Monthly Archives: December 2013

Sri Lanka Cricket unsure on BD tour

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: Due to the ongoing violence in Bangladesh the smooth happenings of the Asia Cup and the World T20 Cup is in jeopardy, however, prior to the mega events, the Sri Lankan Cricket team is also scheduled to tour Bangladesh which will definitely be a test case for the Bangladesh cricket authorities. In this connection, the Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] dispatched a security plan to the concerned authorities. “Upon Sri Lanka’s request, a comprehensive security plan has been dispatched to them. We are hopeful for a positive response from our Sri Lankan counterparts”, said BCB spokesman Jalal Younus, while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.  Image

“The security plan has been sent to the International Cricket Council, and the same will be dispatched to the Asian Cricket Council as well”, added Jalal Younus.

Bangladesh is scheduled to host Sri Lanka for two Tests, starting on January 27, followed by two Twenty20s and three ODIs. The bilateral series will end on February 22, only two days before the Asia Cup, between February 24 and March 7th next year.

The fifth edition of the ICC World Twenty20 cup is scheduled to take place in Bangladesh from March 16th to April 6th.

Upon inquiry, the Chief Executive of Sri Lanka Cricket [SLC] Ashley de Silva said that the security plan, from the BCB, would be thoroughly reviewed before reaching to the final decision regarding the Bangladesh tour. “Our security assessment team will look into the security plan and will decide after thorough deliberation”, said De Silva, while taking to this correspondent.

“Nothing can be said with certainty at the moment, the situation will be clear in the coming days”, concluded Ashley de Silva.

Sri Lanka ready to tour Pakistan

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: After the deadly March 2009 attack, on the touring Sri Lankan team, the international cricket teamsImage have turned their backs on Pakistan and ever since the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been running from pillar to post for the revival of international cricket in the country without much luck. After almost four years, a ray of hope arrived from the same country as Sri Lanka hinted to tour Pakistan again if adequate security arrangements are guaranteed to them. “Insurgency is not new to us as we have seen it in Sri Lanka for three decades. The 2009 incident was unfortunate, but Sri Lanka can tour Pakistan again if decent security arrangements are guaranteed”, said Sri Lanka Cricket’s media manager Rajith Fernando, while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.

““Sri Lanka highly values the support from Pakistan in tough times. We understand Pakistan’s agony and ready to help in every possible way”, added Rajith Fernandorajith

On a question, Fernando did not rule out the possibility of a formal discussion, on the matter, between the officials of the PCB and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in the near future.

The interim chairman of the PCB, Najam Sethi and the Secretary of SLC, Nishantha Ranatunga are in the UAE to witness the ongoing series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The SLC spokesman also touched upon the upcoming tour to Bangladesh and hoped it would happen as per scheduled. “We have not decided to call the tour off as yet but the final decision will be taken after thorough deliberation. We hope situation will get better after the general elections in Bangladesh”, said Rajith Fernando

Bangladesh is scheduled to host Sri Lanka for two Tests, two Twenty20s and three ODIs during a series starting from January 27.

The writer is a journalist, heads the sports department at News One TV in Pakistan and tweets @mak_asif

Latif terms Shinwari the best young bowler

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain, Rashid Latif said that the T20 format was not appropriate to gauge the potential of any young cricketer. While putting his weight behind young Usman Shinwari, the former gloveman termed him the best young bowler in Pakistan. “He [Shinwari] is a good bowler who troubled all good batsmen at the domestic circuit, and was rightly picked up for the national team”, said Rashid Latif, while talking to this correspondent for News One TV. Image

“Shinwari, along with Muhammad Talha, is one of the best young bowlers”, added Latif

Shinwari’s outstanding figures of five for just nine runs in the final of the national Twenty20 tournament earned him a place in the Pakistan T20 outfit against Sri Lanka.

However, the ZTBL fast bowler was all over the place in two T20i and was smashed for 61 runs in five overs without a single wicket.

“T20 is not a format to gauge the potential of any young player. Not just Shinwari but other bowlers were hammered too, as over a 100 runs were scored in the last eight overs”, mentioned Latif

Rashid Latif also dispelled the impression that difference of domestic and international cricket balls might cost Shinwari, added that there was not much difference in the balls being used in Pakistan and abroad. “Both – local and international – balls are being machine manufactured and behave almost identically. Other bowlers also use the same ball, in domestic, but don’t struggle at the international level”, mentioned Latif

On a question, Rashid Latif also said that the performance of Umar Amin was below-par but primarily he was not a T20 player. Umar Amin plays for Port Qasim Authority, at the domestic level, which is coached by Rashid Latif.

