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Shoaib Akhtar Bets Misbah-ul-Haq Will Be Replaced With Andy Flower As Next Head Coach Of Pakistan
Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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PCB Quashes Rumours Of Approaching Shoaib Akhtar For Chief Selectors’ Role: Report

Of late, the speculations were rife that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is in talks with speedster – Shoaib Akhtar for the chief selector’s role. However, the report carried by Daily Jung revealed that PCB has denied any such approach for the top-most position.

The reports suggested that Akhtar had met PCB chairman Ehsan Mani besides board’s CEO Wasim Khan. The Urdu daily of Pakistan Jung in its report maintained that things have been conjectured.

Shoaib Akhtar claim on major position within PCB was false?

Shoaib Akhtar, Misbah-ul-Haq
Photo Credit: AFP.

Furthermore, it added that Shoaib had requested the PCB official for a meeting before speaking in the public about the possibility of the selector’s role.

On September 10 (Thursday), Shoaib maintained that he had been in touch with the PCB for the responsibility — to some capacity and nothing has panned out in this regard so far.

“I will not deny it. Yes, I have had some discussions with the Board and I am interested in playing a major role in Pakistan cricket. But nothing is decided as yet,” Shoaib Akhtar told Waheed Khan on YouTube show – Cricket Baaz.

It is pertinent to point out that Shoaib had shown a keen interest long before – to hold the position of the chief selector for setting things right within the board.

Pakistan had recently lost the Test series 1-0 against England despite levelling the three-match T20 series one each, Shoaib came out all guns blazing. Recently, it has been assumed that Pakistan would relieve Misbah-ul-Haq given to his dual role within the board.

Shoaib Akhtar  said ‘yes’ to chief selector’s role:

PCB
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Recently, many believed that Pakistan should work towards the betterment of the game by making a shift in their policies.

The Rawalpindi expressed further asserted that without much happening on the ground, but he had been in discussion with the board by giving a green signal from his side.

“Yes, there have been some discussions. I can reveal only this much but nothing concrete as yet. But talks are still on. I have not said yes and neither have they (PCB) said yes,” Shoaib said.

In the recent past, Shoaib had criticised board for not having hard-line approach following Pakistan’s poor performance on the field. It had subsequently left their fans dejected with no-so-good improvement in ICC rankings.

Shoaib, who was criticised for praising Indian cricketers, believes that the pragmatic approach leads to the desired results – and he believes Pakistan has failed to meet all the requirements to do well.

In his recent statement, he further suggested that he would be open to help to improve cricket in Pakistan and extended his helping hand to the board.

Misbah-ul-Haq,
Misbah-ul-Haq. Photo Credit: PCB.
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‘Pakistan Also Deserves Similar Support’: Misbah-ul-Haq On Countries Avoiding Tours To Pakistan

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has opined that Pakistan deserves similar support from countries as the others get. He has urged the cricketing nations to tour Pakistan. The Pakistan Team was touring England for a Test and T20I series, which ended recently.  The T20I series ended in a draw after the first match was abandoned due to rain,  the second was won by England and the third by the visitors. Pakistan’s tour of England ended with a 1-0 loss in the Test Series and 1-1 draw in the T20I series.

Pakistan were all set to tour South Africa in October, but it is most likely to be canceled considering CSA’s finances and the IPL 2020 beginning on September 19.

England, Pakistan
Image Credit: ICC Twitter

These are times when the cricket world needs mutual support: Misbah-ul-Haq

Former Pakistan cricketer Misbah-ul-Haq has opined that Pakistan deserves support from countries in these tough times, in context to other countries touring Pakistan. He also said the England tour was important for both countries in the tough times of the pandemic. Countries have been skeptical about touring Pakistan since the militant attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in 2009, in Lahore.

“Our tour to England was important for both countries. It was also important to support the cricket world in general and English cricket in particular in these testing times of Covid-19.

Misbah-Ul-Haq, Pakistan
Image Credits:Twitter

“Pakistan also deserves similar support from other countries. These are times when the cricket world needs mutual support.”Misbah-ul- Haq said in a press conference.

