A TALE OF TWO SHOAIBS

Pakistan cricket is in doldrums. Every passing day Ijaz Ahmed is plaguing Pakistan with his incompetence. One loses the will to fathom what exactly is the problem with the Patron in Chief of PCB and why there is a reluctance to change the PCB Chairman? The PCB’s stupidities are not amusing, shocking or funny anymore. They have frankly become

Critising Butt has become boring now, but what else can concerned journalists do?

boring.

The latest stupid shocker to have emerged from the PCB is the return of the 2 Shoaibs.Shoaib Akhtar is 34 on paper and not getting any younger. The last that was heard of Akhtar before he got selected for the Asia Cup was that he had participated in a domestic tournament and had apparently impressed the selectors. This is no big deal as Akhtar has a good record in domestic tournaments but somehow cannot remain fit during international matches.

One wonders if some strategy should be devised to handle the controversial Akhtar, perhaps one where he is not utilised for more than 3 overs in one spell. However this is easier said than done. Firstly, the Pakistani team management is not known for inventing effective strategies. Secondly, the whole bowling strategy would have to be centred around Akhtar and other

Watching Akhtar survive a series without fitness issues would be a miracle

bowlers may be disadvantaged as a result. Asif, Aamer, Afridi and Ajmal are good bowlers in their own right and their strengths and abilities must not be compromised insofar that Akhtar is being facilitated.

There is a saying, “If it aint broke, don’t fix it.” One fails to understand why the Pakistani management takes so much liberties with bowling, when bowling is the least of Pakistan’s worries. When Akhtar gets unfit, the team morale suffers. Plus, Akhtar has issues with teammates like Asif and Afridi. Is it worth playing Akhtar? The Pakistan management keeps playing at least one of Malik and Misbah which weakens the batting, but they are not concerned with the batting! They want to fiddle with the already capable bolwing attack but they do not want to play deserving youngsters in the places of Malik and Misbah. All cricket commentators say that there are many bolwers like Mohammad Aamer in the domestic circuit, yet the PCB wants to play Akhtar instead of giving someone else a chance.

The allegations against the other Shoaib (Malik) are grave and longstanding. Malik is accused of creating factions in the

Lao barati! Bajao band baaja! Aaye Malak saab dulhey raaja.....

team ever since the departure of Inzamam. He is also accused of selfish batting and playing only for himself, not for the team. Despite countless newspaper reports and opinions of cricketers like Abdul Qadir, Sarfraz Nawaz, Afridi and Younis Khan, most people in Pakistan favour Malik’s inclusion in the team. Not only has Malik been blamed for regional bias in the selection of players when he was captain, he also admitted fixing a high profile domestic semi final match. It has been revealed that he refused to bat in a difficult position in a match when it was realised that the pitch was supporting bowlers. Yet, the PCB has excused Malik and he is well and truly back. What kind of justice is this?

Malik’s reinclusion in the team is conclusive evidence of that fact that, in Pakistan if you have connections you can be the biggest criminal, most incompetent, useless person but you will still be able to benefit from a depraved system.

Perhaps the reason why deserving players like Fawad Alam and Hammad Azam are ignored is that the selectors do not want to take risks for fear of losing their credibility. If players like Malik and Misbah fail then the selectors have this

The talented Hammad Azam will have to wait before he gets his chance

excuse that they selected experienced players and hence the fingers get pointed towards the players more than the selectors. This has to be the reason for this inexplicable selection of at least one of Malik and Misbah in every series?

Afridi claims he has remedied his problems with Malik and Akhtar and his team is united. Even if Malik and Akhtar perform in this series this cannot wash away their misdemeanours of yesteryears. The passionate Pakistani cricket fans deserve better than to see these 2 players back in action again.

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  1. #1 by khansahab on June 4, 2010 - 9:32 PM

    Malik likely to get central contract in July

    KARACHI: Former captain Shoaib Malik is likely to get a central contract next month following the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to lift the year-long ban and include him in the Asia Cup squad.

    Malik was excluded from the list of contracted players but after the PCB’s u-turn, his chances of getting among the contracted players have increased.

    “We can give a central contract to Malik because he’s cleared and also part of the team now,” chairman Ijaz Butt told The Express Tribune. “We can only offer him the contract if the selection committee sends us their recommendation and approval.”

    Butt added that the decision could be taken as early as next month when the PCB reviews the players’ performance.

    Chairman selection committee Mohsin Khan said he would assess Malik’s performance making the recommendation.

    “I’ll have a close look at Malik’s performance as he’s been out of action for a while and I’ll be more than happy to ask for his contract if he proves his worth in the Asia Cup,” said Khan before adding that past controversies relating to the all-rounder would not affect his chances.

  2. #2 by khansahab on June 5, 2010 - 10:24 AM

    Javed A Khan/Omer

    There are several issues which we need to shed light upon:

    – Whether an Islamic Republic means a state governed by principles of Sharia or whether it means a state which has a majority of Muslims

    – Whether Jinnah was as liberal/secular or as Islamist as some people claim?

    – Whether any consideration should be expended for Pakistan’s negligible religious minorities and what kind of protection should the state offer them

    – What the purpose of Pakistan was? No one really knows this.

    – If we discuss Jinnah’s ideology or reasons for fighting for Pakistan, does that necessarily encapsulate the will of the majority of Muslim leaders in the Muslim League of that time, the activists, the journalists, the intellectuals, the common people? Was there a completely uniform set of ideals everyone took into consideration?

