Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Saqlain Mushtaq

Saqlain Mushtaq Biography

Saqlain Mushtaq (Urdu: ثقلین مشتاق) (born December 29, 1976 in Lahore, Punjab) is a Pakistani cricketer, regarded as one of the finest off spin bowlers of all time.[1] He is best known for pioneering the \"doosra\", which he employed to great effect during his career. Saqlain has not been active in international cricket since 2004.
Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq Doosra Against Australia...Amazing Bowling

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar Biography

Shoaib Akhtar Biography receives strong comments from Wasim Akram, Shahrukh, BCCI, PCB, Shoaib Malik, Tauqeer Zia and several others. Wasim Akram has termed it as a cheap publicity move by Shoaib Akhtar. He further said that Shoaib was a “problem” when he was an active player and remains just that even in retirement. Wasim Akram rubbished  Akhtar’s claims of making Sachin Tendulkar uncomfortable with his pace in the Faisalabad Test in 2006 as has been claimed by Akhtar in his book titled ‘Controversially Yours’.

“I remember Sachin’s one innings when he was 16 and touring Pakistan. Sialkot Test was Sachin’s 4th Test. He made his debut in that series. There was a lot of grass on the pitch. Waqar and I bowled very fast. Waqar, I think, was 19 and Sachin was 16. Waqar hit him (Sachin) on the helmet just below the chin and he got hurt. But he put a plaster and he came back to score a 50. If a 16-year-old kid wasn’t scared, I don’t think any of the top batsmen in the world is scared of any bowler,” Akram said.

“Maybe he might play on the back foot to block the delivery or maybe he might just see it off. But I don’t think a player like Sachin can get scared of any bowler. He (Shoaib) can write anything to sell a book, but it does not affect me or Sachin,” he said. Cricblogger totally agrees with Wasim on this one. Even though we have critically analysed Tendulkar’s performances and have written about his centuries and of him not being the best of match finishers, we stand with Wasim on this one. Tendulkar is a great batsman and no top batsmen can be scared by any bowler, Ganguly included (pun intended). Cricblogger has also praised Tendulkar’s world records in another article.

On Akhtar’s allegations that Akram was responsible for destroying his career, he said no one but the Shoaib himself was responsible for destroying his career. ”He himself is responsible for destroying his career. Nobody helped him (in destroying his career).” said the King of Swing.

“There is no point in me talking about his book. I still haven’t read his book. But his idea is good. If the books get sold then good luck to him,” Akram said adding that, “You people (media) will ensure his book is a bestseller.”

Shahrukh Khan, the bollywood super star responded to the allegations made by Akhtar in a similar fashion. He said that there is just as much truth in Akhtar’s claim that we (Shahrukh and company) are cheaters as there is in the fact that Sachin fears his (Akhtar’s) bowling.

Rajiv Shukla, a senior BCCI  official demanded an apology from Shoaib Akhtar for making such remarks against Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Akhtar had remarked that Sachin and Dravid lacked ability to finish off games early in their respective careers. It seems unnecessary for the BCCI to jump into the swamp, just ignore Shoaib he is just trying to sell his book.

The former PCB chairman, Tauqeer Zia  has also rubbished Akhtar’s claim that Zia had helped Akhtar when Wasim Akram tried to destroy his career and threatened to walk off with have the team if Akhtar was selected. Zia said that no such thing happened. Shoaib Malik responded to the allegations by Akhtar that Malik was incompetent to be captain and said  that Akhtar’s allegations were a joke.

Meanwhile, there have been some protests in India against the paceman and the opening function of the launch of the book has been cancelled without giving any reason. Shoaib has another public appearance on Monday. Lets see how it goes but one thing is for sure, there are lots of people out there looking to read his book.

