Aussie cricketer Watson apologies for 'illicit' social media posts

Aussie cricketer Watson apologies for 'illicit' social media posts

16/10/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 29555499

Australian cricketer Shane Watson has apologised to fans after his social media accounts were flooded with "illicit" photographs of half-naked women and racist comments, seemingly the work of hackers.

The all-rounder, who plays for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, said in social media posts late on Tuesday that both his Twitter and Instagram pages had been hacked in recent days.

Screenshots published by British tabloid The Sun showed revealing images of women in underwear posted on his personal Instagram account.

The West Australian reported that a hacker also posted racial slurs and fat-shaming comments to his Twitter account last week.

The 38-year-old, who has more than two million followers across the two platforms, apologised to his followers for the posts.

"My apologies to everyone for the illicit photos that have been posted on my Instagram account," he tweeted.

"First my Twitter account on Friday got hacked and now Instagram today."

He also recorded a separate video, uploaded to Instagram, in which he slammed the content as "disgraceful".

Watson played 59 Tests and 190 One Day International matches for Australia before retiring from international cricket in 2016.
Paine backs Smith taking over captaincy

Paine backs Smith taking over captaincy

16/10/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 29555465

SYDNEY: Australian captain Tim Paine has addressed speculation over whether Steve Smith will again lead the team once a ban ends in March, saying he would be fully supportive if it happens ‘one day’.

Smith skippered the team until he was suspended for 12 months over a brazen attempt under his watch to alter the ball with sandpaper in Cape Town last year.

Part of his punishment included a further year-long exile from any leadership role.

Calls have grown for Smith to take over from Paine when the ban is lifted following batting performances that helped Australia retain the Ashes against England.

Paine, who will turn 35 in December, on Monday brushed off questions surrounding the Australian side’s future leadership.

“I’m enjoying having the job at the moment... and I certainly hope Steve Smith does captain Australia again one day, and if he does, I’ll be fully supportive of it,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

Paine will not play in this summer’s Big Bash League, instead joining broadcaster Channel Seven’s commentary team.

But he will almost certainly retain the captaincy for the home summer Test series against Pakistan and New Zealand, despite occasional criticism of his form during the Ashes.

He recently ended a 13-year century drought by scoring his first ton since his maiden century as a 21-year-old in 2006.

Coach Justin Langer has praised his leadership as ‘bril­liant’ and said Smith may not want to take on the ‘burden’ of the captaincy on top of batting pressures.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2019
Torch reaches Islamabad amid National Games’ postponement

Torch reaches Islamabad amid National Games’ postponement

16/10/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 29555432

ISLAMABAD: The National Games torch reached Islamabad on Tuesday, amid the postponement of the much-awaited event which is being held after a gap of seven years.

The Games were slated to be held in Peshawar from October 26 to November 1 but on Tuesday, the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) announced that it was deferring the event by two weeks. The POA announced, with the consent of the organising committee and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, that the Games will now be held from November 9 to 14.

“With the safety and security of the athletes always of paramount concern, the Pakistan Olympic Association, Organising Committee and the Government of KP have mutually agreed to reschedule the dates of the 33rd National Games,” the POA said in a brief statement. “The Games shall now be held from 9th to 14th November while the closing ceremony will be held on 15th November. The events, venues and details of events already notified shall remain unchanged.”

The delay in the Games comes due to a high risk of worsening law and order situation in Peshawar with some of the country’s leading political parties, led by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, set for an “azadi march” against the government on October 27.

In a video message on Tuesday the provincial Minister for Information Shaukat Yousufzai said that the games had been re-scheduled and added that the decision was taken with consensus in a meeting of the apex committee with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman at Governor House.

The minister said the Games were delayed following “suggestions of the security departments so that to avoid any complication”.

“The government wanted to hold the Games with full attention in a very befitting manner, as it is a mega event wherein at least 10,000 athletes would take part,” he said.

“Provincial minister for sports Mohammad Atif Khan also held a discussion with the POA president retired Lt Gen Syed Arif Hasan and the decision was taken with mutual understanding.

“The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, especially Peshawar was going to become a hub of sports activities as the government was fully determined to promote sports, provide facilities to sports lovers.”

The decision to defer the Games overshadowed the arrival of the torch in Islamabad. It arrived nine days after the relay began in Karachi before travelling to Quatta, Lahore and Rawalpindi.

In Islamabad, the relay began with a function at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) where the torch was handed over to HEC acting executive director Dr. Fateh Muhammad Marri by Islamabad Olympic Association management committee chairperson Begum Ishrat Ashraf.

The torch then travelled to Daman-i-Koh, the city’s famed viewpoint, where it was received by Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) commander Nosherwan and squash legend Jansher Khan.

