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  1. #1
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    Member Interview: waleed88

    PakPassion.net: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    waleed88
    : Short attention span. My inability to focus one just one thing, my brain is thinking about so many things sometimes simultaneously. Like following a cricket match while trying to get studying done. Something awful happening in Pakistan’s political landscape that distracts your mind. Sometimes just stuff that you need to get done at home or household chores. If I was good at studying and working, I would do that, but apparently it's not possible for a lot of people. I’ve seen a few geniuses give their exams while working, but most of us average minded people have to be unemployed, sit at home and study every day for the past 3 years. The only regret that then remains is I wish I had studied more professionally during my med school and not just to pass my exams.


    PakPassion.net: What is your favourite movie?

    waleed88
    : Wicker Park.


    PakPassion.net: How do you think Babar Azam can improve?

    waleed88
    : Babar Azam is one impressive specimen. Impressive in the sense that he is a consistent player, he has all the shots in the book, he is doing better than a lot of players who set the stage alight as newbies like Jamshed, Shehzad, Umar Akmal to name a few. His ODI record is equally phenomenal as his Test record is shambolic. Fans see a great in the making, I don’t share that optimism that much.

    Pakistan cricket team has a tradition to make a player ‘the apple of the eye’ – you’ve seen a lot of names that somewhat get preferential treatment on the basis of what they ‘can’ bring, not what they are bringing currently. In anticipation of that hope, that player keeps consistently playing regardless of his achievements. Mohammad Amir is another that comes to my mind.

    In the past we have seen Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal, the so-called ‘match-winners’ could do no wrong in their fans’ perspective, everything they did was either Misbah’s fault, Waqar’s fault, bias against these names, something or the other that made them under-perform or made them give their wicket away.

    Babar Azam seems to be having a similar time in the Pakistan team, his fans justify him by comparing averages of Babar’s first 30 odd games with Kohli, Amla, de Villiers, etc.

    When you say Babar should be benched, fans say ‘you must be crazy’ – I just don’t get this, we are so desperate to win every game that whenever someone talks about putting the player on the bench even, our fans, especially on this forum, think you have an agenda.

    Babar’s ODI form doesn’t merit that argument, but the Test form has been an example of a player that hasn’t been performing in the format for a year now, but still coasts in the team because of his form in limited overs cricket. When we ourselves have set the criteria for other batsmen, that performance in one format doesn’t mean automatic selection in the others.

    Does that mean Azhar Ali should coast in the side based on his Test Form? Or Mohammad Amir should play every game in the Test side based on his performance in the CT Trophy final?

    To summarise, keep him in the squad, not make him take his place for granted, make him realise he has to earn his place. Especially in Test Matches. What is stopping someone from trying any other batsmen in the middle order, forget Fawad Alam, try any of the other names that come up in domestics.


    PakPassion.net: What is your favourite thing about Karachi?

    waleed88
    : Well, Karachi isn’t perfect. I love Karachi because of its imperfections. I lived in Saudi Arabia for 4 years during my high school years, when I used to come to Karachi during my vacations every time I used to hope things would’ve changed in Karachi, that it might’ve gotten cleaner somehow, but when I used to land from the airport, you would see huge crowds of people at the airport, a general sense of disorganisation, people shouting at the passport control counters, men standing in women/children lines and foreign passport lines, it’s a mess.

    Then you come out of the airport and enter Shahrah-e-Faisal, you would see mini-buses zoom past by you, motor cycles just overtake you from the left side, old LPG rickshaws make noise. The clutter of garbage put on the corners of the road, especially at Tariq road near my house. That is the general sense of disappointment I got after seeing a clean infrastructure of Saudi Arabia mostly.
    Everyone knows the good stuff about Karachi, the food, how things are open late night, the beaches, weddings. That’s about it.

    Things aren’t exactly perfect around here in Karachi, it's not beautiful, but it's our own, you get a sense of closeness to everything around you, that ‘apnaaiyat’ is there of knowing the place, having the comfort of that place is like no other. Like going to the seaside since childhood, people trash that place everyday, some of the litter on the beach looks so bad, however you just get used to it because of the nostalgia that place brings when you go there. Having chai, or corn/bhutta during the sunset, etc.


