Islamabad :The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has requested the Australian and New Zealand boards to send their teams to Pakistan to play the T20 matches instead of the United Arab Emirates.
An official source in the Pakistan board told PTI that during the ICC meet in Kolkata late last month, PCB Chairman, Najam Sethi and COO Subhan Ahmad had held talks with the Australian and New Zealand officials.
“The two boards have been requested to play the T20 matches of their series in Pakistan to help support the PCB in bringing back international cricket to the country,” he said.
Pakistan will host Australia for three test matches and a T20 match in UAE in October followed by a series of three tests, five ODIs and three T20 internationals in November against New Zealand.
Last year, also the PCB managed to convince the Sri Lankan board to send its team to Lahore to play the final T20 match of a series in UAE, which went off successfully.
Before the Sri Lankan’s visit in late October, the PCB also hosted the ICC World Eleven for a three-match T20 series in Lahore while last month Pakistan played three T20 matches in Karachi against the West Indies.
“The PCB is trying to follow a slow and steady process to bring back international cricket fully to Pakistan,” the official said.
He said the Australian and New Zealand boards were reluctant because of security concerns but would look into the Pakistan request.
Giles Clarke, who heads the ICC’s special task force on Pakistan cricket submitted a positive report about international cricket returning to the country at the ICC board meeting in Kolkata.
Pakistan’s security arrangements for the matches against World Eleven, Sri Lanka, and West Indies and for the Pakistan Super League matches held in Lahore and Karachi earned praise from the board members and from independent reports of security experts.
Pakistan has lined up a total of 29 ODIs before next year’s World Cup in England and is keen to few of them being played at home.
PCB officials are also due to meet with the Emirates Cricket Board officials in Dubai this week to discuss Pakistan’s concern over having the T10 league in November or the planned Afghan league, when Pakistan will be playing its home series in UAE.
The PCB has threatened to move its home series from UAE to Malaysia if the ECB didn’t accept their demands but an insider said there was zero chance of this happening since when PCB officials visited Kuala Lumpur in March they realized that while T20 or ODIs could be held there but having a test match was not possible due to the rains and hot weather and other facilities.
“Most likely the series against Australia and New Zealand will be held in UAE,” he said.
Women’s football team better than men’s, says Chhetri
New Delhi: The FIFA ranking says so and India football captain Sunil Chhetri too has no qualms in conceding that the national women’s team is better than the men’s side. The men’s team is currently ranked 103rd out of 211 countries, after being in the top-100 last year. The women’s side is currently 62nd out of 152 nations.
Chhetri, the poster boy of Indian football with second-most goals among active international players, praised the national women’s team for its fifth consecutive SAFF title win. “Extremely proud of all of you. I have always maintained that the women’s team is much better than the men,” Chhetri said.
The women’s team will feature in Round 2 of the Olympics qualifiers, which kick off in Mandalay in Myanmar on April 3.
I will be first one to hang my boots when time comes: Yuvraj on retirement
Mumbai: Yuvraj Singh’s cricketing future has been a topic of discussion for some years now but the player said he would be the first one to bid adieu when he felt that his time is up.
Out of national team’s scheme of things for good, Yuvraj has had a poor track record in the IPL but started on a bright note with a half-century for his latest franchise Mumbai Indians.
“When the time comes, I will be the first one to hang my boots,” Yuvraj told the media after MI’s 37-run defeat against Delhi Capitals in the IPL opener.
However, India’s 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup hero did admit that at times he felt indecisive about carrying on.
“The last two years, have been up and down (for me). And I could not decide on what to do,” said the 37-year-old.
Yuvraj said when on introspection, he found that he is still enjoying the game just as he did as an U-16 cricketer not thinking about national team selection.
“The main thing for me was why I played the game when I started off. I played the game because I enjoyed playing cricket. When I enjoyed playing cricket, I was not playing for India. I was playing for U-14s and U-16s. So till the time, I enjoy playing cricket, I am going to play.”
The veteran left-hander spoke to Sachin Tendulkar, who could relate with his situation as to how he felt when he was at the business end of his career.
“I have been speaking to Sachin (Tendulkar) as well and he has gone through that time when he was 37-38-39 (and how he felt). Talking to him makes things easier for me. And I am just playing because I enjoy playing cricket pretty much,” he signed off.
Zidane is the right man for the Real Madrid job : Mourinho
London: Jose Mourinho has said that he believes Zinedine Zidane is the right man for the Real Madrid managerial position.
Zidane was re-appointed as Madrid’s head coach earlier this month, just 10 months after he had resigned from the same position.
After Solari’s dismissal, many tipped Mourinho to return to the Santiago Bernabeu after he had been sacked as Manchester United boss in December.
Mourinho was Madrid’s manager from 2010 to 2013, but the Blancos instead opted to bring back three-time Champions League winner Zidane.
And Mourinho himself has now said that the Blancos made the right call, adding that the Frenchman is just getting started in his managerial career despite what he has already achieved.
“I do not think we can talk about a career for him yet,” Mourinho said of Zidane on Canal Plus.
“But in a very short time, he did what no one had done before, that is winning three consecutive Champions Leagues”.
“Now he is starting a new step in his career. He has to build a team, he has to make choices, buy players, sell them. He has to train them, give them his philosophy of play.
“I think he’s probably the best person for this club.”
Mourinho has not been shy about his desire to return to club management, and said this week he has already turned down a number of job offers.
The Portuguese said that he’s growing more eager to return every day.
“Day after day, I miss training. I’m not going to hide it,” Mourinho said.
“There’s something going on in my head, winning a fifth league and a new Champions League with a third club.”