Tag Archives: Pakistan

Babar Azam overtakes Kohli for longest period as No. 1 batter in ICC T20I rankings

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is now officially the top-ranked T20 batter in the world for the longest period of time, surpassing Virat Kohli’s tenure, after he maintained his spot at the head of proceedings in the latest ICC T20 batting rankings released on Wednesday.

India cricketer Kohli was the No.1 ranked T20 batter for a total of 1,013 days during his reign last decade, but Azam has now surpassed this number following his long-standing stay at the top.

The Pakistan skipper is currently rated as the No.1 batter in T20Is and ODIs and recently suggested he was keen to try and claim top billing in all three formats of the game.

There was little change within the latest T20I rankings released on Wednesday, with India left-hander Ishan Kishan dropping one place inside the top-10 to seventh on the list for batters.

Ireland’s young batter Harry Tector moved up a 55 places to 66th following his impressive series with the bat against India, while Deepak Hooda jumped 414 spots to equal 104th overall.

While former England Test skipper Joe Root hangs on to his narrow lead as the top-ranked Test batter, there is big movement behind him following the completion of England’s three-Test home series against New Zealand.

Player of the Series Daryl Mitchell of New Zealand rose four places to 12th on the latest batter rankings, while fellow Kiwi Tom Blundell jumped 11 spots to 20th.

Root’s England team-mate Jonny Bairstow also caught the eye with a 20-place improvement seeing the 32-year-old move to 21st on the Test batter list.

New Zealand’s Neil Wagner dropped a spot to 10th on the latest rankings for bowlers, with England duo Stuart Broad (up one spot to 13th) and Jack Leach (up 13 places to 25th) among the notable movers.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan dropped a spot to third on the all-rounder rankings following a disappointing second Test against West Indies, with India veteran Ravichandran Ashwin taking his place in second.

West Indies’ left-hander Kyle Mayers jumped three places to eighth on the all-rounder rankings following his ‘Player of the Match’ performance against Bangladesh.

The recent rise of Australia’s Josh Hazlewood as a dominant white-ball bowler continued as the in-form seamer moved up two places to equal fifth on the latest ODI rankings.

Hazlewood is already No.1 on the T20 rankings and his move up the ODI list comes on the back of a strong spell of 2/22 in the final 50-over match of the series against Sri Lanka.

Chris Woakes’ absence during England’s recent ODI series against the Netherlands saw the tall seamer drop two spots to fourth on the latest rankings, with New Zealand quick Matt Henry (second) and Pakistan speedster Shaheen Afridi (third) both rising a place behind the top-ranked Trent Boult.

There is also a small re-shuffle inside the top 10 on the ODI batter rankings, with Australia skipper Aaron Finch dropping two spots to 12th as Root and Shai Hope move up to equal 10th.

ICC ODI rankings: Pakistan push India to fifth spot after clean sweep vs Windies

After their recent success in the three-match series against the West Indies in Multan, the Babar Azam-led Pakistan side has pushed India to the fifth spot in the latest round of ICC ODI rankings, which was released on Monday, .

Pakistan recently made a clean sweep against the touring Windies in the three-match series and accumulated 106 rating points. The Green Brigade now lead India by a point.

New Zealand are currently leading the charts with 125 rating points and are followed by England (124) and Australia (107) at the second and the third place respectively.

Notably before the start of the ODI series, Pakistan were placed fifth in the rankings with a rating of 102.

Pakistan have enjoyed a brilliant last couple of years in the 50-over format. Apart from the blip against England away from home, they have taken on all comers and emerged victorious, including 2-1 series wins against Zimbabwe and South Africa.

They defeated Australia by the same margin when they came to visit Pakistan for the first time since 1998. West Indies stood no chance against Pakistan as they were rampaged 3-0.

This period of upsurgence has come under the captaincy of Babar Azam, who has led by example for Pakistan in all formats of the game. With his recent century in the first match against West Indies, he became the first batter to score three consecutive ODI centuries twice, having previously achieved the feat in 2016 as well.

