Stories about ICC

Pakistan versus South Africa: Plenty to learn still

Despite promising much, the Pakistani cricket team could deliver little against the South African juggernaut. It was a sound thrashing and a reminder that despite their resurgence over the past couple of years, the tourists have still got plenty to learn. A number of things went wrong for Pakistan right from the beginning. Starting with team selection, Rahat Ali – who was only sent as reinforcement – was chosen ahead of the first-choice Mohammad Irfan and Ehsan Adil. Regardless of the fact that his bowling was mostly ineffective, it is the manner of his selection that should raise serious questions. Irfan and Ehsan Adil must ...

Read Full Post

Batting for the Associates

So we have Ireland and Afghanistan representing the Associates in this World Cup. Associates, if anybody needs explaining, are countries that have not been granted Test membership from ICC. The focus of the whole world is on the big teams with the big reputations. I say fair enough, they are quality sides, more dazzling and since fever for the sport on a national level is restricted to few countries, it makes good business sense to do so! However, for a little while in global cricket competitions, we witness the less fancied sides – lo and behold the Associates!  Nations with ...

Read Full Post

ICC awards nominations: Why didn’t Ajmal make it?

 ”I don’t mind that I have not been shortlisted for any of the awards. I will try even harder next year and try to win the award next year Insha’Allah.” Saeed Ajmal’s reaction at not being shortlisted for any of the ICC awards that he was initially nominated for was probably the calmest reaction among former Pakistani cricketers and Pakistan cricket supporters. The news that Ajmal was no longer a nominee for any of the ICC awards came as a shock to every Pakistan cricket fan that I know. So are we Pakistani fans cribbing for no reason or are we justified ...

Read Full Post

To hell with ODIs and T20s; it’s Test cricket that matters!

When the ICC made the annual adjustments to its Test team rankings to reflect the recent form, a couple of days ago, the Pakistani fans were in for a pleasant surprise. Pakistan was ranked at number four, which is the highest ranking it has achieved in the past five years! There was a time when Pakistan was ranked third in Test matches. It was not that far back and till the first half of 2007 Pakistan maintained this rank, behind Australia and England. When the annual revision came around in 2007, the new rankings showed Pakistan at number six – its lowest ranking ...

Read Full Post

Salman Butt, you don’t fool us

I have thought and thought and have failed to understand what Salman Butt hoped to achieve through his interview on Express News on Thursday and his press conference on Friday.  ”I am innocent” “It was Mazhar and Amir” “I did not get justice” “I want the Supreme Court to look into this.” Phrases like these make me want to yell out in response, “Save your breath, Butt!” Seriously. I can’t believe that he is still trying to fool his Pakistani fans and trying to meddle with their already bruised sentiments. Our seniors might have gotten away with screaming the ...

Read Full Post

PTV learns on the job with Euro 2012

After realising the money in broadcasting sport events last year and in spite of still not knowing enough about the sport, the state-owned channel PTV has coveted the exclusive rights to air the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly known as the Euro 2012. Everything seemed to be running normally during the opening ceremony of the Euro 2012; not very sharp picture quality, but nothing one couldn’t live without. The opening match, however, was an entirely different story as it brought with it a shock that was not part of the actual match. Confused? There was no scorecard displayed on the screen ...

Read Full Post

No one wants to tour Pakistan

As someone who has watched Pakistan play cricket on numerous occasions overseas, as well as in Karachi, I can tell you the experience is enormously different at home. Overseas, the seats are comfortable, the stadiums in pristine condition, the crowds well-behaved, the food non-threatening and no eyesore security grill to separate the playing area from the spectators. At home, the seats will put your rear to sleep, the biryani is spicy enough to make you wish you brought antacid with you, and the frighteningly energetic crowd is so loud that you can’t speak to the person next to you without the aid ...

Read Full Post

Mohammad Hafeez: The real Boom Boom

When Pakistan cricket was hit by the spot-fixing scandal two years ago, many thought it was going to be the cause of demise of cricket in the region. We felt humiliated when two of our best bowlers and the captain were found guilty of deliberately bowling two no-balls against England at Lord’s. However, soon after that Pakistan not only managed to reach the semi-finals of 2011 World Cup but also managed to destroy the number one Test side England by white-washing them 3-0. Pakistan’s success in the World Cup has been attributed to the sharp but sometimes erratic leadership of Shahid Afridi, ...

Read Full Post

Sweet victory, sour grapes: Bangladesh’s almost win

Although he is not my first Bangladeshi friend, Rohaan is definitely the first diehard Bangladeshi cricket fan I have ever met. He reminds me of how I used to be about cricket: crazy, emotional, passionate and frustrated. This March, the Bangladesh cricket team went all out to give their millions of fans, including Rohaan, a reason to cheer; something they have been longing for for a very long time. At the Asia Cup 2012, the Bangladeshi team crossed all sorts of hurdles to make it to their first big final. On the final ball of a nerve bursting over, they were just ...

Read Full Post

Did you buy Mohammad Amir’s story?

I want to. I really want to. I want to believe that Mohammad Amir is an innocent 18-year-old boy who was set up by his friend and captain – his fixer. But I can’t. There are a lot of things about Mohammad Amir’s interview that are bothering me. I feel like we are being told a story that is not true. I feel like we, Pakistani cricket fans, are being lied to… again. Since the interview aired, I’ve heard a wide variety of thoughts from the general public and Twitterati. One section feels sorry for the kid and believes that he was truly ...

Read Full Post