Feb 28, 2011

Sehwag, Tendulkar rise in ICC ODI rankings

Their brilliant performance in the first couple of World Cup matches has helped Indian batsmen Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar to rise to fifth and 10th respectively in the ICC one-day rankings issued on Monday. Sehwag, who smashed 175 against Bangladesh, is up six places in the latest chart, while Tendulkar, riding on his 120 against England, has risen five spots. Indians are headed northward even in the bowling rankings with Zaheer Khan in 14th (up by nine places), Harbhajan Singh in 16th (up by four places) and Munaf Patel in 22nd (up by 11 places).

England captain Andrew Strauss, who struck a 158-run knock in yesterday's thrilling tie against India, is in 13th spot in the batting list, up by eight places.

Others who have gone up the charts are Tamim Iqbal in 23rd (up by three places), Misbah-ul-Haq in 32nd (up by 12 places), Younus Khan in 44th (up by four places) and Kevin O'Brien in 52nd (up by four places).

Australia's Shane Watson, JP Duminy of South Africa, Netherlands' Ryan ten Doeschate and South Africa's Dale Steyn have all achieved personal landmarks.

Watson has climbed four places to break into the top 10 for the first time in his career.

Duminy's has risen two places to share the 15th spot with captain Graeme Smith and West Indies' Chris Gayle while Ten Doeschate has jumped 12 places to 20th.

In the bowling list, Steyn has jumped four places to fourth position.

Batsmen losing ground are Virat Kohli in third (down by one place), Kumar Sangakkara in eighth (down by one place), Gautam Gambhir in 10th (down by one place), Jacques Kallis in 14th (down by six places) and Chris Gayle in 15th (down by five places), Ricky Ponting in 19th (down by six places).

South Africa's duo of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers maintain the top two positions in batting chart.

Apart from Steyn, Mitchell Johnson of Australia has rocketed 12 places to fifth position after figures of 4-19 and 4-33 against Zimbabwe and New Zealand, respectively.

Also on the move are are Shahid Afridi in 11th position (up by 12 places), Shaun Tait in 29th (up by eight places), Tim Bresnan in 30th (up by 11 places) and Shoaib Akhtar in 37th (up by seven places).

England's James Anderson has taken a nosedive in the latest rankings dropping 12 places to 24th after figures of 0-72 and 1-91 against Netherlands and India, respectively.

Daniel Vettori of New Zealand continues to lead the field with South Africa's Morne Morkel in second place and Ray Price of Zimbabwe moving up one place to third position.

In the Rankings for all-rounders, Ten Doeschate has moved up four places to a career-best fifth as the top four remain unchanged with Bangladesh's Shakib-Al-Hasan leading the way.

Feb 24, 2011

Cricket-Box hit television not my bat, explains Ponting

Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting was still amused on Thursday at the furore he caused after his flying groin protector damaged a television in the Australian team's dressing room during a World Cup match.

Ponting was given a dressing down by the sport's governing body (ICC) on Wednesday for damaging the set but insisted it was purely accidental and not malicious.

"The television wasn't hit by me with my bat at all, it was hit by my box that I had thrown down," Ponting told reporters on Thursday, ahead of his team's Group A match against New Zealand.

After being run out for 28 by Zimbabwe on Monday, Ponting was seen angrily talking to himself as he walked back to the pavilion. Once inside, he struggled to put a lid on his emotions.

Conflicting reports suggested the damage had been caused by his groin protector, his glove and even his bat.

"I'm not sure where the lot of those stories have come from," he added with a smile. "But I have accepted what the ICC have come up with as far as a reprimand is concerned from the incident.

"There was some small damage to the TV set and I went and reported it to the team manager straight away. They actually replaced the television set there and then.

"Some of the stories I have been hearing the last couple of days have been a little bit different to what the list of events actually were."

Ponting, 36, accepted that he had crossed the line but wanted an end to the controversy once and for all.

"Hopefully we can put this all behind us and start worrying about a big game of cricket (tomorrow)," he said.

"There's a limit I guess... you can let off steam in a dressing room. It is a pretty sacred sort of place in international cricket.

"But there's a line you can't over-step. I accept responsibility for that happening, albeit by total accident and with no malice involved whatsoever.

"What's happened has happened, I'd like to be able to take it back but I can't."

Ponting, who is chasing his third consecutive World Cup triumph as captain, escaped any further censure even though he could have been fined up to 50 percent of his match fee, the ICC said in a statement on Wednesday.