And with a fifty in the second ODI, he broke the world record for most consecutive 50-plus scores (9) in men’s international cricket across all formats.

The top-ranked ODI batter has built a troop of trusted players along the way. One of them is Imam-ul-Haq, who has enjoyed a purple patch of late and has seven scores of 50-plus in his last seven ODIs to show for his efforts.

ICC Men’s Player of the Year Shaheen Afridi has been the leader of the pack of bowlers that consists of Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan, among others.

Pakistan to play just two Tests in Sri Lanka as ODI series scrapped: Report

The Pakistan cricket team will only play a two-match Test series against hosts Sri Lanka during their upcoming tour of the island nation as the three-match One-day International series has reportedly been cancelled.

The Pakistan cricket team is scheduled to tour the island nation in July-August this year, with the series being a part of the 2021-2023 ICC World Test Championship (WTC).

The final dates of the tour are yet to be announced by the two boards.

Notably, the three-match ODI series was not a part of the ICC World Cup Super League. As per a report in Cricket Pakistan, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had requested the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to remove ODIs as they were planning to stage the Lanka Premier League (LPL) “one week before the scheduled time”.

The report quoting PCB director, media, Sami-ul-Hasan Burney, said that, “Sri Lankan board wants to start their league a week ago to reduce the financial deficit, so they asked us to remove the ODI series, which was accepted. Since the ODIs were not part of the World Cup Super League, we did not object.”

“The final schedule of the series is still being discussed and will be released soon,” it added.

The report further added that the month-long Australian tour of Sri Lanka in June-July could well decide the future of international cricket in the island nation as it is witnessing the worst economic crisis in the recent times.

Australia are scheduled to begin the tour with the first of the three T20I in Colombo on June 7, which will be followed by a five-match ODI series and finally the two Tests in Galle.

As per reports, if Cricket Australia (CA) denies to play the series due to the current economic and political crisi in the island country, the hosting of the Asia Cup in August-September in Sri Lanka will also be in ‘jeopardy’.

The report said that only 12 hours of electricity was being provided to households in the country and due to the power cuts, hosting day-night matches could become a severe poblem as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) could face a fuel shortage to run the generators of the stadium.

Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi named ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year

Pakistan left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi was on Monday named as the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year for 2021.

After the development, Afridi, 21, is has now become the youngest cricketer ever to get the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy and is also the first Pakistani player to receive the honour. Meanwhile, it is also the fourth individual trophy won by by Pakistan in this edition of the ICC awards.

Notably, Afridi, was on fire throughout 2021 as he knocked out some of the best batters over across all three formats of the game and reached his peak during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in UAE where he impressed one and all with his sheer speed and skills.

At the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Afridi scalped seven wickets from just six matches and helped Pakistan formidably enter the semi-finals of the tournament.

His most memorable performance was at the high stakes game against India at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. He claimed three wickets in that match which included the wickets of opening pair Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul and that of India captain Virat Kohli in the death overs.

In the Test format, Afridi remained consistent and claimed 47 wickets in only nine matches at a staggering average of 17.06.

Commenting on receiving the honour Shaheen Afridi, said: “I feel truly honoured and privileged to become the first Pakistan cricketer to win the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year. I had always dreamt of doing something unique and special for Pakistan. In this background, I am elated and thank Almighty for blessing me with this respect.”

“I also feel humbled to join a galaxy of legends who have previously won the Garfield Sobers Trophy. I have grown up watching the exploits of these cricketers and now to be bracketed with them is a matter of great honour and pride for me, my family, my teammates and my country,” he added.

Afridi further felt that the most magnificent performances for him was the one against India when he packed back the star Indian trio of Rohit, Rahul and Kohli.

“This award is a testament to the high quality of cricket we played as a group during another difficult and challenging year. This required a lot of mental and physical toughness on a consistent basis, and I am glad we all were able to maintain the high standards to live up to the expectations of our fans,” he said.

“Every performance I gave for Pakistan was enjoyable and memorable and was made possible through the support of my teammates. But to me, the standout performances remained the three wickets against India in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, and the 18 wickets I took in the two-Test series against the West Indies in Jamaica,” Afridi expressed.

