Warne could have played at WC, says drug agency head
Banned cricketer Shane Warne could have played in early World Cup matches for Australia in South Africa but chose to go public on his positive drugs test, Australia's sports drug agency head said on Wednesday.
John Mendoza, chief executive of the Australian Sports Drug Agency, said Warne was told at his hotel in South Africa on February 10 that he had returned a positive drug test.
"He elected to notify his team management within a very short period of time of ASDA waking him up in his hotel in South Africa," Mendoza told an Australian Senate committee hearing.
"He alone, in consultation, as I understand, with the senior management of the team, decided to remove himself and return to Australia to undertake the hearing. They were entirely his choices."
Mendoza said under Australian laws, Warne had the right to keep silent on the positive test until his B sample was returned, meaning he could have played in opening World Cup matches.
Instead, Warne elected to return to Australia where he later faced the Australian Cricket Board anti-doping committee.
"He has rights under the Act which could have meant he could have stayed in South Africa, he could have played
several competitions," Mendoza said.
"But he, in my view quite wisely, elected to forego those rights and remove himself from the team so the team could get on with the business of what it was to do in South Africa."
Lawson should return for Lanka Tests, says Windies official
Young West Indies pacer Jermain Lawson should be fit in time to face Sri Lanka next month in the first of two Test matches, a top team official said.
West Indies Cricket Board president Wes Hall made the announcement on Monday, saying the board requested an
additional two weeks from the International Cricket Council before beginning a corrective programme for Lawson's suspect bowling action.
The 21-year-old, whose bowling against Australia is under review by the International Cricket Council, has been diagnosed with bulging discs in the lower back.
He first complained of soreness in his back during the fourth Test against Australia earlier this month, a match in which he was reported by umpires David Shepherd and Srinivas Venkataraghavan for a suspect bowling action.
They reported questions about the legality of some deliveries, and the ICC was expected to make recommendations for the bowler to avoid future problems.
"Lawson has hurt his back and has been receiving treatment. We sent that information to the International
Cricket Council requesting an extension of two weeks before he begins correction work on his bowling action," Hall said.
"We wrote to them informing the ICC that he will start his work when he is free of pain, and we expect that he will be pain-free in the next week and a half," Hall said.
He said he expects Lawson will have recovered and be ready to play in the first Test with Sri Lanka in St. Lucia starting on June 20. Lawson hasn't played since his seven-wicket performance in the fourth Test against Australia.
He is scheduled to work with former West Indies fast bowlers Andy Roberts and Kenny Benjamin in Antigua for
coaching help once he is recovered.
PCB rejects claims that army illegally acquired stadium land
The Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday rejected an opposition claim that it had illegally handed over a costly piece of land belonging to the Karachi Cricket Stadium to the army for a residential complex.
No wrongdoing had been committed in the matter, PCB chairman Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia said.
"The land was given to the army on the orders of the court," Zia said. "All the legal formalities have been completed in the matter."
The main opposition Pakistan Peoples Party on Monday charged that the stadium's 17 acres of land worth 2.25 million dollars had been given to the army in a "balatant misuse of authority."
"The land has been dished out for the benefit of generals by a general serving as the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board in a most cavalier manner," PPP Senator Enwer Baig said in a statement.
"Those responsible for inflicting such a grievous blow to the image of an honourable institution have committed a crime against the state and society. They must be punished," Baig added.
Denying the allegations, Zia said the PCB would soon issue a detailed statement on the matter.
Zulu still eligible for selection, says Omar
South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener is still eligible for selection to the national team, says selection committee convener Omar Henry.
Henry's remark comes in the wake of new South Africa captain Graeme Smith's comments on Klusener on Monday, when he told a business breakfast in Cape Town that Klusener was a disruptive force.
"We decided Lance as a team man can only cause hassles and we want to move forward in SA cricket.
"To be honest, Lance, as fantastic as he is... can sometimes ruin a team. His ability as a cricketer is very good, but his ability as a team man is not very good and he, kind of, can infect a team and bring down the youth," Smith had said.
Reacting to Smith's comments, Henry said: "I told him (Klusener) we had not given him a contract, but that if he played in South Africa and did well, he would be eligible for selection."
Henry said he had not spoken to Smith about his comments on Klusener, and since he was not present at the breakfast function, could not comment.
"I was not there (at the function) and I don't know in what context the comments were made. If it was a personal thing, he (Smith) is entitled to his view."