Posted by Dresonic on April 21, 2007
Capacity crowd set for master batsman’s departure
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Strangely enough, organisers are expecting a full house for the last World Cup Super Eight match between West Indies and England today at Kensington Oval which has absolutely no significance in the outcome of the competition.
|West Indies captain Brian Lara raises his bat while leaving the nets during a training session at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, yesterday. (Photo: AP)
The lines outside ticket centres in the Barbados capital were lengthy, and a match that promised very little since both teams have failed to reach the semi-finals will provide the backdrop for a grand farewell for two loyal servants of the game.
The retirement from international cricket of West Indies captain Brian Lara and influential England coach Duncan Fletcher will take centre stage when the two teams meet.
West Indies coach Bennett King spoke glowingly about Lara’s contribution to the game.
He labelled the batting superstar as “a genius”, and said he will be sorely missed from the international arena.
“He’s a genius,” King said. He’s a person who can hit balls in virtually any area of the field off the same sort of ball.
“He could do things that other people couldn’t. He was very resilient. He always stayed on the field, hardly ever comes off. He was a tough cricketer. His mental fortitude was amongst the best I’ve seen.”
King felt that Lara sometimes could be a little different to what people think with his tactics.
“With the side that we’ve got and the skills we’ve got, we have to try different things,” King said.
“Generally, it’s very hard for us to take some wickets or create opportunities to win. He was prepared to take the risk, and I always encouraged him to take a risk.
“We’re losing a wonderful cricketer, a cricketer who brought people through the turnstiles. We don’t want to create robots and certainly he was one of a kind.”
King described his relationship with Lara as “good”, despite they did not always see eye-to-eye.
“As coach, sometimes you have to speak firmly, and as captain, he speaks firmly back,” he said.
“Generally speaking, we had a good relationship. I’d certainly invite him to dinner, and I’d hope he’d invite me.
“He is something to see. He hasn’t got a Test average of 52 for nothing. He’s done it in adverse situations, most of the times when our backs are to the wall. He’s come out fighting. It’s just a wonderful trait he’s got.”
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Posted by Dresonic on April 16, 2007
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) – Sri Lanka will aim to halt Australia’s juggernaut and secure their semi-final spot when the two teams meet in their Cricket World Cup, Super 8 match today at the National Stadium here.
After losing their opening second round match to South Africa, Sri Lanka have rattled off three successive wins but meet an Australian team who are unbeaten in the tournament and who have become increasingly ruthless as the competition has worn on.
|Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vaas (left) bowls in the nets yesterday ahead of today’s Super Eight Cricket World Cup match against Australia in St George’s, Grenada. (Photo: AP)
Sri Lanka’s Australian coach Tom Moody told reporters yesterday that his side would be gunning for full points against the Aussies but would be sticking to their natural style of cricket.
“From our personal point of view it would be great to win tomorrow (today) and continue the momentum that we have had so far in this tournament,” Moody told reporters.
“We [will] concentrate on our brand of cricket and don’t try to chase Australia’s style. They play a unique style which has been successful and admired by all the cricketing world.
“But what has made Sri Lanka successful is concentrating on our brand of cricket and that’s what we’ll be bringing to the game tomorrow.”
He continued: “Australia is playing a power game at the moment. They have got a very, very strong batting line-up that’s led at the front with Hayden and Gilchrist who play a power game up front. Most teams, if at all, have one player that plays that role, they have a couple.
“They also have the depth of fast bowling and with Watson fit, [they have] the all-round option in the middle order so the way they are playing their cricket is slightly different from Sri Lanka and most other teams.”
Fast bowler Lasith Malinga, one of the tournament’s leading wicket-takers, will sit out his second successive match as Sri Lanka’s team management are not yet ready to risk the right-armer after recently recovering from an ankle injury.
Australia’s captain Ricky Ponting acknowledged Sri Lanka’s deadly bowling attack and said the key to winning would be to avoid losing early wickets. Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Dresonic on April 16, 2007
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Ireland batted competently, then bowled and fielded purposefully to complete a stunning 74-run victory over Bangladesh in their World Cup Super 8 match here yesterday.
