ICC Cricket World Cup, 2014/15 news from ESPN

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gayle is only human: Gillespie

After having defeated Delhi Daredevils in a must-win game, Kings XI Punjab now look to maintain their winning run in IPL 2011 against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Speaking to the press ahead of the team’s crucial encounter, KXIP bowling coach Jason Gillespie spoke about coming up with plans for the RCB batsmen and the bowlers who’s impressed him in IPL 2011.

Excerpts from the pre-match press-conference:

On having specific plans for Chris Gayle as the bowling coach of KXIP

We’ll certainly make some plans for Chris Gayle. He’s been in wonderful form. But while we’ll be coming up with some plans for Gayle, it will be pretty foolish of us to discount the other very good plays in the [Royal Challengers] Bangalore side. So we’ll certainly be having a plan for all their batters. But yes, for Chris we will try and come up with something since he is in very special form and we have to try and negate that.

On the morale in the KXIP squad after three consecutive wins

I think the guys are really enjoying each other’s company and playing some good cricket. What we’ve been able to do is get our batting and bowling sorted in the one game. There have been a lot of games which we went down in, where we either batted really well and bowled poorly or vice-versa. So to be able to bat and bowl equally well in games has shown that we can mix it with the top teams. There is no doubt about that.

On whether KXIP are focussed intently on the points table

No, we don’t really focus on that too much. We don’t even really focus on the result of the game. We try to make sure that in all the disciplines of the game we can do as best as we can and as consistently as we can. And our belief is that if we do execute our skills to the best of our ability the result will take care of itself.

On whether bowling to an in-form batsman like Chris Gayle can be intimidating for a bowler

It certainly presents a unique challenge. What we are talking about with our bowlers is making sure that their preparation is as best as it can be. And [I ask them to] just go out there with the belief that the plan will work if you bowl in the right areas. Chris Gayle is only human. He can nick a ball like anyone else, or miss one. So he is in good form but our belief is that if we bowl to our plan and back that up with some really positive, strong body-language in the field, we can restrict RCB to a lower score.

On whether Gayle’s is the key wicket in the game against RCB

It will certainly be nice to knock him over for not many tomorrow. There is no doubt about that. But as I said before, we’d be pretty silly to just focus on Chris Gayle.

On the bowlers who have impressed him this IPL

There’s been a number [of them]. From the Delhi Daredevils, Varun Aaron, I think; he bowls with real pace. That’s a good sign for India. I think Ishant Sharma is a fantastic bowler. He certainly has come along in the last couple of years from what I have seen from afar. I think he is a very good bowler and he is only going to get better. And then I look at our line-up and, obviously, there is Praveen Kumar. For a guy who has spent a bit of time on the sidelines, he’s coming back from an injury, he’s performed quite well for us. [He’s] probably one of the most skilful bowlers in world cricket. He can swing the ball both ways. [He] puts batsmen under pressure. There are a number of bowlers going around India and, I think, the bowling stocks are quite rich.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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Monday, September 19, 2011

RCB guys really good: Gayle

Royal Challengers Bangalore registered their seventh consecutive win by defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by four wickets in a rain-curtailed encounter on Saturday night.

Man-of-the-match Christ Gayle was instrumental in making things easy for RCB with a 12-ball 38. He struck six fours and two sixers and also wrested the Orange Cap from Virender Sehwag.

Gayle spoke at the post-match press conference. Excerpts:

On the mood in the RCB camp and his contributions to the team's progress

Things have progressed well after my first game. The guys are really good. We keep communicating with each other. Ours is a young team. The good thing about it is we are up front off the field and on the field as well. That's the key for any particular player: go with a relaxed frame of mind. It has been brilliant in the dressing room. We have lot of fun. So it’s very good.

On his respect for bowlers

Every team has got quality bowlers. I have got to be prepared for them just like how you have prepared for me as well. It’s a case where I try and play my game all the times because I won't get a second chance. As a batter I try to be ready for each and every particular bowler whether they are going to open with a spinner or a fast bowler. Every bowler is capable of getting wickets. So it’s a situation where I have got to try and prevent that. I am just trying to enjoy it. I look at it as a challenge. Whatever the situation, whether you are batter or a bowler, you have to back yourselves.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We’ll take a lot of positives: Mahela

Kochi Tuskers Kerala put up a clinical performance to crush Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets in Indore. However, their skipper, Mahela Jayawardene addressed the post-match press conference with mixed feelings. While he was happy with the way his boys clicked as a unit to end RR’s hopes of qualifying for the Playoffs, he also rued the lack of consistency of his own team due to which they were left with less than an outside chance of going further in the tournament.

On KTK’s overall performance in their debut IPL season

I’m still disappointed [despite being sixth on the points table]. The way we started [with two back-to-back victories], we looked good to qualify in the top four and even win the tournament. That’s what our goal was. We’ve had our chances but we failed to grab them. This win shows what we can do when we click as a unit. We haven’t been consistent and there’s a lot for us to learn from this season.

