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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Pakistan's pace attack lacks one fast bowler, says skipper Mohammad Hafeez

Pakistan's Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez believes that selectors have got their sums wrong in the pace attack chosen for next month's three-Test series against South Africa.

Pacemen Umar Gul and Junaid Khan will be assisted by uncapped fast bowlers - 7-foot-1 Mohammad Irfan and Ehsan Adil - in a four-man attack against the No. 1 ranked Proteas, reports The Dawn.

Hafeez said they are a fast bowler short, but said it is a decision to be taken by the selection committee.

The squad was announced by selectors last week.

Shane Watson's craving for opening spot in Oz Test team puts Cowan under pressure

Australia vice-captain Shane Watson's preference to retain his opening spot in the Test team has put pressure on incumbent opener Ed Cowan, whose form will come under more scrutiny.

Watson made it known in an interview on Monday that his first choice was to return from injury as an opening batsman, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The all rounder's decision to give his body a break from bowling is a huge risk because he must validate his position as a specialist batsman, and he knows that his best chance is against the new ball, where he has had the most success in Tests, the paper said.

Pakistan bars stars from Bangladesh T20 league

Bangladesh cricket chiefs said Wednesday that Pakistan had refused to release any of its players for a Twenty20 competition which begins this week after a planned bilateral series had to be scrapped.

Pakistan had been due to host Bangladesh for a Twenty20 game and a 50-over match in Lahore this month in what would have been its first home internationals since a deadly attack on the Sri Lankan team bus nearly four years ago.

Pakistan Super League has huge potential: Ex-ICC chief

Former International Cricket Council boss, Haroon Lorgat, who is now a consultant for the Pakistan Cricket Board's new Twenty20 league, has said the Pakistan Super League has huge potential and will attract top foreign players to participate in the event soon.

Lorgat said there are great talents within the country and that the response he has seen for the upcoming league has excited him, reports The Nation.

'In form' Hashim Amla leapfrogs to second spot in ICC rankings

South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has reaped reward for his brilliant performances during their 2-0 whitewash over New Zealand as he leapfrogged West Indies veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul to the second position in the ICC Test batsmen rankings.

Amla, who scored 176 runs, including a half-century and a ton during the Kiwi series, is now just one point behind Australian batsman Michael Clarke, who is sitting at the top of the rankings, Sport24 reports.

Zaka Ashraf says Pak players won't play in BPL until BCB sends team for tour

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Zaka Ashraf has claimed their players won't be given a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to play in the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) this year until and unless the cricket board in Bangladesh fulfills their commitment to tour Pakistan,

Ashraf said during an interview with Pakpassion.net: "Deadlines have come and gone. This isn't the first deadline that we have seen. We've also set deadlines in the past for the Bangladesh cricket team to tour Pakistan, which have come and gone."

MS Dhoni must quit T20 captaincy: Ramiz Raja

Former Pakistan skipper Ramiz Raja feels that time has come for Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to quit T20 captaincy after his side's string of losses so that some young player learns the ropes of leadership.
"I expect him to possibly exit T20 arena gracefully. Let other develop the team. Let other young captains come through," Ramiz said.

"Indian subcontinent is stats-based cricket economy where fans look at the records. They do not look at how many matches India and Pakistan have won," he told a television channel.

Sourav Ganguly does not think Sehwag's ODI career over

Former captain Sourav Ganguly refused to think that Virender Sehwag's ODI career was over after he was dropped from Indian squad for the first three matches of the ongoing series against England and said that the opener has still a lot of cricket left in him.
Asked if Sehwag's one-day career was over after he was dropped from the Indian squad, Ganguly said, "You can't say such things. I feel he has lot of ability. Forget about Sehwag who has done so well in ODI. You cannot say such things about anyone. We will just have to wait and see." 

