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Bangladesh cancel Pakistan tour due to security concerns

Bangladesh cancel Pakistan tour due to security concerns

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UPDATED:

12:20 GMT, 31 December 2012

Bangladesh have called off their upcoming tour of Pakistan because of security concerns.

No international cricket has been played in Pakistan since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in Lahore in 2009.

Six Sri Lankan players were wounded when
gunmen opened fire on their coach as they were being driven to the Gaddafi Stadium for a Test match.

The news will be a bitter pill to swallow for Pakistan having recently resolved another major dispute to resume bilateral ties with India after five years.

Wounded: Six Sri Lankan players were hurt when their bus was shot at in Lahore in 2009

Wounded: Six Sri Lankan players were hurt when their bus was shot at in Lahore in 2009

Wounded: Six Sri Lankan players were hurt when their bus was shot at in Lahore in 2009

'Bangladesh will not visit Pakistan for now,' said Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan.

'We have noticed that the security situation in Pakistan has not improved significantly, (it has) rather deteriorated.

'In this circumstance, we think it will not be very wise to tour. We
have conveyed our decision to Pakistan already. We are observing the
situation. If the situation improves we will keep our commitment.

'We have made a commitment to travel to Pakistan but we believe that the security of players and officials are the most important thing.'

Pakistan have been playing 'home' series in the United Arab Emirates as well as hosting Australia in England in 2010 for two Tests and two Twenty20s.

They recently hosted two Twenty20s against a World XI featuring Sanath Jayasuriya and Andre Nel.

James Tredwell called into England squad for India tour

Tredwell called into England squad as cover for spin kings Swann and Panesar

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UPDATED:

10:49 GMT, 29 November 2012

As if further confirmation was needed of England's error in selecting just one spinner for the first Test in Ahmedabad earlier this month, James Tredwell has now been added to the squad for the ongoing tour of India.

The 30-year-old Kent off spinner will join up with Alastair Cook's side on Saturday ahead of the third Test starting in Kolkata next Wednesday.

Cover: Tredwell has been called into England's squad

Cover: Tredwell has been called into England's squad

Having been comprehensively beaten fielding just one spinner in Ahmedabad, England called Monty Panesar into their side to partner first-choice Graeme Swann for the second Test in Mumbai last week and were duly rewarded with a series-levelling 10-wicket win as the pair picked up 19 of the 20 Indian wickets to fall.

Tredwell is unlikely to play in the remaining two Tests unless either Swann or Panesar are injured, though he provides much needed cover in the slow bowling department as no other specialist spinners are in the touring party.

Spin kings: Swann (left) and Panesar (right) took 19 wickets in Mumbai

Spin kings: Swann (left) and Panesar (right) took 19 wickets in Mumbai

'Tredwell has performed really well for us,' said England team director Andy Flower. 'He can make a real impact as a spin bowler. He is arriving in Kolkata on December 1 as cover.

'We have some spinners with the Performance Programme. But Tredwell is a senior spinner and will stay with us for the Tests.'

Tredwell, who was recently named as Kent's new captain, has played just one Test previously – taking six wickets as England beat Bangladesh in Dhaka in March 2010.

World Twenty20 2012: Pakistan cruise into Super Eights

Pakistan cruise into Super Eights with victory over Bangladesh by eight wickets

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UPDATED:

17:50 GMT, 25 September 2012

Imran Nazir powered Pakistan as they became the final team to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights with an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh.

Pakistan could afford to be defeated by 35 runs or fewer to make it through to the next stage, and knock out their opponents, in Tuesday night's last Group D match at Pallekele.

There were perhaps some doubts when Bangladesh piled up 175 for six, and Pakistan therefore had to make a minimum 140 to progress on run rate – even in defeat.

Job done: Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal embrace after securing victory for Pakistan

Job done: Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal embrace after securing victory for Pakistan

SCORECARD

Click here for the full scorecard from Pallekele

But Nazir (72) made a nonsense of those concerns, with the fastest half-century in this tournament – from just 25 balls.

Bangladesh, without a win against Pakistan in any format since their shock 1999 World Cup success, appeared to have been given a chance by Shakib Al Hasan's boundary-laden 84.

But on a batsman's pitch, Bangladesh's attempted defence of their useful total began badly as Abul Hasan put Nazir down at mid-on off Shafiul Islam when the opener had just one run to his name in the second over.

It proved to be an especially costly missed chance, Nazir eventually banking nine fours and three sixes.

Fine knock: Nazir scored 72 runs

Fine knock: Nazir scored 72 runs

Fine knock: Nazir scored 72 runs

Captain Mohammad Hafeez batted in his first-wicket partner's slipstream in a stand of 124, before both fell in the same over from Hasan.

Pakistan nonetheless completed their task with eight balls to spare.

