Politics October 10, 2006

The heat is on for Younis Khan

The last week has been a bizarre one for Pakistan cricket

Last week was climactic even for Pakistan.

We now have a board chairman (Nasim Ashraf—I'm humble enough to drop the title Dr, why isn't he?) who is a pal of General Musharaf. Anything else going for him?

We have a captain (Younis Khan) who behaved in the most inexplicable manner in resigning unceremoniously one minute and snatching the crown once Shaharyar Khan had gone—and don't be kidded by his supporters who suggest this was some kind of ingenious brinkmanship.

What Younis Khan did was dumb, dumb, dumb.

We have an ex-Asian Bradman and ex-team manager (Zaheer Abbas) blaming Inzamam for the Oval fiasco when I know the PCB hierarchy present did at the very least tacitly support the protest.

And we have a great county cricketer and one-time great international cricketer (Mushtaq Ahmed) dumped from being assistant coach because he is a pal of Inzamam's. The excuse that Mushy wasn't entirely cleared by Justice Qayyum is a red herring: Mushy's done the job before and if Qayyum didn't want him involved in Pakistan cricket he should have banned him like he did Salim Malik.

I can understand Mushy's anger. You don't hire somebody and then fire him before he's had a chance to show his worth. Is everyone that Inzy likes out, and everyone that Younis likes in? That's the kind of nonsense Pakistan cricket needs to get away from. This dramatic decision-making leads me to worry about Nasim Ashraf. I hope I'm wrong.

Younis Khan's ill-judged resignation leads me to worry about him too. And that's where I definitely hope I'm wrong—I've always thought he'd make a great captain. But all that he has achieved so far is put the heat on his captaincy in the Champions Trophy.

The question is will he fly or fry?

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on October 12, 2006, 23:08 GMT

    As from the top i read almost all comments the majority say that they like younis as captain so doo i but the point why he felt to take the desion to end as a dummy captian there must be some big problem with him and from the high profile mangement. but i think he is the best captian after the mind blowing and excllent middle order world second highest score Inzy. we know that both can play in the extreem downfall of the game . I read from much respected person in cricket commentroy i didnt recall his name he define younis as imran khan's caliber captain both khan.

  • testli5504537 on October 12, 2006, 22:02 GMT

    It's good to see ablog for Pakistan issues. Here are my few cents, I think the entire management should have been sacked and put on to trial in cout for not doing the right thing. What was every one doing in Oval watchng cricket but noone is aware of cricket laws. They all just sat their and created this mess, Let's start with Mr Sharyar Khan the worst person has abslute no credts to be the chief of PCB, just compare him to India and you will know what i am talking about. How come PCB did not file a complaint against hair and how come they are not appeling the verdict, if their is no ball tempring then that match should be deleted from the history books so that it does not show we lost the seires 3-0. Now coming back to Y.Khan issue well I agre and support him, if he is named as caption then he has the full right to pick is playing eleven, he should not be dictated, because at the end it's him who will be responsible for win or loss. I support him 100%, every time he has played his part as Capt he has done very well and over all think that he is a better capt than Inzi but no one beats Inzi in batting and he is our hero and legend and because of Inzi we have won so many matches. So let's talk about Y.Khan in ODI team , in the past his performance is not that great but in recent times he has improved and he deserves the perm spot in the ODI team, so who should be the Capt in Inzi's absence in ODI, I think Y.Khan has to focus on his bating performance than being a Capt if he proves that he can play well in ODI then may be in a year time he can be a Capt because if you afe a Capt you have a lot of pressure and in my eyes his first business is being a good ODI bats man, with that being said i think they should promote Razaq as Capt and since Vice Capt does not have much pressure than that can be M.Yousaf. The reason i say is that Razaq is always fit and good all around player and get's along well with every one and quite senior in the team and deserves to be a Capt in Inzi's absence.

  • testli5504537 on October 12, 2006, 22:01 GMT

    What Younis Khan did was totally unprofessional. Asif Iqbal was totally right when he said that Pakistani players don't know how to carry themselves publicly. If I could,I would just kick him out of the team to make a case. I for one was one the the biggest supporters of Khan but now I have lost all respect for him. Look at Australians and England. Ricky Ponting sits out in any match he wants but the others who captain the team in his place never say anything like this. The same is with the English. Younis Khan thinks its more of an honor to captain Yorkshire then his own country. If he had so much of a problem why did he all of a sudden reclaim the captaincy as soon as Shaharyar resigned. Just because Imran Khan and Nasser Husain think he would be a great captain doesn't mean you can do what you want to.And what about poor Mohammad Yousuf !!

  • testli5504537 on October 12, 2006, 19:34 GMT

    As Younis said,PAST IS PAST, so we all have to forget whatever in last two weeks and prayfor our team for on going champions tropy All agree Younis is capable and a man with a thinking head, unlike..... Younis is our future captain and will Inshallah will bring all the glories back to us, and one thing we all think on, why a senior player who is set as a captain who has to retire after world cup, why to take risk, as done in past. we have to do long terms planning and handover the team to Younis and let him lead the team like Imran (our Legend) did

  • testli5504537 on October 12, 2006, 18:37 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, I don't agree with your comments. I understand whatever Younis Khan was not right but You and I are not his mind or heart and we still don't know the EXACT reason which lead to this whole drama.

    Also I would like to know how much cricket playing background you yourself have? Do you still play cricket or just like to criticize? Do you have cricket record on Cricinfo? Were you present with Younis Khan at the time of the event? Always remember that awards are only given to those who perform on the ground, not to the ones who criticise. As a Pakistani just pray and support your team.

