Oct 162017

DUBAI: Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed believes experimenting with the number of days in Test match cricket should be given a chance. The debate over reducing the number of days from five to four for a Test match is picking up the pace, with almost every pundit batting in favour or against the idea. The move from five to four days is supposed to help bring back the audience which is leaving Test cricket for more entertaining and less time-consuming formats of ODI and T20. Sri Lanka should come to Lahore, says Sarfraz Ahmed “I can’t say much about this, the experts are better suited to comment on the matter, but if you see in New Zealand and Australia, the results of the Test matches come on the fourth day or early on the fifth day because of the conditions there. So if they are trying to experiment with the number of days, then they are most welcome,” said Sarfraz in a video interview for Roznama Express. ‘Batting failed us in Sri Lanka Tests’ Pakistan were, for the first time in the UAE, whitewashed by a team, Sri Lanka, 2-0 in the Test series and when asked, Sarfraz said batting was to blame for the defeats. “When you lose, people start finding mistakes in your game plan,” he explained. “I believe we didn’t bowl well. The kind of bowling attack we had, we thought we could get Sri Lanka out, but we were unable to do that.” He continued by saying that [Read More…]

Oct 072017

DUBAI: Pace spearhead Mohammad Amir was ruled out of the five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka after suffering a shin injury during the ongoing second Test in Dubai on Saturday. Pakistan Cricket Board [PCB] said the 25-year-old had an MRI scan, after which he was advised to rest for two to three weeks. “Amir has been ruled out of the ODI series against Sri Lanka due to a stress related injury in the right shin. The fast bowler has been advised two to three weeks rest after he underwent an MRI scan,” said a PCB release. Herath stars as Pakistan crumble in first Test Amir walked off the field on Friday during the first day’s play in the second Test, but was cleared to bowl on Saturday. He managed to bowl just three overs though, 19.3 in the match, before once again limping off the field. Pakistan were 51-0 without loss after Sri Lanka piled up 482 in their first innings. The tourists lead the series 1-0. Amir will be replaced by another left-arm paceman, Usman Shinwari. The first one-day international will be played in Dubai on Friday, followed by two in Abu Dhabi (October 16 and 18) and the last two in Sharjah (October 20 and 23). The two teams will also play three Twenty20 internationals, the last in Lahore on October 29 — subject to security clearance. The post Amir out of Dubai Test, ODI series against Sri Lanka appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Sep 282017

KARACHI: PCB Chairman Najam Sethi, upon his return from abroad, has reviewed the report on Umar Akmal submitted by the PCB’s Disciplinary Committee and has sanctioned their findings. Umar was found by the committee to be in breach of clauses 2.2.5, 4.1 and 4.4 of his central contract when he clashed with head coach Mickey Arthur and batting coach Grant Flower. Akmal set to be banned for three matches: report For the violation, Umar has been banned for three matches, while a fine of Rs1 million has also been slapped on the right-hander. Umar would also not be given any NOC to participate in foreign leagues or matches for the next two months. Sethi said these sanctions have been placed with a heavy heart but with the hope that they serve as a precedent for all cricketers. The post Sethi sanctions Umar Akmal ban appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Sep 122017
Cost of hosting World XI: Businesses near Gaddafi Stadium closed for revival of cricket

International cricket is coming home with the tour of World XI. It’s definitely great news for all; be it cricket fans who have been missing seeing Team Green live in action or young cricketers who never had the opportunity to play in front of the home crowd. The national cricket team will face off World XI in a three-match T20I series at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The first T20I of the three-match series is taking place tonight. The second and third T20Is will be played on September 13 and 15, respectively. While the revival of the international cricketing is welcoming as it will open doors for international teams to visit the country and help present a soft image of Pakistan, the cost that the business community is paying to host these matches in Punjab’s provincial capital is something that cannot be overlooked. Why isn’t World XI coming to Karachi, Sindh minister asks Sethi According to reports, authorities have forced businesses in the surroundings of the Gaddafi Stadium to close down for four days. Further, residents and shop owners in the area have also been asked to sign a surety bond stating that they will not let “miscreants” use their properties for subversive activities. Efforts were made to contact DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf to comment on the issue but he did not respond. Army soldiers patrol at the main entrance of the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on September 12, 2017. PHOTO: AFP One of the entrepreneurs who have been [Read More…]

