Jan 052018
Steyn returns to help South Africa rally against India

South Africa’s Faf du Plessis makes a run during the first Test cricket match between India and South Africa in Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa, January 5, 2017. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham South Africa seamer Dale Steyn grabbed his first test wicket after an injury absence of 14 months as the hosts fought back against a fired-up India on an enthralling first day of cut-and-thrust cricket in the opening test at Newlands on Friday.Steyn took his career tally to 418 wickets, three behind South African record-holder Shaun Pollock, as India were reduced to 28 for three at the close having bowled out the hosts for 286 on a spicy wicket offering bounce and some sideways movement.Cheteshwar Pujara (five) and Rohit Sharma (zero) will resume on the second day as the tourists, who trail by 258, seek an answer to the venom in the pitch and the home seam attack.Steyn, who had missed the last 15 tests with a career-threatening shoulder injury, caught and bowled dangerous opener Shikhar Dhawan for 16 with a quick delivery that proved he has lost none of his paces.“Having him back after such a long time is special to a lot of us. He has been the spearhead of this attack for such a long time,” Steyn’s fellow opening bowler Vernon Philander said.“We wanted to get as close to 300 as possible, which I think is a lot of runs on this wicket.” India’s captain Virat Kohli gestures after the wall of South Africa’s last wicket during the [Read More…]

Jan 032018
Pakistan changes Blind Cricket World Cup schedule after India?s refusal

Indian government has refused to grant permission to its team to travel to Pakistan for the matchesKARACHI: The Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) has been forced to change the schedule of this month’s Blind Cricket World Cup after the Indian government refused to grant permission to its team to travel to Pakistan for the matches.According to an official of PBCC, the fixtures of the Indian team will now be played in UAE instead of Pakistan. “Despite numerous earnest efforts of Cricket Association of the Blind in India (CABI) and Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) of getting clearance of Indian Blind Cricket team to tour Pakistan to play forthcoming World Cup matches .. is still held in abeyance by the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said Sultan Shah, chairman PBCC.“The Indian Foreign Ministry has not in written denied the Indian Team’s participation in Blind Cricket World but Cricket Association of the Blind in India (CABI) told us that Foreign Office has denied verbally,” he added.The unprecedented delay and reportedly the verbal denial from the Indian Foreign Office has compelled PBCC to change the schedule of the World Cup at the last minute. Indian team was originally scheduled to arrive in Lahore on January 6, 2018 and the first match was scheduled vs Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium on January 8. Now, India will arrive in UAE on January 6 and will play its first match vs Australia on January 8 in Ajman. The inaugural match of the tournament will be played between [Read More…]

Jan 012018
Citing LoC turmoil, India rules out possibility of cricket series with Pakistan

NEW DELHI: India has once again made clear its stance that, for the time being, there will be no bilateral cricket series between the two countries, even at neutral venues. According to a report in the Indian media, Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj indicated the government’s stance at a meeting of the consultative committee attached to the ministry that offered a review of relations with neighbours.  Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma SwarajOn being asked about restarting the long-suspended ‘cricket diplomacy’ between the rivals, Swaraj said the high number of cross-border firings do not set the tone for any kind of bilateral engagements, the report added. Talking to Geo News about the development, former Pakistan cricketer and commentator Ramiz Raja said, “I do not understand this rhetoric. The Indian government has decided that they will not let people to people contact to take place.”“I fail to understand why the sport is dragged into these matters,” he added.Similarly, former player and analyst Sikander Bakht said “the people and cricketers of India do not agree with this [decision]. These are the policies of the [Narendra] Modi government.”  “This is a very sad situation. I think if India does not want to play they should avoid such statements,” said former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar. Signing new FTP conditional to India series, says PCBThe PCB has claimed a compensation of $70 million from the BCCI for not honouring the MoU signed in 2014 The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has claimed a compensation of $70 million from the [Read More…]

Dec 302017
Pakistan warm hearts, India and Australia shine at home

NEW DELHI: Steve Smith helmed Australia’s successful Ashes mission and India proved impregnable at home but it was cricket exiles Pakistan who had the most memorable year in 2017.Top teams have shunned the South Asian country since gunmen in Lahore attacked a bus carrying the visiting Sri Lankan side in 2009, killing eight locals and wounding six players and a British coach.Eight years on from that fateful incident, the redemption-seeking eastern city was converted into a veritable fortress to host a rag-tag World XI led by South African Faf du Plessis in September.“It has been a long and tough journey as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Pakistan players and fans have been starved of the opportunity to stage, play and watch international cricket in their own country,” the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar said in a statement at the time.“I am hopeful that today marks the start of the safe and steady return of international cricket to Pakistan.”From Pakistan’s point of view, the outcome did not really matter but the hosts prevailed 2-1 in the three-match Twenty20 series, which paved way for Sri Lanka’s visit to play a one-off T20 match at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium next month.The boardroom victory was preceded by on-field success for arguably the most mercurial side in the game.Sarfraz Ahmed and his men dethroned arch-rivals India in the 50-over final at the Oval to clinch their maiden Champions Trophy in June.It was a reassuring triumph at the eight-team event for Pakistan’s passionate fans, who [Read More…]

