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Cricket04 Mar 2021

HBL PSL 6 postponed
HAMMAD AHMED KAYANI KARACHI (March 4, 2021):-Following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and wellbeing of all participants is paramount, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to postpone the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 with immediate effect. The decision was made after seven cases were reported in the competition, which had started on 20 February. The PCB, as an immediate step, will focus on the safe and secure passage of all participants, and arrange repeat PCR tests, vaccines and isolation facilities to the six participating sides. PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan, Director – Commercial and Babar Hamid, will hold a media conference at the National Stadium at 3pm to provide further updates. Due to limited space in the press conference room, TV camerapersons are not allowed and the press conference will be live-streamed on the PCB YouTube Channel.

Cricket25 Feb 2021

Rizwan and Fawad promoted to Category A and C, respectively
SPORTS REPORT LAHORE (February 24, 2020):-PCB Test Cricketer of the year 2020, Mohammad Rizwan, has been promoted to Category A of the PCB’s Central Contract List 2020-21 following stellar performances across all formats in the ongoing season. In the elite category, the 28-year-old has now joined Pakistan captain Babar Azam, former captain Azhar Ali and star fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi. Since the current central contracts were announced on 13 May 2020, Rizwan is Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in Tests with 529 runs in seven matches at an average of 52.90, while he is overall the third leading run-scorer in T20Is with 325 runs at an average of 65 and strike-rate of just under 139. In the three ODIs against Zimbabwe, he scored 25 runs. Behind the wickets, Rizwan has accounted for 16 batsmen in Tests, three in ODIs and eight in T20Is in the season during which Pakistan played international cricket against England, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and South Africa. Their upcoming assignments are in South Africa and Zimbabwe. As part of its policy to acknowledge, incentivise and reward high-performing cricketers, the PCB has also elevated Fawad Alam from A+ domestic contract category to Category C of the PCB Central Contract List 2020-21, while it also offered Category C contract to T20I specialist Mohammad Hafeez, which he politely turned down. Fawad Alam scored centuries against New Zealand and South Africa, and has now aggregated 320 runs in 11 innings of six Tests. His 102 against New Zealand in the Boxing Day Test earned him the PCB Individual Performance of 2020 award. PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan: “I want to congratulate Rizwan and Fawad for earning well-deserved and well-earned promotions. This is a reward for their hard work and high-quality performances during the difficult and challenging bio-secure environments that tested their determination, resolve, commitment, mental toughness and physical fitness to the limits. “The decision to promote the players was made during a meeting with the Chair of the Selection Committee, Muhammad Wasim, while we were reviewing player performances in the 2020-21 season and discussing the upcoming commitments. “It was agreed during the meeting that three players were the most deserving and outstanding performers in the season to date and, as such, they needed to be rewarded now instead of waiting for the time when PCB Central Contract List for 2021-22 will be reviewed and announced. “However, Mohammad Hafeez declined the reward and while I am disappointed, I fully respect his decision. He wants to wait for the PCB Central Contract 2021-22 list, which he is fully entitled to. Hafeez has been one of our star performers of the season and we hope he will carry the form and momentum to Africa. “I am sure this merit and performance-based decision will once again send out a loud and clear message to all professional cricketers that the PCB will not only recognise, appreciate and acknowledge their performances and achievements, but will also reward them so that they can strive to do better next time.” Updated PCB Men’s Central Contract List for 2020-21: Category A - Azhar Ali (Central Punjab), Babar Azam (Central Punjab), Mohammad Rizwan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) Category B - Abid Ali (Central Punjab), Asad Shafiq (Sindh), Haris Sohail (Balochistan), Mohammad Abbas (Southern Punjab), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh), Shadab Khan (Northern), Shan Masood (Southern Punjab) and Yasir Shah (Balochistan) Category C - Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Fawad Alam (Sindh), Iftikhar Ahmed (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Imad Wasim (Northern), Imam-ul-Haq (Balochistan), Naseem Shah (Central Punjab) and Usman Shinwari (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) Emerging Players’ Category - Haider Ali (Northern), Haris Rauf (Northern) and Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh)