    PakPassion.net: Are you generally positive or do you always look for the worst?

    waleed88
    : I would like to call myself a realist. Not as optimistic as my dad who is a die hard cricket fan, supports our team till the last ball of the match. Then when we lose badly he justs puts his hand up in denial and goes like ‘chor yaar fixed hai match.’ Just to stop himself getting hurt.

    On PP there is a trend I have noticed regarding negativity. Negative comments generally get more traction than positive ones. When you are generally against the current of majority views, you sort of get bashed. Its easy to praise the superstars, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Hasan Ali, Shoaib Malik, Shadab Khan. It's more difficult to find something peculiar about a player, and stick to it since so many people’s views might change the views you have had on someone.

    The good thing is almost everyone gets equally bashed, in banter you might sometimes get somethings in your favour, other times, however, you do look like a fool. It all balances out. The most important thing, that if you have been proven wrong, you should admit your mistake and try not to make a fool of yourself again which is what I have learnt here.

    I might not sound an optimist, but I genuinely believe for the first time in the 2010s that this team is still doing a lot better than its predecessors. Champions Trophy 2017 is a game changer, PSL is inducting polished youngsters in our team, a platform that brings them a challenge almost equal to the International level. Which is why our youngsters don’t feel as overwhelmed as they used to with all the publicity and fame that they got from playing for Pakistan, after being an almost unknown entity for the general masses playing in domestics for so long.


    PakPassion.net: What specific match/player peaked your interest in cricket?

    waleed88
    : Passion for cricket has been consistent since my childhood. When I was younger, cricket was a part of my daily life, everyday after school it would be homework and cricket for at least 1 hour, bowling left arm fast and doing the best impersonation of Wasim Akram’s action possible.

    I used to be a good batsman, but some of my friends were just so good I realized I became a better bowler because of them.
    Of course it was different after Wasim’s retirement. It was never the same after that.

    Never thought about becoming a professional cricketer. My parents put a lot of emphasis on studies, wanted me to become a doctor, which is why I had lesser time than most of my other friends in different fields.

    I was very skinny and looked younger than my age for most part of my teens and adult life. My lower arched feet made sure that I can never be as quick a bowler, or an athlete for that matter to actually challenge some of the other boys in my teenage who had such big forearms, tall height, athletic bodies that you just forget about it. The pleasures of a good cricket match with friends still brings a thrill out like no other.

    I won’t blame it on anyone else though, I was never a multi-tasker, plus I needed a lot of time to procrastinate.


    PakPassion.net: What would be the three steps you'd take to improve domestic cricket in Pakistan?

    waleed88
    : I was asked this question by @Markhor, I’m pretty sure I don’t think I am as qualified as him to provide the technical aspects of improving the domestic cricket. But since I was asked this question I would like to do justice to this.

    I was reading on PP recently, the average salary for a domestic cricketer in playing in Pakistan has a salary of Rs.40k, if you add the 8-10k British pounds a player will earn playing in English Sheffield leagues, it probably makes for a decent living.

    Considering a professional doctor graduating from a Pakistani Medical college earns the same amount during their residency (in-training position), I would say compared to the other professionals who earn their money, I feel this is not as bad as some of other sports in Pakistan, that are suffering so badly that their players don’t get paid their salaries for 8 months. The hotel to their tour abroad is not paid for. Of course it is not adequate, but besides fields like being a Chartered Accountant, or having done your CSS, I would doubt any professional gets paid a 100k plus salary, in the first job they start working on.

    Considering all this, I would say our domestic system is decent, not perfect, but it is getting its job done. You have a state of the art facility in Lahore, if I’m not wrong a few others are developing in other areas, there can be no compromise on fitness, as you have seen we just had a 42 year old captain who just retired, he was fitter than a lot of youngsters who have played for us in recent years and a 39 year old veteran who scored a mammoth double ton in the last days of his career.

    If these men can maintain their fitness throughout their careers, what is stopping some of our other youngsters?

