Asian Champions Trophy: Pakistan beat China 5-1

Pakistan are scheduled to play their next match against Malaysia tomorrow.

Pakistan are scheduled to play their next match against Malaysia tomorrow.

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, KARACHI, 04th NOVEMBER 2013: Defending champions Pakistan registered their second consecutive victory at the Asian Champions Trophy after trouncing China 5-1 in Kakamigahara, Japan yesterday, courtesy of a brace from Mohammad Imran.

The Chinese side that stunned India 2-0 on the opening day failed to reciprocate Saturday’s show and lacked skills to block the penalty-corners.

The greenshirts, on the other hand, continued their form of the 8-0 drubbing against Oman, and never let their neighbours settle.

Imran converted a couple of penalty corners to put Pakistan ahead. Rizwan Senior also hit the target in another penalty corner as Pakistan led 3-0 at the interval.

China netted their solitary goal trying to reduce Pakistan’s leeway, but Mohammad Dilber and Abdul Haseem Khan scored a goal each to seal the points.

Team head coach and manager Tahir Zaman warned the greenshirts of complacency following back-to-back wins.

“We managed a good start but consistency is a must,” Zaman told The Express Tribune from Kakamigahara. “The format of the event is tough and there is no room for complacency.”

Pakistan are scheduled to play their next match against Malaysia tomorrow.

Meanwhile, India lost 2-1 to Japan in their second match.

Ajmal regains top spot in ICC ODI rankings

Hafeez (R), Ajmal (L) number one on ICC's list of ODI allrounders and bowlers, respectively. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Hafeez (R), Ajmal (L) number one on ICC’s list of ODI allrounders and bowlers, respectively. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, 04th NOVEMBER 2013:-

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has been rewarded for his rich vein of form in the on-going One-Day International (ODI) series against South Africa.

Ajmal claimed six wickets in the first two matches of the series and gained enough points to dismantle India spinner Ravejendra Jadeja at the top of the bowler rankings, according to the International Cricket Council. Ajmal, who has a total of 768 points, snared six wickets conceding a mere 45 runs in the opening two games against the Proteas.

On the other hand, India batting sensation Virat Kohli’s outstanding run in the seven-match series against Australia has put him on the top of the batting rankings. Kohli amassed 857 points following two unbeaten centuries that helped India attain targets in excess of 350 in Jaipur and Nagpur.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Hafeez continues to occupy the number one spot in the rankings for all-rounders — the Pakistan vice-captain has a tally of 399 points.

Amir ban will be reviewed only after law revision, says ICC

Amir was jailed in London for cheating and released early for good behavior, while former teammates Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were also jailed and banned for several years. — Photo by AFP

Amir was jailed in London for cheating and released early for good behavior, while former teammates Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were also jailed and banned for several years. — Photo by AFP

DAWN, LONDON, 21st OCTOBER 2013: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir’s five-year ban will be reviewed only after the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption code is updated, the game’s governing body said on Saturday.

The ICC board was informed that a more robust and strengthened anti-corruption code will be submitted for discussion and approval at the next meeting in January. ”The ICC board decided to review (Amir’s) matter in due course after the revised anti-corruption code has been finalised and adopted,” the ICC said in a statement after its two-day board meeting.

England’s Giles Clarke heads a working group revising the laws under which Amir was banned for five years in 2010 for spot-fixing during a test at Lord’s.

Amir was jailed in London for cheating and released early for good behavior, while former teammates Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were also jailed and banned for several years.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi, who also raised Amir’s case in the last ICC meeting a few months back, yet again made a ”passionate pitch” before the board on Saturday to enable the fast bowler’s return to first-class cricket much earlier than its scheduled end in September 2015.

The PCB also hired a British Queen’s Counsel to plead Amir’s case.

”The British QC … has argued that keeping in view the acceptance of guilt by Amir the ban has become unjust and perverse,” the PCB said in a statement.

The PCB also said Clarke has ”assured Najam Sethi that he would work with him to find ways and means of positively reviewing the young fast bowler’s case.”

In other developments, Bangladesh Cricket Board’s request was accepted to give them more time for completion of stadia for the 2014 World Twenty20. The format and schedule will be announced in Dhaka on Oct 27.

Afghanistan’s dream qualification for the 2015 World Cup earned the war-torn country $1.1 million as part of the ICC’s targeted assistance performance program.

