Stories about shoaib akhtar

4 reasons why World Cup 2015 is nothing like World Cup 1992

Yesterday’s win against Ireland allowed Pakistan to wiggle their way into the quarter-finals. The match not only secured us a place in the top four but also allowed Sarfraz Ahmed to score his first ODI century. This century was not only important for him, but for Pakistan as well since it broke the dry spell our batsmen were suffering from since the 2007 World Cup.  Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz (2nd L) celebrates with team mates after dismissing Ireland’s Ed Joyce (2nd R) for eleven runs during their Cricket World Cup match at the Adelaide Oval March 15, 2015.Photo: Reuters THANKSGIVING ...

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Pak vs UAE: A cornered tiger’s only way forward is to attack

What do you do when all hope seems lost and there seems to be no way out? What do you do when all that can go wrong does go wrong? What do you do when those who support you turn on you? What do you do when you are backed in to a corner? Just what is it that you do? These are some of the questions that the Pakistani cricket team in Australia and New Zealand were confronted with almost a week ago. After two harrowing defeats against India and the West Indies, Pakistan finally seems to be gathering some much needed steam while ...

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My interview with Misbahul Haq, Waqar Younis and Moin Khan

For the third time, I check my voice recorder to make sure the device is in operational order.   Yes, it is fine. Of course it is fine. I wipe away my sweaty palms on the fabric of my jeans and allow myself a few deep breaths. This will be the biggest interview I’ve ever conducted. I am sitting in a small conference room at the Pakistan cricket team hotel in Brisbane, Australia, waiting for captain Misbahul Haq, coach Waqar Younis, and chief selector Moin Khan. Determined to put my admiration for these three individuals aside, I try to focus. After all, a cricket ...

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An autopsy of Pakistan’s World Cup blues

It has barely been a fortnight since the inauguration of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australasia and team Pakistan has already found itself in a position where a group stage exit looks probable. As expected, Pakistani fans have wasted no time in expressing their anger and disappointment at the team’s dismal and lacklustre outings against India and the West Indies. Criticism is on display in its many forms; from bashing Misbah and his boys on social media to burning effigies and staging mock funerals in the streets of Multan. Former players including Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar have expressed ...

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As a Pakistani fan you will go through these 7 stages of grief

I have been following the Pakistan cricket team ever since I can remember. After the stinging loss against India in the 1996 World Cup quarter-final, I felt a personal duty to rectify the wrong. The defeat did not dishearten me; on the contrary, it reinvigorated my love for the game. Throughout my youth, I would pretend I am Aamir Sohail and point to the bowler where I was going to hit him next. A strategy that worked for me because I was only good playing shots on the leg side – so regardless of the bravado, I was going to ...

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Pakistan versus India: And the jinx continues…

Well it was 8am that the subcontinent started to get abuzz with the excitement surrounding the clash between Pakistan and India in the World Cup. There always is a different kind of excitement whenever the two teams face off. Sometimes it ends in player’s houses being attacked in India and sometimes it ends in brawls in Sydney. Regardless of the outcome, one thing is certain – there are a lot of emotions involved in the clash of the titans of the subcontinent. (I highly doubt that Pakistan can be called a titan as of today but it sounds catchy ...

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Love in the time of World Cup 1999

If you ask Pakistanis about their favourite cricket World Cup, most will mention the ’92 version. The reasons are obvious and manifold. Pakistan became world champions in typically dramatic fashion and unearthed stars which were to dominate world cricket for years to come. The 1992 World Cup had aging stars and new ones, Imran Khan and Ian Botham rubbing shoulders with Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. It had a testing format in which each team played each other at least once and was played in superb grounds. An entire nation yearns to relive the tournament which produced several nuggety moments including the ...

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The excruciating experience of watching Pakistan bowl

As I write this, Pakistan has just conceded 369 runs against the New Zealand batting side. Maybe this would not be so hard to take if I had not grown up watching legends like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. The current state of our fast-bowling makes the heart grow even fonder of Mohammad Sami. Let that sink in, Mohammad Sami. A man who once bowled the longest over in ODI with 17 balls, including seven wides and four no-balls. I will even go to the extent of saying Ataur Rehman was a better bowler than ...

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Is sledging tarnishing the reputation of the gentleman’s game? I think not

How long does it take to become proficient in the art of cricket, the gentlemen’s game? It probably varies from person to person, depending on how well they perform under pressure. My focus, however, is on its nickname – ‘the gentlemen’s game’. The name came about because, in addition to the rules and regulations, players have to abide by the spirit of the sport as well. The standard of sportsmanship in cricket has historically been considered so high that phrases like “it’s just not cricket” have been coined to describe the fair behaviour players are expected to exhibit on the ...

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This is for Hobart

The morning of November 22, 1999 was nippy and blustery, typical Karachi winter weather. I woke up early with an air of expectation. Christmas was coming early this year and Eid was going to follow. Pakistan was finally going to beat Australia in a Test match on their home turf and I was ready for school early to savour as much of the moment as possible. The Test series was following after Pakistan had been blanked by Australia in the World Cup final earlier in the year and was billed as the ‘badla’ tour by the press. Wasim Akram, the Pakistan team ...

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