Usman, Beer to debut for Australia

Usman, Beer to debut for Australia

SYDNEY – Australian captain Michael Clarke on Sunday confirmed that batsman Usman Khawaja and spinner Michael Beer will make their debuts for Australia in the final Ashes Test against England at the Sydney ground.
Usman, the Pakistan-born cricketer, will become the first Muslim to play Test cricket for his adopted country, while Beer will get his debut after playing just seven first-class matches for Western Australia. Usman will step into the demanding number three batting

ICC summons Younis, Afridi for Doha hearing

LAHORE – The International Cricket Council has summoned Pakistan coach Waqar Younis and ODI captain Shahid Afridi to appear before the ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal. The ICC made a request to the PCB to direct Afridi and Younis to appear before the ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal.
Suspended Test captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir are due to appear before the three-member tribunal in Doha from January 6 to 11. The Pakistan Cricket Board said in a

Akmal cooperates in a bid to save career

LAHORE – Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal has cooperated fully with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Integrity Committee in a bid to gain clearance to resume his international career. Akmal, along with Shoaib Malik and Danish Kaneria, has lately been grilled over spot-fixing allegations by PCB’s Integrity Committee.
Akmal confirmed he had presented full details regarding his movable and immovable properties, and activities other than cricket, to the PCB. The 28-year-old told

India ready to make history, says Dhoni

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG – Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Saturday that his team were ready to make history when they face South Africa in the series-deciding third and final Test starting at Newlands on Sunday. “The good thing with this side is that we know why we can win a series in South Africa,” said Dhoni.
India were in the same situation four years ago when they came to Newlands with the series level at one-all – but Dhoni said the mood in the side was much more

Pakistan cricket’s Annus Horribilis

COMMENT – The year 2010 will go down in the history of Pakistan cricket as their worst ever in terms of performance, controversies and mismanagement. This year Pakistan have been blighted by a spot-fixing crisis, player suspensions, captaincy issues and poor governance and as a result the spirit of the team has been weak.
The senior players simply failed to deliver at a time when they were needed to lead the way, while the juniors found it hard to assert themselves due to their

Iman Qureshi – Tennis star in the making

LAHORE – Iman Qureshi, the 13-year old, eighth grade student of Lahore Grammer School, Defence had quite an eventful year, winning a number of international titles, making Pakistan’s presence felt at the junior level of the ITF circuit.
Iman finished the year at an overall 3rd position in Asia in 14 and Under Asian Tennis Ranking. She is the only Pakistani player to have achieved the honour. While playing in the Asian circuit, she managed to win two titles (in Allepo and

Caddies impress at golf tournament‏

LAHORE – The three-day 1st Sprite Golf Tournament commenced here at the Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course with events for ladies, veterans (above 70 years of age), seniors (above 55 years of age), amateurs, ball boys and caddies. Of special significance is the competitive event for ball boys and caddies who earn their living from serving the golfers.
Thanks to Sprite and Javed A Khan, they have now been afforded an opportunity to show their golfing skills. Out of 59 caddy competitors,

Matches cancelled due to bad weather

LAHORE – All the outfield sporting activities in the city remained disrupted due to bad light and inclement weather. The competitions in the polo field had already been cancelled yesterday, and now both the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches – due to start at the Gaddafi Stadium and the LCCA ground – could not be started due to wet outfields and bad light.
At the Gaddafi Stadium, Habib Bank was playing at 19 off 9 overs against SNGPL on the opening day but the second day’s play was not

Hayat greets WAPDA

LAHORE – Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Faisal Saleh Hayat, SVP Zahir Shah, VP Syed Khadim Ali Shah, Secretary General Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi, Director Marketing Sardar Naveed Haider, Director Operation Pervaiz Saeed Mir, MTFA President Mian Rizwan Ali and NNTFA President Abdul Rasheed Khan have congratulated WAPDA for clinching golds in Pakistan Premier Football League as well as in the 31st National Games Football Tournament.

Ammann triumphs in ski jump event

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN – Swiss quadruple Olympic champion Simon Ammann benefited from compensation points awarded for strong winds to win the second leg of the Four Hills ski jumping tournament here on Saturday.
Ammann won with a jump of 131m and 142.1 points even through Russia’s Pavel Karelin jumped 132.4m and Poland’s Adam Malysz 132m to give them 138.3 and 138 points respectively.
Austrian Thomas Morgenstern, who won the first leg of the prestigious event in the German

Pakistan bounce back as England keep the Ashes

SPORT THIS WEEK – It was humbling to see a cricketer of the stature of Ricky Ponting reduced to a shadow of his former self. Gone was watertight technique, the casual arrogance and the ceaseless flow of runs. The gap between bat and pad was wide enough to drive a truck through.
The decision making was fraught with nerves. This is how competitive sport can transform even as great a cricketer as Ponting. There was a man who used to say that he could learn everything about a man’s

Hopman Cup – Australia beat Belgium despite Henin heroics

PERTH – Former world number one Justine Henin made a winning start in her latest comeback on Saturday but the Belgian could not prevent her team losing to Australia at the mixed-teams Hopman Cup.
In her first match since suffering a serious elbow injury when losing to compatriot Kim Clijsters at Wimbledon last June, the world number 12 was too good for the 129th-ranked Alicia Molik, winning their women’s singles match 6-4, 6-4.
The result gave Belgium a 1-0 lead in the

Shakib to lead Bangladesh in World Cup

DHAKA – Bangladesh have named ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan as their World Cup captain for the showpiece event starting next month, an official said Saturday. Shakib, who led Bangladesh to a historic 4-0 whitewash of New Zealand as stand-in skipper in Oct at home and a 3-1 victory over Zimbabwe last month, was chosen over the injured Mashrafe Mortaza.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board said it was “proud” to announce Shakib as captain for 2011. BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus said Shakib,

Spot-fixing case – Afridi, Younis to appear as witnesses

KARACHI – After a request from the International Cricket Council, the Pakistan Cricket Board allowed one-day captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis to appear at a hearing into spot-fixing allegations in Doha during the coming week.
A PCB statement said that the ICC has requested the PCB to direct Afridi and Waqar to appear before the (ICC) Anti-Corruption Tribunal to determine the guilt or otherwise of the three players who have been accused of serious violations.

Yasir apologises for unwarranted interview – Pakistan again delays squad announcement for World Cup

LAHORE – The Pakistan cricket Board has deferred the announcement of the team for the World Cup assuming they have time on their side for the final decision on certain players.
The PCB’s integrity committee headed by Ijaz Butt spent the entire day grilling Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Danish Kaneria, Yasir Hameed and Khalid Latif on Thursday and mailed the details of the meeting to the ICC for clearance while on Friday the selection committee assembled at the PCB headquarters but

Butt admits impossible to eliminate fixing

LAHORE – Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt has admitted that complete eradication of the spot-fixing is next to impossible. “To control the spot-fixing, especially prior to its happening, is almost impossible not only for the PCB but for the ICC as well”, said Ijaz in a television interview.
“It has to be an all out effort from all concerned to ensure that such wrongdoing does not occur in the future”, the PCB chairman added. On the measures taken by the PCB to eradicate

PHF likely to change dates of Egypt series

LAHORE – The Pakistan Hockey Federation is considering change in the dates of Pakistan and Egypt hockey test series to avoid clash with the Cricket World Cup. The PHF and its Egyptian counterparts have agreed to hold a hockey series and as the plan goes, it was to be held in February-March on a reciprocal basis in which Pakistan would first visit Egypt and then they would make a return visit in March.
However, the dates and number of matches are yet to be finalised but before