Stories about sports

Is Pakistan ready to host again?

In 2009 when the Sri Lankan team arrived in Lahore, much was said about their security, or the lack of it, after armed men were able to ambush their vehicle with ease. At the time of their arrival at the airport, the security protocol suggested that improvement was needed. But at that point the most worrying aspect was being hoarded by fans’ excitement or the media. Few thought a gun attack was in the making that would cause casualties and injuries. But it happened and, despite ‘intelligent’ reports, a targeted and planned attack was to take away international cricket and the ...

Read Full Post

Khan v Peterson: The saga continues

The drama that unfolded after Amir Khan’s controversial defeat to Lamont Peterson, which resulted in the Briton losing his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles to the American, just refuses to die down. Over the past month we have witnessed a string of accusations ranging from biased refereeing to a ‘mystery man’ tampering with the judges’ scorecard emerging from the Khan camp. Khan had initially started out by blaming referee Joe Cooper of unfairly deducting two points off him for pushing Peterson and had immediately demanded a rematch, along with appealing against the decision to the IBA and the WBF. However, it is ...

Read Full Post

The outrageous cricket that Pakistan played

Outrageous would be an apt term to describe Pakistan’s show on the fourth afternoon in Abu Dhabi. How the team produces such cricket when you least expect them to is beyond belief. Pakistan were expected to stir up a few surprises – on the cricket field this time – against England but a series-win, despite the home-like conditions, remained a hope rather than an aim. Die-hard optimism notwithstanding, it was always a push from God that the team management and the captain sought considering the gulf that existed between the two sides prior to the series. Pakistan’s batting line-up remained meek – ...

Read Full Post

Why cry foul?

We, the Pakistanis are a strange bunch. Any ill that befouls any Muslim, or so called Muslim anywhere in the world, suddenly becomes a national cause. The most recent in the sporting world is from the boxing arena, where Britain’s Amir Khan fought Lamont Peterson of the US for the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association light-welterweight world titles. Amir Khan lost and Lamont won, so why such a big fuss here in Pakistan? Why is there so much media hype about racism? Why are Amir’s fans stating that ‘rightful victory’ was ...

Read Full Post

Afridi is our good luck charm!

Shahid Khan Afridi, the captain, who went into temporary retirement sometime ago after a fallout with the board and the coach, has had an immediate impact on team performance. In the first ODI he played after coming back, he was named Man of the Match for his brilliant bowling and in the second ODI against Sri Lanka he might have led Pakistan to victory with the bat had he not been run out. Each shot he played leaving the field were good cricketing shots suited to the limited overs game. But alas, luck didn’t favour the brave in this instance. The direct hit by the Sri Lankan ...

Read Full Post

Stop dissing Pakistan cricket

The Salman, Amir and Asif case is over now. The so-called ‘cricket experts’ should know that whatever the trio did was in their personal capacity and nothing was backed by the government or by the people of Pakistan. Hansie Cronje, Azharuddin, Ajay Sharma, Ajay Jadeja, Salim Malik, Ata ur Rehman, Maurice Odumbe, Marlon Samuels, Mark Waugh, Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Aravinda De Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga from different nationalities have also been in close contact with bookies. Few of them have also faced life bans and heavy fines as they were either involved in match/spot fixing or in giving ...

Read Full Post

Ten reasons why football is better than cricket

1. It is a game of one single format rather than four formats. You don’t need a test football or a one day international, T20, first-class, second class, third-class or umpteen class football, just a simple game of 90 minutes and a nail-biting penalty shootout. A timed game is acceptable to a game that lasts for days. 2. It garners more television coverage. The 2010 FIFA World Cup was watched by an estimated television audience of 700 million people around the globe compared to a meagre 65.6 million people (out of which 80% of the viewership was from India alone!) ...

Read Full Post

A summer of change for Manchester United

The summer of 2011 promises to be one of major changes for Manchester United. Having finally displaced Liverpool as the most successful side in English League history, United are now set to begin the new season with a different and somewhat inexperienced squad to the one that recently lifted a record-breaking 19th league title in May 2011. Long-serving defenders John O’ Shea and Wes Brown have both joined Sunderland while the retirements of Paul Scholes and Edwin Van Der Sar in addition to the retirement of Gary Neville in February has left the English champions short of experienced players to ...

Read Full Post

Cricketers are to blame too…

Cricket in Pakistan, as a rule, is never far from controversy. Be it the captaincy musical chairs game that surfaces after every other series, the lashing out of players against the PCB and its officials and the subsequent retorts from the game’s governing body, or the Board’s decision to ban or fine players and then nullify its own decision after token investigations – normalcy just does not seem to be a part of the game. Amid the chaos, fans and casual observers usually tend to side with their heroes, the players, and renounce everything that the PCB has to say ...

Read Full Post

Do away with cricket controversies

I think we’ve all spoken at length about how boring Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies was. There was an absence of intensity. There were moments when it seemed an international duel was on show, as opposed to net practice, but for most part of the tour, both teams seemed to be going through the motions. My guess is that they were just warming up for the real challenge that was to follow. The mighty Irish were next The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) must have realised that the fans needed some real entertainment so right after the lackadaisical performance against the West Indies, ...

Read Full Post