Rizwan to play in Pakistan’s Asia Cup clash against Afghanistan today— cricket board

Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan leaves the field after being dismissed during the Asia Cup Twenty20 international cricket Super Four match between India and Pakistan in Dubai, UAE on September 4, 2022. (AFP)
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Updated 07 September 2022

Rizwan to play in Pakistan’s Asia Cup clash against Afghanistan today— cricket board

  • Rizwan suffered a strain after during Sunday’s match against India
  • Rizwan being monitored by team medics, says PCB

ISLAMABAD: In-form Pakistani batter Muhammad Rizwan will play today, Wednesday, against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup 2022 clash between the two sides, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed.

Afghanistan began their bid for Asia Cup 2022 on a strong note, defeating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in their opening two games in the tournament. However, Afghanistan lost to Sri Lanka by four wickets last week.

Pakistan have already been jolted by injuries to pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani and Mohammad Wasim. Afridi and Wasim have been ruled out of the tournament.

Rizwan suffered a strain after making a risky landing on his right leg in a match against India. The opening batter did not train with the team at the ICC Cricket Academy in Dubai on Tuesday.

“He [Rizwan] is being monitored by the team medics and he will be available to play tomorrow’s match against Afghanistan in Sharjah,” the PCB said on Tuesday.

Pakistan, on the other hand, have won their last two encounters against Hong Kong and India. To qualify for the final, Pakistan have to win at least one of their two remaining matches in the tournament and finish with a better net run rate than either Afghanistan or Sri Lanka.

Rizwan was instrumental in Pakistan’s victory over India on Sunday, scoring an impressive 71 off 51 balls to see his team through to the Super Four stage.

Pakistan, one of the strongest contenders for the title this year, have won the trophy only twice— once in 2000 and the second time in 2012.

Trevor Peek ‘has a tough fight in front of him and I’m coming for the kill,’ says UAE’s mixed martial arts warrior

Updated 24 September 2023

Trevor Peek ‘has a tough fight in front of him and I’m coming for the kill,’ says UAE’s mixed martial arts warrior

  • Mohammad Yahya will make his UFC bow against Peek on Oct. 21 at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena
  • Yahya believes the home court advantage will tip the odds in his favor

A month out from his historic debut in the UFC next month, UAE’s Mohammad Yahya is already talking a big game.

The first fighter from the Emirates, and the Gulf region, to sign with the world’s leading MMA promotion, Yahya will make his UFC bow against Trevor Peek on Oct. 21 at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena.

Peek may have experience on his side given it will be his third UFC outing, but Yahya believes the home court advantage will tip the odds in his favor.

“He has one win, one loss in the UFC. But he’s coming to my turf, he’s coming to my land, so he’s the one who’s going to be nervous,” Yahya told Arab News in an interview.

“I’ve fought in Etihad Arena, I defended my belt there, three, four times. That arena is basically my home. So he’s coming to fight me there, he’s the one who needs to be nervous and he has a tough fight in front of him and I’m coming for the kill.”

Yahya’s words sound all the more convincing when you realize that they are accompanied by a soft-spoken voice and an ice-cold demeanor.

The 29-year-old has indeed defended his UAE Warriors Arabia lightweight championship title on three occasions at Abu Dhabi’s state-of-the-art indoor arena, most recently last February, and enters his clash with Peek at UFC 294 carrying a five-fight winning streak.

Based in Dubai and training out of TK MMA Fit gym in Media City, Yahya first fell in love with mixed martial arts at the age of 14, watching it on television with his brother and cousins.

“My brother said it’s kind of like WWE, but they actually fight. I was shocked that they were actually hitting each other for real and they’re fighting,” Yahya said.

“And then over the years we just kept following the UFC, watching the events and then the Ultimate Fighter came out, I watched a few of their seasons.

“I wanted to find somewhere to train in the UAE but there weren’t that many gyms, so I ended up finding some kung fu gym and trained there; ended up loving it and had my first fight and just loved it and kept on doing it.”

