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Shahid Afridi to Retire F...
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India tour of Australia a...
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Indian men, women win Wor...
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  Shahid Afridi to Retire From ODIs After World Cup
Posted by: mmadhankumar - Yesterday 05:53 PM - No Replies

[Image: shahid-afridi-retires.jpg]

Veteran Pakistani all-rounder announced on Sunday that he will quit ODIs after the World Cup next year.

Afridi, who made his ODI debut against Kenya in 1996 (didn't get to bat in the innings) and slammed a 37-ball century against Sri Lanka in his second appearance, said that while he will continue to lead the national side in the T20 format, he won't play in the 50-overs format anymore. The 34-year-old has featured in 389 matches for Pakistan and has 7870 runs (six centuries and 38 fifties) and 391 wickets.

In the recent ODI series against New Zealand, Afridi had stepped in as the captain after an injured Misbah-ul-Haq pulled out. The Pakistan Cricket Board though had insisted that Misbah should remain with the side to establish that he, and not Afridi, would lead the team in the World Cup next year.

Afridi though has made a mark for himself over the years. While he retired from Tests in 2010 - playing against Australia at Lord's, 'Boom Boom' Afridi continued to play the shorter versions of the game.

Shahid Afridi to Retire From ODIs After World Cup - World Cup 2015 News

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  Accept DRS or suffer, current and former players to BCCI
Posted by: nairrk - Yesterday 05:32 PM - No Replies

[Image: 305226_shikhar_dhawan_testsad_700.jpg]
India's Shikhar Dhawan has been a victim of wrong decision in the first Test in Adelaide

New Delhi: With close decisions going against India of late, current and former cricketers feel it is high time the BCCI give its nod to the contentious Decision Review System as refusal to accept technology is hurting the team badly.

India were at the receiving end of at least five contentious umpiring decisions in the lost first two Tests against Australia, prompting skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to say that the tourists are being more hard done.

But he continued to hold the view that having DRS would not help the side's cause too much.

However, senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh feels that it's time that India accepted DRS in its current form as it would only help the team during close Test matches.

"I believe it's time that we accepted the DRS as it will only benefit our cause. If you look, in both Test matches, India were very competitive but there were key moments when our boys got a raw deal," Harbhajan told PTI today.

"I can recall four decisions. Shikhar's (Dhawan) caught behind in the second innings of the first Test in Adelaide.

(Cheteshwar) Pujara's caught behind in the first innings of second Test followed by Rohit (Sharma) and Ashwin's decision in the second innings. Had DRS been there, all these decisions were sure to be overturned and we might have been in a winning position in both Test matches," Harbhajan opined.

"Even if I take it for a fact that DRS is not foolproof and 100 percent accurate, from a personal point of view, even 90 percent accurate DRS can get you key decisions at key moments in your favour," said Harbhajan, who has 400 plus wickets in Test cricket.

However Harbhajan's one-time teammate and one of India's finest batsman VVS Laxman is still not ready to warm up to DRS as he still believes that key issues like full-fledged accuracy of HotSpot or HawkEye still can't be determined.

"Any technical foolproof system to provide accurate decisions is always welcome. I am not against DRS, but the system is still a long way from being foolproof," Laxman is still not ready to accept DRS in its current form.

"I am not convinced about the HotSpot or the HawkEye, which projects the predictable path of the ball for the LBW decisions. As and when these two vital issues of the decision review process are set in order, we can seriously contemplate agreeing to the use of DRS," Laxman added.

Laxman's first Test captain Mohammed Azharuddin, however, is of the opinion that if ICC has approved DRS, then it's not a great thing if BCCI is turning a blind eye.

"When other cricket playing nations are not averse to using it (DRS) then why is India ignoring it?," questions Azhar, who has played 99 Tests for India.

"Like in this Test match (Brisbane Test), so many decisions went against India, they could have gone in their favour. I mean even the Australians were at the receiving end but India suffered a lot. I strongly feel that either you completely use technology or just ignore it," Azhar added.

Azhar feels that if for easy run-out decisions, umpires take help of technology then why not for more difficult ones.

"Go back to the old days when decisions were taken by on field umpires and one had to accept them the way it was. I really don't know what is the problem.

"Once the ICC has approved it, then everyone should fall into its ambit. For a simple run-out or an elementary decision the umpires go to the third umpire even if the batsman is three yards short of his crease. I fail to understand this half-hearted approach.

"Either fully use technology or completely ignore it.

When it is approved by ICC then what is the problem in using.

It is only beneficial."