    – We need to also differentiate between theory and practice. We need to decide whether the ideals that were considered at that time could work in practice. A lot of the ideals upon which the Declaration of American Independence was written, have really not worked in practice.

    I think if we attempt to answer these questions first we may have a clear position going forward.

  3. #3 by Varun Suri on June 5, 2010 - 11:46 AM

    Hello Friends,

    Although I have not been writing much but I have been following LS as usual and very soon I hope to be a regular contributor once again as before. After almost 8 years in Europe I am finally returning back to India in August for good (for now) and I hope to be the only regular contributor to LS based in India.
    At the moment, I am in the process of relocation to New Delhi as it could be big deal moving your stuff after so many years.

    Carry on writing….

  4. #4 by khansahab on June 5, 2010 - 12:07 PM

    Varun

    Nice to see you here. I hope India serves you better than Europe.

    All the best with your prospects in India.

  5. #5 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 6, 2010 - 3:49 AM

    Varun

    Subha ka bhoola shaam ko ghar aye tou vo bhoola nahee hota……. its is always good to read your comments, although this one is not a comment in the sense that you have expressed your feelings about the ongoing debate, but it is good to know that you are just there. As regards going back, it is never too late to go back to Delhi, I am sure you will be happy. Besides, you will also be cherishing those moments you captured in Holland.

    All the best to you in your future endeavours. Good luck.

  6. #6 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 6, 2010 - 3:55 AM

    Chandimal’s ton knocks India out is the headline……. its a shame that India had to exit from Zimbabwe. But, I think they will play full strength team in the Asia Cup as opposed to Pakistan where Y & Y are missing and they both could have contributed in ODI’s for sure.

    Now that Younus’ ban has been lifted with a reduced fine. Why fine? What exactly did he do? He should insist on not joining until and unless they tell him the reason and then waive the fine as well.

  7. #7 by Mohammed Munir on June 6, 2010 - 5:28 AM

    Good News for Pakistani Cricket Fans in UAE.

    PCB has now confirmed their planned ‘home’ series against South Africa in UAE (Dubai/ Abu Dhabi).

    The full series will be follwed Pakistan’s busy England Tour. The one month series will have two Tests, 5 ODIs and 1 T20 matches and will be played in October/ November. Have a look:

    Schedule:

    Oct 27: Only Twenty20, Abu Dhabi

    Oct 29: 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi

    Oct 31: 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi

    Nov 2: 3rd ODI, Dubai

    Nov 5: 4th ODI, Dubai

    Nov 8: 5th ODI, Dubai

    Nov 12-16: 1st Test, Dubai

    Nov 20-24: 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi

  8. #8 by Mohammed Munir on June 6, 2010 - 5:31 AM

    Varun …

    Nice to see ya around and good luck with your moving, back to pavillion. 😉

    You can cover Indian cricket scene for LS, based within India. 🙂

  9. #9 by Varun Suri on June 6, 2010 - 8:03 AM

    Javed,khansahab

    After the IPL, I lost interest in Cricket for sometime due to the overdose of it and also because there has been too much of T-20 Cricket in the last 18 months and also maybe because of the shameful performances of the Indian Team but I will be following the Asia Cup and the number of Tests Pakistan is playing later this year.

    Also as regards Pakistan team the events off the field is making a mockery of the whole system and it is just unbelievable that after so much of criticism and negative feedback, people like Ijaz Butt are still there and it is a shame that Malik has survived solely on the basis of his high profile wedding. All this Malik saga tells us what is wrong with the system in Ind-Pak and it only proves that if you know the right people and have the right connections you can not only survive but also dictate your own terms which is very unfortunate for the future of Pakistan Cricket Team.

    I do not know what Pakistani Fans would be expecting from the likes of Malik,Akmal and Misbah as far as I am concerned if I was Pakistani I would have liked them to lose their places for good but now that another World Cup is not very far away so it looks highly improbable that even if these players underperform against England, Australia and South Africa they might be able to retain their places until the World Cup, as it would not be an ideal time to try out the youngsters in a high profile tournament.

    Now a little bit on my stay in Europe

    As far as Holland and the rest of the Europe is concerned, I am still fascinated by a lot of places which I have been unable to visit during my stay here and I think I am not yet done with this continent so hopefully sometime in the future I will be back but when and where who knows?

    I have found during my travel across Europe that out of all the Western European Countries, Holland is one of the better places to live and work if you are a Brown Skinned English speaking Non-European because all others for example the French,Italians,Spanish and to a certain extent Germans are too proud about their language and culture and history, now i do not say that this is something wrong as I myself am a proud Indian but sometimes their pride overrides the compassion and humility one should have towards a foreigner especially Non-Europeans.

    I personally have had bad experienes in France and Italy due to not knowing the language where as here in Holland whenever I try to speak in Dutch people automatically reply in English once they realise you are a foreigner and they try their best to make you comfortable for as long as you are here.

    I know that in the recent past people like Geert Wilders have become quite popular but I can also see a lot of people showing their disgust and anger towards such a person because it all goes against the Dutch model of Calvinistic-Tolerance where as in the other European Countries Islamophobia is taking it’s toll on the people with the banning of Burkas in France to the banning of Minarets in Switzerland. We all know that UK is leading this race of fearing the Muslims. Whereas in the UK majority of the Muslims are from the Indian Sub-Continent but in Countries like France, Belgium,Holland and Germany, Turkish and Moroccan immigrants constituent the majority of Muslims. While the Turks have still a good impression but the Moroccans and other North-Africans are usually at the receiving end.

