfish and he does not accelerate until the last 2 or 3 overs. I am not going to change my opinion because I don’t believe he bats like a responsible middle order senior batsman.

    The reason I made that comment about Mianwali is because Imran Khan’s father is from there (and his mother is from Indian Punjab- Jallundhar).

    You have no basis for saying I have a soft spot for Karachi players because I have supported the Punjabi Mohammad Hafeez and Umar Akmal all the way through despite other blog members criticising them. I do have a reason to question about your regional biases (if any) because you were never very critical of Malik and Misbah when we criticised them, and you were never very supportive of Fawad and Younis when we supported them- the only player you have supported as much as we have has been Afridi, this is something I accept.

    I did criticise Fawad Alam fairly but when I did not criticise him was when he was batting with tailenders and being expected to win matches. I questioned why he is sent to bat so low down the order. You were just looking at the scorecard and criticising him for no good reason. Just like you are looking at the scorecard now and you see “80*” next to Misbah’s name and you think this must surely mean he is a good player.

    If a player has shown he can perform once, then he can perform again provided he is left to his devices and provided with opportunities. Misbah gets to bat wherever he wants, he gets ample time to build and construct an innings, he has a senior position in the team, when he comes to bat usually the spin bowlers are bowling and therefore he gets to face relatively easier bowling, YET despite all of this he is unable to catapult the team. What he did against Sri Lanka was criminal- after he reached his 50 he should have gone for the kill because Umar Akmal, Afridi and Razzaq were due to bat after him. But instead he kept taking singles and doubles.

    The fact remains that if Fawad Alam was given one permanent spot in the middle order and if he was also given the chance to construct his innings, I can bet you any money he would have been a prolific middle order batsman.

    We should look at how easy or how difficult it is for a given player to perform, and we should look at individual circumstances of every innings. That is why I think Pakistan would be better off playing Asad Shafiq or an extra bowler in place of Misbah.

  27. #27 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 1, 2011 - 3:12 PM

    Salinga Malinga The Chucker not only got 6 wickets in the match but, he also got a hat-rick. The match turned out to be boring when Kenya won the toss and elected to bat, I knew it won’t be a high scoring match, in fact those 142 scored by the Kenyans are more than expected.

    Only the two brothers, CO & DO Obuyas scored for Kenya, if you add their 51+52 plus the Mr. Extras 19, the whole of Kenya team scored 20 runs. The minnows matches are as pathetic as Wasim Akram’s commentary on TV. I dunno who on earth hires him and why? He is actually ruining the name of the country with his nasal voice which echos in his big fat, crooked nose half of his sentences are lost in that pipe band, on top of that he murders the sentences and commits grammatical blasphemies, he sounds so pathetic. He should leave this job for the professionals.

  28. #28 by khansahab on March 1, 2011 - 4:14 PM

    Eight bookies arrested in Karachi

    KARACHI: Liaqatabad Police arrested eight bookies on Tuesday allegedly betting on a Cricket World Cup match, DawnNews reported.

    According to the Liaqatabad Super Market Police the accused were placing bets on a Cricket World Cup match between Sri lanka and Kenya by setting up a stall out on the road in Bengali Para area of Liaqatabad ‘A’ area.

    Accused tried to escape when police reached there, however police arrested all involved.

    Police investigation was underway to find out about their other associates and network.

  29. #29 by khansahab on March 1, 2011 - 6:58 PM

    Basit Ali’s recent quotes:

    “If Saeed Ajmal is given confidence by the team management he can win the WC for Pakistan”

    “The WC final will be between Pakistan and South Africa”.

  30. #30 by khansahab on March 1, 2011 - 7:00 PM

    Nasser Hussein thinks the most dangerous teams in the WC are Australia, South Africa and Pakistan.

  31. #31 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 2, 2011 - 3:17 AM

    There you go, whatever we say on this blog doesn’t get disappear in thin air, there is always a ripple effect of what we say and what we suggest, here is a link from cricinfo, a new article by OS, in which he is saying Abdul Razzaq is prepared to bat up the order! So, finally something is seeping into the skulls of the Pakistani think tank. Here is the link:

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc_cricket_worldcup2011/content/current/story/503707.html

  32. #32 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 2, 2011 - 3:27 AM

    newguy

    ICC bats for its 2.5-metre rule

    Sharda Ugra in Bangalore

    March 1, 2011

    The controversial clause in the Decision Review System (DRS) that reprieved Ian Bell during the tense England run-chase against India in Bangalore was introduced into the rules because of players’ doubts over the accuracy of the ball tracker technology. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo in Bangalore, ICC chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, said, “The rules and protocls for DRS were designed by experts with much thought. The Bell example applies the 2.5m rule which, in my view, accommodates the scepticism that some have with predictitve technonolgy.”

    India’s scepticism about the DRS has grown following the incident involving Bell, the first time the team asked for a referral in the World Cup. Television replays, which were displayed on the giant screen of the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, appeared to show that the ball had hit a forward-stretching Bell low on the pad with the ball in line with middle stump. Bell had begun to walk off, but umpire Billy Bowden did not declare him out because the distance between the point of impact and the stumps was shown to be 2.5m.

    MS Dhoni criticised the Bell decision, calling it an ‘adulteration’ of technology with human judgement, but Lorgat said it was not an accurate description of what transpired. “t’s absolutely not as it is there to support the umpire, not to overrule the umpire. The whole purpose of DRS is to avoid the error, not to seek a wicket or to reprieve a batsman. That’s not the purpose of the system, the purpose is to avoid an error that would result in gross injustice. The Bell decision was a judgement call for the umpire – if he didn’t have the DRS, we would have been arguing about how far down the pitch the batsman was. What we are trying to avoid through DRS is the bad decision, not to adjudicate on decisions that could go either way.

    Using the DRS in the World Cup, Lorgat said was, “to simply avoid “the shocking error” that can happen. And we do not want such errors in the World Cup.” Umpires he said would acknowledge this and they were, “happy” with the DRS. “They can go to sleep at night knowing that had they made that one mistake, it can be rectified. That would not have happened without DRS.”

    The rule about the distance between impact and the stumps had been put in place precisely because experts had said that the accuracy of the ball tracker – in this case Hawk Eye – begins to falter from that point. “In other words if the ball needed to travel more than 2.5m, then it is for the umpire to make the final decision as he sees it.”

    Dhoni had asked why the mark had not been stipulated at 2.4, or 2.6m, and Lorgat said that while, “You can set that mark wherever you want – Dhoni was saying 2.4 and 2.6 – but the experts have decided on 2.5 m, after which the umpire and not technology decides..”

    ICC General Manager, Dave Richardson, told Indian news channel, CNN-IBN, that Dhoni should be aware of the rules before passing judgement. “There are a set of rules along with the Hawk-Eye to assist in making the decision when UDRS is implemented … Most of the time, a player is not fully aware of all the rules. If MS Dhoni is made aware of the specifications of these rules, then I am sure that he will accept the decision that was made.”
    “If MS Dhoni is made aware of the specifications of these rules, then I am sure that he will accept the decision that was made.”

    Lorgat went on to say that regardless of the technology, the umpire had remained at the front and center of decision making on the field. “The umpire still has the authority to say, despite what I’ve heard and seen, I still don’t think that is enough reason for me to change my decision. It is for them to decide. That [DRS] has aided them, that does not overrule the umpire. That is a support structure we have put in place.”

    When asked whether the DRS would now be a constant in ODIs following the World Cup, Lorgat said, “No. A comprehensive review and recommendation can only be decided once the ICC Cricket Committee deliberates in May 2011. You can’t deny the progress of technology, either we embrace it or we reject it. I believe we reject it at our own peril.”

    The DRS was met with a lot of resistance when it was first introduced in 2008, but it has now enjoys what Lorgat calls a, “lot more support” across all Test playing countries other than India. Lorgat said, “Now, people are asking us, “Why is it not mandatory?” It is currently not because of the lack of available technology. We would also want all players and Match Officials to experience and embrace it fully.” He said there were, “commercial and contractual aspects related to its application” which is why the ICC had left the decision, “to the participating Boards.”

    The system had come into play in the World Cup because it was an ICC event but leaving it to bilateral boards was not unfair on the part of those countries which have embraced it, “This (the World Cup) is an ICC event and the ICC has decided to use it. In the case of bilateral series it is up to the Members to decide. Some claim this is not consistent and therefore not fair. I don’t believe so as the playing conditions would be the same for the two competing teams and it is still the subject of the umpire deciding.”

    Lorgat said the DRS was, “no more than a tool” to help the decision making the umpire. “By using DRS, the correct decision making percentage has improved by around 5%, from 92% to 97%. With such improvement how can we not support its use?”

    In the ICC’s DRS rule pertaining to the Process of Consultation, No. 3.3 (i), states that if a ‘not out’ decision is being reviewed on the ‘point of impact’ issue, the third umpire must tell the onfield umpire whether the ball is past 2.5m or not and then pass on the following information: the distance from the wickets of the point of impact with the batsman, the approximate distance from the point of pitching to the point of impact, and whether the ball is predicted to the hit the stumps. According to the explanation given on the ICC’s website, along with the 2.5m rule, should the distance between point of pitching and point of impact with the pad be less than 40cm, “the umpires are not obliged to follow the normal rules for using Hawkeye to determine whether the batsman is out or not and shall have a discretion in determining whether or not to overturn their original not out decision.”

    The ball tracker, like Hawk-Eye in this case, comes into play from the time the ball pitches and to the point of impact. That passage of information is then passed to the computer through multiple camera frames that help the tracker pick up on trajectory and make its assessment. The greater the distance between the point where the ball pitches and the point where it makes contact with either bat or pad, the more camera frames there are for the tracker to trace the predictive path. The shorter the distance, the less information is available to the technology to make an accurate prediction, which is why the 2.5m rule was brought into play.

    The Bell-Bowden incident has raised the issue of whether the third umpire should be able to instruct the on-field umpire to change his decision, as opposed to merely passing on information.

    The argument in favour says that the third umpire is the man who has both access and time to look at the replay and is also detached from the emotions on the field and in the crowd looking at the dismissal on a giant screen. The argument against states that giving the third umpire these powers will reduce the importance of the man in the middle.

  33. #33 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 2, 2011 - 3:32 AM

    newguy

    did you read the above article which I have copy pasted from cricinfo about the UDRS and 2.5m rule? I have also highlighted the point where it says that the UDRS received a, “lot more support” across all Test playing countries other than India.

    So, I wasn’t saying something from my own thought process, I did read that piece of info about 2 months ago wherein the BCCI refused its implementation. And, now the skepticism in India is growing after the Bell-Bowden incident.

  34. #34 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 2, 2011 - 4:08 AM

    khansahab

    Kya Basit Ali, Aur Kya Basit Ali Kay Vichaar? It is like:
    Kya Piddi, Aur Kya Piddi Ka Shorba?

  35. #35 by Mohammed Munir on March 2, 2011 - 9:31 AM

    Khansahab …

    It seems to me as if you are preoccupied these days and your heart and concentration is not fully into your comments. 😉

    In your earlier comments, you were asking me about my soft-spot for Mianwali and you were also negating your own statement by pasting my cursing & abusing of Misbah who is from Mianwali. Similarly, in your latest comment no. 26, on one hand you are saying, “My opinions don’t switch with the way the wind blows” while in the very next line you are again contradicting your own self when you are saying, “I was full of praise for Misbah and even commented that he is a natural choice for captaincy”. Whereas you are further saying that, “I am not going to change my opinion (about Misbah).

    I also remember you saying once that you used to support Shoaib Malik initially, but later on you discovered that he plays dirty politics and what not, so you started to dislike him.

    The crux of my discussion so far is that YOU HAVE SWITCHED AND CHANGED SIDES, and there remains a probability, no matter how remote, that you MAY change again few years down the line and say that Misbah is a good player and ‘a natural choice for captaincy’. 😉

    Please don’t misunderstand me here, I am NOT saying that change of opinion is a bad thing, in fact with education/ knowledge/ time/ experience etc. we all change and we should change.

    Secondly, about your complain of me not being enough vocal and critical of Malik and Misbah as you or me not so much supporting Fawad and Younis as you, well all I have to say to this is that all humans being are not the same and they don’t react to a certain situation in exactly the same way. Have you ever seen me supporting Misbah & Malik (or anyone for that matter) very strongly and vigorously ❓ or have you ever seen me criticizing or abusing (calling names) to Fawad Alam ❓

    May be, I am a person who doesn’t want to show his emotions so forcefully as you, and if that is my nature, I can’t change it just to get in line with other bloggers on LS or to win their support. The thing is that if I write comments on LS, it doesn’t mean that I also have to think and react exactly the same way as you do. Sorry, this is not me. 😦

    On cricket, there is a probability that may be my knowledge and understanding of the game of cricket is less than you, but it could also be the reason that I don’t give much weightge to conspiracy theories, internal motives of players, their nature, their feelings & thinking, their hidden agendas because no one can be right about all these things and in the end we start believing what we really want to and even our mind starts working only in one direction and show us only what we are willing to see.

    Finally, I have many reasons and strong basis for saying that you have a soft-spot for Karachi players, but I wouldn’t like to go into all this here, because it will get unpleasant and I am a person who prefers to ‘loose an argument, rather then loosing a friend’.

