• It's a fashionable cliché to say about any competition that it is an open tournament. But then this is so true of the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa.

     

    Any one of half a dozen teams has a chance of lifting the trophy on October 5 with only a second string West Indian team and an England side reeling under successive setbacks ranked as outsiders.

     

    A full strength Caribbean outfit would still have had their chances, particularly, keeping in mind their surprise triumph in the fourth edition of the ICC Champions Trophy in England in 2004. This time, however, in the intense competition that the tournament is bound to see Floyd Reiffer's squad can safely be rated as no-hopers.

     

    Much the same can be said about England, the only one among the participating teams not to have a major title. Moreover, the 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Australia could have done their morale no good and it is clear that they don't have the personnel to go on and win the ICC Champions Trophy.  

     

    Still,

    Read More »from Pakistan are not short on motivation
  • Ageless is perhaps the best way to describe Sachin Tendulkar's art and craft. It really is quite amazing that a batsman just months away from completing 20 years of international cricket is still able to retain his keenness and enthusiasm.

     

    As he himself said after completing his match-winning 44th century in ODIs the other day in Colombo, "I am enjoying the game. My effort will be to try and keep playing the game and help win matches but the enjoyment factor is extremely important."

     

    It certainly is. When a cricketer allows staleness to creep into his play it tells on his performance. Every outing is laboured, every stroke an effort. And one can see that Tendulkar on the field of play still retains a boyish enthusiasm whether batting, bowling or fielding. Like vintage wine he is only getting better with age and the cynics can only make dire predictions about Tendulkar at their own peril.

     

    The doomsday prophets in fact have had to swallow bitter pills in the past after predicting

    Read More »from Tendulkar is only getting better with age
  • Andrew Flintoff has a contract with Lancashire, but he is essentially a freelance cricketer and everyone in the game will be intrigued to see how his career progresses from here.

     

    Many will see this as an unhealthy situation for the game, freelance cricketers were always going to come in and you cannot blame Flintoff for that.

     

    The big all-rounder does not want to be tied down to a contract with England which has power and control over him.

     

    Knowing Fred and the England setup as a whole, he will have been offered the contract and he will have simply turned it down; it does not mean that he will play any less for his country.

     

    People should not get carried away because Flintoff's situation is a pretty unique one for England. As an injury-prone all-rounder he has to protect his fitness, and he has given a huge amount for his country in the past.

     

    Flintoff is certainly in the most powerful position that an England player has ever been in now.

     

    It was always inevitable that players

    Read More »from Freddie not being unloyal

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