Thank you Zimbabwe, your determination was truly heroic

It ended in a way that it should not have; with logistical problems and the unpredictable weather having the final say. But even during these anticlimactic moments, the impact of the series will not be forgotten anytime soon. After a dry spell of six years, international cricket had returned to the green land. Normally, a series between the ninth and 10th ranked sides in the world would not generate much interest amongst cricket lovers and fans, but this was no ordinary series. This series allowed our Pakistani players to play in their home ground and in front of their people, who were longing to see their heroes ...

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Are Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar the best attacking trio in football history?

Some people say that they are the best trio since Nirvana. While the comparison between a music band and bunch of exceptionally talented football players may seem odd, the fact remains that both have excelled in their respective fields. Nirvana wooed people through their magical music, whereas the attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar – commonly referred to as ‘MSN’ – are busy setting benchmarks through their amazing skills and goals galore in football. With an unprecedented number of 117 goals so far during the current season, MSN is the reason Barcelona are on the cusp of winning a historic treble again. Photo: ...

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Brendan Rodgers needs to learn from Louis van Gaal, for Liverpool’s sake

Last season, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers – while commenting about Tottenham – said, “If you spend more than £100m, you expect to be challenging for the league.” This season, Liverpool spent a staggering £117m, following the departure of Luis Suarez, only to be knocked-out of the Champions League in the group stages, while suffering a humiliating exit from Europa League in the very first knock-out rounds, and eventually finishing the season at sixth position. What does this mean for Liverpool? No Champions League next season, for sure. From talking about his ‘coaching bible’ to accepting that he might be on the verge of a potential ...

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#CricketComesHome: With tears and jubilation, the cornered tigers are back with a bang

“Ugg raha hai dar-o-deewar se sabzah Ghalib! Hum bayabaan mein hein aur ghar mein bahar aayee hai” (Greenery is growing out of the doors and walls, Ghalib I am in wilderness and spring has arrived at my house.) In his remarkable yet slightly partial treatise to the game in Pakistan, The Wounded Tiger Peter Oborne identifies two events as being game-changing in the history of the sport in the land of the pure. First was the ‘Test match’ victory over the touring MCC side in Karachi in 1951 which established an Abdul Hafeez Kardar-led Pakistan side as a force in international cricket and ...

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2019 World Cup qualifiers: Is India better than Pakistan?

Football has never been able to achieve much recognition as a professional sport in Pakistan, even though there are many Pakistani football fans present. This is perhaps because most of our attention is reserved for cricket exclusively and hence, like all other sports, football too has suffered. The game has never been invested upon with the aim of building a professional team. Pakistan’s history of football is marked by its underachievement on both national and international levels and the country is perceived as minnow in this sport. Photo: AFP However, there have been surprising instances, where our team ...

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Misbahul Haq deserves to play at home, one last time for one last goodbye

Six years ago, Muttiah Muralidharan bowled his last over against Khurram Manzoor in Lahore, after which Pakistan saw the deadliest international cricket draught ever in its history. But yesterday, that barren spell was broken, when a fearless Anwar Ali bowled the first over of the T20 match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe – marking the end of a dark era. The Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore was jam-packed and lit brightly for all to see the return of international cricket to Pakistan. Pakistani batsman Ahmed Shehzad (R) congratulates to his teammate Mukhtar Ahmed after scoring 50 runs against Zimbabwe during the ...

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Novak Djokovic will take down Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

The present era of tennis is indeed the best ever by a long shot in the history of this sport. This era boasts of few of the greatest names ever and is characterised by intensely fierce rivalries. While the first half of the past decade was undoubtedly dominated by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the latter half truly belongs to Novak Djokovic. And here are the reasons why. Photo: AFP By 2011, Djokovic had erased the label of being a one-slam wonder and came into a league of his own. It is considered as one of the greatest seasons ever by a ...

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Are we really ready for Zimbabwe?

Pakistan announced its T20 squad today with former captain Shoaib Malik and star all-rounder Umar Akmal making a comeback. Muhammad Sami, another lost tale of the Pakistan cricket biopic, was given a chance to showcase his pace program against Zimbabwe – the first team to visit Pakistan since 2009 for a T20 two-match series and an ODI three-match series. The whole series, from its very start till now, has faced a lot of controversies, contradictions and confusions. It is a new beginning for Pakistan cricket but it has come after a lot of struggles. The Zimbabwe Cricket Union’s advance team visited Lahore to ...

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11 things you did not know about Pakistan’s history with sixes

In the recently concluded Dhaka Test match, we managed to break another world record. During Pakistan’s second innings, Misbahul Haq scored a six on Taijul Islam’s ball, making Pakistan the first Asian team to hit 1,000 sixes in the Test format. Pakistan achieved this feat in its 389th test match. Since this is an astounding achievement, I feel it would be great if we dwell upon a few facts regarding Test match sixes. 1. Except for Pakistan, several non-Asian counties have crossed the 1,000 sixes or more in Test matches record, which include Australia, West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa and England. 2. Alongside ...

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Zimbabwe’s trip to Pakistan must not be taken lightly

There was a time when Pakistani fans could see their fast-bowling maestros – like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar – pierce through the wind and attack the opposition with all their mighty force, live, in front of them, in their own stadium. There was a time when people could witness Shahid Afridi’s magnificent sixes or Javed Miandad’s stunning innings on Pakistani grounds. Unfortunately, over the past six year, no international team has come to Pakistan to play a series with our national team. And as such, Pakistani cricket fans have been deprived of this chance to ...

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