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Paris Olympics Qualifiers: Pakistani boxer goes missing in Italy

Courtesy: Geo Super

LAHORE: Pakistan suffered a major setback when Asian bronze medallist Zohaib Rasheed went missing in Italy, which is hosting the World Qualifying round for the Paris Olympics boxing in Busto Arsizio Arena in the outskirts of Milan.

This correspondent has learnt that Zohaib vanished on Saturday from the team hotel. Coach Arshad Hussain had gone for attending the managers meeting and then the draws ceremony and when he returned to hotel at around 9 pm local time Zohaib was nowhere.

He left some luggage at hotel room while he took some of his belongings. When the other four Pakistani boxers featuring in the Qualifiers were going down for training on Saturday Zohaib told them that he would undergo training upstairs as it was very cold downstairs. And he did not meet his fellows then.

Zohaib got the key of the room from the reception and he took his passport with him before leaving the hotel. He has got a one-month Schengen visa.

This correspondent has learnt that the head coach filed a report in the nearby police station and the police were also provided with all the details and picture of the athlete.

The police assured the Pakistan boxing team management that they would make every effort to trace Zohaib who belongs to a very respectable department. Zohaib belongs to a boxing family of Lyari and it is strange that he vanished at a major stage where the world’s top boxers had assembled to fight for the Olympics slots.

Zohaib’s fight in the 51kg was due on Sunday against Omid Ahmadisafa of Boxing Refugee Team. Zohaib was regarded as the major hope of Pakistan and had the ability to make a cut for this year’s Paris Olympics.

Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) has also informed the Local Organising Committee (LOC) about Zohaib’s matter. This is the third boxer in recent years who vanished in Europe.

After featuring in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games the country’s two major boxers Suleman Baloch and Nazirullah had vanished. Just before the Commonwealth Games, Pakistan’s top swimmer and four-time national champion Faizan Akbar left team hotel and vanished just after arriving in Budapest, Hungary, for the World Swimming Championship in June 2022.

Faizan and the two boxers (Suleman, Nazirullah) also belonged to the highly respectable department. Due to the poor economic situation, the country’s major athletes have been seen vanishing in Europe which is a huge challenge for Pakistan’s sports authorities.

The PBF had invested a lot on Zohaib as he had been growing as a fighter with every passing day. He had to his credit bronze in the Asian Under-22 and Asian Senior Championship. Last year in Hangzhou he fell in the quarter-finals against the world’s top fighter following a brave fight in the Asian Games which also served as qualifiers for the Paris Olympics.

1- Header image: This correspondent has learnt that Zohaib (L) vanished on Saturday from the team hotel. – PSB/File
Courtesy: Geo Super LAHORE: Pakistan suffered a major setback when Asian bronze medallist Zohaib Rasheed went missing in Italy, which is hosting the World Qualifying round for the Paris Olympics boxing in Busto Arsizio Arena in the outskirts of Milan. This correspondent has learnt that Zohaib vanished on Saturday from the team hotel. Coach Arshad Hussain had gone for attending the managers meeting and then the draws ceremony and when he returned to hotel at around 9 pm local time Zohaib was nowhere. He left some luggage at hotel room while he took some of his belongings. When the other four Pakistani boxers featuring in the Qualifiers were going down for training on Saturday Zohaib told them that he would undergo training upstairs as
Karachi Kings’ Kieron Pollard leaves PSL 9 to attend Mukesh Ambani’s son’s wedding in India

Courtesy: Geo News

Numerous international players are also set to join extravagant wedding festivities of Anant Ambani

Karachi Kings’ batter Kieron Pollard has temporarily parted ways with the team to attend the grand wedding of Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani’s son in India. The cricket star secured a four-day leave from Karachi Kings for the occasion and is expected to arrive in Jamnagar, India, today.

Sources revealed that besides Indian cricketers, international players are also set to join the extravagant wedding festivities of Anant Ambani. Notably, Pollard had previously represented the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for an extended period.

