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N.Korea says won’t attend Beijing Olympics, blames COVID-19 and ‘hostile forces’

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(Last Updated On: January 7, 2022)

In a letter to China, North Korea blamed “hostile forces” and COVID-19 risks for not being able to attend the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing and accused the United States of trying to prevent the Games’ success, state media said on Friday.

It was unclear whether the letter from North Korea’s Olympic Committee and Sports Ministry was referring only to its athletes – who are not eligible to compete after North Korea was suspended from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) until the end of 2022 after failing to send a team to the Tokyo Olympics last year, citing COVID-19 concerns, Reuters reported.

According to the report a summary of the letter by state news agency KCNA made no mention of a diplomatic delegation, and the country has maintained a strict self-imposed border lockdown that has blocked even its own diplomats from entering and choked off nearly all trade.

The letter criticised unspecified moves by the United States, which in December announced its government officials will boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics because of China’s human rights record, while leaving U.S. athletes free to travel to Beijing to compete.

Several other countries, including Britain, Australia, and Canada have also since announced diplomatic boycotts, Reuters reported.

“The U.S. and its vassal forces are getting evermore undisguised in their moves against China aimed at preventing the successful opening of the Olympics,” the North Korean letter said, calling the moves “an insult to the spirit of the international Olympic Charter and as a base act of attempting to disgrace the international image of China.”

North Korea has sent high-level political leaders to some previous games, including the sister of leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong, to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s second-highest official at the time, visited Beijing for the Summer Olympics in 2008.

China has been North Korea’s only major ally since the two signed a treaty in 1961, and international sanctions imposed over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes have made it more dependent than ever on Beijing for trade and other support, read the report.

“We could not take part in the Olympics due to the hostile forces’ moves and the worldwide pandemic, but we would fully support the Chinese comrades in all their work to hold splendid and wonderful Olympic festival,” the letter said, according to KCNA.

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Afghanistan beat Netherlands in first ODI by 36 runs

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(Last Updated On: January 22, 2022)

Afghanistan beat the Netherlands by 36 runs in the first of a three-match one-day international series in Doha on Friday.

Hashmatullah Shahidi produced a match-winning half-century on debut as Afghanistan ODI captain.

Shahidi, batting at No. 4, struck four fours and two sixes as he shepherded the innings all the way through to the 50th over. He had the experienced Rahmat Shah for support, the right-hand batter scoring 70 off 102 balls.

Shahidi’s knock, worth 73 runs in 94 balls, rescued a faltering innings, and once there was a total of 222 for 8 on the board, Afghanistan’s star bowling attack, led by Rashid Khan, put the squeeze on Netherlands and beat them by 36 runs.

Rashid claimed three wickets and effected a run-out with his 3/31 while Shahidi, with his fighting 73 runs, was man of the match.

Yamin Ahmadzai grabbed 2/34 while Mujeeb ur Rehman picked up 2/39 for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan now lead the 3-match ODI series 1-0, and have also added 10 more points to their tally at the ICC CWC Super League.

Afghanistan now carries 40 points from four games they have played.

The 2nd match of the series will be played on Sunday at the same venue.

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Pakistan qualifies for quarter-finals after beating Afghanistan by 24 runs

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(Last Updated On: January 21, 2022)

Pakistan U19 team beat Afghanistan by 24 runs on Thursday to qualify for Quarter Finals in ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2022 in West Indies.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first against Afghanistan U19s.

Afghan cricketers fought hard after Pakistan set a target of 240 runs in 50 overs. Bilal Sayedi smashed 42 runs off 81 balls including three boundaries and a six followed by Ijaz Ahmad Ahmadzai scoring 39 with the help of two boundaries and as many sixes.

For Pakistan, Awais and Qasim, Maaz Sadaqat bagged a wicket as the country managed to restrict Afghanistan to 215-9.

Abdul Faseeh and Mohammad Shehzad also played well for Pakistan by scoring 60 runs together for the second wicket partnership.

For Afghanistan, Izharulhaq Naveed took three wickets while Naveed Zadran and Noor Ahmad bagged two wickets each.

Afghanistan team had won its first match by 135 runs against Papua New Guinea on Tuesday night.

Afghanistan was bowled out for 200 runs in 38.2 overs with captain Suliman Safi smashing 62 runs off 76 balls.

Chasing a target of 201 runs, Papua New Guinea were bowled out for 65 in 20.5 overs.

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Afghanistan beats Papua New Guinea by 135 Runs at U19 ICC World Cup

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(Last Updated On: January 19, 2022)

Afghanistan’s national Under-19 team were on form on Tuesday night when they took on Papua New Guinea in the West Indies in their first match of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2022.

With a massive victory against their Group C opponents, the Afghan team, which won by 135 runs, will now be hoping to build a winning run in the tournament.

Afghanistan were bowled out for 200 runs in 38.2 overs with captain Suliman Safi smashing 62 runs off 76 balls.

Ijas Ahmadzai also made a noteworthy contribution, hitting 45 in 50 balls.

Chasing a target of 201 runs, Papua New Guinea were bowled out for 65 in 20.5 overs.

Isharulhaq Naveed was in fantastic form for Afghanistan and took three wickets. Meanwhile, Naveed Zadran, Nangeyalia Kharote, Noor Ahmad bagged two dismissals each.

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