Posts Tagged champions trophy
Indian soap operas took the world by storm about 10 years ago and since then, they have shown no signs of stopping. Their demonstration of lavish sets, catharsis based around blood relations, turbulent love stories and family politics has changed the face of Asian entertainment. Indians, Pakistanis and Bengalis sit glued to their TV sets everyday, keen on knowing the progress of a relationship between 2 lovers, or a dispute between the mother in law and her daughter in law, or the nefarious motives of the villainous element of a family.
One of the features of these dramas is that a lot of their titles start with a “K”, as the producers believe it brings good fortune to them, a thought influenced by some tenet of Hindu spirituality. So, we decided to start this thread title with a “K”, hoping that it will bring good fortune to Pakistan cricket.
Pakistan cricket is not any less than an Indian soap opera, and the latest drama created by Ijaz Butt, Younis Khan and the revolting players in the team proves this. Younis Khan, called “Drama Khan” recently by Javed A Khan, has disappointed many of his fans firstly by his slipshod batting in ODI’s recently. Secondly, Younis Khan, troubled by the not-so-secret rebellion in the team and the pressure of playing in a high profile tournament such as the Champions Trophy, offered his resignation on the pretext that he was upset by match fixing allegations and “other matters” (these thought to be the certain dissenting players in the team).
Sure, it is accepted Younis Khan is a man of honour. But match fixing allegations have been part and parcel of Pakistan cricket since time immemorial. Younis could have condemned these accusations in strongest possible terms in front of Jamshed Khan Dasti, but the fact that he resigned made his reaction appear as extreme as the accusations that were levelled against his men. Younis received the sympathy of the nation and was reinstated as captain, however critics were right in predicting that this episode would divert attention away from Younis’s failure as a batsman and captain in the Champions Trophy.
Ijaz Butt is the comedian of Pakistan cricket and it is a wonder he is still Chairman of the PCB after repeated failures. Ijaz
Butt’s standard of incompetence can be discerned from his unwillingness to sack Malik as captain just before Younis was appointed as captain (it took a Presidential order to convince Butt to remove Malik as captain). Also, recently Butt gave a statement that the English media should focus more on county cricket performances of Pakistanis. Butt gave Kaneria’s example to say that Kaneria has been ripping through line ups, and PCB should get the credit for these performances. However, maybe Butt should realise that even mediocre players like Yasir Arafat have been performing commendably in county cricket and international cricket is very different. If the PCB Chairman is going to make stupid statements like that, what will the world think of Pakistan and PCB? How long do we have to tolerate this incompetent, uncouth and uneducated man as the Chairman? The Pakistan Senate has already predicated that it seems Butt never went to college because he is running the PCB like a grocery shop.
There are villains in this Drama, too. Malik, Misbah and Akmal are playing politics apparently. As always, no direct names have been mentioned; there are only rumours and controversies. Yet it seems fishy Younis has openly stated that certain players have reservations with this captaincy and that there is some kind of disunity. In dramas and movies you see the villains perishing sooner or later, yet in this Drama, Malik and Akmal are still there in the team, vitiating team morale and almost encouraging mediocrity. It is sad jealousy and bias based around regionalism still affects the team after Pakistan as a country and as a cricket team has lost so much because of it. But, that is how it works in Pakastan.
Speaking of regionalism, the reaction of the Karachi lobby to Younis Khan’s resignation was extreme and unprecedented. The Karachi lobby was instrumental in the sacking of Malik and appointment of Younis Khan as captain, and it is thought the lobby also wants Afridi as the next captain of the Pakistan team. The anti-Punjab stance of this lobby is worrying although it is submitted that its intentions are to weaken regional influence in team selection.
Afridi is also playing a little drama of his own. For some reason Afridi has decided to temporarily quit Test cricket at a time when he is batting more sensibly than ever and his bowling has significantly matured. What has caused Afridi to make this ridiculous decision? Test cricket is dying in Pakistan and Afridi could have been an asset for the team.
Pakistan is the laughing stock of world cricket and this Drama must now end. The Chairman needs to go, the elements playing politics need to be removed. Malik needs to be sacked anyway because playing him means accepting mediocrity. Malik has recently given an interview saying that he will be selected for Pakistan’s next Test assignment. This is shocking considering that he is one of the reasons why Pakistan is considered a mediocre Test team. Younis Khan is unstable and unpredictable and a person of his temperament must not be captain. Now he wants to play T20 cricket again although earlier this year he was adamant T20 is not for him. Younis should set an example and retire from ODI cricket. Pakistan is pinning hopes on Shahid Afridi to lead the team and weed out mediocre players.
