India complete whitewash
selection for Ashes
Govt negates ICC interest in legalising betting
Strauss, Collingwood to share captaincies
Warne would be back if made captain: Jones
Special meeting of HI today
AIFF signs 700-cr deal
Zidane handshake happened: Materazzi
Australia in a mess, Ponting should step down: Gatting
Chennai, December 10
Chasing a meagre 104 for a win, India stuttered initially with Gautam Gambhir (0) and Virat Kohli (2) falling early but Prathiv (56 not out) and Yuvraj Singh (42 not out) kept their cool to take the home side past the target with 28.5 overs to spare at the M A Chidambaram Stadium. Patel struck the winning runs -- a four -- as India reached 107 for two in 21.1 overs to rout New Zealand and wrap up a remarkable performance by a young side without senior players Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh.
It was India's second instance of a 5-0 series whitewash against any country, having achieved the feat against England in 2008-09. This also turned out to be best ever victory against New Zealand by India in one dayers. India won this match with 173 balls to spare with eight wickets in hand, its earlier best against the Kiwis was 160 balls to spare with seven wickets to spare. New Zealand ended their tour of India on a humiliating note. They had lost the three-match Test series 0-1 before the five ODIs. Today's ODI loss was also their 11 on the trot after beating India by 200 runs at Dambulla on August 10.
India, however, made a wobbly start in their run chase with Gambhir, who had scored back-to-back centuries to end as series top-scorer, dismissed cheaply in the third ball for a duck. Gambhir edged a Nathan McCullum delivery to wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum when he went for a cut shot and three overs later Kohli was caught at the slip by Ross Taylor off captain Daniel Vettori to leave India at 10 for two in the fourth over.
The target was too small to bother India but Yuvraj and Parthiv played sensibly as they settled down without taking much risk. But once they settled down, the Indian duo was not troubled by the New Zealand bowlers. Parthiv hit Kyle Mills for three fours in the ninth over before hoisting Vettori for a six.
Yuvraj also joined the party with a four and a six off Nathan McCullum in the same over. He also hoisted Grant Elliot for another six towards the close of run chase. Parthiv's unbeaten 56 came from 70 balls from which he hit six fours and a six while Yuvraj's 46-ball unbeaten 42 was studded with six fours and two sixes.
Earlier, India put up an impressive bowling display to bundle out a struggling New Zealand for a paltry 103. Off-spinner R Ashim continued to impress with figures of three for 24 while Ashish (2/34), Yuvraj Singh (2/5) and Yusuf Pathan (2/11) scalped two wickets each to destroy the Kiwis. New Zealand's 103 is the lowest by a team against India and also the lowest in the ground after Zimbabwe's 139 against Australia on October 30, 1987.
New Zealand's struggle can be gauged from the fact that only four of their batsmen -- Brendon McCullum (14), Jamie How (23), Scott Styris (24) and James Franklin (17 not out) -- could manage double figures. Opting to bat after winning the toss, New Zealand never got going as they lost wickets at regulare intervals to finally surrender at 103 in 27 overs.
Praveen Kumar (1/20) started New Zealand's downfall when he had opener Martin Guptill caught behind by Parthiv Patel in the fourth ball with the visitors yet to open their account. McCullum, who looked susceptible during his stay at the crease, followed suit when he was caught plumb in front of the wicket by Ashish Nehra after the batsmen went for a wild cross-batted shot. His 10-ball stay at the wicket was studded with three hits to the fence.
It was double delight for Nehra in his next over when he achieved his 150th career wicket in the form of Ross Taylor. Making good use of the extra bounce, Nehra sent a short delivery to Taylor (9), who went for a pull only to get a top-edge, which was gleefully accepted by Patel to leave New Zealand reeling at 28 for three. How and Styris then tried to ressurect the Kiwi innings with an 43-run fourth wicket stand before three quick wickets in a span of four runs did the visitors in.
