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What do you guys think about the Zimbavean cricket turmoil ??

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I think they should be boycotted. It's an absolute disgrace what's going on over there and Mugabe is an evil man.

True the whole country shouldn't be punished for it, but by tourin over there gives the impression that we're not fully condemning what's going on.

My housemate used to live with a lad from Zimbabwe who's gone back home. We got a phonecall from him recently. They're being hounded off the land, attacked and stuff being burnt.

true the farmers were wrong in how they took the land originally, but now people are dying and the land is getting destroyed so everyone is going to starve.

Henry Olonga and Heath Streak are real heroes, speaking out.

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Don't forget Andy Flower as well, he wore a black armband in the 2003WC.

The whole thing just shows what happens when the government get involved in things that don't concern them. It's up to the ECB whether they go or not.

In other news, Ian Botham wants Nasser Hussain to give up test cricket. Any thoughts?

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I DID hear in my sleep last night that there's talk of Hussain giving up. It worked its way into my dreams so VERY strange! That's why sleeping with the radio on is so good!

Anyways Hussain is past his best in my opinion but I think he should still fight for his place in the England squad as the team seems to be picked more on form and ability these days than it used to be...

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It's more a case of the youngsters getting a chance, as Hussain will retire at the same time as Butcher and Thorpe, and a whole new batting line-up will be needed.

Still, Kev Pietersen's eligible soon... :D

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Thorpe is r ight into his top form again and I think he should keep playing for the next couple of years if he keeps this up.

We've got a young bowling line-up so when that's sorted out it's time to move onto the batsmen...

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Streak got banned by ZCU along with 13 rebels. WTF? I liked Streak

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For Australia to play Zimbabwe is going to be real boring and no contest. We are going to destroy Zimbabwe sadly and they shouldn't be playing at all over there. It gets real sad when something like this happens in sport because of a countries government.

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Just look at India, Pakistan countries. Stupid People. Congrats to Murli for breaking the world wickets record, he is a controversial but a great bowler

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Muralitharin is not a great bowler, he is a chucker.

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You heard Howard's speech? or is that your own opinion

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That's the majority of cricket watchers all over the world.

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From BBC Sport:

Former England captain Nasser Hussain has retired from Test and first-class cricket with immediate effect.

The 36-year-old announced his decision at Lord's only three days after scoring a match-winning century in the first Test against New Zealand.

He said: "It has been a major decision for me and it has been a gradual thing that has happened over months.

"I have been thinking about when was the time to go and on Sunday I decided the time was right to go."

Hussain, who was on the verge of tears as he revealed his decision, added: "Age has been catching up on me a little, the body, the fire in the stomach and the eyes have started to deteriorate a bit as well.

"I was willing to fight that and I was willing to fight against opposition players but I was not willing to fight against youth in the form of Andrew Strauss."

Strauss had come into the side at Lord's and hit a century on his debut with captain Michael Vaughan missing the match through injury. 

But with Vaughan ready to resume his place, Hussain's decision will make life easier for the selectors.

Hussain said: "I'm emotional because it's a big day in my life to give up the game of cricket but it's not because I am sad.

"I would have loved to have played 100 caps but not for the statistic."

"By Sunday I decided my time was up. Monday was an incredible day. Monday clarified my thoughts. A lot of good things happened to me and I just think it was a great day for me.

"It's slightly selfish. I don't like going in the middle of a series but if I'd carried on I believe things would have got messy. At the moment things are clean and clear-cut."

He said he had enjoyed "hitting his favourite shot" - a cover-drive - to win the Test match on Monday.

Hussain had revealed his thoughts to England coach Duncan Fletcher and captain Michael Vaughan before announcing his decision to the media.

He said: "I spoke to Duncan. He was adamant that I should go out in the way I deserved. He did not say 'No Nasser I want you to stay,' none of the selectors did that, nor did the captain."

Hussain, who also leaves Essex after a 14-year career there, said there were a number of other young batsmen in England doing well.

"There are a few other players too like (Rob) Key, (Ian) Bell, (Ian) Ward, (Scott) Newman - a few are getting runs and warrant consideration.

Hussain finished by thanking everyone involved at Essex "I've been there since I was eight" and "everyone at the England and Wales Cricket Board."

He called Fletcher "an absolutely great man" and also thanked his father, Joe.

Hussain captained England in 45 of his 96 Tests before stepping down in favour of Michael Vaughan last year.

England won 17 Tests under his leadership, a total exceeded only by Peter May (20) and Mike Brearley (18).

Hussain scored 5,764 Test runs at an average of 37.18 during an England career which began on the 1990 tour to the West Indies.

He made 14 centuries and 33 fifties, with a highest score of 207 against Australia in Edgbaston in 1997.

Edited by Chris2K

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Guest OnlyOneKeano

With the very average knowledge of cricket i have i think it would be a loss to English cricket , he proved how good he can be with his century in the Englands last test . The thing i know about Cricket is DARREN GOUGH RULES ALL (with harmison a close second)

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Hussain can look back in the future and be happy he quit on a high note

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Well, EWB has definitely needed one of these. Just pop a short message as to which country you root for in international competition. Being a Pakistani born obviously I'm a fanatical cricket fan. It's been a very up and down year for us but I'm very confident in the current group and what they'll manage to accomplish by the next World Cup.

