Team sheet November 8, 2006

Where are the new hopes of Pakistan cricket, Mr Bari?

Like water torture he keeps drip dripping away
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Like water torture he keeps drip dripping away. Wasim Bari--once Pakistan's overrated wicketkeeper and now an even more overrated chairman of selectors--has managed to see off more administrators and cricketers than can be good for Pakistan cricket. Bari, Pakistan's Teflon, once drew his inspiration from his friend and writer Omar Kurieshi. You wonder where he seeks ideas now? You can't imagine that his fellow selectors, including the legendary Ehteshamuddin, the Test cricket misfit who was barely able to stagger off the pitch at Headingley, offer much in the way of piercing insights. If people are paid what they are worth then it's possibly understandable that Pakistan's selectors remain unpaid.

The problem with being in post for too long is that people can predict your patterns of behaviour. Bari, we know pretty well, has a penchant for recalling once-great-hopes and sticking with other once-great-hopes well past their sell-by date. What many have feared in Bari is that he has a natural reluctance to take a risk, an inability to see beyond the obvious selection and pluck a star from relative obscurity.

The educated gambles that have brought Pakistan cricket the riches of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Inzamam-ul Haq have all but disappeared. You might make an argument that these educated gambles should not supersede the aspirants who have emerged successfully through the system. But the Pakistan system of developing international cricketers is so haphazard and unreliable that an educated gamble might well be as good as observing somebody's stunning run in domestic cricket. But to make an educated gamble succeed you require sound judgement.

To begin to gamble you need to begin to take risks, and Bari doesn't strike me as a man who risks much. The most recent influx of new blood into the Pakistan team--Mohammad Asif apart--came during Aamir Sohail's tenure as chairman of selectors. Aamir had his own failings but an aversion to risk taking was not among them.

This West Indies series, for instance, must have been worth an educated gamble? With Pakistan's batting in urgent need of a future star it beggars belief that Shahid Yousuf was not given the opportunity of a home debut. By all accounts, he has the potential to make it in international cricket and, whisper it quietly, he plays straight. This series would seem to be an ideal launch pad.

This is not to dismiss Yasir Hameed's selection, one of the many lost talents of the Bari era. Indeed, Yasir's opportunity offers hope to aspiring cricketers in Pakistan's remote northern villages where there is abundant talent but pitiful opportunity to display it--his village is a few kilometres beyond my family village of Bakote. You might imagine that the selectors could have found room for both Yasir and Shahid?

Add to this the feeble, venom-free, bowling line up that Pakistan have conjured up--the last time I saw Samiullah Niazi in action he was failing to take part in a net session for no good reason--and you can understand why Brian Lara is licking his lips and Pakistan supporters are underwhelmed with anticipation for the forthcoming series.

After a catalogue of disasters and unending misery, Pakistan cricket required some new hopes, instead Bari and co delivered the same old water torture, the same old bankruptcy of ideas.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Khurram Saeed-AUS on November 15, 2006, 19:23 GMT

    THIS IS FOR TEST & ODI 1. Fast bowlers do not need to be really fast. Eg. Mcgrath-Consistency is needed. B.Lee- He was really fast, but was going for too many runs/not many wickets, he was eventually dropped, but he came back with less speed more control- result, automatic selection/wickets- Good yorkers to tailenders. Which current Paki bowler does this? No one (maybe Akhtar, but forget him now) 2. Pak needs to look bowlers not batsmen at this moment, Asif/Akhtar are out(BOWLERS) 3.Pak fans do not support their player unless they are legends eg.Imran Khan, Waseem Akram, Inzi. Let them play for 5-6 test matches/ODI's before dropping them. 4. Pak has 2 allrounders that can bowl spin (Malik/Hafeez), Pak can not lose Razzaq from medium pace allround. Pak needs good medium pace allround, like damp Symonds/Clarke for Watson, think for yourself. 5.Give the current test team a chance in South Africa and West Indies before making a change. The replacement players should be selected purely from domestic matches, Asim Kamal did his bit, so did Widjahatullah Wasti, Yasir Hameed, Butt etc. But put some runs in the domestic competitions to be able to be considered for recall. EG Hussey, Clarke, Watson, Lee, Hayden, Martyn, all have been dropped from the national side and they worked hard in domestic competitions. See this for help. I suggest you bookmark it. http://aus.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2006-07/PAK_LOCAL/

  • mawali on November 15, 2006, 1:26 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, while I agree with almost everythinh you say (no patronizing here) however, I applaud the man for including Shahid Nazir; great move. Now, I will be very impressed the day he drops the bloated, dumb as an ass maulvi Inzy as a capitaan.

  • Umair Javed on November 14, 2006, 18:08 GMT

    I disagree with the bits and pieces to this extent that the 1999 world cup can not be attributed to those so called bits and pieces. The modern one day game calls for bits and pieces and im afraid that is how it is supposed to be played. It is the test arena where pakistan lack the real depth. Apart from a couple of fast bowlers they have nothing to boast but the batting cannot be put to blame since it is on paper one of the better line ups over the last few years. My only concern is with lack of genuinely fast bowlers coming through the system. Where once we could boast three bowlers at least who could bowl above 85 we now only have one i.e. Umar Gul and that too if hes in good rythym.

  • Shehryar on November 14, 2006, 7:32 GMT

    I agree with comments re. Yasir Hameed and Imran Nazir. Yasir was emerging as one of the best talents against pace bowling in years and for some inexplicable reason he was dropped? I saw him play a number of good innings against quality pace bowling (example: on a seaming Pindi track against England in an ODI late last year), while his colleagues failed around him. Imran Nazir has come back into form and deserves another chance in the ODI's version of the game. I also believe with Woolmer and Inzimam our strategy is too negative and defensive. We are not learning from our past mistakes and time and again we are opting for "bits and pieces" players like Razzaq, Afridi, Malik when we really need more specialist batsmen and bowlers in both forms of the game. Two recent examples come to mind when our lack of a solid back up bowler cost us heavily - during the Champions Trophy we allowed South Africa to reach a decent winning total after they were 40 for 6 odd at one stage. Again, in the recent test against the Windies we had them 4 down for 40 odd and again allowed them to recover after our first string bowling attack came off. Both Malik and Razzaq failed to get any wickets. This problem goes back to the 1999 and 2003 world cups when we packed our sides with "bits and pieces" players and lost heavily in two crucial games to Australia. They say that insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. When will this "madness" end? We need to change our strategy before the world cup and start giving solid specialist players a chance rather than persisting with the "tried and tested, Over the hill" "bits and pieces" players like Afridi and Razzaq. I hope Woolmer and Co. are listening?

  • ali on November 13, 2006, 22:52 GMT

    i dont think its abt finding great players or great talents. wasim akram and waqar younis were great bowlers but both struggled against the best australia. we need to make the best team not the most talented team. the characteristics of the player shud be smart, mentally strong, and then talented. ex. imran farhat immense talent, no brains no mental strength hence he struggles. same with afridi. mohd yousuf, immense talent, strength and smartness. same with inzamam. shoaib malik is a an example of a cricketer i wud want on my team. good smart cricketer, mentally strong and talented. i think pakistan shud start exposing some players when the oppurtunity arises. playing abdul rehman in test 2 if we win test 1. stop playing all rounders like razzaq in tests. i know what razzaq will give. some hitting on a dead track and bowling that allows the batsman to get set. id rather see niazi, or faisal iqbal play.

