duck2go

The over 40’s club

With Pakistan being neighbours to them, many won’t be able to resist the comparisons between Pakistan Super League and the Indian Premier League. Such comparisons are extremely unfair of course as the PSL is an infant a toddler almost at 4 years old whilst the IPL is the bigger brother at 13 years old, the IPL knows more than the PSL, but he too is inexperienced and can mature much more. What I want to talk about here is that many see these T20 tournaments as a ‘young man’s game’.

This year’s PSL tournament is an example that the youngsters won’t be solely dominating the Super League team sheets, several veterans are blessing the PSL.

West Indian legend Chris Gayle (Quetta Gladiators), Mohammed Hafeez (Lahore Qalandars) and Shahid Afridi (Multan Sultans)  are all members of the 40-year old club. The four, might not want to scream that from the rooftops, but fans will be screaming and shouting about how Messers Gayle, Hafeez and Afridi have made solid contributions.

Former Pakistan captain Afridi has impressed with the ball, in particular, the first game as the veteran all-rounder Afridi finished with 2-24 off four overs against Islamabad United in the first game.

As for the other three, they have made some good contributions with the bat. Gayle scored a solid 39 and a streaky half-century (68) in two games. The fifty that The Big Boss scored did offer a couple of big changes to the Lahore Qalanders, but the Qalanders fielders shelled those chances. Those drops didn’t prove costly as fellow veteran Mohammed Hafeez clubbed an unbeaten 73 off just 33 balls, which helped Lahore win and chase down a potentially tricky target at a canter.

For the cricket purists amongst you, I know you will be thinking why hasn’t Kamran Akmal been mentioned? I must admit as I drafted this up, I was thinking the same thing too, but then after some research realised he’s a spring chicken at 39. Just like Akmal,  Shoaib Malik is a youthful 39.

As I was compiling this blog, there was some drafting and re-drafting, my criterion is strict, this blog is a shout-out to the 40’s club. Messers Malik and Akmal wishing them good health will be in the club next year! It’s brilliant to see the veterans we mentioned doing so well. Sohail Tanveer, Mohammed Irfan, Sarfraz Ahmed are arguably in the veteran category too but are a bit more youthful than Gayle, Hafeez and Afridi.

The youngsters in the tournament and the emerging players too is clear evidence that the PSL is making huge strides on the T20 cricketing world map. Not bad for a tournament that’s 10 years behind the IPL and the other leagues around the world.

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The end is nigh brothers!

Hello and good evening, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag bearer of all beards on digital media.I am that beard who tries to make people laugh and I am that beard who tries to make people smile. My brothers, I hope you’re well, looking after yourselves and more importantly your beard!

My brothers I want to talk about an important issue in the life of beard. As you are all aware, we are in a lockdown and in a lockdown, not only have the gyms, restaurants, bars and football stadiums to the fans have been closed, but the closing down of barbers has hit us beards hard!

I never think this would be the case, but a lot of us beards have grown the equivalent of afros, but it has been. This lockdown like the other lock down has been a challenge for all beards. Some beards have been better at it than other beards, the grooming of their bead. 

Brothers, I know some of you (me included) are working from home and the perceived need to maintain your beard is seen as not necessary. My Bearded beloved’s it is necessary as the beard is your pride and enjoy. These times of lockdown have been tough, but the end is nigh .. no more botched snipping of the beard (like a certain someone did, mentioning no names). 

Well brothers, the end is nigh! On April 12th, the barbershops will be reopening in the U.K. Form an orderly queue as The Bearded Captain exercises his right for being at the front of the line as I am The Bearded Leader. 

To help keep wonderful content coming through and help maintain project Bearded Captain , you can help fund me here;

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The hangover

This season has been an unprecedented season for so many different reasons. As previously discussed in my blog post, which can be found here; https://ayyazmalik.com/2021/01/09/a-season-like-no-other/. This season has been an unusual one to put it mildly. In the English Premier League, there has been some normality that’s returned as Manchester City seem odds on to win their third title in four seasons.

Across Europe, Real Madrid/Barcelona neither of them are leading Laliga, it’s Atletico Madrid who seem to be running away it, but a surprise 2-0 home loss to Levante, means that the gap has closed at the top to just three points, but Diego Simeone’s side do have a game in hand.