Misbah-ul-Haq will be asked to reflect on his own and team’s performances, and share his vision for the future by PCB: Ehsan Mani

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani has stated that PCB will be interviewing Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq where he will have to reflect on the performance of him and his team throughout the year. He will also have to share his vision for the team’s future. Mani said he believes in empowerment and that’s why Misbah was appointed as the coach.

“I believe in empowerment and that’s precisely why Misbah was given full authority and support. But he very much remains accountable and as part of his appraisal process, he will be interviewed by the PCB Cricket Committee,” Mani told ‘Dawn’ newspaper.

PCB, chairman, Ehsan Mani, India, Pakistan,
Image credits: PCB

“He will be asked to reflect on his own and team’s performances, and share his vision for the future.” he added.

The record under Misbah-ul-Haq has been underwhelming.  In the past 12 months, Pakistan won two and lost three Test matches. They won two out of three ODIs (one match was rain abandoned) and won three T20Is out of 12 with three washouts. They lost the recent Test series in England 0-1 and drew the T20 series 1-1.

Graham Thorpe, Alastair Cook, England vs New Zealand
England batting coach Graham Thorpe backs his ward Alastair Cook. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Too Early To Compare Tom Banton With Kevin Pietersen: Graham Thorpe

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan had previously opined that Tom Baton is a bit like Kevin Pietersen, but England’s assistant coach Graham Thorpe feels it is too soon to compare Banton with veteran Pietersen. Banton showed a great display hitting 71 off 42 balls in the first T20I against Pakistan, which was abandoned due to rain. In the second match which England won he could only score 20 runs off 16 balls and was sent to pavilion by Shadab Khan.

England won the second T20I against Pakistan by 5 wickets chasing their 195 total with 5 balls left. The three lions had won the toss and chosen to field. England now lead the T20 series 1-0 with one match left to play.

Tom Banton
Photo: Getty Images

“It’s very early to compare Tom Banton to Kevin Pietersen”: Graham Thorpe

Michael Vaughan had laid praises on the young England opener Tom Banton and said ‘he is a bit like Pietersen’. The comparisons have been shunned a bit by England assistant coach Graham Thorpe, who says it is too early and Banton needs to be comfortable and under no pressure to develop at his own pace.

“It’s very early. Let him (Banton) be comfortable in the environment he’s in and let him develop at his own pace as well. “He is certainly talented, and you can tell he’s very hungry. It’s always pleasing when you see someone perform on the big stage as a young lad.”  Graham Thorpe as reported by AFP

Graham Thorpe
Image Credits: Twitter

England need to play the strongest side in competitions to get ready for T20 World Cup in 2021: Graham Thorpe

England have played a completely fresh side in the T20I series than the one they fielded in the test series, because of the pandemic. Thorpe echoes skipper Eoin Morgan’s opinion that they need to play their best players the most to have them get used to the setting of the team and be ready for the World Cup in India in 2021.

“Obviously they’re unusual circumstances this summer. It is important for the T20 side as well as the one-day side to try to get the strongest team out, so players do get used to the positions we want them to bat in.” said Thorpe

England cricket team
Getty Images

“You also want, if people get injured, people who can come in to those positions. If you can step up and put in performances like that, you’ll certainly create competition for the squad.”he added.

In the three-match, T20 series England now lead 1-0 with one match left to play on Tuesday at Old Trafford. Explosive batting form Jonny Bairstow, skipper Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan helped England easily chase Pakistan’s total of 195 in 5 balls less.

Ramiz Raza,
Ramiz Raja feels India-Pakistan should continue playing to save cricket
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Comparing Babar Azam With Virat Kohli Not Justified, Virat Kohli Is A Match-Winner: Ramiz Raja

Former Pakistani batsman Ramiz Raja feels the comparisons of Babar Azam with Virat Kohli are not justified as the latter is a proven match-winner. Pakistan’s limited-overs skipper Babar Azam has been often compared to Indian skipper Virat Kohli. He is the only batsman who is among the top five batsmen in ICC rankings in all three formats and has been Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in tests for the years 2018 and 2019 and also in ODIsfor the years 2016, 2017 and 2019.