Dec 302017
Looking back: A year of #MisYou

Misbah and Younis were carried by their teammates in a lap of honour after the end of their last ever Test match, May 14, 2017 Pakistan’s most successful Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and the country’s greatest batsman Younis Khan bid goodbye to international cricket together in 2017, leaving their fans with decades of memories to cherish.As we see off this year, let’s re-live the ten best memories #MisYou gave us.Top of the world Misbah led Pakistan to the country’s greatest moment in Test cricket, when he lifted the enviable Test mace as the team embraced the number one spot in ICC Test team rankings for the first time in 2016.  Number one and proud of it: Misbah with the Test mace, September 2016Although the top spot was short-lived, the occasion was the proudest moment in Pakistan Test history and, of course, the highlight of Misbah’s career as captain.Push-ups: the new way to celebrate Misbah capped off a brilliant century at Lord’s during England tour of 2016 with an unforgettable celebration: the push-ups. First, the salute. Then came the push-ups. At 42 years old, Misbah became the sixth oldest player in Test history to make a century. But what followed was the highlight of the day: he saluted the Pakistan flag flying above the Pavilion and performed a series of push-ups that left his teammates and fans equally amused.  The skipper later said the Lord’s century was the top inning of his career. He also revealed that the push-ups were for the trainers of the Pakistan Army. “I [Read More…]

Dec 292017
India wrestling qualifier ends in mass brawl

NEW DELHI: A Commonwealth Games wrestling qualifier in India descended into a mass brawl Friday after supporters of rival wrestlers clashed at the venue in New Delhi.TV footage showed fans of veteran Sushil Kumar and Parveen Rana, an up-and-coming wrestler, exchanging blows soon after their bout ended. Shocked onlookers tried to break up the fistfights between rival supporters, with some throwing water bottles.There was no official confirmation of any injuries.Kumar — who won bronze for India at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver at the 2012 London Games — claimed he was bitten by Rana during the bout. “He bit me, but no problem, it might be his tactic to stop me from performing well,” he told reporters after winning the bout and qualifying for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.Rana said his elder brother was beaten up by Kumar’s supporters, claiming they were unhappy that he took on the celebrated wrestler. Rana, a 25-year-old junior world championship bronze medallist, is seen as the main competitor to Kumar in the local circuit. Kumar, 34, is seeking a comeback to competitive wrestling after a layoff of almost three years. The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held in April on Australia’s Gold Coast. Click for detailed story

Dec 242017
India sweep T20 series against Sri Lanka

MUMBAI: Paceman Jaydev Unadkat led a disciplined attack to set up India´s five-wicket win in the third Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka as the hosts completed a 3-0 whitewash on Sunday.Unadkat returned impressive figures of 2-15 to help restrict the visitors to 135-7. India then achieved their target with four balls to spare in a tense chase at the Wankhede Stadium. Manish Pandey top-scored with 32 but it was Dinesh Karthik (18) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (16) who put on an unbeaten 31-run stand to take the team home.The win ensured that India end the year on a high after outplaying the islanders in the Test (1-0), one-day (2-1) and T20 series. Sri Lanka however put the hosts under pressure with regular strikes as paceman Dushmantha Chameera and medium-pace bowler Dasun Shanaka claimed two wickets each.Shanaka got skipper Rohit Sharma for 27, early in the chase. The in-form Sharma hit 4 fours and a six during his 20-ball stay but his wicket silenced the crowd. Shreyas Iyer, who scored 30 before being run out while backing up at the non-strikers end, and Pandey then put on a gritty 42-run stand for the third wicket but their departure spelt trouble.But veterans Karthik and Dhoni stayed calm in the final few overs when India needed 20 off 18 balls. Earlier Asela Gunaratne, who top-scored 36, and Shanaka, who hit an unbeaten 29 off 24 balls, gave some respectability to the total after the visitors lost their top three batsmen for 18 runs.Unadkat, [Read More…]

Dec 242017
De Villiers ready for Zimbabwe, India

PORT ELIZABETH: South Africa’s batting icon AB de Villiers says his near two-year Test break has enabled him to prepare thoroughly for his comeback in a one-off day-night Test against Zimbabwe, starting on Tuesday.“I’ve had a great pre-season, which I haven’t had for 13 years,” he said in an interview with South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper. The big challenge for De Villiers and his teammates, though, is what happens after the four-day clash against Zimbabwe – a three-Test tour by number one team India, starting in Cape Town on January 5. “I’m very excited that they are going to be touring in South Africa. I haven’t played against India for a while now, so it’s going to be a really good series,” said De Villiers. India will be led by his Indian Premier League teammate Virat Kohli. Click for detailed story

Dec 222017
Sharma's fastest Twenty20 century powers India to 260-5 in second Sri Lanka T20

Indian captain Rohit Sharma celebrates after scoring his century during the second T20 international cricket match between India and Sri Lanka. -AFP INDORE: Rohit Sharma equalled the record for the fastest Twenty20 century on Friday as he fired India to an imposing 260 for five in the second match against Sri Lanka in Indore.The Indian skipper reached 100 off 35 deliveries, matching South African David Miller’s century against Bangladesh in October. Sharma scored 118 off 43 balls, smashing 12 fours and 10 sixes after India were put into bat.His explosive 165-run opening stand with Lokesh Rahul – who made 89 – put India in a commanding position in the second game of the three-match series, which they lead 1-0.India’s 260-5 is their highest-ever T20 total, and just three short of the record score in the format – Australia´s 263-3 against Sri Lanka in Pallekele last year.Sharma scored his second T20 hundred by mercilessly hitting the Sri Lankan bowlers all over the ground. He got his first 50 in 23 balls, and second in just 12.He finally fell to fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera, mistiming a slow bouncer to short third man, and walked off to a standing ovation.Rahul then took over and got his second successive half-century off 35 balls, and put on 78 runs for the second wicket with Mahendra Singh Dhoni (28).The opener hit five fours and eight sixes in his 49-ball blitz before being caught behind off Nuwan  Click for detailed story

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