Ever since I can remember becoming zee shaoor (in possession of one’s full mental capacity), my household has been a hard core, absolutely bonkers, completely ridiculous, and rowdy cricket fan. It runs in the genes, so they tell me. My father often tells me how my paternal great grandfather used to listen to the English commentary of cricket matches on the radio in the 50s, where he was one of the few individuals in my rural hometown of Hala, Sindh, to own a radio. English commentary? Rural Sindh? 50s? What am I saying? But yes, he had received a scholarship of Rs5 before the Partition from the ...Read Full Post
Pakistan entered the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy as the lowest ranked team in the ODI charts. Even before the tournament began, Pakistan had no hope of winning, or in more realistic terms, had no real chance of crossing the group stage, with India and South Africa being in the same group.
Pakistan’s archaic style of ODI cricket is up for a stern test in this summer’s Champions Trophy. The team is grouped with South Africa (ranked number one in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings), arch-rivals India, and Sri Lanka. A realistic assessment might be for the team to win at least one out of these three games – more likely to be the one against Sri Lanka – but that would also mean having to do away with the optimism of a Pakistani cricket fan. Regardless of how bad we think our team is, almost every fan will, as always, ...Read Full Post
Growing up in a perpetual shadow of conflict and turmoil, Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq were two beacons of calmness that you could count on to somehow make things better. We are fortunate enough to be in the same era as them, watch them steady the ship on countless occasions and reach new heights in the process. Younus and Misbah were deeply engrossed in a storyline that was full of emotions, more lows than highs, and the highs underappreciated. When Misbah went down at Lord’s, he picked up Pakistan’s crest that had been lying in the dirt since 2010 and proudly placed it on the honour boards for upcoming generations ...Read Full Post
The upcoming Test series in West Indies will be the last time we get to see Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan sporting the colours of Pakistan, as both these players will bid farewell to Test cricket after the series ends. The series will provide both players an ideal opportunity to conclude their respective careers on a high note. Misbah has great prospects of becoming the first Pakistani captain to win a Test series in West Indies, whereas Younus is at a hand-shaking distance from becoming the first Pakistani player to reach the 10,000-runs mark in Test cricket. I hope to see both players achieve their respective milestones ...Read Full Post
This month, the Pakistan cricket team, led by Sarfraz Ahmed in all three formats, will embark on the West Indies tour to play a series of four T20 matches, three Tests and three One-Day Internationals (ODIs), which starts on March 26th. In order to ensure direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup, it is imperative for them to win the upcoming ODI series. The last World Cup was played in 2015 in Australia where Pakistan made it to the third quarter-final against Australia but lost miserably by six wickets with 97 balls remaining. Currently, Pakistan ranks eighth on the ODI ...Read Full Post
For more than 20 years, the name Shahid Afridi has been part and parcel of Pakistan cricket, so much so that Pakistan’s cricketing history would be incomplete without highlighting his contributions. Even the greatest of cricketers have found it difficult to dominate oppositions from the very beginning of their careers, but that was not the case with Afridi. The manner in which he announced himself on the international arena was beyond amazing. He made a mockery of the Sri Lankan bowling attack in the second ODI match of his career, scoring the fastest century off just 37 balls, a record ...Read Full Post
Yet another tour of Pakistan to the continent of Australia has ended badly. After a good Test series in England, followed by achieving the number one Test ranking, they have been outplayed in the ODIs in England, New Zealand, Australia, and of course, the Test matches in New Zealand and Australia. There is a lot of blame being placed on the shoulders of Misbahul Haq for the losses in these last two Test series and for good reason. At the same time, cricket is a team game, and as the abysmal performances in the ODIs prove, there is only so ...Read Full Post
Has the Australian team forgotten how many times they have been whitewashed by their South Asian counterparts?
Recently, Ian Chappell passed a comment, telling the Pakistan cricket team to either improve their game or stay at home. The former Australian captain went on to say that until the struggling side does not up their game significantly and provide some sort of a challenge to the home side, the Pakistan team will not be invited for any future series. According to Chappell, “Pakistan have now lost 12 Test matches on the trot in Australia, and somebody’s got to give them a kick up the bum. Cricket Australia have got to start saying ‘listen if things don’t improve we will ...Read Full Post
If there is anyone who can be proclaimed as one of the greatest servants of Pakistan cricket at the drop of a hat, it is Misbahul Haq. It is crystal clear to a rational cricket follower that Misbah deserves a lot of praise for where Pakistan cricket stands right now. Misbah came under the spotlight during his Test debut against New Zealand at Auckland back in 2001, but it was a clerk’s room where he was offered the captaincy band in 2010, which was the actual turning point of his career. Misbah was asked to take command of the team at a time when Pakistan cricket was ...Read Full Post