Cricket24 Feb 2021

Mani delighted with successful completion of High Performance events
Hammad Ahmed Kayani KARACH (February 24, 2021):-Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani has praised the High Performance department for leading the successful completion of their events calendar for the 2020-21 season, which also contributed in the staging of international cricket, hosting the ongoing HBL Pakistan Super League 2021 and achieving commercial targets during the unprecedented, highly challenging, and difficult Covid-19 pandemic. Mani, who also chairs the ICC’s influential Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee, highlighted the economic activity that took place due to domestic cricket and the opportunities that were created for budding youngsters to grow, develop and make themselves available for bigger challenges. The High Performance department’s 2020-21 domestic events had started on 30 September 2020 with the First XI National T20 Cup and concluded with the final of the PCB U16 National One-Day Tournament on 23 February in Multan and Rawalpindi, respectively. In the period from 30 September to 23 February, the revamped and restructured High Performance department, under a fresh and proactive leadership planned and, with the help of all the support departments, delivered nine successful tournaments that comprised a total of 220 matches. The 220 age-group to first-class matches were in addition to the High Performance department’s other initiatives, including assessment, evaluation and appointments of local coaches and match officials, preparation of a national cricket framework strategy, holding of countrywide coaching clinics, nationwide open trials for Under-19 and Under-16 events, rehabilitation programmes and the recently-concluded Pakistan Under-19 camp for next year’s ICC U19 Cricket World Cup West Indies 2022. By staging an extended domestic cricket, the High Performance department created employment opportunities for domestic contracted cricketers who featured through the season are expected to earn between PKR2.5million and PKR3.8million through contracts, daily allowances and match fees. Similarly, domestic cricket also generated economic activity as sports equipment and clothing manufacturers, travel and hotel industries continued to operate on a business-as-usual basis during a time when the world saw major organisations opting for layoffs or salary cuts. In the hotel industry alone, the PCB used 23,316 bed nights across seven luxury hotels during the five-month period where the players and match officials were lodged for the First and Second XI National T20 and Pakistan Cup, three and four-day Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, PCB National U19 three-day and one-day tournaments, and PCB U16 National One-Day Tournament. Ehsan Mani said: “This is a monumental achievement by the High Performance department to successfully deliver 220 matches across nine events. When presentation on the 2020-21 domestic season was made in September, it looked like an over-ambitious and a nearly impossible objective because of all the challenges and difficulties that were posed by the evolving and uncertain Covid-19 pandemic. “But the cricket operations, medical teams, security, finance, HR and marketing departments and the logistics wings of the PCB got together to ensure High Performance department’s targets of successfully delivering a complete 2020-21 season were achieved. This is a matter of great pride for the PCB that has significantly enhanced its image and profile globally. “The leadership provided by the High Performance department, which was excellently and thoroughly supported by all the players and match officials during the Covid-19 pandemic, truly reflected the nation’s passion for this great game and rightly summed up the season’s #HarHaalMainCricket hashtag. “Through a strategic marketing plan, that included 55 broadcast matches and aggressive new media coverage that was supported by the traditional media, the PCB demonstrated to the world that Pakistan was capable of creating a safe and healthy environment for cricket. This played a supporting role in convincing Zimbabwe and South Africa to play international cricket in Pakistan and also gave the confidence and encouragement to more than 75 foreign players and coaches to participate in the ongoing HBL Pakistan Super League 2021. “Through these events, the PCB was also able to exploit its commercial programme and partner with leading sport networks besides attracting prestigious and world renowned multinational companies. The PCB, for the first time in its history, is on the verge of formally announcing the appointments of Principal Sponsors for the six Cricket Associations, which is a testament to the attractive brand our revamped domestic cricket has become within two years. All the revenues generated from these partnerships will be reinvested into cricket so that the PCB can provide even better opportunities and facilities to our talented cricketers in the coming seasons. “The domestic season also created earning opportunities for our cricketers and match officials, while also enabling the economic wheel across various industries to continue to move at a time when major organisations either went for layoffs or pay-cuts. “The quality of the domestic events was from the top draw. During the five-month period, the competitions provided uninterrupted, exciting and thrilling cricket that was not only enjoyed by all the participants but also attracted new fans, who followed the proceedings on our various digital platforms in the absence of the crowds, and kept the interest and involvement of the local media alive. “Apart from the PCB staff, I will like to congratulate and thank all the players, player support personnel and match officials who stayed away from their families and friends to spent extended periods in bio-secure bubbles. The PCB appreciates and acknowledges their sacrifices and hopes the 2021-22 season will not test all these athletes like the 2020-21 season.”

