Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pakistan determined to get Champions Trophy 2009 - Cricket

Following Pakistan’s emphatic win against India on Saturday evening, skipper Younis Khan declared that the “Champions Trophy is ours and his country deserves it most”.

“This Trophy was originally scheduled to be held in Pakistan. We were the real hosts. My nation wants it back and we are ready to give our hundred percent to get it back for the country,” Younis told reporters.

He said another factor that has added to their hunger was that they had never reached the final of the Champions Trophy. “We have never reached the final and I think it is a good opportunity to go on to win the prestigious title. It is a good chance and we are only three games away from winning it. Our country needs a few more titles like this Trophy.”

He praised Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf for their sensible game in the middle. “We owe the victory to both of them. Their innings have given us tremendous boost. They stuck to their job well and that turned out to be real difference.” 

Younis said it was a good toss to win on a wicket that suited stroke-play. “I knew it very well that anything around 300 would provide a good opportunity for Pakistan to wrap up the match. Even a score of 270 would have been a fighting one. If you look at the records under lights on this ground such targets have not been chased.”

The captain, however, was unhappy with his team’s fielding display. “When I got Gautam run out, I felt pain in my finger. Fielding with a broken finger is always difficult but I knew the team needs me and my inclusion would help boost the player’s morale.”

He admitted that India had their chances in the match. “Gautam Gambhir was playing brilliantly and when (Suresh) Raina was playing with Raul Dravid, things were getting dangerous.”

He also praised Dravid’s innings, saying his efforts were focussed on staying at the crease. “We are very lucky that he got run out. I was getting the feeling that if he continues to bat like he was he could take the game away from us.”

To a question about Umar GulĂ­s inability to bowl on the Centurion pitch, he said: “Had he bowled brilliantly, India could not have made even 200. It was his off day mainly because the wicket was not suited to a bowler who pitches short.”

Younis said that though Aamir bowled well he became too excited. “Sometimes in these big matches you tend to get a bit too excited. That is why there were a few no-balls and wides. When I was very young, whenever I played against India, Australia or England I wanted to do something extra all the time. That is why sometimes you cross the boundary.”

Champions Trophy Cricket 2009 - India must win to stay

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Team India captain, has decided to “gamble” with five specialist bowlers in the must-win Champions Trophy match against Australia on Monday.
While Australia beat the West Indies in their opener on Saturday, India were defeated by Pakistan in their first match. Should India lose, in Centurion, a first-round exit would get scripted.
That would be disastrous for the International Cricket Council, too, which is running the tournament. From gate receipts to TV viewership, everything drops if the Indians crash out.
“We’ve got to win, otherwise we’ll have to pack our bags and return home... A number of bowlers had an off day yesterday... The fast bowlers aren’t looking confident ... Five specialists is a gamble, but I’ll be taking it,” Dhoni said on Sunday.
He reasoned, with justification, that fielding five bowlers wouldn’t necessarily add much pressure on the batsmen. “If one plays four specialists and they don’t do the job (of restricting) then, in any case, there will be plenty of pressure...”
Asked just how would the fast bowlers be able to lift their confidence overnight, Dhoni replied: “They’re good bowlers ... They’ve delivered in the past ... It’s a do or die situation and, in that scenario, the intensity goes up...”
He clarified that Sachin Tendulkar didn’t have a shoulder injury, as such, but wasn’t being used as a part-time bowler because the team needed him “more as a batsman” and he wasn’t bowling enough at nets.
Dhoni, thankfully, appeared his usual self during the optional nets at the Old Edwardian’s Sports Club. Despite the optional bit, everybody, except Harbhajan Singh, turned up.
“I agree I’d been a bit low last night (after being defeated by Pakistan), but I’m okay now,” he told The Telegraph.
Earlier, while talking to the media in general, Dhoni said: “After a loss, it’s tough on a captain ... He’s got to be thinking all the time, the bowlers to use, the fields to set ... Options ... It gets draining, but I love challenges and I’m up for this one.”
Where challenges go, Australia, fresh from the 6-1 win in England, will be providing a real big one.
The last time that India and Australia played each other in a 50-over match was a year-and-a-half ago, in the tri-series finals. Dhoni and Co. won the best-of-three affair 2-0, but the captain isn’t counting on that for much.
“It’s a positive that we won the last time the teams had met, but I don’t go by history... That was a long time ago,” Dhoni pointed out.
The good news for India is that Michael Clarke is almost certain not to take the field. The Australia vice-captain developed soreness in his back at the fag end of the England tour and aggravated it on the journey here.
Clarke, in fact, hasn't trained since arriving in South Africa.
Meanwhile, according to well-placed sources, all-rounder Yusuf Pathan may make way for leggie Amit Mishra, with Praveen Kumar taking Rudra Pratap Singh’s place.
That Yusuf is on a shaky wicket became apparent when Dhoni conceded that the elder of the Pathan Brothers wasn’t being consistent in ODIs. “He’s got the talent, but hasn’t been consistent...”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yuvraj Singh is out for Six weeks - Champions Trophy 2009