Bangladesh earlier needed Shakib to carry their innings, after he had been part of a mix-up which saw their dangerman Tamim Iqbal run out towards the end of a powerplay containing 61 runs.

After Mushfiqur Rahim had perhaps surprisingly chosen to bat first, Tamim gave Bangladesh a promising start as Umar Gul suffered most – in one early over which cost 17.

Frustrated: Shakib had earlier scored 84 runs in vain for Bangladesh

Frustrated: Shakib had earlier scored 84 runs in vain for Bangladesh

Frustrated: Shakib had earlier scored 84 runs in vain for Bangladesh

But it was Shakib who ensured the innings had legs, hitting 11 fours and two sixes from just 54 balls.

He shared a stand of 68 for the third wicket with Mushfiqur, and departed only in the 20th over to Yasir Arafat (three for 25).

But it never looked likely to be enough, once Pakistan's batsmen got started.

England thrashed by South Africa in first Test at the Oval

No 1 The crown is slipping and devastating defeat gives Strauss serious problems

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UPDATED:

23:16 GMT, 23 July 2012

It does not get much worse than this. Never have England lost a Test while taking only two wickets and rarely, at least under Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss, have they looked so utterly outplayed and devoid of ideas and imagination.

Best team in the world Not on this evidence. That hard-earned status is hanging by a thread.

England must beat South Africa at Headingley or Lord’s and avoid defeat in the other Test to remain No 1 and, while that is not beyond them, it will take a mighty improvement on this sorry showing. Whisper it, but England could even slip below Australia if they lose this series 3-0.

Timber: Ravi Bopara is bowled by Dale Steyn on day five of the first Test at the Oval

Timber: Ravi Bopara is bowled by Dale Steyn on day five of the first Test at the Oval

England lose to South Africa

They will shudder at that. Shudder at how they could crash to the most emphatic and demoralising defeat under the reign of the two men who have done so much to transform England into the well-drilled outfit of the last three years. It is a desperately difficult defeat to explain.

Put simply, England were marmalised. They had their chance when they won an important toss and battled to a position of some authority on day one against a South Africa team who looked under-cooked and almost lethargic amid claims the best bowler in the world, Dale Steyn, was carrying an injury. How misplaced those suggestions seem now, after the tourists won their first Test at The Oval — at the 14th attempt — in style.

Not only did South Africa and Steyn come roaring back to the point where, after treating England with all the disdain they would reserve for Bangladesh, they steamrollered their way to victory by an innings and 12 runs. They also inflicted enough psychological blows to carry a significant advantage into the rest of the series. The need for England to make the most of the week they have before the build-up for the second Investec Test begins is paramount.

This was their fifth defeat in nine Tests since thrashing India to go top of the world last year and life will not get easier when they make the return journey to the subcontinent this winter.

Steam Steyn: The fast bowler (left) celebrates after bowling Bopara for 22 runs on Monday morning

Steam Steyn: The fast bowler (left) celebrates after bowling Bopara for 22 runs on Monday morning

Delaying the inevitable: Ian Bell was the only leading batsman who offered any form of resistance, scoring 55

Delaying the inevitable: Ian Bell was the only leading batsman who offered any form of resistance, scoring 55

If they lose this series heavily — and they have now lost their last two Tests against South Africa by an innings — they could easily slip down the ICC ladder as quickly as they climbed to the top of it.

England will let the dust settle before they decide what needs to be done to overturn a defeat in which they could take just those two wickets in 189 overs and capitulated twice with the bat in the home conditions that normally bring out the best in them. There will be no knee-jerk reaction and English cricket is all the better for that.

But if, as they could well do, they throw the same 11 players into battle at Leeds they must have many more plans to dismiss the outstanding South Africa batsmen and insist on much more application from their own. Too many threw their wickets away with the carelessness that Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis simply do not possess.

The damage had been done ahead of the final day but England were still their own worst enemies on Monday. They handed victory to South Africa on a plate when they should have been capable of making the visitors sweat before completing their demolition job.

England’s hopes, with four top batsmen gone, rested with the overnight pair of Ravi Bopara and Ian Bell and next man in Matt Prior, but all three departed to shots they will want to forget, as Kevin Pietersen and Strauss had done on Sunday.

Rare counter-attack: Bell hits out on the way to his half-century at the Oval on Monday

Rare counter-attack: Bell hits out on the way to his half-century at the Oval on Monday

Jacques won't let this one slip: Matt Prior edges a ball from Imran Tahir and is caught by Kallis (left)

Jacques won't let this one slip: Matt Prior edges a ball from Imran Tahir and is caught by Kallis (left)

South Africa’s attack is good enough as it is without England offering gifts. Bopara, looking to be positive, threw his bat too hard at a wide one from Steyn and crashed the ball into his stumps for his second soft dismissal of the match barely half an hour into the final day. He will survive for Headingley, and rightly, because the days of chopping and changing after one game of a series are gone, but the evidence to suggest Bopara will never be temperamentally suited to the ultimate form of the game is sadly growing.

