Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sharad Pawar to take over as ICC President on July 1

Former BCCI chief Sharad Pawar will take over as International Cricket Council President on July 1, becoming the second Indian, after Jagmohan Dalmiya, to occupy the top post.

Dalmiya was the first Indian to be elected for the post, in 1997

He will succeed Englishman David Morgan, who concludes his two-year term at the end of the week, the governing body said in a statement.

Dalmiya was the first Indian to be elected for the post, in 1997. 

The annual conference week begins today with the Chief Executives Committee (CEC) meeting and the ICC Executive Board will discuss the nomination of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard for the role of ICC Vice-President.

The agenda of the CEC meeting is the subject of the Future Tours Programme 2012-20, in particular the introduction of greater context and content for international cricket which has been under consideration by a working group consisting David Collier (England and Wales), Nishantha Ranatunga (Sri Lanka), N Srinivasan (India), James Sutherland (Australia) and David Richardson (ICC General Manager Cricket).

The ICC Associate and Affiliate members will nominate their ICC Executive Board Director representatives, who serve a two-year, at their meeting on 28th June 2010.

The Schedule of the Week is:

Chief Executive Committee: 27 and 28 June

Associate Members: 28 June

ICC Executive Board: 29 and 30 June

IDI Board: 30 June

Annual Conference: 1 July 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Yuvraj back for Tests against Sri Lanka

Hard-hitting batsman Yuvraj Singh has been picked in the 16-member Test squad for the upcoming Test series in Sri Lanka announced here on Saturday.

Yuvraj was dropped for the recently concluded Asia Cup that India won after beating Sri Lanka in the final. 

Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik and his Tamil Nadu teammate S Bardrinath have been dropped from the Test side, while the seasoned campaigners - Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman - are also named for the three-match series starting from July 18.

Yuvraj and Dravid both missed India's last series at home against South Africa due to injuries. Bengal's gloveman Wriddhiman Saha has also got selector's nod. 

K Srikanth-led selection panel have chosen three seam bowlers for the tour. Lanky pacer Ishant Sharma and S Sreesanth have been retained in the squad and will accompany team's strike bowler Zaheer Khan.

Harbhajan Singh will lead in the spin department with support from Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha.

Suresh Raina has also given the chance.

India will play their first match at Galle from July 18, followed by the remaining two matches - July 26-30 and August 3-7 - at Sinhalese Sports Club and PSS grounds, Colombo respectively. 

Team: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag (vice-capt), Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Wrindham Saha, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, S Sreesanth.

Friday, June 25, 2010

India crowned the new champions of Asia

A clinical performance from the bowlers saw India crush Sri Lanka by 81 runs and win the Asia Cup cricket tournament here on Friday. 

It turned out to be a lopsided contest as the Sri Lankan batsmen, chasing 269 runs for victory, surrendered without much of a fight in the face of some brilliant bowling by India.

Ashish Nehra was the pick of the bowlers, claiming four wickets for 40 runs and single-handedly running through the strong Sri Lankan top order. 
Zaheer Khan (2-36) and Praveen Kumar (1-29) proved the ideal foil while spinners Ravindra Jadeja (2-29) and Harbhajan Singh (0-30), too, played their part. 

India had lost to Sri Lanka in the last league match on Tuesday when the batting misfired, but they picked themselves up with a commanding performance Thursday. India, thus became the Asian champions after 1997, when they beat the same opponent in the final. 

It was an outstanding show from India, who twice lost to Zimbabwe with a young side last month drawing much criticism. 

The only time India looked under some pressure was when two quick wickets saw India reduced to 167 for four. Both the set batsmen Dinesh Karthik (66) and Dhoni (38) were out within a space of 21 runs, but Rohit Sharma (41) and Suresh Raina (29) held the fort with a 50-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Ravindra Jadeja later chipped in with 25 runs. 

The Indian bowlers never allowed Sri Lankan chase to take off.
The dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan left in the very first over with just five runs on the board when he mistimed a pull shot to give Praveen Kumar his first wicket. 

Tharanga and Kumar Sangakkara batted for five overs, but could not break the shackles.
Tharanga was bowled by a beatiful Zaheer delivery that cut back to shatter his stumps as he shouldered the ball. 

The reliable Sri Lankan pair of Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene was separated when Nehra had the latter caught behind and then two balls later immediately got rid of Angelo Mathews, who gave Dhoni his second catch. 

