McIlroy looking for desert storm

DUBAI - Rory McIlroy says he'd be focused completely on trying to win a second Dubai Desert Classic title, this week rather than thinking about his upcoming date in a Dublin court. The world number one has fond memories of recording his first win as a professional in what is the oldest golf tournament in the Middle East, and, having finished second in his last three starts on the European Tour, McIlroy is hoping to go one better and add to his 2009 title in the desert. Speaking to the media on the eve of the tournament, McIlroy said: "One win here, but seems every time I come here I have a chance and I play well. It's a great way to start the season. I've done this the last few years where I've played Abu Dhabi, taken another week off to practise and then come here and play in Dubai.” –AFP

Bubka to take on Coe for IAAF presidency

KIEV - Ukrainian pole vault legend Sergei Bubka will challenge Britain's Sebastian Coe for the presidency of the IAAF. The two men are the only candidates so for to succeed Lamine Diack, who is due to step down in August. Bubka, 51, said: "I am seeking presidency to give something back to the world of athletics which has given so many opportunities to me throughout my life." An IAAF council member since 2001 and vice-president since 2007, Bubka set 35 world pole vault records in a glittering career which brought him an Olympic gold in the colours of the Soviet Union in 1988 and six consecutive world championships from 1983 to 1997, three of them for Ukraine. Former middle distance star Coe, who headed the London 2012 Olympic organising committee, threw his hat into the ring in November.–AFP

ICC launches World Cup 2015 app

LAHORE - The International Cricket Council (ICC) Wednesday launched the official World Cup 2015 app, which anybody can get closer than ever before to the event by downloading the new app for free direct to their smartphone or tablet. The app will have unique features and has been designed to enhance user experience of the World Cup. It will allow everyone to keep themselves up-to-date with all the latest news of the tournament. It will also provide access to match centre that will keep fans abreast of the live action with the fastest source of live scores and ball-by-ball commentary. It will contain video highlights and the most important moments of the match that will ensure that those who haven't caught the action live, will not miss out on anything, ICC official website reported.–Staff Reporter

Munir bowls Essco Club to win

ISLAMABAD – Captain Munir-ur-Rehman Tanzil helped Essco Club defeat Classic Club by 39 runs in a friendly fixture here at National ground Tuesday. Essco Club, batting first, piled up 273-9 in 35 overs. Mujtaba Saleem was top scorer with 74, hitting 15 boundaries while Umer Nawaz Khan contributed 72 with the help of 12 fours and skipper Munir made quick-fire 32. Classic skipper Moiaed Sheikh took 4-39 and Ikram Niazi got 2-47. In reply, Classic Club innings was folded at 234 in 34th over. Sohail Ahmed made 46 and Moied Sheikh added 36. Munir was the wrecker-in-chief as he grabbed 6-43, while Ahsan Karim and Hassan Ali took two wickets each. Islamabad Cricket Association (ICA) North Zone secretary Shabbir Ahmed was the chief guest and gave away Rs 100 to player of the match Munir.–Staff Reporter

District Inter-club Boxing from Feb 2

PESHAWAR – The two-day district Inter-club Boxing Tournament will begin from February 2 to hunt young talent of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The tournament will be played at Forest Institute, University of Peshawar in collaboration with District Sports Officer (DSO) Peshawar. The boxers of the registered club of the district would participate in the event. Talking to the reporters, KP Boxing Association (KPBA) secretary Etrat Nazir Bhatti said: “Different committees have already been formed to make the tournament a success.” He was of the view that aim of holding the event was to bring the real talent. Moreover, he said they would soon hold women boxing tournament in Peshawar and boxing clubs would be established in Peshawar, Abboattabad, Mansehrah, Mardan and Charsadda districts.–Staff Reporter