Stories about world cup

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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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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