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Super 12 stage kicks off in T20 World Cup 2021

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(Last Updated On: October 23, 2021)

The first round of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 came to a conclusion on Friday with 12 teams now moving into the Super 12 stage which got underway on Saturday.

The teams that made it out of the first round were Sri Lanka, Namibia, Scotland, and Bangladesh.

There are two groups for the stage – A & B – with six teams slotted in both groups. Afghanistan is in Group A and will face India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Scotland, and Namibia, while Group B has Australia, England, West Indies, South Africa, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

The Super 12 stage will follow a round-robin format where each team will square off against the other five. Following the Super 12 stage, the top two teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals.

The Super 12 stage started Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader in Group B. Australia play South Africa while defending champions, West Indies, take on England in the evening match.

Favorites, India, are set to play Pakistan on Sunday.

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Turkey sending 3,000 police to Qatar to help secure World Cup

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(Last Updated On: September 27, 2022)

Turkey will send more than 3,000 riot police to Qatar to help secure World Cup stadiums and hotels in a security operation paid for by the competition hosts but under Turkish command, a Turkish Interior Ministry source said.

With a population of less than 3 million – of which just 380,000 are Qatari nationals – Qatar faces a shortage of personnel as it gears up for the month-long FIFA soccer tournament, Reuters reported.

It has turned to Turkey, its closest regional ally, to secure the competition which is expected to attract an unprecedented 1.2 million visitors to the small but wealthy gas-exporting Gulf state.

Under a protocol signed between the two countries and published in Turkey’s official gazette, Ankara will deploy 3,000 riot police and 100 special operations police to Qatar, along with 50 bomb specialists and 80 sniffer dogs and riot dogs.

“During the tournament, Turkish police will only take orders from their Turkish superiors who are serving temporarily in Qatar,” the Turkish source said. “The Qatari side will not be able to give direct orders to the Turkish police.”

“All expenses of the personnel deployed…will be covered by the state of Qatar.”

The source did not specify who would have ultimate oversight of Turkey’s security operation, which will cover the eight stadiums where matches are taking place and hotels where the 32 national soccer squads will stay.

The protocol agreement says Turkey will also send senior staff to head the police teams and “a number of personnel for coordination” as well as one “general coordinator”.

Turkey may not be the only country providing support.

Last month Pakistan’s cabinet approved a draft agreement allowing the government to offer troops for security at the tournament. It did not say how many personnel would be sent, and neither country has said that a final agreement has been reached, Reuters reported.

Qatar’s World Cup organisers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, did not respond to a request for comment.

The first Middle East country to host a World Cup, and the smallest nation to do so, Qatar has no previous experience of hosting international events on such a scale.

Turkey receives tens of millions of tourists annually and has hosted a summit of G20 leaders, Formula One racing and the UEFA Super Cup in recent years, but its security forces have also faced criticism over crackdowns on political protest.

Around 600 people were detained last year during student demonstrations which started at an Istanbul university. Authorities said the protesters violated a ban on public demonstrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, Turkish media reported police in Turkey’s southeastern city of Diyarbakir fired water cannon and pepper spray at fans, who threw fireworks at the police.

Turkish police going to Qatar are being taught English and given guidance about what to expect when they arrive in the Gulf state, the Turkish source said.

Nearly 800 Qataris have also been trained by Turkey on issues ranging from “sports safety” to “intervention in social events”, the source added.

Turkey, which has a military base in Qatar, stood by its ally when Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates boycotted Doha in 2017 – cutting all diplomatic and transport links with their neighbour in a dispute over allegations that it supported terrorism and was cosying up to their foe Iran.

The Gulf states restored relations last year, and Turkey also moved to improve ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 qualifiers continue

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2022)

The qualification pathway through to the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 resumes next week, with Oman preparing to host the eight-team Asia Division 2 Qualifier across two venues at the Oman Cricket Academy Ground in Al Amerat.

The hosts will welcome young stars from Bahrain, Bhutan, Hong Kong, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand for the eagerly anticipated event which starts on 29 September and features an action-packed schedule of 16 matches over nine days.

The Division 2 Qualifier represents the first step on the qualification pathway to the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024, and the two teams that progress to the final match on 7 October will join already-qualified Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal and the UAE in the Asia Qualifier in 2023.

A total of 16 teams will be competing at the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024.

Eleven teams have automatically qualified for the event as the best-placed Full Member nations from the previous event in 2022. These are: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

The remaining five spots will be determined through regional qualification pathways, with one team from each region securing a place at the event.

Americas and East Asia-Pacific will each host one qualifying event in 2023, with the winner of each event sealing a spot at the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024.

The Africa, Asia and Europe regions will each have a two-step qualification structure. These regions will host Division 2 Qualifiers in 2022 to determine the teams that will compete in the second and final qualifying event, the Regional Qualifier.

Only the winning teams from the Regional Qualifiers will qualify to compete at the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup.

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Afghan cricket team heads to UAE for training camp ahead of World Cup

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(Last Updated On: September 22, 2022)

The Afghan men’s national cricket team left Kabul on Thursday for the UAE where they will take part in a training camp in preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 next month.

This is the first of two training camps. The next camp will be in Australia, which is the host country of this tournament.

The World Cup will start on October 16 and run through until November 13.

Afghanistan are in Group 1 and begin their campaign on October 22 against England in Perth.

Mohammad Nabi, who led Afghanistan in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2022, takes up the captaincy reins again.

Samiullah Shinwari, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Karim Janat and Noor Ahmad, all of whom were a part of the Asia Cup squad, miss out.

Meanwhile, middle-order batter Darwish Rasooli, all-rounder Qais Ahmad and the right-arm quick Salim Safi have been added to the list.

Twenty year old Safi has secured his maiden international call-up.

Afsar Zazai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rahmat Shah, and Gulbadin Naib have been named as reserves, while the rest of the squad is made up of familiar names.

According to chief selector Noor Malikzai, “the Asia Cup was a very good opportunity for the team to build up things nicely for the much-important global event in Australia.”

“Fortunately, Darwish Rasooli has recovered from injury (broken finger) and we are happy to have him available for the WT20, he has demonstrated good glimpses of him in the previously held Shpageeza Cricket League 2022 and offers an additional batting option to our middle order,” Malikzai said.

“Since the Australian conditions offer further support for the fast bowlers, so we have added Salim Safi, the tall right-arm quick to add further impetus to our bowling department. Overall we have picked our best available players for the event and we are hopeful of them to do well and better represent the country in the mega event,” he said.

For Afghan cricket fans, Ariana Television Network will broadcast the tournament live after having secured exclusive broadcasting rights in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s schedule:

22 October – Afghanistan v England, Perth
26 October – Afghanistan v New Zealand, Melbourne
28 October – Afghanistan v TBA, Melbourne
01 November – Afghanistan v TBA, Brisbane
04 November – Afghanistan v Australia, Adelaide

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