Tag Archives: Pakistan Cricket

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam named ICC ODI Cricketer of 2021

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was on Monday named ICC ODI Cricketer of 2021.

Babar, 21, endured a fine year with the bat as he amassed 405 runs from six games riding on a decent average of 67.50. The Pakistan skipper was the second-highest run-scorer with 228 runs and was the Player of the Match in both of Pakistan’s wins in the 2-1 series victory against South Africa.

Babar, who was selected as the captain of the men’s ODI and T20I elevens of the year 2021, beat competition from Bangladesh’s Shakib al Hasan, South Africa’s Janneman Malan and Ireland’s Paul Sterling to win the award.

In his acceptance speech, Babar thanked fans, family, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the ICC and his team for supporting and boosting his morale and said he believes his best knock in the year was against England at Edgbaston, which was also his career-best.

“First of all, I am thankful for the fans for supporting me and cheering me on. After that, I am thankful to PCB and ICC and especially my Pakistan team for supporting and backing me. It wasn’t possible without them. I feel proud to have such a good team. I am also thankful to my parents who prayed a lot (for my success),” said Azam in his acceptance speech.

Babar might have played only six ODis in 2021, but he made vital contributions in the two series that Pakistan played this year.

He was the second-highest run-scorer with 228 runs and was the Player of the Match in both of Pakistan’s wins in the 2-1 series victory against South Africa. The architect of Pakistan’s chase of 274 in the first ODI, Babar made a century and laid the foundation with an 82-ball 94 in the final ODI where the visitors posted 320 batting first.

He was the lone warrior for Pakistan when they were swept by England 3-0. He accumulated 177 runs in three games but found no support none of the other batters managed to score more than 100 in the series.

Azam’s best performance this year came in a losing cause in the final ODI against England.

With the series already lost, Pakistan were playing for pride as well as crucial ICC Cricket World Cup Super League points in the third ODI at Birmingham. Put in to bat first, Pakistan posted 331, with Babar scoring close to half of the team’s runs.

Walking in to bat early in the innings, Babar strung a 92-run stand with Imam-ul-Haq to bail Pakistan out of trouble. He was cautious in his approach initially, bringing up his half-century in 72 balls. He made up for it by bringing up the next fifty runs in just 32 balls – it was his second ODI century of the year.

With the milestone out of the way, he exploded in the death overs and almost batted through the innings, getting out in the last over for 158, his highest-ever ODI score.

Unfortunately for Pakistan, James Vince and Lewis Gregory stole the show with a stunning 129-run stand for the sixth wicket as England chased the total down with two overs to spare.

Yorkshire, PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars enters into partnership

Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) on Wednesday announced to sign a partnership with Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Lahore Qalandars, which will include a player exchange programme to enable international players to learn from each other.

As part of the deal, Pakistan’s Haris Rauf will be now joining Yorkshire as an overseas player.

The county said that it wants to “learn from and emulate Lahore Qalandars’ Players Development Program (PDP)” which looks to scout and upskill players from across Pakistan.

The deal will also see scholarships for young, aspiring players from Yorkshire who will be travelling, training, and playing in Lahore, including access to the Qalandars’ first-class facilities, as well as opportunities for young people from Pakistan to come to Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, the two sides also announced to play a friendly game on January 16, 2022 in Lahore at the Ghaddafi Stadium which will serve as an opportunity for Yorkshire players to meet their Qalandars counterparts, and to lay the foundations for future years of knowledge sharing between the two clubs.

Commenting on the partnership, Professor The Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Chair of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: “The work the Lahore Qalandars do both on and off the pitch is remarkable and can serve as a benchmark for clubs around the world – ours included – for how best to spot, foster and support talent at all levels in the game of cricket.”

“The Players Development Program is an incredible achievement – breaking the mould for how teams can be created within our sport, and demonstrating that through offering access and support, great cricketing talent can be found from all backgrounds,” he added.

Meanwhile, Darren Gough, interim Managing Director of Yorkshire Cricket said: “I am thrilled to welcome the exceptionally talented Haris Rauf to our club. I am also excited by the opportunity to learn from the inspirational Players Development Program. I have spoken in the past about my passion for developing accessible pathways to cricket – for many people from a background like mine, cricket isn’t seen as an option, with the associated costs and access to facilities creating real barriers to entry.”

“This partnership is an opportunity to take the blueprint the Qalandars has developed to such a success and work with them to define how that can be used to provide access for potential players from across Yorkshire,” he added.

