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Category Archives: Cricket

Adios, Misbah ul Haq

I don’t know where to begin from. I’m a little broken, saddened by the thought that who will I look forward to, to have a belief that everything will be alright, when the next time Pakistani batting line will self destruct. This is as much sinking as when Sir Alex decided to call it the day. Some thing broke inside me that day and something else has shattered inside today too.

At first, I would like to raise my hand and apologise for being a typical Afridiot when Misbah was appointed the captain and questioned his defensive approach. I thought Misbah’s approach had affected the whole team and most importantly, Shehzad, who was apparently an aggressive batsman when he became a part of this team.

Your achievements speak for yourself, Sir. Asia Cup after 14 years, beating the hell out of India in India, being the first Asian team to beat South Africa in South Africa and all the victories that have contributed to you being the most successful Pakistani captain.

I have never seen a much more calm and humble yet resilient man ever. You are the epitome of awesomeness. Despite being a 40 year old man, you have shown all these *youngsters* what fitness is. I don’t recall any instance when you missed out a match due to an injury.

Your attitude on and off the field should be used as a role model by the kids. Your dedication to this sport is unmatched. Even though you were out there blocking every thing thrown your way to stabilize the team, then that random Misbah six came outta nowhere. High back lift, standing tall and way it goes over the long on boundary. It was never a slog, unlike other powerful hitters. It will be missed. Dearly missed.

You leave the shorter format of the game as the most successful Pakistani captain. You have been snubbed from the shortest format where you were the only one (as always) standing tall for us in the final. Here’s a request for you. Please, please stay around for much more time and make us the best test side in the world.

We disrespected you for the person who’d wake up after you have carried us for 10 matches and then play an inning. We criticised you for every thing you did. You embraced it all and answered it with your actions. You deserved a better farewell than this. You deserved a guard of honour. We are again sorry for not respecting your achievements. These following words is our little tribute to you.

Thank you for carrying this team on your back for four years ♥

Thank you for carrying this team on your back for four years ♥

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Posted by on March 21, 2015 in Cricket

 

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Indian blues…

The extravaganza of Cricket, bigger than the Ashes or the World Cups, that began just a day before the New Year’s Eve has finally finished.  Before Pakistan team left for India and after witnessing an ODI and a T20I against India in 2012, I had some doubts if Pakistani bowlers will be able to cope up with the strong Indian batting but my words, the way our boys in green performed.

Up from 9.30 in the morning to watch Junaid Khan rip through the Indian top order was priceless. It had been some time since watching India 29-5 at their home and baby no one better than Pakistan had the ability to do it. Dhoni tried to rescue the innings but it was too little too late. Nasir Jamshed stepped up and who better than Damaad e Hind, Shoaib Malik finished it off with a Federerisque cross court forehand (in tribute to his wife). That was love ♥

Still hadn’t gotten over the hangover of 1st ODI and the 2nd one was there already. Pakistan team unbeated at Eden Garden, Calcutta, was looking to wrap up the series in style with the impressive opening partnership. But as it often happens,a bad shot and then the Pakistani batting crambled. What once looked like a 300+ score, only 249 was made by so much effort. As Indians came to bat, Pakistani bowlers once again were on the money and resumed from where they left the first ODI. It was exceptional as the following tweet suggests it.

Talking about the banter, it is always a whole new experience to follow a cricket match on Twitter. Seasonal EXPERTS, regular cricket fans, and other people observing tiny little details about the match mixed up with all the swearing and cursing. And when it is Pakistan vs India, it is exaggerated at all the levels. Here are a few examples.

Too bad that I was busy tweeting and not star some of them, can’t find them at this moment. Although we lost today’s ODI, but to hell with it. For the first time since 2005, we visited India for a bilateral series and came with the trophy. Beating India in India by destroying their batting, was one awesome treat for the eyes. Now waiting for them to come back and we’ll beat them here too. I’ll sign off with these couple of lines for Indian Cricket Team

“Tum pe yeh hum ne hara rung daala… Haar kar bhi tumhaiiinnn, haraa daala”

p.s. Winners, TAKE A BOW !

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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Cricket

 

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The future of Pakistan cricket

Another semi final defeat at World T20. Another day of accusations and no bond between team members. Captain going for priorities than experience and best combination. Experienced players not performing well up to the expectations from them. Some playing in the whole tournament because of the performance in one single match. Many things went wrong, many lessons were learnt (if they want to learn) during our journey in the World T20.

