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Shaheen Shah Afridi. File
Shaheen Shah Afridi. File

Middlesex Signs Pakistan Pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi For 2022 Season

Middlesex has secured the services of Shaheen Shah Afridi for the 2022 season, the club has announced. The Pakistan pacer will feature in the County Championship matches till mid-July and will be available for the whole T20 Blast campaign.

Shaheen Shah Afridi already has 19 Test appearances for Pakistan to his name and 58 international white-ball caps. In Tests, he has taken five wickets in an innings on three occasions and has one ten-wicket match haul, picked up against the West Indies just six weeks ago when taking 10 for 93 at Sabina Park. However, his best international return in white-ball cricket came at Lord’s when taking 6 for 35 against Bangladesh in the 2019 World Cup.

Shaheen Shah Afridi
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)

Middlesex Signs Pakistan Pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi For 2022 Season

Shaheen Shah Afridi has played 19 Tests, 28 ODIs, and 30 T20Is, picking 76, 53, and 32 wickets in the respective formats averaging less than 30 in each format. In December 2018, the imposing 6ft 6in left-arm pacer became the 35th player to make his Test debut for Pakistan under the age of 19. He debuted in the same year in ODIs and T20Is.

“I am very excited to be playing for Middlesex next season. I know from my time in England they are a great county and to play at the Home of Cricket really will be a dream come true. I am looking forward to being part of the team and helping create a wonderful season for the club,” Shaheen Shah Afridi said.

Middlesex County Cricket Club
Middlesex County Cricket Club

Middlesex have been at the receiving end of Shaheen Shah Afridi’s carnage when he picked four wickets in four balls to end with 6 for 19. In the 2020 season for Hampshire, Shaheen Shah Afridi picked seven wickets from seven matches in the T20 Blast.

Middlesex is one of the most iconic and revered counties in the England circuit. Over the past few years, they have managed to rope in overseas players like Abdul Razzaq, Ajit Agarkar, and Ashton Agar.

Shaheen Shah Afridi Is A Genuine Match Winner: Andrew Cornish

Shaheen Shah Afridi has featured in 19 Tests, 28 ODIs, and 30 T20Is for Pakistan and has 161 wickets across formats. Andrew Cornish, the club’s Chief Executive, was understandably pleased with their new signing.

“We are absolutely delighted to have secured the services of one of the international crickets’ most exciting talents. Shaheen is a world-class pace bowler, and we are thrilled that he will be representing us in 2022,” he said.

“His signature was highly sought-after, and the fact that he has chosen to join Middlesex is a massive coup for us as a Club and speaks volumes of our ambitions.”

Shaheen Shah Afridi
Shaheen Shah Afridi. (Photo by OLLY GREENWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

“We need Middlesex to be competing at the top level and challenging for trophies. Signing players of Shaheen’s caliber, who can add quality and experience to our existing squad, is a significant step towards us getting there. Shaheen is a genuine match-winner and I’m sure all our members will be excited to welcome him to Middlesex and share in our delight that he will be wearing the three Seaxes of the Club on his chest next season.”

Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi will play for Middlesex in England’s upcoming domestic season in 2022, and the news was confirmed on Wednesday, October 5. The left-arm pacer will play first-class as well as white-ball cricket for the club before he joins the Pakistan team for their series in mid-July.

After completing the National T20 Cup, Shaheen Shah Afridi will next be seen in action for Pakistan in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021, which is set to begin on October 17.

Wasim Akram. (Photo: Twitter/ @shoaib100mph)
Wasim Akram. (Photo: Twitter/ @shoaib100mph)

Wasim Akram Reasoned Why He Hasn’t Or Doesn’t Want To Coach Pakistan

Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan captain, and fast bowling legend has opened up on why he hasn’t or doesn’t want to coach the national cricket team.

Wasim Akram, who won the 1992 World Cup as a player and captained the team to the final of the 1999 ICC World Cup, has coached in franchise T20 leagues. He was part of the support staff of the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders and has also been associated with several Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises over the past years.

Wasim Akram Image Credit: Supplied
Wasim Akram Image Credit: Supplied

Wasim Akram Doesn’t Think He Can Manage Work Away From Pakistan

In a recent interaction, Wasim Akram was asked why he has never coached the national team Pakistan, to which Wasim Akram said that he will not be able to give the time that a full-time coaching job demands.

