As a Pakistani, I always thought of the Indian media as anti-Pakistani and excessively nationalistic. So when I recently got the opportunity to work with Indian journalists, I was not sure what to expect. I was on my way to London for the Chevening/South Asia Journalism Fellowship. The program brought 17 leading journalists from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Maldives to live and work together in London for two months. Getting off the plane at Heathrow Airport, I wondered what it would be like to have a frank conversation with an Indian journalist. India is almost four times the size of Pakistan, yet their news media seem to be obsessed ...Read Full Post
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 ...Read Full Post
Pakistan entered the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy as the lowest ranked team in the ODI charts. Even before the tournament began, Pakistan had no hope of winning, or in more realistic terms, had no real chance of crossing the group stage, with India and South Africa being in the same group.
Has the Australian team forgotten how many times they have been whitewashed by their South Asian counterparts?
Recently, Ian Chappell passed a comment, telling the Pakistan cricket team to either improve their game or stay at home. The former Australian captain went on to say that until the struggling side does not up their game significantly and provide some sort of a challenge to the home side, the Pakistan team will not be invited for any future series. According to Chappell, “Pakistan have now lost 12 Test matches on the trot in Australia, and somebody’s got to give them a kick up the bum. Cricket Australia have got to start saying ‘listen if things don’t improve we will ...Read Full Post
An out of favour batsman, who had remained in the shadows for long and was deemed surplus to requirement in the shorter formats, was, out of the blue, asked to lead a side. Not any ordinary side, but a side that was plagued with groups, seniority-‘juniority’ prejudices and a quota system that has seeped into our roots. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gambled on Misbahul Haq when they not only brought him back into the Test side, but to the shock of many, made him captain. The gamble succeeded and Misbah went on to become the most successful captain in ...Read Full Post
Fast bowling is obsolete now. This phrase is difficult to comprehend for every cricket enthusiast of my generation. Honestly, it was the deadly fast bowlers of our country that made us fall in love with the beautiful game of cricket, in the first place. No doubt fast bowling has always been Pakistan’s trump card. We had the best pace attack in the history of cricket spearheaded by the great Imran Khan in the 80s, Wasim Akram-Waqar Younis in the 90s and the speed star Shoaib Akhtar in early 2000s. This trio was one of the most celebrated lots of fast bowlers in the history of the game. ...Read Full Post
Last night, whilst watching The Dark Knight Rises, yet again, I realised the city of Gotham has a lot in common with the Pakistan cricket structure. Batman ends up saving Gotham city. Even when he was completely down and out, he did not surrender; and if the Dark Knight didn’t give up, why should Pakistani cricket fans? In the movie, the mayor of the city was as powerless as the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shahryar Khan, whereas the bureaucratic structure was as inefficient and incompetent as Intikhab Alam. It was natural, therefore, for every Pakistani cricket fan to look for ...Read Full Post
Sana Mir wants to prepare a team that is capable enough to do without her; in other words she is ready to hand over the reins to her predecessor on the heels of arguably the biggest win of her international career. Not many male Pakistan cricketers have cared about preparing heirs to their throne in theory, even the ones who have ‘ruled the world’ have left a gaping leadership hole after leaving the game. Sana is hence different and she has perhaps already leapt frogged most of Pakistan’s male cricket captains by achieving what all of them collectively haven’t — a ...Read Full Post
Is it Pakistan versus India? Or, is it India versus Pakistan? While a trivial issue to the casual observer, this grammatical chess-match encapsulates the depth of the cricketing rivalry between the two neighbours. As both sides jostle to gain any advantage over one another, not even the English language is spared. Is it Pakistan versus India? Or, is it India versus Pakistan?Photo: AFP Simply put, there is no match like a Pakistan-India (or, India-Pakistan) match; a match unrivalled in its ability to harness the imagination, fervour and passion of over a billion people. From Islamabad to New ...Read Full Post
Since the dawn of modern time, sports have been weaved diligently into the diplomatic affairs of a state and seen as a means to bridge gaps between chasms of differences. Not only does it do the aforementioned, but the message of goodwill that sporting events propagate has helped to bolster communal relations between states in a way that surpasses all differences of culture, ethnicity and religion. Sports can bring hostile nations together and help to temporarily stave off the plethora of discrepancies that might spark out in battlefields. For this very reason, sport diplomacy is amongst one of the very ...Read Full Post