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How to Use Your Tax Return for Travel

Those looking to travel domestically could take a full two weeks to visit the Pacific Northwest (think: Seattle, Portland and the surrounding area.
Couples can spend a week in Sedona, Arizona hiking the red rocks, or lounge on the beach in Florida’s Key West, with airfares in the low $300s roundtrip from many East Coast airports, according to Jauntaroo.
International destinations are still a possibility for couples on a $2,400 budget, including getaways to Croatia, where roundtrip airfare can be found from $483 per person and hotels can be booked for less than $100 per night. (Sadly, outside the capital, there arent a ton of points hotel options.) Theres also Budapest, Hungary. Hunt for a roundtrip flight just over $400 and boutique apartment rentals for $60 per night on Airbnb.
$2,700 to $2,850For international vacations, Midwest residents can head to Spain from the Midwest for just $481 roundtrip per person, or take a quick flight to the island of Aruba for just $371, according to Skyscanner. Entire families can enjoy a trip here by using points to reserve a stay at one of the islands many great points properties.
Photo by Tashka / Getty Images.$3,000 to $3,150The average tax return has historically been about $3,000 per person, and most states land in this range, from Alaska to Georgia, Maryland and Nevada.It’s still a sizable return, and even travelers who don’t want to spend their entire tax return on a trip can find great options within this budget.For residents of Nevada, Alaska, or any of the other western states, the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington are a short flight and boat ride away.
The rural archipelago is filled with state parks and greenery, making it the perfect option for nature lovers who want to hike, kayak, swim or watch for orcas starting in May. Flights originating from the west can be as low as $103 per person, according to Skyscanner, and hotels on the islands usually run from $70 to $150 per night.For international locations, residents of the West Coast can fly to parts of South America in just a few hours. Flights from California to Sao Paolo, Brazil are usually less than $500 in May.
East Coast residents can turn to the British Isles for a great getaway, where flights to Scotland are $499 round trip and flights to London are just $341, according to Skyscanner. Travelers can splurge on the recently renovated Ritz-Carlton in London, or stay at the highly rated Hilton Metropole for less than $150 per night.(Cash in your points for an award night, and youll have plenty of your tax return left over for food, beverages and activities.)$3,700 to $3,850States in the Northeast see some of the highest average tax refunds, with Connecticut taking the number one spot of $3,844, according to Smart Asset.
Travelers in the highest tax return bracket could jet off to Bali for two weeks to visit ancient Hindu temples. Flights from New York City to Bali can get as low as $481 roundtrip in the month of May (though if you want to book something quick, its not difficult to find flights in the mid-$700s) and hotels run in the low hundreds per night.North African temperatures tend to be relatively mild in the spring, making it a great time to visit Morocco or Egypt (one of our top places to travel this April). Flights to Africa tend to run on the more expensive side, regardless of the time of year, but flights to Casablanca can be found in the low $600s roundtrip.Visitors can rent entire homes near Casablanca for roughly $50 per night — and some even include their own pools.For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips please .

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European T20 League: Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands announce brand new tournament

Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands on Wednesday announced a joint franchise-based European T20 cricket league. In a first-of-its-kind venture in cricket, the three boards have decided to come together to launch a brand new T20 league, with each …

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Shammi Silva elected president of Sri Lanka Cricket

Shammi Silva has been elected president of Sri Lanka Cricket. Drawing in 83 out of a possible 142 votes Silva, a candidate backed by former president Thilanga Sumathipala, beat Jayantha Dharmadasa, who received 56 votes.
Alongside Silva, other members of the previous executive committee in Mohan de Silva and Ravin Wickremaratne have been voted in again, this time as secretary and vice-president respectively.K Mathivanan also returns as vice president, the only member of the Dharmadasa faction to be elected.The results translate to yet another unhappy election outcome for the brothers Ranatunga.Former World Cup winning captain Arjuna lost out narrowly in the race for vice-president, racking up 72 votes to Wickremaratne’s 82 and Mathivanan’s 80, while the younger Ranatunga, Nishantha, running for the post of secretary, picked up just 43 votes to de Silva’s 96.The end result is a mere shuffling of the same people, with Sumathipala and Dharmadasa the only major players missing out among the office bearers voted in during SLC’s last elections in 2016.
In the race for other positions, Lasantha Wickremasinghe (100 votes) beat Eastman Narangoda (37) to the post of treasurer, while Lalith Rambukwella (92) was voted in ahead of Sanjaya Senarath (42) for assistant treasurer. Chrishantha Kapuwatha (94) was voted in assistant secretary ahead of Hirantha Perera (44).
In the preceding weeks both de Silva, who was set to run for president, and Wickremaratne, who was up for the post of secretary, had been banned by an election appeals committee after being adjudged to have violated Sri Lanka’s Sports Law, which as per a 2016 amendment prevents any previous office bearer of a national sports body which had been dissolved by government from contesting in any future elections. The pair had been part of ousted committees in 2001 and 2005.
In response, de Silva and Wickremaratne challenged the ruling in an appeals court, which was where a loophole was discovered. As it transpired, while de Silva and Wickramaratne had put their names in the hat for multiple positions, the objections filed against them had only referenced some of those posts.
Essentially, this allowed the pair to contest on the condition that it wasn’t for the posts they were banned from.It is unclear who is at fault for these clerical errors, but in any event it left the legal counsel representing the Sports Ministry no choice but to let de Silva and Wickremaratne contest for the posts of secretary and vice president.
The writ petition hearings though are set to continue on 21 March.This turn of events is thought to have swayed voter sentiment.
Until then Silva, a backup candidate to de Silva, was to run for president against Dharmadasa, while the coveted posts of vice president and secretary were set to be run virtually uncontested by those in the Dharmadasa camp – a situation that, had it prevailed, would almost certainly have seen Dharmadasa come out victorious in the presidential stakes.That events panned out in this manner, while unexpected, was not wholly surprising.Thilanga Sumathipala has long been identified as the most powerful force in Sri Lanka Cricket, and despite not contesting this time around, he has continued to cast a wide shadow. Most notably in the strong voting bloc he possesses, which is likely what eventually won Silva the presidential race.
One of the primary election strategies for Dharmadasa and his camp had been to neutralise this threat. Nishantha Ranatunga’s court case against Sumathipala, which eventually led to the latter withdrawing his candidacy, and Dharmadasa’s objection to Mohan de Silva’s candidacy had seemingly achieved this goal successfully.So much so that Dharmadasa had been favourite to take the post right up until the eve of the elections. But that late compromise between Sri Lanka’s Sports Ministry and the previously disqualified pair of de Silva and Wickremaratne reinstating them in the race, gave the Sumathipala-backed faction the numbers they needed.

