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Ehsan
April 2, 2003, 05:01 PM
AFP, Sharjah

New-look Pakistan lead a bunch of World Cup losers attempting to get back on track during the 150,000-dollar Sharjah Cup which opens on Thursday.

Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Kenya are the other teams in the fray over the next eight days in the first international cricket event since the World Cup ended in South Africa on March 23.


Sri Lanka and Kenya were unconvincing semi-finalists at cricket's four-yearly showpiece, Zimbabwe fared poorly in the Super Sixes while Pakistan were knocked out in the preliminary round.


Pakistan, finalists four years ago, responded to the embarrassing exit by sacking eight senior players, including the legendary Wasim Akram and captain Waqar Younis, and handing the reins to seasoned wicketkeeper Rashid Latif.


They also brought back former captain Javed Miandad as coach after South Africa-based Englishman Richard Pybus quit in disgust, saying he was frustrated at the inability of unnamed senior players to adjust to new ideas.


Sri Lanka, meanwhile, persuaded a reluctant Sanath Jayasuriya to continue as captain, but lost the services of batting great Aravinda De Silva, who retired after the World Cup to become a national selector.


Mahela Jayawardena, who averaged a meagre three runs in the World Cup, and fellow middle-order specialist Russel Arnold, were omitted for the Sharjah event, but both are expected to play in the two-Test home series against New Zealand later this month.Zimbabwe, led once again by Heath Streak, have been hit by the retirement of four stalwarts, Andy Flower, Henry Olonga, Guy Whittall and Alistair Campbell.


Flower and Olonga opted to leave Zimbabwe after winning acclaim for their protests against the Robert Mugabe government during the World Cup, Whittall said he had played long enough while Campbell quit after being ignored for Sharjah.


Kenya, the first non-Test playing nation to make the World Cup semi-finals, retained their ageing squad, but are still looking for a coach after Sandeep Patil opted to seek new pastures in his native India.


Sympathetic Sharjah hosts persuaded another former Indian Test star Abid Ali, who coaches the United Arab Emirates cricket team, to take charge of Kenya for the tournament.


Most attention, however, will be focused on Pakistan's new management duo of Latif and Miandad, who have been given the task of grooming the young squad.


"I was planning to retire after the World Cup but I've decided to put it on hold to help my country in the re-building process," said the 34-year-old Latif.


"It may not be easy to establish ourselves as a top team quickly. They need time to get the feel of international cricket.


"The more matches they play the better they will become."

In Thursday's opener, Pakistan take on Zimbabwe, who like Kenya were brought in at the last minute after South Africa backed out due to the war in Iraq.


Each team plays the other once with the top two advancing to the final on April 10.


FIXTURES Match schedule for the 150,000-dollar Sharjah Cup limited-overs tournament starting on Thursday:


Apr 3: Pak v Zim
Apr 4: Pak v SL
Apr 5: Zim v Kenya
Apr 6: SL v Kenya
Apr 7: SL v Zim
Apr 8: Pak v Kenya
Apr 9: Rest day
Apr 10: Final

Sham
April 2, 2003, 05:31 PM
I dont understand the point of copying and posting an article from the Daily Star (which most people read anyway) that has nothing to do with us!

Ehsan
April 2, 2003, 07:48 PM
Sham I remember tehsin bhai saying you can talk anything about cricket thats why talked abt it.

The reason I posted is cz some ppl may not visit Dialy star for their own reasons but I thought to bring this to everyones mind.

I don't see the point of picking. Nowadays everyone in this board is picking on each other which is not good. There would be no peace in this board if we keep pointing.

shahid
April 3, 2003, 12:28 AM
ehsan,

this is not a general cricket forum. its a BD cricket forum. talk about BDi cricket mainly here.