India's Champions Trophy campaign has suffered a major setback even before it has started with Yuvraj Singh fracturing his finger during a practice session in Johannesburg. The injury will sideline him for six weeks and Virat Kohli will fly to South Africa as a replacement as soon as the formalities are completed.

Yuvraj injured his finger while fielding and did not take part in the net sessions that followed. He was attended to by the physio Nitin Patel before heading for a medical examination, which the fracture.
India were plagued with injuries going into the tournament. Virender Sehwag did not travel to South Africa due to a shoulder injury, while Gautam Gambhir, who did not feature in the team's only practice match against New Zealand, is nursing a groin strain.
India's tournament opener is against Pakistan on Saturday after which they will take on Australia and West Indies next week.

2009 ICC Champions Trophy Cricket Schedule

The ICC Champions Trophy 2009 is a 2nd biggest cricket tournament scheduled to take place in South Africa in September-October 2009. It will be the sixth mini world cricket series. The ICC Champions Trophy 2009 will be contested by 8 Test teams which have been 'seeded' and divided into two groups are A and B.

Group A - India, Pakistan, West Indies and Australia
Group B - South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and England

Fri 18
07:30 GMT, 09:30 local
Warm-up - New Zealand v Warriors
LC de Villiers Oval, Pretoria
Warriors won by 2 wkts (with 1.1 ovr remaining)
Fri 18 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
Warm-up - South Africa v West Indies
Senwes Park, Potchefstroom
South Africa won by 188 runs | Scoreboard
Fri 18 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
Warm-up - Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Willowmoore Park, Benoni
Pakistan won by 108-runs | Scoreboard
Sun 20
07:30 GMT, 09:30 local
Warm-up - Sri Lanka v West Indies
LC de Villiers Oval, Pretoria
Sri Lanka won by 5-wickets (with 2.3 overs remaining) | Scoreboard
Sun 20 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
Warm-up - Pakistan v Warriors
Willowmoore Park, Benoni
Pakistan won by 6 wickets (with 3.1 ovrs remaining)
Sun 20 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
Warm-up - India v New Zealand
Senwes Park, Potchefstroom
New Zealand won by 103-runs | Scoreboard
Tue 22 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
1st Match, Group B - South Africa v Sri Lanka
SuperSport Park, Centurion
Sri Lanka win by 55 runs (D/L Method) | Scoreboard
Wed 23 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
2nd Match - Pakistan v West Indies
The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg | Scoreboard
Thu 24
07:30 GMT, 09:30 local
3rd Match - South Africa v New Zealand
SuperSport Park, Centurion | Scoreboard
Fri 25 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
4th Match, Group B - England v Sri Lanka
The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Sat 26
07:30 GMT, 09:30 local
5th Match, Group A - Australia v West Indies
The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Sat 26 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
6th Match, Group A - India v Pakistan
SuperSport Park, Centurion
Sun 27
07:30 GMT, 09:30 local
7th Match, Group B - New Zealand v Sri Lanka
The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Sun 27 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
8th Match, Group B - South Africa v England
SuperSport Park, Centurion
Mon 28 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
9th Match, Group A - India v Australia
SuperSport Park, Centurion
Tue 29 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
10th Match, Group B - England v New Zealand
The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Wed 30
07:30 GMT, 09:30 local
11th Match, Group A - Pakistan v Australia
SuperSport Park, Centurion
Wed 30 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
12th Match, Group A - India v West Indies
The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Fri 02 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
1st Semi-Final - A1 v B2
SuperSport Park, Centurion
Sat 03 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
2nd Semi-Final - B1 v A2
The Wanderers StadiumJohannesburg
Mon 05 Day/Night
12:30 GMT, 14:30 local
Final - TBC v TBC
SuperSport Park, Centurion

Sunday, September 14, 2008

India help Pakistan for ICC Champions Trophy 2009

Pakistan's chances of hosting the Champions Trophy next year improved Sunday after the Indian cricket board said it was willing to adjust its calendar for the sake of the crisis-hit tournament.

