Afridi asked us not to select him for Kandy Test: Woolmer

Pakistan cricket team’s coach Bob [tag]Woolmer[/tag] has disclosed that all-rounder [tag]Shahid Afridi[/tag] had asked him and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq not to select him for the second Test against [tag]Sri Lanka[/tag] at [tag]Kandy[/tag] earlier this month.

Afridi was not picked for the second Test won by Pakistan on the back of Mohammad Asif’s 11 wickets in the game. But he played in the first Test in [tag]Colombo[/tag] and failed with the bat.

The 25-year-old flamboyant all-rounder, before going to [tag]Abu Dhabi[/tag], dropped a bombshell when he announced he would not be playing any Test matches until the 2007 [tag]World Cup[/tag] in order to concentrate on one-day cricket.

Inzamam enjoying respect of team mates

The Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka has reaffirmed is [tag]Inzamam[/tag]-ul-Haq’s standing in the team as an undisputed leader with every player clearly backing him to the hilt out of respect because of his positive attitude and behaviour and performances as the senior most player in the side.

After 21 days in Sri Lanka it has become very obvious that the [tag]Pakistan[/tag] Cricket Board ([tag]PCB[/tag]) doesn’t need to worry about the captaincy as long as Inzamam remains fit to play because while he may tactically not be a very enterprising leader, he is perhaps the only captain in Pakistan after Imran Khan and few others who has commanded such absolute authority, loyalty and respect of his players.

Faisal Iqbal receives applogy from umpire

Faisal Iqbal has received an apology from Australian umpire Steve Davis for adjudging him out leg before to Muttiah Muralitharan in the second Test against [tag]Sri Lanka[/tag] in [tag]Kandy[/tag].

Faisal was given out lbw by Davis, one of the many contentious decisions given by the umpires in the second Test although television replays showed that at the point of impact the batsman was sweeping from outside the off stump.

Delighted Asif keen to do well in England

Pakistan’s new pace sensation Mohammad Asif has admitted he had still not reconciled to the amazing success he was enjoying at the Test level as the team’s main strike bowler.

“To be honest the success Allah The All Mighty has given me in the last few matches it has still not sunk in and seems like a dream. I still can’t believe that the last three Tests have gone so well for me, specially when I think that in my debut Test in Australia I hadn’t get a wicket,” he said.

Younis guided Pakistan to victory

The end of the second Test came as an anti-climax here on Wednesday with [tag]Pakistan[/tag] coasting to a comfortable eight-wicket win over [tag]Sri Lanka[/tag] to win the series and also keep their proud record intact of not having lost a Test in this country since 1986.

Imran Farhat (65) and Younis Khan (73 not out) stroked contrasting half-centuries and forged together a crucial second-wicket stand of 114 runs while effectively negotiating with Sri Lanka’s main threat — off-spinner Muttiah [tag]Muralitharan[/tag], to turn what could have been a demanding run-chase into a comfortable one.

Pakistan fight back through Mohammad Asif and Abdul Razzak

The second test between [tag]Pakistan[/tag] and [tag]Sri Lanka[/tag] has entered in a tight situation. On the second day, Pakistan were all out on 170 in reply of Sri Lanka’s 279. Although Mohammad Asif gave Pakistan a sharp edge by taking 6 wickets for 44 runs in his 23 overs, he was unable to get support from other bowlers. Inzamam was confident to get 100 plus runs lead in first innings but Pakistani batsmen yet again repeated their tubmling act. This time an opening pair of Akmal-Farhat was introduced which did a 57 runs partnership. At lunch on day 2, Pakistan were 73 for 2 and ended with 170 all out later in the day.

Poor Umpiring ends the day with bad taste

Umpiring standard has not been up to par in the series between [tag]Pakistan[/tag] and [tag]Sri Lanka[/tag]. There were some incidents in the ODIs and then in first test match as well. Now, controversies marred the second Test with Sri Lankan third umpire Asoka de Silva giving “Ashock” decision when asked to rule on a clear-cut run-out in the final session here on Monday, the opening day of the second and final Test.

Silva left everyone in a shock when he ruled Malinga [tag]Bandara[/tag], who was batting on 10, not out although television replays clearly suggested that his bat was on the line when Kamran Akmal took the bails off from a throw coming from the fine leg region.

Woolmer in a tiff, again

Pakistan cricket team’s coach Bob [tag]Woolmer[/tag] was involved in a tiff again, this time with the groundstaff at the Asgiriya Stadium here on Sunday while he was checking out the bounce of the pitch during his team’s training session.

Woolmer asked for match referee, Alan Hurst, to come out and mediate when he was hauled up by the venue manager Aubery Kurrupu and other groundstaff members while he was inspecting the pitch.

Woolmer was not pleased at being told not to go near the pitch or inspect it physically.

Sri Lanka coach flies off to England

[tag]Sri Lanka[/tag] suffered a big blow before the start of their second Test against Pakistan, when their Australian coach Tom Moody had to fly off to England after the death of his father-in-law.

The Sri Lankan board confirmed that Moody’s father-in-law had expired and he had to rush back home and he would not be available to supervise the entire second Test against Pakistan from Monday (tomorrow).

Assistant coach Trevor Penny, who played 17 years for Warwickshire, is a Zimbabwean and retired last year to take up the assignment with the Sri Lankan cricket board on the insistence of Moody.

Yousuf in, Afridi out for the second test match

Mohammad Yousuf has passed the fitness test and is likely to play in the 2nd test match agaist [tag]Sri Lanka[/tag], while Abdul Razzaq is a doubtful starter.

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer confirmed that Razzaq was doubtful to play the Test as he was struggling with a swollen knee that was causing him pain and not allowing him to move comfortably.

“We still have one more day to go and see how Razzaq recovers but at this moment he is doubtful. However, Mohammad Yousuf has been cleared of his hamstring strain to play in the Test,” he told reporters.