    To conclude I would just say that due to my political views and many other reasons I do not have any urges to cross the Atlantic and live and work in the land of dreams unlike majority of the Indians in India. If at all I would go out of India again it would be somewhere in Europe as coming from a diverse nation like India, instead of fearing or finding insecurity in the fact that there are so many different languages in Europe, I kind of like this diversity and fear the homogeneity(atleast in language) places like USA or China might bring with it.

    More laterss..

  10. #10 by Mohammed Munir on June 6, 2010 - 8:46 AM

    Javed Khan …

    This is with reference to your comment no. 132 from the previous thread.

    I would not like to blame Shahid Afridi with the inclusion of Shoaib x 2.

    Whether we like or not, but we all know the power of Shoaib Malik and his clout. I mean look at Ijaz Butt, who is supported by Zardari/ PPP and no one can do anything against him but Shoaib Malik has even ‘forced’ Butt to include him back into the squad and select him for the Asia Cup with all his cases dismissed. So if someone like Butt is under-pressure from Malik then what can poor Afridi do ? I remember we were having similar discussions on Younis Khan’s captaincy and that why Younis is weak and all that. The thing is that if the Chairman of the PCB and the Chief Selector are pushed to include a player in the squad then why and how a Captain can oppose him. The second choice for Afridi will be to ‘leave’ the captaincy like Younis did, which will be very bad.

    On Hammad Azam, it is very unfortunate that a promising youngster is being sidelined, but he was not even among the 35 probables and therefore there was no question of him in the squad. However, I think Afridi could have given him a chance during the T20 Cup when he was with the team, that is if he really wanted to. Similarly, Afridi would like to see Fawad Alam in the team but his inclusion is definitely not in Afridi’s hand. Moreover, Fawad is also not making Afridi’s life easer with some exceptional performances in whatever limited exposure he is getting. By exception performances, I mean something like Umer Akmal or Aamir, when one becomes a ‘must have’ in the team and any Captain can fight for their inclusion, no matter what. This, unfortunately, is not the case with Fawad.

    Overall, I think Afrid is enjoying a good rapport with the PCB management and he almost brought Y & Y back for the England tour, but Afridi can not have his own ways. IMO, Afridi should try to maintain a good working relation with the PCB for the forthcoming assignments, because if Pakistan won the Asia Cup and showed good performances against Australia and England (Inshallah), then Afridi will become very strong and he will have much more say in the final selection of team/ players.

  11. #11 by khansahab on June 6, 2010 - 9:14 AM

    Varun

    I agree with your observations about Europe. Many countries in the world are getting right wing governments and right wing ideologies are blossoming. In a few decades this will create tension between nations and people will realise that being left wing was more desirable. It is like a cycle that affects different countries at different stages.

    In the UK the media and general public is very anti-Muslim and more anti-minority than most of Europe. I know France is fairly anti-Muslim because the Muslims that live there are totally segregated from the ordinary French citizens and there is a very strong “ghetto” culture. The UK is quite similar in this respect. The biggest majority in the minority is that of Pakistani Punjabis and after that you have Indian Gujratis and most of them have adopted a non-inclusive, ghetto like culture.

    I am sure you will have good prospects in India because now Indian cities are considered attractive to middle class people with degrees. It is good that you are considering the benefit of your country too, and want to contribute towards the prosperity of your country and tolerate its discomforts (whatever they may be). This is an ideal one finds lacking with Pakistanis- in Pakistan everyone wants to get out and come to USA or UK at any cost. But then Pakistan is also more unstable than India. Actually sometimes I feel Pakistanis who live outside Pakistan really care for Pakistan more than those that live in Pakistan, because those living outside are always discussing current affairs and politics in Pakistan whereas it seems that those who live in Pakistan are only interested in making a fast buck.

    Now, on cricket….

    I am quite pleased to see India sent a young and inexperienced team to battle Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Now I know their performance was not ideal but firstly this will not affect India’s rating substantially and secondly it was a relatively low profile series. This is something the Pakistan board needs to do- just send a young team without the so called stalwarts and identify good players for the future. But in Pakistan this will not happen because the Board is run like a mafia and the players work like a mafia. This series has given the Indian youngsters a chance to identify how lacking they are internationally and some of them can improve by World Cup 2011. This is called forward-planning which the Pakistan Board is totally incapable of.

  12. #12 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 6, 2010 - 9:34 AM

    Munir

    I agree with your comments on Afridi’s position because more or less I have also been saying the same thing but, in different words. At the moment his position is very weak and he cannot put his foot down and say I want to play so and so. Even in case of Hammad Azam, he got orders in Caribbean to play so and so player that is the reason he was sitting on the sidelines. His exclusion from the current squad is a real surprise. Imagine a player selected in 16 for T20 WC and goes to Caribbean, sits there in the dugout during all the matches and then, he is not even selected in the list of 35 probables? What is the basis of this current selection of the players that he is not even in the list of 35 and who are these people selecting these players?

    Imran Farhat is in because, his father in law Ilyass is a selector. Shoaib Malik is in because the whole of Sialkot rather the whole of Punjab wants him to play – this is a gift from the people of Punjab for him marrying Sania Mirza – otherwise Malik doesn’t deserve anything.