Feb 19, 2011

Most runs by a batsman in world cup career

Most runs by a batsman in world cup career
Batsman (Country) Runs Mts Inns Best 100s 50s
Sachin Tendulkar (India) 1824 37 36 152 4 13
Ricky Ponting (Australia) 1537 39 36 140* 4 6
Brian Lara (West Indies) 1225 34 33 116 2 7
Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) 1165 38 37 120 3 6
Adam Gilchrist (Australia) 1085 31 31 149 1 8
Javed Miandad (Pakistan) 1083 33 30 103 1 8
Stephen Fleming (New Zealand) 1075 33 33 134* 2 5
Herschelle Gibbs (SA) 1067 25 23 143 2 8
Arvinda de Silva (Sri Lanka) 1064 35 32 145 2 6
Vivian Richards (West Indies) 1013 23 21 181 4 3
Saurav Ganguly (India) 1006 21 21 183 4 3
Mark Waugh (Australia) 1004 22 22 130 4 4
Mathew Hayden (Australia) 987 22 21 158 3 2

Feb 15, 2011

Brazil coach Mano Menezes hails Ronaldo's work ethic

Brazil coach Mano Menezes has praised Ronaldo's dedication in the latter stages of his career following the striker's decision to retire from professional football with immediate effect.

Menezes worked with Ronaldo during his spell in charge of Corinthians and won the Brazilian Cup and Campeonato Paulista with the Coringao.

"Today is without a doubt one of the most special days that football and life has to offer," started Menezes in an open letter on his official website.

"Even living in a world that is a whirlwind of events and madness, many people, including me, took a moment to reflect on the official retirement of Ronaldo 'Fenomeno'. One day known as Ronaldinho and now Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima again.

"His career is highlighted by numerous great achievements. He's the all-time World Cup top goalscorer. He was voted best player in the world on three occasions. He played for some of the best clubs in the world and became an idol all over the world.

"We worked together for about 18 very intensive months at Corinthians and his individual class impressed all of us. The results might have been better in his first year, but his enormous desire to always win every game explains his ability to make comeback after comeback. His superb mentality helped him overcome his injury problems.

"I firmly remember how he was sitting on the treatment table putting on a bandage in the dressing room only days before he helped us to victory in the Brazilian Cup and the Campeonato Paulista.

"From now on, he will be considered as a legend of the game and he will join many others from the past who have filled us with joy with their masterpieces. Fortunately for us, stars come and go in Brazilian football. Those who enter the stage will learn from those who starred before them, like Ronaldo. His faults? Every human has his mistakes and that's what I saw in Ronaldo; that he was a human being.

"It's now up to us to repay Ronaldo for everything he has done for us. We'll have to minimise the empty feeling he probably has and he deserves the affection of all Brazilian football fans. Being successful has always been his trademark and we can only hope that he will soon be active in the football world again in some position.

"In this world, friends will come and go, doors will open and close and you win and you lose titles. However, life goes on and you realise that more than anyone else."

Feb 9, 2011

Tiger Woods to meet with Dubai Properties on stalled golf project

Tiger Woods
Former world No.1 golfer Tiger Woods said he will meet this week with Dubai Properties Group to discuss the future of the stalled Dubai golf development bearing his name.

Woods, who is in the emirate for the start of the 2011 Dubai Desert Classic tournament, said the future of the multi-billion dollar project remained unclear.

"A lot of it depends on what Dubai Properties want to do going forward. And we have a few meetings set up this week," he told reporters.

DPG, a unit of debt-hit Dubai Holding, confirmed last week it had suspended work on the 55 million sq ft Tiger Woods Dubai in light of the emirate’s real estate slump.

A property boom in Dubai collapsed at the end of 2008 when it was hit by the global financial crisis and the Gulf state's debt crisis.

"This decision was based on current market conditions that do not support high-end luxury real estate. A decision will be made in the future when to restart the project," DPG said.

Original plans for the course included 287 luxury villas and mansions, a boutique hotel and a clubhouse. The course, designed by Woods, was due to be completed by September 2009.

The last update, issued by Dubai Properties in February last year, said construction had stalled at the eighth hole.

The developer said in November 2007 that Woods planned to build a 16,500 sq ft mansion overlooking the golf course that would include a gym, theater, library and pool.

At the time, villas on the luxury project were selling for between $12m and $23m.

Dubai Properties said it may revisit the project in the future and would retain its deal with the golfer.

"We maintain a good relationship with Tiger Woods and his organisation and will retain our commercial agreement together," the company said.

Feb 2, 2011

IPL shock: Players pay to be slashed

Top Indian cricketers have objected to a clause in their IPL contract that denies them 20% of their fees in case their team fails to finish among the top three and thus qualify for the Champions League.

Players of the 10 IPL teams read the newly-introduced fine print in their contracts only after the January 8-9 auction, and collectively approached BCCI president Shashank Manohar with their complaint last week.

At the meeting, the players said that the clause was unfair, and a breach of their trust. "At the auction the entire world saw what we were supposed to get but that was not the case when we read the contract. Twenty20 cricket is highly unpredictable and even if we give our best, things can change. One bad game can see us lose 20% of what we are supposed to get," said a senior player.

As per the new clause, who went for Rs 11.04 cr, will get only Rs 8.83 cr in case Kolkata Knight Riders fail to make the top three in IPL 4.

Team owners insisted the new clause was legitimate. "It was a unique idea and it made a lot of sense. Like in any sphere of life, the payment will be performance-based. Moreover, when we buy a player at the auction we are are paying for him to be with us for both IPL and Champions League. And if the team doesn’t make it to the Champions League, the player shouldn't be paid," said the co-owner of a team.