  36. #36 by newguy on March 2, 2011 - 1:30 PM

    JAK,

    Yeah, I read it, sounds like this is what the ICC law book says, if so then it will have to uniformly applied by all umpires, we’ll see if that is the case.

    I agree with you on success has gone to Dhoni’s head, see more on this below.

    Munir,

    Agree with you Dhoni should not have come in at #5 with India in a solid position and Tendulkar providing momentum, they needed another striker who is not impeding the progress. In fact, I would say even Yuvraj should not have come at the fall of Gambhir. Instead the inform Kohli or Yousuf should have come in, either of them would have settled in 3-4 overs and then propelled the score line. Yuvraj was slow and even though he scored run-a-ball it was a selfish innings to get his 50 since he hadn’t got one in ages. I was waiting to see Pathan come in and hit those huge sixes of his, since the platform was laid for him.

    I don’t know this for sure, but Dhoni is sometimes insecure with big hitters and people who can overtake him, I have seen this in his body language with Sehwag, Tendulkar, and now may be even Yousuf he is not giving chances. As for Sehwag and Tendulkar he cannot do anything since they are bigger players than Dhoni and he just have to put up.

    Giving Pathan just 5-6 overs to bat is not enough, his three big innings in recent times came when he had plenty of overs to face, but he still scores at 150 strike rate once he settles in. Yuvraj and Dhoni should come in as back up players at #6 and #7 and send in the in form Kohli and Pathan ahead. If this happens then India has better chances. But I don’t see this happening.

  37. #37 by newguy on March 2, 2011 - 1:39 PM

    Malinga got a hat-trick and a six wicket haul against sorry Kenya. What’s the point? I don’t understand why he and his teammates were celebrating so much. Malinga is throwing his darts at the bottom of middle stump like a javelin thrower, to borrow from Bishen Bedi, and poor Kenyans can’t handle it for sure. They couldn’t read Afridi’s variations either and gave him 5/16. Although both Afridi and Malinga are capable of doing bigger feats albeit lesser extend against big teams.

    Talking about Afridi, everything that is written on him in this blog seems to be very fair, he looks very much unselfish player who enjoys being out there and perform for the team. His victory smile is genuine and he has no malice towards opposition. This shows the man in confident in his abilities, and comfortable with his position in cricketing world.

    Rest assured, Afridi is a hugely followed cricketer on world stage no matter what the stats say, you don’t judge players on stats alone, Afridi is an iconic player, a once in a life time kind of player who can bring the neutral crowds to watch him. He simply enjoys his game I get the feeling these days.

  38. #38 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 2, 2011 - 4:59 PM

    SHAMROCK ROCKS, BRITS SHIT BRICKS

    Wow what a match and what an innings by Kevin O Brien. Fantastic win for Ireland.
    2007 it was Pakistan and now it is England at the hands of Ireland.

    Fastest World Cup century by O Brien, 100/50 and sixth fastest ODI hundred ever.

    13 fours, 6 sixes and 113/63 he is the chief architect of today’s win.

    The Irish Pubs would be full tonight and all night they will get drunk like a skunk.

  39. #39 by khansahab on March 2, 2011 - 7:12 PM

    Munir sahab

    I was quick to add that I supported Misbah in T20 but NOT in ODI and Tests when he played a few matches and his style became apparent. Please don’t blame me for your error in interpreting only half of my sentences or paragraphs. I might as well write in half sentences from now on because you only bother to read half 🙂

    No one is forcing you to think like me and vice versa.

    Malik, Misbah and Fawad Alam have played on different positions in different times and circumstances. Malik was a junior player and performed excellently under Inzamam and NO I did not dislike Malik because of his politics in the team, what got me to dislike him was his selfish batting and pathetic technique against pace bowling. When his performace waned, THAT is when I started criticising his politics in the team. His performance was poor when he became captain, that is the bottom line and all of his politics etc comes after that.

    I have ALSO blamed MQM and Karachi lobby for playing politics but they support honest and talented players (Younis and Afridi) so I do not speak about them so much.

    If you think I am pro Karachi and anti Punjab then all I can suggest to you is to read what I wrote about the Karachi crowd, MQM playing politics in cricket, Faisal Iqbal, Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, you can read about how I made fun of Lucknow shayari culture and “paan” culture, you can read about me criticising Salahuddin Ahmed’s crisp Urdu accent which irritated me etc etc.

    There are more examples and I can mention them, but in reality I am extremely unbiased. My parents were born in India and much of my family still lives there but I was born in Pakistan and grew up there for most of my life, I am originally a Pathan but because Urdu is my mother tongue I am known as “Urdu Speaking”, I have grown up with Punjabi people and live in a region that is known as “Little Punjab” so I am familiar with them too. I have many Indian friends and some of them are very close to me. So in terms of India vs Pakistan, Urdu Speaking vs Punjabi, Pathan vs Urdu Speaking, British vs Pakistani etc I am better versed than most people you will find.

    I don’t need to explain myself any further but if you can’t make any sense of what I have described earlier than all I can say is that you are the real biased person.

    You will not find many people who have faced so many different cultures in such abundance and can speak or understand Urdu, English, Punjabi, Hindi etc languages and cultures etc in this way. If you are not willing to respect this for whatever reason then the fault is with your ego.

  40. #40 by M . Y. Kasim on March 2, 2011 - 8:35 PM

    YES , you are right , Javed Khan.

    This is not the first time that other scribes have supported what we said a few days earlier but some go as far as outright copy-paste it under their name. They dont have the common courtesy to refer who’s original view or idea it was. 😀

    At least I find it comforting that others also think the same…I am not the only fool 😦

  41. #41 by M . Y. Kasim on March 2, 2011 - 8:48 PM

    ANOTHER BIG REQUEST TO KHANSAHAB AND MUNIR SAHEB 🙂

    Please, please cease-fire 😀

    As it is there, there are lots of turmoil in the world right now, I don’t want to add one more 😦

    After the World Cup is over and the Arab revolts has a satisfactory ending (hopefully) 😀 we will sit together and remove each others’ grievances. OK ? Its a promise (Provided Almighty Allah keeps me alive. 🙂

  42. #42 by khansahab on March 2, 2011 - 9:51 PM

    Munir sahab

    I don’t want this discussion to become unpleasant too, now Kasim sahab is asking there to be a ceasefire……

    All I can say is that you might lose an argument (or might not) or whatever but you will not lose any friends here because you did not lose any friends when you made personal attacks about me, first about sex and second about my age.

  43. #43 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 12:15 AM

    For those who have recently said, “ICC Associate Teams should not be allowed to play in the world cup in future,” needs to eat their words. Ireland not only beat England, but they have beaten them thoroughly and convincingly.

    The India / England match a few days ago was considered as the best match of the WC tournament, it was a high scoring match and it ended in a tie. But, Ireland went a step ahead, it was a high scoring match and they won it with 5 balls to spare. Not only Strauss was stunned and shocked but, the whole of English team and its supporters were speechless after the defeat.

  44. #44 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 12:27 AM

    Munir et Khansahab’

    Now you have to listen to Mr. Kasim and put your differences aside, enjoy cricket, enjoy the world cup, enjoy the way Kevin O Brien batted and enjoy Ireland’s win over England, I watched the match live on Big Suckreen TV.

    I watched the entire England’s inning and then I had breakfast and watched Ireland’s batting when they were ZERO for one on first ball, I said, OH, NO poor Ireland they aren’t going to match the mighty English team. Thereafter they were progressing slowly and I wasn’t watching it with that much interest and when they were 5 for 111, I changed the channel and watched a TV programme, during the ads break I flipped back to the cricket channel and Ireland were 131/5 and I said, OK lemme watch it for a while because the run rate was not bad. When Ireland took the batting power play at the end of 31st over, I said, OH, this is a brave move, they scored 62 runs in those 5 overs. From there onwards, I watched the entire match sitting on a chair, earlier I was in my bed.

    What a fantastic innings from Kevin O Brien, he created a WC world record of 100/50 balls improving Mathew Hayden’s 100/69 balls. Or, was it 66? Anyways it is the 6th fastest ODI hundred in the world.

    Earlier when O’ Brien was fielding he fell on his knee and at that time the commentator said, O Brien is one of the key players of Ireland and he should not be injured, luckily for Ireland he wasn’t injured seriously and continued to play. Au contraire, Kevin Pietersen got injured and went off the field, and one more England batsman was out of the field. Stuart Broad was thrashed so much that he was limping in the end. There was not a single bowler jis ko O Brien nay nahee maara!

  45. #45 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 12:41 AM

    What a shame that the terrorists killed the minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti in cold blood. On behalf of the blog administration, I offer my deep condolences to the bereaved family. Whoever is responsible for this shameless act, is not a Muslim, not even a human being, why the hell they have to kill an innocent person to take revenge against the government or a political party? What has he done to them? He may have a wife and children and a whole family that he left behind, they must be wondering why him? Terrorism must come to an end, it is a shameless, cowardly act i.e., killing an unarmed, innocent person whose only fault is he is from a minority group. What kinda Islam is this that they have to kill someone innocent to prove a point? May Allah give the bereaved family the courage to bear the irreparable loss and give guidance to the people who create terror in the name of religion. There is no religion on earth that teaches violence and terror.

  46. #46 by Mohammed Munir on March 3, 2011 - 6:57 AM

    Kasim Sahab …

    As you wish Sir, I lay my ‘weapons’ down, exactly as you wish. 😉

    I hope and pray for your good health and long happy life, Inshallah.

    I often think about you and say to myself that if ever any one, god forbid, had to go through all that you have been passing through, then the second best thing for them would be to have a family like yours.

    I strongly believe that ALLAH is having the best plans for everyone and if someone has good health may be they don’t have a very good family with them, whereas someone else may not be in the best of health but he will have a fantastic family to support and to look after him.

    Take care of yourself and keep writing because it is always good to read your comments.

  47. #47 by Mohammed Munir on March 3, 2011 - 7:08 AM

    Newguy …

    I am happy that you too noticed Dhoni Ki Chalaakian. 😉

    As long India is winning, Dhoni is a very strong and powerful man in Indian team and he can surely have his ways with Kohli, Pathan, Chawla, and all other junior guys (this could be why he prefers to play newbies). I remember last year Dhoni had serious issues with Sehwag in T20 regarding the batting position and Sehwag was sent back and he couldn’t play. But Dhoni can not dictate terms with Sachin or other senior players and even Sehwag is performing in ODIs and is in good nick now.

    About Yousuf Pathan, I think he is more like Abdul Razzaq (Pak) and they both need sometime on the wicket before they can start hitting big shots. I guess almost all big hitters need some time before playing their shots, but some like Shahid Afridi are very lucky and blessed to start whacking the opposition from very first ball they face.

    Saeed Anwer, who is one of my most favourite Pakistani openers ever, would come on the wicket and would ‘time’ and play his natural strokes from the very first delivery he faced. Although Saeed was not a big hitter rather a stylish batsman, but he had this marvelous ability that he would starts his new innings exactly from where he left his previous game and he never wasted any balls to settle down.

  48. #48 by Mohammed Munir on March 3, 2011 - 7:15 AM

    Javed Khan …

    I watched a few of the last overs of England/ Ireland game and it was nice to see Ireland performing so well. Although, I was neutral and didn’t bother much about who won and who lost, but I felt sorry for the English.

    On a different note, today morning I was discussing the Eng/ Ireland game with a colleague who was of the opinion that England ‘may’ have lost intentionally to get Ireland Test playing status. This is something like Pakistan did for Bangladesh in one of the earlier World Cups when Wasim Chakram’s was captain. The deal for England, who have recently lost their Chairmanship of ICC by one or two votes, is that Ireland will bring in one more supporter/ voter on ICC Board to get some power.

    I don’t agree with my friend, but I couldn’t totally rubbish his conspiracy-theories. 😉

    On a similar note, I heard that ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) is investgating Australia to score slower in one of their games against Zimbabwe. (Australia scored 28 runs in first ten overs without any wickets).

    Here is the storey from Cricinfo:

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc_cricket_worldcup2011/content/story/503684.html

    By the way, today Canada is playing Pakistan and that will be an interesting game for you, at least. 😀

    I am sorry, I can not wish you good luck today, because I want Pakistan to win each and every game from now on, nevertheless, I hope that it is a good fighting game and not a one sided affair. I wish Afridi goes on to take few more wickets today, because this guy Malinga Salinga is looking dangerous too.

  49. #49 by khansahab on March 3, 2011 - 7:31 AM

    “I Would Have Had No Problems Against Virender Sehwag” : Mohammad Zahid

  50. #50 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 8:03 AM

    Munir

    Like I’ve said before IF Pakistan is playing against Canada, I am supporting Canada for sure. I wish they win, but that is not going to happen as their players are not in good form. Davison who created a world record is absolutely out of touch, even Riz Cheema who scored 93/70 balls against England in the warm up game has not scored significantly in any case Pakistan should not take them easily especially after seeing how Ireland played today.

    As regards that report on match being fixed between Ireland and England is rubbish because, Ireland and England are bitter enemies and even before the start of the match their captain said, we are not afraid of England.

    After the India / England match, England may have had a moral victory but, today their morale is dented badly by their arch rivals Shamrocks. In fact Ireland plays with more venom than England plays against Australia.

