Waqar wants Pakistan policy to stop  abrupt format-dropping

first_imgLAHORE (Reuters) – Bowling coach Waqar Younis wants Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to formulate a policy to stop players from abruptly dropping the test format, the former captain said on Monday.Experienced quicks Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz quit test cricket last year to focus on the short formats and Pakistan’s bowling frailties were subsequently exposed in Australia where they lost both the test and Twenty20 series.“Of course you can’t stop anyone or force anyone. But there should be a policy by the board,” Waqar said in a video conference with reporters. “If a star player suddenly leaves, or drops a format, it’s a massive setback for the team. You’re forced to fast-track rookies, which is a big problem and we faced it in absence of Amir and Wahab.“I’m not saying we’d have won in Australia with them, but we could have done better, benefiting from their experience.”Waqar felt Pakistan needed a bigger pool of fast bowlers to cope with the demand of limited-overs cricket and was optimistic he could help create one. “The way cricket has expanded, having four-five fast bowlers is not enough,” he said.“You probably need four-five mature bowlers for test cricket. But for the shorter formats, you need a bigger pool of bowlers, who can share the massive workload. “Naseem (Shah), Musa (Khan), Haris (Rauf), Dilbar (Hussain)… if we can harness them with Amir, Wahab and (Mohammad) Abbas, I think we can have a battery of 8-10 fast bowlers.“And once we have that, we’d never be affected by anyone quitting abruptly and can rotate them. “Bench strength is crucial. You need to create a pool, which even those on the bench are match-winners themselves.”last_img read more

MBB : Orange inside game could receive boost with potential of Melo’s return Saturday

first_imgWith Fab Melo and Rakeem Christmas relegated to the Syracuse bench, the reality hit C.J. Fair.If Baye Keita, SU’s lone remaining big man with experience at the center position, picked up one more foul over the final 4:58 against West Virginia, he too would be forced to the sideline with five fouls.And that would push the 6-foot-8, 203-pound Fair to the center spot to battle with the Mountaineers’ 260-pound big men Kevin Jones and Deniz Kilicli.‘I thought about it for a second,’ Fair said, ‘and I’m like, ‘How am I going to play that big guy?’ But luckily Baye, he played his ground well.’Keita managed to avoid that fifth foul and finished SU’s 63-61 win over the Mountaineers on Saturday. Christmas and Keita have taken on much bigger roles on the offensive end and in the heart of No. 3 Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense during Melo’s absence. But in the three games without Melo, at least one of those big men has struggled against the rugged Big East competition.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMelo will return to the SU lineup for the team’s matchup against St. John’s on Saturday after missing three consecutive games for academic reasons, according to The Post-Standard. Pete Moore, SU director of athletic communications, said in an email that he could not confirm whether Melo would travel with the Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) this weekend or his availability for the matchup with the Red Storm (9-12, 3-6) Saturday at noon at Madison Square Garden. Depending on Melo’s availability, the Orange may once again have to make some small tweaks to its game plan.‘We just have to adjust,’ junior forward James Southerland said of playing without Melo. ‘That’s every game, though. You adjust to what’s going on, and you make the best of it.’Melo was a force inside for SU throughout the year and seemed to get better once conference play began. He leads the Orange in blocks and rebounds per game, and his 7-foot, 244-pound frame clogged up the middle of the 2-3 zone.The sophomore is two inches taller than Keita and three inches taller than Christmas, but the major difference comes in his bulk. Melo has roughly 30 pounds on Keita and 20 on Christmas.And though Fair was concerned with how he would handle West Virginia’s big men Saturday, head coach Jim Boeheim said Christmas and Keita aren’t quite prepared for that type of competition, either.‘Those guys, they’re not really ready physically to play in this league,’ Boeheim said. ‘They’re going to have to foul sometimes. We want to foul guys like Kilicli if he’s not making shots, missing free throws. We tried to foul (Cincinnati’s) Yancy Gates the other night. Just use some fouls in that situation.’Christmas and Keita have picked up nine fouls each in this three-game stretch, but the biggest problem has been getting solid performances out of both big men in the same game.Against Notre Dame, neither could stop Fighting Irish forward Jack Cooley in SU’s only loss this year. At Cincinnati, freshman Christmas had his best game of the year, while Keita didn’t score and grabbed just one rebound. And against West Virginia, Boeheim was happy with Keita, but Christmas lacked energy.‘I thought Rakeem looked lost in space today,’ Boeheim said after the win over the Mountaineers. ‘He looked like a freshman.‘I just wondered if he was awake. I wasn’t sure. I just tried to make sure he was awake.’Melo’s return Saturday would be a huge boost for the Orange. But even if he doesn’t play, his presence alone can help SU’s other two big men.He works through things with them in practices but also gave them feedback during the game Saturday. He did not travel with the team on the road trip to Notre Dame and Cincinnati.And whether he plays or is just there on the bench against the Red Storm, Keita knows it will be a major benefit for himself and Christmas.‘Having him on the bench, talking to him all the time will help me,’ Keita said. ‘We do the same thing during games. I’ll be sitting on the bench. Rakeem, too. We keep talking all the time.’zjbrown@syr.edu Comments Published on February 1, 2012 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more