Ramiz Raja still feels comparing Babar Azam to Virat Kohli is not justified as he still needs to develop the match-winning prowess in him which the latter suffices. Babar has featured in 29 Tests, 74 ODIs and 38 T20Is for Pakistan where he averages 45.44, 54.18 and 50.72, respectively, which is quite a spectacular record.

babar azam, IPL, Nasser Hussain
Babar Azam. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Ramiz Raza on Babar Azam

Cricketer turned commentator Ramiz Raja believes Babar Azam should learn from Virat Kohli and be a match-winner for his team now. He feels Babar who is only 25 will learn with time and get better, giving an example of Inzamam-ul-Haq who ended his career at high despite having a slow start.

“This Pakistan batting line-up needs him to score massively. What he has to do is become a match-winner now. He needs to learn that from Kohli. And he’s got the potential. He’s only 25. I feel that with time, he’ll get better,” Raja told Times of India.

Ramiz Raja,
Ramiz Raja. Twitter

“In 1992, when we toured England, Inzamam-ul-Haq didn’t get any (big) score at all, and look at where his career ended, so it’s not that this is the end of Babar, that he was tested against the moving ball and didn’t deliver properly. Next time when he goes to England, it will be a bit like Kohli – he will be more at home playing swing and seam.”

“The comparison with Virat is not justified. Virat is a match-winner”: Ramiz Raja

Raja believes there is still a long way for Babar to go to be compared with Virat Kohli who has proved himself as a match-winner for India. Babar Azam has only made a handful of appearances in test cricket and he needs to be encouraged to be consistent and score big whenever his team needs him.

“The comparison with Virat is not justified. Virat is a match-winner. Babar has played only a handful of Tests. He’s finding his way through the international circuit. However, it must be great for him to be compared to Kohli. I don’t think that it brings pressure on him,” Raja said.

Babar Azam
Image Credits: Twitter

“He should be encouraged, enthused to be like Kohli. To be compared to Virat is a compliment, not a pressure situation. I don’t think that when he goes out to bat, he thinks about that comparison. What he looks at is the ball, to adapt to the conditions, and what the team demands,”Ramiz Raja concluded.

Babar Azam scored an unbeaten 63 runs in the last test match against England which ended up in a draw. The series was won by England 1-0 after the last two matches were drawn amidst the rain. Azam ended up as the fourth-highest run-scorer in the latest test series.

Mohammad Yousuf 5 Cricketers Who Didn't Get The Respect That They Deserved
Yousuf bids adieu to the game too early. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Mohammad Yousuf Sets Focus On Youngsters On Being Appointed As Batting Coach For NHPC

Former Pakistan skipper — Mohammad Yousuf, who was appointed by PCB as the batting coach for the National High-Performance Centre (NHPC) in Lahore, asserted that he will try to lend his expertise to the youngsters in the country.

The veteran Pakistan batsman Yousuf has amassed 7,530 runs in 90 Tests and 9,720 in 288 ODIs. His illustrious career spanned over 12 years between 1998 to 2010. Pertinently, his performance was exemplary as he averaged 52.29 in 90 Tests and 41.88 in 287 ODIs.

Now, on being appointed as the batting coach at the NHPC, Yousuf is keen to help young breed of cricketers by instilling confidence in them owing to the skillset and experience he is having as a professional.

On August, 20 — the Pakistan Cricket Board had introduced a renowned line-up of coaches for the National High-Performance Centre. Besides, the board has named at least six cricket associations in the domestic cricket season for 2020-21.

PCB
Pakistan Cricket Board. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Mohammad Yousuf Thanks PCB For Being Appointed Batting Coach Of NHPC:

Mohammad Yousuf, who thanked God and PCB, is delighted to hold the fresh position to streamline cricket in Pakistan.

Back in 2010, Mohammad Yousuf was banned from playing international cricket for Pakistan, following an inquiry into the team’s defeats during the tour of Australia. Soon after being banned, Yousuf announced his retirement from international cricket on 29 March 2010.

