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May 27, 2009

Andrew Strauss steps aside from clinical England

Skipper Andrew Strauss said he was leaving England well-placed for more success following their crushing one-day series win over the West Indies.

Won by 58 runs here at Edgbaston gave England the three-match campaign 2-0, with one washout, after they'd massed up 328 for seven - their highest one-day international score against West Indies.

Andrew Strauss has opted out of next month's World Twenty20 Championship in England because the left-handed opening batsman does not consider he is a good enough player in that form of the game.

Instead all-rounder Paul Collingwood will skipper England in that tournament before Strauss, who is set for a age of rest followed by County Championship action, regains the leadership ahead of the first Ashes Test against Australia on July 8.

In the meantime Skipper Strauss can reflect on two victories by vast margins in England's brief Test series against the West Indies and a duo of equally convincing one-day victories over Chris Gayle's far from inspiring side.

"I like the way we were clinical right through the Tests and the one-dayers," Strauss told reporters after Tuesday's win.

"New players came in and did well but normally there was a level of consistency there which is very important”

"We are far from the finished piece at this stage but what I am really excited about is that the guys are very eager to improve.

England's latest Test and one-day series wins were achieved without injury-prone all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, ruled out this time with a knee problem which threatens his participation in the World Twenty20.

"We always want 'Fred' involved and it has been very frustrating for us, and more importantly for him, that he has picked up these injuries over the last couple of years or so," Strauss said of Flintoff, the star of England's 2005 Ashes series triumph. "What is absolutely crucial in the long term is having a good squad of players you can pick from so that you don't have to play the same XI in every game," Strauss explained.

Kevin Pietersen, England's other star name, missed the one-dayers with an Achilles problem but team officials remain optimistic that the South Africa born batsman will be fit for the World Twenty20.

In his absence, wicket-keeper Matt Prior took over at No 3 and on Tuesday he made a career-best 87 that saw him win the man-of-the-match award at Edgbaston.

Any disappointment Prior may have felt in not being selected for England's World Twenty20 squad has been tempered by the knowledge that a break now will help with his recovery from a finger injury. "There is this period now to get ready and feel as fresh as possible for the Ashes," said Prior. "To get that opportunity at three was fantastic, now I am looking forward at what is to come."

West Indies captain Gayle admitted the tour had been one of his worst experiences in international cricket.

May 21, 2009

Kevin Pietersen out of West Indies one-day series

Kevin PietersenFormer Skipper Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the whole of England's one-day series against West Indies with an Achilles injury.

England will play the first of three one-dayers against the West Indies here at Headingley on Thursday.

However, the ECB insisted that by resting and undergoing treatment now, Pieterson would be fit for next month's World Twenty20 in England and the Ashes Test series against Australia.

"The Achilles injury blazed up following the second npower Test match in Durham and the best course of treatment is for Kevin to rest throughout the NatWest Series," Peirce said.

"The injury would not necessarily stop him from playing but by giving him a precautionary period of time out to receive some concentrated treatment and rest we are enabling the niggled to settle down in preparation for the ICC World Twenty20 and the Ashes.

"This is not an injury that would prevent him from participating in either event," Peirce stressed.

Pietersen added: "I'm extremely disappointed to be missing the NatWest Series as I was looking forward to playing a important part in what should be an exciting and closely-fought one-day series.

"The medical advice is to rest the Achilles and although I'm frustrated to be leaving a happy and successful dressing room I'm absolutely confident this will help me overcome what has up until now been a minor ongoing injury," the former England skipper added.

"I hate missing out on playing for England but understand that in this instance it's necessary in order to overcome the injury," Kevin Pietersen said.

"I'm looking forward to being back in the England line up for the World Twenty20 and the rest of an exciting summer of cricket."

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May 14, 2009

India to play Four one-day Matches in Caribbean

MS Dhoni
India will play four one-day matches in the Caribbean after the Twenty20 world championship in England June, the Indian cricket board said on Thursday.

If India, the Twenty20 defending champions, makes the knockout stages of the competition, they will fly straight from London to Jamaica for the one-day series, which is part of the International Cricket Council's Future Tours Programme.

The first two one-days will be held at Sabina Park, Kingston, on June 26 and 28 and the remaining two at Gros Islet, St Lucia on July 3 and 5.


June 26: 1st one-day, Sabina Park, Kingston

June 28: 2nd one-day, Sabina Park, Kingston

July 3: 3rd one-day, Gros Islet, St Lucia

July 5: 4th one-day, Gros Islet, St Lucia

May 5, 2009

MS Dhoni retains No. 1 in ODIs

Australia has retained their 2nd position in the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship after their 3-2 One day series win over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. Australia now got 124 points, two behind leaders South Africa & two ahead of India in the 3rd spot.

Mahendra Singh DhoniAccording to an ICC release, Indian Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni retains his No.1 spot in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen.


TEAMS: 1. South Africa; 2. Australia; 3. India; 4. New Zealand; 5. Pakistan; 6. England; 7. Sri Lanka; 8. West Indies; 9. Bangladesh; 10. Zimbabwe.

BATSMEN: 1. M.S. Dhoni (Ind); 2. C. Gayle (WI); 3. S. Chanderpaul (WI); 4. Y. Singh (Ind); 5. M. Hussey (Aus); 6. AB de Villiers (SA); 7. V. Sehwag (Ind); 8. G. Smith (SA); 9. H. Gibbs (SA); 10. J. Kallis (SA)

BOWLERS: 1. N. Kulasekara (SL); 2. K. Mills (NZ); 3. M. Muralitharan (SL); 4. D. Vettori (NZ); 5. S. Al Hasan (Ban); 6. N. Bracken (Aus); 7. M. Johnson (Aus); 8. M. Mortaza (Ban); 9. A. Flintoff (Eng); 10. S. Afridi (Pak)

ALL-ROUNDERS: 1. S. Al Hasan (Ban); 2. A. Flintoff (Eng); 3. Y. Singh (Ind); 4. S. Afridi (Pak), S. Malik (Pak)

May 2, 2009

Clarke, Watson blunted Pak in Aussie's series win

Michael ClarkeSkipper Michael Clarke struck a luminous hundred as Australia beat Pakistan by eight wickets in the fourth day-night international here on Friday to take an incontrovertible 3-1 lead in the one day series.

The 28-year-old Australian skipper hit an unbeaten 100 and was well supported by Watson (85 not out) as the brace added 197 for the third wicket to ease Australia past a modest 198-run target with 5.4 overs to spare.

Pakistan bowled out for 197 in 48.4 overs with Australian left-arm pacer Doug Bollinger taking 5-35 in only his second international one-day match.

Pakistan won the first match by 4 wickets before Australia came back powerfully to win the second by six wickets and the third by 27 runs. The fifth and final match will be played here on Sunday.