Archive for September, 2010
Mohammad Asif’s father gave an interview following allegations of Asif being involved in match fixing. In this interview, Asif’s father, a villager from near Sheikhupura, Punjab, said, “Killa Thokka Hai!!” which translates into, “A nail has been hammered”. It is a phrase of Punjabi which means that someone has hammered a nail, or in other words, damaged, destroyed, decimated, someone or something. Asif’s father was alleging that the British media has attempted to levy these vile allegations because of Asif’s brilliance as a bowler.
As the series ends the results appear unpleasant to the Pakistani fan. Pakistan lost the Test series 3-1, they lost both T20′s and then lost the ODI series 3-2. In the ODI’s (which is the focus of this thread)it is difficult to pinpoint one area where Pakistan succeeded or failed. Fielding generally was unimpressive. Under pressure situations, even good fielders like Fawad Alam, Shafiq, Hafeez and Afridi dropped catches and fumbled.
When Pakistan was blessed with performers like Wasim, Waqar, Anwar, Inzamam, Latif etc you overlooked their pathetic fielding. However now, since neither Pakistan’s bowling nor batting are of the same standard, poor fielding tends to hit where it hurts. There are no doubts about it- Pakistan’s fielding is a genuine match loser. One pathetic keeper, Akmal is enough to lose a team matches. Imagine what happens when you have 11 Akmals on the field? This makes you wonder what the hell Ijaz Ahmed is doing. Although rumour has it Ijaz Ahmed and Salim Malik have links with match fixers, apart from this you cannot blame the PCB for appointing Ahmed as the fielding coach. That is because Ahmed has probably been Pakistan’s most prolific fielder. Not many unfortunately come to mind.
In terms of batting performances, there were some revelations, but not of the drastic kind.
Otherwise, Pakistan just seemed to re-establish the status quo. Starting from top of the order, Akmal was fluent for some patches, irresponsible in others. Hafeez was very slow, but was a revelation when you consider that he succeeded in seeing off the new ball in almost every match. Shafiq looked classy in 2 knocks, but could not be consistent. Yousuf was a failure. Alam was consistent, but could not play Swann. U Akmal performed below average. Afridi was exactly like how his career chart shows him to be- inconsistent, brilliant in one match but directionless in another. Razzaq was outstanding in one match, but poor in others, which is nothing new for Razzaq.
Shoaib Akhtar appeared to regain form but looked overweight. He is nowhere near full fitness. His problem is that he is captivated within a vicious circle. He is not able to play consistent cricket due to his weight.
And, his weight will not be under control unless he plays consistent cricket. This dilemma means that the captain needs to select him only in T20′s mainly and in those ODI’s which are played in cold climates. Shoaib Akhtar has many fans who vociferously defend him when he is criticised, but it must be remembered that he is a pathetic fielder and his utility to the team diminishes because of his poor fielding.
Gul seemed to be very effective in conditions suiting reverse swing. Again, although Gul is a fit and his commitment is not in question, he seemed to strike only when the conditions suit him. When Shoaib Akhtar was at his peak he used to take wickets on any pitch, in any conditions. Wasim and Waqar were also blessed with that ability. Nevertheless, Gul’s performance was praiseworthy especially in that match where he took 6 wickets. Ajmal was a disappointment and he was clearly overshadowed by his English counterpart, Swann.
Speaking of Swann, he is rightly being termed as the no 1 spinner in
the world. He has a simple action but he spins the ball prodigiously. With the amount of spin and good length, you are basically looking at a bowler like Murali, only with a clean action. Swann is a wicket taking machine. Reading him would be very difficult because unlike bowlers like Murali and Mendis he keeps things simple and is just blessed with fingers that grip and twist really well. Swann destroyed Pakistan.
The positives were few and far between but Afridi’s captaincy has to be one of them. Firstly, this was a team that did not show factionalism, at least on the field. Players going through bad patches, improved and made positive contributions, such as Akmal and Akhtar. The most encouraging aspect was Mohammad Hafeez, whose bowling was penetrative and economical. In batting, Hafeez was resilient, albeit slow. However, allover he was the revelation of this tour for Pakistan and much credit goes to his captain for motivating him and persisting with him.
