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CRICKET - Int News25 Mar 2023

Afghanistan register first ever win against Pakistan in a T20I fixture
Mohammad Nabi (38 runs not out) guides Afghanistan to claim a six-wicket win Sports Bulletin Report Sharjah (UAE): Thanks to Mohammad Nabi 38 runs unbeaten innings that helped Afghanistan to post the first ever victory against Pakistan in an international encounter at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, United Arabs Emirates (UAE) on Friday night. Hosts won the first T20 of the series by six wickets to go up 1-0 in a three-match rubber. Chasing a modest 93 runs to win, the home side chased down the target in 17.5 overs, losing four wickets in the process. Mohammad Nabi was the star performer for Afghanistan, scoring an unbeaten 38 runs to guide his team to victory. Najibullah Zadran remained not out on 17 runs. The pair knitted a 53-run unbroken stand for the fifth wicket after Afghanistan were reeling at 45 for four in the 10th over. For Pakistan, the debutant Ihsanullah was the most successful bowler, taking two wickets for 17 runs. Earlier, the tourists won the toss and opted to bat first. Pakistan gave T20I debuts to four players, including left-handed opening batter Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir, Ihsanullah, and Zaman Khan. Pakistan's batting struggled to gain momentum as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Imad Wasim top-scored for Pakistan with 18 runs off 32 balls, while Saim scored 17 off 15 balls which included two fours and a six. However, the rest of the Pakistani batters failed to make significant contributions, and the team was eventually ended up scoring 92 runs for the loss of nine wickets in their 20 overs. Afghanistan's spin duo of Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and left-arm fast Fazalhaq Farooqi  picked up two wickets each, while skipper Rashid Khan,  Azmatullah Omarzai and Naveen-ul-Haq took one wicket each. Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi was named the player of the match for his all-round performance. The second T20I of the series will be played at the same venue on Sunday. Scores in brief: Afghanistan beat Pakistan by six wickets Pakistan 92-9, 20 overs (Imad Wasim 18, Saim Ayub 17, Tayyab Tahir 16; Mujeeb-ur-Rahman 2-9, Mohammad Nabi 2-12, Fazalhaq Farooqi 2-13) Afghanistan 98-4, 17.5 overs (Mohammad Nabi 38 not out, Najibullah Zadran 17 not out; Ihsanullah 2-17) Player of the match – Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)

CRICKET - Int News25 Mar 2023

Thilina Kandamby to make debut as Specialised Coach with national team
BIPIN DANI Former Sri Lankan top order batter Thilina Kandamby will make his debut as a "Specialised Coach" for the national team on Saturday. On Friday, the 40-year-old Thilina Kandamby, who has played 39 ODIs and 5 T-20Is, was sent to New Zealand to be associated with the team and had its first training session with Dasun Shanaka and his white ball-team boys.  The first D/N ODI between the New Zealand and the visiting Sri Lankan teams will begin at the Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday. Kandamby, who has reached New Zealand with the limited over-team members, will also stay with the T-20 squad. Kandamby has been a successful coach with the Jaffna Kings team in the LPL and is also a coach for the junior boys in Sri Lanka. "I retired at the age of 33 with the intention of becoming a coach", he had said in the video prepared by the JK team at the end of the LPL in 2022. Former and current Sri Lankan players have praised him a lot and see him to be associated with the national team soon. "I have known him for a long time and is a wonderful character and all players respect him", Jehan Mubarak said. Dhananjaya de Silva, Avishka Fernando, Dunith Wellalage and Maheesh Theekshana have all expressed their happiness and want him to be a regular coach for the senior team. SLC's top management team has sent him to New Zealand with an eye on him to be with the seniors.   

