Nadal, Federer resume battle for supremacy

Nadal, Federer resume battle for supremacy

SYDNEY – One of sport’s great and enduring rivalries resumes with the battle for supremacy between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer dominating the new tennis season.
The 2011 campaign got underway this week in Australia, India, Qatar and New Zealand with the first Grand Slam of the season starting in Melbourne on January 17.
Nadal is unchallengeable at the top of the ATP rankings, some 3,305 points clear of Federer, after a superb 2010 season when he took the world number one

Afridi arrives as PCB frets over World Cup squad

LAHORE – Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi will meet PCB chairman Ijaz Butt at the PCB headquarters on Monday to finalise the probables for the 2011 World Cup and the 15-man squad for the ODI series in New Zealand.
Afridi arrived in Lahore on Friday night from Christchurch after the end of the three-match Twenty20 series for the meeting. He will leave on Monday night to join the team in Hamilton for the first Test against New Zealand starting on January 7.
A top official in the

Malaysia, Palestine to end Pakistan sports isolation

LAHORE – Football teams of Palestine and Malaysia will tour Pakistan in February and March for home and away series, the Pakistan Football Federation announced on Sunday. The PFF has done what the country’s major sports like cricket and hockey have failed to do – bring international teams to the country.
Although the PHF has announced a series against Egypt but dates of it are yet to be finalised. Palestine footballer will visit Pakistan from February 27 to play two matches at

Intikhab sees 2011 as year of glory for Pakistan

LAHORE – Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam is confident that the year 2011 be different for the national side and will also improve the image of Pakistan cricket. “I am confident the way things are going now, this year will see improved performance and a better image of Pakistan cricket,” Intikhab said in a television interview.
The former Test captain said the reason for his optimism was not only the improving spirit and discipline among the players, but also the recent steps

Master Paints victorious

LAHORE – Master Paints edged out Diamond Paints in the Literacy Exhibition Charity Polo March here at the Lahore Polo Club on a chilly Sunday. Masters got six goals and allowed Diamond five goals.
Bilal Haye Mehta, Sufi Haris, Taimur Malik and Shamyl Alam were the real Masters to make the most of the opportunities. Diamonds’ Omar Asjad Malhi, Atif Yar Tiwana and Hassan Ali Farrukh thwarted moves from Masters Paints.

Danyaal, Rashid glorious at Sprite Golf Tournament

LAHORE – The first Sprite Golf Tournament concluded at the Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course on Sunday with the high achievers turning out to be Danyaal Jehangir securing the top amateur gross, Rashid Iqbal topping in amateur net, and Karamatullah Chaudry and AVM (R) Zakaullah making it to the first slot in seniors net and seniors net.
The overall performances carried a touch of class and although some ended up behind the ultimate winners, they produced rounds that deserve a lot of

Sargodha, Bhalwal teams shine in CM Sports Cup

LAHORE – The Chief Minister Cup phase-II competitions at inter tehsil level have reached the semi-finals stage. Teams from Sargodha, Bhalwal, Silanwali, Mianwali, Khushab, Rawalpindi and Bhakkar performed well. In Sargodha, the final girls volleyball match was held among tehsil Sargodha, Silanwali and Bhalwal.
Bhalwal and Sargodha got the second position. In Mianwali, the girls final athletics matches were held in which Munawar Kanwal from Model Girls High School Mianwali won the

Chelsea’s title hopes dented by Villa draw

LONDON – Chelsea’s bid to retain the Premier League title suffered another blow as struggling Aston Villa snatched a dramatic 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were on course for a crucial win after late goals from Didier Drogba and John Terry, but Ciaran Clark equalised in stoppage time and the reigning champions are now in severe danger of losing touch with the main title contenders. Even a Champions League spot isn’t certain for fifth-placed

