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Pakistan complete series in style; IND 2-4 Discuss ODIs Discuss More

Pakistan rounded off their tour to India in style with a comfortable 159-run victory in Delhi. It gave them a 4-2 win in the one-day series, a magnificent effort after losing the first two matches.
Shoaib Malik (72) Inzamam-ul-Haq (68) and Yousuf Youhana (50) were the main scorers in a total of 303-8.
India's innings was interrupted for 15 minutes when bottles were thrown onto the outfield with the score 94-6 and they were eventually all out for 144. It was their heaviest one-day defeat by their arch-rivals, surpassing a 143-run loss in Jaipur in 1999. The game began just as Friday's encounter at Kanpur had ended with Shahid Afridi taking the attack to India's bowlers. After failing to score off the first ball he faced, Afridi followed that with 4-4-4-6-4 from the next five as Ashish Nehra's opening over cost India 22.

Pak-India series decider in New Delhi today Discuss ODIs Discuss More

The final ODI between Pakistan and arch-rivals India under amid security conditions will be played in Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Sunday (Saturday night in US/Canada).
The match will be watched by Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the middle of tight security conditions as the ground will be virtually surrounded by security forces, Indian law enforcement agencies and rangers. According to the curator of the pitch, the pitch is a batting paradise and will do a bit in the first session.
The last time a match was held in March 2002 on January 31 between India and England. England won the nail-bitter by 2 runs. Pakistan will be playing their first match in this ground. As the record suggests India has 50-50 record winning 5 and loosing 5 in ten completed games.
India Cricket Live

Inzamam expresses 'hope' of winning; Dravid 'confident' of winning Discuss ODIs Discuss More

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said in Delhi yesterday that his team was keen to maintain the winning run and clinch the series. Having gained the lead, we now believe that we can win the series. We are in a good position and will try to capitalise on it, said Inzamam, whose team had lost the first two matches before staging a remarkable fightback.
Its good to see the way weve fought back. Even in the Test series, we came from behind to draw level. The players are confident after winning three consecutive one-dayers.
Pakistan were trailing 1-0 in the three-Test series before bouncing back to win the third and final match at Bangalore to level the series. When we came here we were written off, but I am happy we have been able to fight back, said Inzamam. Inzamam is confident the spirit shown by his players on the tour would lead to a series victory. This tour was very important ... The main thing on this tour is the way we have fought back. That is why we are in this position. Inzamam said leg spinner Danish Kaneria, who took 19 scalps in the tests, and paceman Naved Ranas 14 wickets so far in the one-dayers had provided depth to the bowling. India Cricket LiveStand-in India captain Rahul Dravid says his team need to dismiss hard-hitting Shahid Afridi early today if they want to square the six-match series against Pakistan today. It will help us if we can get Afridi out early, Dravid said ahead of the high-profile sixth and final match, to be watched by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh amid tight security.
We lost the last match because of Afridis remarkable knock. That made all the difference. One cannot do anything if somebody bats like Afridi did yesterday, said Dravid. The India skipper, who top scored for India with 86 in Kanpur, said he did not believe his team was under pressure even after losing three successive matches. Its disappointing to lose three matches in a row, but weve played some good cricket in the series. We now need to have just one good day on the field. We have the potential to level the series, said Dravid. He said the team was motivated to win the crucial game, which is also John Wrights last as India coach.
There is always motivation to win whether it is somebodys last match or not. John has been with the team for close to five years. It has been an eventful journey, he said.
We have valued his contribution. He will be missed not only as a coach but also as a friend.
India Cricket Live

Awesome Afridi pummels India into submission; IND 2-3

Shahid Afridi tied the second fastest century in one-day internationals to power Pakistan to a five-wicket victory over India on Friday, giving them a 3-2 lead with one game left in the six-match series.
The 25-year-old opening batsman, who also holds the record for the fastest one-day hundred (37 deliveries), equalled West Indian Brian Lara's 45-ball effort against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 1999.
Afridi struck a 46-ball 102, all but eight runs coming in boundaries, as Pakistan made 252 for five in 42.1 overs in reply to India's 249 for six.
It was Pakistan's third successive victory after losing the first two matches. Earlier Naved-ul-Hasan's accurate opening burst rattled the Indian top order as they limped to 38 for 3 at the ten-over mark. Apart from the relentessly disciplined length that Naved maintained, the batsmen also had to contend with a pitch with variable bounce as the batsmen struggled, edged and finally fell. India made 249-6 and Naved-ul-Hasan ended up taking 3-35. Captain Rahul Dravid hit 86 while Mohammad Kaif gave the innings a boost with 78 off just 88 deliveries.
India made three changes from the team beaten in Ahmedabad. Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble and Dinesh Mongia all came into the side as Sourav Ganguly, Ashish Nehra and Murali Kartik made way. Though Ganguly's six-match ban is suspended following his appeal, the selectors asked him not to fly from Calcutta to Kanpur and the side was instead led by Dravid, who won the toss.

And now BCCI asks Ganguly not to play fifth ODI !!

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has been asked not to play in Fridays fifth one-dayer against Pakistan by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) despite his availability pending an appeal against a six-match ban.
Since less than 24 hours remain for the start of the Kanpur match, the board felt it is extremely important for the players to concentrate and focus on the match so that they could bring out the best performance, the boards secretary Karunakaran Nair said in a statement. In view of this, the board has decided to continue with the selected team for the Kanpur match, he said. This position was duly explained to Ganguly and he appreciated the boards decision. India Cricket Live

Dravid captain; Kumble, Sriram back in Indian side

The BCCI Joint Secretary Goutam Dasgupta announced a 15-member squad for the remaining two matches of the series against Pakistan, which is tantalisingly poised at 2-2. Rahul Dravid was today made the Indian captain for the last two one-dayers in the series. Veteran leg spinner Anil Kumble who missed the first two one-dayers due to injury and was not considered for selection for the next two matches was brought into the side in place of paceman Irfan Pathan. Pathan, who had a poor Test series and was struggling to find form, had been omitted from the squad. Meanwhile, Sourav Ganguly's place in the side has gone to Tamil Nadu batsman S Sriram. Sridharan Sriram, who started off as a left-arm spinner, has been knocking on the doors of the national team for a long time. He has represented Tamil Nadu since 1993 and has scored almost 7000 first-class runs at an average of over 58, with three double centuries and 26 centuries. Six random chances in the one-dayers and a pathetic batting average of five from them fail to showcase the talent of the Chennai batsman, who holds the record double of completing 1000 runs in a single Ranji Trophy season with five centuries.
The Chennai southpaw picked 29 wickets on the India under-19 tour of South Africa in 1992-93 before leading the team against Australia in 1994-95. A reliable number three batsman, he has opened for his state and is ready to fit into the Indian side at any position. He was also the first winner of the Gavaskar Border Scholarship in 2000 to the Australian Institute of Sports. Indian Team for the last two matches: Rahul Dravid (Captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag , M S Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Dinesh Mongia, S Sriram, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Ashish Nehra, L Balaji, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar. India Cricket Live

Ganguly slapped six-match ban, Dravid to captain India

As if his woeful form with the bat was not enough, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was today slapped a six-match ban after slow over-rate returned to plague his side once again in the fourth one-dayer against Pakistan.
In Ganguly's absence, Vice Captain Rahul Dravid would now lead the side while swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag has been made Vice Captain, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Joint Secretary Gautam Dasgupta said here today.
India took 236 minutes to bowl 48 overs against Pakistan, exceeding the allocated time limit by 26 minutes. "No excuse was offered by the captain," said Match referee Chris Broad. Ganguly, who has been under fire for poor batting form, was penalised 70% of his match fee for the same offence in last week's third one-day international. India Cricket Live

Pakistan ties series after marvellous run chase; IND 2-2

Inzamam-ul-Haq hit his 79th one-day half-century to steer Pakistan to a series-tying three-wicket victory over India in Ahmedabad. Pakistan successfully chased 316, the fourth-highest total ever. The tourists needed three runs from the final over, but only got there off the final ball, Inzamam making 60 not out.It was Sachin's last delivery, full-length and on the off-stump, that Inzamam drove to the fence in the cover region to secure his side a famous win. Unlike Chetan Sharma, whom Miandad hit for that famous last-ball six at Sharjah, Sachin, though, was not scarred by the dramatic final ball. Instead, he sported a smile, appreciating Inzy's achievement. Earlier Sachin Tendulkar hit a brilliant century (123) with meaningful partnerships with Virender Sehwag (29) and Mahendra Dhoni (47), to ensure that Pakistan will have to score a record breaking 316 to level the series, which they did!Pakistan 319-7 (48/48 overs) beat India 315-6 (48/48 overs)
India Cricket Live

No change in batting order, says Ganguly; Pitch to favor team batting first!

Sourav Ganguly made his first appearance at a pre-match press conference for three games, and while the usual bluster was missing, the beleaguered captain looked none the worse for his poor form that has thrown a huge question mark over his future as an international batsman.
He has made just 61 runs in eight innings 48 in five in the Test matches, and 13 in the first three one-dayers on Pakistans current tour of India.
When you dont score, there is bound to be criticism, he acknowledged. But I cant deny the fact that I have also got support from the media. As captain, I have a responsibility to score runs. I have been a success before, there is no reason why I cant do it again. The important thing is how quickly I can come out of this slump. The Sardar Patel Gujarat stadium is as good a place as any for him to shed his lean trot. In late 2000, he had made a sparkling 144 against Zimbabwe, the highest individual score at this ground. Not only that hundred, I have got two Test centuries here too, he said. I have good memories of playing here, I hope it turns out lucky for me again tomorrow. Ruling out a change in the opening combine here, Ganguly added, I wont be opening, not in this game. We will stick with Sachin and Sehwag for here. I dont foresee any changes in the batting order. With a lush green out-field, the pitch is a batsman's paradise that has witnessed many exciting matches after acquiring the status of an international stadium in 1986. Needless to say then, the pitch is batsmen friendly. An average inning score in 18 innings played here in nine matches, which also includes matches played by other teams, is 224 runs. The average of 1st innings, team batting first, stands at 237 runs. Results of all the One-Day International matches played here indicate the team batting first went on to win the tie. Concentrating on the seven matches India has played at Motera, the host lost two matches as the team succumbed while chasing the target set by the opposition.

SC permits Kotla to host sixth one day

After the Centre and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) gave clean chit to Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium, calling it absolute safe, the Supreme Court today gave a green signal to the sixth and last one day Cricket match scheduled to be played between India and Pakistan on April 17.
Putting aside its earlier contentions with the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) over the safety issue, MCD stressed before the court that the stadium was safe to host the match.The stadium, which DDCA President Arun Jaitely once said would be having five star facilities, will accommodate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistans President Pervez Musharraf along with 30,000 spectators during the match.

India yet to win a major home series since 2000

The humiliating defeat at Jamshedpur by a rejuvenated Pakistani outfit has exposed the cracks in the Indian one-day outfit. And though India needs just another win to ensure that they wont lose the six-match series, history beckons: This team has yet to win a one-day series at home other than against Zimbabwe since 2000. Statistics reveal that India have, for the past five years, struggled to do well at home in the shorter version of the game. They lost the Test series to Australia in 2001, West Indies 2002, drew with England 2002 and also lost the TVS Cup final to Australia in 2003. The last time India won a one-day series at home was against South Africa with Hansie Cronje at the helm; the series was as dubious as some of the players who competed. India Cricket Live

Inzamam looks forward to level ODI series; Ganguly fined match fee

Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq has said he hoped his team would perform better after its emphatic win over India in the third one-day international on Saturday. "I believe we need to put in a lot more effort now. The innings are at 2-1 right now we need to better that. One can't say anything about one-day games. The team that puts in its best wins. It's difficult to predict," said Inzamam. Pakistani swing bowler Rana Naved who grabbed a career-best six wicket haul, said that having in-form opener Virender Sehwag caught for two as the latter cut straight to Afridi at point was a vital blow to India.
A fighting 64 by Irfan Pathan, for his maiden one-day half- century, was India's only consolation, apart from 28 from vice captain Rahul Dravid and 32 from Mohammed Kaif as the Pakistani pace battery scalped wickets one after the other. Indian wicket keeper Dhoni, who scored a match-winning 148 in the second one-dayer, hit out in front of his home crowd but was caught slogging at Naved. "No it's not about a lot of pressure, because Veeru has been scoring runs regularly. Our middle order had not got much of a chance. This is the first time that they got a chance. Its' not a big deal and we will make a strong comeback in the forthcoming matches," said Dhoni. Meanwhile Indian captain Sourav Ganguly's woes continued with the ICC fining him his entire match fee for his side's slow over rate in the third one-day international against Pakistan in Jamshedpur.
Ganguly was ordered to appear before an ICC hearing following the match in which his bowlers took almost 30 minutes longer to complete their 50 overs than the allotted three-and-half hours. "We have learnt he has been fined his full match fee. We have to wait for a formal announcement from the ICC," an Indian cricket official told Reuters.It is the second time in six months that Ganguly has had to front an ICC hearing over his side's slow over rate. India Cricket Live

Naved-ul-Hasan wrecks India; IND 2-1

Naved-ul-Hasan claimed 6-27 to bowl Pakistan to a comprehensive 106-run victory over India in Jamshedpur.
Irfan Pathan's spirited 64, his first one-day international fifty, was the only real resistance as the visitors cut their deficit to 2-1 in the series.
Naved removed Virender Sehwag (2), Sourav Ganguly (4), Mahendra Dhoni (28) and Yuvraj Singh (1) to reduce India to 82-6 in reply to 319-9, Salman Butt hitting 101.
Naved returned to claim the final two wickets as India slumped to defeat. He first burst onto international scene with his one-day debut against Sri Lanka at Sharjah immediately after the World Cup when Pakistan dropped eight players after the first round exit. Pakistan 319 for 9 (Butt 101, Malik 75, Nehra 3/57) beat India 213 all out in 41.4 overs (Pathan 64, Kaif 32, Naved 6/27) by 106 runs.