CRICKET - Int News24 Mar 2023

Saim, Tayyab, Zaman, Ihsanullah to debut T20I against Afghanistan
Sports Bulletin Report Sharjah (UAE): Pakistan have named a dynamic XI for the first of the three T20Is against Afghanistan at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday. Opener Saim Ayub, middle-order batter Tayyab Tahir and right-arm pacer Zaman Khan and Ihsanullah will make Pakistan debuts. Top-order batter Abdullah Shafique, all-rounders Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim, and Azam Khan made their returns to the Pakistan side. These eight players were named in the 15-member squad for this T20I series after a string of impressive performances in the domestic circuit and the recently-concluded HBL Pakistan Super League 8. The series comes with an opportunity for these players to carry their form in international cricket. Karachi-born 20-year-old Saim will open with Mohammad Haris, who has played five T20Is for Pakistan and announced his arrival in the last ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia with his blazing strokeplay and bold intent, and has batted with him in Peshawar Zalmi during the HBL PSL 8. Saim comes into the side after a highly impressive run for Sindh and Peshawar Zalmi. The left-hander played an integral role in crowning Sindh the National T20 champions as he made 416 runs in 12 matches at a strike rate of 155.22. He smashed 341 runs – that included five half-centuries, the joint-most in the season with Babar Azam – at a strike rate of 165.53 for Peshawar Zalmi in this HBL PSL at the top of the order. Abdullah and Tayyab make number three and four respectively. Abdullah, who has played three T20Is with his last being in December 2020 in New Zealand, comes into the side after making 268 runs at 144.08 for champions Lahore Qalandars. He scored two half-centuries, the last being in the final against Multan Sultans. Tayyab has been in good touch over the last year. He marked his HBL PSL 8 debut with a whirlwind 65 and made 137 runs at 144.21 and was the best batter of the Pakistan Cup that concluded in January. He also bagged player of the final award for his match-winning 71 for Central Punjab. He made 708 runs in first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy at an average of 59 and recorded four centuries and one half-century. Azam scored 282 runs at a staggering 161.14 for Islamabad United this HBL PSL. His highest score of 97 came against Quetta Gladiators at the National Stadium Karachi. This will be 24-year-old’s fourth T20I. Faheem, Azam’s HBL PSL teammate, provided balance to the side with his contributions with bat and ball. He made 215 runs at 149.30 and took eight wickets at an economy of 9.50 – in a league that has had the best run rate (9.20) in the last one year for any major T20 tournament around the world. Imad’s nine wickets for Karachi Kings came at an average of 28.22 and an economy of 7.93, but it was his sensational batting that turned heads as the left-hander scored 404 runs at a phenomenal average of 134.66 and a staggering strike rate of 170.46. The 34-year-old has an experience of 58 T20Is in which he has 55 wickets at an average of 23.49. His economy is 6.33. Experienced speedster Naseem Shah will spearhead the pace attack that includes newcomers Zaman and Ihsanullah. Zaman was outstanding with the new and old ball in the Powerplay and death overs and he is expected to execute the same role in Pakistan colours on Friday. He moves the ball in the air at the start of the innings and keep the batters guessing in death with his wily variations. He defended 13 off the last over to help Lahore Qalandars to their second straight HBL PSL title and took 15 wickets at 23.60 runs per dismissal and an economy of 8.53 in the recent season. In Ihsanullah, Pakistan have a reliable pace bowler to carry them through the middle-overs. The right-arm pacer’s thunderbolts kept batters on backfoot throughout the HBL PSL 8 as he peppered every opposition with lethal bouncers. Ihsanullah was the first bowler in the tournament to pick a five-wicket haul and he went on to finish the tournament as the best player and best bowler for taking 22 wickets (the second most) at only 15.77 runs apiece and he leaked only 7.59 runs in the 45.4 overs he bowled, the most for a bowler with top-five wickets. Pakistan XI for first Afghanistan T20I: Saim Ayub, Mohammad Haris, Abdullah Shafique, Tayyab Tahir, Shadab Khan (c), Azam Khan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Zaman Khan and Ihsanullah

CRICKET - Int News23 Mar 2023

T20I Series: Pakistan to meet Afghanistan in the opener on Friday
Sports Bulletin Report Sharjah (UAE): Pakistan will take on Afghanistan in the opening fixture of the 3-match T20I Cricket Series on Friday (March 24, 2023) at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, United Arab Emirates (UAE), as the match will get underway at 8:00 pm local time. The rest of the two matches of the series will be played on March 26 and 27 at the same venue. Afghanistan is hosting this vital series, as it was scheduled after the refusal of Australia to play against Afghanistan a few months back. Shahdan Khan will lead Green Shirts while Rashid Khan will lead Afghanistan first time in the history of Afghan cricket. Pakistan Squad: Shadab Khan (Captain), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Zaman Khan Reserves: Haseebullah, Usama Mir, Abrar Ahmed Afghanistan Squad: Rashid Khan (C), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Usman Ghani, Sediqullah Atal, Najibullah Zadran, Afsar Zazai, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Fareed Ahmad, Fazal Haq Farooqi and Naveen Ul Haq. Reserve players: Nangyal Kharoti, Zahir Khan, Nijat Masoud Series Schedule March 24, 2023: T20I, Sharjah Cricket Stadium March 26, 2023: 2nd T20I, Sharjah Cricket Stadium March 27, 2023: 3rd T20I, Sharjah Cricket Stadium

