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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Australia's Twenty20 Big Bash : Indian cricketers will not be part of it -ESPN ASIA


Australian cricketers may be participating in the IPL but Indian players would not get the BCCI's permission to compete in the Twenty20 Big Bash League Down Under later this year because of domestic tournaments.
BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty said the Board would not free the players of their domestic season commitments which run from October to March. The Big Bash is scheduled from mid-December until late January.
"Last year some teams wanted Indian players and they were not available because of (the) domestic tournament," he told 'The Age'.
India have a one-day series in Australia lined up next year soon after the Big Bash but even newly-appointed coach Duncan Fletcher can't ask for a earlier-than-scheduled trip Down Under for his players to get acclimatised.
"It's a policy decision of the board, the new coach has nothing to do with that, and when there is a domestic tournament on I don't think we will release any players.
"Sri Lanka now has some league in the month of July and it doesn't clash with our domestic tournament so whoever wants to go with prior permission can participate," Shetty explained.
There are 35 Australians, including retired champions Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist, playing in the Indian Premier League right now.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ray Illingworth to leave hospital following heart attack

Yorkshire County Cricket president and former England captain Ray Illingworth is hoping to be discharged from hospital following a heart attack.

The 78-year-old was admitted to Leeds General Infirmary on Tuesday after falling ill, but could be sent home over the weekend.
Ray Illingworth could be sent home soon. (Allstar) Ray Illingworth could be sent home soon. (Allstar)
Former president Robin Smith explained that he has spoken to Mr Illingworth's wife and believes he will be allowed to return to his house in Farsley soon.
'The club sends every good wish to Raymond and his family,' he said.
'He is doing a tremendous job as Yorkshire president and we trust it will not be long before he is back with us at Headingley.'
Mr Illingworth captained Yorkshire, Leicestershire and England during his career, scoring 24,134 first-class runs and taking 2,072 wickets.
Cricket fans might also remember him as a BBC commentator - a role he took up after retiring from the sport.
Yorkshire County Cricket Club was founded in 1863 and claims to have the most illustrious history of any of England's first-class counties.

Elizabeth Hurley and Shane Warne engage in post-match smooching in Jaipur -In respose of Kate & Williams marriage

Most of the world were riveted by Royal Wedding events unfolding in London today. But Elizabeth Hurley was not one of them.

The model's attention was otherwise engaged, far away in Jaipur, India.
Elizabeth was far more interested in cheering her boyfriend Shane Warne on at his cricket game, and the couple engaged in some post-match kissing that would have made the Royal couple blush.
PDA: Shane Warne and Elizabeth Hurley indulge in some post-match smooching in Jaipur today
PDA: Shane Warne and Elizabeth Hurley indulge in some post-match smooching in Jaipur today
The 45-year-old has been in India supporting Shane, 41, as he captains the Rajasthan Royals at the Indian Premier League.

Despite replying coyly recently that she and the sportsman were simply 'very good friends,' the pair proved that their very public romance is very much back on in recent days.
On top of their passionate display of affection after Shane's match against the Mumbai Indians, the couple are back to their incessant tweeting.

Number one fan: Shane declared on Twitter that Elizabeth is now a 'cricket lover' after she cheered on him and his team the Rajasthan Royals
Number one fan: Shane declared on Twitter that Elizabeth is now a 'cricket lover' after she cheered on him and his team the Rajasthan Royals

Getting into the spirit: The model and businesswoman wore a jewelled bindi on her forehead
Getting into the spirit: The model and businesswoman wore a jewelled bindi on her forehead
Warne commended his girlfriend and her son Damien over Twitter on their support of his team.
He wrote: 'You and D's flag waving was superb today - all the boys appreciate your support v much. Think you are now a cricket lover!'
He added: 'P.S. FYI RR blue top 100% suits you... Hahahaha I secretly think your a 20/20 lover And are converted to cricket !!!!! LOL.'
Miss Hurley replied: 'Yes! Love cricket now,' adding three 'kisses.'


Sweet tweet: Shane suggested that Elizabeth is now a 'cricket lover'
Sweet tweet: Shane suggested that Elizabeth is now a 'cricket lover'

Small doses please: The model replied that she had indeed been converted, but not necessarily for five day tests
Small doses please: The model replied that she had indeed been converted, but not necessarily for five day tests
But Elizabeth, who today sported a jewelled bindi on her forehead, also said: 'Not sure I could sit through a 5 dayer though.....unless u bowled throughout.'
Hurley also appeared to have found an alternative supporters' outfit, after bemoaning the uncomfortable nylon shirts.
'My first time wearing a startlingly unpleasant nylon top-confused how these large, sweaty sportsmen stand them?' she wrote on Twitter earlier this week.
The other kiss: Shane and Liz's passionate embrace made Prince William and Kate's kiss look tame
The other kiss: Shane and Liz's passionate embrace made Prince William and Kate's kiss look tame

Her public show of support has sent a message that despite their young romance being rocked by more than one allegations of infidelity on Warne's part, they are still going strong.
In a recent interview Hurley admitted she had first been attracted to Warne because of his nationality.

She said: 'I love Australians. They're very out-doorsey. They're jolly, they make me laugh - their accents amuse me.'

Saturday Sports Fix - what you missed overnight

SEBASTIAN Vettel warns Red Bull of F1 rivals, Aussie Brett Rumford in the Seoul mix, soccer's owl kicker cops it sweet and the lid lifted on Sri Lankan match fixing. Read more below now!
FIXING MATCHES JUST WRECKS THE SPORT
CRICKET - Former Sri Lankan cricket captain Hashan Tillakaratne has admitted that his country had been fixing games since 1992.

The left-handed batsman, who played 83 Tests and 200 one-dayers for Sri Lanka during his 15-year career, said he was prepared to back up his allegations by naming some of those involved.
WHOA.... not that's a heavy accusation.

"Match fixing is something which has been in this country over a period of time. This has spread like a cancer today," Tillakaratne was quoted as saying by Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror newspaper.
"According to my knowledge, it happened since 1992.

It's always shocking to hear about this stuff, but I don't why? The moment it comes out and those who are responsible are caught, it's like we always knew. We'll have to keep our eyes on this one to see where it goes.
AUSSIE GOLFER LEADS SEOUL TOURNAMENT
GOLF - Brett Rumford is his name and he leads the Ballantine's Championship in South Korea after a brilliant nine-under-par this morning.
He made his surge in the second round as big names like Ernie Els and Ian Poulter failed to follow his lead and were cut from the competition.

The 33-year-old from Perth barely put a foot wrong... seriously.  He carded nine birdies on his way to a 63. I bet Brett can just smell the $2.9 million.
Check out this cool video of Rumford driving down the course... it's in slow-mo!

Players’ assets should be examined, says Zulqarnain

Zulqarnain Haider revealed he has given important information on fixing to the interior minister.-AP photo
LAHORE: Wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider says the assets of every cricketer in the country should be examined regularly to curb the menace of fixing in cricket.
“Assets of the cricketers [in Pakistan] should be examined every year and the income tax department can play a vital role in this regard,” Zulqarnain said while talking to reporters at his residence here on Friday.
“In Pakistan where many people are struggling for two-time daily meals many cricketers own 15 houses. The whole nation should think about this to end the difference [of living standard] between the people,” added Zulqarnain.
Declining to mention the name of any player who might be involved in fixing business, Zulqarnain reckoned it was not good as the government was already investigating the matter.
He said the other players around the world should also come forward to help those who wanted to eradicate match-fixing and spot-fixing trend in cricket.
Zulqarnain claimed had he not sacrificed his career in Dubai by abandoning the national side to leave for Britain, no progress would have been made to check corrupt elements in cricket.
The player revealed he had given important information on fixing to the interior minister and there was progress in this regard.

