July 22, 2024

Pakistan, Australia and England emerge as top Over-60s sides in world cricket: Fawad Ijaz Khan

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Pakistan News & Features Services


The Chairman of the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), Fawad Ijaz Khan, who has championed the cause of seniors’ cricket at international level, reckons that Pakistan, Australia and England have proved as top Over-60s sides in world cricket. 

Returning from two-week long tour of England, the PVCA Chairman on July 22 recalled that Pakistan announced its pedigree by winning the inaugural Over-60s World Cup at Brisbane while Australia claimed the title by outwitting England in the final of the 2nd World Cup at Chennai in which Pakistan could not participate due to non-issuance of visas by hosts India.

The Pakistan squad, it may be recalled, seemed set to defend their title on the Indian soil but it was not granted visa despite all out efforts by the PVCA.

“Now, England, by edging out Pakistan in the recently concluded five-match series, has emerged as a major Over-60s force. The PVCA has invited both Australia as well as England to play Over-60s bilateral series at mutually agreed time next year,” Fawad Ijaz Khan disclosed. 

He described the recently concluded tour of England as very successful in which the contestants played positive cricket all along in the right spirit of the gentleman’s game. 

“Our team was challenged by the cold weather of England as we had reached there from intense heat and humidity in this part of the world. Acclimatization was a factor which affected our players. Our cause was also not helped by losing every toss during the tour. England made the most of home advantage,” the PVCA Chairman added.

Fawad Ijaz Khan was a member of Pakistan Over-60s squad which undertook the recent tour of England. Nadeem Omar, owner of Quetta Gladiators, captained the side which also contained Saleem Malik, a former Pakistan captain, besides Sajid Ali, Syed Saghir Abbas, Syed Muhammad Ghaffar Kazmi, Muhammad Younus, Tahir Rashid (wicketkeeper), Muhammad Ashraf Pakhali, Shahid Mahboob, Syed Muhammad Shahabuddin, Syed Zafar Ali, Aamir Hameed, Muhammad Yaqoob, Badar Ansari, Syed Mansoor Hussain, Tanvir Ali and Muhammad Akram while Zakir Baig was the manager.

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Pakistan Over-60s return from England after closely-fought ODI series

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Pakistan News & Features Services


The Pakistan Over-60s cricket squad returned to Karachi on July 20 after having completed two-week long tour of England where they were engaged in a closely-fought ODI series of five matches. It turned to be a very exciting series between two evenly-matched sides and its fate was hanging in balance until the final ball of the decisive fifth encounter. 

The rub of the green did not go Pakistan’s way as the home side, chasing a mammoth target of 317, scampered home with just a couple of wickets in hand, on the last ball to win the series 3-1 and claim the Royal Nawab Cup. Losing all five tosses didn’t help their cause either. 

Pakistan began the series on a winning note as they edged out the hosts by four wickets in the first ODI at Park Avenue Cricket Club, Bradford. The hosts squared the series by winning the second ODI by seven wickets at Davies/Worthington Memorial Ground while the third game was abandoned because of rain. 

The visitors regrouped quickly to overpower Lincolnshire by 37 runs in a side match at Sleaford Cricket Club Ground but they lost to England in the fourth ODI at the Southport and Birkdale Sports Club. They appeared favourites to level the series after posting a formidable total of 316 for four in the fifth ODI at Littleborough Cricket Club but went down fighting on the final delivery. 

Nadeem Omar, owner of Quetta Gladiators, captained the Pakistan Over-60s side which also featured Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, PVCA, and Saleem Malik, a former Pakistan captain, besides Sajid Ali, Syed Saghir Abbas, Syed Muhammad Ghaffar Kazmi, Muhammad Younus, Tahir Rashid (wicketkeeper), Muhammad Ashraf Pakhali, Shahid Mahboob, Syed Muhammad Shahabuddin, Syed Zafar Ali, Aamir Hameed, Muhammad Yaqoob, Badar Ansari, Syed Mansoor Hussain, Tanvir Ali and Muhammad Akram while Zakir Baig was the manager.

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July 20, 2024

England Over-60s register last-ball win against Pakistan Over-60s in 5th ODI despite centuries by Sajid Ali, Sagheer Abbas

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Pakistan News & Features Services


England Over-60s registered a thrilling two-wicket victory over Pakistan Over-60s on the last ball of the fifth and final ODI at Littleborough Cricket Club on July 19. The hosts collected the Royal Nawab Cup as they won the series 3-1 with the third game having been abandoned because of rain on July 15. 

