‘Pakistan confirmed their tour’ New Zealand Cricket

Karachi: New Zealand Cricket (NZC)’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David White revealed that Pakistan has confirmed their tour in December which will take place in a bio-secure environment. 

Speaking to the press, White confirmed that the upcoming cricket season in New Zealand will go ahead as per schedule despite COVID-19 pandemic across the world.

“Teams including West Indies, Pakistan, Australia, and Bangladesh have confirmed their tours to New Zealand, so (there will be) 37 days of international cricket,” he told reporters without revealing many details about the schedule.

The CEO said that they are in touch with their government and cricket boards on regular basis to discuss further development following the changing scenario due to a widely-spread virus.

It must be noted here that Pakistan is scheduled to play two Tests and three T20Is in against New Zealand at their backyard. Currently, the green shirts are in England for three Tests and as many T20Is in the bio-secure bubble.

Read: Everytime you can’t blame captaincy, credit must be given to England: Azhar Ali

Broad fined for using ‘Inappropriate language’ against Yasir

Manchester: England’s fast bowler Stuart Broad was fined 15 percent of his match fees for using ‘Inappropriate language’ against Yasir Shah during the first Test at Old Trafford.  

According to the details, match-referee Chris Broad, also the father of English pacer, charged the bowler for the offence.

Broad also conceded a demerit point which took his tally to three in the last 24-months time. Remember, if a player concedes four demerit points in the last 24-months, he faces suspension from the game.

It must be noted here that England defeated Pakistan by three wickets in the opening Test. The second Test will start on August 13 in Southampton.

Read: James Anderson denies retirement rumors as he eyes return to form

‘His time to play is now’ Latif wants Pakistan to include Haider in second Test

Lahore: Former wicket-keeper batsman Rashid Latif thinks it is the best time to introduce right-handed batsman Haider Ali in Test cricket. 

Speaking on his YouTube show ‘Caught Behind’, Latif stressed upon the need to introduce Haider in middle-order after seniors like Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali failed to deliver.

“I think Pakistan will waste one year of his career if they don’t give chance to Haider. This is the best time to introduce him in Test cricket. Don’t wait for Azhar and Asad to retire,” he said.

“For me, he has a lot to offer in Test cricket and I feel he can become excellent Test player,” he added.

 

It must be noted here that Haider made his place in the national side after showcasing strong form in Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 5. He scored 239 in nine matches at an average of 29.87.

Read: Watch: Haider Ali playing perfect shots in nets in Derby

‘Pakistan should focus on positives for remaining Tests’ Atherton

Karachi: England’s former Test cricketer Michael Atherton suggested Azhar Ali’s men to focus on just positives from the first match and move on with a strong plan into remaining Tests. 

Speaking to Zainab Abbas on her YouTube channel, Atherton said Pakistani skipper should lead his team with positivity in upcoming Tests.

“If I was in Azhar Ali’s shoes, I would have been focusing on all the good things Pakistan did,” he said. “Pakistan needs to make a strong game plan against England in order to overcome them in remaining Tests,” he added.

Read: Stay strong, we’ll bounce back: Sarfaraz backs Azhar after first Test loss

Former English captain also recalled a moment after they lost to West Indies badly in the initial days of his captaincy. “I still remember, it were initial days of my captaincy and we lost to West Indies badly, we got out for just 46 in the last session despite dominating three and half days. Everyone was focusing on that last session whereas I was focusing on the fact that we outplayed West Indies for three days. I told players that this is the area where we all should be focusing to bounce back,” he reminisced.

It must be noted here that Pakistan lost to England by three wickets in the opening Test at Old Trafford. The second Test of three matches series will start from August 13 in Southampton.

Read Also: Wasim Akram wants Pakistan to include Fawad Alam in second Test

Broad trolls his father after being fined for using inappropriate language

Karachi: England’s fast bowler Stuart Broad has trolled match-referee Chris Broad, who is his father, after being fined 15 percent of his match fees for using inappropriate language in the first Test against Pakistan.

Broad used the language against Yasir Shah and also conceded a demerit point which took his tally to three in the last 24-months time.

However, Broad while replying to a post by England’s Barmy Army on Twitter responded comically. “He’s off the Christmas card & present list,” he responded.

According to the ICC release, Broad was found to have breached Article 2.5 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his/her dismissal during an International Match.

It must be noted here that England defeated Pakistan by three wickets in the opening Test. The second Test will start on August 13 in Southampton.

