Why limiting players’ league participation is an essential move by the PCB

Once in a blue moon, I find myself agreeing with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The decision to limit the participation of centrally-contracted players in franchise cricket around the globe is one of those odd instances. The cap placed by PCB was writing on the wall, it was only a matter of time for them to step in. When the players choose to participate in every tom, dick and harry league around the world, it comes at a price. A human body is not immortal. Even if the player is at his peak, in terms of his fitness at least, there is ...

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As Premier League ends, can Chelsea and Liverpool land a spot for next season?

We never do things the easy way, now do we? With 37 matches down and just one more round to play, Liverpool is one of the only four teams in the Premier League that will go down into the final day fixture with something substantial at stake. It was just a month back that the race for the top four positions seemed like a foregone conclusion. With Manchester City wrapping up the title early in an impressive fashion, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspurs were favourites for the remaining three slots, with Chelsea and Arsenal unceremoniously cut adrift from the ...

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Is Pakistan ready to play real cricket in Ireland and England?

Having played the shorter format of cricket for quite some time – with the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and West Indies’ tour of Pakistan – the national team and its audience have been craving the long and real form of cricket since last October. Currently, Pakistan is sitting comfortably at the top of the T20 International table, and if anything, this is evidence we’ve been indulging in this format for far too long. When it comes to ODI and Test cricket, the men in green are lagging far behind their real potential, as at the moment, Pakistan is ranked ...

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100 is a ‘century’, not a tournament!

Pink balls, day-night Tests, four-day Tests. I thought they liked to tinker with Test cricket only, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. A few months back, there was a 10-10 tournament in the UAE; not to mention a tournament played on ice in freezing temperature somewhere in Europe. And now, it’s the ‘100 balls’ proposed tournament in England. Who would’ve thought that cricket administrators would toy with the shortest and the most ‘lucrative’ format, the T20. There is a misconception that T20 came into being in 2000s. The T20 format has a history, of course not as rich as ODI and ...

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FIFA World Cup 2018: 7 talented young stars who could be the next Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar

Before the beginning of every FIFA World Cup, there are certain usual suspects who are expected to do well due to their experience and skill set. But on the flip side, it also provides the younger and lesser known players an elephantine opportunity to share the spotlight. The mega event can catapult the developing talent to stardom, if they are willing to grab this opportunity with both hands. The immense depth of talent globally ensures that one has to chew the cud for a significant portion of time before arriving at a shortlist. However, as things stand, the following list ...

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#MerciArsène: He is not bigger than Arsenal but Arsenal are bigger because of him

‘Legend’ is a word that is casually thrown around too often in our conversations. But if there is someone who really deserves this title, as far as Arsenal football club is concerned, then surely Arsene Wenger is your man. He has been serving Arsenal since the past 22 years, and finally after months of speculations, he has called time on his tenure as the manager of Arsenal. He has been a constant figure ever since I, and many others of my age, started following the Gunners. Today, everyone who knows a bit about football can easily recognise Wenger; he is a ...

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Clash of the titans: Ronaldo vs Lewandowski, Salah vs Dzeko – who will make it to the final?

With the first legs of UEFA Champions League (UCL) semi-finals encounters being played this week, the long and arduous road to Kyiv is finally in its homestretch. On one hand, we have a couple of usual suspects in Real Madrid and Bayern Munich gracing this stage of Europe’s high-end tournament once again, while on the other, Liverpool and AS Roma are the surprise visitors who are looking forward to gatecrashing this premier footballing party. The ties could have easily pitted the two favourites against the underdog pair, but as fate would have it, Los Blancos were drawn with the Bavarians while ...

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7 moments that prove FIFA World Cup is more than just football

Back in the day when I started regularly following football, one of the things that struck me most about the game was its rich history. The archives of the FIFA World Cups in particular are engrossing to say the least. The furore surrounding some of the more notorious events gives enough credence to the fact that the quality of football is not always the solitary source for noteworthy events. Some of these moments can woo the world with their brilliance, while others can make our heads fall in shame. Nevertheless, they tend to live long in the memory of those who ...

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#JusticeForFawadAlam: The lost shining star selectors love to hate

You may try and push against a wall, but it will never move, not even by a centimetre. This is the example of Fawad Alam, a relentless performer who just wants to play for his country, but can never seem to catch a break. Alam has all the necessary capabilities to perform well in international cricket, but unfortunately, fortune, or perhaps just the selectors are never on his side. Currently, Alam’s ordeal is all over social media, as he has once again been excluded from the Test squad for Pakistan’s tour of Ireland and England. There is no question ...

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Cristiano Ronaldo: How Madeira’s ‘little bee’ turned into the greatest player of all time

Visualisation of a dream is considerably easier than actually turning it into a reality. One can associate a lot of attributes with the realisation of this process but three key elements behind it are optimism, persistence and hard work. The perfect embodiment of these traits can be found amongst many successful individuals, and one such name in that prestigious list is Cristiano Ronaldo. We can all talk at length, with great detail and assurance, about how great a footballer Ronaldo is due to the benefit of hindsight. Yet this by no means will surpass the confidence of a 15-year-old Ronaldo ...

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