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Khyber Pakhtunkwa win National T20 Cup for straight second time

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Lahore: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has successfully defended the National T20 Cup title by beating Central Punjab in the final by seven wickets here at the Gaddafi Stadium. KP chased down the target of 149 in 17 overs due to aggressive batting by skipper Iftikhar Ahmed, who slammed 45 runs off 19 balls. At the top, Kamran Ghulam scored crucial 37 off 31 while Sahibzada Farhan made 26 off 28. Adil Amin supported batters and remained not out on 25 off 21. Earlier, Iftikhar bowled a brilliant spell to restrict CP to 148. He was supported well by younsgters Mohammad Imran and Arshad Iqbal. Iftikhar bagged three wickets in two overs, giving away only five runs. Left-armer Imran took 3/26 while Arshad claimed two for 28. Imran Khan Snr. and Khalid Usman also bagged a wicket each. Central Punjab’s experienced campaigners Ahmed Shahzad (44) and Kamran Akmal (42) posted a 85-run stand after Mohammad Akhlaq went back to pavilion in the first over. Spinners came in their way and caused a mini-collapse in middle-overs. CP lost four wickets for just 15 runs. They pinned hope from Qasim Akram, who smacked 20 runs off 11 but Imran bagged consecutive wickets to stop CP’s flow of runs. At the back-end, Faheem Ashraf hit 14 off 6 balls to give CP a respectable score of 148, however, it was not enough for KP batters. Iftikhar was awarded player of the match for his all-round performance while he also bagged player of the tournament award. He scored 409 runs at a strike rate of 170.41 and picked eight wickets at an economy rate of 5.57.

West Indies women’s team to tour Pakistan next month

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Lahore: West Indies women’s cricket team will tour Pakistan next month for three-match ODI series, ARY News reported citing sources. According to details, Cricket West Indies (CWI) have confirmed and they are currently in talks with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regarding the schedule. The series is proposed to be played on November 8, 11 and 13 in Karachi. West Indies will arrive in Karachi in early November to complete a three-day quarantine. Meanwhile, the training camp of the Pakistan women’s team is likely to start from October 22 in Karachi. Both teams will travel together to Zimbabwe after the series for World Cup qualifiers. The women’s team tour will have a positive impact as West Indies men’s side is also scheduled to tour Pakistan for T20Is and Tests in December. It must be noted that the Girls in Maroon toured Pakistan in early 2019 too for three T20Is.

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Shardul Thakur replaces Axar Patel in India’s T20 World Cup squad

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Dubai: India have made one change to their T20 World Cup squad as all-rounder Shardul Thakur replaces spinner Axar Patel. The All-India Senior Selection Committee after a discussion with the team management has added Shardul Thakur to the main squad. All-rounder Axar Patel, who was part of the 15-member squad will now be on the list of stand-by players,” BCCI said in a statement. India’s squad for ICC T20 World Cup: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami Stand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel Meanwhile, BCCI have also announced that eight cricketers will join the team bubble in Dubai and assist squad members in their preparations. They are: Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and K. Gowtham.

Read: Malik gets wild card entry in Pakistan’s T20 World Cup

‘Not thinking about past Indo-Pak T20 World Cup games’ Babar Azam

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Lahore: Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam is upbeat ahead of the T20 World Cup as Green Shirts prepare to leave for UAE on October 15. The 26-year-old talked to reporters in a virtual presser on a rest day and opined that his side is not bothered with the past results of Indo-Pak T20 World Cup matches. “Belief matters the most while going into the tournament like World Cup, our confidence and morale is high as a team. We are not thinking what happened in the past and preparing for the new challenge which lies ahead,” he said. “Focus is to gain momentum by beating India in the first game and take it forward,” he added. Babar believes that senior players will add value to the team because of their experience. “Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik are match-winners and their experience will help us on the field, they have played many leagues,” he added. Babar hailed the appointment of Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander as consultant coaches for the mega event. “They are experienced and will try to benefit from them. Philander has been great with bowlers in the camp, it will be good if we understand each other quickly,” he added. Pakistan, during the last decade, mostly played in UAE. Babar thinks it will give an advantage but on the day, which side plays better cricket will win. It must be noted that the squad will play a practice tomorrow at the Gaddafi Stadium and will leave for UAE on October 15 at 11.00 am. They will play the first warm-up match on October 18 in Dubai against the West Indies. The second will take place on October 20 in Abu Dhabi against South Africa. Pakistan will officially start the T20 World Cup campaign match against arch-rivals India in Dubai on October 24.