On the positives the team can draw from this season

We’ve found quite a few young Indian boys who can deliver and the international guys too have put their hands up and performed. Parthiv, Jadeja, Sree, Vinay Kumar and RP Singh have been brilliant. We’ve got bench strength in Muralitharan and Thissara Perera. We have talent and we have a very good chance of coming back stronger the next year. But we need to keep working hard. It’s not going to come easy for us even in the next season.

On the team’s improved performance after losing the last game

We made some mistakes in that game with bat and ball. In T20 once you make a mistake it’s very hard to make a come back into the game. But today, we had an almost perfect game – with the ball, bat and in the field. Consistency is one area we need to work on.

On RP Singh’s performance in the tournament

RP Singh is a great prospect. He has done well for India as well. He was injured, made a strong comeback and he’s continued his good run in this tournament as well. RP and Sreesanth have spearheaded our bowling attack and it’s good to have such experienced bowlers in our team. It gives our pace attack depth and options to try out different combinations.

On his decision to field first

The other day we couldn’t defend 180. It’s a small ground with a very good batting track. So we took the route of restricting them and then chasing it down. And for that we beefed up our batting.

On whether the track for this game was different from the last one

It was pretty much the same, probably slightly slower than the first day. But it is a very good batting wicket.

On their next game in Chennai

Unfortunately I’m leaving for Sri Lanka tomorrow early in the morning. But I’ll speak to the boys tonight and give them the confidence they need. We need to finish on a high. We beat Chennai in Kochi, so we just need to focus on our strengths and execute our plans. They’re a tough team to beat but we’ve got nothing to lose. I just want the guy to go out there and enjoy their cricket.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Worst performance in 4 years: Warne

Indore, May 14: Shane Warne was absolutely distraught as Rajasthan Royals were walloped by the Kochi Tuskers Kerala at Indore. After being dismissed for 97, the Royals bowled miserably as KTK finished the game off in mere 7.2 overs. In his post-match interaction with the media, Warne was unequivocal in his admission that he was disappointed by the lack of fight shown by his team tonight.

On the reason behind the loss

I’m not sure. I’ve been the captain and coach of the Royals for four years and it’s very disappointing to put up our worst performance in this season. It was such a crunch game and we still had a chance to go further in the tournament. We all knew it was a 180-200 run wicket and we didn’t even cross 100. Our batting hasn’t fired consistently in the tournament and in T20 if the batsmen don’t score runs, it gets very hard for the bowlers.

On making six changes in the playing XI

We wanted to rest Johan Botha and Ross Taylor and give a chance to Jacob Oram, who can hit big sixes in the end and is also a fine bowler. Among domestic players we wanted to give a chance to the likes of Ankeet Chavan, Nayan Doshi and also the new wicketkeeper Pinal Shah, who was doing very well in practice. Unfortunately the guys didn’t put up a good performance.

On his four years with the Rajasthan Royals

I’ve been very lucky to be with a wonderful group of guys at the Royals. It will be sad to leave, not only the IPL but the game of cricket in itself. I have only one game to go before my 23 years of career – including first-class, international and club cricket – comes to an end. Leaving on such a note, losing our last four games so badly is even more disappointing. But all said and done, I’ll have fun memories of the IPL and of everyone I’ve played with and against here. I’m sad to leave but am looking forward to the rest of my life.

On RR’s batting collapse on the flat batting track

It was a perfect batting track and we were probably 100-110 runs short. As I said earlier, our batting has let us down right through the tournament, with the exception of perhaps Johan Botha, who did a pretty good job after being promoted up the order.

On whether RR struggle outside of their home ground

Well, that’s what you think. But I think most of the teams have done better at home than away. Yes, this year our record on the road has been very poor but in T20s you can have games like that. There’s no disgrace in losing if we’re outplayed but the way we’ve lost these last four games has been very disappointing.

On Shane Watson not opening the batting

Watson’s been opening the batting for the most of the tournament and by his own admission he hasn’t done as well as he’d have liked to. We had Rahul Dravid up front with the young Faiz Fazal, who’s a fine batsman. Fazal had the licence to go all out and even if he got out there was Watson to follow. But unfortunately in the first six overs we lost three wickets and that’s where we probably lost the game.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chawla was top class: Gilly

Dharamsala, May 15: Adam Gilchrist was a happy man after his team won its third successive game in IPL 2011. Kings XI Punjab’s 29-run victory against Delhi Daredevils has kept the door ajar for the Punjab franchise for an entry into the Playoffs.

Gilchrist and man-of-the-match Piyush Chawla [4-0-16-3] addressed the media after the game.

Excerpts from the post-match press conference:

Adam Gilchrist

On Delhi putting up a weak fight

They were doing all they could. It’s a difficult situation. I’ve been in that situation before where it’s all over pretty early. It’s the end of a long season for a lot of their players. They were right in the hunt early on but then, obviously, chasing that total and the partnership between [Shaun] Marsh and [Paul] Valthaty is what broke their back. And then the bowling effort was superb.

