World Cup 2007 December 19, 2006

Inzamam's mission to surpass Imran

Inzamam-ul-Haq is on a mission and that mission is to win the next World Cup and surpass his former captain, Imran Khan
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Despite initial speculation that Inzamam-ul-Haq would not lead Pakistan in next year's World Cup, the cricket board has sensibly confirmed his appointment. I confess that I am one of the many who have often despaired at Inzamam's moribund captaincy - and it is something that might still cost Pakistan dear - but he is the obvious choice. Younis Khan, who retains the potential to succeed him, showed with his antics before Pakistan left for the Champions Trophy and his tactically suspect performance during the tournament that he was unready.

Inzamam, though, is on a mission, and that mission is to win the next World Cup and surpass his former captain, Imran Khan.

You might think that surpassing the Great Khan is something not worth contemplating but he is. And he believes he has the team to do it. Moreover, Inzamam has launched a campaign to build a hospital in his hometown, Multan. I'm sure that rings a few bells. Inzamam may not have Imran's leadership skills but he does have a dominant presence in the team, a persona whose moods dictate the mindset of his charges. Pakistan will need Inzamam to be exuding postive energy between now and the end of the World Cup. A return to the dark mood that engulfed the second half of Pakistan's tour of England will be a disaster.

The second piece of good news to emerge from Pakistan is that Bob Woolmer's position is secure until after the World Cup. Woolmer believes Pakistan had a good series against West Indies and he is upbeat about his team's chances in next year's tournament. He has always held this positive outlook even in the depths of the Hair incident when he considered resigning his post.

These moves are a vote for stability, a strategy supported by this blog. But the PCB has still got a long way to go to answer its critics. Particularly when it believes that the creation of a fielding award will improve the team's fielding, and then awards the prize to Inzamam. And perturbingly appoints a friend of the chairman of the cricket board and the president of Pakistan as its media manager for the World Cup. I don't think the PCB has ever understood how the media works - this is an organisation that pays for journalists to go on tours but who barely write a word - and I don't think it ever will. As long as friendship is more important than merit, Pakistan will never realise its talent in cricket or anything else.

In the true Pakistani way, one step forward and one step back. But the step forward is the one that matters for Pakistan's World Cup chances and it is the players who will create the memories to treasure and not the legion of hangers-on desperate to see their names in lights.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dr Tahir Khurshid, New South Wales Australia on January 17, 2007, 11:33 GMT

    I can remember the 1992 Cricket world cup like yesterday. I was watching the match between New Zealand and Pakistan in Lancaster Park Christchurch. It was that great time and I was so merged in the game and proudly holding a big Pakistani flag in my hand. Boy! what a great moment when Pakistan won that match against New Zealand which caused Australia to depart from the world cup. Those were the happy days. I met Imran briefly and pat his back and wished him good luck. I met the rest of the team for a bit longer and chatted to great Javed Miandad and Inzy along with the rest of the team.

    Later on I went to Melbourne to watch the grand Final. What a memory that was!

    I wish that history repeats itself and I would like to see Pakistan once again win the world Cup under Inzi captaincy.

    I strongly believe that we got a better team and we got better player this time around. We can do it and Inzi I remind you again that you can do it boy!

    I wish you a very successful world cup that I wished Imran Khan in Christchurch years ago.

  • Vishwajit Iyer on January 16, 2007, 4:19 GMT

    Frankly, I wonder what does Pakistan cricket gain by comparing the two when they are two different personalities. The world will remember Imran for giving the ability to pak team and belief in their ability to win(Inzi being part of that victroy) and Inzi has also had several match winning moments. I feel as a neutral observer, Inzi is the best man suited to lead the pak team, all those who accuse/comment on the bhai culture, the inability to speak in english, the beards et al.. should look only on the respective cricketing mertis of the individuals concerned...As a hindu indian, i have always enjoyed watching Inzi play, it is surely sickening to even neutral observers like us who just want to see and enjoy the game as it should be played-whenever such trivial matters as a persons religious beliefs or comm skills or weather he wears his left shoe first is used as a parameter for his selection...

  • Asif Khan on January 8, 2007, 8:42 GMT

    Actually while looking back in the blog list i found the topic about the great batsman of all time Inzamam Ul Haque (inzi) I read the whole blog and found some special comments and i sort out the mental approach of the peoples first of all i would like to mention the comments passed by Mawali i dont know what is his problem he should better know that Islam is our priority then comes the game (cricket or any) then i would like to throw some light on Mr. Jawed from Toronto's comments Well, it is totally obvious, that if a person gets far from his origin, he forgets what he or she was. What was his soil and what is his position Mr. Jawed u live in the country like Canada, where there is no relation even brother, sister, mother, father or anything else. So, u dont know the importance of the word BHAI. u would know if u had respects for the elders. i would suggest u to come to your soil and learn these things, customs and attiquates from the mother(Pakistan) Then comes the comments of Mr.Anand Srivanas and Mr. Amit Jay Singh the both do not belong to the religion we do but their fact comments should open the eyes of people like Mr. Mawali and Mr. Jawed and Mr. Ahmed I salute u Mr. Singh and Mr. Anand U both have the respects for the Islam and game and spirit of cricket Thanx

  • 'mair on January 7, 2007, 15:40 GMT

    Hey Kamran... big fan of your blog. I take huge exception to 'mawali's' earlier post. Which cricket has he been watching? Inzi's performances have been anything but sub-standard. He's been the cornerstone of our batting for so many years now, and I feel he's a pretty good captain. I was all for younis khan as well, but the champions trophy debacle makes me think younis needs more time. We need to honor our heroes, not belittle them. If Inzi is islamic, it's his way of life. If others choose to be inspired by him, it's there way of life. If he can't speak properly in english, so what?! He can speak pretty well in Urdu, and I'd like to remind mr.mawali as to what our national language is. C'mon Inzi! We are all behind you!

  • KRICKET KING on December 28, 2006, 16:05 GMT

    For Mr. JAVED A KHAN and MAWALI....

    I believe that both of you including some other members are simply ABCD's or (CBCD's). In case, you don't know what that means, American Born Confused DESI's or in your case Canadian Born Confused DESI's. MOSTLY JUST "CONFUSED desi's".

    Anyway, Mr. Javed I believe you do mostly post Intelligent comments and I do frequent the PAK BLOGS to read enough.

    However, one thing we should realize is that most of us support this team and not Australia or England or West Indies because we are Pakistanis. Hence, we support the Pakistani team. Now, I'm sure you all are aware that Pakistan is really the "ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN". We are all in essence even though immigrated to various different countries represent Pakistan and should not forget our true identity. I myself am a Pakistani Canadian. Pakistani first and Canadian after. For all history lovers, Pakistan was formed as a muslim nation. Our first language is URDU, not English. All though I pride in the fact that we have embraced multi-culturalism in Pakistan with different religions and ethnicities, one should still realize that we are a Islamic nation as USA is a Christian nation. Why else would the American president say after his speech "GOD BLESS AMERICA" and our new Prime Minister, Harper now says "GOD BLESS CANADA". My point is even in one of the most multi-cultural countries like Canada even politicians do not forget their identity.

    As far as saying "INZI-bhai and younis bahi" or whatever, this is part of the PAKISTANI culture. It's about respect. It's about tradition. We call our elders uncle and aunti not because they are by relation but just for respect. We say "aap" not "tum" to our elders. This is why we are different from the western culture.

    Sitting in Canada, there are those desis and goras who call there parents "bitch, stupid, bastard" and other swear words. But those desis are just confused and forgotten their culture. The younger Pakistani player's don't call the senior players "bhai" to earn a place in the side but because they are younger. For mutual respect by age and merit. And I am sure Javed A. Khan you are older than I am. So to you, take care JAVED BHAI! And many people refer to Mr. Kamran Abbasi as KAMRAN bhai, simply to give him his due respect; not to get their blogs posted.

    Lastly, I am proud of the current Pakistani team and I am proud of Inzamam to represent PAKISTAN. He leads by example, humble and sublime and soft spoken. This is why he is respected by all teams.

    By the way I do want to say that the current Pakistan team is only based on CRICKETING merit not by religion not by region not by race and not by how good the person speak's english.

    However, I find it exemplery that the current Pakistani side truly represents PAKISTAN.

    KRICKET KING, SAMI from TORONTO

    p.s. Kamran bhai, many have also said that you should edit the blogs before posting because of spelling, grammer, etc. I suggest not to because there are people from Pakistan and other nations who post on this blog and their first language is not ENGLISH, so at least they try and we should respect them for that.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on December 24, 2006, 3:42 GMT

    India, or Pakistan, have a very good chance of winning the World Cup, because of their teams, and the gentlemen, leading the respective teams. Inzamam is a good ambassador for his country. He leads, like Dravid, by not imposing himself, either positively, or negatively, on his team, but by managing his team, effectively, and without fuss. There doesn't seem to be any negative vibes, in the Pakistan camp, due to matters of ego, and this says a lot for Inzamam's leadership, considering the happenings of the past.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 22, 2006, 11:03 GMT

    DISAPPOINTED by the rain Gods who interrupted the interesting and lively 20/20 match between SL and NZ and bored by the TV re-runs, getting disinterested and weary after checking on the Internet that the match has finally been decided on D&L method, I said to myself what a FARCE and decided to sign off. But, unintentionally and inadvertently I clicked on the blog and started reading the various posts and the comments of my brothers!

    As I kept reading down the page, the feeling of boredom and the disappointment of not being amused and entertained by a live cricket match, started to fade off slowly, and I started to smile while I was reading those comments.

    Based on the suggestions of the our "bhai log" who were demanding Kamran Abbassi to censor the posts and, or remove those posts which are in their view bear derogatory comments such as, Aloo or potato head, and the bad meaning that could still be extracted from it by the way it is expressed to defame someone who is pious etc., amused me even more.

    It made me think of asking Kamran Abbassi whether it is possible for him to also add a few features to this site such as, spell checker, grammar, thesaurus, set language etc., as I observed so many grammatical blasphemies and spelling mistakes and the emotional outburst to defend religion and patriotism, which I thought should at least be addressed in a "bhai-bandagi" sort of way, if not in a gentlemanly way, because that is so British and alien to us. I am not trying to imply that my English is any good or better than other brothers, but I still try to a certain extent to express myself in this foreign language (which is not my mother tongue) without causing much embarrassment to myself or my country but I am definitely not trying to emulate our EUCEPH BHAI. :-)

    I also agree with the suggestion of Khurram Dawood and thats what I have always been saying that Inzamam should speak in Urdu, PERIOD!. It is not his 'round, bulky' appearance as Mr. Tirmizi says but, it is his English and the way he articulates makes people laugh and he is our ambassador and I don't like that when others make fun of him. When he speaks in Urdu, he has a good sense of humour. I must quote that Inzi's comment here, when he told Ramiz Raja. Ramiz don't forget to mention in your report about this pitch that, "it is very difficult to play a full toss ball on this pitch" (he was referring to his clean bowled by Dave Mohammad) when Ramiz translated it to Ian Bishop he thoroughly enjoyed the comment and appreciated his sense of humour.

    Having read all those comments, I changed my mind and I have a suggestion for Kamran Abbassi to keep these blogs in the archives and later print them out in its 'purest form' and publish them as his "memoirs". If the President can do that, why can't Kamran? It is definitely an interesting reading. For those who think I am in a way apologizing for calling Inzi (bhai) an Aloo, NO, I am not. I believe in freedom of speech and there was no malice in my comments and I love Pakistan as much as any other patriotic Pakistani bhai does. And I will not apologize for nothing.

    And Mr. Mawali, people here steal your identity, it happened to me once and Kamran removed that post. But, you have almost, almost stolen my word, by calling him Pir Inzamam ul haq :-) Whereas, I often say he is Pirzamam ul haq and for his coolness, I refer to him as Itminanul Haq.. And once again, I totally, agree with Mr. Mawali's prediction, where Imran failed in politics, he will succeed. Hence the caption of this blog, "Inzamam's mission to surpass Imran," shall be accomplished off the field, and after the world cup, and on a different ground. Hailzamamul-haq !

    Finally, for the Momin who asked me, "what have I given to Pakistan?" Mr. Momin, are we supposed to tell the whole world about what we give? Do you remember the Al-hadith."The best of alms is that which the right hand giveth and the left hand knoweth not of." narrated by Hazrath Ayesha. So why do you want me to announce it to the whole world about what I give, and what do you know about me? I think lets keep this emotional outburst, patriotism, brotherhood separate from cricket and get down to the basics and enjoy cricket for the next few months.With malice towards none and good wishes to all, Christmas, New Year, Seasons greetings and Eid Mubarak to ALL.

  • babar ali on December 22, 2006, 9:18 GMT

    is it just me or does everyone think EUCEPH AHMED chats utter rubbish.

    give it a rest man you dont have any cricketing knowledge like mr ABBASI says you comment against everything he has to say.

    i think your just trieng to draw attention

    YOU DO NOT HAVE CRICKETING KNOWLEDGE.

    its best if you go on to a politics blog. This blog is not for you.

  • Zeeshan Tirmizi on December 21, 2006, 18:57 GMT

    A lot of discussion already been done! I would like to remind people that Pakistan's victory in 92 World cup was a near miracle.Most guys would remember what could had happened if Australia had lost in that group stage match.It was above all luck!!! Imran deserves applaud for the results he attained but why are we so overwhelmed by the guy?

    His leadership can be better described in one world:Dictator. Does that make someone a good leader? His speech during the world cup ceremony as rightly pointed out by Mr Javed A Khan proved just how much of a team person he was.He took all the credit of the victory himself. Shall we do the same? I think it's time we get out of the spell of 'the Great Khan'. A piece of advice for Mr Javed A Khan: ALOO is not a bad word but the context in which it was used carried a bad meaning:bulky,round or whatever.Try not to say something for which you have to apologize and explain later on.Bhai culture is not the main issue anyway. I am sorry to say that I used to value your comments alot but you have really disappointed many people.

    Inzamam has got a good and unified team.Lets support our team and wish them success.

    cheers.

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 21, 2006, 18:21 GMT

    IT'S THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND... or so the saying goes. Talk about Inzamam's leadership skills. Talk about Saeed Anwar's indoctrination of the team. Talk about Naseem Ashraf introducing Musharraf’s “enlightened moderation.” Talk about Asif Iqbal - cricket’s pioneer of match fixing – getting ready to be cleared for an important position at the PCB. All is not well in cricket, or, should I say in Pakistan cricket.

    In 1992, when Pakistan won the World Cup, gambling in cricket and gambling on cricket was at its peak. Imran Khan, using the weight of his personality, and Javed Miandad, using his guile, have escaped unscathed and unblemished from the onslaught of accusations from that era. What made Pakistan win the cup may always remain a mystery, while us, the lesser mortals, the ardent followers of the game, will go on believing that it really was cricket that won the honours that day. All I know is that such infamous personalities as Salim Malk, Azharuddin, and Ajay Jadeja graced that tournament, not to mention Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed, Ijaz Ahmed and Aaqib Javed – no small cookies in the match-fixing world. Imran, along with his comrades, pulled a win on the field for all to see. What he did off the field we don’t know. This much I can say with certainty that Inzamam, the simple man that he is, doesn’t have an inkling of what is going to bite him come World Cup time. The poor guy thinks playing good cricket is going to get him the cup. Team unity, he thinks, will bring him at par with Imran. While those are good values for everyday cricket, they will not work during the World Cup. If he was an able leader he would see why Bob Woolmer, Hansie Cronje’s coach, didn’t resign. He would notice PCB’s current posturing in trying to recruit Asif Iqbal. But in the end, I guess, he has secured his future already… Pir Inzamam-ul-haq. I’d give it three to five years!!! He will win more seats in the Parliament than Imran ever dreamed of.

    And if God will send his angels If God will send a sign Would everything be alright?

  • Dr Tahir Khurshid, New South Wales Australia on January 17, 2007, 11:33 GMT

    I can remember the 1992 Cricket world cup like yesterday. I was watching the match between New Zealand and Pakistan in Lancaster Park Christchurch. It was that great time and I was so merged in the game and proudly holding a big Pakistani flag in my hand. Boy! what a great moment when Pakistan won that match against New Zealand which caused Australia to depart from the world cup. Those were the happy days. I met Imran briefly and pat his back and wished him good luck. I met the rest of the team for a bit longer and chatted to great Javed Miandad and Inzy along with the rest of the team.

    Later on I went to Melbourne to watch the grand Final. What a memory that was!

    I wish that history repeats itself and I would like to see Pakistan once again win the world Cup under Inzi captaincy.

    I strongly believe that we got a better team and we got better player this time around. We can do it and Inzi I remind you again that you can do it boy!

    I wish you a very successful world cup that I wished Imran Khan in Christchurch years ago.

  • Vishwajit Iyer on January 16, 2007, 4:19 GMT

    Frankly, I wonder what does Pakistan cricket gain by comparing the two when they are two different personalities. The world will remember Imran for giving the ability to pak team and belief in their ability to win(Inzi being part of that victroy) and Inzi has also had several match winning moments. I feel as a neutral observer, Inzi is the best man suited to lead the pak team, all those who accuse/comment on the bhai culture, the inability to speak in english, the beards et al.. should look only on the respective cricketing mertis of the individuals concerned...As a hindu indian, i have always enjoyed watching Inzi play, it is surely sickening to even neutral observers like us who just want to see and enjoy the game as it should be played-whenever such trivial matters as a persons religious beliefs or comm skills or weather he wears his left shoe first is used as a parameter for his selection...

  • Asif Khan on January 8, 2007, 8:42 GMT

    Actually while looking back in the blog list i found the topic about the great batsman of all time Inzamam Ul Haque (inzi) I read the whole blog and found some special comments and i sort out the mental approach of the peoples first of all i would like to mention the comments passed by Mawali i dont know what is his problem he should better know that Islam is our priority then comes the game (cricket or any) then i would like to throw some light on Mr. Jawed from Toronto's comments Well, it is totally obvious, that if a person gets far from his origin, he forgets what he or she was. What was his soil and what is his position Mr. Jawed u live in the country like Canada, where there is no relation even brother, sister, mother, father or anything else. So, u dont know the importance of the word BHAI. u would know if u had respects for the elders. i would suggest u to come to your soil and learn these things, customs and attiquates from the mother(Pakistan) Then comes the comments of Mr.Anand Srivanas and Mr. Amit Jay Singh the both do not belong to the religion we do but their fact comments should open the eyes of people like Mr. Mawali and Mr. Jawed and Mr. Ahmed I salute u Mr. Singh and Mr. Anand U both have the respects for the Islam and game and spirit of cricket Thanx

  • 'mair on January 7, 2007, 15:40 GMT

    Hey Kamran... big fan of your blog. I take huge exception to 'mawali's' earlier post. Which cricket has he been watching? Inzi's performances have been anything but sub-standard. He's been the cornerstone of our batting for so many years now, and I feel he's a pretty good captain. I was all for younis khan as well, but the champions trophy debacle makes me think younis needs more time. We need to honor our heroes, not belittle them. If Inzi is islamic, it's his way of life. If others choose to be inspired by him, it's there way of life. If he can't speak properly in english, so what?! He can speak pretty well in Urdu, and I'd like to remind mr.mawali as to what our national language is. C'mon Inzi! We are all behind you!

  • KRICKET KING on December 28, 2006, 16:05 GMT

    For Mr. JAVED A KHAN and MAWALI....

    I believe that both of you including some other members are simply ABCD's or (CBCD's). In case, you don't know what that means, American Born Confused DESI's or in your case Canadian Born Confused DESI's. MOSTLY JUST "CONFUSED desi's".

    Anyway, Mr. Javed I believe you do mostly post Intelligent comments and I do frequent the PAK BLOGS to read enough.

    However, one thing we should realize is that most of us support this team and not Australia or England or West Indies because we are Pakistanis. Hence, we support the Pakistani team. Now, I'm sure you all are aware that Pakistan is really the "ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN". We are all in essence even though immigrated to various different countries represent Pakistan and should not forget our true identity. I myself am a Pakistani Canadian. Pakistani first and Canadian after. For all history lovers, Pakistan was formed as a muslim nation. Our first language is URDU, not English. All though I pride in the fact that we have embraced multi-culturalism in Pakistan with different religions and ethnicities, one should still realize that we are a Islamic nation as USA is a Christian nation. Why else would the American president say after his speech "GOD BLESS AMERICA" and our new Prime Minister, Harper now says "GOD BLESS CANADA". My point is even in one of the most multi-cultural countries like Canada even politicians do not forget their identity.