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Ronaldo nets hat-trick as Portugal rout Luxembourg

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Faro: A 58th career hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo helped Portugal stroll to a 5-0 home win over Luxembourg in Group A of World Cup qualifying on Tuesday. The treble, which meant Ronaldo became the first man to net 10 international hat-tricks, takes his tally to 115 international goals from 182 caps as he continues to pull away as the top men’s international goalscorer of all-time. Victory ensures Portugal remain a point behind leaders Serbia, who moved onto 17 points with a 3-1 home win over Azerbaijan, with a game in hand and superior goal difference. Portugal had the game all but won within the first 18 minutes. Ronaldo struck twice from the penalty spot before his Manchester United team mate Bruno Fernandes made it three as he fired in following good work from Bernardo Silva. The forward then missed two gilt-edged chances either side of the break as he sought a third, before being denied a spectacular hat-trick goal when Anthony Moris kept out his acrobatic overhead kick. Portugal did not have to wait long for their fourth, however, as midfielder Joao Palhinha headed in from the resulting corner with just over 20 minutes to go. Ronaldo was not to be denied as the hosts pushed on, netting three minutes from time with a header from close range. Next month Fernando Santos’s Portugal side travel to Ireland before then hosting Serbia in what could be a winner-takes-all fixture to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

T20 World Cup: Green Shirts to rest today

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Lahore: The National T20 World Cup squad will not train today and will undergo COVID-19 tests in team hotel, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed. Green Shirts practiced for two days at National High-Performance Center (NHPC) and played a scenario-based practice match at LCCA Ground yesterday. The squad will play a practice tomorrow at the Gaddafi Stadium and will leave for UAE on October 15 at 11.00 am. They will play the first warm-up match on October 18 in Dubai against the West Indies. The second will take place on October 20 in Abu Dhabi against South Africa. Pakistan will officially start T20 World Cup campaign match against arch-rivals India in Dubai on October 24.

Read: Bowlers dominate in first scenario-based practice match

PCB in search of a new CEO, posts advertisement

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Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is looking to hire a new Chief Executive (CEO) and has also posted an advertisement in this regard. Interested candidates can submit applications till October 27. The selected candidate will be initially given a three-year contract. The post was vacant after Wasim Khan resigned on September 29. PCB’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Salman Naseer has been appointed as the acting CEO of the board. Wasim’s contract was set to expire in February 2022 but he left the position five months earlier. PCB will give preference to a person with experience in cricket administration, Responsibilities include liaison with other boards, working with the federal and provincial governments. Responsibilities will also include providing infrastructure and establishing academies at the national, regional and district levels. The role of mentor for staff members and the provision of effective leadership will be among the responsibilities. Preference will be given to a person with experience in cricket administration liaison with other boards, working with the federal and provincial governments will be among the responsibilities Establishing other ideal relationships within the organization and dealing with business and other challenges will be part of the responsibilities.

