Haroon Ahmed

Haroon Ahmed

The author is a sports writer from the United Kingdom. He tweets @hazharoon (twitter.com/hazharoon)

Why did Karachi Kings retain Usama Mir if they were going to waste his talent?

In 2015, Sialkot’s Usama Mir shot to fame after an impressive T20 tournament, where he regularly took wickets for his team, enabling them to win the Haier T20 Cup. Mir had played some T20 matches a few years prior to this, but 2015 was his real breakout season. He was then rewarded with a place in Pakistan’s premier T20 tournament, the Pakistan Super League (PSL), with the Karachi Kings. In the 2016 season, Kings played their first game, and made a mistake of not having a specialist spinner on their side. They rectified this mistake the next game by selecting Mir. Mir ...

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Gladiators vs Zalmi: When the best of the best come face to face

Quetta Gladiators versus Peshawar Zalmi: the two finalists confirmed after a month of enthralling cricket. All the ebbs and flows of the tournament bow down to one game, the final, which is to be played on Sunday, March 17th. Gladiators have previously been part of two finals, yet have come out short on both occasions. I believe the reason is their key players leaving them once the tournament was shifted to Pakistan. This year they will not be facing such a problem, having secured the services of T20 megastar Shane Watson. Watson was part of the previous Pakistan Super League ...

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#PakVsSA: After losing all three formats, is there an end to Pakistan’s ‘bad luck’ streak?

As another game on this tour of South Africa passes by, another series has been lost by Pakistan, this time exactly where it hurts – the T20 format. The most frustrating part about this tour is that Pakistan has been competitive throughout the series; it was just at the key moments that Pakistan ended up losing the game. The second T20 against South Africa is the perfect illustration of this. Initially, our bowling was decent; all the bowlers bowled relatively well, besides Usman Shinwari. On a pitch where slower balls were required, Shinwari conversely tried to increase his pace with every delivery. ...

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After South Africa’s thrashing, it’s evident that Pakistan’s Test team needs a major reshuffle

Pakistan last played a Test series against South Africa in 2013 and lost 3-0. Five and a half years later, nothing seems to have changed. Another series defeat, another series full of poor planning. When will the Pakistani management learn? Winning series in the UAE against the likes of Sri Lanka and Australia isn’t the most difficult feat to achieve. For me, the biggest test of a team’s competence is playing away from home in tough conditions. And South African conditions are exactly that. The toughest place for Asian teams to play is generally England and South Africa. Ironically, these ...

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Do we have the right squad for the #PakvsSA Test series?

The last time the Pakistan Test team toured South Africa was in 2013, the year Pakistan, to everyone’s surprise, lost the Test series. The main problem was with the batting which seriously failed to live up to peoples’ expectations. Almost six years later, not much has changed, aside from the exclusion of Younis Khan and Misbahul Haq. This time, Pakistan has a slightly younger squad, with Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman at the forefront. In spite of the younger players, the Pakistan team batting line-up still remains a major concern. Pakistan’s recent Test form hasn’t been great. In Pakistan’s last two ...

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If you didn’t believe Shane Warne when he said Yasir Shah is ‘something special’, well, now you know

After years of toiling away in the domestic circuit, Yasir Shah finally made his Test debut for Pakistan in late 2014. He impressed immediately by taking wickets against Australia, most notably the wickets of Australia’s top batsmen David Warner and Steve Smith. His initial success signalled great things to come. Since that moment, he has been spearheading the Pakistani attack and his presence has made Pakistan’s bowling more secure and has added more substance. Whether he is bowling in the first innings or the fourth, the first over of the day or the 90th, he has a bubbly attitude and is always ...

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Another season of waiting: The (mis)treatment of Aamer Yamin, Pakistan’s answer to an all-rounder

We often hear of the injustices served to many players in Pakistan cricket, but no one really speaks about the way Aamer Yamin has been mistreated by the board thus far. I’ve always been a big fan of Yamin. He caught my eye a few years ago after he scored a double century in domestic cricket. At the time, Pakistan hardly had any fast bowling all-rounders, and I felt he was the man to fill the void. His batting first-class average has always hovered around the 40 mark, and his bowling average has always been under 30. Both are good ...

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A Pakistan full of talent: 6 impressive players who rightly deserve a spot in PSL 2019

I was always envious of the Indian Premier League (IPL); I loved the fact that it projected young Indian talent to the world, and I wanted something similar for Pakistan. Enters Pakistan Super League (PSL). However, while PSL has brought numerous young talent, I also feel that throughout the three seasons thus far, many talented cricketers have been left out. In this blog, I focus on the top six talents PSL teams should pick in the upcoming draft, and why I believe they would be a good fit for the team. Saif Badar A product of the Under-19 (U19) system, Badar, so far in his ...

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PakvsNZ: T20s proved Pakistan is a good team, but the ODIs will determine if it is a great one

Earlier this week, Pakistan triumphed over New Zealand in the T20 series with an impressive 3-0 victory. Good teams will look at such a performance and think they have all their bases covered. But in order to be a great team, one would have to look at how to improve this performance and excel in all areas. There is no doubt Pakistan absolutely dominated the series, but there remain a few glaring issues which need to be ironed out going forward, most notably our batting order. Firstly, in order for Sarfraz Ahmed to be effective, he must not bat anywhere below ...

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Is Mohammad Abbas the next Mohammad Asif? The next Vernon Philander? The next Glenn McGrath?

It is happening again. Pakistan has once again unearthed a world-class talent, and yet again, the expectations are sky high. Is Mohammad Abbas the next Mohammad Asif? The next Vernon Philander? The next Glenn McGrath? No. He is the first Abbas and it is time for him to make his own name in the game. If you ever need proof that hard work will eventually be paid off, you should refer to the story of Abbas. At 25 years of age (just three years ago), he averaged over 30 with the ball in first-class cricket, lacked the ability to bat, ...

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