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SOUTHAMPTON, England (Reuters) – England must tour Pakistan in 2022 reciprocating the visit of Azhar Ali and his men despite the coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan pace great Wasim Akram said.The England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison has thanked West Indies and Pakistan for touring England amid the pandemic this summer, sparing the ECB massive financial loss.Akram said England should return the favour in 2022. “You boys owe Pakistan cricket, and the country, a lot, with the boys coming over here,” former Pakistan captain Akram told Sky Sports Cricket.“They’ve been here almost two-and-half months in the bio-secure environment,” he said, referring to precautions that have included zones off-limits to anyone other than players and officials. Matches have been played without spectators. “So if everything goes well, England should tour Pakistan,” said Akram, arguably the greatest left-arm pacer.“I promise you they’ll get looked after on and off the field there and every game will be a packed house.” Top teams have declined to tour Pakistan since a 2009 militant attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in the city of Lahore.England last toured Pakistan in 2005-6 but Akram was hopeful the participation of English players in Pakistan’s franchise-based Twenty20 competition would help allay England’s safety concerns.“The English players were there for the Pakistan Super League in our team, Karachi Kings – Alex Hales and Chris Jordan,” Akram, bowling coach of the franchise, said. “They loved it, they enjoyed it, they got looked after beautifully, so the PSL is a step in the right direction.”
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Captain Eoin Morgan belted a blistering half-century as England chased down a record target at Old Trafford to beat Pakistan by five wickets in the second Twenty20 international on Sunday.Pakistan posted 195 for four in their 20 overs on a flat wicket, but the home side completed their victory with five balls to spare and a take 1-0 lead in the three-match series.Morgan blasted 66 from 33 balls to secure the win in what is the highest chase in any form of 20-over cricket at Old Trafford.Jonny Bairstow (44 from 24 balls) and Tom Banton (20 from 16 balls) got their side off to a fast start with an opening stand of 66 in 38 deliveries, but when they fell in consecutive balls to spinner Shadab Khan (3-34), the home side appeared to wobble.But Morgan and Dawid Malan (54 not out in 36 balls) led the counter-attack and accelerated as their third-wicket partnership grew, finishing with 112 in 62 balls before the skipper was caught in the deep with the side still needing 18 runs to win.Pakistan also got their runs at the top of the order as opener Babar Azam smashed 56 from 44 balls in an opening stand of 72 with Fakhar Zaman (36 from 22 balls).Number three Mohammad Hafeez carried on that momentum with a blistering assault on the home bowlers, who struggled to find the right length and too often dropped too short, exposing the square boundaries.Hafeez struck four sixes in his 69 from 36 balls before offering a simple catch to Morgan at cover.The pick of the England bowlers was leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who recorded figures of 2-32 as he picked up the wickets of both openers.The third and final match in the series will be at the same venue on Tuesday. The first match was abandoned due to rain.
Cian Healy continues to make very promising progress following his hamstring injury. Conor Murray is expected to be fit for the Italy clash in Rome, while Fergus McFadden and Craig Gilroy are the two big names to miss out after suffering a rib injury and concussion with Tipp’s Dave Foley also ruled out through injury. Ireland begin their campaign with an away game to Italy on Saturday with kick-off at half three. Meanwhile, Warren Gatland has today named his Wales side 48-hours early for Friday’s Six Nations opener with England at the Millennium Stadium. It shows two changes from the fifteen that beat South Africa back in November. George North returns to the left wing in place of the Scarlets’ Liam Williams, while Richard Hibbard comes in at hooker.Captain Sam Warburton has been named in the back row, and will be making his 50th appearance for his country on Friday night. England prop David Wilson is out of that game with a nerve problem in his neck But Dan Cole is available for selection after recovering from a foot injury. Schmidt said: “Jack Conan and Michael Bent did well against the Saxons but will return to Leinster, as will Noel Reid who was restricted to a brief cameo as he was covering a number of positions.“Rob Herring returns to Ulster and will look forward to having an opportunity for further game-time. Fergus McFadden has a rib cartilage injury, while Craig Gilroy will follow the return-to-play protocols after a concussion in the Wolfhounds game.”Dave Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald are expected to be fully fit to train in preparation for next Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations opener against Italy, while Eoin Reddan and Jamie Heaslip are progressing well and are likely to be available to train fully on Tuesday.
DES MOINES — Leaders of Iowa farm commodity and biofuels groups held a news conference Wednesday to call on President Trump to force the EPA to follow the deal on ethanol and biodiesel that Trump struck with the industry a dozen days ago.Iowa Corn Growers Association CEO Craig Floss began by quoting an Iowa farmer he spoke with Tuesday.“I’ve known this farmer well,” Floss said. “He never uses inappropriate language, nor would I in this kind of setting, but I think this says it all: ‘No more Iowa Nice. Now, it’s Iowa Pissed.”Floss warned thousands of farmers who invested in ethanol and biodiesel plants will go out of business if the EPA plan stands. Grant Kimberly, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, agrees.“This is likely to inflict further damage on the already-struggling biodiesel indusry and farm economy,” Kimberly said.Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw said the EPA draft for implementing the ethanol and biodiesel mandates over the next three years will create an economic crisis.“I thought a deal was a deal,” Shaw said. “When Donald Trump makes a deal, isn’t it a deal? Well, we had a deal and it’s time to stick to the deal.”Kelly Nieuwenhuis, a farmer from Primghar who is board president of the Sioux Center ethanol plant that has shut down joined the event by phone. He told reporters President Trump “has lost a lot of support” over his administration’s approach to ethanol policy.“Pretty much everyone I have talked that’s involved in agriculture and the biofuels industry have really lost trust,” Nieuwenhuis said, “and are really frustrated.”Nieuwenhuise called the EPA draft on ethanol and biodiesel blending requirements “pretty disgusting.”EPA officials, in revealing the details of their ethanol and biodiesel policies for 2020 yesterday, said their action “fulfills the agreement reached on October 4 with the White House, EPA and U.S.D.A.”