• Sourav Ganguly and Shah Rukh Khan stood firmly by him as he struggled against his ban so that he could play for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, says Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar.

    Sourav Ganguly and Shah Rukh Khan stood firmly by him as he struggled against his ban so that he could play for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, says Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar.

    Akhtar's arrival here on Monday night has breathed new life into the Knight Riders and their supporters, beleaguered after a string of defeats.

    The 32-year-old controversial fast bowler was finally allowed to play in the IPL after an appelate tribunal suspended for a month his five-year ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). He had been banned for violating the PCB code of conduct repeatedly.

    IANS caught up with Akhtar at his hotel-gym early on Tuesday morning.

    Q: Are you playing Thursday's match against Bangalore Royal Challengers at Eden Gardens here?

    A: Well, I am all set to take

    Read More »from I am dying to play for Knight Riders: Shoaib Akhtar
  • The best thing about IPL is that you get a chance to share the dressing room with players from different backgrounds and understand each other's game, says West Indian vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan.

    There is something about the way he smiles. A few years back, when Glenn McGrath fired a barb at the West Indian vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan after being hit for 21 runs in two overs in a Test at Antigua, Sarwan stood his ground. On Wednesday, as the rest of the Kings XI Punjab team busied themselves with fielding drills, Sarwan, the latest to join the team, began with a catching drill with Piyush Chawla.

    And, when that was over, he flashed a smile reminiscent of the one he had for McGrath during that tour. "I am looking forward to playing McGrath on Sunday," Sarwan said, and spoke about the IPL season.

    Excerpts:

    On McGrath

    McGrath is a world-class bowler and I think, even after retirement, he can give batsmen around the world a tough time. Though we had a go on the field, but off it

    Read More »from Twenty20 is good to spread cricket: Sarwan
  • Talks on with ICL: Speed

    In a freewheeling chat, Malcolm Speed spoke extensively about the challenges being thrown up by T20, IPL and the 'unofficial' Indian Cricket League (ICL).

    MALCOLM SPEED will hand over charge as International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive to Haroon Lorgat in a few weeks' time. And while he spoke extensively about the challenges being thrown up by T20 in a freewheeling chat, the Australian said that the 'unofficial' Indian Cricket League (ICL) had approached the ICC for recognition.

    "About 10 days ago, ICL lawyers contacted us and sought recognition from the ICC," Speed said. "We are awaiting advice from our lawyers. It's a fairly complicated legal issue."

    On BCCI's decision to ban cricketers playing in the ICL and other countries following suit, Speed said, "That's a matter which should be sorted out by the countries. BCCI has never sent anything in writing to the ICC and #8230;they have never said that they don't recognise it.

    "The law is different in every country on issues

    Read More »from Talks on with ICL: Speed

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