Set a daunting target of 317 in 45 overs, England overcame a late order collapse to reach it on the final delivery. At 289 for four, they appeared coasting towards a comfortable win but the loss of a few quick wickets brought Pakistan back in contention. The fall of eighth wicket on the penultimate ball, with the scores tied, made the contest most exciting. Graham Shaw kept his cool on the final ball to get the winning single. 

The England skipper, Richard Merriman, who narrowly missed his century, had the consolation of receiving Player of the Match award ahead of centurions from Pakistan, Sajid Ali and Sagheer Abbas. Pakistan, captained by Saleem Malik, lost their fifth successive toss and they were inserted to bat on a relatively warm day with plenty of sunshine. After the early hiccups, the visiting batsmen got in their groove and runs flowed aplenty. 

Opener Sajid Ali led the charge with a magnificent 122 off 121 balls. He stabilized the innings by adding 85 for third wicket with Ghaffar Kazmi (42 off 46 balls) before engaging in 139-run fourth wicket partnership with Sagheer Abbas, who finished with unbeaten 110 off 78 balls. The onslaught in death overs took Pakistan to a commanding total of 316 for four in the allotted 45 overs. 

England, in reply, got off to a sedate start through the opening pair of Richard Merriman (96 off 101 balls) and Mel Hussain (36 off 38 balls). Number three Paul Radage contributed 33 off 42 balls but the knocks from middle-order batters Monty Douglas (60 off 43 balls), Philip Deikin (23 off 12 balls) and Jason Caunt (22 off 15 balls) which changed the complexion of the game. Leg-spinner Zafar Ali (3-42) and off-spinner Sagheer Abbas (2-62) kept the match the alive until Graham Shaw’s cameo (17 off nine balls) settled the issue.

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July 18, 2024

Mel Hussain powers England Over-60s to 2-1 lead over Pakistan Over-60s

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Pakistan News & Features Services


Mel Hussain’s brilliant all-round performance powered England Over-60s to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Pakistan Over-60s in the fourth ODI at the Southport and Birkdale Sports Club on July 17. The hosts now lead the five-match series being played for the Royal Nawab Cup 2-1 with the fifth and final encounter due to be contested on July 19. 

Electing to field, after winning the toss, England bowled Pakistan out for 188 in 42.1 overs despite stiff resistance from the low-order batters. The home side chased down the target of 189 in 45 overs with nearly seven overs to spare. 

Mel Hussain, younger brother of former England captain, Nasser Hussain, followed up his four-wicket haul with a solid knock of 81 to earn Player of the Match award which he received from the Pakistan captain, Nadeem Omar, in the presence of Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA). 

Batting first in challenging conditions, the top-order visiting batsmen were unable to occupy the crease for long duration of time and they looked heading towards a low total when Saleem Malik, a former Pakistan captain and a batting great, was run out for six in the 16th over. The visitors, however, rallied to reach a fighting total of 188 from 60 for six with Sagheer Abbas (40 off 55 balls), Tahir Rasheed (25 off 44 balls) and Shahid Mahboob (23 off 16 balls) showing resilience. Mel Hussain (4-20) and Jason Caunt (3-20) were the pick of England bowlers.

Opening the innings, Mel Hussain anchored the chase with a solid 81 off 113 balls. He was fourth batsman to be dismissed in the 36th over with the home side just a handful of runs away from completing victory. Jason Caunt’s breezy unbeaten 48 off 26 balls took England home on the first ball of 38th over. 

With the third ODI between the two teams having been abandoned due to rain, England have taken an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series by winning the fourth game. Pakistan, who won the first match, need to emerge triumphant in the fifth and final fixture to square matters to share the trophy.

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July 15, 2024

Pakistan Over-60s outsmart Lincolnshire by 37 runs on England tour

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Pakistan News & Features Services


Pakistan Over-60s, displaying all-round prowess, outgunned Lincolnshire by 37 runs in a side match during their ongoing tour of England. Batting first, the visitors posted a mammoth total of 294 for seven in the allotted 45 overs before restricting the county side to 257 for five at Sleaford Cricket Club Ground on July 14. 

