Australia need Warne's spin to win: Qadir

ISLAMABAD // The former Pakistan spin bowler Abdul Qadir says Australia must bring Shane Warne out of retirement if they want to beat England in the ongoing Ashes series. "Age is not a factor, if Warne can play in IPL (Indian Premier League) I don't see any reason why can't he play in Test matches," Qadir said. Several commentators and former players publicly mooted Warne's recall to the Test team in the lead up to the Ashes, including the former England opener Geoffrey Boycott's call for him to be installed as captain.

Both Cricket Australia and Warne rejected the possibility of a return to the Test team. The 39-year-old Warne played his last cricket Test against England at Sydney in 2007. He retired from international cricket having taken 708 wickets in 145 Tests. "I think Australia will be strengthened with the return of Warne and he can still make a huge difference," said Qadir, a former Test leg-spinner for Pakistan. Australia trail 1-0 in the five-match series after drawing the first Test and losing the second by 115 runs - England's first victory at Lord's against Australia in 75 years.

"I saw that Test match on television and had (Michael) Clarke not scored a century in the second innings the margin of defeat could have been over 250 runs," Qadir said. "I still feel the England batsmen struggle against good spinners and with the likes of Warne, Australia has a good chance not only to level the series but even win the Ashes." Qadir said Cricket Australia should talk to Warne and convince him to return to Test cricket.

"For countries people do make comebacks and Australia needs Warne's expertise against England," Qadir said. Warne led Rajhastan Royals to win the inaugural IPL title last year, but his team struggled in this year's tournament in South Africa and did not reach for the semi-finals. Qadir took 236 wickets in 67 Test matches from 1977 to 1990. He stepped down as Pakistan's chief selector last month blaming cricket board officials for meddling in the selection process.

* AP

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2018 ICC World Twenty20 Asian Western Sub Regional Qualifier

Event info: The tournament in Kuwait this month is the first phase of the qualifying process for sides from Asia for the 2020 World T20 in Australia. The UAE must finish within the top three teams out of the six at the competition to advance to the Asia regional finals. Success at regional finals would mean progression to the World T20 Qualifier.

UAE’s fixtures: Fri Apr 20, UAE v Qatar; Sat Apr 21, UAE v Saudi Arabia; Mon Apr 23, UAE v Bahrain; Tue Apr 24, UAE v Maldives; Thu Apr 26, UAE v Kuwait

World T20 2020 Qualifying process:

  • Sixteen teams will play at the World T20 in two years’ time.
  • Australia have already qualified as hosts
  • Nine places are available to the top nine ranked sides in the ICC’s T20i standings, not including Australia, on Dec 31, 2018.
  • The final six teams will be decided by a 14-team World T20 Qualifier.

World T20 standings: 1 Pakistan; 2 Australia; 3 India; 4 New Zealand; 5 England; 6 South Africa; 7 West Indies; 8 Sri Lanka; 9 Afghanistan; 10 Bangladesh; 11 Scotland; 12 Zimbabwe; 13 UAE; 14 Netherlands; 15 Hong Kong; 16 Papua New Guinea; 17 Oman; 18 Ireland


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Tax authority targets shisha levy evasion

The Federal Tax Authority will track shisha imports with electronic markers to protect customers and ensure levies have been paid.

Khalid Ali Al Bustani, director of the tax authority, on Sunday said the move is to "prevent tax evasion and support the authority’s tax collection efforts".

The scheme’s first phase, which came into effect on 1st January, 2019, covers all types of imported and domestically produced and distributed cigarettes. As of May 1, importing any type of cigarettes without the digital marks will be prohibited.

He said the latest phase will see imported and locally produced shisha tobacco tracked by the final quarter of this year.

"The FTA also maintains ongoing communication with concerned companies, to help them adapt their systems to meet our requirements and coordinate between all parties involved," he said.

As with cigarettes, shisha was hit with a 100 per cent tax in October 2017, though manufacturers and cafes absorbed some of the costs to prevent prices doubling.

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