In Germany although usual league leaders Bayern Munich are still top, ever since they returned for a successful and triumphant Club World Cup, The Bavarians have conceded 31 goals already this term, one less than they did in the entire 2019-2020 season. Their 2-1 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt means that the Bundesliga is more competitive this year.

With the example of Bayern, the Champions League winners have been far from flawless. In France last year’s Champions League beaten finalists PSG, have been suffering from indifferent from and they too aren’t have thing their own way in Ligue 1 as they trail league leaders Lille by four points. This is the same that could be said about Italian champions Juventus.

Juve, who have had a strangle hold on the Scudetto for a past best part of a decade, trail league leaders Inter by a massive 11 points, it must be noted that The Old lady have two games in hand over The Nerazzurri in Serie A. Regardless of this fact, even Juventus haven’t had things their own way.

This bug, shall we call it has travelled to Scotland too. Celtic who were looking to complete the ’10 in a row’, have been thwarted by a resurgent Rangers who are just seven points away from a first trophy in the Steven Gerrard reign. Covid, has affected us all and here’s to thinking that May can’t come quick enough.

But there’s some good things to have come out football being the way that is due to Covid, it’s not as boring and predictable as what it has been across Europe. That is a good thing, here’s to hoping that next season will be something similar, but I am not holding my breath.

To help keep wonderful content coming through and help maintain project Bearded Captain , you can help fund me here;

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My review of The Fat Pizza

Hello and good evening, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag bearer of all beards on digital media.I am that beard who tries to make people laugh and I am that beard who tries to make people smile. My brothers, I hope you’re well, looking after yourselves and more importantly your beard!

My Bearded Beloved’s I want to talk about an important issue in the life of beard. Brothers, as you know I fancy myself as a bit of a burger connoisseur. Here though, I want to talk about The Fat Pizza. Brothers, I love my pizza, but not like I love my burgers. Today was the first day I tried The fat Pizza. This pizza shop has shops across the country, so expectations were high.

Just like with a burger, I expect what I am eating to be fresh, kind to the teeth as I don’t plan a tug war with the crust and my teeth & easy on the taste buds.

For some it’s just pizza, but for me I expect that I can taste the toppings of the pizza and warm soft base as well a nice crunchy crust too, but not too crunchy which you find on non fresh pizza.

What makes a pizza is the deep pan base in my humble opinion and the way the sauce is applied.The fat pizza, mastered this perfectly! For my personal pizza choice on the day I opted for chicken and beef, being the meat lover that I am.

Was I disappointed? Absolutely not! I can’t forget the soft melting cheesy that forms like a string too, which they got right down to the T . That brothers … is magnifique pizza! The texture of pizza, the sauce, the taste of base and the crunch of crust – brothers this is “The fat pizza” in the slang term too!

On that note, Brothers These chaps are masters of the pizza, they’re worth a visit. But don’t just take my word for it. They have branches nationwide. It’s over and out from The Bearded Captain.

To help keep wonderful content coming through and help maintain project Bearded Captain , you can help fund me here;

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How they’re not laughing now

He has been as something as a cult hero. Nicolas Bendtner, or Lord Bendtner, Emile Heskey and Jess Lingard the ‘youngster’ has also been in flack. With the first two players, they’re known by the football world and football twitter as subject of mockery. Meme’s would be dedicated to these two and also sarcastically putting them in the same bracket as the two greatest players of this generation (Ronaldo and Messi). Heskey has never claimed to be a world beater, but our Nicholas? Well …. To say he was full of himself that’s an understatement. 

He is the Chuck Norris of football, well that’s if you ask him. The actual Chuck Norris of the beautiful game is Zlatan and no dares to challenge him on that or anything else really, Zlatan has backed his words with actions and in this current season has taken his game to new heights. That’s enough about Ibra, we will maybe talk about him another time. I want to talk about the youngster that is Lingard, he is like Heskey and Bendtner, where their reputations have got the better of them. Lingard, the Warrington born midfielder has been living off past glories. 

Under David Moyes when the Scott had his Ill fated spell in the Old Trafford hotseat, Jesse Lingard was involved in the squad for pre season that season.  In the 2014-2015 season, Lingard made his Manchester United debut under Louis Van Gaal. That goal he scored in the FA Cup final, yeah the one where he did the Ryan Giggs celebration, that one. Someone should have told our Jesse, that no one rocks that celebration like Mr Giggs can. Even when Mourinhp came to town, if Jose’s past reputation is anything go by, the end would have been nigh for the Warrington Messi. 

