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Oct
20

Army cricket teams from different countries have arrived at Lahore to take part in the first ever Physical Agility Combat Efficiency System (PACES) competition being hosted by Pakistan Army.

Teams from Sri Lanka, England, Saudi Arabia, China and Australia will participate in the competition.

The event is being organised by Pakistan Army, which is the first-ever such competition in the world.

Commander Lahore Corps Lt-General Sadiq Ali declared the PACES Competition Open amid a colourful ceremony at the Venue which was attended by a large crowd.

All the participating teams joined a Flag March Past, followed by Army’s regimental troupes, representing all provinces of Pakistan including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammun Kashmir, which presented traditional folk dances on the tune of famous regional songs and a spectacular demonstration by the Pakistan Army band, which won thunderous applauds from the audience.

People’s Liberation Army (China) and Pakistan Army dominated the opening day of the Pull-Ups contest in the First International PACES Competition-2016 that commenced at the Ayub Stadium on Tuesday.

The visiting cricket teams practised at (NCA) indoor and outdoor to prepare for the first leg of matches to be held on October 19, 21 and 22 in various grounds of Lahore. Later, the team will travel to Rawalpindi and Abbottabad to feature in the remaining matches.

On Wednesday, the participating teams will compete in 3.2-km run which will start at 9am from Askari-10 and end at the Ayub Stadium.

Players of different countries during opening ceremony of first ever Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System competition. ─APP
Players of different countries during opening ceremony of first ever Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System competition. ─APP
The British Army team arrives at the opening ceremony of the First International PACES Competition 2016 in Lahore. ─AFP
The British Army team arrives at the opening ceremony of the First International PACES Competition 2016 in Lahore. ─AFP
Members of the Australian army cricket team arrive for practice at the National Cricket Academy ahead of the First International PACES Competition 2016. ─AFP
Members of the Australian army cricket team arrive for practice at the National Cricket Academy ahead of the First International PACES Competition 2016. ─AFP
The Saudi Arabian Army team arrives at the opening ceremony of the First International PACES Competition 2016. ─AFP
The Saudi Arabian Army team arrives at the opening ceremony of the First International PACES Competition 2016. ─AFP
A view of the graceful opening ceremony. ─APP
A view of the graceful opening ceremony. ─APP
Corps Commander Lt. General Sadiq Ali shaking hand with players during opening ceremony. —APP
Corps Commander Lt. General Sadiq Ali shaking hand with players during opening ceremony. —APP
Members of the Australian army cricket team practice at the National Cricket Academy. ─AFP
Members of the Australian army cricket team practice at the National Cricket Academy. ─AFP
Players march-past during opening ceremony of first ever Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System competition. ─APP
Players march-past during opening ceremony of first ever Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System competition. ─APP
Players march-past during opening ceremony of first ever PACES competition. ─APP
Players march-past during opening ceremony of first ever PACES competition. ─APP
The Srilankan Army team arrives at the opening ceremony. ─APP
The Srilankan Army team arrives at the opening ceremony. ─APP
A view of graceful opening ceremony of first ever Physical Agility Combat Efficiency System. ─APP
A view of graceful opening ceremony of first ever Physical Agility Combat Efficiency System. ─APP
The Chinese Army team arrives at the opening ceremony. ─AFP
The Chinese Army team arrives at the opening ceremony. ─AFP

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Oct
18

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The series scheduled to be played between India and Pakistan’s women’s cricket teams remains in doubt as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has not responded to Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) queries on the series since May with a confirmation or rejection,cricinfo reported.

The two teams have till the end of October to play the series, which counts towards ICC Women’s Championship points.

If the series is not played the matter of how the points will be awarded will be referred to the event’s technical committee, a spokesperson from the International Cricket Council (ICC) told ESPNcricinfo.

“The two sides have until the end of this month to play the series, which has to be hosted by Pakistan,” the ICC spokesperson said.

“If the series doesn’t go ahead, then the matter will be referred to the Event Technical Committee,” he added.

Pakistan is due to host India for this series, which is supposed to consist of three ODIs, however, the PCB is open to holding the series in the UAE.