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Babar continues to top batsmen’s list

DUBAI: India spinner Kuldeep Yadav has moved up one place to take a career-best second position in the ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings after grabbing 2-26 in the final match against New Zealand which his side lost by four runs to go 2-1 down in the …
The 24-year-old left-arm wrist-spinner accounted for well-set openers Tim Seifert and Colin Munro in the only match he played during the series and reaped immediate dividends.
He is now only behind Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the table.Spinners Imad Wasim of Pakistan (up five places to fourth position) and Mitchell Santner of New Zealand (up four places to 10th) have also moved up in the latest rankings update that includes two other series which saw South Africa beat Pakistan and Nepal beat the United Arab Emirates by identical 2-1 margins.Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya was another spinner to move up as he advanced 39 places to a career-best 58th while India openers Rohit Sharma (up three places to seventh) and Shikhar Dhawan (up one place to 11th) have made progress with some useful knocks.For New Zealand, Kane Williamson (up one place to 12th), Ross Taylor (up seven places to 51st) and Tim Seifert (up 87 places to a career-best 83rd) among batsmen and Tim Southee (up seven places to 30th) among bowlers are some notable gainers.
For South Africa, left-arm fast bowler Beuran Hendricks’s eight wickets against Pakistan have helped him re-enter the rankings at a career-best 81st position while his compatriot Chris Morris has gained seven slots to reach a career-best 21st position after finishing with six wickets. Andile Phehlukwayo has also advanced 15 places to a career-best 23rd position with five wickets.Among their batsmen, Faf du Plessis (up from 20th to 17th) and Reeza Hendricks (up from 73rd to 42nd) have been the main gainers.Pakistan’s Babar Azam continues at the top of the batsmen’s list after scoring 151 runs in the series while Hussain Talat has gained 19 places to reach 56th position after aggregating 98 runs.Shaheen Afridi has moved up 28 places to a career-best 48th position among bowlers.The UAE’s Shaiman Anwar has risen to 15th among batsmen with a gain of two slots while Mohammad Naveed has gained three places to reach 12th position among bowlers.
Nepal’s Paras Khadka has gained five places to reach 90th position while Basant Regmi (up four places) and Sompal Kami (up 22 places) are in joint 70th position among bowlers.In the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, South Africa have overtaken Australia and England to third place while Nepal have overtaken the UAE marginally to be in 14th position even as they come onto the table within a week of similarly crossing the threshold of eight matches and gaining entry in the ODI table.
ICC T20I Team Rankings (as of February 11):-

1. Pakistan 135,

2..India 124,

3. South Africa 118,

4. England 118,

5. Australia 117,

6. New Zealand 116,

7. Windies 101,

8.Afghanistan 92,

9. Sri Lanka 86,

10. Bangladesh 77,

11. Scotland 62,

12.Zimbabwe 55,

13. Netherlands 50,

14. Nepal 43,

15. UAE 43,

16.Hong Kong 42,

17. Oman 39,

18. Ireland 34.

Batsmen (top 10):

1.Babar Azam (Pak) 885,

2. Colin Munro (NZ) 825,

3. Aaron Finch (Aus) 806,

4. Evin Lewis (Win) 751,

5.Glenn Maxwell (Aus) 745,

6. Fakhar Zaman (Pak) 700,

7.Rohit Sharma (Ind) 698,

8. Alex Hales (Eng) 697,

9.Jason Roy (Eng) 688,

10. Lokesh Rahul (Ind) 677.

Bowlers (top 10):

