Dec 302017
Looking back: A year of #MisYou

Misbah and Younis were carried by their teammates in a lap of honour after the end of their last ever Test match, May 14, 2017 Pakistan’s most successful Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and the country’s greatest batsman Younis Khan bid goodbye to international cricket together in 2017, leaving their fans with decades of memories to cherish.As we see off this year, let’s re-live the ten best memories #MisYou gave us.Top of the world Misbah led Pakistan to the country’s greatest moment in Test cricket, when he lifted the enviable Test mace as the team embraced the number one spot in ICC Test team rankings for the first time in 2016.  Number one and proud of it: Misbah with the Test mace, September 2016Although the top spot was short-lived, the occasion was the proudest moment in Pakistan Test history and, of course, the highlight of Misbah’s career as captain.Push-ups: the new way to celebrate Misbah capped off a brilliant century at Lord’s during England tour of 2016 with an unforgettable celebration: the push-ups. First, the salute. Then came the push-ups. At 42 years old, Misbah became the sixth oldest player in Test history to make a century. But what followed was the highlight of the day: he saluted the Pakistan flag flying above the Pavilion and performed a series of push-ups that left his teammates and fans equally amused.  The skipper later said the Lord’s century was the top inning of his career. He also revealed that the push-ups were for the trainers of the Pakistan Army. “I [Read More…]

Apr 242017
PCB felicitates Younis Khan

KARACHI: PCB Chairman Shaharyar Mohammad Khan was all praise for Younis Khan’s service to Pakistan cricket and spoke highly of his prolific career after the batsman became the first Pakistani and 13th batsman in the world to reach 10,000 Test runs mark. Younis achieved this milestone in the ongoing first Test match against the West Indies at Kingston. Earlier, he surpassed Javed Miandad’s 8,832 Test runs and became the highest run-getter for Pakistan. “Younis Khan has been an excellent ambassador of Pakistan cricket. The number of records he has set in the recent past is something we as a nation can take great pride in. He is the only Pakistan batsman and Test cricketer in the world to score centuries in 11 countries across the world, the feat he achieved against Australia early this year. I congratulate him on rewriting the record book and hope he carries the form in the series against West Indies,” Chairman PCB said. Chairman Executive Committee Najam Sethi expressed the same thoughts for the legendary batsman. “Younis Khan has been a great servant to Pakistan cricket. He is a run machine for Pakistan Test team and continues to carry the burden of the Test team along with Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq for years now. I also congratulate him on completing 10,000 Test runs and making the country proud.” Subhan Ahmad, COO, also congratulated Younis, terming him the backbone of Pakistan’s batting. “Becoming the first Pakistan batsman to score 10,000 Test runs was indeed a great achievement.” [Read More…]

Apr 222017
Poor covers delay West Indies, Pakistan Test

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Inadequate covering from heavy overnight and early morning rain delayed the start of play on the second day of the first Test between the West Indies and Pakistan at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Saturday. While the rain stopped well before the scheduled start, some rainwater had leaked onto the pitch creating damp areas that will have to be dried out before play cam resume. West Indies closed day one at 244 for seven in their first innings after being put in to bat. Meanwhile on Friday, half-centuries by Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich engineered a West Indies revival in reaching 244 for seven at stumps against Pakistan on the opening day. Coming together immediately after lunch when opener Kieran Powell became Mohammad Amir’s third wicket with the innings in tatters at 71 for five, Chase batted with confidence and fluency for a top score of 63. His sixth-wicket partnership with Dowrich was worth 118 runs, the wicketkeeper-batsman enhancing his reputation with a polished 56, the pair making a mockery of the West Indies’ earlier struggles after they were put in to bat. On the same ground where an unbeaten hundred in just his second Test match saved the West Indies from defeat against India a year earlier, Chase looked at ease against all bowlers although his penchant for the uncontrolled hook resulted in a couple of narrow escapes. Yet it was Yasir Shah who removed both him and Dowrich off successive deliveries in the final session. Made [Read More…]

Mar 192017
Misbah calls for life ban on players involved in spot-fixing

KARACHI: Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has finally broken his silence on the spot-fixing scandal which hit the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League second edition. Talking to media earlier today, the veteran captain called for a life ban on players found guilty of spot-fixing. “Those players found to be involved in spot-fixing should be banned for life. We are very disappointed this happened,” Misbah said, adding that strict action must be taken against the spot-fixers to ensure such incidents never happen again. The 42-year-old captain lamented that the fixing scandal has tarnished the image of Pakistan cricket. “It appears that the [positive] image for Pakistan cricket we had strived to build for the past seven years has been wasted,” Misbah said. About the upcoming tour to West Indies, the skipper said he anticipates the series to be tough, adding that the West Indies’ players know how to leverage their home conditions to their advantage. “West Indies won the last Test against us, that must have boosted their confidence. We have to be disciplined in our batting and bowling and in how we execute our game plan, in order to beat them on their home ground,” Misbah emphasised. Commenting on his retirement plans, the veteran captain said he is thankful to the Pakistan Cricket Board for not pressurising him in this regard. “They have left the decision to me, and I’m grateful for that. My focus is on playing well and winning the matches,” Misbah remarked.   Cricketers Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad [Read More…]

