MS Dhoni Greeted With ‘Respect’ By Pakistan All-Rounder Shoaib Malik


Asia Cup 2018: MS Dhoni Greeted With


Mahendra Singh Dhoni will return to cricketing action with Asia Cup 2018. © AFP


Mahendra Singh Dhoni will return to cricketing action with Asia Cup 2018 scheduled to get underway from September 15. Team India’s seasoned campaigner Dhoni, who has an experience of 321 One-Day International (ODI) matches under his belt, will be seen in action for the first time after he played the limited overs series against England in July, 2018. On Friday, veteran Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik was captured in a video, posted by ANI on their Twitter account, walking up to the Indian during the team practice. Malik was seen entering the area where Team India held their practice session, and shaking Dhoni’s hand as a mark of respect for the former India skipper.

India will open their campaign on September 18 against Hong Kong. While Pakistan will play their first match against Hong Kong on September 16.

India and Pakistan will come face-to-face in the much-awaited clash on September 19 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai.

Pakistan hold an edge over defending champions India in the ODI head-to-head contest. Pakistan have won 73 times while India have clinched victory on 52 occasions.

India, led by Rohit Sharma in absence of Virat Kohli, will be eyeing to defend their title at the 2018 edition of the Asia Cup while Pakistan will aim to clinch their third title.

Pakistan had earlier won the Asia Cup in 2000 and 2012








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England All-Rounder Paul Collingwood Announces Retirement


Former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood announced on Thursday that he will end his professional career at the end of the season, 22 years after making his first-class debut. A three-time Ashes winner and the only man to captain England to a global trophy after leading them to glory in the 2010 World Twenty20, Collingwood played 68 Tests, 197 One-day Internationals and 36 T20 matches. The England Cricket Board (ECB) also took to Twitter and thanked Collingwood for all the memories. “Thanks for the memories, @Colly622! #ThankYouColly,” England Cricket tweeted.

The 42-year-old has been described by his county side Durham as their “greatest-ever run scorer and most illustrious player”.

“After much thought and deliberation I have decided to announce my retirement from cricket at the end of the current season,” Collingwood said.

“I knew this day would eventually come but it hasn’t made it any easier — although it’s an emotional decision I know that the time is right and I’m comfortable knowing that I have given every last ounce of energy to the sport.”

Durham chairman Ian Botham said: “Paul is one of the greatest all-rounders to ever grace the game of cricket and to have him playing at Durham, his home county, for all these years has been an absolute privilege.”

Collingwood scored 4259 runs in Test, 5092 in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 583 in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). He holds an average of 40.56 in Test cricket with the highest score of 206.

Collingwood had also featured in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He represented the Delhi Daredevils franchise from 2009 to 2010 and later played for Rajasthan Royals from 2011-12.

(With AFP inputs)





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Hong Kong All-Rounder Tanwir Afzal Picks India As Favourites Over Pakistan


Minnows Hong Kong on Friday defeated favourites United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the qualifiers final to book their spot in the Asia Cup 2018. The associate nation, by the virtue of their victory will play against heavyweights India and Pakistan in the group stages. However, Hong Kong all-rounder Tanwir Afzal, in an exclusive interview to NDTV.com, said that it will be a chance for the side to prove their mettle and showcase their individual skills on the international stage.

“The real goal for us (Hong Kong) will be to give big performances and prove our individual skills on the international circuit, there are many international leagues going on these days around the world. And for an associate country, it will be the best chance for the best players of the side to prove their mettle,” Tanwir Afzal said.

Afzal had notched up scores of 15, 5 not out and 10 in the Asia Cup qualifying tournament. He also took a total of three wickets in these matches.

While the Hong Kong all-rounder feels that conditions in UAE will suit both India and Pakistan, he chose Rohit Sharma-led India as the favourites to win the tournament.

“Pakistan and India both are strong sides, these conditions will suit the spinners well. Pakistan have the momentum with them after clinching the Champions Trophy in 2017 and winning the triangular T20 series,” Afzal said.

“India, no doubt in every condition will come good. They have a high-standard batting and bowling unit, I don’t think Pakistan are the favourites, for me India are…. but on the day, you never know,” he added.

Rohit Sharma will lead Team India at the Asia Cup after Virat Kohli was rested for the continental tournament, which is scheduled to get underway on September 15.

Afzal claimed it will be a loss for an associate nation like his, not to see Virat Kohli play as he could give his boys some crucial tips off the field. He also claimed that India team’s batting will suffer due to Virat’s absence.

“No doubt that with Virat Kohli being rested, India’s batting will be affected, he is the world’s best batsman. If he would have come, out team could have learnt a lot from him. We have many youngsters in our side, they would have felt proud playing against him.”

Hong Kong will begin their Asia Cup campaign against Pakistan on September 16. They will take on India on September 18 in the group stage match.



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Harbhajan Singh Slams Hardik Pandya’s Performance, Says “We Have To Remove All-Rounder Tag From Him”


Slamming Hardik Pandya’s performance in the ongoing Test series against England, India spinner Harbhajan Singh said the 24-year-old doesn’t deserve to be referred to as an all-rounder. Harbhajan has criticised Pandya who has failed with both bat and ball in the first two Tests against England. Pandya has scored 90 runs in four innings and has managed to pick 3 wickets in the series so far.

“He (Hardik Pandya) hasn’t got many runs as a batsman and the captain doesn’t seem to have confidence in his bowling. If he doesn’t bowl in these conditions then things will only get difficult for him and the Indian team in the future,” Harbhajan told AajTak

Harbhajan went on to compare Pandya’s performance with the likes of England all-rounder Ben Stokes, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes who have contributed really well in their team’s victory.

