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BASKETBALL - National 28 May, 2024

Basketball: WAPDA, PAF, Rangers, Sindh Greens claim wins
Sports Bulletin ReportKARACHI: Pakistan Wapda, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Rangers, Sindh Greens have won their matches in the first round of the All-Pakistan Mohammad Majid-Abdul Nasir Memorial Basketball Tournament here at Siddique Memon Sports Complex on Tuesday.Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui inaugurated the 6-team fixture while Associate Secretary of Pakistan Basketball Federation Mohammad Yaqoob Qadry and other personalities were also present on the occasion. On the first day of the event, Pakistan Wapda after a one-sided competition defeated Sindh Whites by 74 points against 36 points. In the second match, Pakistan Rangers defeated Balochistan by 74-40 points while Sindh Greens defeated Sindh Whites by 84-53 points. In the fourth match, Pakistan Air Force defeated Islamabad by 75 points against 43 while Police defeated Sindh Yellow by 62-32 points.

HOCKEY - Int News 28 May, 2024

Malaysia and Iran qualify for FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup 2025
Sports Bulletin ReportLausanne (Switzerland): The Men’s Indoor Asia Cup 2024 came to an end over the past week with Iran claiming the title following a stunning 7-1 victory over Malaysia in the final, as both teams secured their spot at the upcoming FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup 2025, which will be played in Poreč, Croatia from 3-9 February 2025. 8 teams competed in the Men’s Indoor Asia Cup 2024, in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan from 21-25 May 2024. Iran, Thailand, Singapore and Tajikistan were placed in Pool A, while Malaysia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Oman were placed in Pool B. Iran, 8-time winners of the competition, were dominant in the Pool A, winning all their matches, with Thailand finishing in second place. In Pool B, it was Malaysia in the top place, followed by hosts Kazakhstan in second. The format of the Indoor Asia Cup 2024, saw the top two teams from each pool placed into one pool, for a second round-robin stage. Iran once again topped the pool with 2 wins and a draw. Malaysia finished second with one win and two draws. As the top-2 finishers in the second round-robin phase, Iran and Malaysia qualified for the final, and with two spots available from the competition for the upcoming FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup Croatia 2025, both Iran and Malaysia had qualified for the premier indoor hockey event. The final was a stark contrast to the pool stage match between Iran and Malaysia, which had ended in a 3-3 tie. Iran showed their championship mettle to run away with the contest, scoring four unanswered goals in the opening quarter, effectively putting the result beyond doubt. The final score ended up as 7-1 in the favour of Iran, who claimed their 9th consecutive Indoor Asia Cup title and will once again be among the top teams in the World Cup, where they became the first Asian team to snag a podium place with a bronze medal in the 2018 edition, and followed it up by another bronze medal performance in the most recent edition in Pretoria 2023. 