Nehra removed Sangakkara next to leave Sri Lanka struggling at five for 51.
Thilina Kandamby (31 not out) and Chamara Kapugedera (55 not out) tried to revive the innings with a 53 runs stand, but Indian spinners kept the pressure on the two batsmen. 

The partnership was broken when Kandamby was run out and from there on, it was just a matter of time for India to mop up the Sri Lankan tail.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

South Africa draw 2nd Test with Windies

South Africa's Jacques Kallis followed up his first innings century with an unbeaten 62 on Tuesday as the second Test against the West Indies petered out to a tame draw on the fifth and final day at Warner Park.

South Africa, trailing by three runs from the first innings, batted the entire day before declaring on 235-3.

The result meant South Africa retained the Vivian Richards Trophy, having taken an unassailable 1-0 lead into the third and final test match in Barbados starting on Saturday.

Kallis struck six fours and a six off 128 balls while A.B. de Villiers was unbeaten on 31 at the end.

Off-spinner Shane Shillingford led the hosts with 2-80 while seamer Dwayne Bravo took 1-37.

Openers Graeme Smith (46) and Alviro Petersen (39) ensured the visiting team would avoid any alarms by sharing a half century stand after the visitors resumed on 23-0.
Smith eventually fell midway through the morning session at 74-1.

The left-hander hit five fours and a six off 94 balls before he tried to square cut Shillingford and edged to wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin.

Petersen and Hashim Amla forged a further stand of 57 before two wickets tumbled just before lunch.
Amla, dropped when 20 by Dwayne Bravo at slip off Sulieman Benn, was eventually held at backward short leg off Shillingford.
The right-hander hit six fours in 41 off 84 balls.

Petersen, after compiling 39 off 129 balls with a four and a six, fell in the next over as Bravo uprooted his off stump with an excellent yorker.

But Kallis and de Villiers blunted the West Indies attack after the break with an assured, unbroken stand of 104. 

Third and the final test will start on 26th June.

Sachin the gentleman, now an IAF officer

Sachin Tendulkar is going to fly high quite literally and give Top Gun a new meaning. The master blaster is soon to become an officer of the Indian Air Force with the Air Headquarters having finalised plans to make him an honorary Group Captain and the President having given her nod for the same on Wednesday.

It's the first time a cricketer will get this honour. There was considerable debate as to what rank the great batsman should be given. Wing Commander and Squadron Leader were deemed too junior for the national icon, who has 20 years of top class cricket under his belt.

In 2008, India's World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev had received the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel of the Territorial Army.

Till now 21 eminent persons have been granted honorary ranks by the IAF. The first person was Raja of Jawhar, Raja Yashwant Rao who was conferred Flight Lieutenant rank in 1944.

JRD Tata was made an honorary Air Vice Marshal in 1974 and the last one to get such an honour was another industrialist-cum-aviator Vijaypat Singhania who was made an honorary Air Commodore in 1990.

Tendulkar is the first sportsperson to be conferred this honour. He is also the first person with no aviation background to have got this honour.

Tendulkar is arguably the best batsman in the history of cricket, having amassed some 31,000-plus runs in Test and ODI cricket with a staggering 93 international centuries under his belt.

The 37-year-old is hailed as perhaps the most complete batsman in the history of the game with no real chink in his armour. He is not only the highest run-getter in both Test and ODI versions of the game but also the only player to have scored a double century in 50-over format.

One of India's most decorated sportspersons, Tendulkar has won the country's highest sports honour..the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan award. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Harbhajan rock the party

Harbhajan Singh smashed the penultimate ball from Mohammad Aamer for a six as India knocked Pakistan out of the Asia Cup with a three-wicket win on Saturday.

Harbhajan's last-gasp shot over the midwicket fence helped India past Pakistan's 267 with one ball to spare in a heart-stopping finish at the Rangiri stadium in Dambulla.

India scored 52 runs in the last five overs after the sixth wicket had fallen at 219, with Suresh Raina making 34 off 27 balls and Harbhajan an unbeaten 15 off 11.

The exciting victory lifted both India and hosts Sri Lanka into the June 24 final with two wins each and rendered the last two league matches inconsequential.

Pakistan and Bangladesh, who have yet to win a game, play each other on Monday, while India and Sri Lanka clash on Tuesday in a dress rehearsal for the final.

Barely 2,000 Sri Lankan fans were on hand to watch a rare clash between the arch-rivals, only their second one-day encounter in the past two years.