Cricket18 Feb 2021

Top six to watch-out for in HBL PSL 2021
HAMMAD AHMED KAYANI KARACHI (February 18, 2021):-There are a number of top players featuring in HBL Pakistan Super League 2021, but we have selected one player from each side who can prove critical and decisive in his side’s quest for the biggest prize in Pakistan cricket’s marquee’s event. Azam Khan (Quetta Gladiators) Azam Khan can be the next big thing from HBL PSL 2021. He has been on the selectors’ radars, who think he can give Pakistan the much-needed power-hitting in the middle and late overs of a Twenty20 International. However, Azam needs to attain complete fitness and a good show in the HBL PSL 2021 that can edge him closer to Pakistan’s ranks. Two years ago when Quetta Gladiators owner Nadeem Omar announced Azam could be Pakistani Chris Gayle, very few people took him seriously but those who had watched Azam’s clean hitting believed him. Azam has a pedigree for being World Cup winner, all he needs to do is to match the hard work of his father Moin Khan, known for being one of the fittest cricketers ever to represent Pakistan. Azam played in just one match, scoring 12 runs in the HBL PSL 2019. But, the 2020 edition highlighted his talent as he thrilled the Karachi crowd with a blistering 33-ball 59 against Islamabad United. Although he ended up with a not-so-prominent 150 runs in the tournament, he demonstrated he had the talent to go places. Azam can hit big and long. The best thing about him is that he remains nonchalant, never caring who the bowler is.  After hitting a six, he never shows his emotions or excitement as if that is just his habit. Watch out for Azam. He knows how to hit it big. Babar Azam (Karachi Kings) “I see Babar Azam is batting on a different pitch to everyone else .... Class!”, remarked former England captain and reputed commentator Nasser Hussain last year. His fractured thumb had deprived fans in New Zealand of his artistry at the batting crease last year and they lament that.  But the thumb is back in shape, a big thumbs up for the fans to watch the best of Babar in HBL PSL VI. Pakistan all-format skipper is touted around the world. He plays it late, plays it to perfect timing, like a Swiss watch, and leaves bowlers in a state of hypnotism as to how easily he dispatches the ball to the boundary. Till recently, he was the only batsman at international level to be in the top-five rankings in all three formats. Just like Pakistan look to Babar for runs, Karachi Kings will depend on him to give solid starts. He has represented Karachi Kings in all but the first edition in 2016, when he was with Islamabad United. Babar’s 473 in 12 matches at 59.12 and at a strike-rate of 124 formed the basis of Karachi Kings clinching the title last year. He eased them to the title with a solid half-century in the final. With 1,516 in 47 matches at 37.90 and at a strike-rate of 118, Babar is only second behind cousin Kamran Akmal in scoring most runs in HBL PSL history. Fans are in for a treat as Babar promises to be one to watch out for in HBL PSL VI. Haider Ali (Peshawar Zalmi) Haider Ali, the former Pakistan U19 star batsman, is another player who has made it big through the HBL Pakistan Super League. The Attock-born managed 239 runs in 10 innings at an average of 26.55 in the 2020 edition, that caught the attention of then chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq with his astronomical strike rate of 157.23. Haider was selected for Pakistan’s tour of England and when he was given a chance in the third and final Twenty20 International, he made an instant impact, smashing a 33-ball 54. That became the highest score by a Pakistani on a T20I debut. Haider has the talent, in fact, he is loaded with talent and when he bats, he literally makes it look simple and easy. Haider has the power to clear any boundary and he has shown this trait to the hilt at international level as well. Anything short or anything pitched up, Haider hurries into a shot and clears the boundary. Fans love those who hit big and long and Haider is also getting popularity amongst Pakistani fans for this ability. Pakistan tried Haider as an opener in the last T20I against South Africa. Peshawar Zalmi can also use that ploy to get a robust start. Hasan Ali (Islamabad United) Hasan Ali is