    There is a very strong rumour that Waqar was not happy with Shoaib Akhtar’s performance test in which he bowled 12 overs. I saw a TV clip in which Akhtar was bowling in the nets and anyone can tell he is not running fast or even bowling fast. As regards judging his performance, it is very stupid for anyone to judge him in 12 overs, his real test will be in a match where he will be judged on the basis of wickets taken and runs scored.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/sport/waqar-should-concentrate-on-coaching-role-ijaz-butt-660

    Ijaz Butt snubbed Waqar and asked him to focus on his job rather than poking his nose in his Butt.

  13. #13 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 6, 2010 - 9:39 AM

    Varun

    very interesting comments, keep writing more. On Dutch tolerance or acceptance, the same is in Montreal, if you try to speak tutti phutti French then they switch over to English. But, the older generation’s English rather Hinglish as they pronounce is very bad and that is why they don’t like to speak, the fear of getting exposed and appear like an idiot if you cannot speak a language perfectly. But, the new generation is perfectly bi-lingual in French and English. Not only desi kids but, all nationalities, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabs, Japanese etc., in short whoever is studying locally in schools speak fluent French and English.

  14. #14 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 6, 2010 - 9:56 AM

    Munir

    From the last week of October the weather in the UAE is not bad, in fact it improves by the day, also there is no Ramadan during those days, so it should be a good series between SA and Pakistan. In fact for us Ramadan days would be getting too long each year for the next 10 years or so. Imagine Sehri before 4:00 a.m. and Iftar after 9:30 p.m.

  15. #15 by khansahab on June 6, 2010 - 10:45 AM

    PCB sanity seems ineradicably and irredeemably foreign?

    The ban on Shoaib Malik was lifted and the fine slashed to half by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) before the one-man appellant tribunal could decipher the rationale and reasons of the punishment imposed and reach any viable decision. It was yet another eccentric but characteristic Ijaz Butt’s ‘U-turn’, now the main principle of his cricket governance.

    Why should anyone from cricket’s top-tier now talk about the player power? Who makes them powerful? It isn’t the power-share by the cricketers but powerlessness of the PCB and the administrators that give these coldhearted international celebrities the chance to use the space provided through reprehensible administration and they abuse the straits of their status as power-brokers, intriguers and power-players? Times have come that we should stop behaving as duffers and rather inculcate young, vibrant, modern and forward-looking organisation, made up of people with energy and vision to reincarnate the Pakistani game.

    Why was Malik banned? And hideously, it was learnt that his appeal was referred to a one-man appellant tribunal headed by a judge, and as reported, whose own credentials were relatively ambiguous, being named in the infamous Bank of Punjab scandal? And furthermore, as explored, it was also alleged that the judge named on the tribunal was related to Mr Ahmad Mukhtar, the Federal Minister for Defence? And the world knows Butt is Mukhtar’s brother-in-law? It seemed cricket’s decision-making was swirling and shaking hands within the family, as elucidated by the fact that Yawar Saeed, PCB chairman’s age-old friend, had also been at loggerheads with Younis Khan, was named on the inquiry committee that was to take ham-fisted decisions against the players for their appalling show and behavior on tour to Australia, earlier in the year. Has anyone got the clue what does the word ‘transparency’ means? What are we up to? Why are we ruining the moral worth and fiber of Pakistan cricket’s aesthetic naturalism?

    The PCB has worked not as a corporate but a ‘chaotic’ body and it pains to correlate with institutions in the developed countries. Recently, in Britain, their new regime’s Treasury Minister resigned, also admitting he claimed £40,000 from taxpayers to rent rooms in homes owned by his partner, barely two weeks in office. David Laws had the tenacity to accept his failure and instead of bald-facedly beating his chest, he left peacefully allowing Prime Minister David Cameron to name Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander as Law’s successor. This is how institutional values are maintained and decorum and prestige of the institution upheld?

    There seems no logic trying to pry on how Ijaz Butt has lead his regime, one filled with nepotism, bedlam, arbitrary and knee-jerk reactions, indecision, mediocrity, power-brokerage, discrimination, preconceived notions, lack of vision, loss of control, failure of management, inability to rediscover methods, resistance to change, rebuttals and self-denials plus now the (in)famous U-turns; his rule has been one of condescension, dictation, and the wreckage has been left in the middle of the road for anyone to make estimates about how quickly country’s cricket has slinked to devastation.

    It seemed that the weary mercenaries could beat around the bush as the carefree, insensitive tune-boys ran the show at Lahore’s Gadaffi Stadium. The inexorable amateurism was never replaced by the hardened professionalism and Butt, intractable and one without magnanimity could hold on while the ground around him was subsiding. He has endured failures and survived, is in itself a miracle? His has been a ‘chilling’ tenure and it seems extending and expanding, not regressing and diminishing; the PCB has worked, as it is evidenced, like a ‘banana republic’ and the ‘law of jungle’ could only augment one controversy after another.

    While Shahid Afridi, banished for ‘chewing’ the ball was penalised and rebuked first by ICC and subsequently by the PCB itself was unreservedly elevated to country’s captaincy; Younis Khan who wasn’t given the space to get his suspension reviewed wasn’t even worthy of a hearing whilst Shoaib Malik, who was alleged to have triggered rift within the team and castigated by Butt himself was not only included in 35 players named for the Asia Cup and Test series in England but treated with ‘protocol’ by the PCB? The recent discourse is shot through ‘nepotism’ and ‘favoritism’; again and again, in the most causal fashion, ‘political’ pressures and ‘denial’ is used to explain developments on the field of play, and especially the ups and downs of international cricket. The best example is inclusion of all the ‘sinners’ as deemed by the ambiguous inquiry committee on the national team and Malik’s response to the long trauma of Pakistan cricket.

