UAE based coach suspended over spot fixing offer

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Updated 10 May 2018

UAE based coach suspended over spot fixing offer

KARACHI: United Arab Emirates based coach Irfan Ansari was suspended following allegations from Pakistan's captain Sarfraz Ahmed that he was approached to participate in a spot-fixing scheme, Cricket's administrative body said on Thursday.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Ansari was charged with three counts of breaching the body's anti-corruption code.
"Ansari has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect and has been charged for directly soliciting, inducing, enticing or encouraging a participant to breach the code and for failure or refusal to cooperate with the anti-corruption unit's investigation," said an ICC release.
Ansari, who is originally from Pakistan, has coached a number of small professional clubs in the UAE for years.
The ICC said the suspension comes after Ansari failed to provide requested information to group's anti-corruption wing on two separate occasions.
The charges center on Sarfraz's admission to the Pakistan Cricket Board and the ICC that Ansari had approached him about spot fixing during the one-day series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE last October.
Spot-fixing involves determining the outcome of a specific part of a match rather than the overall result, and is therefore harder to detect than match-fixing.
Ansari will now have two weeks to respond to the charges.
"The ICC will not make any further comment in respect of these charges at this stage," said the body in a statement.
The PCB took extra measures to stem spot-fixing, with all six teams in this year's league monitored by anti-corruption officers.
Pakistan has a history of fixing cases, the latest being last year's scandal which rocked the Pakistan Super League held in UAE.
A spot-fixing case during Pakistan's tour of England in 2010 ended in five-year bans on then Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.
Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is also serving a life ban on charges of spot-fixing during a county match in England in 2009.


Rising star Morikawa outguns Thomas in dramatic playoff

Updated 14 July 2020

Rising star Morikawa outguns Thomas in dramatic playoff

  • Morikawa, who had been the pacesetter through the first two rounds

LOS ANGELES: American Collin Morikawa tapped in a putt on the third playoff hole to outduel Justin Thomas in a wild Sunday finish and capture the PGA Tour Workday Charity Open.

Morikawa, who had been the pacesetter through the first two rounds, rallied from three strokes down with three holes remaining to force the playoff at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

He then stayed alive by draining a 24-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole immediately after third-round leader Thomas had made a jaw-dropping 50-foot putt for birdie.

“Amazing,” said the 23-year-old Morikawa, who carded a final round 66 to finish on 19-under par 269 and won for the second time on the  PGA Tour.

Sunday’s win made up for a disappointing loss in another dramatic playoff finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge four weeks ago in the PGA’s return from the COVID-19 calendar shutdown.

World No. 5 Thomas was trying to win for the 13th time on the Tour, but he was undone on the final hole of the playoff after his tee shot on the par-4 10th sailed right and landed behind a tree.

Thomas closed with a 69 but that included two bogeys in his final three holes after beginning his round with a two-stroke lead over Viktor Hovland, with Morikawa three adrift.

“I am pretty pissed off, it is the only way to explain it,” Thomas said. “I had a three-shot lead with three to go and completely handed it over.

“Collin played great. He had a very tough hole at 17.

“We both made two great birdies on the first playoff hole. I had two chances to win this thing in regulation and on the second playoff hole and I didn’t get it done.”

This week’s Workday Charity Open is the first of back-to-back events at the Jack Nicklaus designed Dublin, Ohio course. The Nicklaus-hosted Memorial will follow next week.

After rain, wind and lightning led to two suspensions on Friday, organizers decided to move the tee times up on Sunday to avoid any more weather delays.

Morikawa started Sunday’s round three shots back after opening with a 65 and 66 to lead the first and second rounds.

He quickly fought his way back to the top of the leaderboard with two birdies and an eagle in his first five holes.

He made three more birdies on the back nine including the par-4 17. Morikawa used an eight iron to spin his approach shot to eight feet then made the putt and celebrated with a fist pump.

His only blemish came on the par-4 13th when he made bogey as he closed with a 4-under 66.

The most dramatic moment of the round came on the first playoff hole as both players rolled in massive putts for birdies.

Thomas went first, making a 50-foot downhill putt for what appeared to be the victory. But Morikawa wasn’t going anywhere. He stayed alive by draining his putt, from just inside 25 feet, to send it back to the 18th tee for a second playoff hole.

Morikawa sealed the win on the 75th hole, two putting on the green after Thomas missed the fairway off the tee and had to chip out from behind a small tree with his second shot.

The win was Morikawa’s second in just his 24th start as a pro.