The Asia Cup definitely dissapointed me. Part of it was the rules....part of it was our play. I mean being penalized for not winning by 60 runs is kind of ridiculous.

So, who's following the Triangular Series.....Australia has to be the only country in history to make it to the finals of a tournamet without bowling a single over. India has to be kicking itself about it's bad luck right now.

What matches have you watched lately? What tours are you keeping a close eye on?

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I've recently been watching England own the Worst Indies. They really have taken a few steps back since they were last here. On a random note, I think Robert Key is overrated.

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Guest UmpireAJS

The Tri Series sucked a**, Holland is prob the worst place to host cricket- slow pitches and rains. Bad luck and Bad form are really making India pay in this season after they had such a fantastic run last year round. I don't know whether we can ever unchoke ourselves in the finals.

Nat West Challenge- England IS in good form in the tests, but in ODI's they are not really awesome, they didn't make it to the tri series final and if im not wrong they lost to W.Indies too, so I think if Indian can shake up their batting a bit they have pretty good chance of beating England

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ICC Super Series

Rest of the World squads named

Cricinfo staff

May 9, 2005

Rahul Dravid, Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison, Jacques Kallis, Brian Lara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sachin Tendulkar and Inzamam-ul-Haq head the list of 39 of international cricket's biggest names announced today in the initial squads for the ICC World XI teams to take on Australia's Test and ODI sides in the ICC's Super Series in Australia in October this year.

Pakistan's outstanding tour of India has helped nine of their players gain selection across both squads, while England, India and South Africa all have seven players included. Sri Lanka have four, West Indies three and New Zealand two. No players were selected from Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or Kenya.

Announcing the squads at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai, Sunil Gavaskar, the chairman of the selection panel, explained that the sides boasted some of the most talented players in the world. "The squads are packed with fantastically talented players from around the world who will pose a serious challenge to Australia's supremacy in both forms of the game," he said. "It was incredibly difficult to confine our selections to just 30 players for each squad, but in the end and after much agonising and debate, the panel is confident that these are the best combinations of players for the challenge ahead."

The players chosen for the ICC World XI Test and ODI squads, by country, are:

Country

Test & ODI squad

Test squad

ODI squad

England

Andrew Flintoff  Steve Harmison  Darren Gough

  Andrew Strauss  Kevin Pietersen

  Michael Vaughan  Marcus Trescothick

India

Rahul Dravid  Anil Kumble 

Irfan Pathan  VVS Laxman 

Virender Sehwag 

Harbhajan Singh 

Sachin Tendulkar 

New Zealand

Brendon McCullum 

Daniel Vettori 

Pakistan

Shoaib Akhtar  Danish Kaneria  Shahid Afridi

Inzamam-ul-Haq  Younis Khan  Shoaib Malik

Rana Naved-ul-Hasan  Abdul Razzaq

  Yousuf Youhana

South Africa

Mark Boucher  Andre Nel 

Herschelle Gibbs  Graeme Smith 

Jacques Kallis 

Makhaya Ntini 

Shaun Pollock 

Sri Lanka

Muttiah Muralitharan  Sanath Jayasuriya

Kumar Sangakkara 

Chaminda Vaas 

West Indies

Brian Lara  Chris Gayle

Ramnaresh Sarwan 

Malcolm Speed, the ICC's chief executive, said that the selectors had used their experience wisely in choosing an outstanding group of players. "There is awesome depth to the batting strength of these squads, with players like Dravid, Lara, Laxman, Sehwag, Tendulkar and Vaughan all averaging over 50 in Tests against Australia. There are genuine allrounders for the differing demands of Test and ODI cricket, and bowling which combines new-ball penetration and superb spin and seam options.

"It is also particularly exciting to see the names of a number of younger and emerging players recognised by the selectors. Players like Kevin Pietersen, Brendon McCullum, Andre Nel, Naved-ul-Hasan, Shahid Afridi and Irfan Pathan have forced their way into the squads on the strength of outstanding performances over recent months."

In making their initial choices, the selection panel of Gavaskar, Mike Atherton, Sir Richard Hadlee, Clive Lloyd, Jonty Rhodes and Aravinda de Silva took a range of key factors into account, including:

    * players' overall career records in both Test and ODI cricket

    * their form in both Test and ODI cricket over the past 12 months

    * their overall playing records against Australia and their performances against the world champion team in Australia

    * players' positions in the LG ICC Rankings for both Test and ODI cricket

    * the distinctive characteristics of the venues in Melbourne and Sydney which will host the games

Gavaskar explained that in making their choices the selectors had looked for qualities and character beyond statistical achievement. "While statistics were a significant form guide, we placed more importance on our knowledge of the players, their ability to perform on the biggest stage and their character in taking on such hardened opponents as Australia," he said. "We want the best flair and talent in the world, but we also need players with the qualities to dig deep when the going is tough and take advantage of any weaknesses or errors in the Australians' game."

