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TODAY'S NEWS 13/11/2010

Aftab Gul not to represent Salman Butt at ICC hearing

KARACHI: The lawyer for Pakistan’s suspended Test captain Salman Butt has said he will not represent the player at an International Cricket Council (ICC) hearing in January.

“It is no use fighting this case because the ICC tribunal has already decided what to do. Having this hearing is all a drama,” Aftab Gul a former Test cricketer, told a local news channel on Saturday.

A three-member tribunal will sit in Doha from Jan. 6 to 11 to consider alleged breaches of the ICC anti-corruption code by Butt and fellow players Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif.

The ICC provisionally suspended the trio after an investigation into newspaper allegations that they arranged for deliberate no-balls to be delivered in the fourth test against England in August.

Gul told Reuters: “I don’t think they are going to get justice at this hearing.”

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Sehwag dazzles as India punish New Zealand in second Test

HYDERABAD: Virender Sehwag smashed an entertaining 96 and Gautam Gambhir hit 54 before New Zealand removed both the openers on day two of the second Test against India on Saturday.

Sehwag unleashed 15 fours and a six in his 120-ball knock and added 160 runs for the opening wicket with Gambhir to steer India to 178-2 at close in reply to New Zealand’s first-innings 350.

At stumps, Sachin Tendulkar was batting on 11 while Rahul Dravid was on seven.

The day’s last session belonged to Sehwag, who underlined his dominance over the Kiwi bowlers with a dazzling array of shots on either side of the wicket after a cautious start to his innings.

The Delhi batsman, who top-scored with 173 in the drawn first Test in Ahmedabad, hit a six and two fours in an over by part-timer Kane Williamson to enthral a nearly 15,000 crowd at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.

Sehwag was trapped leg before wicket by Daniel Vettori as he tried to slog-sweep the left-arm spinner, shortly before curtains were drawn on a thrilling day of cricket.

“It was sad to see Sehwag miss a century,” said Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. “But he is a team man and is never bothered about his personal milestones. He has set the tone of our innings with his aggressive shot-making.

“We will now look to rack up a good first innings total and put pressure on New Zealand.”

Gambhir managed to score his first Test half-century in 10 months but edged paceman Tim Southee to wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins after facing 129 balls, seven of which were dispatched to the fence for fours.

Earlier, left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan (4-69) and Harbhajan (4-76) claimed four wickets each to bowl out the tourists early in the second session.

Zaheer struck in his opening spell, removing Hopkins and first Test centurion Williamson, who was caught plumb in front as he tried to drive the ball to the leg-side.

“We had a bad first session,” said New Zealand’s Jesse Ryder. “India bowled very well, especially Zaheer. He bowled a lovely first spell.

“We had a fine opening day. But in the end, I think we fell 100 runs short of what could have been a good total on this wicket.”

Harbhajan took his first wicket of the match when he claimed Vettori lbw for 11, New Zealand slipping to 312-7 from the overnight 258-4.

Ryder (70) continued his fine form, reaching his fifth Test half-century with a pulled four over backward point off fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.

The left-handed batsman, who made 103 in Ahmedabad, has scored all of his three Test centuries against India, including a career-best 201.

But his dream of scoring a big one again was shattered by Harbhajan, who had him caught at first slip by Venkatsai Laxman, playing his first Test on his home ground. Ryder struck 10 fours in his 120-ball innings.

Harbhajan then removed tail-enders Tim Southee and Chris Martin to wrap up the New Zealand first innings.

The third and final Test will be played in Nagpur from Nov 20-24.

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IPL 4 to commence from April 8, auction in January

MUMBAI: The bosses of the money-spinning Indian Premier League announced a schedule for the fourth edition of the troubled cricket tournament on Wednesday, setting April 8 as the start date.

The IPL, which revolutionised cricket when it burst onto the scene in 2008, had faced uncertainty after being hit by allegations of corruption, money-laundering and tax evasion, as well as ties to the criminal underworld.

The new governing council of the event, minus the ousted former head of the tournament, Lalit Modi, met in Mumbai on Wednesday and announced the dates and a new format.

Play will begin on April 8 and end on May 22, with a players’ auction to be held on January 8 and 9 in Mumbai, N. Srinivasan, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said.

His statement made no mention of franchise disputes, but specified that only eight teams would participate in the league, which combines short, high-octane matches with Bollywood sparkle and brash advertising.

“There will be a total of 60 matches, played by eight teams,” Srinivasan said in a press release.

Two of the original eight franchises, the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, were expelled from the league last month for not declaring changes in their ownership structures.

A new franchise from Kochi in southern India has also faced problems clarifying its ownership structure.

In changes to the format of play, the committee tweaked the design of the finals to eliminate the two semi-final games.

The two top sides will play, with the winner advancing to the final.

The loser of this game will have another chance to qualify for the final by playing the winner of a third-versus-fourth clash.

Lalit Modi, the IPL’s founder, was thrown out of the sport by the BCCI in September over accusations about his conduct.

The BCCI has registered a criminal case against him for the misappropriation of 4.68 billion rupees (106 million dollars) and he also faces a government probe for financial irregularities.

Modi, whose extrovert style personified the IPL, fled India earlier this year – and has consistently denied all the charges against him.

He now lives in self-imposed exile in London, surrounded by bodyguards, as he claims his life is in danger from Mumbai-based gangsters linked to illegal gambling.

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New Zealand recall Jamie How for India ODI series

WELLINGTON: Top-order batsman Jamie How has been recalled to the New Zealand cricket squad after a year’s absence for its five-match limited-overs series against India this month.

How last played for New Zealand against West Indies in early 2009 but has won back his place after strong performances for the New Zealand A team.

All-rounders Scott Styris and Grand Elliott and bowlers Kyle Mills, Daryl Tuffey and Nathan McCullum have also been added to the 15-man squad, which is similar to the one which was whitewashed in a limited-overs series in Bangladesh last month.

“We have kept faith with the bulk of the squad who played in the disappointing tour of Bangladesh and who have performed well in the current test series against India,” coach Mark Greatbatch said.