    As far as saying "INZI-bhai and younis bahi" or whatever, this is part of the PAKISTANI culture. It's about respect. It's about tradition. We call our elders uncle and aunti not because they are by relation but just for respect. We say "aap" not "tum" to our elders. This is why we are different from the western culture.

    Sitting in Canada, there are those desis and goras who call there parents "bitch, stupid, bastard" and other swear words. But those desis are just confused and forgotten their culture. The younger Pakistani player's don't call the senior players "bhai" to earn a place in the side but because they are younger. For mutual respect by age and merit. And I am sure Javed A. Khan you are older than I am. So to you, take care JAVED BHAI! And many people refer to Mr. Kamran Abbasi as KAMRAN bhai, simply to give him his due respect; not to get their blogs posted.

    Lastly, I am proud of the current Pakistani team and I am proud of Inzamam to represent PAKISTAN. He leads by example, humble and sublime and soft spoken. This is why he is respected by all teams.

    By the way I do want to say that the current Pakistan team is only based on CRICKETING merit not by religion not by region not by race and not by how good the person speak's english.

    However, I find it exemplery that the current Pakistani side truly represents PAKISTAN.

    KRICKET KING, SAMI from TORONTO

    p.s. Kamran bhai, many have also said that you should edit the blogs before posting because of spelling, grammer, etc. I suggest not to because there are people from Pakistan and other nations who post on this blog and their first language is not ENGLISH, so at least they try and we should respect them for that.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on December 24, 2006, 3:42 GMT

    India, or Pakistan, have a very good chance of winning the World Cup, because of their teams, and the gentlemen, leading the respective teams. Inzamam is a good ambassador for his country. He leads, like Dravid, by not imposing himself, either positively, or negatively, on his team, but by managing his team, effectively, and without fuss. There doesn't seem to be any negative vibes, in the Pakistan camp, due to matters of ego, and this says a lot for Inzamam's leadership, considering the happenings of the past.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 22, 2006, 11:03 GMT

    DISAPPOINTED by the rain Gods who interrupted the interesting and lively 20/20 match between SL and NZ and bored by the TV re-runs, getting disinterested and weary after checking on the Internet that the match has finally been decided on D&L method, I said to myself what a FARCE and decided to sign off. But, unintentionally and inadvertently I clicked on the blog and started reading the various posts and the comments of my brothers!

    As I kept reading down the page, the feeling of boredom and the disappointment of not being amused and entertained by a live cricket match, started to fade off slowly, and I started to smile while I was reading those comments.

    Based on the suggestions of the our "bhai log" who were demanding Kamran Abbassi to censor the posts and, or remove those posts which are in their view bear derogatory comments such as, Aloo or potato head, and the bad meaning that could still be extracted from it by the way it is expressed to defame someone who is pious etc., amused me even more.

    It made me think of asking Kamran Abbassi whether it is possible for him to also add a few features to this site such as, spell checker, grammar, thesaurus, set language etc., as I observed so many grammatical blasphemies and spelling mistakes and the emotional outburst to defend religion and patriotism, which I thought should at least be addressed in a "bhai-bandagi" sort of way, if not in a gentlemanly way, because that is so British and alien to us. I am not trying to imply that my English is any good or better than other brothers, but I still try to a certain extent to express myself in this foreign language (which is not my mother tongue) without causing much embarrassment to myself or my country but I am definitely not trying to emulate our EUCEPH BHAI. :-)

    I also agree with the suggestion of Khurram Dawood and thats what I have always been saying that Inzamam should speak in Urdu, PERIOD!. It is not his 'round, bulky' appearance as Mr. Tirmizi says but, it is his English and the way he articulates makes people laugh and he is our ambassador and I don't like that when others make fun of him. When he speaks in Urdu, he has a good sense of humour. I must quote that Inzi's comment here, when he told Ramiz Raja. Ramiz don't forget to mention in your report about this pitch that, "it is very difficult to play a full toss ball on this pitch" (he was referring to his clean bowled by Dave Mohammad) when Ramiz translated it to Ian Bishop he thoroughly enjoyed the comment and appreciated his sense of humour.

    Having read all those comments, I changed my mind and I have a suggestion for Kamran Abbassi to keep these blogs in the archives and later print them out in its 'purest form' and publish them as his "memoirs". If the President can do that, why can't Kamran? It is definitely an interesting reading. For those who think I am in a way apologizing for calling Inzi (bhai) an Aloo, NO, I am not. I believe in freedom of speech and there was no malice in my comments and I love Pakistan as much as any other patriotic Pakistani bhai does. And I will not apologize for nothing.

    And Mr. Mawali, people here steal your identity, it happened to me once and Kamran removed that post. But, you have almost, almost stolen my word, by calling him Pir Inzamam ul haq :-) Whereas, I often say he is Pirzamam ul haq and for his coolness, I refer to him as Itminanul Haq.. And once again, I totally, agree with Mr. Mawali's prediction, where Imran failed in politics, he will succeed. Hence the caption of this blog, "Inzamam's mission to surpass Imran," shall be accomplished off the field, and after the world cup, and on a different ground. Hailzamamul-haq !

    Finally, for the Momin who asked me, "what have I given to Pakistan?" Mr. Momin, are we supposed to tell the whole world about what we give? Do you remember the Al-hadith."The best of alms is that which the right hand giveth and the left hand knoweth not of." narrated by Hazrath Ayesha. So why do you want me to announce it to the whole world about what I give, and what do you know about me? I think lets keep this emotional outburst, patriotism, brotherhood separate from cricket and get down to the basics and enjoy cricket for the next few months.With malice towards none and good wishes to all, Christmas, New Year, Seasons greetings and Eid Mubarak to ALL.

  • babar ali on December 22, 2006, 9:18 GMT

    is it just me or does everyone think EUCEPH AHMED chats utter rubbish.

    give it a rest man you dont have any cricketing knowledge like mr ABBASI says you comment against everything he has to say.

    i think your just trieng to draw attention

    YOU DO NOT HAVE CRICKETING KNOWLEDGE.

    its best if you go on to a politics blog. This blog is not for you.

  • Zeeshan Tirmizi on December 21, 2006, 18:57 GMT

    A lot of discussion already been done! I would like to remind people that Pakistan's victory in 92 World cup was a near miracle.Most guys would remember what could had happened if Australia had lost in that group stage match.It was above all luck!!! Imran deserves applaud for the results he attained but why are we so overwhelmed by the guy?

    His leadership can be better described in one world:Dictator. Does that make someone a good leader? His speech during the world cup ceremony as rightly pointed out by Mr Javed A Khan proved just how much of a team person he was.He took all the credit of the victory himself. Shall we do the same? I think it's time we get out of the spell of 'the Great Khan'. A piece of advice for Mr Javed A Khan: ALOO is not a bad word but the context in which it was used carried a bad meaning:bulky,round or whatever.Try not to say something for which you have to apologize and explain later on.Bhai culture is not the main issue anyway. I am sorry to say that I used to value your comments alot but you have really disappointed many people.

    Inzamam has got a good and unified team.Lets support our team and wish them success.

    cheers.

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 21, 2006, 18:21 GMT

    IT'S THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND... or so the saying goes. Talk about Inzamam's leadership skills. Talk about Saeed Anwar's indoctrination of the team. Talk about Naseem Ashraf introducing Musharraf’s “enlightened moderation.” Talk about Asif Iqbal - cricket’s pioneer of match fixing – getting ready to be cleared for an important position at the PCB. All is not well in cricket, or, should I say in Pakistan cricket.

    In 1992, when Pakistan won the World Cup, gambling in cricket and gambling on cricket was at its peak. Imran Khan, using the weight of his personality, and Javed Miandad, using his guile, have escaped unscathed and unblemished from the onslaught of accusations from that era. What made Pakistan win the cup may always remain a mystery, while us, the lesser mortals, the ardent followers of the game, will go on believing that it really was cricket that won the honours that day. All I know is that such infamous personalities as Salim Malk, Azharuddin, and Ajay Jadeja graced that tournament, not to mention Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed, Ijaz Ahmed and Aaqib Javed – no small cookies in the match-fixing world. Imran, along with his comrades, pulled a win on the field for all to see. What he did off the field we don’t know. This much I can say with certainty that Inzamam, the simple man that he is, doesn’t have an inkling of what is going to bite him come World Cup time. The poor guy thinks playing good cricket is going to get him the cup. Team unity, he thinks, will bring him at par with Imran. While those are good values for everyday cricket, they will not work during the World Cup. If he was an able leader he would see why Bob Woolmer, Hansie Cronje’s coach, didn’t resign. He would notice PCB’s current posturing in trying to recruit Asif Iqbal. But in the end, I guess, he has secured his future already… Pir Inzamam-ul-haq. I’d give it three to five years!!! He will win more seats in the Parliament than Imran ever dreamed of.

    And if God will send his angels If God will send a sign Would everything be alright?

  • Arslan on December 21, 2006, 17:47 GMT

    If anyone after Imran Khan showed the potential of making a world cup winning team, its INZI.He has been able to combine the team into a unit which was the most important thing missing since Imran Khan 's retirement. All the drifts and politics ,which the team had seen since now seem to disappear.

    And it does not take an Einstein to win game, You need a simple cricketing commonsense and reading the situation well and we all agree that INZI is master of both these skills

  • babar ali on December 21, 2006, 13:25 GMT

    Well Said JAVED A.KHAN MONTREAL

    Earlier i disagreed with your comments but you explained it in better context this time around.

    i mainly read your comments as you have same thought as me, and EUCEPH AHMED just makes me laugh.

    Therefore i let you of scott free LOL.

    Keep writing these good blogs kamran.

    Lets just forget all the politics and get back to cricket our team needs our support not critiscm.

    even if we dont win the world cup i will be happy if they atleast try to win rembmber inzy could announce his retirement so please enjoy whislt we can before its too late.........

    Just imagine it inzys COOLNESS, shoaibs ARROGANCE, afridis EXPLOSIVENESS, what a treat it will be if they put effort in.

    GOOD LUCK inzy our support is with you and the team,hope you can prove your critics wrong.

    KEEP IT REAL EVERYBODY!

    PEACE OUT!!

    BABAR ALI BIRMINGHAM UK

  • Daniyal on December 21, 2006, 11:56 GMT

    Kamran, while it is good to see the PCB making sane decisions my question concerns the site you write for. Why is it that domestic cricket played around the world receives ball by ball coverage on cricinfo.com whereas the Pakistani domestic cricket scene is ignored? Why is it that fans of local cricket are deprived of ball by ball coverage of the ongoing Twenty20 matches?

    Is there a problem on PCB's part or have we chosen to ignore our upcoming talent in yet another form?

  • Qasim Saeed on December 21, 2006, 10:44 GMT

    I find some of the comments on this blog really surprising. More surprising is the fact that they find their way onto the blog in the first place. Abbassi sb. you need to put in more effort to keep this clean.

    Whoever says that Inzamam is not the automatic choice for captain for Pakistan OBVIOUSLY does not know ANYTHING about cricket. I am sure that they are not even aware that he was also the candidate for captaincy for the rest of the world as well as the player of the year award last year which he truly deserved unlike the more recent best fielder award. PCB have a knack of making a mockery of themselves from time to time and this time they even outdid themselves.

    As for some people’s comments about Inzamam’s English, we don’t need cricket camps around the world, the boards should just make the selection based on Merit ie highest IELTS or TOEFL scores. As we all know, the Ronaldinhos, Rauls and Del Pieros in the soccer world were all selected for their respective sides based of their English skills. They leave the opposition baffled with their English vocabulary and terrific accent.

    By the way, showing disrespect to a respectable means of earning livelihood (selling air conditioners) also speaks volume of this persons mentality. He may have learnt English but Ethics is certainly not his strong point.

    As far as the bhai culture is concerned, it is our culture and is a sign of respect for an older person. Aap is another such word. There are no such words in the English language and thus not used. Australians don’t do it because they don’t have such a word in their language and THIS is certainly not the reason of their success. Tell me what part of their culture do they compromise to achieve/retain their number one spot. All other teams (including Pakistan) are hopefuls for the world cup except Australia who are truly deserving world champions for reasons solely related to cricket.

    A short note about the beard. If I grow my hair long or keep a goatie because my favourite star has done it, everyones fine BUT if I grow a beard because the icon of icons (for Muslims), Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) kept it, it is termed a slogan and the person is branded an extremist. It’s a shame that we (muslims) have been brainwashed to an extent by the media that we are viewing the world from its eyes.

    Its funny that a man who sticks by his beliefs is called a man of principle but if his beliefs are religious, hes a fanatic. So much for being open minded.

    To say that Muhammad Yousaf was forced to convert is naïve to say the least. Or to say that he did it to stay in the team is even more so. He is a mature adult and of course has converted because of his own will.

    Finally about the Pakistan cricket team, the resources are there. I just hope the right team is selected and the team performs. Inzamam has done a remarkable job especially over the last couple of years and deserves our praise and support.

    Best wishes for the Pakistani team. The whole nation will be praying for your success.

  • Saleem on December 21, 2006, 8:36 GMT

    Inzimam Surpassing Imran Khan!! U must be kidding or U just belongs to some other planet.

  • arun on December 21, 2006, 6:11 GMT

    I would like to add one think that Imran had which Inzy does not have that is the shrewd criketing brain of Javed Miandad. Like I said earlier Miandad was Imran's on field general nad if recall collectly Miandad captained quite a nimber of matches in Imran's absence during the group stages. Considering Inzy's fitness, there might come a time when Younis would have to take over the captaincy during the tournament. With his performance during the ICC, I have my doubts over Yuonis' captaincy.

  • Rukmal on December 21, 2006, 2:24 GMT

    I think you should keep religion out of cricket or you might at well match the gods against each other and see who is mightier ?? As for Inzi, he has tolerated ball tampering by his bowlers, contributed or allowed slow over rates and is not the picture of alertness on the field - (he stood at short cover to block the batsman with his bulk rather than take a catch)Younis Khan is smarter, fitter and more alert - Inzi Bhai can play as a batsman and a slip fielder this is conceded but not as a captain who has permited disrepute to the mighty Pakistani teams of yesteryear.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 20, 2006, 22:42 GMT

    Aloo is a four letter word - But it is NOT a bad word. I don't understand why Inzi's supporters are getting so upset with this word? If one cares to read my previous posts on ball tampering and Hair raising issues, I have gone all out supporting Inzamam's decision when he went out to protest. (many, including PCB's former and present chairmen, senior retired players like Javed Miandad etc., were against Inzi's decision. And, Bob Woolmer went to the extent of submitting his resignation). I will always support Inzi as a cool batsman, a man who can play a gutsy innings under pressure and win matches, in this respect he is better than Tendulkar and Lara. But as a captain he sucks, he doesn't have the leadership qualities in him. He stands in the field expressionless with hands on his hips instead of going to the young players and talking to them or inspiring them when it is needed.

    Another example: Personally, I DON'T like Shoaib Akhtar 'coz of the trivialities that he demonstrates in and outside the field, BUT, I have whole heartedly supported his case, because I have studied about the effects of Nandrolone and how it can increase endogenously within our bodies without taking any steroids or pills. Also, I believe that my personal feelings about him should not judge him about his bowling prowess and his talent that the Pakistani team needs.

    BHAI Culture: There is no room for bhai-char-gee in professional games. Every single player who is selected in the national team is chosen on merit basis and he is as good as the other. There are hundred other ways of showing respect towards each other rather than cultivating this superficial bhai culture. You may sit and drink water, but you may not give up your seat for an adult or an older person who walks in to the room. You may sit in a bus or a commuter train and let the old man or a lady stand next to you. Such things do not even enter in to the minds of those who were not taught the basic ethics and respect for people. These are the values, I still practice even as of today despite being in the so called western culture. And, I have not acquired them here, I am carrying them from my ancestors which are seen to be missing and disappearing in the new generation.

    For those who think I am in the West and have forgotten my values and my culture, are sadly mistaken, they hardly know me and only judge me by my one sentence that hurts their feelings, its just a dichotomy of our belief system (not talking about religous belief) that two people see things differently. I can live with criticism so why can't they?

    Despite living abroad for so many years, I am pretty much a desi at heart and practice my religion as much as I can, abstain from eating non-halal food and I still have the same passion for cricket and for the Pakistani team or else why would I be here? So, please don't judge people by their appearance or just because one doesn't agree to a certain view. I have several times opposed to Mr. Mawali's opinions that doesn't mean I judge him as a traitor - its absurd to think like that.

    People always praise Imran and talk about his brilliance in the game and in his communication skills. Sorry, Murad Ali, I don't agree with your view about his communication skills, before I say what I have to say, let me clear this, Imran is my hero in cricket, I rate him as the best allrounder in the world, but he is not my idol that I praise and worship him...Naozobillah..... OK now remember his speech after the 1992 world cup win? I will sum it up in three words. "It was pathetic."

    I don't think KAMRAN ABBASSI is going to censor the posts on this blog to make it look like a sponsored website for praising Pakistani Cricket or praising the PCB chief. Yes, I called him a joker because he has a pseudo knowledge of cricket which was so obvious from the way he was talking, it appears that he has recently acquired it and more than anything else, he is NOT the elected CEO of Pakistan Cricket Board.

    I have a very strong feeling that Kamran Abbassi can do that job better than Dr. Naseem Ashraf. If there is an election and if Kamran stands for that posts, he will be elected by a majority!

  • Murad Ali (Toronto) on December 20, 2006, 18:45 GMT

    Communication skills not necessary? I beg to differ. Half of the debate here about how inzi is lazy and how people feel embarrassed when Inzi speaks would not be there. I am not discounting the cricketing knowledge that is required on the field.. but a good captain is one who is tactically brilliant on the field and also off the field. Given that this dicusssion is comparing Inzi vis a viz Imran, all of us undoubtly agree that Inzi and Imran are both good cricketers in their own rights. however.. its also very obvious that Imran was the more eloquent and charismatic. Why do people say that ?Dont you think the communication skills Imran had contributed to it??

  • Umair Muzaffar on December 20, 2006, 18:34 GMT

    Pakistan has always had the ON-PAPER team with star power to be serious contender for the World Cup – the only issue has been that either they misfire or have leadership issues/tussles.

    We have had the star power of Sarfaraz, Imran, Miandad, Zaheer, Majid and Asif among others in the earlier World Cups – but we just came short. In the world Cups of 1980 we had Salim, Wasim, Qadir, Miandad, Imran and Mohsin among others but we failed to take it all the way.

    For one reason or the other whether it was lack of form or leadership tussles we just did not fire even though we had the STARS to take us all the way.

    1992 we had the stars both as well as the no leadership issues topped by an unknown star in the making: Inzamam. With Jawed providing batting backbone, Wasim, Imran, Aaqib and Waqar providing bowling power, Imran leading from the front put Pakistan on track to win the World Cup … but it was only sealed by a new comer that no one knew how to bowl to: Inzamam – the wild card.

    1996 and 1999 and 2003 World cups also featured STARs even super stars leading the team but for some reason, form related or leadership related, they just did not fire.

    This leads us to 2007. Pakistan again has the star power of Yousuf, Inzamam, Younis, Razzak, Shoaib Akhtar, and Asif and to some extent Gul and we also have the man of any day and any pitch Afridi. Inzamam leads from the front when it is needed to push team to give that extra yard of pace, stamina to chase after the ball, the mental strength to dig-in to bat and get the team to respect him. I think that it makes a complete team --- but still it there is one missing component that is in my view necessary to take the team all the way --- the wild card!! Someone new --- either a bowler or a batsman --- that no opponent knows how to bat against or bowl to. That wild card is needed to clinch the world cup from Australia.

    Whether Inzamam can win the World Cup and stand side by side with Imran in the leadership rows will solely depend on that wild card – even if Pakistan wins the world cup under Inzamam’s leadership – people still will question his leadership against the great Imran Khan – but for me he will at least deserve a fair discussion on the topic. He made it possible for Imran as the wild card in the 1992 World Cup, who will make it happen for Inzamam?

    Regards, Umair

  • Armughan on December 20, 2006, 17:29 GMT

    I think Mr.Imran Butt has so far been very impressive, well he has atleast made his incorrect notions look extremely convincing. The person who is rating England as the Oneday power(please check recent record) must not be too aware of whats going on in the game. As for other mather such as discipline, i think on that count Pakistani's are doing good. World Cup is no Mount Everst, its 10 games that you need to give your all to, you dont even need to win more then 3/4th. When you play, it is how much you concentrate. If Jason Gallispe can get a double ton or for that Saqlain can bat 350 balls for 79, everything is possible. I am very hopeful that INSHALLAH the cup is coming back home. Go Pakistan!

