Jokes, memes take over Twitter as Pakistan beat India in T20 World Cup opener 

This photo shows happy Sarim Akhtar - whose disappointed face when Pakistan dropped a catch against Australia in an ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match became a viral meme. (Digink)
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Updated 02 November 2021

Jokes, memes take over Twitter as Pakistan beat India in T20 World Cup opener 

  • The fear and anticipation of a match between the archrivals brought out the best of cricket commentary on Twitter 
  • "I could confess to murder right now and no one on my timeline would notice," a user commented on the Twitter frenzy

RAWALPINDI:  As Pakistan crushed India by 10 wickets on Sunday to register their first win over arch-rivals India in a Twenty20 World Cup, Twitter users did what they do best: use humour and memes to prepare for the high-octane game and ultimately to celebrate a much-needed win.

The internet was so abuzz with real time commentary on the match that Twitter user @LahoriElite wrote: "I could confess to murder right now and no one on my TL [time line] would notice."

And journalist Amber Rahim Shamsi let Twitter know she would not be watching the match but "watching the memes."

Twitter user @Wiscrible posted ahead of the match, flipping the classic "may the best team win" on its head to "may the best team lose,” a dig at India for always beating Pakistan.

Twitter user Maudlin Brunette shared a meme with the team's World Cup kit and her own: a prayer mat and beads.

Many tweeps posted about what they believed to be the inevitable - Pakistan losing to India.

“Pakistan's chances as strong as the evidence against Aryan Khan,” cricket commentator Ahmer Naqvi wrote. And in a second tweet: “Pakistani batting as reliable and resilient as Indian secularism.”

Even as the team began to do well, twitter user Taimoor Zaman said its reputation for being unpredictable meant no one could rest easy: "Only Pakistani fans can be in tension with still all 10 wickets in hand."

But when Babar started firing the shots, Naqvi wrote:

“That shot from Babar was so makhan [butter] my cholesterol rose watching it.”

Pakistan cricket commentary platform Change of Pace shared a popular meme format that has become a favorite of Babar fans, with the Pakistan captain calling out "the audacity" of bowlers bowling at him.

Sarim Akhtar - whose disappointed face when Pakistan dropped a catch against Australia in an ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match became a viral meme - shared an edited version of the famous photo: "The happiest person right now."

Pakistani digital artist Digink shared his own edited version of Akhtar's meme.

Twitter user @Shumyl said he was “so happy for a moment I forgot petrol is PKR 138."

“Samajh nahi aa rahi inn jazbaat ka kya karein love you babar rizwan love youuuu,” economics professor and cricket super fan Umair Javed wrote, naming the two players who took apart Indian bowling and steered their team home with 13 balls to spare in Dubai.

And a Twitter user called Amirr capped it all with: “Honestly jeet ker kia tweet karna hai samaj nahi lagti - haray hotay tou abhi tweet pe tweet nazil ho raha hota.”

And what would any major event these days be without a Squid Game meme?


UAE thanks Pakistan for expressing solidarity after Abu Dhabi attack

Updated 18 sec ago

UAE thanks Pakistan for expressing solidarity after Abu Dhabi attack

  • The Houthi rebels targeted an oil facility in the United Arab Emirates on Monday in which three people, including a Pakistani, were killed
  • The Pakistani prime minister condemned the ‘heinous’ attack in a recent phone call with the Abu Dhabi crown prince

ISLAMABAD: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday thanked Pakistan for expressing solidarity with it after a Yemen-based rebel group targeted an oil facility in Abu Dhabi earlier this week.
The Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the strike in which a Pakistani and two Indian nationals were killed on Monday, saying it used missiles and drones to launch the attack.
The targeted oil facility belonged to ADNOC, the UAE’s state-owned oil giant, which employs workers from several different countries.
The UAE is part of the Arab Coalition that has been fighting Houthi rebels since 2015 after a civil war broke out in Yemen and the Houthis took control of the capital, Sanaa, and other parts of the country.
The UAE embassy in Islamabad thanked the Pakistani authorities in a twitter post on Thursday “for their sincere solidarity with UAE against terrorist attack by Houthi militia on civilian sites in Abu Dhabi.”
“Our deepest condolences & sympathy to the families of victims wishing speedy recovery for injured,” it added.

