Archive for March, 2010
The countdown for the T20 WC has begun, a few countries including India and Pakistan have announced their squads. In the Indian squad Tendulkar is missing because of his own decision to stay out of T20 format. In my opinion that is a big loss for team India. As regards Pakistan team, the squad was announced more than a week ago and the name of the captain was withheld for some silly reason. The PCB made a mockery of their decision not only by delaying the announcement of the Captain’s name but, creating more divisions, factions and groupings within the team by disclosing 4 names as probable candidates. The obvious choice was Shahid Afridi and the ultimate result is Shahid Afridi. So, what was the reason to create this mess? The PCB has proved that it is they who sow the seeds of groupings and division in the team. Why name 4 probable candidates when none other than Afridi are capable?
I think the whole captaincy hoopla was created only to get in Salman Butt and Misbah ul Haq in the 15 member squad. Because, they were the other two candidates the PCB was mulling over their names as possible captains, so that way they crept in otherwise there was no other way for them to justify their inclusion in the 15 member squad. How ridiculous and absurd it is to even think of including them in the squad let aside considering them for Captaincy. There are two reasons they wanted them to get them in the side, first of all both of them are from Punjab and secondly, both speak better English than others. Neither of this is a criteria or a prerequisite to captain the side. Especially since their form is so “digustipatingly” pathetic.
Abdul Razzaq was another candidate for captaincy, he is a much better player than the other two especially if he clicks he could be dangerous. In the recent past he was kinda lost in translation, not only he lost the sting in his bowling but, his batting was totally off-colour and fielding was never his forte, he could compete with Mohammed Yousuf and Danish Kaneria in the fielding department. There was a time when Abdul Razzaq was in two minds and he demonstrated it by wearing a cap (reverse) and a helmet on top of it. Since he was not sure what to wear, he wore both. Like, normally in the shorter version of the game he used long handle bats to slog but, in test matches he was using long handle to defend. Whatever that may be, he looked very confused after gavashing himself with loads and loads of spinach. Perhaps he saw too much of Popye The Sailor Man serial. In any case he is not a captain’s material, he is meek, weak and submissive in leading the team. Although Afridi with his Akhroat brain was backing Abdul Razzaq as a logical choice in case he himself is not considered for captaincy. That is so Akhroatish of him to do that. Because, it is the job of the PCB to decide whom they want to appoint as captain and finally they did.
The other stupid thing the PCB did, in fact it is not really stupid but, it is very cunning and deceiving act by selecting the team before announcing the captain so that Afridi has no say in the team selection. In fact when Shahid Afridi asked the coaches and the selectors recently to review the team selection because he feels the need to make some changes and to have some say in team selection. But, they just gave him a lolly pop candy by saying: “OK next time, the captain will have his say.” Next time? Who knows what happens next time? In Pakistan everything changes so fast and what is good today is bad tomorrow, who knows whether Afridi will remain captain of the team or they may someone else? It is such a conniving and scheming act by the PCB mafia that they knew Afridi wouldn’t be able to put pressure on the because of the current situation in which he is owing to the ball biting incident and his weaker position to dictate and negotiate, they took this as an opportunity to sideline him and shove in nothing players like, Salman Butt and Misbah ul Haq in the team.
The only good thing that has happened in this team selection is, the team is sans Shoaib Malick the schemer and tactician and Rana Naveed, who can single-handedly give away the match to the opposition on a silver platter with his mediocre and pathetic bowling and fielding. I am glad that both these players are not in the squad. Although Malik may try to over turn the ban or reduce his sentence on parole by using his senator connections and his regional clout yet, there is no chance of him coming back in the WC squad, which is a good thing to keep the dressing atmosphere clean.
The players I don’t want to see in the team are Salman Butt and Khalid Latif. I would include Imran Nazir (despite his pathetic form, hoping he will click in one of the crucial matches) the second one is Shahzaib Hasan Khan both as openers and I would like to see Mohammad Sami instead of Yasir Arafat. And, Misbah should go home along with Butt and Latif.
Although the selectors, coach and even some of the players are saying that Caribbean pitches will suit Pakistan team, but that is not true they had a disastrous WC in 2007 when they lost to the WI and then to Ireland. Especially against the Ireland the pitch had a very uneven bounce and Boyd Rankin ruined the Pakistani batting line up. However, this team may not do that i.e., lose against the likes of minnos such as Bangladesh, because this is not ODI, but T20 but, you never know because Bangladesh has some very good players these days especially Tamim Iqbal and Sakibul Hasan and they are capable of giving a tough time to Pakistan. The other team in Pakistan’s group is Australia and they have a mental block against Australia. On paper they have a better track record under Afridi’s captaincy in T20 when they lost to Pakistan in Dubai but, under Malik’s captaincy Pakistan lost to Australia. And, Australia are getting stronger by the day with some real good fast bowlers and hard hitting batsmen in their side. So, moving from first round to the second may not be a piece of cake for Pakistan and they must thank their stars that neither the West Indies nor Ireland are in their group.
