Arsalan Khawaja: Australia cricket star's brother 'framed' terror suspect


Usman Khawaja (2nd R) poses with Rachel McLellan (C), brother Arsalan Khawaja (2nd L) and other family members at Crown Metropol after the Australian nets session on December 25, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

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Michael Dodge/Getty Images

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Usman Khawaja (right of centre) is pictured here with his brother Arsalan (left of centre) and other family members

The brother of Australian cricket star Usman Khawaja has been arrested for allegedly framing another man over a fake terror plot.

Police in Australia have charged Arsalan Khawaja, 39, with forgery and an attempt to pervert justice.

In August, police charged a Sri Lankan student in Sydney over an alleged plan in a notebook about killing Australian politicians.

Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen was detained for a month before being released.

The 25-year-old PhD student had claimed that that he was framed by a rival at his workplace, the University of New South Wales.

On Tuesday, police alleged Mr Nizamdeen had been “set up in a planned and calculated manner” by Mr Khawaja.

Mr Khawaja, who worked in the same department as Mr Nizamdeen, had been partly motivated by a “personal grievance” over a woman, police said.

Wrongful detainment

Mr Nizamdeen endured more than four weeks in solitary confinement after he was arrested on terrorism charges.

Police accused him of plotting the attacks in his notebook. An alleged hit list included the former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House.

However he was released in October after police failed to connect his handwriting to the writing in the notebook.

Mr Nizamdeen, who has returned to Sri Lanka, has indicated he plans to seek compensation from authorities for his wrongful detention.

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On Tuesday, New South Wales police expressed “regret” for Mr Nizamdeen’s experience.

“We feel very sorry for him and what has happened to him,” Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing said.

Mr Khawaja was arrested on Tuesday in suburban Sydney. Police had questioned him over the notebook last month.

His brother Usman Khawaja is one of Australia’s leading batsmen. He is set to play in the test series against India, beginning on Thursday.

Speaking hours after the arrest, he asked for his family’s privacy to be respected.

“It is a matter for police to deal with. Out of respect for the process it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment,” he said.



Virat Kohli causes uproar with 'leave India' comment


Kia Oval, London, Britain - September 6, 2018 India"s Virat Kohli during nets

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Reuters

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Kohli’s remarks have sparked outrage on social media

India cricket captain Virat Kohli is embroiled in controversy after lashing out at a cricket fan who said he preferred English and Australian batsmen to Indian players.

“I don’t think you should live in India, go and live somewhere else,” Kohli told him in a video recording.

He was responding to messages during the launch of his mobile app on Monday.

The video went viral and prompted a torrent of criticism against Kohli on social media.

The 30-year-old cricketer has been hailed as one of the greatest batsmen in the world and is often touted as India’s cricket megastar since national legend Sachin Tendulkar retired in 2013.

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In the video, Kohli is seen reading out a message from a cricket fan who described him as an “over rated batsman”. He also said he enjoyed watching batsmen from English and Australian teams rather than the current Indian team.

“Why are you living in our country and loving other countries? I don’t mind you not liking me, but I don’t think you should live in our country and like other things,” Kohli said in his response. He added that the fan should get his “priorities straight”.

Social media users were quick to call out Kohli over his remarks – and many referred to past instances in which he had praised sportspeople of other nationalities.

Harsha Bhogle, a prominent cricket commentator and journalist, also weighed in on the controversy.

Some others mocked Kohli’s response.

This isn’t the first time Kohli has been in the spotlight for controversial statements.

In 2016, when India’s federal government cancelled 86% of the country’s currency, Kohli called it the “greatest move” he has ever encountered in politics.

The remark sparked criticism because the surprise decision had disrupted the lives of millions of Indians.

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Kohli has been hailed as one of the greatest batsmen in the world

Writing about Kohli’s latest comments, Times of India journalist Dwaipayan Dutta wonders if the cricket captain is “losing perspective” off the field.

The statement, he writes, is “probably an extension of the nationalist narrative that modern India tries to propagate”.

