Oct 072017
 
Why is everyone 'focusing only on Imam'? chief selector Inzamam

DUBAI: Inzamam ul Haq — the chief selector of Pakistan cricket team — on Friday defended his team selection process as he addressed the media at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.Responding to a question by Geo News, Inzamam ul Haq boldly admitted that uncapped left-hand batsman Imam ul Haq is his relative, but said with a smile that it is the selection board that finalizes the team after consultation with coach Mickey Arthur and captain Sarfraz Ahmed.“Yes, I am the uncle of Imam ul Haq.”“I have selected 15 players for the one-day team but everyone is focusing only on Imam,” he noted, before adding that Imam “has been performing in the domestic circuit”.Inzamam ul Haq expressed high hopes for the young players and their performance on-ground.“We cannot select a batsman only on the criteria that he is the highest scorer,” the chief selector said, referring to the selection of middle-order batsman Haris Sohail instead of the one with highest runs in the domestic circuit. Uncapped Imam-ul-Haq in Pakistan squad for Sri Lanka ODI series Azhar Ali rested; Imam-ul-Haq selected in view of domestic performance: Chief Selector Inzamam “Talent, batting skills, and technique are also to be considered for the selection of any player”, he stated, noting that “scorecard would be enough to judge the players” if the number of runs scored was the only criteria.Inzamam revealed that they had been working with Sohail since the past six months before the final selection. He also explained that the efforts of those players who do not get a [Read More…]

Jun 172017
 
Show no fear, Afridi tells Sarfraz

LONDON: When he was Pakistan’s captain, one of Shahid Afridi’s greatest ambitions was to win a world title for his country. He failed to realise that dream after having lead Pakistan to the semifinals of the 2011 World Cup and to a first-round exit from the 2016 World Twenty20 championship. On Saturday, Afridi hoped that his successor Sarfraz Ahmed will succeed where he failed. Sarfraz, the aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman, will lead Pakistan in a dream final of the ICC Champions Trophy against India on Sunday (today). “Before I dwell on Pakistan’s strategy for the big match, I want to say that the final has given Sarfraz a God given opportunity of leaving a lasting legacy. The feisty wicket-keeper batsman is still learning the art of captaincy, yet has grown in stature as leader in every game this tournament. My advice to Sarfraz for the final is simple — take all decisions wholeheartedly and without any fear whatsoever,” Afridi wrote in his column on the official ICC website. “In big games, you need captains to have a clear mind since they are the ones who have to steer the ship. Sarfraz needs to back his own abilities to the hilt since a confused or timid approach can hurt the team and dampen the chances of success.” Afridi stressed that Pakistan’s senior duo of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez will have to deliver. “Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez need to come to the party for the big game, both these players have contributed [Read More…]

Jun 012017
 

BIRMINGHAM: Former Pakistan ODI captain Azhar Ali has insisted his side will treat their Champions Trophy opener against arch-rivals India in Birmingham on Sunday as “just another game”. Politics in both countries means the Asian giants, arguably cricket’s fiercest rivals, now rarely meet outside of International Cricket Council events. Such is the global and commercial appeal of the fixture, the ICC has effectively admitted to ‘doctoring’ the draw to make sure the teams are paired together in the group phase of major tournaments rather than run the risk of them not meeting later on. PCB not giving up on series with India For all the anticipation surrounding their latest clash, Azhar told reporters at Edgbaston on Wednesday: “It’s just another game. “I think when the game starts it looks quite normal. The players play as per the situation and professional players are like that without worrying about anything else,” he added. Pakistan, who upset the odds to draw a Test series in England last year, have already been in Birmingham for two weeks in preparation for their bid to win the Champions Trophy, a tournament featuring the world’s top eight teams in the 50-over format. Not ready to play cricket with Pakistan: Indian government Birmingham boasts one of the largest Asian populations in Britain and a vibrant, sell-out crowd is expected on Sunday. “A game between Pakistan and India is always good and Birmingham has always had a very good atmosphere,” said Azhar. Azhar, who is expected to open with Ahmad [Read More…]

May 052017
 

Pakistan right-hand batsman Azhar Ali on Friday moved up two places in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test batsmen’s rankings even after his team faced a 106-run defeat against West Indies on Thursday. Pakistan, set a target of 188 runs to win the second Test and seal the three-match series, were unable to fathom the bounce of the day five pitch at Barbados and were all out for 81 courtesy three ducks by Babar Azam, captain Misbahul Haq and Asad Shafiq. ‘Responsible’ Misbah, Azhar earn Sallu’s praise However, Azhar Ali’s 105-run knock in the first innings and 10 in the second innings helped him move to the eighth position to share the spot with South African batting star Hashim Amla, with both on 748 rating points. Misbah, who was playing his penultimate Test before retirement, scored 99 and a duck to retain his 20th position in the rankings, while returning opener Ahmad Shahzad moved up four places to the 62nd position with scores of 70 and 14. Yasir’s gains Leg-spinner Yasir Shah bagged nine wickets for Pakistan in the second Test with a seven-for in the second innings to lift himself to the 13th position in ICC Test bowler’s rankings. Yasir six-for hands Pakistan advantage He gave 94 runs in the second innings for his seven wickets to bag the second best figures by a Pakistan bowler against West Indies after former captain Imran Khan 7-80 in 1988. Team rankings Pakistan were placed on the fifth position with 97 points [Read More…]

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