July 14th, 2006

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ICC hits back at Crowe chucking attack

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) insisted on Thursday it had not gone soft on bowlers with suspect actions after former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe called on officials to make sure “chuckers” were “chucked out” of the sport.

Changes to international regulations in 2005 brought about by investigations into controversial Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan’s action mean elite bowlers are now allowed a maximum of 15 degrees of straightening in delivery.

But Crowe, giving the Marylebone Cricket Club’s Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s on Tuesday, said: “If with the naked eye a bowler is clearly chucking - even by one degree - he should be chucked out.”

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Younis, Malik and Asif remain uncertain for Old Trafford Test

younis

Pakistan went into the opening Test here at Lord’s without three of their key players and it remains uncertain whether the injured trio would be fit in time for the second match at Old Trafford later this month.

A Pakistan team official told this correspondent on Thursday that middle-order batsman Younis Khan, all-rounder Shoaib Malik and medium pacer Mohammad Asif were left out of the playing eleven at the last minute because of fitness problems.

Team manager Zaheer Abbas said the management was hoping to field vice-captain Younis Khan in the opening Test but the batsman still complained of a painful knee and it was decided to replace him with talented middle-order batter Faisal Iqbal.

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Shoaib to play for Warwickshire for international comeback

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Pakistan’s star speedster Shoaib Akhtar would arrive in England early next week to speed up his campaign for an international comeback with a series of county games with Warwickshire.

Shaharyar Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman, said here on Thursday the Board is arranging for a few county games for Shoaib to ease him back to competitive cricket after more than five months of absence from the international arena due to fitness problems.

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has used his Warwickshire connection to get Shoaib to play for them in a few games later this month.

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Inexperienced Prince ready for tough times

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Ashwell Prince, recently appointed South African captain in place of the injured Graeme Smith, understands that his first assignment is not short of challenges. With Smith, Jacques Kallis and Shaun Pollock missing in action, Prince has singled out July 27, the first day of the Colombo Test against Sri Lanka, as a day of reckoning.

An excited Prince, 29, said he was honoured to be named the first coloured captain of South Africa. “I am inexperienced when it comes to captaincy, but obviously I’m delighted that I’ve been given the chance,” Prince told SuperSport.com.

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Walcott dies at 82

walcottKeith Walcott, one of Barbados’s longest serving and most respected cricket administrators of the West Indies, is dead.

Walcott, an elder brother of legendary Sir Clyde, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 82. He served cricket in many capacities, starting as a player, and later distinguishing himself as an administrator.

Walcott was former Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) vice-president, long-standing chairman of the national selection panel, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) member, West Indies team assistant manager, selector and a president of Spartan at which club pavilion is named after him and his brother.

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Tendulkar happy with recovery

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India’s premier batsman Sachin Tendulkar has fully recovered from the shoulder surgery he underwent in March, which also sidelined him for the recent successful West Indies tour.

“It is feeling quite good,” Tendulkar told reporters on Thursday, and he will now face a fitness test ahead of a one-day tri-series in Sri Lanka starting on August 14.

After the operation, Tendulkar spent six weeks in England for rehabilitation and to play in a series of charity games, which also provided him useful match practice.

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