Stories about cricket

Ahmed Shehzad needs to learn to play for the Pakistan cricket team, not for himself

Recently, Ahmed Shehzad bagged the Man of the Match award in the last T20 match against the World XI along with a fancy bike to feature in his latest selfies. Good for him! However, his performance during the whole series raised more doubts than confidence in him. Shehzad managed to make a score of 89 off 55 balls in the final T20 match, therefore it may seem criminal to criticise him at this stage. However, I strongly believe that he was scoring runs in the series for himself, rather than the Pakistan cricket team. Pakistani batsman Ahmed ...

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England is home to international cricket, despite terror attacks, but Pakistan isn’t?

It will be difficult to forget Pakistan’s ascendancy in the recent ICC Champions Trophy, given the perpetual celebration that has ensued since the country’s improbable victory against India. Mohammad Amir will be one of Pakistan’s bowling mainstays in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Photo: Getty In addition to waxing nostalgia about his personal prowess on the field, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif embraced the national cricket team in Islamabad with all the expected pomp and pageantry. This seems justified in a country whose cricketers flourished in England despite the limitations of the system that produced them. Thus, we revelled in Fakhar Zaman’s audacity to challenge premier pace attacks despite inexperience; in Hassan Ali’s guile ...

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Who else could have done it, if not Pakistan?

An ode to champions, led by Sarfraz, Laid rest to the ghosts of Wasim’s past. Touted as underdogs, destined to fail, Emerged as cornered tigers, which the world came to hail. Battered and bruised, against archest of rivals, They pulled off cricket’s most stunning revival. The wit of Imad, the guile of Hassan, Saw them past the opposition ranked number one. Nostalgia, followed by out-pacing Sri Lanka, Do spare a thought for unlucky Malinga. Up against England, the favourites by far, Who dared to bowl short to Fakhar Zaman. Steered by Hassan’s middle overs mayhem, The hosts were schooled, like boys against men. Three in a row, meant a place in the final, A clash against India, to complete the spiral. A pint of momentum, ...

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A victory for Pakistan does not necessarily mean a loss for India

Ever since I can remember becoming zee shaoor (in possession of one’s full mental capacity), my household has been a hard core, absolutely bonkers, completely ridiculous, and rowdy cricket fan. It runs in the genes, so they tell me. My father often tells me how my paternal great grandfather used to listen to the English commentary of cricket matches on the radio in the 50s, where he was one of the few individuals in my rural hometown of Hala, Sindh, to own a radio. English commentary? Rural Sindh? 50s? What am I saying? But yes, he had received a scholarship of Rs5 before the Partition from the ...

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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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Pakistan’s Blind cricket team broke its own record and is on a roll!

The Pakistan Blind cricket team can hardly put the wrong foot forward in the on-going World Cup T20 in India as they stay well and truly on course to lift the elusive trophy in the backyard of their arch rivals. The openers dominated the West Indies bowlers right from the outset and set up a solid platform with an opening stand of 198 runs.Photo: Twitter. Pakistan’s flawless track of run form in the tournament has now seen them win eight matches in a row with the side moving from strength to strength with every passing match. In their latest outing, the men ...

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Despite being a Karachiite, my allegiance lies with the Lahore Qalandars

The second edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) is just around the corner and, like all teams, the Lahore Qalandars fan following has pinned high hopes on their side especially after a below par first season. The Qalandars clan would be eyeing loads of ‘dama dam mast’ moments and would be more than happy to see their side rule the roost in the upcoming edition of Pakistan’s premier T20 League. The ‘Baz’ factor The Lahore Qalandars are blessed to have a player like Brendon McCullum in their ranks especially considering the fact that he will also be leading the side. The ...

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Is it a mistake to increase the number of teams from 32 to 48 in the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

Fourty-eight teams. Now that would be a long list of participating countries to remember. I, for one, wouldn’t make it past 15, 20 tops. But fourty-eight!? You have got to be kidding me. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) decided to expand the leading global tournament to a whopping 48 countries from the current perfectly reasonable number of 32 teams, starting from the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The sport’s world governing body, in a landmark unanimous vote, chose to increase the countries at a meeting held in Zurich on Tuesday. Current FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, has been the driving ...

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Remembering the ones we lost too soon

It seems like the year 2016 just started a while back, but here we are, just a few days shy from welcoming 2017. A lot happened last year which took us by surprise and shocked us. But even amidst such unpredictability, we were not prepared to see some of the deaths that came our way. Some were lost to old age, some to disease and some to murder. But regardless, they were all taken too soon. Here are some of those names, in no particular order. Peter Vaughan Photo: IMDb Even though he had a career spanning 75 years, ...

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