Pakistan’s special athletes begin preparations for Berlin Games

KARACHI: On Monday morning, the KPT Sports Complex, was buzzing with activity in a heartwarming display of athleticism and determination. On its wood-paneled court, Pakistan’s special athletes bounced and ran in a friendly basketball match with their unified partners; people without intellectual disabilities. They were here mCundari, a seasoned coach with extensive experience in the field, is here on invitation from Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP), and apart from overseeing the training of Pakistan’s special athletes he will also provide training to coaches. “These athletes are an inspiration for us,” Cundari told Dawn, “and working with special children is a privilege.” marking the start of preparations for this year’s Special Olympic World Games in Berlin which were being observed by Canadian coach Glenn Cundari.

From what he’d seen on his first day in Pakistan, Cundari — who won the Canadian national award for ‘Contributions to Coach Development’ — reckons there is a lot of potentials. “I observed these players in the basketball match and other sports and they are more than capable to bring some medals home,” he added.

Almost 200 countries will be participating in the Berlin Games, which kick off on June 17 and conclude on June 25.

Pakistan’s athletes will be competing in 11 disciplines including, tennis, table tennis, basketball, futsal, cycling, boche, athletic, badminton, powerlifting, field hockey, and swimming.

A delegation of 121 members will travel to the German capital. The delegation includes 51 male athletes and 36 female athletes along with unified partners, 17 male coaches, 13 female coaches, three officials, and one doctor.

With Cundari roped in to provide his expertise, a strong showing from Pakistan is expected.

“I was fortunate enough to develop a relationship with Special Olympics International which was supporting the project here in Pakistan,” Cundari informed. “Coaches are always looking for more support and as we started to build relations with SOP chairperson Ms. Ronak Lakhani. I became more interested in taking this assignment and helping the coaches here.”

Cundari will leave Pakistan on Friday and will supervise the training from an online platform.

“Training online is definitely less effective than me being personal here but this is the situation at the moment and I will try to make the best of the opportunity,” he added.

Ronak Lakhani, who was honored with Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2016, said that the addition of Cundari will help the athletes prepare better and also would be more supportive of the local coaches.

“The arrival of Cundari to Pakistan is an honor for us.” the SOP chairperson told Dawn. “Cundari will hold seminars on the next two days where he will address on how to enhance the capabilities of critical thinking, mental strength, and leadership skills of the coaches which will help them take decisions better.”

But organizing activities regularly for athletes with special needs remains a challenge.

“We don’t get support from the government and we have to organize events like National Games on our own,” SOP’s national director Talha Tahir told Dawn. “We are in talks with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and we want them to support us.”Taha, however, added that the training camps will continue till the Games.

“We have recently organized national camps and now these camps will be city-wise where athletes will be invited,” he informed, adding that apart from cyclists and hockey players, other athletes will continue to train at the KPT Sports Complex.

“We provide training to cyclists near Sea View, Khayaban-e-Sahil while hockey drills and practice sessions are being conducted at the Abdul Sattar Hockey Stadium.”

Minister ko thoda tight karna padega: Babar Azam excited to play with Wahab Riaz in PSL

Riaz’s appointment as sports Minister is quite similar to West Bengal player Manoj Tiwary’s portfolio as State Sports Minister. He contested assembly elections from Shibpur (Vidhan Sabha constituency) and won as a member of the legislative assembly in 2021.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said he is excited to play alongside the caretaker Sports Minister of the Punjab province Wahab Riaz in the upcoming Pakistan Super League(PSL).

Babar Azam speaking about the prospect of playing with his former teammate Riaz said, “Abhi to Minister sahab Wahab bhai, abhi kafi excited hu Wahab bhai avenge. Lekin woh kafi experience hein aur wo T20 kafi der se kelte a rahe hain. Wo kafi cheezon ko samajthe hain. Koshish yahi hai ki ache tarike se khelen. Minister ko thora tight karna padega.” (Now he is the Minister. I am excited to play with him Wahab has a lot of experience. He has been playing T20 cricket for a long time. He understands things. The ultimate goal is to play fairly and Minister should keep things tight.)

Riaz’s appointment as sports Minister is quite similar to West Bengal player Manoj Tiwary’s portfolio as State Sports Minister. He contested assembly elections from Shibpur (Vidhan Sabha constituency) and won as a member of the legislative assembly in 2021.

Both players despite being involved in politics are active on the cricket circuit.

Wahab, who is currently playing in the Bangladesh Premier League, will take oath after he returns to Pakistan.

There is no official word on what this means for his involvement with the Pakistan Super League.

The 37-year-old has been retained by Peshawar Zalmi for this year’s Pakistan Super League and is expected to fulfill his commitment to the team despite his appointment as the caretaker Sports Minister of the Punjab province.

