* England’s cricketers apologised Wednesday after some team members were seen urinating on the field at The Oval as they celebrated the Ashes series victory over Australia. The fifth and final Ashes test at The Oval in south London was drawn on Sunday,giving England a 3-0 series win and sparking late-night celebrations. As England players drank beer,Australian journalists in the ground reported seeing some of them urinating on the field. “The England cricket team would like to state that during our celebrations after winning the Ashes at no time was there any intention to disrespect Surrey CCC (County Cricket Club),The Oval or anyone else involved in the game we love,” the team said in a statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board. “We got carried away amongst the euphoria of winning such a prestigious series and accept that some of our behavior was inappropriate,” the statement said. “If that has caused any offense to anyone we apologize for that and want to reassure people that it was a simple error of judgment more than anything else.”
Suspense over Umar illness
* Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal has arrived in Karachi accompanied by a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) doctor to have another check up with a leading neurologist,even as mystery continued regarding the intensity of his illness that forced him out of the Caribbean Premier League and the tour to Zimbabwe. “Umar has got an appointment with the neurologist on Wednesday and is accompanied by Dr Sohail Saleem,” a source in the board said. “We are hopeful that once this check up is completed,a clear picture will emerge about Umar’s medical condition as he has already undergone MRI scans and was examined by a Lahore based neurologist,” the source added. The youngest of the Akmal brothers was called back by the PCB from the West Indies after reports emerged that he had fallen unconscious on a flight from Trinidad to Antigua due to a seizure
attack,which is normally associated with epilepsy.
Gambhirs struggles continue
* India discard Gautam Gambhirs woeful county stint continued after he failed for the fourth time while turning up for Essex,this time in a first-class match against Gloucestershire in Bristol on Wednesday. Gambhirs sequence of scores in the four matches for Essex (two first-class and two List A) read a horrible 31,21,2 and 0. He has not even come close to scoring a 50 for his county side who replaced him in place of Hamish Rutherford. Gambhir who is struggling against the seamers was out without scoring after facing eight deliveries as right-arm seamer William Gidman castled him in the fifth over of the day.
Watson to play for RR
* Cricket Australia is expected to release Shane Watson to his Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals for next months $ 6 million Champions League Twenty20,a development which could add to the headache of Board officials in the home Ashes preparation. According to rules,players who have qualified for an IPL side and another team will have to choose the former in the Champions League T20 to be held in India next month. Watson and Mitchell Johnson played for Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians respectively in the IPL besides being members of Big Bash team Brisbane Heat which has also qualified for the Champions Trophy. Brisbane Heat will receive USD 300,000 in compensation for this,a report in Sydney Morning Herald said.
UPCA vs TNCA Prez XI
* Uttar Pradesh play against TNCA President XI in the three-day final of the Buchi Babu cricket tournament beginning in Chennai on Friday. TNCA President XI beat off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin-led TNCA XI by 105 runs in the first semifinal while Uttar Pradesh defeated Kerala by four wickets in the other last-four match. In reply to TNCA President XIs total of 365 all out,TNCA XI,who started the days proceeding at their overnight score of seven without loss,were shot out for 260 in 85.3 overs. TNCA XIs middle-order batsman V Maaruthi Ragav came up with an unbeaten 124 (207b,11X4,2X6) and added 116 runs in 36.3 overs for the fifth wicket with M Kaushik Gandhi (48),while Ashwin chipped in with a useful 34 but their efforts went in vain. For TNCA President XI,off-spinner Malolan Rangarajan (3/102),medium pacer M Mohammed (3/30) and Sharukh Khan (3/23) chipped in three wickets apiece.
Rugby stint for Arthur?
* Sacked Australia cricket coach Mickey Arthur is in talks to join Perth-based Super 15 rugby franchise Western Force,a report said on Wednesday. The South African,who was axed two weeks before the Ashes series against England in June,has made clear he wants to remain in Perth,where he lives,and the Sydney Morning Herald said a switch to rugby was on the cards. It said he was in discussions with Force chief executive Mark Sinderberry about stepping into a role centred around talent development and recruitment at the club with a deal possible as early as next week. Earlier this month,Arthur said he was looking for another job and hinted it did not necessarily have to be associated with cricket. There are a couple of options out there. Ive had a couple of discussions. Ill see how that unfolds over the next few weeks, he told Perth radio. Im just hoping that one of the discussions I had last week comes to fruition because if it does,it will be quite exciting for me. The one thing my family said to me when all this happened was Just understand,were not leaving Perth. We love Perth. We love WA (Western Australia).