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The 2015 season of the Indian Premier League (abbreviated as IPL 8 or Pepsi IPL 2015) is the eighth season of the IPL. Kolkata Knight Riders are the defending champions having won the title in the 2014 season. The complete tournament is expected to be held across different cities in India unlike the previous season. The tournament was started on Wednesday, 8 April 2015 after the end of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. A total of 60 T20 matches will be held in the entire tournament. No matches will be held in Kolkata between April 12 and April 25 due to Municipal Elections.

Franchises retained 123 players 8th IPL season before moving into auction. The released players provided an option to register themselves for auction. 6 Players were transferred across teams before the auction took place. In the Pepsi IPL 2015 auction held on February 16 at Bangalore, Yuvraj Singh was sold to Delhi Daredevils for 16 crores INR, for a record bid in IPL auction history. A total of 67 players were sold out in the auction and all franchises spent total of 87.60 Crores to buy players.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Vaughan misses out on West Indies


Michael Vaughan has been left out of England's 16-man Test squad to tour West Indies next month, leaving his international future in the balance. Ryan Sidebottom is back after injury while Adil Rashid is also named after being included for the India trip to gain experience.
The squad, named after a five-and-a-half-hour meeting, is a show of faith by the selectors in the players who went down 1-0 before Christmas, with Steve Harmison, Ian Bell and Monty Panesar facing an important tour after a disappointing time in India. Bell's poor form at No. 3 was a possible route back for Vaughan but he has retained his place, though he faces increasing pressure from Owais Shah.
The plan had been for Vaughan to find some form with the Academy in India but that was disrupted by the Mumbai terror attacks, which forced the team home. Vaughan's chances of having another crack at Australia now rest with his early-season form for Yorkshire after he also missed out on the Lions squad that will head to New Zealand in February.
"Michael Vaughan has not yet had an opportunity to prove his form in order to be considered for selection for the Test side," national selector Geoff Miller said, "He does, however, remain very much in our thoughts as we continue to plan for the Ashes Test series against Australia later this summer.
"He will play a full part in Yorkshire's pre-season programme, which will include a tour to Dubai, and we will continue to monitor his form closely once the domestic season begins in April."
Rashid's inclusion follows the time he spent with the squad during the Test series in India and shows the England management expect him to launch his international career sooner rather than later. The spin department is well stocked for the tour with Panesar and Graeme Swann likely to fight it out ahead of the first Test.
The quick-bowling stocks are also strengthened with the return of Sidebottom, who suffered a string of injuries during the second half of 2008 after being England's main strike bowler. He struggled against South Africa and missed out on the one-dayers and Tests in India with a side strain.
"Despite losing the Test series in India 1-0, we felt the team performed creditably against strong opposition and all the players originally chosen for that series have been retained in the squad," Miller said. "We are pleased to welcome Ryan Sidebottom back to both squads now that he is fully recovered from injury.
"Adil Rashid was added to the Test squad for the India tour and we have again included him in the party to tour West Indies. He is an exciting prospect for the future and his inclusion will enable us to continue to monitor his development closely as well as providing extra competition for places in the spin-bowling department."
The one-day squad includes one new face with Steven Davies, the Worcestershire wicketkeeper-batsman, named in the 15-man party alongside current incumbent Matt Prior. Alastair Cook and Luke Wright have been dropped while Dimitri Mascarenhas is recalled.
"Dimitri Mascarenhas has performed well for England before in the shorter form of the game and we feel that his experience will serve the team well in the Caribbean," Miller explained. "Steven Davies had an excellent season for Worcestershire in both forms of cricket and is a young player of tremendous promise whose performances we have been monitoring for some time. This is an exciting opportunity for him and I am sure he will be keen to impress."
Miller added that it had been a close call between Davies and James Foster, the Essex wicketkeeper, who many feel is the best one-day gloveman in the country. Davies had a prolific Pro40 season in 2008, hitting two hundreds and three fifties as an opener, and provides the selectors with another option at the top of the order after Prior slipped down to No. 8 against India.
Robert Key has been named captain of the New Zealand-bound Lions squad, which includes Amjad Khan - who toured India for the Test series - and Sajid Mahmood. Gareth Batty, the Worcestershire offspinner, is given a chance to resurrect his international career, while Joe Denly's progress will be monitored with interest. Davies will swap with Tim Ambrose after the Test series in West Indies is completed.
Test squad Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen (capt), Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah, Andrew Flintoff, Matt Prior, Tim Ambrose, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Steve Harmison, James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom, Monty Panesar, Adil Rashid
One-day squad Kevin Pietersen (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Steven Davies, Andrew Flintoff, Stephen Harmison, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Samit Patel, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Graeme Swann, Ryan Sidebottom
Lions squad Robert Key (capt) Gareth Batty, Ravi Bopara, Mark Davies, Stephen Davies, Joe Denly, Amjad Khan, Sajid Mahmood, Stephen Moore, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Liam Plunkett, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright

Vaughan misses out on West Indies


Michael Vaughan has been left out of England's 16-man Test squad to tour West Indies next month, leaving his international future in the balance. Ryan Sidebottom is back after injury while Adil Rashid is also named after being included for the India trip to gain experience.
The squad, named after a five-and-a-half-hour meeting, is a show of faith by the selectors in the players who went down 1-0 before Christmas, with Steve Harmison, Ian Bell and Monty Panesar facing an important tour after a disappointing time in India. Bell's poor form at No. 3 was a possible route back for Vaughan but he has retained his place, though he faces increasing pressure from Owais Shah.
The plan had been for Vaughan to find some form with the Academy in India but that was disrupted by the Mumbai terror attacks, which forced the team home. Vaughan's chances of having another crack at Australia now rest with his early-season form for Yorkshire after he also missed out on the Lions squad that will head to New Zealand in February.
"Michael Vaughan has not yet had an opportunity to prove his form in order to be considered for selection for the Test side," national selector Geoff Miller said, "He does, however, remain very much in our thoughts as we continue to plan for the Ashes Test series against Australia later this summer.
"He will play a full part in Yorkshire's pre-season programme, which will include a tour to Dubai, and we will continue to monitor his form closely once the domestic season begins in April."
Rashid's inclusion follows the time he spent with the squad during the Test series in India and shows the England management expect him to launch his international career sooner rather than later. The spin department is well stocked for the tour with Panesar and Graeme Swann likely to fight it out ahead of the first Test.
The quick-bowling stocks are also strengthened with the return of Sidebottom, who suffered a string of injuries during the second half of 2008 after being England's main strike bowler. He struggled against South Africa and missed out on the one-dayers and Tests in India with a side strain.
"Despite losing the Test series in India 1-0, we felt the team performed creditably against strong opposition and all the players originally chosen for that series have been retained in the squad," Miller said. "We are pleased to welcome Ryan Sidebottom back to both squads now that he is fully recovered from injury.
"Adil Rashid was added to the Test squad for the India tour and we have again included him in the party to tour West Indies. He is an exciting prospect for the future and his inclusion will enable us to continue to monitor his development closely as well as providing extra competition for places in the spin-bowling department."
The one-day squad includes one new face with Steven Davies, the Worcestershire wicketkeeper-batsman, named in the 15-man party alongside current incumbent Matt Prior. Alastair Cook and Luke Wright have been dropped while Dimitri Mascarenhas is recalled.
"Dimitri Mascarenhas has performed well for England before in the shorter form of the game and we feel that his experience will serve the team well in the Caribbean," Miller explained. "Steven Davies had an excellent season for Worcestershire in both forms of cricket and is a young player of tremendous promise whose performances we have been monitoring for some time. This is an exciting opportunity for him and I am sure he will be keen to impress."
Miller added that it had been a close call between Davies and James Foster, the Essex wicketkeeper, who many feel is the best one-day gloveman in the country. Davies had a prolific Pro40 season in 2008, hitting two hundreds and three fifties as an opener, and provides the selectors with another option at the top of the order after Prior slipped down to No. 8 against India.
Robert Key has been named captain of the New Zealand-bound Lions squad, which includes Amjad Khan - who toured India for the Test series - and Sajid Mahmood. Gareth Batty, the Worcestershire offspinner, is given a chance to resurrect his international career, while Joe Denly's progress will be monitored with interest. Davies will swap with Tim Ambrose after the Test series in West Indies is completed.
Test squad Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen (capt), Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah, Andrew Flintoff, Matt Prior, Tim Ambrose, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Steve Harmison, James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom, Monty Panesar, Adil Rashid
One-day squad Kevin Pietersen (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Steven Davies, Andrew Flintoff, Stephen Harmison, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Samit Patel, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Graeme Swann, Ryan Sidebottom
Lions squad Robert Key (capt) Gareth Batty, Ravi Bopara, Mark Davies, Stephen Davies, Joe Denly, Amjad Khan, Sajid Mahmood, Stephen Moore, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Liam Plunkett, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright

South Africa Closes on Test Cricket Series Win Over Australia

South Africa needs 153 runs on the final day to win the second cricket Test in Melbourne and inflict Australia’s first home series defeat in 16 years.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn took five wickets for 67, giving him 10-154 for the match, as South Africa dismissed Australia for 247 in its second innings after tea on day four. Openers Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie then lifted the touring team to 30 without loss at stumps.
South Africa, which leads the best-of-three contest 1-0, has 90 overs tomorrow to get the remaining runs and become the first visiting team to win a Test series in Australia since the West Indies in the 1992-1993 season.
Captain Ricky Ponting top scored for Australia today with 99, falling just short of becoming the only batsman to score a century in each innings of a Test match four times.
A 3-0 series sweep for South Africa would lift it above Australia into first place in the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings.
The final match starts Jan. 3 in Sydney.