Babar moved from Karachi Kings to Peshawar Zalmi earlier this year. He has taken the captaincy reigns from Riaz.

10 of the best: Djokovic’s dominance at Australian Open

Novak Djokovic extended his unparalleled record of Australian Open titles to 10 with a victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday.

AFP Sport recalls Djokovic’s incredible run of success on the way to becoming the undoubted king of Melbourne Park:

First Serb: 2008

Becomes first Serb to win a Grand Slam. Then 20, he burst into the big time with a straight-sets victory in the semi-finals over world number one Roger Federer.

In the final, he beat Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

“Every player dreams of winning a Grand Slam. I am still not fully aware of what I have achieved these past two weeks,” the young Djokovic said.

Three-year wait ends: 2011

It was three long years before Djokovic secured a second major triumph, and he put his success down to a gluten-free diet.

It heralded a golden year where he won three of the four Grand Slam titles.

He lost only one set the entire fortnight in Melbourne including defeating defending champion Federer again in the semi-finals, before overpowering Andy Murray in the final.

Djokovic said he decided to change his backroom team, as well as his diet, after a disappointing 2010.

“I had to try to find the best possible solution and try to get back on the right track. That’s what I did,” he said.

The longest final: 2012

Djokovic’s first successful Grand Slam defence involved feats of endurance rarely witnessed before in tennis.


Novak Djokovic extended his unparalleled record of Australian Open titles to 10 with victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday.

AFP Sport recalls Djokovic’s incredible run of success on the way to becoming the undoubted king of Melbourne Park:

First Serb: 2008

Becomes first Serb to win a Grand Slam. Then 20, he burst into the big time with a straight-sets victory in the semi-finals over world number one Roger Federer.

In the final, he beat Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

“Every player dreams of winning a Grand Slam. I am still not fully aware of what I have achieved these past two weeks,” the young Djokovic said.

Three-year wait ends: 2011

It was three long years before Djokovic secured a second major triumph, and he put his success down to a gluten-free diet.

It heralded a golden year where he won three of the four Grand Slam titles.

He lost only one set the entire fortnight in Melbourne including defeating defending champion Federer again in the semi-finals, before overpowering Andy Murray in the final.

Djokovic said he decided to change his backroom team, as well as his diet, after a disappointing 2010.

“I had to try to find the best possible solution and try to get back on the right track. That’s what I did,” he said.

The longest final: 2012

Djokovic’s first successful Grand Slam defence involved feats of endurance rarely witnessed before in tennis.

After a five-set battle against Murray in the semi-final, he then had to fight for almost six hours against Rafael Nadal to win the title.

It was the longest Grand Slam singles final in the Open era and ended at 1:37 am.

Djokovic ripped off his shirt and roared at the end of the epic match which he won 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 in 5hr 53min.

“Physically it was the toughest match I ever played,” said Nadal, after addressing the crowd with: “Good morning!”

Title hat-trick: 2013

Djokovic became the first man since the Open era began in 1968 to win three Australian titles in a row after overpowering Murray in four sets.

“It’s definitely my favourite Grand Slam, my most successful Grand Slam. I love this court,” said Djokovic.

Revenge over Wawrinka: 2015

Djokovic was beaten in the 2014 quarter-finals by Stan Wawrinka, the eventual champion, but was back to his punishing best a year later.

After exacting revenge on the Swiss in the semi-finals he again rolled over Murray for the title, inflicting a humiliating 6-0 bagel on the Scot in the final set to tie Andre Agassi on the all-time list with eight Grand Slam titles.

His wife Jelena had given birth to their son Stefan three months earlier.

“I think it has deeper meaning, more intrinsic value now to my life because I’m a father and a husband,” said Djokovic.

‘Djokovic Slam’: 2016

The records kept tumbling as he clinched a sixth Melbourne crown to equal Roy Emerson’s pre-Open era record and win a third consecutive major title after Wimbledon and the US Open in 2015.

He would complete the “Djokovic Slam” at the French Open to hold all four majors at the same time.

He defeated Murray for a fourth time in the championship match.

“It’s an incredible feeling, especially because of the fact that I managed to make history tonight and equal Roy Emerson’s record of six Australian Opens,” he said.

Sampras eclipsed: 2019

After two years battling injury, including undergoing elbow surgery, he swatted aside old rival Nadal in the final to claim a record seventh Australian Open and 15th Grand Slam title to go ahead of his childhood idol, Pete Sampras.

“It was definitely a sign of destiny to start playing tennis, to aspire to be as good as Pete,” Djokovic said. “To surpass him with Grand Slam titles, I’m speechless.”

Great eight: 2020

Djokovic captured his eighth Australian Open title and earned his 900th tour-level match win on the way.

