Archive for November, 2008
The Mumbai siege is over. The purpose of the previous thread was to condemn terrorism & to offer condolences to those effected directly and indirectly. As expected the thread was turning into a political debate. So, lets put a lid on IT and lets discuss cricket. If anyone wants to continue discussing that issue, they can do so on the Politics Page.
Lalit Modi, the BCCI vice president, has said India could go Pakistan’s way in losing out on international series if terrorist attacks continue. In 2008 India has witnessed blasts in Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Guwahati (during Australia’s tour), and now Wednesday’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
In order to avoid that both, India and Pakistan must play cricket as per the schedule. So far the blasts took place in India and Pakistan but, none of them were targeted towards cricket players or the teams, other than minor threats from some radical groups. Still they went on playing the game as usual. If they stop playing now, it will be a victory for the terrorists. So, lets defeat them on this ground and keep the spirit of cricket diplomacy alive.
Dhoni and Tendulkar both gave statements to the press a day before the Mumbai siege that Pakistan is not a safe place to go or play cricket. The situation has changed now, both are in the same boat now. There is no point in agreeing to play India Pakistan series in the UAE or at any neutral ground. There is so much money involved in cricket through the media and why should they dish it out to a third country?
The cricket fans in India and Pakistan and the authorities concerned will fight against any kinda terrorism that will create obstacles in promoting the game. In India and also in Pakistan cricket is like a religion for some and they follow it great enthusiasm. So, lets not feel threatened by these people and keep the cricket momentum in continuum.
I would ask our bloggers to come forward and express their views and demand from the authorities to keep the series alive and do not cancel or even postpone it for a future date. So, please express your feelings in promoting the game of cricket, for the sake of cricket, by the lovers of cricket.
The cricket diplomacy has brought peace between the two countries and for the first time in 2004, after many years the Indian team came to Pakistan and since then they are playing regularly. Therefore, they must play regularly without fearing the terror attacks, which so far has not hurt any cricket player of any team. If the Australians, the South Africans or the English team wants to stay away from India and Pakistan, they should do so. They are the ones who would be losing.
Its time now that they rethink about lifting the ban from ICL. Let there be more Lahore Badshahs and Delhi Maharajas. Both India and Pakistan have so much talent that they can produce a dozen cricket teams of very high standards. So, instead of wooing, brooding and lamenting that the foreign teams or foreign players are not going to visit India and Pakistan, consider it as an opportunity – a blessing in disguise to boost the local standards of cricket by playing together. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh won’t mind coming to India and Pakistan as they understand the situation better than others. So, once again lets raise a big slogan for the sake of cricket – CRICKET ZINDABAD.
TERROR, chaos, mayhem gripped Mumbai Metropolis as a handful of terrorist cowardly took the lives of innocent and helpless people who have nothing to do with them, yet they have been targeted by these cowards. I don’t understand what they achieve by doing this and what is the purpose of such killings? Those who lost their lives have gone, but their near and dear ones will be missing them for the rest of their lives, wondering why they were targeted?
The tourists and foreigners who were staying in the hotels came to enjoy life see the city and the country. They never thought that they are exposed to dangers and they will be blown in to pieces by the bombs or killed by the assault rifles. And, the terrorists who have done this, act like hyenas and they live a proverbial “dog’s life’ because they too get killed and die like one or may be worst. Because, a dog is remembered whereas they are not.
No religion preaches terrorism and extremism and those who practice terrorism and take lives of others on their own earn are neither Muslims, nor Hindus, Christians or Jews because none of these religions tolerate terrorism and they all condemn terrorism or taking lives of others such monsters do not earn any respect or support from the society.
During the IPL three bombs rocked the city of Jaipur. Two months months ago it was in Islamabad, the Marriott Hotel was rocked scores of people died. Almost a month ago three bombs rocked New Delhi more than 20 people died today it is Taj and Oberoi Hotels in Mumbai and several other locations like train station in Mumbai was targeted and the purpose is to disturb peace and create chaos. More than 80 people died and 250 injured. The numbers of dead and injured is reportedly increasing and in the hospitals its a war like situation.
The Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, is only a kilometer away from my family house and when the blast took place, all the glass doors and windows of our house were shattered. A few years ago I have stayed in both these hotels, Taj and Oberoi in Mumbai. I still remember the reception area, the lobby, the rooms, the poolside area. When I think of all that I feel very disturbed about how these people who were staying in the hotels, the staff that was working must have been running for their lives when the bombs exploded and when these hyenas were chasing them, attacking them and killing them for no reason. What a shame, what a black day in the history of mankind, that man is the worst enemy of mankind.
