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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Is a Solskjaer sacking on the cards?

“And Solskjaer has done it. Manchester United have reached the promised land!” No Manchester United fan can forget this memorable sentence. Exactly two decades ago, Manchester United were crowned the champions of Europe after a thrilling encounter against Bayern Munich at Camp Nou, Barcelona. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s fabulous goal in injury time made him a hero for the Red Devils that night. Twenty years later, Manchester United once again put their faith in Solskjaer as he arrived at Old Trafford as United’s caretaker manager in the middle of the season. But his tenure at the club since then has been rocky to say ...

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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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Who will emerge victorious in the Arsenal-Manchester United clash?

Arsenal and Manchester United have always shared a memorable, long-enduring rivalry, one which acquired a new spit of fire during the tenures of Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson.  But that era has long since departed, and both Arsenal and Manchester United currently find themselves in a bit of a fix. The likes of Manchester City and Liverpool have raised the bar of the English Premier League (EPL), a bar which seems insurmountable for Arsenal and Manchester United. Both clubs currently sit outside the top four in the EPL table and, if either club truly harbours ambitions of booking ...

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It took 14 years, and a tweet, to finally recognise Pakistan’s first female umpire

It’s strange that when we talk about a certain sport, the first entity we think about is the player, not acknowledging the set-up that gives that person the status of a player. This set-up includes the management, ground staff, the scorer and even people who serve drinks, each role an important part of a player’s career. It’s never the effort of one individual, it’s always team work.  While watching matches, how many of us take the time to feel the pain of team members who get overshadowed by the players and the game itself. Despite being a fan of sports and ...

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Misbahul Haq: In with the old, out with the young and new?

The decisions made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently have left me with mixed feelings. I have generally appreciated most of the decisions taken by the board regarding the restructuring of the domestic cricket circuit in the country. But as far as some of their decisions regarding the national side go, I’ve been less than impressed. The appointment of Misbahul Haq as head coach and chief selector is one of those decisions, and his team selection seems to be another cause for concern. Misbah has already proven himself as one of the best captains Pakistan has seen in its ...

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Is removing Unai Emery the answer to Arsenal’s Premier League woes?

After an abysmal showing at Vicarage Road over the weekend, it looks like Arsenal’s title chances in this year’s Premier League could well be over even before they had a chance to cross the first hurdle. In a league which features heavy hitters and unrelenting sides like Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, this deeply flawed Arsenal team simply does not look like they will be able to go to toe with England’s top clubs. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the criticism has been aimed at the manager, Unai Emery, who has so far failed to impress after Arsene Wenger’s departure ...

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You may want to reconsider your bets this English Premier League season

Now that the international break is finally over, football fans across the globe will once again be glued to their television screens this weekend. Although it’s still early days in this season of the English Premier League, the table is already shaping up in an intriguing and both, unexpected and expected, manner. The battling titans from last season, Liverpool and Manchester City, have already pulled into pole position and look like early favourites to win the title, while the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham have gotten off to a slower start than they would have liked. Undoubtedly, the ...

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Champions League draw: A look at the thrilling clashes

With the commencement of Champions League’s new season just a few weeks away, it looks like the group stages are primed to set up some mouth-watering clashes. Since the dramatic semi-finals from last season are forever etched in people’s minds, fans are now hopeful that the same level of thrill and drama will continue this season. And based on the group stage draw which took place in Monaco recently, that certainly appears to be the case. Some big clubs will be seen in action against each other in the group stages and here is a look at what will surely become ...

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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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