South Africa Closes on Test Cricket Series Win Over Australia

South Africa needs 153 runs on the final day to win the second cricket Test in Melbourne and inflict Australia’s first home series defeat in 16 years.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn took five wickets for 67, giving him 10-154 for the match, as South Africa dismissed Australia for 247 in its second innings after tea on day four. Openers Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie then lifted the touring team to 30 without loss at stumps.
South Africa, which leads the best-of-three contest 1-0, has 90 overs tomorrow to get the remaining runs and become the first visiting team to win a Test series in Australia since the West Indies in the 1992-1993 season.
Captain Ricky Ponting top scored for Australia today with 99, falling just short of becoming the only batsman to score a century in each innings of a Test match four times.
A 3-0 series sweep for South Africa would lift it above Australia into first place in the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings.
The final match starts Jan. 3 in Sydney.

South Africa Closes on Test Cricket Series Win Over Australia

South Africa needs 153 runs on the final day to win the second cricket Test in Melbourne and inflict Australia’s first home series defeat in 16 years.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn took five wickets for 67, giving him 10-154 for the match, as South Africa dismissed Australia for 247 in its second innings after tea on day four. Openers Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie then lifted the touring team to 30 without loss at stumps.
South Africa, which leads the best-of-three contest 1-0, has 90 overs tomorrow to get the remaining runs and become the first visiting team to win a Test series in Australia since the West Indies in the 1992-1993 season.
Captain Ricky Ponting top scored for Australia today with 99, falling just short of becoming the only batsman to score a century in each innings of a Test match four times.
A 3-0 series sweep for South Africa would lift it above Australia into first place in the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings.
The final match starts Jan. 3 in Sydney.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

India-England test series to begin tomorrow in Chennai

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45213000/jpg/_45213866_tmspostmatchstill512.jpg
Rival captains Kevin Pietersen of England and Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India urged team-mates to forget tragedy and focus on cricket when the two-Test series starts on Thursday.

The Tests were in grave doubt when England abandoned the seven-match one-day series and returned home last month following the terror attacks in Mumbai that left 172 dead and almost 300 injured.

But security checks and a shift in venues — Ahmedabad was due to host the first Test and Mumbai the second — convinced the England and Wales Cricket Board to send the team back to India after much debate.

“This is an emotional time for all of us, but we must try to forget the past and get on with the job at hand, which is to play cricket,” said Dhoni.

http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/23/images/2008112356141501.jpg

“It was difficult to think of cricket when the attacks took place, and I am glad England are back to play the Test series because we have to move on.”

Pietersen said now that his team was back in India, any debate about the decision to play the Tests in the wake of the Mumbai attacks had to be put aside.

“We need to chuck everything away that has happened in the past to make sure that now our primary goal and focus is to try and win this Test match series,” the England captain said.

“What has happened has happened and we can’t control it, but we are in a very privileged position to be playing Test match cricket in India and we have got to deal with it in a professional manner.”

Pietersen admitted his team faced a tough battle against an Indian team buoyed by the 2-0 triumph against world champions Australia in October-November and a 5-0 one-day drubbing of England.

“I am not going to sit here and say we are going to win the series, but we will certainly give it our best shot,” he said.”

England go into the match under-prepared, having last played a Test match in August, when Pietersen’s men beat South Africa in his first game as captain.

Pietersen announced that off-spinner Graeme Swann would make his Test debut as the second slow bowler alongside Monty Panesar, while James Anderson and Steve Harmison would share the new ball.

Matt Prior won the wicket-keeper’s slot over Tim Ambrose, who played in the last series against South Africa.

India, who will finalise their playing XI on Thursday morning, are set to recall left-hander Yuvraj Singh in place of the retired Sourav Ganguly.

Yuvraj, ignored for the preceding Test series against Sri Lanka and Australia, forced his way back after scoring two one-day centuries against England last month.

“Yuvi can make an impact with both bat and ball and I hope his good form continues,” said Dhoni of the middle-order batsman, who turns 28 on Friday.

The outcome of the first Test, to be held under tight security at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, could hinge on the weather, with rain forecast over the next three days.

The second and final Test will be played in the northern town of Mohali from December 19.

England: Kevin Pietersen (capt), Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Matt Prior, James Anderson, Steve Harmison, Monty Panesar, Graeme Swann.

India (likely): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma.

India-England test series to begin tomorrow in Chennai

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45213000/jpg/_45213866_tmspostmatchstill512.jpg
Rival captains Kevin Pietersen of England and Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India urged team-mates to forget tragedy and focus on cricket when the two-Test series starts on Thursday.

The Tests were in grave doubt when England abandoned the seven-match one-day series and returned home last month following the terror attacks in Mumbai that left 172 dead and almost 300 injured.

But security checks and a shift in venues — Ahmedabad was due to host the first Test and Mumbai the second — convinced the England and Wales Cricket Board to send the team back to India after much debate.

“This is an emotional time for all of us, but we must try to forget the past and get on with the job at hand, which is to play cricket,” said Dhoni.

http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/23/images/2008112356141501.jpg

“It was difficult to think of cricket when the attacks took place, and I am glad England are back to play the Test series because we have to move on.”

Pietersen said now that his team was back in India, any debate about the decision to play the Tests in the wake of the Mumbai attacks had to be put aside.

“We need to chuck everything away that has happened in the past to make sure that now our primary goal and focus is to try and win this Test match series,” the England captain said.

“What has happened has happened and we can’t control it, but we are in a very privileged position to be playing Test match cricket in India and we have got to deal with it in a professional manner.”

Pietersen admitted his team faced a tough battle against an Indian team buoyed by the 2-0 triumph against world champions Australia in October-November and a 5-0 one-day drubbing of England.

“I am not going to sit here and say we are going to win the series, but we will certainly give it our best shot,” he said.”

England go into the match under-prepared, having last played a Test match in August, when Pietersen’s men beat South Africa in his first game as captain.

Pietersen announced that off-spinner Graeme Swann would make his Test debut as the second slow bowler alongside Monty Panesar, while James Anderson and Steve Harmison would share the new ball.

Matt Prior won the wicket-keeper’s slot over Tim Ambrose, who played in the last series against South Africa.

India, who will finalise their playing XI on Thursday morning, are set to recall left-hander Yuvraj Singh in place of the retired Sourav Ganguly.

Yuvraj, ignored for the preceding Test series against Sri Lanka and Australia, forced his way back after scoring two one-day centuries against England last month.

“Yuvi can make an impact with both bat and ball and I hope his good form continues,” said Dhoni of the middle-order batsman, who turns 28 on Friday.

The outcome of the first Test, to be held under tight security at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, could hinge on the weather, with rain forecast over the next three days.

The second and final Test will be played in the northern town of Mohali from December 19.

England: Kevin Pietersen (capt), Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Matt Prior, James Anderson, Steve Harmison, Monty Panesar, Graeme Swann.

India (likely): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kevin Pietersen remain cool

http://o.aolcdn.com/www.aol.in/gallery/i/w/weektoppics_0205_08/dhoni_430.jpg
The two media conferences Wednesday provided an excellent case study of the two rival captains, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kevin Pietersen.

The visible common factors between the two were the calm and composure with which they tackled the media. While Dhoni was his usual earthy self, Pietersen's sense of humour was more evident in some of his replies.

Both are dealing with pressure of different kinds. The expectations on Dhoni are ever increasing following the 2-0 series win against Australia and the 5-0 drubbing of England in the ODI series, while Pietersen is facing questions over his leadership.

