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Brian Statham inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Late England pace great Brian Statham was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame at Old Trafford in Manchester.

Statham’s widow, Audrey, accepted her late husband’s commemorative cap as part of the joint venture between the ICC and the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) on Sunday.

Statham represented England in 70 Test matches taking a total of 252 wickets and was regarded as one of England’s
greatest bowlers. He appeared in 559 first-class matches for Lancashire taking 2,260 wickets in a career that lasted 18
years, the ICC said in a statement.

Statham captained Lancashire from 1965 to 1967 and took 761 of his 2,260 first-class wickets at Old Trafford, and
Lancashire has since named one end of the ground after the former fast bowler.

Statham featured in an England side that included two other Hall of Fames, Fred Trueman and Sir Colin Cowdrey. His
best Test match haul was against South Africa in June 1960 when he took 11-97 at Lord’s.

Statham died in 2000.

Further cap presentations will be made during the course of the year and a limited number of new inductees, in addition to the 55 already chosen, will be named at this year’s ICC Awards.

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Categories: Cricket News

Inzamam slams Pakistan U-turn on ICL players

April 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq Friday lashed out at Pakistan for making a U-turn on selecting cricketers from an unrecognised Indian league and succumbing to “pressure.”

Pakistan selectors Monday named three rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) players — Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved-ul Hasan and Imran Nazir — in a preliminary 30-man squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in England in June.

The selectors said the trio were included subject to clearance from the International Cricket Council (ICC).

But the next day, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) dropped the trio, saying they were not included in the 30-man list sent to the ICC.

The PCB has sought clarification from the ICL on the status of Pakistani players’ contracts before taking a final decision on their inclusion.

Inzamam criticised the sudden about-turn.

“I think the PCB succumbed to the pressure from the ICC. If there were rules barring the PCB not to include the ICL players then why didn’t our board know these rules,” Inzamam told AFP.

The ICL — bankrolled in 2007 by India’s largest media Group, Zee television — was not recognised by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the ICC and players taking part in it were barred by member countries.

The high court in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh, however, cleared all Pakistani players in the rebel league last February, paving the way for their return to domestic cricket and into contention for the national side.

Inzamam said ICL players would strengthen the national side.

“Why is Pakistan taking pressure from the ICC and the BCCI? If they include ICL players then our team will become very strong and will perform better.

“Look at India. Pakistan and India were standing at the same place in 2007 after we both were knocked out of the World Cup (in West Indies) in the first round but with ICL and IPL (Indian Premier League) they have gained a lot.”

Inzamam accused the ICC of fearing private leagues because of the threat to sponsorships.

“I see only one reason for the ICC’s opposition to the ICL and that is they have to share finances as private leagues also take away sponsorhips, which is a danger for them,” said Inzamam.

Inzamam, who retired from international cricket in 2007, lamanted the ban.

“Why are we keeping ICL players away from international cricket? It’s unjust and I hope the PCB reviews its decision. We must fight for the cause beneficial for us,” said Inzamam.

The ICC said it would discuss the ICL issue at its executive board meeting in Dubai on April 17 and 18.

Categories: Cricket News, icl info

Yousuf all set to join rebel league?

November 4, 2008 Leave a comment

There was a new twist in Pakistan’s ace batsman Mohammad Yousuf’s unending saga with the Indian Cricket League, on Monday. Interestingly, Yousuf left for New Delhi even as the Pakistan Cricket Board selectors decided to name him in the squad for the ODI series against the West Indies scheduled in Abu Dhabi next week.

Though PCB has termed it as a private visit, rumours about him joining the league have gained momentum. Speaking on the development, ICL executive board member Bharat Reddy said, “You will come to know about the league’s official stand tomorrow.”

But when pressed further, he nodded and said, “It’s very likely.”

Yousuf has had a bittersweet relationship with the league, with him being involved in a legal wrangle for breach of contract.

The middle-order batsman, who had signed up for the league in August 2007, failed to abide by his contractual obligations and decided to return his advance payment only to join the rival Indian Premier League. As a result, the ICL filed a case against him in Mumbai, which is still pending.

