Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hussey looks to the future

The hosts were hammered by an innings and 157 runs in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne to fall 2-1 down in the series.
And with England already in possession of the urn following their success on home soil in 2009, that means Australia cannot regain the Ashes.
But they can still claim a share of the series with a win at the SCG, where Hussey hopes a new-look line-up can lay down a marker for the future.
Michael Clarke will captain his country for the first time in a Test after Ricky Ponting was ruled out by a finger injury.

John Cena injured

John Cena was injured during a Raw live event.

West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester United 12:45GMT

Manchester United: are the most successful Premier League club having won the title 11 times. It all began in 1993 when manager Sir Alex Ferguson ended a 26-year wait to lift the Premier League crown.
The signing of Eric Cantona for £1.2m from Leeds United proved a masterstroke as the Frenchman was instrumental in the title victory, along with the likes of Gary Pallister, Denis Irwin, Ryan Giggs and Paul Ince.
United retained the trophy in the following campaign and romped to further titles in 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003. More silverware was added to the Red Devils' burgeoning trophy cabinet with FA Cup success in 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2004, plus League Cup victories in 1992 and 2006.
Perhaps the most memorable time in the club's history was the treble-winning season of 1999 when they added the European Champions League trophy to the league title and FA Cup.
Chelsea briefly broke their league dominance with title wins in 2005 and 2006. But in the 2006/07 season, the Red Devils roared back to regain the Barclays Premiership.
They went one better in 2007/08, enjoying their most successful campaign since winning the treble. They saw off the challenge of Chelsea and Arsenal to win an exciting Barclays Premier League title race and defeated the Blues on penalties in the Champions League final after a 1-1 draw between the two sides in Moscow.
In 2008/09, United made it a hat-trick of titles, also winning the Carling Cup but narrowly missing out to Barcelona in the Champions League final.
They retained the Carling Cup in 2010 but finished a point behind Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League after a tense race which went to the final day
West Bromwich Albion: returned to the Barclays Premier League after a strong 2009/10 campaign which saw them finish runners-up behind runaway title-winners Newcastle United in the Championship.
Under the guidance of new head coach Roberto di Matteo, the Baggies finished comfortably 12 points clear of third-placed Nottingham Forest.
Founded in 1878 the Midlands club became one of the original members of the Football League 10 years later.
They spent most of their early history in England's top tier, winning the league title in 1920, the FA Cup on five occasions and League Cup once. Their Premier League debut came in 2002.
They were relegated after just one season but returned two years later and stayed up on the final day of the 2004/05 campaign. It was only a temporary reprieve as they were relegated a year later only to bounce back at the first attempt as champions. They again lasted just one season but the "Boing Boing" Baggies again bounced straight back and now hope to get a firm foothold in the Barclays Premier League.

Birmingham City vs Arsenal 17:30 GMT

Arsenal :may have been off the pace in the inaugural Premier League season in 1992/93, but they made up for it by winning both the FA and League Cups.
The Premier League crown eluded them until 1998 - two years into manager Arsene Wenger's tenure - when they did the league and FA Cup double. Under the Frenchman, the Gunners shook off their "boring" image and began to play some of the most attractive football in England.
In eight of his 14 seasons at the club, Arsenal have finished first or second. And together with star players such as Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp, Wenger took Arsenal to another "double" in 2002.
The Gunners reached the Champions' League final in 2006, becoming the first London team to do so, but lost to Barcelona. Their Barclaycard Premiership title in 2003/04 saw them become only the second team to win the league without losing a match - earning them the title "The Invincibles." Overall they went 49 matches unbeaten, which is a national record.
Birmgham City: inexploded onto the Barclaycard Premiership stage in 2002. Having suffered play-off heartbreak in the previous three seasons, they won the play-offs under former manager Steve Bruce and seemed determined to make up for lost time.
In their first season, they finished a highly creditable 13th and did the double over arch rivals Aston Villa. Another mid-table finish in 2004/05 was followed by relegation a year later and a mass clear-out in an effort to reduce the wage bill.
But Birmingham bounced straight back up in the 2006/07 season, clinching automatic promotion as Championship runners-up. They became the first senior club in English history to postpone a match because their newly-laid pitch wasn't ready. The Blues have the dubious honour of playing on what was originally the spare pitch for the new Wembley.
After suffering the heartbreak of relegation on the last day on the 2007/08 season, Alex McLeish's side bounced back at the first time of asking, winning promotion back to the Barclays Premier League by finishing the 2008/09 season as Championship runners-up.
An impressive first season back in the top flight in 2009/10 saw the Blues finish ninth, their best season in the Barclays Premier League.

