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PCB wants to revive women’s cricket in Pakistan: Najam Sethi

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KARACHI: The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) management committee, Najam Sethi, on Saturday said that India’s announcement of their women’s league came right after Pakistan announced the same.

In an interaction with the media on Saturday, Sethi said PCB wanted to revive women’s cricket in the country and the Women’s League is part of that plan.

Amid the ongoing eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the PCB will hold three women’s exhibition matches as a build-up to the Women’s League.

“As soon as we announced the women’s league, India and the IPL announced their own women’s league. This year we are going to launch a women’s league. There are some women’s matches in this PSL as well,” he said.

He also heaped massive praise on Pakistan women’s wicketkeeper-batter Muneeba Ali for “scoring a magnificent century” against Ireland in the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup 2023 in South Africa.

During the conference, Sethi also admitted that continuing the (PSL) on home soil was a “challenge.”

Earlier, there had been concerns voiced over the future of the PSL 8 matches scheduled in Karachi, following the attack on the city’s police chief’s headquarters on Friday evening.

However, an emergency meeting was called by the PCB which was attended by franchise representatives. In the meeting, PCB, in consultation with security agencies and the provincial government, took franchises in confidence. As a result, they all agreed to continue with the ongoing edition of PSL as per schedule in Karachi.

Sethi also told media representatives: “Continuing PSL in Pakistan is a challenge. The Punjab government sent us a bill of Rs800m for security, while the bill was Rs400m for Karachi. However, after our request, the Chief Minister of Sindh, Murad Ali Shah, waived the bill. When I told this to the Punjab government, they also decided against charging us for security.”

“We do not take a single rupee from the government but pay taxes,” he added.

Sethi also revealed that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif had asked him to restore departmental cricket.

“Before I came, instructions were issued to restore departmental cricket. I hope that Karachi Customs will also restore the cricket team. It is not appropriate that if the chairman changes, all the work goes to waste,” he concluded.

Schedule of women’s exhibition matches

Mar 8 — Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 1

Mar 10 — Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 2

Mar 11 — Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 3

All three matches will be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi.

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Pakistan has advanced to the Women’s Asia Cup 2024 semifinals.

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GreenshirtsWith a 10-wicket victory over the UAE, the Pakistani women’s cricket team advanced to the Women’s Asia Cup 2024 semifinal. Target: 104 runs in 14 overs were pursued by the Greenshirts.

When playing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Pakistani women’s team won the toss and chose to field.

Captain Nida Dar of the Pakistan women’s cricket team remarked, “The bowlers’ performance in the last match was excellent, and the win against Nepal boosted morale.”

Pakistan’s starting eleven remains unchanged.

Dambulla, a town in Sri Lanka, is the site of the match.

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The ICC has approved the budget for Pakistan’s 2025 Champions Trophy.

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The specifics state that on the final day of its yearly meeting, the ICC approved the budget.

High-ranking representatives from various cricket boards, including Mohsin Naqvi, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), attended the ICC’s annual meeting.

Ankur Khanna, the chief finance officer of the ICC, and Javed Murtaza, the chief finance officer of the PCB, created the budget for the eight-team competition.

For those who are unaware, the Champions Trophy 2025 is set to take place in Pakistan in February and March. India is expected to participate in the tournament, although this is subject to change as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is awaiting government consent to travel there.

The Indian squad will not be visiting Pakistan for the forthcoming ICC event, according to reports that surfaced in Indian media, which cited a BCCI source.

Additional reports stated that the board intends to formally suggest Sri Lanka and Dubai as possible locations for India’s matches.

However, BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla claimed in a phone interview with an Indian media outlet that the cricket association has not released any information about their team’s Champions Trophy 2025 participation.

The source of this information is unknown to us. Shukla said over the phone to ThePrint that BCCI has not released any formal information on this.

Recall that India declined to go to Pakistan in order to compete in the 2023 ACC Men’s Asia Cup. Consequently, Sri Lanka assumed the role of co-host for the continental event, which was conducted using a hybrid approach.

It is noteworthy that because of the protracted political tensions between the two neighbours, India has not visited Pakistan since the Asia Cup in 2008.

Pakistan, on the other hand, has visited India four times in the previous 16 years. They were in town for the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 last year, which was their most recent visit.

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Babar Azam identifies the most challenging bowler he has encountered.

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Azam made an appearance on AB de Villiers’ official YouTube channel, where he was questioned about the most challenging bowler he has encountered.

The Pakistan captain promptly replied, “Pat Cummins.”

De Villiers concurred with Azam’s statement, affirming, “Indeed, I concur.” He is in close proximity. “He is one of the most resilient bowlers I have ever encountered.”

It is noteworthy that Cummins has dismissed Babar Azam three times in Test cricket and only once in white-ball cricket.

The opening batter also stated that he seeks guidance from Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root to further his batting skills.

“I engage in frequent conversations with Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root.” They consistently offer valuable advise that greatly benefits you. “I have gained a wealth of knowledge from these players,” he declared.

The prominent hitter also said that his family encountered economic difficulties during his early years, but they offered him steadfast encouragement on his path to achievement.

“I come from a modest background, and we didn’t have a constant flow of money.” However, my parents provided me with significant assistance. “During my childhood, I used to engage in street cricket, and I found it quite challenging to play with a hard ball,” he remarked.

Babar Azam is presently preparing for the forthcoming two-match domestic Test series against Bangladesh, slated to take place in August.

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