Stories about world cup

5 reasons Manuel Neuer deserves the Ballon d’Or

Finally, after much anticipation, the list is out. And it’s out with a bang. Three players have been shortlisted for the prestigious award and it is no surprise that this year’s trio of the planet’s best players yet again includes the giants of the football world, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. What is enthralling about this year’s award, however, is that this time it is not Xavi or Andrés Iniesta or Franck Ribery who will compete with Ronaldo and Messi – this time, it is a goalkeeper. This time it is the ‘SuperManu’, the ‘sweeper-keeper’, the legendary German and Bayern Munich goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, who ...

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Winning at the Blind cricket World Cup but being beaten in Lahore

Putting on over 400 runs in a one-day international game is at best a distant dream for Pakistan’s national cricket squad. However, the country’s blind cricket team made it look like child’s play as they accumulated a mammoth 418 runs in just 40 overs during their match against Sri Lanka. Sadly, the performance went largely unnoticed. Had it been Misbahul Haq and his band of brothers who accomplished something similar, the chequebooks of prime ministers and presidents would have lost a few leaves. One can only imagine the score they would have ended up with had they been given a full 50 ...

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After Ajmal, Hafeez takes a hit – will Pakistan be able to bounce back?

And so the ICC’s purge against off-spinners continues, with Mohammad Hafeez being the latest victim. It has come as no surprise given the recent suspensions of off-spinners globally and the warning Hafeez himself received when he was reported during the Champions League T20 in September with Hafeez due to be tested at Loughborough on November 24, 2014. In fact, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) itself has been pro-active in this matter, forming a five-member committee which included ICC Elite Panel Umpire Aleem Dar and Pakistan’s spin bowling coach, Mushtaq Ahmad, to weed out suspect actions before they reach the international stage. However, the news of Hafeez ...

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The king of comebacks

Cricket is a love story, a baffling relationship, one that tugs at your heart, crushes and then serenades you all over again. The love you try relentlessly to give up on, the one you know you’re always going to run back to. Pakistan cricket has shattered us and then put us back together more times than I can remember. Misbahul Haq is our messiah, a patient captain, a world class player who took over the team when our hearts were irreparably broken from the spot fixing scandal and nurtured us back to health. And every few months, he finds himself ...

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Hockey haul: Ditch European techniques, Pakistan

The 2014 Incheon Asian Games concluded with India beating Pakistan with 4-2 on penalties in the finals. With this victory, India directly qualifies for the 2016 Rio Olympics while Pakistan has to go through a qualifying tournament, which will determine if they qualify for the Olympics or not. I don’t want to lament or cry over what went wrong with our team and their performance as you can rely on our media to publicise that. But one thing I am sure of is that the fault lies with our persistence in using obsolete methods to manage our hockey affairs, and our failure ...

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The fault in our (cricket) stars

I walked into the house to the sound of my father yelling and shouting. 99 out of a 100 times, it’s usually because of something my brother had done. But when I entered the house hearing both of them bellowing, it could mean only one thing – the Pakistan cricket team had failed… yet again. And what a time it was to lose. With the World Cup only a matter of months away, the Pakistani team could not have chosen a worse moment to be whitewashed, literally, by the host team of the forthcoming tournament. The issue is not that they lost, rather the manner ...

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Pakistan sports: Abundance of talent but lack of recognition

It was amazing how Pakistan beat India 2-1 in their Asian games fixture yesterday. If you see the last couple of months in light of the Indo-Pak rivalry, you would be proud to see how well Pakistan has done against India in pretty much all sports. Just last month, Pakistan beat India 2-0 in the final match of a friendly series. Though Pakistan lost the first match, we won the series on goal average. Last week, our domestic side, Lahore Lions, took on the two time CLT20 champions Mumbai Indians and surprisingly ended up beating them. And it’s not just these Indo-Pak clashes where we have done really ...

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Islamabad fizzles out, so PTI does Karachi

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, DJ Butt and their merry gang kicked off their Pakistan tour yesterday by visiting the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) stronghold; Karachi. They undoubtedly drew a large crowd consisting of people from all walks of life. But then again, so does Jamaat-e-Islami. Large numbers at rallies or not, one thing that really gets to me is the massive pool of contradictions that are the PTI. They are credited with ‘emancipating women’ and the number of women at their processions and rallies is always highlighted. Yet the party had the lowest number of women contesting general seats ...

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Captain Shahid Afridi: Out with the new and in with the old?

On September 16, 2014, the stars once again aligned themselves for 34-year-old Shahid Afridi who was appointed as Pakistan’s T20 captain. It is believed that he will retain this position until the T20 World Cup in 2016. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in true Pakistani fashion, has decided to adopt the ‘live for the moment’ mentality with absolutely no regard for the future of T20 cricket in the nation. What is the point of employing the same individuals in the same positions time and again and expecting different results? Was it a lack of better options that forced the board to make this decision and ...

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ICC World Cup: When quantity dilutes quality

While browsing a leading cricket website, an ad for cricket jerseys caught my attention. The jerseys on sale were replicas of the 1992 World Cup ones that the nine competing teams wore. The promotional scheme was very aptly captioned, “The iconic cricket jerseys of the 1992 World Cup” As an overzealous follower of Pakistani cricket, I have absolutely zero issues with the jerseys being labelled iconic. After all, this was our World Cup. The 2015 World Cup, like the 1992 one, is to be played on the unforgiving cricket wickets in Australia and their neighbour, New Zealand. Cricket has come a long way since the 1992 ...

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