    11-12 players from all our squads in all formats are present on merit, that means that more likely than not they are the best in their positions. That’s almost 80% of the squad that is playing on merit. Our under 19 team just reached the World Cup Semi Final for the Umpteenth time. They are almost regulars at this point in the last 4 or the last 2.

    What then is the reason for our team struggling at the International level?

    I see a couple of reasons only:

    1) Lack of chasing culture: A culture that does not exist. A culture that has never existed by default in our cricketing bones. The very existence of Pakistani identity is based on something that is lacking in their cricketing core; an inability to chase down big totals.
    It just does not exist, something about our team, a collective phobia that makes us panic as a squad, as a unit that whenever we see a total above 250, 95% of the time we look like we are going to make a mess of it.

    Big history is attached to it maybe, 1996 quarter final comes to my mind, a big total, made ever so chaseable by our top order, bringing our run rate to 5 an over after the first 10. A collective ‘shoot yourself in the foot’ after that. Iconic in our cricketing history. A match we should’ve won easily considering the batting talent we had.

    The probability of us not chasing down a total goes even higher to around 98-99% when the target is above 300.

    We are a team that cannot chase. As simple as that. As long as our youngsters are not trained to chase down big totals from their under 19 days, these embarrassments will keep happening to us no matter how many talented bowlers we keep producing.

    An example of this how our team collapsed against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup Final 2018, or how our Under 19 team just choked against India in the Semi Final of the under 19 World Cup.

    Champions Trophy 2017 for our International team can be used as an indicator as well, the only game we lost was a game where we had to chase above 300.

    In the same tournament, Sri Lanka beat India chasing 320+ in 50 overs for 3 wickets. This was a Sri Lankan side going through one of their worst phases in history, but they managed to chase this total against a potent Indian attack? How? They have a culture that allows batsmen to go about it in a systematic clockwork kind of way, that adjusts, scores, accelerates according to the situation. The roles are identified, and there is a professional attitude about it. This attitude only comes in if a team has been doing it since its grass root days, and thorough in the way it happens.

    Not like a few of our batsmen, playing for their centuries, their 50s, looking to prolong their careers, looking to boost their averages, then getting out when the run rate has rocketed to above 10 an over. We work on a method that doesn’t exist anymore. A phenomenon that has long been extinct. A loser’s mentality.

    I just don’t get why our team is obsessed with our bowlers always being the alpha unit of the team. It's how the world likes to identify us, it's how our people like to identify us, it's how maybe our whole administration likes to identify us.

    Historically we have produced mostly a mediocre batting lineup with an exceptional all star bowling cast, as long as we keep making bowlers our heroes from a lower level, this will not change.

    Pakistan doesn’t need to write an anti-thesis of cricket, with the world going one way, and our team going another, we are a team going against the tide, our batting looks ordinary, pedestrian and not even in the same era as some of our competitors.

    This creates a vacuum, which is always filled by our bowling lineup to do exceptionally in extreme circumstances, defend low totals, keep it tight and never let runs leak.

    Which brings me to my second point. Make pitches that suit International cricket. I really don’t know the technicalities of that, but the only simple reason is that batting is getting easier internationally in all countries, not just ODIs, but Tests too. Domestically, we have bowlers who are producing ridiculous averages and figures. Average bowlers produce averages of early 20s or high 10s playing a lot of matches on green tops.

    England is producing a lot of flat tracks, while our pitches are getting greener, with even more variable bounce.

    Give our batsmen more confidence, more freedom to perform in the domestics, in the under 19s, make them chase down big totals. Create exercises that simulate the same stress levels that are produced when chasing down big totals.

    Right now, all our batsmen, starting from the under 19s, to international cricket, all appear to have one thing in common. They lack responsibility. Responsibility to win you the game. Not just one individual, or one person, I mean as a unit. As long as that doesn’t change, our fortunes in international cricket will remain mediocre.

    What’s funny is our bowlers just seem to be more confident individually as compared to our batsmen, they just seemed to have more fight in them. Young Shadab looked more of a batsman than did our entire batting unit at times. It was almost as if bowling made him more alpha, more dominating in his ability.


