World Cup 2007 January 4, 2007

A one-man vision won't work

Inzamam sung a famliar song on arrival in South Africa: The past is forgotten we're all for one and one for all
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Inzamam sung a famliar song on arrival in South Africa: The past is forgotten we're all for one and one for all. Pakistan churn out this piece of ham-fisted spin-doctoring so often that it has become tedious. For once, it would be nice to know that such statements aren't required. Inzamam, though, has brought this current controversy about the tour selection and his relationship with Shoaib Akhtar upon himself. It's simple enough to conclude that power is back in the hands of Pakistan's captain after Nasim Ashraf's premature attempt to slap him down. The reinstatement of Mushtaq Ahmed is evidence enough. Magic Mushy may well have much to offer Pakistan cricket but I'm not sure what he could have done in the past couple of months to bring about this volte-face.

The lesson that Ashraf has learned is that people care more about cricketers than they do about officials. And secondly, people care more about results than they do about individual cricketers. Pakistan's abysmal failure in the Champions Trophy punctured Ashraf's machismo but the worry is that the pendulum has swung too far back in Inzamam's favour for the good of Pakistan cricket.

Inzamam's hold over the team is a double-edged sword. If he uses his influence in a positive way Pakistan may well be capable of achieving great success this year. However, if his mood crushes the people around him, which it began to do during last summer's tour of England, Pakistan cannot succeed.

Imran Khan once had a similar hold over his team but he was wise enough to know that he had to harness the talents of people that he may not have liked or necessarily agreed with. The outcome was more important than pride--although he had plenty of that too. The test of leadership is whether or not you will include or seek counsel from people you may not choose as your friends but who have something to contribute to the mission. This is a test that Inzamam has not passed, and for the sake of Pakistan cricket he needs to. There is a huge risk in allowing one man to monopolise strategy, particularly when he has able support around him. Indeed, Inzamam is no Imran. He has never struck me as having the clarity of vision or ideas to do it alone.

Inzamam has succeeded in many ways in his career, and he is a contender for the title of Pakistan's greatest ever batsman. He has single-handedly won international matches and almost single-handedly won a World Cup. He has brought great stability to Pakistan cricket under his leadership. But his biggest failing is that he has become over-bearing and fallen too easily into a negative mindset. This is evident in the kinds of pitches that Pakistan have prepared under his leadership, the suggestions to Mohammad Sami to drop his speed, his on-field decisions, and now the selection of the current touring party. Pakistan had no need for so many batsmen, particularly those in the middle order, for this short tour of South Africa. That extra place should have gone to a bowler.

Yet that is Inzamam's way. It is the mindset that I believe inhibits Pakistan cricket. Yes, stability is essential and I have argued for it myself, but leadership is about allowing the talents of your charges to flourish and managing--not excluding--difficult personalities. It is also about seeking wise counsel and including your management team in deciding which is the best way forward. Inzamam, great player that he is, needs to harness the knowledge of his fellows and free the spirit of his players--and he needs to begin now.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Farhad on January 25, 2007, 7:06 GMT

    Inzamam is indeed no Imran. Shoaib has been mishandled by both Inzamam and Bob and Pak has suffered. An out-and-out matchwinner has been discouraged and kept out of the squad only for the magnificent paceman to return to set up a splendid triumph on his return. So near to the World cup, the two incalcitrant arrogant ego-filled individuals are harming Pak chances inexorable and for this both need a kick up their backsides.

  • rehan on January 20, 2007, 22:04 GMT

    There we again! Shoaib is unfit again!!! Are you happy now Kamran? Thats why wise people say "think before you speak" Shoaib is good for nothing. He is unfit again only bolwed 11 overs in a game and he is unfit. Does he merit a selection. Aren't the selectors were right? And people like Karmran Abbasi blames it on the captain who is leading from the front and kept the team a single unit. We dont need Shoaib in the team Period!!!! When people will understand that he is a negative influence in the team. He should be dropped from the world cup list of probables as well.

  • AzMaj on January 20, 2007, 17:19 GMT

    Kamran, i always thought this particular discussion was based on an unfair premise - and, uncharacteristically, you underplayed Shoaib's hand in dictating his own fate. There's no point in us looking going beyond the facts and pointing fingers at Inzi, when, all along, Shoaib's fitness record has been dubious and, today's events highlight the problems he creates for both Inzamam and the Pakistan team. I personally don't think he can perform for more than one innings without the use of 'supplements' and wholeheartedly believe that is the only way he got through the England and India series last winter in Pakistan.

  • Dr. Mohammad Belgami on January 17, 2007, 6:55 GMT

    It is not fair to say that Kaneria is overrated. He is and will be a very good bowler with time. He s still young and can learn many tricks. In the first test in SA it was not his fault. Many reasons were there - the total was small to defend, Kallis and Amla played well. Most of all the other two pace bowlers were mere passengers. The match was lost when they surrendered their wickets for loose shots and irresponsible shot selection. There are fundamental basics as to how to select and execute a pull/hook stroke. They play impulsively and don't use their minds properly. Also they lack application. Younis khan is a very good player and successful too. But his pull shot is still not perfect. Same goes with Yasser and playing Faisal Iqbal was a big gamble, they should have palyed Asim Kamal who always has price for his wicket. The bowling eresources were not there. Please don'tblame Kaneria. he needs to work on nicities and subteleties as Gooch. wait andhave patience.

  • Ahmad on January 11, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    I think Inzi is a class batsman. He was the one most likely to stop a collapse in the Pak team before Yousuf's surge in form. Someone mentioned his poor scores against England when he came back from injury or suspension but he had scored 9 consecutive 50's against them before that. He has to play and whilst he's playing he's gotta be captain - for those who don't like it (I pull my hair out at his lack of attacking intent sometimes) they at least have the satisfaction of knowing he won't be there for long. In terms of the openers - I think Afridi needs to be playing and yes he needs to be opening in tests. Regardless of what you say, when he was called back into the team he averaged 40 as an opener which I dont think is matched by any of the others. That allows you to keep Malik at 6, use Afridi's bowling and have an additional player to add to the other one who can catch and stop the ball (Malik). People talk about Nazir, Butt, Umer etc etc but unfortunately they are crap. Are any one of these young openers better than Alastair Cook - Englands 20 year old? Not even close so until we have a player of that standard Afridi needs to open with the best of the remaining mediocre pak - probably Hafeez at the moment. Could someone also explain to me why Razzaq plays for Pakistan in tests? What does he do? What has he done - ever? Apart from being stubborn on occasion and scoring 6 off 90 balls what does he do? Average is an understatement. This is my main criticism of Inzi and why he'll never be Imran. Imran hated Sarfraz but realised that having Sarfraz open with him was the best thing for Pak. Because of Inzi Shoaibs career is being wasted by not playing him on the odd occasion that he's fit (cos he's doesnt dance when Inzi says dance), Razzaq + fit = selection (cos he's his mate) and leggie Mushie in and out, now in at Waqar's expense (cos he's his mate) to coach a team who's strength is fast bowling. This cronyism and dislike for others that don't toe his line is unnacceptable and detrimental to Pakistan cricket. Inzi is a legend but at the point of retirement after a long career - he still has lot to learn.

  • Naser on January 11, 2007, 12:10 GMT

    David Furrows, Still think India has a classier battling lineup? I suggest u look at the score card at Centurion Indian would have crumbled by now. Man these India lovin brits..

  • hareem on January 10, 2007, 16:04 GMT

    Does Abdul rehman, Yasir Hameed, Umar Gul counts when it comes to spotting talent ? Please give credit where due. For the first time after Imran, Pakistan has a Captain, who really is a Captain yet he has his own way of leadership which is and has benefitted Pak Cricket.

  • Ali on January 10, 2007, 13:38 GMT

    Dawar, never heard so much rubbish before, I take it you do not follow cricket reqularly?

  • Shehzad Ghani on January 10, 2007, 11:23 GMT

    One thing that Imran had and Inzi doesn't is: Javed Miandad. Being an even better tactitian of the game, Imran knew Miandad was indispensible, even though Imran personally didn't like Miandad. In my opinion, Miandad, with all the things people say about his personality, was still the greastest captian Pakistan has produced. There has not been a cricketer with better understanding of the game of cricket than him.

    Imran knew his importance and used him to his own advantage, which was very wise.

  • Dawar on January 9, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    Dear All,

    Test & One Day series against South Africa is not start yet and several Pakistani players became unfit.

    Specially, without playing any match against South Africa, Abdul Razak & Shoaib Malik are not fully fit. Abdul Razak probably will miss the whole test series.

    The only good thing this time is Abdul Razak announced his fitness problem prior to aboard.

    From some time performance of Abdul Razak & Shoaib Malik is not satisfactory.

    Specially, tour outside the country both players are not performing well but also faces fitness problem.

    Last time when our cricket team visited to Australia, Abdul Razak found his sickness just before the match. He woke up and found himself seriously unfit (with Asthma and Weakness).

    He did not play against strong Australian team.

    As soon as we came back to Pakistan, he recovered from his sickness remarkably.

    And become the part of national cricket team without any proper treatment.

    Board should consider fitness and form of all players. Especially against good team like Australia, South Africa.

    It looks mental level to take stress is not very strong.

    Recently they unfit against good teams or in the big tournaments.