    On Dhoni’s chalakiyaan, he first got rid of Irfan Pathan because, he was a threat to his captaincy. I heard from various quarters that India wanted to make him Captain of the Indian team for various reasons and Dhoni came in as a new celebrity and over took Irfan’s charm and popularity. Yousuf is a big hitter but, he is no captaincy material. So, not a threat to Dhoni. Dhoni never considered Yuvraj a threat because of the laters’ arrogance and bad reputation. Sehwag had his own problems with his captaincy issues but, as a player Dhoni never wanted to lose Sehwag or even Yuvraj. He got rid of Rohit Sharma and even Raina and supporting the inform batsman Virot Kohli. He did his best to give his blue eyed boy JADDU a permanent spot in the team, just like Imran Khan did for Mansoor Akhtar. The only player who can take over from Dhoni is Gambhir but, he needs to control his anger, he is calm, composed and serious but, often get into rows (not just with Afridi, but with other bowlers too, however not as much as Sreesanth)

  51. #51 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 8:10 AM

    Ha, ha, ha, ha & Huh ………….. see what Imran Khan is saying now. This is his latest statement in today’s DAWN

    KARACHI: Though Pakistan have won their first two matches in the World Cup, former captain Imran Khan believes the team would struggle as the tournament progresses as it is playing a specialist bowler short.

    “I strongly believe that although Pakistan have won against Sri Lanka, they are playing with one specialist bowler short and need to include a bowler in place of a batsman or an all-rounder,” he said.

    Imran, under whom Pakistan won their first and only World Cup title in 1992, said he would try to speak to captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis on the matter.

    He pointed out that Pakistan’s bowling could struggle against strong opponents and on a good batting pitch.

    “So far our bowlers have done well in the World Cup but the team could feel the pinch against stronger oppositions. I think they must give Saeed Ajmal a chance or include an extra pace bowler,” he said.

    The cricketer-turned-politician also maintained that the green-shirts were not utilising all-rounder Abdul Razzaq properly by sending him to bat at number eight and giving him the new ball.

    “Frankly speaking he is being wasted there and he is not the one to take the new ball in the subcontinental conditions. I think Pakistan need to be looking at taking wickets with the new ball instead of giving Razzaq a containing role,” he said.

    “It is very important for Pakistan to win this World Cup as the victory would go a long way in improving the image of Pakistan cricket after recent controversies and it would also convince teams to start touring Pakistan again,” he added.—Agencies

  52. #52 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 8:13 AM

    We have been saying here that, Pakistan can afford to drop Mohammad Hafeez and take a specialist fast bowler instead and that could be Junaid Khan to strengthen the bowling department which is weak. We have seen in both matches Abdul Razzaq is unable to face enough balls to get going. Therefore, six specialist batsmen are enough. Abdul Razzaq needs to stay in the team because of his medium pace bowling and hard hitting batting, which could be utilized better if he plays up the order.

    Saeed Ajmal will play because Abdur Rahman is injured. So, whatever we have been saying, Imran Khan The ex-Great is saying the same thing now and he wants to talk to Afridi and Waqar on phone! 😀

  53. #53 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 9:30 AM

    Wasim Akram just called Kamran Akmal as, AKLAM KALMAN

    Wasim Akram is a real Ch2So4 to be commentating with such bad English and making such blunders about his own players names.

    He also said, BASTMEN for a batsman.

  54. #54 by Mohammed Munir on March 3, 2011 - 9:58 AM

    It’s third game (two of them against minnows) and we haven’t seen even a single good innings from both our openers.

  55. #55 by varunsuri on March 3, 2011 - 11:40 AM

    I want to just express my opinions about what Javed@50 and munir, newguy earlier have written about Dhoni’s chalakiyan. Although I also tend to agree with some that he promotes or demotes himself according to whether he could bat or not but to say that he got rid of Irfan Pathan and also Rohit Sharma and Raina is again a figment of imagination of somebody hell bent on creating Conspiracy Theories.

    First of all it is some news to me that Irfan Pathan was a captaincy material, infact he lost his form even before he could be a permanent fixture in the Indian Team, unknwon rookies in the Indian Domestic Cricket were hitting him out of the park the last time I saw him in the IPL. He barely crossed 120km/hr and lost his swing as well.

    I would rate Rohit Sharma along with Ravindra Jadeja as one of Dhoni’s favourites as Sharmaji got so many chances that if i was Cheteshwar Pujara I had every right to feel cheated.

    The only reason Raina is out now because of the amazing form Kohli is in the last year or so otherwise Raina has been one of the regulars and being a Chennai teammate of Dhoni is in the good books of Dhoni.

    I don’t know why you rate Gambhir as arrogant or prudent just because of one incident with Afridi many years ago, otherwise what I know of him is that he alongwith Sehwag are the only players who do not attend any parties and even drink alcohol. He seems to be a very homely ma-ke-haath-ka-rajma-chawal khanewala guy. I am sure if Dhoni performs badly in the coming months or gets into bad books of selectors than Gambhir would be the next captain.

    So to summarise, I agree Dhoni is shrewd and clever but this should not be a reason to come up with such Conspiracy Theories because after all he is not the only person selecting the Team otherwise what are the selectors getting paid for?

  56. #56 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 1:08 PM

    This is how the so-called “Dark Horses” play! It was a pathetic display of batting from Pakistan against Canada, they were all out in 43 overs, it is a shame that they could not even complete the allotted 50 overs. Although a total of 184 is small but, Canada will find it very hard to achieve the target. It is now for the Pakistani bowlers to get them out cheaply and it is up to Kamran Akmal’s mercy that he doesn’t drop catches or miss stumping and or, give away too many extra runs.

  57. #57 by newguy on March 3, 2011 - 2:23 PM

    Hi Guys,

    I am short on time, I will post a few quick comments.

    Ireland – England was spectacular come back from the dead shocking victory. I saw replay of the game since I could not watch live, but I was following scores and though if they came down to 50 runs then they would win. KO’Brien what a knock. Unlike England the other day against India, Ireland did not panic. Also England did not have a Zaheer Khan to bowl pressure deliveries in last stages.

    About Ind-End, everyone say it was a thriller, but not from Indian supporters point of view. It was a let down after scoring 338. Granted it was better than losing. For neutrals it was a thriller. Also a lot of people praising the game were English commentators and press, since this is an over achievement England ODI team.

    Today game between Pakistan and Canada, what a shocker from Pakistan. That too against Canada who are not like Ireland. Ireland is a strong team. Canada is a team of ex-pats, many of who are just club level. Normally I am with the minnows, but today I want Pakistan to put them in place. For many reasons. One, Canada is not a proper team and they should not win. Sorry, JAK, but it is the truth. Second, it will somewhat dilute the Ireland win yesterday. It was a classic game, I don’t want Canada overshadowing it. Third, if Pakistan lose people will say it is match fixing. There will be lot of time and press wasted on this.

    Final comment. SA look very strong in all departments. Batting, bowling, fielding. But then which WC did SA not look good?

  58. #58 by Mohammed Munir on March 3, 2011 - 4:26 PM

    Jeo Afridi Wah Rey Wah Rey …..

  59. #59 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 4:44 PM

    newguy

    I agree with your recent comments on Pakistan/Canada match i.e., why you want Pakistan to win? I am 100% sure if anything like that happens Pakistanis would be the first one to claim that it is a fixed match. Some people are even talking about Pakistan / Kenya match that the first 10 overs were fixed. I dunno much about betting but, reportedly the bookies made a lot of money as the odds for the first 10 overs against Kenya were 3:1200 which is beyond my comprehension i.e., how it works? The people who are talking about this are saying that this is a new method of making money i.e., when playing against the minnows you can fix the match for 10-15 overs.

    Anyways, Canada bowled and fielded very well to restrict Pakistan for 184 runs in 43 overs, which is excellent from Canadian point of view and a shameful performance by the Pakistani batsmen. If they play like this in the KO stage then they should pack their bags before the start of the game as no big team will allow them to win if they score anything below 200.

    The row between Balaji Rao / Umar Gul / Ahmad Shahzad was hilarious. Balaji was not short of words and was bold enough to send his message to millions of viewers, loud and clear and the next two balls later he was struck by Umar Gul and asked the bowler to go back and bowl again!

    Afridi bowled well today and he is already the leading wicket taker 14 wickets so far. He may have got one more on his last delivery of his last over had Abdul Razzaq was a little quick on his feet, for that he needs a can of spinach. Saeed Ajmal is another lousy fielder, he is definitely the worst in the side and its ironic that wherever he fields the ball follows him or, the batsmen target him. He is a very shoddy fielder. Au contraire, Wahab Riaz took an excellent catch, perhaps the best of the tournament so far, he ran quite a distance and dived full length to take that superb catch.

  60. #60 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 4:58 PM

    Munir

    Some people are still not digesting the fact that Afridi is leading from the front and winning the matches so far, I wish him and the team all the success to win not only their group matches but, also the matches in the KO stage. Today, besides Wasim Akram, Ian Chappel was also not happy with Afridi talking to his bowlers. However Ramiz reminded Ian Chappel that, when Tendulkar was captain he used to talk to his bowlers more than Afridi to which Ian agreed. I see no harm in captains talking to their bowlers, Sachin is the most experienced player and he can share his experience just like Miandad used to do. But, Wasim Akram continued spitting his venom against Afridi by saying, “Skipper involved too much with bowlers.”

    Ian Chappel should understand the psyche of the Pakistani people, i.e., if the captain doesn’t talk to his team mates especially the bowlers and if the team loses they say, “it was Afridi’s duty as a captain to get involved and talk to his players.” When Pakistan wins, they don’t criticize anyone they simply rejoice and accept all the mistakes or follies as an OK thing.

    At the post match ceremony when Ramiz Raja said, your bowling is once again excellent, what do you have to say about it? Afridi played down his own performance and gave credit to Waqar Younus by saying it is all because of Waqar’s coaching.

    Although I wanted Canada to win but, I knew they will be all out under 150. I got calls from Pakistan before Canada started to bat and I said the same thing that Canada will score between 125-150. I got another call from Pakistan when Balaji Rao was showering pearls of wisdom on Ahmad Shahzad and Umar Gul, I was told, “Yaar aap log gaaliyaan tou na dain na.” 😀 Aap log = us Canadians. 😀

  61. #61 by varunsuri on March 3, 2011 - 5:56 PM

    Afridi saved the day for Pakistan and he’s definitely on course for being the bowler of the tournament. Only if Canad had one batsmen like O’Brien it could have been a pretty close match!!

    Balaji Rao’s words were so audible that it felt like he had a hidden microphone somewhere on his body!! It was surprising to see Umar Gul teasing the batsmen, I have never seen him talking to the batsmen before.

    Although the commentators were complaining about Afridi ‘s constant chatting with the bowlers and then they also brought in Sachin and then Ian Chappell said he was horrible at it but I did hear Wasim Akram praising Afridi 1-2 times saying that he is bowling really well thesedays e.t.c
    Kamran Akmal with his usual blabberings behind the stumps reminds me of one Kiran More.

    Maybe he just had to say it because he is the most dependable bowler in Pakistan in recent times and only if Pakistan can be more consistent in batting than they are easily one of the most dangerous teams in the World Cup. Now after all the confusion which has been caused due to a tie and an upset in India’s group nobody can predict if and when India and Pakistan will play in this World Cup.

    Until now all the teams have atleast few glitches here and there except South Africa and Australia and I hope Srilanka can beat Australia on Saturday.

    I am happy that English could not win against India otherwise they would have been over the moon as Naseer Hussain appeared to be before Zaheer bowled his decisive spell and was shell shocked after O’brien thrashed the English as if they were one of the minnows.

  62. #62 by khansahab on March 3, 2011 - 7:03 PM

    I saw Pakistan’s pathetic batting but I had a feeling that Pakistan would win the match and Afridi would take 4 wickets or more.

  63. #63 by khansahab on March 3, 2011 - 7:10 PM

    # Shahid Afridi has become the first bowler to take three four-wicket hauls in a single World Cup. He is also the fourth bowler to take two five-fors in one World Cup.
    # The two best bowling performances by a Pakistan player in World Cups belong to Afridi, and they’ve come within ten days of each other.
    # Afridi is the leading wicket-taker in this World Cup with 14, and needs only four more to equal the record for most wickets by a Pakistan bowler in a World Cup: Wasim Akram took 18 in 1992.
    # It is only the ninth instance of a bowler taking at least four wickets in three consecutive ODI innings. Waqar Younis achieved this feat on three separate occasions.

  64. #64 by khansahab on March 3, 2011 - 7:12 PM

    “Pakistan is playing one extra Batman”: Zaheer Abbas

    🙂 This is what Zaheer Abbas said today (Batman added for comic effect)

  65. #65 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 8:23 PM

    Varun

    Wasim Akram has been criticizing Afridi from the match against Sri Lanka and he was even saying, if my captain bugs me like this I would be very upset. Earlier, I think it was a match against Kenya when he was blabbering with Ramiz Raja about the 1992 WC, they both praised the dressing room atmosphere and the so-called great camaraderie and great leadership of Imran Bhai and he said, Imran Bhai is a Qudarti (natural) leader and he used to help me during the WC and each time I used to bowl he used to give me some useful tips.