ESPN: ASU basketball could play 2 point guards at same time

In a couple months, Jahii Carson and Chris Colvin both will join the Arizona State basketball program. Both play the point. And both could play next season at the same time.
The Sun  have done this in the recent past, with Jamelle McMillan and Derek Glasser, but this has the potential to be different, simply because Carson and Colvin are different guards. Around the Valley, everyone knows about the 5-foot-10 Carson, explosive and flashy out of Mesa High.
Colvin, 6-foot-3, started his career at Iowa State, playing 29 games as a freshman reserve, before transferring to Palm Beach State, where he played last season. "Since I was a little kid, I've been a pass-first guy, big on assists," Colvin said. "That's something that's always been a part of my game."
Said ASU associate head coach Dedrique Taylor: "He's been in the Big  and then he's been in junior college, so he's played at a pretty high level for the last two years, and we're going to need that experience immediately. Also, his ability to get into the paint off the bounce, his ability to play in transition, his leadership, those are all things we're going to need."
Anyone who watched the Sun Devils last season - they finished 12-19, last in the Pac-10 - know where they struggled. Finding easy points, in transition or in the post, was a chore every night. ASU had plenty of guards who could catch a reverse pass and shoot. But penetrating and getting to the rim was another story.
Using Carson and Colvin together would increase ASU's pace. Ideal scenario: Kyle Cain grabs a defensive rebound, outlets to the closest guard and the Sun Devils look to grab something quick, putting pressure on the defense. If that doesn't work, ASU slow ups and flows into the motion offense, setting ball screens to create mismatches and open looks.
But the main point is to just get ASU's best players on the court, regardless of position. Taylor points to last season's NCAA championship game. Connecticut freshman Shabazz Napier didn't start, but at crucial moments he teamed with Kemba Walker in the backcourt, relieving Walker of some play-making responsibilities. (Note: You might see this a lot in next season's Pac-12. Arizona has the personnel - with MoMo Jones, Jordin Mayes, Kyle Fogg and freshmen Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson - to do it as well as anybody. And Washington has two great passers in Abdul Gaddy and freshman Tony Wroten.)
Another example:
"Look at the Denver Nuggets," Taylor said, "Since their trade with the Knicks, they have played extremely well with Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton on the floor together. ... Because when Kenyon Martin gets the ball off the board, he's out-letting it to one of those two guys and they're racing up the floor. It's hell to pay for the defense when you have two guys on the floor who can push the ball that fast."
The potential result: Greater opportunities in transition, which is something ASU has talked about a lot in the past, but struggled to make happen.
"You have to be able to create X amount of points in transition," Taylor said. "It's such a pivotal part of the game. And I wouldn't say that's something we've done well, even when we had Derek and James (Harden). James wasn't a runner, and Derek wasn't a blazing guard, someone that could just get by people in the open floor. He was more controlled, get us in the flow and then BOOM, you make a mistake and he makes you pay for it. But he wasn't going to blow by you off the bounce, which is why I think Jahii and Chris give us a different option."

Men's basketball: New FGCU coach off to quick start on recruiting trail

— Florida Gulf Coast University men's basketball coach Andy Enfield has his second signee, and perhaps an eventual starting backcourt for years to come.
Shooting guard Bernard Thompson (6-foot-3, 180 pounds), of Conyers (Ga.)-Rockdale County High has signed his national letter of intent and will join Winter Park point guard Brett Comer (6-3) as new Eagles for Enfield, who was hired March 31.
Thompson, whom Enfield recruited during four of his five years as an assistant at Florida State, chose FGCU, which will be in its first season of Division I postseason eligibility next season, over East Carolina, Georgia State, Murray State, Northeastern, Wright State and Virginia Commonwealth, a Final Four team last season.
Thompson averaged 17.0 points and 6.5 rebounds during his senior season as Rockdale County finished as Georgia’s Class 4A runner-up for coach Alvin Williams.
“We’re really excited to have Bernard come to our program,” Enfield said. “He’s such a talented player. He plays hard on both ends of the court. He has a very explosive first step and he’s a heck of a defensive player. Bernard did whatever he had to do to help the team win. Some games he was the leading scorer. Some games he was the leading rebounder. Some games he was both.
“Bernard gives us some explosiveness that this program needs.”
Thompson could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon, but Williams, whose roster also included junior Kevin Ware, a Tennessee commitment, gushed about Thompson.
“I tell you what, that kid’s a steal,” Williams said. “Bernard’s an all-around player. I mean he can defend the other team’s best guard and he can do anything offensively the defense gives him. If they give him that long jumper, he takes it and makes it. If they give him that lane where he can pull up, he makes it. And he is explosive going to the basket. Big-time players play big in big-time games. In the playoffs he carried us big-time.
“I have a very talented team here, but out of all of that talent, Bernard is the most mature player — meaning that he’s ready to go play in college right now.”
Wrote ESPN.com’s Mike LaPlante: “ It seems that every year after the holiday tournaments there are a handful of players that emerge with an increased profile and major recruiting buzz. Count Rockdale County (Ga.) High School’s Bernard Thompson, who has gone from a relative unknown to one of the most talked about names on the recruiting circuit, as one of them.
“I got the chance to watch Thompson compete in three different tournaments during the later part of December and I came away impressed with his basketball IQ and upside. He is a long, rangy guard that can shoot it from 3 and is deceptively athletic. He attacked the lane in transition at the Chick-fil-a Classic and finished with a left-handed jam that caught everyone off guard and had the college coaches in attendance buzzing.”
Comer, who signed on Monday, was named an all-state first teamer by the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches after averaging 10.2 points, 6.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game as a senior last season when he helped lead Winter Park its second straight Class 6A title. He scored in double figures 18 times and had six double-doubles.
ESPN.com rated Comer as the 51st-best point guard in the country and he canceled visits to Colorado State and Massachusetts after committing to FGCU.
“Our coaching staff, we’re excited,” Enfield said. “We think Bernard and Brett complement the players we have very well. We expect them to contribute as freshmen and be big-time college basketball players. With any freshman, it takes some time, but they’re talented enough to be excellent players for us, and they really complement each other well.”

Southern Miss dismisses Darnell Dodson from team

Veteran guard Darnell Dodson has been dismissed from the Southern Mississippi basketball program following his arrest on theft charges, the Hattiesburg American reports.
The newspaper quoted university police chief Bob Hopkins as saying Dodson was arrested along with another former USM player, Cory Markell Smith, on felony charges of automobile burglary and residential burglary.
Kentucky's Darnell Dodson (3) is fouled by Morehead State's Demonte Harper during the second half of their NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Friday, Nov. 13, 2009. (AP Photo)
Golden Eagles coach Larry Eustachy released a statement Thursday that said Dodson was being dismissed from the team, although he did not cite a reason.
The alleged crime occurred at a Southern Mississippi fraternity house.
"Members returned to the residence and saw two black males in the residence before they fled out the back door," Hopkins told the paper. "They gave us basic descriptions.
"We stopped and talked to one individual, who was later identified as Dodson. There was a preliminary investigation done at that time. He was released to be back in our office the next morning. He came back and the investigators interviewed him and through that interview and the available evidence, we were able to make an arrest."
Dodson and his alleged accomplice were being held on $20,000 bond.
Dodson spent the 2009-10 season at Kentucky, where he averaged 6 points for the Wildcats' Elite Eight team. He was not welcomed to return for 2010-11, for reasons never specified by coach John Calipari. In January, Dodson chose to transfer to Southern Miss.

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Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations

The Celtics GM made his weekly appearance with Michael and Glenn and helped up put the wraps on the sweep over the Knicks and preview the showdown with the two Big Three's as the Celts take on the Heat in round two of the NBA Playoffs.