    It seems, for Butt, modern cricket management is ineradicably and irredeemably foreign. It appears, the hi-tech, scientific methodology is not Butt’s game, and his resistance to biomechanics and other essentialities is in the natural order of things. He has liked mostly to play on his own. The spirit behind his governance and the scathing criticism he has attracted has all the rationalisation, the same motivated taunting and the opera continues.

    The method with which Butt has ruined the texture of Pakistan’s cricket demands an apology. The roots of nepotism and incessant ‘U-turns’ are set deep in his peculiar chauvinism, a chauvinism warped by the years of his failed governance.

    The Pakistani team has failed the PCB and their board has equally and manfully reciprocated. Pakistan cricketers have acted and reacted as senior partners and the PCB, rudderless has had a role seemingly to be to plunder the base to prop up the apex. PCB’s commitment to development and safeguarding the integrity of national game has been nil on the scale of zero to ten. It’s a shame.

  16. #16 by khansahab on June 6, 2010 - 12:23 PM

    Javed A Khan

    Whether Malik married Sania Mirza or not, whether he got banned or not, the fact would always remain that a majority of people in Pakistan would want him in the team.

    I think the marriage with Sania or the lifting of the ban has made that majority happy obviously, but I don’t think it affected the opinion of that majority in terms of whether Malik should be in the team or not.

  17. #17 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 6, 2010 - 9:06 PM

    khansahab

    Osman Samiuddin wrote something interesting on cricinfo and I am copy pasting the last few paragraphs of his article.

    “The classiest was the revelation that the board had been monitoring Shoaib Malik for three months and found him rehabilitated. He did get married and divorced once, while playing zero cricket, which admittedly can be quite rehabilitating. Batting average 25 over 12 months, he came straight back into the ODI squad as well. No wonder some are convinced he’ll be captain again for the 2011 World Cup, though he probably needs another ban, a failed retirement and an average of three over the year to nail it down.

    The rest? Afridi’s punishment they lifted because he had already been punished by the ICC once. The PCB would need to have crawled out from under a stone to not have known that Afridi had already been punished once for that offence.

    Younis’ was clever. He was banned, but only until the PCB considered him again. As he was considered in the 35 probables, the arbitrator said, it stood to reason that the ban be lifted. Which means (does it not?) that he was just dropped for a while and that too only from the Asia Cup, which even its organisers struggle to get excited about? That’s an awfully long way to go to get round to that particular conclusion.

    The Akmals have been provided relief because, hey, everyone else was getting it too. That makes them beneficiaries of Pakistan cricket’s National Reconciliation Order (NRO), an executive order passed by former President Pervez Musharraf, which wiped the slate clean of all sins committed by any politician between 1986 and 1999.

    The elder Akmal has actually been rewarded by being made top dog again
    . Someone should tell the fool of an understudy Sarfraz Ahmed, who didn’t even make it to the 35 probables, to drop four catches and screw up a Test and then very publicly oppose the selectors and board. Then there’ll be no removing him from the top spot.

    To end brightly, rumours are that Dasti might become sports minister soon. We should make him PCB chairman instead. “

  18. #18 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 7, 2010 - 12:26 PM

    India squad for the Asia Cup:


    Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag (vice-capt), Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Pragyan Ojha, Ashok Dinda, Ravichandran Ashwin, Saurabh Tiwary.

    It is strange that Tendulkar opted out from the squad and needs a break? And newguy‘s favourite and Dhoni’s blue eyed boy Ravindra Jadeja is there. Once again Irfan Pathan is missing, perhaps they don’t consider him fit for any format of the game, courtesy Dhoni.

    Once again the fast bowling department seems to be very weak Zaheer not in form Praveen Kumar back after his side strain, don’t know how good and effective he will be and Nehra tou lehra ker bowling kerta hai, one day he is good the next day he is Sreesanth.

  19. #19 by newguy on June 7, 2010 - 7:55 PM

    On the India squad for Asia Cup, big news is that Yuvraj Singh is dropped, presumably on fitness grounds. Tendulkar requested for rest, kind of surprising since he is already on rest, but at his level he can pick and chose the tournaments he wants to play. I think he will come back to play the Australia series and then the WC 2011. Batting looks strong on paper with Sehwag and Gambhir at the top with three younger players in form to follow, Raina, Kohli, and Rohit has shown good form recently. Bowling as usual is weak, no Sreesanth or Ishant will mean there aren’t many wicket taking options, with only Zaheer and Harbhajan other attacking bowlers.

    I don’t know why Sreesanth or Ishant are not getting picked up. Irfan Pathan may not get another chance now it seems. Ravidra Jadeja as I said managed to get into team again, he is only a restricting bowler at best and all he can do is rotate strike or hit odd boundary, not the quality of a #7 batsman.

    With Yuvraj out of team now the responsibility is all on Dhoni and for someone like Rohit to step up big time.

    Yousaf Pathan is dropped as expected. He needs to go back and work harder on his technique to be fit for international matches.

    Suarabh Tiwary gets a look in, but in reality he won’t get to play, he will be serving drinks.

