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Afghan Cricket board hoping Rashid will get State Medal

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(Last Updated On: December 29, 2020)
Afghanistan cricket board (ACB) Chairman Farhan Yusefzai says, he has requested President Ashraf Ghani to award star Afghan spinner Rashid Khan with a state medal after the latter achieved a historic landmark in his career winning the ICC T20I Player of the Decade award.
 
“When I was appointed as ACB Chairman, Rashid was the captain of the national team. After consultations, we decided that it would be better if Rashid is freed from the burden of captaincy and allowed to focus more on his game,“ Yusefzai said.
 
“Therefore, as a player, Rashid Khan enhanced his performance further and continued to shine at the global stage.” He added.
 
Meanwhile, Afghanistan Cricket Board also intends to celebrate Rashid Khan’s historic achievement in an event soon.
 
Rashid Khan was declared the ICC T20I Cricketer of the Decade yesterday having already been featured in the ICC T20I Team of the Decade a day earlier.
 
Rashid has an incredible record to date in the format, the ICC stated on its website. 
 
He has amassed 89 wickets in 48 games, at an average of just 12.62. With a strike-rate of 12.3, the No.1-ranked men’s T20I bowler boasts a T20 career-best 5/3 against Ireland in 2017. 
 
Rashid said after the news was announced that he was “speechless” but thanked his fans and said it was a “great moment for all of Afghanistan”. 

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Beijing marks 100 days to Winter Olympics amid COVID, rights concerns

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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2021)

With 100 days until the start of the Winter Olympics, Beijing is promising a “simple and safe” 2022 Games – although preparations are anything but simple as China readies to host thousands of athletes and personnel as it battles COVID-19 flare-ups, Reuters reported.

Beijing will be the first city to stage both the Summer and Winter Games, but the 2022 event is shadowed by the coronavirus pandemic and calls from human rights groups for a boycott over China’s treatment of Tibet, Uyghur Muslims and Hong Kong.

The Games will run Feb. 4 to 20, with all participants subject to daily COVID-19 tests and no international spectators. Unlike this year’s Tokyo Summer Games local spectators will be allowed at events in and around the Chinese capital.

According to the report athletes and other Games-related personnel will be enveloped in a “closed loop” including three clusters of venues – one in downtown Beijing, one in the outskirts near the Great Wall, and one to the northwest of the city, in Hebei province.

Also unlike the Tokyo Games, which were delayed by a year and faced speculation they would be cancelled, there has been little doubt the Beijing Winter Olympics will take place – no matter what – as an increasingly assertive China seizes the opportunity to demonstrate soft power.

Still, the countdown comes as China, with some of the world’s most stringent COVID-19 controls, battles small Delta variant outbreaks. The Beijing and Wuhan marathons were postponed this week, and curbs on travel into the capital were announced due to dozens of daily new cases, read the report.

Restrictions on gatherings and travel have contributed to a lack of the anticipatory buzz that marked Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics – an extravaganza widely seen as China’s global coming-out party.

Since then, China has risen to superpower status, locked in antagonistic competition with the United States and under the increasingly authoritarian leadership of President Xi Jinping, with tightened censorship and suppression of dissent.

During the torch-lighting ceremony in Athens earlier this month, rights activists unfurled a banner reading “No Genocide Games” and waved a Tibetan flag, although the ceremony itself was not interrupted, as had been the case for the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.

Rights groups and some U.S. lawmakers have called on the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Winter Games and relocate the event unless China ends what the United States deems ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups.

Activists and U.N. rights experts have said that at least 1 million Muslims were detained in camps in Xinjiang since 2017. Beijing denies all allegations of abuse of Uyghurs and describes the camps as vocational training facilities to combat religious extremism, Reuters reported.

After Boston Celtics centre Enes Kanter posted videos denouncing China’s human rights record last week, his name appeared to be blocked on China’s social media platform Weibo, and his team’s highlights were dropped from a domestic sports platform.

While no country has said its athletes will boycott the Games, European, British and American lawmakers have all voted for their diplomats to do so.

According to the report some facilities built for 2008, including the Bird’s Nest Stadium, will be re-used for 2022. Others have been newly built near the city of Zhangjiakou in Hebei province, connected to Beijing by high speed rail, with the region’s cold but dry winters requiring the help of artificial snow to cover slopes.