Read also: Broad fined for using ‘Inappropriate language’ against Yasir

Dom Sibley remains cautious of Pakistan’s bowling attack

Southampton: England opener Dom Sibley is still cautious of Pakistan bowlers ahead of the second Test in Rose Bowl on Thursday.

England leads the three-match series 1-0 after a three-wicket victory in the first Test at Old Trafford last week, the right-hander expects to have his work cut out again in the upcoming Test.

“They are a very good attack and they showed too. They have got a bit of everything, so we’ll have to be at our best to be able to cope with them,” Sibley told reporters on Tuesday.

Read also: ‘Pakistan should focus on positives for remaining Tests’ Atherton

Abbas is very accurate, they have a left-arm angle (Shaheen) and the youngster (Naseem) who has some pace and bowled really well last week and a world-class spinner (Yasir). We have had a look and need to adapt and prepare for Thursday.

He also emphasized the role of players and stepping up in the remaining Tests in the absence of Ben Stokes, who has been ruled out for family reasons and would shortly fly to New Zealand.

“He’s a massive part of our team and one of the best players in the world but family comes first and we’re supporting him with everything that is going on. We will have to make do in his absence and people will have to step up,” Sibley added.

Read also: Ben Stokes to miss rest of ENGvPAK Test series due to family reasons

In search of the mythical five-in-one cricketer

Lord’s, 1973, the third Test versus England – Garfield Sobers closes a day’s play on 31 not out.

Not exactly living up to his last name and never one to say no to a drink or a good time, Sobers hits the town, visiting some Guyanese friends first, then meeting up with English off-spinner Reg Scarlett at a swanky inner London nightclub.

By the time Sobers had worn out his dancing shoes, it was 4am and the sun had begun its ascent for the next day’s play.

Sobers was a realist, thinking ‘I have so much liquor in my head that if I go home to the motel and go to bed, I am not going to wake up.’

Naturally, for Sobers, this meant a few more drinks to watch the sunrise, a quick shower and then donning the pads for the next day’s play.

He walked out to bat and played and missed the first five balls from Bob Willis. The sixth ball found the middle of that bat and it never really stopped that day. He went on to pound 132 runs before retiring for a break to go to the toilet.

During the break, he mixed two large glasses of port and brandy, scoffed them down, and then came back in and made 150 not out. For good measure, he also bowled 12 overs for 37 runs in the next two innings. He was 37 years old at the time.

Bradman once called Sobers a five-in-one cricketer, because he could do pretty much anything on a cricket field.

There is a similar term used in baseball to describe all-round gifted athletes that can hit for power or precision, throw, catch and run the bases: a five-tool player. They are the holy grail for baseball scouts.

Sobers was a five-tool player. Perhaps the only one cricket has seen.

He was an aggressive, explosive batsman, though not necessarily careless.

After smashing six sixes against Glamorgan in a county game, the opposing captain Tony Lewis remarked that: “It was not sheer slogging through strength, but scientific hitting with every movement working in harmony”.

(Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images)

He was, by all accounts, an exceptional fielder in close and in the outfield. He was also willing to strap on the keepers pads, to guard the wicket if needed in a pinch.

But what fascinates me the most about Sobers is his bowling.

Starting as an orthodox left-arm spinner, he developed the ability to bowl wrist spin and googlies.

Later in his career, he was also used as a seamer, either to bowl fast given the new ball or as a stock bowler sending down medium-pacers.

There are some contemporary examples of cricketers doing this, but it’s very rare.

Manoj Prabhakar, an Indian all-rounder, while bowling pace to the dangerous Sanath Jayasuriya during the 1996 World Cup was smashed for 33 runs in the first two overs.

For his next two overs, he reverted to spin and went for 14 runs off his next two overs of spin bowling. Ironically, he was the one that took the catch that saw Jayasuriya off to the pavilion.

Kapil Dev’s opening fast-bowling partner, Karsan Ghavri, once took a five-for after changing to left-arm spin after the Indian spin trio of Bishan Singh Bedi, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar and Erapalli Prasanna failed to make an impact in the fifth Test against England in Bombay in 1977.

Mark Waugh was a medium pacer before reverting to off spin in to sustain his career after multiple back injuries.

Colin ‘Funky’ Miller, the blue-haired jack in the box, won Australian Test player of the year in 2001 after being brought in as an off spinner. He changed from swing bowling after an ankle injury.

