India prevails against Pakistan as Mohammed Farhad gets incredible knockout at BRAVE CF 47

Media Release
March 12, 2021

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The battle between India and Pakistan inside the BRAVE Combat Federation Arena ended with the Indian flag waving around the MMA cage, as Mohammad Farhad, from Maharashtra, defeated Pakistan’s Kareem Uloomi via knockout in the second round.

One of the most anticipated matches of BRAVE CF 47: Asian Domination, event held this Thursday (11) at the Arad Fort, in Arad, Kingdom of Bahrain, Mohammed Farhad vs Kareem Uloomi quickly proved why it was drawing so much attention.

As soon as the bell rang, the two men went for it and started trading blows in the center of the cage. Despite facing a tough and resilient opponent, Farhad’s win came through the core Indian values of skill, composure, intelligence, and lots of heart.

After almost dropping Uloomi in the first round, Farhad was caught by surprise with a hand and got himself under pressure. “Sher-e-Hind”, as he’s also known as, bravely resisted and, when the odds seemed to have turned against him, got a one-punch knockout.

Speaking after the emblematic victory, Farhad dedicated the win to his home country. “I represent 1.1 billion people, we are Indians, that’s what we are all about! It’s your strength that pushes me, I knew I could do it from the moment we stepped into the cage. Thank you!”, he said.

BRAVE Combat Federation, the premier global MMA promotion founded by His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa, from Bahrain, will hold three more events in its home nation in the upcoming weeks, culminating in the organization’s historical 50th fight night at April 1st.

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News Network
April 16,2021

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From playing on the streets of Lahore to the top of the world – batting sensation Babar Azam has officially climbed a summit unreached by any Pakistani since Mohammad Yousuf.

Babar’s spot at the top of the ICC men’s ODI batting rankings was confirmed on Wednesday, to the delight of Pakistani supporters who last saw a batsman from their country occupy the top spot in 2003.

We look back on the 26-year-old sensation’s rise to the top.

THE FORMATIVE YEARS

For Babar, the journey started in the same way it has for so many cricket lovers around the world. Playing on the streets around his family home in Lahore.

By 12 he was playing serious tape-ball cricket and at age 14 he had his first meaningful taste of failure in the sport as he was rejected from the national academy.

It was only a setback. A year later he would gain entry and be declared the country’s best Under-15 batsman. Not that it was easy. He had spent the past year leaving home at 10am in the company of two of his cousins and a friend, walking an hour to Model Town Park where they would set up the nets. They would not come home until 8pm. It was that kind of diligence and hard work that would carry him to the top.

DOMINATING UNDER-19s

In 2009, still only 15 years old, the first signs of a generational talent emerged.

Opening the batting in his first-ever match at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, taking on a West Indies line-up filled with future internationals, he scored a brilliant 129 off 132 deliveries.

Pakistan would go on to finish second at that tournament, with Babar third on the run-scoring charts. He finished with 298 runs at 59.60, ahead of the likes of Joe Root, Ben Stokes and KL Rahul. Competing against players up to three years older than him in New Zealand, he had dominated.

Two years later he found himself leading Pakistan at the U19 Cricket World Cup 2012 in Australia. Once again he finished among the top three run-scorers, making 287 at 57.40 with one century and two fifties.

KNOCKING ON THE DOOR IN DOMESTIC CRICKET

He was still only 17 years old during his second U19 World Cup but by then he had already become a regular in Pakistan’s domestic tournaments.

By age 15 he had made his List A debut and by 16 he was a first-class cricketer for ZTBL.

He would spend five years knocking on the door in domestic cricket before achieving the lifelong dream of representing his nation at the senior level.

In just his second season of List A cricket he averaged 80.25, and he went on to average more than 55 in each of his next two domestic campaigns.

His star waned in his fifth season but in the summer of 2014/15 he returned to his best, smashing 571 runs at 63.44 across 11 List A matches with three centuries to his name.

By the time he received his first ODI cap he already had six centuries and more than 2000 List A runs at an average of 47.88 to his name.

A HOMETOWN DEBUT

Fittingly when he received his first ODI cap, on 31 May 2015, it was in his hometown of Lahore at Gaddafi Stadium. It was just five kilometres away from Model Town Park where he and his friends had once trained.