Yahya began his career in Tam Khan’s Dubai Fighting Championship in 2012 before joining regional promotion Desert Force. He signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator in 2017 then made his way to UAE Warriors two years later.

It has admittedly been a long road, but Yahya insists that he always knew the day would come where he would step into the octagon on the sport’s grandest stage.

“Honestly from a very young age, I always knew I would (make it to the UFC). I stood out and I always put the training in,” he said.

“I think anyone can achieve their dreams with a lot of hard work and determination. And obviously we are in the land of opportunities, the fight capital of Abu Dhabi.

“I had a feeling that I was going to be on this card for maybe about a year. I knew UFC came last year. And then I said, ‘OK, maybe I’ll get on next one’. Then I see the poster and I just felt like I would be on this event and I finally got the opportunity.”

Yahya has had the support of his parents from the start and says that they were particularly pleased with how it introduced discipline to his life “in a different way” during his teen years.

“I was doing better in school, I wasn’t getting in trouble and they could see how dedicated I was to the sport. Now they’re super proud of me that I’m in the UFC,” he said.

“It’s called mixed martial arts, it’s an art. And some people love to express their feelings in what they do and how they perform. So it might look like a crazy sport to some people, and violent, but it’s basically our way of expressing ourselves to people.”

Yahya comes off as an exceptionally calm person, and he says that it is an attribute he relies on heavily in the cage.

“I’m kind of calm in the cage, too. When I was younger, I was more energetic and more wild but now I feel like I’m just focused and I’m very wise and do what I need to do in the cage,” he said.

That level-headedness will come in handy as the hype continues to build up for UFC 294, which will be headlined by Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira, in a rematch of their UFC 280 bout in Abu Dhabi last year.

Yahya is well aware that being the first from the GCC region comes with great responsibility and this is something that he does not taking lightly.

“Obviously, I’m representing the whole nation, I’m representing my country as I’ve always done. I wouldn’t have accepted this opportunity if I wasn’t ready. I knew I can do this and I’m looking to make a lot of people proud on 21 October,” he said.

“My approach is as every fight, normally I’m very calm for the fight, I’m never nervous. Obviously, this is a whole different game, it’s the Ultimate Fighting Championship, so it’s the ultimate. And obviously there’s going to be 15,000 16,000 people there and observe. I think the last pay-per-view on this when Islam and Oliveira fought, it sold 50 million pay-per-views, or 40 million pay-per-views.

“No one wants to get knocked out in front of those people and lose. So I’m taking this fight very seriously. The pressure is obviously there but you have to overcome it, that’s what makes you different to other people, it’s how you deal with all that pressure.”

Dominant champion Al-Qemzi grabs pole in Portugal

Updated 24 September 2023

Dominant champion Al-Qemzi grabs pole in Portugal

  • Team Abu Dhabi star underlines F2 superiority as battle for silver and bronze goes down to the wire

VILA VELHA DE RODAO: Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al-Qemzi underlined his dominance of the 2023 UIM F2 World Championship on Saturday with another stunning performance to secure pole position for Sunday’s final Grand Prix of the season in Portugal.

Having wrapped up his fourth F2 world title with one round to spare last weekend, the Emirati driver produced another impressive display to win the seven-boat qualifying shoot-out in dramatic fashion at Vila Velha de Rodao.

Lithuania’s Edgaras Riabko briefly looked to be heading for a repeat of his pole position success in Peso da Regua when he squeezed ahead of Al-Qemzi late in the session, but the champion responded with a brilliant final lap to take the honors.

Norway’s Tobias Munthe-Kaas set the third-fastest qualifying time ahead of Portugal’s Duarte Benavente, Estonian Stefan Arand, Team Abu Dhabi’s Mansoor Al-Mansoori and Sweden’s Mathilda Wiberg.

While the title race pressure is removed for Al-Qemzi, he is determined to complete the season with a third Grand Prix success of the campaign tomorrow afternoon following wins in Lithuania and Italy.

The battle for the championship’s silver and bronze medal positions is still wide open, however, and there was fierce competition for qualifying places, with the intensity set to continue tomorrow.