  • Imran Ahmed on November 13, 2006, 14:13 GMT

    Amazing how one of Pakistan's best wicketkeepers and a man who has served Pakistan Cricket for so long is being maligned for the current state of Pakistan cricket. To call him over-rated is an insult.

    Mr. Abbasi conveniently forgets that Bari's long tenure as a wicketkeeper was the glue that held the side together as players like Imran Khan matured and made Pakistan on of the best teams in the world. His contemporaries were Marsh, Knott, Engineer, Kirmani, Jarman to name a few and his record stands up to the best of his time. One cannot expect a wicketkeeper to take catches that don't come his way. Marsh stands out but he had Lillee as his partner in crime and it is doubtful if the ct. marsh b. Lillee stat will ever be beaten.

    The truth is when idiots like the President of Pakistan start meddling in sports matters you know the nation is doomed!

  • juman ali on November 13, 2006, 12:16 GMT

    kamran abbasi type of whingers are the cancer of our cricket. they shoot their mouth off and sit on their brains! i know bari sahib personally and can confirm that pakistan cricket needs people like him desperately. had it not been for bari sahib, people like kamran abbasi would've destroyed PCB by now! by the way, kamran, a team is one that works together. that's one thing pakistan have never achieved except under the leadership of imran khan. we need a dictator to run the show...but we need bari sahib to be the cohesive bond that holds all together.

  • Owais2010 on November 13, 2006, 6:40 GMT

    It really hurts when people on this thread say that Wasim Bari was at best a mediocre cricketer. To me and to a lot of experts, he was the BEST wicket keeper we have ever had. His only mediocrity was his weak batting, but at that time overall standard of batting amongst wicket keepers was not as high as it is today. I have already mentioned the problems of selectors in my earlier comment. I believe the main culprit is our outrageously ineffective first class setup. Potentially we could have a setup that would result in matches that are able to attract thousands of fans in the statiums. This is not happeneing clearly pointing at the failure of the system. WE should learn from Australian and English first class system.

    I do agree with Umair, that we should pay attention to three very good bowlers in our under-19 team that ripped through Indian under-19 batting line up (before the three are victims of our pathetic first class set up).

  • Omar Qasim on November 13, 2006, 2:41 GMT

    Perhaps Mr Abbasi you should apply for the position of Selector yourself. After all it is such intellectually driven and stimulating personalities like yourself that need to be running the affairs of selection in the cricket board. From what i can read about you in your brief introduction given on this website you seem quite content with criticizing the board based on your past exploits. Oh may i quote, 'thrashing Michael Atherton for three successive boundaries, and bowling former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sahrif with an unplayable off-cutter' . Regardless of your opinion which may indeed hold substance, i dont think it deserves much attention or respect based on your regular rumbling articles on cricinfo and dawn. I suggest you should continue to write while you can and considering publishing a novel on your 'armchair' methods of critique. Oh and ofcourse, you do get PAID for it!

  • FAISAL RAFIQUE on November 12, 2006, 22:51 GMT

    Its unbelievable that PCB's chief selector is a full time paid employee of an airline and just performs selection duties for fun. Well he doesn't take any money from PCB but then again didn't we hear the quote "You get what you pay for" and thats what we are getting. Selector is supposed to watch all domestic games and look for young talent all the time... How Mr. Bari defends himself in PCB review meetings... He doesn't have any clone , does he ?

  • Khurram Saeed-AUS on November 15, 2006, 19:23 GMT

    THIS IS FOR TEST & ODI 1. Fast bowlers do not need to be really fast. Eg. Mcgrath-Consistency is needed. B.Lee- He was really fast, but was going for too many runs/not many wickets, he was eventually dropped, but he came back with less speed more control- result, automatic selection/wickets- Good yorkers to tailenders. Which current Paki bowler does this? No one (maybe Akhtar, but forget him now) 2. Pak needs to look bowlers not batsmen at this moment, Asif/Akhtar are out(BOWLERS) 3.Pak fans do not support their player unless they are legends eg.Imran Khan, Waseem Akram, Inzi. Let them play for 5-6 test matches/ODI's before dropping them. 4. Pak has 2 allrounders that can bowl spin (Malik/Hafeez), Pak can not lose Razzaq from medium pace allround. Pak needs good medium pace allround, like damp Symonds/Clarke for Watson, think for yourself. 5.Give the current test team a chance in South Africa and West Indies before making a change. The replacement players should be selected purely from domestic matches, Asim Kamal did his bit, so did Widjahatullah Wasti, Yasir Hameed, Butt etc. But put some runs in the domestic competitions to be able to be considered for recall. EG Hussey, Clarke, Watson, Lee, Hayden, Martyn, all have been dropped from the national side and they worked hard in domestic competitions. See this for help. I suggest you bookmark it. http://aus.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2006-07/PAK_LOCAL/

  • mawali on November 15, 2006, 1:26 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, while I agree with almost everythinh you say (no patronizing here) however, I applaud the man for including Shahid Nazir; great move. Now, I will be very impressed the day he drops the bloated, dumb as an ass maulvi Inzy as a capitaan.

  • Umair Javed on November 14, 2006, 18:08 GMT

    I disagree with the bits and pieces to this extent that the 1999 world cup can not be attributed to those so called bits and pieces. The modern one day game calls for bits and pieces and im afraid that is how it is supposed to be played. It is the test arena where pakistan lack the real depth. Apart from a couple of fast bowlers they have nothing to boast but the batting cannot be put to blame since it is on paper one of the better line ups over the last few years. My only concern is with lack of genuinely fast bowlers coming through the system. Where once we could boast three bowlers at least who could bowl above 85 we now only have one i.e. Umar Gul and that too if hes in good rythym.

  • Shehryar on November 14, 2006, 7:32 GMT

    I agree with comments re. Yasir Hameed and Imran Nazir. Yasir was emerging as one of the best talents against pace bowling in years and for some inexplicable reason he was dropped? I saw him play a number of good innings against quality pace bowling (example: on a seaming Pindi track against England in an ODI late last year), while his colleagues failed around him. Imran Nazir has come back into form and deserves another chance in the ODI's version of the game. I also believe with Woolmer and Inzimam our strategy is too negative and defensive. We are not learning from our past mistakes and time and again we are opting for "bits and pieces" players like Razzaq, Afridi, Malik when we really need more specialist batsmen and bowlers in both forms of the game. Two recent examples come to mind when our lack of a solid back up bowler cost us heavily - during the Champions Trophy we allowed South Africa to reach a decent winning total after they were 40 for 6 odd at one stage. Again, in the recent test against the Windies we had them 4 down for 40 odd and again allowed them to recover after our first string bowling attack came off. Both Malik and Razzaq failed to get any wickets. This problem goes back to the 1999 and 2003 world cups when we packed our sides with "bits and pieces" players and lost heavily in two crucial games to Australia. They say that insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. When will this "madness" end? We need to change our strategy before the world cup and start giving solid specialist players a chance rather than persisting with the "tried and tested, Over the hill" "bits and pieces" players like Afridi and Razzaq. I hope Woolmer and Co. are listening?

