Yorkshire link up with Pakistan Super League team after racism scandal
A Pakistani-born former cricketer made accusations of racism and bullying at the English county team in September 2020
Yorkshire has now partnered with Lahore Qalandars and will institutionalize a player exchange program
Updated 21 December 2021
LONDON: Yorkshire announced on Tuesday they had formed a partnership with Pakistan Super League team Lahore Qalandars that includes a player exchange program following a damaging racism scandal at the English club.
Pakistan-born former player Azeem Rafiq accused Yorkshire of failing to deal adequately with his allegations of abuse while at the county, saying he had been driven to thoughts of suicide.
The chairman and chief executive left the club in November, followed earlier this month by the entire coaching staff.
Yorkshire, who have been accused of failing to nurture local cricketers of South Asian descent on their doorstep, said the new partnership was a chance to “learn from and emulate” the Qalandars’ player development program, which provides opportunities and kit to more than 150 young players.
Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf will join Yorkshire as an overseas player for part of next season as part of the exchange program aimed at enabling international players to learn from each other.
Scholarships will be available for young players from Yorkshire to play in Lahore and there will be opportunities for cricketers from Pakistan to come to England.
In addition, Yorkshire will play the Qalandars in a friendly fixture at Lahore’s Qaddafi Stadium on January 16.
Kamlesh Patel, the new chairman of Yorkshire, said he hoped the partnership would help create a county “that is welcoming and supportive to all.”
“The work the Lahore Qalandars do both on and off the pitch is remarkable and can serve as a benchmark for clubs around the world — ours included — for how best to spot, foster and support talent at all levels in the game of cricket,” he added.
Interim director of cricket Darren Gough said he was “thrilled” to welcome Rauf, who has played one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket for Pakistan, and excited by the opportunity to learn from the player development program.
“For many people from a background like mine, cricket isn’t seen as an option, with the associated costs and access to facilities creating real barriers to entry,” said the former Yorkshire and England fast bowler.
“This partnership is an opportunity to take the blueprint the Qalandars has developed to such a success and work with them to define how that can be used to provide access for potential players from across Yorkshire.”
Police said torrential monsoon rain inundated the mine in Jhampir in Sindh province
Poverty and the weak implementation of labour laws see millions of children exploited
Updated 10 sec ago
KARACHI: A 12-year-old boy suspected to be working illegally at a coal mine was among at least nine people killed by a flash flood at a quarry in southern Pakistan, officials said Thursday.
Police said torrential monsoon rain inundated the mine in Jhampir, 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Karachi.
Poverty and the weak implementation of labour laws see millions of children exploited in often hazardous work environments in Pakistan.
"The mine is about 350 feet (110 metres) deep and we are trying to recover the body of the boy," Zahid Sheikh, a local police officer told AFP.
The chief minister of southern Sindh province, where the mine is located, has ordered an enquiry, officials said.
KARACHI: A 17-year old Belgian-British pilot who is attempting to become the youngest person to fly across the world solo in a small plane canceled his scheduled flight to Karachi from Dubai on Thursday afternoon due to unfavorable weather conditions, his team said.
Mack Rutherford was scheduled to land in Karachi at 2pm PST and stay for two-days before flying onwards to the Indian city of Ahmedabad as part of his journey to fly to 52 countries in five continents to break the record of Travis Ludlow, who completed the feat in 2021 at 18.
Rutherford will now re-attempt to fly to the Pakistani port city on Friday morning.
Rutherford comes from a family of aviators and was inspired to take on his latest journey by his sister, Zara Rutherford, who in January this year became the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. He wanted to fly since he was eleven, having flown hundreds of hours with his father who is a professional pilot. He received his microlight pilot’s license when he was 15.3 years old, making him at the time the youngest pilot in the world.
“With this trip, I hope to show that young people can make a difference and that you don’t have to wait until you are 18 to follow your dreams,” Rutherford told Arab News from Dubai. “You can start working toward them now.”
“I am expecting an amazing and unique experience in Pakistan,” he added. “I have heard Pakistan is very different from other places with deserts and mountains and I can’t wait to see it for myself.”
“I am happy to find out what the local food is and try it out,” he added.
Rutherford started his journey in March from Sofia, Bulgaria, from where he flew south across the Mediterranean and through the Sahara to the Congolese jungle. Turning east through Mozambique and Madagascar, he reached the far eastern Mauritius island of Rodrigues. He then north through his first antipodal point before continuing through the Seychelles and the Yemeni island of Socotra.