  • testli5504537 on October 12, 2006, 15:06 GMT

    Well, what I can say is that it just represents the stability we have in our country. PCB is just a piece of it. Mr. Younis should well be aware about the definitaion of DUMMY. I sometimes wonder how on earth PCB is running which has had 24 chief exectuvies till now, the number is a bit more than number of PMs to date in Pakistan. Enjoy till it lasts my friend (I mean Younis Shall be happy that he still is a part of team after such a childish act), it wont last for ever. I dont think that we lack in the spirit, brains etc what we lack in is the sense of responsibility, the attitude towards that sense, honesty, decipline, self-respect etc. In Punjabi we say "DANG TAPAO", in Spanish the best expression is MANIANA (will do it tomorrow). TIll we have have this "DANG TAPAO"or "MANIANA" policy on an indiviadual and national level, be more than happy and thankful that we still have a running country and a cricket team which has the 1992 world championship title under her belt. cheers

  • testli5504537 on October 12, 2006, 10:46 GMT

    The captaining controversy has again opened a new chapter. I personally feel Younis is the best option to lead the team after the big man(Inzi). After all it was Inzi to show us a ray of hope and in the past he was one of the major reason for triumph tale. The way things has gone in the past few weeks are really very disturbing for any Pakistani fan. It was to the hilt unprofessional on the part of Younis Khan to quit captaincy that way. I still would like to see the cricket board interfere and find out the real cause. And also Younis should be penalised for it. For to ensure it must not happen in the future. It is not a mere past but will certainly affect the future of any captain or be it him. Secondly, the board should be agile and wonder why the board is so incapable in doing away with the politics in the team. The big names must not become an element of bully in the team. The captain should be empowered in the disposal of his duties. It is not one or two stars that matters, it is the group of eleven that brings glory. The board should be bold enough to drop any such character from the team. Also the selection committee must enlarge the horizon of lot for selection of tournament and should be in consultance with the captain for taking certain step. Not necessarily his opinion be accepted but atleast to know of the future happenings. And lastly I wish the team a best of luck and hope there will be no such drama again.

  • testli5504537 on October 12, 2006, 9:38 GMT

    I fully support Younus Khan as captain of pakistan. Although I agree that what he did was wrong but then let us also consider what are the alternatives as far as cricket captaincy is concerned. Inzi I am afraid needs to go back to school while M.Yousuf can go join a madrassa.

    What we dont need in Pakistan Cricket are distractions and this is exactly what the above gents end up bringing.

  • testli5504537 on October 12, 2006, 9:38 GMT

    I had a high esteem for YK. He's a good cricketer, a tough fighter, and seems to be an affable fellow (at least, as it appears on TV), always smiling and sportive. Now, for me, he's under the microscope. I'm not going to conclude anything yet because he has not said why he did what he did. It's like a conflict between a couple - who knows what problems they have in the privacy of the bedroom?

    Having said that, I personally don't think it's fair to say extreme things about him. Particularly given our cultural background and the way we behave and handle ourselves as organizations. Of course, I'm talking exclusively about the sub-continentals. [I'm not saying Anglo-Saxons or others do not exhibit irrational or unprofessional behaviors in organizations but their institutions don't fall down or processes don't get broken or people don't lose reputations and lives like it happens in South Asia]. Whether we call our polities "democracies" or "dictatorships" or "feudal" or whatever, the underlying lack of RATIONALISM is lacking. Somehow, that fundamental element of Organization is missing from our communities, towns, societies, schools, parties, and yes, nations. It just passed us by. [Hence, there is scope for feudals and fanatics and mullahs and swamis and such assorted deviants to ruin our communities and relations between them. Oftentimes, they wear politicians' hats]. Anyway, given such background, is it fair to blame YK entirely. Let's see what he does on the field. He's a sportsman and an entertainer and I hope that we give him a fair chance.

    One last word: when will we stop depending on politicians and bureaucrats to run our cricket? Haven't they destroyed hockey enough? Will we ever learn?! It's easy to mouth off on an individual sportsman but we'll tuck our tails when we face a Shahryar or Musharraf or Pawar or Jaitley or Dalmiya....? Bring that bunch down, I say!

  • testli5504537 on October 12, 2006, 9:27 GMT

    In Rubiyaat of Omar Khayyam, I recall a couple of lines....."The moving finger writes, and after having writ, moves on".

    The concensensus of opinion seems to be , YK was silly, foolish and all expletives in the book. We do not know what the real reasons were for him to act in the manner he did. If it was team selection, or in particular the inclusion of a player, who despite many chances, has yet to deliver at the highest level, then his actions may well be justified. We are responsible for our actions, and can usually justify them, given a set of circumstances.

    YK actions does raise a fundamental question. If the captain is not a part of the team selection process, then is there a need to have the captain as part of the selection committee? It would be akin to saying to a General that today your mode of transportation is a donkey cart, and not a Jeep!, and if he does not get to the destination, then all blame is on his leadership and or driving skills!!

    We unfortunately have developed a blame culture, in every walk of life. Instead of repairing the foundations or strengthening them, we go about papering the cracks. For a while everything looks in good shape, then the cracks reappear.

    What is needed is a few SELFLESS individuals who can put the needs of the game over and above their needs to move us into an era, where the management and the players can work together to create an atmosphere where we can get an opportunity to marvell at the finer points of individual skills of our cricketers, and talk about performances for years to come.

    Every one is liable to make a mistake or two, as we are only human. What we have to appriciate, is that a classy cover drive, is a result of many hours of graft off the field. Players put in a lot of effort to create the spectacle for us, and i believe that it is our duty to support them in every way we can. SO that they can continue to provide us with the entertainment, without which we will be so poorer.

    Dr. Rashid Ali

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