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18 SPORTS

Friday, 6 May, 2016

Pakistan World CuP PartiCiPation in danger iF slumP Continues For odis

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ORMER World Cup winners Pakistan have plunged to an alltime low number nine in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings for ODIs. The team standings were given the annual update on Wednesday, bringing the 1992 champions down to number nine after a largely barren 2015-16 run in the 50overs format. In order to ensure direct participation in the 2019 edition of the premier ODI tournament, Pakistan would need to finish among the top eight teams at the cutoff date September 30, 2017 for the event. According to an ICC press release, hosts England and the next seven highestranked sides will qualify directly for cricket’s biggest event, while the bottom four ODI ranked sides will join the top sides from the 2015-17 ICC World

Cricket League in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 to fight for the remaining two spots. Pakistan would need to show significant improvement in the format if they are to avoid the embarrassment of appearing in the qualifiers. The Men in Green only ensured their participation in next year’s ICC Champions Trophy after edging Sri Lanka 3-2 in a five-match series held last year, gaining just about enough points to confirm their berth at the expense of the West Indies. Following the annual update, results from 2012-13 have been dropped, while results from 2014-15 have been reduced to a weighting of 50%. World champions Australia are placed as the top ODI team in the world, followed by the finalists of the 2015 edition, New Zealand. Seventh in iCC t20i rankingS: The situation is only slightly better for Pakistan in the T20I format. After a series of poor results culminating in the first-

round exit from the ICC World T20 last March, the 2009 World T20 champions have crashed to seventh place from the third position they held when the annual rankings were last updated. New Zealand, the semi-finalists of this year’s premier T20I event, have stormed up the chart to claim number one position for the first time, while 2007 World T20 champions India are second. West Indies, the current world champions in the instant format, are ranked the third best team. Test ranking spares Pakistan’s blushes The longest format of the game is where Pakistan have performed satisfactorily in recent years, as evidenced in the annual ICC Test Team Rankings that placed Pakistan at third behind India, with just one point separating the arch-rivals. Australia leads the table with 118 points, with the annual update opening up a six-point advantage for the leaders over India.

Yuvraj set to return for Sunrisers Hyderabad

SportS DeSk A six-day break since their last match has left Sunrisers Hyderabad in the bottom half of the IPL 2016 points table.

They will look to move back up when they host Gujarat Lions, a team they had thrashed earlier in the season. Sunrisers have plenty of muscle at the top, with David Warner scoring 386

runs in seven matches at an average and strike rate of 77.20 and 168.55, but the middle order seemed thin. Kane Williamson’s fifty after recovering from a hamstring injury should help in that regard. Sunrisers will like some of the Indian batsmen to increase their productivity. Maybe Yuvraj Singh can help with that. An ankle injury had kept him out for over a month, but he batted and bowled fluently in the nets in Hyderabad and is set to make his debut for the franchise. Dwayne Bravo had been under an injury cloud as well - he missed Lions’ previous game against Delhi Daredevils - but was quite active at training and is expected to slot back in the XI. Lions coach Brad Hodge had been concerned about his batsmen’s Powerplay failures a couple of days ago. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur

Rahman would want to take advantage of that. The two Sunrisers fast bowlers have taken 18 wickets, swinging the ball, slowing it down and nailing the yorkers. Yuvraj is set to make his debut for Sunrisers, perhaps in place of Deepak Hooda, who has five single-digit scores in six attempts. Sunrisers may also consider bringing in left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma or legspinner Karn Sharma for seam-bowling allrounder Ashish Reddy. SunriSerS Hyderabad (probable):

1 David Warner(capt), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Yuvraj Singh/Deepak Hooda, 5 Naman Ojha(wk), 6 Moises Henriques, 7 Ashish Reddy/Bipul Sharma/Karn Sharma, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Barinder Sran 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Ashish Nehra

Gujarat lionS (probable): 1 Brendon McCullum, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Suresh Raina(capt), 4 Dinesh Karthik(wk), 5 Ishan Kishan/Akshdeep Nath, 6 Ravindra Jadeja ,7 Dwayne Bravo/Dwayne Smith, 8 James Faulkner, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Dhawal Kulkarni, 11 Shivil Kaushik

Pakistani, Afghan refugees lead to boom of cricket in Germany BerLIN AgENCIES

The influx of asylum seekers into Germany, especially from cricket-mad Pakistan and Afghanistan, has created an unexpected boom for the sport in a country where football has long been king. Of the 476,649 people who applied for asylum in Germany last year, 31,902 came from Afghanistan alone, with a further 8,472 from Pakistan, which has seen the German Cricket Federation (DCB) flooded with a simple question: “Where can I play?” The DCB’s chief executive officer, Brian Mantle, says they have been swamped by enquiries through their website to set up new clubs across the country, supply equipment and point new arrivals to their local team. Mantle, who is based in the western city of Essen, runs the DCB with only an additional part-timer for assistance. When the Englishman took over in 2012, there were around 1,500 cricketers in Germany playing in 70 teams. Now there are 4,000 registered cricketers playing in 205 teams and last week the DCB welcomed its 100th new club, from Bautzen near the Czech border. And the numbers keep growing. “We’ve been getting up to five enquiries per day from groups wanting to set up new clubs,” said Mantle. “Often it’s from social workers, who had never even heard of cricket before groups of refugees from Afghanistan and Pakistan started asking where they could play it. “They had been offered volleyball or football, but most just want to play cricket.” Thanks to donations from existing German clubs of bats, balls and cricket clothing, including 35 boxes sent by the Lord’s Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket charity, the DCB has