“The squad sees the return of Jamie How, who deserves his opportunity after impressing the selectors for some time. We feel one-day cricket is the format for him to return to international cricket.”

How replaces B.J. Watling, who is a member of the New Zealand team currently playing India in a three-match test series. The second test in Hyderabad ended Tuesday in a draw.

“A couple of players, Martin Guptill and Gareth Hopkins, which were part of the New Zealand A team who recently toured Zimbabwe will stay on (in India),” Greatbatch said. “Martin has shown good form with the bat and Gareth will provide wicketkeeping cover for Brendon McCullum. Unfortunately this means B.J. Watling misses out on selection.

“We welcome back Scott Styris from injury while Hamish Bennett and Shanan Stewart were unavailable for selection due to injury. This 15-man squad is really looking forward to playing positive cricket in what promises to be an exciting one-day series.”

The series begins on Nov. 28 at Guwahati and includes matches at Jaipur on Dec. 1, Vadodara on Dec. 4, Bangalore on Dec. 7 and Chennai on Dec. 10.

New Zealand squad: Daniel Vettori (captain), Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Gareth Hopkins, Jamie How, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Andy McKay, Kyle Mills, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Daryl Tuffey, Kane Williamson.

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PCB chief to decide on Salman Butt’s arrears

LAHORE: Spot-fixing tainted Test captain Salman Butt’s request to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to release his dues of Rs8.7 million received no positive response as he was advised to wait until chairman Ijaz Butt returns to the country on Nov 21.

Salman had written a letter to the PCB, saying he needed the money to fight his case against the ICC to get himself cleared of the spot-fixing charges and furthermore to complete construction of his house.

“Yes, we have received Salman’s letter, but he has been advised to wait until the PCB chairman arrives back in the country to take any decision in this regard,” Zakir Khan, the director of PCB’s international wing, told Dawn.

He admitted that Salman’s arrears were pending with the PCB but any decision in that regard could only be taken by the chairman.

It is learnt the PCB is conscious in releasing the arrears of the three tainted players since their hearing in the spot-fixing case is still pending with the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The other two tainted players, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir, have not submitted any application to get their arrears cleared.

The ICC has set the date of hearing from Jan 6 to 11.

The PCB, it is learnt, is holding the payment to adjust it in case the ICC penalises the players.

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PCB has no soft corner for Zulqarnain

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is neither interested in taking notice of Zulqarnain Haider`s grievances nor bringing him back to the national fold, as it is not happy with his act of leaving the Pakistan team in Dubai in mysterious circumstances on November 8.

The wicket-keeper made the headlines last week when he left the national team in doldrums, without informing any official of the team management, on the day when Pakistan were going to face South Africa in the fifth and decisive One-day International.

He resurfaced in London where he disclosed that he took the decision after receiving life threats from some bookies.

Informed sources in the PCB told Dawn that by fleeing from Dubai without taking any official into confidence, Zulqarnain had spoiled his case and the Board had no soft corner for him.

“Yes, the International Cricket Council (ICC) may contact Zulqarnain to get some information but the PCB has no such intentions,” the sources said.

Zulqarnain disclosed in London that he could not inform the team management because he did not want to put anyone in trouble.

However, experts are of the view that Zulqarnain had no trust on any official and that was why he did not take anyone into confidence.

The sources further said that the PCB also believed that Zulqarnain defamed the country`s name just to take permanent residence in England.

Zulqarnain`s claim that he had received life threats from bookies is enough to justify his case to get asylum in the UK, the sources said.

They denied the impression that in case Zulqarnain would be right his information could serve the purpose well in eradicating the menace of match-fixing from the gentlemen`s game.

“The PCB has no trust on Zulqarnain in the same way as he showed no trust on the team management,” the sources said.

They further said Zulqarnain could also not be taken back as it would be difficult for members of the national squad to again play with him as his act had defamed them all.

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Second India-New Zealand Test ends in draw

HYDERABAD: Opener Brendon McCullum smashed a career-best 225 to help New Zealand draw the second Test against world number one India on Tuesday.

McCullum, playing his 54th Test, unleashed 22 fours and four sixes during his nine-hour innings as the tourists declared at their tea score of 448-8 on the fifth and final day of the match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.

That left India – who made 472 in their first innings in reply to New Zealand’s 350 – with an improbable target of scoring 327 runs off 30 overs in the final session.

Openers Virender Sehwag (54 not out) and Gautam Gambhir (14 not out) took India to 68-0 when the rival captains agreed to call off the match an hour before the scheduled close.

It was McCullum who stole the day’s show and gave the eighth-ranked Kiwis plenty to cheer about as they head into the series-deciding third and final Test starting in Nagpur on Saturday.

Named the man of the match, McCullum reached the 200-run mark in style, scooping part-timer Suresh Raina (2-38) for a four and celebrating by raising his bat towards the Kiwi dressing room.

“We are extremely pleased with our batting,” said New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori. “Our top-order came into this match under pressure. But they responded extremely well.

“For Tim (McIntosh) to come out of a pair and score a century on the first day was commendable. He set up the game for us. McCullum played so positively, to score a double hundred in second innings in India is something special.”

Starting the day at 237-4, the visitors needed to bat out the morning session, which they did in remarkable fashion, adding 102 runs without losing a wicket.

McCullum, 29, put on 124 runs for the fifth wicket with rookie batsman Kane Williamson and another 51 with Vettori (23).

Williamson made 69 with nine fours, three of which he struck in one over by paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (3-121) before being trapped leg before wicket by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.

The 20-year-old middle-order batsman had scored a century on his debut in the drawn first Test in Ahmedabad last week.

Rahul Dravid bagged his 199th catch in Tests when Vettori drove Raina uppishly to short cover.

McCullum, 124 overnight, completely dominated India’s bowlers with his attacking strokeplay before being caught at mid-on as he tried to play a lofted shot off Sreesanth.

His knock was the second-highest by a New Zealander in India, surpassing Bert Sutcliffe’s 230 scored way back in 1955 in Delhi.

India’s spinners struggled on a wicket that showed no signs of deteriorating with Pragyan Ojha (2-137) and Harbhajan (1-117) picking up just three wickets between them.

