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Ariana Television’s ‘sporting’ year in review

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For more than a decade, Ariana Television Network (ATN) has faithfully brought global sporting events into the homes of millions of fans in Afghanistan, including the latest triumph – the all exciting FIFA World Cup 2022.

Viewers around the country were treated to a non-stop, exclusive viewing spectacle this past month that spanned a period of almost four weeks – and it was a tournament that contained lots of thrills, spills, upsets and surprise exits.

The final match played this past Sunday between Argentina and France proved however to be the jewel in the crown (or in this case trophy) as, according to commentators, it was without a doubt one of the best World Cup finals ever – and ATN made sure fans across the country got to witness every exciting moment live, in the comfort of their homes.

This year, 2022, was indeed a good year for Ariana TV fans – after ATN scored its own “hat trick” when it secured the exclusive rights to broadcast three major sporting events in the second half of the year.

The first was the Asia Cricket Council’s Asia Cup T20 which was played from August 27 to September 11.

The tournament was hosted by Sri Lanka but held in the UAE – in Dubai and Sharjah – and matches were broadcast live across Afghanistan on Ariana Television.

The second major sporting event that ATN took into the homes of fans was this year’s ICC T20 World Cup, which took place from October 16 to November 13 in Australia.

This was another four week period of world class sport delivered live and exclusive in Afghanistan by ATN.

However, the jewel in the sporting calendar crown ended the year on a high note – the FIFA World Cup 2022, which took place in Qatar between November 20 to December 18.

Afghans love cricket, and they love football, and to have almost three months of live and uninterrupted world class matches brought directly to them resulted in joy, excitement and happiness for millions of fans in the country.

One cricket fan, Khogyani said on Facebook during the T20 World Cup: “Thank you Ariana, my family is so happy that we can watch this cricket.”

Ahmadi, another fan who took to Facebook after Argentina scooped the coveted football trophy also expressed his appreciation and said: “Thank you Ariana. You brought my hero Leo Messi [in]to my home.”

These are just two of millions of grateful fans who have consistently liked and thanked Ariana Television over the past few months. And the good news is that knowing world class tournaments bring so much joy to the nation, ATN hopes to secure the broadcasting rights of more sporting events in 2023.

But, 2022 wasn’t the first year such momentous games, matches and tournaments were brought to Afghans by ATN – in fact, Ariana Television has consistently broadcast spectacular events over the years.

In 2014, we brought our viewers FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 and after that came the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio which was followed by FIFA World Cup Russia 2018; then Afghanistan Premier League 2019; then Indian Premier League 2019 and the Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay in 2019.

There was a hiatus in 2020 – globally, in terms of sporting events, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but things picked up in 2021 and ATN broadcast three key events, the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 which were actually held in July 2021; the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup 2021 and the Futsal World Cup 2021.

This year, 2022, took a sharp upturn as lockdowns around the pandemic lifted and global sporting events got back on track. For Ariana Television it was indeed a fun-filled year of sport that included the latest FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament; the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup 2022; the Asia Cup 2022; Asian Le Mans Series 2022; Winter Olympic Games Beijing 2022 and the ever-popular Indian Premier League 2022.

Going forward however, ATN plans to bring its viewers as many live broadcasts of major sporting events in 2023 as possible – so make sure to watch this space for announcements, and schedules as well as round ups and results.

We will make sure to keep all our fans informed!

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Omarzai’s fireworks steers Jaffna Kings to thrilling win in LPL 2024

Omarzai came into the crease at the fall of the fifth wicket, with Jaffna Kings needing 46 runs to win in 21 balls, as he guided the side to achieve it with a quick-fire 13-ball knock of 35.

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Azmatullah Omarzai’s fireworks paved the way as Tim Seifert’s unbeaten ton for Galle Marvels was in vain for Jaffna Kings to pull off a thrilling five-wicket win with two balls remaining over unbeaten Galle Marvels in the sixth match of the fifth Lanka Premier League tournament played under floodlights at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium on Friday.