Jansher wasn’t too pleased with the postponement of the Games.

“I eagerly travelled from Peshawar to Islamabad to hold the torch but the news of the postponement came to us while the torch was travelling in the capital,” he told Dawn.

“The country’s sportspersons have been eagerly anticipating the Games for the last several years and the postponement adds to the agony they have suffered,” added Jansher, asking the government to make sure that the Games are now held on the revised dates come what may.

Then torch was then brought to Faisal Mosque, where it was received by Pakistan Navy. Navy handed over the torch to Pakistan Army at the F-8 signal before it was brought to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), where athletes including Olympian Manzoor-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Usaman, Brigadier Zaheer Akhtar and Kabaddi player Mohammad Nasir carried it.

Federal Minister for Inter-provincial coordination Dr. Fehmida Mirza received the torch during a function held at the Jinnah Stadium.

“The Games would not only promote sports in the country but they will also promote the country’s soft image,” she said.

The torch will now travel to Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Ali Hazrat Bacha in Peshawar and Mohammad Yaqoob in Lahore contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2019
BD security assessment team to visit Pakistan

BD security assessment team to visit Pakistan

16/10/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 29555466

KARACHI: A couple of series in Pakistan involving Bangladesh women and BD’s junior men’s U-16 outfit are scheduled to commence in the last week of this month but reports say that the visitors are keen to assess the security arrangements prior to the tours.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on the one hand, is upbeat about the two series and has already announced the training camp for women cricketers in Muridke.

“As of now, both Bangladesh outfits are coming as per schedule and we are gearing up for the series accordingly. The PCB is in constant touch with our Bangladesh counterparts in this regard,” the PCB spokesperson told this correspondent.

On the other hand, the spokesperson of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), Jalal Yunus was of the opinion that the above mentioned trips were still subject to security clearance for which the assessment team would visit Pakistan very soon.

“The security assessment team will reach Pakistan in a few days and on the basis of their report a final call with regards to the tour will be made,” Jalal Yunus said

Bangladesh women team is scheduled to reach Lahore on October 23 to feature in three T20I matches and two ODIs in Lahore. The series starts with the opening T20I at the Gaddafi Stadium on October 26.

“Government’s nod is essential for the Pakistan tour. The time is running out but there will be no delay in the itinerary if the trips go on”, the BCB spokesman added

Regarding the senior men’s team trip to Pakistan in January, the BCB spokesperson said it will be pondered upon in due course of time.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2019
‘Head coach Misbah disappointed with attitude of senior players’

‘Head coach Misbah disappointed with attitude of senior players’

16/10/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 29555464

KARACHI: Head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq is extremely disappointed with the attitude of some Pakistani players who shy away from proper training, lack discipline and don’t adhere to professional standards.

Pakistan recently suffered a shocking whitewash against Sri Lanka’s depleted outfit in the three-game T20I series and Misbah remains very disappointed at the way the top-ranked side capitulated against the tourists in front of home crowds.

“What has disturbed Misbah the most in his first assignment as head coach and the chief selector is the reluctance of some players to follow directions of the management and do proper training to keep high fitness standards,” one source said.

“He is unhappy that some players are just too relaxed and take training lightly and are not working on improving their cricket discipline. He has also not been encouraged by the attitude of captain Sarfraz Ahmed whom, he feels, shies away from taking responsibility when the chips are down.”

Another source told PTI that Misbah was surprised by the behaviour of three senior players — Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, and Haris Sohail. “Several times he felt they were making excuses to shy away from training and proper nets. He got the feeling they had some sort of excuse ready to go easy on their training,” the source said.

“Batsman Haris Sohail has developed a painful habit of making excuses for having some niggling problem or pain when asked to push himself in training.

The source said at one stage Misbah even felt that the decision of former head coach Mickey Arthur to keep left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz out of the team was understandable. The long-serving former Pakistan captain is also not pleased that some players are also not displaying the required professional standards.

“Two players bluntly informed their team’s head coaches that they would reach for the National T20 Championship matches in Faisalabad on the morning of the games. When Misbah came to know about this he told the head coaches they should be more firm with the players and ensure they joined their provincial team a day before the matches,” one source said.

Misbah is also surprised that Arthur and the ex-support staff didn’t pay enough attention to developing proper batsmen in all formats and didn’t look beyond Babar Azam.

“It is not a very happy situation now and one can expect Misbah to take some hard decisions as chief selector while selecting the T20 and Test squads for the coming tour of Australia,” he said.

Zahid Mahmood, a leg-spinner who in the past has been ignored by the selectors and coaches, is now under the consideration of Misbah who is not satisfied with the form of current team leggies, Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan.