    As a Pakistani I hope Pakistan will win the series, but realistically our performance in South Africa never was good. And chances of wining are less.

    Just before world cup it looks like , Players who will not perform well against South Africa will not be considered for world cup.

    But if some players like Abdul Razzak & Sohaib Malik will not play against south africa especially in test series, they will be automatically considered for the world cup because they did not perform bad.

    They are good players but unfortunately their current performance is not satisfactory at all.

    If you see the past history of Abdul Razzak quite often he become unfit in big events or against strong team like Australia.

    Before select any player for the world cup we should also consider fitness along with the form. Otherwise player can be unfit before any crucial match.

    I think PCB should work on their mental strength.

    Regards, Dawar Naqvi California, USA

  • Farhad on January 25, 2007, 7:06 GMT

    Inzamam is indeed no Imran. Shoaib has been mishandled by both Inzamam and Bob and Pak has suffered. An out-and-out matchwinner has been discouraged and kept out of the squad only for the magnificent paceman to return to set up a splendid triumph on his return. So near to the World cup, the two incalcitrant arrogant ego-filled individuals are harming Pak chances inexorable and for this both need a kick up their backsides.

  • rehan on January 20, 2007, 22:04 GMT

    There we again! Shoaib is unfit again!!! Are you happy now Kamran? Thats why wise people say "think before you speak" Shoaib is good for nothing. He is unfit again only bolwed 11 overs in a game and he is unfit. Does he merit a selection. Aren't the selectors were right? And people like Karmran Abbasi blames it on the captain who is leading from the front and kept the team a single unit. We dont need Shoaib in the team Period!!!! When people will understand that he is a negative influence in the team. He should be dropped from the world cup list of probables as well.

  • AzMaj on January 20, 2007, 17:19 GMT

    Kamran, i always thought this particular discussion was based on an unfair premise - and, uncharacteristically, you underplayed Shoaib's hand in dictating his own fate. There's no point in us looking going beyond the facts and pointing fingers at Inzi, when, all along, Shoaib's fitness record has been dubious and, today's events highlight the problems he creates for both Inzamam and the Pakistan team. I personally don't think he can perform for more than one innings without the use of 'supplements' and wholeheartedly believe that is the only way he got through the England and India series last winter in Pakistan.

  • Dr. Mohammad Belgami on January 17, 2007, 6:55 GMT

    It is not fair to say that Kaneria is overrated. He is and will be a very good bowler with time. He s still young and can learn many tricks. In the first test in SA it was not his fault. Many reasons were there - the total was small to defend, Kallis and Amla played well. Most of all the other two pace bowlers were mere passengers. The match was lost when they surrendered their wickets for loose shots and irresponsible shot selection. There are fundamental basics as to how to select and execute a pull/hook stroke. They play impulsively and don't use their minds properly. Also they lack application. Younis khan is a very good player and successful too. But his pull shot is still not perfect. Same goes with Yasser and playing Faisal Iqbal was a big gamble, they should have palyed Asim Kamal who always has price for his wicket. The bowling eresources were not there. Please don'tblame Kaneria. he needs to work on nicities and subteleties as Gooch. wait andhave patience.

  • Ahmad on January 11, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    I think Inzi is a class batsman. He was the one most likely to stop a collapse in the Pak team before Yousuf's surge in form. Someone mentioned his poor scores against England when he came back from injury or suspension but he had scored 9 consecutive 50's against them before that. He has to play and whilst he's playing he's gotta be captain - for those who don't like it (I pull my hair out at his lack of attacking intent sometimes) they at least have the satisfaction of knowing he won't be there for long. In terms of the openers - I think Afridi needs to be playing and yes he needs to be opening in tests. Regardless of what you say, when he was called back into the team he averaged 40 as an opener which I dont think is matched by any of the others. That allows you to keep Malik at 6, use Afridi's bowling and have an additional player to add to the other one who can catch and stop the ball (Malik). People talk about Nazir, Butt, Umer etc etc but unfortunately they are crap. Are any one of these young openers better than Alastair Cook - Englands 20 year old? Not even close so until we have a player of that standard Afridi needs to open with the best of the remaining mediocre pak - probably Hafeez at the moment. Could someone also explain to me why Razzaq plays for Pakistan in tests? What does he do? What has he done - ever? Apart from being stubborn on occasion and scoring 6 off 90 balls what does he do? Average is an understatement. This is my main criticism of Inzi and why he'll never be Imran. Imran hated Sarfraz but realised that having Sarfraz open with him was the best thing for Pak. Because of Inzi Shoaibs career is being wasted by not playing him on the odd occasion that he's fit (cos he's doesnt dance when Inzi says dance), Razzaq + fit = selection (cos he's his mate) and leggie Mushie in and out, now in at Waqar's expense (cos he's his mate) to coach a team who's strength is fast bowling. This cronyism and dislike for others that don't toe his line is unnacceptable and detrimental to Pakistan cricket. Inzi is a legend but at the point of retirement after a long career - he still has lot to learn.

  • Naser on January 11, 2007, 12:10 GMT

    David Furrows, Still think India has a classier battling lineup? I suggest u look at the score card at Centurion Indian would have crumbled by now. Man these India lovin brits..

  • hareem on January 10, 2007, 16:04 GMT

    Does Abdul rehman, Yasir Hameed, Umar Gul counts when it comes to spotting talent ? Please give credit where due. For the first time after Imran, Pakistan has a Captain, who really is a Captain yet he has his own way of leadership which is and has benefitted Pak Cricket.

  • Ali on January 10, 2007, 13:38 GMT

    Dawar, never heard so much rubbish before, I take it you do not follow cricket reqularly?

  • Shehzad Ghani on January 10, 2007, 11:23 GMT

    One thing that Imran had and Inzi doesn't is: Javed Miandad. Being an even better tactitian of the game, Imran knew Miandad was indispensible, even though Imran personally didn't like Miandad. In my opinion, Miandad, with all the things people say about his personality, was still the greastest captian Pakistan has produced. There has not been a cricketer with better understanding of the game of cricket than him.

    Imran knew his importance and used him to his own advantage, which was very wise.

  • Dawar on January 9, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    Dear All,

    Test & One Day series against South Africa is not start yet and several Pakistani players became unfit.

    Specially, without playing any match against South Africa, Abdul Razak & Shoaib Malik are not fully fit. Abdul Razak probably will miss the whole test series.

    The only good thing this time is Abdul Razak announced his fitness problem prior to aboard.

    From some time performance of Abdul Razak & Shoaib Malik is not satisfactory.

    Specially, tour outside the country both players are not performing well but also faces fitness problem.

    Last time when our cricket team visited to Australia, Abdul Razak found his sickness just before the match. He woke up and found himself seriously unfit (with Asthma and Weakness).

    He did not play against strong Australian team.

    As soon as we came back to Pakistan, he recovered from his sickness remarkably.

    And become the part of national cricket team without any proper treatment.

    Board should consider fitness and form of all players. Especially against good team like Australia, South Africa.

    It looks mental level to take stress is not very strong.

    Recently they unfit against good teams or in the big tournaments.

    As a Pakistani I hope Pakistan will win the series, but realistically our performance in South Africa never was good. And chances of wining are less.

    Just before world cup it looks like , Players who will not perform well against South Africa will not be considered for world cup.

    But if some players like Abdul Razzak & Sohaib Malik will not play against south africa especially in test series, they will be automatically considered for the world cup because they did not perform bad.

    They are good players but unfortunately their current performance is not satisfactory at all.

    If you see the past history of Abdul Razzak quite often he become unfit in big events or against strong team like Australia.

    Before select any player for the world cup we should also consider fitness along with the form. Otherwise player can be unfit before any crucial match.

    I think PCB should work on their mental strength.

    Regards, Dawar Naqvi California, USA

  • adeel khan on January 9, 2007, 13:19 GMT

    its very easy to critisze inzi way of captainin mysterious pakistani side, but truly speaking i think he is best for the job taking the type of players we have. most of the players , consistant figures of squad were part of same team faced australia in dead ground of sharjah. the question here is .. did they shined .. and answer is known to everyone "NO". he is been intelligent , not always but most of time when it comes to choosing loss over dead draw.

  • zulfiqar ali on January 9, 2007, 12:36 GMT

    fair assessment. i totally agree with the obsarvations. to achieve a goal you need to be objactive like imran was.

  • Khan on January 9, 2007, 12:05 GMT

    The comments will stop when media stops reading between every line.

  • MANILAL JAYAWARDHANA on January 9, 2007, 6:38 GMT

    There is no way that one could match Kadir to Warne or Murali. Each bowler has his merits and demerits owing to the period of history and the rules and facilities applicable at the time.

    To compare Warne and Kadhir is a mismatch. Firstly Warne's averages are far better than Kadir's. Secondly Warne's arsenal though limitted to a few special deliveries were more lethal than Kadir's googly as the stats show.

    Warne's averages have been deteriorating since the biginning of his career starting with 22.92% WITH 42 TESTS TAKEN FOR 201 TEST WICKETS AND TOWARDS THE END WITH 25+% TO REACH 651 WICKETS. MURALI ON THE OTHER HAND HAS IMPROVED HIS AVERAGES ALONG THE WAY WITH 26.9% FOR HIS FIRST 203 WICKETS IN ALSO 42 TESTS. MURALI REACHED HIS 657TH WICKET IN HIS 108TH TEST WITH AN AVERAGE OF 21.96 EVEN BETTER THAN WHEN WARNE STARTED.

