Wahab Riaz Requests Six-Hitting Contest, Pakistan Coach Intervenes

Wahab Riaz Requests Six-Hitting Contest, Pakistan Coach Intervenes

Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz Requests Six-Hitting Contest, Coach Intervenes

Former Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz recently made a lighthearted request to current captain Babar Azam, asking to participate in a six-hitting competition before the fourth T20I against New Zealand. The request, captured in a video shared on Pakistan Cricket’s official social media account, drew a chuckle from Azam and the team.

However, Pakistan’s head coach Azhar Mahmood stepped in to remind Riaz that management was not permitted to join the contest. Undeterred, Riaz quipped, “I would’ve hit bigger sixes.”

The video highlights the camaraderie between the former and current players of the Pakistan cricket team. Riaz’s request, though denied, served as a reminder of his competitive spirit and the close bond he shares with the team.

Injury Woes for Pakistan Ahead of Fourth T20I

Pakistan’s preparations for the fourth T20I against New Zealand have been hampered by injuries to wicketkeeper Mohammed Rizwan and all-rounder Irfan Khan. Both players sustained hamstring injuries during the third match in Rawalpindi.

The injuries are a significant blow to Pakistan, who are already without Azam Khan, who was ruled out before the series began due to a muscle tear. Haseebullah Khan, who was called up as a replacement, is expected to take on the wicketkeeping duties for the remaining two matches in Lahore.

New Zealand Level Series with Victory in Third T20I

New Zealand’s second-string team emerged victorious in the third T20I by seven wickets, leveling the five-match series at 1-1. The first match of the series was abandoned after just two balls due to rain, while Pakistan won the second match by seven wickets.

The fourth T20I will be played in Lahore on Friday, with the fifth and final match scheduled for Sunday. Pakistan will be looking to regain the lead in the series, while New Zealand will be aiming to secure their first series win in Pakistan since 2003.

PCB Expands Women's Selection Committee to Seven Members

PCB Expands Women’s Selection Committee to Seven Members

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has overhauled its national women’s selection committee, expanding it to seven members in a bid to improve the team’s performance. The decision follows Pakistan’s disappointing 3-0 ODI series loss to West Indies at home.

The new selection committee includes four former Pakistan internationals: Asmavia Iqbal, Marina Iqbal, Abdul Razzaq, and Asad Shafiq. They are joined by former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Batool Fatima. The head coach and captain (currently Mohtashim Rasheed and Nida Dar) will also be part of the seven-member panel.

Former fast bowler Saleem Jaffar is the only member not retained from the previous selection committee.

The first task for the new selection committee will be to pick the squad for Pakistan’s upcoming tour of England, where they are scheduled to play three T20Is and three ODIs from May 11 to 29. All three ODIs are part of the ICC ODI women’s championship 2022-25.

Pakistan are currently fifth on the women’s championship table with eight wins and 13 losses in 21 ODIs. Ahead of them on the points table are Australia, South Africa, England, and New Zealand. The top five teams from the championship, along with hosts India, will directly qualify for the 2025 ODI Women’s World Cup. The remaining teams will participate in a qualifier tournament.

Pakistan started off the ODI series against West Indies with a 113-run loss. They then suffered a narrow, two-wicket defeat in the second game before going down in the third ODI by 88 runs. With scores of 140*, 44, and 141, Hayley Matthews was the star of the series as she finished with 325 runs while averaging 162.50. She was also the joint-leading wicket-taker along with Dar, picking up six wickets.

Pakistan will now compete in a five-match T20I series against West Indies which gets underway on April 26 and will run through till May 3. All matches will be played in Karachi. They will then travel to England with the first T20I scheduled to be played on May 11 in Birmingham.

Pakistan Cricket Legend Bismah Maroof Retires from International Cricket

Pakistan Cricket Legend Bismah Maroof Retires from International Cricket

Bismah Maroof Retires from International Cricket, Leaving an Indelible Mark

Former Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof has bid farewell to her illustrious 17-year international cricket career, effective immediately. As one of the most celebrated figures in women’s cricket, Maroof departs as Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in both One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).

Throughout her remarkable career, Maroof amassed 3369 runs in 136 ODIs, averaging 29.55. Her tally includes 21 half-centuries and a highest score of 99. In T20Is, she accumulated 2893 runs in 140 matches, boasting an average of 27.55 and 12 fifties.

