Thursday, 20 December 2012

Just relax, enjoy your game: Inzamam-ul-Haq to Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi has been advised to 'just relax and enjoy his game' by the newly-appointed batting consultant Inzamam-ul-Haq who wants the flamboyant allrounder to stop thinking about any outside pressures concerning his current form.
"Inzi bhai [Inzamam] told me to stop thinking about any outside pressures and just relax and enjoy the game, especially my batting. When he first came to the camp, I thought he would be telling me about the technique and batting but he didn't say anything regarding that," Afridi said. 

PCB awaits tickets promissed by BCCI for series in India

The Pakistan Cricket Board is still awaiting the 3000 tickets promised to it by the BCCI for the much-anticipated Twenty20 and ODI series in India later this month. A PCB source told PTI that although a long list of requests had been received by the three travel agencies designated to handle the requests from Pakistanis wishing to travel to India for the matches, none had been processed due to non availability of tickets.
"The process outlined by the Indian High Commission is clear, the special visas will only be processed and issued if the applicants apply with tickets for the venues they want to travel to," the source disclosed. "The problem facing the PCB and the travel agencies is that since they haven't got the tickets as yet from the BCCI, they can't process any of the requests." 

Thumb injury rules Tim Southee out of South Africa tour

Fast bowler Tim Southee has been ruled out of New Zealand's tour of South Africa due to a thumb injury which is expected to keep him off the field for up to two months, the country's cricket board said on Thursday.
Southee, who was the most impressive bowler for New Zealand during their drawn Test series in Sri Lanka, suffered the injury while diving in the field during a domestic match. 
"Tim Southee has unfortunately been ruled out of the Test series against South Africa," a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) statement quoted physiotherapist Paul Close as saying ahead of Friday's opening Twenty20 game in Durban.

Eoin Morgan excited to captain England in T20s

England's stand-in Twenty20 skipper Eoin Morgan on Wednesday said that his team will carry the confidence of 2-1 Test series victory over India into the two-match T20 series, commencing at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here on Thursday.
"As you have seen in the past when the Test side has done well it has a knock-on effect. We certainly will take the confidence from the Test victory and look to win the next two games," said Morgan. 
The 26-year-old middle order batsman got the opportunity to lead the side after regular captain Stuart Broard, who was also a part of the Test squad, suffered a heel injury and flew home at the end of the rubber.

Darren Sammy gives thumbs-up to Caribbean T20 League

West Indies captain Darren Sammy has embraced the multi-million dollar Caribbean T20 Premier League (CPL), terming its emergence as a "special time," in the regional game.
The CPL, which will replace the current Caribbean Twenty20, was officially launched in Barbados on Monday. It will be bankrolled by Barbados-based merchant bank Verus International and will comprise six privately-owned franchises throughout the Caribbean. "This is a special time in West Indies cricket as we launch what promises to be one of the best tournaments on the cricket calendar," said Sammy on Wednesday.

Future of Indian fast bowling is bleak: Wasim Akram

As Indian pacers failed to make an impression against England, former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram says the future of Indian bowling looks "bleak" and it's time that the new faces get a chance in the team.
Apart from Pragyan Ojha (20 wickets) and Ravichandran Ashwin (12), no Indian bowler bagged more than five wickets in the series, which India lost 1-2. "To be very honest, the future of Indian bowling looks bleak. Zaheer Khan looked average in the three Tests and then got dropped. Ishant Sharma was okay in patches but after five years at the international level you have to be more consistent. I am afraid he is going the Mohammad Sami way - a wasted talent. Umesh Yadav seems to be injury prone and the selectors don't pick Varun Aaron," Akram told 

Tom Moody to coach new IPL team Sunrisers

The IPL's Hyderabad franchise, now called the Sunrisers, have appointed former Australian allrounder Tom Moody as the team's new coach, along with former India players Kris Srikkanth and VVS Laxman as mentors.
The new owners, Sun TV Network, officially renamed Deccan Chargers as Sunrisers on Thursday and also unveiled the new logo of the team, which is depicting an eagle soaring high and looking at the rising sun. "I am happy and excited about being the mentor and probably the strategic analyst for the team. We have people like Tom Moody, VVS Laxman, Dale Steyn and Sangakkara. With the grace of sun god, we hope to shine brighter. We are confident of making a big impact," Srikkanth said.
Sun Group took over the cash-strapped Hyderabad franchise earlier this year for a whopping Rs 425.2 crore after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) terminated the contract of the Deccan Chargers.