A BCCI official said the board has not made a decision on the matter yet, and that it would be binding on the Indian government’s call.

“This is for the government to decide. The BCCI doesn’t have a say in this,” the official said.

“We still have time to make a decision,” he added.

The PCB wants India to forfeit the six points available for the series if they do not agree to play.

In the ICC Women’s Championship, India currently sit sixth on the table with 13 points five points adrift of thetop four. Pakistan are seventh with eight points. If the six points for the series are awarded to Pakistan, neither side will have a chance to directly qualify for the World Cup.

Cricketing ties between India and Pakistan are currently stalled, given the political tensions between the neighbours.

The men’s teams have not played a bilateral series against each other since December-January 2012-13, when Pakistan visited India, but have met in various multi-team tournaments since then, including the World Cup, World T20, Champions Trophy and Asia Cup.

Pakistan Womenare set to tour New Zealand for three ODIs in Nelson from November 13 to 17, counting towards the championship. It is understood the PCB wanted to play the India series ahead of this tour.

India and Pakistan’s women’s teams are also scheduled to play the Asia Cup in Thailand between November 25 and December 5.

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Oct
17

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Former batsman and captain of the national cricket team Jaived Miandad on Saturday withdrew his allegations against former T20 captain Shahid Afridi.

Miandad also announced that he harbours no ill feelings towards Afridi.

In a meeting held between the two former cricket captains, Afridi thanked Miandad for the withdrawal of his statements.

“It is a great pleasure that Afridi is sitting besides me and there are no differences between us,” said Miandad.

Miandad also expressed well wishes for Afridi and said if any of his comments had hurt Afridi, he would withdraw them.

Afridi said he had never demanded an apology from Miandad as he considers Miandad as his senior.

“Miandad withdrawing the allegations against me is a big deal for me and my fans,” Afridi added.

The controversy arose when Afridi, who quit ODIs last year after the ODI World Cup 2015 expressed his desire of playing a farewell match, and asked the PCB to entertain his request. Afridi had expressed his desire to bid farewell to his fans through one final match.

Miandad opposed the idea of giving a farewell match to the former T20 captain which resulted in Afridi passing controversial remarks about Miandad.

Reacting on these controversial remarks, Miandad levelled match fixing allegations against Afridi.

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Oct
03

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Sr. on Monday held the lack of proper facilities for the national players responsible for poor performance of the sport in national and international levels.

While briefing the Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan here at the Parliament house, Shahbaz emphasised the need of meaningful encouragement and backing by the government and concerned quarters to help the game regain its lost charm and glow.

PHF Secretary said there were only four to five cities in which proper hockey is played.

“We are doing maximum efforts for the promotion of women hockey and men’s hockey at the grass root level.”

Recently, he said our hockey team finished third in the boys Under 18 Junior Asia Cup Hockey Tournament which, he added, was a great achievement.

The IPC Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, also present in the briefing was of the view that PHF should be made independent for the betterment of the game.

To this the Chairman IPC Committee informed that the blue Astro-turf was another big issue for the players on which the modern hockey was being played and Pakistani players were not used to it.

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Sep
30

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SHARJAH: Former champions Pakistan and the West Indies start a narrow two-way fight for an automatic place in the 2019 Cricket World Cup in a three-match one-day series starting in Sharjah Friday.

Pakistan, the 1992 champions, need to win the series 3-0 to rise one place from ninth while their opponents — champions in the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979 — need to avoid a clean sweep to maintain their current eighth spot.

Hosts England and the seven highest-ranked sides in the one-day rankings on September 30 next year will qualify directly for the World Cup.

The bottom four teams in the standings will be joined by six Associate sides in a 10-team qualifying round in 2018 from where two teams will qualify.

Both Pakistan and the West Indies will also play in three one-day matches in the Caribbean next March.

Pakistan also have a tough five-match series in Australia early next year but West Indies will be hard pressed to play England and India before the cut-off date.

Both Pakistan and the West Indies have varied problems in the 50-over game.

Pakistan, ranked number one in Test cricket, have slumped in one-day and are coming on the back of a 4-1 bashing in England, a defeat which almost cost Azhar Ali the captaincy, but he finally survived.

