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LAHORE: Former international umpire Asad Rauf passed away after a cardiac arrest on Wednesday night. Asad, who was 66 years old and was once on the International Cricket Council’s elite panel of umpires, was laid to rest here on Thursday.
Asad, one of the most prominent Pakistani umpires, officiated 64 Test matches, 139 One-day Internationals and 28 T20Is. His first Test assignment came in 2005, a year before he was elevated to the ICC elite panel, where he maintained his spot until 2013.
Asad’s umpiring career at the first-class level started in 1998 and he officiated his first international match, a one-dayer, in 2000.
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ramiz Raja paid tribute to Asad on Twitter, stating: “Saddened to hear about the passing of Asad Rauf. Not only was he a good umpire but also had a wicked sense of humour.”
“He always puts a smile on my face and will continue to do so whenever I think about him,” added Ramiz. “Many sympathies with his family for their loss.”
Top Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar and Mian Aslam also paid tribute to Asad as a cricketer and an umpire and expressed their sorrow over his demise. Asad also played 71 first-class and 40 List A matches as a middle-order batter.


KATHMANDU: The moment Pakistan had been waiting for finally arrived in the 40th minute against the Maldives on Tuesday: the first goal for the national women’s team in eight years.
After that, the floodgates opened as Pakistan scored six more times with Nadia Khan getting four in the second half in a landslide 7-0 victory in their last Group ‘A’ match of the SAFF Women’s Championship here at the Dasharath Rangasala Stadium.
Finally, they could savour a victory; their first since 2014 and their biggest ever having opened the tournament with losses against India and Bangladesh respectively.
“This is the perfect launch pad for us … it doesn’t get better than this,” Pakistan’s head coach Adeel Rizki told a post-match press conference with the women’s team having missed out on international football for the best part of the last decade due to institutional crisis in the Pakistan Football Federation.
Even participation in this tournament would not have been possible had the FIFA suspension on Pakistan not been lifted in June.
“We could’ve said we couldn’t do this as we had very little time to prepare,” added Rizki. “But we took this opportunity by the scruff of the neck and had a camp for the last month. It wasn’t easy but we did everything possible to be here.
“We’re going to continue [with this momentum]. We will take a break after going back home and then we’ll try to get some national tournaments going and try to arrange more matches for the team.”
Already out of semi-final contention, Pakistan were looking to end the tournament on a high and tore apart the Maldives once Rameen Fareeed’s long-range effort beat goalkeeper Aminath Leeza on the bounce for the opening goal.
Khadija Kazmi doubled Pakistan’s lead three minutes into the second half from the penalty spot before Nadia took over with goals in the 53rd, 78th and the 84th, leaving the Maldives defence trailing in her wake with her pace.
“Previous two matches, we had different oppositions … teams that had been together for a long time,” Nadia, who plays for Doncaster Rovers Belles in England’s fourth tier, told reporters after the match.
“We had different strategies but in this game we knew that we have the ability to attack more but I still believe it’s the togetherness and belief in each individual players and trusting each other as well that pushed us through.”
Nadia added a fourth in the 90th minute before substitute Anmol Hira completed the rout in the fifth minute of stoppage time to leave Maldives winless at the tournament and notch up Pakistan’s biggest victory since their 4-1 win over Bhutan back in 2014.
Later, Bangladesh took first place in the group after a resounding 3-0 win over India, who have won all five editions of the tournament.
Jahan Shopna scored twice while Srimoti Krishnarani Sarkar scored the other goal as Bangladesh inflicted India’s first loss in the history of the SAFF Women’s Championship.
Bangladesh stunned India by taking the lead in the 12th minute when Srimoti’s brilliantly-weighted through ball was finished off by Jahan, who turned provider 10 minutes later as Srimoti found the back of the net.
Jahan got her second in the 53rd, this time converting from skipper Sabina Khatun’s pass as Bangladesh set up a last-four clash with Bhutan on Friday, when India will face hosts Nepal for a place in the final.


A horror start to their run chase and laborious batting in the middle overs consigned Pakistan to a 23-run defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the final of the Asia Cup 2022 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday. The Green Shirts had a brilliant start to their evening, having won the all-important toss and deciding to field first — a trick that had worked for them every single time in the tournament until tonight. Their pace attack featuring Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf gave them a dream start and at one point it had seemed as if Sri Lanka would even be able to bat out their full overs. However, after the first 10 overs, Pakistan captain Babar Azam surprisingly opted for a defensive approach, allowing Sri Lanka to make an almost miraculous recovery to finish with 170-6. In reply, Babar Azam failed for the sixth straight time in the tournament and Fakhar Zaman was castled on a golden duck. That forced the pairing of Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed to bat conservatively — a job they probably did for longer than required. As the required run rate soared to 12, Pakistan batters took their chances but their gambles failed miserably as Sri Lankans did not allow them an inch and did not put a foot wrong. In the end, an astonishing collapse saw Pakistan fold for 147 as Sri Lanka were crowned champions for the sixth time. End of live thread Sri Lanka have won the final by 23 runs.