truly a product of HBL Pakistan Super League. He was inducted in the Peshawar Zalmi squad as an Emerging Player in the inaugural edition in 2016. Next season, he grabbed 12 wickets in 11 matches to herald his arrival. Just over a year, Hasan became a star with a stellar Player of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 award, helping Pakistan to the title. Hasan’s name was everywhere as he was the main wicket-taker in middle overs of a one-day match. Hasan has progressed by leaps and bounds. Soon after an unimpressive ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, Hasan had a spate of injuries that kept him out of action. He, though, returned with a bang, collecting the Player of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy award with 43 wickets and 273 runs that included a fighting century in the final that resulted in the first-ever tied first-class final. Once back in Pakistan fold, Hasan was at his superb best. He helped Pakistan win the second Test with a maiden 10-wicket haul in Rawalpindi. He was again the star for Pakistan in the third and final Twenty20 International in Lahore, claiming two wickets and then hit two sixes and a boundary in the penultimate over to anchor the win. Fans love his celebration style, imitating a generator exploding to power as he pumps the blasting machine. After five seasons with Peshawar, Hasan has now joined Islamabad United for HBL PSL 2021. His induction will be key to change the fortunes of two-time champions, who finished an abysmal sixth last year. Mohammad Rizwan (Multan Sultans) Mohammad Rizwan is in the form of his life. Everything his bat touches, turns into gold. He has shown in all three formats that he can be a destructive player. Rizwan was never regarded as a player for the shortest format before last year. That was evident in his non-selection for Karachi Kings in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020. Critics believed his inability to hit sixes was a major reason for him being benched on most occasions. But since he was inducted in the Pakistan team on the tour of Australia in 2019 and then to England last year, Rizwan’s luck and status have changed. He has been the leading run-getter for Pakistan. This ultimately earned him the PCB Test Cricketer of 2020 award. Admirably, he transformed his longer format form into the shortest one with aplomb and aggression. It started at Napier where he castigated the best New Zealand bowlers at will, scoring 89 runs in a consolation win. He continued as an opener in the T20I series against South Africa. Rizwan made that series his own, cracking a maiden undefeated hundred in the opening match and followed it up with scores of 51 and 42 – a total of 197 in Pakistan's series win. That richly earned him the Player of the Series award. Taking stock of his rich form, Multan Sultans took a bold decision to appoint him as captain. He has the experience of leading Pakistan in New Zealand. Rizwan is expected to take that responsibility in his strides and take the attack to the bowlers. He has form in support and the will to prove his HBL Pakistan Super League detractors wrong. Shaheen Shah Afridi (Lahore Qalandars) The lanky paceman has made a name for himself. He is the lynchpin in Lahore Qalandars’ attack as he is for Pakistan in international matches. Shaheen can make the ball dance to the tunes of his left hand. His height is an added advantage, bombarding lethal yorkers and ferocious bouncers. It was a story of “he came, he saw, he conquered” for Shaheen in 2018. He devastated Multan Sultans with unbelievable figures of five for four, and next month he was in Pakistan team playing against the West Indies in the home Twenty20 series. Since then he has become an all-format, go-to-bowler for Pakistan. He was in superb form in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, grabbing 16 wickets in just five games. When the entire HBL Pakistan Super League was played in Pakistan last year, Shaheen was in a starring role for Lahore Qalandars, taking 17 wickets – the most in the league. His devastating bowling helped Lahore finish runner-up. This year too, Shaheen will be the stand out bowler for his team and fans will continue to watch his typical style of celebration, arms wide apart and both index fingers up.

