LAHORE: World soccer stars tour has taken a strategic decision based on financial reasons with utmost regret, to postpone the World Soccer Stars 2019 Pakistan tour featuring Ricardo Kaka, Luis Figo, Carles Puyol, Nicholas Anelka and International artiste AKON.
The decision to postpone the trip has not been taken lightly, given the enthusiasm of the Pakistan football fans when the players visited the country to launch the tour during the first few months of 2019, said a spokesperson of the Touch Sky group the organizers of the tour.
“The excitement of the fans was justified and was truly heartfelt by the players and has only served to motivate us to conduct the tour later in 2019”, added the spokesperson. The interest shown by brands, the media, the army and national & local government was appreciated.
“After a review of the situation we took this overarching strategic decision taking into account several factors including the change in the local business economy since the tour was announced, the wish of certain key brands to align the tour with their commercial plans, and so we decided to postpone the tour with dates to be announced after Eid-ul-Fitr”, she asserted.
The spokesperson said for fans who have purchased tickets these will be refunded and you will be notified as a priority customer as soon as we announce the new dates.
World Soccer Stars is a tour that remains committed to promoting the development of football in Pakistan, as was shown by the Mall events in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and, the PSL final appearance.
The recent national trials held in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta and Lahore in association with Total Football proved the appetite for such a tour.
The regional winners from these trials will take part in the the national finals later in the year, the winners gaining the opportunity to play with the International legends at the World Soccer Stars event, she added.
KU VC lauds Pak. wheelchair cricket team
KARACHI: Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi (KU), Professor Dr. Khalid Mahmood Iraqi, on Tuesday greeted the Pakistan Wheelchair Cricket Team on defeating arch-rivals India in T20 Wheelchair Asia Cup final match in Nepal.
The winning team and officials after returning to Karachi at early hours on Tuesday arrived at the Karachi University Guest House as the university has offered accommodation for the winning team, said a KU press release.
KU Vice Chancellor Dr. Khalid Iraqi announced that Karachi University would provide free services to the wheelchair players anytime they needed. He appreciated teamwork and hardworking attitude of Pakistan wheelchair cricket team, which helped them in lifting the winning trophy.
“I will encourage you to avail M.Phil and Ph.D. scholarships from the
University. As you are very close to my heart, I will like to help you as much as I can,” he added. KU VC Dr. Khalid Iraqi mentioned that disability was not the right word for the wheelchair team rather they should be called special persons, who were making good name of the beloved country and setting an example for others to follow.
The Vice-Chancellor informed the players that he was also fond of sports and spent a good amount of time in playing different sports particularly cricket. The varsity would like to offer merit-based jobs to them, he said. He also directed his office staff to arrange Iftar dinner for the winning team and wished them the best of luck for their future commitments.
Meanwhile, Pakistan wheelchair cricket team Captain, Zeeshan Taqi, shared problems faced by his team during preparation for the tournament and expressed that they need financial and moral support from the civil society and federal and provincial governments.
Dhoni stumps fans with painting ambitions
NEW DELHI: India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni fuelled retirement speculation on Tuesday after sharing his dream of becoming a painter, although his ambitions for a career change seemed far from serious.
The 37-year-old Dhoni, who is England-bound for the World Cup starting next week, displayed a few of what he said were his paintings in a video posted online on Monday.
“I wanted to share a secret with all of you. Right from when I was a kid I always wanted to become an artist,” Dhoni said in the video.
“So decided I have played a lot of cricket and it’s time for me to take up what I really wanted to become. And I started getting into painting.”
The wicketkeeper-batsman said that he would soon hold an art exhibition as he wants to pursue his painting career “very seriously”.
But the paintings that he showed off looked suspiciously childlike, prompting suggestions from some that the father of a four-year-old daughter may be pulling some legs.
“Chill out folks. @msdhoni’s video is nothing short of a comedy sketch and is meant to be taken that way,” wrote one Twitter user.
Dhoni, who led India to the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup title in 2007 and then the 50-over crown in 2011, is widely expected to call it quits after this edition of cricket’s marquee event.
Dhoni, who retired from Tests in 2014, has amassed 10,500 one-day runs from 341 matches including 10 centuries and 71 fifties.
Australia ‘pumped’ as Smith and Warner seek redemption
SYDNEY: Skipper Aaron Finch says a rejuvenated Australia are “pumped” ahead of their defence of the World Cup, with Steve Smith and David Warner returning from bans for ball-tampering and eager to let their bats do the talking.
Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets on home turf to be crowned champions in 2015 and extend their record as the tournament’s most successful team.
From the 11 World Cups played, they have won five and were losing finalists on two other occasions.
On paper it makes them among the favourites, and they head into their opening match against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1 on a run of eight straight one-day wins, against India and Pakistan.
But it has been a rocky ride, with the “sandpapergate” scandal in South Africa last year rattling the team as they struggled to cope with the fallout and the hole left by one-year bans handed to their two leaders and best batsmen — Smith and Warner.
The outlook was bleak after a string of poor results in the aftermath, but laid-back coach Justin Langer and the unassuming Finch have not only steadied the ship but emphatically turned it around.
And now they have potential game-changers Smith and Warner back, confidence is sky-high.
“I’m very excited,” Finch said of the upcoming challenge. “The fact that everyone is together, everyone’s getting on great, the boys are pumped… it literally is the time of your life — a World Cup.”
When Langer was appointed after Darren Lehmann stepped down after the ball-tampering affair, a key part of his brief was to torpedo the notorious win-at-all costs culture under then skipper Smith and his abrasive deputy Warner.
A buzzword of his now is “respect” and he took the team to the World War I battlefields of Gallipoli on the way to England to learn about “humility and perspective”.
Their mettle will be put to the test at the World Cup and the following Ashes series, with a hostile reception expected from their arch-rival English fans, with Smith and Warner in the firing line.