Pakistan win the World Youth Scrabble Championship

Muhammad Asif Khan
The 8th annual World Youth Scrabble Championship (WYSC) took place at the Etisalat Academy in Dubai, where Pakistan created history.
Moiz Ullah Baig kept his cool and warded off stiff challenge from 136 youth players to win the World Championship.
Moiz, who was playing his first ever world championship, was in great form throughout the mega event and never let his lead slip away. After reaching the 1st spot Moiz stayed No. 1 till the very end.
Moizullah
Moiz also created history by becoming the first Pakistani player to win a world championship. He is also the first player ever to win the WYSC in his very first appearance at this level.
Pakistan dominated the championship right from the beginning. Javeria Mirza was the runner up. This is also the first occasion that the top two positions were won by players from the same country.
Fifteen years old Maryam Arif grabbed 8th position. Javeria Salman was 15th, Hamza Sheikh 16th, Mirza Tayyab 18th and Yash Gandhi finished 19th.
Young 15-year old, Inshal faltered at the last moment and was defeated in his last two matches hence slipped to the 14th spot.
Pakistan also won the trophy for the No. 1 team as no other team came near Pakistan in terms of overall performance.
Data courtesy:
Tariq Pervez
Director, Youth Development,
Pakistan Scrabble Association.

BCB confident normalcy will return soon

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: The ongoing unrest in Bangladesh has threatened the Imageupcoming Asia Cricket Cup as well as the ICC World Twenty20 Cup however, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is hopeful that situation would be normalised after the general elections, scheduled in the first week of January. “The charged atmosphere, in the country, is due to the upcoming elections. We are hopeful that the situation would be normal within weeks after the polls and the Asia Cup as well as the World T20 cup would be held without any problem”, said BCB spokesman Jalal Younus, while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.

“We have sent a detailed report to the Asian Cricket Council, containing the reason behind the ongoing violence with a comprehensive security plan”, added Jalal Younus

“I am sure the situation will start getting better after the elections which are being held on January 5th”, hoped the BCB spokesman.

On the other hand, upon enquiry, the Asian Cricket Council [ACC] confirmed that they had sought the viewpoint of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and, at the moment, reviewing their [BCB’s] response.

The ACC declined to make any further comment on the issue.

Bangladesh is to host the Asia Cup in February-March followed by the ICC World Twenty20 in March next year.

Samiullah wants fresh PHF elections

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: Former hockey stalwart, Samiullah Khan has termed the recently held elections of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) “bogus” and urged the Prime Minister to intervene. “That was not the election; it was an engineered effort to achieve the desired results. Elections from the districts to the top level were bogus”, claimed Samiullah, while talking to this correspondent, for News One TV.Image

“I urge the Prime Minister to dissolve the existing PHF set-up and call fresh elections under impartial caretakers”, said Samiullah “I will only take part in the elections under a neutral caretakers”, added Samiullah, who was titled “the flying horse” because of his lightening speed on the field.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has had the elections last month, after which Akhtar Rasool and Rana Mujahid were elected as President and Secretary General respectively.

“Only faces have changed, the policies will remain the same”, felt Samiullah

On a question, Samiullah acknowledged that the PHF was in dire straits due to short of funds, however added that a lot of money was wasted in the past tenure.

“The Government should provide the PHF with its due share of funds, but keep an eye on the administrative affairs as well”, concluded Samiullah.

Hockey suffers the most due to POA tussle: Rana Mujahid

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: After missing the berth in the Commonwealth Games, the participation of the Pakistan Hockey team, in the next year’s Asian Games, is also in jeopardy. Commenting on the situation, the newly elected Secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Rana Mujahid, while putting the onus of the ongoing tussle between two parallel Olympic Associations, urged the Government of Pakistan to step-in.  “The Government provides us [PHF] with the NOC, funds etc hence we have to follow their directives. The PHF does not favour a particular faction [of PQA], however wants to see the resolution of this confrontation”, said Rana MujahidImage

“The Government of Pakistan should intervene as the deadline to submit the entry for the Asian Games is also approaching”, added Rana Mujahid

Pakistan is the defending champion of the Asian Games to be held in Incheon, South Korea in 2014.

The Pakistan Olympic Association under Syed Arif Hassan – recognised by International Olympic Committee (IOC) – is the only channel available for Pakistan to send athletes at international events.

On the other hand, the POA led by Akram Sahi claims to be country’s legitimate Olympic Association, in view of a court ruling which put restriction on a third-term for a POA office bearer.

“We have apprised the Inter-provincial Coordination minister, Riaz Hussain Pirzada of the situation who has assured the PHF of playing his part in resolving the standoff”, concluded Rana Mujahid