Ireland successfully defended a target of 244, when they dismissed Bangladesh for 169 in 41.2 overs to earn a morale-boosting two points in the Super Eight stage.
Fittingly, Ireland captain Trent Johnston completed the rout, when he bowled Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar for 32.
Bangladesh’s batsmen badly let them down, and apart from Bashar, only Mohammad Ashraful (35) and Tamim Iqbal (29) showed any measure of resistance.
|Ireland’s players celebrate their 74-run victory over Bangladesh in the Cricket World Cup Super 8s match at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, yesterday. (Photo: AP)
Kyle McCallan, Dave Langford-Smith, Johnston, and Boyd Rankin, all collected two wickets apiece in a memorable victory for Ireland, an ICC Associate side over the Test-playing Bangladeshis.
Ireland bravely chose to bat on another lively Kensington Oval pitch and posted a respectable 243 for seven from their allocation of 50 overs.
William Porterfield hit the top score of 85 off 136 balls which earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.
Porterfield shared 92 for the first wicket with Jeremy Bray, who scored 31, and Kevin O’Brien made 48 and Trent Johnston got 30 in a late flurry to beef up the Ireland total.
Mashrafe Mortaza was the most successful Bangladesh bowler with two wickets for 38 runs from his allotment of 10 overs.
Then Boyd Rankin got the breakthrough in the seventh over for Ireland, when opener Shahriar Nafees was caught behind for seven top-edging a hook. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Caribbean, Cricket, Cricket Worldcup, Sports, Sports News | 1 Comment »
Posted by Dresonic on April 16, 2007
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) “is set to axe Brian Lara as captain of the West Indies team”, and ahead of the forthcoming tour of England this summer, according to a report published in today’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper in England.
Written by Scyld Berry, the report, which is contrary to the latest defence of Lara as captain by the WICB’s president Ken Gordon, states:
“Hanging by a thread in the next few days is the career of Brian Lara, the West Indies captain and world record-holding batsman. Unless the West Indies selectors have a change of heart, Lara will not be touring England this summer or anywhere else again…”
Lara, who last week publicly apologised for the very poor performances by the West Indies team in the current Cricket World Cup, has already announced that beyond the coming two remaining matches, he has no intention of playing any longer in One-Day Internationals (ODIs).
The first of the two remaining matches for the West Indies in the Super Eights segment of the tournament takes place at Kensington Oval on Thursday against Bangladesh.
According to the Sunday Telegraph’s report, Lara was “never selected to be West Indies captain for this World Cup”.
It claims that “selectors who know their stuff – Gordon Greenidge, Clyde Butts and Andy Roberts – chose Ramnaresh Sarwan, the Guyanese former prodigy, who has enough about him to begin the long process of regeneration… Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Dresonic on April 12, 2007
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) – Under-fire West Indies captain Brian Lara said Tuesday his side’s failed World Cup campaign was a big blow to him personally and again signalled his intention to retire from One-Day Internationals after the tournament.
The embattled 37-year old, who recently indicated his plans to quit One-Day cricket once again, stopped short of discussing his retirement plans but said he would deal with the issue after the Windies campaign was over.
“I’m going to be in the World Cup for the next two games and I’m not here to talk about that part of it (his future),” Lara told reporters. “At the end of the World Cup is maybe the best time to speak.”
Lara, who had quit One-Day cricket a year ago but returned after being appointed captain for the third time, has already said he wants to continue playing Test cricket while opting out of the abbreviated form of the game.
The record holder for the highest scores in Test and first-class cricket said the team’s failed campaign had been a huge blow to him personally as he had harboured thoughts of playing in the advance stages of the tournament.
“It’s definitely a huge disappointment [for me]. It’s a situation where you are playing your last few one-dayers and you hope that you can end up in a World Cup finals or semi-finals or something like that,” Lara lamented.
