Roger Federer will win the US Open 2014

Around this time last year, Roger Federer had entered the US Open 2013 as an ailing old man (32 years) and had found it hard to battle against the young blood during the tournaments. Fast forward to 2014 and Roger has already bagged 49 wins, four more than the whole of 2013. With his back fully recovered, a wider racket and some insightful coaching tips from Stefan Edberg, Roger now reminds us of the glory days of 2006. Roger Federer of Switzerland (L) speaks with his coach Stefan Edberg during a practice session at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in ...

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Mourinho: The man bringing Chelsea back

Nestled between the abandoned cotton mills and rows of tightly packed terraces, in this small pocket of East Lancashire, Chelsea taught Burnley a harsh lesson in what to expect on their return to the Premier League.  “We give the players a lot of education. I’m not a nightclub bouncer, I just look like one,” said Sean Dyche before the game. But none of his teachings can match the manner of Chelsea’s 3-1 victory for thoroughness. It started so well for Burnley, when Scott Arfield rifled them into the lead in the 14th minute. As his teammates stepped out from a corner, John Terry was caught daydreaming, allowing Matt Taylor to ...

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The history of the ‘doosra’: Spinning cricket the other way

Two decades ago, when Pakistan was playing Australia in the deserts of Sharjah, the young spin wizard, Saqlain Mushtaq, broke the traditions and started spinning the ball the other way from the conventional off-spin to deceive the batsmen. The wicket-keeper, Moin Khan, would often shout from behind the stumps, “Saqi Bhai, doosra abhi karna hai.” (Bowl the other one now, Saqi Bhai) Tony Grieg picked it up from a stump microphone and eventually likened the word to the delivery after confirming it with Saqlain in a post-match interview. Thus, the term became a part of cricketing culture. Over the years, the same unconventional delivery ...

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Super Sarfaraz

In an era where wicket-keepers have become the mainstays of their respective batting line-ups around the world, Pakistan continues to languish at the lowest end of the production line of wicket-keeper and batsman all-rounder. The last wicket-keeper to score a Test century for Pakistan before today was Kamran Akmal, who achieved this feat at Karachi’s National Stadium five years ago. And now, the jinx has finally been broken by the newest member of the exalted street fighter’s club in Karachi – Sarfaraz Ahmed. Sarfaraz is playing in his eighth Test and these matches have spread over four and a half years which ...

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Liverpool may have lost Suarez but will they lose the Premier League title too?

We are only a day away from the kick-off of the most watched football league. Yes, I’m referring to none other than the Barclays Premier League, which returns to your screens for the 2014-2015 season. Unlike other football leagues, where the title race is mainly between two or three teams, this league has five to six teams competing for the title. This summer transfer window has seen some of the biggest signings made by English clubs for their upcoming season. Some have been filling in the gaps left by departed players while others have been busy building up some real ...

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Can Saeed Ajmal break the ‘curse’ of being the best bowler of Pakistan?

Over the course of several decades, one constant factor in Pakistan cricket has been the quality bowlers it has produced. From masters of reverse swing to the fastest bowler in the world, and from subtle drifters to the inventor and master of the ‘doosra’, Pakistani cricketers have added magic to the art of bowling. Cricket would be a much different game without the bowling contributions of our players. It would have been more of a batsman’s game with much less flair. But at the same time, to be the best bowler of Pakistan is a truly cursed position. Our masters ...

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You have to risk it to get the biscuit, Team Green!

Another Test match, another humiliating batting performance and another defeat. Forgive me if I am not surprised. It would be a lie if I said that I am at a loss of words when in reality I sort of saw it coming. The only benefit I’ve gained from such disappointing batting is that my vocabulary has improved significantly because now I have to explain just how bad their performance was. This embarrassing show of batting from the Pakistani team is nothing new but, unfortunately, just like our beloved Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), our cricket team has not shown any inclination in identifying ...

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Younus Khan: Rekindling the charm cricket once had

Fans of Pakistani cricket were not able to watch their team playing at an international level, but enjoyed the same emotional feelings through other sports; at the biggest stages including FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon. Aged and youngsters recalled the emotions shared by Pakistani cricket players in the form of nail biting and enthralling performances, engulfing the feeling of joy, which is the main objective of sports. Coming back to cricket, however, the expectations were high because it was a test for cricket to prove that it does not lag behind the world’s leading sports, where excitement, skill and competition matter the most. Despite ...

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Pakistan versus Sri Lanka: Victory or disgrace?

The relentless, brilliant and energetic Younus Khan played a heroic knock of 177 on day one of the first Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and simultaneously completed his 24th Test hundred. The Pakistani side was at a dismal 53 runs with a loss of three wickets before Younus took charge and saved his team from facing a terrible defeat. Pakistan needed a solid inning, in order to win this Test series, and Younus made sure of that by giving a strong target to the host team. Pakistan ended up posting 451 on the scoreboard, which, by the way, ...

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This year is Arsenal’s year

During the 2014 World Cup, a picture of Arsene Wenger went viral across social media in which he was caught playing football on a beach in Rio de Janeiro. The moment it caught the public’s eye, there was a wave of anger and disgruntlement amongst the Arsenal supporters (including myself), because by that time their rival clubs, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United were active in the market and signing some talented, quality players. No doubt you saw this yesterday but here's Arsene Wenger playing beach football. Never lost it. https://t.co/LySYrJLJK8 — Coral (@Coral) June 28, 2014 Christian Karembeu & Arsene Wenger are playing ...

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