  20. #20 by khansahab on June 7, 2010 - 9:15 PM

    Butt wants Yousuf to file appeal

    LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board is now planning for another U-turn as they want stylish middle-order batsman Mohammad Yousuf to come out of retirement and file appeal against the ban.

    Yousuf was banned for indefinite period in March over the charges of infighting with Younus Khan which adversely affected the team morale and performance. Last week, PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt, who is famous for taking U-turn, abolished the bans, fines and punishments on Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal. Younus Khan won the legal battle against PCB last week in appellate tribunal where Justice (retired) Irfan Qadir dismissed charges on Younus Khan and lifted the ban imposed on him by PCB.

    Qadir asked Yousuf to file appeal against ban so that PCB reconsider ban on him. “When the bans and fines have been removed from other players, Yousuf’s appeal can also be considered. I would even say that the board in the interest of the national team must convince Yousuf to forget the past and comeback,” Qadir said.

    On the other hand, Yousuf has refused to play in upcoming series against Australia and England and said that he is mentally and physically not in the position to represent Pakistan. Yousuf plan to make a comeback in October this year in the series against South Africa at UAE.

  21. #21 by khansahab on June 7, 2010 - 9:16 PM

    No differences with Waqar: PCB Chairman

    KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt has played down any rifts with the national coach Waqar Younis following a public reminder for the coach not to indulge in the board’s matters.

    Butt was reportedly unhappy with Younis because of his comments about the team and other cricket matters but the chairman denied any ill-feelings towards the former fast-bowler.

    “I don’t have any differences with Waqar,” Butt told The Express Tribune. “In fact, I’m on very good terms with him and he’s a nice gentleman.”

    The selection committee meeting that also involved the PCB chairman and captain Shahid Afridi did not include Younis with reports that he was not invited by the management for such an important meeting. Younis was also absent from the press conference that followed in which the 15-man squad for the Asia Cup was announced.

    Butt, however, played down this issue as well saying it was only “exaggeration” on the part of the media. The chairman added that he was satisfied with the coach’s performance and that Younis was working hard to get the best out of his players.

    “I hope Younis would serve for a long time. As long as the team gives the desired results under his supervision, he’ll remain the coach of Pakistan.”

    Meanwhile, Butt said efforts were underway by the PCB for the revival of international cricket in the country and that board officials were in constant touch with nearly all the other boards to host a series at any level in Pakistan.

    “The security situation in the country is not improving because of which teams are reluctant to visit Pakistan but we’re still trying to host a series and quite confident that we’ll host a team in the near future.”

    Butt added that by hosting the series against South Africa in the UAE later this year, the PCB would generate good revenue which would benefit cricket in Pakistan.

    The series consists of a solitary Twenty20, five One-Day Internationals and two Tests starting on October 27.

  22. #22 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 8, 2010 - 12:39 AM

    khansahab

    I am copy pasting this comment of Ijaz Butt here from the news item that you have reproduced. “I hope Younis would serve for a long time. As long as the team gives the desired results under his supervision, he’ll remain the coach of Pakistan.” Ijaz Butt.

    Is there any sense in it? “As long as the team gives desired results…” Which idiot would remove, a captain, coach or the players from a winning team? No one wants to even change a winning combination as long as they are winning. If Ijaz Butt thinks before he #arts then there won’t be so much stink around.

  23. #23 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 8, 2010 - 12:41 AM

    newguy

    You will be surprised to know that I did not even notice Yuvraj Singh’s name is not in the squad. He has been so much out of form that his absence is not even noticed by me.

    I think you are right Irfan’s career is almost over like Mohammad Kaif’s and I don’t think he will be selected again especially, as long as Dhoni is the captain of Indian team.

  24. #24 by Mohammed Munir on June 8, 2010 - 8:51 AM

    On Indian squad …

    Seems like Sachin is too tired after the hectic IPL season so he needs “Rrrrrreeeeeeeessssssstttttttt” 😉

    I read a comment somewhere on Yousuf Pathan, that he plays well only under Shane Warne’s captaincy, beucase he understand the Australian English so well. 😉

    Javed Khan …

    In UAE we will be having Ramzan fasting from around 4.00 am to around 7.30 pm, this time. Although 2 hours less then in Canada, but more importantly in Canada you will have tempratures around 30’C in summers, while here in UAE we will be touching late forties and early fifties ‘C, yes Degree Centrigrade.

  25. #25 by khansahab on June 8, 2010 - 7:40 PM

    Musharraf party launches Pakistan recruitment drive

    The political party of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has launched a formal public recruitment campaign.

    A spokesman for the recently formed All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) said the drive was intended to pave the way for the former president’s return.

    Pervez Musharraf seized power in 1999 when, as chief of Pakistan’s army, he ousted elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a coup.

    He went into exile in 2008 after his allies were beaten in elections.
    ‘Not afraid’

    “President Musharraf intends to return to Pakistan as soon as a date is announced for the next elections,” APML spokesman Mohammad Ali Saif said.

    He was speaking at a crowded press conference in the southern port city of Karachi.

    “President Musharraf is not afraid of any of the charges made against him – he fully intends to return and face them,” Mr Saif said.

    He was referring to several criminal cases and inquiries that were launched against Mr Musharraf after he left the country to go into self-imposed exile in the UK.

    The most significant of the charges he faces has been put forward by a UN commission looking into the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

    The commission found President Musharraf and his government were culpable for her death because they provided insufficient security for a rally she was staging near the city of Rawalpindi.

