Ex-India batsman Navjot Sidhu in Pakistan to attend Imran Khan's oath-taking ceremony

Waseem Ahmed 17/08/2018
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Former Indian cricketer and Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu at the India-Pakistan border in Wagah.

Former India batsman-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu arrived in Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the country’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday.

Sidhu reached Lahore after crossing the Wagah border. The former opener, currently a minister in the Indian state of Punjab, was invited to the ceremony by Imran along with former India captains Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev.

Gavaskar refused to attend the event stating commentary commitments for the England-India series while the reason behind Dev’s absence was unclear.

“I have come to Pakistan as a friend, not as a politician,” Sidhu said upon his arrival in Pakistan. “Imran Khan knows how to transform weaknesses into strengths,” he added.

The ceremony will take place on Saturday.

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Former Pakistan opener Nasir Jamshed handed 10-year ban in PSL spot-fixing scandal

Waseem Ahmed 17/08/2018
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Former Pakistan batsman Nasir Jamshed.

Former opener Nasir Jamshed was banned by the Pakistan board for 10 years on Friday on multiple charges of spot-fixing. The decision brought an end to a 16-month investigation into the fixing scandal that rocked the Pakistan Super League.

Jamshed was described as the ‘lynchpin’ of the scandal that tarnished the image of the Twenty20 tournament in only its second year in 2017.

“Today’s decision against Jamshed wraps up the fixing saga and the tribunal has banned him for ten years on multiple charges,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi said in a footage shared by the PCB on Twitter.

Jamshed was earlier banned for 12 months in December last year after he was found guilty of not co-operating with a tribunal investigating allegations of spot-fixing.

This year he faced five more charges related to fixing. According to Rizvi, it was “a matter of sadness that another player has spoiled his career.”

Opener Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz have also been given bans of varying lengths.

Jamshed played two Tests, 48 ODIs and 18 Twenty20s for Pakistan. He hit three consecutive one-day centuries against India in 2012.

His career came to standstill during the 2015 World Cup where he was found to be overweight.

Jamshed and his lawyer Hasan Warraich rejected the charges. Rizvi said Jamshed will not be allowed to hold any office even after the expiry of his ban.

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What India can learn from Pakistan's preparations for England tour

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If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. If you ever needed an example of it, just look at the Indian team in England.

Virat Kohli’s team is being heavily criticised for its abject surrender in the second Test against England at Lord’s and its lackadaisical approach towards training.

Not only did the Indians take five days off before the first Test in Birmingham, they played just one warm-up match that was shortened to a three-day game.

After they lost the Lord’s Test in effectively two days, the Indians did not hit the nets for three days and are likely to train only by Thursday ahead of the third Test which begins in Trent Bridge on Saturday.

While techniques can’t be changed overnight, preparation can always be of the highest possible level. It is here where the Indians have failed and they only need to look at how Pakistan prepared for their Test series in England in 2016 and 2018 to understand the value of proper training.

In 2016, the Pakistan team attended a military boot camp at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul before the England tour.

Pakistan team celebrate after winning the 2016 Lord's Test.

Pakistan team celebrate after winning the 2016 Lord’s Test.

Players were put through three training sessions every day. Also, the team trained with English Duke balls for nearly a month in Lahore. The tour of England included two proper warm-up matches before the first Test. There was another tour match between the second and third Test. Pakistan drew the series 2-2.

Cut to 2018 and Pakistan followed a similar schedule. Even though they were playing just a two-Test series in England, Pakistan were ready for red-ball cricket. They took part in two warm-up matches, played Ireland’s inaugural Test, and had another warm-up game before the first Test. They again drew the series 1-1.

India, meanwhile, did not play a single warm-up match in South Africa earlier in the year before the first Test. They lost 2-1. Then for England, they tried to stitch together a disjointed training system which included white-ball international matches, by having Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma play county cricket and some other members with the ‘A’ team in England. However, the entire Test squad played just one three-day match before the first Test and even took a long break. No one should be surprised that India are 2-0 down.

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