SQUASH - Int News 28 May, 2024

British Open Squash Championship 2024: The Contenders
ISLAMABAD (Sports Desk): The prestigious British Open returns to Birmingham for the second successive year. The event will run from 2-9 June with action taking place from the Edgbaston Priory Club and The Rep Theatre.A total of 96 players will compete across the week including all of the world's leading players. We've taken a look at the top contenders in each draw and broken down their seasons so far and chances of taking home the titles next week in Birmingham.Ali Farag: Men's top seed Ali Farag is the leading player in the men's draw again this year. The defending champion took the 2023 title in impressive fashion to win the event for the first time, whilst also fasting to observe Ramadan. Since that win last April, the World No.1 has won 10 World Tour events and reached the final in all but one of the tournaments that he has played in, terrific consistency from the Egyptian.With the disappointment of losing out in the semi-finals of the recent World Championships, Farag could return to action with fire in his eyes to prove why he is the best player in the world. Multiple British Open titles will certainly be on Farag's wish list.Paul Coll: 2x British Open champion Paul Coll is the No.2 seed for the event and will relish a glass court back indoors. The New Zealander has won four events this season, three of which have seen the latter stages played on indoor glass courts as opposed to the outdoor ones that are predominantly seen in Egypt. Coll undoubtedly prefers these conditions and after having a break whilst the Manchester Open and QSF 3 were happening, the Kiwi will be returning to action with a fresh mind and body, which spells danger for the rest of the field.Diego Elias: The new World Champion Diego Elias will be back in action for the first time after his momentous win at the British Open as he looks to claim his first Platinum event win of the season. The Peruvian has no doubt enjoyed his win but will make sure that he is fit and firing for the last Platinum tournament of the campaign. Elias looked to be lacking confidence at times this season but that will not be the case now after his last event in Cairo.Elias finds himself in a tricky portion of the draw, which includes five top 16 players: Victor Crouin, Youssef Soliman, Tarek Momen, Joel Makin and Youssef Ibrahim. If Elias progresses through those tough matches to the semi-finals, a potential rematch with Ali Farag is on the cards. The Egyptian will certainly be after revenge following his dethroning.Mostafa Asal: 'The Raging Bull' Mostafa Asal earned a place in his first World Championships final in his previous event, falling in the final to rival Elias in three games. The week looked to have took its toll on the young Egyptian in the title decider but the World No.4 will be desperate to return to action in Birmingham.Asal has endured an up and down season but after a disappointing start has found his form in the second half of the season with wins in Florida and Black Ball as well as three runner-up finishes. A slight knee injury forced his late withdrawal from the Manchester Open but hopefully the entertaining 22-year-old has overcome that and will be ready to take on his rivals again in Birmingham.If the seedings go to plan, Asal will need to defeat both the Elshorbagy brothers in consecutive rounds to move into the semi-finals, where Paul Coll may be waiting.Nour ElSherbini: World No.1 Nour ElSherbini will return to defend her British Open title next week in Birmingham and is once again seeded to scoop the top prize. The Egyptian has been a force to be reckoned with again this season, winning six titles and firmly establishing herself as the World No.1. Despite the wins, ElSherbini may not count this as one of her best seasons due to tasting defeat in a World Championships for the first time since 2017 as she lost out to Nouran Gohar in the final a few weeks ago in Cairo. The loss certainly would have stung the 7x World Champion who will be gunning for revenge next week.Nouran Gohar: Having lost the last three World Championship finals, some thought that Nouran Gohar would never lift the coveted trophy, but 'the Terminator' proved them wrong as she deservedly defeated thorn in her side ElSherbini in four games to claim the title a few weeks ago in Cairo.A terrific accomplishment for Gohar who has been in great form since her return from injury. The confidence that the World No.2 will be feeling now is probably the highest it's ever been and having not won the British Open since 2019, Gohar will be sure that she can take home the title and claim the Worlds and British double.Hania El Hammamy: 2022 champion Hania El Hammamy knows what it takes to win this prestigious event and she will need to draw on every bit of that experience from 2 years ago to lift the title next week.El Hammamy claimed two Platinum titles in the first half of the season but since the turn of the year is trophy-less in five attempts. Two losses to ElSherbini and Gohar as well as a loss in London to Sivasangari Subramaniam have left the 23-year-old searching for answers in her game. She has recently started working with former World Champion Laura Massaro and although this may turn out to be a good partnership, changes in swing and mentality take time to be fully embedded into a players game.The feisty, clinical nature of El Hammamy makes her a danger at any event and with coach Massaro on hand next week, another British Open would certainly be a welcome end to the season for the World No.3.

VOLLEYBALL - Int News 28 May, 2024

Pakistan surprise Australia 3-0 to earn lead in 3-match volleyball Series
Abdul Jabbar FaisalISLAMABAD: Pakistan outclassed high-ranked Australia in straight games 3-0 in the opening fixture of the 3-match bilateral volleyball series at Liaquat Gymnasium, Pakistan Sports Complex Islamabad on Tuesday. Spiker, Hammad Arshad was declared the best player of the match.The Sarsabz Volleyball Series 2024 kicked off today with a thrilling encounter in an exhilarating display of skill and determination. The final score-line was 25-22, 25-22, and 25-20, as the hosts made a significant achievement for the Green Shirts and the Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF).The match was a testament to the hard work and preparation of the Pakistani players, who demonstrated exceptional teamwork and strategy on the court. The victory has set a positive tone for the series and has energized the fans and supporters of volleyball in Pakistan.The Sarsabz Volleyball Series 2024, featuring three matches between Pakistan and Australia, promises to deliver more exciting volleyball action. The second match of the series is scheduled for tomorrow, 29th May 2024, at 6:30 PM. Fans can catch the live broadcast on Geo Super and the official YouTube channel of Pakistan Volleyball.This series is not only an opportunity for the Pakistani team to showcase their talent but also a significant step in strengthening international sports relations and fostering a competitive spirit among athletes. The PVF extends its gratitude to the fans, sponsors, and media partners for their unwavering support and invites everyone to join in and cheer for the green shirts in the upcoming matches.Pakistan Team: Murad Jehan (captain), Kashif Naveed (Vice Captain), Usman Fariyad, Afaq Jan, Fakhar Watto, Aimal Khan, Murad Wazir, Waleed Khan, Ali Haider, Hammad Arshad, Musawar Khan, Zaheer Jutt, Nasir Ali, Yaseen khan Australia Team: Nehemiah Mote (captain) Luke Perry, Arshdeep Dosanjh, Jackson Holland, Trent O’dea, Matthew Aubrey, Max Senica, Beau Graham, Thomas Heptinstall, Sam Flowerday, Nicholas Butler, Ethan Garrett, William D’arcy Miles, Jacob Baird. 

