Starc, Khawaja express concern over hardness of pink ball

Melbourne [Australia], Nov. 1 : Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc has raised concerns over the hardness of the pink ball, saying it loses its hardness very early and goes soft within 20 overs.

The left-arm pacer, however, feels there is a lot to like about Kookaburra's new edition of the pink ball, but added there is still scope for improvement.

"It's still losing its hardness way too early. I think after 20 overs it starts to go soft. Kookaburra are improving it a lot," Starc was quoted as saying by

"They've changed the colour of the seam and put another coat of lacquer on it, which is helping the ball but I think we just want to see that ball stay hard for a lot longer than it does," he added.

Sharjeel Khan earns maiden call-up for New Zealand Tests

Karachi [Pakistan], Nov. 1 : Explosive batsman Sharjeel Khan, who has been a regular presence for Pakistan at the top of the order in limited-overs cricket in 2016, has earned up a maiden call-up to the Test squad for the upcoming New Zealand tour.

Sharjeel, who made his international debut in 2013, has played a total of 76 first-class matches and made 4,853 runs at an average of 37.91.

In August, the Hyderabad-born batsman made an impressive comeback by an innings of 152 off 86 balls against Ireland after being sidelined for a year due to a dip in form and from thereafter he has played some memorably explosive knocks.

Team India proudly don mothers' name on jerseys

Visakhapatnam [India], Oct.29 : For the first time in the history of the international cricket, the Indian team were seen wearing their mother's names on the back of their jerseys during the fifth-ODI against New Zealand here on Saturday.

As the match started, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the first one seen bearing his mother's name when he went ahead for the series-decider toss.

After winning the toss and opting to bat first, the 35-year-old admitted that it was indeed a very emotional moment for them to represent their mother's name on a public platform.

India aim to see off Kiwis in high-octane series decider

Visakhapatnam [India], Oct.29 : With the five-match ODI series levelled at 2-2, India will look to take revenge of the defeat in Ranchi when they take on New Zealand in the series-decider at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.

Heading into the fifth and final clash, the hosts hold greater advantage over the Kane Williamson-led side as far as more experienced pool of cricketers are concerned.

While India will aim to showcase that they are still a dominant force in the 50-over cricket, the visitors will seek to script history by clinching their first ODI series in India.

McCullum critical of Taylor's `uninspiring leadership`

Johannesburg [South Africa], Oct.25 : Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has slammed compatriot Ross Taylor for his `uninspiring leadership` before revealing how the tension and mistrust between the two during the latter's captaincy left the team on the verge of imploding.

McCullum, in his recently published autobiography ' Declared', shed light on Taylor's failure to lead New Zealand and the circumstances that led to the souring of their relationship.

The 35-year-old succeeded Taylor in 2012 when Mike Hesson was appointed as the coach.

While the team went on to achieve great success under the duo, the move was seen as a nasty 'coup' by fans and the media.

Neesham lauds Dhoni, Kohli for outstanding batting display in Mohali

Wellington [New Zealand], Oct.24 : New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham is full of praise for India's limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and swashbuckling batsman Virat Kohli, after the duo stitched a huge 151-run partnership to guide their side to an emphatic seven-wicket win in the third ODI of the five-match series in Mohali last evening.

The 26-year-old, who was brought in the squad as a replacement for Anton Devcich, believes that it was not his side who bowled poorly, but it was the Indian duo who batted outstandingly.

"We fought pretty hard with the bat to get what was a slightly below par total. I don't think we bowled that badly in the second half of the game, but the way Virat and MS batted was outstanding," Neesham was quoted as saying by

Akram, Afridi make it to Ahmed Shehzad's list of favourites

Karachi [Pakistan], Oct.22 : Pakistan's out-of-favour opener Ahmed Shehzad has picked legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram as his all-time favourite cricketer and former T20 skipper Shahid Afridi as his favourite all-rounder.

Shehzad's comments came in his engaging session with fans on micro blogging website Twitter. He revealed his likes and dislikes about various issues, including favourite actor, first crush, favourite football club etc.

When asked about his favourite football club, the 24-year-old replied it to be English club Manchester United, the Dawn reported.

Answering the most debatable question of football arena , that who is his favourite footballer Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, Shahzad weighed in with his opinion for the Real Madrid star striker.

