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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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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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The captain of the Pakistan Shaheens’ white-ball team has been announced for the upcoming trip to Darwin.

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Mohammad Haris, a wicket-keeper batsman, has been chosen as the captain of Pakistan Shaheens for the two 50-over matches and nine-team Top End T20 series in Darwin, Australia. The matches will take place from 4-18 August.

Haris recently led Pakistan Shaheens in the ACC Men’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo. In this tournament, Pakistan successfully defended their championship by defeating India with a margin of 128 runs.

The Pakistan Shaheens have already arrived in Darwin to play two four-day matches against Bangladesh ‘A’ on July 19-22 and July 26-29. Sahibzada Farhan is currently captaining the team in the longer format of the game.

Following the two four-day matches, the Shaheens will engage in 50-over matches against Northern Territory (NT) and Bangladesh ‘A’ on 4 and 6 August, respectively, prior to the start of the T20 series on 9 August.

The T20 competition includes additional teams such as ACT Comets, Bangladesh ‘A’, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers, Northern Territory Strike, Adelaide Strikers, and Tasmania.

In addition, seven modifications have been implemented for the white-ball contests compared to the red-ball side.

Abdul Faseeh, Arafat Minhas, Arif Yaqoob, Jahandad Khan, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Imran Jnr, and Usman Khan are the replacements for Kamran Ghulam, Khurram Shahzad, Mehran Mumtaz, Mohammad Ali, Mubasir Khan, Tayyab Tahir, and Umar Amin.

The Pakistan Shaheens will participate in the Darwin series for the second consecutive year. In the previous year, NT Strike emerged victorious over Shaheens in the final of the Top End T20 Series with a margin of 46 runs. Subsequently, Pakistan Shaheens achieved a resounding victory over PNG by 224 runs and Northern Strike by 84 runs in the two One-day matches.

The white-ball squad of Pakistan Shaheens
Mohammad Haris is the captain of the team, and the other players in the squad are Abdul Faseeh, Arafat Minhas, Arif Yaqoob, Faisal Akram, Haseebullah (who is both a wicketkeeper and a batter), Muhammad Irfan Khan, Jahandad Khan, Kashif Ali, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Imran Jnr, Omair bin Yousuf, Sahibzada Farhan, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Usman Khan.

The personnel providing support to the players include Abdul Rehman as the head coach, Mohammad Masroor as the assistant coach-cum-manager, Mohammad Asad as the physiotherapist, Imranullah as the trainer, and Usman Hashmi as the analyst.

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