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Egypt, Cairo, Oct 9: The Kuwaiti (Kuwait SC) team was placed second in the 33rd  Arab Basketball Championship after losing to the Egyptian team (Al-Ahly) 78/66 in the final match of the championship, which was held in Alexandria.
The Kuwait team played well  in the first and second halves of the match, which was held on Saturday evening, with a score of 23/20 and 36/35, Al-Ahly came in strongly in the third and fourth halves with a score of 49/63 and 78/66 to win the championship for the first time in its history.

The Kuwait team entered the finals of the tournament after defeating the Tunisian team Al-Zahraa 80/83 in the semi-final match which was held on Friday. In its preliminary round Kuwait played a spectacular game against Qatar’s Al Gharafa team defeating them with 90/69, Bahrain’s (Manama) with a score of 93/90 and the UAE’s (Al-Bataeh) with a score of 112/60, in addition to its victory in the quarter-finals against (Wydad Boufarik) Algerian with a score of 98/77. In total 18 teams participated in the 33rd Arab Basketball Championship, which was held from September 29 to October 9.

PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja addresses a press conference in Lahore on Sep 13, 2021. — Reuters/File

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has hinted at "good news" in the coming week, saying the New Zealand cricket board was working on a new schedule to tour Pakistan after it abandoned the series last month citing "security threats".

The New Zealand cricket team had arrived in Pakistan on September 11 for the first time in 18 years to play three ODIs and five Twenty20 Internationals.

The Kiwis had, however, devastated Pakistan's cricket fraternity on Sep 17 by opting out of their tour of Pakistan minutes before the first ODI was to be played. They had cited a 'security threat' as the reason without divulging any further information. The tour cancellation was followed by England also deferring their tour.

'Don't accept the New Zealand tour'

Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination on Thursday, Raja said the New Zealand cricket board was "now rescheduling the tour" after being pressured by Pakistan.

However, committee chairman Raza Rabbani suggested the PCB chief to turn down New Zealand's tour of Pakistan.

"What if we do not allow the New Zealand tour?" asked Rabbani.

He advised the PCB not to accept the tour as a sign of protest.

Raja, however, replied with a slight discord, saying, "We have to live with them. But we can tell them that Pakistan can find a time window for the tour at some point in 2022."

He added that if New Zealand were ready to play according to Pakistan's conditions, "then we should have no problem".

He also informed the committee that Pakistan's cricket affairs were managed through 50 per cent funding from the International Cricket Council (ICC), while 90pc of the ICC funding was provided by India.

The PCB chairman also said he would unveil the blueprint for cricket by next week.

'It's not our fault'

Asked about the tour cancellation, the PCB chief informed the committee that the Kiwi officials didn't inform him about the nature of the threats, adding that "it's not our fault".

He lamented that no one from the cricket fraternity helped Pakistan at its time of need, while recalling that the national team had toured different countries even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Raja said the PCB had also written a "strong letter" to the ICC on the matter, while quoting experts as saying that a lot of politics was underway at the ICC.

'No cricketer will drive rickshaw anymore'

During the briefing, the PCB chairman stressed the need for fixing the system, adding that the salaries of domestic cricketers had been raised and they will now earn Rs40 million annually.

"No cricketer will have to drive a rickshaw anymore," he said.

He said he had held "positive meetings" with various investors, adding that they were willing to offer money for the betterment of national cricket.

Raja said work at the schools level would soon begin with an aim to overhaul the cricket structure.

The PCB chairman also said those cricketers who had tarnished the country's image by being involved in match fixing should not be included in the team, adding that unfortunately, "our society sides with such cricketers".

AirKon United cricket team

AirKon United cricket team started new season with convincing win over Royal Hateen in first edition of KVCC league tournament at Sulaibikhat last Friday. Bating first AirKon scored 238 runs in 20 overs, opener Alva (25 runs) and Shekhar (16 runs) had 30 runs partnership before Shekhar got retied hurt Riasat Ali came at one down and start hitting all over the ground scoring 84 in just 35 balls with 9 fours and 6 sixes.

Ashfaq Ahmed contributed equally well by scoring 49 runs in 20 balls, Khurrram scored 20 runs. Chasing 238 Royal Hateen batsman Aqeelahmed (89 runs), Samir ahmed (48 Runs) and Sathik Basha (34 runs) gave good fight but could score only 192 runs and lost to AirKon by 46 runs. Riasat Ali was awarded man of the match for his excellent bowling (3 wickets for 26 in 4 overs) and quick fire 84 runs.

Kuwait national tennis team lost on Thursday to Hong Kong (2-1) in Davis Cup in the Asia/ Oceania Group III, hosted by Jordan. Kuwait will face Malaysia in the second round on Friday for the second place in Pool A. Pool A includes Kuwait, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Pool B has Vietnam, Pacific Oceania and Qatar, meanwhile, pool C includes Syria, Sri Lanka and Jordan.

