Pak skipper Babar Azam named ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2nd straight year

News Network
January 26, 2023


Pakistan captain Babar Azam was named as winner of the ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year 2022 award, winning the coveted honour for the second year in a row. He had competition from Australia's leg-spinner Adam Zampa, West Indies' opener Shai Hope and Zimbabwe's off-spin all-rounder Sikandar Raza.

Azam played only nine ODI matches in 2022, but the 28-year-old made them count as he smashed three centuries, a further five half-centuries and only really failed with the bat on one occasion.

He has been at the top of the men's ODI player rankings since July 2021, scoring 679 runs at a stunning average of 84.87 in the nine matches he played in 2022, registering eight scores of more than fifty, three of which he converted into hundreds.

Azam had a memorable year as captain of the Pakistan ODI team, winning three out of three series. Pakistan were unstoppable in the ODI format, losing just one match (against Australia) out of nine.

His best effort in ODIs this year was 114 against Australia in Lahore. Set a daunting target of 349 by Australia, Azam put on a masterclass in chasing a total. Walking out to bat when his team needed 231 from 187 balls, Babar almost took his side home with an exceptional display of shot-making.

Azam brought up his hundred off just 73 balls, his fastest ever in ODI cricket and stuck around till the 44th over. The rest of the batters finished the job as they recorded their highest-ever successful chase in ODIs, with Azam deservedly named Player of the Match.

ICC also said Richard Illingworth won the award for Umpire of the Year in 2022. Illingworth, who played nine Tests and 25 ODIs for England as a left-arm spinner from 1991-1996, had won the honour earlier in 2019 and is now a two-time ICC Umpire of the Year. 


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News Network
November 29,2023


Naseem, Nasir, Firoz, Irshad, Munna, Monu, Wakeel, Rashid, Ankur, Saurabh, Devendra and Jatin. These 12 ‘rat-miners’ from Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh had asked for 36 hours to dig their way to the 41 men stuck inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi since November 12. Ultimately, they did the job within 27 hours, leading to triumph for the human spirit in the long tunnel rescue operation.

But there were other heroes too. One was the six-inch pipe that reached the labourers on November 20, bringing them the much-needed communication line and solid food, which improved their morale and did not let the spirits down. The other key factor was that two of the stuck labourers, Gabbar Singh and Shaba Ahmed, took the leadership role inside the tunnel and motivated other workers and ensured that the team-spirit and morale remained high.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Singh and Ahmed during his 15-minute long phone-call to the 41 labourers last night and praised the duo for showing their leadership. “Some university should do a case-study on the leadership showed by you both village men. You motivated your fellow labourers,” the PM said. Singh and Ahmed told Modi how labourers kept themselves busy by hearing songs, doing Yoga and taking long walks inside the tunnel.

Prolonged effort

When the debris collapse in the Silkyara tunnel was reported at 5:30 am on November 12, the Centre had immediately swung into action. The Auger drilling machine was air-lifted to the site and drilling began to get to the labourers. Things were tough till November 20 as only a four-inch pipe was the bridge to the stuck labourers and they had to survive only on dry fruits. But on November 20, a six-inch pipe could reach the labourers in a breakthrough.

This proved to be a lifeline as a communication line could be then established by BSNL with the workers and a camera was sent to get videos of the workers. Solid food was also sent in along with medicines and phone chargers to keep the workers healthy and in high spirits. The workers could use the phone line to speak to the authorities, psychologists deputed at the tunnel as well as their families. This improved the morale of the stuck labourers, authorities said.

This softened the blow that was suffered in the rescue after the Auger machine broke down on November 17. The authorities went by expert advice and the 12 rat-hole miners were called in earlier this week from a Delhi-based firm to carry out manual digging at the site since Monday. The rat-miners had apparently asked for 36 hours to complete the job as two of them manually dug into the debris while the rest of the rat-miners took the debris out of the tunnel.

The rat-miners achieved the breakthrough within 27 hours, ahead of their own target, and finally a welded pipe was inserted last evening to pull the 41 workers out. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) men went in to the bring the workers out of the pipe and the entire process was completed within 45 minutes after the youngest worker came out at 7:50 pm. Ultimately, the ‘whole of government’ approach from the central and state in mission mode, and the rat-hole miners did wonders.


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News Network
November 18,2023


An Israeli strike on Khan Younis in Gaza has killed dozens of Palestinians, mostly children, Palestinian news agency Wafa has reported.

The attack on Saturday morning (November 18) marked a dramatic escalation of airstrikes on southern Gaza by Israel.

The director of the Nasser hospital was quoted as saying that the facility had received 26 dead bodies and 23 people with serious injuries after a strike on a residential building in the city of Hamad.

For the past 42 days, the Israeli military has been pounding northern Gaza, telling residents to flee to south.

The attack on Khan Youni came just after Israel issued warnings to Palestinians in the southern city to relocate west, indicating an attack was imminent.

With the conflict entering its 43rd day, the death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 12,000 Palestinians, with the majority of those killed being women and children.

Israeli troops on Saturday ordered the evacuation of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City "in the next hour" over loudspeakers as troops combed the facility, news agencies reported.