    That is why I wrote above that Wasim Akram is a BIG hypocrite and a liar that everything is OK for him but, not for others. A liar, because he was spearheading in the anti-smoking programme ads on TV in which he was shown jogging and, a small kids asks him; Wasim Uncle aap thuktay nahee? He replies, “Nahee beta iss liyeh kay mai cigarette nahee peeta.” A few weeks later he was caught on camera smoking in the players gallery at the Lords Cricket Stadium in London watching a county match.

    LOL @ Imran Khan being a born natural leader, if he was really one, he would have been the President of Pakistan long time ago. He is struggling in politics since 19 years and just like his cricket captaincy his political leadership is restricted to a ONE MAN SHOW. There is NO other name in his so-called Tehrik-e-Insaaf Party of Justice Party. They called him a dictator because he never listened to the PCB or the team manager and did whatever he liked. In politics too he wants to do the same hence he has only one seat in the Parliament i.e., his own. Earlier he even lost that seat against any Lalloo Panjoo of PPP or PML. Imran Khan would be extremely fortunate if he gets 5 seats in the National Assembly.

  66. #66 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 8:36 PM

    khansahab

    You start writing down Wasim’s bloopers, I am sure we can write a thread on it. Like today he said, AKLAM KALMAN for Kamran Akmal.
    He also said, “a bastmen”
    “The India” is playing good.
    I knew the Mathews from CalKOLCutta Riders, he is a super dangerous plyer.
    This Umar Akmal needs to improve his V-cut keeping a little more as The Pakistan cannot afford to drop catches and stuppigs. (stumping)
    He meant Kamran Akmal. He said this when Kamran missed stumping chances of Sangakara twice.
    Even today he said Umar Akmal, instead of Kamran Akmal, how can he say this? I can understand Tony Greg saying MISHba for Misbah but, Wasim can’t he distinguish between the two? One is wearing pads, gloves and is behind the stumps whereas the other is somewhere else on the ground.

  67. #67 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 3, 2011 - 8:48 PM

    Today, the umpires looked like JOKERS. It started with Daryl Harper giving not out and the decision was reversed in favour of the bowling side. Then Nigel gave the Canadian batsman out lbw, they referred and Nigel’s decision was reversed and the batsman remained. Then it was Harper again who gave the Canadian out LBW and the DRS reversed the decision. These three decisions took place within 10 minutes and within the space of 2-3 overs. Then there were a few others, cannot remember how many but, one in which Afridi challenged and got it approved by the DRS, it was Harper again. It was so comical today that the umpires must be having a nervous breakdown after the end of the match.

  68. #68 by Sagaat on March 3, 2011 - 10:47 PM

    Javed Khan,

    Thanks for pointing out how many times the umpire’s can get the decisions wrong. Unfortunately, what people notice is the one time there is a controversial decision.

    It has been Afridi’s tournament so far. I hope he can continue the good form, going into the quarter-finals.

    On the other hand the openers are not performing at all. Razzaq is useless at number 7. I don’t understand why they didn’t take Mohd Yousof in the squad. That way Hafeez and Razzaq could have sat out for Junaid Khan and Mohd Yousof. The team would have a lot more balance. They could do it with Asad Shafiq, in that include a specialist bowler and a specialist batsman in place of Razzaq and Hafeez. But I am not sure how good a batsman Shafiq is….

    Another thing that could be tried is to send Razzaq as an opener or one-down to hit. This way Razzaq would face pace bowling rather than spinners. Morever, Younis Khan and Misbah would move down the order when Razzaq comes up the order and both are better players of spin bowling than pace bowling. Down the order they are more likely to face spinners.

  69. #69 by khansahab on March 3, 2011 - 11:22 PM

    Sagaat

    At the moment they are playing 3 “aggressive” batsmen in the top order. The problem is that neither of these 3 batsmen is typicaly an aggressor. That is because Hafeez tries to bat like Tendulkar and doesn’t always score at a strike rate of 80+, Shahzad is too inexperienced and wants to take calculated risks because of that and Akmal is mostly a hit and miss player. If he manages to clear the fielders in the circle the ball goes to the boundary but if he does not he is out.

    Shahzad and Akmal must play more aggressively, if Shahzad is having problems with hand eye coordination then he should be dropped. I have just noticed that Shahzad has scored only 26 runs from 3 matches. If he doesn’t score against NZ on Tuesday he needs to be dropped in favour of Shafiq. Shafiq is not an aggressive player so Akmal will have to open with Hafeez and I would then send Razzaq or U Akmal to keep the momentum going. Shafiq should bat after Younis but before Misbah.

  70. #70 by khansahab on March 3, 2011 - 11:28 PM

    Did anyone know Afridi is the 11th all time highest ODI wicket-taker?

  71. #71 by Sagaat on March 4, 2011 - 12:12 AM

    Khansahab,

    Shehzad was playing well in New Zealand. I think he is a very good player of the short ball. For some reason, he has lost his aggresive touch in the world cup. I would chance him against the Australians though precisely because he plays the short ball well. Also, he played well against NZ, so those are the two matches in which I think he should play. On the other hand if Pakistan play a specialist bowler, then the part-time bowling of Razzaq and Hafeez becomes redundant. However, the combination of two as batsmen versus one player, Asad Shafiq, would that add up?

    On the other hand Pakistan can experiment with the batting order and play the same team. I’d say Hafeez would also be better off down the order. As an opener he makes 15-20 runs at best. It’d be better to open with Shehzad and Akmal with Razzaq one-down, then Hafeez, followed by Younis, Misbah, Umar Akmal and Afridi. If Younis Khan and Misbah are coming at 5 and 6, they are mostly going to play against spin bowling, which is their strength. Razzaq moves up the order and tries to hit pace bowling, which is his strength. To get the best out of the team, they have to get the best out of each player. But Waqar seems to have a very conservative approach so far. It doesn’t seem like the team is open to any changes. It is a very rigid, Australian approach without having the same calibre of players.

  72. #72 by newguy on March 4, 2011 - 12:41 AM

    Wonderful performance from Afridi again, notwithstanding it is against minnows still not easy to take 5 wickets, and as Ireland showed yesterday no one can be taken lightly. Afridi is now by far the leader of the bowling pack, who would have thought. Pakistan is looking dangerous as a bowling side with Afridi in this form. He now has a very good chance to go beyond McGrath. The title of this thread is apt, go Afridi go. I will add that don’t do it against India if ever they cross path 🙂

    I saw the row between Balaji Rao and Gul / Shahzad, I thought it was rather cheap for Gul and Shahzad to have a go at Balaji Rao who is a #10 batsman playing for one of the weakest associates in the tournament. It was started by Gul after Rao had a swing and miss, then Shahzad chimed in which irritated Rao who had a real go. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with players having a banter or that Rao is an Indian born Canadian, in fact I like it so long as it does not cross boundaries and gets someone in trouble with officials. But it has to be between equals, if Gul wants to have a go at someone he should do that with the big boys with major teams, or even have a go at someone like Harbhajan / Zaheer who are really good at this type of this. But at a weak associate nation full of club level players, really? It looked bad on Gul, he should be ashamed.

  73. #73 by newguy on March 4, 2011 - 12:54 AM

    Munir,

    On Dhoni KI Chalakiaan, every captain indulges in this type of thing. Saurav Ganguly was a master of this, but he also promoted a lot of young guys who now are the backbone of Indian team, players like Yuvraj, Bhajji, Zaheer all came up during Ganguly’s time and he encouraged them to be aggressive, not just in their game but also take it to opposition. In this regard, Ganguly was a trend setting captain who changed the face of Indian cricket. But what about Dhoni, what has he contributed so far from having young chamchas in the team? no where close to Ganguly’s achievements.

    Dhoni has in fact destroyed Indian bowling, with his constant chanting batting is our strength, our bowlers need to put the ball in the right areas so on .. he is too much into line and length type of bowling and his mind set is defensive. He was lucky to begin with, he is certainly not a bad captain, and is a much better improvement over Rahul Dravid who along with Greg Chappel almost destroyed Indian cricket. It is known that Greg Chappel had forced Rahul Dravid to ask Tendulkar to bat down the order in ODI’s. Chappel even wanted Tendulkar to retire. Dravid let all that happen. Anyhow, Dhoni was an improvement, but now he is not having any new ideas. It’s about time for a new captain. It’s not easy being captain of India team, and 3-4 years is a long time frame.

    As for Irfan Pathan, my views have been expressed here before too many times, even if Dhoni played politics to keep him away, I say it was not necessary since Irfan destroyed himself. He came out with a bang, he could bowl fast and swing the ball, then we saw he could bat as well, needless to say his star value went high. Some in media started calling him next genuine all rounder to take on Kapil Dev’s mantle. They started talking about grooming him as future captain. But Irfan lost his bowling, he lost pace and then his swing. T20 WC was the last major event where he came back and bowled really well. In fact, Irfan was one of the architects of that T20 WC win, along with other bowlers like RP Singh and Bhajji. But after that he lost it, now he balls almost like off spin, everyone is hitting him around. Even if Dhoni wants him in team, selectors won’t.

    Yousuf on the other hand is not a threat to captaincy, but he is a big hitter and he could overtake Dhoni’s place in batting, not just Dhoni, even Yuvraj. If Kohli and Raina along with Yousuf can be match winners why does India need Dhoni and Yuvraj in the middle order, especially if they are only scoring run a ball in ODIs batting at #5 and #6. At that position you need to score more than run a ball. So, I think Dhoni is protecting himself and Yuvraj in batting position.

  74. #74 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 4, 2011 - 4:19 AM

    newguy

    Dhoni and Yuvraj are not just buddies but, they are strange bedfellows with Dipika Paddukone in the middle. 😀 Dhoni has always backed Yuvraj. As regards the story of Irfan Pathan, you have mentioned that he was one of the architects of that T20 WC win not just because of the bowling but, he along with Rohit Sharma added 35-40 valuable runs otherwise India were restricted under 120 and that way the match may not have gone that far till Misbah pooped it with his reverse flick.

    My way of judging a player in the shorter version of the game is not just considering a player only as a specialist but, his over all net utility in the team. If Irfan was not taking wickets in T20 he was scoring runs, it is for this reason he is valued @ $1.6 million in the IPL. If he was such a waste of a player IPL may not have bought him for that kinda money. Fielding wise also he is pretty good, better than Nehra, RP, Joginder Singh, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel etc.

    You guys may have different opinion about Irfan Pathan, but I am seeing him as an outsider and please do not think that I am supporting him because he is a Muslim. I oppose many Muslim players in Pakistan who are not fit or not worth to be a part of the team.

    PS.

    And, yes Ganguly is more shrewd than Dhoni is, he is a schemer and a planner in politics. I still remember he used Dravid’s shoulder in the famous Multan Test when Sehwag scored 300 plus and Tendulkar was about to score a 200, he asked the makeshift captain Dravid to declare the innings. That was a very cunning sly fox act.

  75. #75 by newguy on March 4, 2011 - 1:50 PM

    Bangladesh has been shot out for a peanut 58 runs and rolled over in 12 overs by WI.

    This is their lowest total, and lowest total at the Mirpur ground. Quite a record for a team wanting to make Quarter Finals by hoping to beat WI.

    WI showed that still have some left over skills from their rich cricketing legacy.

    Angry Bangla fans were throwing paper at the ground, exactly similar behavior to Kolkatta crowd, after all they are all Bengalis separated by a border. This is really boorish behavior. But they stopped short of throwing bottles and setting off fires which their cousins did in ’96 in Kolkatta.

    I for am one and very happy that WI crushed Bangladesh and showed them their place in world cricket. They need to develop some good skills before they can start boasting about being in same league as big boys. Like SL did without any boasting, but with their cricket.

    Group B games by far has remained interesting so far. Group A the next only two games remains to be any interest, Aus vs. SL and Aus vs. Pak, rest are boring and predictable. All that remains to be seen in Group A is the ranking of teams for Qtr final. Pakistan is top at the moment, proving all those pre-match experts wrong.

  76. #76 by newguy on March 4, 2011 - 1:53 PM

    JAK,

    Irfan is a good utility player in T20, I have no issues with that. But in ODI he can’t get in as a #7 batsman unless he can also bowl 10 overs efficiently. His brother Yousuf is a very high impact player to be in as #7 batsman alone even if he can’t bowl 10 overs, in fact, Yousuf don’t even need to bowl to be in the team. Irfan bats well, not quite enough to be in for that alone. I think he has to be at least on par with the likes of Nehra and Sreesanth as a bowler, which isn’t saying a lot. But then again I haven’t seen him bowl in an ODI in a long time, so no one knows except the selectors that probably watch local games.

  77. #77 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 4, 2011 - 6:43 PM

    newguy

    The Bengladeshis did throw stones at the WI players Bus and Chris Gayle is very angry and not feeling safe.

    Like you, I am also happy that WI has shown the BD boys their place in the corner by crushing their inflated egos. Their crowd behaviour is very partisan and pathetic. I consider the WI and the NZ as dark horses because on a “Gayle Day” or a “McCullum Day” they can beat any team. And, Pakistan did not do very well against them in NZ, they won the series 3-2 which means the NZ can beat them on their day and if it is during the KO stage then that is the end of PK.

