Saturday, February 27, 2010

Us F1 Hoping For A Late Start

US F1's Ken Anderson revealed that he is in talks with the FIA over the possibility of missing the first four races.

Speculation has been rife this past week the team had collapsed in the wake of a number of sponsorship deals falling through.

Anderson has now finally broken his silence, admitting his team is struggling financially, with their only hope now coming via negotiations with motor sport's
world governing body.

"We're working with the FIA to clarify how many races we can miss," confirmed Anderson to the New York Times.

"In an ideal world, we can miss the first four races and show up in Barcelona (Spanish Grand Prix on May 9)."

If the FIA accede to US F1's request, it means the North Carolina- based team would sit out the races in Bahrain, Australia, Malaysia and China.
Only recently the FIA confirmed any team missing a race would be in breach of the Concorde Agreement - relating to the terms by which the teams compete in the series - and so would be penalised.

Anderson, however, believes it would not be in the FIA's interests to punish his team, and is hoping president Jean Todt will look on his outfit's troubles sympathetically.

"I guess anything's possible, but what would be the point of that?" remarked Anderson on the FIA's threat of sanctions.

"Why would they give us a franchise and just, the first time there's a bump in the road, yank it and put it out of business?

"That's definitely not the message I'm getting from them. They want to help us, not shut us down."
Anderson is hoping the FIA do not dither, adding: "We have a timeline in place that if we get a decision quickly, it triggers funding and we're good to go.

"If it takes another week or two to make a decision, it keeps backing up."
Although US F1 announced the signing of Argentinian driver Jose Maria Lopez just a few weeks ago and said he was under contract, Anderson has confirmed he could yet leave.

It is understood Lopez has spoken with Campos Meta, who have confirmed they would be on the grid in Bahrain after an internal takeover.
Campos has so far only Bruno Senna, the nephew of late three times world champion Ayrton, on their books, but had delayed the signing of a second driver due to their own financial issues.

As Lopez has sponsorship behind him from the Argentinian government he may yet switch teams as Campos still require additional funding.
One other rumour Anderson dismissed is that investor Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube, is still involved with the team.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Force India 7th fastest

Force India test driver Paul di Resta clocked the seventh fastest time at the Circuit de Jerez.

Paul di Resta clocked the seventh fastest time as, for the second day in row, inclement weather marred the Silverstone-based outfit's testing.
With heavy rain and high winds showing no signs of abating, Force India had to modify its testing schedule with di Resta getting another half day testing in the VJM03 before Vitantonio Liuzzi took over in the afternoon.
di Resta managed to get 33 laps under his belt and his best of 1:30.344 put him seventh in the 12-driver field, two places ahead of Liuzzi who made 24 laps with the best of 1:30.666, which put him just ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
The team made the most of the amended programme on Thursday to run through further set-up evaluation, plus race preparation and fuel and hydraulic systems checks. With no major issues the drivers completed over 250km in total.

"Unfortunately the weather was again very bad, but at this stage any running gives me more experience of the car and how the team works," di Resta later said.

"I ran with the intermediate and wet tyres over the morning, which at least means I have got some solid experience of wet running and it won't be such a novelty when I am faced with similar conditions in places such as Malaysia," he added.
Liuzzi too was upset with the weather. "The weather was so difficult with the constantly changing conditions. It seemed to rain every hour and then dry, but it never reached a stable level. It was either too dry for wets or too wet for dry tyres so you couldn't get a consistent indicator of the performance," said the Italian.

"We did a few pit stop simulations and runs to get a bit more information and the car still seems to be responding well to changes. In these conditions though it's very difficult to get a good understanding of what's going on but everyone has the same weather, we just have to do what we can," he added.

Adrian Sutil will take over the car on Friday while Liuzzi will be back on Saturday to conclude the test.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Politics In Tamil Cinema

Since the time that Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi and Bharat Ratna M.G. Ramachandran used their movies to propagate their ideals to the masses, Tamil films have always had a intertwined relationship with the politics in Tamil Nadu.

While there has been no dearth of actors in politics and politicians in movies in Tamizh Nadu, there have been very few movies dealing with Politics in Tamizh Movies. Here is a look at few of them (not exhaustive or based on any merit - just a few of the recent ones):

Iruvar - This is, in my opinion, one of the best bio-pics made in Tamizh Cinema. Mani Ratnam does an amazing job in picking two characters best known in Tamizh Arasiyal (politics) - that of MGR and Karunanidhi and has based his movie on their lives. (To be politically correct, lets just say they were based). The best thing that Mani Ratnam did was to avoid showing one of them as the villain or a negative character. Anandan's intentions behind politics (To eradicate poverty) and Tamizhselvan's Dravidian philosophy are shown countermanding from the first scene in which Anandan and TamizhSelvan meet. The weakness and insecurity that both these giants of TN Politics go through in the movie are brilliantly portrayed by Mohan Lal who plays Anandhan and Prakash Raj who plays Tamizhselvan. The scene where Anandan comes out on the terrace of Tamizhchelvan's house and sees the crowd is a perfect scene of movie making basics, and of course A.R. Rahman's awe-inspiring BGM. For many Tamizh Cinema fans who complain that Rahman does not do justice to BGMs, please see his works with Mani and you shall know the man's genius. The others in the cast, too, perform amply within the scope - with the pick of them being Gauthami and Rajesh.

Ayitha Ezhuthu - A populist story, Mani Ratnam deals with college politics and how rowdyism has come to play a ever present role in politics. This movie literally revealed two actors to Tamizh Cinema, who have gone places after this movie. First is the best performer in this movie, R. Madhavan, who playing Inbasekar, completely overwhelms you. He is not playing a likeable character - and being recognized as Alaipaayudhey Madhavan, it must have been difficult for him to convince the audience as a out and out moral-less and unscrupulous character. The real victory for Mani and of course, Madhavan is that by the end of the movie, you really hated Inbasekar, which was an accomplishment of sorts, for the public image of Madhavan at that point of time was that of a chocolate boy. The second winner in this movie was Surya - who played a populist, slightly-left student politician, Michael Vasanth. Surya, who had matured through Nandha, grown through Kaakha Kaakha, arrived through Ayitha Ezhuthu. It is interesting to note that R. Madhavan has scaled new heights in Indian cinema with varied and versatile roles in Rang De Basanti and 3 Idiots, while Surya is now a frontline actor who, has carefully balanced mindless masala movies like Aaru and noteworthy, versatile movies like Vaaranam Aayiram. Inspired from Amerros Perros, Mani Ratnam crafted a screenplay wherein a shooting incident is the central spot of meeting for the the three characters in the movie. This movie though, was not one amongst Mani's best efforts and the third track involving Siddarth was not as well developed as one expects in a Mani movie. The other revelation in this movie was Bharathi Raja, who plays the corrupt minister, Selvanayagam who brings such realism to his character that it sometimes hurts! This was the first album where Rahman went all out with an international feel - Dol Dol, Hey Goodbye Nanba and Yakkai Thiri being new sounds for the Tamizh ears. And incidentally, Yakkai Thiri was one of those few songs in Tamizh music that does not have any verbs in it. (Trivia time?!)