To his credit Jesse and his flute impression making self, excelled in an advanced role as almost a number 10. Diego Lingard? Jesse Maradonna? Those comparisons which also included Lingardinho turned to be premature as Jesse Lingard’s decline started. Off-field issues some which were very unfortunate lead to this footballing cult hero almost turn into a cult villain. The FA Cup game against Derby County became the tip of the iceberg for some fans as aggressive chants welcomed the former England midfielder upon his arrival at Pride Park. 

With no goals or assists, it’s fair to say he wasn’t make many if any fantasy football teams. A public verbal unleashing of fury by the normally apparently charming Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a reality check for the 28-year old Lingard. The goal dorugh ended on the last day of the season with a tap in goal against Leicester, which would help The Red Devils secure Champions League football for this season. That goal would have been a new day a new dawn? Sadly not as this season Jess Lingard was on the periphery. 

Talks of loan move to Nice, would have been nice, but that didn’t materialise. Sheffield United were apparently looking to make their move, but West Ham made the decisive move. With two goals on debut and three goals in four games, Jesse Lingard is maybe the Undertaker of football? (rising from the footballing dead). Only time will tell, those who didn’t put Jess in their fantasy football team, it not too late!

O how they laughed, because just maybe this youngster as he referred to, is coming on age.

To help keep wonderful content coming through and help maintain project Bearded Captain , you can help fund me here;

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Liverpool vs Everton; the phobia of 20?

To say that Liverpool have had a tough season this year is some under statement. After accumulating over 190 points in the last two seasons, this season has been somewhat of a fall from grace for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Last year, the title was all but sealed before the lockdown, this year? The Reds are fighting for Champions League qualification.

After romping to their 19th title last season, the Anfield side were seen by many as favourites for this year’s Premier League. At the start of the season, what turned out to be an unpredictable season until Man City made an oath that they won’t lose a game. The fall from grace all started when Jordan Pickford forgot what sport he was competing in.

Jordan darling, it’s football. Former Sunderland goalkeeper in a challenge, that was more of a resemblance to a Connor McGregor move, put an end to star defender Virgil Van Dijk’s season. Initially, Jurgen and co, looked to have had the issue under control until 2021 began.

This year has been a disaster for the Merseysiders and that’s putting it mildly. Six defeats in this calendar year already was more than 2019 and 2020 put together. Many have written Liverpool off, this team is past it, this team is this, this team is that. Calm down guys!

Yes, this has been disappointing, but there have been many injuries. It was only last season that Premier League leader Manchester City had an equally disappointing title defence. Bad seasons happen, they have had some rotten luck this year with injuries whereas last year they were fine.

The defence hasn’t been the sole reason for this season panning out the way it has. The constant changing of centre backs doesn’t help, but playing you’re two most important players in midfield in defence has made them severely depleted. After the January window Kabak has been the player partnered with The Red’s captain Jordan Henderson, but they’ve been severely depleted with Henderson at the back.

Liverpool’s midfield is a well oiled machine and without Jordan Henderson, well it’s just getting rust on it. The game against Everton this evening summed up this seasons struggle in a nutshell. Is their a fear of getting to that 20th title? I don’t think so, but they obviously don’t like a number with 20 in it as they have lost for the first time in 21 years to Liverpool.

The Toffees’ last win against their rivals at Anfield was a 1-0 win in 1999. Don’t worry Reds fans, your team will be back, but the Liverpool board do back him, he’s earned it.

To help keep wonderful content coming through and help maintain project Bearded Captain , you can help fund me here;

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The signs of the summer (satire)

Hello and good afternoon, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag bear of beards on digital and broadcasting media.

I am that beard who tries to make people laugh and I am that beard who tries to make people smile.

My Bearded Brothers, I pray you’re well and I pray you’re looking after your beards! My bearded beloved’s, I want to talk about an important issue, the issue of when you know it’s summer.

Now to sate the obvious, you know it’s summer when you look outside, see the sun in the sky and there’s no need to wear a coat.

In the winter, the woolly hats and neck warmers are dusted off but when summer comes, back to the bottom of the draw it goes.