Club Heritage

Manchester City vs Blackpool FC 15:00GMT

Manchester City: have spent 13 years in the Premier League since its inception in 1992. In the 2002/03 season, they became one of only two English teams to have qualified for the UEFA Cup through the 'Fair Play ranking'. This meant that the plush new City of Manchester Stadium was treated to European football just weeks after opening for the start of the following campaign.
Kevin Keegan and then Stuart Pearce, established the club in the Premier League, and under the latter, they finished in 14th place in the 2006/07 season. He was replaced by Sven-Goran Eriksson who guided the club to a ninth place finish in the 2007/08 campaign. City also secured UEFA Cup football via the 'Fair Play ranking' for a second time.
However, Eriksson was replaced by Mark Hughes in June 2008 and in September 2008, a takeover by the Abu Dhabi United group suddenly made City one of the richest clubs in the world. On deadline day, they smashed the British transfer record with a surprise £32.5m swoop for Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Robinho. However they failed in a £100m bid to sign Kaka from AC Milan in January 2009.
In December 2009 they sacked manager Mark Hughes and replaced him with Roberto Mancini who guided City to fifth, their highest Premier League finish. However they narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification.
Blackpool's: play-off final victory over Cardiff City ensured they would be the 44th different club to play in the Premier League.
The Seasiders clinched promotion by beating the Bluebirds 3-2 at Wembley where they twice came from behind.
They levelled within minutes of both the Bluebirds' goals, first through Charlie Adam's superb free-kick and then via Gary Taylor-Fletcher's brave close-range header.
Former Southampton striker Brett Ormerod hit the winner just before half-time and the Seasiders held on to become the first team to win promotion through all four divisions via the play-offs.
It was a remarkable achievement for a club which had been second favourites for relegation from the Championship at the start of the campaign.
They achieved their unlikely promotion with an average attendance of just 8,611 and immediately announced plans to increase the capacity of their Bloomfield Road ground from 12,000 to 16,000.

Eboue signs new contract

Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Eboue has signed a new long-term contract at the club.

The 27-year-old Ivory Coast international joined from Beveren in 2005 and has over 200 first-team appearances to his name.
Although Eboue has only made five Barclays Premier League starts for the Gunners this term he remains a useful member of Arsene Wenger's squad.
The Frenchman has now confirmed Eboue has committed his future to the club and that he put pen-to-paper at least a month ago. "He extended his contract one or two months ago. It is a long-term deal," he revealed on the club's official website.

Review of the year - 2010

We look back at another thrilling year in the Barclay's Premier League.

It has been another exciting year in the Barclays Premier League with goals galore for fans to enjoy.
Chelsea won the 2009/10 title and went on to complete the Double but have found it harder in the final quarter of the year.
The race for the 2011 crown is boiling up into a thrilling contest and looks set to go right to the wire with five teams all in contention going into the New Year, headed by unbeaten Manchester United. Blackpool have come into the Premier League as a breath of fresh air under charismatic manager Ian Holloway while newly-promoted duo Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion have also established a firm foothold.
The survival struggle also looks set to go the distance in what is widely acknowledged to be a more competitive division than ever with any team capable of beating anyone else.
Here we review the highs and lows of 2010 and wish all our readers a very Happy New Year.

The year begins with a shock as Manchester United lose 1-0 at home to Leeds United in the FA Cup third round.
Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira joins Manchester City from Juventus as heavy snow hits the first Barclays Premier League programme of the year.
Burnley appoint Brian Laws as their new manager to replace Owen Coyle who switches to Bolton Wanderers. Sol Campbell rejoins Arsenal.
Wayne Rooney helps United to a 3-1 victory at Arsenal, closing the gap at the top to just a point at the end of the month.
David Moyes claims the first Barclays Manager of the Month award of the New Year. Wayne Rooney is announced as Barclays Player of the Month.

Adam Johnson is the big deal as the transfer window closes, moving from Middlesbrough to Manchester City.
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is ruled out for the season after breaking a leg against Stoke City.
Chelsea remain at the summit after Didier Drogba scores two goals in the win over Arsenal and Manchester United come from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the Carling Cup final.
Fulham's Roy Hodgson collects his second Barclays Manager of the Month of the season with his goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer winning the players' award.

Michael Owen is ruled out for the season with a hamstring injury and Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas breaks a leg in the Champions League tie against Barcelona.
Phil Brown moves aside as Hull City manager and Iain Dowie comes in to try and keep the Tigers up. Portsmouth are deducted nine points after falling into administration.
Everton's David Moyes wins his second Barclays Manager of the Month award of the season and Chelsea's Florent Malouda scoops the Player of the Month.

Newcastle United are promoted to the Barclays Premier League, quickly followed by West Bromwich Albion.
Chelsea win 2-1 at Old Trafford with goals by Joe Cole and Didier Drogba but Tottenham's 2-1 win over Carlo Ancelotti's men blows the title race wide open after Paul Scholes nets a dramatic stoppage-time winner at rivals City.
Bottom club Portsmouth are relegated after West Ham United's win over Sunderland, while Burnley's defeat against Liverpool sends them back to the Championship after one season. Fulham secure their place in the Europa League final after a two-legged semi-final victory over German club Hamburg.
Martin O'Neill wins April's Barclays Manager of the Month award and Tottenham's Gareth Bale claims the Barclays Player of the Month honour.
Wayne Rooney wins the PFA and the Football Writer's Player of the Year awards.

