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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Pakistan beat Afghanistan by 3 wickets

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Sarfaraz Ahmed

Leeds, June 29: Shaheen Shah Afridi snared four wickets as Pakistan restricted Afghanistan to 227/9 in 50 overs in their World Cup clash here on Saturday.

Sarfaraz Ahmedsaid, ” Thank you for the crowd for cheering us. It’s not an easy pitch to bat. Credit to Imad for how he batted, taking the pressure in and winning the match for us. It’s not an easy game. The way Wahab Riaz also batted, his 12-15 runs also helped us. Shaheen is also working very hard. All the bowlers bowled really well.”

Gulbadin Naib, ” We fought very well but in the end, we missed opportunities to win. Credit goes to Pakistan to show how to win. In the end, Shadab and everyone did very well to rotate the strike and stay in the match. The matches we lost, we lost in the end. Bad luck for us today as Hamid Hassan was injured today. Credit goes to Mujeeb, Nabi and Rashid but losing Hamid was the turning point for us.”

Afridi, who returned figures of 3/28 against New Zealand and helped his team to a win in the last match, conceded 47 runs in 10 overs and bagged four wickets to never let Afghanistan take the charge as Imad Wasim (2/48) and Wahab Riaz (2/29) also came good with the ball.

For the Afghans who won the toss and elected to bat first, Asghar Afghan and Najibullah Zadran top-scored with identical scores of 42.

While Asghar blazed his way off 35 balls, his innings laced with three fours and and two sixes, Zadran took 54 deliveries hitting six fours.

Opener Rahmat Shah (35; 43b, 4×5) also looked good before he was caught by Babar Azam at short cover off Wasim.

Afghanistan were 27/2 before Rahmat and Ikram Alikhil (24) tried to steady the ship.

But after Rahmat’s dismissal, things fell apart although Asghar and Alikhil shared a 64-run stand for the fourth wicket.

While Asghar was caslted by Shadab Khan, Alikhil could not takcle the pressure of dot balls before finally holing out to long on where Mohammed Hafeez took an easy catch off Wasim.

Zadran and Mohammed Nabi then stitched together a crucial 42-run partnership for the sixth wicket before Riaz got Nabi’s back and Zadran dragged a Afridi delivery on to his stumps.

The Afghans could not manage to score much in the last five overs but still managed to put up their highest score in the tournament batting first.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 227/9 in 50 overs (Asghar Afghan 42, Najibullah Zadran 42, Shaheen Shah Afridi 4/47) vs Pakistan

Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib on Saturday won the toss and elected to bat against Pakistan in their World Cup fixture at Headingley.

Afghanistan have made one change to their playing XI. They have included Hamid Hassan in place of Dawlat Zadran. On the other hand, Pakistan have gone with the same team that featured against New Zealand.

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My eyes fixed firmly on Women’s World Cup trophy: Mithali Raj

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

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Mithali Raj

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Veteran India batter Mithali Raj has said that she is “definitely looking” at the ICC Women’s World Cup, which has been postponed to 2022 and has added that her eyes are firmly fixed on the trophy.

On Friday, the International Cricket Council decided to postpone the World Cup, originally slated to be held in New Zealand in 2021, until February-March 2022 because of the impact the coronavirus pandemic.

“Whilst this is never great news to wake up to. I can understand the reasons why given the lack of cricket in some countries. I just hope those players who were planning to retire after the World Cup can hold on for one year…right Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Rachael Haynes,” cricketer-turned-commentator Lisa Sthalekar tweeted following ICC’s decision to postpone Women’s World Cup.

To this, Mithali replied: “Oh absolutely, my eyes are fixed firmly on the trophy. With all niggles recovered, mind and body fresh and stronger than before, I am definitely looking at World Cup 2022.”

Mithali had led the Indian eves to the final of the showpiece event in 2017 where they had to face a heart-wrenching defeat against England in the summit clash at the iconic Lord’s.

The right-handed bastwoman, one of India’s most successful female cricketer, has so far scored 6888 runs in 209 ODIs, 663 runs in 10 Tests and 2364 runs in 89 T20Is.

The 37-year-old has already retired from T20 cricket and now aspires to win India their maiden World Cup for which she will now have to wait at least until 2022.

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Madrid Masters tennis tournament cancelled: organisers

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Madrid Masters tennis

The Madrid Open that was scheduled to take place from Sept. 12-20 has been cancelled due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish Capital, Organisers said on Thursday.

“As an act of responsibility in view of the current situation caused by COVID-19 and having thoroughly evaluated the circumstance that the pandemic continues to generate… it has been decided that 2020 Muta Madrid Open will not take place this year,” organisers said in a satatement.

The tounament, which was to feature both men’s and women’s draws, was seen as an important event for players to prepare for the Frech Open which begins on Sept. 27.

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BCCI issues SOP; players must sign consent form before resuming training

BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

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New Delhi, Aug 2 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to the state associations for the resumption of cricket. While these will help the state bodies restart cricketing activities, all players will have to sign consent forms before getting back to training.

In the 100-page SOP, accessed by IANS, the BCCI has touched on principles while returning to training, ground and practice facilities preparation with an eye on the pandemic, gymnasium protocols, physiotherapy and medical protocols as well as protocols to manage a suspected COVID-19 case.

It also has the consent form where the players have to acknowledge that there is risk associated with resuming training and that the player has been informed about the protocols in place and the precautions taken by the association.

The player also needs to acknowledge that the association can’t guarantee complete elimination of risk despite taking necessary precautions and that the player is willing to resume training.

With an eye on the whole situation with regards to the coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI has shared its views with the state bodies with regards to resumption of cricket.

“The BCCI as the governing body for the sport of cricket in India is responsible for ensuring that appropriate protocols are put in place to protect the health and safety of players, staff and all stakeholders. Covid-19, an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs, poses a serious threat to the health of individuals as is evident from its spread to almost all countries around the world with more than 17.5 million infections and over 0.6 million deaths as on 1st August 2020. As the world grapples with Covid-19, cricketing activity has come to a standstill and players confined to the four walls within their homes.

“It is said that cricket is a religion in India and the fanfare and fervor that cricket commands are far greater than any other sport or event in the country. Besides, it also helps generate tremendous revenue and employs players and staff across 38 State teams, both in the men and women category. BCCI is responsible for ensuring the resumption of cricketing activity in India to help secure employment of all its workforce and also provide a source of entertainment to the fans at the earliest.

“However, the BCCI is concerned about the high infectivity rate of SARS CoV-2 and in the interest of health and safety of all players, staff and stakeholders, the BCCI would not like to compromise on the preventive measures by resuming too soon,” the SOP read.

“The purpose of these protocols is to ensure the safe resumption of cricket activities and the below guidelines may be amended from time to time as may be required depending on the existing Covid-19 situation in the country and the guidelines issued by the Government of India at appropriate times. These guidelines have been prepared by the BCCI Medical Team.

“All BCCI affiliated State Cricket Associations will adhere to these guidelines and take additional measures as may be necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection. Approvals must also be sought from local administration and health authorities before commencing any cricket activity. The health and safety of players, staff and stakeholders will be the sole responsibility of respective State Cricket Associations.”

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