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Football28 Mar 2021

Zahir Shah condemns attack on PFF Headquarter
SPORTS REPORT PESHAWAR (March 28, 2021):-The FIFA suspension looms over Pakistan after Engineer Ashfaq-led group attacked on Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Headquarters in Lahore, said former Vice President of the PFF Syed Zahir Ali Shah at a press conference here at Press Club on Sunday. Condemning the act, Syed Zahir Ali Shah, who is also part of the Ashfaq-led group as Senior Vice President, said that due to the attack the efforts of bringing football activities in real shape, received a denting response after the forcefully vacating the PFF House from the recently established FIFA Normalization Committee (NC) members led by Canadian based Malik Haroon as chairman. The football activities and its hope to bring back in real shape again after the assurance given to him by the new AFC-FIFA nominated Chairman Malik Haroon during a recent meeting, vanished once again due to condemnable act of Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah led-group. Despite being part with the group which came through a Supreme Court decision through election in a premises of the Supreme Court in Islamabad and a judge nominated as Presiding Officer to conduct election, the forcefully vacated PFF Headquarters is not a justified act any way because FIFA did not recognized that election, Syed Zahir Ali Shah, added. “We as football lover request to the Prime Minister Imran Khan to intervene and rescue football in Pakistan because millions of sportspersons associated with this much loved Games of football,” he remarked. He disclosed that Ashfaq Hussain Shah had vacated the PFF headquarters in Lahore 19 months ago and Malik Haroon said that he had a road map for the election in April this year so what such step was taken in the wrong direction, he questioned. He said, Engr. Ashfaq-led group, which had vacated the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) headquarters in Lahore 19 months ago, regained its control on Saturday, last, and the head of FIFA Normalization Committee Malik Haroon in his press statement has already said to break the glasses to escape the building. He said, Haroon accepted that such act was on force and the whole matter has come to the notice of FIFA so now certainly a suspension looming over Pakistan from FIFA, which he did not want even being part of Ashfaq Hussain Shah group earlier on. “I will follow AFC and FIFA decision and would not go by otherwise,” Syed Zahir Ali Shah added while answering a question. When asked why being part of the election, he said: “We follow the Supreme Court decision at that time and conducted the election under a nominated judge as President Officer for election. He said the previously announced NC failed to conduct the election during its time which further deteriorated condition for running football affairs in Pakistan. Meanwhile, in a media talks, Ashfaq, former president of Pakistan Football Federation, said that they had taken charge after the resolution which was passed in the Congress meeting in Islamabad. “The FIFA Normalization Committee has failed in its task,” he said. He said that the committee, which has not been able to hold a federation election in 19 months, cannot be allowed to lower the standard of football in Pakistan. “Now we have come to improve football. The committee members were not doing anything despite being paid millions of rupees. For a long time, nothing has been done to improve football. “We had given charge to Hamza Khan in the presence of the media. Haroon Khan's teammates have broken the windows of FIFA House. We have approached the police against them. We will also inform FIFA of the situation in writing. We will serve football and football will be revolutionized,” he added. Ashfaq said they will make sure that the elections are held on time. “We demand that strict action be taken against Malik Haroon & Company.” Following this humiliating episode, the 2021 National Women's Football Championship, which had been underway in Karachi, was also cancelled. “The PFF office was attacked in Lahore by Ashfaq Shah and his group,” the PFF NC alleged in a statement. “Sardar Naveed Haider Khan was also present with the attackers. The PFF staff physically harassed and were held hostage. The group has taken over the PFF house,” he concluded.

