Stories published in February, 2011

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan: Momentum should be taken forward

It was a pleasant sight to watch Shahid Afridi use his experience against Kenya. Pakistan had set a daunting target and he opted to bowl with an attacking field and returned with a record performance, an epitome of the captain leading from the front. Abdul Rehman, however, went for a defensive field and mainly bowled a flat trajectory. This was quite surprising given a spinning pitch with the minnows facing a huge target. He should’ve bowled with a positive frame of mind, taking wickets with added close-in fielders. That would’ve given him a few scalps too and provided him with added confidence ...

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Pakistan should strategise according to venue

The much-awaited World Cup 2011 has begun with India being labelled the favourites. From a cursory look at the seven teams in Group A, it appears as if Pakistan can march quite easily to the quarter-finals. However, the biggest question is not of the progress Pakistan make, but the strategy that would be adopted by the 1992 champions. Pakistan playone match in Hambantota, two in Kandy and three in Colombo. Hambantota would be a completely new ground and the untested pitch will present a challenge even if the match is against minnows Kenya. Pakistan should go into these matches with both the ...

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Pakistan does not need a revolution

This spirit of revolt witnessed in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and Libya is being termed a new era of democracy, liberalisation and freedom. It is spreading like wildfire. Some people are asking whether this fire will ever reach Pakistan. One can only wonder what they are talking about. The conditions that provoked the uprising in Tunisia are not at all identical to Pakistan. People here are discontented due to unemployment, poverty, inflation and widespread corruption. But in Pakistan we have a free press – the most free media in the Islamic world, a democratic government that works in fits and ...

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Lie, cheat or steal: The key to success

Salman Butt, a man who as captain of the Pakistan cricket team managed to provide us with a constant reminder that our politicians aren’t the only ones without scruples, has gotten a job as a TV expert commentator. That’s just wonderful. The fact that they’ve hired a man who isn’t even allowed to be involved in any form of professional cricket, for the disrepute he brought to the game and to Pakistan, is absolutely disgraceful. This poor excuse of an athlete shouldn’t be allowed to profit in any way from the game that he very skilfully helped tarnish. This is yet ...

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Media madness: Sometimes the show must not go on

Veena Malik’s interviews on the Express News show ‘Frontline with Kamran Shahid’ remained a source of much debate last month – a classic case of sensationalisation. The two episodes, however, are not the only examples of media’s – broadcast media in particular – irresponsible behaviour. Here are some examples: The suicide of the wife of Raymond Davis’ victim was surely disturbing, but there is no justification as to why her footage was shown on television while she battled for her life. A while back, Geo News reporter Wali Khan Babar was killed in Karachi and within an hour of his death, Geo News ...

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Umar Akmal: Congratulations, the kid is back!

Pakistan’s inability to rotate the strike has worried millions. It remained a cause for concern in the team’s opening match against Kenya and discounting the total that sensible batting, and Umar Akmal’s heroics, enabled Pakistan to set, the safety net just isn’t permanent. The over-cautious strategy – to preserve and unleash towards the end – remains unconvincing but is implemented time and again, with varying results. Often, when the middle-order fails to click, the hitters arrive in the middle, needing to bat out more overs than they had been trained to – or had hoped to – resulting in the embarrassment of ...

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Pakistan’s World Cup strategy needs a lot of thought

With such a low total to defend, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi led from the front again and as it ended, Pakistan were home with a bit to spare despite facing a lot of anxious moments on the field. Afridi bowled very intelligently, keeping in view the inexperienced Canadian batting line-up. Mostly, he kept a good line and bowled to a good length, on and about the off stump with clever use of googlies and flippers. A lot of Canadians lost their wickets while going for the cut shot. There are very few right-arm leg-spinners in this World Cup but almost all of ...

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HP on the war path: Touche’ Google and Apple?

Hewlett Packard (HP) may just win the mobile operating war it has entered with Apple and Google. And it will probably be able to do this regardless of whether their operating system (OS) is superior or not. This is because the computer manufacturing giant is going to leverage all of its power behind webOS, (a proprietary mobile operating system running on the Linux kernel, initially developed by Palm, which was later acquired by HP) the mobile operating system which will be gracing its newly released Touchpad Tablet and two smartphones: the Veer and the Palm Pre3. Apple introduced the usable smartphone, ...

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No one cares about Bal Thackeray

The Shiv Sena was lying pretty low for a while but that was too good to be true. This publicity hungry party decided to tell the people they exist during the cricket season. One comment from Shahid Afridi, saying an India-Pakistan final would be a good watch, was enough to trigger anti-Pakistan sentiment. Bal Thackeray will apparently decide whether or not to allow the Pakistani team to play at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai if they reach the finals. Thackeray through time Till Bal Thackeray headed the Shiv Sena, the party had a moderately strong hold in Maharashtra. However, after his son Uddhav ...

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It is time to reclaim the mosque

The battle for blasphemy reform is not over. It needs a change of strategy. Currently it has consisted of people demanding a change in the laws but to little effect. There is a need to get various influential lobbies and stakeholders involved. One of them is the mosque. The mosque, as a center of ideas, has been severely under-utilised by reformist Pakistanis which is unfortunate. I’m sure some of us go to the mosque once a week or so. It is time we should engage our maulvis into debate and discussion. Many of them will not change the way they ...

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