PSL enters final stage as international cricketers arrive in Lahore

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(AN photo by Malik Shafiq)
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(AN photo by Malik Shafiq)
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(AN photo by Malik Shafiq)
Updated 20 March 2018

PSL enters final stage as international cricketers arrive in Lahore

LAHORE: Most of the foreign cricket players participating in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and linked with three teams – Quetta Gladiators, Peshawar Zalmi, and Karachi Kings — arrived in Lahore on Tuesday.
As the PSL enters its final stage, cricket fever is running high across Pakistan.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is satisfied with the number of foreign players in Lahore and said it was a “good instrumental move” for the revival of international cricket in the country.
“The arrival of this big number of foreign cricketers will encourage the international teams to visit Pakistan. We will try to hold all PSL matches in our country next year,” PCB Media Director Amjad Bhatti told Arab News.
Peshawar Zalmi is missing its foreign player Dwayne Smith, while other international stars Darren Sammy, Liam Dawson, Evin Lewis, Andre Fletcher, Tamim Iqbal and Chris Jordan reached Lahore in the small hours of Tuesday.
Karachi Kings teammates Ravi Bopara, Tymal Mills, Joe Denly, David Wiese, Lendl Simmons and Colin Ingram were also on the same flight.
Quetta Gladiators, however, are missing one of their big players, Kevin Pietersen.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to leave Dubai and go back to London,” Pietersen in a video message. “It is a family decision and I hope you will respect it.”
Other Quetta Gladiators players Rilee Rossouw, Chris Green, Mahmudullah and Thisara Perera, however, reached Pakistan to represent the team in a semifinal.
The people of Lahore are disappointed about the absence of a few star players from the tournament.
“As a passionate cricket fan, I feel bad that we won’t see Kevin Pietersen and Shane Watson in action on Pakistani soil, ” said Hamayion Zafar. “Most of my friends are KP’s fans. We had just bought tickets to watch him play in Lahore.”
Since Tuesday morning the weather in Lahore has been cloudy and the Met Office has said intermittent light showers will continue throughout the day, even at the time scheduled for play, but the traditional “braveheart” Lahorites are not deterred by that.
“The rain cannot stop us,” an excited Raghoo Bajwa told Arab News
The City District has hung banners to welcome international cricketers on roads around the city, especially Mall Road, Canal Bank, Gulberg and Ferozepur Roads.
Lahore will host the two PSL playoffs and the final will be in Karachi on March 25.
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Saudi women ride into history with ‘dream’ home debut

Updated 14 December 2019

Saudi women ride into history with ‘dream’ home debut

  • Olympic and World Cup qualification points are up for grabs in the second edition of the festival 13 Saudi female jockeys are participating in the qualifier, set for Dec. 14 and Dec. 19-21
  • 13 Saudi female jockeys are participating in the qualifier, set for Dec. 14 and Dec. 19-21

RIYADH: Saudi women riders are saddling up to make history when they compete side by side with their male counterparts for the first time as part of this month’s Diriyah Equestrian Festival.

Olympic and World Cup qualification points are up for grabs in the second edition of the festival being held on Dec. 14 and Dec. 19-21.

However, more significantly, women riders will compete in the same arena as their male counterparts for the first time in the Kingdom’s history.

Over the course of two weekends, the festival will feature 120 riders, 150 grooms, 50 officials, 300 companions and trainers, 250 club members and 150 crew.

The 13 Saudi women competitors are excited that the moment to shine on their home turf has finally arrived.

“This is a dream,” said 18-year-old Lama Al-Ajmi. “It’s an international four-star competition and I will finally get to represent my country on home soil.

13 Saudi female jockeys participate for the first time in the Diriyah Equestrian Festival. (SPA)

“For me, this is the start. This is the start for all of us. I want to be on top and the Olympics are my dream,” she added.

Sultanah Abar, 32, a graphic designer and former UN employee, will compete alongside her brother Abdelkarim in the festival — their first time riding together in an international competition in their homeland.

“I started riding when I was four years old,” she said. “But until now I’ve only been able to compete abroad. Finally, we can compete at home and it makes me proud.” 

Wafa Al-Hasoun, 24, also voiced her excitement at being able to join an international competition in her country. “We used to watch, now we participate and look to win. We’re very excited to finally be part of this,” she said.

The equestrian festival is part of the wider Diriyah Season, a month of major sports events such as Formula E, top-class men’s tennis and the recent world heavyweight title fight The Clash On The Dunes.

The Diriyah UNESCO World Heritage site will also stage performances from some of the globe’s biggest music artists, including Swedish House Mafia and Calvin Harris, as part of the festival.

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