Pakistan look to keep hopes alive : Third ODI today

Pakistan are set to ring the changes as they bid to keep alive their hopes of winning the one-day series against India in Jamshedpur today. The tourists, who are 2-0 down in the six-game series, will welcome key batsman Younis Khan back after a fever.
Younis is likely to replace Mohammad Hafeez, while paceman Iftikhar Rao and spinner Danish Kaneria could come in for Mohammad Sami and Arshad Khan. Pakistan unsuccessfully chased big targets in Cochin and Vishakapatnam and batting first could be the key to winning at the Keenan Stadium, with hot weather forecast.
India are without paceman Lakshmipathy Balaji, who has a side strain.
The tourists have a good record in the eastern city, having won the last two one-dayers between the teams. India (from): Sourav Ganguly (Captain), Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar , Dinesh Mongia, Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Dhoni (Wicket Keeper), Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra. Pakistan (from): Inzamam-ul-Haq (Captain), Salman Butt, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Yousuf Youhana, Mohammed Hafeez, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammed Sami, Iftikhar Rao, Shahid Nazir, Arshad Khan, Danish Kaneria. India Cricket Live

Agarkar added to Indian squad; Balaji rested!

India today recalled all-rounder Ajit Agarkar for the next two one-dayers of the ongoing six-match cricket series against Pakistan. Agarkar was added to the squad of 14 as cover for paceman Lakshmipathy Balaji, who sprained his rib while bowling during the second match today.
Agarkar, whose last one-day appearance was against Bangladesh at Dhaka in December, has taken 203 wickets in 134 matches. India leads the series 2-0 with the remaining matches to be played in Jamshedpur (April 9), Ahmedabad (April 12), Kanpur (April 15) and New Delhi (April 17). India Cricket Live

Dhoni shows 'em how to bat; IND 2-0 Discuss More

India went 2-0 up in the one-day series against Pakistan as they won in Vishakhapatnam by 58 runs. Pakistan were all out for 298 as they tried in vain to overhaul a mammoth Indian score of 356-9, a record for the hosts in matches against Pakistan. Left-arm paceman Ashish Nehra took 4-72 but India's hero was Mahendra Doni. He hit 148 off 123 balls - his maiden ton - and his batting along with Virender Sehwag 's brutal 74 took the game out of reach of Pakistan. In Picture: Mahendra Dhoni batted well for his 148 and then kept wickets through out the Pakistani innings on a tiring day when the temperature hit mid 30s. Second one-day international, Vishakhapatnam: India 356 for 9 (50 overs) beat Pakistan 298 all out (44.1 overs) by 58 runs.

Pakistanis insured for $445,000 in Gujarat Discuss ODIs Discuss More

News Report from a Middle Eastern Country: Organisers of a one-day cricket match in a communally-sensitive western Indian city have insured the touring Pakistan team for $445,000 as security cover, officials said yesterday.
India and Pakistan will play the one-dayer on April 12 in Ahmedabad, the commercial capital of Gujarat state where at least 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were hacked, burnt or shot to death in 2002 following the death of 59 Hindus in a train carriage fire blamed by state authorities on a Muslim mob.
Gujarat Cricket Association president Narhari Amin said each of the 16 Pakistan cricketers and support staff will be insured for $22,000 for the two-day duration of their stay in Ahmedabad. "This insurance is to safeguard us against any eventuality," said Amin, adding this was the first time cricketers were being insured for security reasons. Some 15,000 police and security personnel will be on hand to guard the cricketers at the hotel and the 47,000-capacity Gujarat stadium where the match will be played, Amin said.Footnote: By getting the BCCI to change the Test venue, the Pakistanis not only distorted Gujarat's image worldwide, but managed to obtain a silent apology and confession of sorts from the Indian Government. By insuring the visiting Muslim players, they have played right into the Pakistani hands and have proved to all beyond doubt that the Indians accept the fact that India is not safe for Muslims. Are there no self-respecting Indians alive in India? What is next?!

Cricketers learn to cope with intense heat ahead of 2nd ODI today Discuss ODIs Discuss More

Launching the six-match limited-over series with a commanding victory, host India goes into Tuesdays second contest wary of Pakistans counter-punching ability as both teams learn to cope with stamina-sapping heat.
In Cochin, the mercury touched 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit) during the series-opening match and the relative humidity was measured at 65 percent. But the temperature had shot up to 37 degrees Celsius and the relative humidity stood at 70 percent when the teams took to the nets for practice early Monday in Visakhapatnam on Indias eastern coast. "Playing in these conditions is very tough. April in India is always like this," said vice captain Rahul Dravid , reflecting the views of players on both teams. "Its a matter of how we cope with the conditions. Youve got to manage your time and recover well, on and off the field," said Dravid, who batted for 47 overs to score a composed century in the first one-dayer, but stayed in the dressing room when India came out to field. He did not field at all at Cochin. "One has to leave enough in the tank for the next match, and whoever manages it better will win the series," he said. Pakistans vice captain, Younis Khan, said his team was also testing ways to avoid heat exhaustion. "During non-match days, were trying to reduce the heat-related problems through shorter training sessions," said Khan, who missed the first one-dayer due to viral influenza. Dravid added India would stick to the batting order with out-of-form skipper Sourav Ganguly at No.3. "Its a challenge for any team to carry along players who are out of form, and still manage the same result," said Dravid. "Im sure Ganguly will get runs sooner or later."

Visakhapatnam gears up to host 2nd ODI; Teams arrive Discuss ODIs Discuss More

The two teams reached Vizag in a special chartered flight and were given a traditional welcome at Taj Residency hotel by the hotel staff, dressed in traditional Andhra Sarees. The city wore a festive look as many buildings were decorated to welcome the players. Corporation staff had kept the highway spotlessly clean right from the airport to the hotel. Some of the roads leading to the airport were also newly asphalted to give the players a neat ride to the hotel.
Police had made elaborate security arrangements as policemen stood throughout the 12-km from the airport to the hotel. Meanwhile, Groundsmen under the supervision of the curator are working overtime to give finishing touches to the pitch and the outfield.
India Cricket Live

Kolkata rallies behind Sourav Ganguly Discuss Sourav Discuss More

The brickbats may be flying in thick and fast from across the country for his no-show in the India-Pakistan Tests. But in hometown Kolkata, Sourav Ganguly is still Prince, not just because he is son of the soil but also because of the record books. Kolkata does have a soft spot for the man who Geoffrey Boycott crowned its Prince. But any suggestion of blind faith or plain parochialism is vigorously denied. Held up is Sourav's success rate as captain. Of 47 Tests that each of India's best captains have led, Gavaskar won 9, Azharuddin 14 and Ganguly 19 or a whopping 40 per cent.
No one denies Sourav's batting has hit rock bottom. Again, of the three top captains, Sourav's average is the lowest 37 against Azhar's 43 and Gavaskar's 50. The last Test series, 48 runs in 5 innings, is his worst ever.
But the question on the lips of 'non-calcuttans' is whether the records say the whole truth? Who needs a captain when half of the team play like world beaters? Sehwag and Dravid's batting pulled India thru the three tests and the first one day. The tail enders gave ample support. How much did the capatincy mattered? But in the one test India lost, it was Sourav's defensive approach that made the difference.
Discuss Sourav Ganguly's captaincy India Cricket Live

Inzy applies for Indian Citizenship Discuss Inzy Discuss More

"Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is all set to shift base to India. Preposterous? Just ask the Indian Embassy in Islamabad where he has applied for an Indian citizenship."
"Inzy's surprise decision comes just days after a West Bengal family claimed that the Sultan of Multan was their descendent and were even prepared to hand over to him his 'rightful share of the ancestral property'." So ran the article in HT (Tabloid), causing a flurry of activity on message boards all over the cricketing world."There has been a mixed response to the news in Pakistan - from stunned silence to studied optimism.".
"Inzamam will, in all probability, settle in Kolkata... As part of his Indian inheritance, Inzamam will receive a mansion located on the outskirts of Kolkata and 700 hectares of irrigated land near Someshpur town where Ashadul's family lives." continued the April 1st article, with a warning "All Fool's Day!" India Cricket Live

Sachin bowls 'em over; IND 1-0 Discuss More

Sachin Tendulkar claimed 5-50 as India recorded a convincing 87-run victory in the first match of their one-day series against Pakistan at Cochin.
He atoned for his second ball dismissal earlier in the game by removing Abdul Razzaq, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Hafeez. Pakistan were finally all out for 194 in reply to India's 281-8.
Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid were the batting stars for the home side as they made 108 and 104 respectively.First one-day international, Cochin: India 281-8 (50 overs) beat Pakistan 194 (45.2 overs) by 87 runs
India Cricket Live

Pakistan takes on Ganguly's paper tigers Discuss More

Rejuvenated Pakistan under the captaincy of Inzamam-ul-Haq will be looking for an inspiring victory in the opening One-day International of six in Cochin of Kerala today against a desperate India headed by Sourav Ganguly whose leadership is under fire following defeat to Pakistan in Bangalore Test last week.
To strengthen the Pakistan team, the PCB selectors have sent pacer Rao Iftikhar, Shahid Nazir and all rounder Mohammad Hafeez for withdrawn Yaseer Hamid, Toufiq Umar and Mohammad Khalil. Shoaib Malik who was touring with Pakistan second string has also joined the side. However, the doors of return to the team have been closed for fast bowler Shoaib Akhter for discipline reason.
But there is a sad news for the Pakistani supporters that in form batsman Younis Khan who was in great form in the Test series aggregating 508 runs with an average of 101.60 is a doubtful starter as he has been suffering from fever. A sell-out crowd of 75,000 is expected to watch the match. "We were sold out days ago. It will be a packed house," said Karunakaran Nair, Secretary of the Indian Cricket Board and a key official of local Kerala (Cricket) Association. There will be flat wicket, not ideal for fast bowlers. For this, both the teams may switch over to more spinners. Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said, "Pakistan may have drawn the Test series with exceptional cricket, but the one-dayers are a different ball game and we are confident of doing well. We have happy memories of this ground after beating Australia and South Africa here in the past." On his captaincy, Sourav said, "That (captaincy) is for the selectors to decide. I have been around (as captain) for quite a long time. I have nothing to prove to anybody."The Pakistan captain Inzamam Ul-Haq said his team was high on morale after the brilliant Test victory in Bangalore, but warned them against complacency. "We cannot carry our win in Bangalore to Cochin. It is a new game and we (have to) start from the beginning,' said he. The Indian selectors have slashed spinner Anil Kumble, middle order batsman V.Laxman, opener Gambhir and wicket keeper Dinesh Karthic from the team for Yuvaraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Ashish Nehra and Mahender Dhoni. The batting strength of India is supposed to be the best in the world after Australia. They have qualities to face any kind of bowler for runs. The bowling power is also praiseworthy, consisting of Irfan Pathan, L.Balaji, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Murali Kartik. To the contrary, Pakistan are comparatively a weak side in all the three faculties of the game. The Pakistani batsmen often lose concentration on the pitch; the bowlers fail to keep the line and length of the ball and the fielders miss the easy catches even. The most trusted batsman is Izamam-ul-Haq. Others may or may not make runs. None of the bowlers is fearsome as were Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. India Cricket Live

Stage set for first one-dayer in Kochi Read Related

The 80,000 capacity Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Kochi is bustling with action, all set to raise the curtain on the first of the six- match One Day International Series for the Pepsi Cup between a subdued India and a confident Pakistan on April 2.
''The wicket will be a purely batting track as is the practice in any one day match around the world," observed the curator of the pitch, veteran G. Kasturi Rangan.
Meanwhile, the government has announced a holiday for Kochi on the game day. The port city is brimming with activity and law and order machinery is working overtime. Five Team India players Rahul Dravid , Irfan Pathan, Mohammed Kaif, Harbhajan Singh and Lakshmipathy Balaji arrived in the city on Wednesday.
India Cricket Live

Sourav, India will hit back: Dravid

Team India vice-captain Rahul Dravid said India will come back strongly in the ensuing ODI series and also backed skipper Sourav Ganguly as a man who will be back in form quickly. It is a little disappointing to lose the last Test, but that is over. One-day (game) is totally different. We have to look ahead and be positive. We can put up a good performance in the one-day series, he told reporters on the sidelines of a painting exhibition by his mother Pushpa Dravid in Kochi.
Pushpa, a professor by vocation, tackles mostly themes that blend man and nature. In a career spanning 40 years, Pushpa Dravid has held over 40 exhibitions in India and abroad, besides winning 14 prestigious awards, including the Karnataka Lalit Kala Akademi award.
On his skippers form, Dravid said: Sourav has been around for ten years playing lot of cricket. He knows exactly what he needs to do and he is working at it, he said.
The first ODI is scheduled to be held in Kochi on Saturday. India Cricket Live

Pakistan warms up with an 8 wicket victory; Malik finally meets his in-laws!

