Bangladesh captain tells teammates to 'close ears' ahead of Pakistan Tests

Bangladesh's cricket captain Mominul Haque throws a ball during a practice session at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy, Sri Lanka on April 20, 2021. (AFP/File)
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Updated 25 November 2021

Bangladesh captain tells teammates to 'close ears' ahead of Pakistan Tests

  • The series follows a dismal run in Twenty20 internationals, with Bangladesh losing eight consecutive matches
  • Pakistan captain Babar Azam insisted his team will not take the hosts lightly in their home conditions

CHITTAGONG: Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque urged his teammates to ignore criticism and concentrate on the job at hand ahead of the Test series at home against Pakistan beginning on Friday.
The hosts kick off the new Test Championship cycle with the two-match series against Pakistan starting in Chittagong, having never beaten the visitors either at home or away.
The series follows a dismal run in Twenty20 internationals, with Bangladesh losing eight consecutive matches. Five losses at the World Cup were followed by a three-nil whitewash at home by semi-finalists Pakistan.
"This is not the first time Bangladesh have gone through such a phase. We have overcome such times before too," said Test captain Mominul, who was not part of Twenty20 side.
"People got mentally weak ... because they pay attention to what is being said. My job is to bring back focus. You cannot stop anyone from talking. So, it's better to keep your ears closed," he said on Thursday.
Adding to their woes, star player Shakib Al Hasan, batsman Tamim Iqbal and an in-form all-rounder Taskin Ahmed, will all miss the first Test due to injury.
Mominul said it would be a "challenge" to lead a young Bangladesh side against a strong Pakistan team.
"We have always required senior players in the Test side," he said.
"But it is a continuous process. We have to move on. We cannot be disappointed all the time. I firmly believe it is a huge opportunity for the younger players," he said.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam insisted his team will not take the hosts lightly in their home conditions.
"This looks a typical Bangladeshi pitch which will help spinners. So, we are aware of the conditions," he said.
Pakistan announced their 12-man squad for the opening Test, which included uncapped batsman Abdullah Shafique.
Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam and Imam-ul-Haq also made the 12-man squad.
"I cannot score runs all the time, so other batsmen will have to take responsibility. This is an important WTC Tests, so we need to be at our best," Babar said.
Pakistan have played 10 Tests against Bangladesh, winning nine.
The only draw came in 2015 when Tamim scored a maiden Test double hundred in a record 312-run opening stand with Imrul Kayes in the second innings in Bangladesh's southern city of Khulna.
The second Test will start in Dhaka on December 4.


‘Impossible’ to stop Omicron variant from entering Pakistan, vaccination only solution - planning minister 

Updated 26 min 11 sec ago

‘Impossible’ to stop Omicron variant from entering Pakistan, vaccination only solution - planning minister 

  • Pakistan to increase testing in high risk areas, launch booster shot program for high-risk segments of population
  • Detection of Omicron has triggered global alarm as governments world over scrambled to impose new travel curbs

ISLAMABAD: Planning Minister Asad Umar, who also heads the national pandemic response body, the NCOC, said on Monday it was “impossible” for Pakistan to block the Omicron coronavirus variant from entering the country and the only protection against it was to increase vaccinations.
The detection of Omicron has triggered global alarm as governments around the world scrambled to impose new travel curbs and financial markets sold-off, fearing the variant could resist vaccinations and upend a nascent economic reopening after a two-year global pandemic.
In its statement, the WHO said it was working with technical experts to understand the potential impact of the variant on existing countermeasures against COVID-19, including vaccines.
Addressing a press conference alongside Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr Faisal Sultan, Umar stressed the need for citizens to get vaccinated, saying the government would take new measures to protect against the Omicron variant. These include increased testing in high risk areas, and the launch of a booster shot program for high-risk segments of the population such as the elderly and the immunocompromised.
On Saturday, Pakistan banned travel from six South African countries and Hong Kong following the emergence of the new coronavirus variant.
“We can take measures to delay the entry into Pakistan of this variant, we can reduce its numbers, but it will spread all around the world,” Umar said. “As we saw before, once a new variant comes, the world is so interconnected, there is so much travel, that it is impossible to stop it. So what is the solution, what is in our hands? The answer is vaccination.”
“This is a very dangerous variant but vaccination will still be effective against it,” the minister said. "So it is my appeal to Pakistanis, particularly those who've gotten one dose, to get the second dose.”
"This variant will come to Pakistan, and we have the next 2-3 weeks to reduce its threat,” Umar added.
The Omicron variant spread around the world last week, with new cases found in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia even as more countries imposed travel restrictions to try to seal themselves off.
WHO has said it was not yet clear whether Omicron, first detected in Southern Africa, is more transmissible than other variants, or if it causes more severe disease.


First ever Pakistani meat consignment exported to Jordan - commerce advisor

Updated 30 min 58 sec ago

First ever Pakistani meat consignment exported to Jordan - commerce advisor

  • Last month, Pakistan announced that Jordan had allowed three Pakistani producers to export meat to the kingdom
  • The companies are the Organic Meat Company Limited (TOMCL), Tata Best Food Limited, Tazji Meat and Food

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani commerce advisor Abdul Razak Dawood said on Monday Pakistan’s Tata Best Food Limited had exported the country’s first meat consignment to Jordan.
Last month, Pakistan announced that Jordan had allowed three Pakistani producers to export meat to the kingdom. These are Organic Meat Company Limited (TOMCL), Tata Best Food Limited, Tazji Meat and Food.
Pakistan ranks in the top 20 among global halal meat exporting nations, and a 2017 study by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) showed that the industry was growing by 27 percent annually.
The country’s exports of meat and meat preparations went up by 10 percent in the last fiscal year to $334 million, though they declined by four percent during the first two months of the current fiscal year to $49.55 million, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
“We congratulate TATA Foods on exporting Pakistan's first ever consignment meat has been exported to Jordan,” Dawood said on Twitter. “Promotion & facilitation of non-traditional products to new markets constitutes MOC’s [ministry of commerce] diversification policy.”


