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Cricket30 Jul 2021

MRCA termes six cricket association policy illegal
SPORTS REPORT LAHORE (July 30, 2021):- Movement for Restoration of Cricket and Associations (MRCA) termed a move of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) unlawful, illegal practices of implementing and taking forward its so-called plan and strategy through unelected people by niminating six cricket associations. MRCA Spokesperson Tariq Sarwar said in a statement that it was an unfortunate that all unelected officials of both the sides were engaged in meeting few days back to decide future course of action for the regional and grassroot cricket. "We believe that wasting 3 crucial years and PCB's failure to organize cricket through elected representatives is an unfortunate act of the PCB" said the MRCA official, "This kind of incompetency and nonprofessional administration has been costing Pakistan dearly at international level. MRCA Spokesperson said that entire process of club registration anew, appointment of coaches at regional and city level were made on political considerations would further harm Pakistan cricket at grassroot level. Reiterating MRCA demand of restoring 2014 constitution, MRCA official said Grant Bradburn is a proven failure with National High Performance Centre has done nothing significant. "Had NHPC done anything good, Pakistan team and its bench strength would have been enough to make it world beaters," said Tariq Sarwar. He said the inter-city cricket being played after politically-polarized selection of teams, has shown the highly poor quality throughout the country in a rainy season. MRCA also demanded of the Chairman PCB, CEO, COO, Director HPC and Domestice Cricket, Director International Cricket and BoGs members to step down.