It was on the Tagus River at Vila Velha de Rodao two years ago that Al-Qemzi scored a second Grand Prix victory in the space of eight days to wrap up his third F2 world title.

Happy to be back at the venue, a week after adding to his title triumphs in 2017, 2019 and 2021, Al-Qemzi was fastest in the free practice session, while Abu Dhabi teammate Al-Mansoori made a late surge to set the third-best time.

Al-Qemzi then cruised through the first of two qualifying rounds behind Benavente, with Wiberg setting the third-quickest time ahead of Al-Mansoori.

With just 13 points separating Riabko, Arand, Monaco’s Giacomo Sacchi, Britain’s Colin Jelf and Al-Mansoori in the tussle for the two remaining overall podium places, the stage is set for a big climax to the season.

It has been a fiercely competitive championship season, and Al-Qemzi has risen to the challenge superbly to join Swede Erik Stark in the record books as a four-time F2 champion.

Ominous China make golden start on first day of Asian Games

Updated 24 September 2023

Ominous China make golden start on first day of Asian Games

  • China won six of the seven golds at the Fuyang Water Sports Center rowing venue on Sunday morning
  • Sun successfully defended his men’s changquan wushu title from 2018, ahead of Indonesia’s Edgar Xavier Marvelo

HANGZHOU: Hosts China swept the first gold medals at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Sunday in a statement of intent on day one of the region’s answer to the Olympics.

China claimed the first gold when Zou Jiaqi and Qiu Xiuping dominated the women’s lightweight double sculls rowing to kick off a medal rush for the home nation.

The Chinese pair finished in 7min 6.78sec, with Uzbekistan’s Luizakhon Islamova and Malika Tagmativa taking silver — almost 10 seconds behind.

“I am very excited as it’s my first Asian Games,” said Zou, clutching her gold medal.

“Stepping on to the podium today is a new starting point to help us prepare for next year’s Paris Olympics,” said Qiu.

Indonesia’s Chelsea Corputty and Rahma Mutiara Putri won bronze.

The hosts soon doubled up on the rowing lake as the men’s lightweight double sculls gold was won by Fan Junjie and Sun Man, who finished five seconds clear of India’s Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh.

China won six of the seven golds at the Fuyang Water Sports Center rowing venue on Sunday morning with only Hong Kong’s Lam San-tung and Wong Wai-chun getting in on the party by winning the men’s pairs.

China’s shooters also claimed the women’s 10m team air rifle.

The hosts’ rip-roaring start to the 19th Asian Games, which end on October 8, continued as Sun Peiyuan won the first martial arts gold.

Sun successfully defended his men’s changquan wushu title from 2018, ahead of Indonesia’s Edgar Xavier Marvelo with Macau’s Song Chi-kuan third.

“I’m so very excited, I’m lost for words,” said Sun.

China won 10 of the first 11 golds in the early action on Sunday.

Swimming is one of the highlights of the Games and will see seven finals later on Sunday at the Hangzhou Olympic Center Aquatic Sports Arena, where China are also expected to dominate.

Triple breaststroke world champion Qin Haiyang upstaged Olympic gold medallist Wang Shun in the morning heats to qualify fastest for the men’s 200m individual medley final.

Qin burst on to the scene at the July world championships in Fukuoka, becoming the first man in history to sweep all three breaststroke titles and also setting a new world record in the 200m.

Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Zhang Yufei, also from the host nation, fired off a warning shot of her own with a dominant 200m butterfly swim, touching more than three seconds clear of teammate Yu Liyan and Japan’s Airi Mitsui.

South Korean sensation Hwang Sun-woo got the better of breakout Chinese freestyler Pan Zhanle in their 100m heat, though China’s Wang Haoyu qualified fastest in 48.13.

Elsewhere, India’s women cricketers ripped through Bangladesh, dismissing them for just 51 in the first semifinal.

They knocked off their target in just 8.2 overs and will face either Pakistan or Sri Lanka in Monday’s final of the Twenty20 competition.

