Akmal feels the heat
Pakistan wicketkeeper’s latest shocker stirs suspicions
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.