Mohammad Hasnain was suspended from all of the cricket after bowling action is found illegal

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday suspended Quetta Gladiators pacer Mohammad Hasnain from further participation in the ongoing seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as well as any form of international cricket after a bowling examination found that his right arm exceeds the permissible 15-degree limit.

Hasnain’s bowling action was reported by umpires during a game between Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers in Australia’s Big Bash League on January 2. He was subsequently tested at the International Cricket Council-accredited biomechanics laboratory in Lahore as the fast bowler was due to fly back home in time to compete in the PSL.

“As per the Illegal Bowling Action Regulations, until Hasnain clears his reassessment, he will remain suspended from bowling in the international cricket,” the PCB said in a statement.

The cricket board said it had received a formal and detailed report from Cricket Australia on Hasnain’s assessment test and quoted its bowling experts as saying the “problem can be resolved.”

“The report from the CA stated his elbow extension for Hasnain’s good length delivery, full-length delivery, slow bouncer and bouncer exceeded the 15-degree limits.”

The PCB said “Hasnain is an asset for Pakistan cricket” and one of the very few bowlers to consistently click 145kmp.

“As such, and keeping his future and Pakistan’s interest at the forefront, the PCB, on the recommendation of the HBL PSL 2022 Technical Committee, has decided he will not be allowed to continue to participate in the HBL PSL,” the board said in its statement.

The PCB added that it will now appoint a bowling consultant tasked with working with Hasnain so that he could rectify his bowling action and be ready for a reassessment.

The board said the bowler would now utilise the current time with the PCB-appointed bowling consultant to modify his bowling action so that he could apply for a reassessment and become eligible to “return to international cricket as quickly as practically possible”.

Israel, Bahrain sign new defense memo in signal towards Iran

JERUSALEM: Israel and Bahrain signed a defence agreement on Thursday as part of a show of cooperation aimed at sending a message towards archenemy Iran.

Defence Minister Benny Gantz signed the memorandum of understanding with his Bahraini counterpart in the capital of Manama, a key step after the two nations normalised ties in 2020.

He called the agreement “a new high point in the countries’ relationship that will help protect other countries in the region. Earlier, Gantz and his Bahraini counterpart visited the headquarters of the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, which is based in the strategically located Persian Gulf country.

Gantz’s office said the agreement is designed to help advance intelligence cooperation, a framework for exercises” and strengthen ties between the countries’ defence industries. The memorandum is Israel’s second with an Arab nation after Gantz signed one with Morocco last year.

The visit comes at a time of growing tensions in the region fueled by the unraveling of the international nuclear deal with Iran and the ongoing civil war in Yemen. The US and Israel have accused Iran of carrying out a number of attacks on ships in the Gulf, including on Israeli-linked cargo carriers, and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels recently launched a series of missile strikes at the United Arab Emirates. Israel has acknowledged stepping up naval operations in the Red Sea, an important waterway in the region.

Gantz was joined by the commander of Israel’s navy as well as Bahrain’s defence minister on the tour of the 5th Fleet. The delegation visited a US guided-missile destroyer, the USS Cole, and discussed ways to cooperate in the volatile region. With Israel improving ties with Arab countries, the US last year moved Israel away from its European Command and into its Central Command, which oversees the Middle East.

Over the past year, Israel’s cooperation with the 5th Fleet has expanded, Gantz said.

This strategic cooperation is critical in facing developing challenges in the region, he added. Deepening cooperation will enable us to maintain regional stability and to defend the common interests of Israel, the United States and Bahrain.

Gantz’s visit also comes as the US leads a naval exercise with the participation of some 60 nations, including Israel and Saudi Arabia.

This visit highlights the importance of the US 5th Fleets decades-long strategic relationship with Bahrain and expanding partnership with Israel following the recent alignment of Israel to US Central Command, said US Vice Adm. Brad Cooper in a statement issued by Israel’s Defence Ministry. We are always at our best when we work together with our international partners.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates were among four Arab countries that joined the Abraham Accords, a series of diplomatic pacts with Israel brokered by the Trump administration.

For years, Israel and Bahrain maintained clandestine security ties, rooted in their concerns about Iran. Since the agreement, the countries have opened embassies, signed a series of agreements and established direct flights and business ties.

