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KARACHI: Pakistan women’s skipper Bismah Maroof addressing a media conference at the National Stadium on Sunday.—Courtesy PCB

KARACHI: Pakistan women’s team captain Bismah Maroof on Sunday expressed complete confidence in her side that will play South Africa in three ICC Women’s Championship One-day Internationals, which will be followed by five T20 Internationals.

The series between South Africa and Pakistan will be played from May 6 to 23.

Speaking ahead of team’s departure for South Africa, Bismah said the team had worked hard during their two-week training camp in Karachi.

“We have worked hard in the training camp, which has been a great success since we spent considerable time on our all-round [batting and bowling] skills,” said the world’s 31st-ranked batter while addressing a media conference.

Bismah added that the main target, both for her and the team management, led by head coach Mark Coles, was winning the One-day International series and improving the team’s chances of securing a direct berth in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021.

Event hosts New Zealand and the four other highest-ranked sides from the ICC Women’s Championship will gain direct qualification to the event proper. Pakistan are currently ranked sixth with 12 points from as many matches, South Africa have a point more than Pakistan (13).

Bismah felt the standings of the two teams will make the series even more competitive.

“Both South Africa and Pakistan are going to fight hard for the ICC Women’s Championship points. They currently have a one-point advantage over us, which we can overcome by winning the series. Both teams are evenly matched and the points table situation will make the series even more exciting,” said the veteran of 100 ODIs and 95 T20Is.

The 27-year-old from Lahore, who is considered as one of the batting mainstays in the Pakistan line-up, felt her side had gained great momentum by winning their first-ever ODI series against the West Indies in Dubai, and the core of that team was the same.

“Other than Diana Baig, who suffered an unfortunate injury at the start of the camp, the core of the team that beat the West Indies has been retained. The team management and I have a lot of confidence in the proven abilities of Sana Mir, Nida Dar, Sidra Amin, Javeria Khan, Nashra Sandhu and Aliya Riaz, who have done very well for us in the recent past.

“The other squad members are also equally capable. Newcomer Fatima Sana, who has replaced Diana in the side, has also shown a lot of promise at the camp, which is another heartening sign.”

While the focus is on the ODI series, Bismah and her side will also seek improvement in their T20I performance after losing a closely fought three-match series against West Indies in Karachi earlier this year.

“The T20I series is, of course, also important to us keeping in mind the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Australia 2020. Five matches against a formidable side like South Africa gives us the opportunity of providing more exposure to our players as we develop our team for the Australian conditions,” the skipper remarked. “The pitches in South Africa will almost be similar to what we will confront in Australia, hence, playing a five-match T20I series is a huge boost for us.”

If Bismah succeeds in featuring in all five T20Is, then the last match of the series in Benoni on May 23 will become her 100th T20 International. This will make her the second Pakistan player after Sana Mir (100) and sixth overall to achieve the rare milestone. Other players with 100 or more appearances include Suzie Bates (New Zealand, 111 matches), Deandra Dotting (West Indies, 110), Jenny Gunn (England, 104), Anisa Mohammed (West Indies, 102) and Ellye Perry (Australia, 102).

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2019

 

یوم پاکستان ہاکی چیمپئن شپ

یوم پاکستان کے پر مسرت موقع پر پاکستان سپورٹس ایسوسئ ایشن کویت کے زیر اہتمام ھاکی چیمپئن شپ کا انعقاد 23 مارچ بروز ہفتہ شام 7 بجے کے او سی ھاکی گراونڈ احمدی میں کیا جارها ھے. جس میں تمام کمیونٹی کو شرکت کی دعوت دی جاتی ھے آپ خود بھی شرکت کریں اور اپنی فیملیز کو بھی لے کر آئیں . فیملیز کے بیٹھنے کیلئے خصوصی انتظامات هیں..
منجانب : پاکستان سپورٹس ایسوسئ ایشن کویت

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Sunday that a conspiracy to get PSL matches in Pakistan cancelled has been foiled.

