Stories about sports

Aisam’s love match!

It seems that golden boy Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi will be married to more than just tennis soon. The 31-year-old athlete, peacemaker and teen-girls’ pin-up of choice has reportedly cemented a rishta with long-time love, Faha Akmal Makhdum, a British-Pakistani native of Suffolk. Haq and Makhdum will be officially engaged next week and reports indicate that no fans are invited (no, that wasn’t a wind storm, it was a collection of sighs). The betrothal announcement caused a viral explosion hailing from the blogosphere and torpedoing its way to the twittersphere, to the simultaneous clickety-clicks of text messagers and facebookers across Pakistan and ...

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Aftermath of Sepp Blatter’s (s)election

Sepp Blatter might have been re-elected as Fifa’s president for his fourth term but many question the prospect of whether his victory makes the world’s most powerful sports body any stronger. Not only were the elections held under the shadow of fierce criticism and corruption allegations, but to be honest, Sepp Blatter won the presidency not because the member associations had faith in him, but because he was the sole candidate left to elect after Mohamed Bin Hammam withdrew from the two-man contest. However, the allegations that surfaced during the elections have stained the integrity and unity of Fifa and it ...

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Female footballers: Wasted potential

In a time when Pakistan faces multifaceted challenges in the shape of religious militancy and deteriorating security conditions, female footballers across the country have made laudable efforts to help Pakistan to do away with the impression of a bigoted and unsafe country. Despite numerous social and financial obstacles, as well as the unsporting attitude of society, female footballers have taken the game with pride, performed it with passion and as a result spread it to the areas, where tribal and gender insecurity give no space for survival to women. Breaking the chains of conservatism The latest example of this is the ...

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Badminton, not cheap thrills

The Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) recent decision to implement a new dress code for female players has been met with much controversy, particularly in Pakistan. Conservatives in the country are predictably outraged by the demand that women have to play the sport bare-legged, in skirts. For what’s probably the first time in my life, I find myself agreeing with the religious zealots of Pakistan – albeit, for entirely different reasons. While the BWF insists that women must wear skirts, religious pundits argue that women must be covered up – both positions are unacceptable. Neither dress codes are a necessary constituents of the ...

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Windies tour: Who’s who on the Pakistan squad

Pakistan team selectors have made a smart move by picking a fresh squad for the one day and T20 matches to tour the West Indies later this month By excluding old horses like Younis Khan, Misbahul Haq, Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal they have paved the way for the next set of players in order to rebuild the house for the next World Cup. It was a decision that had to be made and there’s no better time to groom younger players than now. If we can unearth another Umar Akmal, perhaps find another exciting fast bowler and a decent wicket ...

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Indian Premier League: Six weeks of pure delight

The fourth season of the Indian Premier League – the most glamorous league of cricket – kicked off on Friday. The game went down to the wire and confirmed Dhoni’s reputation as one of the shrewdest captains in the world of cricket today. You gotta love the IPL IPL was the brain child of Lalit Modi, and was born out of the commercialisation of cricket. The club design was adopted from football, where it has been successful for decades, and is now making money for players and the sport alike. Although it is a domestic league, IPL promises to bring players from different ...

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Young cricketers: Sowing the seed for a better future

Over the past three years, despite the team being anything but consistent, the Pakistan team has managed to perform quite well in tournaments. Of the three World Twenty20s, we have reached two finals and narrowly missed out on a place in the third. A semi-final appearance in the Champions Trophy and now a last-four finish in the World Cup is quite a record. When I signed on as Pakistan’s strength and conditioning coach three years ago, my aim was to try and change not only the fitness culture of the team but also to leave a legacy. I had hoped that ...

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We don’t have cricket in America

My first day in Karachi coincided with the biggest cricket match that Pakistan has experienced in decades. Picture this: The Express Tribune web room awash with young, energetic staff wearing emerald jerseys over jeans and shalwar kameez, hurriedly filing stories so they can rush off to their government-sanctioned cricket holiday. They’ve all got one eye on the tiny TV mounted at the ceiling, not wanting to miss the toss when the bumbling, jet-lagged American, slips behind a desk and says in a deep-fried drawl: “Yey y’all, what’s this cricket thing about?” A marvelous way to endear myself to my brand new co-workers, isn’t ...

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Pak vs India: Dynamics to be transformed today

When I played cricket, the sport existed on a completely different sphere. Our biggest matches had radio coverage and the nation hardly knew us by face. The passion was there, but the coverage was limited. Today, a cricket match is more than a game — especially an India-Pakistan match. It is a battle between nations, between the people of the nation. Media has sensationalised this nerve-wracking semi-final and the emotions are going haywire. The dynamics before today’s match have transformed significantly. Every child in the neighbourhood not only knows all the players by face, they have idolised and found their heroes ...

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Pakistan vs Australia: Bring on the big guns

Pakistan will face a formidable opponent today – an opponent who have not lost a World Cup match since the 1999 edition. That statistic says a lot about Australia, and exogenously implies a mammoth task ahead of Pakistan. If Pakistan are to make their mark in this World Cup they must understand that the performances are not generated by waiting for the players to hit form. Performances are generated by utilising your current resources optimally – knowing when to pick who and letting go of players when the time arises. Unfortunately for Pakistan supporters and the team itself, and fortunately ...

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