Australia add Ben Cutting to one-day squad as cover

Australia have brought Ben Cutting back into their one-day squad as fast bowling cover for Friday's match against Sri Lanka. Cutting, 25, made his ODI debut in Sunday's heavy defeat in Adelaide but was dropped as pacemen Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc returned from minor injuries.
"Ben is here in Brisbane as a precaution due to Johnson and Starc coming back from injury," said national selector John Inverarity.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni concedes India lack firepower of past few years

India on Tuesday finally found their winning touch with a thumping win over England in the second ODI, but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni conceded that his side did not possess the firepower of the past when they had whitewashed the visitors in the last two series at home.
India had defeated England 5-0 both in 2008 and 2011 ODI series at home but Dhoni said his side would not be that dominant now as they lacked firepower in bowling and the top batsmen were struggling. "It has happened in the past, but it does not mean it will happen in this series also. We have our own things to worry about. Yes, last time we played well as a batting unit, our bowlers were more experienced, who knew what to do in the powerplays and death overs, how to use the new balls," he said at the post-match press conference.

I read the track wrong: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Crediting his bowlers for the thumping 127-run win over England in the second ODI, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday said he read the Kochi track wrong as he initially thought it would become good for batting in second half and the visitors would benefit from that.
"It seemed like a wicket that may flatten, we thought it will dry up and spinners may not get much turn. Good that I was wrong and our spinners got turn," he said after the match. Dhoni said the pitch assisted the fast bowlers when India began batting and commended Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh for their 53-run third-wicket partnership which he felt had helped the home side pass through that tough phase. 

Jesse Ryder plans return to international cricket

Batsman Jesse Ryder is considering a return to Test cricket for New Zealand's home series against England next month, just as warnings sound that New Zealand may be shunned by other Test-playing nations.
Ryder said he will meet national coach Mike Hesson on Jan. 29 to discuss his future, adding "I'm definitely not ruled out for a return for England." The left-hander last played for New Zealand in February, 2012 before taking an indefinite break to deal with fitness and personal issues. He has since scored 558 runs in first class cricket at an average of 69.75 and 508 runs in domestic Twenty20 matches at 63. 

Anil Kumble questions BCCI's age-verification process

Former India captain and Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) president Anil Kumble on Tuesday raised questions about the Indian Cricket Board's age-verification process for various junior level tournaments. However it was reliably learnt that BCCI president N Srinivasan was not on the same page with India's highest wicket-taker in international cricket.
Kumble raised his objections at the board's Working Committee meeting on Tuesday about the BCCI's prescribed 'bone density' tests for determining the age of the U-16, U-19 cricketers as there have been cases of age-fudging in the past. 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's big hits hurt us, says Alastair Cook

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's big hits at the death overs made all the difference which helped the hosts score almost 110 runs in last ten overs, said his English counterpart Alastair Cook. "It's too many; last ten overs saw them score almost 110 runs which does hurt. It's very tough when you've got people like Dhoni at the end. You get exposed when you don't quite get the skills right," Cook told reporters at the post match press conference.
India relied on a brilliant all-round display to thrash England by an emphatic 127 runs in the second one-dayer here on Tuesday. India first posted a competitive 285, riding on captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 72 and Ravindra Jadeja's 61, before the bowlers skittled out the visitors for a paltry 158 in just 36 overs to level the five-match series 1-1

Pakistan Cricket Board writes to ICC for security during women's WC

The Pakistan Cricket Board has sought renewed security measures for its women's team when it participates in the ICC World Cup in Mumbai from January 25. The PCB on Tuesday wrote a letter to the ICC asking it to shift matches of the Pakistan team to some other venue if the cricket's governing body feels that the step is necessary in view of security issues.
"Naturally, we are concerned with the security of our players after the unfortunate incident involving our hockey players in Mumbai," said PCB official Nadeem Sarwar. "We have written to the ICC and requested them to review all the security arrangements for our players for the World Cup. We just want to be sure about the safety of our players when they play in the World Cup. This (relocate matches of the Pakistan team) is entirely up to the ICC and organisers but we have given them this option," Sarwar added.