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Samuels, Fletcher named in 13-member Windies squad for Pakistan series

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Islamabad : The West Indies cricket board on Friday announced a 13-member squad for the three-match Twenty20 International series against Pakistan set to be held in Karachi from Sunday.
The visitors’ side with be led by Jason Mohammed, and will feature batsmen Marlon Samuels and Andre Fletcher, who contributed to the success of Peshawar Zalmi with hard-hitting knocks in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2018.
However, the team will not feature crowd favourite Darren Sammy, who led the Zalmi side into the finals as skipper during the PSL. Star players Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine, who played for the Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars in the tournament, respectively, are also not part of the squad.
“Following the successful hosting of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Final in Karachi on the weekend, our squad are now en route to Pakistan for our three-match T20I series,” a Cricket West Indies (CWI) press release quoted CWI Chief Executive Officer Jonny Grave as saying.
“This Tour is a further major step for our friends at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to bring their cricket back home, and we are pleased that our players and support staff have recognised this and supported this venture.”
Grave said independent security advisors have confirmed to Windies authorities that “they are satisfied that the risk [of visiting Pakistan] is manageable and can be mitigated to an acceptable level.
Chairman of the CWI Selection Panel, Courtney Browne, said some of the players identified for selection, including regular T20I captain Carlos Brathwaite, had opted out of the tour due to security concerns.
“We had a few players that opted not to tour Pakistan, due to their or their families’ security concerns and CWI have fully accepted their position,” Browne said, adding that those players’ replacements have an opportunity in the visit to push their claims for future selection.
CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams and President and CEO of West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) Wavell Hinds will accompany the squad during the visit.
Karachi, after successfully hosting the PSL final on March 25, is set to welcome back international cricket when Pakistan take on the Windies at the National Stadium in T20Is on April 1, 2 and 3.
However, rumours had suggested that local fans won’t get to see the visiting side’s top-notch players. The Indian Premier League (IPL), which starts from April 7, was the reason behind the rumours.
The Pakistan squad for the West Indies series was announced earlier this week and includes Hussain Talat, Asif Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi, all of whom impressed with their performances in the recently concluded third edition of PSL.


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Messi the best in history : Puyol

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London: Barca defeated Manchester United comprehensively in the Champions League quarter-finals with Messi scoring twice in the second leg at Camp Nou. He is top scorer in the competition this season with 10 goals and also tops the scoring charts in La Liga, where Barca are virtually assured of a second consecutive title.

Puyol, the ex-Barca captain who won three Champions League titles, praises Messi as a true leader in Ernesto Valverde’s side.

“He is playing at an incredible level,” Puyol told Goal at the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour Presented by Heineken in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

“For me, he is the best ever player in the history of the game.

“He has shown that season after season and you can see how his game has evolved, all the things he now does. And you can see he’s improving every year with new attributes he has brought to his game.

“He has improved in every way and he is taking a step forward on a personal level. He has always been a leader on the field but now, you can see that he is a leader on and off the pitch.

“He is an introverted person but now you can see that he is leading from the front as the captain of Barcelona.”

Messi has scored an incredible 45 goals in 42 games in all competitions for Barca this season, and has added another 21 assists. They are nine points clear of Atletico Madrid in the league, with only 18 left to play for, and are now favourites to add another Champions League to their collection with a double header against Liverpool in the semi-finals to come.

“It’s been very good in the Champions League and also in all the other competitions,” said Puyol.

“They’re playing really good football and they have the chance of winning everything. Right now it’s great because the best is yet to come this season.

“Barcelona are one of the favourites for the Champions League because there are only four teams left.

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PCB decides not to allow cricketers to take their families along during the WC

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Islamabad: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to not allow the national team’s players to bring their families along on the upcoming 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales starting on May 30.

The decision has been taken keeping in mind the pressure of the tournament, the board said while adding that the focus of the payers should be on their game during the World Cup.

The board, has mentioned that players’ families can travel to England on their own expense.

 

Additionally, the board clarified that the players could keep their families along with them during the series against England prior to the World Cup, a private news channel reported.

The cricket team will travel to England on April 23 to participate in the two and a half month long tour including the series against England and the World Cup.

Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq announced Pakistan’s 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup squad which left out experienced fast bowler Mohammad Amir.

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Pandya, KL Rahul fined Rs 20 lakh each by BCCI Ombudsman

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Mumbai: Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were on Saturday handed a fine of Rs 20 lakh each by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Ombudsman Justice (Retd) D K Jain for their sexist remarks in a television chat show “Koffee with Karan”.

The BCCI Ombudsman directed the duo to pay Rs 1,00,000 each to the families of 10 constables in para-military forces who have lost their lives while on duty through ‘Bharat Ke Veer App”.

Pandya and Rahul have also been directed to pay Rs 10 lakh each in the fund created by Cricket Association for the Blind (CAB) and for promotion of game for the blind.

 

All payments need to be made within a month from the date of the order, the BCCI Ombudsman further said.

Jain also instructed that in case the duo fails to deposit the fine within the deadline, the amounts would be deducted from Pandya and Rahul’s match fees by the BCCI.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court-appointed BCCI Ombudsman had summoned Pandya and Rahul for deposition over their controversial remarks on the celebrity chat show.

The two players were earlier in January provisionally suspended by the apex court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) for their loose talk on the show.

However, Pandya and Rahul tendered unconditional apologies and the ban on the duo was provisionally lifted pending an inquiry by the BCCI Ombudsman.

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