Pakistan, playing without their five senior players, restricted India 'A' to 189 for 7 in their stipulated 45 overs in the one-day warm up match before racing to a comprehensive 8 wicket victory with 4 overs to spare.In Picture: Man of the Match & Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik gets into a car with his father-in-law Hamid Siddiqui on the way to his wife Ayeshas residence on Tuesday evening. This is the first time he is meeting his in-laws. The two are yet to be formally wedded as they had performed their nikah (marriage) nearly two years ago over the phone. The nikah was performed when she was in Hyderabad and he was in his hometown Sialkot. Now both the families are getting ready for a formal wedding in August after Ayesha is settled down in Pakistan. Brief Scores: India A 189/7 wkts in 45 overs (S Raina 55, S Sriram 38) lost to Pakistan 190/2 wkts in 41 overs (Salman Butt 70, Shoaib Malik 81) by 8 wickets.
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Ganguly's captaincy under fire; blames team

Saurav Ganguly blamed his team's defensive batting approach for their 168-run loss in the final test against Pakistan on Monday and said he was confident he would recover from his slump in form.
"We lost too many wickets quickly because we got too defensive," Ganguly said. "It was not a conscious effort to get in a negative mode, but it cost us." The hosts, 25 without loss overnight, were 102 for one at lunch but were bowled out for 214 in the last two sessions.
Ganguly has suffered a wretched time with the bat scoring 21, 12, 12, one and two in the series and he was booed to and from the crease by the crowd during his short innings on Monday. He said the question of retaining him as captain was for the selectors to answer. Meanwhile, people have started talking about axing Ganguly, the most successful captain in Indian history. "On his batting form, Ganguly doesn't deserve a place in the team," former Indian captain Bishan Bedi said on Tuesday. "He should not be blocking the way of competent young players sitting among the reserves." "Ganguly's failure as a batsman was evident right through the series, but the last two days showed he didn't even have a game plan," Bedi said.
"As Ganguly shrinks from the unexpected defeat... the calls for his crown and his place in the team have become shriller," The Times of India said in a front-page report on Tuesday. Ganguly is India's most successful Test captain, with a 19-13 win loss record in 47 Tests. Ganguly will be 33 by the time the next Test series comes round in October against Zimbabwe. India Cricket Live

Inzamam gets one-match ban for dissent; Pak media hails skipper

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has been banned for one test for showing dissent during the third and final test against India on Monday.
"We had a hearing with the match referee Chris Broad for two counts of excessive appealing and dissent," said Saleem Altaf, manager of the Pakistan cricket team. "On the first count, he has been fined 30 percent of his match fees and on the second, a level two offence, he has been given a one-test match ban." Altaf said both instances were during the first half hour of play on Monday.
Pakistan are scheduled to play their next test in West Indies in May.Meanwhile, back in Pakistan, the knives which were out baying for his blood have suddenly vanished and Inzy finds himself at the centre of adulation as the local media heaped praise on him after yesterday's series-levelling win at Bangalore.
'The Nation' said, ''Pakistan's beleaguered captain, Inzamam-ul Haq gave the expression 'leading from the front' new interpretation with aggressive batting and smart placing of field and bowling changes.
Praising Inzamam for his astute captaincy, Dawn wrote, ''For Inzamam, it was a wish fulfilled, a dream come true. A victory that he had so desperately wanted in his 100th Test, came about through a remarkable team-effort and his intelligent captaincy.'' Former Pakistan captain and coach Javed Miandad also singled out the burly Multa player for the brilliant win at Bangalore. India Cricket Live

Anil Kumble omitted from Indian team for one-dayers

Leg-spinner Anil Kumble has been omitted from the 14-player squad named by India on Tuesday for the first two games of their one-day international series against Pakistan starting on Sunday.
The 34-year-old Kumble claimed 17 wickets in the three-test series including a face saving 37* in the last innings when the frontline batsmen fell like nine-pins. The series ended in a 1-1 draw on Monday following Pakistan's 168-run victory in the final test in Bangalore.
Batsman Vangipurappu Laxman, wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik and opening batsman Gautam Gambhir were the other test squad members to be left out. India: Saurav Ganguly (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid , Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, Murali Kartik, Dinesh Mongia, Mahendra Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Ashish Nehra, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Zaheer Khan. India Cricket Live

TVS Cricket Cup Series Drawn Discuss Current Series Discuss More

Indian and Pakistan skipers with the TVS cup (In Picture). Pakistan won the final test at Bangalore, Inzamam's 100th, by 168 runs to level the series 1-1. The first test in Mohali was Drawn and India won the second test in Calcutta by 195 runs.

Pakistan make three changes for India one-dayers

Pakistani selectors left out Shoaib Akhtar and made three changes to the squad currently in India. Pakistan: Inzamam-ul-Haq (Captain), Younis Khan (vice-captain), Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Yousuf Youhana, Asim Kamal, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Nazir, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Danish Kaneria, Arshad Khan and Shoaib Malik.

Bangalore Test Match Report Discuss More

India Cricket LiveThird Test
March 24-28, 2005
Match News
Score Board
Daily Report
Day one: Inzamam-ul-Haq made a century in his 100th Test match as Pakistan ended the first day of the final Test against India in a strong position on 323-2. Lakshmipathy Balaji and Irfan Pathan dismissed both openers to leave the tourists reeling on 7-2 in Bangalore.
But captain Inzamam took advantage of a good pitch to stroke a chanceless 184, while Younis Khan made a patient 127. Their partnership is a record for any wicket by a touring team in India and has set up what should be a big total.
Brief scores: Pakistan 323-2 v India Day two: Pakistan made a mammoth 570 all out in 167.5 overs in the first innings against India in Bangalore. Younis Khan topscored with 267. Inzamam couldn't add anything to his overnight score of 184 as he was dismissed off the very first Balaji delivery in the morning. Harbhajan Singh took 6 wickets for 152 runs.
In reply, India were 55 for no loss, still trailing Pakistan by 515 runs. Sehwag was not out on 39 of 33 balls.
Brief scores: Pakistan 570 all out (Younis Khan 267, Inzamam-ul-Haq 184, Harbhajan Singh 6 for 152) India 55/0. Day three: At stumps, India were 379/6 (100 ov) with Laxman batting at 51 (108) and Pathan at 0 (12). Sehwag scored 201 (262) on a day when most of the other batsmen dissapointed the Indian fans. Sachin scored 41, Dravid 22, Ganguly 1 and Gambhir 24. India trail by 191 runs with 4 wickets remaining in the 1st innings. Day four: India were 25/0 at stumps, chasing a target of 383 set by Pakistan to win the 3rd and final test. Pakistan had declared their second innings at 261/2 after Shahid Afridi made a quick fire start, hitting 58 off 34 balls. Some gritty batting by Younis Khan 84* and Yasir Hameed 76 was instrumental in Pakistan's run rate of 5.22, that allowed them to declare within 50 overs.
Scores: Pakistan 570 and 261/2 decl vs India 449 and * 25/0. India Cricket LiveDay five: India "managed" to lose the final test and draw the series against Pakistan by getting all out for 214 in 90 overs. Kumble 37 (52) was the only batsman who played with any sense on a day when the famed Indian batting side crumbled. The much-vaunted quartet of Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar , Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman could muster only 39 runs between them. Shahid Afridi took 3 crucial wickets for 13 runs in 17 overs. For India, Gambhir top scored with 52 (124).Final Scores: Pakistan 570 (Younis Khan 267, Inzamam-ul-Haq 184, Harbhajan Singh 6 for 152) & 261/2 declared (Shahid Afridi 58, Younis Khan 84*, Yasir Hameed 76) BEAT India 446/9 (Sehwag 201, Sachin 41, Laxman 79*) & 214 (Gambhir 52, Kumble 37*) by 168 runs.
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Pakistan Wins Bangalore, Draws Series! Discuss Bangalore Test Discuss More

Pakistan bowled out India for 214 on the final day of the third Test in Bangalore to tie the series 1-1. Danish Kaneria dismissed Harbhajan Singh and Lakshmipathy Balaji late in the afternoon to clinch a 168-run win.
Earlier Shahid Afridi took three wickets, including the key one for 16 of Sachin Tendulkar , who had become the third highest run-scorer in Tests.
No team had ever scored more than 276 (West Indies in 1987) in the second innings to win a Test in India.
India 449 & 214 lost to Pakistan 570 & 261-2d by 168 runs. India Cricket Live

Sehwag dominates Pakistan bowlers Discuss Bangalore Test Discuss More

Virender Sehwag hit a brilliant double hundred in a dominant batting display as Pakistan's bowlers were run ragged on day three of the Bangalore Test.
Sehwag finally fell for 201 as India reached 379-6 after the third day in reply to Pakistan's first innings 570.
Sehwag had put on 98 for the first wicket with Gautam Gambhir, 74 for the second with Rahul Dravid and 85 for the third with Sachin Tendulkar .
Third Test, Bangalore, day three (stumps) India 379-6 v Pakistan 570.

267 was nothing exceptional, says Younis Discuss Bangalore Test Discuss More

Younis Khan was the only one who thought his 504-ball innings of 267 runs on the second day of the third Test against India was "just normal".
In fact, it was the highest score by a Pakistan batsman in India. It was also Younis' first double century. "This wasn't a great innings. I drew inspiration from Inzamam's knock yesterday, but, of course, I couldn't play like him," he said.
He believes that Pakistan can win this Test, as the pitch has started cracking and the spinners will play a big role. But, at the same time, he is sad that they cannot win the series despite the effort. India Cricket Live

Inzamam fifth player to slam hundred in 100th test Discuss Bangalore Test Discuss More

Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq cracked a flawless unbeaten 184 in his 100th test and Younis Khan added 127 not out as Pakistan took control on the first day of the third and final match on Thursday. The pair shared in a 316-run partnership for the third wicket, the highest by Pakistan in India, to frustrate the Indian bowlers after they had reduced the visitors to seven for two.
Inzamam became only the fifth player in history to score a century in his 100th test, joining an elite club containing England's Colin Cowdrey, Gordon Greenidge of West Indies, Pakistani Javed Miandad and England's Alec Stewart.
His magnificent 263-ball knock, with 25 fours, was the highest score by a batsman in his centennial test, surpassing Greenidge's 149. India Cricket Live

Inzi aims to level series in his 100th Test Discuss Bangalore Test Discuss More

Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul Haq today resolved to adopt an aggressive approach in his 100th Test, beginning in Bangalore tomorrow, as his team seeks to level the three-Test series against India.
Pointing out that the toss would play an important role in the match, Inzamam also hinted that he would make atleast two changes to the side which lost at Kolkata.
"I don't need to stress how important this match is for us. We have to take a simple approach of winning at all costs. We have to be aggressive and positive," Inzamam told reporters. On the other hand, Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly hoped that the ICC would soon sort out the controversy over Harbhajan's "doosra" bowling action.
Though Inzamam admitted that the controversy surrounding off spinner Harbhajan Singh's 'doosra' delivery, he was not considering it as a great advantage. Asked whether he feared that his captaincy would be at stake if the side lost the series against India, Inzamam said such things (talks) happen from time-to-time. "It's important to focus on the task at hand; to win the match.
Inzamam ruled out any "tension" in the team and said his "arguments" with Shahid Afridi could not be described as "tension". To a question, he said his most unforgettable moment was when he was part of the Pakistan team that won the World Cup in 1992. And the most regrettable one was that he scored a mere 19 runs from six matches in the 2003 edition. India Cricket Live

India retains the same team for the Bangalore Cricket Test against Pakistan Discuss Bangalore Test Discuss More

India yesterday retained their 14-member squad which scored a comfortable 195-run win in the second Test to go 1-0 up in the series for the third and final Test against Pakistan to be held in Bangalore from Thursday. Indian Cricket Team: Sourav Ganguly (Captain), Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag , Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar , Venkatsai Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra, Laxmipathy Balaji, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh. India Cricket Live

Harbhajan Singh will not be allowed to bowl his Doosra Discuss Doosra Discuss More

Harbhajan Singh will not be allowed to bowl his controversial doosra during India's third Test against Pakistan this week after being reported by match referee Chris Broad for a suspect action.
Broad targeted Harbhajan after India's win in the second Test at Calcutta when he bowled out two batsmen with the delivery during Pakistan's second innings.It is the second time Harbhajan has been reported by Broad in four months. He had to remedy his bowling action after a query by Broad in a Test in Bangladesh last December.
Harbhajan can play for India when the third Test against Pakistan starts on Thursday in Bangalore but cannot bowl the doosra until he completes remedial work with the International Cricket Council (ICC). In Picture: One of the computer images of Muttiah Muralitharan's doosra action that was supplied to the ICC in a biomechanist's report. ICC effectively banned Muralitharan from bowling his doosra - a delivery deemed illegal.

Teams in Bangalore, rest after five-day battle

Players of both the visiting Pakistan and Indian cricket teams today opted for a day's rest after the second Test at Kolkata. The Pakistan team and some members of the Indian team arrived in Bangalore late last night from Kolkata. While most members of both the teams went to Chennai to attend the marriage of Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralidharan, those who stayed back took some rest.
Indian Coach John Wright visited the M Chinnaswamy stadium and inspected the pitch, prepared for the crucial third and final test beginning from March 24. Chief Curator Narayana Rao told UNI that good cricket was in store as the pitch was expected to be a batting pitch for the first three days.