CRICKET - Int News21 Mar 2023

Afghanistan name 17-player squad for T20I series against Pakistan
Sports Bulletin Report KABUL: Afghanistan Cricket Board’s Selection Committee on Tuesday announced a 17-member National squad for the home three-match T20I series against Pakistan, which will be played from 24 to 27 March in Sharjah. Tall left-handed opener Sediqullah Atal has been added to the squad. He could be a potential debutant for Afghanistan in the series. In addition, senior all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, who led Afghanistan at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup last year, has been recalled to the squad. Nijat Masoud and Zahir Khan who were part of the Afghanistan squad during the UAE tour last month have been kept as reserves, whereas Rahmat Shah and Hazratullah Zazai have been dropped from the squad. ACB CEO Naseeb Khan said: “Our team has been working hard in training camp and selectors have selected the best available players for the series. I am confident that our team will perform at their best and make our nation proud. We wish our team the best of luck for the series and hope to see them emerge victorious.” “In addition, we look forward to an exciting competition between two great teams. Both nations have passionate fans who support their teams with enthusiasm and pride. As neighbors, we have a special bond and we hope to showcase not only our cricketing skills but also the spirit of friendship and sportsmanship. We wish both teams the best of luck and hope that cricket fans around the world will enjoy the games.” He added. Afghanistan Squad: Rashid Khan (C), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Usman Ghani, Sediqullah Atal, Najibullah Zadran, Afsar Zazai, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Fareed Ahmad, Fazal Haq Farooqi and Naveen Ul Haq. Reserve players: Nangyal Kharoti, Zahir Khan, Nijat Masoud Series Schedule 24th March – 1st T20I, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, UAE 26th March – 2nd T20I, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, UAE 27th March – 3rd T20I, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, UAE

CRICKET - Int News20 Mar 2023

Nangarhar B win WAK Provincial Grade-I Tournament 2023
Sports Bulletin Report KABUL: Nangarhar B provincial team put on an outstanding all-round performance in the final to beat Kabul comprehensively by 101 runs and win the 14th edition of the Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan (WAK) Provincial Grade I Tournament 2023. Nangarhar B were put into bat earlier in the morning, but the call was welcomed by the hosts as they posted a huge total of 287 runs in fifty overs. Abid Mohammadi scored 114 whereas Mohammad Ishaq returned with 54 runs to his name. Allah Mohammad picked two wickets for Kabul. In reply, Kabul did not capitalize on their batting as they lost wickets regularly, only managed to score 186 runs to fell short by 101 runs in the end. Islam Zazai was the only batter to cross the 50-run barrier as he finished unbeaten on 54*. Abid Mohammadi backed up his batting effort with a terrific bowling display as well as he picked up 4 wickets. Mohammad Ibrahim also bagged three, whereas the young Sohail Khan picked two wickets. Abid Mohammadi was adjudged the player of the match for his 114 runs and 4 wickets. Baheer Shah Mahboob, who had scored a mammoth 386 runs at 128.66 with 2 hundreds and a half-century, was awarded the best batter of the tournament. A young leg spinner Ahmad Wali was named the best bowler of the event with 19 scalps in 6 innings. Additionally, Sohail Khan was named as the emerging player of the tournament for picking 13 wickets in his debut season, whereas Abid Mohammadi was named the best player of the event for his terrific all-round performance in the event. He scored 338 runs and has also picked up 12 wickets to help side to the glory. The Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan Provincial Grade I tournament 2023 was the 2nd activity of the domestic cricket department in the year, which will be followed by the Shpageeza Cricket League and the regional three-day event in May and June respectively.

CRICKET - Int News20 Mar 2023

New Zealand to start Pakistan tour with T20 on April 14, 2023 at Lahore
Sports Bulletin Report LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and New Zealand Cricket (NC) have unanimously agreed to make tweaks to the New Zealand men’s cricket team’s tour of Pakistan for five ODIs and five T20Is, as the opening match of the series will be played on April 14, 2023 at Qaddafi Stadium Lahore. Kiwis will now arrive in Lahore and will play three T20Is from 14-17 April, before traveling to Rawalpindi where the final two T20Is and first ODI will be played from 20-26 April. The tour will culminate in Karachi with the remaining four ODIs to be played from 30 April to 7 May. Pakistan v New Zealand (schedule): April 14, 2023: 1st T20, Lahore April 15, 2023: 2nd T20, Lahore April 17, 2023: 3rd T20, Lahore April 20, 2023: 4th T20, Rawalpindi April 24, 2023: 5th T20, Rawalpindi April 26, 2023: 1st ODI, Rawalpindi April 30, 2023: 2nd ODI, Karachi May 3, 2023: 3rd ODI, Karachi May 5, 2023: 4th ODI, Karachi May 7, 2023: 5th ODI, Karachi