    STOP ARGUING AND TRYING TO MATCH KADHIR TO WARNE AS HE COULD NEVER EMULATE WARNE BUT IF YOU TRY AND MATCH HIM TO KUMBLE IS FAIR ENOUGH.

    A MIS MATCH IS A MIS MATCH AND WITH THE STATS GOING AGAINST KADHIR HIS BOWLING ABILITY DOES NOT COME INTO THE SCENE AT ALL.....SORRY BUT THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHERE I COME FROM.

  • Faraz Ishaq on January 8, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    and by the way for all the readers, Shoaib is on the way to South Africa ALREADY

  • Faraz Ishaq on January 8, 2007, 17:12 GMT

    I always doubt Inzi's capability of leading a side who represents 160 million people in pakistan anr roughly 200 million in the world. Inzi is awy less agressive then a captain of pakistan's team should be. True examples are Ganguly and smith, Ganguly leaded india to one of the best teams in the world with his agression every young lad wanted to perform at the highest. Smith is leads his tem with passion, pride and agression and you can see on his face. Inzimam is always less confident in taking bold decisions to have two strike bowlers in the team at the same time. Shoaib will be in and Sami out or Sami in and Shoaib out. This doesn't work. All the other bowlers are seamers including Asif. Shahid Afridi is out of the team....HE IS THE MOST WATCHED AND ENTERTAINING PLAYER TODAY...Buy it or not but HE IS. Re-Emergence of Afridi started in South Africa when he started playing league cricket couple of years ago and that experience followed in the year 2005 when he was the most successful in his 10 year career. There are too many batsman in the team. There was no need for taking extra wicket keeper. They should now experiment on that because worldcup is about to start and sticking with Kamran is better idea. Regardless everything, Inzi has to focus on his own batting and while ie leading the side he can't give his 100% towards batting. He has to be super fit and extra ordinary run making machine int he world cup. The only thing counts on big stages is experience. You can win Champions trophy without any experience but to win a world cup you need decades of experience. It is proven, experienced players won the world cups for their teams. '92, Imran and Miandad were the key, In '96 Desilva, Jaysuria, Ranatunga were dragged Sri Lanka to win the world cup and since then Waugh Brothers, Ponting, McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist, Beaven dominated to achived the fiest twice for Australia.. I guess, our senior players have to move forward and lead it with their brilliance to win it. There is no shortage of talent in current Pakistan Team if they include afridi and after that it is matter of putting the EGOs behind and play for the the country and with the passion what pakis are famous for...One of my friend says "Cricket Creats Character". I really wanna see paki team kissing the gold trophy this year... GOOD LUCK Pakistan

  • ahsan khan on January 8, 2007, 16:45 GMT

    mr kamran i have been reading ur articles for quite some time n i am a great admirer of ru work over here ,,i request u to write sumthing about waqar s resignation ,whatever happened it was a hasty decision and i guess its about time our cricketing minds and so called great players shud wake up n start displayin some common sense..its been a wreck these last few months ,,,,n the highlights hav been younis s abrupt decision to stand down as a captain n now this one frm waqar.these r ppl who hav got all the fame in the world frm pakistan cricket and they r paid handsome sums for tht ,,,but what r they providing the general public wid???? crap.....lets get it straight ..younis wanted to show his player power ..he did ..now waqar has tried to show the same ...but i like alot of other pakistani fans believe tht he did tht because he is been offered a far more lucrative job at new south wales academy....these cricketers need to grow up n start showin some respect towards the general public who treat them like heroes..mr kaman u have written enough about the cricet board n hav highlited alot of its mistakes..i want u to write sumthing abut these hasty cricketers ..whatever had happened waqar shud hav waited for the south african adventure to end ..but he didnt ..ALI ZAFAR sung it recentlyn this statement is lookin like a universal truth to me ritE NOW..U MUST KNOW THE SYSTEM ....THT ITS LOVE FOR MONEY ....isnt it?

  • ahsan on January 8, 2007, 10:10 GMT

    Here we go again!:

    I forgot to mention the pre-match injuries our soft pakistani cricketers get just before the start of any series. I wonder what these people do and eat as compared to Australia after zero performances they all give. Australian cricketers rarely have injuries.

    The injuries/excuses so far

    Inziman: chest pain Shoaib Malik = Ankel Umer Gul: Ankel M. Yusuf : Family A. Razzak : Torn Calf Muscle

    WHO IS NEXT? Dont say Asif or Yunus Please.

  • Fareed Nasir on January 7, 2007, 20:25 GMT

    No one is above the team. Neither Inzimam nor Shoaib. Its time PCB started coming out openly about what governs their decision making process. Its insulting to cricket followers when officials make contradcitory statements. Let the public know what went on behind the scenes and we can make up our minds. If it is just a clash between two individuals which is putting a while test series at stake, then its time these two individuals are made to sit down and agree to play together for the sake of the team. One person will not be totally wrong and other not totally right, there will be miscommunications and misgivings which are resulting in this fiasco. Thats where management can play a role. I am a huge fan of Bob Woolmer, but he seems oddly missing in this whole debate. He should be the one to shoulder the responsibility if two senior players are having a go at each other. I hope the issue gets resloved and inzi scores a century with shoiab taking 10 to win pakistan matches.

  • Ahmed on January 7, 2007, 18:13 GMT

    Inzimam is a great player but he is not a good captain. His drift with Shoaib is only resulting in a big loss for the Pakistani cricket. Shoaib has problems with his attitude but without any doubt he is our best bowler by a big big margin.

    South Africans are not good against good quality fast bowling.Shoaib has been instrumental in the last two wins against SA in test matches. His performance today in the side match against Abbotabad is also very impressive (3 for 24).

    I think Pakistan is going to suffer very badly without him as their attacj is mostly medium pace. For the sake of the country, Inzimam should not act like this.

  • Bilal on January 7, 2007, 12:30 GMT

    I have to agree with Kamran about this one. Inzi may be a great batsman but as a LEADER, he has failed so many times and sadly, has not learnt his lesson. As Kamran said, you cant let only pride let you drive decisions without logic. In case of Shoaib Malik, it is Inzi's pride (or friendship) and blind faith that he is still playing for Pak cricket. Sadly, I have not seen any one questioning this. A true leader puts his team first not his pride or friendship. WHY can't media highlight this sort of stuff strongly???

  • Haroon Syed on January 7, 2007, 9:31 GMT

    Just when it seemed that Inzi was learning to be a bit more aggressive(last series,especially the later half) ppl started criticizing him. Firstly,i saw most of the 20/20 tournament,shoaib got clubben all over by first class players.He didnt look fit and he has been flat for the last yr or so.He seems to be losing his pace as well.Secondly,i dont think its a bad idea to leave him out for the test series,seeing how injury prone he is.I would have supported his inclusion in some of the one dayers,but if he is truly the bowler his supporters imagine,then the two pool games agianst the minnows shud be enough to give him match practice. Mushtaqs appointment is more of a board issue than inzi,and i have this feeling that waqar was already tilting towards that coaching job in australia,his wife is already settled there. Please stop supporting afridi,he wud have made a fool of himself on SA wickets,he isnt the sort of player for that enivironment.Look at the likes of sehwag in the test series.He shud be included in the WC bcz west indian wickets are still much suitable for his play but even there its a gamble,and frankly if somoene hasnt learnt to control themself in 10 years,i dont blame the captain for not trusting them. Finally,about taking an extra batsmen,all the pacers he took are performing very well.I dont think we will have any problems as far as our bowling attack is concerned.We have asif,gul,and sami/rana/nazir in the pace attack,all of whom are in good form.And then kaneria and the allrounders for spin.How is this a bad attack,with good bowlers in stock?

  • ahsan on January 7, 2007, 8:18 GMT

    Here we go again. We all know what is going to happen in most of the matches.

    Let me summarize pakistan’s tour.

    Kamran Akmal: will hit a four first ball and in the next ball he will be caught at point again Imran Farhat: Will probably get caught at third man or in the slips while trying to imitate Saeed Anwar. Yunus Khan : Will get LBW after making 20. M. Yusuf. Egde to slips to a spinner while trying to run the ball to Third Man. Will make few 50s. Inziman: Same story as always Razzak: Run out or will get caught at long on.

  • Nabeel Adeel on January 7, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    Hi Kamran well if u are trying to say tht inzi is the reason why shoaib is not in the team than i dont quite agree to that.i think every pak cricket fan would want shoaib in the team but he did not make the cut due to his own misbehaviour,rather than inzi using his influence to drop him.i still think shabbir and shoaib should have been in the team and i dont think tht for some personal reasons inzi would want such match winners excluded from the team.i agree inzi is no imran but than he is our best choice now and is someone who commands respect and has brought a certain calmness to the dressing room.He will have to lead from the front in south africa though, because as a batsmen the reason he is behind Sachin and Lara is his record on bouncy wickets.It is his last chance to prove tht he was also a decent player on bouncy tracks if not a great one.At some point shoaib has to join the tour party and i hope it is sooner rather than later.Good performance in South africa is very important for the team going into the world cup.The players have to step it up and show they are good enough to do well in alien conditions.Good luck to pak team on this vital tour of South Africa.

