Saturday, March 13, 2010

The real kings of Chennai

The amount of interest generated by cricket in Chennai is phenomenal. But you cannot call them cricket crazy, for they are the connoisseurs of the finest calibre. The abundant knowledge an average Chennaite possesses and his ability to understand and enjoy the finest nuances of the game separates him from the rest of the milling crowd who throng to watch a game of cricket.

It is often said that 'winners have several god-fathers but the losers are just but orphans'. Tamil Nadu is proud to posses two winning outfits. One is their state team and the other proud possession is the Chennai outfit of the Indian T20 championship. The former lost out at a strategic point, after promising a lot, in the Ranji Trophy but came out with flying colours in the Subbiah Pillai and Vijay Hazare trophy. Dheodhar trophy may be yet another fine feather in their illustrious cap. The latter came so near to winning the Indian T20 championship trophy but were not lucky enough. But this year it may be a different story altogether, if one were to go by the form of the players concerned.

At least four players -- Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, Badrinath and Ashwin -- have put Tamil Nadu on the cricket map of India by finding a place in the national team. With two stalwarts -- BCCI Secretary Srinivasan and Chairman of Selectors Srikanth -- at the helm of affairs in Indian cricket, the people of Tamil Nadu are also looking forward to the glorious day on which the Indian T20 championship trophy will also find its way to the state.

Coach Stephen Fleming will spare no effort to remove the rough edges and sharpen the tools to the finest level. Battle scarred Mathew Hayden is arriving in the city fighting fit for a battle royal. With winning captain Dhoni out to prove yet another point of his captaincy prowess, one is in for treat par excellence.

Chepauk stadium, the home of the Chennai team, is being renovated. By the time the tournament starts one stand may be without a roof but Chennai people expect that the team will shroud it with their glorious victory.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jaffer rues lack of opportunities

Wasim Jaffer who wondered why the national selectors did not persist with him longer.
It has been a long journey for Jaffer exactly ten years since he first played Test cricket for India against the visiting South Africans in the February of 2000.

Considered by many to be India’s answer against genuine pace bowling and movement, the Mumbai lad did not have an easy ride to the top. Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock were at their peak and Jaffer took time to get into the groove.

Once he did though, there was very little to complain about. In the course of his 31 Tests, Jaffer had cracked 1944 runs at 34.10, not outstanding but effective nevertheless.

As the Indian team prepares to take on the Proteas once again in a Test series at home, the out of favour India opener looks back at what could have been.

“I made my last India comeback in 2006 against England and did reasonably well in whatever opportunities I got. If only the selectors had persisted with me a little longer, things would have been different.”

Perhaps the telling blow came on India’s tour of Australia two years back when Jaffer struggled for form, managing a paltry 49 runs in three Tests and the seasoned Ranji campaigner admits as much.

“I know I had a poor series in Australia but I had been getting runs before that.”

In fact, a year before Anil Kumble led his team to that fateful Test series Down Under, Jaffer had played his role to perfection in India’s first Test series victory in the West Indies.

He had emerged a hero in a batting line-up studded with stars. A career best 212 at St John’s and a series high of 372 runs had catapulted the gentle Mumbaikar to new heights.

What might have worked against Jaffer was the sudden emergence of Gautam Gambhir as an able ally for Virender Sehwag at the top of the order.

While Jaffer lost hold of the opening slot in trying conditions in Australia, Gambhir seized all the initiative in the ODI’s in the Commonwealth Bank Series and not long after, the selectors had decided he was their man for all formats.

However, Jaffer has not given up hope and he stands clear on what he needs to do.

With Sehwag and Gambhir spewing fire at the top and Murali Vijay waiting in the wings, there is not much scope for an intrusion but Jaffer is eyeing a middle order berth.
“If you look at the current Ranji season, I batted mostly in the middle order. I know it is difficult to open the innings for India now but I am ready to bat at any position.”

Away from the Indian dressing room for two years now, Jaffer has been working relentlessly not only on his game but also on young India hopefuls in Mumbai.

Under his captaincy, Jaffer has led the side to two successive Ranji Trophy wins- this time under difficult circumstances.

