Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Pakistan invites West Indies for Tests in November

September 13, 2008

Pakistan have “formally invited” West Indies to play two Tests in November in another attempt to fill the gap created by the postponement of the Champions Trophy.

The Pakistan board had initially proposed a tri-series in South Africa but the plan fell through after Cricket South Africa said their players were fatigued following a long tour of England. They then tried to set up an ODI series against Sri Lanka but had received “ridiculously low figures” for the television rights.

Pakistan have been deprived of Test cricket in 2008 after Australia postponed their tour of the country for Test and ODI series, scheduled for March, because of security concerns. They hosted the Asia Cup in June-July, but the Champions Trophy, which was supposed to begin on September 12, was also postponed after five countries said they wouldn’t participate in the tournament due to security fears.

Their next international assignment is a four-day Twenty20 quadrangular in Toronto next month with Sri Lanka, West Indies and hosts Canada.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi

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South Africa reject tri-series proposal

September 7, 2008

South Africa reject tri-series proposal

With South Africa pulling out of the possible tri-series, Pakistan are now looking to organise a one-day series with Sri Lanka

The proposal for a tri-series in South Africa, also involving Pakistan and probably Sri Lanka has been rejected by Cricket South Africa, who said their top players need to rest after the recent tour of England.

“Cricket South Africa [CSA] have today informed us they can’t arrange the series as their players have had a long and hectic tour of England which ended on a disappointing note for them,” Shafqat Naghmi, the Pakistan board’s chief operating officer, said. Naghmi was also told by a CSA official that “South Africa’s leading players were not interested in playing in a series immediately after their tour of England”.

South Africa’s coach Mickey Arthur had expressed concerns that fatigue was hampering his team’s progress after their 4-0 loss to England in the recent one-day series and warned the administrators against “flogging a dead horse”.

The PCB was trying to arrange the tournament to fill the gap created by the postponement of the Champions Trophy which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan in September. However, five of the participating nations said they would not travel to Pakistan because of security concerns, forcing the tournament to be put off.

“We have the option of inviting one or two teams for one-day matches but will only go ahead with them after getting a clearance from the Interior Ministry,” Naghmi told .

Pakistan are now trying to set up a one-day series against Sri Lanka.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi

Arthur concerned over fatigue and Kolpaks

September 5, 2008

South Africa’s one-day nightmare against England has at least crystallised two things in coach Mickey Arthur’s mind: the need for inaction on one front and action on another. With so many South Africans opting to sign in England as Kolpaks, Arthur is increasingly determined to lure them back to home soil.

The search for new talent has led Arthur to Ryan McLaren, who South Africa are now trying to hook away from a recently-extended Kolpak deal with Kent.

“I have had discussions over the phone with Ryan McLaren’s agent,” Arthur said. “But Ryan is on an unbelievable deal with Kent, so we will need something extra. But he would provide the all-round depth we need, he’s a top-class player and he’s had another big season with Kent.”

While McLaren is the big fish South Africa are trying to land, the likes of Johan van der Wath, Andrew Hall and Justin Kemp can hardly be regarded as anchovies and they would all provide the power-hitting option down the order that South Africa are seeking.

The sudden urgency over all-rounders is ironic when considering the likes of Lance Klusener, Nicky Boje, Dale Benkenstein and Zander de Bruyn – all South African products and capped at international level – have also fled to England.

Moreover, Arthur is concerned that fatigue is beginning to hamper South Africa’s progress. Pakistan may be promising the moon in terms of a tri-series they want South Africa to host to compensate for the postponement of the Champions Trophy, but Arthur believes the tournament is highly unlikely to take place.

“I’m sure the tri-series is not going to take place and, in retrospect, it’s a relief the Champions Trophy was called off because we would have been back on a plane flying to Pakistan on Sunday,” Arthur said. “I’d like the administrators to remember the team is our product and because they’ve done so marvellously well it has led to commercial opportunities. But I don’t think we should be flogging a dead horse.

“I can’t think of one player who was involved in both the Test and one-day series in England who has not picked up a niggle. Graeme Smith’s tennis elbow is just through over-use; Mark Boucher has a fractured finger from over-use; Morne Morkel a side strain and Dale Steyn has not recovered properly from the shoulder injury he picked up in the IPL [Indian Premier League].”

So, resting his core players will certainly lead to a better showing later in the year, but Arthur admitted there were doubts over the selection of the limited-overs team going forward.

“We knew the one-dayers would be tough and I don’t think a really good England side has got the credit they deserve. But I am concerned about our depth in all departments, but in particular in terms of all-rounders,” Arthur said. “In the past we’ve had teams where we basically have fielded 12 players because of the all-rounders; we’ve batted down to nine. But in the England series I felt it was 12 against 10 at times.”