  • Amit Jay Singh on December 20, 2006, 15:26 GMT

    I am an Indian and a hindu but what mawali said was absolutely wrong,this is a free world and you can practice preach ur religion in whatever way u like. The team has become better since public show of islam so i guess it works.I think the only way pakistan always looses is because of itself. There is no pakistan team without the pathan"Shahid Afridi", get him in the side guys if u wanna get to the semis leave alone winning the world cup. he is pivotal guy in the lineup. The charismatic and enigmatic afridi.

  • Khan Akram on December 20, 2006, 15:16 GMT

    Imran was captain forever. Inzamam's been captain for three years. Between 1992 - 2003 we saw a period of egoistic, self-centered, insecure players constantly bickering and shuffling/rotating captaincy. Astonishingly, they were all rather quiet under Imran. So did they fear him? Or did they just respect him? In any case he was definitely dominant.

    Ironically, Inzamam's the last active player from Imran's team. Its true he is also dominant. Other than Shoaib Akhtar, who might I add has issues and problems with everybody and anybody, no other player has hinted of even a slightest bit of disagreement with him. But the question to ask.....Is this because the team fears him? Or do they just respect him?

    Its no secret. We all know the answer.

    I tip my hat to Inzamam. Last three years have been rather positive/productive/progressive. The consensus is that Order has been restored.

    Should Inzamam's team bag the 2003 worldcup. Imran Khan's acheivements as captain will have to settle for second.

  • jamil on December 20, 2006, 15:14 GMT

    nice choice - i was always a fan of Younis Khan until his immature behaviour before the champions trophy - once again I am predicting Pakistan Australia finals - what happens thereafter is to be seen - all depends on the final 11 - do we pick sensibly or by virtue of likeness - world cup is really accessible - all in hands of inzi and his 11 of the day. Good Luck to him.

  • khansahab on December 20, 2006, 15:09 GMT

    inzi is the obvious choice for captain, that much is fine. people here are talking about world cup. pakistan cannot win unless they sort out their opening pair. one way of getting round the problem is that send akmal and hafeez as openers and bat shoaib malik in the place of akmal. one thing i don't understand is, why did malik ever get demoted down the order? as far as i can remember, he had only one poor ODI series as opener. many people were saying that he is the answer to pakistan's opening dilemma, he was one player who could occupy and crease for a reasonable amount of time.

    there is an institutional problem with the PCB- they believe that the openers should be those who can go out and play attacking strokes in the first few overs. in today's age, where every player wants to play his shots as ODI's have turned into mere batting contests, that philosophy is out of place. the focus from playing attacking strokes should be CREASE OCCUPATION. look at pakistan's middle/lower order. forget inzi, younis and yousuf- everyone, from malik to razzaq to akmal to afridi to even naved-ul-hasan and shoaib akhtar, play attackingly anyway. that is how cricket is played at grass roots level in pakistan- hit a six if youre batting or bowl at 90mph if youre bowling- so i still don't understand why we feel the need to pick people like farhat and butt, who probably don't even know the meaning of SHOT SELECTION. i'll tell you what, pakistan's opening dilemma will not be sorted out until the selectors have this mentality of getting 20-22 year old youngsters who can play some drives and cuts but eventually nick to the keeper, slips or gully. what pakistan need more than ever now is maturity in the opening pair. hafeez, taufeeq umar, yasir hameed (specialist openers who know how to occupy the crease) and asim kamal, faisal iqbal (versatile batsman who can bat anywhere) should be the future of pakistani team.

  • Salman on December 20, 2006, 15:01 GMT

    Long gone are the days when your best batsmen would walk in at no.4 and no.5. These days the game or atleast the course of it is pretty much decided by the top 3 in the first 15-20 overs. And despite somehow putting up a decent ODI record over the past couple of years, Pakistan has not be able to answer the core issue of openners. Until that happens you might as well put away the World Cup glory thoughts. Still unconvinced? answer the following questions: 1. where do you rank Pakistan's fielding in the world? 2. how disciplined are your bowlers with no balls and wides? 3. can the 15 man squad keep itself fit throughout the world cup?

    On top of all these questions there is one last observation. Imran's team had too many question marks and weak links. Wasim Haider & Iqbal Sikander's international career spanned over '92 world cup only, unbelievable selections? But there was one big driving force that brought them from the dead and to the top of the world, i.e Imran Khan's and Javed Miandad's leadership skills. Do Inzamam, Yunis & Yousuf have the skills to mobilize the troops the same way? I doubt it.

  • Syed Dabeer on December 20, 2006, 14:38 GMT

    Inzamam cannot surpass Imran even if he won worldcup and able to make the hospital. There are many reasons for that. Above all, Inzamam was a discovery of Imran, he had been discarded by selectors by saying that he plays over the infielders, so Imran would always be credited for Inzamam's achievements. Imran made this game popular in this part of the world more than any body else. He started bowling fast on those dead pitches where many fast greats just excused to bowl. He taught Pakistan cricket how to won the matches and was very innovative in his stratagies. He discovered gems like Wasim, Waqar and Abdul Qadir and he was the one who converted Pakistan team into best test side of those days despite of limited resources. He was the one who gave cricket the concept of neutral umpiring. When it comes to leading from the front, Imran was fantastic. He came one down in final of worldcup 92 and I still remember many commentators were criticising this move of his. Later this daring move proved all critics wrong. This was the biggest gamble of his carrer, I would say, and is a proof of his selflessness. On the other hand Inzamam has always been pushing other people at one down position, a difficult one, despite of the fact that he is still the best batsman of the side.The amount of charisma and cult surrounding Imran is really hard to be surpassed. Its not just the matter of achievement but the attitude.

  • Subhan Allah on December 20, 2006, 14:36 GMT

    Forget about his leadership or communication skills or his running between wickets. Just give him a cricket bat and he will let it do all the talking.

    The great Imran Khan would not have won the worldcup without Inzy in the team. Keep religon out of sport. God bless you all.

  • bilal on December 20, 2006, 14:19 GMT

    inzi is no where close to imran, but as of now, i feel he is the best damn captain after him. People can say all they want-its simple its NOT what you have BUT how u use it...Inzamam is a champion in this respect, the world cup would be a fine way to cap his great leadership, but an entry into the semis would be greatly appreciated, or AT Least this time, lets go to the 2nd round...go INZI

  • Qasim on December 20, 2006, 12:59 GMT

    To: Arslan Shaukat

    > I never meant to take anything away from Imran Khan. I just believe that It was a team effort and not just because of Imran.

    I know he batted at 3 to block one end and thats why his strike rate was very low. Am only saying that if it wasn't for Ramiz Raja, Miandad, Wasim, Inzi and Mushtaq, then Pakistan would never have gotten to the finals. All these players deserve as much credit as Imran does.

    I don't think that telling anyone just to take wickets and forget about the runs would make them get wickets like Wasim got in the final. Wasim Akram without a doubt had the ability to do so.

    Imran was the best captain Pakistan has ever produced but Captains alone can not win the world cup!!!!!

    I still believe Pakistan has a decent enough oppertunity but it all depends upon team performance.

    And if Asif and Akhtar are not playing... I don't think they can then even make it to the semi's.

    Pakistan's strength is in their bowling and without Asif and Akhtar, their still good.. just not one of the best like Aussies or even SA's pace attack.

    I think it will be an extremely close contest between Australia, SA and Pakistan(with Asif and Akhtar) because they all have pretty much an equal pace attack. It will depend on their batsman and thats where Australia and Pakistan have an edge.

    Pakistan has two solid middle order batsmen in Inzi and Yousuf. Not mentioning Younis here because he doesn't even deserve to be in the ODI squad. Pakistan can win only if they play to their strengths, keep wickets (we know Malik/Hafees and Hameed can do that) and then play some explosive cricket towards the end. We have the firepower, Malik, Razzak and Afridi (if he's played) Kamran Akmal can hit a couple of boundries aswell.

    I think if Asif, Akhtar, Gul/Rana and Rehman are played, then they will be able to defend small targets aswell.

    At the end, it would depend on Inzi to use his bowlers wisely and ofourse the fielding. The amount of catches Farhat drops, he should not even be in the A Team! and he is still in the SA squad.

    Surprise Package:- Sirilanka winning the world cup. I wouldn't be surprised because they do have a balanced team in all departements. Plus conditions in WestIndies are like in the Sub-Cont. Murali will be tough to play there. That is why Rehman should be given a chance.

    To Mr. Abbasi

    > Your blessed and can play with words although I think you should be using this blessing for a true cause and not just humiliating PCB all the times.

    I know they're is curruption in PCB, it is being run by god knows who and can be very unreliable at time although It is unfair to critisise them on every possible and smallest of opperunities available.

    Critisising will not get you anywhere!!! As we all know how corrupted and unproffesional PCB is. Something usefull on this blog will do us all good.

    Thanks

  • Ghalib Taimur on December 20, 2006, 12:48 GMT

    On this talk of Bhai culture and religion.I think there is nothing wrong in being a good Muslim and playing cricket.What does Inzi thanking God have to do with cricket.Also the talk that players are selected if they are religious.That is so wrong Shoaib would have been the first one out of the team if that were true.On Bhai culture it is just respect given to an older player.Atleast the players in the Pakistani team haven't forgotten their traditions after becoming famous cricketers.

  • Abrar Zia Malik on December 20, 2006, 12:43 GMT

    Inzi is good captain or not? What r the qualities of a good captain, one who unites his troops, who himself is a good performer, can keep cool in pressure, can rescue the team from difficult situations (lead from the front) etc etc and Inzi has shown all these qualities during his captaincy. I think he is as good as Imran. During Imran time there was vulgarity in the team, drinking was normal, but atleast,it is not the case now, so Inzi has an edge on this front, atleast. The team is good representative of a muslim country. I believe Inzi is very good, leader let's support him.

  • Aqif on December 20, 2006, 12:35 GMT

    No. Inzamams mission is not to surpass Imran Khan (a living legend). Inzi is a captain and a captain always does and should hope for eternal bliss (World cup in this case!) I just wish people accept him as he his, we dont need him to be imran for us to win the world cup. I believe, inshAllah, Inzi, with his beard, with his yes-boys-have-done-well comments, his bulgy tummy and his cool attitude, and his crazy erratic squad, will win us the World Cup. And for once, thereby silence the lowly below the belt hits pointed at him for his beard. Rock on inzi, there are millions behind you!

  • Ghalib Taimur on December 20, 2006, 12:23 GMT

    Is Inzimam another Imran Khan?Well...i would say no but he has the team where we should pose a challenge for the world cup.Inzimam though i think is Woolmers puppet.I just think that Woolmer is always the one who wants to make the tactics and sometimes the players who are selected sem to be Woolmers favourites(eg Shoaib Malik-this guy doesn't deserve to play if Hafeez is in the team and if he is not bowling his off-spinners).Imran would never be anyones puppet.

    In batting i would say that team was much stronger.In bowling this team has the edge over our 1992 team.But we have to consider those tracks were pacy while these will be on the slower side.If Pakistan doesn't rely too heavily on the bowling attack and bats well we should win this cup.Pakistan Zindabad

  • Imran Butt on December 20, 2006, 12:16 GMT

    Nothing can be done with our naïve subconscious as a nation I think we are prone to live in the wonderland of folk lore legends such as Cinderella and Alaa Din and his magical lamp. I feel disgusted more about the journalists like you then the novice and naïve supporters of our cricket team. Who unnecessarily creates misconceptions and wrongful premises about the prospects of our team to reach the sublime heights of Everest in cricket (World Cup) over the years. Every realistic and rational person is aware from these facts that our opening pair of batsmen is suffering since the retirement of Anwar and Sohail, together with the perennial problems of ground fielding and poor technique of our batsmen against the quality seam and swing bowling of formidable bowlers of, for instance, Australia, South Africa, England or even New Zealand. The latent internal disputes in the team, where the grouping of players still exists (whether we want to belive or not is another issue) and rule breakers (Shoiab Akhtar , Asif &Co) still get the green signals from some so called administrators of PCB, together with other ailments of the team which is hard to delineate here are enough to put off any rational fanatic like me to abandon the high hopes of Pakistan team lifting the world cup in Caribbean in 2007. Great teams not necessarily become great because of talent but to harness and effectively tap that talent to the modes of discipline and strict dogma of self believe and accountability is the main trait for any team to become a champion unit instead of great potentional one (which is a terminal tag on Pakistan team at the moment). Don’t develop the manors of hope on the foundations of sand dear Pakistani fans of cricket just be realistic and hope that our team culture and administration would change in order for you to dream about the highest realms for our cricket team.

  • Zeeshan Muzaffar on December 20, 2006, 11:55 GMT

    Yes, Inzamam in obviously the right choice, but he must make sure that he has the right combination of players in all the departments (because it's a team game). What I suggest, instead of too many all rounders, it will be better for him to have as many specialists as possible in the team, because then they will be accountable for their consistency and performance. He should have atmost two allrounders (who can bat and bowl).

    Finally, Inzamam as a captain with right combination of players will be able to make the dream come true, otherwise be prepared for nail biting and hair pulling while watching team performance during world cup.

  • riaz ahmad on December 20, 2006, 11:52 GMT

    inzi is the best choice we hv aye find yusuf the best choice being his deputy but do not undstd the wisdom behind yunus being vice captain ofcourse it wud be exciting to see pak lift the world cup 2007 in carribean but realistically pak has not much chance against the likes of aussies and proteas despsite that we wish our team best of luck as cric is a crazy game lot of things happen totally unexpected like our win in 1992

  • Tasawar Hussain on December 20, 2006, 11:32 GMT

    Leadership is something in which Pakistan seems to be struggling in every filed of life. Imran's leadership and personality was charismatic with agression and lot of self belief. Though Inzmam might not be as charismatic and aggresive leader like Imran, but he has lot of self belief and ability to lead from the front and his partnership with Bob Woolmer has yielded good results ovewr the years for Pakistan. He molded the individuals into a TEAM, instilled lot of self belief and never say dye attitude in them. Will Inzmam's men respond him, like Imran's did in 1992. Hopefully history will be repeated as Inzi really deserve this glory.

  • Anas M on December 20, 2006, 11:27 GMT

    I totally agree with you Abbasi, that Inzimam has to be captain if Pakistan want to reach into the finals of the World Cup. Younis has not shown a godd captaincy so far; Yousuf does not seem interested; Razzaq is way too naive; Afridi is .. just Afridi. Inzimam is not the best captain, but the only choice at the moment. If he's gone there will be no (visible) unity in the team. The question is not who should be captain during the world cup, but who to lead after it when Inzi retires. And, what would Inzi do? Commentary? I'd look forward to that!

  • Momin on December 20, 2006, 10:32 GMT

    I think many people have rebuked what Mawali has said, as it should have been. But one Mr. Javed A. Khan from Montreal has also given his comments, to which I dare response.

    Your lack of cricketing knowledge appears from the fact that Sir, for next year's world cup there would be no super six round, instead a super eight round.

    As regards your opinion about the Bhai culture, let me humbly protest at your laughable comments. Bhai is a symbol of respect, and which elders deserve. If they west cant respect their elders, it doth not mean that we shouldnt as well.

    As for calling Doctor Naseem a joker, I think you are hurt of the fact that you do not know anyone in the government in a bid to get some lucrative assignment ... Pakistan has given u all, what have u given Pakistan in return?

    Inzamam ul Haq may not be tactically astute, may not be the fittest, and may not be energetic, but Inzamam ul Haq has given Pakistan much more then Javed A. Khan or Mawali. It is depressing that an Indian fan has had better thoughts about Inzi den a Pakistani alias Javed A. Khan.

    I think Kamran Abbasi started this blog for people to be freely speaking their minds out. But Kamran, you need to make a stern statement to those who give defamatory and factually incorrect statements.

    And though Inzi may never be regarded as a great captain, he is a legend in his own right and we all love him ... and even if u think otherwise, I will define a successful world cup campaign as a performance ear marked by fighting spirit and a never saying die approach - and technically, anything above or till the semis. And I am sure

  • jamal on December 20, 2006, 10:17 GMT

    My point of view is that right desecition by PCB.coz now in present no one better than inzi but i m very much worried that inzi little bit of defensive camptain not inzi when woolmer join PAK team so team policy in now changed they are defensive approach like india now india is take pak stretigy and pak took india.our players are natural strock player so you should play ur shots but now they are trying to defensive approach i dont know why.opening problem is still not solve so many pairs tried but no chance for imran nazir he is stylish netural strok player but no one support to him.bowling attach now complete.best wishes for pakistan and i ways support whate surcomtanaces.Pak zinda bada always

  • Raza-e-Mustafa Gujranwala on December 20, 2006, 10:11 GMT

    Agreeing with Javed A Khan from Montreal, I would say that the Pakistan team needs to develop a professional culture and performance should be a yardstick while evaluating players, not their status as the senior pros. It is the responsibility of the senior players to mentor the younger ones whether they call them bhai or not. I agree with him that calling bhai is very unprofessional and it undermines the confidence of the younger players and they remain under the shadow of the seniors. A couple of years back there was talk of Brian Lara being a negative factor in the West Indian squad as the younger players felt under pressure while playing with or under him. Same is the case here and it is not so with the Australian team. Selection is an external matter and should not be related with undue respect or with people's lifestyles. Ponting admitted having Alchohol problems and was still made the captain.

    The second thing is that the Pakistanis should play their cricket on scientific lines. The position of the body while bowling, the fall of the front foot, the delivery stride, the wrist position, the seam position and the aerodynamics of the ball are all scientific matters. Troy Cooley was with English team last year and they were reversing the old ball, now he is with the Aussies and now they are reversing it whereas the Englishmen seem to have lost their lessons. It is all about taking cricket as a sceince and doing your homework. Remember how Shaun Pollock would always get the wicket of saeed Anwar and how Sajeeva DeSilva never allowed Afridi more than an over? Does anyone remember when was Glenn McGrath last time injured? I cant remember him being injured since treading on the ball in England last year. Can anyone remember when Ponting or Hussey were injured, or for that matter one of the fastest bowlers in the world, Brett Lee? It is all because they take things seriously and scientifically whereas our players take banned substances on their own and PCB comes to know it from the findings of an equally unprofessional Commission. It is ridiculous to know that the best bowlers of Pakistan team were going to quacks and taking dietary suppliments without an expert to oversee them. I think it is about times Pakistan Cricket got its act together and started being run on scientific lines. PCB has huge sum of money which should not be wasted on dishing out lucrative salaries to incompetent people. It should rather be spent on developing cricket in Pakistan both on senior and junior levels.

  • Shahbaz Faheem on December 20, 2006, 9:59 GMT

    Dear Kamran. Inzi is not the right choice. Infact, he is the only choice that PCB has. What a pity. take a look at Pakistan team and tell me who u will pick as a Captain.... None. Even Inzi become the Captain not becoz he deserve it or he possess any captaincy skill but just becoz no one better was around at that time as well. Ever since Imran khan has left Pakistan Cricket has always struggle to have a good captain who can marshall the abudant talent that Pakistan Cricket possess. But unfortunately it was not to be. It's high time that PCB start instilling some intellect and educate the players. I suggest Opening educational Academy along with Cricket Academy. only talent is not enough on international level. PCB should groom future Captain from now onwards, the captain should be the good player as well as good at mind. But I dont see a single player who is capable of becoming Captain. Better to bring back Imran Khan as non-playing Captain similar to Tennis, that might help.

  • Gohar on December 20, 2006, 9:55 GMT

    Well... regarding best fielder prize for Inzi is the best thing that could happen. Look at this way... in this particular match, inzi was all over the ground. He was chasing the ball to the boundry instead of getting lethargic by seeing other fielders running along. Saved quite a few runs. Dived around to stop the ball. This is normal... but look at it in a prospective that its INZI we are talking about... not Muhammad Hafeez or Shoaib Malik or any other youngster. So like ICC scoring criterea, if a weaker team beats a stronger team, it gets more points as compared to the other way round. This will certainly push other players in the team to field better than their potential.

    And regarding captaincy, no doubt Inzi isn't a born leader but he certainly has learnt this art which he never was comfortable with, at least initially.

    So please, we should give the guy his due recognition. He's performing better captaincy than was expected of him, esp, when there's no better option. He's won us alot of matches single handedly. Besides, I don't think many ppl have noticed this fact that Inzi is a very very lucky captain with the toss. I don't know the statistics.. but I'm sure it'd be more than 80:20 ratio in favor of winning the toss.

    So, INZI is the best captain at the moment. (for a young team)

  • babar ali on December 20, 2006, 9:40 GMT

    inzi being religious has no NEGATIVE impact on the team OK. This is the most settled team becuase of inzi and bob woolmer. inzi is the best captain we have got and his captaincy does not affect his batting.

