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May 25, 2010

Afridi will lead Pak in all three formats of Cricket

Pakistan's T20 skipper Shahid Afridi is all set to take over the wheel of the ODI and Test side as well for the upcoming Asia Cup and the tour of England.

Although the board was yet to make a formal announcement in this hold, sources confirmed that Afridi along with team manager Yawar Saeed today met Butt in his office to discuss the future tours where the glitzy all-rounder was offered the captaincy for all three formats of the game.

"The meeting also discussed the situation in view of yesterday's meeting of the National Assembly standing committee on sports which recommended that the bans and fines on players be removed," a source said.

"Afridi was asked by the chairman whether he had any problems accepting Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik back in the team and he said he was fine with their presence in the Test side," the source added.

This is the 1st time that Afridi will lead Pakistan in Tests and the all-rounder himself has not played any since mid 2006 in England.

"Yawar's presence indicates how powerful a role he is wielding these days in the cricket affairs because he was the one who convinced Afridi to make himself available for the Tests as well," another source said.

After their meeting, Afridi and Butt went into a discussion with the national selection committee at the Gaddafi stadium for the finalisation of the names of 30 probables for the Asia Cup and England tour.

Pakistan, after playing in the Asia Cup in June, will leave for England to play 2 Test series against Australia and then a 4 Test series against England.

They will also feature in four Twenty20 internationals and 5 one-dayers on the tour. Afridi recently led Pakistan in the T20 World Cup in the West Indies where they lost to Australia in the semi-finals.

May 22, 2010

My Test Cricket career is over: Shahid Afridi

Pakistan T20 Captain Shahid Afridi today made it clear that his Test career is over and will now focus only in one-day and Twenty20 cricket which he said is more suited to his attacking style.

Shahid Afridi, who is tipped to be named next week as skipper of the one-day side for the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, ruled himself unavailable for Pakistan's six-match Test series in England this summer.

"Some of my well wishers and supporters wanted me to return to Test cricket. But it's the end of Test cricket for me and it's my firm decision," says Afridi.

"Now my focus is forthcoming Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, T20 and ODI series in England and next year's World Cup," he told a state owned news agency.

Afridi, who has not played a Test since 2006, agreed that his attacking style suited limited-over cricket more.

"To be frank, Test cricket has its own demands and it doesn't suit my style. I love to play in attacking manner and I get it from Twenty20 and ODIs," Afridi said.

May 21, 2010

Teammates were busy ogling at girls: Shahid Afridi

Pakistan T20 Skipper Shahid Afridi has alleged that some of his teammates were busy ogling girls and loafing around the border line line, not giving their 100 % in the team's unsuccessful tour of Australia earlier this year.

The leaked video tape of Pakistan Cricket Board's investigations showed Shahid Afridi questioning the pledge of some of his teammates, even though he said all the talks about match-fixing is something he too has heard but never found any evidence of.

"Some of the players, once they have made some honest runs with the bat, would think their job is done and would go to field in the deep," Afridi was shown as speaking.

"There they would be hectic chatting with the crowd, ogling girls and giving autographs. I have identified some players doing that. They just play for themselves," said Afridi, who was part of the team that lost all One day Internationals in Australia.

He was also dangerous of the then coach Intikhab Alam.

"Coach told me to lead the team in the fifth ODI just 40 minutes before the match and put needless pressure to win the toss."

"He said it would be all gloom and doom if we lose the toss. I interrupted him and asked why he was demoralizing players even before the toss? Why it would be all gloom and doom even if we just lose the toss?" Afridi asked.

On whether some of his teammates were involved in match-fixing, Afridi said, "I can say that more than being beaten, we gave away those matches."

"About match-fixing, I too have heard but have no evidence," said the all-rounder.

May 20, 2010

Salman Butt likely to get the Test captaincy

The Pakistan Cricket Board will announce the teams for next month's Asia Cup and the tour of England on May 22 and opening batsman Salman Butt is likely to get the Test captaincy.

"This is the suggestion that Aaqib gave to the inquiry committee of the board during the hearings in February and March and he had told them to appoint a co-operation candidate for the tests series in England against Australia and England," a source told PTI.

"With Afridi still not inclined to play Tests and the selectors also not too keen to try him out, it appears Salman Butt who has been in good form in recent matches might get the captaincy for the tests in England while Afridi would be retained as ODI captain for Asia Cup," the source said.

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is also likely to get a nod for the upcoming events from the selectors.

May 14, 2010

Shane Bond announced retirement in all format of cricket

Shane BondNew Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond said Friday he was ending a Cricket career which combined stunning success with a frustrating succession of injuries.

The 34-year-old, who announced his retirement from Test cricket in December 2009 after yet another injury cut short his series against Pakistan, said he was unwilling to concession his standards by continuing in international cricket.

"I know the time is right for me to step down," he said in a statement announcing his retirement from all cricket.

"I dreamed of playing for New Zealand when I was six. The reality of what has unfolded was more than I could ever hope for and I have been extremely proud to represent New Zealand.

"I am going to miss a lot of this but I know now is the time to bow out."

When fit, Bond was New Zealand's best fast bowler since Richard Hadlee and he ended his Test career with 87 wickets from 18 matches at an average of 22.09.

In 82 one-day internationals, he captured 147 wickets at an average of 20.88 and in 20 T20 matches he had 25 wickets at 21.72.

The former police officer combined blistering pace with precise control and swing, but a string of injuries frequently interrupted his career following his international debut in 2001.

Shane BondShane Bond told journalists after returning from the T20 World Cup he was feeling his age since ODI series against Australia in March 2010.

"I just felt like I was starting to slow down. The body's obviously been battered a bit and I suppose I'm coming up to 35."

"I noticed getting out of bed in the mornings, getting myself up for training is tougher."

Looking ahead, he was not enthusiastic about doing the work required to ensure he was fully fit for upcoming tours to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India.

Not only injury interrupted Bond's career.

He joined the rebel Indian Cricket League in 2008, believing he had an understanding with New Zealand Cricket that he would be able to continue playing for his country. But he was subsequently banned when the ICL was declared an unauthorized competition.

He returned to the national team last year and insisted Friday there were no hard feelings over the episode.

"I finish happy, no ill-feeling towards anyone. I've been very lucky during my career, I've had ups and downs but I look back with great pride."

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said Bond would be "almost impossible to replace".

New Zealand Skipper Daniel Vettori agreed, saying New Zealand had been lucky to have a player of Bond's stature.

"For me personally it is a big loss - I think he could still be a really good player for us for some time to come," Vettori said.