    As regards Irfan Pathan, it seems that the selectors wants to play only one pathan and not two and that is the reason Irfan is out. YKP on his day is better than Gayle and McCullum but, that happens so infrequently whereas, Irfan is definitely a solid 40-50 player and that too at a good strike rate. His bowling should be considered as a bonus, which is still better than YKP’s. But, this is how the selectors see i.e., using a Kaleidoscope and they see only those colours which they want to see. They don’t want to see the net utility of a player unless he is Sehwag. There was a time even Sehwag was dropped for poor form but, prior to that he got 19 chances to prove his worth and then he came back and cemented his place, whereas Irfan did not even get one fourth of what Sehwag got. Comparing Irfan with Nehra and Sree is a mistake because once again it is the “Net Utility” that is to be measured and not a specialty. And, you say even that is at par with Nehra and Sree. So, that means his batting and fielding must give him an extra point to be considered in the squad, what do you think?

  78. #78 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 4, 2011 - 6:52 PM

    TGIF – Thank God It is a Friday.

    A Pathan missed his Friday prayers. Upon asking why and how? He said, “Two minutes before the start of the prayers, the Imam asked everyone to turn off their cell phones.” I had left mine at home so I had to go home to turn it off. 😀

    On Feb 14th a Pathan was being beaten up by a crowd on a street. One man asked what is wrong and why are you guys beating him? One of the men replied, “Subha say Tung Kia Howa Hai, Baar Baar Poochta hai, Yae Saint Valentine Ka Namaaz Kitna Bajay Shuroo Hogi ?” 😀

    A math teacher asked a question: There are 8 apples and 6 people, how would you divide the apples so that every one gets exact share, no less, no more? Don’t take too long to answer this question because, a Pathan replied it in 2 seconds. Waiting for your response, let me see!

  79. #79 by newguy on March 4, 2011 - 10:59 PM

    JAK,

    To conclude on Irfan Pathan, there is only one way to find out, by having him play in ODI for a period of time. Normally when a bowler is out of the team it requires strong domestic performance to get back into the national team. I have to believe that in Irfan’s case this is the problem, he is not able to get strong domestic performance. If he does then he can force his way back in and then show he deserves to be in. It is possible that had he been given prolonged chances then he could have at some point proven his worth. But that is not how it works, one performance in a blue moon in not enough to carry a player for prolonged period. Sehwag is a different kind of player, we cannot compare these two situations, it is well worth giving Sehwag as many chances to get it right because he is a once in a generational player. As for IPL teams playing money, who knows and who cares, they care about marketability and not about winning and losing. Irfan probably is a good brand for them, but national team need performers not brands.

    To summarize, I have no bias for or against Irfan, I like him, and wish India had a seaming all rounder like how he used to be. I know you are unbiased as well. Selectors are also myopic everywhere, their policies are mysterious, I don’t know why Irfan is not given chances, ideally he should have been tried in the 5 match ODI series at home against NZ, or taken to South Africa. But they didn’t. In the end, what you and I think is not important since the selectors decide what to do.

  80. #80 by khansahab on March 4, 2011 - 11:41 PM

    Captaincy is the secret behind success: Rashid Latif

    Karachi: The Former Pakistan Captain, Rashid Latif is of the view that the harmony between coach and the captain is paying dividends on the field. “Afridi has been able to impart the strategy and his own enthusiasm to the other players which is indeed the secret behind our success. Sprits are high under Afridi’s leadership”, stated Latif while talking to News One TV.

    “The team developed a much-needed fighting spirit which is a very heartening thing to see after months of turmoil”, maintained Latif

    On a question, Rashid Latif said that primarily Afridi has been performing very well as a bowler lately, and hoped that his majestic bowling would boost his confidence which would soon reflect in his batting as well.

  81. #81 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 5, 2011 - 3:46 AM

    khansahab

    As this world cup will progress, you will see that ALL the focus would be on Shahid Afridi’s batting, bowling and captaincy. IF he wins the Cup, all his critics will not only have to eat their words but, they will be priasing him as a captain like, they are praising him as a bowler now. IF he fails they will again be on the front foot criticizing him by saying those 14 wickets he took in 3 matches are mostly against minnows.

    Breaking McGrath’s record of 26 wickets in a single world cup is not easy. Because, Pakistan has only one match against a weaker team remaining and that is against Zimbabwe, the other two are against New Zealand and Australia and both teams are good. Afridi’s solo bowling performance will not be enough he needs to take off from here and get more wickets, even 3 wickets in every match would not be enough for him as a bowler to break that record. Because,after that it would be a KO stage. In 2007 Australia won the final, hence they played more matches than other teams. In 2007 the final was between SL and Australia, even Murali couldn’t match McGrath.

    In this WC the conditions are different especially in SL and BD and the wickets are more suitable for spin bowling, still its not easy for Afridi to break McGrath’s record. Therefore, people should not be talking about breaking that record but, about winning every match. Like Afridi himself said, I would like to focus on winning and the rest will follow.

    Afridi needs to prove his worth, not just as a bowler but, as a captain he needs to lead the team from the front and ALSO he should bat and score a couple of big innings in those KO games. IF Pakistan reaches the final, it would be a big achievement. In my opinion IF Pakistan reaches the final, THEY WILL WIN.

  82. #82 by khansahab on March 5, 2011 - 8:48 AM

    Bangla’s batting vs West Indies was pathetic. It was so poor that it was almost comical.

    Although Bangla is obviously a very weak team, their batting looked suspicious to me. If Pakistan was playing people would immediately have raised concerns over match fixing.

    I think the ICC should investigate this match because it almost seemed like the Bangla batsmen were wanting to be out.

  83. #83 by khansahab on March 5, 2011 - 8:55 AM

    Sagaat

    They may well have to employ your strategy against SA and Australia. Whatever happens Hafeez, Akmal and Shahzad can’t afford to be defensive against these teams.

    Pakistan has to go for the kill, they can’t try and make 4 runs per over against Lee, Tait and Johnson and then expect to go after the spinners and Watson. That won’t work because there is a chance they will lose top order wickets in any event. Therefore they have to swing their bats and try to dismantle the Australian confidence. It is better to be 55/2 after 10 overs than be 40/2 after 10 overs. If Hafeez and Akmal have to make 25 runs apiece then it is better they do that quickly rather than slowly.

    I really can’t remember many innings when Akmal has scored heavily against SA or Australia.

  84. #84 by khansahab on March 5, 2011 - 9:00 AM

    Pakistan’s match against NZ is important because that it prove whether this team can really take on the big guns, or whether the performance against Sri Lanka was a mere fluke.

    If Pakistan beats NZ comfortably then there is no doubt this team means business.

    I feel the momentum is with Pakistan, and I agree with Javed A Khan that if they reach the final they will win because, on paper no one could predict they would even reach the semi final and momentum and mental strength would go in their favour.

    Pakistan’s biggest match of this stage is of course the one against Australia on 19 March- I hope they have considered their strategy against the pace attack of Australia. On the other hand only Shoaib Akhtar can trouble the Australian batsmen from the Pakistani pace attack. Afridi and Ajmal need to be at their very best in that game.

  85. #85 by khansahab on March 5, 2011 - 11:12 AM

    I have watched some of the Australia vs Sri Lanka match. Ponting was too defensive in the field and desisted from keeping fielders in the slips. There were many edges that went through slips and SL could have easily lost 2 more wickets if Ponting had maintained the attack.

    Lee, Tait and Johnson are bowling well and I fear for Pakistan’s chances against them. This is more reason why I believe Pakistan must attack from the first ball and Razzaq and Afridi are very crucial- Pakistan will need them to score 25/30+ when they are playing Australia and South Africa. I don’t see Pakistan beating these teams on the strength of their specialist bowlers and batsmen only.

  86. #86 by Sagaat on March 5, 2011 - 11:13 AM

    Khansahab,

    I completely agree with you in that Pakistan must employ a very attacking strategy against Australia. They definitely need to attack Lee and Tait. For this reason I’d move Razzaq up the order. Nothing is set in stone and the strategy has to be fluid. If they open with Hafeez and Shehzad, Razzaq could still be sent 2-down to hit. If its his day and if he can hit a 40-ball 70-odd, then that could substantially increase Pakistan’s chances. They really need to think outside the box in an attacking sense if they are to beat Australia. Australia has a risky strategy in having 3 pacemen, Pakistan needs to turn that into an advantage by attacking precisely those three and seeing the rest through.

  87. #87 by khansahab on March 5, 2011 - 12:25 PM

    I play to win for my country: Kamran Akmal

    COLOMBO: Just a couple of months before the World Cup, there was uncertainty over whether Kamran Akmal will be allowed to play for Pakistan in the global spectacle.

    There were strong rumours that he was being investigated for suspected links to match-fixers and the speculations gained weight after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to drop him for the series against South Africa in the UAE last November.

    However, the Pakistan wicketkeeper was cleared by the authorities and is now a key member of the national team at World Cup 2011.

    Kamran is now hoping that all the match-fixing allegations won’t hurt his reputation.

    “I’m very happy to be back in the team,” Kamran said in an interview on Friday.

    “I was upset to be dropped but my brother, my wife and my family have encouraged me to keep trying.

    “I never gave up. I spoke to Ian Healy, he told me some things to improve and I worked on that,”he said referring to the former Australia Test wicketkeeper.

    “I have also had help from Brad Haddin and Adam Gilchrist, so I am very happy. My wicketkeeping is not on the spot, but I’m working hard with these good coaches and I’ve been getting better,” he added.

    Kamran also hit out at claims that he was involved in rigging last year’s Sydney Test which Pakistan lost from a seemingly winning position.

    “I will never ever think like that. I play for love of cricket, not for money,” Kamran said. “I have never been asked to do this (match-fixing).

    “All I care about is playing cricket. I play for Pakistan, I don’t do any other activities that would damage my country or my name.”

    Kamran came under the scanner following a horror showing in Sydney where he dropped Mike Hussey three times and wasted a run-out chance as Australian produced a stunning comeback to win the Test by 36 runs.

    Player agent Mazhar Majeed, who was caught out in a British tabloid match-fixing sting, claimed that the Pakistan team made about $3 million from the debacle.

    “I didn’t drop catches to help Australia,” Kamran said. “These things happen. Not every day is a good day in cricket. Sometimes you have good days and other days you have bad games but I have tried very hard in every game I play for Pakistan. “I have ignored all this, I play for honesty, I play to win for my country.”

  88. #88 by khansahab on March 5, 2011 - 12:26 PM

    How odd that Akmal, who claims he is an honest cricketer, has been under the ICC scanner for so long.

    Also, his family is so noble and patriotic that his brother mysteriously became “unfit” after K Akmal was dropped over match fixing concerns.

    His brother U Akmal has never been unfit otherwise in his career.

  89. #89 by khansahab on March 5, 2011 - 12:29 PM

    Ramiz Raja said today that, “Colombo clouds are becoming more darker“.

    We know some of his opinions are biased and his commentary is more style than substance oriented.

    You either say “darker” or you say “more dark”, you don’t say “more darker”. This shows he just learns words and phrases and uses them, he doesn’t really “know” how to speak English.

  90. #90 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 5, 2011 - 5:27 PM

    More than a month ago I wrote here on this blog, in one of the threads that my only concern about playing in Sri Lanka is the weather. Today’s big match was abandoned due to rain. Its a loss for cricket lovers, the game was progressing nicely with Sangakara batting fluently and the wicket was also favouring the spinners. Had the match continued without rain, SL may have scored 250 plus and that was enough to defend that kinda total on this pitch with three spinners and a slinga malinga in the team. The ball was turning a lot, and Murali would have definitely done more damage than others. Anyways, its a shame that the match ended without any result and both team got one point each.

    So far it is good for Pakistan, if they can remain on the top of the table, they will get to play the group B number 4, which could be Bangladesh? Bangladesh played their last match against WI very poorly but, that will not happen against Pakistan. It will be a tough fight in front of their home crowd, unless Pakistan gives a nip in the bud by attacking from the onset and getting their hard hitters early. Akhtar and Gul can do that damage if they bowl sensibly.

  91. #91 by khansahab on March 5, 2011 - 6:20 PM

    Inti believes Pakistan has upper hand vs New Zealand

    By KHALID HUSSAIN | ARAB NEWS

    Published: Mar 5, 2011 20:25 Updated: Mar 5, 2011 20:25

    COLOMBO: Pakistan believe that they will have an upper hand when they take the field against New Zealand for their World Cup Group A clash on March 8 at Pallekele.

    The Pakistanis conquered the Black Caps in their own backyard in a six-match One-day International series 3-2 and are brimming with confidence as they prepared in Kandy for Tuesday’s match against New Zealand.

    Team officials believe that with the conditions in Sri Lanka favouring them, Pakistan have solid chances of maintaining their unbeaten spree in the tournament.

    “The fact that we beat them (New Zealand) in New Zealand in the ODI series last month certainly gives us a lot of confidence going into our next match,” Intikhab Alam, the Pakistan manager told Arab News on Saturday.

    “The conditions there suited New Zealand but it should be different here. We are more familiar with the conditions here and will try our best to make the most of it. We have the upper hand because the conditions here are like what we have back home in Pakistan,” he added.

  92. #92 by newguy on March 5, 2011 - 8:07 PM

    Pakistan will most likely end up playing any one of WI, Eng, Ireland, India in Quarter finals. SA will not end up last, and India may not either. That leaves WI, England. Ireland has an outside chance. Bangladesh chances are almost nil since they lost badly to WI, and they only have one win against Ireland. I don’t see them edging out WI or England.

