Stories about Brian Lara

A Tale of Two Teams: Pakistan’s World Cup campaign through Charles Dickens

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness….we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.” The famous opening of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities speaks of an era of contrasts and contradictions. In the year 1775, England and France paradoxically embodied the mirror images of good and bad that define our everyday lives and everything within ...

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Shoaib Akhtar was never just a name – he was a brutal phenomenon

Grab your helmets, put the pads on, strap your guards, and if possible, cover yourself in bubble wrap, because I am about to discuss the fastest bowler the world has ever witnessed. And trust me, he is fast. Okay wait, that’s a lie. He is not just fast, but rather, brutally fast. How fast is ‘brutally fast’, you ask? Let me try to present some visuals that may help. Imagine cracking ribs, crushing toes and breaking wickets into two – this man, ladies and gentleman, has done it all. Shoaib Akhtar is not just a name – it is a ...

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Well done, Misbahul Haq!

Lord’s Cricket Ground is the home of cricket and it’s every cricketer’s wish to be able to play and perform exceptionally at this historic venue. The incentive to perform well at Lord’s is having your name written on the honour board, which is erected inside the pavilion of the cricket ground. How can a cricketer have his name included in that list? Simple, a batsman has to score a century and a bowler has to take five wickets in an inning or 10 wickets in a match. There is a long list of players on this board, but unfortunately, the world’s greatest players such as Sachin ...

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Why IPL 2015 needs Pakistani players to succeed

Cricket fans are now being treated to a dessert after the main course as the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 follows the cricket World Cup 2015. Unarguably, the biggest and most glamorous party of league cricket is on its way and we have already seen some nail-biting contests and thrilling finishes. Much like this year, Pakistani players have not been a part of the IPL for the last many seasons and despite initial concerns, it seems that out of its inactivity or weakness, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided not to poke this matter and leave all issues concerning the ...

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Dear ICC, so what if Wahab Riaz blew a kiss at Shane Watson?

Wahab Riaz and his legendary bowling spell against Shane Watson have touched a chord with cricket fans all over the world. Riaz has made us realise that, in this world of powerplays and fielding restrictions, bowlers can also put on a show that “oohs” and “aahs” hundreds of millions of viewers. The fast-bowler needed just a few overs to demonstrate that a well placed bouncer is just as entertaining as a well timed sixer. The aggressive interaction between Riaz and Watson also showed how there is so much more to cricket than just bowling and batting. Pakistani cricketer ...

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Pakistan vs West Indies: The unpredictable duo

When you walk into the world famous wax museum Madame Tussauds in London, there are only two cricketing figures standing – Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. There is no Wasim Akram, no Ricky Ponting, no other cricketer deemed worthy enough to be immortalised for all of history. Such was the grandeur of the West Indies team in years past that references are still made, records still intact and trophies still proudly on display. Much like the Pakistan cricket team, their glory days are behind them and the young men on the pitch are falling to shambles relentlessly trying to emulate that which is no more. Enigmatic and ...

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Love in the time of World Cup 1999

If you ask Pakistanis about their favourite cricket World Cup, most will mention the ’92 version. The reasons are obvious and manifold. Pakistan became world champions in typically dramatic fashion and unearthed stars which were to dominate world cricket for years to come. The 1992 World Cup had aging stars and new ones, Imran Khan and Ian Botham rubbing shoulders with Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. It had a testing format in which each team played each other at least once and was played in superb grounds. An entire nation yearns to relive the tournament which produced several nuggety moments including the ...

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Dale Steyn: The best fast bowler ever!

While the whole cricket fraternity was going gaga over Dale Steyn’s bowling heroics during the second Test match of the last series played between South Africa and Australia, a couple of my friends came up with a peculiar yet interesting theory. According to them, due to the dearth of good fast bowlers in Test cricket, batsmen, in general, have become complacent, and as a consequence, their techniques have become more vulnerable against top quality swing bowling. Some very good bowlers, taking advantage of the technical deficiencies of modern batsmen, have mustered up career figures that are comparable to the best of all time, even if ...

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U-19 World Cup: Is inconsistency part of Pakistani culture?

There are times when certain characteristics become symbolic of a particular country. That is, these characteristics are exhibited by the general masses as well as their leaders and institutions; hence it makes them part of a particular culture. For Pakistanis, I believe, that one characteristic is their utter lack of consistency. Albeit our politics, our economy, our policy-making or our sports, consistency has largely been absent for a greater period of time. In sports, our teams are widely known for being painfully inconsistent and this has become our reputation in the global arena. In the recently concluded Under-19 (U-19) World Cup, our young ...

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With Wasim Akram and Sachin Tendulkar gone, will cricket die?

Fast bowling, for me, died the day Wasim Akram retired from cricket. Batting has just recently passed away along with the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar. Cricket obviously moves on but for people belonging to my generation, Tendulkar was the last of an era of classical cricket. An era that saw some of the greats of the game compete at a level of competence and technique, which may never be equalled by modern day players. Today, when the game has become increasingly easy for all that are related to it, be it the UDRS (Umpire Decision Review System), enhanced coaching and training facilities or the computerised ...

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