  • Saleque Sufi on January 7, 2007, 4:07 GMT

    Inzimam will have his acid test in the series against South Africa.Pakis can not cope with hard bouncy track and cruble against moving balls on bouncy track. Inzzy has brilliant batsmen for flat even bouncy track but its only Inzzy himself, Yunus and yusuf who have shoulder greater responsibilty to allow his bowlers something to bowl at. Even the brilliant Indian batting failed time and again against classy proteas attack so it is extremely tough call for Inzzy army in SA.

  • Taimur Huk on January 7, 2007, 3:09 GMT

    i do not agree with the statement that inzaman is pakistan's best batsman. there have been so many other great batsmen in pakistan cricket, much better than inzaman, such as saeed anwar and javed miandad. although, he has been a good captain for pakistan. he is 36 and i think this will be his last world cup so i hope he does very well in it and his career ends on a good note.

  • mansu on January 7, 2007, 1:49 GMT

    inzamam has been a strong leader for the past few years. you can not blame him its not just his duty to make sure that the team wins evry match its the duty of every player. all should support him... if pakistan are to do well in the upcoming world cup then pakistan need to put their acts together ... they need to be consistent.. they shud bring back old players such as imran nazir, and keep these youngsters more involved. shahid afridi needs to learn from his mistakes and should focus on long innings and making runs for the team. shoaib akhtar should have bowling sessions with wasim, waqar and imran khan so that he can learn more from them rather then goin for speed. he should be focusing on taking wickets. bowl reverse swing, in swing, and yorkers.

  • Imran Syed on January 6, 2007, 23:45 GMT

    I agree completely with Kamran here. A) Re: Shoaib Akhtar. Figures speak for themselves. 165 test wickets in 40 odd tests at an average of 25 runs/wicket and most importantly a strike rate of a wicket every 43 balls. That is a wicket every 7 overs in a test match. Compare it to Imran Khan or Wasim Akram, both of whom had strike rates in the mid-50's. Sure Shoaib has had more than his share of injuries. We should keep in mind that fast bowlers are a rare commodity, and subject their bodies to extreme stress given that the human body wasn't really built to twist and turn in the unnatural way fast bowling requires. He is probably the fastest bowler of all time with deliveries clocket at about 160 kph. I don't want to overstress on speed here, but it is worth noting that in a fast bowling competition in Australia in 1979, Jeff Thompson came first with a bowling speed of 148 kph and Imran Khan came third with a speed of 139 kph. I don't think people appreciate this fact, that in an era where athletes are continuosly improving, people like Shoaib and Brett Lee represent examples of bowlers bowling consistently at speeds never bowled at before, and it is difficult to anticipate the stresses that places upon them. So when we compare Shoaib's longevity with other bowlers like Imran Khan, we should keep that in mind (it goes without saying however that Imran Khan worked much harder on his fitness than most including Shoaib). I don't understand why people grudge Shoaib his speed so much. In cricket, you can learn to do almost anything but you can't learn to bowl fast. Few people are born with that talent, and countries produce maybe one such bowler a decade on average (and some like India have not produced even one in 50 years). Speed is a valuable weapon, as any top class batsmen will attest to. And when you consider his strike rate of a wicket evry 7 overs, one of the best of all time, it is hard to criticize Shoib for spraying the ball around. Imran Khan has roundly criticized the decision not to take Shoaib to SOuth Africa, and it seems a glaring ommision given the favourable conditions in South Africa. As for Shoaib's religion or lack of it, it should not affect his selection in the least. If anything, his temparament probably brings balance to a side that has started resembling clergymen more than cricketers. A fairer criticism of Shoaib would be perhaps his weight and the need for him to work harder on his fitness. B) Re: Inzamam. His captaincy is unimaginative, unconvincing, and is pervaded by his negative mindset. Too often, I have seen situations where it is time for Pakistan to go for the jugular, only for Inzamam to let the moment slip by (e.g. bring on Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi to complete their mid-innings quota of overs when the opposition is alreeady in trouble at 120 for 6 or so). If Pakistan win any matches, it is in spite of his captaincy rather than because of it. His negative mindset is also illustrated by his requests for lifeless pitches for home games, despite Pakistan having a formidable fast bowling attack. The decision to drop Shoaib, or the very least to not insist upon his selection once again shows that the man cannot lift himself above his no douby dim-witted preconceived notions of stability, morality, and religion. A good captain, an aggressive captain, would take on the challenge of dealing with Shoaib rather than preferring the relative tranquility of a touring party with his absence. ANy way you look at it, a bowler who takes a wicket every 7 overs in a test match, and appears to be in his prime, is not someone any decent captain would overlook easily. Finally, the decision to appojnt Mushtaq Ahamd as Assistant coach reaks of nepotism. His friendship with Inzamam and proclivity for tableeghi Islam no doubt helped him secure this position. For it is hard to imagine how a second-rate test ex-spinner (185 wickets at an average of over 32 runs per wicket and a strike rate of a wicket every 68 balls) is going to help a touring party with one specialist spinner. I have heard a few people talk about MOYO saying Mushtaq helped him with his batting technique and that sounds laughable. I can justimaging Mushtaq with his test batting average of 11 detailing the intricacies of a good batting technique to MOYO. The only comments I read from MOYO attributed coaching help to Bob Woolmer.

  • Faisal Malik on January 6, 2007, 19:15 GMT

    hi. the article suggests two things..inzimam is more domineering than the other officials, second, he is not imran khan.. yes he is domineering, but sometimes the people need someone to control others or everywhere it will be chaos. we all know what happened in the past when pakistn cricket team was at the same time playing 5 or 6 captains. lack of oneness perhaps?and oh yes, before i forget-it is better for me to accept the dominance and decisions of one cricketer than that of a "cricket loving chairman" and his associats. second the socalled rift between inzimam and shoaib: guys, when are you gonna wake up and see the stats that shoaib has recently? he and asif were given a chance and while asif hung on for dear life, shoaib blew it. if he had wisdom he would have kept practicing even while under ban,just like the other bloke.

    inzimam is never gonna be imran khan. both are very opposite in nature to how they captain. but both have two things in common. both are very domineering figures, plus both have good records(than other pakistani captains) as captains. but if the different approaches work for them, fine with me.

    someone suggested focus has been shifted to religion than objectivness in the field..i say bring on religion, cuz thats the binding force, the uniting factor of this, the most united cricket team pakistan has ever had! its not the people who follow the religion we should be thinking of, but the ones who dont follow it closely..do i have to take names here?

  • Masaood Yunus on January 6, 2007, 18:39 GMT

    Kamran, There is a point in what you are saying but at the same time with world cup round the corner, do you want to risk Shoaib by playing him in tests ? The last time he played a full series, he got injured for a longer period of time. We should now admit that Shoaib at this point isn't fit as a test bowler since he is not able to maintain his fitness. As Malcom Speed said, history will decide where Shoaib stands in cricket world but Pakistan has built well equipped arsenal of bowlers who are willing to fire from all corners. There is no dependency on one bowler now. We should appreciate this fact. Does Abdul rehman, Yasir Hameed, Umar Gul counts when it comes to spotting talent ? Please give credit where due. For the first time after Imran, Pakistan has a Captain, who really is a Captain yet he has his own way of leadership which is and has benefitted Pak Cricket.

  • Mawali on January 6, 2007, 18:15 GMT

    Kamran sahib; another casualty just reported. Waqar Younis has/will resign on Monday. No worries though Mushy Bhai is there. The comedy of erors continues. This Nasim Ashraf fellow is a yellow belly, gutless bum, who has been made to bow down to the pressure from the higher authority of the Tableeghi order. PCB, as of now is a defunct organization being run adhoc without plan or purpose. There is so much pressure and intimidation from the religious zealots who want things done there way. Nasim Ashraf's role now has been religated to shut up and let Inzi (the senior citizen) run the show. Bob Woolmer is a smart fellow, who knows that he would collect his paycheck at the end of the day as long as he shuts up and let Inzy and the brothers have their way. I guarantee you one day when its all said and done for woolmer, he is going to reveal some really nasty stuff on how things got done under the Inzi regime.Waqar has done an amazing job for the Pakistan bowling and has never really been acknowledged for his contributions. I am legitimately upset and nauseated at the lack of discipline and thought at the PCB.

  • Amad Uddin on January 6, 2007, 17:32 GMT

    The article is the ideal example of finding fault where there isn't any. Every captain must have a say in selection and team's touring party so that everyone knows that who is the person who is responsible for the reward and punishment.

    My Allah give success to Pakistani team in South Africa.

  • Mikaeel al Haq on January 6, 2007, 9:55 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar, if fit, cannot be ignored from any outfit in world cricket. Inzi may probably be the all time best batsmen pakistan has produced, that however does not automatically make him a captain. He is captain because there's nobody else available. Yousuf is too passive; Younis still needs to prove himself as a batsmen. Who else do we have? We are feeling the brunt of early retirements of Waqar Younis and Saeed Anwar.