Bahrain’s population is majority Shia, and the country has been ruled since 1783 by the Sunni Al Khalifa family. Since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, Bahrain’s rulers have accused Tehran of arming militants and fomenting dissent on the island, something Iran denies.

Normalisation with Israel remains a contentious issue for Bahrain’s Shia majority, which long has accused the country’s Sunni Muslim rulers of treating them like second-class citizens.

Pakistan, China ink framework agreement on industrial cooperation under CPEC

Pakistan and China on Friday inked the Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrival in Beijing the previous day.

The prime minister is in China to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics and meet the Chinese leadership.

State Minister and Chairman Board of Investment Mohammad Azfar Ahsan and Chairman National Development & Reform Commission (NRDC) He Lifeng signed the accord.

The objective of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Industrial Cooperation is to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), promote industrialization and development of economic zones, and initiate, plan, execute, and monitor projects, both in public as well as the private sector.

The engagement with China under JWG is envisaged to increase labor productivity in Pakistan, enhance industrial competitiveness, increase exports, and sustain diversification in the exports basket.

During the 8th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting of CPEC held in 2018, both sides had signed a Memorandum of Understanding that formed the basis for future engagements between the parties under the ambit of industrial cooperation.

As CPEC entered its second phase, which primarily revolves around the development and industrialization of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), the need for a comprehensive framework agreement became imperative.

Similar agreements have also been signed for Early Harvest CPEC Projects on energy and infrastructure.

With continuous efforts of the Board of Investment (BoI), both sides reached the consensus to elevate the existing MoU into a Framework Agreement in 2020.

After extensive stakeholder consultations and with the approval of the prime minister, BoI shared the draft framework with NDRC in November 2020, which has been formulated keeping in consideration the needs of CPEC Phase II.

The signing ceremony of the framework agreement is a significant outcome of the prime minister’s visit and a top agenda from the Chinese side as a testimony to their interest in CPEC.

Indian army chief’s claim regarding LoC ceasefire ‘misleading’: DG ISPR

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar on Friday rejected Indian Army Chief Manoj Mukund Naravane’s claim that the ceasefire arrangement on the Line of Control (LoC) was holding because India had negotiated from a “position of strength”.

The 740-km LoC had seen unprovoked artillery shelling and firing from across the dividing line until February last year when India and Pakistan recommitted themselves to the 2003 ceasefire, bringing relief to the lives of the affected population.

On Thursday, Indian Army Chief Naravane said the ceasefire continued to hold because India had negotiated from a position of strength, according to a report by Indian news agency ANI.

Speaking about the ongoing military stand-off with China on India’s northern border, Naravane said the “developments adequately underscore the requirement for ready and capable forces, with an optimal component of boots on the ground backed by modern technology”.

Reacting to the Indian army chief’s comments, the DG ISPR termed the claim “clearly misleading”.

The ceasefire was agreed “only due to Pakistan’s concerns for the safety of people of Kashmir living on both sides of the LoC”, he tweeted. “No side should misconstrue it as their strength or other’s weakness.”

The surprise truce announced in late February 2021 had brought an end to years of violence along the frontier that saw thousands of skirmishes rattle the Himalayan territory, where the two sides have used artillery, mortars, and small arms.

The deal effectively reinstated an earlier ceasefire signed by the two sides in 2003 that had been trampled by thousands of violations in recent years.

The ISPR said the original deal had largely held until 2016, when tensions exploded in occupied Kashmir, resulting in a surge in violence between the two sides.

As fighting along the LoC raged, ties between the rivals went into freefall with India repeatedly accusing Pakistan of sending infiltrators across the LoC, while Islamabad lambasted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for stoking Hindu nationalist sentiment against Muslims.

The two sides came close to another all-out war after an attack inside India-occupied Kashmir in 2019 led to tit-for-tat airstrikes. But even after stepping back from the brink, fighting along the LoC escalated, reaching an apex in 2020 with thousands of clashes reported.

But the damage from coronavirus and slowing economies — along with a geopolitical tug of war — appeared to have convinced both sides to halt for the time being.