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Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi climb further up ICC Test rankings ladder

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and young pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi moved up in the Test rankings as the International Cricket Council (ICC) issued fresh rankings Wednesday.

Azam is one step closer in his quest to become the number 1 batter in all three formats of the game after the Pakistan captain moved closer to the top Test ranking.

While Azam already holds top billing in both white-ball formats, he is yet to reach the summit at the Test level and still trails England’s Joe Root.

Root remains clear at the top of the Test list, but Babar rises one spot to third overall and to a career-high rating of 874 points on the back of his tremendous century in the opening Test of Pakistan’s ongoing series against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Babar scored almost 55% of Pakistan’s first-innings runs during that Test, with the right-hander contributing 119 runs to a team score of 218 that ultimately helped the side keep in touch with Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 222.

The in-form captain wasn’t the only Pakistan player to make an eye-catching move on the latest rankings, with star pacer Shaheen Afridi also jumping up a spot on the list for Test bowlers.

Afridi picked up four wickets during the first innings of that Test against Sri Lanka and that catapulted him in front of India quick Jasprit Bumrah and into third on the bowler rankings.

Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique was named Player of the Match for his match-winning century in the second innings of that Galle Test and that saw him jump 23 spots to 16th overall on the batter rankings with 671 rating points.

Only two batters have had more points after six Tests – Sunil Gavaskar (692) and Donald Bradman (687). Shafique’s 671 points are the most for a Pakistan batter after six Tests, the previous being Saeed Ahmed with 614 points.

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Gary Kirsten’s PCB report comments are criticized by a former Pakistani cricket player.

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In a recent report to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), former Test cricketer Atiq-uz-Zaman took issue with comments made by national white-ball men’s head coach Gary Kirsten.

The factors that led to Pakistan’s terrible performance at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 were allegedly listed in a confidential report that Kirsten authored for the PCB and had leaked to the public.

After an agonizing loss to archrivals India and an unexpected loss to co-host the United States of America (USA) in the campaign’s opening match, the former champions were unable to progress to the Super Eights stage.

The fitness and discipline problems with the Pakistan cricket team were brought to light in Kirsten’s assessment. But rather than offering a solution, Atiq-uz-Zaman scolded Kirsten harshly for complaining to the PCB.

As soon as Gary Kirsten entered, she began to whine. Why are you complaining to the board if you possess the necessary leadership abilities? During your visit, you ought to have found a solution. In light of this, I hope they perform well and cross my fingers, although Atiq expressed doubt about a speedy resolution.

A similar sentiment was expressed yesterday by former Pakistani captain Salman Butt, who said that management had to be doing rather than whining.

wouldHowever, Butt was questioned about whether Shaheen Afridi’s reported misbehavior will result in any consequences from the authorities during his appearance on ARY News’ Sports Room program.

Reacting to this, the former captain underlined that Shaheen Afridi should have been selected for every World Cup match, but instead the management continued to do so.

“They should have dropped him and gone with another player if he wasn’t disciplined,” Butt said.

“However, I believe anyone can do that if you gave him every chance in spite of all these problems and are now whining. Why give [famous people] such large wages when there’s no real benefit? questioned Salman Butt.

“It is the responsibility of management to act, not to complain,” he said.

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In lifting and table tennis matches with India, Pakistan won both gold medals.

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After overcoming his Indian opponent in the World Strength Lifting Championships held in Kazakhstan, Muhammad Usman of Pakistan took home the gold medal in the 85 kg weight class.

In the category for inclined bench press, Muhammad Usman also took home a silver medal.

At the 11th World Strengthlifting Championship in Kazakhstan in 2024, Muhammad Usman, a Pakistani strength lifter, makes history!”
Muhammad Usman, a Pakistani athlete, dedicated his competition victory to the Palestinian people, who are subjected to ongoing brutality at the hands of the Israel Defence Forces. (IDF).

After defeating Indian player Akshak in the Sharjah final of the TTC Open International Table Tennis, Pakistan’s Arham bin Farrukh took home the gold medal in the Under-21 category.

At the TTC Open International Table Tennis in Sharjah, Pakistan’s Arham bin Farrukh won the gold medal in the Under-21 division after defeating Akshak, an Indian player, in the playoffs.

The winner of the open division was Arham bin Farrukh. When she defeated her Indian opponent in the championship game, she exclaimed, “I won the bronze medal.”

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Chairman, PCB Heads Meeting: Jason Gillespie, Gary Kirsten and the Committee for Selection

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PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi declared that the National Cricket Team will not include any player involved in misconduct and that there would be a zero-tolerance approach on disciplinary matters.

Chairman PCB announced during a thorough discussion on cricket matters that all players would need to play domestic cricket and that a fitness test would be required every three months.

He claimed that a new process would be developed for players looking to obtain a Nod of clearance for overseas leagues, and that N.O.C. would only be granted to those who satisfy the requirements.

The selection committee’s inclusion of head coach Gary Kirsten and bowling coach Jason Gillespie was also approved by the meeting.

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