The England cricket team has travelled close to 4000 kilometres during their tour down under, so far with little change in fate. The first three Test matches have only brought to reality what was feared before the series, and consequently, the urn is back in the possession of the Aussies, with the visitors staring at yet another whitewash. The only time Joe Root has had some sort of ascendency over his counterpart, Steven Smith, has been at successfully calling the toss, which means little as long as the end result does not correlate with it. For a team which relies heavily on ...Read Full Post
After dominating the Manchester Derby, the Citizens lead the Premier League title race, but who will come second?
The latest edition of the historic Manchester Derby at Old Trafford gave the home side a chance to breathe new life into Premier League’s title race but their City rivals proved unstoppable once again. On Sunday, Manchester United did not just hand over bragging rights to the Blues, but also seemingly lost any chance of regaining the title, which has eluded them since 2012-13. Pep Guardiola once again had the upper hand over his nemesis, Jose Mourinho, despite his side not being at their scintillating best. When I first had a look at Manchester United’s playing XI, I was pleasantly surprised to see the line-up Mourinho ...Read Full Post
Champions League Round of 16: Xabi Alonso gives us some nerve-racking encounters, and boy, oh boy, are we in for a ride!
Show me a football fan that doesn’t like Xabi Alonso, and I’ll show you a liar. The former Spain player had a long and glittering career with the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Liverpool. While playing for some of the biggest clubs in the world guarantees that one is adored by millions, chances are the same player could be despised by an equal number of fans who are associated with a rival club. However, despite playing for more than a decade for the aforementioned European heavy weights, Alonso was an extremely unique case of a player who was respected ...Read Full Post
Grab your helmets, put the pads on, strap your guards, and if possible, cover yourself in bubble wrap, because I am about to discuss the fastest bowler the world has ever witnessed. And trust me, he is fast. Okay wait, that’s a lie. He is not just fast, but rather, brutally fast. How fast is ‘brutally fast’, you ask? Let me try to present some visuals that may help. Imagine cracking ribs, crushing toes and breaking wickets into two – this man, ladies and gentleman, has done it all. Shoaib Akhtar is not just a name – it is a ...Read Full Post
Manchester United vs Manchester City, Jose Mourinho vs Pep Guardiola – Are you ready for this Sunday’s Manchester Derby?
Football has seen many fierce rivalries and one such happens to be between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. The duo has locked horns quite a few times before and one can reasonably expect something out of the ordinary whenever they are up against each other. Manager Jose Mourinho of Manchester United watches from the touchline the EFL Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on October 26, 2016 in Manchester, England. Photo: Getty Mourinho and Guardiola first clashed back in 2009 at San Siro with Inter Milan and FC Barcelona respectively, ...Read Full Post
India may not consider its smog a health hazard, but that does not give them the right to mock the Sri Lankan team for refusing to play
On April 22, 1998, India were playing against the mighty Australia at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The little master, Sachin Tendulkar, had by then become synonymous with Indian cricket. The Aussies set a target of 285 in a must-win game for India to reach the final of the triangular series. The men in blue were surging ahead, with Tendulkar at the crease. The score was 143/4, when a sandstorm struck the city. Ravi Shastri, former Indian all-rounder and a commentator at that match, exclaimed in surprise, “We have seen rain stop play. We have seen bad light stop play,” adding ...Read Full Post
You can criticise him all you want, but the fact remains that Najam Sethi is the most successful PCB chairman yet
Najam Sethi and I are worlds apart when it comes to our political associations. Sethi can claim to be the epitome of neutrality when it comes to politics, but his overt support for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was hard to digest, as being a mild follower of politics myself, I am more inclined to Imran Khan’s ideology. Yet, when it comes to cricket, I want to put my political affiliations aside and congratulate Sethi for becoming the most successful chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yet. Imran can continue to hold grudges against Sethi – both aren’t fond of each other – yet the truth ...Read Full Post
Cricket ties between arch-rivals, Pakistan and India, are currently the most discussed issue since news of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) planning to snub Pakistan from its opponents’ list for the ICC Test Championship has been making rounds. Cricket insiders also revealed that BCCI has designed its own Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the upcoming World Test Championship which will only include six opponents for India to play against – Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. This means that Pakistan will not be part of any Test series against India for over two ...Read Full Post
I mean, let’s be real. The Pakistan cricket team has never been the team that played normally, so just limiting Pakistan’s miraculous wins to five times is a bit difficult. These impossible wins are nothing less than a magic trick, where the magician’s assistant is in the box and cut in half but still manages to escape alive. Defeating England at the Oval? The magician’s assistant in the box. That Sharjah Six? We just cut the box in half. The World Cup of 1992? Quarters now! That T20 World Cup of 2009? Seriously, please stop! That Whitewash of Australia? Assistant is still alive!! But these are moments everyone remembers, the ...Read Full Post
These 10 cricketers from the National T20 Cup are the reason why the future of Pakistan cricket excites me
It is that time of year again, the National T20 Cup. Every year, the tournament generally produces a few potential future international cricketers. Past names include Mukhtar Ahmed, Nauman Anwar, Raza Hasan and Haris Sohail. And I’m relatively sure that this tournament will discover a few too. As the national T20 commences, I look at the top 10 players to watch out for during the tournament: 1. Sahibzada Farhan Born in Charsadda, Sahibzada’s breakout tournament was in early 2016 where he was called in as a late replacement for Azhar Ali. Throughout the tournament, he put up consistent scores, however, it ...Read Full Post