Other sports beginning on Sunday include boxing, rugby sevens, hockey and the wildly popular eSports — where superstars such as South Korea’s “Faker” are expected to draw huge crowds for its debut as a full Asian Games medal event.

President Xi Jinping opened the Games on Saturday night after a delay of a year because of China’s now-abandoned zero-COVID policy.

With more than 12,000 competitors from 45 nations and territories, the Asian Games has more participants than the Olympics.

They will battle for medals in 40 sports across 54 venues.

Most events take place in Hangzhou, a city of 12 million people near Shanghai, but some sports are being staged in cities as far afield as Wenzhou, 300 kilometers (180 miles) to the south.

Pakistan face hosts Saudi Arabia in six-nation women’s football tournament today

Updated 24 September 2023

Pakistan face hosts Saudi Arabia in six-nation women’s football tournament today

  • Six-nation tournament features Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bhutan, Lebanon, Laos and Malaysia
  • Pakistan last faced Saudi Arabia in January this year, drawing 1-1 against the formidable side 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan women’s football team will take on hosts Saudi Arabia today, Sunday, when the two sides meet in a six-nation football tournament match at the King Fahd Stadium in Taif city. 

The women’s football tournament features Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Laos, Malaysia and Bhutan. Pakistan, led by skipper Maria Jamil Khan, ended up drawing 0-0 against Malaysia on Thursday. 

“Pakistan’s quest for glory resumes against Saudi Arabia,” the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. 



Pakistan last traveled to Saudi Arabia in January this year to participate in a four-nation tournament that also featured Comoros and Mauritius. The South Asian side beat Comoros before losing to Mauritius 2-1 but ended the tournament on an impressive note, drawing 1-1 against a formidable Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom ended up winning the tournament.

However, Khan’s free kick goal against Saudi Arabia managed to garner praise after it went viral on social media. 



Among the recent achievements of the Pakistani women’s football team is a thumping 7-0 victory over Maldives in the South Asian Football Federation championship in September 2022. In April this year, Pakistan defied all odds and emerged victorious with a 1-0 win over Tajikistan in the qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

It was Pakistan’s first win at a major global tournament since returning to regular international football in September 2022 after a long hiatus. Previously, the team had only bagged wins in friendly matches or exhibition tournaments like the Four-Nation Cup in Saudi Arabia. 

Saudi Crown wins $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on sloppy track

Updated 24 September 2023

Saudi Crown wins $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on sloppy track

  • Saudi Crown outlasted a late challenge from Dreamlike to win his first career Grade 1 stakes
  • Cox said Saudi Crown could run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita

BENSALEM, Pennsylvania: Saudi Crown led all the way to win the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby by a half-length on a sloppy track Saturday at Parx Racing.

Tropical Storm Ophelia brought rain to the suburban Philadelphia track, where Saudi Crown outlasted a late challenge from Dreamlike to win his first career Grade 1 stakes.

“He broke like a rocket and from there I thought I was in a great spot,” winning jockey Florent Geroux said. “He’s a 3-year-old this year. It’s just too bad because he came very late to the party.”

Saudi Crown ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.62. He paid $4.20, $3 and $2.60 to win as the wagering for trainer Brad Cox. Saudi Crown is a son of 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.

Saudi Crown had been idle since finishing a nose behind Forte in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 29. He was also second by a nose in the Dwyer at Belmont on May 21.

“He gained a lot of experience and has been battle-tested in his last two runs,” Cox said. “He is two noses from being undefeated. Very proud of what he did.”

Cox said Saudi Crown could run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita.

Dreamlike returned $7 and $4.80.

“He was closing,” Dreamlike’s jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said. “For a second I thought if that horse (Saudi Crown) would just come back a little I could get there.”

Il Miracolo was another six lengths back in third and paid $7.60 to show.

Jessica Paquette became the first woman to call a Grade 1 stakes in North America. The 38-year-old was hired as track announcer last November.

Magic Tap was fourth, followed by Crupi, the Bob Baffert-trained Reincarnate, Gilmore, Daydreaming Boy, West Coast Cowboy, Scotland and Modern Era.