VAUGHAN BACKS PONTING RETIREMENT

Former captain of the England Cricket Team Michael Vaughan believes that former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting did the right thing by retiring from One Day International cricket, having been dropped from the Australian side for the Commonwealth Bank tri-series against India and Sri Lanka.

Ponting was a part of the Australian side for the first few One Day Internationals of the series and even captained the side in the absence of regular captain Michael Clarke in a match against Sri Lanka, but poor form with the bat for a prolonged period led the selection committee of Cricket Australia to omit him from the side for the rest of the series.

And Vaughan has come out in support of his former foe, saying that this decision by Ponting will do him and his side a lot of good.

Michael Vaughan also went on to add that he had known Ponting for quite some time now and knew that he always played with an element of pride at being able to represent The Baggie Greens and being unceremoniously dropped from the side would harm his pride a lot, prompting him to take the decision to retire.

He also drew comparisons with his own retirement when he had to retire from the game under similar circumstances, struggling with form and fitness. Vaughan reiterated that Ponting had only retired from the One Day International circuit and still had Test cricket to play in, where he excelled more than anyone. The latest cricket betting online reckons that Ponting will continue to play test creicket at the highest level until at least the end of next season.

This gives the former Australian captain plenty of opportunity to go out of the game with his head held high.

Vaughan also stated that although it was a tough decision to take for the Cricket Australia, the severe lack of form of Ricky Ponting made the decision much easier than they anticipated.

KING OF THE COVER DRIVE

Michael Vaughan was one of England’s most elegant batsman, who in his prime was capable of taking apart any attack on his day.

Not only was he one of England’s great batsmen, he also has the honour of being England’s most successful captain of all time. His shrewd captaincy during the Ashes in 2005 was vital to allow England to left the urn for the first time in almost 2 decades.

Despite the joy Vaughan will have felt following his Ashes triumph, his most impressive performance as a batsman alone has to be his stunning tour of Australia in the 2002/03 series.

It was a disappointing series for England as a team, as they were once again comprehensively beaten by the Australian team, but for Vaughan it must have been hugely rewarding to be able to bat so freely and score such huge amount of runs against one of the best attacks in the game in foreign conditions.

It was a run of form that had Vaughan ranked as one of the top batsmen on the planet, and it was not only the sheer volume of runs he scored, but the way in which he scored them so effortlessly for England. Vaughan’s cover drive truly was a sight to behold, and it was this kind of stroke making which drew many comparisons to the similarly elegant David Gower.

At the time, anyone making a bet on cricket would have been tempted to back Vaughan to hit 100.

Like many of his predecessors as captain, Vaughan made the quick transition into the broadcasting side of the game in the aftermath of his playing career.

He has so far shown that the intricacies within the game he observed to give him an edge as a captain can be used to help enliven the viewing experience for viewers.

VAUGHAN PRAISES UL-HAQ

Former England captain Michael Vaughan praised the leadership skills of Misbah-ul-Haq after Pakistan’s resounding series whitewash over England.

Vaughan, who led England to an unforgettable 2005 Ashes triumph against Australia, tweeted “Congrats to Pakistan on a series whitewash..A very good team performance.. Excellent Captaincy from Misbah,” after the 3-0 demolition in the UAE.

Misbah has been widely credited for spearheading Pakistan’s resurgence, as after a tumultuous year – in which three of their players were jailed for their role in a spot-fixing scandal that rocked the sporting world – the team responded on the pitch with a professional dismantling of the world’s number one Test team.

With an average of 36 in the series Misbah’s contribution appears unspectacular – certainly when compared to the destructive wicket-taking exploits of Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman – but the calm and composed 37 year-old managed to mould a successful unit out of a team notorious for its volatility and inconsistency.

Meanwhile, Vaughan also expressed his enjoyment at the balance between bat and ball throughout the series, as the DRS system triggered an unprecedented spate of LBWs and dramatic batting collapses.

