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RIO DE JANEIRO: Germany will have to contend with black magic as well Brazil's Selecao in Tuesday's World Cup semi-final as a voodoo priest plans to curse die Mannschaft.

Brazil will be without injured superstar Neymar in Belo Horizonte, but black magic enthusiast Helio Sillman from Rio de Janeiro says his curse will hinder Joachim Loew's team in the semi-final.

“I'll take their top player and bind his legs so he can't run on the pitch,” said Sillman, referring to the voodoo doll of an undisclosed German player that will be cursed in a ceremony before the game.

In his shop “World of Orixas” in the northern neighborhood of Madureira, Sillman carries out a ritual before each Selecao game.

Using a a small football pitch-shaped box as his alter, he puts inside lit candles in the colours of the opposing team and the voodoo doll of their most important player.

Sillman's curse on James Rodriguez did not stop the Colombian star from scoring in his team's 2-1 defeat to Brazil in Friday's quarter-finals.

And he was powerless to prevent Selecao star Neymar from suffering a fractured vertebrae against the Colombians that has ruled him out of the World Cup.

But Sillman points to Brazil's results against Cameroon, Chile, Croatia and Mexico as testimony to the influence of his magic.

Voodoo dolls representing a player from each of the Selecao's opponents sit in a bowl.

“Those are the four teams that Brazil have overcome,” he said.

Germany's Thomas Mueller, Manuel Neuer and Mats Hummels have been warned.

پاکستان اور بھارت کی کرکٹ ٹیمیں آئندہ فیوچر ٹورز پروگرام میں چھ بار مدمقابل ہوں گی۔

پاکستان کرکٹ بورڈ کے چیف آپریٹنگ آفیسر سبحان احمد کے مطابق 2015 سے 2023 کے درمیانی عرصے میں آئی سی سی کے فیوچر ٹورز پروگرام میں پاکستان اور بھارت کے درمیان چھ دورے رکھے گئے ہیں جن میں سے چار کی میزبانی پاکستان کرے گا۔

ان چھ دوروں میں مجموعی طور پر 14 ٹیسٹ 30 ون ڈے اور 12 ٹی ٹوئنٹی میچ شامل ہوں گے۔

سبحان احمد کا یہ بھی کہنا ہے کہ پاکستان کرکٹ بورڈ اور بی سی سی آئی کے درمیان ان چھ دوروں کے بارے میں مفاہمت کی یادداشت پر دستخط ہو چکے ہیں اور پاکستان کرکٹ بورڈ آئی پی ایل کے بعد بھارتی کرکٹ بورڈ سے ان دوروں کی تفصیلات کے بارے میں بات کرے گا۔

پاکستان کرکٹ بورڈ کو توقع ہے کہ ان دوروں کو یقینی بنانے کے لیے قانونی معاہدے بھی ہو جائیں گے۔

واضح رہے کہ آئی سی سی میں بگ تھری کے غلبے کے بعد آسٹریلیا، بھارت اور انگلینڈ نے دیگر ممالک کی حمایت حاصل کرنے کے لیے ان سے مختلف اوقات میں سیریز کھیلنے کی پیشکشیں کی تھیں۔

پاکستان بگ تھری کی حمایت کرنے والا سب سے آخری ملک تھا۔

پاکستان اور بھارت کے درمیان ہونے والی کرکٹ دونوں ملکوں کی حکومتوں کی اجازت سے مشروط رہی ہے۔

بھارتی ٹیم نے آخری بار 2008 میں ایشیا کپ کھیلنے کے لیے پاکستان کا دورہ کیا تھا۔

2009 میں سری لنکن ٹیم پر حملے کے بعد سے کوئی بھی غیر ملکی ٹیم پاکستان نہیں آئی ہے۔

پاکستانی کرکٹ ٹیم نے 13 - 2012 میں بھارت کا مختصر دورہ کیا تھا جس میں اس نے تین ون ڈے اور دو ٹی ٹوئنٹی انٹرنیشنل کھیلے تھے۔

Pakistan will face off against Sri Lanka in two Tests and three ODIs in August, officials from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) confirmed just a day after the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board meeting.