The five-match ODI series between Pakistan Over-60s and England Over-60s for Royal Nawab Trophy is currently locked at one-all. Pakistan emerged triumphant in the opening fixture but the hosts rallied back to run away with the second match. The remaining three encounters are also expected to be closely-fought. 

Pakistan Over-60s, in view of managing workload during marathon ODI series, opted to give rest to some of their players in the warm-up game against Lincolnshire in which they fielded two local Pakistani players, Wahaj Mirza and Taimoor Alam. 

Half centuries from wicketkeeper Tahir Rasheed (76 off 43 balls), Ashraf Pakhali (68 off 63 balls) and Muhammad Aslam (62 off 63 balls) allowed Pakistan Over-60s to install a formidable total of 294 despite three-wicket haul from Muhammad Sultan. 

Chasing 295 in 45 overs, Lincolnshire got off to solid start through their opening pair. Keams perished after scoring 38 off 37 balls but his partner, Roberts, remained undefeated on 112 off 108 balls. Number three Muhammad Sultan also contributed 40 off 46 balls but the county side fell behind the clock after losing a couple of quick wickets to Sagheer Abbas. Roberts was adjudged Player of the Match even though he was unable to take his team over the line.

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July 13, 2024

England Over-60s outwit Pakistan Over-60s in 2nd ODI

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Pakistan News & Features Services


England Over-60s levelled the five-match ODI series against Pakistan Over-60s being played for Royal Nawab Cup by winning the second encounter by seven wickets at the picturesque Davies/Worthington Memorial Ground on July 12. 

Pakistan Over-60s, having overhauled a challenging target of 295 in the first ODI at Park Avenue Cricket Club, Bradford, earlier in the week, again demonstrated depth in their batting by posting a fighting total of 197 after being reduced to 104 for seven. But the hosts showed greater resilience with the bat to get over the line quite leisurely in the end. 

Put into bat in overcast conditions, the visitors struggled to build a momentum for their innings. The injury to opener Sajid Ali (19 off 29 balls) followed by runouts of Saleem Malik (14 off 17 balls) and Ghaffar Kazmi (16 off 23 balls) did not help their cause either. The top half of their batting was back in the hut with only 70 runs on the board. 

The home side looked in complete control when wicketkeeper Tahir Rasheed (11 off 42 balls) was seventh batsman to be dismissed at the score of 104. The recovery was led by Zafar Ali (50 off 58 balls) and Muhammad Younus (18 off 40 balls) as they added 46 for the eighth wicket. Shahid Mahboob (9 off 20 balls) also helped in extending the total to a respectable 197 in 44.5 overs. 

Zafar Ali, who was adjudged Player-of-the-Match for his fine all-round performance in the previous outing, continued his purple patch. His counterattacking half-century lifted the spirits of the visitors whose innings was derailed by the trio of Philip Deakin (2-20), Jim Phillips (2-28) and Kevin Watson (2-32). 

Chasing a target of 198 in 45 overs, England Over-60s lost skipper Richard Merriman early but his opening partner Mel Hussain (45 off 54 balls) batted solidly. The match became wide open when the hosts slumped to 72 for three but then started the partnership between Edward Lennox (83 off 68 balls) and Monty Douglas (52 off 51 balls) who changed the course of the proceedings with their brilliant batsmanship. Their 128-run unbroken stand for the fourth wicket settled the issue decisively as the winning boundary was struck with 8.4 overs to spare.

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July 9, 2024

Pakistan Over-60s edge out England Over-60s in last over thriller

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Pakistan News & Features Services

Pakistan’s Over-60s cricket team started their tour of England on a winning note as they edged out the hosts by four wickets in the first ODI at Park Avenue Cricket Club, Bradford, on July 8. Pakistan went one-up in the five-match series being played for Royal Nawab Cup. 

What a thrilling opening fixture it turned out to be! Chasing a daunting target of 295 in 45 overs, Pakistan needed 15 runs for victory in the final over with four wickets in hand. The requirement was down to four off the last two balls and Zafar Ali drove the penultimate delivery for a boundary to take the visitors home with a ball to spare. Saleem Malik was at the non-striker’s end when the winning shot was executed. 

Zafar Ali was adjudged Player-of-the-Match for his fine all-round performance as he followed up his three-wicket haul with an unbeaten 33 which got Pakistan over the line after some exhilarating cricket over a period of one ball short of 90 overs. 

