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Cricket20 Jun 2021

Pakistan female cricketers ready for West Indies tour
ABDUL JABBAR FAISAL ISLAMABAD (June 20, 2021):-The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) National Selection Committee for women named two squads women’s national and ‘A’ teams for West Indies trip, as the national side would play the West Indies in three T20Is and five One-Day Internationals, while the two countries’ ‘A’ sides would compete in three T20s and as many one-day matches. This is the national women’s team third international tour in the last four months after they played three ODIs and as many T20Is against South Africa in Durban before traveling north to Harare to play Zimbabwe, a tour that was cut short due to flights restrictions. Despite travel-related limitations around the world due of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the PCB has continued to arrange the tours to provide its national women’s team competitive cricket to prepare for this year’s ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier, followed by next year’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Pakistan and West Indies are ranked seventh and sixth in the ICC Women’s Team Rankings for ODI and T20I, respectively. Prior to this tour, the national women’s team has played three ODI series, two T20I series and featured in two ICC Women’s T20 World Cups in 2010 and 2018 in the Caribbean. The last time these two sides faced off in bilateral series was in early 2019. Pakistan came back from behind in the United Arab Emirates to win the three ODIs 2-1 and the T20I series, played in Karachi, was won by West Indies 2-1, with the second match of the series going down the wire and the touring party winning it in the Super Over. The two teams last met in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 and the group-stage match was won by Pakistan as they comfortably chased down 125 with eight wickets and 10 balls spare. That the ‘A’ side will travel to Antigua with the national side – the first instance of the two teams traveling together – provides further boost to the women’s game in the country. The players who have remained on the fringes of the national side will have an opportunity to impress the national selectors and the high-profile coaching staff ahead of the important global events. This will also be the first tour that the ‘A’ side will undertake in the post-Covid-19 world. They last travelled to Sri Lanka in October 2019 for the ACC Emerging Women’s Asia Cup. PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan: “We are glad to announce that our senior and ‘A’ women teams will be traveling to the West Indies for competitive series in a year in which they have to feature in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers. “This tour presents a great opportunity to our players to further strengthen their skills by getting the desired match practice – against a quality side – under their belts and utilise it for their preparations for the World Cup qualifiers and the main event early next year that will be followed by the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. “Developing our women cricketers and providing them the required opportunities to develop themselves into world-class athletes is one of the key strategic objectives of the PCB, which we announced last year. “Our players have put in hard yards in the recent High Performance camps in Karachi and Multan and I am hopeful that they will deliver favourable results under the able guidance of head coach David Hemp.” The touring contingent will arrive in Lahore on Monday. Tour itinerary: 23 June – Departure for Antigua 24-27 June – Room Quarantine 28-29 June – Practice 30 June – 1st T20I between national sides and 1st T20 between ‘A’ teams at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium 2 July – 2nd T20I between national sides and 2nd T20 between ‘A’ teams at Coolidge Cricket Ground 4 July – 3rd T20I between national sides and 3rd T20 between ‘A’ teams at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium 7 July – 1st ODI between national sides at Coolidge Cricket Ground 9 July – 2nd ODI between national sides at Coolidge Cricket Ground 10 July – 1st one-day between ‘A’ sides at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium 12 July – 3rd ODI between national sides at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium 13 July – 2nd one-day between ‘A’ sides at Coolidge Cricket Ground 15 July – 4th ODI between national sides at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium 16 July – 3rd one-day between ‘A’ sides at Coolidge Cricket Ground 18 July – 5th ODI between national sides at Coolidge Cricket Ground 19 July – Departure for Pakistan

