August 6th, 2006

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Dehring hopes 2007 WC will be full of surprises

The ICC Cricket World Cup CEO Chris Dehring is hoping that the 2007 championship in the West Indies turns out to be a “Cinderella story”, or a tournament full of surprise results.

In the biggest ever cricket World Cup comprising of 16 teams, the qualifiers Holland, Scotland, Bermuda, Canada & Ireland will be up against big guns of world cricket ñ the defending champions Australia, runners-up India, England, Pakistan and others in March-April competition.

“We will have to wait until the tournament evolves to see the performance of the teams. Clearly, some of the opening round matches are not as attractive to find, but the reality is upsets make the tournaments, Cinderella story, underdogs.”

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WICB ignore union as talks for tri-series fail

A 14-man West Indies cricket squad was named on Friday to play in a tri-series with India and Australia despite the administrators failing to settle tour contracts with the players.

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) claimed “totally unreasonable” monetary demands forced it to ignore the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and approach selected players individually.

The WICB admitted talks between its representative, Deryck Murray, and the WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine broke down on Wednesday and further discussions between Ramnarine and the WICB president Ken Gordon also led nowhere.

Ramnarine said on Thursday that he believed a settlement was imminent.

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Yasir Hameed fit, ready for selection

The Pakistan cricket team batsman Yasir Hameed has expressed optimism to be the part of the national team against England in the ongoing series and revealed that he is feeling better than before and has strived hard to get 100 percent fit to make himself available for the selection.

Talking to reporters during the rain-hit Peshawar-Swat match in the Senior Inter-District Cricket Championship here at Gymkhana ground, Yasir said that decision of the captain counts the most as far as the performance of the team is concerned.

“Superb captainship of Inzamam-ul-Haq and guidance of Bob Woolmer has guided Pakistan into the top ranks of cricket playing nations,” he remarked.

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Atapattu back in squad for tri-series

Former Sri Lankan team captain Marvan Atapattu was on Saturday included in Sri Lanka’s 15-man squad for a limited-overs tri-series against India and South Africa starting later this month.

Atapattu, 35, had been out of action since March due to a chronic back problem which required surgery in Australia in May. He missed the tour of England and the ongoing Test series against South Africa.

Mahela Jayawardene, who replaced Atapattu as captain for the England tour, will continue to lead the side with the former skipper confined to his role as a specialist batsman, a Sri Lanka Cricket release said. Atapattu has scored 8,233 runs in 253 one-dayers at an average of 37.7 with 11 centuries.

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Matches of All Nepal cricket team shifted to Multan

Due to heavy rains in the cricketing regions of Karachi and Hyderabad, all matches of the Nepal team’s tour of Pakistan have been shifted to the Multan Cricket Stadium in Multan.

The visiting side’s three matches were earlier scheduled to be played at the Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad and the Steel Mills Ground and the Asghar Ali Shah Stadium here in Karachi.

The dates for the limited overs matches, to be played between Nepal and the Pakistan National Cricket Academy (NCA) team, are August 7 (Monday), 9 and 10.

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Mohammad Asif cleared to join Pakistan for The Oval Test

Pace bowler Mohammad Asif will rejoin the Pakistan team in England before the fourth and final Test after passing a fitness test conducted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Asif, who has taken 25 wickets in five Tests, returned home before the first Test at Lord’s because of an elbow injury. “He (Asif) bowled nine to 10 overs at full stretch pain-free and hassle-free. He is being sent to England before the fourth Test at The Oval,” the PCB official Saleem Altaf said on Friday.

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PCB undecided about Abu Dhabi tri-nation event

Uncertainty looms over Pakistan’s participation in the Abu Dhabi Tri-Nation cricket event proposed to be held in late September. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Director Cricket Operations Saleem Altaf has said that PCB may consider participation provided attractive financial package was offered.

PCB Director Board Operations Abbas Zaidi had recently termed Pakistan’s participation highly unlikely due to shortage of time.

When the PCB Chairman Shaharyar M Khan was contacted in England, he said that the PCB was still undecided about the Abu Dhabi event. “No final decision has been taken as yet as there are a few critical issues involved.

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Five-wicket Muralitharan baulks South Africa on day one

Muttiah Muralitharan grabbed another five-wicket haul as Sri Lanka halted South Africa’s batting revival on an enthralling opening day of the second Test at the Sara Oval here on Friday.

The champion off-spinner’s 55th five-wicket feat, that took his career tally to 650, saw South Africa being bowled out for 361 off the penultimate ball of the day.

Seamer Lasith Malinga chipped in with 3-81 as South Africa, happily placed on 231-4 at tea, lost six wickets in a dramatic final session on a sporting pitch.

In a day of swinging fortunes, South Africa were reduced to 31-3 by the eighth over before captain Ashwell Prince (86) and A.B. de Villiers (95) put on 161 for the fifth wicket.

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Zimbabwe seal series triumph over Bangladesh

Gregory Strydom scored his maiden half-century to guide Zimbabwe to a series-clinching win over Bangladesh in the fourth One-day International (ODI) here on Friday.

Disciplined bowling helped Zimbabwe restrict Bangladesh, who won the toss and chose to bat, to a mediocre total of 206.

In reply, the home side scored 212 for three in 41.4 overs to cruise to victory by seven wickets. The result gave Zimbabwe an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series, which ends in Harare on Sunday.

Strydom, who hit a lusty 58 off as many balls with eight fours and a six, began his assault in the 13th over after Vusi Sibanda and Terrence Duffin had launched Zimbabwe’s reply with an opening stand of 57.

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Demonstrations at Israel cricket match in Glasgow

Protesters have staged demonstrations over the current conflict in Lebanon during Israel’s match against Norway in the European Cricket Championships here in Glasgow on Saturday.

The Stop the War Coalition said the match in Glasgow should not be taking place amid the Middle East conflict. An earlier game involving the Israeli team, scheduled for Thursday, was called off on public safety grounds and this match was being played behind closed doors. Dozens of police were stationed outside the ground for Saturday’s match.

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