Malala reaffirms support for Palestinians after backlash

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi Thursday reconstituted the national women’s team’s selection committee increasing its members to seven.

The development comes after the national side suffered a whitewash against the West Indies women’s team in the recently concluded three-match one-day international (ODI) series, the board said in a statement.

The home series, which commenced on April 18, saw the visitors thumping the Green Shirts in the first ODI as they were handed a 113-run defeat by the West Indies after being bowled out for 156 runs while chasing a 270-run target.

In the second ODI, the hosts suffered a two-wicket defeat followed by an 88-run triumph in the third and last match of the ODI series on April 23.

However, despite the 3-0 loss, Pakistan currently holds fifth position in the 10-team ICC Women Championship 2022-25.

It is to be noted that the top five teams from this championship, along with hosts India, will directly qualify for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2025. The remaining teams will participate in a Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament.

According to the PCB, retained members from the previous selection panel include Asmavia Iqbal and Marina Iqbal. Joining them are Abdul Razzaq and Asad Shafiq (both members of the men’s national selection committee) and former international player, Batool Fatima.

Meanwhile, the coach and captain will also be part of the national women’s selection committee, the board noted.

The PCB’s statement further underscored that the foremost task of the new committee will be to select the players for the upcoming tour of England, where they are scheduled to play three T20Is and three ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 fixtures from May 11 to 29.

Pakistan’s Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai Thursday reaffirmed her support for the Palestinians after facing backlash from netizens around the world for collaborating with former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

“I want there to be no confusion about my support for the people of Gaza […] I have and will continue to condemn the Israeli government for its violations of international law and war crimes,” Malala wrote in a social media post.

However, the women’s rights advocate chose to turn off the comments on the said post on her social media accounts.

The Nobel laureate’s remarks come after she faced scathing criticism from a large number of social media users who called her out for co-producing a Broadway musical “Suffs” with Hillary — the former Democratic presidential candidate and a political heavyweight who has time again opposed the calls for a ceasefire in Gaza despite more than 34,000 Palestinians being martyred so far.

Stressing that she would continue to call for a ceasefire in Gaza along with the provision of humanitarian aid, Malala lamented the “relentless atrocities against the Palestinian people”.

Decrying the news reports of mass graves at Gaza’s Nasser and Al-Shifa hospitals, the Nobel laureate said that she “stood in solidarity with the people in Gaza whose voices and demands must be heard”.

“When we see alarming signs of genocide, we cannot wait to take decisive action. We must work together to urge our leaders to stop these war crimes and hold perpetrators to account,” she added