Hockey29 Jul 2021

Tokyo 2020: South Africa men stun Olympic giants Germany
SAJJAD SOHAIL TOKYO (July 29. 2021):-The Netherlands and Great Britain have both joined Men’s Pool B leaders Belgium in the quarter-finals of the hockey competition of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. A fourth successive win for Belgium sees them remain clear at the top of Pool B, with a thrilling draw between the Dutch and GB earning them a point apiece to confirm their respective berths in the knock-out stages. However, a shock defeat for Germany at the hands of South Africa means that their place in the last eight is not yet sealed, with the excellent South Africans still having a slim chance of progressing. In Men’s Pool A, India defeated reigning Olympic champions Argentina to book a ticket to the knock-out phases, with Los Leones currently outside of those all-important top four positions with one round of matches remaining. India 3-1 Argentina A tense encounter between India and Argentina was eventually won by the eight times Olympic gold medallists, who came away with a 3-1 victory against the reigning Olympic champions. India are now certain of a top two finish in Pool A, although Australia’s three point lead – and a vastly superior goal-difference – would make a first place finish unlikely going into the final round of matches. India did most of the attacking in the first two periods, but Argentina produced an excellent defensive performance to keep the Asian giants off the scoreboard. The pressure eventually told when Varun Kumar’s deflected penalty corner drag-flick deceived Argentina goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi and flew into the net. Argentina hit back thanks to Maico Casella, who ripped a high and powerful penalty corner drag-flick into the goal to restore parity with 12 minutes of the match remaining. However, late goals from Vivek Prasad and Harmanpreet Singh wrapped up the points for India and inflicted another blow to Argentina’s hopes of defending their Olympic title. Reflecting on the victory, India’s Rupinder Pal Singh said: "Feeling great after the win but there's a lot of things to improve yet because the important games are coming in a few days." Argentina’s Maico Casella said: "It was a tough game. We defended a lot. We knew that the game was going to be like this. We played the game we had to play but they did well also. We have to play against New Zealand and we have to win. Our mind now is there." Belgium 9-1 Canada Reigning World champions Belgium thrashed Canada to earn a fourth win on the bounce, maintaining their three-point lead at the top of the Pool B standings while eliminating the Canadians from the competition in the process. Canada are now unable to qualify for the quarter-finals, being six points away from the qualification positions with just one match, against fifth-placed South Africa, remaining.  Canada kept the brilliant Belgians under control for large periods of the opening two quarters, with Alexander Hendrickx’s 12th minute opener being cancelled out by a superb run and backhand strike from Mark Pearson. The Red Lions had to wait until the 29th minute before taking the lead, with Sebastian Dockier on target ahead of a rampant display after half time. Dockier and Hendrickx both claimed second goals either side of an effort from Felix Denayer, with Simon Gougnard and Cedric Charlier pushing the score to 7-1 at the end of the third quarter. Tom Boon and a stunning deflection from Florent Van Aubel – playing his 250th match for Belgium – completed the scoring, as Belgium hit nine goals for the second successive match; an ominous sign for their gold medal rivals here in Tokyo.  "We've got it all in our hands and that was the number one priority, and now we know how this kind of tournament works”, said Belgium’s Florent Van Aubel. “We're qualified for the quarter-finals and it's now that we have to do it. So we have one game against GB (Great Britain), an important game, and then it's do or die, three games in a row. That's what we play for." Canada goalkeeper Antoni Kindler said: "Obviously disappointed. We're playing the world champions so to be competitive with those guys you have to play your best hockey for 60 minutes. Unfortunately we let it slip there in the third quarter. With a team of their quality, every opportunity they have they capitalise.” South Africa 4-3 Germany South Africa produced unquestionably the biggest shock of the tournament so far with a stunning 4-3 victory over the much-fancied Germany. While the result keeps South Africa’s chances of qualifying for the competition quarter-finals technically alive, they would need not only for results to go in their favour but also for a dramatic change in goal-difference if they are to catch the Germans, who ended the day fourth in the Pool B standings. Germany justified their status as pre-match favourites when Timm Herzbruch fired home a messy penalty corner, but South Africa were level just a minute later thanks to a penalty corner of their own, with Matt Guise-Brown slamming a rocket against the backboard. Keenan Horne put South Africa ahead on the stroke of quarter time, but goals from Lukas Windfeder and Constantin Staib swung the match back in Germany’s favour, earning them a 3-2 half-time lead. Germany battered South Africa throughout the third period, but a superb counter-attack goal inspired by the exceptional Dayaan Cassiem resulted in Nicolas Spooner levelling the scores at 3-3. The winner came from the stick of Dayaan’s younger brother Mustaphaa Cassiem, with the 19-year-old – who was crying tears of joy at the end – seeing his speculative cross end up in the goal via a Germany stick, giving South Africa a famous victory over the European giants. "It's awesome”, said South Africa captain Tim Drummond. “It's something we've trained really hard for and moments like this and results. We knew we had it in us and it's just great for the guys to get this feeling now and hopefully we can remember this feeling.” Germany’s Lukas Windfeder said: “Our aim was to win here. Then we get 3-2 after a difficult start, we have everything in our own hands, but let us counter stupidly twice. Of course, there should have been more goals today through chances and corners, but it can't be that we have to score five or six goals per game to win. We want to decide the matches for us on the good defensive. And that doesn't work that way. " Netherlands 2-2 Great Britain Great Britain produced an incredible late fightback to steal a 2-2 draw against the Netherlands, a result which put both teams through to the knock-out stages. Both teams have seven points, with Netherlands currently sitting second in the standings above third placed GB due to a superior goal difference. Thierry Brinkman put the Netherlands ahead in the 22nd minute before a penalty corner from Jip Janssen doubled the Dutch advantage five just a minute after half-time. Great Britain battled hard to get back into the contest and got the reward that their perseverance deserved thanks to a late double from striker Sam Ward, who guided home an open play deflection before bagging a penalty corner with three minutes left to play. The Dutch had a succession of penalty corners in the final minute, but could not find a way past inspired goalkeeper Oliver Payne, who was outstanding throughout. Great Britain striker Sam Ward said: "Coming back from the loss we had the other night - it was pretty tough to lose 5-1 to the Germans - we managed to put a performance in and do ourselves proud." Netherlands captain Billy Bakker said: "For the first three quarters we were good, but it's difficult to keep up that level for four quarters. In the fourth quarter GB (Great Britain) also played very well - they also have quality - and we weren't focused enough on our defensive positions. We lost the ball a lot and they benefited from that - we needed to keep the ball better. But we're satisfied.” The action continues later today with four matches in the women’s competition, three in Pool B and one in Pool A. In Pool B Spain face China before Japan and Argentina take to the field, with the Oceania derby match between Australia and New Zealand also scheduled. The Pool A match is a mouth-watering clash between reigning Olympic champions Great Britain and the Netherlands, the current World, European and FIH Hockey Pro League champions in a re-match of the Rio 2016 gold medal game.