It had been a landmark month for cricket in Lahore, with the city hosting international fixtures for the first time in six years.

Still only 20 years old, Babar took the occasion in his stride, stroking a 60-ball 54. As would become synonymous with an Babar innings, it was played with a minimum of risks but at an impressive clip.

With wickets falling around him, he dealt his damage mostly in ones and twos, but still raced to his half-century in just 54 balls, with his four boundaries coming off deliveries that asked to be hit.
He had arrived.

A STAR EMERGES

Nowadays, Babar’s place among ODI cricket’s finest players is unquestionable. An average of 56.83 and 13 centuries across just 80 matches will do that sort of thing.

However, across his first year and a half on the international stage there were only signs of promise rather than concrete evidence of a world-class player. Across his first 15 ODIs, he had averaged 37.57, with his five half-centuries as much cause for hope as frustration.

It all changed on the final day of September in 2016 as he punched a delivery from West Indies spinner Sunil Narine through the covers to raise his first ODI century at Sharjah in the UAE.

With that first international century scored, the floodgates were opened.

He notched two more hundreds in his next two innings against the West Indies, becoming the first player to ever score their first three ODI centuries in consecutive innings.

Since that first ton against the West Indies, he has scored 13 hundreds in 65 matches with an average of 61.92.

CHAMPIONS TROPHY WINNER

In 2017, Pakistan won their first global 50-over trophy in 25 years, beating rivals India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy after going into the tournament as firm underdogs.

Babar, not yet born when Imran Khan’s famous outfit won the World Cup in ’92, scored an important 46 in the final and averaged a healthy 44.33 for the tournament.

The men in green received a hero’s welcome on their return to Pakistan, with Babar coming home to see his car sprinkled in petals by his neighbours.

"I always try to give my 100% and want to improve with every passing game," he told reporters at the time. "I am happy that I have contributed in the victories and excited to be a part of this historic moment."

KICKING ON

That desire to continue improving was on show as he notched back-to-back centuries in his first two matches after the Champions Trophy.

Both came against Sri Lanka and both were in the UAE, where he had now scored hundreds in five consecutive ODI innings. No one has ever scored more consecutive ODI tons in a country.

By September 2018 he passed 2000 runs in ODI cricket, reaching the milestone in just 45 innings. Only one player has ever gotten there quicker and that is South African great Hashim Amla. Amla took just 40 innings.

THE WORLD CUP

By the time the ICC Cricket World Cup rolled around in 2019, Pakistan knew they had a star in Babar. It was at the showpiece tournament that the rest of the world really caught on too.

A 66-ball 63 in a surprise win for Pakistan against hosts England in his second match of the tournament had caught the eye. So too had his 48 against India and 69 against South Africa.

However, they had all left fans wanting more. More of those gorgeous cover drives. More of that serenity at the crease. But most importantly, more runs. For the Babar who had so regularly turned starts into so much more to come out on the world stage.

Against New Zealand, he did just that, scoring his first-ever Cricket World Cup century as Pakistan got home with five balls to spare on a pitch that offered plenty to the bowlers.

“This is my best innings,” Babar told reporters after the match. “The wicket was very difficult and turned a lot in the second half. The plan was to go through to the end and give my 100 per cent."

He went on to make history in that tournament, scoring 474 runs at 67.61 to break Javed Miandad’s 1992 record for the most runs by a Pakistan batsman in a Cricket World Cup campaign.

A CAPTAIN’S RUN TO NO.1

Shortly after the World Cup, Babar was named Pakistan’s ODI captain. So far the added responsibility has only further fuelled his success.

In his six ODIs since being named captain, Babar has averaged 89.80 with a strike rate of 102.98, passing 50 four times.

In his third match as captain, he scored a run-a-ball 125 against Zimbabwe. He followed it up with a century against South Africa at Centurion, powering his team to a series-opening victory. He went on to score 94 in the decider last week, securing Pakistan’s second-ever ODI series win in South Africa.

That 94 was also enough to secure Babar top spot on the ICC ODI batting rankings, ending Pakistan’s nearly 18-year long wait for somebody to follow in the footsteps of Yousuf.

Still only 26 years old, Babar's best years are still ahead of him.

