Stories about England

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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Is Antonio Conte the reason behind Chelsea’s success?

Fans had enormous expectations as the 2016 football season started since they knew the Premier League would be featuring some of the world’s best managers. The league would prove to be a battlefield with the likes of Pep Guardiola and José Mourhino fighting for the title. The summer transfer window was filled with rumours and signings that broke record after record. It’s safe to say it lived up to expectations with no money spared to improve the two Manchester squads. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (L) and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (R) Photo: AFP As the season took off, Guardiola showed the world why ...

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Life after Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq – what does it look like?

Growing up in a perpetual shadow of conflict and turmoil, Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq were two beacons of calmness that you could count on to somehow make things better. We are fortunate enough to be in the same era as them, watch them steady the ship on countless occasions and reach new heights in the process. Younus and Misbah were deeply engrossed in a storyline that was full of emotions, more lows than highs, and the highs underappreciated. When Misbah went down at Lord’s, he picked up Pakistan’s crest that had been lying in the dirt since 2010 and proudly placed it on the honour boards for upcoming generations ...

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This isn’t the first time Shahid Afridi decided to retire, but will it be the last?

Recently, Shahid Afridi announced his retirement from international cricket. This is not the first time this has happened, and it’s probably not the last either. #ShahidAfridi1996: Debut2011: Retired2011: Came back2014: Retired2014: Came Back2016: Retired2016: Came Back2017: Retired — Umair Shahid (@UmairShahidK) February 20, 2017 FUN FACT: Shahid Afridi has announced retirements under three different US Presidents. — Abhishek (@absycric) February 20, 2017 However, what it does do is give me the opportunity to analyse the retirement process in international cricket and how different teams go about it. Let’s start with our favourite (not): India: They don’t retire. Not easily at least. Some continue to play until they break a ...

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After #PakvsAus, it is time for Misbahul Haq to retire

If there is anyone who can be proclaimed as one of the greatest servants of Pakistan cricket at the drop of a hat, it is Misbahul Haq. It is crystal clear to a rational cricket follower that Misbah deserves a lot of praise for where Pakistan cricket stands right now. Misbah came under the spotlight during his Test debut against New Zealand at Auckland back in 2001, but it was a clerk’s room where he was offered the captaincy band in 2010, which was the actual turning point of his career. Misbah was asked to take command of the team at a time when Pakistan cricket was ...

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Let us return to March 23, 1940, and start over, Pakistan

On March 23, 1940, the All-India Muslim League adopted a historic resolution in the city of Lahore. This resolution has since come to be known as the Pakistan Resolution as it became the forerunner to the formal demand for an independent nation state for the Muslims of India. The following is an extract that provides the essence of this resolution: “Resolved that it is the considered view of this session of the All-India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principle, namely, that geographically ...

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