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Since 1st March, 1999
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Akram for Indo-Pak ties

Karachi: Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram, who has quit international cricket, Wednesday said he favours immediate resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan and is looking forward to the day when he can commentate on a match pitting the two arch rivals.

Akram, who captained Pakistan on its last tour of India in 1999, urged both sides to shun politics and restore full sporting ties. “For the sake of billions of fans in both countries we should revive cricketing ties,” said Akram who announced his retirement on Sunday.

Akram said he had been overwhelmed by expressions of support since his decision to retire from international cricket, but stressed that the decision was final.

No all-White team

Durban: Emphasising the need for transforming the country’s sport, South African sports minister Ngconde Balfour has said that he will not allow all-White national teams to enter the field of play in any future tournament. “I will not compromise on this. Transformation in sport is non-negotiable. If, however, we fail to make progress, I will have to reconsider my options. We must transform, there is no alternative,” Balfour told members of the parliamentary committee on sport at Cape Town on Tuesday. Chief executive of the United Cricket Board Of South Africa (UCBSA), Gerald Majola, who was present at the briefing, assured that national cricket teams will be representative of the country’s population.

Brazil, France friendly

Zurich: World champions Brazil and European champions France will play in a special friendly match in Paris next year to mark the 100th anniversary of Fifa, world soccer’s governing body said on Tuesday. Brazil will travel to the Stade de France on May 20, 2004, as part of the centenary festivities for Fifa, who were formed in Paris on May 21, 1904. Fifa will officially launch the celebrations in Paris on June 29 prior to the final of next month’s Confederations Cup. European soccer’s governing body Uefa and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will be involved in the proceedings next summer as they commemorate their 50th anniversaries.

Don’s cap to be auctioned

Sydney: The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) has launched a public appeal to purchase the cap Don Bradman wore in his last Test appearance in 1948.

The cap has been in Britain for the past 47 years after Bradman gave it away to his English godson but will be auctioned in July.

The ACB and an Australian newspaper group have joined forces to try and buy the baggy green cap and bring it back to the country. ACB chairman Bob Merriman said the cap would be put on display in an Australian museum.

Caribbean suspension

Paris: The clubs and representative teams of the Caribbean federation of Antigua and Barbuda were barred from international matches by Fifa on Tuesday. A Fifa statement said: “The latest developments in football in Antigua and Barbuda and the current chaotic situation in the administration of football in this country were preventing the national association from assuming its duties correctly.”

A delegation from Fifa and Concacaf will visit the islands next month to “assess the situation and define a plan of action”, the statement added.

Bowyer for Magpies

London: Newcastle United are poised to sign Lee Bowyer from relegated West Ham United, British newspapers reported on Wednesday.

The controversial midfielder, cleared of all charges after being involved in a protracted court case over an assault on an Asian student in Leeds in 2000, is set to agree to a long-term contract with Newcastle this week, the reports said.

Sport on Screen

Cricket, Zimbabwe in England: First Test, Day 1 live from 3.10pm on ESPN .Cricket, Australia in West Indies: Third ODI highlights from 7am on STAR Sports .Tennis, Masters Series from 11pm on STAR Sports

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