Similarly, Misbah is also on the lookout for some new pace bowlers and youngster Naseem Shah is under his scanner for the Australian tour. The source said it will also be interesting to see whether Misbah supports Sarfraz to continue as a Test captain when the board meets to decide on the captain for the Australian tour.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2019
Wrestler Inam claims gold at World Beach Games

Wrestler Inam claims gold at World Beach Games

16/10/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 29555463
DOHA: Pakistan’s Mohammad Inam (L) fights against Dato Marsagishvili of Georgia during the 90kg wrestling final at the ANOC World Beach Games.—Xinhua
DOHA: Pakistan’s Mohammad Inam (L) fights against Dato Marsagishvili of Georgia during the 90kg wrestling final at the ANOC World Beach Games.—Xinhua

DOHA: Pakistan’s top grappler Mohammad Inam Butt won the gold medal at the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in the Qatari capital Doha, defeating Georgia’s Dato Marsagishvili in the 90kg final at Katara Beach late on Monday.

The 30-year-old is Pakistan’s lone participant among 1237 athletes from 97 countries, who are competing in 14 different disciplines at the Games that started Friday and end on Wednesday. A total of 350 medals are up for grabs at the Games which were created by the world’s Olympic committees and announced in 2015.

Inam, Pakistan’s sole gold medallist in last year’s Commonwealth Games lived up to expectations as he defeated Marsagishvili 5-2 after a thrilling contest.

The Gujranwala-born Inam showed his class from the early rounds and powered up his capacity against the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Marsagishvili in the final game.

The Georgian took a 2-0 lead with just a point more required to win gold, but Inam was not the one to give up so easily. He made it 2-2 with two throws, and with seconds remaining in the first period, produced a 3-point takedown to clinch a thrilling contest.

“For the last three months I was training for this one, to beat that guy. I knew he was the strongest that’s why for three months I dedicated my training on his technique,” explained Inam in the mixed zone.

“I trained very hard for this after missing the World Wrestling Championship in Kazakhstan last month,” he added. “It was not easy but I was confident of winning gold at the Beach Games. I have been training hard at home too, but training myself, and then also teaching and training other juniors at my gym is tough. I picked up an injury almost two months ago and underwent surgery.”

After his triumph, Inam posed for several selfies with his devoted fans who had gathered to create a fantastic atmosphere in the stands.

“Wherever Pakistanis see their compatriots competing in sports they always show their love, because there are not many great athletes in our country. I came here, I played hard and they love me for that,” he said and explained why he is so good in Beach Wrestling. “This is my own game because in Pakistan we have a similar type of wrestling. That’s why I find a better grip than the other wrestlers do.”

Inam had earlier recorded emphatic wins in all his bouts on the day to finish at the top in Group ‘A’ and got a smooth sailing in the semi-final, defeating Pedro Jacinto Garcia Perez of Spain 3-0.

MOHAMMAD Inam poses with his gold medal.—Xinhua/INP
MOHAMMAD Inam poses with his gold medal.—Xinhua/INP

Starting with a landslide 3-0 win over Portugal’s Adao Rafael Andrade da Silva, Inam also triumphed against Marsaghishvili in the group stage, which he rounded off with 1-0 and 3-1 wins over Turkey’s Murat Ozkan and Kanan Aliyev respectively.

Inam had qualified for the Games after finishing as runner-up in a qualifying tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in May. Next up for him, are qualifiers for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2019
Bulgaria football chief resigns after racist abuse

Bulgaria football chief resigns after racist abuse

16/10/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 29555289
SOFIA: Bulgaria’s football union president resigned on Tuesday, a day after racist abuse marred a match against England in Sofia.“Today the president of the Bulgarian Football Union Borislav Mihaylov presented his resignation, which will be handed in to the members of the executive committee on its meeting on Friday,” the union said in a statement on its website.The decision “resulted from the tension created over the past days, which is detrimental to Bulgarian football and the Bulgarian football union,” the statement said. The Euro 2020 qualifier, which England won 6-0, was twice halted by racist chanting aimed at England players.Earlier, Bulgaria’s prime minister urged Mihaylov to resign after a match against England was twice halted because of racist abuse.“I urge Borislav Mihaylov to hand in his resignation immediately!” Prime Minister Boyko Borisov wrote on Facebook, adding it was “inadmissible that Bulgaria... is associated with racism and xenophobia”.Borisov said he “categorically condemned the behaviour of some of those present at the stadium,” insisting that EU member Bulgaria was “one of the most tolerant countries in the world”.Borisov said the government would sever all ties, including financial, with the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) over what he called “a shameful loss” and the overall poor standing of Bulgarian football until Mihaylov resigned.BFU media chief Hristo Zapryanov said his union was not to blame for the trouble, adding Mihaylov would speak after the body’s executive committee meeting on Friday, but would not resign.“If you ask for a resignation, of course, he will not resign,” Zapryanov told reporters, adding the government had “no right to press demands or interfere in any way in football” according to international football governing rules.He dismissed Monday’s incidents as “inadmissable” but said the BFU had no power “to investigate and to track hooligans”.England manager Gareth Southgate said his side had made a statement by deciding to complete the match instead of leaving the pitch in the face of the abuse, calling it “an unacceptable situation”.
Mitchell expects Wallabies to stick with ?Australian way?

