Stories about Mohammad Hafeez

Pakistan will lose to Bangladesh…again

Pakistan cricket is bizarre, especially with regards to team management and structuring. Coaches, managers, captains and players, all seem to be stuck in a quagmire when it comes to helping Pakistan to get out of the plethora of issues it is plunged it. Who would have thought back in January that Fawad Alam will be left out of the World Cup squad and Nasir Jamshed will get to play a full role? Who would have thought Rahat Ali will make it to the World Cup and prove to be a master stroke? Our lack of planning has led to many ...

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Misbah in the context of Pakistan’s lifesavers

A few days ago, I read a blog by a passionate Misbahul Haq fan, thanking the Pakistan captain for all that he has achieved, and asking his forgiveness on behalf of the fans who have harangued and disrespected him for so long. Photo: AFP Like almost all other reflections on Misbah, this one described him by describing Shahid Afridi first, and explaining that Misbah was all that Lala is not. When I asked some Misbah fans why he is not contextualised in Pakistani society the way Afridi is, someone answered that it is because honest and hardworking people never get anywhere in Pakistan. [caption id="" ...

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Wahab Riaz can fill Misbah’s shoes

Pakistan’s World Cup campaign came to an end yesterday, and while many expected the Aussies to emerge victorious, very few had expected Wahab Riaz to put up a fight the way he did. Photo: AFP Pakistan’s batting and fielding proved to be the biggest shortcoming yesterday, yet again, and defending a measly total of 213 proved too much for the bowlers this time. While Australia managed to dominate most of the match, there was a short spell of 12 overs or so when this was not the case. In a single spell of six overs, Wahab showcased an epic display of fast-bowling which had ...

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Pakistan vs Australia: This was clearly not like the 1992 World Cup

If you have ever fallen in love, the kind of love that makes you feel the blood rushing through your veins for the first time, then you know what it is like to be a Pakistani cricket fan. We all have our afflictions, and for Pakistan it is cricket. Cricket is our choice of drug. No matter how much it hurts, the next time it is on, we will be watching for our fix. Every World Cup, I promise myself not to get my hopes up too high. I rationalise it in my mind. Even if all the statistics, the form, ...

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What was the real reason for snubbing Sarfaraz Ahmed, Waqar Younis?

In every field, humans invest in certain objects to get a desired output from them. In cricket too, teams invest in talented players before important tournaments, give them a maximum number of matches to play and work on their weak points so that they can help the team bag victories. A year before the cricket World cup 2015, almost all teams, including Pakistan, invested in certain players. Australia gave a chance to Glenn Maxwell, developed his skills and turned him into a brilliant match finisher. Photo: AFP Shikhar Dhawan played for India in Australia, which got him used to ...

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South Africa was a milestone, not the destination

This was the moment the World Cup came alive. Until now, Pakistan and its fans had sleepwalked through the World Cup. The team had, until now, been doing a fairly good job of alienating its fan base. The mood back home was as sour as one can remember in recent times, after facing humiliating losses to India and West Indies followed by a narrow win over Zimbabwe. But this team has a habit of roping you back in just when you think you are done. Pakistan entered the match having never beaten South Africa in their previous World Cup meetings, and having won only four of ...

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An autopsy of Pakistan’s World Cup blues

It has barely been a fortnight since the inauguration of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australasia and team Pakistan has already found itself in a position where a group stage exit looks probable. As expected, Pakistani fans have wasted no time in expressing their anger and disappointment at the team’s dismal and lacklustre outings against India and the West Indies. Criticism is on display in its many forms; from bashing Misbah and his boys on social media to burning effigies and staging mock funerals in the streets of Multan. Former players including Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar have expressed ...

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Pakistan vs West Indies: The unpredictable duo

When you walk into the world famous wax museum Madame Tussauds in London, there are only two cricketing figures standing – Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. There is no Wasim Akram, no Ricky Ponting, no other cricketer deemed worthy enough to be immortalised for all of history. Such was the grandeur of the West Indies team in years past that references are still made, records still intact and trophies still proudly on display. Much like the Pakistan cricket team, their glory days are behind them and the young men on the pitch are falling to shambles relentlessly trying to emulate that which is no more. Enigmatic and ...

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Has Pakistan forgotten its sense of humour?

Pakistan lost against India in their opening World Cup match, but that did not affect the love I have for my team. My support does not depend on them winning or losing. Having seen all the criticism directed at our team, I couldn’t help but wonder what the morale of our team must have been. I mean, realistically speaking, three of our key players, Saeed Ajmal, Muhammad Hafeez and Umar Gul aren’t playing. That will obviously affect the outcome of our team. That isn’t an excuse, the fact that until the very beginning of the World Cup, our team was relying ...

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Paint the town green and feel the jazba! This is our World Cup

It is a match for the irrational, those bitten with the bug of insanity, ravaged by their all-consuming need for victory. There is nothing quite like it. No game this emotionally invested. No rivalry this heated. For nine hours of your life, time stops, blood pressures rise, friendships are formed and broken, and everyone from a six-year-old to an 80-year-old is an all-knowing cricket pundit. This is Pakistan versus India; this is ODI gold. Tomorrow, February 15, 2015, Pakistan and India will face each other in the opening match of their World Cup campaign. India is currently ranked second whereas Pakistan seventh on ...

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