KARACHI: Former captain of Pakistan and middle-order batsman Shoaib Malik has said that Pakistan will have an edge over the West Indies in the upcoming three-match T20 series due to the home conditions but the islanders can’t be taken lightly because their new and young players can really spring a surprise in the shorter format.
He was speaking to the media here after the team’s practice session in preparation for the Windies series at the National Stadium.
“I have been playing the Caribbean Premier League for the last 5 to 6 years, so I know their team is really solid,” said Malik. “We focus more on the big names but ignore the basic fact that it’s the team combination that wins you games. And they have sent a really well-balanced squad,” he added.
Malik also had a lot of praise for Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Muhammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf and said they could be compared with the former superstars of Pakistan for their talent and effort. “I have played with many former players of Pakistan and all these young boys remind me of them in many ways,” said Malik. “The selection committee and the team management deserve a lot of credit for sticking with these boys which is why their game is improving with each day,” Malik remarked.
“Ups and downs are a part of the game. You don’t pick up 400 wickets or score 10,000 runs easily because the cricketing journey is very tough and unpredictable. Players should be backed by the team management and the selection committee. They need confidence when they hit a bad patch and they should be given a longer run,” he said.
Speaking about his role in the team, Malik said that he is ready for any role given to him by the team management. “I have been bowling on consistent basis. Even in the PSL, whenever I felt that I should have a go with the ball, I did. I am happy to bat, bowl or field at any place my team wants me to,” said the veteran all-rounder.
Commenting on his batting position, Malik said that he is in the twilight of his cricketing career and would be happy to see the youngsters doing well and batting up the order. “Our youngsters are pretty good. I think it is imperative to send the youngsters ahead of the seniors in order to groom them,” he said.
Chahal registers best ODI bowling figures by a spinner Down Under
Mumbai :Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on Friday recorded the best bowling figures by a spinner in an ODI clash in Australia, during the series-decider against the Aussies in Melbourne.
Chahal picked six wickets while conceding just 42 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), registering a dominant performance against the hosts, in a crucial clash. He also became the first spinner to pick six wickets in an ODI in Australia.
The bowler’s excellent performance certainly played a key role in India restricting Australia to a total of just 230.
The 28-year-old cricketer further equalled the best-ever ODI figures registered by any bowler in an ODI clash in Australia, alongside former Indian fast-bowler Ajit Agarkar.
Agarkar had accumulated the same tally as recorded by Chahal, against the hosts at the same venue, back in 2004.
Australian paceman Mitchell Starc enjoys a bowling tally, which trails the figures registered by the duo by a single run, having picked six wickets for 43 runs against India at the MCG, back in 2015.
English fast-bowler Chris Woakes is the fourth name on the list, after accumulating figures of 6/45 against Australia in Brisbane, 2011.
Phogat becomes first Indian nominated for Laureus Awards
Mumbai: Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Monica on 18 February.
The 24-year-old Indian, who made a sensational comeback after battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, has been nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year.
The Haryana wrestler, who was stretchered off after dislocating her knee during the quarterfinals of 50kg freestyle event at the 2016 Olympic Games, has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.
Also nominated are four inspirational Winter Olympic athletes; Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, US ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn and Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee.
The last time an Indian sporting feat made its way to the Laureus World Sports Awards was in 2004 when the Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team shared the Laureus Sport for Good Award for playing an International match despite political tensions between the two countries.
Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014. However, Vinesh makes history as the first Indian athlete to be nominated in one of the seven main categories at the Laureus World Sports Awards.
All foreign stars will play PSL ties in Pakistan, says Mani
LAHORE: All star cricketers will come to Pakistan to play in the eight matches of the fourth Pakistan Super League (PSL) scheduled for Karachi and Lahore, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani said.
The PSL matches will be staged from Feb 14 to March 17 at three venues — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi — in the United Arab Emirates before the remaining fixtures move to Pakistan with Karachi staging five games, including the final, and Lahore three.
Talking to media on sidelines of a friendly cricket match between the Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) and the UK-based Pakistani journalists at the Gaddafi Stadium, Mani said a good number of star cricketers had signed up in the six PSL franchises.
However, because of security concerns, prominent overseas players have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan. But with the passage of time, the number of prominent cricketers willing to visit Pakistan has risen. In the recent development the ex-South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers has already pledged to play two matches of Lahore Qalandars in Lahore on March 9 and 10.
To a query, Mani said the talks with Cricket Australia are still on to convince them to send their national side to Pakistan for two games of the five-match One-day International series in the UAE in March despite reports of Australia’s expressing their reluctance regarding playing here.
The PCB chief declared that he has persuaded CA to send a security delegation to assess the current situation in Pakistan before taking a final decision, which is expected to be taken before the PSL begins in the second week of February.
Mani further said that talks were on with the cricket boards of South Africa and England to send different age-group teams to Pakistan.