Others28 Mar 2021

Shabbir wins Rashid Habib Memorial Golf Tournament
ABDUL JABBAR FAISAL ISLAMABAD (March 28, 2021):-Prominent national golfer Shabbir Iqbal on Sunday clinched the title of Bank Al Habib’s 10th Rashid D Habib Memorial National Professional Golf Tournament 2021 after leaving all the challengers behind that concluded at Karachi Golf Club. According to a tournament official, Shabbir Iqbal topped the leaderboard with 275-13 under par after completing 54 holes game in three days. Ahmed Baig was the first runner up with 178-10 under par while Mohammad Ashfaq captured third position with 280-8 under par. They winners were paid PKR703,500, PKR454,930 and 281,400 respectively as their share out of the total prize money of PKR7.9 million. Tahir Naseem and Irfan Mehmood tied the senior professional category title with score of 144. Iftikhar Ahmed captured third position and scored 145. Abdul Wadood won the Junior Professional category with 147-3 and was paid PKR47,500 as prize money. Mohammad Saqib is holding second position and claimed PKR37500. Akash scored 153-3 to win PKR30,000 and third position. Chief Guest at the occasion Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi (SI-M) appreciated efforts of Bank Al Habib and Abbas family in the promotion of Golf in Pakistan. Admiral Niazi distributed prizes among the winners. Bank Al Habib’s Managing Director- Abbas D Habib thanked the Pakistan Golf Federation, Karachi Golf Club and Golfers in making this tournament a success. Tournament Winner Shabbir Iqbal said, “I played my best and Allah Al-Mighty rewarded me. I am thankful to Bank Al Habib for their utmost cooperation with Golf and Golfers in our country.”

Cricket28 Mar 2021

Pakistan to become first team to visit Zimbabwe post Covid-19 outbreak
SPORTS REPORT ISLAMABAD (March 28, 2021):-Pakistan will become the first men’s international cricket side to play in Zimbabwe in the post-Covid-19 era when they announced the schedule of their two Test and three T20I series. The Pakistan side will arrive in Harare from Johannesburg on 17 April, where the five matches will take place from 21 April to 11 May with the T20Is to start at 1400 PST and the two Tests will commence at 1230 Pakistan Standard Time. After the T20Is on 21, 23 and 25 April, Babar Azam’s side will play Zimbabwe in two Tests, the first of which will begin on 29 April. This will mark the first instance of the two sides facing off in the pinnacle format of the game since September 2013. This was also Pakistan’s last Test on Zimbabwean soil. The second Test will commence on 7 May. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan men’s cricket sides have toured England and New Zealand, besides hosting Zimbabwe and South Africa. Pakistan Shaheens also toured New Zealand alongside the men’s side, while the women’s sides visited South Africa and Zimbabwe, the tour that was curtailed due to suspension in flight operations. Next month, Pakistan U19 squad will tour Bangladesh for a four-day and five 50-over-side matches. This underscores the Pakistan Cricket Board’s commitment to play an active role in ensuring that international cricket remains on track in these challenging and uncertain times. Director – International Cricket, Zakir Khan: “The Pakistan Cricket Board has been at the forefront of the revival of international cricket in the post-Covid-19 world and the tour of Zimbabwe is another step in that direction. We have always maintained that cricket and Covid-19 can co-exist in a safe and secure environment, and we continue to demonstrate this to ensure the game develops and flourishes in these difficult and challenging times. “The tour of our men’s side at the back of our women’s team first-ever visit of Zimbabwe is a testimony that the two boards – the PCB and Zimbabwe Cricket – enjoy excellent relations and are always ready to lend support to each other. “Our cricket sides have always enjoyed visiting and playing cricket in Zimbabwe, and though our fans and followers will be unable to watch live-action, I am sure they will continue to support both the sides and their favourite cricketers like they have done since May 2020 through digital media.” Pakistan enjoy 100 per cent win percentage against Zimbabwe in T20Is with victories in all 14 matches. Pakistan have won 10 of the 17 Tests against Zimbabwe with four ending in draw and three in wins for Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe last hosted an international series – a two-Test series against Sri Lanka – in January 2020. The T20Is and Tests will count towards the ICC Team Rankings. Pakistan men’s national cricket team for the Zimbabwe tour: T20I: Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab), Shadab Khan (vice-captain) (Northern), Arshad Iqbal (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Asif Ali (Northern), Danish Aziz (Sindh), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Haider Ali (Northern), Haris Rauf (Northern), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Mohammad Hafeez (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh), Mohammad Nawaz (Northern), Mohammad Rizwan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Wasim Jnr (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sharjeel Khan (Sindh) and Usman Qadir (Central Punjab) Test: Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab), Mohammad Rizwan (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 Nawaz (Northern), Nauman Ali (Northern), Sajid Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Salman Ali Agha (Southern Punjab), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh), Saud Shakeel (Sindh, subject to fitness), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Shahnawaz Dahani (Sindh), Tabish Khan (Sindh) and Zahid Mahmood (Southern Punjab) Players Support Personnel - Mansoor Rana (Manager), Misbah-ul-Haq (head coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Col (retd) Khalid Mahmood (security manager), Malang Ali (masseur), Raza Kitchlew (Digital and media manager), Dr Riaz Ahmed (team doctor), Shahid Aslam (assistant to head coach), Usman Hashmi (analyst), Waqar Younis (bowling coach), Yasir Malik (strength & conditioning coach) and Younis Khan (batting coach). Zimbabwe tour schedule (T20Is start at 1400 PST, Tests to begin at 1230 PST): 21 April – 1st T20I v Zimbabwe; Harare Sports Club, Harare 23 April – 2nd T20I v Zimbabwe; Harare Sports Club, Harare 25 April – 3rd T20I v Zimbabwe; Harare Sports Club, Harare 29 April-3May – 1st Test v Zimbabwe; Harare Sports Club, Harare 7-11 May – 2nd Test v Zimbabwe; Harare Sports Club, Harare

