Can the Red Devils strike down the Gunners?

The two fierce rivals are to see each other tomorrow, Saturday, November 22, at the Emirates Stadium in London, following the raucous international break in the world of football. The Barclays Premier League has come to the progression by the tempestuous breeze of fixtures as the match day sees Arsenal against Manchester United in the race to the three points. Following a slow start by Louis Van Gaal’s side, they have managed to bag two wins, one loss and two draws in their last five fixtures in the tournament. Arsenal, however, have a better record so far with three wins, a draw and one loss to ...

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Our disregard for Pakistan’s national sport

After their historic win against Australia in the recent Test series, chairperson of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Shahryar Khan, announced a special cash bonus for the Pakistani national team. The team will get a total sum of Rs14.75 million for their glorious performance. Good to know. But while our cricket team seems to be aiming for the stars, our hockey team is being treated like its ugly step sister – it’s part of the national sports family, but no one really cares about it. Recently, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) cancelled the national team’s tour to South Korea due to lack of funds and visa ...

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This is for Hobart

The morning of November 22, 1999 was nippy and blustery, typical Karachi winter weather. I woke up early with an air of expectation. Christmas was coming early this year and Eid was going to follow. Pakistan was finally going to beat Australia in a Test match on their home turf and I was ready for school early to savour as much of the moment as possible. The Test series was following after Pakistan had been blanked by Australia in the World Cup final earlier in the year and was billed as the ‘badla’ tour by the press. Wasim Akram, the Pakistan team ...

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The king of comebacks

Cricket is a love story, a baffling relationship, one that tugs at your heart, crushes and then serenades you all over again. The love you try relentlessly to give up on, the one you know you’re always going to run back to. Pakistan cricket has shattered us and then put us back together more times than I can remember. Misbahul Haq is our messiah, a patient captain, a world class player who took over the team when our hearts were irreparably broken from the spot fixing scandal and nurtured us back to health. And every few months, he finds himself ...

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Will Real Madrid survive this international break?

As the international break starts, club football fans are going through a period of frustration and agony, particularly those who follow Real Madrid. Real Madrid has had an incredible run of form in the past couple of months – winning every game they’ve played since the loss against local rivals Atletico Madrid on September 13, 2014. Their unbeaten run in the past 13 games include matches against other football giants such as Barcelona, Liverpool and Villareal. What’s more amazing is the absolute dominance Real Madrid has on the field. From an impeccable mid-field to an ever improving defence, the team keeps getting better at each aspect of the ...

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Hafeez and Taufeeq need to go!

While the nation rightly celebrates a long awaited Test series win over Australia, one as dominant as unexpected, it would be unadvisable to start getting complacent. They say the best teams in sport are those that strengthen while at the top and we must not fall into the trap of overlooking areas which need improvement. The last time we whitewashed a world number one in UAE, we followed it up with a highly uninspiring series loss in Sri Lanka in 2012. Many reputations lived off that series for far too long, and we must make sure that the same mistakes are not repeated ...

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Has Indian Test cricket suffered under Dhoni?

The venom of glamour and entertainment infused with cricket has made a cascading impact on its purest format, as it seems to lose its essence in this fast-track age of madness. As always Indian cricket has struggled to cope with any kind of fast bowling overseas. The superstars that Indian cricket has produced over the years have managed to excel on slow tracks of the subcontinent but succumbed to the fast bouncy tracks elsewhere. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team have suffered humiliating defeats in Test matches over the past four years. After surrendering to complete wash-outs in England in 2011, his lacklustre side suffered ...

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Misbahul Haq for 2015 World Cup Captain!

November 3, 2011 was arguably the darkest day in the history of Pakistan cricket. Former Test captain Salman Butt, along with the sensational pace duo of Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif had packed their bags to complete their respective times in prison after being caught cheating the gentleman’s game by means of spot fixing. Considering that team Pakistan was already deprived of the luxury of playing at home, it seemed highly likely that cricket had lost one of its most enigmatic sporting nation. However, the cricketing god’s had other plans for the men in green. Fast forward to November 3, 2014, ...

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Younus Khan runs riot!

Younus Khan silenced all conjectures. The doubters have been taught the consequences of tickling Mardan’s sleeping dragon. He probably broke the record for breaking records in this two-match series. Stats have brought him head to head with some of the galactic greats of the game but the hero chooses to remain in the shadows of conflicting egos, serving our cause with what little is left in him. Younus is indeed an odd hero. For a fan base that dwells on little moments of glory, the progress of his tons and Pakistan turning tables has been soporific to many. The exploits ...

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Hafeez, an unsung hero?

After the spot fixing saga in 2010, Pakistan was in desperate need of a solid opener to fill the gap left by Salman Butt. And it was none other than Mohammad Hafeez who took the challenge upon himself to work his way into becoming Pakistan’s next regular opener in all three formats. Before 2010, Hafeez had a questionable batting average and his inclusion in the team was criticised because he was never able to establish himself as a preferred player in our team. Despite that he worked hard on his techniques and scored numerous runs against competitive teams like England, South Africa and New ...

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