Manchester United beat Aston Villa on penalties after a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford to claim the Barclays Premier Reserve League title.
Hull City are relegated after two seasons in the top flight following a 2-2 draw with Wigan Athletic.
The title is decided on the final day with Chelsea hammering Wigan Athletic to claim the Barclays Premier League crown ahead of Manchester United.
Arsenal take third spot again, while local rivals Tottenham secure fourth place and qualification for next season's Champions League with victory over Man City.
Drogba finishes as the division's top scorer with 29 league goals to win the Barclays Golden Boot. Chelsea's win gives them a goal tally of 103 for the season - a Premier League record.
There is Europa League heartbreak for Fulham who lose 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in extra-time but Premier League referee Howard Webb takes charge of the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan at Real Madrid's Bernabeu Stadium.
Wayne Rooney is named Barclays Player of the Season and Harry Redknapp is Barclays Manager of the Season.
Chelsea go on to claim their first Double, beating Portsmouth in the FA Cup final and Blackpool secure the final promotion place, beating Cardiff City 3-2 in the play-off final at Wembley.
Everton sign Jermaine Beckford from Leeds United while Manchester United bring in Mexican star Javier Hernandez.

Avram Grant replaces Gianfranco Zola as the new manager of West Ham United and makes former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger his first signing.
West Ham academy director Tony Carr receives an MBE in the Queen's Birthday List.
Roy Hodgson becomes the new manager of Liverpool following the departure of Rafael Benitez.
Among the major transfers, Hull City midfielder Stephen Hunt signs for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Martin Petrov moves from Manchester City to Bolton Wanderers.
Manchester City snap up midfielder Yaya Toure from Barcelona and Chelsea bring in Yossi Benayoun from Liverpool.

Premier League referee Howard Webb receives the ultimate honour as he takes charge of the World cup final, assisted by Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey.
He has his work cut out in a tempestuous match which forces him to issue 14 yellow cards and one red as Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0.
Mark Hughes succeeds Roy Hodgson as manager of Fulham.
Manchester City snap up David Silva and Aleksandr Kolarov while Liverpool sign Joe Cole and Dan Gosling joins Newcastle United.

Manchester United beat Chelsea 3-1 to win the Community Shield at Wembley.
Stoke City break their transfer record to capture Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones.
On the eve of their first season in the Premier League, Blackpool sign five players in one day to strengthen their ranks. They kick off with a 4-0 win at Wigan.
Ryan Giggs maintains his unique record of scoring in every Premier League season as he nets in Manchester United's 3-0 win over Newcastle United.
Champions Chelsea begin the new season in style, beating Stoke 6-0 at Stamford Bridge before thumping Wigan by the same score at the DW Stadium.
That flying start earns Carlo Ancelotti the Barclays Manager of the Month award with the evergreen Paul Scholes capturing the Barclays Player of the Month award.

For the first time, Premier League clubs have to submit squad lists to comply with new regulations.
There are injury blows for Jermain Defoe, Jack Rodwell, Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Bobby Zamora who breaks a leg.
Antonio Valencia needs surgery after suffering a dislocation and fracture of an ankle.
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur all play their 700th match in the Premier League.
Gerard Houllier takes over as manager at Aston Villa following the surprise departure of Martin O'Neill. Alex McLeish signs a new contract with Birmingham City.
West Bromwich Albion's Roberto Di Matteo and Peter Odemwingie are Barclays Manager and Player of the Month.

Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa sustains a broken tibia and fibula to his left leg at Manchester City.
Impressive newcomers Blackpool win 2-1 at Liverpool who are in the bottom three but facing a more settled future following the take-over by the NESV group.
Wayne Rooney ends frenzied speculation over his future by singing a new contract at Manchester United.
Newcastle thrash local rivals Sunderland 5-1 as Gareth Bale hogs the headlines for Tottenham with some stunning displays in the Champions League.
Rafael van der Vaart wins the Barclays Player of the Month award with Everton's David Moyes scooping the managerial title.

Wayne Rooney is sent to America in a bid to cure an ankle problem and Blackburn Rovers get new owners in Venky's London Limited.
Former Arsenal star Robert Pires joins Aston Villa as a free agent and there are goals galore on 27th November as a new Premier League record is set for the most goals scored on a single Saturday.
Dimitar Berbatov leads the way with five in Manchester United's 7-1 win over Blackburn becoming only the fourth player in Premier League history to net five in one match.
For the first time, every single Barclays Premier League club scores over the weekend.
Manchester United complete the signing of goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard from Aalesunds. Jelle van Damme is homesick and leaves Wolves.
Bolton Wanderers duo Owen Coyle and Johan Elmander are named the Barclays Manager and Player of the Month.

Chris Hughton leaves his post as Newcastle manager and is replaced by former West Ham boss Alan Pardew.
Sam Allardyce is a surprise departure at Blackburn with Steve Kean given the nod for the rest of the season.
Chelsea go six league matches without a win before beating Bolton 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Jermaine Pennant makes a permanent switch to Stoke City and Wigan sign Spanish defender Adrian Lopez.
Manchester United finish the year in top spot, having chalked up a new club record of 18 matches unbeaten from the start of the season.
Bottom club going into 2011 is West Ham, thanks to a surprise 1-0 win by Wolves at Liverpool.
World Cup final referee Howard Webb receives an MBE in the New Year Honours List.


