Stories about sports

This August 14, I learnt patriotism from Hindu Marwari children

This year, covering a sports event on August 14 changed my perspective on what the word ‘hope’ really means. I never thought that amateur football players belonging to the poor Hindu Marwari community could teach me such an important lesson, but they did. They were playing an exhibition match with the Muslim Marwaris’ on Independence Day and how they played for Pakistan! The event that I covered is a mere news story; it can only serve the purpose of informing readers and cannot reflect the true emotions of these people unless you go out there and witness it for yourself. Their story is bigger ...

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Hockey World Cup: For Pakistan, hopes for Hague dwindle

Pakistan finished seventh at the recently concluded World Hockey League Tournament semi-final in Malaysia. The seventh place finish means that Pakistan has no hopes of qualifying for the World Cup Hockey Tournament next year in Hague through the World Hockey League. The sole qualification hope for Pakistan is by winning the Asia Cup Hockey Tournament to be held in August in Malaysia. This will be a stern test as Pakistan will face competition from Asian powerhouses in the form of India, South Korea and Malaysia, who all interestingly are vying for a place in World Cup as they have failed ...

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Shahid Afridi, you showed us again why you are king!

I was cheering, overwhelmed by joy, jumping up and down, running around in my TV lounge shouting “He did it! He did it!”. This was the moment I had been waiting for for a very, very long time. I couldn’t have asked for more.  A hero, a legend, a fighter and a hope for millions of fans – that’s what Shahid Afridi is. He has once again shown what a prodigy he is on the pitch. For 15 years, he has been making his country proud, and he is still going strong! They are so right when they say that Lala is ...

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When street children can don national colours to represent Pakistan

It was a sweltering Saturday afternoon, when a group of young street children stopped to watch another group of children play football on a playground in New Karachi. The sport had captured their young imagination and they looked at the game longingly. The coach noticed these children – who were seemingly returning from garbage collection – and asked them to join in the football practice. They rushed forth with excitement and realised that the children they were playing with were ‘street children’ as well. This made them feel comfortable and so they played their hearts out. This was a practice session of Street Strikers Football ...

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What if Ronaldo was Pakistani?

Football all over the world is played and enjoyed by both the working and middle classes, while the upper class owns the football clubs and enterprises. Having worked with football and Pakistani football especially, the stories we come across affecting our local footballers are not too different from these superstars of world football. Most Pakistani football players belong to the lower working class and make huge sacrifices to train and progress through the system. Players like Messi, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Ramires, Essien and many more have come from humble backgrounds, where their families struggled to make ends meet and football offered a route out of ...

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Maria Toor Pakay: Defying tradition to play sports

It was in 2009 when the world first learned about Maria Toor Pakay – the brave, talented 22-year-old Pashtun female squash player, who hails from the tribal region of South Waziristan – an area that is considered to be the most conservative, and is hence dubbed as the ‘most treacherous place on earth’. It is not very often, if at all, that we hear about women, especially from this part of the world, who have managed to break strict cultural norms and traditions in order to pursue a career in sports, much less a career in anything. I admit that when I first heard Maria’s ...

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What my 63-year-old boss taught me

Meet Keith Brown, a 63-year-old manager working in my company. Keith has recently moved to UAE to work as an Engineering Facilities Manager at McDermott Middle East Inc. I have known him since May 2012, when we started playing field hockey. I was astonished to know that a 63-year-old could play field hockey because this is one of the most physically demanding sports! A feat like this would be extremely rare in countries like Pakistan, India and UAE. It’s a pity that many of our grand fathers (or even fathers) are unable to even walk properly when they are as young ...

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Is cricket the beginning and end for Pakistan?

Our country, Pakistan is blessed with some amazing talent. We have had some true legends in almost every field, and sports is no exception. Who can forget the great Jehangir Khan and Janshair Khan? The leadership of Imran khan, that legendary duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis? That sixer from Javed Miandad and the master of the penalty corners, Sohail Abbas. Unfortunately however, sports here in Pakistan have been dominated by one and one only, cricket. I’ll try to prove this statement with some examples and facts that support my argument about how this sport is getting the lion’s share ...

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Dearth of international action in Pakistan is killing our sports writers

Unable to host international teams has many repercussions — your players are always on the road; the budding ones don’t get enough chances to impress; the closest the crowd can get to the action depends on the size of the TV screens, and the federations’ cash-flow is heavily affected. The many biryani wallahs, chat wallahs and rickshaw wallahs miss out on their third Eid, too. However, going through the many emails and articles on a daily basis, it has been discovered that the dearth of international action in Pakistan is also destroying the future of its sports writers. While domestic players lose out on ...

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Why the U-19 disaster is bound to occur again

Pakistan under-19 cricket team’s dismal performance in the ongoing Under-19 World Cup shouldn’t come to us as a surprise. The state of affairs of sports in Pakistan has been such lately that this was bound to happen eventually. Having said as much, we still feel disappointed because of the recent excellent performances by our U-19 team in the event. While Pakistan’s senior team had their worst World Cup campaigns in 2003 and 2007 (they came back home after the first round on both occasions), the U-19 team brought home the World Cup in 2004 and 2006. They were semi-finalists in ...

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