Other than selfies, what was Ahmed Shehzad’s contribution in the Champions Trophy to deserve the cash prize?
Pakistan just pulled off an incredible victory against politically imposed nemesis India in the Champions Trophy final last month. The victory tasted so sweet that the government and media houses (don’t forget the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) too, they’re here somewhere) took it upon themselves to virtually term this win as the epitome and peak of Pakistan’s performance. Really? Wait, we’re still ranked sixth in the world? Hold on to your horses, people; it’s a great win but Pakistan cricket has a long way to go. The victorious Pakistan team lift the Champions Trophy, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: ...Read Full Post
One cannot recount Pakistan’s rich cricketing history without giving adequate importance to the players who made their mark and kept the green flag flying high. Taking into account the fact that some of its finest players of the past decade or so recently put the curtain down on their careers, it is apt to shed some light on what made them such great contributors to Pakistan cricket. Be it the aggression of Shahid Afridi, the flamboyance of Abdul Razzaq, or the stability and permanence provided by the stalwarts in the shape of Younis Khan and Misbahul Haq, Pakistan cricket was truly blessed to have such impact players at its disposal. [caption id="" align="alignnone" ...Read Full Post
For a show that calls itself House of Cards (HoC), you’d expect its cards to start falling at some point. Maybe in the span of five seasons, 65 episodes and much screen time, you’d expect that to happen. But the Underwoods, it seems, never run out of their cards – with every snail-paced episode, the duo acquire more cards than Patrick Bateman collected in the entirety of American Psycho, advertently ending up being invincible. Spoilers alert! As disappointing as it is stagnant, the show is back to square one when even the world’s slowest elements are speeding up – Sahir Lodhi’s inability to ...Read Full Post
Pakistan entered the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy as the lowest ranked team in the ODI charts. Even before the tournament began, Pakistan had no hope of winning, or in more realistic terms, had no real chance of crossing the group stage, with India and South Africa being in the same group.
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, ...Read Full Post
The thing about sports is that it is always at the mercy of politics. However, individuals always find a way out. It is hard to believe but Indian and Pakistani cricketers don’t really get involved in slanging matches off the field, although between players from India and Australia, it is a possibility these days. So when we hear that Virat Kohli and the Indian cricket team gifted Shahid Afridi a jersey as a farewell gift on his retirement, it was a gesture that even the tough-to-please Twitterati applauded. “To Shahid Bhai best wishes, always a pleasure playing against you,” wrote the Indian ...Read Full Post
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 ...Read Full Post
For more than 20 years, the name Shahid Afridi has been part and parcel of Pakistan cricket, so much so that Pakistan’s cricketing history would be incomplete without highlighting his contributions. Even the greatest of cricketers have found it difficult to dominate oppositions from the very beginning of their careers, but that was not the case with Afridi. The manner in which he announced himself on the international arena was beyond amazing. He made a mockery of the Sri Lankan bowling attack in the second ODI match of his career, scoring the fastest century off just 37 balls, a record ...Read Full Post
Yet another tour of Pakistan to the continent of Australia has ended badly. After a good Test series in England, followed by achieving the number one Test ranking, they have been outplayed in the ODIs in England, New Zealand, Australia, and of course, the Test matches in New Zealand and Australia. There is a lot of blame being placed on the shoulders of Misbahul Haq for the losses in these last two Test series and for good reason. At the same time, cricket is a team game, and as the abysmal performances in the ODIs prove, there is only so ...Read Full Post
Surprise, surprise! Or not actually. Another year, another Test series, another ball tampering accusation, but fortunately for us, not another countryman. To be perfectly honest, I was kind of relieved that this time around, it wasn’t a Pakistani cricketer at the end of a cricketing controversy. In fact, not one but two tampering incidents have been making some serious news waves recently. One links the South African cricket team stand in Captain Faf du Plessis while the other involves his Indian counterpart, Virat Kohli. During the second Test match against the Aussies in Hobart a few days ago, the Proteas captain was clearly ...Read Full Post