Sending down four dot balls, Kiwi opener and captain Stephen Fleming glanced a quick single to the leg side to bring the right-handed Matthew Sinclair on strike.

Miller lengthened his run-up, the commentators remarked in astonishment how he was about to bowl medium pace, and he charged in and trapped Sinclair LBW.

Andrew Symonds, probably best known for his destructive batting and disciplined offies, started as a medium pacer.

Even the great Sachin Tendulkar could throw down a few leggies mixed in with some medium pace. He might be the only cricketer in the world to hold the claim that he got Shane Warne out with spin and Brian Lara to medium pace.

As far as my understanding of the legality of changing bowling style goes, as long as a bowler informs the umpire of their intention about which side they wish to bowl from, then it’s all cricket.

Perhaps, the streams in cricket academies teach players to specialise in one skill at the expense of others. There is the famous story of Dennis Lillee discouraging Tendulkar at his MRF Foundation to drop the pace bowling and focus on batting in Chennai in 1987.

The trend seems to be for quicker spinners, in the style of Anil Kumble or Shahid Afridi, or for pace bowlers who can slow it down, like James Faulkner for example.

It seems that in most cases, switch bowling has been employed out of necessity rather than novelty. To turn the screws on a pitch that is unfriendly, for example, or to compensate for a disruption to the bowling attack.

So my question for all the Roarers out there is this: Do you think we will ever see another bowler in the same mold as Sobers, or possibly one of those mentioned above? Does the idea even have merit?

Ben Stokes to miss rest of ENGvPAK Test series due to family reasons

London: England’s all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of the Test series against Pakistan for family reasons and will leave for New Zealand later this week.

He will miss England’s two Test matches against Pakistan at the Rose Bowl, Southampton starting on Thursday 13 August and Friday 21 August.

The England and Wales Cricket Board in its statement said that ECB, along with the Stokes family, requests that all media respects the family’s privacy at this time.

On the other hand, England has included Ollie Robinson in the squad for the second Test against Pakistan after he was withdrawn from Sussex’s squad for their Bob Willis Trophy match against Kent at Canterbury.

It must be noted that England currently leads Pakistan 1-0 in the three-Test series after claiming a three-wicket win, chasing 277, at Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday.

Read also: Ben Stokes becomes number 1 Test all-rounder

Stay strong, we’ll bounce back: Sarfaraz backs Azhar after first Test loss

Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has shown his support to current captain Azhar Ali after losing the first Test against England at Old Trafford, Manchester.

“Bhayya stay strong, InshaAllah, we will bounce back Pakistan zindabad,” Sarfaraz tweeted for Azhar Ali.

The 35-year-old Azhar has been under immense criticism from fans and former national cricketers on his captaincy after losing the first Test from a winning position. England defeated the visitors by three wickets.

“It will hurt the Pakistan team and the cricket lovers in Pakistan,” former captain Wasim Akram told Sky Sports.

“Winning and losing is part of cricket, but I think our captain missed a trick quite a few times in this game, as far as his leadership is concerned,” he added.

It must be noted that Pakistan will now travel to Southampton, where the remaining two Tests will be played.

Everytime you can’t blame captaincy, credit must be given to England: Azhar Ali

Babar Azam needs to establish himself as match-winner: Shoaib Akhtar

Karachi: Former pacer Shoaib Akhtar has criticized Pakistan’s team batting and Babar Azam in particular, after a poor show with the bat in the second innings against England at Old Trafford, after having a 107 runs lead.

Pakistan lost the Test by three wickets after England wrapped the visitors’ batting on 169 in second innings, and chased down the 277 run target on day four.

Speedster on his youtube channel said that Babar has to come out with something good to become a match-winner.

“If you’re not capitalizing on a 107-run lead, however big a batsman you may be, you’re of no use. Babar has to come out with something good because you can’t make a name for yourself like this. You are a good player but you got to establish yourself as a match-winner,” Shoaib said.

Read also: Wasim Akram disappointed with Azhar Ali’s captaincy in Manchester

He further identified the mistakes, skipper Azhar Ali did and couldn’t take advantage of Naseem Shah when Chris Woakes came to the crease in final innings.

“I have no problem with Naseem Shah but captain should have used him well, by showing aggressive approach while bowling to new batsman Woakes,” he added.

“Excessive length bowling, no approach to bowl bouncer which could have created chances. We lost due to aggression,” he maintained.

Read also: Dean Jones has a message for Pakistani fans after first Test loss