“The last two seasons have been different but successful. Last year, we had all our seniors- Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan and Rohit Sharma available in the semi-finals and the finals.

This time, they weren’t playing for us but the boys lifted their game at the right stage and look what that did for Mumbai.”

Jaffer is a traditionalist and that has been apparent from the way Mumbai played over the last two years- unrelenting, neat, hard-fought cricket.

The captain is proud of the team’s achievements and those of his men’s.

“Most of the youngsters have done well. It is not like they have had just one good season but they have done well constantly.

Ajinkya Rahaney for instance has been so consistent. He got 1100 runs last year and followed it up with 1750 runs this year.”

Dhawal Kulkarni and Abhishek Nayar have been in the national reckoning too with Rahaney and Jaffer empathises with them for the sheer lack of opportunities.

It is not easy sitting out in the cold after the nauseating heights of international cricket but Jaffer has done a commendable job, trying to put things in perspective. At 31, Jaffer knows, there is still more than a ray of hope.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

India storm to series win in Dhaka

Zaheer Khan destroyed Bangladesh with a seven-wicket haul as India claimed a comprehensive 10-wicket win on the fourth day of the second Test in Dhaka.

Bangladesh had appeared well set to leave India chasing a sizeable target, but instead Zaheer triggered a dramatic collapse by snaring four wickets in eight balls as Bangladesh - nicely poised on 290 for three at one stage - were bowled out for 312, a lead of just one run over India's first-innings total of 544 for eight declared.

India then knocked off the two runs required to win without fuss, completing an astonishing win with a day and close to two full sessions to spare.

Night-watchman Shahadat Hossain had frustrated the visitors with a stroke-filled 40 and Mohammad Ashraful made 25, the pair batting well past the first drinks interval and adding 68 for the fourth wicket.

Shahadat's belligerent innings ensured the home side lost none of the momentum they had gained yesterday and left India frustrated.

With Ashraful holding up one end with a cautious approach, Shahadat was given license to go for his shots and he pegged India's bowlers on the back foot with an attacking display.

Zaheer and Ishant Sharma opened proceedings for India, but the pair failed to secure the breakthrough in their first spells and Shahadat put Pragyan Ojha under pressure by hitting the left-arm spinner for a towering six in his first over.

Harbhajan was brought on in the final over before the first drinks break and Shahadat enjoyed a reprieve on 33 when Amit Mishra put down a simple catch in the deep, but that lapse did not prove too costly.

Shahadat attempted to hit Harbhajan over long-on, failed to find elevation and Mishra made no mistake with the catch.

Ojha then removed Ashraful in the next over, the batsman feathering an edge to Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

And the home side then showed familiar signs of imploding when Shakib Al Hasan fell cheaply.

The Bangladesh captain hit Ojha for a straight six off the first ball he faced, but perished in Ojha's next over, sweeping the left-arm spinner straight to Gautam Gambhir at short square leg.

Zaheer was brought back for his third spell just before the lunch interval and he made further inroads by bowling Raqibul Hasan, the batsman shouldering arms to a delivery that nipped back in and knocked back off stump.

Mahmudullah was then snapped up in the slips, Murali Vijay pulling off a one-handed catch low down to his left and Shafiul Islam was bowled first ball to another delivery that nipped back in.

Bangladesh were still seven runs in arrears at that stage but Mushfiqur Rahim ensured India would have to bat again by clubbing Harbhajan for two boundaries in one over.

But Zaheer returned to dismissed Rubel in the first over of the afternoon session, ensuring a minuscule target for India's depleted batting attack.

Zaheer finished with a career-best seven for 87, finishing the match with a 10-wicket haul.

Subscribe in a reader

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dravid, Yuvi doubtful for 1st SA Test

Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh, both nursing injuries, are doubtful starters for the first Test against South Africa, coach Gary Kirsten said.

"Yuvi will be out for a while. He would be struggling for the first Test (against South Africa). And for Dravid, he is also not sure. It is a bit of concern because we want a full strength side against South Africa," Kirsten said.