    Inzi does not need to copy anything imran does. He has a very good balanced unit to play with. this is about winning the biggest prize of all not trieng to surpass another legend.

    If the team are to win it would have to be a team game captains cant win a game ot tournament single handedly.

    This is a very good blog PLEASE kamran abbasi dont post offensive comments here.

    What has religion got to do with this its a blog about cricket please stop disputeing..

    JAVED A KHAN MONTREAL i used to like your comments and i am sure i have complimented you regarding this before.

    BUT today your comments have been tottaly offensive and un acceptable. lets please keep this blog about cricket with all respect.

    Peace out people KEEP IT REAL.....

  • Nabbu on December 20, 2006, 9:36 GMT

    For this world cup Inzi is the best available choice ,but to expect him to win the world cup is certainly a big big ask, certain factors are on role here openers in our team are not established ,all rounders are not performing up to the mark even few are struggling for their place in the team (Afridi) while Razzaq and Malik both not in the greatest of forms, our wicket keeper though is a good batsmen but his wicket keeping abilities, we all know how much he is capable of ,we do not have any bowler in the team who can stop the flow of runs like Wasim Akram or Aaqib Javed nor any specialist spinner like Mushtaq Ahmed or Saqlain.

    The victory of the world cup 92 was not solely because of the captaincy but also because of team work .In 92 Pakistan team was a great combination

    Ramiz raja and Aamir Sohail (Openers) Imran,Javed ,Inzamam,Salim Malik,Ijaz Ahmed (Middle order) Wasim Akram (All rounder) Moin Khan (Wicket keeper Batsman) Mushtaq (Leg break) Aaqib Javed (Pacer)

    We cannot compare the current team with the Imran’s team except the middle order of the Inzi’s 11 which is comparable with that of 92 side beside that this team is of smaller stature in all departments opening, bowling pace & spin both and wicket keeping.Lastly we do have lot of all rounders in our team Razzaq, Hafeez ,Afridi and Shoaib Malik but all of them combinely are way behind than the likings of Imran & Waseem.(certainly the greatest allrounders of all time).

    The other thing which comes to my mind is the strength of the competitors ,at the point where Australia is standing today is certainly untouched before ever in the history of cricket.The south African side today has more depth than ever in their line up, so competition again is tougher.

    BUT FOR CAPTAINCY INZIMAM IS THE RIGHT CHOICE, if not who else then, about his imposing style MAWALI why Kaneria is the permanent member of the test team why doesn’t he turned over to islam to make his place in the one day side MAWALI & CHARSI your comments are freak.

  • kHAWAJA NAVEED ZAFAR on December 20, 2006, 9:31 GMT

    i think those who are not happay with inzammam for being captain of the side must look back towards the Champions Trophy when Younis Khan shocked every body by stepping down from Captancy and with that he has created huge question mark over his captanciy future. Also you cannot ignore the presence of Inzammam in the team there is no one who can get the team together the way he has done over the past two years.

  • feo on December 20, 2006, 9:16 GMT

    the people who are calling for blogs to be edited and for people not being allowed to use terms like potato head (how blasphemous)should really not even visit blogs and should hust get on with their sordid little non-lives.

    I agree with everything mawali said

  • Ijaz Ahmed SA on December 20, 2006, 9:02 GMT

    What garbage is you talking seems like you don’t have any brain?

    PCB need to do something about Afridi if they keep on giving him millions of chances then they are not in the right séances because he plays absolute garbage cricket, I suggest the PCB should give Azhar Mahmood a chance he is a great player and also he played good cricket against South Africa in particularly, I am in SA for aprox 13yers and all the times PAK been in SA we have been embarrassed by there perfumes so I hope this will be the time when our team will make us proud as INDIA has done

    THE 2007 WORD CUP it will be Inzi’s word cup INSHALLAH

  • Imran Zia on December 20, 2006, 8:50 GMT

    Younis khan's captaincy in the champions trophy was to say the least disappointing and directionless. I have serious doubts that he would become the next captain. That makes Inzi the automatic choice. At least in his captiancy the team is more focused and when he is off the field Younis gets a chance to show some innovation. This way things are managed smoothly. He may or may not surpass Imran Khan but he is Pakistan's best chance.

  • Umer Chohan on December 20, 2006, 8:45 GMT

    First of all its good that pcb has busted the hype created about yuonis having good captaincy skills by trying him in champions trophy.

    Secondly I think your captain must be the guy who is ranked amongst the top 3 in your side. Younis is ranked as the top 3 batsmen in test. But in odi he is no way near it. His average at one down position 26.

    The point I want to make is that the primary atribute of a captain should be that he should lead from the front.

    Imran Khan was a successfull captain because he used to lead from the front. His leadership qualities also helped him a lot to gain that success. But he used to motivate the young team by his extra ordinary performance with both bat and ball.

    Inzamam lacks in captaincy skills a lil bit. But he is head to head with Imran Khan in leading from the front department. This is the only reason why pakistan has been performing well. It is number 4 team in odis and number 3 team in tests. Which is a big acheivement keeping in mind that we started from ground zero after 2003 worldcup when wasim,waqar and saeed retired.

  • A. Siddiqui on December 20, 2006, 8:26 GMT

    It was interesting to read the comments posted on the blog....but I feel critical appreciation or analytical review by cricket followers and fans should refrain from derogatory terminology or personal bias or preference....after all of us mean well and right now what's missing from the fans is the support and confidence......remember nobody gave Pakistan a chance in the 92 World Cup but at home everyone beleived deep down inside that this could be acheived and it was...and lets keep emotions and sentiments out of this...this is the best side the country has and let them prove it.....

  • ahamed husham on December 20, 2006, 8:12 GMT

    inzamam is best captan of pakistan team.he is the my fevourite player.

  • Ahmad on December 20, 2006, 8:03 GMT

    Dear Abbasi, I really believe in your articles and you are have the sense of cricketocracy. The cooments of Mawali were disgusting and he is ignorant of myth of Islam. This is faith of Inzi in Allah and he is a true Muslim. We should foucs on Inzi's records and his captincy but not pin point his faith in Islam. Hope you understand......

  • Usman Gulraiz on December 20, 2006, 8:01 GMT

    Its the results, not the performance that matters. Aggressive or defensive, the team's gotta win, And thats what the Pakistani team right now is doing.

  • Muhammad Haroon Rap on December 20, 2006, 7:48 GMT

    Inzi is one of the greatest player,,its not the matter of comparision between the two great players coz each have his unique way of doing the things. I'll close by saying Inzimam has proved himself as "MAN OF CRICES."

  • Dr Faizullah Khawaja on December 20, 2006, 7:42 GMT

    I totally agree with your comment that Inzi is the best available option to captain pakistan inthe world cup. Younus was disappointing as a captain in the champions trophy. I think the second important factor is the selection. We have again confused the vital opening spot. Hafeez and Imran farhat ,hafeez and kamran, hafeez and afridi or yasir hammeed, we still dont know. we have a mouth watering selection of fast bowlers if all are allowed. Finally Abdul Rehman is a great find and must be used specially in the west indies.

  • Raheel Hashmi on December 20, 2006, 7:36 GMT

    Inzi might not emulate Imran Khan in guile and persona but he is the 100% right choice to lead the team in World Cup. He is perhaps the only guy in the Team who is respected by each and every team member.

    Don’t talk about his communication skills and speaking abilities as he is not supposed to give a lecture in the university. Look at his professionalism at the cricket ground. Where his words may not form a speech, his batting does the rhetoric.

    In my opinion, if this team performs at only 60% of its abilities, they might become a big force in cricket.

  • Dr Khan, Australia on December 20, 2006, 7:28 GMT

    We would win the world cup provided the whole team can perform. On one hand it is not Islamic war to use Islam and on other hand, there is nothing much about Praising Imran, too much- As nothing succeed like Success. The Success of Imran comes from his Popluarly in West- and why he was POPULAR, it is any body guess. By sheering self-worship and arrogance if you become Leader like Imran, you might be call, The Great Khan, but not humane nature like Inzy------ The problem with your enslaved mind is that when we understand the meanings of life which IMBUDED in Islam, we surley become humle and elighted soul, referring to real contributor--- Telling meekly that it is SOMEONE did it for us-- in our favours-- God---------------and there are some who think they did it---- Captian like Managers, get things done by ohters-- Inzy needs to play his part in winning the world cup and others are required to play thier parts'. If this can happend, we can win, when West Indies are beaten by us, in recent tours and they beat Australi for couple of times, then there is little left to FIND AND DRAG SUCCESS FROM THE GREAT IMRAN'S incdent of 1992 world cup-- it just happend by team work-- and the benefits went to SO-CALELD LEADER---- Imram khan the Great-- and then last thing, knowing English CAN be ATTRIBUTE BUT NOT VIRUTE-- it is virtous to be thanksful TO God----

    Cheers Dr Khan

    hter

  • Mustafa Moiz on December 20, 2006, 7:13 GMT

    I think that Inzamam's team can win the World Cup but even if they do Inzamam cannot be compared to Imran Khan, who won the 1992 World Cup or Wasim Akram, who got to the finals of the 1999 World Cup. But they can win.

  • Hassan Mir on December 20, 2006, 7:07 GMT

    I want to comment on the responses posted by Mr. Javed from Canada and Mawali from Badmashgoth. I think they should be banned as they know nothing about cricket. I think they should spend sometime and watch cricket carefully for about a couple of years and then they should start discussing it with some1. I don't even feel like replying these guys as they are totally lost.

  • Mustafa on December 20, 2006, 7:02 GMT

    This is for those readers who are responding to Mr. Mawwali......He doesn't deserve to be even responded for his provokative comments about our dear INZI as this is what he wants to achieve i.e. cheap fame. So leave him alone and deserted (what he deserves)and continue with your discussion about better leader between khan and inzi... In my personal opinion, both are great captain in their own ways; Khan led the side very well in his autocratic style and Inzi is also doing well by uniting the time and getting them completely behind himself by his humble ways... So, let us hope and pray that he brings glory back to us in World Cup 2007....Ameen!

  • Mudasir Ali on December 20, 2006, 6:53 GMT

    If all the corrupt & jellous people keep their mouth shut then our team be able to win the world cup. Inshallah

  • Ali Waheed on December 20, 2006, 6:43 GMT

    Debate about Inzi's credentials goes on and on, i for one dont care whether he is a laid back personality or an assertive one as long as the results are there to prove his success. I wonder what would please us Pakistanis considering that Inzi's success rate as Captain in ODI's is higher than any other Captain of Pakistan who has led the side in more than 50 ODI's and that includes Imran, Miandad and Wasim Akram among others. He is in top 10 of all time captains who have led in 50 or more matches and its quite an erstwhile company. What exactly do we mean he is weak on strategy, hell a strategy is as good as the result time we grew out of this myth of feeling that a hyperactive captain who bad mouths his players on the field is a good one and one who goes about his business quietly is not. He is the mentally toughest batsman not only in Pakistan even on an international scale i think the only batsman who can be compared with him is Dravid, Inzi leads from the front he is always there when the team needs him whether it be chasing scores of 300+ against India or going for meagre targets with the tail enders. I have been watching cricket for 30 years now and i dont recall even a six month period in Pakistan cricket history without internal team strife whoever the Captain but since Inzi took over we have a settled look to the team no internal squabbling or daggers in the back. But we as a nation love to undermine soft spoken people therefore we love to undermine the gentle giant. Inzi may not even have thought of surpassing Imran but i am sure he does want to answer his critics in the only way that he knows by giving his best on the field and if he gives his best and wins us the World Cup all those who have called for his head would be either nowhere to be seen or they would be singing his praises as if they have always done that.

    Before i end i would like to add some people have never heard that its better to remain quiet and look stupid then to open your mouth and remove all doubts, case in point being the erstwhile Mawali who has dont exactly that. Inzi is in the side because of Tableeghi Jamat give me a break you are talking about the most successful batsman Pakistan has ever had. If you are so correct about your assertion that only those players who have a beard and drink water and thank Allah for everything are in the team i wonder what Danish Kaneria is doing there since he is not even a muslim. So Dear Mawali think before you speak otherwise you would look like your name.

  • Shuja on December 20, 2006, 6:43 GMT

    As much as we love Inzi, it's a accepted fact that he doesnt come close to Imran the Captain. Comparing their batting skills, Inzi surpasses Imran by a great distance. Coming back to the point in discussion, One Day Cricket is a funny and unpredictable game (except for the aussies). Even if things dunt work out the way you planned them, that doesnt necessarily mean that you arent as good a team. Lets just hope our beloved Team Clicks when the time comes. No doubt, we have been waiting for a long time.. hell it will be alomst 15 years.. (btw.. my time is much more important than to respond to that mawali guy)

  • Arshad Zaidi on December 20, 2006, 6:32 GMT

    We need to be realistic. Pakistan is a good team but certainly not the best among all. The team lacks consistency no matter who is the captain. I believe if Pakistan gets to the semis, it would be a great achievement. By any standard this team does not have the potential to win the World Cup. Do you think with uncertain openers, half fit bowlers, a lethargic captain, poor fielding standards and of course with so many scandals in the background, this team would win?

    As I said, pls be realistic.

  • NN on December 20, 2006, 5:58 GMT

    To be a natural leader and born with leadership skills is a gift. It is admirable to see an individual with such abilities to use them positively to lead a team to success. But for a person who isn't a born leader, its even MORE commendable to be able to successfully lead a team for a long time BY EXAMPLE. Why do I say successful? the reason is: http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/rankings/content/current/page/211271.html. Granted that as of now its not best on the ladder, but given the collective talent, experience & configuration of other teams its really excellent. And I hope wholeheartedly that it gets better.

    The kind of confidence, authority, positive & calm demeanor, self-reliance & sense of reponsibility that he has developed through his will, determination and most of all BELIEF: in self, team, country & the Almighty, is simply praiseworthy. Under his influence, the team emerges united.

    The team will have to have the same will, determination and BELIEF to win matches. Its not really just the match practice or the form on an individual basis that will make them win matches. What really matters is to have collective approach to achieve common goal, yearning to perform best in a unified manner, playing selflessly for the country & its people, playing with professionalism as a TEAM and not just a group of people. I believe they have all of these attributes in them and they have shown this every now and then, however its a matter of being wary of it all the time and not lose it under any circumstances.

    I wish them all the best for the upcoming cricket and World Cup.

  • arun on December 20, 2006, 5:52 GMT

    Some similarities and differences between Imran and Inzy: 1. Dominating Figure in the team: During Imran's time there was only Miandad who could rival Imran for captaincy. But he knew that he could not captain Imran. Thats why he voluntarily gave up the captaincy upon Imran's return from injury. Inzy's case there are no rivals especially after Younis's Champs Trophy fiasco. Between Imran's departure and Inzy's tenure, there were too many contenders for captaincy thus Miandad, Akram, Salim Malik, Waqar, Ramiz Raza, Sohail, Saeed Anwar, Moin Khan, Rashid Latif. Thus, the turmoil. Same was the case before Imran was made captain first time.Akram always had captain against the rival team at the same time against rivals within the team. 2. Imran was a born leader. Inzy does not know what leadership is.Imran had such a strong character, he pretty much had his way with everything from selection, to pitches to managers.Now with Inzy, the board has even taken away his powers to select the final 11. 3. Imran was commander in chief and Miandad was his general on the field. Eventhough Imran never liked Miandad, he knew he needed Miandad on the field for his cricketing brains. Inzy does not have a Miandad. I doubt Younis will ever reach that level.

  • Ashraf Malik New Jersey USA on December 20, 2006, 5:46 GMT

    I usually just read this blog thing & try not to comment , but it just ticked me off today rading some of what people posted here.1st of all the argument initiated by Mr.kamran Abbasi, is totally irrelevent as to the occasion, that who's better than who.Nobody in the world is ever been created with 100% same face & equal qualities.Imran was an unmatched & still is as in leadership but, as a player, he's no comparison to Inzi.Imran was unrespectfull & nasty to his team mates & a dictator in his nature.Where as Inzi is of humble & nobe nature, yet gets the results always just as good if not better than Imran. When Inzi was apointed as captain, i was myself shocked , how'd he do the job? but he's improved with every match & proved his appointment right, since there was & still is No better choice available.Inzi has nothing to prove or try to surpass any one.Imran was Imran....Inzi is Inzi.They both played to win for Pakistan, it's us that are getting into this useless argument rather than be supportive of him.Imran did his job & Inzi is doing what he has to do, without a cpmpatison .As far as I know, Inzi still goes to Imran &Miandad or Wasim or Waqar consults with them when he needs to, & that's because he still respects them as he always did.So, lets just support the Team Pakistan & not get into who's better than who. Pakistan is the best team ever at the moment, it may not have the charismatic leadership of Imran but it do have the unity & repect of eachother & that's what's made this team unformidable.On papers it might be ranked #3 but, this team as always can turn any team upside down in only minutes, provided they play to their potential. On Javed from Montreal...I totally agree with you that there's No Bhai & bro thing in ausie...Brittish....S A..or Windies teams because they call their Mother & father even by their names.Yes it's just us Pakistani & indians that don't call our seniors or elders with by names, not just our relatives or senior team mates.& we're totally proud of that , becuase that's our heritage.I can GAURANTEE 100% that javed is one of those who try to be what they are not & forget who & where they come from. he belongs NOwhere, he's neither Pakistani/indian.....Nor he can be (westerner) what he's trying to be. So I only pitty people like him. We're proud of who we are & the culture & heritage we have......lol Inzi Bhai....Imran Bhai.....Bob bhai...& Javed bhai too

  • Arsalan on December 20, 2006, 5:28 GMT

    Inzamam is the best choice for leading the best team for the World Cup 2007. Younis Khan do not deserve to be a captian and even a place in Pakistan's One Day Team. Muhammad Yousuf could be the right choice after Inzamam, but Inzamam should lead Pakistan for atleast another year. With this team,I have no doubt that great Inzamam will lift the trophy on April 28, 2007, but Inzamam certainly cannot become Imran Khan because he knows no politics !!!

  • Zuhair on December 20, 2006, 5:17 GMT

    I am really sad to read all the harsh words said for inzi. Those who thnk that Inzi is not a great fielder probably dont follow the game proprly or they are just too biaseed and they are driven by a prconcieved notion in thier minds!! it has always been a general perception among Pakistan cricket fans that Inzi is not a good fielder, rather at times he had als been named as a poor fieldr. Gimee a break!!!! Agree or not, there is no better fielder than inzi in our team!! He has the safest pair of hands, whether in slips or anywhere else!! his catching is even more assurd than kamran akmal's!! He is the best fielder at the short cover position, he hardly lets the ball pass through that region!! he stops very very fierce hit strokes, whihc no body notices for some strange reasons!! and if anybody remembers that he has the strongest throwing arm in the team!!! e certainly is the best fielder in our team for sure!!! ppl just tend to follow th generaized and poplar views about a player and specially for Inzi!!! and to the surprise of many, he hasd only been run out thrice in his long test career, but stil people say he just cant run!! pity our fans!!! as for the captain thig, it just has to be inzi, for more than one reason!! on, that he is the most respected guy in te team!! moreover, he has better understanding of the game than any other player in the current team. He is nowhere near Imran when it comes to leadership skils, but he has his own way of handling his boys!! Younis Khan is just crap!! all of us saw him, in th champions trophy making silly mistakes on the field!! he didnt even bowl 10 overs from the bowlers wo were bowling the best in that match!! h never assumes respoinsibility!! plus, i doubt that players give him respect!! I would like yousuf to lead our side when inzi leaves!! this again is a preconcieved notion that inzi favors those guys who are TABELEEGHIS!!! its not that at all!! had that ben the case, inzi would never have suported akhtar and asif!! we allknow akhtar and asif are nowher clsoe to be called religious, leave alone TABLEEGHIS!! inzi keeps playing farhat in his side, farhat belongs to quite a modern family, his way of living is entirely differnt from Inzis!!

  • Raza-e-Mustafa Gujranwala on December 20, 2006, 5:14 GMT

    I dont want to sound overtly cynic like Mr. Mawali or excessively jingoistic like all others, I would rather like to share my own ideas. The biggest problem with Pakistan cricket team is that they play cricket with their hearts, not minds. Cricket has become a science with teams looking into and exploiting the weaknesses of their opponents. Troy Cooly proved it last year. Teams make strategies; make different plans with a couple of backup plans also. But unfortunately, all this tactical nous is missing not only in Inzamam, but also the whole set up. Going into the World Cup with no planning whatsoever and a sleepy captain who wants to overtake Imran Khan in some cozy dream is another dream which (I dont want to sound pessimist) may not come true. We have got some wonderful individual performers who can wreak a havoc on the opposition singlehandedly on a given day, but to win as big a tournament as the world cup you need to develop a team which is consistent enough to win matches even when no individual player performs a miracle. Cricket is a science and the World Cup is going to be the ultimate test of the tactical and technological superiority of the teams. Pakistan comes at the bottom in this aspect with a coach sitting with a laptop watching movies and a captain with no tactics at all. Inzamam is a great player, but like all other Pakistani players, he is a great individual player who can win a few matches with his individual talent, but I am afraid to win a world cup, you don't need a few players playing their individual game, but a whole team equipped with technical expertise and mental strength to face any circumstances. This is where we are unfortunately lagging behind.

