It is time for us to question Haroon Rasheed’s role as chief selector

It’s the move that sums up his time as chief selector of Pakistan and it might be the move that will determine his fate at Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters.  It just isn’t a Pakistan World Cup squad announcement without some controversy; add Haroon Rasheed as chief selector to the equation and you were bound to have one of the more bizarre selections even by Pakistani standards. Photo: Screenshot In a move which would make Theo Walcott’s inclusion in the England squad for the 2006 World Cup seem justifiable, Khurram Manzoor was picked over Ahmad Shahzad and ...

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Pakistan cricket desperately needed a tournament like PSL

It is difficult to believe the Pakistan Super League (PSL) started less than a week ago, for the T20 cricket tournament has already grown into a daily viewing addiction. Featuring five teams, including Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi, and Quetta Gladiators, the tournament has captured the imagination of people across the country. During the last week, I have found it remarkable how keenly the games have been followed on the streets of Karachi; taxi and rickshaw walas are keeping up with the contests on the radio; roti walas, while rolling bread in their uncomfortably warm hole-in-the-walls are glancing constantly at ...

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To win the World T20 Pakistan needs these four PSL players!

The World T20 is just around the corner and teams from all around the world are already set to have a go at one another in order to claim the coveted trophy this March. Whilst almost all the international teams have selected and announced their squads, Pakistan has delayed their selection for a couple of days, following some promising performances by emerging players in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Now is their chance to take advantage of it. In order to be crowned champions, Pakistan needs to have a balanced team, a blend of both youth and experience. Here is ...

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Should Ahmad Shahzad really be dancing with such inconsistent performances?

When Ahmad Shahzad is batting well, it’s a known fact he can thrash the bowlers all over the park. The way he runs down the ground, on his day, and smashes the ball over long-on is just a treat to watch. Karachi Kings could testify to this. In his second innings in the on-going Pakistan Super League (PSL), Ahmad played a scintillating knock against them, smashing 76 off just 46 deliveries. His assuredness and poise made that particular inning one of the best of the tournament so far. He had made his mark. And right after that gargantuan innings, he ...

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Why has Pakistan forgotten how to bat in the shorter formats?

Some say, it’s a confidence issue. Others say that it is the lack of international cricket at home. Fingers are pointed at the flawed domestic setup or the nepotism in selection. Whatever the case may be; as far as ODI and T20 cricket is concerned, Pakistan batting is indeed at its lowest ebb ever. After watching the recently concluded ODI series between Australia and India, I was mesmerised by the batting at display. It was aggressive, belligerent, but at the same time poised and full of confidence. Chasing or posting scores in the proximity of 300 and above was the ...

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Lights, camera, action: Let the (PSL) games begin!

After a long period of waiting, the first edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) finally kicked off in Dubai last night. Stars from Pakistan, Jamaica and America performed their hearts out for a pretty decent sized crowd. As with any cricket league around the world, the ceremony had all the excitement, flair, fashion, glamour and music to provide massive entertainment for the eager audience. Photo: Tribune By the looks of the event, the opening ceremony did extremely well considering this was our first time hosting such an event. Wasim Akram said this has got to be one of ...

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How does the Pakistan Super League fare against the Indian Premier League?

It has been a long time coming but the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is finally here… well, almost. Ever since it was first propositioned, during Dr Nasim Ashraf’s tenure as PCB chairman in 2007-2008 – note that the Indian Premier League (IPL) had its first season in 2008 – the Pakistani cricket fan has been anxiously waiting for his own version of the star-studded, cheerleader-crammed, boundaries-brimmed T20 feast. This delay of seven years has resulted in Pakistan being the last Test playing nation to jump on the Franchise-T20-League bandwagon even though suggested otherwise. England also does not have a franchise based ...

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Pakistan Super League: Let the games begin!

February 4, 2016 marks an extremely important date in the history of Pakistan cricket. The idea which was first conceived in 2012 is finally going to turn into a reality; the curtain will rise and Pakistan Super League (PSL) will surface onto the stage of lucrative Twenty20 cricket leagues. The teams PSL has five teams; Islamabad United, Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi. They were sold for a total of $93 million and the teams will battle it out for a winning title. PSL Chief Najam Sethi had promised to bring in stars of the T20 format in the ...

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Are we losing our T20 matches due to Shahid Afridi’s captaincy?

Pakistan’s T20 Captain, Shahid Afridi, has decided to retire from international cricket altogether after the World T20 in March 2016. All he wants as his retirement present is a win for his team. But from the looks of things, Afridi’s retirement present seems like quite a feat to achieve. With an overall winning percentage of 47 per cent, Afridi should count himself lucky to be leading a team which has played more T20 internationals than any other team in the world. With these statistics in mind, it can be said that things do not seem to be looking up for our team. Over the past 12 ...

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In Pakistan, if you support the Indian cricket team, you will be arrested

I’ve long protested the Indian state’s stern actions against Kashmiri activists and other citizens for hoisting the Pakistani flag or singing the Pakistani anthem. Then something happened in Okara, Pakistan, that left me feeling oddly hypocritical, badly disarmed, and somewhat embarrassed. A few days ago, a 22-year-old Pakistani tailor raised an Indian flag over the roof of his house in a small Punjabi village. Umar Daraz, a cricket enthusiast, sewed the tricolour banner in his own little shop, ostensibly as a symbol of admiration for the Indian cricket team – particularly, Virat Kohli. His patriotic neighbours were displeased. Umar refused to remove ...

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