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Friday, January 28, 2011

Kolkata says can be ready for World Cup

NEW DELHI: The bosses of Kolkata's Eden Gardens insisted Friday they could be ready to host next month's India-England World Cup clash after the venue was ruled out because of unfinished renovation work.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) sparked a logistical nightmare for organisers on Thursday by asking for an alternative stadium for the February 27 match because of concerns about unfinished facilities at the famous ground.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), which runs the stadium, asked the the ICC to reconsider its controversial ruling, which raised further questions about India's ability to host major sporting events.

CAB chief Jagmohan Dalmiya, a former ICC president and himself a construction company owner, wrote to the Indian cricket board on Friday to convince the governing body to stick to the original schedule.

"(The ICC's decision) comes as a shock because when their inspection team was in Kolkata, we were given to understand that they were happy with the progress of the work and had suggested only a few minor modifications," said the letter.

CAB chiefs promised they would hand over a completed Eden Gardens to the ICC on February 7, "provided we are given an extension."

"Finally, we also state that we will address the bulk of the ICC concerns by January 31, 2011 itself and the remaining little, if any, in another seven days," the letter said.

World Cup organisers were struggling to find a different venue and organise travel, ticketing and security.

"It's a challenge for sure, but we are working on solving the issue at the earliest," tournament director Ratnakar Shetty told reporters at the World Cup headquarters in Mumbai.

The ICC was concerned about work in the renovated stands of Eden Gardens, as well as corporate boxes, the media centre and the location of the radio commentary boxes.

The problems echoed similar trouble before the Delhi Commonwealth Games in October that were marred by severe delays in construction work and shoddy finishing.

Tour operators said they hoped the matter would be resolved soon with the tournament looming.

"England v India is the biggest of all the group games," Shirley Rattray of Cricket Logistics, the ICC's official travel partner, told a cricket website.

"It is the most popular because Eden Gardens is such an iconic venue to watch cricket. A match there is regarded as one of the sporting things to do before you die.

"So it's a big shame that the game has had to be moved."

Rattray said tickets needed to be relocated and fresh flights and hotels booked.

"It's never easy when things like this happen, but it will get done. That's the way things work in India, things can be turned around at the last minute very quickly."

Eden Gardens, which hosted the World Cup final in 1987 and a semi-final in 1996, is due to host three other matches. A decision on whether they will go ahead will be taken by the ICC at a later date.

The three games are South Africa v Ireland on March 15, Ireland v the Netherlands on March 18 and Zimbabwe v Kenya on March 20.

The World Cup is being co-hosted by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from February 19 to April 2

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Zealand name squad for World Cup

New Zealand name squad for World Cup WELLINGTON: New Zealand cricket chiefs backed their struggling one-day team to reverse a dramatic form slump, avoiding wholesale changes in the World Cup squad named on Wednesday.

Chief selector Mark Greatbatch said the Black Caps had a point to prove after losing their past 11 one-day internationals, including series whitewashes against Bangladesh and India.

"We have kept faith with the bulk of the team which played the five-match ODI series in India and believe that, despite recent one-day form, the squad is very capable," he said.

"(They) owe it to themselves and the New Zealand fans to put in a huge performance at the World Cup."

Cricket's showpiece event in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka runs from February 19 to April 2.

Greatbatch said the squad, captained by Daniel Vettori, had an experienced core, with six players who helped New Zealand reach the semi-finals for the fifth time at the last World Cup in 2007.

All-rounder Luke Woodcock, 28, is the only uncapped ODI player in the squad, securing his berth with his strong domestic form for Wellington.

"He has a good head on his shoulders and his selection provides the option of playing three spinners, which could be useful in the subcontinent," Greatbatch said.

Injury-prone all-rounder Jacob Oram was also named, with Greatbatch saying his domestic performances after returning from a stint on the sidelines made the fitness gamble worthwhile.

Greatbatch singled out Jamie How as a batsman who needed to improve after failing against India but said his ability to provide wicketkeeping back-up to Brendon McCullum had helped sway selectors.

"Some might think he's a bit lucky after the last few innings in India but over the last 15 months he's actually performed in the limited forms of the game at various levels," he said.

Bowler Daryl Tuffey was the highest-profile omission from the squad.

New Zealand's 15-man World Cup squad: Daniel Vettori (captain), Hamish Bennett, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Jamie How, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Luke Woodcock.

Muralitharan to quit after World Cup

Muralitharan to quit after World Cup COLOMBO: Record-breaking Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said Friday he would retire from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup.

"This World Cup will be my last outing," Muralitharan, 38, told reporters on the sidelines of a training session in Colombo.

"I am retiring totally from international cricket thereafter."

The mega one-day event, co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, starts on February 19.

Muralitharan, the world's leading wicket-taker in both Tests (800) and one-dayers (517), bowed out of Test matches in July last year after the opening match against India in Galle.

"My time is up. I have signed up to play for two years in the IPL (Indian Premier League). I am also looking at similar work in New Zealand and perhaps England," the off-spinner said.

Muralitharan said that he was currently focusing on the World Cup, which ends on April 2.

"This is my fourth World Cup. We won in 1996 and came close in 2007 by reaching the final. This would be a memorable one for me and for Sri Lankan fans," he said.

