Stories about New Zealand

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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After Ajmal, Hafeez takes a hit – will Pakistan be able to bounce back?

And so the ICC’s purge against off-spinners continues, with Mohammad Hafeez being the latest victim. It has come as no surprise given the recent suspensions of off-spinners globally and the warning Hafeez himself received when he was reported during the Champions League T20 in September with Hafeez due to be tested at Loughborough on November 24, 2014. In fact, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) itself has been pro-active in this matter, forming a five-member committee which included ICC Elite Panel Umpire Aleem Dar and Pakistan’s spin bowling coach, Mushtaq Ahmad, to weed out suspect actions before they reach the international stage. However, the news of Hafeez ...

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Hafeez and Taufeeq need to go!

While the nation rightly celebrates a long awaited Test series win over Australia, one as dominant as unexpected, it would be unadvisable to start getting complacent. They say the best teams in sport are those that strengthen while at the top and we must not fall into the trap of overlooking areas which need improvement. The last time we whitewashed a world number one in UAE, we followed it up with a highly uninspiring series loss in Sri Lanka in 2012. Many reputations lived off that series for far too long, and we must make sure that the same mistakes are not repeated ...

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Has Indian Test cricket suffered under Dhoni?

The venom of glamour and entertainment infused with cricket has made a cascading impact on its purest format, as it seems to lose its essence in this fast-track age of madness. As always Indian cricket has struggled to cope with any kind of fast bowling overseas. The superstars that Indian cricket has produced over the years have managed to excel on slow tracks of the subcontinent but succumbed to the fast bouncy tracks elsewhere. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team have suffered humiliating defeats in Test matches over the past four years. After surrendering to complete wash-outs in England in 2011, his lacklustre side suffered ...

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Injustice prevails at Aitchison College

The headmaster of Senior School, Mr Peter Giddens, a tall man from New Zealand, joined Aitchison College in September 2013. During his first assembly, he said, excitedly, “I do not like the number one thousand and seventy, so I’ll make every effort to bring that number down to only a thousand.” His intentions were clear. Everyone in Senior School eventually became acquainted with his arrogance. He would never accommodate a friendly complaint and would often greet it with comments like “get out”, “I’m busy”, “am I here to solve this?” and sometimes he would not comment at all. Soon after, Mr Giddens, for unknown reasons, ...

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Hafeez, an unsung hero?

After the spot fixing saga in 2010, Pakistan was in desperate need of a solid opener to fill the gap left by Salman Butt. And it was none other than Mohammad Hafeez who took the challenge upon himself to work his way into becoming Pakistan’s next regular opener in all three formats. Before 2010, Hafeez had a questionable batting average and his inclusion in the team was criticised because he was never able to establish himself as a preferred player in our team. Despite that he worked hard on his techniques and scored numerous runs against competitive teams like England, South Africa and New ...

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