Pakistan celebrate a wicket during the second one day international match against England at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Hafsal Ahmed)
Pakistan celebrate a wicket during the second one day international match against England at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Hafsal Ahmed)

Pakistan’s Imad Wasim to return under the radar for tour of New Zealand



A former teen prodigy of Pakistan cricket will make a keenly-awaited return to the full international arena during their tour of New Zealand.

No, not that guy. Another one. One with an unarguable talent, but a clean rapsheet to go with it.

It feels like Mohammed Amir’s impending return to the fold has dominated cricket’s news agenda for an age now, both at home and abroad. By contrast, Imad Wasim - that other guy - is barely known beyond his homeland as yet.

One sizeable difference between Amir’s case and his is the fact Wasim’s comeback will be universally celebrated by supporters. There will be little ill-will from his teammates, either. Nor a doubting public.

Wasim’s has been a career waiting to happen for the best part of a decade, stalled by a lack of opportunities, then, last year – once he had been given his chance and impressed – by injury.

It goes without saying the broken finger which kept Wasim out of the limited-overs series against England in the UAE before Christmas was badly timed. When is an injury ever well timed?

Read more:

But that series in particular meant so much to the player from a personal perspective. Wasim was born in Britain. Theoretically, had the Pakistan international career that had once seemed so certain after he captained the national Under 19 side never actually eventuated, he would have been within his rights to try his luck with England.

The 27-year-old all-rounder knows little about Swansea, the city in south Wales where he was born. His parents moved back to Islamabad, where he grew up, when he was two and he has not been back there to visit since.

The UK has a special resonance for his playing career, too. Wasim captained Pakistan U19 on a tour there in 2007, playing against an England age-group side including Steven Finn, Chris Woakes and Adam Lyth.

While many of his contemporaries, both from his own side and the opposition, steadily graduated to senior international cricket thereafter, his own advance stalled. He might have been forgiven for growing impatient, but it is never a feeling he suffered from.

“The only thing I feel is that we get what God has decided for us,” Wasim, who was recalled to the Pakistan squad for the tour to New Zealand after his injury healed.

“For a time it felt like I was not going to get the chance, but in my heart I knew I was going to get picked.

“I just knew that when I was picked I had to deliver, I had to perform to make sure I stayed in the team. That is what I always thought. There were never any negative thoughts in my mind - even after I was injured.”

That U19 side of 2007 provided a rich yield for Pakistan. Wasim had Shan Masood, another player with strong links to the UK having gone to school and university in England, as his deputy.

Further to the current Test opener Masood, Amir, Ahmed Shahzad, Umar Amin, and Junaid Khan all beat Wasim to the senior side. One way or another, each has made a name for themselves, too.

Wasim did not lose focus, though. So devoted was he to the idea of representing Pakistan one day, he even opted to forego a degree in medicine to improve his cricket prospects.

“I was about to do medicine, I had my admission accepted to university, but I quit because I wanted to play cricket,” he said.

“If you are going to be a success, you have to give this sport 100 per cent of your time, so I chose cricket over studies.”

To further that ambition, he played six seasons of league cricket in England and Ireland, too, starting when he answered a request from Papplewick, a club side in Nottingham, for an overseas professional. He was just 17 at the time, and had no relatives or friends waiting for him in the UK to smooth his journey.

“I knew no-one there,” he said. “I was playing Pakistan U19, there was a gap of three months. A club called me and said they wanted me as a pro. I asked my parents and they let me go. It was a great experience.”

Eight years spent trying to better himself in UK club cricket, and prove himself worthy of a senior call up via the Pakistan domestic game finally led to selection for a limited-overs series in Sri Lanka last year.

Wasim has a perfect command of English, but he says he is at a loss to describe how it felt when he was invited to play for his country.

“It is every cricketer’s dream,” he said. “It was fantastic. I cannot describe those feelings. It just felt like a dream come true. I am very lucky to play for my country.”

So far, the left-handed all-rounder has featured in two low-key, away series for Pakistan, in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, to date. It may only be a small sample size, but supporters have generally been impressed by what they have seen, and they are not the only ones.

In a country, perhaps more than any other, that has never feared giving youth its chance, Wasim is still seen as a young prospect, even though it is nearly nine years now since he captained that under 19 side. Waqar Younis, Pakistan’s coach, refers to him as “very young”, even though Wasim turned 27 in December.

“He’s got a lot to offer,” Waqar said. “He hasn’t played much cricket, he is very young, but he offers something with the bat and the ball, and he is very energetic in the field.

“He is a good utility, one-day and T20 cricketer. He is a smart bowler when it comes to controlling the game and when it comes to big hitting he can hit it hard.”

The evidence from his five one-day internationals and five Twenty20 internationals so far backs up Waqar’s enthusiasm.

After his initial bow in Sri Lanka last summer, he underlined his credentials most during his second tour, in Zimbabwe in October.

He made an even-time 61 from No 7 in the order to set up a win against Zimbabwe in Harare. In his next appearance in the series, he took three for 36 with the ball, but had his thunder stolen by Bilal Asif’s five wicket-haul.