Karachi Kings is scheduled to face Multan Sultans in their upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL) match on March 3. The temporary departure of Pollard for the high-profile wedding highlights the intersection of sports and glamour, particularly in the context of the renowned Ambani family, known for hosting opulent celebrations.

Mukesh Ambani’s previous daughter’s wedding in 2018 was a lavish affair, reportedly costing around $100 million, featuring receptions in Rajasthan, Mumbai, and Lake Como in Italy, complete with a performance by American pop star Beyoncé.

The upcoming wedding for Ambani’s youngest son, 28-year-old Anant Ambani, is anticipated to surpass previous extravagance.

1- Header image: Karachi Kings’ Kieron Pollard (left) and Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant. — PSL/Reuters
Courtesy: Geo News Numerous international players are also set to join extravagant wedding festivities of Anant Ambani Karachi Kings’ batter Kieron Pollard has temporarily parted ways with the team to attend the grand wedding of Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani’s son in India. The cricket star secured a four-day leave from Karachi Kings for the occasion and is expected to arrive in Jamnagar, India, today. Sources revealed that besides Indian cricketers, international players are also set to join the extravagant wedding festivities of Anant Ambani. Notably, Pollard had previously represented the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for an extended period. Karachi Kings is scheduled to face Multan Sultans in their upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL) match on March 3. The temporary departure
PCB terminates pace ace Haris Rauf’s central contract

Courtesy: Dawn News

Pace ace Haris Rauf’s central contract was terminated by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday following a probe into his alleged refusal to join Pakistan’s Test squad for the tour of Australia 2023-24, the cricket board said in a press release.

In November, chief selector Wahab Riaz had revealed that Rauf refused to take part in the Test tour of Australia and told selectors he wanted to focus on white ball cricket and manage his workload.

According to ESPNCricinfo a source close to the player revealed that Rauf had never committed to playing the Test matches in Australia. Riaz said that Rauf’s decision would “hurt Pakistan cricket”.

“After a thorough hearing process conducted by a PCB committee and taking into consideration the views of all stakeholders involved in the matter, Haris’ central contract has been terminated from December 1, 2023, and no NOC (No objection certificate) to play any foreign league will be granted up to June 30, 2024,” the press release said.

It said that the board had provided Rauf a chance for a personal hearing in compliance with the principles of natural justice, however, the board found his response unsatisfactory.

“The PCB states that playing for Pakistan is the ultimate honour and privilege for any sportsperson,” it said.

“Refusal to be part of Pakistan’s Test squad in the absence of any medical report or justifiable reason is a material violation of the central contract,” it added.

Courtesy: Dawn News Pace ace Haris Rauf’s central contract was terminated by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday following a probe into his alleged refusal to join Pakistan’s Test squad for the tour of Australia 2023-24, the cricket board said in a press release. In November, chief selector Wahab Riaz had revealed that Rauf refused to take part in the Test tour of Australia and told selectors he wanted to focus on white ball cricket and manage his workload. According to ESPNCricinfo a source close to the player revealed that Rauf had never committed to playing the Test matches in Australia. Riaz said that Rauf’s decision would “hurt Pakistan cricket”. “After a thorough hearing process conducted by a PCB committee and taking into consideration the views of all stakeholders
CAN-NED: Nepal jails cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane for 8 years in rape case

Courtesy: Geo News/AFP

CAN — Cricket Association of Nepal — suspended Lamichhane in early September last year after an arrest warrant was issued against him

Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane has been handed an eight-year prison sentence by the Kathmandu District Court after being found guilty of raping an 18-year-old woman.

The verdict was delivered on January 10, accompanied by a fine of Rs 300,000 (approximately $2,255) and an additional compensation order of Rs 200,000 (approximately $1,500) for the victim.

Lamichhane’s suspension by the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) occurred in early September last year, coinciding with an arrest warrant issued against him.

At that time, Lamichhane, then the Nepal captain, was participating in CPL 2022 with Jamaica Tallawahs in the West Indies. The club promptly announced his departure from the tournament following the suspension.

