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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Misbah-ul-Huq blames lack of Test cricket, different conditions for whitewash by Proteas

Pakistani captain Misbah-ul-Huq has blamed the lack of Test cricket played by his team and their inexperience in settling in different conditions responsible for the 3-0 Test series whitewash by South Africa.

Former Pakistan captains call for team revamp after Proteas whitewash

Former captains have stressed the need for a total revamp of the failing system of Pakistani cricket and urged for more focus on Tests after the team's humiliating 3-0 defeat by South Africa.

India takes 1-0 lead against Australia with eight-wicket win in Chennai Test

India defeated Australia by eight wickets on the fifth and final day of the first Test that was played at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Michael Clarke's presence in the middle had a calming influence: Henriques

Australia's Moises Henriques on Friday said that his skipper Michael Clarke's presence in the middle had a calming influence on the debutant, who signalled his arrival on the big stage with a crucial half-century on the opening day of the first Test against India here.

Test cricket will 'die' after Sachin Tendulkar's retirement: Arjuna Ranatunga

Sri Lanka's World Cup-winning former captain Arjuna Ranatunga feels Test cricket would "die" if players like Sachin Tendulkar call it quits.

Sri Lanka public don't like juniors playing IPL: Jayasuriy

Former Sri Lanka captain and present chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya feels that it will be better if junior Sri Lankan players are kept away from IPL although it remains an "individual decision".

MS Dhoni doesn't back out-of-form players: VVS Laxman

Former India batsman VVS Laxman on Saturday criticized India captain MS Dhoni for keeping aloof from struggling players when they need him most. Laxman, who is part of the Star Cricket commentary team for the first Test against Australia here, gave the example of Harbhajan Singh who he thinks needs plenty of encouragement considering that the offspinner, playing his 100th Test, is going through a lean patch.

Ricky Ponting to captain Mumbai Indians in IPL 6

Ricky Ponting has been named captain of Mumbai Indians for the six edition of the Indian Premier League, the franchise said in a statement on Thursday.

Don't put pressure on me: Shahid Afridi to selectors

Karachi: Flamboyant all rounder Shahid Afridi on Saturday asked national selectors to not put pressure on him by making unsolicited statements and also made it clear that the decision to quit the game remains his prerogative. After recalling Afridi in the One-day squad for the series against South Africa, chief selector Iqbal Qasim had said the all rounder will have to justify his selection by putting up a good show.

Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo lead Windies to Zimbabwe rout

Johnson Charles blazed a second consecutive century and Darren Bravo made a maiden limited overs ton as the West Indies routed Zimbabwe by 156 runs to win the first one-day international on Friday.

Dean Jones says world of cricket massively benefited from 'powerbroker' BCCI

Former Australian batsman Dean Jones has claimed world of cricket has massively benefited from the influence of game's major powerhouse Board of Cricket Control (BCCI).

England thrash New Zealand, win series

Devastating bowling from Steven Finn and a solid top-order batting display gave England a five wicket win over New Zealand in the deciding one-day international at Eden Park on Saturday to claim the series 2-1.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Pakistan give final chance to former captain Shahid Afridi

Karachi: Pakistan have given former captain Shahid Afridi a final opportunity in international cricket by including him in their team for one-day series in South Africa next month.

Ricky Ponting joins Surrey on two-month contract

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting on Thursday agreed a deal to play for English side Surrey for two months of this year's county season.

Ross Taylor more relaxed after Napier century

New Zealand's Ross Taylor has admitted the century he scored in Wednesday's defeat to England has eased the pressure on him as he makes his way back into the side following a self-imposed break.

Jonathan Trott stunned by young Root's sensational temperament

England batsman Jonathan Trott has said it took him a while to overcome the mental pressures of the international game, and he lauded rookie Joe Root's exceptional temperament at such a young age.

Martin Guptill ruled out of remaining England series with thumb injury

New Zealand cricketer Martin Guptill has been dropped out of the remainder of England's tour of the country after it was revealed that he required a thumb surgery.

Michael Clarke's unbeaten century rescues Oz on day one of Chennai Test

 Captain Michael Clarke scored a magnificent century to rescue Australia from a struggling position after Ravichandran Ashwin snared all six top-order batsmen to leave the visitors reeling at 153/5 at one stage of the day one of the Chennai Test against India.

