Stories about south africa

A Tale of Two Teams: Pakistan’s World Cup campaign through Charles Dickens

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness….we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.” The famous opening of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities speaks of an era of contrasts and contradictions. In the year 1775, England and France paradoxically embodied the mirror images of good and bad that define our everyday lives and everything within ...

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From the jungle to the cage: Pakistan’s culture of keeping exotic animals as pets

I have been fighting against the mistreatment of animals in Pakistan for years now. Alongside other animal activists, however small in number, I have been trying to promote kindness and empathy towards all animals, domestic and working. However, what we activists did not anticipate was the sheer extent to which the sinister culture of keeping wild animals as pets in homes has become rooted in Pakistan. Lions, tigers, cheetahs, deers, bears, wolves, and more recently, giraffes can be found in various neighbourhoods in cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, among others. While this has been a cause for concern for decades, it appears ...

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No one can ever call the Pakistan cricket team ‘predictable’ or ‘boring’

At the iconic Lord’s cricket ground, Pakistan won the toss and smartly chose to bat first. The real test for Pakistan was whether they could see off the new ball against quality bowlers like Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi. The openers definitely delivered on that front. Just to put things in perspective, after five overs, Pakistan had scored 35 runs, courtesy of seven boundaries. All the shots played were quality strokes, mostly played against good deliveries. This was crucial because when Pakistan’s opening batsmen deliver and lay a good foundation, it usually leads to the middle order firing as well. It wasn’t ...

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From dropping catches to dropping matches, is it the end of the line for Pakistan?

On a morning when ominous looking clouds loomed above, Pakistan won the toss against India. But we soon realised it was to be the only thing that Pakistan would win that day. Due to the overcast conditions, Sarfraz Ahmed chose to bowl first, in what looked like a good decision. Over 330 runs later, he and the Pakistan cricket management realised it was in fact the wrong call. The game followed a similar pattern to the one which Pakistan lost against Australia last Wednesday. Mohammad Amir initially bowled well, only for the pressure to be let off at the other end, ...

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WC2019: With 6 crucial games remaining, can Pakistan make it to semi-finals?

Unpredictable, mercurial and unbelievable are some of the words commonly used to describe Pakistan cricket. Our team can perform like school boys in one match and put on a record defying performance in the next. Be it the 1992 World Cup, the 2017 Champions Trophy, or their remarkable performance against England in the ongoing World Cup, Pakistan seems to summon the help of some higher power to script a fairy tale-like turnaround for them when least expected. The road ahead After being demolished by West Indies in their opening game of the World Cup, most of us were very sceptical about ...

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Who decides Usman Buzdar and other lawmakers’ salaries?

Last week, the Punjab Assembly unanimously passed a bill within five minutes which increased the salaries of the chief minister, speaker, deputy speaker, MNAs and MPAs to an incredible extent. According to the details of this bill, the speaker’s monthly salary was increased from Rs37,000 to Rs200,000, while his deputy would receive Rs185,000 instead of Rs35,000. The MPAs, who used to earn Rs18,000, would earn Rs80,000 every month. CM Buzdar’s own salary was increased by Rs59,000.  After the matter was taken up by social media, Imran expressed his sheer disappointment and termed the decision ‘untenable’. The Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry also labelled the development ...

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Out with Sarfraz, in with Shoaib

This tour of South Africa seems to be a moment in Sarfraz Ahmed’s life where everything goes haywire. The rise and fall of Sarfraz and the emergence of Shoaib Malik from within his own ranks months prior to the World Cup, is a tailor-made story with enough grief and sorrow to hit the shelves and be sold out in its very first week. If we are to skip a few pages back, Sarfraz, standing in an oddly designed white coat, was lifting the Champions Trophy amidst cheers and celebrations on the streets of London. Sarfraz was on top of the world, ...

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#PakvsSA: 4 reasons why we messed up, 4 ways to turn it around

It has been more than a month yet Pakistani batsmen remain unable to find their feet in South Africa. Thus far, our performance can only be described as a horror show, particularly from the batsmen who continue to be haunted by short balls. During the Test series, it was Duanne Olivier who tested our batsmen, and this torment was perhaps to be continued by the rest of the South African bowlers during the ODI series. As of now, the series stands at 2-1 in favour of the hosts, with only two games remaining in order to decide the fate of the ...

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“Abey kaale”: It’s not only Sarfraz Ahmed

I grew up in a neighbourhood near Civil Hospital. Being a government hospital, it was always thronged with people – most of them belonging to the poorest segment of the society – who come in bereft of hope to get their loved ones treated for free. Civil Hospital was more frequently visited by residents of Lyari, a squalid area that is home mostly to the middle, lower-middle and poor segments of our society. Now, if anyone has seen the denizens of Lyari, they know that most of them differ from others in their looks in certain ways. Their complexion ...

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After South Africa’s thrashing, it’s evident that Pakistan’s Test team needs a major reshuffle

Pakistan last played a Test series against South Africa in 2013 and lost 3-0. Five and a half years later, nothing seems to have changed. Another series defeat, another series full of poor planning. When will the Pakistani management learn? Winning series in the UAE against the likes of Sri Lanka and Australia isn’t the most difficult feat to achieve. For me, the biggest test of a team’s competence is playing away from home in tough conditions. And South African conditions are exactly that. The toughest place for Asian teams to play is generally England and South Africa. Ironically, these ...

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