Cricket09 Jun 2021

Surf Excel becomes Pakistan men’s team’s official detergent partner
SPORTS REPORT ISLAMABAD (June 9, 2021):-Pakistan Cricket Board and Unilever have further strengthened their partnership with Surf Excel becoming Pakistan national men's cricket team’s official detergent partner for the year 2021. The partnership with Surf Excel covers an exciting season of home cricket including series against England, New Zealand and the West Indies. PCB and Unilever joined hands last year for a historic social awareness campaign with Lifebuoy around hygiene behavior. The budding partnership then grew into a domestic cricket partnership with Surf Excel and a yearlong Pakistan men’s cricket team partnership with Lifebuoy. PCB Director – Commercial, Babar Hamid: “Our partnership with Unilever is strengthening with the passage of time and we are delighted to have Surf Excel as our official detergent partner for Pakistan national men’s team’s home series. “Pakistan cricket fans have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming home season with tours from England, New Zealand and the West Indies. Our partners like Unilever are extremely valuable to us as their contributions go a long way in ensuring that we deliver top quality domestic and international events and bi-lateral series. “In the recent days, we have overcome some big challenges to ensure that the Abu Dhabi-leg of the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 takes place. We would now set our focus on our upcoming home assignments in our pursuit of further improvement in all aspects and world-class delivery of our international home season. “The passionate cricket fans of the Pakistan team both in Pakistan and around the world have a lot to look forward to and we hope to live up to their expectations both with on-field performances and top-class delivery of the home season in our own stadiums.” Unilever Director Marketing Home, Care Munir Hasan: “Surf Excel believes that ‘Jo Koi Nahi Karsakta.. wohi tow champion karta hai’. And there could not be more apt words to describe our beloved cricket team as well. “This is why we have partnered with the PCB to introduce first of its kind ‘Daaghon ka champion’ trophy, to encourage our young stars to play their best game on the field and recognize their uninhibited cricket spirit. All without bothering about the stains, after all Surf Excel hai na.”

