KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Triathlon Club athletes Abdullah Al-Rifai and Saleh Al-Muhaini achieved a significant milestone today by securing their spots in the upcoming World Half Ironman Championship, scheduled for December 2024 in New Zealand. Their qualification came as a result of their outstanding performance in the recent championship held in the Sultanate of Oman, where they finished fourth and seventh, respectively.
Rashid Al-Kandari, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the club, extended his heartfelt congratulations to these accomplished Kuwaiti athletes. He emphasized that their achievement is a testament to the excellence of triathlon players from Kuwait on the international stage, as well as a testament to their consistent success in representing Kuwait in various sporting events.
Al-Kandari attributed this remarkable accomplishment to the dedicated efforts of the athletes themselves, as well as the unwavering support from the club’s technical and administrative staff. He also acknowledged the invaluable backing and attention provided by the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Triathlon Club.
Furthermore, Al-Kandari expressed the club’s commitment to preparing its athletes for future tournaments and competitions. He underscored their determination to proudly wave the Kuwaiti flag at every international event they participate in.
He also commended the General Sports Authority and the Kuwaiti Olympic Committee for their continuous support in nurturing the sport and overcoming the challenges it encounters. Their efforts have been crucial in ensuring that Kuwait is well-represented on the global sporting stage, consistently achieving top positions and recognition. (KUNA)
Houston Dynamo players and head coach Ben Olsen, left, raise the trophy after winning the U.S. Open Cup final soccer match against Inter Miami, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.,Sept 28, (AP): Lionel Messi couldn’t play, and the Houston Dynamo took full advantage to win a trophy on his home field. Griffin Dorsey and Amine Bassi scored first-half goals and Houston – with NBA star James Harden, part of the team’s ownership group, looking on from the stands – topped Messi-less Inter Miami 2-1 on Wednesday night to win the U.S. Open Cup.
Josef Martinez scored in second-half stoppage time for Inter Miami, but it wasn’t enough as Messi could only look on from the team bench area. Messi was not on Inter Miami’s active roster for the match because of a leg issue, marking his fourth absence in a span of his last five games combined for club and country. And it’s unclear if Messi will continue to be sidelined when Inter Miami resumes its push to make Major League Soccer’s playoffs this weekend.
DOHA: Kuwait’s team defeated Qatar 124-123 on Thursday in the ICC Men’s T20 Asia Qualifiers in Doha, as part of the qualifications for the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup due in the US. Speaking to KUNA in a statement, the team’s head Mahmoud Abdullah said Kuwaiti players managed to win the game against Qatar after making great efforts, expressing his satisfaction about the players’ performance.
He noted that the winner of the first position will cruise into the second qualification to be held in Nepal. The team, that wins the highest points, will qualify for the next qualifications, he elaborated. The competition, which includes Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Maldives, kicked off Thursday in Doha and will last until October 5. (KUNA)
Excessive moisture on the field at the Cricket World Cup will make the top-flight ODI competition all the more interesting, India coach Rahul Dravid said.
The 50-over tournament kicks off next Thursday across 10 cities, and all but six of the 48 matches will be day-night contests.
In India that usually means high moisture on the field after sunset, which makes the ball moist and difficult to grip.
“India is a big country and there are many venues so it’s hard to say it (dew) is going to be the same everywhere,” Dravid said after India’s 66-run loss to Australia in their third and final ODI in Rajkot on Wednesday.
“Each venue and each day will be different. It’s one of the hardest things to predict with dew,” he said.
Dew mainly affects bowlers and fielders as day-night matches progress, with most captains opting to bowl first after winning the toss as a result.
But whether it will be a factor at all is in itself unpredictable.
Dravid, a former India captain, said he had played games on fields where the ground would be “soaked” the day before but bone-dry by match time.
“As the tournament goes on, at some venues it will be a factor and at some it may not. It’s going to make it more interesting,” the 50-year-old said.
India, the top-ranked team across all formats, begin their World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8 followed by their hotly anticipated clash against Pakistan.
They will also play two warm-up matches beginning with England in Guwahati on September 30.
After multiple delays, the Indian government on Monday issued visas for the Pakistan squad, enabling them to travel to the neighbouring country for the World Cup, Pakistan Cricket Board spokesperson Umar Farooq Kalson confirmed to Dawn.com.
“Finally received a call from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to collect the passports,” he said.
The team is due to travel to Dubai from Lahore on Sept 27 before flying to Hyderabad, India, to play two warm-up matches — against New Zealand on Sept 29 and Australia on Oct 3.
