The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports


Kaneria and Malik left out of Pakistan WCup squad

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 05:44 AM PST

ISLAMABAD (AP) - Pakistan has left former captain Shoaib Malik and legspinner Danish Kaneria out of its 30-man preliminary squad for the World Cup, while wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal is included.

Last month, the International Cricket Council extended the Pakistan Cricket Board's deadline until Jan. 5 to submit the preliminary World Cup list after it asked for more time to seek clearance for certain players.

Local media reported Akmal, Malik and Kaneria were among those players who were asked to submit documents listing their assets and bank accounts to the PCB's integrity committee.

Chairman PCB Ijaz Butt said in a statement on Tuesday that the integrity committee "has given its views on some players to the selection committee."

India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will host the World Cup from Feb. 19.

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Henin downs Karantatcheva at Hopman Cup (updated)

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 10:38 PM PST

PERTH, Australia (AP): Seven-time Grand Slam winner Justine Henin downed Sesil Karantatcheva of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday as Belgium took a 2-0 lead in the Hopman Cup tie.

The 21-year-old Karantatcheva was brought in overnight to replace Yaroslava Shvedova, who withdrew with a knee injury sustained during her match against Ana Ivanovic on Sunday.

This was former world No.1 Henins first appearance at the Hopman Cup, having chosen last year to play at the Brisbane International, where she lost to fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters in the final.

"It's my first time in Perth and it's a great experience," Henin said. "I wait 28 years to come here, but maybe I'll come back next year, who knows. I love to play in Australia, they have the culture of the sport, it's just great.

Karantatcheva, who reached the French Open quarterfinals in 2005 before serving a two-year ban for testing positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, rallied briefly to go 3-1 up in the second set. But Henin bounced back to take the set and continue her winning record for 2011.

"It's not that easy, especially after the injury so I'm working hard to come back.

It's the first two matches so I know it's going to take little bit of time, but it's great to have the opportunity to play and be in the competition again," Henin said.

Belgian youngster Ruben Bemelmans later pulled off a shock 6-4, 6-4 win over world No.36 Andrey Golubev in the men's singles match.

The left-handed 22-year-old broke serve at 3-3. Golubev, who had taken a tiebreaker could not cope with the Belgian's pace and range of movement, and soon found himself a break down in the second set.

Despite seeing three match points come and go at 5-3, Bemelmans, ranked No.178 in the world, served out the match to record a crucial victory for Belgium. The Belgians lost to Australia 2-1 on Saturday in their first tie.

Henin and Bemelmans will play Karantatcheva and Golubev in the mixed doubles looking for a 3-0 victory. They will meet Serbia on Thursday in their final round-robin match.

"I'm feeling good here in Australia ..." Bemelmans said. "I'm really looking forward to playing (Novak)Djokovic on Thursday.

Justine is a great player, it's a real honor to stand next to her in the mixed doubles, it takes the pressure off a little bit of me, because she's playing great."

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