England scrape past B’desh
bids adieu to ODIs
Smith upbeat after victory
NZ ready for Lankan challenge
Prasad refuses to call it crisis
Complaint filed against Sachin
PCB takes cue from BCCI
Bangalore, Chennai to host Afro-Asia Cup
England scrape past B’desh
Bridgetown, April 11
Paceman Sajid Mahmood took advantage of a bouncier pitch to take three wickets and help bowl Bangladesh out for 143 in 37.2 overs in the first match at the renovated Kensington Oval.
England, inconsistent all tournament, lost wickets at regular intervals in the run chase but reached their target in 44.5 overs.
Michael Vaughan’s men must now beat South Africa and hosts West Indies to maintain a good chance of progressing while Bangladesh are all but out of the reckoning.
Sajid Mahmood dealt two early blows before fellow new ball bowler James Anderson added two more in his second spell to rock Bangladesh.
They were reeling at 65 for six in the 16th over before Saqibul Hasan topscored with a defiant 57 not out for his fourth one-day fifty to prevent a rout.
He struck Andrew Flintoff over point for six and hit him for two successive fours in the next over after adding 47 runs for the seventh wicket with Mashrafe Mortaza (13).
Mahmood returned to take the last wicket to end the innings in the 38th over and finish with three for 27. Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar removed three lower order batsmen to return three for 25.
England need to win their last three Super Eight matches to have a good chance of reaching the semi-finals and took command after skipper Michael Vaughan asked Bangladesh to bat first on a lively Kensington Oval pitch.
Bangladesh suffered heavy defeats against champions Australia and New Zealand before their shock win over South Africa in the Super Eights, and England exposed their limitations again although their fielding was sloppy early on.
Iqbal c Collingwoodb Mahmood 8
Nafees c Straussb Mahmood 9
Bashar run out 4
Rahim b Flintoff 7
Hasan not out 57
Ashraful c Nixonb Anderson 1
Ahmed c Nixonb Anderson 10
Mortaza b Panesar 13
Rafique c Strauss b Panesar 0
Razzak c Collingwoodb Panesar 15
Rasel c Flintoff b Mahmood 4
Extras (lb-3, w-10, nb-2) 15
Total (all out; 37.2 overs) 143
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-23, 3-26, 4-40, 5-47, 6-65, 7-112, 8-113, 9-137.
Bowling: Anderson 8-0-30-2, Mahmood 8.2-0-27-3, Flintoff 8-0-38-1, Panesar 7-2-25-3, Collingwood 4-0-14-0, Bopara 2-0-6-0.
Bell c Ahmed b Rasel 0
Vaughan c Bashar b Razzak 30
Strauss lbw Rasel 23
Pietersen c sub b Razzak 10
Collingwood not out 23
Flintoff b Rafique 23
Bopara b Rafique 0
Nixon not out 20
Extras (b-4, lb-8, w-6) 18
Total (6 wkts; 44.5 overs) 147
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-48, 3-70, 4-79, 5-110 , 6-110.
Bowling: Mortaza 8.5-3-28-0, Rasel 10-3-25-2, Razzak 10-1-30-2, Rafique 10-3-33-2, Hasan 6-0-19-0. — Reuters
Grenada, April 11
Frustrated by indifferent performance of his team which lost to South Africa here yesterday, the left-hander chose to call it a day, telling reporters, “I think this is the end of my one-day career, for sure”.
Holder of world records of the highest score in first class cricket (501 not out) and Test cricket (400 not out), the West Indies captain made 10,354 runs at 40.60 with 19 hundreds in 297 ODIs.
Lara, in his third and most impressive stint as the West Indies captain, was under fire for the team’s poor Super Eight show.
“I honestly feel my game is over and we should give it to one of the younger players. It’s really tough playing one-day internationals out there,” he said.
“After the World Cup the next one-day tournament for the West Indies is in June in England and I’d love to sit back and watch and see the team do well,” he added.
The 37-year-old player will be leading the West Indies against Bangladesh and England in the remaining Super Eight matches and though the semifinal hopes have vanished, he said the matches did matter a lot for the side.
“These might be my last two one-day internationals but I still want to see the team moving out of this competition learning something from it and that’s all I can hope for,” he said.
“It’s demoralising, yes, but I want to see certain things happen and I want to see the team move on,” Lara said.