My dear brothers, I want to talk about some subtle signs of when you know it’s summer time.

The first thing that comes to mind for me, is when you hear the melody tune coming from far far away, that sound usually means one thing … an ice cream van! In the winter, they seem like they go into hibernation.

When you sense the temperature outside reaches double figures, rest assured you will hear the melody tune and an engine roaring in the sunset coming into the sun, you will know it’s an ice cream van looking for kids who want ice cream.

I am not talking about, in the back of the van stuff there, just thought I would clarify.

Other signs of the summer is you will see people more happy. Obviously when it’s Christmas time, everyone is beaming on the outside and in, but when it’s summer time .. the happiness is different, it just is.

Men, will be walking around with their t-shirts off and bare chested, sorry let me correct that comment, it usually tends to be the boys who go topless when the temperature reaches double figures.

The men from Newcastle, aren’t afraid to take their shirt off even when it’s minus temperature!

Stating the obvious, with this next example, but people tend to dust off the sunglasses in the summer time.

There’s only one person, who truly rocks the sunglasses and that’s the Phons in Happy Days. No one and I mean no one makes sunglasses look good quite like he does, Hey! *in Phonsy voice*

True story, I realised the wife of a TV presenter, came to my dad’s shop and in the winter I saw her and he daughter with sunglasses on and yes it looked really weird. Summer won’t be summer, if you don’t bring out the shorts from the bottom depths of the wardrobe.

In the winter, legs are locked up till lunch! In the summer, those bad boys are whipped out for the world to see.

Fellas, just make sure those legs aren’t crusty or even skinny! If you’re bringing those legs out of the wilderness, no one wants to see crusty legs or skinny ones.

Images like those scar the average man for years on end. My sister, my God haver mercy on her soul, would tease my by saying I had ‘lady legs’.

Fellas, if your leg game isn’t up to it, hit the gym and don’t skip leg day! Not chicken leg day, no I mean the quads, hamstrings, calves and quads need working.

Last but not least, in my opinion one of the signs that tells you it’s summer time is when fizzy drinks go in the freezer.

Brothers, don’t do what I did and leave it in the freezer for too long, because you would be greeted with an ice explosion and burst plastic bottle with unprecedented amount of ice everywhere.

Entering that scene, you would have thought it was part of the Antarctic, but no it was just my kitchen!

On that note brothers, there is a list of the signs of when you know it’s summer time. It’s over and out from The Bearded Captain.

To help keep wonderful content coming through and help maintain project Bearded Captain , you can help fund me here;

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My thoughts on WWE

They say it’s fake, it’s not real, but the risks are real. World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE for short is a sport which despite its longevity still catches the public imagination.

If you ask Elias, WWE stands for! *chants in a passionate tone* “walk with Elias”. The storylines, subplots, daring moves and overall energy has made the WWE the pinnacle for any pro wrestler.

When we were kids, I don’t know anyone who would say they didn’t do any wrestling moves on their siblings, brother Malik and sister Malik’s teddy bear felt the full brunt of The Stone Cold Stunner. 

I will not confirm or deny, I gave the last ride to my brother, an Attitude Adjustment, or did the five knuckle shuffle on both my niece and nephew, but the springs on a few beds were stretched let’s just say.

Let’s change the subject and talk about the pros who do this for the day job. WWE, despite the competition or rival AEW, amongst others have posed a viable threat.

The way WWE markets the brand and the fact that they have years upon years of more experience is a massive advantage. 

In Shahid Khan, owner of AEW, they have a billionaire who will be able to help bankroll some top wrestling stars, Messers Ambrose and Jericho come to mind.

A fierce rival isn’t something new, in the 90’s WCW was arguably a more desirable brand than WWE, but wrestling fans remember how that ended.

Stone Cold Steve Austin, Booker T, the aforementioned Chris Jericho and Goldberg are just some of the wrestlers that comes to mind.

In my humble opinion, WWE it fluctuates, with how good the storylines are. 

Sometimes the storylines are brilliant, others the storylines are a lot to be desired. .

Of course all wrestling circuits have the same issue, but WWE is the most established of all wrestling circuits out there.

I want to talk about some of the storylines at the moment and give my humble opinion on them.

The storyline between Reigns and Owens is a good one, but really creative WWE, putting the belt on him again? Why don’t you just rename his character to John Anoai Cena? Letting Rusev go, in my opinion, wasn’t the best decision either. 

