Islamabad :Wahab Riaz found himself the latest subject of coach Mickey Arthur’s criticism when his name did not appear in the squad announced for a training camp, out of whom players will be chosen for a team to tour Ireland and England this summer, ESPNcricinfo reported on Thursday.
Mickey Arthur who has been gearing towards “a high-performance culture within the Pakistan squad” was forced to question Wahab’s “training work ethic”. Arthur went so far as to provide a blistering assessment of the left-arm firebrand by saying that he had not “won us a game in two years”.
According to ESPNcricinfo, the selection panel has chosen five fast bowlers — Mohammad Amir, Muhammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Mir Hamza and Rahat Ali — for the camp which will be attended by 25 cricketers.
All-rounder Faheem Ashraf was also selected and Shaheen Shah Afridi, the 17-year-old who has been making waves in the cricketing world, was also declared part of the pool.
Besides, 16 of the 25 will be chosen in the final squad for the international tours.
“He has not won us a game in two years,” Arthur told ESPNcricinfo. “I expect players that have been around for a long time to be winning us games and setting standards. Otherwise, we will invest in younger players who have long futures. We have good youngsters around. [Dropping] Wahab is a big decision but we have chosen a squad according to the time of year, country and conditions. The guys need to push themselves and get out of their comfort zones.”
Wahab reportedly underwent a fitness exam where he scored 17.4, a mark which can be considered for qualification. However, the coach had wished to see him touch 19 – an unofficial benchmark set for a fast bowler, as described by the article on ESPNcricinfo.
“I cannot fault Wahab when he has a ball in his hand but his work ethic around training is something [that] needs to be looked at,” Arthur said. “I am changing the culture in this Pakistan environment and I am not interested in players doing just the bare minimum. I want players winning us games of cricket and pushing themselves to be the best they can be. This is a high-performance environment, not an environment where mediocrity is accepted. Unless you are winning games consistently, you are under pressure for your position.”
This latest development has thrown the 32-year-old cricketer’s international future into question.
As ESPNcricinfo reports, his career record so far was quite promising with many memorable moments to his credit.
Chief among those is the World Cup 2015 spell in Adelaide, but there was an immense nineteen-over spell in the afternoon heat of Dubai against England, that set up a win; there were key interventions on the Test tour to England in 2016; and in his last Test, against Sri Lanka in Dubai, he blitzed through the top order and nearly turned around a Test that had no business being turned around.
Often forgotten is that he was Pakistan’s highest wicket-taker on the disastrous Test tour of Australia in 2016-17.
Undoubtedly, in between, there were many incidences that caused frustration – unsatisfactory performances, repeat no-ball offences, and seemingly good but nonetheless wicketless spells.
Moreover, there was the whole issue with his run-up last year in Dubai where he pulled up from delivering no-balls five times in a row, causing a furore in the dressing room with Arthur’s reprimands.
The last time Wahab played an ODI was nearly a year ago in India during the Champions Trophy — his figures that day read 8.4-0-87-0 — and his last T20I came in April last year against West Indies; he returned figures of 4-0-44-1.
The beginning of 2016, however, recorded him as Pakistan’s second-highest wicket-taking fast bowler in Tests, and one might argue, the most effective.
Yadav, Dhawan help India beat Kiwis by 8 wickets
Napier:After Kuldeep Yadav bagged a four-wicket haul, opener Shikhar Dhawan struck a blistering unbeaten knock of 75 runs as India thrashed New Zealand by eight wickets in the first ODI of the five-match series at the McLean Park in Napier.
Chasing a lowly target of revised target of 156 runs to win after sun outrage delayed the play, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan made a positive start to India chase as th duo shared a crucial 41-run stand for the first wicket before the former was dismissed for 24 runs.
Dhawan then joined forces with Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the Indian opener not only struck his 26th ODI fifty off 69 balls but also shared a good 91-run partnership to bring India on verge of victory.
After Kohli (45) fell just five runs short of his half-century, Dhawan and Rayudu helped India cross the mark in 34.5 overs.