BASKETBALL - National 27 May, 2024

Mohammad Majid-Abdul Nasir Memorial Basketball Tournament
Sports Bulletin ReportKARACHI: All Pakistan Mohammad Majid-Abdul Nasir Memorial Basketball Tournament will start on Tuesday (May 28, 2024) here at the Siddique Memon Sports Complex under the control of the Pakistan Basketball Federation (PBBF).According to Associate Secretary PBBF, and Tournament Director Mohammad Yaqoob Qadry, the teams of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), WAPDA, Police, Rangers, Islamabad, Sindh Green, Balochistan, and Sindh White will compete in the six-day event to be concluded on June 02.Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui will inaugurate the event while Governor Sindh Kamran Khan Tessori will be the chief guest of the closing ceremony of the tournament, and will distribute prizes among the players. Four matches will be played daily, as the semifinals will be played on June 1, while the final on June 2, 2024.

VOLLEYBALL - Int News 26 May, 2024

Australian volleyball players arrive in Islamabad for 3-match Series
Green Shirts to face Australia on May 29 at Liaquat Gymnasium Pakistan Sports ComplexAbdul Jabbar FaisalISLAMABAD: The Australia volleyball squad have arrived here to play a three-match bilateral series against hosts Pakistan, as the opening match of the tie will be played at Liaquat Gymnasium Pakistan Sports Complex Islamabad on May 29, 2025.According to an official of the Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF), a strong Australian volleyball squad arrived in Islamabad on Sunday ahead of a three-match volleyball series against the hosts Pakistan. This marks the first time the Australian team will play on the soil of Pakistan. Murad Jehan will lead Pakistan in the series.The top officials of PVF welcomed the visiting team at Islamabad International Airport. The Australians will hold a practice session on May 27 (Monday) at the venue. Nehemiah Mote will lead Australia in the series. Daniel Ilott will act as head coach, with James Begley, Alec Walker, and Brendan Garlick serving as coaches.Names of Australia Team: Nehemiah Mote (captain) Luke Perry, Arshdeep Dosanjh, Jackson Holland, Trent O’dea, Matthew Aubrey, Max Senica, Beau Graham, Thomas Heptinstall, Sam Flowerday, Nicholas Butler, Ethan Garrett, William D’arcy Miles, and Jacob Baird.The first match of the three-match series will be held on May 28 at Liaquat Gymnasium, Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad. The second match will be played on May 29, and the third match of the series will be held on May 30. All matches will start at 6:30 pm.Chairman PVF, Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob said: "Australia has some good players in their squad, and we encourage fans to come and cheer for the Green Shirts, who have recently shown excellent performance by winning the Central Asian Volleyball League."