In a Twenty20 international against the same opposition, he took the new-ball, took four for 11, and affected two run outs.

Even though Waqar terms him a limited-overs utility player for now, Wasim aspires to represent his country in the longest format, too.

Pakistan’s next Test commitment is in England this summer. It would provide a compelling storyline if he was to make his Test debut on British soil.

There is even a one-day international scheduled for Cardiff, the Welsh capital which is 68 kms from where Wasim was born.

“Test cricket is the only cricket that every cricketer dreams of playing,” he said. “It is the most important thing to have as a cricketer.

“I have been performing well in first-class cricket. I will keep doing that, and if the selectors want me there ... I am happy playing ODIs and T20, but I would love to play Test cricket.

“At some point in my life I hope to get that chance.”

Pakistan Super League

Imad Wasim will be playing for Karachi Kings, alongside the likes of Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Amir and Shakib Al Hasan, in the HBL Pakistan Super League in Dubai and Sharjah, starting next month.

Each of the five teams in the new Twenty20 tournament have 16 member squads, comprised of 11 Pakistan players and five from overseas. Kevin Pietersen, Chris Gayle and Shane Watson will be among the foreign contingent.

Matches begin when Islamabad United face Quetta Gladiators on the opening evening, Thursday, February 4 at Dubai International Stadium.

Tickets for the competition are now on sale. Prices start at Dh20 for the single header matches in Dubai and Sharjah, while the cheapest double header, playoff, and final tickets are priced at Dh30.

At the other end of the scale, for those looking to enjoy the PSL in luxury can opt for the platinum package, with tickets priced at Dh200 for a single header and Dh250 for the latter stages. Tickets are available to purchase at kyazoonga.ae/psl.

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Tomb Raider I–III Remastered

Developer: Aspyr
Publisher: Aspyr
Console: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 3/5

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Your rights as an employee

The government has taken an increasingly tough line against companies that fail to pay employees on time. Three years ago, the Cabinet passed a decree allowing the government to halt the granting of work permits to companies with wage backlogs.

The new measures passed by the Cabinet in 2016 were an update to the Wage Protection System, which is in place to track whether a company pays its employees on time or not.

If wages are 10 days late, the new measures kick in and the company is alerted it is in breach of labour rules. If wages remain unpaid for a total of 16 days, the authorities can cancel work permits, effectively shutting off operations. Fines of up to Dh5,000 per unpaid employee follow after 60 days.

Despite those measures, late payments remain an issue, particularly in the construction sector. Smaller contractors, such as electrical, plumbing and fit-out businesses, often blame the bigger companies that hire them for wages being late.

The authorities have urged employees to report their companies at the labour ministry or Tawafuq service centres — there are 15 in Abu Dhabi.

Drivers’ championship standings after Singapore:

1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes - 263
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari - 235
3. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes - 212
4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull - 162
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari - 138
6. Sergio Perez, Force India - 68

CABINET OF CURIOSITIES EPISODE 1: LOT 36

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Sebastian Roche, Elpidia Carrillo
Rating: 4/5

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
PROFILE BOX

Company name: Overwrite.ai

Founder: Ayman Alashkar

Started: Established in 2020

Based: Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai

Sector: PropTech

Initial investment: Self-funded by founder

Funding stage: Seed funding, in talks with angel investors

Anti-semitic attacks

The annual report by the Community Security Trust, which advises the Jewish community on security , warned on Thursday that anti-Semitic incidents in Britain had reached a record high.

It found there had been 2,255 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2021, a rise of 34 per cent from the previous year.

The report detailed the convictions of a number of people for anti-Semitic crimes, including one man who was jailed for setting up a neo-Nazi group which had encouraged “the eradication of Jewish people” and another who had posted anti-Semitic homemade videos on social media.

Green ambitions
  • Trees: 1,500 to be planted, replacing 300 felled ones, with veteran oaks protected
  • Lake: Brown's centrepiece to be cleaned of silt that makes it as shallow as 2.5cm
  • Biodiversity: Bat cave to be added and habitats designed for kingfishers and little grebes
  • Flood risk: Longer grass, deeper lake, restored ponds and absorbent paths all meant to siphon off water 
Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Company info

Company name: Entrupy 

Co-founders: Vidyuth Srinivasan, co-founder/chief executive, Ashlesh Sharma, co-founder/chief technology officer, Lakshmi Subramanian, co-founder/chief scientist

Based: New York, New York

Sector/About: Entrupy is a hardware-enabled SaaS company whose mission is to protect businesses, borders and consumers from transactions involving counterfeit goods.  

Initial investment/Investors: Entrupy secured a $2.6m Series A funding round in 2017. The round was led by Tokyo-based Digital Garage and Daiwa Securities Group's jointly established venture arm, DG Lab Fund I Investment Limited Partnership, along with Zach Coelius. 