The upcoming series could thus well be a defining point in their respective careers.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kevin Pietersen remain cool

http://o.aolcdn.com/www.aol.in/gallery/i/w/weektoppics_0205_08/dhoni_430.jpg
The two media conferences Wednesday provided an excellent case study of the two rival captains, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kevin Pietersen.

The visible common factors between the two were the calm and composure with which they tackled the media. While Dhoni was his usual earthy self, Pietersen's sense of humour was more evident in some of his replies.

Both are dealing with pressure of different kinds. The expectations on Dhoni are ever increasing following the 2-0 series win against Australia and the 5-0 drubbing of England in the ODI series, while Pietersen is facing questions over his leadership.

The upcoming series could thus well be a defining point in their respective careers.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kevin Pietersen remain cool

http://o.aolcdn.com/www.aol.in/gallery/i/w/weektoppics_0205_08/dhoni_430.jpg
The two media conferences Wednesday provided an excellent case study of the two rival captains, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kevin Pietersen.

The visible common factors between the two were the calm and composure with which they tackled the media. While Dhoni was his usual earthy self, Pietersen's sense of humour was more evident in some of his replies.

Both are dealing with pressure of different kinds. The expectations on Dhoni are ever increasing following the 2-0 series win against Australia and the 5-0 drubbing of England in the ODI series, while Pietersen is facing questions over his leadership.

The upcoming series could thus well be a defining point in their respective careers.

After Mahendra Singh Dhoni, now Raina too needs a gun

http://www.thaindian.com/images/dhonibike.jpg
After the Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina too felt the need to posses a gun for his personal security; the news being that he also managed to secure a licence for the same. Ghaziabad administration officials confirmed the news of issuing a licence for the left-hander’s .32-bore pistol on Tuesday.

Raina, a resident of Raj Nagar in Ghaziabad, had stated “personal security” as a reason for owning a pistol. He had applied for the licence a month ago.

“In his letter of request, Raina had asked for a pistol licence and cited personal security as the reason,” Deepak Aggarwal, Ghaziabad District Magistrate said. “On finding the request convincing, we have issued him the licence.”

Raina claimed to fulfill “all requirements needed to procure a gun licence”.

Aggarwal asserted that "very restrictive" policies are followed while issuing arms licence, and this also depends on the local sanctioning officer.

The family of the cricketer said that they now feel relaxed and secure as they will not have to worry for their son’s safety whenever he leaves home. “He is a well-known figure and since the atmosphere across the country is not exactly peaceful, he must have felt the need for a pistol,” Dinesh Raina, the cricketer’s brother said. “He may not use it but having it by his side could help him be at peace and relax.”

After Mahendra Singh Dhoni, now Raina too needs a gun

http://www.thaindian.com/images/dhonibike.jpg
After the Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina too felt the need to posses a gun for his personal security; the news being that he also managed to secure a licence for the same. Ghaziabad administration officials confirmed the news of issuing a licence for the left-hander’s .32-bore pistol on Tuesday.

Raina, a resident of Raj Nagar in Ghaziabad, had stated “personal security” as a reason for owning a pistol. He had applied for the licence a month ago.

“In his letter of request, Raina had asked for a pistol licence and cited personal security as the reason,” Deepak Aggarwal, Ghaziabad District Magistrate said. “On finding the request convincing, we have issued him the licence.”

Raina claimed to fulfill “all requirements needed to procure a gun licence”.

Aggarwal asserted that "very restrictive" policies are followed while issuing arms licence, and this also depends on the local sanctioning officer.

The family of the cricketer said that they now feel relaxed and secure as they will not have to worry for their son’s safety whenever he leaves home. “He is a well-known figure and since the atmosphere across the country is not exactly peaceful, he must have felt the need for a pistol,” Dinesh Raina, the cricketer’s brother said. “He may not use it but having it by his side could help him be at peace and relax.”

Mahendra Singh Dhoni thanks England team for returning to India

http://im.rediff.com/cricket/2007/sep/20dhoni.jpg

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni thanked the England cricket team for braving the terror scare and returning to the country to resume their tour, which was interrupted by the Mumbai terror attacks.

"It is good on their part to come. Just as any Indian, I'm grateful to them for coming," said Dhoni in Chennai on Wednesday.

The team, which left India on November 28 after abandoning the last two matches in the seven-match One-Day International series in the wake of the terror attacks in Mumbai, play the first Test in Chennai from Thursday. The second Test, in Mohali, commences on December 19.

Dhoni stressed that cricket could play a big part in helping the country overcome the shock of the terror attacks that killed at least 183 people.

"We have a important series to play. The best thing that I could give to India at this juncture is a good game of cricket. That is what we are here to do as professional cricketers," he said.

Calling off the last two one-day internationals, he added, was a sensible decision.

"We were not thinking about cricket, but thinking about what a ghastly thing was happening over there. I cannot really say much because I was not really thinking about cricket then. It is really tough. The one thing that we did was not to play the one-dayers. The sentiments were quite low. We did a good job not to play the one-day series.

"We were not really thinking about cricket at that point of time. When it happened we were so sad. We were glued to the television. In that 70 hours or so I really slept for just six hours."

The England team announced on Tuesday that they will donate half their match fees from the first Test to the victims the terror attacks in Mumbai.

Reading out a team statement, England batsman Alastair Cook said the past week was very difficult for the team and their return to India was a "public statement in support for the Indian people following the tragic event in Mumbai".

Dhoni also pledged his match fees for the victims, but chose to maintain a low profile on the same.

"I do not believe in speaking too much. Actions speak louder than words. Whatever we need to do we will do as a team or individual," he said.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni thanks England team for returning to India

http://im.rediff.com/cricket/2007/sep/20dhoni.jpg

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni thanked the England cricket team for braving the terror scare and returning to the country to resume their tour, which was interrupted by the Mumbai terror attacks.

"It is good on their part to come. Just as any Indian, I'm grateful to them for coming," said Dhoni in Chennai on Wednesday.

The team, which left India on November 28 after abandoning the last two matches in the seven-match One-Day International series in the wake of the terror attacks in Mumbai, play the first Test in Chennai from Thursday. The second Test, in Mohali, commences on December 19.

Dhoni stressed that cricket could play a big part in helping the country overcome the shock of the terror attacks that killed at least 183 people.

"We have a important series to play. The best thing that I could give to India at this juncture is a good game of cricket. That is what we are here to do as professional cricketers," he said.

Calling off the last two one-day internationals, he added, was a sensible decision.

"We were not thinking about cricket, but thinking about what a ghastly thing was happening over there. I cannot really say much because I was not really thinking about cricket then. It is really tough. The one thing that we did was not to play the one-dayers. The sentiments were quite low. We did a good job not to play the one-day series.

"We were not really thinking about cricket at that point of time. When it happened we were so sad. We were glued to the television. In that 70 hours or so I really slept for just six hours."

The England team announced on Tuesday that they will donate half their match fees from the first Test to the victims the terror attacks in Mumbai.

Reading out a team statement, England batsman Alastair Cook said the past week was very difficult for the team and their return to India was a "public statement in support for the Indian people following the tragic event in Mumbai".

Dhoni also pledged his match fees for the victims, but chose to maintain a low profile on the same.

"I do not believe in speaking too much. Actions speak louder than words. Whatever we need to do we will do as a team or individual," he said.

Tests will help healing process, says Mahendra Singh Dhoni

http://o.aolcdn.com/feedgallery/india/i/d/dhoni_female_fans/12_dhoni_fans_2304_430xx.jpg
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hopes the first test against England will help the country heal the scars of last month's militant attacks in Mumbai.

India was still shaken by the three days of carnage in Mumbai that killed at least 171 people, but Dhoni said the test, which begins on Thursday, would show life was returning to normal.

"The best thing that I could give to India in this juncture is a good game of cricket. That is what we are here to do as professional cricketers," Dhoni said on Wednesday in his first news conference since the attacks.

"When it happened we were so sad. We were glued to the television. In that 70 hours or so, I really slept for just six hours."

England returned to India for the two-test series on Monday after security experts were satisfied with the measures put in place for the two test matches, which were switched to Chennai from Ahmedabad and to Mohali (Dec. 19-23) from Mumbai.

Some 3,000 police and soldiers have been deployed for player safety.

Tests will help healing process, says Mahendra Singh Dhoni

http://o.aolcdn.com/feedgallery/india/i/d/dhoni_female_fans/12_dhoni_fans_2304_430xx.jpg
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hopes the first test against England will help the country heal the scars of last month's militant attacks in Mumbai.

