Stories about Umar Akmal

Why has Umar Akmal disappeared from Test cricket?

In 2009, I watched a 19-year-old batsman score a century during his Test debut in New Zealand. He took on the likes of Shane Bond, and made it look relatively easy. Umar Akmal blitzed his way through to 129 on debut, and followed it up with 75 in the second innings. A star was born, or so I thought. Fast-forward seven years and the same cricketer is struggling to score runs in the Bangladesh Premier League. How times change. It saddens me to see such a talent being wasted, especially considering Pakistan’s batting stocks are so low. But how did ...

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Removing Azhar Ali from the cricket team will result in a long-term loss

An out of favour batsman, who had remained in the shadows for long and was deemed surplus to requirement in the shorter formats, was, out of the blue, asked to lead a side. Not any ordinary side, but a side that was plagued with groups, seniority-‘juniority’ prejudices and a quota system that has seeped into our roots. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gambled on Misbahul Haq when they not only brought him back into the Test side, but to the shock of many, made him captain. The gamble succeeded and Misbah went on to become the most successful captain in ...

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Why does Virat Kohli turn Pakistan so green?

Whether it’s a tickle past fine leg or a glorious drive through the covers, the man has it all—and everything in between. Years of struggle, an unyielding passion, supreme talent and hard work have made Virat Kohli the cricketing tour de force that he is. Yet, every time he strides onto the pitch and takes guard, a nation of over 200 million people turns whichever shade of pale or red they possibly can. Those on the yellower side fear the onslaught, while viewers with blood rushing to their faces are wishing the Indian maestro nothing short of death. Such is ...

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Can a biomechanics lab at LUMS help raise the standard of cricket in Pakistan?

On May 23, 2016, the Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Mr Shahryar Khan and Vice Chancellor LUMS Professor Dr S Sohail H Naqvi, inaugurated a state-of-the-art Biomechanics lab. This news story should surely bring plenty of smiles to the faces of our bowlers, especially our current and emerging spinners. The newly inaugurated biomechanics lab records the athlete’s body movements with great precision and maps them out on an advanced software helping bowlers test their actions, identify irregularities and work on eradicating them with the assistance of their coaches. To begin with, the introduction of a biomechanics lab will help in raising ...

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With the army brought in to handle our players’ fitness, what are we paying our ‘experts’ for?

It seems the fate of our country lies in the hands of our soldiers; be it in a state of war or amidst a political crisis. Whenever rains flood our land, the army is called upon to take care of the victims. Whenever an earthquake jolts a part of our country, the army shows up as saviours. In other words, the army has always been and, unfortunately, will continue to be the Batman of Pakistan. But most of us would never have, even in our wildest dreams, thought that our cricket team would be handed over to the army to help improve the lads’ ...

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Will Mickey Arthur and Inzi be enough?

It’s safe to say that the Pakistan cricket team, along with the management and coaches have failed to deliver this past year. How can fans forget the dismal performance at the World T20? We only managed to win one game against Bangladesh. Right after, literally everyone related to the performance of the team came under heavy fire. Controversies, knit picking, gossip and slander amongst the cricket big wigs were making headlines. But after all the hue and cry, things began to settle down. Considering all the new changes taking place in the cricket circuit, most fans will be expecting a ...

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From terror to triumphs: Afghanistan’s scintillating rise in cricket

Let me tell you a bit about these men. The cricket bat is a two-year-olds’ play-toy once it meets their thick palms, and the ball once bludgeoned, stays bludgeoned. Even in defeats to big sides during recent world cups, such as South Africa in the 209 Wankhede game, they’ve succeeded in making powerful statements. Braving into cricket’s entertainment limelight from the war-torn turf of their native land, the team’s scintillating rise in cricket goes beyond just technical flaws and inexperience, to a developing world of enthusiasm, flair and competitiveness. Chasing 210 to win, Mohammad Shahzad scored ...

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Will Pakistan’s cricket team ever be able to regain its past glory?

Flashback to 2007 and Pakistan’s chequered cricketing history would resonate of two significant events; first was the death of their erstwhile coach (Robert Woolmer) in the most mysterious of circumstances, and second, was the renaissance of a man who though fell at the last hurdle in Johannesburg but who nine years later is the only harbinger of a nation in decline and cricketing prowess fast moving towards an eternal abyss. Though T20 cricket as we officially know it today was, indeed, born and bred in the English county circuit, most of the subcontinent in general, and Pakistan in particular, was ...

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Five amazing batting stints we got from the PSL

Pakistan Super League (PSL) surprised many people like me who are of the opinion that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) can never organise a successful tournament like this. It is time that we give credit to the organisers of PSL for their great effort. There are many reasons that made it a huge success in the cricket world. One major reason is the presence of the top players from all over the world like KP, Gayle, Watto, Afridi and Russell (to name a few). Another reason is the involvement of certain media houses that created hype amongst people for example ...

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Congratulations, Pakistan, on hosting a phenomenally successful PSL!

It came, it started and it conquered the hearts of millions, in our nation and beyond. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) finally concluded last night and what an ending it was. It was, arguably, the biggest and most colourful cricketing event ever held in the history of this country. PSL was an event which many thought would not kick off and an event that was continuously bombarded with criticism from all directions during its inception stage. But PSL’s success proved everybody wrong. I’m pretty sure its success may have even surprised its financial backers. Speaking of surprises, the winners of the ...

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