McCullum to retire from international cricket?

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum may reportedly retire from international cricket if there is any relapse of his crippling back problem during or after the first Test against the West Indies in Dunedin.

McCullum was named as the captain of his side to face West Indies in the December 3 Test, but there are still doubts about his fitness with sources claiming that the skipper is very worried about his international future.

According to, a source said that McCullum described his back injury as “very serious” and is considering retirement from international cricket as a serious option if there is any relapse of the problem during or after the Dunedin Test.

India beats Poland 3-1 to clinch FIH World Hockey League Round 2

Putting up a dominating show, India scored in three of the four quarters to outplay Poland 3-1 in the final and clinch the FIH World Hockey League Round 2 at Major Dhyan Chan stadium, here today.

Vandana Kataria (15th minute) had put India ahead by scoring a field goal in the dying minute of the opening quarter.

The Polish girls struck back immediately at the start of the second period as Oriana Walasek struck level in the 17th minute by converting a penalty corner. The third period remained goalless for long before Rani put the hosts ahead again with her field goal in the 44th minute.

India skipper Ritu Rani then celebrated her 200th International appearance by finding the net in the 59th minute to seal the title for her side.

Meanwhile in the placings matches, Malaysia overpowered Thailand 3-0 to seal third place, Russia thrashed Kazakhstan
9-0 to secure fifth spot and Ghana outwitted Singapore 2-1 to avoid the wooden spoon.

India thrash Singapore 10-0, enter semis of Women’s Hockey World League

Vandana Katariya scored four goals, including a hat-trick as India continued its impressive run and spanked lowly Singapore 10-0 to storm into the semifinal of the Hero FIH Women’s World League Round 2 at New Delhi on Thursday.

Vandana (17th minute, 48th, 56th, 57th) scored four field goals, while Poonam Rani (4th), Navjot Kaur (6th), Anupa Barla (19th), Deepika (32nd), Rani Rampal (35th) and Jaspreet Kaur (51st) also registered their names in the scoresheet to steamroll the hapless Singapore girls in the one-sided quarterfinal encounter at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

In other quarterfinals of the day, Malaysia defeated Ghana 2-0, Thailand got the better of Kazakhstan 4-3 in a thrilling encounter, while Poland thrashed Russia 4-2.

In the first quarter final of the day, Malaysia scored two goals through a penalty corner conversion by Norazlin Sumantri (3rd minute) and Hanis Onn (25th) to progress to the last four round.

Later in the day, the Thai girls put up a spirited show to eke out a narrow win over Kazakhstan.

For Thailand, Boonta Duangurai (10th), Kanyanut Nakpolkrung (21st), Tikhamporn Sakunpithak (41st) and Sirikwan Wongkeaw (47th) were the goal scorers while Kazakhstan’s goals came from the sticks of Natalya Sazontova (22nd), Vera Domashneva (26th) and Irina Dobrioglo (50th).

In the third last eight match between Poland and Russia, the Polish girls raced to a 4-0 lead through goals from Oriana Walasek (6th), Natalia Wisniewska (27th), Marlena Rybacha (40th) and Magdalena Zagajska (49th) before Russia pulled two back from the sticks of Marina Fedorova (55th) and Kristina Shumilina (59th).


While India will face Thailand in the first semifinal on Saturdaty, Poland will be up against Malaysia in the other last four round match.

World Cup, New Zealand vs Bangladesh Live: Mahmudullah ton powers Bangladesh to 288

Mahmudullah remains not out on 128 off 123 balls. Fantastic innings from him. Back-toback centuries for him and Bangladesh have posted a competitive total on the board. Boult bowled a brilliant spell forst up and scalped to early wickets. But then Sarkar and Mahmudullah got together, saw off the tough period and added 90 runs for the third wicket. Mahmudullah took over the reins after Sarkar’s departure and played a terrific innings. Sabbir provided hm good support at the death and played a cameo of 40 off 23 balls. They added 78 off 8 overs as Bangladesh posted 278.

