Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Japan confirms Asian Cup final

Goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima was the hero as Japan reached the Asian Cup final by beating South Korea 3-0 on penalties at Al Gharafa stadium.

South Korea had been celebrating wildly at the end of extra time after defender Hwang Jae-won hammered home an equaliser with just seconds to play to make it 2-2.

But Kawashima saved two spotkicks and saw another sail wide of his post before Yasuyuki Konno scored his kick to put the Samurai Blue in sight of their fourth Asian Cup trophy.

The win in Qatar was the first time Japan had beaten South Korea in six years, and they had earlier fallen 1-0 behind when Ki Sung-yong scored from the penalty spot in the first half.

But Ryoichi Maeda levelled later in the first half, before Hajime Hosogai pounced on a rebound from Keisuke Honda's controversial penalty in the seventh minute of extra-time after a goalless second half.

The Koreans, hunting their first Asian Cup in more than 50 years, grabbed a reprieve when Hwang forced home the ball seconds from the final whistle.

But South Korea blew their lines in the shootout to send Alberto Zaccheroni's Japan into a final with either Australia or Uzbekistan - their fourth final appearance in six tournaments.

The early exchanges of the East Asian derby saw Japan's precise passing moves almost bear fruit as Yasuhito Endo played Yuto Nagatomo behind the Korean defence.

The free-running left back whipped in a cross that Shinji Okazaki powered low towards the corner, but Jung Sungryong dived to his left to claw the ball onto the inside of the post.

South Korea were winning possession through the tenacity of captain Park Ji-sung, whose commitment in the challenge was barely toned down by a yellow card for an elbow on opposing skipper Makoto Hasebe.

Their graft was rewarded on 23 minutes when Konno obstructed Manchester United midfielder Park in the box, with Ki hammering the penalty past Kawashima.

That gave the Korean half of a colourful and noisy East Asian crowd of 16,171 the upper hand in the decibel stakes, and they could have seen their side go two up when Ji Dong-won went on a teasing solo run down the middle before his shot was blocked by Nagatomo.

Some delightful Japanese passing soon gave the Samurai Blue an equaliser.

After a quiet performance in the 3-2 quarter-final win over Qatar, CSKA Moscow midfielder Honda patiently held up play before threading a pass through for Nagatomo, who charged into the box before squaring for Maeda to force the ball into the net.

Honda set up Maeda again a minute before half time, but the Jubilo Iwata striker's chested volley was fired over the bar.

That was the story of the second half, as the Koreans in particular peppered the general area of the goal.

Ji took off on another solo run, but Koo Ja-cheol could only pop the ball into the side netting after latching onto the forward's pass.

It took extra time before the deadlock was broken in Japan's favour via a controversial penalty decision from Saudi referee Khalil Al Ghamdi.

A through-ball to Okazaki saw the Japan striker deliberately bodychecked by Hwang as he charged into the area, but replays showed the original contact was just outside the box.

South Korea's appeals to the linesman were of no avail and after Jung Sungryong saved Honda's kick, Hosogai hared forward to slam the rebound high into the net.

Hwang looked to have gone from zero to hero as he slammed home the last-minute equaliser, but Koo, Lee Yong-rae and Jeong Ho-hong all missed their chances as South Korea extended their long wait for a continental trophy.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Leaders in World Cup 2011

Captain:   Ricky Ponting
 Coach:    Tim Nielsen

Captain:   Shakib Al Hasan
Coach:     Jamie Siddons

Captain:   Ashish Bagai
Coach:     Pubudu Dassanayake

Captain:   Andrew Strauss
Coach:     Andy Flower

Captain:   MS Dhoni
Coach:      Gary Kirsten

Captain:   William Porterfield
 Coach:     Phil Simmons

Captain:   Jimmy Kamande
 Coach:    Eldine Baptiste

Captain:    Peter Borren
Coach:      Peter Drinnen

New Zealand
Captain:  Daniel Vettori
 Coach:   John Wright

Captain:Shahid Afridi
 Coach: Waqar Younis

South Africa
Captain:  Graeme Smith
Coach:    Corrie van Zyl

Sri Lanka
Captain:  Kumar Sangakkara
 Coach:    Trevor Bayliss

West Indies
Captain:  Darren Sammy
 Coach:   Ottis Gibson

Captain:   Elton Chigumbura
 Coach:    Alan Butcher

ICC World Cup 2011 Schedule

Serial No.             Date & Time                      Match                              Venue
Match-1          19 Feb,2011 08:30 AM GMT IND vs BAN Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