Ball State stuns Western Michigan in MAC men's tennis tournament- FOX NEWS

KALAMAZOO – The semifinals of the Mid-American Conference men’s tennis tournament didn’t start off very well for No. 1 seed Western Michigan University.

It ended even worse.

The Broncos had their streak of five straight MAC tournament titles end on Friday when No. 3 Ball State stunned WMU, 4-3, at the Sorensen Courts. Ball State will play the winner of No. 2 Toledo and No. 4 Buffalo on Saturday in the championship match. The tourney winner receives the MAC’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

Western had defeated Ball State, 7-0, earlier in the season, but several of the matches were close.

The Cardinals put themselves in control of the semifinal right off the bat when they won the doubles point by taking two of the three doubles matches. When Western held a 3-2 lead after four of the singles matches had ended, Ball State’s Andres Monroy topped Casey Cullen, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 at fifth singles to tie the match.

BSU’s Cliff Morrison then beat Simon Blomberg, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 at No. 3 singles to clinch the Cardinals’ victory.

Western’s only two players to win both of their matches were the top two singles players, seniors Michael Calderone and Kazuya Komada. The two teamed to win their No. 1 doubles match before Calderone topped Dalton Albertin, 7-6, 7-6, at No. 1 singles and Komada beat Zane Smith, 6-1,6-0, at No. 2.

Tennis Odds: Soderling Wants to Beat Nadal- ESPN

Robin-soderlingRobin Soderling feels his tennis odds are still good to beat Rafael Nadal in the upcoming clay court season, which is a favourite of Nadal and tennis betting fans.
“He’s a great player, especially on clay,” the world number five Swede said Monday.

“But you have to go to the court thinking that you have a chance. Otherwise, what’s the point? Nadal is the best on clay ever but he can be beaten. You just have to play your best tennis and have some luck.”

And some think that luck is what is needed to improve the number 5 ranked Soderling’s tennis odds.
Soderling has had the opportunity to beat Nadal in 2009 in the fourth round of the French Open, where he went on lose to Roger Federer. Soderling defeated Nadal 6–2 6–7 (2-7) 6–4 7–6 (7-2) at Roland Garros.
Tennis odds hopefully are improving for the Swede after Achilles tendon and knee trouble kept him away from tennis betting.
“I wanted to play in Monte Carlo but I wasn’t ready. The clay season is long and now I’m injury-free. I feel ready to play well. This will be a tough tournament with a lot of guys who can win.”

“But I’m feeling good with my game and I’ve had two and a half weeks of practice on the clay. I have to be counted among the favourites,” said the Swede.
World number two in Novak Djokovic, who is on a 24-0 winning record this season will be on clay for the first time this season at home in Belgrade this week and could also be quite the contender for top tennis odds.

“It’s very even at the top of the game. Djokovic has beaten Rafa twice this year (hardcourt) but clay is totally different. Nadal is good on everything, but on clay he’s even better.”

Federer is currently 1000 ranking points behind world No.2 Novak Djokovic, who is 3000 ranking points behind Nadal, meaning the three are likely to stay in their places for a little while longer for tennis betting.

Lady Demon tennis' title defense starts Friday



SAN ANTONIO -- Northwestern State has had another impressive regular season, but for the Lady Demons tennis team, having a taste of last year's NCAA Tournament has them eager to return by defending their Southland Conference Tournament title beginning Friday morning against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Lady Demons (16-5 overall, 9-2 in the Southland) edged the Lady Islanders (12-5, 7-4) in a tightly contested 4-3 decision in the third conference match of the season in early March at Corpus Christi.
Andrea Nedorostova and Martina Rubesova rallied from 5-2 down to an 8-5 win in the No. 2 doubles match, securing the doubles point with an 8-5 win, then swept their singles matches in a pair of hard-fought victories.
Nedorostova prevailed 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 in the No. 4 position to clinch the match for the Lady Demons. Rubesova won 6-1, 7-5 in the No. 3 singles spot. Four of the six singles went three sets.
"Everything we've done in the fall and spring has been designed to get us to this point, going into the weekend in the best possible position to win this tournament and get back to the NCAA Tournament," said first-year coach Luc Godin. "It's much tougher than it was a year ago because the competitive level of play has really improved in our conference.
"We were very fortunate to win in our first match against Corpus Christi and we'll need to be at our best to have a chance to succeed Friday," said Godin.
The match will begin at 9 a.m. at the Texas-San Antonio Tennis Center. The winner advances to a 9 a.m. Saturday semifinal against either second-seeded Lamar or No. 7 Sam Houston State. Top-seeded Texas-Arlington, the regular season champion, is on the other side of the bracket trying to reach the Sunday championship match.
The Lady Demons are 37-7 over the past two years, including a 23-2 mark against Southland foes.
Nedorostova and Rubesova are 25-0 in doubles against Southland tandems in two years.
Kathrin Lange can take over second place on the school career doubles victory list Friday if she and all-time leader Bianca Schulz prevail in their No. 3 match. Lange is tied for second at 63 with former career queen Karen Patel (1988-91).
Lange, Schulz, No. 1 doubles tandem Olga Bazhanova and Adna Curukovic, and Rubesova are graduating seniors.

Tennis-Feisty Djokovic steamrolls into Serbia Open semis

World number two Novak Djokovic settled an old score with a childhood rival when he beat Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-3 6-2 on Friday to reach the Serbia Open semi-finals.
The 23-year old Serb, who will meet compatriot and close friend Janko Tipsarevic on Saturday for a berth in Sunday's final, showed some nerves in the second set before he stretched his unbeaten run in 2011 to 26 matches.
Djokovic was 4-1 up when the umpire ordered play to continue despite heavy rain and facing a break point, the home favourite sat down and waited for the slippery lines to be mopped up before he dropped his serve.
But it was only a temporary blip as the winner of this year's Australian Open, Dubai Championships and Master series events in Miami and Indian Wells regained his composure to seal the match in 1 hour 25 minutes.
"I remember very well losing to Kavcic 10 years ago in an under-14 tournament, I haven't forgotten the result either and I had a score to settle here today," Djokovic said with a wry smile in a courtside interview.
"We grew up together and I really wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
"Pressure is part of the game, especially in front of your own fans but it's also a very special feeling to be here and I am looking forward to playing against Janko.
"The most important thing is that Serbia will have one player in the final and may the best player win what should be a very entertaining match," he said.
Djokovic looked sharp in the opening set and won 14 of 16 points on his first serve, getting the crowd on their feet with a reflex volley and some delightful backhand winners.
He fired in 18 winners throughout the one-sided contest and appeared to leave a lot in the tank for the showdown with Tipsarevic, who beat India's Somdev Devvarman 6-3 3-6 6-4 in a rip-roaring contest which lasted 2 hours 38 minutes.
Djokovic won both their previous encounters but Tipsarevic said he was looking forward to face his Davis Cup team mate, who steered Serbia to their first title in the competition when they edged France 3-2 in the Belgrade Arena last December.
"It will be a good test of my credentials and it will show where I stand at the moment, as playing against the world's best is the only barometer of one's quality," Tipsarevic said.
Italian Filippo Volandri brushed aside Marcel Granollers 6-2 6-4 to set up a last-four meeting with Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who beat compatriot Albert Montanes 6-4 6-4.

