Stories about sports

The life of a fast bowler: Survival of the fittest

There’s no doubt that cricket in the current era has no season with all teams playing round the year. With so much cricket happening, what then, is the secret to ensuring that fast-bowlers are looked after well and that every player in the squad remains injury-free and is available for every match. And not only the matches and the training sessions, but how do we make sure that after years of training, they are fit enough to last the six weeks in the World Cup that comes round every four years? With the intensity of every match increasing as well, it seems ...

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Dubai: Something for everyone

Contrary to popular opinion, a visit to Dubai is not just about  endless sales options, the occasional desert safari and a visit to the top of the Burj Khalifa. There is a lot to do for everyone. My favourites remain the musicals and plays which are organised by English, Indian and Pakistani entertainers. Multicultural audiences draw in entertainers from all over the world, and Dubai is no exception. The question is: which of these makes Dubai interesting for you? Rocker: Recently, Bryan Adams and Guns ‘n’ Roses rocked the UAE music scene. This was followed by a jazz festival that would regale any ...

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Setting cricket aside

Two things can be quite unsettling – the high from victory and the hurt over a defeat. When the hurt is accompanied by anger the cocktail is a knockout. We are only too familiar with what it does to a people, so let me not get into its details. Let’s just be grateful then that our hurt and anger are limited to winning and losing on the cricket field. Defeat in a real war does not touch us in a way that we should lose our balance. Actually we tend to discover a bright aspect to the situation. Let us also ...

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World Cup 2011: Spinning a web

The sub-continent pitches have always been spin friendly and that’s one of the reasons why India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always produced great spinners. In the last World Cup held in these countries (1996), slow bowlers took the most wickets for all the four semi-finalists (joint, in case of Australia). Look at the line-ups of two sub-continental favourites, India and Sri Lanka. Both have selected three specialist spinners in their World Cup side. In addition, they have really useful part-timers. All of Pakistan’s pool games are in Sri Lanka. The spin provided by the pitch should be present but at ...

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Sports Day for dummies

Stage 1: Identifying that it is Sports Day Notice perspiring students in the corridors and water bottles tanked and ready to go? Badges and T-shirts being passed out? A whole new array of running shoes? Welcome to sports fever. It hits two weeks to two months before the big day, so you had better not forget. Failing to understand the importance of Sports Day makes you a stain on your otherwise perfect class’s reputation, a piece of vermin to be immediately squelched underfoot. Alternately, if you are an athlete and know someone who shows no interest in sports, you either a) ...

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Does Amir have a future in the game?

It was disconcerting and depressing to see bowlers like Sohail Tanvir and Abdul Razzaq being handed the new ball in the third ODI against New Zealand; some months ago, it was the greatly talented duo of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir sharing that responsibility for the national team. The verdict on the banned trio’s future is due on February 5 and Pakistani fans will be praying desperately for the ICC tribunal to at least show some leniency towards Mohammad Amir. Is Amir our only realistic hope? Inn my view, Mohammad Amir has the best chance of being acquitted, with a light or ...

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Row, row, row your boat, [not so] gently down to ‘Netty’ Jetty

This is a shout out to Sophia A. Sophia rows a boat. So do 15 other schools from all over Karachi who competed at the regatta at the Karachi Boat Club. But that’s not important right now. What’s important is that she rows a boat. And before she gets to that, she does this: “Oh my God. They train you like a dog. You have these squats, these endless jogs, and if you’re late you have pushups and then something called fishies. Imagine lying down and then trying to lift both your legs and your torso at the same time.” Fishies for ...

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Telefilm: The true story of Naseem Hameed

I applaud a tele-film “Bhaag Amina Bhaag!” which was recently aired on Geo Entertainment. The play is a tribute to Naseem Hameed, the Pakistani athlete who became the fastest woman in South Asia when she won a gold medal in a 100-metre event. Amina, played by Amna Sheikh, is not like any average teenage girl growing up in a low income area. She is bold, gutsy and naughty as hell. She grows up surrounded by boys – three brothers and her childhood friend and neighbor a handicapped boy – and gains all the traits of a tomboy. She is completely unaware ...

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Aisamul-Haq: 2010’s shining star

To say that it was an eventful year for Pakistan sports would be an understatement. 2010 witnessed many ‘highs and lows’, ranging from the sensational spot-fixing scandal involving three of the country’s leading cricketers to a stunning title-winning triumph by our ladies in the cricket event of the Asian Games in Guangzhou. For me the defining moment of Pakistan sports came in September when tennis ace Aisamul-Haq Qureshi marched into the men’s doubles and mixed doubles finals of the US Open. His heroics at the Grand Slam tournament gave Pakistan’s sports fans something to cheer about after several dismal weeks in ...

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Asian Games 2010: A bright day for Pakistan

Pakistan brought gold home at the Asian Games on Thursday.  Many believe that it is Pakistan’s right to be the holder of so many medals since, traditionally, Pakistan has been good at hockey and squash and has been world champion in the past. Pakistan is considered to be the greatest ever squash-playing nation of all time, and credit for this goes to the Khan dynasty. It all started with Hashim Khan, who, at the age of 36, opened Pakistan’s participation in the international arena at the British Open in 1951. Hashim went on to dominate the squash arena by winning ...

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