  • ali on November 13, 2006, 22:52 GMT

    i dont think its abt finding great players or great talents. wasim akram and waqar younis were great bowlers but both struggled against the best australia. we need to make the best team not the most talented team. the characteristics of the player shud be smart, mentally strong, and then talented. ex. imran farhat immense talent, no brains no mental strength hence he struggles. same with afridi. mohd yousuf, immense talent, strength and smartness. same with inzamam. shoaib malik is a an example of a cricketer i wud want on my team. good smart cricketer, mentally strong and talented. i think pakistan shud start exposing some players when the oppurtunity arises. playing abdul rehman in test 2 if we win test 1. stop playing all rounders like razzaq in tests. i know what razzaq will give. some hitting on a dead track and bowling that allows the batsman to get set. id rather see niazi, or faisal iqbal play.

  • Imran Ahmed on November 13, 2006, 14:13 GMT

    Amazing how one of Pakistan's best wicketkeepers and a man who has served Pakistan Cricket for so long is being maligned for the current state of Pakistan cricket. To call him over-rated is an insult.

    Mr. Abbasi conveniently forgets that Bari's long tenure as a wicketkeeper was the glue that held the side together as players like Imran Khan matured and made Pakistan on of the best teams in the world. His contemporaries were Marsh, Knott, Engineer, Kirmani, Jarman to name a few and his record stands up to the best of his time. One cannot expect a wicketkeeper to take catches that don't come his way. Marsh stands out but he had Lillee as his partner in crime and it is doubtful if the ct. marsh b. Lillee stat will ever be beaten.

    The truth is when idiots like the President of Pakistan start meddling in sports matters you know the nation is doomed!

  • juman ali on November 13, 2006, 12:16 GMT

    kamran abbasi type of whingers are the cancer of our cricket. they shoot their mouth off and sit on their brains! i know bari sahib personally and can confirm that pakistan cricket needs people like him desperately. had it not been for bari sahib, people like kamran abbasi would've destroyed PCB by now! by the way, kamran, a team is one that works together. that's one thing pakistan have never achieved except under the leadership of imran khan. we need a dictator to run the show...but we need bari sahib to be the cohesive bond that holds all together.

  • Owais2010 on November 13, 2006, 6:40 GMT

    It really hurts when people on this thread say that Wasim Bari was at best a mediocre cricketer. To me and to a lot of experts, he was the BEST wicket keeper we have ever had. His only mediocrity was his weak batting, but at that time overall standard of batting amongst wicket keepers was not as high as it is today. I have already mentioned the problems of selectors in my earlier comment. I believe the main culprit is our outrageously ineffective first class setup. Potentially we could have a setup that would result in matches that are able to attract thousands of fans in the statiums. This is not happeneing clearly pointing at the failure of the system. WE should learn from Australian and English first class system.

    I do agree with Umair, that we should pay attention to three very good bowlers in our under-19 team that ripped through Indian under-19 batting line up (before the three are victims of our pathetic first class set up).

  • Omar Qasim on November 13, 2006, 2:41 GMT

    Perhaps Mr Abbasi you should apply for the position of Selector yourself. After all it is such intellectually driven and stimulating personalities like yourself that need to be running the affairs of selection in the cricket board. From what i can read about you in your brief introduction given on this website you seem quite content with criticizing the board based on your past exploits. Oh may i quote, 'thrashing Michael Atherton for three successive boundaries, and bowling former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sahrif with an unplayable off-cutter' . Regardless of your opinion which may indeed hold substance, i dont think it deserves much attention or respect based on your regular rumbling articles on cricinfo and dawn. I suggest you should continue to write while you can and considering publishing a novel on your 'armchair' methods of critique. Oh and ofcourse, you do get PAID for it!

  • FAISAL RAFIQUE on November 12, 2006, 22:51 GMT

    Its unbelievable that PCB's chief selector is a full time paid employee of an airline and just performs selection duties for fun. Well he doesn't take any money from PCB but then again didn't we hear the quote "You get what you pay for" and thats what we are getting. Selector is supposed to watch all domestic games and look for young talent all the time... How Mr. Bari defends himself in PCB review meetings... He doesn't have any clone , does he ?

  • Jagodir-Spin on November 12, 2006, 19:00 GMT

    Wasim was always a mediocre cricketeer - he did have some good behind-the-stumps skill, but that was the extent of it. It seems the nation is blighted with mediocrity at every level of management - so why not Bari at the helm? Maybe he could write a book too...

  • Umair Javed on November 12, 2006, 18:14 GMT

    We could do well without people like Wasim Bari or Aamer Sohail at the helm of Pakistan Cricket selection, however i'd like to ask the board to give a chance to the two under-19 bowlers who ripped india apart in the final of the under=19 world cup...Surely this is the best time for someone like them to step up.

  • Aditya on November 12, 2006, 16:08 GMT

    A lot of times I've heard this "Pakistan need more stars" argument. The same argument is sometimes made in India after the departure of Saurav Ganguly, but sometimes it just doesn't make sense. Sure, you need some talent in the team, but to win games you need much more than talent. You need a proper team spirit and individual work ethic. If that doesn't change, then having more stars will only reinforce the age-old problem in Pakistan cricket...that of huge player egos.

  • Waqar Ahmad on November 12, 2006, 14:04 GMT

    you hit the nail on the head Mr. Abbasi. I dint think pakistan has ever had intelligent selectors. Imran found the talented players himself and didnt rely on the selectors. inzi, akram and waqar younis are the main examples. With Bari at the helm of selections, messing everything up, inzi and the the team management dont have the talent spotting abilities of Irman Khan. None of the selectors merit the positions which they enjoy. After the banning of Asif and Akhtar, we are seeing medium pace trundlers like niazi in the team. what are these guys going to do on dead docile pitches? THey dont have the pace of Shoaib Akhtar or the movement and control of Asif. Lara and Gayle will be licking their lips.

    We need new selectors who can spot new talent, and not waste players like imran nazir. And you are right in syaing that Aamir Sohail, whaever his prblems were, was not afraid of taking risks. we need someone like him at the helm of selection

  • Owais2010 on November 12, 2006, 13:02 GMT

    I dont know why everyone is after Pakistani selectors. Okay opening has been an issue, but you cant blame the selectors for having dropped Taufeeq Omer and Salman Butt. Both have been tried over and over again and have failed with their bad technique outside off stump. Imran Farhat probably deserves the same fate but again I commend the selectors that they are persevering with him to silence critics like Javed Miandand & Aamir Sohail, and many others on this thread, who say that a player (read opener) should be given ample opportunities. As for Yasir Hameed, I agree he deserves a chance sometime within next year or so, but either you go for continuity or you go chopping after every two or three failures. We should try to understand the dilemma of being a selector. Even on this thread we have so many opinions. I think selectors have been doing a good job, by and large. Butt, Omer, Faisal, Kamal, Bazid, Yasir, all should have their turns but only when existing players are given enough opportunities. Yair Hameed & Asim Kamal definitely need to be given a go ahead provided the existing players fail. In the one day side, Mr. Boom Boom Afridi HAS been given ample opportunities, and he should be dropped as we already have three performing all rounders, Razzaq, Malik & Hafeez. We can only have so many numbers of bits and pieces cricketers. Afridi needs to take a rest, interestingly last year and a half, he has had more success in five day format.