However, after Pakistan’s disastrous first Test against England in July/August 2010, PCB decided to ask Mohammad Yousuf to come out of retirement, but he did not turn up for Pakistan since November 2010.

Mohammad Yousuf
Mohammad Yousuf. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Mohammad Yousuf was the third Pakistani batsmen to go past 6,000 runs in Test cricket, following Javed Miandad and Inzamam-ul-Haq. His 24 Test Match centuries stand as the third most for Pakistan, behind Inzamam-ul-Haq and Younis Khan.

The elegant batsman Yousuf was the third player in ODI history and first from Pakistan to score an ODI hundred in his 100th appearance. He had scored 24 Test tons and 15 one-day hundreds. 

PCB mentions 36 coaches for six Cricket Associations

Recently, the PCB has also revealed 36 coaches for the six Cricket Associations besides appointing Mohammad Yousuf as batting coach of NHPC.

Moreover, these six associations will feature in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy which is comprised of four-day first-class and three-day non-first-class fixtures. Besides, the National T20 Cup which has the formats based on first and second XIs.

Subsequently, Pakistan Cup — the One-day competition’s format stand as first and second XIs and the National Under-19 cricket tournament has the formats of three-day and one-day in Pakistan.

Former Pakistan stars who have been included in the coaching body include — Abdul Razzaq, Aizaz Cheema, Basit Ali, Faisal Iqbal, Ghulam Ali, Humayun Farhat, Irfan Fazil, and Zafar Iqbal.

Abdul Razzaq
Abdul Razzaq (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Among them, Abdul Razzaq was one of the most experienced all-rounders who played alongside Mohammad Yousuf representing Pakistan from 1996 to 2013 and was a right-arm fast-medium bowler besides being a right-handed batsman.

The hard-hitting batsman Razzaq was the part of Pakistan squad that won ICC T20I 2009 World Cup. He played for Hyderabad Heroes in the rebel — Indian Cricket League who won the league in 2007/2008. After two seasons of playing in ICL, he expressed his desire to play for Pakistan again hoping that the then ban on ICL will be revoked by PCB.

On the other hand, Aizaz Cheema played in seven Tests and 14 one-dayers, Basit Ali played 19 Tests and 50 one-dayers, Faisal Iqbal played 26 Tests and 18 ODIs, Ghulam Ali played in three ODIs, Humayun Farhat played in one Test and five ODIs, Irfan Fazil played in a solitary Test and one ODI and Zafar Iqbal featured in eight ODIs.

Wankhede Stadium, MS Dhoni, Ajit Agarkar
MS Dhoni. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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When MS Dhoni’s Six Cancelled Pakistan Cricketer’s ‘Date’ With An Indian Girl

In an astonishing incident, MS Dhoni unknowingly cancelled a Pakistani player’s date with an Indian girl by hitting a six. MS Dhoni had a glorious career, but he got his kick start against India’s arch-nemesis Pakistan. He was stupendous against them and had hit a stellar knock of 148 after being promoted to bat at No. 3 in 2005 — to register his maiden international century.

MS Dhoni also got his first Test century against Pakistan. He also made a break into the Indian side after proving himself in a tri-nation series in 2004 playing for India A against Pakistan A and Kenya. Dhoni was the highest run-scorer in that tri-series which India won and had hit two centuries against Pakistan.

MS Dhoni, retirement
MS Dhoni. Image Credit: Getty Images.

A Pakistani Cricketer Had His Date Called Off Because Of MS Dhoni’s Six

In an incident reported by Cricbuzz, MS Dhoni had unintentionally cancelled a Pakistani cricketer’s date by sending the girl to the hospital by his six. A Pakistani cricketer was forced to stay on the boundary line in the tri-series because Dhoni was hitting big hits. He managed to talk to an Indian girl in the stands and had convinced her to go on a date later.

The Pakistani fielder was fielding at mid-off when one of Dhoni’s huge sixes had hit someone in the stands. Little did he know, that Dhoni’s had ruined his plans. A girl in the stands was hit by Dhoni’s six and had to be given medical attention as she suffered injuries. She was the same girl who was befriended by that particular Pakistani player.