Read: PSL franchises accept PCB’s financial model

Central Punjab outclass Sindh to enter final

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Lahore: Central Punjab produced a commanding performance to book their spot in the National T20 Cup final with a one-sided seven-wicket victory over Sindh in the second semi-final at the Gaddafi Stadium. Central Punjab will take on defending champions Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in their first National T20 final since the tournament was revamped as a six-team competition in the 2019-20 season. Seasoned campaigners Ahmed Shehzad and Kamran Akmal spearheaded the 142-run chase with an almost flawless batting display that left the Sindh bowlers clueless. Wicketkeeper-batter Kamran registered the 44th T20 half-century of his career while Ahmed fell one short of his 40th T20 fifty. The two added 88 runs for the second-wicket. Kamran who played some typically stylish shots in his innings scored 51 off 36 balls (seven fours, one six) he was dismissed by spinner Abrar Ahmed in the 14th over. Ahmed was dismissed by Sohail Khan for 49 (46 balls, four fours). The pair of Hussain Talat (13 not out) and Qasim Akram (11 not out) took Central Punjab past the target with 13 balls to spare. Earlier, Central Punjab’s bowlers were spot on after skipper Wahab Riaz opted to field first. Sindh were restricted to 141/8 courtesy Qasim Akram’s 3/15 and Zafar Gohar’s 2/15. The spinners contained the proceeding in the middle-overs after Sindh had a brilliant start. Openers Khurram Manzoor and Sharjeel Khan recorded 50-run stand but after that, the wickets fell at regular intervals. Sharjeel scored 19-ball 32 but Khurram couldn’t capitalize on the start and played slowish innings. He made 34 off 40 balls. Sohail Khan had been promoted up the order to bring some aggressiveness in the middle but the idea couldn’t pay off. He scored 21 off 24 balls. Rumman Raees and Mir Hamza stretched Sindh to a competitive score with crucial cameos. Rumman scored 7-ball 14 while Hamza made 9-ball 19. Earlier, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advanced in the final after beating Northern in the first semi-final.

PHF announces 26-member training camp for Asian Champions Trophy

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Lahore: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has announced a 26-member training camp for Asian Champions Trophy, head coach Olympian Khawaja Junaid has been appointed as camp commandant. The camp will start on October 21 at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore. Asian Champions Trophy will take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh from December 14 to 22. The players in the camp have been instructed to report to the camp commandant and head coach National Hockey Team Olympian Khawaja Junaid on October 21 along with their departmental NOC, six-month valid passport, 12 passport size photographs.

Training members:

Goalkeepers: Muneeb-ur-Rehman and Akmal Hussain Defenders: Mubashir Ali, Abu Bakar Mahmood, Tazeem Al Hassan, Rizwan Ali, Asif Hanif, Amjad Ali Khan, Osama Bashir, Junaid Kamal, Faizan Forwards: Umar Bhatta, Ali Shan, M. Azfar Yaqub, Rana Sohail Riaz, Ejaz Ahmed, Ahmed Nadeem, Hamza Waheed, Salman Razzaq, Naveed Alam, Obaidullah, Noheez Zahid Malik, Afraz, Junaid Manzoor, Zain Ijaz and Zakaria Haya

Support Staff

Olympian Khawaja Junaid (head coach), Syed Sameer Hussain (coach), Ajmal Khan Lodhi (coach), Nadeem Khan Lodhi (video analyst), Abid Amin (Physical Trainer)

Read: Conspiracy involved in getting Indian visas for Junior Hockey world cup: Asif Bajwa

Bowlers dominate in first scenario-based practice match

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Lahore: Bowlers dominated the first scenario-based practice match at the LCCA ground as Pakistan squad continues to prepare for T20 World Cup. After two days of net sessions, Green Shirts were tasked to achieve various goals. The bowlers were successful in defending them. In the first half of the match, the top order comprising of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Haider Ali, had a target of 150 runs in the first 15 overs. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf gave only 106 runs in 15 overs. In the second half of the match, the middle-order batters had to score 102 runs in 12 overs. Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr. scored 100 runs in 12 overs. Imad Wasim (38) and Mohammad Hafeez (30) remained the top scorers of the match.

Read: ‘T20 World Cup winners to get USD 1.6 million’ announces ICC