Last month, Kohli became the fastest batsman to reach 10,000 one-day international runs in a match against West Indies.

He achieved the feat in his 205th innings and surpassed Tendulkar, who did it in 259 innings in 2001.



Ball-tampering review finds Cricket Australia 'arrogant and controlling'


Steve Smith and David Warner wearing the baggy green caps of Australia's Test team

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EPA

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Steve Smith and David Warner are currently serving suspensions

A scathing review into Australian cricket has condemned a “winning without counting the costs” culture that left players in a “gilded bubble”.

The independent report was commissioned by Cricket Australia (CA) after a ball-tampering scandal rocked the Test team in South Africa in March.

The review found that CA was partly to blame, and viewed more widely as “arrogant and controlling”.

The governing body said it would accept most of the report’s recommendations.

The ball-tampering incident shocked Australia and led to 12-month suspensions for team leaders Steve Smith and David Warner, and a nine-month ban for batsman Cameron Bancroft.

It also hastened the departures of coach Darren Lehmann and CA chief executive James Sutherland.

“Responsibility for that larger picture lies with CA and not just the players held directly responsible for the appalling incidents at Newlands [in South Africa],” said the report released on Monday.

The report may fuel calls for the three players’ suspensions to be reduced, Australian media reported.

‘Play the mongrel’

The 145-page review was conducted by not-for-profit organisation The Ethics Centre. Its other findings included:

  • that players were frequently pushed to “play the mongrel”, often against their nature,
  • they operated in a bubble “disconnected, for much of each year, from families, friends and the grounding influence of community”,
  • CA reverted “to bully tactics or worse, ostracising” when situations went “against them”, according to one unnamed insider.

Among 42 recommendations, the review proposed setting up a new ethics committee and selecting players based on character in addition to ability.

CA said it would accept 34 recommendations and consider seven more. It had rejected one proposal that would excuse players from taking part in T20 cricket.

“We are very committed to moving the game forward and using this review as a platform to do that,” chairman David Peever said.

However, he also described it as “at times difficult to read and in some instances, difficult to agree with”.

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Media captionAustralia’s former PM Turnbull in March – tampering scandal ‘beyond belief’

Tim Paine, who succeeded Smith as Test captain, said the players had adjusted their priorities.

“I think, potentially for a little bit, we got a little bit wrapped up in our own self-importance,” he said.



How Anderson became the world's best – and is he getting better?


James Anderson has played 143 Tests, a record for a pace bowler

England’s James Anderson is now the most successful pace bowler in Test history.

Fifteen years on from his Test debut, Anderson’s five wickets against India at The Oval took him past Australia great Glenn McGrath and on to 564 wickets.

So how has the man nicknamed the ‘Burnley Express’ got there? BBC Sport breaks down the numbers.

From debutant to record-breaker

Interactive

James Anderson’s changing teammates

2018

Image of James Anderson in England squad photo in 2018

2003

Image of James Anderson's first England squad photo

Anderson made his debut as a 20-year-old against Zimbabwe at Lord’s in 2003.

His first over in Test cricket cost 17 runs but in his third he bowled opener Mark Vermeulen.

He finished the innings with 5-73, the first of 26 five-wicket hauls in his Test career.

Anderson now has 564 Test wickets to his name, meaning only spinners Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble have taken more.

Anderson’s bunnies

Of those 564 wickets, some batsmen feature more than others.

Anderson has dismissed Peter Siddle 11 times – the most he has taken any player’s wicket – but the ex-Australia bowler is in good company.

India’s Sachin Tendulkar may have scored a record 15,921 Test runs, but he was dismissed nine times in 14 matches by Anderson.

Anderson has played a significant part in four Ashes series wins for England – and a few big-name Australians have also found things difficult…

Modes of dismissal

It’s an image we have seen so many times. A full, inviting delivery from Anderson, late swing and an outside edge.

More than a third of his Test wickets have come courtesy of catches by a fielder, with caught by the wicketkeeper the next most common dismissal, and then bowled.