This thread is not about the media controversies, but Afridi
succeeded in shifting the focus of the players on cricket. A lesser leader would have crumbled under the circumstances, but Afridi showed great character. Therefore, he should take back his Test retirement decision and become captain of the Test team once again. It is rumoured he has hinted a return to Test cricket. Afridi’s job is not just to perform as a reliable all rounder and inspire his team to victory. He needs to play his part in eliminating corruption from the team.
The England team were dominant throughout the series. Their team and media has “killa thokka hai” Pakistan. One can refute their allegations of ball tampering and match fixing, citing lack of evidence, but such is the nature of media coverage that a headline, a photograph or an insinuation can become much more than that and rest in someone’s memory as facts which need to be disproved by strong evidence. Due to this truism, Pakistan has become a laughing stock in the cricketing world. Even if the Pakistani players are innocent, the actions of their cricket board are immature, irresponsible and uncouth.
This tour will definitely be remembered for the wrong reasons. With able management, Pakistan could have dealt with these allegations more appropriately. However, this is what happens when an organisation is run on the basis of nepotism, corruption and regionalism. You get someone like Ijaz Butt who just cannot apparently take sensible decisions. For once, a series review by Legslip makes a stronger case of removal/replacement of management, than of individual players. Malik, Misbah, Farhat and Butt are out which has strengthened the team, but now the corrupt Board needs to be replaced.
The match fixing allegations and more recently, allegations of Shoaib Akhtar tampering the ball, have united Pakistani commentators. However, Pakistanis now need to rise above the occasion and win hearts and minds of Western people and their media. This is because, adopting a tit for that strategy and counter allegations will not improve cricket in Pakistan. Pakistan is outnumbered. Only by displaying maturity and character will Pakistanis be able to assert themselves on Western and Indian media.
It is appalling to see that the ICC has become a puppet of the ECB, the British Tabloids and seems to have no spine or they have lost their own ability and judgment in taking any decision. The spot fixing charges against the three players Asif, Aamer and Butt came as a surprise and a shock for the majority of the people the world over. So much so the Scotland Yard got involved in this case and reportedly they have filed the initial report and findings after their investigation to the ICC.
The ICC has already banned these three players from playing for Pakistan, which the PCB should have done instead of the ICC, in any case that is past and no need to cry over split milk. If Pakistan’s government has taken some serious interest in this matter because, the President of the country Asif Ali Zardari is the Patron in Chief of the cricket board, this situation may have been avoided by firing Ijaz Butt long ago when he failed to handle the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan Team in March 2009. Unfortunately, the board is lingering on just like the administration of Asif Zardari.
Owing to this weakness every Tom, Dick and Harry is not only pointing fingers at the team but are trying to get a kick out of it. NOTW, the notorious British Tabloid succeeded in getting the world attention by publishing sensational news, photos and videos of some of the Pakistani players involved in match fixing. I am not saying that the identified Pakistani players are innocent but, the sensationalism is lacking technical evidence and it is very likely that in the court of law due to the lacking of technical and material evidence they may not be able to prove the players guilty.
This will jeopardize the ICC’s stance who were quick to suspend these players from playing, they will then be looking at the ECB and ACB for help and in that case what will Mr. Haroon Logart would be doing? Apologizing the PCB and compensating the players for the damage they have caused in bringing disrepute their career and how? Will the PCB be taking any legal action against the ICC?
Knowing Ijaz Butt and his capabilities he won’t be doing anything right. The oval test match decision was pending for years, Ijaz Butt went to Australia to attend the meeting and spoke from the wrong end and got the decision against Pakistan, it was a simple and straightforward case that would have gone Pakistan’s way but, thanks to Butt.
Yesterday, Pakistan won the 3rd ODI at Oval and it was difficult for them to win after scoring 241 runs but, thanks to Umar Gul for his magical spell, he took career best 6 for 42 and in the end Pakistan won the match convincingly by 23 runs in the 45th over. From the beginning everyone was saying that due to poor bowling Pakistan will not win this match especially after scoring only 241 runs because, they lost the previous match even after scoring 294 runs. But, it was like a miracle for Pakistan that Umar Gul bowled exceedingly well, even Shoaib Akhtar and Abdul Razzaq bowled well. Akhtar bowled well in the 2nd ODI also but, he was unlucky not to get a wicket.
Now, what makes the ICC so sure that this match was fixed? Just because the Tabloid Sun and The Daily Telegraph reported: “ The International Cricket Council has been handed evidence which suggests that bookmakers were given detailed information on how sections of the Pakistan innings might proceed, with two particular overs coming under suspicion.”
