ODIs in for shakeup
No threat of players boycott: SLC
Yuvi reminds me of Sobers: Hanif
England unchanged for SA Test
Kallis eager to nail England
Fearing Gill may not part with trophy, organisers to buy new one
Medal prospects dim: Gill
Pedestrians and vehicular traffic pass an Olympic countdown clock in Beijing on Tuesday, one month before the start of the August 8 to 24 summer Olympic Games. AFP
Sutil records 4th quickest time
New Delhi, July 9
ICC General Manager of Cricket Dave Richardson says he is not sure if the crowd, which lapped up Twenty20, has the same appetite for ODIs and he reckons the 50-over game may have to pave way for 40-over matches or even two innings of 20 overs each.
"The goal is to preserve all three formats. We have to preserve Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game. But are people willing to watch a 50-over game when T20 promises more action in less time? That is the challenge," Richardson told 'The Week' in an interview.
"So we are looking at two fresh options. We still feel broadcasters need content for seven hours...We need to get balance right and tinker with the 50-over format," he said.
Richardson said the 50-over game has evolved over the years and there are new proposals on the table to experiment with the format.
"The general feeling amongst cricketers is that the 50-over edition is not sacrosanct like Test cricket. It started off with 60 overs and then dropped to 55 and 50. Some countries are experimenting with 40 and 45 overs. The new proposals are firmly on the agenda. We will not promise anything, but it will be looked at quite seriously," he said.
Richardson, the former South African wicketkeeper, was of the belief that there are simply just too many one-day tournaments, which defy logic.
"I suppose you could say there were too many meaningless ODIs. They were generating revenue, but were of no consequence. Apart from World Cup it did not make a difference. The rankings upped a little bit, but not enough. There is a proposal to create some context for those ODI series," he said.
On Twenty20, Richardson said greed should not be allowed to kill the golden goose.
"The ICC believes that T20 is the saviour of domestic games and will leave it at the domestic level. The policy is that T20 should bloom in the domestic league and be played at a limited scale internationally. We do not want to kill the golden goose," he said.
Richardson revealed ICC, in its recent Executive Board meeting, discussed future landscape of cricket where the rising popularity of Twenty20 and private ownership of teams were debated.
"Domestic leagues playing Twenty20 cricket for the first time have become revenue generators and have invited worldwide interest. I mean IPL in particular. For the first time ever we have people wanting to watch, sponsor, broadcast and advertise a domestic league! That changed the current cricket landscape," he said.
Asked if franchisee-owned model posed any threat to the cricket boards, Richardson said, "No. The boards are still in control...to preserve international cricket there is no need to ban domestic leagues. We just want to ensure that the ICC's international events and bilateral tours are well promoted and worth watching." PTI
No threat of players boycott: SLC
Colombo, July 9 "We will be holding a meeting tomorrow with the Sri Lankan Cricketers Association
(SLCA) and we are confident that the issue will be sorted out and a decision will emerge by Friday," a top SLC official told
PTI. "There is no threat of senior Sri Lankan players not playing against India in the Test and one day matches and we are hopeful that the contract issue will be sorted out amicably," the official said. According to reports, the Sri Lankan players have not been paid during the last few months. The senior cricketers have reportedly agreed to a freeze on their central contract fees but demanded junior members of the national squad and the A team be given substantial wage increases. Last year, junior players received around $20,000 a year as a retainer, the lowest annual contract fees of all Test playing nations, it said. The 'Daily Mirror' quoted an anonymous player as saying that they could have boycotted the Asia Cup as well, which they did not. "We could have boycotted the Asia Cup but we wanted to prove a point. Now everyone knows who the wrong-doers are," the cricketer was quoted as saying. Annual player contracts were to be finalised by March 31 but three months have gone by. Sanath
Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan are among the top rated players in the annual contract list.
Colombo, July 9
"We will be holding a meeting tomorrow with the Sri Lankan Cricketers Association (SLCA) and we are confident that the issue will be sorted out and a decision will emerge by Friday," a top SLC official told PTI.
"There is no threat of senior Sri Lankan players not playing against India in the Test and one day matches and we are hopeful that the contract issue will be sorted out amicably," the official said.
According to reports, the Sri Lankan players have not been paid during the last few months. The senior cricketers have reportedly agreed to a freeze on their central contract fees but demanded junior members of the national squad and the A team be given substantial wage increases.
Last year, junior players received around $20,000 a year as a retainer, the lowest annual contract fees of all Test playing nations, it said.
The 'Daily Mirror' quoted an anonymous player as saying that they could have boycotted the Asia Cup as well, which they did not.