Given he boasts the third greatest ODI average (56.83) in history right now, that is a scary thought for opposition teams all around the world.

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News Network
April 7,2021

Mumbai, Apr 7: The Indian Premier League is not only one of the world's most lucrative annual sporting properties but also among the most durable, with not even the lengthening shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic apparently able to stop the Twenty20 juggernaut.

Last year's delayed tournament was shifted to the United Arab Emirates but the 14th edition returns to India, where the coronavirus situation has worsened significantly in recent weeks.

The surge in new cases could yet scupper plans to host the tournament in bio-secure bubbles at six venues across the country, starting on Friday in Chennai and climaxing at the world's largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on May 30.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI), however, is bullish about the chances of pulling it off.

"We did it successfully in Dubai last year. We are confident we are going to do it again this time," BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly told the press.

Champions Mumbai Indians, captained by Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore get the eight-team tournament going at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.

Both teams have already been hit by Covid-19 cases in their camps, however, raising questions over the effectiveness of the health protections afforded to the cricketers by the bubble.

Players will be well compensated for their stint in India as, even without ticket sales, the IPL was still worth $6.19 billion last year, according to financial consultancy firm Duff & Phelps. That was down from $6.78 billion in 2019.

The BCCI would have been left with a $542 million hole in its coffers if it had cancelled its flagship event last year but ended up with record TV and digital viewership.

With curfews currently in force in many Indian states, the IPL can be expected to surpass last year's viewership numbers with cricket fans in the world's second most populous nation set to be glued to TV sets and electronic devices.

Bhairav Shanth, the managing director of global sport consulting firm ITW, said interest among advertisers has been high this year and predicted a windfall for broadcasters because of the "tremendous" pull of the IPL.

"For a tournament that is having another edition barely six months removed from the last one, the appetite has been fantastic," Shanth told Reuters. "In 2020, there was a slight dip in deal volume and sizes.

"But now as we see this edition occupy the prime summer slot with nothing else significant on TV to compete against, we have already seen new partners come on board in the league at a premium of 30-40 per cent from what it was last year."

Even the recent spike in the number of Covid-19 cases has not deterred the cream of world cricket from heading to India, where the T20 World Cup will also be held later this year.

Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes has been delighted to see so many of his England colleagues plying their trade in recent editions of the IPL.

"Being constantly exposed to that is a huge benefit to us as a team, especially with the T20 World Cup coming up at the end of the year in India," he told Sky Sports.

"It's a great chance for the English guys to get more experience in these conditions." 

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News Network
April 14,2021

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The Kolkata Knight Riders managed to lose their bearings in an astonishing fashion as the Mumbai Indians spinners Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya fashioned an improbable 10-run victory in an IPL encounter on Tuesday.

Chasing a target of 153, KKR were on course reaching 122 for 4 in the 15th over, before the last five fetched only 20 runs as they stunningly fell short giving defending champions their first win.  

Bollywood superstar and co-owner of the KKR franchise, Shah Rukh Khan was disappointed by the bewildering defeat and tweeted an apology to the fans. He said, "Disappointing performance. to say the least @KKRiders apologies to all the fans!" 

Krunal Pandya (1/13 in 4 overs) and Rahul Chahar (4/27 in 4 overs) were brilliant in checking the run-flow after a 72 run opening stand between Nitish Rana (57 off 47 balls) and Shubman Gill (33 off 24 balls).

But it was Jasprit Bumrah (0/28) and Trent Boult (2/27), who were magnificent at the death keeping Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik under check in a game that will be talked about for years to come especially how KKR capitulated.

Required to show some sensible approach, the KKR batting unit adopted a strange approach as they were restricted to 142/7 to continue their miserable record with MI. They now have 22 losses against six wins over MI.

Krunal bowled an exceptional 18th over giving away just three runs, as the duo of Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell struggled to get going before Bumrah applied more pressure in the penultimate over.

Needing 15 from the last over, it was a tough ask for KKR and Trent Boult dismissed Russell and Pat Cummins in successive balls to seal the issue.

KKR off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also tweeted "Gutted" after the loss. He walked in to bat when KKR needed 13 runs to win from two deliveries.

KKR is currently placed in the fifth position on the IPL points table.

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