The home skipper, Richard Merriman, elected to bat after winning the toss. England Over-60s seemed to have done a fine job by accumulating 294 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 45 overs although they looked poised for a bigger total after a powerful start. Montie Douglas was the topscorer with 87 off as many balls while opener Nick Graywood (52 off 59 balls) and Jim Phillips (32 off 21 balls) also contributed their bit. Zafar Ali (3-65) and Sagheer Abbas (2-50) were the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan. 

The 94-run opening partnership between Muhammad Aslam (48 off 57 balls) and Sajid Ali (38 off 45 balls) put Pakistan on the right track and the momentum was sustained by Ashraf Pakhali (59 off 57 balls), Ghaffar Kazmi (46 off 41 balls) and Sagheer Abbas (42 off 34 balls). The hosts fought back through Mel Hussain who opened the game by grabbing four wickets. But the cameo from Zafar Ali allowed the visiting side to overhaul the target in the final over. 

In the presentation ceremony at the ground, Paul Bradley, President, England Seniors, gave away Player-of-the-Match award to Zafar Ali while Nadeem Omar, captain of Pakistan Over-60s, gifted a shield to rival skipper Richard Merriman. Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA) was also present on the occasion.

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July 6, 2024

Pakistan Over-60s squad reaches England to contest Royal Nawab Cup

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Pakistan News & Features Services

Pakistan’s 18-member Over-60s cricket squad, containing quite a few stalwarts of the past, reached United Kingdom on July 6 for two-week long tour during which will feature in five ODI matches against England Over-60s team besides contesting a couple of games against county outfits. 

According to the details shared by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), the five-match series between Pakistan and England, due to commence on July 8, will be played for Royal Nawab Cup which will be presented to the winning team at the end of the fifth and final encounter on July 19. The other three games are due to take place on July 12, July 15 and July 17. 

The Over-60s matches between Pakistan and England, acclaimed as two of the strongest teams, are expected to be close and exciting. Sizeable crowd at all venues is being anticipated in these games, which will also be streamed live. 

Nadeem Omar, owner of Quetta Gladiators, is leading the Pakistan side which also Fawad Ijaz Khan, Chairman, PVCA, and Saleem Malik, a former Pakistan captain. The other members of the squad are Sajid Ali, Syed Saghir Abbas, Syed Muhammad Ghaffar Kazmi, Muhammad Younus, Tahir Rashid (wicketkeeper), Muhammad Ashraf Pakhali, Shahid Mahboob, Syed Muhammad Shahabuddin, Syed Zafar Ali, Aamir Hameed, Muhammad Yaqoob, Badar Ansari, Syed Mansoor Hussain, Muhammad Akram and Zakir Baig (manager). 

It may be recalled that Pakistan Over-60s team, captained by Fawad Ijaz Khan, had emerged triumphant in the inaugural Over-60s World Cup which was staged at Brisbane, Australia, in 2022. Sadly, Pakistan was denied the opportunity to defend the title because of non-issuance of Indian visas to its players in the second edition of the Over-60s World Cup which was held at Chennai.

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July 3, 2024

World Sports Journalist Day celebrated at KPT Sports Complex

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Pakistan News & Features Services


The World Sports Journalist Day (WSJD) was celebrated by the Sports Journalists Association of Sindh (SJAS) at the KPT Sports Complex on July 1, a day in advance due to a webinar the following day in which quite a few of its members were due to participate. 

The WSJD is celebrated to mark the foundation of the Association Internationale de la Presse Sportive (AIPS), a professional body representing the sports media worldwide, on July 2 each year. The AIPS, with more than 9,500 members, has now proudly completed 100 years of its existence. 

Hockey Olympian Qamar Ibrahim, former squash champion Maqsood Ahmed, Secretary of Pakistan Boxing Federation, Asghar Baloch, were the eminent personalities present on the occasion, who shared their views on the significance of sports journalism. 

Noted sports journalist, Syed Khalid Mahmood, in his brief address, mentioned the fact that the sports pages of newspapers generally brought smiles on the faces of readers after going through disturbing stories of all kinds on front and back pages. He urged the sports editors and reporters to flash the glories of youngsters in particular in order to encourage them to continue working hard. 

An exhibition squash match was also played on the occasion which was watched with interest by lots of young athletes, believed to be regular users of facilities at KPT Sports Complex. The General Manager Sports of KPT, Major Mahmood Riaz, who hosted the event, pledged to continue facilitating sporting activities at their complex.

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