Nisar notches Champion of Hills title

LAHORE – Nisar Ahmed of SSGC won the Champion of Hills Cycle Race from Islamabad to Murree on Sunday. He covered the distance of 70 KM in two hours and 12 minutes. As many as 64 cyclists from all over the country – four provinces, WAPDA Army, Railways. SSGC, Fata, Rawalpindi District and Afganistan took part in this race.
Director Army Sports Directorate Brig. Iqtidar Naseer Ahmed flagged off the race from Pakistan Sports Board Islamabad. Habibullah of SSGC got second position,

Asfar outmuscles rivals to win Mr Lahore title

LAHORE – Asfar Jutt and Mahmood Khan were declared Mr and Junior Mr Lahore after a close contest here at jam-packed Alhamra Hall on Sunday. Organised by the Lahore Bodybuilding Association and sponsored by Anti-Narcotics Department, the 59th Mr and Junior Mr Lahore Competition was contested by over 150 musclemen from over 300 clubs of the city.
Jan Mohammad, secretary LBA organized the competitions while president and former Mr Asia Yahya Butt performed the duties of judge along

Fifth Ashes test starts today – Australia pick two new caps

SYDNEY – Batsman Usman Khawaja and spinner Michael Beer will make their Australia debuts in the fifth Ashes test against England, stand-in captain Michael Clarke said on Sunday.
Pakistan-born lefthander Khawaja will replace injured captain Ricky Ponting, almost certainly batting at number three, while left-arm orthodox spinner Beer gets his chance after being 12th man for the last two tests. The hosts are hoping the new blood will help them get the New Year off to a good start

Usman, Beer to debut for Australia

SYDNEY – Australian captain Michael Clarke on Sunday confirmed that batsman Usman Khawaja and spinner Michael Beer will make their debuts for Australia in the final Ashes Test against England at the Sydney ground.
Usman, the Pakistan-born cricketer, will become the first Muslim to play Test cricket for his adopted country, while Beer will get his debut after playing just seven first-class matches for Western Australia. Usman will step into the demanding number three batting

ICC summons Younis, Afridi for Doha hearing

LAHORE – The International Cricket Council has summoned Pakistan coach Waqar Younis and ODI captain Shahid Afridi to appear before the ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal. The ICC made a request to the PCB to direct Afridi and Younis to appear before the ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal.
Suspended Test captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir are due to appear before the three-member tribunal in Doha from January 6 to 11. The Pakistan Cricket Board said in a

Akmal cooperates in a bid to save career

LAHORE – Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal has cooperated fully with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Integrity Committee in a bid to gain clearance to resume his international career. Akmal, along with Shoaib Malik and Danish Kaneria, has lately been grilled over spot-fixing allegations by PCB’s Integrity Committee.
Akmal confirmed he had presented full details regarding his movable and immovable properties, and activities other than cricket, to the PCB. The 28-year-old told

India ready to make history, says Dhoni

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG – Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Saturday that his team were ready to make history when they face South Africa in the series-deciding third and final Test starting at Newlands on Sunday. “The good thing with this side is that we know why we can win a series in South Africa,” said Dhoni.
India were in the same situation four years ago when they came to Newlands with the series level at one-all – but Dhoni said the mood in the side was much more

Pakistan cricket’s Annus Horribilis

COMMENT – The year 2010 will go down in the history of Pakistan cricket as their worst ever in terms of performance, controversies and mismanagement. This year Pakistan have been blighted by a spot-fixing crisis, player suspensions, captaincy issues and poor governance and as a result the spirit of the team has been weak.
The senior players simply failed to deliver at a time when they were needed to lead the way, while the juniors found it hard to assert themselves due to their

Iman Qureshi – Tennis star in the making

LAHORE – Iman Qureshi, the 13-year old, eighth grade student of Lahore Grammer School, Defence had quite an eventful year, winning a number of international titles, making Pakistan’s presence felt at the junior level of the ITF circuit.
Iman finished the year at an overall 3rd position in Asia in 14 and Under Asian Tennis Ranking. She is the only Pakistani player to have achieved the honour. While playing in the Asian circuit, she managed to win two titles (in Allepo and