Photo Special | Pakistan Team Training Pictures [28-Feb]

Photo Special | Pakistan Team Training Pictures

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Abdur Rehman to miss match against Canada, Misbah also doubtful.

Abdur Rehman, the Pakistan left-arm spinner, is set to miss Pakistan's next match of World Cup against Canada due jo injury. Cricinfo, the leading Cricket news website, reported that Abdur Rehman will not play against Canada due to leg injury. "Abdur Rehman sprained his leg while fielding in the match against Sri Lanka and had to put on a strapping in order to bowl. It's an adductor muscle rupture," Intikhab Alam, the Pakistan manager, told AFP.

On the other hand, Misbah-ul-Haq is also suffering from hamstring strain and might not play Canada's game though, it is said, Misbah's injury is not severe. Moreover, there are also news that Wahab Riaz might replace Umar Gul due to his poor form in first two matches.

Canada's game might see number of changes in Pakistan's final XI. Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz or Asad Shafiq can get a game in World Cup 2011. Pakistan will play their 3rd match of World Cup on 3rd March against Canada at Colombo, Pakistan is currently top seeded in their pool.

Reported by Mazher Arshad
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Haroon Lorgat Forced to Stand Outside Stadium

International Cricket Council chief executive Harron Lorgat was denied entry to the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi on Thursday for not bringing his identification card.

“He had come without his accreditation card and the policemen at the gate did not recognise who he was. He and his family was made to wait with the crowd and it was only after an ICC official came in and identified him that he was allowed to go past the security checkpoint,” a BCCI offcial told a newspaper.

He was angry and kept saying that the local authorities were making a mess and that he would take away all the remaining matches in Delhi,” the official said.

Here is the snapshot of the news from a local newspaper.

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Wahab Riaz may replace Umar Gul against Canada

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has been hugely disappointed by Umar Gul's performance so far in the World Cup.

Although Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka convincingly in Colombo on Saturday but all is not well according to Wasim Akram. The bowlers needs to do a lot more feels the former captain.

Wasim Akram who is very close to the Pakistan team management in Sri Lanka said that the disappointing performance by pacer Umar Gul against Lanka is a cause for concern. Wasim indicated that Wahab Riaz may get a look in in Pakistan’s next game against Canada on March 3.

Gul did not bowl a single slower ball in the entire spell. He is an experienced and a feared bowler. Variation in bowling is a must, otherwise one will get hammered on a flat wicket,” Wasim said.

Gul is Pakistan’s main bowler but now the team is contemplating whether to include Riaz in his place for the next match. Gul has to learn quickly how to bowl on such flat tracks or bring variation in his bowling,” added Wasim. 

Wasim also said that at the moment Pakistan have no other option then to open the bowling with Abdul Razzaq.

They have no option. Gul got hammered and he struggled to control the new ball. Also, they cannot drop (Abdul) Razzaq for his additional batting abilities. Plus, I was impressed with Razzaq as he bowled quite well with the new ball, regularly clocking around 130 km/hr,” said Wasim.

Wasim also lauded captain Shahid Afridi for bringing on Shoaib Akhtar when, the pillar of Lankan batting, Mahela Jayawardene was at the crease.

“He brought in Akhtar for a few overs when Jayawardene, Lanka’s main player, was batting. Akhtar took his wicket and that was extremely important for Pakistan. Had Jayawardene stayed on, he would have taken the match away. That was mature captaincy from Afridi.”

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Younis -Misbah Should Bat at 3-4 Spot says Imran Khan

Former World Cup winning Pakistan Captain Imran Khan believes that experienced batting duo of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq should bat at number three and four spots in ongoing Cricket World Cup.

Younis and Misbah are our best Pakistan batsmen and should bat up in the top order instead of batting in a crisis situation down,” he said while talking to Geo Super. Younis and Misbah have to bat under pressure situation if wickets fell early,” he said.

War is always fought from the front and we should use our best batman upfront for the job,he said. “We must set up our batting order right for better batting show,” said Imran.
I am surprised that why Younis and Misbah were kept away from cricket for quite some time. It did a great harm and damage to Pakistan cricket,he added.

Imran Khan under whom Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup at Melbourne complimented Pakistan’s 11-run victory over Sri Lanka in the second  league round. However he said the real competition starts from the quarterfinals.
Pakistan will easily reach the quarterfinals. But real competition starts from the knock-out round. You can afford mistakes in league matches but pressure in knock-out stage will altogether different and a small mistake can prove fatal,
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Video Highlights | Tim Bresnan 48-5 Vs India

Tim Bresnan took five wickets to restrict India to 338. India looked dangerous and Bresnan came to remove Sehwag, Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan, Virat Kohli and Harbhajan Singh.