He then went onwards through Oman and the UAE. Rutherford arrived in Dubai five weeks ago and struggled to get an Iranian visa but changed his plan and decided to skip Iran. He also couldn’t make it to Russia due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
He will now fly onwards to India, China, South Korea and Japan, then enter Alaska and go down the West Coast of the US, to Baja California, and a small island in the Pacific, Isla Socorro, his second and last antipodal.
The last leg of Rutherford’s journey will take him through mainland Mexico and Texas, to New York and Canada. He will also visit Greenland and Iceland to cross the Atlantic to Scotland before continuing through England to Belgium and returning to Sofia.
“I want to use the opportunity to meet young people on my route who do incredible things, making a difference to their communities or even to the world,” Rutherford said. “Often few people know about them. Together we can show that young people make a difference.”
Rutherford said his journey had been “amazing” so far.
“I had some amazing flights over Kenya and Sudan,” he told Arab News. “Where I was able to see incredible deserts and wildlife.”
Pakistani policeman killed, 4 wounded in hand grenade attack
Officers transported the dead and wounded to a nearby hospital after the assault in Mardan
No one immediately claimed responsibility and the attackers’ identities were not released
Updated 07 July 2022
PESHAWAR: Attackers threw a hand grenade at a roadside police post in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing an officer and wounding four people before fleeing the scene, local officials said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility and the attackers’ identities were not released after the assault in Mardan, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan.
Police spokesman Adnan Khan said officers transported the dead and wounded to a nearby hospital. He provided no further details and said officers were still investigating.
Pakistan’s northwestern former tribal regions share a lengthy porous border with Afghanistan and for years served as a safe haven for militants. The military carried out massive operations to clear the area, forcing the militants to escape into Afghanistan or hide in other areas near the border.
'In the mouth of dragons': Melting glaciers threaten Pakistan’s north
Pakistan is home to more than 7,000 glaciers, more than anywhere else on Earth outside the poles
Rising global temperatures linked to climate change are causing the glaciers to rapidly melt
Updated 07 July 2022
HASSANABAD, Pakistan: As dawn broke over Javed Rahi’s Pakistani mountain village, a loud boom shattered the silence and a torrent of water came cascading down from the melting glacier nearby, followed by a thick cloud of smoke.
Rahi, a retired maths teacher, had been due to attend his nephew’s wedding the day the flood rushed through the village of Hassanabad.
“I expected women and children to sing and dance... Instead I heard them screaming in terror,” the 67-year-old said.
“It was like doomsday.”
The flood — which occurred as a heatwave was gripping South Asia in May — swept away nine homes in the village and damaged half a dozen more.
The water also washed away two small hydro plants and a bridge that connected the remote community to the outside world.
Pakistan is home to more than 7,000 glaciers, more than anywhere else on Earth outside the poles.
Rising global temperatures linked to climate change are causing the glaciers to rapidly melt, creating thousands of glacial lakes.
The government has warned that 33 of these lakes — all located in the spectacular Himalaya, Hindu Kush and Karakoram mountain ranges that intersect in Pakistan — are at risk of bursting and releasing millions of cubic meters of water and debris in just a few hours, like in Hassanabad.
At least 16 such glacial lake outburst floods linked to heatwaves have occurred this year already, compared with an average of five or six per year, the Pakistani government said earlier this week.
The devastation caused by such floods makes recovery for impacted communities an arduous task.
After disaster struck Hassanabad, Rahi and fellow villagers who lost their homes had to move to a nearby camp for displaced people.
Inside their makeshift tents are the few belongings they managed to salvage and mattresses to sleep on.
“We never thought we would fall from riches to rags,” Rahi said.
Pakistan is the world’s eighth most vulnerable country to extreme weather caused by climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index compiled by the environmental NGO Germanwatch.
The country is experiencing earlier, hotter and more frequent heatwaves, with temperatures already hitting 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) this year.
Floods and droughts in recent years have killed and displaced thousands of people, destroyed livelihoods, and damaged infrastructure.
According to the UN Development Programme, a lack of information on glacial changes in Pakistan makes it difficult to predict hazards originating from them.
Although Hassanabad had an early warning system in place — including cameras that monitor water flow in glacial lakes — the villagers believed they were living high enough above the water to avoid any impact, according to local officials.
Zahida Sher, who lost her home in the Hassanabad flood, said the power of the water took out buildings that had previously been considered safe.
The mountain communities depend on their livestock, orchards, farms and tourism for survival, but climate change threatens all of it.
