Friday, January 21, 2011

Jumbo cricket books offer greater reading pleasure in World Cup season

Jumbo Editorial Team

Four of the seven sports books brought out by Jumbo Publishing so far have been on the subject of the Cricket World Cup, two each on the last couple of editions of what is considered to be the showpiece event of the game.

The Cricket World Cup 2011 is round the corner and it’s the ideal time for the game’s followers to touch base with the mega event by revisiting the past tournaments in order to refresh their memories.

Fiasco, which is an eye-witness account of the World Cup 2007, reveals a lot of facts that might even amuse you. The chapters on the high-profile Bob Woolmer murder case, which was later withdrawn, serve as eye-openers.

Fiasco, authored by Ehsan Qureshi, has brought to light a few of the characteristics of the Pakistan captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, that no other journalist had dared reporting. There are exclusive profiles of many of the characters responsible for bringing about debacle for Pakistan in the tournament.

Mission Caribbean also concerns the World Cup 2007, staged in the Islands across the Caribbean Sea for the first time, but this book was published on the eve of the tournament that attracted a huge number of tourists from all over the world.

Mission Caribbean, authored by Syed Khalid Mahmood, is a handbook on the World Cup 2007, containing the pen-sketches of all the members of every 16 participating team, Australia, Pakistan, England, Sri Lanka, India, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Canada, Scotland, Netherlands, Ireland and Bermuda.

Top of the Charts is a kind of unique book in which the top 25 performers of the World Cup 2003 have been profiled in detail. Syed Khalid Mahmood has given his thoughts about the 25 cricketers who, in his opinion, dominated the event.

The cricketers to be profiled in Top of the Charts include Ricky Ponting, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, James Anderson, Shane Bond, Wasim Akram, Brian Lara, Herschelle Gibbs and Chaminda Vaas.

Spotlight on World Cup 2003, another effort of Syed Khalid Mahmood, covers the spectacular tournament in a different way. There are contributions from eminent people like Wasim Akram, Sikander Bakht and Azeem Sarwar who have shared their own experience.

Spotlight on World Cup 2003 has the scorecards of all the matches with the narration of the 10 most exciting games of the tournament played in the African continent for the first time. There are chapters on the various issues related to the event that generated a lot of interest.

**For details of the above books, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Foreword: Reflections

By Lt Gen ® Syed Arif Hasan

Syed Khalid Mahmood’s views have the quality of honest opinions. He has a style of his own as far as writing is concerned. He is an engineer by education. This is not meant to cast aspersions on his credentials as a journalist but simply to suggest that he has had an option to make a living through other means but choose journalism. That may be one reason why he has been able to express his opinions far more freely.

‘Reflections’ is a collection of his articles published on his blog and I am certain that they would be read with even greater interest in book form. His blog in particular has done a great service to the cause of Pakistan sports because there had been negligible presence of our athletes on the web and this is one area that needs to be worked on more seriously.

I feel privileged to have been asked to write the foreword to his book. There were many marketable people around he could have turned to but he has acted out of friendship to let me have this honour.

Coming to the state of the affairs in the Pakistan sports arena, I must admit that the last few years have been very turbulent to say the least. The people as well as the powers that be had been expecting miracles from our athletes and administrators without necessary input.

We have had the dual responsibility of arresting the decline in the various disciplines besides meeting the challenges of professionalism. A lot has been expected from us without being extended the desired support.

The pressure has been on our national Olympic body and its affiliated federations to deliver against the heaviest of odds. We have done our level best to produce the results, having brought glories for the nation. We would like to do it more often because we are aware that ours is a sporting country and the conquests and triumphs of our teams are celebrated with the greatest of enthusiasm.

I hope that all the stake-holders would join hands in accomplishing the mutual objective of giving our people something to cheer about on a regular basis. An integrated approach is the need of the hour in the national interest.

The people of Pakistan deserve the best. The plans have to be worked out and be implemented in letter and spirit. We have to shoulder the responsibility collectively to develop an infrastructure that could keep on throwing talent.

I am sure that this book will serve as a valuable resource for the athletes, coaches, administrators, organizers, and people associated with sports in any form. I would encourage all of you to get a copy of your own in order to contribute your bit for the promotion of book culture in our country.

I look forward to reading Khalid Mahmood’s articles once more in ‘Reflections’ although I have gone through most of them online. I wish him all the best.

***For further details about Reflections, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Book Review: Reflections

By Farhana Kousar

Globally the subject of sports has been one of the most popular ones among the readers for a long time and it’s catching up in this part of the world too. The readership of sports has grown substantially in Pakistan during the last couple of decades in particular.

The national newspapers that used to have limited space for sports news items in the past have now been prompted to flash the sporting events even on their front pages because of the massive following of sports in the country.

Similarly more sports books are being published from Pakistan now than ever before. The libraries now do have a choice of putting the quality work on the subject of Pakistan sports alongwith the international titles.

Syed Khalid Mahmood, writing on sports for over three decades, has an unmatched depth of knowledge besides a flair for crisp description. His articles and write-ups are followed all over the world which is evident by the number of visitors on his blog, which is probably the first one on sports from Pakistan.

Having previously authored 10 books I think it was a nice idea on his part to have put together a selection of his articles in book form. The latest book Reflections is a collection of his top 50 articles published on his blog in 2009.

In my opinion Reflections also serves the purpose of being a chronicle of Pakistan sports in 2009. Almost every major sports event Pakistan participated in during the year has been covered with the success accomplished in the ICC World Twenty20 Cricket Tournament getting the prominence it deserved.