Sep 112017

World XI captain Faf du Plessis believes his desire to leave a footprint on the game was the primary reason in convincing him to tour Pakistan. Du Plessis, who is South Africa’s captain in Tests and is poised to take over leadership in the shorter format as well, while talking to the media in Lahore, said that in a few years’ time he wants to look back at this tour and feel proud of his contribution. World XI squad arrives in Lahore amid tight security “It’s a huge honour to be here as it’s not often when you are playing cricket in a cause which is much bigger than the game,” said Du Plessis. “As a professional sportsman, numerous factors played their part. Money was one of it, but what really convinced me was that as a sportsman, you want to leave your footprint on the game. So once Andy [Flower] shared his idea with me, I realised that in a few years’ time when I will sit with my family, this is something I can be really proud of.” He continued: “When the idea was shared, yes we thought about different things. But then we had a word with the concerned authorities who gave us peace of mind and then we just wanted to get here. Last 24 hours have really been excitement for us. We felt like we are in a movie.” Amir doubtful for World XI series World XI coach and former Zimbabwe wicketkeeper-batsman Andy Flower revealed [Read More…]

Sep 102017

KARACHI: Monday’s scheduled arrival of the World XI side in Pakistan that will mark the end of country’s international cricket famine is, for obvious reasons, a huge source of excitement for the local fans, but the planned three-T20I spectacle is also a big deal for the international cricketers, some of whom are visiting Pakistan for the first time. A day after their touchdown on Pakistani soil, the World XI side will make history by ending their hosts’ eight-year wait for true international cricket in their own backyard. The September 12 opener at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium will be followed by two more on September 13 and 15. Due to security conditions of the past, not many on the visiting international contingent have played in Pakistan before, and so naturally, they are looking forward to the experience. As expected, the most excited of the entire bunch is predictably the affable Darren Sammy, who earlier this year visited Pakistan and famously captained Peshawar Zalmi to their title triumph in the second edition of the Pakistan Super League. “When I visited Pakistan for the PSL final and entered the ground I felt like I was playing in St Lucia,” recalled Sammy, a two-time T20 World Cup winner, during a media talk in Dubai prior to their departure for Pakistan. “The excitement and love Pakistani fans have for the West Indies is unmatchable and I am sure all the other cricketers would [get the same love]. They are just hungry for cricket and want to see [Read More…]

Sep 022017

KARACHI: The National Cricket Academy (NCA) of Pakistan is not up to the standards of other top academies around the world, Director NCA Mudassar Nazar has admitted. Lahore-based NCA is considered by far the best cricket academy in the country, but even it is well below international standards, per Mudassar. The former Test cricketer made the revelation during a visit to Karachi’s Hanif Muhammad High-Performance Center (HPC). “We don’t have all the facilities in any of our academies, not even the NCA in Lahore,” Mudassar told The Express Tribune. “I have been trying to establish a chain of academies across the country but so far the academies we have a missing element.” The NCA serves as the hub of national cricketers and has produced many a talent, including Misbahul Haq, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal and Salman Butt, but there is still major room for improvement. “It has produced many big names but if you talk about the available facilities over there, we are missing some elements which should be covered within the premises of the academy,” said Mudassar. The 61-year-old further elaborated: “NCA has a good gym and coaches but we don’t have our own ground to practice on. Whenever we have to do some practice we have to request to the management of Gaddafi Stadium, who eventually approve but it’s still a painstaking process.” Mudassar believes that if the NCA gets granted a dedicated ground to practice upon a la the Hanif Muhammad HPC, it can be even more productive. [Read More…]

