Haroon Ahmed

Haroon Ahmed

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

Misbahul Haq’s growing trail of blunders

Ever since Misbahul Haq donned the two hats and became Pakistan cricket’s coach and chief selector, he has found himself at the centre of a continuous stream of debate and criticism. The thus far dismal start the Pakistan cricket team has gotten off to in Australia could mean that by the time the boys in green return back home we could be having to contend with a host of new potential question marks about the Misbah reign. But only time will tell whether or not that does indeed come to pass. Nonetheless, Misbah’s trail of blunders stretch even further back, all ...

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Why does Pakistan’s ‘reformed’ domestic cricket structure still sideline talent?

In an attempt to re-brand itself, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has overhauled its domestic structure, hopeful that a restructuring of the local cricketing system will help produce more talented players for the national side. However, if one were to dig past the surface, it becomes evident that these reforms are nothing more than cosmetic changes since we continue to see the same injustices when it comes down to the squad selection. The squads for the six teams which will be competing in the National T20 Cup 2019 only reflect the backward thinking, still reliant on older ‘established’ players instead of ...

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Misbah’s cautious approach is as unchanged as his squad

With an entire nation watching him and scrutinising every decision, one of the first hurdles that Misbahul Haq had to navigate was whether or not he could put together an impressive T20 squad for the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series. Unfortunately, it seems like he has tripped at the very first barrier. After even a cursory look at the 16-man squad, the first thing that cropped in my mind was, where are the youngsters? It boggles the mind that when Pakistan is playing a weak Sri Lanka side, that too in front of a home crowd, why has Misbah opted for such a ...

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How Ben Stokes became an Ashes legend

A thrilling end, drama and suspense is something we generally associate with Pakistan cricket. However, it is England who have provided us with that lately with two of the best games in cricketing history within the span of a few months. And, funnily enough, the main architect of both these matches was Ben Stokes. When England were handed the task of chasing down 359 runs in the third Ashes Test, most thought it was impossible, especially since England were bowled out for a paltry 67 in their first innings. Moreover, the pitch seemed unbelievably difficult to bat on because it continued ...

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Misbahul Haq can be a fantastic batting coach but cannot be the head coach

Although it looks like Misbahul Haq has emerged as the prime candidate to become the next head coach of the Pakistan cricket team, I don’t think he is the right man for the job. While Misbah was a decent captain, I felt he hardly introduced any new players during his tenure. The likes of Haris Sohail and Babar Azam were ready to play international cricket while Misbah was captain, but he didn’t allow them to make an entrance, instead relying on the old guard. Misbah consistently preferred safe and ‘conservative’ players over slightly more exuberant cricketers. But I do still ...

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CWC19: Pakistan couldn’t score 500, but proved they are worthy of the semi-finals

Before the Pakistan-Bangladesh encounter, Sarfaraz Ahmed said, “we will aim for 500 runs”. While it seemed highly unlikely, Pakistan fans at least expected their team to attempt the impossible. That’s what sport is about, right? Always trying to push the boundaries and make the impossible possible. After all, records are meant to be broken and Pakistan should have done everything they could to try to qualify for the semi-finals. Of course, this was only possible if Pakistan got off to a fast start. Sarfaraz Ahmed "we will try to score 500" #PAKvBAN #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/JPN3sQ5DR8 — Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) July 4, 2019 While the ...

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For Pakistan, the journey to World Cup 2023 starts now

Wednesday marked the end of Pakistan’s World Cup campaign. England held their nerve to trounce both India and New Zealand, making Pakistan’s progression to the semi-finals virtually impossible. Even if Pakistan manage to defeat Bangladesh, their poor run rate will make it very difficult for them to qualify for the next round of the World Cup. As usual, Pakistan’s campaign was filled with plenty of emotions, highs and lows, elation and disappointment. But now, as Pakistan teeter on the brink of elimination, now is the time to reflect on our team and ascertain what needs to change. Many are saying ...

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#PAKvsAFG: Imad Wasim pulled off what Dhoni couldn’t – a late onslaught

Pakistan’s fate now hangs in the balance. At the start of the weekend, the equation for the Men in Green was simple: Pakistan must beat Afghanistan and India must defeat England. Unfortunately, one of these matches didn’t go according to plan. Nonetheless, Pakistan’s World Cup hopes are still alive because they managed to clinch a crucial victory against Afghanistan, but only just. Going into the match, Pakistan were tipped as being the favourites, even though Afghanistan had previously given India a run for their money. Any fan of Pakistan cricket knows that chasing down a target in an ODI ...

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Defeating the undefeated: I believe in #TeamGreen and their dream

When Pakistan lost the toss to New Zealand, I felt that Sarfaraz Ahmed secretly wanted to lose it. Had he won the toss, his decision to bat first or bowl would have been critiqued from all angels. Had he won the toss and batted first, fans would have said, “why bat in overcast conditions?” and had he won and bowled first, fans would have asked, “why chase when we’ve won the last game defending?” Regardless, Pakistan were sent in to field first and the story which unfolded was similar to their previous games. Mohammad Amir was sensational, striking early and ...

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No one can ever call the Pakistan cricket team ‘predictable’ or ‘boring’

At the iconic Lord’s cricket ground, Pakistan won the toss and smartly chose to bat first. The real test for Pakistan was whether they could see off the new ball against quality bowlers like Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi. The openers definitely delivered on that front. Just to put things in perspective, after five overs, Pakistan had scored 35 runs, courtesy of seven boundaries. All the shots played were quality strokes, mostly played against good deliveries. This was crucial because when Pakistan’s opening batsmen deliver and lay a good foundation, it usually leads to the middle order firing as well. It wasn’t ...

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