24 DAYS A YEAR OF CRICKET IN CANADA – AND PLAYING WORLD CUP

The future of Canadian cricket is as bright as its Red Maple Leaf

The future of Canadian cricket is as bright as its Red Maple Leaf

Cricket Canada is the National Sports Organization for Cricket in Canada. But, it is nothing like the BCCI, PCB, Cricket Australia or even the old MCC.  But, Cricket is being played in Canada since a very long time. In 1859 when the All England XI, all professionals, crossed the Atlantic to play five matches in Canada it was considered as a historic event.  England who were then known as MCC or Merelybone Cricket Club officially visited Canada in 1959 and in the first match in Montreal, they had a very tough time winning against Canada.

Cricket Canada, formerly named the Canadian Cricket Association (Established 1892), the organization is presently represented by 9 Provincial boards of Canada. Cricket first recorded in Canada in 1785 at Ile-Ste-Helene in Montreal, Quebec and this place is just a few kilometers away from my house. Right now ile-Ste-Helene has a Formula-1 Grand Prix Race track.

During the old times, the European immigrants/settlers used to play cricket but the trend changed due to the weather conditions and people started playing hockey (hockey in Canada is always ice hockey) and cricket was almost dead, it revived again with the immigrants coming from the sub-continent, Australia and the West Indies, the Canadian National Team played its first World Cup in 1979 and lost badly, their lowest score against England was 45.

The pathetic performance is due to lack of match practice and weather is the biggest culprit. Winter is so severe in Canada that there is hardly 3 months of summer i.e., Middle of May to Middle of August, prior to that and, after that any extra week of good weather is a bonus. There is also a lot of rain during the summer season so, not only the grounds are wet but, the tracks too. Therefore, some of the matches are played on matting. Basically Canada gets 12 week-ends of cricket or 24 days of cricket if there is NO rain.  So, considering that, Canada has done a lot better than other associates of the ICC and managed to play in three world cups so far.  Canada’s John Davison’s fastest hundred world cup record remained unbroken for many years. Adam Gilchrist broke that record and then Kevin O’ Brien broke his record in this WC with 100 in 50 balls beating England.

The above photograph is of Vancouver Cricket Ground. With time the Canadian grounds have improved in terms of facilities and a few of international matches have been played in Toronto and a couple at the Toronto Skydome which is NOT a cricket ground.  Hopefully sometime in future there will be covered cricket grounds for Canadians, it will only be a dream because you can prevent rain and snow but, keeping the entire stadium warm enough is not easy unless there are other cheaper source of energy. The Canadians love some of their picturesque grounds which you will find all over of the country and here are a few photos that I like to share with you guys.

Maple Leaf Cricket Ground Ontario

Maple Leaf Cricket Ground Ontario

 

Calgary Cricket Ground in Fall Season

Calgary Cricket Ground in Fall Season

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  1. #1 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 13, 2011 - 6:44 AM

    I want to be the first one to write for Canada. The match between Canada and New Zealand is on, New Zealand are 185/3 in 37 overs. McCullum out in the first over of the batting power play after scoring a hundred.

    GO CANADA GO

  2. #2 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 13, 2011 - 6:57 AM

    Munir

    About the general theory of doubling the score after 30 overs we all know that, but I have heard something new while watching the NZ / Canada match. Simon Doul and Tony Cozier were the commentators and one of them talked about batting average and strike rate. He said, if your batting average + strike rate is 130 plus, you are a very good batsman. He was commenting when Jessie Ryder was batting, his average is 35 and strike rate is 96 so 35+96 = 131 and he said by that theory he is a very good batsman.

    I know theories are not accurate, they are all generalized based on the statistics. Shahid Afridi’s ODI average of 24 is considered as pathetic by Afridi haters but, based on that theory i.e., average plus strike rate, his strike rate is staggering 114 that means 24+114=138.

  3. #3 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 13, 2011 - 7:00 AM

    Ross Taylor has hit 4 sixes in an over off Harvir Baidawan, he was lucky when the first six was missed by John Davison near the boundary line and then Cheema took a catch of his 4th six but touched the line, perhaps Taylor now holds the record of hitting most sixes in the world cup. Taylor was dropped by Kamran Akmal on Zero and Four and he went on to score 131* against Pakistan. He is now 58 in 38 balls.

  4. #4 by Mohammed Munir on March 13, 2011 - 7:33 AM

    Wah Javed Wah … Kiya Baat Hai, Aap Kay Canaday Ki … 😉

    Thanks for a short history lesson about the Canadian Cricket background. Its surprising that cricket was actually played so long back in Canada.

    BTW, you have not mentioned an important aspect of the rebirth of the Canadian cricket and that, I think, is the ‘the Desi factor’. 😉

    In my humble opinion a lot of Asians (Indian/ Pakistani/ Sri Lankan) living and working in Canada are also the main reason of this game getting popular over there. As it is obvious from the team formation, a lot of the current Canadian players seem to be from Asian backgrounds.

    Anyhow, some really nice sceneries … I hope to visit Canada SOME DAY. 😉

    Good Luck for today’s game against the Kiwis.

  5. #5 by Mohammed Munir on March 13, 2011 - 7:40 AM

    Canada ‘dropped’ a few catches and still they are keeping NZ around 350 … which is not bad on Indian grounds.

  6. #6 by Mohammed Munir on March 13, 2011 - 7:47 AM

    NZ are 358 for 6 in 50 overs… last over of the innings cost Canada 31 runs. 😦

  7. #7 by Mohammed Munir on March 13, 2011 - 7:49 AM

    James ‘Frankanstien’ 😉 … scored 31 runs in 8 balls @ a massive S/R of 387.50.

  8. #8 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 13, 2011 - 7:52 AM

    Munir

    Please read the thread carefully, in the third paragraph I did mention that cricket has been revived by the new immigrants from the sub-continent (which means, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) and also from Australia (John Davison) and the West Indies, Osinde is the current player from the Caribbean.

  9. #9 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 13, 2011 - 7:55 AM

    Pathetic fielding and poor bowling by Canadians. John Davison the best bowler 10-1-1-30 dropped Kane Williamson of his own bowling, it was an easy caught and bowled chance. Baidawan or the BadOne had a BadDay today bowled poorly and dropped catches, Balaji Rao was furious as usual cursed his mother and sister……… Cheema got thrashed in the penultimate over by James Franklin.

    Remember Canada beat Sri Lanka, chasing 332 runs. So, you never know if they can score 360 today! 😀 Optimistic eh?

  10. #10 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 13, 2011 - 8:12 AM

    PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka: Brendan Taylor must feel like a big fish in a small pond as the prolific opener represents Zimbabwe — one of the minnows of international cricket.

    The Harare-born Taylor is easily the most valuable player in the Zimbabwean team featuring in the World Cup and is hoping to once again make his presence felt in the Pool A game against Pakistan here at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Monday (tomorrow).

    Taylor, 25, who hit an impressive 80 off 72 balls in a 139-run loss against Sri Lanka here last Thursday, said that Zimbabwe will try their best for an upset win against Pakistan.

    “The mood in the camp is always positive,” he told reporters here at Pallekele on Saturday. “We have put that performance against Sri Lanka behind us and look forward to what it is a very big challenge on Monday. We have to put in a good performance and who knows may be a win,” he added.

    Taylor admitted that his team was wary of Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan captain who has taken 15 wickets in his team’s last four World Cup matches. “I think their bowling is going to be more of a threat, to be honest. We know they have got some capable strikers like Afridi,” he said.

    “I don’t think we want to give any wickets to Afridi because the team knows how dangerous he can be when he gets early wickets
    . If we get 35, 40 runs off his 10 overs without any wickets, I reckon we will take that. They have a quality bowling attack but we if we occupy the crease and show some a bit of intensity to the approach, there is no reason why we can’t post a good total against Pakistan.”

    Taylor, who has scored 3382 runs from 11 One-day International appearances, said that he expects Pakistan to be in an aggressive mode after losing to New Zealand by 110-runs in their last game.

    “They are a good all-round team and we know they are going to be up for it after their performance against New Zealand. It is big challenge for us.”
    Taylor and his teammates watched Zimbabwe record a stunning win over England the other night and the opener said that it has inspired his side.

    “Absolutely, we are inspired their victory. We know this is must-win game but at the same time it is a serious challenge for us to play against Pakistan. We have got to believe we can win otherwise it is pointless going out there,” he said.

  11. #11 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 8:14 AM

    Pak losing patience with Akmals

    Once is a mistake, twice is crime. And crime leads to punishment. Umar Akmal, the young sensation in Pakistan’s great tradition of batting, may learn that saying the hard way by being dropped in Pakistan’s penultimate league encounter against Zimbabwe on Monday. Even though the Pakistan team manage
    ment is likely to justify Umar’s exclusion which is “more or less certain” by referring to it as a “precautionary measure” in the wake of his injured finger, it was learnt that Umar is “set to be punished” for faking injury.

    After elder brother Kamran, who is the only specialist stumper in Pakistan’s squad, yet again displayed his inability to get the basics of wicketkeeping right that led to his team’s humiliating loss against New Zealand on Tuesday, skipper Shahid Afridi had said Umar, a part-time ‘keeper, is likely to don the gloves against Zimbabwe.

    In Pakistan’s first practice session after the depressing loss, Umar hurt his index finger while fielding and did nothing but participate in the team’s warm-up during Friday’s marathon practice session and Saturday’s optional practice.

    Scans on Umar’s injury have revealed no major damage. The team management was reportedly convinced that Umar was “faking an injury” to save his elder brother’s ouster from the team.

    It isn’t the first time that the Akmal brothers have been involved in a fake injury scandal. After Kamran dropped three catches and a run-out led to Pakistan losing a Test against Australia from a dominant position in Sydney in 2009, Umar was tipped to don the gloves in case additional glovesman Sarfaraz Ahmed failed to make it to Hobart in time for the next match.

    However, Umar reported a back spasm, allegedly to save his elder brother’s place in the side.

    Once medical tests revealed there was nothing wrong with Umar’s back, he played the game while Kamran was benched until his replacement arrived.

    Pakistan manager Intikhab Alam hinted that Umar could not be considered for the Zimbabwe tie.

    “He has been advised two days’ rest and a decision on his availability will be taken on the day of the game,” Alam said on the sidelines of Pakistan’s extended training session on Saturday.

  12. #12 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 13, 2011 - 8:25 AM

    khansahab

    Every sensible person who is following cricket could easily say that Umar Akmal is faking an injury, he did that in Australia and he is doing it again now. Although Inti Alam denied that he is faking injury but, at the same time he is sidelining him from the crucial match against Zimbabwe. Asad Shafiq is definitely going to be in the team against Zimbabwe.

    I think Umar Akmal needs more than that, he should be fined and banned from playing cricket for at least one year and his central contract must be terminated, this is the only way he will learn, otherwise this BHAI CHAARGI, BHAI BANDAGI AND BHAI, BHAI EK HAIN will continue.

    At least the team knows that he is out of the team for the next match, what if he had deliberately gotten out cheaply and also drop a catch or two and misfield during the match? Therefore, a known devil is better than an unknown devil.

  13. #13 by Mohammed Munir on March 13, 2011 - 8:38 AM

    Have anyone heard this Pakistani song, specially made for the current World Cup ❓

  14. #14 by Mohammed Munir on March 13, 2011 - 8:44 AM

    Shame on PCB for allowing these Akmals to Blackmail them.

    Both younger and older “Fcukmals” should be kicked in the Butt. If we can perform without Aamir, Asif and Salman, Pakistan is so enriched with natural talent to throw them our for ever.

    It’s really unfortunate how these criminals are treating their fans and Country. 😦

  15. #15 by Mohammed Munir on March 13, 2011 - 10:37 AM

    Canada a bit slow, but still frustating the Kiwis.

  16. #16 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 11:12 AM

    Munir sahab

    I wasn’t impressed by this song from Ali Zafar about WC.

    It is as annoying as that Indian song that is played during breaks in the WC.

    The best WC song I have heard is from Strings:

    I tend to like their songs, they make music because of their passion for music and not for money.

    In my opinion they are the best band in Pakistan, they are not cheap or arrogant. Their pronunciation of Urdu and treatment of the language is also better than most other bands. Plus they are one of the few bands who have been popular in India and have made Indians respect and appreciate Pakistani pop music.

  17. #17 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 11:22 AM

    I have said earlier that this time there is less suspicion that U Akmal is faking an injury. Please read the news piece below where Inti Alam is saying the injury is genuine. However, what puzzles me is that everyone knows when there is no fracture and the “injury” is either just a bruise or muscular pain, then the “magic spray” heals this within a few hours or at the very most, a day.

    What is suspicious on this occasion is that U Akmal’s “bruise” is taking 3 days to heal……

    Umar isn’t faking injury, says Inti

    PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka: Pakistan will wait until Monday (tomorrow) morning before deciding whether to hand the wicket-keeping gloves to Umar Akmal for their World Cup match against Zimbabwe here at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

    Umar who was expected to replace calamitous gloveman Kamran Akmal — his elder brother — missed yet another training session here at Pallekele because of a finger injury. The 20-year-old did turn up for an optional training session but didn’t take part in the nets, raising doubts over his chances of playing in tomorrow’s match against Zimbabwe.

    “We haven’t taken a decision yet,” said Pakistan manager Intikhab Alam, whether Umar will keep the wickets for Pakistan against Zimbabwe. “The thing is that he bruised his right index finger two days back and it is painful which is why he can’t wear the ‘keeping gloves,” he added.

    Pakistan had made up their mind to axe Kamran after he gave New Zealand’s Ross Taylor a double reprieve in the same over in their last game here on Tuesday. Taylor, who was struggling for form, went on to smash an unbeaten 131 to lead the Black Caps to a 110-run triumph.

    The very next day, Pakistan officials said that they were mulling over the option of axing Kamran and giving the wicket-keeping responsibilities to Umar, who has done that job for the national team in the past.

    But Umar injured his finger during fielding practice at the Asgiriya Stadium on Thursday and hasn’t trained since then.