Significantly, Pakistani players rule the ICC Awards 2021 as apart from Afridi, skipper Babar Azam has been named as the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year, Fatima Sana as ICC Emerging Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2021 while wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan as the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year.

ACA confident of selected Aussie players touring of Pakistan

Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) CEO Todd Greenberg has reckoned that all the Australian players selected for the upcoming month-long tour of Pakistan will not have any reservations touring the country in March-April this year.

Notably, Australia is scheduled to play three Tests, as many ODIs and a one-off T20 International on their Pakistan tour, which will begin with the first Test at the National Stadium in Karachi on March 3. Significantly, the upcoming tour will be Australia’s maiden tour of Pakistan since 1998.

The last time when Australia had toured Pakistan in 1998, the Mark Taylor-led touring side had won the three-Test series 1-0.

“I think everyone will go,” Greenberg was quoted as saying by sen.com.au on Wednesday.

“It’s a very significant tour with three Test matches. Talking to (the) players, they want to test themselves against the very best in the world and they want to play in different conditions,” he added.

After the recently concluded Ashes seires, Australia’s focus will now be on Pakistan tour as it would be very significant for Test players like Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja.

Although Labuschagne may be the No.1 ranked Test bastman globally, however, he is to play a Test in the sub-continent. On the other hand, Khawaja, who had slammed centuries in both the innings of the fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), would aim to repeat the good show in Pakistan.

“As Australians, we’ve got a duty to the broader international game to continue to play cricket (overseas),” Greenberg said.

“We can’t just expect teams to continue to tour Australia and for us not to make that same level of commitment,” he added.

Meanwhile, Greenberg further admitted that Australia not touring Pakistan in the last 24 years was because of the turmoil in the country. He however, said that Cricket Australia (CA) will do everything possible to ensure the highest security measures are in place.

“We’re not taking any chance and we’re doing everything possible to protect them… not just to the players but their families. We’ll take a really strong team and players will embrace that opportunity,” he added.

The upcoming Test series beween touring Australia and hosts Pakistan will be played as part of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), while the ODIs will be connected to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League – a 13-team event from which the seven highest-placed sides and the hosts, India, will qualify directly for the event proper in 2023.

Last year, New Zealand had abandoned their limited-overs tour of Pakistan in September due to security issues and had flown out from the country. The series was abandoned just few hours before the start of the first ODI.

Later, the England men’s and women’s teams had also called off their short tours to Pakistan before the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE. Notably, England was looking at the tour as a prepration for the showpiece event, who was held in the UAE.

Sussex signs Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan for 2022 season

English county club Sussex on Thursday announced to sign Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan for the upcoming 2022 summer season after releasing former skipper Ben Brown on request.

After the signing, Rizwan will be available for the club from early April and will participate in the County Championship and T20 Blast.

Rizwan will join Sussex following Australia’s tour of Pakistan that concludes in early April.

Issuing a statement, the club said: “Sussex Cricket is extremely excited to announce the signing of Pakistani wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan for the majority of the 2022 season.”

On the other hand, an elated Rizwan said: “Dear Sussex Family, assalamu alaikum. I am absolutely honoured and excited to be a part of the historic Sussex County Cricket Club for the 2022 season. I have always heard great things about the Sussex community and this family club was always close to my heart.”

“In my heart, I know our young team has the potential to beat any team. Our strength lies in our hard work, honesty, deep commitment, and self-belief: we can win, we will win, and we will play like champions, no matter what! In shaa Allah, I look forward to a great season,” he added.

On the other hand, Ian Salisbury, Sussex’s Championship and One-Day Head Coach, said: “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really disappointed to learn we’d be losing a player of Ben Brown’s quality. Now that has happened, though, we have to look forward and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to act quickly over the last week or so to secure the services of one of the world’s best keeper-batters as a replacement.”

