Category Archives: Sports

Colombia and Brazil soccer teams join in tribute after plane crash

MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA/CHAPECO, BRAZIL: At the moment when they were set to take the field as foes, two soccer teams a continent apart raised their voices in unison on Wednesday, paying tribute to the 71 lives lost in a plane crash that cancelled the final of the Copa Sudamericana.

Colombia’s Atletico Nacional, which was ready to host the first leg of the final on Wednesday night, instead held a ceremony in honor of their fallen rivals Chapecoense, whose planed crashed into a hillside outside of Medellin.

Rowdy fans scaled walls into the stadium after the 46,000-person arena filled up an hour before the ceremony began. Others brought flowers and teared up during a minute of silence at the scheduled kickoff time.

“We expected an excellent match. They aren’t as big as Nacional but they were coming to give it their all, so tonight we’re Chapecoense fans,” said Lidia Alzate, 41, who came dressed in white along with her two children.

Nearly 3,000 miles (4,800 km) away, Chapacoense fans also filled their stadium in a remote corner of southern Brazil, holding a second night of vigil for their team whose stunning rise from the fourth division in Brazil to the continent’s top tier had captured the country’s imagination.

With illuminated cell phones aloft, they packed the stadium to its capacity of 20,000 – a tenth of the city’s population – and cheered as their youth players and reserves from the first team did laps around the field.

“There’s so much emotion in this stadium. It feels like a game night,” said Francis Fabio, 25, with tears in his eyes.

A brief video of Colombian fans singing an homage to Chapacoense appeared on the big screen, electrifying the Brazilian stadium as the crowd sang along.

“Let them listen around the continent. We will always remember the champions Chapecoense,” they sang in unison.

Atletico Nacional has offered the title to Chapecoense, although directors of the Brazilian club said they liked the idea of sharing the honor.

Bangladesh players fined for female guests

DHAKA, Nov 30: The Bangladesh Cricket Board has levied a record fine on two national team players for what it called “serious” breaches of discipline after they reportedly entertained female guests in their hotel rooms.

Pace bowler Al-Amin Hossain and batsman Sabbir Rahman were both fined around $15,000 for “serious off-field disciplinary breaches” during the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Twenty20 tournament, said the BCB in a statement late Tuesday.

It gave no details of the charges against the players, but the Prothom Alo daily reported online that they had taken female guests to their hotel rooms during the tour.

“The players have been reminded of their responsibility as national cricketers and have been warned that any repetition of similar acts of indiscretion in the future will result in harsher penalty,” the BCB said.

The BPL is modelled on the glitzy Indian Cricket League and has been blighted by match-fixing scandals, prompting authorities to suspend the meet for two years.

Seven franchises are playing in the current edition, which includes such major names as Pakistan´s Shahid Afridi, West Indies´ Chris Gayle and Sri Lanka´s Kumar Sangakkara.

The fines are the highest ever imposed on a Bangladeshi player on disciplinary grounds.

Al-Amin´s amounts to 50 percent of his BPL contract money for playing for the Barisal Bulls while Sabbir´s is equal to 30 percent of his pay from the Rajshahi Kings.

The BCB also fined Sabbir and Afghan cricketer Mohammad Shahzad 15 percent of their match fees over an onfield bust-up

Shahzad, who was also banned for two matches, nudged Sabbir with the bat when the Bangladeshi player celebrated his dismissal during a match on Monday.

Pakistan 255-8 at close in third Test

SHARJAH, Oct 30: Pakistan finished the opening day of the third and final Test against West Indies on 255-8 in Sharjah on Sunday.

Opener Sami Aslam led the way with 74 while skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (53), Sarfraz Ahmed (51) and Younis Khan (51) also contributing after Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat at Sharjah stadium.

At close, Mohammad Amir was six not out and Yasir Shah one not out.

Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo took 4-74 and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel chipped in with 3-58.

Pakistan lead the three-match series 2-0 after winning the first Test by 56 runs in Dubai and the second by 133 runs in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan sniff series-clinching win in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, Oct 24: Pakistan pressed West Indies hard for a series-clinching win in the second Test after setting a daunting 456-run target on the fourth day in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

By close of play Pakistan had taken four wickets at 171 leaving the West Indies to bat out the fifth and final day on Tuesday or score a further 285 runs with six wickets intact for an unlikely win.

No team has ever chased down more than the 418-7 West Indies managed against Australia at Antigua 13 years ago and on a weary last day pitch they will need a huge effort to stop Pakistan from taking an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Pakistan won the first Test — a day-night affair played with the pink ball — by 56 runs in Dubai.

Pakistan had declared their second innings on 227-2 at lunch, with Asad Shafiq on 58 not out (his 16th Test half century) and Younis Khan 29 to give their bowlers enough time to force a win.

At close Jermaine Blackwood was unbeaten on 41 and with him Roston Chase 17 not out as the two foiled Pakistan´s bowling during an unbroken 47-run stand for the fifth wicket.

The duo carried the fight initiated by opener Kraigg Brathwaite who scored a fighting 67 with six boundaries and a six.

Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels (23) had added 49 for the third wicket but both fell in the space of 12 runs, Samuels giving a return catch to leg-spinner Yasir Shah while Brathwaite trapped leg-before wicket by Mohammad Nawaz.

Brathwaite had completed his 11th half-century with a three run drive off paceman Sohail Khan — his first in this series.

West Indies´ task of saving the Test was made even more difficult after they lost Leon Johnson (nine) and Darren Bravo (13) with the total on 63.

Johnson tried to sweep a delivery from Shah only to drag it on to his stumps after hitting the bat and glove.

Bravo, who scored a fighting 116 in Dubai, slashed a drive off fast bowler Rahat Ali straight to point where Mohammad Nawaz held a head high catch.

Pakistan added 113 runs in the first session to set up their declaration.
Shafiq scored his second fifty of the match with three boundaries after Azhar Ali was dismissed for 79.

Resuming at 114-1 Pakistan were unable to score quick runs as West Indian captain Jason Holder kept a tight field, with only five boundaries in the session.

Ali, who scored a career best 302 not out in Dubai, edged Miguel Cummins to slip where Holder took a sharp catch for the fast bowler´s first wicket in the series.

Ali hit five boundaries during his 137-ball stay at the crease.

West Indies bowlers tried valiantly for more wickets but spurned a review when Holder trapped Younis in front of the wicket but television replays showed the ball was missing the stumps.

The third and final Test will be played in Sharjah from October 30.


Miandad-Afridi dispute resolved pleasantly

KARACHI, Oct 16: The week-long dispute between two great cricketers Javed Miandad and Shahid Afridi has been ended in a pleasant manner as the two legends hugged each other after Miandad took back his allegations against Afridi here on Saturday.

The happy end of their conflict was a result of the efforts made by MNA Iqbal Mohammad Ali and Afridi’s uncle Iqbal Shah, who played the role of mediators.

Both mediators met with Javed Miandad and convinced him to take back his allegations , then all three went to Afridi’s residence where the drama came to end in a pleasant environment.