    PakPassion.net: If the WC started next month, who would make your 15 man squad as well as your best XI for the tournament?

    waleed88
    : Probably the same one we have right now. Without Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez. We just need to find a combination in ODIs that works, most of our batsmen in the side are middle order batsmen, which is why we can’t seem to decide who comes in lower down the order and who comes in at the top. It should be a decent combination of hitters/accumulators rather than all accumulators and then hitters.

    Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Yamin/Ashraf, Junaid, Hasan, Amir.

    Imam ul Haq, Umar Amin, Nawaz on the bench.


    PakPassion.net: Do you think Sarfaraz Ahmed can start performing consistently again?

    waleed88
    : He started off by taking the captaincy role by the scruff of the neck. He has shown he can be a better batsman when he is under pressure. However what’s surprising is how a batsman who is one of the best in your side, loses all of that while captaining the side. What’s stopping him from giving some consistency to his already proven batsmanship when he wasn’t a captain?

    In fact it should be the other way round, you should be more responsible, looking to make an impact, trying to get your team home. Sarfaraz showed fight in only a few games, threw it away in the rest of them. It almost seemed in a few games he didn’t want to bat. His weight also seems to be an issue.

    Sri Lankan series did no favours to us, we were riding high on the CT 2017 victory wave, Sri Lankan team is a shadow of what they used to be, we got away with victories flattering our team more than the Sri Lankans, making us look like some invincible champions. Our whole cricketing team thought and believed they were actually as good as the results made them out to be.

    It all came crashing down in the NZ series. And what a crash landing it was. 5-0 against NZ, that has never happened even in Misbah’s days. But this has been coming, this was the price to pay for all our negligence, our false beliefs in our abilities. We still have a huge elephant in the room which is our chasing ability. As long as we don’t get that right, I don’t see our fortunes changing for quite a while.

    The captain did show fight in the T20I series, but again the same issue, it all looks ‘beautifully deceptive’ – this number 1 ranking in T20I cricket, as long as we don’t have to chase down a big total, everything looks fine.

    Regardless of what Sarf does as captain, his captaincy days will always be on satisfactory levels as long as our bowlers can restrict our opponents to low totals. Our batsmen can give enough runs for our bowlers to defend. A failure of our bowlers is a direct failure of our team.

    Sarfraz’s performances might have an ebb and flow like all captains do, but his captaincy hinges on the ability of his bowlers to win games. Maybe letting go of the Test captaincy might ease out the burden on his shoulders. The captaincy seems to be taking a toll on his on-field stress levels.


    PakPassion.net: What are your interests besides cricket?

    waleed88
    : I have developed an interest in politics over the years, I give credit to Imran Khan for the sole reason of making politics relevant for me. However, things have changed from 2013 a lot, after reading extensively about Pakistani history, reading excerpts on political figures in Pakistan, and watching current affairs shows, I feel it’s the one thing I can find time for whenever I’m free.

    Like cooking desi food a lot, enjoy cooking the usuals (Nihari, Korma, Biryani, Pulao) in my free time, kind of consider myself an expert on giving advice on that, much to the annoyance of my wife.

    Used to follow the Premier League extensively, but Arsenal’s struggles have made it easier for me to just forget about it and find some time for something useful. Still follow the scores whenever I can.


    PakPassion.net: What is your favourite song?

    waleed88
    : Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd


    PakPassion.net: Who will win the 2019 World Cup and why?

    waleed88
    : India. They reached the final in Champions Trophy 2017, won the Champions Trophy 2013 – both these events took place in England. I am hopeful Pakistan will put on a good show in this tournament, but in an extended tournament Pakistan won’t have the same amount of luck we managed in CT 2017. India has been insane in World Tournaments recently, if you look at their runs in most of the tournaments, they have gone unbeaten in most of their group games, but almost everytime have made it to the semis or the final. Even their youngsters from under 19s look like the team to beat.

    Their ODI squad has looked compelling to watch for sometime now. They have some fire power up and down the order, Pandya, Sharma, Kohli are a treat to watch for all the neutrals. An Indian team on their day is as invincible as they get.