“Our bowlers did as well as they could on a wicket like this,” said Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “The wicket offered no assistance to them so I won’t blame my bowlers.

“Sometimes you try too hard to take wickets and spill runs. Also, their batsmen batted very well. They waited for the loose balls and left away the good ones.”

The hosts also missed pace spearhead Zaheer Khan who could send down only three overs due to a groin strain.

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Today's News 25/11/2010

Aussies call up Khawaja as standby for injured Clarke

SYDNEY: Key Australian batsman Michael Clarke is struggling to shake off a back injury just days from the first Ashes Test against England, prompting selectors to rush Usman Khawaja into the squad.

Pakistan-born Khawaja, 23, was added as a standby for Clarke, whose long-standing disc problem resurfaced during domestic duties this month and resulted in him missing Monday’s three-hour training session.

“Didn’t train today, back a little stiff,” Clarke wrote on his Twitter feed. “Confident if I keep listening to our physio and doing the right things I will be fit for thurs.”

Team physio Alex Kountouris said Clarke’s lower back injury was improving.

“He is making good progress in this recovery and further assessment regarding his availability for selection will be made following the next two days of training,” he said.

Earlier Kountouris said part of the plan had been for Clarke to not bat Monday, adding: “Hopefully he’ll be available for the game.

“I’m reasonably optimistic but until he bats tomorrow (Tuesday) and recovers from that, that’s when we’ll know how he is. Until he bats tomorrow we can’t be absolutely 100 percent sure that he’s okay to go,” he said.

Kountouris refused to rate the chances of vice-captain Clarke playing the full five-day Test match which begins on Thursday in Brisbane.

“We want him 100 percent fit on Thursday, it doesn’t matter what he is today,” he said.

National selectors chairman Andrew Hilditch said the doubt over Clarke’s fitness meant it was prudent to bring a standby player into the squad.

“Usman has been added as a result of his strong recent domestic form,” he said, adding that selectors believed he had the ability to perform well at the international level.

Australia have been hard-hit by injuries in the run-up to the Ashes series, with Clarke, batsman Simon Katich and bowlers Doug Bollinger and Peter Siddle all coming back from a series of strains, knocks and fractures.

Clarke’s injury flared during his century for New South Wales against Victoria 10 days ago, forcing him to bat uncomfortably at number eight in the second innings and to be rested for last week’s game in Tasmania.

Reports said Clarke also missed training on Sunday and merely walked laps of the field, looking in discomfort as he did so.

Australia had named a 13-man squad for the first Test in Brisbane, instead of the usual 12, as cover for their injury problems. Khawaja was to join the rest of the team later Monday, officials said.

The injuries have compounded a sharp loss of form for Australia, who have won just one game in the last eight and slipped to fifth in the Test rankings before the much-anticipated Ashes series against arch-rivals England.

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“Walking ego” Pietersen signs on with Surrey

LONDON: England batsman Kevin Pietersen will play for Surrey next season after signing a one-season deal with the English county club.

Pietersen, who is currently in Australia for the Ashes series that starts in Brisbane on Thursday, had spent the end of the 2010 season on loan at the Brit Oval after announcing his plans to quit Hampshire, another southern county at the end of the campaign.

“I’m delighted to be playing for Surrey next season, as I really enjoyed my time with them at the end of this year,” Pietersen said in a Surrey statement issued Monday.

“I hope I can get some games in over the summer and spend time at this great club, meeting more of the staff and supporters. I look forward to catching up with the guys when I get back from the Ashes.”

Pietersen’s Surrey contract will run concurrently with his England central contract, funded by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

As with other centrally contracted players, Pietersen’s availability to represent his new county will be governed by England coach Andy Flower and the England team management.

Given his status as a regular for England sides in all three international formats – Test, one-day and Twenty20 cricket – Surrey may not see much of their new signing unless he is dropped from the national set-up.

Pietersen has struggled to get back to the superlative form he showed before an Achilles injury ruled him out of most of last year’s Ashes series although the 30-year-old still has an average of nearly 48 from 66 Tests.

He has not made a Test century since the West Indies series in March last year and that led to the South Africa born batsman omitted from England’s end-of-season one-day matches against Pakistan in a bid to find some first-class form at The Oval.

“KP (Pietersen’s) lean trot has a lot to do with the way he has been treated by England,” former Australian star Shane Warne told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, calling him the “walking ego”.

“He was forced out as captain (in January 2009) and sacked from the one-day side earlier this year. The way they treated him was ordinary and he has been made to feel as if he is a bit of an outcast.”

Surrey chief executive Paul Sheldon said: “It is a real privilege for Surrey to have signed one of England’s greatest players.

“When Kevin played for us last season, he was a strong positive influence in the dressing room, especially with our younger players.

“Although there is a packed schedule of International cricket in 2011, I know that whatever contribution he can make to the club will be of immense value. Meanwhile, we have sent Kevin and our other England squad players our very best wishes for the Ashes series starting on Thursday.”

Pietersen joined Hampshire from Nottinghamshire, where he began his career in England, in 2004.

A year later he made his Test debut against Australia in a series that culminated with his Ashes-clinching 158 at The Oval.

After his loan spell at Surrey, Pietersen had a brief stint last month playing for South African side Kwazulu Natal Dolphins where he was coached again by longstanding mentor Graham Ford.

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Smith faces race against time for first India Test

ABU DHABI: South Africa captain Graeme Smith faces a race against time to get fit for next month’s first Test against India after an x-ray revealed an undisplaced fracture, the team manager said Tuesday.

The 29-year-old South African captain was unable to bat in South Africa’s second innings in the second and final Test against Pakistan on Tuesday after spraining his right thumb and recurrence of his left hand finger injury.

Smith sustained the finger injury when he was hit by Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar during the first of five one-day matches last month which South Africa won 3-2.

Team manager Mohammad Moosajee confirmed: “Smith faces a race against time to get fit for the first Test (starting on December 16 at Centurion.”

South Africa host India for three Tests, five one-day internationals and a twenty20 match. The Test series is billed as a contest between the world’s top two teams, with India number one in Test rankings and South Africa at two.