Even my blog has seen an unusual rush of visitors on this particular story and the search engines are all flooded with queries about his book and who said what in response. He seems to have achieved his goal, it might just turn out to be a best seller. His slower ball usually works in the midst of bouncers and yorkers. Lets see what he does next.
Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar At His Best
Shoaib Akhtar: The Fastest bowler of All Time. Pakistan

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Mohammad Sami

Mohammad Sami Biography
Mohammad Sami born 24 February 1981) is a Pakistani right arm fast bowler in cricket who is currently representing the Pakistan cricket team in Test cricket and Twenty20 cricket matches. He use to represent Pakistan in ODI's but was dropped from the squad in 2007 after an unimpressive world cup campaign.International career Sami, initially known as the modern Malcolm Marshall by Imran Khan, made his Test cricket debut against New Zealand in 2001 by taking 8 wickets for 106 runs in the match. This was a world record for the most wickets by a debutante. During his third Test match he achieved a hat-trick against Sri Lanka and in 2002 he took his second hat-trick in his career, against the West Indies during a One Day International match. This led to him becoming one of only a two bowlers in cricket(The other who was wasim akram) to achieved this mark in both forms of the game . He also became one of two Pakistan bowlers to have taken a hat-trick in both Test cricket and One Day International matches,the other being fast bowler Wasim Akram. He also displayed excellent performances against Zimbabwe and New Zealand in 2003. On 1 December 2003, he achieved his best bowling figures in One Day International cricket by taking 5 wickets for 10 runs during a match. Earlier in April during that year in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, he had taken 4 wickets for 25 runs against Kenya during the match. Sami played his 50th One Day International match against India at Lahore in Pakistan on 24 March in 2004. He has also taken over 100 wickets in First-class cricket and in List A cricket.
Sami is regarded as one of the fastest bowlers in cricket and has the ability to swing the cricket ball at high pace. He has unofficially bowled the fastest delivery in cricket when he clocked at 164 km/ph (101.9 mph) during a One Day International match. However, it was revoked by cricket officials after it found faulty speed measurements on the speed metre. But despite his talent, he has been in and out of the national side for several times. However he has received support from former Pakistan captain Imran Khan, who sees Sami's speed and wicket taking ability as an important skill for the Pakistan team.

Sami also earned the ignominy of bowling the longest over in One Day International cricket during the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh in 2004, when he bowled 17 balls in one over which consisted of seven wides and four no balls.He is also the only bowler in Test cricket history to have over 50 wickets and a bowling average of 50.

After losing form and failing to achieved success for the Pakistan cricket team, the Pakistan Cricket Board and its national selectors replaced Sami for the One Day International series against England with fast bowler Mohammad Asif, however he was recalled for the series against South Africa in January and February in 2007. He was selected in the 15 man Pakistan squad for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, although he was named as one of five reserves.After team mates Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif were dropped from the World Cup squad ,since neither of the two had been declared fit and they had not undergone official doping tests, Sami and Yasir Arafat were called up as replacements.

Sami joined the Indian Cricket League following the tour of India in December 2007. He played for the Lahore Badshahs, a team composed entirely of Pakistani cricketers, during the Indian Premier League's second Twenty20 tournament. His participation in the league meant that he, like many other Pakistan players, he was banned from representing his country at both international level and domestic cricket in Pakistan.

In 2009-2010, he was recalled back to the Pakistan team and on the 3 January 2010, during Pakistan's Test match series against Australia, he played at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia and took 3 wickets for 27 runs in the first innings of the second Test match. On the 19 April he was selected in the Pakistan squad as a replacement for the injured fast bowler Umar Gul, in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 cricket tournament to be held in the West Indies. In July 2010 it was rumoured that he would join Essex as replacement overseas player for Danish Kanaria who joined the Pakistan touring party for tests against Australia and England. Sami was recalled and played against South Africa in the middle east in November 2010. However since then Sami has not been selected - Pakistan have been picking right arm medium pace bowler Tanvir Ahmed effectively in his place.


