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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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Rashid Khan returns home, officially introduced as AWCC’s brand ambassador

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(Last Updated On: May 19, 2024)

Afghanistan’s cricket superstar Rashid Khan was officially introduced Saturday as brand ambassador for Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC).

Rashid landed in Kabul on Saturday after an absence of several years. He returned following an official invitation from AWCC.

For years now, Rashid has followed the international cricket league circuit – playing for big name events including Indian Premier League (IPL), Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) and Pakistan Super League (PSL) among others.

In March 2018, during the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier, he captained Afghanistan for the first time in an ODI match – becoming the youngest player to captain an international side, at the age of 19 years and 165 days.

Rashid, a right-handed batsman and right-arm legbreak bowler, holds numerous records, including being the youngest player to become the No. 1 bowler in One Day International Rankings.

He also holds the record for the best bowling figures for an associate nation in One Day Internationals (ODIs) and the fastest bowler to complete 100 dismissals in T20 Internationals.

Rashid is a key player for Afghanistan and has contributed significantly to the country’s success in international cricket.

In line with Rashid’s commitment to the game, his resilience and determination to always do his best, AWCC moved to employ him as the company’s brand ambassador.

Aliullah Sarwari, CEO of AWCC, said at a ceremony in Kabul to mark the announcement and Rashid’s return to the country, that the company strives to ensure all citizens have access to high-quality telecommunications and internet services in the farthest and most remote areas of Afghanistan.

Sarwari added that high-quality telecommunication services, new technology, creating employment and access to the internet for all citizens in the farthest parts of the country are among the most important objectives of this company.

He also stated that the appointment of Rashid as brand ambassador for AWCC was made from a commercial and spiritual perspective.

Rashid, meanwhile, said it is the first time that he has been chosen as an ambassador and that he will try to serve the people and the country in the same way that he shines on the cricket field.

“I am happy and proud that I have been selected as a brand ambassador of Afghan Wireless for the first time,” said Rashid.

As a hero to his fellow countrymen, Rashid received a warm welcome on arrival in Kabul and thousands of cricket fans posted messages on social media to welcome him home.

One fan, Mohammad Sharif Noori, said on Facebook: “Thank God that you came. You are the pride of Afghanistan.”

Ishq Yousufzai, another fan, wrote on his social media page: “The pride of the homeland. The champion of Afghanistan.”

 

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T20 World Cup warm-up match schedule released, Afghanistan to face Oman and Scotland

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(Last Updated On: May 17, 2024)

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has revealed the much-anticipated warm-up match schedule for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. These preparatory games will take place from Monday, May 27 to Saturday, June 1, across various venues in the USA and the West Indies.

Venues and teams

The 16 warm-up matches will be hosted at the following locations:

  • Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, Texas
  • Broward County Stadium, Florida
  • Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago

A total of 17 teams will participate in these matches, including South Africa, which will conduct an intra-squad game on May 29 in Florida. These matches will not carry official T20 international status, allowing teams the flexibility to field all members of their 15-player squads.

 

Schedule highlights

Unlike previous editions, teams now have the option to play up to two warm-up matches based on their arrival time.

Afghanistan will participate in two warm-up game, set for May 29 against Oman and May 31 against Scotland. Meanwhile, Pakistan and England will not engage in any warm-up fixtures as they will be engaging in a bilateral T20I series, which concludes on May 30.

The Afghanistan national cricket team departed Kabul on Thursday for the UAE to begin their T20 World Cup journey, which will be hosted by the U.S.

Afghanistan Cricket Board said some players participating in the IPL will join the team in the UAE.

It added that those whose IPL matches are still ongoing will join their teammates in the West Indies.

T20 World Cup Warm-up fixtures

Monday, May 27

  • Canada vs. Nepal, Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, Texas
  • Oman vs. Papua New Guinea, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Namibia vs. Uganda, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago

 

Tuesday, May 28

  • Sri Lanka vs. Netherlands, Broward County Stadium, Florida
  • Bangladesh vs. USA, Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, Texas
  • Australia vs. Namibia, Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad and Tobago

 

Wednesday, May 29

  • South Africa intra-squad, Broward County Stadium, Florida
  • Afghanistan vs. Oman, Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad and Tobago

 

 

Thursday, May 30

  • Nepal vs. USA, Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, Texas
  • Scotland vs. Uganda, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Netherlands vs. Canada, Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, Texas
  • Namibia vs. Papua New Guinea, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago
  • West Indies vs. Australia, Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad and Tobago

 

Friday, May 31

  • Ireland vs. Sri Lanka, Broward County Stadium, Florida
  • Scotland vs. Afghanistan, Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Saturday, June 1
  • Bangladesh vs. India, Venue TBC, USA
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Mawj Sahil-Khurasan Faryab 2-0; Khurasan Faryab-Aino Mina 2-0 in ACL matches

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(Last Updated On: May 17, 2024)

Mawj Sahil beat Khurasan Faryab 2-0 in the 53rd match of Afghanistan Champions League (ACL) in Kabul on Thursday.

In the 54th match of the day, Attack Energy team defeated Aino Mina 2-0.

Friday’s matches will see Istiqlal Kabul take on Abu Muslim Farah at 1pm, while Khadim FC play against Sorkh Poshan Khafi at 3:30pm.

The matches are broadcast live on Ariana Television.

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