Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has retained his top spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s ODI Player Ranking with 887 points in hand after the conclusion of the home series against New Zealand.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz improved 12 spots to 28th on the list for bowlers after collecting six wickets during the recently-concluded ODI series against the Kiwis.
India’s star batter Virat Kohli has improved his ICC Men’s ODI Player Ranking after his brilliant form in the recent past.
Kohli notched up two centuries while amassing a staggering 283 runs from three innings during India’s recent ODI series sweep over Sri Lanka.
The former Indian captain has jumped two places to fourth overall, with 750 points, on the latest list for ODI batters.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Rassie van der Dussen (766) and Quinton de Kock (759) are in second and third place respectively.
Kohli’s teammates Shubman Gill, Mohammed Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav have also improved their rankings after good performances against Sri Lanka.
“Gill hit a century and a fifty during the series and his 207 runs at an average of 69 helped the opener improve 10 spots to 26th overall on the rankings for ODI batters,” the ICC said in a press release.
“But it is perhaps Siraj that makes the most eye-catching move, with the 28-year-old jumping a massive 15 spots to third on the list for ODI bowlers following his nine wickets for the series.
“No bowler picked up more wickets during that series and Siraj improves to a career-best rating of 685 points to close in on pacesetters Trent Boult (730) and Josh Hazlewood (727).
“Kuldeep was also rewarded for his five wickets from just two matches against Sri Lanka, with the left-armer jumping seven places to 21st on the latest bowler rankings.”
PSL schedule to be ‘announced soon’
LAHORE: The schedule of the eighth edition of the much-awaited national T20 cricket event, Pakistan Super League (PSL), is likely to be announced on Friday, sources told Geo News on Wednesday.
The schedule of the eighth edition of the tournament has been finalised, however, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will hold final consultation with the PSL franchisers tomorrow (Thursday), the sources said.
According to the sources, the inaugural ceremony of the PSL will be staged in Multan as per the current schedule.
The sources added that the matches of the tournament would be played at four different venues. They also mentioned that the PSL will commence on February 13 and the final would be played on March 19.
PSL matches would be played in Karachi, Lahore, Multan, and Rawalpindi, the sources noted. They added that the matches at the four venues would be played simultaneously.
The sources also said that the strategy to allow the PCB to stage one exhibition match in Quetta has also been discussed. The exhibition matches would be played between Peshawar and Quetta, the sources added.
PSL 2023 Draft
The players’ draft for PSL 2023 was held in December last year in Karachi, with around 1,000 local and foreign players available to be picked by six franchises for 61 slots.
Five out of six PSL teams had retained eight players, while Peshawar Zalmi retained seven players last month when the retention and transfer windows were closed.
These teams completed a squad of 18 — which had three players each in the platinum, diamond, and gold categories, five in the silver category, two in emerging and up to two in supplementary categories.
Teams could have up to three foreign players in the first three categories — platinum, diamond, and gold — among them one overseas player was mandatory in platinum and diamond.
In a squad of 16, teams picked five overseas players, while in 18 they had six foreign players.
As many as 517 foreigners and 491 Pakistani players were available for selection.
Here’s a ‘new way’ to send voice notes on WhatsApp
Meta-owned WhatsApp is once again rolling out a new update for its users, allowing them to have a smooth and better experience while connecting with their loved ones.
The instant messaging app is releasing the ability to share voice notes through status updates, WaBetaInfo reported Wednesday.
The new update is being introduced through the Google Play Beta Program, bringing the version up to 184.108.40.206. However, this feature is only available to some beta testers for now and users will have to wait for a future update to get their hands on the feature.
The feature would let users “share a voice note as a status update with a certain audience configured within your privacy settings.”
As it is shown in the screenshot above, users can share voice notes as status updates by “accessing the feature within the text status section, in case it is enabled for them”.
The users can also discard a recording before they share it, hence, gaining more control over their voice recordings. As per the app-tracking website, the maximum recording time for the voice note is 30 seconds.
Moreover, those who want to listen to the voice recordings on status updates need to update their WhatsApp.
