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Asia Cup 2022 to be played in UAE instead of Sri Lanka

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(Last Updated On: July 17, 2022)

The 2022 Asia Cup, a T20 tournament, which is due to start next month is set to be played in the United Arab Emirates instead of Sri Lanka, it was reported Sunday.

The decision was taken at an Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting this week, which remains concerned by the acute shortage of fuel which has played a big part in grinding Sri Lanka to a halt, ESPNcricinfo reported.

Up until last week, Sri Lanka Cricket was “very confident” of hosting the tournament despite the country’s deepening economic and political crisis. With food supplies drying up, fuel supply being cut to private vehicles, and severe daily power outages, enraged protestors stormed the residences of the Sri Lankan President and Prime Minister demanding a change in leadership.

The protests did not however impact the bilateral cricket series with Australia and Pakistan.

“Hosting two teams is not the same as hosting ten teams,” Sri Lanka Cricket’s chief executive officer Ashley de Silva told ESPNcricinfo on Sunday. “You have to provide ten buses with fuel for all of them. You have to give every team a luggage van with fuel, and transport for the managers. You also have to give the sponsors transport and ensure that they are getting the mileage that they want from their sponsorship. The fuel for the generators to run the floodlights will also have to be found.”

The ACC is set to announce the Asia Cup schedule on July 22.

This will be the second time in the last five years that UAE will host the Asia Cup. In 2018, the tournament, played in the 50-overs format, was conducted in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah between September 15-28.

This edition of the tournament will be played in Dubai and Sharjah between August 27 and September 11.

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FIFA brings opening match of World Cup in Qatar forward by one day

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(Last Updated On: August 14, 2022)

FIFA has officially brought forward the opening match of this year’s World Cup by one day to 20 November in a rare change so that hosts Qatar feature in the gala game.

FIFA said in a statement this week that football’s top officials universally approved the decision, while Qatar said it would give unspecified help to fans affected by the change.

On the old schedule, Qatar against Ecuador was to be the official inauguration match on 21 November but Senegal against Netherlands would be the first match of the day. England against Iran would have been the second.

Qatar had also been frustrated as it has invested in a huge opening ceremony show.

“Host country Qatar will now play Ecuador on Sunday 20 November as part of a stand-alone event,” said FIFA.

“The opening match and ceremony of this year’s tournament at Al Bayt Stadium have been brought forward one day following a unanimous decision taken by the bureau of the FIFA Council today (Thursday).”

The bureau is made up of FIFA leader Gianni Infantino and the six heads of the continental confederations.

“The change ensures the continuity of a long-standing tradition of marking the start of the World Cup with an opening ceremony on the occasion of the first match featuring either the hosts or the defending champions,” added FIFA.

Under the new plan, the Group A game between Senegal and the Netherlands has been shifted from 13:00 (14:30 Kabul time) on 21 November to a 19:00 start. There is no change to England’s opening Group B clash against Iran.

Qatari organizers, who have spent billions of dollars preparing for the event, immediately welcomed FIFA’s gesture.

“Opening the first FIFA World Cup to be held in the Middle East and Arab world is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Qatar,” said the organizing committee in a statement.

“The impact of this decision on fans was assessed by FIFA. We will work together to ensure a smooth tournament for the supporters affected by the change,” they added without giving details.

Ariana Television Network (ATN) meanwhile announced in July it had secured the exclusive rights to broadcast the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ in Afghanistan.

According to company officials, the broadcasting schedule will be revised to include the events of November 20.

Ariana Television Network, the Official and Exclusive broadcaster of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ in Afghanistan, has worked closely with FIFA to bring what is undoubtedly the world’s most prestigious event into as many homes in Afghanistan as possible.

While not much has been revealed about the opening ceremony, the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is reported to have special plans for the event, with some reports indicating he has a big fireworks display planned.

For the revised match schedule CLICK HERE

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Benzema, Ronaldo and Haaland nominated for Ballon d’Or, Messi misses out

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2022)

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema is among the 30 nominees on the shortlist for the prestigious men’s Ballon d’Or trophy, organizers France Football magazine announced on Friday.

The French international has had an incredible season for Real Madrid, scoring 44 goals in 46 games and helping them win the Champions League and LaLiga, Reuters reported.

Seven times reigning winner Lionel Messi was not nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or for the first time since 2005 and nor was his Paris Saint-Germain team mate Neymar.

Other nominees are Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester City striker Erling Haaland – who has just joined the club from Borussia Dortmund – and last season’s joint Premier League top scorer Mohamed Salah of Liverpool.

Among the 20 players on the shortlist for the women’s Ballon d’Or is Lyon’s Ada Hegerberg, who won the inaugural award in 2018, and Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas.

Arsenal striker Beth Mead, who won the European Championship with hosts England last month and was named the Player of the tournament, is also nominated.

The honour for the best player in the world will be presented on Oct. 17. The trophy will now be awarded based on a regular season from August to July rather than a calendar year.

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Afghanistan beat Ireland by 22 runs in 3rd T20I

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(Last Updated On: August 12, 2022)

Afghanistan defeated Ireland by 22 runs in the third T20I in Belfast on Friday.

Sent to bat first by the hosts who won the toss, Afghanistan posted 189-5 in the 20 overs. 

Rahmanullah Gurbaz top scored with 53 off 35 balls, followed by Najibullah Zadran who struck 42 off 18. Hazratullah Zazai and Ibrahim Zadran contributed with 39 and 36 each respectively.

Chasing 190-run target, Ireland lost Paul Stirling in the very first over and ended their innings with 167-9.

George Dockrell was their highest scorer with 58 (not out). 

Naveen-ul-Haq claimed three wickets while Mujib-ur-Rahman and Fazalhaq Farooqi each picked up two wickets.

Ireland lead the five-match series 2-1. The next match will be on Monday.

 

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