Former England keeper Matt Prior has taken more catches off Anderson than any other bowler in Tests.

The pair combined 68 times, with current England keeper Jonny Bairstow next on the list.

Alastair Cook, who has fielded at first slip for much of Anderson’s career, is the highest non-wicketkeeper in terms of catches off Anderson’s bowling with 40.

Wickets by opponent

Anderson loves bowling against India.

He has taken more wickets against them than any other team – 110 in 27 matches. More than three-quarters of those have come in England.

Australia feature prominently here again too. Anderson has taken five five-wicket hauls in Ashes series and was the leading wicket-taker in the 2010-11 series when England won down under for the first time in 24 years.

Simon Hughes, The Analyst

Indian players are probably the worst at adapting to seaming conditions.

They are not used to the ball swinging or seaming much and Anderson examines their tendency to drive at balls that are not quite full enough with the bat face open. Often these shots slide off the face of the bat and are caught in the slip cordon.

Also, because they were the last to agree to use the decision review system (DRS), their techniques are a little more fragile.

Home comforts

Like most bowlers, Anderson has a better record at home than away.

He has taken 368 of his 564 wickets in England with a bowling average – the number of runs conceded per wicket taken – of 23.76. Overseas his average climbs to 32.63.

In England – where the Dukes ball tends to move more through the air than the Kookaburra used in Australia – Anderson is often able to take advantage of swinging conditions.

Simon Hughes, The Analyst

Anderson’s first overseas tours were poor. For example, he had no skills to fall back on in Australia or India other than swinging the ball conventionally.

His ability to master the ‘wobble seam’ delivery – which he used superbly in Australia in 2010-11 – and utilise reverse swing, which won the Kolkata Test in 2012, has markedly improved his performances abroad.

His superior control has brought his average down. Still, he accepts his overseas record is not as good as it should be and says he is still up for the challenge of improving it in Sri Lanka and West Indies this winter.

At home at the ‘Home of Cricket’

Anderson has taken more wickets than any other player at Lord’s.

His 103 wickets have come in only 23 matches at the ground and include career-best figures of 7-42 against West Indies in 2017.

Simon Hughes, The Analyst

Anderson is a brilliant exploiter of the slopes and angles at Lord’s. He loves starting his bowling at the Pavilion End, where he can both swing his outswinger against the slope but also use the slope to bring the ball back into the batsmen, making them play more balls than they need to.

When the ball is older, he likes the slope of the Nursery End to take it away from the right-hander. As Glenn McGrath did, Anderson brilliantly utilises the advantages that the unusual Lord’s geography offers. Plus, the lush outfield helps the ball keeps its shine.

Mr Reliable

Anderson has been the go-to bowler for many England captains throughout his career and one clear strength has been his remarkable consistency.

Whatever the stage of the match, the seamer has been able to take wickets. His bowling average across all four innings is remarkably similar…

Improving control?

When selected, Anderson has been a consistent wicket-taker throughout his England career, ever since his five wickets in his first innings.

But over time he has seen his economy rate – the average runs conceded in an over – drop significantly as he has become a more accurate, miserly bowler.

He now concedes about two runs less per over than when he was most expensive in the early stage of his career.

Still getting better?

This is a worrying sight for Anderson’s opponents: he seems to be improving with age.

His bowling average has been lower in the past two years than at any point in his career. There may well be more wickets to come…

Simon Hughes, the Analyst

I divide Anderson’s Test career into four phases:

1. Arrival. He burst on to the scene charging in to bowl his swingers, taking wickets but also going for plenty of runs as he tended to strive too often for the unplayable delivery and bowled a lot of hittable half-volleys.

2. Disruption. Soon after he made it into the England team there was a general obsession with pace – it came mainly from then head coach Duncan Fletcher – and there was an attempt to lengthen and straighten Anderson’s run-up and change his action slightly. He lost his natural outswing for a while, got into trouble for running on the pitch and was generally expensive, going at about four runs an over.

