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CRICKET - Int News 03 Jul, 2024

Legends Intercontinental T20 welcomes Mohit Joon as Promoter
Sports Bulletin ReportHouston, Texas (USA) As the dust settles on India's triumphant campaign at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies, preparations for yet another cricketing spectacle in America, the Legends Intercontinental T20 (LIT20), are in full swing. The league, featuring cricket legends such as Graeme Swann, TM Dilshan, and Liam Plunkett, is set to take place from August 16 to 28, 2024, at Moosa Stadium Houston in Texas, USA.Mohit Joon, a businessman from India, developed a disciplined and industrious work ethic at a young age, inspired by his father's dedication to his profession. At 26, he launched his own IT business, which he has successfully operated for years. His vision for a more advanced digital nation has enabled him to establish productive relationships with some of the world's leading experts in the field. He aims to create an empire that enhances both the medical field and the economy.Looking forward to his role, Mohit Joon stated, "I am excited to join the Legends Intercontinental T20 League as a promotor. Hosting and administering such a significant event is an incredible opportunity, and I look forward to cultivating a global fanbase."Welcoming Mohit as the promotor, Arun Pandey, COO & Chairman of Legends Intercontinental T20, said, "We are thrilled to welcome Mohit Joon to the LIT-20 family. The preparations are in full swing for the inaugural season. The successful T20 World Cup has made a great impact on the USA audience, we aim to leverage it with LIT-20 and take cricket to the next level. Joon's addition is essential to our ongoing journey."Beyond his role in the LIT20, Joon has ambitious plans to build an empire spanning multiple industries, starting with the food and beverage sector. He envisions operating several restaurants nationwide, owning mines, completing numerous government construction projects, and obtaining construction stakes in seven-star hotels. His goal is to provide luxury and welfare through travel goods and other necessities, uniting the entire world.The Legends Intercontinental T20, scheduled to be held at Moosa Stadium in Texas, will feature a single round-robin format, with the top four teams advancing to the knockout phase. The tournament will include doubleheaders every day, a total of 24 thrilling matches. The event will feature seven teams: Indo Kings, Asian Avengers, Euro Rangers, American Mavericks, Trans-Tasman Titans, African Lions, and Caribbean Vikings, showcasing legendary cricket talents from around the world.  

SPORTS NEWS - Int News 02 Jul, 2024

Journalists celebrate World Sports Journalists Day on July 2
Abdullah AsjadISLAMABAD: The sports journalists of the twin cities Rawalpindi and Islamabad celebrated the World Sports Journalists’ Day, as the ceremony took place at the residence of editor Abdul Jabbar Faisal at Nayyab House Media Town on Tuesday, July 2, 2024.Veteran journalist Haji Mohammad Nawaz Raza graced the ceremony as a chief guest, a senior sports journalist from Daily Jang, a highly circulated Urdu daily of the Asia Shakil Awan, and political and social personality, Kirpa Raja Zaheer Ahmed were special guests. Other journalists, who participated in the ceremony, were included Nasir Aslam Raja, Zulfiqar Baig, Nasir Usman Hashmi, Mohammad Rizwan, Khurram Shahzad Awan, Mohammad Kabir Khan, Ijaz Ali, Mohammad Murtaza Bhatti, Sheraz Ahmed, Haroon Zulfiqar.On this occasion, journalists cut the cake to celebrate World Sports Journalists Day on July 2, 2024.     