Another former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar admitted that he wasn't in favour of DRS earlier but is ready to accept it after umpiring howlers in Adelaide and Brisbane.

"I was of the opinion that DRS is not 100 percent foolproof but it seems we have to go for the technology now. A lot of easy decisions have gone against us and that has hurt us badly in the series.

"There were some questionable bat-pad decisions and catches as the umpiring has not been up to the mark. We have had some glaring mistakes especially in the first Test. It's high time that we go for DRS now," he opined.

Legendary spinner Erapalli Prasanna and former India opener Chetan Chauhan also spoke in the same vein about accepting DRS in its current form.

"From the beginning, I have been vocal about using DRS.

Why isn't it being used? Ask the BCCI," was Prasanna's terse comment on the subject.

Chauhan on his part said, "Cricket is a game where one bad decision can change the course of the match. You don't want to lose out on key moments due to umpiring errors. I am a fan of DRS from the beginning. Let's use it in its current form and let the technical team work on it to make it even better. Right now, what we have is good enough to be used," Chauhan said.

Ajit Wadekar was also overwhelmingly in favour of DRS as "India have been the worst sufferers for not using DRS. Teams like England and Australia have benefitted and we must also start using DRS."

Former India batsman and chief national selector Chandu Borde feels that one or two technical glitches in DRS do not make it completely unacceptable.

"One or two glitches in the technology can be improved.

Other countries are using it. Why not us? Who is suffering, technology or cricket? Technology impacts every other walk of life. Why not cricket if it is for the betterment of the game and it will satisfy players public every one," Borde opined.

He also cited the example of how front-foot no-ball was opposed worldwide and now has been universally accepted.

"When front foot no ball rule was introduced there was opposition. Now everyone accepts it. Similarly accepting DRS will also help us in improving the game," Borde said.

Accept DRS or suffer, current and former players to BCCI | Zee News

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  Indian men, women win World Cup Kabaddi titles
Posted by: nairrk - Yesterday 05:28 PM - No Replies

[Image: 305120_kabaddi_women_wc700.jpg]

Badal, Muktsar: The Indian men's team continued their winning streak by clinching the fifth Kabaddi World Cup title, while the women's side bagged the crown for the fourth consecutive time, here on Friday.

At a grand finale held at Guru Gobind Singh Multipurpose Stadium, the Indian men's team defeated Pakistan 45-42 for the fourth time, while the women team beat New Zealand 36-27 for the second time in a row.

History repeated itself as both teams in the men and women sections had clashed during the finals of Fourth Kabaddi World Cup at Ludhiana last year and in both the matches, India had emerged victorious.

The men's finals between India and Pakistan was always going to be a close contest and it turned out to be one as is evident from the scoreline.

It was raiders Sandeep Singh Surakhpur (16) and Sandeep Luddar (10) who were the top scorers, while stopper Yadwinder Singh Yada "Surakhpur" also registered 5 points and Gopi secured 3 points respectively to help India's cause.

For Pakistan, raiders Shafiq Ahmad Chishti, Mohammad Irfan and Akmal Sajjad Dogar scored 15, 13 and 6 points respectively, while stoppers Musharaff Javed Janjua secured 4 points for his team.

In the women's final, the Indian eves started on a positive note and lead right from the beginning. Their dominating performance helped them to lead 18-14 at the half time.

Indian raiders Priyanka Devi and Ram Bateri scored 8 points each and Sukhwinder Kaur scored 7 points, while stoppers Anu Rani secured 4 while Ritu and Jasvir secured one point each.

For Kiwis, raiders Lani Perese scored 12, Motu Elizabeth secured 9 and Pomare registered 4 points, while stoppers Titu and Tekawa scored one point each.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal were also present.

In women's section, the best raiders were Ram Bateri and

Priyanka, while best stopper was Anu Rani. They were awarded with a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each.

New Zealand raider Lani Perese and stopper Tito were also awarded with a special cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each.

The best raiders of men section are Sandeep Surakhpur (India) and Shafiq Ahmad Chishti (Pakistan) and best stopper was Yadwinder. They were awarded with Preet Tractors each.

In this event, 11 teams in men section and eight teams in the women section had participated.

The 11 teams of men section included India, Pakistan, Argentina, United States of America, England, Canada, Australia, Iran, Denmark, Spain and Sweden.

In Women section, eight teams participated including Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Mexico, New Zealand, United States of America, England, Denmark and India.

The winner of men section, India, bagged a prize money of Rs 2 crore and first runners up, Pakistan won Rs 1 crore, while the winner of women section, India, were rewarded with a prize money of Rs 1 crore and first runners up, New Zealand, won Rs 51 lakh.