CRICKET - Int News13 Mar 2023

Shahdab to lead Pakistan in T 20 Series against Afghanistan in Sharjah
Sports Bulletin Report LAHORE: With one eye on the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 and the other on ensuring the careers of their elite cricketers are extended by strategically managing their workloads, the Pakistan cricket selectors today named a new-look and highly-talented 15-player squad for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan, which will be played from 24 to 27 March in Sharjah. All-rounder Shadab Khan will captain the side that includes four uncapped players, namely, Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir and Zaman Khan, while Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim have been recalled. Pakistan captain Babar Azam, along with Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi have been rested, while Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hasnain and Khushdil Shah have been dropped. These nine players were part of the Pakistan squad that reached the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. Apart from the Shadab, players retained from the last T20I series are: Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Naseem Shah and Shan Masood. Chair of PCB Management Committee, Najam Sethi said: “I want to congratulate Shadab Khan on his appointment as the Pakistan team captain for the series against Afghanistan. Shadab Khan has been the Pakistan vice-captain in white-ball cricket for the past couple of years and it is logical that he takes over the side in the absence of Babar Azam for the short three-match T20I tour of Sharjah. “For the short Sharjah tour and to ensure continuity, we have also appointed Mohammad Yousuf as the interim head and batting coach. Yousuf has been with the national side since last year as a batting coach and has also been working in the National High Performance Centre.” Chair of the selection committee, Haroon Rashid said: “For the short three-T20I series against Afghanistan, the selection committee has followed the standard rotation policy by resting the leading performers and providing high-performing domestic performers with opportunities to demonstrate their talent and potential at the international level. This will also allow us to test the temperament and abilities of these players and helping us to strengthen our pool of players as we look forward to building and preparing a formidable side for next year’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and United States. “However, and in doing so, we have ensured that we select a side that is equally strong and capable of winning the series against a strong Afghanistan side for whom Sharjah is like a second home. And to achieve that, we have retained seven players from the last series, recalled four experienced cricketers and clubbed them with four uncapped players to make the 15-member side a truly mixture of youth and experience. “In this background, I want to congratulate Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir and Zaman Khan who have broken into the national side after a series of strong performances in the domestic circuit as well as the HBL PSL 8. Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim have been recalled after they too demonstrated in the HBL PSL 8 that they are capable of exceling in the shortest format and also providing experience and stability in the side. “Babar, Fakhar, Haris, Rizwan and Shaheen have been provided breaks from the short Sharjah trip to allow them to switch-off from competitive cricket so that they can complete their rehabilitations, regroup, recompose and recharge their batteries and be fully fit for the challenges in the tough and challenging 2023-24 season.” About the uncapped and recalled players: In the HBL PSL 8, Azam has scored 280 runs in nine match at a strike-rate of almost 163, Saim Ayub has scored 309 runs in 10 matches at a strike-rate of 167, Tayyab Tahir has scored 137 runs in five matches at a strike-rate of 144 after aggregating 413 runs in 11 National T20 matches at a strike-rate of 138, whereas Ihsanullah has picked up 20 wickets in 10 matches at an economy-rate of 7.36 and Zaman Khan has claimed 12 wickets in 10 matches at an economy-rate of 8.68. Abdullah Shafique has scored 193 runs in seven HBL PSL 8 matches at a strike-rate of 144, Faheem Ashraf has scored 210 runs and taken seven wickets, while Imad has scored 404 runs (strike-rate of 170) and taken nine wickets (economy-rate of 7.93). Pakistan squad Shadab Khan (captain), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah,  Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Zaman Khan, Reserve players: Abrar Ahmed, Haseebullah, Usama Mir

CRICKET - Int News09 Mar 2023

Great moment to witness two Prime Ministers in my Wacky golf-cart
BIPIN DANI India's Prime Minister Narednra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese reached the Narendra Modi stadium and took a round of the massive sports arena on a golf cart before the start of the fourth Test match on Thursday. Both Prime Ministers waved to cheering spectators as they were driven around the outfield before play began.  The golf-cart specially used for this match was made in 1 1/2 days by Sai Shilp Studio. Speaking exclusively over the telephone from Ahmedabad, Irfan Saiyad, one of the three owners of the company said, "we got the design of the cart from Move-in-Pixel company just two days prior to the match and put our best efforts and several labourers to make it". "A new MS (Mild Steel) structure was erected on this cart and other wooden planks are used. It was painted and a carpet was laid". The other two partners-Atul Solanki and Jyotirmay-and Irfan Saiyad have studied Fine Arts and have degrees in Shilpkala. "We have been in this profession for 25 years. "We have made many sculptures and a similar cart was used in the National Games held in this country a few years ago. We have been getting orders to decorate the jeeps and lorries for the national parades. Our people travel to Delhi, stay there for a month and make such decorative parade cars". "It was our great pleasure when the cart prepared by us had two notable distinguished Prime Ministers", Irfan Saiyad added. Both Prime Ministers were introduced by captains of both sides. They were present during the National Anthems also.

