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Olympics16 Oct 2021

Record number of athletes to run for IOC Athletes’ Commission election
Sports Desk ISLAMABAD (October 16, 2021):-The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today approved a list of 17 athletes (a record number for the Olympic Winter Games) covering all five continents, who have proposed their candidatures for the  IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC) election that will take place at the upcoming Games in Beijing.  Ten female and seven male athletes from 17 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), six sports and five continents will compete for the two vacant seats on the Commission. They have been nominated by their respective NOCs, together with their NOC Athletes’ Commissions. Approval of the candidatures of two athletes on the list who have not yet participated in the Olympic Winter Games is subject to their qualifying for the Games during the upcoming qualification competitions, and confirmation of their participation in the Games by their respective NOCs. “The record number of candidates and global representation are a strong sign that athletes want to play a primary and active role within the Olympic Movement and make their voices heard, which is great,” commented Emma Terho, Chair of the IOC AC. “All these candidates bring great value to the athlete community, and will add a new set of skills and expertise to the IOC Athletes’ Commission no matter who will be elected.” The elected athletes will replace current IOC AC member Hayley Wickenheiser (CAN), who is finishing her term of office at the end of Beijing 2022, and fill the vacancy caused by Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR)’s resignation from the IOC AC in 2016. Athletes competing at Beijing 2022 will be able to vote for their representatives in the Olympic Villages from 27 January (the day the Villages open) until 16 February 2022. The IOC AC The IOC AC’s mission is to ensure that the athletes’ viewpoint remains at the heart of Olympic Movement decisions. Serving as a link between the athletes and the IOC, the Commission is composed of a maximum of 23 members (12 members directly elected by their peers and a maximum of 11 appointed), who serve a term of eight years. An election is held at every edition of the Olympic Games, with four members chosen at each Summer Games, and two at each Winter Games. The appointments are made by the IOC President, in consultation with the IOC AC Chair, to ensure a good balance between regions, genders and sports. The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Commission are elected by the Commission members, and must also be elected members of the AC. In addition, the chairs of the five NOC Continental Association Athletes’ Commissions, plus a representative from the Athletes’ Council of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and one from the World Olympians Association, take part in the work of the Commission as liaisons, to maximise engagement with the global athlete community.

Cricket16 Oct 2021

One-Year-To-Go until Australia hosts T20 World Cup 2022
Sports Desk ISLAMABAD (October 16, 2021):-On the eve of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 starting in Oman and the UAE tomorrow (Sunday 17 October), cricket fans have double the reason to celebrate, with Australia’s turn to host the pinnacle global event for T20 cricket coming in just 12 months' time. ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia will take place from 16 October – 13 November 2022 On the eve of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 starting in Oman and the UAE tomorrow (Sunday 17 October), cricket fans have double the reason to celebrate, with Australia’s turn to host the pinnacle global event for T20 cricket coming in just 12 months' time.    The world’s best players from 16 teams will play 45 matches around the country in what will be the biggest global sporting event to be hosted in Australia next year. It will be the first time Australia has hosted the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, following on from a record-breaking women’s event in 2020 that culminated in 86,174 fans attending the final at the MCG on International Women’s Day. ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Local Organising Committee CEO Michelle Enright, said: “Hosting what will be the biggest sporting event in Australia next year has the ability to lift the nation’s spirits and the timing of the event could not be better for fans across the whole country to experience the joy of live sport again.” “We saw both at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2015 and in the Women’s T20 World Cup in 2020, the power of major events to unite people and communities through sport and we can’t wait to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together for a celebration of cricket and culture in exactly one year from now.” The upcoming 2021 event in Oman and the UAE will play a role in determining who joins Afghanistan, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies and hosts Australia, who have already qualified for the 2022 showpiece. These eight teams gained direct entry to the Super 12 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 by virtue of being inside the top eight on the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20 International Rankings at the cut-off prior to the postponed 2020 event. All teams who reach the Super 12 stage of the upcoming T20 World Cup in Oman and the UAE will earn automatic qualification to the event in Australia next year. The current event qualification pathway is as follows: The 12 teams that play in the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will automatically qualify for Australia 2022. From the 12 automatic qualifiers, the winner and runner up of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 plus the next six highest ranked teams (as of November 15, 2021) will go straight through to the Super 12 stage of Australia 2022. The remaining four teams from the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will play in the First Round of Australia 2022.