  • Nadeem on December 20, 2006, 5:03 GMT

    Well there are differences in opinion but there is no better choice other than Inzamam as the captain of Pakistani squad for the world cup. His greatest asset is his influence on other members of his side. This influence is essential to get the best from your team members. For a leader to be successful, he/she should be a capable one. He/she may not be the best among the team members but should be in the top tier. Inzy is the one. Inzy has the best support of his team members because of his personality and his support he gave to his colleagues over the last 2-3 years. There have been only very few changes in the Pakistan team in last 2-3 years and the team now under Inzamam is a better unit than the teams of the past. Inzamam is unfavorably compared with Imran Khan. Imran was a different kind of leader, very influential, charismatic, etc. But people often don't mention the support he always got from the Javed Miandad. Inzamam does not have such a support on two counts. No one in current Pakistani has as intelligent cricketing brain as Javed had and to the major extent as the batting ability as Javed had. This is still true even Yousuf is in the prime of his form. He has yet to perform in more difficult fortresses such as the tour of Suth Africa and in World Cup.

    Good luck Pakistan.

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on December 20, 2006, 4:31 GMT

    Let's be clear about on thing... Inzi is by far the best choice as captain right now... Younis showed how 'prepared' he was for captaincy by his antics before the Champion's Trophy... Inzi may not be as great as Imran Khan, but that doesnt mean that he cant win the world cup... Comparing Inzi to Imran is just not on... Imran is considered perhaps one of the greatest skippers of all time... Imran was also a selector... The fielding award Inzi got was surprising for everyone, including him... People who claim that he prefers bearded people better realize that most of the team does not have a beard... Afridi has a beard and he is not in the team. I dont think that I have to justify Yousuf's place... Razzaq, Rana, Hameed, Farhat, Rehman, Akmal, Younis, Shoaib, Asif dont sport a beard... and Kaneria is not even Muslim, yet Inzi calls him his spearhead in Tests...

    I am not a very religious person, but I have to say that religion has only helped the Pakistani cause, otherwise this team would have collapsed under the immense pressure that it has been in... Face the facts bro... Mawali just tried to his few moments of fame, so lets cheer for him... One of thos who can do anything to attain prominence :)

  • Imran on December 20, 2006, 4:02 GMT

    Inzi is the best batsman in the current Pakistani team. His ability to come good under heavy pressure makes him absolute jewl for our team. I dont care if he is showing his close connection with Islam and if his English is broken, for me what really matters is the result. At the end of the day I want to know only one thins and that is how many games did Inzi win. Fortunately Pakistan's performance is going higer and higher after every game and for me Inzi is acceptable regardless of being naive.

  • Khurram Dawood on December 20, 2006, 3:56 GMT

    Inzi can never beat Imran. We need another imran Khan. Inzi is good but i dont like they way he talks. Why he just cant speak in urdu ?

    Look in EU Japan Korea etc . No one speak english they speak italian frenh german etc .

  • Maqbool on December 20, 2006, 3:28 GMT

    Everyone keeps criticising the best fielder award to Inzamam. Any other suggestion? Who should have gotten the award? Just because he is not the fastest runner, doesn't mean he is not a good fielder. I think he is the safest pair of hands in slips. Anyone remember his brilliant catch to dismiss Gayle? Also when Samuel was hitting hard, Inzi himself stood at short cover position, and took a hit which injured him. So he is leading by example as well. Don't judge by reputation, judge by performance. I think he deserved the award.

  • usman bashir on December 20, 2006, 2:24 GMT

    I want to add my 2 cents in this lively discussion. First of all as for as comparison is concern, i think so there is no such issue, imran and inzi both have thier own positions and stnadards. Therefore , there is no need to compare them. Actually i always become surprised over this media sepeculations when they start comparing such things (like Ponting to Bradmann , Viv to Yousaf .....) as every player or character of history is considered in their own time and circumstances and its not wise to make such speculations. Both have served pakistan very well and we proud of their services. For example , i would like to put some issues about the leadership of imran. For example , no doubt imran does have a natural tendancy to hint the talent , but if you look at history , he is responsible of destorying many players too. So every human comes with their own misfits and its all over us , how we figure out him. (oh yeah i remember , when pakistan was loosing in 92, we were reading many news at dance clubs of Aus..) So, therefore, it will be not fair to compare these two greats, imran is no doubt a great all rounder and Cap and he will . Inzi has his own style of leadership and all the end what counts is the result, if he is bringing the results with his calm statue , we dont have right to complain his way of leadership; Now i come to the current announcement, If you just read the news few weeks ago , what you found in papers , "there is no place of islamization in Pakistan cricket . Chiarman" but suddenly it all changes , yeah just becuase his composure and how he deserves this seat. No doubt at this time nobody deserve this ride and we should rely over him to go into the world cup. As for as team is concern, we have several great combinations in previos worldcups but yet not able to win this title (examples are 87, 96, 2000 which inlcudes many big names and even we were favourites in 87 and 2000). As for as Islamization is concern (by the way i dont support tableghi jamaat) i think this has played a pivotal role in the build of team and we should give them regard of following the prinicipals of islam. Actually this is all comes to the personals and if some body beleives in that we should regard him. For example we used to respect yousaf while making cross and we do respect him while making sajda. So please be positive in your writings (either blog or either comments) and at the end i will say best of luck to pakistan team. (i just wana see them fighting with heart , winning Cup is mater secondary).

  • Murad Ali(Toronto, Canada) on December 20, 2006, 2:14 GMT

    I guess another comment from yur Western gangsta rap listening brother! I suggest that we leave religion out of this debate. Though it is indeed "different" that religon has become a very major aspect in our team, but hey.. its a good bonding factor. If Aussies bond over beer, then there should be nothing wrong with the islamic bonding. As long as it stays personal. There are allegations that being islamic is one of the ways to reach out to other players and not being part of the group weakens yours ability to stay in the team. That might be true , might not be. So we cant say.

    Coming to whether he should be captain.. yes he should be. We need to maintain consistency. At the moment, the ship should not be rocked.

    I dont belive Inzi is better than Imran. Both have their own styles, but Imran has chrisma. And well, talking English properly may not be a huge thing to some people, but infact it is. Its all about communication skills. Good communication skills help get your ideas and view point accross properly. So these are my two cents.

    As for Mr. Mawali's comments, like i said above.. leave the Tabligi jamaat aspect out of cricket and in yur personal life only.. and not on the cricket ground.. cause on the cricket ground.. its all about professionalism and skills. God does help.. but hey... you got to work on your own as well!!

  • Ranmal on December 20, 2006, 1:48 GMT

    Inzi is a good leader - he knows when to walk off the field and concede a match to the opponents - He is an excellent fielder and an inspiration to the whole team on the field. His batting is only surpassed by his running between the wickets. He should join Shoaib and Asif and take some banned drugs and get the support of some Pakistani Judges before he leads the team to world cup victory in the West Indies.

  • usman on December 20, 2006, 1:44 GMT

    I am sure Mawali's comments were designed to get us all excited . We all came to Inzi's defence, well done Mawali you achieved your objective. My only contribution to the debate is about selecting the right players. I think we should go with specialists and not rely too much on the allrounders. My suggestion is to include only one allrounder (Shoaib Malik or Abdul Razzaq or Abdul Hafeez) We should consider openning the batting with Salman Butt (a specialist) . Also we should include bowlers like Shabir Ahmed . Shabir's performance last year in the West Indies was commendable . We need bowlers who can attack the Australian and Indian batting line ups,I am afraid Abdul Razzaq, and Anjum do not fit the bill.

  • monty on December 20, 2006, 1:39 GMT

    i agree with kamran totally ...obviously inzamam is the best choice in the present team...he has been at the job for quite a few years and making any changes before the world cup would destabilise the team a little..i couldnt help but read malawi's comments..ridiculous to say the least...a bit too favourably biased towards clean shaven people he is i think....hehe..religion hasnt played any detrimental effect on pakistan cricket yet ..if anything yousuf has become the best batter in the world in the last year...maybe that has nothing to do with his beard but that still isnt any reason for you to pick on people with a beard..you calling inzamam below par shows your ignorance in cricket...inzamam has a lot to offer to pakistan to cricket in general...i wish pakistan the best of luck for the world cup and the coming series in south africa.

  • Mawali on December 20, 2006, 0:18 GMT

    I guess I drew a lot of venom from my earlier post. Let me say that my earlier post was in no way an attack on Islam, or in particular on Inzy's beleif system. My point and I stand by it is we should all check our religion at the door before we enter a sports arena or workplace. I reiterate that I stand by every word of what I said earlier if it offends some people's sensibilities than so be it, it is only my opinion. I do however, think it is totally out of line for someone to STEAL my identity and post a retraction on my behalf "Posted by: Mawali at December 19, 2006 3:51 PM

    I am sorry for my comment, I am really stupid please forgive me for my non-sense comments on Inzi." This makes one wonder the kind of people we are dealing with here. I agree with the poster that this is a cricket blog and should be restricted to that only! I made the comments on Inzy's leadership style because I honestly believe he does not have one. He is dictated to by Saeed Anwar. I beleive if Inzy had been left alone he may have developed some leadership skills through trial and error; like the rest of us. AMF

  • Arsie on December 20, 2006, 0:13 GMT

    I completely agree with rayhan!! Younas khan has a pathetic performance in ODIs. Its very shocking to hear people talk about younas replacing Inzi as captain. Just have a look at Y khan's performance in ODIs. What makes u think he even deserves a place in the ODI squad? Can anyone tell me any match winning performance Younas has given in ODIs? No doubt he is a match winner in Tests but i doubt his vice captaincy as well as inclusion in ODIs. Arnt we demotivating Mohd Yousaf here? He is much senior and experienced then younas and despite his extraordinary performances in ODIs and Tests he still havnt got the status and role he deserves. Isnt he the right man for vice captaincy? Why is PCB refusing him this job? Is it the friendship and contacts culture of PCB due to which Younas is still there in ODI squad and that too as a vice captain? i dont see any other reason! I heard people doubting yousaf's ability to lead the team.. i remember everyone used to think the same about inzamam before he was given the captaincy. PCB as well as all of us have been unfair with Yousaf! At present,under inzi Pakistan is 3rd in ICC ranking..i think that ranking is enough to proove Inzamam is the right man for captaincy. Inshallah he'll bring the worldcup home!!

  • Imran Iqbal on December 20, 2006, 0:11 GMT

    I honestly can't understand the need of drawing comparison between Imran & Inzamam. I do not how Abbasi gets this idea. They are two great players of different periods, and if great Imran had great achievements it does not mean Inzamam must stop pursuing his ambitions. He may not have qualities Imran had but has got his own set of qualities which allowed him to score more runs that Javed Miandad, another Pakistani Legend. One must realize that apart from superior leadership qualities, Imran had two legends (Javed & Wasim) as compatriots. While Inzamam has none like them even though some players might look better on paper. I also wonder what's wrong with some of the fans, why they are critical of Inzamam's religious influence (if any) and why they forget the rude demeanour Imran used to have for his teammates.. Didn't he pick the players of his choice (don't tell me he never..), so wy Inzamam can't pick who he thinks is right for team and the game.. I do not care if Pakistan how strong Pakistani team looks compared to past as long as they give tough fight to opponents and make their presence felt. And don't forget Wasim Akram had an ideal side in 1999 and yet lost to Australia in final without any resistance.. I, and am sure all Pakistanis, do not want to see that happen again... All the best Pakistan!

  • Rehan Raza on December 19, 2006, 23:47 GMT

    Dear Mr Kamran. Before commenting on anything I would like to say that you are a negative thinker. Rather then appreciating any thing you are giving the impression that he is doing all that to supersede gr8 Imran Khan. Imran has got his own personalty and now one can take the respect and love that people have got in there harts for Imran. But if some one is doing well for the country and for the humanity we should support him. It’s not you problem it’s a prob with every common man of Pakistan. If we don’t have guts to do anything our country then at least we should not make a joke of someone efforts. As far as Younas Khan is concern he is a good batsman but I don’t see a good captain in him. The way he reacted during champion trophy it was disgusting, it was against the ethics of game and sportsman ship. Why we are behind teams like Australia is just because of the politics that we have in cricket since the time of Wasim Akram.

  • Faisal on December 19, 2006, 23:42 GMT

    Pakistan won the 1992 worldcup with great deal of luck.Imran was genius at that time, but you cant say that no one can be better than him.But id we won this worldcup then i must say Inzi is better than any one in the past, because beating aussies is more difficult than beating england in 1992.

  • SHAQ ATTACK on December 19, 2006, 23:41 GMT

    I wish the team goodluck, but with unfit Inzi, we can't win the world cup>>He reacts to the situation very late>>I think he wait for the signals from Bob.W >>He is one of the a greatest batsman that Pakistan ever had but every great batsman can not be a good captain. Younus is the only replacement, and our selectors and Adhoc Team is going blind these days. Wasim Bari should leave us alone, he is failed to find an opening pair and keep changing the combination faster then the mother changes the baby diapers in some countries. I wish our team don't let us down this time against India, atleast fight hard, so we can walk around the work our work place with Pakistani T-Shirt on.

  • Faisal Alam on December 19, 2006, 23:35 GMT

    First of all congratulations to Kamran Abbasi on doing a great job in this blog, I have almost become addicted. If there is one person who deserves to stamp his authority on two world cups, its Inzi. One as a youngster without a helmet and the other as a captain with a beard. This world cup is going to be like every other tournament since the 99 world cup ie. there is Australia and then there is everyone else. I think we have a very good chance in being the best team in the everyone else group. Aussies are a different ball game altogether. Our best chance is moyo in his recent record breaking form and a solid Inzi. An all guns blazing seam attack. Yaser, Butt, Hafeez filling in the gaps. younis, kami, razzaq and 3 seamers, Afridi??? well i think he could just turn out to be our wildest card ever....only because he is just so pissed off these days. This team has the best chances if they have good moral and team spirit and the ultimate trust in their abilities. PCB on the other hand has and will always remain a completely incompetent and utterly useless institution and there is no two ways about it. From the mass sacking post last world cup to the absolutely ridiculous handling of controversies to the daily hirings and firings, PCB is an organization that has always let Pakistan cricket lovers down.

  • Ahmed on December 19, 2006, 23:26 GMT

    Please, dont Compare Two Great Pakistani's among one other.Imran was a Great at his time and had his influence and inzi is a great of his time. He wrote history in his time and Inzi is the writer at this moment. I like both and Respect the views of you all.But NO Comparisons.As a Captain Inzi may be laid back to some, but when you have enough fire power like Shoaib, Asif,Gul and in Batting Farhat, Hafiz and the Two Y's why to be over attacking. We are excellent and WE ARE PROUD THE WAY WE ARE...I wish the team and management best of luck.. Why we criticise our own things this much... come one people be positive. How many people have seen safer hands in slips and in fielding then inzimum, i am a neutral person in that regard. Pakistan is not SA or NZL may be but we have some people with good pair of hands and person with some good pair of hands can be a good fielder. Lastly Mr. Kamran Abbasi your articles are very nice and i read them regularly. But please request people to be respectful to each others views and to the players as well since some people have quite alot of emotional affliation with the players. Thank you all, Best of Luck Inzi and PCB.

  • Kashif Malik on December 19, 2006, 23:25 GMT

    there is a reason why pak have been consistantly in the top three in the odi rankings-its because pak are a very good ODI team. They have a capt who thrives on pressure and more often than not sees his team across the finsih line-this is a rare quality not to be underestimated -how many occasions can you recall the likes of tendulkar or ponting being there until the very end in pressure situations?

    Inzi's team has learnt to win in absence of the availability of all the front line bowlers-if all stay fit and in form (together with Salman Butt) we will indeed have the best balanced team in the world. I endorse every ones view that these players are the better than all the previous teams selected for previous WC. I know that the same was said about the 2003 WC squad but this squad is devoid of big personalities. These players play for Pak and not for themselves.

    Although the great IKhan is better I pray that Inzi surpasses him-invariably this will be good for Pak.

    finally i refer to Mr malawi comments-for reasons of common sense I choose to ignore.

    before i go i feel i must say a little more about s butt-this guy is a real talent, mr Abassi and many others have observed that he a lot of time to play his shots-he is the only opener who knows how to score odi hundreds and the only opener in recent times to score against a full aussie attack in their back yard.

  • Cricket Junky on December 19, 2006, 22:26 GMT

    I totally agree with Kamran that this obvious choice (INZI) may cost Pakistan the world cup, but, it is the right choice. You can not change the Team Captain couple of months before the world cup. In Pakistani Culture, Seniority counts more than the sharpness and/or shrewdness. Younis may be sharp and shrewd but he is not Senior enough to handle the Team. Senior players have big EGO and they don't listen to their Junior Captain. This is the fact. Case in point is Pakistan vs WI test match in WI when Younis was captain for one test (Afridi and Younis fight) and ICC champions trophy disaster. We still have not heard the full story that why Younis resigned.

    Anyway, I have serious doubts about Pakistan winning the world cup (I hope I am dead wrong), but I don't see it any other way. INZI is a great player but when its come to captain ship, he can't think. Unfortunately, he does not have any Miandad in his team who can advise him in pressure situations. Imran owe a lot to Miandad for his success.

    Anyway, Pakistan real strength test is coming in South Africa. Let's all hope for the best.

  • AAHMAD on December 19, 2006, 22:13 GMT

    I Khan may have been a better captain of his time. But he is resposible for all the turmoil in paki team after his departure including the support of the man of worst character named Wasim Akram( he of course was a great player but moral values did not come close to him). I khan always feared that someone might shadow his legend. THis has been the main motivation for his criticisms.

  • Awais on December 19, 2006, 22:09 GMT

    Even if our present team is better than the 1992 team, we are forgetting that the present Australian team, with Ponting and Hussey have the ability to bat most teams out of a game! Apart from that, McGrath is at his metronomical best. Admitted Pakistan can give them a good game and probably beat them on paper, but i doubt the mental strength of the team to actually beat the Dads Army on the field. If they do, it woudl be great, but...........

  • Aftab Qureshi on December 19, 2006, 22:07 GMT

    How do we know if Inzi does in fact have the ambition to surpass Imran? If he did, one would give him a chance....at least best wishes. But he looks so contented and at peace with everything around him................makes me doubt if he has the "fire in the belly".

  • asian on December 19, 2006, 22:06 GMT

    inzy is the best pak have!!!! but pak will not win the world cup!!!!

  • Asif Ahmed on December 19, 2006, 22:03 GMT

    Inzi and Imran cannot be compared as far as I am concerned, and I don't even see the need to make such a comparison. They are both great cricketers who served the country well, and let's leave it at that.

    Inzi may not always be the most tactically advanced captain around, but he is clearly the obvious choice for Pakistan for one reason alone--he has the respect of the other players and keeps the team united. The importance of this cannot be overestimated in a Pakistan team; the ridiculous circus of events that transpired in Inzi's absence in the recent past is further testament to that fact. Historically, Pakistan's greatest enemy has been itself, and a united team always performs infinitely better than the team plagued by infighting. This leadership vacuum is the biggest problem we will have when Inzi eventually retires.

    I agree with the our chances of winning the world cup, but we can't let any adverse results in SA discourage us. The SA tour is very important, but the pitches are so different from WI that we should not fall into the trap of letting the SA tour results be any guide or indication of our world cup performance.

    As far as the playing 11 is concerned, I am still very concerned about the openers, and I feel we wasted the opportunity of the Windies ODI series to finalize the opening pair. I don't understand why Farhat is still considered to be an opener when his irresponsible batting continues to plague us; more importantly, his fielding will be the end of us all in the World Cup. Like Kamran, I agree that Afridi needs to be around, because he is a match winner with the bat and ball, and provides positive energy with his electric fielding. I would even consider him as an opener in the flat Windies pitches. Finally, people need to look back at our successful ODI run of the last few yrs to see that Shoaib Malik needs to come in at #3; that is where he is most successful, and it only makes sense that he should bat there since both Yousuf and Inzi are not prepared to take that job.

    I really think that we are well set for the World Cup, and have an excellent chance of winning the entire tournament, provided that someone else ends up beating Australia....

