Archive for February 21st, 2011
Tendulkar, 37, had only recently recovered from a hamstring strain which forced him to miss three games of the recent five-match one-day series against South Africa.
He made 28 in India’s opening World Cup match against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Saturday which the visitors went on to win by 87 runs.
“The MRI scan is clear. There is no problem,” the Press Trust of India quoted sources at the hospital as saying.
The scan was done as a precautionary measure after the batsman complained of discomfort in the knee.
Tendulkar is slated to fly to Bangalore Monday evening to join the rest of the squad ahead of their Group B clash against England on February 27.
The opening batsman is the leading run-getter in both Test (14,692) and one-dayers (17,657).
Column about challenges to Pakistan and leadership policies, Anker persons responsibilities and other matters
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, (Urdu: عبدالقدیر خان); born April 27, 1936), known as Dr. A. Q. Khan, is a Pakistani nuclear scientist and metallurgical engineer, widely regarded as the leader of gas-centrifuge enrichment technology for Pakistan’s nuclear program. A founder of Pakistan’s gas-centrifuge-based uranium enrichment program, Dr. Khan built Pakistan’s gas-centrifuge program. His middle name is alternatively rendered as Quadeer, Qadeer or Gaudeer, and his given names are usually abbreviated to A.Q.. In a July 2010 interview, Khan said that he is still regarded as a Mohajir.After years of home arrest, Islamabad High Court on February 6, 2009 declared Khan to be a free citizen of Pakistan, allowing him free movement inside the country. The verdict was rendered by Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Aslam. In September 2009, expressing concerns over the Lahore High Court’s decision to end all security restrictions on Khan, the United States warned that Dr.Khan still remains a ’serious proliferation risk’.
Four years ago, Pakistan suffered an embarrassing three-wicket defeat at the hands of outsiders Ireland in Kingston and crashed out in the first round.
As if the humiliation was not enough, their English coach Bob Woolmer died the very next day, threatening the World Cup and putting the players under investigation by the Jamaican police who initially treated the death as murder.
Even after the death was declared as due to natural causes, Pakistani players came in for severe criticism from home fans who wanted them punished for their first round exit — their second in as many events.
Captain Shahid Afridi said his team will take all opponents here seriously.
“There have been so many upsets in the World Cup in the past, like the one against Ireland four years ago, so we have that in mind and we will be on our toes in every match, be it Kenya or Sri Lanka,” Afridi told AFP.
The current Pakistan squad has only four survivors from that Irish defeat, Younis Khan, Umar Gul, Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal, but Afridi said no player has forgotten the shattering loss.
“It can happen any time if you are not focused, and the defeat against Ireland can never be forgotten. So we need to be at our best and give nothing to our rivals,” said Afridi, who sat out that match due to a ban.
Not even Kenya’s abject 10-wicket surrender to New Zealand in a Group A match in Chennai on Sunday, makes Afridi feel at ease.
“If they had a bad day then they can come hard on us. We will be geared up as our main aim is to win all our group matches,” said Afridi of the first stage where Pakistan also face Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Canada.
The top four teams qualify for the quarter-finals from each of the two groups.
Pakistan opener Ahmed Shahzad and middle-order batsman Misbah-ul-Haq hit centuries in the first warm-up match against Bangladesh last week and senior batsman Younis Khan scored 80 in a lost cause against England.
Younis and Misbah will be the key in providing a solid base for hard-hitters Afridi, Umar Akmal and Abdul Razzaq, who can run riot in the final overs and in the batting powerplay.
Pakistan are likely to rest paceman Shoaib Akhtar in a bid to keep him fresh for the match against Sri Lanka on February 26.
That would make way for left-arm paceman Junaid Khan to make his debut who grabbed three wickets against England.
Kenya captain Jimmy Kamande vowed to have a different approach against Pakistan, after his team was shot out for a paltry 69 against New Zealand.
“Next game, it’ll be different opposition and a different approach from us. I would be happy as long as we improve each and every game,” said Kamande, whose team reached the semi-final in the 2003 World Cup.
“We didn’t express ourselves (in the first match). The young boys were nervous. The two young lads who opened (Seren Waters and Alex Obanda) were a bit nervous, but I hope things will change,” said Kamande.
After a sell-out first match between hosts Sri Lanka and Canada at Mahinda Rajapakse stadium on Sunday, the Pakistan-Kenya clash has failed to attract the local fans, as hundreds of tickets were still available.
Rival squads, officials and pitch conditions for the World Cup Group A match between Pakistan and Kenya at Mahinda Rajapakse stadium on Wednesday:
Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (capt), Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Ahmed Shahzad.
Coach: Waqar Younis
Kenya: Jimmy Kamande (capt), Seren Waters, Alex Obanda, David Obuya, Collins Obuya, Steve Tikolo, Tanmay Mishra, Rakep Patel, Morris Ouma, Thomas Odoyo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Elijah Otieno, Peter Ongondo, Shem Ngoche, James Ngoche.
