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Star-studded lineup confirmed at Zim Afro T10 draft

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The squads for the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10 have been confirmed for the tournament to be held from July 20-20. Some of the best white-ball cricketers will descend in Harare and will entertain the fans with some very keenly contested games.

Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz, left, and Mohammed Amir of Pakistan are among players picked at the draft.

The inaugural edition is a landmark tournament as this is the first-time franchise cricket is a part of Zimbabwean cricket. The five teams who will be battling it out for top honours are the Durban Qalandars, CapeTown Samp Army, Harare Hurricanes, Bulawayo Braves and Johannesburg Buffaloes. The think-tanks of the five franchises came together during a grand ceremony at the Player Draft and finalised their squads, forming impressive line-ups, which promises to produce scintillating cricket.

All the teams will add another player to each of their squads in the coming days as five cricketers will be picked from the nationwide Emerging Player programme, which is designed to provide the youngsters with a chance to break onto the big stage.

Durban Qalandars have a squad of 15 players and drafted in the likes of Asif Ali, Mohammed Amir, George Linde, Hazratullah Zazai, Tim Sifert, Sisanda Magala, Hilton Cartwright, Mirza Thahir Baig, Tayab Abbas, Craig Ervin, Tendai Chatara, Brad Evans, Clive Madande, Nick Welch, and Andre Fleture.

CapeTown Samp Army have 17 players on their roster, with stars such as Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Shaun Williams, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Maheesh Theekshana, Sheldon Cottrel, Karim Janat, Chamika Karunaratne, Peter Hazlogou, Matthew Breetzke, Richard Ngarava, Zhuwao Cephas, Hamilton Masakadza, Tadshwani Marumani, Tinashe Kamunakewe, Parthiv Patel, Mohamed Irfan, and Stuart Binny.

Harare Hurricanes also have 17 players in their camp, with impactful players such Eoin Morgan headlining the squad. Also on the team are Mohammad Nabi, Evin Lewis, Robin Uthappa, Donovon Ferraira, Shahzawaz Dahani, Duan Jansen, Samit Patel, Kevin Kothegoda, Christopher Mpofu, Regis Chakabva, Luke Jonwe, Brandon Mavuta, Tashinga Mushiwa, Irfan Pathan, Khalid Shah, and S Sreesanth.

Bulawayo Braves will go into the inaugural edition Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10 with a squad of 15 players, and have signed on Sikander Raza, Taskin Ahmed, Ashton Turner, Tymal Mills, Thisara Perera, Ben McDermott, Beau Webster, Patrick Dooley, Kobe Herft, Rayen Burl, Timycen Maruma, Joylord Gumbie, Innocent Kaia, Faraz Akram and Mujeeb Ur Rehaman.

Johannesburg Buffaloes are the only team with a squad of 16 players, and they have acquired the services of Mushfiqur Rahim, Odean Smith, Tom Banton, Yusuf Pathan, Will Smeed, Noor Ahmad, Ravi Bopara, Usman Shinwari, Junior Dala, Blessing Muzarabani, Wellington Masakadza, Wesley Madhevere, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Mohamed Hafeez, and Rahul Chopra.

Sikandar Raza and Eoin Morgan

Zimbabwe Cricket Managing Director Givemore Makoni said, “This is a historic day for Zimbabwean cricket and we can’t wait to open up the doors for such talented cricketers. Each of the five squads look extremely strong and I am sure the cricket on display will be of the highest order. And I am delighted that the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10 will also give the young cricketers a boost as they will be rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in the world.”

T Ten Global Sports Founder and Chairman Nawab Shaji-Ul-Mulk said, “The Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10’s Player Draft is a very big day for the T Ten family and Zimbabwean cricket also. We are very happy to see that the squads are all well balanced and quite strong, which means the tournament will be a tight one. We can’t wait for the tournament to begin and then have some of the best cricketers from Zimbabwe and around the world entertain one and all. I would like to wish all the teams the very best as they begin preparing for the cricket festival.”

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Haaland hits five as Man City thrash Luton in FA Cup – ARN News Centre

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Erling Haaland roared back to his best form with a five-goal salvo as Manchester City thumped Luton Town 6-2 at Kenilworth Road to reach the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup on Tuesday.

Luton had no answer to the marauding Norwegian who bagged his eighth City hat-trick before halftime and then scored twice more after the break to kill off a stirring Luton revival.

The 23-year-old Haaland’s first four goals were all created by Kevin De Bruyne. Mateo Kovacic also got on the scoresheet for holders City who are unbeaten in 18 games in all competitions.

Luton threatened an unlikely comeback when Jordan Clark found the top corner with a sublime effort on the stroke of halftime and netted again early in the second half.

But a strong City side instantly found another gear to cruise into the hat for the last eight.

The night belonged to the unstoppable Haaland though as he became the first top-flight player to score five goals in an FA Cup tie since George Best struck six for Manchester United against Northampton Town in 1970.

The only blemish for City, who face Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday, was an injury to Jack Grealish who was forced off before half-time with a recurrence of a groin injury.

Elsewhere, second-tier leaders Leicester City joined Pep Guardiola’s side in the quarter-finals as they beat Premier League Bournemouth 1-0 thanks to Abdul Fatawu’s extra-time goal.