SQUASH - Int News 02 Jul, 2024

WSF unfolds Draw and seedings of World Juniors Squash Championship
Defending champion Mohammad Hamza Khan placed second seed, Mohammad Zikria on topSports Bulletin ReportISLAMABAD: Defending champion, Pakistani lad Mohammad Hamza Khan has been placed second seed in the WSF World Junior Squash Championship, which will roll into action from July 12 in Houston, United States of America (USA). Mohamad Zakaria from Egypt on top seed, as the international squash show piece will conclude on July 23, 2024, as the draws and seedings have been announced on Tuesday.In the women's draw, defending champion Amina Orfi of Egypt has been declared top seed as the 17-year-old aims to equal national legend Nour El Sherbini's haul of three World Junior titles. The two-time champion, who has risen as high as World No.11 in the PSA World Rankings this season, will receive a bye in the first round and, should the tournament go to seedings, will contest an all-Egyptian final against Fayrouz Aboelkheir.In the men's draw, 2023 runner up Mohamad Zakaria has been made the early favourite, with the Egyptian targeting a first ever title after a painful defeat to Pakistan's Hamza Khan last year. Khan, who last year ended Pakistan's 37-year wait for the title, has been named No.2 seed, meaning that the Houston crowd could be in for a second showdown between the two in the final.Hosts USA meanwhile have three players seeded inside the top eight across both draws. In the women's draw, Caroline Fouts is seeded [3/4], with Riya Navani seeded [5/8]. In the men's draw, Rishi Srivastava is the sole American seeded, with the 18-year-old seeded [3/4]. Draws and seedings for the team events, which are being held concurrently for the first time in World Juniors history, will be announced following the commencement of the individual event.Women's Seeding (1-8):[1] Amina Orfi (EGY)[2] Fayrouz Aboelkheir (EGY)[3/4] Nadien Elhammamy (EGY)[3/4] Caroline Fouts (USA)[5/8] Janna Galal (EGY)[5/8] Nour Megahed (EGY)[5/8] Riya Navani (USA)[5/8] Anahat Singh (IND)Men's Seeding (1-8):[1] Mohamad Zakaria (EGY)[2] Hamza Khan (PAK)[3/4] Juan Torres (COL)[3/4] Rishi Srivastava (USA)[5/8] Marwan Abdelsalam (EGY)[5/8] Omar Azzam (EGY)[5/8] Jose Santamaria (COL)[5/8] Javier Romo (ECU).

HOCKEY - Int News 01 Jul, 2024

FIH updates World Hockey Rankings: Pakistan on 16th Position
Sports Bulletin ReportLausanne (Switzerland): The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has updated the world hockey ranking and the Netherlands is number 1 while Great Britain spotted second place. Pakistan is still crawling in the 16th position in the men’s ranking.In the women’s world rankings, Netherlands (3534) continue to be the dominant force at the top of the rankings. A second consecutive Pro League title, their fourth in the five seasons of the event, came after yet another excellent season where they won 15 out of their 16 games! Such is Netherlands’ dominance, that their 571-point lead over second placed Argentina (2963) is nearly as big as the 583-points that cover Argentina in second all the way down to China in eighth place on the world ranking table. Germany (2834), who achieved their best ever finish in the FIH Hockey Pro League as runners-up, are ranked third in the world, and look among the strongest contenders for a podium place finish in Paris 2024. Belgium (2771) in fourth and Australia (2743) in fifth are two more teams that had impressive ends to their Pro League seasons as they make a strong case for medal contention at the Olympics. England (2443) in sixth, Spain (2409) in seventh and China (2380) in eighth are separated by less than 65 points. Each of the three teams have shown they are capable of playing excellent hockey and it would not be a surprise to see them punch above their weight at Paris 2024. In the men’s world rankings, Netherlands (3069) continue to remain in the top spot, which they have held for nearly a year now. While Netherlands fell short of retaining their FIH Pro League title, their season was still littered with impressive wins as they finished second in the table. England (2986) have closed the gap to Netherlands in the world rankings but stay second in the standings following a title fight in the Pro League, before eventually settling for a third place. Belgium (2939) had an up and down season in the Pro League, but a final day win over Netherlands sees them climb into third place in the world rankings, ahead of FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 winners Australia (2921), who find themselves in the fourth spot. Less than hundred points cover teams between fifth and seventh places. World Cup winners Germany (2765) find themselves in fifth, followed by Argentina (2690), who had a much improved season in the FIH Hockey Pro League as they finished fourth, four places better than their previous campaign where they came close to getting embroiled in a relegation battle. A poor European leg of the Pro League saw India (2688) drop a lot of points in the Pro League as well as the world rankings, where they now find themselves in seventh, just two points behind Argentina. Spain (2365), eighth in the world rankings, lead a quartet of teams all headed to the Olympics. Hosts France (2241) find themselves in ninth, following an impressive showing at the FIH Hockey Nations Cup, where they finished as runners up. New Zealand (2219) were the winners of the Nations Cup, qualifying for the upcoming season of the FIH Hockey Pro League and round out the top-10 in the world rankings. Ireland (2043) found it tough going in their first Pro League season, but two late season wins against Belgium showcased the improvement in the side headed into the Olympics, as the eleventh ranked team in the world.

