Stories about Australia

Is religion more important than unity in Australia?

During my school days, students would queue in the main ground and proudly sing Pakistan’s national anthem during the morning assembly. Singing the national anthem brought everyone together, nurturing inclusiveness and a sense of unity. The school had students from different religious backgrounds, although the majority was Sunni Muslims. Singing the anthem instilled love for Pakistan from an early age and brought everyone together in solidarity. Those were the only times when Jinnah’s Pakistan twinkled in the eyes of everyone and reminded us of his quote, “You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other ...

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If Pakistan boycotts the World Twenty20, it is only Pakistan that will suffer

We live in a time where our very existence is offensive to some people. It is hard to imagine how much cricket has been used as a weapon for political folly. It is absolutely outrageous that our team is in constant limbo, adjusting to whatever catastrophe will hit them next. Perhaps we are sensitive people, maybe our history has taught us the art of playing victim, but there is a general feeling of resentment underlying Pakistan cricket, a sense that we are treated like second-class citizens, a complete double standard when it comes to anything Pakistan related and the ...

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Is it fair for England to blame pitch conditions for their performance?

Historically, cricket pitches in Asia had the tag of ‘lifeless’ and ‘flat’ associated with them. They’re usually considered as batting paradises where scores of 500 are considered as decent and taking 20 wickets is akin to climbing Mount Everest. While this may be true in some cases, despite the notion that they’re flat, some non-Asian touring teams have often been found struggling in these batting-friendly conditions. Pitches on which Pakistan is able to score in excess of 500, touring parties like England and Australia have repeatedly been bundled out for less than 300. For instance, when both these teams were ...

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It took me a real life experience to understand the importance of early diagnosis

It was the summer of 1999 when Pakistani cricket fans were eagerly hoping our cricket team would bring home the second World Cup from the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London. That night, I was not watching the hyped Australia versus Pakistan match in the comfort of my TV lounge or with my family and friends; rather I was watching it with my mother who was lying in a hospital bed, after undergoing a single breast mastectomy (which is the surgical removal of the entire breast in women). I remember my mother being in excruciating pain. I was too young to comprehend what ...

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Dear Younus Khan, please take Wasim Akram’s advice and ‘stop worrying about the ODI format’

Dear Younus Khan, I hope this letter finds you well. Let me start by saying that you are, undoubtedly, one of the greatest Test match batsmen Pakistan has ever produced. Your powers of concentration and mental strength are only bettered by Misbahul Haq in the current Test team, while your skills as a stroke-maker coupled with your triathlon-athlete like endurance are a winning combination like no other. In a sense, you remind me of a boxer who lives for the counter punch. You, Younus, sometimes take more punches than a middle-order batsman has any right to handle, before you begin hitting back. It starts with numerous ...

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PCB should ban Amir, Asif and Salman Butt for life

The ban imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the ‘tainted trio’ of Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, for their involvement in spot fixing was officially lifted on September 2, 2015. Although the ban on the players is lifted, I vehemently oppose the selection of these cricketers for the Pakistani team ever again. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should do what is right and impose a life ban on these players. They have caused immense embarrassment to the national team and the country. As of now, there is no consensus amongst former cricketers regarding the inclusion of these players in the national team. ...

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Where is Al Jazeera’s journalistic responsibility?

Al Jazeera News Network was recently in the news for relatively positive reasons. A surprise, one must say. Their editorial on “Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrants’”, grabbed attention not only among global media consumers but also various renowned media networks – who published scores of commentaries appreciating the stand taken by the media outlet. In their policy editorial by Barry Malone, Al Jazeera’s online editor, wrote, “At this network, we try hard through our journalism to be the voice of those people in our world who, for whatever reason, find themselves without one. Migrant is a word that strips suffering people of voice. Substituting refugee ...

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Unveiling Pakistan, chapter by chapter, page by page

Fear, it’s both a vital gift housed by human nature and an insidious enemy of the human race. On one hand, it whispers warnings and protects us from danger. On the other hand, it has the tendency to dramatise risk, rationalise rumours, glorify assumptions, and conjure terrifying truths in order to fill gaps in knowledge and experience. In this regard, fear often places two hands over our eyes and blinds us from hidden opportunities. It closes the gate on enlightening international relationships, thrilling life experiences and character-building adventures. I recently stared fear in the face and told it to take a ...

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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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Five reasons not to miss the Ashes clash

Cricket is a cranky game. It does not get along with anyone, not even the best. Australia can relate to that more than anyone else. Stepping into England with all the momentum, they were the favourites, full of aplomb. Five-zero in the last Ashes encounter, two-zero against India earlier this year, two-zero against West Indies in the Caribbean. Winning came naturally and effortlessly to the Aussies. And then they landed in Cardiff. Since then onwards, it has been a spectacular series, a roller-coaster ride indeed. It has defied what most of us had prophesied at the start – England at Cardiff, Australia at Lord’s, England at Edgbaston. [caption id="" ...

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