  • Syed Irfan Ahmed on January 6, 2007, 9:48 GMT

    Honestly I do not understand all this hoopla about Shoib. All cricket pundits seem to think that in Shoib we have a bowling god where as if he is that good a bowler why can't he seem to hold a better ranking than his pathetic showing recently. If you are looking for a bad apple you have it in Shoaib. On record the guy is physicaly unfit, indisciplined, inconsistant, without any scruples and a liar which has been proven on many occasions. His bowling prowess beyond bowling a 100 miles an hour ball has occasionally been impressive. Even at that, gone are the days when batsmen all over the world were afraid to play genuine fast bowlers or were not technicaly sound to do so. Almost every team now boasts of a bowler who can bowl in 140's and with a lot more dscipline than our mister speed merchant. There are other bowlers who are ready to take over and do a much better job physicaly and mentaly.

    I say we should dump him for some up and coming fast bowler and I am quite positive that there are few in the PCB's net so in my opinion it is the time to try those out.

  • Farhan on January 6, 2007, 9:12 GMT

    Salam 2 All First of all i would regret to say tht i dont agree with you all altogether... Inzi is one of Pakistan Ever greatest batsmen look he has changed the Pakistani team from nowhere to the hope of World Cup InshAllah Pakistan will win with Inzi and shoaib both..Once asked by Wasim Akram who is your best bowler he told the one who can take wicket at the time i need it.. so in this case shoaib is purely a match winner just hope for the best and we should remain positive some how we need Inzi & our seniour players for the world cup likes of Razzaq, Asif, M.Yousuf, Inzi, Shoaib, K.Akmal lets hope things will be better for Pakistan Take Care

  • Rahim Hajiani on January 6, 2007, 8:14 GMT

    One Man vision has to work! and surely it will work.. Good Luck Inzi.

    Shoaib Akhter! (A man with his owns vision) how many times we have seen him fit for an entire series? How many times we have seen him disciplined? or the question should be, How many times have seen him indisplined, an individual playing for self fame n glory. I would say plenty of times! and this is true!

    Inzi has every right to keep him off the tour atleast for test matches. He (Shoaib) has already brought quite disgrace because of doping scandals and numerous controversies that are always glued with him. And if he would have travlled now with the team then there might be more n more issues popping up surrounding him and would have affect Pak's image once again.

    I dont have any doubt's about his fast bowling abilities but this is not the only thing which is required from a player, he needs to be physically and as well as mentally fit. And he doenst seems to be in any positive frame of mind. His actions might would bring more shame and bad name for pakistanis.

    He needs to be only in team when he shows his highest level of commitment towards the game and better relationship with other members of the team. And if this current 'danda' does not affect his attitude then he needs to be remained dropped or even if required banned again.

    This game is no nonsense and these actions by individual affect countries image, there are far more better bowlers are waiting for there chances whom can be more consistent and effective rather then this express which only exhales black smoke which is affecting every other persons health and environment.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 6, 2007, 7:18 GMT

    Omer Admani, this particular thread is almost over, even the one about Shane Warne vs. Abdul Qadir is coming to an end, so to write something here may not be of that much interest to readers in general, but I am responding to your post not because you agree or disagree with my opinion, but only to answer your question about how we can change this culture?

    First of all let me clarify your point about Kamran Abbassi. From my experience I have observed that you really don't have to please Kamran or agree with his views to get your views and your opinions posted on this thread. It shows that you probably don't read all the posts. There are so many people who not only disagree with Kamran's views but they are absolutely rude towards him and even ask him to shut up and get lost and blady blah. Even those "Badtameez Urdu medium" posts are appearing on this blog, so you should not worry about expressing your honest opinions in fact you should appreciate Kamran's broadmindedness.

    Regarding your question, rather the remedy to the problem that you are asking me for a solution, I have already written so much about it that people are cheesed off and asked me to shut up. Its hard for them to swallow the bitter pill and they don't like calling a spade, a spade. I think that as long as you are honest in your approach and as long as you respect people from your heart, which must be your first nature rather than 'zaher-dari', then there is no need for any flattery or to mince words only to please people on the face, and in reality you hate them. That is hypocrisy and there is no room for hypocrisy in cricket and even in our religion.

    When I talk about keeping religion aside from cricket, some people after seeing that I am from Canada think that I am more of a gora saheb or a desi Muslim who is lost in translation, they start judging me and assume that I don't even pray or respect my elders! Its their perception, I am not here to get praise from them, nor I am standing in any popularity contest. I simply express my views the way I perceive them, I don't indulge in poking my nose in the personal life of anyone. This is the first ever cricket blog where Pakistanis from all over the world can express, share and enjoy the views of others. But, some people think it is a place where they can spread rumours and enjoy gossip.

    Lets not discuss about Inzamam's Captaincy anymore, just hope that he learns something more from this SA tour and amend his mistakes for the WC which is more important. While on the subject of performance, I was looking at the statistics of three players batting performance for the year 2006 and here is the link if anyone wants to see whether I am quoting correctly or not.

    http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/STATS/BY_CALENDAR/2000S/2006/TEST_BAT_MOST_RUNS_2006.html

    The above link will confirm that Shahid Afridi's batting average in test matches for the year 2006 is 43.66 runs which is not only better than Abdul Razzak's 32.53, but also better than Inzamam's 37.53 runs and not to mention Tendulkar's 24.27 runs.

  • sohaib on January 6, 2007, 6:41 GMT

    I am not sure I agree entirely with this article. I don't see Inzi being the type of captain that "crushes" the mood of those around him. His on the field attitude is rather lax unlike that of Imran who clearly let out his frustations at time. If anything, I would argue that Inzamam needs to take more bold decisions with regards to cricketing matters. There was talk that Younish Khan should be captain; however he failed miserabaly at the Champions Trophy and it is not forseeable to see Mohammad Yousuf as being made captain because he is in formidable form and should be allowed to continue with his inspiring touch. It is nevertheless, mind-boggling that the Pakistan Cricket Board overlooks the calibre of Shoaib Akhtar on the bounciest of pitches in South Africa. In a way, it is also good becuase it will show Shoaib that he is not the indispensible member of the Pakistan cricket team that he once was. With the likes of Umar Gul, Rana Naveed, Mohammad Asif, and even Shabir Ahmed coming into the fray; Pakistan looks like a formidable pace attack on paper. It is important, however, that a good opening batting partnership is chosen for the South Africa matches as that will set the tone for the entire batting lineup. Pakistan has an excellent chance to start of the new year with an emphatic perforamce against the Proteas. Good Luck Pakistan!

  • Shariq on January 6, 2007, 6:41 GMT

    Wow! I am SHOCKED at this response. Now I know many people like to open with bold statements like these and think theyre always right (and i know ppl will view my comments in the same light) but: ANYONE and i do mean ANYONE who knows and understands cricket does not have a rocket scientist to tell you how PATHETIC a captain Inzamam is. I mean come on guys, pls reflect on Pakistan's achievements over the years, when exactly has Inzamams CAPTAINCY been the reason why we won?

    I will tell u a case, 3rd test in India when Pakistan came back after Mohali to draw the series there. He was geed up, fired up, taking it to the umpires then (remember when sami had sehwag or was it the other opener plumb lbw, inzi came running in appealing to the umpire, when the batsman was given not out Inzi shook his hands in frustration, showed how exactly pissed he was. Moments later Sehwag was run out and the look on Inzamam's face was one for the ages). However when has that happened since? In the same match Inzi became so aggressive he set the most attacking field Pakistan has EVER seen....two slips to Kaneria, silly mid off, short leg, leg gully, short point, cover (basically EVERYONE around the bat). You know who else used to do that, possibly the greatest captain of the modern era (yes it helps with great players, hells thats why all u guys are still behind inzi even though hes a useless Capt.), none other than a bloke by the name of Stephen Waugh.

    You know how this Australian side became this DAMN good, because they ATTACK, no matter what they ATTACK, Pakistan doesnt even open up with 3 slips with OUR bowling attack, if we do 3rd slip leaves in the 4th over. The point im trying to make, a good captain is an AGGRESSIVE captain, someone with Relentless approach, and not just the burning desire to win, but to make it happen. Inzi lacks those skills, he is too sedate, he lacks the killer instinct. When hes batting he makes the world move around him, alas when hes fielding (or when his captaincy comes under scrutiny)Inzi is a mere spectator to the game.

    Very Important point to make: A good player a good captain does NOT make. The reverse is NOT true.

    Before I make the next 'outrageous' point, Good captains: Imran Khan, Steve Waugh, Shane Warne (yes we all know it...look at his record when he was captaining the side in Waughs absence), Stephen Fleming, and yes Wasim Akram. Now whats common in all these guys, hell they were at the oppositions throat, not just mucking around in the field. If anyones interested in me pointing out instances when Inzi has screwed up BIG, pls post and hopefully I will mention those as well.

    Outrageous point: Whos aggresive in the current Pakistan team? Hmm....well it aint Razzaq, Malik or Yousuf as someone posted here. No man, its not Afridi either, only two people are thinking cricketers at least: Younis Khan and (drums roll) Shoaib Akhtar. Who amongst these two has flare: Shoaib. Who here wants all the fame in the world: Shoaib. Can we harness Shoaibs 'lust' for attention and use it to our advantage on the field? Hell yea. How you ask? Make him captain. I know by this point many people are mocking and cursing me, to those people I say, please think about it at least.