Now, it is up to you guys to decide who should be in the playing XI and to predict which team will be in the top of their group and who will reach the semis and who will win the CUP?
This is a small thread on Sachin Tendulkar and I want people to comment on his decision.
I want Sachin Tendulkar to go to the Caribbean and play for India in the T20 WC. Because, Tendulkar is in great form these days and he is not slogging like other players, he is playing Twenty20 with some great cricketing shots mostly fours and he is scoring runs at a strike rate of 155 which is pretty good.
The reason he is a bit reluctant is because, he has played only one T20 game in his career and he opted out of this format because, he thinks that if he fails to score or, if he scores slow then people will criticize him and may suggest him to retire and vacate the place for a younger player. This kinda reaction is normal. And, by declining the offer Sachin is making it clear for everyone that he cannot be taken for granted because, he has not played T20 since 2007 and if he fails in the tournament it will be a kinda “bay-izzati” for him, because he is such a great player. But, he should not think like this because, he is above all the players.
What Sachin needs to understand is right now with his form he is better than many players in the current team. Besides, when he is in the team other players have some kinda comfort that he is there and that makes them play better. Therefore, for team’s sake and for the sake of his country he MUST play for India in the T20 WC in Caribbean.
I want newguy, Varun, Khansahab, Munir et all to express their views and if they agree with me they must push this case hard and let this message create some ripple effects and reaches to the ears and mind of the maestro and he changes his mind and play for India in the T2o WC and he may retire from this format after the World Cup. But, he is definitely playing for India in the ICC WC 2011 in India.
GO SACHIN GO —————>
THE PAKISTAN CRICKET TEAM for the T20 WC has been announced, 15 players are in the squad and the only thing that the PCB is holding at the moment is the Captaincy Card.
If Pakistan needs to win this T20 WC, they must appoint Shahid Afridi as the captain. He was the logical choice and the designated captain for T20 before the ball biting incident. The ICC has given him punishment with a 2 match ban. The PCB has penalized him further by fining him Rs. 3,000,000 for biting the ball, he has paid the price and got the punishment twice for the same offense, which is very rare that you get punished twice for the same offense.
Therefore, in the interest of the game and for the promotion of Pakistan cricket, the PCB s needs to swallow a bitter pill by letting it go and appoint him as the Captain of the team. He is already under probation for the next six months and he won’t be doing anything silly. Besides, it is a fact that there is no one in the team who is more capable than him to lead the team. Hence it would be foolish on part of Butt & Co., not to appoint him as the captain.
Misbah, if he is appointed as captain of the team, it would be very demoralizing because of the fact that he is totally out of form. Secondly, he has no captaincy experience nor he is captain’s material. If Misbah is not appointed as a captain he won’t deserve to be in the team but, the irony is he is in the squad and the chances are Butt and Bari would like to appoint him as captain of the team. If Misbah is not the captain then, his slot goes to Hammad Azam, the young man who played so well in the U-19 WC. He definitely deserves a chance to prove his worth among the seniors.
Abdul Razzaq was not even selected for the Aus / NZ tour on the basis of non-performance but, he played well in both the T20 matches against England in Dubai. He definitely needs to be in the playing XI but, the question is not about his worth as a player but, the qualities of a leader. As a leader Abdul Razzaq is no match to Shahid Afridi and Razzaq by nature is a very soft and docile person.
Pakistan needs a strong leader and Shahid Afridi is the best choice and, the PCB should not look at this scenario like a school teacher or Butt as a Head Master who not only wants to punish his pupil but, wants to deprive him from all other benefits for a trivial offense which is not new, every Tom, Dick and Harry has been tampering the ball and Afridi is the second one to bite it after India’s fast bowler Manoj Prabhakar who bit the ball against New Zealand two decades ago. Afridi’s ball biting incident has been blown out of proportion because of his celebrity status and also because of his temperament.
The PCB should not delve deeper into this matter and keep on dragging it any further. After a fine of Rs. 3 million they should consider it as over. And, they must quickly appoint him as Captain so that the whole team knows that he is appointed with full honours. There shouldn’t be any ifs and buts and hidden clauses in it. As a captain he should be taking charge of the team right from the training camp and for him it is very important to keep his emotions under control and lead the team by example.
A message for Mr. Ijaz Butt:
NOT just the Pakistani nation but, the whole cricketing world knows that you are a very obstinate old man, you have no rationale thinking or the ability to take a right decision, we are not blaming you as such but, at this age most people behave like you. And, because you are holding such an important post you are more in focus by the media and the cricket fans which are not just a few but in hundreds of millions. It is in the best interest of the nation that you keep the regionalism bias aside and appoint Shahid Afridi as the captain of the Pakistan team for this T20 WC.
If Misbah ul Haq or Abdul Razzaq is appointed as captain and if Pakistan team is defeated or, does not perform well, it will be a tactical mistake and there will be more blame on you for NOT appointing Shahid Afridi as the captain. So, to avoid that you must not appoint anyone else as captain other than Shahid Afridi. It will be your right decision and despite that if the team fails, then there is nothing that one can do about it and, you will not be blamed for being so obstinate and incompetent.