Raafay Awan

Raafay Awan

The author is Pakistani living in Australia. He is an entrepreneur, mechanical engineer, traveler, blogger and above all, a cricket enthusiast . He blogs at raafay-awan.blogspot.com and tweets @raafayawan (twitter.com/raafayawan).

Younus Khan: A 22-year-old record broken in 22 seconds

In simple words, Younus Khan is a modern great. He now holds the record of most runs by a Pakistani Test batsman, has the most number of centuries, he has held the most catches by a Pakistani fielder and on top of all this, he has the best average among Pakistani batsman in Test cricket. These records become more exclusive when mentioned in retrospect, because our team has boasted of the inclusion of players such as Hanif Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Saleem Malik, Inzamamul Haq, Saeed Anwar and Mohammad Yousuf. Younus may not have the same elegance as ...

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We need the old Junaid Khan back

On the eve of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, when Sohail Tanvir sustained an injury and the 21-year-old Junaid Khan was included in the squad without any experience in international cricket, a few eyebrows were raised on his selection, but selectors thought that in Junaid, the left-arm quick, they had found a replacement for Muhammad Amir, who was at that time banned from international cricket for five years.  Having been partnered with Amir at the 2008 Under 19 (U19) Cricket World Cup, there was no doubt about Junaid’s talent, and while announcing his selection, the Chief Selector, Iqbal Qasim said, “He ...

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PCB at it again – this time it’s Younus Khan

Pakistan has announced its squad for the ODI and T20 series against Australia and it has disappointed a lot of cricket fans. Though there are many questionable selections, the most surprising one is Younus Khan being dropped from the ODI team. While announcing the decision, chief selector Moin Khan said, “Our experiment with Younus in the ODI series in Sri Lanka backfired. Now all have unanimously decided to look ahead to our future with youngsters. His services for Pakistan are commendable but now we have to take a step forward and he is also out of contention for the 2015 World ...

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It’s just a Pakistani thing…

Distances don’t matter if there is true love involved, I strongly believe in this. I may not live in Pakistan anymore but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it or have forgotten my country. I have been wanting to write about my country for a while now. At first, I was confused about what to write on. I wasn’t sure if it should be a motivational piece quoting oft-mentioned things about Pakistan, or a letter to Pakistanis discussing their woes or a bunch of stories of people who had left India for Pakistan. What makes the perfect write-up for Pakistan? After ...

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PCB selection committee: Out with the old, in with the ‘not-so-old’

Most people will agree that Pakistan cricket has produced countless greats over the past 60 years; from Hanif Muhammad to Shahid Afridi (or Younis Khan, for those who will argue on Afridi), our history is filled with top class players. Most people will also agree that cricket has changed a lot over the past 15 years, so much so that one fails to understand how something can change so rapidly. The sport has moved away from the dull and boring Test matches, which would end after five days (sometimes, without any definite win), and has become more exciting with the advent of One Day International ...

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Misbah, your days as captain are over

Before I begin, let me make a couple of things clear just to avoid the usual debate. I am a huge Misbah fan and he is my favourite player. I am not an Afridi or Hafeez lover. However, you just cannot deny the facts or ignore the reality of the cricketing situation for Pakistan under Misbahul Haq. There is no doubt about the fact that Misbahul Haq has been Pakistan’s best batsman over the past year or so. With 1,119 runs in 26 One Day International (ODI) matches at a healthy average strike rate of 53.28 and with 570 runs at an ...

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Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies: Last chance to set things right

The upcoming tour of West Indies may not seem as exciting as some of the other series we’ve played recently but for Pakistan this tour is of utmost importance. When the Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) himself says that Pakistani cricket is going through its lowest point, one has to sit up and make note. With no team ready to visit our country, endless spot fixing scandals and banned cricketers,  a lack of quality players and a string of poor performances has left questions unanswered for Pakistani cricket fans. Teamwork – where we consistently fall short Teams move forward because of two main ...

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Faysal Bank Super Eight T20: Nail-biting excitement!

The third edition of Faysal Bank’s Super Eight T20 tournament is ongoing in Lahore. This tournament along with the usual T20 Cup was discarded in favour of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), but due to the postponement of the PSL, it is once again added to the domestic calendar as the main T20 event. This tournament is important in many ways; not only will it help Pakistan find fresh talent, it will also decide the one player from Pakistan who will qualify for the Champions League in September this year! The format of the tournament is simple. Eight teams are divided into two groups ...

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Happy birthday Shahid Afridi!

My first interaction with Shahid Afridi lasted only a couple of seconds. It was just a shake of the hand. Even still, it made my day. It was March 16, 2004 to be exact. Pakistan had beaten India in the second ODI of the Samsung Cup and Shahid Afridi who had been recalled to the team after a long gap had played a big part in the victory scoring 80(58) and also taking two wickets for 57 runs. Shahid Afridi, back then, was all about being carefree. You could see it in his behaviour, the way he talked, the way he ...

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Two toffees a day – enough to feed this seven-year-old

My friend and I were eating a burger on a Saturday evening, when a seven-year-old boy interrupted us. Boy: Bhai I’m hungry, please buy me something to eat. Me: Allah ke hawalay!  Khaaney do! (For God’s sake! Let us eat!) Boy: Bhai, I’m hungry! Ameer: How do we buy you food? We are students, we don’t have extra money! Boy: Bhai, at least buy me a burger? Ameer: Haven’t you heard what we said? Go away. Me: Ameer, wait! I took out a Rs5 coin from my pocket and handed it to the boy. Me: Take this and go! Boy: Will this be enough to buy a burger? I ...

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