Last year, TOMCL became the first Pakistani company to get approval from the Saudi Food & Drug Authority to export frozen meat via sea to the kingdom, as it won a high-value contract of $3.9 million to export 100 metric tons of frozen boneless meat to Saudi Arabia.
In September, the Karachi-based halal meat processing and export enterprise secured a $1 million contract to supply frozen boneless meat to Saudi Arabia for a period of 10 months.

 


Pakistan strike twice but Bangladesh keep battling

Updated 29 November 2021

Pakistan strike twice but Bangladesh keep battling

  • The hosts reached 115-6 at lunch on the fourth day, stretching their slim first innings lead to 159 runs
  • Resuming on 39-4, the hosts got off to a positive start with Mushfqur Rahim hitting a boundary off first ball

CHITTAGONG: Hasan Ali and Sajid Khan struck for Pakistan in the morning but Bangladesh battled through to build out their lead in the first Test against Pakistan in Chittagong on Monday.
The hosts reached 115-6 at lunch on the fourth day, stretching their slim first innings lead to 159 runs, with Liton Das batting 32 alongside concussion substitute Nurul Hasan (0) at the break.
Resuming on 39-4, the hosts got off to a positive start with Mushfqur Rahim hitting a boundary off the first ball of the day bowled by Hasan.
But two balls later he left the wrong delivery and departed for 16 after Hasan struck off-stump.
First innings century maker Liton Das joined overnight batsman Yasir Ali to prevent further collapse.
Just when they looked ready to prosper, Shaheen Afridi’s low bounce hit the helmet of Yasir, who retired hurt after making 36.
Liton survived on 26 when he was given out caught at short leg off Sajid Khan.
The replay showed that the ball only hit his pad and was going down the leg.
Sajid was rewarded for his persistency as he trapped Mehidy Hasan leg before for 11.
Substitute Nurul replaced Yasir after Mehidy’s dismissal and barely survived a strong caught behind appeal just before lunch.


New coronavirus cases fall to 1.5 year low in Pakistan 

Updated 29 November 2021

New coronavirus cases fall to 1.5 year low in Pakistan 

  • 176 new infections and nine deaths recorded in the last 24 hours according to government data
  • Country last saw daily case count lower than 176 on April 5 when Pakistan recorded 172 cases

ISLAMABAD: Coronavirus cases in Pakistan fell to a 1.5 year low on Monday, with only 176 new infections recorded in the last 24 hours.
Pakistan, a country of over 220 million people, has so far reported 1,284,365 total infections and less than 30,000 deaths.
According to Pakistan’s federal coronavirus response body, the NCOC, nine people died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, and the positivity ratio has fallen to 0.59 percent.


The country last saw a daily case count lower than 176 on April 5 when 172 cases were recorded.
Pakistan is reporting 331 new infections on average each day, 6 percent of the peak — the highest daily average reported on June 17.
Pakistan has administered at least 122,319,215 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, this is enough to have vaccinated about 28.2 percent of the country’s population.

 


Pakistan says hopes to keep educational institutes open amid new Omicron variant

Updated 29 November 2021

Pakistan says hopes to keep educational institutes open amid new Omicron variant

  • Detection of Omicron has triggered global alarm as governments around the world scramble to impose new travel curbs 
  • Growing fears the variant could resist vaccinations and upend a nascent economic reopening after a two-year global pandemic

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood said on Monday the Pakistan government wanted to continue education activities and keep schools and colleges open amid reports of a new COVID-19 variant named Omicron.
The Omicron variant spread around the world on Sunday, with new cases found in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia even as more countries imposed travel restrictions to try to seal themselves off.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was not yet clear whether Omicron, first detected in Southern Africa, is more transmissible than other variants, or if it causes more severe disease.
Speaking to the media in Lahore, Mahmood said he was not aware of the details about the new strain but “there should not be any disruption in education.”
“Examinations would be held on time and with complete syllabus as decided by the education ministers,” The News quoted Mahmood as saying.
Pakistan resumed regular classes at all educational institutes around the country last month.
On Saturday, Pakistan banned travel from six South African countries and Hong Kong following the emergence of the new coronavirus variant.
“Based on the emergence of the new covid variant, notification has been issued to restrict travel from 6 south African countries and Hong Kong,” Minister for Planning, Development Asad Umar had announced on Twitter. “The emergence of new variant makes it even more urgent to vaccinate all eligible citizens 12 years and older.”


The WHO has said preliminary data suggested that there were increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, “but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection.”
It said understanding the level of severity of Omicron “will take days to several weeks.”
The detection of Omicron has triggered global alarm as governments around the world scrambled to impose new travel curbs and financial markets sold-off, fearing the variant could resist vaccinations and upend a nascent economic reopening after a two-year global pandemic.
In its statement, the WHO said it was working with technical experts to understand the potential impact of the variant on existing countermeasures against COVID-19, including vaccines.