Expressing intentions to appeal the decision in a higher court, Lamichhane’s lawyer, Saroj Ghimire, confirmed the legal challenge.

Lamichhane, who had previously asserted his innocence on Facebook, labelling the charges as a “conspiracy and wrongful allegation,” returned to Nepal’s cricket side in February amidst controversy.

Notably, during a Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series, opposing players refrained from shaking hands with him, reflecting the contentious nature of the situation.

Despite the conviction, Lamichhane continued his cricket appearances, featuring in events like the ODI World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe and the ODI Asia Cup.

The cricketer led PARSA Club XI to victory on December 29, the same day of his conviction, in a Nepal Pro Club Championship match in Birgunj.

1- Header image: Sandeep Lamichhane at a practice session for Delhi Daredevils in New Delhi.—AFP/File
Courtesy: Geo News/AFP CAN — Cricket Association of Nepal — suspended Lamichhane in early September last year after an arrest warrant was issued against him Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane has been handed an eight-year prison sentence by the Kathmandu District Court after being found guilty of raping an 18-year-old woman. The verdict was delivered on January 10, accompanied by a fine of Rs 300,000 (approximately $2,255) and an additional compensation order of Rs 200,000 (approximately $1,500) for the victim. Lamichhane’s suspension by the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) occurred in early September last year, coinciding with an arrest warrant issued against him. At that time, Lamichhane, then the Nepal captain, was participating in CPL 2022 with Jamaica Tallawahs in the West Indies. The club
Australia beat Pakistan by 79 runs to win second Test and series

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP/Reuters

A fired-up Pat Cummins bagged five wickets and 10 for the match to earn Australia a nail-biting 79-run win in the second Test and clinch the series against Pakistan on Friday.

Set 317 to win, the visitors put up a stellar fight, but were dismissed for 237, with the last five wickets falling for just 18 runs.

Cummins was the chief destroyer, taking 5-49 to go with his first innings of 5-48 — only the second 10-wicket haul of his Test career. Just when it looked like the match would go down to the wire on the final day, the pacer stepped in to remove batter Mohammad Rizwan and claim his 250th test wicket.

Mitchell Starc chipped in with 4-55 as the tail collapsed after Shan Masood (60), Agha Salman (50) and Babar Azam (41) gave them a fighting chance.

It was always going to be a tough task, with the highest-ever successful fourth innings run chase at the Melbourne Cricket Ground the 332-7 England managed in 1928, with no other team getting past 300.

Opener Abdullah Shafique departed for four during a tricky session before lunch, caught by Usman Khawaja in the slips off Starc following a period of intense pressure.

Iman-ul-Haq survived the initial blitz, but was no match after the break for Cummins, who sent down a probing ball that nipped back and trapped him lbw for 12.

Masood was given out lbw by the umpire on 12, but it was overturned on review and he quickly got back in his stride. He took a nasty ball to the ribs that needed treatment, but was undeterred and raced to a gutsy 50 before Cummins again came to Australia’s rescue, enticing an edge to Steve Smith.

Plenty was resting on the shoulders of Azam as the side’s premier batter and he looked in good nick. But after reaching 41, Josh Hazlewood got a ball to jag back and it clattered into his off stump.

Rizwan also looked dangerous on his way to 35 before Cummins again worked his magic, with Alex Carey collecting a catch behind the stumps after the ball went off the batsman’s glove. Cummins then removed Aamer Jamal and Shaheen Shah Afridi in quick succession before Starc cleaned up.

Bounced back

Pakistanis padded up after the hosts were all out in their second innings for 262, after resuming on 187-6.

Mir Hamza was the best of the bowlers with 4-32, while Afridi took 4-76. Carey slammed 53 to help Australia build their overnight lead and quieten chatter about his form after losing his place in the one-day side to Josh Inglis.

Pakistan Cricket@TheRealPCB
50 – run partnership @iMRizwanPak and @SalmanAliAgha1 exhibiting a solid batting displayImage
Image

He resumed on 16 after Australia had bounced back from 16-4 thanks to an attacking 96 from Mitchell Marsh and Smith’s gutsy 50.