Newcastle United squeezed through in a penalty shootout at Blackburn Rovers after the tie ended 1-1. The visitors edged through 4-3 on penalties with Blackburn captain Dominic Hyam having his kick saved by Martin Dubravka.

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Medvedev eyes title defence after win over Shevchenko – ARN News Centre

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Daniil Medvedev, reigning champion at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, got his title defence off to a solid start on Tuesday night, making light work of Alexander Shevchenko on Centre Court.

Making his first appearance since losing in the final of the Australian Open to Jannik Sinner last month, the World No. 4 defeated his Kazakh opponent 6-3, 7-5 in a little under 90 minutes at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, showing few signs of the niggling injuries that have plagued him since his Melbourne loss.

In the first set, the ATP 500 tournament’s top seed broke his opponent’s service game three times in succession to secure the outright lead before, in the second set, he fought back from 3-5 down to win four games in a row and progress to the Round of 16.

Shevchenko, returning after a lengthy period on the sidelines, showed glimpses of the form that took him up to World No. 45 earlier this month. His booming serve, with which he hit six aces, had Medvedev standing so far behind the baseline he was almost in the stands with the fans. Yet the 23-year-old was unable to make it count, faltering in the tenth set while serving to level the tie.

Next up for Medvedev is Italian Lorenzo Sonego, who beat Indian No. 1 Sumit Nagal 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in a gruelling match that saw Nagal play through pain, calling for a medical timeout in the third set. 

Meanwhile on Court 1, 18-year-old Czech Jakub Mensik continued his impressive start to the season, edging Borna Coric 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 after nearly three hours. Mensik, who received a special exemption into the Main Draw after reaching the final of the Qatar Open last week, attracted a strong crowd to the side-courts where fans can watch without tickets. Having saved a match point, World No. 87 held his nerve to progress during the decisive tiebreak.

He will now play Spanish No. 8 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

On the same court, India’s Rohan Bopanna and Australia’s Matthew Ebden made their first outing since winning the Men’s Doubles at the Australian Open last month. The top seed pairing narrowly defeated wildcards Skander Mansouri and Bopanna’s former playing partner Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 7-6, 7-6.





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Everton’s points deduction cut to six on appeal – ARN News Centre

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Everton have had their points deduction for breaching Premier League financial rules reduced to six points from 10 after an appeal, the club said on Monday, though they could yet face another punishment for a separate overspend.

Everton were docked points with immediate effect in November after being found to have breached the league’s rules relating to spending and losses, partly blamed on the rising cost of financing their new ground that is under construction.

“An independent Appeal Board has concluded that the sanction for Everton’s breach of the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSRs), for the period ending Season 2021/22, will be an immediate six-point deduction,” the Premier League said in a statement.

The original deduction meant Everton dropped from 14th in the standings into the relegation zone with four points. The club filed an appeal against the initial deduction, which they labelled “wholly disproportionate and unjust”.

“Everton can confirm an Appeal Board has concluded that the points deduction be reduced from 10 points to six points, with immediate effect,” a club statement said.

The record sanction was appealed on nine grounds, each of which related to the sanction, rather then the breaches and two of those nine grounds were upheld by the Appeal Board.

Everton admitted to a breach of PSR for the period ending with the 2021-22 season, with their total losses for that period amounting to 124.5 million pounds according to an independent commission.

According to the Premier League’s regulations, clubs are permitted to lose a maximum of 105 million pounds ($133.33 million) over a three-year period.

The three-person appeal board concluded that the independent commission which imposed the 10-point ban made legal errors on two of them.

It was ruled wrong to punish the club for being “less than frank” over what it told the Premier League about its new stadium debt and also wrong “not to take into account available benchmarks” saying that a six-point sanction was broadly in line with English Football League guidelines.

In dismissing the other grounds for appeal, the panel said that the club’s reduction in transfer spending towards the end of the four-year period under investigation showed only “limited evidence of a more sensible approach.”

Everton recorded four straight wins after their deduction to climb up to 16th, but have been dragged back into the relegation battle following a run of nine league games without a victory. The reduction means they move up to 15th on 25 points, five above the relegation zone.

Football League founder members Everton, who have spent more years in the top flight than any other club, were charged again by the Premier League in January for a separate PSR breach, along with Nottingham Forest.

Both clubs were referred to the chair of the Judicial Panel, the Premier League said, who will appoint an independent commission to determine the appropriate sanction, which may include a further deduction for the Sean Dyche-managed club before the end of the season.

A second points penalty would increase risk of a first relegation since 1951 and add to the uncertainty over the future of the club, who are currently in the midst of protracted takeover talks with U.S. investment fund 777 Partners and also hoping to move to their new stadium ahead of the 2025-26 season.

Last year, Manchester City were referred to an independent commission over more than 100 alleged breaches of finance rules since the club were acquired by the Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group in 2008.

No verdict has been reached in that case. Premier League CEO Richard Masters said last month that a date had been set for a hearing. City have denied any wrongdoing.

Clubs in England’s top flight have been docked points before.

Middlesbrough had three points deducted in 1997 when they failed to fulfil a fixture, while Portsmouth received a nine-point penalty in 2010 when the financially-troubled club entered administration.



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