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Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah retires from Test cricket

The 35-year old played his last Test against Zimbabwe

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Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah retires from Test cricket
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Dhaka: Bangladesh batsman Mahmudullah Riyad announced his retirement from Test cricket on Wednesday after a 12-year career.

The 35-year old played his last Test against Zimbabwe in Harare in July this year with Bangladesh recording a 220-run win.

The right-hander made an unbeaten 150 — his fifth Test hundred — in his final innings and was named the player of the match. 

He scored 2,914 runs at an average of 33.49 and took 43 wickets in Tests, captaining the side six times.

Local media reported that Mahmudullah told his teammates during the Zimbabwe Test but waited to make a formal announcement.

“Leaving a format of which I have been a part of for such a long time is not easy. I had always thought of going on a high and I believe this is the right time to end my Test career,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

His announcement came two days before Bangladesh is scheduled to begin their two-Test series against Pakistan. 

Mahmudullah, the Twenty20 captain of Bangladesh who was not selected for Pakistan Tests, promised to continue playing the other two formats.

“Although I am retiring from Tests, I will still be playing ODIs and T20 internationals and really looking forward to continuing giving my best for my country in white-ball cricket,” he said.

SOURCE: AFP

Siddra Sumreen

Syeda Siddra has been working as a web journalist for over the past seven years. She earned her M.Phil degree in Mass Communication from the Lahore Leads University. Ms. Siddra has previously worked with other renowned channels and is now associated with GNN as Senior Content Writer.

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PML-N asks for ‘deal’ for four people: Shahbaz Gill

Special assistant claims Shehbaz Sharif will soon find himself behind the bars

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PML-N asks for ‘deal’ for four people: Shahbaz Gill

Faisalabad: Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill on Sunday claimed that Opposition Leader in National Assembly and former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked for a deal for four people.

Addressing a press conference in Faisalabad on Sunday, Shahbaz Gill said that the PMLN was demanding that Shehbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, and Maryam Nawaz be allowed to leave the country. The fourth person, according to Gill, is Nawaz Sharif who is already in London.

Shahbaz Gill also said that the PMLN wants former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to stay in Pakistan and lead the PMLN politics. He said that the government would not give a deal to the Sharifs.

He compared the Sharifs’ demand for a deal with deals served at restaurants. “You are confronted by Imran Khan. We won’t allow you a boiled potato or a corncob and you are asking for a chicken piece. You won’t get a deal … You can only curse and get cursed.”

Shahbaz Gill also said that the law would take its due course and Shehbaz Sharif will soon find himself behind the bars. He said Nawaz Sharif will land in jail when he return to Pakistan.

On the other hand, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry in a separate media briefing also spoke about the Sharif family, claiming that there is a "race" underway among four leading members.

"When the four big leaders went to meet 'someone', they said that 'Nawaz Sharif did not do right by the country, why don't you consider us?'," the minister claimed further.

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Mali ex-president Keita dies two years after coup ouster

Mali’s interim government issued a statement hailing the memory of the illustrious Keita

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Mali ex-president Keita dies two years after coup ouster

Bamako: Mali’s former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who led the West African country from 2013 until he was ousted in a coup in 2020, died at the age of 76 in the capital Bamako on Sunday, his family said.

Looming over most of Keita’s presidency was the militant insurgency that has rocked the poor Sahel country since 2012, while his toppling marked the rise of the military junta which is now under regional sanctions for failing to restore civilian rule.

Mali’s interim government issued a statement hailing “the memory of the illustrious” Keita, adding that the former president died “after a long illness”.

Keita was forced out of office on August 18, 2020, by young military officers who staged an uprising at a base near Bamako before heading into the city, where they seized Keita and other leaders.

Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop said he was “saddened to learn of the death of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita”, adding that “it is with great emotion that I bow before his memory”.

Macky Sall, president of neighbouring Senegal, said in a Tweet he was “saddened” by the news, while Niger’s ex-president Mahamadou Issoufou, a former comrade of Keita’s in the Socialist International, hailed him as “a cultured man, a great patriot and a pan-Africanist”.