Mohammad Sami
Mohammad Sami
Mohammad Sami Clean Bowled Rahul Dravid With A Quick Delivery 150Kph

Friday, 25 May 2012

Younus Khan

Younus Khan Biography
A middle-order batsman, Younis Khan is fearless, as befits his Pathan ancestry. He plays with a flourish and is especially strong in the arc from backward point to extra cover. He is prone to getting down on one knee and driving extravagantly. But this flamboyance is coupled with grit. His main weaknesses are playing away from the body and leaving straight balls. Younis was one of the few batsmen who retained his place in the team after Pakistan's disastrous World Cup campaign in 2003, but lost it soon after due to a string of poor scores in the home series against Bangladesh and South Africa. He came back for the one-day series against India, but failed to cement a place in the Test side. He is among the better fielders in Pakistan and he took a world-record four catches in one innings as substitute during Pakistan's demolition of Bangladesh in the 2001-02 Asian Test Championship. He displayed further versatility by keeping and winning the Man of the Match award against Zimbabwe in the Paktel Cup. But it was his return to the side in October 2004, at the pivotal one-down, against Sri Lanka in Karachi that laid the groundwork for his emergence as a force in Pakistan cricket. He was the top run-getter in the disastrous 3-0 whitewash in Australia immediately after and on the tour of India, for which Younis was elevated to vice-captain, he blossomed. After a horror start to the series he came back strongly, capping things off with a matchwinning 267 in the final Test. Since then, barring minor troughs such as the 2005-06 series against England at home, his career has been one elongated peak, scoring hundreds against India and England for fun and becoming Pakistan's most successful one-down in recent memory. More importantly, the tour to India also showcased his potential as a future captain of Pakistan and his energetic and astute leadership has impressed many people. As captain in Inzamam's absence he led the side to a disastrous loss against the West Indies in 2005 but also to a memorable win against India in Karachi in January 2006. Halfway through 2006, and for the first time in many a year, Pakistan have a plan of succession for the leadership. And also a very good one-down.
Younus Khan 
Younus Khan 
Younus Khan 
Younus Khan 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Muhammad Yousuf