Omarzai came into the crease at the fall of the fifth wicket, with Jaffna Kings needing 46 runs to win in 21 balls, as he guided the side to achieve it with a quick-fire 13-ball knock of 35, which had four boundaries and two sixes to help his side inflict the first defeat of the unbeaten Galle Marvels side, Sri Lankan newspaper Daily Mirror reported.

Jaffna Kings, in pursuit of 188 runs, underwent some anxious moments, though they were moving on briskly with the run rate while racing to 50 in 29, 100 in 68 balls, and 150 in 104 balls, guided by Rilee Rossouw, who held onto sharing brief partnerships along the way.

Rossouw’s dismissal, having made 67 in 42 balls with eight boundaries and three sixes, left Jaffna Kings with the daunting task of making 46 runs in 21, which Omarzai and skipper Charith Asalanka together saw them through with Omarzai playing the anchor role.

Earlier in the day, Galle Marvels, invited to take first lease of the wicket, made steady progress as right-hand batsman Seifert came to the rescue as he was associated in three fruitful partnerships. Siefert, along with Bhanuka Rajapakse, put up the side’s 50 runs on the board, and at the halfway stage of the innings, they were on 75 for 2.
The pair went on to post their 50-run stand in 38 balls for the third wicket, which followed with the 100 runs being hosted, which came off 74 balls, before the pair were separated nine runs later with the dismissal of Rajapakse, who made 28, having added 69 runs in 51 balls for the third wicket.

Seifert and Sahan Arachchige took control of the innings from there on and posted the 150 runs of the side, and one run later Arachchige fell victim, having added 37 runs for the fourth wicket.

Janith Liyanage joining Seifert further frustrated the Jaffna Kings bowlers, and the pair added 32 runs for the fifth wicket in only 17 balls before Liyanage ran himself out. Seifert raced to his ton in the last delivery of the innings with a boundary, making it in 63 balls, which had 12 boundaries and half a dozen sixes, which was his third T20 century, which helped Galle Marvels to end with a formidable score of 187/5, which proved to be in vain.

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India’s cricket team arrives home as T20 World Cup champions

After greeting fans at the airport, the team traveled in buses to the prime minister’s residence. 

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Despite monsoon rains in Delhi, thousands of cricket fans took to the streets on Thursday to welcome home their national team after they won this year’s ICC T20 World Cup.

Exuberant fans followed them despite monsoon showers and heavy security deployment before Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the red carpet for a breakfast meeting with the team, Times of India reported.

Holding placards congratulating their favorites and waving the national flag, fans braved the weather to wait outside the airport.

One fan said: “We have waited for this moment for the past 13 years. The team has made us proud by winning the World Cup.”

The team had been delayed in Barbados for a few days as Hurricane Beryl forced the shutdown of the airport. Eventually India’s cricket board, the BCCI, chartered a flight to get the team home. 

After greeting fans at the airport, the team traveled in buses to the prime minister’s residence. 

Team India on Thursday expressed their gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for hosting the T20 World Cup winners at his residence in New Delhi.

After their meeting, players took to social media, thanking the Modi for hosting them.

Virat Kohli said: “What a great honor meeting our honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji today @narendramodi. Thank you sir for inviting us to the Prime Minister’s residence.”

Jasprit Bumrah said: “It was an honor to be invited to our honorable Prime Minister’s residence this morning. Thank you so much for your warmth and hospitality sir.”

Suryakumar Yadav wrote: “Honored to have met our esteemed Prime Minister, as World Champions.”

Yuzvendra Chahal said: “Humbled to meet honorable PM Shri Narendra Modi Sir along with the entire team. Thank you Sir for your encouraging words, means a lot to all of us.”

Axar Patel wrote: “Honored to present our World Cup win with the Prime Minister! This victory is for every Indian.”

Rishabh Pant stated: “Pleasure meeting the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modiji sir.”