Haddin backs Clarke as captain

Brad Haddin spent his first full day as Australia's vice-captain insisting Michael Clarke, his new master, is the right man for the top job. A new cricket leader is usually a time for celebration in this country, but Clarke's appointment for Monday's fifth Ashes Test at the SCG has been greeted with extreme caution.
Ricky Ponting is missing the match due to a broken finger and Clarke enters the fixture in poor form and with only pockets of public support. None of that matters to Haddin, who says the team is 100% behind the leader.
"He is ready to do this job," Haddin said at the SCG. "He'd be excited about the prospect of captaining Australia and he will do a very, very good job. We're 100% behind him and, being a good mate of mine, I'll support him in any way I can. He deserves to be in this position ... he's the best man for the job."
Haddin, 33, said the public reaction to all the Australian players changed from week to week. However, Clarke's rating among large sections of the community, particularly in his home state of New South Wales, has been more consistent. His lack of runs in the series - 148 in eight innings - hasn't helped endear Clarke to the detractors and the lukewarm response adds to the pressure on the country's 43rd Test captain.
"You are one good innings away, or sometimes one good cover drive away, from the support being with you," Haddin said. "Michael is a very strong character so things will be okay. He has got a very good cricket brain and you saw that through the T20 World Cup [when Australia made the final]. He thinks a lot about the game, he is going to do a very good job."
Haddin, who hopes his elevation is temporary, has played 31 Tests since replacing the retired Adam Gilchrist in the middle of 2008. He has leadership experience with New South Wales and gets a close-up view of the game as wicketkeeper. It will be interesting to watch how he juggles his post as one of the team's verbal enforcers with his new responsibilities.
The first aim for Australia is to show some signs of collective improvement after being thoroughly out-played in three of the four matches. The hosts are upset to have failed in their push to regather the urn - Haddin said the results were "unacceptable" - but they will aim to take comfort in a victory in Sydney.
"It's disappointing we have lost the Ashes and we are disappointed in our own performance, but you have to move on pretty quick in sport," he said. "We have to win this Test match to make this series 2-all.

Melbourne hangover sorted out - Swann

Graeme Swann insists there will be no hangover from England's Ashes-retaining heroics in Melbourne as they eye a first series win in Australia in 24 years. The tourists partied hard after holding on to the trophy at the MCG but Swann, who details some of the exploits in his latest video diary, said everyone had re-focused on finishing the Test campaign on a high.
"It's been sorted out already," Swann said after training at the SCG. "We haven't had celebrations going on for many days. We had one night out after the game, you should celebrate a Test victory and an Ashes-retaining victory heavily. I tried to a lead a merry dance, but that was one night and we've moved on."
England will face an unfamiliar Australian line-up after the captain Ricky Ponting was ruled out with a broken finger. That has provided Michael Clarke with his first game in charge and Usman Khawaja, the No.3, and Michael Beer, the spinner, are both expected to debut. It should mean that England have a huge advantage with all their experience, but Swann remains wary of so many news faces.
"On one hand there is a whole pile of pressure on them because it is a New Year's Test match and they will be shaking like big dogs, but on the other hand coming in for your first game can be the best time you ever play because you don't know what it is all about," he said. "You've not got the pressure on your back ... You have to hope it goes the first way as you don't want two people on debut and one getting a five-for and the other a hundred."
Swann has 13 wickets for the series and has been satisfied with his contributions in the wins in Adelaide and Melbourne, but he starts this Test with different expectations on him. This pitch is traditionally a slow bowler's surface and England will look to him to provide significant damage.
"You always look forward to bowling on pitches renowned for spin, but that can bring pressure as well if people expect it to turn square like Sydney did 15 years ago," he said. "I'm reliably informed by people in Australia that it doesn't turn like it used to, but it will offer some assistance later on in the game."
Swann's 64 Test wickets were the most in 2010 and he has been a key man in a series of England successes. "It's been pretty much a dream year," he said. "I got married in January, won the Twenty20World Cup [in May], retained the Ashes in December. If 2011 can be anything like that, I will be over the moon. It's been a dream period for me.
"We've played some very good cricket and there are not many England players who can say they have played in two Ashes, won one, retained the other and won a [Twenty20] World Cup. I'm pretty chuffed the way the last 12 months have gone."
Swann is not sitting back enjoying the view because there is still work to be done to ensure this side is the first since Mike Gatting's in 1986-87 to win the Ashes in Australia. "In South Africa last year I thought I'd draw a line under the end of the year and we got absolutely hammered at the Wanderers," he said. "I'm going to draw a line under this series after the series and hopefully we can win 3-1."