"We could have boycotted the Asia Cup but we wanted to prove a point. Now everyone knows who the wrong-doers are," the cricketer was quoted as saying.
Annual player contracts were to be finalised by March 31 but three months have gone by. Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan are among the top rated players in the annual contract list. PTI
New Delhi, July 9
Hanif compared Yuvraj's style of play with the former West Indies captain and all-rounder.
Cricket's original little master Hanif said he was a big fan of Sobers. When he saw Yuvraj hit six sixes in an over off England's Stuart Broad in the Twenty20 World Championship, flashes of the West Indian legend sparked in his mind.
Sobers is among the few cricketers who has hit six sixes in an over in a first class match. "I saw him (Yuvraj) hitting those six sixes against England. For a moment, I thought that Sobers was batting," Hanif told ESPN.
The 71-year-old former Pakistan captain said that he loves to watch Yuvraj bat."He is so talented. His (Yuvraj) approach to a delivery, his adjustment to the ball reminds me of Sobers. I am a great fan of Sobers and Yuvraj's style is similar to Sobers."
Known for dour batting, Hanif still holds the record for the longest-ever Test innings when he stayed at the crease for 970 minutes for his 337 against the West Indies in Bridgetown in 1957-58.
Hanif appeared in 55 Tests and also recorded the highest first-class innings of 499 until it was surpassed by Brian Lara's 501 in 1994.
Hanif was recently honoured with the Pakistani Lifetime Achievement award at the Asian Cricket Award ceremony in Karachi July 4. Incidentally, Yuvraj too got a special award, for his six sixers in an over, at the same function.
"I met Yuvraj and told him that I saw those six sixes," Hanif said.
It cannot be more inspiring for Yuvraj, who is struggling to find his feet in Test cricket since his debut against New Zealand in October 2003. The latest jolt came when he was left out from the squad for the three-Test matches in Sri Lanka.
Yuvraj made a brilliant comeback to Test scoring 169 against Pakistan last year but was woefully out-of-form in the four away Tests in Australia and the three Tests against South Africa at home which prompted the selectors to drop him.
The left-handed batsman has been in and out of the team playing just 23 Tests scoring 1,050 runs at an average of around 33. IANS
London, July 9
''Everyone's fit and we'll be playing the same team that played at Trent Bridge,'' captain Michael Vaughan told a news conference.
England completed a 2-0 series win over New Zealand at the Nottingham ground.
Vaughan missed the final part of his county Yorkshire's four-day match against Durham after stiffness and pain in his his troubled right knee, which has required four operations.
He said today the joint had been injected with a lubricant and he would be fully fit for Thursday's Test.
''It's fine,'' he said. ''It just needs monitoring. I played a four-day game and there was a little bit of aggravation towards the end of the game.
''It's no different to how we've managed it in the last year. It just needed a few days to have this lubricant put into the knee.''
All-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who has not played Test cricket since the final Ashes Test in Australia early last year because of injury, practised with the England team at the indoor nets at Lord's as steady rain fell over the ground.
''We want him back in the England team,'' Vaughan said. ''He's here today practising just to get his foot in, we know he's not far away.
''How we get him in the team, we will have to decide on that once he's become available and had enough cricket.
Vaughan said Flintoff could be available for the second Test starting at Headingley in Leeds on July 18.
''He feels in decent spirits, he says he's getting better,'' he added.
Turning to South Africa, Vaughan said they had enjoyed a wonderful past 12 months.
''They are a very settled team, they have got a good blend of experience and youth,'' he said.
''Obviously, it will bring a different proposition in terms of the bowling attack, a lot more pacy, different angles. Dale Steyn is number two in the world so that will be a big threat to the batsmen.
''I always think that a South African series is nearly up there with the Ashes. It's always a really big series for the guys to play in. Always hard-fought contests, very, very tough, what test match cricket is about.''
Squad: Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Michael Vaughan (captain), Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Tim Ambrose, Stuart Broad, Ryan Sidebottom, Monty Panesar, James Anderson. Reuters
Veteran South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis lists beating the English in their own lair alongside winning the World Cup and defeating Australia among his main ambitions in life.
''There are three things I really want to achieve: One is beating England in England, a second is beating Australia - and the third is winning the World Cup,'' Kallis told News24.com.
''We've worked hard on our game. Everything we've done in the last year has been towards this series and the Australian one still to come,'' he added.
South Africa have come close to beating England at home on previous occasions but have not quite managed to achieve the feat despite some spirited performances. They held a 2-1 lead in 2003 going into the final Test at The Oval, where despite making 484 in the first innings, the visitors lost after Marcus Trescothick scored a double-century.
But Kallis is keen to make amends this time around.
