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You Need Balls to Cheat

Zulqarnain Haider, Pakistan Cricketer who whistle blowed on the betting mafia talking to the mediaPublished in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2010

Like everyone, the devil inside me pushes the mind to cheat, be it in an exam or cutting a long queue at an immigration desk. Why I refuse to fall prey to the devil has little to do with my sense of righteousness, it is an overwhelming fear of being caught. Remove that fear, and I might end up cheating. The twist to this logic is that if I get away with it the first time, I’ll be bolder the second time; it’s human nature.

This is why in Pakistan the influential elite fearlessly waltz through every sense of order, blatantly challenging authority, knowing their elevated status in society prohibits them from getting caught. Lest they accidentally fall through the cracks, a few bribes are enough to get them back in action. Discipline is kept in check with the imminent fear of being caught, remove that fear and chaos will overwhelm the community.
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I Salute, Zulqarnain Haider for not selling Pakistan to Cricketing Bookies

In what may seem to have been a huge controversy yesterday just before the start of Pakistan vs South Africa‘s 5th and final One Day International in Dubai. Zulqarnain Haider a new wicket keeper for Pakistan quietly skipped out early that morning from Dubai taking to London. Amidst the massive match fixing controversy that has plagued Pakistan Cricket this last year, it seemed that Zulqarnain Haider may too have also fallen astray.

A day later after reaching London he briefly talked to reporters and was guarded in admitted to have been receiving threats from one un-named person to influnence the 4th ODI, which Pakistan spectacularly won two days earlier, and the pressure was on him again to influence the 5th ODI as a pay-back. The only way he thought best was to skip out of Dubai as he could not sell his country, to have said on cricinfo
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Shoaib and Shania: What have you unleashed!!

Am I the only one? (I hope not) Who has been disgusted by not only the overzealous coverage of the whole Shoaib Malik – Sania Mirza marriage? On the one hand it’s a brief and much needed distraction from all the pointless violence and even more pointless and unexplainable lack of governance that we have to watch parade before us on our television screens. On the other hand it’s also quite sad to see some of the actions and reactions of certain individuals. The army of politicians, personalities and well wishers all seem to be nothing more than opportunists trying to jump on the media dubbed, “Shania” bandwagon.

A piece in The News says “love would finally prevail no matter what the enemies did”. I wish the same PML-N protestors would show such support of all those young couple who marry out of choice and then have to face the spectre of banishment by their own family at best, or worse declared Kari and hunted down and murdered.

In another piece that was published in the Hindustan Times, the paper claims that “he has personally directed Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Shahid Malik, to keep a tab on the situation and collect information on the case.” If only our foreign minister would instruct our honourable High Commissioner to show the same amount of attention and concern regarding the many hundred of Pakistani nationals languishing in Indian jails even though they have served out their sentences in Indian jails. Further on the articles says that:
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PCB Disciplines Seven Cricket Players

My write-up on Cricket Blogger of Pakistan regarding the recent decision by PCB on Younis Khan, Mohd Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, Rana Navid, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal – Personally I applaud this decision and fully support the PCB for making a stand against indiscipline. What only concerns me is that it is the very same cricket board that tip-toed around Mohd Asif’s Dubai drug arrest, he should have been let to rot in prison in the UAE as he had utterly disgraced the nation – yet he was released from Dubai and allowed to play in the team, then how can we forget the favoritism for Shoaib Akhtar. Both also need to be ushered out of cricket along with these seven disciplined players. Indiscipline is a very worrisome issue for any sporting team and it must be dealt firmly from the very start to prevent future reoccurrances, we all are aware that these issue of indiscipline has more or left been left unchecked which has turned the Pakistan team into a roving team of lunatics. It finally time to hunt for new talent and time to make way for new young and motivated team of cricketers who might concentrate on cricket and cricket alone. Till then sadly we shall be found to rot at the bottom of the ICC rankings table


We Bite Cricket Balls to Win Matches – Shahid Afridi

As if the morale of the Pakistani nation could not be taken to another embarrassing lowest point on earth. Shahid Afridi was caught on TV actually biting the cricket ball, aka tampering to help his bowlers win matches. The 3rd umpire, Ranjan Madugalle caught the irregularity and instructed his on field umpires to confiscate the ball.

