Hamza Junaid

Hamza Junaid

The author is an avid cricket follower and plays for a team called Gladiators based in New York. He tweets as @hamza_junaid1 (twitter.com/hamza_junaid1)

Shadab Khan, Pakistan cricket’s 19-year-old wonder boy

After making a half-cooked meal, I put on the highlights of the 2017 Champions Trophy final to help distract myself and get through with dinner that seemed eatable at best. “One minute down! The next minute up!” exclaimed Nasir Hussain on commentary as I swallowed another bite. I paused and played the moment when Virat Kohli was trumped, again. That particular instance in the match was electrifying, and in the centre of this synergy of the Pakistan cricket team was an 19-year-old Shadab Khan. He had managed to catch a ball that was harder than the catch attempt made by his senior ...

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Once fearless and bold, Pakistan has now become the lost child of the cricket world

Batting collapse, batting collapse, batting collapse, batting collapse, batting collapse, and batting collapse – no, this isn’t my failed attempt at rapping, but rather, an apt summary of Pakistan’s performance against New Zealand thus far. Pakistan have indeed upset many fans as the series progressed, but their unwillingness to learn from their mistakes makes it easy to summarise their performance in one breath. We all saw what happened; therefore, dissecting their batting troubles is like beating a dead horse at this stage – it won’t help. If Pakistan’s performance in ODIs was a video tape being played at normal speed, then ...

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The T10 league is a corny and shoddy attempt to help PCB and cricketers make money, leaving viewers with a trash form of cricket

There are three ingredients you need to create a T10 league and I can assure you quality cricket is not one of them. You simply need a willingness to spend excessive money pointlessly to create hype, grab a handful of celebrities to do a cheerleading job, and of course some cricket players looking to make some quick bucks. Kaboom! Now you have the formula to make another pointless league of your own such as the T10 cricket league. Congratulations @Salman_ARY on the inaugural #T10CricketLeague. And thank you for making cricket a lot more entertaining with this new format. See you ...

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Shoaib Akhtar was never just a name – he was a brutal phenomenon

Grab your helmets, put the pads on, strap your guards, and if possible, cover yourself in bubble wrap, because I am about to discuss the fastest bowler the world has ever witnessed. And trust me, he is fast. Okay wait, that’s a lie. He is not just fast, but rather, brutally fast. How fast is ‘brutally fast’, you ask? Let me try to present some visuals that may help. Imagine cracking ribs, crushing toes and breaking wickets into two – this man, ladies and gentleman, has done it all. Shoaib Akhtar is not just a name – it is a ...

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You can criticise him all you want, but the fact remains that Najam Sethi is the most successful PCB chairman yet

Najam Sethi and I are worlds apart when it comes to our political associations. Sethi can claim to be the epitome of neutrality when it comes to politics, but his overt support for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was hard to digest, as being a mild follower of politics myself, I am more inclined to Imran Khan’s ideology. Yet, when it comes to cricket, I want to put my political affiliations aside and congratulate Sethi for becoming the most successful chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yet. Imran can continue to hold grudges against Sethi – both aren’t fond of each other – yet the truth ...

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PSL 3: Was Azam Khan selected for Quetta Gladiators based on merit or because he is Moin Khan’s son?

We all have dreams, but only a few of us go against the odds to accomplish those dreams. Playing for the national cricket team is a dream for millions of kids on the streets of Pakistan, and a few brave souls ultimately set themselves on the long, rough journey to get selected for Pakistan’s domestic cricket team. For years, they work hard and follow their passion blindly, hoping that their performance will be good enough to attract even a glimpse of the selector’s dodgy eyes. The dream of these young, talented individuals is impaired, bruised and torn apart, however, when ...

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His name is Babar Azam, not Virat Kohli

In the land known to produce premium fast bowlers, a young schoolboy-like personality is making strides in the batting arena like we have never seen before. A staggering ODI average of 58.60 comes off so unique to us that it almost feels like this individual has been misplaced, and needs to return to the other side of the border. However, as astonishing as it may sound, this particular batsman is Pakistani indeed. His name is Babar Azam, not Virat Kohli. Babar Azam is pulled into an embrace by his captain after raising his sixth ODI century, ...

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Choosing Haris Sohail over Fawad Alam demerits PCB’s merit-based selection

If I could add a synonym for the word injustice in the dictionary, I would put Fawad Alam right next to it. For years, I have heard his name circulate in the media, but it rarely made its way inside the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters. Ten years have lapsed since Alam’s debut against Sri Lanka. During this time, PCB changed its chairman eight times, Pakistan lost its rights to host games on its own soil, Pakistan Super League (PSL) hit the market, I finished my college degree – and Alam is still putting together a plethora of runs next to his name in the rotten domestic ...

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Ahmed Shehzad needs to learn to play for the Pakistan cricket team, not for himself

Recently, Ahmed Shehzad bagged the Man of the Match award in the last T20 match against the World XI along with a fancy bike to feature in his latest selfies. Good for him! However, his performance during the whole series raised more doubts than confidence in him. Shehzad managed to make a score of 89 off 55 balls in the final T20 match, therefore it may seem criminal to criticise him at this stage. However, I strongly believe that he was scoring runs in the series for himself, rather than the Pakistan cricket team. Pakistani batsman Ahmed ...

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Money, fame, respect and glory – it was all there for Sharjeel Khan, but it still wasn’t enough

It’s the last ball of the 22nd over. Pakistan is chasing a mammoth total against Australia in the fifth ODI at Adelaide. Sharjeel Khan is standing strong and handsome at 70 with Pakistan’s hopes of winning resting on his shoulders. Adam Zampa throws a tossed up delivery outside the off stump, Khan has a good look at it before he powerfully swings his bat across the line and sends the ball sailing over the wide-on boundary for a six. Sharjeel Khan pulls, Australia v Pakistan, 5th ODI, Adelaide, January 26, 2017. Photo: AFP The ball I just recalled could ...

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