MS Dhoni, Robin Uthappa, Sakshi Singh Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Photo credit – SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

MS Dhoni had again managed to cause trouble to the opposition but this time more in a personal way than professional. India won the series and the match. MS Dhoni came as a replacement for Dinesh Karthik, who was called for India duties, had scored 362 runs in six innings in that tri-series with two hundreds at an average of 72.40.

MS Dhoni’s Staggering Numbers For Team India:

The Indian ace had announced his international retirement on 15th of August, 2020. MSD has astonishing numbers for Team India in 538 matches he has scored 17,266 runs, 16 centuries and 108 fifties. The former Team India skipper had an early retirement from Test cricket back in 2014. He made 90 appearances in red-ball cricket to score 4,876 runs.

MS Dhoni, retirement
MS Dhoni. Image Credit: Getty Images. 

MSD carried on playing the other two formats and handled the captaincy to Virat Kohli in 2017. With 10,733 runs, Dhoni is the fifth on the list of India’s all-time run-scorers in ODI behind Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, and Rahul Dravid.

Umar Akmal Kickboxing
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Umar Akmal Appeals Against 18 Month Ban For Not Reporting Corrupting Approaches

Umar Akmal was banned for three years starting from April by a disciplinary panel having a solitary member of the board after failing to report two approaches by bookies to spot-fix matches in Pakistan Super League in February.

Umar Akmal, the Pakistan batsman on Thursday filed an appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne to reverse his 18-month ban for not reporting corrupting approaches. Pakistan Cricket Board, on the other hand, appealed in CAS against the reduction of the three-year ban on the wicket-keeper batsman by an independent arbitrator.

PCB
Pakistan Cricket Board. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Umar Akmal’s Ban Reduced To Half After Initial 3 Years Ban

Former Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice (retd) Faqir Muhammad Khokhar had reduced Umar Akmal’s three-year ban to 18 months. Umar Akmal’s lawyer, however, argued that the verdict can be reversed due to lack of evidence.

Umar Akmal
Umar Akmal. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

PCB banned him from cricket for three years in April after he pled guilty to failing to report corrupt approaches. In July however, his ban was reduced to one and a half years with suspension running from February 2020 to August 2021. In August, PCB appealed the ban reduction to CAS and Umar Akmal appealed to CAS to have his ban overturned.

“They don’t have a single piece of evidence that can prove any wrongdoing. The prosecution was based on a phone call, otherwise there is no document, no bank transaction or anything that can substantiate their claim.”

Earlier, Salman Naseer who is the PCB chief operating officer had called the decision difficult to challenge the independent adjudicator’s verdict.

“It was a difficult decision for us to challenge the independent adjudicator’s decision but after going through the final report we had some concerns and we felt the punishment was not enough as there are two charges of violating the anti-corruption code against Umar,” Naseer had said after the PCB’s appeal in CAS.

At the disciplinary hearing held on 27th April chaired by retired Justice Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan, he appeared without a lawyer and did not pled guilty, but admitted to being approached by two different men on separate occasions but tried to justify the reason behind his non-reportorial to PCB.

Umar Akmal Initially Banned For One Year More Than Mohammad Irfan

Many thought that PCB banned him for three years which was one year more than fellow Pakistani Mohammad Irfan for a similar offence due to lack of remorse on Umar Akmal’s part. But after appealing, his ban was reduced by half.

He is the youngest brother of Adnan and Kamran Akmal who are both wicket-keepers and is the cousin of Pakistan’s batting mainstay, Babar Azam.

umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal
Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Umar Akmal played his last test in 2011 but continued to play white-ball cricket for the national team and his last T20I and ODI matches were in 2019.

Pakistan’s right-handed wicket-keeper batsman Umar Akmal made his ODI, T20I and Test debut in 2009.  He has so far appeared in 16 Tests, 121 one-dayers and 84 T20Is where he averages less than 36 in all three formats.

He has also played in many franchise T20 teams around the world.