Cricket29 Jul 2021

Australian cricket stars ready to sleep out at home
Jamil Siraj CANBERRA-AUSTRALIA (July 29, 2021):-Some of Australia’s most loved cricketers and stars of the past will not be sleeping in their own beds this Sunday night in the hope that their efforts will change the lives of the thousands of homeless youth who do not have a safe bed to sleep in at night. Cricket Australia is throwing its support behind The Chappell Foundation’s Sports Stars Sleepout, with the event being moved to balconies, backyards and couch hopping due to the current pandemic restrictions in New South Wales. Australian captain Meg Lanning is on board to help The Chappell Foundation to bring up a century and hit its target of $100,000, with funds raised going directly to a variety of essential youth services including Back Track Youth Works, WAYS, Stepping Stone House, Ecumenical Coffee Brigade, Raw Potential and Taldumande Youth Services. Lanning will be virtually joined by wicket keeper/batter Alyssa Healy and Tassie Tigers’ trio Molly Strano, Elyse Villani and and Nicola Carey. Annabel and Will Sutherland will spend a night in their garage along with their father James, while former stars Matthew Hayden, Ed Cowan, Mitchell Johnson, Greg Chappell and Trevor Chappell have already been strong contributors to fundraising which has already surpassed $32,000. Johnson, who’ll dial in from Western Australia, said it was his own experience which motivated him to participate. “A lot of Australians are doing it tough at the moment, but homeless kids do it tough all the time,” he said. “Me and my little brother were lucky, but I know what it’s like to bounce around from home to home, parent to parent.

Cricket15 Jul 2021

Pakistan need fresh start in T20I series
SPORTS NEWS Nottingham (July 15, 2021:-Pakistan team will be looking to make a fresh start on the England tour when they take on the hosts in the first of the three-match T20I on Friday, 16 July at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. Both sides have played five T20I series before the upcoming series, where England and Pakistan have won two series each. The two teams drew the three-match series played last year in England 1-1 with one match abandoned. Overall out of the 18 T20Is played between the two sides, Pakistan have won five games, England have won 12 matches while one match was abandoned due to rain. The tourists will pin their hopes on experienced Mohammad Hafeez to score runs as the all-rounder has featured in 12 matches against England scoring 289 runs at 28.90 which included two half-centuries with best of 86 not out and a strike-rate of 127.31. Captain Babar Azam, who is ranked number two in the ICC T20I Batsmen Rankings will be looking to repeat the heroics of third ODI at Edgbaston where he scored a scintillating 158 off 139. Amongst bowlers, Imad Wasim has picked six wickets from five matches against England, the left-arm spinner’s best figures are two for 17. While talking to the media in a virtual media conference, leg-spinner Shadab Khan expressed the team’s desire of making a strong comeback after losing ODI series 3-0: “T20 is a different format and we have a different team. Our senior players like Hafeez and Imad Wasim have returned to the side. “Mostly players in the team have recently featured in the HBL PSL. So we have played a good amount of T20 cricket and hopefully you will see a good series.” Asked about his individual performance, Shadab said, “I am making a comeback after injury. My recent performance was not good, but I feel I am in good rhythm lately and looking forward to contributing for the team in batting and bowling departments.” Pakistan is currently on fourth spot in the ICC rankings with 261 points while England are at the top with 278 points.