Muhammad Yousuf Biography

Mohammad Yousuf (Punjabi, Urdu: محمد یوسف ; formerly Yousuf Youhana, یوسف یوحنا; born 27 August 1974, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan) is a Pakistani right-handed batsman. He is best known in cricket for his achievement in 2006 when he broke the world record for most Test runs in a single calendar year.[1] Prior to his conversion to Islam in 2005, Yousuf was one of only a few Christians to play for the Pakistan cricket team.
Yousuf was effectively banned from playing international cricket for Pakistan, for an indefinite period by the Pakistan Cricket Board on 10 March 2010, following an inquiry into the team’s defeat during the tour of Australia.[2] An official statement was released by the Pakistan Cricket Board, saying that he would not be selected again on the grounds of inciting infighting within the team.[2]
On 29 March 2010, Yousuf announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket,[3] a direct reaction to the indefinite ban handed out to him by PCB. However following Pakistan’s disastrous first Test against England in July/August 2010, PCB decided to ask Yousuf to come out of retirement.
Yousuf was born to a Balmiki family who later converted to Christianity.[5] His father Youhana Maseeh worked at the railway station, the family lived in the nearby Railway Colony. As a boy, he couldn’t afford a bat and so swatted his brother’s taped tennis ball offerings with wooden planks of various dimensions on surfaces masquerading as roads. As a 12-year-old, he was spotted by the Golden Gymkhana, though even then only circumstances dictated his ambitions and never thought of playing cricket, to make a living. He joined Lahore’s Forman Christian College and continued playing until suddenly giving up in early 1994.[6]For a time he tried his luck driving rickshaws in Bahawalpur.[7]
Yousuf, hailing from poor background, was plucked from the obscurity of a tailor’s shop in the slums of the eastern city of Lahore to play a local match in the 1990s. His well-crafted shots attracted attention and he rose through the ranks to become one of Pakistan’s best batsman. He was set to work at a tailor’s when he was pulled back by a local club was short of players. They called him to make up numbers and made a hundred which led to a season in the Bradford Cricket League, with Bowling Old Lane, and a path back into the game.
Until his conversion to Islam in 2005, Yousuf was the fourth Christian (and fifth Non-Muslim overall) to play for the Pakistan cricket team, following in the footsteps of Wallis Mathias, Antao D’Souza and the Anglo-Pakistani Duncan Sharpe.[1] He also has the distinction of being the first and so far only Non-Muslim to captain the country, leading the team in the 2004–05 tour of Australia where he scored a century in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He converted to Islam after attending regular preaching sessions of the Tablighi Jamaat, Pakistan’s largest non-political religious grouping, whose preachers include Yousuf’s former team-mate Saeed Anwar and his brother. His wife Tania converted along with him and adopted the Islamic name Fatima. However the news was kept private for three years due to family reasons, before his announcement of their conversion publicly in September 2005.[9] [10] “I don’t want to give Yousuf my name after what he has done,” his mother was quoted as saying by the Daily Times newspaper. “We came to know about his decision when he offered Friday Prayers at a local mosque. It was a shock,” his mother was reported as saying. However, Yousuf told the BBC that “I cannot tell you what a great feeling it is.”[11] As part of his conversion, Yousuf officially changed his name from Yousuf Youhana to Mohammad Yousuf.
Former Pakistan cricketer and sports commentator Rameez Raja, who himself is Muslim, acknowledged the significance of Yousuf’s new faith, “Religion has played an integral part in his growth not just as a cricketer but as a person.
He made his Test debut against South Africa at Durban and One Day International debut against Zimbabwe at Harare. He has scored over 9,000 One Day International runs at an average above 40 (2nd highest batting average among Pakistani batsmen after Zaheer Abbas) and over 7,000 Test runs at an average above 50 (highest batting average amongst all Pakistani batsmen) with 24 Test centuries. He has the record of scoring the most runs without being dismissed in the One Day International match, with a total of 405 runs against Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe in 2002–2003. He has also scored a 23-ball fifty and a 68-ball hundred in One Day International. In Test match, he has scored a 27-ball fifty, which is 3rd fastest by any player. He was the top scorer during the successive years of 2002 and 2003 in the world in One Day International match. In 2004, he scored 111 runs against the Australians in the Boxing Day Test. In December 2005, he scored 223 runs against England at Lahore, also earning him the man of the match award. Seven months later in July 2006, when Pakistan toured England, he scored 202 runs and 48 in the first Test, again earning himself the man of the match award. He followed up with 192 in the third Test at Headingley and 128 in the final Test at The Oval.
