Oct 042017
Iran-Funded Center a Lifeline for Jakarta’s Marginalized Shia Minority

JAKARTA, INDONESIA The first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram, is not a very big deal for most Indonesians, outside of New Year’s Day. But every night of Muharram since it started on Sept. 21, hundreds of Shia Muslims have come together at a tile-clad building in South Jakarta to ceremonially mourn the death of the prophet Muhammad’s grandson.They listen to a live or streaming sermon in Bahasa Indonesia or Farsi and pray, often tearfully.The mourning rites of Muharram are an important Shia tradition, but as Indonesia’s Shia minorities face growing intolerance, they have steadily lowered their profile. So this month’s nightly gatherings at the Islamic Cultural Center (ICC), which was built in 2002 with funding from Iran, are among the largest sites of Shia activity in the whole country.Over 99 percent of Indonesian Muslims belong to the Sunni denomination, but that belies Shia cultural influence in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. (Sunni and Shia are the two major Muslim denominations, which diverged early in Islamic history over a debate on the rightful successors to the prophet.)Shia Islam may have been the first strain to reach Indonesia, through Arab traders who reached Aceh around the 12th century, and Shia traditions like veneration of the dead and visiting shrines are still observed in pockets across Indonesia, even by Sunnis.But most of Indonesia’s roughly one million Shia are concentrated in the Jakarta metro area, and the ICC is a nexus of their community.Iranian Outpost in IndonesiaICC, clad in blue and white ceramic [Read More…]

Sep 152017
Zaheer Abbas praises ICC role in bringing cricket back to Pakistan

Zaheer Abbas LAHORE: Former president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Zaheer Abbas has praised the role of the governing body in resumption of international cricket in Pakistan by sending the World XI to the cricket-starved country.“ICC has done a tremendous job by supplementing the efforts of the Pakistan Cricket Board in bringing back international cricket and its role will always be remembered in Pakistan cricket history,” he told APP here on Thursday ahead of the third and last T20 international of the Independence Cup series.Zaheer Abbas, a former Pakistan captain and a batting great, said that without the all-out support of the ICC it would not have been possible to arrange the tour of World XI, which has opened the doors of international cricket in Pakistan.“Punjab government and our security agencies also played a paramount role in ensuring this elite cricket event by providing foolproof security to the foreign teams and officials,” he said.“Dark nights of Pakistan cricket are finally over and a new era of cricket has begun in the country which is evident from the immense interest of crowd assembled during the first two T20 matches,” he added. ICC spending more than $1 million on Independence Cup Amount is paid to internationally recognised security firms hired by the PCB for the series, says source “Both (PCB and the ICC) worked hard together in close coordination to address the issue of return of international cricket and similar efforts are needed in future as well to have such international events [Read More…]

Sep 112017
Cricket in the country

It is good news for Pakistani cricket fans that after a long period of eight years, the ICC board had agreed to support a three-game Twenty20 series between Pakistan and a World XI side in a bid to help revive international cricket in the country. It is hoped that the people will have a peaceful and enjoyable event. It is also hoped that more events like this will be conducted in the country and the authorities will take even more steps to bring international cricket back to Pakistan. This event will also help clear all false myths about our wonderful country. Arish Jawaid (Karachi) Click for detailed story

Aug 202017
Brathwaite reported for suspect bowling action

The Windies’ off-spinner Kraigg Brathwaite has been reported with a suspect bowling action during the first Test against England, which the hosts won at Edgbaston on Saturday.The match officials’ report, which was handed over to the Windies’ team management, cited concerns about the legality of the 24-year-old’s bowling action.Brathwaite’s bowling action will now be scrutinised further under the ICC process relating to suspected illegal bowling actions reported in Tests, ODIs and T20Is. He is required to undergo testing within 14 days, and, during this period, Brathwaite is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known. Click for detailed story

Jun 182017
Kohli, Sharma collapse in high-octane Champions Trophy final

Pakistan full-speed ahead Squads India's inning got off to a rocky start with skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma succumbing to Pakistan's bowling attack two overs in, leaving the blue shirts at 7/2 in the second inning of the high-octane nail-biting final of the Champions Trophy at London's Oval ground on Sunday.India are at 16 runs at the loss of two wickets in the 4rd over. Pakistan full-speed ahead India won the toss and opted to put Pakistan in to bowl first. The green shirts set a daunting target of 339 for the loss of four wickets for India to chase down ─ the team's second-highest total against India. A 128-run opening partnership between Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali set the mood for the first inning, with Azhar and Muhammad Hafeez both racking up half centuries, whereas Fakhar smashed 114 off 106 deliveries, and Babar Azam scored a solid 46 off 52. The opening pair broke two records ─ one for the best score posted by Pakistani openers against India in an ICC tournament (86 runs), and the second for the best partnership against India in an ICC tournament when 100 came up for Pakistan in the 18th over.The last time Pakistani openers scored more than 100 runs prior to the fall of the first wicket in two consecutive matches was in 2003. This is only the second time the same has happened outside Asia. Head-to-head, the record is in favour of India against Pakistan in all ICC tournaments. However, [Read More…]

Jun 172017
ICC places murals on CT finalist teams route

LONDON: Ahead of the high voltage ICC Champions Trophy final between Pakistan and India, the ICC has placed murals at The Oval, explaining the journey of both the teams to the final of tournament.The murals are spray-painted to create various caricatures of players from both the team. Captains from both the teams – Sarfaraz Ahmed of Pakistan and Virat Kohli of India – signed the wall which depicted their caricatures with the tournament’s trophy.“Will India claim their third ICC Champions Trophy?Can Pakistan provide yet another upset?Now is time for Heroes to become Champions” reads the wall. These murals placed at the Lords also carry a caricatural story of Pakistan and India’s road to the final.“Pakistani bowlers have propelled their side to the final. And the batsmen have played their part too with a series of vital knocks,” reads the caption on one of the caricature.“After a shaky start, Pakistan have rallied. Their fast bowlers are on song, inspired by the captaincy of Sarfaraz Ahmed,” reads another caption.These murals are part of ICC’s initiative to engage fans in event-related activities to add some off the field colours to an already colourful event of the most followed sport in sub-continent. Click for detailed story

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