PCB announces 'conditional' support for 'Big Three'

According to Cricinfo, while there has been a loose agreement on the series in Sri Lanka, tour dates have not been confirmed. With these Tests, both Sri Lanka and Pakistan will bring their 2014 tally to nine Tests, provided all everything goes according to schedule.

Pakistan have no assignment before their series against Australia in October when they play two Tests, three one-days and one Twenty20 in the United Arab Emirates before hosting New Zealand shortly after.

In a statement released to the media following the conclusion of the ICC Board Meeting in Dubai on Thursday, the PCB said it had agreed to the revised ICC resolutions only on the conditions that it would get bilateral series with all members from 2015-2023.

“We had completed the discussion, consultation and negotiation phase with regard to the revised resolutions. It was important for us to get assurances on bilateral cricket with all Boards, especially India, which we have now received. The detailed Future Tour Programs (FTP) are now being finalised with all, especially India,” PCB chairman Najam Sethi said.

Sethi clarified that Pakistan had decided to change its stance after “the resolutions have been diluted considerably from when these were first presented, and are now unobjectionable.”

KUWAIT: Friday, April 4, 2014 happened to be one of the brightest day for Kuwait Cricket as the large cricket loving fans all over Kuwait had the satisfaction of watching their favorite teams in action during the finals of the Six Nation festival cricket tournament organized by Kuwait Cricket which ended up in a colorful note. Pakistan selected XI the defending champions, retained their title as they prevailed over Indian selected XI by 70 runs to lift the Platinum Cup.  In the morning match, Sri Lanka selected XI defeated Afghanistan selected XI to bag the Gold Cup and Bangladesh edged the spirited Kuwait XI, comprising of only Kuwait nationals to take the Silver Cup.

The presentation ceremony was graced by the presence of many dignitaries to the likes of The Ambassador of Great Briton, H.E. Frank Baker who released the tournament sovenier. Also present were the Ambassador of Australia, Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Ambassador of Afghanistan, Deputy Head of Mission of Indian Embassy, Charge D’Affairs of Pakistan Embassy and Head of Bangladesh Military mission in Kuwait. Charge D’Affairs of Pakistan Embassy presented the winning trophy & cash prizes to Pakistan & India teams while the Sri Lankan & Afghanistan Ambassdors presented the Gold Cup & cash prize to Sri Lankan & Afghanistan teams. The Silver Cup & cash prizes were presented to Bangladesh & Kuwait team by The British Ambassador.

LAHORE: Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez stepped down as Twenty20 captain on Thursday after the team's failure to qualify for the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

Pakistan went out from the Super-10 stage after a disappointing 84-run defeat against the West Indies on Tuesday, failing to reach the last four for the first time in five editions of the tournament since its inception in 2007.

Hafeez said he accepted responsibility for the early exit.

“I accept all the responsibility of team's failure,” Hafeez told reporters after a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) meeting in Lahore.

Hafeez led Pakistan to the semi-finals in the last World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka two years ago, shortly after taking over from Misbah-ul Haq.

The all-rounder, who opens both the batting and the bowling with his off-spin, said no one had forced him to quit.

“I am under no pressure and felt that I must step down as leader by taking responsibility, and it's for the PCB to decide who to lead the team,” said Hafeez.

Pakistan have no assignment before their series against Australia in October when they play two Tests, three one-days and one Twenty20 in the United Arab Emirates.

The 33-year-old said he was ready to join the ranks under any captain.

“I am ready to play under any captain as I have done my job with responsibility as captain as well as player,” he said.

Pakistan began the World Twenty20 with a defeat against arch-rivals India before winning their next two games against Australia and Bangladesh.

Hafeez said the players had made too many unforced mistakes during their defeats.