India was still shaken by the three days of carnage in Mumbai that killed at least 171 people, but Dhoni said the test, which begins on Thursday, would show life was returning to normal.

"The best thing that I could give to India in this juncture is a good game of cricket. That is what we are here to do as professional cricketers," Dhoni said on Wednesday in his first news conference since the attacks.

"When it happened we were so sad. We were glued to the television. In that 70 hours or so, I really slept for just six hours."

England returned to India for the two-test series on Monday after security experts were satisfied with the measures put in place for the two test matches, which were switched to Chennai from Ahmedabad and to Mohali (Dec. 19-23) from Mumbai.

Some 3,000 police and soldiers have been deployed for player safety.

'We need to start from scratch' - Mahendra Singh Dhoni

http://img.thesun.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00473/0dhoni_280x390_473924a.jpg

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's captain, has said his team has only been focusing on maintaining the intensity from a successful last couple of months. Dhoni conceded England had a better fast-bowling attack, but countered by saying that India's batting juggernaut and the 5-0 ODI success put the home side in a good position.

"It does not matter which opposition we are playing. You have to be aggressive in international cricket, it has to be controlled," he said in Chennai. "The focus should be on execution of plans, and if we can execute them on the field to our potential we have a good chance of doing well. We have got the plans, and the preparation and execution have been good. We need to focus on that. We need to start from scratch and do the good things that we have done in the one-day series."

While most of India's players went home to visit family or played in domestic cricket, England return for the Tests short of practice. Rain hampered their preparations in Abu Dhabi and the only warm-up game was cancelled for security issues. "They got time off in between and they must have planned a few things," said Dhoni. "They are a better bowling side, and at the same time our batsmen are in good nick and we have been doing the basics right."

Yuvraj Singh has been given one more chance to resurrect his stop-start Test career. He muscled his way back into contention with two successive one-day hundreds against England but Dhoni cautioned him against filling Sourav Ganguly's place at No. 6. "The biggest fault will be if he tries to fill the shoes of Ganguly. He should be himself," said Dhoni. "He is a very different individual. His game plan is different and he plays in a different way. We don't want him to fill in the shoes of someone.

"He is in good nick and he just needs to continue with that. He can be a part-time bowler as well. The SG ball does a bit and if he can put it in the right areas he can have an impact on the game."

The one glaring blot in India's batting line-up is Rahul Dravid, who has only two half-centuries in his previous 17 innings. But like Kris Srikkanth, India's chairman of selectors, Dhoni felt Dravid was "just one innings away from regaining form". "He has been shaping up really well in the net sessions," he said. "We know the amount of talent he has got, and he is also one the most committed cricketers around. He will definitely get scores in the series."

India were undecided on their XI. Dhoni felt the spinners would get assistance from the Chennai pitch. He said it was an opportunity for the youngsters to gain experience, and that those who read the game well would "come out as winners".

While a couple of England players have spoken about a "duty to the game", Dhoni said such talk did not affect India, who just had to concentrate on cricket. "It is up to them to come [back to India]. We have an important series to play. The best thing that I could give to India in this juncture is a good game of cricket. That is what we are here to do as professional cricketers."

'We need to start from scratch' - Mahendra Singh Dhoni

http://img.thesun.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00473/0dhoni_280x390_473924a.jpg

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's captain, has said his team has only been focusing on maintaining the intensity from a successful last couple of months. Dhoni conceded England had a better fast-bowling attack, but countered by saying that India's batting juggernaut and the 5-0 ODI success put the home side in a good position.

"It does not matter which opposition we are playing. You have to be aggressive in international cricket, it has to be controlled," he said in Chennai. "The focus should be on execution of plans, and if we can execute them on the field to our potential we have a good chance of doing well. We have got the plans, and the preparation and execution have been good. We need to focus on that. We need to start from scratch and do the good things that we have done in the one-day series."

While most of India's players went home to visit family or played in domestic cricket, England return for the Tests short of practice. Rain hampered their preparations in Abu Dhabi and the only warm-up game was cancelled for security issues. "They got time off in between and they must have planned a few things," said Dhoni. "They are a better bowling side, and at the same time our batsmen are in good nick and we have been doing the basics right."

Yuvraj Singh has been given one more chance to resurrect his stop-start Test career. He muscled his way back into contention with two successive one-day hundreds against England but Dhoni cautioned him against filling Sourav Ganguly's place at No. 6. "The biggest fault will be if he tries to fill the shoes of Ganguly. He should be himself," said Dhoni. "He is a very different individual. His game plan is different and he plays in a different way. We don't want him to fill in the shoes of someone.

"He is in good nick and he just needs to continue with that. He can be a part-time bowler as well. The SG ball does a bit and if he can put it in the right areas he can have an impact on the game."

The one glaring blot in India's batting line-up is Rahul Dravid, who has only two half-centuries in his previous 17 innings. But like Kris Srikkanth, India's chairman of selectors, Dhoni felt Dravid was "just one innings away from regaining form". "He has been shaping up really well in the net sessions," he said. "We know the amount of talent he has got, and he is also one the most committed cricketers around. He will definitely get scores in the series."

India were undecided on their XI. Dhoni felt the spinners would get assistance from the Chennai pitch. He said it was an opportunity for the youngsters to gain experience, and that those who read the game well would "come out as winners".

While a couple of England players have spoken about a "duty to the game", Dhoni said such talk did not affect India, who just had to concentrate on cricket. "It is up to them to come [back to India]. We have an important series to play. The best thing that I could give to India in this juncture is a good game of cricket. That is what we are here to do as professional cricketers."

Dhoni angry with national selectors over news leak

http://i.indiafm.com/img/feature/07/oct/dhoni1.jpg
Controversy is synonymous with Indian cricket and so it came as no surprise to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni that he was in the midst of one.

But he was quick to turn the tables on the national selector who had revealed to the media that the Indian captain had threatened to quit when Rudra Pratap Singh was replaced by Irfan Pathan for the fourth and fifth one-dayers against the touring England side.

He was bemused by the source of the comment, asking journalists to identify the source in the interest of Indian cricket. 'It will be good for Indian cricket if we could know who leaked what was discussed in the selection committee meeting,' said Dhoni.

'I don't know where the report came from. It cannot be a report because what happens inside a meeting when the selectors, captain and coach are there should never come out. When it comes out it is disgusting and disrespectful. Things like this should not be happening. I am not saying something happened at the meeting, but over the years we have seen things being leaked from meetings and getting out in the media.

'This is the pinnacle of the sport. We are selecting 15 guys for the Indian team. There will be debates inside and that information should not be put out in the media. If it is meant to come out, then I can say we might as well have the whole meeting telecast live,' emphasized Dhoni, adding 'Nobody knows what was discussed except the eight guys in the meeting. And only they know whether it is the truth or not.'

Asked if he had spoken to the Board in this regard, he said: 'I didn't speak to the Board. I did not think it was important. There is a lot that goes around. We have an important match coming up and we chose instead to focus on that match. We were worried about the practice session as well because of the rain.'

Asked if he agreed with what has been revealed, the dapper wicketkeeper-batsman said: 'This is a selection thing and personally I don't discuss anything outside. If anything does come out, I would prefer it to be through either the BCCI, the chief selector or the group of selectors.'

Did the issue distract the team's preparation? 'To some extent it does distract us.

The good part is that we trust each other. Every player in the team trusts each other. There might be a scenario where all of a sudden we might want to get in touch with RP Singh and Irfan Pathan. It should not be a case where Rudra Pratap feels he is not wanted and left out. I will stand and defend both these players. The good thing is that they have trust in me and everything has gone off well.'

'I don't think it is the appropriate thing to happen at a point like this. We do not have players in this team with outstanding talent which can win every game. But as a team we are outstanding. These things will not break the trust we have in each other. It's important for us to be a team.'

Dhoni angry with national selectors over news leak

http://i.indiafm.com/img/feature/07/oct/dhoni1.jpg
Controversy is synonymous with Indian cricket and so it came as no surprise to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni that he was in the midst of one.

But he was quick to turn the tables on the national selector who had revealed to the media that the Indian captain had threatened to quit when Rudra Pratap Singh was replaced by Irfan Pathan for the fourth and fifth one-dayers against the touring England side.

He was bemused by the source of the comment, asking journalists to identify the source in the interest of Indian cricket. 'It will be good for Indian cricket if we could know who leaked what was discussed in the selection committee meeting,' said Dhoni.

