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Archive for December, 2007

No mercy for ICL rebels, asserts PCB

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment
KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf has ruled out the possibility of giving a general amnesty to players who were banned for participating in the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

“Well it is something that can be discussed by our governing body members and they have the authority to take a decision on this. But I must emphasise that the players knew what they were doing and the consequences of playing in the ICL when they signed their contracts, he said when asked whether the players would be pardoned.

Ashraf said the decision to ban the players was not unilateral and was agreed upon in an ICC meeting.

“I don’t know why this impression is being given that only the PCB has taken this decision. The fact is this was a policy decision discussed by all member boards of the ICC and also agreed upon. So we have done nothing new or unilateral,” he explained.

Pakistani Test discards Imran Farhat, Shabbir Ahmed, Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood and former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq appeared in the ICL in its inaugural edition last month.

And on returning home they were told by their departments that the board has instructed them not to select them as they had appeared in an unauthorised foreign league.

Ashraf said the players were aware of the problems they could face when they signed up to play in a event which is not recognised by the ICC or any of its member boards.

“We have nothing personal against these players. They can go and play in the ICL and earn good money. But when they were available we tried to talk sense into them and they didn’t listen. The PCB as a governing body of the sport in Pakistan has to follow certain regulations,” he said.

Categories: icl info

Chanderpaul and Powell put West Indies on top

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa – A disciplined century from Shivnarine Chanderpaul and an incisive spell by fast bowler Daren Powell put West Indies on top on the second day of the first test against South Africa on Thursday.

Chanderpaul became the third player after West Indian Everton Weekes and Zimbabwe’s Andy Flower to score half-centuries in seven consecutive test innings with 104 in his team’s first innings 408. The left-hander faced 253 balls and hit 12 boundaries in an innings lasting more than six hours.

Powell followed up with three for 40 as South Africa stumbled to 122 for five at the close.

“It’s great to be up there with those names,” Chanderpaul told a news conference. “When you get an opportunity to get in, you want to make a big score. That’s something I’ve been working on for the past couple of years.”

After West Indies resumed on 281-4, fast bowler Makhaya Ntini struck in the seventh over of the day when he found the leading edge of Dwayne Bravo’s bat.

The ball looped up on the off-side where Ntini and Herschelle Gibbs, who was fielding in the gully, collided.

Ntini took the catch to dismiss Bravo for 12. Neither Gibbs nor Ntini were injured.

In Ntini’s next over, a superb away swinger took the outside edge of Denesh Ramdin’s bat and he was caught by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher for one.

Chanderpaul and Daren Sammy consolidated with a partnership of 57 that was ended after lunch when AB de Villiers swooped from the covers to run out Sammy for 38. Chanderpaul was the ninth man out when fast bowler Andre Nel hit the top of his off stump.

POWELL STRIKES

Nel ended the innings three balls later by having Fidel Edwards caught by Ashwell Prince in the gully for a duck.

Powell struck when Gibbs was caught behind without scoring by wicketkeeper Ramdin with the fifth ball of South Africa’s reply.

Jerome Taylor claimed his first wicket when Graeme Smith was trapped in front for 28.

Twelve balls later South Africa slipped to 53-3 after Jacques Kallis attempted to leave a delivery from Taylor and was smartly caught by Bravo at third slip for nought.

Hashim Amla played over a full toss from Powell and was bowled for 29 before Prince and AB de Villiers stood firm in a stand of 33.

Powell ended the partnership when Prince, who scored 20, drove at a wide delivery and was caught by Runako Morton at second slip.

“The bowlers fought back nicely this morning to take the last six wickets for 127 runs,” Prince said. “Obviously, the batting didn’t go according to plan.

“There were a few soft dismissals, including myself. A few guys got starts into the 20s, and I’m sure the others will feel as disappointed as I do at the moment.

“Chanderpaul was very patient, and if he didn’t come at us we didn’t feel we had a chance of dismissing him early.

“Maybe our guys were a bit impatient, wanting to play a few too many shots.”

Categories: Cricket News

Six more Pak players may join ICL

December 28, 2007 2 comments
LAHORE: Reports have suggested that at least six more Pakistan cricketers may join the ICL, and they are mainly players who don’t have permanent places in the national team.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already banned six of its Indian Cricket League (ICL) players from playing domestic cricket.

Inzamam-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Shabbir Ahmed, Taufiq Umar, Imran Farhat and Azhar mahmood have been told that they cannot represent their parent department in any PCB-recognised tournament after participating in the recently held ICL.

Farhat, Umar and Ahmed have said that they will move the courts over the ban.

Meanwhile, the PCB’s Media Director, Ahsan Hameed Malik, has confirmed the player ban.

“Yes, the PCB has written a letter to all the affiliated units on December 6, instructing them not to allow (to play) any such players, who are involved with any league cricket, not recognised by the board,” the Dawn quoted Malik, as saying.

“The PCB is only punishing the players to please its Indian counterpart, otherwise there is nothing wrong in the entire matter,” Imran countered.

Categories: icl info

Australia still pack punch, says Ponting

December 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Ricky Ponting remains unsure what attack he will have in the first cricket Test against India but believes Australia still pack their punch post Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

Australia won’t name their final XI until Wednesday morning because the captain and selectors wanted extra time to analyse an MCG wicket which has had its preparation hampered by rain the past week.

Ponting said the wicket still looked damp on Tuesday morning, but sunshine in the afternoon and forecast good weather on Wednesday will help it dry for the series opener.