  • azf on November 12, 2006, 12:42 GMT

    Implying that Bari lacks imagination in his role as a selector --- maybe.... Saying that he was an overrated wicket keeper --- totally untrue. Of all the wicket keepers Pakistan has produced, perhaps only Rashid Latif can match his stats and his skills as a keeper. If Bari is overrated, then applying the same standards, I wonder how Akmal would perform as a selector 20 years from now!

  • rahil on November 11, 2006, 18:32 GMT

    hi kamran! i dont understand why pakistan have left out yasir yasir hameed for over a year just becoz he was out fishing at whide deliveries. and also salman butt. they are the best openers for pakistan. mohamd hafeez has bowled well but his batting average in over 35 matches is just 18! i think pakistan shold find the right opener before the world cup. we have a very strong middle order with younis yousuf and inzi and malik batting at 6. i dont understand the reason behind dropping afridi. look at his batting average he is a better test batsman than a one day player.

  • Ghalib Taimur on November 11, 2006, 17:01 GMT

    Yes Kamran i definitely agree with you.This series was one where Pakistan could afford to experiment a little and perhaps bring some new blood into the team.There is plenty of talent in Pakistan but the selctors must be professionals and the only way to do that is to get paid selectors.

    In Pakistan players are selected on basis of statistics.This does not always go down well as many batsmen have come and gone who have had flawed techniques as they have struggled in bowler friendly conditions.

    Mr. Bari must also start concentrating on bringing in a pace bowler who can bowl at 90mph.Almost every good team in the world has atleast one.We have plenty of medium pacers so that is not an issue.Some quicks who come to mind are: 1AbdulRauf:Well built,tall,pacy with action similar to Freddie Flintoff. 2Mohd Irshad:Known to be quick but also known to be very poor controlling line and length. 3.Anwar Ali Khan:U19 player who bowled superbly in u19 world cup.Striking thing was ability to get extreme movement off the pitch. There are couple others but these guys have been the most well-known around the domestic circuit.

    Talking of Shahid Yousuf..yes he looks a good prospect but i would prefer trying him out in a one dayer because Faisal Iqbal has already stepped upto the plate and I would want to remain consistent with him.However we need someone who can step into Inzys boots in ODIs and he could be the man.

    Again there are also lots of batsmen in the arena who could be in the team.They are Asim Kamal,Hasan Raza,Misbah-ul-Haq,Naveed Latif,Imran Nazir,Salman Butt and the list can go on forever.The important thing is that when one of these players are given the oppurtunity that they fire and become consistent.

    On an ending note I would like to make a suggestion to Bob woolmer and Mr.Bari.In the opening position how about trying Asim Kamal.He has a good technique and might be the right person to cope with the moving ball.

  • Kamran Hashmi on November 11, 2006, 13:25 GMT

    I wonder why our cricket authority ignore the performances of people and mix the ODI and Tests analysis of players. I am a staunch fan of Shoaib Malik because he is the only sensible player after Inzi and Yousaf in our team. Just because of his batting in England where he could not bat well in three innings, voices mainly from his opposers against his status in the team. I want to point out that its not the swinging conditions that people comment that he can not play the swinging ball. Just to shut the mouth of these people I request them to recall a tri-series a couple of years ago in SriLanka's Dambulla ground where the overcast conditions and grassy pitch has made the batting difficult and it turned out to be a low scoring series. In that series Pakistan Lost to Newzealand but the positive thing for Pakistan was Malik's batting. He managed a couple of fifties and emerged as Man of the series. Furthermore Shoaib Malik also scored a century against Licestershire in their first practice match in the England Series. His batting technique should not be blamed for his failure in England in the onedayers. Secondly they were just a few one day matches that are not sufficient to discard one's ability to bat. In the last test match he played, as opener, he scored a magnificent battling century against Srilanka and Muralidaran to save the Match. He did what many big players around the world could not do in SriLanka where Murali is deadly dangerous. I want to make a point that Malik should be played as opener in Tests. He can be a long term answer to our Opening problems.

    Secondly I just managed to watch the highlights of the Under19 World Cup Final where Pakistan beat India and I was really impressed by the bowling of our youngsters. I think there is so much hope for the future of Pakistan's fast bowling. Especially the young left armer Jamshed Ahmed, I saw Wasim Akram's style in him especially when he bowled Shukla with a ball that even Wasim Akram would be proud of. Why dont the PCB do something to train him under the great Wasim Akram so that he can be groomed. The other seamers Anwer and Akhtar, they both are also fine. I think we should make a long term plan and train these youngsters for the international senior team assignment.

  • Ali Altaf on November 11, 2006, 13:12 GMT

    Hi Kamran,

    I agree with your comments regarding Bari...but before expecting anyone to pick greats like inzi, wasim and waqar u need to have an eye for a talent. This ability was abundant in Imran Khan thanks to him we have these stars with us.I was listening to him the other day and he told that he had scouts sent all over the country to detect new talent and to tell him who's who in domestic cricket. And one day one of his scouts came told him about Inzi...Inzi at that time had an average record and was not even looked upon by the selectors as a real chance ..so Imran said i went to see Inzi play and immediately spoted his talent and told him that you r in for the world cup.At that point of time he had a lot of resistance from the selectors who told him that you are wastin your time with this blok he ain't good enough.

    Now we all know how good enough Inzi is.So PCB better find someone who has an eye for talent and is also willing to take the risk.

  • Feroz on November 11, 2006, 12:53 GMT

    Some thing should be done about the PCB selection process, you cannot just ignore the young raw talent and let them get wasted like this, Anwar Ali should have been given a chance atleast now, just have a look at from where Irfan Pathan & Munaf Patel came they were selected from under 19 team and performed well. So PCB should give chance to younger generation now lets move ahead...

  • Shahbaz Faheem on November 11, 2006, 9:04 GMT

    Bringing Imran Khan at the helm of selection committee is the only solution for Pakistan Cricket. Don't look anywhere else.

  • Humayun Mirza on November 11, 2006, 8:36 GMT

    I think your comments on Wasim Bari's selection policies are on the spot. But I think you have gotten carried away when you term Bari as being an overrated keeper. I have had the opportunity of witnessing Bari, Marsh, Knott, Taylor, Kirmani, Murray and others of that era first hand and let me assure you that Bari was certainly among the top two keepers amongst his extremely illustrious colleagues. In fact the contrast between Bari and other contestants for the spot (Taslim Arif, Masood Iqbal Shahid Israr) was almost rude. I do not ever recall Bari dropping a catch, something that seems fairly routine now ( It is entirely possible that I may have failed to recall an occassion or two but it would have been considered an anomaly). This was precisely the reason he was persisted with despite his batting weakness. Similarly that does not change the fact that Bari was never considered an aggressive or innovative captain and therefore cannot be expected to act out of his skin while a selector. To have an innovative, bold and imaginative selector you will have to look beyond Wasim Bari, who can only be expected to do the mundane and obvious, albiet sincerely, but I request you to be fair in your assessment when speaking of his wicketkeeping capabilities and keep the two issues apart.

