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Binding relationships: Lebanon, the rugby league and links to Australia | Rugby League News | Instant News



Lebanese fans supported their team during the 2017 World Cup quarter-final against Tonga

“There is something about being Lebanese, you can never tell. I was born here, but when I went there as an adult, the first time we landed in Beirut, I really felt a strong connection to the place.”

Those were the words of Michael Cheika, the former head coach of Australia’s national rugby team, after he was inaugurated in November. as the man who led Lebanon in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

Born in Sydney to a Lebanese family, the 53-year-old is among 230,880 Australians with Middle Eastern ancestry, with around 66,000 Lebanese-born living in the Greater Sydney area alone.

Cheika’s parents emigrated in the 1950s, but many of them are tens of thousands of refugees who fled Lebanon during the country’s civil war that raged between 1975 and 1990. Out of the horror, however, emerged one of the more unpredictable rugby. league success story.

Next year’s World Cup in England will mark the 21st anniversary of the Cedars attending the sport’s global gathering, when a team of players based entirely in Australia provides the spark for the rugby league revolution.

This has shaped a sporting relationship between the Lebanese community in Australia and their homeland as well – and Danny Kazandjian, the man who pioneered the development of domestic sports in Lebanon in the early 2000s, knows how important it is.

“Academic papers have been written on the relationship between the Lebanese diaspora and the Lebanese rugby league project and how the two coexist to produce activity, visibility and longevity,” Kazandjian, now secretary general of the global governing body of sport of the International Rugby League, told Sky Sports.

Danny Kazandjian helped prepare for the Lebanese domestic rugby league

Danny Kazandjian helped prepare for the Lebanese domestic rugby league

“The emigration rate from Lebanon to Australia is lower than before, but there is still a very strong connection. There are many Lebanese I know in Australia, you would think you were in Lebanon.

“They speak Arabic, some of them don’t speak English very well, their home configuration is very Lebanese, they have Lebanese satellite TV and only watch Lebanese TV. Culturally, they have maintained links to their homeland even though they are separated by geography.”

The story of the Lebanese rugby league begins with John and George Elias forming the team for the 1997 World Seven Rugby League, graduating to full international matches the following year and qualifying for the 2000 World Cup with victories over Italy, Morocco and the US.

A 64-0 defeat to runners-up New Zealand in the rain at Gloucester’s Kingsholm was followed by a delightful display in a 24-22 defeat to Wales and a 22-22 draw with Cook Islands in the group stage.

Lebanon drew with the Cook Islands in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup

Lebanon drew with the Cook Islands in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup

Part of those granted permission to represent Lebanon was a gift to earn a rugby league in the country as well, with the British Kazandjian – whose ties to the nation stem from his parents who met while living there – seizing the opportunity to spearhead it in 2002 after made contact with Elias ahead of their first World Cup.

It was his work that led to a code of 13 people establishing a permanent presence in a country without the legacy of previous rugby league, starting with embedding it in university and spreading from there. On the international stage, it wasn’t until 2017 that Cedars qualified for the World Cup again.

Reaching the tournament’s quarter-finals in Australia ensures Lebanon automatically gets a place at next year’s World Cup and Cheika has seized the opportunity to coach the team after becoming one of their supporters three years ago.

“The tournament is an opportunity to show a little bit of Lebanese culture not only to Australians but to everyone watching on TV,” Cheika told Australia. Daily Telegraph.

This is a wonderful opportunity for me to do something that is representative of my parents’ homeland.

New Lebanon head coach Michael Cheika

“Sport has the ability to bring people together, it brings out the best in people. I watched the game, jumping around cheering and crying.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for me to do something that is representative of the land my parents come from.”

Cheika is not the first big name in Australia to lend its support behind the project, with NRL stars such as Hazem El Masri – formerly of the Canterbury Bulldogs, a club with a sizable support base among Sydney’s Lebanese community – and, more recently, Robbie Farah have worn the distinctive green and red uniform in the past.

The next step is to start integrating more players from Lebanon’s domestic competition into the national team rather than relying on legacy players based in Australia, something Cheika has indicated he wants to do.

Robbie Farah represented Lebanon at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup

Robbie Farah represented Lebanon at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup

The current arrangement sees the Lebanese Rugby League Federation (LRLF), bound by the country’s sports laws, overseeing national championships and state development programs, while at the same time mandating national teams to represent them and the states. Meanwhile, the expertise to run international campaigns mostly comes from Australia.

Kazandjian knows from his time running the LRLF and how relations between domestic regulatory agencies and the Australian arm have not always been smooth sailing, but added that tensions can be a force for good as well as the nation aims to build on relatively quickly. steps he has made over the past two decades.

