spinner will turn out for Kochi in IPL
|I will miss
Chennai says Murali
|NEW DELHI: Sri Lankan off-spinner Muthiah
Muralitharan says he will miss his previous IPL team
Chennai Super Kings and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
but is excited to play for Kochi franchisee, the new
entrants in the Twenty20 league.
Muralitharan, who had played a crucial role in CSK’s
title-triumph in IPL 3 and Champions League last
year, was been signed up by team Kochi for $1.1
million at the two-day auction in Bangalore.
“I played with them for three years and have several
happy memories with the team. My wife is also from
Chennai and she is upset with this change but it
happens in the game. I will miss Chennai, my
teammates and miraculous captain Dhoni,”
“Chennai had the excellent captain, a wonderful
team and tremendous support. We enjoyed playing for
them and last year was memorable in which we won the
IPL and Champions league. I have taken a lot of
wickets for them,” said the veteran, who has 515 ODI
and 800 Test wickets in his kitty.
“Kochi is a new venture and we will have new captain
and new targets. I am quite excited about this. We
will start afresh and try to give our best. I hope
to have home like atmosphere in Kochi as well. I
hope that people will understand my language (Tamil)
in Kochi also,” he added.
The spin wizard, who took 40 wickets in 40 matches
for Chennai in last three seasons, said he wants to
extend his IPL career for a few more years.
“I want to play IPL for the next two or three
more years. I will try to perform with best of my
abilities and experience. Team Kochi has put so much
faith on me and I will not disappoint them,” said
the ace off spinner,
Talking about Kochi’s combination of players,
Muralitharan said they need some more young Indian
“Kochi has experienced players like Mahela
Jayawardene, Brendon McCullum, VVS Laxman and
Sreesanth. Now it is necessary to have some talented
Indian youngsters,” he said.
When asked about now CSK spinner Suraj Randiv’s wish
to learn the art of Doosra from him, the ace bowler
said that he is willing to share his experience with
the young bowlers.
“Suraj is a good bowler and future of Sri Lanka
Cricket. Definitely I will give him important tips.
Rather than the franchise, he is the one who will be
benefited by playing for them. I am willing to share
my experience and knowledge with everyone,” said
Asked about his future plans, he said, “You don’t
know what is there in store for you. I will be
involved with cricket for sure but not as a coach
with any national team. May be at a shorter scale.”
Talking about the snub the IPL franchisees meted out
to Saurav Ganguly and Sanath Jayasuriya, he said,
“This is franchise’s decision. I don’t know what is
their thinking and calculations. I am also surprised
but they are great players and will remain that.”
Muralitharan, who quit Test cricket in July 2010,
said it is his dream that bids adieu to ODI cricket
with another World Cup Trophy in his hands.
“We are playing in the sub-continent. India will be
the hot favourites but Sri Lanka is also a good team
and we have played well recently. I hope that we can
win the tournament which is my last one.
“I am happy that my name is there in the team. I
want to bid adieu with the title triumph. I consider
myself lucky as I was the part of 1996 winning team
also,” he said. – [PTI]
trophy in record run chase up for grabs
JOHANNESBURG: Cricket fans across the world will
have an opportunity to win South African batsman
Herschelle Gibbs’ man of the match trophy which he
won after a record run chase of 438 against
Australia in 2006.
Gibbs, who mutually terminated his contract with
Cricket South Africa last year, said he would give
the prize to one of his Twitter followers.
“Next week I’m giving away my 175 (run) man of match
medal vs aus(tralia) in 438 game. Stay tuned for
details pls,” he wrote on the social networking
He said he was giving away his commemorative
valuables as he had wanted the World Cup winners’
medal and he is not getting it.
“In case u peeps ask why I giv(e) away stuff, the
only thing I wanted was a wcup (World Cup) winners’
medal, and that’s not gonna happen, so I’ll give
wats left,” the 36-year-old tweeted.
Gibbs, who had played 90 Tests and 248 ODIs, has
already given away some of his commemorative
valuables after promising his more than 19,000
Twitter followers gifts if they give correct answers
to his questions.