Today’s development comes hours after the PCB approached the International Cricket Council (ICC) with concerns regarding “extraordinary delays” in the issuance of Indian visas.
“We have written to ICC raising our concerns about inequitable treatment towards Pakistan and reminding them of these obligations towards the World Cup,” Farooq said.
“It’s a matter of disappointment that the Pakistan team has to go through the uncertainty ahead of the major tournament.”
Farooq said the board had been reminding the ICC about obligations for the last three years but it had all come down to the last two days with the national team’s first warm-up game scheduled on September 29.
“We were forced to cancel our original plan to organise team-building exercises in Dubai on the way to India. We have had to rework our plan and book new flights, but these plans are subject issuance of visas,” the spokesperson added.
According to ESPNcricinfo, the application for visas was reportedly made over a week ago.
Due to visa delays, the team had cancelled its pre-World Cup team bonding event in Dubai.
Earlier, the team was scheduled to leave for Dubai on Sept 25 and stay there for two days. Pakistan will play their first match against the Netherlands on Oct 6.
Fans and journalists who intended to attend the tournament had to apply for visas through the Indian High Commission’s website.
The portal, however, remained inaccessible, leaving the aspirants dismayed. Expressing concerns over visa hiccups, a Lahore-based journalist said he and his fellow sports reporters had to get the online forms filled through agents and paid them for a simple process.
Owing to issues with the accessibility of the high commission’s website, visa seekers said they had been advised to use a VPN while accessing the site.
Earlier, the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Sports Journalists Association issued a statement, saying that even media persons accredited with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the national governing body of cricket in India, and the ICC were facing difficulties.
There’s a reverential hush from the respectful crowd as Pakistan’s Sadia Iqbal opens the bowling to Bangladesh’s Shathi Rani in the Asian Games women’s bronze medal match in Hangzhou.
The sound of leather on willow echoes around the purpose-built cricket ground, which until recently was full of sunflowers.
The atmosphere is more village green than the fever pitch of, say, Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium, but the few hundred spectators are fully engaged — even if many admit to never seeing the game before.
Almost entirely Chinese, the crowd “oohs and aahs” and clap when a wicket falls, cheer every boundary and then look bewildered when a loud lbw appeal pierces the serenity of the Zhejiang University of Technology (ZJUT) Cricket Field.
“I didn’t ever see cricket before so I was interested to know more about this sport,” said spectator Huang Dapeng, who runs his own business in Hangzhou.
“I’m starting to understand it a little, but I am really enjoying it anyway.” A few have some knowledge of the game and seem captivated.
“I travelled to Sri Lanka before and a friend invited me to watch cricket, so I became interested,” said Liang Xiaoqian, a travel agent.
“When I heard it was in the Asian Games I wanted to learn more about this game,” she added, ahead of Monday afternoon’s final between India and Sri Lanka.
.A general view of the Zhenjiang University of Technology Cricket Stadium is pictured during the 2022 Asian Games women’s third-place playoff cricket match between Bangladesh and Pakistan in Hangzhou, in China’s eastern Zhejiang province on September 25, 2023. — AFP “I am enjoying watching. I will be supporting Sri Lanka in the gold medal match.” Others are there just because it is the Asian Games and they want to watch sport, any sport.
“It’s the only Asian Games tickets we could get,” said a smiling Jeff Wang, an engineer who was sitting in the stand with his father Wang Hang.
“It’s my first time to watch cricket. It’s unknown to me before, I don’t really know what is going on.
“But I did hear this game is very famous in South Asia.”
Looking out over the near-circular ground, it is hard to believe that before the Asian Games the pristine mowed grass was a field of sunflowers.
It won’t be getting overgrown after. The newest of the ZJUT campus’s sporting facilities will have life after the Asiad.
“It will remain forever,” venue manager Li Danlin told AFP. “There will always be cricket played here from now on.”
The university has more than 20 colleges and 80,000 students. They will be taught about the game and encouraged to play, according to Li.
“We hope that cricket clubs will form and use the venue,” she added.
Pakistan head coach Mohtashim Rasheed said it was vital to spread cricket to new territories.
“Very exciting to see the crowds here coming to watch, all Chinese people, that is a very healthy sign for developing cricket in China,” Mohtashim, the brother of Pakistan Test player Haroon Rasheed, told AFP.
“It is a complicated game so we have to develop in China and other countries. The most important thing is to get it into schools.
“I would love to do an exchange programme here to help boys and girls learn the game. They can start small, a shorter version like six-a-side,” added Mohtashim. “If you could get under-10s playing, then in five years you would see a difference,” he added.
“For the older-age kids we could bring it with baseball. I think they like playing baseball and it is similar.