Hockey15 Jul 2021

Inaugural FIH World Hockey Fives event in Lausanne to be staged in 2022
SPORTS NEWS LAUSANNA, SWITZERLAND (July 15, 2021):-Due to the ongoing uncertainties surrounding the evolution of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has decided to postpone its ‘FIH Hockey5s Lausanne 2021’ event, initially planned in September this year, to 2022. FIH CEO Thierry Weil said: “Whilst it is of course disappointing to have to delay this event by one year, especially considering the role it is meant to play for the exposure of Hockey5s globally, we came to the conclusion that it was the best decision in order, precisely, to preserve the full promotion potential of this event. I’d like to extend sincere thanks to all stakeholders who have considerably helped us so far, and in particular the City of Lausanne, the canton of Vaud, the Fond du Sport Vaudois, the Swiss Hockey Association, our partners and all teams who had confirmed their participation. I look forward to pursuing our preparations together and invite all hockey fans to join us next year!” Next year’s event, which will be staged on the Place de la Navigation - an iconic location near the Lac Léman bordering the Olympic Capital -, will provide an exciting mix of intense competition, music entertainment and additional activities, such as an initiation to hockey for the public.

Squash15 Jul 2021

Squash: Noor Zaman defeats Ashab Irfan 3-1 in final
ABDUL JABBAR FAISAL ISLAMABAD:-Top seed Noor Zaman defeated Mohammad Ashab Irfan 3-1 in the final of PSA Satellite Tournament on Thursday here at Mushaf Squash Complex, as the fixture had prize money of US$ 1,000. The final score-line was 11-6, 3-11, 11-5 and 11-5. It was the second title for Noor Zaman in the series of four PSA Satellite tournaments that were held under the banner of Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) aiming to provide an occasion to national lads to improve their international ranking after gaining some vital points. In the final Noor Zaman showed his top game and did not allow his opponent to settle his feet on the court. Noor displayed excellent skills of squash after hitting powerful strokes and playing some classic drop shorts. The final was a thrilling contest which was won by Noor Zaman. Senior Vice President, PSF Air Marshal Aamir Masood graced the final as chief guest and presented trophies to the players.  Squash legend and Vice President of Pakistan Squash Federation Qamar Zaman was also present at this occasion. Earlier, in the morning session, in the first semifinal, Noor Zaman got rid of Haris Qasim 3-2 after a well contested five game match. The score-line was 10-12, 12-10, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6, as the match lasted 43 minutes. Meanwhile, in the second semifinal, Mohammad Ashab Irfan ousted Mohammad Hamza Khan in straight games 3-0, as the game score was 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 in just 23 minutes.  

Cricket15 Jul 2021

Mohammad Hafeez hopes to repeat best performance
SPORTS NEWS NOTTINGHAM (July  15, 2021):-Age is just a number, Mohammad Hafeez is perhaps the perfect illustration of this saying as the 40-year-old is still going strong. Hafeez who now features for Pakistan in T20 format only, has played no less than 106 T20Is, scoring 2388 runs at 27.13 with 14 half-centuries. Pakistan team, currently preparing for a three-match T20I series against England that starts on Friday at the Trent Bridge Nottingham, will be banking on Hafeez to spearhead the batting top-order. Hafeez has some fond memories of playing in England. His and Pakistan’s first T20I was against England, which Pakistan won by five wickets at Bristol on 28 August 2006. Hafeez scored 46 off 40, which included five fours, he was also highest individual scorer for Pakistan in the match. The seasoned campaigner had an instrumental role in helping Pakistan’s ICC Champions Trophy 2017 victory as he played a crucial innings in the final against India at the Oval, London. His quickfire unbeaten 57 off 37, which included four fours and three sixes helped Pakistan to their match winning 338-run total. In his first-ever ODI against England in 2003, Hafeez was declared player of the match for his 69 runs and one wicket which helped Pakistan beat hosts by two wickets. The right-handed batsman has featured in 12 T20Is against England, scoring 289 at 28.90. He has two half-centuries to his name with a best of 86 not out. When Pakistan last toured England in 2020, Hafeez in two T20Is scored 155 runs at a staggering average of 155 and striking the ball at 176.13. He scored half-century in each innings in the series which was levelled at 1-1. Leading from the front as a senior player, Hafeez scored crucial runs in New Zealand last year. Despite Pakistan losing the series 2-1, Hafeez made a 140-run contribution at 70 with 99 not out his best score. He was second on the list amongst top run-getters in the series. Since 1 January 2020 till date, Hafeez has featured in 17 T20Is, where he has scored 480 at 48 with a strike rate of 143.28. The team has around 65 per cent winning ratio in the 17 matches in which Hafeez has played. Mohammad Hafeez said: “I am happy to be back in England again as I have great memories of playing in this country. The T20I series against England will be a treat to watch for the fans and good display of skills and talent is expected from both sides. “The series is crucial for us as it will help us understand where we are placed as a team for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Good performance against a top ranked side will give players and team management great confidence going into the mega event.” Talking about transferring his learnings to the young cricketers, Hafeez said, “As a senior player, I feel it is my duty to transfer my experience and knowledge to young players in the team which I have gained over the years. I want to leave a legacy, so when these young players become senior they too help the new ones of that time as I helped them.” Pakistan is currently on fourth spot in the ICC rankings with 261 points while England are at the top with 278 points.

