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)

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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The billion dollar question: Why Pakistanis fall for fake news so easily

As a nation, Pakistan runs high on emotions and little on common sense. In an effort to make our otherwise tedious routine from nine-to-five feel a little more interesting, we like to create gossip, spread rumours and conspiracy theories, and mainly take active part in circulating fake news. Anything floats the boat in Pakistan, as long as you make the news sound somewhat real to a common man. A good example of this is the spread of something as wild as the claim that Shahid Khan, a Pakistani-American billionaire and the richest person of Pakistani origin, is donating $1 ...

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PCB’s awakening: Out with the old and useless, in with the young and talented

The cricket fraternity has aptly labelled the Pakistan cricket team as ‘unpredictable’, but little does the world know that we can be equally surprising off the field as well. After all, it is ironic that a player nicknamed “professor” by the team will now earn less than or equal to the youngsters he was meant to be a guide for. Meanwhile, Ahmed Shehzad’s lifelong (pun intended) contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has finally been scrapped for good. Times are changing fast within the PCB, and players need to get accustomed to performance-based evaluations rather than banking on ...

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: If you think Wasim Akram should replace Najam Sethi, think again!

The verdict is out and the nation has spoken – Naya Pakistan is on its way, and the bandwagon of rejected politicians isn’t going to stop it. This ‘new’ Pakistan comes with a lot of new promises as well, but as the saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Severe challenges lie ahead for Imran Khan, particularly the economy. Axing Najam Sethi from his job as the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), as the rumours suggest, would simply open up another wound that is unwarranted. Wasim Akram, the rumoured replacement, isn’t a weak candidate by any ...

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From a politician to a statesman: In an era of dirty politics, Imran Khan’s speech was a breath of fresh air

I started following Imran Khan when he used to be that kid who had a penny in his pocket but wanted to buy everything at the grocery store. He had one seat in the parliament, but he roared his opinions like one was more than enough. From one seat in the parliament for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to winning five seats as ‘Imran Khan’ alone, he has come a long way. All eyes were glued to the television screens when he first addressed the nation as the prime minister in waiting. Challenges awaiting Imran and his party are piled up like ...

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The fantastic Fakhar-e-Pakistan

Zimbabwe thought they had finally come up with their best plan against Pakistan. After the drubbing received in the first three ODIs, they had learnt it best to keep Fakhar Zaman off-strike. That was their Plan A. For the first 22 balls in the fourth ODI, Zaman stood at the non-striker’s end watching Imamul Haq try to find the middle of his bat. The weather was nice, with clear skies and just a hint of wind. Zaman seemed to have dozed off at the non-striker’s end, while Haq was busy building his turtle-paced innings. Everything was peaceful. Thus far, Plan ...

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