Hardik Pandya wrote: “Such a privilege to meet our honorable Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi Ji. Thank you for hosting us sir.”

The players were due to fly to Mumbai on Thursday afternoon for an open bus victory parade followed by a ceremony at the Wankhede Stadium.


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Three Afghans among ICC’s ‘selection’ for ideal T20 World Cup 2024 team

Six players from World Cup winners India make the cut including skipper Rohit Sharma and Player of the Tournament Jasprit Bumrah.

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Three Afghan cricket players have made the ICC’s T20 World Cup 2024 team of the tournament list. 

This year’s selection panel, which was made up of commentators Harsha Bhogle, Ian Bishop and Kass Naidoo and ICC General Manager of Cricket Wasim Khan, announced their selection on Sunday, which included Rashid Khan, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Rahmanullah Gurbaz.

Six players from World Cup winners India make the cut including skipper Rohit Sharma and Player of the Tournament Jasprit Bumrah.

The team of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 (in batting order) is:

Rohit Sharma (captain) – India

Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicketkeeper) – Afghanistan

Nicholas Pooran – West Indies

Suryakumar Yadav – India

Marcus Stoinis – Australia

Hardik Pandya – India

Axar Patel – India

Rashid Khan – Afghanistan

Jasprit Bumrah – India

Arshdeep Singha – India

Fazalhaq Farooqi – Afghanistan

Anrich Nortje – South Africa

Rohit Sharma will captain the team of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 after leading India to their second victory in the competition.

Sharma finished as the second top run-scorer in the competition, scoring 257 runs in eight innings. The pick of his performances came in the win over Australia, when he smashed 92, before adding 57 in the semi-final success against Australia.

He is joined at the top of the order by Afghanistan wicket-keeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the only man to outscore the Indian opener.

Rahmanullah made 281 runs as Afghanistan progressed to the semi-finals for the first time in their history, making half-centuries in three matches. His 60 against Australia proved pivotal as Afghanistan progressed from the Super 8s.

In at No.3 is Nicholas Pooran, the West Indies wicket-keeper batter, who scored 228 runs at an average of 38, including a 53-ball 98 in victory over Afghanistan.

The second Indian player in the XI is Suryakumar Yadav, the hard-hitting batter rewarded for some crucial innings, notably in the semi-final against England, 47, and the Super 8s win over Afghanistan when he smashed 53 off just 28 balls.

At No.5 is the sole Australian in the team, with Marcus Stoinis included after a stellar tournament. Stoinis contributed with bat and ball, scoring his 169 runs at an average of over 40, and a strike rate in excess of 160. He also chipped in with 10 wickets across the tournament.

The next all-rounder comes from India, Hardik Pandya scoring 144 runs at an average of 48, while also picking up 11 wickets with the ball, and bowling the all-important final over to seal victory.

His teammate Axar Patel was similarly influential with bat and ball. The left-armer was promoted up the order in the final, scoring an invaluable 47, while his three for 23 helped secure victory over England in the semi-final.

Rashid Khan comes in at No.8, the Afghanistan all-rounder excelling in the Caribbean with 14 wickets at an average of 12.78 and an economy rate just over six.

He is followed by Jasprit Bumrah, the standout performer across the entire tournament. It was his spell that swung the final back India’s way, and he finished with 15 wickets at an average of just 8.26, with a remarkable economy rate of 4.17.

The final Indian player in the XI is Arshdeep Singh, who was outstanding in his second World Cup. His 17 wickets were the joint most of any player, including a crucial two for 20 in the final.

The only man to match Arshdeep’s wicket tally was Fazalhaq Farooqi, of Afghanistan, the final player in the XI. His four for 17 helped beat New Zealand in the group stages, as Afghanistan progressed ahead of the Black Caps.

Runners-up South Africa provide the 12th man in the team, with Anrich Nortje having been outstanding for the Proteas. He took 15 wickets at an average of 13.40 and an economy rate under six.

 

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