Makkal-aatchchi - R.K. Selvamani's masterpiece tells about a the tale of Mamootty, who gets involved in politics purely by chance and rises to the position of a Chief Minister of a state. This movie put in solid scenes what people were till then assuming about the rich and powerful in politics then - that they had little to no ethics, no morals and would go to any lengths for money and power. The movie starts off well and the first half is as good as any other movie in Tamizh Cinema. The second half has lots of twists (some of them unneeded) and at the end of the movie you do not know whether you can believe what our leaders say in the media. Mamootty as expected, takes the honors in the acting department while the movie also boasts of some sharp editing work. The music, as can be expected of non-Ilayaraja or non-Rahman movies of those times is hardly note-worthy.

Mudhalvan - Shankar's take on current affairs and politics, this movie creates a fantasy genre in political movies. Originally supposed to have been scripted for none other than the Superstar Rajni Kanth, this movie, surprisingly has Arjun Sarja in the lead and ends up being one of Arjun's best works - apart from Gentleman and Ayudha Poojai. The movie has a very identifiable cause - that politicians are more concerned about their vote-bank and so resort to caste politics and of course Shankar's pet theme - Corruption. The screenplay is one of the best in TC - there is almost no sag in the story till the end. And the lines by Sujatha were brilliant, especially the interview scene between Pughazendhi (Arjun) and Aranganathan (Raghuvaran). The only complaint with this movie was the romantic angle, played by Manisha Koirala who pretty much comes only for duets. Coming to duets, this movie again has A.R. Rahman at the helm and he churns out delightful numbers and some terrific BGMs too - especially for the scenes when Arjun is the CM for a day.

Bharath Bandh - This was a movie I had seen when I was really young and I suspect is a Telugu dubbed movie. This movie again, is based on Political intrigue and as suggested by its title is based around a bandh organized by some politicians for their personal gains. This movie, though, not great in terms of acting or cast (the lone saviour being the national award winning actress, Archana), shows you a sample of how politicians make self centered and short sighted decisions, purely based on their and their kin's well being with little or no regard for the public who voted them to power. The movie also features some gruesome killings and violence.

The interesting thing has been that though the perceived ills of politics - namely, caste/religion based politics, pseudo-secularism, corruption, coercion and rowdyism have been graphically represented in movies like the ones listed above and many others, it is pitiable that nothing has changed. It is really disappointing to see even well educated people getting involved in caste wars and tax evasion issues, even as recently as yesterday!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sutil Second Fastest in Final Day

Adrian Sutil clocked the second quickest time of the day to round off Force India's four-day testing at the Circuit de Jerez.

In between running through system checks, set-up evaluation and tyre comparisons, the youngster posted his best lap of 1:20.180 which was just half a second behind his pal and McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.

"We did some really good runs, concentrating mainly on getting as much experience as we could with the new tyres," Sutil later said.


"Set-up wise, we were pretty good already and the car balance is not so far away. We also tried a couple of longer runs and saving the tyres seems to be the key point. We weren't going for a time, just trying to get as much information as possible at this stage to feed back into the programme for next week," explained the German.

Sutil completed 84 laps of the Spanish track on Saturday to bring Force India's total test mileage to more than 1,200km.
Chief race engineer Dominic Harlow said the testing went just as expected and there was no reason to complain.

"We completed the final day of the test with a greater mileage than the previous days despite some poor weather to begin with and a planned period of downtime, which is positive," he said.

"It's been a good first test with the VJM3 confirming the base characteristics of the car and the most prominent effects of the regulation changes for 2010," Harlow said.
Testing resumes next week again from February 17-20 and Paul di Resta will get his first outing in the VJM03 on Wednesday before Sutil and Antonio Liuzzi take over for the remainder of the test.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sachin Tendulkar Rewrites History

Milestone man Sachin Tendulkar re-wrote the record books on Wednesday, hammering the first double century in the history of one-day cricket to add another feather to his well-adorned cap.

The capacity crowd at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium witnessed history on Wednesday as Tendulkar, statistically the greatest batsman the game has ever seen, pushed a Charl Langeveldt delivery through the off-side and ran a single to achieve a feat which no other cricketer has achieved.

One-Day International cricket, since its 1971 inception, had to wait nearly four decades to see a batsman score 200. The previous best mark was shared by Zimbabwean Charles Coventry (194 not out) and Pakistan's Saeed Anwar (194).

As the crowd erupted with unbridled joy, Tendulkar, tired but composed, took off his helmet, looked skyward, closed his eyes to offer a silent prayer.

His captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni came down from the striker's end to shake hands and hug him.

And as Tendulkar set on his way back to the pavilion after the completion of the Indian innings, a tumultuous celebration greeted him.

The crowd gave him a standing ovation as the entire stadium erupted in euphoria while his teammates were simply ecstatic as they clapped and hugged each other, basking in the glory of their senior teammates.

Tendulkar batted like a man with a mission today and the South African bowlers simply had no clue where to bowl.

Once he crossed the 150-mark, the crowd anticipated something special and Tendulkar did not let them down.

A six off Roelof van der Merwe took him past Kapil Dev's 175 not out and in the next over, he hit Jacques Kallis for a four to equal his previous best of 186 not out that had come against New Zealand in Hyderabad in 1999.

The crowd got restless as Tendulkar approached the 194-run mark and a couple off Wayne Parnell saw him eclipse it.

His teammates and spectators were on the edge of their seat with a double century round the corner but with Dhoni going berserk at the striker's end and facing most of the deliveries, it was an agonising wait for all.

Dhoni took singles off the final deliveries of the 47th-49th overs and Tendulkar finally took strike with four balls left in the innings.