Cricket16 Oct 2021

Samuel Badree: Shamsi the spinner to watch in T20 World Cup
AAMIR ALI JANJUA Dubai (October 16, 2021):-When it comes to the best spinner at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, it's hard to look past Tabraiz Shamsi. The South African is ranked No.1 in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings for a reason and as a left-armer, he poses a significant challenge for batters. Left-arm wrist spinners are rare in international cricket - he's very consistent, can turn the ball both ways and has tremendous control. I saw him recently in the Caribbean when South Africa played the West Indies and he was able to spin webs around the West Indian batters. I see him playing a major role for his team with the ball - he has the ability to bowl in different phases of the game, too, which is important. His captain Temba Bavuma will be able to call on him to deliver at any time in the innings and that's worth its weight in gold. In terms of other spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin is of course there for India. He has that experience; he's played for quite a long time now. Australia can bowl Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar in tandem and they have done well bowling together in the recent past. Most of the teams have quality spinners in their ranks - at least two of them, because of the conditions teams predict that they will face. They can all win games single-handedly. That said, if there's one area of the West Indies team that I'm worried about, it's the spin department. It's an area of shortcoming for them. They have the one frontline spinner, Hayden Walsh, who had an exceptional home series quite recently. He didn't have a good Caribbean Premier League and going into this tournament, his form is not the best and his confidence might not be the best. He is quality enough to do well in the tournament, but outside of him, there aren't any out-and-out spinners. Being able to take wickets throughout the innings is so important. If the power hitters like Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle and Andre Russell can get the team to over 200 runs consistently, that area of deficit can be ignored. But if we don't score those type of runs, the bowling will be found out and the spin bowling in particular. Spin was a big strength of ours when we won the tournament in 2012 and 2016. We had Sunil Narine, Sulieman Benn and myself who could all use the new ball in any game. Spin is always important and has an integral role in T20 cricket - we've seen that in previous editions of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup. It's being played in the UAE and Oman, where we have traditionally come to expect slow conditions. I foresee spinners having a big impact in this tournament. We played quite a few series in Pakistan and I played in the Pakistan Super League. Because of the heat factor and the dry nature of the surfaces, you always expect spinners to do well. The slow nature of the pitches also helps with that. Spinners will do particularly well in Dubai, as well as in Sharjah, which give you more of an opportunity. They will prosper less in Abu Dhabi because in my memory there is a lot of grass on the pitch there. T20 cricket puts a lot of pressure on spinners, because you can bowl four or five good balls and still end up going for runs. When the conditions favour the spinners, there's always additional pressure and expectation that they come and win the game for the team. Spinners are always under pressure in this game, whether you're bowling in the first over or the last. It's not new for them. Samuel Badree: Shamsi the spinner to watch in T20 World Cup  

Blind Cricket16 Oct 2021

Blind Cricket T20: Gujranwala and Islamabad register victories
Abdul Jabbar Faisal ISLAMABAD (October 16, 2021):-Gujranwala and Islamabad blind’s cricket teams registered the victories on the open day of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) T20 Blind’s Cricket Trophy 2021 after beating Kashmir by 43 runs and Peshawar 20 runs respectively at E-9 cricket ground on Saturday. Air Commodore, Zulfiqar Ali graced the opening ceremony as chief guest. In the first fixture, Gujranwala scored 153 for 7 in allotted 20 overs, as Mohammad Atiq was top scorer with 36. Kashmir team could score only 110 runs and lost their all batters. Meanwhile, in the second match, hosts Islamabad beat Peshawar by 20 runs, as Islamabad set a target of 241 runs in 20 overs. Mohammad Ayub hit a brilliant ton (107) and declared man of the match. In reply, Peshawar could score 221 for runs in 20 overs. Sunday’s Fixtures: Islamabad vs Kashmir Peshawar vs Gujranwala  

