The realisation of a dream – cricket comes home, this time to stay hopefully

There was definitely some fiery magic in the air before Elton Chigumbura, accompanied by his troops, marched on to the newly painted and redecorated Gaddafi Stadium. You could sense that something remarkably huge was about to happen, but the sceptic within you, having grown eight-years-old now, denied you a good night’s sleep. Three words, cricket comes home, evoked emotions that could not be described, only felt. After years of yearning, Pakistan’s grand welcome of the Zimbabwean team was not the biggest breakthrough, but it was historic and a breakthrough nonetheless. Pakistan beat Zimbabwe in the second series of T-20. ...

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Despite his striking numbers, Wayne Rooney has never truly helped England achieve anything noteworthy

The English Premier League is arguably the best football league in the world. But considering their wretched record in international tournaments, it seems that England’s national side never got the memo. Every single stakeholder from England’s football governing body ‘The Football Association’ all the way down to the kit man could potentially be blamed for this malaise. One particular person, for the best part of the last decade, has had to bear the major brunt of it. And by the looks of it, this particular individual has had enough. Wayne Mark Rooney announced his retirement last week. By doing so, he ...

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With the likes of Faf Du Plessis, Hashim Amla and Darren Sammy in the World XI squad, does Pakistan stand a chance?

On August 21, 2017, Najam Sethi may have uttered one of the most important sentences for Pakistani cricket fans: “I will announce the names of confirmed players in 72 hours.”  For avid cricket followers in Pakistan, the timer had been set right away. With each hour ticking away, the curiosity to find out the list of players was growing exponentially. It seemed as if Sethi had a finger on the pulse of the nation and hence kept us waiting till the last moment. After a long anxious wait, Sethi lived up to his promise and finally announced the World XI squad. Out of complete ecstasy and ...

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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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