Monthly Archives: August 2013

Only title win can be satisfying: Ahmed Alam

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: Former Pakistan hockey captain, Ahmed Alam, while appreciating Pakistan’s performance in the ongoing Asia Cup, said that nothing less than a victory would satisfy him as a Pakistani and as a former player. “Winning the Asia Cup is the sole objective; the team is playing well but still a few hurdles to cross, if the team doesn’t win [God forbid] nobody would remember their early victories in the competition”, said Ahmed Alam while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.Image

“Pakistan played according to a precise plan so far, for instance against Malaysia the moves were carried out from the right-side, which seemed a part of a well-planned strategy. The team carried forward the momentum in the following group matches as well.” added the former captain.

The green-shirts are desperate to win the Asia Cup in order to qualify for the World Cup 2014. After dominating the group stage, with victories against Chinese Taipei (13-0), Malaysia (4-1) and Japan (7-0), Pakistan will face Korea in one of the semi final matches on Friday.

Alam felt that almost all the teams in the tournament – Asia Cup – were at par while the coaches could create a difference. “All the teams are at par, which makes the coaches’ role imperative. The coach capitalises on opponent’s weakness, through strategy, will win”, said Ahmed Alam

On the changes prior to the event, former goal-keeping coach mentioned the recall of goal-keeper Salman Akbar to the Pakistan team, saying that the veteran had to prove the management right. “A few players returned from injuries, and the only inclusion was of Salman Akbar who has to prove the management right which chose him [Akber] over others”, said Alam

Salman Akbar was the member of the Pakistan team that won the 2010 Asian Games in China, however was out of favour since then.

On a question, Ahmed Alam dispelled the impression that going back to Salman Akbar indicated the lack of talent in the Goal-keeping department. “Salman Akber’s best performances were under my tenure as coach. Later on, apart from the last two events, other keeper, Imran Butt performed very well, but, I think, in view of Butt’s performance in last two events and the importance of the Asia Cup, the management opted for the experience in Salman Akbar”, concluded Ahmed Alam.

Salman Butt hopes his sentence be reduced

Muhammad Asif Khan

LAHORE: Suspended former Pakistan captain, Salman Butt has vowed to cooperate with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) in his quest to get his 10-year ban reduced. “I have been cooperating with the PCB and ICC and will keep on doing so. Returning to Cricket is my foremost desire, and I hope that my sentence would be reduced, and I would be allowed to play domestic cricket soon.” said Salman Butt while talking to News One TV.Image

Salman Butt, on Tuesday, met with the vigilance committee of the PCB to formally expressed willingness to participate in the rehabilitation programme. Earlier, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir have also done the same.

“I have signed the required documents, and now it’s up to the PCB’s vigilance committee. I will follow it’s directions whenever they are given”, added Butt.

The ICC handed down bans of five, seven and ten years to Amir, Asif and Butt respectively for their role in the notorious spot fixing episode of 2010.

Pakistan football needs major surgery: Ahmedyar Lodhi

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: Irked with Pakistan national team’s dismal Imageperformance against the home team in Kabul, the Secretary of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), Ahmedyar Lodhi hinted to carry out a major operation cleanup in the Pakistan football setup. “The [Pakistan] team failed to appear as a professional unit and it could not be justified. From the basics such as dribbling, passing and tackling to the overall coordination amongst the players, everything was way below par.”, said Ahmedyar Lodhi while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.

 

On Tuesday, in the first match played in Kabul after 1976 the home team comprehensively beat Pakistan with a 3-0 margin.

 

The secretary PFF further said that Pakistan suffered a blow before the encounter as a few foreign players failed to join the team, however added that the it was a failure on the part of overall strategy, for which, he said, major ‘surgery’ needs to be done.  

“It seems a coaching failure. We will look for a better coach to draft a better strategy. Every appropriate measure will be adopted after a thorough analysis. It needs a major surgery”, concludes Ahmedyar Lodhi.

Bookie Bhatt was PCB’s regular guest: Rashid Latif

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif claims to have identified ‘glaring’ ambiguities in the process which led to the life-ban on leg-spinner Danish Kaneria. “The ECB described Annu Bhatt as the Indian bookie, associated with Kaneria, but I have not found his name in the list of established India bookmakers. He [Annu Bhatt] was, in fact, a regular guest of Pakistan Cricket Board. India and England toured Pakistan in 2005 and 2006 respectively, and he [Annu] stayed in Pakistan as PCB’s guest on both the occasions”, claimed Rashid Latif while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.

ICC should look into the 2009 county match.

ICC should look into the 2009 county match – Latif

“Even afterwards Annu Bhatt toured with the Pakistan team to Sri Lanka, South Africa and the West Indies”, added Latif, who is considered as the whistleblower against the match fixing in mid 90s.The disciplinary panel of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) handed down a life-ban to Danish Kaneria for trapping the Essex county mate, Mervyn Westfield, into spot-fixing during a Pro40 match in September 2009. Kaneria has already filed an appeal in the Commercial High Court in London against the sentence.