Kolkata Test Match Report Discuss More

India Cricket LiveSecond Test
March 16-20, 2005
Match News
Score Board
Daily Report
Day one: Indian openers had yet another great start on a pitch that was shorn of most of the grass cover after Ganguly won the toss and opted to bat.
At lunch India were 126/1 (30 ov) with Dravid on 22 (48) and Sehwag on 64 (92). Soon after lunch, Sachin Tendulkar 52 (102), who repalced Sehwag 81 (114) reached 10,000 Test runs and Rahul Dravid reached his century.
Abdul Razzaq removed Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman off successive deliveries before Dravid 110 (222) put on 46 with Dinesh Karthik 28* (47) to end the first day on 344-6. Dravid was out in the last over.India Cricket LiveDay two: India's Dinesh Karthik runs himself out (In Picture) as Pakistan make the perfect start to day two. The last wicket partnership of 44 between Kumble 21* (36) and Harbhajan Singh 27 (39) took India to 407. In reply, Pakistan ended the day with 273/2 on board. Younis Khan 108 (167) and Yousuf Youhana 101 (172) were at the crease. They trail by 134 runs with 8 wickets remaining in the 1st innings.India Cricket LiveDay three: India were 133/3 with Dravid 54 (92) and Ganguly 4 (9) at the crease when bad light stopped play. A well settled Sachin Tendulkar , who was complaining of bad light, was on 52 (91), when he was given out by Bucknor in one of the worst umpiring decisions. He was given out caught behind, although Pakistan barely appealed and replays showed the ball missed the bat by an inch.
Earlier Pakistan innings folded at 393, giving India a lead of 14, after they started the morning at a healthy 273/2. Azim Kamal (In Picture), was the last wicket to fall before lunch, run out by Tendulkar.Day four: India set Pakistan a target of 422 after declaring their second innings at 407 for nine a little over an hour after tea on the penultimate day of the second cricket Test. Dravid scored 135 for his 20th test century and shared in a 165-run fifth wicket partnership with teenaged wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, who missed out on his maiden hundred, dismissed for 93.
In reply, Pak raced to 95/1, losing the wicket of Shahid Afridi, who scored 59 (59) and shared a 93 run 1st wicket partnership with Taufeeq Umar, who remained not out on 29 (61).
Brief Scores: India: 407 (Dravid 110, Sehwag 81, Tendulkar 52) and 407/9 decl. (Dravid 135, Karthik 93, Tendulkar 52)
Pakistan: 393 (Younis 147, Youhana 104) and 95/1 (Afridi 59)
Pakistan require another 327 runs with 9 wickets in hand on the last day to win the match.Day five: Anil Kumble took 7-63 as India wrapped up victory in the second Test against Pakistan by 195 runs in Calcutta. The leg-spinner finished with match figures of 10-161 in Pakistan's first ever defeat at Eden Gardens.
Kumble removed Younis Khan with the first ball of the final day and bowled skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq before Taufeeq Umar edged Laxmipathy Balaji to slip. Kumble and Harbhajan Singh (2-51) then ran through the middle and lower order to put India 1-0 up with one Test left.Brief Scores: India 407 & 407-9 dec bt Pakistan 393 & 226 by 195 runs.
India Cricket Live

India Wins Second Test Kolkata Test Discuss More

Anil Kumble won India another Test with some exceptional bowling, taking his 29th five-wicket haul in a Test innings. He got a wicket off the first ball and went on to take Inzamam's wicket for the 7th time in as many tests. He proved irresistible on the fifth day, as he has so often in the past, and sent Pakistan skidding to 226 all out, taking 7 for 63 and giving India victory by 195 runs and a 1-0 lead in this series.
India started the day as favourites, as neither of the two options before Pakistan - scoring 327 for a victory, or surviving 90 overs for a draw - were easy to achieve.
Scores: India 407 (Dravid 110, Sehwag 81) and 407 for 9 dec (Dravid 135, Karthik 93) beat Pakistan 393 (Younis 147, Youhana 104) and 226 (Afridi 59, Kamal 50, Kumble 7-63) by 195 runs. India Cricket Live

Dravid, Second best only to the Don Jammie's Records Discuss More

Having read about Steve Waughs twin tons in 1997 that won a Headingley Test against England to help Australia level that Ashes series, Dravid had always wanted to follow suit. He did that once at Hamilton against New Zealand in 1998-99 but the unbeaten 103 in the second inningsafter a 190 in the firstturned out to be his least favourite. The match was a draw, the series a defeat.
At the Eden, the ground where he rediscovered himself with Laxman in that historic stand, after taking flak for his slow-scoring rate, in 2001 against Australia, Dravid stands on the verge of something special.
Both his centuries110 and 135 in this Test have come in the face of severe pressure, and both times he has walked back smiling.With a Test average of 58.45, second only to Sir Don Bradman, Dravid today stands as the worlds best batsman. India Cricket Live

Bucknored: Sachin walks into dressing room crying! Worst Umpire? Discuss More

Steve Bucknor, the umpire who has a history of confrontations with the Indian team, ensured that his 100th Test would not be forgotten easily for the wrong reasons. On the third day of the Kolkata test, Sachin Tendulkar walked back to the dressing room with tears in his eyes as Bucknor declared him out at 52 after his bat clearly missed the ball sent down by Abdul Razzaq.
"Sachin had tears in his eyes as he returned to the dressing room,'' a member of the Indian team said. "He just couldn't express his shock at the decision. He was furious,'' he added. In Pakistan last year, he turned down several genuine appeals and gestured at wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel to keep quiet in a manner which was humiliating.
Bucknor has umpired in 17 Tests involving India and they have won just four. India Cricket Live

Tendulkar the fastest man to 10,000 test runs; India off to a good start Sachin Read Related Discuss More

Sachin Tendulkar reached 10,000 Test runs and Rahul Dravid hit 110 as India ended an eventful first day of the second Test against Pakistan on 344-6 at Eden Gardens.
India were 126-1 at lunch and added another 30 in eight overs following the restart before Sehwag paid the price for over-confidence. Sehwag's (81) departure brought in Tendulkar, but it was Dravid who assumed the senior partner's role. After a prolonged start, Tendulkar looked set for his 35th Test hundred, but that was put on hold again as his attempted cut off a wide Afridi delivery was pouched by Akmal.
Sachin Tendulkar became only the fifth batsman to complete 10,000 test runs. Former captain Sunil Gavaskar, the first player to accumulate 10,000 runs, is the only other Indian to reach the milestone. The 31-year-old Tendulkar, playing his 122nd test, already holds the records for runs and centuries in one-day cricket and shares the record for most test hundreds (34) with Gavaskar. India Cricket Live

Kolkata's Eden Gardens gears up for second Indo-Pak Test Discuss More

Kolkata's famous Eden Gardens is gearing up to host the second Test match between arch cricket rivals India and Pakistan. Considered one of the best cricket grounds in the world, Eden is being spruced up to host next week's match.
A large contingent of groundsmen are working overtime to create a carpet like field, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) Pitches and Grounds Committee, which supervises cricket pitch preparations across the country, says that it is taking all measures to provide a balanced playing surface favouring both bowlers and batsmen.
Preparations are also in full swing for making and allocating a separate stand for visiting Pakistan and Indian cricket fans in the sprawling stadium that can accommodate over 100,000 people. India Cricket Live

Balaji fined 30 percent of match fee

Pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji (In Picture) has been fined 30 percent of his match fee for "excessive appealing" and "not looking back to the umpire" after dismissing Pakistan's centurion Kamran Akmal in the drawn first Test here, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced Sunday. "Balaji was found guilty of excessive appealing and not looking back to the umpire when appealing by ICC match referee Chris Broad in a hearing at the conclusion of the match," said an ICC statement released by the Indian cricket board at Mohali.
The charge was brought by umpires Darrell Hair and Rudi Koertzen and television umpire K. Hari Haran. Broad reached his conclusion after a hearing attended by Balaji, India coach John Wright and the three umpires.

Mohali Test Match Report Discuss More

India Cricket LiveFirst Test
March 8-12, 2005
Match News
Score Board
Daily Report
Day one: Pakistan were dismissed for 312 shortly before the close of play on the opening day of the first test against India on Tuesday.
Brief scores: Pakistan 312 all out (I.Haq 57, A.Kamal 91, L.Balaji 5-76) v India. Day two: Virender Sehwag made up for lost time on a rain-hit day two in Mohali, leading India to 184-1 in reply to Pakistan's 312 in the 40 overs available. He survived drops on 15 and 82 to reach 95 not out, while Rahul Dravid was unbeaten on 39. Gautam Gambhir was the only wicket to fall, caught off spinner Danish Kaneria for 41 after an opening stand of 113.
Brief scores: Pakistan 312 all out India 184-1 v India 181 for 1 (V Sehwag 95*, G Gambhir 41) Day three: Virender Sehwag reaches 100 runs in 129 balls, his 9th in 32 matches. Rahul Dravid 's was the only wicket to fall in the morning session for a well made 50 (117).
At lunch, Sehwag was batting on 166 (209) and Sachin was on 47 (64). India were 318/2, with a lead of 6 runs with 8 wickets remaining in the 1st innings.
After lunch, Sehwag fell for 173 (244) caught by Yousuf Youhana bowled Abdul Razzaq, with India at 334/3. Ganguly joined Sachin who was batting at 55 (86), but he didn't last long, getting out at 21 (74) with India at 381 (for 4 in 103.4 ov)
Before stumps, the Little Master got out, 6 short of his century, for 94 (201). India were 447 for 6 wickets in 130.1 overs with a R.R of 3.43 when bad light stopped play. Laxman was not out on 33 (86). Mohali Test Day four: India were all out for 516 (147.3 ov) in the morning session, with a first innings lead of 204. Laxman made 58 in 125 balls supported by Balaji with a quickfire 31 of 36 balls. Kanaria ended the Indian innings with 6 for 150. At stumps, Pakistan were 257-6, a lead of 53 runs with only 4 wickets remaining. Mohali Test Day five: Kamran Akmal 109 (154) and Abdul Razzaq 71 (260) put on a 184-run seventh wicket partnership to lead Pakistan's fightback on the final day of the first test in Mohali. After tea, Pakistan declared the innings at 496/9, their highest total in India. In reply, India made 85-1, losing Sehwag for 36 (56). Match was drawn. Details

India Cricket Live

Brilliant Pakistan earns Draw in Mohali

Heroic batting from Kamran Akmal (In Picture) and Abdul Razzaq gave Pakistan a draw in the first Test against India in Mohali.
Man of the Match Akmal, who suffered cramps during his innings, struck a fluent 109 and dominated in a record 184-run seventh wicket stand with all rounder Abdul Razzaq (71) after the visitors had faced defeat overnight.
Pakistan finally declared on 496-9 setting India an improbable target of 293 from 25 overs. They reached 85 for one losing Sehwag for 36, when the match was called off with eight overs remaining. It was a remarkable result after Pakistan had been 10-3 at one stage on Friday.
In the Pakistani innings, Kumble took his 450th wicket when he caught Mohammad Sami quite brilliantly off his own bowling. He finished with 4-160, while Balaji had 4-95 and nine wickets in the match.
The second match of the series will begin in Kolkata from March 16.

India retain same squad for second Test

India's cricket selectors Friday retained the 14-member squad for the second Test at Kolkata beginning Wednesday, cricket board secretary S K Nair announced in Mohali.
Indian Squad :Sourav Ganguly (Captain) Virender Sehwag , Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar , V.V.S. Laxman, Dinesh Kaarthick (wicketkeeper), Yuvraj Singh, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Lakshmipathy Balaji.
Coach : John Wright
Physiotherapist : John Gloster
Trainer : Gregory Allen King
The five selectors are More (West Zone), Yashpal Sharma (North), Pranab Roy (East), Gopal Sharma (Central) and V.B. Chandrasekhar (South).

India seek rapid finish in Mohali

India start the final day of the first Test against Pakistan in a powerful position, knowing four quick wickets should ensure a comfortable victory. Pakistan's not-out batsmen are Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal, who will have other ideas as they resume on 257-6, leading by a slim margin of 53 runs.
India's Lakshmipathy Balaji will hope to add to his eight wickets in the match with his fast swing bowling.
First Test, Mohali, day five: India 516 v Pakistan 312 & 257-6. India Cricket Live

Balaji dazzles with bat and ball

Pakistan reached 257-6 at stumps on day four of the first Test against India to lead by just 53.
Lakshmipathy Balaji contributed three wickets to take his haul to eight in the match. The tourists had been in big trouble at 10-3 before Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana added 139 for Pakistan's fourth wicket. Anil Kumble turned the game back India's way as he dismissed Inzamam (86) and Youhana (68) either side of tea.
In the morning session, India finished on 516 after starting the day on 447-6. Danish Kaneria captured the four remaining wickets to finish with 6-150, the best figures ever for a leg-spinner in a Test against India. But Balaji entertained the crowd with three fours in a Kanaria over, one of them an immaculate cover drive that would have made a specialist batsman proud. He added 42 runs in quick time for the eighth wicket with Laxman (58 of 125 balls), who brought up his 21st Test half-century. Balaji made 31 in 36 balls.

Sehwag hits a dazzling 173, Sachin misses a World Record!

Virender Sehwag continued to torment Pakistan with a blistering 173 as India took command of the first cricket Test by piling a healthy first innings lead in Mohali. He cracked his ninth Test century to power the hosts to an imposing 447 for six at close on the third day which saw Sachin Tendulkar (94) come agonisingly close to dethroning Sunil Gavaskar from the top position in the list of leading Test century-makers.
Tendulkar, in search of his 35th hundred and the looming 10,000 runs, was largely the reason India couldn't make more than what they ended up with at close. Ironically, Tendulkar was in peach form in his first 50 which came off 78 balls and included seven fours. His next 44 was worth a labour of 122 balls and nearly four hours.
Sehwag shared three successive century stands for the first three wickets, putting on 113, 103 and 118 with Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid and Tendulkar. India Cricket Live

Sehwag looking to bat all day tomorrow

Virender Sehwag 's batting has been criticized, torn apart by the so-called experts and loved by the masses. But nothing anyone says can make him change the way he bats. As he hammered 95 runs against Pakistan in a session-and-a-half on day 2 of the first Test at Mohali on Wednesday, one could not help but wonder where this Indian team would be without the dashing Delhi batsman.
At the press conference answers come hard and fast, "I am not looking to get just five runs more. I am looking to bat all day tomorrow. And if that happens I know I will score runs at a quick rate. In the Melbourne Test against Australia, I got out for 195 late in the day and after that India struggled. I'll look to ensure that it doesn't happen again."
The first-wicket partnership between Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir was worth 113 and it was the second time in recent matches that the duo put on a hundred-run stand.

