Stories about Sri Lanka

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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Super Sarfaraz

In an era where wicket-keepers have become the mainstays of their respective batting line-ups around the world, Pakistan continues to languish at the lowest end of the production line of wicket-keeper and batsman all-rounder. The last wicket-keeper to score a Test century for Pakistan before today was Kamran Akmal, who achieved this feat at Karachi’s National Stadium five years ago. And now, the jinx has finally been broken by the newest member of the exalted street fighter’s club in Karachi – Sarfaraz Ahmed. Sarfaraz is playing in his eighth Test and these matches have spread over four and a half years which ...

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You have to risk it to get the biscuit, Team Green!

Another Test match, another humiliating batting performance and another defeat. Forgive me if I am not surprised. It would be a lie if I said that I am at a loss of words when in reality I sort of saw it coming. The only benefit I’ve gained from such disappointing batting is that my vocabulary has improved significantly because now I have to explain just how bad their performance was. This embarrassing show of batting from the Pakistani team is nothing new but, unfortunately, just like our beloved Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), our cricket team has not shown any inclination in identifying ...

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Younus Khan: Rekindling the charm cricket once had

Fans of Pakistani cricket were not able to watch their team playing at an international level, but enjoyed the same emotional feelings through other sports; at the biggest stages including FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon. Aged and youngsters recalled the emotions shared by Pakistani cricket players in the form of nail biting and enthralling performances, engulfing the feeling of joy, which is the main objective of sports. Coming back to cricket, however, the expectations were high because it was a test for cricket to prove that it does not lag behind the world’s leading sports, where excitement, skill and competition matter the most. Despite ...

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Pakistan versus Sri Lanka: Victory or disgrace?

The relentless, brilliant and energetic Younus Khan played a heroic knock of 177 on day one of the first Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and simultaneously completed his 24th Test hundred. The Pakistani side was at a dismal 53 runs with a loss of three wickets before Younus took charge and saved his team from facing a terrible defeat. Pakistan needed a solid inning, in order to win this Test series, and Younus made sure of that by giving a strong target to the host team. Pakistan ended up posting 451 on the scoreboard, which, by the way, ...

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Here is how cricket can help the minorities of Pakistan

Cricket fever in Pakistan is remarkable; in fact, the entire subcontinent is quite smitten by this sport. Cricket fans exist in every nook and corner of this region. In the past, we have seen how cricket has been used to create awareness, raise money for different causes and even be utilised to increase diplomatic ties. Because the game is so popular, cricket has helped in bridging many gaps and bringing different people closer together. A recent example of this is the cricket series underway at the Iqbal stadium, Faisalabad, which is aimed at raising funds for the IDPs of North Waziristan. In this ...

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Nightmare at Langham hotel? England left scarred and scared!

Twenty four hours after England’s limp capitulation at the hallowed turf of Lords, the pundits are wondering what frightened the hosts more; their five-star Langham hotel or the long locks of the once gentle and genial giant of India Ishant Sharma? Throughout the Test series, there were cries of anguish emanating from the English camp, well before Sharma’s seven-wicket spoils, as two burly all-rounders with a fair amount of brawn on their bodies, Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad, were left ‘concerned’ about some paranormal presence in their hotel rooms. Broad told an English newspaper that the Lords Test against Sri Lanka, that preceded the ...

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Pakistan is at war… finally

Two fighters enter a ring to fight over a title. The decision has been made; or been made public, at least. The war is ours, finally. The time for talks, indeed, is over. Pakistan Army has launched an operation against the militants in North Waziristan Agency (NWA). After all these years, and the loss of so many dear lives, we’ve been jolted into action. Over the next few days, details will pour in of exactly what and how the Army hopes to achieve from this operation. And over the next few years, of course, we’ll get to see the ramifications materialise in our daily ...

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Don’t repeat the mistakes that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka made with the Pakistan Super League!

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) interim Chairman Najam Sethi announced on Tuesday via Twitter that the PCB is keen to organise the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in January 2015 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Good news for 2014! Pak will tour WC champions Sri Lanka July-Aug! We play Aust & NZ Sep-Dec in UAE; PSL in Jan 2015 in UAE and WC in Feb. — Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) April 8, 2014 This is not the first time that the PCB has made an announcement about the window for the PSL. In 2012, the PCB hired former International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief ...

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Don’t blame yourself, Raza

Dearest Raza, I was on my way to meet a friend when I got the news. I was frantic. I spent the next few hours refreshing every device I had connected to the internet to make sure you hadn’t personally been hurt in the attack. I then found out you had been, but seeing your injuries were minor, I thought,  “Thank God” Not that anyone wants to lose a friend, but you are more than a friend. You are someone I deeply respect and admire for both your candour and your passion. I thought I knew you well until I read your book, ‘Dehli ...

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