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Apr 19, 2011

Senior players to skip ODI series in West Indies

Some of India's senior cricketers, including skipper MS Dhoni, are likely to skip the upcoming ODI series against the West Indies starting early June.

Already exhausted by a crammed international schedule, the senior players want to take some rest.

Indian Cricket Team 2011A top BCCI source said that it is possible that at least five-six senior players may be rested since India has a hectic international schedule ahead.

While some senior players may skip only the ODI series, others who have injury problems in recent times may opt out of the entire tour of the West Indies where they play one T20 International, five ODIs and three match Test series during the tour starting June 4.

Opening batsman Virender Sehwag is likely to miss the entire tour of the West Indies to regain full fitness, while other senior players like Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh may be rested in a phased manner.

It is learnt that some senior players have already written to the BCCI expressing their desire to skip the tour of the West Indies so that they are fit enough for the crucial tours of England and Australia later in the year.

India have a hectic international schedule this year. Immediately after the ongoing Indian Premier League, India will tour the West Indies for five ODIs and three Tests, followed by a long tour of England in July-August.

England will then come to India for a One-day international series in November and West Indies will follow for a three-Test and five ODI series. The Indians then travel to Australia for a high-profile series in December-January.

If the senior cricketers are rested, some of the players who have done well in the ongoing IPL like Paul Valthaty of Kings XI Punjab and Ambati Ryudu of Mumbai Indians may get an opportunity.

There is also speculation that Yuvraj Singh, who has been in terrific form and named the player of the tournament in the World Cup 2011, could be named captain in the absence of Dhoni and other senior players.

Apr 18, 2011

Dilshan named in Sri Lanka Skipper

Tillakaratne DilshanTillakaratne Dilshan has been named as Sri Lankan Skipper for all 3 formats(Test, ODI & Twenty20i) in the upcoming tour of England in May 2011. The decision comes after former skipper Kumar Sangakkara resigned from the post after Sri Lanka's loss to India in the World Cup 2011 finals. A vice captain has not been names as the prospective candidates are all nursing injuries and doubtful for the tour.

Dilshan was the top run scorer in the World Cup 2011 and is currently playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

Apr 12, 2011

Pakistan in Ireland 2011, Two-match ODI Series

DateMatch DetailsTime (IST)Place
Apr 27 - FriIreland v Pakistan, 1st ODI15.15Belfast
Apr 29 - Sun Ireland v Pakistan, 2nd ODI15.15Belfast

Watson smashed 15 sixes as Australia crush Bangladesh

Shane Watson smashed a record 15 sixes in a career-best 185 not out as Australia sealed a 3-match ODI series against Bangladesh with a 9-wicket win in the 2nd ODI on Monday.

The explosive opener gave a superb display of power-hitting as he also smote 15 fours in his 96-ball knock to help Australia achieve a 230-run target with 24 overs to spare for an unbeatable 2-0 lead.

Shane WatsonWest Indies' Xavier Marshall was the previous record-holder with 12 sixes against Canada in 2008.

Watson also scored the most runs (150) in boundaries in a ODI innings, breaking South African Herschelle Gibbs's record of 126.

"It was a nice day today as everything came off," said Watson, named man of the match.

"I had no idea (of sixes record). I was pretty tired and didn't want to run too much. It was pretty hot and humid, so I tried to limit my running and it worked out nicely."

Watson's innings was also the highest by an Australian in one-day internationals, the previous best being 181 not out by Matthew Hayden.

He completed his sixth one-day hundred off 69 balls, the third-fastest by an Australian after Hayden (66 balls) and Adam Gilchrist (67).

"That's probably the best innings I've seen. He (Watson) hit the ball so cleanly from the start today," said Australia skipper Michael Clarke.

Watson looked in excellent touch from the beginning, hammering three fours in the opening over bowled by Shafiul Islam. He raced to his half-century off 26 balls with the help of four sixes and five boundaries.

He then reduced Bangladesh's bowlers and fielders to a state of helplessness with his onslaught, once hitting four sixes in an over from left-arm spinner Suhrawadi Shuvo.

Watson dominated an unfinished 170-run stand for the second wicket with former captain Ricky Ponting, who contributed an unbeaten 37.

"He (Watson) batted really well and the credit goes to him," said Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan.

Bangladesh were earlier struggling at 88-5 before crossing the 200 mark, thanks to wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim's unbeaten 81 off 80 balls which contained one six and nine fours.

Rahim's best came in the closing stages of the innings when he smashed two fours and a six off successive deliveries from paceman Brett Lee before hitting two boundaries in seamer Mitchell Johnson's last over.