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Video Highlights | Andrew Strauss 158 Vs India

Andrew Strauss led from the front and played a captain's innings against India. Strauss scored 158 off 145 balls which included 18 fours and a six.

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Shahid Afridi's unique club, awesome numbers and a hypothetical Garry Sobers.

Who says that Pakistan Cricket is dead and burried? It can never be till the oomph of an Afridi is present in it. Pakistan's humdinger in Colombo truly belonged to Shahid Afridi, who has been a real epic. Colombo of yesterday was like Columbia Pictures dying to have best hero for their movie; as it turned out, it was Shahid Afridi who rocked the formidable batting line-up with his pictorial bowling. After Pakistanis the photographers of Colombo enjoyed his bowling the most, his every gesture on-field was meant to be top-notch photo in every news. 

This man's stats are mostly discussed due to his power-hitting but this time numbers are with his bowling too. 

Shahid Afridi joins the unique club.

6000 runs and 300 wickets; its the club about which a cricketer can only dream-off, this is real triumph of an all-rounder's career. Shahid Afridi became the first Pakistani and only second player in world - after Sanath Jaysuria- to have 300 wickets and 6000 runs in ODI career. 

Unorthodox Afridi joins Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

After his fastest century in 1996, who could have a slender thought of Afridi being the bowler to join Wasim(502) and Waqar(416) in leading wicket takers of Pakistan? Shahid Afridi(301 wickets) today is 3rd leading wicket-taker from Pakistan in ODIs. He is also now 11th leading wicket-taker from all over world in ODIs, and just 15 more wickets will make take him in top-ten leading wicket takers.

4th leading spinner in terms of wickets.

Shahid Afridi, with 301 wickets, now stands as 4th leading wicket taker in ODIs as a spinner. Muralitharan(522), Anil Kumble(337) and Sanath Jayasuria(322) are ahead of him. 

     King of Colombo savours his reign!

3rd Most man of the match awards for Pakistan.

Shahid Afridi with his all-round performance has even surpassed Wasim, Waqar, Miandad, Yousuf here. With 23 Man of the match awards; Afridi has 3rd most man of the match awards from Pakistan. Only Inzamam-ul-Haq(24) and Saeed Anwar(28) are ahead of him.

Power-hitter as a batsman.

3 out of 6 fastest centuries in ODIs belong to Shahid Afridi. 6 out of 12 fastest fifties belong to him, and only player to score fifty of 18 balls twice in his career. 288 Sixes in ODI career makes him leading six-hitter in ODIs whereas 366 sixes makes him leading six-hitter in all formats(including Tests, ODIs & T20s). 6606 career runs more than run-a-ball are being scored by Shahid Afridi, and he has best strike rate(113) in World among players who have at least 1000 runs.

Hypothetical stats make Shahid Afridi a Garry Sobers of ODIs.

Though there are some reports of his retirement after WC'11 but with his current age(31), he can at least play for another spell of 4 years. If he manages to play 4 years with same form then Afridi can amazingly become Garry Sobers of ODI Cricket or even better than him. Currently he has 6606 runs and 301 wickets, If we give him 2000 runs and 100 wickets in next 4 years then he is as followed: 

- Can be the only player to have 400 wickets and 8000+ odd runs in ODIs

- Can be the only second spinner, after Muralitharan, to have 400 ODI wickets. Moreover, Just 37 more wickets will make him second leading wicket taker among spinners.

- Most man of the match awards by a Pakistani; he just needs 6 more awards.

- 400 international sixes? Yes, he can be the first and probably last one to do so in history of Cricket.

- 8000+ runs with more than run-a-ball? 

Shahid Afridi or Kapil Dev? 

Kapil Dev might have been the best bowler produced by India, undoubtedly there is no comparison between these two, but Shahid Afridi has snatched a rare feat of Kapil Dev. Shahid Afridi has the best bowling figures by a captain in World Cup. Afridi's 5 for 16, against Kenya at Hambantota, were the best bowling figuers by a captain in 10 World Cups. 

Leading wicket-taker in World Cup?

We have heard names of Wasim Akram, Shane Warne, Chaminda Vass, Geoff Allot, Glen McGrath as leading wicket takers in World Cup. Who knows after WC'11 we might have Afridi's name too, in just 3 matches of on-going World Cup, he has 14 wickets so far. [Only this heading also includes stats related to Pakistan's recent WC match against Canada]

A deceptive delivery from Afridi's wrist was a conundrum for Samaraweera; that was his 299th wicket.                            

