Shaukat Hamdani

Broadcast journalist with an interest in sports, travel, history and culture. He tweets @Shaukii

Irresponsible patriot or mature voter: which are you?

I will be the first to admit that it was wrong of me not to vote in the last elections. I regret that decision now, and it seems very irresponsible, especially since I took part in the student movement against former president Pervez Musharraf. My reason was simple: I did not like any of the candidates. In hindsight, that was not a good enough reason to not protect my vote because even though I did not go to the polling station, in all likelihood, my vote was used in rigging. I failed to protect my vote and for that I have to ...

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Pak-US ties: Don’t kick the hornet’s nest!

Pakistan and the United States are currently embroiled in one of their biggest squabbles since the start of the war on terror which has led to intense speculation of American ground troops in Pakistan. Senator Rehman Malik has come out and said that no American troops will be allowed within Pakistan: “Pakistan will not allow boots on our ground, never. Our government is already cooperating with the US …  but they also must respect our sovereignty.” But it’s not like the Americans will listen to Pakistan or care for the sovereignty of one of its ‘allies’, as the Osama bin laden ...

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Pakistan vs India: Play Akhtar and Ajmal

The Pakistan team faces a bowling dilemma as it prepares for the semi-final in Mohali. Umar Gul, Abdur Razzaq, Muhammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi will most certainly be on the team. The questions to be answered are: Who will be the third spinner? Who will be the third seamer? Here’s a SWOT analysis: Third Spinner: Saeed Ajmal or Abdul Rehman? Saeed Ajmal Strength:  Ajmal offers the amazing doosra and a whole lot of variety. Once he gets into rhythm he can pick up wickets at will. Weakness: Unfortunately, he can be expensive if off color and at times in pressure situations, he tends to overuse the doosra. Opportunity: He ...

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Australia vs Pakistan: Finally, the Kangaroos retreat!

I am proud of you, team Pakistan! You have done what no other team has been able to do since you did it in 1999; you thrashed Australia in a World Cup match. The jubilation of Pakistanis across the world is apparent on social media websites like Twitter and Facebook. Even the defectors joined the chorus of euphoria; people who had disowned Team Green after we lost the match against New Zealand are now supporters again. Unplayable deliveries Before I go on to talk about the batting woes, in the words of many Pakistani captains I would like to say “First of all, ...

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Canada vs Pakistan: Time for the cornered tigers to roar

Is there any other team in the cricket world that can approach a World Cup with the sort of swagger that Pakistan has after going through all that they did in the previous year? No, not by a long shot. Pakistan have been hit by a spot-fixing scandal. They have lost three first team players including one of the most feared fast-bowling partnerships in the world. One of their wicketkeepers not only fled the team, but took off from the country altogether citing death threats and match-fixing propositions as his reasons. Then there was the captaincy issue which remained unresolved ...

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A World Cup without the trio

For Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, February 5 is judgment day – the day when their future in cricket will be decided. As the court’s verdict is pending, there are many questions floating in the minds of avid cricket lovers; will the players get a fair trial or is the ICC hell bent on making an example out of them? Are they really guilty of those charges? Setting these questions aside – as the answers will be given to us soon- I want to reflect on how their possible exclusion from the World Cup squad will affect the team ...

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Jose Mourinho: Truly a special one

Jose Mourinho is popularly known as “the special one”, a self-proclaimed title that was later taken up by the British media. People will argue about his coaching style (and they have a right to) but if there is one thing Jose Mourinho is, it is efficient. He has moved from Porto to Chelsea to Inter Milan and now to Real Madrid. He has won the respective leagues and has also won domestic cup competitions with three of the four teams. With Inter Milan and Porto he won the UEFA champions league and it is safe to say that he rarely loses ...

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Team Green: Consistently losing

For years Pakistani cricket fans have been asking for a bit of consistency. Well, they say to be careful what you wish for because we finally have got some!  Sadly, it’s not the kind of consistency we wanted. After Wednesday’s T20 loss to South Africa, we have now lost four consecutive T20 matches. But the true measure of our consistency comes from the details of the results. Our last four T20 match (2 against South Africa, and 2 against England) results read like this: loss by 6 wickets loss by 6 wickets loss by 6 wickets loss by 5 wickets There was a time when if ...

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Injustice for Dr Aafia once again

I cannot express how disappointed I am at the sentence that Dr Aafia Siddiqui received. She did not deserve to be convicted at all – if one looks carefully at the testimonies of key witnesses. There are also questions about the legitimacy of how she was picked up, but without even addressing these issues, I would just like to talk about the initial case and verdict which was given earlier this year. During the case an FBI firearms expert had expressed doubts whether the M-4 rifle, which was allegedly grabbed by the Pakistani neuroscientist to attack US interrogators in Afghanistan, was ...

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September 21, 2010

Ijaz Butt needs to shut it

Minutes after we won the 4th ODI at Lords my Facebook news feed was flooded with jubilant cries of victory. Cricket runs in our blood, and no matter how hard it becomes, how let down we are, a victory in cricket is special for us. Some of the people rooting for Pakistan cricket on Facebook were big skeptics who stopped believing in the team at the smallest sign of danger, while others were those who held out hope for the Pakistani team in the aftermath of the news of the world allegations.  This victory has got them believing and rooting for ...

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