October 8, 2020

PCB holds talks with PSL franchises

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By Masood Sattar Khan

(Pakistan News & Features Services)
A positive and constructive meeting was held between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and all the franchise owners of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Lahore on October 7. 

The PCB media release informed that the participants engaged in positive and fruitful discussions with a view to resolving outstanding matters, disputes and grievances. 

"Both sides held healthy candid discussions airing concerns and their respective viewpoints on outstanding matters,” the statement said. 

The PCB presented to the team owners a draft proposal which has been put together at the behest of the franchises who requested that the Board explore a more equitable model. 

Both sides, according to the PCB, have agreed to delve deeper into the proposed model with their respective financial and operational teams over the coming weeks and aim to resolve outstanding concerns and find a mutually beneficial position as soon as possible.

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Babar Azam not taking any opponents lightly

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By Masood Sattar Khan

(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Pakistan's T20 and ODI skipper, Babar Azam, has categorically stated that it’s out of question taking any international team lightly in this era.

"We have to apply ourselves in the home series against Zimbabwe to win it ahead of the tour of New Zealand later this year. If perform well against the tourists we would be oozing with confidence when tackling the Black Caps in their own den,” the celebrated batsman observed in a session with media.

“Efforts would be made to perform 110 percent in the series against Zimbabwe. We have to try to win these matches which would be helpful for playing tests and ODIs in New Zealand,” he added. 

“In New Zealand we have to play in different conditions, so if we play well here that would build up our conference to play against Kiwi. The ongoing National T20 Cup is an excellent opportunity for youngsters to impress and stake a claim for a spot in the team that will play Zimbabwe. The series against Zimbabwe will also serve as practice for the tour of New Zealand,” Babar Azam reckoned.

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October 7, 2020

Dean Jones farewelled at Melbourne Cricket Ground

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By Masood Sattar Khan

(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The historic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was the venue where Dean Jones was privately farewelled by his family with a lap of honour on October 2. 

The public address system of the MCG played tunes by musicians Elton John and INXS, who happened to be friends of the former Australian batsman turned commentator. 

The memorial service was limited to just 10 attendees, which included wife Jane and daughters Isabella and Phoebe, because of Victoria's ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. A public memorial service for Jones has been planned at a later stage when more mourners will be permitted to attend. 

"We have been deeply moved by the outpouring of love for Dean over the last week and can't thank everyone enough for their support and for sharing their memories with us," Jane Jones remarked on the occasion, adding that the family had been extremely moved by the way her husband's life and cricket had been remembered and revered by so many. 

"It has been an awful time to navigate as a family, but I could not have thought of a more fitting place to say goodbye to my husband than under the lights of his beloved MCG. What better way to honour him than with the music of his friends Elton John and INXS echoing throughout the empty stadium. We'd like to extend a huge thank you to the Melbourne Cricket Club and the MCG for their willingness to create our personal tribute to Dean and for Cricket Australia's support,” she said. 

"We would also like to extend a big thank you to the Department of Foreign Affairs for ensuring Dean was returned home to us as quickly as possible. We will forever miss Dean's energy, his zest for life, passion for cricket and his love for us as a family," she acknowledged.

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October 6, 2020

Afghanistan’s Najeeb Tarakai dies at 29

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By Masood Sattar Khan

(Pakistan News & Features Services)
One of Afghanistan’s top order batsmen, Najeeb Tarakai, has died at the age 29 after succumbing to injuries sustained in a road accident according to tweet issued by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on October 6. 

“ACB and Afghanistan Cricket Loving Nation mourns the heart breaking & grievous loss of its aggressive opening batsman & a very fine human being Najeeb Tarakai (29) who lost his life to tragic traffic accident leaving us all shocked! May Allah Shower His Mercy on him,” the ACB tweeted. 

The ACB had earlier tweeted on October 3 that Tarakai had been severely injured in a car accident the previous day and had subsequently undergone a surgery. 

He was being treated in Nangarhar at the time and it was communicated officially that he would be shifted to Kabul or outside Afghanistan as soon as possible whenever allowed by health officials. 

Tarakai's, who represented Mis Ainak Knights in the Shpageeza Premier League last month, had represented his country in 12 T20Is and one ODI for Afghanistan, having made his international debut in 2014.

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October 5, 2020

Pakistan Navy retains National Shooting Championship

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By Masood Sattar Khan 

(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Pakistan Navy has won National Shooting Championship consecutively for the third time. The week-long mega event concluded at the Army Marksmen Unit in Jhelum on October 5. 

Being the defending champions, Pakistan Navy won the title with 17 Gold, 17 Silver and 11 Bronze medals whereas Pakistan Army secured the runners-up position and Pakistan Air Force got third position. 

Over 300 shooters belonging to the teams of Army, Navy, Air Force, Punjab, Sindh, WAPDA, ASF, Federal Rifle Association (FRA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) participated in the event and displayed their skills.

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