  • haris on December 19, 2006, 21:59 GMT

    its a stupid article, you should do better than this i believe.

  • Salman N Malik on December 19, 2006, 21:39 GMT

    Inzamam's rligious leanings should not be brought into this. Just as the Aussies and the Brits are arrogant and cocky..in a word.."exhibiting professionalism"..so too is the Pakistani player captain and all displaying humility and contrition in their own perfromance. It does not really matter where one draws one's inspiration from, as long as they perform their profession effectively - and there can be no doubts that Pakistan has performed - at least in test matches consistently. As far as the debacle in England is concerned, it is clear that regardless of what the outcome, the stance taken by Inzamam was correct - the umpire calls us a cheat without any proof by his actions, he has to be told otherwise. Pakistan's main weapon in cricket is it's bowling, even with the absence of Shoab, Asif, Rana Naveed, and Shabbir, they have wrecked West Indies on docile pitches with only three firing bowlers in their ranks. In the West Indies Pakistan will have to bat well to win the games, and there lies the crux of the problem. The top three need to be regularized by now - the middle three are set, then including the wicketkeeper two allrounders, and three bowlers and your team is there. I think Shoaib, Asif and umar gul should be the three first choice fast bowlers.

  • Arslan Shaukat on December 19, 2006, 21:19 GMT

    In Response to Qasim:

    The batting lineup in 92 world cup was far inferior to the current lot. Imran was forced to promote himself to bat at number 3 because apart from Javed & Ramiz, other batsmen struggled through out the tournament. Imran's low strike rate as a batsman could be attributed to him wanting to block one end up and to not expose a very fragile middle order.

    It is common knowledge that after a series of bad scores, Inzi was extremely low on confidence and that his performances in the Semi Final and the Final are largely due to Imran's motivational skills and blind faith in Inzi's ability as a batsman.

    Similarly, Wasim's performance in the final is also largely due to Imran, as he kept on insisting that Wasim should just look for wickets and forget about giving away runs.

    Last but not least, how can u forget the famous "Cornered Tigers" speech made by Imran?

  • Adil Reza on December 19, 2006, 20:59 GMT

    inzi is a great player(not only in size)...i feel disgusted by reading a few of the posts saying that inzi is no where close to imran and he has an under par perfomance...people jus dont look at his recent performance...he is a man of class...pure class..he has done more for pakistan cricket than most...imran khan is in a class of his own nd sois inzi...inzi is the perfect man to lead pakistan to world cup victory...and inshallah we will come home with the trophy...and it is not just religion that has kept inzi in the squad he is great class....nd religio is important as we are a islamic country..nd to rpresent is great pride...nd why not to thank Allah for this oppoprtunity...those makin fun of the players for being religious should think again!

  • Faisal on December 19, 2006, 20:31 GMT

    I agree that Inzi is the only choice right now and it is good to see some consistency in PCB.

    Upcoming world cup... Aussies are the front runners. Rest of the major Cricketing nations all have a realistic chance. However in big matches, mental strength is required to pose any serious threat to the current Australian team. Apart from South Africa there is no other team that comes close to match the Aussies in ODIs.

    Australian teams superb WC record since 1987 (3 wins + 1 runner up position) and their current form is awesome, however law of probability suggests that they might be due for a failure.

  • Muneer on December 19, 2006, 20:04 GMT

    There are many comments about inzy, But i have a simple strategy for inzy atleast to be Imran khans 10%. Bat at No.3.. Never show fear on your face, never loos the game mentally before it is started and finally its not over till its over.

  • kashif manzoor on December 19, 2006, 19:53 GMT

    aa there are only two which could be difference in the upcoming world cup for pakistan,first, the lack of aggressiveness in inzmam's captian see and the poor standard of paksitan's fielding.nothing else can damage paksitan thank these two things. wasalam.from okara,pakistan

  • Naved PIBColonydotcom on December 19, 2006, 19:47 GMT

    ReRead post by YS.

    ****here it is for your convenience****

    Posted by: YS at December 19, 2006 4:33 PM

    On the cricket field, Imran Khan was probably the greatest leader in Pakistani history. When he got into politics and stood for anti-corruption all the way, I thought he was going to emulate his cricket greatness in leadership on the political front. However, we have sadly seen a leader with great potential fall into the trap that others have. He has gone back and joined arms with the same Nawaz Sharif he stood against. He has joined hands with the extremist mullahs that have taken Pakistan towards the depths of ignorance. So, even though I liked Imran on the cricket field, I despise him off it.

    As for Inzi, I believe he is tactically not there on the cricket field but his calm demeanor and his humility has led him in becoming a better person off the field. This does have an effect on the players. So, while he might not be a great tactician, he IS a leader of men, in his own way. He inspires the team and every single person wants to do well for him. The team overall, in my opinion, is not as talented as the ones we have had in past World Cups but this team has seen more successes than the ones that Waqar, Wasim or Imran led. No one in the team has any ulterior motives or agenda, everyone supports the captain.

    When people like Shoaib were trying to create cracks in the team, Inzi took a firm stand and kept him out of the team until Shoaib started acting like a grown-up. It takes a lot to have the guts to keep your main bowler out of the team for team spirit's sake. And, he showed that Pakistan could still win without him. As for his decisions, yes he is defensive at times but when he is, it is because he does not want anything other than a win for Pakistan. He knows the limitations of the team and acts accordingly.

    As for the beard and his religion, why do we bring that into the equation. Yes, religion should be your own personal private thing. But why is it that when religion harms Pakistani politics, we say nothing but when it brings a positive change to cricket, we are up in arms against it? Why is it that you will gladly shout down "secularism" which is the right way to go for Pakistan but when you see a group united due to religion, you start shouting "secularism" on the cricket field? We are very hypocritical as a nation and we should learn to live a life of moderation, not of any extreme. Religion has a lot of good things and we should bring it in for all of its good. On the other hand, it should be kept out of politics which is where religious extremism actually does harm.

    We have a good chance to go all the way this time but we need everyone supporting the captain, coach and the team. We also need every member of the team to be relaxed and give it their best effort. Rather than arguing over who is in the team, we should argue over who is in the best state of mind to be in the team. That is what will matter in the end. I think Inzi has been a breath of fresh air for Pakistani cricket and he is a great leader, in his own specific way. We can't judge him through a filter that is made for Imran Khan, Steve Waugh, Stephen Fleming or Ricky Pointing. We need to judge him through a filter made for what he is.

  • Amyn Habib on December 19, 2006, 19:46 GMT

    I think Inzamam has made a real contribution as a player and a captain. I also respect him as a man of integrity. Although as a Pakistani fan, I would love to see Pakistan win, Inzamam is hampered by a second tier team, with only two world class batsmen and a troubled bowling line up. I think the challenge for him will be much greater. Kamran, I want to applaud you for allowing free speech in this blog. It is the diversity of opinions in this forum that makes it interesting. Of course, cricket fans are passionate and when they feel strongly they may resort to a bit of insult and invective— this should not be censored--even when it seems to most people to be in poor taste. If some people are bothered by what seems to them an overt display of religiosity on the part of the cricket team, they have a right to voice that opinion--just as others have the right to disagree and view an expression of players religious beliefs as positive.

  • Nusrat Hussain on December 19, 2006, 19:35 GMT

    Your columns are generally thought provoking and constructive. However, I feel that that you have deviated from your logical apprfoach and relied on your opininon when you say, "Inzamam, though, is on a mission, and that mission is to win the next World Cup and surpass his former captain, Imran Khan." It is surprising the way you have worded it-- it leads to a negative impression about Inzy. There is nothing wrong to surpass any one's record because breaking the records would bring more laurels and victory for Pakistan. Let us as Pakistanis stay focussed at the good performance of the team and support them for their encounter in South Africa and the world cup. Keep up the good work and stay positive.

  • Shahid on December 19, 2006, 19:27 GMT

    Most people in these comments are speaking rot and obviously are deficient in their cricket history. Inzimam will have to be born a hundred times over and die a hundred times over before he becomes a better captain than Imran Khan. Even then it would be questionable if he can be better. Imran's quality was they way he lifted the team by their bootstraps in a wicked situation. And this was especially true when Pakistan was playing the greatest team of Imran's time, the West Indies. This quality of rising to the occasion against the best is something Inzimam can just drool over and can never acheive. Just look at Inzi's record against the best team of HIS era, the Aussies. Pakistan clashed on equal footing with WestIndies when Imran was in command. Australia has rolled over Pakistan with monotonous regularity with Inzimam in command. And before anyone brings up occasional ODI wins to make Inzi's case, I am talking about Test matches only, the true marker of a team's mettle. Inzi better than Imran? Give me a bloody break. He may be one of the top two or three batsmen Pakistan has ever produced, but the captaincy is only on him because he happens to be the only choice. Show me ONE match in which he has made a huge difference with his captaincy.

  • Arshad jamal on December 19, 2006, 19:07 GMT

    To Brother Anand Srinivasan,

    Thank You very much. This world is still a beutiful place because of the fair minded people like you.

  • Arshad jamal on December 19, 2006, 19:01 GMT

    I must say that I am mighty disappointed by the comments from JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA. I used to have great admiration for the guy specially the way he has handeled and shut up some big and poisonous mouths in this blog, but his recent comments came as a shock to me. I would like to ask him what is wrong in having a Tabligee culture (if it is correct)? who are we after all? what harm getting close to Allah and religion has caused to Pakistan Cricket?

    Calling names to a beloved hero and crickiter of Pakistan speaks of your true mantality

    I am sorry to say that people like him are those who has forgotten there roots, culter and religion, have no pride in there origion and posses the same old SLAVERY mentality. BHAI culture is our culture and I am proud of it as it is a beutiful thing. Thank God we address our elders as Bhai, Uncle, Anti, Chacha etc., etc. And we extand the same respect regardless of the religious origin as address the same way to Hindus, Sikhs, Parsies, etc., etc. Rather then in the culture my brother JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA is so attached with where childeren sweare at their parants and have respect for any body.

    Please do not preach us on proffesionalism as we would rather become human beings first and learn to respect each other.

    Kamram I would request you not stop these kind of comments from anyone as I it help us reconizing the true self of the people and we can answer them.

  • Zed Fazel on December 19, 2006, 18:56 GMT

    Good sense has pravailed. Inzy/Woolmer confirmation upto WC gives a stable outlook. However, I do not agree when you compare Inzy with Imran. Personality wise they are chalk and cheese.But each is great in his own way. Besides, the quality of players they have are also different. Imran had the solidity of players like Wasim Akram, Javed Miandad, Mushtaq Ahmed,and Salim Malik. Inzy has a less talented but a more cohesive team and we can go on and on. Each is great in his own right and lets leave it at that. Inzamam took over under trying conditions and has moulded a young team into a unit. Younis did no justice to his reputation by his behaviour just before and during the Champions Trophy. Pakistan will need a cool head to take over if Inzy decides to retire. Before the WC, the test will be how they perform in South Africa where Pakistan has had a poor record. There are two important issues which will have a bearing on Pakistan's chances in the WC: 1 - Fielding & (2) Consistent throwing of wickets (wrong shot selection). On the plus side Pakistan's trump cards on the West Indies wickets will be Shabbir Ahmed and Mohammed Yusuf. Watch these two.! And I hope WADA matter does not permeate into something serious for Shoaib and Asif.

  • Ashaq Hssain on December 19, 2006, 18:54 GMT

    "FAITH CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS"!

    I think we need too examine whether religion has a positive effect on athletic performance or not in a rational manner.

    Whilst in europe there seems to be an aversion towards the public display off religion in sport.I think looking at the United states athlete from a multitude of sports cite religion as having a positive influence on there performance.

    Although more research needs to be done ,all the Empirical studies so far seem to show that religion is a powerful tool in helping athletes cope with anxiety and stress, greater mental focus in helping achieve goals.A greater degree of self discipline and self control in dealing with the challenges that come with fame (i.e a sex drugs and rock n roll life style that has ruined many careers.)

    Indeed the Christian book by DR.Norman Vincent Peale. called "THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING" is popular among many christian athletes and coaches Fifty years after it was first published.

    Religion far from being detrimental has had a positive effect on the pakistan squads.The players seem too be more united they seem too spend more time in practice rather than casinos and Nightclubs.

    Also the accusation has been made that INZI doesnt allow people in the squad unless they are religious. Well if that is the case then can somebody explain as to why Inzis best friend and bearded cricketer has been left out of the squad for several years,in favour of DAnish Kaneria.Indeed Inzi has preferred and publically supported Kaneria ahead off Mushy despite a strong case being made by mushtaqs performance at Sussex.

  • aftab on December 19, 2006, 18:53 GMT

    The team set up looks quite natural and any one could have come up with this. For this world cup, however, Pakistan has a unique opportunity of including a twist in the form of Afridi in the tail. With him assured a position at #7 the opposing teams are going to plan their bowling attack around him, leaving the first six the leeway to execute themselves. Think PCB think!

  • Vaqar on December 19, 2006, 18:28 GMT

    Forget about Inzaman, did you see Adam Gilchrist's 57 ball century at Perth. Good heavens!! Ofcourse, its hard to predict in cricket, but lets get realistic here, as much as I'd love to see Pakistan win the world cup, plausibly, though this current Aussie team will tear them apart. Remember Perth 2004!! it was almost embarrasing what they did to us (not to mention the rest of the series). And comparing Imran to Inziman is an insult to the former. I'm sure even Inziman is smart enough not to make that claim.

  • s khan on December 19, 2006, 18:12 GMT

    I think pakistan can win the world cup under Inzi's leadership if shabbir can play and we put afridi out. Imran was great leader. Most of the good skills that Imran and Inzi has now, I have a big hand in it. Good Luck Inzi

  • Aina Maria Waseem on December 19, 2006, 18:10 GMT

    I hope it is assumed that Inzamam shouldnt share the blame for the dubious best fielder award. We all must have noticed that Inzamam was genuinely and visibly surprised at the announcement. For the umpteenth the news says Inzamam is appointed captaon till 2006. Hope it remains thus. That is enough to ensure success.

  • young'n on December 19, 2006, 18:05 GMT

    Wouldn't Inzi have to win two World Cups to surpass Imran?

    Surpass: to become better, greater, or stronger than : EXCEED

  • Ahmed Nadeem on December 19, 2006, 17:59 GMT

    Hello Sir, I have been reading comments about cricket teams religious behaviour and subsequent successes. I find it very disturbing that people (and mostly Muslims)find it very hard to accept the fact that they are only living lives that they (players) find comfortable and even motivating. I agree with writers where they raise concerns about picking players based on religious convictions. But at the same time, looking at these players it doesn't seem like they are doing things that are not part of middle/lower class pakistanis normal daily life. We also accept the fact that these players are our role models. Well, if we all can accept, whole heartedly, Imran Khan's affairs and Wasim ad Waqar's whole hearted attempts at forbidden drugs, then how can we be against some thing that is moral and basic right of every man. If its okay for a professional soldier to say Allah Akbar every ten minutes, if its okay for hockey team to say Takbeer in a huddle and if its okay for everyone to display their religious and non religious sides than why is it hard for anyone to accept Inzamam or Yousufs religious display. I also find it hard to understand why people don't try to look at positives. Like Inzi making an effort to speak english for wider audience. We all know, it would have been perfectly okay if he were to talk in Urdu but he chooses to put himself in awkward situations. In my view, by doing so he is only showing us that he is not some extremist rather simple man, trying to do his best. And that should be appreciated. Moral values and religion should be kept independent but they are also every human beings natural right. We should not forget this.

  • Hunain Bin Jabbar on December 19, 2006, 17:46 GMT

    Pakistan will never be able to produce anyone close to Inzamam.He is a gem and mostly in pressure cooker situations.Remember his very first tournament was the world cup in 1992, pakistan needed 260 odd runs to win.Jawed Miandad was asking for a left-hander(Wasim Akram) to come in next but then this 22 year old boy came in and smashed the newzealanders at every corner of the ground.Have you ppl ever looked at his face when he is chasing a target and playing with tailenders,it never appear as if he is under pressure,always calm,focused and relaxed.He always gives his best under pressure.Like the Ahmedabad One day against India where he scored a run on the last ball of the match similarly against Westindies 2nd ODI in this series at Faisalabad he won the match so easily and his most memorable innings after the pathetic 2003 World Cup was his innings against Bangladesh in a test match at his homeground Multan where he won the match batting with Umar Gul and Shabbir Ahmed. So I have a Gut Feeling this World Cup will be the same for Inzamam as it was with Steve Waugh in 1999.Because Of the kind of respect he gets from his players and his ability to bat well with the lower order.Captain should always be the one who can lift the morale of the side with his personal performance rather than relying on his trump cards such as Kaneria.

  • Saad on December 19, 2006, 17:42 GMT

    It gives me a great pleasure to know that Inzimam with the aid of upright individuals like Saeed Anwar has instilled a path, which in the current moribund, yet popular trend of unadulterated sleazy and forced extreme secularism, is highly unpopular and unconventional...Kudos to him and his team...

  • Rayhan on December 19, 2006, 17:30 GMT

    Pakistan has been a good team under Inzamam. He usually plays well (some might not agree), and he commands respect. Imran had the backing of many 'influentials' that helped him all along..not taking away anything from him. My question is Younus Khan's selection in the one day team; let alone him being captain in Inzi's absence. Has anyone ever looked at his record ..its pathetic. He doesn't deserve a place by any means. Maybe its time someone says so, and selects someone more capable. Yousuf should lead in Inzi's absence. Pak should play with Butt and Akmal as openers (maybe Hafeez in when there's an injury or they want a team change). Followed by Yasir (don't ponder where's Farhat..he's as pathetic as Yunus..check his records against better teams, and the shot selection..especially when he is required to stay at the crease). Then Yusuf and Inzi, Malik, Afridi, Razzak. Now you have Shoaib Akthar, Asif, Sami, Rana, Rehman, Gul, to pick from. Three all rounders and three genuine bowlers.

  • asam on December 19, 2006, 17:17 GMT

    i cant believe what malawi is talkin about inzi selling ac in multan! has the guy ever seen a game of cricket for god sake i think he needs to look at cricinfos players and officials stats and checkout inzis record den he will shut up. anyway frget him i think u r doing a wonderful job with this blog keep it up. although i think inzamam is a great player and a great captain i dont think he is a better captain than i khan.

  • Alex on December 19, 2006, 17:13 GMT

    I think the comments by Mawali are offensive to those who take the Tablighi Jamaat seriously. Let's leave an individuals religious ideology out of the debate and stick to cricket. In fact Kamran, this guys comments should have been edited for this blog.

  • Haque on December 19, 2006, 17:10 GMT

    everyone talks about this tableegh culture on the team, and how you have to be someone very religious to be on the team, but how does this explain Shoaib Akhtars inclusion? Shoaib is the opposite of the tabligh, admittedly going out drinking and having a wild life, yet he is still included. This is based on his performance, the same with the entire team.

    Shahid Afridi the only other person in the squad with a beard and who fits the profile was recently dropped also? He was dropped as he did not perform, showing that anyone can get dropped beard or no beard.

    I think the sense of Islam this team has is great and it has lead to the success of the team. IT has brought them together, and I think of this team at the end of the last world cup, this team at the start of that first indian tour when it was touted as the worst ever to play against india, and to think where it has gotten today is amazing. This is credit to Inzi and Bob Woolmer who have found the talent and introduced them to the side.

    FOr Mawali, saying Bismillah before accepting an award there is nothingt wrong with that. Even if you watch the grammys, a rap artist goes up on the stage after winning an award and thanks god for their success. How is that different then Inzamam saying Bismillah?

    Many successful people in the world are successful because of their religion and faith. It is something that we as people shoudl respect and admire, not attack.

  • Anand Srinivasan on December 19, 2006, 17:04 GMT

    This is in response to Mawali's atrocious comments on the Islamization of the pakistan team. They bond as a unit and god is their glue. I see no reason for discontent. Look at Mohd. Yousuf's performance and his transformation has not affected him in any way (au contraite). We have a Hindu playing in the Pak team and do not see hime sidelined. There should be no place for such people on the blog.

    By the way I am a Hindu who is not a fan of the Pakistan team but one has to draw the line.

  • Qasim on December 19, 2006, 17:03 GMT

    The basic defination of Leadership in business can be described as when "some one in an organisation, influences another group or individual to achive a certain objective.

    A leader should be able to motivate, communicate and direct staff(players in this case). Now I know Cricket isn't a business but a leader is a leader wheather in a business environement or a cricket field.