'I don't know where the report came from. It cannot be a report because what happens inside a meeting when the selectors, captain and coach are there should never come out. When it comes out it is disgusting and disrespectful. Things like this should not be happening. I am not saying something happened at the meeting, but over the years we have seen things being leaked from meetings and getting out in the media.

'This is the pinnacle of the sport. We are selecting 15 guys for the Indian team. There will be debates inside and that information should not be put out in the media. If it is meant to come out, then I can say we might as well have the whole meeting telecast live,' emphasized Dhoni, adding 'Nobody knows what was discussed except the eight guys in the meeting. And only they know whether it is the truth or not.'

Asked if he had spoken to the Board in this regard, he said: 'I didn't speak to the Board. I did not think it was important. There is a lot that goes around. We have an important match coming up and we chose instead to focus on that match. We were worried about the practice session as well because of the rain.'

Asked if he agreed with what has been revealed, the dapper wicketkeeper-batsman said: 'This is a selection thing and personally I don't discuss anything outside. If anything does come out, I would prefer it to be through either the BCCI, the chief selector or the group of selectors.'

Did the issue distract the team's preparation? 'To some extent it does distract us.

The good part is that we trust each other. Every player in the team trusts each other. There might be a scenario where all of a sudden we might want to get in touch with RP Singh and Irfan Pathan. It should not be a case where Rudra Pratap feels he is not wanted and left out. I will stand and defend both these players. The good thing is that they have trust in me and everything has gone off well.'

'I don't think it is the appropriate thing to happen at a point like this. We do not have players in this team with outstanding talent which can win every game. But as a team we are outstanding. These things will not break the trust we have in each other. It's important for us to be a team.'

Reports say Dhoni offered to resign, BCCI denies

http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/specials/images/843_dhoni_ad/685242_dhoni12.jpg

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has reportedly offered to resign from the high-profile post following paceman Rudra Pratap Singh's exclusion from the ODI team but the BCCI vehemently denied the development.

According to television reports, Dhoni had a disagreement with the selectors during the meeting on Thursday to pick the team for the fourth and fifth matches of the ongoing series against England.

Dhoni was unhappy that the selectors decided to drop R P Singh and include Irfan Pathan in his place and offered to resign, the television reports claimed, quoting an unnamed source close to one of the selectors.

The BBCI, however, was quick to rubbish the reports. "I can't respond to something that is being floated around by somebody", BCCI secretary N Srinivisan said.

The Indian players are currently here to play the fourth match and the team management could not be immediately reached for their comments. Dhoni's customary pre-match press conference is scheduled to be held later in the afternoon.

The reports said BCCI President Shashank Manohar was forced to interfere and sort out the issue. The newly formed selection committee, headed by former Indian captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth had met on Thursday for the team selection when the differences apparently cropped up.

Last year, Rahul Dravid too had relinquished captaincy. Lack of say in selection matters was widely touted as the reason behind Dravid's abrupt decision.

Senior BCCI official Rajiv Shukla said the reports were not true. "The reports are baseless and we cannot comment on such reports. There were no differences between the selectors and Dhoni", Shukla said.

Source-cricket.yahoo.com

Reports say Dhoni offered to resign, BCCI denies

http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/specials/images/843_dhoni_ad/685242_dhoni12.jpg

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has reportedly offered to resign from the high-profile post following paceman Rudra Pratap Singh's exclusion from the ODI team but the BCCI vehemently denied the development.

According to television reports, Dhoni had a disagreement with the selectors during the meeting on Thursday to pick the team for the fourth and fifth matches of the ongoing series against England.

Dhoni was unhappy that the selectors decided to drop R P Singh and include Irfan Pathan in his place and offered to resign, the television reports claimed, quoting an unnamed source close to one of the selectors.

The BBCI, however, was quick to rubbish the reports. "I can't respond to something that is being floated around by somebody", BCCI secretary N Srinivisan said.

The Indian players are currently here to play the fourth match and the team management could not be immediately reached for their comments. Dhoni's customary pre-match press conference is scheduled to be held later in the afternoon.

The reports said BCCI President Shashank Manohar was forced to interfere and sort out the issue. The newly formed selection committee, headed by former Indian captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth had met on Thursday for the team selection when the differences apparently cropped up.

Last year, Rahul Dravid too had relinquished captaincy. Lack of say in selection matters was widely touted as the reason behind Dravid's abrupt decision.

Senior BCCI official Rajiv Shukla said the reports were not true. "The reports are baseless and we cannot comment on such reports. There were no differences between the selectors and Dhoni", Shukla said.

Source-cricket.yahoo.com

No need to be next Ganguly, Yuvi can remain himself: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

http://www.indianteam.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/yuvrajsingh-dhoni.jpg

Yuvraj Singh would err if he tries to step into Sourav Ganguly's massive shoes and all the Punjab left-hander needs to do is to remain himself, said India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Ganguly's retirement paved way for Yuvraj's recall in the Test squad and the dashing youngster is seen as a natural successor to his former captain who quit the game after the home series against Australia.

Dhoni, however, wants Yuvraj to remain himself.

"The biggest fault would be if he tries to fill in Ganguly's shoes. He should be himself," Dhoni said on the eve of India's first Test match against England.

"He is a very different individual. His gameplan is different from others and he plays in a different way. So, he needs to be himself. That is what we want him to be. From the team point of view, we want Yuvraj Singh as Yuvraj Singh and we do not really want him to fill in Sourav's shoes. He should just be himself," Dhoni said.

Yuvraj has been in sensational form in both the ODI and Twenty20 formats of the game but somehow could not replicate the same success in the longer version.

Dhoni, however, seemed to have enough faith in the left-hander and said, "The way he is batting, he is in good nick. He needs to continue with that. Of course, he can be a part-time bowler as well. He can have a big impact in both batting and bowling."

Dhoni likewise argued that young leg-spinner Amit Mishra should not try and step into Anil Kumble's shoes but be himself.

"You are part of the side as an individual. If any individual thinks he is replacing Anil, he will be in real trouble. That is why I say to all that we want them to be themselves," he argued.

Dhoni, however, admitted that the team would miss Kumble but felt it was an opportunity for the youngsters to make their mark.

"The plus point of Anil is that if you are out of the plan and give the ball to him to bowl, within 10 or 15 minutes you will be back on track of your plan. We will miss him. It is really tough to replace all the senior players who have retired. But more or less, the same (Indian) side played against Australia. Anil bhai was not there for a couple of games. Amit Mishra has done well. I do not think the basics changed a lot," he said.

"Of course, those guys who have retired had much more experience. They were people who could read the game very well. It is opportunity for the youngsters to groom at the same levels to read the game better. More often, it is the one who reads the game very well comes out as the winner," he added.

Dravid will come good in this series: Dhoni

Rahul Dravid may be going through a difficult phase with the bat but the middle-order batsman still has the support of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who feels the former skipper will break free from the prolonged bad patch in the Test series against England.

"As of now, he has been shaping up well and he had time to go home in between. Talent wise we all know Dravid's capabilities and he needs to focus now. He is one of the most committed cricketers you see around and definitely he will get into good scores in this series and make a headway," Dhoni said.

Enquired if the senior batsman would be asked to bat lower in the order, Dhoni said, "You will get to know during the game. I do not really disclose the plans."

According to him, winning the two-match series against England was important as the team wanted to end a successful year on a winning note.

"It is important for us to win the series and end the year on a successful note. This is one of the years in which we have done well in every format of the game. Definitely we are looking forward to a good result in this series," he said.

Dhoni sought the same intensity from his teammates which they showed against Australia and said they needed to play their aggressive brand of cricket.

"Of course, we need to be at the same level. It does not matter which opposition you are playing. In international cricket you have to be aggressive and be controlled at the same time. The focus is on execution of our plans to our potential. Then, we will have the chances of doing well. Of course, the intensity will be well up," he said.

Asked about the England attack, Dhoni refused to underestimate the visitors but insisted he was thinking more about India's strength and weaknesses.

"They are a better bowling side. But we are in good nick and we have the basics right. Preparation and plans that we got and our execution have been really good. We focus on that rather than thinking about oppositions bowling attack. It is important to set some plans to tackle the bowlers. We do not have any injury worries and will announce our eleven tomorrow," he said.

Dhoni has pledged match fees for the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks. Asked about the donation, Dhoni said, "I do not believe in speaking too much. Actions speak louder than words. Whatever we need to do we will do as a team or individual."

Following the terror attacks, a heavy blanket of security has been thrown around the series but Dhoni doesn't see it as a distraction.

