Dhaka, Aug 2 (UNB) — Within two years of his debut in international cricket, Mohammad Saifuddin was close to becoming an integral part of Bangladesh’s limited-overs set-up.
But an old injury resurfaced and forced him to skip the just-concluded Sri Lanka series. Now, the all-rounder is working hard to get back.
Saifuddin did well in the World Cup. He bowled well and showed what he is capable of doing as a batsman. But injury turned out to be his biggest adversary.
“It’s really tough to stay out of action. But there’s nothing to do with the injury. I’ve to wait more and try hard to get back,” Saifuddin told UNB on Friday.
He batted five times in the World Cup and returned 87 runs with a hard-fought fifty against India. While scoring 51 off 38 with nine fours, he gave India a real scare as Bangladesh needed only 28.
Saifuddin was better with the ball as he picked 13 wickets. Since Tigers’ captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza had been going through the toughest time of his career during the World Cup, Saifuddin’s bowling performance came as a relief for the team management.
The 22-year-old all-rounder missed the match against Australia due to back pain. Some media reports claimed that he skipped the match intentionally to keep himself away from the challenge of Australian batsmen. However, Saifuddin denied the reports and played the remaining matches of the World Cup.
“As a national cricketer, I shouldn’t keep myself away from taking new challenges. What the media said about my injury wasn’t true. I’ll really be glad if you ask me or any member of the team management before writing news,” Saifuddin had told the media before the clash against Afghanistan in the World Cup.
Saifuddin is now just thinking about returning to action. “Currently, I’m going through the rehabilitation process. I don't know when I’ll be able to bowl again. This’s really a tough time for me,” he told UNB.
Dhaka, Aug 2 (UNB) — Bangladesh Test and T20 captain Shakib Al Hasan is set to leave for Saudi Arabia tonight to perform Hajj. He will be accompanied by his mother.
Shakib is currently on leave. He had sought leave before the recently-concluded three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka citing personal reasons. Bangladesh lost the series 3-0.
He performed exceptionally well in the last World Cup, scoring more than 600 runs and taking 11 wickets. It is best all-round performance in a single edition of the World Cup.
While scoring 606 runs, Shakib hit two centuries and five fifties. Along the process, he became the only Bangladeshi cricketer to strike more than 600 runs in a single event of international cricket. At the same time, he touched the record of Sachin Tendulkar who is the first person to hit seven 50-plus innings in a single World Cup.
Shakib might join the team in early October when Afghanistan will tour Bangladesh for their first Test against the Tigers. In this forthcoming tour, they will face off the Tigers in three T20Is as well.
Sao Paulo, Aug 2 (AP/UNB) — Veteran Brazilian right back Dani Alves signed a free transfer deal to play for his boyhood team Sao Paulo FC.
The club announced the move Thursday in a video with the 36-year-old former Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain defender.
Brazilian media reports the deal is valid until the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
"I could have chosen anywhere to play, but I chose to return to Brazil," the right-back said. "It is unreal, but I am here."
Alves's contract with PSG expired in July. The Brazilian said then he would like to remain in European soccer.
The right-back was Brazil's captain in the latest Copa America title winning campaign. He was also voted by organizers as the best player of the tournament.
Sao Paulo is in fifth position in the Brazilian championship after 12 matches, eight points behind leaders Santos.
Alves has lifted astonishing 40 trophies in his professional career and is still very fit.
He played all 90 minutes in several matches of the latest Copa America. The defender recently said he considers moving to the midfield to extend his career.
Alves has not played since Brazil's 3-1 win over Peru in the Copa America final on July 7 at the Maracanã Stadium.
Sao Paulo said the defender should be introduced to fans next week.
Kuala Lumpur, Aug 2 (AP/UNB) — The Asian Football Confederation has banned four players for life for attempting to fix matches in the AFC Cup in 2017 and 2018.
The AFC said Friday that defender Kursanbek Sheratov, striker Vladimir Verevkin and defender Iliaz Alimov of Kyrgyzstan and goalkeeper Abduaziz Mahkamov of Tajikistan had been banned from taking part in any football-related activities for life.
It said Sheratov was found guilty of being involved in a conspiracy to manipulate a match involving his club Dordoi FC in the 2017 season of the AFC Cup. He was also found guilty of supporting betting activity in connection with the match.
Verevkin and Alimov were found guilty of being involved in a conspiracy to manipulate matches involving their club FC Alay in the 2017 and/or 2018 season of the AFC Cup.
Mahkamov was found guilty of being involved in a conspiracy to manipulate matches involving the same club, FC Alay, in the 2017 and 2018 seasons of the AFC Cup.
Lima, Aug 2 (AP/UNB) — Mexico's Juan Manuel Celaya plunged with power and emerged from the pool with a smile, knowing that the most challenging days had been worth a gold medal at the 1-meter springboard at the Pan American Games on Thursday.
Celaya scored 435.60 points. Jamaica's Yona Knight-Wisdom was second at 429.90, and American Andrew Capobianco took the bronze with 411.25. Celaya, a 20-year-old who attends Louisiana State University, came into the week hoping to gain experience from his veteran teammates. Instead, he won Mexico's first gold for diving at the Pan Am Games in Lima.
"I'm so happy, I can't even smile properly," said Celaya, who is from the northern Mexican city of Monterrey. "I'm still shaking."
After his last dive, Mexican fans who donned sombreros handed him a national flag that he carried around the pool.
Celaya moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2016 to attend LSU on a scholarship. He says the first year was tough. He missed his family, his friends, and the home cooked meals. He felt lonely, even depressed, he said. But he never stopped training. On the LSU Athletics site it says that on his freshman season, he became "one of the most decorated divers in school history."
"All of this was worth it," Celaya said. "This is a sacrifice that most people don't see. But this is so rewarding."