Friday, 18 January 2013

Mohammad Irfan aims high for Pakistan

A towering man of seven feet one inch, fast-rising Pakistan paceman Mohammad Irfan often struggles to find bowling shoes that fit and a comfortable bed. But on the cricket pitch, the 30-year-old former factory worker is more than comfortable with a new ball in his hands, cleverly exploiting his height to unsettle some of the best batsmen in the world with bounce, pace and variation.
Pakistan tagged Irfan a "surprise package" on their December-January tour of India and despite taking just three wickets, he plagued the opposition's much-vaunted batting. "We jokingly call him the short man," Pakistan Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez said. "We knew he would be a surprise package and with his determination and hard work I hope that he can go a long way in international cricket." 

It is only now that officials accept him to be 7'1''. In the past, his height has been purportedly measured at 6'8" and 6'10".

Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez feel PSL will help revive cricket in Pak

Senior players Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez believe that the planned Pakistan T20 Super League in March will inject new life into the sport in the country and instill confidence in the international community over safety in the troubled nation.
"There is no doubt the PSL is necessary for not only the survival but also the promotion of cricket in Pakistan," Misbah said here on Friday. 
Misbah, Pakistan's Test and ODI skipper, said the PCB had done well to keep alive the sport in Pakistan despite no international cricket being played in the country since 2009.
"The way I look at it the super league hopefully with foreign players also participating in it will serve as a oxygen for cricket in the country. And it will also lead to the revival of international cricket in Pakistan," Misbah said.

Shane Bond accuses New Zealand coach for Ross Taylor's sacking

New Zealand bowling coach Shane Bond has accused national coach Mike Hesson of "sabotage" in his handling of the sacking of captain Ross Taylor, inflaming a crisis in New Zealand cricket ahead of a home series against England. A letter written by Bond to New Zealand Cricket under legal advice, in which he gives a personal account of the circumstances of Taylor's sacking, was leaked to the media on Friday.
Bond claims that public statements made by Hesson on the manner in which Taylor's sacking took place are "dishonest". New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White responded by saying Bond's comments represented a personal opinion and a misinterpretation of what had taken place

Gary Kirsten keen to change South Africa's one-day luck

Gary Kirsten has proved to be a coach with a golden touch, firstly with India and now with South Africa. He took India to number one in Test cricket and they won the 2011 World Cup in his last assignment with the world's most populous cricket nation. In less than two years with South Africa he has seen the country of his birth become entrenched as the best in the world in Tests. Now there is the challenge of forging a dominant one-day team. Being "okay" is not good enough for Kirsten.
"We would like to perform at a higher level than we have in one-day cricket," Kirsten said as he looked ahead to a three-match series against New Zealand, starting in Paarl on Saturday. We've been okay but we haven't been outstanding. We believe that we are capable of being a unit that can really perform at one-day level," he said. 

Aaron Finch named player of Big Bash League

Aaron Finch has been named the player of the Big Bash League season.

The Melbourne Renegades captain played a key role in taking his team from second last to minor premier this season, hammering 332 runs at 66.4 and a strike rate of 125.8. His tactical onus also won praise around the country and helped earn him a berth in Australia's one-day team, reports

Captain Michael Clarke defends rest-and-rotation policy of Oz selectors

Australian captain Michael Clarke has defended the much-attacked rest and rotation policy of the Australian selectors, saying that the Australian team does not have its former greats and could not afford to retain players without the required level of fitness.

Clarke said that fans and former players like Shane Warne and Brett Lee who have attacked the policy, needed to understand that the situation is not like before when Australia had players like Warne, Ricky Ponting, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, who were automatically included if they were considered semi-fit, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sri Lanka beat Australia by 4 wickets

Sri Lanka defeated Australia by four wickets after bowling out the home side for an embarrassing 74 in the third one-day international at the Gabba on Friday to take a 2-1 series lead.
An inswinging onslaught from Sri Lanka's bowlers led to the demolition of the home side in 26.4 overs, their lowest ODI score for 27 years.
At one stage Australia were 40-9 before putting on 34 for the last wicket. Nuwan Kulasekara took five for 22 and Lasith Malinga picked up 3-14.
In their reply Sri Lanka also struggled against hostile bowling but reached their target with an astonishing 30 overs remaining.
Australia's Mitchell Johnson found plenty of movement, taking 3-11 in three overs.

New Zealand Cricket boss White closes case on Ross Taylor's dismissal as captain

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) CEO David White has said that he has full faith in the management of the team, despite the revelation that they may have attempted to conceal information regarding the dismissal of Ross Taylor as captain.

The disclosure came into light after reports surfaced that national bowling coach Shane Bond had emailed NZC, where he said that the removal of Taylor from captaincy was initiated by coach Mike Hesson, reports

Hoping ICC will give Ireland Test status while I am playing: Niall O'Brien

Niall O'Brien is a left-handed batsman and wicket-keeper who has played 51 one day internationals and 20 T20Is for Ireland.

In an interview with, O'Brien revealed that he has recently signed a three year deal with Leicestershire following three seasons at Kent and six years at Northamptonshire.

He also reveals that in Ireland that playing cricket was an important past-time in the family.

Misbah-ul-Haq admits South Africa poses a big challenge AFP

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq Friday admitted his team's series next month against top-ranked South Africa poses the biggest challenge of his three-year tenure.
Pakistan play three Tests, the first starting in Johannesburg on February 1, followed by two Twenty20 internationals and five one-day matches.
Since taking over as captain after the spot-fixing controversy in England in 2010, Misbah has led Pakistan admirably, squaring Test series against South Africa (2010) and the West Indies before beating Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka (all in 2011) and routing then world-number-one England 3-0 in January last year.
He has lost only one Test series, in Sri Lanka last year.