Dravid had his cheek bone fractured by a Shahadat Hossain bouncer after which he retired hurt. Yuvraj too has a ligament tear in his left wrist, which ruled out his further participation in the ongoing second Test against Bangladesh.

India's first Test against South Africa begins on February 6 in Nagpur.

"It is a difficult situation we are in. But you cannot do anything about injuries. It's out of our control. We have to wait and watch and what stands for these players in the few days ahead," Kirsten said.

The South African, however, assured that Sachin Tendulkar was fine.

"Sachin is all right, he is fine," said Kirsten.

Tendulkar came tumbling down while trying to catch Tamim Iqbal off Virender Sehwag.

Kirsten said despite their injuries, Dravid and Yuvraj would not be sent home.

"It was quite a nasty hit on Rahul and we have to see if he needs to consult a specialist. He is not going back now.

"Yuvi had torn cartilages on his left wrist and but he will also stay back," Kirsten said.

Dwelling on the match, Kirsten conceded his bowlers were not too impressive.

"We did not bowl as good as we can though the wicket is not easy for the bowlers. After taking 300-plus lead, you want early breakthroughs and knock the opposition down as soon as possible. There might have been some impatience," he said.

Bangladesh rode on the record 200-run stand between Tamim Iqbal (151) and Jumnaid Siddique (55) to reach 228 for three, having lost two quick wickets in the final session.

"We are happy that we got two quick wickets towards the close. We did well towards the close of play. Zaheer Khan was getting reverse swing from his final overs. The wicket will deteriorate tomorrow and hopefully it will assist the spinners," Kirsten added.

"We are leading by 83 runs and we want to get early wickets tomorrow morning. There are two more days to go and we are backing ourselves to win the game," he said.

Asked about Tamim Iqbal's aggressive 151, Kirsten said, "He is an aggressive player. We have Virender Sehwag like him.

It is good for your team. An aggressive player at the top of order can damage the opposition but knocking off quick runs early on.

Subscribe in a reader

India in charge despite Tamim Iqbal fireworks

Bangladesh 233 and 228 for 3 (Tamim 151, Junaid 55) trail India 544 for 8 dec ( Tendulkar 143, Dravid 111, Dhoni 89, Gambhir 68, Sehwag 56) by 83 runs

Tamim Iqbal unleashed an array of brilliant counterattacking strokes on his way to a splendid 151 as Bangladesh posed an injury-ridden Indian side some searching questions on the third afternoon in Mirpur. Having come to bat 311 runs in arrears, Tamim was severe on pace and spin alike as Bangladesh stormed past 200 with just one wicket down. Junaid Siddique provided a solid 55 at the other end and their record partnership was worth 200 when Zaheer Khan broke through just before stumps. And reverse swing was once again the key factor as Tamim too feathered one behind in the day's penultimate over.

India had declared at their lunch score of 544 for 8, after MS Dhoni's search for a century was ended by a smart stumping from Mushfiqur Rahim, but any hopes of a quick finish were blown away by the ferocity of Tamim's onslaught. He started off by steering Zaheer through the slip cordon for four and the loss of Imrul Kayes - he mistimed one to cover after being struck by a nasty bouncer - did nothing to hamper his progress. Ishant Sharma was slashed over slip and pulled for four, while Zaheer found his slower ball clouted down the ground. Pragyan Ojha was greeted with a saunter down the track and heave for four, and a deft paddle took him to 50 from just 49 balls.

Harbhajan Singh was the most economical of the bowlers on view, but even he wasn't spared, with Tamim swinging a four and a six over midwicket. The six brought up the hundred of the innings, and a lovely on-drive off Ishant followed. With Junaid clipping some neat strokes through midwicket, the partnership was worth 99 by tea. There was no respite for the Indians after the break either, with Tamim hitting Ojha out of the attack with two fours and a six slugged over midwicket.

A pull to fine leg off Zaheer took him to a hundred from just 101 balls, and he celebrated with two imperious straight drives. Harbhajan was then smeared through the covers twice, and sent a fair distance over long-on for six. The only blot came after he had made 138, an ugly heave off Virender Sehwag that Sachin Tendulkar couldn't quite latch on to at midwicket. He injured himself in the attempt and left the field, and India spent the final hour with the spinners bowling mostly wide of off stump in an attempt to entice the reckless stroke. It was Zaheer that finally gave Dhoni something to smile about, with Siddique getting a faint edge as he attempted to drive.

