Stories about shoaib akhtar

Asia Cup 2014: 12 years of Pakistan and India mêlée, who will win tomorrow?

They don’t come bigger than this. No. When you talk of sporting rivalries what comes to mind? Australia Wallabies and New Zealand All Blacks in rugby? Ashes? Brazil and Argentina in football? None of them compare to this one. The India-Pakistan cricket rivalry puts them all in the shade with its background of four wars, numerous skirmishes, disputed borders and nuclear weapons. From 1951 when the first India-Pakistan Test match took place to their last match in the ICC Champions trophy, every series, every tournament, every moment of every match has been a saga of raw emotion and unbridled passion. The India-Pakistan match on Sunday, ...

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Misbahul Haq, only second to Imran Khan and Javed Miandad as captain!

On January 14, 2013, I wrote a piece stressing the fact that Misbah is very much a necessity for Pakistan’s One Day International (ODI) cricket. I argued that Misbah has been far better than his colleagues and should not be dropped, predicting that he will fine tune his game-plan and will improve as a batsman. Well, as it turns out, Misbah has indeed stepped up his game since then. Misbahul Haq of Pakistan bats during the ODI match between South Africa and Pakistan at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on March 21, 2013 in Durban, South Africa. Photo: AFP Almost a year ...

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So what if Gul won the T20i Performance of the Year Award, we still need to bring back our yorkers!

There was a time when yorkers used to be the favoured delivery of every seam bowler, especially in those matches that had limited overs. This was usually played when the opposing team was looking for quick runs, towards the end of an inning. If played perfectly, the yorker is a delivery that is almost impossible to hit. Even the most accomplished of batsmen face difficulty trying to get a yorker bowled at a fast pace. Pakistan had bowlers who could deliver yorkers almost at will. Sultans of Swing (Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis) had mastered the art in the ‘90s and, then we had ...

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Akhtar and Yousuf, what do you have to say about Lala’s performance now?

In the last couple of weeks, we have seen a lot of interest in Shahid Afridi. Not to say that he was shy of the media before, but his war of words with Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Yousuf has left a bad taste in the mouth for cricket lovers across the country. What’s surprising is that the number of fingers pointed at Afridi outnumbered the ones pointed at Akhtar and Yousuf. Not only does that show the fickle nature of a Pakistani supporter, it also goes to show the level of hypocrisy prevailing in this country. It was July 2013, not too long ...

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Does Afridi need to behave himself?

While there are several serious issues brewing in Pakistani cricket, perhaps the worst is that senior cricketers have started quarreling over comments passed by each other, adding spice to cricket talks shows, but creating chaos in the media. Pakistan finally managed to win a series against South Africa for the first time. They managed to win the hearts again of Pakistani cricket lovers, and at the same time Misbahul Haq won appreciation from critics too. Sadly, Shahid Afridi’s performance throughout the series raised a lot of questions about his batting performance especially since he has played 300 plus matches yet still resorts to the same careless shots. Cricket drama starring ...

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With Wasim Akram and Sachin Tendulkar gone, will cricket die?

Fast bowling, for me, died the day Wasim Akram retired from cricket. Batting has just recently passed away along with the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar. Cricket obviously moves on but for people belonging to my generation, Tendulkar was the last of an era of classical cricket. An era that saw some of the greats of the game compete at a level of competence and technique, which may never be equalled by modern day players. Today, when the game has become increasingly easy for all that are related to it, be it the UDRS (Umpire Decision Review System), enhanced coaching and training facilities or the computerised ...

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Six reasons why Misbahul Haq should not be blamed

I wouldn’t fault Pakistan’s ODI and Test match captain, Misbahul Haq, if he is just a teeny-weeny bit happy that Pakistan lost both T20s to South Africa. If I was in his place, I’d be somewhat pleased as well. “Blame it on me now!” I’d say while grinning from ear to ear. Recently, it seems that the maligned Misbah has become the Malala of Pakistan cricket; everything is his fault. When he plays defensive cricket because he knows that the rest of his team can barely qualify when under pressure, he is accused of pedestrian batting. But if he throws down ...

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Thank you Faf du Plessis for showing us that the ICC cares… about you!

Dear Faf du Plessis, First of all, one must congratulate you for imparting a unique idea of utilising the trouser zip for tampering with the cricket ball. In the past, some ‘enthusiasts’ had tried Pepsi bottle tops, dirt/dust in the pockets, finger nails, and even teeth, but none had used a trouser’s zip before. Once upon a time in Australia, our Afridi “Lala” had tried to chew and/or bite the ball in frustration after several defeats, but he couldn’t hide it from any of the cameras installed across the ground. As a result, he was fined for two T20 matches. ...

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Is fast-bowling a fading art?

Ever since I started following the game of cricket, the aspect that has fascinated me the most is the sight of a genuinely quick paceman running down from his bowling mark to rattle a batsman. I still remember the day I entered a cricket stadium for the very first time – early 2000 – only to witness the run-up of the legendary Waqar Younis. Although I observed the craftsmanship of Wasim Akram as well, the swift yet smooth approach of the other ‘W’ mesmerised me the most. I used to be hooked to the television screen just to see Waqar Younis running ...

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Game on: When Shoaib Akhtar made us proud

The third day’s play between Pakistan and Australia was in progress in Colombo on October 5, 2002. It was the first Test match of the series where Pakistan was forced to play an almost second string side due to the unavailability of  players like Saeed Anwar, Inzamamul Haq, Muhammad Yousuf and Wasim Akram. The weather was extremely hot and humid, as is usually associated with the Sri Lankan climate. Australia performed according to all expectations and dominated the match, scoring 467 in the first innings and bowling out Pakistan’s inexperienced batting line-up at 279 on the third day’s play, gaining a lead of ...

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