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Babar Azam one of the best players in the world: Imran Tahir



London: South Africa’s Imran Tahir during the 30th match of 2019 World Cup between South Africa and Pakistan at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, England on June 23, 2019. (Photo Credit: Twitter/@ICC)

Veteran South Africa spinner Imran Tahir heaped praise on Pakistan white-ball skipper Babar Azam and referred to him as one of the best in the world.

Over the years, Azam has been one of the most consistent Pakistan batsmen across formats. He holds the top spot in ICC rankings for batsmen in T20Is, third spot in ODIs and sixth in Tests.

Tahir also lauded Azam’s leadership skills and stated he is perfect for young Pakistan cricketers to follow.

“The current team led by Babar Azam is very young and I wish him all the best because I believe he is one of the best players in the world today,” Tahir was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.

“He is surrounded by youngsters. Young players put a lot of effort into the game. My experience tells me that they will do well in the future but at the same time they should be prepared to not give up if they lose some games,” he added.

Azam is currently with national squad on their tour of England. Pakistan are scheduled to play three Tests and as many T20Is in August after the completion of West Indies’ ongoing #raisethebat Test series against England.

The first Test between the two teams will be played in Manchester starting August 5 while the final two Tests are scheduled to be played in Southampton from August 13 and August 21 respectively.

The three T20Is, meanwhile, will be played at a single venue in Manchester on August 28, August 30 and September 1.


New Zealand to start home summer against West Indies from November 27




The New Zealand men’s cricket team will begin their home season against the West Indies with a three-match T20I series slated to start from November 27 at Eden Park. After the T20Is set to be played till November 30, the teams will play two-Test series from December 3 to 15.

Apart from the West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh are also set to visit New Zealand in the upcoming months.

Pakistan will be playing three T20Is and two Tests against the Black Caps from December 18 to January 7. The first Test against Pakistan at the Bay Oval will be the eighth Boxing Day Test in New Zealand and the first since the Black Caps beat Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in 2018. Wellington (five Tests) and Christchurch have hosted the others.

Then the Kiwis will take on Australia (five T20Is) and Bangladesh (two ODIs and three T20I) in February and March.

“Hosting these tours is incredibly important to us for two reasons: international cricket brings in revenue that funds the entire game of cricket in New Zealand and, also, it’s crucial that we look after the fans of the game and sport in general, especially during these difficult times,” said New Zealand Cricket’s CEO David White in a statement.

White said NZC was aware of the challenging circumstances in which many New Zealanders had found themselves in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis and would be cutting the price of a adult ticket by almost half, to acknowledge this.

“It might sound counter-intuitive to be lowering ticket prices at a time of great additional cost and expense to the game, but we think it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

While no international side would be in New Zealand through the bulk of January and early-February, White said Kiwis could still look forward to top cricket.

“One of the silver linings is that our Super Smash competition, which will be played in that window, will now be boosted by the presence of Black Caps and White Ferns.

“It’s going to be the best Super Smash yet, I’m confident of that,” he said.

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Pakistan Cricket Board signs MoU with PITB for e-FOAS




The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) for the implementation of e-Filling and Office Automation System (e-FOAS) at the cricket headquarters.

Wasim Khan and Azfar Manzoor signed the MoU on behalf of the PCB and PITB respectively after the latter fulfilled the PCB’s requirements of providing a software that could improve day-to-day operations and also enhance the organisation’s archiving capabilities, stated PCB in a media release.

PCB General Manager – IT, Junaid Babar Khan: “The PCB was searching for a solution for electronic approvals with tracking to avoid delays in approvals as well as the management of office files for a quick reference/retrieval of information pertaining to any official matter or approvals or history.

“The e-FOAS has been developed by PITB with rich tools to help the PCB in its day to day office operations. This will not only help saving time and cost but also bring efficiency, enhancement and control that how official approvals are processed and data is maintained plus help archiving the old data,” he added.

PITB Chairman Azfar Maznoor said, “e-FOAS is a product of PITB and has been developed with the vision to fully automate the official disposal of work electronically which will result into better efficiency and will be a step towards paperless environment at PCB.”

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Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry out of New Zealand series due to injury




Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry will be missing the remainder of the limited-overs series against New Zealand, skipper Meg Lanning confirmed on Tuesday.

Perry, who tore her right hamstring during the Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia in March, had hoped to resume against the Kiwis but aggravated the injury during training.

Australia have already secured the ongoing three-match T20I series after winning the first two matches and will be eyeing for a clean sweep when they take on the White Ferns in the final game on Wednesday at the Allan Border Field. After the T20Is, the two teams will contest in three ODIs scheduled to be played from October 3-7.

“Unfortunately she had some hamstring awareness and has got a low-grade strain, so she won’t be available for the rest of this series. She’ll remain with the team to continue her rehab and training in the hope of being available at some point during the WBBL,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Lanning as saying.

“So she won’t be playing any part in this series. It’s the same hamstring but a different muscle within the hamstring. It’s on the minor end, so hopefully doesn’t delay it too much,” she added.

The star all-rounder will now hope to make a comeback in competitive cricket for the Sydney Sixers in the upcoming edition of the Women’s Big Bash League slated to be played in Sydney from October 25.

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