The first ball he received from Langeveldt was steered past point and Tendulkar ran for a single to remain unbeaten after an unforgettable unbeaten 200 that came off just 147 balls with 25 fours and three sixes in it.

It was yet another milestone for the man, who has some 30,000 international runs under his belt, including 93 centuries (47 in Tests and 46 in ODIs).

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hamilton Fastest at jerez

Lewis Hamilton clinched the fastest time at Jerez on Wednesday morning as a drying track and interrupted running allowed for some serious laps.

Testing kicked off on a wet track and with the threat of rain looming. As such the drivers were quickly out on track with Michael Schumacher setting the fastest time of 1:30.549 while Pedro de la Rosa slotted his Sauber into second place.
However, the running was soon cut short as Lewis Hamilton stopped out on track with an as yet undisclosed problem. It took 16 minutes for the marshals to clear his car and return it the McLaren garage, after which the session was green-lighted.
That, though, didn't last long.

Four minutes later the red flags were once again being waved, this time for Force India test driver Paul di Resta. The Scot spun his VJM03, bringing the session to a temporary halt.
When the action resumed, Felipe Massa took advantage of the drying track, clocking a 1:30.327 to lead the way.
The Brazilian was soon overhauled by Sebsatian Vettel with the Red Bull racer posting a 1:29.053 while Rubens Barrichello moved up into second place.
Barrichello's morning programme focused on race stints, during which the Williams driver did an initial run of 14 laps, followed by one of 21 and another of 15.
De la Rosa was the next to take control of the session as the Spaniard put in a six-lap run that ended with him shaving 1.228s off Vettel's best as the track continued to dry out.
With a dry line now in the mix, Virgin Racing finally set Timo Glock out. The German, though, completed just one installation lap before returning to the pits.
Returning to the track a short while later, Glock posted a 1:34.453 on his first attempt, putting him just ahead of fellow newcomers Lotus.
Lotus, who were in action with test driver Fairuz Fauzy behind the wheel, didn't take Virgin's arrival lying down and Fauzy quickly moved ahead with a 1:34.3 as F1 experienced its first battle of the newbies.
Back at the front, Massa hit the P1 slot with a 1:27.665 while Vettel went third as he too broke into the 1:27s.

However, any chance they had of further improving as they burnt off fuel was lost when Barrichello brought out the day's third red flag when he stopped out on track.
And unfortunately for the drivers, during the break to clear the Williams off the track, the clouds began to gather yet again although that didn't stop Massa from extending his P1 time to a 1:26.867 only to be beaten moments later by a charging Hamilton. The Brit's P1 was an impressive 1.125s up on Massa's best.
Unofficial Times

. L. Hamilton McLaren MP4-25 1:25.742 31 laps
2. F. Massa Ferrari F60 1:26.867 +1.125 44 laps
3. P. de la Rosa Sauber C29 1:27.825 +2.083 44 laps
4. S. Vettel Red Bull Racing RB6 1:27.871 +2.129 51 laps
5. R. Barrichello Williams FW32 1:28.256 +2.514 78 laps
6. P. di Resta Force India VJM-03 1:30.080 +4.338 61 laps
7. M. Schumacher Mercedes GP W01 1:30.273 +4.531 50 laps
8. S. Buemi Toro Rosso STR5 1:31.555 +5.813 37 laps
9. V. Petrov Renault R30 1:32.752 +7.010 12 laps
10. F. Fauzy Lotus F1 T127 1:34.396 +8.654 46 laps
11. T. Glock Virgin Racing VR-01 1:34.453 +8.711 4 laps

Sunday, February 21, 2010

MCLaren Duo in gud pace

F1 world champion Jenson Button again raised McLaren hopes ahead of the new season with a test-best performance at Jerez.

As team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished last week's four-day session at the southern Spain venue with the best time on the final day, so Button followed suit at the culmination of this week's programme.

Executing a series of short runs in the morning, the 30-year-old posted the quickest lap of the eight days of testing overall with a time of one minute and 18.871 seconds.

That proved to be just over four tenths of a second quicker than the previous best set by Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber on Friday, and 0.7secs ahead of Hamilton's hot lap from last week.

Button finished the day 0.243secs clear of Renault's Robert Kubica as the Pole concluded the running in the Jerez with the second-best lap over the two weeks.
Kamui Kobayashi and Vitantonio Liuzzi underlined the potential of the Sauber and Force India respectively as they finished third and fourth on the day, 0.317secs and 0.779secs adrift of Button.
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg was fifth, just over a second down, with team principal Ross Brawn happy so far with his team's progress.

"The past two weeks in Jerez have seen an intensive period of testing for the team," said Brawn.
"It is very pleasing to have ended the test programme with two days of very valuable dry running for Nico and Michael (Schumacher).
"Although the conditions haven't been ideal over the two tests, we have been able to make good progress on the set-up of the car and completed a number of our systems evaluations.

"We still have a great deal of work ahead of us in Barcelona next week, but overall we're looking in good shape for the start of the season."
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, cheered on by a sizeable local crowd, was sixth in his Ferrari, followed by Jaime Alguersuari for Toro Rosso and then Webber, with Williams' Nico Hulkenberg ninth.

In the ongoing battle of the new teams, Virgin Racing again had the edge on Lotus Racing in terms of lap time, with Timo Glock a second quicker than Jarno Trulli on his maiden outing in the latter car.

But in terms of reliability, Lotus are comprehensively winning that fight as veteran Trulli managed a test-high for all the drivers with 141 laps.
In contrast, Glock was restricted to just 28 as a hydraulic issue that has dogged the team all week again compromised their running.

The teams conclude testing with a four-day run in Barcelona from Thursday through to Sunday of next week ahead of the opening grand prix in Bahrain on March 14.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Chelsea Going Strong

Manchester United were the big losers as both Arsenal and Chelsea won their respective matches on Saturday.

Chelsea stretched their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to four points courtesy of Didier Drogba's sixth brace of the season.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti's side took full advantage of nearest title rivals Manchester United's 3-1 defeat at Everton earlier in the day to move a step closer to the championship crown.

Chelsea had to wait, though, until the 40th minute before breaking the deadlock against relegation-threatened Wolves at Molineux, with Drogba capping a brilliant move involving Yuri Zhirkov and Michael Ballack.

Drogba then wrapped up the victory in the 67th minute with his 25th goal of the season, and his sixth in five matches since he returned from African Nations Cup duty.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Arsenal Flawless

Theo Walcott may not yet have secured his seat on England's World Cup plane to South Africa.