Zimbabwe win toss and field against West Indies

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor won the toss and elected to field against West Indies in the first one day international at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada on Friday.

Pak vs SA: Hashim Amla misses century as Pakistan fight back

Hashim Amla was denied a century but helped South Africa to 201 for five at tea on the opening day of the third test against Pakistan at Centurion on Friday.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Pakistan hindered by lack of home tests - Misbah-ul-Haq

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq reiterated his belief that the continued boycott of his country by international sides is hindering their chances of becoming the leading test nation.

Ongoing security concerns mean the last test match played in Pakistan was against Sri Lanka in 2009, one of just four home fixtures for the side in the last seven years.

In that time, the Pakistanis have played "home" matches in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and even England.

Vernon Philander can get better: Graeme Smith

South African opening bowler Vernon Philander has built up a phenomenal record since his Test debut against Australia in November 2011 but his captain Graeme Smith is looking for more.

"Vern has got the results but he is still a work in progress," said Smith. "I think he can get better."

Philander, 27, has taken 87 wickets in 15 Tests at an average of 16.81 - a strike rate and an average unmatched by any other contemporary Test bowler.

He has shot up the International Cricket Council rankings and is second only to his South African new ball partner, Dale Steyn.

South Africa to retain ICC Test mace

South Africa has been guaranteed the number-one position on the ICC Test Championship table at the April 1 cut-off date after victory in the Cape Town Test against Pakistan.

It means their place cannot be overtaken by closest rivals - England, Australia and India.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill guide NZ to win over England

Hamilton: Brendon McCullum produced a match winning innings while a limping Martin Guptill returned after retiring hurt to guide New Zealand to a three-wicket victory over England in their first one-day international at Seddon Park on Sunday.

McCullum finished on 69 while Guptill, who retired hurt on three after he strained his left hamstring only to return when New Zealand were 218 for seven, was 27 not out as the hosts scored 259-7 in 48.5 overs, having bowled England out for 258.

South Africa take series after Pakistan collapse

South Africa reinforced their status as the world's number one Test team when they beat Pakistan by four wickets on the fourth day of the second Test at Newlands on Sunday.

The victory, with a day to spare, gave South Africa a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series and came after a dramatic Pakistan collapse in their second innings.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

South Africa fightback puts Test on knife

Robin Peterson and Dale Steyn led a South African fightback which left the second Test against Pakistan evenly poised at the end of the third day at Newlands on Saturday.
Pakistan were 100 for three at the close, a lead of 112.

Peterson hit 84 to enable South Africa to get within 12 runs of Pakistan's first innings total of 338 and Steyn bowled at blistering pace to take two wickets as Pakistan lost their first three second innings wickets for 45 runs.

Friday, 15 February 2013

We got Jacques Kallis dismissal wrong, say Test officials

The playing control team in charge of the second Test between South Africa and Pakistan admitted on Friday that a mistake had been made when star home batsman Jacques Kallis was given out.

Kallis was given out caught at short leg off spinner Saeed Ajmal by umpire Steve Davis but the batsman immediately sought a review, which went to television umpire Billy Bowden.

Replays showed the ball had not touched Kallis' bat before looping to Azhar Ali.

Controversy rages over Jacques Kallis dismissal

South Africa team manager, Mohammad Moosajee, said on Friday he had received a satisfactory explanation after Jacques Kallis was dismissed in controversial circumstances on the second day of the second Test against Pakistan at Newlands.

Kallis was given out caught at short leg by umpire Steve Davis but the star batsman immediately sought a review, which went to television umpire Billy Bowden.

Saeed Ajmal strikes to put Pakistan on top

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took all five wickets as Pakistan finished on top on a controversial second day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands on Friday. South Africa were struggling at 139 for five at the close, still 199 runs behind Pakistan's first innings of 338 after Ajmal had finished with five for 41.

"Pakistan are ahead of the game," admitted South African assistant coach Russell Domingo.


Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore admitted that his side should never have been written off despite being mauled by 211 runs in the first Test in Johannesburg.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq hit centuries as Pakistan fight back AFP

Centuries by Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq transformed Pakistan's fortunes on the first day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands on Thursday.

