Azeem Siddiqui

Azeem Siddiqui

The author is a sports writer, sports blogger and sub-editor sports desk at Express Tribune. He tweets as @aze3msiddiqui (twitter.com/aze3msiddiqui)

Who will replace Luis Enrique to be Barcelona’s next manager?

Spanish giants FC Barcelona – who made the greatest comeback in the history of Champions League last night against Paris Saint Germain (PSG) – will be in search of a new boss come the end of the current campaign as manager Luis Enrique has already announced that he will leaving the club in the summer. Barcelona’s midfielder Sergi Roberto celebrates their victory goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 8, 2017. Barcelona won 6-1. Photo: ...

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Will Sarfraz Ahmed prove to be Pakistan’s very own Batman?

Last night, whilst watching The Dark Knight Rises, yet again, I realised the city of Gotham has a lot in common with the Pakistan cricket structure. Batman ends up saving Gotham city. Even when he was completely down and out, he did not surrender; and if the Dark Knight didn’t give up, why should Pakistani cricket fans? In the movie, the mayor of the city was as powerless as the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shahryar Khan, whereas the bureaucratic structure was as inefficient and incompetent as Intikhab Alam. It was natural, therefore, for every Pakistani cricket fan to look for ...

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Lights, camera, action: Let the (PSL) games begin!

After a long period of waiting, the first edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) finally kicked off in Dubai last night. Stars from Pakistan, Jamaica and America performed their hearts out for a pretty decent sized crowd. As with any cricket league around the world, the ceremony had all the excitement, flair, fashion, glamour and music to provide massive entertainment for the eager audience. Photo: Tribune By the looks of the event, the opening ceremony did extremely well considering this was our first time hosting such an event. Wasim Akram said this has got to be one of ...

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Don’t panic, Pakistan! Sure, we will miss Yasir Shah, but not too much

On Sunday, anyone who follows the Pakistani cricket team was left dumbfounded. Yasir Shah, our very own Messi, failed a random sampling dope test taken on November 13, 2015 after the match against England. Yasir was found guilty of the use of banned medicine chlortalidone, which was said to be used either as a masking agent, or as a blood pressure control medicine. According to the rules, Yasir now has seven days to ask for a retest from sample B, which was also taken at the same time. If the results come negative, the entire test will be considered negative. In the ...

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We need Amir back because our selection committee couldn’t find a replacement bowler

Pakistan’s team is being re-known for all the excitement it brings to the game of cricket. That comes from the fact that surprises are the forte of Pakistan cricket structure. So much so, that we ended up giving a 40-year-old his debut match just two series before the World T20, and now we are on the verge of giving a chance to a player who just completed his five year ban amidst a spot fixing scandal. We must give credit to the selection committee as Rafatullah Mohamed from Peshawar was included on the back-to-back impressive performances in the Domestic T20 tournament, ...

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Dear Virat Kohli, creating a pitch that only favours your team, is unfair

Finally, the Proteas’ un-defeated run of nine years in Tests comes to an end, and it was India who literally forced it to come to an end. Since the achievement was so massive, it was presumed that there would be words of praise for the young Indian team, who managed to achieve something no one could in nearly a decade, but that was not the case. The whole discussion was down to the fact that ‘pitches were off sub-standard’ and that the victory looked more like a “snatched” one than an “earned” one. The discussion increased with the number of matches, and with ...

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Mohammad Amir deserves half the salary and no chance at captaincy

Mohammad Amir, the young cricketer who was banned for a spot fixing scandal, still managed to garner a lot of sympathy from Pakistanis, be it cricketing legends or experts and because of this, he has been allowed to play cricket once again. However, if the cricket fraternity thought Amir would be welcomed back with open arms, they were wrong. Yes, Amir is still young, has immense talent, bearing in mind his recent performances in the realm of domestic cricket, where he claimed more than 30 wickets in six matches during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, yet, people, in specific his team mates, will not be as forgiving. This ...

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Keep calm, Pakistan: Our cricket team is shaping up quite well

The brief Zimbabwe tour came to an end a couple of days ago, with Pakistan emerging as the victors. It wasn’t a clean cut victory since Pakistan won four out five matches and the one match we lost was under extremely controversial circumstances. Having said that, Pakistan has managed to perform commendably against Zimbabwe this year. This particular tour highlighted five aspects about our cricket team.  Imad Wasim – The most wanted in the team Photo: AFP The first and foremost aspect that needs to be mentioned in this list is the emergence of Imad, more so after the ban ...

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Dear India, Pakistan will not play cricket on your terms anymore

We have been taught since childhood, or at least I have been taught regularly, that two wrongs do not make a right. I believe the real message behind that age-old adage is to make a child understand that each problem needs to be dealt with separately. One cannot pile one ‘wrong’ over ‘another’ in the hopes of concocting a ‘right’. As a grown up and someone who is in their mid-20s, I understand that, but unfortunately, our 68-year-old noisy neighbour cannot. Firstly, I do not categorise myself as an anti-Indian. I am merely critical of the Indian government policies which ...

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Anwar Ali and Shoaib Malik, the unsung heroes of Pakistan’s ODI revival

Not long ago, Pakistan, a sport loving nation who looked towards cricket as a uniting force, was down and dejected when they were thrashed by none other than Bangladesh, the team for whom we always took pride in playing an instrumental part in allowing them to become a Test-playing nation. Photo: AFP It was heartbreaking really. I never thought such a day would come, but it did. During that time, many thought that a touring Zimbabwe would also be a difficult side to beat, and that the chances of Pakistan playing in the Champion’s Trophy would definitely ...

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