Olympics15 Jul 2021

Bangladesh National Mohammad Yunus to receive Olympic Laurel
SPORTS DESK ISLAMABAD (July 15, 2021):-Social entrepreneur, economist, civil society leader and Nobel Peace Prize awardee Mohammad Yunus of Bangladesh will become the second recipient of the Olympic Laurel. He will officially receive the trophy during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on 23 July 2021. The distinction was created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to honour outstanding individuals for their achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport. Professor Mohammad Yunus, who is often referred to as the “world’s banker to the poor”, receives the Olympic Laurel award for his extensive work in sport for development, including founding the Yunus Sports Hub, a global social business network that creates solutions through sport. He has in collaborated with the IOC on several projects, including educational elements of the IOC Young Leaders Programme, the “Imagine” Peace Youth Camp and the Athlete365 Business Accelerator – the first comprehensive entrepreneurship programme to help Olympians with career transition. IOC President Thomas Bach said: “With the Olympic Laurel, we take forward the vision of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder and reviver of the modern Olympic Games. It is also a reflection of the ideals and values of the ancient Olympic Games, with a focus on human development through peace and sport.” He continued: “The work of Professor Yunus is exemplary for these ideals and values. He shares his wealth of knowledge generously with the athletes and the Olympic community. He is a great inspiration for all of us. He helps athletes in their post-sport career development to become socially responsible entrepreneurs and shares our vision of how sport can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. In particular, with Paris 2024, he is helping to build a new model for the Olympic Games with minimum impact for the planet and maximum impact for legacy for the people of the host country. We are very thankful for all he is doing for the Olympic community.” Professor Yunus said: “The Olympic Games and sport have the most convening power in the world. The Olympic Games unite the entire world in peaceful competition, celebrating unity in diversity. North and South Korean athletes marching together in the Parade of Nations at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 was a powerful reminder of the immense potential of peace through sport. The Olympic Truce takes forward the vision of building a better world based on fair competition, peace, humanity and reconciliation. “We can use this power to change the world in the most effective ways. Sport has the power to transform lives by galvanising the world, and social business can be the most efficient tool to unleash this power. “Sport is natural to all human beings. It brings all human strengths and emotions into play, irrespective of differences. That gives it enormous power. I urge that we channel this power for achieving social goals and peace.” The Olympic Laurel recipient for 2020 was selected by a distinguished judging panel representing all five continents: world-renowned Japanese film director Naomi Kawase for Asia; eminent scientist and then-Governor General of Canada Julie Payette for the Americas; Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of South Africa, for Africa; Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat and Papua New Guinean politician Dame Meg Taylor for Oceania; IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge for Europe; and IOC President Thomas Bach, who presided over the jury.  Jury member Kawase said: “The Olympic Laurel is conferred upon outstanding individuals who help build a better world, using the power of sport to harness change and positivity. You will see that this year’s recipient is internationally recognised for relentless work in the empowerment and upliftment of disadvantaged sections of society.” Born in 1940 in the seaport city of Chittagong, Professor Yunus studied at Dhaka University in Bangladesh, then received a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University. He received his PhD in economics in 1969 and joined Middle Tennessee State University, where he taught until he returned to Bangladesh in 1972. Professor Yunus is the recipient of numerous international awards for his ideas and endeavours and is a member of the board of the United Nations Foundation. In 2006, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding Grameen Bank, which pioneered the concepts of microcredit and microfinance for people living in poverty. The first ever Olympic Laurel was awarded to the Kenyan Olympian and social changemaker Kip Keino on 5 August 2016, during the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro. Initiated for Rio 2016, the Olympic Laurel is to be awarded at the opening ceremony of each summer edition of the Olympic Games. Symbolising the connection with the ancient Olympic Games, the base of the trophy is a replica of a stone from the site of Olympia, Greece. The creation of the Olympic Laurel was one of the initiatives that emerged from recommendation 26 of Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, to further strengthen the blending of sport and culture.

