Sunday, March 27, 2011

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 semi-final line-up completed

KARACHI: As Sri Lanka defeated England in a one-sided affair at Colombo on Saturday, the Semi-Final line-up of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 has been completed.

Shahid Afridi

In the first semi-final to be played at Colombo on March 29, New Zealand, who stunned South Africa, will look to repeat the heroics to create history to play world cup finals by beating one of the host nations Sri Lanka, who mauled a tired-looking England by 10 wickets.

MS Dhoni

Experts say, Sri Lanka have great chances of making it to the final as they have an opponent who have defeated them only five times in Sri Lanka as against 12 victories for the hosts.
If Sri Lanka defeat New Zealand, then this would be the first time in the history of world cup that two teams from South Asia would play in the final.

Kumar Sangakkara

The other semi-final is the one everybody is talking about these days. Pakistan are taking on India at Mohali on March 30th in the biggest match of cricket history.
India defeated Australia by five wickets while Pakistan thrashed West Indies by 10 wickets in their respective quarter-finals to book themselves berth in the top-four of the tournament.

Daniel Vettori

India would be relying heavily on their batting as their bowling is somewhat weak enough to give any side in the world to chase down any total. We have seen it in the game against England, where India, despite of scoring 338 runs, couldn’t seal the victory and England, who looked at one stage cruising to victory, still managed to tie it despite a sudden and strange batting collapse.
On the other hand, Pakistan have got a strong bowling line-up, arguably the best bowling department in the whole cricketing world. Good news for Pakistan is that their top order batsmen have started to find their touch and if they do find themselves in a good knick on March 30 then India will have a hard time answering their local media as well as fans.

Ind vs Pak

Tendulkar, India squad practice at semifinal venue

MOHALI: India's World Cup squad was greeted by a crowd of about 150 fans as they arrived at their first training session at the PCA Stadium ahead of Wednesday's much-hyped semifinal against Pakistan.

The team was led off the bus by star batsman Sachin Tendulkar. Local hero Yuvraj Singh was the last to head into the stadium, but was the only player to stop to sign autographs.

While the rest of his teammates began a football kickabout at the PCA Stadium, Tendulkar typically opted to practice a few of his famous strokes with a new bat before joining in.

Only Harbhajan Singh did not attend the session as he visited his home in nearby Jalandhar.

Virender Sehwag, still recovering from a knee problem, joined batting and fielding drills.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

5,000 Pakistanis get visa for WC matches

Indian government has so far issued visas to 5,000 Pakistanis to watch World Cup cricket matches, including the final in Mumbai. Most of these are multi-entry visas, allowing Pakistanis to return to India after their respective onward journeys to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for the quarter-final and semi-final matches.

The visas were issued after due security checks by the immigration and various security agencies of each Pakistani national who applied for the travel document much in advance (minimum 45 days) to watch the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final matches to be held in different venues across India.

"The 15-day multiple-entry visas were issued only to those applicants who could show a proper ticket of the ICC World Cup cricket matches, their return journey travel tickets and addresses of their stay in India," a government official said.

Ahmedabad will host the second quarter-final, featuring India and Australia, on March 24, Mohali one semi-final on March 30 and Mumbai will host the final on April 2. So far, Pakistan has not played any of the World Cup matches in India.

India take on Australia in World Cup quarterfinal at Motera

India will face defending champions Australia in the quarterfinals of the cricket World Cup as the knockout stage begins on March 23 following the conclusion of league matches.

India thumped West Indies by 80 runs to finish second in Group B with nine points, behind South Africa (10).

India will take on Australia, who won the World Cup title four times, including three on the trot in 1999, 2003 and 2007, in Ahmedabad on March 24.

Although the West Indies lost to India, they still made it to the knock-out stage because of a better net run rate over Bangladesh, who are tied with Darren Sammy's men at six points.

The Caribbean team is placed fourth in Group B and will take on 1992 Champions Pakistan at Mirpur on March 23 in the first quarterfinal match.