On KXIP’s chances of making it to the Playoffs

Same situation as before the game. We have got to keep winning. We have two more games to go and we have to try and win. That’s all we can do. The chances don’t change much.

On having any specific plan for Chris Gayle in their next game against Royal Challengers Bangalore

He’s doing ok [laughs]. We are not going to sit here and tell the world what the plan is. But we’ll think about that. We’ll enjoy tonight because you got to acknowledge your victories. But tomorrow we’ll start planning.

On whether it will be a tough game against RCB

Every game is tough in the IPL. Two games ago we were playing the top team in the IPL and we beat them by 70 runs [Mumbai Indians]. So anything is possible. That’s what this team does know. We don’t take anything for the granted.

On whether KXIP were lucky to win the game since Delhi dropped a couple of catches and missed an easy run out

I don’t use the term ‘luck’. I think you create opportunities when you are in the field. If you are not disciplined you miss opportunities. Your own standard of fielding creates and makes those opportunities.

On Piyush Chawla’s Man-of-the-Match performance

PC was just absolutely top class. He missed a couple of games. He’s gone away and he’s come back and shown in the last few games that he is an international standard bowler. A very good one at that.

Piyush Chawla

On whether his improved bowling because of selection is coming a little late in the tournament

What is not in my hands, I cannot handle. I can go to the ground and perform. That’s the only thing I can do.

On what he is doing differently in the last few games

Well, it’s not about doing things differently. The plan was not very different from the previous games. But in this game and in the last game I bowled a little better because I had some time to think about mixing my pace.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

BCCI reserves its judgement on Warne-RCA spat

The BCCI on Tuesday reserved its judgement on an acrimonious public spat between Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne and RCA secretary Sanjay Dixit after summoning both of them for a hearing.

Both Warne and Dixit appeared before a three-member IPL panel and gave their versions of the incident regarding the change of pitch and the subsequent events which have marred this edition's Twenty20 event.

Dixit had accused Warne of abusing him for not acceding to his request to change the pitch for Rajasthan's home match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 11.

"We had a long meeting and judgement is awaited. We were called together and separately. Hearing was held in a cordial atmosphere. Since it was a hearing, the proceedings were confidential," Dixit said after the hearing which lasted close to three hours.

The IPL panel that conducted the hearing comprised of chairman Chirayu Amin, IPL governing council member Ravi Shastri and IMG official John.

"The hearing was only about the complaint that I had lodged. There was no extraneous element. The three-member panel heard all our points and I will wait for the judgement as I still don't know when it's going to come," Dixit said.

It is not known yet when the BCCI will give its judgement on the issue. A top BCCI official indicated that a media release will be issued later in the day but it was not clear whether it would be the judgement or merely a press note on the proceedings of the hearing.

Warne, who was accompanied by Rajasthan Royals' CEO Sean Morris, was the first to leave after the hearing. Dixit was called for deposing later on.

Warne is alleged to have publicly insulted Dixit after an IPL match in Jaipur, calling him a "liar and egoistic", forcing RR owner Shilpa Shetty to intervene and apologise for the incident.

The ugly incident took place just after the prize distribution ceremony of the match between RR and RCB at the Sawai Mansingh stadium.

IPL is premier T20 event: Hopes

Dharamsala, May 15: Delhi Daredevils’ stand-in captain James Hopes was a disappointed man after his team crashed to a 29-run defeat against Kings XI Punjab. While speaking to the media after the game, Hopes said that his team did not execute the basics well. He also said that IPL is the premier T20 competition in the world.

Excerpts from the post-match press-conference:

On the game today

Today’s game kind of summed up our season. We got off to a pretty good start with the bat, then slowed down a bit and then tried and chase down 12-an-over for 10 overs which you aren’t going to do too many times successfully. And the fielding, we could have genuinely had them 2/10 and it would have been a whole different ball game.

On Virender Sehwag being missed by the Daredevils

He’s the world’s best opening batsman. Of course, we are going to miss him. Fact is he is not here. We’ve got to go out and play. It wasn’t our batting that let us down today. If you look at the game we missed chances, we missed half-chances and that pretty much summed up our effort.

On whether Sridharan Sriram’s over, which went for 25 runs, cost DD the game

Yes, but I bowled an over before that which went for 18 as well. So that could have made a difference as well.

On the playing conditions

Fast, bouncy [and it] seamed around about a little bit. About 160-170 on that wicket was about a par score. If they keep using the same wicket and the grass goes off, it’s going to get a little bit flatter.

On the motivation for DD now that they are out of contention for the Playoffs

If you look around the world this is the premier T20 competition. So if you are not motivated to play in this tournament you probably should not be here. It’s personal pride. We play professional cricket and we want to win every game we play. Tonight was about doing the basics well. And that’s what we didn’t do and that has cost us.

