Stories about south africa

If Pakistan boycotts the World Twenty20, it is only Pakistan that will suffer

We live in a time where our very existence is offensive to some people. It is hard to imagine how much cricket has been used as a weapon for political folly. It is absolutely outrageous that our team is in constant limbo, adjusting to whatever catastrophe will hit them next. Perhaps we are sensitive people, maybe our history has taught us the art of playing victim, but there is a general feeling of resentment underlying Pakistan cricket, a sense that we are treated like second-class citizens, a complete double standard when it comes to anything Pakistan related and the ...

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Is it fair for England to blame pitch conditions for their performance?

Historically, cricket pitches in Asia had the tag of ‘lifeless’ and ‘flat’ associated with them. They’re usually considered as batting paradises where scores of 500 are considered as decent and taking 20 wickets is akin to climbing Mount Everest. While this may be true in some cases, despite the notion that they’re flat, some non-Asian touring teams have often been found struggling in these batting-friendly conditions. Pitches on which Pakistan is able to score in excess of 500, touring parties like England and Australia have repeatedly been bundled out for less than 300. For instance, when both these teams were ...

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Younus Khan: A 22-year-old record broken in 22 seconds

In simple words, Younus Khan is a modern great. He now holds the record of most runs by a Pakistani Test batsman, has the most number of centuries, he has held the most catches by a Pakistani fielder and on top of all this, he has the best average among Pakistani batsman in Test cricket. These records become more exclusive when mentioned in retrospect, because our team has boasted of the inclusion of players such as Hanif Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Saleem Malik, Inzamamul Haq, Saeed Anwar and Mohammad Yousuf. Younus may not have the same elegance as ...

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Dear Younus Khan, please take Wasim Akram’s advice and ‘stop worrying about the ODI format’

Dear Younus Khan, I hope this letter finds you well. Let me start by saying that you are, undoubtedly, one of the greatest Test match batsmen Pakistan has ever produced. Your powers of concentration and mental strength are only bettered by Misbahul Haq in the current Test team, while your skills as a stroke-maker coupled with your triathlon-athlete like endurance are a winning combination like no other. In a sense, you remind me of a boxer who lives for the counter punch. You, Younus, sometimes take more punches than a middle-order batsman has any right to handle, before you begin hitting back. It starts with numerous ...

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Virat Kohli versus Steven Smith, is the comparison even justified?

As we all know, Australia and India are no strangers to international cricket triumphs. Both sides boast of powerful batting potential, currently glued together by just two young guns, Steven Smith and Virat Kohli. These batsmen are worthy of profuse praise, that’s for sure, given their careers are backed by super numbers and zero hype. But the real question is, does that justify a convincing contrast between the two? Statistics indicate a clear no. Allow me to throw in some numbers and explain just why. Imbalanced comparisons: Ratio of matches to runs First things first, Smith has been an irregular customer for ...

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Does Islam prevent AIDS?

Maps have many fathers. One of them is the genie of omission. So beware of the map that is too straightforward and simple. It may very well be obscuring something. For also in cartography, this general rule applies: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. An interesting point in case are the twin maps of Africa shown below, one of the spread of Islam, the other the spread of AIDS. The contrast is striking – where one occurs, the other is absent. Is this proof of Islam’s salutary effects? Or do the maps merely demonstrate the power of map-based ...

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If Iran and the US can make peace, why can’t India and Pakistan?

The nuclear deal between Iran and the West has opened up new avenues of engagements for those nations which have been in conflict for decades. It has proved that time-tested diplomacy is the only way to achieve peace in the world. Therefore, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s gesture of sending mangoes to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, holds more than just symbolic value. It is, at one hand, a reflection of the desire to normalise relationships between the two countries while at the other hand, it suggests the calming down of frayed tempers on both sides of the border which have been boiling over the ...

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#PAKvsSL: A dominant series win well worth the wait

The Pakistan cricket team, under the supreme leadership of Azhar Ali, has wrapped up the series against Sri Lanka by outplaying the hosts with a superbly dominant performance, winning three out of four matches in the five-match ODI series. Photo: Reuters This was Pakistan’s first bi-lateral ODI series win in Sri Lanka since 2006. It has also boosted Pakistan’s chances of making it to the Champions Trophy as Pakistan is currently ranked eighth in the ODI rankings, slightly ahead of West Indies. The national team has given a great overall performance. Pakistan’s batsmen have batted positively with strike rates ranging from Azhar’s 82 to Shoaib Malik’s 125. Azhar’s technique ...

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Remembering the legacy of Nelson Mandela on his 98th birthday

As the world burns along the shores of the Mediterranean to the heart of Africa and from the valleys of Tigris and Jordan Rivers to the Dnieper River in Ukraine, one wonders how Nelson Mandela would be celebrated on his birthday on July 18th this year. Madiba (as he was called by the proud South Africans) held his ‘Long walk to Freedom’ covering six decades of struggle to rid the Black Africans of the ruthless Apartheid rule and give them a sense of dignity. The tall Xhosa and his simple soul were too strong for the white apartheid regimes of Southern Africa. His strong resolve ...

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In Iran, you can marry your 13-year-old adopted child

Define irony: When you pass a bill to ‘protect’ children and in that bill you allow a man to marry his adopted daughter even if she is as young as 13-years-old. Woody Allen, are you listening? I think it’s time to move to Iran. Or at least base your next movie there. Or maybe George RR Martin would be interested in this as his next plot twist? Parliamentarians in Iran have recently passed such a bill, I kid you not. It allows the caretaker to marry his or her adopted child if the court rules in the interests of the child. There are so many fundamental issues with ...

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