Monday, February 28, 2011

Watch Chelsea vs Manchester United Live Streaming English Premier League


Manchester United

Date/Time: Mar 2, 2011, 1:45am(GMT+6:00)
Competition: England Premier League
Live/Repeat: Live
Venue:Stamford Bridge (London)

Chelsea are aiming to beat Manchester United at all cost on home soil on Tuesday. But Red Devils defender Chris Smalling has warned the Blues of Man United’s goal scoring forces.
Chris Smalling is not afraid of Chelsea and he could be included in Manchester United's starting XI for Tuesday's game.
Chris Smalling is not afraid of Chelsea and he could be included in Manchester United's starting XI for Tuesday's game.

The 21-year-old defender is looking forward to Tuesday’s big showdown against Chelsea at the Bridge with a lot of confidence. The player, who displayed a brilliant performance for the Red Devils against Wigan Athletic last weekend, could be named to face the Blues in London as well.

Following his departure from Fulham, Chris Smalling stands a great opportunity to develop at the very top level and win a trophy as early as this season. In the English Premier League, Manchester United are 4 points clear of second-placed Arsenal while Chelsea are 15 points behind them in 5th position.

As of now, statistics are truly in favour of the Red Devils who have scored more than 60 goals in 27 games – with the last 4 of those coming against Wigan last Saturday. According to Chris Smalling, Manchester United’s goal machine will work itself out one more time against Chelsea on Tuesday.

“We’ve got such a good squad and they’ve got world class strikers like we have too,” Smalling told TalkSPORT.

“But, whoever we face, we will be ready. We’re off the back of a couple of clean sheets and we’ll be confident to let our boys at the front pull them [Chelsea] apart.”

Manchester United have Dimitar Berbatov leading the goals scoring chart with 19 goals whereas Nani and Wayne Rooney have made the most assists in the English Premier League this season. Meanwhile, no Chelsea player is among the 5 top scorers and assists leaders at the moment.

Chelsea vs Manchester United

Date: Wednesday, 2 Mar 2011
Time: 01:45 ( Asia/Dhaka )
Competition: England Premier League
Live/Repeat: Live
Venue: Stamford Bridge (London)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spot-fixing controversy - ICC satisfied with spot-fixing verdict - Lorgat

February 6, 2011

Haroon Lorgat addresses the media in the aftermath of the Delhi fiasco, New Delhi, December 28, 2009
The bans on the three cricketers should act as a strong check against corruption, says Haroon Lorgat

The ICC is "satisfied" with the verdict and punishments handed out to three Pakistan players on Saturday on charges of spot-fixing during the Lord's Test last summer. A three-member tribunal found Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir guilty of offences under article 2 of the ICC's anti-corruption code and banned them for 10, 7 and 5 years respectively. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive, hoped that as a result of the ICC's investigation and the subsequent hearing, the game's image would improve.

In the aftermath of the sanctions, questions were raised over why no life bans were handed out to any of the players, which would've been the maximum sanction for the relevant charges. The ICC's legal team is also believed to have pushed for those.

The tribunal also included the possibility of suspended sentences in the cases of Butt and Asif, of 5 and 2 years respectively, which means they could be out for as few as five years. Considering the ages of a couple of the players - Butt is 26 and Amir just 18 - in theory, they could return after serving their bans, though that remains a considerably distant prospect, especially given that they still have to deal with a criminal case in the UK.

"My first reaction is one of sadness at the fact that we had to go through such an ordeal but I am satisfied we have concluded it," Lorgat said at a press conference in Doha. "I'm also satisfied that the sanctions delivered are severe enough to send out a clear message that the ICC will not stop short at anything to prosecute any player found wanting in this area of corruption. I don't believe the sentences are lenient by any stretch of the imagination."

Lorgat added that he thought the sentences "will make it extremely difficult for them to return to the Test format. It is at the prime of their careers that they are faced with punishment. I don't want to speculate what may happen in future."

The tribunal's statement raised a couple of questions - answers to which will no doubt come if and when the full judgment appears. The recommendation to the ICC of a change in certain aspects of the code and sanctions left Amir and Butt - as seen in the statement of their lawyers - feeling that they could have received lower punishments than they did had the code allowed it. The implication, Amir's lawyer Shahid Karim felt, was a change to that code might benefit Amir.

But Lorgat said the ICC wasn't bound to the recommendation to change, only to consider it. "We would be open-minded to all recommendations put forward. This particular code was substantially rewritten and came into effect in October 2009. This is the first instance we have of provisionally suspending players and working through a case so whatever learnings come out of it we will consider. As far as I understand, it is not binding from a legal perspective."

The other broad concern has been the programme of education prescribed to Butt and Asif has been left under the auspices of the PCB, an administration that has only recently been given warnings by the ICC to put its house in order. But the emergence of the ICC's Pakistan task team (PTT), believes Lorgat, should help matters. "The PCB has made remarkable strides in the last few months in supporting the zero tolerance approach we espouse. We will do everything possible to support them, working together with them through the PTT."

The ICC's role in the investigation, Lorgat said, proved their seriousness in protecting the game's integrity. "It's a fact that this is a kind of incident we don't want to see in the game, but equally, with the speed with which we have got to this point, the hope is that people realised we are serious about maintaining our integrity and we will do everything to protect that. I hope as a result of what has transpired yesterday the image of the game has improved."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The spot-fixing scandal - Butt out for 10 years, Asif 7 and Amir 5

February 5, 2011

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir
The ICC has taken unprecedented action against the three players

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir have been banned for 10, 7 and 5 years respectively after an ICC tribunal found them guilty of spot-fixing stemming from the Lord's Test against England last year. The sanctions against Butt and Asif have five and two years suspended, which means that the trio cannot play any official, sanctioned cricket, international or domestic, for a minimum of five years, until September 2015.