Important step

Ali hopes his players take the confidence of their win in the final one-day against England at Cardiff and a 3-0 whitewash of the West Indies in the preceding Twenty20 series which ended on Tuesday.

“Yes, it will be great if we take that form into the series and that will not only help us in improving our rankings but also take the important step towards the 2019 World Cup,” said Ali.

Pakistan will once again look to exploit their opponents weakness against the spin, which saw them restrict the West Indies to low totals of 115, 144 and 103 in the Twenty20 series.

They have leg-spinner Yasir Shah and two left-arm spinners — Imad Wasim and Mohammad Nawaz plus allrounder Shoaib Malik to launch the assault.

West Indies had shown recent form, having beaten South Africa twice and world number one Australia once in a tri-series on home grounds in June before losing the final to Steve Smith’s team.

Shockingly, they sacked their successful coach Phil Simmons a week before the start of this tour, which evidently affected their performance in the T20 series.

Still, captain Jason Holder put on a brave face. “In the ODI series we want to improve, we had a very good last Tri series with Australia and South Africa so it is important we keep improving,” said Holder.

West Indies will again be without dashing opener Chris Gayle, who is unavailable for the tour, and Andre Russell, missing due to an anti-doping hearing.

The second match will also be in Sharjah on Sunday followed by the third in Abu Dhabi on October 5.

Teams

Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sohail Khan

West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels

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Sep
23

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Fans of cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of his upcoming movie Sachin: A Billion Dreams, reports Indian Express.

An online contest #LiveMoreWithSachin is inviting fans to share memorable videos of the cricket legend onhttp://www.LiveMoreWithSachin.com. Videos include fan and selfie videos, clips taken with Sachin or without him – on streets, stadium, cheering and celebrating for him in any part of the world.

A selection of these videos will be featured in the film. The winners will also get a chance to meet Sachin in person. The contest continues till November 6, 2016.

Sachin: A Billion Dreams is a biopic of the cricket legend being directed by James Erskine. Sachin will star as himself, and thus make his film debut at the age of 43.

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Sep
19

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SINGAPORE: New chairman Chase Carey said Formula One cannot continue as a “dictatorship”, as speculation grows over the role of long-term supremo Bernie Ecclestone under the sport’s incoming American owners.

Ecclestone has built Formula One into a global powerhouse over the past four decades but Carey said US mogul John Malone’s Liberty Media now wanted to take it to new heights.

“You cannot make everybody happy all the time, but you’ve got to understand what everybody wants and then find a path,” he told the official F1 website at the Singapore Grand Prix.

“Sure, that is not a task for a committee, as committees tend to become bureaucratic – but there also can’t be a dictatorship – even if probably here they are used to it.”

It indicates an ideological split between the mustachioed American Carey and Ecclestone, 85, who has warned he could walk away if things don’t go his way under Liberty.

Under the takeover, which values Formula One at $8 billion, flamboyant deal-maker Ecclestone remains as chief executive with Carey brought in as chairman.

The diminutive British billionaire earlier said he didn’t expect much change to his role despite the arrival of heavy-hitter Carey, vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox.

“The only thing I have to do is die and pay my tax. Short of that I don’t have to do anything,” Ecclestone told Sky Sports, when asked about how he might work with Carey.

Carey said he was a “bit too old to be an apprentice” under Ecclestone after a 30-year career in media and entertainment.

“Certainly Hollywood is a good training for dealing with unique personalities,” he joked.

“With all credit to Bernie, he’s had enormous success – the world admires Bernie for the business that he has built,” Carey added.

“But I still think that there is another level that we can take Formula One to.”

Carey said Liberty would try to develop Formula One’s penetration of the United States, the Americas and Asia, while developing the sport’s European heartland and working hard on its digital platforms.

“Formula One is a great premium brand and that means to me that you want to be at a location like Los Angeles, New York or Miami. Ideally in the great cities in the world!” he said.

It could also signal a shift from Ecclestone’s strategies which have placed F1 races in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and Yeongam in rural South Korea.

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