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Fans slam PCB over fining Azam Khan for supporting Palestine

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Cricket fans expressed their anger over the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on social media over its decision to slap batter Azam Khan with a fine for displaying the Palestinian flag on his bat during the ongoing National T20 Cup.

The wicketkeeper batter has been asked to give up 50% of his match fees for breaching clothing and equipment regulations (displaying an unapproved logo/political messaging) in a match on Sunday in Karachi.

The flamboyant batter, who is presenting Karachi Whites, scored 35 against Lahore Blues during the match. After the match, the batter was summoned by match referee Mohammad Javed and was informed of the fine.

Sources privy to the matter confirmed to Geo News that the young batter was fined 50% of his match fees. He was earlier warned by the referee not to display the unapproved logo (Palestine’s flag) on his bat as it would be a breach of the ICC code of conduct, of which PCB is also a signatory.

Azam had, according to sources, informed the referee that all of his bats had the same stickers.

The ICC regulation for clothing and equipment states that players shall not be allowed to display messages that carry political, religious, or racial activities or causes.

Sources confirmed that Azam had the same sticker on his bat during two previous games of the National T20 Cup. However, no one had warned him before Sunday’s game.

In October, during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, several Pakistani players showed their firm support for Palestinians suffering at the hands of Israel.

Indian fans and cricket experts had raised questions on the players’ constant support for Palestine on their social media channels, asking the cricket’s governing body whether such moves were allowed in the tournament.

At that time, the PCB had rejected the objections over players’ conduct saying: “The team’s expression of solidarity was a personal decision.”

But the PCB’s decision to penalise the batter has left the netizens angry who have slammed the cricket authorities.

However, it is important to clarify here that during the 10-team tournament, the cricketers posted statements and pictures on their social media channels.

The ICC code is meant for on-field activities and off-the-ground actions are beyond their scope.

Here’s how the social media users have reacted:

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PSL 9 match security details released

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The PSL will see over 16,000 police officers handling security responsibilities since matches in Rawalpindi and Multan will have a security strategy in place.

Colin Munro and Tymal Mills of Islamabad United landed in Lahore, and the team will play Lahore Qalandars to open the season.

Mohsin Naqvi, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), announced that the PSL’s ninth season will start on February 17.

He stated that the duration of the traffic closure would be limited and that the public would be notified about other routes through the media in a timely manner. He also directed that effective management be made to preserve fluency for the convenience of the people.

The Lahore DIG Operations Police announced that around 7000 people will be assigned to a security strategy that would guarantee spectators, including cricket players, complete security.

According to the security plan, residents would be permitted entry after completing four levels of security, and 13 SPs, 36 DSPs, and 81 inspectors would be stationed. The situation would also be continually monitored by the Punjab Safe City Authority’s cameras.

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PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi requests an in-depth spending report.

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Mohsin Naqvi, the recently elected chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has started a thorough investigation of the organization’s spending.

The request, which is aimed at the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO), highlights the organization’s careful attention to financial management.

Information obtained from people with knowledge of the situation reveals that the scope of the spending report includes all aspects of PCB’s business.

These consist of funding for the Pakistan cricket team, expenditures for sports personnel, and match-related costs. Furthermore, the report will give information on the PCB’s yearly budget and player compensation.

Chairman Naqvi’s decision is more than just a formality; it reflects a deeper desire to link spending to the national cricket team’s results.

It is believed that Chairman Naqvi is eager to examine the monetary outlays in comparison to the results achieved on the field, suggesting a calculated approach to resource distribution.

Chairman Naqvi is scheduled to call a briefing with the PCB’s senior brass after the comprehensive report has been prepared.

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Cyberattack on PSL 9 ticket purchasing website

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The franchise league announced that a hack occurred on Tuesday night on the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 online ticketing site.

The league revealed that the PSL ticket partners’ technical staff is working to resolve the issues brought on by the website hack.

PSL stated, “The [HBL PSL 9] ticketing website (http://pcb.tcs.com.pk) has been the target of a cyberattack.”

“The ticketing partners’ technical staff is effectively resolving the issue. We anticipate a prompt resolution and hope that the service provider’s website will soon be back up and running.

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