Posts Tagged ‘icc’

Are DRS & The Test Championship On Their Way Out?

The ICC has concluded its final Executive Board meeting of the year and made some decisions which could have far-reaching consequences. They are explained in more detail here but in a nutshell, here is what has been agreed:

  • DRS: reversion to a previous working whereby it is no longer mandatory but must be agreed by both boards ahead of series
  • World Cup 2015: confirmation that top 2 in Associates/Affiliates one-day league will qualify; remaining six teams get second chance to fill other two places
  • Test Championship 2013: under threat due to broadcasting issues and could be delayed until 2017

The DRS decision will probably not surprise too many although it is at least laudable that it will remain in place for global events. Part of the Test championship was due to be hosted by Edgbaston, which could be a huge blow for them if it doesn’t happen, although they would likely be in pole position to stage major matches at the 2013 Champions Trophy, which now looks the favourite to go ahead as previously planned.

What are your thoughts – do you think that DRS should be applied uniformally across the board and is there room for both a Test championship, two ODI global events and the ICC World Twenty20?

India Set Up World Cup Final Clash With Sri Lanka

It might not have been a classic cricket World Cup semi-final, but India did enough to beat arch-rivals Pakistan and set up a final with Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Sachin Tendulkar was dropped no fewer than four times and survived a close stumping appeal on his way to 85 before both teams’ middle orders rather lost their way – Wahab Riaz’s five-wicket haul inspiring a mini-collapse and Pakistan’s engine room failing to click into gear until the game was all but over.

India-Pakistan clashes are typically nervy affairs and this one proved to be no exception. Umar Gul, usually reliable, lost his line and length early on and was savaged by Virender Sehwag, who in turn inexplicably missed a straight ball.

Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq – two of Pakistan’s most experienced cricketers, and two who usually save their best for matches against India – then dropped simple chances to offer Tendulkar further chances.

He eventually fell 15 short of a century having played far from his best innings before Riaz rose to the occasion in style, returning five for 46 and picking the perfect stage to return a career-best performance.

His efforts, were in vain however, as despite a fast start from Kamran Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan fell away dramatically, and once Hafeez was dismissed – to an uncharacteristically bad shot – India were always likely to close out the game.

Yuvraj Singh registered just the second golden duck of his ODI career but struck twice with the ball in quick succession to further pin Pakistan down and the look of shock on Umar Akmal’s face when he was bowled by Harbhajan Singh left little to the imagination.

Pakistan were perhaps stunned by their own inability to cope with the situation of playing India in a World Cup (five times they have played, five times they have lost now) in front of 40,000 screaming fans in Mohali.

In the eyes of many Pakistan fans, Misbah is the main culprit for the defeat. His 56 in 76 balls was a valiant effort, but he hardly played an attacking stroke before the required run rate had shot up to 12 an over and he was left with the tail-enders.

In his defence, he would not be expected to take on the role of the aggressor while Akmal, Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq were at the crease. Their failures to go on and make big scores quickly merely increased the pressure on him.

Had he been unbeaten on 40 and one of those players had have smashed 50 in 35 balls then he would be a hero. Yesterday was India’s day and therefore Misbah was cast as villain.

Now India take on Sri Lanka on Saturday with both teams bidding for a second World Cup triumph and Mahendra Singh Dhoni looking to complete a full house – he has already led India to the number one spot in the Test rankings and the ICC World Twenty20 title in 2007, as well as guiding the Chennai Super Kings to both Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 glory.

Match-Fixing Scandal – Lengthy Bans All Round

Salman Butt (ten years), Mohammad Asif (seven years) and Mohammad Amir (five years) have all been handed lengthy bans following their involvement in the match-fixing scandal.

That all three could yet end up playing international cricket again in the future (although in the case of Butt and Asif in particular, this remains somewhat unlikely) has sparked intense debate.

There is sympathy with the plight of Amir – he appears set to appeal on the grounds that five years out of the game for two new balls is a disproportionate punishment but also widespread condemnation that the players were not banned for life.

Of course, they are also, along with managed Mazhar Majeed, set to stand trial in the UK and if found guilty could face prison sentences of up to seven years.

Has the tribunal been lenient? Or have the players been unfairly treated? And is there any way back when the bans are up?