“OK morn(ing) peeps, just as a small thank u from
me, my 20000th follower will receive my last Proteas
shirt I will prob(ably) ever wear, Oakleys
(sunglasses) and a cap,” he wrote.
The batsman asked his followers if they remember his
highest score in primary school when he was a
12-year-old and against which opposition he scored
The correct answer came after 233 unsuccessful
replies and Gibbs adding “a pair of green pads,
pullover and cap” to the prize.
Gibbs had scored 207 runs against St Agnes Primary
School way back in 1986. – [PTI]
Pakistan WC snub tough
Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has admitted that he
is passing through the toughest phase of his life
after being ignored by the national selectors for
the ICC World Cup next month.
Malik, who failed to make it to the national squad
despite finishing among the top performers in the
domestic Quaid-e-Azam Trophy with four centuries,
said, “It has not been a easy time for me in the
last few months.”
“It is a tough phase and being ignored for the World
Cup without any creditable reason has been very
disappointing,” Malik said in an interview.
Malik, who turns 29 next month, has represented
Pakistan in 32 Tests, 32 Twenty20 matches and 192
one-day internationals. He has been out of favour
with the PCB and selectors after being dropped for
the one-day series against England last September.
He was also ignored for the series in New Zealand
and the World Cup with the cricket board not giving
clearance to the selectors to consider him.
The board’s integrity committee met Malik twice and
asked him to submit relevant documents as it
investigated his assets, bank accounts and sources
To make matters worse for Malik, a lawyer in Lahore
filed a civil suit demanding the court to
investigate the assets of the former captain.
“It has been disappointing to be ignored like
this and it is hard to come to terms with what is
happening. But what hurts is that I know I am in the
best form of my life and if I had been picked in the
World Cup I would have done a lot for the team,”
The senior player said that he was reconciling to
the situation and preparing for a tough battle to
convince the board and selectors to select him.
“Cricket is my passion and life and despite all
disappointments and setbacks I remain positive about
the future. I know I have done nothing wrong and I
will make a comeback soon.
“No one can separate me from cricket and I will
continue to perform in domestic cricket and let
everyone know I am around,” he said. – [PTI]
|I was not
aware says Aamer
Pakistan pacer Mohammad Aamer said he was “not
aware” of the clauses of his suspension after being
hauled up by the PCB for playing in a club level
match in Rawalpindi, which forced the board to give
an explanation to the International Cricket Council.
Aamer, who remains suspended alongwith teammates
Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif for their alleged
involvement in spot-fixing, bowled five overs in a
friendly club level match while under suspension
earlier this week.
“Look it was all a misunderstanding and that is all,
and I have already sent my reply to the PCB about
the whole issue and made my position clear,” Aamer
He confirmed the board had asked him for an
explanation for playing in the match that was held
between Army and a club side.
“I had no intention of violating the terms and
conditions of my suspension, especially when I know
that the ICC tribunal is due to give its verdict on
February 5. But I really was not aware about the
clauses of my suspension,” Aamer said.
“It was a club friendly and the PCB had nothing to
do with it and that is why I played. I have sent my
explanation to the board,” he said.
Aamer claimed that he was unaware that the ban on
him applies to even club level cricket.
Aamer’s lawyer, Shahid Karim, who is representing
him in the spot-fixing allegations case, said he was
not aware of the bowler taking part in any match.
“I think he acted rashly and should not have played
even in the friendly, especially since the
conditions governing the suspensions on the players
are very clear and strict. And secondly, he made a
mistake by playing as the verdict is also due next
month,” Karim said.
The lawyer confirmed that the bowler was now
concerned, but sent his reply to the board.
“I just hope that this matter is now closed as far
as the ICC and PCB are concerned,” he said.
Pakistan’s former players believe that the country’s
biggest loss would be if Aamer is found guilty by
the ICC tribunal, with the legendary Imran Khan
saying that the team would miss the left-armer’s
services in the upcoming World Cup. – [PTI]
|I play my
cricket like a boxer: Yusuf Pathan
DELHI: The South Africa tour dispelled some myths
about Yusuf Pathan. Yes, he can score outside the
subcontinent too, and he can play the short ball as
well. In a freewheeling chat Yusuf provided insights
into his approach to batting, Team India’s
confidence levels ahead of the World Cup and how
younger brother Irfan always believed Yusuf could
score runs outside India.