Earlier, India added 85 to their overnight total, with Dhoni's 89 quite similar in character to the innings he played against Sri Lanka at the Brabourne Stadium in December. With Rahul Dravid just discharged from hospital and about to head back to India, and Yuvraj Singh nursing an injured ligament in his left hand, India's batting resources were depleted, but with Bangladesh adopting confused tactics against the lower order, Dhoni was able to combine watchfulness with some typically brutal strokeplay.

His intentions had been clear when play resumed, with Shafiul Islam clubbed for a one-handed four over midwicket. And though Zaheer fell, miscuing a hook to fine leg, Dhoni was undaunted, walloping Shakib Al Hasan over long-off for six. By then, he had already changed his bat, and a wide offering from Shafiul was soon carved through the offside for four more.

Shahadat Hossain, who had troubled some of the top order with pace and bounce, was especially disappointing, with even Ishant putting loose deliveries away for boundaries. Dhoni combined clever deflections with powerful cleaves, and a loft over midwicket off Rubel Hossain took him to his half-century from 84 balls.

Ishant eventually edged Mohammad Ashraful behind, but the Bangladeshi ordeal was far from over. With a landmark in sight, Dhoni shielded Ojha and targeted the wayward balls. Mahmudullah was thumped over cover for four and then over wide long-on for six and with Ashraful's legspin also not making a dent, it was a depressing morning for the hosts. Fortunately for the vociferous crowd, Tamim's Catherine-wheel shotmaking changed the mood completely after lunch.

Subscribe in a reader

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ishant: I learnt to be patient

India pacer Ishant Sharma on Sunday said that after he was ignored for the Lanka series, he has become more patient.

Ishant said, even though it was hard for him to swallow the ignore from the home Test series against Sri Lanka late last year, the experience has taught him to be more patient.

Addressing the media after the opening day's play in the second Test against Bangladesh, Ishant said the selectors were also right in dropping him from the subsequent home ODI series against the Lankans as he did not deserve to be a part of the squad.

"It was a very hard time for me in those days (when he was dropped). I was desperate to play for the country. It was the first time I was experiencing that because for the last three years my career has been only on the up but off late I learnt that I should be patient in life as well as while bowling," said Ishant, who took four Bangladeshi wickets in the first innings.

"I don't think the kind of form I was in at that time I deserved a place in the ODI side (against Sri Lanka). I thank the selectors for that.

"I don't think I have any technical flaw. It (being dropped) is part and parcel of any cricketer's life. You have to face it. It was a challenge. I am happy that I learnt to be patient during the hard times," he added.

Ishant also thanked his Delhi teammate Virender Sehwag for his support during the lean period. Ishant feels the the dashing opener played a part in his comeback bid in the playing XI.
"Moreover, all the senior players helped me a lot when I made my comeback. I want to thank Viru (Sehwag) as I think he had a role to play in my selection in the first Test in Chittagong," he said.

The gangling pacer said that the new bowling coach Eric Simons helped him in gaining back his rhythm.

"I think I have got back my rhythm. It is really good to get the rhythm back at the beginning of the season because a big series against South Africa is coming next month. It is good for me and for the team as we all are looking forward to the series," said the 21-year-old right-arm fast bowler.

"I am working on my bowling with Eric Simons. He tells me about my wrist and my bowling. So far it has been good. Let us see how it goes against South Africa," said Ishant.

Ishant said he was happy that Indian bowlers did a good job by bowling at the right areas.
"It was a good toss to lose as the wicket was damp in the morning with some dew. We bowled at the right areas and we remained patient for the wickets. You need to be patient to get wickets," he said.

"We bowled at the right areas and kept applying pressure on them," he added.