“Enjoyed the cricket… Fascinating when Bowl dominates Bat.. . England will bounce back I am sure…Still No1,” he tweeted.

Also, despite presiding over arguably the most memorable series victory in English cricket history, Vaughan’s side never matched the feat of Andrew Strauss’ current charges in scaling the heights of the ICC World Test Rankings.
His faith in the ability of Strauss’ side to recover will be put to the test in Sri Lanka next month, though before then Alistair Cook will take charge for four One Day Internationals in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Stuart Broad will then lead England in two Twenty20 fixtures in Dubai to complete England’s ill-fated trip to the UAE.

VAUGHAN CRITICIZES SPOT-FIXERS

The Indian cricket team has come under fire from various sections following their spineless performance Down Under.

They have lost three of the 4 test matches, with one left. Two of these matches were lost by an innings and some runs. This is surprising, as this is the same team which smashed the Australian side to smithereens in a series back at home.

One of the most scathing criticisms has come from Michael Vaughan, commentator and ex-England captain. He said in a tweet that before the beginning of the Indian Premier League, or IPL as it is better known, there was a team that went to Australia and beat them.

This team was under Sourav Ganguly, statistically India’s second most successful captain. This begs the question, “Is Mahendra Singh Dhoni incompetent, or has the IPL ruined the quality of cricket?”

Michael Vaughan also said that getting beaten isn’t a problem; every team has faced it at some point. But the manner in which the Indian team lost their marbles was pathetic. They put up no semblance of wanting to mount a fightback when they were down.

The ex-England captain has also recently been very vocal about spot-fixing cases that have been brought against a number of young players, mostly from Pakistan. A youngster named Mervyn Westfield has been arrested on charges of spot fixing in county cricket. This is a clear message to all other youngsters out there that if they try something similar, they will be prosecuted and sentenced to prison.

Michael Vaughan believes that spot-fixing has been going on for quite some time now, but following the prosecution of the youngster, it will be on the back burner for some time. Some current players might have been running a cold sweat following the news. We just wish no more youngsters’ careers are wasted.

VAUGHAN PREDICTS TOUGH TIMES

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said that the England team faces tough challenges ahead and if they do not get their act together it will be difficult for them to remain at the top of the ICC Rankings as the best Test team in the world.

The Three Lions will travel to the United Arab Emirates to play Pakistan who are hungry for success against a strong nation after having an extremely mediocre decade. Vaughan says that the team might not remain at the top of the standings come the end of the year when they travel to India, who will be keen to avenge the 4-0 whitewash suffered in England.

England reached the summit of Test cricket for the first time since the ranking system was introduced after trouncing the newly crowned World Champions at home but Michael Vaughan believes that the Indian tour at the end of 2012 will determine who will lead the standings going into 2013.

The former opening batsman for England says that the Indians are extremely strong in their own backyard and the spinning Indian wickets have always posed troubles for English batsmen who failed to come to terms with the turn of the wickets. Vaughan also warned the fans that they shouldn’t expect the team to be playing the best cricket throughout the year – a slump is bound to come and they need to be realistic about it.

No one ever thought that the mighty Aussies could be displaced from the top but they have fallen from grace and England beat all the best cricket online betting odds to get there. Now they must improve certain aspects of their game to ensure they stay there.

Vaughan knows all too well that nothing can be taken for granted having been thrashed 5-0 in Australia after winning the series against them in 2005 and his warning comes as a timely reminder that Strauss and his men cannot take anything for granted.

Vaughan: Pakistan a real threat

England cannot afford to under-estimate Pakistan when the two sides meet in the United Arab Emirates next month, according to Michael Vaughan.

The former England captain believes that Pakistan are “a potential threat” to the world’s number one Test side, and pointed to their bowling attack as the main reason for this.

He claimed the side have a “rock-solid” bowling line-up and this means that Pakistan are more than capable of catching England cold in the first Test.