On behalf of LS management I extended my deepest condolences not only to all the Indian bloggers, but also to the people of India, especially for those, whose loved ones have lost their lives and, for the likes of the chief of Anti Terrorist Squad Hemant Karkare and two senior police officials who gave their lives in the pursuit of rescuing the hostages and many others who lost their lives, may God bless them and give their families to bear the irreparable loss.
And, I would ask you ALL to pray and, myself I’ll pray for the safety and wellbeing for the 200 odd hostages that are being held by these hyenas that they are released from them unharmed. Ameen.
Most Pakistani fans are hailing this series as a positive occurrence in the scheme of things. However I don’t believe there is any cause for celebration. This result was expected and nothing new or extra ordinary happened in this series which was not expected from before, from Pakistan’s perspective.
The biggest worry for Pakistan was the fact that all of the matches were closely contested. In the first match Akmal helped Pakistan pull off an almost impossible victory from the jaws of defeat. In the second and third matches Pakistan bowled much better, yet if the Windies batsmen had batted the full 50 overs, they would have come very close to the target Pakistan set for them. What no commentator has highlighted so far is the fact that Pakistani bowlers could not prevent West Indies’ main batsmen, Gayle, Chanderpaul and Sarwan from making sizable scores in almost every match. Three out of the four best batsmen in terms of run-scoring in this series, were West Indian; namely, Gayle, Chanderpaul and Sarwan. Their batting averages were 78, 73 and 54 respectively. If I was Shoaib Malik, Ijaz Butt or Intikhab Alam I would have sleepless nights contemplating why Pakistan bolwers could not dominate these batsmen. I understand they are very good players, but that should not be an excuse because Pakistan also has bowlers like Gul, Tanvir and Afridi who are world class in limited overs cricket.
One might feel that I am being too unsupportive of Pakistan or too critical, because at the end of the day Pakistan won the series. My response to that is, West Indies is like a minnow team and apart from the trio of Gayle, Chanderpaul and Sarwan the only two other decent players they have are Powell and Taylor, who are good bowlers. This is actually the worst West Indies team I can recall from recent memory. If Pakistan could not dismiss players like Gayle and Chanderpaul then it means there is something seriously amiss from the Pakistani bowling attack.
Waqar Younis may be appointed the bowling coach soon, and I hope he seriously does some good work with young Pakistani pacers because if West Indies had 2 or 3 more renowned international players like Bravo, the result may well have been opposite.
In terms of ratings, Pakistan has now been elevated to no 5 in the world in ODI’s. This is a farce because this year Pakistan has played minnow teams mostly. I can’t believe the PCB declares it is looking to the future when it is sticking with a direction-lacking and spineless captain Shoaib Malik and it is happy with Pakistan’s “ascension” in world ratings when all Pakistan is doing is beating below average teams with the assistance of their below average captain Malik, who is simply not captaincy material.
Under Shoaib Malik the Pakistan team has gone from bad to worse. Malik was not pathetic in this Fortune Cup, but he was not outstanding either. Although Malik’s 66 off only 50 balls in the 1st match was encouraging, he was not at his best in the remaining matches. However, more than this batting or bowling, it was his captaincy that again came under the scanner. He made ridiclous Powerplay selections and he was very rigid with the batting line up. Also, he ought to be criticised for not using more young players in the 3rd match, as Pakistan had already won the series and could afford giving more exposure to its talented youngsters. Malik’s basic problem is one of self-preservation and selfishness. That is the reason why senior players Yousuf, Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar have been critical of him. He is desperate to see Pakistan’s rise in the world rankings so his status in the team can remain protected. That is not the attitude you want from your captain. What kind of precedent does this set for the future captains of Pakistan?
Akmal has been an enigma, yet at the same time we are used to seeing inconsistent displays from the whole team as well as individual players which makes Akmal’s peformance appear tolerable. Akmal dropped plenty of catches in this Cup and the person who lost out the most as a result of Akmal’s lack of focus was Shahid Afridi, who did not bowl badly in the first two matches but was seriously let down by Akmal. Pakistan however, was also let down by Afridi’s batting performance yet again. The new selection committee has not been announced yet, but chances are we may not see Afridi playing for Pakistan for some time, which will be a big blow to those supporing him as the rightful captain of Pakistan.
Lastly, the form of openers Butt and Manzoor would be worrying, although Butt’s miserable form is likely to be only a temporary problem. Khurram Manzoor played very sensibly in the 1st match, but appeared clueless in the 2nd and 3rd matches. It is debatable whether Manzoor would be selected in the future, but perhaps he deserves another chance because of his 2 50s in his first 2 matches.
To conclude, this series established nothing new for Pakistan and the concerns carried on from before remain. Unless the captain is changed with immediate effect, Pakistan can not tread on the path of success. There are many short term and long term solutions, but the first thing that is needed is the change of captain. Don’t be fooled by the ostensible glory of a 3-0 victory and the elevation in international team ratings.