Misbah wants Pakistan to spoil Jayawardene’s farewell party

Monday, 4 August 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

KARACHI (Reuters): Pakistan will do whatever it takes to win the two-test series in Sri Lanka even if it means spoiling senior batsman Mahela Jayawardene’s farewell party, captain Misbah-ul-Haq said on Saturday. Former Sri Lanka captain Jayawardene, who has scored 11,671 runs in 147 tests averaging over 50, announced last month he would retire from test cricket after the home series against Pakistan starting at Galle on Wednesday. “If we are to win the series in Sri Lanka, we have to ensure that their top batsmen, particularly Jayawardene, is not allowed to get many runs,” Misbah told a news conference on the eve of the team’s departure for Sri Lanka. “I have a lot of respect for what he has achieved but we are going to Sri Lanka to win the two-test series and we know how important it is for us to not allow their senior players to score.” Jayawardene, 37, has also scored 11681 runs in 420 one-dayers and with stalwart Kumar Sangakkara is the mainstay of the Sri Lankan batting. Misbah predicted a tough series against the Sri Lankans who have a strong home record. “It is going to be a tough series because Sri Lanka have been playing lot of test and other cricket. But we have prepared hard and I have confidence in our bowlers,” said Misbah. “Our spinners have traditionally done well in Sri Lanka but we are banking on our pace bowlers as well.” Misbah, who turned 40 in May and has a modest strike rate in one-dayers, was coy about his chances of leading Pakistan in next year’s 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. “I just focus on the match at the moment because that is important. No one knows what will happen after one day so why think about the World Cup. I take it one match at a time and carry on from there. And I am under no pressure because of the captaincy debate,” he added.

 India to skip Asian Games again

NEW DELHI: Indian cricket chiefs have once again decided to stay away from multinational games by refusing to field the women’s and the men’s cricket teams in the forthcoming Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea from September 19 to October 4. According to the list of participating teams for the men’s and women’s cricket events, India is the only Test nation from Asia to not participate. While Pakistan have entered only in the women’s event, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be playing in both categories. Even after the list of participating teams was made public on the Asian Cricket Council’s website, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said the board, “was considering whether to be a part of Asian Games”. The BCCI’s decision not to enter a men’s team might be explained by the fact that the Asian Games clash with the Champions League Twenty20, to be played in India from September 13 to October 4. With four IPL teams participating in the tournament, the cream of Indian cricket will be playing for their franchises. India Women, however, have no fixtures at the same time as the Asian Games but Cricinfo understands the issue of sending the team was not discussed in recent BCCI meetings. Some board sources confirmed the Asian Games was never discussed in any of the working committee meetings over the last year. Ahead of the previous Asian Games in Guangzhou, the BCCI had announced its decision to skip the event well in advance. “The men could be busy with other commitments, but it is perplexing to see the women’s team not playing,” former India Women’s captain Diana Eduljee said. “A medal at the Asian Games would have not only brought financial rewards and perks from the government to women cricketers but also given them glory and respect. It is another indication the BCCI isn’t really interested in running and spreading women’s cricket.” Over the last decade, India Women have slipped in performance and finished seventh in the 2013 World Cup despite playing at home. Former captain Anjum Chopra said the dip in standards was because of the reduced number of international games. In 2010, Bangladesh won gold in the men’s event after India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka had all skipped the games, while Pakistan won the women’s event. The PCB has sent their women’s team this time as well. Because cricket is a not an Olympic sport and the PCB is not affiliated to the Pakistan Sports Board, the PCB has to bear the cost of participation in the Asian Games.