Musharraf may visit India to watch cricket

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is expected to visit India in the next few days to watch a cricket match between the Indian and Pakistani teams. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said he would welcome a visit by Musharraf to watch the sporting event.
Musharraf had said last week he would love to see the two teams on field - but only if invited. "I love watching any sport.I would love to watch cricket," Musharraf had told Pakistani media, adding: "I don't believe in going anywhere without an invitation.If there is an invitation, one would like to consider."
That set the ball rolling in New Delhi, and cricket may provide a platform to the two sides to continue warming up the otherwise frigid relations.

Pakistani Bookies give India the edge

The odds in the 35,000 odd gambling books existing in Lahore were clearly in favour of India after the opening day, local newspaper 'Daily Times' reportered in Islamabad.
"The books opened at 1:10 in favour of a draw, 1:5 in favour of Pakistan and 1:0.75 (75 paisas for Rs 1) in favour of India. When the match closed, the odds in favour of a draw and in favour of Pakistan remained unchanged while odds in favour of India varied from 1:0.75 to 1:0.80 (80 paisas for Rs 1 )," it said.
"A majority of Lahore fans are betting on an Indian win because India has the home ground and crowd advantage," the paper quoted a local bookmaker.

Dravid eyes top batsman's spot

Indian vice-captain Rahul Dravid could reclaim the top Test batsman's mantle in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings if he remains the run machine during the ongoing India-Pakistan series. Currently ranked second, Dravid will have to average over 50 to push past South African Jacques Kallis who tops the standings.
Teammate Anil Kumble is currently ranked fifth amongst Test bowlers while his spin-twin Harbhajan Singh is 12th. A good performance from the off-spinner, who sat out the first Test at Mohali, could see him break into the top 10 again. India Cricket Live

First test of the India Pakistan series begins today

Arch rivals India and Pakistan resume their much-awaited cricketing rivalry here today (Tuesday) with the hosts going into the first of the three-Test series as favourites, having a full strength squad at their disposal after a long time. The tour may not have generated the same hype which was associated with India's historic trip to Pakistan last year, but the passion and excitement were expected to grow as the series unfolded over the next few days. The home team, who had won their first ever Test series in Pakistan last year, not only have the home advantage but also have been bolstered by the return from injury of some of their top performers.
Indian captain Sourav Ganguly will have a problem of plenty, particulary in the bowling department with Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra and Lakshmipathy Balaji all having recovered from injuries. The batting also looks formidable with Sachin Tendulkar , who had missed a number of domestic matches to rest an injured elbow, joining the team again.
The absence of pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar, who pulled out with a hamstring injury, which has considerably weakened the bowling department of Pakistan but Pakistani skipper Inzimam ul Haq has made it clear that India must not count down other bowlers in the Pakistani side.
The Pitch: Meanwhile Mohali's curator Daljit Singh, who has produced pitches for all five Tests played at the venue till date, said that the wicket for the Indo-Pak Test beginning March 8 will likely be seam-friendly on the first three days, before beginning to turn. Also the canopy covers in use in Mohali permits the wicket to breathe, thus keeping it spiced up for the morning sessions.
Inzy said, If Pakistan wins the toss, he will not hesitate for a second before opting to bowl first in the seamer friendly Mohali pitch. In Picture: India captain Sourav Ganguly and his Pakistani counterpart Inzamam-ul Haq with the TVS Trophy on the eve of the first Test at Mohali, on Monday. India Cricket Live

Nehra, Yuvraj out of first Test

India today left out middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh and left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra from the team for the first cricket Test against Pakistan starting here tomorrow. Indian captain Sourav Ganguly made the announcement here today which meant that either off-spinner Harbhajan Singh or seamer Laxmipathy Balaji would be picked in the final XI.
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq, on the otherhand, kept the cards close to his chest as he refused to name the 12 for the game. He wanted to have one final look at the pitch on the morning of the match before deciding on his eleven.

Passion and politics mix as India faces Pakistan

India faces a two-fold challenge as it hosts Pakistan in a series of three five-day test matches starting in Mohali on Tuesday. If the more obvious of the two is that of beating its opponent, the really important one is ensuring that it is as successful, gracious and magnanimous a host as Pakistan was when this most charged of test cricket rivalries was resumed after five years last year.
This is more than a meeting of two large nations for whom cricket is as fundamental to national pride and identity as soccer is to any European or Latin American state Read more at Herald Tribune India Cricket Live

India is lovely, people are so nice

Pakistan cricket fans who are for the first time on the "wrong side" of the border are finding the welcome and acceptance quite surprising. The Indian government has issued 10,000 visas for Pakistani fans and the hosts are eager to match the hospitality given to them during last year's series in Pakistan. Huge banners welcoming Pakistani fans lined the highway from the border city of Amritsar, with hundreds of locals greeting them at bus stops along the route.
In Chandigarh, leading cinema halls have offered free movie tickets to all Pakistanis. Others are specially screening films promoting love across the border. Pakistani fans said the warm reception in India had dispelled all fears they had about coming to Mohali. Some of them joined welcoming Indians in the "Bhangra", a traditional dance popular on both sides of the border. India Cricket Live

Sachin needs 121 runs for twin milestone

Sachin Tendulkar , whose illustrious career began way back in 1989 in Pakistan when he was just 16, needs a 100-plus innings to reach a twin milestone. A century will smash compatriot Sunil Gavaskars world record of 34 Test hundreds. And by scoring 121 he will become only the fifth batsman in Test history to complete 10,000 runs. Former Australian captains Allan Border and Steve Waugh, Gavaskar and West Indies skipper Brian Lara comprise the elite 10,000-club so far.
Tendulkar has already compiled 9,879 runs in 120 Tests with 34 centuries and 13,497 runs in 342 one-dayers with a world record 37 hundreds.

Shiv Sena Threat to Delhi ODI

The Delhi unit of Shiv Sena threatened on Sunday not to allow the sixth Indo-Pak ODI slated to be held in the capital next month. The Indo-Pak match in Delhi will not be allowed to take place at any cost, Delhi unit chief Jai Bhagwan Goel was quoted as saying, according to a Shiv Sena release.
Meanwhile, 750 Pakistan fans crossed over to India through the Wagah border Sunday to witness the first Test beginning in Mohali on Tuesday. This was after Pakistan cancelled the Samjhauta Express due to tecnical reasons

First batch of 1,000 Pak cricket fans arrives in India to a warm welcome

The first batch of Pakistani cricket fans crossed into India on Sunday amidst beating of drums and dancing by their Indian hosts. Pakistan takes on India next week in Mohali in the first of the three-test series being held after a span of six years.
About 1,000 fans crossed over to India through Wagah check post, the only land route between the two countries. Around 4,000 Pakistani cricket fans are expected to follow their national team for the first match in the much-anticipated test series.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947, two of them over the disputed region of Kashmir. India Cricket Live

India may invite Musharraf to watch cricket

Government sources on Friday said Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's offer to travel to India to watch an Indo-Pak cricket match will be responded to positively. Ministry of External Affairs sources said this is not the first time Pakistan has sought to use cricket diplomacy to improve ties between the two countries.
Former Pakistan president General Zia ul Haq had visited India in the late eighties to watch an Indo-Pak cricket match.
In Picture: Musharraf with spinner Saqlain Mushtaq in Rawalpindi.

India's top six secure - Ganguly Discuss More

Captain Sourav Ganguly has revealed India will not be tempted into tinkering with their batting order for the first Test against Pakistan. "Our batting order for the Tests is fixed. There are no changes from number three to six," Ganguly told BBC Sport.
Rahul Dravid will remain at number three and VVS Laxman at six, despite the latter averaging 53.5 at first drop in Test cricket. Ganguly gave his backing to Gautam Gambhir, banishing speculation Yuvraj Singh could be asked to open the batting again after a failed experiment against Australia last year.
Sachin Tendulkar will bat at number four with Ganguly at five.
With wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik to come in at number seven, India are left with just four spots for bowlers - suggesting Yuvraj could miss out.

Sony wins overseas TV rights for series Discuss More

With the first Test only three days away, the BCCI has finally concluded its immediate television rights deals by awarding the overseas rights for the India-Pakistan series to Sony Entertainment Television (SET). The company put up a winning bid of US$11.5million for the three Tests and six one-dayers.
The BCCI had Tuesday awarded the production rights to TransWorld International for $1.5 million.

Indian team arrives in Chandigarh Discuss More

The Indian cricket team arrived in Chandigarh today to play the first Test against Pakistan at Mohali from March 8. The team led by Captain Saurav Ganguly arrived at 3 p.m. amidst tight security. Among the other players who arrived were Sachin Tendulkar , L. Balaji, Anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag , V.V.S. Laxman, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Murali Karthik.
Although,Chandigarh was gearing up for the oath taking ceremony of the new Haryana Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the city diverted its attention towards the cricketers for quite a while.

Warm-up tie between Pakistan and Board XI in Dharamshala ends in tame Draw Discuss More

Day two: Chasing Pakistan's first innings total of 273, the Indian Board President's XI were 91 for 1 wicket when the match was stopped due to bad light on the second day of the three-day match here Friday. Mohammad Kaif was batting on 42 and D.S. Jadhav was batting on 30 at close of play.
Earlier, Abdul Razzaq scored a fine 63 off 82 balls, including 10 boundaries and two sixes, to help Pakistan to a decent total.
At Stumps: Pakistanis 273 Indian Board President's XI 91/1 (22.2 ov)
Indian Board President's XI trail by 182 runs with 9 wickets remaining in the 1st innings.
Match Details Day one: Pakistan were restricted to 165 for five at stumps on the day one of their three-day match against Board President's XI on Thursday. Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. The match began late because of an overcast sky then rain. Salman Butt was the first man to go after he was run out by Gagandeep Singh for 21 runs.
Younis Khan followed suit in the next over for nought. Yousuf Yuhana was the third man to go after contributing 18 runs. Pakistan lost their fourth wicket as Taufeeq Umar was dismissed reducing the visitors to 83/4. Umar made 34 before he was caught by Md Kaif at short leg off R P Singh.
At Stumps: Pakistan struggle at 165 for five.
Match Details

If invited, Prez Musharraf willing to watch cricket in India

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has evinced interest in visiting India to watch one of the matches of the Indo-Pak cricket series beginning next week, saying he would certainly consider such a proposal if invited by New Delhi.
Asked whether he would follow the footsteps of his predecessor and military ruler late General Zia ul Haq in pursuing cricket diplomacy with New Delhi by visiting India to watch the cricket series, he said he could consider it, provided he received an invitation.

Shoaib likely to play third Test, ODIs

Pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar, recuperating from a hamstring injury, is likely to turn up for Pakistan in the third cricket Test against India later next month as well as the following one-day international series.
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan said the panel of doctors working on the bowler would submit its report tomorrow when a clearer picture is expected to emerge.

TWI gets TV production rights for India-Pakistan series Discuss More

TransWorld International (TWI) has been given the telecast production rights for the upcoming home series against Pakistan for $1.5 million, the Indian cricket board announced in New Delhi on Tuesday. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), however, did not award the overseas rights for the 50-day series as a decision on that was yet to be taken, BCCI president Ranbir Singh Mahendra said after an emergency board working committee meeting here.
Mahednra said that TWI had quoted a figure of $1.5 million for the three Tests and six one-day internationals. State-run network Doordarshan will screen the series in India after a court issued an interim order to ensure the matches would be screened.
A decision on foreign channels is expected in the next few days. India Cricket Live

Pakistan team arrive in India at last

The Pakistan cricket team has finally arrived in India, ahead of their first Test and one-day series in the country for six years. The players touched down in New Delhi at 1430 hours on a PIA flight amid tight security arrangements. the players, dressed in green blazers and most of them sporting sunglasses, were given a warm welcome from airport staff and wellwishers. The players were greeted by senior officials from the BCCI, including the vice-president Rajiv Shukla, and were adorned with traditional garlands. Then it was into a coach and off to a five-star hotel on the southern outskirts of Delhi.
It is their seventh tour of India since 1952-53. Their last tour was in 1998-99, when they tied the two-Test series at 1-1.

Dalai Lama will not inaugurate match

A potential political row was averted today with Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama opting out of the inauguration of the three-day Indo-Pak warm-up match beginning in Dharamsala on 3 March, in view of the reservations reportedly expressed by Pakistan Cricket Board. Dalai Lama will not inaugurate the cricket match in Dharamsala in view of the reservations expressed from some quarters regarding his presence at the match, Mr Thupten Samphel, secretary in department of information and international relations, said in a statement.
In another development in the capital today, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said it was not aware of any such objection raised by its Pakistani counterpart. BCCI is yet to get any communication from the PCB over the matter. So we are not aware whether they have any reservation over any issue, BCCI senior vice-president Mr Rajiv Shukla said. India Cricket Live

PCB's directive: No Dalai Lama for tour opener

The Pakistan Cricket Board has expressed its reservation over Dalai Lama inaugurating the team's tour opener against the Board President XI at Dharamshala.
"The PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan spoke to the Indian Board officials on Saturday insisting that Pakistan should not be put in an embarrassing position as it enjoyed very good relations with China," a PCB source was quoted as saying by 'The News' in Karachi. Shaharyar also asked the BCCI to be very selective while confirming future engagements of the Pakistan team on the tour, the paper said.