Moosajee said Smith has been advised to take a three-week rest.

“His fourth metacarpal in the left hand has an undisplaced fracture and the doctor said it will take two to three weeks rest to heal,” said the manager.

South Africa were thwarted by Pakistan in the second Test as the match and the two-match series heads for a draw. They had made 173-4 in their second innings for an overall lead of 323.

Smith batted through pain to score a brilliant hundred in the first Test in Dubai, which ended in draw last week.

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Wapda crush Karachi Blues as Islamabad, ZTBL also win

KARACHI: Wapda became outright leaders in the Division One segment of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy National Cricket Championship after cantering to an innings and 82-run rout of Karachi Blues on the third day of the match at the National Stadium here on Wednesday.

Wapda`s fourth win in five matches – giving them a total of 39 points – was completed when the defending champions, who resumed at 19-1, were all out for 189 in the second innings with skipper Rana Naved-ul-Hasan taking four wickets for the second time in the game.

Habib Bank, the joint leaders with Wapda before the current round were heading for defeat after reaching 265-8 in the second innings against Rawalpindi who enforced the follow on. The bankers now lead by only 39 runs going into Thursday`s final day.

ZTBL also completed a three-day victory as they crushed Multan by nine wickets, while Islamabad came from behind to surprise relatively stronger SNGPL by 73 runs.

State Bank retained their top position in Division Two by crushing Quetta by 10 wickets. In other fixtures finishing inside three days, KRL inflicted an innings and 86-run defeat on second-placed Abbottabad, Karachi Whites outclassed Hyderabad by 241 runs with paceman Sohail Khan returning match haul of 11-98, while Lahore Shalimar beat Lahore Ravi by seven wickets.

Scores and results on Wednesday (day three of four):

Division One:

At National Stadium, Karachi: Wapda beat Karachi Blues by an innings and 82 runs.

KARACHI BLUES 128 in 50.5 overs (Naveed Khan 42; Nawaz Sardar 4-5, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 4-66) and 189 in 45.1 overs (Rameez Raja 58; Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 4-54, Umaid Asif 3-62); WAPDA 399-5 declared in 105.3 overs (Sohaib Maqsood 182, Riffatullah Mohmand 84, Hasan Adnan 51).

At Sports Stadium, Sargodha: NATIONAL BANK 467-9 declared in 118.2 overs (Kamran Akmal 268, Rashid Riaz 77; Hasan Mahmood Sr 4-168, Rauf Nazir 3-85); FAISALABAD 432-5 in 126 overs (Asif Hussain 149 not out, Shahid

Siddique 97, Farrukh Shahzad 51).

At Multan Cricket Stadium: ZTBL beat Multan by nine wickets.

ZTBL 325 in 73.3 overs (Zohaib Khan 97, Abdul Razzaq 59, Imran Nazir 52; Mazhar Bashir 4-40, Abdur Rauf 4-81) and 40-1 in 13.2 overs; MULTAN 134 in 36 overs (Babar Ali 46; Rehan Riaz 4-32, Mohammad Khalil 3-34) and 227 in 53.4 overs (Mazhar Bashir 71 not out, Taimur Dogar 61; Rao Iftikhar 4-20).

At Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot: PIA 388 in 104.5 overs (Anop Ravi 105 not out, Shoaib Malik 102, Kamran Sajid 72; Mansoor Amjad 4-73, Waqas Ahmed 3-94) and 55-4 in 18.3 overs; SIALKOT 274 in 90 overs (Hafiz Majid Jahangir 84, Mansoor Amjad 74, M. Ayub Dogar 48; Shoaib Malik 4-67, Ali Imran Pasha 4-91).

At Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium: RAWALPINDI 390 in 88.2 overs (Babar Naeem 80, Muzammil Nizam 79 not out, Naved Malik 70; Fahad Masood 5-83, Kamran Hussain 4-63); HABIB BANK 164 in 52.5 overs (Kamran Hussain 36; Nasir Malik 4-43, Rizwan Akbar 3-65) and 265-8 in 70.3 overs (Aftab Khan 66, Khaqan Arsal 62; Nasir Malik 3-70, Rizwan Akbar 3-80).

At Diamond Club Ground,

Islamabad: Islamabad beat SNGPL by 73 runs.

ISLAMABAD 97 in 28.4 overs (Asad Ali 6-50, Imran Ali 4-22) and 218 in 61.3 overs (Imad Wasim 61; Imran Ali 6-67, Asad Ali 3-81); SNGPL 165 in 44.1 overs (Khurram Shahzad 64; Fakhar Hussain 4-71, Nasarullah Khan 3-55) and 57 in 18.3 overs (Nasarullah Khan 7-31).

Division Two: At UBL Sports Complex, Karachi: Karachi Whites beat Hyderabad by 241 runs.

KARACHI WHITES 251-4 in 83 overs (Abdul Jabbar 114, Wajihuddin 96, Shahzaib Hasan 59, Javed Mansoor 40 not out; Sajjad Ali Khan 5-122) and 138-3 declared in 16.3 overs (Rameez Aziz 41); HYDERABAD 65 in 27 overs (Sohail Khan 7-27, Rajesh Ramesh 3-20) and 201 in 58.2 overs (Hanif-ur-Rehman

41; Atif Maqbool 5-81, Sohail Khan 4-71).

At LCCA Ground, Lahore: Lahore Shalimar beat Lahore Ravi by seven wickets.

LAHORE RAVI 107 in 31.1 overs (Haseeb Rasheed 30; Aamir Hayat 6-34, Emmad Ali 4-60) and 193 in 46.1 overs (Muzaffar Mahboob 75; Aamir Hayat 6-81, Emmad Ali 3-64); LAHORE SHALIMAR 145 in 42.2 overs (Hafiz Zohaib 31; Abdul Ghaffar 5-56, Asif Raza 3-53) and 156-3 in 36.4 overs (Irfan Zaman 73).

At KRL Stadium, Rawalpindi: State Bank beat Quetta by 10 wickets.

