Stories about fans

Pakistan vs Canada: Will cricket fans ever be satisfied?

“Drop Hafeez.” “Drop Ahmed Shehzad.” “Make Kamran Akmal open.” “No, replace Kamran Akmal and make Umar Akmal keep.” “Wahab Riaz should be in the team.” “Replace Rehman with Saeed Ajmal.” “Replace Umar Akmal with Asad Shafiq.” Is there any other request that Pakistani fans want fulfilled? It’s high time we stop acting like the selectors of the team and focus on celebrating its success stories. Seriously, have they not done enough to make us happy? Pakistan have played three matches this World Cup and have won all three! What more do we want? If we understand the game so well, we should also understand the age-old captaincy rule: never change ...

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World Cup 2011: Why isn’t India prepared?

If India has one thing to learn from the Commonwealth Games debacle in New Delhi last year, it is to improve organisational skills before hosting a mega event. And if you think India has learned a thing or two before hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 to avoid a similar embarrassment, you should think again. Since the start of the tournament, controversy has followed the Indian administrators running the World Cup. Indian cricket is a gold mine which is as deep as the Earth’s core. Immense fan interest, competitive advertisements and media attention has given it more money than anyone ...

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Cricket madness: India’s media frenzy

The ICC World Cup 2011 is just around the corner and the hysteria has already kicked in. Issues of the grounds and change in certain venues haven’t dampened the spirit in a country where cricket is close to being religion. With a Rs1.2 billion insurance cover to an estimated Rs6.3 billion of betting money riding on this game, this year the mania is a little different from the previous years. Undoubtedly, India is being counted as one of the hot favourites to win the World Cup. After the 2003 team led by Saurav Ganguly, this team captained by M S Dhoni ...

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Manchester United’s ‘little pea’

Manchester United’s scouts who found Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez certainly deserve full praise for landing the Mexican. They truly have unearthed a gem. When news of the Hernandez deal was first announced, it was so clandestine that only his father and the United board (mainly David Gill) and the boss knew what was happening while his agent was kept in the dark. It was therefore no surprise that everyone’s initial reaction was ‘Hernandez who’? Quite clearly, that is unthinkable now considering the massive impact he has already made in his so-far short Old Trafford career. Hernandez soaring high It’s remarkable how far he ...

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Chelsea and Liverpool: Will the winter of discontent continue?

For more than just a few teams in top flight football across Europe this winter has been one to forget. Previous performances by clubs that were full of confidence and potential seem to have been completely disregarded as bookies across the world collectively scratch their heads with respect to the question of who will win the Premiership this year. There are however a few very realistic assumptions that one can make about the fall from grace for Chelsea and Liverpool thus far. Chelsea As an AC Milan man myself, I can attest to the quality of Ancelloti’s coaching. He is most ...

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Aisamul-Haq: 2010’s shining star

To say that it was an eventful year for Pakistan sports would be an understatement. 2010 witnessed many ‘highs and lows’, ranging from the sensational spot-fixing scandal involving three of the country’s leading cricketers to a stunning title-winning triumph by our ladies in the cricket event of the Asian Games in Guangzhou. For me the defining moment of Pakistan sports came in September when tennis ace Aisamul-Haq Qureshi marched into the men’s doubles and mixed doubles finals of the US Open. His heroics at the Grand Slam tournament gave Pakistan’s sports fans something to cheer about after several dismal weeks in ...

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What Liverpool needs

After Liverpool’s dramatic takeover by New England Sports Ventures’ John W Henry, the off the field issues and controversies at Anfield were finally put to rest, but a lot needs to be done still to return the club to the dizzying heights that were once familiar territory for it. The club’s dismal showing in what is their worst start to a season for quite a long time, suggests that all is not well on the pitch. Lately the plot again seems to have gone awry with defeats against Stoke and Tottenham after a period of revival that had seen the ...

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Federer vs Nadal: Old rivalry, new beginnings

This week, tennis fans across the world were treated to yet another edition of the closest thing tennis has to El Classico; Rodger Federer versus Rafa Nadal in the ATP World Tour Finals. Although this match wasn’t the most eventful the pair have had over their long rivalry (one that boasts its own Wikipedia page no less), it provided substantial fodder for Federer fans that have had little to celebrate of late. Fans had been wondering whether the Federer versus Nadal rivalry exists anymore, though that is partly owing to the fact that the final at the O2 arena this ...

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Diving needs to be a straight red card offense

Nani might just have good reason to celebrate his chances en-route to the throne of the biggest diver in world football given his recent displays, but he’ll have big shoes to fill if he manages a successful swipe of the crown; as I hear Ronaldo’s boot size is a 13.5. While I usually shy away from picking on individual players when it comes to certain aspects of the game of football, one of the few aberrations to the rule happens to be the issue of diving. A little history before I start taking names though. Diving (also conveniently referred to ...

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Pakistani fans, battered by the bat

The definition of the battered wife syndrome is, “signs and symptoms, such as perceived inability to escape, appearing in women who are physically or mentally abused by a husband or another dominant individual.” This definition may be specific to women, but should be applied to Pakistanis. The abuser being cricket. From early on this year, the ardent cricket fan has been bombarded with humiliating incidents of limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi trying to “hear” by chomping on a ball; a humiliating white wash in Australia and the creepy phenomenon of Shoania plastered all over our TVs because of Shoaib Malik’s strange relations ...

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