“For me, I’m hugely disappointed but I have had a very fruitful career, I’ve enjoyed playing for West Indies in the one-day arena and will continue to enjoy it for the next couple of games. Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Dresonic on April 2, 2007
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – West Indies captain Brian Lara is clutching onto hopes of a semi-final spot in Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007 in spite of his side’s dismal form in the Super-8 series and precarious position in the standings.
West Indies crashed to their third consecutive loss in the CWC second-round Sunday when Sri Lanka whipped them by 113 runs at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence.
With only two points and needing to make the top four to advance, West Indies are a low sixth in the eight-team standings, although they have played more games than all the other teams.
“I am an eternal optimist,” Lara told reporters at Sunday’s post-match press conference.
“We’ve got to pick up and fight because you never know what can happen,” he added.
The beleaguered Windies, who have not tasted a CWC victory since leaving Jamaica where they won all three games in the first round, have three matches remaining.
They play next on Tuesday April 10 against World No 1 South Africa in Grenada, before playing Bangladesh and England.
“We’re going to have a couple of days off and re-assess the situation. We have to be sure we are fresh for the last three matches,” Lara said. Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Dresonic on April 2, 2007
Four Scotland Yard detectives, led by Superintendent John Sweeney, arrived in the island yesterday to assist local cops probing the murder of former Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer.
The four detectives from Scotland Yard’s Specialist Crime Directorate will be briefed by Deputy Commissioner Mark Shields, who is heading local investigations into Woolmer’s March 18 murder.
Days after Woolmer’s naked body was found in room 374 on the 12th floor of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Shields had announced that overseas assistance would be sought if local police deemed it necessary.
Yesterday, he insisted that the Scotland Yard sleuths were not here because local cops were incapable of handling the probe.
“This is normal procedure, we have to start retracing our steps to see if we left anything out,” Shields said.
Shields also dismissed reports in the British media that Woolmer downed a bottle of whisky in his room on March 18 during the hours after Pakistan’s humiliating loss to Ireland and the time he was found by a housekeeper. Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Dresonic on April 2, 2007
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) – It didn’t look as though Brian Lara had lost a cricket match. It was as if he had lost much more.
The West Indies, that most artificial of geographical groupings based loosely on former British colonies, had just lost their third World Cup match in a row, breaking the hearts of a region that is used to decades of cricket supremacy.
The fact that the World Cup was being staged in the Caribbean for the first time did not help either.
In most countries, such a failure might result in the captain or the coach being fired along with the selectors.
But in the Caribbean, the very future of West Indies cricket is at stake. The sport is under pressure from the growing American influence of basketball and the global pull of soccer.
Cricket is simply not the number one choice for young Caribbean sports fans anymore.
West Indies cricket officials had hoped the World Cup would rekindle interest in the sport in the Caribbean. But the murder investigation into death of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer in Jamaica and the poor performance of the home team have cast a pall over the tournament.
Lara’s team was hammered by 103 runs by Australia, seven wickets by New Zealand and 113 runs by Sri Lanka. These results are unacceptable to West Indies fans, knives are already out and recriminations have started.
Colin Croft, one of the seemingly endless chain of pace bowlers once produced by the West Indies in the 1970s and 80s, said Sunday’s toothless loss against Sri Lanka was embarrassing. “The West Indies cricket team, based on what I saw yesterday, is in a very bad state overall,” he wrote in the country’s main newspaper The Guyana Chronicle. Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Dresonic on April 2, 2007
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – West Indies have been fined for a slow over rate during their 113-run loss to Sri Lanka in their Cricket World Cup, Super Eight match Sunday.
The regional side were two overs short of the target at the scheduled finish of the Sri Lanka innings, match referee Jeff Crowe said.
In accordance with the ICC Code of Conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties for players, captain Brian Lara has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee, while the other players have received 10 per cent fines.
Sri Lanka condemned West Indies to their third straight loss in the Super Eight by raising 303 for five off 50 overs and then dismissing the hosts for 190 in 44.3 overs.