Newlands sets up delicious decider

The entire series changed in a Durban minute, transferring the momentum India's way after their humiliation in Centurion. The moment that signaled India's ascent was the fall of Jacques Kallis, South Africa's best batsman, in the second innings. Sreesanth's ball reared up from short of length, darted in towards the batsman's throat and flew to gully. A familiar sight to Indians from a previous era, but with one huge twist: it was an Indian bowler who made a classy batsman hop, fend and get out.
South Africa's batsmen were looking good in Durban. Until Ishant Sharma got his fingers to a straight drive to accidentally run Kallis out in the first innings, the Indian attack looked lacklustre. It seemed that Zaheer Khan, much like Kapil Dev in those days, would end up with four or five wickets and the rest would simply leak runs. But the Indian bowlers seized the moment and South Africa collapsed. Twice.
And so the teams head into the Newlands tied at 1-1 and the series at stake. The pitch is supposedly batsman-friendly with spin expected to play a part later. The home batsmen should put up a better fight, while it will be interesting to see how their bowlers fare. Lonwabo Tsotsobe picked up a few key wickets but it seemed like it was a result of Indian batsmen trying to attack him after they saw off the tougher challenges from Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. If they don't repeat the same mistakes, the burden of wicket-taking will fall upon Steyn. Will Morkel, whose forte is bounce, be as effective in the decider as he was on friendlier surfaces earlier in the series? Can Paul Harris do more than just a holding job?
Zaheer's presence makes a big difference to India. Sreesanth and Ishant grew under his wing, and India will hope they can learn to fly on their own without Zaheer's presence at mid-off. Gautam Gambhir is expected to return and Virender Sehwag, who threatened to really take off in the second innings in Durban, is due for a big knock. If the surface plays out as the curator thinks it would, the bowlers could be the deciding factor.

Imran Tahir eligible to play for South Africa

Imran Tahir, the Nashua Dolphins legspinner of Pakistani origin, has been granted South African citizenship by naturalisation and is now eligible to play for the country. Tahir has also fulfilled the ICC's regulations for representing his new country, having not played for the country of his birth at any level for more than 4 years.
Tahir, 31, has been one of South Africa's most prolific domestic bowlers in recent times, with 535 first-class wickets at 25.09 from 127 matches. He was picked in the South Africa Test squad to play England in January 2010, but was left out at the last moment owing to issues over his residency paperwork. Those problems have been resolved now.
"Imran has made South Africa his home and has been married for some time to a South African," Gerald Majola, CEO of Cricket South Africa said. "He has been a leading wicket-taker in the top South African domestic competitions for the past few seasons and is highly respected by both his colleagues and his opponents. He certainly becomes a contender for selection to the Proteas squad now that he has met all the government, ICC and CSA regulations regarding his new nationality."
Tahir, however, won't be considered for the Cape Town Test against India that begins on January 2. "That will not be fair on anyone since the squad has prepared, but he will be considered for the one-dayers," CSA's convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson told ESPNcricinfo.

Pakistan selectors defer squad announcement

 Despite an extensive meeting of the PCB's integrity committee, Pakistan's selectors failed to finalise a 15-man squad for the ODI series against New Zealand or a list of 30 probables for the 2011 World Cup. Though the board has been given till January 5 by the ICC to announce the World Cup probables, it was thought the selectors would have announced squads on Friday.
"We had lengthy discussions on performance and availability of many players," chief selector Mohsin Khan said after a meeting with fellow selectors on Friday. "We were of the opinion that since we still have a few days before the deadline for announcing the World Cup Squad it would be better to wait until there is absolute clarity from PCB on the availability for selection of certain players."
The players Khan refers to are Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Danish Kaneria. The trio appeared in front of the integrity committee on Thursday. The players submitted further documents detailing financial and property records and were spoken to individually by members of the committee.
The committee is considering whether or not to clear the players for future selection for Pakistan assignments. The three have not played for Pakistan in any format since the summer tour to England, having not been cleared for selection by the integrity committee. Though the board has made no official comment and not charged the players, it is understood it has concerns about the trio.
Accordingly, none have been picked for various squads; Kaneria was in the Test squad for the South Africa series but was prevented from travelling by the board to the UAE at the very last minute. Akmal even wrote to the ICC to ask whether he was the subject of any corruption inquiry or case and was subsequently told there was nothing on him.
The announcement of both squads has now been deferred till early next week.
On Thursday, the integrity committee also spoke with Yasir Hameed. The opener apologised to the board over his conversation with an undercover reporter in September during a sting operation conducted by News of the World, where he was recorded talking about the three players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - suspected of being involved in spot-fixing. Hameed hasn't been part of the national team since that tour of England.
"I was trapped into it but I should not have said all that before a stranger and I apologise to all the players who were hurt because of that," Hameed told AFP.
During the course of the video, Hameed discussed the fall-out of the spot-fixing controversy, the Sydney Test and Hameed's claim that a bookie approached him during the 2004 Champions Trophy in England.
Hameed, who claimed the man he was speaking to in the video had posed as a representative of a global airline trying to discuss a sponsorship deal, had denied speaking to NOTW and said he was merely repeating information from the original reports in the same newspaper when the story on the controversy broke.
In his statement, Hameed said that after discussing sponsorship deals, the man he knew by the name of Abid Khan, offered him a sum of £25,000 to give a statement against his three team-mates who found themselves at the centre of the controversy to which Hameed said, he, "immediately refused and put the phone down. I was neither called nor answered any calls from Abid after this conversation."

