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After setting multiple records in the world of cricket, skipper Babar Azam and vice-captain of the Pakistan Test team Mohammad Rizwan have now become the first cricketers to ever join Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Programme on The Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports (BEMS).

The PCB shared the news in a press release. “The world number one ranked ODI batter and Captain of the Pakistan cricket team Babar Azam and wicketkeeper Muhammad Rizwan, the Vice Captain of the Pakistan Test cricket team, are the first cricketers to join the Harvard Business School’s executive education program, on The Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports (BEMS), with their mentor, the Saya Corporation Founder and CEO, Talha Rehmani.”

Babar and Rizwan will join the long list of celebrities and top sportspersons — such as Kaka Edwin van der Sar, Gerard Piqué, Oliver Kahn, NFL’s Brandon Marshall, NBA’s Miami Heat teammates Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, and Hollywood A-listers including Channing Tatum and LL Cool J, Major League Baseball’s Alex Rodriguez, NBA stars Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, and Pau Gasol — who have participated in the prestigious programme.
“The trio is representing Pakistan and the cricket world among a myriad of global movers and shakers in sports, media, and entertainment,” the press release added.
The programme will take place from May 31 to June 3 at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts. They trio will also take part in various community activities in the US after the programme till June 13.
Both cricketers expressed a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement about the opportunity.
“I am a lifelong learner and I have had detailed chats about this programme with Prof. Elberse and [Talha] Rehmani. My inspiration for joining this world-class programme at Harvard is to connect, explore, listen, learn, grow, and give back to the community worldwide. I am sure there are scores of things to learn from the amazing athletes and top business executives from the entertainment, media, and sports industries who are coming from corners of the world,” said Babar, the top ODI batter in the world.

“It is a huge honour to represent Pakistan on such a prestigious global stage. We are going to the BEMS programme at Harvard to learn from the best of the best in the world — both in terms of faculty and programme fellows — and at the same time to share our journey and learnings with everyone. I am certain that this will be an exciting journey, and I look forward to sharing our learning and experiences with the next superstars of the cricket world,” said Rizwan, the no. 2 men’s T20i batsman in the world.

“I am delighted to be able to welcome Babar Azam and Muhammad Rizwan to the Harvard Business School and to the BEMS programme,” said Professor Anita Elberse, who is the programme chair. “We think the other participants will benefit greatly from their experiences as world-class athletes with a strong interest in the business world.”

HARARE: A belligerent 195 by Craig Ervine inspired Zimbabwe Select to a 32-run victory over Pakistan in the final one-day match against Pakistan Shaheens at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday, sealing a 4-2 series triumph for his side.

For Pakistan, Mubasir Khan’s fighting century (115 off 77 balls) went in vain as his team, chasing a formidable 386, were eventually restricted to 353 all out in 49.2 overs.
After the departure of Kamran Ghulam (56) with Pakistan at 158-4 in the 27th over, Rohail Nazir (87) was joined by Mubasir and they added 98 runs for the fifth wicket before Rohail, who hit six fours and three sixes, departed in the 39th over.

At the other end, Mubasir continued to keep the required run-rate in check but fell short of partners. He hit six fours and eight sixes.
Earlier, after being put in to bat, Zimbabwe Select posted a massive total thanks to Ervine’s aggressive innings.
After the departure of Innocent Kaia (92) with the total at 187 in the 28th over, the hosts kept losing wickets but Ervine kept playing his shots. The left-hander, who was later named player-of-the-match, was unlucky to be run out, having smashed 22 fours and six sixes.

Scores in brief:
ZIMBABWE SELECT 385-7 in 50 overs (Craig Ervine 195, Innocent Kaia 92; Mohammad Ali 2-32, Aamir Jamal 2-89); PAKISTAN SHAHEENS 353 in 49.2 overs (Mubasir Khan 115, Rohail Nazir 87, Kamran Ghulam 56, Haseebullah 35; Sikandar Raza 3-66, Luke Jongwe 2-54, Blessing Muzarabani 2-55, Tanaka Chivanga 2-73).