Match-2         20 Feb,2011 04:00 AM GMT NZ vs KEN MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match-3         20 Feb,2011 09:00 AM GMT SL vs CAN Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

Match-4         21 Feb,2011 09:00 AM GMT AUS vs ZIM Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, Motera

Match-5         22 Feb,2011 09:00 AM GMT ENG vs NED Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, Nagpur

Match-6          23 Feb,2011 09:00 AM GMT PAK vs KEN Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota

Match-7         24 Feb,2011 09:00 AM GMT SA vs WI Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match-8         25 Feb,2011 04:00 AM GMT AUS vs NZ Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, Nagpur

Match-9         25 Feb,2011 08:30 AM GMT BAN vs IRE Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

Match-10 26 Feb,2011 09:00 AM GMT PAK vs SL R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Match-11 27 Feb,2011 09:00 AM GMT IND vs ENG Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match-12 28 Feb,2011 04:00 AM GMT ZIM vs CAN Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, Nagpur

Match-13 28 Feb,2011 09:00 AM GMT WI vs NED Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match-14 01 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT SL vs KEN R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Match-15 02 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT ENG vs IRE M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (Bangalore)

Match-16 03 Mar,2011 04:00 AM GMT SA vs NED Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali

Match-17 03 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT PAK vs CAN R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Match-18 04 Mar,2011 04:00 AM GMT NZ vs ZIM Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, Motera

Match-19 04 Mar,2011 08:30 AM GMT BAN vs WI Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

Match-20 05 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT AUS vs SL R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Match-21 06 Mar,2011 04:00 AM GMT SA vs ENG MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match-22 06 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT IND vs IRE M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (Bangalore) To be played

Match-23 07 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT CAN vs KEN Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match-24 08 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT PAK vs NZ Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy

Match-25 09 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT IND vs NED Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

Match-26 10 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT SL vs ZIM Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy

Match-27 11 Mar,2011 04:00 AM GMT WI vs IRE Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali

Match-28 11 Mar,2011 08:30 AM GMT BAN vs ENG Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong

Match-29 12 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT IND vs SA Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, Nagpur

Match-30 13 Mar,2011 04:00 AM GMT NZ vs CAN Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Match-31 13 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT AUS vs KEN M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (Bangalore)

Match-32 14 Mar,2011 03:30 AM GMT BAN vs NED Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong

Match-33 14 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT PAK vs ZIM Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy

Match-34 15 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT SA vs IRE Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match-35 16 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT AUS vs CAN M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru (Bangalore)

Match-36 17 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT ENG vs WI MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Match-37 18 Mar,2011 04:00 AM GMT NED vs IRE Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match-38 18 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT NZ vs SL Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Match-39 19 Mar,2011 03:30 AM GMT BAN vs SA Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

Match-40 19 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT AUS vs PAK R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Match-41 20 Mar,2011 04:00 AM GMT ZIM vs KEN Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Match-42 20 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT IND vs WI MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Quarter Final
Match-43 23 Mar,2011 08:30 AM GMT A1 vs B4 (1st Quarter Final, C) Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

Match-44 24 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT A2 vs B3 (2nd Quarter Final, D) Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, Motera

Match-45 25 Mar,2011 08:30 AM GMT A3 vs B2 (3rd Quarter Final, E) Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

Match-46 26 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT A4 vs B1 (4th Quarter Final, F) R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Match-47 29 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT Winner C vs Winner E (1st Semi Final) R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Match-48 30 Mar,2011 09:00 AM GMT Winner D vs Winner F (2nd Semi Final) Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali

Match-49 02 Apr,2011 09:00 AM GMT SF1 vs SF2 (Final) Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Source: The Official ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Websitehttp://cricket.yahoo.com/series/icc-cricket-world-cup_1241/schedule 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pakistan Squad for Cricket World Cup 2011

Pakistan, the country was firstly a co-organizer of the event and later left by ICC on security ground, has named their 15-man squad for the 2011 World Cup, leaving out experienced batsman Mohammad Yousuf and not naming a captain or vice-captain.