Cricket04 Jun 2021

Pakistan names squads for England and West Indies tours
SPORTS REPORT ISLAMABAD (June 4, 2021):-Pakistan cricket selectors have recalled four experienced players and included uncapped Azam Khan in the squads for the tours of England and West Indies. The side will play three ODIs and as many T20Is in England from 8-20 July, before taking on world champions West Indies in five T20Is that will be followed by two Tests. Middle-order batsman Haris Sohail has been named in the ODI side, while Imad Wasim has returned to bolster the T20I side. Fast bowlers Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah have returned to the Test side. Yasir Shah’s inclusion is subject to fitness as the wrist spinner is yet to fully recover from the knee injury that sidelined him from the Zimbabwe Tests. The selectors have retained leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood along with left-arm spinner Nauman Ali and off-spinner Sajid Khan for the Jamaica Tests. Uncapped Saud Shakeel has also reclaimed his spot after missing South Africa ODIs due to an injury. Salman Ali Agha, who has lost his Test spot, has been called-up for ODIs. Fakhar Zaman has maintained his place in the original squad after being drafted as an additional player for Zimbabwe T20Is following a stellar performance in South Africa. Quetta Gladiators’ Azam Khan, the 22-year-old hard-hitting batsman, is the new face in the T20I squad. Squads (in alphabetical order): ODIs: Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab), Shadab Khan (vice-captain) (Northern), Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Haider Ali (Northern), Haris Rauf (Northern), Haris Sohail (Balochistan), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Imam-ul-Haq (Balochistan), Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh), Mohammad Nawaz (Northern), Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Salman Ali Agha (Southern Punjab), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper) (Sindh), Saud Shakeel (Sindh), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Usman Qadir (Central Punjab). T20Is: Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab), Shadab Khan (vice-captain) (Northern), Arshad Iqbal (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Azam Khan (Sindh), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Haider Ali (Northern), Haris Rauf (Northern), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Imad Wasim (Northern), Mohammad Hafeez (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh), Mohammad Nawaz (Northern), Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Wasim Jnr (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper) (Sindh), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sharjeel Khan (Sindh) and Usman Qadir (Central Punjab). Tests: Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab), Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper) (vice-captain) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab), Abid Ali (Central Punjab), Azhar Ali (Central Punjab), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Fawad Alam (Sindh), Haris Rauf (Northern), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Imran Butt (Balochistan), Mohammad Abbas (Southern Punjab), Mohammad Nawaz (Northern), Naseem Shah (Central Punjab), Nauman Ali (Northern), Sajid Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper) (Sindh), Saud Shakeel (Sindh), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Shahnawaz Dahani (Sindh), Yasir Shah (Balochistan, subject to fitness) and Zahid Mahmood (Southern Punjab). Chief selector Muhammad Wasim: “We have remained consistent in our selection and kept the same core of cricketers who have been in the set-up for a while. This is an extremely important and critical tour for Pakistan as we will be playing the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs against England as well as the T20Is against England and the West Indies as part of our preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The Jamaica Test will count towards the ICC World Test Championship. “As such, keeping in view the above and in consultation with captain Babar Azam and head Misbah-ul-Haq, we have tried our best to maintain the winning combinations but at the same time recalled four experienced players and rewarded uncapped Azam Khan for his domestic performance, while also giving him the required confidence for the future challenges. “Mohammad Abbas has regained his form, Naseem Shah and Haris Sohail have reclaimed the required fitness standards, while Imad Wasim has been recalled considering the T20 World Cup is likely to be held in the UAE and he enjoys an excellent record there. “The return of these four players meant we had to leave some players, which is never an easy decision. But we have collectively opted for what was in the best interest of the side, taking into consideration the opponents and the requirement of the formats on the upcoming tours. “The players who have missed on selection will remain part of our strategy, and, as such, they will continue to work on their technical game at the National High Performance Centre under the watchful eyes of Mohammad Yousuf and Saqlain Mushtaq. “Yasir Shah’s inclusion is subject to clearing his fitness test. He was sidelined due to a knee injury after the second Test against South Africa earlier this year and was expected to reclaim complete fitness for the West Indies tour. It, however, has not been the case, but we remain hopeful that he will complete his rehabilitation before the departure. “The side since the home series against South Africa have maintained an upward movement, but still there are a few lose ends that we would like to close by the end of the England and West Indies tours so that there is absolutely clarity on our compositions for the post West Indies tour engagements. “I strongly believe the changes will plug those gaps and will put us in a strong position in our endeavours to feature in the top three across all formats by the end of 2023.” Tour itinerary: 25 June – Departure for Manchester 6 July – Arrival in Cardiff 8 July - 1st ODI, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff 10 July – 2nd ODI, Lord’s, London 13 July – 3rd ODI, Edgbaston, Birmingham 16 July – 1st T20I, Trent Bridge, Nottingham 18 July – 2nd T20I, Headingley, Leeds 20 July – 3rd T20I, Old Trafford, Manchester 21 Jul – Arrival in Barbados 27 Jul – 1st T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados 28 Jul – 2nd T20I, Kensington Oval, Barbados 31 Jul – 3rd T20I, Providence Stadium, Guyana 1 Aug – 4th T20I, Providence Stadium, Guyana 3 Aug – 5th T20I, Providence Stadium, Guyana 6-7 Aug – Two-day practice match, Guyana 12-16 Aug – 1st Test, Sabina Park, Jamaica 20-24 Aug – 2nd Test, Sabina Park, Jamaica 25 Aug – Departure