  93. #93 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 5, 2011 - 9:49 PM

    newguy

    You are right, I dunno in what frame of mind I was when I wrote that Pakistan will play against Bangladesh in the quarterfinals. I was up all night and when it rained heavily I knew the match would be abandoned so, I went off to hit the sack but, before going to bed I wrote that comment, so you can imagine my state of mind. 😀 Now, before reading your comment, I was talking to a friend on phone and I told him the same that BD has no chance after being crushed by WI, they have already lost to India, narrowly won against Ireland and they won’t match SA or England so their chances of reaching the QF is almost nil, unless they beat SA and England, which is not likely to happen.

  94. #94 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 5, 2011 - 10:08 PM

    khansahab

    Inti has to make positive statements but, the truth is NZ openers are so far doing much, much better than Pakistani openers. You have seen this in both the matches they’ve played, their openers didn’t give up their wickets. Both, Guptil and McCullum are playing sensible cricket, McCullum especially is not going berserk like he always does, instead he is taking time to settle down and playing cricket according to the merit of the ball. Also, they are not scoring slow, their run rate is pretty decent.

    Even if Pakistan loses against NZ or Australia, I am not worried about that because, they will beat Zimbabwe and still be in the QF. But, after that for instance if they play against West Indies in QF, the Windies team is capable of surprising Pakistan in a one off game like they did in 2007 and Pakistan will be out of the tournament. So, whatever mistakes they have made sofar and whatever amendments they have to make, they should do so in the next two three matches and be very, very vigilant in the KO stage. It will be a shame if India or Pakistan exit from QF. Both these teams must play the semis and one of them must play the final.

    If India remains number two in their group, they won’t play against Pakistan in the QF, the chances are SA will top that group. My guess is Pakistan will also be number two in their group as Australia’s chances are better than Pakistan’s despite scoring only one point in today’s game. India / Pakistan have an outside chance of meeting in the semifinals, and that will be bad. They should play the final or, not play against each other prior to the final. Because, it will ruin the atmosphere and the festivities of the tournament.

    Ps.
    Pakistan has beaten Sri Lanka in the round match and, IF they have to play again in the QF, SF or even in the final, I would rate SL 60% chance to win and 40% for Pakistan to win. They will definitely play better and with Salinga Malinga in their side, they will be pretty strong in the bowling department.

  95. #95 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 5, 2011 - 10:31 PM

    In my opinion the teams that will qualify from Group A would be:

    Australia
    Pakistan
    Sri Lanka
    New Zealand

    Teams that will qualify from Group B would be:

    South Africa
    India
    England
    West Indies

    So, based on my predictions the QF matches will be between:

    A1 and B4 which is Australia vs. West Indies
    A2 and B3 which is Pakistan vs. England
    A3 and B2 which is Sri Lanka vs. India
    A4 and B1 which is New Zealand vs. South Africa.

    My choice for the semifinals would be:

    Australia, Pakistan, India and South Africa.
    Australia to play against India
    South Africa to play against Pakistan

    India and Pakistan to play the final.

  96. #96 by 420 on March 6, 2011 - 12:10 AM

    JAK
    hopefully that ind vs pak final happens…remember the 87 WC, people expected a ind vs pak final and aus vs eng happened…

  97. #97 by newguy on March 6, 2011 - 3:41 AM

    JAK,

    I like your KO line up, this is along the lines I had thought through as well given how things stand now. The only problem is that whoever gets to play NZ will have it easy, and it would be nice if India could end up being top and play NZ, for that they need to win all of their remaining games. If they beat SA along with other teams then they can finish top and play NZ. Playing SL might just have some bad results on Indian I feel. First, SL will get to play at home, so India will be playing at Colombo, and at that venue whoever bats first have more than 80% chance of winning the match, especially if they put up a score above 250. Toss will have a huge impact on this match. This is unfortunate for either team.

    I agree with you Indian playing Pakistan before final is a bad thing as well. It is going to be very hard for everyone on the losing side on both countries. I don’t know really how Pakistan fans feel about getting KO’d by India in ’96, or in the 2007 T20 WC, but I know there isn’t a more terrible feeling than this. This time though if Ind faces Pakistan in WC, I think their perfect win record will be broken, Pakistan will win. Law of averages says that. So my own opinion is they don’t meet at all. However, it will be cracker of a game, no matter what. The excitement and emotions of an Ind-Pak game is something. In that regard then it is desirable.

    I want Australia crushed by someone in KO. Did you all see how uncouth Tait and Ponting were behaving with Dilshan. This is after Dilshan hit him for a 4. They knew Dilshan is danger man and chasing at Colombo is not easy, so they targeted him verbally. I want someone, it could be anyone, to smash this arrogant prick Tait for some huge fours and sixes. Burst his bubble a bit and make him cry. Next is Mitchel Johnson. Lee is a decent guy considering he is Australian, he doesn’t get anywhere close to the uncouth Aussie team mates.

    Waiting for Eng-SA game to begin. SA has not been tested so far and let’s see if England can do it today.

  98. #98 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 8:18 AM

    “Afridi should stop sharing Team secrets with the media”: Wasim Akram

  99. #99 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 8:19 AM

    Newguy

    You said Dilshan is “danger man” but I will say….

    This man Dilshan, he is not a good bowler and not a good batman, butta…………

  100. #100 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 6, 2011 - 8:27 AM

    newguy

    Of course the feeling is not good when you are knocked out by your neighbours. I will tell you some truth about the 2007 WC when Pakistan were knocked out by Ireland, people were very unhappy and when Bangladesh did the same to India, they were relieved and it was some consolation for them. But, in any case an India/Pakistan final means a lot and we have seen the T20 WC in SA.

    Today, England played very poorly and they are copying SA by opening the bowling with Yardy. Peterson was extremely lucky to get two wickets in his first over and that really killed the English plans, the third wicket dented their entire hopes and when Bopara was out, it was all over. I think SA will win this match comfortably.

    If England goes to the KO stage and as per my predictions if they play against Pakistan it would be hard for them to recover. But in case of Pakistan anything can happen.

    As regards Tait, I don’t remember where, but not so long ago, Dilshan hammared Tait with sixes and fours, he even scooped one for a six behind the keeper and Tait was really pissed off. So, he decided to upset him by verbal abuse and succeeded. This is exactly how the Aussies play.

  101. #101 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 6, 2011 - 8:29 AM

    Hashim Amla had a huge fanfare in Chennai, there are at least a couple of hundred bearded Mullahs wearing DishDash and cheering Amla, and there is no stopping in Amla’s aggression, he is playing his natural game. Good going by SA.

  102. #102 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 6, 2011 - 8:39 AM

    khansahab

    Wasim Akram used to share team secrets with the BOOKIES and that is how he made millions.

  103. #103 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 6, 2011 - 8:41 AM

    I am up and about watching this match live on TV but, the fate of this match is decided, SA is going to win convincingly. I am more interested in Ireland and India match which is going to start in the next 20 minutes.

  104. #104 by Mohammed Munir on March 6, 2011 - 9:50 AM

    Newguy …

    I agree with you on “Captain Ki Chaalikian” in any form of Cricket.

    Actually, cricket is such a sensitive and delicate game that a minor and innocent looking decision may make a huge impact in the final equation. All the captains and I mean ALL THE CAPTAINS are open to playing some tricks. Even England, Australia and SA captains also influence some of the on ground decisions to have the things their ways, but when it comes to our Asian boys the ‘Chaalikian’ are much more and obvious.

    Imran Khan, who is considered a great captain and leader, was also openly criticized for making and breaking the careers of so many young players. A few days back Javed Khan has mentioned a Pakistani ex-players Mansoor Akhter who was one of the Imran’s favourites and Imran gave him numerous chances but he couldn’t make it big. Similarly, many peoples will never forgive Imran for declaring the innings when Javed Minadad was playing at 280 not-out against India and he was denied a chance to score 300. Although, Pakistan won that Test against India (I think it was in India too), but I am sure had Imran given Javed a few more overs or at least informed him before the declaration, Javed could have reached the magical figure. 😦

    On Bangladesh, me too, I am happy about Bangladesh being reminded of their standing in the world cricket. It was a Friday and I could not watch the full game, but I guess there wasn’t much there to watch, 😉 but I am happy with end result.

  105. #105 by Mohammed Munir on March 6, 2011 - 9:55 AM

    Javed Khan …

    On Irfan Pathan, when I was reading the comments of Newguy as well as Varun a few days back, I was thinking the same point that if Irfan is really so out of form and even his domestic cricket is bad then how and why IPL guys are paying huge amounts for him ❓

    IPL team owners are shrewd businessmen and they see purely the commercial side of deal, so if any player who is not good enough for his worth, then they should not pay huge money for them. Secondly, since Irfan Pathan is out of Indian team for some time now, I thought he wouldn’t be able to command a high price but he did, in fact much higher then many current Indian players.

    BTW, I think for the IPL Irfan Pathan was sold for US$: 1.900 Million, and not US$: 1.600 Million.

    Finally, your jokes, I guess these were all relating to Irfan Pathan only. 😉

    PS: Your predictions for an India/ Pakistan final seem a bit too optimistic, to say the least, 😉 but I still pray that you are right.

  106. #106 by Mohammed Munir on March 6, 2011 - 10:01 AM

    On Ahmed Shehzab …

    The guy has been given enough chances already and it’s unfortunate to note that he couldn’t click even once. Not only that he didn’t score any runs but he is surely wasting too many deliveries too and it seems as if he just ‘freezes’ on the pitch.

    It should be noted here that two of the three chances were against complete minnows (Kenya & Canada) where he had best chance of scoring big, so I wonder how many more chances Pakistan can afford to give him.

    Although, Khansahab is suggesting to play him one more game against NZ while Saggat is of the opinion to play him against Australia because he is supposedly good player of short bowling. So then in between NZ and Australia games, we have only one match left and that is with Zimbabwe, then why shouldn’t he play that one too ❓ 😉

    The point is that Shehzab is neither a bowlers nor an exceptional fielder and his only utility is as a stroke-making opener, which he is not able to do so far.

    Secondly, if we persisted with Shehzab and gave him so many more chances in preliminary stages then are we going to test new players/ openers in our knockout stages in quarter-finals ❓

    It’s unfortunate that Pakistan doesn’t have many options with openers/ batting line but still we can bring in Asad Shafiq and test our opening with Hafeeez, Kamran or even Shahid Afridi.

    I guess ultimately Pakistan have to think about dropping either Razzaq or Hafeez to bring in an extra bowler (Junaid Khan) who should have been at least given one game to test him before the all important second stage matches.

    I really don’t understand, what’s the fun of playing so many batsmen when still only bowling (Afridi) is winning us games ❓

    Coming back to Ahmed Shehzab, although I agree that he is young, energetic, and a good potential opener but the fact remains that Shehzab is NOT performing and Pakistan can not afford that in important World Cup games.

  107. #107 by Mohammed Munir on March 6, 2011 - 10:04 AM

    LOL @ “Wasim Akram used to share team secrets with the BOOKIES”.

    Agreed.

  108. #108 by newguy on March 6, 2011 - 10:10 AM

    SA will win this match for sure, even though they lost three wickets now, their RR is only around 3, they should win. Once again poor performance by England, Ravi S was saying on commentary England perhaps is having fatigue of spending five months in Australia. Five months! that’s just too much to win one Ashes.

    SA looks unstoppable. What they have now is spin options, dangerous ones. Imran Tahir once again picked up 4 wickets. Amazing how Pakistan produces a player who cannot find place in their national team, but goes on and help SA win a WC may be? I wonder why Tahir could not play for Pakistan? Or is he simply having luck against teams that don’t play legspin well, will he get whacked against India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka? We will see for sure when India meets South Africa. We will also see how much unstoppable SA is.

    My feeling though is that Pakistan will be an unpredictable and capable opponent to knock down SA, but Pakistan should not face Australia in KO because they have a mental struggle against them. Pakistan somehow has gotten into this mental block that Australia will somehow win and not able to break that mode. Yesterday Australia escaped with one point I think because SL was looked like posting a total of 250+ and chasing it against the 3M’s under lights in Colombo would have been very difficult, especially with their weakness against slow bowling.

    Ind-Ire is going on, I am up early watching live now. So far slow game since Ireland lost two to ZAK early on. Dhoni continues his 4 bowler strategy and he is using two spinners. Looks like we won’t see anything new from Dhoni this tournament.

    Wasim Chakram should shut up and get behind the champion performer and captain Afridi who has put Pakistan on top of Group A at this point in time. It is not good to criticize the captain and key performer in the middle of an important tournament, especially when he is producing positive results. Perhaps Chakram is jealous that Afridi is all set to overtake not only his WC record but also the all time record of McGrath.

    P:S: Ireland showing some intent now with couple of big shots.

  109. #109 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 11:15 AM

    Newguy

    I was also thinking SA would win but there has been a super recovery by England and now they are in the dominant position.

    Ireland is showing some character against India. Dhoni has made some strange decisions such as choosing to continue with Chawla who was very expensive.

    Yuvraj has dismissed O’ Brien as I write this and now India is sure to win this match. Still I believe Ireland have made a statement that they are definitely a team to watch for in the future.

    India’s spin and pace has obvious flaws but if they massacre Ireland’s weak bowling today their confidence will be restored.

    Pakistan would have wanted England to lose to SA so that they could play England or West Indies in the knockout stage, it is still possible.

