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Dec 15, 2010

I will play for Pakistan again: Salman Butt

Pakistan's suspended Test Cricket skipper Salman Butt said his love of cricket put him past thoughts of sleaze and he believed he would play for his country again.

Salman Butt"The love of the game has brought me here and that love is bigger than anything, any corrupt thing which exists. So I believe that I will be back playing for my country again," Butt told Sky Sports on Tuesday.

"I know inside what I am made of, where I have come from and how I have played my cricket."

Butt, along with fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, faces an ICC hearing in Doha in January which will consider suspected breaches of its corruption code.

"I would like to say obviously I have not done anything such as this in all my life or my cricketing career," Butt added. "I believe none of my team mates are corrupt."

One of Butt's lawyers said the player had sent the ICC a detailed reply to the charges against him.

"Salman Butt on December 13 has filed a detailed, comprehensive and hard-hitting, 40-page response to each and every allegation brought by the ICC with regard to spot-fixing levelled against him," Shahid Saeed said in a statement.

Aitzaz Ahsan, a former law minister and senior barrister who is also representing Butt, told Geo News channel in Pakistan that his client had a strong case.

"We have sent a detailed reply to the ICC in which we have dismissed all the allegations made against him," Ahsan said. "He has a strong case to prove his innocence."

Dec 11, 2010

India thrash NZ to win ODI series 5-0

Ravichandran Ashwin led a shocking spin attack as a second-string India beat New Zealand by 8 wickets in the fifth and final one-day international for a 5-0 clean sweep.

The off-spinner grabbed 3 wickets for 24 runs off 8 overs to help the hosts bowl out New Zealand for 103 off 27 overs before India coast to the target with almost 29 overs to spare.

Part-time spinners Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan chipped in with two wickets each as New Zealand was bundled out for their lowest total in one-day internationals against India.

Ravichandran AshwinWicket Keeper Parthiv Patel (56 not out) struck his second fifty in a row and added 97 runs for the 3rd wicket with Yuvraj (42 not out) to guide India to a easy win in the day-night game at the Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

New Zealand suffered their 2nd series whitewash on the trot, having lost 4-0 to Bangladesh in their past one-day tournament.

For India, it was their 2nd clean sweep at home since their victory over England in 2008.

India's chase was rocked by early setbacks with skipper Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli being dismissed inside the first four overs.

Gambhir edged Nathan McCullum behind the stumps off the third ball of the innings and Kohli was snapped up in the slips off skipper and left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori.

Yuvraj SinghPatel, back in the Indian team after a six-year gap, survived some early jitters to hit six fours and a six in his 70-ball knock. Yuvraj, named man-of-the-match, smashed six fours and two sixes off 46 balls.

Nothing went right for New Zealand after Daniel Vettori won the toss and elected to bat. Faster Praveen Kumar struck in the first over, removing Martin Guptill with his 4th delivery before left-arm paceman Ashish Nehra dismissed Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor in successive overs.

The Indian spinners, led by Ashwin, then got into action, accounting for the rest of the seven wickets to fall.

New Zealand's batsmen struggled in overcast conditions, with a 43-run stand by Jamie How (23) and Scott Styris (24) the only decent effort.

India, fielding a weakened side in the series in order to give rest to their big guns ahead of an upcoming tour of South Africa, proved their bench strength with a clinical all-round performance.

New Zealand are next slated to play Pakistan at home.

Man of the Match : Yuvraj Singh

Man of the Series : Gautam Gambhir

Dec 9, 2010

Afridi is the right person to lead Pak: Imran Khan

Pakistan's former skipper Imran Khan is not sure whether Shahid Afridi has the capability to pull through a team in mess but conceded that if there is anyone capable of achieving something extraordinary, it is the swashbuckling current Captain.

Imran Khan"I am not sure whether Afridi is the right person. Having said that I would like to add that if there's someone who can do it, it is Afridi," Imran told mediapersons during a promotional event organised by ESPN for next year's World Cup in the sub-continent.

Talking about Afridi, Imran said, "He is one player who can pull off something out of the ordinary. If he can hit a purple patch, it does give Pakistan a chance. But then Pakistan are one of the most unpredictable sides in world cricket."