Written by: Mazher Arshad

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Video Highlights | Younis Khan 72 Vs Sri Lanka

Video Highlights | Younis Khan 72  Vs Sri Lanka

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Video Highlights | Misbah-Ul-Haq 83 Not Out Vs Sri Lanka

Video Highlights | Misbah-Ul-Haq 83 Not Out Vs Sri Lanka

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Video Hiighlights| Shahid Afridi Reaches 300 Wickets| 4-34 Vs Sri Lanka

Shahid Afridi became only the third Pakistani too complete 300 ODI wickets after the legendary Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis after his haul of 4-34 Vs Sri Lanka.

Congratulations to Shahid Afridi and every Pakistan Fan , another great achievement by the man we all love Shahid Khan Afridi

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In Pictures | Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka

In Pictures | Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka

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Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq: Calmness and Class Personified

 By Umer Tariq

If there was any doubt about the fact that Younis Khan and Misbah-ul--Haq would be key to Pakistan's success in the World Cup it has vanished today.

The dependable duo came together on the crease after the departure of Kamran Akmal when the score was 105/3 in 20.2 Overs, Pakistan were in a bit of bother after losing two quick wickets to some stupid cricket.

Sri Lanka were hoping to choke the Pakistan run rate but Younis and Misbah nullified every attempt with some quality cricket. The pair effortlessy nudged the ball around dealing in ones and two's with the odd bounday in between.

Younis Khan and Misbah both mainted the run rate managing 4,5 runs of every over without taking undue risks and took Pakistan from a rather risky score of 105/3 in 20.2 Overs to a healthy 213/4 in 40.5 Overs. Proving the perfect launching pad for Umar Akmal , Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq ( Although Pakistan failed to take advantage managing 277/6 in the alloted 50 Overs).

Misbah and Younis shared a 108 runs partnership at a run rate of 5.26 during the crucial middle overs of the game.

Younis Khan

Younis Khan made 72 runs of 76 balls at an impressive strike rate of 94.73 . The knock included 4 boundaries.

Misbah Ul Haq

Misbah Ul Haq remained not out on 83 of 91 balls with a strike rate of 91.20. The knock included 6 boundaries.

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Pakistan National Anthem

Pakistan National Anthem 

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Playing Four Specialist Bowlers Is A Must : Imran Khan and Wasim Akram Advice Pakistan

Fast bowling legends Imran Khan and Wasim Akram have advised the Pakistan Cricket Team management to play four specialist bowlers against Sri Lanka on Saturday, even if it means dropping a batsman.

Imran Khan said that conditions in Sri Lanka are such that it is a must to have a strength in bowling department.

"I would prefer to go in with at least six bowlers, four of them specialists because matches are only won by taking wickets," Imran said

Imran also praised the teams performance against Kenya citing the fact that the Pakistani middle order batsmen got the chance to spend time on the wicket.

"The win will be a great confidence booster for them but at the same time the team management must decide on how to balance the playing eleven and their bowling attack. Because playing just three specialist bowlers and depending on Abdul Razzaq to share the new ball and then on two all-round spinners is a risky tactic for me in these conditions where pitches favor the batsmen," Imran told Geo Super Channel.

"The way they have set up the format of this World Cup, I don't think Pakistan should face any problems qualifying for the quarter-finals. And to me the real contest will come in the knockout stages before which we must have clearly finalised our playing eleven," he said.

Wasim Akram also advised the team to open the innings with Kamran Akmal and drop either Muhammad Hafeez or Ahmed Shehzad and to send Younis Khan at number three with Abdul Razzaq also being promoted up the order.

"I think Abdul Razzaq at the moment in these conditions in the World Cup is being wasted at the number eight position. He is not getting enough overs to bat. Given his experience he can easily bat up the order and that would allow Pakistan to play an extra bowler," the former captain said.

He pointed out that Pakistan could face problems if they went in with three specialist bowlers only against stronger opponents.

"I had talks with the captain and coach and I told them play at least four specialist bowlers. We must use Shoaib Akhtar as an impact and wicket-taking bowler and have a third pacer or second specialist spinner in the side."

Wasim Akram had no doubt that Shoaib Akhtar is going is going to make an impact in the tournament: "He looked sharp against Kenya and he is still a match-winner,"
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Photo Special | Pakistan Cricket Team Training

A few pictures from training session of Pakistan Cricket Team.

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