Briton Naomi Cavaday retires from tennis

Naomi Cavaday
Cavaday plans to concentrate on coaching in the future


British number five Naomi Cavaday has retired from professional tennis at the age of 22.
The Kent-born left-hander reached a career-high ranking of 174 last May, and is currently 231st in the world.
Cavaday, who battled depression and an eating disorder during her six-year career, will now focus on becoming a coach at the Lawn Tennis Association.
"What a fantastic opportunity I have had and I am so proud of what I have achieved," she said.
In a statement on the LTA website, Cavaday added: "Throughout my career I have had big struggles with an eating disorder and depression, but I'm pleased to say that I have worked through and overcome these issues and I am now in a great place to be able to make this decision, even though it has been a difficult decision to make.
"I want to be honest about what I have been through to raise awareness of these difficulties that many people go through and athletes are no exception."
Cavaday, who won a clay-court title in Brescia on the second-tier ITF tour last April, has not played in 2011.
She played in the main draw at Wimbledon three times, losing to Ai Sugiyama in 2006, Martina Hingis in 2007 - after holding two match points - and Venus Williams in 2008.
Cavaday turned down a wildcard for last year's Wimbledon and chose to enter the qualifying tournament, saying after defeat by Andrea Hlavackova: "I don't regret my decision.
"It was the right thing to do and with how I was playing I definitely could have qualified."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Misbah ul Haq got blackberry phone for his match winning 50 in 3rd ODI

Misbah got blackberry phone in DIGICEL SERIES
Barbados-Routers, Pakistan vice captain got Blackberry phone as man of the match gift in Digicel series of 3rd ODI against West Indies.Misbah scored 50 for his team which helps Pakistan to beat West Indies by 3 wickets and got unbeaten lead 3-0 over home side West Indies.Misbah is very happy after getting blackberry phone.

Digicel Series: Pakistan beat West Indies by 3 wickets in 3rd ODI

Pakistan Vs West Indies: Pakistan beat West Indies by 3 (three) wickets in 3rd ODI of Digicel Series 2011 and won the series.Pakistan has now unbeaten lead over West Indies 3-0.Misbah ul Haq called man of the match for his 50, he scored 62.West Indian Bowler Bishoo and Rampaul did some efforts for their team.Bishoo took 3 and Rampaul took 4 wickets.But can't help West Indies to win the match.Wahab Riaz hit 2 6s.One six on final ball of innings.Saeed Ajmal took 3 wickets while young Junaid Khan took his career's maiden wicket.Afridi is very happy with the performance of his team.He is aiming to make Pakistan team no.1 in ICC ranking.West Indian Captain is looking for next series against Indian team.He said that West Indian team is young and is learning.It can soon be in top 5 teams.He said we have to play against world champion India so Seniors should took part in the team.

Pakistan Cricket team's Official facebook page deleted by facebook

Protest by Fans of Pakistan team against facebook
Karachi - Routers , Pakistan cricket Team official facebook , one of the leading sports page of Pakistan has been deleted by facebook. Facebook didn't gave any reason for this move.When we tried to contact Facebook representatives they said that they don't know about this action.Fans of Team Pakistan are very upset and angry about facebook's this biased action.They miss the plateform where they meet each other.PCB has filed application to Facebook administration, they asked for reason why they deleted their official page.

Charlie Sheen to Donate Profits to Baseball Fan Beaten into Coma




Charlie Sheen will donate profits from merchandise sales at his April 30 show in San Francisco to Bryan Stow, the Giants fan badly beaten on baseball’s Opening Day in Los Angeles.
Stow, a paramedic and father of two, had to be put into a medically induced coma after suffering severe injuries, including a skull fracture, on March 31 outside Dodger Stadium.
He was attacked by two men. No arrests have been made.
In addition to stage performances, Sheen’s been selling apparel with his signature catch phrases during his Violent Torpedo of Truth Tour.
The erstwhile “Two and a Half Men” actor starred in Major League and is a lifelong baseball fan.
Gossip Cop hopes Sheen’s gesture inspires many attendees to donate to Stow’s recovery.

Can BCCI administrator own stake in IPL, SC gives split order - ESPN

New Delhi, Apr 28 (ROUTERS) A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court today differed on whether an Indian cricket board administrator can hold stake in an IPL team and the issue would now be decided by a larger bench. The split verdict came on a petition of former BCCI president A C Muthiah challenging the amendment in BCCI regulation to exclude IPL and T-20 tournaments from its purview which he alleged was done to favour the cricket board's secretary N Srinivasan who owns the T-20 franchise Chennai Super Kings. With the division bench comprising justices J M Panchal and Gyan Sudha Mishra giving the split verdict, the petition has been referred to the chief justice for allocating it to a larger bench. While Justice Panchal dismissed the petition filed by Muthiah challenging the validity of the amendment in clause 6.2.4, Justice Mishra allowed the petition holding that a BCCI officer bearer cannot have stake in the IPL team. Justice Panchal said the petitioner failed to prove there was a "conflict of interest" in case an administrator holds a stake in the IPL team and dismissed his petition. "The appellant(Muthiah) has claimed that there is factual and palpable conflict of interest but he could not explain to the court as to what was the factual conflict of interest and how BCCI was put to financial loss because of participation by Srinivasan in bidding process for the IPL team," he said. Justice Mishra, on the other hand, held there is a "strong" prima facie case that the amendment was introduced with an oblique motive to benefit Srinivasan and said he cannot hold the post in BCCI while owing the IPL team.

GlobeCast bats massive cricket in Asia -ROUTERS

MUMBAI: During the busy cricket season of March and April GlobeCast successfully deployed to two major cricket events – the IPL Twenty20 Cricket currently in play right after the huge success of the ICC Cricket World Cup.
For the IPL Twenty20 Cricket which began on 8th April and continues until 28 May, GlobeCast is onsite delivering 450 hours and 74 matches from over 12 venues in 51 days. GlobeCast is bringing the world feed in HD to Nimbus/Times Internet and a unilateral feed for Sony (Multi-Screen Media) in SD.
In March, GlobeCast delivered the ICC Cricket World Cup for ESPN STAR Sports, the host broadcaster and rights holder of the series. GlobeCast deployed a crew to over 13 venues in three countries, moving between India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. GlobeCast covered 49 matches in the series and a cumulative 600 hours over 43 days. ESPN STAR Sports received the live feed from the stadiums via GlobeCast at its studios in India for production and further customization for its networks.

For both events, several sets of HD and SD SNG vehicles were deployed at all venues. GlobeCast uplink the feeds straight from the event sites via the HD/SD SNGs on-site, sending the signals to the Americas, Asia and the rest of the world via its network agnostic hybrid satellite and fiber (GlobeCast Backbone Network) network.

Zulqarnain Haider caught dancing in a disco club at London

Pakistan News:Zulqarnain found dancing in a disco club at London
Reported by: M.USAMA ABBASI  Zulqarnain Haider is up to cleaning the game of cricket. He has threatened to disclose the names of the players in the Pakistan team who are involved in match-fixing. Haider left the team on the morning of the final ODI last year against South Africa, without informing the team or board officials, and landed in London, where he immediately claimed asylum.
But he revoked his asylum application and returned to Islamabad on Monday after being given security assurances by the Pakistan government. Days before his return, Haider said he had received more calls from people who threatened him should he return. At least one call was recorded and broadcast on local TV channels.
He also had said that he is suffering from financial crisis and is very upset with everything. But before returning to Pakistan, surprisingly, Zulqarnain Haider has been caught dancing in a famous disco club in North London and to enter the club one must pay 22 pounds! The video tape was shown in Geo News.
If Haider is suffering from financial crisis then where did he have the money for entertainment?
A man under so much threats and pressures can’t enjoy in a disco club openly as there will always be a threat of being murdered by the people whom he had accused. But it had been seen in a video tape shown in Geo News that Zulqarnain is dancing quite freely in that disco club.
What is Zulqarnain Haider up to? What are his motives? There are no balance between his words and actions. It’s the high time that the high commands in the Pakistan cricket board and above all the Pakistan govt. ponder over his words and actions before taking any further steps.
Video evidence of the news is being given below via Omikz.com

Sania bats for resumption of India-Pakistan cricket ties - ESPN PAKISTAN

New Delhi: Sania Mirza on Thursday advocated resumption of bilateral cricketing ties between India and Pakistan, saying such a move can help in improving relations between the two countries.