Also missing out is fast bowler Tanvir Ahmed, who has burst onto the scene with impressive performances against South Africa and New Zealand in the ongoing Test series.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal have been picked as specialist slow bowlers while Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz will offer pace bowling options alongside all-rounder Abdul Razzaq.

Shahid Afridi will captain the side for a six-match One-Day International series in Pakistan with Misbah-ul-Haq as vice-captain with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expected to decide on their World Cup captain following the conclusion of that series on 5th February.

Tanvir is the player who misses out having been named in a 16-man squad for the six-match series in New Zealand.

Pakistan's World Cup campaign gets underway on 23rd February when they play Kenya and the 1992 champions also play Sri Lanka, Canada, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Australia in Group A.

14 Teams to compete in Two groups in WC 2011

A total of 14 cricket teams are going to participate in the upcoming World Cricket Tournament scheduled to kick off on February 19, 2011 in Bangladesh also co-organised by India and Sri Lanka. The participating teams will join the mega arrangement in two groups.

The teams are: Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada, Kenya, India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland and Netherlands. These teams are split into two groups. Each team will compete with 7 teams in a group.

Group AAustralia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya.

Group BIndia, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland and Netherlands.

Marsh, Bollinger help Australia to 2-0 lead against England

World Cup reject Shaun Marsh's second one-day international century and a fine all round performance from Doug Bollinger helped Australia to a 46-run victory over England in their second one-day international in Hobart, Australia on Friday. 

Australia's celebrations, however, were tempered with Nathan Hauritz appearing to dislocate his right shoulder and a groin injury to fast bowler Shaun Tait. Both were named in their 15-man World Cup squad earlier this week. 

Hauritz had been chasing a ball to the boundary at Bellerive Oval when he slid, rolled over and as he put his hand down to push up off the ground collapsed in considerable pain before he walked off and was taken to hospital for X-rays. 

Tait limped off shortly afterwards when he grimaced in his follow through on the fifth ball of his sixth over. 

Marsh (110), who was only playing in Hobart after Mike Hussey injured his hamstring, combined with Cameron White (45) for a 100-run partnership that steadied Australia after they plunged to 33-4. 

He also combined for an Australian record ninth-wicket partnership of 88 with Bollinger (30) that pushed the hosts past 200 and gave them a challenging total to defend after their batsmen had struggled with the pace of the pitch. 

England's run chase was always behind the required run rate after the early loss of Matt Prior for a duck and Bollinger's two wickets in two balls when he had Andrew Strauss trapped in front for 19 and then bowled Kevin Pietersen for a duck. 

Bollinger also captured two quick wickets in the tail to finish with figures of four for 28 from nine overs. 

Australia won the first match of the seven-game series by six wickets in Melbourne last Sunday after Shane Watson scored 161 not out to help them chase down the 295 needed for victory. 

The third game is in Sydney on Sunday.

Australia vs England - 2nd ODI
January 21, 2011, 2:20PM AET
Bellerive Oval, Hobart
England won the toss and elected to bowl

England All Out 184 (45.0)
Australia All Out 230 (48.2)

Bangladesh Cricket Squad for CWC 2011 without Mashrafe raises controversy

Bangladesh embracing ICC Cricket world cup for the first time on its own soil this year! The country will celebrate will celebrate the occasion with red and green flags! 17 crore people of country will salute the Proud Cricket Team in their each win. The pleasure of win on native country has comparison. So, every cricketer of organising three countries has a special attention for the upcoming World Cup Tournament scheduled to be celebrated during February 19 to April 2, 2011.

Everybody was waiting for the explosion that never burst. Hundreds of Journalists were present at the press conference at Mirpur were expecting a last moment drama, but all the fuss kicked the bucket once chief selector Rafiqul Alam announced the 15-member squad on January 19, 2011.