“When you become the coach, you need to give at least 200 to 250 days a year to the team and that’s a lot of work. I don’t think I can manage so much work away from Pakistan, from my family. And as it is, I spend time with most of the players in the PSL, they all have my number and they keep asking for advice,” Akram said in the interview.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

After calling it quits from cricket in 2003, the legendary cricketer had taken up a commentary stint. After that, he was involved in a coaching capacity and was part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as a bowling coach for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Later he was also seen in the role of mentoring in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Wasim Akram Can’t Tolerate Anyone Misbehaving With Him

Wasim Akram also cited misbehaviour by fans as a reason for him to not think about coaching the national team.

“I am not a fool. I keep on hearing and seeing on social media how people misbehave with their coaches and seniors. The coach isn’t the one playing. The players are the one playing. The coach can only help with the planning. So, if the team loses, I don’t think the coach is as responsible or accountable as we hold him as a nation.”

Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)
Pakistan coaching unit – comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)

“So, I’m afraid of that as well, because I can’t tolerate anyone misbehaving with me. And we are becoming like that. I love the people, their enthusiasm and passion for the game, but not the misbehavior that is shown on social media. It shows what we are. I have never seen this happen in other countries.” Wasim Akram added.

Misbah-ul-Haq stepped down as head coach of the Pakistan team last month along with Waqar Younis, who too resigned from the position of bowling coach. Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq are the interim coaches in charge of the team for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup.

Waqar Younis and Misbah-ul-Haq both had a year still left in their tenures, having taken charge in September 2019. Later, pacer Mohammad Amir came out of retirement following the coaches’ resignment as he had differences with the duo. Newly-elected PCB chairman Ramiz Raja recently announced Vernon Philander and Matthew Hayden’s appointments as coaching consultants for the T20 World Cup.

The leading runs getter for Pakistan in Test cricket Younis Khan parted way with the Pakistan team as the batting coach earlier this year. The former batsman resigned from the top job on June 22 even though he was roped in by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for a two-year contract, which would’ve come to a conclusion after the T20 World Cup.

Vernon Philander Getty Images (File Photo)
Vernon Philander Getty Images (File Photo)

Vernon Philander Looking Forward To Start His Coaching Stint With Pakistan In T20I World Cup 2021

Vernon Philander, a former South African seamer is looking forward to starting his coaching stint with Pakistan. Newly-elected PCB chairman Ramiz Raja recently announced Vernon Philander and Matthew Hayden’s appointments as coaching consultants for the T20 World Cup.

Vernon Philander and Matthew Hayden will join the coaching staff only for the upcoming showpiece event. There was some uncertainty surrounding the Pakistan cricket team after Misbah-Ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resigned from their coaching roles.

Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander
Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander have been appointed as Pakistan’s coaches for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Vernon Philander Couldn’t Turn Down Opportunity To Join Pakistan Team Even Though He Has No Formal Coaching Experience

“Ramiz obviously called me up and asked if I was interested in joining the Pakistan team. It is a huge opportunity, which I couldn’t turn down. It’s also really exciting to work with a group of skillful youngsters. Mohammad Hasnain is a really talented young bowler, and of course, there’s the big guy Shaheen Shah Afridi. I saw quite a bit of them during the recent series against South Africa and I am really excited to be working with them.”

Vernon Philander, South Africa
Vernon Philander [Image-Getty]

Vernon Philander was one of the most successful new-ball bowlers for South Africa in Test cricket. He retired from internationals in 2020 after taking 224 Test wickets in 64 matches at 22.32 apiece. However, the veteran has played only seven T20Is and 123 T20 games, the last of which was in December of 2019.

Vernon Philander, who called time on his International career in early 2020 following the home Test series against England, is the fastest to take 50 and 100 Tests wickets in South African history. Having played a total of 64 Tests, the ‘Big Vern’ finished with 224 wickets at an average of 22.32. He picked 41 scalps in 30 ODIs at an average of 24.04 and 4 scalps in 7 T20Is averaging 28.5.

 Vernon Philander Thinks He Can Add Value In Bringing Consistency To Young Pakistan Attack

Vernon Philander said he hopes to inject some discipline and consistency into Pakistan’s inexperienced bowling attack. The former Proteas cricketer believes wanting to express themselves by playing freely is what makes Pakistan an exciting outfit.