QUETTA 128 in 55.3 overs (Mohammad Naved 5-41, Adnan Rasool 3-23) and 112 in 35.2 overs (Mohammad Naved 4-31, Adnan Rasool 3-28); STATE BANK 237 in 82 overs (Wasim Naeem 96; Mohammad Asim 3-59) and 6-0 in 0.3 over.

At National Cricket Ground, Islamabad: PTV 390 in 107.3 overs (Imran Ali 102, Ammar Mahmood 96, Yasim Murtaza 86; Riaz Afridi 4-103, Nauman Habib 3-93) and 159-1 in 24 overs (Raheel Majeed 74 not out, Awais Zia 41 not out; PESHAWAR 339 in 84.3 overs (Sajjad Ahmed Sr 114 not out, Riaz Afridi 103; Saad Altaf 4-108).

At Abbottabad Cricket Stadium: KRL beat Abbottabad by an innings and 86 runs.

ABBOTTABAD 125 in 45.5 overs (Waqar Orakzai 40; Mohammad Irfan 5-45, Jaffer Nazir 4-40) and 158 in 69.3 overs (Rahat Ali 5-36); KRL 367-8 declared in 102.3 overs (Ali Khan 137, Saeed Anwar Jr 122; Ahmed Jamal 4-125).

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Siddle lights up the Ashes with stunning hat-trick

BRISBANE: Peter Siddle celebrated a hattrick and career-best Test figures on his birthday to bowl Australia into a commanding position against England after the opening day of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba Thursday.

The stout-hearted Victorian paceman sent England reeling with a stunning hattrick as he captured six for 54 to help dismiss the tourists for 260 and put Australia on top.

At the close, Australia had negotiated seven overs in fading light to be 25 without loss and trail England by 235 runs with Shane Watson on nine and Simon Katich not out 15.

The Test match exploded into life in Siddle’s 12th over late in the day when he dismissed Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad with consecutive deliveries to rip the heart out of the England innings after skipper Andrew Strauss had won the toss.

It was the 11th time an Australian bowler has captured a Test hattrick and came on the day of Siddle’s 26th birthday.

Siddle more than justified his selection ahead of Doug Bollinger when he single-handedly bowled Australia into a powerful position against the Ashes holders.

He followed up the significant scalps of Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood in the space of nine balls in the middle session with four wickets in the post-tea period.

The England innings collapsed spectacularly with Siddle’s dramatic hattrick, sending them spinning from 197 for four to 197 for seven in just the space of three spellbinding deliveries.

Siddle brought the crowd roaring to its feet when he dismissed Broad leg before wicket to bring up his hattrick after having Cook caught by Watson at first slip and bowling wicketkeeper Prior.

It was an electric atmosphere as Siddle charged in on the hattrick ball and hit Broad directly on his boot in front of leg-stump, prompting umpire Aleem Dar to raise his finger to send the ground into uproar.

Only Ian Bell, Cook and Pietersen, yet again fleetingly, offered any great resistance on an easy playing pitch.

Bell followed up his 192 against Australia A last weekend with another encouraging fighting display of 76 off 131 balls, sticking it out while wickets clattered around him.

Cook occupied the crease for nearing five hours for his 67 off 168 balls with six fours, while the dangerous Pietersen got another start only to throw it away on 43.

He went on the front foot to drive only to get a thick edge off Siddle to find Ricky Ponting at second slip.

Collingwood only lasted eight balls before falling in Siddle’s next over, edging to Marcus North at third slip for four.

In the morning session England lost the wickets of skipper Andrew Strauss off the third ball of the match and Jonathan Trott in the 14th over.

Strauss sliced a wide Ben Hilfenhaus delivery straight to Mike Hussey in the gully for a duck.

Strauss’s dismissal follows his inglorious last series in Australia four years ago when he made just 247 runs at 24.70 and scored only one half-century in his 10 Test innings.

Watson bowled Trott for 29 with an inswinger on the last ball of his opening over which collected his off-stump.

England have not won the Brisbane Test since Mike Gatting’s team prevailed by seven wickets six tours ago — on the way to their last Australian series victory in 1986/87.

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Afghanistan beats Pakistan in Asian Games cricket

GUANGZHOU: Afghanistan shrugged off their sensational Asian Games cricket triumph over Pakistan, insisting only a gold medal will now be good enough for their long-suffering, war-ravaged country.

Afghanistan clinched a 22-run semi-final win over their neighbours to set up a Friday gold medal showdown with either Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.

“It’s a big win for Afghanistan. Every person at home is watching the match and everybody is happy about this win, so now we must win gold,” said captain Mohammad Nabi.

“Pakistan got off to a great start with their batting but we knew it was not all over and we kept our confidence.”

Vice-captain Karim Sadeq insisted that the whole the country was behind the battling team.

“On TV last night in Afghanistan, they told people to pray that we would win. Tonight they will be celebrating all over the country. It’s a dream for us,” he said.

In the first meeting between the two sides, Afghanistan scored 125-8 in their 20 overs before limiting Pakistan’s flamboyant batsmen to just 103-7.

Afghanistan’s score did not look enough as Pakistan made a lightning reply, racing to 30 off just three overs, but tight bowling and disciplined fielding prompted a middle-order collapse.

Pakistan fast bowler Aisaz Cheema said his teammates were devastated by the loss and hoped their demanding supporters at home would forgive them.

“We are very depressed. We cried at first because we expected to win,” he said.

“Everyone was watching at home. They will not be pleased, but they’ll forgive us in time.”

Pakistan manager Sadique Mohammad insisted the match was there to be won.

“It was very easy, we should have won. But our batsmen were not good, especially in the middle order. They thought they could get the target,” he said.

“But they played too slow and all the catches were taken. Had we got more sixes, we could have won.

“Our plan was to win the toss, put them in and get them out for 100. There was a lot of grass on the pitch and the ball would move around.”

Despite the defeat, Sadique believes Pakistan will be gold medal prospects in Incheon in South Korea when the next Asian Games roll around in 2014.

“This was not the best team from Pakistan. Hopefully we can play in the next Asian Games and send better players.”

Pakistan were unable to send a first-choice squad to Guangzhou with their Test and one-day team facing South Africa in the United Arab Emirates.

