Stories about world cup

Is Hafeez in a position to lead our T20 side in the World Cup 2014?

Mohammad Hafeez’s journey as captain began in July, 2012, when he was appointed in-charge of the Pakistan T20 team. A few months later, the team participated in the T20 World Cup, which was held in September, 2012, in Sri Lanka. Though Pakistan made its way into the semi-finals by securing victories in the initial rounds, they had to face defeat in the semis against the host team, by 16 runs. Pakistan had to return back home, empty handed, despite reaching so close to the trophy. During Hafeez’s captaincy, Pakistan T20 cricket has seen many glory days. He has the record of ...

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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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Pakistan’s winning hockey team forgotten, losing cricket team adored?

There is no free lunch when it comes to coverage of sports in Pakistan. Pakistan’s hockey team has just won the second Asian Champions Trophy by beating Japan in the finals and with this victory, Pakistan has retained the title for the second time. Interestingly, while our hockey squad was on stage in Japan reveling with their gold medals, Pakistan’s cricket team was getting hammered at the hands of the South Africans in the UAE. Even more interesting was the stark contrast in the nation’s response to these two international sporting events. Even though Pakistan lost the ODI series, the audience was glued to ...

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Our heartbreaking hockey history: Do we have a future to look forward to?

The heartbreaking Friday of last week has passed with the most shocking news of the Pakistan Hockey history. The upcoming World Cup will be played without Pakistan – the country that conceived it in 1971 – for the first time in history. A lot has been said and will be said on the defeat at the hands of South Korea in the Asia Cup, which shut the door on Pakistan, but was that the only chance Pakistan had to qualify for the mega event? Absolutely not, as the team had failed to impress in the qualifiers too. The national hockey team ...

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When street children can don national colours to represent Pakistan

It was a sweltering Saturday afternoon, when a group of young street children stopped to watch another group of children play football on a playground in New Karachi. The sport had captured their young imagination and they looked at the game longingly. The coach noticed these children – who were seemingly returning from garbage collection – and asked them to join in the football practice. They rushed forth with excitement and realised that the children they were playing with were ‘street children’ as well. This made them feel comfortable and so they played their hearts out. This was a practice session of Street Strikers Football ...

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Cricket in Pakistan: Select on merit, not on favouritism!

And so the chief selector has spoken: No more messing around with the squad, unless a new player shows exemplary form in the upcoming domestic T20 event! The plan is to continue to stick with the tried and tested old guns. Iqbal Qasim seems to be working under the premise that too much shuffling around in the team compromises the players’ morale and confidence. The policy being sought is to allow a player ample time inside the field for him to mature up and to prove his mettle. This would have been a good strategy had the team shown sufficient potential, ...

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Hanumant Singh, I will always remember you

I remember Hanumant Singh. Now, how many in Pakistan would say that? For that matter, how many in India can say that today? But it is true! I remember him well and owe him a debt which can never be repaid. One hears you asking, why would an individual living in Karachi, have anything to do with an Indian prince? I speak from faded memory, because to go into historical statistics is to lose the charm and mystery of what is just so natural. Sometime in February 1964, aged five, I saw two of my uncles huddled together listening to a Grundig ...

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Why the U-19 disaster is bound to occur again

Pakistan under-19 cricket team’s dismal performance in the ongoing Under-19 World Cup shouldn’t come to us as a surprise. The state of affairs of sports in Pakistan has been such lately that this was bound to happen eventually. Having said as much, we still feel disappointed because of the recent excellent performances by our U-19 team in the event. While Pakistan’s senior team had their worst World Cup campaigns in 2003 and 2007 (they came back home after the first round on both occasions), the U-19 team brought home the World Cup in 2004 and 2006. They were semi-finalists in ...

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London Olympics 2012: Our hockey team did no homework

Pakistan’s failure to qualify for the semi-finals wasn’t entirely unexpected — this team doesn’t have the potential to do better than this. Four years ago in Beijing, this very team, with the same bunch of players, finished eighth. This time again, a similar result is possible. I’d be surprised if people see the development as unexpected but the fact is that our build-up to the Olympics was marred by controversy, confusion and ill-planning. Seniors didn’t know whether they’d make it to the squad or not before they were slapped with fines. Their inclusion in the team was a last-minute decision and ...

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On bringing Akmal back

To most, the name ‘Kamran Akmal’ brings back bitter memories of some of the most embarrassing defeats our national cricket team has ever faced. The worst of these was the Sydney Test of 2010. Four dropped catches and a run-out missed enabled the Aussies to snatch victory out of the jaws of a certain defeat. To me, however, the name brings back memories of when I sat in the National Stadium, Karachi, and saw our three prime batsmen being dismissed in the first over of the match; a defeat lingered on our heads and we were only to be redeemed ...

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