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Posted by Dresonic on March 28, 2007
|St Peter’s, Antigua – West Indies pacer Daren Powell (right) reacts to a false shot from Australia’s Matthew Hayden during their Super 8 match at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium yesterday. (Photo: AP)
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (AFP) – Matthew Hayden’s commanding innings of 158 left world champions Australia in a strong position against hosts West Indies before rain forced the opening Super Eight match of this World Cup into a second day.
Hayden’s record-breaking display was the centrepiece of Australia’s 322 for six after they’d lost the toss.
But rain, which had been falling steadily during the Australia innings, meant the West Indies’ reply never got started in the first major match staged at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
The match will be resumed at 9:30 am local time today with the hosts chasing 323 to win off 50 overs.
Earlier, Hayden produced one of the great World Cup innings, providing a master class in how to pace a big score after taking 18 balls to get off the mark following West Indies captain Brian Lara’s decision to field first in overcast conditions.
His hundred, his second in as many matches, was the highest score by an Australian at the World Cup, surpassing the 143 not out made by Andrew Symonds four years ago against Pakistan in Johannesburg, and the ninth best in the history of the tournament.
This innings came after Hayden’s 101 in the 83-run win against South Africa on Saturday.
It was also the 35-year-old left-handed opener’s third hundred in as many one-day internationals against Test nations following his Australian record 181 not out against New Zealand last month in Hamilton. Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Dresonic on March 27, 2007
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – Hosts West Indies will face perhaps their sternest test to date in the 2007 Cricket World Cup when they clash with world champions Australia in the first match of the Super Eights at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground here today.
Both teams finished the group stage with perfect records and are focusing on extending that success into the all-important second round.
|West Indies’ cricket captain Brian Lara bats in the nets during a practice session at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in St John’s, Antigua, yesterday. West Indies will play Australia in the first match of the Super Eights round of the Cricket World Cup today. (Photo: AP)
“For us it’s important. Both teams already advanced with two points after beating the other qualifier and Australia will of course start as favourites tomorrow (Tuesday) and will continue as favourites until the exit the tournament or win the tournament,” West Indies captain Brian Lara told a media conference yesterday.
“So for us it’s a huge game. We have had some success against them in the recent past. We know it’s going to be tough, Australia’s never-say-die attitude will always be present and we are going to work hard to make sure we get the better of them.”
Ponting earlier labelled the West Indies as “dangerous”, noting they were a very good One-Day side.
Lara played down the compliment, pointing out that Australia were playing at their best and his team needed to match the defending champions’ skills.
“That’s good. It’s nice to know that he considers us dangerous. I still think that we have got a lot of work to do to match the skills of the Australian team consistently,” Lara said.
“We have beaten them in the past. They are more than dangerous if you want to put it that way. If the West Indies are dangerous they are more than dangerous.
“They are playing at their best and I can tell by the way they are playing that they are here to make a hat-trick of wins. You have got to respect that. They are very confident with their ability.
“But it’s nice to know they consider us dangerous. I hope that they do of the entire 15 players because that’s what we are trying to create – a lot more dangerous players.”
He added: “I’m pretty confident we are going to do well in this tournament. It’s not about being giant killers. This tournament has still got a month left and it is important for us to take each game at a time and don’t get over confident if we get a win tomorrow, just go on and execute.”
Ponting said the match-up at the venue, named after Antigua & Barbuda’s only living national hero and former West Indies captain and master-batsman, will be a special one for CWC 2007.
“Once again it is another very exciting game in this World Cup. The West Indies are a very dangerous team. They are on home soil. They should know these conditions better than anybody else. They will have great support all round the Caribbean,” said Ponting, who is just two runs away from completing 1000 in CWC.
“Every step you take in this tournament it becomes more and more exciting and Tuesday, once again, is going to be one of our biggest games in the World Cup.”
While both teams are expected to announce the final XI before the start of game, West Indies are likely to replace left-arm seamer Ian Bradshaw with medium-pacer Corey Collymore who missed the last game.
Australia are expected to retain the line-up that beat World number one South Africa convincingly in their final Group A match on Saturday.
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