Shoaib Akhtar, akhtar, pakistan cricket team, pakistan national cricket team, mohammad yousuf,
Shoaib Akhtar (Image Credit: Google)
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Shoaib Akhtar Says Indian Tailenders Requested Him To Dismiss Them Rather Hurting

Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan speedster, popularly known as ‘Rawalpindi Express’ has mentioned that Indian bowlers who batted lower down the order requested him to dismiss them rather getting hurt by facing his bouncers or beamers apart from revealing that teammate Mohammad Yousuf wanted him to break Muttiah Muralitharan’s fingers and mentioning that Matthew Maynard was the batsman to suffer the most grievous injury off his bowling.

Muttiah Muralitharan who has 800 wickets in Tests and is the leading wicket-taker in Tests also requested Shoaib Akhtar not to hurl quick deliveries at him. Shoaib Akhtar, who played for Worcester in England’s county cricket hit Glamorgan’s Matthew Maynard on his lower jaw as the batsman fell on his stumps. Right away, Shoaib Akhtar was worried whether the injury was a fatal one.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Shoaib Akhtar Feared Whether Glamorgan’s Matthew Maynard Die From Injury

Shoaib Akhtar talked about his cricketing career during an interaction with Sawera Pasha on the YouTube show Cric Cast where he mentioned that he injured a lot of players while playing for Worcester, but Matthew Maynard suffered the most and Shoaib Akhtar feared whether he would die from injury.

“In county cricket while I was playing for Worcester, a lot of players got him by my ball when I thought Oh God I have done something wrong. But I don’t know why I was so mean.

“There was one occasion when Matthew Maynard, a batsman playing for Glamorgan, I told him that let’s go out as it was getting darker since it was not comfortable to face my pace. But he told that he will face me.

“So, I went round the wicket and bowled him a quick bouncer and the situation was little dull, that hit him on the jaw and he fell on the wickets. I felt that he might die, he was flattened on the ground, he was in a lot of pain. He fell on the wicket and was out as well,” Akhtar said.

Matthew Maynard played in 4 tests and 14 one-dayers where he failed miserably with the bat although scoring more than 24,799 runs in 395 first-class matches at an average of 42.53 besides 59 centuries. Matthew Maynard played for Glamorgan from 1985 to 2005.

Shoaib Akhtar also regretted when people were hit by his beamer or bouncer. Shoaib Akhtar terrorized batsmen across the world and is believed to get most batsmen retired hurt off his bowling.

“I felt bad but every time I used to hit people, I used to feel that this shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

The 45-year-old also referred an occasion where he hit Gary Kirsten below eye despite warning him not to attempt playing a hook shot off his bowling.

Gary Kirsten
Gary Kirsten Showing Injury. Image Credits: Twitter

“I had warned Gary Kirsten as well, asking him not to hook me. I told him not to do it as a 36-year-old to the fastest bowler. He also got hit very hard. Whenever he meets me, he shows the mark under his eyes as a souvenir from my side,” Akhtar remarked.

Gary Kirsten was the first to notice Shoaib Akhtar during a 1994/1995 series at nets but Shoaib Akhtar arrived on the international scene only in 1997.

Shoaib Akhtar: Muttiah Muralitharan Moved Away From Stumps

Shoaib Akhtar responded when asked if any batsmen asked him to bowl gently and named Muttiah Muralitharan and Indian tail-enders amongst the feared ones.

“There were lot of batsmen like that. Muralitharan was there, lot of players from India, all tail-enders. They used to ask me to get them out but not hit them as it would hit them hard. They used to say that they have wife and kids and that their parents wouldn’t like it.”

Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan, an off-spinner asked him to bowl slowly and even moved away from stumps to get out bowled.

“Muralitharan used to tell me to bowl slowly and he would move away from the stumps. He used to get out very easily.”

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Mohammad Yousuf, however, advised Shoaib Akhtar to break Muttiah Muralitharan’s fingers as he faced difficulty in judging the spin wizard’s ball.

“Yousuf used to ask me to hit him, to break his fingers as he couldn’t play him. I had bowled a couple of bouncers to Murali and he told me not to do it else he will die. He told that he was very fragile. So I used to feel shy but Yousuf wanted me to hit him,” he stated.

