Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 19th 2014 Contents A51
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SOCHI---Members of the Jamaican
bobsled team appeared at a press
conference yesterday to talk about
their appearance in the Sochi Games.
They have also filmed a faux-docu-
mentary with team sponsor Sam-
sung, and a movie poster that hung
behind them certainly caught some
Jamaican sprinting superstar Usain
Bolt is pictured in the corner with the
quote, "I ll try out for Pyeongchang."
With 46-year-old pilot Winston
Watts at the end of his Olympic ca-
reer, the Jamaicans are looking for
younger athletes to take over. Bolt
would certainly spice up the roster
and bring in the sponsorship dollars
the team has had to scrounge for
He s probably just kidding. But Bolt
has been a supporter of his country-
men, something that means a lot to
the less-heralded athletes.
"He s the star of the show," bob-
sledder Marvin Dixon says. "And the
star of the world. To get him on
board, man, it means a lot to us. More
people follow us if Usain Bolt s on
Sochi scene: Bolt the bobsledder?
Moin Khan is not worried about
his short-term contract. Good per-
formances by the team over the
next seven weeks, he believes,
should earn him an extension.
Last week, Khan was appointed
for the Asia Cup this month and
World Twenty20 next month, both
in Bangladesh. After that, the Pak-
istan Cricket Board say Khan will
"I don t have a problem with a
short contract," Khan said in Lahore
yesterday on the first day of a short
training camp for the Asia Cup,
starting in a week.
"Contracts are always perform-
ance-oriented and if the team per-
forms well you get the continua-
Khan was the captain in 2000
when Pakistan won its maiden Asia
Cup title by defeating Sri Lanka in
the final in Bangladesh.
Fourteen years later, Khan will be
in a new role to assist captain Mis-
bah-ul-Haq, who also will be
defending the title won in 2012.
Misbah joins five other survivors
from that two-run victory in the
final against Bangladesh; Moham-
mad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Umar
Akmal, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal.
The presence of these senior pros
has given Khan enough confidence
to eye a third title against the likes
of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and
"Luckily, it s almost the same team
which played last time," Khan said.
"I know this team is capable of
winning us the Asia Cup again."
Khan pipped Waqar Younis for
the coach position after Australia s
Dav Whatmore quit last month
when Pakistan drew the test series
against Sri Lanka in the United Arab
Khan played in Pakistan s 1992
World Cup-winning team, and was
captain in 1995 and 2000 for short
periods. He s been the manager for
the last six months.
"I know the technical problems
of the players and I know their psy-
che as well," he said. "I am quite
confident that it will help me in
shaping up the team well."
The selectors have persisted with
young players and have yet again
ignored the experienced Younis Khan
for the Asia Cup. Younis, who retired
from T20s after leading Pakistan to
the World Twenty20 title in 2009,
has not played in the 50-over format
since competing against South Africa
a year ago.
The coach has backed young mid-
dle-order batsmen Sohaib Maqsood
and Akmal along with openers Shar-
jeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad to
give the batting enough strength in
the Asia Cup.
"There s no doubt about Younis,
but right now we are taking this
combination," Khan said. "If Younis
performs continuously in domestic
cricket and there s any gap in the
batting lineup, he could easily make
The selectors surprisingly reverted
to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and
allrounder Shoaib Malik for the
World Twenty20 despite giving both
players chances in the past without
much success. But Khan backed the
decision to recall both players. The
World Twenty20 runs from March
16 to the final on April 6. (AP)
Short contract not a worry for Pakistan coach Khan
PORT ELIZABETH---The significant toll of
Mitchell Johnson s ferocious fast bowling
against South Africa stands at 12 wickets,
1 concussion and plenty of bruises, and the teams
are only one Test into the three-game series.
South Africa allrounder Ryan McLaren was ruled
out of the second Test yesterday with concussion after
being hit a crunching blow on the side of the helmet
by a Johnson bouncer in Australia s 281-run hammering
of the home team at Centurion in the series open-
er.McLaren, who bled from a cut on the right side of
his head after being hit on Saturday, was admitted to
a Johannesburg clinic on Sunday, examined by a neu-
rologist and concussion specialist, and kept overnight
after displaying delayed symptoms.
Although the team said he sustained a "mild con-
cussion," it was still enough to withdraw him from
the second Test in Port Elizabeth starting tomorrow.
McLaren did carry on playing after on-field treatment
at Centurion and was out soon after being hit.
"Ryan was admitted to a Johannesburg clinic on
Sunday evening suffering from suspected concussion-
related symptoms including worsening headaches and
nausea, which started approximately 30 hours after
the blow to his head," team manager and doctor
Mohammed Moosajee said. "His condition improved
overnight and he was re-assessed by a neurologist as
well as a leading sports physician with a special interest
The concussion specialist who looked McLaren over
also works with rugby head injuries.
"It looks like he s been (rugby) scrumming for three
days," South Africa captain Graeme Smith said of
McLaren s bruised appearance straight after the game.
"But he s alright. He s a tough boy. Those are part and
parcel of what you deal with as a batsman."
McLaren will be monitored over the next four to
five days, Moosajee said, before a call was made on
whether he can play in the third test in Cape Town
from March 1.
Before that, South Africa has to regroup after a rare
humbling at home by the rampant Australians, with
left-arm quick Johnson bowling at a rapid 150 kph
and almost unplayable during the first test at Super-
Sport Park, where he took career-best match figures
Along with McLaren, some of South Africa s highly
rated batsmen were left bruised by blows to the body
from Johnson s short-pitched stuff and Hashim Amla
was greeted first ball in the second innings by a vicious
bouncer that hit him square in the grill of his helmet.
"I don t know what else you want me to say," Johnson
replied to a question about hitting Amla on the helmet.
"It s a nice feeling from my point of view as a fast
The majority of South Africa s squad arrived in the
hot and humid south coast city of Port Elizabeth on
Monday to figure out a way to get back into the series
as McLaren stayed behind in Johannesburg. Wicket-
keeper-batsman AB de Villiers, the one South African
to resist Johnson in the first Test, joined the squad
yesterday after attending to some personal matters,
a team spokeswoman said.
McLaren s absence will force the top-ranked Proteas
into at least one change as they look to save their five-
year unbeaten run in test series, with allrounder Wayne
Parnell and batsman Dean Elgar contenders to fill
McLaren s role.
While St George s Park is normally a slower pitch
to SuperSport Park, Johnson will likely still be a strong
threat, and even his own teammates don t want to
face him in net practice.
"Unfortunately I ve got no choice. I ve got to face
him," Australia captain and batsman Michael Clarke
Johnson's toll on SA:
12 wickets, 1 concussion
South Africa's batsman Ryan McLaren, avoids a bouncer off Australia's bowler
Mitchell Johnson, not pictured, on the fourth day of their their cricket Test match
at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday. Some balls later, JRyan
McLarenwas struck by a ball close to his right ear and yesterday ruled out of the
second Test with concussion. AP PHOTO
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