Total customers: Entrupy’s customers include hundreds of secondary resellers, marketplaces and other retail organisations around the world. They are also testing with shipping companies as well as customs agencies to stop fake items from reaching the market in the first place. 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Greatest Royal Rumble results

John Cena pinned Triple H in a singles match

Cedric Alexander retained the WWE Cruiserweight title against Kalisto

Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt win the Raw Tag Team titles against Cesaro and Sheamus

Jeff Hardy retained the United States title against Jinder Mahal

Bludgeon Brothers retain the SmackDown Tag Team titles against the Usos

Seth Rollins retains the Intercontinental title against The Miz, Finn Balor and Samoa Joe

AJ Styles remains WWE World Heavyweight champion after he and Shinsuke Nakamura are both counted out

The Undertaker beats Rusev in a casket match

Brock Lesnar retains the WWE Universal title against Roman Reigns in a steel cage match

Braun Strowman won the 50-man Royal Rumble by eliminating Big Cass last

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: DarDoc
Based: Abu Dhabi
Founders: Samer Masri, Keswin Suresh
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding: $800,000
Investors: Flat6Labs, angel investors + Incubated by Hub71, Abu Dhabi's Department of Health
Number of employees: 10

The bio

Favourite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Favourite travel destination: Maldives and south of France

Favourite pastime: Family and friends, meditation, discovering new cuisines

Favourite Movie: Joker (2019). I didn’t like it while I was watching it but then afterwards I loved it. I loved the psychology behind it.

Favourite Author: My father for sure

Favourite Artist: Damien Hurst

TEACHERS' PAY - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Pay varies significantly depending on the school, its rating and the curriculum. Here's a rough guide as of January 2021:

- top end schools tend to pay Dh16,000-17,000 a month - plus a monthly housing allowance of up to Dh6,000. These tend to be British curriculum schools rated 'outstanding' or 'very good', followed by American schools

- average salary across curriculums and skill levels is about Dh10,000, recruiters say

- it is becoming more common for schools to provide accommodation, sometimes in an apartment block with other teachers, rather than hand teachers a cash housing allowance

- some strong performing schools have cut back on salaries since the pandemic began, sometimes offering Dh16,000 including the housing allowance, which reflects the slump in rental costs, and sheer demand for jobs

- maths and science teachers are most in demand and some schools will pay up to Dh3,000 more than other teachers in recognition of their technical skills

- at the other end of the market, teachers in some Indian schools, where fees are lower and competition among applicants is intense, can be paid as low as Dh3,000 per month

- in Indian schools, it has also become common for teachers to share residential accommodation, living in a block with colleagues

WISH

Directors: Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn
Stars: Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk
Rating: 3.5/5

The specs: Fenyr SuperSport

Price, base: Dh5.1 million

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Transmission: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 800hp @ 7,100pm

Torque: 980Nm @ 4,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 13.5L / 100km

Honeymoonish

Director: Elie El Samaan

Starring: Nour Al Ghandour, Mahmoud Boushahri

Rating: 3/5

CHINESE GRAND PRIX STARTING GRID

1st row 
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

2nd row 
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-GP)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-GP)

3rd row 
Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing)

4th row 
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)
Sergio Perez (Force India)

5th row 
Carlos Sainz Jr (Renault)
Romain Grosjean (Haas)

6th row 
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
Esteban Ocon (Force India)

7th row 
Fernando Alonso (McLaren)
Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)

8th row 
Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso)
Sergey Sirotkin (Williams)

9th row 
Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)
Lance Stroll (Williams)

10th row 
Charles Leclerc (Sauber)
arcus Ericsson (Sauber)

THE BIO

Born: Mukalla, Yemen, 1979

Education: UAE University, Al Ain

Family: Married with two daughters: Asayel, 7, and Sara, 6

Favourite piece of music: Horse Dance by Naseer Shamma

Favourite book: Science and geology

Favourite place to travel to: Washington DC

Best advice you’ve ever been given: If you have a dream, you have to believe it, then you will see it.

The biog

Favourite book: Men are from Mars Women are from Venus

Favourite travel destination: Ooty, a hill station in South India

Hobbies: Cooking. Biryani, pepper crab are her signature dishes

Favourite place in UAE: Marjan Island

Results

5.30pm: Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Turf) 1,400m; Winner: Mcmanaman, Sam Hitchcock (jockey), Doug Watson (trainer)

6.05pm: Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Bawaasil, Sam Hitchcott, Doug Watson

6.40pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (Dirt) 1,400m; Winner: Bochart, Fabrice Veron, Satish Seemar

7.15pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (T) 1,200m; Winner: Mutaraffa, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

7.50pm: Longines Stakes – Conditions (TB) Dh120,00 (D) 1,900m; Winner: Rare Ninja, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer

8.25pm: Zabeel Trophy – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh120,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Alfareeq, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

9pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (T) 2,410m; Winner: Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

9.35pm: Handicap (TB) Dh92,500 (T) 2,000m; Winner: Zorion, Abdul Aziz Al Balushi, Helal Al Alawi

 

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

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