Jun 172017
 
Show no fear, Afridi tells Sarfraz

LONDON: When he was Pakistan’s captain, one of Shahid Afridi’s greatest ambitions was to win a world title for his country. He failed to realise that dream after having lead Pakistan to the semifinals of the 2011 World Cup and to a first-round exit from the 2016 World Twenty20 championship. On Saturday, Afridi hoped that his successor Sarfraz Ahmed will succeed where he failed. Sarfraz, the aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman, will lead Pakistan in a dream final of the ICC Champions Trophy against India on Sunday (today). “Before I dwell on Pakistan’s strategy for the big match, I want to say that the final has given Sarfraz a God given opportunity of leaving a lasting legacy. The feisty wicket-keeper batsman is still learning the art of captaincy, yet has grown in stature as leader in every game this tournament. My advice to Sarfraz for the final is simple — take all decisions wholeheartedly and without any fear whatsoever,” Afridi wrote in his column on the official ICC website. “In big games, you need captains to have a clear mind since they are the ones who have to steer the ship. Sarfraz needs to back his own abilities to the hilt since a confused or timid approach can hurt the team and dampen the chances of success.” Afridi stressed that Pakistan’s senior duo of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez will have to deliver. “Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez need to come to the party for the big game, both these players have contributed [Read More…]

Jun 032017
 

Pakistani cricketers believe that they can add one more victory to their Champions Trophy tally against India if they go in with a positive attitude and deliver to the best of their capabilities on Sunday in Birmingham. Both teams will open their 2017 campaign with the high-profile clash at Edgbaston, and left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir says cricket has changed since he last played against India in the 2009 Champions Trophy. Sarfraz’s problem against India “To be honest, cricket has changed a bit [since 2009],” said Amir in a video released by the Pakistan Cricket Board. “At that time, only four fielders were allowed inside the circle, now you can have five fielders inside the circle. Also you have two new balls. So, cricket has changed since then.” The 24-year-old added that the game has become much faster but English conditions will help the bowlers and Pakistan must deliver their best if they are to down India. “There is a lot of T20 cricket now so the game has become faster but English conditions assist fast-bowlers, especially in May and June. If we deliver our best, there are good chances [that we will beat India],” he said. Champions Trophy unearths superstars: Malik Shoaib Malik was the hero for Pakistan when they beat India in the 2009 Champions Trophy by 54 runs, scoring 128 off 126 balls, and the all-rounder unsurprisingly counts it as his favourite knock against India. Pakistan bowlers will have to operate smartly: Aaqib “My favourite innings against India [Read More…]

Feb 202017
 
Afridi heroics go in vain as Karachi edge Peshawar

SHARJAH: It almost was his night. Shahid Afridi finally regained his six-hitting ability as he took Peshawar Zalmi agonisingly close to victory against Karachi Kings from a seemingly impossible situation in a HBL Pakistan Super League thriller. A packed crowd at the Sharjah cricket stadium was treated to some exciting batting by Afridi and his captain Darren Sammy as the senior duo lifted Peshawar from 69-6 to within striking distance of what would have been a memorable win. However, in the end Peshawar fell short by nine runs in their chase of Karachi’s 175. Peshawar’s top-order that just a night before fell to 78-6 again failed, with just 69 on the board by the time their sixth wicket was taken on Sunday. At that stage, it looked as if Karachi would romp to victory but for a magnificent 70-run partnership between Afridi and Sammy from just 40 balls. Sammy fell in the 18th over, before Afridi took the game into its final over. Needing 18 from it, Afridi scored eight from the first three balls, including a monster six to bring up his fifty but he perished next ball for 54 from 28 balls. It was inspired stuff from the former Pakistan captain, when defeat looked a convincing formality by the time he reached the crease but was only felt by nine runs by the close. Karachi’s 21-year old legspinner Usama Mir held his nerve in a brave final over and was rewarded with two wickets as Peshawar were bowled [Read More…]