Mirpur will also host the quarterfinal match between South Africa and New Zealand, who are fourth in Group A, on March 25.

England, who are at third place in Group B, will take on Sri Lanka in the last quarterfinal match in Colombo on March 26.

India have an unfavourable record against Australia in the World Cup as they have not beaten the Aussies since 1987.

In the 2003 World Cup, Sourav Ganguly-led Indian team lost to Australia in the title clash in South Africa, while in the 1999 edition, India lost to the Aussies in the Super six stage.

In the 1992 and 1996 World Cups, India lost to Australia in the league stages.

In the 1987 edition, India beat Australia by 56 runs at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi after losing by one run in the league match.

Also in the 1983 World Cup, Kapil Dev's men lost to Australia in the league match before defeating them by 118 runs later in the tournament.

Down below is the complete quarterfinal line-up:

March 23: 1st Quarterfinal - Pakistan vs West Indies

Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur (14:00IST)

March 24: 2nd Quarterfinal - India vs Australia

Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad (14:00IST)

March 25: 3rd Quarterfinal - New Zealand vs South Africa

Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur (14:00IST)

March 26: 4th Quarterfinal - Sri Lanka v England

R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo (14:30IST)

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Quarter Final Matches Schedule

AFTER THE month-long journey of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, eight teams qualified for the quarter finals of the mega event. Fourteen teams divided into two groups played six matches each with their group mates in the group league stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

In the group league stage, Pakistan won five matches and lost one against New Zealand. Sri Lanka won four, lost one against Pakistan, and one match against Australia ended without result.

Defending champion Australia also won four matches, lost one against Pakistan and one ended without result but the Sri Lankans were placed in the second spot in the point table with better net run rate. New Zealand finished fourth with four wins and two losses against Australia and Sri Lanka.

In group 'B', South Africa is at the top spot with five wins and a loss against England in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 league stage. The Indian team with four wins, one loss and a tied match against England finished second.

England qualified for the knock out round with three wins, two losses and a tied match, whereas West Indies won all its three matches against minnows and lost all three matches against South Africa, England and India respectively.

The quarter finals of the Cricket World Cup 2011 will begin from March 23 at Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur between Pakistan vs West Indies.

Here is quarter finals matches schedule of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011:

Ist Match Wed, Mar 23 2:00 PM IST Pakistan vs West Indies Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

IIndThu, Mar 24 2:30 PM IST India vs Australia R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

IIIrd Fri, Mar 25 2:00 PM IST South Africa vs New Zealand Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpu

IVth Sat, Mar 26 2:30 PM IST Sri Lanka vs England Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad

Monday, March 14, 2011

Currently Points Group A & B

Dhoni & Co don't deserve brickbats

South Africa should get the kudos for their outstanding win on Saturday but India do not deserve the brickbats. They did lose a big game but that doesn't mean their World Cup is over. Dhoni and his boys need to remember all that is happening around is only for creating hype for TRP's and sales. I
am fascinated to see how people who had almost handed over the trophy to India much before the World Cup are now finding faults at the drop of a hat.

History lessons

There is a big game coming up against the West Indies. It's good the boys have got a chance to go back home for a few days before that. It will help them unwind before they give it one big go for the final goal. All the team members and the fans need to remember this is not happening for the first time. There have been instances galore when teams have faltered at the start but have ultimately done well to reach the final stage.

Kapil classic

In 1983, India would have been almost eliminated had they lost to Zimbabwe. Kapil Dev's 175 not out not only kept them in the hunt but 'Kapil's Devils' created history. In 1992, Pakistan escaped from the jaws of elimination to lift the Cup.

People are finding fault with Dhoni for asking Ashish Nehra to bowl the last over. Had I been there I would have done the same. I do remember Ashish bowled the last over against Pakistan at Karachi some years back in an even tighter situation and ensured victory. However, Dhoni should have used Ashish one more over earlier to get him warmed up.