Pakistan were 253 for five at stumps, having been reeling at 33 for four after being sent in.

Younis was caught behind off Vernon Philander 13 balls before the close for 111, while Shafiq was unbeaten, also on 111.

The pair put on 219, a record partnership for any wicket by Pakistan against South Africa.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

West Indies beat Australia by 27 runs

The West Indies beat Australia by 27 runs in their one off T20 international in Brisbane on Wednesday.
West Indies scored 191 for six then restricted Australia to 164 for eight.

Scores in the one off T20 international between Australia and West Indies in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Injury rules Pakistan's Junaid Khan out of second test

Injured Pakistan seamer Junaid Khan has been ruled out of the second cricket test against South Africa at Newlands starting on Thursday.

Coach Dav Whatmore said the tourists were weighing up a replacement for the 24-year-old, who has failed to recover from a thigh injury sustained before Pakistan's practice match against the Emerging Cape Cobras.

"Junaid is definitely out of the second test but we hope to have him fit again for Centurion," Whatmore told a news conference.

The third test at Centurion starts on February 22.

Graeme Smith hopes Pakistan batsmen will be tentative

South African captain Graeme Smith said he hoped Pakistan's batsmen would be tentative when they face South Africa's fast bowlers in the second Test starting at Newlands on Thursday.

Fifteen of the 20 Pakistan wickets that fell in the first Test in Johannesburg were to catches behind the wicket or in the slips. South Africa won by 211 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

"I'd like to put it down to our guys creating good angles, getting good swing," said Smith.

Monday, 11 February 2013

George Bailey says depleted T20 squad due to India tour may spell trouble for 2014 World Cup

Australian Twenty20 captain George Bailey has said that a depleted T20 squad against the West Indies may compromise Australia's chances for the 2014 T20 World Cup.

Bailey was reportedly frustrated over the repeated dropping of cricketers from the T20 squad following the assembling of the 17-member Australian squad in India for the upcoming Tests, the Age reports.

Bailey said that although he understood Cricket Australia's prioritizing the Test series, there are still 7 or 8 games left until the T20 World Cup to be held in Bangladesh, which may compromise the preparation for the game.

Afghanistan fall in Pakistan tour opener

Afghanistan's warm-up tour of Pakistan got off to a losing start on Monday as they fell to an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of the hosts' second-string team.

Pakistan 'A' bowlers led by captain Shahid Afridi bundled the Afghans out for a paltry 122 in 38.5 overs with the main resistance coming from Mohammad Shahzad who scored 33 and Javed Ahmadi who managed 23.

Indian fast bowling coach Dawes says Sachin Tendulkar still 'god' among teammates, fans

India's fast bowling coach Joe Dawes has described cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar as still having a god-like status among his teammates and cricket fans.

The former Australian cricketer, who has been a constant companion to Tendulkar for the past nine months, said that Tendulkar's teammates copied his every little gesture, even carrying their bats with them on the team bus like the Little Master, News.com.au reports.

Mohammad Irfan, Younis Khan shine in practice match

Pakistan's left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Irfan made a claim for a Test place and senior batsman Younis Khan played himself into form on the second and final day of a practice match against an Emerging Cape Cobras team at the Western Province Cricket Club on Monday.

Irfan followed up his first innings haul of four for 20 with three for 20 as the home side, comprising amateur players from the Western Cape franchise, were bowled out for 78.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Australia win final ODI, whitewash West Indies

Adam Voges scored his maiden one-day international century as a depleted Australia secured a 5-0 series whitewash by beating West Indies by 17 runs in the final match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

The 33-year-old middle order batsman blasted an unbeaten 112 off 106 balls to propel Australia to a commanding total of 274 for five, before the tourists' promising chase stumbled in the final overs with late wickets.

Johnson Charles, who replaced injured opener Chris Gayle, also scored a maiden ODI ton to give West Indies hope of hauling in the total, but the innings quickly petered out when allrounder James Faulkner had the hard-hitting Kieron Pollard caught for 45.