Subscribe in a reader

Dominant Australia cruise to 2-0 lead

Australia 6 for 267 (Watson 69, White 55, Aamer 3-53) beat Pakistan 127 (Yousuf 58, McKay 3-15) by 140 runs

Australia produced a commanding all-round performance to take a 2-0 lead with a 140-run demolition of Pakistan at the SCG. After being led by Shane Watson and Cameron White in their 6 for 267, the hosts delivered a stinging bowling display to knock over the tourists for 127 in 37.3 overs.

Pakistan lost their first five wickets for 42 in an awful opening and the result added further to the troubles of the captain Mohammad Yousuf, who is being replaced after the series. Yousuf had mistakenly chosen to bowl first in the hope of getting an advantage from the overcast conditions in the afternoon, but all the support came for the fast men as the sun started to go down. The ball seamed and bounced dangerously for Doug Bollinger, Peter Siddle and Clint McKay and the tourists could not cope.

Salman Butt (2) went in the fifth over nicking a shorter one from Bollinger and was taken at second slip by White. Three balls later the combination repeated the dismissal, dropping Pakistan to 2 for 7, when White dived to his left to catch the edge of Younis Khan.

Kamran Akmal was soon run out for 16 after chasing a quick single, having been sent back eventually by Yousuf and then beaten by McKay's direct hit in his follow through. Akmal's brother Umar joined him in the dressing room two deliveries later after his off stump was clipped by Siddle.

The hosts would not allow a recovery and lost their fifth man when Ricky Ponting leaped to his left at point for the superb one-handed take of Shoaib Malik (2). Yousuf was watching all the damage from the other end but was ultimately helpless, although he struck a strong six to long-on off Watson and was committed in his 58 off 94.

Rana Naved-ul-Hasan kept him company for an explosive 27 before being stumped off Nathan Hauritz, who caught Yousuf at short fine leg. There were few highlights for Pakistan on a night dominated by the hosts. Bollinger had 2 for 19 off nine, Siddle and McKay (3 for 15) also gave up less than three runs an over, and Hauritz collected 2 for 45.

Australia were challenged in Brisbane on Friday but they controlled most of match from the moment Watson struck the opening ball for four through point. While Watson lit up the innings with 69 off 71 balls and dominated a 100-run stand in 19.5 overs with Shaun Marsh, the chances of a massive total were upset by the frugal Afridi. In the end it didn't matter.

Afridi removed both openers and it was difficult for the hosts to increase the pace until White led the final thrust. White followed his century at the Gabba with 55 off 58 and benefited from delaying the batting Powerplay until the last five overs.

White belted a six and a four in an over from Naved-ul-Hasan and scrambled to the finish, bringing up his fifty with a drive over point. He departed on the fourth-last ball - the wicket went to Mohammad Aamer, who returned 3 for 53 - and Brad Haddin helped out with an unbeaten 27 off 14.

Afridi was central in regaining control for Pakistan after the opening burst and gave up only 35 from 10, including a crucial eight-over spell of 2 for 25 after coming on in the bowling Powerplay. He picked up Watson and Marsh while Saeed Ajmal and Malik were also tight, going at slightly more than four an over.

Watson muscled nine boundaries and a six off Naved-ul-Hasan that landed not far from the dressing room at midwicket. After five overs he was 34 off 22 - Australia were soon speeding at 65 off 10 - and brought up his fifty from 42 deliveries before accepting a standing ovation.

Yousuf called for the bowling Powerplay as soon as possible and Watson was held back by the spin as Afridi arrived. Afridi struck when Watson tried for another clearance and was well taken by Malik at deep midwicket.

Marsh (41) also fell to Afridi when he attempted to hit to the leg side and got a leading edge to long-on in a troubling period for the home side. Ponting (13) lacked fluency for the second match in a row and Australia were 4 for 166 when Michael Clarke fell on 25. White rallied and the bowlers backed up his charge, giving Australia the chance to claim the five-match series in Adelaide on Tuesday.