Batting worry

Firing straightaway is also not what our batsmen should have been doing after Sachin and Sehwag had set up such a wonderful platform. This needs to be addressed seriously as the collapse has not happened for the first time. Against England, we lost seven wickets for few runs and against South Africa nine wickets, for even fewer.

Against the West Indies, we should play on a good strip. If you do that India are way ahead in all departments. But if you are put on a difficult strip and bat second, it could be trouble against Roach and company. Also stick to a set team from now on. If you keep doing that the players become a bit sceptical. Also, Zaheer needs to bowl the 48th and 50th overs.

world cup 2011 Final tickets on sale

TICKETS for the Cricket World Cup final are available online through a ballot by the Mumbai Cricket Association. There are 2500 tickets available and offshore applications will be accepted. The ballot is open until March 18. Go to: Sports staff

'Ricky still our man'

CRICKET Australia boss James Sutherland insists Ricky Ponting's future as captain is not in danger. But ex-Test stars Ian Chappell, Doug Walters and Geoff Lawson are calling for him to quit and to be replaced by Michael Clarke. Former Test captains Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor, along with businessman Don Argus and former ICC boss Malcolm Speed, are set to embark on a review of cricket in Australia. - Sports staff

Chittagong's day off

PEOPLE in Chittagong were given the day off yesterday to watch Bangladesh play the Netherlands. Offices and schools were shut as a sell-out crowd of 18000 jammed the local stadium. Three of the four previous matches hosted by Bangladesh in Dhaka and Chittagong fell on Fridays, a weekly holiday in the country. - Sapa-AFP

Porterfield scolded

IRELAND'S captain William Porterfield was reprimanded by Cricket World Cup organisers yesterday after publicly attacking an umpiring decision in their 44-run defeat by West Indies last week. Porterfield said a reviewed decision to give Irishman Gary Wilson out lbw although he appeared to be hit outside the off-stump while playing a shot - and thus not out - had been wrong. - Reuters

Swann's 'wet' excuse

ENGLAND spinner Graeme Swann admits he was "wrong" to swear and lose his temper during the match with Bangladesh last Friday. He said he had become frustrated with the ball becoming wet because of dew, but added that the ICC was wrong to fine him. "When you have venues where the dew is heavy, day-night cricket shouldn't be played there," he said. - Sports staff

Willis lays into Prior

FORMER England skipper Bob Willis, now a Sky Sports pundit, has laid into the England team at the Cricket World Cup, saying they "have never been good at 50-over cricket" and "resemble a club team". He reserved particular condemnation for Matt Prior, who was "so dozy it was unbelievable" when he was stumped in the defeat against Bangladesh. "He looked like one of the Seven Dwarfs," Willis fumed. - Sports staff

'End of Strauss era'

DESPITE England cricket's managing director Hugh Morris denying that captain Andrew Strauss is poised to retire from ODI cricket, the London Daily Telegraph insists that the team "is approaching the end of an era". It suggested Alastair Cook or Ian Bell would be possible successors. - Sports staff

Cricket World Cup 2011 : England Not Out of it Yet

Despite Bangladesh grabbing the fourth place ahead of England in Group B today, England still stand a good chance of winning the ICC World Cup 2011.  The task is straightforward; they must win their next four matches.

As they have shown with their performances against India and South Africa, England are capable of beating any team in this competition.  Of course they have also shown that they are capable of losing to almost any team in this competition too, but this is largely the nature of one day cricket where there is a scarcity of  time and balls to even out the uncontrollables that in cricket of all types, from matches played in Parks to those on famous Test arenas, habitually come in lumps.
England had the worse ‘end’ of the conditions in their match with Bangladesh.  They batted on a slow and low wicket conducive to spin, but then with the arrival of a heavy dewfall bowled on a surface with enough zip to delight any batsman and with a ball as slippery as a flying fish.
There is only one thing harder than defending a total with a wet and bloated red cricket ball and that is defending the same total with a wet and bloated white cricket ball.

Batting on a slow and low wicket places an enormous premium on a batsman’s balance and a technique built around a strong back leg that anchors and braces the base.  Just look at the physical foundations on which the great Tendulka and Sehwag form their strokes.