Maroof’s leadership qualities were evident as she captained Pakistan in 96 games, including 62 T20Is and 34 ODIs. Only Sana Mir has led Pakistan in more T20Is (65), while Maroof ranks third in ODIs behind Mir (72) and Shaiza Khan (39).

“I have decided to retire from the game I love the most,” Maroof said in a statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). “It has been an incredible journey, filled with challenges, victories, and unforgettable memories.”

Maroof expressed her gratitude to her family, the PCB, and her teammates for their unwavering support throughout her career. She particularly acknowledged the PCB’s implementation of a parental policy, which allowed her to balance her cricketing aspirations with motherhood.

“The camaraderie we shared both on and off the field is something I will cherish forever,” Maroof added.

Maroof’s retirement marks the end of an era for Pakistan women’s cricket. Her contributions to the sport have been immense, inspiring countless young girls to pursue their cricketing dreams. Her legacy will continue to shape the future of women’s cricket in Pakistan and beyond.

Pakistan's Rizwan and Niazi Ruled Out of T20I Series Against New Zealand

Pakistan’s Rizwan and Niazi Ruled Out of T20I Series Against New Zealand

Pakistan’s T20I Series Against New Zealand Hit by Injuries to Rizwan and Niazi

Pakistan’s T20I series against New Zealand has been dealt a significant blow with the news that Mohammad Rizwan and Irfan Khan Niazi have been ruled out due to injuries. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed the news in a statement, stating that radiology reports had revealed the extent of their injuries.

Rizwan, Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batter, is believed to have suffered a hamstring injury while batting in the third T20I. He received extensive on-field attention before retiring hurt. The PCB has downplayed the severity of his injury, indicating that he is expected to be sidelined for no more than a week to ten days. However, the injury does not pose any immediate threat to his availability for future tours.

Niazi, on the other hand, is also believed to have sustained a hamstring niggle, despite showing no signs of discomfort during the third T20I. The PCB has decided to withdraw him from the series as a precautionary measure.

The absence of Rizwan and Niazi is a major setback for Pakistan, especially with the series on the line in Lahore. New Zealand bounced back from a heavy defeat in the second T20I with a dominant performance in Pindi, leveling the series. The final two games will be played in Lahore, where Pakistan will be looking to secure a series victory.

In Rizwan’s absence, Pakistan has several wicketkeeping options. Haseebullah, who made his international debut in a T20 against New Zealand earlier this year, has been called up as cover. Usman Khan, who kept wicket for the Multan Sultans in the PSL earlier this year, is another potential option.

The injuries to Rizwan and Niazi come at an inopportune time for Pakistan, who are looking to build momentum ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year. The team will be hoping that the duo can recover quickly and be available for selection in the near future.

Wasim Akram Lauds Shane Warne's Friendship, Cricketing Genius

Wasim Akram Lauds Shane Warne’s Friendship, Cricketing Genius

Legendary Pakistani pacer Wasim Akram has paid glowing tributes to the late Australian spin wizard Shane Warne, highlighting their close friendship despite representing different nations. Akram, who married Australian Shaniera Thompson in 2013, revealed that Warne had a special connection to his family.

“Shane Warne was a family friend of my wife’s family,” Akram said. “He bought a property that belonged to my in-laws, Tony Thompson and Greta. He lived just two minutes away from my house.”

Akram praised Warne’s exceptional cricketing abilities, particularly his uncanny ability to extract spin from the surface. “Facing him was a nightmare for many batters,” he said. “He holds the world record for the second-most wickets in Test cricket, with 708 wickets in 145 matches.”

Beyond his cricketing prowess, Akram admired Warne’s passion, knowledge, and energy for the game. “There was only one Shane Warne,” he said. “His involvement and the energy he brought were unmatched. He even led Rajasthan Royals to the IPL trophy in the inaugural season.”

Warne’s untimely demise in March 2022 left a void in the cricketing world. Akram expressed his admiration for Warne’s legacy, saying, “Players and leaders like Shane Warne are not born every day. He was a true legend, and his impact on the game will be felt for generations to come.”

Nazish Jahangir's Babar Azam Comment Sparks Social Media Storm

Nazish Jahangir’s Babar Azam Comment Sparks Social Media Storm

Pakistani actress Nazish Jahangir has sparked controversy on social media after her comments about national cricket team captain Babar Azam. The incident began when a fan asked Jahangir on Instagram if she would marry Azam. Jahangir’s response, “Mazraat hi karungi,” which translates to “Will say sorry,” ignited a firestorm of criticism.

