Stories about T20 cricket

World XI: Siyasat, junoon aur Lahore

In a few hours’ time, Pakistan’s most cosmopolitan city will brace itself for a tussle between two political heavyweights, Kulsoom Nawaz and Yasmin Rashid. This democratic NA-120 is a by-product of the decision to disqualify a democratically-elected prime minister. Furthermore, it promises monumental changes to the country’s ever-turbulent political climate. The streets are indeed decked with scores of signs and banners, hinting at the nearing of something colossal. These banners have faces and a few badly thought-out catchphrases printed on them. It all sounds familiar, but feels rather different. These faces do not evoke feelings of annoyance in the people ...

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Is it fair for host countries to prepare pitches favouring their conditions?

The 22-yard-long cricket pitch has been of pivotal importance since the inception of the game. The nature of the strip has a bearing on the outcome of a cricket match and will continue to do so in the forthcoming years. In the shorter formats of the game, particularly since the advent of T20 cricket, the general trend has been to prepare flatter pitches in order to neutralise the result of the toss. But the pitch still plays an extremely crucial role in cricket’s purest format, Test cricket, which is why surfaces used all over the world tend to vary according ...

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Despite being a Karachiite, my allegiance lies with the Lahore Qalandars

The second edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) is just around the corner and, like all teams, the Lahore Qalandars fan following has pinned high hopes on their side especially after a below par first season. The Qalandars clan would be eyeing loads of ‘dama dam mast’ moments and would be more than happy to see their side rule the roost in the upcoming edition of Pakistan’s premier T20 League. The ‘Baz’ factor The Lahore Qalandars are blessed to have a player like Brendon McCullum in their ranks especially considering the fact that he will also be leading the side. The ...

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What a perfect Pakistan Super League could be like

Pakistan Super League (PSL) gets rolling in February next year. PSL promises to be a great Pakistani sporting spectacle, with competitive cricket and the entire sixes-for-fun (T20) aura. However, one may think that Qatar’s Doha is not the ideal venue for PSL, due to it’bs lack of knowledge on cricket. PSL filling our stadia in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Peshawar would have been fascinating indeed. However, our misleading global image prevents the likes of Warners and Gayles from touring Pakistan. Keeping reality in sight, which includes the unavailability of grounds in UAE in February, we would have to be content with Qatar for starters. ...

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Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, a duet like none other

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were the two stalwarts of Lankan cricket for more than a decade. The contribution they have made to Sri Lankan cricket is extremely significant and which separates them from the rest in terms of stature and amount of runs scored. I had the pleasure of watching them throughout their respective careers and during that span of time, and every now and then, they surprised me with something absolutely spectacular. Elegant and graceful shorts were perhaps the only shorts in their books. From Jayawardene’s sublime inside out shot over cover, to perfect square cuts of Sangakkara, every shot they ...

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Why IPL 2015 needs Pakistani players to succeed

Cricket fans are now being treated to a dessert after the main course as the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 follows the cricket World Cup 2015. Unarguably, the biggest and most glamorous party of league cricket is on its way and we have already seen some nail-biting contests and thrilling finishes. Much like this year, Pakistani players have not been a part of the IPL for the last many seasons and despite initial concerns, it seems that out of its inactivity or weakness, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided not to poke this matter and leave all issues concerning the ...

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IPL: Cheap Bollywood extravaganza, not a sport

Every year, from around April to the beginning of June, I go on a hiatus from cricket. This includes shunning every cricket website and sports channel with the zeal of a politician shunning honest work and disabling the Cricinfo app on my phone and tablet. At social gatherings and at work I religiously avoid conversations pertaining to cricket and if someone directs a cricket-related comment at me, I start to extol the virtues of the insect rather than the sport. This leaves the company rather befuddled considering that for the rest of the 46 weeks in the year, cricket is ...

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A Pakistani, an Indian and the gentleman’s game: And after the match…

Imran finished off the last bite of his dinner, washed it down with a cola and looked around the living room. It had been a long and tiring day for him, his wife and their house-maid.  Their friends had come over with their children for the day and the effects could be seen all over the house. He got up to switch off the TV when the familiar sound of an incoming Skype call diverted him to his iPad. He looked at the screen and grinned. As promised, it was Rajesh calling. Imran received the call and said immediately in a fake Bengali ...

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