    Motivating

    Inzi has motivated many players who were performing below average before he took over as captain. Two prime examples can be Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi. Both of the players at current are in not a good form for what ever the reasons might be but you can not deny the fact that both the players had a magnificent last year. Malik in ODI's and Afridi in Test Matches.

    Inzi has his own style of motivating, some motivate others with words, carefully thought out speeches while Inzi motivates with example.

    Communication

    This is one area where Inzi had failed to excel although since the tour of India, Inzi has learnt and compreshencively improved. A prime example here is his handling of Shoaib Akhtar. He used Shoaib wisely in the England tour to Pakistan and we all know that Shoaib is a difficult guy to communicate with. There are obviouse barriers to communication between the couch and captain/players although the consequences are not significant.

    Direct Players

    Inzi has directed many players to achieve and set their personal targets. Yousuf, Younis Khan, Gul and Hafees are prime examples of that. Am sure they all (among others) have personal objectives that they want to achieve for themselves or their country.

    I agree, Inzi is not as glamerous as Imran Khan, as glamerous as Ponting, as innovative as Vaughan or even as energetic as Younis Khan but what he does have is probably the most important. He has the respect of his team mates and the prayers of all of Pakistan.

    Pakistan did not just win the 1992 world cup because of only Imran Khan's captancy or even Imran Khan's batting. He had a pathetic strike rate for a ODI in all the matches. Pakistan won the 1992 world cup becuz of these five players (not in any particular order)

    Ramiz Raja Javed Miandad Inzi Wasim Akram Mushtaq Ahmed

    Yes, I say Pakistan has a good team this time round although I won't say they have a chance of winning because of the names in the team, they will winn because of performances from some of the key individuals.

    Inzi (the most important figure, will have to use his bowlers wisely)

    Yousuf (The most important batsman in the team along with Inzi, if they both perfom, chances of winning are 40%)

    Shaoib Akhtar (If he plays upto his level, he can destroy any batting attack in the world)

    M. Asif/Umar Gull (Either one of them need to be able to swing and seam the new ball to take early wickets)

    Malik/Razzak/Afridi (I say three of them because they have to do what Inzi did in the 1992 world cup, play some big shots before the end of the match to really boost the total)

    Pakistan do have better batsman then the ones in 1992.

    Although, one player they don't have is WASIM AKRAM. He was the highest wicket taker in the tournament back then and no bowler in the Pakistan is anything like Wasim Akram!!!!!!

  • Ammar Altaf on December 19, 2006, 17:03 GMT

    I was reading the comments by a "mawali". Religion is basically a way of life and crticizing some one on the basis that he is religious is just insanity. All of us have the basic right to live by our believes. Inzimam is not famous for being run out, he is a masive gigantic battler beast at the opposite end to the bowling side. Whatever we say about him, he will remain one of the coolest players of the day. Inzimam keep scoring! We are with you!

  • Javed Iqbal on December 19, 2006, 17:02 GMT

    LOL, LOL, LOL @ JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA at December 19, 2006 4:00 PM I totally agree with you infact this is the root cause of us not being professional. I can not stop imagining this BHAI culture by Aussies or Brits 'FLINTOFF Bhai or Bro' :) We need to bring the culture of giving respect then showing it in our team. The fact we all know that how we culturally operate is that even if we are calling Bhai or sir or whatever to show respect, we will still have bad feelings and thoughts about the person in our heart. People have criticised the professional jealousy between Wasim and Waqar in the past but I think unless we have this thing in our team and we can not compete and be ready for the highest chalanges. The only way player should retain their place in the team by performing rather maing so many Bhais in the team. Perfect example if 'Younus Khan' he give a damn!

  • Tahir Saleem on December 19, 2006, 17:01 GMT

    Oh look Javed A Khan ( MONTREAL, CANADA at December 19, 2006 4:00 PM )has arrived the West! Doesen't want the bhai culture! Javed, listen carefully...you have NO right to call Inziman an aloo behind his back, because if you dared to say it to his face he would probably punch your lights out, and secondly there is no false 'bhai' culture going on here, most citizens of Pakistan call their elders bhai. If that's not part of your world then keep listening to that 'gansta rap' bro!!!

  • Aamir Yunus on December 19, 2006, 16:57 GMT

    Mr Kamran, you need to fix your blogs. How can you post a blog with people calling names "potato head" to Pakistani Players. I don't know what are you smoking.

  • Ahmad on December 19, 2006, 16:56 GMT

    To Javed Khan, this "Bhai" culture must go? Why? Because no other country has it? No way! This is one of the many things I love about the Pakistan team. It shows respect for elders in the team and shows that the team of Pakistan is actually Pakistani! These things are something our team has which no other team has.

  • U KHAN on December 19, 2006, 16:56 GMT

    I think Inzi does not possess the leadership qualities that Imran did (obvious) but he has in the past lead by example which brought a lot of success. The thing to note is that Wickets in WI are much like those in the sub-continent due to which I think PAK & IND or even SRI should do fine. Pak or IND should be able to challenge AUS or SA provided that they give there all as you can expect AUS & SA to come at you 110% every time but not so much PAK or IND.

    LASTLY I would like to say that the very first reply to this topic by Mawali was quite immature and one felt that Mr. Mawali has some personal issues against INZI. Yes and I do think that becoming more inclined towards religion has got nothing to do with Inzi being in the team for this long. The last ODI that inzi played it seemed as if he was getting his touch back... GIVE me one name who should replace inzi???

    AH

  • bilal ahmed on December 19, 2006, 16:33 GMT

    Inzi is no Imran and we all know this. But saying this, there is not not a single player in the whole team capable of leading even after the world cup, leave aside the world cup which is hardly three months away now.So what Inzi needs is total support from not only the players but also form the whole nation. We all know this that if Pakistan wins the world cup, it would not be because of Inzi's charismatic leadership but overall capabilities of the players. What he can do is sensibly selecting the team and give his 100% in batting.

    Another thing that Pakistan needs to do is get rid of imran farhat as urgently as they can. This guy can make 20s and 30s pretty regularly with some poor shots but lacks the ability of constructing an innings and playing big innings. Salman Butt is much better in this regard.

  • YS on December 19, 2006, 16:33 GMT

    On the cricket field, Imran Khan was probably the greatest leader in Pakistani history. When he got into politics and stood for anti-corruption all the way, I thought he was going to emulate his cricket greatness in leadership on the political front. However, we have sadly seen a leader with great potential fall into the trap that others have. He has gone back and joined arms with the same Nawaz Sharif he stood against. He has joined hands with the extremist mullahs that have taken Pakistan towards the depths of ignorance. So, even though I liked Imran on the cricket field, I despise him off it.

    As for Inzi, I believe he is tactically not there on the cricket field but his calm demeanor and his humility has led him in becoming a better person off the field. This does have an effect on the players. So, while he might not be a great tactician, he IS a leader of men, in his own way. He inspires the team and every single person wants to do well for him. The team overall, in my opinion, is not as talented as the ones we have had in past World Cups but this team has seen more successes than the ones that Waqar, Wasim or Imran led. No one in the team has any ulterior motives or agenda, everyone supports the captain.

    When people like Shoaib were trying to create cracks in the team, Inzi took a firm stand and kept him out of the team until Shoaib started acting like a grown-up. It takes a lot to have the guts to keep your main bowler out of the team for team spirit's sake. And, he showed that Pakistan could still win without him. As for his decisions, yes he is defensive at times but when he is, it is because he does not want anything other than a win for Pakistan. He knows the limitations of the team and acts accordingly.

    As for the beard and his religion, why do we bring that into the equation. Yes, religion should be your own personal private thing. But why is it that when religion harms Pakistani politics, we say nothing but when it brings a positive change to cricket, we are up in arms against it? Why is it that you will gladly shout down "secularism" which is the right way to go for Pakistan but when you see a group united due to religion, you start shouting "secularism" on the cricket field? We are very hypocritical as a nation and we should learn to live a life of moderation, not of any extreme. Religion has a lot of good things and we should bring it in for all of its good. On the other hand, it should be kept out of politics which is where religious extremism actually does harm.

    We have a good chance to go all the way this time but we need everyone supporting the captain, coach and the team. We also need every member of the team to be relaxed and give it their best effort. Rather than arguing over who is in the team, we should argue over who is in the best state of mind to be in the team. That is what will matter in the end. I think Inzi has been a breath of fresh air for Pakistani cricket and he is a great leader, in his own specific way. We can't judge him through a filter that is made for Imran Khan, Steve Waugh, Stephen Fleming or Ricky Pointing. We need to judge him through a filter made for what he is.

  • Masaood Yunus on December 19, 2006, 16:24 GMT

    Asalam U Alaikum, Not all leaders in this world possess same leadership style. This is true for both Inzi and Imran. They are two individuals and they have their own way of doing things and please no need for any comparison. In pakistan its either the school or the hospital that our celebrities usually build. So Inzi emulating Imran is a total baseless argument. Its just a norm in pakistan that we compare all our captains to Imran Khan and inzi scores more since no other team has been that unitied after Imran Khan's as this is. Inzamam has been a better captain than Wasim, Waqar and many others who failed to keep the team united and promoted grouping. Inziz captainy was heavily missed during the champions trophy. Even though i am a big fan of Younis Khan, he showed immaturity towards the buildup of the champions trophy. Lets give Inzi our full backing as truly he is the only one who can lead this unified unit. Pakistan showed great fighting spirit throughout the whole WI series. If they continue to do so with determination and dedication, i see no reason why world cup can't be ours. As always, the team that plays the best takes the cup away from the rest.I hope its Pakistan this time.

  • imran on December 19, 2006, 16:09 GMT

    i think inzi is good leader for right now. He might not considered to be great like Imran Khan but he is pretty much 2nd best captain we ever had. I do not see the hyper about younis khan, i don't think he is very effective captain, i think Shoaib Malik is best suited for this job, he has the confidence and the courage to lead this team after inzi is gone. just the idea of captaincy got to younis head and he started to perform terrible, i think shoaib malik is future captain and PCB should realize this.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 19, 2006, 16:00 GMT

    To say that Inzamam is trying to surpass Imran Khan's achievements is just a joke. I don't think the spuddy brain Aloo is on any kind of mission. He takes life very easy and it is so obvious from his reactions on the field and I couldn't agree more with Mawali's comments, he is so darn right about that Tableeghi culture in the team that anyone who is a square peg, cannot fit in that round hole of the religious minded culty cricketers. Also, on top of them is another superficial layer of bureaucrats like the Patron in Chief and the CEO of PCB.

    Its funny to see that joka Naseem Ashraf speaking words of wisdom with Sanjay Manjrekar. He was taking advantage of his post to publicize his pseudo intellectual knowledge of Cricket which only confirms that "There is indeed something called FREE LUNCH." At least in Pakistan it exists i.e., if you are a government employee or backed by the government, you take advantage of the media for a free publicity or marketing yourself.

    The best fielder award is a joke of the century ....what a FARCE. Were they trying to entertain the crowd or the loosing West Indies side? In either case it was a bad joke it may have only amused those involved in creating it.

    I don't think the Pakistan team is capable of reaching among the best SIX at the world cup, especially with this kinda team selection and this kinda team attitude.

    The "BHAI" culture must GO. There is no need for this Inzi Bhai, Razi Bhai, Esup Bhai etc., by the junior players, they should take them as their colleague rather than a BIG brother in the team. The OZ's or the Brits don't call Ponting Bro or Freddie Bro....neither the West Indians call Lara Bro. Its mainly among the Pakistani team mates and to some extent in the Indian team that they think they will offend the senior player if they call him by his first name. Instead of growing up, they are growing their beards and the cult culutre.

  • rishi on December 19, 2006, 15:59 GMT

    I think there is no question bout who the captain should be for the up coming world cup... inzamam has done more than enough to get that seat...there is no other choice...whether he is better than Imran... not yet... but may be we will have to revisit that issue after the world cup... it will be an unexpected win to be sure...is it possible ...yes but than any thing is...I certainly do hope that we dont have any more drama like what we have had over the last couple of months...

  • Khan Akram on December 19, 2006, 15:57 GMT

    He's a Decent character. Humble to the core and Simple by nature. Reserved. Carefree yet amazingly Responsible. Post 2003 w'cup completely dependant Big Brother. Last few months almost Fatherly.

    Undoubtedly a Great Batsman in both versions.

    Star Rookie of the '92 cup.

    The Back-bone of the current w'cup roster.

    He's been the perfect leader for our team in my opinion.

  • Awais on December 19, 2006, 15:53 GMT

    Well I agree with you Kamran but I simply can't agree with Mr Mawali. His views are totally indecent and I beg you that please alwayas check the views before they are uploaded to stop these kind of crap.

  • Mawali on December 19, 2006, 15:51 GMT

    I am sorry for my comment, I am really stupid please forgive me for my non-sense comments on Inzi.

  • Javed Iqbal on December 19, 2006, 15:51 GMT

    I would love to see Pakistan winning the world cup but on the other hand if any asian team wins it, I would not be disappointed either. It will all come doen to getting rid of Australia and South Africa. and if it ever happens it will be in knockout stages before the final as any of the these teams recehs final, it is more likely they will lift the cup (past records on papers to be the best final match player). So C'mon Asia, just one match is all required for the glory. Please comment if you guys agree with my thoughts!

  • hafeezk on December 19, 2006, 15:40 GMT

    Well well it is the right choice of PCB to continue the winning team for World cup, but the manager I disagree Asif Iqbal was the correct man at the correct place. Inzi is gr8 but not like the Gread Khan, the leadership capabilities is not with Inzi as Imran Khan. I think the post World Cup will be the right time wheather win or loss Inzi should take day off from the captaincy. Ofg course every body thing Younus khan is the only choice. But he is not, they should excample from Sauth Affrica there choice was for a young player(Smith) who can lead the team for longer period of time. Either Shoib Malik or Mohd Hafiz could be the best candidate for the post. Also for the Wollmer position only Wasim Akram is the right person who can handle the team very well.Long live Pakistan and Best wishes of Pakistan cricket team for the World cup

  • Shahriar Hoque on December 19, 2006, 15:33 GMT

    INZI is now a better captain than what he was a year ago. He now interacts in the field and talks to his bowlers when the going gets tough. He draws respect from the dressing room and more than often leads from the front. All these are sign of a good leader. However, not only INZI but also nobody till now in cricket can be compared in the leadership department with Imran Khan. He is an unmatched legend and he got tremendous support from Miandad. Out of filed they probably had conflict, but while at play their sole desire was to win for Pakistan. That desire, if not the same, is present in Inzi and he will be well supported by Younis and Moyo. Let me put it this way, if all the players of all the teams perform to their potential then I have no doubt that PAK will win the WC. The key word is "if they can perform to their potential" and with PAK team nobody knows what's going to happen after 30 minutes. Confirming the coach and captain does provide some stability and I like it. Asif, Akhtar has a lot to prove to the world and so does Afridi. Funny thing is these three players alone can win you a match by themselves so what do you know!?

    If INZI and Woolmer can inject similar desire and confident like what Imran did in 92 then it will be hard to beat PAK. INZI also needs to plan smartly against each opponent and clearly assign players their respective role. INZI’s field settings have also improved. In the last ODI against WI, INZI dived, chased and gave his 100% in the field. This is a signal and I am sure the team is receiving it. If PAK can field well and catch well then along with Australia in my book they will be the favourites.

  • Allured on December 19, 2006, 15:27 GMT

    This is in response to MAWALI....I dont think u have any idea what cricket or captaincy or leadership is all about...u sound like a stupid..and I dont think u have watched the team playing under Inzi and Woolmer...well done shahid for the reply to this idiot...We'll win the world cup INSHALLAH and Inzi is the man...

  • Irfan on December 19, 2006, 15:25 GMT

    Inzi is the correct choice at the moment but its not inzamam's captaincy which can earn us a world cup victory but only the self belief that is so evident in Australians, if our players has confidence in themselves, then world cup is ours, we have the best possible combinations of the players at the moment, Our bowling attack is one of the if not the best and our batting is not far behind either, only concern is our fielding as we tend to drop and miss crucial chances , need to work on that , on the whole we are on the right track, Australians watch out here we come

  • sharoz on December 19, 2006, 15:24 GMT

    i thnk izi doesnt have the captaincy skills that imran had BUT he has a great coach in woolmer togethar they have revived pakistan after the dissappointing wrld cup in 2003 we finally have someone to support shoaib akhtar and our bench strength is pretty gud .Younis will act as a gud deputy.Everything looks set for pakistan to win this wrldcup(y) the only gap that seemed to be bothering people was about not having a genuine spinner in the squad but nw we hav found abdul rehman.A good spinner and one who can also bat a bit.Anyways inzi doesnt have to be a great captain to win the world cup and tht is because i thnk this pakistani side is awesome.And this can be seen in the australian side.Ponting isnt the greatest of captains (and that was found out in the ashes 2003) but aus still r the best.InshaAllah pak gnna win this wrld cup. Aameen

  • Tahir Saleem on December 19, 2006, 15:18 GMT

    Hey..Mawali. Careful you don't get mauled by Inzi again!! If the muslim's could conquer powers like Rome with their beards and their faiths, what's so hard about winning a couple of cricket matches? Then again, ignorant as you seem, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about!!

  • Talha on December 19, 2006, 15:11 GMT

    Mawali's comments show obvious bias against inzi and his religion. His objection is that inzi can not speak a sentence in english. Mawali, you have to come out of mental slavery. Speaking good english is not criteria for everything. In cricket, basic skill is the game of cricket. For a captain, basic requirement is how you play your team and how you manage the team and the situation in hand. Inzi did it well beyond our imagination. When he was made captain, i was against it. I had a goofy image of him and thought he cant do the job. He provd me wrong with his performance.

  • junaid on December 19, 2006, 15:02 GMT

    Kamran. you have definitely lost it.

  • sheikh on December 19, 2006, 15:01 GMT

    i believe that inzi is the only choice available to captain pakistan in WC. There is much talking abt his leadership qualities & his lazy impression on & off the field,true but at the same time he is also giving results & whole team is united on & off the field under his captaincy. PCB has got the lesson by giving a chance to younis in champs trophy, he still need some time to fit for the job. I m totally agree with the idea of having inzi being captain of test side after WC & younis as captain for one day side. At the end gud luck TEAM PAKISTAN to win the WC.

  • An Indian on December 19, 2006, 14:55 GMT

    I personally like Inzi as player and as a person. One can doubt his captaincy abilities but that can be overlooked if over all team composition is strong. I still think that if Pak is 3rd rank team it has better chance of winning than the other 5 team. As simple as that.

    But mind you, trouble is that every team raises their game in the world cup. No doubt, Pak has very good batting line up and bowling looks promising too. But they need to deliver. If players support the bowlers on the field. I would give more than 40% chance to Pak.

    Aus 80% SA 40% Pak 40% Ind 15% WI 15% NZ 10% SL 5%

    Now real difference could be how determined Inzi and his team is to win the work cup. That should decide between winning and losing.

    Go get it Inzi.

  • Rauf Khan on December 19, 2006, 14:47 GMT

    It's discussion about Inzamam and Imran Khan and not about Mawali. Before writing anything, I hope readers know who Mawali is. One should read armughan's 1:53 PM comments. Mawali's comments should never be taken seriously.

  • Hassan Maulana on December 19, 2006, 14:40 GMT

    To Mawali, Inzmamam is a pure match winner and what a performance he gave in 1992 world cup edition. Yes Islam is an integral part of the Pakistan cricket team and so it shall be.I think this is the best Pakistan team assembled.Inshallah Pakistan is in a great chance to win the 2007 edition Aameen.

  • King0fHearts on December 19, 2006, 14:37 GMT

    Inzi is the best choice for Pakistan. We had recently tried Younas Khan in champions trophy. Younas tries to be over-confidant with his strategy and he tried some different field positions and plans which did not work well. Inzi is more orthodox. He is usually a captain who goes with the things. Like he would keep slips for 10 overs, will switch to typical run saving fielding. He has been successful with the more conventional manner of his own. Another most important thing is that all the team respects him. Like big brother and great leader. And its not all the team, even i feel he has great respect among whole nation.

    Best wishes for inzi in upcoming series and World Cup.

  • John Beamish on December 19, 2006, 14:34 GMT

    I can't believe some of the posts here. Don't you vet what gets posted?

  • John Beamish on December 19, 2006, 14:32 GMT

    May I use your blog, which I am sure is avidly followed by the PCB, to lobby for the inclusion of Azhar Mahmood in at least the list of Pakistan probables? The selectors must be off their rockers to include Ifthikhar Rao when they could have picked Mahmood. Who has he ticked off?