MANCHESTER: Manchester United will be back in action in next season’s Champions League after they hammered Chelsea 4-1 on Thursday to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes (penalty) and Marcus Rashford scored for United, who needed a point from their final two league games to officially end Liverpool’s fading hopes of securing a spot in Europe’s premier club competition.

“It’s important, this club belongs in the Champions League,” manager Erik ten Hag told Sky Sports. “But it’s not easy in the Premier League, it’s a tough competition, so it’s a massive performance when you get this done.”

Three-time European champions United, who failed to qualify for the Champions League last season, are third on 72 points with one game remaining, six points clear of fifth-place Liverpool. Chelsea, who have struggled all season, are 12th with 43 points.

Chelsea, despite spending over 500 million ($620 million) in the transfer market this season, slumped to an eighth defeat in 10 games since Frank Lampard returned as interim manager.

“It was another reality day today when you look at the emphatic nature at the top end of the pitch of United compared to us,” said Lampard. “Results for Chelsea this season are not good enough.”

United, who cap their Premier League season on Sunday by hosting 10th-placed Fulham, won the Carabao Cup in February and will be aiming to complete a domestic double when they face rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final on June 3.

“(The season has been) decent, it’s not perfect because we want more,” Fernandes said.

“But for what we did this season, I think it’s great. Won one trophy, we get to the top four, that was our goal after we saw we couldn’t go for the Premier League (title).

“Now it’s about finish the league well and go to the FA Cup and win.”

Ten Hag’s side are unbeaten in Premier League action at Old Trafford for 17 games, going back to the opening weekend of the season.

Casemiro scored in the sixth minute with a close-range header off a long free kick. The Brazilian helped set up Martial’s goal just before halftime with a no-look chip into the path of Jadon Sancho. Martial was there to slot the ball into the empty net.

Interim manager Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side collapsed in the dying minutes. After Fernandes had made it 3-0 with a penalty in the 73rd minute, Rashford returned from a two-game absence to score his 30th goal of the season, cutting the ball around keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Joao Felix pulled one back for Chelsea in the 89th minute.
The one negative on the night for the home side was the loss of Antony, who was left in agony with an apparent foot injury and had to be carried off on a stretcher. Ten Hag said he did not yet know the extent of the injury.
While United were celebrating their return to Europe’s top-tier competition, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah was devastated as the Reds failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in seven seasons.
“I’m totally devastated,” Salah, who has scored 30 goals in all competitions this season, posted on his social media channels.

“There’s absolutely no excuse for this. We had everything we needed to make it to next year’s Champions League and we failed.
“We are Liverpool and qualifying to the competition is the bare minimum. I am sorry but it’s too soon for an uplifting or optimistic post. We let you and ourselves down.”

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is unhappy with the proposed new revenue distribution model for international cricket although it accepts that India, the game’s financial engine, should get the biggest share, chairman Najam Sethi told Reuters.

The International Cricket Council (ICC), the game’s global governing body, has proposed a new revenue-sharing model for the 2024-27 cycle to be voted on at its next board meeting in June.

According to figures leaked to Cricinfo, India would claim 38.5 per cent, while England and Australia would pocket 6.89pc and 6.25pc respectively. Pakistan stands to earn 5.75pc of the ICC’s projected earnings, primarily from its media rights sale.