Being an international writer he has also touched on the subjects of interest to the global audience. He has opined candidly on the various issues and he has been complimented generously by the President of the Pakistan Olympic Association, Lt Gen Syed Arif Hasan in the foreword to the book.

Besides the high quality contents between the covers, Reflections has been very neatly designed and printed and it’s one of those books that should be on the shelf of every library, be it academic, public or private.

***For further details about Reflections, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Thursday, January 20, 2011

10 tips to motivate children to read

Jumbo Editorial Team

It’s an acknowledged fact that the children who read at home are generally much more successful in school, than those who do not. The easiest way to raise a child's grades, self-esteem, and reading level is to read with them. The extra benefit is that whenever you spend quality time with a child, that child feels special and well loved.

There are quite a few ways to nurture a child's love of reading like:

1-Reading daily with your children.

2-Joining a library if possible.

3-Subscribing to at least one children’s magazine. Let your child choose the magazine, if possible. Children, who are allowed to develop their own reading tastes, read more than children, who are forced to read what others want them to read.

4-Writing some letters to your child. Have your child write letters to you. Leave notes around the house. This works for pre-readers and pre-writers, as well. You just have them "read" you their notes and you read your notes to them.

5-Pointing out ways that reading is a part of daily life. Make reading relevant to your child. If he or she likes to cook, discuss how reading recipes helps make you a better cook. If he or she likes sports, then talk about reading the sports page.

6-Teaching your child the different purposes that reading serves. Differentiate between reading for pleasure and reading for information so that your child learns different reading techniques.

7-Rewarding your child for reading. Gift your kid the book that you loved as a child and read it together.

8-Teaching your child about the different kinds of books in the market. Try to ensure that your child knows the different book genres.

9-Writing a family book. Add to it on a monthly or yearly basis. Take it out and read it together on New Year's Eve.

10-Reading poetry. There are many great children's poets out there. Poetry for children tends to be funny, engaging, and fairly easy to read. Read it aloud. Enjoy it. Encourage your child to read it aloud.

Foreword: Cricket Milestones

By Wasim Akram

The frequency with which international cricket matches are being played these days it seems a matter of time for the records to be broken. We are not sure for how long Sachin Tendulkar’s records of highest Test centuries or aggregate will stand. But it’s a fantastic idea to put together the records of the first-timers because that’s never going to change.

Obviously Sachin Tendulkar will always be mentioned as the first batsman to score 12,000 runs in Test cricket, Shane Warne will remain the first bowler to claim 700 Test wickets and I will be holding the honour of being the first bowler to capture 500 wickets in One-day Internationals.

Quality books on cricket have been coming thick and fast in some other countries and it’s a pleasure to note that the same is now happening in Pakistan also. I hope that our authors, writers, journalists, historians and statisticians will put in even stronger effort in future to bring to light the accomplishments of our great cricketers.

Cricket is the most popular game of the country and I know there are a lot of people, particularly youngsters, who are passionate about reading about the game. Then there are a section of cricket followers who are crazy about the statistical aspects of the game. So the local publishers have an area to work on with greater zeal.

Meanwhile I would like to commend Shahzad Ali Khan, a seasoned statistician, for having compiled this handy and unique 100-page book by the title of ‘Cricket Milestones’ under the supervision of senior journalists Ehsan Qureshi and Syed Khalid Mahmood.

***For further details about Cricket Milestones, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Book Review: Cricket Milestones

By A Aziz Rehmatullah

I have had the passion of collecting the cricket records for well over half a century now. I was always fascinated by the statistical aspects of the game and it gave me enormous pleasure to maintain records of Tests and first-class matches on a regular basis since childhood. One-day Internationals came many years later while Twenty20 Internationals have begun only recently.

Cricket has certainly changed a great deal over the years and there are far too many matches taking place in every part of the world these days that what used to be in the decades gone by. At the same time there are greater resources available to the contemporary statisticians unlike the past.

Shahzad Ali Khan is one of those hard-working cricket statisticians who look for the minutest of details instead of just filling in the numbers. I tell you by experience that it’s very arduous task indeed to keep a track of the so many matches going on simultaneously and update the records accordingly.

His second book Cricket Milestones is an outstanding effort for he has put together many of those records that are not to be changed. The compilation of ‘firsts’ is first of it's kind in cricket history.

Cricket Milestones has the batting, bowling, fielding and wicket-keeping records of the first-timers in Tests, One-day Internationals, Twenty20 Internationals and First-class matches. Obviously these records can never change.

Then there are the records that could change but may take many years for them to be broken. I am talking about the ‘quickest’ section. Dennis Lillee has taken 300 wickets in the least number of Tests while Mutiah Muralitharan holds similar record for 400 wickets.

Now the readers can discover quickly as to who was the first batsman to score 1,000 runs in Tests or the first bowler to take 100 wickets in ODIs. There are separate records for the all-rounders and captains too.

I am sure that the book will prove an invaluable source of information for both professional cricket observers and million of fans who enjoy the game of cricket. The 102-page Cricket Milestones is a most useful book and it should be a companion of every cricket lover.

***For further details about Cricket Milestones, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Launch: Fiasco

Jumbo Editorial Team

The launching ceremony of Fiasco was held at the Karachi Club Annexe on February 20, 2009. Pir Syed Aftab Hussain Shah Jilani, Federal Sports Minister, was the chief guest of the evening while the function was presided over by Ijaz Butt, Chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board.