Feb 062017
 

Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza has opened up about her marriage to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and what makes it successful. Talking about her marriage on Koffee With Karan, Sania professed she is happily married, “I am! And we stay quite far from each other and that’s the secret of our marriage.” reports Miss Kyra.  Sania Mirza all set to sizzle on Koffee with Karan Three years back, rumours were abuzz that the couple has split and is seeking divorce. However, Sania silenced the gossip with her statement. She went on to say: “We travel so much. My dad always jokes that his 31-year marriage with my mum now is because of his tennis. He says our marriage is really strong because one of us is always travelling.” Prior to her marriage with Shoaib, Sania was rumoured to have a relationship with Bollywood actor, Shahid Kapoor. When asked about it, Sania said, “I can’t remember. It was so long ago. Nothing ever happened with any film actor.” Sania Mirza on Time’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ list Bollywood’s famous choreographer-cum-director Farah Khan shared the famous couch with Sania on KWK, revealing that she approached Wimbledon star numerous times for many item songs, but Sania turned every single one down. Have something to add in the story? Share it in the comments below.  The post Sania Mirza reveals secret behind successful marriage appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

May 172016
 

Pakistan middle-order batsman Shoaib Malik is on the hunt for his very own ‘plastic shirt boy’. If you don’t get the reference, we’re talking about the young Afghan boy who gained worldwide fame a few months ago after being photographed wearing a makeshift Lionel Messi jersey fashioned from a plastic bag. Afghan boy who donned plastic Messi jersey arrives in Pakistan Murtaza then received a signed Argentina shirt and football from Messi. The Barcelona star had also expressed his desire to arrange a meeting with the Afghan boy. The kid has now been brought to Pakistan after receiving threats. Afghan boy dons Messi’s Barcelona jersey Malik’s fan didn’t exactly sport an improvised shirt but the picture shows his name hand-written on the back of the kid’s green jersey. The shirt also has the number 10 written under the name — a number held by former T20 captain Shahid Afridi. Maybe, Lala can help Malik locate the young greenshirt. Messi seeks to meet Afghan boy in plastic jersey “I need to find this kid to give him my kit shirt one day,” said Malik. I need to find this kid to give him my kit shirt one day, Allah has blessed me with so much love. Thank you all ❤️ pic.twitter.com/aeoFkjBv6Q — Shoaib Malik (@realshoaibmalik) May 17, 2016 Can you help Malik find his fan? Meanwhile, here are some of the reactions to Malik’s post. @realshoaibmalik stay blessed & Happy my bro…. — Wajiha ✌ (@FBarkaat) May 17, 2016 @sibhatti @realshoaibmalik a future sports [Read More…]

Mar 262016
 
5 reasons we crashed out of the World T20I

Pakistan faced a 21-run defeat against Australia on Friday and thanks to a series of tactical blunders the team was knocked out of the World T20 semi-finals race. The Express Tribune takes a look at the five reasons that Pakistan missed out on a spot in the ICC World T20 semi-finals. 1. Misreading the pitch PHOTO: AFP Well, this is where it all started to go downhill for the 2009 World T20 champions. Head coach Waqar Younis and captain Shahid Afridi failed to read the pitch in the match against arch-rivals India at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Instead of including an extra spinner on a rank turner, the team management rested left-arm spinner Imad Wasim and played four genuine fast-bowlers. The result was an inevitable defeat by five wickets. 3. Defensive field placements PHOTO: REUTERS Afridi’s captaincy was in absolute shambles when it came down to fielding positions. We saw a glimpse of ‘wrong-man-at-the-wrong-place’ during the match against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup with a relatively unfit Sharjeel Khan fielding on the long-on boundary in the death overs. Meanwhile, in the World T20 match against India, Afridi called right-arm off-spinner Shoaib Malik to bowl against left-handed Yuvraj Singh. Pakistan needed a few wickets to turn the tide in their favour. Malik did manage to get an edge off Yuvraj’s bat but there was no one to filed the catch in the slips. Then, in the do-or-die match against Australia, Pakistan were on top after managing to pick three early wickets and the Kangaroos were [Read More…]

