The ‘chosen ones’ for the 2015 World Cup

Cricket is not just a game in Pakistan; it is the blood of this nation. Thus, it is only natural that the hopes and dreams of 180 million people are placed on the shoulders of 11 men in green. Every cricket enthusiast in Pakistan was busy guessing who the ‘chosen ones’ for the squad were going to be before the names were finally unveiled by the National Selection Committee. Senior players like Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Umar Gul were dropped while pace bowlers like Sohail Khan, who last played international cricket in 2011, made a comeback. What came as a surprise to everyone, ...

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Sarfraz Ahmed – Pakistan cricket’s biggest positive in 2014

Pakistan cricket has a glorious history as far as wicket keepers are concerned, with the likes of Wasim Bari, Moin Khan and Rashid Latif serving the country successfully for long spells in the past. Moin Khan (L), Rashid Latif (C) and Wasim Bari (R). Their successor, Kamran Akmal, made a breakthrough entrance into the team and continued to perform consistently, up until that dreaded Test match in Sydney in January 2010. Kamran failed to hold on to four catches and also missed a run-out, due to which Australia were able to seal a highly unlikely victory. Ever since that horrid day, Pakistan’s wicket keeping standards have experienced a ...

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What can PFF do with FIFA’s money?

Football, as a sport, has seen an incredible rise in popularity in our country over the last decade. Our shining stars like Kaleemullah, Hassan Bashir, Muhammad Adil and many others have consistently shown that we possess top-class talent. Yet time and time again, Pakistan as a team has failed to deliver on the international stage. Our football federation sits relaxed, as if everything is under control. It remains undeterred by Pakistan’s dismal performance. We are falling further behind to our neighbouring countries. And let’s be honest, before we dream of making it to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, we first need ...

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Is sledging tarnishing the reputation of the gentleman’s game? I think not

How long does it take to become proficient in the art of cricket, the gentlemen’s game? It probably varies from person to person, depending on how well they perform under pressure. My focus, however, is on its nickname – ‘the gentlemen’s game’. The name came about because, in addition to the rules and regulations, players have to abide by the spirit of the sport as well. The standard of sportsmanship in cricket has historically been considered so high that phrases like “it’s just not cricket” have been coined to describe the fair behaviour players are expected to exhibit on the ...

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Steven Gerrard, you will never walk alone

All the suspense regarding Steven Gerrard’s future at Liverpool came to an end when, on January 2nd, he finally announced his departure from his beloved hometown club. He described this as “the toughest decision” of his life. The Reds captain will bring the curtain down on a glittering Anfield career that has spanned almost 17 years. This decision comes at a time when the club is struggling at the eighth Premier League spot and has been knocked out of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, to which they returned after three season’s absence. Gerrard mentioned that he will not be playing ...

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The miraculous 3-4-2-1 — The perfect end to the year for Liverpool

Liverpool ended the year on a high note as the £25million signing from Southampton, Adam Lallana, scored a brace, while the entire squad shined on Monday night at Anfield. The Reds completed a 4-1 rout of manager Brendan Rodgers’s former club Swansea City AFC. The last Premier League game of the year was a delight to watch as both sides contested for the win; however, Liverpool were by far the dominant side and went into the lead with Alberto Moreno netting the goal – his second of the campaign – in the 33rd minute. The second half kicked off quite brightly as two goals in two ...

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A year in football: 2014′s best football moments

2014 is knitting its ends. A look at the emotional and action-packed moments the year brought in football makes many lucid memories, debates, emotions and honours come alive. Here’s to a memorable year in football that decisively went down in history. Here are the ten action-packed moments of 2014 that left us coping with a tornado of convoluted emotions: 1)  Brazil 1-7 Germany The host team, Brazil, saw itself in the semi-finals against Germany. The limelight fixture gathered unique attention when Brazil suffered a staggering loss of 7-1 to Germany. The Germans engraved their milestone on South American soil with goals rapidly accumulating into an epic score ...

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In Arsène we still trust?

Arsène Wenger is under projection of momentous censure as the Gunners suffered their third defeat in the Premier League, at home, to rivals Manchester United. Arsenal slid down to the eighth position in the league table after a 2-1 loss, which in turn strengthened the opponents and dealt the home side a crushing defeat. Despite consistent attempts to cross the score line, the Gunners were ultimately unable to make an impact, and succeeded in disappointing their fans. Criticism against the manager has grown stronger and he is now a victim to vicious remarks. With Arsenal’s record being kept in mind, it is evident that they have yet to ...

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Afridi’s retirement: An overdue but wise decision

When making a decision, in nearly all aspects of life, timing is very important. If one fails to take a decision at the right time, his or her decision may back fire or people at the helm of affairs may take the person to task and shun him out of the system. “I didn’t know that painters and writers retired. They’re like soldiers, they just fade away.” – Lawrence Ferlinghetti In Pakistan, soldiers retire at an appropriate age but players show a stubborn approach and eventually, just fade away. The sportsmen of Pakistan, unfortunately, are not ready to adhere to this ...

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Liverpool’s bandaged hero provides some solace for Brendan Rodgers

Philippe Coutinho gave the lead to the Reds, but it was Martin Skrtel who took the headlines with his header in the stoppage time, which preserved a point for Liverpool after trailing Arsenal 2-1 throughout the second half. Liverpool drew first blood as the Brazilian scored in the 45th minute after the home side had dominated possession (80% in the opening 30 minutes) in the first half. But, as we’ve seen before, Liverpool succumbed to yet another set-piece goal when Arsenal centre-back Mathieu Debuchy overcame Skrtel to head home the equaliser. Photo: AFP The second half kicked ...

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