11 sports stories that made 2019 memorable for Pakistan.


KARACHI -- Sports is a near lock to supply more than its share of memorable events each year. The beat almost always has plenty for those who crave. The outgoing year 2019 was no different, as plenty happened in Pakistani sports that will never be forgotten. Here are the events from the world of Pakistani sports that helped shape 2019: 1- Babar Azam vs Dale Steyn Older and slower, but the Dale Steyn of early 2019 still carried the fearsome reputation that made the likes of Mohammad Hafeez retire from Tests ahead of the South Africa tour. Azam, still just a pup to that point, was supposed to show respect to the veteran bulldog.

He didn't. In the threematch Test series that began in 2018 but ended in 2019, Azam punished Steyn as no man ever had in a long time, showing no fear against arguably the greatest bowler of his generation. The two had several other encounters over the three Tests but Azam always came out on top and never lost his wicket to the Proteas master. This was a clear sign that the boy from Lahore would soon become a man. 2- Anita Karim gets first pro win In February, Pakistan's first female mixed martial arts fighter, Anita Karim, got the first professional win of her career. The 23-year-old, nicknamed The Arms Collector, scored a unanimous decision win over Indonesia's Gita Suharsono in Singapore as part of the One Warrior Series season 4. 3- Quetta Gladiators finally get over the line After two heartbreaks, Quetta Gladiators - everyone's second team - finally got themselves over the line in 2019, capturing their first Pakistan Super League title in March. The most consistent side in the league became the first-time winners under the leadership of the then national captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, beating Peshawar Zalmi in the final. 4- World Cup In May,

Pakistan headed into World Cup 2019 high on hopes bot low on form, confidence - and maybe even sleep. They blew hot and cold, going from a side thrashed by the West Indies to a side thrashing the eventual champions. The team was supposed to emulate Imran Khan's "cornered tigers", and it did for the most part, starting poorly, losing to India before suddenly finding their feet when it all seemed lost. Unfortunately, the class of 2019 did not have the luck of 1992. They eventually went out of the tournament on a dismal run-rate in what was the most underwhelming of anti-climaxes. 5- PCB takes the axe to everything During summer 2019, the Pakistan Cricket Board changed everything and...

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