Aisam-Rojer claim Stockholm title in style

Aisam-Rojer’s next assignment begins tomorrow at the Basel Open. PHOTO: AFP

Aisam-Rojer’s next assignment begins tomorrow at the Basel Open. PHOTO: AFP

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, KARACHI, 21st OCTOBER 2013: Pakistan tennis ace Aisamul Haq Qureshi won his second ATP title with his Dutch partner Jean-Julien Rojer at the Stockholm Open yesterday.

The top seeds outclassed Swedish pair Robert Lindstedt and Jonas Bjorkman in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

Aisam and Rojer only took an hour and three minutes to finish the job to grab 250 points from the win.

Aisam said that the Stockholm victory will go long way in helping him achieve his aim of ending the year among the top eight teams in the world to play the London Masters in December.

“It feels great to win your second title of the year,” Aisam told The Express Tribune. “We had lost two finals earlier this year, so this win was very important. This was the best match of the week. We were playing against the local favourites, so we had to play our best tennis.”

Stockholm Open has been one of the better tournaments for Aisam, having won the title with India’s Rohan Bopanna in 2011 and reaching the semi-finals with Rojer last year.

“We want to play the London Masters and this win took us one step closer to it. The victory will also send out a strong message to other doubles teams as well before the Basel Open [starting next week]. Hopefully we’ll carry on with the momentum now.”

Aisam added that Stockholm this year was an emotional experience and the title win justified his decision to play the event instead of taking a break last week.

“I had told Rojer that I would take a break for a week, that was my original plan, but it wouldn’t have been fair to him or my coach to miss this crucial week ahead of the London Masters when every team is in the running to finish the year in the top eight.

“The win is also my Eid present to Pakistan and I dedicate it to my cousin Mobin Riaz, whose wedding I had to miss.

“Missing out on Eid with my family and the wedding just killed me, but the victory here just means that one has to sacrifice in order to achieve something.”

Earlier, Aisam and Rojer won the Miami Masters, which was also their careers’ first ATP 1000 title.

Aisam and Rojer are currently ranked number seven in the ATP standings.

ICC launches world championship to preserve Test cricket

“The objective of the championship is to preserve the primacy of Tests and to preserve the future of all formats of the game,” said ICC chief executive David Richardson. – File Photo

“The objective of the championship is to preserve the primacy of Tests and to preserve the future of all formats of the game,” said ICC chief executive David Richardson. – File Photo

DAWN, ABU DHABI, 14th OCTOBER 2013: Cricket’s governing body launched the World Test Championship 2017 on Saturday aimed at preserving the primacy of the longer format of the game.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said the inaugural championship will be hosted by England and will feature the top four teams in the ICC Test rankings, with a total prize money of $10 million at stake.

“The objective of the championship is to preserve the primacy of Tests and to preserve the future of all formats of the game,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said at the launch on the sidelines of the Pakistan-South Africa two-Test series starting on Monday.

The championship, originally planned for 2013 but delayed because broadcasters wanted a limited overs event, will replace the Champions Trophy, the last edition of which was hosted by England earlier this year.

The attractions of Test cricket have faced serious competition in recent years from the Twenty20 phenomenon.

Richardson, a former South African wicketkeeper/batsman, said the qualifying phase for the Test championship runs from May 2013 and will end in December 2016.

“The qualification pathway for the ICC World Test Championship will be through the ICC Test team rankings and the top four teams at the conclusion of the qualification period will qualify for the event in 2017.”

South Africa captain Graeme Smith said: “It’s fantastic to have a pathway clearly identified for the ICC World Test Championship and to know that the top four teams will have a chance to battle it out to be crowned the ultimate champions.”

“It adds a new meaning for all the Test teams when it comes to the rankings and the context of all Test series,” said Smith, whose team currently sits atop the Test rankings.

Ashes winners England are number two, India are at three, Australia are fourth and the West Indies fifth. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are ranked sixth and seventh respectively.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq added: “Test cricket is a journey and it’s the pinnacle of our game. It will add even more context to all the bi-lateral series that the Test sides play and ultimately gives each team a chance to be world champions in Test cricket.”

“The championship will add value to Test cricket, interest in which is dying because of Twenty20.”