Almost everyone preferred silence because the Rafiqul-led three-member selection committee stuck to their squad without injured paceman Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, despite the pressure they had been facing from Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) technical committee, which ignited a lot of controversy over the team selection for the last couple of days.

The question was not only about whether injured paceman Mashrafe would be included in the team or not, but also about who between Mohammad Ashraful and Alok Kapali would be included. There was also a question about the inclusion of middle-order batsman Rokibul Hasan.

With these circumstances, everybody's focus was on the selection committee because the question was whether they could show their guts or whether they were going to swallow the bitter pill.

In the end Rafiqul came up with flying colours even though he looked nervous during the press conference as he announced a team made up of players who were part of the squad for the last two years, with no surprise inclusions.

When Rafiqul faced a volley of questions, BCB president AHM Mustafa Kamal was beside him. Kamal surprisingly started to walk soon after the announcement of the team but after a hue and cry the BCB boss came back with the selectors to take questions from the media.

"Yes, it's our team. We discussed with everyone but ultimately we [the selection committee] took the final decision and it's nothing new," Rafiqul responded when he was asked whether this team is what they actually selected.

"It was my team, I talked with the selectors and we discussed long and hard. There were lots of arguments and fights. Yes, the chief [Rafiqul Alam] fought for the team. I'm happy with the team," said a delighted Siddons.

Chief selector Rafiqul, captain Shakib and coach Siddons echoed the sentiment that the World Cup is not over for pace spearhead Mashrafe.

Rafiqul also went on to explain why they had left out Mashrafe despite there being a precedent of including injured players, as seen in the selections of teams like India and Australia.

The former national cricketer also defended the inclusion of Mohammad Ashraful and left-arm spinner Sohrawordi Shuvo and explained why they didn't consider Alok Kapali in the team. Rafiqul rated this team highly as he said that there were eight batsmen who averaged over 30 in the line-up.

Rafiqul also said that they had the plan to design the team with three pacers and they mainly focused on the spin attack considering the conditions.

"We generally play with two pacers in this kind of condition, so there is no point to take one more pacer in the team," said Rafiqul.

"We picked three left-arm spinners against teams which are weak against the outgoing ball and have more right-handers," added Siddons.

As expected, Bangladesh have loaded their squad with spinners - Shakib, Abdur Razzak, Mahmudullah, Naeem Islam and Suhrawadi Shuvo all providing slow-bowling options along with the leg-spin of batsman Mohammad Ashraful.

However, a day-long strike was observed to press hone demand for inclusion of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in his own District Narail in Bangladesh on January 20, 2010. It is first time in the history of cricket that beloved people of a cricketer have observed strike for him.  

Former Coach Buchanan sees Australia in final for Ponting

Buchanan, a giant of Australian cricket, believes beleaguered skipper Ponting, however, needs fewer duties to worry about before he can take his team back to the one-day game's summit.
Buchanan still supports Ponting as captain and recommends a more selfish approach to help rediscover the kind of batting form that saw him crack a scintillating unbeaten 140 from just 121 balls in the 2003 World Cup final against India.

England sealed a 3-1 series win this month with each victory by an innings as the Australians slipped to fifth in the test rankings after 15 years of world dominance, losing six of their last eight tests and six of the last 12 one-day games.

Buchanan, though, pointed out they are still the world's top-ranked team in 50-over cricket and believes they will reach a fifth straight final at the Feb 19-April 2 World Cup, to be held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"The Ashes is finished with," Buchanan, 57, told Reuters in a phone interview from his Brisbane home, which had been spared any flooding that has ravaged much of Queensland.

"The World Cup is a one-off tournament and it really doesn't matter what happens in Australia or other lead-up games elsewhere around the world. 

"The conditions they will experience will be different; they will be facing new teams every third day, so it's now just about what is required to win the World Cup."

Cynics might suggest his exit was timely. Australia's current travails come during a transitional period as the team continues to adjust to life without a raft of now retired world-class players who came together in one golden era.