    The timing of his injury raised suspicions as Umar was accused of feigning a back injury last year when Pakistan were planning to drop Kamran after his horror show behind the stumps in the Sydney Test.

    Kamran dropped Michael Hussey three times and also squandered a run-out opportunity as the Aussies came back from the jaws of defeat to snatch a stunning victory.

    However, Intikhab rejected the impression that Umar could be feigning an injury again. “It is a genuine problem. He did bruise his finger and though there is no fracture the pain is there.”

  18. #18 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 11:26 AM

    Javed A Khan

    I remember when I went to Canada many years ago in the summer I could see Pakastanis playing cricket in parks regularly.

  19. #19 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 11:29 AM

    Zafar looks at longer innings in Bollywood

    Pakistani singer-actor Ali Zafar, who shot to fame with Tere Bin Laden, says the film was a stepping stone for him and he is looking forward to a longer innings in Bollywood and aspires to do two-three films a year.

    “I am very comfortable in Bollywood now. I am looking for a longer innings in Bollywood. I am looking forward for my journey in this industry. I would do two-three films a year,” Zafar told PTI in an interview.

    The actor made his debut with Abhishek Sharma’s Tere Bin Laden, a tongue-in-cheek comedy on Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist. The movie, released last year, received an overwhelming response at the box office.

    “Tere Bin Laden was a stepping stone for me in Bollywood. I feel I am lucky and blessed to be accepted and loved by the people and film fraternity here. Since my first film has done well, people have some expectations from me. I don’t want to disappoint them and would do my best.”

    The 30-year-old actor would be seen next in Aditya Chopra’s Mere Brother Ki Dulhan which also stars Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif.

    Directed by debutante Ali Abbas Zafar, Mere Brother… is a musical romantic-comedy set around a love triangle. The film is likely to release in July.

    “In the film, Imran and I are brothers. Katrina is my fiancee. I am a very charming and flamboyant person who is confused about what he wants from life,” the Pakistani actor said, giving a sneak peek into the Yash Raj Films production.

    There is already a buzz that Zafar has been signed for Aditya Chopra’s Dhoom 3 and David Dhawan’s Chashme Baddoor. But the singer-actor chose to remain tight-lipped about the speculation.

    “I have another project coming from a big banner and it would surprise everyone. The announcement will be made very soon. Also, I am doing another romantic-comedy with a big and renowned director. Then there is one more script that I have liked but nothing has been finalised yet,” said Zafar, who is popularly known as Prince of Pop in Pakistan.

    About his co-stars, he said, “I have seen both Katrina and Imran’s films. I liked Katrina in Rajneeti and Imran was too good in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na and I Hate Luv Storys. Both are really good and hard working actors. I don’t have any difference with the two as reported in media.”

    Zafar recently launched his album, Jhoom, under the banner of Yash Raj Music in India and across the world.

  20. #20 by Mohammed Munir on March 13, 2011 - 11:31 AM

    If we dig donw, I think Intikhab Alam said something similar in Australia that Umer is “Not Faking” any injury.

    Pakistani Qoum will never learn from their mistakes and will keep repeating it untill they are doomed. 😦

  21. #21 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 12:19 PM

    Canada have managed 250+ against NZ which is a good total for them.

    I think the worst team in this WC has been Kenya. People expected them to be better than Canada and Netherlands but they have outplayed Kenya.

  22. #22 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 12:23 PM

    Australia has qualified through to the semis.

    They will top the Group A table.

    They will play in the QF’s against West Indies or Bangladesh.

    🙂

  23. #23 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 12:40 PM

    First it was the finger. Now it is the ankle.

    Meanwhile Afridi has changed his mind and now K Akmal is his “best option.” This is because Imran Bhai said so, so it must be right and Afridi must not blaspheme.

    Pakistan positive despite Akmals soap opera

    Pallekele, March 13 (AFP): Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is positive of wrapping up a World Cup quarter-final spot on Monday despite another twist in the ongoing Akmal brothers soap opera.

    Pakistan’s build-up to the game against Zimbabwe has been dominated by Kamran and Umar Akmal.

    Ever since Kamran put in a blundering performance behind the stumps in the 110-run defeat to New Zealand last Tuesday, it had been widely-expected that younger brother Umar would take the gloves.

    Umar was then accused of feigning a finger injury to save his brother’s job.

    On Sunday, the 21-year-old Umar managed to sprain his right ankle while playing football during practice although Afridi said the batsman was not seriously hurt.

    “We want to put everything behind us, the defeat and any other thing which could hurt our preparation. We are in a positive frame of mind and will play for a win,” said Afridi.

  24. #24 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 1:10 PM

    ICC to Investigate Bookies Presence in Indian Dressing Room During World Cup: Jang

    It is has been discovered that various Indian bookies have been constantly meeting Indian players in Indian dressing room during World Cup matches. After this, ICC has indicated that it will investigate the issue.

    Indian media is reporting that various Indian bookies have been constantly meeting Indian players in Indian dressing room during World Cup matches. A well known bookie (Agarwal) spent more than an hour in Indian Dressing Room during Holland-India match.. conversing with Indian players and team management but BCCI did not take notice of the incident.

    It has been reported that Agarwal meets with Dhoni, Gambhir, Harbhajan and team manager Ranjit Biswal during every match India plays. He also met with all the players and team management before South African match. ICC has taken notice of media reports and has decided to investigate.

    It may be recalled that Agarwal had big role to play in fixing 2008 IPL game between Delhi and Rajasthan becuase he was seen with Gambhir in the team hotel quite often.

  25. #25 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 1:30 PM

    This is how the names of cricket playing countries are pronounced by most people in Pakistan:

    West Indies- Vest Andies

    South Africa- South Afreeka

    Zimbabwe- Zambabwe

    Kenya- Keen-ya

    England- Angland

    Netherlands- NetherLAND

    Pakistan- Pakastan

    Sri Lanka- Siri Lanka

    Australia- Aastralia

    New Zealand- News-land

  26. #26 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 1:50 PM

    India Punjab team to tour Pakistan

    Karachi, Mar 13: Pakistan will see the return of a foreign cricket team to the country in June this year after reaching an understanding with the India’s Punjab Cricket Association.

    PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt confirmed that he had held successful negotiations with the Punjab Cricket Association for a bilateral series.

    “The bilateral series will be played at the Punjab level.
    In the first phase an Indian Punjab team will visit Pakistan in June this year to play two one-day matches and two T20 matches in different cities of Punjab,” Butt said.
    He said in September a Pakistan Punjab team would visit India to play the same number of matches in the Indian Punjab cities.
    Butt said the Indian Punjab association had proposed the series and final touches were being given to holding the series.
    “We are likely to host the matches in Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi under lights,” Butt said.

    Since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in March, 2009 no foreign team has visited the country for international or representative cricket because of security concerns.

    Six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed in the attack which also left five Sri Lankan players wounded.

    Butt said the Indians proposed to host their matches in Jallandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Chandigarh.

    He also disclosed that the governments of both countries had given the green signal for the series to be held and hoped it would pave the way for resumption of bilateral cricket at the senior level.

    The PCB chief said the Indian cricket board had also allowed the IPCA to hold the series.

    Butt said the Board was in touch with the provincial government to make all security arrangements for the series when the Indian Punjab team came to Pakistan and were also keen to see the series take place.

    “It is a good sign that a foreign team is coming to Pakistan and we are also negotiating with the Sri Lankans.

    Hopefully things might be brighter for Pakistan cricket this year,” he added.

    India has not played any bilateral cricket against Pakistan since the November 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai and also cancelled a full Test tour to Pakistan in early 2009.

  27. #27 by newguy on March 13, 2011 - 1:57 PM

    Javed Khan,

    Refreshing to see a write up on Canada cricket. Yesterday they made 250 against NZ which is a good score. But I was baffled by their decision to let NZ bat, their captain said there is something in the wicket that his seamers can exploit 😉 his seamers against BB McCullum and Guptill, really? Anyway NZ got some batting practice. Canada did play well against Kenya and had a good win, they ensured they are not the bottom team in WC.

  28. #28 by newguy on March 13, 2011 - 2:01 PM

    Is Dhoni “Captain Fool” now from being “Captain Cool”?

    He reminds me of former president GW Bush who would stick to his top officials even though it was clear they were doing blunders.

    Here is a write up from another site, I am only copying some parts:

    In what can be arguably seen as the biggest series of captaincy blunders in the World Cup, Mahendra Singh Dhoni somehow managed to wrest back India’s age old habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Right from the selection of Munaf Patel over Ravichandran Ashwin or Shantakumaran Sreesanth (yes, you heard it right!) to giving Ashish Nehra the final over, Dhoni made one blunder after the other and handed the South Africans a crucial win and huge brownie points in terms of psychological build-up going into the quarterfinals

    Nine wickets fell for 28 runs – inexplicably. If this happened with Pakistan playing, there would be “match fixing” rumours doing the rounds.

    However, this was more about how a captain who has been riding his luck so far, finally got his come uppance and all his decisions came to bite him.

    Yusuf Pathan seems woefully out of place, and maybe Suresh Raina’s inclusion in place of either Yusuf or Gautam Gambhir may have tilted the scales for India.

    Another penchant of Dhoni has been tinkering with the batting order at will. Sending in Yusuf during the powerplays was absolutely unnecessary. His continuous abuse of Virat Kohli’s position means that India’s “flexible” middle-order is also fallible, as has been displayed in all the matches. The batsmen, too, did not help their cause by being too flashy and throwing away their wickets.

    When the South Africans were batting, two crucial errors in Munaf bowling the 47th over and Ashish Nehra the final over, were the final nails in the coffin for India. The faces in the crowd at Nagpur, told the story, when they realized Nehra would bowl the final over. Two length deliveries later the momentum and the match was handed on a platter to South Africa.

    On a day where we were treated to some fabulous entertainment by Sehwag and Tendulkar, the rest of the Indian batsman managed to implode to take away what would have been a stupendous victory for India.

    It’s time for Dhoni to get his head out of his backside and do what a leader needs to do. Pick the right team and not indulge in favoritism, like he did for Piyush Chawla. Let Ashwin and Raina get a look in. Let Gambhir sit out. Though he scored 69, it was a painstaking innings which let the South African bowlers get back into the game.


    Dhoni has been carrying the tag of “Captain Cool” for a while now. But if he insists on carrying his stubborn and mindless ways that continue shock an entire nation, that tag may give way to “Captain Fool”. Let’s hope that Dhoni turns a new leaf to lead the charge of Team India.

  29. #29 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 3:43 PM

    Newguy

    This relentless criticism of Dhoni will not help the Indian team looking ahead in the WC.

    I can understand how upset the Indians are but I think enough criticism has been levied.

    It is now clear that Dhoni needs to drop Nehra and Munaf and play Ashwin and Sreesanth.

    He made mistakes but he is still a reasonably good captain and if it had not been for his captaincy India would not have been one of the favourites to win this WC.

  30. #30 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 5:07 PM

    Australia let Kenya score 250+, just like how NZ were easy on Canada earlier today.

    Shaun Tait appears to chuck when he is bowling yorkers or quick full length balls, I think the ICC should take note of this.

    Tait was also very arrogant on the field and his body language was pathetic the way he tried to run Patel out, it was extremely unprofessional of him to do that.

    Patel was half way down the pitch and Tait had the ball in his hand, but rather than whip the bails of normally he casually walked to the stump, almost as if jeering at Patel to challenge him to make it to the crease. And when Patel tried, at the very last moment Tait took the bail off.

    He should be fined for this unprofessionalism.

  31. #31 by Sagaat on March 13, 2011 - 5:16 PM

    Khansahab,

    Are you aware that Asad Shafiq is also a wicketkeeper? At least when you search him on cricinfo on player profile, his professional fielding position comes as wicketkeeper. I don’t think he can be worse than Kamran Akmal. On the other hand Umar Akmal is clearly faking the injury and “threatening” the board midway through the tournament.

  32. #32 by Sagaat on March 13, 2011 - 5:20 PM

    Khansahab,

    Chawla is a leggie so I think Dhoni is making the correct decision in playing him through the tournament, as when he comes good, he may take 4-5 wickets. Captain’s instinct I suppose. On the other hand, between Nehra and Sreeshanth it is a bit of a lottery, so why is Dhoni being blamed?

  33. #33 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 5:23 PM

    Sagaat

    Yes, I know Shafiq can keep. But I have heard his keeping his average. I agree in the circumstances he will do a better job than Akmal. His reflexes might be slower than Akmal’s but he just needs to hold on to the catch. I don’t expect imagination and innovation from the Pakistan team management so I will be very surprised if they use Shafiq as a batsman/keeper.

    I know that Ahmed Shahzad plays straight and his technique is impressive (notwithstanding his poor performance in this WC), but if you look at Shafiq’s technique he exudes a lot of class and calmness. He has not been able to generate big scores but on first sight I would say he is more impressive than Shahzad. But, the Pakistan management obviously doesn’t see things this way.

    I would replace Shafiq with Shahzad straightaway. It doesn’t matter if Shafiq is slow and takes time to settle- Hafeez, K Akmal and Razzaq can all be utilised in the top order to attack the bowling. If they can send Razzaq at no 3, if he fires, then the team will already be in a strong position and there will not be a desperate need for anyone to attack.

  34. #34 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 5:31 PM

    Sagaat

    I just feel Sreesanth has more wicket taking ability than Nehra. Sreesanth is a little like Mitchell Johnson in that his good balls are unplayable but bad balls go for runs (Johnson bowls less bad ones than Sreesanth though).

    So far Chawla hasn’t done anything amazing, and India does not have wicket taking bowlers. Australia’s Steven Smith who is a legspinner has also been average.

  35. #35 by Sagaat on March 13, 2011 - 5:32 PM

    Khansahab,

    Does Kamran Akmal have reflexes? Apart from the ones exhuding from his tongue?

