Jayawardene refutes allegations of divulging T20 retirement plans to Indian media for 'financial gain'

mahela JayawardeneColombo, Mar 20 - Star Sri Lankan batsman and former captain Mahela Jayawardene has dismissed allegations against made him made by a Sri Lankan publication that he chose to announce his Twenty20 international retirement plans to an Indian newspaper as it would be more 'financially rewarding'.

An article, which appeared in Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror newspaper under the headline 'Sanga, Mahela betrayal shocks SLC', suggested that Jayawardene did not announce his retirement plans to their publication, when they had interviewed him just days prior to the eventual announcement.

Will quit the day I stop enjoying cricket: Gambhir

Gautam-GambhirNew Delhi, March 19 : India discard Gautam Gambhir doesn't see the Indian Premier League as a platform to make his case for a national comeback. The opening batsman has set no deadline for himself but says he will quit the day he is not enjoying the game.

For the present, Gambhir's priority is the upcoming IPL seventh edition and the southpaw says his focus is to do well for Kolkata Knight Riders which he has ably led the last three seasons.

Gambhir has not set himself a deadline even as his seniors Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh maintain they remain good enough to play at the highest level for another three to four years.

Clarke scored ton with 'broken shoulder' in decisive third Test against Proteas

Michael-ClarkeJohannesburg, Mar 18 : Australian captain Michael Clarke had reportedly played with a fractured shoulder while scoring a century in the decisive third Test against South Africa, which Australia won to score a 2-1 series victory.

Clarke weathered a barrage of bouncers on the first day of the Cape Town Test, being hit on his body and helmet in a fiery spell of short-pitched bowling by Morne Morkel and went on to make a pivotal 161 not out, hailed by many as the best knock of his career.

Jayawardene to retire from international T20s after T20 World Cup

mahela JayawardeneJohannesburg, Mar 18 - Star Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene has reportedly announced that he would retire from international Twenty20 cricket after the conclusion of the World T20 in Bangladesh.

Jayawardene's announcement came days after his teammate Kumar Sangakkara made a similar announcement.

According to Sport24, Jayawardene, who has appeared in all four T20 World Cups and captained the side which lost in the final of the last tournament, sad in an ICC statement that he had taken the decision as he knew this tournament would be his last World Cup and he did not want to block a younger player.

'Recovering' Afridi hopeful of playing in World T20

Shahid-AfridiKarachi, Mar 16 : Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi is hopeful of playing in the World Twenty20 that kicks off in Bangladesh and has reportedly started training following his recovery from a groin injury.

Afridi, who suffered fitness problems in the Asia cup last week, has said that he is feeling much better as he trained for the first time since the injury and is feeling 'very good'.

Hafeez backs Pak not to get 'swayed by emotion' during 'high-pressure' World T20 clash with India

Mohammad-HafeezKarachi, Mar 16 : Pakistani Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez has insisted that his team would not get 'swayed by emotion' ahead of their clash with archrivals India in the World Twenty20 at Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

Hafeez believes that Pakistan cannot afford to get distracted by their rivalry against India if they are to replicate their 2009 triumph from a group also containing defending champions West Indies and tournament favourite Australia.

Not used to throwing my hat anywhere: Sourav on coaching

Sourav-GangulyKolkata, March 15 : Ex-India captain Sourav Ganguly asserted Saturday that the expertise of former greats can be utilised for developing the current cricket team even as he refused to "throw in my hat for the job".

"When you have players like Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble, their services can always be sought. But it depends upon how much time they can devote. It's an individual decision for every cricketer what he wants do in life. I think it should be left to them," Ganguly said while reacting to Sunil Gavaskar's call that Dravid should replace current India coach Duncan Fletcher.

Windies ready for World T20 title defence: Sammy

Darren-SammyBridgetown (Barbados), March 15 : Captain Darren Sammy believes that the West Indies team that will defend the World Twenty20 cricket title in Bangladesh later this month is much better equipped than the one which lifted the trophy two years ago in Sri Lanka.

Speaking here Friday hours before the squad’s departure, Sammy said his charges were now more experienced, confident and better able to deal with the pressure of international tournaments, reports CMC.

Dhoni backs Indian bowlers' T20 experience to carry team to success in Bangladesh

Mahendra Singh DhoniJohannesburg, Mar 15 - Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has backed his team's bowlers to perform well in the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh as they have plenty of experience playing in similar conditions in domestic T20 matches.

The Indian bowling attack has been slammed by critics for its failure to win matches on foreign soil and the team also failed to make the final of the recent Asia Cup in Bangladesh, which was played in the 50-over format.

Stokes ruled out of England's World T20 squad with fractured hand

Ben StokesJohannesburg, Mar 15 - England all-rounder Ben Stokes has reportedly been excluded from his team's squad for the World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh with a fractured hand.

Stokes, who has been replaced by Chris Woakes in the 15-man squad, suffered the injury when he struck a locker in the dressing-room following his dismissal in the T20 international against West Indies in Barbados on Thursday.

World T20 set to break broadcast records: ICC

World T20 set to break broadcast records: ICCDubai, March 14 : Television coverage of the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh is set to break all previous International Cricket Council (ICC) events' broadcast records, the sport's world governing body claimed Friday.