Sharing my personal opinion, Hafeez is a defensive captain. Although he tried his level best to win the semi final by standing there for more than half of the innings but his decisions while fielding has surely raised some fingers. Against India when we were defending below par 129, why didn’t he ever put on a slip in either power play or even after power play. If you’re defending a total like that, even if you go down, you should go down trying. Similarly, why was Sohail Tanvir never asked to bowl out his quota in semi final when he had given just 11 in 3 overs? Hafeez never really understood the pitch. He went with the same strategy he used against Australians, forgetting that Srri Lankans play spin much better than Kangaroos.

Anyways, what’s done is done. Let’s look at the future and next World T20 in Bangladesh. Captain Hafeez, Imran Nazir, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdur Razzaq, Yasir Arafat and the maestro, Saeed Ajmal, they all are in their Thirties. By the next World T20, a couple of them or more might retire. This is where we need to see if we have their backups available.

Talking about partnership, we have so much talent in the form of Ahmed Shahzad and Nasir Jamshed. We have the talent of Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Ramiz Raja Jr., Khalid Lateef, Hammad Azam, Junaid Khan and many more who are hungry to perform for the national team. For years, our batting has been the weakest and it’ll be truly tested on the bouncy South African pitches in February next year.

Not just the T20 squad, we need to look to out Test/ODI squad too. Misbah is 38 and all those above mentioned are mostly a part of test squad too. We need to start grooming our players right now so that by the time we play in the next world competitions, these young guns have enough experience and they can justify their talent well.

In my opinion, captaincy should be handed over to a young leader at this stage. Taking South Africa’s or India’s example, what they did with Dhoni and Greame Smith. They appointed them the captain when the team was in a build up process with a few veterans around. For T20, the ideal choice will be Nasir Jamshed. As for ODI/Tests, Azhar Ali could be a very good choice. They both have shown their immense talent and are now experienced too. If they can carry on with the skipper’s armband for a couple of years and with the talent that is still coming from this country, Pakistan could become the Australia of the decade from 1999-2008. Although, the team is unpredictable, but you can never count them out. Ever.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in Cricket

 

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The curse stays…

Any cricket lover will not be be unware of the fact that Pakistan has never beaten their arch rivals India in an ICC World event but still they have won more matches than them. Take T20s for example. Inaugral ICC world T20 of 2007, first the group match was tied which India won by that stupidty of bowl-out and then in the final of that event, that famous un-named shot by Misbah..

After suffering defeat at the hands on India in last year’s WC semi-final, there were hopes that Pakistan will eventually beat the curse and kick India out of World T20. What actually happened was never thought by anyone, especially after that warm-up match.

I seriously don’t know what is the problem with Pakistani team. Everyone calls South Africa chokers but we are the real chokers when it comes against India in ICC events.

For today’s match, I will totally blame Captain Hafeez for the loss. Each and every decision he took, backfired on him. He spent almost 10 over on the crease to score a mere 15 runs. What it did was to build pressure on other players. Decision by Afridi to come at no. 3 was a great one but credit to India, they took him out with a plan. Back in the field, he just never attacked the Indian batsman. It felt like he had already given up. Spread out field when they needed 6 in over, allowing them easy singles. He never came to bowl himself when attack was required. That is just enough to tell how much a team needs its captain to perform in crucial matches.

Now, we have Australia to beat to ensure a semi final birth.. The way Aussies are playing at the moment, they have kept on from where they left the UAE. In order to get a result against Aussies, we will need the whole experience in our team to do it. Abdur Razzaq, Afridi, Malik,Nazir, they all will have to step up and do it. Those pointing fingers on Afridi, let me tell one thing straight. If we go to the semis, Afridi will be the match winner in both semi final and final. Best of luck Team Green, give it your everything against the Aussies.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Cricket

 

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T20

Just another post on the craziest Cricket scene at the moment. T20 World Cup. Like every other (true) Pakistani Cricket supporter, I’m all pumped up for it. I have exams for the next three months but no, I’d never be bothered by it.

Since the first event in 2007, the world has known what Pakistan could do in the shorter format of the game. Finalist in 2007 (that freaking shot by Misbah), Winners in 2009 (That voice of David Lloyd saying “Boom Boom”) and Semi Finalist in 2010 (Hussey you **********) is enough to tell about how good they have been in this competition.

If this was the former Pakistani team, I’d have some doubts over them. But this is the fresh blood, well mixed with experienced campaigners like Afridi, Abdur Razzaq, Malik and Gul. Not to forget the magician and the best bowler in the world at the moment, Saeed Ajmal.