    Closing notes: Mushy, mushy mushy. Why would you hire HIM as assisstant coach, no wait, why would you RE-hire him? For the love of God (no jab at religion) they guy is NO coach. Do v need someone to deliver the Khutba before every namaz, pls. Mushy is a spinner with no knowledge of coaching on his RESUME. He might be very helpful but please, be honest to yourselves, Bob Woolmer is a damn good coach because he has and had experience when he was hired. Mushtaq Ahmed cannot help with batting, I dont see what advice hes giving to people, does he tell people how to get their front foot across to meet the ball, does he tell you to meet the ball ahead of the pad while driving? I hope so, plus hes a spinner and we have a bowling coach in the legendary Waqar, o hes not doing anything for that department. Fielding, oh please, if Jonty can't help u think Mushy can.

    Good coaches around the world are people with experience IN COACHING. Tom Moody, Dav Whatmore, Rod Marsh and Dennis Lillee, Aqib Javed now (yes hes officially a coach, he wrote an exam for it).

    Please do honestly reflect on these points, if someone can convince me im wrong then i couldnt thank you more because i really wish im wrong here as I love Pak cricket but we're headed nowhere ATM (beat Windies, whoopieee....) Pakistan needs a brood of players like Kevin Pietersen, who have the attitude to become great players and LEADERS. All our new kids are mere sheep, i dont see the likes of Imran Farhat, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Asif, Sami, Umar Gul, Faisal Iqbal, Afridi, Rana Naved EVER being good leaders. These are players who say "Inzi bhai say, we do"....trouble is Inzi Bhai doesnt say much

  • Faraz on January 6, 2007, 5:47 GMT

    Omer Admani, you are back with your antics… Listen to yourself talking about disciplining the team...these are not kids but grown men (where as your puppy Inzy might be just that-- a spoiled brat). Can you hear your totalitarian self??? Discipline boy… YAH!

    NEWS FLASH: “Inzamam denied having a rift with Shoaib for the second time in a row”. Now that in itself bears the truth as to who is being the idiot in the team yet people here talk of blindly following a retard like Inzamam.

    Omer, you and some other so-called cricket-machos here, have termed Afridi an underperformer, well there is enough reason why the rational few here, do not support such concocted stories;

    2006 Test Batting Averages:

    Afridi: Ave:43.66 with a SR:113.58 Centuries:2 HS: 156 Izny: Ave:37.53 with a SR:50.99 Centuries:1 HS: 119

    I mean the picture was never clearer.. Afridi reigns supreme for last year not to mention he did not get a chance to play in Sri Lanka and England. Apart from the first test, Inzamam’s shameful numbers from the England tour should have prompted the Pakistanis to call for an end to his career:

    2nd Test: Inzy scores 0,13 3rd Test: Inzy scores 36,37 4rth Test: Inzy scores 31,DNB

    So an average below 30 and if we include the first test then a mere 32 runs or so... Is this the standard and captainship material you and the rest of the sleeping herd on this blog speak of...? Well good luck to you and your comrades...however you are destined to get as far as a cow dung somewhere in Multan.

    Afridi was only beginning to improve when a dispute with Inzy in a charity match led him to announce his retirement and his decline since…and if the damned selectors were fair in giving Afridi a chance to justify his place in the team, it should have been the Karachi one-dayer not the sub standard pitch in Multan. Bigotry, ploy, politics …take your pick!

    Fariha Iqbal: you are on the right track for the definition of a leader, missing however, is the emphasis on a person having to live the rites of being a leader not merely lay 'em out on a blog like you did. A Leader isn’t a commodity you buy in sabzi mandi or elsewhere, otherwise our country would have been flourishing with leaders..It is what men (or women-- lets keep the peace brothers) are either born with or B E C O M E!!

    Like Raza-e-Mustafa from Gujranwala so eloquently puts it:

    “If it is Inzamam's vision, it is no vision because a man with Inzamam's IQ does not even know what vision or insight are” “ Inzamam at the moment is like a sadhu sitting in his shack and people bringing in gifts and offerings to get a berth in the team”. “Merit, performance and the likes are the least considered things”

    Inzamam is no leader…I bet he cannot even spell the word!

    While team-spirit and inspiration are ingredients of a winning formula, the conditions are not right in the Pakistani camp. Inzamam being bestowed with too much support and not being checked for carrying out his war on Shoaib are signs of mistrust and misuse of Captaincy and conducive to more politics. We need to rid ourselves of this dilemma with Inzamam and let him retire in the world cup BUT not as captain. YK can always sober up, or Afridi--–a dashing a captain as ever.

    We may also find a replacement like the Proteas did in Greame Smith… That kid Fasial Iqbal—already labelled as Inzamam’s replacement, well let him take over this role now and build the team around him!

  • Arif Younus on January 6, 2007, 3:16 GMT

    Kamran Sir , I cannot fathom what the fuss is all about ? Why does shoaib make so much news ? We all know that Shoaib is fully fit and there are OTHER reasons for him being left out but i have no regret/respect. I feel if a rogue needs to be disclpined this way then so be it- as they say "laton ke bhoot " / How i wish Inzi was captain when WASIM , WAQAR and even Imran were playing coz he would have straightened them up quite a bit and their careers would have yielded a lot more than what it eventually did .

    As far as his captaincy is concerned , I am still amazaed as to how this can be an ISSUE afetr what we saw in the champions trophy. Inzamam's greatest attribute has been to keep the team united "off the field " . As soon as he was gone , there were all cases of in-fighting , mohammad yousuf of all people seemed to have seen a ghost so perplexed he seemed at a news conference .

    My personal opinion has always been - and will remain so ...INZI for captain until he hangs up his boots and that should be for him to decide because in terms of ability he still has a lot to offer .

    So please , lets do away with this criticism of this BIG man - not only in size but in stature .

    Wassalam

  • imran on January 6, 2007, 2:54 GMT

    I have said this before, I will say it again. There are very few in the world, that are born with the leadership skills and qualities. Imran Khan was fourtunate to have the education and his family background to make him the leader he was. He undestood, mission rather than personal pride. Unfourtunately, Inzy has neither, and the PCB does not even try to enforce that basics of education in the team. Inzy, although a good cricketer, can never be a leader. Like most of us, he was not born with a natural leadership qualities, and to top it off, he does not have the education to develop the skills either. I give him credit in trying to speak english in interviews, but I am also ashamed of how he talks, and feel sorry for him, that he has become a laughing stock. PCB is still run by THUGS, like it or not, it is the truth. We are still living in the period, where they think from there knee rather than their brain. I can go on and on, but PCB and or our captains, have destroyed many futures. We have had many good cricketers in the past with leadership skills, but instead of harnessing these leaders and there skills, PCB saw it as danger to there organization....Again, few are born with leadership qualities, most of us has to develop it for the good of the higher mission. Unfortunately, Inzy does not have the education or the brain to understand the core of this argument. He is dumber than a rock when it comes to managing the cricket team.

  • Imran Iqbal on January 6, 2007, 2:33 GMT

    Pakistan team has one several test series under Inzamam including away and home against West Indies without our so-called Pace Trump... Shoib. And have lost a lot more with Shoib in, partly due to his lack of intelligence and mainly his fitness... So why bother about him? Especially when other bowlers who are disciplined, hardworking and fitter have raised their game. So why it makes Inzamam less intelligent when he can get best out of average players? Imran did not pick Waqar Younis (fastest bowler at that time)for world cup 92 and won the title with 3.5 bowlers... I remember so called genius writers criticized Imran when Pakistan seemed to exit in the early matches but the same writers feel proud referring to Imran's courage and leadership even today. I would suggest you guys to show support for the captain and hope for the best. He might not be able to speak better than Imran but he is no less in committment and attitude. And you will see Pak spin after Inzamam's retirement anways.... Back to old bad habits...

  • Omer Admani on January 6, 2007, 1:10 GMT

    Jawed Khan, I agree with you in that religion should not be why there is cohesion in the team. Unfortunately, that is how it is--it needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. But your allusion to the bhaigiri problem is a cultural one (as you point out). Bad as it may sound for the team, how do you change that culture within which players are expected to respect seniors as that is the case with our society (For instance, Mr. Abbasi sahab demands respect from me for my comment to be published; if I am lucky, however, my diasgreement is published, albiet with some of his own sarcasm :P)? We can't expect our players to change the color of their skins as well now, right? Therefore, I feel, we need to make the best out of the "bhaigiri" culture. Personally, I wouldn't mind Inzamam having enough power to select a few people or not-- so long as Inzamam establishes that he is a tactful captain. I was surprised by his urgency in the one-day series against West Indies (I understand that he did commentary for some channel in India in the ICC champions trophy--I wonder whether all that analysis might have something to do with it). So, he is definitely improving as a captain. Ultimately, things should soon become clear in South Africa. If we can build a good momentum within South Africa, then we have a better chance in the world cup. Otherwise, a deflated team might never be able to rise up for the world cup.

  • Fariha Iqbal on January 5, 2007, 23:47 GMT

    A captain is a leader, a leader leads, makes descisions, formulates strategy implements it....a captain is a leader...a leader leads..makes... I hope you get the drift Kamran.

  • Naser on January 5, 2007, 23:39 GMT

    David Furrows in his comments above says that India has a classier lineup then Pakistan? humm...most recent rankings would place 3 Pakistani batsmen in the top 10 and one indian only. So David you sound like a brit to me, Inzis IQ may not be as high as Imran but certainly higher than Tony Blair.