"We do not have any control over it. What are in our hands is to be calm and composed and look into the areas of playing cricket. What we are planning to do in the series is important for us. They are around to help us. It does not really bother us too much," he said.

On team composition for the match, Dhoni said, "We have not decided about it. Predictions apart, Chennai wicket always provide some bounce for the fast bowlers. As the match progresses, spinners also get some assistance. In fact when it turns it also bounces a bit for spinners."

Dhoni also took the opportunity to thank England for defying terror and going ahead with the series.

"It is good on their part to come. Just as an Indian, I'm grateful to them for coming. We have a important series to play. The best thing that I could give to India at this juncture is a good game of cricket. That is what we are here to do as professional cricketers," he said.

Asked if he expected England to return for the tour, Dhoni said, "We were not really thinking about cricket at that point of time. When it happened we were so sad. We were glued to the television. In that 70 hours or so, I really slept for just six hours.

"We were not thinking about cricket but thinking about what a ghastly thing was happening over there. I cannot really say much because I was not really thinking about cricket then. It is really tough. The one thing that we did was not to play the ODIs. The sentiments were quite low. We did a good job not to play the ODI series."

No need to be next Ganguly, Yuvi can remain himself: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

http://www.indianteam.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/yuvrajsingh-dhoni.jpg

Yuvraj Singh would err if he tries to step into Sourav Ganguly's massive shoes and all the Punjab left-hander needs to do is to remain himself, said India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Ganguly's retirement paved way for Yuvraj's recall in the Test squad and the dashing youngster is seen as a natural successor to his former captain who quit the game after the home series against Australia.

Dhoni, however, wants Yuvraj to remain himself.

"The biggest fault would be if he tries to fill in Ganguly's shoes. He should be himself," Dhoni said on the eve of India's first Test match against England.

"He is a very different individual. His gameplan is different from others and he plays in a different way. So, he needs to be himself. That is what we want him to be. From the team point of view, we want Yuvraj Singh as Yuvraj Singh and we do not really want him to fill in Sourav's shoes. He should just be himself," Dhoni said.

Yuvraj has been in sensational form in both the ODI and Twenty20 formats of the game but somehow could not replicate the same success in the longer version.

Dhoni, however, seemed to have enough faith in the left-hander and said, "The way he is batting, he is in good nick. He needs to continue with that. Of course, he can be a part-time bowler as well. He can have a big impact in both batting and bowling."

Dhoni likewise argued that young leg-spinner Amit Mishra should not try and step into Anil Kumble's shoes but be himself.

"You are part of the side as an individual. If any individual thinks he is replacing Anil, he will be in real trouble. That is why I say to all that we want them to be themselves," he argued.

Dhoni, however, admitted that the team would miss Kumble but felt it was an opportunity for the youngsters to make their mark.

"The plus point of Anil is that if you are out of the plan and give the ball to him to bowl, within 10 or 15 minutes you will be back on track of your plan. We will miss him. It is really tough to replace all the senior players who have retired. But more or less, the same (Indian) side played against Australia. Anil bhai was not there for a couple of games. Amit Mishra has done well. I do not think the basics changed a lot," he said.

"Of course, those guys who have retired had much more experience. They were people who could read the game very well. It is opportunity for the youngsters to groom at the same levels to read the game better. More often, it is the one who reads the game very well comes out as the winner," he added.

Dravid will come good in this series: Dhoni

Rahul Dravid may be going through a difficult phase with the bat but the middle-order batsman still has the support of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who feels the former skipper will break free from the prolonged bad patch in the Test series against England.

"As of now, he has been shaping up well and he had time to go home in between. Talent wise we all know Dravid's capabilities and he needs to focus now. He is one of the most committed cricketers you see around and definitely he will get into good scores in this series and make a headway," Dhoni said.

Enquired if the senior batsman would be asked to bat lower in the order, Dhoni said, "You will get to know during the game. I do not really disclose the plans."

According to him, winning the two-match series against England was important as the team wanted to end a successful year on a winning note.

"It is important for us to win the series and end the year on a successful note. This is one of the years in which we have done well in every format of the game. Definitely we are looking forward to a good result in this series," he said.

Dhoni sought the same intensity from his teammates which they showed against Australia and said they needed to play their aggressive brand of cricket.

"Of course, we need to be at the same level. It does not matter which opposition you are playing. In international cricket you have to be aggressive and be controlled at the same time. The focus is on execution of our plans to our potential. Then, we will have the chances of doing well. Of course, the intensity will be well up," he said.

Asked about the England attack, Dhoni refused to underestimate the visitors but insisted he was thinking more about India's strength and weaknesses.

"They are a better bowling side. But we are in good nick and we have the basics right. Preparation and plans that we got and our execution have been really good. We focus on that rather than thinking about oppositions bowling attack. It is important to set some plans to tackle the bowlers. We do not have any injury worries and will announce our eleven tomorrow," he said.

Dhoni has pledged match fees for the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks. Asked about the donation, Dhoni said, "I do not believe in speaking too much. Actions speak louder than words. Whatever we need to do we will do as a team or individual."

Following the terror attacks, a heavy blanket of security has been thrown around the series but Dhoni doesn't see it as a distraction.

"We do not have any control over it. What are in our hands is to be calm and composed and look into the areas of playing cricket. What we are planning to do in the series is important for us. They are around to help us. It does not really bother us too much," he said.

On team composition for the match, Dhoni said, "We have not decided about it. Predictions apart, Chennai wicket always provide some bounce for the fast bowlers. As the match progresses, spinners also get some assistance. In fact when it turns it also bounces a bit for spinners."

Dhoni also took the opportunity to thank England for defying terror and going ahead with the series.

"It is good on their part to come. Just as an Indian, I'm grateful to them for coming. We have a important series to play. The best thing that I could give to India at this juncture is a good game of cricket. That is what we are here to do as professional cricketers," he said.

Asked if he expected England to return for the tour, Dhoni said, "We were not really thinking about cricket at that point of time. When it happened we were so sad. We were glued to the television. In that 70 hours or so, I really slept for just six hours.

"We were not thinking about cricket but thinking about what a ghastly thing was happening over there. I cannot really say much because I was not really thinking about cricket then. It is really tough. The one thing that we did was not to play the ODIs. The sentiments were quite low. We did a good job not to play the ODI series."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Warne impressed by Sehwag's batting prowess

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/03_04/VirenderSehwagCele_468x349.jpg

Warne impressed by Sehwag's batting prowess

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/03_04/VirenderSehwagCele_468x349.jpg

Cricket could inspire a golf revolution

http://lifestyle.resourcesforattorneys.com/golfing/images/golf_is_fun.jpg

GOLF will join cricket's Twenty20 revolution if a proposal before the PGA Tour of Australasia is adopted.

Mindful of the explosion of interest in cricket's abbreviated version, one of Australia's most experienced golf promoters has proposed that a round-robin six-hole matchplay tournament be tacked on to the local golf tour.

Melburnian Rod Leembruggen, who previously ran the Heineken Classic and the PGA Championship at Coolum, has spent four years on the project, travelling between Australia and London. He believes sports fans are no longer connecting with traditional tournament formats. "We've got a formula that's only going to see the demise of more golf tournaments, and that would be a great, great shame," Leembruggen said yesterday. "We're trying to attract the person who's not the purist."

Six-hole matchplay events would take just over an hour to complete, with players having microphones and encouraged to engage with each other and with spectators. Under the proposal, the tournament would cover two days in round-robin format, with a field of 32, including celebrities.

Leembruggen has sold a similar concept to a television network in the United Kingdom, with players such as Ian Poulter and Paul Casey to team with low-handicap celebrities such as Hugh Grant at The Grove, outside London, next July.

Leembruggen, who calls the concept One to Six, has sounded out such people as former tennis ace Patrick Rafter and former Wallabies captain George Gregan about taking part. He has talked to television networks and had a further meeting with the PGA Tour yesterday.

"It started over a bottle of red wine with (tour tournaments director) Andrew Langford-Jones in Coolum four years ago. We were both saying how bored we were with the current format. We started talking about (the) format of one-day cricket, then Twenty20 cricket, and why can't golf have something similar? It's far less costly, it's far quicker, it's fresh and innovative, and I think it's complementary to the game."

Leembruggen saw the tumbling participation figures and poor television ratings for golf published in The Age last week and was sad. "It shows the true picture and that true picture is a pretty sad state of affairs," he said. "Sponsors look at it and say, 'We don't want to get behind it'.

"I just remember the halcyon days when people were crammed in here (Huntingdale). That excitement level has gone out of the game. When Tiger Woods plays, it comes back. But we can't be reliant on individual players."

