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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.

Cricket13 Apr 2021

India A tour postponed
SPORTS DESK ISLAMABAD (April 13, 2021):-The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have agreed to postpone this summer's men's India A tour. India’s warm-up schedule will now comprise two intra-squad four-day matches, which will replace the two previously planned four-day fixtures between India Men and India A in July. Venues for those two intra-squad matches are to be confirmed. Following further discussions with the boards of New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan it has been agreed to cancel their scheduled men’s tour matches against first-class counties. New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan’s men’s teams will instead play intra-squad matches to allow them suitable preparation for their international fixtures this summer. These agreements will allow the ECB to focus on delivering the safest possible environment for all international cricket matches scheduled to take place over the summer. ECB Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison, said: “We are looking forward to staging a memorable summer of men’s and women’s international cricket when fans are set to return to venues. “Ensuring the safest possible environment for international cricket is our first priority and we are appreciative for the understanding of our fellow boards. “We look forward to welcoming a men’s India A tour at a later date after this summer and when restrictions have eased. It will provide a valuable opportunity for players from both countries to experience high-quality cricket and to showcase the talent within our England Lions team and first-class counties.”

Cricket13 Apr 2021

Jofra Archer Injury Update
SPORTS DESK ISLAMABAD (April 13, 2021):-England and Sussex bowler Jofra Archer has been given the all-clear by his hand Consultant to resume training after his right hand continues to heal following his operation on Monday 29 March. He will return to light training this week, working closely with the Sussex and England men’s medical teams. It is hoped that he will be able to up his intensity with his bowling from next week. A further update on his elbow injury will be provided once he has returned to bowling to assess the effectiveness of his recent injection. No decision has been made as yet on when Archer is due to return to playing. Archer suffered a cut to his hand while cleaning at his home in January shortly before flying to India to prepare for the Test series. The ECB’s medical team managed the injury throughout the tour, and it did not impact his availability. A fragment of glass was removed during the operation to his middle finger on his right hand in March.

Cricket07 Apr 2021

SLC hires new doctor for the national team
By Bipin Dani Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has hired the services of new doctor Chaminda Gunathilaka for the home series against Bangladesh, it is learnt here.  According to the highly placed sources in Colombo, Dr. KAP Kiriella, who travelled with the team on the West Indies tour will be rested.  Dr. Chaminda Gunathilakae, who is also associated with the sports ministry has worked with the cricketers. He was involved with the Kandy Tuskers team when the last Lanka Premier League (LPL) was held in Sri Lanka. "Dr. Chaminda will oversee the fitness of the players, regular PCR tests and facilitate the doping test arrangements whenever asked for", the source, speaking exclusively over the telephone from Colombo, said.       In the meantime, the national team has safely returned home on Monday.  "The players are put up in a city hotel in Colombo, where they are quarantined for three days. After that, they will go home and remain home quarantined for further four days", the source attached with the team management said.      

Cricket07 Apr 2021

Zahid replaces Shadab for Zimbabwe tour
SPORTS REPORT PRETORIA (April 7, 2021):-Wrist spinner Zahid Mahmood has been named as Shadab Khan’s replacement for the three-match T20I series against Zimbabwe, which will be played from 21-25 April in Harare, while Fakhar Zaman will stay with the side for the T20Is in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Zahid was originally named in the two-Test squad against Zimbabwe, while Fakhar was initially named for the ODIs. Both the changes were approved by the national selection committee on the request of the team management.

Cricket06 Apr 2021

Sri Lankan players to get first vaccine dose on Sunday
By Bipin Dani Sri Lankan national players will be given the first dose of vaccination on next Sunday. This was revealed by Prof. Arjuna de Silva, the chairman of the Sri Lanka Cricket (board) management committee. Speaking exclusively over the telephone from Colombo, Prof. Arjuna, who took charge of the SLC on Tuesday, said, "the players will be called at the Health ministry campus on April 11 and the first dose of vaccination to them is scheduled on the same day".  "They will be given India-made AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine".  "We have also planned the second dose of vaccine after 2-3 months. The entire national squad (Test players and the Limited Over players) and the support staff will be given the vaccine", De Silva further added.   The national team returned to the Island on Monday. The Tissera-Sobers trophy was shared by both the teams following both the Tests produced no results. 

