Federer to play Stuttgart, Halle

BERLIN - Swiss superstar Roger Federer will play at next week's ATP tournament in Stuttgart, then Halle the week after as he returns from a back injury, it was confirmed here on Thursday. The 17-time Grand Slam winner, who missed the one of the Grand Slam events French Tennis Open, will now play in Stuttgart which will roll into action from June 6 and conclude on June 12, which is celebrating it's 100th anniversary, before playing his next grasscourt tournament in Germany at Halle the week after. The 34-year-old superstar will be bidding for his ninth victory in Halle in his warm-up for Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, which he has already won seven times. The Swiss tennis ace dropped out of the French Open at Roland Garros, which concludes this weekend, with a back injury.–AFP

 Rio won't see flood of pros: Harrison

LONDON - British Olympic boxing gold medallist Audley Harrison does not expect professional boxers to compete in large numbers at the Rio Games after a rule change allowing to them participate was approved Wednesday. The AIBA removed restrictions on professionals competing at 'amateur' events such as the Olympics at an extraordinary congress in Lausanne, Switzerland. Concerns have been raised that hardened professionals could outclass amateur boxers. But few pros are likely to make it to Rio given the final qualifying tournament is in in Venezuela in July. Harrison, who won gold at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, said the lack of access to qualifying tournaments and the different challenges posed by an Olympic programme meant fears of a flood of pros in to Games boxing were unjustified.–AFP

Punjab, KP score wins in Women Baseball

LAHORE – Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa registered victories on the second day of the Strawberry 13th National Women Baseball Championship being played here at the Punjab Stadium. In the first match of the day, Punjab thrashed Islamabad 21–3. For Punjab, Uzma, Rabia, Mariam and Asma scored three runs each while Zaiba and Iram scored two runs each and Rimsha, Rashna, Nabeela, Ammara and Aneka Butt contributed with one run each. For Islamabad Sonia, Meena and Zeea scored one run each. In the second match, KP defeated Sindh 7–4. For KP, Ayesha scored two runs while Saira, Sadia, Nighat, Rimsha and Riffat Shahid contributed with one run each. Today (Friday), the first match will be played between Pakistan Army and Islamabad at 7am while HEC will take on KP in the second match.–Staff Reporters

National Cycle Race tomorrow

PESHAWAR - The second edition of the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tour of Mohmand National Cycle Race from historical bordering village Gharsal Pass to Agency Headquarter Ghalani will be held tomorrow (Saturday). Flanked by organising secretary Nisar Ahmad, Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) secretary Syed Azhar Ali Shah said this during a press briefing here at Qayyum Sports Complex media center on Thursday and added: “The aim and objective of the event is to highlight the rest of the world that peace has been restored to turbulent Mohmand Agency after rendering great sacrifices by the Pak Army’s jawans and people of the area. A total of 72 cyclists from eight different teams comprising Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Islamabad, FATA, Army, Wapda, SNGPL, Railways and hosts KP will be taking part.”–Staff Reporter

SBP appoints Ajmal to promote cricket

LAHORE - Spinner Saeed Ajmal has been appointed Director Development Cricket in Sports Board Punjab (SBP) to identify young and potential players at grassroots level. Saeed Ajmal, who has been conferred with Sitara-e-Imtiaz for his cricketing services for the country, has been assigned duties to supervise cricket academies, revival of grounds and administrative affairs in Punjab as part of development of youth programme. The renowned spinner will also oversee growth of cricket in schools, colleges and universities and will play a role in locating talented players at primary and middle school level. “We have given responsibility to Saeed keeping an eye on future of Pakistan cricket and we are confident to get benefit from his expertise in the game,” said Director General SBP Usman Anwar.–Staff Reporter