Others28 Mar 2021

Ju-Jitsu: Pakistani girls make another mark
ABDUL JABBAR FAISAl ISLAMABAD (March 28, 2021):-Pakistani girls made another mark in the international event of Ju-Jitsu by winning a gold medal in the World Ju-Jitsu E- Tournament held by the International Ju-Jitsu Federation (JJIF). According to an official of Pakistan Ju-Jitsu Federation (PJJF), the event was over populated as first time in the history of Ju-Jitsu 371 teams participated from 31 countries around the world into different categories under duo system competition. Pakistani youngsters namely Isra Waseem and Kainat Arif made the country proud on March 27, finishing with a gold medal at the World Ju-Jitsu E Tournament's Junior category. According to PJJF’s official, Tariq Ali, who also doubled up as a referee in this said E Tournament, was all praises for the Pakistani debutantes’ excellent performance at the World Ju-Jitsu E Tournament. Given that Isra and Kainat’s participation at the event was being considered merely symbolic rather than something that could turn out to be more substantial at the World Ju-Jitsu E Tournament due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic and closers of all training centres, Pakistan’s First-place in women Junior category is truly remarkable. The Gold medal-winning duo maintained a consistently brilliant show throughout the participating teams and 373 players in different categories in the tournament. They had been training in Karachi before the tournament, and that training clearly paid off. Ali also revealed that the PJJF would be sending junior players in the junior category to more events in the future to prepare them for senior-level tournaments. “It is crucial to give our youth players that exposure and opportunities to gain more experience so that they can be as confident as the athletes from other countries, this is our future goal,” he said. Meanwhile, PJJF top administration including its President Khalil Ahmed Khan and General Secretary Waqar Ilyas Khan and Director Referees Kazim Ali couldn’t hide their excitement either at Pakistan’s Gold-medal finish. General Secretary PJJF Waqar said that Pakistan’s performance at international ju-jitsu events has always been credible, but the sport still suffers from the lack of due resources and financial backing from the government. It is not to be out of place that PSB has not released a single penny to PJJF after 2017 neither annual grant in aid nor any special grant. However, PJJF kept flying Pakistani National Flag wherever its young players participated till today. Ju-Jitsu sports could prove to be a source of medals for Pakistan at major international championships/games if only the authorities concerned made more of an effort to promote this sport in the country. Despite the financial constraint ju-jitsu federation faces in Pakistan, the PJJF GS revealed that the federation will be trying to hire a foreign coach to train the country’s athletes for the upcoming big events such as Asian Games, Asian Indoor Games & Asian Beach Games in 2022. He also appreciated to Tariq Ali on his selection in this high rank World Tournament as Technical official as This would not have been possible without the active role of PJJF’s coaches and officials who worked really hard to ensure success he said. Isra waseem and Kainat Arif exploits prove that Pakistan has amazing sporting talent available, even when it comes to non-traditional sports. This proves that if enough investments are made in the country’s sports infrastructure, Pakistan’s showing up at major international events could improve by leaps and bounds. The federation’s authorities hoping that Isra and Kainat, as well as other talented Ju-Jitsu athletes in Pakistan continue to make the country proud at the international level and Ministry of IPC/PSB under the leadership of Dr. Fahmida Mirza a visionary Women Leader will get due patronage for all their future events and will continue the story of success and flag raising of Pakistan.

