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Monday, May 30, 2011

Breaking news: Shahid Afridi announces retirement from Cricket

Shahid Afridi the former and most popular Pakistani Cricket Captain has just announced his retirement from Karachi. Reported GEO News some moments ago.

Two years on, Pakistan to host first international series

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Some good news for Pakistan fans finally. -Photo by AP (file)
LAHORE: Afghanistan’s cricket team will become the first foreign national side to play in Pakistan, two years after internationals were suspended over security fears, an official said Saturday.
International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan since March 2009, when gunmen attacked a convoy carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in the eastern city of Lahore.
“Afghanistan will send its national team to Pakistan in July and play the Pakistan ‘A’ team, and hopefully this will benefit our team,” Naseem Ullah Danish, chief executive of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, told AFP.
Danish met Pakistan Cricket Board officials in Lahore on Friday where they agreed to play a three-match one-day series, with games in Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi.
Five Afghan regional teams and their under-19 string are playing their domestic matches in the Pakistani border town of Peshawar, as their main grounds are being renovated.
Danish hoped Pakistan’s second XI will also play in Afghanistan later this year.
“We have also invited the Pakistan ‘A’ team to Afghanistan for the inaugural match in Nangarhar where we have almost completed an international stadium,” he said.
Since many Afghan players learnt their cricket in Pakistan they owe a great deal to the neighbouring country, Danish said.
“Pakistan has always been helpful to us and have helped us reach this far in international cricket,” he said.
Most of the Afghan national team took up the game as refugees in Pakistani camps after Soviet troops invaded their country in 1979.
Afghanistan won the Inter-Continental Cup and the International Cricket Council’s divisions five to one in the last two years, earning ICC one-day status and qualifying for the World Twenty20 held in the West Indies last year.
International teams were reluctant to tour Pakistan even before the Lahore attack, and the troubled country has since had to play its home matches at neutral venues in England and the United Arab Emirates.
The attack, which left eight people dead and wounded seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach, forced the ICC to strip Pakistan of its share of World Cup 2011 matches.
But Danish said security in Pakistan would not be an issue for his team.
“Security is not an issue and by playing in Pakistan we want to send out a positive message to the world and hope that teams come to Pakistan and play here,” he said.

Pakistan ‘A’ completes Afghanistan whitewash

FAISALABAD: Pakistan ‘A’ outlasted a much improved Afghanistan team to win the third and final one-day cricket match by four wickets here on Sunday, for a 3-0 whitewash of the tourists.
Noor Ali (51) guided Afghanistan to an imposing 274-9 in their 50 overs before Sarfraz Ahmed and Saad Nasim hit half-centuries to help the hosts overcome the visitors after 278-6 in 48.1 overs.
Sunday’s victory completed a rout that saw Pakistan win the first match in Islamabad by five wickets and the second at Rawalpindi by 150 runs.
Afghanistan were the first international team to tour Pakistan since March 2009 terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus, which killed eight people and injured seven touring players and their assistant coach in Lahore.
Ahmed put two match-winning partnerships of 63 for the sixth wicket with Sohail Tanvir (31) to lift Pakistan ‘A’ from a precarious 120-5 before seeing them off through an unbroken seventh wicket stand of 95 with Nasim.
Ahmed hit three boundaries during his 73-ball 53 not out and was ably supported by Nasim who hit seven boundaries during his 43-ball 50 not out.
For Afghanistan, Ali was the pick of the batsmen, holding one end intact during his sedate 72-ball innings which had six boundaries. And Karim Sadiq had a fiery 26-ball 42 not out studded with seven boundaries.
For Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah took 3-29.
The Pakistan Cricket Board hope their successful hosting of Afghanistan will send positive signals to top teams who have refused to tour here.
Last week Sri Lanka refused to visit Pakistan for a October-November series, citing security fears.
Abbreviated scores: Afghanistan 274-9 in 50 overs (Noor Ali 51, Karim Sadiq 42 not out, Shabir Nori 35, Mirwais Ashraf 31; Yasir Shah 3-29)
Pakistan ‘A’ 278-6 in 48.1 overs (Sarfraz Ahmed 53 not out, Saad Nasim 50 not out, Sharjeel Khan 38, Babar Azam 37, Sohail Tanvir 31).

Pakistan and India need to Play each other: Shahryar Mohammad Khan

  • Pakistan and India need to Play each other: Shahryar Mohammad Khan
Pakistan and India need to Play each other: Shahryar Mohammad Khan
Former Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Shahryar Khan, has insisted on the need for arch rivals India and Pakistan to resume cricketing ties which have been on halt since the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, which the India accused Pakistan for sponsoring.
Speaking on the estranged cricketing ties between the two countries and the prospect of India touring Pakistan this year, he said, “We should convert a visit that is supposed to be, let us say India to Pakistan, we convert that by saying let’s start cricket between the two countries, and instead of you coming to us, because you can’t, because of security concerns, we will come to you”.
He revealed that India does not feel it is safe enough for their national team to play in Pakistan because of the depleted law and order situation in the country.
In March this year, Pakistan and India clashed against each other in the semi-final of the ICC world cup, 2011, held in Mohali, which was won by India.
After the epic contest, the Prime Ministers of the two countries expressed a possibility of resuming cricket ties between the uneighbours.
However, there has been no solid development in this regard and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has already clarified that due to the hectic schedule of the Indian team, squeezing in a series against Pakistan will be tremendously difficult.
Meanwhile, talking on the possibility of resuming international cricket in the country, Khan said, “We would like foreign teams to come and play against us after such a long time, but we also appreciate that if Sri Lanka can’t come and they have just said that they are not able to come because of the security climate, then it is hardly likely that other teams will come.”
Khan suggested that the current officials of the PCB should gladly consider the option of playing home tournaments in a neutral venue.
Pakistan has in the past year used England and the United Arab Emirates as their neutral ground to play against Australia and South Africa.
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