After the Pakistan versus Afghanistan Asia Cup match last night, there is only one name on everyone’s minds — Naseem Shah.
Let us paint you a picture — Pakistan is batting in the second innings and has lost six more wickets, making it a total of nine, for just 31 runs. With 11 more needed, the tenth batsman, Shah, enters the field, hits two consecutive sixes in the last over taking it home. The crowd goes wild. The young cricketer has done it again.
Shah, known for his bowling, really went off in the match as batsman and no one can stop talking about it. He was appreciated by captain Babar Azam, teammate and man of the match Shadab Khan who said after Javed Miandad and Shahid Afridi, everyone will remember Shah’s sixes, and former cricketer Younus Khan also congratulated him personally.
He has earned former cricketer and current commentator Wasim Akram’s respect as well.
The teenage cricket star’s last two sixes are all over our TLs. Some fans have created fun edits out of them.
There was a heated moment during the match between Asif Ali and Afghan bowler Fareed Ahmad. People have been speculating that Shah was angry at the exchange and it showed.
Meanwhile everyone else:
Us right now.
The match was intense.
But our out of syllabus player knocked them out.
In conclusion:
Congratulations team Pakistan!


SHARJAH: Riding high on their thrilling victory over India, Pakistan will look to secure a spot in the Asia Cup final with a win over Afghanistan here on Wednesday.
Pakistan’s triumph over India in their Super Four opener on Sunday avenged their defeat to their arch-rivals in the group stage and another victory over Afghanistan, smarting after their defeat to Sri Lanka, will put Babar Azam’s men in Sunday’s final with a game to spare after Sri Lanka’s win over India on Tuesday.
Pakistan have won both their Twenty20 Internationals against Afghanistan and are buoyed by the return of pacer Shahnawaz Dahani, who sat out the India match after suffering from a side strain in Pakistan’s victory over Hong Kong in their final group game.
More importantly, wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan — whose 71-run knock was key in the victory over India — is also doing fine after suffering from knee pain during his innings on Sunday.
Rizwan underwent a precautionary MRI scan on Monday and has been cleared by the team management to keep his place both as an opener as well as behind the wickets.
“Rizwan and Dahani are fine now,” Babar told reporters during a news conference on Tuesday. “I spoke to Rizwan earlier and he is feeling better.”
With a full-strength squad to choose from, Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq is confident his side would be able to maintain their perfect record against Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan are a good side and they have shown that from time to time, but we are confident to get a hat-trick of victories on Wednesday,” Saqlain told the PCB website.
“The conditions in Sharjah will be suitable for spinners, but if a batter spends enough time in the middle, there will be a lot of runs on offer in the latter part of the innings with shorter boundaries.”
Afghanistan, meanwhile, will be looking to regain their early form at the tournament when they beat both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the group stage to reach the Super Four.
They will look to their spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mujib ur Rahman and captain Mohammad Nabi to disrupt Pakistan’s strong batting line-up on the more helpful Sharjah pitch.
Victory for Afghanistan would throw the Super Four stage wide open with Pakistan then needing victory over Sri Lanka in their last match while it would also keep defending champions India in the mix.
And it could well come down to net run rate if Pakistan lose both their last two matches starting Wednesday provided India win against Afghanistan in their last fixture.
It therefore promises to be a cracker in Sharjah in a make or break match for both sides.


Successive defeats by Pakistan and Sri Lanka have left India on the brink of exiting the Asia Cup but captain Rohit Sharma is not concerned about their form ahead of next month’s T20 World Cup.
Sri Lanka defeated defending champions India by six wickets with a ball to spare in a Super Four match on Tuesday at the continental T20 tournament, which is being held in the United Arab Emirates.
Rohit’s team also lost to arch-rivals Pakistan in their first Super Four match,, and India’s hopes of making Sunday’s final depend on other results going in their favour.
Since winning the 50-overs World Cup at home in 2011 and the ICC Champions Trophy two years later, India have failed to win a global event.
“In tournaments like Asia Cup and World Cup, where there are multiple opponents, there is more pressure,” Rohit told reporters.
“In a bilateral series you play against the same opposition for three-five matches so you can plan better.
“Our job is to guide the players in making better decisions in pressure situations.”
Just over a month out from the T20 World Cup in Australia, Rohit said there will be very few changes to the squad. “The team is 90-95 per cent settled. Few changes will happen, that’s about it,” he said.
“There are lot of questions that we need to answer and in the last three or four series that we’ve played, we’ve found some answers. There will be a time where we will draw the line and we’ll say this is the combination that we’re going to play.”
The Asia Cup defeats had not dampened the squad’s spirits, said Rohit.
“All the players are relaxed and chilled,” added Rohit, who bats at the top of the order.
“We want to maintain an atmosphere in the dressing room which does not change based on a win or a loss. There’s nothing lacking as such, the team has quality.
“We have played and won so many matches.”


KUWAIT: The Asian Football Confederation has officially agreed to Kuwait hosting the under 20 AFC Cup qualifiers which were scheduled to be held in Basra in mid of Sep of this month. Due to current events in Iraq has led to shifting of venues to Kuwait, the qualifiers are scheduled to start on Oct 14th at Jaber International Stadium. Kuwait is in the same group as Iraq and India. First place holder of each group will qualify for the finals

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