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GO GREEN & Twitter Hashtag #Pakistan for 14th August

Awab on TwitterIts exciting to see a very vibrant and motivated community of Pakistanis online, spreading from twitter to facebook and even the age old community on Orkut. Young energetic Pakistanis are doing their best to be the new face of Pakistan on the digital sphere. This comes more as a counter to the depressing situation that we see daily in Pakistan where our elected leaders are generally embroiled in taking this country down into the doldrums.

People have ever so slowly have lost their patriotic spirit and careless about their nationality, its a sad site and a situation that continues to get worse day-by-day. The upcoming 62nd Independence Day is definitely an event to evoke that national spirit and the online community has already started gearing to literally shake the world
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We can change our fortunes, The way we won the final

Guest post by Azhar Aslam and Shaista Kazmi

pakistan world cup championsSo how did we do it? Was it sheer luck? Hardly any one would agree. Was it Faith only? Some would argue for that. Was it the sheer talent of Afridi, Akmal, Razzaq and Gul? Many would vouch for that. As I write this, my mother has come and sat next to me and stated: ‘wasey kamala he hey jaisey Allah nein Dilshan ko out kiya!’. I won’t say I rest my case with my mother (at least not on one this occasion). Since I prayed too and said Allah O Akbar to myself just before we won. And it was a great sight to see them all bow to Almighty in the home of consumerist capitalist neo-imperialism..

The best thing was the manner it was won. With eight wickets intact, and eight balls to spare! What makes this even more memorable is that Pakistanis beat South Africans in the semi-final. Hence they beat both pre final favorites. So how did we do it?

In brief, we won because we were better team on the day. But this was not achieved without sheer determination and proper planning. While I am not privy to behind the scenes, it was clear by watching the match that Pakistani team had done their home work. Thorough analysis had been done, strategy had been drawn, tactics had been decided and action plan finalised. Finally it was all executed in clam, cool and professional manner under a bold captain. The remarks made by Afridi and co in post match interviews showed immense respect for Younis Khan.
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We are the Twenty20 World Cup Champions !!!

Britain Cricket Twenty20 World Cup

Little words can express the happiness with which I celebrate the fact that Pakistan are the World Champions of the Twenty20 world cup. To have defeated Sri Lanka with a comfortable margin of eight wickets and many balls to spare. Pakistan erupted with a roar of celebrations heard not only in Pakistan but practically every corner of the world where Pakistanis were watching this match.

This victory in my opinion was not only a sporting victory but a godsend for a nation which has been bogged down for months of uncertainty and choas, if anything, the 11 players won it to revive the ailing heartbeat of an entire Pakistani nation, for which we shall be forever grateful.
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Monitor #PakCricket LIVE

Keep an eye on the conversations going on online via this Live Blog, if you choose to take part then either join twitter.com and use the hashtag #PakCricket [which will pull your message into this live blog] alternatively you can leave a comment in the CoveritLive application re and after approval it can be shared with everyone keep ina eye on the Twenty 20 final. Hence we would love to hear your live commentary during the 40 overs of the entire match.

Heres to hoping Pakistan does win the World Cup


#PakCricket Appears on Twitter Trending

PakCricket as the 8th trending topic on twitterThe #PakCricket twitter rally started late Saturday night an attempt to rally behind the Pakistan Cricket Team when it was due to face the Sri Lankan Cricket team on Sunday in the Twenty20 cricket World Cup at Lords in London.

Simply having the team featuring in the Twenty20 Final was a godsend morale boost for a nation desperately on the look out for good news as it has been a long time have they been able to look beyond the haze of bomb blasts and terroristic attacks.

