Stories about England

What makes Fakhar Zaman a legend in the making?

We all know the story of how Fakhar Zaman left the Pakistan Navy to pursue a career in cricket. He was born to serve his country in one way or another. The left-handed batsman’s career shot to limelight during Pakistan’s successful ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign, most notably when he hit his century in the final against India. But how did he get there? What makes him the cricketer he is today? Fakhar Zaman exults after reaching his century, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: AFP They say cricket is played 80% in ...

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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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Is PCB to be blamed for our abysmal performance in the Women’s World Cup?

I will admit I am not a big fan of women’s cricket. But the horror show by our girls on the same turf where their male counterparts recently made history, was a fascinatingly wretched chapter in the epic saga that is Pakistani cricket. While ending the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 without a single victory (with seven losses on the trot) might be shameful in anyone’s book, but being dismissed for 64 against our rivals India was a sin too huge to allow the tournament to fade away from our collective minds in a hurry. The rest of the report card is as bad, if not worse. The women in green started off ...

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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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Wayne Rooney to Everton, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it?

Intelligent, gifted, effective, powerful, at times slow, but brilliant. You name it and Wayne Rooney had it all. For 13 long years, Manchester United fans saw magic unfold right in front of their eyes at the Theatre of Dreams. They would have never thought that the 18-year-old boy who debuted for England’s biggest club with a hat trick against Fenerbarche would leave their club, his club, only to return to Everton where it all began. Wayne Rooney is the the all-time leading goalscorer for both Manchester United and England. Photo: AFP Rooney to Everton, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it? Once Rooney steps onto the turf wearing the blue ...

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The Oval: Pakistan’s home away from home

Hollywood, Bollywood, the West End and Broadway – everybody knows that nothing sells better than a true underdog story. And when it comes to the tag of ‘underdog’, only a few have worn it so frequently and with such relish as the Pakistan cricket team. Pakistan with the Champions Trophy. Photo: Getty Images Before the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy final, few could have predicted what would unfold. In a tournament packed with surprises, viewers could be forgiven for wondering whether Pakistan had reached their peak. But doubt Pakistan at your peril. As Sarfraz Ahmed tore across the outfield, arms outstretched in joy, Pakistan wrapped up their ...

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I think, pray and speak in English, so why should I speak to my children in Urdu?

My twins are almost three-years-old and they can’t speak Urdu, my ‘mother tongue’. They hear it being spoken around the house, and occasionally I may try to converse with them in Urdu but truth be told, it doesn’t come naturally. As first-time parents, we did get the infamous lecture that we should only speak to our children in Urdu or else they will never be able to speak the language. People would say, “Don’t worry, they will learn English at school but you must speak to them in Urdu.” The common fear is that our children will drift away from their cultural heritage. Most people believe that language is what will keep our ...

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Remembering Mushtaq Mohammad, the legendary epitome of Pakistan cricket captaincy

Pakistan cricket had been the backbone of international cricket for several years. This boom started from the 70s, up until the early 2000s, primarily because of its ability to produce superstars and due to its unpredictable nature, which drew the attention of millions of fans worldwide towards a game that is not played by most countries. Let’s take a look back to where and how it started. After a horrifying decade of cricket in the 60s and the rise of field hockey in Pakistan, cricket was in grave danger of going extinct in our newly formed state. Fortunately for Pakistan cricket and even for world cricket, Pakistan appointed ...

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#PakvsInd: If the first match was a mismatch, the final was complete annihilation followed by domination

The most unpredictable team in the world, ranked bottom in this tournament, has yet again pulled it off. It has taken eight years for Pakistan to hoist an international trophy, but in doing so, they’ve blown out everyone who doubted them. Two hundred million people rejoice once again, as Pakistan rises from the ashes to beat India (emphatically, I must add), to win the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy for the first time. The victorious Pakistan team lift the Champions Trophy, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: Getty Images This ...

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But who will stand up for Balochistan’s Jibran Jogezai?

Muhammad Jibran Khan Jogezai first came to our house in Karachi somewhere in 2006, courtesy of his classmate and my brother, Muhammad Saad. He had a heart of gold, a handsome countenance, a million dollar smile, and laughter encompassed him. He was an instant hit across three generations of our family (the only one to achieve that) and we loved him. Today, he is no more. He was martyred in Qilla Saifullah, mainland Balochistan, over property disputes involving ancestral property. It was a gun attack, they say. Three bullets, furthered by a dilapidated road and hospital infrastructure, ensured that he was no more. Jibran was one ...

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