Stories about Wasim Akram

Defeating our demons

On January 6, 2010, I sat with my head in my hands as I tried to make sense of what had just happened. Some brilliant (read: not) captaincy and some strange fielding – attributed largely to Mazher Majeed’s influence on the team – meant that Pakistan squandered a 206-run lead and, with it, the chance to beat Australia on home-ground. For Pakistani fans, this was a hard pill to digest and that can largely be put down to Australia’s complete dominance of Pakistan over a number of years – basically our entire cricket-following age. At Hobart in 1999, Australia chased down 369 against a ...

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Ban the bowlers, ban them all!

After depriving the world of the most glorious sight in international cricket – Saeed Ajmal in all his grace, splendour and beauty giving an interview to Nasser Hussain after a match – the ICC plans to throw the book at bowlers. I welcome this hard-line decision taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the matter; if only these regulations had come a few years earlier, Kachra would never have been able to win the match for the farmers and the British could have enjoyed imposing dugna lagaan. Had they banned Imran Khan, our politics would have been deprived of the numerous cricket analogies ...

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Can Saeed Ajmal break the ‘curse’ of being the best bowler of Pakistan?

Over the course of several decades, one constant factor in Pakistan cricket has been the quality bowlers it has produced. From masters of reverse swing to the fastest bowler in the world, and from subtle drifters to the inventor and master of the ‘doosra’, Pakistani cricketers have added magic to the art of bowling. Cricket would be a much different game without the bowling contributions of our players. It would have been more of a batsman’s game with much less flair. But at the same time, to be the best bowler of Pakistan is a truly cursed position. Our masters ...

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To all the leftist liberals and the beghairat brigade, my blood is still green!

Nostalgia is a funny thing. It’s like looking through the window of a bullet train passing by downtown of a metropolis at night. You only see the well-lit boulevards and tall skyscrapers while the darkened slums are blurred out of view. Today, when I look back at my 29 years in Pakistan, I can’t remember the pitch dark slums of the late 80s or early 90s. The memories that have remained or those which my brain has chosen to record are the ones where only the metaphorical boulevards and skyscrapers remain. Before a myriad of Pakistani television channels sprung up, before a number ...

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A trip down memory lane with, Morven Gold, Dentonic and Naz Pan Masala

Before Cable TV made it big, there was a time when households in the country only had access to one local channel – that channel being PTV. This changed in 1988 with the launch of PTN (People’s Television Network), later renamed STN. For a decade, PTV and STN ruled the roost. Our local channels, primarily PTV, were host to some of the most iconic advertisements in Pakistan’s history. Below is a take on eight of the most memorable advertisements from that time, taking a trip down memory lane and reminding us all of a happier Pakistan. 8) Shield Toothbrush Most of us would remember this advertisement as one from the 1990s. Surprise! It’s from the 1980s. The ...

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PCB selection committee: Out with the old, in with the ‘not-so-old’

Most people will agree that Pakistan cricket has produced countless greats over the past 60 years; from Hanif Muhammad to Shahid Afridi (or Younis Khan, for those who will argue on Afridi), our history is filled with top class players. Most people will also agree that cricket has changed a lot over the past 15 years, so much so that one fails to understand how something can change so rapidly. The sport has moved away from the dull and boring Test matches, which would end after five days (sometimes, without any definite win), and has become more exciting with the advent of One Day International ...

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Dale Steyn: The best fast bowler ever!

While the whole cricket fraternity was going gaga over Dale Steyn’s bowling heroics during the second Test match of the last series played between South Africa and Australia, a couple of my friends came up with a peculiar yet interesting theory. According to them, due to the dearth of good fast bowlers in Test cricket, batsmen, in general, have become complacent, and as a consequence, their techniques have become more vulnerable against top quality swing bowling. Some very good bowlers, taking advantage of the technical deficiencies of modern batsmen, have mustered up career figures that are comparable to the best of all time, even if ...

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What’s common between Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Abdus Salam and Abdul Khaliq?

They were never appreciated in Pakistan. We are a profoundly aptitudinal nation and have produced the finest people in all fields of life, whether it is sports, music or science. Take cricket for example. We have seen the likes of Hanif Muhammad, Zaheer Abbas, Wasim Akram, Sarfraz Nawaz, Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, Inzamamul Haq and many other legends. Moving on to hockey, we have had some of the best players in the world and we are the only nation that won the hockey World Cup title four times. Out of the 10 medals Pakistan has won in the Olympics, we won three in hockey. Sohail Abbas ...

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Pakistani sports channels and death by advertising

As I write this, Umar Gul has just bowled out a Bangladeshi batsman. Gul screams in celebration, begins to jump with his fists in the air and then there’s Rameez Raja with a cup of tea in his hand. Wait… what? That can’t be right. Sadly, it is. Few things get under my skin as much as excessive advertising during cricket matches. Whether we’re being convinced that a slab of not-so-expensive chocolate will suffice as a midnight anniversary present (take it from me, it doesn’t) or that the amount of egg in a biscuit is reason for six women to put on shiny clothes and ...

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Ravindra Jadeja might be ‘the next Wasim Akram’, what a joke!

It was very awkward for me when I saw a picture of Ravindra Jadeja on a magazine cover with ‘The next Wasim Akram?’ written on top of it. Indian Bowling coach, Joe Dawes gave a statement after losing the second Test match against South Africa that he may try to make Jadeja the new Wasim Akram. His statement implicated that Jadeja should practice some seam bowling as previously done by Sourav Ganguly or Sachin Tendulkar. The first thing that disturbed me was how a spinner can be compared to one of the greatest pace bowlers the international cricket has ever seen. If anything, I personally think Sanath Jayasuria would have ...

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