On the other hand, Sameen Rana, Chief Operating Officer, Lahore Qalandars expressed: “We are incredibly proud of our Players Development Program and our wider team in Lahore. The Program has had an immensely positive impact on both our club and those involved. We are looking forward to working with Darren, Lord Patel and the team as they look to create an inclusive and welcoming culture for all at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.”

Notably, the Qalandars have a similar partnership with Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Melbourne Stars.

PCB reviews domestic match fees policy for centrally contracted players

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has reportedly reviewed the domestic match fees policy for its centrally contracted players, according to which these players will now be entitled to the same match fee for playing domestic cricket like other cricketers.

Earlier, the PCB had announced that if a centrally contracted cricketer plays domestic cricket, he/she would be given 50 percent of the match fee, as per their central contract, for playing in a domestic cricket match.

As per reports, the board has taken this decision to attract cricketers, who have central contracts, to play in domestic cricket.

Reports however, suggested that the board has abruptly changed the policy. As per the new policy, players, who enjoy central contracts, will be paid the same amount of domestic match fees as everyone else.

“The PCB said it has ended the discrimination of perks and salaries at all levels with the new policy,” a PCB official was quoted as saying by Geo TV website.

“The PCB said that the seniority slab system to determine match fees was no longer applicable, adding that if the compensation for playing in international matches was the same then the same practice should also be adopted when it comes to domestic matches,” the report added.

Earlier on July 2, the PCB had announced the central contracts for its men’s team. In the new list, pacer Hassan Ali and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan were promoted to category A following their good shows in the recent past.

The PCB had announced the contracts after the Governing Board’s approval of the 2021-22 fiscal year’s budget, which will run from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

“It is an enhanced and performance-based central contract list 2021-22 for 20 elite male cricketers, including three emerging cricketers, in which match fee across all formats has been equalized,” the PCB statement had said.

The new list was finalised by the panel that comprised Director – International Cricket, Zakir Khan, chief selector Muhammad Wasim and Director – High Performance, Nadeem Khan, who also consulted Head Coach Misbah-ul-Haq and captain Babar Azam as part of the process.

Meanwhile, the PCB had demoted former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed to C category while Mohammad Hafeez was ignored from the list.

Moreover, the PCB  had also revised the renumeration packages of the players. After the revision, players in top category will get a 25 percent hike, however, there’s no increase in match fee for Test, ODI and T20Is.

Meanwhile, players in B category were also announced of a 25 percent raise while the Test match fee was increased by 15 percent, ODI match fee by 20 percent and T20I match fee by 25 percent.

On the other hand, players in C category were announced a 34 percent increase in Test match fee, 50 percent increase in ODIs and 67 percent rise in T20Is.

The Babar Azam-led Pakistan is currently touring Bangladesh for a three-match T20I series and a two-Test series.

The Green Brigade had recently won the T20I series 3-0 and will now face the hosts in the Test series with the first affair scheduled to begin on November 26 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.

The second Test will be held from December 4 in Dhaka.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali reprimanded for breaching ICC Code of Conduct

Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali has been reprimanded for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Code of Conduct during the first T20I against Bangladesh in Dhaka.

“Hasan was found to have breached Article 2.5 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel,” the ICC said in a statement on its website.

The Article relates to “using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his/her dismissal during an International Match.”

Notably, it was the first offence for Hasan Ali in a 24-month period and a demerit point has been added to his profile in addition, the ICC announced.

Significantly, the incident took place during in the 17th over of Bangladesh’s innings when batsman Nurul Hasan was dismissed, caught behind off a Hasan Ali delivery. Ali, a right-arm pacer, gave an inappropriate send-off to the Bangladeshi batsman.

Meanwhile, host Bangladesh cricket team was slapped 20% of their match fees for maintaining a slow over-rate in the match.

The Bangladesh cricket team were ruled to be one over short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.

Both Ali and Bangladesh captain Mohammad Mahmudullah admitted the offences and accepted the sanctions proposed by Neeyamur Rashid of the ICC International Panel of Match Referees and ratified by the ICC Cricket Operations department as per the COVID-19 interim playing regulations.

There was no need for formal hearings.

The charges were levelled against the two parties by on-field umpires Sharfudoulla Ibne Shahid and Masudur Rahman, third umpire Gazi Sohel and fourth official Tanvir Ahmed.

Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50% of a player’s match fee, and one or two demerit points.

