Amir’s visa approved for England tour


KARACHI: Pakistani cricketer Muhammad Amir's visa for England tour has been approved, reported Geo News on Tuesday. Amir was named in Pakistan’s 17-member squad for the Test series against England.

Pakistan team would leave for England on June 18 to play four Tests, five One Days, and one T-20.

Amir who was banned from cricket for five years following the Lord s spot fixing scandal in 2010 along with the then captain Salman Butt and fellow pacer Mohammad Asif had submitted a visa application to the UK high commission in Islamabad last month.

The PCB had prepared a separate case for Amir while sending documents of other players for their visa to the UK High Commission in Islamabad.

The PCB chief had written a letter to the UK High Commissioner seeking special and sympathetic consideration on Amir’s visa.

The board was also in touch with the England and Wales Cricket Board who has been positive and cooperative in this matter right from the beginning, Associated Press of Pakistan quoted sources as saying.

The source said that the PCB had only decided to apply for a visa for Amir after legal consultations.



Courtesy www.thenews.com.pk

 

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies at 74


LOS ANGELES: Boxing icon Muhammad Ali died on Friday, a family spokesman said in a statement.

"After a 32-year battle with Parkinson´s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74," spokesman Bob Gunnell said.

Ali, whose fame transcended sport during a remarkable heavyweight boxing career that spanned three decades, had been hospitalized in the Phoenix, Arizona, area with a respiratory ailment this week.

Born in Louisville, Ky., in 1942, as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., he began boxing at the age of 12, winning a number of amateur titles, culminating in an Olympic gold medal as a light heavyweight at the 1960 Games in Tokyo. He turned pro soon after that.

Early in his career, he battled societal norms as frequently as he did his opponents. In 1964, as the struggle for civil rights simmered, he knocked out heavy favorite Sonny Liston to win the heavyweight title for the first time, then told reporters that he was a member of the Nation of Islam and had changed his name to Muhammad Ali, a name many news outlets at the time were slow to recognize.

By 1967, he had successfully defended the title nine times, all but two by knockout. With the Vietnam War raging, he refused induction into the U.S. Army, on religious grounds, and was arrested and charged with draft evasion. When prodded further for his reasons for resisting, he said, “I am not going 10,000 miles to help murder, kill, and burn other people to simply help continue the domination of white slave-masters over dark people the world over.”

Though he remained free on appeal, he was stripped of his title and not allowed to box for more than three years. The conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court, unanimously, in 1971. (A 2013 film by Stephen Frears, “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight,” which dramatized the court’s decision, debuted in Cannes, aired on HBO in the U.S., and earned an Emmy nomination.)

During his exile from the ring, Ali decided to try acting, starring in the 1969 Broadway musical “Buck White” at the George Abbott Theatre. He played a militant black lecturer, and got better reviews than the show, which closed after seven performances. “He sings with a pleasant slightly impersonal voice, acts without embarrassment and moves with innate dignity,” wrote New York Times reviewer Clive Barnes.

Ali’s boxing career was defined by his matches against top opponents, particularly rivals Joe Frazier and George Foreman. His 1971 bout with Frazier to unify the heavyweight championship, his third after being reinstated, was called the Fight of the Century. Among those in attendance at Madison Square Garden were Miles Davis, Barbra Streisand, and Sammy Davis Jr. Bert Lancaster was the color commentator for the closed-circuit TV feed. Life Magazine hired Frank Sinatra as the photographer for Norman Mailer’s story.

Ali had exploded the era of humble sports heroes when he declared, “I am the greatest!” in the run-up to his title fight with Liston. He also was among the first athletes to trash-talk his opponents, and he called Frazier, who supported the war, an Uncle Tom. Frazier knocked down Ali in the 15th round, and won a unanimous decision.

Ali had to wait three years for another shot at the championship, this time against Foreman, who had beaten Frazier so badly in taking the title that few gave the 32-year-old challenger a chance against the 25-year-old champ. Ali called the fight, held in Kinshasa, Zaire, the Rumble in the Jungle. In documenting the bout 22 years later, Gast’s Oscar-winning “When We Were Kings” showed how an ebullient Ali had arrived on the scene a few days before the taciturn Foreman, and won over the nation’s citizens. An impromptu entourage of hundreds followed him around chanting, “Ali, bomaye!” (Ali, kill him!).

In 1977, Ali lent his name to a short-lived NBC animated series “I Am the Greatest!: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali.” Somewhat more memorably that year, he joined Sylvester Stallone — whose “Rocky” was to win best picture — to present the best supporting actress award to Beatrice Straight for her role in “Network.”

In the ring, a third, brutal fight against Frazier (the “Thrilla in Manilla”) as well as battles with Ken Norton subjected Ali to a great deal of punishment. And though he would become the first heavyweight to reclaim the title for a third time in 1978 at age 36, when he beat 25-year-old Leon Spinks in a rematch, the wear and tear of a career in boxing was apparent.

He retired, and stayed that way for two years, but ill-advisedly returned for two more bouts, with Larry Holmes and Trevor Burbick, both cringe-inducing losses.

In 1996, 12 years after his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Ali, showing the effects of the disease, lit the torch to begin the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. In 2005, he was presented with the Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

Ali is survived by his fourth wife, Yolanda “Lonnie” Williams, two sons, and seven daughters, including Leila Ali, a boxer who retired, undefeated, in 2007.



Courtesy www.thenews.com.pk

 

ICC conducts dope tests on Yasir, Misbah, Azhar and Junaid
By AFP

LAHORE: Cricket´s world governing body is conducting dope tests on four Pakistani players, including leg-spinner Yasir Shah, suspended for three months earlier this year, team manager Intikhab Alam confirmed Friday.

Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq was also tested by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The team can ill afford any positive results, which could have a significant impact on their upcoming tour in England, during which the results are expected to be confirmed.

The ICC, which has been a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) since 2006, routinely conducts such tests in and out of competition.

Shah was provisionally suspended in December last year after he tested positive for chlortalidone, a masking agent under the WADA list of banned substances.

He was barred for three months after he pleaded guilty and told the ICC that he had inadvertently taken his wife´s blood pressure medication.

His ban was lifted in late March, making him eligible for the England tour.

Alam said Shah´s test could come under the spotlight.

"Besides Shah, Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, one-day skipper Azhar Ali and fast bowler Junaid Khan were also tested but Shah´s test could be targeted," he told AFP.

Shah is seen as Pakistan´s main wicket-taker for the four-match Test series in England, which starts at Lord´s from July 14.

Pakistan will also play five one-days and a Twenty20 international on the tour.

Their last tour to England in 2010 was marred by a spot-fixing case which resulted in five-year bans on then Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

Amir returned to the national team in January this year and is expected to be named for all three formats for the tour.

Courtesy www.thenews.com.pk

 

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