Yousuf was named CNN-IBN’s Cricketer of the Year for 2006, ahead of the likes of Australian captain Ricky Ponting, West Indies Brian Lara, Australian spinner Shane Warne, South Africa’s bowling spearhead Makhaya Ntini and Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan. He was selected as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in the 2007 edition.[13] Yousuf became the fourth recipient of the ICC ‘Test Cricketer of the Year’ award for 2007, he scored 944 runs at an average of 94.40 including seven centuries and two fifties in just 10 innings and that was enough to be awarded the honour ahead of English batsman Kevin Pietersen and Australian batsman Ricky Ponting.[14]
A year that started on a promising note, Yousuf carried it forward to break two world records both held earlier by former West Indian batsman Viv Richards. The 32-year-old, Pakistani batsman achieved an unparalleled 1788 runs in just 10 Test matches with the help of twelve centuries which became his second world record. Yousuf is known for his ability to score runs at exceptional rate through his great technique and composed strokeplay. Although capable of hitting the ball hard, Yousuf is quick between the wickets, although he is prone to being run out.[1]
Yousuf is a skilful infielder, with a report prepared by Cricinfo in late 2005 showing that since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he had effected the ninth highest number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman.[15] He is also distinguished by his characteristic celebration after hitting one hundred runs for his country, where he prostrates in thankfulness to Allah in the direction of Mecca. He has observed this act (known as the Sajdah) since his conversion to Islam.[16][17] In 2007, after initially signing a contract to join the Indian Cricket League, Yousuf later refused due to pressure from the Pakistan Cricket Board as he would later face a ban by the board. In return the PCB promised to get him into the Indian premier league, however, no team bid for him as he faced litigation from the ICL.[18]
In 2008, he once again threatened to join the ICL after the PCB dropped him from their squad. A PCB official was quoted as saying, “We have banned all our cricketers who joined the ICL and if Yousuf also plays for the unauthorised league then he will have to face the same punishment. Yousuf is still our best Test batsman and has a future with the Pakistan team, but not if he joins the ICL.”[19] Yousuf decided to join the ICL again to play mid-way though the second season.[20] The Pakistan Cricket Board reacted to the news by banning him from the national team.[21] Yousaf’s chances to return to Pakistani cricket improved on 2 February 2009 when a Pakistani court suspended the ban on ICL players.[22]
Pakistan Cricket Board recalled batsman Mohammad Yousuf to the squad for their July 2009 Test series in Sri Lanka. Yousuf ended his association with the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL) in early May, in the hope of earning a recall for his country. His decision to join the ICL was made because of differences with former captain Shoaib Malik, who has since been replaced by Younus Khan.[23] In July 2009, on his first match after returning to Test Cricket since 2007, Yousuf scored a century to announce his return to cricket.
Yousuf informed the Pakistan Cricket Board that he would not be taking part in the Champions Trophy 2008 because it would coincide with the holy month of Ramadan.[24]
He along with another former Indian Cricket League player Abdul Razzaq were awarded ‘A’ category mid-term central contracts by Pakistan Cricket Board after they left Indian Cricket League.[25] A little over one year after being welcomed back by the PCB, Yousuf was made captain of the Test team for the tour of New Zealand after Younus Khan was allowed to take a break.[26]
The Pakistan Cricket Board, on 10 March 2010, banned Yousuf and former captain, Younis Khan from playing for the national team indefinitely and imposed one-year bans on Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.[2] Despite receiving the ban Yousuf said that the series against South Africa in late 2010 could be a possibility.[27] Pakistan then toured England in July 2010 and after losing the first test by 354 runs due to a weak batting line-up, the second innings total of 80 being the lowest total by Pakistan against England. Yousuf announced his return to International Cricket and was placed on the squad.[28] He then required a visa which was granted but there was a concern that Yousuf could not come to England in time for that tour.[29]
In January 2012 it was announced that Yousuf was holding talks with Leicestershire over becoming their overseas player for 2012. Talks broke down over Yousuf wanting to take time off for Ramadam.
Muhammad Yousuf 
Muhammad Yousuf 
Muhammad Yousuf
Mohammad Yousuf Bowling
Muhammad Youfuf At His Best