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Today's News 04/12/2010

England bowl out Australia for 245 on first day

ADELAIDE: England backed up a sensational three-wicket start to bowl out Australia for 245 on an extraordinary opening day of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.

Australia got off to their worst Test start in 60 years at two for three in the opening three overs and then lost their last five wickets for 38 to hand England the inside running on a crucial early victory in the series.

It was a horror performance by Australia, coming off the drawn first Gabba Test and needing to finish ahead of holders England to reclaim the Ashes.

If not for Mike Hussey it would have been considerably worse for Australia with the senior number five batsman showing plenty of spirit in a fighting 93 before 38,615 spectators, one of the biggest Ashes crowds here in decades.

James Anderson was the best of England's bowlers, taking 4-51 off 19 overs.

At the close, England's openers had negotiated one over to be one without loss.

England had a sensational start when they removed senior opener Simon Katich, skipper Ricky Ponting and vice-captain Michael Clarke in an amazing opening spell.

Australia were reeling at 2-3 inside the third over with only Lindsay Hassett's team faring worst at 0-3 in the second innings of the 1950 Brisbane Ashes Test.

Katich set off a calamitous day for Australia when he was run out by a direct hit from Jonathan Trott side on at square leg.

Shane Watson hared off for a single off an lbw appeal on Anderson's fourth ball of the innings and Katich had the misfortune to be out without facing a ball, a victim of chaotic communication with his opening partner.

There was more calamity to come for Australia when Ponting edged Anderson's outswinger to Graeme Swann at second slip for his fifth Test first-ball duck.

The hosts plunged into deeper trouble when out-of-form Michael Clarke on two went hard after a moving Anderson delivery and snicked to Swann in the slips for the spinner's second catch.

Three Australian wickets had tumbled in 10 balls.

Watson was out in the second over after lunch, slicing his drive off Anderson to Kevin Pietersen in the gully for 51 leaving Australia at 96 for four.

Marcus North (26) helped put on 60 runs with Hussey for the fifth wicket before he attempted a lazy late cut off Steven Finn and edged to Matt Prior.

Offspinner Swann was on a hattrick after getting some turn to have Hussey dismissed seven runs short of his century and next ball had recalled paceman Ryan Harris lbw for a duck.

Hussey was on track for his third consecutive Ashes century before he was deceived by a turner from Swann and was snapped up by Paul Collingwood at slip.

The veteran left-hander, who scored 121 in the second innings at The Oval last year, hit 195 in the first Gabba Test last week and was looking in good touch to make it three in a row.

Harris was struck on the back pad at the crease but called for a review by the third umpire, who confirmed South African umpire Marais Erasmus's decision.

Xavier Doherty saw off the hattrick threat, but became the second run out victim of the day in a mix-up with Haddin, who went on to make 56.

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Razzak hat-trick helps Bangladesh crush Zimbabwe

DHAKA: Abdur Razzak took a hat-trick in his five-wicket haul as Bangladesh posted an easy six-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the second one-day international on Friday to level the five-match series 1-1.

The left-arm spinner finished with 5-30 for his third five-wicket haul in one-dayers to help the hosts dismiss Zimbabwe for 191 in 46.2 overs.

Razzak, who took four wickets in the previous match, removed Prosper Utseya with his last delivery of the ninth over before trapping Raymond Price and Christopher Mpofu leg-before with the first two balls of his 10th over.

He became only the second Bangladeshi to bag a hat-trick in one-day internationals after paceman Shahadat Hossain.

Left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan also played a big role in restricting the tourists to a modest total, marking his 100th one-day international with 4-39 off nine overs.

Bangladesh, who lost the first match by nine runs, faced no difficulty in achieving a 192-run target, winning with more than 10 overs to spare.

Opener Tamim Iqbal smashed a 48-ball 44 with the help of two sixes and five fours before Junaid Siddique (53) and Raqibul Hasan (65) ensured the victory with a 72-run stand for the third wicket.

Siddique hit one six and four boundaries in an 83-ball knock for his fifth half-century in one-day internationals.

Raqibul reached his eighth half-century in one-dayers in style, hitting off-spinner Utseya over mid-wicket for a six. He hit one six and six fours in his 79-ball knock.

The Bangladeshi spinners earlier never allowed Zimbabwe to build a big partnership with their disciplined bowling after skipper Shakib had won the toss and put the visitors in to bat.

The highest stand of the innings was 57 for the seventh wicket between Craig Ervine (42 not out) and Utseya (32). Ervine smashed four boundaries in his 41-ball knock, while Utseya hit one six and three fours.

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Cook, Trott make Aussies pay for missed chances

ADELAIDE: England made Australia pay for fielding bungles to make steady progress after the home side's modest first innings total on the second day of the second Ashes Test on Saturday.

The Australians, defending 245, their lowest Adelaide first innings total for 17 years, struck in the day's opening over to remove skipper Andrew Strauss but there was no further joy as the temperatures climbed at the Adelaide Oval.

First Test centurions Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott were building a solid partnership and steering England to a burgeoning innings.

At lunch, Cook was unbeaten on 35 with Trott on 39 in England's 90 for one to trail by 155 runs.

Strauss fell cheaply and Trott had two lives in a shaky start for England chasing Australia's modest first innings total.

Doug Bollinger, recalled after being left out of the drawn Gabba Test, struck with the third ball of his opening over to rock the Ashes holders on a stifling second morning.

Bollinger, steaming in, broke through when Strauss made a serious error of judgment and didn't offer a shot to be bowled for one.

The English skipper was surprised by one that nipped back and collected the top of his off bail to set off celebrations among the Australians.

Trott had two lives when Xavier Doherty was well wide with his throw at the stumps from square leg when he was on six and he was dropped four runs later by Mike Hussey, who could not hold a low two-handed catch in the gully off Bollinger.

Australia were dismissed for 245 off 85.5 overs after winning the toss on Friday's opening day, their worst performance in the first innings at Adelaide since being bundled out by the West Indies for 213 in 1993.

If not for Hussey it would have been considerably worse for Australia with the senior number five batsman showing plenty of spirit in a fighting 93 before 38,615 spectators, the biggest Ashes crowd in Adelaide since the 1933 Bodyline series Test.

