Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 24th 2015 Contents A53
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Bangladesh pace bowler Shafiul
Islam has said the disappointment
of being left out of the 15-man
World Cup squad has given way
to surprise and happiness after
being named Al-Amin Hossain s
Al-Amin is on his way back to
Dhaka from Melbourne after the
BCB decided to send him home.
He had missed a team curfew on
the night of February 19 at the
team s Brisbane hotel.
Shafiul, part of the 30-man pre-
liminary World Cup squad, was
preparing for Rajshahi Division s
National Cricket League match
against Rangpur Division in Savar
when a BCB official gave him the
news. He rushed back to Dhaka to
prepare to leave for Melbourne on
"I was a little disappointed [when
left out of the original World Cup
squad] but now I am joining the
team," Shafiul told the Dhaka-based
news portal thereport24. "It feels
great to be part of the World Cup
squad. I would want to repeat the
performance from the last World
Cup. I am surprised with the sud-
den call-up. I have a responsibility
now, and I would like to give it my
best when called up in the playing
XI."Shafiul last played an ODI in
November against Zimbabwe, and
Since then, he has picked up six
wickets in four Dhaka Premier Divi-
sion Cricket League matches for
Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club
and played a couple of first-class
matches for Rajshahi, picking up a
four-wicket haul against Chit-
tagong. Shafiul has 58 wickets from
52 ODIs, at an average of 36.36.
He has been a fairly profligate
bowler, with an economy rate of
5.89, but he has the second-best
strike rate among Bangladesh
bowlers who have played more
than 50 ODIs.
A last-minute pick at the 2011
World Cup, after the selectors
weren t convinced with Mashrafe
Mortaza s fitness, Shafiul opened
the bowling in all of Bangladesh s
matches and picked up a four-
wicket haul against Ireland. But
his most memorable performance
came against England, scoring 24
in an unbroken 58-run ninth-
wicket stand with Mahmudullah
that won Bangladesh a match they
were about to lose.
"I want to bowl with a lot of
control whenever given a chance,"
Shafiul said. "I have no specific
target, just want to bowl according
to my strength. I got a chance to
play in the 2011 World Cup because
Mashrafe bhai was injured. This
time I am replacing Al-Amin. I am
not worried about how I am getting
the chance, my job is to perform."
champion Roger Federer
had little trouble bypass-
ing Mikhail Youzhny 6-
3, 6-1 in the first round
at the Dubai Tennis
Championships in the
United Arab Emirates
Federer was playing his
first match since his third
round exit to Andreas
Seppi at the Australian
Open last month.
"Best of three in a quick
court sometimes you just
can run away with the
score, so that s where
maybe a bad five to ten
minutes can cost you the
match," Federer said. "I
think it was close in that
first set. I think we were
both trying to find our
The 33-year-old Fed-
erer, needed just 56 min-
utes to get through to the
second round, and
remains undefeated in 16
matches against Youzhny.
Youhzny, who has been a
finalist in Dubai twice,
stayed level with Federer
through the first six games
of the match.
Federer took control of
the match when he broke
serve on a fourth break
point in the seventh game
of the first set when
Youzhny hit a backhand
ed Ernests Gulbis extended
his winless streak this year
to five following his defeat
to Denis Istomin 7-5, 6-
2 in the first round.
The 14th-ranked Gul-
bis, who was ranked inside
the top 10 last year after
reaching the French Open
semifinals, led 4-1 in the
opening set before falling
"I m not in good form
right now," Gulbis said.
"I m not feeling my shots
at all. I have no timing. In
practice I have been play-
ing worse than in the
match." Also, Joao Sousa
of Portugal posted a 6-1,
6-2 win over wildcard
James McGee, only the
fourth Irishman to play in
an ATP main draw event
since 1990. (AP)
DUBAI---Roger Federer is skipping
the Davis Cup this year after leading
Switzerland to its first title in 2014.
Federer played the entire Davis Cup
season last year, with Switzerland beat-
ing France 3-1 in the final. The Davis
Cup was the only major competition
the 17-time Grand Slam champion had
Federer won t be in the lineup when
Switzerland opens defense of the title
in Belgium on March 6-8. And Federer
said he has no plans to play Davis Cup
the rest of the year either.
"It wasn t a difficult decision," the
33-year-old Federer said yesterday at
the Dubai tournament. "I have played
for so long, and I think by winning it
I can finally do whatever I please, to
be quite honest."