  • Mawali on January 5, 2007, 23:12 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, now getting back to discussing "war and peace", I am sorry we are discussing Inzi bhai and his retirement benefits! Seriously though I cannot wait for the day when Inzi Bhai says farewell to all of us. My only wish is that he does so at the earliest and on his terms with dignity. The man has contributed a lot to Pakistan cricket as a prolific batsman. His contributions as a capitaan would be best described as the reluctant leader. His other contribution to Pakistan cricket which is the induction of religion and the tableeghi culture was done at the behest of Saeed Anwar a batsman of the highest calibre himself. Inzi has never led the team as a capitaan, only followed the directives of Saeed Anwar. The introduction of the Islamic way of life and the resultant fear of non-compliance by the players has been the hallmark of his captaincy. We can deny all we like but M. Yousef is a glaring and a sad chapter of this quite totalitarian regime. AMF!

  • furqan on January 5, 2007, 21:20 GMT

    This is answer to JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL comments about mixing sports and religion. I think while living in canada mr. javed has forgoten religion. If he would have offered prayer the recent past than must have known what teh impact a prayer can have on person. I am also a player and a student too and when i offer namaz it gives me so much releif and satisfaction and boosts my morale so high that i am ableto do well and perfrom good in both sports and my studies.And this is not just religion but any spritualact gives any person so much confidence. I dont know why every one critisizes the role of religion in life. And having said that i am against the demonstration of islami sentences by palyers in media. Saying salam loud is ok but why say bismillah loudly. Say it in your heart and it is only for you why demonstrate it.

  • shahid on January 5, 2007, 21:17 GMT

    I support Inzy the captain, even after the worldcup if pakistan team shows good performance on SouthAfrican tour and in worldcup...there is no better option then Inzy...he is far far better then the so called "dummy captain" but as I said it'll depend on pakistan's future performance's.

    or else I think mohammad yousuf is also a good choice as captain...we need to keep the unity and team effort going in the team and no need to create politics and listen to ppl like machoo Ashraf who first looked to me as a dictator like musharraf when he first arrived on the scene...but looks like he has understood the reality now....

  • Ghalib Taimur on January 5, 2007, 21:11 GMT

    Well Inzis done it again..in the news for the wrong reasons but i think Shoaib was rightly left out of the Test series.I mean what if he gets injured b4 the World Cup.That is more important than some series in South Africa.However Pakistan must play him in the ODIs and this is where Inzi has to play him.Imran didn't like the guts of many of his players but you have to choose the best players.

    To add to this if Inzi wants to be successful he has to hunt for talent sometimes on his own the way guys like himself and Wasim Akram were created.Pakistan has a pathetic selection commitee and may have to try to find some talents.Also he must assess the team himself i mean how many all-rounders are being played in the Pak team?Whats the point of playing Malik if you are playing Hafeez and are likely to use him as the spin option.You would be better served playing someone like Faisal Iqbal who i think is one of the few youngsters who have come out having a good technique.What about Nazir ahead of Farhat?

  • Yousuf Jaan on January 5, 2007, 20:10 GMT

    Well I am very much amused by the selection policy of PCB, lot of talented players were lost by them, if you look at the past players like Basit Ali, Mohammad Zahid, Sajid Ali were thrown into darkness, and now in the same way, players like Imran Nazir, Yasir Hameed and Salman Butt are treated. I did'nt understand that why Imran Nazir was not selected for the home series against West Indies, Imran Nazir is consistently showing great form in domestic cricket, and now recently he showed another outstanding and consistent form through out the ABN Amro cup in Pakistan. I want to know, that what are the reasons that this young, talented guy is keeping aside. Though Pakistan is struggling with the opeining dilema after the departure of Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail, lot of players are tested on this position, but approximately every one fails, and now a days, Mohammad Hafeez having an one day average less the 20.00 is playing as an opener for Pakistan, I want to ask from PCB Selection Committe, that if you pick Mohammad Hafeez becuase of the reason that he can bowl, describe the job of Abdur Rehman (Spinner), Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi, they are also world class bowlers. In the same way, Asim Kamal, a very good middle order Left Handed batsman in test cricket still missing in Pakistan 11. My Request to the PCB Selection Committe is that Please take +ve steps for the career of Imran Nazir, because he is a gifted opening batsman. Thanks Yousuf Jaan (Peshawar, Pakistan)

  • Kamran Abbasi on January 5, 2007, 18:43 GMT

    I had to respond to Omer Admani's funny feeling. I do support Inzy for the captaincy until the end of the World Cup. I just want him to be a better captain and leader.

  • Daniyal on January 5, 2007, 18:40 GMT

    Kamran! Do you recall what Imran did with players who didn't do things his way? Do you remember Qasim Omar? Zahid Fazal? Majid Khan? Have you forgotten how many careers he ended? Hell if he could've you would've never seen Javed Miandad, Saeed Anwer and Waseem Akram. YES JAVED, SAEED and WASEEM. He hated Javed tried for the longest time to oust him till his inability keep track of what happened on the field forced his hand to hang on to him. Saeed he thought wasn't a test cricketer and Waseem according to him was incapable of taking wickets. Sure he's credited for finding two of the three above but tell me who played Waseem first and how did Saeed make the test side?

    Let Inzi do what he wants, let him impose his will we're a nation of followers who need a kick in the ass to walk the line. Let Inzi be the boot that kicks our team into line.

  • Omer Admani on January 5, 2007, 18:33 GMT

    Kamran, I have had the funniest feeling after reading your article. While all the time I criticized Inzi the captain, you supported him. Now, just, when, after watching his improved captaincy against the West Indies in the one-days, I have begun to support him, you have written a critic. For once, should we not let players undermine the team? You supported Afridi, now Shoaib. While Afridi is an underperformer (and shouldn't have been in the team since awhile), Shoaib is undisciplined. Secondly, discipline is too important, because if Pakistan has to beat better teams on paper like Australia, they have to show more determination and team spirit. Any player that undermines that spirit should be discounted for now. There wouldn't be a better sight for me to watch Shoaib in his flow terrorizing South African batsmen in the tests, but take a look in the past: Our teams with the likes of Wasim, Waqar have failed too often too badly against Australia, South Africa, not because of a lack of ability but because of a lack of team spirit and determination. So, that team spirit is very important. Moreover, if you ask me, a great bowler is only a good bowler most of the time. If our bowlers can hit proper channels consistently, then we should at least give South Africa a fight (A point where I think Sami's selection could be detrimental to the team's cause). Serious thoughts should also be given to Shoaib Malik's place in the test team.

  • Aftab Qureshi on January 5, 2007, 17:13 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abbasi in his comment of January 4 has reminded readers that they have missed the point. The reference obviously is to those of us who have disagreed with him. His point is that one man, Inzi, is able to exercise too much influence over team selection. If you dont mind, Mr. Abbasi, you are not just missing the point yourself, you are refusing to see it, i.e. that this one man, Inzi, really does not have any more influence than other selectors and the coach. If you still disagree, then I would like to have some concrete evidence. Please stop conjecturing on this delicate issue!

  • Ahmad on January 5, 2007, 16:47 GMT

    I don't know why Pakistan have an aversion to picking the best teams for winning matches. Why not put out a team that will win despite all of the unprofessionalism. They will never be professional so why not pack the team with talent so they can win matches even if 3-4 players perform on any one occasion? Whats with the Rana, Nazir and Sami selections in the bowling? Rana is a one day bowler and despite liking him, I've concluded that Sami is as likely to fix his line as Afridi is his temperament. Drop Razzaq the unspectacular journeyman who only plays becasue he's Inzi's mate. Take Akhtar, Asif, Gul and Shabbir and win the series in SA. Because it's simple and logical, by defnition the Pak captain, selectors and management will not be able to bring this about.

  • Rizwan on January 5, 2007, 15:09 GMT

    i agree, shoaib's exclusion has more to do than fitness.

    there is no point in controlling shoaib................ we need to UNLEASH him on our opposition.

    the same applies to afridi for the WC.

  • Musstanser Tinauli on January 5, 2007, 15:03 GMT

    Its not about fate, its about doing it for yourself. Inzi is undoubtfully one of the greatest batsmen Pakistan has ever produced, However I have never been impressed by him as a captin ever! He does what he does the best, he bats....and thats it.

    Shoaib controversy is sad, he is a match winner. I said in my previous post Pakistan probably want to play safe by keeping one of two (shoaib and asif). As if they loose both in the worldcup or they get a positive result it would blow the team morale.

    SHOAIB will never perform in domestic season, he might if its to do with his attitude, he is not the baller u want on Pakistani pitches, he's not young anymore, I urge to inzi to not to waste him... Include him in the one days and exclue ASIF to play safe... If Rana who has been the luckiest of all ballers can bowl those yorkers than cant SHOIAB? give me a break...

    Back to captincy issue, arogant and selfish peple make good captins. Forunately or unfortunately inzi is not and younis khan??? has he ever performed as a batsman? ever? i doubt the stats...

    Kamran we dont have five batsmen in our team, so we do need extra, which is the major problem... Afradi should play the one days, we need him now, he does perfom under pressure.

    Lets see how things go, Goodluck Pakistan.

    Wel Wisher, Musstanser.