  36. #36 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 5:33 PM

    Sagaat

    LOL

  37. #37 by Sagaat on March 13, 2011 - 5:35 PM

    Khansahab,

    Dhoni has won India the 20/20 world cup and now they are the number 1 test team under him. There must be something of an instinct he has, which may come good in crucial matches.

  38. #38 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 5:45 PM

    Afridi’s comments from today’s press conference:

    Umar Akmal is fit and he had a minor problem

    We do not have anyone who can replace Kamran. He is a hardworking cricketer and is training hard.

    We are not taking any team lightly in this WC.

    No team is favourite for the World Cup.

    At the moment our top order wants to preserve wickets so we are not taking risks.

    We have learned lessons from NZ defeat.

    We will not experiment any more, we have a combination and I will give my players confidence.

    Asad Shafiq is not an opener. We are trying to include him in the team.

  39. #39 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 5:49 PM

    Sagaat

    I have admired Dhoni’s captaincy and I think he is an exceptional cricketer.

    There are one or two problems but one can’t expect him to be flawless.

    That is why I was telling Newguy that he has played a huge part in making India a no 1 team.

    The Indian media is very predatory and they want their team to win every match. Come to think of it, with Munaf Patel and Nehra in the team India would always struggle to contain SA.

  40. #40 by Sagaat on March 13, 2011 - 5:56 PM

    Khansahab,

    I think that pitch was a batting paradise. If the match was so close, then the bowlers did well. Don’t you think so?

  41. #41 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 5:59 PM

    India to win the World Cup? Tell Dhoni he’s dreaming

    Dean Jones
    March 13, 2011

    HISTORY is very important to cricketers. It tells us what we did wrong and what we did right in the past. There have been nine World Cups and those World Cup champion teams do not lie about the composition and skills required to win.

    The three main common denominators consistent with all World Cup champion teams are:

    ■Your top four batsmen must be of a high quality. They must have the technique to play the new ball, as well as have the power and stroke play during powerplays. They also must have the fitness to bat through the whole 50 overs.
    Advertisement: Story continues below

    ■Your top four bowlers must be of high quality, able to absorb pressure and bowl defensively in powerplays.

    ■If you can’t field, don’t bother turning up!

    All this taken into account, I do not believe India will win the World Cup with its current form. Everyone here has a huge regard for the Indian team. They have the batsmen, no doubt. Tendulkar and Sehwag can rip any attack to shreds. But that alone doesn’t win the World Cup.

    Captain M.S. Dhoni has admitted some of his fieldsmen are very slow. But Dhoni believes he will win the World Cup with this bowling line-up: Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Piyush Chawla and Harbhajan Singh.

    He is dreaming.

    Dhoni must turn to history to see that this bowling attack will not win a World Cup. Consider each winning World Cup team, each attack and their top four bowlers:

    ■1975, West Indies: Bernard Julien, Andy Roberts, Keith Boyce and Vanburn Holder.

    ■1979, West Indies: Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft and Joel Garner.

    ■1983, India: Kapil Dev, Balwinder Sandhu, Madan Lal, Roger Binny and fifth bowler Jimmy Amarnath, who took three wickets in the final.

    ■1987, Australia: Bruce Reid, Craig McDermott, Steve Waugh and Simon O’Donnell.

    ■1992, Pakistan: Imran Khan, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed and Aaqib Javed.

    ■1996, Sri Lanka: Pramodya Wickramasinghe, Chaminda Vaas, Muthiah Muralidaran and Sanath Jayasuriya.

    ■1999, Australia: Glenn McGrath, Damien Fleming, Paul Reiffel and Shane Warne.

    ■2003, Australia: McGrath, Brett Lee, Andy Bichel and Andrew Symonds.

    ■ 2007, Australia: McGrath, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson and Nathan Bracken.

    Now does the Indian bowling line-up of Khan, Nehra, Chawla and Harbhajan look as good as any of these champion line-ups? Simply, no! Dhoni wants seven specialist batsmen and four specialist bowlers. Having seven batsmen tells me that India doesn’t trust its ”engine room” to make the runs required. By having four bowlers, it means that everything must go right or they are in deep trouble. What happens if one is injured? Or one gets smashed?

    India has struggled to bowl out Bangladesh and England. Ireland troubled them, but Dhoni won’t budge. India’s main weakness is the form of Chawla and Harbhajan. Chawla is being smashed and was brought in by the strong backing of Dhoni after two years in obscurity. There are three leg-spinners who have won World Cups: Mushtaq, Warne and Brad Hogg. Is Chawla as good as those three? No, he isn’t.

    The Indian skipper has other problems in Harbhajan’s form. Harbhajan has struggled in all World Cups and has only take six wickets in eight matches against the Test countries at an average of 58. His 10 overs are going for around 50.

    So does Dhoni go in with two quicks and three spinners? Sri Lanka was successful with this formula in 1996. But its spin bowlers were of a better quality in Muralidaran, Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva. Chawla must be replaced by Ravichandran Ashwin. Harbhajan needs to get in opponents’ faces more.

    India’s best line-up is Khan, Nehra, Harbhajan and Ashwin, with Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj Singh splitting the fifth bowler duties.

    The team needs the attitude to get wickets and not just defend. Getting wickets always stops the run-rate. Its fieldsmen must look for run-outs and want the ball in the field.

    Australia does not seem to command respect from anyone at the moment. Even Lord Jeffrey Archer doesn’t rate us. As if it matters. One thing is for sure: no one is an out-and-out favourite. It has been an interesting World Cup so far, but let’s hope India does OK because it will be a nightmare for all concerned if it got bundled out in the first quarter-final.

  42. #42 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 6:03 PM

    Sagaat

    Zaheer Khan is the one who really did well; he was the most economical bowler.

    Steyn and Morkel were just unlucky they were ripped to shreds by Sehwag and Tendulkar.

    You saw how Robin Peterson and du Plessis played Nehra and Munaf; compare that with how the Indian lower middle order was unable to play Steyn.

    Nehra and Munaf had no pace, no reverse swing, no aggression, they also looked tired.

  43. #43 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 6:05 PM

    Dean Jones makes a good point.

    Actually the Indian ODI team has been winning because of Zaheer and Harbhajan’s bowling.

    So these bowlers need to perform in every match because if they don’t, India will lose.

  44. #44 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 6:07 PM

    So what is the bookie Agarwal doing in the Indian dressing room?

  45. #45 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 6:15 PM

    “Pakistan Most Balanced Bowling Attack in this WC” Harsha Bhogle

  46. #46 by Sagaat on March 13, 2011 - 6:16 PM

    Khansahab,

    Lets see if Dean Jones is correct or MS Dhoni. India has the batting to make up for its bowling. The Indian team overall is pretty solid. But nevertheless no team is dominant enough like the Australians of yore. Its an open world cup. The mistake is to think that India is dominant enough to win all the matches. Eventually, it is only three matches that count. Even West Indies looks good on paper. They can upset any major team.

    Their batting order is: Chenderpaul, Gayle, the two Bravos, Sarawan, and Pollard. Kemar Roach is a very good find. What they lack is a quality spinner, but their batting is pretty strong. Any team can win three consecutive matches and no team can be ruled out to win the tournament.

    Pakistan’s team combination is incorrect. Pakistan are a bowler short, a keeper short, and a batsman short. Probably it would be the wildest fluke out of all the teams if Pakistan were to win the world cup. Razzaq should play as a batsman alone at number 3. Pakistan need to play a bowler in place of one opener, and Asad Shafiq instead of Kamran Akmal. Without these changes, they don’t stand a chance.

  47. #47 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 6:25 PM

    Sagaat

    I didn’t even know there was another Bravo in the WI squad.

    I agree that WI look good on paper.

    Australia is definitely the only team mentally strong enough to win all of the matches.

    If WI have a Kemar Roach, Australia have Lee and Tait.

    This WI batting line up looks stunted to me in front of Watson, Haddin, Ponting, Clarke and Hussey, if you look at it from any angle, class, averages, experience.

    Plus Australia’s fielding is much better.

    WI can cause an upset and so can Sri Lanka, however, imagine if these teams are playing against Australia they are more likely to be under pressure.

    This is the biggest advantage Australia is going to exercise in the knockout, SF and Final stage- the fact that their opposition will definitely be under a lot of mental pressure. It can only take a miracle to break that which is why Pakistan is probably the most equipped team to beat Australia, an Afridi or Razzaq will have to pull a stunner.

    I will be extremely surprised if a team like WI or SL can defeat Australia (and I know SL is in the same group as AUS)

  48. #48 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 6:28 PM

    Sagaat

    So are you advocating this line up:

    Hafeez
    Shafiq (keeper)
    Razzaq
    Younis
    Misbah
    U Akmal
    Afridi
    Gul
    Ajmal
    Akhtar
    Riaz/Junaid Khan

  49. #49 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 13, 2011 - 6:30 PM

    Sagaat

    There is only one Bravo left, Dwayne The Dangerous Bravo got injured and left for his country. And, I agree with you and I have been saying this from the beginning that West Indies would be a dangerous side to face in the KO stages, they can upset any team.

    Yes, we all know that Asad Shafiq can keep wickets and he used to do a lot in domestic matches.

    Even Younus Khan can do that job, why persist with the Khatmals? Both of them needs a nip in the bud. In case of Kamran the bud has become a creeper and needs to be uprooted.

    newguy

    I was also baffled by Ashish Bagai’s decision to field first. Canada played painfully slow. Both Cheema and Davison threw their wickets away in frustration, especially the way Davison got run out, I have never seen anyone. Young Hiralal Patel batted well and made Southee look like a Northee, three fours in an over and Southee’s face was frozen. I am glad someone showed him his place.

    Australia made 31 runs in first 4 overs and then 13 runs in the next 6 overs. Then they kept improving their run rate and in the next 14 overs they scored 84 runs. Hussey showed his class with a late middle order 50, he is a threat to every team.

  50. #50 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 13, 2011 - 6:31 PM

    khansahab

    That is Harsha Bhogle’s TOTEKA to keep Pakistan out of the tournament after the QF. 😀

  51. #51 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 6:32 PM

    What Imran Khan has said, which has then been endorsed by Afridi & Co, is very dangerous.

    They are basically saying that Akmal can win the WC for Pak.

    It’s a huge and dangerous claim.

    Akmal has NEVER been a consistent player or mentally so brilliant that he can perform in a high-stakes match.

    I think it is more likely he will drop catches in the SF or final.

    I think the players who can deliver in the important matches are Younis, Razzaq, U Akmal, Afridi, Gul and possibly Ajmal which is why they should play every match.

  52. #52 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 13, 2011 - 6:32 PM

    Bookie Agarwal was selling BOOKS on how to make money without playing cricket.
    Only Pakistanis can fix a match no one else!

  53. #53 by Sagaat on March 13, 2011 - 6:40 PM

    Khansahab,

    It depends. Australia is good on paper, but can they play win three consecutive matches in India?

    Lee is not suited to subcontinental pitches. His test bowling average, a much larger sample of his bowling performance in India, will testify to that. On the other hand Australia doesn’t have a quality spinner. And, there is only one spinner. Half the Australian batsmen are suspect against quality spin. Australia is a good team on paper, but how they fare in India, only time will tell. Much will depend on the opponents they encounter in the three matches. If its Bangladesh, then their probability of winning the tournament goes much higher. I don’t think they can withstand three matches against quality oppositions, but two matches, the likelihood goes much higher. This is why it is important that Pakistan beat Australia. Australia got a very lucky break against Sri Lanka, they would have lost the match.

    If you compare the West Indian batting with Pakistan, you will find that they have 3-4 batsmen which average in the 40s or around there. Pakistan’s batsmen mostly average in the lower 30s and 20s. Pakistan are a pacer short. And, the wicketkeeper is pathetic, has zero skill. I just can’t forsee how Pakistan can win three consecutive matches with this strategy. If Australia were to face India, I’d give India a 70 percent chance. The pitch will have spin. If Australia are to face Lanka, I’d give Lanka a 60 percent chance. On the other hand teams like Windies, Pakistan, New Zealand can have their days, but it is very unlikely they will beat Australia unless they have a very good day. Australia will always play to their potential. Aus versus SA would be 50-50. So, if Australia are to encounter three quality oppositions, then their probability of winning three consecutive matches is a lot lower than India. With good oppositions I mean India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and England (if England qualify).

  54. #54 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 13, 2011 - 6:41 PM

    khansahab

    Naoozobillah, Imran Bhai is not a GAAD. But, he behaves like one. And the rest of the cricketing Maqlooq obeys him, prostrate in front of him and worship his words and consider them as the Holy word of Gospel. Most of the time that idiot blabs like Ijaz Butt and negates his own statements. So, why on earth people like Afridi, Waqar, Intikhab Alam et all should care to listen to him? They must have self confidence in choosing the playing XI and stick to their decision. During the tournament, like the cell phones are banned, they should also ban these players from reading newspapers, watching television especially sports channels and the Internet too. Because, the more criticism they hear the more confused they will be. Unfortunately Imran and Wasim’s words works like a cliche – I told you so – and it works both ways. These people are hypocrites and have no shame in changing their words. I would like to stuff a pair of dirty, smelly socks in their interior and posterior ends, duct tape them and tie them to a chair with ropes and paint their hands with red colour, so when the police will come they will catch them RED HANDED. 😀

  55. #55 by Sagaat on March 13, 2011 - 6:52 PM

    Khansahab,

    That is precisely the line-up they should play. It is a much more balanced line-up. I think Pakistan have a good chance should they make those changes.

  56. #56 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 6:53 PM

    Sagaat

    Some good points there, but I will be cautious about Australia.

    What a team needs to win is the following:

    1. Good openers
    2. Solid middle order
    3. Good spinners
    4. Good pacers
    5. Good all rounders
    6. Good fielding
    7. Mental strength/morale

    Now out of all those Australia has everything except 3. You might argue they lack all rounders but Watson and Steven Smith are pretty okay, Smith’s bowling is like Piyush Chawla but batting wise he can make 30+ regularly.

    You mentioned West Indies- at the moment they have 2 and perhaps 4 and perhaps a bit of 6 but apart from that, nothing.