Carey, who made his first and only Test hundred in Melbourne a year ago, hit consecutive fours in his first over from Hasan Ali to build confidence.

At the other end, Starc lived dangerously and fell for nine with the impressive Afridi getting the breakthrough on a pitch still offering a bit for the bowlers. Azam took the sharp chance at slip after Starc miscued a drive.

Cummins made a breezy 16 but was caught behind by Rizwan off Jamal, while Lyon crunched two straight fours off Jamal, then was bowled for 11 three deliveries later.

Carey brought up his sixth Test half-century before being the last man out, lbw to Hamza.

Positive Masood rues giving ruthless Australia a sniff

Skipper Shan Masood rued his side letting Australia off the hook at key moments in the second test but was taking plenty of positives from defeat.

“We’ve taken 20 wickets which we haven’t done in Australia for a while, that’s a box ticked,” he said.

“In terms of runs, everyone got good starts and there were some nice fifties but in test cricket against quality sides, you want to get the hundreds.

“So a lot to work on but this is the blueprint of the way we want to play test cricket and hopefully we’ll keep doing that.” Masood thought it was clear where the match had been lost.

“(You can’t) give a quality side like Australia a sniff, which we did. Maybe sometimes with the ball, maybe sometimes with the bat, yesterday maybe in the field,” he added.

“If you (don’t) drop someone in form like Mitchell Marsh, we might […] have been chasing 237 today, but mistakes happen,” he said.

Masood said it was imperative that the batsmen produced bigger scores if they were to compete with the Australians in the third and final test in Sydney next week.

“They’re ruthless,” he added.

“They have some world-class bowlers in their ranks and if you give them a sniff, if you don’t convert your fifties into hundreds, you might not have enough runs on the board,” he said.

1- Header image: Australian bowler Pat Cummins (L) acknowledges the applause after taking five wickets on the fourth day of the second cricket Test match between Australia and Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on December 29, 2023. — AFP
Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP/Reuters A fired-up Pat Cummins bagged five wickets and 10 for the match to earn Australia a nail-biting 79-run win in the second Test and clinch the series against Pakistan on Friday. Set 317 to win, the visitors put up a stellar fight, but were dismissed for 237, with the last five wickets falling for just 18 runs. Cummins was the chief destroyer, taking 5-49 to go with his first innings of 5-48 — only the second 10-wicket haul of his Test career. Just when it looked like the match would go down to the wire on the final day, the pacer stepped in to remove batter Mohammad Rizwan and claim his 250th test wicket. Wicket 250 for Pat Cummins! 🎉The third
Bangladesh claim historic victory over NZ in first T20

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP

NAPIER: Bangladesh clai­med an historic five-wicket win over New Zealand on Wednesday after their bowlers ran riot in the opening game of their three-match Twenty20 International series in Napier on Wednesday.

This was Bangladesh’s first Twenty20 win on New Zealand soil, four days after also claiming a maiden away ODI win over the Black Caps in Napier.

“I’m really excited and very proud of how we played,” said Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto.

Asked to bat by Shanto, New Zealand made a disastrous start losing three wickets before reaching 134 for nine after their 20 overs.

“Our bowlers learnt quickly in these conditions with the new ball,” Shanto added. “We were really confident after we restricted them.”

The Black Caps bowlers gave home fans hope with the early wickets of Bangladesh opener Rony Talukdar and Shanto.

Veteran Litton Das partnered up with Soumya Sarkar, then Towhid Hridoy to steer Ban­gladesh to 96-4 after 13 overs.

The visitors were wobbling at 97-5 as they lost wickets in quick succession after Afif Hossain was caught for one run off six balls.

Das, who finished on 42 not out, survived two close calls as he battled cramp.

The on-field umpire gave him out lbw on Tim Southee’s bowling, but the Bangladesh opener stayed at the crease when the review showed the ball would have sailed over the stumps.

Ish Sodhi then caught Das at the boundary, but stepped onto the boundary rope to give away six runs.