1. Rashid Khan (Afg) 793,

2. Kuldeep Yadav (Ind) 728,

3. Shadab Khan (Pak) 720,

4.Imad Wasim (Pak) 705,

5. Adil Rashid (Eng) 676,

6. Adam Zampa (Aus) 670,

7. S.Al Hasan (Ban) 658,

8. Ish Sodhi (NZ) 657,

9.Faheem Ashraf (Pak) 655,

10. Santner (NZ) 638.

All-rounders (top five):

1. Glenn Maxwell (Aus) 362,

2.S. Al Hasan (Ban) 338,

3. Mohammad Nabi (Afg) 313,

4. Mahmudullah (Ban) 240,

5.Thisara Perera (SL) 219.

DUBAI: India spinner Kuldeep Yadav has moved up one place to take a career-best second position in the ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings after grabbing 2-26 in the final match against New Zealand which his side lost by four runs to go 2-1 down in the series, says a press release.The 24-year-old left-arm wrist-spinner accounted for well-set openers Tim Seifert and Colin Munro in the only match he played during the series and reaped immediate dividends. He is now only behind Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the table.
Spinners Imad Wasim of Pakistan (up five places to fourth position) and Mitchell Santner of New Zealand (up four places to 10th) have also moved up in the latest rankings update that includes two other series which saw South Africa beat Pakistan and Nepal beat the United Arab Emirates by identical 2-1 margins.Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya was another spinner to move up as he advanced 39 places to a career-best 58th while India openers Rohit Sharma (up three places to seventh) and Shikhar Dhawan (up one place to 11th) have made progress with some useful knocks.
For New Zealand, Kane Williamson (up one place to 12th), Ross Taylor (up seven places to 51st) and Tim Seifert (up 87 places to a career-best 83rd) among batsmen and Tim Southee (up seven places to 30th) among bowlers are some notable gainers.For South Africa, left-arm fast bowler Beuran Hendricks’s eight wickets against Pakistan have helped him re-enter the rankings at a career-best 81st position while his compatriot Chris Morris has gained seven slots to reach a career-best 21st position after finishing with six wickets

. Andile Phehlukwayo has also advanced 15 places to a career-best 23rd position with five wickets.Among their batsmen, Faf du Plessis (up from 20th to 17th) and Reeza Hendricks (up from 73rd to 42nd) have been the main gainers.
.Pakistan’s Babar Azam continues at the top of the batsmen’s list after scoring 151 runs in the series while Hussain Talat has gained 19 places to reach 56th position after aggregating 98 runs. Shaheen Afridi has moved up 28 places to a career-best 48th position among bowlers.The UAE’s Shaiman Anwar has risen to 15th among batsmen with a gain of two slots while Mohammad Naveed has gained three places to reach 12th position among bowlers. Nepal’s Paras Khadka has gained five places to reach 90th position while Basant Regmi (up four places) and Sompal Kami (up 22 places) are in joint 70th position among bowlers.
In the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, South Africa have overtaken Australia and England to third place while Nepal have overtaken the UAE marginally to be in 14th position even as they come onto the table within a week of similarly crossing the threshold of eight matches and gaining entry in the ODI table

.ICC T20I Team Rankings (as of February 11):-

1. Pakistan 135,

2. India 124,

3.South Africa 118,

4. England 118,

5.Australia 117,

6. New Zealand 116,

7.Windies 101,

8. Afghanistan 92,

9.Sri Lanka 86,

10. Bangladesh 77,

11.Scotland 62,

12. Zimbabwe 55,

13.Netherlands 50,

14. Nepal 43,

15.UAE 43,

16. Hong Kong 42,

17.Oman 39,

18. Ireland 34.

Batsmen (top 10):

1. Babar Azam (Pak) 885,

2.Colin Munro (NZ) 825,

3. Aaron Finch (Aus) 806,

4. Evin Lewis (Win) 751,

5. Glenn Maxwell (Aus) 745,

6.Fakhar Zaman (Pak) 700,

7. Rohit Sharma (Ind) 698,

8.Alex Hales (Eng) 697,

9. Jason Roy (Eng) 688,

10. Lokesh Rahul (Ind) 677

Bowlers (top 10):

1. Rashid Khan (Afg) 793,

2. Kuldeep Yadav (Ind) 728,

3.Shadab Khan (Pak) 720,

4. Imad Wasim (Pak) 705,

5.Adil Rashid (Eng) 676,

6. Adam Zampa (Aus) 670,

7.S. Al Hasan (Ban) 658,

8.Ish Sodhi (NZ) 657,

9. Faheem Ashraf (Pak) 655,

10. Santner (NZ) 638

All-rounders (top five):

1.Glenn Maxwell (Aus) 362,

2. S.Al Hasan (Ban) 338,

3. Mohammad Nabi (Afg) 313,

4.Mahmudullah (Ban) 240,

5. Thisara Perera (SL) 219.

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