    Sri Lanka- although they have everything when you include Malinga, they are not brilliant in any one area. This is why they were being hailed as the most balanced side.

    India- have 1, 2 and 3, but apart from that not much. You can argue they have some of no 5 too I suppose in Yuvraj and Pathan.

    Pakistan- have 2, 3, 4, 5 and arguably they can have 7 too

    South Africa- with Imran Tahir you can argue they have numbers 1-6 but they have such a serious problem with 7 that they look stunted in front of Australia.

    So having all those ingredients is not everything, you must be good in those areas too. SL may have everything but apart from their spin attack they have nothing amazing to write home about. Whereas Australia has one of the best middle orders, arguably the 2nd best pace attack, arguably the best or second best fielding, the best mental strength, they have Shane Watson who is an excellent ODI player and very consistent.

    If you do the math I see Australia all the way, but of course this time they don’t have Hayden, McGrath and Warne.

  57. #57 by Sagaat on March 13, 2011 - 7:05 PM

    Khansahab,

    But those are not the only things that count. It is the pitch conditions that count the most. Australia is very suspect on low and slow pitches that spin. They don’t have the bowling to make use of them and their batsmen struggle in those conditions.

  58. #58 by Sagaat on March 13, 2011 - 7:11 PM

    Khansahab,

    Consider the fact that Australia lost to India and SA in the warm-up games and would have very likely lost to Sri Lanka. I think the pitch conditions will be decisive as far as Australia is concerned.

  59. #59 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 7:18 PM

    Sagaat

    Looking at everything in the round, I still feel Australia have the edge.

    I accept this is not like the previous few WC’s where Australia was a near-guaranteed winner but they have always won emphatically.

    The pitches in West Indies in 2007 were not too different from subcontinental pitches but there was no match for Australia.

    Imran Tahir, Muralitharan, Afridi, Harbhajan may have the potential to trouble Australian batsmen, but I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes the night before the match when the realisation kicks in that they are playing Australia in the semi final or final. Australia’s aggression, mental strength and positive gameplay may well mean that Imran Tahir can’t bowl straight or Murali is overpitching too much.

    if a team has a weakness against spin then it is also important that mentally you are prepared to terrorise that team and exploit this weakness. if you don’t have what it takes mentally then the opposition will have the upper hand. This is why if Australia plays an ODI series in Sri Lanka or India there is a decent chance they will beat these teams.

  60. #60 by Sagaat on March 13, 2011 - 7:26 PM

    Khansahab,

    The pitches in West Indies aren’t like the ones that can take spin in India. The very best Australian teams haven’t won a test series in India precisely because of that. Pitches in Windies are more comparable to pitches in Pakistan. Especially the Chennai pitch has been the sort that Australia will loathe to play on. Rest Assured, the tracks will be different for the next round. I think they should be the sort of low and slow pitches that Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka thrive on.

    This is also why Razzaq should be sent up the order and Younis Khan a bit down the order. That way Razzaq faces pace and Younis Khan faces spin.

  61. #61 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 7:38 PM

    Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Akmal will not play the match against Zimbabwe
    Asad Shafiq and Wahab Riaz will be replacing them……..

    ARY news

  62. #62 by khansahab on March 13, 2011 - 8:38 PM

    I hope Shafiq scores 70+ tomorrow so that he can take U Akmal’s place in the team.

    Although if that happens Shahzad will be dropped and Shafiq will be made to open

  63. #63 by newguy on March 13, 2011 - 11:45 PM

    Khansahab and Sagaat,

    Interesting points about various teams .. I feel similar to Saggat that Australia is less likely to win 3 KO games, especially against one of the Asian teams on pitches that are low and slow. As for mental strength, we saw that eroded them in many close matches recently, at test and ODI levels, but more on tests. Their strength was solid opening pair in Gilchrist and Hayden and then superb form of Ponting, followed by a great bowler in McGrath.

    If things remain like this Australia will likely face England in QF, and England is not a terrible team, they do have bowlers, just a matter of them getting their rhythm, as we saw against SA.

    Pakistan will likely play against SA in QF, and it is hard to predict what will happen. SA has the upper hand, but Pakistan is unpredictable, one day fast bowlers and Afridi will turn on great performance and middle order will click, next day opposite may happen. SA is still unsure in crunch games notwithstanding the game against India. In the last match they had nothing to lose and all the pressure was on India to win, if SA lost no one would have said anything as it will credited as the great batting from a great batsman in his home conditions. So their tail went for it with no pressure, and Indians helped with mediocre bowling. But in crunch game against a spirited opponent it remain to be seen if they can hold the nerve.

    India we spoke quite bit about, lots of weaknesses, if Sreesanth and Ashwin come in place of Nehra and Munaf, then bowling will be stronger. Then Gambhir should sit out, and let Kohli take #3 and Raina come in at #6. But it’s unlikely to see all three changes as Dhoni seldom makes drastic changes, most likely we will see Ashwin in place of Nehra and this is not good enough to win KO games in my view.

    SL looks good, they are likely to play WI in QF at home. They have the edge.

  64. #64 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 3:08 AM

    Intikhab Alam is 9 months pregnant

    http://p.imgci.com/db/PICTURES/CMS/129800/129882.2.jpg

  65. #65 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 3:21 AM

    As the tournament progresses less and less matches are to be played and the feeling of WC ending soon is already there, but the good thing is, the best matches are yet to be played and from now onwards almost all the matches are crucial and tense. We can only hope for a nail biting finish instead of a one sided affair.

    BanglaBandhus are playing Dutch who have won the toss and elected to bat first, lets see some real fireworks from them and make the Bangladeshis work hard to win.

    Pakistan / Zimbabwe match is next, it will start at 5:00 a.m. (one hour later because of the Day Light savings time started today) there is still uncertainty and confusion about who is playing? The team is completely demoralized after the defeat at the hands of NZ and they definitely need a comprehensive win against the ZIMS, Taylor and Chigambura are Bahot Bura for Pakistan i.e., if the get going there is no stopping. So, Pakistan better not drop catches and don’t miss stumpings and runouts.

  66. #66 by khansahab on March 14, 2011 - 6:51 AM

    If Pakistan has to play South Africa in the QF then they simply cannot play K Akmal and Misbah.

  67. #67 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 6:52 AM

    Inside Juice ………….

    – Umer Akmal and Shoaib Actor OUT, whereas Asad Shafiq & Wahab Riaz IN.

    – But still same openers, and playing with one bowler less. 😦

  68. #68 by khansahab on March 14, 2011 - 6:59 AM

    On the basis that Pakistan will defeat Zimbabwe and then lose against Australia (which I think will happen) Pakistan is either playing South Africa or India in the QF. I don’t think England, West Indies or Bangladesh will be able to obtain the 2nd position in their group. Similarly I think Pakistan will finish this preliminary stage being in the 3rd or 4th position as I don’t see them defeating Australia.

    I think Pakistan can handle India better than SA, although India has always beaten Pakistan in WC’s. Steyn and Morkel will rip through the Pakistan batting order. Although Sehwag and Tendulkar are very dangerous they do take their chances and if Pakistan bowl tight and field well they can get Sehwag and SRT out relatively easily.

  69. #69 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 8:10 AM

    Khansahab …

    LOL @ pronunciation of the world cricket teams by majority of Pakistanis.

    On Strings, yes I agree “Strings” are surely a better, more educated, decent, polite, and senior musicians in Pakistan. I always liked them and specially few of their earliest song … ‘Dur’ etc. Even their song from the ‘Spiderman’ movie was very ncie and I liked it. ‘Vital Signs’ was also one of my favourites and they music is evergreen, and I liked Fuzon too.

    You are right Strings are liked in India, but then again there are so many other Pakistani musicians who are liked in India. Vital Signs, Janoon, etc. and more recently Rahat Ali, Shafqat Amanat Ali (Fuzon), Adnan Sami, Ali Zafar and many more. In fact, above all others, Atif Aslam is one of the biggest craze with the younger Indians and he has sung for so many Bollywood movies. Even Bipasha Basu is gaga about Atif’s music and she was the one who insisted on Director/ Producer to include Atif’s songs in Indian movie, ‘Race’.

  70. #70 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 8:14 AM

    BANGLADESH crowd is extremely partisan and noisy and I really don’t like this attitude, being patriotic is one thing and being extremely unsporting is another. When their bowlers were bowling maiden overs the crowd was roaring and when the Netherlands took the first wicket on the fourth ball of the first over i.e., when Tamim Iqbal was bowled by Bokhari, there was a pin drop silence and it continued till the 4th over as the Netherlands bowlers were bowling maiden overs. One boundary from the BD batsman and the roaring, blowing of bugle, drumming, cheering and singing and dancing started.

    If you are not looking at the TV set and if you hear the crowd is roaring then, you will know that one of their players must have either hit a four or taken a wicket. And suddenly when there is total, pin drop silence, you should also know that one of their players is out or, one of their bowlers have been hit for a four or a six.

    Although Netherlands displayed a very poor batting performance but, a wicket in the first over has given them some hope that they can defend their meager total of 160. In my view Bangladesh will win this match despite the initial poor start. If that happens then, they are making England’s case to qualify for the QF very, very difficult.

    BD commentators, Shamim Chaudhary (who looks like young Clive Lloyd) and Athar Ali Khan are extremely pathetic. Today, when Ian Bishop joined Athar Ali Khan he welcomed him and Bishop responded by saying something like, “It is always a pleasure to sit next to you in the commentary box Athar and I hope many people will agree with that.” Perhaps that was Bishop’s sarcasm which went past over Athar’s head like a bouncer. Athar was saying, “Netherland still has two good batsman to come, Tendoeschate and there is A COOPER too.”

  71. #71 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 8:26 AM

    You guys are talking about Pakastani singers and music groups which is very alien to me. I simply don’t like them or the new Indian singers, call me old or oldie I don’t give a shyte but, honestly there is nothing so fascinating about them. Even the new actors and actresses are always over acting and they always show them as “as angry young men who want to change the world and fight with the whole world and always succeeds, it is always a story of ‘from rags to riches.’ Amitabh Bachan was one young angry man perhaps that suited him when he was young and the trend was new, now every lulloo punjoo is just the same. Ranging from 5′-2″ to 5′-6” all these heroes think they are WWF wrestlers, genius, most intelligent, most handsome, most attractive that they can win the heart of the most beautiful girl. By watching these movies every bloody mechanic thinks that one day “Ek Laal Paree Ayegee aur Laal Gaadi Laye Gee.” The reality is most rich girls never, ever go to a mechanic’s workshop. These pretty rich girls don’t even go to the gas station to fill up gas, either their dad, boyfriend, husband whoever gets the gas filled for them or else they take their car and drive.

  72. #72 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 8:47 AM

    Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat first. This is Pakistan’s team for today’s match

    Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal†, Shahid Afridi*, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz

    There is no Umar Akmal and there is no Saeed Ajmal.

  73. #73 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 8:53 AM

    …. and no Shoaib Akhter also. 😉

  74. #74 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 9:16 AM

    So then … no live coverage today ❓ 😉

  75. #75 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 9:39 AM

    Munir

    You are here to do the live coverage and your comments are more important than others 😀

    Pakistan started very well, with Razzaq taking the first wicket and Umar Gul got two, so Zim are now 17/3/

    Wasim Akram and Ramiz Raja are commentating. When Ramiz joined Wasim, Wasim said, well Ramiz Umar Akmal is bowling very good and very fast today. Ramiz replied, yeah the only difference is he is not Umar Akmal but, Umar Gul. Wasim Akram has done this a few times in the previous matches and I have said, “how can he make such mistakes?”

    Then in his nasal voice, he said, ” Lice Shat Srooo the Gap.” I wonder how this idiot is selected as a commentator?

  76. #76 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 9:43 AM

    If Zimbabwe loses they are out of the tournament and if Pakistan loses, they have to beat Australia for sure otherwise they will be in BIG trouble and will have to rely on other matches, Zimbabwe needs to play against Kenya and they will beat them for sure. So, Pakistan has to show their muscles and get them out soon. The good thing that happened today is Kamran Akmal took a catch and Afridi came and gave a pat on Kamran’s cheek.

  77. #77 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 10:21 AM

    When Misbah took a catch in the slips, Ramiz Raja spontaneously blabbed his favourite sentence, “He held it in his bucket like hands.” Then there was a lot of praise from both Wasim and Ramiz they kept talking at length about the catch and his technique that is the way he pulled his both hands back to absorb the shock and according to Ramiz it gives an extra second to the fielder whereas he was saying that there was no reaction time for Misbah the ball arrived in 0.73 seconds, so I wonder how can he get an extra second?

    In my opinion that technique has a big flaw, because at times when you pull your hands backwards and if the speed of the ball is very fast then it slips out of your hands or bounces away from it especially the way Misbah kept his hands away from his body. If his body is behind the ball and both hands well placed then it is OK. I was telling my friends that they are actually praising his wrong technique and even my friends were a bit skeptical about my comments and were smiling at me with a hint that I am biased. But, I was proved right when Misbah dropped the most important catch of Ervine in the slips using the same technique. Wahab Riaz was the victim but, lucky for him the next ball Taibu was out, caught by Afridi while running to his left.

    Afridi started his bowling, the first ball is an ugly full toss and was punished for four. Now, he is bowling better. Looks like he is going to get the dangerous Ervine.

  78. #78 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 10:22 AM

    BREAKING NEWS

    PEOPLE IN LAHORE ARE DISTRIBUTING SWEETS ON THE STREETS “BAKAOZ” KAMRAN AKMAL TOOK A CATCH ! 😀

  79. #79 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 10:27 AM

    There are a few Sri Lankan fans supporting Pakistan and carrying Pakistani flag. Alan Wilkinson the commentator asked Wasim Akram, seems like some Pakistanis have come here to support their team, any idea where they are from? Wasim Akram instantly replied, ‘FROM KARACHI.” Only because, they are dark skin, Wasim is such a racist bastard that he never hesitates in spitting venom and jingoism. It could be Pakistanis living in Sri Lanka or anywhere from Pakistan.

