Stories about cricket

The age of Sana Mir in a man’s world

We have entered an age where women can be leaders in every field and research shows that women are outperforming men in many professions. Organisations are encouraging the employment of female bosses because 40 years of research have proved that women are better managers. The trends are also changing in a country like Pakistan, where more and more women are being given their rights and the liberty to choose their own profession. Yet, it seems that the field of sports still remains off-limits for many women in Pakistani families. But I believe that this mind-set won’t last long because we ...

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An open letter to conservative father and cricket icon Shahid Afridi

Dear Shahid Afridi, One must appreciate your energy, which helps you stay in the news despite having retired from mainstream cricket a long time ago. Be it charity drives, advertisements, special appearances in entertainment shows or simply your comments to the press, you remain in the picture. We still haven’t forgotten the flash runs you made which earned you the title ‘Boom Boom’. And recently, you created another boom with your book, Game Changer. Now some people are criticising the political comments you made over bigwigs in the cricket world. Frankly, you may know better there; they are not my concern. ...

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Challenging England on their turf is an uphill task – does Pakistan stand a chance?

The five-match ODI series between England and Pakistan begins on May 8th, 2019. A series against England, one of the favourites in the upcoming World Cup, and that too in the country which is hosting the tournament, will benefit Pakistan in many ways. Firstly, it will help the players get used to the conditions in England. Secondly, playing against one of the top teams just before the mega event will provide a fair assessment of where the team stands. Pakistan’s biggest weakness currently is their lack of power-hitting. How Pakistan deals with this deficiency will be a crucial factor in ...

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The 1979 World Cup and the love affair that ensued

Many cricket fanatics may be blissfully unaware that the advent of ODI cricket was a complete accident. In 1971, Australia and England were scheduled to play a Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but the first three days of play were abandoned following heavy downpour. In a surprising move, the two sides played the first ever limited-overs match, with each innings lasting 40 overs and each over consisting of eight deliveries. Australia ended up winning the match by five wickets, but little did they know that their attempt at trying to salvage a few hours of play would ...

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World Cup fever: Who will make the cut?

Pakistan’s squad for the upcoming ICC World Cup will be announced this week, April 18th. Some of the players that will manage to make a place for themselves in the team are fairly obvious. Sarfraz Ahmed will of course lead the side as captain while also fulfilling his duties behind the stumps. In the bowling department, pacers Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali will help lead the charge while Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim will spearhead the spin attack. The batting line-up will undoubtedly include regulars Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeeez.   However, which players will be able to ...

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India’s ‘Operation Isolation’ and the soft power of sports

“Our message is stronger than ever. Please stop the fighting. Please stop the killing. Please drop your guns.” Juan Antonio Samaranch, President International Olympic Committee speaking at the Winter Olympics, 1994. The sports arena has often been used in modern-day diplomacy to advocate for peace, but it has also been used to aggravate existing conflict. George Orwell wrote in The Sporting Spirit (1945) that sports is “war, minus the shooting” and has the potential to bring out the worst characteristics of nationalism. How that is controlled, or even amplified, is in the hands of those who hold the political controls.  In the days following ...

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To mankad or not: Blaming Ashwin but not Buttler?

The latest edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the greatest cricket carnival on the planet, is here. And along with it comes the usual spectacle of outstanding performances, top class entertainment, and of course, a good dose of controversy. In fact, controversy didn’t take long to surface this year when the otherwise gentlemanly Ravichandran Ashwin ‘mankaded’ Jos Buttler, the star English batsman. For the uninitiated, the term ‘mankaded’ is used when the batsman at the non-striker’s end leaves the crease before the ball is bowled in order to get a head start and is run out by the bowler ...

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Always remember

“What’s my name?” “My beti.” “But what is it, really?” “My pyaari beti.” “Do you remember me?” I can almost hear you reply – only vaguely.   I watch you every day, In that same seat that you always occupy – With the sun glinting off your bald head. I watch as first you give up your laughter, Then your listening, Then your talking, Then yourself.   As I sit across the room, And become heavier and stronger, I watch you become weaker and smaller. I watch your appetite shrink, And the only food you truly want Is kept away from you, near the sink. It’s meant to protect your health, To ensure you don’t get confusions or even possible delusions.   Delusions of ...

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Gladiators vs Zalmi: When the best of the best come face to face

Quetta Gladiators versus Peshawar Zalmi: the two finalists confirmed after a month of enthralling cricket. All the ebbs and flows of the tournament bow down to one game, the final, which is to be played on Sunday, March 17th. Gladiators have previously been part of two finals, yet have come out short on both occasions. I believe the reason is their key players leaving them once the tournament was shifted to Pakistan. This year they will not be facing such a problem, having secured the services of T20 megastar Shane Watson. Watson was part of the previous Pakistan Super League ...

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Umar Akmal vs Asif Ali: Who deserves to play in the 2019 World Cup?

I know the first thing that comes to mind when I mention the name Umar Akmal is, “Why are we talking about him again?” Yes, perhaps we shouldn’t be. It is certainly a dangerous thought that lurks in my head, that I perhaps should have let go of the very instant it popped up. That is, however, difficult to do because right now we desperately need a power hitter to fill the number six spot as part of our team’s line-up at the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The only two players that currently fit the criteria are Akmal and Asif Ali. I already know that neither ...

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