“There is no point in any sport having a national team without a cultural identity, level of visibility or recognition at home and that’s something the Lebanese federation – as well as other countries with strong expatriate communities in Australia and Europe are fighting for,” said Kazandjian.

“The tension is always there, and there are advantages and disadvantages. The downside is that when tension becomes overly taught it can lead to enmity between the two bodies.

Jamaica aims to create the RLWC ‘shock wave’

Jamaica coach Jermaine Coleman told Sky Sports what it means to qualify for the World Cup and his hopes for 2021.

“When the two sides work together it can bring about very positive results as we have seen with the good news about Lebanon – most recently was Michael Chieka taking over as coach and his faith in the project. It’s a double edged sword and something. which they have to deal with in a calm manner. “

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Sir Don Bradman’s debut Australian Test cap sells for 450,000 Australian dollars | Cricket News | Instant News


The Bradman hat is the second-highest price for a piece of cricket memorabilia, behind only the Shane Warne hat, which sold for over a million Australian dollars earlier this year; Bradman averaged 99.94 in 52 Tests for Australia

Last Updated: 22/12/20 8:57 a.m.


Sir Don Bradman’s debut test cap was purchased by an Australian businessman after it did not sell at auction

Sir Don Bradman’s ‘Baggy Green’ hat, given to him on his Australian Test debut in 1928, has been sold to a local businessman for 450,000 Australian dollars, just over £ 253,000.

The Bradman hat failed to sell at auction last week, with an Australian dollar 400,000 reserve price not being met.

But Australian businessman Peter Freedman has now dived for the item, which he will tour around the country.

Shane Warne's Australian Test Cap sold for over a million Australian dollars earlier this year

Shane Warne’s Australian Test Cap sold for over a million Australian dollars earlier this year

The fee paid for the Bradman hat is the second-highest for a piece of cricket memorabilia, surpassed only by Shane Warne’s Test cap, which was bought for more than a million Australian dollars earlier this year after Warne sold it to help with wildfires. relief effort.

Freedman said in a statement released by auction house Pickles: “Too often, memorabilia like this ends up spending its life on the walls of some boardroom or in some basement bar of a wealthy sports fanatic. I want as many people as possible to enjoy it as much as possible. “

Freedman – who earlier this year paid nine million Australian dollars at auction for a guitar used by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain – added: “Sir Don Bradman is an Australian legend. Not only as one of our greatest talents in the sport and yet another one of a kind athlete. most revered of all time, but as an icon of Australian fortitude and resilience. “

Bradman averaged a record 99.94 in Tests cricket, scoring 6,996 runs, 29 centuries and 13 fifties in 52 Tests between 1928 and 1948.

Steve Smith has the second highest Test batting average of all time, behind Bradman

Steve Smith has the second highest Test batting average of all time, behind Bradman

Bradman’s Australian counterpart, Steve Smith, has the next highest test batting average of all time, with the 31-year-old averaging 62.31 from his 74 matches to date.

Smith will be back in action for Australia in Boxing Day exams against India at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Australia leads a series of four games 1-0 after winning their opening series in Adelaide with eight goals, after beating India for 36 in their second half.

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Pakistan captain Babar Azam exits first Test against New Zealand with a thumb injury | Cricket News | Instant News


Mohammad Rizwan will captain Pakistan in Babar Azam’s absence, with the goalkeeper captaining the country’s 33rd Test; The opening Imam-ul-Haq also ruled out an injury; batsman Imran Butt who opened the lid on the squad for the Boxing Day Test

Last Updated: 21/12/20 10:34


Pakistan captain Babar Azam will miss the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand with a broken thumb

Pakistan captain Babar Azam was ruled out in the first Test against New Zealand from Boxing Day with a broken thumb.

Babar – who sits fifth in the ICC Test batting rankings – has missed the ongoing T20 series against the Black Hats, which have been beaten by tourists, and will now sit in the five-day opening match at Mount Maunganui.

Goalkeeper Mohammad Rizwan will lead Pakistan in Babar’s absence, captaining the country’s 33rd Test.

Mohammad Rizwan will be captain of Pakistan in the absence of Babar

Mohammad Rizwan will be captain of Pakistan in the absence of Babar

On Babar, Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said: “Even though it will be almost two weeks since Babar’s injury when the first test starts, it will be difficult for him and the team to play him without a net session. I remain confident and optimistic that other players will go up. to that opportunity. “

Imam-ul-Haq’s batsman opener will also be sidelined after breaking his left thumb during the net session, so Pakistan included batsman Imran Butt who has yet to open the lid in their 15-man squad for the opener series.

Butt, 24, hit 934 running with an average over 62 with four centuries and three and a half centuries in the 2019-20 Quaid-e-Azam Cup, Pakistan’s domestic first-class tournament.