The Indian board, which had objected to the event being held in October 2009 as it clashed with its one-day series with Australia, said it was open to "minor adjustments" if other boards involved were flexible as well.

"There is no question that all the boards would like the Champions Trophy to happen," board secretary Niranjan Shah said.

"We are willing to look at an adjustment by a few days if everyone else involved is equally flexible," he was quoted as saying by the Cricinfo website.

The Indian board will also have to change the dates of the Champions Twenty20 League, a multi-million dollar inter-club competition slated to be held from September 25-October 11 next year.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat is expected to visit member boards in a bid to get to them to shift their bilateral events to accommodate the Champions Trophy.

"It's a tough task for Lorgat, but he has emerged as someone who has the ability to build a consensus," ICC sources were quoted as saying by the website.

"He has two to three options to work on and if the boards relent on the dates, as some of them promised in Dubai last week, the dates of the tournament will be finalised next month."

The Champions Trophy, the second biggest tournament after the World Cup, was due to be held this month but was canceled due to security concerns in Pakistan.

The ICC said the event would take place in October 2009 with Pakistan remaining the first-choice venue pending a security assessment.

Monday, September 8, 2008

ICC Champions Trophy 2009 schedule still in trouble

The second edition of the Twenty20 Champions League will be held in September-October 2009, organisers said on Monday, dealing another blow to the crisis-ridden Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

The dates of the multi-million dollar event clash with the International Cricket Council's decision to hold the Champions Trophy one-day tournament in October 2009.

The Champions Trophy, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second biggest tournament after the World Cup, was due to be held this month but was cancelled by the world body due to security concerns in Pakistan.

The ICC, while announcing the cancellation last month, said the event would take place in October 2009 with Pakistan remaining the first choice venue pending a security assessment.

India, Australia and South Africa set themselves on a collision course with the ICC on Monday by saying the next edition of inter-club T20 Champions League will be held from September 25-October 11, 2009.

With Australia due to tour India for seven one-day internationals from mid-October next year, the ICC faces tough negotiations to go through with the Champions Trophy on the allotted dates.

"The Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa today announced the dates of the second edition of the Champions League Twenty20 from September 25th to October 11th, 2009," a joint release by the three boards said.

"The 2009 edition will feature 12 teams and will see 23 matches played. It is scheduled during the prime Indian festive season."

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, in New Delhi to announce the nominees for the 2008 international awards, said the governing body will meet in Dubai on Thursday to discuss the calendar.

"A framework for the existing Future Tours Program (FTP) exists and we will work within this framework," Lorgat told reporters.

"I do not agree with the implication that the FTP is going out of control due to new events."

The inaugural eight-nation T20 Champions League, boasting a six-million-dollar purse, is due to take place from December 3-10 this year at a venue yet to be determined.

The event will be contested by the top two teams of the domestic T20 competitions in India, Australia and South Africa and one team each from England and Pakistan.

The tournament had been due to take place in September but was put back to December following objections from the ICC that it was being held too close to the now postponed Champions Trophy.

The recent boom in Twenty20 cricket, sparked by the lucrative Indian Premier League this year, has led to concern in some quarters about the future of traditional Test and one-day cricket.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Final decision on Champions Trophy venue in March 2009

The ICC Executive Board will take a final decision on whether the Champions Trophy, which has been postponed till 2009, should remain in Pakistan or be relocated during a meeting in March next year.

Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board have confirmed that March is the deadline for confirming the venue of the tournament which was to be held in Pakistan from September 12 but has been postponed due to the security concerns raised by some teams.

"The ICC is having a meeting on September 11 and 12 to decide the best dates for the tournament when it is held next year. But the final decision on whether it will remain in Pakistan will be taken in March," one source said.

He said in case some countries still refuse to play in Pakistan next year, the ICC will relocate it but Pakistan would get compensation of USD three million which is the hosting fees for the event.

"The ICC member countries have basically decided to wait and see if the situation changes in Pakistan in the next six months and if this happens then the Champions Trophy would remain with us," the source said.

The ICC has also asked its member countries to send in suggestions for making slight changes in the Future Tours Program to accommodate new dates for the eight-nation tournament.

"There will be some changes in the FTP as the Champions Trophy where ever it is held will take three weeks for which all teams must be available," the source said.

He confirmed that the ICC Executive Board teleconference in which it was decided to postpone the Champions Trophy some members had pushed for the ICC to announce a new venue the same day.

"But we and India threatened to boycott the event if any hasty decision was made after which it was decided to adopt a wait and see policy until next march.

"The Indian team's tour to Pakistan from early January will be used to make assessments about the security situation in Pakistan," he stated.