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Ahmed defends Pakistan squad as ‘best of the best’

ISLAMABAD (AP) Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has defended the 16-man national squad for tours of Ireland and England as the ”best of the best” despite criticism over the omission of batsman Fawad Alam.

Watson century powers Chennai past Rajasthan in IPL

PUNE, India (AP) Shane Watson capitalized on a dropped catch in the first over and whacked 106 as Chennai Super Kings drove to an easy 64-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League on Friday.

Gayle thumps 11 sixes to blow Hyderabad away

MOHALI, India (AP) Chris Gayle bludgeoned his sixth Indian Premier League hundred to help Kings XI Punjab beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 15 runs Thursday.

Pakistan names squad to play Ireland & England

ISLAMABAD (AP) Opening batsman Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq were among four uncapped players named in Pakistan’s 16-man test squad for next month’s tours of Ireland and England.

Channel 9 loses cricket TV rights after 40 years

SYDNEY (AP) Channel Nine, which brought cricket to Australian television viewers for 40 years and influenced the way the sport is covered around the world, has lost a billion dollar bidding duel for broadcasting rights to Australia’s national game.

Cost of ball tampering: Aussie test sponsor drops contract

SYDNEY (AP) Cricket Australia’s test match naming rights sponsor has pulled out of its deal after less than a year and other companies also severed ties with players involved in the ball-tampering scandal.

Indian cricket board bans Aussie ball tamperers from IPL

NEW DELHI (AP) India’s cricket authorities have barred Australian cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft from this season’s IPL after they were suspended for ball tampering during a test series in South Africa.

Stringent security in place for PSL final in Karachi

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) Thousands of spectators endured long queues and navigated stringent security checkpoints hours ahead of a high profile cricket match on Sunday in Pakistan’s biggest city, the first time in nine years that it has hosted a game of such stature.

England beats NZ by 4 runs in thrilling 3rd ODI

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) England stayed calm at the death to snatch a thrilling four-run win in the third one-day cricket international on Saturday, despite an unbeaten century by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

England says Stokes available for selection following charge

LONDON (AP) England allrounder Ben Stokes is available to play international cricket again while he contests a charge of affray following a violent incident outside a nightclub in September.