Football16 Oct 2021

PPFL: Federation constitutes three committees for Rawalpindi Centre
ABDULLAH ASJAD Rawalpindi (October 16, 2021);-Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has constituted three different committees for Rawalpindi Centre to run the affairs of Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) matches, which are being played at Municipal Stadium, Rawalpindi. President, District Football Association, Rawalpindi, Raja Ishtiaq Ahmed and Taimoor Kayani will be the Chairman and Coordinator of the Local Organizing Committee respectively. According to Secretary General, Pakistan Football Federation, Mohammad Naveed Akram, the following committees were made namely, Local Organizing Committee, Technical Committee and Ground Committee; Local Organizing Committee; Chairman, Raja Ishtiaq Ahmed; Deputy Chairman, Chacha Saeed Ahmed; Coordinator, Taimoor Kayani and other members are Raja Masood Ahmed, Syed Zakir Hussain Naqvi, Tahir Qureshi, Ch. Amjad Ali, Zahid Shah, Nasir Kayani, Muhammad Javed, Hafiz Waqar, Imran Khan, Islam uddin, Ashraf Balti and Malik Javed. Technical Committee; Chairman, Wazir Mohammad and other members are Zulfiqar Ahmed Cheema, Chman Khan and ZararMehmood Pirzada. Ground Committee; Chairman Khurram Farooqui and other members are Mohammad Idress, Mohammad Saddam Ali and Mohammad Haris Mushtaq.  

Cricket16 Oct 2021

Fazal Mahmood and Abdul Qadir inducted into the PCB Hall of Fame
Sports Reporter LAHORE (October 16, 2021):-Former captains Fazal Mahmood and Abdul Qadir have been inducted into the PCB Hall of Fame posthumously. The two stalwarts have joined Hanif Mohammad, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Zaheer Abbas, who were the initial inductees to the PCB Hall of Fame by virtue of being part of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Fazal and Qadir were inducted following a transparent voting process. The PCB Cricket Committee* was involved in finalising the short-list comprising players who were retired from international cricket for, at least, five years. Subsequently, a 13-person independent voting panel**, comprising three ICC Cricket Hall of Famers, four former Pakistan captains and six respected members of the print and electronic media, was constituted to take part in the voting process, which was overseen by an internal auditor who also confirmed the results in favour of the inductees. The formal inductions of all the eight PCB Hall of Famers will take place during the ongoing season. PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja: “It is befitting that Fazal Mahmood and Abdul Qadir, legends from two different eras, be voted by their peers and admirers into the PCB Hall of Fame for 2021. This is a testament to their enormous popularity and is also a recognition of their services to this great game. “Fazal’s heroics in the early days introduced Pakistan cricket to the world as a force to be reckoned with and later inspired the next generations of fast bowlers. The wily, crafty and magical Abdul Qadir revived and reignited the slowly vanishing art of wrist-spin bowling. “Fazal Mahmood and Abdul Qadir are all-time greats and truly outstanding ambassadors for Pakistan and global cricket. This is just a small token of our appreciation and gratitude towards their contributions.” About Fazal Mahmood Fazal Mahmood, considered as the first superstar of Pakistan cricket, was born on 18 February 1927 in Lahore and took 139 wickets in 34 Tests from 1952 to 1962, including five wickets in an innings 13 times and 10 wickets or more in a match four times. However, his first-class career had commenced eight years earlier when he represented Northern India in the Ranji Trophy. When he hung his boots after the 1963-64 season, he had grabbed 466 wickets in 112 matches. In Pakistan’s debut Test series in 1952 in India, Fazal took 20 wickets, including 12 wickets in the Lucknow Test, which Pakistan won by an innings and 43 runs. In the return series in 1954-55, Fazal took 15 wickets in four Tests, while in the 1960-61 series he picked up nine wickets in five Tests. In 1955, Fazal became the first Pakistan cricketer to be named in Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year, a year after his performances had helped Pakistan draw their first series against England in England. Fazal claimed 20 wickets in the four-Test series, including match figures of 12 for 99 at The Oval that earned AH Kardar’s side a 24-run victory. Fazal’s varied swing and a mixture of leg-cutters were too much to handle for the West Indies as the maestro picked up 20 wickets in the 1957-58 series in the Caribbean and then followed up by 21 wickets in three Tests in the 1958-59 series at home. Fazal was bestowed with the President’s Pride of Performance Award – the highest national literary award of Pakistan – in 1958. In 2012, he was posthumously awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz – the second highest civilian award – in recognition of his services to Pakistan cricket, seven years after his passing on 30 May 2005. About Abdul Qadir Abdul Qadir, boasting a bouncy, enthusiastic run-up with a left elbow high and flicking the ball from hand to hand, took 236 wickets (five wickets in an innings 15 times and 10 wickets in a match five time) and scored 1,029 runs in 67 Tests from 1977 to 1990. He also demonstrated that leg spin could be highly effective in one-day cricket by claiming 132 wickets and scoring 641 runs in 104 ODIs from 1983 to 1993. In 209 first-class matches from 1975-76 to 1995-96, he captured 960 wickets and scored 3,740 runs, including two centuries. Born on 15 September 1955 in Lahore, Qadir made his Test debut against England in 1977 and in only his second match in Hyderabad, took six for 44 with the Wisden Cricketers Almanack describing him as “the most notable discovery of his type for some time”. In the 1987 Test series against the same opposition at Lahore, Qadir took nine for 56, which still stands as the best bowling performance by a Pakistan bowler. One of Qadir’s memorable bowling spells was in the 1986 Faisalabad Test against the mighty West Indies when he claimed six for 16 to spin Viv Richards’ side out for a paltry 53 that handed Pakistan a 186 runs victory. In 10 Tests against the West Indies, he picked up 42 wickets. Qadir also featured in the 1983 and 1987 World Cups, taking 24 wickets in nine matches, including five for 44 against Sri Lanka at Headingley. Qadir passed on 6 September 2019, with Wisden Cricketers Alamack, in its tribute, writing: “The legendary Pakistani leg-spinner Abdul Qadir was one of the finest exponents of his art, with his skills and magical tricks inspiring generations to come.” In 1988, Qadir received the President’s Pride of Performance Award, while in 2020, he was conferred with the Sitara-e-Imtiaz, the third-highest civilian award in Pakistan. In 2008, Qadir was one of the subjects of a Wisden Cricketers Alamack feature on five great players who were never a Cricketer of the Year. About the panel (who participated in the voting process): *PCB Cricket Committee: Saleem Yousuf (chair), Ali Naqvi, Umar Gul, Urooj Mumtaz and Wasim Akram **Independent voting panel:  Javed Miandad, Waqar Younis, Zaheer Abbas (all ICC Cricket Hall of Famers), Intikhab Alam, Rashid Latif, Sana Mir and Shahid Afridi (all former Pakistan captains), Aaliya Rasheed, Chishty Mujahid, Dr Nauman Niaz, Rasheed Shakoor, Sohail Imran and Qamar Ahmed (all print, electronic and broadcast journalists)