 

Kuwait’s Essa Qabazard and Bader Al-Abdullah at the Davis Cup double match

Three pools of three teams will contest the round-robin stage of the event. The top two teams in each pool will play-off, with the three winners earning promotion to contest the 2022 World Group II Play-offs. The bottom team in each pool will be relegated to Asia/Oceania Group IV. , (KUNA)

After a break of about twenty months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a noticeable decrease of infections in Kuwait, sports fans stadiums are back to watch the matches at the start of the 2021-22 season.
The return was on a decision issued by Kuwait’s Cabinet, in coordination with the health authorities.
Matches were limited to only the presence of teams; however, currently the press, fans and associations were allowed to attend again, provided that health guidelines were followed (KUNA)

New Zealand team players enter a hotel after arriving in Islamabad on Saturday. — Picture courtesy: PCB

The New Zealand cricket team arrived in Pakistan on Saturday for the first time in 18 years to play three One-day Internationals and five Twenty20 Internationals.

The Kiwis landed at the Islamabad airport and headed to a hotel where they will undergo a mandatory isolation for three days before commencing a two-day practice session on Sept 15, according to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

The ODI series against New Zealand will be played at the Rawalpindi Stadium, with matches scheduled for Sept 17, 19, and 21, while the Gaddafi Stadium will host five T20s scheduled to take place from Sept 25 to Oct 3. 

Meanwhile, the PCB and the New Zealand Cricket have mutually agreed to change the status of the ODI series to a bilateral series from the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League fixtures due to the non-availability of the Decision Review System (DRS) — a requirement in the event playing conditions, a PCB press release said.

As New Zealand will return to Pakistan in the 2022-23 season to play two Tests and three ODIs, the two boards have agreed that these 50-over matches will now count towards the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification.


Schedule

  • Sept 11 – Arrival in Islamabad
  • Sept 12-14 – Room isolation
  • Sept 15-16 – Training/practice/intra-squad match
  • Sept 17 – 1st ODI, Rawalpindi
  • Sept 19 – 2nd ODI, Rawalpindi
  • Sept 21 – 3rd ODI, Rawalpindi
  • Sept 25 – 1st T20I, Lahore
  • Sept 26 – 2nd T20I, Lahore
  • Sept 29 – 3rd T20I, Lahore
  • Oct 01 – 4th T20I, Lahore
  • Oct 03 – 5th T20I, Lahore

A number of former cricketers and players of current men's and women's teams expressed their contentment on the arrival of the Kiwis on a "historic tour", PCB said in a statement.

"It is a great news for passionate cricket fans that New Zealand is arriving in Pakistan after a long gap. I still remember a match between Pakistan and New Zealand in Karachi when Shoaib Akhtar bowled really fast and took six wickets," recalled Rashid Latif, former wicket-keeper of the Pakistan team.

Women’s team all-rounder Nida Dar is hopeful of an "excited series" between the two sides.

“I am looking forward to what promises to be exciting series. My well-wishes are with the men in green and I am sure they will do well," she said.

Former Test cricketer and now national U19 coach Ijaz Ahmed said the tour of New Zealand was another step forward towards the complete resumption of the international cricket in Pakistan. "After New Zealand, England are due to visit next month here, which is fantastic for the cricket fans," he said.

New Zealand are the first side to visit Pakistan in what will be an action-packed 2021-22 season for the local cricket fans. Following the tour by Black Caps, England’s men and women sides will play T20 Internationals fixtures in Karachi before West Indies are expected to arrive in the port city in December for three ODIs and three T20 Internationals.

Australia are then scheduled to undertake a full tour in February/March 2022 in what would be their first trip to Pakistan since 1998.

A bomb blast outside the New Zealand team’s hotel in Karachi in 2002 had cut short the Black Caps’ last Test tour of Pakistan, but they visited again for an ODI series the following year.

Since the 2003 ODI series, Pakistan have thrice hosted New Zealand for ODIs in the United Arab Emirates with the Black Caps winning the 2019-10 and 2014-15 series and drawing the 2018-19 rubber.

However, Pakistan won the 2009-10 and 2018-19 T20I series while the 2014-15 series was shared.

Pakistani athlete Haider Ali celebrates his gold medal in discus throw at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games. — Photo courtesy Paralympics Games Twitter

Congratulations and praises began pouring in for athlete Haider Ali on Friday morning soon after he made history by claiming the country's first gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics Games.

Competing in the discus throw competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games, Ali achieved a 55.26 metre throw at his fifth attempt out of a total of six to score the best distance — almost 3m longer than Ukraine's Mykola Zhabnyak who scored 52.43m to come in second place.

Ali began trending on Twitter soon after his win, with Pakistanis praising and congratulating the athlete for making the country proud.

Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam congratulated Ali, asking him to "keep on inspiring all of us".

 

 

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