VOLLEYBALL - Int News 26 May, 2024

Training Tour: Pakistan Volleyball women leave for Italy
Sports Bulletin ReportISLAMABAD: The National Women's Volleyball Team of Pakistan on Sunday left Islamabad for Itly for a training tour, aimed at preparing them for upcoming international tournaments.The team, led by Captain Amna and Vice-Captain Rashida Shakeel, will be under the expert guidance of Head Coach Alessandra Campedelli from Italy, assisted by Pakistani coaches Malik Zahid and Waseem Rana.Before their departure, Chairman of the Pakistan Volleyball Federation, Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob, and President PVF, Sohail Khawar Mir, met with the team and expressed their best wishes for a successful tour.Captain Amna said: “During stay in Italy, the team will engage in intense training sessions and play practice matches against local clubs, gaining valuable exposure and experience. We are grateful for the support of our federation and the opportunity to train in Italy," said Captain Amna.”
Bismillah National Junior Squash Championship concludes
Rising squash player Anas Ali Shah beat Varun Asif 3-1 in the final to clinch the titleAbdul Jabbar FaisalISLAMABAD: Rising squash player, Anas Ali Shah has won the title of the first Bismillah National Junior Squash Championship 2024 that concluded in Lahore.The under-19 lad started the campaign in the championship after thrashing Haji Nawaz in the first round of the top national squash showpiece. Anas won the match comfortably in straight games 3-0 and conceded just 2, 1, and 4 points in all three games.In the second round, Anis Ali got rid of Shamlan Gul 3-1 after toiling hard on the court. Shah won the first two games at 11-8, and 11-6, however, he faced resistance in the next two games by Shamlan, who won the third game on a tie-break and lost the last one at 9-11 after showing some aggression in the start of the 4th game.In the quarterfinal, Anas Ali defeated Shayan Ali in straight games after exhibiting nice skills of the game. He played powerful forehand and backhand drives to keep the opponent on his toes. Anas played some classic drop shorts and nicks, which were applauded by a sizeable number of spectators, and amused the squash lovers.Anas Ali stunned Abdullah Butt after defeating him 3-1 in the semifinal, as the U19 champion maintained his winning habit in the vital contest of the championship, as his challenger was too good a player of Pakistan. The final score-line was 11-4, 11-5, 10-12, and 11-8, as the match lasted 23 minutes.On May 24, 2024, the final was played between Anas Ali Shah and Varun Asif, as both players were looking in nice touch and eager to lift the title. Varun won the first game at 11-9 and earned a valuable lead of 1-0. However, after going down 1-0, Anas Ali changed his strategy and claimed the next three games to lift the title of the first Bismillah National Junior Squash Championship 2024.Results (U19’s Champion):Round-1: Anas Ali Shah beat Haji Nawaz (3-0) 11-2, 11-1, 11 4Round 2: Anas Ali Shah: beat Shamlan Gul (3-1) 11-8, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9Quarterfinal: Anas Ali Shah beat Shayan Ali Sayed (3-0) 11-5, 11-4, 11-2Semifinal: Anas Ali Shah beat Abdullah Butt (3-1) 11-4, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8Final: Anas Ali Shah beat Varun Asif (3-1) 9-11, 11-5, 11-0, 11 8.

CRICKET - Int News 24 May, 2024

15-member Pakistan squad announced for T20 World Cup 2024
Babar Azam to lead Green Shirts, Pakistan to take on India on June 9 in New YorkAbdul Jabbar FaisalISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Cricket Board today unveiled its 15-player squad for next month’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which will be held in the United States of America (USA) and West Indies from June 1 to 29, 2024. Batter Babar Azam will lead the Green Shirts in the prestigious cricket fixture of the world.According to the media department of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the side was confirmed on Friday afternoon following a two-hour selection committee meeting in Birmingham, which was attended by Abdul Razzaq, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Bilal Afzal, Gary Kirsten, Mohammad Yousuf and Wahab Riaz. Razzaq, Asad and Bilal joined the deliberations through videoconference.Of the 15 players, Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Saim Ayub and Usman Khan have been picked for their maiden T20 World Cup, while Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim last appeared in the 2016 and 2021 tournaments, respectively. The other eight players participated in the 2022 event in Australia.Pakistan has one of the most impressive records in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup since its inception in 2007 in South Africa. It won the 2009 event under Younis Khan and twice reached the finals under Shoaib Malik (2007) and Babar Azam (2022). In 2010, 2012, and 2021, it reached the last-four stage.Names of players: Babar Azam (captain), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman KhanPlayer support personnel: Wahab Riaz (senior team manager), Mansoor Rana (team manager), Gary Kirsten (head coach), Azhar Mahmood (assistant coach), Simon Helmot (fielding coach), David Reid (mental performance coach), Aftab Khan (high performance coach), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Irtaza Komail (chief security officer), Mohammad Imran (masseur), Mohammad Khurram Sarwar (team doctor), Talha Ijaz (analyst), Raza Kitchlew (media and digital manager) and Drikus Saaiman (strength and conditioning coach).Pakistan’s schedule of matches:6 June – vs USA, Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, Dallas9 June – vs India, Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York11 June – vs Canada, Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York16 June – vs Ireland, Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium, Lauderhill, Florida

SPORTS NEWS - National 24 May, 2024

Inter-Provincial Women’s Softball Championship to start on May 30
Sports Bulletin ReportKARACHI: The first Inter-Provincial Women's Softball Championship will be played at the Football Stadium KPT Sports Complex, Karachi, from 30th May to 1st June 2024. Teams from Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and host Sindh will participate in the championship.  Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) is the title sponsor of the championship, and Combaxx Sports are co-sponsors in collaboration with Palmolive, Dr. Essa Lab, KPT, and others are included. Sindh Softball Association has been given the hosting of the championship.