CRICKET - Int News 01 Jul, 2024

Colombo Strikers Family, Gear Up for Upcoming Edition of LPL T20
Sports Bulletin ReportColombo (Sri Lanka): With their debut match set for July 2, 2024 against Kandy the Colombo Strikers, a formidable cricket team are gearing up for a big comeback in the fifth season of the Lanka Premier League 2024 (LPL 2024). The Colombo Strikers team owned by Sagar Khanna and led by head coach Carl Crowe with support from assistant coaches Simon Helmot and Chaminda Vaas is confident in both their new additions and their core players.Colombo Strikers a team widely acknowledged as a dominant force in cricket have been successful in improving their performance in international cricket. The Colombo Strikers backed Pakistani cricketing icon Babar Azam’s historic debut in the LPL 2023, as a continuation of the New York Strikers Family whose triumph in the Abu Dhabi T10 and their dominant showcase at the Legends Cricket Trophy are widely recognized. As the Colombo striker’s family gets ready for the next LPL 2024 season, the team knows that they will enthrall fans with their captivating performances once more.Demonstrating excitement for both the tournament and the expansion of the franchise, Owner Sagar Khanna shares, “It would be the continuation of the franchise’s footprint to be set in the upcoming edition of lplt20. I am proud of the fact that the team once again fulfils expectations of the iconic talents we wanted to gather for our squad.”Coach Chaminda Vaas praised the Superstar Strikers strong lineup and highlighted their capacity to adjust to the particular requirements of the LPL T20 format, shares “The Strikers Squad has always been adaptable when it came to adapting the unique challenges of the various formats of International Tournaments. With the LPL T20 format at their disposal our team will undoubtedly take advantage of it to win the cup and receive top honors.”The New York Strikers family’s dominance in the previous Legends Cricket Trophy 90-ball format was also a result of coach Chaminda Vaas’s efforts. Regarding Colombo Strikers’ optimism for the forthcoming LPLT20, assistant coach Simon Helmot shares, “We anticipate LPL as a great opportunity for us to establish our good times in International Cricket Tournament. The upcoming edition brings us good fortunes to magnify our performance with a great showcase”The Colombo strikers’ fam adds the strongest lineup of international participation once again in their voyage to clinch the Lanka Premier League Trophy. At the head of the team is veteran all-rounder Thisara Perera who is renowned for his quick bowling and explosive batting. For his slick bowling motion Matheesha Pathirana brings a youthful exuberance and quickness to the team. Batting order depth is added by the dynamic batsman and wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips. Versatility will be offered by Shadab Khan a competent leg-spinner and batsman. Hard-hitting Afghan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz promises aggressive starts. Muhammad Waseem a rising batsman from the United Arab Emirates adds power hitting. One batsman who adds stability is Sadeera Samarawickrama who is a consistent performer.Bangladeshi fast bowler Taskin Ahmed adds to the pace attack. Experienced middle-order batsman Angelo Perera provides consistency. Balance is added by Dunith Wellalage a promising all-around player. Shevon Daniel, Garuka Sanketh and Chamika Gunasekara are examples of local talents who performed big. Shehan Fernando, Isitha Wijesundara, Binura Fernando, Kavin Bandara and Allah Ghazanfar complete the team each contributing their special talents in an effort to win the Lanka Premier League Trophy.Important players like Nipun Dhananjaya a youthful and gifted batsman renowned for his reliable technique and anchoring skills and middle order Chamika Karunaratne who was crucial in securing numerous wickets in the previous Lanka Premier League have also been retained.
Japani Miwa Harimoto and Tomokazu Harimoto become champions
Sports Bulletin ReportTunis (Tunisia): In an incredible turn of events at WTT Contender Tunis 2024 Presented by KIA, Japan has swept the champions trophies in all five categories, with top-seeded siblings Miwa Harimoto and Tomokazu Harimoto crowned champions in the Women’s and Men’s Singles events.Miwa Harimoto showcased her dominance by defeating Satsuki Odo 4-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3), securing her second WTT Series Women’s Singles title since her win at WTT Contender Tunis 2023. Odo, making her first WTT Series Singles final appearance, showed remarkable resilience throughout the event, having won three WTT Feeder Series titles since her debut. In the Men's Singles, Tomokazu Harimoto emerged third-time victorious in Tunis in a 4-3 win (9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9) against qualifier Yukiya Uda, who made an impressive run to the final. Harimoto, whose last WTT Series singles title was at WTT Champions ESS 2022, added another feather to his cap with this victory. Uda's remarkable journey from the qualifiers to his first international singles final since 2020 showcased his unrelenting fight but ultimately fell just short in the deciding game. The Women's Doubles saw the Japanese duo of Sakura Yokoi and Satsuki Odo triumph over Diya Parag Chitale and Yashaswini Ghorpade of India with a commanding 3-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-3) victory. Yokoi and Odo, fresh off their win at WTT Contender Zagreb earlier this June, continued their winning streak with this title.Tomokazu Harimoto and Sora Matsushima’s stellar performance in the Men’s Doubles, led to the defeat of Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin and Huang Yan-Cheng at 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-5). This marked Harimoto and Matsushima's third WTT outing together as a pair and their first WTT Series Men’s Doubles final win.The Mixed Doubles crown went to Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata, who edged out Sweden’s Christina Kallberg and Kristian Karlsson in a thrilling 3-2 (8-11, 13-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7) match. This victory marks their third WTT Series Mixed Doubles title in June alone and their fifth overall.

CRICKET - Women 30 Jun, 2024

Cricket Board names squad for ACC Women's T20 Asia Cup
Sports Bulletin ReportKARACHI: Nida Dar has been retained as Pakistan captain for the ACC Women’s T20 Asia Cup, which will be held in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, from 19 to 28 July. The squad was confirmed following a four-day camp, which concluded in Karachi on Saturday.Ayesha Zafar, Natalia Parvaiz, Rameen Shamim, Sadaf Shamas, Umm-e-Hani and Waheeda Akhtar, who were part of the 17-member squad that toured England last month, have been left out. Instead, the selectors have named Iram Javed, Omaima Sohail, Syeda Aroob Shah and Tasmia Rubab.Iram’s 53rd and last T20I appearance was against Bangladesh at Chattogram in October 2023, Omaima played her 48th and last shortest format match against New Zealand in Queenstown in December 2023, while Aroob’s seventh and last appearance in a T20I was in Karachi against South Africa in September 2023.Tasmia Rubab, the 22-year-old left-arm fast bowler, is the only uncapped player in the side. She played for Pakistan A against West Indies A and Thailand in November 2023. Representing Multan in the recently held National Women’s One-Day Tournament 2023-24, Tasmia scored 86 runs and took 12 wickets. Tasmia also took four wickets at an economy-rate of 6.36 in the National Women T20 Tournament 2023-24.Names of players: Nida Dar (Captain), Other members of the squad are - Aliya Riaz, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Gull Feroza, Iram Javed, Muneeba Ali, Najiha Alvi, Nashra Sundhu, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Syeda Aroob Shah, Tasmia Rubab and Tuba Hassan.Meanwhile, a training camp of the Pakistan women’s national cricket team for the ACC Women’s T20 Asia Cup will commence in Karachi from 5 July and will continue until the side’s departure on 16 July. Head coach Muhammad Wasim will supervise the camp and will be supported by Abdur Rehman (spin bowling coach), Junaid Khan (assistant coach – bowling) and Hanif Malik (assistant coach – fielding).Hina Munawar, Rabia Siddiq and Waleed Ahmed have already been confirmed as the team manager, physiotherapist and analyst, respectively.Pakistan are placed in Group ‘A’ along with India, Nepal and UAE, while Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia are in Group ‘B’. The top two teams from each group will play in the semi-finals on July 26.Pakistan will take on India on the opening day of the tournament on 19 July, while their matches against Nepal and UAE will be on 21 and 23 July, respectively.

SQUASH - Int News 29 Jun, 2024

Mohammad Hamza wins U19 Asian Individual Squash title
Khan ousts Malaysian opponent Harith Danial 3-0 in final,  Sohail Adnan earns gold in U13Abdul Jabbar Faisal ISLAMABAD: Rising squash star of Pakistan, Mohammad Hamza Khan decorated another feather in his cap by winning the U19 title of the 31st Asian Individual Squash Championship 2024 at Mushaf Squash Complex Islamabad on Saturday. He overcame Harith Danial 3-0 with the score-line of 11-5, 12-10, and 11-9 after a nail-biting contest in the 2nd, and 3rd games of the match.Boys’ Under-19 started 1 hour and 10 minutes late, as it was to kick-off at 3:40 pm in the four-wall central glass court of the complex. However, local guy Mohammad Hamza started the first game with a bang by hitting powerful strokes and claimed an early lead 6-0, as he was also up at 10-1 and ended the game at 11-5.Malaysian player Harith Danial showed some resistance by exhibiting nice skills of squash. Despite going down 2-0 in the start, he settled his feet on the court and succeeded to level the game at 6-6, as he went up at 7-6. Mohammad Hamza was looking cool and did not go under any pressure. He leveled the game at 7-7, 8-8, and 9-9.Harith bounced back in the game scoring two vital consecutive points and rotated the game score to 10-8, at this stage was alarming for Khan, however, he encountered his opponent with courage and finished the game at 12-10 after squaring 10-10. Mohammad Hamza got an impressive lead in the match 2-0, and spectators supported him on each point.The third game was nerve-jangling, as the Malaysian player Harith Danial got the 4 points leading in the starting and remained behind at 0-4, 1-8, and 8-9. Teenager Mohammad Hamza once again came from behind and leveled the game at 9-9. He won the 3rd game at 11-9 after winning half a dozen points in a row to become the champion. He closed the final at 11-5, 12-10, and 11-9.Mohammad Hamza Khan said after the victory: “I am happy on this victory and it was a result of my toil and my coaches Fahim Gul and Zahid Gul also worked hard with me and trained for this international juniors squash fixture. Former world champion Qamar Zaman was here and this was encouraging for me. Other legends like squash icons Jhangir Khan and Jansher Khan should come and watch my matches to encourage me. I will work hard for upcoming international competitions and I am hoping for more support from the Pakistan Squash Federation.”Duncan Chiu, Secretary General of the Asian Squash Federation (ASF) graced the ceremony as chief guest and awarded trophies and medals to the players. Air Marshal Kazim Hammad, Senior Vice President PSF along with Squash legend Qamar Zaman, VP PSF Adnan Asad, and number of players and officials also attended the ceremony.Results (finals):Boys’ U13: Sohail Adnan (Pak) beat Huzaifa Shahid (Pak) 12-10, 12-10, 5-11, 4-11, 11-8Boys’ U15: Shiven Agarwal (IND) beat Muhammad Raziq Puttra (MAS) 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 13-11Boys’ U17: Nikhelswar (MAS) beat Abdullah Nawaz (Pak) 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6Boys’ U19: Mohammad Hamza Khan (Pak) beat Harith Danial (MAS) 11-5, 12-10, 11-9Girls’ U13: Aadya Budhia (IND) beat Goushika (IND) 11-5, 11-5, 11-4Girls’ U15: Harleein Tan (MAS) beat Lo Pui Yin Chloe (HKG) 11-8, 11-4, 11-6Girls’ U17: Enna Kwong (HKG) beat Tang Helen (HKG) 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-1Girls’ U19: Thanussa Uthrian (MAS) beat Akari Midorikawa (JPN) 11-8, 11-7, 11-2

SPORTS NEWS - Futsal 29 Jun, 2024

Women's futsal team to participate in AFC Women's Futsal Asian Cup
Sports Bulletin ReportLAHORE: The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has announced the participation of the Pakistan Women's Futsal team in the AFC Women's Futsal Asian Cup 2025. For the first time, the women's team will compete in any premier futsal competition under the umbrella of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).The qualification round is scheduled to begin at the start of 2025, with the round of 12 set to take place in May 2025. To prepare for the AFC Women's Futsal Asian Cup 2025, the PFF has successfully organized five Futsal National Cup (FNC) competitions in major cities across Pakistan.MRF clinched the title of the Women's Futsal National Cup in Lahore. In Quetta, Hazara remained the crowned champions of the Women's Futsal National Cup. Smuff emerged victorious in the Women's Futsal National Cup in Islamabad, while the Karachi City team secured the win in the Women's Futsal National Cup in Karachi. These competitions were a part of PFF's efforts to develop women's futsal in Pakistan.Chairman PFF Normalisation Committee, Haroon Malik said: "I am pleased to announce that the PFF has confirmed the participation of the Women's Futsal team in the AFC Women's Futsal Asian Cup 2025. This participation highlights PFF's commitment to developing women's futsal in Pakistan and providing our players with opportunities to compete at the international level", he added.
Indian Squash officials vow to restore bilateral sports series with Pakistan
Abdul Jabbar FaisalISLAMABAD: The officials of the Indian contingent for the Asian Juniors’ Individual Squash Championship 2024, Dalip Kumar Tripathi (Manager), and Mekhala Subadar (Manager-cum-coach) vowed to restore bilateral sports series between India and Pakistan, as this step would be a nice omen for both countries to boost their sports.While talking with at Mushaf Squash Complex here Dalip Kumar Tripathi said: “I came first time to Pakistan along with squash players, and I am very happy here to meet with Pakistani people, who welcomed Indian players for this international squash fixture with the core of hearts. We are good, and Pakistani officials are caring for us and providing all the facilities in the capital city. However, we are not allowed to go outside the hotel.”Responding to a question, Dalip said that this event would be a great opportunity for Indian players to learn squash because Pakistan was the soil of world champions. “If there would be bilateral sports series in different sports including squash this step would be fruitful for the players of both national to enhance the skills of the game and improve the standard of respective games, as in the past bilateral series of hockey, and tennis were held between the Pakistan and India, “he added.Dalip divulged to this scribe that India got the basic squash system from Malaysia and started squash promotion at the grassroots level. “We hold 40 to 45 national tournaments in one year in different states, aiming to provide occasion to budding players. Players, who do well and learn the skills of squash later send them abroad for junior international tournaments. India squash is on the right track to reach on top at the international arena, “he replied to another question.“I wished to meet Jansher Khan, as he was a great legend of world squash but I could not found. I have met Jehangir Khan twice in other countries and I felt a great honor, and pride after meeting the former world champion and icon of squash. Our young players are encouraged if they meet Jensher Khan and Jehangir Khan but we could not manage, “he lamented while concluding his views. Females’ Manager-cum-Coach, Mekhala Subadar said: “I am satisfied with the player's performance in the ongoing 31st Asian Juniors’ Individual Squash Championship 2024, and this event will be helpful for the World Junior Squash Championship 2024, which will be played next month in Houston, United States of America (USA).”She further said that squash was growing day by day in India, as the school boys and girls both got equal opportunities to excel at the national level, as well as the international level. “We have a good system to enhance the standard of the game across the country and provide maximum facilities to players. We provide rackets and other squash equipment free of the cast to the players at lower level.While replying to a question, she said: “I am a former Indian squash player and won four national championship titles during my squash career. I visited Pakistan for the first time in 2004, the South Asian Games, which were taken place in the same city Islamabad. I found the people here very nice and loving and I have good wishes for them. Food is different but yummy and we enjoyed this trip. I am eager to go market and buy clothes and gifts for family and friends, “she said.“I like Pakistan dramas too. We got love from Pakistani common people and I will tell the people of India about the love of Pakistani people. We should provide occasions to common people for interaction each other and defame the image of both nations will be clear. Good relations between the common people will lead toward peace in the region and through sports we can do this easily, “she concluded.