But he could hardly have turned in a better audition than the performance he produced in front of England manager Fabio Capello at the Emirates stadium.
Nicklas Bendtner scored the first-half goal and Cesc Fabregas the injury-time penalty which defeated a sterile Sunderland side but it was Walcott who produced the pace and the menace.

At times it had shades of Zagreb 2008, the night Walcott scored a hat-trick against Croatia which set England on the right course in their World Cup qualifying campaign.
There were no goals this time but if you want a winger to terrorise defenders, then Walcott in this mood does it better than most.

But if Walcott was Arsenal's most lethal attacker, the other man who made the difference was Manuel Almunia.

Arsene Wenger had been anxious to stress his support for Lukasz Fabianski after the young Polish goalkeeper's two howlers had sunk the Gunners in their Champions League defeat against Porto in midweek, but it did not stretch to keeping him in the side.

He went for the experience of 34-year-old Almunia, who was back after passing a fitness test on an injured finger. Sol Campbell, whose backpass also contributed to the Gunners' downfall, started on the bench.

But if the disappointment of Portugal lingered then it did not show. Arsenal were quicker to the ball, Fabregas and Aaron Ramsey seizing control in midfield with their slide-rule passing and pretty patterns.

Walcott announced his desire as early as the fourth minute, sprinting past Sunderland full-back George McCartney like an Olympic finalist - which is not that far-fetched, considering he has been timed at a hand-held 10.2 seconds for 100m.
McCartney must have wondered then if it had been a good idea to get out of bed this particular Saturday.

The answer came time and again over the next hour or so as Walcott tempted him in and then left him in his wake in a straight foot race.
Quite how Sunderland went in only one goal down in that first-half is one of life's little mysteries.

McCartney was part of the reason, deflecting one Samir Nasri shot over the crossbar and then somehow diverting a Bendtner left-foot blast on to the bar only to see it bounce to safety.

The opening goal, however, came courtesy of a slaloming run from Emmanuel Eboue which would not have been out of place on the slopes in Vancouver.
At the end of it he found a precision pass across the box which found Bendtner loitering in cavernous space at the far post. Bendtner may have scored easier goals but it is doubtful.

True, Fraizer Campbell did bring one fine save from Almunia - and how Kenwyne Jones did not score when clean through with only Almunia to beat, only he knows. But for the most part Steve Bruce's side were out-thought, out-manoeuvred and out-played.
They were also somewhat fortunate to finish with a full complement after Sunderland captain Lorik Cana launched a two-footed tackle which felled Eboue. Referee Steve Bennett produced a yellow card, which could easily have been red.

The second half was more of the same, Arsenal flooding forward, full of spark. Walcott brought a fine save from Gordon, Thomas Vermaelen almost decapitated the Sunderland goalkeeper with a free-kick pile-driver and chances were made and squandered in equal measure.

Arsenal almost paid the price - and would have done if it was not for the quick thinking of Almunia, who raced out to smother a Darren Bent shot when the striker was clean through.

There were a few nervy moments for the Gunners as they failed to cash in on their superior possession.

But in injury time Fabregas was brought down by Campbell on the edge of the area and the Spaniard, forever Arsenal's orchestrator, got up to rap home Arsenal's second from the spot.
It was no more than Wenger's men deserved.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

India vs SA live score card

De Villiers had just got off the mark, added three runs to his side's cause when Mishra showed him the way back.
It was an easy catch for Ishant Sharma at mid-off to dismiss the visitors' fourth wicket of the innings in Ashwell Prince off Harbhajan.
Hashim Amla held the fort and led South Africa past the 150-run mark as India stepped on the gas to stake claim for a victory.
Amla completed a patient half-century after South Africa had resumed the day's proceedings from an overnight 115/3.
Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh had put India on course for victory on a rain-hit fourth day in Kolkata.

Mishra claimed Graeme Smith (20) in a morning session at the Eden Gardens which was shortened to an hour due to a wet outfield and the spinner struck again in the afternoon to secure Jacques Kallis' (20) scalp, Harbhajan Singh removing Alviro Petersen (21) in between to leave the home side on course for a series-levelling win.

Rain and Hashim Amla (49 not out) were hurdles to more success for the home side as the Proteas ended the day on 115 for three, still 232 runs behind India's first innings score.

The start to the morning session on the fourth day was delayed by more than 90 minutes, but Smith and Petersen had made a determined start once play resumed.

South Africa trail by 175 runs

South Africa 172/6(74.0 overs)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Name is Khan film review

Very early at the start of the movie our hero Rizwan khan is taught by his mother that there are only two kinds of people in the world the good kind and the other bad. I was just wondering how simple it could be if our movie watching experience could be as simple as that and classify simply as good or bad. I for one invariably find it difficult to classify movies as plainly as that. There would be some fantastic movies which will have parts that don’t work for me, and some terrible movies where some parts works wonders. So the overall experience is always could not always be put in a simple word or two. MNIK is one such movie

It’s a story of Rizwan khan who is autistic (Asperger syndrome) and his journey to win back his love of his life. The movie starts of with setting up Rizwan Khans character and goes in flashback mode detailing his childhood. These portions give an engaging start to the movie and it really picks of once Rizwan Khan reaches US. The next one hour is purely entertaining and it’s definitely the high point of the movie. When you have a pair like SRK – Kajol their chemistry can make wonders to even the most dullest and uninspiring sequences. KJo does really well and creates some really dearly lovable moments. Be it the proposal scene or the scene on the bed, or even a simple conversation about California looks magical with these two are around. The pre interval block where a tragedy strikes and rips the two apart is all heavy melodrama that you associate KJo with. He shines in these portions and leaves a lump in the throat aided by some brilliant acting.

