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Pakistan is the best country for boxing: Stanley Williams, president Monarch Promotions

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Manchester: Prince Stanley Williams, owner of Monarch Promotion, an international Boxing promotion Company has said that Pakistan is the best country for boxing and the people of the country love the sport. “Pakistani people love boxing and as soon as the current coronavirus crisis subsides, we will hold a big boxing show in Pakistan in which boxers from all over the world will take part,” Stanley said while speaking to ARY News. “We were preparing to hold a show this year but due to the coronavirus, the preparations had to stop. However, we will soon start working with the government of Pakistan to hold boxing competitions,” he added. Tasif Khan, Pakistan-born British boxer said that he feels proud that his parents belong to Pakistan. “I feel proud that parents belong to Pakistan. Pakistan in my motherland and I wish to defend my title there,” he said. “I want to see boxing competitions in Pakistan and for that, I am ready to cooperate in any way possible,” Global Boxing Union and World Boxing Union’s Super Flyweight World Boxing Champion added.

PSL broadcast partner apologizes PCB on live-streaming scandal

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Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today in its press release has stated that they have received an apology from the broadcast partner regarding the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five live-streaming outside the country. Techfront International FZE has admitted that it was their fault after it appeared that PSL 2020 matches were gambled online. After the reports came out, PCB admitted the mistake but blamed their media partners as this was not in their knowledge. “Techfront International FZE acknowledges it was not proactive in obtaining prior permission from the PCB in respect of specific sublicensing and in that process it was not aligned to the spirit and provisions of the Rights Agreement with PCB with regard to PSL V’s live-streaming rights,” the company said in a statement. “We have extended our regrets and apology to the PCB and look forward to their sympathetic consideration in the matter,” it added. PCB appreciated and accepted the mistake. PCB also said that from now on, they will be more strict about such issues. “We appreciate the Right Holder’s apology and detailed explanation. At its own end the PCB shall put in place more stringent measures to ensure extra vigilance; enhancement of internal monitoring processes and procedures; continual issuance of clear guidelines to our partners so there is a better understanding of the dos and the don’ts,” the PCB said.

Italy’s Serie A to resume from June 20 behind closed-doors

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Serie A on Friday confirmed that top-flight football will return to Italy after a three-month coronavirus-enforced absence on the weekend of June 20-21. Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora on Thursday gave the government’s approval for a restart on June 20, in a championship that has been suspended since March 9.
“The clubs welcomed the green light given yesterday by Minister Spadafora for the resumption of Serie A and voted unanimously to play the four postponed matches on the weekend of June 20-21,” Serie A said in a statement. The four matches in question are Atalanta v Sassuolo, Hellas Verona v Cagliari, Inter Milan v Sampdoria and Torino v Parma. The league added that the 27th round of matches would be organised from the week of June 22. “Dates and times of the matches will be announced in the coming days,” it added. As Spadafora had requested, Italian Cup matches will take place the previous week with the final of that tournament on June 17. No dates have been given yet for the return legs of the semi-finals, with Napoli set to host Inter Milan and Juventus at home against AC Milan, but they could be played on the weekend of June 13 and 14.

Read also: English Premier League to resume from June 17 behind closed-doors

Watch: Bilal Asif playing indoor cricket with his father

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Sialkot: Pakistan’s off-spinner Bilal Asif is keeping himself busy by playing indoor cricket with his father during the coronavirus pandemic. The 34-year-old Bilal shared a video on Twitter in which he can be seen facing his father. “My Dady is my partner nowadays,” Bilal tweeted. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also retweeted the video and asked cricket fans to name their indoor cricket partner. Bilal has represented Pakistan in five Tests and three ODIs and has taken 16 and 5 wickets respectively.

Read also: Cricketer Bilal Asif to release his first-ever music video

Former batting coach fears Babar may regret taking over as captain

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Karachi: Pakistan’s former batting coach Grant Flower has warned limited-overs captain, Babar Azam about the pressure that comes on a captain’s shoulder while leading the Pakistan men’s team. Former Zimbabwean cricket has feared that Babar’s form could suffer due to the extra pressure because of the politics in Pakistan cricket and the reaction of the public. “He’s got a good cricketing brain but there’s a lot of politics in Pakistan cricket and a lot of pressure from the public,” Flower told Stats Perform News. “If you start losing, it’s one thing being the best batsman but that will put pressure on your batting skills and it can all come tumbling down pretty quickly,” he added.

Read also: Babar Azam counters criticism on personality, English language

The 49-year-old Flower, however, praised Babar’s attitude as he looked positive after taking over as the captain.

“We’ve seen with great players in the past the pressures that captaincy can bring, but some players get better and if he gets better then the world is his oyster. Time will tell,” he added

“But he seems pretty positive about it, I read what he said in an interview when he got the captaincy. I wish him all the best and hopefully, all positives come with that,” he maintained.

Flower reminded about the 25-year-old batting talent when he first started working with him as Pakistan’s batting coach and believes he is en route for greatness.

“He is brilliant. The first time I saw him play and worked with him when I threw balls at him at the academy in Lahore, he picked up length so much quicker than the rest of the players and I think that’s the hallmark of a great batsman,” he said.

Flower has backed Babar that he will break records and also compared his ability with Indian skipper Virat Kohli and No.1 Test batsman Steven Smith.

It must be noted that Flower worked as the batting coach of Pakistan men’s team from May 2014 till the 2019 World Cup. He is currently working as the batting coach of the Sri Lanka cricket team.