The 12 full members of the ICC would collectively get 88.81pc, while the rest would be distributed among its 96 associate members.
“We are insisting that the ICC should tell us how these figures were arrived at,” Sethi told Reuters from London.
“We are not happy with the situation as it stands.
“Come June, when the board is expected to approve the financial model, unless these details are provided to us, we are not going to approve it.”
India generates an estimated 80pc of ICC revenue and Disney Star shelled out $3 billion last year to acquire the 2024-27 media rights for the Indian market.
Sethi said the PCB had already asked the ICC to explain how its finance and commercial affairs committee, headed by Indian cricket board secretary Jay Shah, determined the share.
Despite the fact that all nations will get more money, Sethi said at least two other Test-playing nations were not happy with the model and had sought more details.
The ICC, which considered factors such as the performance of a country’s men’s and women’s teams and their contribution to the ICC’s commercial revenue, was not immediately available to comment.
“In principle, India should get more, there is no doubt about that but … how is this table being developed?” Sethi said.
The proposed revenue split has become a major talking point in world cricket, which is already facing a rapidly altering landscape because of the Indian-driven rise of franchise-based leagues.
Former England captain Mike Atherton, writing in The Times newspaper on Monday, criticised the “flawed” model, which he feared would only deepen the game’s existing inequality.
“If that distribution comes to pass, then the strong will get stronger, the weak weaker (relatively) and international cricket will continue to become less competitive — which is in nobody’s long-term interest,” Atherton wrote.

GILGIT: Two Pakistani women climbers stunned the mountaineering fraternity, and brought glory to their country, on Tuesday by scaling Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest peak at 8,516 metres in Nepal.
The feat by Naila Kiani and Nadia Azad comes on the heels of another achievement by them just two days ago when they summited Mount Everest, the highest peak.
They are the first two Pakistani women climbers to have scaled the peak.
In addition, Naila Kiani had earlier climbed Nepal’s Annapurna peak this season.
Her ascent of Mount Everest was the first by a non-Nepalese climber this season.
According to Karrar Haideri, general secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, Ms Kiani has now become the first Pakistani woman to climb Lhotse as well as the country’s first woman to ascend six out of the 14 eight-thousanders — peaks that are 8,000 metres above sea level.
According to Imagine Nepal, Naila Kiani and Pasang Temba Sherpa, her Nepalese companion, completed the ascent of Lhotse at 8.13am local time on Tuesday.
Naila has already climbed K2, Gasherbrum I and Gasherbrum II, all in Pakistan, before her recent achievements.
A banker by profession, she lives in Dubai and is a mother to two daughters. She is an amateur boxer as well.
Mingma G, a reputed climber from Nepal and the head of Imagine Nepal, congratulated Naila over the achievement.
Yet another Pakistani feat
Meanwhile, Nadia Azad, a British citizen of Pakistan origin, also ascended Lhotse on Tuesday. She, too, had summited Mount Everest on Sunday.
Nadia has already ascended three peaks over 8,000 metres this season. The third peak conquered by her is Annapurna, on April 15.
Nadia Azad intends to climb all five of Pakistan’s over 8,000-metre peaks this season.

GILGIT: In a record-brea­king feat, Sajid Sadpara scaled the world’s highest peak without supplemental oxygen or any support of high-altitude porter — Alpine style — on Sunday while Dubai-based Pakistani Naila Kiani also added another feather to her cap by becoming the first Pakistani woman to climb five eight-thousanders, including Mount Everest.
The son of legendary Mohammad Ali Sadpara, who became the first Pakistani to summit the 8,848-metre-tall peak, known as Sagarmatha in Nepalese, without supplemental oxygen and other support, described this achievement as ‘the dream of my father’ in a tweet.
Also, a British Pakistani woman, Nadia Azad, summited the peak.
Karar Haidri, general secretary of Alpine Club of Pakistan, in a statement mentioned that the three Pakistani climbers had started summit push separately on May 13 evening and summited the world’s tallest peak on May 14.

Naila Kiani becomes second Pakistani woman to climb world’s highest peak
About Sadpara, he said: “Sajid summited Mount Everest on Sunday without O2 and the support of sherpa. Now on his way down to C4. What an incredible achievement for Pakistan.”
The type of ascent that Sajid chose, where climbers are not supported by high-altitude porters from base camp to the summit, is called Alpine style. During such summit, mountaineers manage everything — carrying food, tent, ropes, and setting routes — themselves.

