Stories about captain

After #PakvsAus, it is time for Misbahul Haq to retire

If there is anyone who can be proclaimed as one of the greatest servants of Pakistan cricket at the drop of a hat, it is Misbahul Haq. It is crystal clear to a rational cricket follower that Misbah deserves a lot of praise for where Pakistan cricket stands right now. Misbah came under the spotlight during his Test debut against New Zealand at Auckland back in 2001, but it was a clerk’s room where he was offered the captaincy band in 2010, which was the actual turning point of his career. Misbah was asked to take command of the team at a time when Pakistan cricket was ...

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Will Sarfraz Ahmed prove to be Pakistan’s very own Batman?

Last night, whilst watching The Dark Knight Rises, yet again, I realised the city of Gotham has a lot in common with the Pakistan cricket structure. Batman ends up saving Gotham city. Even when he was completely down and out, he did not surrender; and if the Dark Knight didn’t give up, why should Pakistani cricket fans? In the movie, the mayor of the city was as powerless as the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shahryar Khan, whereas the bureaucratic structure was as inefficient and incompetent as Intikhab Alam. It was natural, therefore, for every Pakistani cricket fan to look for ...

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Can he change from Azhar Ali ‘the batsman’ to Azhar Ali ‘the captain’

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is the governing body that controls this country’s cricket system. We often ponder on the reasons behind our cricket performances being unpredictable, but we don’t acknowledge the fact that the same kind of character possesses our cricket board as well. An example would be PCB naming Azhar Ali as the new ODI Captain after Misbahul Haq’s retirement. PCB names Azhar Ali as the new ODI Captain – Photo: AFP The astounding part of being impulsive is that Pakistani cricket gets defined by their mistakes if the team fails, and encase they succeed, they are then ...

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The king of comebacks

Cricket is a love story, a baffling relationship, one that tugs at your heart, crushes and then serenades you all over again. The love you try relentlessly to give up on, the one you know you’re always going to run back to. Pakistan cricket has shattered us and then put us back together more times than I can remember. Misbahul Haq is our messiah, a patient captain, a world class player who took over the team when our hearts were irreparably broken from the spot fixing scandal and nurtured us back to health. And every few months, he finds himself ...

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Captain Shahid Afridi: Out with the new and in with the old?

On September 16, 2014, the stars once again aligned themselves for 34-year-old Shahid Afridi who was appointed as Pakistan’s T20 captain. It is believed that he will retain this position until the T20 World Cup in 2016. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in true Pakistani fashion, has decided to adopt the ‘live for the moment’ mentality with absolutely no regard for the future of T20 cricket in the nation. What is the point of employing the same individuals in the same positions time and again and expecting different results? Was it a lack of better options that forced the board to make this decision and ...

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Asia Cup 2014: Is Kohli the ideal replacement for Dhoni?

Many might not know this but the upcoming Asia Cup series is not the first time that Virat Kohli’s skills as a captain will be tested. Kohli led the Indian Under-19 (U-19) team in a series in Malaysia in 2008 and it was there that he earned his merit as a leader for the first time. Similarly, he led the Indian team in a series against Zimbabwe in 2013 and was also captain for a few matches against West Indies in the same year. On both occasions, he further reiterated his value as a skipper. India is one country which makes the best use of ...

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Misbahul Haq, only second to Imran Khan and Javed Miandad as captain!

On January 14, 2013, I wrote a piece stressing the fact that Misbah is very much a necessity for Pakistan’s One Day International (ODI) cricket. I argued that Misbah has been far better than his colleagues and should not be dropped, predicting that he will fine tune his game-plan and will improve as a batsman. Well, as it turns out, Misbah has indeed stepped up his game since then. Misbahul Haq of Pakistan bats during the ODI match between South Africa and Pakistan at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on March 21, 2013 in Durban, South Africa. Photo: AFP Almost a year ...

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Six reasons why Misbahul Haq should not be blamed

I wouldn’t fault Pakistan’s ODI and Test match captain, Misbahul Haq, if he is just a teeny-weeny bit happy that Pakistan lost both T20s to South Africa. If I was in his place, I’d be somewhat pleased as well. “Blame it on me now!” I’d say while grinning from ear to ear. Recently, it seems that the maligned Misbah has become the Malala of Pakistan cricket; everything is his fault. When he plays defensive cricket because he knows that the rest of his team can barely qualify when under pressure, he is accused of pedestrian batting. But if he throws down ...

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Misbah, your days as captain are over

Before I begin, let me make a couple of things clear just to avoid the usual debate. I am a huge Misbah fan and he is my favourite player. I am not an Afridi or Hafeez lover. However, you just cannot deny the facts or ignore the reality of the cricketing situation for Pakistan under Misbahul Haq. There is no doubt about the fact that Misbahul Haq has been Pakistan’s best batsman over the past year or so. With 1,119 runs in 26 One Day International (ODI) matches at a healthy average strike rate of 53.28 and with 570 runs at an ...

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When Pakistan beats the world’s best, you know Misbah is captain

September 14, 2013 was the day when Pakistan faltered in a Test match, succumbing to a shocking defeat against Zimbabwe. This was Pakistan’s first loss to Zimbabwe in almost 15 years. Scenes of joy in Harare, and of despair and humiliation in Pakistan were prevalent. Whatever could have gone wrong did go wrong and all the blame and acrimony fell on the shoulders of Pakistan’s beleaguered Test captain, Misbahul Haq. The daggers were out. The hyenas were moving in to slay the aging lion once and for all. This time there would be no way back. The defeat would leave a definitive ...

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