Stories about south africa

Our disregard for Pakistan’s national sport

After their historic win against Australia in the recent Test series, chairperson of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Shahryar Khan, announced a special cash bonus for the Pakistani national team. The team will get a total sum of Rs14.75 million for their glorious performance. Good to know. But while our cricket team seems to be aiming for the stars, our hockey team is being treated like its ugly step sister – it’s part of the national sports family, but no one really cares about it. Recently, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) cancelled the national team’s tour to South Korea due to lack of funds and visa ...

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The king of comebacks

Cricket is a love story, a baffling relationship, one that tugs at your heart, crushes and then serenades you all over again. The love you try relentlessly to give up on, the one you know you’re always going to run back to. Pakistan cricket has shattered us and then put us back together more times than I can remember. Misbahul Haq is our messiah, a patient captain, a world class player who took over the team when our hearts were irreparably broken from the spot fixing scandal and nurtured us back to health. And every few months, he finds himself ...

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Hafeez and Taufeeq need to go!

While the nation rightly celebrates a long awaited Test series win over Australia, one as dominant as unexpected, it would be unadvisable to start getting complacent. They say the best teams in sport are those that strengthen while at the top and we must not fall into the trap of overlooking areas which need improvement. The last time we whitewashed a world number one in UAE, we followed it up with a highly uninspiring series loss in Sri Lanka in 2012. Many reputations lived off that series for far too long, and we must make sure that the same mistakes are not repeated ...

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Has Indian Test cricket suffered under Dhoni?

The venom of glamour and entertainment infused with cricket has made a cascading impact on its purest format, as it seems to lose its essence in this fast-track age of madness. As always Indian cricket has struggled to cope with any kind of fast bowling overseas. The superstars that Indian cricket has produced over the years have managed to excel on slow tracks of the subcontinent but succumbed to the fast bouncy tracks elsewhere. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team have suffered humiliating defeats in Test matches over the past four years. After surrendering to complete wash-outs in England in 2011, his lacklustre side suffered ...

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Hafeez, an unsung hero?

After the spot fixing saga in 2010, Pakistan was in desperate need of a solid opener to fill the gap left by Salman Butt. And it was none other than Mohammad Hafeez who took the challenge upon himself to work his way into becoming Pakistan’s next regular opener in all three formats. Before 2010, Hafeez had a questionable batting average and his inclusion in the team was criticised because he was never able to establish himself as a preferred player in our team. Despite that he worked hard on his techniques and scored numerous runs against competitive teams like England, South Africa and New ...

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PCB at it again – this time it’s Younus Khan

Pakistan has announced its squad for the ODI and T20 series against Australia and it has disappointed a lot of cricket fans. Though there are many questionable selections, the most surprising one is Younus Khan being dropped from the ODI team. While announcing the decision, chief selector Moin Khan said, “Our experiment with Younus in the ODI series in Sri Lanka backfired. Now all have unanimously decided to look ahead to our future with youngsters. His services for Pakistan are commendable but now we have to take a step forward and he is also out of contention for the 2015 World ...

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ICC World Cup: When quantity dilutes quality

While browsing a leading cricket website, an ad for cricket jerseys caught my attention. The jerseys on sale were replicas of the 1992 World Cup ones that the nine competing teams wore. The promotional scheme was very aptly captioned, “The iconic cricket jerseys of the 1992 World Cup” As an overzealous follower of Pakistani cricket, I have absolutely zero issues with the jerseys being labelled iconic. After all, this was our World Cup. The 2015 World Cup, like the 1992 one, is to be played on the unforgiving cricket wickets in Australia and their neighbour, New Zealand. Cricket has come a long way since the 1992 ...

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Umar Akmal: From child prodigy to cricketing enigma

Umar Akmal came onto the international cricket scene when the national team was surrounded by catastrophe. Rebellions, groupings, match-fixing and a loathsome competition for captaincy were the highlights of the Pakistani side. This was a mini flashback of the 90s, when the captaincy changed hands every time the team played badly and instability became the norm of the team. Akmal forced his way into the debris of one of the most colossal batting orders in the history of Pakistan’s cricket, on the back of the Australia A tour of June/July 2009. He had a walloping start in international cricket; just in his third game, ...

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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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#SavePalestine: Why can’t our sportsmen be political?

When Dwight Howard tweeted #SavePalestine, he drew, in equal amounts, plaudits and condemnation from social media. He soon deleted his tweet, called it accidental and issued a retraction. Soon enough, #Howardthecoward started trending on Twitter. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t! A prominent sportsperson had aired his views on a sensitive political subject, and by issuing a retraction, had later on failed to stand by it. Dwight Howard (R) Back in 2003, Andy Flower and Henry Olonga had worn black armbands during a World Cup, mourning the death of democracy in their native Zimbabwe. Not only were they not criticised, they were lauded for ...

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