    However, Mr Musharraf and his supporters have strongly denied the accusations, arguing that the charges are politically motivated.

    “We intend to debate these charges on forums across the nation,” Mr Saif pledged.

    He said the party had started a mass membership scheme and would soon hold rallies across Pakistan.

    Pervez Musharraf is still one of the most popular men in Pakistan,” Rashid Qureshi, a former Pakistan army general and Musharraf loyalist said.

    Mr Qureshi has long been the chief troubleshooter for the former president and served as his aide and chief military spokesman.

    “General Musharraf has no desire for personal power – he only intends to serve Pakistan,” Mr Qureshi said.

    He said that the newly formed APML would pave the way for his return.

    Mr Musharraf formed the party in London to address “the crises facing Pakistan”.

    He had also said he would be announcing the date of his return soon.

    Critics of the former military ruler say he is the primary culprit for the ills facing the country.

    Most prominent among the critics is Nawaz Sharif, now the main opposition leader, who wants Mr Musharraf to be tried on charges of treason.

    But analysts say the chances of that are slim – because the former general still has allies in Pakistan’s powerful military establishment who would not be averse to seeing him return.

  26. #26 by Mohammed Munir on June 9, 2010 - 9:35 AM

    “Pervez Musharraf is still one of the most popular men in Pakistan,” Rashid Qureshi, a former Pakistan army general and Musharraf loyalist said. 😀

    I think it is also important WHO is saying WHAT. 😆

  27. #27 by JAVED A. KHAN on June 9, 2010 - 3:08 PM

    Munir

    The point is not who is the most popular person, the point is who would encash his popularity vote by coming back into power and how? In 2007 and 2008 the survey by two Washington based think tanks , New America Foundation and Terror Free Tomorrow (TFT) predicted that Nawaz Sharif is the most popular politician with 57% popularity votes and then 86% popularity votes in 2008, and they predicted that Nawaz Sharif’s party PML (N) will win a clear majority and Nawaz will take over from Musharraf, then what happened? Who came into power? The most corrupt person in the history of Pakistan, perhaps one of the most corrupt in the top 5 people of the world, Asif Ali Zardari came into power.

    While looking into the country’s political history I will not be very surprised if Nawaz Sharif aligns with Gen Musharraf the very same General who once ousted him, against the common enemy, the Pakistan People’s Party which holds power today. And, because of the current crisis between Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani unfolds, all political parties including MQM and in particular Nawaz Sharif and Gen Musharraf would be waiting for the right opportunity to strike back and then take advantage of the crisis by making some “Alliance” in the name of saving the country from corruption and destruction. Don’t you think this is a possibility? It may not long last but, it would be a good enough reason to get rid of Zardari once for all. So, don’t write off Musharraf, the lone loser in this game would be the ex-cricket player because he is not a politician. 😀

  28. #28 by khansahab on June 9, 2010 - 5:42 PM

    Salman Butt wants ample time to prove his worth

    KARACHI: Pakistan opener Salman Butt has urged the country’s cricket authorities to give him ample time to prove his worth as the national team’s vice-captain. Butt told Deutsche Welle in an interview on Tuesday that he is confident of doing a good job but wants the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to give him enough time this time.

    “When an important decision such as of making some one vice captain is taken, a miracle should not be expected immediately. You should allow the person do the job for an ample period of time and should not stop having confidence in him within a month or after a single series,” he said.

    Butt was named as Pakistan’s vice-captain for this month’s Asia Cup and the marathon tour of England later this summer where they will play back-to-back series against Australia and the hosts. The left-handed batsman was also installed as Pakistan’s vice-captain in 2007 but that stint didn’t last very long and he was replaced with Misbah-ul-Haq.

    Butt, 25, believes that in 2007 he was a victim of highhandedness. “I played just two Tests and three T20 games as vice-captain. I was pretty sick and even then I scored 48 runs in the Karachi Test against South Africa.

    “I was kept confined for press conferences during the one-day series against South Africa. In sports, performance is shown on the field and in my case I was not given a fair chance to deliver in the matches but I am hopeful I will be given ample chances this time,” he stressed. “I know is that if I am doing well with the bat it would not only be good for me but also good for the team as well.”

  29. #29 by khansahab on June 9, 2010 - 5:44 PM

    Afridi expects Shoaib to return with a bang

    KARACHI: Skeptics may fear that Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan’s injury-prone fast bowler, is not fit enough to make a successful return to international cricket in his team’s Asia Cup opener against hosts Sri Lanka in Dambulla on June 15.

    But ask Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi and he will tell you that the Rawalpindi Express is fully back on track after spending more than a year on the sidelines. “Shoaib is looking sharp and working really hard for the Asia Cup,” Afridi told ‘The News’ on Tuesday. “He is really motivated and I’m expecting him to return with a bang,” he stressed.

    Afridi rubbished a whispering campaign in national cricket circles that he is taking a half-fit Shoaib to Sri Lanka where Pakistan will lock horns with old rivals India, Bangladesh and the hosts for Asian glory.

    “I don’t know who is spreading such false rumours,” he said. “There is nothing wrong with Shoaib. He is fully fit and it’s showing in his output during training sessions. He is going that extra mile which is a great sign for us.”

  30. #30 by khansahab on June 11, 2010 - 9:45 PM

    India will struggle against Akhtar in Asia Cup: Tanvir

    With Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh not in the squad, India will struggle against Pakistan’s comeback pacer Shoaib Akhtar, predicted Sohail Tanvir.