One of those remaining, Ponting, who has played in the last four World Cup finals -- the last two as captain -- has suffered the backlash of the team's form dip more than most.

"He has been allowed to take on way too much in this so-called rebuilding phase. His principal skills are in and around the team, leading on the field and leading with the bat. 

"Provided that is all he is asked to do -- and I think a World Cup will allow him to do that -- that will give him a clearer direction on what he has to do in the short term."

Buchanan had forgettable spells with English county team Middlesex and Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata, but was highly successful with Queensland and then Australia.

His intent to be at the forefront of change, sometimes using left-field theories, divided opinion.

He favoured psychology more than the baseball glove and bowling machine. Warne was a frequent critic, while ex-Australia captain Ian Chappell has rarely supported the role of a coach at elite level.

Some observers undermined Buchanan's achievements, claiming anyone could have been successful with such a talented group to work with.

"Buck", though, pointed out Warne was not part of the 2003 or 2007 World Cup wins, while McGrath was not as influential at the latter two World Cups as '99.

"I never took this position with the idea I was going to tell Warne, McGrath, Hayden, Ponting how to play cricket," Buchanan said.

"I could provide questions and an environment that would challenge them but ultimately your principal role is to make sure they are their own best coach and that they know their own games inside out." 

Little has changed in his outlook on coaching in his current role as a motivational speaker, which accounts for most of his work nowadays.

While Ponting and Co. seek glory in the sub-continent, Buchanan may also be in India; not coaching cricketers, but inspiring those from the corporate world.

"If I visit an accountancy firm I will ask them where they want to be. Do they want to be the best accounting firm in Worcestershire, or the South East of England, or the UK or Europe? Where are they going?"

Although Buchanan opts to support his three sons and two daughters in their chosen fields in his spare time now, cricket remains his passion. When asked to predict the World Cup finalists, his patriotism is clear.

"I'm still an Australian through and through," he added, "Australia has played well over there in one-day tournaments and they're number one. So I will go for either an Australia-Sri Lanka or Australia-India final."

Courtesy: Reuters.com

Shane Watson to be the Highest Paid Australian Cricketer

The rise and rise of Shane Watson has been so remarkable that the blue-chip allrounder who used to break down more times than an old Kombi van will soon unseat Ricky Ponting as the highest paid player in Australia.

He is poised to sign a new deal worth up to $2 million, which includes a marketing component, to reflect his stature as the country's most valuable player.

The rankings are kept a closely guarded secret but Test skipper Ponting has been the highest-paid cricketer in the country for many years.

Sources say there was a brief period when Glenn McGrath usurped his Test captain Steve Waugh as the nation's most expensive cricketer but Test skippers have traditionally had a stranglehold on the top-dollars figure.

That is all set to change in April when Watson cashes in on his stunning career sea change, which has seen him go from injury crock to match-winning superstar in an incredible few years.

The CA contracts are assigned on an arithmetic system in which players are ranked on their Test, one-day international and Twenty20 performances. The numbers are fed through a weighting formula to come up with an overall ranking. Accordingly, Australian players who play all three formats tend to get a higher ranking than those who don't, and Ponting and Clarke have retired from Twenty20 cricket.

And there is no doubt Watson will receive a higher Test ranking - the format of cricket which is weighted the highest in determining the overall CA contracts - than Ponting and Clarke.

Last year Watson averaged 42.7 with the bat in Test cricket compared to the 36 of both Ponting and Clarke.

But it is Watson's arrival as a genuine star with the ball (19 Test wickets at 27 last year) that will be the key element that propels him to becoming our highest-paid cricketer.

Given he is one of the few rolled-gold marketing stars in Australian cricket, Watson would have the potential to more than double his cricket earnings through sponsorship and endorsement deals, which would see his overall salary inflate to somewhere between $4 and $5 million.

It's extraordinary when you consider that Allan Border's last contract, in 1993-94, was worth $95,000.

Few would begrudge Watson raking in the big bucks considering he is the one player who has really shone for Australian cricket as it goes through some of its most troubled times.