Yuvraj, Ashwin and Pathan then combined well with the ball to destroy the Kiwis. Yuvraj started it all, first castling How's timbers and then getting Elliot lbw for a duck in consecutive overs. In between Ashwin removed dangerman Styris and then Pathan too chipped in with the wickets of Daniel Vettori (9) and Nathan MCCullum in consecutive overs to reduce New Zealand to 92 for seven in 24 overs. If not for Franklin's gutsy 24-ball 17, New Zealand would have struggled to cross the 100-run mark. Ashwin signed it off for India in the fourth and sixth delivery of the 27th over, claiming the last two Kiwi batsmen — Kyle Mills and Tim Southee. — PTI
Guptill c Parthiv b Kumar 0
B McCullum lbw b Nehra 14
How b Yuvraj 23
Taylor c Parthiv b Nehra 9
Styris lbw Ashwin 24
Franklin not out 17
Elliott lbw Yuvraj 0
Vettori c Yuvraj b Pathan 9
Nathan c Yuvraj b Pathan 1
Mills c Tiwary b Ashwin 4
Southee c Sharma b Ashwin 0
Total: (all out in 27 overs) 103
Bowling: Praveen Kumar 6-1-20-1, Nehra 5-0-34-2, Munaf Patel 3-0-9-0, Ashwin 8-1-24-3, Yuvraj Singh 2-0-5-2, Pathan 3-0-11-2.
Gambhir c Brendon b Nathan 0
Parthiv Patel not out 56
Virat Kohli c Taylor b Vettori 2
Yuvraj not out 42
Total: (2 wkts, 21.1 overs) 107
Bowling: Nathan 6-1-26-1, Daniel Vettori 6-0-30-1, Scott Styris 4-0-7-0, Kyle Mills 1-0-15-0, Grant Elliott 4.1-0-27-0.
Perth, December 10
England leads the five-test series 1-0 after an innings win in Adelaide and a draw in Brisbane. Pacemen Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus, who both missed selection in Australia's XI for Adelaide, have also been included. Hughes was added in place of opening batsman Simon Katich, who will miss the rest of the Ashes series with a torn Achilles tendon. Beer has taken just 16 first-class wickets at an average of 39.93 since making his Western Australia state debut two months ago.
"This is obviously disappointing for Marcus, who has played some outstanding test innings for Australia," national selection panel chairman Andrew Hilditch said in a statement. "But it was felt to be the right time to bring the exciting prospect Steve Smith into the test team. Hilditch said Beer's knowledge of the WACA ground secured his inclusion.
"Michael is a left-arm orthodox spinner who has been very impressive at domestic level this year," he said. "He took wickets against England in the tour match earlier this summer and we expect he will bowl very well against the English on his home ground." Bollinger's omission leaves Australia with a fast bowling quartet of Harris, Johnson, Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle to chose from.
"Both Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus did not play in Adelaide but will be strongly considered for selection in the Perth test match where conditions will suit them," Hilditch said. Australia squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice captain), Shane Watson, Phil Hughes, Mike Hussey, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin, Michael Beer, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus. — AP
Govt negates ICC interest in legalising betting
New Delhi, December 10
As fallout of that, ICC, through Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat, has advocated legalising betting on cricket, especially in India.
However, the ICC’s ambitions in this direction were dealt a telling blow recently when the Government of India stated that it had no intention of legalising betting in sports in the country.
“I am especially keen to engage with governments to consider the regulation of betting,” Lorgat had said in a statement from Cape Town in September, a view echoed by former ICC President Ehsan Mani and also some lawyers in India.
“From what I understand, whenever India play a one-day match $200 million to $300 million will be bet," Mani was quoted as telling the Wisden Cricketer magazine around the same time.
“.... in the grey markets, particularly India, where it is totally unregulated, the ACSU's intelligence can only ever be superficial. So this is the time for the ICC to say to the Indian Government that you have to bring this into the loop.
"I don't know why it hasn't happened, as the Government would make a lot of money out of it,” Mani had added.
However, this proposal was decisively shot down by Parliament when, in response to a question raised on November 30 by two MPs, the Sports Ministry responded: “At present, there is no proposal to legalise betting games in the country.”
