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)

The PSL4 final was just a formality – the trophy already had Gladiators engraved on it

The rest of us had to wait till March 17th to know who will ultimately be crowned the champions of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019, but in the Quetta camp, it seems victory was already foreseen. Soon after qualifying for the final, Dwayne John Bravo was already humming to: “Quetta Quetta, we the Gladiators!” “Quetta Quetta, we the Gladiators!” Best Batsman of the tournament & player of the #HBLPSL 2019, @ShaneRWatson33.Winning captain, @SarfarazA_54.Man of the Final, Muhammad Hasnain.Champion Gladiators 💜#KhelDeewanoKa pic.twitter.com/0fy4vLgL6e — PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) March 17, 2019 I must confess, I sang along those lines too even though I felt guilty because I was ...

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Bad luck, sheer incompetence, Aqib Javed: Lahore Qalandars’ story of pain and sorrow

Everyone knows how much pride Lahoris have for their city. So much so that they claim:  “Jine Lahore ni vekhya O jamiya hi nai.” (Those who haven’t seen Lahore haven’t lived yet) After watching four seasons of Pakistan Super League (PSL), however, I think we have all seen enough of Lahore. I would rather say: “Jine Lahore nu support kita O dubara hasiya hi nai.” (Those who supported Lahore never laughed again) Lahore’s story is of pain and sorrow. If you are weak-hearted then proceed at your own risk. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Lahore Qalandars; from sheer bad luck with injuries ...

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Umar Akmal vs Asif Ali: Who deserves to play in the 2019 World Cup?

I know the first thing that comes to mind when I mention the name Umar Akmal is, “Why are we talking about him again?” Yes, perhaps we shouldn’t be. It is certainly a dangerous thought that lurks in my head, that I perhaps should have let go of the very instant it popped up. That is, however, difficult to do because right now we desperately need a power hitter to fill the number six spot as part of our team’s line-up at the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The only two players that currently fit the criteria are Akmal and Asif Ali. I already know that neither ...

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February 11, 2019
TOPICS

PSL4: 3 reasons why the best entertainment package of 2019 has arrived

If you love stories with happily ever afters, then Pakistan Super League (PSL)’s story might just be the right pick for you. I know I may sound biased, but I absolutely love PSL out of all the leagues around the world because it defied all odds to make its own name in a densely populated T20 market. As PSL4 is around the corner, let’s peek at what it’s got in store for us to look forward to! Star-studded opening ceremony I know what everyone first noticed when PSL announced its plans for the opening ceremony: is that Pitbull? Is this a fake ...

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Out with Sarfraz, in with Shoaib

This tour of South Africa seems to be a moment in Sarfraz Ahmed’s life where everything goes haywire. The rise and fall of Sarfraz and the emergence of Shoaib Malik from within his own ranks months prior to the World Cup, is a tailor-made story with enough grief and sorrow to hit the shelves and be sold out in its very first week. If we are to skip a few pages back, Sarfraz, standing in an oddly designed white coat, was lifting the Champions Trophy amidst cheers and celebrations on the streets of London. Sarfraz was on top of the world, ...

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Why the Pakistan cricket team deserves Mickey Arthur’s wrath

The cracks within the Test unit had started surfacing a while ago, with a disappointing loss in the Test series against New Zealand at home. Turbulence was felt by those up in the ranks, and yet everyone stayed silent. However, a humiliating defeat in the first Test against South Africa penetrated all the cracks in the Test squad and caused Mickey Arthur to experience a meltdown inside the dressing room. Arthur is well within his domain to criticise senior players who are neither performing nor learning from their mistakes. Pakistan had a golden opportunity – as it sat comfortably at 101 ...

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From Gilgit Baltistan to New York: Leo was lucky to escape the death cells that are Pakistan’s zoos

On a random Wednesday morning, I ended up strolling inside the Bronx Zoo in New York. Don’t ask me what I was doing at the zoo on a weekday, but I’ll tell you this: Wednesdays are free for visitors. Yes, this was a cheap move, but I was actually only having a stroll to see if this is a place I can bring my younger nieces to, should they visit me coming summer. At the Bronx Zoo, I met another visitor from Pakistan that I wouldn’t have imagined I would meet even in my wildest of imaginations. Hold on to your ...

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2018 has been the year of T20 for Pakistan – but that’s about it

I am that party pooper who would be the first to volunteer out of taking insane adrenaline pumping rides at the amusement park, because every experience I have had thus far has left me lightheaded for too long. Yet for some odd reason, I willingly choose to follow the Pakistani cricket team year after year, despite knowing very well that I am signing up for an emotional roller coaster ride that may have the highest crescendos but will also have the sharpest dips. This year kicked off in a free fall mode in New Zealand, where rain seemed like the ...

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Too many options, not enough slots: Which great bowler will make it to the 2019 World Cup squad?

Pakistan cricket is facing a dilemma at the moment– albeit a good one. There are simply too many decent fast bowling options for the ODI format, but only limited spots remain for grabs for the upcoming 2019 World Cup in England and Wales. It can be argued that Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Abbas are much to blame for making selectors scratch their heads while formulating the pace battery for the upcoming world series. Shaheen was a future prospect that was meant to be kept under the wings for grooming, but who knew he would disobey and take off on his ...

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September 27, 2018
TOPICS

AsiaCup’18: Dear Pakistan, you can’t be a champion if you only play against the weakest

Now that Pakistan has been put out of its misery and the dust is finally starting to settle, let’s get back to the drawing board. There is a lot that went wrong but it wasn’t entirely unpredictable. Give me an opportunity to walk you through the events that transpired when the nation was still high on the Champions Trophy victory. Immediately after becoming champions, Pakistan hosted a weak Sri Lankan team in the UAE. They cruised their way to an ODI clean sweep. Confidence went skyrocketing and a bubble of illusion was formed. Pakistan’s cricketers celebrate the dismissal ...

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