Younis Khan, captain Pakistan cricket team, Intikhab Alam, manager Pakistan cricket team and Gul Hameed Bhatti, Group Sports Editor, Jang Group of Newspapers, were prominent among those having spoken on the occasion.

Abdul Qadir Qureshi, senior journalist and former Bureau Chief of the Associated Press of Pakistan, who is also the mentor of author Ehsan Qureshi, presented the vote of thanks. The ceremony was conducted by the versatile Sardar Khan.

The Sindh Sports Minister, Dr.Muhammad Ali Shah, Pakistan’s vice captain Misbah-ul-Haq, ex-captain Shoaib Malik, Danish Kaneria, Faisal Iqbal, former cricketers Waqar Hasan, Mushtaq Muhammad, Aaqib Javed, Shoaib Muhammad, Iqbal Qasim, Yawar Saeed, Salahuddin Ahmed, Abdul Raquib, hockey Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui, KCCA Vice Presidents, Ajmal Ansari and Nadeem Omar were also present on the occasion.

There was a large turnout of the media professionals as well. The duo of A Aziz Rehmatullah and Haji Abdul Razzaq, who had launched the Cricket World Quarterly in late 1970s, was there alongwith Riaz Ahmed Mansuri, who brought out the famous magazine The Cricketer Pakistan. The Sri Lankan representation was that of their Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi, Sidath Kumar, and his wife.

The Federal Sports Minister, in his speech, demanded an apology from the Jamaican Police for mental torture, trauma and embarrassment caused to the Pakistanis in the alleged Bob Woolmer murder case.

“The Jamaican Police had gone overboard with their investigations and they should not have treated the Pakistan cricketers and journalists as suspects. The then officials of PCB did not handle the situation properly which allowed the Jamaican Police to act freely,” he believed.

Pir Aftab Jilani, himself a former cricketer, spoke at length about the issues of the game and assured the governmental support to the present PCB setup headed by Ijaz Butt.

The Minister disclosed that he had been stunned to learn some of the facts that have been brought to light by Ehsan Qureshi in his book. He lauded the efforts of the author for coming up with an excellent publication.

The Chairman of the PCB, Ijaz Butt, commended the author for having done a fabulous job. He reckoned that the journalists and authors producing books should be encouraged by the PCB as well as government and private sector.

The Pakistan Captain Younis Khan, who was a part of the World Cup 2007 team in Caribbean, hoped that the national team would be performing better and their goal was to win the 2011 World Cup.

The Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam showered Ehsan Qureshi with praise for producing his fourth book on the World Cup and sixth overall.

The Group Sports Editor, Jang Group of Newspapers, Gul Hameed Bhatti, was of the opinion that such books are of great historical value and Ehsan Qureshi’s contribution needs to be acknowledged.

Ehsan Qureshi, in his speech, talked about the distress caused to him and his family by the screening of the footage by BBC in their programme Panaroma in which he and fellow journalist Abdul Majid Bhatti were shown as the last persons to have met Bob Woolmer before his death.

***For further details about Fiasco, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Foreword: Fiasco

By Aamir Sohail

The World Cup 2007 was a forgettable event for Pakistan by all means. It was one of those tournaments where nothing went right for our team. The defeat at the hands of the West Indies in the opening game came as a surprise because Pakistan were tipped as one of the favourites to lift the trophy.

But worse was to follow. Pakistan crashed in the game against Ireland. It was one of the greatest upsets in the history of the game. Debutants Ireland were not expected to come to terms with Pakistan but that was not to be.

Pakistan suffered a shocking defeat in that must-win game and found themselves knocked out of the competition. It was unbelievable. Because the tournament had barely started five days ago and Pakistan were out of it. The entire nation was jolted back home. Nobody had even thought of Pakistan getting out of the race so quickly.

Inzamam-ul-Haq and his boys were devastated. Coach Bob Woolmer could not bear the shock and was found dead in his hotel room after that shameful and disgraceful defeat at the hands of minnows Ireland.

The nightmare for the Pakistanis didn’t end there. The team members were suspected of involvement in the alleged murder of their coach. It was a very disturbing situation for the shell-shocked boys who were further tormented by the police investigations.

Our cricketers, for some time, were treated like criminals. Veteran journalist Ehsan Qureshi was there in the Caribbean watching all the action and drama on and off the field. In fact he was on his toes all the time whether it was at the Sabina Park or the notorious Pegasus Hotel.

I am sure he didn’t expect to be implicated in the Bob Woolmer case. We were all surprised when his name also emerged as one of the suspects. But that was the Jamaica Police who left no stone unturned in implicating the Pakistanis in the case by hook or by crook.

I think the Jamaica Police should apologize to the nation for their over-enthusiastic efforts in trying to prove the Pakistanis as murderers.

Although it was pure academic from Pakistan’s point of view but the tournament was won by Australia once more. What Pakistan and India failed to do, Sri Lanka managed to do it. They made it to the final and gave the Aussies a run for their money. With a little bit of luck they could have also won the trophy.

Ehsan Qureshi’s Fiasco tells you a lot about the World Cup 2007. It’s a comprehensive book in which he has expressed the various events in the typically aggressive manner of his. So it’s very much a must-read book for all cricket fraternity.

***For further details about Fiasco, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Book Review: Fiasco

By Abdul Hamid

The eye-witness account of the ICC World Cup 2007 by the name of Fiasco is yet another commendable book by Ehsan Qureshi who has now established a tradition to bring out a memorable publication after every World Cup, having started in 1992 when Pakistan won the tournament under the dynamic leadership of Imran Khan.