Pakistan squad to stay in Ahmedabad as scheduled

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has no qualms over its team staying in Ahmedabad when playing a one-day international game there April 12, and has not asked that its visit to the city be limited to play alone. "When we've agreed to play the one-dayer there, we will travel and stay in Ahmedabad as per the itinerary," PCB chief Shaharyar Khan told The News Sunday.
"I think we have a stay of three days in Ahmedabad (March 9-12) and we see no problems with that."

Inzamam seeking revenge in India

Pakistan's cricketers depart for Delhi on Monday with captain Inzamam-ul-Haq beseeching his side to make up for the 2004 defeat to India on home soil. Inzamam also led the side when India outplayed Pakistan 12 months ago, beating them 2-1 in the Tests and 3-2 in the one-day internationals.
Inzamam said: "The Australian tour was a learning experience for all of us. India Cricket Live

Indian Team for the first test announced

Nineteen-year-old Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper Dinesh Kaarthick was persisted with as the national selectors today named a full-strength 14-member squad for the first cricket Test against Pakistan beginning in Mohali on March 8. The squad, which had no major surprises, saw the return of star batsman Sachin Tendulkar and pacemen Irfan Pathan, Laxmipathy Balaji and Ashish Nehra - all of whom had been nursing injuries.
While Yuvraj Singh edged his way back by virtue of his "past performance against Pakistan", Mohd Kaif and Ajit Agarkar, however, could not find a berth in the team announced by BCCI Secretary S K Nair in Mumbai.
Sourav Ganguly was named skipper for the entire three-Test series. Indian Cricket Team: Sourav Ganguly (Captain), Rahul Dravid (Vice-Captain), Virender Sehwag , Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar , VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Kaarthick, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra, L Balaji, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh. Nair also announced the Board President's XI, which will take on the visitors in a three-day warm-up match in Dharmshala from March 3-5. Board President's XI: Mohammad Kaif (Captain), Dheeraj Jadhav, Satyajit Parab, Shikhar Dhawan, Y Venugopala Rao, Suresh Raina, Neeraj Patel, Parthiv Patel, Ramesh Powar, S S Paul, R P Singh, Gagandeep Singh, R R Bose and R Ramkumar.

Shoaib has to prove fitness to play in ODI series : PCB

Despite Shoaib Akhtar expressing hopes that he would be fit before the one-day series against India, PCB had made it clear that the injury-prone ''Rawalpindi Express'' would have to clear a fitness test to get a berth. Shoaib had pulled out of the Test series against India citing a nagging hanstring injury but admitted harbouring the hope of getting fit for the one-day series against the arch-rivals.
Informing that the tearaway pacer was undergoing treatment at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) here under the supervision of South African trainer Grant Compton, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Director, Cricket Operations, Saleem Altaf said Shoaib would have to prove his fitness by playing in competitive cricket if he wanted to join the team in India.

It will be a close contest says Pak manager

Pakistan's manager for the tour of India, Saleem Altaf, has said nobody should discount his team before the start of the tour that includes three Tests and six one-dayers.
"I think it is going to be an evenly and closely contested series. The Pakistan team has shown good performance on the second half of the Australian tour which would have definitely given them plenty of confidence for the Indian trip," Altaf, a former Test fast bowler who is also PCB's Director (Cricket Operations), said in Karachi. India Cricket Live

Waqar Younis disappointed the way PCB handled his case

Waqar Younis, the man who spelt doom for the batsmen the world over in his heyday was on Thursday fuming after learning that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) did not want him as a bowling coach. "I am not disheartened that I have not been appointed but I am certainly disappointed the way the case was handled," Waqar told Dawn. The PCB had initially planned to appoint Waqar as the bowling coach for the forthcoming tour of India but later decided against doing so, a decision that upset the former champion speedster.
Known as the Burewala Express for his searing pace and toe-crushers, Waqar said that the PCB contacted him in Australia for the assignment while he was not quite willing. "I am not mad to go for just one series, I have no magic stick to set things right at a short notice." Dismissing the impression that he was seeking a hefty salary, Waqar said that he had only wanted a one-year contract, at least till the next Asia Cup in February-March.

HC allows telecast of Indo-Pak series; Series ON!

Clearing a potential hurdle in the start of the Indo-Pak cricket series, the Madras High Court today allowed telecast of the matches by Prasar Bharati under an order that will effectively keep Zee Telefilms and ESPN-Star Sports out of contention.
Before the verdict, BCCI counsel Somaiyaji made it clear that the Cricket Board would not have any dealing with either ZEE or ESS on the question of telecasting Indo-Pak series. Somaiyaji said BCCI, as the owner of the event, had the right to choose and cannot be dictated to by any one.
Justice K P Sivasubramanian cited an earlier Supreme Court verdict in October last before the India-Australia series. Under the October Supreme Court order, Prasar Bharati and SET Satellite Singapore were given the rights to telecast the Australia series in India after ZEE Telefilms (ZTL) and ESPN-Star Sports (ESS) were involved in a court battle and were kept out of contention for that series.
Hours after the High Court order, Prasar Bharati said it was yet to see whether Doordarshan had been given only the terrestrial rights or the satellite rights as well. After studying the order, it would make a proposal, Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma said.
Sports channels Ten Sports and Sony said they were keen to produce the forthcoming series and would approach BCCI for the purpose. India Cricket Live

Clarify on tricolour: BCCI to Centre

The Cricket Board has sought a clarification from the Centre if Indian cricketers could use the three colours on the national flag in their costume without the Ashok Chakra after the Government banned display of the tricolour by them in their uniform.
The Home Ministry had made it clear that cricketers cannot get the Indian flag embossed on their helmet or their costume as it was violative of Prevention of Insults to the National Honour Act, 1971.
The government also banned India's first ever Grand Prix driver, Narain Karthikeyan, from using his patriotic helmet Livery in F1. The 28-year-old Karthikeyan, who'll debut for Jordan in Melbourne next weekend, said: "(It's) the government's loss. "We're only doing the country proud. I can probably sell that helmet space to sponsors and make a lot of money, so it's their loss."

Ticket sales for India-Pakistan series start Thursday

Sale of tickets for the India-Pakistan Test series will begin in Pakistan Thursday, said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). PCB officials said that about 10,000 tickets would be sold through American Express outlets all over Pakistan. Despite the shadow of uncertainty cast by the television rights imbroglio in India, the PCB had decided to go ahead with the process of issuing tickets.

Pakistan tour not in jeopardy, says India's cricket chief

Pakistan's cricket tour of India will go ahead as scheduled next month, Indian cricket chief Ranbir Singh Mahendra said, ending speculation the high-profile tour could be cancelled due to a TV rights row.
Mahendra, who took over as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from Jagmohan Dalmiya last September, said there was no way the tour will be cancelled or even postponed. "The tour will go ahead as scheduled," Mahendra told AFP on Wednesday.
ESPN-Star Sports and Doordarshan have also approached the BCCI to find a solution to the crisis after the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Tuesday the series was unlikely to be played if the TV issue was not solved.
The Madras High Court is expected to deliver a judgement this week.

Uncertainty over tour worries Pak; Likely to seek compensation.

Expressing concern over the possibility of the upcoming series against India being postponed further due to a telecast row, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday said in such an eventuality, it would be difficult for its team to tour at a later date due to prior commitments. A call-off at this stage would also be highly disappointing for cricket fans on both sides of the border and result in heavy loss of revenue, it said.
The tour has already been delayed by four days following the controversy over Ahmedabad as a Test venue for the series. A top PCB official has hinted that the visitors could seek compensation from the BCCI if the tour did not go ahead as per schedule. He pointed out that in the past, there had been instances where compensation had been paid by the host Board on similar grounds and recalled that in 2003, when South Africa had threatened to cancel their tour of Pakistan, the PCB had approached the ICC for compensation before the matter was resolved amicably.

ESPN stumps Zee, offer for offer

The telecast war over the India-Pakistan series is out in the open now. ESPN-STAR Sports today sprang a surprise, matching Zee Telefilmss offer to telecast the series. Madras High Court has reserved till tomorrow its order on an interim arrangement.
Zee, locked in a legal battle with the Board of Control for Cricket in India over four-year telecast rights, had yesterday told the court it was prepared to produce and broadcast the feed for no money. The channel, which was asked to make this offer on paper, today submitted in court a copy of the letter sent to board president Ranbir Singh Mahendra.
But it was ESPNs move towards the end of the day that stumped Zee. The sports channel, which like Doordarshan has so far been holding quiet talks with the board over the Pakistan series telecast, informed the court through its lawyer Vijaya Narayan that we are also going to make a similar offer today.
The root of the legal wrangle lies in the board first suggesting that Zee had won telecast rights at home for four years starting 2004 and then holding back award of the contract. India Cricket Live

Now, Pakistan tour in doubt over TV rights row!

Pakistan's tour of India is in doubt because of a long-running court battle over TV rights, the head of the Indian cricket board has said.
"The situation is grim since the International Cricket Council (ICC) rules say that a telecast is a must," Ranbir Mahendra, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), told Reuters on Tuesday. "TV is essential for the third umpire, and the ICC could refuse to post officials for the series. If the telecast issue is not decided by next week, they might step in." There will be no closed-circuit television coverage of the matches against Pakistan if there is no live telecast.
The dispute involves India's largest listed media firm Zee Telefilms and the cricket board. The Madras High Court is hearing a case against the board's decision to abandon a $308 million, four-year deal that Zee won in an auction.

Security tightened around Motera stadium, Ahmedabad

Security has been tightened in and around Motera cricket stadium following report of miscreants threatening to damage the pitch where India is scheduled to play one-day international match against Pakistan on April 12, police said on Tuesday.
Additional police force has been deployed at the stadium and security presence around the pitch has been tightened, police said.
Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) President Narhari Amin told PTI that he had not received any threat call but had only heard about it.

I am fit to play: Sachin

Putting to rest all speculation about his injury, Maestro Sachin Tendulkar today said he was fully fit and looking forward to a good season in the forthcoming series against Pakistan. "I'm fully fit and preparing for the big series ahead," Sachin told reporters in Hyderabad before going to nets at the Visakha Stadium, which will host the Duleep Trophy match between West Zone and South Zone from Tuesday.
Sachin played against Australia last October despite not being fully fit and was advised to take six weeks' rest by doctors earlier this year because the injury had flared up again. He has suffered from a spate of injuries over the last two years in his back, toe, finger, ankle and elbow, attributed mainly to wear and tear caused by non-stop cricket since he emerged on the international scene in 1989 as a 16-year-old.

Pakistan team to arrive in India on Feb 28

The Pakistan team will arrive on February 28 for a 50-day tour of India comprising three Tests and six one-dayers, it was officially announced.
According to the itinerary, Mohali would host the first Test (March 8-12), Kolkata the second (March 16-20) and Bangalore the third and final match (March 24-28). The first one-dayer would be played April 2 at Cochin while the last in Delhi on April 17.
India Cricket Live

Pakistan Team for Indian Tour Announced; Inzy Captain

Young opener Taufeeq Umar and veteran spinner Arshad Khan were named in a 16-member Pakistan Test squad for the high-profile series against India. There were hardly any surprises as Pakistan selectors decided to more or less to retain the squad that was whitewashed 3-0 in the recent Test series against Australia.
Younis Khan was named the vice-captain in place of Yousuf Youhana while Waqar Younis was appointed as the bowling coach. Paceman Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Khalil were retained in the squad after they passed fitness tests in the morning that were conducted by coach Bob Woolmer and foreign trainers Daryl Lifson, Murray Stevenson and Grant Compton. Pakistan Team for India: Inzamam-ul-Haq (Captain), Younis Khan (vice-capt), Taufeeq Umar, Salman Butt, Yasir Hameed, Yousuf Youhana, Asim Kamal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wicketkeeper), Arshad Khan, Danish Kaneria, Shahid Afridi, Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Khalil and Abdul Razzaq.

Pakistan agree to play one-dayer in Ahmedabad

Pakistan will play a one-day international in Ahmedabad during next month's tour of India after refusing to travel there for a Test match. "They have agreed to play in Ahmedabad," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Ranbir Mahendra said.
The BCCI has said it would soon announce a fresh itinerary, and the tour, due to start on February 25, was likely to be delayed by a few days.

PCB clarifies "Pakistan not to play in Ahmedabad"

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday clarified a news item published in an English daily that Pakistan had agreed to play a one-dayer in Ahmedabad. A PCB press release stated: This is apropos a news item published in the Lahore edition of an English daily carrying an Online story. The PCB regrets that the report is not only malicious in intent but it also carries cooked up quotations ascribed to a senior PCB official.
The facts are as follows: After his meeting with the Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan denied reports that Pakistan had agreed to play a one-day match in Ahmedabad. The AFP correctly reported him as saying our stance on not playing in Ahmedabad is based on security. Reports that Pakistan had cleared Ahmedabad or we are ready to play a one-day match there are baseless.

It's official: Pakistan Cricket Board okays India tour

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Friday accepted an Indian proposal to shift a Test venue from Ahmadabad to Kolkata and agreed to play a sixth one-day international there instead.
"PCB has accepted the Board of Control for Cricket in India's proposal to move the Test venue from Ahmadabad to Kolkata," PCB director (Board Operations) Abbas Zaidi said in a statement here.
"PCB has also agreed to play a sixth one day match at Ahmadabad (after initially refusing to play there)," he said.

