Stories about New Zealand

It’s time for the ICC to revamp the World Cup format

The cricket World Cup 2015 is underway. Teams are strategising their wins, contemplating their losses and trying to find a way to be in the quarter-finals. Cricket followers around the globe are following this extravaganza match-by-match and it gets even more intense for them after every match ends. This is a flagship event of the International Cricket Council (ICC) but considering the importance of this tournament, I do not agree with its format. I think in its current state, the qualification of the top eight teams to the next round is a foregone conclusion, well before the tournament event starts. The format of the first four World Cups was ...

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Four reasons why sending Younus Khan as an opener is justifed

We have been seeing a lot of undue criticism directed towards the decision of choosing Younus Khan as an opener in the matches against India and West Indies. But if we were to take a moment and try to understand the decision, we would see that the management had sound reasons to choose Younus. His experience Younus was included in the squad on the basis of his Test performance, his overall experience and his ability to deal with pressure. All of these traits were needed to defeat India. Pakistan had to find an effective combination for its openers, so sending Younus ...

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With their powers combined, this is what an India-Pakistan combined XI would look like

Tomorrow, all statistics and records will go out the window – it will be all about which players perform best as a unit under pressure. But before the big eleven, let us see which team has the better players. Rohit Sharma versus Nasir Jamshed The competition for the opening slot is as good as a walk over. All the talk before the World Cup around India’s batting is about Virat Kohli but at almost 28, this World Cup comes at the prime of his career for Rohit Sharma. Sharma has an average close to 39 but he is one of those ...

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Pakistan cricket’s comic side, explained in Pak-India matches

There are two ways of approaching an India-Pakistan cricket match being played in the World Cup. You can lose yourself in unbridled passion and get set up for either rapturous joy or deep gloom. Or you can see the funny side and embrace the hilariousness. From 1951, since the first India-Pakistan Test match, much has been made of their rivalry in cricket. Australia Wallabies and New Zealand All Blacks in rugby? Brazil and Argentina in football? Ali and Frazier? India and Pakistan’s cricket encounters put them all in the shade with the background of four wars, numerous skirmishes, disputed borders ...

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World Cup 2015 – May the best team win

The 2015 World Cup in Australia will be nothing short of exhilarating, as the stadiums in Australia are the finest and would produce thrilling cricket. This will be the 11th edition of the World Cup. After the round matches, the real test will begin as the quarter-finals and elimination rounds start. Let’s have a look at the eight probable teams for the quarter final: Australia (host) It is by far the most successful team in World Cup history, having won four World Cup trophies and reached the finals in two. Playing at home will bring a lot of pressure to the team but still they have ...

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Not forgotten but forgiven: The prodigy returns

It was on a typically overcast London afternoon that the nation saw its first glimpse of young Muhammad Amir, who had just turned 17 a few months earlier. It took him all of two balls to win over the thousands of Pakistani supporters at The Oval and the millions at home watching their side take on England in the 2009 World Twenty20. Ravi Bopara’s uppish drive was well held by Shoaib Malik at backward point and Amir wheeled away in joy, baring all of his uneven teeth. That was the moment the nation fell in love with the precociously talented ...

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12 similarities between Pakistan’s 1992 and 2015 World Cup squad that will blow your mind!

Here are some of the similarities between Pakistan’s 1992 and 2015 World Cup squad that most of us are not aware of: 1. Venue 1992: Australia- New Zealand 2015: Australia- New Zealand 2. Captain Imran Khan Niazi of Mianwali (1992) Misbahul Haq Niazi of Mianwali (2015) 3. Captain’s injury In 1992, Pakistan’s captain, Imran Khan entered the tournament with an injury. In 2015, Misbahul Haq has also sustained an injury just before the World Cup. 4. Surprise all-rounder Ijaz Ahmed (1992) Haris Sohail (2015) 5. Opener who can also bowl Amir Sohail (1992) Mohammad Hafeez (2015) 6. Two leg-spinners in the squad Mushtaq Ahmed and Iqbal Sikander (1992) Shahid Afridi and Yasir Shah (2015) 7. Middle-order batsman  Inzamamul Haq, ...

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The ‘chosen ones’ for the 2015 World Cup

Cricket is not just a game in Pakistan; it is the blood of this nation. Thus, it is only natural that the hopes and dreams of 180 million people are placed on the shoulders of 11 men in green. Every cricket enthusiast in Pakistan was busy guessing who the ‘chosen ones’ for the squad were going to be before the names were finally unveiled by the National Selection Committee. Senior players like Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Umar Gul were dropped while pace bowlers like Sohail Khan, who last played international cricket in 2011, made a comeback. What came as a surprise to everyone, ...

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Rewind, roll it and… action! 2014’s top 10 movies

It’s been a great year for films all round, from original yet nostalgic blockbusters to widely appealing independent movies. Here are my top ten releases of 2014: 1. Boyhood Throughout movie history, several filmmakers have voiced a desire to film actors in real time but none have accomplished this extraordinary feat until now. Master filmmaker Richard Linklater is renowned for having a knack for contemplating big philosophical questions in natural, performance-driven films and Boyhood is arguably the pinnacle of his career so far. Replete with flawless acting and hopefully drawing enough buzz to get an Oscar nod for Patricia Arquette, the film, though ...

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How else must Fawad Alam prove his worth, PCB?

Fawad Alam has been left out from the ODI squad, again. And right before the World Cup, again. The last time when he was dropped, in November 2010, his batting average was just below 40; currently his career average is more than 45 runs per inning with a decent strike run rate of 75.04 – despite batting under immense pressure most of the time. Leaving him out of the national team is something I just can’t understand. Not only has he performed above average, he has also given Pakistan some much needed wins over the past year. He is the second highest ODI ...

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