Cricket17 Feb 2021

Peshawar Zalmi adds a lot of zeal to HBL PSL
HAMMAD KAYANI KARACHI (February 17, 2021):-Peshawar Zalmi is one of the most loved franchises in the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL). They have been one of the four title-winners in the history of the tournament. Their journey in the HBL PSL has been a fairytale to say the least because of the style that they display on the field. Alongside Karachi Kings, Zalmi are the only side to have qualified for the play-offs in all five editions of the tournament. They won the tournament in 2017 and are likely to make a big splash in the 2021 edition as well. The franchise has had some of the most popular players to have featured for them in the four editions of the tournament that were played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The expat pathans would come to watch the ever-green Shahid Afridi and the two-time T20 World Cup winning West Indies captain Daren Sammy. Even in the last edition, Zalmi were the crowd favourites because of the pull they have with the quality of players in their line-up.  Afridi is now plying his trade with Multan Sultans, while Sammy is now in the role of a head coach, leaving speed merchant Wahab Riaz in charge as the leader of the franchise. The franchise also has the two most experienced T20 specialists in Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal featuring alongside Wahab. Kamran is the most successful run-getter in the HBL PSL history with 1,537 runs from 56 matches and has also struck three centuries – most in the tournament's history. But, his form in the 2020 edition left a lot to be desired as he scored just 251 runs in spite of striking a hundred in the league phase. Malik on the other hand struck three half-centuries in the 2020 event. To complement the experienced trio in Malik, Kamran and Riaz, is the young Haider Ali who is already marked as the generation's next star. Haider scored 239 runs in the last edition. Now having featured for Pakistan in international cricket, Haider is expected to make a big impact this season. The 2020 disappointment for Zalmi can be pinned on the foreign recruits’ less than positive returns. England’s Tom Banton was brought for his reputation in the T20 Blast with the county side Somerset, but he came a cropper on the slow pitches, managing just 74 in seven matches. The other English pair of Liam Livingstone and Liam Dawson were also not as successful as before in the previous editions of HBL PSL. Top-order Yorkshire batsman Tom-Kohler Cadmore has replaced Liam Livingstone who was drafted into England T20 side for the India tour. This year, Peshawar will have the big striking South African David Miller but only for the later stages of the tournament as he has some domestic cricket commitments. Another player to watch out will be Sherfane Rutherford of West Indies who is an excellent finisher. Fast-rising all-rounder Amad Butt, lanky Mohammad Irfan and experienced Umaid Asif will form the core of the pace attack led by Wahab, who is also the leading wicket-taker in the history of HBL PSL with 76 in 55 matches. English pacer Saqib Mahmood is the other vital cog in the fast bowling attack. In addition, the Zalmi franchises also have some exciting fast bowlers in Pakistan U19 star Mohammad Amir Khan, who stole the show with his pace at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020. Imran Randhawa with his swinging yorkers will also be in focus this season. However, the exit of Hasan Ali after five years will be the biggest gap that Zalmi have to somehow fill this time around. Peshawar’s spin attack will be helmed by Afghanistan’s magical spinner Mujeeb-Ur-Rehman, who has earned the reputation in various leagues around the world. Young mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed will also be hungry to take wickets after featuring briefly for Karachi Kings in an earlier HBL PSL season. Squad: Wahab Riaz (captain), Abrar Ahmed, Amad Butt, David Miller, Haider Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Amir Khan, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Imran Randhawa, Mohammad Irfan Senior, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravi Bopara, Saqib Mahmood, Sherfane Rutherford, Shoaib Malik, Tom-Kohler Cadmore and Umaid Asif