Al-Shifa Hospital -- Gaza's biggest -- has become the focus of Israeli attacks in its ruthless invasion of the city.

The United Nations estimated 2,300 patients, staff and displaced Palestinians were sheltering at al-Shifa before Israeli troops moved in on Wednesday.

The health ministry in Gaza has announced dozens of deaths there as a result of power cuts caused by fuel shortages amid intense combat.

Israel has made repeated calls for the hospital to be evacuated to the south, however medical professionals say the patients cannot be moved.

Hospital director Mohammed Abu Salmiya told AFP Israeli troops instructed him to ensure "the evacuation of patients, wounded, the displaced and medical staff, and that they should move on foot towards the seafront".

Forty patients at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza have died since November 11 due to a lack of electricity, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

In an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic, the general manager for the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Munir al-Barsh, said Israeli forces removed more than 100 bodies from al-Shifa Hospital.

Barsh said that Israeli forces removed 15 bodies from a mass grave, with a total of around 130 bodies taken from the hospital.  

The remaining functioning hospitals in Gaza are on the brink of collapse, even as more and more wounded and dead arrive on their doorsteps.

In the West Bank city of Nablus, at least five Palestinians were killed and several more sustained injuries when an Israeli air strike targeted a building at a refugee camp.

Wafa said the aerial strike targeted the local headquarters of the Palestinian Fatah resistance movement at Balata refugee camp early on Saturday.

Witnesses said the strike appeared to have come from a drone, though there was no immediate confirmation.

Local sources indicated that a number of young men were present in the building, including a number of those persecuted by the Israeli military.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) announced in a statement that its medics were dealing with five serious injuries from the attack, all of them men ranging from 19 to 25 years in age.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that four of those killed were affiliated with al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, the armed wing of the Fatah faction.

Elsewhere in the northeastern West Bank city of Tubas, an 18-year-old Palestinian, identified as Omar al-Shahrouri, was killed and two others injured as clashes broke out after Israeli forces stormed the area in large numbers.

Palestinian medics said three young men suffered from gunshot injuries during the clashes. One of them was pronounced dead upon his arrival at hospital. 

Earlier on Friday, Israeli forces shot and killed two young Palestinian men over an alleged shooting attempt in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli military alleged in a statement that the pair arrived in a car at the Zaytoun Junction near the city of al-Khalil, located 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of al-Quds, and opened fire on Israeli troops stationed there. The soldiers then fatally shot both of them.

Israeli forces have escalated raids on Palestinian towns and villages and carried out a sweeping campaign of arrests in the occupied West Bank, where Palestinians have held protests in solidarity with their compatriots in the Gaza Strip.

At least 186 Palestinians, including 51 children, have been killed by Israeli troops in the West Bank since the Gaza war erupted in early October. An additional eight have been killed by extremist Jewish settlers, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry figures.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the coastal enclave, including hospitals, residences, and houses of worship, since Palestinian resistance movements launched their surprise attack, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, against the regime on October 7.


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News Network
November 23,2023


Israel says there will be no halt to the fighting in the Gaza Strip, as it continues to bombard the besieged enclave despite agreeing to a four-day truce with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

An unnamed Israeli official told AFP early on Thursday that the temporary ceasefire and the planned release of prisoners have been delayed and will not come into effect until Friday at the earliest.

The official’s comments came after Tzachi Hanegbi, an adviser to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said none of the prisoners held by Hamas in Gaza would be freed before Friday.

“The release will begin according to the original agreement between the parties, and not before Friday,” he said in a statement on Wednesday night, adding that talks on the deal were continuing.

Hanegbi gave no reason for the delay, and it was not clear when Israel would begin a four-day pause in its attacks on Gaza, which was expected to take effect at 10 a.m. local time Thursday.

Early on Wednesday, Hamas announced a four-day truce with Israel in the Gaza Strip that will see the cessation of Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip.

Hamas said in a statement that the deal, mediated by Qatar and Egypt, will allow the entry of hundreds of humanitarian, medical and fuel aid trucks to Gaza.

The deal will also see the release of 50 Israeli war prisoners in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinian women and children from the occupying entity’s jails.

Meanwhile, Israel has continued to attack Gaza in the hours after an agreement was reached between the two sides for a truce, striking various parts across the blockaded territory and leaving many injured.

Local sources reported that Israeli airstrikes targeted a house in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, wounding a number of people, according to Palestine’s official WAFA news agency.

Israeli warplanes also bombed the town of al-Fokhari, east of the southern city of Khan Yunis.

The Israeli military also pounded Beit Lahia town in the north of the Gaza Strip, as well as Beit Hanoun and the Jabalia refugee camp, leaving dozens of citizens dead or injured.

Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out a surprise attack, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, into the occupied territories in response to the occupying regime’s intensified crimes against the Palestinian people.

According to the Gaza-based health ministry, at least 14,500 Palestinians have been killed in the strikes, most of them women and children, and injured around 35,000 others.

Tel Aviv has also imposed a “complete siege” on Gaza, cutting off fuel, electricity, food and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there. 


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