Stories about Saeed Ajmal

Ban the bowlers, ban them all!

After depriving the world of the most glorious sight in international cricket – Saeed Ajmal in all his grace, splendour and beauty giving an interview to Nasser Hussain after a match – the ICC plans to throw the book at bowlers. I welcome this hard-line decision taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the matter; if only these regulations had come a few years earlier, Kachra would never have been able to win the match for the farmers and the British could have enjoyed imposing dugna lagaan. Had they banned Imran Khan, our politics would have been deprived of the numerous cricket analogies ...

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It’s time we chuck the ‘chuckers’ from Pakistan cricket

Few weeks ago, Pakistan cricket received a severe blow when it’s most prominent bowler, Saeed Ajmal, was banned from bowling in international cricket due to suspected illegal bowling action. This news shocked many Ajmal fans and a lot become extremely angry at this decision. Some die hard cricket fans have also termed this ban a conspiracy of the Big Three against Pakistan. Although the ban imposed on Ajmal may put his career in jeopardy but this step may also serve as a blessing in disguise for Pakistan’s cricket and for international cricket on the whole. The ban on Ajmal triggered a ...

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What? Why? How?! Saeed Ajmal…

As I sit here, I type this in disbelief.  Saeed Ajmal has been banned. Read that statement. Allow it to sink in. Have you managed to wrap your head around it? Does it hurt? If you’re a cricket lover you can feel the loss. If you’re a Pakistan cricket fan, your world has just been ripped apart and any semblance of world cup victory dreams have now been shattered in front of your very eyes. Where is the justice in this world? How did the International Cricket Council (ICC) clear him in the past only to go back on their previous statements? Are we ...

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The history of the ‘doosra’: Spinning cricket the other way

Two decades ago, when Pakistan was playing Australia in the deserts of Sharjah, the young spin wizard, Saqlain Mushtaq, broke the traditions and started spinning the ball the other way from the conventional off-spin to deceive the batsmen. The wicket-keeper, Moin Khan, would often shout from behind the stumps, “Saqi Bhai, doosra abhi karna hai.” (Bowl the other one now, Saqi Bhai) Tony Grieg picked it up from a stump microphone and eventually likened the word to the delivery after confirming it with Saqlain in a post-match interview. Thus, the term became a part of cricketing culture. Over the years, the same unconventional delivery ...

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Can Saeed Ajmal break the ‘curse’ of being the best bowler of Pakistan?

Over the course of several decades, one constant factor in Pakistan cricket has been the quality bowlers it has produced. From masters of reverse swing to the fastest bowler in the world, and from subtle drifters to the inventor and master of the ‘doosra’, Pakistani cricketers have added magic to the art of bowling. Cricket would be a much different game without the bowling contributions of our players. It would have been more of a batsman’s game with much less flair. But at the same time, to be the best bowler of Pakistan is a truly cursed position. Our masters ...

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Younus Khan: Rekindling the charm cricket once had

Fans of Pakistani cricket were not able to watch their team playing at an international level, but enjoyed the same emotional feelings through other sports; at the biggest stages including FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon. Aged and youngsters recalled the emotions shared by Pakistani cricket players in the form of nail biting and enthralling performances, engulfing the feeling of joy, which is the main objective of sports. Coming back to cricket, however, the expectations were high because it was a test for cricket to prove that it does not lag behind the world’s leading sports, where excitement, skill and competition matter the most. Despite ...

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Pakistan versus Sri Lanka: Victory or disgrace?

The relentless, brilliant and energetic Younus Khan played a heroic knock of 177 on day one of the first Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and simultaneously completed his 24th Test hundred. The Pakistani side was at a dismal 53 runs with a loss of three wickets before Younus took charge and saved his team from facing a terrible defeat. Pakistan needed a solid inning, in order to win this Test series, and Younus made sure of that by giving a strong target to the host team. Pakistan ended up posting 451 on the scoreboard, which, by the way, ...

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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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Pakistani sports channels and death by advertising

As I write this, Umar Gul has just bowled out a Bangladeshi batsman. Gul screams in celebration, begins to jump with his fists in the air and then there’s Rameez Raja with a cup of tea in his hand. Wait… what? That can’t be right. Sadly, it is. Few things get under my skin as much as excessive advertising during cricket matches. Whether we’re being convinced that a slab of not-so-expensive chocolate will suffice as a midnight anniversary present (take it from me, it doesn’t) or that the amount of egg in a biscuit is reason for six women to put on shiny clothes and ...

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Will the 2014 World T20 be the most competitive ever? Yes!

In 2012, West Indies won the ICC World T20 final after defeating host Sri Lanka. Irrespective of conditions, Pakistan considers it its birth right to play in, at least, the semi-final of every World T20. Conditions are ideally suited for Asian champions, Sri Lanka and the ODI World champions, India. The Aussies and the Kewis (New Zealand) are in hot form, especially in limited-overs cricket. South Africans are looking for their first ever title in world cups. England, down, dilapidated, desperate and defeated in recent times, will be looking to repeat their heroics from the 2010 World T20, when they lifted the ...

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