Sizzling Gilchrist conquers Bangalore

20 overs Kings XI Punjab 232 for 2 (Gilchrist 106, Marsh 79*) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 121 (Chawla 4-17) by 111 runs

Adrenalin. Violence. And a lot of skill. The Dharamsala sky cracked with lightning and thunder but the real storm was witnessed from the bats of Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh. Gilchrist rolled back the years to produce a delightfully aggressive century and Marsh unfurled a gem of his own as the pair constructed the highest partnership in a Twenty20 game, 206 runs, to help Kings XI Punjab terminate Royal Challengers Bangalore's winning streak. With this massive 111-run victory, Punjab are level on points with Kolkata Knight Riders and also, racked up their net run rate.

There are many big-hitting batsmen but most of them tend to club, bludgeon, tonk, heave and thump. Gilchrist, though, rarely plays an "ugly" shot. He makes eye-pleasing classical arcs with the bat and tonight was no different. Marsh captured the mood best: "It was a privilege to watch it from the other end," Marsh said.

Gilchrist made his presence felt in the chase too, diving to his left to take a stunner to dismiss Chris Gayle and derail the chase. Ryan Harris removed both Gayle and Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar bowled his fifth maiden of the tournament, and Piyush Chawla bamboozled the lower-middle order with his googlies and legbreaks to grab four wickets but the night will be, as it should be, remembered for the carnage unleashed by Gilchrist the batsman.

He didn't start flowing until the seventh over, preferring to let Paul Valthaty play the role of aggressor. Gilchrist was on 2 off 9 deliveries, and Punjab on 30 for 1, when a short ball from Abhimanyu Mithun helped him kickstart his flashback. He swivelled to pull the white ball over the midwicket boundary to signal the beginning of the carnage. He then turned his attention to S Aravind, who had given only a solitary run from seven deliveries. He charged down the track to lift one over long-off and crashed another to the straight boundary. With Marsh collecting a six and a four, S Aravind leaked 21 runs in that eight over. The floodgates were well and truly open.

Kohli tried to the check the Gilchrist flood with the spin of Gayle. No luck, though, as he was swung for two huge sixes. It was in the 10th over, bowled by Charl Langeveldt, that Gilchrist really stepped up the violence in some style. He played the conventional and the short-arm pull to collect two sixes before he produced the longest six (122 metres) to complete the hat-trick. It was a knuckle-ball from Langeveldt but Gilchrist read it early and swung it way beyond the midwicket boundary. Langeveldt winced, Kohli stared into distance and the Punjab camp was agog with utter delight.

Bangalore's woes, though, were only to escalate from that moment as Marsh decided to weigh in with his own brand of aggression. He stamped his presence on the game in the 15th over, looting 30 runs off Johan van der Wath. It went for 6 6 4 4 4 6, as Marsh launched a stunning assault. Three fours sped to the extra-cover boundary, one six flew over midwicket, another sailed over long-off and the final six disappeared over the straight boundary.

By the end it was difficult to keep count of the sixes as the scorecard kept racing ahead as though it was on steroids. It was a violent violent night in the hill-town inhabited by peaceful monks.

CSA tight lipped on speculations of Kirsten becoming coach

Cricket South Africa [ Images ] (CSA) is tight lipped about the speculation that former India [ Images ] coach Gary Kirsten has emerged as the frontrunner for the position of new Proteas coach.

Dismissing talks that Kirsten, who lead India to victory in the World Cup on home ground, was the obvious choice, CSA said it had received "strong applications" from South Africa and abroad.

Former Pakistani coach Richard Pybus is considered to be a strong contender after Kirsten, while former New Zealand [ Images ] captain Stephen Fleming [ Images ] and former Australian all-rounder and Sri Lanka [ Images ] coach Tom Moody are also believed to be the other applicants.

CSA on Monday started interviewing potential candidates to replace Corrie van Zyl, who returned to his position at the CSA High Performance Centre after the recent World Cup in the Indian subcontinent.

Van Zyl, player representative Boeta Dippenaar, selection convenor Andrew Hudson and CSA chief executive Gerald Majola comprised the panel which put candidates through tough questioning before they also undergo psychometric tests.

The panel will make its recommendations to the CSA board after interviewing the candidates for the job.

CSA also still has to select a new captain for South Africa as Graeme Smith [ Images ] stepped down from the post after the world Cup, where the team was crushed in the quarterfinals against New Zealand.

Meanwhile, asked about Gary Kirsten's chances of succeeding the outgoing South African coach (Corrie Van Zyl), Johann Botha said, "I think honestly Gary has had a good time with the Indian team. If he takes over everone will be happy."

I hope we will do better in West Indies this time: Dravid

Former captain Rahul Dravid is hopeful about the Indian cricket team improving upon its 2006 performance in the upcoming tour of the West Indies.

During the 2006 West Indies tour, the Indian team created history under Dravid's captaincy when they won a Test series in the Caribbean for the first time in 35 years.