“Our players committed mistakes which led to our defeat and we take responsibility,” said Hafeez.

“I have already apologised to the nation for letting down our fans.”

Hafeez led Pakistan in 29 Twenty20 matches, winning 17 and losing 11, while one was abandoned.

Coach Moin Khan said Hafeez's decision should be praised.

“Hafeez has accepted responsibility and has stepped down so we all must praise his decision,” Khan told reporters.

Khan also urged the media and fans to back the team.

“When we won two matches they (media and fans) made us heroes, but after the West Indies defeat they made us zeroes, so they must back us in these hard times.”

All-rounder Shahid Afridi, who led Pakistan to the semi-finals of the last 50-over World Cup in India three years ago, is widely tipped to take over the captaincy.

LAHORE: Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi said Thursday he was hopeful of a quick recovery from injury in time for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next week after his exploits at the Asia Cup.

The 34-year-old hurt his groin during the recent one-day tournament, which concluded last week and was also held in Bangladesh.

As a result he will not fly out with the team early Friday, and instead travel on Monday.

“I am recovering well and (will) hopefully play at least one warm-up match,” Afridi told reporters.

He is set to miss Pakistan's first warm-up match against New Zealand on Monday.

Pakistan's second warm-up match will be against South Africa on March 19.

One of cricket's hardest hitters, his sparkling form with the bat helped Pakistan beat arch-rivals India in the Asia Cup, sealing victory in the last over by striking successive sixes.

He followed up with a whirlwind 25-ball 59 to anchor a tough 327-run chase against hosts Bangladesh, before Pakistan stumbled in the final to eventual winners Sri Lanka.

But Afridi said Pakistan could still take heart from their victory over India, against whom they will play in their first proper match of the tournament in Dhaka on March 21.

“The Asia Cup win over India will benefit us,” said Afridi, but cautioned: “We have to be at our best to beat India who will now be with (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni.

Afridi, who also bowls leg-spin, will be key to Pakistan's World Twenty20 campaign.

In 70 Twenty20 matches, Afridi has 1044 runs and 73 wickets.

Afridi was player of the tournament in the inaugural World Twenty20 held in South Africa, with Pakistan finishing runners-up to India.

He was man-of-the-match in the semi-final and final in Pakistan's only World Twenty20 triumph in England in 2009.

“I can't see a better (limited-overs) combination in the world than Pakistan because our bowling is good, batting is good but the only mistake we are doing that's in fielding and fielding is the most essential thing in limited-over cricket,” Afridi said.

DHAKA: Shahid Afridi smashed two consecutive sixes off Ravichandran Ashwin in the final over as Pakistan defeated India by one wicket in Dhaka on Sunday, virtually knocking the arch-rivals out of the Asia Cup. Pakistan, chasing India’s 245-8, needed nine runs off the last four balls after losing their way from a seemingly winning position to slump from 200-4 to 236-9 at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
But the seasoned Afridi sealed his side’s win with two mighty hits off the next two deliveries to keep Pakistan afloat in the five-nation tournament with their second win in three matches. India, the reigning World Cup champions, suffered their second defeat in three games and are unlikely to make the March 8 final even if they beat Afghanistan in their last match on Wednesday.

Afridi returned unbeaten on a quickfire 34 off 18 balls, studded with three sixes and two boundaries, but the victory was set up by all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez. Hafeez picked up two wickets and then top-scored with 75, adding 87 runs for the fifth wicket with Sohaib Maqsood (38) after Pakistan were reduced to 113-4 in the 23rd over. But both batsmen fell in successive overs — Hafeez caught in the deep off Ashwin and Maqsood was run out — to leave Pakistan on 203-6. India grabbed three more wickets to make it 236-9 before Afridi’s blitz in the company of last man Junaid Khan carried the jubilant Pakistanis home. Afridi, a 34-year-old veteran of 377 one-dayers, said he was delighted to contribute to his side’s win in a crunch match.