The digital sphere decided to rally behind a twitter keyword “#PakCricket” aiming to build momentum of patriotism. We finally achieved our goal at 4:30pm Pakistan time when the #PakCricket appeared on the sidebar of the home page of Twitter.com. Since the first time it was spotted it has already climbed to #8 position. Appearing on Twitter trending topic means that one of the most ten talked about topics amongst the millions of conversations on twitter.com is about Pakistan Cricket.
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Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team beats Sri Lanka by 57-runs in World Cup

pakistan womens-cricket-teamPakistan Women Cricket team has just trumped a 57-run win over Sri Lanka at the Women’s World Cup in Sydney.

Pakistan totalled 161-7 from their 50 overs and then bowled out Sri Lanka for just 104, with medium-pacer Qanita Jalil taking 3-33 from eight overs.

Sri Lanka never recovered from losing their first three wickets with only 28 on the board and although captain Shashikala Siriwardene made 58 from 11 balls, she lacked the support necessary to steer them towards their target. She was eventually run out by Javeria Khan and the game ended when Sana Mir, who had contributed an unbeaten 22 earlier in the game, had Sripali Weerakkody caught to finish with figures of 2-18.

Urooj Mumtaz the captains of Pakistan Womens Cricket team – blog post after the victor in the Girls Aloud Blog
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Guest post on ThinkProgress.org | Attack on Sri Lankan team in Lahore

I have jsut penned an artcile for ThinkProgress.org featured on The Wonk RoomA Pakistani Perspective On The Current State Of Pakistani Society” and simultaneouls an excertp being featured on the main ThinkProgress.org blog “Attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan rouses anger against militants
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Open letter to citizens of Sri Lanka

by Samad Khurram and Sara Seerat
Published in Daily News (Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka FlagThis letter is our expression of deep sorrow and grief at the savage attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team while they were touring our country. As Pakistani citizens, we are shocked, angered, and greatly embarrassed at being the source of such anxiety to the people of Sri Lanka. There never can be a justification for such horrendous acts of violence, and the Pakistani nation strongly condemns this evil act.

The dastardly attacks were carried out by miscreants who do not share the common values that the peaceful citizens of both Sri Lanka and Pakistan cherish and uphold. Pakistan has been the victim of many terrorist attacks in the last few years, and it is evident that this cowardly act was another attempt to cause increased turmoil and chaos in a country that is already suffering through a period of extreme violence and anarchy.

We therefore thank the Sri Lankan team for agreeing to play in Pakistan even when other countries refused citing security concerns. In hindsight, those apprehensions seem very valid, but the courage of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board and players in agreeing to play is laudable, and the nation of Pakistan shall be forever indebted to your country. This tour was crucial for the revival of cricket in Pakistan, and we greatly appreciate your efforts in agreeing to be a part of this process.
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This is Not Cricket

Guest blog by Temporal from Baithak Blog

The Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked in Lahore yesterday by terrorists. SSS terms this a “shift”. I think it is a “deterioration” or “escalation” of lawlessness. If Pakistan is to retain its independence this tide will not be curbed easily by a solitary act (like the restoration of the judiciary) nor by the efforts of one individual or one institution. Both Zardari led government and the Army under Kayani have appeared ineffective to stem this.

More pertinent is to view Tuesday’s attack in the context of the peace deals in the Swat Valley and the tribal areas .. Prior to the signing of the deals, the matter of the release of militants who did not belong to the Swat area was raised, that is, non-Pashtun militants… However, after deciding on the level of compensation packages for the families of militants killed or injured by the security forces and other matters related to Swat and the tribal areas, the matter of non-Pashtun militants was deferred and the peace agreements were signed. In effect, non-Pashtun militants have been ignored and the attack in Lahore could be a bloody message to the government that the “Punjabi militants” have the capacity to cripple urban centers at any time and place of their choosing. Syed Saleem Shezad

So what should the ordinary citizen do? Packing up and leaving is NOT an option. Burying their heads in the sand? More prayers to Allah? Joining the orthodox fringe? Or if not joining, then fighting them for their rights?
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