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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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Chahal registers best ODI bowling figures by a spinner Down Under

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Mumbai :Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on Friday recorded the best bowling figures by a spinner in an ODI clash in Australia, during the series-decider against the Aussies in Melbourne.

Chahal picked six wickets while conceding just 42 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), registering a dominant performance against the hosts, in a crucial clash. He also became the first spinner to pick six wickets in an ODI in Australia.

The bowler’s excellent performance certainly played a key role in India restricting Australia to a total of just 230.

 

The 28-year-old cricketer further equalled the best-ever ODI figures registered by any bowler in an ODI clash in Australia, alongside former Indian fast-bowler Ajit Agarkar.

Agarkar had accumulated the same tally as recorded by Chahal, against the hosts at the same venue, back in 2004.

Australian paceman Mitchell Starc enjoys a bowling tally, which trails the figures registered by the duo by a single run, having picked six wickets for 43 runs against India at the MCG, back in 2015.

English fast-bowler Chris Woakes is the fourth name on the list, after accumulating figures of 6/45 against Australia in Brisbane, 2011.

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Phogat becomes first Indian nominated for Laureus Awards

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Mumbai: Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Monica on 18 February.

The 24-year-old Indian, who made a sensational comeback after battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, has been nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year.

The Haryana wrestler, who was stretchered off after dislocating her knee during the quarterfinals of 50kg freestyle event at the 2016 Olympic Games, has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.

 

Also nominated are four inspirational Winter Olympic athletes; Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, US ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn and Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee.

The last time an Indian sporting feat made its way to the Laureus World Sports Awards was in 2004 when the Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team shared the Laureus Sport for Good Award for playing an International match despite political tensions between the two countries.

Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014. However, Vinesh makes history as the first Indian athlete to be nominated in one of the seven main categories at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

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All foreign stars will play PSL ties in Pakistan, says Mani

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LAHORE: All star cricketers will come to Pakistan to play in the eight matches of the fourth Pakistan Super League (PSL) scheduled for Karachi and Lahore, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani said.

The PSL matches will be staged from Feb 14 to March 17 at three venues — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi — in the United Arab Emirates before the remaining fixtures move to Pakistan with Karachi staging five games, including the final, and Lahore three.

Talking to media on sidelines of a friendly cricket match between the Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) and the UK-based Pakistani journalists at the Gaddafi Stadium, Mani said a good number of star cricketers had signed up in the six PSL franchises.

 

However, because of security concerns, prominent overseas players have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan. But with the passage of time, the number of prominent cricketers willing to visit Pakistan has risen. In the recent development the ex-South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers has already pledged to play two matches of Lahore Qalandars in Lahore on March 9 and 10.

To a query, Mani said the talks with Cricket Australia are still on to convince them to send their national side to Pakistan for two games of the five-match One-day International series in the UAE in March despite reports of Australia’s expressing their reluctance regarding playing here.

The PCB chief declared that he has persuaded CA to send a security delegation to assess the current situation in Pakistan before taking a final decision, which is expected to be taken before the PSL begins in the second week of February.

Mani further said that talks were on with the cricket boards of South Africa and England to send different age-group teams to Pakistan.

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