UAE Ambassador Hamad Obaid Al-Zaabi also met with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad on Wednesday to offer his condolences to the family of the Pakistani citizen who lost his life in the Abu Dhabi attack.

Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attacks on the oil facility in a phone call with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed on Wednesday.
“The Prime Minister strongly condemned the heinous terrorist attack by Houthi militia on civil facilities in Abu Dhabi on 17 January 2022,” the PM Office said in a statement. “He offered deepest condolences to the families of all the victims and prayed for speedy recovery of the injured.”
“The Prime Minister expressed solidarity with the leadership, government and people of the United Arab Emirates,” the statement added. “He underlined that such attacks cannot be justified and stressed on immediate cessation of these attacks, which continue to pose grave threat to regional peace and security.”
The UAE crown prince also offered the prime minister his condolences over the death of the Pakistani national.
Similar attacks have also been used to target Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan has repeatedly condemned them in the past.


Pakistan's lone representative says ready for Winter Olympics

Updated 21 min 26 sec ago

Pakistan's lone representative says ready for Winter Olympics

  • 2022 Winter Olympics is scheduled to take place from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20 in Beijing
  • Mohammad Karim's appearance will be his third and Pakistan’s fourth in the Winter Olympics

ISLAMABAD: Alpine skier Mohammad Karim, Pakistan's lone representative for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, says he is ready for the competition after extensive training abroad.

The 2022 Winter Olympics is scheduled to take place from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20 in the Chinese capital and venues near neighboring towns of Yanqing and Chongli.

Karim, who competed in alpine skiing at Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018, will be Pakistan's only athlete to take part in Beijing 2022 following the withdrawal of fellow alpine skier Mia Nuriah Freudweiler due to injury.

"For the Beijing Olympics, I have been practicing for the last three years. I am fully ready for the competition because I practiced and took part in the races in Turkey, Lebanon and Italy," Karim told Arab News in a phone interview on Wednesday evening.

Mohammad Karim, middle, poses for a photo with fellow skiers at the Malam Jabba ski resort, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, Pakistan on Feb. 16, 2020. (Photo courtesy: M0hammad Karim)

Karim's appearance will be his third and Pakistan’s fourth in the Winter Olympics. The South Asian nation first participated in the games at Vancouver 2010, when Mohammad Abbas became its first athlete to qualify in the alpine skiing (giant slalom) category.

Born and raised in Naltar Bala Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan's north, 26-year-old Karim has been practicing skiing since the age of four.

“I started to play locally in childhood," he said. "From 2007, I started professional skiing."

Being brought up in Pakistan's mountainous north has contributed to Karim's sports career, and he believes that with more training more athletes could be groomed to represent the country on the international level.

"The country’s snowy mountains have the perfect slopes to promote skiing," he said. "If our government pays attention to winter sports, and athletes are properly trained, then the youth will leave no stone unturned to make the country proud."

Pakistan revises up 2020-21 GDP to 5.37 percent from 3.9 percent

Updated 45 min 52 sec ago

Pakistan revises up 2020-21 GDP to 5.37 percent from 3.9 percent

  • The country’s planning minister says the revised percentage has been approved by the National Accounts Committee
  • This is the second time the government has revised the GDP rate from 2.3% set in the 2020 annual budget

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday revised up its economic growth rate for 2020-21 to 5.37 percent from 3.9 percent, minister for planning and development said.
“The growth in 2020-21 was 5.37 percent,” said Asad Umar in a tweet, adding the National Accounts Committee (NAC) approved the revised estimate of GDP growth.

The NAC is a government body that reviews the economic indicators.
This is second time the GDP rate for 2020-21 has been revised, from an initial 2.3 percent set in the 2020 annual budget, and then to 3.9 percent by the central bank.