IPL threatens

PTI adds from Karachi: Indian Premier League official and former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah has threatened to take legal course against Yousuf if the Pakistani batsman returned to the ICL fold.

Categories: Cricket News, icl info

Let BCCI decide on Shoaib’s case: Shah Rukh Khan

April 14, 2008 1 comment

Kolkata Knight Riders team owner and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan said he wants the Pakistan pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar to play in Indian Premier League (IPL). He reiterated his desire for Shoaib’s presence in his team in a press conference at his residence.

Shah Rukh also said that it’s now up to BCCI to take a decision whether they want the Paksitani bolwer to play in cash-rich Indian Premier League or not.

Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar’s chances of playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League seemed to be receding with the tribunal to hear his appeal against five-year ban not likely to decide on the matter soon.

Given the busy schedule of the chairman of the appellate tribunal Aftab Farrukh, retired judge of Lahore High Court and now a practicing barrister, it is unlikely that the case will be decided in a hurry.

The IPL starts on April 18 and organisers have said Akhtar, who was to play for Kolkata Knight Riders, would not be eligible to play in the Twenty20 tourney until the Pakistan board removes the ban imposed on him on disciplinary grounds.

“I don’t think we are going to have a situation where the appellate tribunal will reach a decision after one or two sittings and given the busy schedules of the chairman and Salman Taseer the hearings could drag on beyond a month,” a PCB official told.

The tribunal, which had former Test player Haseeb Ahsan and former federal minister Salman Taseer as other members, was set up last week and has a minimum of seven and maximum of 30 days to reach a decision on Akhtar’s appeal.

Akhtar was handed the five-year ban for breach of the players Code of Conduct, having publicly criticised various board policies after he was overlooked for a central contract in January.

Meanwhile, PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf, Disciplinary Committee chairman Muneer Hafeez and Akhtar will appear before the Senate Standing Committee on Sports and Culture on April 14 for a hearing called to look into cricket matters and the events leading up to the ban imposed on Akhtar.

Categories: Cricket News, IPL News

IPL relaxes media restrictions

April 10, 2008 Leave a comment

The standoff between the Indian Premier League and the media over controversial guidelines to cover the inaugural tournament looks set to ease as the IPL governing body has issued relaxed guidelines for media to cover the Twenty20 extravaganza.

The IPL has toned down some of its earlier restrictions, especially benefiting the print media and their respective websites. However, the websites having no print association would not be able to cover the matches from the ground. The IPL ban on news agencies supplying images to the websites stays. The fresh guidelines have been issued after a meeting with media representatives and IPL governing body members on Tuesday.

The new guidelines, which have been reduced to two pages, allowed website reporters to the venue a day before the match and for post match press conferences only. No online use or publication or syndication of any photograph clicked by accredited photographers is allowed except for the website of the publication.

The media gallery of a website can have up to any six pictures per match beyond whatever else is carried in the newspaper’s various editions.

The rules however warned the photographers for supplying pictures to any third party, including web portals and syndicates.

Earlier, IPL chairman and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice-president Lalit Modi agreed to relax rules to benefit the print media after discussing the matter with the Sports Journalists’ Federation of India (SJFI) and sports editors of mainline dailies on Monday.

Last week, the IPL had announced the media guidelines for accreditation, which a large section of the media houses found unacceptable.

The SJFI, on behalf of sports journalists and photographers, requested the BCCI President Sharad Pawar to resolve the contentious clauses.

The contentious norms arose from IPL’s terms and conditions, in which BCCI attempted to appropriate intellectual property rights on photographs shot by media organizations. IPL had banned websites from the event and demanded that agencies and print media houses upload, at their own cost, the pictures shot by them on IPL’s website for unrestricted use. Media organizations were irked by these guidelines, which amounted to restricting the use of images in any other publication even if it belonged to the same media house.

That BCCI was under some pressure was evident – the link to the media guidelines on the official tournament’s website was deactivated soon after the controversy broke.

Categories: Cricket News, IPL News

Rogers to open as Australia pursues record-breaking 17th test win

January 17, 2008 3 comments

PERTH – After days of waiting and batting, and waiting and batting, Chris Rogers finally got the handshake he had been craving from Australian cricket coach Tim Nielsen.