That coverage, produced and distributed by the ICC's global media rights partner and host broadcaster, Star Sports, will have a potential reach of more than 1.8 billion viewers with live pictures shown by 29 broadcasters - both figures the highest ever for an ICC event, the world body said in a statement.

Johnson suffers toe injury ahead of World T20

Mitchell-JohnsonSydney, March 13 : The Australian cricket team has suffered a massive blow ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup with pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson suffering an infected toe as a result of a cut received during the third Test in South Africa, Cricket Australia (CA) said Thursday.

The infection may mean a late arrival in Bangladesh for the quick, with the Aussies set to kick off their campaign against Pakistan, March 23 in Dhaka.

CA's chief medical officer Justin Paoloni said Johnson has suffered an infection in his right toe.

'Veteran' Hodge stars in Oz's five-wicket win over Proteas in 'rain-disrupted' 2nd T20

Brad HodgeJohannesburg, Mar 13 - Australia has clinched a five-wicket win over South Africa in the second Twenty20 international at Kingsmead on Wednesday after a heavy rain reduced the game to seven overs a side.

Veteran Brad Hodge hit two sixes in the last over leading Australia to successfully chase South Africa's 80 for one with two balls to spare.

According to Sport24, Hodge's innings of 21 not out off eight balls won him the Man of the Match award and his last-ditch effort trumped hard-hitting innings of 41 not out by South Africa's Quinton de Kock and 40 by Australian opener David Warner.

Australia's Harris to undergo rehabilitation

Ryan-HarrisMelbourne, March 12 : Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris will have a "long rehabilitation period" after he underwent a knee surgery Tuesday. However, he is expected to be fit before the home Test series against Pakistan in October.

“Ryan underwent surgery yesterday on his right knee, which included a clean out of some loose bits of bone and removing bone spurs within the joint," Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said Wednesday.

Pakistan in good shape for World T20: Misbah

Misbah-ul-HaqIslamabad, Mar. 11 - Pakistan cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq believes that his players are in good shape to perform in the upcoming World Twenty20 Championship to be held in Bangladesh from the middle of March this year.

Returning home after ending up as runners-up in the Asia Cup, Misbah said stand-out performances by Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam and Shahid Afridi on wickets in Bangladesh indicated that the team can perform well in that country during the World Twenty20, which starts from March 16.

Kevin Pietersen seeks 'urgent help' to get Indian visa

Kevin-PietersenNew Delhi, March 10 : Sacked England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has taken recourse to social media to urge India's external affairs ministry to expedite his visa for which he had handed over his passport to the Indian high commission in London 10 days ago.

"Trying to travel to India urgently & the Indian Embassy has had my passport for 10 days for a 24hr service. Help @MEAIndia, @IndianDiplomacy?" tweeted Pietersen to his more than 1.6 million followers, taking a dig at the Indian ministry of external affairs.

Collingwood urges England to focus on winning Windies T20 series before Bangladesh preparations

Paul-CollingwoodLondon, Mar 9 : Former England one-day captain Paul Collingwood has advised his former team to focus on victory in the Twenty20 series in the West Indies now instead of preparation for the ICC World Twenty20.

Following England's 50-over series victory over West Indies, the tourists have three T20s, the first of which is on Sunday, before the World T20 begins in Bangladesh on 16 March.

Gayle fears Windies to face tough challenge while defending World T20 title

Chris-GayleKarachi, Mar 9 : West Indies batting star Chris Gayle has said that he believes his team will face a tough challenge when defending their World Twenty20 title at Bangladesh this year.

The left-handed opener was a key member of the side which lifted the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka two years ago, and is expected to be at the forefront again in the March 16 to April 6 campaign in Bangladesh.

According to The Nation, Gayle said that although West Indies has a realistic shot at defending their World T20 title, it however, would be a tough challenge for them as the other teams are playing good cricket and are in good form currently.

Steyn to miss first two T20s against Oz with hamstring injury

dale SteynJohannesburg, Mar 8 - South African fast bowler Dale Steyn has reportedly been ruled out of the first two Twenty20 internationals against Australia next week with a hamstring injury.

Steyn's bowling in the recently concluded third and final test against Australia in Cape Town was affected by the strain as the tourists went on the win the match and the series.

According to Sport24, confirming Steyn's absence, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said that the bowler will return for the last of three-match series in Pretoria next Friday and is still earmarked to compete in the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh later this month.

Fans wish for dad of four daughters Afridi to be 'blessed' with son

Shahid AfridiIslamabad, Mar 07 : Shahid Afridi's fans have reportedly wished for the cricketer to be blessed with a son following Afridi's match-winning performances against India and Bangladesh in the Asia Cup.

A fan has said in a post on a Facebook page 'Meri jaan Pakistan' that Afridi's fans should pray to God that the 'person who has provided all Pakistanis with jubilation and smiles in such terrible times' is 'blessed' with a son.

According to the Nation, the post, which appeared on Wednesday, has so far received more than 5,000 likes and 1,000 shares with comments saying 'Ameen (Amen)'.

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