“It’s international cricket. There is always pressure, no matter which team you are a part of. I would like to think that I can add value in terms of bringing some form of consistency to this young attack. They are an exciting group and they also want to head in a direction where they play an attacking brand of cricket which is exciting to be a part of.”

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan is currently preparing for the white-ball series against England and New Zealand at home. Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq will serve as their interim coaches of the team. Led by Babar Azam, the 2009 champions will open their World T20 campaign against India in Dubai on October 24.

Pakistan national cricket team is placed in Group B of the T20 World Cup 2021 alongside teams like New Zealand, Afghanistan, and India. Notably, they will start their campaign facing arch-rivals India national cricket team that will be led by Virat Kohli, on 24 October 2021.

On the bowling side of things, youngster Shaheen Shah Afridi will be the biggest factor. Notably, Pakistan has won 4 out of the last 5 T20I series they have played. So far Pakistan has won one T20 World Cup trophy back in 2009 by defeating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets at Lord’s, London.

They will have an eye on winning the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Meanwhile, before heading into the World Cup they will be facing New Zealand and England in the white ball series.

Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP

It’s Not An Ideal Situation For Pakistan After Resignation From Misbah-ul-Haq And Waqar Younis Before T20I World Cup: Shadab Khan

Shadab Khan, Pakistan’s white-ball vice-captain admits the situation arising out of the sudden resignation of head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis was not ideal but the team was trying to shun any negative thoughts as important events are coming up.
The Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday announced that Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis have resigned and that former Pakistan Test players, Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq would be interim coaches for the time being.
Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)
Pakistan coaching unit – comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)

Shadab Khan: It’s Not An Ideal Situation For Pakistan As Two Coaches Step Down Before T20I World Cup

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday announced that Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis have resigned and that former Pakistan Test players, Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq would be interim coaches for the time being.

The sudden changes coincide with the induction of former Test captain Ramiz Raja as the new PCB chairman on September 13. Ramiz Raja on his YouTube channel and as a commentator and analyst has maintained that he does not believe Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis are the best coaches for the Pakistan team.

“I can’t comment on their decision but yes we as a team are trying to ensure that no negativity creeps into our camp because of recent happenings because it is not an ideal situation for us,” Shadab Khan said.

“Our focus is on doing the things that are in our control in the right manner. We don’t want to think about the what-ifs of the situation. With the T20 World Cup approaching, our focus is to prepare ourselves for it,” said the 22-year-old Shadab Khan.

Shadab Khan (File Photo)
Shadab Khan (File Photo)

Pakistan host New Zealand in a limited-overs series of three ODIs and five T20Is beginning on September 17 and then heads to the T20 World Cup beginning in the UAE from October 17. Shadab Khan said there’s no guarantee of success in international cricket.

“Look, we can do our best to prepare for a situation but there is no guarantee about success or failure. It is the same with every team,” said the seasoned all-rounder, who is deputy to Babar Azam.

“We are trying to play modern-day cricket and be aggressive and selfless in our approach to the game but we will also face failures in this and I think we need to accept that.”
Shadab Khan praised Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, saying that he had always backed the national squad. Speaking about the transformation needed in the Pakistan squad, the vice-captain said it wouldn’t be an issue as “aggression is on our DNA.”

Shadab Khan: It Would Have Been Good If New Zealand Had Sent Their Full Strength Squad To Pakistan

Shadab Khan, a member of the Pakistan squad that won the Champions Trophy in 2017, said it would have been good if New Zealand had sent their full-strength squad to Pakistan for the upcoming three ODI and five T20I series as it would have meant more competitive cricket going into the T20 World Cup.

“But what we have to realize is that this is their national team and it has eight to nine players who have played for them in ODI cricket and even T20 matches and we are not going to underestimate them at all. That would be a mistake.”

New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)
Tom Latham will lead New Zealand in the absence of Kane Williamson on their white-ball tours of Pakistan and Bangladesh starting September. The opener will stand in as leader on both tours across white-ball formats. Several first-team players, including Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Lockie Ferguson will be unavailable owing to their involvement in the IPL, which clashes with part of the tour.
Bangladesh won 3 T20Is while New Zealand won a solitary T20I. The 5th T20I will be played on 10th September.
Squad for Bangladesh T20Is and Pakistan ODIs: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry (ODI only), Scott Kuggeleijn, Cole McConchie, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears (T20 only), Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Squad for Pakistan T20Is: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Todd Astle, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi, Ben Sears, Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP via Getty Images)

Wasim Khan Issues Statement Denying Any Rifts Between Babar Azam And PCB

Wasim Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO issued an official statement in which he denied any rifts between team skipper Babar Azam and the Board over the selection of the squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021. PCB announced a 15-man squad for the forthcoming ICC event a few days ago. Some reports alleged that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is unhappy with the team selection.