Mohammad Irfan bags four wickets in Pakistan tour match

Left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Irfan took four wickets in the first innings of a two-day tour match on Sunday as Pakistan prepared for the second Test against South Africa, starting at Newlands on Thursday.

Irfan had figures of four for 20 from 12 overs as the Emerging Cape Cobras, comprising second-string players from the Western Cape franchise, were bowled out for 156 at the Western Province Cricket Club.

Pakistan were 127 for four at the close, with captain Misbah-ul-Haq unbeaten on 44.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pakistan's new Twenty20 Super League postponed

Pakistan's first professional Twenty20 league was postponed indefinitely on Friday after complaints from investors over tight bidding deadlines and from players over scheduling conflicts.
The Pakistan Cricket Board had scheduled the Super League to run from March 26 to April 6. "Over 15 potential franchise buyers, around 10 top broadcasters, and various potential sponsors from large business houses have collected the bid documents and shown extremely keen interest in acquiring respective rights," PSL managing director Salman Sarwar Butt said in a statement. "However, there are several other investors who would like us to give them more time for our various rights."

Former Pakistan players urge board to appoint batting coach

Former Pakistan captains have advised the cricket board here to immediately appoint a local batting coach for the team following their humiliating 211-run loss against South Africa at Johannesburg.

The Pakistan Cricket Community is apprehensive about the fate that awaits the national team in the remaining tests in South Africa after they capitulated in the opening Test. The board's decision to not appoint former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq as batting consultant and send him with the team to South Africa has also come in for criticism from some former players.

Aggression is the key to tame South Africa: Kamran Akmal

Senior wicketkeeper-batsman, Kamran Akmal believes the only way for Pakistan to make a comeback in three-Test series against South Africa is to play aggressively and positively against their fearsome pace attack. "Given the nature of the pitches in South Africa which have pace and bounce you have to keep playing your shots because it is not possible to survive without being positive. The pitches will always have something for the bowlers at any given time," said Kamran, the veteran of 53 Tests, 143 ODIs and 49 T20 matches.

Kamran was overlooked for the Tests in South Africa but is in line to be picked for the limited over games. Pakistan were drubbed by 211 runs in the first Test at the Centurion and there are fears of another repeat in the second Test beginning on February 14 at Capetown which has been notorious for low scores in the last two years. New Zealand was bowled out for 45 recently and Australia also fell for 42 in 2011 after they had bowled out South Africa for 92 runs.

Michael Clarke ruled out of 5th ODI against West Indies due to hamstring injury

Australia captain Michael Clarke has been ruled out of the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) against the West Indies in Melbourne on Sunday after complaining of a recurrence of the hamstring trouble that he has carried through the Australian summer.

Clarke's right hamstring was assessed by the team medical staff following the fourth ODI on Friday, which the home team won, and the physiotherapist has confirmed that Clarke has hamstring stiffness. While there is no cause for alarm, the 31-year-old will not travel to Melbourne for the fifth ODI as a precaution. He will leave for Chennai for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Feb 12, as planned.

Nice to get match practice before a big series: Sachin Tendulkar

A morale-boosting century clinched before the much-awaited Test series against Australia, senior Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Saturday said the ongoing Irani Cup game has given him good match practice ahead of the big clash.

"It's a big series against Australia. I am sure everyone is looking forward to it. Always nice to get some match practice before a big series," Tendulkar, who scored an unbeaten 140 for Ranji champions Mumbai against Rest of India, said before the start of fourth day's play here.

Acclimatising the key to winning in India: Australia coach Steve Rixon

Adamant on sticking to pace despite the dustbowls that await them, Australia's acting head coach Steve Rixon on Saturday said his team's success in the upcoming Test series against India would depend a lot on how quickly it adapts to local conditions.

"Teams are going to play a lot of competitive cricket. This wicket is something that the Indian boys play very well on. We will have to learn to adapt to these very quickly. The purpose of our coming early is to get acclimatised as quickly as possible," said Rixon.

Dean Jones says Oz could use India's own formula for Test glory

Former batsman Dean Jones has said the Australian team should stick with the Indian formula of playing two opening fast bowlers along with a spin duo and a part time bowler to improve their chances of winning the upcoming four-Test match series against the one-day world champions in the tough sub-continental conditions.