Federer was dispatched in straight sets in the semi-final but Dominic Thiem gave Djokovic his hardest final since the Nadal epic in 2012.

Djokovic eventually fought back from two sets to one down to secure his 17th major.

“Obviously at this stage of my career, Grand Slams are the ones I value the most. They are the ones I prioritise,” he said.

Stomach for the fight: 2021

Djokovic looked on his way out when he could barely run because of an abdominal injury in the third round against Taylor Fritz, but somehow survived in five sets.

He was unable to train between matches, but grew fitter with every passing round and reached the final.

World number four Daniil Medvedev went the way of the Serb’s eight previous final opponents as a rampant Djokovic extended his perfect record in finals in Melbourne.

More controversy, more glory: 2023

The fourth seed returned after missing the 2022 edition when he was deported over his Covid stance.

There were concerns over how he would be received by the crowd and there was hamstring trouble too, but the Serb got a warm reception and the injury improved as he went deeper into the tournament.

There was yet more controversy when his father Srdjan was pictured posing next to a Russian flag featuring Vladimir Putin’s face.

Djokovic put it all aside to reach the final and beat Tsitsipas for a 10th Melbourne title and record-equalling 22 Slam crowns.

Faheem Ashraf excels in the Big Bash League with his all-around performance.

In the 12th season of the Big Bash League (BBL), Pakistani all-rounder Faheem Ashraf helped Hobart Hurricanes defeat Brisbane Heat by a mere two runs on Wednesday.

When the all-rounder entered the crease, the Hurricanes were in trouble at 93-5 after 16.2 overs. Faheem was left stranded at the other end and his team needed to pick up the pace but they kept losing wickets. Ashraf led his team to 120-9 in 20 overs while being unbeaten at 11 from 6 balls.

To protect the narrow target, Hobart needed quick victories, which Faheem provided by taking down the dangerous opener, Josh Brown, on the powerplay.

Before Faheem returned to hit the winning blow, Sam Hain and Jimmy Peirson were cruising to the mark and had stitched a crucial 73-run partnership. In the 17th over, the right-arm bowler bowled out Hain for 26 to put Hobart back in the contest.

Heat’s chase effort was unsuccessful by two runs. Faheem completed his four-over performance with outstanding figures of 2/19.

In the current BBL 12, Ashraf has collected seven wickets in nine games.

 

 

In a secret ceremony, Shadab Khan marries Saqlain Mushtaq’s daughter.

Shadab announced the information on Twitter and asked for his and his wife’s privacy.

Shadab Khan, a Pakistani all-rounder, recently wed the previous Pakistani head coach’s daughter in a secret ceremony.

He announced the information on Twitter and asked for his wife and himself to have some privacy.

 

“Thank God, I performed my Nikkah today. It’s a significant day for me and the beginning of a new chapter. Please respect the decisions I, my wife, and our family make. prayers and love to everyone “Shadab said.

This is the latest in a recent string of marriages by Pakistani cricketers, including members of the national squad Haris Rauf and Shan Masood.

 

Additionally, the daughter of former all-rounder Shahid Khan Afridi will be Shaheen Shah Afridi’s bride in February of this year.

 

 

Shaheen Shah Afridi, a pacer, performs the Umrah.

Shaheen Shah Afridi, a star pacer for Pakistan, recently had the opportunity to perform Umrah when he was in Saudi Arabia.

Shaheen doesn’t avoid social media and regularly updates his followers on his activities.

The quick bowler posted a photo of himself at the Khana-e-Ka’aba on Twitter and Instagram, two social media sites.

Alhamdulillah, he wrote as the picture’s caption.

Soon after Shaheen shared the photo, admirers and supporters flocked to the comments section to show their support for one of the best bowlers.

Sajid Khan, a cricket player for Pakistan who made his debut with the squad in April 2021, complimented Shaheen.

 

 

The speedster has been unable to perform his job owing to a knee ailment. Since November 2022, is now fully recovered and is ready to pick up where he left off.

In his remarks to the media, Shaheen stated, “I have approximately 55 overs under my belt during training and I’m ready to feature in all kinds of cricket.”

 

Since Shaheen, 22, sustained a knee injury during the T20 World Cup 2022 final against England on November 13, he is not now a member of the Pakistani team.

“I found it difficult to watch from the sidelines. The squad needed me, therefore I made the decision to compete in the T20 World Cup. The outcome would have been different if I had entered the T20 World Cup running in to throw, “Speaking about his time off the field, the pacer remarked

Shaheen also lamented missing out on the home season, which featured England and New Zealand tour appearances.

“Missing the home series against England and New Zealand saddened me. I wanted to play for the squad and win in front of my family,” he stated.