The World Cup 2007 was a different story altogether for Pakistan as compared to the mega event 15 years ago. In 1992 Pakistan had staged a stunning comeback to win the tournament after being precariously placed in the middle of it.

If the World Cup 1992 was the fulfillment of a long-time dream, the debacle of 2007 was nothing short of a nightmare. Pakistan got eliminated from the tournament after being shocked and rocked by minnows Ireland at the very beginning to cause severe depression back home.

The death of the Pakistan coach, Bob Woolmer, in mysterious circumstances soon after the humiliating loss at the hands of Ireland was a further blow to the already saddened nation.

Ehsan Qureshi, who was there in the West Indies to cover the World Cup, got a shock of his lifetime when a television channel implicated him and another fellow journalist in the Woolmer murder case. The misunderstanding was cleared and subsequently even the case was withdrawn.

In this scenario Fiasco became all the more important and the cricket enthusiasts waited eagerly for the eyewitness account from the seasoned journalist who had been in the thick of things.

As expected, Fiasco reveals quite a few untold stories of the World Cup 2007. The author has given a detailed account of the controversial incidents that made waves for sometime. It’s quite a bold effort because of the publication of some hard-hitting chapters particularly the one concerning the then Pakistan skipper, Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Fiasco is a comprehensive book with the scorecards and reports of all the matches, besides the coverage of the burning issues. The quality of pictures and the printing is of the highest class and the book should be a prized possession for every cricket lover.

***For further details about Fiasco, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Book Launch: Cricket Fever

Jumbo Editorial Team

Cricket Fever was launched on July 17, 2009 at the Banquet Hall of Karachi Gymkhana. Pir Syed Aftab Hussain Shah Jilani, Federal Minister for Sports, was the chief guest in the ceremony presided over by Dr Mirza Abrar Baig, Senior Executive Vice President & Group Head, National Bank of Pakistan.

The other speakers of the evening were Ehsan Qureshi, a senior journalist and author, Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui, Chairman Karachi City Cricket Association Zone II, Azeem Sarwar, an eminent broadcaster and producer, Younis Rizwani, President Karachi Gymkhana, Aziz Memon, Chairman Kings Group and Past District Governor Rotary International, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Secretary Culture & Youth Affairs to Government of Sindh and Shoaib Mohammad, a former Test cricketer and Head of the PIA Sports Division. The ceremony was conducted by Sardar Khan.

More than 100 guests that included broadcasters, sportscasters, journalists, commentators, authors, anchorpersons, government officials, business leaders, sports administrators and educationists were in attendance in the function that lasted nearly 90 minutes

Sharing his views on the Indo-Pak cricket matches of the part, Pir Aftab Jilani said he has always been thrilled by watching these games. A former cricketer himself, he lauded the contribution of sports writers and journalists in preserving the history.

“Sports writers have made the country proud by producing informative and historic books which reminds us of our glorious past in sporting arena. Cricket Fever authored by Syed Khalid Mahmood is a welcome addition to the quality sports brought out from the country,” the Federal Minister said.

Dr Mirza Abrar Baig called for holding the Indo-Pak Test series on similar lines as the century-old Ashes series between Australia and England.

“There should be a bilateral series after two years. I am sure there would be even greater buzz around the world if Pakistan and India start playing each other regularly for a trophy,” he felt.

“The book in your hands ‘Cricket Fever’ has recaptured the excitement and glories of all the series played between them during the last 57 years. All the16 bilateral tours have been comprehensively covered and it’s quite an accomplishment on part of the author to have penned as many as 10 books,” Dr Abrar Baig complimented.

“I am pleased that Karachi Gymkhana today is the venue of the launch of a historic book on Indo-Pak cricket. We have a history of promoting sports. Our club has been engaged in sports promotion for over a century now,” Younis Rizwani observed.

“Syed Khalid Mahmood’s Cricket Fever is a nice effort. He has thrown light on every series between the two countries during the last 57 years. He has written a chapter on every bilateral tour and they are 16 in all. I congratulate him on writing the book. I am really delighted to note that this actually is his 10th book,” the Karachi Gymkhana President noted.

The other speakers also threw light on the fascinating and romantic aspects of the matches between Pakistan and India, sharing their personal experiences and recalling the memorable moments.

***For further details about Cricket Fever, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Foreword: Cricket Fever

By Mushtaq Mohammad

Playing cricket itself offers enormous pleasure but there is something special about Indo-Pak matches. Unfortunately there have been deadlocks denying regular cricket between the two countries.

Not surprisingly the administrators of the game have pushed for too many contests whenever the relations between the two neighbhours have improved leading to the loss of interest among the masses.

Ideally the Indo-Pak tours should be planned on the pattern of ‘The Ashes’ series between Australia and England. There should be a series only after two years. Now when Pakistan has toured India in 2007-08, the Indians should be invited to visit Pakistan in 2009-10 and Pakistan should go there again in 2011-12.

This is probably the best way to retain the charm that’s associated with the series between the two traditional rivals. I do understand that factors other than cricket are also involved and it may not always be possible to have the tours possible as planned but it’s worth making an effort in this direction.

I consider myself fortunate to have been a part of the Indo-Pak Test series more than once. In fact I was the only surviving member of the 1960-61 series to have played the 1978-79 series when the ties were finally restored after 18 long years.

