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WillSmith456

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Posted: 13 October 2007 at 6:41am | IP Logged
Somerset sign all-rounder Banks
Omari Banks
Banks will bring international experience to Somerset's ranks
Somerset have signed former West Indies all-rounder Omari Banks.

The 25-year-old middle order batsman and off-spinner has played 10 Test matches for his country, the last in Sri Lanka in July 2005.

Somerset director of cricket Brian Rose said: "Omari is a great signing and will give us strength in depth in key positions in our squad."

Banks does not count as an overseas player as he was born in Anguilla, a British protectorate.

Rose added: "Omari will be a huge asset to us and will be very dangerous in one-day cricket and the Twenty20 Cup."

Banks spent two months with Leicestershire in 2001 but only played one senior game against Pakistan.

The rest of the time he was restricted to appearing for the Foxes second team.

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WillSmith456

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Posted: 16 October 2007 at 11:28pm | IP Logged

Flintoff upbeat after op

England ace delighted with surgery report

Last updated: 16th October 2007

Flintoff upbeat after op

Flintoff: Good as new?

Andrew Flintoff is confident his ankle problems are behind him following a fourth operation to cure the long-standing injury.

The England all-rounder underwent surgery in Holland last week and is delighted with the prognosis issued by surgeon Niek van Dijk.

"Professor Van Dijk is more than happy with what he has done and confident he has got to the bottom of the problem," Flintoff told The Sun.

"I'm confident I can come back. It will be hard work again but I've been through lots of rehab programmes so I know what is involved.

No need to rush

"I'm not setting any targets about when I might play again. We have a lot of time so the ankle can heal naturally.

"Time is one thing we have in our favour so there is absolutely no need to rush things."

The 29-year-old has endured a stop-start career because of injuries, particularly since his Ashes heroics in 2005.

Flintoff took part in the recent World Twenty20 but was clearly troubled by the ankle problem, and was soon ruled out of the ODI and Test series in Sri Lanka.

The tour to New Zealand in the New Year is also off the agenda, but England will now be hoping their talisman will return in top form for next summer's busy schedule.

WillSmith456

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Posted: 21 October 2007 at 10:58am | IP Logged

Love is in the air


Back to Section Stories Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007

Joseph Koraith

DANCING IN THE DARK: The organisers had specially flown dancers from East Europe and here they are strutting their stuff

Mumbai's favourite son, Sachin Tendulkar was watching the proceedings from the VIP stand. Everytime the camera focussed on him the crowd would chant his name. You can't keep Tendulkar out of cricket. Mumbai's Bollywood fraternity too had descended from their lofty skies. A certain Shah Rukh Khan was present and King Khan blew a kiss to the camera the crowd blew away the roof with their screaming.

The camera then focussed on a certain Deepika Padukone and the intelligent crowd that we have started chanting Dhoni's name which brought a smile to Dhoni's face and the cameraman was clever enough to catch it. This is good enough for the television channels to go ballistic over the Dhoni-Padukone alleged relationship. Gimme me a break.

 Symonds booed

The racism controversy is now such a regular feature that one feels like screaming STOP! The Australians have been making a huge hue and cry about nothing. The crowd of course were clear in their verdict. As soon as skipper Ricky Ponting walked into bat, the entire stadium starting booing. The booing was the loudest when Andrew Symonds walked in to the centre. And to vent out their frustration, the crowd also started screaming "Symonds sucks" and continued with their booing everytime Symonds took guard. But to the credit of the crowd they did cheer for Ponting when he reached his fifty.

 Cheap labour

The cheerleaders, all 20 of them, who had been flown in from East Europe atleast that's what the BCCI claimed, were making their presence felt with their flashing pom poms and dance moves. Though their restricted clothing, that had to be adjusted regularly to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions, were attracting attention, the other noticeable observation was that the girls simply didnt know what steps to do. It's not that they couldnt dance but when you play Bollywood songs, the latkas and jhatkas are not something that these girls would be aware of.

So it was just some bored waving of the pom poms that they managed to come up with as dance moves. It was only when some English numbers were blasted that they started shakin and movin.