The lanky pacer will lead Lahore Qalandars in the 2018 Pakistan Super League (PSL), where his team is defending champion.

 

Depending on how well, Shaheen may play cricket again internationally. Whether or not the medical team thereafter grants the athlete the all-clear, the fast bowler competes in the rehabilitation program.

Shaheen recently posted footage of his practice session on Twitter.

 

 

Afridi questions Shan Masood’s selection as the ODI team’s vice-captain.

Najam Sethi made the choice to make Shan Masood the vice-captain of the Pakistani side.

Shahid Afridi, a former interim chief selector, has made it plain that PCB was keen on keeping him on as chairman of the committee.

Shahid Afridi explained in an exclusive interview with a local media news station that he was unable to prolong his contract because of other obligations.

“The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was interested in extending my position as the team’s chief selector, but I also have charitable and other obligations. However, in the future, I want to work to support the growth of U19 cricket players “Shahid Afridi stated.

In addition, Afridi declared that Shan Masood’s recent selection as vice-captain of the ODI team against New Zealand was unjustified.

“Shan Masood shouldn’t have been selected as the ODI team’s vice-captain. “The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should have trusted the captain or chief selector; during the first two ODIs against New Zealand, neither Babar Azam nor I gave him a second thought,” remarked Afridi.

According to Shan Masood’s performances for Derbyshire, he “cannot be named as captain or vice-captain of the Pakistan Cricket Team.

When asked about three formats and three captains, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi responded, “Babar Azam’s captaincy, in my opinion, has a lot of opportunity for development. I think it would be better to name one captain for ODI and Test cricket and a different commander for T20s as opposed to three different leaders for the various game formats.”

With these admissions made by Shahid Afridi, it is evident that it was Najam Sethi, the chairman of the PCB Management Committee, and not Afridi or Babar Azam who made the decision to name Shan Masood the vice-captain of the team for the ODI against New Zealand.

 

Babar’s batting problems have a solution, according to Mohammad Azharuddin.

 

According to the former Indian captain Azharuddin, Babar Azam’s batting at lower scores in T20 cricket is not a problem. Who also mentioned the possibility that the rigours of leadership may be wearing on the young batter.

According to the data, former Indian captain Azharuddin claimed that Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan would have squandered more overs in the top order of T20 in the beginning during a special interview with Cricket Pakistan, the largest website for Pakistani cricket, in Dubai.

Yes, the Pakistani team’s skipper is not a natural opener; if there is a form issue,He struggles to score runs; it’s not an issue if he bats in lesser numbers as well; the stress of acting as a leader overwhelms him.

Additionally, he claimed that Virat Kohli is somewhat superior to Babar Azam due of his extensive experience.

“There is no comparison because both players play according to their unique styles, but the Indian batter is the best because of his extensive experience.Azharuddin claimed that he was unable to perform in his usual manner during the T20 World Cup.

 

Azharuddin responded when questioned about players’ careers not lasting too long: “options for selection and format. Our age cannot be compared to modern cricket, since it appears that cricketers are involved in multiple events, including leagues, at the same time “said he.

However, he insisted, “There was a class of cricketers at that time, and there are many famous names who are playing well even now.”

Cricketers will have the best opportunities to showcase their talents and enhance their skills in the ILT20 league.

 

PCB is considering employing Shoaib Akhtar as a bowling consultant.

  • PCB thinks of asking Akhtar for his advice.
  • Akhtar might be handed a significant national team role.
  • Najam Sethi and a former pacer will soon meet.

The News reported on Wednesday that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is debating hiring legendary fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar as the national team’s bowling consultant.

Following Shahid Afridi’s appointment to the PCB executive committee, the cricket board is considering contacting the right-arm bowler for his knowledge of the sport.

According to rumors, Akhtar may soon be assigned a crucial role for the national team.

According to sources, the former top pacer has already been approached and has expressed interest in helping to raise the level of play among the players.

Najam Sethi, the head of the PCB management committee, will soon meet with Akhtar in Lahore. The former pacer is most likely to receive a job offer from PCB during the meeting.

Sources claim that Akhtar had expressed interest in having a significant involvement in the board’s policy-making.

The bowler, popularly known as Rawalpindi Express, had raised his voice numerous times to urge the Pakistani side to improve after he retired from cricket.

The 47-year-old former right-arm bowler holds the record for bowling the fastest delivery in cricket history, clocking it at 161.3 kph.

Afridi was also chosen by the PCB Management Committee to serve as the temporary chair of the selection committee for the home series against New Zealand.

Sethi presided over the decision-making process after the government confirmed his appointment to lead the PCB.

Abdul Razzaq and Rao Iftikhar Anjum will also be on the panel, and Haroon Rashid, a member of the management committee, will serve as the convener.

 

 

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