  110. #110 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 11:22 AM

    Munir sahab

    Even when Ahmed Shahzad debuted I was not impressed by his mental strength (or lack thereof) and a lot of people criticised me for disapproval of his gameplay.

    There is no point playing with a straight bat or having good footwork if you can’t clear the fielders in the circle more often.

    Now it is becoming more apparent that Shahzad has a lot to learn.

    I am just giving him one more chance because he needs to be given chances, but I don’t see him as a permanent opener for Pakistan.

  111. #111 by Mohammed Munir on March 6, 2011 - 11:34 AM

    Further to and in continuation of my above comment no. 106 …

    Younis Khan is playing @ no. 4 whereas Misbah @ 5, but both these players have to come in to bat very early in the inning and try to ‘Sambhaalo’ the team each time, and the entire batting burden falls on these two seniors.

    Check the below details, this is when Younis Khan walks in the ground:

    – In Kenya match we were 12 for 2 in 6.5 overs.

    – Against Sri Lanka (our best so far) we were 76 for 2 in 13 overs.

    – Against Canada we were 42 for 2 in 8.5 overs.

    Another unfortunate fact is that in all the three games so far, Ahmed Shehzab has scored a combined total of 26 runs but more sadly, he faced a total of 79 deliveries in three games which amounts to over thirteen ‘power-play’ overs to score 26 runs and that too by someone who is suppose to be a ‘stroke-player’ and is play fast up the innings. 😦

    Khansahab …

    Although Ahmed Shehzab was fine in NZ and he played positively and showed confidence, but in this cup he looks under some kind of extra pressure.

    Secondly, I don’t like his hair-streaking which he have started doing like Sami (showing-off before his performance does that).

  112. #112 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 11:53 AM

    Great victory for England.

    Congrats, this team has some mettle this time round.

    Chokers have choked.

    Killa thokka ay…….

  113. #113 by Mohammed Munir on March 6, 2011 - 11:57 AM

    England won after scoring 171 and SA lost ❓ 🙄

    No wonder, this World Cup seems all FIXED. 😆

    The bookies are having great times and such unexpected results. 😉

  114. #114 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 12:00 PM

    Ricky Ponting describes Pakistan as a very dangerous side

    Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has described Pakistan as a very dangerous side, predicting that the team will get better by the day as the 2011 World Cup progresses.

    Speaking at a press conference in Colombo, Ponting drew comparisons between Pakistan and his own team, which is looking for a record fourth consecutive World Cup crown.

    “They have some good bowlers. Their fast bowers have done well here. They have Shahid Afridi who is in terrific form. Then they have (Mohammad) Hafeez, who can bowl. Rehman is there and also Saeed Akmal. So in a way they are similar to Australia,” The News quoted Ponting, as saying.

    He said Pakistan are a well-balanced side, and have made their presence felt at the World Cup by beating co-hosts Sri Lanka, one of the favourites for the title.

  115. #115 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 12:02 PM

    What a strange day of cricket.

    Pieterson for England bowled really well and SA showed him a lot of respect.

    Whereas Yuvraj Singh has taken 5 wickets vs Ireland.

  116. #116 by newguy on March 6, 2011 - 12:11 PM

    CHOCKERS!!!!! what can I say.

  117. #117 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 12:26 PM

    Ireland all out for 207.

    Ideally India should have got them all out for 175 or less.

    But India will win this. Will they? 🙂

  118. #118 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 1:17 PM

    Sehwag out and crowd has been silenced….

    pin drop silence in Bengaluru…..

  119. #119 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 1:47 PM

    Gambhir gone.

    Irish spirit is disintegrating the Indian batting prowess.

  120. #120 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 2:42 PM

    Tendulkar gone. Not great batting from him today.

    I am amazed how passionate and partisan the Indian crowd is. There is shock and pin drop silence in the stadium.

  121. #121 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 2:59 PM

    What is happening to India?

    Kohli gone.

    Has this match been fixed?

    Tendulkar, Kohli looked half asleep to me.

    Irish spin attack is mediocre. This is club level spin attack, surely India can play better than this.

    The way Kohli stopped running when trying to reach his end looked a little fishy to me.

  122. #122 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 6, 2011 - 3:48 PM

    Oh Boy! There is a plate full of my words at my breakfast table and I have to chew them up. 😀

    I was so sleepy and that match was going one sided so, I slept when Jacques Kallis and Amla were playing and I wrote that, “the fate of this match is decided and SA is going to win convincingly.” What a surprise to see the CHOKERS choked. This is going to change the rankings of the groups that I made, very interesting haan?

    Talk about rankings Ireland’s Boyd Rankin bowled a fantastic over against Yuvraj (a maiden over) and his bouncers were just too good for Yuvraj who was seen very flustered but, by now India is crusing slowing but surely towards victory with Dhoni finally stabilizing the innings for India and Yuvraj also recovered from the early shock and it is a 50 runs partnership between the two of them now. I think Yuvraj’s 5 wickets haul must have boosted his confidence. Ireland is fielding very well, I wonder why Pakistanis can’t have that kinda committment in the field?

    India should not lose from this stage, once again this reminds me of SA choking when it matters.

  123. #123 by newguy on March 6, 2011 - 4:50 PM

    Well .. India won in the end, but Ireland made it really hard on them with their fielding and bowling according to the field. Khansahab said their bowlers are club level, and that may be true except for Boyd Rankin who is an experienced bowler in country cricket, but it is important to understand that they bowled to their field and their fielder gave nothing away. In fact they saved sure fours into nothing, doubles and singles, and they turned sure doubles into singles, and singles into nothing. It was brilliant and they showed they do not want to give up. India won in the end only because of their deep batting reserves and that they have #7 in Pathan who can skittle off runs in a hurry. What powerful sixes Pathan hit when he on, and it was a dramatic shift and one could sense the entire stadium relaxing when Yousuf hit those back to back sixes. People knew at that point with Yousuf in there India is not going into a panic like SA did earlier. Once again, proving my point, Yousuf should come in ahead of Yuvi and Dhoni, he should be allowed to play more overs and make a bigger damage.

    As for SA, I watched the last few overs, and even then they just needed 11 runs with 3 wickets from a million balls, and still chockers CHOCKED. Having said that, they broke the pattern of chocking at KO stage, now that they got the chock out of the way early, they cannot chock in the KO stage 🙂 their true supporters can believe that. Group B is still wide open.

  124. #124 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 6, 2011 - 4:55 PM

    Congratulations to our Indian bloggers on winning this match against Ireland. Like they said, if Ireland had scored 250 and if Johnston was not injured, India would have been struggling. My nick name is YKP played some big shots to relieve the pressure and also gave Yuvraj the opportunity to score his 50, he could have easily finished off that game but, seeing Yuvraj so desperate to come to the other end, nearly got run out, he calmed him down and then took a single to give him ample opportunity to score 50.

    LOL @ Sanjay Manjrekar for saying Yuvraj Pathan but, then he corrected it with a laugh and the next moment Gavaskar almost said, Yousuf S… and he too laughed but did not say Singh. Seems like both these commentators got carried away after Yousuf’s 3 big sixes.

    Tomorrow is a very BIG match 😀 Canada vs. Kenya !

  125. #125 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 4:57 PM

    India could have lost this game had it not been for Yusaf Pathan.

    Every other Indian batsman gave respect to the Irish bowlers.

    Gavaskar and Manjrekar were very happy that the Indian team has an aggressive and fearless Pathan player.

  126. #126 by newguy on March 6, 2011 - 5:06 PM

    Dhoni said at the post match commentary that the score was made look like 240 by the Irish fielding side. He said they also bowled to their field, which I also felt even before Dhoni said it. Had they made 250 it would have been made look like 280. Another factor is that Indians played safely, in fact they were giving respect to bowlers without taking risk, one felt that Indians decided not to take them light and end up losing the match by going for big shots. But their fielding made Indians sweat for every game.

    I also noticed Gavaskar and Manjrekar relived after Yousuf came on, in fact as I said entire stadium was relived at that time. It was a tense chase, and all credits to Ireland for making it interesting.

    I did not like it that Youvraj wanted to have a personal record of scoring 50 and 5 wickets, I wanted Yousuf to finish it off with two more sixes, in fact he could have very much done that, like Javed Khan pointed he sensed Yuvi wanted to score his 50 and then gave strike to him by taking singles. After Yuvi got his 50 you could see him telling Yousuf to just finish it off. Gavaskar was pointing out that Yuvi has chance to go for this record and so Yousuf will give him strike. I was so disgusted at Gavaskar, he is always pointing out a player has chance to this record and that record. Just like himself. Who cares if Yuvi is 45 not out.

  127. #127 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 5:35 PM

    Newguy

    You have to give credit to Ireland- they made India work hard for this victory. Yusuf Pathan is the only player who didn’t take them seriously. Even Tendulkar looked tentative.

    They have shown a lot of spirit and aggression and their fielding is world class. This is the team that has improved since the last WC, unlike Bangladesh who are still a very weak team after playing international cricket for so long.

    I want Ireland to qualify to the quarter finals simply because they have shown the tenacity and spirit. The body language of Johnston when he was bowling at Tendulkar was something to watch- he was willing to take Tendulkar on.

  128. #128 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 5:54 PM

    Banned Aamer wants to complete his education

    KARACHI: Pakistan’s banned fast bowler Muhammad Aamer has decided to complete his education and stay away from cricket as he is not eligible to play the game for the next five years because of his involvement in spot-fixing.

    Aamer, who will turn 19 next month, said he had always wanted to finish his education.

    “Because of cricket and especially after I was selected to represent the Pakistan junior and senior teams I never got the chance to concentrate on my studies properly.

    “But now I feel it is the best time to complete my education,” he said.

    The anti-corruption tribunal of the International Cricket Council (ICC) last month had banned Aamer, Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif for different periods on charges of spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at Lords last year.

    The trio have appealed against their bans with the international court for arbitration for sports in Geneva.

    They would have to appear before a magistrate in Westminister London on March 17 to face charges for accepting bribes and trying to defraud.

    Aamer said he would be going to London to attend the magistrates hearing in the Scotland Yard case.

    “Since the time we were suspended by the ICC it has been the most difficult period of my life and it is hard to decide what to do to use up the time productively,” the left arm fast bowler said.

    “So I decided this was the best time to complete my studies and get a degree, alongside fighting my case to get my name cleared of spot-fixing charges,” said Aamer.

    The youngster, who made his debut in 2009, created a big impact in a year’s time, during which he played 14 Tests, 15 One-day Internationals and 18 Twenty20 matches.

    Aamer said he was determined to prove his innocence. “I am now trying to complete my unfinished studies privately because one thing I have learnt through the last few months is that you need good education in life.

    “I have learnt a lot from this distressing period of my life,” he said.

    Aamer, who hails from the rural Gujjar Khan area in Punjab province, also added that education would help him reform his life.

    “I am happy that my family is behind me and there are a lot of people who come up and say we want to see you play for Pakistan again. All this gives me lot of confidence and I feel I can make a comeback.”

    The pacer said that during the last few months he had also learnt who his real friends are.

  129. #129 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 6, 2011 - 7:15 PM

    khansahab

    “The” banned Aamir can go to hell, why should anyone care about what he wants to do and what he doesn’t? He ruined his own career and he ruined the name of the country. It is a good example for the young players that he was banned despite having that celebrity status. I would say that the PCB should ban him and others for life to make it more clear for the offenders that there is zero tolerance if you do such things. Besides, this continuing education thing is not his own idea but, if you remember that girl Mehmoudah Rehman wrote an open letter to Aamir in DAWN newspaper? Yes, she asked him to consider the ban as a blessing and devote his time in continuing his education.

    LOL@ newguy, yeah me 2, I also thought of the same thing, who cares if Yuvraj remains on 45 not out? And it is really so stupid of Gavaskar talking only about records, his whole life is like that. Shouldn’t he be ashamed of his record in the 1st world cup where he carried the bat for 60 overs and scored only 36 runs? I guess he is proud even for that record. Btw, I saw Gundappa Vishwanath on TV today he was at the post match ceremony, he is Gavaskar’s brother in law…… he has aged so much I couldn’t believe that it is same Vishwanath the stroke player!

    And, that chutiya Minister who was standing in the middle wearing a white dress was the only one waived his hands twice when he was introduced as the Minister of whatever…….. this is so pathetic that in India and Pakistan these Ministers, Senators and politicians wants to be seen on the TV and he waived his hands twice only to make it obvious that HE is the Minister and people should not make a mistake and think that someone else is the Minister.

  130. #130 by newguy on March 6, 2011 - 7:32 PM

    Khansahab,

    Yes, Ireland was very very impressive on the field today, in fact even with bat they were impressive in the way they came after being 2/9. They were taking on some heat early on from Zaheer and then the spinners, but they hung in there and fought back with an excellent partnership that took on bowlers, especially Chawla. After that partnership broke their innings fell apart. But they came to field really spirited, and even after being stuck for four first ball by Sehwag then Tendulkar in same over they kept at it.

    Strange as it may sound, I was even rooting for an Ireland win at some points in the game, because of the fighting spirit and brilliant fielding they showed. Their bowlers even though not huge names were still impressive as they stuck to their tasks and were supported by fielders to the hilt.

    I think Ireland will upset on more of SA or WI in this phase and they should beat Netherlands. They are still in with a chance to qualify. Much better team than Bangladesh for sure.

