LAHORE (Reuters) – The Pakistan Cricket Board said yesterday it had suspended batsman Umar Akmal with immediate effect under its anti-corruption code. The PCB said Akmal “… cannot take part in any cricket-related activity pending the investigation being carried out by PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit.”The announcement came hours before Akmal’s Quetta Gladiators begin their Pakistan Super League title defence against Islamabad United in Karachi.“…@TheRealPCB is already investigating the matter of Umar Akmal and the franchise will not make any comment until inquiry is concluded,” tweeted the Gladiators, who have been allowed to apply for a replacement. Akmal, who has played 16 tests and 121 one-day internationals, last played for Pakistan in a Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka in October last year.
Modesty does not come easy to some footballers and for Mario Balotelli it seems a particularly difficult concept to grasp.On Tuesday, after revealing that he does not know who Jack Wilshere is and claiming that he is better than Cesc Fábregas and Wayne Rooney, the Manchester City striker finally admitted that Lionel Messi might be a tiny bit better than he is.The Italian was speaking after being named the best young player in Europe and winning the Golden Boy trophy, organised by the Turin newspaper Tuttosport and voted for by European journalists to honour the most talented player under the age of 21. The 20-year-old beat the 18-year-old Wilshere into second place, before claiming that he did not know who the Arsenal midfielder is.“What’s his name? Wil … ? No, I don’t know him, but the next time I play against Arsenal I will keep a close eye on him,” Balotelli said. “Perhaps I can show him the Golden Boy trophy and remind him that I won it.”The Italian then had a dig at previous winners of the award, including Arsenal’s Fábregas, Manchester United’s Rooney and Rafael van der Vaart, now with Tottenham, insisting only a single past recipient could claim to be a better player than him. “There’s only one that is a little stronger than me: Messi. All the others are behind me.”A strong claim from a player who has not had an easy start to life in England. He has scored only two goals in seven Premier League games. He has also been injured and he has been sent off. On Monday evening he had a very presentable chance in the loss to Everton, when one-on-one with Tim Howard and with City a goal down, only to hit a post and injure himself while chasing the rebound. Perhaps all the praise from Roberto Mancini has gone to the player’s head. This season City’s manager has said: “Balotelli can be as good as [Fernando] Torres and even better. That’s because Torres can play only as a striker whereas Balotelli can play as a striker, a secondary striker, or a winger. He has a different attitude from Torres like that.”The 20-year-old has never lacked confidence, moreover. While at Internazionale he demanded an apology from the then manager José Mourinho after the two had had a row (needless to say, he never got it and was dropped from the next squad) and it is believed that his attitude was a major factor in the European Cup winners letting him go.Today Balotelli said that the Golden Boy trophy is only a stepping stone towards being named the world’s best footballer. “I am delighted to receive the award, but who should have won it but me? Two years ago I finished sixth and then fourth in 2009. It was finally my turn. My aim is that this prize will transform itself into the Ballon d’Or. To have won this award is a good omen to achieve that.”Balotelli also seems confident of helping his club to finally win something this season. “For 2011 I want the Premier League, in order to continue with the tradition I had at Inter of winning three consecutive titles, and to clinch the Europa League, a trophy I have not yet won and a competition where we are considered favourites.”Source: Guardian/UK
zoom Japan’s shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) has launched a new, twice-monthly car transport service, “Ruffles Ao Dai RORO Express (REX)”, linking Hai Phong in Northern Vietnam with Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, and Laem Chabang, Thailand.On October 8, 2016, the NYK-operated car carrier Modern Link arrived in Hai Phong for the first call and the company held the inauguration ceremony for the new service.According to the company, the previous service for Northern Vietnam was a once-monthly service, calling the port of Cai Lan. Now, the new service calls the port of Hai Phong, which is close to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and increases the number of calls to twice a month, NYK said.NYK said it would attempt to meet the demand for the transportation of finished cars to Vietnam, a country experiencing strong economic growth.The new service is expected to help NYK improve its position in the currently depressed shipping market, following the company’s recent announcement that it expects to see a record loss of JPY 195 billion (USD 1.9 billion) for its shipping and air cargo businesses.