Cricket17 Feb 2021

World-class commentators ready for PSL
SPORTS REPORT ISLAMABAD (February 17, 2021):-Some of the most popular cricket commentators will be commentating at this year’s HBL Pakistan Super League. The commentary panel for the month-long event that starts at the National Stadium Karachi on Saturday, 20 February, was unveiled today. Pakistani commentators synonymous with the league including Bazid Khan, Ramiz Raja, Sana Mir and Urooj Mumtaz will be doing bi-lingual commentary while renowned Urdu commentator Tariq Saeed and Sikandar Bakht will be part of the panel as Urdu commentators. A panel of world-class foreign commentators including David Gower, Simon Doull, Pommie Mbangwa, JP Duminy, Danny Morrison, Dominic Cork, and Alan Wilkins will complement their Pakistani counterparts in the T20 cricket extravaganza which has become one of the most popular yearly tournaments in the cricket calendar.  New Zealand’s former fast bowler and star commentator Simon Doull will be part of the HBL PSL commentary panel for the first time along with former South African all-rounder JP Duminy, who will join the commentary box for the second leg in Lahore. Pommie Mbangwa is another fresh entrant in the HBL PSL commentary box this year and he will be joining the commentary team in Lahore. Alan Wilkins, who has been one of the most popular HBL PSL voices, will be calling the tournament along with former England fast bowler Dominic Cork. Former England captain David Gower will also be part of the HBL PSL 6 commentary panel for the first time, joining the star-studded commentary roster for the Karachi leg of HBL PSL 6. Another popular HBL PSL voice, New Zealand’s former fast bowler Danny Morrison will be commentating in the 20-match Karachi-leg that runs from 20 February to Sunday 7 March. Tournament to be produced in Full HD mode: The consortium of Blitz Advertising/Transgroup & NEP will be responsible for providing the TV Production Services for the HBL PSL 6. The HBL PSL 6 will be produced with a 30 + camera setup, the production will be Full HD, while the majority of the lenses will be 4K for extra sharpness of the pictures. The setup includes super slow motion cameras, ultra-motion, Spidercam with ‘Parvàz’, Hawkeye with all DRS enhancements, Buggy-cam with player interview capability and drone camera among others. The coverage will be adorned with bespoke on air graphics and packaging designed specifically for the season, along with provision of in-depth analysis and statistics. Fans will be able to enjoy wrap-around programming in the form of special pre and post-match studio coverage as well as a special weekly magazine show called HBL PSL Kahaniayan. Babar Hamid, Director Commercial PCB: “We have worked very hard to improve our production standards and I am pleased to note that we have the consortium of NEP, Blitz and Trans Group working on this production for HBL PSL 6. “I am also very pleased to welcome a star roster of commentators to HBL PSL once again. This year, we have focused on ensuring that we maintain the right mix between our established HBL PSL voices and new voices that will bring a fresh perspective to our coverage.” Rao Omar Hashim Khan, Group Director Trans Group: “Let me first congratulate PCB and our entire production team of NEP, Blitz and Trans Group consortium for the successful tour of South Africa to Pakistan.  HBL Pakistan Super League is one of the leading leagues world wide and is a strong brand at home. “Our entire team is excited to bring this production to the HBL PSL. I am sure audiences will enjoy spectacular games with state of the art production facilities.” Saeed Izadi, President NEP Singapore: “With the successful execution of South Africa tour of Pakistan and the exciting series finale of the last T20, like our partners in the consortium we are eagerly looking forward to the start of HBL Pakistan Super League 6.  It takes a great team to deliver the best quality production and we are thrilled to be part of such a great team. “We will be providing state of the art equipment and we aim to capture not only iconic moments, but every ball and the emotion of each player. That will be an enabler for the great commentators working on this season to bring every bit of the story to the fans. We are prepared for our contribution to make HBL PSL 6 more memorable.” Ahsen Idris, Chief Executive Officer, Blitz Advertising (Pvt.) Limited: “After successfully managing the Pakistan South Africa series, the NEP, Blitz and Trans Group Consortium is keenly looking forward to undertake the production broadcast for HBL Pakistan Super League 6. “The consortium partners are putting in their best efforts to further raise the bar for HBL PSL as being one of the biggest leagues in the international circuit by using latest technologies, a well-experienced crew, extensive camera coverage and a sleek studio show; all aimed at giving the viewers an exhilarating match viewing experience.”

