Stories about Umar Gul

Multan Sultans may be new but they have all the right ingredients needed to take home the title

Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) third season kicks off tonight. The cricketing fraternity in Pakistan and the UAE is buzzing and cricket fever is at its pinnacle. During the past two seasons, we saw five teams battling out for the title. Islamabad United was crowned champions in the inaugural edition of PSL, while last year it was Peshawar Zalmi who lifted the trophy in Lahore. This time, there is an addition of a sixth franchise, Multan Sultans. This addition will not only boost the value of PSL as a brand in the sporting world but will also give more opportunity to local ...

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Will Sarfraz Ahmed prove to be Pakistan’s very own Batman?

Last night, whilst watching The Dark Knight Rises, yet again, I realised the city of Gotham has a lot in common with the Pakistan cricket structure. Batman ends up saving Gotham city. Even when he was completely down and out, he did not surrender; and if the Dark Knight didn’t give up, why should Pakistani cricket fans? In the movie, the mayor of the city was as powerless as the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shahryar Khan, whereas the bureaucratic structure was as inefficient and incompetent as Intikhab Alam. It was natural, therefore, for every Pakistani cricket fan to look for ...

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Pakistan Super League: Let the games begin!

February 4, 2016 marks an extremely important date in the history of Pakistan cricket. The idea which was first conceived in 2012 is finally going to turn into a reality; the curtain will rise and Pakistan Super League (PSL) will surface onto the stage of lucrative Twenty20 cricket leagues. The teams PSL has five teams; Islamabad United, Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi. They were sold for a total of $93 million and the teams will battle it out for a winning title. PSL Chief Najam Sethi had promised to bring in stars of the T20 format in the ...

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With a record like his, why was Younus Khan excluded from the PSL?

As many as 98 players have been picked by five franchises for the inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL). The tournament promises to be an exciting event. Out of the three formats of cricket, in T20 cricket, it is not likely that every player gets an opportunity to bat and ball in one game. The format is fast and one good performance can change the whole game more often, as compared to Test or ODI cricket. Fielding and fast-paced nature of the format means that fitness is essential. Having said that, this PSL is going to be without Younus Khan, the former World T20 ...

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Quetta Gladiators may be the dark horse, but the team to beat will be Islamabad United

The highly anticipated player drafting of the Pakistan Super League T20 tournament began in grand fashion today. The crème de la crème of Pakistan cricket came together for a lavish ceremony at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. The day began with the unveiling of the Karachi Kings franchise logo, and the big news that Javed Afridi’s Peshawar Zalmi franchise had traded with Islamabad for the first pick of the player draft. This would have a massive impact on future selections, which the Islamabad franchise has utilised quite well. As expected, Peshawar immediately picked Pakistan T20 captain Shahid Afridi as their ...

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We need the old Junaid Khan back

On the eve of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, when Sohail Tanvir sustained an injury and the 21-year-old Junaid Khan was included in the squad without any experience in international cricket, a few eyebrows were raised on his selection, but selectors thought that in Junaid, the left-arm quick, they had found a replacement for Muhammad Amir, who was at that time banned from international cricket for five years.  Having been partnered with Amir at the 2008 Under 19 (U19) Cricket World Cup, there was no doubt about Junaid’s talent, and while announcing his selection, the Chief Selector, Iqbal Qasim said, “He ...

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#PAKvsSL: A dominant series win well worth the wait

The Pakistan cricket team, under the supreme leadership of Azhar Ali, has wrapped up the series against Sri Lanka by outplaying the hosts with a superbly dominant performance, winning three out of four matches in the five-match ODI series. Photo: Reuters This was Pakistan’s first bi-lateral ODI series win in Sri Lanka since 2006. It has also boosted Pakistan’s chances of making it to the Champions Trophy as Pakistan is currently ranked eighth in the ODI rankings, slightly ahead of West Indies. The national team has given a great overall performance. Pakistan’s batsmen have batted positively with strike rates ranging from Azhar’s 82 to Shoaib Malik’s 125. Azhar’s technique ...

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Are we really ready for Zimbabwe?

Pakistan announced its T20 squad today with former captain Shoaib Malik and star all-rounder Umar Akmal making a comeback. Muhammad Sami, another lost tale of the Pakistan cricket biopic, was given a chance to showcase his pace program against Zimbabwe – the first team to visit Pakistan since 2009 for a T20 two-match series and an ODI three-match series. The whole series, from its very start till now, has faced a lot of controversies, contradictions and confusions. It is a new beginning for Pakistan cricket but it has come after a lot of struggles. The Zimbabwe Cricket Union’s advance team visited Lahore to ...

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Does the team really need Shahid Afridi?

It’s been a strange ol’ week, even by Shahid Afridi’s standards. Afridi has gone from 0 to Afridi in just under the space of a week. And if that last sentence contains an excessive use of our T20 captain’s name, then I make no apologies. That is exactly how the past week has felt. After stating last week, “The fact is that senior players are letting the team down. We can’t expect to win much with our current poor form. I want to lead from the front, and if I feel that I’m going to be a burden, then I will quit the ...

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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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