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Team not prepared for WC: Afridi

KARACHI: Captain Pakistan T20 team Shahid Khan Afridi has said being the skipper of team, he thought that his team was not mentally prepared for forthcoming world cup, Geo News reported.

He said the players are stuck in several problems therefore they cannot put on hundred percent show during the mega event.

Shahid Khan Afridi was talking to journalists amid a private school function. He said Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik were good players.

He said that process of team selection rested solely with selectors, adding that Mohammed Yousuf was not fit for format of T20 cricket.

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Rain stops play in SL-Windies Test

PALLEKELE: The West Indies were 297-8 in their first innings when rain stopped play on the fourth morning of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Sulieman Benn was unbeaten on 26 and Kemar Roach on nine not out.

The series is tied 0-0 following rain-hit Tests in Colombo and Galle.

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Cook puts England in commanding position against Aussies

ADELAIDE: Alastair Cook again proved to be an immovable force, blunting Australia's bowlers to put England in a commanding position in the second Test at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

The frazzled Australians endured a long hot day of toil in the field for scant reward as Cook continued to be the marathon man of the Ashes series, scoring his second century.

England cruised past Australia's below-par first innings total of 245 some 23 overs before stumps and finished the sweltering second day at 317 for two, a lead of 72.

Cook followed up his unbeaten 235 in Brisbane to end the day on 136 with Kevin Pietersen, not out on 85, threatening to unleash a big score on Sunday's third day.

The pair have so far put on 141 runs together for the third wicket.

Vice-captain Cook, displaying immense powers of concentration, has amassed 438 runs in three innings in this series for one dismissal and has spent all but 11 overs on the field in the first seven days of the series.

The Essex left-hander helped himself to four with a cut off ineffectual spinner Xavier Doherty to reach his ton, his third against Australia.

Cook has now scored 15 Test centuries before the age of 26, equalling the achievement of Australian legend Don Bradman. Only India's Sachin Tendulkar, the leading Test run-scorer of all time, managed more, reaching three figures 19 times before his 26th birthday.

The only time Cook looked in trouble came when he needed a review on 64 to survive after he was given out caught behind attempting to hook Peter Siddle in the 43rd over.

Replays showed that the ball hit Cook's arm rather than his bat and umpire Marais Erasmus reversed his decision.

Australia had early joy with the wicket of skipper Andrew Strauss in the day's opening over, but apart from Jonathan Trott's dismissal for 78 before tea it was unquestionably England's day.

Cook and Trott put on 173 runs for the second wicket to kill off Australia's hopes of containing England's innings lead.

Trott had three lives before his luck finally ran out in the 49th over when he flicked a Ryan Harris lifter to a diving Michael Clarke at midwicket.

The number three batsman had looked on course for his third century in as many Ashes Tests after his 119 at the fifth Test at The Oval last year and 135 in Brisbane last week.

Trott and Cook so far in this series have shared in partnerships totalling 502 runs after their record stand of 329 runs at the Gabba.

Doherty had a chance to run Trott out on six but his throw was well wide and the batsman enjoyed more luck four runs later when Mike Hussey dropped him in the gully off Doug Bollinger.

Trott got his third life on 76 when wicketkeeper Brad Haddin fumbled a high two-handed chance down the leg-side off a Harris bouncer to continue the home side's wretched fielding in the series.

The normally reliable Australians put down five catches in the drawn Test in Brisbane.

The day started well for Australia when Bollinger removed Strauss with the third ball of the day as the England skipper inexplicably offered no shot to the left-armer and was bowled for one.

Australia were rattled out for 245 after winning the toss on Friday's opening day, their worst performance in the first innings at Adelaide since being skittled by the West Indies for 213 in 1993.

England have now amassed 834 runs in the last two innings of the series for the loss of just three wickets.

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Zulqarnain to disclose secrets in two days

LONDON: Former Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, in a new facebook message, has said that he would disclose all the secrets pertaining to spot-fixing within two days, Geo News reported on Saturday.

In his message, Zulqarnain Haider said his family had received threat calls and letters from abroad as a result he was quiet, adding that he had several time requested the government to provide protection to his family.

He hates corruption, Haider said, and added he would make public all the secrets within two days.

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TODAY'S NEWS 10/12/2010

Imran scoffs at calls for Warne’s Ashes return

NEW DELHI: Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan said on Thursday he was bemused by suggesions that spin wizard Shane Warne should come out of retirement to resurrect Australia’s Ashes hopes.

“I have not watched Warne bowl recently, but it can’t be easy to play Test cricket again,” Imran said at a promotional event in New Delhi for next year’s World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“It is okay to play one-dayers and even easier to bowl in Twenty20, where you have to bowl only four overs. But Test cricket is different where you have to last on the field over five days.”

Calls for Warne’s return intensified after England thrashed Australia by an innings and 71 runs in the second Test in Adelaide on Tuesday to go 1-0 up in the five-match series.

A Brisbane cricket fan Ross Heywood even launched a website devoted to raising funds to entice Warne to make himself available for the rest of the Ashes series.

Warne retired in 2007 as Australia’s leading Test bowler with 708 wickets.

Imran said Warne’s best chance of a comeback would be on the spinning wicket in Sydney for the final Test from January 3.

“Australia will definitely need a spinner, especially in Sydney where the track assists spin bowling,” he said.

“If Warne has to make a comeback it has to be at Sydney.”West Indian great Vivian Richards, who also attended the New Delhi event, was not surprised at the clamour for Warne.

“To go back to Warne shows Australia are in dire straits,” the star batsman said. “They just do not have the bowling attack to take 20 wickets if conditions are not favourable.

“The way Australia are playing in the Ashes shows they are on decline. They are not the best team in the world anymore, they are on the way down.”

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PCB appoints Subhan as new Chief Operating Officer

LAHORE: Subhan Ahmed has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) while ex-COO Wasim Bari has been given a new assignment, that of Director Ani-Corruption Unit Domestic.

For Subhan, who has been working as acting COO in place of Bari for a few months now, it is a giant leap since he has risen from the post of Senior General Manager to become the COO. However, it is a sort of demotion for Bari who is now being reduced to the post of a director.