The movie starts to falter in the second half as Rizwan Khan travels across regions to fulfill his promise. So we have a sub plot involving a small town in Georgia where our man does a miraculous turn over to the hurricane hit area which is too clich├ęd and cinematic. There is another sequence where he ends up preaching the truth about Islam and uncovers a terrorist plot which looks very amateurish and laughable. As much as these subplots are essential in Rizwan fulfilling his dream and to carry the movie forward, you are left with a feeling of emptiness and wish these sequences could have been much better. And the climatic sequence though plays out as expected to have a happy go ending looks a tad silly.
Inspite of these glitches and unevenness you carry away a pleasant feeling when the movie ends and it’s primarily because of the fact you heart goes out for the very likeable nature of Rizwan Khan. SRK is no natural actor and is often criticized for being hammy or over doing his role. But he gets it absolutely right. The Only autism I am aware is through Rainman and Forrest Gump so can’t really comment how authenticate his portrayal is, but for sure its believable and consistent throughout. This might well be his best role yet. Be it his body language or his quirky mannerisms, we see he has put in an earnest effort and is payed off really well. It’s a heart touching endearing performance. Lookout for the sequence where Kajol proposes to him or the scene where he comforts his brother breaking down, we see an actor who has developed leaps and bounds. After Swades and Chak de this role might turn out to be another one where his detractors become his fans. Way to go King Khan.

He is equally complimented by a Fantastic Kajol, who always looks like she has never taken a break from films. She looks fantastic and performs equally well. Look out for the scene where she hugs her kid’s dead body and slowly breaks down, she is one of the very few actress who could have pulled of that scene so well. It’s a pity to have several known actors in small cameos, where none of them are properly utilized. Hence none of them sticks to your heart when the movie ends.

As with any KJo this movie too boasts of great production values. Ravi K chandran is fantastic behind the camera. He covers such varies landscapes with such finesse. Shankar Ehsaan Loys music is equally good. Songs are used in the BGM as a narrative and is used sparsely unlike other Kjo movies which is a relief. Yet as in the case of his previous movie, though the content here is very sensitive you get the feeling that treatment is all shallow and glossy. For sure he has toned it down, but yet you dont get the gritty realistic treatment that one would associate with such an issue. On the whole the movie ends up as yet another entertaining movie with some terrific performances when essentially it could have ended up way better.

P.S: It is truly disappointing to see what is happening to SRK and MNIK. People can either like a movie or not like a movie, but they should be definitely given a chance to watch the movie. It is shocking that some atrocious cheap politics playing spoil sport and deciding whether or not that people should be allowed to watch the movie. Its one individual right to speak his mind and SRK just did that. He speaks and believes in an ideology and am really happy that he stood by it even after facing such immense pressure from all quarters. For that alone this movie has to watched and supported. I and I alone decide what movie should I watch and what I should not, and not any other ##@$#@#$#@.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Zaheer khan doubtful for odi series

Zaheer Khan could miss India's ODI series against South Africa due to a muscle pull.
The speedster, who did not take the field on the last day of the Kolkata Test, pulled up with what appeared a painful right knee after bowling one over during the afternoon session on Wednesday.

Prior to walking off the field on the fourth day, Zaheer had stepped off on a couple of occasions for treatment.

The Indian board has not named a stand-by bowler yet for the one-dayers. It could be either Ishant Sharma or Sreesanth.
Zaheer had made his international comeback for the Test series against Sri Lanka last year after having recovered from the injury he sustained during the 2009 IPL. He was a part of the tri-series in Bangladesh last month as well and then played in Tests too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Roger tops ATP awards

Roger Federer again swept the board as the winners of the ATP World Tour Awards were announced.

The Swiss star enjoyed a momentous 2009, completing his grand slam collection by winning a first French Open in June to equal Pete Sampras' world record of 14 majors then surpassing the mark with a sixth Wimbledon title.

He also reached the final at the 2009 Australian Open and US Open and regained the world number one spot he had lost to Rafael Nadal.

Federer, 28, won the Player of the Year award for a fifth time, was selected by his fellow players to receive the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for a record sixth consecutive year and was voted ATPWorldTour.com Fans' Favourite for a seventh straight season.

The world number one, who began 2010 by winning the Australian Open last month, said:

"It was a great achievement to once again finish the season at number one, especially in a year that was so special for me off the court with my marriage and birth of my daughters.

"It is also very humbling to be awarded the sportsmanship award again by my fellow ATP players, many of whom I have known for a long time."

In other awards, American twins Bob and Mike Bryan were named ATP World Tour Doubles Team of the Year, 6ft 9in American John Isner was honoured as the Most Improved Player of the Year and Argentinian Horacio Zeballos picked up the Newcomer of the Year gong after climbing into the world's top 50.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Murrays motivation

Greg Rusedski, who reached the 1997 US Open final echoed Roger Federer's sentiments that Murray will win a major title.

Rusedski told British Eurosport: "It was nice Roger Federer gave him that compliment at the end and said to Andy, 'I think you're going to win one and you're getting closer.'

"It's nice when a great man says that to you.

"Nothing but good things to look to the future for Andy Murray."
Virginia Wade - a three-time Grand Slam champion, including in Australia in 1972 - believes Murray was able to relax away from the pressures of Wimbledon.

"I think we really got to see a very well and mature Andy Murray," she told Eurosport.

"He got a huge amount of exposure and I think that loosened him up a bit."
Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond said: "It was a gritty and determined performance from Andy and there certainly isn't any disgrace in losing to the best player ever to hold a racquet.

"He was typically gracious in defeat.

"Andy has done the country proud and his time will come."

Friday, February 12, 2010

ISHQIYA FILM REVIEW

Driving down to the movie hall to watch the show tonight i was( like i always do) trying to guess the story and stuff.I was hoping the movie would be atleast half as good as the music was and i would be vindicated in my stand to watch Ishqiya first instead of Rann or else my friends would have a ball at my expense.Ten minutes into the movie i was sure i need not worry any more. The story revolves around Krishna(Vidya Balan) who is the wife of a gangster who is part of one of the gangs in the caste wars .The story is set in rural UP where castes have their own small armies.As the movie opens we are introduced to Krishna persuading her rowdy husband to surrender and come clean and soon he is killed in a cylinder blast.Kalujan and Babban, played by Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi are a pair of thieves who are on the run for taking money from their boss.They show up at krishna's house and discover that their friend is dead and set up camp in her house.A love triangle ensues and the film takes off from here with kidnappings and plots thrown in. Written by Vishal Bharadwaj and directed by Abhishek Chaubey the movie delights you with its saucy yet clever dialogues.The film is peppered with delightful dialogues which border on being crude but are humorous and cracking!!! Vidya Balan with another powerhouse performance after Paa is the soul of the movie.The lady is a seductress and a good one at that.Naseeruddin Shah is completely at home playing the old fashion romantic . Arshad Warsi is the more brash,direct romantic and also he is the one with the best dialogues in the movie and induces quite a few laughs with his witty dialogue. The background score of the movie by Vishal Bharadwaj is fantastic and extraordinary. The movie is entertaining and a total delight to watch.Some dialogues might be a tad uncomfortable if you are watching with your parents.Take your buddies along,and if your buddies happen to be from the Bihar/UP belt they might even thank your for it like mine did!!(Its their dialect of Hindi on the screen afterall :-) ) And oh yeah whats with poor Reema Sen and a blink and miss cameo as a prostitute!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Indian Tracks -no longer a big worry

