Pakistan's Hafeez out for landmark Sri Lanka tour

Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez walks back to the pavilion after getting out during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between West Indies and Pakistan at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, central England, on May 31, 2019. (AFP/File)
Updated 21 September 2019

Pakistan's Hafeez out for landmark Sri Lanka tour

  • Fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi have also been left out due to poor fitness
  • Sarfaraz Ahmed will lead the team in both the one-day and T20 matches

LAHORE: Pakistan on Saturday left out veteran batsman Mohammad Hafeez for next week's series start against Sri Lanka, who are touring the country for the first time since they were targeted in a terror attack.
Hafeez, 38, was part of Pakistan's fifth-placed World Cup squad but has been kept off due to his commitments in the Caribbean Premier League, said head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq.
"He is not out of our plans," added Misbah. "Whoever is effective for the team will be included in the future."
Fellow World Cup team members Hasan Ali and fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi have also been left out due to poor fitness.
Sarfaraz Ahmed will lead the team in both the one-day and T20 matches.
Middle order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed was recalled to the one-day squad after a four year absence.
Cricket tours were suspended in Pakistan for six years after a 2009 assault on the Sri Lankan team bus that killed half a dozen police officers and wounded six members of the visiting team.
Sri Lanka agreed to the current tour after a favorable security assessment.
Three one-day internationals will be played in Karachi, the first on September 27.
Another three Twenty20 matches will be played in Lahore in early October.
Squad: Sarfaraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hasnain, Iftikhar Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz


97 players, staff test positive for virus as Saudi football clubs resume training

Updated 12 July 2020

97 players, staff test positive for virus as Saudi football clubs resume training

  • Authorities introduce a range of protocols to ensure a safe return to competition

JEDDAH: Almost 100 footballers and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 as Saudi football clubs resume training for the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Football League competitions.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation said that 1,351 tests were carried out between June 21 and July 8, resulting in 50 players and 47 administrative staff testing positive.

Matches in the professional league are set to resume on Aug. 4 after being suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted all sports activities in the Kingdom.

The Saudi Pro League Association and relevant authorities have introduced a range of protocols to ensure a safe return to competition.

Players are encouraged to use hand sanitizers and disinfectants before and after training. Surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized around the clock, and coaching and administrative staff must wear face masks at all times.

Staff and players will have their temperatures checked at the entrance to training grounds, which will have designated entrances and exits to avoid overcrowding. Staff will also check for symptoms among players during training sessions.

HIGHLIGHTS

• According to the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, 1,351 tests were carried out between June 21 and July 8, resulting in 50 players and 47 administrative staff testing positive.

• Matches in the professional league are set to resume on Aug. 4 after being suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted all sports activities in the Kingdom.

• The Saudi Pro League Association and relevant authorities have introduced a range of protocols to ensure a safe return to competition.

Pools will remain closed, while equipment including balls, goalposts and training items, as well as training spaces used by players, will be disinfected before and after use.

Staff members older than 65 and those who suffer from chronic illness will not be allowed on the field.

The federation also decided to increase the number of substitutes during a game from three to five in line with amendments approved by the International Football Association.

Players must follow social distancing rules while training and on substitute benches and in locker rooms. Exchanging shirts and handshakes are prohibited.

Games will be played without fans.

Training resumed on June 21, 2020, in line with medical protocols and precautionary measures.