Opting to bat after winning the toss, Bangladesh somehow crawled to 127/7 in the allotted 20 overs, thanks to some valuable contribution by Afif Hossain (36), Nurul Hasan (28) and Mahedi Hasan (30) as the visiting bowlers kept on jolting the hosts at regular intervals.

While Ali was the wrecker-in-chief with figures of 3/22, Mohammad Wasim Jr scalped couple of wickets for 24 runs. Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan picked a wicket apiece.

In return, Pakistan too, had a shaky start as they were once reeling at 23/3 in five overs. However, Fakhar Zaman and Khushdil Shah, stablized the innings with 34 runs each, to bring back Pakistan in the game.

Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan then chipped in with unbeaten 21 and 18 runs respectively to help Pakistan cross the line 19.2 overs.

The second match is currently underway in Dhaka while the third and final affair of the series will be held on November 22.

Both the side will then face each other in a two-match Test series, starting on November 26 in Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.

The second match will be held at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka from December 4.

Pakistan cricket broadcast deal worth over 200 million USD fails

A massive cricket broadcast deal, which was expected to fetch in over USD 200 million for the Pakistan Cricket Board, has reportedly fallen apart.

After the cancellation of the deal, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has now reportedly issued a new tender inviting bids for new media rights for its home internationals matches for the upcoming series against West Indies and Australia.

Earlier in 2020, the PCB had signed a three-year broadcast deal with the state broadcaster PTV along with an agreement with the Cable Association of Pakistan (CAP). THe deal with CAP had ensured that the PCB’s broadcast content is not redistributed without proper authorisation.

The official signing of the deal between PCB and PTV was held at Pakistan Prime Minister’s House in the presence of Imran Khan, who is also the PCB’s patron-in-chief.

After the agreement, the PTV got the rights to broadcast all Pakistan’s home bilateral matches besides the domestic cricket, ending PCB’s ties with long-time partner Ten Sports, which had broadcasted Pakistan’s home cricket since the 2000s.

Under the arrangement, along with the Pakistan International Home Series of the Senior Cricket Team, the Women’s and Junior cricket teams was set to be broadcast live on PTV Sports.

Also for the first time all the major Domestic tournaments, including the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the National T-20 Cup, the One Day Pakistan Cup and the National U-19 One-Day and National U-19 Three Day tournaments, was announced to be broadcast live on PTV Sports and distributed across Pakistan on cable networks.

The supporting cable distribution agreement, unlike in the past, was to ensure that the broadcast content of PCB cricket is not redistributed without proper authorization which was one of the reasons for greatly diminishing the value of PCB content.

As part of the agreement, the matches was not meant to be produced by PCB directly to the highest international standards and was not be bulked as part of the broadcasting deal as was done in the past. PCB will ensure the broadcast and distribution of Pakistan cricket across the globe.

It was for the first time in almost three decades when in 2020 the broadcasting rights of Pakistan Cricket in Pakistan were granted exclusively to a Pakistani broadcaster and that too the national broadcaster.

The aim was to maximize the opportunity for cricket fans in Pakistan to watch good competitive cricket almost throughout the year and follow the top cricketers and teams they support in the domestic season.

The broadcast deal had also marked the launch of rebuilding PTV’s production and broadcast capabilities, with a conversion of PTV Sports to HD broadcast format already in the pipeline to be followed by the acquisition of not only international quality production equipment but also training of its staff during the production by PCB of cricket matches in Pakistan.

It was also aimed to create the impetus to expedite the conversion of analogue cable to digital cable in Pakistan to ensure all cricket fans receive the highest quality and maximum quantity of cricket content on their television screens.

Govt will take a call on India’s participation in 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan at right time: Sports Minister

After the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced Pakistan as the host of the Champions Trophy in 2025, there has been a question on every cricket fan’s mind whether Team India will travel to neighbouring country or not.

Due to political tensions between the two nations, bilateral cricket has been suspended since a long time however, the two sides now only meet each other in ICC events.

Responding to a question on the issue, Indian Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur has nowsaid that the Indian government and the home ministry will make a call on India’s participation when the time comes.

“When the time will come, the Indian government and the home ministry will take a decision. During the international championships, all the factors are looked upon,” Thakur said.

“Even in the past, many countries have refused to play in Pakistan due to security concerns. As you all know, many players were even attacked while playing over there and that’s a big issue to be dealt with,” he added.

Pakistan has been largely starved of international cricket particularly since the 2009 attack on the touring Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore.