Cricket06 Apr 2021

Pakistan Under-19 team to leave for Bangladesh on 17 April
SPORTS REPORT LAHORE (April 6, 2021):-Pakistan Under-19 cricket team will now tour Bangladesh from Saturday 17 April instead of the original 11 April schedule. The tour has been delayed by six days due to the ongoing lockdown in Bangladesh. Over the course of the last two days, the Pakistan Cricket Board and Bangladesh Cricket Board worked out an alternate schedule for the tour to ensure the tour takes place in a safe and secure environment (bio-secure bubble). There has been no change in the number of matches. Pakistan U19 and Bangladesh U19 will play a four-day match in Sylhet from 23 April, followed by a series of five 50-over matches. The first three 50-over matches will be played in Sylhet followed by the last two matches in Dhaka. At the conclusion of the tour, Pakistan U19 will embark on their return journey on 10 May. Meanwhile, the final 17-member squad for the tour will be announced shortly. The squad will continue to train in Lahore till their departure. From 12 April, the camp that is presently taking place at the Gaddafi Stadium, will be shifted to the National High Performance Centre. Pakistan U19 squad for Bangladesh tour (revised schedule): Tour schedule: 17 April – Departure for Dhaka 23-26 April – Four-day match; SICS, Sylhet 30 April – 1st 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet 2 May – 2nd 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet 4 May – 3rd 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet 7 May – 4th 50-over match; SBNCS, Dhaka 9 May – 5th 50-over match; SBNCS, Dhaka 10 May – Team return to Pakistan

Cricket03 Apr 2021

Mushtaq Ahmed sees big potential in Under-19 spinners
SPORTS REPORT LAHORE (April 3, 2021):-Spin Bowling Consultant Mushtaq Ahmed feels Bangladesh-bound Pakistan Under-19 spinners are full of potential and have the talent to do big things for the country in the years ahead. He is working with the spinners in the 10-day training camp which is in progress at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.  Mushtaq, who also worked in the camp held for U19 players at the start of the year at the National High Performance Centre, will work with the teenage spinners until 11 April, when the final 17-member squad flies out to Dhaka for the one four-day and five 50-over matches. Following an impressive 2020-21 domestic season, Aaliyan Mehmood, Ali Asfand, Arham Nawab and Faisal Akram received call-ups in the 20-player probable squad and are honing their skills under the guidance of Mushtaq, whose leg-spin brought him 346 international wickets from 1989 till 2003. The four players also have the company of all-rounders Qasim Akram and Fahad Munir, who featured in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa last year. Mushtaq Ahmed: “It is always a real pleasure to work with youngsters. I think this bunch is full of potential and has a bright future. At this stage of their careers, it is important for them to work develop control. The Bangladesh tour will provide them an opportunity of playing a four-day match while I will also work with them in the three-day practice match that starts tomorrow. “The idea is to teach them the basics of both red and white ball cricket and the art of taking wickets. Among this lot, Faisal Akram is hugely promising and has great variations as a left-arm wrist spinner. Arham, Ali and Aaliyan are also very keen on making full use of this opportunity and my job is to impart the skills I learned as a player and coach in my career. “With these spinners, our future is bright indeed and it is important that they are groomed and give constant exposure. Spinners need to bowl long spells in nets and in matches. The more they bowl, the better they get.” The squad will play a three-day practice match from Sunday, which will be followed by two 50-over matches. Pakistan U19 squad for training camp –Bangladesh tour: Batsmen – Abbas Ali, Abdul Faseeh, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Fahad Munir, Maaz Sadaqat, Mohammad Irfan Niazi, Mohammad Shehzad, Qasim Akram and Rizwan Mehmood Wicketkeepers – Haseebullah and Raza-ul-Mustafa Spinners – Aaliyan Mehmood, Ali Asfand, Arham Nawab and Faisal Akram Fast bowlers – Ahmed Khan, Asim Ali, Muneeb Wasif, Tahir Hussain and Zeeshan Zameer Players Support Personnel – Ijaz Ahmed (head coach and team manager), Imranullah (trainer) Rao Iftikhar (bowling coach), Mohtashim Rasheed (fielding coach), Hafiz Naeem (physiotherapist), Col (retd) Safdar Saeed (security manager), Faisal Rai (analyst) and Emmad Ahmed Hameed (media manager). Tour schedule: 11 April – Departure for Dhaka 16-18 April – Training, Sylhet 19-22 April – Four-day match; SICS, Sylhet 26 April – 1st 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet 28 April – 2nd 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet 30 April – 3rd 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet 3 May – 4th 50-over match; SBNCS, Dhaka 5 May – 5th 50-over match; SBNCS, Dhaka 6 May – Team return to Pakistan