 Cops will be cops

With the entire city converging at CCI, the traffic police were having a nightmare but that didn't prevent the cops from acting like a pain in a certain unmentionable section of the body. Present at every nook and corner of the roads leading to the stadium, their numbers seemed in excess and at the junction next to the Oval ground, this excess in numbers was causing quite a lot of confusion. There were three cops present and two more on a motorcycle.

While two of the cops were controlling the traffic, suddenly the third one asked a section of the traffic to move forward.

THE SMILE SAYS IT ALL: Deepika Padukone in the news for other reasons was in attendance along with Shah Rukh Khan at the CCI yesterday
This caused complete commotion and resulted in grid lock which took quite some time to clear. While the cops were arguing with themselves, the cabbie, Karimullah, who dropped this correspondent to the stadium, coined one for these uniformed government servants. "Vardi pehenke hai khada, samajhta hai apne ko bahut bada." Nobody can disagree with that.

 Number crunching

To those whom figures hold a special interest.

Did we mention that the song Chak De was played eight times, just in the first innings. An overdose you may suggest, well the crowd were definitely not complaining.

The crowd attempted to start the mexican wave 18 times but were still not successful in completing one full circle around the stadium. It didnt help their cause that the press box was situated bang in the middle of the two sections of the crowd who were trying to start the wave.

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farisss4

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Posted: 11 November 2007 at 6:26am | IP Logged
Asif likely to miss entire tour of India...

November 11, 2007



The PCB has looked at several medical options to resolve Mohammad Asif's elbow injury AFP


Mohammad Asif's elbow injury may rule him out of Pakistan's tour to India altogether, as the Pakistan board mull several medical options to resolve a problem that refuses to go away.

Asif was initially withdrawn from Pakistan's squad for the first three ODIs, on the day Pakistan left for India, but his right elbow continues to trouble him. A board official told Cricinfo that the chances of Asif joining the team for any of the remaining ODIs or Tests are very slim.

"The elbow is still causing him trouble. We are considering different medical options because the problem has refused to go away and has troubled him for much of the last year. Right now, it is looking very doubtful that Asif will take any part in India at all," the official said.

Nasim Ashraf, chairman PCB, revealed recently that Asif might have to go to Australia to receive treatment on the injury. "We have two reports on his injury. One specialist says he requires surgery, another feels he can recover without surgery. We have sent his reports to a top specialist in Australia and we are awaiting his response," Ashraf said.

The board, according to Ashraf, are also considering preventing their fast bowlers from playing county cricket, to prevent them from being overworked and risk injuring themselves. Already this season, Umar Gul and Asif have been stopped from playing county cricket, though the board compensated both financially.

Asif's elbow first caused him problems on the tour to England last year, where after a brief, but high-workload stint with Leicestershire, he had to sit out the first three Tests of the summer series. Since then, the problem has plagued him intermittently, generally flaring up after he has bowled an excessive number of overs in Tests.

The same injury forced Asif to miss four out of five ODIs against South Africa at home recently.

farisss4

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Posted: 17 November 2007 at 5:48am | IP Logged
Mohammad Sami recalled to Pakistan squad


Cricinfo staff

November 16, 2007



Mohammad Sami is back in the Pakistan Test squad after a 10-month absence AFP


Mohammad Sami has been recalled to Pakistan's 15-man Test squad against India following an impressive start to the domestic season, while Mohammad Asif's elbow injury has all but ruled him out of the Test series as well.

Danish Kaneria and Faisal Iqbal will also be flying out to India, while Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Fawad Alam and Rao Iftikhar Anjum will head back following the conclusion of the ODI series.

Sami was not included in Pakistan's last Test squad against South Africa, but has been impressive this season in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy for Karachi Whites. Coupled with Asif's unavailability, it makes him "the best option to partner Shoaib Akhtar," according to Salahuddin Ahmed, the chief selector.

Sami played the last of his 30, largely unfulfilling Tests, in January against South Africa since when he drifted to the sidelines of Pakistan's Test attack. But he has picked up 21 wickets so far this season while captaining the Whites, and a career-best 8-39 last week that sealed his spot.

