So Shoaib Akhtar has formally announced what all of us knew, that he will call it a day after the World Cup 2011. His announcement, for his supporters and critics alike, has come at the right time, a rarity for a Pakistani cricketer of late.
Remarkably and to his credit he is going as a speedster, though a huffing and puffing one, unlike many of the past fast bowling legends. Although he will be no more on the cricket field after the world cup, he cannot and will not be forgotten.
Further we will continue to hear about him for a long time to come as he is such a persona but alas we would not be hearing his grunts on the field and watching the batsmen hop, evade or bowled will become a thing of past.
Pakistan, though, has qualified for the quarter-finals but their final group match against Australia is not an inconsequential one. If they beat the world champions they can top their group and face a lighter opponent in the QF.
Australia would have extended their remarkable unbeaten sequence to 34 after beating Canada tomorrow, barring a highly unlikely upset. Although yet to be tested in the real sense, they have looked a vulnerable side especially as far as their batting is concerned. Spin department is another chink in their armory.
Pakistan was the team that beat them the last time in a world cup match, in 1999 WC in England. Will Pakistan break their record by beating them again on Saturday? For me it is more than
You may call it a myopic view but I have put forward, in a fit of impulsiveness, my prediction regarding the likely course of this World Cup. When I went through match by match predicting the result of each game, I did not care what the end result would be, and when I completed my analysis I did not go back to re-examine it. It is actually my hunch feeling more than any expert analysis. This foretelling is neither preconceived nor is it any thing to do with downright patriotism. In the end, one may feel, including me that inadvertently my heart has won over my brain. So be it as I have always been a romantic fantasist rather than a shrewd tactician, or else I would have been a more successful person in life, although may not
Junaid Khan, a promising left arm seamer from Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, has been included in Pakistan's World Cup squad in place of Sohail Tanvir who has failed to regain fitness from a chronic knee injury. Despite being included for the tour to New Zealand, Sohail could not hold on to his position in Pakistan team and his future now looks bleak as far as international cricket is concerned.
Junaid Khan is a 21-year old rookie who represents Abbottabad region in Pakistan's domestic competition. He, incidentally, rose to the limelight at the same time when Mohammad Amir burst on the scene when they both played and impressed for Pakistan under-19 team. Amir leapfrogged Junaid and represented Pakistan at the highest level. Amir