The actress’s comment was widely interpreted as a rejection of Azam, leading to a barrage of negative reactions from his fans. Jahangir’s Instagram account was subsequently made private, but screenshots of her response continued to circulate online.

In an attempt to quell the backlash, Jahangir posted a story on Instagram stating that Azam was like a brother to her and that his fans were spreading negativity. However, her account was later made public again, and the aforementioned story was removed.

The controversy has cast a shadow over Azam’s recent reinstatement as Pakistan’s T20I captain. The team is currently engaged in a T20I series against New Zealand, with the third match taking place on Tuesday.

In the third T20I, New Zealand pulled off a stunning seven-wicket victory over Pakistan, thanks to an unbeaten 87 from Mark Chapman. Azam contributed 37 runs to Pakistan’s total of 178-4, but it was not enough to prevent the visitors from leveling the series at 1-1.

The controversy surrounding Jahangir’s comments has raised questions about the role of social media in the lives of public figures. It has also highlighted the intense scrutiny that athletes, particularly those in high-profile sports like cricket, face from fans and the media.

Mohammad Rizwan Hailed as “Bradman of T20 Cricket” by Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen Afridi Hails Mohammad Rizwan as the “Bradman of T20 Cricket”

Pakistan’s star fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has heaped praise on batter Mohammad Rizwan, calling him the “Bradman of T20 cricket” after he crossed the remarkable milestone of 3000 T20I runs.

Rizwan achieved this feat during the third T20I match against New Zealand, where he scored 22 off 21 deliveries before an unfortunate hamstring injury cut short his innings. Afridi’s heartfelt tribute to Rizwan on social media underscored the batsman’s transformative influence on the sport and his ability to silence doubters.

“Cheers to Muhammad Rizwan – the Bradman of T20 cricket and Pakistan’s SuperMan for hitting 3,000 T20I runs! Your impact has transformed the game and silenced the skeptics. Keep soaring, champion! You’re an inspiration to many,” Afridi’s post read.

Rizwan’s milestone not only marked a significant personal achievement but also saw him surpassing Indian cricketing stalwart Virat Kohli in reaching 3000 T20I runs. Rizwan achieved this feat in 92 matches and 79 innings, outpacing Kohli’s record of 87 matches and 81 innings.

Since his T20I debut against Bangladesh in 2015, Rizwan has been a linchpin in Pakistan’s batting lineup, featuring in 93 matches and 80 innings. With a strike rate of 127.42, he has amassed a total of 3048 runs, cementing his status as one of Pakistan’s premier batters in the shortest format of the game.

Rizwan’s success is a testament to his hard work, dedication, and unwavering belief in his abilities. Despite facing criticism and skepticism early in his career, he has proven his mettle time and again, becoming one of the most consistent and reliable batters in T20 cricket.

His ability to adapt to different conditions and situations, coupled with his exceptional shot-making skills, has made him a formidable force in the shortest format of the game. Rizwan’s contributions have been instrumental in Pakistan’s recent success in T20 cricket, including their triumph in the 2022 Asia Cup.

As Rizwan continues to scale new heights, he is sure to inspire a generation of young cricketers and leave an indelible mark on the sport. His achievements serve as a reminder that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

Shaheen Afridi's Controversial Comparison of Rizwan to Bradman Sparks Debate

Shaheen Afridi’s Controversial Comparison of Rizwan to Bradman Sparks Debate

Pakistan’s star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi sparked controversy on social media after labeling teammate Mohammad Rizwan as the “Don Bradman of T20 cricket.” The comment came after Rizwan reached the milestone of 3000 runs in T20 international cricket, becoming the fastest player to achieve the feat in just 79 innings.

Afridi’s tweet, which read, “Cheers to Muhammad Rizwan – the Bradman of T20 cricket and Pakistan’s SuperMan for hitting 3,000 T20I runs! Your impact has transformed the game and silenced the skeptics. Keep soaring, champion! You’re an inspiration to many,” drew criticism from fans who questioned the comparison to the legendary Australian batsman.

Bradman, widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time, dominated Test cricket with an astonishing batting average of 99.94. His dominance in the longer format of the game stands in stark contrast to Rizwan’s achievements in T20 cricket, a shorter and more explosive format.