recently sent out its 400th box of supplies to help new clubs. But now there is nothing more to donate. “That was the last box, we have run out. We’re desperately looking for sponsorship or funding,” added Mantle. The biggest challenge facing any newly-formed group of cricket-playing refugees is to find a ground suitable, while a standard 22-yard-long (20-metre-long) pitch costs up to 10,000 euros ($11,400) to install. As a temporary solution, the DCB has found a German supplier of coconut mats, costing 650 euros each, which, when laid on wooden boards, behave like a normal pitch. Cricket’s governing body, the ICC, has provided 15,000 euros of extra funding to help the DCB meet the fresh demand on top of the 177,000 euros in financing they receive annually. Mantle, 44, is excited about the future. “The biggest problem is getting refugees to speak German, but this is a good way to integrate them through the sport they know,” said Mantle. “At the moment, our national Under-19 team is half made up of

Afghans, who have qualified here through residency and that number will grow. “It can only raise the playing standards here and in years to come, we could follow the likes of Ireland and Afghanistan, who are knocking on the door of Test-level cricket. “I’m excited about the future, but with a severe lack of resources, we’re totally overwhelmed.” Cricket has helped Arifullah Jamal to adapt to life having fled to Germany from Afghanistan as a teenager with his younger brother in late 2009 to seek asylum. After spending 14 hours sealed in a container on a mammoth journey from Greece to Italy, he ended up in a youth hostel in West Germany with his brother, struggling to make friends and learn German. “The people in the home didn’t know about cricket, but eventually they asked around and that was when Brian (Mantle) came to us and we played cricket again,” he told media. Having learnt to play cricket in Pakistan before his family moved to the Kunar province of Afghanistan, Jamal was delighted to be able to play his

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favourite sport in his adopted country. Before long, the fast bowler was playing for the Germany Under-19 side at international tournaments. “It really was a dream come true, I’d only seen cricket played like that on television, everything was so professional and I never thought I’d end up playing for Germany when I first arrived,” he added. The 21-year-old is now captain of the Essen-based Altendorf 09 Blue Tigers, a team made up of refugees who play in a regional league. Jamal speaks six languages including English, German and Afghanistan’s two main languages, Dari and Pashto. Having missed three years of schooling while he learnt German, Jamal balances studying for his Abitur, Germany’s pre-university entrance certificate, with helping newly-arrived asylum seekers translate letters and prepare documents. Last year, he won an award for his work in helping refugees and promoting cricket in Essen. “I know from experience how much sport can help people integrate. When we were in the youth hostel, we had nothing. No friends and nothing to do. You don’t speak the language and feel lost,” he said. “It was so good to get out of the room and play cricket. Otherwise you sit in your room and feel depressed.” Jamal says he wanted to set up a team for refugees to support each other with the goal of eventually winning promotion to the national championships, cricket’s Bundesliga. “It means there is a support network, they find out where the best places are to learn German, where they can get help and find work,” he explained. “Cricket has given me so much.”

LANKA IOC TO SPONSOR SRI LANKA A TEAM

SportS DeSk Energy Company Lanka IOC has signed a three-year deal worth 18 million rupees (approx. USD 127,000) to sponsor Sri Lanka’s A team. The A team is scheduled to take part in nine tours - both home and away - with Lanka IOC sponsorship. “I’m delighted that IOC has come forward to sponsor the A team, and they will also be the official lubricant partner for Sri Lanka Cricket,” SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala said. “We are not looking at developing the cricket just to have a good national team. We cannot get there unless we also have a good back-up team. When Lanka IOC wanted to be associated with the SLC, they wanted to be part of developing Sri Lankan cricket.” Lanka IOC has not been a direct sponsor of cricket in the past decade, but it had employed Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis as brand ambassadors in the past. The sponsorship agreement will end in 2018.

SIXTH CHAIRMAN BAHRIA TOWN OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS rAWALpINDI PRESS RELEASE

The sixth Chairman Bahria Town Open Golf Championship 2016 started in Bahria Garden City Golf and Country Club on Thursday. A number of matches were played on the first day of the tournament in junior pro and senior pro categories. In senior category, M Akram from Gymkhana Golf Club won with the score of 70 followed by Imdad Hussain and Mehmood Kiyani with the score of 72. In junior category, Shehbaz Masih from Karachi Golf Club was leading with the score of 74, followed by M Zubair from Karachi Golf Club with the score of 75. On Friday (today), amateurs, professionals and women will be playing in the main category. The finals of the tournament will be played on Sunday (May 8). This golf championship is associated with the Pakistan Golf Federation and Punjab Golf Association with categories for professionals, senior professionals, amateurs, senior amateurs, ladies, and club members.

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