Pakistan tour of New Zealand 2010/11 ( 2 Test & 6 ODi )

Jan 07 Fri - Jan 11 Tue New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st TestSeddon ParkHamilton
Jan 15 Sat - Jan 19 Wed New Zealand v Pakistan, 2nd TestBasin ReserveWellington
Jan 22 - Sat New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st ODIWestpac StadiumWellington
Jan 26 - Wed New Zealand v Pakistan, 2nd ODIQueenstown Events CentreQueenstown
Jan 29 - Sat New Zealand v Pakistan, 3rd ODIAMI StadiumChristchurch
Feb 01 - Tue New Zealand v Pakistan, 4th ODIMcLean ParkNapier
Feb 03 - Thu New Zealand v Pakistan, 5th ODISeddon ParkHamilton
Feb 05 - Sat New Zealand v Pakistan, 6th ODIEden ParkAuckland

All-round Razzaq flattens New Zealand

Abdul Razzaq pummeled an 11-ball 34 to propel Pakistan to 183, before returning to flatten the New Zealand top order with the new ball, as the visitors stormed to a 103-run victory in the third Twenty20 in Christchurch. Razzaq capitalised on some inexperienced death bowling from Adam Milne to hammer 31 from the last nine deliveries of the innings, and picked up three wickets for 13 as New Zealand imploded dramatically, effectively surrendering the game within the first three overs of their chase.
The chase was derailed almost before it had begun as the top four batsmen all collected ducks. Martin Guptill began the catastrophic collapse when he edged Razzaq to point, pushing away from his body with hard hands to one that nipped away a touch. Jesse Ryder turned in his third failure of the series in the following over when he top edged a pull, and Dean Brownlie's decision to sneak a quick single to get off the mark backfired when Shahid Afridi effected a rare Pakistani direct hit. Ross Taylor was unfortunate to be adjudged lbw to one that struck him slightly above the knee roll, but didn't do himself any favours by playing all around the straight delivery. Three overs into the innings, New Zealand had lost four wickets for three runs, and when James Franklin lost his head, and his middle stump, two overs later, there was only one direction the match was heading. New Zealand had made 11 runs for the loss of five wickets from their first five overs. Pakistan were 51 for no loss at the same stage.
Styris resisted bravely, throwing his bat to collect a couple of boundaries over cover in Razzaq's last over, and even swatting a six over midwicket to give the Christchurch crowd something to cheer about, but with the required run-rate tipping 15, and wickets falling regularly at the other end, there was little he could do. Peter McGlashan dragged Abdur Rehman onto the stumps attempting to reverse sweep and Nathan McCullum didn't hang around long, succumbing to Shahid Afridi's straighter one. Styris eventually fell for 45, and Afridi wasted little time cleaning up the tail - an 134 kph arm ball to dismiss Tim Southee first ball being the highlight of his spell. Styris aside, none of the other New Zealand batsmen managed double figures. They made 28 collectively.
Pakistan's impressive total was set up by an explosive opening partnership between Ahmad Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez, who blasted 81 in 8.4 overs to set pulses racing at the AMI stadium. Shehzad in particular, was quick to punish anything on a length, peppering the midwicket boundary repeatedly, while also driving through the covers when the ball was pitched up. Hafeez too got into the action scooping Mills over the shoulder for four, before unfurling a wristy swat that sent the ball sailing over deep square-leg a few overs later.
The introduction of slow bowling into the attack did the trick for New Zealand though, as both openers perished attempting to maintain the frenetic scoring rate, and three more wickets followed soon after. Younis Khan was run out, attempting a suicidal single, Asad Shafiq was caught on the boundary after having used up 15 deliveries for his 8 and Shahid Afridi departed for a quickfire 14.
Umar Akmal kept Pakistan ticking with some intelligent hitting, but it was Abdul Razzaq who boosted the visitors' total and swung the momentum decidedly Pakistan's way with a brutal display of power hitting. Razzaq swung in the V, launching Tim Southee twice over midwicket before taking on Milne in the last over. Razzaq smoked the short deliveries over cover, and sent the fuller ones racing along the ground to the boundary, and 19 runs came off the last five deliveries, despite Milne's best efforts to vary the pace and find the blockhole.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Where is BATISTA: Not in WWE or TNA

John Cena disgraced this man live on PPV shortly after that Batista quit the WWE.   A couple of days later, Batista stated in an interview that he left WWE because he did not like the direction the company was going in and would not be returning any time soon.

It is highly doubtful that he will ever join TNA after he criticized the wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, claiming, "I've also seen clips of their car wreck matches with A.J. Styles doing his stunts.  That's not wrestling. Wrestling is storytelling."

