Cricket Buzz: Mumbai allowed to replace injured Praveen Kumar with Ojha after toss
In a rare occurrence on the cricket field, Mumbai Indians replaced injured medium pacer Praveen Kumar with left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha after the toss, in their match against Delhi Daredevils, at the Wankhede stadium, on Friday.
Praveen was stretchered off the field to the pavilion after Daredevils’ skipper Kevin Pietersen won the toss and chose to field.
Ojha was not even among the four designated reserves for the game. The four reserves on the team sheet were Apoorv Wankhade, Ben Dunk, Corey Anderson and Sushant Marathe.
The replacement of Praveen by Ojha was sought and allowed after a discussion involving the two umpires (S Ravi and Rod Tucker), rival captains Pietersen and Rohit Sharma, match referee Andy Pycroft, IPL COO Sundar Raman, Gary Kirsten (Daredevils coach) and Mumbai Indians’ chief coach John Wright and chief mentor Anil Kumble.
Cricket Law 1.2 states: Each captain shall nominate his players in writing to one of the umpires before the toss. No player may be changed after the nomination without the consent of the opposing captain.
Image: Match referee AJ Pycroft of Zimbabwe (left), Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma and mentor Anil Kumble discuss Praveen Kumar's replacement.
Indian cricket will be indebted to Madhav Mantri'
The Board of Control for Cricket in India condoled the death of Madhav Mantri, India's oldest Test cricketer, who passed away in Mumbai early Friday morning in a local hospital due to old age complications. He was 92.
"Mr. Madhav Mantri's demise is a big loss to Indian cricket. A wicketkeeper-batsman, he represented India and Mumbai with distinction. He was a member of the national selection committee from 1964 to 1968, and served the BCCI as treasurer from 1990 to 1992," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said.
"He was manager of the Indian team that toured England in 1990. Indian cricket will be indebted to him. Several cricketers, from Sunil Gavaskar to Sachin Tendulkar, had the privilege of being guided by him in their formative years. On behalf of the BCCI, I express my condolences to his family and admirers. May his soul rest in peace," he added
Mantri, the maternal uncle of former captain and legendary batsman Gavaskar, was a wicket-keeper-batsman who played only four Test matches, one in India (1951), two in England (1952) and his last in Dhaka (1954-55 in the then East Pakistan). He aggregated 67 runs and accounted for eight catches and a stumping.
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Image: Sachin Tendulkar with Madhav Mantri (left)
Photographs: Getty Images
I'm accountable for my actions, says disgraced Vincent
Disgraced New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent, who stands accused of fixing two county matches in England, says he is ready to be held accountable for his actions and not made a plea bargain to escape tough punishment.
In a statement issued on Friday through his lawyer, Chris Morris, Vincent said he has received the 14 charges of corruption against him by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
"Lou Vincent confirms that overnight he received charges from the English Cricket Board. He will work through these and the process for dealing with the charges as required by the ECB," his lawyer stated.
"He further confirms the charges arise from the matters he has disclosed to the authorities, and he remains accountable for his actions of the past.
"The fact of the charges, and more are likely, dispel any notions of a plea bargain having been done as unfortunately appears to be wrongly suggested by others," the statement read.
In a first of its kind case, Vincent and his former Sussex county team-mate Naved Arif were charged by the ECB for fixing the outcome of a county match in 2011.
Vincent, who has already confessed to fixing and has been under investigation by ICC's ACSU, was charged with a total of 14 offences in relation to two county matches played under the ECB's jurisdiction in August 2011 -- a T20 match between Sussex and Lancashire and a 40-over game between Sussex and Kent.
Arif, a Pakistani living in England, was charged under the ECB's Anti-Corruption Code, with six offences in relation to the 40-over game between Sussex and Kent in August 2011.
Both players have been provisionally suspended from all cricketing activities organised, authorised or supported by the ECB, ICC, any other National Cricket Federation and member of any other National Cricket Federation, the ECB said in a statement on Thursday.
The charges, which were issued by the ECB, rather than the ICC, came just days after Vincent had given anti-corruption detectives details of fixing rackets across the cricketing world.
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Image: Lou Vincent
Photographs: Teaukura Moetaua/Getty Images
Umar Akmal was approached by bookies in 2012
The ghost of match-fixing is back to haunt Pakistan cricket with reports emerging that Umar Akmal was approached to fix matches during a 2012 tour of the UAE but the batsman immediately reported the matter to his team's security manager.
A source aware of the incident told PTI that Umar had been called up regularly by a number from India in which the caller attempted to coax him on three occasions into entering a fixing racket promising him lucrative returns for his cooperation.
"Umar, after being pestered by this unknown caller, informed the Pakistan team's security manager who brought the matter into the notice of the ICC's ACSU immediately," the source disclosed.
He said Umar's prompt action and cooperation in reporting the approach was much appreciated by the Pakistan team management and the ICC ACSU at that time.
The source said the approach was made during the Pakistan and England series in the UAE in 2012.
"Umar was part of the Pakistan Test squad in that series which Pakistan won 3-0 and also of the One-Day squad that Pakistan lost to England," the source stated.