Love or loathe him, his Bulgarian Brute character suited him perfectly. To put him in these love story storylines, just wasted an undoubted talent, let’s hope AEW utilise his skills properly.

A storyline which I like is Seamus and Drew McIntyre, at least it’s not the usual Roman Reigns drivel.

The force-feeding of Reigns is frustrating. If you want to use The Big Dog, then the need to use to utilize him without gold around him is a must.

The Rock, Stone Cold and most recently The Fiend are still very able performers and they don’t need a title on him to be relevant, Roman’s character doesn’t seem to allow that. 

I do like The Miz with The Money In The Bank briefcase. Not sounding like Michael Cole of old, I am a Miz fan.

Very good on the mic, good in a tag team even in a stable too, Michael Miznan is a WWE treasure.

I am merely just a fan, but us fans have our opinions too. Triple H, yeah my number ends in 455, and don’t forget the +44 dialling code, thank you!

Here at ayyazmalik.com, there will be plenty more wrestling articles. See you at the next one!

To help keep wonderful content coming through and help maintain project Bearded Captain , you can help fund me here;

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Just don’t be one of those people

Hello and good evening, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag-bearer of all beards on digital media. I am that beard who tries to make you laugh and I am that beard who tries to make you smile. Brothers, I want to talk about an important issue, it’s the topic of not being one of those people.

There’s always one, the odd one out. People who don’t spell their name right. “Hanna’, I am talking to you here and ‘Stephen’, yeah this is aimed at you. But brothers, what I am referring to here is the people who wear shorts in -2 degrees temperature or in any weather for that matter.

Dude, what’s wrong with you? Do you want Pneumonia? I am sorry, but I am gonna be blunt here, that’s like one of the hookers on a cold night. No matter the weather, she will always have the short skirt on, which is just weird, don’t be one of those people. Other people you shouldn’t be like are those who wear socks and sandals.

Are you a Geography teacher? No, didn’t think so …. but the people who do this (wear socks and sandals) well, let’s just say like Wethers Originals (you know what I mean). So more example of people that you shouldn’t be like are those who wear leather-strapped gentleman watches with a tracksuit.

Brothers, it just looks odd. This post borders on, my previous post of signs of a psychopath, which can be found here; https://ayyazmalik.com/2020/08/24/signs-of-psycho-satire/

My Bearded Soldiers, I am back after a little break, and that’s your list for now. It’s over and out from your Bearded Captain.

To help keep wonderful content coming through and help maintain project Bearded Captain , you can help fund me here;

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Opinion, why five batters are better than six

Hello and good afternoon, my name is Ayyaz Malik, sportswriter and sports broadcaster for six years now. Through my blog, I hope you the reader, have been able to digest and feast your self on some very good reading.

Some of the pieces I have written of late have been designed to provoke some thoughts of all sports fans. What I want to talk about today, is an issue in the world of cricket, and offer my thoughts on the debate too.

The issue I am referring to is the issue of, should a team have five batsmen or six? In the modern game, a lot of bowlers are able to bat, as are batsmen are able to bowl.

But what I want to talk about is the team line-up more for test matches. Traditionally, in limited over matches, teams tend to field, five bowlers and five batsmen. In the test format, it differs pending on the team.

Misbah Ul-Haq’s Pakistan team, in my humble opinion, were notorious for fielding six batsmen and four bowlers (three seamers and one spinner). There are two ways to look at this argument.

With having the six batsmen, like that Pakistan team did where Asad Shafiq became one of the best in the world. The 2009 T20 champions, simply were outscoring their opponents, especially at their adopted home of Abu Dhabi.

The flipside of this Pakistani side was that as good as they were with bat and arguably the ball due to the brilliance of Yasir Shah, if a team would play sensible test cricket, four bowlers could get worn out quicker, compared to the five.

I am trying to argue that, in tests most likely a lot of overs will be bowled. To be able to get through the overs, I argue that five bowlers are better to keep a bowling attack fresh.

In this test series, current Pakistan test captain, Mohammed Rizwan has opted for five bowlers.

I feel for test series against New Zealand, where they have players like Williamson at their disposal, one would think there would be a lot of overs bowled. So that’s my opinion cricket fans, what do you think?