Is Babar Azam a ‘selfish’ batsman?

Pakistan have now lost 10 consecutive ODI matches. A 4-0 drubbing against England, the top ranked ODI team, is not surprising as I had predicted a 4-1 defeat in my previous blog. We were below par in all three departments: bowling, batting and fielding. But many positives have also emerged from this series. The highest run-scorer for Pakistan in the series was Babar Azam. He scored 277 runs at an average of 55.40 and a strike rate of 99.64. However, did those figures help the team in winning any game? If not, then why so? While Azam’s classy batting is very pleasing ...

Read Full Post

The age of Sana Mir in a man’s world

We have entered an age where women can be leaders in every field and research shows that women are outperforming men in many professions. Organisations are encouraging the employment of female bosses because 40 years of research have proved that women are better managers. The trends are also changing in a country like Pakistan, where more and more women are being given their rights and the liberty to choose their own profession. Yet, it seems that the field of sports still remains off-limits for many women in Pakistani families. But I believe that this mind-set won’t last long because we ...

Read Full Post

Wahab Riaz selected for World Cup squad – but is that a wise decision?

The inclusion of Wahab Riaz in Pakistan’s World Cup squad has triggered mixed views among Pakistani fans. The ones not in favor of Riaz have some solid reasons for their strong opinions. Bearing in mind Riaz’s track record, he is a gamble. If he plays well, great. And if he doesn’t, we’re doomed. Does he bowl fast? Yes. Is he accurate? Not particularly. He becomes more and more unreliable as the pressure mounts. Time and time again, we have seen him receive some serious punishment at the hands of batsmen. Pakistan finalises make-up of World Cup squadhttps://t.co/I4xFbvC5sF #WeHaveWeWill pic.twitter.com/tTdA8iC6Pj — Pakistan Cricket ...

Read Full Post

Why selecting Mohammad Amir and Asif Ali for the World Cup is the right move

Given that there are millions of supporters of the Pakistan cricket team, there are bound to be millions of variations of Pakistan’s World Cup squad floating around on social media. Everyone has a different personality, and so each individual will tailor the Pakistani line-up according to their liking. The recent report that Mohammad Amir and Asif Ali are set to be included in Pakistan’s World Cup squad has thrown these predictions into a flux. Although not officially confirmed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yet, I believe that their inclusion is an absolute must and will prove to be ...

Read Full Post

Younis Khan and PCB couldn’t reach an agreement – whose loss is it?

Just a few days ago, talks between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and former Test captain Younis Khan, for the appointment of the latter as the coach of the Under-19 Pakistan cricket team, fell through. Unconfirmed sources claim that the demands Younis made with respect to his remuneration was one of the deal breakers. The other bone of contention was the authority Younis had insisted on for his role as the coach, which included a very strong say in matters of selection as well. The PCB, apparently, only wants a coach who can just be around the team and guide ...

Read Full Post

How Manchester City set the bar last season, only to surpass it this season

Martin Tyler’s commentary on the final day of the 2012 season of the Premier League will always remain an unforgettable moment for every Manchester City fan. It is a moment which has been etched in their minds and souls, something they will cherish for the rest of their lives and is a tale which will be narrated to many upcoming generations. It was the apogee of Manchester City’s history; their biggest moment and also a declaration of their arrival at the summit of the Premier League. Jump to the 2013-2014 season, when Liverpool bungled the opportunity to win the league ...

Read Full Post

A victory for the ages: Liverpool and Tottenham and their fate-changing semi-finals

There is no doubt that football always leaves people with some of the most beautiful memories. Memories which they will cherish forever. It is a game of emotion, instinct and passion. How many times have we seen managers and players lay bare their emotions after the final whistle? Countless. The same happened in this week’s Champions League semi-finals, when both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur defied the odds to defeat Barcelona and Ajax respectively. The two English sides booked their place in the Champions League final after pulling of miraculous comebacks. 🔴🔴 ALLEZ, ALLEZ, ALLEZ 🔴🔴pic.twitter.com/r8TRL9vvTC — Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 7, ...

Read Full Post

For Ajax, the Champions League final beckons, but will the Spurs spoil their party?

After 22 long years, Ajax are in the semi-finals of the Champions League and have been absolutely dominant in Europe this season. After eliminating current champions Real Madrid from the competition, they continued their dream run by defeating Juventus at Turin. Erik ten Hag’s side surprised everyone when they extended their stellar form against Tottenham Hotspur and won 1-0 in the first leg of the semi-final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Can Ajax retain the lead or will the Spurs reduce the deficit when the two sides meet in the Netherlands? Ajax’s players pose for a team ...

Read Full Post

Challenging England on their turf is an uphill task – does Pakistan stand a chance?

The five-match ODI series between England and Pakistan begins on May 8th, 2019. A series against England, one of the favourites in the upcoming World Cup, and that too in the country which is hosting the tournament, will benefit Pakistan in many ways. Firstly, it will help the players get used to the conditions in England. Secondly, playing against one of the top teams just before the mega event will provide a fair assessment of where the team stands. Pakistan’s biggest weakness currently is their lack of power-hitting. How Pakistan deals with this deficiency will be a crucial factor in ...

Read Full Post

The 1979 World Cup and the love affair that ensued

Many cricket fanatics may be blissfully unaware that the advent of ODI cricket was a complete accident. In 1971, Australia and England were scheduled to play a Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but the first three days of play were abandoned following heavy downpour. In a surprising move, the two sides played the first ever limited-overs match, with each innings lasting 40 overs and each over consisting of eight deliveries. Australia ended up winning the match by five wickets, but little did they know that their attempt at trying to salvage a few hours of play would ...

Read Full Post