Talking to media after concluding his visit to the city at Kakri Ground where he also played cricket with the workers of the Pakistan Peoples Party, he said there was a possibility that the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches would not be held in Pakistan but “by the grace of God and with our sincere efforts we managed to get eight PSL matches, including the final, in the city”.

He said as the situation on the border was tense the people were casting doubts about hosting of PSL matches in Karachi. “Now the situation is quite better and matches are being played in the city,” he said. It was possible because of the spirit of people of Karachi, he added.

The chief minister said that after holding the PSL final in Karachi efforts would be made to hunt talent from every nook and corner of the province for the next PSL tournament as well as for the national team and a match would be held at Niaz Stadium, Hyderabad, next year.

Talking about development, Mr Shah said the Sindh government was short of funds, but even then the uplift and reconstruction of the city would not be stopped.

“I have visited all the schemes we have launched and all of them would be completed within four months, Insha Allah,” he said.

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2019

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday announced that all three matches of the Pakistan Super League 2019 which were to be staged in Lahore will now be held in Karachi.

A PCB press release said that the matches which were scheduled to be held in Lahore were moved to Karachi due to logistical and operational challenges posed by the "delayed opening of Lahore airspace for commercial flights".

The press release stated that some of the key challenges the PCB faced due to the airspace issue included "securing production equipment and the commitment of broadcast crew, as well as finalising the logistics for the officials and teams."

All eight matches in the Pakistan leg of the tournament will be played at National Stadium from March 9-17, the press release said.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said, "Due to the recent and prevailing uncertainty, we felt it critical to make a decisive decision at this juncture." He regretted that that the "headquarters of Pakistan cricket will be unable to host the PSL matches in 2019 due to no fault of the PCB".

"This has been a difficult and tough decision, which has been taken following discussion and consultation with all the franchisees and service providers to ensure certainty and clarity on the event, as well as delivery of the remaining matches," the statement quoted Mani as saying.

The PCB chief said the body had considered shifting the dates of the Pakistan matches, but it was not possible since the green shirts are slated to leave for the United Arab Emirates on March 19 to play a One Day International series against Australia.

"We also looked at swapping matches between Lahore and Karachi, but paucity of time would have rendered this option unworkable," he added.

Mani stated that all franchisees had backed the decision and reinforced that "all their foreign players will feature in the last eight matches" of the PSL.

Revised match schedule:

  • Saturday, 9 March – Lahore Qalandars v Islamabad United (7pm)

  • Sunday, 10 March – Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators (7pm)

  • Monday, 11 March – Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans (2pm); Karachi Kings v Peshawar Zalmi (7pm)

  • Wednesday, 13 March – Qualifier (1 v 2) (7pm)

  • Thursday, 14 March – Eliminator 1 (3 v 4) (7pm)

  • Friday, 15 March – Eliminator 2 (7pm)

  • Sunday, 17 March – Final (7pm)

 

Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to his special assistant, has decided to bring Pakistan Super League to the country in its entirety next year.

According to Special Assistant Naeemul Haq: "Empty stadiums at PSL matches in UAE justify PM Imran Khan's decision to move the entire PSL to Pakistan next year."

Haq expressed confidence that the country will witness jam packed stadiums in all the big cities once the franchise is brought to Pakistan.

 

Javed Afridi, the chairman of the Peshawar Zalmi team, also tweeted in support of the decision.

 

When the series was launched in 2016, all the matches were held in either Dubai or Sharjah, since the UAE has long been the 'second home' for Pakistan cricket.

The following year the fixtures were again played in the UAE, with the exception of the final, which was held in Lahore.

Last year, the two eliminator matches were held in Lahore and the final took place in Karachi.

This time around, eight matches have been scheduled to be played in Pakistan: three in Lahore and five, including the final, in Karachi.

(Top) Finalists pose for a group photo with FC Sparx members and invited dignitaries ((Left) Winners AKFC-A (Right) Runners-up Pen Friends United

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 23: All Kerala Football Club (AKFC)-A were crowned champions of the UNIMONI Sparx FC 5th edition 7-Aside football tournament held at Bayan grounds on Jan 4, 2019.