"The Australian tour to India this month will be a great examination of where this team is, mentally and physically. It is going to be tough. The triumph in 2004 was Australia's only series win in India since 1969," Jones wrote in his column for the Sydney Morning Herald.

No regrets battling pain to rescue West Indies: Keiron Pollard

West Indies middle order batsman Keiron Pollard says he did not regret enduring pain in an effort to rescue his side although they lost the fourth ODI against Australia.

Pollard was struck on the finger from a ball that bounced surprisingly but he managed to strike a mature unbeaten 109 that lifted the West Indies from 55 for six to 220 all out in 49.4 overs.

However, Australia cruised to a comfortable five-wicket victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday to win four of the five matches in the series as the Windies face a whitewash.

England beat New Zealand by 40 runs

England beat New Zealand by 40 runs in their opening Twenty20 international at Eden Park here Saturday.

England posted their highest ever T20 score of 214 for seven with Eoin Morgan making 46 and Luke Wright 42.

New Zealand, in reply, made 174 for nine in their 20 overs.

The second match in the series is in Hamilton on Tuesday.

Brendon McCullum claims 'predecessor' Ross Taylor's return in Kiwi squad 'seamless'

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has claimed his predecessor Ross Taylor's return in the Kiwi dressing room has been seamless.

The 28-year-old top-order batsman is back in the Black Caps fold for the first time since he was relieved of the captaincy two months ago, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Taylor, who made himself unavailable for the tour of South Africa, would resume his international career in Auckland on Saturday in the first of three Twenty20 matches against England.

Australian Shane Jurgensen named Bangladesh head coach

Australian Shane Jurgensen has been promoted from bowling coach to head coach of Bangladesh on a one-year deal, the Bangladesh Cricket Board said on Saturday.
Jurgensen guided Bangladesh to a 3-2 one-day international series win against West Indies at home in December when acting as interim coach after Englishman Richard Pybus refused to continue in the wake of a contract dispute.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Banned Salman Butt upbeat as he arrives for CAS appeal

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt appeared upbeat as he arrived at a Swiss court Friday in a bid to overturn a ban imposed for spot-fixing and revive his cricket career.

"I feel good," Butt said as he arrived at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, shortly after 9:00 am (0800 GMT).

His appearance comes a day after Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif appeared before the court, in what he described to AFP as a "quite busy" day of hearings about the infamous Lord's Test against England in 2010.

Australia beat West Indies by five wickets in 4th ODI despite Pollard ton

Opener Shane Watson scored 76 to back up his century on return from injury two days ago to lead Australia to a five-wicket win over West Indies in the fourth one-day cricket international at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.

Australia scored 221 for 5 in 44.5 overs to spoil Kieron Pollard's unbeaten 109 in West Indies' 220 all out in 49.4 overs. The win was Australia's fourth in a row in the five-match series. Australia had clinched the series with a 39-run win on Wednesday in Canberra.

Zaka Ashraf blames security reasons for Pakistan Women's poor show

The Pakistan Cricket Board chief Zaka Ashraf on Friday claimed that its women's cricket team finished last place in the World Cup due to the "overwhelming security fears" in India which led to their matches being shifted from Mumbai to Cuttack. Pakistan women's team matches were shifted to Cuttack after threats from the Shiv Sena and Ashraf levelled allegations to the extent of hotels "refusing to provide security" to their cricketers.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Second Pakistani forced out of South Africa tour by injury

Pakistan lost a second injured player on their tour of South Africa when uncapped batsman Haris Sohail was sent home on Tuesday without playing a match.
"Haris has developed a strain in his left ankle and requires four to five weeks to recover so he is returning home," Pakistan Cricket Board official Nadeem Sarwar told Reuters.
The visitors had already lost experienced test opener Taufiq Umar because of a leg injury and his replacement, Imran Farhat has yet to join the squad in South Africa.

Women's World Cup: India beat Pakistan to finish 7th

Indian captain Mithali Raj scored a brilliant century to lead her side to an easy victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in the seventh place play-off in the ICC Women's World Cup 2013 at Cuttack on Thursday.
Mithali scored 103 off 141 deliveries, an innings laced with 13 boundaries and one six as she took her side past Pakistan's total of 192. They worked hard for their four wickets but their failure to get rid of Mithali led to their defeat.
Earlier, Indian bowlers kept a tight leash over Pakistan's scoring rate to restrict their arch-rivals to 192 for seven in the seventh-eighth position play-off match of the Women's cricket World Cup.