    Btw, those who don’t know that Chacha Cricket his real name is Abdul Jalil and he is dark skinned too and he is not from Karachi but somewhere from Punjab.

  80. #80 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 10:46 AM

    Bangooz finally won against NL.

    Zimbabwe, although, loosing wickets but their run-rate seems ok so far.

    Secondly, they are playing spin easier then pace. Both Afridi and Abdul Rahman are going for some runs as of now. 😦

  81. #81 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 10:49 AM

    LOL @ Ramiz and Wasim Chakram’s comments.

  82. #82 by newguy on March 14, 2011 - 10:53 AM

    I got up early and although both games today are not very exciting I am watching Pak-Zim game, so far Pakistan has done very well in restricting ZIM, Kamran took one simple catch and it is a big relief for everyone, and then Misbah took one and dropped a sitter. No wonder Misbah said we all back each other, he meant back each other to drop those sitters 😉

    I think it is now almost a certainty that SA will end up on top of Group B, since India has one tie game even if they defeat WI they will have only 9 points, and SA surely will beat Bang ending up with 10 point. That means SA vs. #4 in Group A, and India vs. #3 in Group B. Since Aus and SL is likely to end up #1 and #2 (unless Pak beat Aus which is unlikely), then it is either NZ or Pak. I think NZ has better run rate and the SL vs. NZ game will tell us for sure the rankings.

    But at this point it may be SA vs. Pak and Ind vs. NZ. It could be Ind vs. Pak very easily though.

    I do not want Bangladesh qualify, agree with JAK their supporters are extremely biased, but that’s not the real reason I don’t want them, if they qualify they will be easy to beat for Australia. But if England qualify it will be a good contest between old rivals, and makes for better watching.

    I agree with Khansahab that Pakistan will find tough against Steyn and Morkel and dropping catches will cost them dearly. India may be easier rivals for Pakistan if there is such a thing at all as an easy game between the old rivals. But India will raise their game for Pakistan, just as Pak will do same. Folks like Bhajji and ZAK will be fired up, as well as the likes of Gambhir, Kohli, and Yuvraj. It will be a tough contest.

    I’d like Pak to beat SA and go to semis, and India beat NZ to go to semis. Then they will play SL and Aus. After that it’s anyones game.

  83. #83 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 10:55 AM

    Afridi takes a wicket. 😀

    Zimbabwe are 84 for 5 in 24 overs.

    Lala needs to grabe a few more wickets today to keep his lead in the tournament, becasue Pakistan may not be lucky enough to play enough games (Semis/ Finals) so other bowlers may catch-up. 😦

  84. #84 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 10:56 AM

    Wasim Akram just said, INTELLIGENCE captaincy by Shahid Afridi, ahahahahahaha Paindoo Wasim.

  85. #85 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 11:02 AM

    This game will be spoiled by the rain. What will the chances if the match is abandoned? Pakistan and Zim will get a point each but, will that help Pakistan qualify for the QF?

  86. #86 by newguy on March 14, 2011 - 11:02 AM

    I posted about how much uncouth Shaun Tait is the other day, and Khansahab posted about it yesterday. I watched the Kenya game in parts and saw again what an arrogant prick this MF Tait is. He was hit for a six by a Kenyan batsman and after that he was swearing and smirking and kept bowling bouncers at this guy, then finally clean bowled him with a fast full toss. After that he was gloating with this team mates. Then there was the incident where he acted unprofessionally by delaying to run out Mishra on purpose, it was like school yard cricket where 10 year olds challenge their friends to come running and beat it and then taking off bails at last minute.

    This prick seriously need to be hit around the park.

  87. #87 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 11:06 AM

    Afridi brought back Gul, and is going for a kill here.

  88. #88 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 3:16 PM

    Openers failed as expected. 😦

    Are the Pakistani batsmen aware of required run rate to be maintained in case rain stops play at any time ❓

    We are going too slow at the moment.

  89. #89 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 3:21 PM

    Well played Asad Shafiq …

    Asad scored 3 big runs in only 23 balls so far. 😉

    Shame on our entire batting line.

  90. #90 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 4:19 PM

    Why is Zimbabwe keeper, Taibu, wearing a Pakistani helmet ❓ 😉

  91. #91 by Mohammed Munir on March 14, 2011 - 5:04 PM

    Guys …. Where is everybody today ❓

  92. #92 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 5:07 PM

    khansahab

    Your wishes have come true, Asad Shafiq has scored 70 plus runs as you desired.

    Munir, Taibu has applied for Pakistani nationality that is why he is wearing Pakistani helmet.

    When Hafeez was going OK, I told my friends he won’t score more than 50 and when he was on 49 before getting out, my friend asked me, now what do you have to say? I said, he hasn’t scored 50 yet and he was out the next ball on 49 and that is Hafeez.

    I don’t understand what was the need for Akhroat Afridi to come and bat when he was not supposed to?

    In the next match Ahmad Shahzad must be dropped i.e., if Umar Akmal gets in and Hafeez should open the innings with Kamran Akmal.

  93. #93 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 5:14 PM

    I have just seen on TV, Umar Akmal sitting with his leg on top of the other and holding his knee with both his hands, with fingers clasped inside each hands and there is no bandage, no plaster, no nothing and there isn’t any swelling in any of his fingers, if your finger is so badly hurt that you cannot play then, you cannot sit like that holding the weight of your leg by clasping your fingers. What does it tell us?

    Asad Shafiq remained 78 not out, a very good innings from him under the circumstances especially considering that he is playing his first WC match. It is not easy to score and we have seen how Ahmad Shahzad and Afridi got out. So, Asad Shafiq deserves his dues. In his post match comments he said, he admires Mohammad Yousuf and wants to play like him. He also said, he knows his strengths and his limitations and played according to that. Well done Shafiq.

  94. #94 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 5:18 PM

    Munir,

    khansahab must be at work and me, I slept when it was raining so, I missed the Zim innings after the rain and I also missed the first 50 runs scored by Pakistan. And, then I was watching TV lazily from my bed. These days my biorhythms or circadian rhythms whatever they are, are in complete uproar due to sleep deprivation owing to cricket matches. I am glad that my bitter half is not here to nag at me. 😀

  95. #95 by khansahab on March 14, 2011 - 7:49 PM

    Salman Butt’s comments:

    “I am missing the World Cup because I was at a stage of my career where I had matured and would have played better in this World Cup,” said opener Butt, who has never played a World Cup match.

    “My prayers are with the team, but they have not played well. They are not overcoming their mistakes. In fact the number of mistakes are increasing with every match,” said Butt, who is working as a Cup pundit for a Pakistani TV channel.

  96. #96 by khansahab on March 14, 2011 - 7:54 PM

    Javed A Khan

    My “dua” for Asad Shafiq came true but I also want to give the Akmal brothers a “budh dua” for their acts which have damaged the team and the country’s pride.

  97. #97 by khansahab on March 14, 2011 - 8:10 PM

    I have heard that Afridi and Masbah had an argument today in the dressing room?

    Is this true, did anyone else see this?

  98. #98 by khansahab on March 14, 2011 - 8:15 PM

    If Ahmed Shahzad was from Karachi he would never have been selected in the WC squad in the first place and then definitely not featured in 4/5 matches on the trot despite failing.

    Pakistan is a failure story because of regionalists.

  99. #99 by khansahab on March 14, 2011 - 8:22 PM

    I am watching the Bangla v NetherLAND highlights, Bangladesh are so arrogant in this match, their shit bowlers need to play Sehwag and Tendulkar, better yet they need to play Australia and all this arrogance will go away.

    That shit spinner is bowling such full length, a club level Pakistani cricketer can hit a few sixes on this bowling.

  100. #100 by khansahab on March 14, 2011 - 8:27 PM

    hahahaha

    That shit Bangla keeper looked into the eyes of the NetherLAND Batman and yelled, “AAAAA” as the Batman walked back after being dismissed.

    The batsman had a confused look on his face as if to ask, “What the hell is he doing?”

    LOL it was so funny.

    I really think Bangladesh should play against Australia.

  101. #101 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 8:28 PM

    IF Pakistan beats Australia on Saturday it would be very good for cricket fans in India and Pakistan because the chances of an India / Pakistan clash in the QF would be avoided otherwise, it is almost certain that India and Pakistan will play the QF.

    Therefore, Pakistan MUST beat Australia and they to make a couple of changes in today’s team. Drop Ahmad Shahzad and bring in Kamran Akmal as an opener, that will create room for Asad Shafiq when Umar Akmal comes in. This is for the batting changes and for bowling. They may try Saeed Ajmal in place of Abdur Rahman since they (WASIM, Imran, Rameez) keep on saying he is an attacking bowler whereas Rahman is a defensive bowler. There is also a Hussey factor which would haunt Ajmal so, there is a big gamble playing him against Australia.

  102. #102 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 8:35 PM

    khansahab

    When Hafeez was playing and when he reached the 40 runs mark, Wasim and Ramiz left no stone unturned in praising him. Wasim said, he is a great player and he has played so well in this WC. You know what? Prior to today’s match Hafeez has scored 57 runs in 4 matches an average of 14 runs and he calls him a great player and played so well in this WC. Look at Ahmad Shahzad’s average? In five matches I don’t remember he has scored double figures in any match. And, Rameez was saying “I won’t change the openers when they play against Australia, it is only a matter of time that he will click.” A matter of time? Five matches and what is his average? Khulli Punjab Gardi hori hai commentary box may especially when both these culprits are together.

    I was surprised to hear from Wasim when he said, “I am impressed by Afridi when he said, there is moisture in the pitch and it will suit our fast bowlers.” Then he also said, “Good Intelligence captaincy by Shahid Afridi.”

  103. #103 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 8:39 PM

    khansahab

    I don’t think you saw Misbah dropping that catch of Ervin in the slips, he was on 4 then and went on to make 52 runs. Read my comments above on Misbah catching one in slips and dropping the other a little while later. These racists praise him when he does something and deliberately avoid criticizing him when he drops or under performs. There is a limit of jingoism that is going on so openly and blatantly.

  104. #104 by khansahab on March 14, 2011 - 8:43 PM

    Pakistani players are soft on Bangladesh whenever the two sides play. I reckon most of these Bangla batsmen will have serious problems playing Tired Butt and Gul.

  105. #105 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 14, 2011 - 8:44 PM

    khansahab

    On Salman Butt’s comments that he has matured, “I am agree” he has “defiNEATly” matured in betting and match fixing. And all he can do now is act like that sly fox who could not get the grapes and called them ‘sour grapes’. And, he must keep his JAALI prayers for himself and use it for betting horse racing along with his DAD. Such a bloody hypocrite who used to prostate on the ground after making 100 only to show to the Mullah’s back home that he is a very religious and god fearing person, au contraire he is a corrupt juwway baaz, suttay baaz who has ruined the name of his country and also the career of Aamir.

    Today, Wasim Akram called Asad Shafiq a “YOUNGS-TON” lol @ his paindoism. He is a Nira Paindoo.

  106. #106 by khansahab on March 14, 2011 - 8:57 PM

    Javed A Khan

    The difference between unbiased people and biased people is that, we did not criticse Ahmed Shahzad at all until he had played at least 3 matches and had clearly failed. That is because we see the need to give everyone fair chances.

    But if it was Fawad Alam or anyone else, the criticism would start coming in right from the first match.

  107. #107 by khansahab on March 14, 2011 - 9:13 PM

    This Bangladesh crowd is roaring like their team is going to win the WC.

    Australia, watch out 🙂

  108. #108 by newguy on March 14, 2011 - 9:19 PM

    Javed Khan,

    I am confused when you keep saying it is certain for Pakistan to play India, it is almost certain that India will be only #2 in Group B and Pakistan will likely be #4 if they lose to Australia. SL if they win against NZ will be #2 and NZ with better run rate will be #3. Group B #2 will play Group A #3, and Group A #4 will play Group B #1. How will Pakistan meet India? If it goes as I said, then they won’t even meet in Semis, but only in finals. But I seriously doubt India’s ability to make it that far with Dhoni’s brain freezes and pathetic bowling and fielding. I doubt Pakistan reaching finals as well by overcoming first SA and then SL a second time in semis.

    We will know for sure in 1 week for sure, because by Sunday India would have played WI and that is the last match of the league.

  109. #109 by newguy on March 14, 2011 - 9:25 PM

    Khansahab,

    I am now curious to see Bangla-Dutch replay. Their shit bowlers did face Sehwag, remember to the tune of 175 runs, first ball of WC was hit for four, and the partisan crowd was stunned into silence that day. But they were vicious, when Sehwag inside edged to his body off his own bat and was in pain they were cheering. This is different from a homeside bowler hit an opposition batter with a bouncer, and the home crowd cheering that. This is pure mean spirited.

    I still don’t want them qualifying, if they do they will play Australia who will walk all over them, that guy Tait is so mean that he will give it to them in spades. But it will be a free pass for Australia into semis.

  110. #110 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 15, 2011 - 3:54 AM

    newguy,

    My assumption is Pakistan will be number 3 in their group i.e., after Australia, NZ and India will be number 2 in their group after SA. So, based on that I was saying that they will meet in the QFs anyways, NA GHORA DOOR NA MAIDAAN, let us see. I sincerely and honestly do not want an India Pakistan clash other than the final.

    Regarding Bangla crowd I have already written a lot and also about their pathetic commentators, Athar Ali Khan and Shamim Chowdhary so I don’t want to add any more right now. And, yes I remember when Sehwag was in pain they were happy.

  111. #111 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 15, 2011 - 3:58 AM

    PALLEKELE: Pakistan eased into the World Cup quarter-finals on Monday but captain Shahid Afridi was more concerned with victory over Australia on Saturday where they will target top spot in Group A.

    Pakistan, the 1992 champions, saw off Zimbabwe by seven wickets in a rain-shortened game to grab the fourth and final qualifying spot from the pool with eight points from five games.

    But they are keen to finish top and avoid a more tricky assignment in the last eight.