"We won the series there last time around but I hope we will do better this time," he said on the sidelines of a promotional event.

"If the West Indies play their full strength side, they will be a tough team to beat. But it will be interesting to see if they have their full side."

Dravid became only the second Indian skipper, after Ajit Wadekar, to have won a Test series in the West Indies when he led India to a 1-0 victory in a four-match rubber in 2006.

Will India play on Edgbaston's 'terror pitch'?

The recce committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), currently in England, has raised the issue of Edgbaston wicket, termed as a terror pitch by the English media after a recent match between Warwickshire and Worcestershire sent a few batsmen to the hospital.

The two-member team, comprising Ratnakar Shetty and Suru Naik, have held discussions with John Carr, cricket operations manager of the England and Wales Cricket Board, and the officials of the Warwickshire County Cricket Club. Shetty and Naik even spoke to venue's chief groundsman Chris Woods.

The ECB officials, it is reliably learnt, have allayed BCCI fears over the pitch stating that these are early days in the English cricket season. Besides, Carr told the board officials that the ECB would take special care in the preparation of the pitch for the Test match against India. Edgbaston will host India from August 10 to 14. It will be the third of the four Tests, India are scheduled to play in England this summer.

It is learnt that venue groundsman strove hard to impress upon the Indian officials stating that strip for the Test would be different from the one used for the recent match. Woods, who has been taking care of Edgbaston pitch for the last 20 years, is believed to have told the recce committee that the wicket for the recent was at one corner.

Colin Povey, the chief executive of Warwickshire county, told the board officials that the recent incident was because of the renovation that the county has undertaken. He assured the Indian side that there will be five four-day games at the venue before the India Test. He further said that three of those county matches will be televised.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Infatuated Aussies bought copies of Sachin's bat: Hayden

Bat-obsessed" Australian cricketers were so infatuated with Sachin Tendulkar's 1998 blade which gave Shane Warne nightmares that they bought the copies of the willow to produce its versions Down Under, former opener Matthew Hayden has revealed.

In his autobiography 'Standing My Ground', Hayden writes that Australians "have massive love affairs with their bats" and a special version of Tendulkar's 1998 blade was manufactured at a Brisbane factory.

"In 1998, the Australian team that was crucified in India by Sachin Tendulkar became so infatuated with the little master that at least eight of them brought back copies of his famous Vampire bat, and Brisbane firm Gabba Sporting Products even produced a special version of it," Hayden, who retired from international cricket in 2009, wrote.

PCB to get $400,000 for every World Cup match it won't host

"Tendulkar's extremely heavy bats were way too heavy for me. In fact, they may have even been too heavy for Tendulkar too. For a time during his career he suffered from an acute case of tennis elbow, and it was widely thought his heavy bats were partially to blame," he said.

Hayden also revealed his team-mates' obsession with their blades, calling Ricky Ponting a "bat sabotager" always trying to test others' willows while Mike Hussey "always travels with a set of scales to get the weight of his bat right".

The broad-shouldered opener, who scored 8625 runs from 103 Tests, claimed that he has "never been a bat aficionado" but ended up using the unconventional Mongoose bat while playing for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.

"I have never seen a brand catch fire like that. Indians are not known for embracing left-field experiments. The Mongoose caused enormous interest among my teammates. Everyone picked it up and played with it and were all eyes when I trained with it in the nets.

"Our Chennai captain MS Dhoni was mortified when he first set his eyes on that Mongoose. 'Are you going to use that?' he asked me, and when I told him I didn't know, he said, 'I'll give you any bat in my bag not to use it.' When I first pulled it out for a game in IPL I could sense the knives sharpening.

"When I was approached by the Mongoose firm while commentating in England in the 2009 Ashes series, I was open to the idea of using a differently shaped bat. I must admit I felt a bit anxious, because if I failed, the brand could go down with me. I've always thought Twenty20 cricket was about entertainment, and that there was room for experiment in many areas of cricket gear, bats included."

India at the World Cup

Recalling the acrimonious 'Monkeygate' row between the Indians and Australians during the Sydney Test in January 2008, Hayden said he "overheard spinner Harbhajan Singh calling Symo (Andrew Symonds) 'Monkey'."

"Symo was taunted by chants of 'Monkey' throughout the 2007 tour of India, and the 'Monkeygate' affair had a lasting effect on him. Harbhajan was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for using abusive language (after an appeal by BCCI which was heard by ICC Appeals' Commissioner John Hansen).

"Hansen later admitted that if he had known about Harbhajan's other misdemeanours - including a suspended one-Test ban - he may have considered a more severe penalty. The verdict was a sobering jolt to us all. The whole affair was very regrettable and remains a weighty chapter in the development of both countries," Hayden wrote.

"India is the most important cricket market on planet, and the truth of the situation was that both countries understood that anything that would adversely affect their relationship was unacceptable, from a business point of view," he said about the row that had threatened to snowball into a major crisis.

