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Bravo Announces Retirement From International Cricket

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London :Windies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo brought the curtains down on his 14-year international career by announcing his retirement from all formats of the game. However, the 35-year-old will continue to play T20 franchise cricket around the world. Bravo, who made his debut for the Windies in 2004, played 40 Tests, 164 one-day internationals (ODI) and 66 Twenty20 internationals (T20I). But he made his last international appearance for the Windies more than two years ago, a T20I match against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Bravo last played an ODI in October 2014 and has not made an appearance for the Windies in Test cricket since December 2010.

“Today I want to confirm to the cricket world that I have officially retired from international cricket in all formats of the game. After 14 years when I made my debut for the West Indies, I still remember that moment I received the maroon cap before walking onto the Lords Cricket Ground against England in July 2004. The enthusiasm and passion I felt then, I have kept with me throughout my career,” Bravo said in a media statement.

 

“However, I must accept that for me to preserve my longevity as a professional cricketer, I must do as others before have done, leave the international arena for the next generation of players.”

“I thank the countless persons who were instrumental to my success, particularly my family and QPCC where I developed my skills at an early age,” Bravo said. “I thank the many loyal fans who continue to support my journey and who recognize my efforts on and off the field.

I am extremely fortunate to have a career that has taken me across the globe into the most prestigious dressing rooms sharing experiences with all the recent legends of this glorious game. I will continue my professional career as a cricketer and entertainer living as a true champion.”

Bravo was captain of the Windies team that dramatically returned home mid-way during the series in India in protest against their board. That was the last time Bravo playd an ODI for the Windies.

He ends his career with 2,200 runs and 86 wickets in Tests; 2,968 ODI runs and 199 wickets; and 1,142 runs and 52 wickets in T20I cricket.

Following his troubles with the Windies board, the all-rounder over the years became a mainstay for most teams in domestic franchise T20 tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL).

His ability with the ball, athletic fielding and unorthodox batting made him a much-sought after player for T20 teams around the world.


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Australia refuse to tour Pakistan for proposed ODI matches, cite safety concerns

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Melbourne: Australia has turned down Pakistan Cricket Board’s request to play two One Day International (ODI) matches in the country, citing security concerns. The PCB had asked Cricket Australia to play two of the five ODIs, which are slated to be played in UAE, in Pakistan, but security concerns made Cricket Australia decide against the same.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, though the proposal has been rejected by the Australian cricket board, it has assured the PCB that they would be open to the idea in the future.

“We want to see international cricket return to Pakistan – the country has a huge passion for it,” said a CA spokesperson.

 

“However, the safety of our players and support staff is our number one priority and we won’t compromise that. We’ll continue to take advice from a range of government agencies and our own security intelligence and act on this accordingly.”

“At this stage, from an Australia team perspective, we are not contemplating moving our current bilateral-tour arrangements from taking on Pakistan in the UAE, when they host the next series but we do remain open to the idea of playing in the country again. We formally advised the PCB of this position in early January,” he added.

The PCB has in return, declined reports of Australia refusing to tour Pakistan, terming negotiations with Cricket Australia (CA) as currently ‘open and ongoing’.

Australia have not played an away series against Pakistan since 1998 which PCB chairman Ehsan Mani had attempted to address during the former’s recent Test series against the Asian side.

Mani attempted to convince CA chief executive Kevin Roberts to schedule an away series against Pakistan, urging them to follow the lead of Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe who had toured the nation since 2017.

Sri Lanka’s return was hailed as a major boost considering the deadly attack on their players in Lahore in 2009.

Australian ODI captain Aaron Finch and Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja have recently expressed a desire to tour Pakistan, in case the security concerns were addressed.

“Obviously, whatever Cricket Australia tells us, that’ll be the big thing. We’ll leave it to the administrators. They’re pretty good at taking care of us and making sure everything’s safe,” said Khawaja.

“I was born in Pakistan so it won’t be too different for me, but it’s still a while away,” he added.

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Federer ponders over his ‘miraculous’ career after Murray’s early retirement prospect

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London: As the tennis world continued to digest the prospect of Andy Murray`s retirement, an evergreen Roger Federer pondered the “luck” of his longevity on Sunday ahead of his bid for a hat-trick of Australian Open titles.

Murray`s announcement that Melbourne Park could be his last tournament as a professional has made 37-year-old Federer`s career seem all the more miraculous.

Seeking a 21st Grand Slam title and a record seventh in Melbourne, the Swiss will plough into his 20th consecutive Australian Open on Monday with a first round clash against Uzbek Denis Istomin.

 

While suffering an assortment of niggles common to all hardened professionals, Federer`s only major layoff came in 2016, after he tore his meniscus when running a bath for his twin daughters.

It happened a day after losing the Australian Open semi-final to winner Novak Djokovic, but a year later, he was back raising a fifth trophy at the tournament.

While knowing the limits of his body and full of praise for his team for being able to patch him up repeatedly, Federer admitted that fortune had played a part in his longevity.

“I definitely needed a little bit of luck,” he told reporters at Melbourne Park.

“If you look at how unlucky things were with the incident here a few years ago when I ran the bath, I guess the knee, that part of the body was ready to go.

“Could have happened easily in the match against Novak, but it didn`t, maybe because I was warmed up. I have no idea what happened. I think you also need a little bit of luck.”

The 31-year-old Murray has been far less fortunate, with major hip surgery a year ago doing nothing to stop the pain that has driven the Scot to distraction and the brink of retirement.

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Barcelona on lookout for striker after Munir sale: Coach Ernesto

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London: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said that the club were looking to sign a centre forward in the January transfer window after selling Munir El Haddadi to Sevilla.

The league leaders want back-up for Luis Suarez after Sevilla agreed a one-million-euro ($1.15-million) deal to buy Spain international Munir on Friday, leaving the Uruguayan as the only No. 9 at the club, playing between Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele.

“We have to look at it, it`s clear that after Munir`s departure we have a space,” Valverde told reporters on Saturday.

 

“We`ll see if we can sign a player, although we have to take into account the club`s economic conditions. We will see if we can, if someone comes.”

Asked about Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata, who has been linked to Barcelona in Spanish media reports, Valverde said: “I can only say the same thing — that he`s a great player, that he`s at another team, that we respect that a lot, etcetera.”

Barcelona are currently leading the La Liga with 40 points, with Atletico Madrid trailing them in second place with 35 points.

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