Stories about Afridi

Afridi’s removal: Bad, bad decision!

You have a problem with your car? Don’t try to fix it, buy a new one. If you think about it, this is exactly how Ejaz Butt goes about changing the Pakistan cricket team’s captains. For me, this is just another failure on Butt’s part. Sure, Pakistan won the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup, made it to the semi-finals in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy, played well in the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup, and exceeded our expectations in the 2011 ICC World Cup – was all of this Butt’s success or a reflection of the talent in Pakistan? Just imagine the brilliant ...

Read Full Post

When will our captains understand?

It is common knowledge that Pakistan cricket and controversy go hand in hand, and it seems that the former cannot survive for long without the latter rearing its head. The last few years, under the rule of the much maligned Ejaz Butt, have been no different, be it the descent of Younis Khan from captaincy, the Muhammad Yousuf captaincy and non-selection saga, the unfortunate Butt, Asif and Amir incident or the regular sacking/resignations of coaches and chief selectors – the people involved at the highest echelons, and the fans too, have perhaps resigned to the fact that it is ...

Read Full Post

Afridi’s dilemma: Play to your strength

Shahid Afridi has been representing Pakistan for the last 15 years but he is still unsure about his role in the team. Afridi joined the Pakistan cricket team as a leg spinner, when Mushtaq Ahmed was injured and the former was asked to join immediately to replace him. At that time, Afridi was one of the highest wicket-taking bowlers at the under-19 level. As a result, he was considered a reliable spin bowler but no special attention was given to his batting. However, this changed soon, for Afridi, in his second One Day International (ODI) and his first international inning, ...

Read Full Post

As Dhoni lifted the cup, I thought of Afridi

After a strangely placid Sri Lankan fielding performance, we watch India lifting the Cricket World Cup. Mistakes will be forgotten and achievements exaggerated until the late entry of Sreesanth is seen as a phenomenal decision. Everything is so much more legendary in retrospect. As confusing as the sight of Munaf Patel and Sreesanth holding the World Cup may be, when Tendulkar holds it, a strong case is made for eternal justice. What a fitting destiny for a player who ruled the sport for longer than many of his fans have lived. And his team seemed to acknowledge that, with constant dedications ...

Read Full Post

An open letter to Shahid Afridi

After helping this nation come together for over a month in support of the one element that we all feel pride in, and even an honourable concession speech after the semi-final, you managed to flush away all the goodwill you and the team earned. Your comments were racist, insensitive and childish to the extreme. So what if the Indian media treated you differently? So what if Rehman Malik played to the gallery? So what if Gautam Gambhir said something that was undeniably stupid? The Indian media was always going to be harsh with you, lest you forget that you are ...

Read Full Post

Boring Powerplays not aiding ODI cricket

The World Cup completed its first phase witnessing enthralling drama, a few upsets and some boring one-sided games. It now enters the stage where a small mistake can confirm a ticket home. Herschelle Gibbs can bear testament to this fact when his dropped catch prompted the batsman, happening to be Australia captain Steve Waugh, to reportedly tell the South African that you’ve dropped the World Cup. Pakistan play the West Indies today and after 42 matches of the event, one still cannot safely say that teams have truly mastered the art of utilising the batting Powerplay. Pakistan have no idea when ...

Read Full Post

Mistakes will not go unpunished now

After the crucial game against Australia, Pakistan enter the knock-out stages. They enter a territory where mistakes will not go unpunished. It will be naïve on part of the Pakistan players and team management to hope for their opponents to make mistakes so Pakistan can taste victory – a theme predominant in our World Cup campaign this time. Pakistan had Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya in their Group A to experiment with. However, it will not be unfair to suggest that the team management did little to make use of these opportunities. I say this because before a team heads into the ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan’s World Cup weapon: Bowling

Pakistan’s bowling attack will have to step up if the team is looking to do better than the previous two editions of the World Cup. Historically, Pakistan have done well when their bowling has lived up to expectations and this time would be no different. The conditions will assist only those who are willing to exploit them. The pitches in Sri Lanka are slow with low bounce therefore bowling has to be spot on. The warm conditions will wear out the ball quicker, assisting reverse swing, but at the same time dew will set in. It’s difficult to grip and ...

Read Full Post

In the commune: Pakistan faces Sri Lanka

Cricketing giants Pakistan and Sri Lanka face off today in what promises to be an exciting World Cup match at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo. Pakistan’s victory against Kenya in their first World Cup match has given them great confidence and the statistics seem to be in their favour as they take on the formidable Sri Lankans. We asked Tribune bloggers who their favourites are and what they predict will unfold at the crease today: Imran A Khan Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in their last two encounters on this ground, so Team Green is my pick. Umar Akmal scored his maiden ...

Read Full Post

An open letter to Shahid Afridi

Dear Skipper, We have witnessed you brutally thrash bowlers out of the park; we have seen you dismiss the best in business with your shooters, flippers and googlies and take the most difficult catches on the cricket field. You have been our darling for more than 14 years. Every time you whack the cricket ball into the open skies, we hold our breaths. You gave us reason to dance on the streets of Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta with your performance in the Twenty20 Cup, 2009. And you made us proud as you went on to score the fastest one day ...

Read Full Post