It is about time Pakistan cricket team needs a complete overhauling. This is the desire of every single Pakistani but, things in Pakistan move differently. Like the political, judicial, establishment and administrative system work in Pakistan, cricket too has a lot of similar characteristics.
The whole team selection process is based on cronyism, favoritism, nepotism, regionalism, you name any micro-ism it is there in Pakistan cricket board and selection committee. After the squad is selected, the politics doesn’t end there, it is the team manager, the batting coach, the bowling coach and the captain then plays with the playing XI and batting order.
It may look very simple that those who are selected must be given a chance to play then why some players remain in the dugout and their career is over in frustration. Among those in T20 format is Sharjeel Khan who was kept in the dugout because the Champion All-rounder Shoaib Malik needs to be played since he has been selected by the PCB.
Fawad Alam’s career was almost over until he got a chance in the Asia Cup and he silenced all his critics by batting brilliantly and winning the matches for Pakistan. Yet Fawad is underrated by the media and those who matter. He was not selected for the WCT20 so there was no consideration about his inclusion in the team. Because, for some rules are bent and broken and for others its a writing in the stone.
Mr. Najam Sethi has no clue about cricket, he claims that he used to watch cricket in England from the boundary line when Imran Khan used to play. So, now Mr Sethi is Chairman of the PCB. Like his political career is restricted to a TV show he was made acting Chief Minister of Punjab to fix 35 punctures. This is the irony in Pakistan about how people are selected for jobs which they are totally unfit for. The President of Pakistan was nominated by the Prime Minister because he used to butter him with his favourite food.
The Prime Minster of Pakistan who is such a incompetent nincompoop that he attended only ONE session of the Parliament or National Assembly of the country in one year, one should not talk much about him but, about those who have elected him. Elected him not once but three times. #FacePalm. I know the hashtag has no place in blogs.
Back to the way this team played in Asia Cup final and in the WCT20 it pains for the Pakistani supporters and fans to see how the team lost the final against Sri Lanka in Asia Cup and how they miserably failed against India and West Indies in the WCT20.
To sum up what needs to be done to save cricket in Pakistan
1. Najam Sethi needs to be shown the exit door.
2. Misbah and Hafeez should no more captain the Pakistan team
3. Misbah may remain in the test team if the selectors wants to kill more young talent but certainly in the ODIs he has no place.
4. For ODIs Shahid Afridi must be made captain with immediate effect.
So that he can groom a new team and lead it from the front, like he did in the previous ODI world cup he took a new and unknown team to the semifinals which we lost because of senior players like Misbah and Yunus Khan. The worst thing to happen was after that, the then Chairman of the PCB Mr. Ijaz Butt removed Afridi from the captaincy and made Misbah the captain of Pakistan team on a personal grudge.
Now, after this defeat in the so-called quarterfinals against West Indies on April 2014, it is for the first time the Pakistan team has not qualified for the semifinals in T20. Prior to Afridi’s captaincy, the last time Pakistan qualified for ODI semifinal was in 1999. After that it was Afridi who took the team to Mohali semifinals against India. So, the people must have now realized how difficult it is for any team to qualify for the semifinals?
T20 is not about defensive play but aggression. Captain Hafeez made 19 runs in 32 balls in this match not just in this but in the previous 3 matches his batting, bowling & fielding has been very, very poor.
Against India he scored 15 runs in 22 balls
Against Australia 13 runs in 12 balls
Against Bangladesh 8 runs in 12 balls.
Bowling wise he did nothing except for taking just one wicket today.
As a captain he is clueless about how to set the field and whether to attack or defend or which bowler to be used. But, the way he shows his arrogance not only on the field but in his post match speeches is very lame and unacceptable.
To defend himself he said, “No team wins because of one individual.” The fact is in T20 just one or two players max makes a BIG difference in winning and losing. Let me make it clear here.
For West Indies just 2 players Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy made the difference in the last 3 overs, they scored 59 runs in 18 balls.
For Pakistan just 2 players Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal made the difference in the last three overs, they gave away 59 runs in 18 balls.
Until the 15th over Pakistan team was dominating with only 82 runs on board West Indies were 5 wickets down. Then in the last 30 balls they made 84 runs. Pakistan had already lost the match by then.
The batting was a mere formality, there was no team spirit after that, they were subdued, beaten with a shattered confidence. It is at this time the team manager, the coaches and the captain needs to sit down and explain the team or make necessary changes in the batting order to counter the attack.
Zaheer Abbass the expert batting coach was seen slouching in the chair, extremely lethargic and lazy, so was Moin Khan. If you’ve noticed how Allan Donald was reacting at the dugout when SA was playing their last round match. Aleem Dar had to go and ask him to sit down. It means nothing to someone because you are not used to seeing such enthusiasm and sense of responsibility. Our coach, experts talk only on TV and in front of the media but in reality they do nothing.
Shahzad has immense talent and I don’t disagree with Shoaib Akhtar who later said on a TV show. “What good is that talent if you cannot make 40 runs for your team when it is needed?” Scoring a 111 not out against Bangladesh was very pleasing but, getting out on first ball duck against a novice rookie Santokie is pathetic and unacceptable.
The current Pakistan team is full of mediocre players, rarely they show sporadic brilliance like the highly talented and most overrated player Umar Akmal. In fact none of the Akmals have ever delivered for Pakistan when it is needed. They have seldom performed in big matches. Umar Akmal showed sporadic brilliance against Bangladesh and Australia but, he lacks consistency and finesse. There are no heroes in the team who can be deemed as Mr. Consistent.
There is no Javed Miandad or Inzamul Haq in the Pakistan team. How come India had so many Tendulkars? Look at Kohli, he comes and he bats and he bats till the end. India’s fast bowling sucks but their spin bowling and batting makes them winners.
The BCCI also has problems but, their team selection is fair, much better than the PCB, the PCB selection like, PMLN is restricted to only one province ~ Punjab. It may sound bitter to those who are from Punjab but, there is no shame in calling a spade, a spade. See how shamelessly and blatantly Ramiz Raja blabs about Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik? Shoaib Malik Who? Saniya Mirza’s husband? Yes, the same one. That is his biggest qualification to be in the Pakistan team.
Ramiz has not once talked about Fawad Alam’s inclusion in the team. Also, what I fail to understand that why Kamran Akmal was selected in this T20WC? If Umar Akmal can keep the wickets in ODIs, this is much shorter format where he could be used as a wicketkeeper and Sharjeel Khan could have been chosen as an opener. Also Fawad Alam could have been used in place of Shoaib Malik, he is a better batsman, better fielder and even a left arm off spinner, which we need in the team.
So, in conclusion if Shahid Afridi is made captain of the ODI and T2o team with immediate effect, he should groom the youngsters for the 2015 ODI World Cup. Otherwise, this team will not even qualify for the semifinals once again.
Once again, a request to Misbah, please step down in favour of young players, announce your retirement. Please retire gracefully rather than getting cursed and ridiculed and eventually exit with shame. Hafeez you too, you are not a T20 player. You should play only ODIs.