Cricket27 Mar 2021

HERO CPL GOES VIRTUAL WITH LAUNCH OF NEW ESPORTS GAMING SERIES  
SPORTS DESK ISLAMABAD (March 27, 2021):-The Hero Caribbean Premier League will be launching an exciting new content series, the Hero CPL Esports League, featuring professional cricketers from around the world playing Cricket 19, the leading cricket console game. This is the first time a T20 franchise tournament has had an Esports competition with the cricketers representing their franchise as the Hero CPL continues to push the boundaries of engagement with their fans. Released next week, this fun and engaging series will bring the reality of T20 cricket, but with a big difference – the players will be controlling virtual versions of themselves and instead of just having their own game to worry about they are in charge of all of their teammates. The players taking part are Colin Munro playing as the Trinbago Knight Riders, Mitchell Santner representing Barbados Tridents, Andre Fletcher and Kesrick Williams playing as St Lucia Zouks, Sheldon Cottrell and Ish Sodhi representing St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, Nicholas Pooran and Ashmead Nedd representing the Guyana Amazon Warriors and Glenn Phillips and Ryan Persaud representing Jamaica Tallawahs. At the end of the competition an individual champion is crowned as the first winner of the virtual Hero CPL. This series will give Hero CPL fans and gamers alike the opportunity to get behind their favourite players and teams once again as they take on their rivals in this groundbreaking gaming format. They will be able to see and hear the passion these players have when they are competing, with a controller in their hands rather than a bat and ball. The shows are hosted by Gautam Bhimani and Alex Jordan who bring you all the action during this hard fought tournament. This content series is being supported by Hero MotoCorp Limited (HMCL), the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, who have been the title sponsors of the Hero Caribbean Premier League since 2015. Hero has long been a key partner of marquee sporting events - including cricket, soccer, field hockey and golf - in India and across the globe and this partnership sees them also venturing into the ever growing Esports arena. Colin Munro, one of the cricketers who is taking part in the Hero CPL Esports League said: “It is really exciting to be involved in this new competition and it didn't take long for my competitive instincts to kick in. One of the great things about the CPL is that they are always trying something new and it was great to be involved in the first franchise Esports League." Pete Russell, Hero CPL’s COO, said: “The Hero CPL are always looking to engage fans in different ways and this is another example of us innovating. This series is another first for a tournament that prides itself on being at the cutting edge of entertainment and we are very excited about seeing the reaction from our fans as they see these CPL stars show off their competitive skills in a virtual tournament.”