The reports had also alleged that Babar Azam was not taken into confidence as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee picked the team for T20 World Cup. According to reports, Babar Azam wanted to pick openers Sharjeel Khan and Fakhar Zaman, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and leg-spinner Usman Qadir in the squad but in-line PCB chairman Ramiz Raja did not agree.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

Wasim Khan:  Babar Azam Is Fully Behind The Decision Of Picking Squad For T20I World Cup

However, PCB CEO Wasim Khan has ruled out any dispute between Babar Azam and the board over the selection of the squad for T20 World Cup 2021. Wasim Khan mentioned that Babar Azam is fully behind the decision of picking the squad for the T20I World Cup 2021.

“It has come to our notice that factually incorrect reports are circulating about the Pakistan national squad environment. The squad for the upcoming international assignments has been announced and our captain Babar Azam is fully behind the direction that is being taken”, the statement issued by Wasim Khan said.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“On Tuesday afternoon, some of the players had a healthy and positive meeting with former Pakistan captain and member of the PCB Board of Governors, Mr Ramiz Raja, in which there was a consensus on the brand of cricket that needs to be played in the upcoming series and beyond.

“It is important that collectively we get firmly behind the squad so that they have the stability, backing and focus they need prior to going into the ICC T20 World Cup next month,” the statement of Wasim Khan further read.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is slated to begin on October 17. Before the tournament, Pakistan will host New Zealand and England for limited-over series. Recently, Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis stepped down from their positions. Abdul Razzaq and Saqlain Mushtaq have been appointed as the interim coaches for the Pakistan team, who will guide the squad for the upcoming New Zealand series.

Pakistan Named A 15 Member Squad And 3 Standby Players For T20I World Cup Omitting Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, And Sarfaraz Ahmed

Pakistan named a 15-member squad and 3 stand-by players for their campaign in the UAE on Monday. Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, and Faheem Ashraf were notable omissions from the Babar Azam-led side.

Pakistan on Monday named a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup and the home T20I series against New Zealand and England. Senior members Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz did not find a place while the likes of fresh faces Azam Khan, Asif Ali, and Khushdil Shah made it to the squad.

Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters
Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters

Aggressive opener Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Usman Qadir were not picked in the 15-man squad but the two players along with Shahnawaz Dahani were picked as reserves for the T20 World Cup, starting October 17 in the UAE. Babar Azam will lead the 15-man squad which will also not have senior all-rounder Shoaib Malik.

Pakistan squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Azam Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi.

Reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.

Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)
Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)

Misbah-ul-Haq And Waqar Younis Step Down As Pakistan Coaches Before 2021 T20I WC

Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis have stepped down from their positions as head coach and bowling coach of the national men’s team respectively.
Misbah-ul-Haq cited spending “considerable time away from my family in a bio-secure environment” as the reason for his decision. Waqar Younis said that since he and Misbah-ul-Haq had walked into the roles together, it made sense to also “step down together”.
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP

Misbah-ul-Haq And Waqar Younis Steps Down From Positions Of Head Coach And Bowling Coach Respectively

With New Zealand scheduled to arrive in Pakistan for a white-ball series later this month, the PCB has appointed Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq as interim coaches of the team.  Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis communicated their decisions to the PCB on Monday morning, around the time the squads for the upcoming series against New Zealand as well as England at home and then the T20 World Cup were made public.
The coaches had been appointed to their positions in September 2019, and still had a year left in their contracts. Misbah-ul-Haq was initially also appointed as a chief selector with his head coach position in 2019 but had resigned last year from the selection job citing a heavy workload.
“The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead,” Misbah said in a statement issued by the PCB.
“Considering that I would have had to continue to spend considerable time away from my family and that too in a bio-secure environment, I have decided to step down from the role.” 
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
“I understand that the timing may not be ideal but I don’t think I am in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges and it makes sense for someone fresh to step in and take the side forward. The past 24 months have been thoroughly enjoyable and I want to thank my team and the management for their support. I wish the Pakistan cricket team best of luck in the upcoming events and will continue to support them every time they will take the field to represent Pakistan.”
Pakistan announced a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup on Monday. While Babar Azam was named captain, the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, and Sarfaraz Ahmed were notable omissions.