3. Graduation. By about 2010 he had reverted to his original run-up, rediscovered his natural skill and fine-tuned it to become a consistent wicket-taker, excelling at home and spearheading England’s climb to become the number one Test team in the world.

4. Sophistication. Since being spared playing one-day cricket, he has been able to save his precious skills for the Test format. With fitness and expertise, he has evolved into a supreme wicket-taking machine, adept in all conditions, using subtle variations to command great respect from all the world’s batsmen to become the most successful Test seam bowler of all time.

Can you name the batsmen James Anderson has dismissed more than five times in Tests?

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Cricket legend Imran Khan confirmed as Pakistan PM


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Media captionFive things to know about Imran Khan

Former cricket star Imran Khan has been elected prime minister of Pakistan in a vote at the country’s National Assembly.

His PTI party won the most seats in July’s elections – setting up Mr Khan to become PM with the help of small parties, more than two decades after he first entered politics.

He will be sworn in on Saturday.

Mr Khan, 65, will inherit a country with a mounting economic crisis and he has vowed to create a “new Pakistan”.

The charismatic sports star, who captained Pakistan to a World Cup victory in 1992, has long shed his celebrity playboy image and now styles himself as a pious, populist, anti-poverty reformer.

He ran on an anti-corruption platform that pledged to improve the lives of the country’s poor with an “Islamic welfare state”.

In Friday’s vote, Mr Khan was backed by 176 members. His opponent, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif, received 96 votes.

Speaking after the results, the prime minister-elect vowed to bring about the “change that this nation was longing for”, according to local media.

He promised “strict accountability” for those who had “looted this country”.

“I did not climb on any dictator’s shoulders; I reached this place after struggling for 22 years.”

Opposition parties have claimed elements of last month’s elections were rigged. Despite this, they agreed to take their seats in the assembly.

In the lead-up to the election, Mr Khan was widely seen as the favoured candidate of the powerful military, which was accused of meddling against his rivals.


Applause and angry chants

Analysis by Secunder Kermani, BBC News, Islamabad

The announcement that parliament had chosen Imran Khan as the next prime minister was greeted by applause from his party, and angry chants from his rivals, the outgoing PML-N.

When it first became clear that the PTI had won the elections last month, Mr Khan addressed the nation in a conciliatory tone. Today he was more fiery.

He repeatedly rejected opposition claims that the vote was rigged and offered to investigate the allegations.

He challenged the opposition to hold a sit-in against him, telling them he would even provide them food and shipping containers to block roads.

Mr Khan faces real challenges, including a mounting economic crisis, but his supporters have high expectations of what he can deliver in terms of creating jobs, and improving healthcare and education. He promised to create a “new Pakistan”, now he will have to show the country what that looks like.


Before the election Mr Khan told the BBC that if he were to be elected, his initial focus would be on the economy. Pakistan’s currency, the rupee, has declined significantly in the last year. Inflation is on the rise and the trade deficit is widening.

Exports such as textiles have taken a hit from cheaper products by regional competitors, including China. Analysts say the new government may need to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the country’s second bailout since 2013, which could complicate efforts to boost welfare.

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Media captionWhat do Pakistani women want from PM Imran Khan?

After the 25 July election, Mr Khan also vowed to hold talks with India to seek a resolution to the dispute over the Kashmir region, a key flashpoint between the nuclear-armed countries.

He also called for “mutually beneficial” ties with the United States, despite being an outspoken critic of that country’s anti-terrorism measures in the region, such as drone strikes. President Donald Trump recently cut aid to Pakistan, accusing it of providing a “safe haven” to terrorists active in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Pakistan, a country with a population of nearly 200 million, has been ruled on and off by the military during its 71-year history.

Whether as a result of coups or corruption allegations, no prime minister in its history has ever successfully completed a term in office.

Three-time PM Nawaz Sharif was ousted from office in 2017 over corruption allegations.