Subscribe in a reader

Seamers give India early advantage

India 69 for 0 trail Bangladesh 233 (Mahmudullah 96*, Ishant 4-66, Zaheer 3-62) by 164 runs

An impressive unbeaten 96 from Mahmudullah rescued the Bangladesh innings from utter ignominy, but the starts squandered by other batsmen were threatening to haunt them by day's end, as India knocked off 69 runs from just 13 overs, with Virender Sehwag cruising to 41 not out. With the conditions likely to be most batsmen-friendly on the second day, Bangladesh were left to reflect on an opportunity squandered after winning the toss. Both Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib Al Hasan got out to appalling strokes, and it was left to Mahmudullah to lead Bangladesh to 233 all out, a significant improvement on the 51 for 5 that the scoreboard showed when Ashraful had his brain fade.

The last two wickets added 78, with Shafiul Islam defying India for 39 balls and Rubel Hossain keeping out 25 before Harbhajan Singh sneaked one through his defence to leave Mahmudullah stranded. He had struck two fours in a Harbhajan over to get within touching distance, but after nearly 30 overs of batting with No.10 and Jack, his luck ran out. As he walked off though, several Indian fielders ran up to shake his hand. It had been that kind of innings.

He had marked his guard after Mushfiqur Rahim, centurion in Chittagong, had been trapped on the crease by Ishant Sharma. He eased nerves with a neat glance for four off Zaheer Khan and then continued to go for his shots once Shakib had chased a wide one from Zaheer into the hands of MS Dhoni. Zaheer was then pulled and upper-cut for four and after Shahadat Hossain went, stumped off the bowling of Pragyan Ojha, he swept and reverse-swept Harbhajan to keep the Indians on their toes.

A cover-drive that Ojha couldn't stop at the boundary took him to his half-century from 71 balls, and he continued to sweep and cut as Shafiul offered stout resistance at one end. It was all a far cry from the morning, when one batsman after another appeared to be in a hurry to get back to the comforts of the pavilion.

They were not helped by the first decision going against them either. Ishant's first ball, the seventh of the innings, was heading down the leg side when it deflected off something on its way to Dhoni's gloves. The Indians went up in appeal, and so did Billy Bowden's crooked finger, though replays subsequently showed that the ball had brushed Imrul Kayes' thigh pad.

Tamim Iqbal had walked the talk on the eve of the game, but the only walking he did was on his way back, bowled off the pad after a statuesque waft against a Zaheer delivery that nipped back. Soon after, Junaid Siddique, who had replaced Shahriar Nafees at No.3, followed him, gloving a pull down the leg side for Dhoni to take. Troubled by the short ball, his attempt to hit his way out of trouble came to naught.

Ashraful was having a go at everything pitched up to him, and while there were a couple of fortuitous inside edges, he also played superb strokes off his pads and through cover. But the innings still lacked any hint of stability, with Raqibul Hasan's vigil ended by a thick edge off Ishant that Rahul Dravid took easily at second slip. Pushed back by a succession of short balls, Raqibul couldn't resist the one pitched up.

Ojha came on in the 13th over and Ashraful announced his intentions with a flail through the covers. This though is a batsman who shows no sign of maturity even after eight years as a Test cricketer, and a headless-chicken charge off the next delivery presented Dhoni with the simplest of stumpings. He had made 39 from just 31 balls.

Mushfiqur carried on where he left off in Chittagong with some pleasing drives and cuts either side of lunch, and Shakib followed suit, but it was left to Mahmudullah to surpass the 69 he made in Chittagong and bring something substantial to the proceedings.

Sehwag came out in typically forthright fashion, cutting, driving and working the ball off his toes as the runs accumulated at a fair clip. And after a sedate start, Gambhir joined in with some attacking strokes as the most prolific opening pair in world cricket set about showing Bangladesh's top order just how to build a Test innings.

Subscribe in a reader

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Miandad rejects PCB's offer

Former Pakistan captain and Director General of PCB Javed Miandad has rejected a Rs 100 million development project.

Miandad rejected the project saying that it is nothing but wastage of money.
Wazir Ali Khoja, a member of the PCB's governing council on Friday announced that the project, which recently got board Chairman Ejaz Butt's approval, was aimed at renovating and upgrading National Stadium and build a five-star hotel with all facilities.