The Swiss team in Belgium will also
be without 2013 Australian Open cham-
pion Stan Wawrinka.
Federer has played in 26 Davis Cup
ties since 1999 for an overall 50-17
"It s been a big burden for me
throughout my career and one of the
things that have caused more difficulties
in my life than many other things, I
must say," Federer said.
"I always feel there is so much guilt
put on you from the federation or from
the ITF more so than anybody else. So
I m happy I was able to finally tick that
off and do it altogether."
Federer said his decision to dedicate
himself to the 2014 Davis Cup campaign
was more for his teammates than him-
"I totally did it for the boys more
than for me, to be quite honest," he
said. "I just really wanted Michael
(Lammer) and Marco (Chiudinelli) and
Stan to get it because they deserve it.
So for me, this year, it was very clear
that I was not going to play."
While the Davis Cup is not in Fed-
erer s plans, Wawrinka has not decided
on whether to play later in the year.
"I hope that Stan is going to play,
next round or September or whatever
it s going to be to keep us in the World
Group," Federer said. "Who knows?
You never know if they can win it with-
out us, as well. It s an opportunity, but
clearly we are not the favorites now
playing against Belgium."
Federer, however, could have to show
up for one more Davis Cup tie in the
next two years in order to qualify direct-
ly for the Swiss Olympic team for the
2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
ITF rules state that a player must
compete in Davis Cup for his country
once in the season leading up to or in
the Olympic year to be eligible to com-
pete at the games. Federer could also
be offered a wild card entry into the
Olympic tournament. (AP)
DOHA---Two-time champion Victo-
ria Azarenka beat Angelique Kerber
6-0, 6-3 in the first round of the Qatar
Total Open yesterday.
The Belarusian, who won in 2012
and 2013, was forced to withdraw last
year due to a foot inflammation.
Returning to Doha as a wild card
entrant, Azarenka needed just 66 min-
utes to beat the eighth-seeded Kerber.
"I m pretty happy with it. You know,
there isn t a lot of things to complain
about, but I always try to look at things
what I can do maybe better or just stay
more consistent," said the former world
No1, who has now slipped to 48.
Kerber, who lost to Simona Halep in
last year s final, was blown away in the
first set in which Azarenka dropped
just nine points.
The German world No11 came back
in the second set in which she got her
first service break in the sixth game.
However Azarenka, playing her first
match since hiring Wim Fissette as her
new coach, broke back in sixth and
went on to break Kerber s serve again
in the eighth to seal the contest.
Azarenka s forehand winners proved
too good for Kerber who did not help
her cause with six double faults.
"In the first set, I really stepped with
the right attitude, game plan and exe-
cuted it well," Azarenka said.
"And in the second set, I knew she
was going to fight back and for me it
was important to just stay consistent
and stay in the moment still stay in
command." added Azarenka who hopes
to become the first player to win Qatar
Total Open three times.
Russian pair Maria Sharapova (2005,
2008) and Anastasia Myskina (2003,
2004) are the others to have won it
Meanwhile, eight-time Grand Slam
champion Venus Williams rolled the
clock back with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 come-
back win over Australia s Casey Del-
Earlier in the opening match, Italy s
Flavia Pennetta beat Former French
Open champion Russia s Svetlana
Kuznetsova 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in windy
"I was really happy in the way I
played and fight. The conditions were
really tough," said Pennetta. (AP)
ICC Cricket World Cup
Shafiul wants to repeat
Little trouble for Federer in Dubai
Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball to
Mikhail Youzhny of Russia during the Dubai Duty
Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab
Emirates, yesterday. Federer won 6-3, 6-1. AP PHOTO
star for Davis Cup
Two-time champ Azarenka
wins, Venus advances
Czechs face Australia without Berdych, Stepanek
PRAGUE---The Czech Republic
will be without Tomas Berdych
and Radek Stepanek in the first
round of the Davis Cup against
Berdych and Stepanek teamed
up to beat Spain in the 2012 Davis
Cup final and retained the title in
2013 by defeating Serbia.
The eighth-ranked Berdych has
opted to focus on the ATP Tour
this year after hiring Dani Vallverdu
as his coach while Stepanek is not
fit enough following an injury.
Lukas Rosol and Jiri Vesely were
named Monday to play in the
March 6-8 series on indoor hard
courts in the eastern city of Ostra-
va. Rookies Adam Pavlasek and
Jan Mertl are also in the Czech
The Czechs lost their only
encounter against Australia as an
independent nation in 1997. (AP)
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