Stories about Javed Miandad

Five changes Pakistan cricket needs to make to save itself

On April 1, 2014, Pakistan produced one of the most embarrassing performances in recent memory, breaking like glass under pressure. At the beginning of the 17th over, the West Indies seemed like they were out of the game, having scored only 107 runs. Then, courtesy of Sammy and Bravo, came an assault which made the Red Wedding in R R Martin’s A Storm of Shadows seem like a friendly tea party. 45 runs came off the last three overs in this knockout game. It was an assault which reminded me of Ajay Jadeja’s battering of Waqar Younis in the 1996 World Cup quarterfinal, where the Pakistani ...

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Reliving history, uniting a nation: Miandad’s “chakka” and Afridi immortalised

Ever since I can remember, people have spoken about the Miandad “chakka”. India versus Pakistan. The holy grail of all rivalries. A target of 246. The sacred Sharjah ground. Women and children prayed. One wicket remained. It was the last ball of the final over and six runs were needed to win. Miandad hit the winning six and was forever immortalised winning the hearts of an entire nation. That was 1986. In 2014, 28 years later Pakistan beat India in perhaps the best match my generation has ever witnessed in their lifetime. The similarities have been plastered everywhere, ludicrous stats thrown ...

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Asia Cup 2014: 12 years of Pakistan and India mêlée, who will win tomorrow?

They don’t come bigger than this. No. When you talk of sporting rivalries what comes to mind? Australia Wallabies and New Zealand All Blacks in rugby? Ashes? Brazil and Argentina in football? None of them compare to this one. The India-Pakistan cricket rivalry puts them all in the shade with its background of four wars, numerous skirmishes, disputed borders and nuclear weapons. From 1951 when the first India-Pakistan Test match took place to their last match in the ICC Champions trophy, every series, every tournament, every moment of every match has been a saga of raw emotion and unbridled passion. The India-Pakistan match on Sunday, ...

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Misbahul Haq, only second to Imran Khan and Javed Miandad as captain!

On January 14, 2013, I wrote a piece stressing the fact that Misbah is very much a necessity for Pakistan’s One Day International (ODI) cricket. I argued that Misbah has been far better than his colleagues and should not be dropped, predicting that he will fine tune his game-plan and will improve as a batsman. Well, as it turns out, Misbah has indeed stepped up his game since then. Misbahul Haq of Pakistan bats during the ODI match between South Africa and Pakistan at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on March 21, 2013 in Durban, South Africa. Photo: AFP Almost a year ...

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Wisden All Time best XI: How could you exclude Javed Miandad and Muttiah Muralitharan?

In October, 2013 Wisden, a cricket reference book published annually in UK, marked its 150th anniversary by naming the best Test team of all time. Though the team is a great one and all the pronounced cricket legends are included, some I believe are left out without any valid reasons. The team includes: 1.        Jack Hobbs 2.        W G Grace 3.        Don Bradman (Captain) 4.        Sachin Tendulkar 5.        Vivian Richards 6.        Gary Sobers 7.        Alan Knott 8.       Wasim Akram 9.        Shane Warne 10.    Malcolm Marshall 11.     Sydney Barnes Technically, there is nothing wrong with this team. It is indeed a mighty one, but the selection of Grace over Len Hutton looks more like an honorary one rather ...

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Our team’s unpredictability is the opposition’s cruellest enemy!

By now, the Sachin Tendulkar farewell Test and retirement euphoria has, considerably, died down and the Pakistan cricket are currently being tested by the Lankan Lions, on their desert ‘home’ tour of Pakistan. Although things have started to, somewhat, come back on track for the Pakistan team, by returning the South Africans a favour of their desert carnage by beating them fair and square in the short return visit to the Protea Land, their ruthlessness and consistency needs to be maintained and for that the seniors would certainly have to show the way. The body language of the team that looked down and out of sort in their ...

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Younis Khan: A legendary match winner

When Younis Khan helped Pakistan out of a precarious situation in Pakistan’s second innings of the first Test against Zimbabwe, you would have known that you were in for a Younis Khan special. When it comes to Test cricket, Younis Khan is arguably the best batsman Pakistan has produced. He always delivers when the team is in need, he is better than all when it comes to second innings performances, he saves Tests, he wins Tests and he is a team man. His exploits and relative standing compared to other batting greats of the game have been well documented. Now, we ...

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Javed Miandad or Hanif Mohammad: Who is Pakistan’s best batsman?

The Karachi Parsi Institute lies in the heart of old Karachi. It is hallowed ground, a place where history was made some fifty-four years back. On a sultry Karachi afternoon with a few thousand spectators in attendance, Hanif Mohammad crossed Sir Donald Bradman to record the then-highest first class score of 499, a record which stood for thirty-five years. The swaying trees witnessed much but nothing more precious than that nugget.   It was there, in the KPI Cricket ground where I raised the question of who is the greatest ever Pakistani batsman. In the ensuing debate the names of Zaheer, Majid, ...

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Hanumant Singh, I will always remember you

I remember Hanumant Singh. Now, how many in Pakistan would say that? For that matter, how many in India can say that today? But it is true! I remember him well and owe him a debt which can never be repaid. One hears you asking, why would an individual living in Karachi, have anything to do with an Indian prince? I speak from faded memory, because to go into historical statistics is to lose the charm and mystery of what is just so natural. Sometime in February 1964, aged five, I saw two of my uncles huddled together listening to a Grundig ...

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Time for some Sharjah magic!

It was a Pakistan vs Australia series in 2009 that was the launchpad for the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The ground was showcased to the world with that series three years ago. Its life will come a full circle when it hosts Pakistan and Australia again in a three-match T20 series starting September 5. But before that, Pakistan and Australia take part in a three-match ODI series that starts today in a stadium that is slowly making its way back to the international arena ─ Sharjah! I grew up watching matches at the Sharjah stadium; it is the first cricket ground that I ...

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