  • Anees on November 11, 2006, 7:53 GMT

    I think its more to do with the Grooming the talent rather then finding it, as u all know pakistan has won the 2 under 19 world cups out of last three so the talent is there but its not groomed properly.

  • AYAZ KHAN on November 11, 2006, 3:54 GMT

    Non-professional selectors can do only this much and not more. We have to have paid selectors, dedicated to the job and accountable. Some people like Imran Khan has the knack of picking up talent and we must take advantage of it. Imran Khan or Rameez Raja can do a better job. We have to back Hassan Raza ( who in my opinion will carry Pakistans batting for years to come) and Shahid Yousaf and maybe give another chance to Misbahuddin and bring back Imran Nazir if not for the tests than at least for the ODIs.

  • Jibran Baig on November 11, 2006, 3:31 GMT

    Absolutely right! all the bowlers, Rana, Gul, Shabir Ahmed were given chances under Aamir Sohail, not Bari. His selection methods totally eludes me, at first he drop Asim Kamal for no showing of bad form in international cricket and they persist with Imran Farhat who sparks once and than fires blanks in the 10 matches. Than he consequently avoids to try bowlers like Najaf Shah, Abdur Rauf, and Wasim Khan even in A team matches. And should I say any thing about the under 19 disasters we recently had due to his fellow selector Iqbal Qasim's stupidity. You said it right that they are unpaid because they don't deserve to be paid.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 10, 2006, 22:57 GMT

    Kamran and his insight on this particular issue, symbolize my trepidations; When and where will our next major matchwinner come from? As things stand today, with the exception of Inzimam, I don't think any player in the current Pakistan team is capable of winning a game, in difficult and trying circumstances, on his own! As for Danish Kaneria, I agree with Kamran when he says "he is yet to fly". Kaneria may have bowled his heart out in previous encounters against the English at home and against the Indians in the famous Bangalore game. However, he still needs to do ALOT more to be even compared to the likes of Mushtaq and Abdul Qadir. As for Bari and his capricious selection policies, the less said the better. As far as I can remember, he has been on the selection committe for ages and has been a major failure as far as identifying and trying new talent is concerned. I agree with Kamran in giving Shahid Yousuf a chance at home, especially when one analyzes our brittle batting line up in bowler friendly conditions.

  • Mustafa Moiz on November 9, 2006, 17:23 GMT

    I don't think the selectors have done much wrong besides continuing with Farhat and dropping Hameed, Butt and Nazir. Farhat, in his last two matches, got out to the exact same cut shot high in the air. Mohammad Sami being dropped immediately after his performance in the third Test match against England made no sense nor did Faisal Iqbal's selection. These and not having used left-handers like Samiullah Niazi and Mohammad Khalil(only played against Asutralia and India)are their mistakes. The others have been fine. There is no professional replacement for Kamran Akmal but Younis Khan has been a wicket-keeper before for Pakistan and that leaves open another spot in the team.

  • ashaq on November 9, 2006, 17:15 GMT

    I think there are several main problems with selection.The selectors either persist with a player even though he is out of form e.g. Afridi, Akmal.The second problem being the player has one bad series is dropped brought back dropped again resulting in the player completely losing confidence and being unable too fulfil his potential we have had this problem with openers over the last few years in particular Wahjatullah Wasti Saleem Elahi, Imran nazir, Toufik Umer, yasir hameed e.t.c. Have all had there careers seriously damaged by kneejerk selection policy.Also at the same time players like Mushtaq Ahmed, Azhar Mahmood, Moin khan Have become outcasts for political reasons although they still happen too be world class.Off course there is also unwillingness too enforce discipline and playboy behaviour by the likes off Shoaib Akhtar actively Encouraged.Offcorse the players personal life is their own business but one has a right too expect Professionalism when they are in the squad and due too play a match the following day, they should not be in nightclubs.Indeed here in the u.k. such behaviour is not tolerated.Finally I think the selectors should have rested abdul razzaq for the test series and given an oppurtunity too yasir arafat.You cannot judge the player by just one match.We already know what Razzaq is capable off.This was an ideal time too find out what Arafat has too offer.

  • Raza on November 9, 2006, 12:36 GMT

    I don't think it's appropriate at all to go out critisizing Wasim Bari. If he doesn't get paid, it in no way means he is unmotivated in his job, he is very passionate about cricket which is why he holds the chairman of selector position.

    A few weeks back we were all hyping up Yasir Arafat and than realized we had after all, over-hyped him. Similarly, it's no use bragging about Shahid Yousuf, it's not like he is going to slam world records on his debut, that remains highly unlikely.

    Nevertheless, the argument on taking risks does have some weight. But I also beleive, that when selectors like Wasim Bari pick a person for the team they do it based on the achievements and performance of the individual cricketer. And on that basis, the current squad is picked.

    We've have also got to remember that it's not only Bari thats making the decision of picking the squad. I am sure the captain, the coach, and other selectors have their say too; which certainly is a positive aspect in selection.

    It's not the fault of a selector that SuperStars are not emerging from Pakistan, and all the selectors can do is pick who they think is the best squad. It's not like you can pick any above average cricket from domestic seasons and expect him to do really well at international level. Therefore theres no use just critisizing the selectors out of sheer frustration of the recent failures of the Pakistan Cricket Team.

    Its amazing that well before the England Series when the Pakistan Team were doing very well, there was no critism of Bari. Infact, at that time, there was so much competition between cricketers to make their way into the team. And than when quite a few players lose their form, and our two attack bowlers get bans for doping, all of a sudden everyone thinks it's the fault of Wasim Bari that their are not enough good players in the team.

  • Tabs Farooq on November 9, 2006, 11:42 GMT

    I have said this before and will say it again, The Pakistani president should stop worrying about running the country and spend all his time trying to convince Imran to sort out the cricket set!! Even if he has to donate some money to Imran's hospital as a sweetner for the great man. I think he is the only man that can be the long term solution. Not only is he respected but he is also feared by all and sundry!! BRING BACK IMRAN!! He is the one who really found a lot of the talent that pakistan has produced in the last 20 years.

  • mawali on November 9, 2006, 2:34 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi; may I say dead on again. Wasim Bari should be yesterday's news, unfortunately he prevails. I commend David Furrows for an excellent analysis of the current and perhaps the future crop of players. I am sure to draw pure venom on this but, in my earnest opinion Abdul Razzaq should be replaced with Yasir Arafat. I see Yasir as a promising young all-rounder who will improve with time and continuity.