Cricket22 May 2021

Hetmyer and Charles to feature in HBL PSL 6 Abu Dhabi-leg
SPORTS REPORT LAHORE (May 22, 2021):-West Indian famed T20 batting duo of Shimron Hetmyer and Johnson Charles were submitted as replacement picks by Multan Sultans in an online session held with the franchise representatives on Tuesday evening. The hard-hitting left-hander Hetmyer will be making his HBL PSL debut while the wicketkeeper-batsman Charles has represented Quetta Gladiators as well as the Sultans in earlier HBL PSL editions. Earlier, it was decided that all teams will be allowed 20-member squads and the teams submitted a total of 12 picks which included replacement as well as the 19th and 20th player submissions for some of the teams. Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars have not made selections for their 20th player which they will make later, if needed. Besides Hetmyer and Charles, Sultans also picked Hammad Azam and Mohammad Waseem (UAE). The Gladiators chose Jack Wildermuth (Australia), Jake Weatherald (Australia), Zahir Khan (Afghanistan) and Khurram Shehzad as their picks. Qalandars picked Tim David (Singapore) and Sultan Ahmed from UAE. United added Mohammad Akhlaq, Zalmi added Bismillah Khan and Kings added Mohammad Haris Khan to their respective squads. HBL PSL 6 squads for Abu Dhabi-leg: Final squads (in alphabetical order): Islamabad United – Shadab Khan (c), Ahmed Saifi Abdullah, Ali Khan, Akif Javed, Asif Ali, Colin Munro, Fawad Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Mohammad Akhlaq, Musa Khan, Rohail Nazir, Usman Khawaja, Zafar Gohar and Zeeshan Zameer Karachi Kings - Imad Wasim (c), Abbas Afridi, Amir Yamin, Arshad Iqbal, Babar Azam, Chadwick Walton, Danish Aziz, Martin Guptill, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Haris, Thisara Perera, Najeebullah Zadran, Noor Ahmed, Qasim Akram, Sharjeel Khan, Waqas Maqsood and Zeeshan Malik Lahore Qalandars – Sohail Akhtar (c), Ahmed Danyal, Ben Dunk, Callum Ferguson, Dilbar Hussain, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, James Faulkner, Maaz Khan, Mohammad Faizan, Mohammad Hafeez, Shakib al Hasan (replacement to be announced shortly), Salman Ali Agha, Seekuge Prasana, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sultan Ahmed (replaces Joe Burns), Tim David, Zaid Alam and Zeeshan Ashraf Multan Sultans– Mohammad Rizwan (c), Hammad Azam, Imran Tahir, Imran Khan Snr, Johnson Charles, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Umar, Obed McCoy, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Rilee Rossouw, Shahid Afridi, Shahnawaz Dhani, Shan Masood, Shimron Hetmyer (partially available), Sohaib Maqsood, Sohaibullah, Sohail Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Usman Qadir and Muhammad Waseem Peshawar Zalmi– Wahab Riaz (c), Abrar Ahmed, Amad Butt, Bismillah Khan, David Miller (partially available), Fabian Allen (partially available), Fidel Edwards (partially available), Haider Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Amir Khan, Mohammad Irfan Snr, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Imran Randhawa, Rovman Powell, Waqar Salamkheil, Sherfane Rutherford, Shoaib Malik, and Umaid Asif Quetta Gladiators – Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Abdul Nasir, Andre Russell (partially available), Anwar Ali, Arish Ali Khan, Azam Khan, Cameron Delport, Faf du Plessis, Hassan Khan, Jack Wildermuth, Jake Weatherald, Khurram Shehzad, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Usman Khan, Usman Shinwari, Zahid Mahmood and Zahir Khan

