Choosing Haris Sohail over Fawad Alam demerits PCB’s merit-based selection

If I could add a synonym for the word injustice in the dictionary, I would put Fawad Alam right next to it. For years, I have heard his name circulate in the media, but it rarely made its way inside the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters. Ten years have lapsed since Alam’s debut against Sri Lanka. During this time, PCB changed its chairman eight times, Pakistan lost its rights to host games on its own soil, Pakistan Super League (PSL) hit the market, I finished my college degree – and Alam is still putting together a plethora of runs next to his name in the rotten domestic ...

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Without Ronaldo, and with Bale and Benzema’s recent performances, will Real Madrid lose the La Liga title?

Heading into a fresh season, football fans had little doubt about the impervious Real Madrid side. Such was their dominance last season which was carried into the pre-season matches as well, including their thumping win over FC Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup. Real Madrid won the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday after a 5-1 aggregate win over bitter rivals FC Barcelona over two legs. Photo: AFP But things have not gone according to plan for the Spanish powerhouse since then. Their performance at the beginning of the season has raised questions over whether the team can ...

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How will Pakistan fare in the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka without Misbah and Younis?

The Pakistan cricket team is set to resume international duty, as Sri Lanka’s tour of the UAE begins on September 28th (which will potentially feature a T20 in Lahore). This will be their first bilateral series since May. The summer of 2017 has been nothing short of unforgettable for Pakistan’s cricket fraternity, as the national team defied popular perception (not to mention the ranking system) by lifting the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy in England. Pakistan won their first Champions Trophy title, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: PA In addition to this ...

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Is Roger Federer the greatest player of all time?

In 1998, at Gstaad, a 16-year-old Roger Federer appeared for a press conference with a toothless grin on his face, thus making his professional debut into the tennis world. However, little did the world know that this was the first of many press conferences that the Swiss player would be a part of. Federer had already showed signs of belonging at the highest level by winning the Wimbledon boys singles and doubles title before heading for the Swiss Open. Photo: Getty From the outset, Federer wanted to make this game his own but the beginning of his tennis career was not ...

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#KarachivsLahore: Three reasons why Karachi is not ready to host international cricket

To an ordinary person, September 12, 2017, may seem like yet another date, but for us Pakistanis, it was reliving the past, contemplating the present and gearing up for the future all in one. Pakistani cricketers pose for a photograph with trophy after winning the third and final Twenty20 International match against World XI. Photo AFP History will remember this date because 15 of the most skillful and courageous men stepped onto the ‘barren land’ with the aim of not only ousting the Pakistan cricket team, but also to eradicate the looming threat of terrorism from the land ...

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Ahmed Shehzad needs to learn to play for the Pakistan cricket team, not for himself

Recently, Ahmed Shehzad bagged the Man of the Match award in the last T20 match against the World XI along with a fancy bike to feature in his latest selfies. Good for him! However, his performance during the whole series raised more doubts than confidence in him. Shehzad managed to make a score of 89 off 55 balls in the final T20 match, therefore it may seem criminal to criticise him at this stage. However, I strongly believe that he was scoring runs in the series for himself, rather than the Pakistan cricket team. Pakistani batsman Ahmed ...

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World XI: Siyasat, junoon aur Lahore

In a few hours’ time, Pakistan’s most cosmopolitan city will brace itself for a tussle between two political heavyweights, Kulsoom Nawaz and Yasmin Rashid. This democratic NA-120 is a by-product of the decision to disqualify a democratically-elected prime minister. Furthermore, it promises monumental changes to the country’s ever-turbulent political climate. The streets are indeed decked with scores of signs and banners, hinting at the nearing of something colossal. These banners have faces and a few badly thought-out catchphrases printed on them. It all sounds familiar, but feels rather different. These faces do not evoke feelings of annoyance in the people ...

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PakvsWXI: One victory down, will we be able to conquer the other two?

After eight long years, international cricket came home and we couldn’t be happier. Lahore was abuzz and cricket fans could be seen grinning from ear to ear, ready to cheer their team on. The atmosphere Fuelled by uncharacteristic silence and desertion, Gaddafi Stadium has portrayed a picture of despair more often than not for almost a decade. But much to the delight of the fans, it has finally sprung to life once again. Pakistani fans came decked up in all shades and colours, Pakistan v World XI, 1st T20I, Independence Cup 2017, Lahore, September 12, 2017. Photo: AFP A ...

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World XI vs Pakistan’s best: Will talent trump home advantage?

Most Pakistani cricket fans have purchased their tickets for the upcoming Independence Cup matches and cannot wait for them to begin.  After receiving security clearance from the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is in full swing and is busy putting final touches to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Gaddafi Stadium is set to make its international cricket comeback, as the home team takes on World XI in the first Twenty20 International on September 12. Photo: AFP Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each team, the behaviour of the pitch and the probable ...

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Maria Sharapova, the phoenix who rose from the ashes, is still a force to be reckoned with

This might sound silly but the first thing that struck me about the Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova was not her technical or tactical prowess but in fact the ’grunt’ which was part and parcel of her game and particularly, the serve. Although grunting is normal to an extent in tennis, but when you crank it up to 100 decibels, it is bound to attract attention and this is precisely the reason why it caught my eye. Little did I know that this young lady will go on to become one of the finest players of all time. Young Sharapova Her interest in the ...

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