    A win over defending champions Australia in Colombo on Saturday will go a long way in helping that ambition.

    “We will definitely play well against Australia. It’s a match which we’ll take very seriously,” said Afridi, whose side are a point better off than the champions but who have played a game more.

    Man of the match Umar Gul, who took 3 for 36 on Monday, said his team had already started planning to face Australia.

    “We are looking forward to the game against Australia. We have done our homework, we will do our best,” said the seamer.

  112. #112 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 15, 2011 - 4:06 AM

    My views about WC matches in Kandy Sri Lanka or other locations were very straightforward from the beginning that they should NOT hold matches in such locations where you get a lot of rain. No matter how beautiful that venue may be and how much the crowd is eager to see cricket in action, they are not as many as TV viewers who are in billions and no one wants to see a match affected by rain. So, the ICC should take this point into consideration.

    Also, I would like to make another point and that is about keeping DAY AND NIGHT matches in countries where there is so much DEW at night or in the second session that the ball needs to be cleaned after every shot. The spin bowling becomes almost impotent in such conditions and this is not fair for cricket. World Cup cricket is a very BIG occasion and the ICC must take this point very seriously i.e., if they want to promote this game further. A point, after another point may appear very pushy but, the next WC must have HOTSPOT and snickometer technology.

  113. #113 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 15, 2011 - 8:30 AM

    I want to see the following Pakistani team against Australia and, in this batting order:

    1. Mohammad Hafeez
    2. Kamran Akmal
    3. Asad Shafiq
    4. Younus Khan
    5. Misbah ul Haq
    6. Umar Akmal
    7. Abdul Razzaq
    8. Shahid Afridi
    9. Abdur Rahman
    10. Umar Gul
    11. Wahab Riaz.

    The reason I am placing Afridi below Abdul Razzaq is the later needs time to settle before playing big shots. Whereas, Afridi comes and starts hitting from the first ball, so even if he comes at number 8 it doesn’t make any difference to his batting. Or, he should open the innings to make use of the power play and unleash his batting prowess against the likes of Shaun Tait, Mitchel Johnson and Brett Lee. The best way to deal with Australia is to attack them.

    Similarly, in bowling they should use the same modus operendi as they did against Zimbabwe. Attack from the first ball, keep minimum 2 slips, gully, point and make the Aussies feel that they are being attacked.

  114. #114 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 15, 2011 - 8:38 AM

    Second thought

    To lessen the burden from Kamran Akmal the opener can be changed in case Pakistan is batting second, because if he opens the innings after wicketkeeping for 50 overs it is not an easy job for him or for anyone. If his concentration lapses and if he drops a catch then his confidence will be shattered. Therefore, if Pakistan wins the toss and elects to bat then, Kamran should open.

    Against Australia, ideally i would like to see Shahid Afridi opens the innings with Hafeez or anyone because, it is a gamble and if it works out, Pakistan can easily win the match. Beating Australia means a lot to them because the side is not only unbeaten in this world cup but in the previous world cups too. So, not only their morale would be high but, other teams would be afraid of facing them in the QF’s and Semis.

  115. #115 by Mohammed Munir on March 15, 2011 - 9:20 AM

    Pakistan won and finally confirmed their place in the Quarter Finals.

    On paper, we won 4 out of 5 games so far which seem promising, but in reality 3 out of those 4 wins were against minnow teams.

    Pakistan have a high tendency of aligning their performance inline with the opponents. They played Zimbabwe as if the two totally equal teams were playing a well-fought contest, which hardly Pakistan won in the 35th over of a 38 over match which mean just 3 overs within the deadline. It’s performances like these that in spite of being second on their pool’s table, Pakistan is having a NRR of less then half of fourth placed team.

    The fact is that Pakistan is very lucky to have won their game against Zimbabwe, who blundered in selecting to bat first after wining a very crucial toss. Had Pakistan been put to bat first by the Zimbabwean captain yesterday, chances were that today we could have been blaming Misbah, Ahmed Shehzad, and others for our defeat and probable ouster from World Cup.

    It was an overcast in ‘Peelay-Kailay’ ground, and the game was interrupted several times before it was reduced to 38 overs. Had Pakistan played first and since they are known for slow starts and in case Zimbabwe was given a similar target of getting 162 in 38 overs, then I am sure Zimbabwe would have won it.

    But as they say, all is well that ends in ‘the’ well. 😉

    On Ahmed Shehzad …

    Other then his powerful Punjabi-factor and his origin from Lahore (supposedly, Head-office of Pakistan Cricket) there is absolutely nothing that warrant is inclusion in the team after repeated and utter failures and that too at the most important, World Cup stage.

    If Pakistan is even 10% serious about winning this World Cup and this guy Shehzad needs to be kicked-out of the team period.

    On Asad Shafiq …

    Although, he started very slow and cautiously but in the end played well and cemented his position for the remainder of the games. Now it depends on team management whether they remove Ahmed Shezad or keep Umer Akmal out for the remaining games, but one way or another they MUST include Asad Shafiq in under all circumstances and for all remaining games.

    In fact it is already bad on part of team management to keep Asad out for so long on this tournament.

  116. #116 by Mohammed Munir on March 15, 2011 - 11:27 AM

    In preparation for their important game against Australia, the Pakistan players and team management should get a lesson or two from Kenya who played excellently against the Aussies. 😉

  117. #117 by Mohammed Munir on March 15, 2011 - 11:41 AM

    Bangladesh …

    Bangladesh is fast becoming everybody’s non-favorite, rather hated, cricket team around. 😦

    What’s more unfortunate to note is that generally the underdogs and new-entrants are encouraged and supported by many neautral cricket fans the world-over, but with Bangladesh this case is opposite.

    The total discredit for this ill-achievement seems to be lying not only with their rude and rowdy fans, but also with their foul-mouthed, ill-mannered and uncouth players who are mainly responcible for carrying the image of their own country.

  118. #118 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 15, 2011 - 1:44 PM

    Munir

    Other than the crowd behaviour which is very partisan, the BD team members have demonstrated sheer arrogance and uncouthness in their games it appeared that a Sreesanth XI is playing and not BD team. To top it up, when the WI crushed them for only 58 runs, their bus was targeted and stoned by their fans. I am not comparing the SL team attack by the terrorists which is absolutely another matter. I have always condemned the terrorists acts wherever they may occur, but fans? You don’t expect this from the fans especially when you are holding a WC sort of event. There is a limit that you hate the opposition and, there could be fierce competition on the field but, the moment the game is over they have to show the sporting spirit and the gentle-manliness and forget about the on-field sledging and verbal abuse.

  119. #119 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 15, 2011 - 2:55 PM

    KARACHI: Pakistan’s captain Shahid Afridi said his team were happy to play their World Cup knockout stage matches in India despite earlier voicing concerns about security.

    “It does not matter to us where we play our quarter-final. The biggest issue for us was to qualify for the knockout stage and we have done that now,” Afridi said on a private TV channel.

    “We are ready to play our quarter-final at any venue now,” the experienced all-rounder said.

    The Pakistan skipper had kicked off a debate in Pakistan cricket circles earlier in the competition when he said that his team would like to avoid playing their knockout matches in India and preferred to remain in Sri Lanka.

    Afridi had reasoned that playing in India would bring more pressure on the players because of the tense relations between the two nuclear-armed nations.

    “That is a thing of the past. Right now we are just happy to make the quarter-final and if we remain in our confident mode then it does not matter where our quarter-final venue is,” Afridi said after an apparent change of view.

    BROKE OFF

    Pakistan’s former captain, Imran Khan had criticised Afridi for publicly airing his views on not wanting to play in India.

    “If I had been in his place I would have announced we are ready to take on India in India because there is more pressure and expectations on the Indian team,” Imran earlier told Reuters.

    India broke off bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan following the gun attacks on Mumbai in Nov. 2008 and since then has also not invited Pakistani players to play in the Indian Premier League.

    Pakistan’s last cricket tour to India was in late 2007 although they have met in International Cricket Council (ICC) competitions on neutral grounds.

    India will host one quarter-final, a semi-final and final of the World Cup.

    Afridi said his team had now come out of their bleak spot-fixing scandal period and was just focusing on the World Cup.

    “The off-the-field problems for us are over now and the mood is confident in the dressing room. We now just want to end our group with a win over Australia and we have the firepower to do that,” he said.

    Pakistan was to have co-hosted the World Cup with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh but it was withdrawn following a gun attack on the touring Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.

    Afridi’s men sealed their last eight place on Monday with a rain-affected win over Zimbabwe in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

  120. #120 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 15, 2011 - 3:01 PM

    newguy

    Could you please clarify this point for me, may be I have heard it wrongly or rightly but, I am a bit confused on the renovation issue of the Eden Gardens, Kolkata venue. The match between Ireland and SA is being played here at the moment and I heard from one of the commentators that after the renovation the seating capacity of the stadium has been reduced from 100,000 to only 60,000. Is that correct? Because, my general belief is whenever you make any changes it is always for better! May be they may have improved the dressing room facilities, the seating and toilet facilities for the spectators but, cutting down 40% of the seating capacity is a bit confusing for me, I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was 5-10% cut down but not 40%.

  121. #121 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 15, 2011 - 3:05 PM

    The match between SA and Ireland is almost one sided and I don’t have any interest in it, however I feel sorry for JP Duminy who was out on 99. The way he got out proved a point for many that he is not a selfish player. He was on 99 and on the 4th ball of the LAST over, he was out. He could have easily taken a single and completed his hundred but, he wanted to play big shots for his team to add a few more runs and in the process he skied the ball and got out. Well played JP, you are a great player, I have always liked your aggressive style of batting, fielding and your intelligent bowling.

  122. #122 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 15, 2011 - 3:08 PM

    Another 2.5 meters case, this time it is not Billy Bowden but Kumara Dharmasena, he stood by his decision that according to him the batsman was way down the crease despite the three red lights coming up on the screen, he decided it is NOT OUT.

    Reportedly the technology can predict up to 2.49 meters but, not 2.5 meters 😀

  123. #123 by newguy on March 15, 2011 - 3:39 PM

    Javed Khan,

    I too heard about the seating capacity of Eden Gardens reduced to 60,000 from 100,000. The only reason I can think of is that the same news also said the older concrete benches were replaced by bucket seats. Naturally when you have a bench it can seat more people as opposed to having individual seats that have some spacing in between. I would also think that other facilities were improved and this would have taken away some space. This is all what I am inferring from the news, I don’t have any more insight than you do.

    SA-Ireland match is ending up one sided.

    Starting Thu we would have four days of four important games culminating the league phase.

  124. #124 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 15, 2011 - 6:23 PM

    Yeah newguy;

    The matches that are good from now are:

    England v West Indies on March 17, 2011
    New Zealand v Sri Lanka on March 18, 2011
    Bangladesh v South Africa on March 19, 2011
    Australia v Pakistan also on March 19, 2011
    India v West Indies on March 20, 2011

    Although the Bangla / SA game is not important but, it is important to see them getting crushed. But, prior to that England have to beat West Indies. However it will be good and a cakewalk for Group A top team in case BD comes in to the QF.

  125. #125 by khansahab on March 15, 2011 - 9:24 PM

    Umar Akmal should be dropped if faking reports are true: Imran

    KARACHI: Former captain Imran Khan is not aware of the factual position of Umar Akmal’s alleged faking injury episode but said if it is true then the player should be dropped from the World Cup squad immediately and never be allowed to play for Pakistan again.

    Commenting on reports that Pakistani batsman Umar had faked a finger injury after reports that his brother wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal might be dropped for the game against Zimbabwe in the World Cup, Imran said he was not aware of the factual position.

    “But if these reports are true about any player faking an injury or showing attitude then the management and board must have no doubt on what needs to be done,” he said.

    Imran said that the success he tasted as captain including the 1992 World Cup win was based on one simple policy.

    “I had made it clear to every player, the selectors and the board that in my team there was no place for anyone who was not trying hard enough for the team or who wanted to play for himself and was a selfish player,” Imran recalled.

  126. #126 by khansahab on March 15, 2011 - 9:25 PM

    ‘Umar Gul as good as Dale Steyn’: Shahid Afridi

  127. #127 by khansahab on March 15, 2011 - 10:02 PM

    At the moment in Group A, Pakistan and NZ carry 8 points and SL carries 7 points.

    These teams have played 5 matches each.

    Australia have played 4 matches and tomorrow after they beat Canada, they will catapult to top of the table.

    If SL beats NZ on Friday then they will carry 9 points.

    If Australia beat Pakistan on Saturday they will carry 11 points.

    So if the above happens then Pakistan and NZ will both have 8 points each. In terms of Net Run Rate, it seems that Pakistan will only be able to secure the 3rd position if their match with Australia is a close one and at the same time, SL thrash NZ in a one-sided match.

    It is much more likely that SL will beat NZ and Australia will beat Pakistan which means Pakistan is most likely to finish at no 4.

    This means they are playing South Africa in the QF. Even if they manage the 3rd position they are playing India.

    This is regrettable as Pakistan could have played West Indies/England/Bangla, but again due to Kamran Akmal they lost that NZ match.

  128. #128 by khansahab on March 15, 2011 - 10:08 PM

    For Australia Pakistan must play the following line up:

    Hafeez
    Shafiq
    Razzaq
    Younis
    U Akmal (keeper)
    Shahzad
    Afridi
    Gul
    Ajmal
    Tired Butt
    Junaid Khan

    Tired Butt should be given one more chance ahead of Wahab Riaz.

    This XI does not have the match losers Akmal and Misbah.

  129. #129 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 16, 2011 - 3:03 AM

    There is more bad news for England and good news for Bangladesh as England skipper Andrew Strauss and Graeme Swann both doubtful for the next match against West Indies as they have been infested with JAMAL GOTTA. As it is England are on the verge of getting exited from the tournament, the last hope they have is to beat West Indies which looks very difficult without their key players.

  130. #130 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 16, 2011 - 6:41 AM

    khansahab

    Your playing XI is your dream team but, they will never play that combination.