Club Cricket16 Oct 2021

Jawz Cricket Club beat Glow Dragons 1 wicket
Sports Reporter ISLAMABAD (October 16, 2021):-Jawz Cricket Club (JCC) defeated Glow Dragons cricket club (GDCC) by one wicket at Marghazar cricket ground in a friendly limited overs match. Shahid Ilyas played an innings of 116 runs not out for winners. Glow dragons scored 265 for 7 in 40 overs, as the Jawz cricket club chased the target in the 40th over after losing wickets of nine batters. Summarized Scorecard: Glow Dragon (Batting): Irfan khan 60, Haris Ahmed 35 not out, Azeem Bari 34 Jawz (Bowling) Waqif Shah 3 wickets, Javed 1 and Haseen 1 Jawz (Batting): Shahid Ilyas 116 not out, Abdul Hakeem 28 not out, Usman Khattak 24 Glow (Bowling): Shoukat 2 wickets, Haris 2, Ihsan two wickets.

Squash15 Oct 2021

CAS Squash Championship concludes with Egyptian victories
Abdul Jabbar Faisal ISLAMABAD (October 15, 2021):-World No 67 Moustafa El Sirty (Egypt) toppled World No 59 Auguste Dussourd (France) in the Men’s final to lift the title of the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) International Squash Championship 2021 at Mushaf Squash Complex Islamabad on Friday. The final score-line was 9-11, 11-7, 11-6 and 12-10. Egyptian girl World No. 81 Salma El Tayab defeated World No 69 Marie Stephan from France 3-0 in the women's final at the same venue. The third seeded player Auguste Dussourd, who had overcome top seed Tayyab Aslam 3-2 in the first semifinal a day back, started the first game of the championship title match with full confidence earned lead 4-1, as game went neck-to-neck as it was leveled at 5-5, 7-7, 8-8 and 9-9. However, the French guy finished the game at 11-9 to make the match score 1-0. In the second game, both lads displayed a beautiful game by hitting powerful strokes and classic drops and nicks. Game was leveled at 1-1, 3-3, 6-6 and 7-7, at this stage Moustafa grabbed some quick points to end the game at 11-7, as she maintained the same momentum in the third game too and did not allow his opponent to get upper hand at any stage of the game. Moustafa finished the game at 11-6. The 4th game was a thrilling one, Auguste made the score 4-0 by playing a quality squash and Mostafa bounced back in the game by squaring the game at 8-8 and then the score was equal at 10-10. The Egyptian guy won the game at 12-10 and became the champion of CAS Squash International Championship 2021. It is important to mention here that Auguste was not satisfied with the countless decisions of the referee and he was looking up-set but an official of Pakistan Squash Federation did not allow some media to talk with the loser of the final. At the end, Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal, Zaheer Ahmed distributed the prizes among the players. The winner pocketed US$4241 while runner-up US$2679.    
Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021-22 squads announced
Ali Ahmed LAHORE (October 15, 2021):-The managements of the six Cricket Association sides have finalised their squads for Pakistan’s premier first-class tournament, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021-22, which begins at three Punjab venues from Wednesday, 20 October. Imran Butt, Azhar Ai, Iftikhar Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Fawad Alam and Mohammad Abbas will lead Balochistan, Central Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Northern, Sindh and Southern Punjab in the three-month-long tournament, in which each team will play the other twice in the 10-round group stage. The first five rounds will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, Iqbal Stadium Faisalabad and Multan Cricket Stadium, while the last five rounds and the final will be played in Karachi with UBL Sports Complex, SBP Sports Complex and NBP Sports Complex staging the round matches. National Stadium will host the five-day final that will be played between 25 to 29 December. The 2020-21 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy edition produced some thrilling cricket with the final, which was also