Pakistan bars stars from Bangladesh T20 league

Updated 17 January 2013
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Pakistan bars stars from Bangladesh T20 league

DHAKA: Bangladesh cricket chiefs said yesterday that Pakistan had refused to release any of its players for a Twenty20 competition which begins this week after a planned bilateral series had to be scrapped.
Pakistan had been due to host Bangladesh for a Twenty20 game and a 50-over match in Lahore this month in what would have been its first home internationals since a deadly attack on the Sri Lankan team bus nearly four years ago.
But the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) canceled the tour, saying Pakistan was not safe for its players.
According to a BCB spokesman, Pakistan has now responded by preventing any of its stars from competing in the Bangladesh Premier League, which begins Thursday.
“The chief executive officer of PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) called our CEO today and informed him that they won’t allow Pakistani players to play in the BPL until we send our team to their country,” spokesman Jalal Yunus said.
“We’ve now decided to host the event without Pakistani players,” he said, adding the BPL’s seven franchises would now find replacements for the 26 Pakistani players they bought in the auction last month.
The move represents a major blow for the second edition of the BPL since Pakistani cricketers have a big following in Bangladesh.
More than 50 Pakistani players took part in the auction for the second edition of BPL, with opening batsman Imran Nazir fetching $280,000.
Last year more than 20 Pakistani players took part in the inaugural edition, with all-rounder Shahid Afridi sold for the highest fee of $700,000.
No international matches have taken place in Pakistan since the militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus that killed eight people in March 2009.
Spokesman Yunus said Bangladesh has not ruled out touring Pakistan in the coming months but wanted to reassess the security situation before sending a team.
Bangladesh was also due to tour Pakistan last April, but the tour was blocked by the Dhaka High Court on security grounds.
Anti-Pakistan sentiment still runs strong in Bangladesh, which was part of Pakistan until 1971 when it won independence after a nine-month war.


Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

Updated 20 April 2018
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Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

  • The Frenchman revolutionised the game in England across all leagues, not just the Premier League.
  • After initial success he found the going tough in the second half of his reign, but will still go down as an all-time great.

Over the past few seasons it has been fashionable to view Arsene Wenger as some sort of figure of fun — a man living in the past, left behind by the modern game, but too stubborn to realize it.
In time, though, even the most ardent, frothing-at-the-mouth #Wenger Out believer would have to agree that the Frenchman will go down not just as one of the best managers Arsenal have had, but also among the greatest in English club football.
As with any caricature, there is a hint of truth in the picture created, crude as it sometimes is. Yes, Wenger’s past few years at the Emirates have been painful to watch. Yes, he was stubborn when it came to both activity in the transfer market and belief in his methods and tactics. Yes, it is fair to say he leaves the club, on the pitch at least, in a bit of a mess. And, yes, he should have left two or three years ago.
But if there is one thing that any sane fan should remember about Wenger’s 22 years as Arsenal boss, it is this: He was a game-changer, a manager who oversaw not only a revolution of the Gunners, but also of the English game.
As soon as Wenger landed in England in 1996, he banished Arsenal’s Tuesday drinking club and munching of Mars bars — in their place came stretching sessions and broccoli. Hardly profound or radical in today’s game, but this was the era when change in English football invariably meant no pies and pints on a Friday night.
The technical, passing, possession football that is now the norm for any side with ambitions to remain in the Premier League, let alone win it, and the idea that eating vegetables rather than a tub of lard would help player performance, were brought in by Wenger alone.
He won the double in his first full season in charge, signed unheralded foreign talent such as Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Viera — who went on to become world-class players — and created teams that were a joy to watch, culminating with “The Invincibles” of 2003-04, who won the Premier League without losing a match.
The irony is that the one-time revolutionary ended up being viewed as a throwback, a stuck-in-the-mud anachronism; a manager who harked back to a time when playing with the owner’s chequebook was not seen as the only path to success and when paragraphs were favored over 140 characters.
And that perhaps explains why so many Arsenal fans seemingly wanted him gone: Wenger is not of the Twitter generation, of instant opinions for the 24-hour news agenda and of hype over humility. The man who was once seen as the future stuck to principles that were deemed as belonging to the past.
It is clear there is a lot of bad blood at the club — a ridiculous Facebook post by an Arsenal fan claimed Wenger’s announcement he was leaving made it the “greatest day in Arsenal’s history.”
But for all the bluster and nonsense, Wenger’s legacy will be that of “The Invincibles” — one of the greatest club sides of modern times; of beautiful football played at pace and with artistry; of being a decent, yet flawed, man who was never anything but articulate and courteous.
Having been in charge of Arsenal for 22 years, he is undoubtedly the last of a kind, and in the era of trigger-happy owners, short-term fixes and sensationalism over stability, that is something everyone, even the #WengerOut brigade, should lament.