It wasn't that long ago that Watson was a fringe international player, behind former all-rounder Andrew Symonds in the Australian pecking order. His long catalogue of injuries made everyone wonder whether he could consistently perform on the big stage.

There was never any doubt he had the talent but even Watson concedes he is struggling to come to terms with how much his star has risen.

"No, I can't believe it ... I can't believe the things I've been a part of and the things I've been able to achieve," Watson said on January 19, 2011.

Australian Cricket Squad for World Cup 2011

The four times champion defending Australia unveiled their squad on January 18, 2011 for next month's World Cup, banking on the fitness of a pair of injury-prone pacemen and elder statesmen Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey.

Veteran Brett Lee and enigmatic short-form specialist Shaun Tait were both included in the 15-man squad for the tournament in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which they are trying to win for the fourth successive time.

Ponting was named as skipper, but is still recovering from a broken finger, while Hussey made the squad but is a major doubt after a severe hamstring tear in the six-wicket win over England at the MCG on January 16, 2011.

Hussey is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks, with Australia's first game on February 21, and chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch conceded he was a doubt for the showpiece event.

Players can be replaced before the tournament.

By selecting Lee and Tait, as well as erratic duo Mitchell Johnson and Doug Bollinger, Australia will rely heavily on their pace bowlers to be at their best.

Lee performed well in Australia's win over England on January 16, 2011 but the 34-year-old and Tait are both on the comeback trail after serious elbow injuries.

The game of January 16, 2011 was Lee's first one-day international for Australia since October 2009 and he missed the 2007 World Cup triumph due to injury.

Tait, who played in the 2007 final but mainly plays Twenty20 cricket these days, was ruled out of last Sunday's game with a back problem.

The 27-year-old has only played three ODIs since February 2009, but taken eight wickets in those three matches.

The shock selection was Victorian all-rounder John Hastings, who has played just two one-day internationals, while David Hussey, Mike's younger brother, also made the squad.

Tasmanian wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine, touted by many as a future Australian captain, is part of the 15.

Victorian paceman Peter Siddle was not included, despite being one of the better Ashes performers for Australia with ball and bat.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 CWC trophy visits Australia marking 40th anniversary of first ODI

Cricket's greatest prize, the ICC Cricket World Cup, will visit Melbourne this weekend on the final leg of its global journey to the big event, which starts in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka next month.

Fans will be given the chance to enjoy a rare close-up view of the 2011 trophy which will be displayed at several public events in Melbourne on Sunday 16 January and Monday 17 January.

The trophy and ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat will be welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Hon. Robert Doyle, at a public function at Federation Square's main stage in the city between 1000 and 1100. International cricket legend Dean Jones, who was part of Australia's World Cup-winning team in 1987, will join in the celebrations by sharing his memories of past Cricket World Cups and having his photo taken with fans and the trophy.

The trophy will then make its way to the MCG prior to the start of the One-Day International between Australia and England, where it will be displayed outside Gate 1 between 1230 and 1430. The match will coincide with celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the first-ever ODI, which took place at the same venue between the same teams in 1971.

On Monday 17 January, the trophy will travel to Melbourne International Airport from 1200 for fans to get one last glimpse before it departs for Mumbai that evening.

Mr Lorgat said that the ICC was delighted to be bringing the 2011 trophy to Australia, the reigning world champion and the team that has held the trophy since 1999 having won the past consecutive three editions of the tournament.

"This is cricket's flagship event and it is fitting to be here in Australia, a country that has enjoyed so much success having won the Cricket World Cup four times, more than any other country," said Mr Lorgat.

"This year is shaping up to be one of the most exciting of all the ICC Cricket World Cups. It is open and unpredictable and it won't be easy for Australia to win it yet again but it also won't be easy for any other team to wrestle the trophy from the defending champions. It promises to be an enthralling Cricket World Cup and the ICC is looking forward to an exciting competition among the 14 teams.

"In recent months we have seen some truly great Test cricket around the world but now it's time for the one-day format to take centre stage and I can't wait to be in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka next month," he said.