Imam-ul-Haq will also miss the first Trial with a problem of thumbs

Imam-ul-Haq will also miss the first Trial with a problem of thumbs

The versatile Faheem Ashraf has returned to the Tes squad after a two-year absence, while batsman Haris Sohail, who pulled out of a UK tour in August due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is also back.

The second test, in Christchurch, takes place from January 3, with the decision to include Babar and Imam taken closer over time.

Pakistan squad for first test against New Zealand: Mohammad Rizwan (captain), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah

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Six Pakistani players test positive for coronavirus on tour of New Zealand | Cricket News | Instant News


New Zealand Cricket: “Despite this disappointment for the Pakistan squad, the results of testing and the actions taken show that the Government system is working”; two out of six positives are considered “historical”, with the remaining four new

By PA Media

Last Updated: 26/11/20 8:14 am


Six Pakistani cricketers tested positive for the coronavirus while on tour in New Zealand, with the exception that those training during managed isolation have been postponed pending investigation.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said two out of six positives had been considered “historical”, with the remaining four said to be new.

The Pakistan squad is currently in managed isolation in Christchurch, where they arrived on Tuesday for a tour scheduled to include two Tests and three T20 matches.

The six players have been moved to the quarantine area of ​​the managed isolation facility.

“Although this is disappointing to Pakistani forces, the results of testing and the actions taken show the Government’s systems are working,” the NZC said in a statement.

Prior to leaving Lahore, all members of the Pakistan touring squad returned negative results on the four occasions they were tested, the governing body said.

The NZC said it had also become aware some members of the Pakistani force had violated protocol on the first day of managed isolation and would be reminded of their responsibilities.

Britain returns to Pakistan for the first time in 16 years

England’s men’s cricket team will visit Pakistan for the first time in 16 years when they play two Twenty20 internationals in Karachi in October 2021.

Britain has not visited Pakistan since 2005 but is scheduled to tour there next year

Britain has not visited Pakistan since 2005 but is scheduled to tour there next year

The Cricket Board of England and Wales (ECB) and the Cricket Council of Pakistan (PCB) confirmed the schedule for matches in Karachi on October 14 and 15, 2021.

The ECB has announced on Tuesday that the UK cannot proceed with the proposal tour of Pakistan earlier in the year but will now play two T20 matches in October.

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Match Report – Argentina 15 – 15 Australia | Instant News


Argentina and Australia are inseparable as they are satisfied with a 15-15 draw in their Tri-Nations clash at Newcastle. Nicolas Sanchez and Reece Hodge both took five penalties while the Wallabies had two attempts ruled out.

Last Updated: 21/11/20 12:53 pm










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The best action of the Tri-Nations meeting between Argentina and Australia in Newcastle

The best action of the Tri-Nations meeting between Argentina and Australia in Newcastle

Nicolas Sanchez held back his nerve with a boot as Argentina retaliated from 15-6 down to claim a 15-15 draw against Australia in the trial-free Tri Nations Series in Newcastle.

Australia had plenty of territory and possession in the first half and were certainly impressed on attack but they had two attempts ruled out – Jordan Petaia’s foot was on the set-piece line as she took aim, while Marika Koroibete was denied for a forward pass.

The best action of the Tri-Nations meeting between Argentina and Australia in Newcastle

The best action of the Tri-Nations meeting between Argentina and Australia in Newcastle

However, the Wallabies got a nine-point lead just before the hour mark thanks to five penalties from half-flying Reece Hodge who punished Argentina’s carelessness.

But Sanchez, who scored all Argentina’s points, split the post with three penalties, the last two from 45 yards and a headwind, as the spoils were distributed at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Brandon Paenga-Amosa brings for the Wallabies

Brandon Paenga-Amosa brings for the Wallabies

While Argentina could not find the fluency that saw them claim a shock 25-15 win over New Zealand last week, Puma was able to avoid their first defeat in the competition.

Australia will regret their inability to make their first-half dominance count but they have a chance to snatch victory two minutes from time, only for Hodge to brush off the line with a penalty 40 yards from a sharp angle.

Jordan Petaia lands for a trial that is disallowed

Jordan Petaia lands for a trial that is disallowed

Dave Rennie’s youth team, who also beat New Zealand in their last match, were left frustrated after failing to win a prize for their territorial dominance and not closing out on better game management in the last 20 minutes.

“We tried to play with a lot of territory and I think we won it. Maybe just a little indiscipline in the end and Sanchez made us pay,” said Australia captain Michael Hooper.

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“We can’t solve it tonight.”

All three teams in the competition added six points ahead of next weekend’s final game, when Argentina take on the All Blacks at the same venue.

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