A lot had changed in the interim period. I was just a ‘kid’ while touring India in 1960-61 trying to find a permanent place in the team. By the time the next series against India took off, I had matured into one of the elder statesmen in the side.

I had been leading the Pakistan team since 1976-77 and I was recognized as a successful captain, having won Test matches against the strong outfits of Australia and the West Indies in their own backyard.

But I had not played a Test match for more than a year and a half when the Indians, captained by my Northamptonshire colleague, Bishan Singh Bedi, reached Pakistan for the landmark series in the winter of 1978.

I was reinstalled as the Pakistan captain only after government intervention. The Kerry Packer issue and its political connotations had made me to sit out of the home and away series against England.

It was only because of the team having fared poorly in the absence of the Packer-contracted players that we were recalled. The issue was debated by the public and the media. Ultimately the government advised the Cricket Board to include all the Packer players for the series against India.

In fact I was preparing to play again in the Packer series when I received the call to play for Pakistan and lead the team in the series against India and what a fascinating series it turned out to be.

We accomplished the mission of taming the Indians, who were quite strong on paper. They had a formidable batting line-up to back up their famed spin quartet. They also had in their folds a promising young fast bowler by the name of Kapil Dev.

We also possessed a very powerful team but we knew we had to stay positive all along in order to extract results. We were a lot more aggressive than the Indians in our tactics in that particular series.

We bullied India in the same way that the Aussies had bullied us. The Indians were very mild. When they appealed against us they also appeared apologetic while asking the umpire the question but our appealing was hostile and aggressive.

Both the Test matches that we won, after drawing the first one, had an exciting finish. On both occasions we had to beat the clock. Our aggressive all-round cricket helped us overcome the Indian challenge. They went down fighting. It was Test cricket at its best.

Syed Khalid Mahmood has done the game of cricket a favour by producing this beautifully written book on Indo-Pak cricket tours. I know that the cricket followers all over the world look forward to such literature. Cricket Fever should be a welcome addition to their collection.

***For further details about Cricket Fever please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Book Review: Cricket Fever

By Bashir Ahmad Khan

It’s an honour of sorts to review this lovely book Cricket Fever which is a history of Pakistan-India tours authored by Syed Khalid Mahmood, a great friend of mine whom I hold in very high esteem as a journalist and a prolific author of cricket books.

All the wonderful memories of the 1987 tour of Pakistan in India rushed back to my mind as I go through this book. I had covered the entire tour as a sportscaster on TV. Additionally, I recorded a ball to ball account of the entire tour in my book Over to Bashir Khan that turned out to be a best seller. My late dear friend from very childhood, the all-time greatest and the pioneering cricket commentator Omar Kureishi, shared every exciting moment on that epoch-making tour.

During the tour I had the unique good fortune to be the first cricket commentator to interview Sunil Gavaskar at Ahmedabad soon after he climbed the Mount Everest of Cricket by becoming the first batsman to complete his 10,000 runs in Tests.

The author has quite appropriately named the book Cricket Fever because the contests between Pakistan and India generate enormous interest on both sides of the border. They are viewed, watched and listened to by over one billion cricket fans in the sub-continent and around the world.

No cricket series between the two countries generates as much cricket fever as the one between Pakistan and India. When a match is on, everything in the two countries comes to a grinding halt. The time and the traffic come to a stop. And all eyes and ears are geared to cricket. The atmosphere is electrifying. All the ingredients of a Pakistan-India fiercely fought contest come into play and the people hold their breath with either missing or accelerated heart beat.

Well done Khalid on the timely and bold initiative to write the book Cricket Fever when the fever of cricket is indeed at the highest pitch. I would recommend every lover of cricket to read his book, which he has written with great passion, with full knowledge and experience of the game of cricket.

***For further details about Cricket Fever, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Monday, January 17, 2011

Passion for Books: Motivational Quotes

Jumbo Editorial Team

No matter what his rank or position may be, the lover of books is the richest and the happiest of all.
John Alfred Langford

I have sought for happiness everywhere, but I have found it nowhere except in a little corner with a little book.
Thomas A Kempis

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.
Italo Calvino

It is from books that wise people derive consolation in the troubles of life.
Victor Hugo

When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before: you see more in you than was there before.
Clifton Fadiman

The result of reading is not more books but more life.
Holbrook Jackson

Just the knowledge that a good book is waiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.
Kathleen Norris

It is the books we read before middle life that do most to mold our character and influence our lives.
Robert Pitman

When you sell a man a book you don’t sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue- you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humor and ships at sea by night-there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book I mean.
Christopher Morley

The person who does not read good books has no advantage over the person who can’t read them.
Mark Twain

Every person who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting.
Aldous Huxley

The love of reading enables a person to exchange the wearisome hours of life, which come to every one, for hours of delight.

The first time I read an excellent book, it is to me just as if I had gained a new friend. When I read over a book I have perused before, it resembles the meeting with an old one.
Oliver Goldsmith

I never remain passive in the process of reading: while I read I am engaged in a constant creative activity, which leads me to remember not so much the actual matter of the book as the thoughts evoked in my mind by it, directly or indirectly.
Nicholas Berdyaev

Friends, books, a cheerful heart, and conscience clear
Are the most choice companions we have here.
William Mather

My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.
Abraham Lincoln

We use books like mirrors, gazing into them only to discover ourselves.
Joseph Epstein

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity, and once more in old age.
Robertson Davies

It is chiefly through books that we enjoy conversation with superior minds….In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours.
William Ellery Channing

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
Chinese Proverb

Books are the compass and telescopes and sextants and charts which other people have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life.
Jesse Lee Bennett

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. As by the one, health is preserved, strengthened, and invigorated: by the other, virtue (which is the health of the mind) is kept alive, cherished, and confirmed.
Joseph Addison

Books are the quietest and most constant friends: they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and most patient of teaches.
Charles W. Eliot

Some books are meant to be tasted, others to be swallowed , and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon

Only three things are necessary to make life happy: the blessing of God, books , and a friend.