It fell to all-rounder Mahedi Hasan, who finished 19 not out, to hit the winning runs in his partnership of 40 alongside Das with eight balls spare.

“Credit to Bangladesh, they bowled well,” said Mitchell Santner, who captained New Zealand with regular white ball skipper Kane Williamson rested.

“We fought hard with the ball to make it interesting, but the powerplay took it away from us with the bat,” Santner added.

The second and third T20 in Internationals will both be played at Mount Maunganui on Friday, then Sunday.

Bangladesh, ranked ninth in T20 International cricket, punched above their weight to floor third-ranked New Zealand.

Having dismissed the Black Caps for 98 in Saturday’s third ODI in losing the series 2-1, the Bangladesh bowlers picked up where they left off.

Hasan bowled Tim Seifert in the opening over.

Shoriful Islam was the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers with 3-26, including having Finn Allen caught and Glenn Phillips trapped lbw in consecutive balls.

Daryl Mitchell hit consecutive fours before falling for 14 to leave New Zealand 20-4.

Mark Chapman hit 19 off as many balls before being caught with the score on 50-5.

Santner and James Neesham put on 41 before Sarkar made his second catch to dismiss Santner, having also caught Allen in the slips.

Neesham fell two runs short of his 50, holing out at deep cover point, and Southee was caught on eight.

Adam Milne hit a towering six off the final ball to finish 16 not out before Bangladesh’s batters chipped away at New Zealand’s tally.

Scoreboard

NEW ZEALAND: F. Allen c Soumya b Shoriful 1 T. Seifert b Mahedi 0 D. Mitchell b Mahedi 14 G. Phillips lbw b Shoriful 0 M. Chapman c Tanzim b Rishad 19 J. Neesham c Afif b Mustafizur 48 M. Santner c Soumya b Shoriful 23 A. Milne not out 16 T. Southee c Afif b Mustafizur 8 I. Sodhi c Liton b Tanzim 2 B. Sears not out 1 EXTRAS (LB-1, W-1) 2 TOTAL (for nine wickets, 20 overs) 134 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-1 (Seifert), 2-1 (Allen), 3-1 (Phillips), 4-20 (Mitchell), 5-50 (Chapman), 6-91 (Santner), 7-110 (Neesham), 8-124 (Southee), 9-127 (Sodhi) BOWLING: Mahedi 4-0-14-2, Shoriful 4-0-26-3, Tanzim 4-0-45-1 (1w), Mustafizur 4-0-15-2, Rishad 3-0-24-1, Afif 1-0-9-0 BANGLADESH: Liton Das not out 42 Rony Talukdar c Southee b Milne 10 Najmul Hossain c Santner b Neesham 19 Soumya Sarkar b Sears 22 Towhid Hridoy c Southee b Santner 19 Afif Hossain c Neesham b Southee 1 Mahedi Hasan not out 19 EXTRAS (LB-3, W-2) 5 TOTAL (for five wickets, 18.4 overs) 137 DID NOT BAT: Rishad Hossain, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman FALL OF WICKETS: 1-13 (Rony), 2-38 (Najmul), 3-67 (Soumya), 4-96 (Towhid), 5-97 (Afif) BOWLING: Southee 4-0-16-1, Milne 3.4-0-39-1 (1w), Neesham 1-0-7-1, Sears 4-0-36-1, Sodhi 2-0-20- (1w), Santner 4-0-16-1 RESULT: Bangladesh won by five wickets.

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP NAPIER: Bangladesh clai­med an historic five-wicket win over New Zealand on Wednesday after their bowlers ran riot in the opening game of their three-match Twenty20 International series in Napier on Wednesday. This was Bangladesh’s first Twenty20 win on New Zealand soil, four days after also claiming a maiden away ODI win over the Black Caps in Napier. “I’m really excited and very proud of how we played,” said Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto. Asked to bat by Shanto, New Zealand made a disastrous start losing three wickets before reaching 134 for nine after their 20 overs. “Our bowlers learnt quickly in these conditions with the new ball,” Shanto added. “We were really confident after we restricted them.” The Black Caps bowlers