Coach: Eldine Baptiste (WIS)
Umpires: Nigel Llong (ENG) and Tony Hill (NZL)
Tv umpire: Daryl Harper (AUS)
Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)
Match start: 0900GMT
Pitch condition: The second pitch in the stadium, the first was used for the Sri Lanka-Canada clash on Sunday, is likely to have bounce and pace with a tinge of grass. Spinners will also play a role as the match progresses.
You don’t have to be a diehard cricket fan or a devout patriot to follow the national team as they prepare before their first match of the World Cup 2011, against Kenya in Hambantota. What our players need at the moment is support and faith in them; be it in the form of prayers, wearing green jerseys and caps or watching the match with friends and family and cheering for them.
For the owner of Jinnah Sports, the Karachi-based sports equipment wholesaler, “Keeping an eye on the men in green just makes simple business sense.” The city’s bustling MA Jinnah Road is teeming with shops of sports equipment and apparel. As cricket fever engulfs the country, shops are stocking up on team jerseys, cricket gear and memorabilia.
As the first match of the tournament got underway, Jinnah Sports was the only shop in the city selling jerseys identical to those that will be worn by the national side in their matches. “We watched the team practicing in the nets — that’s how we got the style of the jersey,” says Abdul Rahman, the store manager, proudly showing me the two-toned green shirt with an oversized crescent and star pattern on the front. Other store owners are waiting for the team’s first match before they start churning out replicas of the team jerseys.
Although sales of the jerseys have picked up, vendors of sporting goods complain that fans are not flocking to markets as they had in previous years. “During the World Twenty20 [that Pakistan won], we sold cricket bats, kits and shirts by the dozen, but this time the buyers don’t appear enthusiastic so far about supporting the national side,” says Kamran at Dhoraji Sports Equipment. This sentiment is not limited to shops of sporting goods. The owner of VIP Flags, Shaikh Nisar while speaking to The Express Tribune says, “Sales of the national flag have picked up as hotels and offices are decorating their interiors in line with the World Cup. But individuals are still not buying these things as they did in the past.”
The manufacturers of the country’s biggest flag had planned to beat their own record by making a flag larger than 17,3400 square feet, but have shelved the plans for now, given the lukewarm response of cricket enthusiasts. “Economic conditions are not encouraging and recent problems that have engulfed the team have taken some of the excitement out of the game for fans,” says Nisar. “But if the team puts up a good fight in the first couple of matches, there will definitely be a shift in people’s attitudes. Our nation loves cricket and even the slightest hope will be enough to bring back the fans.”
What do the fans have to say?
Many Pakistanis are nostalgic about the time when international fixtures used to take place in the country. “I really wish that we could have hosted some of the matches of this tournament in our country,” says Tariq Aijaz, a devout cricket fan. He says that the lack of enthusiasm is understandable in the wake of cricket scandals and the attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in 2009. But being a true supporter of his team, Aijaz says he will be rooting for the national side from the very first over. “Me and my friends are planning to show the later matches of the tournament on big screens so that lots of people can turn up and enjoy them together,” he says, hoping that Pakistan will deliver results in the game’s biggest tournament. In fact, many enthusiasts are planning to enjoy the upcoming games in grand fashion. Mubarak Caterers’ owner, Muhammad Nawaz reveals, “Bookings for screens are piling on quickly along with requests for catering services on match dates.”
It appears that while the nation is hopeful that the Pakistan team will rise from the doldrums in the tournament, they will need to see some fireworks before putting the money where their hearts are.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2011.
Najam Sethi (Urdu: نجم سیٹھی), an award winning Pakistani journalist and media personality, is the editor-in-chief of The Friday Times, a Lahore based political weekly. He was previously the editor of Daily Times and Daily Aajkal newspapers. He is currently the Editor in Chief of Geo News where he hosts a popular political program: “aapas ki baat”. He is the only journalist in Asia to receive three international press freedom awards in a decade.Sethi graduated from Government College, Lahore, Pakistan, in 1967. He was awarded the Presidents Gold Medal topping Punjab University. He took a BA Hons degree in Economics from Cambridge University, UK, in 1970 and was awarded the Davies Prize by Clare College, where he later spent a year as a PhD research fellow.
Nazeer Naji (urdu:نذیر ناجی) is a senior columnist in Pakistan’s Urdu press. He frequently writes in the country’s largest newspaper, Daily Jang, published from Karachi. with Nazeer Naji regarding Mr Naji’s plot allotment in Islamabad. The verified audio recordings of these phone calls were published on the internet on 19 April 2009 by popular Pakistani blog PkPolitics . Contents of this conversation are inappropriate because Naji have used a very abusive and slang language and threatened Ahmed Noorani and Ansar Abbasi (also an investigative journalist), which shows a new face of his personality.