'Alistair Cook's captaincy can help England springboard back to top of Test rankings,' says Michael Vaughan

Former England cricketer Michael Vaughan believes under Alistair Cook's captaincy, England can springboard back to the top of Test rankings.
In his column in the Sydney Morning Herald, Vaughan says in India, Cook has laid a foundation of what he expects
from the team and also has well-managed the Kevin Pietersen situation very well, all of which can help the Three
Lions catch up with South Africa, eventually.
"He has done that by leading from the front - and not just with his bat. He has shown the way you approach Test
cricket in terms of commitment, toughness and hard work. You can tell he wants his team to express themselves but
only at the right time," he says.

Tampering happened during Aus-Pak series in UAE, claims Pak legend Waqar Younis

Pakistan cricketing legend Waqar Younis has added fuel to the ball-tampering controversy involving Australian paceman Peter Siddle by insisting it was still rife in the game.

Waqar said he recently completed a commentary role in Abu Dhabi where Australia played and "it was happening then", reports The Nation.

The first bowler banned for ball-tampering, Waqar had not seen the drama unfold in Hobart on Tuesday. But he was hardly surprised when told of the accusations being hurled by the Sri Lankans at Australian quick, the paper said.

Pat Howard urges Aussie Test players to avoid Big Bash League

While tension is mounting between Cricket Australia and its Big Bash franchises over availability of the best players, high performance chief Pat Howard made no apology in insisting that Test cricket should be the overwhelming priority.

Emphasis on player welfare has become paramount with a spate of injuries, which has Howard readily admitting the situation is not good enough.

Shane Warne tips Jackson Bird for Test debut on Boxing Day

Legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne has tipped Jackson Bird over making his Test debut on Boxing Day because he reckons Australia won't risk bowling two erratic left-armers.

Bird was called into the squad to replace the injured Ben Hilfenhaus, but many thought he would carry the drinks against Sri Lanka.

Every Pak player needs to perform during India series, says Misbahul Haq

Pakistan's limited-overs captain Misbahul Haq has called for an all-round show from his side in the One-Day International series against India, knowing that the opponents will be geared up for a fightback following the humiliation against England in the recent Test series.

"India will try to give a better performance to cover their defeat against England and, with that in mind, we have to work very hard," The Express Tribune quoted Misbah, as saying.

Mark Waugh says 'out-of-form' Watson 'not the same batsman he was six months ago'

Former Test star Mark Waugh has claimed Australian cricketer Shane Watson is 'not the same anymore' with his hopelessly out of form cricketing skills, as pressure builds on captain Michael Clarke to leapfrog the allrounder in Australia's newly-constructed batting order.

Installed as Ricky Ponting's successor in the crucial No.4 slot, Watson's batting struggles are reaching worrying levels after he suffered twin failures of 30 and 5 in Australia's first-Test defeat of Sri Lanka in Hobart.

West Indies, Pakistan to split Caribbean tour

Pakistan's tour of the West Indies in 2013 is likely to be split because of scheduling issues.
The two teams were to play two Tests, five One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s in June and July but the tour will now clash with a Tri-Nations tournament involving the West Indies, India and Sri Lanka. reports CMC.
As a result, the West Indies will host Pakistan in the limited overs series this year, with the Test phase expected to be deferred until next year.

Eoin Morgan hopes 'feel-good factor' from Test success in India will rub-off in T20 series

English cricketer Eoin Morgan is hoping that a 'feel good factor' for England from their Test victory over India would help them to repeat history in the T20 series.

The Irishman, who led the England one-day side for a one-off match in his native Dublin 18 months ago, hopes that these two matches will be the first step on the road back to Test cricket ahead of next summer's Ashes.

Geoff Lawson demands 'legalisation' of 'ball tampering' in cricket

Former Test paceman Geoff Lawson has said 'ball-tampering' laws should be relaxed to allow bowlers to pick the seam and redress the growing imbalance between bat and ball.

The former Pakistan coach said he saw nothing untoward in the footage examined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after Sri Lanka's informal complaint about Peter Siddle during the Hobart Test, but believes the relevant law governing changing the condition of the ball has failed to keep pace with the quantum leaps made in bat technology.

'England's top T20 guns failing to clinch IPL deals due to involvement with national side,' says MS Dhoni

England's top T20 players are struggling to win IPL contracts due to their involvement with the national side, Indian skipper MS Dhoni has said.

Dhoni says that the Three Lions' players would have to put in a display worthy of Kevin Pietersen, if they want to be snapped up by an IPL franchise.