England win series after Cardiff washed out

September 3, 2008

England v South Africa, 5th ODI, Cardiff

3 overs South Africa 6 for 1 (Amla 3*, Kallis 0*) v England – Match abandoned

Scorecard

Stuart Broad removed Herschelle Gibbs for 3

England’s hopes of securing a 5-0 whitewash over South Africa were denied by the Welsh rain, as the fifth and final ODI at Cardiff was abandoned after only three overs of play. England will no doubt feel frustrated in being deprived a fifth win in succession, but a scoreline of 4-0 against South Africa represents an achievement far beyond their pre-series aspirations. Not even Kevin Pietersen, their unerringly positive captain, could have foreseen England’s dominance.

South Africa, who recalled Justin Ontong in place of Vernon Philander, only had three overs in which to bat, but such is their flattened confidence that they lost Herschelle Gibbs, perhaps the only man in their current lineup capable of ratcheting them out of their slump. A neat outswinger from Stuart Broad lured him into a loose drive, and Matt Prior pulled off his second diving catch of the series, clinging on with his right hand in front of first slip. Demure – perhaps even expectant – celebrations by England were an acute reminder of just how dramatically Pietersen’s team have stolen the late-summer momentum.

And that was that. The Cardiff rain shot down from the heavens to end England’s international summer, and finally finish what has been a thoroughly dismal denouement to South Africa’s tour. Their 2-1 win in the Test series seems an awfully long time ago now, and as Jacques Kallis has admitted, their one-day tribulations – of the sort England themselves have become far too accustomed to – has scuffed the gloss of their visit. It seems inconceivable there won’t be a clear-out when the debrief takes place in Johannesburg in the next few weeks.

A disappointing day for England, but also for Wales. Today’s match was the first to be held at Cardiff’s revamped stadium, the contentious venue for the first Ashes Test next summer. Quibbles aside about its makeshift, untraditional appearance, it was mostly a shame that a full 100 overs weren’t possible in order to gauge just what sort of pitch England will face Australia on next summer.

And yet, despite the Cardiff clouds, nothing can dampen England’s mood. It was a faintly absurd notion that England were in a position to win this series 5-0. Indeed, they should have, had the rain not intervened. But 4-0 is no less loopy a result considering the hapless ODI form they have shown for so many years, and although they would have skipped into second position in the world rankings with today’s win, they nestle neatly and proudly into third.

Perplexed wonderment aside, the solution to England’s one-day woes has been relatively simple. Pietersen has coaxed Steve Harmison out of retirement and squeezed the best out of him as a second and third-change bowler. In addition, his best friend, Andrew Flintoff, has found a rich vein of batting form, carving two innings of 78 and a blistering 31 in the shortened 20-over thrash at Lord’s. Aside from the two giants, Pietersen has shown confidence in Owais Shah, whom he lofted to No.3, while Samit Patel – who played with him at Nottinghamshire – has offered runs, wickets and a calm head. All four of these players have at one time or another been described as contentious characters. Pietersen doesn’t care about their past troubles, however, and appears to be getting the very best out of them.

It was Flintoff, however, who was the difference between the two teams. Averaging 187 with the bat and 12.90 with the ball, he slowed South Africa’s innings down and accelerated England’s. Perhaps more importantly, the added responsibility of his status as the senior statesman of the side hasn’t dulled his naturally youthful instincts, unlike the burden of captaincy which surely did.

Pietersen, on the other hand, appears unsaddled by his new leadership role, though he did admit to being “knackered” prior to today’s match. If he’s tired now, one can only imagine the exhaustion he might feel when things don’t go quite so swimmingly. For now, though, a successful start to his tenure has hinted at an exciting time for England in one-day cricket, and all eyes now turn to Antigua.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar Jaggi

England v/s South Africa 5th ODI Scorecard

September 3, 2008
NatWest Series [South Africa in England] – 5th ODI
England v South Africa
2008 season
Played at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, on 3 September 2008 – day/night (50-over match)

Result No result ( Match Abandoned due to rain)

South Africa innings (43 overs maximum) R M B 4s 6s SR
HH Gibbs c wicketkeeperPrior b Broad 3 5 7 0 0 42.85
HM Amla not out 3 13 6 0 0 50.00
captain JH Kallis not out 0 7 5 0 0 0.00
Extras 0
Total (1 wicket; 3 overs; 13 mins) 6 (2.00 runs per over)
Did not bat AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, wicketkeeperMV Boucher, JL Ontong, J Botha, M Morkel, DW Steyn, A Nel
Fall of wickets1-3 (Gibbs, 1.3 ov)
Bowling O M R W Econ
JM Anderson 2 0 6 0 3.00
SCJ Broad 1 1 0 1 0.00
England team
IR Bell, wicketkeeperMJ Prior, OA Shah, captainKP Pietersen, A Flintoff, PD Collingwood, SR Patel, LJ Wright, SCJ Broad, SJ Harmison, JM Anderson

Toss England, who chose to field first
Series England won the 5-match series 4-0

– About Cricket –
Sandesh Kumar Jaggi