Miandad, however, rejected Khoja's claim as his relation with Butt soured yet again.
"The governing council has given no such approval and enough is enough, I am not going to allow anyone to hurt Pakistan cricket anymore," Miandad said.

"I will soon meet President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also chief patron of the PCB and apprise him of the way things are being run in the board and how some people are damaging Pakistan cricket," Miandad said.

Despite being the DG Cricket in the board, Miandad has been given no major responsibility or authority by Butt who has kept him confined to domestic cricket matters.

Miandad had resigned early last year because of the differences with Butt but was later reinstated on government pressure.

Miandad said he had also met with the Defence Minister Chaudhary Mukhtar, who is also brother-in-law of Butt and apprise him of what was going on in the board.

"I am a technical man and I have given immense service to Pakistan cricket yet Butt is not utilising my experience or skills properly. Most of the times I have been kept in the dark about key issues and they are not willing to take any advice from me on important matters," Miandad said.

Miandad said that the development project planned in Karachi was a case in point.
"I had given a plan for a similar project with a much lesser cost but it was rejected by Butt and now they have come up with this new idea," he said.

Miandad said he had no intention of resigning again from the board as the chief patron had appointed him.

When Butt was asked about Miandad's complaint that he was not given any big task in the board, the PCB chairman said that the former Test captain cost the board a monthly bill of Rs 1 million paid as his salary and other perks.

"But he does not do any work and also refused to become coach of the national team. So now I am trying to find something important for him to do," Butt said.

Subscribe in a reader

Victoria win fourth Big Bash title

The Victorian Bushrangers’ dominance of Twenty20 cricket was firmly established as they beat the Southern Redbacks by 48-runs in the KFC Big Bash finale on Saturday night.

After electing to bat, the Bushrangers were restricted to 166 for seven.

The very first ball from Dirk Nannes proved to be too good for the Redbacks. Nannes had captain Graham Manou trapped in front and the Victorians went up in joy, and there was more to follow.

He continued his first ball brilliance with a maiden over. The fast bowler finished the day with one for eight at an economy rate of 2.00 - the best ever in the KFC Big Bash.

The Victorians capitalised on the good start, with James Pattinson packing off Tom Cooper for two runs in the second over, From thereon, the Redbacks never recovered.

At three for two, when the Redbacks were living their worst nightmares, Pattinson returned to pick up Daniel Harris for six runs.

Mark Cosgrove (22) and Kieron Pollard tried to provide some entertainment to the crowd, who had gone quiet after a sloppy start from the Redbacks.

The duo put up a 64-run stand before Andrew McDonald tasted success with a brilliant delivery which sent Cosgrove’s wickets all over the place in the 13th over. Two deliveries later, Pollard was caught by stand-in captain David Hussey at the ropes.

Though Pollard had hit it hard, Hussey plucked a blinder. Pollard scored a brave 44 off 33 balls which made him the highest run-scorer of the Big Bash season at 190.
With Pollard’s departure, the Redbacks’ hopes of ending their 13 year trophy drought were also lost.

The next six batsmen managed to add 40 runs, restricting the Redbacks to 118 for nine. Pattinson and McDonald finished the day with a three wicket haul each.

Daniel Christian’s wicket in the 16th over took fast bowler John Hastings to number one spot in the most-wickets tally. He scalped 10 wickets from seven matches.

Earlier, Bushrangers’ opener Aaron Finch went for the leather, hitting 47 off 34 balls. He had a 47-run stand with Brad Hodge at the top, with most runs coming from Finch’s bat. Hodge tried to loft a delivery from Aaron O’Brien but the ball went straight to the bowler. He was caught for nine runs.

Finch began to rebuild a crucial stand with Rob Quiney, however, that did not last long, with the latter sent back for 12. Four overs later, in an attempt to clear the ropes, Finch was caught by Christian at long on.

A middle order debacle was caused partially by O’Brien who removed McDonald for 25 and Matthew Wade for 1.

But it was not over for the Bushrangers. Late fireworks were provided by Man-of-the-Match Aiden Blizzard. The explosive batsman hit 42 off jut 19 balls to take Bushrangers to a competitive total.

Subscribe in a reader