Cricket13 Jul 2021

PCB renews charity partnership with Shahid Afridi Foundation
SPORTS REPORT LAHORE (July 13, 2021):-The Pakistan Cricket Board today renewed Corporate Social Responsibility partnership with Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) for an additional two years, SAF will continue to be the PCB’s charity partner for the next two years.  Earlier, the PCB had signed a two-year MoU with SAF in 2019. The partnership with SAF will cover non-ICC events, meaning as in the past, SAF logo will feature prominently on the Pakistan national men’s cricket team’s playing kits. PCB’s other CSR initiatives include partnership with British Asian Trust to create mental health awareness and with Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme for polio eradication. The SAF was founded in 2014 with a view of improving living conditions of poor and destitute members of the society. SAF is working in the areas of Health, Education & Clean water together with the message of global peace & goodwill via sports diplomacy. SAF aims to see Pakistani people prosper, educated and healthy in the coming years. Director Commercial PCB Babar Hamid said: “We are delighted to renew our partnership with the Shahid Afridi Foundation for another two years. SAF has proven its worth as one of the leading charity organisations in the country which has done some stellar work for the poor and underprivileged across the country. “The PCB would continue to promote the charity with the renewal of this partnership as part of our CSR initiatives. We want to wish SAF the very best and hope they continue to remain a shining light and a beacon of hope for millions across Pakistan.” Shahid Afridi, Global Chairman, Shahid Afridi Foundation, said: “I am proud that my partnership with Pakistan Cricket has grown beyond my playing career for Pakistan and that the Pakistan Cricket Board will continue to support the Shahid Afridi Foundation from 2021 to 2023. “The work that the Foundation is undertaking focuses on improving lives of our fellow Pakistanis and I look forward to seeing our national stars continuing to create more awareness around our work.”

Cricket13 Jul 2021

Suspended trio finish 14-day quarantine, head home
By BIPIN DANI Sri Lanka's suspended trio- Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilake-have completed their 14-day quarantine period and returned home, the hotel sources in the country, confirmed.  According to the Dolphin Hotel sources in Negombo, three left the hotel at 5.00 pm on Monday. "They all were staying in separate rooms and went in their private vehicles", the hotel source informs. Last month, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had suspended vice-captain & batsman Kusal Mendis and wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, for breaching the bio-bubble during their recent tour of England and ordered their immediate return to the country. The two, along with opener Danushka Gunathilaka, were seen roaming the streets of Durham after the final T20 international, which Sri Lanka lost by a massive 89 runs. The SLC has set up a five-member inquiry panel to investigate alleged misconduct. "They are willing to accept the wrong doings and they are willing to apologize for the mistake", Asanka Wijewardena, the manager of Danushka and Mendis, speaking exclusively over the telephone. "However, during enquiry, they (suspended players) will bring the other similar cases where players have breached the bio-bubble and humbly request to give them the minimum punishment that's possible", the manager added.