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CRICKET BRIEFS

Malik poor choice: Shabbir

Karachi: Shoaib Malik is just an average Test player, and Pakistan should have handed over the captaincy to Mohammed Yousuf, feels pace discard Shabbir Ahmed. On his return from India after playing in the rebel ICL, Shabbir lashed out at Malik and questioned his acceptability among the senior members of the side.

“Malik was never a good Test player and to make him captain in the presence of other senior players is a decision beyond me,” Shabbir said.

He also blamed Malik for both Test and ODI series defeat in India. “If the board wants to save the team from more defeats, it should make Yousuf the captain,” Shabbir said.

Talat backs Malik

Karachi: Shoaib Malik may have failed to impress as the captain in the India tour but team manager Talat Ali gave a thumbs-up to the youngster in his report, to be submitted to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday. Talat also threw his weight behind new coach Geoff Lawson and ruled out recommending punishment for Shoaib Akhtar for the pacer’s nightlife during the India tour. “Yes, there are certain areas in which we need to improve after the experience of the Indian tour but I wouldn’t term my report as a “drastic” one for anyone,” Talat said on Monday.

ICL demands Rs 4 crore

Mumbai: The Indian Cricket League (ICL) on Monday filed a statement of claims before the arbiter, seeking damages of Rs 4 crore from Pakistan cricketer Mohammed Yousuf for alleged breach of contract. Yousuf had signed up for the rebel league’s Twenty20 championship which concluded earlier this month in Chandigarh but later backed out.

Collision course

Karachi: The PCB and the ‘rebel’ players are on a collision course after the PCB instructed its affiliated teams to slam the door on them. A top official of a leading bank confirmed that they had got a letter from the general manager, domestic cricket, instructing all affiliated departments and regions not to select players who have appeared in the ICL.

Vaughan fined

London: England captain Michael Vaughan has been fined 40 per cent of his match fee for his side’s slow over rate in the drawn third Test against Sri Lanka, the ICC said on Monday. The ICC’s code of conduct states that players are fined five per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time with the captain’s punishment double.

Prasun leaves

Calcutta: Prasun Mukherjee left for Australia on Monday to witness Sourav Ganguly take part in his 100th Test at the MCG. The CAB president will present a pair of golden cufflinks to Sourav. Earlier, singer Manna Dey and swimmer Bula Chowdhury contributed their signatures on the ‘good wish’ placard for Sourav.

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