Misbah demands more from the world for Pakistan cricket revival

Pakistan's head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq speaks to reporters in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. Misbah said Sri Lanka's top players should have come for the limited-overs series in Pakistan after being assured of head-of-state-like security by the government. (AP Photo)
Updated 25 September 2019

Misbah demands more from the world for Pakistan cricket revival

  • Ten top Sri Lankan players pulled out of playing the series in Pakistan
  • Would be an injustice to deprive Pakistan of international cricket: Misbah

Karachi: Pakistan’s newly appointed head coach on Wednesday urged the cricket world to better help his country’s efforts to revive international matches, damaged by security problems in the last decade.
Misbah-ul-Haq’s request comes two days before Pakistan takes on Sri Lanka in a series of three one-day internationals, the first in the country for four years, and as many Twenty20 internationals.
The Sri Lanka team was attacked in Lahore in 2009 and since then most international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country, leaving Pakistan to play nearly all their “home” games in the United Arab Emirates.
Zimbabwe was the first country to return in 2015, with Pakistan hosting the West Indies, Sri Lanka, and a World XI team since then.
The current series was hit by withdrawals of ten top Sri Lankan players over security fears but Sri Lanka’s cricket board received the all-clear from the defense ministry last week.
“Cricket world need to do more, not only for Pakistan but for any country where it is hit,” said Misbah, under who Pakistan plays the first one-day international on Friday.
The remaining two matches will also be held in Karachi on Sunday and Wednesday.
The three Twenty20 internationals will be in Lahore on October 5, 7 and 9.
Misbah never captained any of his 56 Tests in Pakistan and he praised Sri Lanka — who arrived under heavy security — for the tour.
“I know it would have been a tough decision for Sri Lanka to tour,” he said.
“Pakistan is a cricket-loving country and it would be an injustice to deprive them of international cricket, so I hope that the world will support us more and more.”
It had been ten years since the attacks, Misbah said, adding he hoped more international teams would consider touring his nation and others like Pakistan.
“Otherwise the survival of cricket will be difficult.”
Misbah said his team — the majority of who will be playing a one-day international at home for the first time — were excited about the match.
Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, and Wahab Riaz have featured in an ODI in Pakistan before.
“It’s a special moment for all of us and players are excited as well as emotional, playing before their home fans and at home ground, so it’s really special.”


Pakistan Medical Association, doctors fear coronavirus surge as lockdowns lifted nationwide

Updated 09 August 2020

Pakistan Medical Association, doctors fear coronavirus surge as lockdowns lifted nationwide

  • Islamabad’s PIMS hospital had less than 10 coronavirus patients before Eid Al-Adha but new patients coming in since
  • Pakistan announced on Thursday it was opening virtually all sectors closed down in March to stem the spread of COVID-19

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and infectious disease experts on Thursday warned of a possible surge in coronavirus cases due to a premature lifting of restrictions, as the government announced a day earlier that it was opening virtually all sectors closed down in March to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Pakistan shut schools and land borders nearly five months ago, decided to limit domestic and international flights and discouraged large gatherings to try to halt the spread of the coronavirus. But with infections and deaths down nearly 80 percent since their peak as per government records, the government decided on Thursday to lift the lockdowns to help the country return to normalcy.
Pakistan celebrated the Eid Al-Adha religious holiday last week. After the last major Islamic festival, of Eid Al-Fitr, in May, infections rose to their peak in Pakistan.
Dr. Nasim Akhtar, head of infectious diseases at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad, told Arab News the coronavirus ward at her hospital only had five to six patients before Eid, but new patients had once again started coming in.
“Cases registered a sharp increase after Eid Al-Fitr, and this can happen now again with the lifting of the lockdowns,” she said, adding that the government should have waited at least two more weeks to reopen restaurants and other public places.
“This is a bit early, and may worsen the situation again,” Akhtar said.
The World Health Organization has said “extreme vigilance” was needed as countries begin to exit from lockdowns, amid global concerns about a second wave of infections.
Germany earlier reported an acceleration in new coronavirus infections after it took early steps to ease its lockdown. South Korea, another country that had succeeded in limiting virus infections, saw a new outbreak.
“The next week is crucial to see if the infections soar as just one week has passed now since the Eid holidays,” Dr. Qaiser Sajjad, secretary-general of the Pakistan Medical Association, told Arab News.

 

 

Cases could also surge during the Islamic month of Muharram, which begins in late August, he said, and due to independence day celebrations on August 14. Huge crowds come out all over the world, including in Muslim-majority Pakistan, to commemorate the slaying of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh).
“We think that the opening of all these things in a hurry ... probably this will create problems for us,” Sajjad said.
He said infections had risen sharply in the United States and Brazil after the nations lifted restrictions when cases initially declined. Spain reported 1,772 new coronavirus infections on Aug 6, marking the biggest jump since a national lockdown was lifted in June.
University of Health Sciences vice chancellor Javed Akram, however, called the reopening of public places a “wise decision.”
“The government cannot keep the cities and businesses under lockdown forever,” he said. “People should follow health guidelines to fight the virus.”