    Tanvir is convinced that Akhtar, who makes an international comeback after an eventful year in the wilderness, would be a changed man on his return and expected him to do well, provided he retains his fitness, which has always been an issue with the temperamental pacer.

    “I don’t think there is any need be too concerned about Akhtar’s performance. He has been a great asset for Pakistan cricket for many years and if he stays fit, he will deliver,” Tanvir said of his teammate.

    “India will be without Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh while most of the others are recuperating from the losses against Zimbabwe.

  31. #31 by Mohammed Munir on June 13, 2010 - 4:37 AM

    Seems like everyone got busy with the Football World Cup. 😉

  32. #32 by khansahab on June 13, 2010 - 9:13 AM

    Rookie Pak batsman Umar Amin likely to make debut against Sri Lanka in Asia Cup

    Karachi, Jun. 13 (ANI): Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi has been impressed with young batting talent Umar Amin, who is likely to make his debut against Sri Lanka in the opening match of the Asia Cup in Dambulla on June 15.

    Amin is one of the two rookies included in the 15-man Pakistan squad along with Asad Shafiq, and Afridi believes that he would fit well on the number three spot in the batting order in the absence of experienced Younis Khan.

    “I think Umar Amin is a talented lad and hopefully he would make his debut against Sri Lanka. We have to invest in youngsters for the sake of the team’s future which is why it’s important to give them maximum possible opportunities,” Afridi told reporters before boarding a flight to Sri Lanka.

    Afridi, however, said that the final decision on the team line for the match against the hosts would be taken by the team management after judging the playing conditions at Dambulla.

  33. #33 by khansahab on June 13, 2010 - 9:14 AM

    Younger players must prove themselves: Mohsin

    LAHORE: Chief Selector Mohsin Hasan Khan has advised the youngsters included in the Pakistan Asia Cup squad to grab the opportunity with both hands and display good performances to ensure a bright future for the country.

    Speaking to Dawn on Saturday, Mohsin said: “The three youngsters – Asad Shafiq, Shahzaib Hasan and Umar Amin – have been selected after showing their mettle in domestic cricket, but they will also have to prove their worth at the international level by giving solid performances.”

    “We have some strong players in the reserves and can’t afford to give any player seven or eight chances to prove his worth. So the younger players must grab this opportunity in Asia Cup with both hands.”

  34. #34 by khansahab on June 13, 2010 - 9:15 AM

    Mohsin Khan should be reminded that Shoaib Malik has not proved himself since 2007 and he is still in the team, so why should these youngsters suffer if they fail to perform in 2 or 3 matches?

  35. #35 by khansahab on June 13, 2010 - 9:26 AM

    Musharraf to float party next month

    LAHORE – General (r) Pervez Musharraf,in a bid to give practical shape to his political ambitions, plans to formally announce the launching of his party ‘All Pakistan Muslim League’ by the end of July in London, besides fixing a date for his return to the country, learnt TheNation.
    Insiders in the inner circle of Pervez Musharraf told this correspondent on Friday that Musharraf has taken the above said decision keeping in view the possibilities of snap polls this year. He also plans to meet with like-minded politicians in both camps of PML-Q in Abu Dhabi and London in July and August, while his loyalists are trying to establish contacts with persons in the camp of PML (Functional).
    Musharraf is expected to visit Abu Dhabi in the third week of the July to meet his loyalists. During his stay in Abu Dhabi he plans to invite PML-Q Chief, Ch. Shujaat Hussain for a meeting with him, asserted the insiders.
    However, it is worth mentioning here the fact that Ch. Shujaat Hussain had time and again rejected the very idea of joining Musharraf’s League, asserting that PML-Q had no concern with the political adventures of the former General.
    Insiders further revealed that Pervez Musharraf considers that All Pakistan Muslim League would provide a platform to like-minded Muslim Leagues and other political parties for unification, and that he would be the Chairman of any such alliance if he succeeds.
    About the cases of Nawab Akbar Bugti and Lal Masjid, the insiders maintain that no cases were registered against Musharraf.
    Quoting the inputs from the loyalists from Pakistan, the insiders told this scribe that people back home were tired of the poor policies of the current government and Musharraf’s popularity graph was improving, as people of Pakistan continue to describe policies of Musharraf as balanced,which promoted public welfare.
    However, the insiders failed to reply the query of this correspondent about Musharraf’s political future in a national government.

  36. #36 by khansahab on June 13, 2010 - 9:28 AM

    Nawaz rigs polls, bribes umpires: Imran

    Lahore Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan has accused Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif of utilising the police and administration for rigging elections much to what he would have done with cricket umpires during his playing days.
    Addressing an election rally here, Imran, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief, criticised Nawaz for using government establishments for poll rigging.

  37. #37 by khansahab on June 13, 2010 - 9:34 AM

    The problem with Imran Khan is, how does he convince the people he is the right leader?

    The two biggest centres anyone needs to appease are Punjab and Karachi- Punjab, for its population and being the centre of Pakistan, and Karachi, for being the economic centre and harbouring a significant chunk of the country’s brainpower.

    But, the N League is committed to Punjab like none other. The Sharifs are extremely popular in Lahore, the heart of Punjab.

    Whereas, MQM has given the Urdu Speakers a voice and now the magnificent work done by Mustafa Kamal has convinced the people of Karachi (whichever ethnicity they might belong to) that MQM is the right party to represent them.

    So Imran is really stuck.

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