The T20 cricketer is not in sync with national pride - The National

Chris Gayle may finally return to the West Indies side this summer in England. He has not played international cricket since he fell out with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) last year, soon after the World Cup.

No doubt the occasion will be a grand one, the kind reserved for the return of beloved exiles.

But it is not as if cricket has missed him. Since his dispute, you could have caught Gayle doing his thing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April 2011, the Champions League in October, Zimbabwe's T20 tournament in November, Australia's Big Bash in December, the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) in February 2012 and the IPL again.

There have been a couple of domestic assignments thrown in and opportunities missed; he could have snuck in a brief stint in South Africa's T20 tournament in March this year.

He could have been seen playing for Somerset in the Friend's Life T20 in England this summer.

And it is a surprise the Pakistan Cricket Board has not based their entire bid to bring back international cricket squarely on the potential of luring Gayle for a stint in one of their T20 tournaments.

So no, he has not really been missed. Have the West Indies missed him? That is arguable. It is not as if results with him, even as the captain, were better than what they have been this last year.

In fact, without him, the West Indies have become a little bit tougher to beat. It is not much but it is something and it is more than they have had for many years.

Instead, Gayle has come to represent a prototype for a future cricketer in a sport full of franchise-based Twenty20 leagues.

For this cricketer national representation is not necessarily the peak achievement.

Actually Gayle's case, and the dispute with the WICB, has its own history and context. To ascribe an entire oncoming movement to him is not only premature, it might be misplaced.

Tim May, the head of the Federation of International Players' Associations (FICA), was asked last week where he stood on Gayle.

"FICA believes a player has the right to choose where he plays and for whom - the days of "playing for your country" as the only way you could earn a professional living as a cricketer are well and truly behind us.

International cricket needs to realise there is a competitor to their ability to contract players, and to ensure they react appropriately and progressively to these new market forces."

May is an intelligent man fulfilling a necessary role. But this observation is simplistic (and dangerous: it is not as if leaving the world to market forces has been a particularly good idea).

Private franchises are not competing with national boards, not yet anyway.

A national board has an investment in its players over and above what any franchise makes. At some level every player who makes it - and thus puts himself in the shop window for franchises - is there because of the board. They have put in the money to find him, to develop him, to make him what he is.

The moment franchises start locating and grooming talent, they will be a rightful competitor. Right now they are hiring readied talent on short-term deals. If you are being unkind, you might even call that temporary poaching.

May's prescription, in theory, is better. "International cricket bodies need to make international cricket attractive to players.

These measures should include smarter programming of matches, addressing the volume of cricket, offering fair terms and conditions in contracts, meeting their contractual obligations and embracing player input."

In reality, the response of most cricket boards has been to set up their own lucrative Twenty20 league, further clogging up the international calendar. No greater proof of cricket's collective poverty of intellect is necessary.

Should boards work towards resolution, the trickiest obstacle will be the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) which most players require from their boards before playing elsewhere. NOCs can be challenged legally but not necessarily overcome (and each country's judiciary will have its own view): it is not, in principle, so outrageous for an employee to seek permission from his employer before accepting an assignment from another employer, no matter how briefly.

Ultimately the cricketer will have to choose. Many boards will never be able to compete with what franchises pay. That is just economics.

If he chooses a Twenty20 league over a national commitment then he must also be prepared to be dropped and not be considered for national selection.

That must work both ways. Gayle has chosen to come back - for now - which perhaps shows cricket to have lately underestimated the pull of national representation.

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE & Osman Samiuddin @OsmanSamiuddin


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Sunday, 6 May 2012

County cricket – live! | Vic Marks, Andy Wilson and Richard Gibson - The Guardian (blog)

Ryan Sidebottom celebrates Ryan Sidebottom celebrates. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images12.51pm: Good news for England from Old Trafford, writes Andy Wilson. James Anderson has shaken off his injury and illness of the past couple of days to bowl a respectable seven-over spell in which he dismissed Michael Lumb and was unlucky not to send back James Taylor (more details of both below). However Nottinghamshire remain well on top on a grey and cold Manchester day, with a lead of over 200 and plenty of batting to come.

12.47pm: Ian Bell added only 14 runs this morning to his overnight hundred, and even compiling those proved a struggle in helpful bowling conditions, writes Richard Gibson. Twice in one Graham Onions over he edged short of Paul Collingwood at first slip, and he was also rapped on the glove by a lifter before Mitch Claydon did for him with a decent nut from the other end. But some more unorthodox and ultimately entertaining tail-end hitting from Jeetan Patel - whose very name will make Vic wince following Somerset's defeat here - helped secure a 104-run lead for the Division One pacesetters.

12.24pm: Andrew Strauss, with a bit of help from a visiting Aussie, has some runs in the bank, writes Vic Marks. It was tricky at the start. He played and missed; on 5 he edged Allan Richardson to third slip where Michael Klinger failed to cling on. But gradually it became easier; he middled the clips off his legs; there was one exquisite back foot drive through the covers. He seemed to be waiting for the ball to arrive, watching it rather than looking for it. He even pulled a six off Richardson - admittedly to the short side. So here was another England batsman back in the groove.

