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Zim Afro T10: Morgan, Pathan, Raza among marque players

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The first marque players have been lined up for the upcoming Zim Afro T10 league by the participating five teams before the draft is held on July 2. The inaugural edition will see some big names such as Eoin Morgan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sikander Raza, Asif Ali and Yusuf Pathan lining up in Harare.

Organised by Zimbabwe Cricket in association with T Ten Global Sports, the Zim Afro T10 is expected to be one of the most riveting tournaments of the year and will be held from July 20 to 29.

Each squad needs to have a minimum of 16 players and at least six Zimbabwean players in the squad out of which one Zimbabwean player will be selected from the emerging player category from the nationwide talent hunt. Ahead of the draft, the franchises are allowed to have a maximum of 4 top internationals as their pre-signed players.

The five teams that will battle it out for the top honours are Harare Hurricanes, Joburg Buffaloes, Durban Qalandars, Bulawayo Braves and Cape Town Samp Army. All the games in the tournament will be played in Harare.

 

The following are the list of the top internationals pre signed by each team.

Harare Hurricanes: Eoin Morgan, Evin Lewis, Shahnawaz Dahani, Robin Uthappa

Cape Town Samp Army: Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Karim Janat, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Maheesh Theekshana

Durban Qalandars: Asif Ali, Sisanda Magala, George Linde, Hazratullah Zazai

Joburg Buffaloes: Yusuf Pathan, Mushfiqur Rehman, Tom Banton, Noor Ahmed

Bulawayo Braves: Sikander Raza, Ashton Turner, Tymal Mills, Ben McDermott

Sikandar Raza of Zimbabwe and England’s Eoin Morgan are among the leading lights confirmed by the franchise teams.

Zimbabwe Cricket’s Managing Director Givemore Makoni said, “We are in the final stages ahead of the Zim Afro T10’s inaugural edition. This gives me immense joy, because to see this play out in reality has been a dream for all of the Zimbabwean cricket family, and it is a watershed moment in the history of the sport in the country. The fans, I am sure, are keenly waiting for the opening day.”

 

Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk, T Ten Global Sports Founder and Chairman, said, “To bring the T10 to Zimbabwe has been high on the agenda for us in the recent past, and that we are on the home stretch ahead of the inaugural edition of the tournament, is a source of great satisfaction for me. This is a red-letter day in the history of the sport, there will be another landmark on the day of the player draft. We can’t wait to get things rolling and welcome the best of the best players to Harare.”

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of eIndia.com. Now managing editor of Headline.ae, part of MEMc (https://www.memc.co)

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League Cup trophy part of final chapter with Liverpool, says Klopp – ARN News Centre

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AFP / Paul Ellis

Winning the League Cup would be a crucial addition to the final segment of a memoir with Liverpool, the soon-to-depart manager Juergen Klopp said before his side’s final match against Chelsea.

Klopp has announced his decision to step down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season, citing dwindling energy levels.

The 56-year-old, who is the only Liverpool manager to win six different major trophies, would dedicate the victory to everyone connected to the Merseyside club as part of his trophy-laden nine-year epoch.

“I want to win on Sunday, but not for me or my trophy cabinet,” Klopp said of the League Cup final. “It is for the boys, for the club, for the people. That is much more important.

“We wrote, and we are still writing a wonderful book, and when I leave, we close that book and put it on the shelf and then someone else will write a wonderful book.

“Yes, there is space for some chapters. It is long. I am not there and writing the resume already? Not at all. I am 100% in trying to create a few special memories on top of what we have done.”

Klopp’s side has a lengthy injury list that could hinder their chances of securing a record-extending 10th League Cup triumph at Wembley, with the likes of Diogo Jota, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, and Curtis Jones sidelined and forwards Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai doubtful for Sunday.

Liverpool’s most recent triumph came in the 2021-22 campaign when they also lifted the FA Cup and narrowly missed securing a treble as they finished second in the Premier League.

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Last-gasp Casemiro goal sets up United for Liverpool clash – ARN News Centre

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OLI SCARFF/ AFP

Brazilian Casemiro struck late to send Manchester United into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest as teenagers Jayden Danns and Lewis Koumas inspired Liverpool to a 3-0 win over Southampton on Wednesday.

Chelsea overcame second-tier Leeds United 3-2 thanks to Conor Gallagher’s 90th-minute winner, easing the pressure on coach Mauricio Pochettino, and Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 thanks to Mario Lemina’s early goal.

