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Afridi salutes foreign cricketers for coming to Pakistan

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KARACHI: Former Pakis­tan captain Shahid Afridi has saluted the foreign players for featuring in the Karachi-leg matches of the HBL Pakistan Super League, saying they will always be credited for helping the PCB to revive international cricket in the country.

The 39-year-old, who played his early cricket in Karachi and rose to international fame in 1996, represented Multan Sultans this year and will be in action for the last time against Lahore Qalandars on Monday.

Afridi — one of the most popular cricketers around the world for his swashbuckling batting — said all 41 foreign players, as well as those before them who have come to Pakistan in the last three years, are the real stars.“Whenever international cricket is fully revived in Pakistan, the credit will go to these foreign players who have come to our country,” Afridi told psl-t20.com in an interview. “We salute them for touring Pakistan and appreciate their contribution.”

 

Afridi hoped more and more international cricket will come to Pakistan.

“These PSL matches and the few series we have hosted since 2015, have proved that Pakistan is a safe country, the people here are peace-loving people and they want to watch cricket on their grounds.“I am sure with security improving and these foreign players coming to Pakistan will send a very positive message to the world and I hope more teams will come to Pakistan and our isolation will soon be over.”

Afridi said arrangements for the matches in Karachi are outstanding.

“Karachi is a vibrant, welcoming and a memorable city, and the response of these PSL matches is very good,” he commented. “There was a big crowd, good number of people came and the organisation of the event was very good. People want to watch these matches and foreign players have responded well. I hope this will continue till the [March 17] final.”

Afridi praised security personnel for putting up excellent arrangements. “The security arrangements are outstanding and I salute all those involved in providing high profile security and hope that all the foreign players will feel at home.

“My message to the fans is to enjoy the game and come in big numbers. Pakistan cricket is on the up and I am sure our cricket will continue to rise.”


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Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup

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Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.

Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.

 

While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.

“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.

“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.

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FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101

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London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.

Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.

Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.

 

GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019

The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.

Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.

2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.

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Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning Copa start

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Sao Paulo: A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten.

Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later.

Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paul.

 

The build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa.

If Brazil’s first-half performance was anything to go by, the Paris Saint-Germain star was sorely missed, but Coutinho’s brace at least silenced the jeers that met the team at half-time.

“Whistles are part of the game, the fans want us to win and play well, so that’s why they jeer,” said the match-winner, whose goals papered over the cracks of an at times disjointed performance.

“We always want their support but we’re focused on the objective, which is the match,” Coutinho told Brazil’s SportTV.

“Whistles or cheers, the important thing is to stay focused and get the win.” Brazil made a bright start and predictably dominated the early possession and chances
But surprisingly their greatest threat came from set-pieces with Coutinho’s corner delivery causing panic in the Bolivian backline.

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