Stories about Ramiz Raja

Misbahul Haq: In with the old, out with the young and new?

The decisions made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently have left me with mixed feelings. I have generally appreciated most of the decisions taken by the board regarding the restructuring of the domestic cricket circuit in the country. But as far as some of their decisions regarding the national side go, I’ve been less than impressed. The appointment of Misbahul Haq as head coach and chief selector is one of those decisions, and his team selection seems to be another cause for concern. Misbah has already proven himself as one of the best captains Pakistan has seen in its ...

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There is more to Mohammad Amir’s retirement than meets the eye

Traditions are a funny concept. We preserve them for the sake of history but in doing so we sometimes run out of reasons as to why they are relevant anymore. Much like South Asia’s overblown marriage ceremonies, Test cricket is also a tradition that is now being questioned. It goes without saying that Test cricket is the toughest form of the game, where only the best can survive. Any player that chooses to opt out of it severely dents his chances of being remembered as a legend of the game. But having said that, who are these players trying to ...

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Is Babar Azam a ‘selfish’ batsman?

Pakistan have now lost 10 consecutive ODI matches. A 4-0 drubbing against England, the top ranked ODI team, is not surprising as I had predicted a 4-1 defeat in my previous blog. We were below par in all three departments: bowling, batting and fielding. But many positives have also emerged from this series. The highest run-scorer for Pakistan in the series was Babar Azam. He scored 277 runs at an average of 55.40 and a strike rate of 99.64. However, did those figures help the team in winning any game? If not, then why so? While Azam’s classy batting is very pleasing ...

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#PakVsAus: In search of ‘bench strength’, Pakistan lost their self-belief

The purpose of the series between Pakistan and Australia was to start off with a clean slate, as both teams were finding their feet in the ODI format. Australia was coming off from a 3-2 victory over India, while Pakistan was coming after a 3-2 defeat by South Africa. However, the twist came in when Inzamamul Haq announced the squad for this series. All the main players, including Captain Sarfraz Ahmed, were rested for this series to try out the strength of the bench. The result of this series has already come out, with Australia leading the series 4-0 and Pakistan ...

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This isn’t the first time Shahid Afridi decided to retire, but will it be the last?

Recently, Shahid Afridi announced his retirement from international cricket. This is not the first time this has happened, and it’s probably not the last either. #ShahidAfridi1996: Debut2011: Retired2011: Came back2014: Retired2014: Came Back2016: Retired2016: Came Back2017: Retired — Umair Shahid (@UmairShahidK) February 20, 2017 FUN FACT: Shahid Afridi has announced retirements under three different US Presidents. — Abhishek (@absycric) February 20, 2017 However, what it does do is give me the opportunity to analyse the retirement process in international cricket and how different teams go about it. Let’s start with our favourite (not): India: They don’t retire. Not easily at least. Some continue to play until they break a ...

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With PCB and BCCI unable to set aside their differences, what happens to cricket?

The story goes that the chef at Jaipur’s Rambagh Palace had 40 baby lambs slaughtered the day before Pakistan’s military dictator, and arguably the most hated man in his country, was to be hosted as part of his trip to India to enjoy a game of cricket. Former PM Rajiv Gandhi with then Pakistan President Ziaul Haq at the Palam airport on Decemeber 17, 1985.Photo: Hindustan Times Paying true homage to Mughal culinary traditions Safed Maas (White meat curry) and Akbari Raan (Akbari mutton leg) were on the menu as General Ziaul Haq rubbed shoulders with the likes of Lala Amarnath ...

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Why is it such a big deal that Afridi thanked the people of Kashmir for their support, India?

During my visit to Azad Kashmir, I came across a truck on the road that was unusually bereft of any truck art; it’s exterior was all plain apart from a few words boldly painted at the back, clearly stating “Boom boom Afridi”. It proudly exhibited the truck owner’s love for the Pakistani cricket player, Shahid Afridi. This immediately reminded me of the first scene from the Bollywood film ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ , showcasing Pakistan’s side Kashmiris cheering for Team Green, a lady among them who was even willing to name her new born after Afridi. On the Pakistan cricket team’s ...

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PSL: A cricket dream that came true

You can argue whether Islamabad United were worthy winners of the competition based on their overall performance, the format of Pakistan Super League (PSL) or your personal affinities but there is no denying that (PSL) has been undeniably a resounding success. All the ‘cricket analysts’ claiming PSL was a failure before it even started must be eating a lot of humble pie right now. It also proved that claims by the older players that there was not enough younger talent coming through were false. About time some of them consider retirement! The best in my opinion being Mohammad Nawaz. Mohammad Nawaz is ...

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No, Mohammad Amir, your spot fixing wasn’t a ‘minor’ offence

Of the three cricketers convicted and punished in the infamous spot-fixing scandal, I felt sympathy only for Mohammad Amir, since the left-arm fasted bowler was the youngest of the trio, and quickly put himself (as probably advised by his lawyer) at the mercy of the courts. On the other hand, both senior bowler Mohammad Asif and skipper Salman Butt fought legal battles to the very end. In fact, Salman Butt shamelessly exploited the nation’s hearts on Pakistani news shows by claiming that there were conspiracies against him. Finally, after exhausting all good will and legal recourse, Butt came clean. This ...

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Shoaib Malik’s Test retirement is anything but ‘graceful’

Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik, who was recently recalled to the Test side after a gap of more than five years, has announced his retirement from the longest format of the game following the conclusion of his comeback series against England in the UAE. Malik, who was not part of the team as a first choice, was drafted at the side as a replacement for the injured batsman, Azhar Ali. He was included in the playing 11 for the first game and with a bit of luck, went onto score a double century. His total ended up being 245 – a career best – and he also contributed with ...

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