 In April 2006, Styles responded to Batista's comments, stating, "I think it's funny that a guy who takes a bump and tears his back tells me that I don't know how to wrestle."  So if Batista keeps his words and does not return to WWE and stays loyal to his comments and never joins TNA because "that is not wrestling" then it is highly doubtful we will ever see him in cahoots with Hulk, Dixie or Eric.

 It is a great Shame Batista made such controversial comments because it is doubtful we will ever see him in WWE or TNA.

Watch all WWE action on Friday [SmackDown] & Monday [RAW] live on  LIVETVSHOW.

Kane vs Edge in Smack Down 2011

 At Tuesday's Smackdown taping in Rochester, New York, two huge matches were announced for the first episode of Smackdown in 2011.

You can watch Kane vs Edge in Smack Down online live at Here.

Alberto Del Rio will face Rey Mysterio in a Two of Three Falls Match, while World Heavyweight Champion Edge will take on Kane in a Last Man Standing Match.

With nearly a month until the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, it would appear that having these huge matches on regular TV is the WWE's way of blowing off both feuds prior to the Rumble.

This is strictly a guess on my part, but I don't think Edge and Kane are having another pay-per-view match.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Edge vs. Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Los Angeles Lakers vs Philadelphia 76ers: Watch live streaming

Watch live streaming of Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers at htp:// on 1st January 2011.

Two three-game winning streaks will be put to the test tonight when the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Philadelphia 76ers in Wells Fargo Arena.

The Lakers, who are in the middle of a seven-game road trip, are coming off a 109-94 win over the Indiana Pacers and are now 2-0 since the return of center Andrew Bynum. The 76ers also come in off a big win, as they downed the Los Angeles Clippers 105-91 on Wednesday, and will play their final home game before a long eight-game road trip that starts Saturday at Orlando.

Looking at the NBA spreads for tonight's game, the Lakers come in favored by five points over the 76ers.

The Lakers appear to be closer to regaining the form that got them off to an 8-0 start, and there is no question that Kobe Bryant will have his team ready to go tonight. Bryant was born in Philadelphia, and there is just something about playing well in your home town. It doesn't hurt that Bryant is coming off one of his best performances of the season, as he scored 31 points on 11-18 shooting and had a team-high six assists.

Andrew Bynum has played just 17 minutes in each of his first two games back, but it appears that little bit of rest that he is able to give Pau Gasol is already starting to pay dividends. Gasol scored 28 points in the Lakers win over the Pacers on Wednesday, and he has really played well against the 76ers with six double-doubles in his last seven games. Los Angeles also just added veteran big man Joe Smith, who figures to be a nice addition to this team.

The 76ers are playing their best basketball of the season right now and appear ready for the challenge of taking on the defending NBA Champions. Philadelphia has won seven of its last nine games, but still has a lot to prove, as its only win against a team with a winning record was against a struggling New Orleans Hornets team on Sunday.

Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala combined for 44 points against the Clippers, but were just two of five players who scored in double figures. Both Holiday and Igoudala come in averaging 14 points a game, but have been playing much better of late.

The big reason why the 76ers have been playing so well of late, is the effort they are giving on the defensive side of the ball. Philadelphia has held its last three opponents under 40 percent shooting and will need all the defense it can get if it plans on pulling off the upset tonight.

I just think the Lakers are too much for this 76ers team, and will end up winning this game easily, but if Philadelphia can get off to a strong start they definitely have a chance.

If you are looking for more advice on who to take in the NBA, check out what our expert handicappers have to offer in their daily NBA picks.