The flat decks in India no longer worry pacers, said South Africa captain Graeme Smith.
The current South African pace duo of Steyn and Morne Morkel gave enough indications of their deadly intent in the first Test that ended in an Indian defeat inside four days here yesterday.
Steyn was the fast swinger, in and out, as compared to Morkel who tried to hit the deck with his lanky frame and get the ball to snort at the batsmen even on a slow VCA stadium track in Jamtha.
The secret to their success lay in not allowing themselves to be defeated mentally by the flat decks confronting them.
Smith said the changed mindset of his fast bowlers is one of the reasons for their success.
"I think mindset is crucial coming here. If you come here thinking I would bowl one spell as best as I can and (that for) the next spell?the wicket is flat and the spinners should be doing the job...(then you are will not succeed). I think it's about taking responsibility for your position. It's not always it's going to come off," he said.
"I think the fast bowlers, in particular, have come here with a good and positive mindset that they can contribute on this tour," he said.
"I think having just popped in playing for South Africa they look to do well. The mindset within the team is crucial.
That's the mindset this current pack has and probably has had before," Smith elaborated.
Steyn too had talked about the importance of having positive mindset before the commencement of the Test and said the change had come about after the spanking he, Morkel and Makhaya Ntini got from India's Virender Sehwag in Chennai on their previous visit in 2008.
The Delhi dasher pulverised the Proteas attack slamming an unbelievable 42 fours and 5 sixes in his career-best knock of 319 that came off just 304 deliveries.
"It was definitely not the pitches, it was the mind frame that we definitely got into. I am not giving everything away here, we still have got to play two Test matches against him.
But whenever we go out to bowl in the Test match, you will obviously see what's going to be coming his way," Steyn elaborated ahead of the series opener in which he took 10 for 107, including a career-best 7 for 51 in the first innings.
It contrasted sharply with his figures in Chennai when the speedster conceded 103 runs for four wickets in India's massive score of 627 built around Sehwag's masterpiece. Steyn later ended up with 15 wickets in the drawn three-Test rubber.
Morkel, who gave Steyn admirable support, had stated that the strength of the Proteas lay in their ability to hit the deck hard.
"We got bowlers who can bowl 145 kph. One of the strengths of our fast bowlers is to run up and bowl short. Why not use it," he said.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eden Gardens Pitch - No directive from BCCI

The pitch curator at Eden Gardens says the track will be a sporting one which will suit both pace and spin.
Former cricketers wanted India to play both the Tests in Nagpur and Kolkata on turning tracks and the call apparently seems to have reached a crescendo after Tuesday’s thumping loss against the Proteas.
Eden Gardens pitch curator Prabir Mukherjee today denied reports of being under pressure from the BCCI to prepare a turning track to help India level the two-match Test series against South Africa here.

"I have not received any instruction from the Board about preparation of the wicket at Eden Gardens," Mukherjee told reporters.

After India lost the opening Test by an innings and six runs yesterday in Nagpur, their batting left devastated by Dale Steyn's pace, Mukherjee had reportedly said that the BCCI has instructed him to prepare a turning wicket at the Eden to assist home spinners.

The curator, however, said the Eden track would be a sporting one which would suit both pace and spin.

"Eden Gardens is known for having a sporting wicket and this time also it won't be different. It will suit both the pacers and spinners so that good cricket could be played here.

It will last for five days," Mukherjee, who is also one of the officials at Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) said.

"Moreover, wicket for a Test match is prepared a few days before the match starts," he added.

The second Test would be held here from February 14-18.
Past records suggest India do not have to be too concerned about how they fare at the Eden Gardens. Of the last five Tests played at the venue, the hosts have won three and drawn two.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dhoni - Dale Steyn Destroyed us

Indian captain MS Dhoni conceded his side had no answer to Dale Steyn's devastating pace in the first Test.
"We were completely outplayed in all departments of the game. It was a good wicket to bat on the first two days and Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla played brilliantly for South Africa to put up a huge total. Then Dale Steyn produced sensational fast bowling spell," Dhoni said after the home side were handed an innings and six run defeat.
"Steyn's bowling, I think was the best I have seen in the last two years, at least as far as conventional swing bowling goes. Seven of the 14 dismissals of our batsmen were great deliveries," he added.
He said the change of ball after tea yesterday was the turning point of the match.
"The ball was changed at tea break and we lost five quick wickets. It changed everything. Once we lost Virender Sehwag, I got out immediately and the ball was reversing. After that it was difficult for the tail-enders," Dhoni said.
Dhoni refused to blame his bowlers for allowing South Africa to pile on a huge score in their first innings but said even on the flattest of pitches, international bowlers are expected to take wickets.
"I think it is unfair to blame the bowlers because it was a batting pitch. But we could have bowled better. In international cricket even on the flattest of pitches you can get wickets. But overall I would put that way that we have been outplayed," Dhoni said.
India will have to win the second and final Test starting in Kolkata on February 14 if they want to remain world number one and Dhoni conceded that his side is on the backfoot.

Monday, February 8, 2010

ASAL Film Review

I started my day with lotta excitement, THALA was the oly word I had in my mind… I dint have much expectations for this film, I just had a couple of wishes; 1.Movie mustn’t worst like Aegan again… 2. Movie must atleast take a level near Billa as a decent hit…………. So the first wish of mine got fulfilled straight away.. But the later one failed……. [:(][:(]