Cricket15 Feb 2021

Ehsan Mani appreciates Mohammad Rizwan performance
SPORTS REPORT ISLAMABAD (February 15, 2021):-The Chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani congratulated the Pakistan national cricket team on victories in the Test and T20I series over South Africa. In the Karachi Test, Babar Azam’s men recovered from 27 for four in the first innings to win by seven wickets, while they took seven wickets for 33 runs in 10 overs with the second new ball in South Africa’s second innings to register a 95-run victory in the Rawalpindi Test. Mohammad Rizwan became the second Pakistan batsman to hit a T20I century in his side’s three-run victory in the first match, which was followed by South Africa’s six wickets win. In the series finale, Pakistan won by four wickets. Consequently, following their first Test series win over South Africa in 18 years, Pakistan moved up two places to fifth in the ICC Test Team Rankings, the team’s highest ranking since January 2017. They have also gained two points to reduce the gap with third-ranked India to seven points on the ICC T20I Team Rankings. Victory in the Test series also provided Babar with a winning start to his captaincy tenure, whilst ensuring that Misbah-ul-Haq remained unbeaten in 12 home Test series, whether as a captain or coach. PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani: “I congratulate each and every member of the Pakistan men’s national cricket team and the support staff for their excellent victories in both the Test and T20Is series over South Africa. The manner in which the side bounced back following a disappointing series in New Zealand is admirable and reflects their real character, grit and potential. “The success of the team was due to collective and all-round effort which invariably produces positive and strong results. The performances have elated the fans, which is an endorsement of the type and brand of cricket they want to see and witness from their stars, both inside and outside Pakistan. “I am pleased the side not only demonstrated that they were capable of playing quality cricket but of doing so with consistency, something that had been eluding them recently. I remain optimistic that these victories will prove to act as a catalyst for future winning performances and the side will continue to play with a controlled and calculated aggression so that Pakistan can reclaim its status as one of the fiercest, respected and leading cricket playing nations. “Amidst a number of outstanding standalone performances, I was particularly pleased with the way Mohammad Rizwan, Hasan Ali and Nauman Ali performed. While Rizwan won the hearts of the cricket fans with his performances across the longest and shortest formats of the game, Hasan Ali and Nauman Ali performances highlighted the value and importance of merit-based and quality-oriented domestic cricket. “I am confident that this new structure will continue to produce more exciting and talented cricketers over the next couple of years, which, in turn, will further help narrow the gap between the quality of domestic and international cricket as well as Pakistan and the other leading cricket playing nations. “I want to register my appreciation for the PCB management, which delivered an excellent series in these challenging and difficult times. From team logistics to cricket playing facilities, from creating a safe and secure environment to unprecedented broadcast, digital and media coverage, everything was meticulous. The flawless and smooth operations, which would not have been possible without the support of the federal and local governments as well as the security agencies, have contributed greatly in enhancing the PCB’s reputation as a credible, world-class and high-performing cricket board. “Lastly, I want to thank and congratulate South Africa for visiting Pakistan and playing competitive cricket. I am confident they will return with happy memories and will not hesitate in sharing their experiences with fellow cricketers. We look forward to welcoming these cricket ambassadors again, be it during the HBL Pakistan Super League or a future bilateral series.”

Cricket15 Feb 2021

Du Plessis, Fawad, Tom-Kohler Cadmore, Stirling and Ali Khan join HBL PSL 6
SPORTS REPORT ISLAMABAD (February 15, 2021):-A total of five foreign players’ replacements have been made in the HBL Pakistan Super League teams that will take the field for the HBL PSL 6 at the National Stadium Karachi and Gaddafi Stadium Lahore from Saturday 20 February. The teams made replacement picks for the players who have either become fully or partially unavailable due to international cricket commitments. South Africa star Faf du Plessis who represented Peshawar Zalmi in the HBL PSL 2020 play-offs last November makes a return to the league as a partial replacement player in the Quetta Gladiators outfit in place of West Indian Chris Gayle. Australia leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed who has represented Gladiators in the earlier HBL PSL seasons replaces New Zealand batsman Colin Munro in the Islamabad United squad. Munro would be unavailable for United due to the prevailing Covid-19 related managed isolation space challenges in New Zealand. United have also included USA fast bowler Ali Khan as a replacement for England’s Reece Topley who has been included in England’s T20I squad on their ongoing tour of India. Ireland batsman Paul Stirling is the third replacement in the United squad in place of England fast bowler Chris Jordan who has also been included in the T20I squad for the series against India.  England batsman Tom-Kohler Cadmore who represented Gladiators in the 2018 season will replace compatriot Liam Livingstone in the Zalmi squad with Livingstone also set to be part of England's T20I team in India.  

