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Smith feels sorry for overlooked Khawaja in first ODI



AUCKLAND: Steven Smith admitted that Usman Khawaja has the right to feel aggrieved after the Australia captain confirmed the in-form batsman had been overlooked for Wednesday’s opening one-dayer against New Zealand.

Khawaja struck three centuries in four Tests against New Zealand and West Indies, and hit two Twenty20 hundreds to help Sydney Thunder capture their first Big Bash League title in a productive Australian summer.

Despite his rich vein of form, the 29-year-old top order batsman was still omitted from the original Australia squad for the three-match ODI series in New Zealand before a hamstring injury to Aaron Finch led to his recall.

The team management, however, opted to persist with Shaun Marsh, rewarding him for two fifties in the three ODIs he played against India last month.


“He’s unlucky to miss out but Shaun’s going to get the first opportunity,” Smith said at Auckland on Tuesday. “No doubt he’d be frustrated. He’s hitting the ball extremely well.”

The Australian captain said it was very difficult to break into a well-set team that had been performing really well but suggested Khawaja would get a chance in one of the two remaining matches that precede a two-Test series between the teams.

Khawaja was selected in the Test squad for those matches.

“We’re the current world champions. We’ve been playing some very good one-day cricket and the batters have been scoring lots of runs,” Smith added.

“We scored 300 on every occasion in the recent one-day series [against India] at home.” “I think he’ll play one of the [three ODI] games at least,” the skipper said.

“He does need a hit going into what is a big Test series and he’s batting extremely well. I’m sure if he gets an opportunity, he’ll take it with both hands.”



Hockey Champions Trophy: India beats Pakistan 4-0



BREDA (Netherlands): After a close game India managed to beat Pakistan 4-0 in the opening match of the last (37th) edition of the Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy here today.

All four goals came through open play, the last two came when Pakistan deemed it fit to replace the goalkeeper with an outfield player. Interestingly till the 54th minute, India led by only one goal but in the remaining six minutes by some stroke of luck, it managed to score three goals.

Ramandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay scored one goal each. It is pertinent to mention here that Hockey Pro League (HPL) in 2019 will replace the Champions Trophy.

Relevant pieces published earlier:

i)  Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) today named 18 players for the 37th edition of the Champions Trophy to take place in Breda, Holland from June 23. Pakistan had sent 22 players on June 3 to Holland for the last phase of the training and after assessing players’ form and fitness, the management dropped four players including Mazhar Abbas (goalkeeper), M.Rizwan Jr, Rana Sohail and Dilber and finalized 18 for the event, said a press release issued here. The final 18 players include: M.Rizwan Sr (captain), Imran Butt, Amjad Ali, M.Irfan Sr, Mubashir Ali, Aleem Bilal, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Touseeq Arshad, Rashid Mahmood, Tasawar Abbas, Abu Bakar, M.Irfan Jr, Arslan Qadir, Umar Bhutta, Shafqat Rasool, Ali Shan, Azfar Yaqoob & Aijaz Ahmed. The officials comprise Hasan Sardar (Manager), Roelant Oeltmans (Head Coach), Muhammad Saqlain and Rehan Butt (Assistant Coaches). (Published on 19th June 2018) 

ii) Former Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh Thursday expressed disappointment over the scraping of the Champions Trophy Tournament saying it was part of the Indian lobby’s plan to isolate Pakistan from the game. Talking to the Media, he said World Cup, Champions Trophy, Asia Cup and Junior World Cup had been introduced by Pakistan. “Currently Pakistan Hockey Federation and the game are going through tough times, therefore, the federation needs to tackle the situation well,” he said. He said the team had prepared very well for the Champions Trophy to be held in the Netherlands from June 23. “I hope the team performs well and bring home laurels,” he said. Responding to a question he said both Pakistani and Indian teams had same playing style and whichever team played well would win the event. “In modern hockey, the role of goalkeeping and penalty corners are very important therefore Pakistan has to perform extraordinarily in both these departments,” he said. He said in his tenure Pakistan had qualified for the Champions Trophy final in 2014 after 16 years which was a great achievement. Shahnaz also criticized the federation’s statement that Champions Trophy was only an event to prepare for this year’s Asian Games. (Published on 22nd June 2018)

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Nail-biting Football World Cup matches claim a life



Football World Cup matches claim a life


KERLA (India): Unable to bear the pain of his favorite team’s defeat, a devastated Argentinean football fan 30-year-old Dinu Alex from Kottayam, allegedly jumped into  Meenchal River here on Friday morning following Argentina’s shock defeat to Croatia in the FIFA World Cup on Thursday.

The Argentineans suffered a shock 3-0 defeat against Croatia in their second group match of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia, proving that the underdogs are not to be underestimated.

A family member said that Alex – a graduate of the MG University Kottayam – seemed disturbed after the game and went missing for a few hours.

The police launched an immediate search to fish out his body but the relief operation was hampered due to heavy downpour.

Alex’s friends stated he was confident that Argentina would mount a comeback and make it through to the next round of the World Cup. However, after Argentina’s defeat, Alex was distraught and cried and switched off his phone, admitting that his team had let him down.

What we can learn from Dinu Alex is simple, this is real life. We don’t just give up because of something that didn’t go our way. His suicide would be justified, had he made a bad bet and spent most of his life savings, but not something people of the world would let slide still. For people have powered through worse situations and continued to live.

The point is simple; a fan committed suicide because he just wanted the pain to go away, forgetting that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Besides if he stuck around for longer he would know that Argentina still has a chance to qualify for the world cup thus proving they might have a “chance” to win even. But that’s wishful thinking for the most part.