Waqar Younis Quits Since He Felt It Was The Appropriate Moment As Misbah-ul-Haq Quit Earlier Citing Bio Bubble Fatigue

Waqar Younis called his decision “straightforward” once he knew what Misbah-ul-Haq was thinking.
“After Misbah shared with me his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward one for me to resign as we had walked into the roles together, had worked collectively as a pair and now also step down together,” he said. “Working with the Pakistan bowlers, including the youngsters, has been most satisfying as they have now started to show progress. Bio-secure environments in the past 16 months have had their impact, something we had never experienced during our playing days.”
Waqar Younis, left, said that after Misbah-ul-Haq, right, shared with him his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward decision for him to resign. File Photo
Waqar Younis- left, said that after Misbah-ul-Haq- right, shared with him his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward decision for him to resign. File Photo
“The next eight months will be busy and exciting for the Pakistan team and, like in the past, I will continue to back and cheer them. I want to thank each and every member of the Pakistan cricket team set-up as we stayed united in good and bad days, and hope there will be brighter days ahead.”

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq conceded that the timing of his decision is not right but stressed he is not in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges. Bowling coach Waqar Younis also stepped down with just a month to go for the T20 World Cup. Pakistan had a poor limited-overs stint against England as Misbah-ul-Haq’s coaching tenure came under scrutiny. Without the senior players being available, the England side won both the ODI and T20 series against the men in green.

Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)

Herschelle Gibbs Terms It Unnecessary Of The BCCI To Stop Him From Playing In KPL But BCCI Says They Are Within Their Rights

Herschelle Gibbs, former South African batsman, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) were slammed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) saying the Indian board is well within its rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in the country.

This response from the BCCI comes on the same day when former Proteas’ batsman Herschelle Gibbs criticised the Indian board for allegedly stopping him to play in the Kashmir Premier League.

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)
Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)

Herschelle Gibbs Termed It Unnecessary Of BCCI To Bring Their Political Agenda With Pakistan But BCCI Is Within Their Rights To Take Decisions: Official

Herschelle Gibbs plans to play for the Overseas Warriors in the six-team Kashmir Premier League, which runs from August 6-17 and includes several retired international cricketers.

“While one can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of the statement made by a former player who has figured in a CBI investigation into match-fixing earlier, the PCB must understand that even if Herschelle Gibbs’ statement is assumed to be true, the BCCI would be well within their rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in India.

“The fact that the Indian cricketing ecosystem is the most sought after for cricketing opportunities globally, should not be envied by the PCB,” a BCCI official said.

PCB is coming across as confused. Just the way the decision to not allow players of Pakistani origin to participate in the IPL cannot be construed as interfering in the internal affairs of an ICC member, the decision, if any, to allow or disallow anyone from participating in any manner with cricket within India is purely an internal matter of the BCCI,” the official added.

Herschelle Gibbs have made some serious allegations on BCCI.
Herschelle Gibbs has made some serious allegations on BCCI.

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. The official also said that the PCB can take up the matter with the ICC, but in the end, everyone knows why the Pakistan board is behaving this way, and what is motivating their actions.

“They are welcome to raise the matter at the ICC and one can understand where this is coming from but the question that they need to ask themselves is whether it is on account of government interference in their working since the PM of Pakistan is officially their Patron as per their own constitution. It is time to consider whether this issue also ought to be raised at the ICC,” said the official.

Earlier on Saturday, former Proteas batsman Herschelle Gibbs took to Twitter to say: “Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl_20. Also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work. Ludicrous.”

After this, the PCB also issued a statement, saying: “The PCB believes the BCCI has once again breached international norms and the spirit of the gentleman’s game by interfering in internal affairs of the ICC Members as the KPL has been approved by the PCB.”

Not impressed by this statement, the BCCI official added, “The PCB would do well to peruse the ICC’s classification of official cricket. In the eventuality that a retired player is participating as a player in a tournament, it would not quite be official cricket and any permission granted would be moot. I am not really sure how they are reading this to mean what they are intending it to mean, but then the PCB‘s positioning is always bemusing. They should allow cricket to entertain rather than their decision making.”

