Cricket Australia safety concerns force Pakistan to play ODI series in UAE

Fans will be left disappointed as Pakistan cricket authorities were forced to schedule all five one-day internationals against Australia in the UAE after the Aussies refused to visit the Asian country over security fears. (AFP)
Updated 10 February 2019
0

Cricket Australia safety concerns force Pakistan to play ODI series in UAE

KARACHI: Pakistan cricket authorities were forced to schedule all five one-day internationals against Australia in the UAE after the Aussies refused to visit the Asian country over security fears.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had invited Australia to play two of the five one-day internationals in Pakistan to further their attempts to revive international cricket at home, suspended since attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.
Since then Pakistan have hosted finals of Pakistan Super League for the last two years and played matches against a World XI, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
A West Indies women’s team played three Twenty20 internationals in Karachi from January 31-February 3 this year.
But Cricket Australia (CA) acted on their government’s advise not to tour Pakistan where no Australian senior team has played since 1998 over security fears.
PCB director Zakir Khan showed disappointment over Australia’s refusal to tour.
“The PCB was optimistic that it will be able to convince Australia to send its side for some matches after successfully staging high-profile bilateral international series,” said Khan.
“But we are disappointed for the enthusiastic and passionate cricket fans in Pakistan who will now have to wait for some more time before they can see Australia playing in our country.”
The five-match series will kick off both team’s preparation for the World Cup to be held in England from May 30-July 14.
Sharjah will host the first two matches on March 22 and 24 followed by matches in Abu Dhabi (March 27) and Dubai (March 29 and 31).


Itinerary
22 March — 1st ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
24 March — 2nd ODI, Sharjah (d/n)
27 March — 3rd ODI, Abu Dhabi (d/n)
29 March — 4th ODI, Dubai (d/n)
31 March — 5th ODI, Dubai (d/n)


Petra Kvitova makes her point with semifinal against Hsieh Su-wei next up

Updated 21 February 2019
0

Petra Kvitova makes her point with semifinal against Hsieh Su-wei next up

  • World No. 4 looked close to her best as she demolished Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-0 at the Aviation Club.
  • Czech set to face Hsieh Su-wei in tough last-four battle.

LONDON: Petra Kvitova has been her own worst critic so far this week, but even she allowed herself a smile after the Czech finally illustrated she is a contender for the the title.
The world No. 4 beat Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-0 with the sort of display that was the polar opposite of her sluggish, flat displays earlier in the week.
Coming into the quarterfinal Kvitova looked anything but possible champion material. She was taken all the way by both Katerina Siniakova and Jennifer Brady and admitted all was not well with her game.


On Center Court against Kuzmova, however, the 28-year-old looked more like the player who reached last month’s Australian Open final and a two-time Wimbledon champion. And after she had wrapped up the match, completed in just 62 minutes, Kvitova admitted she was finally feeling in good form.
“I am pleased. Definitely more than those two matches before,” she said.
“I didn’t give her any, like, time to do her job, maybe turn the match on her way.”
Having spent more than five hours on court in the first two rounds there was was finally some urgency about Kvitova. She admitted she came into the tournament undercooked and arrived in the last-eight tired. But against Kuzmova she dominated from the start and once she secured the first set — breaking in the decisive 10th game — there was only going to be one winner.
“Yeah, I was up pretty quickly, but I lost those games (in the first set),” Kvitova said.
“It was about that game when she was serving for five-all. She played the two double-faults. From that game, I think I was really fired up. “Even in the first game of the second set, I was already facing breakpoints again, which I didn’t want to. But it was probably the key game of the second set.”
Kvitova said she felt her game was on the rise again after losing the Australian Open final to Naomi Osaka and winning just one match a week later in Russia.
“Today was the first day of the better days on the court,” she said.
“It’s been tough since I came from Australia and St. Petersburg.
“I’m glad that it’s on the way up.”


Next up for her is a semifinal clash against Hsieh Su-wei. The world No. 31 from Taiwan won the last six games to beat fourth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
Kvitova has won all four of her meetings against Hsieh, most recently at the Sydney International in January. But that will count for little and on current form Hsieh looks like she will take some beating, having staged a remarkable fightback to beat another Czech.
Pliskova had looked in command serving for the set at 5-1 and then 5-3.
The persistent Hsieh kept up the pressure, narrowing the gap and levelling with a second straight break at five-all.
Hsieh then held for 6-5 and clinched the upset a game later on a second match point after two hours.
“I’m so excited, I was screaming like a baby when I won,” Hsieh said. “It was a tough comeback.”
“She had a lot of aces (nine), I’m just happy I was able to make it back.”