"The very fact is obviously people love it. You say that in the (World Cup) semifinal (in Mohali between the two teams). I think it can make the relations between the two countries better. It's obvious, you have the two Prime Ministers watching (together), so it's good stuff," Sania said.

"I don't know why not. I am telling there is hardly any difference whether I am married to a Indian or a Pakistani person."

Sania, who got married to Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik in April last year, also emphasised on the positives of getting married to a sportsman. "Being married to a sportsman, it's really is a blessing in a lot of ways. Because a lot of times, you don't need to explain a lot of things and they just go with it. You don't need to explain the pressure, you don't need to explain why you need to sleep at 10."

"These are things that are small, but they do cause issues," the tennis ace said.

Sania also thanked Shoaib for his support in times of need. "The fact is that Shoaib has been a great support to me, he has helped me a lot coming out of a difficult phase, when I didn't know what to do."

As far as personalities are concerned, both are different. "We have our share of... We are extremely different personalities. He is extremely calm and I almost get irritated because of that," she said.

Mumbai Police hand WC security bill of Rs 2.65 cr to MCA

Mumbai, Apr 28 (PTI) Mumbai police have presented a bill of Rs 2.65 crore to the Mumbai Cricket Association for providing security during the three matches of 2011 ICC world cup, which were played at Wankhede stadium here. A mammoth security arrangement had been made by the city police at Wankhede for March 13 and 18 ties -- when New Zealand played against Canada and Sri Lanka respectively -- and for the final between India and Sri Lanka on April 2. "We have charged the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) Rs 2.65 crore for providing security during the three World Cup matches. It also includes the charges for security provided to the players during their stay in hotels," said Deputy Police Commissioner, (Operations) Rajkumar Vhatkar. "It does not include the cost incurred by the traffic police and the central forces such as Central Industrial Security Force. Cost of VIP security arrangements is also excluded," Vhatkar said. The police had deployed special forces such as the Quick Response Team, Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and the Force One during the matches, in view of intelligence inputs about possible terrorist strike.

Winthrop Basketball Players Charged With Criminal Sexual Conduct

The Rock Hill Herald reports two Winthrop University men’s basketball players have been charged with criminal sexual conduct.
The paper reports police charged Robert Keith Dreher II, of Greenville, and Julius Francis, of Warri, Nigeria, with two counts each of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree.
The paper says a 19-year-old former student reported that she was molested on April 17 at a residence hall on the Rock Hill campus.
Reports from the Herald state the woman told Winthrop officers she was at Dreher’s and Francis’s apartment on campus. Wile there, she was restrained while the two men engaged in sexual activity despite her saying “no,” the paper says.
The Rock Hill Herald reports both players have been suspended indefinitely from the Winthrop basketball team.

Su Hoops Sponors Youth Basketball Tourney

PINE RIDGE – Su Hoops and the SuAnne Big Crow Boy’s and Girl’s Club is sponsoring a youth basketball tournament May 6-8 at the SuAnne center just east of Pine Ridge.

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Basketball: Championship win will be result of hard work, not fate


Paul Henare plays his 250th game for the Breakers tonight. Photo / Natalie Slade
 

Paul Henare plays his 250th game for the Breakers tonight. Photo / Natalie Slade

Paul Henare doesn't believe in fairytales or storybook endings. He doesn't buy into the school of thought that him going out a winner after eight years as a Breaker is meant to happen; that there is some kind of mystical symmetry or pre-destined numerology in him bringing up his 250th and final game at home in a title decider.
He thinks the Breakers will claim their first title tonight, certainly. But he thinks they'll win because they deserve it - because they've earned it.
"I don't believe in destiny, I don't believe in fairytales," Henare said. "I've had comments from certain people saying 'it just seems that it is meant to be'. I don't believe in that. You have to go out and work and earn everything.
"That's who I am as a person, who I am as a player. You have to put the hard work in. And for us a team, that is when we have been at our best. It's not when the offence is pretty and all the shots are going down, it's when we are knuckling down, playing defence and rebounding, doing all the hard yards sort of stuff. "That is when we are playing our best and that is what we'll need [tonight] to beat Cairns."
While the Breakers' title hopes were thwarted, at least briefly, by the Taipans' game two escape act, for Henare it meant a stay of execution of the termination of his playing career. The realisation that it would definitely be over at the end of tonight hadn't yet fully sunk in.
"I've still got a grand final to focus on so there are no nerves or anxiety about it being my last game," he said.
"I couldn't ask for a better way to go out. Dare I say it, win or lose it has been just a great ride. Yes, it would be the storybook ending to finish off with a championship and myself and the team will be doing everything they can to make sure that happens."
The Taipans have done their best to heap the psychological pressure on the Breakers, continually espousing the theory that only one team has something to lose. Henare doesn't buy that any more than he does the destiny theory.
"There is no other place we would rather be, playing at home and playing for the championship is a good place to be," he said. "They have as much pressure on them as we do on us. They have been in the league longer than us without a title and they have got some pressures at home with people wanting them to bring back the trophy.
"For us, we want to be here and we expect to win. This is what we have been aiming for the whole season. For eight years we have been aiming for this."
Henare may not believe in fate but Kevin Braswell, the player who will interchange with him at point guard tonight, certainly does.
"For Paul Henare, for his family, for this organisation, to win the championship here, that would be the Cinderella story," Braswell said. "He deserves it. His whole family deserve it. They get to see his last game here. He's been here since day one, that's going to be the biggest thing to winning this game on Friday. We are all going to be feeling it.
"We wanted to win it in Cairns, trust me. But it didn't seem like that when we watched the video. It didn't seem like it was that important to us. This game three will be desperation time for us."

Kevin Durant: Pretty good at basketball

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is introduced prior to playing against the Denver Nuggets in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2011 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Wednesday night was a pretty special evening for basketball.
The Miami-Philadelphia game will go down as the runt of the three-game litter, and that featured the underdog 76ers going shot for shot with the Heat, up until Andre Iguodala transformed from a clutch performer back into a poor decision-maker on Philadelphia’s last possession.
The San Antonio-Memphis game had one of the more dramatic finishes to regulation you will ever see, as a would-be game-tying desperation three-pointer from Manu Ginobili was correctly changed to a two. Of course, that did not stop rookie Gary Neal from hitting an actual game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer to help keep the Spurs, who won in overtime, alive.
If basketball fans went to sleep after that finish, it would be tough to blame them. Very little could top the insanity of that game. Except, Kevin Durant did.
With his Thunder trailing the Denver Nuggets by nine points with fewer than four minutes, Durant made the following plays.
  • With 3:23 remaining, Durant collected the ball after one of nine — nine! — blocks from Serge Ibaka, pulled up in transition and hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 91-85.
  • With 2:30 remaining, Durant spun into traffic, spun back the other way and hit a jumper that was really more of a one-handed floater over a defender from just behind the free-throw line to cut the lead to 91-88
  • With 1:50 remaining and everyone expecting him to shoot, Durant cut into the middle of the defence, drew multiple defenders, kicked the ball to James Harden, who hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 91-91.
  • With 1:21 remaining, Durant caught the ball from 18 feet away, stepped back and hit a jumper over a defender to tie the game at 93-93.
  • With 1:05 remaining, Durant drove to the basket, spun away from two defenders and hit a floater while being fouled. He hit the ensuing free throw to give the Thunder a 96-95 lead.
  • With 46.1 seconds remaining, Durant saw that the Nuggets had switched their coverage, putting power forward Kenyon Martin on him. He drove immediately, earned a foul, and hit two free throws to give the Thunder a 98-97 lead.
  • With 12 seconds remaining, Durant evaded a defender on an inbound play, and hit a pull-up jumper over Denver centre Nene to give the Thunder a 100-97 lead.
  • With nine seconds remaining, Durant blocked a three-pointer from Denver’s J.R. Smith that could have tied the game. Aaron Afflalo missed another three-pointer, and the Thunder advanced.
Durant finished with 41 points. The degree of difficulty on some of those shots was, well, stunningly high. He had 14 points, hitting five of his six shots in the final 3:23 of the game.
“I don’t care how many guys we put on him,” Denver coach George Karl told nba.com, “he’s probably going to make those shots.”
“I was just thinking I didn’t want to go back to Denver,” Durant said. “It was cold and rainy and their crowd said some not-nice things to us, so I didn’t want to go back there. Our guys told me, ‘Take the game over, it’s your time.’”
And it was. What is special about Durant is that what Karl said is true: Those shots were unguardable. When Durant gets going, there is no stopping him once he catches the ball. Due to his long arms, his shooting touch and his ability to put the ball on the floor, difficult shots are just shy of routine for Durant when he is feeling it.
Of course, that does not mean the Thunder are on a rocketship to the moon. Oklahoma City went 1-7 against San Antonio and Memphis, their two possible second-round opponents, during the regular season. Two of their wins over Denver, both at home, required super-human 41-point performances from Durant. Point guard Russell Westbrook has caught heat for poor decision-making.
However, with Durant and Westbrook at their bests…well, take it away, KG.