United kept alive their last hope of lifting a trophy in a difficult season for the 12-times FA Cup winners when the 32-year-old Casemiro headed in a low bouncing free kick from Bruno Fernandes from close range, setting up an enticing quarter-final meeting with Liverpool.

United manager Erik Ten Hag and his team held their breath through a lengthy VAR check for offside before the goal was confirmed to the delight of the United fans at the City Ground.

Three days after Liverpool’s young side beat Chelsea 1-0 to win the League Cup final, Danns struck twice with his first goals for the senior side and Koumas scored on his first-team debut.

Koumas, the 18-year-old son of former Wales international Jason Koumas, scored just before halftime, receiving a superb pass from Bobby Clark before shooting into the bottom corner via a deflection off Jack Stephens.

Danns, also 18, netted his first in the 73rd minute when he dinked the ball over keeper Joe Lumley, and scored again 15 minutes later after pouncing on a loose ball.

With injuries to key players including Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp fielded a young team against Southampton — 23 spots below them in England’s football pyramid.

For Chelsea, struggling in mid-table in the league, the FA Cup is their last realistic chance of silverware.

The Premier League side were shocked in the eighth minute when Leeds took the lead after a defensive mix-up playing out from a goal kick allowed Mateo Joseph to score his first senior goal.

Chelsea replied with two goals from flowing moves in the 15th and 37th minutes and fine finishes by Senegal’s Nicolas Jackson and Ukrainian Mykhailo Mudryk.

Leeds upped the intensity in the second half and were rewarded in the 59th minute as a free header from the unmarked Joseph flew past Chelsea keeper Robert Sanchez.

Pochettino brought on Gallagher and Ben Chilwell as well as top scorer Cole Palmer in the second half and the move paid off. With extra time looming, Gallagher latched on to a pass from Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez before shooting home to take Chelsea into the last eight.

Pochettino called the win a “big relief”.

Liverpool travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United over the weekend of March 16, champions Manchester City host Newcastle United, Chelsea play Leicester City and Wolves take on Coventry City.



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Medvedev edges past Sonego to book Dubai quarter-final spot – ARN News Centre

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DDFTC

Reigning champion Daniil Medvedev avoided an early scare to overcome a spirited performance by Lorenzo Sonego and secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

The World No. 4 looked shaky during the opening exchanges, winning just 53 per cent (10/19) of points behind his first delivery as counterpart Sonego took full advantage and deservedly won the first set.

Medvedev, to his credit, recovered quickly and served with far more aggression in the second and third sets, firing off both wings and hitting pinpoint
serves.

The decisive moment came during a tense fifth game in the final set as the No. 1 seed broke Sonego’s serve with a running forehand winner and safely saw out the match thereafter.

Medvedev will face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina after Qatar Open finalist Jakub Mensik was forced to retire through injury early in the second set of their clash.

Hubert Hurkacz will join Medvedev in the last eight after a battling 7-6, 6-4 victory over Australian Christopher O’Connell. The World No. 8 will make his fourth quarter-final appearance in Dubai when he takes to the court to face Ugo Humbert, the French No. 1, on Thursday evening.

One man who will not be competing in the quarterfinals is Karan Khachanov after the No. 4 seed was sent crashing out of the tournament following Jiri Lehecka’s stunning comeback victory (6-7, 7-6, 6-4).

Lehecka, the World’s No36, knelt to the floor in elation after securing a spot in the last eight at the expense of in-form Khachanov, who had come into the match on the back of five straight wins.

The 27-year-old won his sixth-career title in Doha last week and looked on course to continue that momentum after clinching the first set against Lehecka.

Lehecka had other ideas, though, saving five points during a tense second set, coming back from 0-3 in the tiebreak that later followed and from 2-4 in the third decisive set to secure a second top-20 win of the season after a mammoth three-hour clash on Court One.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Korda continues to enjoy his maiden Dubai tournament, needing just 43 minutes to breeze past Botic van de Zandschulp and set up a quarter-final meeting against 2022 winner Andrey Rublev.

Korda, the first son to follow in his father’s footsteps in featuring in the premier tennis tournament of the Middle East, dropped just one game in an emphatic straight sets victory (6-1, 6-0) over the Dutch No. 2.





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