Hayden had no inhibition in terming India the centre of world cricket, its manifestation, according to him, being the cash-rich Indian Premier League.

"An inescapable fact about world cricket: Australia cannot thrive without India, but India does not need us to the same degree. The IPL is the future and the master of Twenty20 cricket. There may be other leagues, but I believe the IPL will always be superior.''

Top 10 World Cup upsets

"The IPL was hastily organised as a response to the rebel Indian Cricket League, but from the start its plans were shamelessly ambitious. Marquee players, massive sponsorships, the world's top players lured by more money than they had ever dreamed of ... Cricket would never be the same," he wrote.

Hayden was, however, puzzled on why he and Ricky Ponting were bought at lesser amount of money than a Cameron White in the first IPL auction.

"I went for USD 3,50,000 and Ricky went for USD 4,00,000 ... it was certainly under the odds when you consider Cameron White went for USD 5,000,000, and other players who'd done far less went for a lot more," he said.

Hayden was all praise for Lalit Modi for making the tournament a brand though he steered clear of controversies surrounding the sacking of the former IPL chairman just after the third season.

"The shocking postscript to the tournament was the suspension of the man who was the face and force of the IPL: Lalit Modi.''

"I know nothing of these activities (charges against Modi). But what I can say is that he had incredible drive. He reminded me of Kerry Packer - he was brave enough to see that the game had to be ushered into a new era, and bold enough to do it," he wrote.

He claimed that screening live of IPL games in Indian theatres was mainly due to Sachin Tendulkar.

"He (Tendulkar) bought the first ticket which was later auctioned off and raised several thousand dollars for charity," Hayden wrote.

Friday, March 4, 2011

World Cup: Teams that could spring a surprise

David getting the better of Goliath always makes for interesting news and the World Cup has seen its share of surprise, shock and sensational results. With the format of the game being what it is, the lesser light always fancy their chances against the more experienced or seemingly better-equipped teams.

The list of upset results is long: Sri Lanka beating India in 1979; Zimbabwe beating Australia in 1983; Zimbabwe beating England in 1992; Kenya beating West Indies in 1996; Bangladesh beating Pakistan in 1999; Canada beating Bangladesh in 2003; Kenya beating Sri Lanka in 2003; Kenya beating Bangladesh in 2003; Kenya beating Zimbabwe in 2003; Ireland beating Pakistan in 2007; Ireland beating Bangladesh in 2007.

India at the World Cup

In all these cases an associate member has got the better of a Test nation but there have been other major upsets too: India getting the better of West Indies (twice) and England in 1983; Sri Lanka defeating New Zealand in 1983; Zimbabwe shocking South Africa in 1999; Bangladesh surprising South Africa in 2007 and Bangladesh stunning India in 2007.

On form, record and rankings Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka (from group A) and India, South Africa, England and West Indies (from group B) should make it from the two pools and qualify for the quarterfinals. The three other teams in group A are Zimbabwe, Kenya and Canada while Bangladesh, Ireland
and Netherlands are in group B.

Interestingly enough Netherlands apart all these teams figure prominently in the list of upset results. Only two World Cup competitions - in 1975 and 1987 - have not been marked by major surprise results.

The six outsiders then will be the teams to watch and even if Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are Test nations it will constitute a major surprise if one of them gets the better of the fancied sides in the group. Such a result, besides having an overall influence on the group could also see one of the major teams being knocked out at the preliminary stage.

Top 10 World Cup upsets

In 2007 Bangladesh shocking India and Ireland stunning Pakistan meant that the two sub continental heavyweights were eliminated in the first round itself.

In 1999 when Zimbabwe scored a sensational win over in-form South Africa, it had a major effect on the latter's campaign. South Africa's elimination in the semifinal could be backdated to losing this match. Bangladesh stunning Pakistan on the other hand had no real bearing on subsequent events as Pakistan continued to top the group and were first in the Super Six starting table.

Kenya of course, had a whale of a time in 2003. Placed along with Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh and New Zealand in group B they were given little chance of making the Super Six. But victories over Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and a walk over from New Zealand who refused to travel to Nairobi citing security fears saw the East African nation finish second in the group and second in the Super Six starting table.

This proved to be a major advantage for another surprise win over Zimbabwe - their first over that country in 15 meetings - saw them take defeats at the hands of India and Australia in their stride and qualify for the semifinals - the only time an associate member has made it so far in the World Cup. That however remained the extent of their fairy tale run for they went down to India.
Ireland's shock win over Pakistan in 2007 knocked the latter out at the preliminary stage. But the Irishman proved this was no fluke for in the Super Eight they got the better of Bangladesh who a week earlier had stunned South Africa.

World Cup 2011

This gives credence to the view that in limited overs cricket it is simply a case who plays better on a given day, who holds their nerves better and David getting the better of Goliath is always a possibility. That is the beauty and the unpredictable nature of the game. So look out for the six outsiders in the tournament - and the fancied teams would do well not to take them lightly.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sachin can play two to four more World Cups: Dhoni

"There is a perception that this is Sachin's last World Cup. We think he can play two to four more," Dhoni told reporters.