  • sabika on November 9, 2006, 1:16 GMT

    youre absolutely correct about shahid Yousaf. This would have been a very good opportunity for him since inzi isnt going to last forever

  • Syed Waqqas Iftikhar on November 9, 2006, 1:14 GMT

    I would agree with you on this one. Selection requires taking some calculated gambles given the general disorganization that characterizes the structuring of domestic cricket in our country. One year we have a certain format, the next year its something drastically different. As for the team selected for the WI test series, the less said the better. We don't have a single pace bowler in that team capable of shaking up the WI batsmen. This shortcoming will be further aggravated by the lack of life in the pitches that the tests shall be played on. I can envision Chris Gayle just standing at the crease and thumping Rana and cos. full and just-the-right-pace offerings. Mohammad Sami should have been given a look-in. I know he has not performed but his performance in the third test against England suggested that he was getting close to finding form. He bowled a long spell at high pace, reversing ball and generally looked quite menacing. The captains need to give this guy enough confidence for him to go flat out because that is when he is at his most effective.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 8, 2006, 23:17 GMT

    Let's admit it... Pakistan cricket has begun to suffer from the same problem that our hockey suffers from i.e., "The Gojra Syndrome" only on a wider scale. Top that with the financial bunglings of the "constitutionless" ad-hocism of the PCB and you have the perfect recipe for catastrophe. Under the circumstances, it's useless to look for a scapegoat (Bari) to be replaced by yet another messiah (Aamir Sohail, of all the people).

    The number one problem with the Pakistan cricket team is education, or the lack of it. You can have all the talent and waste it because traits like perseverance, cool temperament, a calculating mind, professionalim (as in not giving up until the last ball is bowled), and reading the psychology of the opponent are not learned on the street. These skills are honed in schools and they are all necessary for cricket. Gone are the days when an Oxford educated Imran Khan will go around the country first spotting talent and then grooming it. And, Aamir Sohail certianly is no Imran.

    On the other hand, there's no dearth of raw talent in Pakistan, only the channels through which that talent must flow are clogged. Those channels are the local cricket associations, but with an ad hoc PCB run without a constitutuion, it's no less than a miracle that the team still manages to perform.

  • Usman on November 8, 2006, 22:15 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket Selection Committe is extremely pathetic, I have been following the cricket team for time these guys are highly un-educated people(selectors)y would u drop afridi from test cricket?hmm didnt u guys just beg him from not retiring from test cricket, 2nd he is out of form and windies attack is not that strong so y not give him a chance to get back in his groove and i do not even wanna get started with the openers picking the same guys over and over again, for god sakes these openers are stubborn they will commit to the same mistakes time in and out, pakistan needs to Shake up da PCB with ppl that have passion and want to see the PCB reach the heights cuz PCB definately has the potential too look and India the BCCI is just terrific. Mr.Bari its about time some one showed you where the EXIT door is.

  • David Furrows on November 8, 2006, 22:00 GMT

    Pakistan does have the young players it needs: the problem is with grooming the twenty-somethings who are on the verge of Test status.

    Let us say for a start that the core of the Test team going into the next five years is Younis Khan, Mohammed Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Danish Kaneria, Mohammed Asif and Umar Gul.

    That is a strong seven man core of players who should start every match. You need to add a couple of batsmen to that. I would never have dropped Yasir Hameed, who is very fluent and will only improve his concentration by playing Test innings. That leaves just one opener to find, and Salman Butt is the same age as Alastair Cook (3 years younger than Michael Clarke) and already has Test hundreds against Australia and England, which tells me he should be an automatic selection.

    To me, the young players who we should be focussing on are Salman Butt (22), Shoaib Malik (24), Abdul Razzaq (still only 26), Kamran Akmal (24), Umar Gul (24), Mohammed Asif (23) and even Mohammad Sami who we tend to forget is only 25, an age at which the likes of McGrath and Ambrose had yet to learn their trade.

    Even including tests, Sami has only played 76 First Class matches - no wonder he is not yet the finished article.

    Pakistan need to show consistency in selecting and grooming this army of twenty-somethings: no other country on earth has so many players so young with such talent and such international experience.

    Pakistan does not need to find a new generation of players. It needs to refine the ones it has got to make them into the finished article. At present they are rather like the 1975-76 West Indians who were slaughtered in Australia: on the verge of greatness, and that should not be thrown away because the team is inconsistent now. For my part, I think the problem is that the ageing once-great Inzamam is now just a flat-track bully who unbalances the team.

  • Amyn Habib on November 8, 2006, 20:01 GMT

    There is no quick fix to Pakistan’s problems. Players who do well at the international level have to be groomed and nurtured and need experience to mature. There are two problems with the selection committee. First, the selection process is not fair and not based on performance. The second problem is stupidity. There are players on our team who chronically underperform and yet are always in the team. They may be dropped for a bit, and then they magically reappear. Consider the game of musical chairs that the committee plays with the openers. They will give a batsman a short run, he fails, and then a few months later, is back again. But why do you think he will be better the second, third or fourth time around? Hafeez, for example, averages 18 runs from 38 ODIs, with his highest score being 69. I have nothing against him and I hope he improves, but his reinclusion illustrates the problem. On the other hand, the one emerging batting talent in Pakistan for years, Yasir Hameed, was almost snuffed out. Here is a suggestion, give a player an adequate run, if he fails, get rid of him, do not take him back unless he shows clear evidence of improvement in domestic cricket.

    A key issue is accountability. Just as players are accountable for their performance, the selection committee should be accountable too. Wasim Bari has been around a long time, and the team has steadily deteriorated during his tenure. He is emblematic of some of the players on this team—the performance is horrendous but you cant get rid of him.

  • fawad iqbal on November 8, 2006, 18:37 GMT

    is there any meaning of writing these threads?well yes thay mean a lot to the system which is the result of non contributing habit of average pakistanni.

    The only way out is to say again that we are preparing the team for world cup and this time its much better to say we are preparing for 2011 worldcup.

    The simple prediction is that inzi and yoyo's will again come under immense pressure which is at the same level on many counts,i.e yousuf's single day captaincy affair,inzi's comeback as a captain too and younis poor form as a captain and now if he make runs it will be recorded that this person's form sucks under captaincy.

    the openers will fell again annd if that happens then pakistan team wiil on average make 220 runs per innings.and hence normally no chance for the test series.

    for me younis and yousuf should open and inzamam bat at no 3 so no extra pressure will be put on them to bat up the order and also they will atleast perform well than that farhat's shot to third man.the selectors then should put shoaib malik at no.4 and yasir hameed at no.5 and faisal/kamal/shaid yousuf any one of them at no.6 if then pakistan team fails so be it at least our trio will not be play under pressure.

    that means nno place for abdul razzaq.only experimentation can ensure some place for him.

    for me bob woolmer will try best so that if pakistan loses than no heads will roll.certainnly he has some script for that.

  • Buttsahibjee on November 8, 2006, 18:27 GMT

    Fair comment Mr Abbassi. Bari would make a nice politician, a man loyal only to his seat. During Imran's era of innovation and discoveries there were also players who were guaranteed an automatic selection. Ramiz Raja, Shoaib Mohammed are the names that immediately spring to mind. During that era there were cricketers who suffered the wrath. Qasim Omar and Tauseef Ahmed are the names that spring to mind.