Read also: It’s unfair to compare Babar Azam and Virat Kohli right now: Younis Khan

ECB in talks with ICC to allow coronavirus substitutes in Pakistan, West Indies Tests

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Karachi: England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is in talks with the International Cricket Council (ICC) about allowing coronavirus player substitutions in its upcoming planned Test series against West Indies and Pakistan. ECB director of events Steve Elworthy while talking to British media on Friday said as the ECB plans to holds test matches in bio-secure venues, he is hoping that an agreement would be reached in time for those Tests. “I know there are still some considerations from an ICC perspective about a Covid-19 replacement. That still needs to be agreed,” Elworthy said. “This is specifically for test cricket, and we would hope that would be in place well before the Test series starts in July,” he added. It must be noted that currently, ICC allows a player to be replaced during a match because of concussion but according to a proposed change, a late substitution would also be allowed on coronavirus grounds. Media reports did not specify how the procedure would work, including whether it would involve testing players.

Read also: ECB announces 55-man training group ahead of English summer

Federer tops, Kohli only cricketer in Forbes’ top 100 highest-paid athletes

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Karachi: Tennis star Roger Federer is the world’s highest-paid athlete for 2020, according to the annual Forbes list released on Friday. Indian captain Virat Kohli (66) is the only cricketer to feature in the top 100 list. The Swiss tennis great, owner of a men’s record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, earned $106.3 million in the last 12 months, including $100 million via endorsements, to move up four places and become the first player from Tennis to top the list. On the other hand, Kohli had estimated total earnings of $26 million ($24m from endorsements and $2m from salary/winnings). He made a massive jump of over 30 places from 2019, as he was positioned at the 66th spot in this year’s list. Soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo ($105 million), Messi ($104 million) and Neymar ($95.5 million) and American basketball player LeBron James ($88.2 million) are below Federer in the list. Only two women athletes featured on the list. Japan’s Naomi Osaka ($37.4 million), who was ranked 29th, excelled fellow tennis player Serena Williams ($36 million) as the world’s highest-earning female athlete. 35 players from Basketball are among the top 100. 31 from American football. Soccer was the next most-represented sport with 14 players, followed by tennis (six), boxing and mixed martial arts (five), golf (four), motor racing (three), and baseball with one.

‘So far, no plans to return to Test cricket’ Wahab Riaz

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Lahore: Pakistan’s pacer Wahab Riaz said that he doesn’t have any plans yet to return to the elite form of the game ‘Test Cricket’.  Speaking to a news channel, Riaz said that if he feels comfortable playing red-ball cricket at any point in the near future, he will show his availability for selection. “Currently, I am not planning to make a comeback in Test cricket. But, yes as soon as I make myself ready to play Test cricket, I will inform the board about my availability,” he said. The fast bowler reiterated that he didn’t skip Test cricket to earn money through professional cricket leagues. “See, I wasn’t a part of the Test team since 2017 so there is no point that I was behind money or anything else. I wanted to have a little rest from Test cricket and focus on white-ball format,” he maintained.

Read: Speedster Wahab Riaz takes rest from red-ball cricket

Riaz wasn’t disappointed at all after losing renewed Central Contract. “My main priority is to represent my country. For me, playing for country is bigger than getting a central contract,” he concluded. It must be noted here that Riaz took rest from Test cricket for an indefinite period last year. He wanted to make himself available for more white-ball cricket in the longer term. Along with Mohammad Amir, he lost the renewed central contract.

Read Also: Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz likely to miss central contracts

‘Cricketers can pass sponsors to help other athletes’ Saddam Hussain

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Karachi: Pakistan men’s football team captain Saddam Hussain suggested that cricketers can pass on their sponsors to other athletes in the country to support them financially.  Speaking in ‘ARY Sports GupShup’, Saddam said that other athletes are not as much financially strong as cricketers which is why other sports are on the backfoot. He thinks that if cricketers come up to support athletes in different sports, it can strengthen the image of other sports in the country. “In my opinion, cricketers are strong enough financially as they get ample sponsors every year. They have a high-class lifestyle and young generation looks up to them and wish to play cricket as it offers a lot of money and fame,” he said. “If cricketers pass on their sponsors to other athletes such as boxers, footballers, and others, it can help them a lot financially. I have heard a lot about Indian cricketers helping their footballers financially,” he maintained. On the other hand, Saddam wants the Pakistan Super League (PSL) type model to be introduced for football to create opportunities for footballers in the short-term. “If a PSL type model comes out for footballers, it will be a great deal. Pakistan has a lot of talent in football and I am sure a PSL type model will help in highlighting the talented youngsters,” he concluded.

Read: ‘It was an honor for me to meet KAKA, Figo’ Saddam Hussain

‘IPL will take place before T20 World Cup’ Basit Ali challenges

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Karachi: Former Test cricketer Basit Ali has once again captured limelight after he challenged that India will play every card to hold the Indian Premier League (IPL) before ICC T20 World Cup this year.  Speaking in ARY News’s show ‘Sports Room, Basit said that India is trying hard to reschedule its Twenty20 league before T20 World Cup. “Note it down, IPL will take place before ICC T20 World Cup. I don’t know whether UAE or Sri Lanka will host it but it will be played this year at any cost. Otherwise, I will leave my Tv job,” former cricketer reiterated. Remember, there are speculations that T20 World Cup 2020 will be replaced with IPL as Cricket Australia (CA) hesitates over holding the mega event this year amid COVID-19 situation. Talking about Ben Stokes’s comments in his book regarding no intention in run-chase from Indian batsmen against England in the group match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Basit said that such things happen in league events. “See, it is very common in league events. Teams do such things intentionally to meet a weak opponent in the knock-out stage. That’s why I doubted India’s intention to lose against England as they didn’t want Pakistan to qualify,” he said. It must be noted here that Basit predicted a couple of days before the match that India will lose against England intentionally to put hurdles in Pakistan’s way to qualify for the semis.

Read: India’s doubtful run chase put weight on Basit Ali’s comments