Stories about shoaib akhtar

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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Give international cricketers a break

Salam and greetings. Being in Sydney while enduring my first winter for some time makes me think about last year’s World Cup where our Pakistani boys made us proud. But it was sad to see Shoaiby hang up his boots. Rahul Dravid followed suit later that year and, most recently, Kevin Pietersen said he only wants to play Test cricket. It makes me wonder if the schedule wasn’t packed, could legends like Brian Lara and Adam Gilchrist still be playing. The rotation system has had its lovers and haters and was introduced in order to help players cope with the physical demands ...

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Shoaib Akhtar speaks the truth

I usually try to keep my personal biases and opinions aside while writing, but reading all that has been written about Shoaib Akhtar and his book has incensed me to no end. I cannot believe how easily people have started ridiculing one of the best fast bowlers this country has ever seen. And all this just for saying out loud some things which we have all always known or at least suspected to be true? For all those who question Akhtar’s class as a bowler, I would suggest a look at Criicinfo’s page on Shoaib Akhtar. For God’s sake the guy ...

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