  • JAVED A. KHAN MONTREAL, CANADA on November 8, 2006, 17:43 GMT

    LOL........Kamran you always right on spot and correctly pin pointed the problems of team selection. I cannot say that I don't agree with your views because, I have always been saying that Wasim Bari was an over-rated, in competent and a lucky wicket keeper. During his days there was no competition to take his slot and he would have NEVER been selected in the team if one would take account is batting prowess, which was zilch.

    Now he is holding this important post as a Chief Selector of the Pakistan Cricket Team, which again in my opinion is very lucky to be there without any knowledge of the players performances. In his own world Wasim Bari is drowned in false hopes of producing miracles by selecting a team according to his own whims and wishes. Discarding players like Shahid Afridi from the test squad. It was Shahid Afridi who scored a 78 ball century against West Indies in West Indies during the last tour and Shahid Afridi has more test hundreds to his credit than his ODI hundreds where his batting order is at the mercy of the selectors, captain and coach. They play his batting order like a yo-yo. Making him play up and down the order only to shatter his confidence.

    Imran Nazir is another victim of Wasim Bari, he is such a good cricketer with natural abilities to strike the ball off the ground and he has proved it many times. When India came to Pakistan a few years ago, in the opening match at Lahore Pak A vs. India he played a marvelous innings and beat the Indian team with 6 overs to spare, after the Indians had scored 334 runs with Tendulkar, Dravid and all big guns playing for their side. Imran Nazir was not considered at all. Last month he went to play in India against Uttar Pradesh team, except for his 100 no other player played well and lost.

    There are many talented players besides the two I have mentioned above, who have suffered at the hands of Wasim Bari and God knows how long Bari is going to stick to this post and continue to damage the talent that is in abundant in Pakistan.

  • Qasim on November 8, 2006, 16:30 GMT

    Hi Kamran,

    i agree with your views, i believe that Pakistan cricket needs more stars like Saeed Anwar, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan and Waqar Younis.

    And the only way for Pakistan to produce such a stars is by taking risks, giving new emerging stars in the domestic arena a chance in their home ground to proove themselves.

    Although i am glad Yasir Hameed got another chance to show what he can do. He is a fine player and deserves more. Its also good to see Samiullah Niazi in the squad because lets admit it, even if we don't have him in the squad, its not as if he is taking a place of another bowler who can create any problems for the West Indies. The only decent pace bowler in the Pakistani line up is Umar Gul. Apart from him, i don't think any Pakistani pace bowler at the moment will do anything against West Indies so we might aswell take a risk and give some emerging players a chance.

    I think for Pakistan to do well again the West Indies, they need Danish Kaneria, Umar Gul and Abdul Razzaq to perform well with the ball and hope that one of the new bowlers can contribute a little.

    Its a shame, this was a great chance for Pakistan to produce a star..... too bad that we are going to have to wait till after the world cup to see Shahid Yousaf, Bazid Khan and Hasan Raza perfom for Pakistan.

    Too bad PCB will never stop hoping for a Super Star to emerge out of the blue and not try to produce one.

    All due respect to Faisal Iqbal and Asim Kamal, they may be capable of becoming decent players.... but Pakistan cricket needs not decent players... they need players who can carry on the Pakistan cricket legacy of producing magicians like Imran Khan, Saeed Anwar, Inzamam ul Haq, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

    Sadly in the current line up without Mohammad Asif and exception of Mohammad Yousaf, magicians are a breed dying. I hope PCB realises that soon because if they don't.... we will only be talking about how great once once our team was..........

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  • Qasim on November 8, 2006, 16:30 GMT

    Hi Kamran,

    i agree with your views, i believe that Pakistan cricket needs more stars like Saeed Anwar, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan and Waqar Younis.

    And the only way for Pakistan to produce such a stars is by taking risks, giving new emerging stars in the domestic arena a chance in their home ground to proove themselves.

    Although i am glad Yasir Hameed got another chance to show what he can do. He is a fine player and deserves more. Its also good to see Samiullah Niazi in the squad because lets admit it, even if we don't have him in the squad, its not as if he is taking a place of another bowler who can create any problems for the West Indies. The only decent pace bowler in the Pakistani line up is Umar Gul. Apart from him, i don't think any Pakistani pace bowler at the moment will do anything against West Indies so we might aswell take a risk and give some emerging players a chance.

    I think for Pakistan to do well again the West Indies, they need Danish Kaneria, Umar Gul and Abdul Razzaq to perform well with the ball and hope that one of the new bowlers can contribute a little.

    Its a shame, this was a great chance for Pakistan to produce a star..... too bad that we are going to have to wait till after the world cup to see Shahid Yousaf, Bazid Khan and Hasan Raza perfom for Pakistan.

    Too bad PCB will never stop hoping for a Super Star to emerge out of the blue and not try to produce one.

    All due respect to Faisal Iqbal and Asim Kamal, they may be capable of becoming decent players.... but Pakistan cricket needs not decent players... they need players who can carry on the Pakistan cricket legacy of producing magicians like Imran Khan, Saeed Anwar, Inzamam ul Haq, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

    Sadly in the current line up without Mohammad Asif and exception of Mohammad Yousaf, magicians are a breed dying. I hope PCB realises that soon because if they don't.... we will only be talking about how great once once our team was..........

  • JAVED A. KHAN MONTREAL, CANADA on November 8, 2006, 17:43 GMT

    LOL........Kamran you always right on spot and correctly pin pointed the problems of team selection. I cannot say that I don't agree with your views because, I have always been saying that Wasim Bari was an over-rated, in competent and a lucky wicket keeper. During his days there was no competition to take his slot and he would have NEVER been selected in the team if one would take account is batting prowess, which was zilch.

    Now he is holding this important post as a Chief Selector of the Pakistan Cricket Team, which again in my opinion is very lucky to be there without any knowledge of the players performances. In his own world Wasim Bari is drowned in false hopes of producing miracles by selecting a team according to his own whims and wishes. Discarding players like Shahid Afridi from the test squad. It was Shahid Afridi who scored a 78 ball century against West Indies in West Indies during the last tour and Shahid Afridi has more test hundreds to his credit than his ODI hundreds where his batting order is at the mercy of the selectors, captain and coach. They play his batting order like a yo-yo. Making him play up and down the order only to shatter his confidence.

    Imran Nazir is another victim of Wasim Bari, he is such a good cricketer with natural abilities to strike the ball off the ground and he has proved it many times. When India came to Pakistan a few years ago, in the opening match at Lahore Pak A vs. India he played a marvelous innings and beat the Indian team with 6 overs to spare, after the Indians had scored 334 runs with Tendulkar, Dravid and all big guns playing for their side. Imran Nazir was not considered at all. Last month he went to play in India against Uttar Pradesh team, except for his 100 no other player played well and lost.

    There are many talented players besides the two I have mentioned above, who have suffered at the hands of Wasim Bari and God knows how long Bari is going to stick to this post and continue to damage the talent that is in abundant in Pakistan.