Mar 132016
 

Pakistan T20 skipper Shahid Afridi on Sunday termed every match of the World Twenty 20 cricket tournament important and said his team wants to begin their campaign with a triumph. “All matches in the World T20 are important for us. Team India are playing very good cricket and if you look at the last match we played against India in Asia Cup they did really well specially Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh. But we also gave them a tough time,” Afridi said while addressing the media in Kolkata. World T20: Pakistan arrives in Kolkata amid high security India are playing very good cricket. If you look at last game against us in Asia cup, Virat & Yuvraj did really well: Shahid Afridi #WT20 — ANI (@ANI_news) March 13, 2016 The 35-year-old all-rounder said he rarely enjoys playing cricket in any other part of the world as much as he enjoys playing it in India. “There are very few nations where I’ve enjoyed cricket as much as I’ve enjoyed cricket in India.” India mein humne humesha cricket enjoy kia,yahan ke logon se humein bahut pyar mila,itna pyar humein Pak mein bhi ni mila jitna yahan-Afridi — ANI (@ANI_news) March 13, 2016 There are very less nations where I've enjoyed cricket as much as I've enjoyed cricket in India-Shahid Afridi #WT20 pic.twitter.com/U3dr75miSM — ANI (@ANI_news) March 13, 2016 Commenting on the delay his team faced in their arrival over security concerns, the skipper said his teammates were both physically and mentally prepared [Read More…]

Feb 252016
 

Continuous poor showings in the shorter formats have again raised questions regarding the direction of Pakistan cricket.Many would think there is a lack of talent at the disposal for the Pakistan team management if compared to the past, one of the biggest reasons for the gap between the top teams and the Men in Green.Imad wants to inspire Pakistan to World T20But more than the dearth in talent, what is hurting Pakistan cricket is the way available talent is being used.Pakistan team’s low ranking and perpetratorsPHOTO: AFPLooking at International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI and T20 rankings, Pakistan find themselves in a more or less the same situation; near the bottom.In the last five years, Pakistan’s ODI win-loss ratio is better than only England and West Indies in the top-eight Test playing nations, three-and-a-half of those being coached by the former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis.The Pakistan team head coach, in his second stint, often says that the team is behind in the limited-over formats because players lack the ability to play ‘modern style’ cricket.Pakistan drop Shehzad for Asia Cup, World Twenty20Interestingly, counter to the former Pakistan captains claim, teams who have progressed over the last few years have stuck to the old style of cricket, with a lot clearer plan and took the hitting to a whole new level.The statistics:In the last five years, in the ODI format, Pakistan average runs scored per wicket is only better than West Indies out of the top 8 (30.36 runs per wicket), nearly eight runs [Read More…]

Oct 212015
 
The woman behind Shoaib Malik

Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik and his tennis-star wife Sania Mirza continue to surprise their fans on both sides of their border. Their story stands out amidst all the negativity that usually surrounds India-Pakistan relations. Beyond the fact that the two come from countries that haven’t gotten along in decades, the couple also share remarkable stories of struggle and triumph. When Malik and Sania got married, the former was on the peak of his career and form. Meanwhile, Sania was known but not as famous as she is today – world number one doubles players and the current US Open and Wimbledon doubles champion with Martina Hingis. Shoaib to Sania: You are symbol of hope and dreams Later, in a change of roles, Shoaib was left in the wilderness, out of the Pakistan team while Sania continued to win laurels for her country. But Shoaib has bounced back, scoring a double century in his first Test after five years and ensuring a spot for himself in the Pakistan team. There’s something different about Malik. He is beginning to remindud us of the younger Malik who was made the youngest captain ever in Pakistan’s cricket history. And who do we owe it all to? You guessed it. None other than Sania Mirza. PHOTO: AFP “She was on the phone after I scored my two hundred and was very happy,” Malik told Telegraph Sport. “When I was out of the team I used to travel with her to tennis events because I had lot [Read More…]

Nov 052013
 
Pakistan recall Razzaq, Malik for Dubai T20s


ABU DABHI: Pakistan recalled veteran allrounders Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib Malik on Tuesday for the team’s two Twenty20 internationals against South Africa in Dubai next week.  

Razzaq, 33, is making a comeback exactly after a year, having last played in the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

Former captain Malik, 31, returns to the national team since being dropped after the Champions Trophy in England this year.

Dubai hosts the Twenty20 matches on Nov 13 and 15.

The cricket board also announced that Pakistan will make a short unscheduled tour of South Africa from Nov 18 to play three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 matches.

The tour was hurriedly arranged after India cut short their tour of South Africa agreeing to play only two tests and three one-day matches in December.

But surprisingly there was no place for left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar who won the man of the series award in T20 against the West Indies in July this year.

Hafeez will captain the squad.

Squad: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Nasir Jamshaid, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Abdul Razzaq, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Malik, Abdur Rehman.

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