The fact of the matter is that the ACSU, in its entire existence of close to two decades, been a singular failure when it comes to tracking or stopping betting on cricket. Most of the bookies have been apprehended by local police and security agencies with little or no help from ACSU as a matter of routine crime prevention.
This ineffectiveness of the ACSU was also reflected by Lorgat, who said on December 1: “Although the ACSU is regarded as the world leader in its field of work the ICC is keen to review all its procedures and structures to make improvements where possible.” In essence, there was scope for improvement.
So as the ICC realised that ACSU couldn’t really do much, the solution was to seek legalisation of betting, which would not only bring relief but also revenue. The target areas were the sub-continental cricketing nations, but since Pakistan and Bangladesh are Islamic nations, there was no question of such projects there. The Sri Lankan economy isn’t strong, so the only choice was India.
However, with the Government stand clear, it looks like the ICC will have to get the ACSU to work, instead of trying to simply make illegal betting on cricket disappear.
Melbourne, December 10
England national selector Geoff Miller said that while England remained focussed on winning the Ashes - it leads the five-test series 1-0 after two tests - ``we are excited by the prospect of taking on Australia in the limited-overs format.'' "We believe we've picked a well-balanced squad to cover both the two Twenty20 matches and the ensuing seven-match ODI series against Australia," Miller said. "This series will be the ideal lead up to the ICC World Cup which immediately follows the tour of Australia." — AP
Melbourne, December 10
The 41-year-old Warne has been offered a million dollars to come out of retirement by a group of businessmen here which has created a media frenzy around his possible return after Australia lost the second Ashes Test to be 0-1 down in the five-match series.
The flamboyant leg-spinner has chosen to remain mum on the issue but Jones said Warne would definitely consider a comeback if he is handed the captaincy for the next two years. "Warnie, without doubt, no joke, could actually come back," Jones told '3AW' -- a radio station here.
"He's the Rolls-Royce. He can do anything he really wants in that regard. He just has to get himself fit. But I'll say this, categorically, because I want everyone to understand it, if Cricket Australia walked up to Shane Warne and said 'Would you come out of retirement and we'll give you the captaincy for two years?', I know for a fact he would take it. He would play," he added.
Jones said all the talk about Warne being unprepared for the grind after three years of retirement means nothing as the legendary spinner remains a magician with the ball.
"With bells on, he'd be running out of his house right now putting on his cricket shoes and putting on the runners to get himself fit," Jones said of the bowler who grabbed 708 Test wickets during his 15-year career.
"He makes out that it's really, really difficult to bowl leg-spin and do all that type of stuff. But really, he just walks in off three feet and bowls the ball. So it's not too hard. Let me tell you, he's the Rolls- Royce. He can do anything he really wants in that regard. He just has to get himself fit," he added. — PTI
Rohtak, December 10
Punjab, who were comfortably placed at 144 for three at stumps, consolidated their overall lead to 289 after bowling out the hosts for 270.
Rana was unbeaten on 73 off 125 balls while Uday Kaul was batting 31.
Earlier, the visitors, who had scored 415 in their first innings, had to be content with Rana who fought gamely during his 226-minute stay at the crease.
Resuming at a precarious 153 for seven, Rana, in the company of Dhruv Singh (30), added a crucial half-century partnership after Haryana lost other overnight batsman Amit Mishra cheaply.
Rana hit 15 boundaries during his 165-ball 102, while Dhruv found the fence twice. For Punjab, Manpreet Gony was the wrecker-in-chief picking up four wickets, while Jaskaran chipped in three wickets.
After Rana's gritty hundred, it was the turn of Mandeep to steal the limelight.
The 19-year-old right-hander, on a high after notching up his maiden first-class century in the first innings, hit seven boundaries during his 162-minute stay at the wicket. — PTI
Special meeting of HI today
New Delhi, December 10
An important item in the agenda will be to look for a foreign coach--or any good coach for that matter, even if he's an Indian--who can turn the fortune of Indian hockey around.