Banned Salman Butt wants Pakistan career revival

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt Thursday pleaded for a revival of his cricket career, frozen by a long ban for spot-fixing in the infamous Lord's Test against England in 2010.

The 28-year-old was banned for 10 years, with the possibility of five suspended, for his role in arranging no balls to order in the match, but will appeal against the sentence at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday.

CAS starts hearing on Mohammad Asif spot-fixing ban

The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday kicked off an appeal hearing where Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Asif hopes to overturn a ban imposed for spot-fixing.

Matthieu Reeb, head of the Swiss-based tribunal, said the hearing was due to end at 6:00 pm local time (1700 GMT), and that fast bowler Asif was there in person to fight his case.

On Friday, Pakistan captain Salman Butt is due to attend a CAS appeal hearing on his own ban.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif leave for Switzerland to fight their ICC bans

Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif left for Switzerland Tuesday to fight to overturn bans imposed two years ago for spot-fixing.

Captain Butt and fast bowlers Asif and Mohammad Aamer were banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for contriving to bowl deliberate no-balls during the Lord's Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010.

Australia beat West Indies by 39 runs to win ODI series

Shane Watson hit a century on his return from injury and James Faulkner claimed four wickets as Australia beat the West Indies by 39 runs to claim victory in the one-day international series on Wednesday.

Scorecard

Watson, opening the innings after four weeks out with a calf injury, smashed 122 off 111 balls. Supported by 86 from Phil Hughes, he helped Australia reach 329 for seven after winning the toss in the third ODI of the five-game series.

Michael Clarke says 'team man' McKay leader of Oz pace pack in ODIs

Michael Clarke has claimed Australian one-day player of the year Clint McKay is the most important bowler for him in the fifty-over squad, adding the pace man is the first bowler to be picked in the team before any game.

Mckay, who turns 30 later this month, has taken 68 wickets at an average of 21.91 from his 39 matches and among Australians only Dennis Lillee (70 wickets) and Brett Lee (69) have been more prolific from the same period at the start of their careers, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

PCB chief Zaka Ashraf says 'conspirators' behind isolation of Pakistan in cricket world

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Zaka Ashraf has said he believes there is a conspiracy to keep Pakistan isolated in the cricket world.

The Nation quoted Ashraf, as saying that there are elements who don't want to see the revival of international cricket in Pakistan and neither do they want the Super League Twenty20 tournament to be held on time.

However, Ashraf said, that ten PCB has not given up hope and are confident of organizing the super league T20. Ashraf said arrangements for the super league were continuing at full steam.

Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar plotting Mumbai Indians IPL coup

Australian Ricky Ponting and Indian Sachin Tendulkar have already started planning Mumbai Indians' strategy in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season through text messages.

Ponting was picked up by Tendulkar's franchise for 400,000 dollars in the IPL auction last week, the Age reports.

It caused one Indian media outlet to describe the pair playing together, and possibly opening the innings, as an unprecedented miracle.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Michael Vaughan says Broad's injury hell could wreck his Ashes hopes

Michael Vaughan has claimed Stuart Broad's constant injury problems could wreck his hopes of playing in the Ashes this year, and former England captain advised the fast bowler to quickly find a way out to solve this issue.

A persistent heel problem is threatening to derail Broad's Ashes summer and more if he can't find a way to not only get on the park, but excel on it too, the Daily Mirror reports.

Vaughan, who gave Broad his Test debut, believes the England Twenty20 captain would need to get psychologically fit as well even if he overcomes his physical injuries.

Keeping up high standard of cricket will be greatest challenge: Graeme Smith

South Africa will have the challenge to keep up its high standards of cricket, said captain Graeme Smith on Monday.

Smith was referring to the fact that in their three Test matches at home this summer, the Proteas have not been stretched to play till the fifth day, toppling their opponents by the fourth.

South Africa defeated Pakistan, in the first of a three-Test series at the Wanderers before lunch on the fourth day.

