Ak­mal feels the heat

Pak­istan wick­et­keeper’s lat­est shocker stirs sus­pi­cions

Townsville Bulletin - - Cricket - Townsville Bul­letin Thurs­day, March 10, 2011

DODGY TRI­FECTA: Shoaib Akhtar re­acts badly af­ter wick­et­keeper Kam­ran Ak­mal drops in-form Kiwi bats­man Ross Tay­lor for the sec­ond time in three balls keeper held up his hands in ap­par­ent dis­ap­point­ment.

The dis­mal dis­play comes just days af­ter Ak­mal de­nied de­lib­er­ately drop­ping four catches against Aus­tralia dur­ing the in­fa­mous New Year’s Syd­ney Test last year. Ak­mal was also in­ves­ti­gated as part of the match-fix­ing scan­dal against Eng­land in July that ex­posed team­mates Sal­man Butt, Mo­ham­mad Aamir and Mo­ham­mad Asif, but he was cleared by the ICC and Scot­land Yard. SOUTH Aus­tralian cricket’s favourite son Dar­ren Lehmann has been ap­pointed Queens­land coach for 2011-12 and will hold the reins of the new Bris­bane Twenty20 side for the next three years.

Un­cer­tainty may still sur­round the for­mat of next sum­mer’s new T20 competition, but Queens­land Cricket have full con­fi­dence in Lehmann mak­ing the Bris­bane Heat out­fit a suc­cess.

Lehmann, 41, be­comes the first coach as­signed to a team in the ex­panded eight-team competition that will launch in De­cem­ber. He got the nod af­ter fill­ing in as the Bulls’ Twenty20 coach this sea­son af­ter Trevor Barsby sen­sa­tion­ally walked away.

Queens­land Cricket chair­man Jim Hold­ing had no prob­lem with Lehmann car­ry­ing both the Bulls and Heat reins next sea­son.

‘‘ I think it can work in the first sea­son but I think it would be a chal­lenge if the same per­son did the job in the long term,’’ Hold­ing said.

‘‘ Be­cause we may have the case where you have dif­fer­ent per­son­nel for dif­fer­ent teams and that’s go­ing to have some chal­lenges.’’

Hold­ing said they would look at the set-up more closely dur­ing an end-of-sea­son high per­for­mance re­view.

‘‘ But I have no doubt there will be a role with the Bulls for Dar­ren over the next three years but it may not be as coach,’’ Hold­ing said.

‘‘ But he will be with the Bris­bane Heat and that is a re­ally im­por­tant role be­cause that is go­ing to be an ex­cit­ing brand of cricket and we need some­one with a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence in that brand.’’

How­ever, Hold­ing did ad­mit time was run­ning out for the new T20 for­mat to be fi­nalised. ‘‘ All of the state as­so­ci­a­tions at the mo­ment are ne­go­ti­at­ing the fi­nal form of the par­tic­i­pa­tion agree­ment. We are hop­ing in the next week or two that will be done and dusted,’’ he said.

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