Shoaib Akhtar is the first bowler to record a top speed of 100 miles per hour and represented Pakistan from 1997 to 2011 claiming 178 wickets of 46 tests and 247 wickets in 163 one-dayers averaging less than 26.

Richard Kettleborough
Richard Kettleborough (L) (Credits: Twitter)
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England vs Pakistan: ICC ACU Speaks To Umpire Richard Kettleborough After He Wears Smartwatch On Field

ICC’s anti-corruption unit (ACU) has reportedly spoken to umpire Richard Kettleborough after he entered the field for the ongoing Test between England and Pakistan wearing a smartwatch. He is one of the umpires officiating the game along with Michael Gough. Use of any transmitting devices is prohibited on the cricket field.

Richard Kettleborough was seen wearing the smartwatch during the first session of the match on Friday. According to ESPNcricinfo, the official realised his mistake soon and took off the watch. Following the protocol, he also reported the incident to the ACU. He has not been seen wearing it after lunch on the first day.

The report further stated that ACU considered the incident a minor violation of the regulations. The authorities are unlikely to take action against the umpire although they spoke to him and reminded him of his obligations under the Player and Match Officials Area Regulations (PMOA).

In a bid to curb corruption from the game, ICC has made it mandatory for the players and officials to hand over their phones (and any other transmitting devices) to anti-corruption officials ahead of the start of play. They are then locked away and returned to them shortly after stumps. The ICC also has the power to confiscate devices and download all material from them in order to monitor recent activity, but have chosen not to do so on this occasion.

Not the first time:

An individual receiving a warning from the ACU for wearing smartwatch on the cricket field is not new. A couple of years ago, Pakistan players had also suffered the same fate when they were seen wearing Apple Smartwatches on the field during the 2018 Lord’s Test against England. On that occasion too, the ACU had considered it a minor violation.

Earlier this year, the ECB tightened up its anti-corruption guidelines by banning players from wearing smartwatches on the field of play in all fixtures, on account of the growth of live-streaming services in county cricket.

Also Read: Madan Lal Slams Javed Miandad For His Remarks On Imran Khan

Also Read: Independence Day Special: 5 Matches When Indian Team Embarrassed England On The Field

Threats Looms Large On Injured Babar Azam's Inclusion In First Test Against New Zealand
Babar Azam. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Nasser Hussain Names Pakistani Cricketer Who Should Play In IPL

Indian Premier League (IPL) picks young talents from across the world and transformed them into megastars. It gives a platform to every cricketer to play alongside and against some great cricketers. The T20 league is known to stage the best quality for cricket which sets it apart from other cricket leagues in the World. But the Pakistani cricketers didn’t get the opportunity to play in the league.

Pakistan players are barred from playing in the IPL since the political tensions flared up between the two countries after the Mumbai terror attack.

Nasser Hussain Names Babar Azam Should Play IPL:

BCCI, IPL 2020,
Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni with the IPL trophy (Image Credit: BCCI.)

Former England cricketer Nasser Hussain counts that it is a disadvantage for the Pakistani players to play in IPL. He believes that ‘phenomenal player’ Babar Azam should play in the league as the league showcase some best players around the world.

“It’s the Pakistani players not being in the IPL. The IPL will start soon and Babar Azam won’t be there. He’s a phenomenal player and he should be there,” Hussain was quoted as saying by Geo Super.

After the 26/11 attack, India and Pakistan relationship got deteriorated. The two teams have also not played bilateral series since 2013. They only face off each other during the ICC tournaments or Asia Cup.

IPL has featured only 11 Pakistani players including Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Sohail Tanvir. However, when will again IPL see the rival nation’s player playing together is uncertain because of their ever-longing border and political tension.

IPL
IPL (Credit: BCCI)

Meanwhile, the IPL 2020 is scheduled to start from 19th September in the UAE. The league was earlier scheduled on 29th March but the coronavirus outbreak had postponed it indefinitely.

But the BCCI got the window to host the league after ICC postponed T20 World Cup 2020 to next year.

The grand finale of the IPL will be played on 10th November after which Team India will tour to play the series in Australia.