According to Haidri, Kiani is the first Pakistani woman climber to summit five peaks over 8,000m. She summited Gasher­brum-II (the world’s 13th highest peak) in 2021, and Gasherbrum-I (the 11th highest peak) and K2 (the second highest mountain) in 2022, and finally Annapurna (the 10th highest peak) in April this year before making it to Mount Everest. “She reached the summit point at 8:02am,” he said.

Samina Baig was the first Pakistani woman to summit Everest in 2013.
The Dubai-based banker, amateur boxer, and mother of two daughters, Kiani first gained prominence in 2018 when images of her wedding shoot at K2 base camp circulated on social media. She had climbed K2 just hours after Samina Baig became the first Pakistani woman to achieve the feat.

Aiming to climb all 14 eight-thousanders, Sajid Sadpara has already scaled five of them — K2, Gasherbrum-I, Gasherbrum-II, Manaslu and Annapurna — in Alpine style before the latest ascent. In 2021, Sajid had to be rescued from Everest after he fell ill during an expedition to explore a new route.
Only last month, Sajid Sadpara became the first Pakistani to climb the world’s 10th highest peak without supplemental oxygen.
The same month, Nadia also climbed Annapurna with Imagine Nepal’s Annapurna Expedition Team.

Kathmandu-based Mingma G, who has scaled Everest six times, congratulated him as well as Naila Kiani and Nadia Azad.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif praised Naila Kiani for making Pakistan proud by summiting Mount Everest.
“Adding yet another feather to her cap, Naila Kiani has made Pakistan proud by summiting Mount Everest. Through her passion for mountaineering and amazing achievements to her credit, she has reinforced the notion that our women are capable of achieving anything. Heartiest congratulations to her and best wishes for her future plans,” he wrote.

Mountaineer Naila Kiani on Sunday became the second Pakistani woman to climb the 8,848-metre-tall Mount Everest — the highest mountain in the world — situated in Nepal.

Separately, climber Sajid Ali Sadpara made history by becoming the first Pakistani to summit Mount Everest without the support of high-altitude porters and supplemental oxygen.

Both the mountaineers started their journey towards the highest peak in the world on Saturday evening.
According to Alpine Club of Pakistan Secretary General Karar Haidri, Kiani is the first Pakistani woman climber to summit four peaks over 8,000m and the second to scale the mighty Everest. The first Pakistani woman to climb Everest was Samina Baig in 2013.

Congratulating her in a tweet today, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Kiani has made Pakistan proud.
“Through her passion for mountaineering and amazing achievements to her credit, she has reinforced the notion that our women are capable of achieving anything. My heartiest congratulations to her & best wishes for her future plans,” he added.

Kiani is a Dubai-based Pakistani banker, an amateur boxer and a mother of two daughters. She had first gained prominence after images of her wedding shoot at K2 Basecamp circulated on social media in 2018.

She summited Gasherbrum-II (8,035m) in 2021 and ascended Gasherbrum-I (8,068m), K2, and Annapurna peaks. Kiani had also climbed the world’s second tallest peak K2 shortly after Samina Baig, who was the first Pakistani woman to do so.

Sajid Ali Sadpara
Talking about Sajid Ali Sadpara, the Alpine Club secretary said: “Sajid summited Mount Everest on 14 May 2023 without O2 and the support of sherpa.
“Now on his way down to C4. What an incredible achievement for Pakistan,” he added.
In a tweet, Sajid said that summitting Everest sans support was the dream of his father, the late Muhammad Ali Sadparara.
This type of ascent that Sajid chose, where climbers are not supported by high-altitude porters from base camp to the summit, is called Alpine style. During this summit, mountaineers manage everything — carrying food, tent, ropes, and setting routes — themselves.
Following Sadpara’s latest feat, Kathmandu-based Mingma G, who has scaled Everest six times, congratulated him in a tweet.
Sajid has already summited several high peaks, including K2 (8,611m), Gasherbrum-I (8,080m), and Gasher­br­um-II (8,035m) in Pakis­tan, as well as Manaslu (8,163m) in Nepal, without supplemental oxygen. His ultimate goal is to climb all 14 eight-thousanders without the aid of supplemental oxygen.

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