agencies
BIRMINGHAM, 22 JUNE: Aleem Dar has apparently lost the opportunity of officiating Sunday’s Champions Trophy final after his role in the changing the ball during England’s defeat to Sri Lanka at the group stage.
The three-time ICC’s best umpire of the year has been demoted to the fourth umpire’s position for the title clash between India and England here at Edgbaston.
The Pakistani angered England after he changed the ball, leading to speculation of ball tampering.
Kumar Dharmasena and Rod Tucker will be the on-field umpires Sunday and will be closely monitoring the condition of the balls while with Bruce Oxenford will be the third umpire. Ranjan Madugalle will be the match referee.
HIV awareness
The final of the ICC Champions Trophy will be dedicated to the highly successful HIV awareness campaign THINK WISE, a partnership between ICC, UNAIDS and UNICEF.
UNAIDS deputy executive director Jan Beagle will attend the final between England and India at Edgbaston Sunday. She will join International Cricket Council (ICC) president Alan Isaac, chairman of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Giles Clarke, and two representatives of people living with HIV, will walk out with the teams for the national anthems in solidarity of people around the globe living with HIV.
Over the past decade, the ICC has been promoting awareness for the AIDS epidemic, which led to the creation of the THINK WISE partnership in 2009. During the final, both the finalists, as well as match officials, ICC and ECB staff will wear red ribbons to raise awareness about the stigma surrounding people living with HIV.
Beagle congratulated the ICC on its commitment to AIDS awareness. “I am moved to see the incredible dedication of the ICC and cricketers to promoting HIV prevention and reaching zero discrimination for people living with HIV. For a decade, UNAIDS and the ICC have been using cricket as an effective avenue to convey lifesaving messages and reach large numbers of people on key issues around AIDS.”
Isaac said: “I would like to extend a warm welcome to Ms. Beagle and it brings me great pleasure that the ICC&’s partnership with UNAIDS and UNICEF is flourishing."
Pietersen speaks
Kevin Pietersen admitted yesterday he had made mistakes over the incident that saw him dropped by England on disciplinary grounds last season before he returned to the side.
Former England captain Pietersen returned to competitive cricket after three months out with a right knee problem by playing for Surrey in a four-day match away to Yorkshire. He marked the occasion by giving a radio interview to former England team-mate Darren Gough broadcast while he fielded at Headingley. It was at the Leeds ground, where having made a superb Test hundred against his native South Africa, Pietersen gave a Press conference where he said "it’s tough being me in this dressing room."

‘India way ahead’
“KOLKATA, 22 JUNE: "India are definitely the favourites going into the final. Going by the form of Dhawan, Jadeja and Kumar, England will find it very difficult to turn it their way, even if they are the home side," Laxmi Ratan Shukla said at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club today. Asked about the recent spot-fixing scam, he commented, "while the recent happenings have undoubtedly tarnished the image of the game, there are still players whose integrity and honesty will ensure that the spirit of the game lives on."  sns