  • Sohaib on December 19, 2006, 14:26 GMT

    Leadership comes in many forms - with Inzamam being the type that leads by example. We have seen that throughout the last few years in his captaincy. He has led Pakistan, and he has led them well. You can't expect all captains to be like Imran Khan, or Ricky Ponting or Rahul Dravid (though they tend to lead by example too). He is a captain (and a person) who is respected by all the members of his team and one can SEE that - I am pretty sure it is not because the other players want a spot in the team! I also don't think it was Inzamam's idea to create a 'fielding' award for him - probably was as funny to him as us. It is funny to see people making fun of Inzamam not being able to create a 'coherent' sentence - English is NOT the first language in Pakistan. For a person who didn't know much, I am pretty sure that people will agree with me that he is good now. On the religious note, I don't think anyone on the Pakistani team right now is without merit - at least the team is not caught in night clubs, 'partaying' like crazy! Go Inzi Go!

  • Arslan Shaukat on December 19, 2006, 14:21 GMT

    Even if Pakistan win the world cup, Inzi will never come even close to emulating Imran Khan. What Imran achieved as a captain of a very volatile, individualistic (in nature) bunch of players was an extraordinary feet. Imran's motivational skills, an eye for spotting raw talent and tacticall knowhow was and is peerless in the cricketing world. Inzi has always been a very lame leader and winning world cup would not change that. Winning the 07 World cup would be more due to the skill level of the players and Bob Woolmer's work behind the scenes rather than the tactical acuman and motivational skills of Inzi, totally opposite to the 92 world cup victory. Also, when the going got really tough, a couple of years ago when Pakistan played the best side in the world at the moment, Australia in their own backyard, Inzi instead of leading from the front, dissapeared in the background and sat out the last two tests because of backache (painkillers anybody?). Compare that with the aggressive mindset the mighty Khan led Pakistan with, against Windies (the best side in the world) in the 80s, where Imran's positive & aggressive attitude rubbed of on other players and Imran led from the front with great bowling performances against the likes of King Viv, Greenidge, Haynes, Dujon to name a few. As a result, no other team in the 80s gave Windies as tough a time and ran them as close as Pakistan.

    Don't get me worng, I am a great fan of Inzi as a person and as a batsman, but not as a captain.

  • Ehjaz Afzal on December 19, 2006, 14:19 GMT

    Mr. Mawali, You should not hide your true identity behind this nick. Come out of closet and face the reality. You do need a reality check. Do not use relegion as tool to deny the truth, i.e, Inzamam has proved his ability many times as a cricketer who can play under immense presure. If Inzi would sell air conditioners, then you would be the delivery boy and I would run over you........

  • nasir on December 19, 2006, 13:55 GMT

    I think Inzi is Pakistan's only choice. At least under him Pakistan have reclaimed Fortress Pakistan and are unbeatable at home and in Asia at least. I think Younis is not yet ready to do the job. Yousuf is the man in form and would be unnecessarily be put under pressure. As for the rest, none of them as yet is even close to captaincy material.

    I think inzo should leave the one day team after the World Cup to prolong his test career and continue his captaincy. Younis should be made the one-day captain after the World Cup and be groomed to take over the reigns fully until Inzo retires completely. This is all dependent on his performances and their consistency.

  • Ozzy on December 19, 2006, 13:54 GMT

    I find Mr. Mawali's comments (if that is his name) a blatant attempt to undermine the good work (irrespective of religion) that the current pakistan team are doing. Mawali lambasts Inzy for sub-par performance: has he been in another galaxy in the last two years. Inzy is in the top five international test player rankings and he has amassed centuries galore in the last two years (Mawali's observation techniquies are obviously at a sub-par level!) The team is outwardly more religous and there have been allegations that Mohammed Yousuf (formerly Yousuf Yohanna) was forced into converting. If this is so there must have been a large amount of duress because judging by the thickness of Mohammed's beard, the duress has catalysed his beard growth!Or maybe the team is just moving in that direction and the focus that spirituality brings has helped bring the team together. Whatever the answer, I fear that sub-par performers like Mawali may continue their campaign of envy / conceitedness against a modest, yet brilliant batsmen, whose gentleness (sit-ins apart) make him an obvious target. Whatever the answer, Inzy and the boys have my support and those of the pakistani nation and its ex-pats. Pakistan Zindabab!!

  • Omer from Karachi on December 19, 2006, 13:53 GMT

    @Mawali... Inzy has proved his ability time & time again...dun forget the 1992 world-cup semi-final with New Zealand.Every century of Inzamam has helped Pakistan to a victory...He's a great batsman of Pakistan and will always remain great! Certainly, he's the obvious choice to be the captain...who else in the team has the experience to surpass Inzy's experience and understanding of the game. U never knw what to expect of Pakistan...this team is capable of doing everything at anytime...a match lukz like going against Pakistan's way can turn into Pak's favour in no time. U never know...World cup mite be ours dis time!

  • armughan on December 19, 2006, 13:53 GMT

    First of all, Mawali seems to be Rajiv Thind, the guy who was beaten up by Inzamam. Secondly, what are we trying to acheive from this discussion? Really, we have a captain who needs support. He has done enough to aptain any side in the world, he may be lazy, may have a liad back and defensive approach, but he attacked when it mattered and got the results. I think it is not an issue that he is trying to surpass any one, he is just trying to do what he has supposed to do. And he is already better then Imran, he has calmed the dressing room like never before. And being a religeous man is his personal matter, it is never felt by me atleast that relgon played any part in selection. People like Ghunda Mawali better shut up!

  • Rauf Khan on December 19, 2006, 13:46 GMT

    Inzamam is undoubtedly a very good cricketer. It is said that Imran was reponsible for his rise. In fact that Imran has had a great confidence in him. Imran was a GREAT leader ever produced by Pakistan in and off the field, but never a great cricketer as compared to Inzamam in my opinion.

  • Waqas on December 19, 2006, 13:39 GMT

    It seems Pervez from Toronto is suffering from the affects of old age. Pakistan fan for 40 years? Clearly those decades spent watching cricket have not gained him much wisdom or knowledge about the game. Surprised if Pakistan make it to the super stage? I think you have lost the plot Perv Saab.

  • Shahid on December 19, 2006, 13:36 GMT

    this is in response to MAWALI...... have you ver watched a game of cricket???? sub par???? INZI was our best batsman until last year.... its only this year that Yousuf has surpassed him. and who are the beard sporting people in the team that dont merit inclusion in the side???? YOUSUF has a beard and he's now the best batter in Asia. only afridi has a beard other than Inzi and Yousuf and he is a part of Pakistan's Worldcup plans despite his poor form recently. also.... Inzi didnt ask for that award... he was laughing like the rest of people. blame the PCB for that. first follow the game then open your stupid mouth!

  • sameer on December 19, 2006, 13:33 GMT

    Inzi came on to the scene in the world cup 1992 and was very good, to finish it with anther world cup win would be an unbelievable success story. INzi starting of his carrer with a world cup win and finishing it with a world cup win. EVen though he may not have the leadership skills as Imran but we know that Inzi can play well under pressure.

  • Pervez from Toronto on December 19, 2006, 13:30 GMT

    With due respect, C'mon guys world cup is not a toddlers pastime, it needs a very inspiring, proactive and assertive person at the helm, like RP of Australia. I am a Pakistani fan for the last 40 years, but given the current mindset of the team, I would be very surprised if they can make it to the super stage.....my 2 cents worth.

  • sindh on December 19, 2006, 13:27 GMT

    I have always been a fan of Inzi as a cricketer... so maybe I might be biased in my views. But Inzimam has total control over his team, and if anyone after wasim Akram has had any chance of leading the team to World Cup victory, its Inzi. the tour to SOuth Africa will be pivitol, cause Pakistan can easily lose heart after a bad and difficult tour.... The Fielding and opening are two main factors that need to be resolved, also... never forget the 'utility' players that Pakistan has in great number wouldn't help in South Africa but will be total assest in West Indies...

  • murtaza hussain on December 19, 2006, 13:24 GMT

    wel i do agree with the author, mr. abbas. on his comments on the leadership of inzamam, and if inzamam can stand up to the expectations of his country men and pak cricket fans worldwide, then nothing like it.

    Remember, only one team has the guts to defy all odds.. and go on to beat the mighty aussies.. i.e pakistan.

  • Momin on December 19, 2006, 12:59 GMT

    I have little or no doubt that the Pakistan team, in entirety, is better then the 1992 WC Squad. The little doubt is obviously due to the leadership issues - none in Pakistan has been able to match the calibre of the legendary Imran Khan.

    If you look at Inzi's record, he is not far behind the great Imran when it comes to the number of test wins, and indeed in far lesser number of matches captained. But I do not think that should be a gauge for measuring leadership capabilities.

    I think Inzi would have to be like he was at Bangalore in the test match last year against India. He was exuberant, he was energetic, and he wanted to win that in a bid to do so he got himself banned for a subsequent test match due to excessive appealing; but rest assured, that was the best Inzi did ever as captain.

    This team has the capability to win, and I am hoping that they will. I do not think there shall be any hindrance, but you need to have at least an opener who has scored one day centuries, none better then Salman Butt.

    Having said all that, I am sure the Aussies would be a stiff threat, but complacency can creep in their ranks after their performances in the Ashes, and it is for the chasing pack {Pakistan included} to cash in on that opportunity.

  • Saeed Ahmad Lodhi on December 19, 2006, 12:54 GMT

    At last Dr. Nasim Ashraf regained his senses and didn’t made any obnoxious decision by retaining Inzy as Captain of Pakistan till world Cup. Pakistan team without Inzy is unthinkable, just like Imran was once.

  • Atif on December 19, 2006, 12:50 GMT

    I just have question and that is why Azhar Mahmood nevre bought back to the Pakistani side. why has he not giving a fair chance. He is a good all rounder and has showed good potential in the English Team Surrey.

  • partha on December 19, 2006, 12:44 GMT

    dear Kamran Yes you are right, Inzi is the right choice.

    I am also concerned about the team that is going to be selected for the world cup. The main issue is the top four positions for batting. Recently i have noticed that they are using all rounders at those positions rather than specialists. It is understandable that for one day cricket you need rollicking starts, but it doesnot mean that they continue with the strategy of playing the likes of Shoaib mallik and likes for the first four positions. Not in world cup, definitely not.

    Inzi should lead by example, he should be my man in top four positions. At present he is batting too low. Younis is being pushed here and there, may i know why? The all rounders should always come below specialists to save a rocking boat, not to rock the boat itself. Pakistan has the team to win world cup, they always had good teams. But may be they lacked good leadership and thought process. See the last world cup for example.

  • Ammad Siddiqui on December 19, 2006, 12:43 GMT

    One of the few good moves by the PCB in recent memory. Actually I don't think there is any other player in the team capable of leading Pakistan. Inzi is the only player who has an influence on players. To remove him would be plain stupidity and disaster. To have him retained as captain is big deal for Pakistan cricket, therefore this coloumn was written. Had it been any other nation, I wouldn't think so.

  • Fateen Ahmad on December 19, 2006, 12:43 GMT

    Leaders are born. The qualities which Imran has don't exist in Inzmam. Even if Inzmam wins the world cup, which he won't, he is no Imran Khan.

    Corruption breeds to corruption. When there is no system of check and balances in place, who is going to stop the chairman from appointing people of his own choice. What merits were called for his appointment-friendship. I don't understand why we cry on corruption when it is part of our system. It is now part of our genes. We cannot live without it. Me, you and everybody around us corrupt but we don't realize.

  • FUO on December 19, 2006, 12:41 GMT

    Can't say I blame Inzi for asiring to surpass Imran. Even with his now sometimes naive, and always vicious, attacks on the PCB and the national team [seemingly just for the sake of it], Imran is the most charismatic leader Pakistan have ever produced. Inzi and Woolmer's tenures being secure is obviously good news. I am not so sure the positive outlook you mentioned could be maintained though. The doping issue will remain a cloud. And now with WADA doing what it is doing, I can't see Pakistan going into the world cup with clearity of mind and purpose.

  • Omer Admani on December 19, 2006, 12:33 GMT

    Unbelievable! Inzamam got the best fielder's award? I wonder who in the PCB decides which award goes to whom, because to give Inzamam such an award is not ideal inspiration for youngsters. I agree with the view that eventhough Inzamam is not the ideal captain, he is the only way forward till the worldcup. Besides, I also feel that he has been trying to emulate Imran Khan, if not surpass him. He has a better chance because he has a better team. One thing the team might lack because of Inzamam's presence is mental strength and hunger to win, but I am hopeful that Inzamam's hunger to emulate Khan would drive him to be able to mend those shortcomings, albiet for one tour.

  • Muhammad Umair Yasir on December 19, 2006, 12:32 GMT

    Yes, I think Inzamam is the obvious choice. He has done enough in past two years and team looks much better. As far as Younis is concerned I think moving here and there in the filed and showing over activeness is not the only thing. Most of the people support Younis as a future captain on the basis of his short stints as captain, whenever Inzamam is off the filed or he is out because of injury or ban. But leading the side as a full time captain is a different thing and it was obvious in champions trophy that younis has still a long way to go. As a captain you must be able to face the ups and downs through team building and I think Inzamam has done that.

    Winning World Cup would be an ideal end to a successful career of Inzamam. He has the capability and the players to do that. He may well be able to do that. Who knows …………….

  • khawar on December 19, 2006, 12:31 GMT

    cmmon inzi bhai we are wid u n world cup is ur's inshallah ...u can do it..pakistani zinda bad.....inzi bhai pa inda bad

  • Shaz Amin on December 19, 2006, 12:30 GMT

    Can we win the World cup under Inzy ?- yes i think we can especially now we have Shoaib and Asif ready and raring to go. We are ranked 3rd in the world at the moment and are on form - the big test is the Aussies but other than them we should fear no one else. one area of concern for me is the lack of back up for Kamran Akmal if he gets injured we have no proven replacement. top order looks good with hafeez & farhat - younis,yoyo,inzy,malik,razzak,akmal, shoaib,gul and asif leaves the number 8 option open between rehman,naveed,shabbir,afridi we have a strong squad. i think we can go all the way. go Pakistan!

  • Mawali on December 19, 2006, 12:30 GMT

    Abbasi Sahib, Inzy's leadership style (or lack of it) is borne purely from forcefully imposing his own and Saeed Anwar's islamic way of life. In Inzy's world if you sport a beard and drink water while sitting down and thanking allah before every sentence pretty much assures you a place in the team. This man makes me sick to my stomach. The man who could not articulate a complete coherent sentence wants to out do the great Imran Khan ( who BTW is up to some pretty nasty stuff himself). I am convinced if Saeed Anwar did not introduce the Tableeghi Jammat at the PCB, our man Inzy would now be selling air conditioner's in Multan. It is because of the religious influence in the PCB that Inzy boy has survived this long depite a rather sub par performance. Why can't we just play the sport on merit and ability? But, for now, I resign my self to the fact that if its allah who can move Inzy to greatness than so be it. Preety much like Bob Woolmer who is quite happy to just go along for the ride. BTW, that fielding award to the potato head was a joke not to mention all the awards exchanged between the undignified dignitaries. To the West Indies they didn't win but atleast they got a few laughs out of the whole thing.

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  • Mawali on December 19, 2006, 12:30 GMT

    Abbasi Sahib, Inzy's leadership style (or lack of it) is borne purely from forcefully imposing his own and Saeed Anwar's islamic way of life. In Inzy's world if you sport a beard and drink water while sitting down and thanking allah before every sentence pretty much assures you a place in the team. This man makes me sick to my stomach. The man who could not articulate a complete coherent sentence wants to out do the great Imran Khan ( who BTW is up to some pretty nasty stuff himself). I am convinced if Saeed Anwar did not introduce the Tableeghi Jammat at the PCB, our man Inzy would now be selling air conditioner's in Multan. It is because of the religious influence in the PCB that Inzy boy has survived this long depite a rather sub par performance. Why can't we just play the sport on merit and ability? But, for now, I resign my self to the fact that if its allah who can move Inzy to greatness than so be it. Preety much like Bob Woolmer who is quite happy to just go along for the ride. BTW, that fielding award to the potato head was a joke not to mention all the awards exchanged between the undignified dignitaries. To the West Indies they didn't win but atleast they got a few laughs out of the whole thing.

  • Shaz Amin on December 19, 2006, 12:30 GMT

    Can we win the World cup under Inzy ?- yes i think we can especially now we have Shoaib and Asif ready and raring to go. We are ranked 3rd in the world at the moment and are on form - the big test is the Aussies but other than them we should fear no one else. one area of concern for me is the lack of back up for Kamran Akmal if he gets injured we have no proven replacement. top order looks good with hafeez & farhat - younis,yoyo,inzy,malik,razzak,akmal, shoaib,gul and asif leaves the number 8 option open between rehman,naveed,shabbir,afridi we have a strong squad. i think we can go all the way. go Pakistan!

  • khawar on December 19, 2006, 12:31 GMT

    cmmon inzi bhai we are wid u n world cup is ur's inshallah ...u can do it..pakistani zinda bad.....inzi bhai pa inda bad

  • Muhammad Umair Yasir on December 19, 2006, 12:32 GMT

    Yes, I think Inzamam is the obvious choice. He has done enough in past two years and team looks much better. As far as Younis is concerned I think moving here and there in the filed and showing over activeness is not the only thing. Most of the people support Younis as a future captain on the basis of his short stints as captain, whenever Inzamam is off the filed or he is out because of injury or ban. But leading the side as a full time captain is a different thing and it was obvious in champions trophy that younis has still a long way to go. As a captain you must be able to face the ups and downs through team building and I think Inzamam has done that.

    Winning World Cup would be an ideal end to a successful career of Inzamam. He has the capability and the players to do that. He may well be able to do that. Who knows …………….

  • Omer Admani on December 19, 2006, 12:33 GMT

    Unbelievable! Inzamam got the best fielder's award? I wonder who in the PCB decides which award goes to whom, because to give Inzamam such an award is not ideal inspiration for youngsters. I agree with the view that eventhough Inzamam is not the ideal captain, he is the only way forward till the worldcup. Besides, I also feel that he has been trying to emulate Imran Khan, if not surpass him. He has a better chance because he has a better team. One thing the team might lack because of Inzamam's presence is mental strength and hunger to win, but I am hopeful that Inzamam's hunger to emulate Khan would drive him to be able to mend those shortcomings, albiet for one tour.

  • FUO on December 19, 2006, 12:41 GMT

    Can't say I blame Inzi for asiring to surpass Imran. Even with his now sometimes naive, and always vicious, attacks on the PCB and the national team [seemingly just for the sake of it], Imran is the most charismatic leader Pakistan have ever produced. Inzi and Woolmer's tenures being secure is obviously good news. I am not so sure the positive outlook you mentioned could be maintained though. The doping issue will remain a cloud. And now with WADA doing what it is doing, I can't see Pakistan going into the world cup with clearity of mind and purpose.

  • Fateen Ahmad on December 19, 2006, 12:43 GMT

    Leaders are born. The qualities which Imran has don't exist in Inzmam. Even if Inzmam wins the world cup, which he won't, he is no Imran Khan.

    Corruption breeds to corruption. When there is no system of check and balances in place, who is going to stop the chairman from appointing people of his own choice. What merits were called for his appointment-friendship. I don't understand why we cry on corruption when it is part of our system. It is now part of our genes. We cannot live without it. Me, you and everybody around us corrupt but we don't realize.

  • Ammad Siddiqui on December 19, 2006, 12:43 GMT

    One of the few good moves by the PCB in recent memory. Actually I don't think there is any other player in the team capable of leading Pakistan. Inzi is the only player who has an influence on players. To remove him would be plain stupidity and disaster. To have him retained as captain is big deal for Pakistan cricket, therefore this coloumn was written. Had it been any other nation, I wouldn't think so.

  • partha on December 19, 2006, 12:44 GMT

    dear Kamran Yes you are right, Inzi is the right choice.

    I am also concerned about the team that is going to be selected for the world cup. The main issue is the top four positions for batting. Recently i have noticed that they are using all rounders at those positions rather than specialists. It is understandable that for one day cricket you need rollicking starts, but it doesnot mean that they continue with the strategy of playing the likes of Shoaib mallik and likes for the first four positions. Not in world cup, definitely not.

    Inzi should lead by example, he should be my man in top four positions. At present he is batting too low. Younis is being pushed here and there, may i know why? The all rounders should always come below specialists to save a rocking boat, not to rock the boat itself. Pakistan has the team to win world cup, they always had good teams. But may be they lacked good leadership and thought process. See the last world cup for example.

  • Atif on December 19, 2006, 12:50 GMT

    I just have question and that is why Azhar Mahmood nevre bought back to the Pakistani side. why has he not giving a fair chance. He is a good all rounder and has showed good potential in the English Team Surrey.