The suspended sentences on Butt and Asif have been made conditional on their making no further breaches of the code and participating in an anti-corruption education programme, under the auspices of the PCB.

Butt, who was captain during the series in England, received the maximum sentence but one charge against him - of batting out a maiden over during the Oval Test - was dismissed. However, he was found to have not disclosed an approach by Majeed that he should bat the maiden over. The other charges that were upheld relate to the subsequent Lord's Test, where Amir and Asif were found to have bowled deliberate no-balls and Butt was penalized for being party to that. Amir will appeal against the decision to the Court of Arbitration Sports, but the other two players have not yet said whether they will.

The announcement on Saturday evening followed a day of deliberations in Doha between the three-man tribunal - comprising the head Michael Beloff QC, Sharad Rao and Justice Albie Sachs - the players and their legal teams and the ICC's lawyers. The three players began the day requesting the tribunal for a deferral of any verdict, in light of the statement on Friday by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that the players might also face criminal charges relating to the Lord's Test as the result of a separate investigation carried out by British police. The players, who continued to maintain their innocence, argued that a judgment today by the tribunal could be prejudicial to any criminal trial in the UK, but the request was rejected.

The length of the sentences may be considered surprising to the extent that at least one life ban had been predicted beforehand. Now, in theory, the 26-year-old Butt could return after five years if he complies with the conditions of the verdict. Amir, who will only turn 19 in April, could also conceivably harbour hopes of a return, though in practical terms a five-year gap from any competitive cricket makes the prospect of a return that much more difficult. The situation is most bleak for Asif, who will be 33 by the time the minimum five years are up.

It must also be noted that not until the full judgment is released will the picture become fully clear, especially with regards to the nature of the rehabilitation programme they must undertake and the role the PCB will have in that. The tribunal asked the ICC to publish the full judgment as soon as possible and it is expected to happen tomorrow. The question, however, of whether or not the full judgment may be deemed prejudicial to any criminal proceedings in the UK still looms.

A member of the ICC legal team told ESPNcricinfo that it is "very happy with the fact that the players were convicted." But given that the governing body was pushing for maximum sanctions, there will be at least a tinge of disappointment within the governing body.

The tribunal also recommended that the ICC make "certain changes to the code with a view to providing flexibility in relation to minimum sentences in exceptional circumstances." The lawyers of Butt and Amir later said that the tribunal would've given lower punishments had their hands not "been tied" to the code's range of sanctions.

News of the World, the tabloid that broke the spot-fixing story this summer, released a statement of its own, saying that "it is now clear to everyone in the game that corruption will not be tolerated," and added that it will continue to assist the police in any way it can.

A number of Pakistani fans waited outside the Qatar Financial Centre, some for the entire nine-hour duration of the proceedings, and gave vociferous support to the players when they eventually came out. Amir, in fact, was mobbed and had to return inside the building briefly.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Australia have an outside chance, says Steve Waugh

Six World Cup winning captains at an event in Mumbai, Mumbai, February 2, 2011
Six World Cup winning captains get together at an event in Mumbai

Steve Waugh, who led Australia to victory in the 1999 World Cup, has said Australia are in with a chance to defend their World Cup crown despite inconsistent results since the start of 2010. He claimed India and Sri Lanka will be strong contenders but didn't rule out Ricky Ponting's team. "Australia have an outside chance because they have matchwinners," Waugh said at an event in Mumbai. "I don't think this is a weaker Australian side.

"It's tough decision (to predict a winner). There are seven sides capable of winning but the side that has the momentum going into the quarter-final will be good. India are the slight favourites, as they know the conditions well and will have fantastic support. Sri Lanka have a very good chance too."

It might come as no surprise for Waugh to back the defending champions on a day when Australia pulled off their highest chase in ODIs, against England in Sydney. Australia had pocketed the seven-game series last week, and their dominant form in the ODIs after a humiliating Ashes drubbing only made Waugh confident about his countrymen. "Australia are still ranked No.1 in the world. In [Shaun] Tait, [Mitchell] Johnson and [Brett] Lee, they have the potential matchwinners. Their batsmen are also on top. Ricky is coming back from injury. Australian players are best when faced with adversity," Waugh said.

Austrlia's winning percentage in 2010 in ODIs had taken a beating: of the 25 matches played, spread over seven series, they won 16 and lost eight including the series defeat to Sri Lanka at home. But the return to form of seniors like Michael Clarke and Lee, along with the matchwinning capabilities of Shane Watson, makes Australia a dangerous opponent. Waugh, a two-time World Cup winner including one as captain in 1999, said Lee would be the lynchpin for Australia. Lee returned for the England series after sitting out from October 2009 due to lingering elbow injury. But Lee has not compromised on pace and so far is the highest wicket-taker in the series with 11 wickets at an average of 24 in the six matches. "Lee will be my impact player. He has amazing resilience, he is bowling back at 150kph and he loves touring India" Waugh said.

In the two World Cups held in the subcontinent (1987 and '96), Australia have won 12 of the 15 matches they've played.

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