“Mohammad’s first-class and Test records speak for themselves and it’s a huge coup to welcome him to Sussex for a big chunk of next season’s Championship. As well as his playing credentials, it’s clear from speaking to people like Mushy [Mushtaq Ahmed] and Saqlain [Mushtaq] that Mohammad will also be a wonderful addition to the dressing room. He and Travis [Head] are exactly the kind of experienced, international cricketers that our emerging lads can learn a huge amount from. Oli [Carter] has mentioned in the past how Mohammad is a big hero of his, so he is particularly excited. We all are, to be honest. It’s fantastic news and we can now get on with preparations for next summer with key positions filled,” he added.

Meanwhile, James Kirtley, Sussex’s T20 Head Coach, expressed: “Sussex are incredibly lucky to secure the services of Mohammad Rizwan. There is only a select number of players that have scored centuries in all three formats. On top of this he averages around 40 in all formats at an impressive strike rate. Couple this with his ability to keep wicket and he is one of the most exciting cricketers in the world. He will be an excellent replacement at the top of the order and with the gloves in our Blast team and I am extremely pleased to be filling that gap with an international player of his calibre.”

Earlier, Sussex had announced that it has agreed to Ben Brown’s request to be released from his contract with the club.

Notably, after graduating from the club’s youth pathway, Brown made his first team debut for Sussex in 2007. Since then, he has made 318 appearances across all formats, scoring 10,843 runs, taking 543 catches and executing 40 stumpings. Ben also captained Sussex in Championship and one-day cricket for four years after being appointed during the 2017 season.

All teams will travel to Pakistan for 2025 Champions Trophy: ICC

It will be after 29 long years when an ICC event will mark a return to Pakistan as the International Cricket Council (ICC) had last week announced Pakistan as the host for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

However, despite being announced as the host for the prestigious tournament, there has been uncertainty over the participation of teams in the tournament, particularly India.

Bilateral cricket between the two neighbouring nation has been suspended since a long time and the two teams only square off in ICC events. However, with the tournament in Pakistan, it is not clear whether the Men in Blue will travel to its neighbouring country.

On the other hand, international sides have largely stayed away from touring Pakistan since an attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009, which had killed six policemen and two civilians.

ICC chairman Greg Barclay was asked if the global body was confident teams would travel to Pakistan to which he replied: “From what we can see, absolutely. We wouldn’t have awarded the event if we didn’t think Pakistan was capable of hosting it.

“I’m sure, as with all countries, they will put together appropriate security plans to deliver the event. We’re comfortable and confident it will go ahead,” he added.

Meanwhile, speaking on the possibility of India’s chances of visiting Pakistan Barclay admitted that it would be a “challenging issue” and said that the ICC is not responsible to control the “geopolitical forces”. He however, hoped that the sport rekindles the cricketing ties between the two nations.

“Yeah, we know it is a particularly challenging issue to work through, but from my point of view, I cannot control geopolitical forces. I just hope cricket can be a force to help improve relationships between countries. That is the one great thing sport can do is to help people and nations come together. If it can help in contributing to that, then it is fantastic,” he expressed.

Recently, New Zealand and England had called off their Pakistan tours due to security concerns.

Few days back, Indian Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur had said 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.

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 cuntry.

Bangladesh include uncapped Mahmudul Hasan, Rejaur Rahman for Chittagong Test against Pakistan

Hosts Bangladesh have called up uncapped batsman Mahmudul Hasan and pace bowler Rejaur Rahman for first match of the Alesha Holdings two-match Test series against Pakistan, starting on November 26 in Chittagong.

Under-19 World Cup winner Mahmudul, 21, was included in the Test squad after he had a promising start to his first-class career as he smashed couple of back-to-back hundreds in the the last two rounds of the National Cricket League (NCL).

On the other hand, pacer Rejaur, who has represented the BCB High Performance and Emerging Teams, had a decent outing in first-class cricket, where he he has scalped 33 wickets from just 10 matches.