He played a major role in steadying the innings after Johnson (3-54) and leg-spinner Steven Smith (2-34) had put the hosts in trouble, adding 79 for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Mahmudullah (38).

Shahriar Nafees was the only top-order batsman to offer resistance, scoring 56 off 73 balls with six fours. He fell after completing his 12th half-century in one-dayers, offering a simple return catch to Smith.

Apr 7, 2011

Pakistan in West Indies 2011, Schedule

DateMatch DetailsTime (IST)Place
Apr 21 - Th West Indies v Pakistan, Only T20I-Gros Islet, St Lucia
Apr 23 - Sa West Indies v Pakistan, 1st ODI-Gros Islet, St Lucia
Apr 25 - Mo West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd ODI-Gros Islet, St Lucia
Apr 28 - Th West Indies v Pakistan, 3rd ODI-Bridgetown, Barbados
May 1 - Su West Indies v Pakistan, 4th ODI-Bridgetown, Barbados
May 05 - Th West Indies v Pakistan, 5th ODI-Providence, Guyana
May 12 - 16 West Indies v Pakistan, 1st Test-Providence, Guyana
May 20 - 24 West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd Test-Basseterre, St Kitts

Kamran Akmal Dropped for West Indies tour

The Pakistan selectors on Wednesday dropped faltering wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal from ODI and T20 cricket team for this month's tour of the West Indies and rested senior players.

The 29-year-old was criticized for dropping crucial catches during the World Cup semi-final, where Pakistan lost in the semi-finals to arch rival India.

Kamran Akmal"We have given Kamran Akmal a break because his wicket-keeping was not up to the mark during the World Cup 2011," chief selector Mohsin Khan told AFP. "We think Kamran needs a rest."

Local media said the wicketkeeper will also lose his Test place to younger brother Adnan Akmal, part of the Test team to New Zealand earlier this year.

Mohammad Salman, 29, will keep wickets in the Twenty20 and one-day matches.

Pakistan will play a Twenty20 international, five one-day games and two Tests on the month-long tour, starting from April 18.

Khan said the tour gives Pakistan an opportunity to test new players.

"We have chosen the team with a plan to try some youngsters who can serve Pakistan in the future," said Khan. "Younis Khan and Umar Gul have been rested while Abdul Razzaq could not fit into the team."

ODI Captain Shahid Afridi had hinted that senior players would be rested to give younger team members a chance, prompting Younis Khan, Abdul Razzaq and Umar Gul -- all part of the World Cup squad -- to be left out.

Afridi will not be part of the Test team after retiring from the longer version of the game last year.

Misbah-ul-Haq will lead Pakistan in the Test match, for which a squad will be announced later.

Squad (ODI & Twenty20): Shahid Afridi (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shahzad, Taufiq Umar, Usman Salahuddin, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Tanvir Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Hammad Azam, Aizaz Cheema, Mohammad Salman.

Apr 6, 2011

Australia in Bangladesh 2011, ODI Series Schedule

DateMatch DetailsTime (IST)Place
Apr 09 - Sat Bangladesh v Australia, 1st ODI
Aus won by 60 runs
Apr 11 - Mon Bangladesh v Australia, 2nd ODI
Aus won by 9 wickets
Apr 13 - Wed Bangladesh v Australia, 3rd ODI13:30Dhaka

Sangakkara quits Sri Lankan captaincy

Kumar Sangakkara has stepped down as Sri Lanka's ODI and Twenty20 skipper. This comes just three days after Sri Lanka's World Cup 2011 final defeat at the hands of India. He has offered to continue as the Test skipper on an interim basis for the forthcoming series with England and Australia.

All-rounder Angelo Mathews or batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan likely are to replace as captain.

The following is the statement released by Sangakkara:

"I would like to announce that after careful consideration I have concluded that it is in the best long-term interests of the team that I step down now as national captain so that a new leader can be properly groomed for the 2015 World Cup in Australia.

"This was a decision I made prior to the 2011 World Cup. I will be 37 by the next World Cup and I cannot therefore be sure of my place in the team. It is better that Sri Lanka is led now by a player who will be at the peak of their career during that tournament.

"It has been a true honour and a great privilege to serve my country as captain during the past two years and, although bitterly disappointed that we could not win the final, I am very proud of the performances of the team.

"I am also very grateful for the wonderful support received from Sri Lankan fans all around the world. Our supporters were a source of great inspiration before, during and after the tournament and I know all the players are extremely thankful for this.

"I met with the selectors on Monday and I explained my reasons for my decision and I assured them of my fullest support in helping our new captain settle into the leadership.

"In this regard, I have offered to continue as the Test captain for the forthcoming Test Series with England and possibly Australia if the selectors believe this would help the new captain and aid the transition.