Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Champions Trophy cricket tournament in September 2009

The much delayed Champions Trophy cricket tournament, originally scheduled in Pakistan in September this year, will be held Sep 24-Oct 5 next year. The International Cricket Committee (ICC) will later recview if Pakistan will be the venue again.

'We are delighted at being able to slot the ICC Champions Trophy into the FTP in 2009 thus maintaining the primacy of ICC events,' ICC president David Morgan said at a press conference here Wednesday following a two-day board meeting.

However, the security situation in Pakistan, for which the tournament was delayed, will come up for review again after India's tour to its subcontinental neighbour.

'September-October next year is some way off. We have committed to review the location after India's visit to Pakistan,' ICC chief-executive Haroon Lorgat said.

India is scheduled to play three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 international during its tour to Pakistan in January-February next year.

The ICC has also decided to reduce the duration of the tournament to 12 days, instead of the 17 days and the tournament will be held in one city only.

"The tournament, with its new format of the top eight teams playing in a short, sharp event, is vitally important for the game because it allows those members, as well as the developing cricket world, to grow the sport," Lorgat said, adding that the teamwork shown by the members in deciding the dates was very encouraging.

The eight-team event was originally scheduled in Pakistan Sep 12-28 this year but had to be postponed till October next year after South Africa pulled out of the event due to security fears.

Other top teams like Australia, New Zealand and England were also unwilling to participate in the championship after several players threatened to pull out citing security concerns.

The ICC then deputed Lorgat early September to work out a solution in consultation with the boards of the participating teams.

Following this, ICC received a presentation on the subject at its two-day board meeting, which concluded here Wednesday.

The ICC decision to hold the tournament in September-October is in line with its regulation, which stipulates that a tournament has to be held within 13 months of the postponed original scheduled dates.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cricket's umpire review system to be trialled further

The International Cricket Council have decided on the four series in which they will extend their trial of the umpire review system, beginning with New Zealand's two-Test battle against West Indies in December.

The system has caused debate and controversy since it was first trialled in England in 2007, and it received mixed reactions on its international debut between Sri Lanka and India earlier this year.

The umpire decision review system allows a side up to three unsuccessful appeals per innings.

The idea to extend the trial was agreed upon by the ICC on the first day of their board meeting in Dubai, subject to agreement by the relevant chief executives of the participating country boards.

The ICC board also considered an application from the controversial Indian Cricket League (ICL), seeking approval for their competition, at the sitting.

However, a decision was adjourned pending further discussions between Shashank Manohar, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and ICL officials.

The ICC board has agreed to look at possible changes to bilateral tours, including an enhanced Test championship, and to undertake further research into whether there should be an application to have cricket included in the 2020 Olympics.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Daring to dream

IT IS not so long ago that Michael Hussy was cast as a reliable batsman lacking the special ability required to break out of his mould. At once he was a sound shield player, an honest journeyman, a skillful operator and all the other labels that meant he was never going to wear the colours of his country. It is not that observers were fools. The sentiments were universal. Seldom has a batsman so far surpassed his supposed possibilities. More than most, Hussy had to conquer himself before he could conquer the world. He took his time about it but it was worth the wait.

And there he was in the thick of the action once again, looking like he belonged, looking like he had been in Test cricket all his life. Perhaps he had, in his mind. Hard as they pressed, the Indians could not remove him until he had made 146. He was Australia's last man out, with the score on 430.

Once more his bat was broad, his shot selection faultless, his footwork alert and his placement precise. Somewhere along the way he must have erred, missed a ball or been in danger, yet he never really looked like getting out. He remains an uncracked code.

Come to think of it, he was troubled by Anil Kumble early in his innings as the ageing trouper probed away, but before long the left-hander had worked it out and, anyhow, his edges went along the ground. Almost always his tickles stay down. Old professionals know how to do that, using soft hands and a dead bat, avoiding wafting away with the profligacy of youth. Most of them skidded away through gaps. Even that was not entirely due to luck.

So there he was, the immovable object, holding the innings together, ensuring that the Australians did not squander their advantage. To that end he wore down the attack, thereby adding to the pressure on the home batsmen. Better than most, Hussey knows the value of secured runs. As usual he advanced unobtrusively and it took a glance at the board to realise that he had reached 24 and then 43 and the other posts along his route. He does not set out to collar the bowling, just to score as quickly and as safely as possible. All that hard yakka in domestic cricket taught him a lot about making the right decisions at the crease. Discernment had been a weakness. Those seasons did not curb his ambition so much as inform his mind. Accordingly, he arrived in Test cricket armed with a lot of knowledge and plenty of experience. He was able to bat regularly and to study his craft without feeling that his career, his entire life, depended on the next ball.

Friday, December 14, 2007

McCullum and Taylor guide New Zealand to 254-7 in first ODI

Wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum fell agonisingly short of his first one-day international century but guided New Zealand to 254 for seven in their first one-day international against Australia in Adelaide on Friday.McCullum, promoted to open the batting, anchored New Zealand's innings with 96 -- his highest one-day score -- but holed out to Nathan Bracken in the deep off left-arm spinner Brad Hogg just when it seemed he would push on to three figures. Read more...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cricket: Harmison is ready for the battle

STEVE HARMISON has got his England shirt back and does not want to give it up, no matter how much graft lies ahead.Fast bowler Harmison was given a stern examination by the conditions in his first international appearance for six months – made to toil for 13-and-a-half hours in the second Test at the SSC in Colombo yesterday, as Sri Lanka eked out a 197-run first-innings lead.Although wickets proved hard to come by, he finished with three for 111 - before Sri Lanka declared on 548 for nine – his final one making Prasanna Jayawardene the third home batsman to perish to his extra bounce. Read more...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pakistan pacer Asif recovering after surgery

Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif has undergone successful keyhole surgery in Australia to fix a chronic elbow problem that forced him to miss the ongoing series in India.A Pakistan cricket Board official said the surgery was carried out by a well known Australian specialist in Sydney on Monday. Read more...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cricket-In form Misbah almost turned his back on game

Misbah-ul-Haq, who has ignited his Pakistan career in recent months, said he almost turned his back on the game at the age of 23 in favour of a business career.He studied for his MBA in business management and only started playing top-level cricket at 24." Read more...