Stories about captain

Misbah-ul-Haq saved Pakistan cricket

Whitewashing Zimbabwe is not a great indicator of any cricket team’s progress. And while Bangladesh’s latest annihilation on their tour to Zimbabwe aptly marketed the home team’s marquee return to international cricket, it also spoke volumes of Bangladesh cricket’s perennial decline. They played such habitually mediocre cricket, that gauging any sign of improvement in Zimbabwe’s first post-hiatus display was almost impossible. There is no doubting the abundance in talent, with the likes of Sibanda, Taylor, Taibu and Vitori in the ranks, Zimbabwe has the makings of a quality cricket side. However, can Pakistan afford to over hype their recent successes against them? Historically, ...

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Afridi, as I see him

Two bloggers face off on Afridi’s controversial resignation – were his actions justified or did ego get the best of him? The Pakistan Cricket Board had it coming: Zainab Imam Someone had to go against them and who better than Shahid Afridi – Lala to his fans – who not only says he has public support and doesn’t need anything more, but also behaves like it. Many believe that Afridi has a personal agenda against the board which is why he, loved and hated for his mercurial temperament, has taken the bull by the horns. They point to the day he announced ...

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Shane Warne: Never Test captain, always a legend

A question that will be asked for ages to come, as the greatest leg spinner of all time bows out from cricket, would be: What would the world have seen had Shane Warne been Australia’s Test captain? In a career spanning almost 20 years, Warne has divided opinions globally and more so in his native country where some believe he was the messiah of cricket, making leg spin sexy again, while others thought him to be a constant source of embarrassment to the country due to his bad boy behaviour. He was accused of two of the biggest crimes in the game, ...

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Afridi out, rhythm broken

Shahid Afridi might be a heartthrob who stars in fancy Pepsi commercials, and flaunts his hair in a shampoo ad campaign, but he is much more than that. Our nation loves him because he is bold. He violates conformity, embraces flamboyance and transmits synergy characteristics found in successful leaders. He led Pakistan to a laudable campaign in the 2011 World Cup, given the instability and chaos that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was in. We lost to archrivals India in the semi-finals in Mohali. We hated it. But we forgot that it was just not Afridi’s fall to take. Yesterday the ...

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Afridi’s removal: Bad, bad decision!

You have a problem with your car? Don’t try to fix it, buy a new one. If you think about it, this is exactly how Ejaz Butt goes about changing the Pakistan cricket team’s captains. For me, this is just another failure on Butt’s part. Sure, Pakistan won the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup, made it to the semi-finals in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy, played well in the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup, and exceeded our expectations in the 2011 ICC World Cup – was all of this Butt’s success or a reflection of the talent in Pakistan? Just imagine the brilliant ...

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When will our captains understand?

It is common knowledge that Pakistan cricket and controversy go hand in hand, and it seems that the former cannot survive for long without the latter rearing its head. The last few years, under the rule of the much maligned Ejaz Butt, have been no different, be it the descent of Younis Khan from captaincy, the Muhammad Yousuf captaincy and non-selection saga, the unfortunate Butt, Asif and Amir incident or the regular sacking/resignations of coaches and chief selectors – the people involved at the highest echelons, and the fans too, have perhaps resigned to the fact that it is ...

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ICC World Cup 2011 is wide open

Australia entered the last two editions of the World Cups as sole favourites. It’s not very often that a World Cup is so wide open that any of the top five teams can clinch it with equal probability. Pakistan stand tall, striking a perfect balance in their batting line-up and their bowling depth. With the tournament wide open, it provides a rare opportunity which should not be lost without a fight. But I want to emphasise on the need to improve their fielding. If Pakistan are to win the Cup, they must make rapid improvements in their fielding. Ground fielding is looking strong ...

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World Cup 2011: The batsmen must click

With the World Cup taking place in the subcontinent, batting will play a key part in how Pakistan fares in the event. The duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad performed reasonably well in New Zealand. Shehzad is quite raw and inexperienced but remains talented and has an array of strokes at his disposal. However, whether he stands tall to pressure at the biggest stage in world cricket remains to be seen. If he manages a big innings early in the tournament, I believe he should have a good World Cup. Hafeez has been around for quite some time without cementing ...

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Tainted trio: The glass is half full

So what if Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were banned by the International Cricket Council and indicted on corruption charges by British prosecutors? Everyone knew it was going to happen but were avoiding it like an ex. Our thinking needs to be changed, and instead of being disappointed we need to see things in a positive way. We need to see the events that preceded the much-predicted verdict. Just as the verdict approached, Pakistan won their first Test series in over four years, their last victory was against the West Indies. And soon after that Pakistan also won ...

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Afridi for the win!

I am glad that Pakistan won the series. No surprise there. I am Pakistani; of course I would be happy for my country’s victory. However, there is another reason why I am glad we won today. It is because now, Shahid Afridi will most probably be retained as captain. The lack of trust that the management has shown in the captain of the national team, for me, has been confusing and somewhat frustrating as well. When Pakistan won the Test series under Misbahul Haq, I, although not entirely of the view, felt inclined towards the possibility of Misbah captaining the ...

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