played at the National Stadium, turning into a historic tie between Central Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Balochistan Team: Imran Butt (c), Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Akbar-ur-Rehman, Amad Butt, Ayaz Tasawar, Bismillah Khan (wk), Gohar Faiz, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Raza-ul-Hasan, Taj Wali, Umaid Asif, Yasir Shah (Subject to Fitness) Central Punjab Team:  Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Ahmed Bashir, Ahmed Shehzad, Bilal Asif, Bilawal Iqbal, Ehsan Adil, Faheem Ashraf, Hussain Talat, Junaid Ali (WK), Mohammad Saad, Muhammad Akhlaq (wk), Saad Nasim, Saif Badar, Waqas Maqsood and Zafar Gohar. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Team: Iftikhar Ahmed (c), Aamir Khan, Adil Amin, Ashfaq Ahmed, Asif Afridi, Imran Khan Snr, Israrullah , Khalid Usman, Musadiq Ahmed, Nabi Gul, Niaz Khan, Rehan Afridi (wk), Sahibzada Farhan, Sajid Khan, Sameen Gul and Tahir Khan. Northern Team: Nauman Ali (c), Aamir Jamal, Aqib Liaqat, Ather Mehmood, Faizan Riaz, Mohammad Huraira, Mubasir Khan, Munir Riaz, Musa Khan, Nasir Nawaz, Rohail Nazir (wk), Sarmad Bhatti, Umar Amin, Umar Waheed, Usman Khan Shinwari and Waqas Ahmed. Sindh Team: Fawad Alam (c), Asad Shafiq, Ashiq Ali , Hasan Mohsin , Khuzaima Bin Tanvir, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Asghar , Mohammad Hasan (wk), Mohammad Hasnain , Mohammad Suleman, Mohammad Taha, Saad Khan, Shan Masood, Sharjeel Khan , Sohail Khan and Tabish Khan. Southern Punjab Team: Mohammad Abbas (c), Aamer Yamin, Ali Usman, Azam Khan (wk), Hassan Khan, Imran Rafiq, Mohammad Ilyas , Mohammad Imran Randhawa, Mohammad Junaid, Naved Yasin, Tayyab Tahir, Umar Siddiq (wk), Waqar Hussain (wk), Yousaf Babar, Zain Abbas and Zia-ul-Haq. Quaid-e-Azam Trophy: 20-23 Oct - Balochistan v Sindh, Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad; Central Punjab v Southern Punjab, Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Northern, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore 27-30 Oct - Balochistan v Southern Punjab, Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Sindh, Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad; Central Punjab v Northern, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore 3-6 Nov - Balochistan v Central Punjab, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore; Northern v Sindh, Multan Cricket Stadium; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Southern Punjab, Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad 10-13 Nov - Balochistan v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore; Central Punjab v Sindh, Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad; Northern v Southern Punjab, Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan 17-20 Nov - Northern v Balochistan, Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad; Southern Punjab v Sindh, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore; Central Punjab v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan 24-27 Nov - Sindh v Balochistan, UBL Sports Complex, Karachi; Southern Punjab v Central Punjab, SBP Sports Complex, Karachi; Northern v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, NBP Sports Complex, Karachi 30Nov 3 Dec - Southern Punjab v Balochistan, UBL Sports Complex; Sindh v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, SBP Sports Complex; Northern v Central Punjab, NBP Sports Complex 6-9 Dec - Central Punjab v Balochistan, NBP Sports Complex; Sindh v Northern, UBL Sports Complex; Southern Punjab v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, SBP Sports Complex 12-15 Dec - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Balochistan, UBL Sports Complex; Sindh v Central Punjab, SBP Sports Complex; Southern Punjab v Northern, NBP Sports Complex 18-21 Dec - Balochistan v Northern, SBP Sports Complex; Sindh v Southern Punjab, NBP Sports Complex; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Central Punjab, UBL Sports Complex 25-29 Dec - Final National Stadium Karachi    