Fans took to Twitter to express their disapproval of Afridi’s comparison. “Is this a sarcastic post, or do you really mean it?” asked one user. Another commented, “Bradman hit a total of 6 sixes in his entire career and he played test matches only. Rizwan is definitely the Bradman of T20.”

Despite the controversy, Rizwan’s achievement remains a significant milestone in his career. He has established himself as one of the most consistent and prolific batters in T20 cricket, with an impressive average of over 50 and a strike rate of over 130.

While Pakistan celebrated Rizwan’s achievement, they suffered a disappointing defeat in the third T20I against New Zealand. The Kiwis secured a comfortable 7-wicket victory, leaving Pakistan with a 1-2 deficit in the series.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam expressed his disappointment with the team’s performance, saying, “We were 10 runs short unfortunately. I think Shadab recovered well and built a good partnership. I think 180-190 was a par score according to me. We tried to play according to the situation.”

Pakistan will look to bounce back in the fourth T20I on April 24th as they aim to level the series and avoid a series defeat.

Pakistan's Batting Performance Praised Despite T20I Loss to New Zealand

Pakistan’s Batting Performance Praised Despite T20I Loss to New Zealand

Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam expressed satisfaction with his team’s batting performance in the third T20I against New Zealand at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, despite their 7-wicket loss.

Azam, who scored a 37-run knock off 29 balls, acknowledged that Mohammad Rizwan’s injury in the first inning was a setback. Rizwan, who had scored 22 runs off 21 balls, was forced to retire hurt.

“We did well with the bat. I don’t think it [the slowdown] made much of a difference because we had caught up in the end. You can say we were ten runs short. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a setback with [Mohammad] Rizwan’s injury because it wasn’t easy for new batters. But Shadab recovered well and had an outstanding partnership with Irfan [Khan],” Azam said at the post-match presentation.

Azam praised the partnership between Shadab Khan and Irfan Khan, which helped Pakistan recover in the game. “In Pindi, 180-190 is a par score,” he added.

After winning the toss, New Zealand opted to field first. Saim Ayub (32) and Babar Azam opened the innings for Pakistan, putting on a 55-run partnership. Shadab Khan (41) was the standout batter for the hosts, while Irfan Khan (30) also contributed.

Ish Sodhi led the Kiwi bowling attack with two wickets, while Bracewell and Jacob Duffy took one wicket each.

In the run chase, Dean Foxcroft (31) and Mark Chapman (87) played a crucial 117-run partnership to guide New Zealand to a comfortable victory. Pakistan’s bowling performance was lackluster, with only Afridi and Shah taking wickets.

The five-match series is currently tied at 1-1, with both teams having won one game each.

Pakistan Opt to Bowl First in Second T20I Against New Zealand

Pakistan Opt to Bowl First in Second T20I Against New Zealand

Pakistan, led by captain Babar Azam, opted to field first in the second T20I against New Zealand in Rawalpindi on Saturday. The decision came after Pakistan won the toss, hoping to capitalize on the favorable conditions for bowling.

Pakistan fielded an unchanged lineup from the first T20I, which was abandoned due to rain after only two deliveries. The team’s batting order remains unchanged, with Babar Azam, Saim Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Irfan Khan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Naseem Shah, and Abrar Ahmed taking the field.

New Zealand, on the other hand, was forced to make one change to their XI. Right-arm medium-pace bowler Josh Clarkson was ruled out due to illness and was replaced by offspin-bowling allrounder Cole McConchie. McConchie has played nine T20Is for New Zealand, most recently against the United Arab Emirates in August 2023.

Despite his limited batting contributions, McConchie has proven to be a reliable bowler, with seven wickets at an average of 22.71 and an economy rate of 7.17. His inclusion in the team is expected to provide New Zealand with additional bowling options.

Meanwhile, Pakistan suffered a setback with the news that wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan has been ruled out of the entire series. Radiology reports confirmed a grade one tear in his right calf muscle, forcing him to miss the remaining matches.

With the weather forecast predicting clear skies for the second T20I, both teams will be eager to secure a victory and gain an advantage in the three-match series. Pakistan will look to their experienced bowling attack to restrict New Zealand’s batting, while the visitors will aim to put up a competitive total and test Pakistan’s batting lineup.

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