The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has invited Cricket South Africa (CSA) to send its national team for a T20 series in Pakistan next March, according to chief executive officer Wasim Khan.Speaking to the media in Lahore, Khan said that they had also got positive signs from the Sri Lankan board that it would send a full-strength side to play two Tests in Rawalpindi and Karachi in December.”The gates to international cricket returning properly to Pakistan are open and there is no doubt that the recent tour by the Sri Lankan team to play the T20 and ODI series has helped us a lot,” he said.He said the Sri Lankan board would confirm the tour in a week’s time.The PCB official said that talks were going on with Cricket South Africa to send their team for a T20 series.”We are hopeful they will come in late March as the series will also help both teams prepare for the World T20 Championship in October,” he said.A reliable source said that the South African board had given a positive reply and in all probability the tour would go ahead next year.Khan said it was a good sign that presently the Bangladesh women’s team and their under-16 team were in Pakistan playing bilateral series and hoped this would also lead to the Bangladesh board sending its senior team for a Test and T20 series early next year.Meanwhile, the PCB has agreed to host its series of three T20 and three ODI matches against the England women’s team in Malaysia in December.advertisementThe itinerary for the series is set to be announced in a few days time.Apparently, the England cricket board (ECB) requested the PCB to schedule the women’s series at a neutral venue and both boards agreed on Malaysia where Pakistan had also hosted Australia.But before the series against England, Pakistan is waiting for a response from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over whether they will be hosting the Pakistan women’s team as part of the ICC women’s league matches.Also Read | Sourav Ganguly discusses Delhi situation with Rohit Sharma ahead of 1st T20I vs BangladeshAlso See:
The ongoing post-financial crisis correction continues to weigh heavily on economic activity and employment in the EU BRUSSELS, Belgium — Europe’s economy is still reeling and unemployment could remain high for years in spite of the progress made in solving the debt crisis, the European Union warned Wednesday as it downgraded its forecasts for the 27-country bloc.The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, on Wednesday revised its forecast for the economy of the entire region, saying that it now expected the region’s gross domestic product to contract by 0.3% on an annual basis this year, rather than remaining flat as it predicted in the spring. It also said that the 17 countries that use the euro will contract, with GDP falling 0.4%, against a previous expectation of a 0.3% fall.But the most significant downgrade is for next year’s forecast. The commission had expected the eurozone to find its footing in 2013, with 1% growth. Now it predicts only a 0.1% uptick. For all 27 countries in the EU, it forecasts 0.4% growth, compared with 1.3% last spring.[np-related /]The report also suggests that unemployment won’t start falling until 2014 — and then only slightly.“The ongoing post-financial crisis correction continues to weigh heavily on economic activity and employment in the EU,” the report said. “Yet, compared to the situation before the summer, over the last few months financial tensions have somewhat abated.”Official third-quarter GDP figures for the EU and the eurozone, which will show whether the region has entered recession, are due to be released on Nov. 15. A recession is defined as two quarters in a row with negative growth.The eurozone has made progress this year toward resolving its debt crisis, which has been dragging down economies throughout the EU and beyond. Countries that use the euro have slashed spending and promised to keep their deficits in check; they’ve vowed to better protect their banks by improving how they’re regulated and supervised; and the European Central Bank has put in place a plan to help countries struggling with high borrowing costs, the hallmark of the crisis and the reason some have sought bailouts.But those measures are still to be felt in the real economy. The unemployment rate across the eurozone is at a record high of 11.6%, and it is 10.6% in the wider EU. In the latest in a steady stream of job cuts Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, Swedish wireless equipment group LM Ericsson, and Dutch bank ING announced a total of almost 7,000 layoffs Wednesday. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, also said retail sales in the eurozone shrank 0.2% in September.Many economists have argued that, in solving one crisis by cutting government spending and raising taxes, politicians have exacerbated another — slow or negative growth. Meanwhile, tighter banking rules have hurt lending, the fuel economies need to grow.Greece has suffered the most from this vicious cycle and is now in its fifth year of recession. Many say it’s unclear how the country will ever manage to reduce its debts, spark growth and break the cycle. The new forecast expects Greece’s economy to contract 6% this year and another 4.2% next year. In the spring, the commission had hoped growth would be flat in 2013.A similar story is played out across the EU, with the 2013 forecasts for most countries significantly worse than they had been just a few months ago. Even powerhouse Germany is expected to eke out just 0.8% growth now, compared with 1.7% in the spring.