This is the not the first reported incident where a Pakistani player informed the team management about approaches by suspicious characters on tour.
All-rounder Shahid Afridi had also raised the alarm during the 2010 tour to England when British bookmaker Mazhar Majeed became close to some players.
Mazhar and three Pakistani players -- Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir -- were later found guilty of spot-fixing during the fourth Test at Lord's.
The source said such attempts to coax players was not uncommon despite the strict security and disciplinary measures put into place by the Pakistan Cricket Board nowadays.
"Most of the players prefer to just ignore such approaches but eventually the team management does come to know about them," the source added.
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Image: Umar Akmal
'Axed Pietersen had no support from senior players'
Kevin Pietersen had no support from senior players in the dressing room prior to his sacking by England in the wake of the 5-0 Ashes thrashing by Australia, according to England managing director Paul Downton.
The controversial batsman's England career was ended in February when he was left out of World Twenty20 in Bangladesh and the preceding tour of the West Indies.
Downton, who was instrumental in the decision to end Pietersen's international career, said the batsman had become "disinterested" on the pitch and that Australian captain Michael Clarke had "played him like a schoolboy".
"There was an enormous amount of frustration surrounding KP from everyone in the management team in terms of his attitude and whether he was really fighting it out," Downton told BBC's Test Match Special programme.
"There was a feeling KP wasn't engaged in the way he should be. I talked to quite a few senior players and couldn't find one supporter who wanted KP to stay in the side."
Downton said he was shocked at Pietersen's performance in the fifth Test in Sydney which England lost by 281 runs with Pietersen contributing only nine runs.
"I watched every ball and I've never seen anyone as disinterested or distracted on a cricket field as Kevin," he said. "It led me to talk to every person on the management team within England and a lot outside it.
"I then spent the next three weeks speaking to more people but the decision we came to was in the best interests of English cricket. I'm not saying all that happened in Australia was down to KP, team dynamics disintegrate when you're under pressure."
Pietersen played 104 Test matches for England, averaging 47, but managed only two half centuries in the five Tests in Australia. Downton said Pietersen's refusal to dig in for the team and a series of soft dismissals hastened the end.
"It was frustrating seeing him with his 'this is the way I play' type attitude'", Downton said.
"Clarke played him like a schoolboy almost."
England's Ashes debacle also led to coach Andy Flower leaving along with batting coach Graham Gooch while spinner Graeme Swann retired before the end of the series.
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Image: Kevin Pietersen with England captain Alastair Cook
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Pakistan to invite Sri Lanka to play bilateral series
Six years after a terrorist attack forced Sri Lanka to abandon their tour of Pakistan, newly-reinstated chairman of the PCB, Najam Sethi, has decided to invite them for a bilateral series.
Sethi said the decision to send the invitation had been made after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse agreed to send the team during a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain on the sidelines of a summit in China.
"The words of the Sri Lankan President are a big boost for us and we feel this is the best time to test the waters," Sethi said.
He said an official invitation would be sent to the Sri Lankan board.
"We are hoping for a positive response from the Sri Lankan board who have always supported us" he said.
In 2009, terrorists had attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore during which six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed. The incident eventually led to the isolation of Pakistan as an international cricket host.
"We are ready to host them, we will inform them about the gap in our cricket commitments and want to use this opportunity," said Sethi.
Ever since Test teams stopped touring Pakistan, the PCB has had to host series in the United Arab Emirates. This year too Pakistan are set to play two ‘home’ series against Australia and New Zealand in the winter. Pakistan are also due to tour Sri Lanka in August for an unscheduled tour.
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Image: PCB chief Nazam Sethi
Misbah, 3 others taxed heavily by Pak Federal Board of Revenue
Four Pakistani cricketers, including skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, have been taxed heavily by the Federal Board of Revenue for not informing the tax collectors about additional income in their tax returns.
Muhammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali and Taufiq Umar are the other Pakistani players who have been taxed.
According to details, the FBR imposed the additional taxes after checking the bank accounts and returns of the four players that they had not disclosed additional income in 2010 and 2011 from sponsorship and other endorsements.
"Misbah has been taxed heavily for around Rs 3.2 million for the two years while Hafeez has been directed to pay additional taxes of Rs 1.7 million as additional taxes for the year 2010 and another Rs 2.5 million for the year 2011," a source said.
He said batsman Azhar Ali has also been taxed additionally for Rs 300,000 in 2010 and Rs 1.2 million for the year 2011 while Test opener, Taufiq has been ordered to pay additional taxes of Rs 1.2 million for the year 2011 only.
"The FBR has sent notices to these players to pay the additional taxes and if they don't do it within the given time frame than they would be declared as defaulters and legal action would be taken against them," the source said.
He said the players maintain that all their tax issues were looked into by the Pakistan Cricket Board and they had got deducted all taxes on their incomes earned via the board.
"The board taxes us heavily for any income we get from them be it from central contracts, match fees, bonuses, sponsorship and endorsement amounts," one player, who declined to be named, said.
The source said the tax issues have arisen because of earnings by the players from other commercial sources and avenues.