“Expectations were high,” he said. “We all know how important this game was and I am glad I did it. It’s a great occasion whenever we play against India and today was our day.” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq appeared a relieved man after Afridi’s heroics. “It was a really important win and I am happy because Pakistan played really well under pressure,” he said. “We have the label of being bad chasers, but Hafeez and Maqsood did well and Afridi finished it perfectly.” India’s Virat Kohli, standing in as captain for the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said he was proud of the way the team responded to the challenge.
“The guys put in a good effort after a modest total,” he said. “We were 20 to 30 runs short with the bat.

But this game could have gone either way. We may not make it to the final, but I am proud how the bowlers fought back.” Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra marked his first match in the tournament with two for 28 from 10 steady overs on the slow pitch. Pakistan had unsettled India’s batsmen with pace and spin after electing to field, with Saeed Ajmal claiming 3-40 and debutant fast bowler Mohammad Talha and Hafeez two each.

Opener Rohit Sharma (56) and Ambati Rayudu (58) were the main contributors for India at the top of the order, before Ravindra Jadeja hit an unbeaten 52 off 49 balls towards the end. Left-hander Jadeja, who walked in to bat in his 100th one-dayer with his team on a shaky 155-5, smashed four boundaries and two sixes to boost the total. Rayudu put on 52 for the fifth wicket with Dinesh Karthik and 59 for the sixth with Jadeja before he holed out in the deep in the 47th over. Afghanistan, who stunned Bangladesh in their last match, take on Sri Lanka in Dhaka on Monday.

India vs Pakistan Scoreboard

DHAKA, March 2, (AFP): Full scoreboard from the Asia Cup one-day international between India and Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka on Sunday:

R. Sharma c Hafeez b Talha    56
S. Dhawan lbw b Hafeez    10
V. Kohli c Akmal b Gul    5
A. Rahane c Hafeez b Talha    23
A. Rayudu c sub (Ali) b Ajmal    58
D. Karthik c Ajmal b Hafeez    23
R. Jadeja not out    52
R. Ashwin st Akmal b Ajmal    9
Mohammed Shami c Maqsood b Ajmal    0
A. Mishra not out    1
Extras: (lb3, w5)    8
Total (for eight wickets, 50 overs)    245
Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Dhawan), 2-56 (Kohli), 3-92 (Sharma), 4-103 (Rahane), 5-155 (Karthik), 6-214 (Rayudu), 7-237 (Ashwin), 8-237 (Shami)
Bowling: Hafeez 9-0-38-2, Gul 9-0-60-1 (w2), Junaid 7-0-44-0 (w1), Afridi 8-0-38-0, Talha 7-1-22-2 (w2), Ajmal 10-0-40-3

Sharjeel Khan b Ashwin    25
Ahmed Shehzad c Ashwin b Mishra    42
Mohammad Hafeez c Kumar b Ashwin    75
Misbah-ul-Haq run out    1
Umar Akmal c Jadeja b Mishra    4
Sohaib Maqsood run out    38
Shahid Afridi not out    34
Umar Gul c Rahane b Kumar    12
Mohammad Talha c Jadeja b Kumar    0
Saeed Ajmal b Ashwin    0
Junaid Khan not out    1
Extras: (lb11, w6)    17
Total (for nine wickets, 49.4 overs)    249
Fall of wickets: 1-71 (Sharjeel), 2-93 (Shehzad), 3-96 (Misbah), 4-113 (Akmal), 5-200 (Hafeez), 6-203 (Maqsood), 7-235 (Gul), 8-236 (Talha), 9-236 (Ajmal).
Bowling: Kumar 10-0-56-2 (w3), Shami 10-0-49-0, Ashwin 9.4-0-44-3 (w1), Jadeja 10-1-61-0, Mishra 10-0-28-2 (w2)
Pakistan won by one wicket.
Toss: Pakistan
Umpires: Nigel Llong (ENG) and Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
TV umpire: Raveendra Wimalasiri (SRI)
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)

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