    First of all, Misbah will never be dropped in any single match during the WC.
    Secondly, you are replacing the BAD Akmal with a FAKE Akmal. IMO, Umar’s career is very much under the scanner for faking an injury for the 2nd time. But, Kamran will stay till the end of the WC. If he performs well and Pakistan reaches to the final, he will be admonished but, not dropped.
    Wahab Riaz bowled much better than Akhtar so I don’t see why they would bring Akhtar back?
    Even if they bring back Akhtar they will not take Junaid Khan because Wahab bowled well.
    Also, they will not drop Abdur Rahman and take risk with Ajmal who is not in form.

  131. #131 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 16, 2011 - 6:48 AM

    khansahab

    The rumour you were talking about a clash of opinion between Afridi and Misbah is reportedly on the subject of sending Abdul Razzaq higher up the order but, neither Razzaq was keen to go nor, the senior players were willing to change the batting order. Afridi wanted to do something out of the box and when Razzaq was not willing to bat up the order, he decided to go and hit a few sixes and fours to release the pressure, but that didn’t happen. I was upset with his decision but, some people believe that he tried to play aggressive and took a bold decision which didn’t work out the way he wanted it. And, when he got out it was like a cliche – I told you so – but, Afridi should not be intimidated by these people he has to be aggressive IF the whole team wants to be defensive that is too bad for the team. You cannot win against Australia if you are defensive.

    In tha past using Umar Gul as an opening bowler was criticized by Wasim and Ramiz i.e., when he didn’t bowl well. Now, that he has bowled superbly their mouths are sealed but, the moment he will perform below par, they will pounce on Afridi for using Gul as an opening bowler by saying, he bowls well with the old ball, get reverse swing etc. etc. So, either way they will criticize Afridi, it is their agenda. In fact it is the main item on their agenda.

  132. #132 by khansahab on March 16, 2011 - 6:52 AM

    Kamran likely to open against Aussies

    COLOMBO: Pakistan are mulling over the option of playing Kamran Akmal as an opener in their key World Cup clash against Australia here on Saturday.

    Pakistan’s strategy for the eagerly-awaited game against Australia will be to play attacking cricket and Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan captain, believes that by promoting Kamran up the order he can strengthen Pakistan’s batting order.

    Afridi told ‘The News’ here on Tuesday that Kamran is expected to replace Ahmed Shehzad as the opener for the match against Australia.

    The 19-year-old Ahmed has flopped in all five of his World Cup outings and has just scored 44 at an average of less than nine.

    “Ahmed is a talented kid but he has not really learnt from his mistakes,” said Afridi. “We have been showing faith in his abilities but Ahmed has failed to give us a single good start and now we are thinking about going into the match against Australia with a new opening pair,” he said.

    “The best option we have is to promote Kamran as an opener. He has scored a lot of runs playing at that position and has the sort of experience we will need against a top class bowling side like Australia at the start of our innings,” stressed Afridi.

  133. #133 by Mohammed Munir on March 16, 2011 - 9:44 AM

    Canada is ‘Dhoing’ the Australia. 😉

    Canada won the toss and opted to bat. They are 65 for 1 in 8 overs. (Pakistan should really learn a lesson from Kenya & Canada).

    Go Canada Go … 😀

  134. #134 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 16, 2011 - 11:03 AM

    Munir

    This is exactly what I have been raving and ranting since a long time that the best way to deal with the Australians is to attack and the way Hiral Patel attacked Tait, Lee and Johnson was amazing, he hit SIXES and made Tait and Lee look ordinary bowlers. The Canadians have exposed the Aussies weakness and Pakistan should go out and attack them from the word go.

    If Canada wins this match, they will be creating HISTORY because Australia is unbeaten in the previous two world cups and even in this one. GO CANADA GO

  135. #135 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 16, 2011 - 11:07 AM

    Are the Australians tampering with the ball? There are chunks of leather hanging from the ball and Tait after being thrashed again is trying to reverse the ball. If this was Pakistan, the umpires would have inspected the ball and changed it.

  136. #136 by khansahab on March 16, 2011 - 7:51 PM

    When will Afridi learn to bat?

    By Wasim Akram

    Pakistan may have entered the quarterfinals of the World Cup, but the team’s weaknesses are surfacing every now and then. The big game against Australia in Colombo on March 19 will be Pakistan’s acid test before the knockout rounds begin on March 23.

    I am feeling a bit jittery because Pakistan ‘s victory against Zimbabwe may look emphatic on paper but according to me, it was far from convincing. Apart from Umar Gul’s clever bowling and Asad Shafiq’s application that helped him score his maiden World Cup fifty, Pakistan’s cricket was not what champions should be dishing out.

    One of the main areas of concern is Pakistan batting. Against Zimbabwe , Shahid Afridi’s decision to come up the order to finish off the game in “boom-boom” style badly backfired. Afridi’s penchant for big strokes right from the start has often let the team down. Since he is the captain, batting in a more responsible manner is a must. And in any case, he should not be batting ahead of Abdul Razzaq.

    Afridi surely is a bowling allrounder but his batting can be as good if wants to. After playing more than 300 ODIs, he can no longer afford to give the excuse that because of his natural aggression he is getting out cheaply. If Afridi hasn’t learnt to bat in 10 years, then I wonder when he will. But for Pakistan ‘s sake in this World Cup, let’s hope Afridi learns quickly!

    Pakistan ‘s top batsmen should be looking to play out the new ball bowlers. Let the bowlers earn your wicket rather than throwing it away. Pak batsmen were looking under some kind of pressure against Zimbabwe. The shot selection was poor. Mohammad Hafeez scored 49 runs but looked unconvincing.

    I have been saying before the World Cup that Kamran Akmal should be the regular opener while Mohammad Hafeez should be a floater. With Shafiq getting runs against Zimbabwe, I will not be surprised if Pakistan decide to drop Ajmal Shehzad in the match against Australia.

  137. #137 by khansahab on March 16, 2011 - 7:52 PM

    Wasim Akram is confusing England’s Ajmal Shahzad with Pakistan’s Ahmed Shahzad.

    Wasim, what an idiot!

  138. #138 by khansahab on March 16, 2011 - 7:56 PM

    LOL Mohammad Hafeez copies Tendulkar and look where that got him 🙂

    Learn from Tendulkar: Akram tells Pak openers

    KARACHI: Former captain Wasim Akram has called on the Pakistani openers to seek inspiration and learn from the exploits of Indian senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar.

    Wasim, who is in Sri Lanka commentating on the World Cup matches, also expressed his frustration over Pakistan’s performance against Zimbabwe on Monday.

    The former fast bowler called on openers, Muhammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shahzad to learn the art of batting and building an innings from Tendulkar.

  139. #139 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 16, 2011 - 8:34 PM

    khansahab

    Wasim Akram confuses Umar Gul with Umar Akmal too. What a shame he has no brains and he blabs like an idiot.

    During the Australia/Canada match when Canada were 120/2, Great Ian Chappel said, “These Kenyan batsmen are playing well.” He did not even bother to correct it later.

    So, khansahab are you going to watch the match on Saturday March 19th between Pakistan and Austria? 😀

  140. #140 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 16, 2011 - 8:38 PM

    I think Wasim Akram needs to seek inspiration from Ian Bishop, Nasir Hussain etc., to do commentary like them. He is such an idiot, the other day he said,

    INTELLIGENCE CAPTAINCY BY SHAHID AFRIDI

    Also he said: ” I am impress by Shahid Afridi observation about the pitch when he said, ‘there is moisture on the pitch.”

  141. #141 by khansahab on March 16, 2011 - 9:49 PM

    Javed A Khan

    Yes I am covering the match between Pakastan and Aastralia

  142. #142 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 17, 2011 - 2:35 AM

    khansahab

    It is AssTrailia and not Aastralia. 😀

    But, early morning we have England vs. West Indies, a lot depend on this match for Bangladesh. So, let us see what they will do without Strauss and Swann?

    Also, New Zealand would be without Vettori and Mills.

  143. #143 by Mohammed Munir on March 17, 2011 - 2:34 PM

    Shoaib Akhter Retires …

    This comment from Cricinfo says it all.

    Posted by ahmednaveed on (March 17 2011, 11:07 AM GMT)

    “Well done shoab , i realy like you , you are priceless like Imran Khan ,you played for country , not like wasim,salim malik ,Waqar younes , Amir ,asif and Butt who played for pennies .”

  144. #144 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 17, 2011 - 6:22 PM

    Munir

    The reason Shoaib Akhtar announced his retirement plans now is to play a couple of games more i.e., he might get a sympathy call to play before retirement. This WC is not a Charity Affair that he should be given one more chance to play just because the poor guy is retiring. NO WAY JOSE. These are all old tricks and the Pakistan team management should not get carried away and give him a chance to play against Australia or even in the QF. If they do, it will be a big mistake. Yes, the good thing about Akhtar is he did not play for money but for Pride. So, he should retain that pride by staying out of the game now rather than being thrashed again like Ross Taylor did to him. He probably thinks that he can come back with vengeance and play a heroes innings against Australia. Dreams are dreams and reality is reality.

  145. #145 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 17, 2011 - 6:29 PM

    England won against the WI ………what a team it is, they beat South Africa and West Indies but lost to Bangladesh and Ireland? If they qualify for the QF, other teams should watch England because ALL the matches they played went down to the wire. Once they are in the QF, they will be a different team. Watch out for England guys, all they need is to wait for the results of the other two matches. SA is likely to beat BD and India is likely to beat WI.

    The points table at the moment is:

    Group A
    Teams
    Australia 5 4 0 0 1 9
    New Zealand 5 4 1 0 0 8
    Pakistan 5 4 1 0 0 8
    Sri Lanka 5 3 1 0 1 7

    Group B
    Teams

    South Africa 5 4 1 0 0 8
    India 5 3 1 1 0 7
    England 6 3 1 7 0 7
    West Indies 5 3 2 0 0 6
    Bangladesh 5 3 2 0 0 6

    In Group A it is clear i.e., 4 teams that are qualifying or have already qualified BUT, in Group B. England, West Indies and Bangladesh still have to wait. The NRR is also another factor to decide the rankings for the QF

  146. #146 by khansahab on March 17, 2011 - 6:52 PM

    Afridi must not praise Shafiq anymore, because Zimbabwe is a weak side and Shafiq’s real test comes against Australia.

    It was necessary to include Shafiq to show Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shahzad that there is a replacement sitting on the bench, but Shafiq will have a mountain to climb against Australia.

    Shafiq will help ease Pak’s WC batting woes: Afridi

    Colombo, Mar 17(ANI): Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi believes that right-handed batsman Asad Shafiq will provide stability to the team’s top-order in the World Cup knockout stage.

    Shafiq had hit a timely 78 not out on his World Cup debut to shepherd Pakistan to a seven-wicket victory over Zimbabwe on Monday.

    “Shafiq has eased our batting headache. He has shown the sort of temperament you need at the top of your batting order and I’m sure that he will strengthen our side in big games,” the News quoted Afridi, as saying.

    Pakistan has not had a substantial contribution from the top order, with 28 against Sri Lanka their highest opening stand.

    The 31-year-old further said that his players are in good rhythm and will be impressive against defending champions Australia when the two sides meet in their Group A clash on Saturday.

    “It’s a big match for my boys because they know that by beating Australia, they will go into the knockout phase with a lot of confidence,” Afridi said

  147. #147 by Mohammed Munir on March 17, 2011 - 6:56 PM

    At present, Ashish Nehra is the third most talked about person in India.

    The first two are his mother and sister. 😉

  148. #148 by khansahab on March 17, 2011 - 10:00 PM

    Munir sahab

    You have mentioned about Akhtar never being involved in match fixing. This is perhaps not your personal opinion as you have copied and pasted a Cricinfo comment.

    I am not judging Akhtar’s integrity either way but bookies and crooks do not fix matches with fast bowlers who are overweight and who have such fitness problems that there is no guarantee whether they will play even one match in a tournament or series or whatever.

    People can place bets on whether Shoaib would be fit or not to play, but they certainly can’t bet on how he will play when there is a massive question mark over his inclusion.

  149. #149 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 17, 2011 - 10:01 PM

    Munir

    You are forgetting about his wife. 😀

  150. #150 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 17, 2011 - 10:03 PM

    khansahab

    You are right about Afridi that he should not be praising Asad Shafiq so much and, I also agree with you that his real test comes against Australia. And, it is about time that Afridi scores a 50+ against Australia and in the QF too.

  151. #151 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 17, 2011 - 10:03 PM

    khansahab

    You are right about Afridi that he should not be praising Asad Shafiq so much and, I also agree with you that his real test comes against Australia. And, it is about time that Afridi scores a 50+ against Australia and in the QF too.

  152. #152 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 17, 2011 - 10:09 PM

    I think Sri Lanka will beat New Zealand for sure, Vittori and Mills are not playing. Sri Lanka played only one bad match and that is against Pakistan even that, they came close to winning because of Pakistan’s poor fielding/stumping/bowling. In any case that match would be interesting.

    Ross Taylor will be out cheaply and even if he survives for 20-30 runs he won’t be able to hit so many sixes. Against Pakistan it was a freak thing and against Kenya, well any player got have clubbed their bowlers and it just happened to be Ross Taylor. But, the Sri Lankan bowlers will not allow him to score that freely.

  153. #153 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 17, 2011 - 10:13 PM

    Interesting names of cricket players in the WI

    Roach
    Bichoo

    Not only them but, Pakistan has Ijaz BUTT and Salman BUTT.

    Sri Lanka has
    “Koola-Sake-ra” There is one SL guy in Canada team “Guna-Sake-ra”
    KapuraGurda etc. etc…………………………… all these are for Munir

  154. #154 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 17, 2011 - 10:21 PM

    I am frustrated at team’s approach: Wasim Akram

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/16/i-am-frustrated-at-teams-approach-wasim.html

    Wasim we all know you are the most frustrated Pakistani cricket player, your life is full of misery, other than bowling you are nothing. So, keep your mouth shut

  155. #155 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 17, 2011 - 10:26 PM

    WTF? Why are these stupid players give such negative and discouraging statements in the press? Especially during the middle of the tournament, when the team has qualified for QF’s and these idiots keep blabbering against the team’s performance. In the previous 2 World Cups Pakistan did not make to the semifinal or the second round. Why wasn’t Wasim Akram frustrated then?

