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Yorkshire coaching staff resigns after racism scandal

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Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon and head coach Andrew Gale have left the troubled county side along with the entire coaching staff in the latest fallout from a damaging racism scandal.

Former Yorkshire off-spinner Azeem Rafiq gave harrowing testimony to British lawmakers last month in which he said his career had been ended by the abuse he received at the club.

Rafiq had previously called for Moxon and Gale to step down, claiming the club could not move forward until they left Headingley.

Moxon, a former Yorkshire and England opening batsman, had been signed off from work due to a stress-related illness since the scandal erupted, while Gale, who previously captained the club, had been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing over a historical tweet.

Their departures follow those of club president Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur, who resigned following widespread condemnation of Yorkshire over their treatment of Rafiq.

Moxon and Gale were heavily criticised at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee hearing in London.

“We can confirm that Martyn Moxon, director of cricket, and Andrew Gale, first XI coach, have left the club today in addition to all members of the coaching team,” a Yorkshire statement said on Friday.

“A new director of cricket will be appointed imminently, alongside a new coaching team which is being recruited.”

The club said the total number of departures was 16, including six members of the backroom medical team provided by Pavilion Physiotherapy Clinic.

“Significant change is required at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and we are committed to taking whatever action is necessary to regain trust,” said new chairman Kamlesh Patel.

“The decisions announced today were difficult to make but are in the best interests of the club. Without making important changes to how we are run, we cannot move on from the past to become a culture which is progressive and inclusive.”

An independent report found Pakistan-born Rafiq, 30, was a victim of “racial harassment and bullying” but although Yorkshire apologised, they said they would take no disciplinary action against any staff.

The fallout for the club — one of England s most successful and historic sides — was swift and devastating, with sponsors pulling out and the club suspended from hosting lucrative international matches.

Subsequent allegations of racism have been made by other players, setting in motion additional investigations at Yorkshire and other clubs as the scandal spreads.

English cricket s top administrator announced an anti-racism action plan last week, admitting an “earthquake” had hit the sport.

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COAS, Saudi FM discuss matters of mutual interest, regional security

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Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa says the 17th extraordinary session of OIC is extremely important to channelize international efforts and save Afghanistan from looming security and humanitarian crises.

He was talking to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud, who called on him in Rawalpindi.

Matters of mutual interest, regional security, current situation in Afghanistan and bilateral defence relations were discussed during the meeting.

The Army Chief also emphasized that peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute is essential for stability in South Asia.

He reiterated that Pakistan wants cordial ties with all its neighbors in pursuit of regional peace and prosperity.

The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s role in Afghan situation, specially its efforts for border management and its role in regional stability.

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NIH confirms first case of Omicron in Pakistan

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The National Institute of Health (NIH) Pakistan on Monday confirmed the first case of Omicron variant of coronavirus.

“The NIH has been able to confirm (via whole genome sequencing) that a recently suspected sample from Karachi is indeed the ‘Omicron variant’ of SARS-CoV2,” said NIH Pakistan in a tweet.

“This is the first confirmed case but continued surveillance of suspected samples is in place to identify the trends.”

According to the NIH, “The importance of getting vaccinated to protect from serious effects of existing and new variants is therefore highlighted. Please get yourself vaccinated according to guidelines issued by the NCOC.”

On December 9, Pakistan had reported its first “suspected” case of the new coronavirus variant Omicron in a woman, 57, in Karachi.

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PM Imran Khan to visit Lahore today

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Prime Minister Imran Khan will reach Lahore on a day-long visit today (Wednesday). He is scheduled to chair important meetings during his stay in the provincial capital.

According to sources, the Prime Minister is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar will brief the Prime Minister on important issues of the province. The Prime Minister will also address a ceremony in connection with Health Cards.

The Prime Minister will also meet the Vice Chancellors (VCs) and Principals of medical universities and colleges in Lahore. Key senior ministers will also meet PM Imran.

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