Tuesday, December 21, 2010

IPL: HC quashes BCCI's termination of Royals

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday quashed the BCCI's termination notice against the Rajasthan Royals, giving the IPL 2008 champions a much-needed reprieve.

Even though the BCCI urged the court to revoke the stay granted to the Royals, the court decided to uphold the order that had been passed earlier by the arbitrator.

The court, however, asked the Royals to disclose their ownership details. The owners will also have to file an affidavit in court stating that they are in control of their respective companies.

The Court also directed Rajasthan Royals to submit $2.83 million as guarantee to the BCCI for the contract and $18 million as bank guarantee for the players.

The arbitration proceedings shall continue unless BCCI approaches the Supreme Court challenging the stay.

After Tuesday's decision, it is now clear that IPL 4 scheduled to be played in April-May 2011, will have 10 teams as was the original plan put in place after the end of IPL - 3.

The Bombay High Court had last week granted a similar reprieve to Kings XI Punjab.

On November 30, Justice B N Srikrishna, who was acting as arbitrator, granted injunction in Rajasthan Royals favour by staying the termination of its contract. BCCI then challenged this before the High Court.

SA coach wants referral system in all Tests

Johannesburg: South Africa coach Corrie van Zyl has called for the Umpire Decision Referral System to be used in all Test cricket.

The system, which allows players to challenge umpires' decisions, will not be used during South Africa's upcoming three-Test series against top-ranked India.

Speaking ahead of the series, Van Zyl said on Monday "it would be fair and good for Test cricket" for it to be used "throughout."

He says "It's difficult to see a referral system used in one Test series and not in another."

UDRS is in use in the Ashes Tests between Australia and England but India chose not to have it in South Africa, with India's cricket board saying it is still not convinced by the system. Both teams must agree to it being used.

Vettori blames seniors for India debacle

Wellington: Dejected after the embarrassing ODI series whitewash against India, New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori on Monday said senior players, including himself, will have to take the blame for the debacle.

"It's about players standing up and performing," Vettori told ONE News on the team's return to the country after a 0-5 drubbing in India.

"If we look at the reasons for the losses being because of selection or management structure, we are absolving the players and myself included - so the players need to stand up," said the talismanic leg-spinner, who has been leading the side since 2007.

Set to take a break to nurse a sore back, Vettori rejected suggestions that his multiple roles of being a captain, selector and key all-rounder were affecting the team's power balance.

Vettori said his teammates are "comfortable" with his multiple roles but conceded that the fans might be running out of patience considering that his side has now lost 11 one-day international matches on the trot.

"Yeah, of course, I don't blame them. This team is hurting itself. It's a miserable time for New Zealand cricket," Vettori said.

"We did so well in the first couple of Test matches and then to let it all slip in the last Test and the one-day series, it hurts. And the only reason you play the game is to win and the only reason a lot of New Zealanders watch us play is to see us win.

"So we have to give that to them as soon as possible or otherwise it's going to be really upsetting to a lot of people," he added.

Kiwi coach Mark Greatbatch echoed Vettori's views and said the team is "exceptionally disappointed and embarrassed."

Axed WC host Pak still earns millions

Karachi: Pakistan may not be hosting any match of the 2011 World Cup but the country' Cricket Board would still be richer by USD 15 to 17 million from the tournament.

Sources in the PCB have confirmed that the International Cricket Council and the three host nations of the World Cup - India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - have assured Pakistan it would get its share of hosting fees, sponsorship and ticket revenue earnings from the matches it was supposed to host.

Pakistan was given 14 matches including a semifinal of the World Cup but after militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore last year, the ICC shifted the games to other three host countries.

"But despite the disappointment of not being part of the World Cup as hosts, Pakistan has been reassured it would get the hosting fees of the 14 matches plus part of the sponsorship and ticket-sale revenues earned from these matches wherever they are hosted," one source said.

He said, in the recent executive board meeting, the new President of the ICC - Sharad Pawar - had assured PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt that Pakistan would benefit financially from the World Cup.

Since the attack on the Sri Lankan team, Pakistan has been forced to play all its home series at neutral venues because of the volatile security situation in the country.

But the source said despite playing at neutral venues, the PCB had still earned profits from its 'home' series played in the UAE, New Zealand and England in the last two years.

"Ijaz Butt has been lobbying effectively to ensure that Pakistan still retains the title of hosting rights of the matches moved from Pakistan, ensuring the PCB does not lose out on the hosting fees paid to countries by the ICC for the World Cup matches," the source said.

The source said besides getting a hosting fees of USD 10.5 million, the ICC and other host countries will also pay the PCB additional compensation for the loss of hosting rights.

The PCB had initiated legal proceedings against the ICC after it moved away the World Cup matches from Pakistan last year but both parties settled their dispute and reached an agreement on payment of hosting fees and compensation.

SA have special plan for Sehwag: Coach

Johannesburg: South Africa coach Corrie van Zyl said his team has worked out special strategies to counter the furious batting of swashbuckling India opener Virender Sehwag during the three-match Test series.

"We definitely have a few plans for (Sehwag)," coach Corrie van Zyl told the Afrikaans daily Beeld.

"Sehwag would realise very quickly that he was now in South Africa and not on the tame pitches of his homeland.

"I know he has been successful against us in the past, but that was mainly in India. Look at his record in South Africa.

"It is easier to bowl to him here than in India, where the bowlers are punished heavily for every small error," Van Zyl said.

Sehwag was recently described as the most destructive batsman in world cricket today by West Indian legend Vivian Richards and the Indian opener is currently toiling hard to get acclimatised with the conditions here.

Team India coach Gary Kirsten said Sehwag was of immeasurable value to the team.

"Even if he gets just 30 or 40, he does it so fast that he always places the opposition's bowlers under pressure. He also makes it much easier for the other batsmen around him, by taking the pressure of them," Kirsten said.

Sehwag has hit five centuries against South Africa in a 12 Tests, with his 319 off just 304 balls against the Proteas in Chennai in 2008 remaining his highest Test score.

Referral system could change: Lorgat

Adelaide: The head of the International Cricket Council said on Sunday the referral system for all Test series could undergo further review and that changes could be made.

The system has been debated since its trial introduction in 2008 and subsequent addition as an optional extra for all test series, particularly the element that allows competing teams to choose which decision should be sent to the third umpire for video evidence.

"From the start we've always had a very open mind about the referral system and we are always open to changes that can make the system better," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat told Australian Associated Press.

"I can't say what those changes might be, but we are open-minded."

Each team is limited to two incorrect referrals per innings under the system, and players are learning to choose their referrals more wisely to concentrate on obvious umpiring errors rather than marginal calls.

"More and more people are being won over to the system after having seen it or used it," Lorgat said. "There are still a few people who are not supportive of it."

England coach Andy Flower is among those who have advocated a return to the system used during the 2005 ICC "Super Series" between Australia and World XI, in which the responsibility for referrals was placed solely in the hands of the umpires.

But Lorgat said the system was gaining the confidence of players as more learned how to use it, citing the referral by England's Alastair Cook to correct a wrongful dismissal during the Adelaide Ashes Test as an example of its ideal use.

"It is not there to get a wicket when you are struggling to find one, it is there to fix the obvious errors," Lorgat said. "Alastair Cook's referral on the fourth day when he was given out caught behind off his arm was a classic example."

"That's exactly what it is for, and I'm quite confident we are near to the ideal. We will never have it 100 percent right," he added.