  • Buttsahibjee on November 8, 2006, 18:27 GMT

    Fair comment Mr Abbassi. Bari would make a nice politician, a man loyal only to his seat. During Imran's era of innovation and discoveries there were also players who were guaranteed an automatic selection. Ramiz Raja, Shoaib Mohammed are the names that immediately spring to mind. During that era there were cricketers who suffered the wrath. Qasim Omar and Tauseef Ahmed are the names that spring to mind.

  • fawad iqbal on November 8, 2006, 18:37 GMT

    is there any meaning of writing these threads?well yes thay mean a lot to the system which is the result of non contributing habit of average pakistanni.

    The only way out is to say again that we are preparing the team for world cup and this time its much better to say we are preparing for 2011 worldcup.

    The simple prediction is that inzi and yoyo's will again come under immense pressure which is at the same level on many counts,i.e yousuf's single day captaincy affair,inzi's comeback as a captain too and younis poor form as a captain and now if he make runs it will be recorded that this person's form sucks under captaincy.

    the openers will fell again annd if that happens then pakistan team wiil on average make 220 runs per innings.and hence normally no chance for the test series.

    for me younis and yousuf should open and inzamam bat at no 3 so no extra pressure will be put on them to bat up the order and also they will atleast perform well than that farhat's shot to third man.the selectors then should put shoaib malik at no.4 and yasir hameed at no.5 and faisal/kamal/shaid yousuf any one of them at no.6 if then pakistan team fails so be it at least our trio will not be play under pressure.

    that means nno place for abdul razzaq.only experimentation can ensure some place for him.

    for me bob woolmer will try best so that if pakistan loses than no heads will roll.certainnly he has some script for that.

  • Amyn Habib on November 8, 2006, 20:01 GMT

    There is no quick fix to Pakistan’s problems. Players who do well at the international level have to be groomed and nurtured and need experience to mature. There are two problems with the selection committee. First, the selection process is not fair and not based on performance. The second problem is stupidity. There are players on our team who chronically underperform and yet are always in the team. They may be dropped for a bit, and then they magically reappear. Consider the game of musical chairs that the committee plays with the openers. They will give a batsman a short run, he fails, and then a few months later, is back again. But why do you think he will be better the second, third or fourth time around? Hafeez, for example, averages 18 runs from 38 ODIs, with his highest score being 69. I have nothing against him and I hope he improves, but his reinclusion illustrates the problem. On the other hand, the one emerging batting talent in Pakistan for years, Yasir Hameed, was almost snuffed out. Here is a suggestion, give a player an adequate run, if he fails, get rid of him, do not take him back unless he shows clear evidence of improvement in domestic cricket.

    A key issue is accountability. Just as players are accountable for their performance, the selection committee should be accountable too. Wasim Bari has been around a long time, and the team has steadily deteriorated during his tenure. He is emblematic of some of the players on this team—the performance is horrendous but you cant get rid of him.

  • David Furrows on November 8, 2006, 22:00 GMT

    Pakistan does have the young players it needs: the problem is with grooming the twenty-somethings who are on the verge of Test status.

    Let us say for a start that the core of the Test team going into the next five years is Younis Khan, Mohammed Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Danish Kaneria, Mohammed Asif and Umar Gul.

    That is a strong seven man core of players who should start every match. You need to add a couple of batsmen to that. I would never have dropped Yasir Hameed, who is very fluent and will only improve his concentration by playing Test innings. That leaves just one opener to find, and Salman Butt is the same age as Alastair Cook (3 years younger than Michael Clarke) and already has Test hundreds against Australia and England, which tells me he should be an automatic selection.

    To me, the young players who we should be focussing on are Salman Butt (22), Shoaib Malik (24), Abdul Razzaq (still only 26), Kamran Akmal (24), Umar Gul (24), Mohammed Asif (23) and even Mohammad Sami who we tend to forget is only 25, an age at which the likes of McGrath and Ambrose had yet to learn their trade.

    Even including tests, Sami has only played 76 First Class matches - no wonder he is not yet the finished article.

    Pakistan need to show consistency in selecting and grooming this army of twenty-somethings: no other country on earth has so many players so young with such talent and such international experience.

    Pakistan does not need to find a new generation of players. It needs to refine the ones it has got to make them into the finished article. At present they are rather like the 1975-76 West Indians who were slaughtered in Australia: on the verge of greatness, and that should not be thrown away because the team is inconsistent now. For my part, I think the problem is that the ageing once-great Inzamam is now just a flat-track bully who unbalances the team.

  • Usman on November 8, 2006, 22:15 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket Selection Committe is extremely pathetic, I have been following the cricket team for time these guys are highly un-educated people(selectors)y would u drop afridi from test cricket?hmm didnt u guys just beg him from not retiring from test cricket, 2nd he is out of form and windies attack is not that strong so y not give him a chance to get back in his groove and i do not even wanna get started with the openers picking the same guys over and over again, for god sakes these openers are stubborn they will commit to the same mistakes time in and out, pakistan needs to Shake up da PCB with ppl that have passion and want to see the PCB reach the heights cuz PCB definately has the potential too look and India the BCCI is just terrific. Mr.Bari its about time some one showed you where the EXIT door is.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 8, 2006, 23:17 GMT

    Let's admit it... Pakistan cricket has begun to suffer from the same problem that our hockey suffers from i.e., "The Gojra Syndrome" only on a wider scale. Top that with the financial bunglings of the "constitutionless" ad-hocism of the PCB and you have the perfect recipe for catastrophe. Under the circumstances, it's useless to look for a scapegoat (Bari) to be replaced by yet another messiah (Aamir Sohail, of all the people).

    The number one problem with the Pakistan cricket team is education, or the lack of it. You can have all the talent and waste it because traits like perseverance, cool temperament, a calculating mind, professionalim (as in not giving up until the last ball is bowled), and reading the psychology of the opponent are not learned on the street. These skills are honed in schools and they are all necessary for cricket. Gone are the days when an Oxford educated Imran Khan will go around the country first spotting talent and then grooming it. And, Aamir Sohail certianly is no Imran.

    On the other hand, there's no dearth of raw talent in Pakistan, only the channels through which that talent must flow are clogged. Those channels are the local cricket associations, but with an ad hoc PCB run without a constitutuion, it's no less than a miracle that the team still manages to perform.

  • Syed Waqqas Iftikhar on November 9, 2006, 1:14 GMT

    I would agree with you on this one. Selection requires taking some calculated gambles given the general disorganization that characterizes the structuring of domestic cricket in our country. One year we have a certain format, the next year its something drastically different. As for the team selected for the WI test series, the less said the better. We don't have a single pace bowler in that team capable of shaking up the WI batsmen. This shortcoming will be further aggravated by the lack of life in the pitches that the tests shall be played on. I can envision Chris Gayle just standing at the crease and thumping Rana and cos. full and just-the-right-pace offerings. Mohammad Sami should have been given a look-in. I know he has not performed but his performance in the third test against England suggested that he was getting close to finding form. He bowled a long spell at high pace, reversing ball and generally looked quite menacing. The captains need to give this guy enough confidence for him to go flat out because that is when he is at his most effective.

  • sabika on November 9, 2006, 1:16 GMT

    youre absolutely correct about shahid Yousaf. This would have been a very good opportunity for him since inzi isnt going to last forever