    Their exploits in South Africa leave me in no doubt they are the team to beat currently, even ahead of England and Australia.


    PakPassion.net: Do you think Ahmed Shehzad can make a great captain?

    waleed88
    : I’m not gonna say it's impossible, it is highly unlikely to happen given his career trajectory up till now.


    PakPassion.net: Who is your role model?

    waleed88
    : Misbah ul Haq, there are a lot reasons for that. I don’t wanna go into umpteenth story of how Misbah turned failure into success in his life, many people have written many brilliant articles about them. A couple of things that stood out for me regarding Misbah’s professionalism. A lot of people said bad things about him during the struggles of his career. When things are not going your way, people are ruthless. I have personally faced these issues, trying to give my USMLE exams, people always have the same question regarding me that when will I start earning? When will I start working in a hospital as a resident?

    People don’t get the concept of studying after your graduation! Specially relatives who are very ignorant to how competitive the field has become. Since I was trying to give these exams, I was unemployed after doing my house job. Trust me, it is the worst feeling in the world trying to get back to your books and staying home in Pyjamas after you have been working and feeling like a doctor.

    Everyone has ambitions, you can be a doctor in your country and that is a prestige as well. Getting a foreign degree like an MD (doctor of medicine) adds weight-age to your credentials in a similar way Engineers do Masters abroad, or people who do ACCA, or CA. I just got done with these exams, having failed a part once, I know exactly what failure looks like. Getting training abroad as a doctor is the highest form of training a doctor can receive if they want to pursue medicine. Obviously the long term aim is to come back and serve Pakistan someday.

    The reason you start to doubt yourself is when people keep telling you it is not the right thing to do, that maybe you are not meant for it. When you believe in something, but you are slower than others to get to your goal. Saw a lot of people who became successful so quickly, who achieved and studied so much quicker than you, that by the time I was done with these exams, these people had completed their residencies. Such are the geniuses that graduate from our medical colleges. I honestly believe I am below average in terms of studying or achieving a target. Took me a while to get where I wanted to be in life. When you see people go ahead of you in your life, that is the only time in your life that you want to quit.

    Misbah had one quote that I felt that directly connected with me, I feel he has faced a lot more abuse than I have being the captain of the Pakistani team, but even before that when he played that shot to Joginder Sharma. He once said in an interview about that shot ‘that you can do two things in life, you can look at anything positively or negatively. Either you can keep feeling sorry for yourself, that oh life is so tough, oh I was treated so unfairly in life?' Or you can just dig deep and tell yourself this ‘ok people say this about me fine, I will prove everybody wrong’, that is the only thing that will give you strength.

    That is the only way you can survive. Keep doing what you are doing, train hard, train frequently, maintain discipline. If training is your passion, training is the only thing that should be your priority. If someone criticizes you which only you feel is the right thing, then you always have to assess yourself and try to improve and get rid of your faults.

    Sounds pretty clichéd. A lot of people have said this, you hear a lot about failure in life. I just feel that when you associate yourself with someone, they have a lot of qualities that you like about them. Then you see them coming out on top of the same struggle you are going through in life, that acts as a reinforcer. This statement pretty much confirmed for me that I have to get this done, especially after I had failed the exam.

    Guy became a regular in the side when others are thinking about retiring. When others tell you, you are not good enough every other day, that you are too old to achieve something. When you become a captain for the side they say you can’t last long because your body won’t last that long. He managed 25 wins as captain in Test Matches, more than any other Pakistani captain in history, sounds like quite an achievement for a man, whom the world once told that he won’t last long anywhere. If someone can achieve these many odds, what is stopping me from achieving my career ambitions?

    As a Psychologist I met once told me ‘if you decide from today that 5 years from now you will be participating in a 100m singles race in the Olympics, will you reach that point? No! But in 5 years you will be closer to achieving that goal than you ever were’.


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  2. #2
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    Great interview bro, nice insight.

  3. #3
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    Nice interview, very positive outlook on life.

  4. #4
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    I don't normally read these interviews but I did read a few questions. Good read.