Anyone following the best England cricket odds should bear this in mind.

Vaughan also pointed out that England can lose their discipline if things are not going their way, as happened when they toured India in October.

“They (England) are No. 1 Test team but must acknowledge there are areas of their game they need to improve, starting with playing in the subcontinent,” he said.

Vaughan also warned the side against unrealistic expectations, claiming that they face a tough task in holding on to their number one status in 2012 as they are likely to face some “tough challenges” in the year ahead.

The series against Pakistan, which starts on January 17th and will be played in neutral venues because of the political situation in Pakistan, will be followed by a tour of Sri Lanka which takes place in March and April.

During the English summer, the side will play Test series against the West Indies and South Africa.

VAUGHAN UNIMPRESSED

Michael Vaughan was distinctly unimpressed by England’s performances at the World Cup, as he took a look back at England’s season as a whole.

Whilst England are the current top-ranked Test team in the World, their One-Day and Twenty20 rankings have spectacularly fallen from grace. In the One-Day World Cup they fell out of the competition before it had even got properly started!

“I never expected England to win the World Cup, because playing in the subcontinent is so tough and England have been inconsistent in one-day cricket for 20 years. But losing to Ireland and Bangladesh must have sent shockwaves through the management” said Vaughan.

“They got knocked out in the quarter-finals and that is probably about par for where England are in one-day cricket. They need to become smarter and cleverer in terms of the way they bowl and the way they bat.”

VAUGHAN CRITICISES PETERSON

Michael Vaughan criticised Kevin Peterson for his controversial twitter comments. Pietersen reacted angrily to the decision to drop him from the forthcoming Twenty20 and one-day internationals against Pakistan and posted an expletive before quickly deleting the entry.

“What he did on his Twitter account was totally wrong,” Michael Vaughan said. “I think that’s something Kevin will regret for a long time.” Pietersen will now play for Surrey – starting today against Worcestershire at The Brit Insurance Oval in the CB40 – for the last few weeks of the season in a bid to regain some form ahead of this winter’s Ashes series in Australia.

VAUGHAN BLAMES ICC

Michael Vaughan has blamed ICC for not keeping cricket clean. London based bookie Mazhar Majeed was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers over an alleged betting scam involving several cricketers from the Pakistan team but was later released on bail.

British tabloid The News of the World claimed that it paid Majeed for advance details of when three no balls would be played in the fourth and final Test between England and Pakistan, which the former won by an innings and 225 runs to win the series 3-1.

“There is a problem, a big problem. I’ve had a few conversations with a few players in the England team and they just feel completely flat,” Michael Vaughan said.

Maybe some reebok coupons would cheer them up? 🙂

VAUGHAN: MATCH-FIXING NOT WIDE-SPREAD

Former England captain Michael Vaughan claims he knows of a player who has been approached to take part in fixing – but does not believe it is widespread in the game.

Essex duo Danish Kaneria and Mervyn Westfield were arrested and bailed earlier this season as part of an investigation into spot-betting – gambling on specific events within a game.

Vaughan believes some form of fixing is “obviously” happening, but that the integrity of the game is largely intact and told Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek: “I don’t know if it’s rife in the game, I just know it’s obviously going on, there have been rumours for many a year. I don’t think it’s happening all the time.”

He added: “I don’t think they’re actually fixing the outcome of games, I think it’s a little bit of spot-fixing. That, to me, is match-fixing because you’re influencing the game in other ways.

“I’m really pleased that guys are speaking out. You mustn’t just point the finger at the players – there are umpires that may get approaches, there are administrators who could get approaches.

“The people that do get approaches and speak out are the good ones, you really need these guys to speak out and let the authorities know exactly what’s happening.

“I know of one (player who has been approached). I think within all this it’s very important that these guys stay anonymous – you hear of gangs and things that could happen so the guys that speak out are being brave, but it’s exactly what needs to happen if we’re going to try to get it out of the game.”