Of the 39 players selected, 21 are named in both the Test and ODI squads, nine are included in the Test squad alone and there are nine players nominated as ODI specialists.

The World XI teams will take on Australia in a three-match ODI series in Melbourne on October 5, 7 and 9, and a six-day Super Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (October 14-19).

The two squads announced today will be trimmed to just 20 names in early July before the final teams to take on Australia are announced in August.

Combined prizemoney and match payments for the one-day series will be US$1.25 million, while the total money available for the Super Test will be US$1.39 million. The matches will be accorded official Test and ODI status.

© Cricinfo

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I'll just post it here rather then starting a new thread.

Super Series, Australia, 2005

Squads announced for Super Series

Cricinfo staff

July 2, 2005

Steve Harmison strikes at Lord's on the day he is included in the Super Series squad © Getty Images

The ultimate challenge to Australia's cricketing supremacy came a step closer today with the announcement of the ICC World XI squads of 20 players for the Super Series in Australia this October.

Heading a star cast of batsmen are Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Michael Vaughan, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag who all average above 50 in Tests against Australia. Steve Harmison, Shoaib Akhtar, Muttiah Muralitharan and Makhaya Ntini are included among a potent squad of bowlers, while Andrew Flintoff and Shaun Pollock lead a clutch of world class allrounders.

After missing out on selection in the original squads of 30, West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul has been included in the ICC World XI Test squad after averaging more than 77 over his last 13 Tests. Another squad newcomer is Harmison, the England fast bowler. He has been picked for the one-day squad after some impressive form in the NatWest Series.

The strength and depth of the squads is highlighted by the quality of players that Sunil Gavaskar's selection panel has been forced to exclude. Missing from the original Test squad of 30 are VVS Laxman, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Chaminda Vaas, while no place could be found for Marcus Trescothick, Sanath Jayasuriya or Darren Gough among the one-day International specialists. The dream of taking on the world champion team has also ended for Andrew Strauss, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, Naved ul Hasan, Danish Kaneria, Yousuf Youhana, Shoaib Malik and Andre Nel.

Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq is in the frame to face Australia © Getty Images

"It was an almost impossible task to cut down the original squads to just 20 players," said Gavaskar, the chairman of the selection panel. "To leave out players of the calibre of Laxman, Sarwan, Vaas, Strauss, Trescothick and Harbhajan Singh was very difficult. At the same time we also took current form into account, which is why Shivnarine Chanderpaul came into the Test squad and Steve Harmison forced his way into the reckoning for the one-day games."

While banking on proven performers, the selection panel of Gavaskar, Mike Atherton, Sir Richard Hadlee, Clive Lloyd, Jonty Rhodes and Aravinda de Silva also placed faith in a number of the game's brightest young stars. Brendon McCullum, Kevin Pietersen and Shahid Afridi have been chosen for their outstanding form in recent months and the impression made on seasoned judges who have monitored their performances.

South Africa has six players across both squads, Pakistan has five, England and India four, West Indies three and New Zealand and Sri Lanka each have two representatives.

The 20 players selected for the ICC World XI Test and ODI squads, by country, are:

Country  Test & ODI squad  Test squad  ODI squad

England  Andrew Flintoff  Michael Vaughan  Kevin Pietersen

Steve Harmison 

India  Rahul Dravid  Anil Kumble 

Virender Sehwag 

Sachin Tendulkar 

New Zealand  Brendon McCullum 

Daniel Vettori 

Pakistan  Shoaib Akhtar  Younis Khan  Shahid Afridi

Inzamam ul Haq  Abdul Razzaq

South Africa  Jacques Kallis  Mark Boucher  Herschelle Gibbs

Makhaya Ntini  Graeme Smith 

Shaun Pollock 

Sri Lanka  Muttiah Muralitharan  Kumar Sangakkara

West Indies  Brian Lara  Shivnarine Chanderpaul  Chris Gayle

With the final squads of 14 for the ODI series and 13 for the Sydney Super Test due to be selected in mid-August, Atherton said there is still time for players to stake a compelling case for inclusion over the next six weeks: "It must be disappointing for the guys who haven't made it into the squads of 20," he said, "but they shouldn't give up hope. Form and fitness will still be taken into account at the final meeting; we may need to replace injured players and if someone like Andrew Strauss for example has an outstanding Ashes series, there could be a case for us to consider bringing him in."

Of the 26 players selected, 14 are named in both the Test and ODI squads, six are included in the Test squad alone and there are six players nominated as ODI specialists. The final squads of 14 for the ICC World XI ODI team and 13 for the Test squad will be selected and announced in August, when a captain, or captains, will also be named. A World XI coach and management team will also be appointed.

© ICC

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Since we are into the back end of the Summer and the cricket season is in full swing I thought I'd start a cricket thread. Who here plays cricket? I started playing again this year after a few off. I only got my game because my Dad used to play with the captain but I'm settled into the side now :). Anyone else?

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