This is ridiculous, anyone can predict that this will happen, we predicted that Pakistan will lose the match unless some miracle happens. Sometimes while watching the game we say, now he is going to get out and it happens, or we say now he is going to hit a six or a four and it happens. Does it mean there is a so called F’***ing PATTERN?
The ICC should not have taken this into consideration, simply because Pakistan’s chips are down they are taking this stupid claim so seriously that they want to investigate this matter fully, so that Pakistan who have just won a match and could go on and win the series, their players would again be grilled, demoralized and lose focus from the game and get bogged down and lose the match? If this is the intention of the British people and their lousy media, Pakistan should cancel this tour RIGHT NOW and go back to Pakistan. At least there will be some honour and prestige regained and they will be back home on a winning note.
I have a lot of respect for Mr. Haroon Logart he seems to be a decent person but, what is his role? Is he a cog in the wheel or a sheep that is heading towards a pit hole? This is really disgusting to see the British Tabloids acting like a wolf. All said and done if Pakistan and its players come out clean from this scandal they must sue these Tabloids as well as the ICC for bringing disrepute to the team and the nation.
At a time when the Pakistan cricket needs a new leader at the Pakistan Cricket Board, few names have been suggested by the local media they are: Zaheer Abbas, Tauqir Zia, Majid Khan, Ehsan Mani, and Arif Ali Khan Abbasi. Ehsan Mani may be the logical choice among the given names. But, we at LEGSLIP would suggest another name and that is of Kamran Abbasi, whom we consider as the best of the lot.
I have been reading Kamran’s articles on his blog from the time when he wrote on BMJ (British Medical Journal) a very interesting article about India – Pakistan cricket. And, after that he has been the author of PakSpin Blog at the cricinfo website. And he also writes in the DAWN newspaper as well . His analysis of the game in general and about the Pakistani cricket team in particular has been very good and not only that he understands the game but, he seems to have a passion for it. He also possess the qualities that are needed for a leader from the management point of view.
I don’t know much about his personal life or his educational background or the profession he is involved with, I guess he is a CEO of some pharmaceutical company that he owns or something related to the medical profession. Also, that he is a doctor, whether he is a medical doctor or holds a Ph.D it is not important. IMO, he is good enough to run the PCB and I have full confidence and faith in him that he will run it honestly, sincerely and better than ALL his predecessors (that is if he becomes the Chairman of the PCB).
It is another matter that he may not be interested in that job due to his family or business that he has in the UK (I guess?) or, he may wish to remain in the field of journalism from where he can continue to raise his voice freely and openly. I understand that running the PCB under the shadows of corrupt politicians and in the feudalistic society is not an easy job. In fact it is a very thankless job. People like Ijaz Butt with no guilt, no remorse, no conscience can stick to the job without any academic background or knowledge of the game or skills of a leader to run such prestigious organization. He is a walking talking cartoon, a buffoon, a joker and a disgrace to the nation.
It would be worth considering Kamran Abbasi as a candidate for that post. His credentials are no less than Ehsan Mani, but he definitely stands head and shoulders above the rest of the names mentioned above. Although, our blog is not that big to brag about in terms of readership but, we know for sure that some people have picked up our captions, headers and even the suggestions we made and wrote them on their blogs.
Personally, I have stopped writing on cricinfo due to various reasons such as censorship, new silly rules to express views in 1000 characters and then impartial and unnecessary editing of the comments by the ESPN who owns the cricinfo website. My associates have also stopped writing due to the same reason and we enjoy writing on our blog. Sometimes when we raise an issue, it creates ripple effects and we don’t need to mention them in detail here, because its irrelevant and the main purpose of this thread is to show our support for Kamran Abbasi.
I would like to hear the views of our readers/bloggers and I am sure they will have similar views as I have. Even if Kamran Abbasi himself declines the offer or show no interest in accepting this assignment he is not losing anything, it will be the PCB who will be at loss. We wish him good luck and best regards. This should not come to him as a surprise because, the mutual respect is always there.
Last but not the least is a message that we want to say here: IJAZ BUTT, FOR THE SAKE OF CRICKET IN PAKISTAN PLEASE GO. WE HAVE SEEN ENOUGH OF YOU, WHATEVER TIME YOU HAVE LEFT YOU SHOULD SPEND WITH YOUR FAMILY AND PLEASE SPARE CRICKET.