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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The PSL frenzy: With 7 matches down, which team looks promising so far?

Pakistan Super League (PSL) has played a pivotal role in the restoration of international cricket in Pakistan, albeit partially. This year, eight matches will be played in Pakistan and hopefully after their success, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will be able to convince more players around the world that Pakistan is a safe country to host cricket matches. The fourth season of PSL commenced on Valentine’s Day. Till now, every team has shown their muscle on the field. The tournament is still in its early stages, with only seven matches played; however, we can still try and predict each team’s future ...

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Emerging talent: 6 players to look out for in PSL4

The best thing about the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is that the franchise remains active throughout the year. They work all year scoping for talent that is in abundance in our country. Case in point: Lahore Qalandars run an intense players’ development program. It was due to their efforts that fast bowler Salman Irshad was discovered from Azad Kashmir and inducted to play in the third season of PSL. Pakistan’s national team has so far scored six to seven players from the first three seasons of PSL, including Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi, while many players are on ...

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