Still, with conditions likely to favour fast bowling in the morning, Australia must decide between using an all-pace attack for the first time in almost 16 years, and picking spinner Brad Hogg and three quicks.

Young speedsters Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait will battle for the third spot if Hogg plays.

The decision is an intriguing one given Johnson’s impressive start to Test cricket the variety of his left-arm swing, while Tait’s pace and knack of ripping through opposition sides makes him dangerous.

Good weather is forecast throughout the match, but Ponting expected Wednesday’s early pace-friendly conditions to make the selectors’ decision a tough one.

“You’ve just got to try to get the conditions right with the players you’ve got available,” he said.

“If it looks like it’s going to be pretty damp in the morning then we’ve got a tough decision to make.”

It could also make for a tough call for Ponting should he win the toss, as he famously came in for heavily criticism in England in 2005, when he inserted Michael Vaughan’s side at Edgbaston.

England won that Test and later regained the Ashes.

Regardless of which attack Australia get as they seek a 15th successive victory, Ponting was confident it would be more dangerous and boast more variety than the outfits which struggled to bowl India out four years ago, when McGrath was injured and Warne was suspended.

Ponting said spearhead Brett Lee was in career-best form, after a man of the series performance against Sri Lanka last month, Stuart Clark’s record (54 wickets from 11 matches) was among the best in the world and Johnson had been impressive.

“I’m very confident in the attack that we’ve got, that it’s going to be good enough to take 20 wickets in every Test we play this summer, so I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Ponting said.

Ponting said even with McGrath and Warne and their combined 1271 wickets retired, Australia had the bowlers to land big blows on India’s star batsmen.

“(Lee) is a wicket-taking bowler and for different reasons to Shane was,” he said.

“That’s what Tait is as well.

“If Tait happens to play in this game he’s exactly like that, he’s a guy who can break a game open in a couple of overs.

“So the wicket-taking options we lost with McGrath and Warne, we’ve just gained other guys in different roles to do that for us.”

Ponting said it was important Australia learned from prior mistakes to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and not bowl too short and over-attack India’s bats.

Only a handful of Australians took part in Tuesday’s training session before Christmas lunch, but all Indian players trained to make up for their limited preparation.

The Melbourne Cricket Club expects a first-day crowd of 75,000.

Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Phil Jaques, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Stuart Clark, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait (12th man to be named).

India (from): Anil Kumble (capt), Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Wasim Jaffer, Dinesh Karthik, Zaheer Khan, VVS Laxman, Irfan Pathan, Virender Sehwag, Ishant Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Pankaj Singh, RP Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Sachin Tendulkar.

Categories: Cricket News

Pakistan board imposes domestic ban on ICL players

December 26, 2007 Leave a comment

KARACHI (Reuters) – Pakistan’s cricket authorities have banned players who appeared in the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) from playing in the ongoing domestic season.

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shabbir Ahmed, Abdul Razzaq, Imran Farhat, Taufiq Umar and Azhar Mahmood — all test players — appeared in the first edition of the ICL in India that finished earlier this month.

The breakaway Twenty20 ICL is not recognised by the International Cricket Council or its member boards including India and Pakistan.

“It is a policy decision that players who play in unauthorised leagues cannot be allowed to play in any domestic competition organised by the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board),” said Shafiq Ahmed, PCB domestic cricket general manager.

“We cannot allow violation of our rules and regulations by anyone. We don’t think it is a harsh decision.”

The PCB has already said it would not consider the ICL contracted players for national selection.

The affected players said they would seek to get the ban removed by a court.

“How can they stop us from playing domestic cricket. It is not fair on us. Cricket is our bread and butter. This is a violation of our fundamental rights,” Farhat told Reuters.

Shabbir accused the PCB of pandering to the whims of the Indian board which was stung by the ICL success.

“But we will go to court and get a stay order. They cannot stop us from playing even domestic cricket,” he said.

Taufiq said going to court was the only option available to the players.

“Our Pakistan careers are already finished. What else can we do,” he said.

Categories: icl info

Pak ICL Players to go to Court over ban

December 26, 2007 Leave a comment

NEW DELHI: Indian Cricket League-contracted Pakistan players are set to approach court to obtain a stay order against the ban restricting them from playing domestic games.

The Pakistan Cricket Board initially stated that players joining ICL would not be considered for national duty – but now they have also been disallowed from participating in domestic matches.

The home games ban means applies to Inzamam-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood, Imran Farhat, Shabbir Ahmed and Taufeeq Umar – and the situation has prompted them to seek assistance from court.

Opener Farhat told The News: “Cricket is our bread and butter. This is a violation of our fundamental rights.

“We will go to court and get a stay order. They cannot stop us from playing even domestic cricket.”

It is believed that Razzaq, Shabbir and Taufeeq will join Farhat in the legal proceedings tomorrow

Categories: icl info

ICL demands damages of Rs 4 crore from Mohd Yousuf

December 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Mumbai (PTI): Indian Cricket League (ICL) on Monday filed a statement of claims before the arbiter, seeking damages of Rs 4 crore from Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Yousuf for alleged breach of contract.

Yousuf had signed up for the rebel league’s T20 championship which concluded earlier this month in Chandigarh, but later backed out. ICL took the dispute to the arbiter, B P Saraf, a retired High Court judge.

Yousuf was not present before the arbiter, but his lawyers sent an application from Pakistan seeking time. The hearing has been adjourned till January 28.

Categories: icl info