Stories about Saeed Ajmal

Underdog alert: Let Sarfraz Ahmed play, PCB!

He bats like Saeed Ajmal and keeps like Kamran Akmal. He is simply a quota player. No one knows why selectors are so kind to Sarfraz Ahmed. These are some of the many comments which have been posed against Sarfraz – the man who was the real architect behind Pakistan’s victory in Sharjah against Sri Lanka, on January 20, 2014. However, if we keep these comments aside for a moment and relive the scenario of the match, when Sarfraz stepped in just before tea break and swept the game away, I am sure many would disagree with these aforementioned views. Sarfraz Ahmed. Photo: AFP Sharjah Test match, 2014 Pakistan was still 205 runs ...

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Our team’s unpredictability is the opposition’s cruellest enemy!

By now, the Sachin Tendulkar farewell Test and retirement euphoria has, considerably, died down and the Pakistan cricket are currently being tested by the Lankan Lions, on their desert ‘home’ tour of Pakistan. Although things have started to, somewhat, come back on track for the Pakistan team, by returning the South Africans a favour of their desert carnage by beating them fair and square in the short return visit to the Protea Land, their ruthlessness and consistency needs to be maintained and for that the seniors would certainly have to show the way. The body language of the team that looked down and out of sort in their ...

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With Wasim Akram and Sachin Tendulkar gone, will cricket die?

Fast bowling, for me, died the day Wasim Akram retired from cricket. Batting has just recently passed away along with the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar. Cricket obviously moves on but for people belonging to my generation, Tendulkar was the last of an era of classical cricket. An era that saw some of the greats of the game compete at a level of competence and technique, which may never be equalled by modern day players. Today, when the game has become increasingly easy for all that are related to it, be it the UDRS (Umpire Decision Review System), enhanced coaching and training facilities or the computerised ...

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Six reasons why Misbahul Haq should not be blamed

I wouldn’t fault Pakistan’s ODI and Test match captain, Misbahul Haq, if he is just a teeny-weeny bit happy that Pakistan lost both T20s to South Africa. If I was in his place, I’d be somewhat pleased as well. “Blame it on me now!” I’d say while grinning from ear to ear. Recently, it seems that the maligned Misbah has become the Malala of Pakistan cricket; everything is his fault. When he plays defensive cricket because he knows that the rest of his team can barely qualify when under pressure, he is accused of pedestrian batting. But if he throws down ...

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Is the Pakistan team destined to lose?

Our team has been labelled ‘unpredictable’ by many.  The trend is that once our players set foot on the field, no one knows how they might perform; making the chase all the more interesting to watch. Of late, however, this unpredictability has faded away. Now there seems to be only one predictable conclusion to any match that our team plays – defeat. Last night, team Pakistan maintained its record of not winning even a single bilateral series against South Africa (SA) to date. The team ruined the first ODI match where the last six wickets were lost over a meagre 17 runs and ...

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Chasing targets: If Pakistan loses the toss, will it lose the match too?

It was evident from the moment that Pakistan lost the toss and was made to bowl first to the Proteas in their third encounter in the ongoing One Day International (ODI) series, that the spectator’s expectations would not be met. At best, it would be a nail-biting match. Statistics show Pakistan as a very poor side at chasing down targets for decades, but this flaw seems to be becoming worse over the last couple of years. The world last witnessed Pakistan successfully nailing down a target of over 260 runs against Kiwis in late 2011. However, since then winning when batting second in 50-overs has been ...

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PCB’s secret selection formula: Keep your average low and age high!

Dear Young Cricketers (YCs), you thought that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) would not reveal its selection criteria and you will be forced to start some other business? Please reconsider your decision, as I have found the secret selection formula of the PCB. Let me start by saying that, in cricket, statistics cannot be overlooked easily. However that is not the case with the PCB. What the PCB sees in its players while selection is beyond me. Today, even a ten-year-old can open espncricinfo.com to analyse the recent or overall performances of a player. I am not sure if the PCB selectors ...

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ICC Champions Trophy: Will Gayle be Aj-mauled?

In cricket, rivalries go way back; Miandad-Lillee’s and Imran-Botham’s conflict are a few examples worth mentioning. I have also witnessed the same between Wasim Akram and Brian Lara; Wasim Akram got the best of Brian Lara at least seven times. Similarly, there was a rivalry between Glenn McGrath and Brian Lara where McGrath got Lara out on 15 occasions. Although, this might not be interesting to some of us, this is something spectators invest their time looking upon. However, in recent years after the emergence of domestic T-20 leagues, players have gelled in well with each other and that dangerous yet ...

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The ideal Pakistan ODI cricket team includes…

Pakistan needs a new One Day International (ODI) cricket team, and it needs one now. This can’t go on. It should be a criminal offence to keep players like Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, and Asad Shafiq on the bench. Nasir played the first three ODIs, Asad played only the first, and Umar played none! Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik must go! There’s absolutely no way that Misbah or Whatmore or anyone within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and team management can justify the exclusion of the above players while Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik continue to enjoy a “no questions asked” run in ...

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Pakistan versus South Africa Test series: Analysing our loss at Cape Town

So we lost to South Africa in the Test series held in Cape Town. The debacle in the first match in Johannesburg was still digestible, due to the uncongenial conditions, lack of match practice, and the fact that Pakistan normally doesn’t play well in their first match in a series. However, the fiasco in Cape Town is simply not tolerable, and for obvious reasons. It was Pakistan’s best chance to level the series, particularly after reaching 338 in the first innings, and limiting South Africa to 110 for 5. It was Pakistan’s game to win, and they squandered the opportunity. Winning or losing is ...

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