Stories about New Zealand

The B-side: Junaid Jamshed and untold stories behind the controversies

After leaving a lucrative career as a pop singer, Junaid Jamshed (JJ) has evolved into a preacher and poster boy for the austere deobandi group, the Tableeghi Jamaat. He once jokingly remarked, “When I was a singer people use to throw rose petals at me, since I came into Islam they throw stones at me.” This simple statement does more to highlight Pakistan’s state of affairs than explain how someone, who has been referred to by his musician friends, and in his Islamic circles, as “the nicest person one can meet”, can be party to one controversy after another? Some say, he is ...

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Will Sarfraz Ahmed prove to be Pakistan’s very own Batman?

Last night, whilst watching The Dark Knight Rises, yet again, I realised the city of Gotham has a lot in common with the Pakistan cricket structure. Batman ends up saving Gotham city. Even when he was completely down and out, he did not surrender; and if the Dark Knight didn’t give up, why should Pakistani cricket fans? In the movie, the mayor of the city was as powerless as the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shahryar Khan, whereas the bureaucratic structure was as inefficient and incompetent as Intikhab Alam. It was natural, therefore, for every Pakistani cricket fan to look for ...

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Nine lessons Pakistan can learn from the other 2016 World T20 teams

The World T20 finished on an exhilarating note. What seemed to be a hopeless match for the West Indian team, turned out to be a miraculous victory when Carlos Brathwaite hit four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes last over. While Brathwaite will be hailed as a hero in West Indies, the same cannot be said for Stokes. His reaction after his expensive over, 19 runs on four balls, was truly upsetting, but with everything said and done, England played brilliantly as well. With Joe Root’s 54 and two wickets for just nine runs, England started off great, but Marlon Samuels 85 ...

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It’s down to India, West Indies and England, who are you betting on?

Amidst the pandemonium of leaked reports, press conferences, media bashing and, most importantly, Kulbhushan Yadav, the World T20 tournament in India is quietly and swiftly moving towards its conclusion. Not many Pakistanis tune into sports channels these days considering D-Chowk and Numaish Chowrangi are more entertaining. But ardent fans find their way to their TV sets to watch cricket being played in its truest form at the T20 World Cup. No adrenaline rush is equivalent to the thrill of watching cricket. A few days ago, I was quite disturbed after Pakistan crashed out of the match against Australia. My disturbance further transformed into diarrhoea while watching ...

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Why is it such a big deal that Afridi thanked the people of Kashmir for their support, India?

During my visit to Azad Kashmir, I came across a truck on the road that was unusually bereft of any truck art; it’s exterior was all plain apart from a few words boldly painted at the back, clearly stating “Boom boom Afridi”. It proudly exhibited the truck owner’s love for the Pakistani cricket player, Shahid Afridi. This immediately reminded me of the first scene from the Bollywood film ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ , showcasing Pakistan’s side Kashmiris cheering for Team Green, a lady among them who was even willing to name her new born after Afridi. On the Pakistan cricket team’s ...

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The era of Shahid Afridi comes to an end

How do you define Shahid Afridi? Do we talk about the man who when he bats, brings an entire nation to a standstill? Do we talk about the man who when swings at the cricket ball, a whole nation holds its breath while waiting for the ball to sail over the boundary line? Do we talk about the man who with his trademark star man pose instils hope into a nation? Do we talk about the man who has one of the highest numbers of ducks in international cricket? Do we talk about the man who ...

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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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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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Can we trust the pharmacists in Pakistan today?

Pharmacists have a broad role in the health care team, from dispensing drugs to monitoring patient health. They are an important source of information regarding appropriate, safe and effective utilisation of medicines. In developed countries, pharmacists council patients on the use of medications, and advise physicians and other health professionals on drug related decisions. This collaboration between pharmacists and physicians has resulted in safer and effective medication. Hence, pharmacists are being given more and more responsibilities, globally. For instance, in two states of the US, pharmacists are allowed to prescribe medication independently. In addition to this, the role of pharmacists in New Zealand is changing ...

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Is it fair for England to blame pitch conditions for their performance?

Historically, cricket pitches in Asia had the tag of ‘lifeless’ and ‘flat’ associated with them. They’re usually considered as batting paradises where scores of 500 are considered as decent and taking 20 wickets is akin to climbing Mount Everest. While this may be true in some cases, despite the notion that they’re flat, some non-Asian touring teams have often been found struggling in these batting-friendly conditions. Pitches on which Pakistan is able to score in excess of 500, touring parties like England and Australia have repeatedly been bundled out for less than 300. For instance, when both these teams were ...

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