Justin Bieber & Mark Wahlberg To Co-Star In Basketball Film

Paramount Pictures is trying to cash in as much as possible after the success of their bio-pic Never Say Never, the story of the meteoric rise to fame of Canadian singer Justin Bieber.
The film was a mixture of home video footage, live performance footage, interviews, etc, which cost Paramount a mere $13 million to produce. It grossed over $97 million.
So now that they know for a fact that the Biebs has big screen draw, they wanna pair him up with another musician-turned-A List actor, in the form of Mark Wahlberg.
Wahlberg’s acting career took off so well that people BARELY remember that he started off as a rapper. Who would have thought, the little thug from Boston would be an Academy Award nominee?


The tone of the project is described as The Color of Money meets The Karate Kid, and it came out of Wahlberg and Levinson seeing Bieber play ball in February during a celebrity game held during NBA All-Star Game weekend. Bieber more than held his own against celebs and former players; he was named MVP. It’s understandable that Paramount would want to be in business with Bieber again. Made on a $13 million budget, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never grossed $97 million worldwide. Paramount immediately hired its director, Jon Chu, to helm its G.I. Joe sequel.
So what do you guys think, will this be a film worth watching? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section!

Dallas Farmers Market: Bringing in the 8-ball squash

Farmer J.T. Lemley in Shed No. 1 at the Dallas Farmers Market called to tell me that he's now harvesting several kinds of squash, including 8-ball, 1-ball, zucchini and several kinds of yellow squash at his farm near Canton. (He loved the recent rain.)
I bought some of his tomatoes from Marfa (his field tomatoes aren't ripe yet), and they were darned good. Oh joy, to have tomato season upon us again.
I also made short order of his big, green-topped spring onions. I sauteed them with some local mushrooms and added these and sun-dried tomatoes to red quinoa with just a little seasoning. Finished it all with some shredded asiago cheese. A delicious and healthy one-bowl meal in 20 minutes, with good leftovers.

A Doyle Cup three-peat for Vernon’s hockey snakes

When all was said and done there really wasn't a whole lot of difference between the two clubs battling for the Doyle Cup championship this year, other than one team scored one more goal and won one more game than the other.
As happened last year, the Vernon Vipers downed the Spruce Grove Saints four games to three in the Pacific Region final, enabling the six-time RBC Cup champs to again vie for the Jr. A national championship and again deny the Saints their first crack at that title.
Following the first game of the series, Vipers head coach Mark Ferner predicted it would go seven games. He also noted his team knew it would have to win at least two games in the Grove.
Following two losses at home in the first three games, the Vipers actually had to win three of four in Alberta and that's exactly what they did.
They began their title defence by winning Game 4 by a 3-1 score and then put the Saints on the ropes with a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 5.
The Saints rebounded in a must-win situation with a 2-0 victory setting up an exciting end to this series.
In the final, Vernon jumped to a 2-0 first period lead but saw the Saints rebound to tie it at 2-2 on goals by Scott Allen and Josh Keizer, on a short-handed breakaway effort.
The Vipers refused to wilt under a ferocious Saints assault and got the series' winner from captain David Robinson late in the third period, after the Saints Jesse Slobodian had clanged a shot off the goal post moments earlier.
An empty-net marker salted away the 4-2 game win, the 4-3 series win and another trip the RBC Cup for the Snakes in Camrose.
"I'm extremely proud of this group," Ferner said of a group of young men, who like the Saints, weren't expected to reach this point of the year.
"Not a lot of people gave us a chance against the No. 2 team in the country in Powell River," whom the Vipers disposed of in straight games in the B.C. final, "or coming into this building against the No. 1 team and having to win three games. I'm extremely pleased.
"Hats off to Spruce Grove," he continued. "They didn't give an inch."
Across the rink, Grove coach Jason Mckee said he couldn't have asked for any more from his players.
"They surprised a lot of people at how far they came this year. It's never easy to come this far and miss out by one goal. It's tough for them but there's a lot of character in that room. There are kids in that room that have been to three (AJHL) finals and two Doyle Cups and done the organization, and themselves, proud."
Mckee admitted there wasn't much difference between the two teams – the Vipers scored 17 goals the Saints 16.
"It was two very good teams. It came down to one goal. All the games were close. There wasn't a lot to choose between the two teams. They were two very good teams."
In closing, Ferner wouldn't admit to his junior club becoming a dynasty a this level but the look on his face indicated he was pleased with the question.
"That's for you guys to talk about," he ended, noting his team can return an astounding 16 players next year in what could well be another year for another run at Canada's national Jr. A crown.
Of course, the Saints, among many others, would like to change that outcome in the 2011-12 hockey season.

Pakistan hockey squad named for Azlan Shah tournament- Geo Super

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday named Mohammad Imran the new captain to lead a 18-man squad for next month's Azlan Shah hockey tournament.

The seven-nation event will be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from May 5-15, with world champions Australia, Britain, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and South Korea in attendance.

Pakistan, three times Olympic and four times world champions, have shown a return to form internationally since winning the Asian Games title last year after they hired Dutch coach Michel van den Heuvel in June 2010.

akistan won the Azlan Shah event in 1987 and 1991.

They face New Zealand in their opening match and arch-rivals India on May 11.

Squad: Mohammad Imran (captain), Shakil Abassi (vice captain), Imran Shah, Imran Khan, Sohail Abbas, Waseem Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Tauseeq, Fareed Ahmed, Mohammad Rashid, Waqas Sharif, Haseem Khan, Mohammad Rizwan Ali,Mohammad Zubair, Mohammad Umar Bhutta, Kashif Shah, Rehan Butt, Waqas Akbar.

