Shahzaib Hasan’s ban for spot-fixing upped to 4 years

In this file photo, suspended Pakistani cricketer Shahzaib Hasan, left, arrives with his lawyers to appear before a tribunal in Lahore on March 31, 2017. (ARIF ALI/AFP)
Updated 10 August 2018
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Shahzaib Hasan’s ban for spot-fixing upped to 4 years

  • Hasan, 28, was banned in February this year after being found guilty of not disclosing a fixing offer to the anti-corruption unit of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
  • Jamshed is also charged with other breaches and faces a life ban, a decision likely to be announced next week

LAHORE: An independent adjudicator Friday increased the ban on Pakistan’s World Twenty20-winning opener Shahzaib Hasan from one year to four on appeal from the country’s cricket board.
Hasan, 28, was banned in February this year after being found guilty of not disclosing a fixing offer to the anti-corruption unit of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
He was also fined one million rupees ($8,200).
The PCB had appealed the length of the ban, saying it was too lenient.
“The independent adjudicator Justice (retired) Hamid Hussain has accepted (the) PCB’s appeal and lifted the ban to four years while upholding the fine,” the board’s legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi told media.
Spot-fixing refers to illegal activity in a sport where a specific part of a game is fixed, unlike match-fixing, where the whole result is fixed.
Shahzaib is one of six players sanctioned in the spot-fixing case which rocked the second edition of Pakistan Super League last year, a Twenty20 tournament.
Swashbuckling opener Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Nawaz, and Nasir Jamshed were also given bans of varying lengths.
Jamshed is also charged with other breaches and faces a life ban, a decision likely to be announced next week.
Hasan’s lawyer Kashif Rajwana said his client is likely to challenge the decision in court.
Hasan played the last of his three one-day internationals in November 2010. He has also played 10 Twenty20 internationals for Pakistan, including the World Twenty20 which Pakistan won in 2009.
Hasan, like Jamshed, now lives in the UK.


Petra Kvitova positive ahead of Dubai final against Belinda Bencic

Updated 22 February 2019
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Petra Kvitova positive ahead of Dubai final against Belinda Bencic

  • World No. 4 wins third three-setter of the week beat Hsieh Su-wei and claim place in the final.
  • Swiss star Bencic deals a forehand smash to Svitolina's chances of unprecedented hat-trick.

LONDON: If Petra Kvitova does get her hands on the Dubai trophy against Belinda Bencic on Saturday, she will be quick to admit she did it the hard way.
The two-time Wimbledon champion was once again made to toil at the Aviation Club as she finally overcame Hsieh Su-Wei 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. It was her third three-setter in four days and came about as much through sheer grit and determination as any superior groundstrokes or serves.
“Yeah, it was (tough),” the Czech said.
“It was a tough one, for sure. She really didn’t give me anything for free.
“It was a tough first set. I’m glad that I was able to came back in the second. Anyway I didn’t play great at the end of the first.”
Coming into the event the world No. 4 admitted she was undercooked and in need of some game time. While, in hindsight, the three-setters against Katerina Siniakova and Jennifer Brady in the first two rounds probably did her some good, another match that went the distance was probably not in the ideal script for the 2013 Dubai champion.
But Hsieh is a tricky opponent and she proved it once again on Centre Court. The world No. 31 hits two-handed shots off both sides and was trying to beat her fourth top-10 seed of the week. That included wins over Angelique Kerber in the third round and Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals.

Bencic will try to upset Kvitova in Saturday's final at the Aviation Club (AFP) 


She started off in much the same vein as she had finished against Kerber and Pliskova, hurrying Kvitova around the court and making life as uncomfortable as possible under the hot Dubai sun.
“She’s very tricky,” Kvitova said about Hsieh, who grabbed five games in a row to take the opening set and go up 1-0 in the second.
“I didn’t really play the best at the end of the first set. But I calmed down afterwards a little bit,” Kvitova said.
“With Hsieh, I need to be a little bit patient. ... It’s not really that easy to make those winners against her.”
While she has 
not consistently displayed her A-game this week it should come as no shock that Kvitova has made today’s final. It was the second seed’s 17th victory of 2019 — a feat bettered by no one — and it will be her third final of the season and 35th of her career. She revealed that her presence in the showdown is thanks to her mental toughness and she admitted that after a long week she will have to draw on that a lot today.
“I think I’m pleased with my kind of mental focus after losing the first set, that I was more calmer when I came back and played from the beginning of the second set,” Kvitova said.
“I still kind of felt that I can do that somehow — it was something weird.
“I’m a bit tired right now, to be honest. I have a final, so I don’t know how I going to recover. Hopefully I have a few hours to do something with me.”
Of her sparkling form so far this year she said: “It’s a bit weird, to be honest. I didn’t really expect anything like that. Well, to be honest, I didn’t expect anything, which I already achieved this year. For me, everything is just bonus.
“As I mentioned, the tennis, it’s a bit like escape this week. This is unbelievable to be in the final when I’m escaping from something. Yeah, very interesting.”
In the other semifinal Bencic once again upset the odds to overcome world No. 6 Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-3, 7-6. The Swiss went into the clash as the underdog, but from the off the world No. 45 was aggressive and deservedly won.
In doing so she ended Svitolina’s 12-match winning streak in Dubai and ended the two-time defending champion’s hopes of becoming the first woman to win three Dubai titles in a row.