''We've come close in the past and made some silly mistakes at times when we shouldn't have,'' he said.
''This time we hope we can learn from those mistakes and get the foot all the way in through the door, not just halfway - and make sure we play those big moments better than England.'' he said.
''We're probably just favourites - although England being at home maybe makes it pretty much even.'' UNI
New Delhi, July 9
The original running trophy remains with Gill and the former IHF president said he was ready to hand it over but only to the Hyderabad Hockey Association (HHA), an assurance that could not really convince Aslam Sher Khan, the man in charge of the event.
Sher Khan said the HHA had no right to collect the trophy from Gill and it was only Gill's tactics to undermine the ad hoc committee, which has replaced the IHF to run the game in the country.
"Till now we haven't received the trophy from the IHF and to be honest chances are very less," Sher Khan, president of the organising committee and also chairman of the ad hoc selection committee, told PTI from Bhopal.
"I doubt he (Gill) will give us the trophy at all. The ad hoc committee is conducting the tournament on its own and we are prepared to buy a new trophy and present it to the winners," he said. He also doubted Gill's sincerity to return the silverware. "Right now Gill is under pressure. How can he ask the HHA to collect the trophy as they are not organising the tournament? I am the president of the tournament and he should have returned the trophy to me.
"For the last three months we have been asking Gill to hand over the accounts and all international trophies in possession of the IHF to the ad hoc committee, but nothing has happened till date," he said.
He went on to allege that Gill had been trying every trick to create problem for the ad hoc committee.
"The ad-hoc committee for long has been asking Gill to hand over the charge of IHF to us, but he is adamant not to give us as he simply doesn't recognises the committee. Anyway, ultimately he has to bow down," he said. "Such is the audacity of Gill that even the IHF office clerk ignores Indian Olympic Association's order of handing over the office keys to the ad hoc committee," Sher Khan alleged.
Meanwhile, joint secretary in the Sports Ministry I Srinivas today expressed hopes that Gill would return the trophy. "Although we don't have no such information (that Gill may not return it) but we don't think he would be so immature". PTI
Medal prospects dim: Gill
New Delhi, July 9
Addressing a meeting of sports ministers at Vigyan Bhawan here today, Dr Gill said it was foolhardy to assume that India could match up to the athletes from the developed and well-prepared countries in the Olympic sweep stake. He said India could, at best, only make their "presence felt", though he held out a slight hope for the women's 4x400 relay squad.
"We know the high standards there. We cannot reach there", he observed. But the minister said not having any winning chances should not deter the county's athletes, who have qualified for the Beijing Olympics, like athletes, shooters, boxers etc, from giving off their best shots.
He said the selection of the Indian squad for the Olympics will be done in a fair and square manner, and no injustice would be done to deserving athletes, particularly in the context of the controversy kicked up by the selection process in the Indian Weightlifting Federation.
He said for India to progress in sports, fund allocation should be enhanced substantially, and facilities provided in tune with the population of the country.
He said India was such a vast country with a huge population that the budget for sports must be hiked at least three times more than the present one. He said there was also a severe dearth of qualified coaches as the country needed the services of at least 4000 odd coaches across the country to give meaningful direction to sports in the country. Similar views were expressed by sports ministers from various states, who lamented that the multiplicity of authority, lack of resources and infrastructure, and the absence of enough, qualified coaches were holding up India's progress on the sports front.
Dr Gill also favoured promotion of traditional games like football, basketball and volleyball which did not need much funding, but could be played by anyone with the help of fewer number of coaches. In fact, these were once the most popular sports in the country, played by the poor and the middle class, till cricket swept in its wake every other sport.
New Delhi, July 9
The German, on driving duties in preparation for his home race in just over a week's time, completed 97 laps on the first day of testing. His quickest lap was at 1min 16.516s, just over one second from the session's best time set by British Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton.
''It was quite a good day, we could do lots of laps without any real problems. It was disturbed by the rain quite a bit but at least we did as much dry running as we could have done,'' Adrian said.
''Overall I am quite confident and feel very good. I like the circuit here - the last time I drove it was in 2005 in a Formula 3 car so I was really looking forward to the first go today with the F1 car. It's just amazing how quick it is,'' he added.
With the event taking place at the same circuit, work focussed on tuning the VJM01 for the challenges of the 4.574km track, with its long straights, tight chicanes and stadium complex that demands high precision driving. The team also continued to accumulate further data on the new aero and mechanical package raced for the first time in Silverstone.
With rain falling just before and after the lunchtime period and heavy gusty winds, conditions were similar to last week's Silverstone test. However, the team completed its full programme with no major mechanical problems. Adrian will continue for the second day of the test tomorrow. UNI
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