Cricket05 Feb 2021

Hasan Ali back-to-back two strikes give new turn to Pindi Test
ABDUL JABBAR FAISAL ISLAMABAD (February 5, 2021):-Pakistani right-arm pacer, Hasan Ali’s back-to-back two strikes gave a new turn to Pindi Test on Friday, as the visitors were 106 for 4 runs on the conclusion of second day game.  Earlier Pakistan finished their innings on 272 and 166 runs ahead from Proteases. On Friday, Pakistan duo meddle order batsmen captain Babar Azam and Fawad Alam resuming their innings at 145 for three at 9:45 am. Babar could not add a solitary score in the last night total 77, however, Fawad added only runs twice singles and ran-out on 45, unfortunately. Earlier, Nortje made the first breakthrough when he had Babar Azam caught at second slip with the second ball of the day. Azam looked to cut a length ball but got a thick outside edge and Faf du Plessis took the chance at head height. This was the second time Azam had been dismissed without adding to his overnight score in Rawalpindi - he was on 143 against Bangladesh last February when the same thing had happened, and it was also the first time in three Test innings at this venue that the Pakistan captain had not scored a century. But Azam was not the victim of the most spectacular piece of fielding in the morning session. That was the fate of Fawad Alam, who added three to his first-day 42 before being run-out at the non-striker's end by a direct hit from Temba Bavuma. Fawad nudged a Kagiso Rabada delivery to the off side, where Bavuma swooped in from point, picked up and threw in one motion and beat Alam's dive in a scene reminiscent of his run-out of David Warner in 2016. Alam could only nod his head in appreciation of Bavuma's efforts and walk off. South Africa would have hoped to get rid of Ashraf fairly soon after that and called for a review when he missed a paddle sweep against Maharaj on 15. Replays showed the ball would have missed off stump and Ashraf survived. He saw off the second new ball, even after Mohammad Rizwan was bounced out by a fired-up Nortje and Maharaj, given the ball when it was less than five overs old, had Hasan caught at slip. Ashraf was confident on the drive and the pull and was particularly severe on Kagiso Rabada, taking 30 runs off 32 balls he faced from him. Rabada finished wicketless and appeared down on pace and Ashraf reached his fifty off him with a gorgeous drive down the ground. With Yasir Shah at the other end, Pakistan would have had 300-plus in their sights, especially after they got through the opening spells with the second new ball. But shah offered Wiaan Mulder a catch in his follow through, which he took low down, to open up the tail. Nauman Ali's defences appeared solid until Nortje turned up the chin music and aimed one at the grille. Nauman threw his hands up in defence and was caught at short leg. Two balls later, Shaheen Shah Afridi gloved a bumper to silly point to give Nortje his five-for and the South African openers an opportunity to bat before tea. With minutes to go, Elgar and van der Dussen were dismissed, leaving the match interestingly poised ahead of the final session.

Cricket05 Feb 2021

Railway Minister Swati appreciates organizers of KPL
ABDUL JABBAR FAISAL ISLAMABAD (February 5, 2021):-Federal Minister for Railway Azam Khan Swati appreciated the organizers for holding the first Kashmir Premier League (KPL) next month and termed it a massive step to highlight the Kashmir issue through cricket in all over the world. While talking to Arshad Khan Tenoli, Chairman Mazaffarabad   Tigers, in his office, minister hoped that Mazaffarabad Tigers team would play positive cricket and perform well in the whole competition. “KPL will give an acknowledgement to Kashmiri people in all over the world that will also help to highlight Kashmir issue in other parts of the world, “he added.