The Hampshire vs Derbyshire match proved that once Shahid Afridi cuts loose, he is a difficult man to stop

A heavy downpour, accompanied by slightly scary but fierce lightning, signalled that it was better to stay indoors for the rest of the night. I was flipping through the TV channels when I suddenly had to stop because I came across an unusual sight. I happened to come across England’s T20 Blast, where the 37-year-old Shahid Afridi was opening the innings for his side, Hampshire, against Derbyshire. Despite having watched Afridi play as an opener countless times, I was slightly taken back. Although I have some great memories of Afridi opening the innings for Pakistan, I do have my fair share of regular ...

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Barcelona is now a former shadow of its glorious past

For a significantly large part of the past decade, FC Barcelona have been the best team in the world without a shadow of doubt. However, from the start of this summer, things have been anything but smooth for the Catalans.  Suffering defeats in consecutive El Clasicos at the hands of arch rivals Real Madrid at the beginning of a fresh season highlighted what might be a tough season ahead. A transfer window to forget It has been an atrocious transfer window for Barcelona so far and it’s hard to see what they can achieve in the last few days before the window closes. Neymar’s world record ...

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Given PSL’s success, Najam Sethi is our only hope to bring cricket back to Pakistan

While Ali Sethi managed to save the first episode of Coke Studio season 10 with a beautiful rendition of Ranjhish Hi Sahi, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recalled his father, Najam Sethi, as PCB’s new chairman. It was clearly a great week for the Sethi family.  But this is not the first time Sethi has found himself at the helm of PCB’s affairs. He has competed with Zaka Ashraf for the position in the past as well, which definitely caused a lot of embarrassment for Pakistan on the international front. Sethi generally garners animosity from the masses because of his affiliation with the Sharifs and the absence of ...

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Is Trent Alexander-Arnold the new Steven Gerrard for Liverpool?

Ask football fans to identity their favourite player and majority of the answers would include names who have graduated from the club’s academy to become a mainstay in their team’s first 11. In other words, the homegrown star, the local lad who made it big in a sport that has gone global. He’s someone who fans can truly claim as their own in today’s day and age, where football allegiance can change at the drop of a hat (or with the promise of a few extra millions). Over the years, Manchester United might have had dozens of superstars play for them, ...

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With Arsenal bagging their first victory and Manchester City being the favourites, who will take home the EPL trophy?

With a summer completely devoid of competitive football, the English Premier League’s (EPL) arrival after a three month hiatus was a breath of fresh air. I won’t deny that I myself get caught up with an incessantly crazy urge to find out about players leaving and joining clubs. But I would rather watch my team, Liverpool, try to do one over their opponent on a football pitch rather than see them locked in a battle with a rival club in the boardroom. Without further ado, let’s try and find out why the forthcoming 2017-18 season will prove to be yet another action packed affair ...

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Remembering Hanif Mohammad: When cricket lost one of its most ardent sons

One of Pakistan’s most prominent Test cricketers, Hanif Mohammad, left this world last year. With his demise, Pakistan lost one of its most ardent sons. Due to Mohammad’s brilliant cricketing skills, Pakistan achieved numerous Test victories. Mohammad had the honour of scoring the first half century for Pakistan in 1952. He achieved this feat at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla ground against India. This was Pakistan’s inaugural Test as well as Mohammad’s debut Test match. Photo: PA Photos During the first three Test matches of his career, Mohammad was assigned the wicket-keeping position and he holds the honour of making the first ever dismissal ...

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Dear Amir Khan, publicising your divorce on social media only shows your indecency

During my recent trip to Pakistan, I often found myself flicking through TV channels. Even though I am still uncertain about what exactly I was searching for, I do remember seeing a menagerie of prominent faces flash on the TV screen from time to time. Some celebrities like Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan and Shahid Afridi appeared regularly. This was wholly expected given that the scale of their stardom has transcended Pakistan’s borders. But I also recall seeing Amir Khan, a British-born boxer, with similar frequency. He was promoting an energy drink in a commercial that showed him running through the streets of Lahore while ...

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Dear PCB, when will you learn that it is not all about the money?

Recently, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced a 100% increase in the salaries of domestic players and coaches alike. Furthermore, the contracts of the players and coaches have been extended to a year-long period from the pre-existing six-month period. On the surface, this looks like a great move on PCB’s behalf, but this move alone will not improve the dilapidated state of Pakistan’s domestic cricket. Domestic players and coaches always complain that the greatest problem they face is a lack of funds and how this issue has severely hampered the development of cricketers. Now with this increase in salaries, the onus is on ...

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Did Neymar leave FC Barcelona because he was always playing second fiddle to Messi?

On Friday morning, Neymar completed his transfer from FC Barcelona to Paris St Germain (PSG) for a whopping €222 million. It has by far shattered previous records for being the most expensive transfer in history – more than twice the fee Manchester United paid Juventus last summer to lure Paul Pogba to Old Trafford. The question that comes to mind after this fiasco is done and dusted with is: Was it worth it? The level of scrutiny that will be aimed at Neymar over the course of his first year in Paris is bound to be incessant. On the field, every touch that he makes will ...

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What makes Fakhar Zaman a legend in the making?

We all know the story of how Fakhar Zaman left the Pakistan Navy to pursue a career in cricket. He was born to serve his country in one way or another. The left-handed batsman’s career shot to limelight during Pakistan’s successful ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign, most notably when he hit his century in the final against India. But how did he get there? What makes him the cricketer he is today? Fakhar Zaman exults after reaching his century, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: AFP They say cricket is played 80% in ...

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