Stories about PSL

If 2017 proved anything, it was that the beauty of Pakistan cricket lies in its glorious uncertainties

Heading into the final stretch of 2017, I can say with absolute certainty that as far as Pakistan cricket goes, the past 12 months turned out to be radically different from what most people, including myself, originally perceived at the beginning of the year; the major factor here being Pakistan’s incredible Champions Trophy triumph. I think that’s true for the most of us who closely follow Pakistan cricket, isn’t it? Realistically speaking, a majority of the cricketing pundits and fans did not give Pakistan much of a chance, and personally, I did not expect them to even go beyond the ...

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You can criticise him all you want, but the fact remains that Najam Sethi is the most successful PCB chairman yet

Najam Sethi and I are worlds apart when it comes to our political associations. Sethi can claim to be the epitome of neutrality when it comes to politics, but his overt support for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was hard to digest, as being a mild follower of politics myself, I am more inclined to Imran Khan’s ideology. Yet, when it comes to cricket, I want to put my political affiliations aside and congratulate Sethi for becoming the most successful chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yet. Imran can continue to hold grudges against Sethi – both aren’t fond of each other – yet the truth ...

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These 10 cricketers from the National T20 Cup are the reason why the future of Pakistan cricket excites me

It is that time of year again, the National T20 Cup. Every year, the tournament generally produces a few potential future international cricketers. Past names include Mukhtar Ahmed, Nauman Anwar, Raza Hasan and Haris Sohail. And I’m relatively sure that this tournament will discover a few too. As the national T20 commences, I look at the top 10 players to watch out for during the tournament: 1. Sahibzada Farhan Born in Charsadda, Sahibzada’s breakout tournament was in early 2016 where he was called in as a late replacement for Azhar Ali. Throughout the tournament, he put up consistent scores, however, it ...

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Choosing Haris Sohail over Fawad Alam demerits PCB’s merit-based selection

If I could add a synonym for the word injustice in the dictionary, I would put Fawad Alam right next to it. For years, I have heard his name circulate in the media, but it rarely made its way inside the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters. Ten years have lapsed since Alam’s debut against Sri Lanka. During this time, PCB changed its chairman eight times, Pakistan lost its rights to host games on its own soil, Pakistan Super League (PSL) hit the market, I finished my college degree – and Alam is still putting together a plethora of runs next to his name in the rotten domestic ...

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#KarachivsLahore: Three reasons why Karachi is not ready to host international cricket

To an ordinary person, September 12, 2017, may seem like yet another date, but for us Pakistanis, it was reliving the past, contemplating the present and gearing up for the future all in one. Pakistani cricketers pose for a photograph with trophy after winning the third and final Twenty20 International match against World XI. Photo AFP History will remember this date because 15 of the most skillful and courageous men stepped onto the ‘barren land’ with the aim of not only ousting the Pakistan cricket team, but also to eradicate the looming threat of terrorism from the land ...

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The realisation of a dream – cricket comes home, this time to stay hopefully

There was definitely some fiery magic in the air before Elton Chigumbura, accompanied by his troops, marched on to the newly painted and redecorated Gaddafi Stadium. You could sense that something remarkably huge was about to happen, but the sceptic within you, having grown eight-years-old now, denied you a good night’s sleep. Three words, cricket comes home, evoked emotions that could not be described, only felt. After years of yearning, Pakistan’s grand welcome of the Zimbabwean team was not the biggest breakthrough, but it was historic and a breakthrough nonetheless. Pakistan beat Zimbabwe in the second series of T-20. ...

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What makes Fakhar Zaman a legend in the making?

We all know the story of how Fakhar Zaman left the Pakistan Navy to pursue a career in cricket. He was born to serve his country in one way or another. The left-handed batsman’s career shot to limelight during Pakistan’s successful ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign, most notably when he hit his century in the final against India. But how did he get there? What makes him the cricketer he is today? Fakhar Zaman exults after reaching his century, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: AFP They say cricket is played 80% in ...

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Can Pakistan Hockey League muster the same popularity and support as the Pakistan Super League?

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore at the start of the year was a major milestone in present day cricketing history of our country. Peshawar Zalmi celebrate their PSL win over the Quetta Gladiators at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. Photo: AFP Firstly, it helped provide the local spectators with a major sporting spectacle at par with what the best of the world has to offer. Secondly, it was helpful in putting a stop to the worrying trend of international players avoiding Pakistan as a sporting destination. The recent staging of exhibition football matches in Karachi and Lahore made sure ...

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Dear Imran Khan, if you’re going to blame Najam Sethi for Pakistan’s defeats, then praise him for their wins also

I was a teenager when Imran Khan, one of the most famous cricketers our country has produced, lifted the World Cup in 1992. I remember watching the match with my family and how they yelled with joy. I remember the euphoria I felt when I went outside to the nearby liberty market to witness what were unimaginable levels of fervour and joy. People were dancing and performing bhangra. The streets which had been almost deserted during the match, as everyone was glued to their TV screens, had suddenly become overwhelmingly alive. Cricket is such a uniting force in Pakistan and for those brief moments, from Karachi to ...

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As captain, can Sarfraz Ahmed steer Pakistan to victory in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy?

Pakistan’s archaic style of ODI cricket is up for a stern test in this summer’s Champions Trophy. The team is grouped with South Africa (ranked number one in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings), arch-rivals India, and Sri Lanka. A realistic assessment might be for the team to win at least one out of these three games – more likely to be the one against Sri Lanka – but that would also mean having to do away with the optimism of a Pakistani cricket fan. Regardless of how bad we think our team is, almost every fan will, as always, ...

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