Commenting on the Inclusion of Hasan and Raja, BCB Chairman National Selection Panel Minhajul Abedin said: “It is still early days for him but Mahmudul has showed good temperament for the longer version. He is also an in-form batsman. With injury concerns to Taskin (Ahmed) and Shoriful (Islam), we needed to keep our pace bowling options open and Raja got the nod.”

“We have been monitoring his performances in first class competitions. He is strong and energetic and has a knack for taking wickets,” he added.

Further speaking on the balance of the team, Abedin said: “There is a fair bit of experience if you consider that Mominul (Haque), Mushfiqur (Rahim), Shakib, Taijul (Islam) and Miraz (Mehidy Hasan) are all part of the squad. We will obviously have to wait to see if Shakib makes it for the first Test but these players have been the most consistent performers for us in Tests and their presence can make a difference.”

“We have options in the spin department as well as in pace. The team for the first Test is made up of cricketers who have been playing together regularly and they know the demands of Test matches. Pakistan are a formidable team but we are confident that Bangladesh will be competitive if we are disciplined and patient.”

On the other hand, Bangladesh ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is also included in the squad but will have his fitness assessed before being considered for the first Test, the BCB said in a statement.

Significantly, Pakistan won the preceding three-match T20 series 3-0.

The second and final Test of the series will be held in Dhaka from Decemebr 4.

Bangaldesh Squad:

Mominul Haque (captain), Shadman Islam, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Abu Jayed Chowdhury, Yasir Ali, Mahmudul Hasan, Rejaur Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan (subject to fitness)

FanCode to exclusively live-stream Pakistan tour of Bangladesh in India

FanCode, India’s premier digital sports destination for all fans, will exclusively live-stream all matches of Pakistan’s tour of Bangladesh commencing on Friday with the first match of the T20I series at Sher-E-Bangla Stadium, Dhaka.

The second and third fixture will be played on November 20 and 22 at the same venue.

The digital exclusive rights will also include two Test matches, first in Chattogram from November 26 followed by a return to Dhaka for the 2nd Test starting December 4.

This will be Pakistan’s first tour to Bangladesh since 2015 and the two-match Test series will be the part of the ICC World Test Championship points table.

The tour will be live-streamed on the FanCode App and www.fancode.com. For all cricket fans across India, FanCode will provide a comprehensive match experience through interactive live streaming with customizable data overlays, fastest interactive live match scores, muti-media live commentary, match highlights, and so on.

Through FC Stats, sports fans can access in-depth sports analytics, insights, and tips to hone their skill and knowledge on the matches, players, teams, and overall sport.

Recently, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had formed a two-member committee, comprising board directors Enayet Husain Siraj and Jalal Yunus, to review the national team’s performance in the just concluded ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

”The committee has been entrusted with taking the views of Bangladesh squad members (Players and Team Management) and relevant stakeholders to assess why the team could not deliver the expected performance in the event and share its findings with the board,” the BCB had said in a statement.

Notably, the Mohammaed Mahmudullah-led Bangladesh side failed to register a single victory from their five games in the Super 12 stage while they also lost to minnows Scotland in the qualifiers.

Despite defeating Australia and New Zealand in home T20I series before the start of the showpiece event, the Bangla Tigers put up a below-par show in the World Cup.

Bangaldesh was only able to register wins against new comers Oman and Papua New Guinea in Al Amerat in the qualifiying round by 26 and 84 runs respectively.

After finishing the qualifying round at the second spot behind Scotland in Group B, the Bangla Tigers somehow managed to enter the Super 12 round.

Placed in the Group 1 of the Super 12 stage, Bangladesh lost all their league games against England, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies. They finished the Super 12 stage without any win, placed at the bottom of the points table.

To further add to their miseries, Bangladesh star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was ruled out of in the latter part of the tournament due to a hamstring injury. Notably, Shakib had picked up the injury in his left leg during the contest against West Indies on October 29 and following a 48-hour observation period, the team’s medical staff decided to rule him out of the showpiece event.

On the other hand, the Babar Azam-led Pakistan made to the semi-finals of the showpiece event before going down against champions Australia. The Green Brigade had earlier, won all of their five games in the Super 12 stage,

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.