Pakistan squad for Australia Tests in UAE

Pakistan’s opening batsman - Taufeeq Umar has made a comeback to the Test squad after included to the two-tests match series against Australia in the UAE.

Both teams to play two Tests starting between October 22 and November 3, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively.

Test Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Ehsan Adil, Ahmed Shehzad, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Talha, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Yasir Shah, Younis Khan, Shan Masood, Taufeeq Umar, Zulfiqar Babar

Big Bash League: Andrew Flintoff set to sign Brisbane Heat

The former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is close to signing a deal to play in the Australian Twenty20 Big Bash tournament with Brisbane Heat - starting on December 18, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Flintoff, 36, retired from international cricket in 2009 and recently made a surprise return in professional cricket for his former club Lancashire and featured in the T20 Blast Final earlier this year.

The report claims that Brisbane Heat head coach Stuart Law has confirmed that he has been in discussions with Andrew Flintoff about him playing in BBL.

"We've had discussions with Freddie and if things go well, hopefully we will be able to confirm next week that he will play some part in the Big Bash for us," Law told the Manchester Evening News.

"I have spoken to Fred and made it clear that this is not a holiday, but he told me cricket is number one for him, and that it is not about collecting cash, it's about winning trophies."

If the deal materialise, Flintoff will join the controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen, who signed up with the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League.

Forbes: Mahendra Singh Dhoni world's 5th most valuable athlete

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been ranked fifth in Forbes’ world’s most valuable sports athlete brands list.

Forbes quotes that the 33-year-old wicket-keeper batsman has a brand value of $20m in 2014.

He is the only Indian sports athlete to feature on Forbes' list of the world's most valuable athlete brands.
12 October, 2014

Kevin Pietersen's greatest international innings

Those England fans who retained faint hopes that Kevin Pietersen may one day return to international cricket will have been saddened by the revelations from his Autobiography. In the book, he criticises coaches and former team mates in such a manner that his England career must surely be at an end.

From a cricketing point of view it’s all very sad particularly when you remember those times when KP just let his bat do the talking. Here are five of his best batting contributions while wearing an England shirt.

1) 158 against Australia at the Oval 2005

England are the outsiders with Betfair to regain the Ashes when they meet Australia in 2015. KP won’t be there and it’s incredible to think that he first entered the test arena ten years ago to play a full part in one of the most dramatic series ever.

After registering two half centuries in his first game at Lord’s, Pietersen’s 158 at the Oval included seven blistering sixes with paceman Brett Lee and the legendary Shane Warne coming in for some harsh treatment. His brilliant innings saved the test and England won the Urn for the first time in 18 long years.

2) 144 against India in Mohali 2008

It’s perceived that Pietersen has a weakness against spin and while it may be true that he has had some issues with the left arm slow men, some of his greatest efforts have been produced in the most difficult of sub-continental conditions.

In this test, his last as England captain, KP scored more than the rest of his team mates combined in a knock which took up 201 balls and ensured that the tourists had the platform to fight back and secure a battling draw in the second innings.

3) 227 against Australia at Adelaide 2010

England fans will fondly recall Pietersen’s best efforts against the Aussies but none will surpass this effort which will forever remain as the player’s highest ever test score. KP dominated a huge partnership with Alastair Cook and it was somewhat out of character – taking over seven hours to compile.

By KP’s standards it may have been slow but it was certainly another brilliant effort and it inspired England to a large first innings total in a game that they would eventually win before taking the 2010-11 Ashes by a 3-1 margin.

4) 149 against South Africa at Headingley 2012

Regrettably, many remember Kevin Pietersen’s appearance in the Leeds test of 2012 for the press conference that came afterwards. The player threatened to bring down the curtain on a brilliant career and his words led directly to a fall out with Captain Andrew Strauss and a downward spiral that ended with his sacking by the ECB.

Before all that, KP had dismantled the best pace attack in the world, making 149 while his team mates couldn’t come to terms with Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel at their peak. Pietersen also returned test best bowling figures of 3-52 to claim the Man of the Match award in one of his greatest all round performances.

5) 151 v Sri Lanka at Colombo 2012

Many of KP’s great knocks came as acts of defiance at times when opposition bowlers were dominating the rest of the side. When England came to Colombo in 2012 they had lost four tests in succession but an outstanding 151 at a limited overs pace thwarted the Sri Lankan spinners and set up an unlikely victory.

Sadly, it was one of the last times that Pietersen really contributed on the world stage. Have we really seem the last of this genius as far as international cricket is concerned or could there possibly be a way back into the set up?
07 October, 2014

CLT20 Final: Twitter reacts as Chennai Super Kings triumph

The middle-order batsman Suresh Raina scored an unbeaten 109 in just 62 balls in the Champions League T20 (CLT20) finals against the reigning IPL Champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Raina, 27, came into bat when Chennai Super Kings were trailing at 9 runs but with his outstanding performance powered Chennai to an eight-wicket win.

The victory brings CSK their second CLT20 title.

Here are the best twitter reactions:

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