Muneeb Farrukh

Muneeb Farrukh

The author is a freelance sportswriter based in Karachi. He tweets as @Muneeb313_ (twitter.com/Muneeb313_)

PakvsWXI: One victory down, will we be able to conquer the other two?

After eight long years, international cricket came home and we couldn’t be happier. Lahore was abuzz and cricket fans could be seen grinning from ear to ear, ready to cheer their team on. The atmosphere Fuelled by uncharacteristic silence and desertion, Gaddafi Stadium has portrayed a picture of despair more often than not for almost a decade. But much to the delight of the fans, it has finally sprung to life once again. Pakistani fans came decked up in all shades and colours, Pakistan v World XI, 1st T20I, Independence Cup 2017, Lahore, September 12, 2017. Photo: AFP A ...

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Maria Sharapova, the phoenix who rose from the ashes, is still a force to be reckoned with

This might sound silly but the first thing that struck me about the Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova was not her technical or tactical prowess but in fact the ’grunt’ which was part and parcel of her game and particularly, the serve. Although grunting is normal to an extent in tennis, but when you crank it up to 100 decibels, it is bound to attract attention and this is precisely the reason why it caught my eye. Little did I know that this young lady will go on to become one of the finest players of all time. Young Sharapova Her interest in the ...

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Is it fair for host countries to prepare pitches favouring their conditions?

The 22-yard-long cricket pitch has been of pivotal importance since the inception of the game. The nature of the strip has a bearing on the outcome of a cricket match and will continue to do so in the forthcoming years. In the shorter formats of the game, particularly since the advent of T20 cricket, the general trend has been to prepare flatter pitches in order to neutralise the result of the toss. But the pitch still plays an extremely crucial role in cricket’s purest format, Test cricket, which is why surfaces used all over the world tend to vary according ...

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The Hampshire vs Derbyshire match proved that once Shahid Afridi cuts loose, he is a difficult man to stop

A heavy downpour, accompanied by slightly scary but fierce lightning, signalled that it was better to stay indoors for the rest of the night. I was flipping through the TV channels when I suddenly had to stop because I came across an unusual sight. I happened to come across England’s T20 Blast, where the 37-year-old Shahid Afridi was opening the innings for his side, Hampshire, against Derbyshire. Despite having watched Afridi play as an opener countless times, I was slightly taken back. Although I have some great memories of Afridi opening the innings for Pakistan, I do have my fair share of regular ...

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Barcelona is now a former shadow of its glorious past

For a significantly large part of the past decade, FC Barcelona have been the best team in the world without a shadow of doubt. However, from the start of this summer, things have been anything but smooth for the Catalans.  Suffering defeats in consecutive El Clasicos at the hands of arch rivals Real Madrid at the beginning of a fresh season highlighted what might be a tough season ahead. A transfer window to forget It has been an atrocious transfer window for Barcelona so far and it’s hard to see what they can achieve in the last few days before the window closes. Neymar’s world record ...

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Thanks to Ronaldinho and friends, football needs to be given its due importance rather than just prioritising cricket.

A few days back, I overheard a child on the street say the following to his friends, “Yaar aaj cricket nahi, football kheltay hain.” (Let’s play football instead of cricket today.) This might be normal in other parts of the world but in a country like Pakistan, where cricket takes the lead amongst other sporting activities, it was virtually impossible. Football may not be flourishing the way it should be in Pakistan, at domestic and international level, but that has not been a hindrance in the ever increasing levels of interest in football. Gone are the days when people used to say, “Pakistan mein football kaun dekhta/khelta ...

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Four Pakistani cricket legends who left behind some big shoes to fill

One cannot recount Pakistan’s rich cricketing history without giving adequate importance to the players who made their mark and kept the green flag flying high. Taking into account the fact that some of its finest players of the past decade or so recently put the curtain down on their careers, it is apt to shed some light on what made them such great contributors to Pakistan cricket. Be it the aggression of Shahid Afridi, the flamboyance of Abdul Razzaq, or the stability and permanence provided by the stalwarts in the shape of Younis Khan and Misbahul Haq, Pakistan cricket was truly blessed to have such impact players at its disposal. [caption id="" align="alignnone" ...

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#PakvsEng: The beauty of Pakistan cricket lies amidst its glorious uncertainties

“Pakistan will play the final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017!” A little over a month ago, the aforementioned statement would have made you laugh till you cry, but tables have turned now. Who would have thought that a team which was down for the count after a demoralising defeat in the opening match of the Champions Trophy against India, would end up in the final a couple of weeks later? Virat Kohli gives Ahmed Shehzad a send-off after Bhuvneshwar Kumar gets him lbw , India v Pakistan, Champions Trophy, Group B, Birmingham, June 4, 2017. Photo: Getty Images But unquestionably, the ...

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#PakvsInd: It was the same old Pakistan making the same old mistakes all over again

Pakistan losing to India in International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments is now becoming a norm in international cricket, much to the disappointment of their fans. Judging by where Pakistani cricket is headed, it seems unlikely that this trend is going to change over the next few years. India registered yet another comprehensive victory over their arch rivals, but this time in the ICC Champions Trophy. The eight-team tournament was the only ICC event where Pakistan held an edge over India on a head to head basis. However, the latest defeat proves that that is no longer the case as the ...

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It’s #PakvsInd in the Champions Trophy once again, but can India equalise the score of 2-1?

The Edgbaston cricket ground will be the pinnacle of attraction for the entire cricketing fraternity as India and Pakistan renew their age-old rivalry this coming Sunday. Although the elusive International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy commenced yesterday, you can be assured that the tournament will dive into fifth gear when these two arch rivals lock horns. Champions Trophy is the only major ICC event where Pakistan has the upper hand over their nemesis. The green shirts have claimed victory twice and suffered defeat just once in a total of three matches. Both Sarfraz Ahmed and Virat Kohli are coming into this mega event (ICC events) with their first major assignments as captains of ...

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