Here we go, ASAL starts in France with dual Ajith on-screen, I wonder it’s not needed for Ajith to make a dual role there coz it dint ve any bigger effect… For people who asks y thr’s not much difference in father & son’s get-up except for the greys, please note it’s father-son & this son is more like his dad in looks & behavior, he loves his dad & so he might have been in his dad’s get-up…….. [:)] But there’s no real need for the dual role……. Coming to Ajith, he did well in stunts & in every frame he enters he is good.. Cinematography has been great… Yuhi Sethu rocked with a few ROTFL comments… But why did AJITH, CHARAN & YUHI thought so like to make every character walk around France it doesn’t mean thy are doing something different……. Surprisingly the film is not only packed with Ajith on every frame, every character had their piece of cake, Ajith dint have much dialogs, but every character using the word THALA in every scene now & then, this should have been avoided….. Coming to villains, I have spent most of my time in first half to count the number of characters being used to play as VILLAINS…. The vast number of Villains are surely of no big use for the film…. Songs, I cant say any song as a great number, but one or two were looking good visually but totally irritating with the flow………………. Script: I dint find anything new for the content same old BETRAYAL, REVENGE, CLIMAX FIGHT, stuff but been made with style factor…….. Heroines, Bhavana & Sameera appeared to be glam-dolls to be around Ajith & been used as a set property in climax…… Prabhu’s character looks totally unnecessary…….. Kindly avoid such shots to make the characters simply walk around it’s not so cool always & rather it’s irritating….On the whole, the movie was not the worst but it ll fall under the OK kinda classification… If I speak as a THALA fan I really had sme movements of rejoice in the film, but when I remove that layer mask on me & to speak as a Tamil Cinema Lover I am disappointed with ASAL…

RATING: 2.5/5……. 1 for AJITH’s screen-presence, 1 for the Cinematographer, 0.5 for few Stunts…..

COMMENT: Same old formula in a new note-book………………

Verdict: Disappointing……….. [:(][:(]

Saturday, February 6, 2010

SA CAPTAIN- V DESERVE TO BE RANK NO 1 IN TEST

South African captain Graeme Smith declared that they deserve to be the world number one team more than India.
South Africa would reclaim their world number one status that they relinquished to India in December last year if they do not lose the second Test in Kolkata starting on Sunday.

Smith said they deserved the Test numero uno status more than any side as they had won around the world and not in their own backyard only.

"The reason we probably can say we deserve number one ranking more than any one else is we have traveled and won around the world in a short period of time. We have not only played at home and won. We have won in England, in Australia, come here and won a Test in 2008 and now here. Number one team deserves to be number one. We want to earn that and be there for a long time," he said.

He said by winning the first Test in Nagpur his side has taken the first step of scoring a series victory in India which is something missing in South Africa's record books.

"I think especially as a team we have achieved so much. I think as a Test team this is one thing (to win series in India) we wanted to tick off. A win here in this two-match series we have taken the first step. It is a massive goal for all of us (to win the series)," said the right-handed opening batsman.

Smith said his side stuck to their natural game and dished out positive cricket.

"We have been really clinical. It is important to play our style of cricket. We have to adapt but play our style of cricket. I think we did that very well throughout the game and used our bowlers in short spells," said Smith.

"Like I said before we had everything to gain. We know how tough it is to play here and how satisfying it is to get a victory. We got one in 2008. So we had to work just as hard.

"We played positive cricket," Smith said.

"More than anything else the energy the guys showed is great. The mental energy. You need to put in that kind of effort. To bowl a team out like India in two days twice (is great)," he explained.

Smith credited the entire team for the victory while singling out Hashim Amla's superb double century that set up the triumph.

"Hashim's double century was great to watch. At No. 3 he is becoming the glue. (It's) terrific to have him there. We played with three quicks and, with (Paul) Harris chipping in, we adapted. It is a credit to the team," he said.

"Hashim is one of the hardest working guys. He knows his strength is his mental strength. He has got great hands and he scores very quickly. He sticks to his game plan and has provided us a lot of stability. More than his 250 he has been involved in some key partnerships along the way," he said.

Smith also praised his pace spearhead Dale Steyn for the devastating spell of swing bowling, both traditional and reverse and said the cool conditions in the morning helped him a bit.

"I think (it's) a little bit cool here in the morning.

"Dale is a quality swing bowler. He swings the ball at pace.

"Didn't move it a great deal but swung it a little bit. It is a great display of fast bowling and backed it up with a little reverse swing," the South African opener said.

Smith was a delighted man considering the controversial incidents that happened at home before the tour.

"From a personal perspective it has been a really tough two weeks. It is the credit to the maturity the players have shown. It shows how much it means for them to play for South Africa. See guys like Hashim (Amla) and Jacques (Kallis) it means so much to them. It was a great team effort," he said.

Praising left-arm spinner Paul Harris who does his job quietly, Smith said, "I have got used to guys writing off Paul. Over last two years we have traveled to many countries and everyone doesn't talk much about Paul. He knows his role within the team. He allows the other guys, Morne (Morkel), Steyn and Jacques do the role they need to. He picked up some key wickets today, some big names."

About settling down so soon after the changes in the selection panel and the chief coach, Smith praised interim coach Corrie van Zyl.

"Corrie has created a good working environment for the players and as the weeks went on we have settled down and focused more and more on our cricket," Smith said.

"I think more from a team perspective the set-up had been there for the past five years and there were a lot of shifts and changes and everyone was just trying to find their feet.

"It helped there was a lot of honesty around the group and the credit must go to their maturity also," he added.

Smith was not too concerned about the type of wicket that would be prepared for the second Test in Kolkata starting on Sunday and said his players were experienced enough in these conditions to take on whatever is dished out.

"India have more control over the conditions. Guys need a few days rest, mental energy more than anything else. This has taken a lot out of the guys. There is enough in the group now and we have beaten India enough number of times. I don't think anything will surprise us going into Kolkata," he said.

Asked about the need to change ball in India before a new ball was due, Smith said because of the abrasive surfaces on which the matches are played the balls become worn out fast.

"The wickets are abrasive in India. We changed the ball when the seam slit open. I think it is going to happen on such wickets where it is very abrasive. The outfield is pretty hard and firm. The ball is getting a good work-out 50 to 60 overs.

"But we really worked hard on getting reverse swing on the ball something that we think is going to be a key factor.

"The ball change came at a good time just after tea and Dale made good use of it," he pointed out.

