Saudi Arabia looking to strike it lucky at Arab Bowling Championship in Cairo

The Saudi side landed in Egypt in confident mood. (Supplied)
Updated 15 February 2019
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Saudi Arabia looking to strike it lucky at Arab Bowling Championship in Cairo

  • Men and women's teams hopeful ahead of regional competition.

LONDON: The Saudi Arabia men and women’s bowling teams landed in Cairo confident they could make their mark on the Arab Bowling Championship which starts today.
The men’s outfit head into the competition on the back of international success last year. Abdulrahman Alkhelawi is one of the stars looking to build on an impressive 2018, having shot up to third in the rankings after his success in the World Youth Championship last year.
The team also includes Hassan Al-Alsheikh — who delivered gold and bronze in the trio event at the eighth Arab Bowling Championship held in Oman — and Ammar Tirad, who was ranked first in the Hong Kong Open Bowling Championship.
Bader Al-Alsheikh, president of the Saudi Arabia Bowling Federation (SBF), is hopeful that the team can make more strides this week.
“The team underwent a training camp in Riyadh before going to the Universal Bowling Center in Riyadh in preparation for this competition,” he said. “They have been supervised by a professional technical team to ensure they give their best. I wish the team all the best in their competition.”
For the women’s side the tournament will offer another stepping stone and provide a good exposure of top-class bowling, as it is still very inexperienced at the international level. Not only that, but it should act as yet another boost to female participation in the sport.
“The women’s team has inspired many new fans already,” said Dr. Razan Baker, SBF board member and supervisor of the women’s team.
“We never knew how many women loved bowling until the SBF kicked off the three women bowling tournaments last October and women of all ages started showing up. They are setting an example and hopefully inspiring many more to love the game and excel in it.”


Australia's Usman Khawaja not thinking about World Cup spot with series against Pakistan to be won in UAE

Updated 26 March 2019
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Australia's Usman Khawaja not thinking about World Cup spot with series against Pakistan to be won in UAE

  • Batsman's place under threat thanks to return of disgraced duo Steve Smith and David Warner.
  • Aussie s 2-0 up against Pakistan with third ODI taking place in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

LONDON: Usman Khawaja is trying not to think about playing for a World Cup place ahead of today’s third ODI against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
Australia are 2-0 up in the five-match series but with the World Cup only two months away players are playing for their places in the tournament.
Despite scoring two 100s and four 50s in his past 10 innings since he was recalled to the Australia squad Khawaja’s place is under threat by the imminent return of David Warner and Steve Smith.
The disgraced duo are set to return after their year-long ban for ball tampering and currently playing in the Indian Premier League.
But that does not bother Khawaja who already has scored 24 and 88 in the first two ODI’s in the UAE.
“It’s (World Cup) a long way away. For me, it’s (about) the next three games, (Warner’s return) is not something I have thought about at all. I am just enjoying playing one-day cricket,” the 32-year-old said.
Australia and Khawaja have suddenly come into form at just the right time. They won 3-2 in India and are already 2-0 up against Pakistan. But all too aware that complacency can set in and keen to keep up the winning habit as they prepare for the World Cup, Khawaja has told his teammates to take nothing for granted.
“We saw in India they were 2-0 up and we came back to win that series. It is never quite over. We cannot take it easy now, we have got to finish it off that next game, we cannot relax, we can’t think that we have done all the hard work and that we are fine now,” the batsman said.
“There are still three games left and three games is a long time in cricket. We want to be really clinical and we have got to keep doing it over and over again. Winning’s a habit, so hopefully, we can make it a habit.”
Pakistan go into the clash under fire for comments made by their skipper Shoaib Malik after the defeat in Sharjah on Sunday. Having seen his side trounced by eight wickets Shoaib said Pakistan were simply using the series to “test their bench strength (ahead of the World Cup” and that “winning or losing doesn’t make a difference.”
The pressure is on the hosts and they will be looking for their attack to show some fire. The quicker bowlers in particular have struggled to put Australia under pressure with the new ball, having taken just four wickets all series, conceding a mammoth 566 runs.