At the other end Sam Robson has been solid as the Worcestershire bowlers were all too easily blunted. They have an interesting trio: the wonderful journeyman, Richardson, one of Wisden's famous five, David Lucas, an old- fashioned left-arm swinger, and the enigmatic Richard Jones. Watch Jones on a good day and he looks England material - with an easy, high action and the ability to swing the ball at good pace. On a bad day it's 12-0-78-0. Not sure yet which way today is going but at the moment it looks more like the latter.

11.17am: Heavy rain yesterday and overnight has not prevented a prompt start at Edgbaston, where Warwickshire's England batsman Ian Bell has resumed unbeaten on 106, writes Richard Gibson. However, the deluge in the midlands is set to affect one of his international colleagues.

Reports this morning suggest that New Road is two-thirds submerged under water, increasing the likelihood that Kevin Pietersen's first domestic appearance of the season next week will be in Kidderminster rather than Worcester. Worcestershire are expected to make a decision on whether to move their fixture against Surrey today. KP has played in Kiddy before, for Nottinghamshire, but it was not a happy visit as he managed scores of 13 and 0, and was lbw to left-armer Alamgir Sheriyar in both innings.

10.43am: We've already had drama and intrigue at Old Trafford this morning, and play hasn't even started, writes Andy Wilson. James Anderson is here, feeling a bit better and keen to bowl. But at the close of play yesterday the umpires Rob Bailey and Stephen Gale either decided, or were informed, that they'd erred in telling Lancashire that Anderson didn't need to field for a spell in the evening session to allow him to open the bowling today. Chris Kelly, the umpires manager at the England and Wales Cricket Board down at Lord's, was called in to adjudicate. But crucially, these two teams get on pretty well, especially their respective captains Chris Read and Glen Chapple, and directors of cricket/coaches Mick Newell and Peter Moores. As a result they've agreed on a good old British compromise. Anderson won't be allowed to open the bowling, but won't have to field anything like as long as he would under the letter of the law. Mike Watkinson, Moores's predecessor who is now Lancashire's cricket director, guesses it will be around 15 minutes.

Everybody's being very magnanimous but there is an outside chance even that delay before Anderson's introduction could prove crucial. Notts will resume their second innings on 122 for two, with a lead of 145, and their bowling hero Andre Adams suggested last night that a target of anything over 200 would prove very tricky for Lancashire on an "up and down, two-paced" pitch. For the sake of Lancashire's sanity, it is to be hoped they don't end up losing by the odd run.

Plenty of other action today. As well as the three Division One games we're covering, there are another four in Division Two. Yorkshire are well on course for a first win of the season against Leicestershire at Scarborough. The Northants bowlers will be keen to have another crack at Hampshire, who are due to resume on 42 for three, and likewise the Essex attack against struggling Glamorgan in Cardiff. But we'll be keeping an especially close eye on developments at Derby, where the mighty Peakites are well-placed to press for a third win in four matches against Gloucestershire, who are due to resume on 172 for nine and still need another 67 to avoid the follow-on after Tony Palladino continued his impressive start to the season with five for 47.

10.41am: It's slightly less grey, slightly less damp and just as cold at Lord's and play will start – on time, reports Vic Marks. Worcestershire have won the toss and will field. So the latest saga, which has Andrew Strauss in pursuit of runs is about to resume. If the last two matches at Lord's are any guide three clear days should be enough to get a result.

As Strauss straps on his pads the roller goes up and down the Test pitch. Hang on a minute I've just seen a shadow …

9.55am: Welcome to the county cricket live blog for the latest round of Championship action. Our writers will be here with all the day's play shortly. Andy Wilson is back for day three at Old Trafford for Lancashire v Nottinghamshire, Richard Gibson is in Birmingham for the third day of Warwickshire v Durham, and Vic Marks will be at Lord's for the second day of Middlesex v Worcestershire.

You can find full fixture lists for the season here and county-by-county previews here. You can follow the action throughout the season here. Watch video highlights here.

There's also county cricket commentaries on BBC local radio here.


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