Somewhere close to the top of a list of batting bulwarks lead by these two wonderful batsmen is Eion Morgan. Morgan gave a fine demonstration of balance and bat control built around the firmest of bases, the two legged tripod of zen control.

On such a wicket batsmen have to get close to the ball and be firmly grounded in order to get sufficient leverage.  This is Morgan’s natural technique added to which he arrived at the wicket with less mental baggage to juggle than his team mates.

Their approach was typical of modern attack with its formula of clearing the front leg and opening the chest, the downside of which is that it so easily take the batsman and his weight away from the ball.

This is fine when the ball is coming on and there is pace to be converted into power.
On a slow wicket, however, it is not room that is required but the good old fashioned proximity that takes the head to a position over the ball and produces a point of contact ‘under the nose’.  In short, cricket striking not baseball striking.

It is difficult to adapt to such conditions during a match when pressure speeds up time and redoubles the mental confusion, especially when this is not your grooved technique.  But those horrid conditions have come and gone and, if their mental consequences are safely quarantine, the experience should not influence England’s approach to the next match.

Chennai awaits them.  The West Indians await them.  Gale awaits them. Opportunity awaits them.  How badly do they want to stay in the competition?  That will be the most significant determinant of the result.

Eden Gardens ready for World Cup

Eden Gardens' wait is over; the World Cup has arrived in Kolkata. It's more than two weeks later than was originally scheduled, but it's finally come.

It hasn't come with the pomp and ceremony it was supposed to bring: a match between India and England would have, no doubt, been played in front of a capacity crowd. It hasn't come with the local heroes that the people of Kolkata have not seen play live for their country, in the city, since February last year in a Test match. It hasn't come with a match that, on paper, offers a close contest that may prove decisive in the group stage. But it's come; and, more importantly, the iconic stadium is ready to receive it.

Eden Gardens was stripped of its right to host the India-England clash because the ICC decided that it would not be ready by February 27, when they inspected the venue on January 27. It was a massive blow for the stadium and considered an embarrassment; but instead of cowering away, the Cricket Association of Bengal have come out defiant, insisting that they were always ready on time.

Kishore Bhimani, veteran administrator, journalist and now media manager of the venue, was involved at the time and was among those who believed the match should have stayed at Eden Gardens. "I thought we were ready," he told ESPNCricinfo. "There were some problems with the drainage system, the radio boxes and the sightscreen, but I think the main issue was that there was a mismatch between our promise to them [the ICC] that we would have it all done and their belief in our promise." The drainage system and media facilities have been spruced up and the sightscreen now covers the entire lower tier, things the administrators say were easy to fix.

The CAB is adamant that they could have had those alterations made in time for February 27 and that they were denied their golden moment of the tournament. For them, the loss they have suffered, not just in monetary terms, but purely by not having an India game, cannot be recovered. "It's like having had diamonds and now being given silver," Biswarup Dey, the joint secretary of the CAB said. "Everything was fine, it was all ready and nothing major has changed since we were first inspected. But the ICC is the parent body and we can't say anything more."

Most of the officials had the same attitude, not wanting to hark back to the game they so desperately wanted to host, and are anxious to get on with hosting the matches they do have. Bhimani is even optimistic that the response from the public will be positive. "We are expecting a crowd of around 35,000 for the match between South Africa and Ireland. Of those tickets 7000-8000 were sold, the rest were given to affiliates"

It still means that more than half the stadium, which has a capacity of 63,000 (down from 100,000 after the renovations) will be full. That so many people were willing to buy a ticket to see the game is impressive, especially since the cheapest seat is Rs 400 (10US$), and Bhimani thinks the reason may lie with one of the teams that is in town. "South Africa are playing very well so people want to see them but they are also a real favourite in Kolkata."

Eden Gardens was the stadium where it all started for South Africa, in 1991, when they re-entered the international fray. This is where they came after a 22-year exile imposed on them by Apartheid and this is where they re-started as an international cricket team.