"Sami is in outstanding form at the moment. We need to strengthen our pace attack and along with Shoaib and Umar Gul, he should form a potent attack," Salahuddin told Cricinfo.

Kaneria, a certainty for the Test squad, has also been in good form in domestic cricket. Following a poor series against South Africa, he has picked up 27 wickets for Habib Bank, to be among the leading wicket-takers this season.

Iqbal also retains his place in the side, having impressed selectors with his second innings 44 at Karachi, against South Africa. He didn't play in the following Test at Lahore, but that was only because the Pakistan board was eager to give Inzamam-ul-Haq a proper send-off.

"Faisal has been playing well this season and he made runs for Pakistan A," said Salahuddin. "He only missed the second Test against South Africa because Inzamam was playing so it's only right that he remains the first choice for that position."

Asif's absence will trouble Pakistan. He has been their lead strike bowler over the last 18 months, but a troublesome elbow has held back his progress in recent months. He is due to travel to Australia next week for another opinion on his injury, after two doctors offered conflicting advice: one suggested surgery, while the other said he needed proper rest and medication.

Whatever is recommended by the specialists in Australia, it seems highly unlikely that Asif will recover in time for any of the Tests. The Tests begin in Delhi from November 22, while the last Test will be played in Bangalore, from December 8. Pakistan have already lost the ODI series.

Squad: Shoaib Malik (capt), Younis Khan (vice-captain), Salman Butt, Yasir Hameed, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal (wk), Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Sami, Abdur Rehman

umi82990

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Posted: 17 December 2007 at 9:20am | IP Logged

India determined to defy history in Australia

6 hours ago

NEW DELHI (AFP) An Anil Kumble-led India left for a tough cricket tour of Australia in confident mood, despite history being against them.

India have never clinched a Test series in Australia since their maiden visit there in 1947-48. They have won just four of their 32 Tests Down Under, a record that can turn even a die-hard fan into a pessimist.

Top-ranked Australia are currently on a roll as they have not lost a Test since August 2005, which includes a 14-match winning streak.

But Kumble believed his side could defy history this time as he had the batsmen to deliver in all conditions, especially after leading his side to a rare Test series win on his debut as captain against Pakistan.

His confidence also stemmed from India's impressive recent away record -- Test series victories in the West Indies in 2006 after 35 years and then in England in 2007 after 21 years under Rahul Dravid.

Kumble, 37, became captain in the twilight of his career but soon proved his credentials as he recently led his side to a 1-0 win in the three-Test series against Pakistan, India's first success against their rivals at home since 1980.

"That (winning a Test series in Australia) is the aim. I believe we have the potential to do the job. Last time, we came close to winning the series, and we are confident we can do it this time," he said before the team's departure.

India drew a four-Test series 1-1 on their last tour of Australia in 2003-04 under Sourav Ganguly.

Kumble pinned hopes on a famed middle-order quartet -- comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Venkatsai Laxman -- to test Australia in home conditions.

It will be the last chance for the foursome and their captain to overcome the odds, for they may not be around when India next tour Australia in 2011. Ganguly is 35, followed by Tendulkar and Dravid, both 34, and Laxman, 33.

"Our strength is our middle order, which has 30,000 runs among them. We have to ensure we don't worry about the opposition, and get the job done," said the Indian captain.

Ganguly, top-scorer against Pakistan with 534 runs in three matches, will make his 100th Test appearance when India open a four-match series in Melbourne on December 26.

Batting will be India's main strength against a sharp Australian pace attack, with the renowned quartet expected to play key roles in the absence of a settled pair of openers.

India have one in-form opener in Wasim Jaffer and the search for his partner continues. Dinesh Karthik opened against Pakistan, but could manage just one half-century in six innings.

India gambled with hard-hitting opener Virender Sehwag who was recalled more because of his past performances in Australia, where he has averaged 54.70 in five Tests, than on current form.

Sehwag played his last Test in South Africa in January before being axed for Test series against Bangladesh, England and Pakistan.