Aug 242017

KARACHI: This year’s Quaid-e-Azam Trophy will indeed feature a player draft after efforts by some to postpone the new system went in vain, according to the Daily Express. As things stand, the draft will take place on August 28 in Lahore, where teams will get to pick 10 players each, of which two will be emerging players. The departments’ protests, however, have succeeded in getting the tournament’s kick-off date changed from September 14 to September 26. Per details, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had decided to introduce a drafting system for the country’s premier first-class cricket event from this year, but their decision was met with severe opposition from several former cricketers as well as the Karachi City Cricket Association. That inertia had led to concerns that the implementation of the drafting system may not be possible this year, until the PCB decided to stand by its original decision. The draft will see regional presidents, head coaches and a member of national senior/junior selection committee pick the allotted 10 players, but only the former two sets of personnel will be needed to pick the remaining 10 of the 20 cricketers. The PCB’s primary purpose of insisting on a draft system’s introduction was to instill some sort of meritocracy in domestic cricket. Interestingly, though, the board has not stipulated the condition of cricketers being top performers for the draft lists asked of the regions. Hence, the possibility of favourites entering into the draft pool ahead of the deserving still remains. The post [Read More…]

Aug 232017

LONDON: Former Pakistan T20I captain Shahid Afridi blasted 101 in only 43 balls to inspire Hampshire’s 101-run victory at Derbyshire in the T20 Blast quarter-finals on Tuesday. All-rounder Afridi hit seven sixes and 10 fours to power Hampshire to 249 for eight, their highest T20 score. Write off Pakistan at your own peril: Afridi Skipper James Vince made 55 from 36 balls as Hampshire passed their previous best of 225 for two against Middlesex in 2006 and, faced with an improbable target of 250, the Falcons crumbled to 148 all out with Liam Dawson and Kyle Abbott each taking three wickets. Hampshire promoted Afridi to opener against the county he played for in 2003 and he swept and drove four boundaries from Wayne Madsen’s first over before Calvin Dickinson took two fours from Hardus Viljoen. Afridi foundation, KMC sign MoU Afridi’s previous high score in the competition this season was 18 but he pulled Ben Cotton for six before driving him over the top of the three-storey media centre. He reached his fifty off only 20 balls with a top-edged six but after driving Imran Tahir for another huge six, he was dropped on 65 at long-on by Madsen. It proved expensive as Afridi dispatched Matt Critchley and Tahir for two more sixes on his way to a blistering hundred before he top-edged another big pull and was caught at long-leg. The post Afridi’s maiden T20 ton leads Derbyshire rout appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Aug 222017

ST JOHN’S: There was some rare good news for West Indies cricket when explosive opener Chris Gayle and all-rounder Marlon Samuels were included in the one-day squad for next month’s series against England on Monday. Gayle, one of the biggest draw cards in world cricket, has not represented West Indies since the 2015 World Cup, while Samuels has been absent for a year because of a dispute with the board. Stokes backs Jennings to return stronger Neither plays for a Test side whose much-mourned decline in fortunes was much in evidence during the innings and 209-run defeat at the hands of England at Edgbaston last week. Sunil Narine, and Dwayne and Darren Bravo all made themselves unavailable for the five-match ODI series, which begins in Manchester on September 19 and concludes in Southampton on September 29. “The panel welcomes back Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, who will both add value to our batting and help with the nurturing of the young batsmen in the team,” CWI chief selector Courtney Browne said in a statement. Anderson strike puts England in control after Cook’s 248 “Both Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo have declined to be considered for ODIs in England. Narine has however confirmed his desire to play 50-over cricket again but has asked to play in our Regional Super 50 before he is considered and Darren said he was not available for selection. Dwayne Bravo said he is still not 100% fit, but is looking at a possible return to international cricket [Read More…]

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