Posts Tagged ‘amjad khan’

Afghanistan’s remarkable story will attract most neutral supporters, but the talent of the likes of Hamid Hassan and Mohammad Nabi would command attention regardless of the surrounding circumstances. The step up to this level may cause problems for some of the less experienced members of the squad, but there is sufficient quality in the side to give some of the more established sides something to worry about.

Bermuda Dwayne Leverock, but the side also includes David Hemp (who has captained Glamorgan and toured with England A in the mid-nineties) and young Chris Douglas, who made two half-centuries in three days back in August (69 against Canada and an impressive 53 against the West Indies). Bermuda qualified for the finals last time around when there were five spots available, but they may struggle to claim one of the four places available for 2011.

Denmark will be missing the best-known Danish cricketer in Amjad Khan, now of Kent and England, but have a number of experienced players in their squad (eight of whom played in the last ICC Trophy). Captain Freddie Klokker, a former MCC Young Cricketer, has county experience with Derbyshire and Warwickshire, and carries extra responsibility as both wicketkeeper and opening batsman.

Kenya haven’t had to qualify for a World Cup since the 1999 competition, having made it as far as the World Cup Semi-Final in the period since. Whilst the current side is extremely unlikely to reach those dizzy heights again, Steve Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo are both capable of matchwinning performances. Both are likely to have their fitness severely tested with a potential four games in a single week once the Super Eight stage gets underway.

The Netherlands are often considered to be heavily reliant on their star man Ryan ten Doeschate, so their fans would have been thrilled when Dirk Nannes was included in their squad for this competition, and correspondingly disappointed when he signed for the Dehli Daredevils in the IPL, thus missing the qualifiers. The experienced Edgar Schiferli was the joint-leading wicket-taker in the 2005 ICC Trophy, though, and he can still pose a threat with his medium-fast seam bowling, whilst the batting line-up looks strong.

The UAE were the unlucky team in 2005, just missing out on qualification for the 2007 finals, and fortune also seems to have been unkind to their preparation for this tournament – the side had to cancel a trip to Sri Lanka following events in Lahore. Perhaps more worryingly, captain Khurram Khan was apparently so annoyed at the choice of the squad he is leading that he went as far as writing a newspaper article criticising the selection process (a criticism he later retracted) . Despite this, it would be a surprise if the UAE didn’t make the Super Eight stage at least.

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Matt Prior has flown home to be with his wife after she gave birth to his son on Monday. All well and good, but lurking at the bottom of the Cricinfo report of this occurence, in a discussion of Tim Ambrose (Prior’s replacement as wicketkeeper) are four words that will strike terror into the hearts of England fans everywhere:

“[Ambrose] is likely to be joined in the middle-order by Ravi Bopara, who scored an attractive century in England’s warm-up in Barbados, or a recalled Ian Bell.”

I’d rather have Amjad Khan batting at three than let Bell back in after one mediocre performance in a tour match against the bowling of Barrington Bjorn Beckenbauer Yearwood. If Bell comes back in, it will arguably be more of a testament to the lack of quality available to England on their current tour than to any resurgence in his own lacklustre form.

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Andrew Flintoff is out of the Fourth Test against the West Indies, which could precipitate a considerable restructure in England’s middle order as they attempt to fight their way back into the series.

With Graeme Swann also a doubt through injury, England have already flown out cover in the form of Amjad Khan and Ravi Bopara. The two arrived this week from New Zealand, where they were touring with the England Lions. Adil Rashid, of course, is also out in the Caribbean, but his inexperience is likely to mitigate against his selection even if Swann joins Flintoff on the sidelines.

Whatever decision is made about the make-up of the side, Flintoff’s sheer presence and ‘heart‘ will be greatly missed by the tourists. There is certainly no ready-made replacement available to England in terms of his bowling, and even if there were, there is no-one in English cricket with the talismanic properties that Freddie occasionally displays.

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Amjad Khan called up

Amjad Khan has been included England’s squad for the still-not-quite-confirmed Tests against India. The young Kent quick was included in the squad for the two postponed ODIs last month as cover, and the call-up to the Test side marks a remarkable couple of years for the Copenhagen-born paceman. He missed the entire 2007 season following surgery on his cruciate ligament, and his impressive form following his comeback has obviously impressed the England selectors.

As well as Khan, star of the future Adil Rashid has been promoted from the
Performance Squad to join the full side in order ‘to gain experience’, although it’s very unlikely that he’ll play any part in the Tests themselves.

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