A relevant piece published earlier:  Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric, and  Ante Rebic scored one goal each here to write history by beating giant Argentina! The possibility of Argentina’s return in the game is still there.  In the last six decades, this happens to be Argentina’s worst group match defeat, and with only one point from two games it played its survival in the tournament would be difficult. Argentina will have to score well in the 3rd match against Nigeria. 

Football World Cup: Croatia beats Argentina 3-0




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NPTV Brand Envoy Amir Khan launches SBL



Amir Khan launches SBL

KARACHI: World Boxing Champion – Brand Ambassador of – has launched the Super Boxing League (SBL) on Thursday 21st of June here at a local hotel. 

The event is being supported by Bill Dosanjh, a British entrepreneur. It is pertinent to mention here that SBL teams will comprise of ten men and two women boxers and be named after Pakistani cities.

According to Amir Khan right training will help to produce more world champions. SBL is scheduled to be organized in association with Punjab Sports Board (PSB) and World Boxing Council (WBC) from September 28 to November 3 at the Amir Khan Boxing Academy in Islamabad.

The league, in its first season, will have a mix of experience and youth and will bring in talent across the featherweight 57 kg, welterweight 66.7kg, middleweight 72.57 kg, super middleweight- 76.2 kg, heavyweight unlimited and female super fly 52.16 kg categories.

A relevant piece published earlier: Role model to millions of people, World Boxing Champion Amir Khan, who won Athens 2004 Olympic Silver Medal for Britain at the age of 17, is a philanthropist outside the ring. In an exclusive interview conducted here, he held: “When I fought for these world titles it was very difficult.  Nothing in life comes easy. But one thing to the viewers is if anyone has any dream in life you have to work hard to achieve it. Don’t give up. Never give up in life. It is very hard to achieve what you want to achieve in life. But as long as you keep working hard, one day, you know, you will achieve your dream!”

Q: Tell us about your early days and life? AMIR KHAN: Early Days! I was born in Bolton, a small town in Manchester.  I was very hyperactive! I was very naughty at school! And the teacher used to always say to me:  “I am going to call your parents to school because you misbehave too much! They have to monitor you! Make sure you are OK!” So what my dad did – he took me to a boxing club. You know! Since then I started to behave in school! The teacher called my father and asked my father:  “What have you done to Amir? Because he is totally changed”. What boxing taught me was discipline. Because of that I totally changed the way I live; the way I treat people; how I respect people. And also I know not to fight, or not to mess around! Because I am a professional fighter now! There are so many people who look up to me. I am a role model to millions of people around the world. So I have to, you know, do the right things in life!

Q: Tell us about your experiences and the biggest achievement of your life? AMIR KHAN: Obviously, the biggest achievement was going to Olympic Games.  And then winning the world title. I was the first ever Pakistani to win the world title.  No one has ever won a world (boxing) title – been a Pakistani. It is a great honor for me to win the World Championship. It was not easy. It was very hard. I was a smaller guy. I was a younger guy. When I fought for these world titles it was very difficult.  Nothing in life comes easy. But one thing to the viewers is if anyone has any dream in life you have to work hard to achieve it. Don’t give up. Never give up in life.  It is very hard to achieve what you want to achieve in life. But as long as you keep working hard one day, you know, you will achieve your dream. But one thing about our young Pakistani children is they need to work hard. We need them to work hard and have focus and have an ambition. To have an ambition in life, to become the best.  That’s the only reason you will achieve something.  I will tell you about myself. I used to wake-up every morning and I used to be like: ‘One day I will become the World Champion!’ I used to always wake-up in the morning have one thing in my head: ‘I am going to become a World Champion! I’ll have my dream and I will have my ambition’. I kept training and training and now MashaAllah I am now in this position. I am World Champion now. I won big fights. I am a big name around the world, not only in Pakistan but in England, America, Europe. All over the world. So, it is just a great feeling to be in this position. And also I hope I’ll inspire more people. I want to inspire the young, the youth to do what I’ve done. Because Pakistan is a country which has a lot of talent.  But we have to now put them on the right path. We have to support them. So, all the people now have to support the children, tell them: ‘Look if you want to achieve something in life then go for it, we support you 100%. And that’s why I have come myself to Pakistan. So I can support people myself. I am going to coach myself the youth of Pakistan. I am going to coach them; I am going to train them; I am going to hold pads for them; I am going to teach them technique. Because I want Pakistan to improve in boxing.

Q: You have been to different countries like in Europe and America? Did you ever feel racism there? AMIR KHAN: No! You know, to be honest with you; I have never experienced any racial stuff, never. It is nice to be seen as a people’s Champion.  Wherever I go to, Europe: In Germany, England, France… I never ever experience any racism. People like me. Even in England, they say I am the son of England. They love me in England, that’s where I live.  The Queen always invites me for like the tea … So MashaAllah! I am in a great position. Where I am loved by so many people. I think it is not only because of boxing. I think it is about what I am like as a person. As a person, I am a very down-to-earth guy. I respect everybody. I treat everybody nice. And at the same time, you know, I do a lot of charity work as well. So people like the charity work I do.

Q: Tell us about your Charity Foundation. AMIR KHAN: I have the Amir Khan Trust.  And in the UK I have the Amir Khan Foundation. Basically, we do a lot of work. For example, when the earthquake happened, we were in Pakistan straight away, in Muzaffarabad.  Then when the floods happened, I went to Nowshera, Charsadda… And then when the APS school killing happened – the children.  I was there, at the APS School. One thing about me is I like to go there myself and see, and experience and help: When the floods happen, I give them clothing, I give them food, I supply clean drinking water. When the Earthquake happens, I supply clothing, rebuild homes. So you know! Allah has given me this big name. I want to utilize my name the right way. For example, helping the poor people, the right way. For example, collecting donations. Giving to charities and giving to poor people! (Published on 16th August 2016)


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