Pakistan picks new manager for India tour

Pakistan brought in a new manager for its cricket team ahead of a high-profile tour of India, the first in six years, officials said. The Pakistan Cricket Board gave no reason for replacing Haroon Rasheed with new manager Salim Altaf but it follows Pakistan's dismal performance in Australia and alleged indiscipline by team members. "Considering the importance of the tour we have appointed Salim Altaf as manager and have relieved Rasheed of his duty," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan told AFP on Friday.
Altaf, who was appointed PCB director of operations last month, played 21 Tests and six one-day internationals between 1967 to 1978 as a right arm fast bowler and was also team manager during the Asia Cup in Sharjah in 1995. India Cricket Live

Shoaib missing from Pakistan list

Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar's name is missing from the "tentative probables" picked for the upcoming tour of India, a move that comes a day after the player was fined $500 for "indiscipline and erratic behaviour". "Shoaib is yet to prove his fitness and there is always a kind of certainty about his behaviour, which is why he is not in the frame at the moment," a source close to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told IANS from Lahore.
The squad for the tour is expected to be announced Saturday. The controversial 29-year-old bowler is the only player missing from the squad that recently toured Australia.

India shifts Ahmedabad Test match to Calcutta

India have scrapped Ahmedabad as a Test venue for the home series against Pakistan starting next week after the visitors raised security concerns.
The Ahmedabad Test has been shifted to Calcutta, Ranbir Singh Mahendra, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said on Thursday. Mahendra told reporters that a redrawn itinerary would be announced this week and the tour, scheduled to start on February 25, might be delayed by a few days.
Pakistan are likely to play the sixth one-dayer in the western city as part of a compromise. The teams were originally scheduled to play five one-dayers and three Tests.

Pak threatens to cancel India cricket tour

Pakistan has threatened to cancel its India tour next month if Ahmedabad was not dropped from the venue.
"We can't rule out the fact that the Indian board might not accept our request of shifting the Test match from Ahmedabad and the tour can be affected," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan said.
Ahmedabad has been the bone of contention between India and Pakistan as Pakistan is adamant on not playing in the City. India said the Pakistan refusal was a tit for tat response since India refused to play a test match in Karachi last year. India Cricket Live

Shoaib gets fresh lease of life for tour

A major hurdle in selecting paceman Shoaib Akhtar for the series against India was removed when Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar M. Khan said that his case of breaching the central contract had been handed over to the PCB disciplinary committee which would meet on Thursday and its report would be announced on Friday. It is likely the disciplinary committee will impose a cash fine on Shoaib for breaching the code of conduct, thus allowing the selectors to consider him for the tour, since the pressure from former cricketers is mounting on the PCB for including Shoaib in the team.

BCCI documentary to record India-Pakistan cricket history

A documentary on four decades of India-Pakistan cricketing ties is among the several steps the Indian board is planning to coincide with Pakistan's upcoming tour. The 15-minute documentary will bring alive some of the all-time great matches the two countries have played, an official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said Monday.
"It is going to be a documentary that will trace the Test history between India and Pakistan and is likely to be about 15 minutes long," Amrit Mathur, director of the BCCI's communication and coordination committee (CCC) said in New Delhi.

India sweats over Pakistan tour as time runs out

India's cricket chiefs meet in New Delhi on Thursday hoping to find a magic formula to dismantle numerous obstacles standing in the way of Pakistan's first tour in six years set to start in 10 days.
Venues have still not been finalised, broadcasting rights are embroiled in a court tussle, tickets are still to be printed and flights and accommodation have yet to be booked for the tour starting on February 25. India Cricket Live

Bal Thackeray says no to Indo-Pak series

Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray today expressed his opposition to the forthcoming cricket series between India and Pakistan. "I still maintain my old stand that we should not invite Pakistan here and play cricket with them," he told reporters here today. He said all those who wanted to play (against Pakistan) were "shameless".
"Pakistan had still not stopped supporting terrorism and it was not proper when our jawans were being killed on the border, to play with Pakistan cricket team," he said.

Natwar to meet Musharraf tomorrow

India's External Affairs K Natwar Singh would meet Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in Karachi tomorrow to hold comprehensive round talks on the Indo-Pak peace process and issues of mutual interest. On February 17, he would have a breakfast meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shaharyar Khan during which the issue of Pakistan's reservations to play in Ahmedabad in the forthcoming tour of its cricket team to India was expected to be discussed.
This is the first bilateral visit by an Indian External Affairs Minister since 1989.

ICC to play mediator in India-Pak venue row

Cricket's world governing body on Tuesday moved in to resolve the imbroglio over Pakistan's refusal to play a Test match in Ahmedabad during their first tour of India in six years starting later this month. The dispute has delayed the announcement of the schedule even though only 10 days remain before Pakistan arrive around February 25 for three Tests and five one-day internationals on their first full tour of India since 1999. International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani is camping in New Delhi where the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will meet on Thursday to finalise the itinerary for the seven-week tour.
The BJP has urged the government and the BCCI to cancel the tour if Pakistan insisted on avoiding Ahmedabad. ICC chief Mani, however, dismissed fears the tour may be cancelled and was hopeful the Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh's current visit to Pakistan would help resolve the imbroglio.

Shoaib faces disciplinary committee before India cricket tour

Strike bowler Shoaib Akhtar is to appear before a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) disciplinary committee on Thursday, two days before the squad to tour India is selected. Shoaib has been charged with breaching his contract by visiting nightclubs while on tour in Australia at the start of the year, giving press statements without permission and delaying his return to Pakistan despite suffering a hamstring injury.
Shoaib has taken 144 test and 186 one-day international wickets and has been Pakistan's leading bowler since the retirements of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis in 2003. "I am looking forward to touring India," he said. "I'm resting the hamstring strain."

Ask Pak to play in Ahmedabad or call off series, BJP to govt

Peeved by Pakistan cricket team's reluctance to play in Ahmedabad, BJP on Sunday accused Islamabad of attempting to create "fissures in our society" and called for cancellation of the series between the arch-rivals. "We are certainly not against the tour and want it to go on without any hitch. But we will not tolerate any blackmail and attempt to create fissures in our society," BJP Parliamentary party spokesman Vijay Malhotra told reporters on Sunday.
Malhotra said Pakistan's refusal to play a Test match in Ahmedabad was baffling since West Indies and New Zealand have played a one-day and Test match respectively since 2002, the year the state was hit by communal riots.

VHP joins Sena in cricket chorus

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Sunday joined the Shiv Sena, opposing the Pakistan cricket teams tour of India later this month. VHP international general secretary Praveen Togadia told reporters that sports ties between the neighbours would serve no purpose as long as Pakistan continued supporting cross-border terrorism.
Criticising the Pakistan Cricket Boards reluctance to send its team to Ahmedabad for a match, Togadia said it would be deemed as the victory of the Hindus of the state if the visiting team did not play at the venue. India Cricket LiveIndia Cricket Live

Inzamam and Ganguly locked in war!

Even before resuming their rivalry on the cricket pitch, Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly and his Pakistan counterpart Inzamam-ul-Haq today spent six hours leading two groups of 'warriors' in the 'battlefield'. Dressed in old-time battle gear, and wielding their bats like swords, the two charged at each other at the head of their respective army for a commercial shoot for LG. Wearing helmets and armours of steel, they were surrounded by their 'loyal soldiers' who raised the battle cry to a shrill pitch.
LG was supposed to sign up Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who is in much demand by Indian and multinational companies to endorse their products. Instead, they picked up Inzamam to star in the commercial with Ganguly. Inzamam, according to a news report, had taken clearance from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to fly to India and take part in the shoot. The decision to drop Shoaib was ostensibly taken after the fast bowler dropped out of the touring squad.
The Pakistan skipper refused to speak to the media, saying "Mujhe Izazat nahin hain (I don't have permission)".

India tour: Pakistan team to be named on 18th

The Pakistan cricket team for the tour of India will be named on February 18, announced Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday. A spokesman for the PCB said the selection committee, consisting of Wasim Bari, Iqbal Qasim and Ehtashamuddin, would name the squad. The selected players will be put before PCB chairman Shahryar Muhammad Khan who will take the final decision, the spokesman added. India Cricket Live

Miandad's son to marry Dawood Ibrahim's daughter; Front seeking ban on entry

In a veiled threat, All India Anti-Terrorist Front on Friday sought a ban on the entry of former Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad in India following reports of his son's alleged engagement to daughter of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. "If ever Miandad enters India, the Front will take its own course of action to stop him. The Front warns the Indian Government that Miandad should never be allowed to enter into India," a press release issued by the Front said. The Front was reacting to last month's media reports from Karachi pointing out that Dawood's daughter would be married to Miandad's son.
Dawood is one of the main accused in 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai and wanted by Indian police.

PCB assures Inzamam of captaincy

Inzamam-ul Haq, who is facing a lot of flak for Pakistan's recent performance, has been given assurance by Pakistan's Cricket Board (PCB) that he would go to India as the team's captain and complete the full term. The assurance was given by the PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan whom Inzamam called on this morning to appraise him about the Australian tour.

Miandad urges Sena to respect Government's decision

Former Pakistan captain and coach Javed Miandad on Friday urged the Shiv Sena to respect the Indian Government's decision to resume cricketing and political ties between the two countries and play a responsible role in smoothening that process.
Miandad, who invited Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray to be his personal guest for the 1996 World Cup games in Pakistan and also visited Thackeray in Mumbai last year, said as far as he was concerned, he would not think for a second regarding touring India despite Shiv Sena's most recent reaction. India Cricket Live

Shiv Sainiks damage Mohali cricket pitch

Suspected Shiv Sena activists on Thursday caused damage to a portion of one of the pitches at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Chandigarh ahead of a Indo-Pak Test match scheduled to be played next month. The officials said police and private security guards stopped the activists, who were protesting against the Pakistan tour, before they could damage the main pitch. Twelve people have been arrested, police said.
According to eyewitnesses, the Shiv Sena activists shouted anti-Pakistan slogans as they stormed the PCA stadium.

Pakistan's India tour still muddled

Pakistan's first test tour of India in over six years is mired in confusion and controversy with only two weeks to go for its planned start. The Indian cricket board is yet to finalise match dates, there is uncertainty surrounding the venues and a court battle is on over who should get the broadcast rights. The muddle has left cricket fans shaking their heads and saying: "This happens only in India!" - a sentiment often inspired by the cricket board, which is itself embroiled in a court battle over its elections.
Meanwhile in Pakistan, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan has said that Pakistan team would not play at Ahmedabad due to security risk and schedule of upcoming Pakistan tour to India will be announced within two days.

Pakistan, dissapointed with Australia, wants neutral umpires for one-day games

Pakistan has called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to introduce neutral umpires for one-day internationals. In a letter written to ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has also asked for a review of all umpiring decisions in the one-day series in Australia. PCB director of media Abbas Zaidi confirmed a letter had been sent to the ICC on the subject of umpiring but was not willing to reveal the contents.
The ICC introduced an elite panel of umpires, who officiate almost all test matches, in 2002. For one-day internationals, one neutral umpire and one from the host country are appointed.

India flexible on Test venues

India is not averse to dropping Ahmedabad as a Test venue for Pakistan's upcoming tour, a top cricket official said in New Delhi. "We have to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone," cricket board secretary Karunakaran Nair told AFP after Pakistan rejected Ahmedabad as the venue for the second Test on their tour commencing February 25. "It is too early to talk about other options as the board's programmes and fixtures committee has to first agree on an alternate venue and then forward it to the Pakistan board," he said. India Cricket Live

Tendulkar sidelined as India tune up for Pakistan series

Sachin Tendulkars absence stands out glaringly as Indias rusty cricketers flex their limbs from Monday to prepare for next months highly-anticipated series against Pakistan.
Tendulkar, the most prolific batsman in contemporary cricket with 34 Test and 37 one-day centuries, has still not fully recovered from a tennis elbow injury sustained in August last year. The 31-year-old, who last played in Bangladesh in December, was advised by doctors not to pick up a bat for six weeks, a period that ends in mid-February. Tendulkar will miss the Challenger one-day series, featuring the countrys top 36 players, which starts in Mumbai on Monday, and a major part of the subsequent inter-zonal Duleep Trophy first-class tournament.
But sources close to the star player indicate that Tendulkar will be fit to play in the Test series against Pakistan starting on March 4.

BCCI working on amicable solution to Ahmedabad issue

With Pakistan averse to playing in Ahmedabad, BCCI and the Centre were on Sunday grappling with other options including shifting the Test to Chennai as an amicable solution to the problem. BCCI was engaged in discussions with the Union Home ministry after Pakistan Cricket Board expressed its "inability" to play in Ahmedabad and is expected to take a decision soon, according to board president Ranbir Singh Mahendra.
On the basis of report given by the security assessment team that recently visited India, PCB has written to BCCI expressing its inability to play in Ahmedabad because of apprehensions over law and order situation in Gujarat, which witnessed communal riots in 2002. The PCB has apparently expressed its preference to play in Chennai, the venue where the team got a standing ovation after defeating India during their last tour in 1999.

India to ask Pak to reconsider decision; PCB: Reason political

India will ask Pakistan to reconsider their cricket team's reservations over playing in Ahmedabad, which the Pakistan Cricket Board said was due to reasons political.
The PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan, meanwhile, cited "political reasons" for its reservations over playing in Ahmedabad. He confirmed writing a letter to BCCI in this regard and said PCB did not even want to play a one-dayer in Ahmedabad.
The visitors also seem to be reluctant to playing in Bangalore where they said the distance between the team hotel and the venue was high.