Watch Sports Matches LIVE

KFC T20 Big Bash 2010-2011 LIVE

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Schedule

Date Local GMT PST Match Details Venue
Feb 12, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Kenya vs West Indies, 1st Warm up ODI Colombo
Feb 12, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Sri Lanka vs Netherlands, 2nd Warm up ODI Kandy
Feb 12, 2011 14:30 08:30 13:30 Bangladesh vs Canada, 3rd Warm up ODI Day Night Match Chittagong
Feb 12, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Ireland vs New Zealand, 4th Warm up ODI Day Night Match Nagpur
Feb 12, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 South Africa vs Zimbabwe, 5th Warm up ODI Day Night Match Chennai
Feb 13, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 India vs Australia, 6th Warm up ODI Day Night Match Bangalore
Feb 15, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Ireland vs Zimbabwe, 7th Warm up ODI Nagpur
Feb 15, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Kenya vs Netherlands, 8th Warm up ODI Kandy
Feb 15, 2011 14:30 08:30 13:30 Bangladesh vs Pakistan, 9th Warm up ODI Day Night Match Mirpur
Feb 15, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Australia vs South Africa, 10th Warm up ODI Day Night Match Bangalore
Feb 16, 2011 09:30 03:30 08:30 Canada vs England, 11th Warm up ODI Mirpur
Feb 16, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Sri Lanka vs West Indies, 12th Warm up ODI Colombo
Feb 16, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 India vs New Zealand, 13th Warm up ODI Day Night Match Chennai
Feb 18, 2011 14:30 08:30 13:30 England vs Pakistan, 14th Warm up ODI Day Night Match Mirpur
Feb 19, 2011 14:30 08:30 13:30 Group B : Bangladesh vs India, 1st ODI Day Night Match Mirpur
Feb 20, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Group A : New Zealand vs Kenya, 2nd ODI Chennai
Feb 20, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Sri Lanka vs Canada, 3rd ODI Day Night Match Hambantota
Feb 21, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Australia vs Zimbabwe, 4th ODI Day Night Match Ahmedabad
Feb 22, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group B : England vs Netherlands, 5th ODI Day Night Match Nagpur
Feb 23, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Pakistan vs Kenya, 6th ODI Day Night Match Hambantota
Feb 24, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group B : South Africa vs West Indies, 7th ODI Day Night Match Delhi
Feb 25, 2011 09:30 03:30 08:30 Group B : Bangladesh vs Ireland, 8th ODI Mirpur
Feb 25, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Australia vs New Zealand, 9th ODI Day Night Match Nagpur
Feb 26, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, 10th ODI Day Night Match Colombo
Feb 27, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group B : India vs England, 11th ODI Day Night Match Kolkata
Feb 28, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Group A : Canada vs Zimbabwe, 12th ODI Nagpur
Feb 28, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group B : West Indies vs Netherlands, 13th ODI Day Night Match Delhi
Mar 1, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Sri Lanka vs Kenya, 14th ODI Day Night Match Colombo
Mar 2, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group B : England vs Ireland, 15th ODI Day Night Match Bangalore
Mar 3, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Group B : South Africa vs Netherlands, 16th ODI Mohali
Mar 3, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Pakistan vs Canada, 17th ODI Day Night Match Colombo
Mar 4, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Group A : New Zealand vs Zimbabwe, 18th ODI Ahmedabad
Mar 4, 2011 14:30 08:30 13:30 Group B : Bangladesh vs West Indies, 19th ODI Day Night Match Mirpur
Mar 5, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Australia vs Sri Lanka, 20th ODI Day Night Match Colombo
Mar 6, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Group B : South Africa vs England, 21st ODI Chennai
Mar 6, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group B : India vs Ireland, 22nd ODI Day Night Match Bangalore
Mar 7, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Canada vs Kenya, 23rd ODI Day Night Match Delhi
Mar 8, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Pakistan vs New Zealand, 24th ODI Day Night Match Kandy
Mar 9, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group B : India vs Netherlands, 25th ODI Day Night Match Delhi
Mar 10, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe, 26th ODI Day Night Match Kandy
Mar 11, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Group B : West Indies vs Ireland, 27th ODI Mohali
Mar 11, 2011 14:30 08:30 13:30 Group B : Bangladesh vs England, 28th ODI Day Night Match Chittagong
Mar 12, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group B : India vs South Africa, 29th ODI Day Night Match Nagpur
Mar 13, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Group A : New Zealand vs Canada, 30th ODI Mumbai
Mar 13, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Australia vs Kenya, 31st ODI Day Night Match Bangalore
Mar 14, 2011 09:30 03:30 08:30 Group B : Bangladesh vs Netherlands, 32nd ODI Chittagong
Mar 14, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Pakistan vs Zimbabwe, 33rd ODI Day Night Match Kandy
Mar 15, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group B : South Africa vs Ireland, 34th ODI Day Night Match Kolkata
Mar 16, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Australia vs Canada, 35th ODI Day Night Match Bangalore
Mar 17, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group B : England vs West Indies, 36th ODI Day Night Match Chennai
Mar 18, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Group A : Ireland vs Netherlands, 37th ODI Kolkata
Mar 18, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, 38th ODI Day Night Match Mumbai
Mar 19, 2011 09:30 03:30 08:30 Group B : Bangladesh vs South Africa, 39th ODI Mirpur
Mar 19, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group A : Pakistan vs Australia, 40th ODI Day Night Match Colombo
Mar 20, 2011 09:30 04:00 09:00 Group A : Zimbabwe vs Kenya, 41st ODI Kolkata
Mar 20, 2011 14:30 09:00 14:00 Group B : India vs West Indies, 42nd ODI Day Night Match Chennai
Mar 23, 2011 14:30 09:30 14:30 TBC vs TBC, 1st Quarter Final ODI Day Night Match Mirpur
Mar 24, 2011 14:30 10:00 15:00 TBC vs TBC, 2nd Quarter Final ODI Day Night Match Colombo
Mar 25, 2011 14:30 09:30 14:30 TBC vs TBC, 3rd Quarter Final ODI Day Night Match Mirpur
Mar 26, 2011 14:30 10:00 15:00 TBC vs TBC, 4th Quarter Final ODI Day Night Match Ahmedabad
Mar 29, 2011 14:30 10:00 15:00 TBC vs TBC, 1st Semi Final ODI Day Night Match Colombo
Mar 30, 2011 14:30 10:00 15:00 TBC vs TBC, 2nd Semi Final ODI Day Night Match Mohali
Apr 2, 2011 14:30 10:00 15:00 TBC vs TBC, The Final ODI Day Night Match Mumbai

Blue = Warm Up matches
Green = International Matches
Yellow = Quarter Final
Pink = Semi Final

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