Cricket27 Mar 2021

Pakistan Under-19 to tour Bangladesh next month
SPORTS REPORT LAHORE (March 27, 2021):-Pakistan Under-19 cricket team will tour Bangladesh next month to play a four-day and five 50-over matches series against the side that won the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa last year. As per the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2022 age criteria, the players, who born or after 1 September 2002 have been selected for this trip. The tour has been arranged to provide further exposure to Pakistan cricket’s future stars following an extensive camp at the start of the year at the National High Performance Centre in Lahore. The tour will also help prepare the players for next year’s ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies. Prior to the 12 April departure, the team will play two 50-over practice matches besides a three-day match during a 10-day long camp that will run in Lahore from 2-11 April. The 20-member squad has been chosen by the national juniors’ selection committee in consultation with the Pakistan U19 head coach. Pakistan U19 squad for 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). Pakistan U19 head coach Ijaz Ahmed: “The tour provides a wonderful grooming opportunity for the players against one of the most formidable U19 sides at present which won the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup last year. We have a talented bunch of players and a number of them have proven their worth already at the domestic circuit in the recently concluded season. “The squad also includes players like Abdul Wahid, Qasim Akram, Fahad Munir, Mohammad Irfan Niazi, Mohammad Shehzad and Tahir Hussain who represented Pakistan U19 in the World Cup, the tour will help further develop the skills of these players as they are our future. The tour will be a challenging one for us and one that will hold these players in good stead in this developmental stage of their careers. The series will also help us identify the potential players that we will field in next year’s World Cup in the West Indies.” Six players who were part of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 in South Africa have been retained in the squad. They are: Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Fahad Munir, Qasim Akram, Mohammad Irfan Niazi, Mohammad Shehzad and Tahir Hussain. Opener Abdul Wahid represented Balochistan 1st XI in the recently-concluded domestic season, batting all-rounder Qasim was one of the star performers for Central Punjab who was subsequently selected by Karachi Kings for the HBL Pakistan Super League 6, and top-order batsman Mohammad Irfan Niazi represented Central Punjab 1st XI in the National T20 Cup (1st XI) that was played in Multan and Rawalpindi. The players and management will be tested for Covid-19 before entering the camp, and those returning negative tests will move into a bio-secure for the team that will be set-up in Lahore.  The players and team management will be vaccinated for Covid-19 on 8 April. Tour schedule: 12 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  

