Stories about world cup

Going ‘Botham-esque’ in Napier

One advantage of the Napier downtown is its close proximity to the area hotels, lodges and motels and with two World Cup games within a week’s span, the area is currently the base camp for four teams, journalists, commentators and broadcaster’s crew. The TV broadcasters have recruited some stars of the game as commentators for the World Cup and the Pakistan-UAE game was no different with the panel also including the tormentor of Australia, legendary all-rounder Sir Ian Botham – the former England captain, nicknamed Beefy for both his bulk and brawn. While flying in from Brisbane, I had the opportunity ...

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Miandad’s last-ball six and the Indian team: A statistical analysis

The history of Pakistani cricket is incomplete without discussing the contributions of Javed Miandad, undoubtedly the greatest batsman produced by the country. Similarly, the history of ODI cricket is also unfinished without highlighting the impact of Miandad’s last-ball six on the game. The Wounded Tiger – a masterful book written on Pakistani cricket by Peter Oborne – declared it the most famous shot in cricket history. The six from that Sharjah match not only haunted Chetan Sharma and the Indian cricket team, but also the entire nation for the 10 years that followed. Before Miandad’s wonder in Sharjah, India had an impressive record in ODI matches ...

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It’s time for the ICC to revamp the World Cup format

The cricket World Cup 2015 is underway. Teams are strategising their wins, contemplating their losses and trying to find a way to be in the quarter-finals. Cricket followers around the globe are following this extravaganza match-by-match and it gets even more intense for them after every match ends. This is a flagship event of the International Cricket Council (ICC) but considering the importance of this tournament, I do not agree with its format. I think in its current state, the qualification of the top eight teams to the next round is a foregone conclusion, well before the tournament event starts. The format of the first four World Cups was ...

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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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Paint the town green and feel the jazba! This is our World Cup

It is a match for the irrational, those bitten with the bug of insanity, ravaged by their all-consuming need for victory. There is nothing quite like it. No game this emotionally invested. No rivalry this heated. For nine hours of your life, time stops, blood pressures rise, friendships are formed and broken, and everyone from a six-year-old to an 80-year-old is an all-knowing cricket pundit. This is Pakistan versus India; this is ODI gold. Tomorrow, February 15, 2015, Pakistan and India will face each other in the opening match of their World Cup campaign. India is currently ranked second whereas Pakistan seventh on ...

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While Pakistani ad agencies are busy making ‘chai’, I made a World Cup response video for India

Just like my life, this blog might not have a particular sense of direction. There is a lot boiling up in my head and I will try to intersect all my rants. First of all people, calm down. Seriously. Learn to take a joke. If you cannot, shut up and move on. If you think that this world would be nicer to you forever and ever, then you’re living in a delusion. Get out of it. It’s an evil place and internet is the womb of all evils. Whenever there is something out, an article, a video, a cartoon, we all rile ...

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Ballon d’Or 2014, Cristiano Ronaldo and becoming the Alpha-male of football

For the second time in a row and third overall, Portugal and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has been crowned as the best player in the world, beating the likes of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer at the glitzy gala in Zurich, Switzerland. The result comes as little surprise as the Portuguese has had a remarkable year, winning three trophies for his club – UEFA Champions League, Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup – and netting an astounding 54 goals in 60 appearances for club and country during the voting period (November 30, 2013 to November 21, 2014). On ...

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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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Imran Khan: Always a crowd pleaser

It was September 22nd of last year; one of the blackest days in the history of Pakistan. It was a day when the Taliban targeted a church in Peshawar with a pair of suicide bombers who ripped through a congregation 500 strong. The savage destruction that followed resulted in the death of over 78 Pakistanis with nearly 150 wounded. It was an act of terror in every sense of the word, and casualties included both women and children. We watched in horror on our television screens as tragic images of injured Pakistani worshipers flooded news channels. At first glance the aftermath resembled a butcher shop, ...

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5 reasons Manuel Neuer deserves the Ballon d’Or

Finally, after much anticipation, the list is out. And it’s out with a bang. Three players have been shortlisted for the prestigious award and it is no surprise that this year’s trio of the planet’s best players yet again includes the giants of the football world, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. What is enthralling about this year’s award, however, is that this time it is not Xavi or Andrés Iniesta or Franck Ribery who will compete with Ronaldo and Messi – this time, it is a goalkeeper. This time it is the ‘SuperManu’, the ‘sweeper-keeper’, the legendary German and Bayern Munich goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, who ...

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