OCTOBER 02, 2013

Pakistan cricket

It's never just cricket in Pakistan

Cricket in Pakistan has a history of being tinted by ethnic and religious factors. Nadeem Paracha, in Dawn, presents a chronicle of curious selections, protests and regional rivalries, notably when a 24-year-old was appointed Pakistan captain.

Shortly before the series, Miandad was quoted by the press as saying that the senior players in the team were not co-operating with him. Majid Khan took offense and invited nine players to his home in Lahore and told them that he was going to refuse playing under Miandad. He said that Zaheer [Abbas] had agreed to do the same. The board decided to side with Miandad and he led a brand new team against the Lankans in the first Test of the series at Karachi's National Stadium.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

India cricket

Memories of a jolly raconteur

In his column for Wisden India, Saurabh Somani pays tribute to former BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele, who died on Thursday, and recounts an evening spent with one of Indian cricket's most colourful characters, listening to anecdotes.

Over the course of conversation with Lele, it struck me that his yarns would best be enjoyed with a glass of whiskey, rum or whatever else your chosen poison was, sitting around a fire, and listening. He was a mine of information, he was enthralling, even occasionally amusing, and he forced you to be a good journalist, not reporting verbatim but sifting fact from fiction and getting dates and names right.

SEPTEMBER 07, 2013

Australia news

Fawad Ahmed's brave stance maintains team harmony

Australia legspinner, Fawad Ahmed's decision not to wear a beer-company sponsor's logo on his country shirt has sparked off a debate which has quickly moved beyond cricket and to touch upon larger issues of immigration and integration within the Australian society. A few have criticised Ahmed for his decision but as Malcolm Knox points out in the Sydney Morning Herald, the issue is not just about one player but about sport being open to changes within societies and cultures.

Whenever sports try to insulate themselves from change, they self-destruct. So let's imagine that a national symbol, such as the gold shirt Ahmed wears as an Australian one-day cricketer, does not impose a national character. Let's imagine that it's the wearer who changes the character of the shirt. In Ahmed's personal history, is there not the courage and durability we associate with a Hewitt (or a Dawn Fraser, a Herb Elliott, a Dennis Lillee, take your pick)? In his refusal to wear a VB logo, is there not something of that wilfulness that we like to call ''Australian''? In choosing to be here, rather than being born here, has he not already proved something?

Ahmed also finds support from Guardian writer, Joe Gorman who says his decision not wear the logo should be praised if Australia truly values moral conviction.

AUGUST 13, 2013

Australian cricket

Bracken looks to trade dressing room for political office

Having spent eight years of his life swinging a cricket ball for the Australian cricket team, Nathan Bracken has now set his sights on a different pitch: politics.

Bracken, who is Australia's second highest wicket-taker among left-arm quicks in ODIs, announced on his Twitter account on Sunday that he would be running as an independent in the Central Coast federal elections for the New South Wales seat of Dobell against former Labor MP Craig Thomson.

''I guess it got to the point where I didn't want to be the person that sits in the cafe saying 'oh jeez I wish I'd done this', or 'this should change','' Bracken said, according to Australian newspapers.

While he has Champions Trophy and World Cup medals in his kitty, Bracken remained wary about his chances of registering similar levels of success in the new arena immediately, while identifying youth unemployment and high school drop-out rates as among the issues that need addressing.

"I want to be somebody who gets out there and stands up and says let's try and change things, let's try and move things forward on the Central Coast for the betterment of the people who live here," Bracken, a 10-year resident of Central Coast, said.

JUNE 28, 2013

Pakistan cricket

The talented Mr Najam Sethi

Mani Khawaja insists criticism against Najam Sethi's appointment as interim president of the PCB is a sign of people wanting to stir things up. He says Pakistan cricket is in good hands, even if they are largely inexperienced in cricket administration, through a satirical blog entry in the Express Tribune.

With a deteriorating infrastructure that was failing to produce quality cricketing talent, mired in controversies and allegations of nepotism and sexual misconduct, a very capable and seasoned pair of hands was needed to steer the ship back into steady waters.

And that is why the current government went with Najam Sethi, a senior journalist with no prior experience in cricketing matters whatsoever

JANUARY 30, 2013

Don't give up the day job, Sanath

Andrew Hughes: Multiple choices of headgear, Mr Jayasuriya. Tsk tsk
DECEMBER 24, 2012

We need a longer season of cricket goodwill

Kamran Abbasi: It is the season of goodwill. Pakistan's cricketers are in India to restart the healing process for fractured political relationships.
APRIL 20, 2012

Flogged, beaten, dead

Kamran Abbasi: We await with trepidation any further attempt to resurrect Bangladesh's tour of Pakistan. What do you do with a horse that has been flogged, beaten, and is already dead?
OCTOBER 18, 2010

Punish Ijaz Butt not Pakistan cricket

Kamran Abbasi: The ICC has demanded that Pakistan cricket put its house in order
OCTOBER 11, 2010

Younis Khan: a selection scandal

Kamran Abbasi: Many gruesome disasters have befallen Pakistan cricket in the past 18 months
SEPTEMBER 24, 2010

Caravan of clowns

Kamran Abbasi: The ICC, the PCB and the media are to blame for the heightened controversy and suspicion during Pakistan's tour of England
AUGUST 13, 2010

Selection case that damns Ijaz Butt

Kamran Abbasi: The Karachi City Cricket Association has called for the removal of Ijaz Butt as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board
JUNE 03, 2010

No reward for dignity

Kamran Abbasi: Pakistan cricket has its last chance to get its house in order before a tough summer of cricket against Australia and England
MAY 21, 2010

When will the circus end?

Kamran Abbasi: Yes, the players have brought shame upon themselves but their behaviour has been tacitly encouraged by their employers
APRIL 21, 2010

Who is Pakistan's chief selector?

Kamran Abbasi:  
OCTOBER 02, 2009

ICC awards farce lacks real feel

Kamran Abbasi:
MAY 29, 2009

Cricket crunch will kill this great sport

Kamran Abbasi: Cricket is in danger of overkill, and the IPL and its imitators in other countries are playing a major part
MAY 11, 2009

A legal battle where nobody wins

Kamran Abbasi: It might be legally flawed or it might not but the ICC's decision to withdraw World Cup matches from Pakistan was hardly a surprise
APRIL 17, 2009

No tears for this World Cup loss

Kamran Abbasi: Pakistan cricket must focus on what is important: ensuring that it retains a viable domestic structure and regular international cricket
MARCH 22, 2009

IPL must support Pakistan's cricketers

Kamran Abbasi: