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CRICKET - Int News 28 Mar, 2024

Pakistan v New Zealand T20I series tickets to go on sale from Friday
LAHORE (PR): The tickets for the five-match T20I series between Pakistan and New Zealand will go on sale from Friday, 29 March, as the series will be played in Rawalpindi (18, 20 and 21 April) and Lahore (25 and 27 April). The matches are set to begin at 730pm.In the first phase, the pre-booking of the online tickets will start on Friday at 5pm at pcb.tcs.com.pk. The sale of physical tickets along with outlet addresses will be announced in due course. The tickets for Rawalpindi-leg will be available at a minimum cost of PKR 500 (Premium) and the maximum available at PKR 7,500 (VVIP Gallery). Additionally, the hospitality seats will be available at a maximum amount of PKR 15,000 except for the first T20I where the hospitality seats will be available for PKR 12,000.For the Lahore leg, ticket prices start at PKR 300 for General seating and the maximum at PKR 6,000 for the fourth T20I while PKR 7,000 for the fifth T20I (VVIP Gallery). Also, hospitality boxes located at the Far-End building will be available for purchase in Lahore. The hospitality box for Thursday’s (25 April) encounter will be available at PKR 600,000, while the box for Saturday’s (27 April) match will be available at PKR 700,000.
Raptors win first DHA Inter-Club Ramadan Basketball Tournament
Abdul Jabbar FaisalRAWALPINDI: The inter-Club Ramadan Basketball Tournament concluded at DHA Sector E Basketball Courts, which was held under the banner of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Rawalpindi in collaboration with the Federal Basketball Association (FBBA) from March 20-25, 2024.According to an official, as many as 12 teams participated in the tournament, which were divided into 4 groups. Top 2 teams of each group qualified for the quarterfinals. After quarterfinals, Wah Reapers, Raptors, United Kings, and Dynamites moved into the semifinals. United Kings beat Dynamites in a thrilling match by 4 points whereas Raptors beat Wah Reapers by 12 points.Final match was played between United Kings and Raptors, as it was nerve-jangling contest. Raptors overcame United Kings with the 2 points margin. The final score-line was 89-87 in the favour of Raptors. The winners received a glittering trophy and collected Rs. 50,000 cash prize of the first edition. United Kings pocketed Rs.30, 000 cash prize with a runners-up with trophy.Many distinguished guest were present at the venue to enjoy a beautiful game of basketball including Director Sports DHA Brig Salim Nawaz, Deputy Doctor Sports, Malik Mohammad Riaz, Col Shujaat Ali Rana, Major Saleem, Dr Ouj Zahoor, Azam Dar along with organisers Dr Rohail, Usman Awan, Owais Butt and sizeable spectators.Imtiaz Rafi Butt, Senior Vice President, Pakistan Basketball Federation graced the closing ceremony as a chief guest. He distributed the shields, trophies and Souvenirs among distinguished guests and teams in a wonderful prize distribution ceremony.

TENNIS - Local News 28 Mar, 2024

General Council Meeting of Islamabad Tennis Association in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD (PR): The first General Council Meeting of the Islamabad Tennis Association (ITA) was held on March 25, 2024, at here Islamabad Club, chaired by Tariq Mehmood Murtaza, Chairman and President of Islamabad Tennis Association. All the affiliated units of the ITA were present in the meeting except the representative of Islamabad Tennis Complex.The meeting was convened by the stipulations outlined in the Constitution of the Islamabad Tennis Association, with the primary objective of establishing the Management Committee and enhancing the operational cohesion between the Islamabad Tennis Association, its affiliated units, and the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF).In light of Tariq Murtaza's intention to retire from his longstanding service at the ITA due to personal commitments, a proposal has been advanced to nominate Majid Bashir for the position of President of the association. Bashir's distinguished background as an advocate and his extensive experience as the Senior Executive Vice President of the ITA made him a suitable candidate to assume the leadership role within the organization. His commitment to the association's mission and his demonstrated leadership qualities equip him to navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead, ensuring continuity and excellence in the ITA's endeavors.The proposal was met with unanimous approval from the members present, who showed their support for Majid Bashir through a show of hands. This indicates a vote of confidence in Bashir's ability to lead the ITA effectively.Majid Bashir, upon being elected as the new President, expressed his sincere gratitude to the members for their unanimous support. He pledged to dedicate himself to the advancement of tennis in the Capital Territory of Islamabad. Furthermore, he emphasized his commitment to fostering harmony and amicable relations between the affiliated units of the ITA and the PTF. Bashir aims to work towards the development and enhancement of the game of tennis, ensuring its growth and prosperity within the region.

BASKETBALL - National 27 Mar, 2024

All Pakistan Ramadan Cup Basketball Tournament starts on March 28
Mohammad Azam Dar ISLAMABAD: Under the patronage of the Federal Basketball Association (FBBA), the All Pakistan 3x3 Ramadan Cup Basketball Tournament will kick off on Thursday (March 28) at Pakistan Sports Complex Islamabad.According to Federal Basketball Association Secretary Ouj E Zahoor, a large number of basketball clubs and departments from around the country will participate in the event which will be played under floodlights.He said that the FBBA and the Pakistan Basketball Federation (PBBF), with the support of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) have been at the forefront of nurturing and promoting basketball in the country. This tournament is a testament to their unwavering commitment to developing sports infrastructure and providing platforms for athletes to showcase their skills.“The tournament, spanning several days, will showcase the growing talent in three distinct categories including Men's Departmental Tournament, Club Tournament for men, and the Women's Tournament”, Ouj said, adding that the men's departmental tournament will see fierce competition among 12 teams from prestigious departments including Wapda, Army, Navy, and Police. Meanwhile, the Club Tournament is expected to be a grand affair with 48 teams from various cities across Pakistan competing for the top spot and women's tournament will feature 12 teams, highlighting the growing interest and participation of women in basketball. Ouj E Zahoor said that this year's 3x3 Ramadan Cup is more than just a tournament; it's a celebration of basketball and its rapidly growing format, 3x3, which has been gaining international acclaim and popularity. The event is set to provide a significant boost to the sport's visibility and interest among the youth and sports enthusiasts across Pakistan.

CRICKET - ICC 27 Mar, 2024

Gardner gains big in ICC Women's ODI Player Rankings
Sports Bulletin ReportDubai (UAE): Australia all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner has moved up all three lists in the ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings after a fine run with both bat and bowl in the first two matches of their ICC Women’s Championship series against Bangladesh in Mirpur.Gardner, who scored 52 runs and grabbed five wickets in the two matches, has moved up five spots to 17th in the batting rankings, entered the top five in the bowling rankings and advanced from sixth to second position in the rankings for all-rounders.In other notable movements, fast bowler Megan Schutt has inched up to second position among bowlers, left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux has re-entered the bowling rankings in joint-69th position after her match-winning three-wicket haul in the second ODI and Alana King has moved up 19 spots to 58th among batters after smashing an unbeaten 46 in the first match.Annabel Sutherland (up five places to 38th among batters) and Ellyse Perry (up six places to joint-52nd among bowlers) have also gained in the latest weekly update.Bangladesh left-arm spinner Nahida Akter, who returned figures of two for 27 in the first match, has entered the top 10 for the first time. Her previous best was 12th position, which she had attained in December last year. Nahida is presently ranked 25th in T20Is but had a career-high third position in July 2018.Off-spinner Sultana Khatun has moved up six places to be joint-52nd with Perry after finishing with three wickets in the two matches. The two wins have helped Australia consolidate their position at the top of the Women’s Championship points table. They are now on 26 points from 17 matches while South Africa are second with 20 points from 15 matches. The full standings are available here.Meanwhile, in the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings, England captain Heather Knight has moved up five slots to 23rd position among batters after scoring 129 runs in the first three matches of the ongoing series against New Zealand, which England lead 2-1.Maia Bouchier’s 126 runs in the three matches have lifted her 43 places to 53rd position while New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr is up three places to 11th. In the bowling rankings, Sarah Glenn (up two places to second), Charlotte Dean (up eight places to 11th) and Lauren Bell (up 15 places to 18th) have all progressed.

CRICKET - Women 27 Mar, 2024

Pakistan and India cricket women to meet on July 21 in Asia Cup
Sports Bulletin ReportDubai (UAE): Traditional rival Pakistan and India cricket women set to meet on July 21 in the Asia Cup 2024 fixture in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, as the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) announced the schedule of the prestigious regional cricket showpiece. Joining the cricketing powerhouses of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh will be the semi-finalists of the Women's Premier Cup 2024 - UAE, Malaysia, Nepal, and Thailand. The increased participation promises to make this tournament even more competitive and thrilling for cricket fans across the region.In line with the ACC's vision for inclusivity and equality in cricket, the Women's Asia Cup2024 will continue the tradition of having all female referees and umpires, following the successful implementation of the same in the previous edition.ACC President, Jay Shah said: "The Women's Asia Cup 2024 underscores the ACC's commitment to promoting women's cricket in the region. We are excited to see the increased participation and competitiveness among the teams, reflecting the growing popularity and importance of women's cricket. This expansion, from six teams in 2018 to seven in 2022, and now eight, is a testament to our commitment to the women’s game and the burgeoning talent pool in Asian cricket. We anticipate an exciting tournament that will inspire both players and fans."The Women's Asia Cup has become a significant event in the ACC calendar, providing a platform for women cricketers to showcase their skills and passion for the sport. The ACC remains steadfast in its efforts to advance women's cricket and create more opportunities for women to excel internationally.Pools: Group A: India, Pakistan, UAE, NepalGroup B: Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, MalaysiaSchedule (ACC Women's Asia Cup, Dambulla):Friday 19-Jul Pakistan vs Nepal, India vs UAESaturday 20-Jul Malaysia vs Thailand, Sri Lanka vs BangladeshSunday 21-Jul Nepal vs UAE, India vs PakistanMonday 22-Jul Sri Lanka vs Malaysia, Bangladesh vs ThailandTuesday 23-Jul Pakistan vs UAE, India vs NepalWednesday 24-Jul Bangladesh vs Malaysia, Sri Lanka vs ThailandFriday 26-Jul SF1 (Group A 1st) vs (Group B 2nd)SF2 (Group B 1st) vs (Group A 2nd)Sunday 28-Jul Final 
Beijing Emerges as the Latest Powerhouse to Host WTT Grand Smash
Sports Bulletin ReportBeijing (China): Beijing has been selected to host the China Smash from 2024 to 2028, a decision that shines a spotlight on China by introducing it as the newest host for a WTT Grand Smash event. This decision follows a competitive bidding process, earning the endorsement of the World Table Tennis (WTT) Board, with the support of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). The selection brings the event to Shougang Park in Shijingshan from 23 September to 6 October, uniting top table tennis players in a setting rich with history and tradition.This recognition not only highlights Beijing's status as a global sports hub, with its unique Olympic legacy of hosting both the Summer and Winter Games, but also aligns with the city's forward-looking aspirations. As Shougang Park gears up to host the world's table tennis elite, vying for supremacy and 2,000 world ranking points this October, it symbolises a celebration of Beijing’s evolution and the rich interplay of its culture and sporting excellence.Steve Dainton, Chief Executive Officer at WTT reflects on the selection said: "We're honoured to be back in this Olympic city, which has not seen a major international table tennis event of this scale since the 26th World Table Tennis Championships in 1961. With China being our largest market and Beijing the capital, we couldn't be prouder to bring the China Smash to such an iconic location. This is a testament to the sport's growth, the appeal of the WTT Grand Smash and the city's enduring appeal." Li Xin, Head of the Beijing Shijingshan District People's Government, said: "Shijingshan District, celebrated for hosting two Olympic Games in Beijing, has gained invaluable experience and international acclaim for organising large-scale events. Selecting Shougang Park as the venue highlights our Olympic heritage and leverages its multifaceted capabilities in science, technology, culture, and sports, ensuring the seamless execution of this event. This choice not only honours our past but also fortifies our commitment to enhancing the sports industry, improving infrastructure and service quality to guarantee the success of every hosted event."Petra Sörling, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) President said: “After a joint jury decision by the ITTF and WTT, Beijing has successfully and deservedly secured the right to host the China Smash for the coming five years. We look forward to welcoming the world's top players to the Shijingshan Shougang Park in Beijing. Notably, Beijing is the inaugural Chinese city to host the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships. Given its rich heritage in table tennis, Beijing is an ideal venue for the China Smash. I am delighted that Beijing has been chosen to host this event and thank all partners for their efforts. We have every reason to anticipate that the China Smash will be a monumental success, further enriching Beijing's illustrious table tennis history.” Liu Guoliang, Chinese Table Tennis Association President said: "Beijing, the capital of China, is also a globally renowned sports city. It has proudly hosted both the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympics. Now, with the arrival of a WTT Grand Smash, the premier international table tennis event, Beijing's esteemed capability to host major sporting events is once again highlighted. I am confident that we will not only honour our rich history but also forge new milestones."

CRICKET - Int News 26 Mar, 2024

Pakistan to tour Australia for white-ball series in November
Sports Bulletin ReportLAHORE: Pakistan are set to visit Australia for a white-ball series scheduled for November this year. The tour, which will mark the start for Australia’s white ball schedule for the summer of 2024-25, will comprise six games in total – three ODIs and as many T20Is – to be played across six venues from 4 to 18 November 2024.Pakistan will be returning to Australia after a gap of nearly 11 months, after having competed in the Benaud-Qadir Trophy, which comprised three Test matches played across Perth, Sydney and Melbourne in December 2023-January 2024. The three-match Dettol Men’s ODI series will begin on 4 November at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. Pakistan and Australia will then play in Adelaide and Perth on 8 and 10 November, respectively. Pakistan last played an ODI series on Australian soil back in 2016, which saw the home-side come out on top.Subsequently, Pakistan and Australia will face one another in the three-match Dettol Men’s T20I Series. Pakistan’s last T20I outing on Australian soil was back in 2022, wherein the men in green appeared in the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.The series will start at The Gabba in Brisbane. Action will then move to the Sydney Cricket Ground; Pakistan’s last T20I at the venue saw them beat New Zealand at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final. Hobart will be the last stop on the tour, where the final T20I will be played on 18 November.ODI SeriesNovember 4, 2024: MCG, Melbourne  November 8, 2024: Adelaide Oval, AdelaideNovember 10, 2024: Perth Stadium, Perth T20I SeriesNovember 14, 2024: The Gabba, BrisbaneNovember 16, 2024: SCG, SydneyNovember 18, 2024: Bellerive Oval, Hobart

HOCKEY - Int News 25 Mar, 2024

Argentina, Trinidad & Tobago men, USA women qualify for World Cup 2025
Lausanne, Switzerland (PR): The Indoor Pan American Cup 2024 came to an end on 22 March with Argentina men and USA women winning the gold medals and securing their spot at the FIH Hockey Indoor World Cups 2025. With a second available slot in the men’s competition, Trinidad & Tobago, winners of the silver medal at the competition also joined Los Leones in qualifying for the World Cup. In the men’s competition, Argentina, USA, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Canada competed in the league stage. Argentina topped the group, winning all four matches, followed by USA in second with three wins and a loss. Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana also qualified for the semi-final finishing third and fourth respectively. Argentina dominated Guyana in the first semi-final, winning 10-0, with Gaston Rodriguez and Elen Eleicegui scoring hat-tricks, sealing a spot in the final as well as gaining them entry into the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup 2025. USA and Trinidad & Tobago played in a thrilling 11-goal thriller in the second semi-final with the Caribbean nation edging the tie and qualifying for their third ever FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup. In the women’s competition, United States, Argentina, Canada and Uruguay competed in the league stage. United States went unbeaten in the league stage, winning all three of their matches, with Argentina finishing second, Canada in third and Uruguay in fourth. United States won the first semi-final 5-0 against Uruguay securing a spot in the finals, while Argentina beat home team Canada 6-2 in the second semi-final. The finals saw USA take on Argentina in a repeat of the opening match of the tournament, where USA dominated Argentina with a 7-1 win. With a place in the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup 2025 up for grabs for the winner of the finals, a much closer encounter unfolded. USA took an early 2-goal lead, but throughout the game the lead changed hands multiple times and at the end of regulation time, both sides were tied at 5 goals each, resulting in a shoot-out. USA were perfect in the shoot-out winning 3-2, grabbing the gold medal and securing the only available slot from Pan America, at the FIH Indoor Hockey Women’s World Cup 2025.

CRICKET - Women 25 Mar, 2024

PCB announces 20 women for West Indies home series
Sports Bulletin ReportLAHORE: The women’s national selection committee led by Saleem Jaffar has named 20 probables for the forthcoming white-ball series against West Indies women scheduled to take place at the National Bank Stadium in Karachi from 18 April to 3 May. The series includes three ODIs – part of the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 and five T20Is.Ayesha Zafar (29 ODIs, 20 T20Is), Gul Feroza (2 ODIs), Rameen Shamim (3 ODIs, 4T20Is), Sidra Nawaz (67 ODIs, 56 T20Is) and Tuba Hassan (1 ODI, 21 T20Is) are the players making a comeback. Omaima Sohail and Shawaal Zulfiqar (recovering from shoulder injury), who were part of the 17-member squad that was named for the last bilateral series against New Zealand women’s team, have been omitted from the camp probables.Names of players:Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Zafar, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Gul Feroza, Muneeba Ali, Najiha Alvi (wk), Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Nida Dar, Rameen Shamim, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Tuba Hassan, Umm-e-Hani and Waheeda AkhtarPlayer support personnel: Saira Iftikhar (manager), Mauhtashim Rashid (interim head coach), Saleem Jaffar (bowling coach), Taufeeq Umar (batting coach), Hanif Malik (fielding coach), Mohammad Javed (strength and conditioning coach), Syed Nazir Ahmed (media manager), Rabia Siddiq (physiotherapist), Zubair Ahmed (analyst), and Nadia Arif (masseuse)Chief Selector Saleem Jaffar said: “The selection committee has chosen 20 probable players based on their performances in both domestic and international circuits. Ayesha Zafar, Gul Feroza, Rameen Shamim, Sidra Nawaz, and Tuba Hassan have been added to the probables camp following their performances in the last domestic event, as we aim to broaden our pool of players.“The upcoming series against West Indies, which includes ICC Women’s Championship matches, is of utmost importance as we strive to earn maximum points to strengthen our claim for direct qualification in the ICC Women’s 50-over World Cup.”Series schedule:18 Apr – First ODI at National Bank Stadium (NBS), Karachi (ICC Women’s Championship)21 Apr – Second ODI at NBS (330pm local time) (ICC Women’s Championship)23 Apr – Third ODI at NBS (330pm local time) (ICC Women’s Championship)26 Apr – First T20I at NBS (730pm local time)28 Apr – Second T20I at NBS (730pm local time)30 Apr – Third T20I at NBS (730pm local time)2 May – Fourth T20I at NBS (730pm local time)3 May – Fifth T20I at NBS (730pm local time).
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