Bhimani was part of the organising committee for that tour and he remembers the excitement when South Africa was welcomed at Eden Gardens. "There were at least 100,000 people lining the road from the airport to the hotel to see the South African team. At the hotel, there was great curiosity from people to see the team. And they [the team] weren't worried about security, they were happy to meet people."

On the field, South Africa weren't quite as suave. They were overawed by having to play in a "stadium with 87,000 seats, each of which was occupied," as Bhimani said. Most of the players had only performed in front of domestic crowds in South Africa, which never numbered more than a few thousand. Andrew Hudson, who opened the batting then and is convenor of selectors now, admitted to being so nervous that "I was trembling" and was out for a third-ball duck. India won the match that day, but South Africa won hearts.

Twenty years later, South Africa have a lot more experience in international cricket and of playing in front of big crowds, and are back in the city for a pit-stop on what they hope will be a road to a title that has evaded them. The memories of their first visit may be what draws Indian crowds to come and watch them here but the team is not dwelling on the past. They are here thinking only of the future that they hope will include a piece of ICC silverware, and are only too happy for Kolkata to be one of the venues where that crown is won.

"It's a special place to play," Corrie van Zyl, South Africa coach said. "It's awesome to be back. We were here last year when the stadium was being built and it will be nice to see it now that it's finished." The concrete slabs have been replaced by bucket seats with roofs being constructed over them. Not all of the roofs are complete, with two of the stands only sheltered by a skeleton structure on which the covering is yet to be added. Ironically, that covering is being imported from South Africa.

Four slots, five teams in Group B of World Cup

With Bangladesh beating The Netherlands and creeping up to fourth place, Group B is where all the action is, as five teams are in contention for four quarterfinal berths. TOI does the permutations & combinations...


Status: Currently toppers in Group B with 7 points. They are almost through thanks to their healthy net run-rate of +0.768.

Matches remaining: Vs West Indies. March 20, Chennai

To qualify: A win over West Indies will take them through automatically. They will go through even if England lose to West Indies or Bangladesh lose to South Africa. That they are playing the last match of the group stage goes in their favour as India will know exactly what they need to do.

The catch: India can miss the bus if England beat West Indies by more than 95 runs and Bangladesh beat South Africa and India lose to West Indies by more than 95 runs.

West Indies

Status: Second with six points. They have an excellent net-run rate of +2.705.

Matches remaining: Vs England, March 17 and vs India, March 20. Both games in Chennai.

To Qualify: A win in either game will take them through. A win in both games will take them to the top of the group.

The catch: If they lose to both England and India by a huge margin. That will mean a fight with Bangladesh. Even then their huge NRR should take them through.

South Africa

Status: Placed third with six points and a very healthy net-run rate of +1.352.

Matches remaining: Vs Ireland today in Kolkata & vs Bangladesh in Dhaka on March 19.

To Qualify: Will sail through if they win either one of the two games.

The catch: If they lose both their matches. They will stay on six points and Bangladesh will surpass them with eight points. An NRR battle with West Indies too won't go in their favour.


Status: Currently fourth in the group with six points and a bad net-run rate of -0.765.

Matches remaining: Vs South Africa on March 19 in Dhaka.

To Qualify: If England lose to West Indies whatever happens against South Africa doesn't matter. They will go through. Of course, if they beat South Africa, they earn an appointment into the quarterfinals.

The catch: If England beat the West Indies and South Africa beat them.


Status: Placed fifth with five points and in real danger of missing out on a quarterfinal berth. Their NRR too is barely acceptable at +0.013.

Matches remaining: Vs West Indies on March 17 in Chennai.

To Qualify: They must beat West Indies and hope that South Africa beat Bangladesh and India beat West Indies.

The catch: If they lose to West Indies, they get knocked out automatically. But even if they win, they will have to hope for a favour from South Africa who need to beat Bangladesh.

Cricket World Cup 2011 Ticket

world cup 2011 schedule

World Cup 2011