Other than selfies, what was Ahmed Shehzad’s contribution in the Champions Trophy to deserve the cash prize?

Pakistan just pulled off an incredible victory against politically imposed nemesis India in the Champions Trophy final last month. The victory tasted so sweet that the government and media houses (don’t forget the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) too, they’re here somewhere) took it upon themselves to virtually term this win as the epitome and peak of Pakistan’s performance. Really? Wait, we’re still ranked sixth in the world? Hold on to your horses, people; it’s a great win but Pakistan cricket has a long way to go. The victorious Pakistan team lift the Champions Trophy, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: ...

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#Wimbledon2017: Centre Court is Roger Federer’s canvas and he is the Leonardo Da Vinci of men’s tennis

Two weeks ago, when the most prestigious tennis tournament kicked off, I, along with most critics, predicted the greatest of this generation (Roger Federer) to further enhance his stature. It was one of these predictions that not only considered current form, but also incorporated past performances. Federer’s grass is Wimbledon’s grass, not the other way around; he has sole proprietorship over it. By dismantling the injured Croat, Marin Cilic, in yesterday’s final 6-3 6-1 6-4, the Swiss maestro added to his seemingly never-ending list of accolades. His eighth Wimbledon title, a standalone record, and his 19th Grand Slam has now ...

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Wayne Rooney to Everton, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it?

Intelligent, gifted, effective, powerful, at times slow, but brilliant. You name it and Wayne Rooney had it all. For 13 long years, Manchester United fans saw magic unfold right in front of their eyes at the Theatre of Dreams. They would have never thought that the 18-year-old boy who debuted for England’s biggest club with a hat trick against Fenerbarche would leave their club, his club, only to return to Everton where it all began. Wayne Rooney is the the all-time leading goalscorer for both Manchester United and England. Photo: AFP Rooney to Everton, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it? Once Rooney steps onto the turf wearing the blue ...

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Thanks to Ronaldinho and friends, football needs to be given its due importance rather than just prioritising cricket.

A few days back, I overheard a child on the street say the following to his friends, “Yaar aaj cricket nahi, football kheltay hain.” (Let’s play football instead of cricket today.) This might be normal in other parts of the world but in a country like Pakistan, where cricket takes the lead amongst other sporting activities, it was virtually impossible. Football may not be flourishing the way it should be in Pakistan, at domestic and international level, but that has not been a hindrance in the ever increasing levels of interest in football. Gone are the days when people used to say, “Pakistan mein football kaun dekhta/khelta ...

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The Oval: Pakistan’s home away from home

Hollywood, Bollywood, the West End and Broadway – everybody knows that nothing sells better than a true underdog story. And when it comes to the tag of ‘underdog’, only a few have worn it so frequently and with such relish as the Pakistan cricket team. Pakistan with the Champions Trophy. Photo: Getty Images Before the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy final, few could have predicted what would unfold. In a tournament packed with surprises, viewers could be forgiven for wondering whether Pakistan had reached their peak. But doubt Pakistan at your peril. As Sarfraz Ahmed tore across the outfield, arms outstretched in joy, Pakistan wrapped up their ...

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Bahawalpur inferno victims receive Rs2m whereas cricket players get Rs10m – ever heard of the word priorities, Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan won the recently held Champions Trophy despite all odds stacked against them. Victory tasted sweeter since it was achieved by crushing our arch rivals India in the final of tournament. Pakistan with the Champions Trophy. Photo: Getty Pakistan’s victory was received extremely well by all sections of society. They didn’t just heap praise on the team for their commendable performance, but also presented expensive prizes to team members on their return to Pakistan. The government of Pakistan, led by Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif, also announced hefty cash prizes for the national team and the total prize money gifted to the players and management of the ...

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Will this year’s Wimbledon be the same old four, winning the same old matches?

Aw yes. It’s that time of the year again. It’ll take a fortnight to initiate another year’s waiting, but the memories of players dressed up in pristine whites, playing on the meticulously cut grass will remain etched till that time. One year of intense drama, ups and downs, stories of decline and two fables of renaissance all boil down to this. When 128 players kick off the 131st Championships at the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon on Monday, for the next two weeks, we will see tennis the way it was meant to be seen. The original grass courts will be open ...

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Remembering Mushtaq Mohammad, the legendary epitome of Pakistan cricket captaincy

Pakistan cricket had been the backbone of international cricket for several years. This boom started from the 70s, up until the early 2000s, primarily because of its ability to produce superstars and due to its unpredictable nature, which drew the attention of millions of fans worldwide towards a game that is not played by most countries. Let’s take a look back to where and how it started. After a horrifying decade of cricket in the 60s and the rise of field hockey in Pakistan, cricket was in grave danger of going extinct in our newly formed state. Fortunately for Pakistan cricket and even for world cricket, Pakistan appointed ...

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Four Pakistani cricket legends who left behind some big shoes to fill

One cannot recount Pakistan’s rich cricketing history without giving adequate importance to the players who made their mark and kept the green flag flying high. Taking into account the fact that some of its finest players of the past decade or so recently put the curtain down on their careers, it is apt to shed some light on what made them such great contributors to Pakistan cricket. Be it the aggression of Shahid Afridi, the flamboyance of Abdul Razzaq, or the stability and permanence provided by the stalwarts in the shape of Younis Khan and Misbahul Haq, Pakistan cricket was truly blessed to have such impact players at its disposal. [caption id="" align="alignnone" ...

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A victory for Pakistan does not necessarily mean a loss for India

Ever since I can remember becoming zee shaoor (in possession of one’s full mental capacity), my household has been a hard core, absolutely bonkers, completely ridiculous, and rowdy cricket fan. It runs in the genes, so they tell me. My father often tells me how my paternal great grandfather used to listen to the English commentary of cricket matches on the radio in the 50s, where he was one of the few individuals in my rural hometown of Hala, Sindh, to own a radio. English commentary? Rural Sindh? 50s? What am I saying? But yes, he had received a scholarship of Rs5 before the Partition from the ...

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