Klein trio goes for gold

Klein senior Precious Gbadamosi and Lady Bearkats sophomores Princess Gbadamosi and Emily Olivier are headed to the University Interscholastic League State Tennis Tournament on May 9-10 in Austin.
The Gbadamosi sisters qualified as the Class 5A Region II girls doubles champions, and Olivier is going after finishing second in regional girls singles in Waco last week.
"We're very please to have three going to state, and it will be the first time for all three in spring tennis," Klein coach Holly Cannon said. "They do have state experience in team tennis (played in the fall), so they won't be intimidated by the surroundings.
"The girls have a decent chance. We've looked at the competition, and even though it will be tough, they'll be prepared and have a shot to do well."
Precious and Princess downed doubles teams from DeSoto 6-0, 6-0 and Richardson Lake Highlands 6-1, 6-0 in the opening rounds at regionals, and then came from behind to beat The Woodlands' Sandra Ibarra and Mary Rivas 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals.
The Gbadamosis swept Round Rock Westwood's Maya and Isabella Monica 6-4, 6-3 in an all-sisters region final.
In addition to advancing to the state tennis tournament, Precious will anchor Klein's 800-meter relay at the Class 5A Region II Meet on Monday and Tuesday, May 2-3, at Baylor's Hart-Patterson Track Complex in Waco. The 800 relay preliminaries are at 7:40 p.m. Monday, and the finals (if the Lady Bearkats qualify) go off at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday.
"That's a little bit of a concern with her being back up in Waco for regional track," Cannon said, "but we're on a good workout schedule that will lead us right into state."
Olivier fell to The Woodlands' Cathrine Wythe 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the girls singles region finals after beating McKiney Boyd's Mackenna Maddox 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals, and players from Copperas Cove 6-2, 6-2 and Richardson 6-0, 6-0 in the early rounds.
She avoided a playback match when Klein Oak's Melissa Burckhartt lost to Maddox 3-6, 6-0, 6-0 for third place.
Klein junior Gandhi Bhakthavachalam tried to play through an injury but was defeated 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 by McKinney Boyd's Parker McGuiness in the boys singles region semifinals.
Bhakthavachalam was forced to withdraw and did not play for third place.
"The injury and having to default was a big disappointment for Gandhi and our team," Cannon said.
Tomball's George Rivers was knocked out in the region quarterfinals by Austin Bowie's Jacob Belanger 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The Klein mixed doubles team of Charles Lin and Kaysie Hermsdorf advanced to the region semifinals before being stopped by Austin High School (from Austin) 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Lin and Hermsdorf had another match go the distance in a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 loss to Garland Naaman Forest for third place, and they advanced to the semis by beating Georgetown 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, and Richardson Lake Highlands 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Also playing at the region event were Klein Collins' Steven Mundt and Clay Jones, and Klein Oak's Tyler Warren and Hunter Lehasky in boys doubles; and Klein's Travis Lenz and Margaret Santucci in mixed doubles.

Milestone for SA team at Wheelchair Cup

Sydwell Mathonsi © Paki Images
The South African men's team reached the semifinals for the first time at the Wheelchair Tennis World Team Cup with a 2-1 victory over Canada in Pretoria on Thursday.
The hosts, seeded sixth in the Men's World Group II division, achieved the milestone in style with the doubles pairing of Evans Maripa and Sydwell Mathonsi posting a thrilling 5-7, 6-3 (10-2) win over Philippe Bedard and Corey Blatchford.
Earlier, South Africa and Canada, seeded third, had each won a singles match.
Mathonsi was delighted to have played an influential role in helping his team reach the last four for the first time in South Africa's nine-year participation at the event.
"The wasn't the best of matches in terms of entertainment but we ultimately won the match and that was great for team South Africa," said Mathonsi.
"It will boost the confidence in the team ahead of our semifinal match against Japan.
"Beating Canada is in itself an achievement and we were really playing against history so this will be one milestone team South Africa will be very proud of."
They were nonetheless overpowered by Japan in the semifinals.
In the opening singles clash, Takashi Sanada blew away Maripa 6-1, 6-2, while Mathonsi went down 7-5, 6-1 to Satoshi Saida to give the Japanese an unassailable 2-0 lead before they clinched the doubles encounter to round off the whitewash.
South Africa's Kgothatso Montjane defeated Chile's Mantonieta Ortiz 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-0 in a Women's World Group clash, but Montjane's teammate, Rose van der Meer ,wasn't quite to the task and was peppered with a show of power tennis by Chile's Francisca Mardones, who bagged a 6-3, 6-1 win.
In a Junior Group A encounter, South Africa whitewashed neighbours Zimbabwe 3-0.

Near miss motivates Lobo junior

Langham Creek junior Steven McMullen plans to use what was an excruciating attempt at a state berth as a learning experience, and momentum, for his senior season in 2011-12.
"It was hard work to get to regionals, and I knew it was gong to be tough," he said. "It would have been nice to get to state, but this is just going to make me even more hungry next year."
And despite being reported by more than one media outlet that McMullen had advanced to state, he took it all in stride.
"That's kind of funny," he said of the misprints.
McMullen swept Clear Lake junior Kevin Wang 6-4, 6-0 in the Class 5A Region III boys singles semifinals on April 20 to set up a championship meeting with Pearland senior Daniel Hernandez, one of the state's top players who had already defeated McMullen twice this season.
It was an all-out battle in the opening set with Hernandez grinding out a 7-5 win, and then taking the title at 6-3 in the second set.
"He's a great player," McMullen said of Hernandez. "He's just really talented, and he knows how to figure it out as far as taking advantage of the moment."
Reaching the region finals doesn't guarantee a state tournament berth, and with Bellaire sophomore Alex Stoupine beating Wang 6-3, 6-1 for third place, Stoupine earned the right to face McMullen in a playback match with state on the line.
"The championship match was really emotionally draining, so it's a huge challenge to come back and have to play after that," Langham Creek coach Terry Moran said. "Combine that with your opponent coming off a big win for third place, and having new life, and it's a tough situation."
Stoupine went on to top McMullen 6-3, 6-0 with both playing a fifth match in two days.
"I started playing tennis when I was three, and I've only played that many times in such a short period maybe once, and especially three in one day," McMullen said. "It's something I'll learn from, and build on, and hopefully stay out of in the future."
McMullen plans to continue his competitive career in college, and for now, the options remain open.
"He definitely has a shot to play at the next level, and even tough it was hard to get close to state and not make it, the season was definitely not a disappointment," Moran said. "Steven is a very good player, and a good person, and we're all looking forward to his senior year in team tennis in the fall and the spring season.
"He was the last player from our district (17-5A) at regionals, and we're very proud of that."
Cy-Fair's girls doubles duos of Allyson Barnett and Gabriella Jansson, and Emily Garrett and Erika Holum fell in the region quarterfinals, as did Cy Ridge's Anuj Singh in girls singles.
Also competing at regionals were Cy Woods' Ben Groff and Rick Newton, and Cy Falls' Shaan Patel and Zach Salinas in boys doubles; Cy Ranch's Teja Birudala and Logan Harper, and Cy Falls' Amanda Barrington and Connor White in mixed doubles; and Cy Ranch's Courtney McWilliams and Amy Lundquist in girls singles.
The University Interscholastic League Class 5A State Tournament is May 9-10 at the University of Texas Penick-Allison Tennis Center.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Discarded Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik plays local cricket in India

Discarded Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik plays local cricket in India – Cricket news

Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, who is struggling to make a comeback in the national team, has been seen playing local cricket in the Indian city of New Delhi.
The flamboyant all-rounder is in India these days after marrying Indian tennis star Sania Mirza. Malik has also represented Delhi Daredevils in the inaugural edition of the lucrative Indian Premier League.
While playing a local Twenty20 game for the Turf Cricket Academy Pitampura, the Pakistani all-rounder played an instrumental role in his team’s comprehensive victory. Malik smashed an unbeaten innings of 123 runs from just 57 balls with the help of 6 fours and 10 sixes.
“I haven’t held the bat for almost 25 days now, have been busy with some other commitments so it felt good to score some runs. It’s a nice experience, especially with the kind of competitiveness you have in club cricket here,” Malik said.
Malik opted to participate in the game when he and his wife reached New Delhi for attending a function. The all-rounder borrowed the bat from one of his teammates and smacked a fantastic knock. At the end of the game, the host player gifted the same bat to Malik for pleasant memories of the contest.
“Match practice is the best and back home in Pakistan; it’s difficult to gather net bowlers for practice, even at the academy. Good bowlers are usually busy playing matches and it had been quite some time I spent in Delhi, and whenever friend call me,  I come and play,” the Sialkot-born cricketer added.
Malik has served Pakistan in 192 One Day Internationals in which he scored 5,188 runs at an average of 34.35. The all-rounder has an exceptional record against India, as he has an average of over 50 in 33 games against them.
When asked about Pak-India cricketing ties, the blistering batsman described that politics had stopped the dialogue progress between the two countries but through cricket, the two neighbours can get together once again.
Malik further spelled out that he was not upset or frustrated for not being selected for the national team. He vowed that he would give his one hundred percent whenever he is given a chance to represent the country.