Cricket26 Mar 2021

Pakistan stars recall the 1992 World Cup glory
SPORTS DESK ISLAMABAD (March 26, 2021):-Present and past members of the Pakistan national cricket teams today joined to celebrate one of the most iconic and memorable moments in country’s cricket history – a 22-run victory over England in the final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in front of more than 89,000 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. While Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Nida Dar, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Younis Khan reflected on the impact of Melbourne win on their careers, members of the 1992 side Aamer Sohail, Aqib Javed and Mushtaq Ahmed shared their experiences and the champions mind-set with current members of the national teams. The World Cup victory was the catalyst for future triumphs, including back-to-back ICC U19 Cricket World Cup titles in 2004 and 2006, ICC T20 World Cup 2009 trophy, lifting of the ICC Test Championship mace in 2016 and the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 victory at The Oval. When Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, it became only the second country after India to win all four ICC Majors – the World Cup, the T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy and the ICC Test Championship mace. Younis Khan, who was 14 years old in 1992 and subsequently became the second Pakistan captain to win a major ICC event in 2009 before finishing as the most successful Test batsman, said: “The final of the 1992 World Cup is the only match of which I watched every ball. It was the month of Ramadan and I did not move from where I was sitting, even for Iftar [to break the fast]. I remember every ball of that match and it inspired me to win a trophy for my country and luckily Pakistan won the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup under my captaincy in 2009. “The 1992 World Cup victory changed the landscape of Pakistan’s cricket and after that we dominated the 90s.” Misbah-ul-Haq, who was then 17 years old and 24 years later lifted the ICC Test Championship mace, said: “It was an important milestone in our cricketing history and I remember that match. I was in FSc. We had to get up early in the morning to watch the matches and I have special memories of that event. “That win inspired me to take up cricket. I used to play with tape ball before the 1992 win, but after it I started to play with the cricket ball. The way Javed Miandad and Imran Khan led the side and the way youngsters like Inzamam-ul-Haq, Wasim Akram and Aqib Javed rose to the occasion, I still remember everything as it is. Those moments became the shining light for me throughout my cricketing career and I applied them in my captaincy.” Sarfaraz Ahmed, who was then a five-year-old but captained Pakistan to ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2006 and ICC Champions Trophy 2017 titles, said: “I was five when Pakistan won the World Cup and it is one of those moments which stay with you from the childhood. I started to play cricket after that win. “I think it revived cricket in the country and it gave us the stars in Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Moin Khan who went on to become legends. That victory remains a huge motivation for us as after it we went on to win the Asia Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. Such victories inspire the coming generations to push themselves.” Mohammad Hafeez, a school-going 11-year-old in 1992 who went on to represent Pakistan in ICC events and was a member of the side that won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, said: “It remains a moment of great pride for every Pakistani and it influenced me into becoming a cricketer. I was only 11, such events inspire you as a kid and I salute those heroes who inspired me to take up the game.” Nida Dar, Pakistan’s most successful bowler in Women’s T20Is who was five years old when Pakistan came from behind to win the title, said: “I was nearly five and we as a family used to sit together and watch cricket. There was a lot of happiness in my house and it was very special how my cousins celebrated the win. It made me realise that it is a huge thing to become a cricketer. “It was at that moment that I decided that I will become an all-rounder and represent Pakistan. It is now that I realise that how much effort it takes to win such a big moment and how much strategy sessions and planning goes into it. It was a very special moment for the whole country.” Meanwhile, members of the champion squad – Aamer Sohail, Aqib Javed and Mushtaq Ahmed – held mentoring sessions with the current crop of cricketers to provide insights about the successful journey. They furthered shared their thoughts on what it takes to develop a champion mind-set. Aamer Sohail, who scored 326 runs in the tournament at 32.60, while speaking to Amad Butt, Asif Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Danish Aziz, Haider Ali, Imam-ul-Haq and Saud Shakeel, said: “Despite enduring some heavy losses we somehow stayed in the hunt. Before the do-or-die match against Australia, a meeting was called where each and every member of the squad including the junior ones were asked to contribute and identify the mistakes we were making. “That meeting turned a corner for us and we never looked back. In cricket at times a lot of challenges are mental but I firmly feel that having a solid technique can help overcome lack of form, my message for all you youngsters is simple, make your technique as solid as you can and it will pull you through tough situations in your playing career.” Aqib Javed, who took two for 27 in the final while speaking to Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, said: “Lack of form is due to the creation of self-doubt, champions or people with champions’ mindset have the ability of overcoming their doubts. We were of course doubting ourselves because of our poor start, but our leader Imran Khan had no doubt that we will win the tournament. After our win against Australia, we gained momentum which helped us all the way to the final. “My worst and most favourite memory of the tournament came in the space of two balls, in the semi-final against New Zealand, Mark Greatbatch hit me for a massive six and the ball rebounded of the stands and landed near my bowling mark. Next ball, I wanted to bounce him out but due to the short size of the boundaries at the Eden Park (Auckland) and fearing a top-edged six, I changed my plans almost in my delivery stride and bowled a slow off-spinner which I had never ball before in a match, the ball totally bamboozled Greatbatch and bowled him as he was deceived in the air and off the pitch, I was overjoyed and fondly remember the ball to date.” Mushtaq Ahmed, who took three for 41 in the final while speaking to Nida Dar, Shadab Khan and Usman Qadir, said: “A champion’s mind does not give-up! We were down and out but our captain Imran Khan never had doubts about us or about us winning the tournament. He kept motivating us and through our hard work we changed our fortunes midway in the tournament and ended up making history. “By the time the final was played, the entire team had become super confident. I was also extremely confident about my ability as I was bowling really well. Graeme Hick was England’s in-form batsman but I felt he was weak against leg-spin especially googlies. When he came into bat, I wanted to bowl at him and get him out. By the grace of Allah, everything went according to my plan as I dismissed him lbw with a sharp googly which he failed to read, that wicket gave us tremendous boost and pegged England back in their chase. “The 1992 World Cup reminds us that we should never give-up, fight till the very end and have confidence in our ability which comes with sincerity, hard work and practice and a never-say-die attitude.”

Hockey26 Mar 2021

FIH Pro League starts in April
SPORTS DESK ISLAMABAD (March 26, 2021):-While the COVID-19 global health pandemic continues to impact sporting competitions all over the world, FIH Hockey Pro League matches will take place early in April, with the national teams of Argentina welcoming Germany (men & women, 3-4 April) and India (men, 10-11 April) for some potentially thrilling clashes in Buenos Aires. In the men’s League, Argentina is currently ranked 6th, just behind India (5th) and Germany (4th). India and Germany have played six matches so far, Argentina eight. In the women's League, Argentina are second with eight matches played to date, while Germany is 7th having played only four matches. Although the fans will not be allowed into the stadium itself due to the strict health and safety protocols being followed, the matches will be available to watch via television or digital streaming thanks to our broadcast partnerships.