After T20 recognition, Babar Azam leads ICC ODI Team of the Year

Updated 52 min 15 sec ago

After T20 recognition, Babar Azam leads ICC ODI Team of the Year

  • Pakistan’s all-format captain only played six One Day Internationals last year but managed to score 405 runs with two centuries
  • The country’s all-rounder Fatima Sana also made it to ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year

ISLAMABAD: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday honored Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam by naming him the captain of its Men’s ODI Team of the Year, just a day after selecting him as the skipper for its T20I team.

The ICC announce these teams to honor top world players who show consistently impressive performances during the course of a year. Its latest nominations relate to One Day Internationals (ODIs), the 50-over format of the game.

Azam was yet again named the captain of the team, which features the likes of Janneman Malan, Rassie Van Der Dussen, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Ireland’s Paul Stirling.

“Despite having played only 6 matches in 2021, Babar still managed to score 405 runs at an average of 67.50 with two centuries,” read a post on the ICC website, explaining the reason why Babar Azam was included in the list.

“The talismanic Pakistan skipper made vital contributions in tough away tours of South Africa and England, ending up with Player of the Match awards in both their victories in the former,” it added.

Joining Babar Azam in the ODI Team of the Year is his fellow compatriot Fakhar Zaman. The left-handed batter scored an impressive 365 runs at an average of 60.88 with two centuries this year.

“One of the centuries came against South Africa, in a knock which will be remembered for ages,” the ICC added. “He scored 193, almost taking Pakistan home in their chase of 342 in Johannesburg.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan added another feather to its cap when all-rounder Fatima Sana featured in ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year. Sana has had a phenomenal past year, taking 20 wickets in 13 matches to be the joint highest wicket-taker in women’s ODIs.

“Even though her economy of 5.61 was a bit on the higher side, Sana picked up her wickets at an excellent strike rate of 26.6,” said the ICC. “She did well as a lower-order batter too, amassing a total of 132 runs at an average of 14.66.”

The ICC also announced its Test Team of the Year.

While Babar Azam was not selected in the team, his compatriots Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi and batter Fawad Alam did make the cut.

The ICC named New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson the captain of the team which features the likes of Rishabh Pant, Ashwin, Kyle Jamieson, Joe Root, Rohit Sharma and Marnus Labuschagne.

Hasan Ali has been included in the list for his 41 wickets from nine matches in 2021. “He also picked up one five-wicket haul and registered best bowling figures in a match of 10/114,” said the ICC.

Shaheen Afridi fared brilliantly in all three formats of the game over the last year. The left-arm pacer picked up 47 wickets from nine matches at an average of 17.06, including three five-wicket hauls.

“Still only 21, Shaheen will likely lead the Pakistan pace bowling unit for years to come and with already rapid improvements in his bowling, he will undoubtedly prove to be a fearsome prospect,” wrote the ICC.

The ICC described Fawad Alam as “the cornerstone of the Pakistan batting line-up” in Test matches after several years of toiling in Pakistan’s domestic circuit.

“He was at his sturdy best in 2021, scoring 571 runs in 9 matches at an average of 57.10 with three centuries. His tons came in tough situations against South Africa, Zimbabwe and West Indies,” it said.

At least two dead, 22 injured by bomb in Pakistan’s Lahore 

Updated 20 January 2022

At least two dead, 22 injured by bomb in Pakistan’s Lahore 

  • Bomb exploded in a busy shopping district 
  • Police say initial investigation shows explosion was caused by a time-controlled device 

LAHORE: At least two people were killed and 22 wounded on Thursday by a bomb blast in a busy shopping district of the Pakistani megacity of Lahore, police and officials said.
“Initial investigations show that it was a time-controlled device on a motorbike which was the cause of the blast,” Rana Arif, spokesman for Lahore police, told AFP.

Hospital sources and police said two people were killed — including a child — and 22 injured in the blast, which happened in old Lahore’s busy Anarkali shopping district.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but there have been a series of blasts and attacks against police since December, when a truce between the government and Pakistan’s Taliban lapsed.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) — a home-grown movement that shares common roots with the Afghan Taliban — has claimed responsibility for most of those incidents.