“Swing a bat and hit a ball. That’s a translation that could be made. “
A Canadian Sikh group has called on its members to protest outside the Indian diplomatic missions of main Canadian cities on Monday, a week after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the prospect of New Delhi’s involvement in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia.
Trudeau said last week Canada was pursuing “credible allegations” that Indian government agents may be linked to the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot dead outside a Sikh temple on June 18 in Surrey, a Vancouver suburb with a high Sikh population.
India swiftly denied any role in the killing and described the allegations as “absurd”. The accusations have sparked tensions between the two countries, with each nation expelling diplomats, and New Delhi suspending visas for Canadians.
Jatinder Singh Grewal, a director for Sikh for Justice in Canada, told Reuters on Sunday that his organisation will lead the demonstrations outside the Indian embassies and consulates in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver to increase public awareness about Nijjar’s killing.
“We are asking Canada to expel the India ambassador,” Grewal said.
Representatives for India’s diplomatic missions in Ottawa and Toronto were not immediately available for comment.
The Toronto Police Department said it was aware of the planned demonstrations on Monday but declined to disclose details of the security preparations or potential response to any violent situations that may arise during the protest.
Nijjar, who worked as a plumber, left the north Indian state of Punjab a quarter-century ago and became a Canadian citizen. He has supported the formation of an independent Sikh homeland, called Khalistan, to be created out of Punjab. India designated Nijjar a “terrorist” in July 2020.
The Canadian government has amassed both human and signals intelligence in a months-long investigation into the Sikh separatist leader’s murder, CBC News reported last week, citing unidentified sources.
The report said the intelligence included communications of Indian officials present in Canada, adding that some of the information was provided by an unidentified ally in the Five Eyes alliance.
Canada is home to about 770,000 Sikhs — the highest population of Sikhs outside their home state of Punjab — and the country has been the site of many demonstrations that have irked India.
Sikhs make up just 2 per cent of India’s 1.4 billion population but they are a majority in Punjab, a state of 30 million where their religion was born 500 years ago.
Punjab’s Sikhs fear row threatens them at home, abroad The bitter row between India and Canada is being felt in Punjab, where some Sikhs fear both a backlash from India’s Hindu nationalist government and a threat to their prospects for a better life in North America.
In the village of Bharsinghpura, there are few memories of Nijjar, but his uncle, Himmat Singh Nijjar, 79, said locals “think it was very brave of Trudeau” to accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of potential involvement in the killing.
“For the sake of one ordinary person, he did not need to take such a huge risk on his government,” the uncle told Reuters, sitting on a wooden bench by a tractor in his farmhouse, surrounded by lush paddy fields and banana trees.
Still, though, the elder Nijjar said he is worried about deteriorating diplomatic relations with Canada and declining economic prospects in Punjab.
The once-prosperous breadbasket of India, Punjab has been overtaken by states that focussed on manufacturing, services and technology in the last two decades.
“Now every family wants to send its sons and daughters to Canada as farming here is not lucrative,” said the elder Nijjar.
India is the largest source for international students in Canada, their numbers jumping 47 per cent last year to 320,000.
“We now fear whether Canada will give student visas or if the Indian government will create some hurdles,” said undergraduate Gursimran Singh, 19, who wants to go to Canada.
He was speaking at the holiest of Sikh shrines, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where many students go to pray for or give thanks for student visas.
The temple became a flashpoint for Hindu-Sikh tension when then prime minister Indira Gandhi allowed it to be stormed in 1984 to flush out Sikh separatists, angering Sikhs around the world. Her Sikh bodyguards assassinated her soon afterwards.
Ties between Sikh groups in Punjab and Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government have been strained since Sikh farmers led year-long protests against farm deregulation in 2020 and blocked the capital, forcing Modi to withdraw the measure in a rare political defeat for the strongman.
Modi’s government has created “an atmosphere of fear”, especially for young people, said Sandeep Singh, 31, from Nijjar’s village.
“If we are doing a protest, parents wouldn’t like their child to participate because they are afraid their children can meet the same fate” as Nijjar in Canada, he said.
Kanwar Pal, political affairs secretary for the radical separatist Dal Khalsa group, said, “Whosoever fights for Khalistan fights for the right to self-determination, rights for plebiscite in Punjab. India perceived those Sikhs as their enemies and they targeted them.”
A BJP spokesperson declined to comment on the accusations.
Senior BJP leaders have said there was no wave of support in Punjab for independence and that any such demands were a threat to India. At the same time, the party says no one has done as much for the Sikhs as Modi.