Don't feel pressure, just enjoy cricket: Gilly to Team India

Dhoni was here to inaugurate the T-20 Jharkhand Premier League (JPL) beginning Friday.

"It is not right to put pressure on Sachin... All team members should perform well to ease pressure from one player," he said.

World Cup cartoons

Asked about the Indian preparation for the coming World Cup, Dhoni said: "Fielding is one department which needs to be improved."

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Dean Jones urges Cricket Australia to appoint Steve Waugh as team coach

The former Australian cricketer, Dean Jones has said that the national team needs the services of former Australia’s middle-order veteran batsman Steve Waugh as its coach to come out of the recent plunging form.

"It's time for Steve Waugh to coach the team and to get Cricket Australia to start employing blokes who have played a bit of international cricket,” said Jones.

Jones urged Cricket Australia’s top management to give the serious coaching job to the candidates who have an experience of playing Test cricket, indirectly criticizing Tim Nielsen’s credentials who never played international cricket though he has a vast experience of first class cricket having played 101 matches for South Australia.

“If they (the team coaches) have never played for Australia, they (the players) get away with it,” said the former top-order batsman of Australia. "All the coaches around Australia have never played for Australia. You have to get tertiary education to be a coach now, but you can't get that qualification if you're too busy being the best (players) in the world," Jones continued his scathing remarks.

The 45-year-old Steve Waugh, who evolved from a raw 20-year-old talented all-rounder into a player who eliminated risk away from his game, played 168 Test matches for Australia compiling 10,927 runs at an average of 51.06. He led the Aussies in 15 of their record 16 consecutive Test victories. He was also the captain of Australia side that lifted the World Cup trophy for the first time in 1999.

Australia faced a humiliating 1-3 crushing at the hands of England in the recently concluded Ashes series losing the urn for the second consecutive time and what was more devastating was that all the three losses the Aussies faced were innings defeat.

The 49-year-old former batsman, who had played 52 Tests for Australia, lashed the shot selection and temperament of a few Aussie batsmen but again held the head coach responsible for such silly mistakes.

"…guys getting out in the last over of the day, all this silly stuff like flashing outside the off stump.”

Jones, however, said that the Ashes defeat at the hands of England was not end of the world for the side as it is part of game.

"Occasionally you've got to look at it and say, 'you're not good enough, lads',” he said. “I don't think we've hit rock bottom yet."


Twenty20 Big Bash: Queensland script 8-wicket win over Tasmania

James Hopes’ quick half-century led Queensland to their first victory in this season’s Big Bash event. In the match played at Brisbane Cricket Ground, an all-round Bulls attack restricted Tasmania to a below par 20-overs total of 118 before the Queensland skipper blazed away with the bat to take his side home with just two wickets down.

James Hopes, the Queensland captain, won the toss and put the visitors in to bat first. The decision turned out to be correct as some tight bowling supported by an athletic fielding from Queensland squad kept the tourists under check right through their innings.

The Tasmania opener, Tim Paine – who has recently been appointed as Australian national team’s T20 vice captain – became the first victim of the day when Luke Feldman broke his stumps in the third over with only 11 on the board.

Paine’s dismissal took Rhett Lockyear to the crease and with opener Mark Cosgrove, the duo added 16 more runs to the scorecard before the former edged Ben Cutting to wicketkeeper Dunk behind the stumps. Lockyear scored 14 runs from 11 balls hitting three boundaries.

The tourists contributed to their own downfall with two careless and needless run outs. Tim Paine’s opening partner, Mark Cosgrove misjudged his hit to deep square leg as an outstanding direct hit from Michael Neser broke his stumps while Cosgrove was attempting a double. Travis Birt followed Cosgrove’s footsteps in the next over after Hopes’ throw caught him run out. Birt was soon followed back by Ryan ten Doeschate and Krejza as the Tigers faltered to 60 for 6 in the 12th over.

Tasmania captain George Bailey tried to earn his side some respect with his 30-ball 37 hitting two sixes and a boundary. Bailey and James Faulkner buckled down to add 41 runs for the seventh wicket partnership and eased the nerves of the visitors. Faulkner piled up 24 runs from 23 balls including a boundary and a six.

Nathan Rimmington led the Bulls' bowling attack with 2 for 23 from his quota of 4 overs while rest of the bowlers, except Hopes, shared one wicket each.

The Bulls’ run chase went off to a shaky start, losing its openers in the first three overs with only 25 on the board. But, an in-form James Hopes, well complimented by Lee Carseldine, led the side to what turned out to be a comfortable win in the end with 37 balls to spare and eight wickets still intact. Hopes’ 44-ball 65 was laced with ten muscular boundaries and one six while Carseldine’s unbeaten 25 included three fours.