Politicians and other public figures went to Keita’s home southwest of Bamako to offer their condolences, with police guarding the entrances, according to AFP journalists at the scene.

The government statement said funeral plans would be announced at a later date.

– Protests, coups –

In the weeks before the 2020 coup, Keita had been struggling with protests fuelled by his handling of the jihadist insurgency and failure to turn around Mali’s floundering economy.

Snail-paced political reforms, decrepit public services and schools, and a widely shared perception of government corruption also fed anti-Keita sentiment, driving tens of thousands of protesters into the streets.

Seized by the putschists, the junta that emerged from the rebellion — under pressure from the West African bloc ECOWAS — released Keita weeks later and returned him to his residence in Bamako, under surveillance.

He suffered a mini-stroke the following month and was sent to the United Arab Emirates for treatment. He had been based at his Bamako home since staying out of public life.

The ruling junta would stage another coup in May 2021, toppling a civilian transitional government.

The junta had vowed to hold elections next month to transition the country back to civilian rule. But at the end of the last year, the junta revised its timetable, saying it could stay in power for up to five years.

In response, ECOWAS agreed to sanction Mali earlier this month, imposing a trade embargo and shutting borders, in a decision backed by the United States, the European Union and former colonial power France.

Landlocked Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries, is already feeling the effects of the sanctions, prompting thousands to protest in Bamako on Friday.

– Political veteran –

The son of a civil servant, Keita was born in the southern industrial city of Koutiala, the declining heartland of cotton production.

After studying literature in Mali, Senegal and France, Keita became an adviser for the EU’s overseas development fund before heading a development project in northern Mali.

He then rose through the ranks under Alpha Oumar Konare, the country’s first democratically elected president.

As a socialist prime minister between 1994 and 2000, he quelled a series of crippling strikes, earning a reputation as a firm leader and helping to set up his landslide election in 2013.

Keita was then re-elected in the 2018 elections, beating opposition leader Soumaila Cisse, who died in December 2020 of Covid.

Cisse’s kidnapping by jihadists in March 2020 further illustrated Keita’s inability to stop the violence, with rising public outrage culminating in the coup months later.

Source: AFP

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‘Austria to make COVID vaccines compulsory for adults from Feb’

Nehammer, a conservative who took office in December, said those who didn t comply would face a hefty fine

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‘Austria to make COVID vaccines compulsory for adults from Feb’

Vienna: Austria will become the first European country to make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for adults in February, Chancellor Karl Nehammer said Sunday, acknowledging that it was a “sensitive topic.”

Nehammer, a conservative who took office in December, said those who didn t comply would face a hefty fine.

“We will decide on compulsory vaccination as planned. It will come into force at the beginning of February for adults,” he told a news conference.

Since plans for compulsory jabs were first announced last year, Austria has seen impassioned debate both in parliament and beyond on the issue.

To date 71.5 percent of eligible Austrian residents have had their jabs -- several percentage points below many of the country’s EU neighbours.

Nehammer acknowledged the decision covered "a totally sensitive topic" but said it followed careful consideration.

He warned that after an "entry phase" for the policy, restrictions would be "tightened accordingly" in mid-March on those holding out against the jab, including fines of between 600-3,600 euros ($684-$4,100).

Saturday saw some 27,000 people demonstrate in Vienna against the measure which opponents dub an attack on personal freedoms.

On Thursday Parliament is due to pass into law a bill which initially was set to cover all people from 14 upwards but now will cover adults only.

Exceptions will be made for pregnant women and those who can show they have a medical exemption.

The government has widespread support for a policy which only the far-right is opposing.

Austria has to date seen almost 14,000 Covid-related deaths and 1.4 million cases in a population of some nine million.

Compulsory vaccinations against Covid remain rare worldwide, though Ecuador, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Indonesia and Micronesia have introduced such schemes.

Source: AFP

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