Richardson said the format of the World Test championship will be discussed at ICC cricket committee meetings.

Peace Cup: National football squad departs for Philippines

Philippines is ranked 141 in the world, while Pakistan will be the second strongest side, being in 170th spot in the Fifa rankings. PHOTO: FILE

Philippines is ranked 141 in the world, while Pakistan will be the second strongest side, being in 170th spot in the Fifa rankings. PHOTO: FILE

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, KARACHI, 11th OCTOBER 2013: The Zesh Rehman-led Pakistan football squad left for the Peace Cup 2013 yesterday, a tournament which will also feature Chinese Taipei and hosts Philippines in Bacolod.

Pakistan will begin their campaign at the invitational event on October 13, while Philippines and Chinese Taipei will play the opener today.

The Peace Cup will be Mohamed Shamlan’s first assignment as the national head coach.

Meanwhile, striker and now vice captain Kaleemullah said that the team was opting for an attacking style of game against their two opponents.

“We have five new players who will wear the national colours for the first time,” Kaleemullah told The Express Tribune.”We have a good combination of experience and energy in the team.

“Philippines will be our toughest competitor; they have fielded foreign-based players who train in Brazil so they will be a difficult side to beat. However at the same time, this tour will be a good experience for us and we’ll get the opportunity to improve.”

Philippines is ranked 141 in the world, while Pakistan will be the second strongest side, being in 170th spot in the Fifa rankings. Chinese Taipei are ranked in 175th place.

In the opening match of the event though, Pakistan will have an edge over Chinese Taipei, against whom they have won two out of three matches and drawn one since 2008. However, they have not played any match against the Philippines in the last 20 years.

The squad also includes Saqib Hanif, Muzammil Hussain, Mahmood Khan, Muhammad Ahmed, Ahsanullah, Muhammad Adil, Faisal Iqbal, Zainullah, Muhammad Bilal, Rizwan Asif, Bilawalur Rehman, Saddam Hussain and Syed Arif Hussain.

Imran retained as captain to lead young Pakistan brigade

The PHF announced a young squad for the upcoming tour of Australia and the Asian Champions Trophy yesterday, hoping the new lot would change Pakistan’s fortunes in the sport. PHOTO: EXPRESS

The PHF announced a young squad for the upcoming tour of Australia and the Asian Champions Trophy yesterday, hoping the new lot would change Pakistan’s fortunes in the sport. PHOTO: EXPRESS

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, KARACHI, 11th OCTOBER 2013: After failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, Pakistan will bank on youngsters as they begin their quest for revival with the upcoming tour of Australia.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) team management headed by Tahir Zaman yesterday named a 20-player squad including majority of the players from the junior team.

While former captain Mohammad Waseem announced retirement, the management had earlier confirmed the exclusion of veteran striker Shakeel Abbasi and seasoned goalkeeper Salman Akbar by overlooking the duo for the preliminary squad last month.

Pakistan will feature in the four-nation International Super Series Nine-a-Side tournament in Perth from October 17 to 20. The team will then play one Test match each against Australia, Australia A and Argentina till October 25 before flying to Japan to defend their Asian Champions Trophy title. The event will be staged in Kakamigahara from November 1.

The management reposed confidence in Mohammad Imran as the experienced defender has been retained as captain for the upcoming assignments while Shafqat Rasool has been named as his deputy.

Along with Imran Butt, Imran Shah has been recalled to strengthen the goal-keeping department after he was dropped for the Asia Cup.

Four players – Haseem Khan, Rashid Mehmood, Rizwan Senior and Fareed Ahmed – were not named in the preliminary squad due to their commitments with the Dutch League but have been included in the final squad.

Zaman hopes junior players will excel

Zaman said the squad was announced keeping the 2014 Asian Games in mind.

“The Asian Games is our target,” the head coach told The Express Tribune. “It is the best time to test our youngsters and give them exposure. The selected ones are among the best in the junior team setup.

“They are showing determination and I hope they will do well.”

Squad

M Imran (c), S Rasool (vc) I Shah, I Butt, K Bhatti, K Shah, A Shahzad, Rizwan Jr, M Tousiq, F Qadir, M Suleman, M Dilber, U Bhutta, A Qadir, Rizwan Sr, H Khan, R Mehmood, F Ahmed, H Butt, S Hussain