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Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

While You Were Asleep: Ton-up Babar back in form, unvaccinated Djokovic waiting for AUS Open; protest in Spanish national football team

Babar Azam scored an unbeaten 110 while Novak Djokovic awaits further information on the upcoming edition of Australian Open. As many as 15 Spanish female players are expected to quit their national team.

Babar Azam, Novak Djokovic and the Spanish women's football team. (AP)

Babar Azam returned to form with a scintillating hundred while fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan scored 88 as Pakistan registered a record-breaking win over England by 10 wickets in the second T20 in Karachi on Thursday.

Babar, who scored an unbeaten 110, stitched a double-century opening stand with Rizwan as Pakistan notched up 203/0 to win the game with three balls to spare.

“We planned to play according to the situation, and planned when to charge and when to hold back,” Babar said after the game.

“The execution of that plan went brilliantly. When you have a target in front of you, you play according to that and change gears accordingly,” he added while recalling his stupendous innings.

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Babar wasn’t enjoying a good run with the willow scoring just 98 runs in his previous seven T20s. His highest before this was 30 in the opening game of the series on Tuesday.

Unvaccinated Novak Djokovic awaiting word on Australian Open

Novak Djokovic, who missed out on the previous edition of the Australian Open, is still awaiting further information on the upcoming edition to understand whether he will be allowed to return to the event in January because he is not vaccinated against Covid-19.

“It’s really not in my hands right now,” Djokovic said on Thursday.

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“So I’m hoping I will get some positive news,” he added.

The Laver Cup, which begins Friday, is Djokovic’s first competition since Wimbledon.

“I don’t have any regrets. I mean, I do feel sad that I wasn’t able to play (at the U.S. Open), but that was a decision that I made and I knew what the consequences would be,” he said. “So I accepted them and that’s it.”

Spain female players to quit national team over coach

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As many as 15 Spanish female players are expected to quit their national team after raising their demand for a coaching change that was rejected by the Spanish federation on Thursday. While the federation has not revealed more information on the matter, neither has it named the players who made the demand.

According to Spanish media, Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas was not among them.

“The federation will not allow the players to question the continuity of the national coach and its coaching staff, as those are not their responsibility,” the Spanish federation said in a statement.

Stating that it would not admit any pressure from any player when it comes to sporting decisions, the federation said, “These types of maneuvers are harmful and are not within the values of football and sports.”

“This is more than a sporting matter, it’s a matter of dignity,” the federation said. “This is an unprecedented situation in the history of football, both male and female, in Spain and worldwide.”

First published on: 23-09-2022 at 10:33:05 am
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