Bangladesh rope in four rookies for opening England Test

Chittagong [Bangladesh], Oct.17 : Bangladesh have brought in four uncapped players in the 14-man squad for the opening Test of the two-match series against England, starting on Thursday here in Chittagong.

Middle-order batsman Sabbir Rahman and wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan have received national call-up for the first time along with former Under-19 captain Mehedi Hasan and pace bowler Kamrul Islam.

Rahman, who appeared in 29 ODIs and 26 T20Is for Bangladesh, has been named in the national Test squad following his impressive performances in the recently-concluded three-match ODI series against the Jos Buttler-led side.

Seamer Shafiul Islam and off-spinner Shuvagata Hom have also been included in the Test squad.

Indian cricket very different from that of West, insists Dhoni

Dharamsala [India], Oct. 17 : Asserting that Indian cricket is very different from that of other foreign teams, limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has asserted that instead of following the West, emphasis should be put on what is good for the team and how it could be turned into a successful one.

"About the split captaincy, I think we look at the West a lot. I remember about a few years back, we were talking about split captaincy and now we are talking about why we are having split captaincy. So, I think a lot of times we look at the foreign teams as to what they are doing and what we should be doing that way," Dhoni said at the press meet at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala.

Bayliss expects Buttler to 'stay out of trouble' post reprimand

Johannesburg [South Africa], Oct.11 : England coach Trevor Bayliss has said that he expects stand-in skipper Jos Buttler to stay out of trouble after being given an official warning for his on-field behaviour during the side's 34-run defeat in the second ODI against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla in Dhaka on Sunday.

"It is not the first time we have seen it in international cricket and probably won't be the last. He (Buttler) got a slap on the wrist and I am sure he will be doing his best to stay out of trouble in the future," the coach was quoted as saying by Sport24.

Buttler regrets fiery exchange after dismissal against Bangladesh

Johannesburg [South Africa], Oct.10 : England stand-in skipper Jos Buttler has regretted his angry reaction after his dismissal during the side's 34-run defeat in the second ODI of the three-match series against Bangladesh in Dhaka last evening.

Chasing a target of 239 runs, Buttler was trying to provide his side with some resistance and looked threatening with some lusty stroke-play after his Bangladesh counterpart Mashrafe Mortaza tore apart the visitors' top orders to leave them reeling at 26-4 inside 10 overs.

Buttler was batting at 57 when a television review confirmed the dismissal of the England skipper after an on-field umpire turned down the leg-before appeal of Taskin Ahmed.

Kohli lauds Shami for his stunning Test comeback

Indore (Madhya Pradesh) [India], Oct.7 : While praising Mohammed Shami's stunning comeback from injury, Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli on Friday admitted the former is a very important bowler for the team who makes it count every time he comes on the field.

"Shami is someone who has comeback very well. He worked really hard on his fitness as well. You can see that he is able to bowl 5-6 overs a spell now in heat," Kohli said on the eve of the third Test against New Zealand at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here.

Corey Anderson roped in as specialist batsman for ODI series against India

Wellington [New Zealand], Sept. 19 : New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson has been recalled to the ODI squad as a specialist batsman for the five-match series against India, starting in Dharamsala on October 16.

Anderson played his last international game during the World T20 in India before a back injury ruled him out of the tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Reflecting on his recall, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) selector Gavin Larsen said that Anderson had done a lot of hard work to make a return to the national squad, adding that his presence would surely strengthen the middle-order.

Sangakkara blitz helps Lanka thrash England by nine wickets in WC tie

Sangakkara blitz helps Lanka thrash England by nine wickets in WC tie

Wellington, Mar 01 - Sri Lanka have almost ensured their place in the quarterfinals of the Cricket World Cup 2015 after they defeated England by nine wickets on Sunday at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Opting to bat first, England got off to a sluggish start with their opener Muhammad Ali scoring just 15 runs before returning to the stands as Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews claimed his wicket.

Ali's opening partner Ian Bell fell one run short of his half-century as he fell prey to Suranga Lakmal's express delivery.

Gary Ballance also failed to impress with the bat as he was caught and bold for just six runs by Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Ashwin spins India to nine-wicket win over hapless UAE in WC tie

Ashwin spins India to nine-wicket win over hapless UAE in WC tie

Sydney, Feb 28 : Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin delivered a destructive four-wicket spell limiting the United Arab Emirates to post a meager total of 102 runs that helped pave the way for India's stunning nine-wicket win over the World Cup minnows on Saturday in Perth.