ICC laments senior Indian players decision to skip West Indies tour







The International Cricket Council (ICC) has lamented rumours that star Indian players, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Virendar Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and, Zaheer Khan would miss their upcoming series against West Indies, as a means to give themselves a rest before their series against Australia and England.

According to reports, many senior players of the Indian cricket team have requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to grant them permission to skip the West Indies tournament starting on June 4, 2011. This tour includes three Tests and five One Day Internationals (ODIs) and one Twenty20 game

The players added that they have been playing two months consecutively. First it was the ICC World Cup 2011, which concluded with the victory of Men in Blue. Currently it is the Indian Premier League (IPL).

There was only a six day gap between the World Cup and the IPL, which has exhausted the players. Hence they need a break from such a hectic schedule because they cannot afford to play another series after the end of IPL Twenty20 league on May 28, 2011.

Although Indian players have submitted their request to the BCCI, the ICC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Haroon Lorgat has said that it would be harmful for Indian cricketers to skip the Windies tour.

Lorgat stated, “I think it affects the brand of cricket. Everybody wants to see a full strength side. Same applies to the IPL and any of the FTP (Future Tour Program) commitments. Because of the volume of cricket, every individual player has to be managed”.

While talking to the media, Lorgat said that the permission can be granted to a couple of players who need rest. However, all the crucial cricketers appealing for a skip from the tour would not be appropriate, he added.

Lorgat said, “One or two stars, asking for a rest is okay. If five or six stars do not want to go to West Indies, then I think, it's not an appropriate fulfilment of what has been committed to the FTP".

The ICC boss Haroon Lorgat said that the ICC Future Tours Programme does not take into account the domestic events of any country and the Indian Premier League is no exception.

He said that it is possible that in future, other boards ask for similar favours if the ICC grants a designated space to the IPL. He said that although the BCCI had not requested such a window, the cricket's governing body was not going to accommodate it if it asked.

Darren Sammy disappointed with West Indies in St. Lucia, Shahid Afridi aims to seal series in Barbados



Darren Sammy disappointed with West Indies in St. Lucia as Shahid Afridi aims to seal series in Barbados



The West Indian and Pakistani captains were obviously in different moods after the second match of the five-match One Day International (ODI) series between the two teams.

The match played at Gros Islet in St.Lucia was won comfortably by the visitors, who have now taken a 2-0 lead in the series, the West Indians were ordinary with the bat and insipid with the ball, as the Men in Green cantered home to a 7-wicket win on a good batting track.

Sammy, who has been under fire from cricketing pundits in the region, stated that his team needs to improve their performance by leaps and bounds if they are to compete and make a comeback in the series. He thinks that the batsmen have let the team down in the first two games, as they failed to make good use of batting conditions scoring 221 and 220 runs only in the two innings.

He also felt that the bowlers failed to tighten their grip around the batsmen despite a low score on the board. He added that a major blip in the performance is needed if the West Indians are to fight back and make things tough for the Pakistan team.

"We could have tried to squeeze their batsmen more and when we batted we got a good start, but did not capitalize on it", Sammy said. "We weren't rolled over today. We kept ourselves in the match right to the finish. There were moments when things could have gone either way, but we didn't make it happen. We have to find a way to win those tight situations. We have to win in Barbados to stay alive in the series, so we have to grab our chances".

On the other hand, the Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi is happy with the performance of his team in the first two games. He praised the "discipline" shown by his side and added that his team has a specific plan for the second match and fortunately they succeeded in sticking to it and reaped the rewards with a comfortable win.

Afridi feels that it was a complete team effort that helped his side and if the boys continued to play with the same purpose and commitment they were set to pocket the series in the third ODI that is to be played in Barbados.

"We made a plan at our team meeting and our guys stuck to it and that was good", Afridi said. "I think our bowlers are doing a great job, and the fielding has improved because it is a very important area for us. Our batting has shown responsibility and we hope to maintain this discipline right throughout the series".

The man known as BOOM BOOM for his big hitting ability added that the team has reaped rewards of the hard work that they put in the World Cup and during the training camp set prior to the tour of West Indies.

Another encouraging thing for Afridi is the performance of his opening batsmen, Ahmed Shehzad, who posted his second century of the year and his career to take the team through to the victory target.

Shehzad was under intense pressure after an ordinary World Cup but repaid the faith shown in him by the selection panel and Afridi himself, who requested the selectors to include him in the team for the tour, as he had faith in his abilities with the bat.

The third ODI would be played on 27th April in Kensington Oval, Barbados.

Malinga grateful to IPL for his cricket comeback








The charismatic Sri Lankan fast bowler, Lasith Malinga, felt disappointed by his country’ s board when he was not looked after well and did not get treatment after his knee injury, which could have finished his career.

Malinga claims that it was only because of the Indian Premier League (IPL) he was able to come back to the cricket fields again.

He sustained an injury in early 2008, which kept him out of the game, and, he was unable to play for Sri Lanka until August, 2009 and he pretended that could have been the end of his career.

He appeared in the IPL in 2009, got back his confidence by gaining rhythm and was able to grab 18 wickets representing Mumbai Indians. His performance brought him back in the limelight and he was selected to represent his country again.

"Because of the IPL I got a chance to come back to the national team", he said at a media conference in Colombo. "After the injury nobody looked after me and I was not offered a contract. The 2008 interim committee did not care for my well-being. But thanks to the IPL I didn't lose anything but I improved my cricket a lot. I'm saddened the way I was treated but not disappointed".

Malinga has announced his retirement from Test cricket and will be concentrating on the shorter versions of the game for IPL and his country. Earlier, Sri Lanka’s cricket board had asked all their players participating in the IPL to report back in preparation with the forthcoming tour of England.

Quite a few players left back as Malinga continued playing in IPL and informed the Board that he will be available for One Day Internationals (ODI) and T20 matches.

He reiterated that he was fit enough to play Test cricket but it will take a long time to recover if he suffers an injury again, while it is easy to recover if he gets an injury in an ODI or T20 match.

"My doctors in Australia had said that mine was a rare type of injury and that I would not be able to play again. But thanks to President Mahinda Rajapaksa's private physician, Dr Eliyantha White, who treated me, I was able to play for the national team again.

Malinga responded to undue criticism going on in the news that he was declining to play for Sri Lanka, as there was more money involved in IPL. He stressed that the retirement from Test has nothing to do with money, as he wants to concentrate on shorter phases of cricket and don’t want to grab an injury again, which can put him away from the game forever.

He has taken 101 wickets in Test cricket, 127 in ODIs and 35 in T20 cricket, while representing his country and he is only the third player to pocket 100 wickets for Sri Lanka in Test cricket after Muttiah Muralitharan (800) wickets and Chaminda Vaas, who has grabbed 355 wickets.

Malinga commented that it was a matter of great honour to play for his country and he anticipates a dedicated performance in the 2012 T20 World Cup and the ICC World Cup 2015.
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