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US PGA Tour exploring return options

PGA Tour plans return in June, first sign of sporting return
The US PGA Tour is considering various scenarios to a return to competition in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including playing some events without fans, Golf Digest reported Friday.
The tour told players in a memo sent Thursday, and obtained by Golf Digest, that it was targeting a return for the Charles Schwab Challenge on May 21 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
The tour suspended its season after the first round of the Players Championship last month and has since called off tournaments through the Byron Nelson Championship scheduled for May 7-10.
ESPN reported that the tour is expected to announce more cancellations next week.
Players were told in the tour memo that officials hope to “preserve the maximum number of events we can while giving us more time as the crisis evolves.”
Officials told players they will rely on guidance from health and government authorities before deciding on a resumption of play.
If a May resumption of play is not possible as shelter-in-place directives remain in effect, a re-start at Colonial could be moved to June 11-14, taking the dates originally set for the Canadian Open, which is expected to be cancelled.
The tour told players they would have three to four weeks’ notice before the season resumes.
“We understand many of you may be impacted by travel restrictions and/or the inability to practice in your area, thus we want to be able to give you as much time as possible to allow you to come back fully prepared,” the memo said.
The tour announced on Monday that it was rescheduling its season finale, the Wyndham Championship, for August 13-16, with the season-ending tour playoffs to follow over the next three weeks.
British boxer Amir Khan took to social media to ask Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan to take action against the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), which he says are creating hurdles in the process of ration delivery to the needy.
The Amir Khan Foundation (AKF), according to the boxer, is currently catering to the needs of 10,000 people but the PSB has stopped the food and people from entering the premise.
“Very disappointed, I am supporting 10,000 needy and poor families of Pakistan with food at the AK Boxing Academy in Islamabad. Authorities of Pakistan Sports Board have creating hurdles and stopped people and food to enter into premise,” tweeted Amir from his official Twitter account.
He attached a picture of the notice sent to him by the PSB, which has a subject of “illegal entry of truck and offloading of flour at Amir Khan (sic) Boxing Hall, PSC”.
The notice says that “as per Government instructions all indoor facilities and outdoor facilities are closed due to coronavirus (COVID-19) campaign. Entry of the truck and the offloading of flour bags by 10-12 persons, opening of the closed facilities without any lawful authority, premises and approval is sheer violation (sic) of the Government policy and PSB disciplines. It is not only serious security lapse (sic) on the part of the security staff which can cause any mishap”.
The letter is signed by Muhammad Shahid, Deputy DG (Facilities), while it is directed to the Security Officer PSB Muhammad Ashraf.
Amir earlier promised to donate Rs40 million for the welfare of the poor in Pakistan during the coronavirus-forced lockdown.
“Amir Khan Foundation will make sure to distribute ration and other necessary things among the poor,” Amir had said.
He has also offered to use his boxing academy in Islamabad as a quarantine centre.
“I want to help the government of Pakistan as they assist the patients affected by coronavirus,” he had added.
Former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock has revealed an interesting story regarding Pakistan’s legendary pacer, Shoaib Akhtar, and how he made life difficult for the batsmen of his time.
Pollock, who picked 421 Test wickets at an average of 23.11 in 108 matches, spoke about the impact of fast-bowling on different surfaces while comparing Akhtar and Australia’s former speedster Brett Lee.
“Playing fast-bowlers on different surfaces made a huge difference,” said Pollock while speaking on Sky Sports Cricket Podcast. “When playing Brett Lee in Perth, Australia, although he was blitz, we felt we could hang back or go down when he bowled short.”
“But when facing Shoaib Akhtar, when we played him in the sub-continent, we could not do that because of lack of bounce. Also there was a chance we could get a yorker or a beamer at some stage. When he got his inswinging yorkers wrong, they used to come hip and chest high,” he added.
The 46-year-old also revealed how he and his teammates used to wait for the captain’s signal, regarding the end of Akhtar’s spell, during matches in order to breathe a sigh of relief.
"When batting we used to watch the Pakistan captain to see how many overs Shoaib Akhtar had left in his spell. When he'd get the signal that he was out of the attack, we would think, Yes!" he said.
The former right-arm pacer also spoke about the change in attitude of fast-bowlers as soon as the speed gun was introduced.
“The speed gun brought a different dimension to fast-bowling because all of a sudden now you had something through which you could register how quick you were on the field,” he said. “You always feared the fast-bowlers you played against and we had Shoaib Akhtar and Brett Lee at that time. They were the ones trying to gun for 160 [kph].”
He also heaped praise on Pakistan’s other fast-bowling greats, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, while naming some of the all-time best pacers.
"In my era, you had great combinations like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis for Pakistan and Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh for West Indies,” he concluded.

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