Cricket26 Mar 2021

Asif Ali replaces Saud Shakeel in ODI squad
SPORTS DESK ISLAMABAD (March 26, 2021):-Uncapped middle-order batsman Saud Shakeel has been withdrawn from Pakistan’s ODI squad against South Africa after suffering a Grade-1 quadriceps tear in his left leg during Wednesday’s 50-over-a-side practice match in Lahore. The selection committee, in consultation with the team management, has replaced Saud with Asif Ali, who is already part of the T20I squad for the series in South Africa and Zimbabwe. As Saud is also part of the two-Test squad against Zimbabwe, he will now stay back at the National High Performance Centre to complete his rehabilitation. If he regains fitness in time, then he will travel to Harare on 12 April along with other 10 members of the Test side. The 34-member squad, including 13 officials and 21 players, will depart for Johannesburg on a chartered flight on Friday morning. On the South Africa tour, Pakistan will play three ICC ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League matches from 2-7 April and four T20Is from 10-16 April. The side will then depart for Harare for three T20Is and two Tests, before returning home on 12 May.

Others24 Mar 2021

Los Angeles to host Third Para-climbing World Cup 2021
SPORTS DESK ISLAMABAD (March 24, 2021):-The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) and USA Climbing jointly announced that the third Paraclimbing World Cup of 2021 would be taken place this 9 and 10 October in Los Angeles, USA, host city of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The announcement marks a major achievement for both the IFSC and the Paraclimbing community, and was one of the key goals of the IFSC Strategic Plan 2020-2028, presented and unanimously approved at the XVI IFSC Plenary Assembly. The Strategic Plan called for the inclusion of Paraclimbing on the sports programme of the Paralympic Games Los Angeles 2028 – with the application deadline in the fourth quarter of 2021. This will be the second IFSC competition organised in the City of Angels in the last two years, following a very successful IFSC Pan American Championships in February and March 2020 at the Sender One Climbing Gym – the same venue that will welcome the IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup this October. Los Angeles beat out a number of excellent bids from other US candidate cities to host the competition. The 2021 Paraclimbing calendar also includes Paraclimbing world cups in Innsbruck, Austria and Briançon, France, with the IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships scheduled to take place in Moscow, Russia from 15 to 22 September. IFSC President Marco Scolaris said: “The confirmation of this event in Los Angeles is the cherry on top of an amazing Paraclimbing season. Against all adverse circumstances, still existing because of the pandemic, we’ll give everything to keep our hopes so high.” Sebastian Depke, Chair of the IFSC Paraclimbing Committee, said: “It is definitely a good sign to have a Paraclimbing Word Cup in Los Angeles, where the 2028 Paralympic Games that we aim to apply for will take place. We are thankful to the IFSC and the whole USA Climbing organisation for their commitment in holding the first-ever Paraclimbing World Cup on US-soil.” Marc Norman, Chief Executive Officer at USA Climbing, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting an IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup stop at Sender One at LAX. The Sender One team is phenomenal, and their facilities are world class, providing an event on par with the level of athletes. Hosting this important Paraclimbing World Cup in the United States and Los Angeles is an incredible opportunity to introduce the amazing Paraclimbing event and its athletes to the Organising Committee of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We thank the IFSC for the opportunity and look forward to a great event hosted by Sender One and to watching the Paraclimbing athletes show us all what is possible.” Maureen Beck, Chair of USA Climbing’s Paraclimbing Committee, said: "After years of competing overseas, I could not be more elated for the US to stage an IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup. It's an honor to be able to host our climbing family from overseas and show them the momentum that USAC has built for the Paraclimbing community." Alice Kao, Chief Executive Officer of Sender One Climbing Gym, said: "Even though this has been one of the most trying years I can remember, when Marc asked me if Sender One would host a Paraclimbing world cup, we didn't hesitate to say yes. We all remember what we felt during the Pan-American Championships. I think we could all use some inspiration and joy."