The PSL4 final was just a formality – the trophy already had Gladiators engraved on it

The rest of us had to wait till March 17th to know who will ultimately be crowned the champions of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019, but in the Quetta camp, it seems victory was already foreseen. Soon after qualifying for the final, Dwayne John Bravo was already humming to: “Quetta Quetta, we the Gladiators!” “Quetta Quetta, we the Gladiators!” Best Batsman of the tournament & player of the #HBLPSL 2019, @ShaneRWatson33.Winning captain, @SarfarazA_54.Man of the Final, Muhammad Hasnain.Champion Gladiators 💜#KhelDeewanoKa pic.twitter.com/0fy4vLgL6e — PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) March 17, 2019 I must confess, I sang along those lines too even though I felt guilty because I was ...

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Gladiators vs Zalmi: When the best of the best come face to face

Quetta Gladiators versus Peshawar Zalmi: the two finalists confirmed after a month of enthralling cricket. All the ebbs and flows of the tournament bow down to one game, the final, which is to be played on Sunday, March 17th. Gladiators have previously been part of two finals, yet have come out short on both occasions. I believe the reason is their key players leaving them once the tournament was shifted to Pakistan. This year they will not be facing such a problem, having secured the services of T20 megastar Shane Watson. Watson was part of the previous Pakistan Super League ...

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Bad luck, sheer incompetence, Aqib Javed: Lahore Qalandars’ story of pain and sorrow

Everyone knows how much pride Lahoris have for their city. So much so that they claim:  “Jine Lahore ni vekhya O jamiya hi nai.” (Those who haven’t seen Lahore haven’t lived yet) After watching four seasons of Pakistan Super League (PSL), however, I think we have all seen enough of Lahore. I would rather say: “Jine Lahore nu support kita O dubara hasiya hi nai.” (Those who supported Lahore never laughed again) Lahore’s story is of pain and sorrow. If you are weak-hearted then proceed at your own risk. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Lahore Qalandars; from sheer bad luck with injuries ...

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Juventus’ pristine form has coincided with Real’s woes, and the reason is undoubtedly Ronaldo

In my 13 years as a diehard football fan, I have never witnessed a week like this one. It started with Ajax’s stunning dismantling of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) delivering their latest ‘how to choke’ lecture, Arsenal’s shock thumping at Rennes, the disgraceful pitch invasion at Birmingham, the comical disappearing act of VAR officials in La Liga, and finally, Zinedine Zidane’s surprise return in the Madrid hot seat. Somewhere in between, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s incredible away winning streak ended. Manchester City also won 7-0, but that is something I have become accustomed to. All the headlines, however, will justifiably ...

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Zidane’s homecoming is the fairy tale twist that Real Madrid craved, but will there be a happy ending?

When Real Madrid come knocking, few can say no. Even when you’re a manager who walked away only nine months ago from the club you love because “something needed to change”. Head coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid is thrown in the air by his players during celebrations at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium following their victory last night in Kiev in the UEFA Champions League final, on May 27, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Getty Zinedine Zidane is back at Real Madrid, the club where he won nine trophies during his previous three-year stint. The love Zizou ...

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From Mourinho to Solskjaer: A tale of Manchester United’s stunning comeback

The Manchester United caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has won 14 out of 17 games in all competitions; his only defeat coming against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the first leg at Old Trafford. He was appointed only as caretaker in December following the sacking of Jose Mourinho. Given the below par performance of the team under Mourinho, it is unthinkable that the same team is now flourishing under the new management. No one gave Solskjaer any real chance given the abysmal situation of the team, but the numbers speaks for themselves. A former United man, for him this is not ...

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Umar Akmal vs Asif Ali: Who deserves to play in the 2019 World Cup?

I know the first thing that comes to mind when I mention the name Umar Akmal is, “Why are we talking about him again?” Yes, perhaps we shouldn’t be. It is certainly a dangerous thought that lurks in my head, that I perhaps should have let go of the very instant it popped up. That is, however, difficult to do because right now we desperately need a power hitter to fill the number six spot as part of our team’s line-up at the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The only two players that currently fit the criteria are Akmal and Asif Ali. I already know that neither ...

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In the war between India and Pakistan, cricket loses yet again

The 12th edition of the World Cup will be played in England from May 30th to July 14th. A total of 48 matches will be played in this 46-day long tournament and all the best teams in the world will gather for this celebration of cricket. According to Steve Elworthy, the tournament director of the 2019 World Cup, this will be the biggest sporting event to take place in England and Wales this summer, with the high demand for tickets reflecting the excitement of fans from the host country and around the world. However, what has come up a lot in recent conversations ...

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28 trophyless years later, can Liverpool beat the odds to claim the Premier League title?

“You will never walk alone” Throughout the season we heard this anthem loud and clear at Anfield as Liverpool tried to play their part in ending the wait for the domestic title. It has been 28 years since Liverpool last tasted the Premier League success and many believe this to be their year of finally winning the trophy. Although they have been in the running from the start of the season, I believe they will fall short again come the end of the season. In any other year, Liverpool would have been crowned as champions, having suffered only one defeat and ...

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Does ringleader Salman Butt deserve a second chance?

Pakistan Super League (PSL)’s credibility took a massive hit when the spot-fixing scandal involving Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif broke out in season two. According to Salman Butt, he was being considered for the West Indies tour following that PSL season, but the spot-fixing scandal forced the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to reconsider their decision and exclude Butt from their plans to avoid any controversy. With Butt replacing Muhammad Hafeez in the Lahore Qalandars’ squad, many people have raised apprehensions about the 2010 spot-fixing scandal’s ringleader’s inclusion. Some of the arguments made against his inclusion range from setting a wrong ...

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