Stories about ashes

How Ben Stokes became an Ashes legend

A thrilling end, drama and suspense is something we generally associate with Pakistan cricket. However, it is England who have provided us with that lately with two of the best games in cricketing history within the span of a few months. And, funnily enough, the main architect of both these matches was Ben Stokes. When England were handed the task of chasing down 359 runs in the third Ashes Test, most thought it was impossible, especially since England were bowled out for a paltry 67 in their first innings. Moreover, the pitch seemed unbelievably difficult to bat on because it continued ...

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Will Pakistan’s reformed cricket team be able to stand up to the English challenge?

The year 2015 has been a year of mixed emotions for the Pakistan cricket team. Having lost both 50-over fixtures against New Zealand prior to the World Cup, the men in green had a horrendous start to the year as they suffered crushing defeats at the hands of India and the West Indies in their two opening games of ODI cricket’s most coveted tournament. Photo: AFP Pakistan’s World Cup dream seemed all but over at 58-3 against Zimbabwe, when a resolute knock of 73 by Captain Misbahul Haq, along with a spirited half century by Wahab Riaz, ...

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Virat Kohli versus Steven Smith, is the comparison even justified?

As we all know, Australia and India are no strangers to international cricket triumphs. Both sides boast of powerful batting potential, currently glued together by just two young guns, Steven Smith and Virat Kohli. These batsmen are worthy of profuse praise, that’s for sure, given their careers are backed by super numbers and zero hype. But the real question is, does that justify a convincing contrast between the two? Statistics indicate a clear no. Allow me to throw in some numbers and explain just why. Imbalanced comparisons: Ratio of matches to runs First things first, Smith has been an irregular customer for ...

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Dear PTV Sports, how about teaching some manners to Dr Nauman?

The Pakistan cricket team has been absolutely phenomenal on the field in the series against Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the coverage by PTV Sports. I had become accustomed to Starbucks misspelling my name on the cup every time. I cannot reasonably expect an American to accurately spell ‘Shehzad’. One day, a barista asked me if she called out my name right, I told her it was close enough but she insisted on me teaching her how to say it right. “It is about me respecting you as a person, I want to say it right when ...

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This is for Hobart

The morning of November 22, 1999 was nippy and blustery, typical Karachi winter weather. I woke up early with an air of expectation. Christmas was coming early this year and Eid was going to follow. Pakistan was finally going to beat Australia in a Test match on their home turf and I was ready for school early to savour as much of the moment as possible. The Test series was following after Pakistan had been blanked by Australia in the World Cup final earlier in the year and was billed as the ‘badla’ tour by the press. Wasim Akram, the Pakistan team ...

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RIP Pakistan hockey?

Hockey is Pakistan’s national game and its players have won many laurels for the nation in the past. Previously, these players were household names and were considered darlings of the nation, until everything went down under. Comparing those golden days of hockey with its dismal state today often brings tears to the eyes of many hockey followers.   The 2014 Hockey World Cup is less than a month away and, sadly, Pakistan has failed to even qualify for this global event. The reason of this depressing situation could possibly be attributed to the poor planning and management of the previous team that ran ...

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Like a phoenix reborn from the ashes

No place to hide, I’m ball-and-chain bound, Dropped in mid-air, crashed into the ground. Locked in constant battle, an emotional duel, No need for arson, your words be the fuel. You burn every bridge, every road set ablaze, Embers smouldering, everywhere that I gaze. Crawling through the ruins, no roof on my head, Crumbling walls, broken floors, as good as dead. Life has no meaning, love lost all its thrill, Vultures circling over me, moving in for the kill. You pushed me and shoved me, and put me under, But I got out unscathed, still makes me wonder. Thought I had lost all, but I held onto hope, Coughing and wheezing, got out of the ...

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Give international cricketers a break

Salam and greetings. Being in Sydney while enduring my first winter for some time makes me think about last year’s World Cup where our Pakistani boys made us proud. But it was sad to see Shoaiby hang up his boots. Rahul Dravid followed suit later that year and, most recently, Kevin Pietersen said he only wants to play Test cricket. It makes me wonder if the schedule wasn’t packed, could legends like Brian Lara and Adam Gilchrist still be playing. The rotation system has had its lovers and haters and was introduced in order to help players cope with the physical demands ...

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Game on: How Shane Warne stumped the world

The year was 1993. The first Test of the series was underway between England and Australia at Manchester. A chubby, blond leg spinner was making his Ashes debut. The man facing up to him was Mike Gattings, who was known to dig into spinners as he would into his lunch. What transpired next single handedly revived the art of leg spin bowling. The world was to witness a delivery that would go on to be known as the ‘The Ball of the Century’. The bowler came off from three to four paces to ...

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Pak-India showdown: Let the quivering begin!

Show me a sporting rivalry greater than Pakistan-India and I will show you the cure for cancer! Those who want to rebuff me at this stage by pointing out that “The Ashes” is the number one rivalry in the game, can save their breaths. Pakistan and India have fought three wars against each other! How many have Australia and England fought? As rivalries go, they don’t come any bigger than this. The tension is palpable in the air when these two great cricketing nations go head to head. The last time these teams competed against each other, it was the World Cup semi-final almost ...

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