Cricket20 May 2021

Captains ready to dazzle in remaining HBL PSL 6 matches
SPORTS NEWS ISLAMABAD (May 21, 2021):-After a Covid-19 enforced break, the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 is all set to resume with the remaining 20 matches of tournament’s sixth edition taking place at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.  The resumption of the PCB’s marquee event has been made possible through the untiring efforts of the PCB with the support of the UAE government, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Sports Council. All 24 matches of the 2016 season, 23 matches of the 2017 season, 31 matches of the 2018 season and 26 matches of the 2019 season were played in the UAE.  The Sheikh Zayed Stadium staged four matches of the 2019 edition and this will be the first occasion of the stadium hosting a significant number of HBL PSL matches. The entire 2020 season was played in Pakistan, while the 2021 edition was suspended on 4 March a day after the 14th match of the tournament was played at Karachi’s National Stadium. The six captains are now ready to switch-on and dazzle at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in search of trophy winning glory. At present, defending champions Karachi Kings top the points table with six points from five matches (three wins, two defeats). Interestingly, all top four sides, Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars accumulated six points in the Karachi-leg, with Kings taking the top-spot due to their better net run-rate. The 2017 champions Peshawar Zalmi occupy the second-spot with as many points, wins and defeats as the Kings but an inferior net run-rate of 0.273 compared to Kings’ 0.697. Islamabad United, the 2016 and 2018 champions, occupy the third-spot. They recorded three wins in four matches they played in Karachi, their net run-rate is 0.202. Lahore Qalandars, the HBL PSL 2020 finalists, are in the fourth-spot with three wins and a defeat from their four matches with six points and a net run-rate of 0.085.  Multan Sultans are languishing in the fifth-spot with two points from five matches (one win, four defeats) and a net run-rate of -0.244 while the 2019 champions Quetta Gladiators are bottom-placed with a win and four defeats in five matches and a net run-rate of -0.936. Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim: “The HBL Pakistan Super League 6 restart is great news for both the players and especially the fans. We were at the top of the points table in Karachi and would like to be able to sustain the run of form in Abu Dhabi too. “I am pleased with our replacements, especially Martin Guptill and Thisara Perera who have tons of T20 experience and have been proven match winners, as well as Najib, to add to a phenomenally gifted local core, led by our batting maestro Babar Azam. “Sharjeel Khan did well for us in Karachi while Mohammad Amir as always will be spearheading our bowling attack. At a personal level, I look forward to leading my team from the front in our efforts of a successful defence of our title.” Peshawar Zalmi captain Wahab Riaz: “We are really excited about the resumption of the HBL Pakistan Super League 6. Like the rest of the sides, we also have a rejigged squad in terms of our foreign players. “We are pleased with our replacements as the trio of Fabian Allen, Fidel Edwards and Rovman Powell provide us with good T20 options. We have some seasoned T20 campaigners, Shoaib Malik, Imam-ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal provide us with that experience and skill in the batting department backed by young Haider Ali. “Mohammad Irfan, Umaid Asif and I would aim to lead the bowling attack in Abu Dhabi. Our young pacers Mohammad Imran and Amir Khan are also full of promise and potential and have a significant role to play for us in Abu Dhabi.  We had a good run in Karachi and we would be aiming to further improve our performance in the remaining round matches to ensure a top two position which will help us in the play-offs.” Islamabad United captain Shadab Khan: “In the prevailing pandemic challenges, the return of the HBL PSL 6 is a massive boost for all of us. We have great memories of playing in the UAE, United of course won its first title there in 2016. The 2017 season proved to be a life changing one for me there, now four years later, I am really looking forward to leading my side in Abu Dhabi. “We had an excellent run in Karachi and I am confident that the team will do equally well in Abu Dhabi. Usman Khawaja provides us good foreign batting support and I am sure he will be useful for us in the top-order. “We have quality Pakistan players in our line-up, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed and Faheem Ashraf provide us great depth and pedigree. Hasan Ali has made great all-round contributions in recent domestic and international appearances and is at present at the peak of his prowess, we hope he will continue his great form for us especially towards the business end of the tournament.” Lahore Qalandars captain Sohail Akhtar: “The Karachi-leg was incredibly competitive and despite our fourth-spot we are joint on points with the three teams ahead of us. This means that we have a real shot at one of the four play-off berths and that is really exciting. This year also provides us the opportunity of changing our poor run in the UAE where we struggled to make an impression in the previous editions, we have some incredible local talent with a potent bowling attack which makes me very confident. “As a captain, I am thrilled to have players like Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf in our ranks, they provide real firepower and depth to our squad. Callum Ferguson and James Faulkner lead the line-up of our foreign replacements and we have a quality roster overall as we look forward to welcoming them in Abu Dhabi.” Multan Sultans captain Mohammad Rizwan: “We had a tough run in Karachi, but we have the depth and pedigree in our squad to turn the tables around when we resume the action in the UAE. We would need to hit the ground running and produce the wins straight away to stay in contention for a play-offs spot and that is a challenge that will motivate both me and my squad. “Obed McCoy and Rahmanullah Gurbaz provide us depth as our foreign replacements for the Abu Dhabi-leg. “Players like Sohaib Maqsood, Usman Qadir, Sohail Tanvir and Shahid Afridi have the ability to turn a match on its head, they can with their individual and collective brilliance, bring us right back in the hunt in Abu Dhabi. I am hopeful that we will put smiles on the Sultans’ fans faces with a strong turnaround in the remainder of the tournament.” Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed: “The Karachi-leg was a challenging one for us as a team but we took a significant step in the last match before the suspension by becoming the first side to successfully defend a target in the HBL Pakistan Super League 6. The last result is a positive that we will carry with us in Abu Dhabi, UAE has been a great venue for us as we have done outstandingly well there in the past. “The conditions and the nature of the pitches have always suited us and we would really want to make it count as we cannot afford a slip-up. We look forward to welcoming Andre Russell to our ranks, his presence, rich T20 experience and sheer star power will definitely help us in the remainder of the tournament. “Besides Russell, players like Azam Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hasnain and Anwar Ali are match winners on their day and we need them to be at their very best in Abu Dhabi. Opener Usman Khan won us the last match in Karachi on his HBL PSL debut and I hope he will continue to play with the same fearless approach.”  

