Stories about Sri Lanka

4 reasons why World Cup 2015 is nothing like World Cup 1992

Yesterday’s win against Ireland allowed Pakistan to wiggle their way into the quarter-finals. The match not only secured us a place in the top four but also allowed Sarfraz Ahmed to score his first ODI century. This century was not only important for him, but for Pakistan as well since it broke the dry spell our batsmen were suffering from since the 2007 World Cup.  Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz (2nd L) celebrates with team mates after dismissing Ireland’s Ed Joyce (2nd R) for eleven runs during their Cricket World Cup match at the Adelaide Oval March 15, 2015.Photo: Reuters THANKSGIVING ...

Read Full Post

Will the real Afridi please stand up?

“Of Shahid Afridi, it can safely be said that cricket never has and never will see another like him. To say he is an all-rounder is to say Albert Einstein was a scientist; it tells a criminally bare story.” – Cricinfo Shahid ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi is a legend, whether people agree to it or not. After close to two decades of belligerent bowling, barbaric batting and iconic off-the-field banter, I say this with great despair that the end of Afridi is upon us. Since his game changing 102 off 37 balls against Sri Lanka, Afridi has become the apple of everyone’s ...

Read Full Post

It is time we stop glorifying Shahid Afridi

On Monday, during the Pakistan versus UAE game, Shahid Afridi became the fourth Pakistani and the 27th cricketer overall to score 8000 runs in ODIs. Photo: Reuters Among the 27 batsmen, Afridi has the highest strike rate of 116.86. He is the second player to have completed the double of 8000 runs and 300 wickets, joining Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya. Without a doubt, Afridi is considered a national hero all over Pakistan. No batsman gets a louder roar from the crowd as he does while walking from the dressing room to the pitch. He has managed to garner the love and adoration of ...

Read Full Post

Rock beats scissors, Hashim Amla beats Virat Kohli

The headline of this piece says it all about the sheer batting class of Hashim Amla, whose silent presence on and off the field for the Proteas has brought them great stability in their batting line up in the past few years. After the departure of an extremely talented opener-cum-captain Graeme Smith and a majestic middle-order batsman Jacques Kallis, Amla became the team’s ‘rock’ – as AB de Villiers puts it. A symbol of perseverance and resolute on which team South Africa relied on to take the opening spot. He yielded the willow like a weapon with which he ripped apart ...

Read Full Post

Four reasons why sending Younus Khan as an opener is justifed

We have been seeing a lot of undue criticism directed towards the decision of choosing Younus Khan as an opener in the matches against India and West Indies. But if we were to take a moment and try to understand the decision, we would see that the management had sound reasons to choose Younus. His experience Younus was included in the squad on the basis of his Test performance, his overall experience and his ability to deal with pressure. All of these traits were needed to defeat India. Pakistan had to find an effective combination for its openers, so sending Younus ...

Read Full Post

Has Pakistan forgotten its sense of humour?

Pakistan lost against India in their opening World Cup match, but that did not affect the love I have for my team. My support does not depend on them winning or losing. Having seen all the criticism directed at our team, I couldn’t help but wonder what the morale of our team must have been. I mean, realistically speaking, three of our key players, Saeed Ajmal, Muhammad Hafeez and Umar Gul aren’t playing. That will obviously affect the outcome of our team. That isn’t an excuse, the fact that until the very beginning of the World Cup, our team was relying ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan versus India: The ultimate World Cup jinx

On February 15, 2015, India and Pakistan will lock horns and kick-start their respective World Cup campaigns. India versus Pakistan is not, and never has been, an ordinary cricket match, it is much more than that; it is a matter of metaphoric life and death, a matter of pride. Ask the players involved and they will tell you; the pressure in an India-Pakistan encounter can’t be compared to any other. More than a billion stakeholders are involved in the battle between these two bitter rivals. The last time these two teams played an ODI World Cup match in 2011, more than 150 ...

Read Full Post

World Cup 2015 – May the best team win

The 2015 World Cup in Australia will be nothing short of exhilarating, as the stadiums in Australia are the finest and would produce thrilling cricket. This will be the 11th edition of the World Cup. After the round matches, the real test will begin as the quarter-finals and elimination rounds start. Let’s have a look at the eight probable teams for the quarter final: Australia (host) It is by far the most successful team in World Cup history, having won four World Cup trophies and reached the finals in two. Playing at home will bring a lot of pressure to the team but still they have ...

Read Full Post

Not forgotten but forgiven: The prodigy returns

It was on a typically overcast London afternoon that the nation saw its first glimpse of young Muhammad Amir, who had just turned 17 a few months earlier. It took him all of two balls to win over the thousands of Pakistani supporters at The Oval and the millions at home watching their side take on England in the 2009 World Twenty20. Ravi Bopara’s uppish drive was well held by Shoaib Malik at backward point and Amir wheeled away in joy, baring all of his uneven teeth. That was the moment the nation fell in love with the precociously talented ...

Read Full Post

In Saudi Arabia, oil will always be thicker than blood

It was the year 2000 and I was a young man studying in Canada. Having spent a majority of my life in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for a change, I was enjoying the atmosphere of a country where people weren’t treated with disdain simply because of their nationality. Alas, even in Canada, it was difficult to escape Saudi mentality. I was socialising with a group of Middle Eastern students at a food court where we were all getting to know each other. When asked, I told them I was a Pakistani who had grown up in Saudi Arabia. While ...

Read Full Post