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.