The 2011 Cricket World Cup trophy, designed by a team of craftsmen from Garrard and Co., the British Crown jewellers, is made from silver and gold. It stands at 60cm in height and weighs 11kg. The design features a golden globe held up by three silver columns. The columns, shaped as stumps and balls, represent the three fundamental aspects of cricket --- batting, bowling and fielding --- while the globe also signifies a cricket ball.

The public events to see the 2011 Cricket World Cup Trophy are:
Sunday 16 January - 1000-1100, Federation Square main stage, 1230-1430, outside Gate 1 of the MCG at the Ponsford Stand,
Monday 17 January - 1200-2000, Melbourne Airport T2 Terminal (International Departures).

Thrills over CWC 2011 as 34 days left to kick off

Cricket fans flocked to the picturesque and world famous V and A Waterfront in Cape Town on 31st December 2010 (Friday) evening to celebrate 50 days to go before the start of the game's flagship event, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

The tournament begins in Mirpur, Dhaka, on 19 February with the much-anticipated opener between co-hosts Bangladesh and India.

Joining the many followers of the game in Cape Town were Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat and South Africa and India captains, Graeme Smith and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The full version of the official promotional film for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 was also revealed at the press conference. This promotional film will be part of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 television marketing campaign that will go on air this month.

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 trophy was later displayed at the function which concluded shortly after midnight with a spectacular fireworks display.

The celebrations continued till 1st January 2011 (Saturday) at the V and A Waterfront Shopping Centre with the fans having an opportunity to be photographed with The Cup that Counts.

Ms Zille, in her welcome address, said: "2010 will always be remembered as the year of a successful and exciting FIFA World Cup in South Africa. It is a fitting way to conclude 2010 by welcoming the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy to Cape Town."

Mr Lorgat said he was delighted to see so much interest and excitement building up amongst the players and followers of the game.

"With 50 days to go before cricket's flagship event starts, key players are starting to think and talk a lot more about the World Cup".

"The players will soon start with their World Cup focus and preparation and the related anticipation across the world will escalate with each passing day."

With the three host nations busy with extensive preparation and recognizing that a few venues were behind schedule, Mr Lorgat urged everyone to continue with the hard work required to successfully stage a world-class event.

"We must do our utmost to complete all the necessary work to deliver another memorable event," said Mr Lorgat.

He also thanked the host countries and the ICC's commercial partners for their excellent work to date.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith, whose side opens its campaign against two-time winner West Indies in New Delhi on 24 February, shared his excitement when he said: "I can't believe that the World Cup is only 50 days away! The spectacular way that 50 days to the World Cup was marked is a pointer to the magnitude of the event.

"As a unit, we are looking to make sure we head into the showpiece with the best preparation possible."

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he can feel the World Cup buzz around him.
"With just 50 days remaining before we launch our campaign to win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, I can clearly feel and sense the tremendous excitement which is gripping the cricket fraternity," he said.

"It is not a surprise to me as it doesn't get any bigger than the World Cup. It is the ultimate dream of every cricketer to represent his country in this competition and win the glittering trophy at least once in his career.
"Every one of us in the India dressing room wants to lift that cup, not only for ourselves, but also for the billions of fans supporting us around the globe. It will require a lot of hard work, self belief and also a positive approach which Team India is capable of displaying at the highest level."

Commenting on his side's preparations for the World Cup, Dhoni said: "I'm happy with our preparations so far as we have gelled well, we have backed each other all the way and have played some excellent cricket lately. But we are also aware that we need to peak at the right time and maintain a winning momentum as the competition will be tough and every team will enter the event fancying its chances.
"Each team and match will bring a fresh challenge and we will have to play to our potential every time we take the field."
The charismatic India captain urged the spectators to play their part in making the event the most successful ever.
He said: "I also take this opportunity to urge the India public and spectators to support the tournament and all the teams taking part in it. I would love to see every stadium packed to capacity even when we are not playing.

"With billions of eyes following the World Cup on television, this would be another great opportunity for us to showcase our love and passion for this great sport. Let us all unite and make the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in the subcontinent the best ever."

However, only 34 days is left to take the craze and test of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 scheduled to begin on 19th February 2011.