Pakistan cricket finds itself in further chaos after Pakistan’s pathetic defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the ICC Champions Trophy. The Chairman of the Sports Standing Committee, Jamshed Khan Dasti has levelled allegations that Younis Khan and his men fixed matches for various reasons. Dasti has reportedly backtracked on his accusations but the incident has left a deep scar on Pakistan cricket and its followers.
Dasti’s outbursts against Ijaz Butt a few months ago were generally well received by
most fans. However this time Dasti is being accused of being too whimsical in alleging match fixing. Whenever Pakistan loses a major tournament, match fixing is always alleged by someone. It is impossible to say whether these players are truly match fixers because match fixing is planned in secrecy for obvious reasons and because it is very difficult to ascertain which bowlers is deliberately bowling badly or which batsman has deliberately thrown his wicket. It was a stupid reaction to say Younis Khan dropped Elliot’s catch because the match was fixed; this is because harder catches are dropped under extreme pressure even by the best fielders. Younis Khan’s batting in ODI’s is inconsistent and irresponsible and the way he gets out, it is extremely unlikely that he would be throwing his wicket. He gets so many inside edges and strange edges that it would take a magician to master those shots leading to a dismissal. However, Younis Khan is definitely talented and the title of this thread does not do him justice as it is meant more for Shoaib Malik and Misbah ul Haq.
The only time Malik performs when it matters is against India. Otherwise he is like a parasite in the team and his bowling and batting both are below par. One must ask how long Pakistan will keep tolerating Malik’s meaningless selfish batting displays? How long will this nonsense continue? Malik has shown absolutely no improvement for years; he is still vulnerable against the new ball, weak against sheer pace and his batting is still very selfish. Malik got a huge and overwhelming lifeline after scoring a century against India and even his harshest critics praised him. However it was shocking to see Malik receiving so much praise since he scored his first 30 runs in about 65 balls and he could have been out on 35. Indian bowlers were disinterested and demoralised and the Indian team showed no application or desire to beat Pakistan. Only one team wanted to win that day. Malik’s selection is devoid of educated reasoning and this biased and emotional selection must now cease once and for all. Pakistan must look for more Umar Akmals and Fawad Alams.
The so called talented opener Imran Nazir is talentless in ODI’s. One wonders what
Pakistan’s obsession with specialist openers is, when the country has only seen 1 world class specialist opener live up to his domestic reputation, in Hanif Mohammad. The other great opener was Saeed Anwar but he was initially a middle order player. Fawad Alam’s splendid century on a seaming track proved that a middle order batsman can play the same as, if not better than an opener and for that reason it is submitted Pakistan should try Fawad Alam as opener in all forms of the game. The so called cricketing experts like Aamir Sohail moan about why Pakistan does not use more specialist openers, but Sohail should be quizzed as to who exactly should be tried. Everyone from Butt, to Hameed, to Umar and to Nazir has been a complete and utter failure.
In this tournament Pakistan’s weak links proved to be Imran Nazir, Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik. Pathetic batsman Misbah ul Haq has finally been sidelined, but Malik must now be sacked. Younis should either quit ODI cricket or he should be demoted down the order as his wicket has a high price on it and Pakistan cannot afford to see him throwing away his wicket irresponsibly any more.
The problem with PCB is that the idiots who run the show are uneducated and uncouth and they have absolutely no concern for the future of cricket. A lot of the problems are outside the PCB’s control but player selection is totally in the hands of the team management and the Board. Ijaz Butt has learnt no lessons in the past and he will learn nothing in the aftermath of the humiliating defeat against a mediocre team like New Zealand, either. If he is willing and able to learn, my advice for him is to drop Malik permanently, bring Younis down the order and get rid of players like Imran Nazir. Match fixers or not, these players are definitely not performing in ODI’s and they must be fixed so that Pakistan can creep out of the shackles of mediocrity.
It is time to write a new thread and it is time to analyze the Pakistan cricket team selected for the Champions Trophy. It is time for us to raise our concerns over the selection and omission of a few players. The most obvious one is the inclusion of Mohammad Asif and omission of Abdul Razzaq. Asif has not played international cricket for almost 18 months and it is possible that he might take a few wickets, just like Abdul Razzaq did in the T20 WC, two wickets in his first match and 4 in the final. But, Abdul Razzaq is dropped in favour of Rana who took 4 wickets in the last ODI and Rao took 5 wickets in the previous ODI against Sri Lanka. Some say that Asif’s inclusion is OK but, Abdul Razzaq should have been retained in the team and either Rao or Rana should have been omitted. That is because Razzaq has more experience and his bowling would be more effective in SA. Read the rest of this entry »