Analysing the defeat against South Africa, Lara said, “I thought we tried our best. But South Africa played better than us. They were in a do-or-die situation; they came up trumps, showed their class and why they were number one until a few days ago. They were outstanding, and we were outplayed,” he remarked.
Born on May 2, 1969 at Cantaro, Brian Charles Lara played in Trinidad and Tobago junior soccer and table tennis sides before realising that his future lay in another sport.
Though he would be known more for posting the highest score in first class cricket (501 not out) and Test cricket (400 not out), his one-day career is also impressive enough.
Lara made his ODI debut against Pakistan at Karachi in 1990 and went on to score 10,000 plus runs in both forms of the game, a record he shares with Sachin Tendulkar, both of whom dominated the discussion on who is the best batsman of the era.
Lara, who was chosen Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1995, has played 297 ODIs and scored 10,354 runs at 40.60 with 19 hundreds and 63 half-centuries. His highest score of 169 came against Sri Lanka.
“The Prince”, as Lara is nicknamed, initially failed to make a mark as captain of the trouble-torn West Indies side and was accused of being aloof and lacking motivation, which perhaps stemmed from the fact that he did not have the team he deserved and often fought for losing cause.
In April last year, he took over the charge again after predecessor Shivnarine Chanderpaul resigned following a disastrous 14-month tenure during which the side won just one of the 14 Test matches they played.
Announcing his retirement from ODIs, an emotional Lara apologised to the supporters after the defeat against South Africa.
“...to our people, sorry about that and let’s hope that we can pick ourselves up. There are many more World Cups to come, there are some young players in the team and we just hope that they can regroup quickly and get out of it because it’s really a state of shock to be here and (be) unable to fulfil not just our dreams but the dreams of the people in the Caribbean.” — PTI
St George’s, April 11
“After the game against Bangladesh we discussed the areas where we had slipped up and what we wanted to do. We have got to number one playing a certain style of cricket and that’s what we did today,” a victorious Smith said yesterday.
South Africa were put on roll by Jacques Kallis’ brilliance upfront at a time when the still damp wicket was assisting fast bowlers.
“Since the match against Australia, he has played aggressively and today was another such day. He has followed it up superbly and his experience is showing through. It was always tough to bat upfront because there was a lot of moisture in the first 10-12 overs. Jacques (Kallis) got the momentum and AB (De Villiers) finished it off,” Smith said.
We played poor cricket: Lara
West Indian captain Brian Lara admitted that his side’s campaign in the
cricket World Cup was over and the pressure of the big stage badly affected his
team’s performance. “I think it’s over. It’s six points with South
Africa having a much better run-rate than us. We hold our hands up and
admit that we were not good enough to be in the semifinals,” confessed
a sombre Lara after his side was thrashed by the Proteas in a critical
Super Eight match here yesterday.
West Indian captain Brian Lara admitted that his side’s campaign in the cricket World Cup was over and the pressure of the big stage badly affected his team’s performance.
“I think it’s over. It’s six points with South Africa having a much better run-rate than us. We hold our hands up and admit that we were not good enough to be in the semifinals,” confessed a sombre Lara after his side was thrashed by the Proteas in a critical Super Eight match here yesterday. — PTI
St George’s, April 11
New Zealand are unbeaten in the tournament so far and just need one more win to be certain of berth in the semifinals.
New Zealand are also close to matching their best unbeaten run in one-day cricket, having won nine matches in success, sixth in a row at the World Cup. New Zealand’s best spell of 10 successive wins had begun in February, 2004, and lasted till September the same year.
But skipper Stephen Fleming said his team needed to work out long partnerships for success against Sri Lanka, who have been their nemesis in the recent times.
But an optimistic Fleming asked his team to produce better work against a side which has been their nemesis in recent times. — PTI
It’s easy to understand why Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka have entered the semifinals, with South Africa not very far behind. These sides believe in the ‘cumulative’ approach. They don’t subscribe to the Pakistani and Indian method of relying on two or three players to perform. Every single member of the top four sides is aware of his responsibilities towards his team.
It was sad to see the West Indies bow out with their loss to South Africa. The hosts could have done with better planning in what was a crucial game for them. I was mystified to see Brian Lara opting to bowl after winning the toss. It is perfectly normal to have preferences in any walk of life, and the West Indies have certainly indicated on more than one occasion in the recent past that they are more comfortable chasing totals. But the highest level of the sport calls for a flexible mindset.