Sri Lanka will host 12 Cup matches, including three at a new 22,000-seater stadium in Murali's home district of Kandy.

The other nine matches will be played at the renovated Premadasa Stadium in Colombo and a new cricket facility in Hambantota in the island's south.

Muralitharan said he had no immediate plans to switch to coaching despite reports last year that he was planning to team up with retired Indian spinner Anil Kumble to start a spin academy for youngsters.

"There are plenty of coaches and lots of talented people out there. I will take things as they come. For the moment, no coaching stints."

Aisam, Bopanna advance at Australian Open

Aisam, Bopanna advance at Australian Open MELBOURNE: Pakistan's Aisam-Ul-Haq-Qureshi and India's Rohan Bopanna had advanced for the second round after easy win against Brazilian pair Franco Ferreiro and Andre Sa at 6-3, 6-0 in the first round on Thursday.

Bopanna and Qureshi, the runners-up at 2010 US Open, next play Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Arnaud Clement.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Unfit Ponting, Hussey in Australia’s World Cup squad

Unfit Ponting, Hussey in Australia’s World Cup squad SYDNEY: Defending champions Australia Tuesday unveiled their squad for next month's World Cup, banking on the fitness of a pair of injury-prone pacemen and elder statesmen Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey.

Veteran Brett Lee and enigmatic short-form specialist Shaun Tait were both included in the 15-man squad for the tournament in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which they are trying to win for the fourth successive time.

Ponting was named as skipper, but is still recovering from a broken finger, while Hussey made the squad but is a major doubt after a severe hamstring tear in the six-wicket win over England at the MCG on Sunday.

Hussey is expected to be sidelined for at last six weeks, with Australia's first game on February 21, and chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch conceded he was a doubt for the showpiece event.

By selecting Lee and Tait, as well as erratic duo Mitchell Johnson and Doug Bollinger, Australia will rely heavily on their pace bowlers to be at their best.

Lee performed well in Australia's win over England on Sunday, but the 34-year-old and Tait are both on the comeback trail after serious elbow injuries.

Sunday's game was Lee's first one-day international for Australia since October 2009 and he missed the 2007 World Cup triumph due to injury.

Tait, who played in the 2007 final but mainly plays Twenty20 cricket these days, was ruled out of Sunday's game with a back problem.

The 27-year-old has only played three ODIs since February 2009, but taken eight wickets in those three matches.

The shock selection was Victorian all-rounder John Hastings, who has played just two one-day internationals, while David Hussey, Mike's younger brother, also made the squad.

Tasmanian wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine, touted by many as a future Australian captain, is part of the 15. 

Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty, who played on Sunday, was overlooked in favour of the returning Nathan Hauritz, who was ignored for the entire Ashes series but has been in top form in domestic first-class cricket this season.

Victorian paceman Peter Siddle was not included, despite being one of the better Ashes performers for Australia with ball and bat.

Squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke, Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Tim Paine, Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson, Cameron White

Donald appointed New Zealand bowling coach

Donald appointed New Zealand bowling coach WELLINGTON: Former South African paceman Allan Donald has been appointed as New Zealand's bowling coach on a short-term contract until the end of the World Cup, officials said Tuesday.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said Donald's experience would be a positive for the Black Caps, whose support staff have been revamped since John Wright was appointed head coach in December.

"I know he is really looking forward to the challenge of returning to international cricket and working with the Black Caps," Vaughan said.

The 44-year-old recently finished a stint as head coach of Zimbabwe domestic side the Mountaineers and has previously worked with English county side Warwickshire and the England national side as bowling coach.

Vaughan said Donald, who took 330 Test wickets for South Africa, would join the squad in Wellington this week ahead of Saturday's first one-day international against Pakistan.

He will remain with the Black Caps through the six-match series and the World Cup, to be played in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from February 19 to April 2.

Pakistani squad for world cup 2011

Pakistan squad announced for World Cup LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board has announced here on Tuesday a final squad for next month's cricket World Cup to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
No captain or vice-captain has yet been announced for the team.

Veteran batsman Mohammad Yousuf and fast bowler Tanvir Ahmed have not been included in the 15-member team.

Squad: Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanveer, Ahmed Shahzad

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sports Mania: Dhoni accepted Islam

Sports Mania: Dhoni accepted Islam

Dhoni accepted Islam

Mahnder Singh Dhoni Accept Islam | Mahendra Singh Dhoni Converts to Islam | hands of former Pakistani Cricketer Saeed Anwar & famous Religious Anchor Junaid Jamshaid Indian Cricket Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, could not have thought in his wildest dreams that his second marriage to “Aaisha Bi Singh Rawat” alias Sakshi Singh Rawat would come to haunt him one day. Mahendra Singh Dhoni had converted to Islam to marry Sakshi Singh Rawat …..
Mahnder Singh Dhoni Accept Islam | Mahendra Singh Dhoni Converts to Islam | hands of former Pakistani Cricketer Saeed Anwar & famous Religious Anchor Junaid Jamshaid Indian Cricket Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, could not have thought in his wildest dreams that his second marriage to “Aaisha Bi Singh Rawat” alias Sakshi Singh Rawat would come to haunt him one day. Mahendra Singh Dhoni had converted to Islam to marry Sakshi Singh Rawat …..
New name is Dilawer Khan