Earlier on Tuesday, the ICC had announced Pakistan as the host for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

Significantly, Pakistan had last staged an ICC event in 1996 when they co-hosted the 50-over World Cup with India and Sri Lanka and it will now be after 29 years when an ICC event returns to the country.

The hosts were selected via a competitive bidding process overseen by a Board sub-committee chaired by Martin Snedden along with Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Skerritt. The ICC Board accepted the recommendations of the committee who conducted a thorough review of each bid along with ICC management.

Earlier, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) newly appointed chairman Ramiz Raja had brushed aside the fears of any last-minute pullouts by the teams from the showpiece event.

“It is not going to happen. They [ICC] went through all the pros and cons and after going through the details, came to the conclusion that Pakistan is fit enough to host and administer the Champions Trophy. You shouldn’t worry at all. I don’t think there will be any negativity or any pullouts at all,” said the PCB chairman.

“We won’t be going to the UAE for the Asia Cup or the Champions Trophy. Not everything happens because of India. We are also here. Don’t worry,” he added.

Pakistan to host an ICC event after 29 long years

In a massive development, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced Pakistan as the host for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

Significantly, Pakistan had last staged an ICC event in 1996 when they co-hosted the 50-over World Cup with India and Sri Lanka and it will now be after 29 years when an ICC event returns t the cuntry.

Pakistan has been largely starved of international cricket particularly since the 2009 attack on the touring Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore.

The development came as the ICC confirmed the 14 host countries of ICC men’s white-ball events from 2024-2031 as per which, 11 full members and three associate members have been selected to host two ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups, four ICC Men’s T20 World Cups and two ICC Men’s Champions Trophy events.

Commenting on the development, and elated Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja thanked the ICC for awarding the Champions Trophy 2025 to Pakistan and said that the event will showcase his country’s passion for the sport.

In a statement, issued by the PCB, Raja said: “I am pleased no-end with the ICC’s decision to select Pakistan as a host nation for one of their elite tournaments. By allocating a major global event to Pakistan, the ICC has expressed complete confidence and faith in our management and operational capabilities and skills.”

“We have continued to demonstrate how a great host we are and through the ICC Champions Trophy 2025, we will again showcase our passion and love for the sport as this event will be a boon to the millions of home fans, who will see world class teams and their favourite international players from close quarters,” he added.

Notably, PCB has been trying its best for the return of international cricket in the country.

“We not only endeavour to plan and deliver a world-class event, we will also prepare and field a strong and formidable side that can perform and entertain our home fans. We saw during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup campaign how the nation got united and the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 at home will be another opportunity to further strengthen that bond as we defend the title,” Raja further expressed.

Also, it will be for the first time when the USA and Namibia will host an ICC World Cup event as the former has been selected as the co-host of the 2024 T20 World Cup while the latter, an African nation, will jointly host the 2027 One-Day International (ODI) World Cup with South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Significantly, the hosts were selected via a competitive bidding process overseen by a Board sub-committee chaired by Martin Snedden along with Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Skerritt. The ICC Board accepted the recommendations of the committee who conducted a thorough review of each bid along with ICC management.

The global cricket governing boday also said that a similar process to identify the hosts for ICC Women’s and U19s events for the next cycle will be undertaken early next year.

PCB signs P&G’s Always as Female Hygiene Partner for Pak-Windies women series

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced Procter & Gamble (P&G) hygiene product – Always – as the official “Female Hygiene Partner” for the three-match one-day series between Pakistan and West Indies women.

The first match was played on Monday with West Indies securing an emphatic 45-run victory, the second match was also won by visitors (37 runs) which has given them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

The third and final match of the series will be played on Sunday at the National Stadium Karachi.

The PCB-P&G partnership will last till 31 December 2021, the board has announced

Commenting on the development, PCB Acting Chief Executive Salman Naseer said: “We want to thank P&G for coming forward for this partnership with Pakistan women’s team. The PCB is fully committed to further promoting the women’s game and the series against the West Indies is a testament of that. The two teams have played a competitive series and I wish them the best for the third match on Sunday.

“I am also hopeful that after the current agreement ends, PCB and P&G enter into a long term partnership and a mutually beneficial business relationship,” he added.

On the other hand, P&G Pakistan Country Marketing Director Muhammad Khurram Kidwai said: “Always is committed to the cause of building girls’ confidence for close to 20 years in Pakistan, and we are always looking for ways to go the extra mile.”

“At P&G, we are passionate about equal opportunity and our leading feminine-care brand Always, gives us this unique space to continue our impact by promoting women’s advancement as professional athletes and leaders in the sport sector,” he added.

