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The UK has acquired most favoured nation status among asylum seekers —at least among cricketing ones. Pakistani cricketer and wicket-keeper Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has sought safety there following threats from match-fixers. The 24 year old hit the winning run in the fourth one-dayer against the Proteas in the five match series in Dubai.
Haider alleged that he was approached to fix the fourth and fifth ODIs. Pakistani cricket continues to shrivel under the shadow of the recent spot-fixing scandal.
Ranji powerhouses Mumbai and Bengal take on each other in a crucial encounter at the Eden Gardens in Kolkatta. This year’s Ranji season is significant ;there are quite a few slots that could be coming up for grabs. For Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, this is their best chance to shine. Dhawal too can enhance his claims. Amongst Bengal players, Manoj Tiwary — a contemporary of Virat Kohli— will wish to resurrect his India cap dream.
VVS Laxman will be playing his first ever Test in front of his home crowd when India take on New Zealand for the second tie at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium at Hyderabad on Friday, the 12th of November, 2010.
Speaking to the Times Of India (TOI), Laxman said:
"It is every sportsperson’s dream to play in front of home crowd. I had the opportunity to play an ODI at the Lal Bahadur Stadium. The Gymkhana is where I played most of my cricket. Having said that, I must confess that the feeling of playing a Test match at home is different and will be immensely satisfying. This is the city that has given me everything and it’s a special feeling to have my coaches, well wishers, HCA officials – it is they who promoted me – and all those who matter to me, watch me play. It is a game of uncertainties but I’ll give it my best shot. Come what may, I’ll remember this Test match forever,"
Gary Kirsten, in an interview to Cricinfo, has waxed eloquent on his tenure as Indian coach:
Talking about India’s numero uno position in Tests, he believes that there is no need for the team or its fans to justify their ranking; the results speak for themselves.
"The performances speak loud: 23 Tests, two losses, 12 wins. When you look at the performances of the five top-ranked Test teams over the two years, you know why India are at the top. “
Kirsten believes that a victory against the Proteas on home soil would be the icing on the cake. He has termed the series ‘a defining moment’.
The South African former opener also believes that India has the talent to sustain the loss of the top guns —Laxman, Dravid and Tendulkar— so long as their retirements are phased out in a well-planned, systematic manner.
“There might be a rebuilding phase in India in two years’ time."
Quote of the day:
Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority. – Thomas H. Huxley