What’s common between Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Abdus Salam and Abdul Khaliq?

They were never appreciated in Pakistan. We are a profoundly aptitudinal nation and have produced the finest people in all fields of life, whether it is sports, music or science. Take cricket for example. We have seen the likes of Hanif Muhammad, Zaheer Abbas, Wasim Akram, Sarfraz Nawaz, Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, Inzamamul Haq and many other legends. Moving on to hockey, we have had some of the best players in the world and we are the only nation that won the hockey World Cup title four times. Out of the 10 medals Pakistan has won in the Olympics, we won three in hockey. Sohail Abbas ...

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10 of the best young strikers to keep an eye out for at the 2014 FIFA World Cup!

It is quite obvious where all the football fans are going to be this summer – in front of their TV screens. With the 2014 FIFA World Cup commencing from June 12, 2014, in Brazil, a big chunk of the one million tickets have already been sold. So, before the tournament kicks off, I thought I’d present my list of top 10 strikers to watch out for this World Cup as I’m sure they will not disappoint you. Roger Rojas (Honduras) Photo: Reuters The 23-year-old Honduran plays for his native club Olimpia and has scored 70 goals in 119 appearances. Due to his style ...

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Give our cricketers opportunities before we lose them to other countries!

I remember how Raziq Khan was the best cricketer in our village 10 years ago. Whenever he came to the pitch, everyone in the crowd would stand up in excitement and wait for him to play his mind-blowing shots. His fans would chant “One more six, One more six”, egging Raziq on to play with all his might and surely, whenever the time came for him to perform, he never disappointed his fans. He was famous for his phenomenal batting and would hammer the bowlers by hitting balls to all corners of the ground mercilessly. There was a famous story ...

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Afridi the hero and Misbah the villain

Pakistan needed six runs of four balls. The previous ball had scored a perfectly-timed six. A rather slim and unperturbed Misbahul Haq was the last man standing on the pitch. Jogendar Sharma was one of those spin-bowling all-rounders from India who would disappear just like many of his kind. Misbah had played the cheeky flick so well throughout the tournament that he decided to bank on it again. In my opinion, he batted it well enough; the ball remained airborne for some torturous seconds and then we saw Shanthakumaran Sreesanth running around in glee while Misbah sat down in agony and distress. Needless to say Pakistan lost the ...

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Barclays Premier League: Which team will take home the title this season?

May 11, 2014 will mark the end of the Barclays Premier League and one team will be crowned as champion of the season. But the astonishing nature of the league this season is such that not many can say who will win the title this time. Sheer, unadulterated unpredictability is the league’s defining feature this season. Past decades have shown us, what was known in football circles as the Big Four’s hegemony – Manchester United FC, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC and Manchester City FC – each club wielding and strengthening its grip on victories and titles. We saw Arsenal become invincible and dominate the league in the early years of the last ...

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U-19 World Cup: Is inconsistency part of Pakistani culture?

There are times when certain characteristics become symbolic of a particular country. That is, these characteristics are exhibited by the general masses as well as their leaders and institutions; hence it makes them part of a particular culture. For Pakistanis, I believe, that one characteristic is their utter lack of consistency. Albeit our politics, our economy, our policy-making or our sports, consistency has largely been absent for a greater period of time. In sports, our teams are widely known for being painfully inconsistent and this has become our reputation in the global arena. In the recently concluded Under-19 (U-19) World Cup, our young ...

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Don’t repeat the mistakes that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka made with the Pakistan Super League!

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) interim Chairman Najam Sethi announced on Tuesday via Twitter that the PCB is keen to organise the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in January 2015 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Good news for 2014! Pak will tour WC champions Sri Lanka July-Aug! We play Aust & NZ Sep-Dec in UAE; PSL in Jan 2015 in UAE and WC in Feb. — Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) April 8, 2014 This is not the first time that the PCB has made an announcement about the window for the PSL. In 2012, the PCB hired former International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief ...

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Street Child World Cup 2014: We gave our street children nothing but they made us proud!

As Owais Ali lined up to face India in Pakistan’s opening match of the Street Child World Cup, 2014, his life must have flashed before him. Here he was standing up for the national anthem in Rio de Janeiro in a prestigious football competition but just some time ago, things had been different. Very different. Like so many others on the cruel streets of Karachi, hustling, doing drugs or simply trying to survive on a daily basis, Owais too thought he would waste away his life and succumb to the fact that he ran away from home at the age of seven after ...

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David Moyes: The reason Manchester United are champions no more

Old Trafford Stadium, known as the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ for Manchester United FC, has unfortunately become a theatre of nightmares under David Moyes’s managerial reign. With another poor performance against their arch rivals Manchester City FC, and a sixth home defeat of 3-0, fans have become greatly disconcerted. As part of the aftermath, many stewards were seen guarding the ‘The Chosen One’ banner at the Stratford End, as fans wanted to take the banner down. The defeat has left United reeling 12 points behind first-place Arsenal FC. During the 2013-14 season of the Barclays Premier League, United secured one victory while playing against English Premier League’s top five football clubs, ...

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Five changes Pakistan cricket needs to make to save itself

On April 1, 2014, Pakistan produced one of the most embarrassing performances in recent memory, breaking like glass under pressure. At the beginning of the 17th over, the West Indies seemed like they were out of the game, having scored only 107 runs. Then, courtesy of Sammy and Bravo, came an assault which made the Red Wedding in R R Martin’s A Storm of Shadows seem like a friendly tea party. 45 runs came off the last three overs in this knockout game. It was an assault which reminded me of Ajay Jadeja’s battering of Waqar Younis in the 1996 World Cup quarterfinal, where the Pakistani ...

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