Wasim Akram unhappy on Pakistani cricketers being ignored for IPL

Wasim Akram has been disappointed over the Pakistani players not being a part of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) this year. This is the second consecutive time that the Pakistani cricketers have been ignored in the cash rich Twenty20 tournament.

Wasim believes that the Pakistani team has the most talented cricketers in the shortest format of the game and the IPL will lose its gloss without the Pakistani cricketers. There will be an auction of 416 players for the next edition of IPL and there is not a single player in that auction from Pakistan.

Wasim said that the shortest format of the game in most popular in Pakistan and the IPL will miss some of the Pakistani players. He said, “There is little doubt about the popularity of Pakistani cricketers in Twenty20 cricket. That is why I believe that the IPL will certainly miss exciting players like Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq.”

Pakistan has featured in two finals of the Twenty20 world Cup and they also qualified for the semi-final in the third World Cup. The team is ranked number one in this format of the game.

The Pakistani cricketers were a part of the first edition of IPL in 2008 but after that, the players were not selected for the auction in 2009. The reason for that were the security concerns followed by the Mumbai attacks. However, the IPL authorities denied that and said that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) didn’t conform about the availability of Pakistan players for the tournament.

On the other hand, the PCB said that there is no interest shown by the IPL authorities to select Pakistani cricketers for the tournament. Wasim is certainly not impressed with the lack of good communication between the PCB and IPL.

Wasim stated that, “There was obviously a lack of communication but PCB should have initiated and pushed for the inclusion of its players in the event. Their failure shows a lack of vision among the board officials.”

Wasm said that the Pakistani cricketers should be a part of the IPL as it is a very good platform for the players to showcase their skills.

Indian Premier League Auction 2011

David Hussey joins Punjab for $1.4 million

Gautam Gambhir sold to Kolkata Knight Riders for a record $2.4 million.

Yusuf Pathan to Kolkata Knight Riders for $2.1 million.

Robin Uthappa to Pune for $2.1 million

Rohit Sharma to Mumbai Indians for $2 million.

Irfan Pathan to Delhi Daredevils for $1.9 million.

Yuvraj Singh to Pune for $1.8 million.

Saurabh Tiwary to Royal Challengers Bangalore for $1.6 million.

Mahela Jayawardene to Kochi for $1.5 million.

David Hussey to Kings XI Punjab for $1.4 million

AB de Villiers to Royal Challengers Bangalore for $1.1 million.

Cameron White to Deccan Chargers for $1.1 million.

Jacques Kallis to Kolkata Knight Riders for $1.1 million.

Ross Taylor to Rajasthan Royals for $1 million.

Johan Botha to Rajasthan Royals for $950,000.

Dinesh Karthik to Punjab for $900,000

Sreesanth to Kochi for $900,000

Adam Gilchrist to Kings XI Punjab for $900,000.

Zaheer Khan to Royal Challengers Bangalore for $900,000.

Andrew Symonds to Mumbai Indians for $850,000

David Warner to Delhi for $750,000

Kumar Sangakkara to Deccan Chargers for $700,000.

Tillakaratne Dilshan to Royal Challengers Bangalore for $650,000.

Kevin Pietersen to Deccan Chargers for $650,000.

Daniel Vettori to Royal Challengers Bangalore for $550,000

Rahul Dravid to Rajasthan Royals for $500,000.

Graeme Smith to Pune for $500,000.

RP Singh to Kochi for $500,000.

Brendon McCullum to Kochi for $475,000.

Michael Hussey to Chennai for $425,000.

VVS Laxman to Kochi for $400,000.

Brad Haddin goes to Kolkata Knight Riders for $325,000.

Shikhar Dhawan to Deccan Chargers for $300,000.

JP Duminy to Deccan Chargers for $300,000

Parthiv Patel to Kochi for $290,000

Naman Ojha to Delhi Daredevils for $270,000

Wriddhiman Saha to Chennai for $100,000

Unsold: Graeme Manou, Brian Lara, Herschelle Gibbs, Jesse Ryder, Sourav Ganguly and Chris Gayle.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Racist e-mail scandal disappointing: Gilchrist

Former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist on Saturday termed the racist e-mail scandal involving his country's police officers "very disappointing", but claimed that Indian students Down Under are "positive" about their stay.

"If it (racist e-mail) is a recent news, as we will try to find it out, and if it is proven to be correct then it is very disappointing," Gilchrist said.

The cricketer said the Australian government has taken up the recent racial incidents against Indians "seriously".

"It needs to be taken seriously. Our government and the education sector have certainly addressed it. Indian students there have been very positive about being in Australia and on (university) campuses. They feel safe," Gilchrist told a television channel.

Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday summoned Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese and sought an explanation on the issue in which top Victorian police officers have been caught in a racist e-mail scandal joking about the electrocution of an Indian train passenger.

Gilchrist said Australia is trying to ensure that no racial incidents occur. "We have to work together to try and ensure that these incidents do not re-occur. I think we are trying to do that."