Srinagar, June 09: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam scripted history at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Wednesday as he hit a century against West Indies in the first ODI, his 17th in the limited over cricket, to create a unique record.
This was Babar Azam’s third back-to-back hundred in ODIs, having knocked 114 and 105* against Australia in Lahore to set up a big series win for Pakistan earlier this year. As a consequence he became the first batsman in the history of ODI cricket to score three back-to-back centuries in the format.
The Pakistani skipper had achieved this milestone very early in his career, when he had slammed three consecutive hundreds against the Windies during a series in 2016 in the UAE.
The 27-year-old is currently in the form of his life, having score more than fifty runs in the last 5 innings, out of which four are centuries. Babar’s recent display helped Pakistan win the first match of the series.
Babar Azam is the top ranked batsman in ICC’s rankings in ODIs and T20Is and the fourth ranked in the longest format of the game. He also shattered Virat Kohli’s record for being the fastest ODI captain to reach 1000 runs.
Following backlash, PCB overturns fine on Azam Khan for displaying Palestinian flag on bat
The wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan was fined for wearing a Palestinian flag on his bat during a recent domestic Twenty20 competition, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reversed the decision on Tuesday, DAWN reported.
They said, imposition of the fine had sparked social media criticism, with the PCB facing backlash for what was perceived as an unjust action against the cricketer.
Khan — who represented Karachi Whites during the match — was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for being found guilty of committing a level-I offence during his side’s National T20 Cup 2023-24 match against Lahore Blues at National Bank Stadium, Karachi on Sunday.
Khan adorned his bat with a Palestinian flag during the match, contravening the rules that prohibit the endorsement of any such cause unless approved beforehand.
However, the PCB in a statement cited by DAWN said: “Azam Khan’s 50pc fine imposed by match officials has been reviewed and waived off by the PCB.”
The cricketer was found to have violated Article 2.4 of the PCB Code of Conduct For Players and Players Support Personnel for repeated failure to comply with the instruction or directive of an umpire during the match, the board said in the statement.
It also added that “players and team officials are not permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey personal messages on their equipment unless approved in advance by both player or team official’s cricket association and PCB Cricket Operations Department.”
Pakistani cricketer Imad Wasim retires from international cricket
Imad Wasim, the Pakistani all-rounder, has announced his immediate retirement from international cricket via social media. During his career, he featured in 55 ODIs and 66 T20Is for Pakistan, contributing as a left-arm spinner and a batsman in the lower order. His last appearance for Pakistan was in April during a T20I against New Zealand.
“In recent days I have been doing a lot of thinking about my international career and I have come to the conclusion that now is the right time for me to announce my retirement from international cricket,” Imad wrote on X. “I would like to thank the PCB for all their support over the years – it has truly been an honour to represent Pakistan.
“Each of my 121 appearances across the ODI and T20I formats was a dream come true. It’s an exciting time for Pakistan cricket going forwards with new coaches and leadership incoming. I wish all involved every success and I look forward to watching the team excel.
“Thank you to the Pakistan fans for always supporting me with such passion. A final thank you to my family and friends who have been so important in helping me achieve at the highest level. I now look forward to focussing on the next stage of my playing career away from the international stage.”
ICC bans transgender players from women’s international cricket
According to the recent regulations passed by the ICC board on Tuesday, individuals who have transitioned from male to female and experienced male puberty in any capacity will be ineligible to take part in women’s international cricket, irrespective of any surgeries or gender reassignment treatments they may have undergone.
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The ICC finalised the new policy following a nine-month consultation process with the sport’s stakeholders. “It is based on the following principles (in order of priority), protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion,” the board stated in a release.
ICC CEO Geoff Allardice added: “Inclusivity is incredibly important to us as a sport, but our priority was to protect the integrity of the international women’s game and the safety of players.”
For now, the review, which was led by the ICC medical advisory committee chaired by Dr Peter Harcourt, relates to gender eligibility for international women’s cricket only.
“The gender eligibility at domestic level is a matter for each individual Member board, which may be impacted by local legislation,” the ICC said. “The regulations will be reviewed within two years.”
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