“Our economy is agrarian and people don’t have enough resources to move from here,” said Sher, a researcher for a local development NGO.
Siddique Ullah Baig, a disaster risk reduction analyst in the northern region, said around seven million people are vulnerable to such events, but many are not aware of the gravity of the threat.
“People are still constructing homes in areas declared as a red zone for flooding. Our people are not aware and prepared to deal with any possible disaster,” he told AFP.
Further north of Hassanabad lies Passu, another precarious hamlet that has already lost around 70 percent of its population and area after being hit by floods and natural river erosion.
The village is sandwiched between White glacier in the south, Batura glacier in the north and the Hunza River in the east — three forces given the respectful title of “dragons” because of their destructive power.
“Passu village lies in the mouths of these three dragons,” said local scholar Ali Qurban Mughani, pointing to the centuries-old bodies of dense ice towering over the village.
As he spoke, laborers worked on a protective concrete wall on a riverbank — a bid to shield the village from further erosion.
Kamran Iqbal invested 500,000 rupees (around $2,400) that he borrowed from a local NGO to open a picnic spot for visitors with a breathtaking view.
The beauty of the glaciers has made the region one of the country’s top tourist destinations.
Business was flourishing until a “horror night” last year when a flash flood washed away Iqbal’s investment.
Even the most ambitious international climate targets of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century could lead to the melting of one third of Pakistan’s glaciers, the Nepal-based scientific organization the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development said in a 2019 study.
“In 2040 we could start facing problems of (water) scarcity that could lead to drought and desertification — and before that we may have to cope with frequent and intense riverine flooding, and of course flash floods,” said Aisha Khan, head of the Mountain and Glacier Protection Organization, which researches glaciers in Pakistan.
Home to more than 220 million people, Pakistan says it is responsible for less than one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Yet it remains highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, dependent on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and natural resources.
“There are no factories or industries here that can cause pollution... We have a clean environment,” said Amanullah Khan, a 60-year village elder in Passu.
“But when it comes to the threats posed by climate change, we are at the forefront.”
Asif Sakhi, a political activist from Passu, said mountain communities were increasingly fearful about the perils posed by glaciers.
“This area belongs to glaciers; we have occupied it,” the 32-year-old said.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s health ministry on Thursday reported nine deaths from coronavirus, the highest single-day death toll since March 8, signaling a rise in the South Asian country’s cases of the infection.
After reporting a significant decline in coronavirus cases over the past couple of months, Pakistan did away with almost all coronavirus restrictions. However, in recent weeks, the country has seen a spike in COVID-19 infections.
The national COVID-19 positivity ratio rose to 3.77 percent in the last 24 hours as nine people passed away from the infection, the National Institute of Health (NIH) said on Thursday. The last time Pakistan reported nine deaths from the infection was on March 8.
Health authorities conducted 23,125 coronavirus tests in the last 24 hours, of which 872 turned out to be positive. Over 165 patients are currently in critical care across the country.
COVID-19 Statistics 07 July 2022
Total Tests in Last 24 Hours: 23,125
Positive Cases: 872
Positivity %: 3.77%
Patients on Critical Care: 165
Pakistan disbanded the National Command and Operations Center, its main pandemic response body, on March 31 as infections fell to the lowest since the outbreak began in 2020.
However, on May 23, Pakistan reconstituted the NCOC at the NIH after health officials detected a new omicron sub-variant in a passenger arriving from Qatar. The new Omicron sub-variant is said to be highly infectious, though not as deadly as previous coronavirus strains.
This week, the NCOC issued fresh guidelines for Eid Al-Adha.
“Eid UI Adha prayers should be organized in open spaces under stringent COVID protocols. In case of any compulsion to offer the prayers inside mosques, then all windows and doors should be kept open for ventilation / to minimize the chances of disease spread,” the NCOC said in a statement earlier this week.
The body said up to three Eid prayers should be organized at a single venue with staggered timings to allow maximum people to offer prayers with COVID-19 protocols in place.
“All ulemas leading Eid prayers should be sensitised to keep sermons ... short so that people remain present in the prayer venues for a brief duration,” the guidelines said. “Efforts should be made to discourage sick, elderly and young children from attending Eid prayers.”
People without face masks should not be allowed to enter prayer venues, the NCOC said, adding that prayer venues should have multiple entry and exit points and venue organizers should ensure the availability of hand sanitisers.
The NCOC said efforts would be made to promote and encourage central and collective sacrifices through various public, private and community organizations, while ensuring adherence to the COVID-19 protocols of mask-wearing, social distancing and avoidance of crowds.