Cricket12 May 2021

Avishka is ambitious on resuming his coaching profession, says his wife
By BIPIN DANI Former Sri Lankan cricketer Avishka Gunawardene, who has been cleared by the ICC (International Cricket Council) didn't celebrate the "victory" but performed a religious ceremony on Tuesday. This was revealed by his wife, Fran. Speaking exclusively over the telephone from Colombo, she said, "because of the current Covid pandemic, we can't think of a party but instead, we went to the St. Anthony Church and are now heading to a temple near our house". "Will perform some religious ceremony here and all our extended family will sit together and thank God. We are grateful to God". "We are all happy and my husband and we all are relieved at last. Former left-handed batsman and the coach, Avishka Gunawardene, who, on behalf of the ECB (Emirates Cricket Board) had been charged by the ICC on two different Anti-Corruption codes.  According to his lawyer Chrismal Warnasuriya (Court of Appeal), Avishka should claim compensation for the period he was banned. However, the family has not given a thought to this. "We are not thinking on those lines yet. My husband is ambitious to resume his coaching and he will concentrate on this now", the wife added. For the record : Kusal Perera did claim compensation when his ban on the doping charges had to be dropped by the ICC following his innocence was proved some five years ago.

Cricket12 May 2021

Hasan, Nauman and Shaheen attain career-bests
SPORTS DESK ISLAMABAD (May 12, 2021):-Pakistan bowlers Hasan Ali, Nauman Ali and Shaheen Afridi have all achieved career-best positions in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings after becoming the first trio from their country to grab five-wicket hauls in the same match. Abid Ali in 40th place after double century in Harare; Zimbabwe’s Chakabva and Muzarabani also move up in weekly update Fast bowler Hasan Ali (5-27 in the first innings), left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi (5-52 in the second innings) and left-arm spinner Nauman Ali (5-86 in the second innings) played important roles as Pakistan won the second Test against Zimbabwe in Harare by an innings and 147 runs to complete a 2-0 series win. Hasan has moved up six places to 14th position, Shaheen is up nine places to 22nd and Nauman has gone from 54th to 46th position after registering only the sixth instance of three bowlers from one side finishing with five-wicket hauls in the same Test. It was the first such instance in 28 years, the last one being when Australia’s Paul Reiffel, Shane Warne and Tim May achieved the feat against England at Edgbaston in 1993. Meanwhile, opener Abid Ali’s player of the match performance of 215 not out has helped him advance 38 places to 40th among batsmen while Azhar Ali has gained four slots to reach 16th position after scoring 126. Nauman has also gained in this list, his quick 97 lifting him 35 places to 116th spot. For Zimbabwe, Regis Chakabva has gained 16 slots to reach 81st place after scores of 33 and 80 while Luke Jongwe has entered the rankings in 133rd position. Fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani’s haul of three for 82 sees him advance four places to 51st. Tendai Chisoro is up 11 slots to 110th position.