Recalling the Essex Vs Durham pro40 encounter, Rashid Latif suspected that the match, which led to the inquiry, was seemingly dubious and could be a case of match-fixing rather then spot-fixing. “Westfield did what he had to for Essex but the way opposing team (Durham) played was dubious. Why Durham skipper did not let his two opening and most economical bowlers to deliver more than five overs each?” questioned Latif.

“Opening bowler Gidman cost 24 and Claydon gave away 27 runs in five overs, but the captain opted for Borthwick as seventh bowler who went for 63 runs in 4.5 overs. I fail to understand the philosophy behind this strategy”, added Latif“The seventh bowler was Borthwick, who is a 19-year old Irish all-rounder. Couldn’t he be vulnerable enough to get trapped?” asked Latif

Latif urged the ICC to hold a thorough probe into the match. “If the ECB can hold a spot-fixing inquiry into a 2009 county match, then why can’t a match-fixing probe into the same match be initiated now”, asked Latif.

Link of the pro40 match:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/countycricket2009/engine/match/383079.html.

Rashid Latif, who claims to have studied Kaneria’s case thoroughly, further stated that during the appeal hearing in London, the main ECB witness, Westfield, was reluctant but was forced through the High Court in an ‘illegitimate’ manner. “Chris Walsh, the lawyer of the ECB, received an email from Wilf Lusty, the manager of the High Court whose responsibility was to summon Westfield.  In the mentioned email Mr. Lusty sent the amended order [summon to Westfield] approved by the High Court Justice, Andrew Smith, asking Mr. Lusty to draw up a fresh order and email it back to him so that he could seal and return it to Walsh [the ECB lawyer]”, claimed Latif

“Can a High Court issue such order in consultation with one of the parties? Did the High Court Judge, who later summoned Westfield, know about these exchanges between his manager or clerk and the ECB lawyer”?, asked Latif

“My impression is that the plot was being set up to trap Danish Kaneria and bail Westfield out as well as to maintain the image of the English Cricket”, concludes Latif.

Zim tour: Whatmore hints to play youngsters in limited-over encounters only

Muhammad Asif Khan

LAHORE: Before tough assignments ahead, the Zimbabwe tour, of the Pakistan Cricket team, is seen as an opportunity to groom a few young players however Dav Whatmore has a different strategy in mind. The Pakistan’s national coach believes new players should be tried out in limited-over matches rather that in the longest version. “Zimbabwe is ranked a lot lower than Pakistan so from that point of view I agree with a notion of inducting new players but the danger you have in series like this is complacency”, said Whatmore while talking to News One TV on Monday.

Image

“This is a good argument to play one or two younger guys to gauge their potential but there is a difference between Test and limited-over matches. There are Test championship points now as well and I think that is very important”, said Whatmore.

 

“Playing an international match is a very important juncture of any cricket’s career. I am not sure whether we should think about it in Test matches but certainly in the ODIs, this is a good argument to have a look at one or two young players”, added Whatmore

 

Pakistan are scheduled to play two T20i, three ODIs and two Test matches during the month-long tour to Zimbabwe, starting with a T20 encounter on August 23rd at the Harare.  

 

On a question, the national coach said that after the below-par performance in the Champions Trophy the Pakistan team had bounced back well in the West Indies. He added that, on paper at least, the West Indies are a decent limited-over side, and beating them is pretty satisfying.

 

He said that uniting the team had always been his priority “It is always an objective personally of mine to have as closer unit as it possibly can, because you need to rely on this in many ways to get the result”, concludes Whatmore.

PCB should not discriminate amongst teams: Basit Ali

By Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: Former batting consultant of the Pakistan Women Cricket team, Basit Ali has urged the caretaker chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), ImageNajam Sethi to encourage both men and women cricket teams in the same fashion. “If outstanding players from the men’s team could be given addition purse then why women couldn’t be treated the same way?” asked Basit Ali, while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.

 

Earlier in the day, the PCB announced cash awards to the Pakistan men’s and women’s teams that have recently won laurels in the West Indies and England respectively.

The entire Pakistan ODI and T20 squad was awarded Rs 200,000/- apiece while four stand-out performers – Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Zulfiqar Babar and Umar Akmal -were given additional rewards of Rs 400,000/- apiece. Also, the Pakistan women’s squad was awarded Rs 100,000/- each for successful tours of England and Ireland, where the women team qualified for the upcoming World T20 Cup.

“Bisma Maroof, Nain Abidi, Batool Faima and Sadia Yousuf performed exceptionally well in England and Ireland. They deserved a better purse from the PCB”, added Basit Ali

The former Test batsman also dispelled rumours regarding any rift between him and the women team captain, Sana Mir. He added that team’s performance should be enough to negate the “baseless allegation”.

“Sana Mir is a competent player & a very shrewd captain, we had a wonderful working relationship and those spreading baseless rumors probably don’t like our faces”, claims Basit Ali

“Those having vested interests failed to digest the recent performance of the Pakistan women team”, said Basit Ali, who has recently stepped down as batting consultant.

On a question, Basit Ali declined to comment any further, however added that he would soon submit a detailed report to the caretaker PCB chairman.