The Games are also set to feature players from North America’s National Hockey League after they skipped the 2018 edition in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with superstars like Canada’s Sidney Crosby and Russia’s Alexander Ovechkin poised to add star power.

And while Xi has positioned the Games as an opportunity to accelerate development of winter sports, China is not expected to be among the biggest medals winners.

China topped the gold medals table at the 2008 Summer Games and came second at Tokyo, but won just one in the Winter Games in Pyeongchang and finished 14th overall.

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Afghans eagerly gear up to watch their team face off against Scotland in T20 World Cup match

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2021)

Amid all their concerns and economic woes, Afghans have something to look forward to on Monday night when their national team take on Scotland in the ICC World Cup T20 tournament in the UAE.

The national cricket team is scheduled to face Scotland in their first official match at about 6.30pm Kabul time.

For Afghans in the country, the match can be viewed live on Ariana TV, which has the rights to broadcast the tournament. For online viewers click here to watch the match.

Cricket fans across the country have high hopes that their team will do well – especially as Afghanistan is ranked number eight in T20 cricket – and many said Monday that a win would bring some much needed joy to the nation amid trying times.

“In these difficult and anxious days, our only joy is this sport and we support the Afghan national cricket team and we hope that our players can achieve a good result for Afghanistan in these competitions,” said Zabiullah Zadran, a resident of Paktia.

“It is sports and athletes who bring happiness to the people, and we are very happy that our national cricket team qualified for the World Cup.” said Khaibar Sharifi, a resident of Kabul.

“I urge all cricket fans to pray for the victory of the Afghan national cricket team in the World Cup. It is a great honor for Afghanistan and a very happy time, we are a very upset people,” said Hayatullah Durani, another Kabul resident.

Meanwhile, national cricket team players say they will put every effort into the match in order to secure a win for their countrymen.

Mohammad Nabi, captain of the Afghan team, says currently, cricket is collectively the only source of happiness for Afghans. Nabi added that the team is in good spirits and that Afghans back home are hoping for a win.

“Afghans all talk a lot about the team squad on social media, and Inshallah (God willing), the players will try to shine well, also the team’s morale is very good,” Nabi added.

“In this round of the World Cup, we promise our compatriots to play [well and] display best performances,” said Najibullah Zadran, a national cricket team player.

Afghanistan, which was an automatic qualifier, is in the second group with Scotland, Pakistan, Namibia, India and New Zealand.

Ariana Television Network has broadcasting rights of the T20 Cricket World Cup, which is being co-hosted by Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

This is the Afghan team’s third appearance at the T20 World Cup but won only two matches at the 2016 event. This year, the team is looking to win more matches and progress further in the competition.

Already last week, Afghanistan beat reigning World Cup holders West Indies in a warm up match.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE MATCH LIVE AT 6.30PM KABUL TIME

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Pakistanis euphoric after beating India in first World Cup win

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2021)

Firecrackers, blaring car horns and bursts of gunfire rang out across Pakistani cities on Sunday as cricket fans celebrated their first World Cup victory over arch rivals India, Reuters reported.

Shortly after captain Babar Azam and his partner Mohammad Rizwan sealed a crushing 10-wicket win in their Twenty20 World Cup group match in Dubai, cheers echoed from houses and apartment buildings.

“Congratulations to the Pakistan Team & esp(ecially) to Babar Azam who led from the front, as well as to the brilliant performances of Rizwan & Shaheen Afridi,” said Prime Minister Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to triumph in the one-day World Cup in 1992.

“The nation is proud of you all,” he tweeted.

His congratulations were echoed by the chief of the army staff, underlining the political symbolism of the win, Reuters reported.

According to the report the two neighbours have clashed repeatedly over the years, most recently in 2019 when Indian jets launched a raid into Pakistan over a militant attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 40 police.

On the field, however, players from both sides embraced and chatted warmly after the match.

In Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, fans poured onto the streets immediately after the final ball was bowled, waving Pakistani flags from motorcycles and car windows.

Pakistani media also reported loud celebrations in parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir, a Muslim majority region that has been at the heart of much of the tension between the two countries.

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