Sangakkara: No U-turn on retirement

Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara has confirmed that he will not reconsider his decision to retire from ODIs following the conclusion of the ongoing World Cup.

On Wednesday Sangakkara became the first player to score four consecutive ODI centuries and record 500 ODI dismissals, but despite this he believes he is making the right decision.

With Sangakkara having scored 105 not out against Bangladesh, 117 not out against England, 104 against Australia and 124 against Scotland, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews revealed that he had been “on my knees begging” Sangakkara to carry on playing ODIs after the World Cup.

However, Sangakkara is adamant about retiring from ODIs after the tournament.

“Records do matter, I think. I would love to say records never enter my mind, but they do,” Sangakkara told the BBC’s Test Match Special. “There are certain things that you chase – you try to keep those goals. They are not the only things you chase, but as long as you do the right things those things will fall into place and come along.

“Retirement is not about form, it is about time and place and whether it feels right. It is never about whether you can play or not.”

Sangakkara, who made his ODI debut in July 2000, also admitted that time was starting to catch up with him.

“I’ve been batting and keeping for a long time, it’s getting harder and the joints are creaking and aching, but I consider myself lucky to be part of a great team,” he said.

World Cup LIVE score: Ireland all out 259; pacers strike after Dhoni plays Ravichandran offspin card

A fascinating tale of Irish pluck versus Ravichandran ‘offspin’ Ashwin played out at Seddon Park on Tuesday in the clash between an Associate team and defending champs India.

Ireland were bowled out for 259 in 49 overs, having looked good for more.

They took the fight to India before faltering against spin, but at no point did the ‘Best Team in Europe’ (as spotted on a cheeky poster in the stands) take the foot off the scoring pedal.

After a rousing start, Ireland struggled when Indian skipper MS Dhoni introduced spin. Dhoni was in his element, shouting instructions in Hindi as he spun the spin web through Ashwin and Suresh Raina around the Irish.

Ireland reached a respectable 212/5 at the end of the 40th over, giving themselves a solid platform for a final flourish.

The Irish, however, lost their enforcer Kevin O’Brien for 1 in the 40th over. Kevin — holder of the fastest World Cup century record (off 50 balls against England in 2011) —edged Mohammed Shami to Dhoni behind the stumps.

Kevin’s brother Niall O’Brien did not slow down. He punished India with assured hits all around the ground and raced past his half-century before falling for a run-a-ball 75.

Dhoni turned to spin after pacers went for plenty initially.

Ashwin gave the defending champions the breakthrough with the last ball of the 15th over, getting opener Paul Stirling to hole out to Ajinkya Rahane at long-off after scoring an enterprising 42 off 41 balls.

India had their second wicket in the 18th over when Suresh Raina bowled Ed Joyce for 2.

Irish skipper William Porterfield held strong for 67 before a leading edge to Mohit Sharma in the 32nd over was pouched by Umesh Yadav at mid-off.

Stirling fell with the Irish score on 89 and Joyce was back in the hut at 92, giving India the breathing space. India got their third wicket in Porterfield with the Irish score at 145.

Andy Balbirnie was the next to go with the Irish score at 206. Kevin fell two runs later and Gary Wilson went with the total at 222. Niall fell at 226 and Virat Kohli ran out Stuart Thompson a run later.

Yadav had George Dockrell caught by Dhoni for 6, with the Irish total on 238. Alex Cusack was the last to fall after scoring 11.

Ireland lost momentum after losing too many wickets too quickly. Indian pacers returned to chip away after the spinners had done the job. Shami claimed the wickets of the O’Brien brothers.

Earlier, Porterfield won the toss and chose to bat. He and Stirling got off to a brisk start, taking on Indian fast bowlers Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Sharma with intent.

Ireland, fighting for a knockout berth, brought up their 50 in the 8th over, throwing all pre-match talk of a possible mismatch out of the equation.

Boundaries flowed from Porterfield and Stirling, who went neck and neck. At the end of the 8th over, both had three boundaries and a six.