England were then offered hope. Bell and Prior batted sensibly in adding 86 for the sixth wicket and it was possible to discern a hint of concern among the South Africans. If the pair had got through to tea, England might have dared to dream of another great escape to add to those in Cardiff, Centurion and Cape Town in recent times. As it turned out the whole team could not make it to tea.

England’s last realistic hope departed with Prior. He had looked comfortable before, two overs ahead of the second new ball, aiming the first sweep of the day at an Imran Tahir ball from round the wicket that spat out of the rough. Prior could barely believe it as he top-edged to slip and had to drag himself off with the game all but up.

Winning feeling: Tahir celebrates after dismissing Prior after lunch on day five in south London

Winning feeling: Tahir celebrates after dismissing Prior after lunch on day five in south London

When Bell offered one of the safest slippers in the world Kallis further catching practice by holding his bat out to Steyn, Graeme Smith might as well have headed to the airport to fly home for the birth of his first child.

As it was the captain hung around to apply the final rites, with Steyn roaring ‘five’ when he dismissed Graeme Swann for his 18th five-wicket haul in Test cricket. If Steyn is unfit then woe betide England when he has recovered.

It will take a lot for England to recover from this. Initially they must decide whether the pain that Swann still feels in his elbow was in any way responsible for his 52 wicketless overs here and whether Stuart Broad was simply off-colour or suffering an injury of his own.

Then they can decide whether Steven Finn and, possibly, Graham Onions come into the equation but they will not lose faith with the men who took them to the top. They will just demand significant improvement. It is imperative for England that it comes quickly.

ICC recommend universal DRS use

At last! India could be forced into using DRS as ICC recommend universal use

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UPDATED:

18:31 GMT, 25 June 2012

The International Cricket Council chief executives' committee have recommended universal application of the Decision Review System.

An ICC statement released on Monday confirmed that the committee (CEC) had made the recommendation – which has to be ratified by the ICC board – after being satisfied with the technology enhancements provided by new Hotspot cameras and the results of independent research on ball tracking.

New and improved: The ICC are happy with Hotspot

New and improved: The ICC are happy with Hotspot

The Decision Review System (DRS) has caused controversy, with India being firmly against it and refusing to use it in last summer's Test series against England.

Nonetheless, the CEC are recommending that, subject to members' ability to finance and obtain the required technology, DRS should be mandatory for all Tests and one-day internationals.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: 'We have made good progress in independently testing ball tracking and the new enhancements has resulted in the CEC unanimously supporting the ICC cricket committee's recommendation to universally apply the DRS in all Test matches and ODIs.'

Ratified: The ICC are also happy with the result of an independent review of the ball-tracking system

Ratified: The ICC are also happy with the result of an independent review of the ball-tracking system

The CEC also reconfirmed the necessity for all member boards to have in place and implement domestic anti-corruption codes – stressing in particular the need for the Bangladesh Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket to incorporate such codes – and said it did not object to the principle of a six-match Twenty20 international series between Pakistan and Australia, who are set to clash in the United Arab Emirates in August.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had requested support for the six-match format, requiring special dispensation from the CEC and then the ICC board as current regulations permit only three T20s in a series.

Monday's statement confirmed that 'because of the extreme daytime heat in the UAE at that time of the year, the CEC raised no objections to the principle of a six-match T20 series replacing the scheduled series of three ODIs and three T20s should the PCB elect to make that switch.'

The CEC meeting forms part of this week's ICC annual conference in Kuala Lumpur. The recommendations now go forward for consideration by the ICC board, which meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Pakistan to host cricket internationals for first time since terror attack on Sri Lanka team

Pakistan to host internationals for first time since terrorist attack on Sri Lanka team

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UPDATED:

12:37 GMT, 15 April 2012

International cricket is poised to return to Pakistan after the International Cricket Council revealed agreement has been reached for Bangladesh to contest two matches there later this month.

No full-member international side has toured Pakistan since a terrorist attack on a Sri Lanka team bus in March 2009 that left six police officers and a driver dead and several players and officials injured.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have agreed a two-match itinerary, and tabled their proposal to the ICC's executive board, which is currently meeting in Dubai.

Horror: The Sri Lankan team being rescued from the Gaddafi Stadium in 2009

Horror: The Sri Lankan team being rescued from the Gaddafi Stadium in 2009

The ICC have requested the PCB provide them with details of their security arrangements for the proposed one-day match on April 29 and Twenty20 encounter on April 30, both of which will be held at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium.

'The ICC Board were informed today that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have agreed the Bangladesh tour of Pakistan will take place and will involve one One-Day International and one Twenty20 International to be held in Lahore,' read an ICC statement.