Ensuring the privacy of its users, WhatsApp has made the status updates end-to-end encrypted. This will allow users to share the voice notes with the people they choose within their privacy settings.
“Similar to images and videos, voice notes shared via status disappear after 24 hours but users also have the ability to delete voice notes for everyone after they have been posted as status updates: users are always in control over what they share,” said WaBetaInfo.
The feature will be rolled out to more users in the coming weeks.
Last week, the tracking app announced that WhatsApp is working on a block shortcut update right within the notification bar.
The new feature will allow users to block someone when they get a notification of their message on their phones.
“WhatsApp plans to introduce a block shortcut within notifications but not always: the block shortcut is visible only when you receive a message from unknown and untrusted contacts,” said the app tracking website.
The feature is limited to untrusted contacts as users may tap on the block option by mistake when replying to someone through notifications, accidentally blocking their trusted contacts.
The new feature will be available to users in the future update of the app.
Sania Mirza bids adieu to tennis in an emotional message
Indian Tennis star Sania Mirza Friday uploaded a tear-jerking “life update” on Instagram. The star who frequently updates her social media account in a bid to stay in touch with her fans has uploaded a post that has many in tears.
Taking to the popular photograph and video sharing platform. the 36-year-old expressed her feelings regarding her retirement in a long heartfelt note.
Earlier this month, Sania announced her retirement plans.
She had announced that she would call time on her career after next month’s Dubai Tennis Championships after her 2022.
In the note, she detailed her journey in tennis and thanked her family and fans for their support throughout her career, and said that she was set to start a new chapter of her life and devote more time to her son.
“Thirty years ago,” the Indian tennis star begins in her message, “a six-year-old girl from Nasr School in Hyderabad, walked onto a tennis court at Nizam Club with her young mom and fought the coach to let her learn how to play tennis as he thought that she was too little [to play tennis]”.
She then described how having started to practice at the tender age of six, she had “dared to dream” of representing her country in a Grand Slam someday.
The star wrote, “[looking back], not only did I get to play well over half a century of Grand Slam tournaments but I was fortunate enough to win a bunch of them, too, with God’s grace”.
Stating that she felt very emotional even as she wrote the message, Sania said winning medals for her country had been her “biggest honour” and was a humbling experience.
She then thanked her family and her fans, along with her entire team, for their constant and endless support, and wrote: “It’s all of you, who have helped me through the toughest phases of my life and helped this little girl from Hyderabad to not only dare to dream but to achieve those dreams, as well. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“[Tennis] is all I’ve known throughout my life,” the star wrote as she recounted the extent and expanse of her Tennis career.
“It’s been 20 years of being a professional athlete and 30 years of being a tennis player,” she stated.
Commenting on her decision to retire in 2023, Sania said: “My Grand Slam journey started with the Australian Open back in 2005. So, it goes without saying that this would be the most perfect Grand Slam to end my career with.”
The Australian Open this year is set to start on January 16. Sania played her first Grand Slam in the Australian open 18 years ago. After playing in this Grand Slam, she plans to play in the Dubai Open in February.
However, moved as she may feel, Sania wrote that her two most prominent feelings at the time of her retirement were “gratitude and pride”.
“I take pride in everything I have been able to achieve over the last 20 years of my professional career and I am so grateful for the memories that I have been able to create,” she said.
After the moving and emotional trip down memory lane, Sania concluded her message on a hopeful note, saying that she did not see the retirement as an “end”.
“In fact, [it is] a beginning of many different memories to be created, dreams to be achieved and new goals to be set. My son needs me more than ever now and I can’t wait to live a slightly quieter and calmer life while giving him more of my time than I have been able to give so far”.
With this heartfelt conclusion, the tennis star signed off, leaving her fans feeling very emotional, and comments flooded her post with fans wishing her well and sharing their thoughts on how she had been an inspiration in their lives.
It should be noted that Sania played her last match at Wimbledon in July 2022. At the time she had shared an emotional farewell to Wimbledon via Twitter.
She was initially set to retire from professional Tennis last year after playing in the US Open. However, she had to pull back due to an injury and her plans were postponed to 2023.