Bari, along with other 22 regular employees, was retired from his post following a Governing Board decision last month.

The Governing Board had decided to do away with all such employees who were enjoying regular status despite having reached the age of retirement.

Besides Bari, Umpires manager Khizar Hayat and general manager domestic Shafiq Ahmad were prominent among those who came under fire in the new policy. Shafiq, however, has now been re-appointed as Manager Umpires and Referees.

Meanwhile, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt had sought the consent of the Governing Board members on telephone to appoint Subhan as the new COO.

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PCB pledges zero tolerance on corruption

KARACHI: Pakistani cricket used international anti-corruption day on Thursday to pledge zero tolerance on graft and bounce back from a series of damaging scandals that have hammered the team.

Cricket, one of the very few entertainments that unites Pakistanis, is fast shedding popularity because of corruption.

Three Pakistani players — Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir — were suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on charges of spot-fixing during team’s Lord’s Test against England in August.

The trio appear before an ICC anti-corruption tribunal in Qatar from Jan 6-11 and face severe punishment, including lengthy bans.

Four other players — Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz and Imran Farhat — are under suspicion of spot-fixing, while Shoaib Malik and Danish Kaneria have not been cleared for selection, apparently over wrongdoings in the past.

Pakistan’s surprise defeat against Australia in January’s Sydney Test also formed the basis of an ICC inquiry, resulting in a notice to Kamran.

The slew of allegations forced the ICC to chastise Pakistan, ordering them to take strict measures to curb corruption, or risk sanction.

PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said on Thursday that the authorities were committed to rooting out graft.

“The PCB has taken strict measures in its fight against corruption with a stricter code of conduct, increased stress on its programmes of player awareness and implementation of the anti-corruption code in domestic cricket — efforts which have been appreciated by the ICC,” said Nadeem. “We are committed to maintain our zero tolerance policy towards corruption.”

Former Supreme Court judge Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim blamed money for corrupting Pakistani sportsmen, many of whom come from impoverished backgrounds.

“Corruption is not only confined to Pakistan, but it is more obvious here than anywhere else in the world,” Fakhruddin stated. “I think with the influx of money our players became greedy and were trapped in corruption.”

Fakhruddin, who conducted a match-fixing inquiry in 1995, blamed the PCB for failing to steer players to proper direction.

“The PCB is the guardian of players who come from poor backgrounds and because some of them are uneducated, they need proper guidance, which wasn’t there and hence they fall into the trap,” he added.

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I have full confidence in Waqar’s abilities as coach: Miandad

LAHORE: Former Pakistan great Javed Miandad has said that he has decided against travelling with the Pakistan team to New Zealand as batting consultant as it may cause a conflict-like situation with head coach Waqar Younis.

Talking to reporters before the start of the second session of the training camp on its second day at the Gaddafi Stadium here on Thursday, Miandad said: “I have full confidence in the abilities of Waqar Younis and if there will be two men dealing with the players, it may cause a conflict. So, I have decided not to go with the team and prefer to give coaching tips to the players in the training camp here,” he said.

“I believe that in cricket, you can’t go with two minds. As captain and coach in my time, I always preferred to make single-minded decisions because having two minds on anything can never be successful,” he said.

The PCB had offered Miandad to take up the additional assignment of batting consultant for the tour of New Zealand, starting from Dec 17.

But Miandad, currently the Director General of PCB, expressed reservations over working under head coach Waqar but later he changed the mind and joined the training camp to give batting tips to batsmen.

“This country gave me a lot and now it is time for us to give it back what we have learned. I am always ready to do something for the country’s cricket and this is one such occasion,” he said.

“In the recent past I had coached the national team before a tour of South Africa and also gave my services for the emerging talent. I am available to even work at the grassroots level,” added Miandad.

About the tour of New Zealand, Miandad said he believed in the team’s abilities which had the potential to defeat any team. “But for that to happen, every member will have to perform on the field and play with responsibility,” he said.

Miandad said he was expecting good batting pitches in New Zealand and advised the players to remain focused on their game.

“I hope the wickets at Christchurch and Eden Park and other venues are conducive for batsmen. But our batsmen will have to read their bowlers carefully,” he said.

To a question about Pakistan’s chances in the 2011 World Cup, Miandad was diplomatic in his comments: “The team which clicks on the day will be the winner and that is what the one-dayers are all about,” he opined.

“Pakistan must do well in New Zealand to enter World Cup in right frame of mind.”

Asked what kind of faults he had noticed in the Pakistani batsmen’s techniques, the master batsman said there was room for improvement in every player and no one was perfect.

“No one is perfect and every player has to learn with every passing day. These boys are good cricketers, but as it is difficult to judge one’s own weaknesses, others can point them out better and improve them. I think our batsmen just need to be tuned up and I hope they will make improvement in their game after my coaching,” said Miandad.

“It is wrong to expect the players to learn during a series. That is the time to deliver, not of learning,” he pointed out.

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Malik, Kamran refused NoC for BD league

LAHORE: Former skipper Shoaib Malik and wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, who have been mysteriously sidelined by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), suffered another setback here on Thursday when the Board refused to issue NoC to them for playing in the Bangladesh league.

Kamran, after failing to get the NOC, was reluctant to speak to the media but said he was keen to have the NoC while the PCB was not really forthcoming about it.

Similarly, Malik also failed to get the certificate as the PCB advised them to continue playing the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy matches.

Moreover, Kaneria — the third player underfire from the Board — also visited the PCB offices on Thursday.

It has been learnt that all the three players have also questioned the PCB on reasons which have kept them out of favour in national team selection despite fine performances in the ongoing Quaid-i-Azam Trophy.

While Kamran and Malik were not selected for the last series against South Africa in the UAE, Kaneria was stopped without any reason just one day before his departure for the UAE to join the national team prior to the start of the two-Test series.

It may be mentioned that the PCB has not yet given any official statement on non-selection of the trio.

For the upcoming tour of New Zealand, though the names of Malik and Kamran had been considered for selection but they were dropped at the last minute under suspicious circumstances.

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