Opting to bat first, the UAE were bundled out in 31.2 overs to post the lowest total of this year's tournament. Openers Amjad Ali (4) and Andri Berenger (4) failed to provide the initial thrust as both were caught behind by Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav deliveries.

Proteas blitz shoddy Windies by 257 runs in WC tie

Proteas blitz shoddy Windies by 257 runs in WC tie

Sydney, Feb 27 : Swashbuckling skipper AB de Villiers struck the fastest ever 150 runs in ODI history off 64 balls as he anchored South Africa to record a 257-run victory over the West Indies in their World Cup Pool B tie in Sydney.

Opting to bat first, South Africa piled up an imposing target of 408, thanks to De Villiers' unbeaten 162-run knock and constructive knocks from Hashim Amla (65), Faf du Plessis (62) and Rilee Rossouw (61).

In the process, De Villiers, who has been named as the Man-of-the-Match, also hit the second fastest World Cup ton off just 52 deliveries.

South Africa suffered an early blow in the form of Quinton de Kock after he was dismissed for 12 runs off a Jason Holder's delivery.

CWC: Dilshan shines in Lanka's 92-run win against Bangladesh

CWC: Dilshan shines in Lanka's 92-run win against Bangladesh

Sydney, Feb 26 : Sri Lanka recorded an impressive 92-run win against minnows Bangladesh in their World Cup tie at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, thanks to Tillakaratne Dilshan's unbeaten 161-run knock and Lasith Malinga 's exploits with the ball.

Opting to bat first, Sri Lanka posted a mammoth 332-1 in their allotted 50 overs, courtesy of a half-century by opener Lahiru Thirimanne and Dilshan and former skipper Kumar Sangakkara's unbeaten tons.

Dilshan fired away 161 runs off 146 delivers, as he ripped open Bangladesh's bowling line-up. His knock included 22 fours.

Wicketkeeper batsman Sangakkara also impressed with the bat and remained unbeaten on 105 runs, which came of 76 balls and included 13 fours and one six.

Gayle becomes first cricketer ever to hit double-ton in CWC history

Chris Gayle

Sydney, Feb 24 - West Indies swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle has become the first cricketer ever to score a double-ton in a World Cup after smacking a staggering 215 runs in their group stage tie against Zimbabwe at Canberra on Tuesday.

The left-hander's blistering double-ton featured 16 sixes and thereby has equaled the record of hitting maximum sixes in an ODI innings with AB de Villiers and Rohit Sharma.

The match also witnessed Gayle and Marlon Samuels (133) registering a record partnership for any wicket as they piled up a massive 372-run partnership for the second wicket.

Chasing a revised target of 363, Zimbabwe are currently at 40/2 in the eighth over. (ANI)

Morgan claims will never underestimate 'all-rounder' Ali

Morgan claims will never underestimate 'all-rounder' Ali

London, Feb 24 : England cricket team captain Eoin Morgan has claimed that he would never underestimate batting all-rounder Moeen Ali, who is improving at a rapid rate with both bat and ball, as a player.

Morgan hailed the contribution of the left-hander after Ali smashed a brilliant century, finishing on 128, and then took two wickets with the ball in his side's 119-run win over Scotland, their first of the ongoing 2015 World Cup.

England's much-needed win came on the back of two heavy defeats by Australia and New Zealand in the World Cup, the Daily Express reported.

England would now face Sri Lanka in Wellington on Sunday, and they need to keep their winning momentum going if they want to avoid an early exit in the tournament.

Finch says negating Southee's outstanding swing key to success against Kiwis

Australian opener Aaron Finch

Wellington, Feb 24 - Australian opener Aaron Finch has claimed that he and David Warner are going to have to play as well as they can to try and negate the outstanding New Zealand swing bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult, when the two sides lock horns at the Eden Park on Saturday.

The venue is tailor-made for very high-scoring, given the reduced distance to the ropes beyond each end of the pitch, which would be only 55 metres from the centre of the wicket on Saturday - a full five metres shorter than Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

The reduced boundary length might not prove good for the bowlers given the big-hitting batsmen in both the sides.

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