Taha Anis

Jun 182017

Pakistan beat India by 180 runs on Sunday in their first-ever final appearance in the Champions Trophy and won their first-ever silverware at The Oval courtesy an all-round show. Here is what everyone will be talking about in the next few days. Never write off Pakistan They qualified for this by the skin of their teeth. They entered it as the lowest-ranked side in the tournament. When asked who will win this tournament, almost all experts agreed on one answer — anyone but Pakistan. History and ecstasy Pakistan’s as they claim first-ever Champions Trophy There is a reason that ‘unpredictable’ tag refuses to let go of this side. This is Pakistan’s greatest-ever sporting achievement In 70 years, Pakistan have pulled off some miraculous achievements in various sports. There have been the World Cups and Olympic medals in hockey and the World Cup and World T20 in cricket but never have Pakistan punched above their weight quite like they did here. The hockey team almost always entered a tournament as one of the favourites, while Pakistan boasted the likes of Wasim Akram, Imran Khan and Javed Miandad back in 1992. Razzaq backs Pakistan bowlers to do damage against India This team had an inexperienced skipper, an unsettled bowling attack and a woefully mediocre and out of form batting line-up. Yet here they stand, champions of the world. Fakhar etches his name in history Nothing ever writes your name in Pakistani folklore than a century against India. Nothing quite grants you immortality [Read More…]

Jan 212017

HYDERABAD: Lahooti Melo 2017 has started on Saturday and everything seemed perfect at the outset. A cool breeze was blowing, and the venue and its backdrop were beautiful. An assortment of ministers and organisers delivered some great speeches and the fakirs from Tharparkar danced in the sun. Then the first session started, and it went downhill from there. The session was named, Thi Tand Wirhay Talwarun Saan, after a Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai verse that talks about how art can replace the sword. The speakers were aptly chosen: a fakir, Juman Faqir, renowned author and activist Amar Sindhu and a member of revolutionary band Laal, Shahram Azhar. But the moderator, journalist Wusatullah Khan, decided to hijack the session instead. The conversation became about the downtrodden, about feminism, about why the Laal the Band broke up. It was about everything but the session. But a session with such distinguished speakers cannot be without quotable wit. “Hearts are never hard to begin with. They get hardened by society,” said Juman. Wusatullah answered with a quip about military generals, Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf — a joke that no one in the audience understood apart from him. Juman didn’t take the bait. Refusing to touch upon political subjects, he clarified he was not there to talk about politics. “I am here to talk about love. I think hearts need to be softened by sharing the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai.” Sindhu was more willing to talk politics. “How can arts thrive in a [Read More…]

Dec 102016

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has prepared a standby pool of foreign players for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore, in case the ones set to line up for the two finalists decide to back out. Considering the well-known reluctance of foreign cricketers to play in Pakistan, more than a few eyebrows were raised when the PCB announced the final of the league’s second edition will be held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Lahore final ‘uncertain’ as PSL schedule announced However, it seems the board is earnest in trying to bring at least some part of the league onto home soil. With four bulletproof buses already procured, the board is now keeping a set of back-up foreign players to replace any who opt against travelling to Pakistan. The board also expects to have around 5,000 security personnel at its disposal for the match. Peshawar Zalmi owner pitches IPL-PSL team matches to BCCI president While a second draft may remove some of the shine of the final — the players in the back-up draft will understandably be of a lesser caliber and command less star-power than those in the original squad — it means that the decider may yet be held in Lahore. The board is confident that such a situation will only arise if the country is hit by a terrorist attack that scares the players away, with an official revealing that most of the players have already agreed to come to Pakistan for the final subject [Read More…]

Nov 142016
PCB must consider cancelling NZ Test in wake of earthquake

It was well after midnight — when the players should have been asleep but weren’t — that they felt the earth literally shake below their feet. Soon they found themselves being evacuated from their hotel and out into the cold Nelson night where temperatures had plummeted to below 10°C — uncertain and cold in an almost alien country. For the team, humans first and foremost, it must have been a harrowing ordeal. Pakistan-New Zealand Test to go ahead despite earthquake Team manager Wasim Bari and coach Mickey Arthur have talked about the effect it has had on the players and Bari revealed they are unable to focus on their cricket right now. So did Arthur. “It was pretty scary, it really was,” he told TVNZ. “[The players] were a bit scared to go back up to their rooms.” Keeping the players’ current mental state in mind, the management has a decision to make. Aftershocks are expected for the next couple of days and, instead of enjoying their stay in one of the world’s most scenically beautiful countries, the players are now fearing for their lives. According to Bari they have not slept for the past two days. Pakistan team escorted out of hotel after New Zealand earthquake They are clearly in no condition to be playing cricket — practicing in the nets would be difficult right now, let alone take to the field against one of the finest teams in the world. Many are cruelly pointing to the fact that [Read More…]