The fact is that South Africa had lost their previous game of the competition batting second. They were under some pressure going into this game, and the West Indies’ best bet would have been to maintain it by batting first. You can be sure that Graeme Smith’s side would have felt the heat even if the hosts had scored only 200. The West Indies did their opponents a monumental favour by putting them in. Suddenly, the pressure was off, and the South Africans were able to bat without a care in the world, aided by some pedestrian bowling.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka and New Zealand will play for the points-table more than anything else when they take each other on later today. Lasith Malinga is a doubtful starter for the game. He has been a real asset for his side on the Caribbean wickets, which lack bounce. The Lankans can afford to keep him out at this stage, for they will need him to be fit and raring to go at the knockout stage. It isn’t as if they will miss him greatly either. Chaminda Vaas is there, and so is Muttiah Muralitharan. The hunger to win the World Cup is also there, as is evident from the way they have played so far.
New Zealand have yet to lose a game in the competition, and it is one of life’s oddities that this will be at the back of their supporters’ minds. If the law of averages is destined to catch up with them, they would prefer it to happen sooner than later.
Stephen Fleming would no doubt have impressed upon his players the need to ignore negative thoughts if any and keep going on the field. It will be a good game, for both sides believe in the modern cricketing dictum of ‘making things happen’ rather than ‘waiting for things to happen’, as used to be the case earlier.
The high fielding standards of both sides will only enhance the quality of the contest. Batting and bowling-wise, there is virtually nothing much to choose between the top teams in the world today. It is fielding that makes all the difference.
It is this reality that cricket administrators in Pakistan and India will have to keep in mind as they go about repairing the damage caused by the first-round departures of both teams. This is just the right time to take sound decisions that will benefit the countries in the long run. Any proactive move to improve cricket will meet with universal approval, as opposed to several occasions in the past wherein the public has been divided in its views.
The BCCI has made some appointments already. It is important for the likes of Ravi Shastri, Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad to sit down and develop a bond. I feel that they should develop a system wherein Ravi Shastri will be a ‘head coach’ of sorts and the other two will ‘report’ to him. They can evolve a transparent and effective ‘panel’ if they work along these lines. The last thing India wants is a communication gap between the trio, a clash of egos and objectives, and the consequent emergence of different ‘power-centres’ within the team. — PMG
Prasad refuses to call it crisis
Bangalore, April 10
“Well, I really don’t see the current situation as a crisis. I feel if someone is mentioning about the World Cup, it’s just one game (against Bangladesh) that we lost which could have happened to anybody.
“I would not really read too much out of that because we have done fantastic things in the past,” Prasad told PTI in an interview.
He said India had quality players in the ranks with enough potential and experience and they would soon be back to their winning ways.
“With due credit to Bangladesh, I would say why India cannot do it again if they have done it in the past? The amount of talent and potential we are having is abundant. They all can deliver the goods. The experience and exposure of our players should not be forgotten. The team is too good,” he said.
The former paceman also revealed that Indian captain Rahul Dravid had spoken to him a couple of days before the official announcement was made, informing he was going to suggest his name for the bowling coach’s job.
Asked how he planned to approach the job, Prasad said, “I’ve got to speak to the players and get to know their view points and ideas and carry on from there. I’m just waiting to meet the bowlers I will be working with,” said Prasad, adding he, however, was not sure whether he would be assisting the spinners too.
“Well I’m not really sure about that. I’m just waiting for them (Board) to define my role. Probably in 3-4 days time, Rahul, myself and the others will be sitting down chalking out strategies. I’m just waiting for the team selections to finish”.
Prasad said his new responsibility was a “great thing to happen”, for he always wanted to be involved with the game and give back whatever he has learnt. It was also great challenge for him, he admitted.
“I’m looking forward to it which no doubt is a great challenge. I would like to do the job to the best of my ability, having done the coaching courses not just in India but abroad as well.” Pasad was with the England and Wales Cricket Board for a Level-III coaching course after doing a similar course in India. He coached the Under-19 team, was bowling coach with the National Cricket Academy for the last 3-4 years and also guided the Karnataka state team.
“With experience of having played so much Test and one-day cricket, I feel I can share quite a few things with the players,” said Prasad, who retired in 2001.