India will rely on their spin twins -- leg-spinner Kumble and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh -- to test a formidable Australian batting line-up as they do not have the pace attack to match their rivals.

They have named five fast bowlers in a 16-man squad, with Zaheer Khan being the most experienced with 52 Tests. Irfan Pathan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Ishant Sharma and Pankaj Singh have a combined tally of 35 matches.

India will then play a triangular one-day series in Australia, which will also feature World Cup runners-up Sri Lanka.

Indian Test squad: Anil Kumble (capt), Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Venkatsai Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Wasim Jaffer, Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Karthik, Pankaj Singh.

umi82990

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Posted: 17 December 2007 at 9:20am | IP Logged

Let players sign in India - May

Cricinfo staff

December 17, 2007



Twenty20 leagues in India such as the Indian Cricket League, which hosted its final on Sunday, could lure players away from international contracts, according to the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations Getty Images

International players should be allowed to retire and take up lucrative contracts with Twenty20 leagues in India, according to Tim May, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations. May said any move by national boards to stop such retirements, or to ban players who join Twenty20 leagues, could be a restraint of trade and might result in court action.

"If a player wants to retire from international cricket because he's had enough and wants to spend more time with his family and he can seek employment elsewhere, to allow him to spend more time with his family, then, like any other employee, he should be allowed to," May told the Australian.

"We will resist that [banning players] with everything we have. That is an unreasonable restraint of trade, which will be up to the players and the courts to test."

But while May said there was the potential for competitions like the Indian Premier League and the Indian Cricket League to lure players away from their international contracts, national boards also have another potential problem. The IPL's franchising system has raised questions over possible sponsorship clashes.

It is feasible that a Cricket Australia-contracted player could sign with a team owned by a company that provides services in competition with Cricket Australia's major sponsors, the Commonwealth Bank and Travelex. "That's a hypothetical question," James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive said.

"The facts are that we deal with these situations day after day, with players playing county cricket or in other situations. Players will need to work around these situations to be released."

Justin Vaughan, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive, said his board would have to revisit its payment structure to ensure non-IPL players are not easily enticed to a rebel Twenty20 outfit.

"We'll talk to the players' association because they are very mindful of that situation and we certainly don't want these players being lost to international cricket," Vaughan told the New Zealand Herald. "But it's great our players can make a lot of money playing cricket. That's fantastic."

The initial IPL sign-on fees were announced last week, with Shane Warne receiving a US$400,000 deal, Glenn McGrath attracting US$350,000 and Justin Langer signing up for US$175,000. However, those figures are base fees for being part of the player pool and do not include the salaries they will be paid by whichever franchise they join.

umi82990

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Posted: 17 December 2007 at 9:20am | IP Logged

Cricket-Gilchrist to miss final one-dayer against New Zealand

Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:02am GMT
 
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SYDNEY, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Australia vice-captain Adam Gilchrist has been ordered to miss Thursday's deciding one-day match against New Zealand in Hobart to save himself for the upcoming test series against India.

Australia need to win or draw the match to regain the Chappell-Hadlee they lost to New Zealand last season but will have to do so without Gilchrist.

The wicketkeeper-batsman will be replaced by New South Wales wicketkeeper Brad Haddin after Australia's selectors decided to give Gilchrist a break in accordance with their controversial rotation policy.

"It was always the selection panel's intention for Adam to play in the Twenty20 International and the opening two matches of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy regardless of results," the chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said in a statement.

"It's important that Adam's workload is suitably managed with four tests and the (limited-overs one-day) series ahead."

Australia were beaten 3-0 by New Zealand in February when they rested several key players ahead of the World Cup but coach Tim Neilsen dismissed concerns they were treating the Kiwis too lightly.

Australia won the first game of their current series while the second game was washed out. Australia can regain the trophy with a win or a draw but a loss will allow New Zealand to retain the trophy.

"I don't think we're being arrogant ... we're trying to look after the workload of our senior players," Neilsen told reporters on Monday.

"It was planned a month ago when we looked at the programme."

(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Ossian Shine)

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