These four weeks will be fun. Many Pakistani fans will appear if they reach the semi finals. Screenings will be arranged, shirt sales will reach a new high while so many new brands will start to appear on Facebook newsfeed with their awkward type of supporting shirts for Team Pakistan. Memes. Fucking memes all over. Twitter, my timeline will be full of experts. I am one of them but at the end of the day I think that why do we do that. Is team management actually reading what we have to say? Are they taking everything into consideration? But just like every other Pakistani, I guess we will never stop.

Back to cricket now. This time, Pakistan is placed in Group D. Definitely, a group of Death, sharing it with New Zealand and Bangladesh. Over the years, Bangladesh had not been a problem at all but this time it’s different. Shakib, world’s best All-rounder. That midget Mushfiq is powerful too. At the open, Tamim is a totally different thing. They came closer twice to beat Pakistan in the Asia Cup. Then we have NZ. There might be so many new names but this team has just beaten the big mouthed, over confident cunts India in their own backyard. So yeah, this will be a test too.

Whatever the scenario will be, deep down I know that I’ll be watching every match till the very last ball because of this hopeless love story of mine with the most unpredictable Cricket team. It can win a long lost match and can lose a match which it had dominated for 95% of the time. Best of Luck Pakistan. Let’s bring back the cup where it belongs ♥

I hope we see this sight once again. Best of luck.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Cricket

 

Pakistan vs England: Preview

The Pakistan vs England series is all set to commence on Tuesday, 17th Jan. 2012,  with first Test Match at Dubai. The series has mostly been controversial, especially in thelast half decade or so. As England isthe No. 1 test team and keeping Pakistan’s current form in mind, the series hasbeen evenly poised.

The controversies goes back to 1987 when on Pakistan’stour, Mike Gatting was furious about umpiring decisions and pointed a finger atthe umpire Shakoor Rana in the second test at Faisalabad.
That moment when Mike Gatting threatened the umpire.

The controversies didn’t end and they hit back in 2000, when the Karachi Test continued till it became dark and England was able to win. Then comes 2006 when England had taken an unassailable lead of 2-0 and on the fourth day of last test, the Australian umpire Darryl Hair, accused Pakistani bowlers of Ball Tampering. After the lunch break, the then Captain of Pakistani Team, Inzimam ul Haq, refused to lead the team out on field as protest while the batsmen and umpire were waiting in the middle. After a few discussions, the umpire called the match off and England were declared winners.

The controversies of 2006 series were finally forgotten when another one struck in 2010. Aamir had bowled the spell of his life when at the close of play, the tabloid News Of The World revealed that he has bowled No Balls along with Mohammad Asif, deliberately. As almost everyone know it now, they are now in prison along with Salman Butt, who was the mastermind behind all this.

Jail sentence for all the culprits

Controversies aside, Pakistan vs England have been a great contest nevertheless. They both have met 21 times in Test series since 1954 with England winning 10 of them while Pakistan has only managed to win 5. England has the upper hand on ODI series too, winning 6 while Pakistan have managed just 2 out of 11 played overall.
The high scoring matches in early 70s, Abdul Qadir’s 8 wickets in an innings, the Doosras of Saqlain Mushtaq and Googlies of Mushtaq Ahmed, finishing innings of Graham Thorpe, Inzimam and Yousuf, the heroics of Umar Gul and batting of Trott and Staruss, the series has ever been evenly matched.

Although the English team is the No.1 ranked team in the world, but keeping Pakistan’s recent form in mind, both team’s winning the highest number of Test matches in 2011, the series will be an epic one and let’s just all pray that it remains controversy free 🙂
Good luck to Pakistan Cricket team, lets just show England that we are better than them.
Be Green. Feel Green. Live Green. Bleed Green. 🙂 

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Cricket

 

Greatest ever Cricket match

Since my last post was related to Cricket, this one’s also describing the greatest Cricket match (One Day International) ever played. It features the national teams of South Africa and Australia. I’m not a fan of these two teams but when in 2006 it was played, Australia were the top team in the world having won two consecutive World Cups and sitting at top of ODI rankings with a big margin. As always the South Africa vs Australia bilateral series has been nail biting, this final ODI was evenly poised. It was a series decider. Just for a brief summary, batting first, Australia made a massive 434 in their allotted 50 overs. That was the first time a team had crossed 400 run mark in ODI history. South Africa were required to chase 435, and the way their chase begin was disastrous. But then, it had everything to keep the Cricket lovers glued to their TV screens. Watch the highlights here.

Ricky Ponting cannot believe it. Who’d have thought that Australia will lose after scoring 434 runs.

I remember I had my O levels exams in a couple of weeks’ time and my tutor was giving me extra classes. I made excuses every 15 minutes to come to my home to watch and witness this amazing victory by South Africa.
Download the torrent to watch full match.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Cricket