Mar 032016
Pakistan don’t ever change, you are the ultimate entertainers

Disclaimer: This article isn’t for those too weak, or too passionate, of heart. Those who seek catharsis in sports, who only love her for the joys she brings, should look away now. If you are still reading this, you are one of the few who love sports not only for the elation, but for the suffering she inflicts too. She is a harsh mistress, admittedly all the harsher for Pakistani cricket fans, but harsh nonetheless for one and all. That is what makes her so beautiful. On Wednesday, Pakistan’s five-wicket loss to hosts Bangladesh meant they were knocked out of the Asia Cup. The all-too-familiar nature of the loss — calamitous fielding, poor top-order performance, slow run-rate earlier in the innings, batting first on a pitch where letting the other side put up a total may have been the smarter choice — has left the country understandably fuming. What incensed them the most was not the loss but the déjà vu it caused. The feeling that we have been here before, that running in circles in these dark alleys is way more frustrating than the darkness itself. Asia Cup: Bangladesh stun Pakistan to reach final Why can’t we be like arch-rivals India, the eternal yardstick, who have a never-ending production line of world-class batsmen, they ask? Why can’t we be like those Australian or South African teams that deliver such efficient performances, especially in the field? Why can’t we even be like Bangladesh, a young plucky team on the up [Read More…]

Jan 112016

KARACHI: They say only the good die young. David Robert Jones, or David Bowie as you and I know him, was neither good nor young when he succumbed to an 18-month cancer battle at the age of 69 on Monday. But he leaves behind a legacy that no man — good or evil, young or old — can ever hope to match.Bowie’s talent was there for all to see from a very young age and it came as little surprise to those who knew him back then when he made his breakthrough into the mainstream with the still popular song Space Oddity in 1969.Next year came the iconic third album Man Who Sold The World, tackling mental sicknesses, but it wasn’t until 1973 and the fittingly named Ziggy Stardust that Bowie reached stratospheric fame and recognition.Music legend David Bowie dies at 69Never a man to shy away from the limelight — his first two albums were both named David Bowie — the man from London’s Brixton district caught everyone’s attention with his bright red hair, glittered and made up face, and flamboyant clothes. Many believe the roots of glam rock can be traced back to Bowie and his first alter ego Ziggy.But his influence on music transcends one genre, or one era, or even one planet. And so was born the slogan,“There is old wave, there is new wave, and there is Bowie.”Not satisfied with leaving an irrefutable mark on the music industry, Bowie was also an award-winning actor in a [Read More…]

Dec 292015

2015 started with reports of a divided Camp Nou as manager Luis Enrique and talisman Lionel Messi were allegedly at loggerheads over the Basque’s decision to rest the Argentina skipper.2015 ended with Barcelona winning five trophies — being crowned champions of Spain, Europe and then the world — and with Messi being almost certain to win the Ballon d’Or.They say a year is a long time in football and 2015 has proven as such for the Catalans.Messi, Barcelona win big at Globe Soccer AwardsAfter seeing arch-rivals Real Madrid claim the fabled and much-awaited La Decima along with a record-breaking 22 wins on the trot to end 2014, the Blaugrana knew they had to up the ante.They kicked off the year with a 1-0 loss to David Moyes’s Real Sociedad but never looked back from then, starting off a spectacular run with a 3-1 win over defending La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.Enrique’s unpopular decision to rotate early on proved to be a masterstroke in the end as a fresh front three of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar tormented all that came in front of them.No one is superior to Messi in Barcelona: SuarezA 2-1 win over Real at Camp Nou meant they overtook the Los Blancos as favourites for the league title and Messi’s strike in a 1-0 win over Atletico at the Vicente Calderon confirmed the first trophy of the famous treble.Messi, playing from the right-hand side in a deeper role that saw him afforded more space, was in the [Read More…]

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