Cricket17 Apr 2021

PCB congratulates national team on excellent show
SPORTS REPORT ISLAMABAD (April 17, 2021):-Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has congratulated its men’s national cricket team on a successful tour of South Africa, where they won both the ODI and T20I series. By virtue of winning the ODI series 2-1, Pakistan vaulted to second on the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League points table, while a 3-1 win in the T20Is has helped fourth-ranked Pakistan to reduce the gap with number-one ranked England to just 10 points. During the South Africa tour, Babar Azam twice achieved number-one ODI ranking in a space of five days to eventually finish the series as the highest-ranked ODI batsman in the world, while Fakhar Zaman and Shaheen Shah Afridi climbed to their career-best rankings in the format. In the third T20I, Babar scored his maiden T20I century and partnered in a 197-run first wicket stand with Mohammad Rizwan as Pakistan successfully accomplished their highest successful chase in T20Is by scoring 205 for one with 12 balls to spare. In the fourth T20I, Pakistan overcame a middle-order collapse to win their first series in South Africa since March 2013 when they won the Centurion game by 95 runs after the Kingsmead match had been abandoned. PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani: “On behalf of the Pakistan cricket fans, I want to congratulate the Pakistan men’s cricket team on an impressive performance on the tour. South Africa has never been easy for the visiting sides, but Pakistan stepped up every time they were tested and challenged on way to winning the ODI and T20I series 2-1 and 3-1, respectively. “Away wins are always crucial and critical for the team and players’ development and progression. I am confident these results will provide the players and the team the required confidence in what is a challenging and competitive year of international cricket. “Babar Azam, through his commanding performances, has proved to be an inspirational leader. There was a lot of skepticism when he was first appointed white-ball captain in October 2019. But I am pleased with his development and happy that he has continued to justify the board’s trust and confidence in him. I have no doubt that he will continue to improve and strengthen his captaincy skills as he has the potential to become one of Pakistan’s most successful captains. “A rejuvenated Fakhar Zaman and a consistent Mohammad Rizwan have given the top-order the much-needed reliability, which is very encouraging and pleasing. It has been a run-feast in South Africa, making it difficult for the bowlers. But every match provides a learning opportunity and I am sure our bowlers will return from South Africa as a much-improved unit. “I also want to compliment Misbah-ul-Haq and all the other members of his coaching team for their continued hard work as well as all their efforts that have gone into the preparation and development of the players. “Finally, I want to remind everyone we cannot afford to be complacent. This is a T20 World Cup year and each participating team will be putting in their best efforts to arrive fully prepared for the competition with the sole aim of winning the tournament. We need to continue to work hard, stay focused our objectives so that we can also perform strongly in the series against England, West Indies and New Zealand, which will be played in the lead up to the global event.”

Cricket14 Apr 2021

Heath Streak banned for eight years under ICC Anti-Corruption Code
SPORTS DESK ISLAMABAD (April 14, 2021):-Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak has been banned from all cricket for eight years after he accepted five charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. Streak was charged as a participant under the Code by virtue of his status as the coach of Zimbabwe from 2016 to 2018 and as the coach of various domestic teams. The charges are as follows: 2.3.2 – disclosing inside information under both the ICC Code and various domestic Codes, in circumstances where he knew or should have known that such information may be used for betting purposes.  In particular, he disclosed inside information in relation to matches in the 2018 Tri-Series involving Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the Zimbabwe v Afghanistan series in 2018, the IPL 2018 and the APL 2018. 2.3.3 – directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any participant to breach the Code. In particular, he facilitated or attempted to facilitate the introduction of four different players, including a national captain, to someone he knew, or should have known, may have wanted to approach them to provide inside information for betting purposes. 2.4.2 – Failing to disclose the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit that the participant knew or should have known was given to them to procure a breach of the Code or that was made or given in circumstances that could bring the participant or the sport of cricket into disrepute. 2.4.4 - Failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code including in relation to international matches, matches in the 2017 BPL, the 2018 Pakistan Super League, the 2018 IPL and the 2018 APL. Article 2.4.7 – obstructing or delaying an investigation, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and / or that may be evidence of or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. Under the provisions of the Code, Mr. Streak chose to admit the charges and agreed the sanction with the ICC in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing. He will be free to resume his involvement in the game on 28 March 2029. Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Integrity Unit, said: “Heath Streak is an experienced former international cricketer and national team coach, who had participated in numerous anti-corruption education sessions and was fully aware of his responsibilities under the Code. “As a former captain and coach, he held a position of trust and owed a duty to uphold the integrity of the game. He breached the Code on several occasions, including facilitating the approach of four other players. At times, he also sought to obstruct and delay our investigation. “The offences did not affect the outcomes of any relevant matches and Streak has agreed to assist the ICC anti-corruption education programme for which we are grateful. He has also expressed his remorse and contrition and entered this agreed sanction decision to avoid the need for a full disciplinary process. The sanction reflects this cooperation.”