The tour has not yet formally responded to his entreaties, other than to say it is looking at the medium-term

Cricket could inspire a golf revolution

http://lifestyle.resourcesforattorneys.com/golfing/images/golf_is_fun.jpg

GOLF will join cricket's Twenty20 revolution if a proposal before the PGA Tour of Australasia is adopted.

Mindful of the explosion of interest in cricket's abbreviated version, one of Australia's most experienced golf promoters has proposed that a round-robin six-hole matchplay tournament be tacked on to the local golf tour.

Melburnian Rod Leembruggen, who previously ran the Heineken Classic and the PGA Championship at Coolum, has spent four years on the project, travelling between Australia and London. He believes sports fans are no longer connecting with traditional tournament formats. "We've got a formula that's only going to see the demise of more golf tournaments, and that would be a great, great shame," Leembruggen said yesterday. "We're trying to attract the person who's not the purist."

Six-hole matchplay events would take just over an hour to complete, with players having microphones and encouraged to engage with each other and with spectators. Under the proposal, the tournament would cover two days in round-robin format, with a field of 32, including celebrities.

Leembruggen has sold a similar concept to a television network in the United Kingdom, with players such as Ian Poulter and Paul Casey to team with low-handicap celebrities such as Hugh Grant at The Grove, outside London, next July.

Leembruggen, who calls the concept One to Six, has sounded out such people as former tennis ace Patrick Rafter and former Wallabies captain George Gregan about taking part. He has talked to television networks and had a further meeting with the PGA Tour yesterday.

"It started over a bottle of red wine with (tour tournaments director) Andrew Langford-Jones in Coolum four years ago. We were both saying how bored we were with the current format. We started talking about (the) format of one-day cricket, then Twenty20 cricket, and why can't golf have something similar? It's far less costly, it's far quicker, it's fresh and innovative, and I think it's complementary to the game."

Leembruggen saw the tumbling participation figures and poor television ratings for golf published in The Age last week and was sad. "It shows the true picture and that true picture is a pretty sad state of affairs," he said. "Sponsors look at it and say, 'We don't want to get behind it'.

"I just remember the halcyon days when people were crammed in here (Huntingdale). That excitement level has gone out of the game. When Tiger Woods plays, it comes back. But we can't be reliant on individual players."

The tour has not yet formally responded to his entreaties, other than to say it is looking at the medium-term

CA fails to check repeat offender Symonds

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Andrew Symonds committed yet another breach of discipline when he skipped a compulsory recovery session with Queensland, six weeks after being sent home for missing a team meeting in Darwin.

Cricket Australia (CA) despite being aware of the incident- it was Symond's third breach of his CA contract in three years- took no action. In fact, CA chief James Sutherland said the indiscretion was "not my business", giving weight to the criticism of Australian cricket's governing body's failure to act decisively to address the all-rounder's disciplinary issues.

According to Herald Sun, Symonds failed to attend a Queensland recovery session Oct 13, and later confessed he had slept in. He was then warned by Queensland chief executive Graham Dixon and coach Trevor Barsby.

The all-rounder contacted his counselling team, who informed about the incident to Sutherland.

Sutherland responded by saying he was interested only in a professional appraisal as to whether Symonds was mentally fit to be available for Australian selection.

CA spokesman Peter Young confirmed Sutherland was aware of Symonds's indiscipline.

"James Sutherland's opinion was that it was not his business and the only thing he was interested in was the counsellor's eventual advice as to whether Andrew could be considered for selection again," Young said.

The 33-year-old was embroiled in more controversy last Monday when he had an altercation with a fan at the Normanby Hotel in Brisbane.

CA fails to check repeat offender Symonds

http://rambodoc.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/symonds.jpg

Andrew Symonds committed yet another breach of discipline when he skipped a compulsory recovery session with Queensland, six weeks after being sent home for missing a team meeting in Darwin.

Cricket Australia (CA) despite being aware of the incident- it was Symond's third breach of his CA contract in three years- took no action. In fact, CA chief James Sutherland said the indiscretion was "not my business", giving weight to the criticism of Australian cricket's governing body's failure to act decisively to address the all-rounder's disciplinary issues.

According to Herald Sun, Symonds failed to attend a Queensland recovery session Oct 13, and later confessed he had slept in. He was then warned by Queensland chief executive Graham Dixon and coach Trevor Barsby.

The all-rounder contacted his counselling team, who informed about the incident to Sutherland.

Sutherland responded by saying he was interested only in a professional appraisal as to whether Symonds was mentally fit to be available for Australian selection.

CA spokesman Peter Young confirmed Sutherland was aware of Symonds's indiscipline.

"James Sutherland's opinion was that it was not his business and the only thing he was interested in was the counsellor's eventual advice as to whether Andrew could be considered for selection again," Young said.

The 33-year-old was embroiled in more controversy last Monday when he had an altercation with a fan at the Normanby Hotel in Brisbane.

Cats taste Premier Cricket victory after record run chase

http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/images/uploadedfiles/editorial/pictures/2007/12/16/45smack.jpg

In a remarkable game played at Kardinia Park at the weekend, the Cats successfully chased down their victory target of 403 set by Essendon to score a stunning victory to strengthen their grip on a top-four spot on the ladder.

A club record second-wicket stand of 207 between opener Shaun Dean and Aaron Finch helped pave the way for Geelong's six-wicket win.

The Cats' previous highest run chase was when they overtook Frankston Peninsula's 6-338 dec in 2003-04.

Both scored centuries as Geelong easily passed Essendon's massive total of 8-402 dec, an innings which was highlighted by a double century from Ben Fletcher.

His 210 not out, which included 32 fours and two sixes, was the highest score ever made by a Bombers' player, breaking the record of 208 not out held by George Davies (1917-18) and John Moyes (1920-21).

It was also the first century by an Essendon player against Geelong, easily surpassing teammate Aaron Mato's unbeaten knock of 94 in 2005-06.

Fletcher also shared in a double century stand with Brent Hutchinson (75) that helped rescue the Bombers innings from 5-138.

However, Dean and Joel Davies (50) helped get Geelong's run chase off to a flyer yesterday with a century opening stand before Dean (134) and Finch (120) took control of the match with their partnership.

When they were eventually dismissed, Clinton Peake (49 not out) and Liam Buchanan (34) picked off the remaining runs with ease.

Jubilant Geelong captain-coach Damian Shanahan said he was always confident his batting line-up could chase down the huge victory target. "We spoke about how against Carlton last year on a similar wicket and a similar outfield, we chased down a big score and also went onto make about 400," Shanahan said.

"So, we knew that as a batting unit we could do it. I was confident all day and I actually said to a few of the boys on Saturday night that if we bat out our 100 overs, we'll definitely knock them off. It was only four (runs) an over and, with our batting line-up, we thought it was a really gettable score and the feeling among the boys was positive.

"It was an awesome day and a really important win."

The Cats travel to Melbourne for the next two weekends to take on Richmond

Cats taste Premier Cricket victory after record run chase

http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/images/uploadedfiles/editorial/pictures/2007/12/16/45smack.jpg

In a remarkable game played at Kardinia Park at the weekend, the Cats successfully chased down their victory target of 403 set by Essendon to score a stunning victory to strengthen their grip on a top-four spot on the ladder.

A club record second-wicket stand of 207 between opener Shaun Dean and Aaron Finch helped pave the way for Geelong's six-wicket win.

The Cats' previous highest run chase was when they overtook Frankston Peninsula's 6-338 dec in 2003-04.

Both scored centuries as Geelong easily passed Essendon's massive total of 8-402 dec, an innings which was highlighted by a double century from Ben Fletcher.

His 210 not out, which included 32 fours and two sixes, was the highest score ever made by a Bombers' player, breaking the record of 208 not out held by George Davies (1917-18) and John Moyes (1920-21).

It was also the first century by an Essendon player against Geelong, easily surpassing teammate Aaron Mato's unbeaten knock of 94 in 2005-06.

Fletcher also shared in a double century stand with Brent Hutchinson (75) that helped rescue the Bombers innings from 5-138.

However, Dean and Joel Davies (50) helped get Geelong's run chase off to a flyer yesterday with a century opening stand before Dean (134) and Finch (120) took control of the match with their partnership.

When they were eventually dismissed, Clinton Peake (49 not out) and Liam Buchanan (34) picked off the remaining runs with ease.

Jubilant Geelong captain-coach Damian Shanahan said he was always confident his batting line-up could chase down the huge victory target. "We spoke about how against Carlton last year on a similar wicket and a similar outfield, we chased down a big score and also went onto make about 400," Shanahan said.