Cricket15 Oct 2021

National T20: A statistical review
Ali Ahmed LAHORE (October 15, 2021):-The 18th edition of the National T20 completed with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa winning the title after beating Central Punjab by seven wickets in the final at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday. Back-to-back titles for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa After having won National T20, Pakistan Cup and being joint-winners of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in the last season, they have begun the 2021-22 season with another National T20 silverware. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are only the fourth team after Sialkot Stallions, Lahore Lions and Peshawar, to win back-to-back titles in the history National T20. A new record for Sahibzada Farhan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Sahibzada Farhan was a driving force behind his team’s title win. His 447 runs are the most by any batter in one edition of National T20, breaking Kamran Akmal’s record of 432 runs for Lahore Whites in 2017. Farhan scored his runs at an average of 40.63, a strike-rate of 132.24 and with three 50s, including one in the semi-final against Northern. 2021 has been a terrific white-ball year for Charsadda-born batter as, at the start of the year, he also scored 487 runs at 54.11 and hit three centuries in the Pakistan Cup. Iftikhar Ahmed’s numbers Player of the tournament and the final had a dream run in this National T20. Iftikhar Ahmed scored 45 not out off 19 balls and took three wickets for five runs in the final against Central Punjab and finished the tournament with 409 runs and eight wickets at an economy of 5.57 (the best by anyone who bowled at least 10 overs in the tournament). Iftikhar also hit 24 sixes, the most by anyone in this year’s edition, and had a tournament strike-rate of 170.41. The most impressive aspect of Iftikhar’s runs scoring was his average of 102.25. The only batter in the tournament history with a higher average in one season is Salman Butt – 328 runs at 109.33 in the 2017 edition. Wahab Riaz - the most prolific bowler Wahab Riaz, who also captained Central Punjab in the absence of Babar Azam, became the most prolific bowler in National T20. During the course of his 12 wickets with an economy of 6.54, he went past Saeed Ajmal’s record of 89 wickets to become the highest wicket-taker in the tournament’s history. Wahab now has 93 wickets at an average of 22.96 and an economy of 6.81. Babar Azam’s records and milestone Pakistan captain Babar Azam played only six games in this National T20 but that was enough for him to engrave his name in record books. Babar scored 286 runs at an average of 71.50 and during his short stint he completed 7,000 runs in T20s from only 187 innings, the least taken by any batter to reach the milestone. He broke Chris Gayle’s record of 7,000 runs in 192 innings. Babar also played an unbeaten knock of 105 off 63 balls against Northern becoming the first batter from Pakistan to register six centuries in the format. He went past the tally of Ahmed Shahzad and Kamran Akmal, who have five centuries each in T20 cricket.