First Test team to be chosen during three-day match against Pak

The Indian team for the first Test against the visiting Pakistan squad would be chosen during the three-day tour match between the tourists and the Board President's XI. "We have decided to pick the team for the first Test on the second day of the tour match (at Dharmasala). We would by then have watched the first few rounds of the Duleep Trophy tournament too," national selection committee chairman Kiran More said on Sunday.

Top Pak players want Shoaib axed from team for India

Pakistan cricket team, which has a history of internal confrontations, seems to be brewing with yet another crisis as some players, including skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, have reportedly asked the Pakistan Cricket Board to omit fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar from the squad for the India tour.
Top players including Inzamam, Yousuf Youhana, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Rana Naved-ul Hassan and Salman Butt have all decided to insist on omitting Shoaib from the India tour after their return from Australia, local daily The Nation reported. Pakistan cricket team, which has a history of internal confrontations, seems to be brewing with yet another crisis as some players, including skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, have reportedly asked the Pakistan Cricket Board to omit fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar from the squad for the India tour.

Pak asks India for changes in itinerary

Pakistan has asked India for changes to the proposed itinerary of next month's Test and one-day series in India. Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan did not elaborate on the proposed changes to reporters but a source within the PCB said there were concerns over Ahmedabad hosting the second Test. India Cricket Live

Shoaib could miss India tour

Frequent injury breakdowns and questionable off-field conduct could come in way of selection of trouble-prone Shoaib Akhtar for the tour of India starting next month. Shoaib Akhtar, currently in news for his hamstring injury and alleged nightouts in Australia, has once again rubbed the cricket establishment the wrong way, said a report in local daily The News today. The speedster, who had to return home midway from the Australian tour because of the injury, should consider himself lucky if he makes it to the touring squad for the next months high-profile tour of India, it said.
Skipper Inzamam-ul Haq, coach Bob Woolmer and manager Haroon Rashid have already conveyed their negative feelings about the fast bowlers form and conduct to PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan.

India can issue 10,000 visas for cricket tour

India plans to issue 10,000 visas to Pakistanis wanting to watch their cricket teams first Test series on Indian soil in six years, a cricket official said on Monday. The foreign office has assured us full cooperation to make the tour a memorable one, said Rajiv Shukla, vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). We expect some 10,000 Pakistani fans to visit India, said Shukla. The government may run special trains and even special flights if needed. India Cricket Live

No controversy over venues for Indian tour: PCB

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan has said there was no controversy about selecting venues for the upcoming tour of India and a final decision would be taken in consultation with the hosts soon. "The PCB and the BCCI have good relations and we will take all decisions with consensus," the PCB chief was quoted as saying in local daily 'Dawn'. Asked about reported reservations of PCB about playing in Ahemdabad, he said the venues and itinerary would be finalised with understanding.
The PCB chief reiterated Board's decision to continue with Inzamam-ul Haq as captain and former cricketer Wasim Bari as Chief Selector despite the poor showing of the team on the current tour of Australia till the West Indies tour which would follow the Indian tour.
In Picture: PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan is a direct descendent of a Bhopal ruling family and a reputed Pakistani diplomat who retired as Foreign Secretary in 1994. He was specially chosen by former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999 to be the manager of the touring Pakistan team to India.

India, Pakistan warm up cricket match from Feb 27

A three-day warm up match between the Indian Cricket Board XI and the Pakistan team will be held at Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh from Feb 27. The match will be held at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association's (HPCA) stadium. Pakistani officials are scheduled to visit Dharamsala to view the security measures.

Pak security team inspects Bangalore cricket stadium

The Pakistan security team today inspected a stadium in Bangalore ahead of Pakistan's first full tour of India for six years. The Pakistan security team today inspected a stadium in Bangalore ahead of Pakistan's first full tour of India for six years. The security team is likely to next visit Ahmedabad, which is likely to come under scrutiny as the venue has a record of past crowd trouble.

Pakistani inspection team visits Chinnaswamy Stadium

A two member Pakistani team Friday visited M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, which will host a Test in the upcoming series, and met the police commissioner here as part of its venue assessment tour of the country. Zakir Khan, the general manager (cricket operations) of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), said he and his colleague Sohail Khan, a police officer from Lahore, visited the ground including the dressing room and practice facilities, besides the hotel where the team would stay.
"The hotel was good, but I cannot comment on other things because I have to give my report to the board," said the former Pakistani Test speedster. The recce team has so far visited Mohali, a Test venue, Vishakapatnam, where a one-dayer will be played, and met officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Kolkata Thursday. "We will now visit Ahmedabad tomorrow and Kanpur the day after," said Khan. India Cricket Live

Musharraf directs Pak captaincy change

Inzamam-ul Haq's days as skipper may be numbered with President Pervez Musharraf reportedly directing the Pakistan Cricket Board to start looking for a replacement.
Musharraf, who reviewed the performance of the team on the current tour of Australia in a meeting with PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan on Monday, is believed to have given his go-ahead for making necessary changes in the team management, local daily The News reported on Tuesday.
"Naming the captain, manager and making other adjustments in the PCB set up is in the offing following the meeting between Musharraf and Khan on Monday," the report said. PCB's Media Advisor Abbas Zaidi, however, denied any plans were afoot to change the captain. Inzamam, who had earlier hinted at quitting his post, denied reports that he was considering to resign.
In Picture: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Chief Executive of Pakistan cricket board, Rameez Raja

No ODI in Ahmedabad: PCB

Pakistan will discuss with India its reservations over playing in Ahmedabad on the forthcoming tour at the Asian Cricket Council meeting in Dubai on January 30. A top Pakistan Cricket Board official said venues for the three Tests and five one-day internationals would be discussed when the officials of the two Boards meet in Dubai.

Pak cricket team manager sacked

Pakistan cricket team manager Haroon Rasheed has been removed from the post, barely a month before the side leaves for India for its first full tour of the country in six years. Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan said Rasheed was removed because PCB wanted someone who could "handle things on the diplomatic front" as well.
PCB is yet to decide on a replacement for Rasheed who had been holding the post since April 2003. India Cricket Live

Pakistan officials happy with Mohali test venue

Pakistani officials, in India to assess match venues ahead of next month's test tour, have said they are satisfied with security arrangements in the northern city of Mohali. Zakir Khan, a general manager of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), and Sohail Khan, Lahore's superintendent of police, arrived in India on Monday for a five-day visit. "Mohali has a fine stadium and we have no concerns," Zakir Khan told reporters on Tuesday after they inspected the ground.
However, the main bone of contention is expected to be the test venue in Ahmedabad, the major city in the western state of Gujarat. The state was rocked by India's worst communal riots for a decade in 2002.
In Picture: Mohali cricket ground, one of the most beautiful in Asia.

PCB team criticises BCCI

Indian Express Report: The PCB team criticised the BCCIs handling of their trip and arrangements for the full cricket tour beginning next month, and the BCCI responded in kind. The BCCI has not matched the internal plan, Zakir Khan, the PCBs general manager (cricket operations), told The Indian Express. We wont approve anything officially till our meeting with the BCCI officials in Kolkata tomorrow. Asked what the internal plan was, he said that was for the BCCI to answer. When contacted, BCCI secretary S K Nair said the two-member team had arrived in advance. Theyve come two days earlier. The PCB should have officially communicated to us about the plan. Nair was also not happy about the team briefing the media.
Khan was here along with Sohail Khan, SSP, Lahore.

Inzy denies reports of stepping down

Pakistan cricket skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq has denied reports of stepping down as the team captain, and touring India for the forthcoming series as a common team member. The News reported Inzamam as saying that he was also very surprised to hear that he was contemplating steeping down as the team skipper.
He however said that Pakistan Cricket Board would decide whether he would remain the team captain after the completion of the tour to India and the West Indies.

PCB unaffected by Shiv Sena threats

Threats from radical Hindu groups to disrupt Pakistan's Test series in India later this year will not derail the tour, Pakistan's top cricket official said on Sunday. Activists of the radical Hindu party, Shiv Sena, have said they would attempt to disrupt the one-day match in Delhi in protest at Pakistan touring India for a full Test series for the first time since early 1999.
"We have full confidence in the Indian board to look after the security and other arrangements for our team. We are not going to be affected by such threats," said Shaharyar Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

No return in a hurry: Sachin

"I am not going to hurry my return. I am eager to play against Pakistan but I would do so only if I am fully fit and able to play. I will strictly go by what the doctors say," said Tendulkar, who hasnt touched the bat since Dec 27th.
He said that his injury had nothing to do with the use of a heavy bat. "I have been reading articles wrongly attributing my injury to my usage of heavy bats. I have used heavy bats for 15 years without any trouble," he said.
About the series against Pakistan, Tendulkar expressed hope that it would be a good and closely fought series. India Cricket Live

Shiv Sena threatens to disrupt Indo-Pak ODI in Delhi

Delhi Shiv Sena on Thursday threatened to disrupt the proposed One-Day International match between India and Pakistan at the Ferozeshah Kotla "at any cost". It says it would be a "deception" to have sporting links with Islamabad till the time it puts an end to terrorist activities in the country.
Their activists had dug the pitch at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground in the capital on January 6, 1999 ahead of a similar match when Pakistan toured India last time. Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray had appealed to the Sainiks to prepare a green-carpet welcome for the Pakistani cricket team on its arrival and stop their pitch damaging tactics as the 'country needs the Pakistani team more than a nationalist generation. But twelve days after the Kotla incident, Sainiks stormed the office of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in Mumbai and damaged trophies of historic value.

Indian board confirms Test venues

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has confirmed Mohali, Ahmedabad and Bangalore as venues for the home Test series against Pakistan. The matches will begin on 4, 12 and 20 March, Pakistan's first series in India since 1999. The last time Pakistan toured India, Delhi hosted a historic match in which Anil Kumble took all ten wickets in Pakistan's second innings and guided India to a huge win. That was Pakistan's second loss in four Tests in Delhi. Given their record in Bangalore two draws and a win in three matches Pakistan would be only too happy to skip Delhi and play in Bangalore instead.
Pakistan will start the tour with a three-day warm-up game from February 27, while the first Test will start on March 4. The two sides will also play one-day games at Kochin, Visakhapatnam, Kanpur, Jamshedpur and Delhi.

Deciding the Venues..

It is the turn of Delhi, Mohali and Ahmedabad to host the forthcoming three India-Pakistan Tests, as per the rotation policy followed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). In case Delhi's Ferozshah Kotla ground, which is under renovation, is unable to host any of the matches, then Bangalore is likely to get the nod, according to sources in the BCCI.
The Pakistanis, who are set to arrive on February 25, are also scheduled to play five One-day Internationals during their visit. The one-day matches are scheduled for Kochin, Jamshedpur, Visakhapatnam, Kanpur and Faridabad. India Cricket Live

India or Pakistan?

With India (11/2 - Joint second with South Africa) already leading the chasing pack in World Cup 2007 betting and Pakistan (10/1) expected to finish at the bottom, the upcoming one day series would be worth watching. Fresh after a drubbing by Australia, Pakistan has a lot to prove, while India is still in a joyous mood after narrowly beating the minnows, Bangladesh. Any predictions? Join the Discussion..Discuss More

Dates announced for Pakistan tour

India and Pakistan have confirmed the match schedule for their forthcoming Test and one-day series. It will be the first full tour of Pakistan undertaken by India since 1999 and follows the easing of political tensions between the two countries.
The two sides will play three Tests beginning on March 4, 12 and 20, but the venues have yet to be agreed. They will be followed by five one-dayers, the first on 28 March, and the tour will end on 9 April. Read More..
Meanwhile Speedster Zaheer Khan today said home conditions would give Sourav Ganguly's men an edge over Pakistan in the upcoming cricket series. "We have better chances of winning the series as we are playing in front of our home crowd. We will strive to provide a good game of cricket," Zaheer said on the sidelines of a fund-raising event for tsunami victims in the coastal Udupi district of Karnataka.

Pakistan tour to India still on

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have announced that the tsunami tragedy in Asia will not affect next month's planned tour of India. Despite the widespread destruction caused by the disaster in the region, PCB director Syed Abbas Zaidi has confirmed that the tour - scheduled to begin on February 26 - will go ahead. The PCB have requested an itinerary for the series from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and have announced they will inspect all the stadiums before the players travel. "PCB would be sending a team to India soon to inspect venues," Zaidi said.

Pakistan in India 2005 Series Schedule Discuss More

India Cricket Live

Test and ODI venues

The Pakistan team will arrive on February 28 for a 50-day tour of India comprising three Tests and six one-dayers. According to the itinerary, Mohali would host the first Test (March 8-12), Kolkata the second (March 16-20) and Bangalore the third and final match (March 24-28).
The first one-dayer would be played April 2 at Cochin while the last in Delhi on April 17.
Any predictions on series outcome? Join the Discussion.. Arrival - February 28 Warm-up game - March 3 to 5 Board President's XI vs Pakistan at Dharamshala First Test - March 8 to 12 Mohali
Second Test - March 16 to 20 Kolkata
Third Test - March 24 to 28 Bangalore Warm-up one-dayer - March 30 Hyderabad First ODI - April 2 Cochin
Second ODI - April 5 Vishakhapatnam
Third ODI - April 9 Jamshedpur
Fourth ODI - April 12 Ahmedabad
Fifth ODI - April 15 Kanpur
Sixth ODI - April 17 Delhi

Departure - April 18

Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.