    If Wasim Chakram and Ramiz Raja Phutta Baja, have to say something to the players, they should approach them personally or in the dressing room and talk to them rather than blabbering during the commentary or giving statements to the media. That they can’t because, they are so arrogant and self-centered and they have an ego problem.

  156. #156 by newguy on March 18, 2011 - 12:00 AM

    I watched the England-WI game from almost start to end, as this was an important game and I did not want to miss England play their last game since all their games were thrilling win or lose. What a game it turned out to be in the end. Both teams were equally inept in the field. But England held their nerves better.

    I thought at one point when WI got down to 40 runs then it is gone, even England players body language were showing so much. But then the spinners, Tredwell and Swann produced what was needed. Goes on to show the importance of good spinners in this tournament.

    I did not want England losing out today, as much as I did not want Bangladesh going through with the help of WI. Banglaeshis must have been heartbroken and at one point they must have been jumping with joy as WI looked to win. But they should defeat SA if they want to qualify for QF, no easy pass for them, that should be how it is. They will not win against SA. It is bye bye to their dreams.

    It is good Bangladesh is out because that means England will likely play Australia and that will be a great match up.

    India could have qualified also if WI won, but I want India to beat WI and qualify, not squeeze through. R Ashwin must play in the next game in place of Nehra who should not be in the team anymore. Ideally Sreesanth should also come in place of Munaf, and Raina in place of YKP.

  157. #157 by newguy on March 18, 2011 - 12:03 AM

    Afridi is getting positive response from Indian crowd for the comment he made about playing in India. He said he enjoy playing in India and have no fear. I believe Afridi is one Pakistani cricketer who is loved by large sections of Indian crowd, for he has never been any controversies and have not been uncouth behavior on and off the field ever. Even when he had a spat with Gambhir sometime back, he acted with dignity and it was Gambhir who started it. Afridi also has behaved really cool when interviewed by Indian media, never praising anyone too much, or never putting anyone down. This is the right behavior.

  158. #158 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 18, 2011 - 12:51 AM

    Comment #156. “It is good Bangladesh is out because that means England will likely play Australia and that will be a great match up.”

    newguy

    From your statement it is very obvious that you are placing Australia at the top of the table to play England?

    1. Isn’t it possible that Pakistan can beat Australia? Then they will have only 8 points and Pakistan will have 10 points.
    2. Scattered Thunderstorm is expected on Saturday at the Premadasa, so it is likely that the match will not be played, that is too bad for cricket and Pakistan will have 9 points and Australia too will have 9 points.
    3. If New Zealand wins against Sri Lanka then NZ will have 10 points and SL will remain at the bottom.
    4. If SL wins against NZ which is very likely then SL will also have 9 points. Between SL, PK, Aus, the table position will depend on NRR.

    Therefore, IF Pakistan wants to be at the top they have to beat Australia and they will play against England. But, England after today’s win will have a lot of determination and high morale and they are a dangerous side to beat and Pakistan has a history of losing against England.

    The important question is where Pakistan would be playing their QF, Mirpur, Ahmadabad or Colombo? They have always played well at Ahmadabad and won.

    So, let us see what happens in the next 3-4 crucial matches before the QF’s.

    PS

    I understand your point of view about the old rivals, England vs Australia and they always fight hard to win against each other.

  159. #159 by newguy on March 18, 2011 - 2:03 AM

    JAK,

    I put Australia in top with the assumption that they will win against Pakistan. It is possible for Pakistan to beat them, of course, anyone could beat anyone, but I am simply placing the odds in favor of Australia. But then as you said if rain complicates things then we have to see NRR.

    As for who is playing who in KO stage, my view is that if a team really believe they have it in them to win cup, they should face off against anyone anywhere and pull it off. All of the previous WC winners defeated tough opponents in difficult circumstance, and I think this WC will be no different.

    1987 Australia defeated Pakistan in Semi and England in final. Both teams were stronger on paper and more fancied.

    1992 Pakistan defeated NZ in semis and England in final, both teams were more fancied and had superior form during the tournament.

    1996 SL defeated India in semis and Australia in final, both teams were more fancied.

    1999 – 2007 on wards was one way street for Australia, but they defeated anyone who came on their way.

    I want the WC winning team to overcome all odds and win against any opponent.

  160. #160 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 18, 2011 - 4:20 AM

    Today’s first match is between Netherlands and Ireland and I will watch it on TV for a while, Ireland after winning the toss elected to field and gotten Netherlands early they are 12/2 in three overs.

    I hope I get up on time for the NZ and SL match.

    newguy

    I wrote in the post script that I understand the point and you are right about Australia being the favourites have more chances to win. I hope the match is not ruined by rain. The forecast suggests scattered thundershowers and that will be too bad.

  161. #161 by newguy on March 18, 2011 - 3:13 PM

    Murali is eating up NZ after Sangakkara hit a ton. SL will win this match and go up in Group A. Everything now depends on Aus-Pak match tomorrow to determine final rankings in Group A. That should be cracker of a match if Pakistan can show up.

  162. #162 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 18, 2011 - 3:21 PM

    It is like a cliche about what I wrote regarding Ross Taylor, I was so convinced that he will not perform against Sri Lanka like he did in the past 2 matches and my prediction (see above I have highlighted that whole paragraph) was he would make 30 odd runs. He is OUT on 33 by the Sri Lankan magician Murali Wala, he is destroying the NZ batting line up.

    Sri Lankan luck changed when Sangakara dived to reach his crease just on time when he was on zero, Guptil’s throw as direct on the stumps and several television reviews confirmed that he barely made it on time. Had Sanagakara been out then, Sri Lanka may not have scored more than 150 runs.

  163. #163 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 18, 2011 - 3:25 PM

    newguy

    Did you read my predictions about Ross Taylor? Murali got his 3rd wicket now. He is like you’ve said, “eating up NZ” 😀

    Ricky Ponting said, he is worried about Pakistan match because of their unpredictability.

  164. #164 by khansahab on March 18, 2011 - 6:53 PM

    Moin Khan finds Akhtar’s sudden retirement suspicious

    Former captain Pakistan cricket team Moin Khan says that he was surprised to hear about Shoaib Akhtar’s “sudden” retirement.

    “I fear there is something wrong in team, this is not a professional way to announce retirement when you’re playing a tournament like World Cup,” Moin told Geo News.

    Moin said that if Shoaib had made his mind to announce retirement, then he should have said before team’s departure to Sri Lanka.

    “The way things are unfolding, statements against him, news about his spats with team members, and the news that he was fined for some mishap ….. these all updates are raising doubts,” Moin said.

    “It is suspicious that two days back Shoaib was raring, performing and looked fit then suddenly he comes and says, I want to quit … I don’t think that All is so well, there is something fishy,” he said.

    He blamed team management for what he believed complete breach of disciplinary code.

    “Intekhab Alam shouldn’t have allowed him to go and talk to the press for his announcement in middle of the tournament, and even if he had allowed him then he should have himself seated with Shoaib at press conference.”

    “But, what I hear from press … Intekhab Alam wasn’t there with Shoaib Akhtar and it gives impression that all is not well,” he added.

    Moin, however, had all praise for Shoaib Akhtar.

    “I always preferred to have him in my team when I was captain, his pace was enough to force opponents to go on back foot.”

    “I’ve seen fear in batsmen eyes when they played Shoaib Akhtar …. he’s a match winner for Pakistan but unfortunately he was mishandled in past,” the former captain said.

    And the former captain was not sure if any one from current available lot of bowlers can replace Akhtar.

    “I don’t think that there is any bowler who can be a terror for opponent batsmen, Umar Gul is good … but not as Shoaib was,” he concluded.

  165. #165 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 18, 2011 - 6:59 PM

    “We’ve made some plans against them and you will see tomorrow in the game we will do something new.”
    Shahid Afridi

    Reading an Akhroat mind by an Akhroat is easy. 😀 I think he will play himself as an opener or give Abdul Razzaq a chance to open or go at number 3.

    He will not play Shoaib Akhtar because he knows that if that decision backfires, he will be under the line of fire. He will use Wahab Riaz instead and this a better decision. Dosti and Seniority Apni Jaga, bowling form and need of the hour is another matter. Shoaib Akhtar has exhausted, he is a spent force and it is too obvious for anyone to notice and he is not needed in the team. Getting sympathetic towards him or giving him a heroes farewell is not a prudent decision. In fact a more professional decision is needed whether it works or not is another matter. And, the professional decision is to give Wahab Riaz preference over Shoaib Akhtar.

    If Pakistan beats Australia without Shoaib, even he would know that the team management will not disturb the winning combination.
    Therefore, paying attention to Shoaib’s retirement call is nothing but emotional and unprofessional decision. I advise Afridi, Waqar, Aaqib and Intekhab not to consider him for tomorrow’s game against Australia.

  166. #166 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 18, 2011 - 7:09 PM

    khansahab

    That statement by Moin Khan is rubbish, he can talk about a spat in the team because he always have one at home. He keeps getting drunk and spank his wife, so he hardly remember what he said and what he wants to say? He may be right in saying Shoaib WAS a terror but, he is not anymore.

    Shoaib was dropped because of his pathetic bowling against New Zealand which cost the match. It was he who came to complete his last spell and started with a full toss wide ball which Taylor slashed it over point for a four and Shoaib was expecting the fielder to fly in the air to catch it, he made faces and then the second ball was also a full toss on the leg side which Taylor pulled it over square leg for a six. And, that over saw quite a few sixes and fours and he gave away 28 runs. That was the turning point. Abdul Razzaq came in to bowl the next over and he was spraying short and wide and got spanked by Taylor for 30 runs in that over. The game slipped away from Pakistan’s lap in just two overs. They gave away 58 runs in 2 overs. IS SHOAIB STILL GREAT?

    IMO, Shoaib deliberately announced his retirement now because he wants sympathy and a game to restore his lost pride, that should not be allowed. Read my previous comment on who to play and why?

  167. #167 by khansahab on March 18, 2011 - 11:19 PM

    new thread

  168. #168 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 21, 2011 - 4:29 PM

    “bookies and crooks do not fix matches with fast bowlers who are overweight” Munir.

    Munir, have you forgotten that the “Father of all the spot fixing, match fixing and betting” is Wasim Akram, was he not a fast bowler? Don’t you remember that, in the 1996 quarterfinals against India in Bangalore, 10 minutes before the start of the match he declared himself? Reportedly, he took 1 crore and 40 lac rupees or 14million rupees from the bookies and Pakistan lost that match because, the team was highly dependent on him and the morale suddenly went down.

    Inzamam wasn’t overweight? Moulvi Mushtaq is not over weight for his height? Both of them were reportedly involved in the 1999 or 2003 WC, because their names were in the Justice Qayyum list and they were penalized, weren’t they? Now, both are Mullahs and Inzamam is ImamZamam. So, as far as I can see there is no fixed criteria for bookies. They see who is more susceptible and who is not.

    As regards Shoaib Akhtar, he was and is famous for other reasons but, I don’t remember his name being mentioned among those who get involved in spot fixing and match fixing.

  169. #169 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 21, 2011 - 6:26 PM

    newguy

    Pakistan has shot the Australian dream and it is the job of India to hit the last nail on the coffin of that dream so that we can send it back safely to Sydney Australia.

    To achieve this, Dhoni should first change his attitude, one of the good signs in the previous match against WI is, he has bent down a little and got Ashwin in the team. He should do it a little more and get Sreesanth but, Sree needs to be advised very firmly that he uses his monkey brain to the minimum and not get excited.

    Sehwag will be back, it will be good to see him fit and fresh. Also, it was good in a way that Tendulkar got out cheaply against West Indies, because he was scoring bulk of the runs and it is not possible for anyone to continue scoring centuries after centuries (although no one has ever achieved his record and none looks to achieve it in the near future) so, in this next match he will not be out cheaply i.e., my assumption and also based on the law of averages. Yuvraj played well and made a century, it is not likely that he will repeat it against Australia. But, for sure it is Dhoni’s turn to score big. He has remained not out in single digits and under 20 and this time he got time and opportunity and he only scored 22. So, Dhoni needs to buckle up and get going.

  170. #170 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 21, 2011 - 6:35 PM

    IMO STATS DON’T MATTER.


    India has played 15 ODI matches against Australia at home and won 6 and lost 9.

    In the World Cups, India has played against Australia nine times and lost seven times.

    India must remember that this the weakest Australian side since 1999 and they can beat them. The middle order should not crumble like a cookie, they must play for the country and not for the crowd. The leader of the middle order is the skipper himself. So, don’t eat your words Dhoni, score runs.

  171. #171 by JAVED A. KHAN on March 21, 2011 - 6:47 PM

    RICKY PONTING ON SHOAIB AKHTAR

    “I had some great duels with Shoaib over the years,” Ponting said. “To this day, I’ve always said he’s the fastest bowler that I’ve ever faced in international cricket. There’s one spell that everyone can watch on the internet of him bowling to me at the WACA. That was reasonably entertaining – more so for Justin Langer, who was at the other end laughing at me all the time when I was trying to keep Shoaib’s deliveries out. ”

    I have tried to find that video on the internet from various sites but, they ALL say this video has been removed……………… CAN ANYONE PLEASE FIND IT AND PUT IT HERE FOR US TO VIEW? THANKS

  172. #172 by Angus on January 30, 2013 - 9:56 AM

    Hi, Javed. I saw your comments on The Guardian – you live but a few miles from our ground – one of the most stunning in North America – We’re a social club with all ages, levels, backgrounds and nationalities – the largest club in Quebec, the fastest growing in North America, and most multi-cultural in the world. Please get in touch through the site. Thanks! Do you play in Montreal? If not, we’d love to welcome you.

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