Foreword: Mission Caribbean

By Iqbal Qasim

The ICC World Cup, held after four years, is the most sought after event in cricket. Although we have tournaments like the ICC Champions Trophy in the interim period, the World Cup remains the ultimate title.

Pakistan’s team was certainly at the receiving end in the recently concluded five-match one-day series in South Africa but we believe that our team has the potential to recover in time for the World Cup.

This time the World Cup is going to be quite wide open and I have a feeling that our team has a fair chance of doing well. The South African tour wasn’t the ideal preparation for us but we would need to get that out of the way soon in order to turn it around.

Almost every team has been handicapped by injuries to key players and we are no exception. Like every other affected team we are also confident that we would be able to field the strongest possible team in the Caribbean.

Despite the recent slump in the form of some our key players, we remain positive that they would fire on all cylinders to come up to the expectations of the nation in the event as prestigious as the World Cup.

Pakistan, not being rated as one of the pre-tournament favourites, can play with greater freedom than teams like Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, who would be under pressure to deliver.

Australia stand a very good chance of making it three titles in a row despite being humiliated by England and New Zealand recently. Australia will be boosted by the return of their star players.

South Africa have been in terrific form during the past few months having whipped both Pakistan as well as India in the ODI series. In fact now they have become the top team in the ICC rankings, having displaced Australia.

England and New Zealand can also benefit from the fact that their star performers have run back into form on the eve of the World Cup. The West Indies, being the hosts, have to raise their game in order to go the distance.

India and Sri Lanka, despite being plagued by injuries, have a good chance in the tournament. If the pitches in the Caribbean do assist their slow bowlers both these outfits can prove formidable.

Even Bangladesh, with quite a few spinners in their line-up, may look competitive on the dry surfaces of the Caribbean.

Our selection committee has picked up the best possible squad for the World Cup. Let us hope that they come off.

***For further details about Mission Caribbean, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Book Review: Mission Caribbean

By Prof Syed Zulfiqar Ali

I have been a bookworm for a number of years, having read the best of so many subjects. I consider Mission Caribbean: A Guide to World Cup Cricket 2007 as one of my favourite books of all time because of the wealth of information provided between the covers.

Trust me it’s just not another book on cricket. It was published on the eve of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 that was being held in the different islands of the Caribbean and it was a perfect guidebook for the event.

It offered so much knowledge that it had to be revered as a handy book even after the tournament was over. Generally the books published about a certain event before its start tend to become obsolete once the action gets over but Mission Caribbean contained the contents that would retain significance after the World Cup 2007.

The book contains pen-sketches, alongwith photographs, of all the 240 participating cricketers from 16 countries. A lot of research and hard work must have gone behind this because generating the resource material for the lesser known cricketers of Bermuda, Ireland and Scotland has to be classified as a daunting task.

The majority of these 240 cricketers having been profiled briefly in Mission Caribbean are likely to stay in the international arena for quite a few years therefore you can always keep this book for reference purposes while following the cricket matches well beyond the World Cup 2007.

Syed Khalid Mahmood, a known author, has written separate chapters about all the participating teams, assessing their strengths and weaknesses besides analyzing their past performance in the World Cup.

Mission Caribbean, I am confident, will continue serving the role of a reference book for the years to come and the cricket enthusiasts will like to keep it with themselves. It’s a more than useful book for anyone seeking to enhance knowledge about the game.

***For further details about Mission Caribbean, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Reading has too many virtues

Jumbo Editorial Team

It is generally believed that reading used to be the primary leisure activity in the past when there were no televisions or computers. People would spend hours reading books and travel to lands far away-in their minds.

Now there’s an observation that people in many parts of the have lost their skill and passion to read. There are many other exciting and thrilling options available, aside from books.

This trend is indeed tragic because reading offers a productive approach to improving vocabulary and word power. It is advisable to indulge in at least half an hour of reading a day to keep abreast of the various styles of writing and new vocabulary.

It is understood that children and teenagers who love reading have comparatively higher IQs. They are more creative and do better in school and college. It is recommended that parents to inculcate the importance of reading to their children in the early years.

Reading is said to significantly help in developing vocabulary, and reading aloud helps to build a strong emotional bond between parents and children. The children who start reading from an early age are observed to have good language skills, and they grasp the variances in phonics much better.

Reading helps in mental development and is known to stimulate the muscles of the eyes. Reading is an activity that involves greater levels of concentration and adds to the conversational skills of the reader.

It is an indulgence that enhances the knowledge acquired, consistently. The habit of reading also helps readers to decipher new words and phrases that they come across in everyday conversations.

The habit can become a healthy addiction and adds to the information available on various topics. It helps us to stay in-touch with contemporary writers as well as those from the days of yore and makes us sensitive to global issues.

Reading provides detailed information on Reading, Home Reading, Reading Glasses, Reading Comprehension and more. Reading is affiliated with Educational Games.

Foreword: Top of the Charts

By Mansoor Akhtar

Pakistan’s cricket team until a few years ago had quite clearly lacked in the critical areas of game plan and strategy, mental strength, fitness and making optimum use of their individual brilliance to the team’s cause.