CRICKET - Int News09 Mar 2023

By Qamar Ahmed None, amongst all the wicket-keepers we have had in Pakistan enjoyed a vast fan following as did the ever agile and handsome Wasim Bari. Ever alert behind the stumps, he was a perfect model of a keeper. Focused, fast moving, quick footed and dextrous, he was a treat to watch whether keeping of fast men or against the best of spinners. Sharp in gloving the ball, catching it or when stumping a batsman, or diving to pick up an edge, Bari was a sheer artist as a keeper and hence his fan following. Which, indeed reminds me of Pakistan's 1979 tour to India under Asif Iqbal and the then Bombay Test. Pakistan was touring India after 18 years and no matter where we played the crowd greeted us warmly, same was the situation during the Bombay Test. People had come to Indian cities from every direction, from across the border and from Pakistan as well. Amongst them were our own movie super stars, Mohammad Ali and Zeba. It was during the Bombay Test when the couple, my close friends asked me to accompany them to actor Raj Kapoor's house for dinner. Greeted warmly by Raj's entire family, we were not only in company of his sons Randhir and Rishi but were also joined by super stars of Bollywood, Dilip Kumar and Amithab Bachan. There was Neetu Singh too who was to be married to Rishi Kapoor after a few weeks. That evening remains etched in my mind for the fact when I discovered that how popular Wasim Bari was within the Kapoor family. Rishi Kapoor during the conversation disclosed that he was an avid fan of one of Pakistani players and if it was possible for me to call Bari in his hotel so that Rishi could talk to him. 'Are you fan of Imran Khan, Zaheer Abbas or Javed Miandad, I asked him. No, he said,' I am fan of Wasim Bari. Which came to me as a huge surprise. I then asked him what makes him a fan of Wasim Bari? Qamar Sir, he said, he is a great wicket keeper, he is handsome, his hair looks great and he has looks of a movie actor.' He told me. Minutes later he took me to his room and requested to ring Pakistan team's hotel so that he could talk to his idol. When on line, I handed over the phone to Rishi, telling Bari that Rishi, your fan would like to talk to you. I could see the excitement oozing out of Rishi' face while talking to his hero. When finished talking to him he turned around not only to thank me but also asked me to attend his marriage to Neetu Singh. I sadly had to decline the invitation because it clashed with a Test I was covering. Twenty years later as I was walking along in the Oxford Street London that I noticed Rishi and his wife waiting for a taxi. I dashed towards him, tapped him on the shoulder. As he turned, he asked me who I was. Remember, I am the one who introduced you to Wasim Bari. He then embraced me, telling me, Qamar Sir, how nice to see. This was one very memorable moment Bari was as popular amongst cricketers of countries against whom he played. Alan Knott of England considered to be best in business always rated Bari better than him. Since making his Test debut at Lord's in 1967 to his final Test in 1984 at Sydney which also happened to be the last Tests of Dennis Lillee, Greg Chappell and Rodney Marsh, Bari was one of the best keeper on the circuit. Be it Knott, Marsh, Murray, he was second to none. I saw his debut and covered his almost entire career including his last Test at Sydney, he remained for me a joy to watch an artist of his trade, soft in nature and respectful as ever. In the 1971 and 1974 series in England he was a feature to follow besides the genius of Zaheer Abbas, he was the focus for his safe and acrobatic display behind the stumps. On the Headingley Test of 1971, he took eight catches in the match, the best at the time. In 1979, he caught seven batsmen of first eight dismissed of New Zealand. One of the greats of history with 228 victims behind the wicket he remains a role model for aspiring keepers. Pakistan's first wicket-keeper in Tests was Hanif Mohammad followed by Imtiaz Ahmad, Naushad Ali, Saleem Yousuf, Rashid Latif, Moin Khan, Taslim Arif, now Sarfraz Ahmad, Mohammad Rizwan but none as adept in the art of keeping as Wasim Bari.