Stories about team

I am a Pakistani and I admire the prodigy that is Virat Kohli

I woke up early for the third day’s play of the fourth Test between India and England at Wankhede Stadium to see Virat Kohli getting to his double century. And of course, it followed with a typical Kohli celebration; a rather mature and modest celebration for a comparatively great achievement. I wanted to see it and when he flicked Adil Rashid to get to his double century, I gave him a standing ovation, albeit in front of the TV. How did it all start? How could I love someone who’s from India? How dare I admire someone, no matter how classy or brilliant he is, if he’s from India? How could I? [caption id="" ...

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José Mourinho will be an instant success at Manchester United

José Mourinho, widely regarded as one of the best managers of the current era, is coming to the team he used to call “a giant club” – Manchester United. On May 27, 2016, Mourinho penned a three-year contract deal with an option to stay with the club until at least 2020.  Will Manchester United finally go back to its old form? It’s fascinating to see “The Special One” at The Theatre of Dreams. He has been there many times before, but now he comes there not to be on the opposite end, but on the touchlines to guide and lift the team to higher ...

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2170 days

It was a cold sunny morning, in March 2010, when I was given the opportunity to work with a young dynamic team that would be a part of an upcoming newspaper. We, as a small team at our Islamabad office, had started telling people that we were working for The Express Tribune, a paper affiliated with the New York Times, to be launched in a couple of months. “We don’t know what newspaper you guys are talking about,” almost everybody responded. “We will talk to you when this paper actually launches.” To our horror, most of the people we called slammed their phones on ...

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Shoaib Akhtar – the legend, the sensation, the enigma

Cricket has certainly evolved over the years, and when you see someone like AB de Villiers hitting bowlers out of the park and teams scoring 300+ runs so easily, you tend to think about how this game has changed its gears and has become more batsmen friendly. AB de Villiers. Photo: AFP The days of batsmen fearing bowlers have gone. I remember how lanky fast-bowlers from West Indies used to produce terror amongst batsmen in the 80’s. Today, their legacy is almost dead. Only the likes of Dale Steyn and Mitchell Johnson have somewhat preserved the art of the fierce fast-bowling, as it was once known. But personally, ...

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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 ...

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I, for one, am not looking forward to the Pakistan versus India match

Many Indian cricket fans do not yearn for their team to win the World Cup title as much as they want their team to win against arch rivals, Pakistan. Since the dawn of partition, there has been a constant cross border and geo-political antagonism between the two countries. But amidst the geo-political tensions, cricket has been a remarkable unifier of both the countries. In the past, these encounters have proved to be highly emotional and nerve racking, not just on a cricket field but also on the streets. This time, to the contrary, the voltage has run low. As India and Pakistan ...

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What can PFF do with FIFA’s money?

Football, as a sport, has seen an incredible rise in popularity in our country over the last decade. Our shining stars like Kaleemullah, Hassan Bashir, Muhammad Adil and many others have consistently shown that we possess top-class talent. Yet time and time again, Pakistan as a team has failed to deliver on the international stage. Our football federation sits relaxed, as if everything is under control. It remains undeterred by Pakistan’s dismal performance. We are falling further behind to our neighbouring countries. And let’s be honest, before we dream of making it to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, we first need ...

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Pakistan versus India: Always controversial, always immature

I was unable to witness the last time Pakistan defeated India on home ground in the 1980s; I wasn’t there to see Pakistan’s flag hoisted in India after their defeat; and I wasn’t there to hear my national anthem sung on Indian soil. The only idea I had about our victory was through accounts of my elders, who were there when it happened – who were there to experience the adrenaline rush such a victory could bring. And I always felt like I had missed out on something huge. But after I witnessed Pakistan’s victory over India in the 2014 Hero Hockey Champions ...

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Once bitten twice shy? Not if you’re part of PCB’s selection committee!

Pakistanis live in the age of nostalgia. A 67-year-old Bambi, still struggling to get on its feet, one step forward, two steps back, sprawled spectacularly on the floor. A nation dead set on moving backwards. From our political affiliations, religious oppression, blasphemous laws, dress-codes to the selection of our cricket team, ours is a generation that shall wistfully flip through old photos unable to grasp the reality of who we were and what we could be, unable to move forward. If you skim through the list of the 30 probables sent for the 2015 World Cup team, there’s no need to ...

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Winning at the Blind cricket World Cup but being beaten in Lahore

Putting on over 400 runs in a one-day international game is at best a distant dream for Pakistan’s national cricket squad. However, the country’s blind cricket team made it look like child’s play as they accumulated a mammoth 418 runs in just 40 overs during their match against Sri Lanka. Sadly, the performance went largely unnoticed. Had it been Misbahul Haq and his band of brothers who accomplished something similar, the chequebooks of prime ministers and presidents would have lost a few leaves. One can only imagine the score they would have ended up with had they been given a full 50 ...

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