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Nida Dar’s mother passes away

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Nida Dar's mother passes away

Mother of Pakistan Women’s Team captain and all-rounder Nida Dar passed away on Wednesday, Dunya News reported.

Family sources say that Nida Dar’s mother was seriously ill for the past few days. They also informed that her funeral prayers would be offered today (Thursday) after Asr prayers.

Nida Dar was appointed Pakistan Women’s Team captain in April 2023.

Dar is the most successful women’s T20I bowler. She is the first Pakistani cricketer to take 100 wickets in T20Is. She has played domestic cricket for Pakistan Universities, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited, Sialkot and Sydney Thunder.

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ICC revenue model threatens growth of game, say associate members

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ICC revenue model threatens growth of game, say associate members

Cricket’s cash-starved associate member nations fear the proposed new international revenue distribution model, which heavily favours the game’s superpowers, could potentially stall the growth of the game.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has proposed a new revenue sharing model for the 2024-27 cycle to be voted on at its July board meeting in Durban.

According to figures leaked to Cricinfo, cricket’s financial engine India would alone claim 38.5%, primarily in recognition of its contribution to the commercial revenue pot.

The 12 full members of the ICC would collectively take 88.81% with the rest distributed among 94 associate members.

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The ICC has not commented on the figures, though general manager Wasim Khan said on Monday all members would get more money under the proposed model than in the past.

Pakistan have already made clear their opposition to the model in its current shape and resentment is rumbling among other, less developed, cricketing nations.

Sumod Damodar, one of the three associate member representatives on the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee, said the proposal would not meet the needs of associate members.

“If what is being proposed and discussed is likely to be the outcome then, as an associate member representative, I would be (disappointed),” he told Reuters.

“There are numerous practical reasons why it would be inadequate for associate members.”

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Damodar, vice chairman of Botswana’s board, said associate members who have earned one-day international (ODI) status need more money to sustain their high-performance programmes, while the others need cash to bridge the gap.

Citing the rapid rise of Nepal in men’s cricket and Thailand in the women’s game, Damodar said more countries would step up if they were given the required financial support.

Vanuatu Cricket Association Chief Executive Tim Cutler said the proposed model would only accentuate the inequality between cricket’s haves and have-nots.

“The new model is now even more heavily weighted towards the bigger cricketing nations, and there is a risk that the proposed changes will exacerbate this imbalance, putting the future of the game at further risk,” Cutler told Reuters.

“The sad reality is, cricket will not grow beyond its current corners of the world … if the allocation of the game’s global funds aren’t more equally allocated with a view to actually growing the game.”

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With full members having 12 of the 17 total votes on the ICC board, Cutler said diverting funds away from themselves, or making independent decisions for the good of the game, would be like “turkeys voting for Christmas”.

The ICC did not respond to a request for comment when asked about the concerns of the associate members.

‘STRONGER AND RICHER’
Former ICC President Ehsan Mani said there was a lack of vision at the governing body in its approach to developing cricketing nations, despite the huge commercial potential of some of them.

“One of the biggest risks for global cricket is its over-dependence on one country, India, for a major part of the revenues generated,” the former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman told Reuters.

“Countries like the USA and the Middle East and, in longer term, China would bring enormous benefits to the ICC, its members and the global game. World cricket would be stronger and richer for it.”

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For Mani, India grabbing the lion’s share of ICC revenues “makes no sense” and he advocated equal shares for all full members.

“World cricket needs a strong West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan,” he added.

“Cricket in Zimbabwe has suffered due to lack of funds as have Ireland and Afghanistan. Lack of investment in some of these countries will make the game unsustainable and world cricket will be poorer for it.” 

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Fazal Mahmood continues to rule hearts 18 years on

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Fazal Mahmood continues to rule hearts 18 years on

 Eighteen years have passed since death of Fazal Mahmood, Pakistan cricket’s tall, fair, blue eyed and attractive personality, who played an important role to achieve Pakistan status of a test-playing nation. 

He played a key role in Pakistan’s historic victory at Oval test match in England. 

Fazal Mahmood, fair-skinned, tall, with neatly combed hairs and blue eyes peeking out from behind dark eyelashes, was born on Feb 18, 1920 in Lahore. He made his first-class cricket debut in United India by participating in the Ranji Trophy. 

He was very upset when he was not selected for the tour of England in 1946. At that time, when the Quaid-i-Azam came to Islamia College Lahore, he was introduced to Fazl Mahmood. Quaid-i-Azam was very happy to hear about his cricket performance. 

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After the establishment of Pakistan, Fazl started his career against India on Oct 16, 1952. During his visit to England in 1954, the Queen of Great Britain was impressed by Fazl Mahmood’s eyes saying how blue your eyes are. 

Fazl Mahmood handed Pakistan their first memorable victory by dismissing 12 players for 99 runs against England in the Oval Test. In 1955, he was awarded the title of Wisden Cricketer of the Year. He bade farewell to cricket by playing the last test match against England in August 1962.

Fazl Mahmood joined the police department as an inspector in 1947. He became deputy inspector general of police in 1976. The government of Pakistan honoured Fazal Mahmood with Pride of Performance and Hilal Imtiaz for his excellent performance. On May 30, 2005, he passed away.

After his death, on Oct 2021, the Pakistan Cricket Board added his name to the Hall of Fame list through a transparent voting.

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One small step for Zhang, one giant leap for Chinese men’s game

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One small step for Zhang, one giant leap for Chinese men's game

 China has long been the sleeping giant of men’s tennis but on Monday the giant stirred as Shanghai trailblazer Zhang Zhizhen advanced to the second round of the French Open.

One of three Chinese men in the draw, Zhang became the first from the nation to win a main draw match at Roland Garros in 86 years after Serbian opponent Dusan Lajovic retired due to illness when trailing 6-1 4-1.

Compatriots Shang Juncheng and Wu Yibing bowed out in defeat but 26-year-old Zhang has a big chance to go further when he takes on Argentine qualifier Thiago Agustin Tirante for a place in the third round.

That would bring him a step closer to the fourth-round mark set by Kho Sin-Kie in 1936. Kho, who was born in colonial-era Indonesia but represented China in Davis Cup, also reached the third round in 1937. “Last year …. even quallies (qualifiers) I couldn’t get in,” world number 71 Zhang told reporters.

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“This year I’m enjoying (the) first win here. “We have so many (people) waiting for us to get (the) first win.” In the modern era, Chinese tennis has been dominated by women, with twice Grand Slam champion Li Na becoming the country’s first major winner at Roland Garros in 2011.

The men’s game has been a much slower burn, with Wu Di becoming China’s first singles entrant at a Grand Slam main draw in the professional era in 2013 when he lost in the first round of the Australian Open.

It took nearly another decade for a Chinese man to claim a main draw win, with Wu Yibing breaking a 63-year drought on the way to the third round at last year’s U.S. Open.

Teenager Shang followed that by reaching the second round of the Australian Open in January on his Grand Slam debut as the youngest player in the draw.

Zhang, the oldest of the Chinese trio and a relatively late bloomer, has now kept the streak alive after setting a number of tennis ‘firsts’ for the country in recent months.
Last October, he became the first Chinese man to crack the top 100 in the ATP’s world rankings and this month became the first to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP Masters 1000 tournament at the Madrid Open.

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“Now we are passing the quallies and coming to the main draw,” Zhang said of the Grand Slam breakthroughs. “That’s one step, again, like a step forward.

“(Chinese) Girls have a lot of people playing. Now we (men) are more and more. “Yeah, we are trying to catch the girls.”

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