“We have to remove the all-rounder tag from him as an all-rounder contributes in both the departments as Stokes, Curran did in the first Test and now Woakes has done at the Lord’s. The same is expected of Hardik Pandya, he cannot become Kapil Dev overnight!,” the spinner added.

After losing the first Test at Edgbaston, India suffered a humiliating innings and 159 runs loss at the hands of England in the second Test at Lord’s.

“As a bowling unit, we tried but all of a sudden the ball stopped swinging and they – (Chris) Woakes and (Jonny) Bairstow – took the game away,” Pandya had said after the match.

“It happens – I’ve seen in Tests. You get four or five wickets quickly and then you get one partnership. Even with our batting line-up, it has happened many times. It’s just a part of the game,” Pandya said.

Pandya has played 9 Tests so far and scored 458 runs at an average of 32.71, including one century and three fifties.



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Harbhajan Singh Slams Hardik Pandya’s Performance, Says “We Have To Remove All-Rounder Tag From Him”


Slamming Hardik Pandya’s performance in the ongoing Test series against England, India spinner Harbhajan Singh said the 24-year-old doesn’t deserve to be referred to as an all-rounder. Harbhajan has criticised Pandya who has failed with both bat and ball in the first two Tests against England. Pandya has scored 90 runs in four innings and has managed to pick 3 wickets in the series so far.

“He (Hardik Pandya) hasn’t got many runs as a batsman and the captain doesn’t seem to have confidence in his bowling. If he doesn’t bowl in these conditions then things will only get difficult for him and the Indian team in the future,” Harbhajan told AajTak

Harbhajan went on to compare Pandya’s performance with the likes of England all-rounder Ben Stokes, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes who have contributed really well in their team’s victory.

“We have to remove the all-rounder tag from him as an all-rounder contributes in both the departments as Stokes, Curran did in the first Test and now Woakes has done at the Lord’s. The same is expected of Hardik Pandya, he cannot become Kapil Dev overnight!,” the spinner added.

After losing the first Test at Edgbaston, India suffered a humiliating innings and 159 runs loss at the hands of England in the second Test at Lord’s.

“As a bowling unit, we tried but all of a sudden the ball stopped swinging and they – (Chris) Woakes and (Jonny) Bairstow – took the game away,” Pandya had said after the match.

“It happens – I’ve seen in Tests. You get four or five wickets quickly and then you get one partnership. Even with our batting line-up, it has happened many times. It’s just a part of the game,” Pandya said.

Pandya has played 9 Tests so far and scored 458 runs at an average of 32.71, including one century and three fifties.



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Hardik Pandya Has Potential But Ben Stokes Is The Best All-Rounder, Says Shaun Pollock


India’s search for the next Kapil Dev has been on for a few years now. Only recently, Hardik Pandya, a seam-bowling all-rounder, came to the fore and managed to make an impression. Now, Pandya has become a regular feature in the Indian Test side. South African great Shaun Pollock wants the 24-year-old to focus on one discipline of his game, be it batting or bowling if he wants to be a long-term prospect. However, Pollock rates England’s Ben Stokes as the finest among the current crop. “T20 cricket has made a lot of people realise that they can have the ability to contribute with both bat and ball. As far as all-rounders around the world are concerned, it’s difficult to pick one but I can think of Ben Stokes. He is one of the best,” the former South Africa skipper told IANS.

“Coming to Indian cricket, Pandya is probably a long term all-round option. I think Virat Kohli really likes his style and attitude towards the game. Looks like he can get both wickets and runs; of course time will tell everything.

“Hardik needs to settle down and choose one of the disciplines (batting or bowling), something that keeps him in the side, and look to contribute on the other as it can be very difficult to contribute with both.

“If he settles down and gets a good run, there is no reason why he can’t become a wonderful all-rounder for India,” Pollock added.

Stokes joined an elite list of English cricketers as he took the wicket of Dinesh Karthik on the second day of Edgbaston Test to become only the fifth English player to score over 2500 runs and take 100 wickets in the longest format of cricket.

On the other hand, after a year of playing Test cricket, Hardik would not be too proud of his seven wickets in eight matches but he has made a significant impact with the bat by scoring 421 runs at an average of 35.08.

Pandya has always been used sparingly by skipper Virat Kohli and it has resulted in no real success with the ball for the Baroda player.

In the first Test of the ongoing five-match series against England, Pandya was utilised for just 10 overs and remained wicketless. Kohli didn’t even give a single over to Pandya in the second innings.

In fact, he failed to pick up a wicket during India’s practice game against Essex as well, proving that Pandya still has a lot of ground to make.



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Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik declares last appearance in ODI cricket


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Former Pakistan All-Rounder Abdul Razzaq Eyes PSL Contract


Former Pakistan All-Rounder Abdul Razzaq Eyes PSL Contract


Abdul Razaaq last played a first-class game in 2014. © AFP


Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razaaq, who last played a first-class game in 2014, is set to return to competitive cricket to push his selection for the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The 38-year-old will lead PTV in the upcoming domestic season and hopes that his performances will help him bag a PSL contract. “I will be captaining PTV this season. I feel completely fit at the moment and my form has been good recently. I hope my performances in the domestic season gets me selected for the PSL next year,” Razzaq told Daily Express on Sunday.

Razzaq had quit first-class cricket in 2014 after his form dipped and his side ZTBL were relegated to Grade II. He even went on to serve as the bowling coach of Quetta Gladiators last season.

“I already told the selectors my plans for the future at the time,” he said.

“We all are agreed that if my form and performances in the domestic season are up to the mark, then I would most certainly be drafted in the next PSL.”

Razzaq made his international debut in 1996 and represented the country in 46 Tests, 265 ODIs and 32 T20Is.






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