You almost won the ODI series for India:
I wish I could have won the last match. I was
confident that we had the team to beat the South
Africans but somehow it didn’t happen. But we have
shown tremendous signs of progress in this series.
Compared to the last couple of series we have played
in South Africa, this was by far our best
performance. An ODI series win would have been the
perfect icing on the cake, but now we don’t have
time to think about what could have been. We have to
move ahead and think about the World Cup. We are
pleased with the way we fought in the series and now
we hope to play in a similar fashion in the World
You’ve surprised many cricket pundits with your
batting exploits on bouncy SA pitches:
Irfan always told me that with my kind of batting
style, I could do well outside India. So, the
confidence was there, thanks to my brother. Even
when I was in and out of the Indian team, my family
and brother stood by me. I like to fight and never
give up till the last ball.
What about the team’s performance in the absence
of some big batsmen?
In South Africa, we didn’t have the regular top
three. When the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender
Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir return, our confidence
levels will be higher. But without them, we still
fought well against a top team in their home
conditions. We all worked hard in our individual
capacity. But the biggest input we got was from
coach Gary Kirsten. He knows the conditions very
well and that turned out to be of great help. The
team management devised a lot of strategies and we
stuck by them.
You seem to have made a habit of showcasing your
skills when chips are down:
I’ve batted on several occasions in similar
situations for my domestic and IPL teams. I’ve even
won matches from losing positions for Baroda. At the
international level, the century against New Zealand
before the SA tour gave me a lot of confidence.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish any of the matches
in South Africa but I hope to do so in the World
What about the pressures of playing World Cup
matches at home?
I think it’s my job to bat till we reach the finish
line. I don’t think much about pressure. You get
nothing out of putting pressure on your mind. You
should believe in your natural ability and the
strength given to you by God and the rest will
follow. My job for Team India is to play without
complicating things. The situation is best explained
when a cricketer is compared to a boxer who needs to
keep using his hand to defend himself without
thinking too much about the pressures and
surrounding. I always play my cricket like that. As
far as the World Cup pressure is concerned, we
expect the fans to support us both during the good
and bad times. Their encouragement is needed most
when we lose a match. That really helps us to get
back the confidence. I’m sure the Indian public will
be behind us all the time. – [TNN]
|Mike Tyson becomes a dad for
heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson has become a
father for the eighth time.
According to Radar Online, Tyson and his wife Lakiha
Spicer welcomed their second child - a baby boy - on
It is Tyson’s eighth child from a list of ex-wives
and girlfriends, reports the Daily Telegraph.
It is also his first since the death of his
4-year-old daughter Exodus, who died in May 2009
when her neck was caught in the cord of an exercise
The couple married just 10 days after Exodus’ death.
They have one daughter together, 2-year-old Milan.
“Mike and Lakiha are very happy and everyone is
doing great,” a source told the entertainment
Spicer delivered the boy in a Las Vegas hospital,
where she was admitted Monday in preparation for the
birth. – [ANI]
|Mahela Jayawardene to lead
NEW DELHI: After settling their
ownership pattern, the captaincy issue is on a
sticky wicket with the Kochi IPL franchisee. They
have now locked horns about who would be leading
their team for Twenty20 event this year.
According to the sources, some of the owners are
keen on having an Indian skipper so that it would
help the team to woo Indian sponsors while the
others are batting for former Sri Lankan captain
Mahela Jayawardene to lead the side.
Sources said that the idea of bringing in former
Indian captain Sourav Ganguly into the team stemmed
from the fact that the team lacked a big Indian star
in the line-up. It was also reliably learnt that
Kochi was targeting Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh
in the Bangalore auction earlier this month. But
Kolkata Knight Riders bought Gambhir while Yuvraj
was sold to Sahara Pune Warriors.
Sources also insisted that the hunt for an Indian
star is still on from Kochi’s side. “But it looks
like Mahela will lead the side in absence of a big
Indian player,” a source close to the development
told TOI on Thursday. – [TNN]