  131. #131 by newguy on March 6, 2011 - 7:35 PM

    Chawla must go and sit in the bench for the remaining games, he never impressed me ever before and not now anyway, he was selected just for the namesake of a leggie, but he leaks runs and his googly is easily read by everyone. Ashwin is a much better bowler, and even Sreesanth can’t be this bad. Chawla leaks at 7 an over in both games. I don’t think he will feature in next games.

  132. #132 by khansahab on March 6, 2011 - 10:21 PM

    Dear bloggers

    We are planning to cover the Pakistan vs New Zealand match live on the blog on Tuesday. It would be great if you could join us between match hours to discuss the match live. Your comments will get instant approval.

    We are considering covering other matches live too so watch this space. If we are free on 12 March we will cover the India vs South Africa match live too, but if that happens Varun and 420 will have to be here to support Newguy!!

    Other matches we might cover are Pakistan vs Australia on 19 March and India vs West Indies on 20 March

  133. #133 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 12:14 AM

    People are saying that ALL the THREE MATCHES that ENGLAND played are suspicious. Suspicious in the sense that they may have been fixed:

    1. In the first match against India they were easily winning the match 281 for 3 with 10 overs to spare and then they stunned everyone by reaching so close and yet not winning the match. People are pointing out the fact why Swann did not run for the second run? After scoring the first run England had already tied the match, they should have lost nothing if Swann had run to the other end. The chances were, may be the fielders would have made a wild throw, the wicketkeeper may not have gathered it cleanly, anything could have happened. Even if he had gotten run out, the match was still tied.

    2. In the second match against Ireland, people are stunned at England’s bowling and fielding and wondering how come after scoring 327 they still lost the match against Ireland? And, why shouldn’t people raise their ~ ^ eyebrows? Because, Strauss dropped a simple regulation catch of Kevin O’ Brien and then Yardy also dropped a caught and bowled chance. Besides, there were other occasions where the fielding was absolutely pathetic. Remember the last ball which Ireland hit for a four? The fielder did not make any effort to stop the ball near the line. Had this been Pakistan, the whole of the London media including their cheap tabloids would have published headlines that Pakistan has fixed the match! But, how can anyone raise a finger at Her Majesty’s team?

    3. In the 3rd match today against SA, once again people are saying that, either SA has taken the money or both teams may have fixed this match. Why can’t this be possible? After all SA had the reputation of involving themselves in match fixing. Hansie Crojnie was not only found guilty but, he was banned for life. And, English players are not ALL Saints!

  134. #134 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 12:16 AM

    khansahab

    It would be a great idea to cover the matches and I think each one should be a separate thread so that people discuss exclusively about that particular match during the match and not only contribute their views and comments during the match, but also analyze the game after it is over.

    I am also requesting newguy, Varun and 420 to please participate and express your views freely. You may do so now about the India / Ireland match.

  135. #135 by Varun Suri on March 7, 2011 - 3:16 AM

    Live coverage of Matches is a great idea and I will try to chip in whenever possible. India won yesterday but still they have no answers for their weak bowling unit and it is only a matter of one batting collapse in the KO stages and they will be out of the tournament.

    It was so typical of Gavaskar to talk about records but the way he talks about Tendulkar sometimes I wonder whether Gavaskar imagines “kaash mera beta aise khelta”. I have never seen him saying anything bad about Tendulkar even if the Little Master misfields he will say that he must be tired from his batting effort.

    However I think it was Yusuf Pathan who gave strike to Yuvraj when 7-8 runs were left and did not hit a six. I do not think Yuvraj urged him to do so and i think it was a good thing from team point of view. There was no need for Pathan to go for another six where in doing so he might have lost his wicket, having said that I am not a big Yuvraj fan but it would be good to have him back in form. India will need such bowling performances from him or Pathan to win matches otherwise not much can be expected from the other regular bowlers other than Zaheer.

    I think Chawla is still young and inexperienced and that is why he also lacks in confidence. He does not have to get frightened on the big stage and once he is a bit more experienced he can be a pretty useful bowler.

  136. #136 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 3:45 AM

    Varun

    IMO, Gavaskar is reliving his past in seeing Tendulkar breaking and making records after records. And, perhaps he is not thinking, “Kaash mera beta aisay khelta” but, he would be thinking, “Kaash Mai Tendulkar Hota.” Never mind, but all of Gavaskar’s life is about records.

    Seeing from the TV one cannot judge what the players talk to each other or with the umpires (not everyone talks as clearly and as loud as Balaji Rao) hence we all make guess work. Actually, Yuvraj was so desperate to reach the other end that he nearly got run out in the process, but YKP did nod at him perhaps reassuring him that he will not finish off the innings. I want someone to hit another six sixes at Broad’s bowling he is such a snobbish innocent looking boy suffering from halitosis.

  137. #137 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 4:12 AM

    Pakistan is playing against New Zealand on Tuesday at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium which is in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Pallekele is about 2000 feet above sea level so the air is cooler and fresher, but generally it rains. However, after doing some Internet surfing I was able to check the weather of Pallekele, Kandy and relieved to note that there will be no rain, it might be cloudy but, no rain.

    Remember the warm up games that were scheduled before the commencement of the tournament at Pallekele were shifted to other venues due to heavy rain. The worst thing that happens in cricket is a match abandoned due to rain.

  138. #138 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 6:11 AM

    BREAKING NEWS:

    KEVIN PIETERSEN of England is out of the world cup tournament due to hernia and he will undergo surgery which will keep him away from cricket for at least six weeks. England has applied for Eoin Morgan as a replacement. Ravi Bopara who scored 60 in the crucial match against SA will open the innings with Strauss.

  139. #139 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 6:13 AM

    Michael Hussey is also on his way to join the Australian team which means the late middle order of Australia will be strengthened once again. Mike Hussey is a very reliable player and has rescued Australia many a time. Saeed Ajmal should worry once again, or is he going to get him?

  140. #140 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 6:24 AM

    SHIV SENA KILLED A PARROT BECAUSE IT PREDICTED PAKISTAN AS WINNER OF THE 2011 WC.

    Banglore: An Indian psychic Parrot who’s name was Mali predicted Pakistan three times in a row as Cricket World Champion 2011.But his owner baba to make himself safe from Indian party Shiv Sena killed his Parrot for predicting Pakistan.

    It is also noted that Indian Media is hiding this Hot news which can show real image of Indian democracy to world.Pakistani Nation is happy but mostly people express that they didn’t belief on any Psychic.Mamu a psychic has also predicted in T20 World cup 2010 semis that Pakistan ‘ll win but Pakistan lost that match.

    http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/8384271-banglore-indian-parrot-predicted-pakistan-as-icc-world-champion-2011

  141. #141 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 6:27 AM

    I dunno if this parrot news is correct? If it is then LOL @ Shiv Sena for taking a parrot prediction as true! I heard that another parrot in Bangladesh also predicted Pakistan as winners of WC. I think ALL this BS started since the soccer world cup when the Octopus was predicting the games. I dunno what happened to human brains that they need animals and birds to do the job for them 😀

  142. #142 by Mohammed Munir on March 7, 2011 - 6:56 AM

    Butthead continues to be an embarrassment to PCB and the nation !!

    PCB Chairman Butt has asked for the England/ India match to be probed, because Shane Warne had predicted a tie before the game.

    Will someone please coax Butt to speak something against the blasphemy law, so that he can be killed too. I don’t see him going away any other way. 😉

    Source: http://www.newkerala.com/news/world/fullnews-158753.html

  143. #143 by Mohammed Munir on March 7, 2011 - 6:58 AM

    Javed Khan …

    Wish Canada all the luck for today’s game.

    On paper today’s match between Canada and Kenya doesn’t matter much and will not generate real interest, but for both these teams this is ‘The Match’.

    This is Canada’s only chance of registering any win at this World Cup, because they lost to Zimbabwe already and they have two more games left against NZ and Australia, where they don’t have much chances of winning, for sure. Plus they are playing Kenya who is an equivalent team and probably the weakest opponent in their group.

  144. #144 by Mohammed Munir on March 7, 2011 - 7:00 AM

    Dear LS Administrators …

    Covering the live games is a great idea.

    I for one will be available in my office, so will try to squeeze in a comment or two every now and then. Moreover, the match timings in my part of the world are just perfect and I can easily afford to follow the entire game, unless I slept in between. 😉

    I think LS should allow uninterrupted comments which mean they should not go for any ‘approvals’ and it shall be like a “Live Chat” on these days. I agree with Javed Khan, it will be better to keep it separate from our regular threads.

  145. #145 by Mohammed Munir on March 7, 2011 - 7:02 AM

    Theossa’s Natalie … 😉

    Now that we don’t see Theossa or Omer Admani on LS, nobody wants to talk about women, not even Khansahab. 🙄

    BTW, there is some news on this actress Natalie Portman, which I would like to share below.

    Firstly, Natalie had won a Best Actress Oscar Award for her role in ‘Black Swan’.

    Secondly and more importantly, Natalie is pregnant these days. 😉

    Not that it’s anybody’s business here, but just felt like mentioning anyways. 😛

  146. #146 by Mohammed Munir on March 7, 2011 - 10:18 AM

    Kenya is 57 for 5 down, and Canada got a dream start today.

    Way to Javed. 😀

    This is what someone wrote on Cricinfo …

    I think all three of Kenya’s supporters just lost all hope and left the stadium.

  147. #147 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 11:08 AM

    Munir

    Natalie’s pregnancy has nothing to do with theossa’s disappearance. 😀

    I am watching Canada vs Kenya match on TV, after the first 5 wickets there is no action. Even Balaji Rao came in and yet there was no action neither in runs, wickets nor in exchange of any words. 😀 The partnership is worth 51 runs.

    As regards comments getting auto approved, it is OK with me khansahab needs to look into this technicality and if it can be done I am sure he will do otherwise we are bound by wordpress rules and limitations.

    Last night I was telling my friends that it is good that we haven’t heard anything from Ijaz Butt who seems to be suffering from constipation! But, once again he has spoken from the wrong end. You see, he has spoken the obvious rumours that I have posted here yesterday highlighting how people are talking about England’s ALL three games so far. But there is no need for The Chairman of the PCB to speak about it.

    Finally Balaji Rao got a wicket! Go Canada Go.

  148. #148 by Mohammed Munir on March 7, 2011 - 11:22 AM

    Yes finally, KUTTY Balaji got a wicket. 😉

  149. #149 by newguy on March 7, 2011 - 1:36 PM

    Hi Guys,

    I will try to drop in comments during the game, but my time is limited.

  150. #150 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 2:04 PM

    LOL newguy everyone’s time is limited in this world. 😀

  151. #151 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 2:08 PM

    Munir

    You must always clarify for non Malayalee readers that Kutty means Chota otherwise people might be wondering why are you calling him a female dog? 😀

    And, I don’t think Balaji Rao is from Kerala, perhaps he is from Telugu Desam or Chennai.

  152. #152 by khansahab on March 7, 2011 - 7:05 PM

    Munir sahab

    That Ijaz Butt comment made me laugh.

    Not because of what he is saying, but just generally because of him.

  153. #153 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 7, 2011 - 8:12 PM

    The Pakistani fast bowlers could find the Pallekele pitch more to their liking than the ones in Colombo and Hambantota and this being the first international match on that ground neither of the teams are familiar with the pitch and weather conditions. Reportedly New Zealand played a match in Pallekele but, on a different ground against Sri Lanka A and beat them easily.

    Pakistan is likely to play the same team except for Wahab Riaz, he shall be replaced by Shoaib Akhtar. Cricket pundits are warning that Afridi and Tim Southee are the two most dangerous bowlers in each side. This is a crucial match for Pakistan in terms of gaining points, because Australia has already lost one point from the rain abandoned match. So, it is important that Pakistan wins this game and try to stay on top of the group table. I know that their match against Australia would be the toughest one, still they need to have more wins in their bag before they face Australia. This will give them more confidence in playing against them.

  154. #154 by khansahab on March 7, 2011 - 10:54 PM

    Ahmed Shehzad had an altercation with a journalist

    KARACHI: Opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad, who is struggling for form in the ongoing World Cup, had an altercation with a Pakistani journalist at Pallekele where the side take on New Zealand on Tuesday, a report said.

    According to a report in the ‘Express’ daily newspaper, Shehzad exchanged words with the Pakistani journalist during the national team’s practice session on Sunday.

    Shehzad struggling for form complained to the journalist that they were not fair with him and was not in a very good mood,” the report said.

    Shehzad has managed a total of just 26 runs in three matches in the World Cup, two of them against minnows Kenya and Canada and his opening partnership with Muhammad Hafeez has also not come good with no sizeable stand as yet.

    The failure of the two openers has led to captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis expressing disappointment and calling on them to stand up and be counted in the remaining matches.

    The report said that Shehzad approached the journalist after a long batting session in the nets and told him that when he scored runs in New Zealand no one wrote in favour of him but when he had failed in just three games in the World Cup the media was out for his blood and it was being unfair.

    “The journalist reminded Shehzad that when he was scoring runs it was the media that highlighted his performances and encouraged him and that it was the job of the media to be critical if a player was not performing well,” the report said.

    The report said that later the other Pakistani journalists also reminded Shehzad of his responsibilities and wished him well.

  155. #155 by khansahab on March 7, 2011 - 11:05 PM

    new thread

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