Tensions have been high between the neighboring countries Pakistan and India since New Delhi unilaterally changed the semiautonomous status of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India but claimed by both in its entirety.

Pakistan has reduced diplomatic ties with India since then, vowing there will be no peace talks with India until the 2019 move under which New Delhi divided the Indian-administered part of the Muslim-majority Kashmir into two federally governed territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — is reversed by the Indian government.

Pakistan also wants Kashmiri people to be given the right to self-determination under a 1948 U.N. resolution that called for a referendum on whether Kashmiris wanted to merge with Pakistan or India.

Kashmir Premier League’s Inaugural Edition Will Be Held With 6 Teams From August 6-16

The tournament is likely to see six teams- Overseas Warriors, Rawalakot Hawks, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Bagh Stallions, Kotli Lions, and Mirpur Royals. Players like Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Herschelle Gibbs, Monty Panesar, and Kamran Akmal are expected to participate in this team.

Wasim Akram (right) and Shahid Afridi (left) Getty Images
Wasim Akram (right) and Shahid Afridi (left) Getty Images

The first KPL edition is scheduled to be held with six teams from August 6 to 16. Five of those teams will represent cities in PoK, while the sixth franchise, Overseas Warriors, is reserved for overseas Kashmiris. The tournament’s launch saw a mix of politicians and former Pakistan cricketers.

Wasim Akram is KPL’s founding vice-president, while Shahid Afridi is the league’s brand ambassador. Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, and Abdul Razzaq were present at the launch as well.

Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Pakistan Should Groom National Players: Kamran Akmal

Kamran Akmal, the wicketkeeper-batsman feels that Pakistan needs to do more when it comes to grooming its national players — and said that he is unhappy with the way senior players are written off before they have a couple of years of cricket left within them.

Pakistan have Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq, Yasir Shah and Shaheen Afridi besides the experienced trio of Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and Azhar Ali.

Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Kamran Akmal Urges Pakistan Management To Look At India:

Kamran Akmal even urged the Pakistan management to look at the way young cricketers are being groomed in India — and said that this was the reason behind the success of their arch-rivals.

Talking about the rise of cricketers such as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in India in the last decade, he said that it was possible because of a planned succession where senior cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag could groom these players.

“Did India get rid of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag after the 2007 [ODI] World Cup in the name of fast-tracking youngsters?

“All these great players stayed until they could help guide the next generation of Indian players and we are seeing the fruits of that policy today,” Akmal said in an interview to PakPassion.net.

Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar (Image Credit: Google)

“How else do you explain the top-rankings of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma or even the success of a youngster like Lokesh Rahul,” Kamran Akmal stated.

Virat Kohli, the current Indian skipper has 70 international hundreds behind only Sachin Tendulkar, who has exactly 100 centuries besides his name. Rohit Sharma is the only player to have scored three double centuries in ODIs. He holds the highest individual score ever which is 264.

Senior Cricketers Not Treated Well In Pakistan: Kamran Akmal

Kamran Akmal emphasized that the grooming of youngsters by seniors is missing in Pakistan cricket at the moment, and contrasted it with the way senior players in Pakistan are treated.

“Contrast that to our planning which really is non-existent. In fact, our planning seems to be to make it impossible for decent players like Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq to stay in the team all of whom had a few more years of cricket left in them at the time of their retirements.”

Kamran Akmal even blamed the Pakistan management for forcing a senior player like Younis Khan out of the team.

“Even worse was the case of how Younis Khan was dealt with by creating uncertainty in his selection and not communicating plans with him properly, with the result that he was forced to leave the Pakistan side,” Akmal added.

Abdul Razzaq
Abdul Razzaq (Image Credit: Getty Images)

The 2009 T20 World Cup-winner Akmal added if these senior players had been given some more time, they would also have been able to develop another player of their calibre.

“Had each of these players remained a few more years in the side, they would have helped groom the next generation of excellent cricketers for Pakistan.

“If things had been handled sensibly, Abdul Razzaq would have left behind an all-rounder in his mould, Shoaib Akhtar would have helped train quality pacers and we would have had a proper successor for Mohammad Yousuf as well,” Kamran Akmal concluded.