The fate of Spanish coach Jose Brasa seems to have been sealed as neither the Sports Ministry/Sports Authority of India nor Hockey India are interested in giving him a fresh contract.
Hockey India has cast its net wide to search for a coach who will fit the bill perfectly for the needs of Indian hockey, as the new coach should be able to deliver, and put the game back on a pedestal in the country, working within the limitations of the country.
Hockey India will also have to appoint a new president in place of Vidya Stokes, who had quit following pressure on her by the Sports Ministry, as she was well past the age limit of 70 years prescribed by the Ministry for sports officials to hold top positions.
New Delhi, December 10
"We have entered into an agreement with IMG-RIL for 15 years for the promotion and development of football. We are excited that this will lead to wider reach of football in the country and elsewhere," AIFF President Praful Patel told a press conference after the Annual General Body Meeting of the federation.
The agreement with AIFF grants IMG-RIL all commercial rights to football in India, including sponsorship, advertising, broadcasting, merchandising, film, video and data, intellectual property, franchising and new league rights. The AIFF has also mandated IMG-RIL to develop the branding and marketing aspects related to national team, domestic competitions and participating teams.
IMG-RIL would also look at scheduling, restructuring and reformatting of the domestic competitions. In addition, IMG Reliance plans to develop, operate and administer a new professional football league in the country. Through AIFF, IMG-RIL will also work with the member associations in developing these various proposals. Patel said IMG-RIL and the AIFF will work together to develop Indian football talent, significantly impact the competitive level of the sport as well as attract high quality international players. — PTI
Rome, December 10
That was the then France captain's last ever professional match as a player and he later claimed he had reacted to slurs the Italian directed against his sister. Last month, ahead of Milan's Champions League clash against Real Madrid at the San Siro, a Spanish journalist claimed to have seen the pair shake hands and make up at a Milan hotel, although Zidane later denied this. But now Materazzi claims that such an exchange did indeed take place.
"I was leaving the hotel when someone came and stopped me and said there was a problem," he told Mediaset yesterday. "They said that Zidane was parking right next to my car. I replied that I didn't see a problem. "I went out and found myself in front of Zidane so I took the opportunity to say some things to him, things that he and I know and that will stay between us.
"Let's say that it was I who spoke most and at the end when he extended his hand to me I clasped it and didn't let go until he looked me properly in the eye. "That's what I wanted and that's how it went." Materazzi, who plays for Inter Milan, had gone to Real's hotel to greet his former boss Jose Mourinho while Zidane now has a coaching and consultation role at Real. — AFP
Melbourne, December 10
"If you took the captaincy off him, or he walks, Ricky might be a better player without having to worry about the trials and tribulations of a captain," Gatting was quoted as saying by 'The Daily Telegraph'.
Gatting was the last English captain to clinch the Ashes in Australia when he led the team in the 1986-87 series.
The flamboyant former batsman said Ponting needs to rediscover himself and giving up captaincy would give him that space.
"All of a sudden, that might re-invent Ricky Ponting for three or four years which would be great for Australian cricket.
"Australia needs to decide what to do with him. It's not Ricky's fault, it's the players' fault collectively.
The issue will be whether Ricky can just go back to being a player and a batsman in his own right," he said.
Ponting has scored just one hundred from his past 33 Test innings and has just 70 runs at 23.33 in two Tests this summer.
Under him, the Aussies are trailing 0-1 in the ongoing Ashes series after losing the second Test in Adelaide.
Gatting, however, conceded that Australia does not have too many candidates to replace Ponting.
"It says a bit about why Australia are in a mess at the moment.
There's no standout candidate to replace him as captain, other than Clarke," Gatting said.
"Does Australia have a better option than Ricky?
Maybe not, but they might decide they need a fresh outlook to get the team and Ricky going again." — PTI
Injury scare for Tendulkar
Anand held by Howell
Saina extracts Asiad revenge
Flintoff could move back to UK
Jeev could skip Royal Trophy