Earlier, New Zealand had won the toss and opted to bat first.
Kuldeep Yadav tore apart the hosts’ batting order, finishing with brilliant figures of four for 39. Mohammed Shami also took three wickets while Yuzvendra Chahal and Kedar Jadhav chipped in with two and a wicket, respectively as India bundled out New Zealand for 157 runs.
India, who have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, will now play their second ODI against New Zealand on January 26 at Bay Oval.
On-field taunt could land Sarfraz Ahmed in the dock
London: Sarfraz Ahmed could be in serious trouble after he was caught on the broadcast stump mics making what seemed to be a racist comment against Andile Phehlukwayo.
Halfway through the 37th over of South Africa’s tense chase in the second ODI in Durban, Phehlukwayo inside-edged a Shaheen Afridi delivery to deep fine leg for a single. He was on 50 at the time and as he ran off to the non-striker’s end, Sarfraz was caught clearly on the stump mics saying, in Urdu: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”.
Translated literally that is: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”
On commentary, Mike Haysman asked Ramiz Raja, “What’s he saying there Ramiz?”
“Difficult really to translate that,” Ramiz replied. “It’s a big long sentence.”
Phehlukwayo had enjoyed considerable fortune through the innings, not least when successfully reviewing an on-field lbw dismissal and a dropped catch in the over before this incident. Pakistan’s players had come hard at him early on, though in the post-match presentation he said, “it was good chat”.
Any disciplinary action can be instigated by the match officials. Potentially, if action is to be taken, it will be up to the match officials to decide whether they view Sarfraz’s comments under the ICC code of conduct for player behaviour or the ICC’s anti-racism code. Article 2.13 of the regular code covers the use of insulting or obscene and offensive language used by players against another in the regular code of conduct. But it says: “This offence is not intended to cover any use of language that is likely to offend another person on the basis of their race, religion, gender, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.
“Such conduct is prohibited under the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code and must be dealt with according to the procedures set out therein.”
In the Anti-Racism code, in place since October 2012, an offence is described as “any conduct (whether through the use of language, gestures or otherwise) which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify any reasonable person in the position of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee, Umpire Support Personnel or any other person (including a spectator) on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.”
Phehlukwayo had a memorable day in any case, his unbeaten 69 part of an unbroken 127-run stand that steered South Africa home after they had wobbled to 80 for 5. And earlier in the day his 4 for 22, including the crucial wicket of Sarfraz, helped bowl Pakistan out for 203.
I told East Bengal they will not win the league: Aucho
Mumbai:Churchill Brothers midfielder Khalid Aucho had spent two months with East Bengal in a short stint last season. However, he feels that his former side does not have a squad that has the capability to win the I-League.
“I told East Bengal they will not win the league because you (they) change the team every time. To win a league, you must build a team with 11 to 15 players in the same team for at least two years,” he expressed in a chat with Goal.
The Ugandan, who earned himself a fair bit of recognition among the Red and Golds’ faithful, was roped in as a late signing by East Bengal ahead of the 2018 Super Cup and only played four matches in the competition with the team failing at the final hurdle against Bengaluru FC.
He had fared well in defensive midfield, which was a troublesome position for the Kolkata giants last season. But he did not sign for the Red and Golds this season and explained why.
“They (East Bengal) were offering me the same salary. So I said ‘No, I am not the same person if you want to give me that money.’ I told them that I will play somewhere else because I believe in my ability,” Aucho revealed as East Bengal turned towards Kassim Aidara.
The 25-year-old has since joined Churchill Brothers in the current season wherein he has clocked 990 minutes in the I-League from his 11 starts and scored twice.
“(This season) we (Churchill Brothers) want to win the league, Chennai City wants to win the league, Real Kashmir wants to win the league. If they (East Bengal) win, congrats to them, but I don’t think they can win this league. They must first start keeping the players. If they have that team, they have to continue with it for next season,” Aucho stated.
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