In men section, the Iran team has stood third and won a prize money of Rs 51 lakh, while in women section, the Pakistan team stood third and won a prize money of Rs 25 lakh.

Meanwhile, Parkash Singh Badal inaugurated the ultra modern stadium constructed with a cost of Rs 16 crore.

Indian men, women win World Cup Kabaddi titles | Zee News

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  Burns in line for Boxing Day debut
Posted by: nairrk - Yesterday 02:05 PM - No Replies

[Image: 173761.jpg]
Joe Burns has been added to Australia's Test squad for Boxing Day

Queensland batsman Joe Burns is set for a Boxing Day Test debut against India after being added to Australia's Test squad in place of the injured Mitchell Marsh. The inclusion of Burns for Marsh is the only change to Australia's 13-man squad for the Melbourne Test, although Marsh will travel with the group in preparation for the Sydney Test as he recovers from a hamstring complaint.

Burns, 25, has enjoyed a strong start to the Sheffield Shield season for Queensland, piling up 439 runs at 54.87 to follow up 563 runs at 46.91 last summer. An innings of 183 against a strong New South Wales pace attack at the Gabba was watched by the selectors Trevor Hohns and Mark Waugh.

Australia's coach Darren Lehmann said that Burns' flexibility as a batsman - he started as a middle-order player before moving up to open near the start of last summer - was a key factor in the decision. Burns has scored first-class hundreds while opening and batting at Nos.3, 4 and 5, and Lehmann said it was not yet decided where he would fit into the order.

"I'll have to speak to Steven [Smith], the skipper about that," Lehmann said. "But he can fit anywhere from 1 to 6. That's the advantage with Joe, he can bat in the middle order or up high. We've got some flexibility there. It depends on which way we want to go."

That helped to sway the selectors in Burns' favour ahead of Ed Cowan and Adam Voges, who are the leading two run scorers in the Sheffield Shield this season; Cowan is regarded as a specialist opener and Voges a middle-order player. The youth of Burns was another factor that encouraged the selectors that he was the right man.

One option would be to slot Burns in at No.3 and move Shane Watson down to No.6, given that Watson will be expected to shoulder a reasonable bowling workload as the only allrounder in the side. Lehmann said Watson bowled well in the victory at the Gabba and another allrounder was not required, meaning a specialist batsman was preferred.

He acknowledged the death of Phillip Hughes and a long-term knee injury for Usman Khawaja had opened up the opportunity for Burns. However, his first-class average of 42.74 is an indication of his ability and at the MCG he has played three first-class innings for scores of 59, 123 and 71.

"He's a very good player against fast bowling," Lehmann said. "He's proved that. He's played at the Gabba for the last couple of years and had a good couple of summers in Shield cricket. His performances this year have been very good.

"He got a good 180 here against Doug Bollinger and Trevor Hohns and Mark Waugh saw that and were very impressed with that. There's been some good contenders for that spot. It's always a tough call on other players but we went with Joe, a younger player. We think he's got something about him. We hope he does well."

Lehmann has seen plenty of Burns, having been his state coach at Queensland before being appointed to the national role. Burns scored 140 not out on first-class debut in February 2011 and knows his game well; he plays with a straight bat and plays the ball as late as possible, which has helped him at the Gabba, where Sheffield Shield pitches offer plenty for the seamers.

"When I [first] saw him play, I thought he could really play at the next level," Lehmann said. "It's taken him a while, he's had some ups and downs like all players do. He's put his name up at the right time. An opportunity comes up now. He's got to grab it."

"He's a good young kid, a cricket nuffy, which we love in our side. He'll be excited by the call up. He was certainly excited when Rod [Marsh] called him about an hour ago. He's done everything he can to present himself as the player he is. He's a very aggressive player, which is always good to see. That's the way we like to play. Hes' a simple guy that just loves playing the game."

Burns will play in the Big Bash League match for the Brisbane Heat in Sydney on Sunday night before flying to Melbourne to join the Test squad. Lehmann believes that David Warner should be fit for Boxing Day after being struck on the thumb during the small chase at the Gabba on Saturday, while Mitchell Marsh's recovery from his hamstring injury remains to be seen.

Ryan Harris is likely to be ready for the Boxing Day Test after missing the Brisbane match due to a quadriceps injury. Harris and Peter Siddle bowled in the nets at the Gabba on Sunday morning and Lehmann said Harris came through the session well.