AB de Villiers growing into keeper's role

The question of whether AB de Villiers should keep wicket for South Africa in tests may have been answered by his record-breaking performance in his team's 211-run win over Pakistan at the Wanderers.

De Villiers became the first player in test history to score a hundred and take 10 dismissals behind the stumps in the same match, with his final tally of 11 equalling Jack Russell's all-time test record for a stumper.

It was an eye-catching performance by the 28-year-old, whose role with the gloves since the retirement through injury last year of Mark Boucher has been the subject of much debate.

Hashim Amla modest despite rare rankings honour

Hashim Amla occupies the top spot in both the test and one-day rankings but would not call himself the best batsman even in the South African dressing room.

Amla's 74 not out in the second innings of South Africa's 211-run win over Pakistan on Monday elevated him above Australian Michael Clarke to the top of the test batting rankings.

It also made him the first man since former Australia captain Ricky Ponting in December 2007 to top both the test and one-day batting tables.

The 29-year-old, however, remained characteristically modest.

Dean Jones says George Bailey has temperament to play for Oz in Tests

Dean Jones has claimed Australia's Twenty20 captain George Bailey has the skills and the temperament to play in the Test format after his unbeaten innings of 125 from 110 balls on Sunday against the West Indies.

Bailey took the hosts from a perilous 6-98 to a winnable total of 7-266 against the West Indies in Perth as Australia grabbed a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, News.com.au reports.

Since his debut in the Caribbean last March, the Tasmanian is averaging 45 in ODIs, has scored 303 more runs than the next Australian (720 compared to Dave Hussey's 417) and is second only to England's Ian Bell worldwide for most one-day runs in that time.

Michael Clarke says 'batsman-only' Shane Watson would face bigger test for place in Oz team

Michael Clarke has claimed all rounder Shane Watson's decision to quit bowling and return to international cricket as a batsman would expose him to a much bigger fight for a Test berth.

Clarke said that at his best Watson, who will make his latest injury comeback as an opener in the one-day international against the West Indies in Canberra on Wednesday, was as good as any player in the world, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

However, the Australia captain also warned his deputy that he would need to perform to earn back his Test spot for the upcoming tour of India.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Michael Clarke wins Allan Border Medal, Test batsman award

Australian captain Michael Clarke's stunning batting in 2012 proved impossible to ignore and he duly won the Allan Border Medal and Australia's Test Player of the Year award in Melbourne on Sunday. It was the second year in a row that Clarke claimed the top two awards in Australian cricket.

After scoring 1080 runs at 77.14 during the voting period from February 25, 2012 to January 28 this year the awards were impossible not to win for Clarke. He took the Allan Border Medal with 198 votes to Shane Watson and Michael Hussey's joint 165 to become the second man after Ricky Ponting to win the prize four times. Clarke previous took home the award in 2005, 2009 and 2012.

AB de Villiers equals Test wicketkeeping record

When he held a thin edge off tailender Umar Gul during the first session of the fourth day's play, South Africa's AB de Villiers equaled former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell's record for most dismissals in a Test match, set against South Africa at this very venue in 1995. De Villiers held six catches behind the stumps in Pakistan's record low of 49 all out on day two of the first Test at The Wanderers and added five in the second as the visitors slumped to a 211-run defeat on Monday.
Following Russell's 11 dismissals in November 1995, de Villiers went past Bob Taylor and Adam Gilchrist's mark of 10 dismissals in a Test match when he held an edge from Saeed Ajmal off Morne Morkel during the first session on day four. He drew level with Russell soon after, off the last ball of the 98th over when he collected the ball after Umar Gul swished at it, but the umpire did not rule it out.

Coach Dav Whatmore lauds Pakistan's fighting spirit

A flatter Wanderers wicket and better application from their batsman allowed Pakistan to stay alive in the first Test against South Africa on Sunday, Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore said.
The Australian believes his side showed admirable fight to still be in the game after the disappointment of being rolled over for 49 in their first innings on Saturday, their lowest Test score.
Pakistan still need 297 runs to win the Test with six second innings wickets remaining, but a century stand from captain Misbah-ul-Haq (44 not out) and Asad Shafiq (53 not out) on day three has given them hope.