'The ICC Board, having due regard to its duty of care to match officials and other ICC staff, requested that the PCB to immediately provide a comprehensive security plan for consideration.

Big stage: Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium will host both limited-overs games

Big stage: Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium will host both limited-overs games

'Thereafter, the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit will commission a localised risk assessment to determine whether its officials and staff are appropriately protected by the proposed security plan, before any further decision is taken in relation to their appointment.'

BCB president Mustafa Kamal, who recently assessed the security situation in Lahore, hailed the agreement between his board and the PCB as a significant moment for the people of Pakistan.

'The public of Pakistan have been deprived of cricket and we felt that we needed to support them,' he said. 'The reception we received when we toured Lahore and Karachi on our security visit was overwhelming.'

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, who first approached Bangladesh about a possible tour last year and has previously spoken of his belief international cricket will return to the country in 2012, added: 'I want to thank the BCB and the Bangladesh Government for their support for this tour.'

Since the terrorist attack three years ago, Pakistan have been required to play designated home internationals on neutral territory, chiefly the United Arab Emirates but also in England and New Zealand.

Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews doubt for England Test series

Sri Lanka all-rounder Mathews injury doubt for England Test series

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UPDATED:

17:18 GMT, 14 March 2012

Cause for concern: Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews could miss the England Test series

Cause for concern: Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews could miss the England Test series

Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews is a doubt for the Test series against England after being sent home from the Asia Cup with a calf injury.

Mathews, who is a key player for Sri Lanka in all formats, previously struggled with the problem and missed the finals of the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia as a result.

It had been hoped that would help him back to fitness for the Asia Cup, which is being held in Bangladesh, but he is once again facing a period of rehabilitation.

'(Over) the last couple of days Angelo has had some fitness tests, he hasn't pulled through those well, so we made a call to send him back home,' Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene told Cricinfo.

'He will try to get ready for the Test matches that start in about 10 days' time. The selectors back home will decide and send a replacement for us.'

Sri Lanka were already concerned about the fitness of paceman Thisara Perera, who is out with a back injury.

Pakistan to be led by Dav Whatmore from March

Thanks for nothing! Khan shunned for Whatmore despite Pakistan's whitewash

Dav Whatmore will be appointed as Pakistan's new coach in March, according to Intikhab Alam.

Alam, a former Pakistan player and coach, chaired a committee put together by the Pakistan Cricket Board to find a new man after Waqar Younis stepped down last year.

It has long been thought that, despite Pakistan's impressive form under interim boss Mohsin Khan – they recently inflicted a Test series whitewash on number-one ranked England – former Bangladesh coach Whatmore had been chosen by the committee.

New man: Dav Whatmore will lead Pakistan from March

New man: Dav Whatmore will lead Pakistan from March

And Alam said: 'Dav Whatmore will arrive in early March to sign his contract. I can't give you the exact date yet as that has not been verified, but everything is in place for him to take over with his first assignment being the Asia Cup in Bangladesh.

'Whatmore has a proven record and I feel that his appointment will be an exciting one for the Pakistan cricket team. The team under Misbah[-ul-Haq]'s astute leadership have gelled and continued to show great signs of improvement over the last year or so.

'I feel that Whatmore will add more professionalism to an already improving team and will take this team to greater heights.'

High five for England"s Craig Kieswetter

High five for Kieswetter as England seek to power up

Craig Kieswetter returned to the
scene of his England breakthrough to practise the new
middle-order role Andy Flower has handed him ahead of facing Pakistan.

It was his 81 against England as an
opener for the Lions two years ago at the Sheik Zayed Stadium that
catapulted Kieswetter into the successful World Twenty20 team and he has
remained in the limited-overs side ever since.

Power play: Craig Kieswetter in the nets

Power play: Craig Kieswetter in the nets

Yet mixed results at the top of the order coupled with the desire to hand Kevin Pietersen the challenge of opening sees Kieswetter pencilled in at No 5 to capitalise on the third power-play.

He has been playing there with some success for the Lions on tour in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The Somerset keeperbatsman will bat there on Friday against a Lions team who will try to repeat that success over England here which was inspired by Kieswetter and Michael Lumb.

It will be England's only practice game ahead of Monday's first one-day international.

Team talk: Kieswetter and coach Andy Flower

Team talk: Kieswetter and coach Andy Flower

'It was a great feeling to score runs against England here,' said Kieswetter. 'I was on the other side then and we were fortunate enough to bring England down. Five is a new role for me but it gives me the opportunity to finish off games.'

The most interesting member of the Lions side is Yorkshire batsman Joe Root, who is seen within the England set-up as potentially the next Test opening batsman to emerge.

Chris Tremlett had surgery on the back injury that forced him to return home from England's tour of the UAE on Thursday.