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CRICKET BRIEFS

Brief return for Fleming as captain

Wellington: Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming will make a short return to limited-over cricket on Sunday when he leads a New Zealand XI against Bangladesh in a Twenty20 fixture in Hamilton. The match will mark the final time Fleming will lead a New Zealand team in a limited-over game, New Zealand selection manager Richard Hadlee said. Fleming stood down as ODI captain after the World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year. In Tests, too, he was replaced by Daniel Vettori.

Teenage opening batsman Jesse Ryder and fast bowler Tim Southee have also been named in the side, which includes several senior players involved in the Chappell-Hadlee one-day series against Australia. “The game will be an opportunity for a number of Black Caps to play ahead of the Bangladesh series,” Hadlee said.

Another tie washed out

Wellington: Bangladesh’s chances of any meaningful practice before their one-day series against New Zealand were ruined on Wednesday when rain washed out their one-day match against Northern Districts in Hamilton. Bangladesh had the home side struggling at 173 for seven after 41 overs before umpires called a halt to play.

PCB seeks BCCI help

Karachi: After promising legal assistance to Mohammed Yousuf in his dispute with the ICL, the PCB has now asked the BCCI to help resolve the matter to ensure his participation in the IPL. Yousuf has been barred by an Indian arbitration panel from playing in the IPL after the rebel league charged him with violating contractual obligations. PCB chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi said they have asked the BCCI to take care of the matter.

Captain’s denial

Karachi: Pakistan’s embattled captain Shoaib Malik has dismissed reports that the loss to India has led to differences within the team over his continuation as captain. Malik said he was keen to make amends for the debacles next season. “It is hurting to end the year on a disappointing note with defeats in India. But there is no truth in rumours of differences within the team,” he said.

Malik will, meanwhile, be available for the home series against Zimbabwe after fresh MRI showed his ankle, hurt during the Test series in India, had improved.

Equipment drive

Calcutta: The International Cricket Council’s East Asia-Pacific (EAP) regional office and Cricket Australia, in association with the Melbourne Cricket Club, the Lord’s Taverners and Cricket Victoria, are calling on all cricketers attending the first Test between India and Australia to bring any old equipment and take part in the ICC’s used cricket equipment drive.

According to a release, Victorian Bushrangers players Andrew McDonald and Adam Crosthwaite kicked off the drive by bringing some of their old equipment to training in the lead-up to the tour match against India.

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