The decline had begun as early as the World Cup 1999 final and peaked during the World Cup 2003 and it became more obvious in the aftermath of the twin series defeats against India at home in early 2004.

The services of Bob Woolmer as coach were acquired by the Pakistan Cricket Board in an effort to ensure that the team came up with improved performance and did justice with the loads of talent it possessed. The move has paid rich dividends right away.

Woolmer, acclaimed the world over as the best cricket coach of the recent times, has taken command of the situation and the performance of the team has been quite encouraging with his arrival.

A team having endured lean patch for quite sometime could not have been expected to become the world-beaters overnight but they have been working in the right direction and the results are there.

There has been marked improvement in certain areas. Most importantly the fitness level of the boys has improved. They have become mentally tough now. The fielding has become much more athletic and purposeful. These factors have helped the team in winning matches on a more regular basis than in the past.

Now let me touch the subject of the book. The World Cup 2003 was a forgettable outing for Pakistan. A lot was expected from the team but it choked in the games that mattered.

Pakistan could only register victories over the minnows like the Netherlands and Namibia, who didn’t even enjoy the status of full membership of the ICC.

Pakistan, undoubtedly, had been placed in the tougher of two groups but nobody expected them to falter against all the Test playing nations. The way things stood even Zimbabwe could have taught them a lesson if the weather didn’t intervene at Harare.

After being overpowered by Australia, India and England, Pakistan faced an improbable task of crushing Zimbabwe by the heaviest of margins in their last game. Under the circumstances it looked very unlikely that Pakistan would have achieved the objective if the game was not ruined by rains.

The Pakistan team has already faced a lot of media criticism for having failed to deliver in the tournament. On the positive side the team did learn its lessons quickly and with the change in guard there are signs of a turnaround. They need to continue winning to regain their confidence that was shattered in the last World Cup.

We need to acknowledge the role of writers, authors and statisticians who devote their energies in producing publications of historical value. Knowing his caliber and having gone through his previous books there’s no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Syed Khalid Mahmood’s Top of the Charts will be another success story.

***For further details about Top of the Charts, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Book Review: Top of the Charts

By Anwar Jabeen Qureshi

The eight edition of the ICC World Cup 2003 was indeed special for the fact that it was being staged in the continent of Africa for the first time with South Africa hosting the majority of the matches while Zimbabwe and Kenya were the co-hosts.

It’s always quite an adventure to be in Africa and the added attraction of the topmost cricket tournament taking place there it was the favorite destination to many, presenting an opportunity not be missed.

Syed Khalid Mahmood’s Top of the Charts, featuring Man of the Tournament Sachin Tendulkar on the cover with the coveted award, doesn’t throw light on the oft spoken subject of wildlife in Africa but there’s plenty to read about the event itself.

Obviously it’s a cricket book after all and if you missed the World Cup in 2003 due to any reason this is one publication you must read and preserve. You need to keep a copy of the Top of the Charts in any case because you will feel like revisiting those picturesque grounds that was lit on fire by the explosive cricketers from different parts of the globe.

It wasn’t a particularly pleasing tournament from Pakistan’s point of view as they were knocked out in the first round. After all sports are sports so is cricket the author has worked wonders to keep up the spirit and interest alive. So it’s not surprising that there’s just one Pakistani, Wasim Akram, in the list of 25 top performers profiled in the book.

Australia and India dominated the event, having played the final at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. There are chapters on four cricketers from each of these two countries whose supporters had plenty to cheer about during the course of the tournament.

The author has profiled all those 25 top performers in the usual crisp style of his. The action photographs, particularly those in colour, are quite lively. It’s a kind of book that must be a part of your collection for many reasons.

***For further details about Top of the Charts, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Books are forever

Jumbo Editorial Team

Since ages books have been the real partners of human beings. They have always been proven to be a source of knowledge and learning. Though silent, insensitive and non-living but even then the company provided by them is beyond praise and incomparable.

Books have always been good companions in both good and bad phases of life of people. They have always been impartial as far as their friendship is concerned. They are the same for both rich as well as poor.

Books are great source of entertainment and recreation. Close company of books and reading them dedicatedly with interest adds a lot to our knowledge and cognizance. Books are of many types and it is the interest of an individual which he finds the most interesting to spend time with. Some love reading novels, some are passionate about current magazines, and some are fond of articles and quotation related books.

Library plays a central role. The lover of books finds calm and a quiet environment to interact with the books effectively there. Library is a place of peace, solitude and serenity. Hours can be spent in the library reading books. A person returning home after spending a couple of hours in the library feels relaxed and filled with knowledge.

J.B. Macaulay was quoted as saying: “I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books then a king who did not love reading."

Books provide us company in both good and bad times. They are vested with several entertaining and interesting topics that refresh our mind.

Whenever we are little depressed, there are several books that boost us and encourage us at that bad juncture of life. We get to learn from the writings of many famous personalities how to recover from difficult situations. If we look into our career point of view, books keeps up abreast with current affairs and provides us with each and every subject to prepare for the competitive.

Their friendship is so selfless and pure that they do not demand their reader nothing in return. They just want reader to have sincere dedication towards them. Since our Kindergarten days books have proven to be our most faithful friends and have always been helping in every circumstance.

Books are the pearls of wisdom. Many times when we travel by bus or train, books provides a best time pass and a good source of entertaining our self. Reading magazines, comics and novels in such journeys really makes the journey short and easy instead of tire journeys. Choice and content of the books is also of first and foremost importance.