Opener Gautam Gambhir hit 83 off 97 balls and skipper Mahendra Singh DhoniIndia to 180-2 in the 36th over. chipped in with 57 during a third-wicket stand of 97 which lifted
But Gambhir's dismissal at that stage, bowled by Saeed Ajmal, triggered a middle-order collapse which saw four wickets fall for the addition of 39 runs.

Dhoni was bowled by Shoaib Malik and Rohit Sharma was trapped leg-before by Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, before Ajmal removed Ravindra Jadeja to make it 219-6 in the 46th over.
Raina and Harbhajan then stepped in to lead a brilliant recovery and crush a valiant Pakistan side's hopes of staying alive in the tournament.

For Pakistan, opener Salman Butt top-scored with 74 and Kamran Akmal hit 51 off 41 balls after Afridi won the toss and elected to bat in the day-night international.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Easy win for India

Batting star Virender Sehwag turned an unlikely bowling hero as India whipped Bangladesh by six wickets in the Asia Cup on Wednesday.

Sehwag grabbed four wickets for six runs with his off-spin as Bangladesh were shot out for 167 in 34.5 overs after losing their last six batsmen for the addition of just 12 runs.

India cantered past the modest target in the 31st over, with Sehwag's Delhi team-mate Gautam Gambhir smashing 82 off 101 balls with the help of six boundaries.

Sehwag managed only 11 with the bat and Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan removed Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma off successive balls, but India were never in trouble.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (38 not out) put on a match-winning stand of 78 with Gambhir, who fell leg-before to Mashrafe Mortaza when just 10 runs remained for victory.

Defending champions Sri Lanka had opened the four-nation tournament on Tuesday with a 16-run win over Pakistan.
Each team plays the other once in the league with the top two advancing to the final on June 24.

Bangladesh, who elected to bat after winning the toss, made a flying start as openers Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes hammered 35 from the first 17 deliveries.
 After Tamim fell for 22 off 12 balls, caught in the covers off Praveen Kumar, Kayes and Mohammad Ashraful added 46 for the second wicket.

Bangladesh were 81-1 in the 14th over before three wickets fell for 19 runs, two of them to seamer Ashish Nehra who removed Kayes (37) and Ashraful.
Mushfiqur Rahim (30) and Mohammad Mahmudullah (23) put on 55 for the fifth wicket, before India dented the innings.

Sehwag, who missed the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean due to a shoulder injury, marked his return with a superb spell on the slow wicket at the Rangiri stadium.
He had Rahim caught at the wicket, trapped Suhrawadi Shuvo and Shafiul Islam leg-before and then terminated the innings by bowling last man Syed Rasel.

Now Sri Lanka take on Bangladesh in the next match on Friday.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Malinga rattles Pakistan in Asia Cup opener

Sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga grabbed 5-34 as defending champions Sri Lanka stunned Pakistan by 16 runs in the opening match of the Asia Cup on Tuesday.

Shahid Afridi's first one-day century in five years was in vain as Sri Lanka, restricted to 242-9, bowled out Pakistan for 226 in 47 overs at the Rangiri stadium.

The Pakistan captain, who came in to bat with his side struggling at 32-4, smashed 109 off 76 balls to leave the team needing just 38 runs off the last 9.2 overs with four wickets in hand.

Afridi, visibly uncomfortable at the crease due to leg cramps, was caught behind off Muttiah Muralitharan, triggering a dramatic collapse.

Malinga bowled Mohammad Aamer, had Shoaib Akhtar caught at mid-off and then yorked last man Mohammad Asif to finish with his best one-day figures.

Afridi hit eight boundaries and seven sixes in his fifth one-day hundred, the first since making 102 versus India at Kanpur on April 15, 2005.

He was let down by the Akmal brothers, Umar and Kamran, who ran themselves out after putting on useful stands with their captain.

Umar made 30, adding 73 for the fifth wicket with Afridi before Tillakaratne Dilshan beat him with a direct throw as he attempted a quick single.

Kamran had put on 49 for the sixth wicket when he charged down the wicket from the non-striker's end and was easily run out as Afridi declined his call for a run.

Earlier, fast bowler Akhtar made an impressive return to international cricket with 3-41 from 10 overs in his first game for Pakistan since May last year after recovering from a knee injury.

Sri Lanka slipped to 36-2 by the ninth over, before skipper Kumar Sangakkara (42) and Mahela Jayawardene (54) put on 83 for the third wicket.