Mitchell expects Wallabies to stick with ?Australian way?

16/10/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 29555290
BEPPU, Japan: England expect the Wallabies to play the “Australian way” when they face their familiar foes in a World Cup quarter-final this weekend.The Australian game has long been synonymous with running rugby and few opponents have had a longer appreciation of its qualities than England defence coach John Mitchell.“They just love moving the ball—I think that’s the Australian way as well,” Mitchell told reporters at England’s hotel in Beppu on Tuesday.“They love ball in hand and they love playing so that’s to me very much their mentality, always has been and always will be.” Mitchell was the head coach of his native New Zealand when they lost a 2003 World Cup semi-final to Australia.Eddie Jones, in charge of the Wallabies back then is now Mitchell’s boss in the England set-up. The much-travelled Mitchell’s coaching career also includes a spell in Australian rugby with the Western Force.Many within rugby union have long argued Australia compensates for a relatively small playing base with coaching game intelligence—an opinion endorsed by Mitchell ahead of Saturday’s knockout clash in Oita. “They will be clever on the weekend. They always are.”England have won all six of their clashes against Australia under Jones—appointed after the Wallabies condemned the then hosts to a woeful first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup with a 33-13 victory at Twickenham.But Mitchell said that record and his own knowledge of Australian rugby would have a limited impact on Saturday’s last-eight clash. “It’s helpful but, like anything, this is a new contest. All you can do is look at and witness the threats that they’ve posed through the way they’ve played recently.”Australia coach Michael Cheika, who led the Wallabies to a World Cup final they lost to New Zealand four years ago after they condemned England to an early exit, suggested Monday his staff spent too much time analysing the opposition.
Typhoon comments: Scotland hit with misconduct charge

Typhoon comments: Scotland hit with misconduct charge

16/10/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 29555288
TOKYO: Rugby World Cup organisers filed misconduct charges against Scotland on Tuesday over comments made about Typhoon Hagibis, after the Scots threatened legal action if their final pool game was cancelled because of the deadly storm.Organisers said they had “issued misconduct charges against the Scottish Rugby Union in relation to recent comments made about Typhoon Hagibis and its potential impact” on Scotland’s match against Japan.Scotland faced elimination if Sunday’s Pool A game was cancelled, as happened to three other matches over the weekend as the typhoon struck. In the event, it went ahead but Scotland lost 28-21 to Japan, sending them out of the competition.Tournament director Alan Gilpin told reporters on Tuesday that “under our tournament rules, we are very careful that people behave appropriately”. He added: “As a result of that, we’ve referred to an independent disputes committee the behaviour and comments of the Scottish Rugby Union.”Hagibis slammed into Japan on Saturday night, unleashing fierce winds and unprecedented rainfall that triggered landslides and flooding, killing nearly 70 people.As the typhoon approached, raising doubts about the pool match on Sunday, Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson said they were considering legal action if the game did not go ahead. Scotland would not become “collateral damage” of the typhoon, said Dodson, adding that fans were “absolutely astounded at this rigidity from World Rugby”.Scotland were desperate for the game to be played because they would have been eliminated if it were cancelled and counted as a 0-0 draw. In the end, Japan’s victory saw them qualify at the top of the pool, while Scotland failed to reach the quarter-finals for only the second time in their history. World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper slammed the Scottish comments as “unhelpful and disappointing” and stressed organisers were not influenced by any discussions with member unions.“We made a call based on the volume of what was in front of us. We were ready for typhoons. There is nothing exceptional about typhoons in this country. But this was an exceptional typhoon that we haven’t had the likes of since the fifties,” said Gosper.“Please understand, this was an exceptional event that was thrown at this tournament and the tournament has handled it brilliantly. We knew this was coming but not on that scale,” he said.As Hagibis approached, organisers were forced into the unprecedented step of cancelling two matches—Italy v New Zealand and England v France. And as the full extent of the devastation became clear, they also scrapped Namibia v Canada in Kamaishi, a town nearly wiped off the map in the 2011 tsunami.