Porterfield hooked Yadav for a big six over square leg in the 3rd over and followed it up with a classy drive down the ground for four the next ball.

Not to be outdone, Stirling took on Shami in similar style in the 4th over, sending the fourth ball of the over soaring over forward square leg boundary for a six.

The run fest ended with the introduction of spin. Ireland went past 100 in the 22nd over and brought up the 150 in the 33rd.

India went into the match with an unchanged side, deciding not to test their bench strength.

ICC World Cup 2015: Shami Ahmed credits Shoaib Akhtar For helping him

Crediting Shoaib Akhtar for bringing back rhythm in his bowling, India pacer Mohammad Shami has said the former Pakistan speedster’s advise to shorten the run-up helped him increase his pace.

“The recent change in the run-up has surely increased my pace. So I am continuing with it and hoping that it pays dividends. I did have a chat with Shoaib (Akhtar) bhai and he suggested that I should reduce my big strides. So, I shortened my stride and it has worked. It (the new run-up) is smooth and comfortable and it has also increased my pace,” Shami said in a post-match chat on Star Sports.

Shami, who returned to action against the West Indies after missing a game with a niggle, bagged three wickets at the Waca to help Pool B toppers India register their fourth straight win and book a quarter-final berth.

With the Men in Blue now in New Zealand for their final two games of the league, Shami is keen to carry on the good work without making any more changes to his action.

“I don’t want to change much in my action. And most of the ex-players have advised me against making any major changes to my action. It is always a double edged sword, to change one’s action. It can work for you or go against you. I don’t want go through this confusion and I am satisfied with the little change that I have made to my run-up,” said the Bengal medium-pacer.

“I am very happy with how things have panned out and will just focus on my line and length and would like to continue my good work,” he added.

Shami — India’s leading wicket taker in the World Cup so far with nine scalps in three games — said that after playing on different pitches around the world, he loved the Perth experience.

“I have enjoyed bowling in Perth because I was getting the bounce and carry. Wherever I have gone, I have found flat wickets. I had heard a lot about Australian wickets, but did not see them in the Test matches but now I see that in Perth,” said the 24-year-old bowler.

Saina Nehwal’s All England loss dashes a billion Indian dreams

Olympic bronze medallist Saina, who has been competing at the All England since 2007, had never lost to the Spaniard and looked on course for an encore before the World No. 6 scripted a remarkable comeback in the second game to bury the Indian’s hopes. Saina threw away a 6-1 cushion in the second game before the Spainard pressed the throttle.

After suffering heartbreaks at the semis of the All England in 2010 and 2013, a billion hopes were riding on the 24-year-old Indian as she geared up for the finals. Although Saina played down expectations before her final but interest was such that former Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar wished her luck on Twitter.

But for the Hyderabadi it was yet another case of so near yet so far for. But what forced the crowd’s favourite throw the towel so easily? Was it the burden of great expectations or simply, because she failed to fathom her opponent?

“I just lost focus and began hurrying, which was not right,” Saina said after the match. “Playing against top players anything can happen at any stage, and you can always get nervous at some point in time. That’s what happened here.”

For Saina, who defeated two top Chinese opponents, Wang Yihan and Sun Yu, on her way to the final, being nervous against Carolina was not expected as she has never lost to the Spaniard in her three previous meetings. Her latest victory came in the finals of the Syed Modi International championship at Lucknow in January early this year.


World Cup, Pakistan vs UAE: Shehzad, Sohail, Misbah fifties propel Pak to 339

Shehzad, Sohail, Misbah fifties propel Pak to 339, A very good batting effort from Pakistan and this is their second highest total in World Cups. Pakistan scored 71/2 in the last five overs. Misbah and Umar at first went berserk and then Shahid Afridi blasted 21 off 7 with two sixes and one four. Wahab joined the party with one six. Pakistan hit 20 runs in the last over. In the last 10 overs, Pakistan scored 124 runs. This was a much-needed confidence booster for them!