Mar 132017
Zaheer Abbas? father Ghulam Shabbir laid to rest

KARACHI: Syed Ghulam Shabbir, father of former Pakistan Test captain Zaheer, was laid to rest here at a local graveyard on Monday evening. Syed Ghulam Shabbir was taken ill a few days back and finally breathed his last on Monday. He was 101 years old. Condolence messages poured in from all corner following the death of Ghulam Shabbir, whose son Zaheer Abbas is regarded among the legends of Pakistan cricket. Zaheer is also a former President of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Shaharyar Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman and other top Board officials were among the many who sent their condolence messages. PPI adds: Shaharyar, Chairman Executive Committee Najam Sethi and Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad have offered their heartfelt condolences to Abbas on the sad demise of his father. “I expressed my deepest condolences on this sad occasion. May the Almighty bless his soul”, said Shaharyar. Najam Sethi said, “It is indeed a huge loss for Zaheer Abbas and his family. I am deeply saddened at your father’s passing away. Please accept my condolences, and also convey these to your family”. Click for detailed story

Jan 072017
Blog: ?Great things shouldn?t go that easily?

Societies grow through slow, incremental change but their collapse can be sudden & dramatic. Their collapse includes abrupt societal failures. Same goes with the team because team is not made by a person, but it is run by a few. Those few have the ability to control the team and have power to lead it to success, or else their absence would make it collapse. Those kind of people are taken as stars of the team, considered as strong pillars, and like a building a team also stands on its stars. The two stalwarts of Pakistan cricket (Misbah ul Haq & Younus Khan) were instrumental in making Pakistan number 1 Test team in the world. Retirement of these two strongest pillars together can demolish the team. We have history to suggest that when you look at West Indies, after Ambrose and Walsh retired, the performance of their team dropped terribly and it would be fair to say they haven’t come up to that mark still. Sri Lankan team stars, Mahela Jawardena and Sangakara, also retired in quick succession which has left the Sri Lankan side with a huge gap to fill in. It’s not just two names, it’s the star power that diminishes with them, which devalues the brand power of the team, so it can be contended here that there should be at least 1-2 years gap in Misbah and Younis Khan’s retirement so that brand Pakistan could not be devalued. Perhaps, we don’t want to repeat the ODI [Read More…]

Dec 222016
Misbah becomes first Pakistani to win ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2016

Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has been awarded the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2016, becoming the first Pakistan player to be bestowed with the accolade. Misbah was adjudged the winner for “inspiring his side to play the game in its true spirit, at the same time lifting the Pakistan cricket team from number-four to number-one on the ICC Test Team Rankings. Remarkably, this was achieved without playing any Test matches in his home country,” an ICC media release stated. #ICCAwards winner Misbah-ul-Haq on leading his side with the #SpiritofCricket — ICC (@ICC) December 22, 2016 Previous winners of the award have been MS Dhoni (2011), Daniel Vettori (2012), Mahela Jayawardena (2013), Katherine Brunt (2014) and Brendon McCullum (2015). New Zealand team won this award in 2004, 2009 and 2010, England in 2005 and 2006, and Sri Lanka in 2007 and 2008. Inspirational words from Misbah-ul-Haq, winner of the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2016 #SpiritofCricket #ICCAwards — ICC (@ICC) December 22, 2016 Commenting on the news, Misbah said: “I feel honoured and humbled to have won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award. To lift the Test mace earlier this year and now this in the twilight of my career, is a message for every athlete that age is not a barrier as long as the sportsperson maintains highest fitness levels and continues to perform up to international standards. “As a team, we have focused on playing within the rich traditions of the sport with a positive mindset and [Read More…]

Dec 192016
Australia unchanged for second Pakistan Test

BRISBANE: Australia named an unchanged 12-man squad Monday for the Boxing Day Test after their Gabba fright against Pakistan. The Australians, who prevailed by 39 runs over the tourists in a final-day thriller in Brisbane, kept paceman Chadd Sayers in their squad for the second of the three-Test series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Selectors said experienced batsman Shaun Marsh was not considered for the Melbourne Test as he recovers from a finger injury. “He will be assessed by a specialist this week and will hopefully be given the all clear to return to unrestricted training,” interim chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said. He said selectors will assess the players over the next 24 hours and may yet call for reinforcements if required. “We have the option to add to the squad depending on how the bowling unit pulls up after getting through a lot of overs in Brisbane,” Hohns said. He added: “These players have performed extremely well in earning back-to-back Test victories against South Africa and Pakistan and deserve the opportunity to stay together as a group to continue their development.” Hohns said the squad had been selected only for the Melbourne Test and would be assessed for the final Sydney Test, starting on January 3. Australia: Matt Renshaw, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (capt), Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers. Click for detailed story

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