Asked how optimistic he was about success, Prasad said, “We’ve played cricket in this country. We understand the culture and understand the players and their mindset. It’s very important to understand the players and talk to them one-on-one. This is what puts us in an advantageous position when we start working with the bowlers in particular.
“We just have to understand them and take them in the right direction,” Prasad said.
A number of young fast bowlers impressed Prasad last season when he helped Karnataka to reach the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy.
“It was a great experience to be part of the state team. I saw Ishant Sharma, Yo Mahesh, RP Singh, VRV Singh, our own Vinaykumar who all have good potentials. There are quite a few of them,” said an optimistic Prasad. — PTI
New Delhi, April 11
Subodh Jain, a social activist based in East Delhi, filed the complaint with Manasarovar police station in North East Delhi yesterday, but no case has been registered in this regard so far.
The Delhi police is seeking legal advise whether they can proceed on a complaint filed by a social activist here for an “offence” allegedly committed outside the country.
“We will seek legal advise from the public prosecutor. The case pertains to an Indian act,” deputy commissioner of police (North-East) Jaspal Singh told PTI.
The controversy erupted as AajTak showed a photograph of Tendulkar with a knife about to cut the cake in the presence of Indian High Commissioner to Jamaica K.L. Agrawal at a function there.
Jain has also named Team India and officials of the Indian High Commission in Jamaica where Sachin allegedly cut a cake in the colours of the National Flag.
“I am disturbed that a person of Tendulkar’s stature dishonouring the tricolour. He should be a role model and by cutting a cake with tri-colour he disgraced both the nation and the national flag,” Jain told PTI. — PTI
Karachi, April 11
After a meeting of its ad-hoc committee, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Dr Naseem Ashraf today said that it had been decided to do away with the categorisation of players in the central contracts.
The Pakistan board suspended last year’s central contracts awarded to 20 players after the national team flopped miserably in the World Cup losing to the West Indies and Ireland to be eliminated early.
The suspended central contracts were divided into three categories with the players in the ‘A’ category getting a monthly retainer of Rs 2,50,000. — PTI
New Delhi, April 11
“The cap will be there of course but how much, that would be decided only after talking to the players,” BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla told reporters here.
Shukla also said that the BCCI was open to a “healthy dialogue” on the issue with the players who have still not made any representation to the board.
After the World Cup debacle, the board’s working committee announced a host of drastic measures, which included scrapping the graded contract system and limiting the number of endorsements for each player, steps that evoked sharp reactions from former cricketers.
It prompted the Indian captain Rahul Dravid to issue a statement where he proposed a “healthy dialogue” between the players and the BCCI to crease out the “irksome issues” of players’ endorsements and contracts.
Defending the decision to curtail the players’ endorsement, Shukla said, “There was this widespread belief that it was affecting the players’ performance. Even the former captains who were invited in the recent meeting in Mumbai felt the same. That’s why we decided to put a cap on that.
“The cricketers are part of the BCCI family. I know some players are going to suffer financial loss but we have to ensure that they don’t overdo it,” the BCCI official said.
Shukla also rubbished media reports claiming a number of senior players, including Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, would be dumped for Bangladesh tour.
“That is totally rubbish. The selectors have not met yet and it would be up to them to decide who will go and who not. You can’t predict it now.”
On the show-cause notice to Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh, Shukla tried to downplay the issue and said, “We just sought an explanation from them if they have really said so.”
He also dismissed notions that agents played a big role behind certain players’ selection in the cricket team. “Absolutely rubbish. There is no truth in it. The selectors have been doing that and the agents came nowhere in the scene,” he said.
Asked whether the board would like to continue with Ravi Shastri as the cricket manager even beyond the Bangladesh tour, Shukla said, “He has been roped in for that series only because he has some media commitments and he does not have enough time.” — PTI
New Delhi, April 11
The $100,000 prize money event will kick-off with the first match at Bangalore on June 6, followed by the remaining two matches in Chennai on June 9 and 10.
Former Test opener Chetan Chauhan is the Indian representative in the four-member selection panel to pick the Asian side that will comprise also players from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The African squad will feature players from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
The tournament carries a total prize money of USD 100,000 with winners standing to pocket $25,000. Each ‘Player of the Match’ will earn $5,000. — PTI