All-rounder Angelo Mathews hit an unbeaten 55 off 61 balls to help the defending champions set a challenging target under lights after they were reduced to 168-7 by the 37th over.

India and Bangladesh, the two other teams in the four-nation tournament, will meet in their first match on Wednesday.
Each team plays the other once in the league before the top two advance to the final on June 24.

Monday, June 14, 2010


One day to go for most awaited tournament of Asians, the four giants (i.e. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh) of Asian cricket will compete in the 10th edition of Asia Cup from 15th June onwards.

India along with Sri Lanka has lifted the Asia cup the most times (four). India appeared in every final apart from the 1986 (India pulled out due to strained cricketing relations with Sri Lanka), 1993 (when it was cancelled due to strained political relations between India and Pakistan) and 2000 cups. Sri Lanka, however, have appeared in every final since the cup's inception.

This tenth edition is to be held in Sri Lanka for the forth time in 2010. It will only feature the four Test playing Asian nations, and only seven matches will be played.To be held from 15 June till the 24th.

Teams and schedule for the four-nation Asia Cup limited-overs tournament starting in Dambulla on June 15:

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag (vice-capt), Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Pragyan Ojha, Ashok Dinda, Ravichandran Ashwin, Saurabh Tiwary.

 Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (capt), Salman Butt (vice-capt), Imran Farhat, Shahzaib Hasan, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir, Shoaib Akhtar, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman.

Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Muttiah Muralitharan (vice-capt), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Farveez Maharoof, Chamara Kapugedara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedara, Lasith Malinga, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Thilina Kandamby.

Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Jahurul Islam, Junaid Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Mashrafe Mortaza, Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Syed Rasel, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Suhrawadi Shuvo.

June 15: Sri Lanka vs Pakistan
June 16: India vs Bangladesh
June 18: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh
June 19: Pakistan vs India
June 21: Pakistan vs Bangladesh
June 22: India vs Sri Lanka
June 24: Final
June 25: Reserve day 

All the teams have a decent combination of youth and experience cricketers. Indian side rested Sachin Tendulkar, SI drop their legend Jayasurya and Pakistan surprise everyone by selecting Shoaib Akhtar, he seems to be fully fit this time.

This would be a tough competition for everyone, lets see what will happen.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

India clinch series of T20

Skipper Suresh Raina led from the front with a blistering 72 as India signed off their Zimbabwe tour with a comprehensive seven-wicket win over the hosts in the second and final Twenty20 International here on Sunday.

Chasing 141, India made 144 for three in 18 overs at the Harare Sports Club ground with Raina dispatching Chris Mpofu to boundary for the winning runs.

The Indians once again displayed a wonderful commitment in the field, stopping everything that came their way and diving and running to convert half chances into wickets. The Zimbabweans on the other hand were exceptional between the wickets and stole some quick singles off the nimble Indian fielders.

India's consecutive win, after a lacklustre show in the ODI tri-series, would do a world of good to the confidence of its youngsters just ahead of the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sachin rested, Yuvraj out, Tiwary picked for Asia Cup

Yuvraj Singh left out of the Indian ODI squad for the Asia Cup to be held in Sri Lanka later this month. Yuvraj had been struggling with both form and fitness and was also allegedly involved in a pub brawl in the West Indies after India were knocked outof the World T20 Championships. All-rounder Yousuf Pathan, wicket-keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik and leg-spinner Amit Mishra were also axed.

Young left-handed batsman Saurabh Tiwary was picked in the 15-man squad. Tiwary had a prolific IPL season for the Mumbai Indians this year.

Indian skipper MS Dhoni along with senior players Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir, who were restedfor the Zimbabwe tour, returned to the squad. 

Virender Sehwag, who missed the World T20 due to an injury was also named in the squad.
Ashish Nehra, whose place in the side was under fire, was picked while Ishant Sharma failed to make the cut.

Spinner R Ashwin and pacer Ashok Dinda, who played in the tri-series in Zimbabwe were retained in the squad.

Sachin Tendulkar, who had injured his hand while taking a catch in the semi-final of the IPL, was rested. Tendulkar had requested the Board not to consider him for the Asia Cup, as he wanted to spend time with his children, in view of the hectic cricket season ahead. 

The selectors had picked a virtually second string team for the tour of Zimbabwe, where the rookies cut a sorry figure, failing to make it to the finals of the tri-nation series after losing both their matches to Zimbabwe.

Squad: MS Dhoni (C), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Saurabh Tiwary, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Pragyan Ojha, Ashok Dinda, R Ashwin.