Pliskova calls for end to late matches

MELBOURNE - Dejected sixth seed Karolina Pliskova said Australian Open organisers should do away with late-night/early morning matches after crashing out in the quarter-finals Wednesday. Pliskova was trampled 6-3, 6-2 by world number one Simona Halep in a match that started just before 4:00 pm Wednesday. She complained about her fourth-round match with Barbora Strycova. That had started with dwindling spectator numbers at around 11:00 pm Monday and stretched to three sets and 2hr 41min until nearly 2:00 am Tuesday. "I think just these late night matches they should cancel," Pliskova told reporters after her 71-minute drubbing. "I went to sleep at seven in the morning yesterday," lamented the world number six. "I put alarm at 12 (noon), just to try to have a normal day," Pliskova said. –AFP



Torrey triumph sparked Rahm rise

LA JOLLA - Jon Rahm is still getting to grips with the meteoric rise sparked by his victory in the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open. The 23-year-old Spaniard's first US PGA Tour title here last year pushed him into the top 50 in the world rankings. He arrived at Torrey Pines for his title defense ranked number two in the world. "It's kind of hard to process it, to be honest, because I live my day-to-day life with my girlfriend and my team around me and they don't change their behavior based on what I do," he said Tuesday. "I got a little bit of it when I went back to Spain and I realized what a huge deal my year had become over there, but I feel like the less I think about it, the better." Rahm's win at Torrey was followed by back-to-back top-five finishes in World Golf Championships events. –AFP




SBP’s cricket academy to get functional

LAHORE - Punjab Minister for Sports Jahangir Khanzada and Cricket Sports Board Punjab (SBP) coaching academies head Zaheer Abbas will inaugurate the SBP’s 10th cricket coaching academy at Hazru, Attock on January 25. The inaugural ceremony of cricket academy will be held at Jinnah Stadium, Hazru. It may be noted here that six cricket academies for boys and three for girls have already been established in several cities of the province under the supervision of legendary former Pakistan cricket Zaheer Abbas, who is also a former president of International Cricket Council (ICC). These cricket academies are being established across the province under the vision of Chief Minister Punjab , Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. Expert coaches will impart training to young cricketers at the academy.–Staff Reporter



National One Day Cup commences today

ISLAMABAD – The National One Day Cup 2017-18 for Regions will commence today (Thursday) in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The PCB, without thinking for a while, ignored two major areas, as firstly, the twin cities are under severe cold wave and it would have been far better to conduct the event either in Faisalabad or Karachi, as both are warm cities. Secondly, the KRL is very sensitive area and even officials and players have to inform well before time and to provide CNICs to enter the premises, so for journalists and masses, it would be too difficult to enter the venue. In opening encounter at Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi will take on Islamabad, while Karachi Region take on Faisalabad at KRL, Lahore Blues face Lahore Whites at National Ground and Fata vie against Peshawar at Diamond Ground.–Staff Reporter




Shifa team rout Seven Star XI

ISLAMABAD - Shifa International Hospitals Islamabad cricket team routed Seven Star XI Rawalpindi by 6 wickets in a friendly fixate here at Margalla Cricket Ground. It was 10th consecutive victory for Shifa. Seven Star Xl skipper won the toss and elected to bat first. They posted 223-8 on the board in the allotted overs. Mian Noor played superb knock of 77 runs studded with 10 boundaries. Alamgir Khan was wrecker-in-chief of Seven Star batting as he grabbed 5-31 while Shafiq Aslam took 2-27 and Tahir Akhtar 1-22. Shifa International, in reply, achieved the target in the 21st over for the loss of 4 wickets. Alamgir Khan hit 10 fours and 1 six to gather 78 runs off 41 balls. Qutab Uddin Qureshi slammed 62, Tahir Akhtar 27 and Aslam 17. Umair bagged 3-49. Alamgir Khan was named player of the match.