Stories about Babar Azam

World XI: Siyasat, junoon aur Lahore

In a few hours’ time, Pakistan’s most cosmopolitan city will brace itself for a tussle between two political heavyweights, Kulsoom Nawaz and Yasmin Rashid. This democratic NA-120 is a by-product of the decision to disqualify a democratically-elected prime minister. Furthermore, it promises monumental changes to the country’s ever-turbulent political climate. The streets are indeed decked with scores of signs and banners, hinting at the nearing of something colossal. These banners have faces and a few badly thought-out catchphrases printed on them. It all sounds familiar, but feels rather different. These faces do not evoke feelings of annoyance in the people ...

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PakvsWXI: One victory down, will we be able to conquer the other two?

After eight long years, international cricket came home and we couldn’t be happier. Lahore was abuzz and cricket fans could be seen grinning from ear to ear, ready to cheer their team on. The atmosphere Fuelled by uncharacteristic silence and desertion, Gaddafi Stadium has portrayed a picture of despair more often than not for almost a decade. But much to the delight of the fans, it has finally sprung to life once again. Pakistani fans came decked up in all shades and colours, Pakistan v World XI, 1st T20I, Independence Cup 2017, Lahore, September 12, 2017. Photo: AFP A ...

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#PakvsInd: If the first match was a mismatch, the final was complete annihilation followed by domination

The most unpredictable team in the world, ranked bottom in this tournament, has yet again pulled it off. It has taken eight years for Pakistan to hoist an international trophy, but in doing so, they’ve blown out everyone who doubted them. Two hundred million people rejoice once again, as Pakistan rises from the ashes to beat India (emphatically, I must add), to win the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy for the first time. The victorious Pakistan team lift the Champions Trophy, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: Getty Images This ...

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#PakvsSL: Because Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Amir had a different plan for Pakistan

Rarely a dull moment in the game, Pakistan versus Sri Lanka lived up to its expectations of being an engrossing virtual quarter-final. Despite a semi-final berth being on the line, both teams seemed to be on a never-ending quest to perform worse than the other. Eventually, Pakistan emerged as the less worse side of the two and booked a date with England. While Pakistan’s victory holds true to its rich history of edge-of-the-seat drama and turning the simplest of situations into tricky and impossible ones, some things, or some people to be specific, definitely felt out of place. And while ...

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Betting on Pakistan after #PakvsInd was a madman’s bet, but our team is predictably unpredictable for a reason

When the eighth ranked cricket team met the top ranked cricket team, there was little doubt about the outcome of the game. Being optimistic after Pakistan’s appalling performance in its last match against India was surely a madman’s bet, but team Pakistan is predictably unpredictable for a reason. Wahab Riaz went off the field with a twisted ankle. Photo: AFP In a match where everything (except Imad Wasim’s laser sunglasses) was different about the Pakistan team, South Africa was defeated by 19 runs through the Duckworth/Lewis Method (D/LS) in 27 overs. Was this down to the performance of ...

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It’s #PakvsInd in the Champions Trophy once again, but can India equalise the score of 2-1?

The Edgbaston cricket ground will be the pinnacle of attraction for the entire cricketing fraternity as India and Pakistan renew their age-old rivalry this coming Sunday. Although the elusive International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy commenced yesterday, you can be assured that the tournament will dive into fifth gear when these two arch rivals lock horns. Champions Trophy is the only major ICC event where Pakistan has the upper hand over their nemesis. The green shirts have claimed victory twice and suffered defeat just once in a total of three matches. Both Sarfraz Ahmed and Virat Kohli are coming into this mega event (ICC events) with their first major assignments as captains of ...

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It’s about time Pakistan moves on from the Akmal trio once and for all, starting with Umar

Umar Akmal, who had been dropped earlier from Pakistan’s squad that traveled to the West Indies due to poor fitness, was announced as a member of the 15-man squad that would travel to England to feature in the ICC Champions Trophy. After being dropped from the national squad, Akmal was asked to lead Punjab in this year’s edition of the Pakistan Cup which, again, raised a few questions over what precedent the board and selection committee were trying to set. How was a player who deemed unfit for national selection, now fit enough to lead a side in the country’s ...

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As captain, can Sarfraz Ahmed steer Pakistan to victory in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy?

Pakistan’s archaic style of ODI cricket is up for a stern test in this summer’s Champions Trophy. The team is grouped with South Africa (ranked number one in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings), arch-rivals India, and Sri Lanka. A realistic assessment might be for the team to win at least one out of these three games – more likely to be the one against Sri Lanka – but that would also mean having to do away with the optimism of a Pakistani cricket fan. Regardless of how bad we think our team is, almost every fan will, as always, ...

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Life after Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq – what does it look like?

Growing up in a perpetual shadow of conflict and turmoil, Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq were two beacons of calmness that you could count on to somehow make things better. We are fortunate enough to be in the same era as them, watch them steady the ship on countless occasions and reach new heights in the process. Younus and Misbah were deeply engrossed in a storyline that was full of emotions, more lows than highs, and the highs underappreciated. When Misbah went down at Lord’s, he picked up Pakistan’s crest that had been lying in the dirt since 2010 and proudly placed it on the honour boards for upcoming generations ...

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PCB should rethink its team selection for the West Indies tour

This month, the Pakistan cricket team, led by Sarfraz Ahmed in all three formats, will embark on the West Indies tour to play a series of four T20 matches, three Tests and three One-Day Internationals (ODIs), which starts on March 26th. In order to ensure direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup, it is imperative for them to win the upcoming ODI series. The last World Cup was played in 2015 in Australia where Pakistan made it to the third quarter-final against Australia but lost miserably by six wickets with 97 balls remaining. Currently, Pakistan ranks eighth on the ODI ...

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