Stories about coach

Pakistan cricket: Being bad has never been this good

Having watched the whole Test series and the third ODI last night, there is no doubt in my mind that Pakistan should officially be labelled as the most unpredictable cricket team of all time. The theme might sound to some as being repetitive or cliché, but the men in green can be so exhilarating and so exasperating in the same breath that you just can’t stop marvelling at the erratic nature of their game play and even more so at the results they keep coming up with in spite of it. Even though it is near foolishness to try and predict what the Pakistani ...

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Looking for a new coach

As Waqar Younis’s tenure as Pakistan cricket coach draws to a close, questions inevitably arise about his likely replacement. With the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) forming a committee to select the new coach, there have been mixed signals from its members when it comes to the question of appointing a Pakistani or a foreigner to the job. Opinions may vary regarding whether to go for a local or a foreign coach, but there is little doubt, that a Pakistani in the job will inevitably be drawn into the domestic politics of the country’s cricketing hierarchy, and as often happens, may ...

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Mediocre coaches give mediocre results

Saudi Arabia’s dismal run at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup campaign resulted in the mid-tournament sacking of their national football team coach Jose Peseiro, who was replaced by the world-renowned Frank Rijkaard. We see a similar trend in Iran, where Afshin Ghotbi was replaced by Carlos Queiroz, while Qatar fired their long-serving coach Bruno Metsu and appointed Serbia’s Milovan Rajevac in his place. In fact, wherever ‘the beautiful game’ is followed with passion and sincerity, failures on the field are taken seriously by both the fans and the concerned authorities. Football federations leave no stone unturned to rectify their errors and go ...

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Phil Jackson: Walking away with a smile

In sports, politics or otherwise, there is nothing as disappointing as an anti-climax. As they walk away, sports legends are susceptible to a letdown since they rely more on tools that fade with age: speed, strength, reflexes, nerves and vision. Sooner or later, mentally and physically, there is always a given breaking point. Having already crossed their peaks, their last few paces to the exit often betray the impact they had over the years. It even threatens to overshadow their achievements. While it is painful to watch an over-the-hill legend struggle at the end, the embarrassment of a sudden fall is equally ...

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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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High time Pakistan gets a European football coach

The arrival of Portuguese Carlos Queiroz as the head coach of Iran’s football team is an important development on the Asian football horizon. The versatile tactician has signed a three-year contract with the country renowned for great football credentials, a proud history, talented individual and a good infrastructure. However, there must be reasons that provoked the established football nation to hire a European coach instead of local one. Iran, once a powerhouse of Asian football, is witnessing a decline at international level. It failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup and has not won the Asian Cup since 1976. Even ...

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Pakistan’s quickies are in top shape

Salam. Umeed hai aap sab kheriat say hongay. The world of never-ending cricket that we live in has descended upon the subcontinent as we dive into the cupboard and pull out the coloured pyjamas for the pinnacle of our sport – the World Cup. Right now, the same question gets asked at 50 different press gatherings of coaches, managers, players and even guys like me, the fitness specialists: who’s going to win? For me, I’d say, as quickly and as forthrightly as possible, us. Pakistan, of course. Perhaps the proudest part of Pakistan cricket is the constant production of fast-bowlers. There’s no doubt ...

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Thanking our mentors: The deserving few

Yesterday, I went to my niece’s report day at her school, where students were presented achievement certificates at a prize distribution ceremony. From best discipline and best in cleanliness to the most responsible and the most creative – you name it and they had it. Every time a category was announced, I would hold my breath anticipating an award for the best teacher. Not because I would do the same during the very short time I worked as a teacher, but because I realise the hard work of teachers standing in a row clapping ardently every time their student was called ...

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Three old men intent on ruining the World Cup

In the modern game of football, it is argued that national team coaches can only do so much. The players, after all are all (theoretically) at the top of their game. They all belong to club sides which keep them in shape and hone their skills and the national team coach is little more than a cheerleader, tagged along for the ride, watching them do their thing. This is mind numbingly blithering and gut wrenchingly wrong. For proof, I provide you with three exhibits, each seemingly intent on taking something beautiful, and ruining it. Exhibit A is our old friend Diego, coaching ...

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