Abdul Razzaq debuted in 1996 and was a part of 2009 World T20 squad. Shoaib Akhtar is known for his pace and is also known as Rawalpindi Express. Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan are quality batsmen who have contributed with the bat.

Shane Bond, IPL 2019, ICL
Shane Bond. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Five Cricketers Whose Careers Were Affected Due To Participation In ICL

Before the Indian Premier League burst into the scene, the Indian Cricket League tried to make a market of their own. The league was catapulted by Zee owner Subhash Chandra and India’s former World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev. However, it didn’t receive the backing from the BCCI, who thought of launching their own IPL.

The ICL was launched soon after India’s triumph in the 2007 World Cup. The league authorities went on to rope in some big International stars to add a spark in their tourney. However, the BCCI did not recognize the ICL and the Indian board decided that the players who had played in the ICL, will be banned from participation from the IPL.

As the IPL turned out to be big success, the players, who participated in the ICL, careers got affected as they didn’t get a chance to play in the glamorous league. ICL, on the other hand, was ceased after two seasons.

We take a look at five players whose careers were affected due to participation in ICL.

Abdul Razzaq

Abdul Razzaq, ICL
Abdul Razzaq (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

As ICL players were banned worldwide from playing International cricket, it had a deep impact on Pakistan’s all-rounder Abdul Razzaq. Razzaq was forced to retire from the International circuit as he was omitted from Pakistan’s World T20 2007 squad. However, he later took a U-turn and made a comeback for the national team in 2009 and also played a key role in Pakistan’s triumph of World T20.

Razzaq played for Hyderabad Heroes, who went to lift the trophy in the first season in the ICL. Meanwhile, the right-hander scored 5080 runs in 265 ODIs and scalped 269 wickets in his One-Day career.

Abdul Razzaq, India, Mohammed Shami, Cricket World Cup
Abdul Razzaq (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Abdul Razzaq Feels India To Continue Their Domination Against Pakistan In World Cups

The 40-year-old former Pakistan pace-bowling all-rounder Abdul Razzaq believes that India will continue to maintain their unbeaten record against Pakistan in the World Cup in the near future.

India-Pakistan is one of the most exciting clashes in any kind of international cricket fixtures. The fans of both countries have high expectations from their respective teams which opens up the path of the high-pressure situations for the players. Media also plays a significant role during an enthralling contest.

ICC World Cup 2019, India-Pakistan
India and Pakistan cricketers (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Till the date, India and Pakistan have met seven times in the ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments and five times in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup tournaments. Pakistan have never achieved success in all these matches, and even their first meeting in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup history had the tie result. India ultimately beat their arch-rivals in the now-defunct bowl out system.

Abdul Razzaq believes that India will maintain their dominant unbeaten record against Pakistan in the future World Cup tournaments. He has claimed that the Pakistan players are not able to absorb the pressure of these matches.

Abdul Razzaq, India-Pakistan, World Cup
Abdul Razzaq (Image Credit: Twitter)


Razzaq recently told PTI, “India will continue to maintain that record. It is rare that India and Pakistan play each other in knock-out matches of ICC events. They mostly play in the league stage and India are favourites. Our players are not able to absorb the pressure that comes with this game.”

In the Cricket World Cup knock-out stages, India-Pakistan have met twice, in the 1996 Cricket World Cup (quarter-final) and ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 (semi-final). Moreover, in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup history, India and Pakistan met in the final of the ICC World T20 2007 where India beat their neighbour by just five runs.

The players are not confident about beating India in World Cup: Abdul Razzaq

Razzaq also recalled that they earlier beat the Indian team regularly which raised the people and media pressures on their players. He also believes that the Pakistan players are not confident of beating India in the World Cup.

India-Pakistan, World Cup
Image Credit: Getty Images

Razzaq claimed, “We used to win a lot against India in Sharjah and also beat them in Canada twice. I remember the 1999 World Cup, people and media put pressure on the players before the game and we wilted. It has stayed like that unfortunately.

“The pressure builds on the players though it is like any other match. The players are not confident about beating India in World Cup.”

During his international career, Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq featured in three India-Pakistan matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup history (1999, 2003 and 2011). The all-rounder also feels that Pakistan had their best chance to beat India in the ICC Cricket World Cup history during the semi-final of the 2011 edition.

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