Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse help West Indies to win over India and series leveller

West Indies celebrate the dismissal of India's captain Virat Kohli during the third one-day international cricket match between India and in Pune. (AP)
Updated 27 October 2018
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Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse help West Indies to win over India and series leveller

PUNE: Shai Hope’s 95 and a brilliant all-round performance by Ashley Nurse helped West Indies stun India by 43 runs in the third one-day international on Saturday as the tourists levelled the series at 1-1.
Skipper Virat Kohli’s record third successive century went in vain as India were bowled out for 240 in 47.4 overs while chasing 284 in Pune.
Nurse took two crucial wickets with his off spin after his 22-ball 40 guided the tourists to 283-9. Hope top-scored for West Indies during his 113-ball knock.
In reply India lost wickets at regular intervals with only Kohli holding the fort during his 119-ball 107 before being bowled by part-time spinner Marlon Samuels.
Samuels took three wickets with his off spin while skipper Jason Holder and fellow paceman Obed McCoy also picked two wickets each to flatten India’s chase.
Holder bowled opener Rohit Sharma for eight and later got Mahendra Singh Dhoni caught behind for seven as India slipped to 215-6.
Kohli, who came into the match at the back of his 140 and 157 not out in the first and second match, made 107 to become the first Indian batsman to hit three back-to-back ODI tons.
Nicknamed King Kohli, the prolific run-getter carried on from where he left off in Visakhapatnam when he became the quickest to reach 10,000 ODI runs in his 205th innings.
But after scoring his 38th ODI century in his 214th ODI he saw his stumps rattled by Samuels with India needing another 64 runs.
Samuels soon disposed off the Indian lower-order, returning figures of 3-12 in his 3.4 overs.
Earlier, Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah returned impressive figures of 4-35 to dent the opposition batting with regular strikes but Hopes and Nurse had other ideas.
Hope, who made 123 for West Indies in the tied game on Wednesday, put on a crucial 76-run sixth wicket stand with skipper Jason Holder, who made 32, to lift the visitors from early losses.
Number-nine batsman Nurse then played a useful cameo during his 56-run ninth wicket stand with Kemar Roach to give his side a late boost that in the end proved decisive.
Bumrah — the number one ranked ODI bowler — made a strong return to the team after he was rested for the first two games, removing the openers early but West Indies fought back.
The fourth ODI of the five-match series is scheduled for Monday at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.


Tazkarti ticketing platform draws criticism in Egypt ahead of Africa Cup of Nations

Updated 18 June 2019
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Tazkarti ticketing platform draws criticism in Egypt ahead of Africa Cup of Nations

  • Tazkarti will be the sole source of tickets for the tournament

CAIRO: Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) host country Egypt has launched an online ticketing platform called Tazkarti, which will be the sole source of tickets for the tournament, which begins June 22.

Its aim is to combat ticket touts and black market sales for the continent’s biggest football tournament, and to ensure that ticket prices remain fixed at the price decided by the AFCON organizing committee. It is also a measure of the steps Egypt is taking to ensure that the tournament passes peacefully. 

Football stadiums have been almost entirely empty since 2011 because of security issues after long-time President Hosni Mubarak stepped down following national protests in which football fans played a major role, resulting in violent, often lethal, clashes with police and between rival fans.

In 2012, Port Said stadium witnessed a riot that left 72 Al-Ahly supporters dead after a pitch invasion by Masri supporters at the end of a Premier League game. In 2015, 19 Zamalek fans were killed and 20 injured when police attempted to disperse large crowds making their way into a Cairo stadium to attend a Premier League game. 

Those were just two of several incidents that meant authorities imposed a ban on people attending football matches or severely restricted the number of people that could do so.

Every AFCON ticket purchased via Tazkarti will be scanned at the stadium to ensure it matches the holder’s “Fan ID.” If it does not, the holder will not be allowed into the ground.

Tickets for matches featuring the Egyptian national team range from 200 to 2,500 Egyptian pounds ($12-$150), while other matches range from 100 to 500 Egyptian pounds ($6 to $30).

While those prices might sound affordable to outsiders, in a country where a doctor earns around $90 to $179 per month, many have found themselves priced out of the tournament already.

“I am a married dentist with three kids. If I want to attend a match with my family, I would have to pay 1,000 pounds ($60), (not including) transportation and snacks,” Dr. M. Sheta, who lives in Damietta, told Arab News.

“To book a cinema ticket nowadays ranges between 70 and 100 pounds and a good meal costs 100 pounds minimum. If I can afford that, then I can afford AFCON tickets,” said a housewife in Mansoura, who asked to remain anonymous.

Plenty of young Egyptians took to social media to express their displeasure with the ticket prices.

“This is a clear message that middle-class Egyptians are not welcome,” said Ahmed Zahran.

“I would rather pay a total of 10 pounds at any coffee shop and watch the matches there,” said Ahmed El-Tlabanty.

Some fans believe that the prices have been set high to discourage Ultras (the most passionate football fans) from attending.

An administrator of the “Ultras Ahlawy” Facebook group, while stressing that he hoped supporters “have fun watching AFCON,” asked Arab News: “Why would I pay 200 pounds to watch a match? I do not (make hundreds of pounds).”

Aside from issues with the high prices, people have also been widely critical of the technical performance of the new ticketing platform, which has been under pressure from high demand for Fan IDs.

“You guys are so disrespectful and unprofessional. I’ve been trying to reach out for more than two weeks and no one is answering — not on messenger nor the hotline. You made the whole championship experience the worst,” wrote Fatma El-Dardiry. “I called your customer service at least five times, placed three complaints and texted you on Facebook more than once. Now, the tickets of cat 1 and 2 for the opening match have already sold out.”