Squad David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Steven Smith (capt), Shaun Marsh, Joe Burns, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Joe Burns in line for Boxing Day debut | Cricket News | Australia v India | ESPN Cricinfo

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  Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand 2014/15 - Fixtures, News & Updates
Posted by: nairrk - Yesterday 02:00 PM - No Replies

SL hope to solve ODI opener riddle in NZ Tests

[Image: 200903.jpg]
Mahela Jayawardene remains an option for Sri Lanka at the top, at the World Cup, but they are yet to decide on whom they want to partner Tillakaratne Dilshan

Sri Lanka head coach Marvan Atapattu has said that the tour of New Zealand was always going to be a challenge for his team, but welcomed it as a timely one that will help them prepare for the World Cup.

"Touring New Zealand is always going to be a challenge with the weather and the wickets. It is up to us to adapt and to be at our best. It's a challenge for us like all other teams coming to Sri Lanka," said Atapattu ahead of Sri Lanka's two-day warm-up match against a New Zealand XI. "It's a timely tour though and it's a great opportunity for us to experience and have some game time in those conditions."

Sri Lanka play three of their six World Cup group matches in New Zealand, with the remaining three in Australia.

Atapattu said Sri Lanka will make use of the two Tests to find a suitable opening partner for Tillakaratne Dilshan for the World Cup. In the recent past Upul Tharanga and Kusal Perera have been tried out in that position without much success. Sri Lanka have Mahela Jayawardene as an option, but they are still keen to find a regular opener failing which they will settle for a make-shift one.

"We were thinking of having a specialised opener, especially with this two balls thing, in New Zealand," Atapattu said. "We had a very settled middle-order before Mahela opened in the last two games against England. We were trying to give it a chance. Along with the selection committee we had long discussions to have somebody else, so that we don't disturb the middle-order.

"But there came a time we wanted to see Mahela. He was fantastic; although he didn't make big runs the little time that he spent showed that he was well equipped. Mahela could bat anywhere at any given stage and his figures will tell you that.

"It's always an option. Depending on the surface and on the runs we'll have to chase and the opposition, Mahela can come and open at any time. If all goes well, certainly Mahela's option would be there but we have at least one Test match to decide whom we want in our squad. It could be an opener or a middle-order batsman."

The deadline for teams to finalise their 15 for the World Cup is around January 8, and although Sri Lanka has time to squeeze in the two Tests prior to that date, they are not leaving their decision till the end - the last Test is scheduled to end in Wellington on January 7. The first Test begins on Boxing Day in Christchurch, the venue where Sri Lanka will open their World Cup campaign, against New Zealand, on February 14.

Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva are Sri Lanka's regular Test openers. Either one of them could be in the running for a World Cup spot depending on their performance. Karunaratne was named in Sri Lanka's squad of 15 for the sixth and seventh ODIs against England, although he didn't make it to the final XI.

The New Zealand Test series will be the first Sri Lanka will be playing following the retirement of former captain Jayawardene from Test cricket in August. His position at No. 4 will in all probability go to Lahiru Thirimanne, who filled that slot when Jayawardene was forced to miss the two Tests against Bangladesh in March 2013 with a finger injury. Thirimanne made full use of that opportunity to score his maiden Test hundred - 155 not out in Galle.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, whose presence in the Test series is doubtful, Kumar Sangakkara and Prasanna Jayawardene are the only three players in the Test team with any previous experience of playing in New Zealand. The focus, though, remains on the one-day series.

"We'll stick to our plans in finding the 15 that we want for the World Cup," Atapattu said. "Winning games will always help our plans but we have passed the stage where we've tried everybody and we have pruned our squad down to 30. In the 30 we know whom we want in our 15 except for one or two places which we hope to fill during the Test series.

"The main task would be to manage players and get them to peak at the right time, which is February 14. We have named a squad of 30 and we have had a plan along with the selection committee. Although we had a very bad series in India, the boys have shown how they can bounce back and we have stuck to our plans, which is the greatest thing. The seven matches we played against England with 17 players, that obviously tells you that we have not gone haywire with our plans.

"The Indian tour was a disaster nobody wanted that result, the easiest thing we could have done is play low and go through the motions. But we understood there was a point to prove especially in home conditions and that we were up for it. I saw within the camp the level of interest, motivation and morale was always high. We played our best cricket in the final ODI in India and we continued with that in the home series against England."

Sri Lanka in New Zealand 2014-15 : Sri Lanka hope to solve ODI opener riddle in New Zealand Tests | Cricket News | New Zealand v Sri Lanka | ESPN Cric...

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