  5. #5
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    Excellent answers and good to know we have such deep thinkers amongst us!


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  6. #6
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    Was a really good interview. Enjoyable read.

  7. #7
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    Good read.
    Last edited by hadi123; 10th February 2018 at 11:10.

  8. #8
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    Charming interview, really insightful. Thanks for this.

  9. #9
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    Nice comments...Very unbiased view about team India chances in next WC ..Kudos brother

  10. #10
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    A great interview. Surprised by @waleed88’s answers and wish him the best in life. You deserve it.

  11. #11
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    Thank you all for the compliments

  12. #12
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    excellent interview brother..


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "This business that it's 'up to Misbah' whether he wants to play or not – that's rubbish - it's up to the selectors," Chappell said.

  13. #13
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    Good interview Doc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by waleed88 View Post
    Thank you all for the compliments
    Good interview


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  15. #15
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    Enjoyed the read!

  16. #16
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    Good interview. Well done.

  17. #17
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    Thank you brothers!!

  18. #18
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    Some of you may have missed this excellent interview. If you haven't done so already, give this a read. You won't regret it!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadi123 View Post
    Some of you may have missed this excellent interview. If you haven't done so already, give this a read. You won't regret it!
    I am pleased to inform you all that I just passed my exam and now I am an M.D officially. Alhumdulilah!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by waleed88 View Post
    I am pleased to inform you all that I just passed my exam and now I am an M.D officially. Alhumdulilah!
    Excellent interview and well done - many congrats! Time to party sharty

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by waleed88 View Post
    I am pleased to inform you all that I just passed my exam and now I am an M.D officially. Alhumdulilah!
    Congrats
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 19th February 2018 at 14:51.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by waleed88 View Post
    I am pleased to inform you all that I just passed my exam and now I am an M.D officially. Alhumdulilah!
    Congratulations!

  23. #23
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    Interview was quite informative.

    Smart guy, hope you improve your posts instead of trolling so much.

  24. #24
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    Good interview

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayyman View Post
    Interview was quite informative.

    Smart guy, hope you improve your posts instead of trolling so much.
    I will try

  26. #26
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    Thank you everyone!! Pakpassion has been a great page where I enjoyed reading alot of views and allowed me to express myself more. Appreciate you all

  27. #27
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    Excellent comments regarding Pakistan's inability to chase big totals.

    You can't be a top team in this era if you can't score 300+ batting second.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by waleed88 View Post
    I am pleased to inform you all that I just passed my exam and now I am an M.D officially. Alhumdulilah!
    M.D? Can you give some details? Which specialty? University?

  29. #29
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    Wicker Park , seriously?


    Tazimi Sirdar

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TM Riddle View Post
    Wicker Park , seriously?
    Some emotional significance to the story

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by waleed88 View Post
    I am pleased to inform you all that I just passed my exam and now I am an M.D officially. Alhumdulilah!
    Good interview and congratulations.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by silent ischemia View Post
    M.D? Can you give some details? Which specialty? University?
    Well its the ECFMG certification that is actually given to you as a doctor when you clear US- Medical Licensing exams or (USMLE). For more details : https://www.ecfmg.org/

    I'm a doctor from Dow Medical College graduate of 2014. Got my MBBS, then did my house job and now applying for residency in the US this year InshaAllah.

    I would most likely apply for Internal Medicine, but might apply to few programs in Psychiatry as well.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by waleed88 View Post
    Well its the ECFMG certification that is actually given to you as a doctor when you clear US- Medical Licensing exams or (USMLE). For more details : https://www.ecfmg.org/

    I'm a doctor from Dow Medical College graduate of 2014. Got my MBBS, then did my house job and now applying for residency in the US this year InshaAllah.

    I would most likely apply for Internal Medicine, but might apply to few programs in Psychiatry as well.
    MashAllah. Hope you get a match in a good university program. Contacts, publications count alot.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by silent ischemia View Post
    MashAllah. Hope you get a match in a good university program. Contacts, publications count alot.
    Thank you so much I appreciate the advice!!

  35. #35
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    You may have missed this. Definitely worth reading.


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