"So, we knew that as a batting unit we could do it. I was confident all day and I actually said to a few of the boys on Saturday night that if we bat out our 100 overs, we'll definitely knock them off. It was only four (runs) an over and, with our batting line-up, we thought it was a really gettable score and the feeling among the boys was positive.

"It was an awesome day and a really important win."

The Cats travel to Melbourne for the next two weekends to take on Richmond

India cancels Pakistan cricket tour: report

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India's government has refused permission to send a cricket team for a full tour of Pakistan early next year following the deadly Mumbai attacks, Indian television reported on Sunday.

The tour was cancelled amid a government probe into Pakistani links to the assaults on the country's financial capital by heavily-armed militants that left nearly 200 people dead.

The NDTV and CNN-IBN news channels, quoting unnamed government sources, said the matches were also unlikely to be played at neutral venues.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) declined to comment on the reports, saying its request for a security clearance for the tour was pending with the government.

India were scheduled to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match during the five-week tour from January 13 to February 19.

It was to be the fifth bilateral series between the two countries since 2004, when cricket ties resumed after a 15-year gap due to political tensions between the warring neighbours.

The tour was first put in doubt earlier this month when the Indian government denied permission to the national junior hockey team to visit Pakistan.

Australia cancelled a Test tour of Pakistan in March and the International Cricket Council put off the high-profile Champions Trophy there in September due to security concerns.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ijaz Butt had said on Friday the fate of India's tour lay in the hands of the respective governments.

"The security situation is out of our control and after what has happened in Mumbai, the decision on the Indian team's tour of Pakistan is now in two governments' hands," Butt said.

"Relocating the home series to neutral venues was a huge financial loss in the past so it's detestable but in an effort to give our players some cricket we will have to do that, but as a last resort."

Cricket officials in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had offered to host the series.

The BCCI is also waiting for England to confirm next week's two-Test tour of India after the last two one-day matches were cancelled and the tourists returned home following the Mumbai attacks.

The BCCI shifted the second Test from Mumbai to Chennai, but retained Vadodara as the venue for a three-day practice match from December 5 and the first Test in Ahmedabad from December 11.

India cancels Pakistan cricket tour: report

http://newsx.com/files/images/Cricket_Team-India_AP.jpg
India's government has refused permission to send a cricket team for a full tour of Pakistan early next year following the deadly Mumbai attacks, Indian television reported on Sunday.

The tour was cancelled amid a government probe into Pakistani links to the assaults on the country's financial capital by heavily-armed militants that left nearly 200 people dead.

The NDTV and CNN-IBN news channels, quoting unnamed government sources, said the matches were also unlikely to be played at neutral venues.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) declined to comment on the reports, saying its request for a security clearance for the tour was pending with the government.

India were scheduled to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match during the five-week tour from January 13 to February 19.

It was to be the fifth bilateral series between the two countries since 2004, when cricket ties resumed after a 15-year gap due to political tensions between the warring neighbours.

The tour was first put in doubt earlier this month when the Indian government denied permission to the national junior hockey team to visit Pakistan.

Australia cancelled a Test tour of Pakistan in March and the International Cricket Council put off the high-profile Champions Trophy there in September due to security concerns.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ijaz Butt had said on Friday the fate of India's tour lay in the hands of the respective governments.

"The security situation is out of our control and after what has happened in Mumbai, the decision on the Indian team's tour of Pakistan is now in two governments' hands," Butt said.

"Relocating the home series to neutral venues was a huge financial loss in the past so it's detestable but in an effort to give our players some cricket we will have to do that, but as a last resort."

Cricket officials in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had offered to host the series.

The BCCI is also waiting for England to confirm next week's two-Test tour of India after the last two one-day matches were cancelled and the tourists returned home following the Mumbai attacks.

The BCCI shifted the second Test from Mumbai to Chennai, but retained Vadodara as the venue for a three-day practice match from December 5 and the first Test in Ahmedabad from December 11.

Time to stand up to terror, cricket can wait

Time to stand up to terror, cricket can wait

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Test greats fear for cricket superpower and global game

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TEST greats fear India could become a cricketing no-go area because of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

With India all of a sudden out of the picture for international cricketers, there are only five of the nine Test playing nations that are considered safe.

Several tours of Pakistan have been abandoned for security reasons while Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are also trouble spots.

Former England captain Tony Greig insisted global powerbroker India was vital to world cricket, but feared cricketers were not going to want to go there after the Mumbai attacks.

"The truth of the matter is that no one is going to want to go there for a while," Greig said yesterday.

"India is vitally important for cricket.

"About 76 cents in every dollar comes from India for cricket and that goes into development and the running of the game worldwide. We all love it as cricketers. You haven't really lived unless you have played cricket in India."

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland admitted the global cricketing landscape might have changed for ever.

"The bar has only been lifted a little bit higher in terms of our expectations and standards on security for cricket tours, (but) for anything else in life in India, it will change forever," Sutherland said yesterday.

Next week's Champions League tournament has been postponed and England has pulled out of the last two one-dayers of its tour of India.

Greig feared England was unlikely to return for the Test battle.

"The England team are on their way home. I find it very hard to believe that they will have any of their Test matches there," he said.

"Some of the scenes that we have seen on television have been absolutely horrific. Having stayed in that hotel, the Taj, just a few weeks back and just to think these dreadful things are happening there has shocked everybody."

Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell said India was now "on a par" with Pakistan as a safety concern for cricketers.

Australia has twice boycotted Pakistan in the past year, with a Test tour and the Champions Trophy one-day tournament cancelled because of terrorism.

Australia is due to tour Pakistan for a one-day series in April but that is in doubt.

"When Australia were considering the tour to Pakistan, it was said that touring teams and sporting teams in general hadn't been targeted in Pakistan," Chappell said.

"But still the players don't want to go to Pakistan.

"Now the fact that Westerners have been targeted in India will I'm sure cause a lot of people to rethink.

"The cricketers were reasonably comfortable going to India, very uncomfortable about going to Pakistan.

"Now it might be more on a par."THE AFL had planned to hold a pre-season game in Mumbai, but was forced to cancel because of financial reasons.

Peter Linford, senior Trade Commissioner for Austrade in South East Asia, said the game would have been abandoned because of the attacks.

Test greats fear for cricket superpower and global game

http://summerofcricket.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/gag.jpg

TEST greats fear India could become a cricketing no-go area because of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

With India all of a sudden out of the picture for international cricketers, there are only five of the nine Test playing nations that are considered safe.

Several tours of Pakistan have been abandoned for security reasons while Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are also trouble spots.

Former England captain Tony Greig insisted global powerbroker India was vital to world cricket, but feared cricketers were not going to want to go there after the Mumbai attacks.

"The truth of the matter is that no one is going to want to go there for a while," Greig said yesterday.

"India is vitally important for cricket.

"About 76 cents in every dollar comes from India for cricket and that goes into development and the running of the game worldwide. We all love it as cricketers. You haven't really lived unless you have played cricket in India."

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland admitted the global cricketing landscape might have changed for ever.

"The bar has only been lifted a little bit higher in terms of our expectations and standards on security for cricket tours, (but) for anything else in life in India, it will change forever," Sutherland said yesterday.

Next week's Champions League tournament has been postponed and England has pulled out of the last two one-dayers of its tour of India.

Greig feared England was unlikely to return for the Test battle.

"The England team are on their way home. I find it very hard to believe that they will have any of their Test matches there," he said.

"Some of the scenes that we have seen on television have been absolutely horrific. Having stayed in that hotel, the Taj, just a few weeks back and just to think these dreadful things are happening there has shocked everybody."

Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell said India was now "on a par" with Pakistan as a safety concern for cricketers.

Australia has twice boycotted Pakistan in the past year, with a Test tour and the Champions Trophy one-day tournament cancelled because of terrorism.

Australia is due to tour Pakistan for a one-day series in April but that is in doubt.

"When Australia were considering the tour to Pakistan, it was said that touring teams and sporting teams in general hadn't been targeted in Pakistan," Chappell said.

"But still the players don't want to go to Pakistan.

"Now the fact that Westerners have been targeted in India will I'm sure cause a lot of people to rethink.

"The cricketers were reasonably comfortable going to India, very uncomfortable about going to Pakistan.

"Now it might be more on a par."THE AFL had planned to hold a pre-season game in Mumbai, but was forced to cancel because of financial reasons.

Peter Linford, senior Trade Commissioner for Austrade in South East Asia, said the game would have been abandoned because of the attacks.