Stories about Mohammad Hafeez

Misbahul Haq is Pakistan’s greatest asset in this age of slings and arrow

Two thousand and six. That’s when Pakistan were last ranked second in Test cricket. Back then, in the English summer, under the calm command of Bob Woolmer and Inzamamul Haq, Pakistan cricket was powered by skill and a degree of missionary zeal – blessed, you might say, by Bob and God. But the bank of blessings emptied soon after Pakistan got to England that year. Next, a forfeited Test, Woolmer’s death, terrorist attacks, and spot-fixing. An unprecedented four-year spell of curses. Four years with little blessing. By 2010, Pakistani cricket was more dead than alive. It would do well to exist. In 2015, Pakistan cricket ...

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Keep calm, Pakistan: Our cricket team is shaping up quite well

The brief Zimbabwe tour came to an end a couple of days ago, with Pakistan emerging as the victors. It wasn’t a clean cut victory since Pakistan won four out five matches and the one match we lost was under extremely controversial circumstances. Having said that, Pakistan has managed to perform commendably against Zimbabwe this year. This particular tour highlighted five aspects about our cricket team.  Imad Wasim – The most wanted in the team Photo: AFP The first and foremost aspect that needs to be mentioned in this list is the emergence of Imad, more so after the ban ...

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Anwar Ali and Shoaib Malik, the unsung heroes of Pakistan’s ODI revival

Not long ago, Pakistan, a sport loving nation who looked towards cricket as a uniting force, was down and dejected when they were thrashed by none other than Bangladesh, the team for whom we always took pride in playing an instrumental part in allowing them to become a Test-playing nation. Photo: AFP It was heartbreaking really. I never thought such a day would come, but it did. During that time, many thought that a touring Zimbabwe would also be a difficult side to beat, and that the chances of Pakistan playing in the Champion’s Trophy would definitely ...

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#PAKvsSL: A dominant series win well worth the wait

The Pakistan cricket team, under the supreme leadership of Azhar Ali, has wrapped up the series against Sri Lanka by outplaying the hosts with a superbly dominant performance, winning three out of four matches in the five-match ODI series. Photo: Reuters This was Pakistan’s first bi-lateral ODI series win in Sri Lanka since 2006. It has also boosted Pakistan’s chances of making it to the Champions Trophy as Pakistan is currently ranked eighth in the ODI rankings, slightly ahead of West Indies. The national team has given a great overall performance. Pakistan’s batsmen have batted positively with strike rates ranging from Azhar’s 82 to Shoaib Malik’s 125. Azhar’s technique ...

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Inzamam and Misbah are as good as Imran Khan and Azhar Ali

I recently came across a blog on The Express Tribune titled From Imran Khan to Azhar Ali – Pakistan’s ‘leaders’ over the years and I did not agree with the author’s criticism of Inzamamul Haq and Misbahul Haq. This is simply because they were not only good captains but also played some vital innings in their captaincy for Pakistan cricket. First of all, Imran batted at number three in the 1992 semi-final, hence playing at the same number in the final was not the first occasion of its kind. His bowling was not of quality at that point and thus he knew ...

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Thank you Zimbabwe, your determination was truly heroic

It ended in a way that it should not have; with logistical problems and the unpredictable weather having the final say. But even during these anticlimactic moments, the impact of the series will not be forgotten anytime soon. After a dry spell of six years, international cricket had returned to the green land. Normally, a series between the ninth and 10th ranked sides in the world would not generate much interest amongst cricket lovers and fans, but this was no ordinary series. This series allowed our Pakistani players to play in their home ground and in front of their people, who were longing to see their heroes ...

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Zimbabwe’s trip to Pakistan must not be taken lightly

There was a time when Pakistani fans could see their fast-bowling maestros – like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar – pierce through the wind and attack the opposition with all their mighty force, live, in front of them, in their own stadium. There was a time when people could witness Shahid Afridi’s magnificent sixes or Javed Miandad’s stunning innings on Pakistani grounds. Unfortunately, over the past six year, no international team has come to Pakistan to play a series with our national team. And as such, Pakistani cricket fans have been deprived of this chance to ...

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Pakistan needs to bring its aggression back

There are times when nothing goes your way. When you lose at every stride and luck seems to have faded away from the stars, and it feels like nothing is going to change. Pakistan cricket team is going through such a phase. After a lacklustre World Cup, this nation was expecting for a turnaround with the arrival of young blood, but those expectations were crushed a little too soon. We not only lost to Bangladesh after 16 years, we were “Bangla-washed” in the ODI and T20 series and believe me, being a diehard fan, seeing Pakistan lose like this is ...

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Does the team really need Shahid Afridi?

It’s been a strange ol’ week, even by Shahid Afridi’s standards. Afridi has gone from 0 to Afridi in just under the space of a week. And if that last sentence contains an excessive use of our T20 captain’s name, then I make no apologies. That is exactly how the past week has felt. After stating last week, “The fact is that senior players are letting the team down. We can’t expect to win much with our current poor form. I want to lead from the front, and if I feel that I’m going to be a burden, then I will quit the ...

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Bangladesh whitewashes Pakistan – Was it Azhar Ali’s fault?

Bangladesh has waited for nearly 16 years to achieve its second victory against Pakistan in an ODI, but it took them a week to completely whitewash Pakistan. Pakistan’s defeat against Bangladesh is surprising, but for me, the biggest surprise is the ease with which Bangladesh beat Pakistan in all three ODI matches. Photo: AFP Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the tour selection committee was supposed to select the 11 best players for our national team, but looking at the team that went for the tour, it seems as if PCB has no idea who our best 11 players are, or ...

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