Books are the most sincere, faithful and never falling friends. Everybody may deceive you but books will always remain beside during your bad times. Books are your friends, teachers and guides as well. Just reading a book is of no use until it is properly understood with interest. Books always want its reader to gain something from it. It wants to impart knowledge.

We cannot even imagine the importance the books plays in our life. Thorough knowledge of these books and implementing them has taken many towards enlightenment. Thus books purify our thoughts and also make our thoughts pious. So, I feel that one should always enjoy the company of books and regard the selfless nature of the books to each and every individual.

Foreword: Spotlight on World Cup 2003

By Jalaluddin

The ICC World Cup Cricket Tournament 2003 was a massive event. It was for the first that the World Cup was being held in Africa. South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya hosted the tournament jointly and together they did a nice job.

It was not the fault of the hosts if England refused to play their match in Harare or New Zealand decided not to appear in their game at Nairobi. England and New Zealand had to pay heavy price of forfeiting their respective games. While England could not even reach the Super Sixes, New Zealand fell short of points in qualifying for the semifinals.

Zimbabwe and Kenya were the beneficiaries as they gained valuable points without being required to take the field. Zimbabwe advanced to the Super Sixes from Group A, ahead of England and Pakistan, while Kenya proceeded to the second round, leaving behind South Africa and the West Indies.

Kenya made most of the opportunity that came their way and they stormed into the semifinals against all odds. The Kenyans had played well no doubt but they were also helped by the untidy performances of their opponents and the generosity of the New Zealanders.

Australia were the deserved winners of the World Cup. They had encountered some turbulence while capturing the trophy in 1999 but they remained invincible in 2003. They were the best team to have entered he competition and they came good even in the absence of some of their star performers.

The World Cup 2003 was certainly won by the best team, who overcame all the pressures on and off the field. The Australians were the most confident side, who had fierce determination to succeed. Even their newcomers came up with terrific performance whenever needed.

The all-conquering Australians were truly magnificent throughout the competition. They had a balanced outfit and all their guys knew their job. Ricky Ponting led the team by example and his devastating century in the final helped them retain the crown in style.

There were odd moments when the Australians were brought under pressure by their opponents but they managed to fight their way and emerged triumphant in all their outings. In two matches at least, against England and New Zealand, they snatched victory from jaws of defeat.

Australia proved the point that they stood head and shoulders above all the teams in terms of consistency. Their approach to the game has been totally professional and their standard has been raised with the passage of time. Their cricket administrators deserve to be complimented for having evolved a system which enables them to rule the world.

The unpredictable Indians, who ended runners-up, had started their campaign tamely but they peaked at the right time. Their pace trio of Jawagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, exploited the conditions in South Africa and the consistency of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar helped their cause enormously.

Pakistan and South Africa were the two biggest disappointments of the tournament. The failure of the South Africans in the league matches saw them crash out of the event before the Super Sixes, much to the disgust of the home fans.

Pakistan’s supporters also had to endure depressing time. There were reports of differences between some key players which didn’t allow the team to settle down and play to their potential which was indeed very sad.

Pakistan, after having defeated Australia in Australia in the one-day series earlier in the season, were expected to perform much better that they did in the World Cup. They showed flashes of brilliance but they were far too inconsistent to challenge their main rivals.

Spotlight on World Cup 2003 is another worthy compilation from Syed Khalid Mahmood who has carved a niche for himself in cricket journalism.

***For further details about Spotlight on World Cup 2003, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024

Book Review: Spotlight on World Cup 2003

By Prof Dr Nasim Fatima

Spotlight on World Cup 2003 is a decent publication. The book in hand competes with the standard followed by Oxford University Press or Cambridge Series. White offset paper has been used; printing is up to the mark; layout desirable; beautiful title cover in gray shades and a colour of full dust cover present a batsman hitting the ball for a six. In the centre a member of the winning team with the trophy is inserted. Title cover spotlights the subject of the publication obviously.

Jalalddin, a former Test cricketer, has written foreword of the book. He reckons that ‘Spotlight on World Cup 2003’ is another worthy compilation of Syed Khalid Mahmood, having carved a niche for himself in cricket journalism.

The book consists of chapters: Dreams and Nightmares, a poetic imagination of the author with sportsmen; On paper Pakistan had a formidable outfit, an analysis and comments by Wasim Akram, a former Pakistan captain; Lack of passion cost Pakistan dearly, thoughts by Sikander Bakht, a former Test fast bowler; Rules should be transparent, opined Syed Ali Raza, President, National Bank of Pakistan; Mind power makes the difference, believed Azeem Sarwar, a legendary broadcaster and commentator; Australia rules once more, wrote Ehsan Qureshi, a seasoned journalist and Top of the Flops authored by Shahid Mahmood, a noted analyst.

The author has thrown light on the exciting matches of the tournament with the standout performance of Lara, Cordington, Fleming, Obuyu, Bevan, Bichel, Ponting and Martyn getting special mention. The scorecards of all the matches have been arranged chronologically followed by the complete records of the tournament.

The book is fully illustrated by full page colorful and action photographs of the top performers to give a vision to the matches. The book should have been adorned with a name index of the players and other eminent persons mentioned between the covers. The author deserves congratulations for producing a wonderful book for the fans of cricket in the country and abroad.

***For further details about Spotlight on World Cup 2003, please write to or call Asad Raza at 0333-2304024