Cricket14 Apr 2021

Babar Azam leaves Kohli behind in one day international
SPORTS REPORT LAHORE (April 14, 2021):-Pakistan captain Babar Azam has ended the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League matches against South Africa as the number-one ranked ODI batsman in the world. The latest rankings that have been updated after the third ODI were released on Wednesday afternoon. Babar had moved ahead of India’s Virat Kohli in number-one position after his 103 in the first match of the series. But, he slipped to second (five points behind Kohli) after scoring 31 in the second match. However, after an innings of 94 in the series finale that earned him the player of the match award, Babar has once again leapfrogged the India captain who has slipped from the No.1 ranking for the first time since replacing AB de Villiers in October 2017. Babar had started the three-match ODI series 20 points behind Kohli and finished eight points ahead of the India batsman, earning 28 points in the series in which he aggregated 228 runs. Babar’s No.1 ODI ranking supplements his No.6 Test and No.3 T20I rankings, which is a hallmark of a fine batsman across all three formats. At present, Kohli is the only other batsman to feature inside the top-six across all formats. Babar is the fourth Pakistan batsman after PCB Hall of Famers Zaheer Abbas and Javed Miandad, and Mohammad Yousuf to peak to the top in the ODI batting table. Zaheer Abbas had topped the ODI batting rankings after his 103 not out against New Zealand during the 1983 World Cup fixture at Trent Bridge, while Javed Miandad had achieved No.1 ranking after scoring 103 against Sri Lanka during the 1987 World Cup match in Hyderabad. Mohammad Yousuf was the last Pakistan batsman to move to the top following his 60 against South Africa in October 2003 in Rawalpindi. Reacting to the news, Babar Azam said: “I feel privileged and honoured to have joined the company of stalwarts like Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad and Mohammad Yousuf, who will always be the shining stars of Pakistan cricket. “This is another milestone in my career, which will now require even more hard work and absolute consistency with the bat in order for me to hold on to the ranking for an extended period of time, like Sir Vivian Richards from January 1984 to October 1988 and Virat Kohli for 1,258 days. “I have also previously topped the T20I rankings, but the ultimate ambition and goal is to lead the Test rankings, which are the real testament and reward to a batsman’s calibre, reputation and skills. I understand to achieve this objective, I will not only have to perform consistently, but more importantly, against the top sides. “I am looking forward to this challenge and remain confident I will be able to accomplish this target with the support of my team-mates and coaching staff. “But at this stage, I will savour the moment as it has come almost 18 months after I was first appointed the white-ball captain and that too at the back of my performances that helped Pakistan become the first Asian side to win two ODI series in South Africa.” Career-high rankings for Fakhar and Shaheen Meanwhile, Fakhar Zaman has returned to the top-10 following a stellar series against South Africa in which he won the player of the series award, while Shaheen Shah Afridi is just outside the top-10 in the latest rankings. Fakhar had scores of eight, 193 and 101, which have helped the left-hander jump from 19th to seventh – his career-best ranking to date. His previous best ranking was eighth, which he had achieved following his 138 against England at Southampton in May 2019. The opener had moved seven places to 12th after his swashbuckling 193 in the second match, while he was rewarded with a jump of five more places following his 101 in the series-decider. Shaheen has achieved a career-high ranking of fifth. He took three for 58 in the final match of the series, which has helped him to jump four places to 11th in the bowling table. His previous highest-ranking was 14th that he had achieved following his two for 61 in the first ODI against South Africa. While Shaheen has moved in an upward direction, Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf have slipped in the latest rankings, which were updated following the third ODI. Hasan has dropped six places to 54th, while Faheem is now 57th after sliding three places. However, Mohammad Nawaz has vaulted 29 places to 96th after his figures of three for 34 at Centurion –third ODI.