Stories about Wasim Akram

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 ...

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The excruciating experience of watching Pakistan bowl

As I write this, Pakistan has just conceded 369 runs against the New Zealand batting side. Maybe this would not be so hard to take if I had not grown up watching legends like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. The current state of our fast-bowling makes the heart grow even fonder of Mohammad Sami. Let that sink in, Mohammad Sami. A man who once bowled the longest over in ODI with 17 balls, including seven wides and four no-balls. I will even go to the extent of saying Ataur Rehman was a better bowler than ...

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Through the eyes of a fanatic: Pakistan, the World Cup enigma

Cricket is a game for the fanatic. You don’t like the sport, you love it. You sacrifice sleep, plead for divine intervention, wield undying beliefs and hold faith that despite needing eight runs of the last ball, a simple wide can make magic happen. Such is the power of a bat and ball. Such is the nature of the game that despite our efforts to turn predictions into facts and to drown ourselves in a frenzy of statistics, the sport remains as unpredictable as it was in 1992. It has been four years since India won the World Cup, 23 since Australia ...

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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 ...

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Yes Ramiz Raja, Amir does deserve a second chance

Ramiz Raja is Pakistan’s most famous voice at the commentary box during a cricket match. His in-depth analysis of matches clearly depicts his love for the game. As an international cricketer, he played between 1984 and 1997 – a career that spanned for 13 years. He played 57 Test matches and 198 ODIs, and also captained the team for a brief moment. Moreover, he was a part of the World Cup winning side in 1992. Since his retirement in 1997, he has played an integral part in making policies on countless occasions, in official and unofficial capacity. But above all, I believe that Ramiz’s biggest trait ...

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12 similarities between Pakistan’s 1992 and 2015 World Cup squad that will blow your mind!

Here are some of the similarities between Pakistan’s 1992 and 2015 World Cup squad that most of us are not aware of: 1. Venue 1992: Australia- New Zealand 2015: Australia- New Zealand 2. Captain Imran Khan Niazi of Mianwali (1992) Misbahul Haq Niazi of Mianwali (2015) 3. Captain’s injury In 1992, Pakistan’s captain, Imran Khan entered the tournament with an injury. In 2015, Misbahul Haq has also sustained an injury just before the World Cup. 4. Surprise all-rounder Ijaz Ahmed (1992) Haris Sohail (2015) 5. Opener who can also bowl Amir Sohail (1992) Mohammad Hafeez (2015) 6. Two leg-spinners in the squad Mushtaq Ahmed and Iqbal Sikander (1992) Shahid Afridi and Yasir Shah (2015) 7. Middle-order batsman  Inzamamul Haq, ...

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Subramanian Swami, I guarantee you that the ISI did not fund PK

Dear Subramanian Swami, Unlike Aamir Liaquat, I do not wish to engage in a tirade of abuses and vitriol of hate. I will not mention any ‘dandas with jhandas’ or ‘pichwaras’ or ‘teesri hockey sticks’, but I simply hope to appeal to your ability to see reason. You claim that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of Pakistan has funded the Bollywood movie PK. You say that your sources trace the funds to Pakistan through Dubai. Sir, I do not know what you are smoking but please can I have some too? Who financed the PK film? According to my sources it is traceable to Dubai and ISI. DRI ...

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Why is Pakistan a pariah at the Lord’s Cricket Ground?

Being out of place is a funny feeling – it’s nothing unbearable but it always keeps you outside your comfort zone. For an expat Pakistani, life in the UK is fraught with pangs of this feeling. This is usually evident during the festive season of Christmas when you are always in a dilemma as to whether you should celebrate Jesus’s birthday – with all the commercialism thrown in – with your neighbours, friends and colleagues or refrain from it due to differences in Muslim and Christian beliefs about Jesus Christ. Usually, one does well to acquire a middle ground. This year, however, I decided ...

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After Ajmal, Hafeez takes a hit – will Pakistan be able to bounce back?

And so the ICC’s purge against off-spinners continues, with Mohammad Hafeez being the latest victim. It has come as no surprise given the recent suspensions of off-spinners globally and the warning Hafeez himself received when he was reported during the Champions League T20 in September with Hafeez due to be tested at Loughborough on November 24, 2014. In fact, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) itself has been pro-active in this matter, forming a five-member committee which included ICC Elite Panel Umpire Aleem Dar and Pakistan’s spin bowling coach, Mushtaq Ahmad, to weed out suspect actions before they reach the international stage. However, the news of Hafeez ...

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This is for Hobart

The morning of November 22, 1999 was nippy and blustery, typical Karachi winter weather. I woke up early with an air of expectation. Christmas was coming early this year and Eid was going to follow. Pakistan was finally going to beat Australia in a Test match on their home turf and I was ready for school early to savour as much of the moment as possible. The Test series was following after Pakistan had been blanked by Australia in the World Cup final earlier in the year and was billed as the ‘badla’ tour by the press. Wasim Akram, the Pakistan team ...

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