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Lahore Qalandars will ‘defend PSL title under Shaheen’s leadership’

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Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Lahore Qalandars is hopeful of retaining the title under star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi’s leadership in the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) — scheduled to begin on February 13, 2023.

Lahore Qalandars Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sameen Rana, while speaking to Geo News, said that their captain is completely fit to play in PSL 8. 

“Shaheen is bowling for the national team these days and is in rhythm.”

The pacer suffered a knee injury that during the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. He returned to the field during the T20 World Cup but sustained another injury during the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The pacer has not played since then. 

The COO said that Lahore Qalandars is not under pressure as the team is a champion and because it has seen bad times in the past as well. 

“We are the champions and we will try to defend the title. We want to become the first team to defend the PSL title,” he added. 

Talking about the squad, Rana said that he is satisfied with the combination of the team. He said that he has tried to make the best team by keeping a balance in it. “Bowling is our strength and the batters are world-class. 

Right-handed English batsman Samit Patel has been replaced by Liam Dawson while Mohammad Hafeez has been replaced by Sikandar Raza, he added. 

Speaking about the newly-appointed Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi, Rana said that the PSL will achieve more success under his leadership. 

“Najam Sethi launched the PSL under difficult circumstances and PSL needs an administrator like him,” he added. 

‘Eager to make a comeback’

Last week, Shaheen said he is eyeing a comeback with next month’s PSL as he is set to return in full action with his rehabilitation in the final stages.

“I am feeling much stronger than what I felt during the World Cup. I’m bowling with full rhythm and eager to make a comeback very soon,” Shaheen told Geo News

The young fast bowler has set his eyes on the PSL’s eighth season, as he will be leading Lahore Qalandars and aiming to defend the title.

“We are a very good side and I am confident that we’ll produce better results than before. I am very happy with the team, as we have overcome where we lacked last year and I believe that Qalandars are stronger this time,” the cricketer said.

“The PSL is the biggest brand for Pakistan and I am looking forward to making my full comeback during that tournament,” the fast bowler said.

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Rise in ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Rankings for Pakistani Players

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam moved up the T20I batting rankings to take third place after scoring 33 runs off of just 10 balls in Tuesday’s nail-biting run chase against Canada. In contrast, Mohammad Rizwan, who batted at wicketkeeper, retired to fourth place.

In the bowling rankings, returning pacer Mohammad Amir rose 65 places to 82nd, and Naseem Shah climbed 21 places to joint-thirty-third.

Also, left-arm spinner Imad Wasim stormed up the rankings, taking 34th position. While Shadab fell three spots to fourteenth, Imad rose one spot to eleventh in the T20I all-rounder rankings.

The ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Bowling Rankings have Pakistan’s star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi falling to number twelve, despite the fact that he has not played up to his usual standards. The right-handed speedster Haris Rauf, on the other hand, fell two spots to 36th.

After taking two wickets in a Twenty20 International match against New Zealand, Afghanistan’s veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi was named the “big winner” in the most recent rankings update by the major cricketing organization.

As a result of his recent two-wicket haul against New Zealand in Guyana, the 39-year-old Mohammad Nabi jumped to the No. 1 slot on the list for all-rounders, making him the clear winner in the latest rankings update, according to a press statement from the ICC.

In the wake of a massive shuffle at the top of the T20I rankings for all-rounders, Nabbila improves by two spots to take first place, with Marcus Stoinis of Australia climbing three spots to take second place and Shakib Al Hasan falling four spots to fifth.

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A petition has been filed criticizing the cricket team’s bad performance in the T20 World Cup.

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A lawyer in Gujranwala has submitted a formal request to the court, urging for legal measures to be taken in response to the substandard performance of the national cricket team.

The petition has been lodged in the court of the district and sessions judge, citing sections 22A and 22B of the Pakistan Penal Code. It identifies all individuals involved, including captain Babar Azam, team management, and the coach, as parties.

The petitioner voiced profound apprehension at the underwhelming performance of the national cricket team, deeming it a squandering of funds and a breach of the nation’s confidence. The petition alleges that the team jeopardized millions of rupees and the nation’s integrity, claiming that the players and team management chose financial gain over the honor of the country.

In addition, the petition emphasizes the significant emotional distress experienced by individuals during matches against America and India, considering these performances to be particularly offensive. The user is requesting a suspension of the team until a detailed investigation is carried out by the interior secretary and a comprehensive report is finalized.

The petitioner further condemns the intrusion of political personalities in the team’s matters, contending that whenever political selections are made as coaches and chairmen, it results in the team’s decline.

The court has instructed the police to respond to the petition by June 21.

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Mohammad Rizwan has achieved an undesirable record in the T20 World Cup.

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Pakistan achieved the target of 107 runs with only three wickets lost and 15 balls remaining, thanks to a solid half-century by Rizwan.

The right-handed batsman achieved an undefeated score of 53 runs from an equal number of deliveries, including three boundaries and one six. This is the initial fifty runs scored by a Pakistani batsman in the current tournament.

Nevertheless, Rizwan required 52 deliveries to achieve his fifty runs, making it the most time-consuming half-century in the whole T20 World Cup’s history.

South Africa’s David Miller previously held the record for scoring a half-century in 50 balls against the Netherlands at the same stadium.

Rizwan commenced the batting for Pakistan alongside Saim Ayub (6), but they were unable in providing the Pakistani team with a satisfactory beginning when Ayub lost his wicket in the fifth over, leaving the team with a mere 20 runs on the scoreboard.

Subsequently, Skipper Babar Azam joined Rizwan on the batting crease, and the pair effectively guided the team’s pursuit of runs with a resilient partnership. Babar and his partner contributed 63 runs for the second wicket until Babar was dismissed by Dilon Heyliger in the 15th over.

He achieved a scoring rate of one run per ball, accumulating a total of 33 runs, aided by a single boundary and a six.

Mohammad Rizwan briefly collaborated with Fakhar Zaman, who only managed to score four runs and was out on the second delivery of the 18th over, with the team needing just three more runs to win.

Usman Khan secured victory for Pakistan by elegantly directing the ball towards the midwicket area, resulting in a two-run score.

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