On standby since Sunday to replace Matthew Hayden in case the burly Queenslander failed to recover from a hamstring injury, Rogers has trained, and batted in the nets and for his club without any clue whether he would be playing or not.

But after Hayden’s run of 86 successive test appearances was officially ended in a pitchside meeting with Nielsen, skipper Ricky Ponting and trainer Alex Kountouris, Rogers was told he would be making a test debut on home soil, against India at the WACA ground today. Ponting confirmed that Hayden – who has not missed a test since 2000 – had not sufficiently overcome soreness in his right hamstring and that he was too great a risk to take into the match, where Australia chase a record 17th successive win.

“I am really excited at the moment, and hope I do the baggy green proud,” Rogers said.

“You couldn’t script it better to play in front of your home crowd, and that is something you will always remember. I probably thought maybe I had missed the boat, but also I thought there could be an opportunity.

“You never want to wish an injury on anyone, but there is always a chance that might happen. It is unlucky for Matt and I feel for him, but it is a great opportunity for me.”

A miserable start to the season saw Rogers miss out to Phil Jaques as the replacement for Justin Langer, in part because of an appendix operation which kept him out of action at a crucial time.

A mystery stomach virus then curtailed his action, but since returning, a Pura Cup haul of over 300 runs at an average of over 40 has again proved his credentials.

However, Ponting said it was an innings Rogers played against the Australians for county side Leicestershire, during the Ashes Tour of England in 2005, that had stuck in his mind.

“I was very impressed with what I saw that day, and this is his opportunity, there’s no doubt about that,” Ponting said.

During that knock, Hayden told Rogers he should consider getting out to aid the side. But yesterday Hayden said he was delighted for Rogers, despite his personal disappointment at missing the chance to complete a world record 17 test wins in a row.
“Obviously I am very disappointed missing this test match – it is going to be a really special,” Hayden said

Quickie Shaun Tait will come into the side, as Australia opted for an all-pace attack for the first time since 1992. Brad Hogg is the 12th man.

Categories: Cricket News

Show courage against Aussie pacers, Kirsten advises Indians

January 14, 2008 1 comment

India’s coach-designate Gary Kirsten has prepared a document for the team to counter the bouncy track at the WACA where the conditions will be “mentally more demanding” for the batsmen.

“It takes a lot of courage to get into position on bouncy wicket to be successful. More than the technical it’s the mental side and I am sure Indian batsmen are aware of it,” said Kirsten as he faced his first press conference in India colours.

The former South African opener revealed that he has prepared a document for the Indian team where he has put down his experience of travelling to this part of the world.

“I have put together a document on touring Australia…It is how to go about doing it. There is a definite style of playing technically on bouncy wickets.

“At WACA, it’s a very tough cricketing environment. There is never an easy game and it’s mentally very demanding. But the Australians also say it’s the best place to bat. One needs to brace the challenge and give everything you have got.

“I guess it’s a case of looking at the glass that is half full and not half vacant,” he said. Kirsten believed that more than any other nation, Australia tests the character of a cricketer to the fullest.

“It’s a mental battle. When you come to Australia you could be sure they would leave no stone unturned. It tests you as a person, yes you got to have skills but it you can go by skill only up to a point,” Kirsten said. “You need to have a strong character. In Australia, you are fully examined.”

From what he has seen in a brief interaction with the Indian team, the visitors want to put the controversy of recent days behind and get on with the game.

“They are two cricket-mad countries, there is a lot of emotion flying around, lot of intensity. Whatever has happened in recent days has been sad. “The game has changed so much in recent years. It’s all about performance, all about winning and sometimes players step outside the line. “Sometimes under pressure you can make wrong choices. However, it is brave to stand up and accept it. At the end of the day it’s the players who can sort this issue out. They are the custodians of the game which is bigger than team, individuals.”

On India’s choice of batsmen for the openers’ slots, Kirsten said Virender Sehwag should open the innings while Rahul Dravid should go back to his reputed middle order position.

“I do feel there are specialist positions…Sehwag has just hit a big hundred and has the respect of the Australians. Rahul Dravid on the other hand has been hugely successful as a middle order batsman,” Kirsten said.

Categories: Cricket News