Stories about world cup

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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Diary of an avid cricket fan

My phone beeped. It was an SMS from a friend who had grown skeptical of the Pakistan Cricket Team since the 1999 World Cup Final debacle. “So are your chuckers going to win?” It was the eve of the 2009 T20 World Cup final. And even though he knew that the response he would get would be oozing with positive energy, hope and an incomprehensible delight for one of the most unpredictable sports team in all sports throughout history, he still wanted to know. You see, after a long time this team was showing some spine. It was regenerating interest in the ...

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The way forward for Pakistan cricket

All the rumours of sacking Misbah as captain have been laid to rest after Pakistan’s victory in the Asia Cup. The fear of Pakistan going downhill after the ODI series lost against England is no more there. Pakistan cricket has been stable, and for once the cricket season ended on a high note with not much to worry about. But what’s next for Pakistan? There are still many unanswered questions like: Who will be the next captain for Pakistan? Which new bowlers will have a future in the team? For how long can we persist with spinners as our main weapon? Who is the right ...

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Why should Afridi steer the ship?

On March 30, 2011, when the team lost to our arch rivals and eventual champions, India in the semi-finals of the coveted 2011 World Cup, this is what our team captain at the time, Shahid Afridi had to say: “I want to say sorry to my nation. We tried our level best but couldn’t make it. I am pleased with the way my team played throughout the competition.” He apologised for leading a fragmented, jaded, and weak team to the top four; something which he envisaged on February 9, 2011. The talismanic all-rounder was ...

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Pakistan vs India: Silencing the match-fixing rumours

The match-fixing rumours started spreading after India’s victory over Pakistan in the Asia Cup match that took place on March 18, 2012. The match was played in its real essence – a typical Pakistan-India match that contained everything: high scores, long partnerships, centuries, nervousness, misfielding, bad shots, huge sixes, all round performance by the top performers of both the sides, two heroes, two villains from both sides, tense captains and a nerve-wracking experience that a match between arch-rivals usually instigates. But still, they say, it was fixed and their reasons are: Cricketing authorities want a Pak-India final, to earn millions of dollars and ...

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Tendulkar: A retirement or a century?

Every cricket lover will agree that Sachin Tendulkar is indeed a legend. He has been one of the best batsmen, the most prolific run maker and arguably the biggest cricket icon the game has ever known. Let’s recap his achievements. Tendulkar is not only the man with the most runs under his belt (over 15,000 in Tests and over 18,000 in ODIs), he is also the first cricketer to score 200 runs in an ODI. With the increasing trend of T20 cricket, it seems that his record for the most runs in ODIs and Test matches will stay with him forever. But now there’s ...

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Save cricket in Pakistan

For a developing country like Pakistan, with a population of almost 190 million, sports play a vital role in developing the society on both social and ethical grounds. Although the national sport is hockey, cricket is the heart and soul of the whole nation. Taken as a platform to express feelings, every day history is made in the numerous cricket grounds across the country. As the game does not involve severe exercise, it is played by many and more recently the gender discrimination that used to exist has also ended. Cricket is amongst one of the few sports in the country played ...

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Team Pakistan: Back with a bang!

Can anything taste sweeter than victory? If you are a Pakistani fan who has gone through the spot-fixing case, the ensuing talks of banishing Pakistan from world cricket, the semi-final losses in the World T20 and World Cup 2011, clearly not. And what if that victory is against the number one side in the world? It just makes it all the more sweet. It might take a couple of days for this to settle in. Consider this- in 2010, the cricketing world was so irritated with a particular team and the board’s chairman that there were talks of throwing them ...

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Defining moments of cricket in 2011

From cricketers being put in the slammer for spot-fixing to Shane Warne returning to play cricket – this year has seen it all. Here is my list of the top ten defining moments of cricket in 2011. 10) Ponting hands the reigns to Micheal Clarke It is hard to sympathize with Ponting considering that he is the captain who led his side to the most wins and has lifted the World Cup twice. But the writing was on the wall after the first Ashes defeat for Australia in 24 years, and the first time that a team had lost three matches by ...

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