He was jailed in the lead-up to the vote, and his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, led the PML-N party into the election.

After the election, three major opposition parties banded together to nominate Shahbaz Sharif as a joint candidate in a bid to thwart Mr Khan.

However, one of the parties – the PPP party of assassinated ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto – is reported to have withdrawn its support for Mr Sharif in the run-up to the vote and abstained on Friday.



England's Stokes not guilty of affray


Ben Stokes

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AFP/Getty Images

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Ben Stokes’ defence barrister told the jury he had acted “to defend himself or in defence of another”

England cricketer Ben Stokes has been found not guilty of affray after a fight near a Bristol nightclub.

The Durham all-rounder, 27, denied the charge following the fracas between a group of men last September.

His lawyer Paul Lunt said it was “the end of an 11-month ordeal” for Mr Stokes, who was “keen to get back to cricket being his sole focus”.

Ryan Ali, 28 – who was knocked unconscious in the brawl – was also found not guilty of the same charge.

The fight happened several hours after England had played a one-day international against the West Indies at the County Ground in the city.

Mr Stokes and Mr Ali shook hands on leaving the dock.

His wife, Clare Stokes, cried when the not guilty verdicts were returned while her husband closed his eyes with relief and then looked up.

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PA

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Ryan Ali has been cleared of affray

During the six-day trial, Bristol Crown Court heard the incident described as “a sustained episode of significant violence” from Mr Stokes – of Castle Eden in Durham – who had “lost control”.

The prosecution said he was “drunk and enraged” after being refused entry back into Mbargo nightclub at 02:00 BST on 25 September.

But Mr Stokes told the jury he had “stepped in” to defend two gay men who were being verbally abused, and then had to defend himself from Mr Ali – of Forest Road in Bristol – and Ryan Hale, 27, who were threatening violence.

Mr Hale, of Burghill Road in Westbury-on-Trym, was acquitted of the same charge last week.

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Media captionHow events unfolded the night Ben Stokes was arrested

Mr Ali, who works for the emergency services, suffered a fractured eye socket in the brawl while Mr Hale, a former soldier, was left with concussion.

As Mr Ali left court, smiling, he told BBC Sport editor Dan Roan he was “relieved it’s all over” and said he had no further comment to make.

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Media captionBen Stokes’ lawyer, Paul Lunt, said the jury’s decision fairly reflected the truth of what happened in Bristol that night.

Outside court, two cricket fans from Bristol – who were part of the crowd awaiting the outcome – said they were pleased with the verdict.

Arthur Davis, 30, said: “He’s a great player although not in form and maybe this will change that.”

And Javen Rahiman, 26, said: “I’m pretty pleased but it’s not the best example he’s setting, especially as the evening of the fight was after such a good victory.

“I hope it’s a kick up the backside for him and he can focus more on the game now with no distractions.”

After the verdict the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said Mr Stokes would be added to England’s squad for the third Test against India.

The BBC’s cricket correspondent, Jonathan Agnew, said Mr Stokes would now face an ECB independent disciplinary committee, likely charged with bringing the game into disrepute.

On the first day of the trial, the prosecution team applied for Mr Stokes to be charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, a lesser charge, but this was rejected by Judge Peter Blair QC.


What is affray? Analysis from Clive Coleman, BBC legal correspondent

Under the Public Order Act 1986, ‘a person is guilty of affray if he uses or threatens unlawful violence towards another and his conduct is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety’.

So, though it may seem odd, the offence is not designed simply to protect those involved in the violent incident itself: it is also designed to protect other people who are present.

That could include, for example, passers by in a street, those drinking in a pub, or fans at a football game when violence is threatened or actually occurs.

However, the ‘person of reasonable firmness’ need not actually be present at the scene.

This person is sometimes known as the ‘hypothetical bystander’ and it is he or she rather than the victim, who must fear for his or her personal safety.

There must be a ‘victim’ present against whom the violence is to be directed, and some conduct, beyond the use of words, which is threatening and directed towards a person or people.