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Harbhajan must question his future"

"Harbhajan must question his future"
Former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur has questioned Harbhajan Singh's role in the India team.
Arthur questioned Harbhajan's role in the India team following the Proteas' convincing victory in the first Test in Nagpur.
The tourists completed an emphatic innings-and-six-run win inside four days earlier this week, with the home side's star slow bowler of recent years struggling on a pitch which was meant to suit spinners.
India slump to heavy loss against SA
Harbhajan, who has taken 347 wickets in 82 Tests, took two for 166 in his 46 overs during South Africa's first-innings 558 for six declared, but Arthur believes he should be dropped.
Writing as a guest columnist for the Indian national newspaper, he said: "The lack of penetration in the Indian attack must also be a huge cause for concern.
"Zaheer (Khan) bowled well but lacked support while Harbhajan, who has in my opinion been below his best for several years now, must be questioning his future.
"His bowling lacked the zip and sting that was so characteristic in the early years of his career. He must be honest with himself and the management and selectors must be honest too.
"There is no place for sentiment in Test cricket - reputation and history should count for very little when selecting your best XI. (Amit) Mishra bowled well but even he didn't look likely to bowl South Africa out."
Arthur, who resigned as South Africa coach only two weeks ago after close to five years in charge, praised the contributions of his countrymen Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn, but described India's middle order as "vulnerable".
He added: "Dale Steyn led the South African attack as well as any number one rank bowler has ever done in the history of Test cricket, and he deserves the highest praise.
"But if the Indian middle order represents the next generation then the current number one ranked team have problems for the future.
"They looked vulnerable at all times against pace bowling and, apart from imperious Sachin Tendulkar and the unique Virender Sehwag, never looked likely to offer any sustained resistance.
"It looked like the India of old - easily bullied and intimidated by the quick men."
The second Test in the two-match series begins in Kolkata on Sunday.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pannel Summons Afridi,Yosuf and Coach

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi will appear before a six-member inquiry committee on Friday.
While Afridi will explain his ball-biting antic in Perth, captain Mohammad Yousuf and coach Intikhab Alam will depose with their versions of the team's comprehensive rout in Australia.

"Yes, we have also summoned Shahid Afridi on Friday. We have been directed by the board chairman to treat this inquiry as very seriously and not spare anyone found guilty of not doing his duty in Australia," Pakistan Cricket Board's chief operating officer Wasim Bari said.

Leading the team in Yousuf's absence, Afridi was seen biting the ball in the final ODI at Perth, which earned him a two-match ban.

Apart from Afridi, Yousuf and Alam, the PCB inquiry committee led by Bari has also summoned team manager Abdul Raquib for its first hearing.

The committee also includes former Test captain Wasim Akram who has requested the board to appoint Afridi as captain for all three forms of the game despite his ball-tampering indiscretion.

Bari said the committee would speak to all the team officials and players and also get feedback from the media and other independent sources in Australia during the course of its probe.

"The idea behind this probe is to suggest ways to put Pakistan cricket back on the right track," Bari said.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

PCB does not wants to change its team

The Pakistan Cricket Board do not plan to make major changes to the team despite the debacle in the series in Australia.
Pakistan lost all three Tests, all five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 game against Australia, prompting calls for Test and ODI captain Mohammad Yousuf to be sacked and for several senior players to be dropped.
The PCB have formed a six-member panel headed by chief operating officer Wasim Bari to review reasons for the defeats, but Bari has backed the current set of players.
"We have to make do with the players we have," he said.
"What we need to do is to get the best out of them and that can be done only through proper planning and by involving the right people.
"I believe the team is capable of doing much better, but we lack proper planning.
"At the moment we just want to win on talent alone, but you can't get consistent results with such an approach."
Pakistan are set to play England in two Twenty20 Internationals later this month in Dubai and Bari has backed the team - comprising several experienced players - to do well.
"I still believe that this team has the potential to do well even against any side," he added.
Pakistan's coach during the series in Australia, Intikhab Alam, has been dropped for the forthcoming series and the PCB's under-19 coach Ijaz Ahmed named in his place.
The PCB are reportedly looking at hiring a foreign coach - Australia's Greg Chappell has been linked to the job - but Bari remains noncommittal.
"The task of the inquiry committee is not to sack somebody or the other," Bari said.
"What we want to do is to find solutions for the sake of our cricket and for our team.
"We would want to hear what the coach and captain have to say and would begin the proceedings without any preconceived ideas. We would then make decisions.
"As for hiring a coach, our job is to find the right coach. He could be from Pakistan or abroad."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Greg Declines Pakistan coaching offer

Former India coach Greg Chappell has turned down an offer to take up the reins of Pakistan's embattled cricket team.
Chappell, who had a tumultuous stint in India before being sacked following the team's disastrous World Cup campaign in 2007, is currently the head coach at Australia's Centre of Excellence and chairman of the National Youth Selection Panel.
The former Australia captain said he was approached by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to replace the under-fire Intikhab Alam, who is expected to be shown the door after the team's disastrous tour Down Under during which it was whitewashed in all three formats of the game.
"Wasim Bari (chief operating officer, PCB) rang me yesterday. I was honoured and flattered by the approach but I have declined the invitation," Chappell told 'Cricinfo'.
"I have no ambition to coach at the international level again and I am committed to my role with CA as Head Coach at the Centre of Excellence and Chairman of our National Youth Selection Panel," he said.
Alam will not travel to Dubai with the Pakistani team for a couple of Twenty20 matches against England from February 19 but it remains unclear if the PCB has already axed him.
Alam will appear before a board inquiry committee, headed by Bari, on Saturday to explain the reasons behind Pakistan's debacle in Australia.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pakistan to host matches in US

The pcb is now possibility of organising cricket matches for the national team in the United States.
With teams refusing to tour the troubled country due to security concerns, Pakistan has become completely isolated as a cricketing nation.
Pakistan's problems were further compounded when the International Cricket Council moved the nation's share of 2011 World Cup matches to co-host countries India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh following last year's terrorist attack on the visiting Lankan team.
Since then, Pakistan has been hosting international teams at neutral venues.
PCB chairman Ejaz Butt and chief operating officer Wasim Bari met USA Cricket (USACA) officials led by chief executive Donald Lockerbie on the sidelines of the two-day ICC meeting that ended yesterday in Dubai.
"PCB Wasim Bari held a meeting with USA Cricket Association (USACA) officials to discuss organising match series in USA in 2010. The matches will feature the defending ICC World T20 champions," the PCB said in a statement.
PCB chief Butt said the series, the dates for which was yet to be finalised, would help in growing the game in countries like USA.
"Pakistan playing as a full member in the USA is in line with the ICC policy to grow the sport in countries such as the United States," Butt said.
"While the two boards are still finalising the dates and the types of match competitions - assurances were made by both parties that a long term agreement to play in the USA will begin with a match series later in 2010," he added.
PCB's announcement came close on the heels of a meeting between IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and USACA chief Lockerbie, where in they discussed the options of taking the Twenty20 league to the US in near future.