The tournament was played under the auspices of Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF). 13 exciting teams took part in the one-day tournament.

In an exciting final AKFC-A beat Pen Friends United 2-1. AKFC’s Jamal took the lead for the winners (1-0). But Pen Friends soon equalized converting a penalty goal through Jasmin (1-1). When the teams looked like heading for a draw, AKFC striker Shamil Muhammed scored a long range thunderbolt goal in injury time beating Pen Friends keeper Abdul Lateef (2-1). Earlier, Sparx President Baby Noushad introduced UNIMONI, Platinum Sponsors of Sparx FC squad for the Season 2018-19. Ranjith S. Pillai, Retail Sales Head of Unimoni was present at the event as Chief Guest. 
Hamza, Managing Director from Dahlia Furnished Hotel Apartments – Golden Sponsor of Sparx FC for the season was also present as well as Mansoor – Sales Manager of Grand Hyper Kuwait (Golden Sponsor for the Season 2018-19), and Shamseena – Director of Ran Energy (Golden Sponsor for the Season 2018-19).

Shanavas, Managing Director of Haitham Group International, Kuwait was another high profile delegate present on the occasion. Other dignitaries present on the occasion included KIFF President Derick Gomindes, KEFAK President Siddique TV, KIFF Sports Secretary Michael Pereira, KIFF Vice-President Robert Bernard, KEFAK Advisory Board Chairman Gulam C. Mustafa, KEFAK Sports Sec SVM Safarulla, KEFAK MC Member Pradeep Kumar TKV, O.K. Abdul Razak, Sparx patron Sajan, etc.

In the semifinals, AKFC-A beat Don Bosco Oratory 2-0 with Subith Lal and AKFC’s mercurial striker Inzamam scoring the goals. In the other semis, Pen Friends United beat United Goan Centre 1-0. Jasim scored the most important goal for Friends.

In one of the best organized tournament, a number of glittering trophies and mementos were given away. Cool winter weather and energizing spectators made the tournament equally attractive and special. Matches were officiated by KIFF referees.

In the vote of thanks proposed, FC Sparx Executive member Sameehulla thanked all participating teams, officials, sponsors and everyone who rendered their help in making the tournament a grand success. Apart from trophies for winners, runners-up and semifinal losers, the winners and runners-up were awarded glittering individual trophies.

The tournament was captured on camera by Baby Noushad and Nishad. Wonderful mementos were presented to honor Ranjith S. Pillai – Head Retail Sales from Unimoni, Hamza – Managing Director from Dahlia Furnished Hotel Apartments, Shamseena Director From Ran Energy, Mansoor – Sales Manager from Grand Hyper Kuwait, Sameer Nasri – FC Sparx Team Manager, KalaiVanan Krishnan – FC Sparx Asst Team Manager, etc. The memorable mementos were presented at the hands of KEFAK Advisory Board Chairman Gulam C. Musthafa,KEFAK President Siddique TV, KEFAK MC Member Pradeep Kumar TKV, KIFF President Derick Gomindes, Bernard Fernandes – Official Incharge of KIFF, Sajan (Sparx FC Patron), etc. Prizes were given away at the hands of Robert Bernard – KIFF Vice-President, KEFAK Sports Sec SVM Safarulla, Abdul Latheef, President of Pen Friends United, Babynoushad – President FC Sparx, Shamseena (Director Ran Energy and Shanavas VK), Hamza & Gulam Musthafa, etc.

The Winners Trophy was handed over by Ranjith Pillai of Unimoni, and Derick Gomindes – KIFF President. Following individual prizes were given away: Top Scorer of the Tournament – Anas of Pen Friends BestGoalkeeper – Shiva Prasad of AKFC-A Best Defender – Mahshook of Pen Friends United Best Player – Inzamam of AKFC- A Man of the Match ( Final) – Shehin of Pen Friends

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