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T20 World Cup: Rizwan & Malik declared fit for semi-final game against Australia

In what comes as a huge relief for Pakistan, opener Mohammad Rizwan and middle-order batsman Shoaib Malik have been declared fit by their medical team to feature in the crucial semi-final game against Australia of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021.

As both Rizwan and Malik were down with mild flu and fever and were forced to stay away from training on the eve of the game, there were doubts over their participation for the crucial contest.

Meanwhile, the duo have also tested negative for Covid-19 twice in three days.

According to a Espncricinfo report, both Pakistan batters woke up on Wednesday morning with what a team official described as “light flu and low fever”, and were advised to stay back in the hotel and were kept under observation. On the other hand, the rest of the squad members and support staff of Pakistan team went ahead with their training sessions at the ICC Academy premises.

Pakistan team Manager Mansoor Rana had earlier said that the players were feeling better and the management was hopeful that both of them will be in action on Thursday against Australia. “Rizwan and Shoaib want to play in the semi-final,” Rana had said.

Meanwhile, there was no Covid-19 scare in the team at any point and it is understood that the team management had expected Rizwan and Malik to be available for the game.

Significantly, both Rizwan and Malik have played a key role for Pakistan in the tournamnet so far. Especially attacking opener Rizwan is in great form as he has amassed 214 runs in five games while Malik has made crucial runs in the middle-order.

Malik’s 50 off just 18 balls against Scotland is the joint fastest in this World Cup with KL Rahul.

Until now, Pakistan have remained undefeated in the Super 12 stage of the tournament. The Green Brigade has defeated arch-rivals India, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Namibia, and Scotland in the league stage.

In a virtual press conference a day earlier before the game, skipper Babar Azam had said that he was confident that his side will carry their winning momentum and perform well against Australia in the semi-final contest on Thursday.

Babar had said that their were some minor flaws in all the matches which sometimes related to batting, sometimes bowling but he and the team management have tried to fix them all ahead of the do-or-die game against Australia.

The winner of the game between Australia and Pakistan will meet New Zealand in the summit clash in Dubai on November 14. The Kane Williamson-led Black Caps had defeated England by five wickets in the first semi-final in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to enter the final of the showpiece event.

England will play two additional T20Is in Pakistan next year: ECB CEO

The England men’s cricket team will play two additional T20Is against the hosts when they tour Pakistan in September-October 2022, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chief Executive Tom Harrison has announced.

The announcement by the ECB CEO was made after his meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) newly appointed Chairman Ramiz Raja in Lahore on Tuesday.

Notably, the ECB’s top administrator has flown to Pakistan to re-establish relations with the PCB which was strained after England cancelled its Pakistan tour in September, citing “increasing concerns about travelling to the region”, just days after New Zealand also pulled out of a tour to Pakistan over security concerns.

Commenting on his meeting with Raja, ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison said: “Myself and ECB’s Senior Director Martin Darlow visited Lahore to talk face to face with the PCB around some of the things that have happened over the past few weeks, leading to the cancelation of our tour in October. We also wanted to discuss the future as the two boards have a historic relationship and want to move the agenda towards a forward-looking one as opposed to one looking back.”

“We’re happy to announce that we’ll play two extra white-ball T20Is on our men’s tour of Pakistan in September/October 2022. We will then return after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia to complete the Test match element of that tour. This is just to reaffirm our commitment to Pakistan cricket to getting England teams, men’s and women’s teams, eventually playing in Pakistan at home. I don’t think there’s a cricketer in England who doesn’t want to test their abilities against the huge talent this country has and in the conditions they know best,” he added.

On the other hand, Raja expressed: “The ECB have shown their large heartedness to be here for which I am thankful to Tom and Martin. It means a lot to us. We are excited that England have committed to playing two additional T20Is as part of their white-ball tour in September/October in 2022. We put in lot of efforts to make sure that all visiting teams are comfortable in Pakistan. As such, it is a matter of pride for the Pakistan fans, who look forward to welcoming Australia and England in 2022.”

“England have got a great team and it’s mind-boggling how they’ve produced so many match-winners in a span of about five to seven years. They play very engaging and attractive cricket, which is fantastic for the fans and a big advertisement of the game,” he added.

After Pakistan, Harrison is scheduled to visit the UAE later this week for an International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executives’ meeting.

Earlier, the ECB after cancelling the recent tour, had assured the PCB that it will play a full series against Pakistan next year.