  • veroon1 on January 5, 2007, 14:35 GMT

    inzamam's leadership skills may be described as competent as best but he has brought with him stability to the pakistan team after that disastrous world cup campaign in 2003 with the removal of waqar younis as captian. since then,generally speaking, pakistan's fortunes have been on the upturn.while inzamam may be a defensive minded captain, however to transform them to an all conquering world dominating side such as australia1995- 2005 or west indies 1980's does not happen overnight. inzamam has guided them out of crisis, input religion into the team, added cohesion as a unit while still retaining all the glamour of pakistan's cricket. his successors , younis khan who has proven that he does not respect authority and i am afraid mohammed yousuf may be a brilliant batsman like inzamam but not have captaincy material in him.

  • Ralph on January 5, 2007, 14:12 GMT

    "The test of leadership is whether or not you will include or seek counsel from people you may not choose as your friends but who have something to contribute."

    Superb line. Never a truer word said.

  • shoaib on January 5, 2007, 14:05 GMT

    I don't think Inzamam has much of a say in selection matters, there are 3 selectors who picks the squad and about the playingX1 machoo Ashraf has introduced 1 selector to pick playingX1 as well along with bob and Inzy....

    your point of discrimination for those who does not match his belief is also pretty lame kamran as kaneria is there when he should be dropped on his performance alone....and mushtaq who has been in wonderful form and sussex guys are praising him not just for his performance but also man-management skills and the religious beliefs he has shown to other non-muslims as well....but sadly kaneria is still there without giving a performance....

    In the end it comes down to personality for me Inzamam has an honest and down to earth personality not like a joker personality of Kamran Abbasi...

  • Afzaal Khan on January 5, 2007, 11:47 GMT

    I have one qts Mr. abbasi and everyone who is always critical of Inzi, plz kindly choose whom do u guys wnat to eb captain. As for Imran Khan being the best captain I can only laugh on that, Wat would prey tell great Imran Khan would have done without Javed Miandad? Fact is all the things Inzi critics accuse Inzi of Mr. Imran Khan was worst at them. People talk abt Inzi not getting along with shoaib Akhtar, well Inzi does get along nicely with rest of the team so I guess problem lies with Shoaib Akhtar not with Inzi, since Shaib Akhtar had problems with team managment, players and captains alike. First of all everyone has thier own style of captainship and every captain should be given free reign n judged on hsi performance not his style. Inzi has said clearly that there is no rift between him n Shoaib and i tend to belive him then any of his critics. I think he is more honest then his critics. Other day Srafarz nawaz and company was yelling at Inzi for not letting new players in, now he is getting yelled at not including old players. Pakistan did well without Shoaib Akhtar and will continue to do so. I personally belive it was Miandad who won us the cup with the help of Inzi, as with Miandad, Inzi has won lot of games for us single handendly and on many occassion. I will personally miss Razzaq more then Shoaib and Afridi. Both, Afridi and Shoaib thouhg great player sadly both unpredictable and not match winners.

  • Zuhair on January 5, 2007, 10:53 GMT

    Inzimamindeed is not a BAD captain by any means. He is better than many around him in todays world of cricket. Being showy and active as younis khan is, doesnt make u a good captain. Inzi does have a very good understanding of the game and he reads the game almost to perfection.This is also very much evident in his batting, that how good a reader he is of the game!! HE is a far better captain than Dravid or Smith. Evn ponting cannot be called a vey good captain, as his captaincy has hardly been tested ever. Therefore, one must admit that inzi is the best of the available lot to our team!!

    Inzi would have been the first one 2 pick up Shoaib, had he been selecteng the team by himself. But, that has never been the case after Imzran Khan. The fact is that, Wasim Bari, Aaqib Javed and Intikhab Alam are very close friends these days and Bari, the chief selector does what Intikhab and Aaqib say!! Intikhab is obviously a negative minded person and he has personal grudges with shoaib and Aaqib Javed has alwways been criticizng Shaoib for anything he does. aNd one more thing is worth noticing here, that both of them are staunch suportes of Mohaamad Sami, for the reasons only knowsn to GOD and themselves!!

    Pakistan has not taken too many batsmen for the tour. The fact remains that we do not have enough batsmen except inzi, yousuf and younis!! MAlik, Hafeez are mere all rounders!! they are not specialist by any means. and Imran Farhat, is just a burden on the team!! That is what forced the selectors to opt for Hameed and Asim!! I hope asim gets a chance to play ahead of Faisal. Imran Farhat is going to be a flop story specially in South Africa, there is no point playing Hafeez in test matches, when we have Hameed in our team!! I hope v dont play with Sami, coz he has always disappointed. Shabbir, Gul and Nazir will have 2 share the attack!! With no Razzaq, Kaneria and MAlik will have 2 do a lot of bowling!!

    Inzi is not a negative thinker. no two people are alike. there is no point making useless comparisons with Imran Kha who probably was the greatest ever captain of all time. Pakistan will miss Shoaib for sure. But, Inzi does have a good cool mind on his head!!

  • Yassar on January 5, 2007, 10:19 GMT

    I pretty much agree with what you have said. Inzamam is a great player and has been a great servant to Pakistani cricket.

    When Inzamam was chosen to be the captain of Pakistan he was basically the best of a bad bunch. Pakistan at that time had no one who could retain their place in the side on performance alone as well as having the skills of a great leader. Pakistan mainly had the former from which Inzamam was the most senior and best candidate.

    To his credit he has done a very good job, a job better than initially expected. Inzamam has his own unique way of captaining the side...providing motivation only through his own high standards of performance. He is not the type of captain to get animated on he field or even experiment and try things when things are not working out.

    As a result we have seen many times when Pakistan have been lacklusture in the field, when things are not happening for them and they have done little to change it expect hope for errors from the opposition. This is a time when a true leader or exceptional captai would come to the fore and Inzamam simply has not done that enough or at all.

    Though Inzamam has unified the team in many way and guided the youngsters well i feel his handling of the big ego's has been poor. The classic case in point being Shoaib Akhtar. Shoaib is a big player for Pakistan as big a player with the ball as Inzamam himself is with the bat.

    Yet the PCB and Inzamam together have failed to manage him effectivley in order to get the best out of him consistently for Pakistan.

    As a captian one of the skills needed is managing people. Its crucial to understand that not everyone is the same and not everyone responds are acts the same, therfore each person should be managed on a individual basis.

    It seems the PCB and Inzamam have handled Shoaib in a manner where it's a case of 'my way or the highway'. A classical example was when Inzamam and the PCB to a certain extent accused Shoaib of faking injury. Such an accusation should NEVER have been made without proper proof. As it turned out from medical tests Shoaib was suffering from an injury that had prevented him from bowling. I suspect that allegation has never really healed properly and from Shoaib's point of view it understandable that it can be difficult to forget.

    A lot has been written on how Inzamam wants to emulate Imran Khan. As much as Inzamam wants to i don't think he will ever achieve that. Imran was a genius not only with the bat and ball but as a leader too. Imran had to deal with many different personalities and had to manage them carefully in order to get the best out of them for Pakistan and as a result be remembered as the greatest Pakistani captain ever and possibly the greatest in the world.

    I am a big a fan of Inzamam as there is but i am a bigger fan of Pakistani cricket. No player is bigger than Pakistani cricket and no captain is either. The best players should be selected at all times and as long as they ae performing the off field activities should play no part in selection. Look at Australia...if they were to take note of Shane Warnes off field activities and drop him as a result then we would never have seen the greatest leg spinner to play the game play.

    Shoaib Akhtar on cricketing reasons should be in the squad and playing especially if Pakistan harbours any hopes of winning the world cup and testing series' such as the up coming South African tour.

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on January 5, 2007, 9:32 GMT

    I really dont see what some people have against Inzi. I respect Kamran's views as his criticsm sounds positive and encouraging. But there are some folks on this blog who are really getting personal.

    I myself dont agree with everything that Inzi does, but look at the rest of the team. Look at how Younis reacted to getting the captaincy. Inzi has managed to rally the team around him.

    He is not a natural leader. He has learnt leadership the hard way. After Imran's retirement, I dont think any of the gazillion Pakistani skippers have enjoyed as much respect from his players as Inzi has. So let the big man do his thing.

  • Raza-e-Mustafa, Gujranwala, Pakistan on January 5, 2007, 9:23 GMT

    The title of this blog is interesting and needs attention. Is it one man's vision or the lack of it that we are talking about? If it is Inzamam's vision, it is no vision because a man with Inzamam's IQ does not even know what vision or insight are and if these two things are ever needed in the works of the world.

    True, Inzamam has a strong influence on the team at the moment, but we need to rethink whether we need to have such a strong influence on the team or not.Is it proper to allow an incompetent person to be that strong in the team selection? As far as I can imagine, Inzamam at the moment is like a sadhu sitting in his shack and people bringing in gifts and offerings to get a berth in the team. The more obedient you are, the more the chances of your selection. Merit, performance and the likes are the least considered things. I remember Inzamam asking for Rafatullah Mohmand's inclusion in the national squad sometime ago, which I believe he did at someone's request because Mohmand has never been in contention for the national team as he averages a paltry 29 in first class cricket. If Inzy was trying to emulate Imran Khan in spoting special talent, he has gone horribly wrong as Mohmand has never flourished in the domestic cricket and if he was just trying to help him by giving him a couple of international matches so that he may join a lesser county in England, that's what Tauqeer Zia had already done with his son and is a pretty worn out ploy. This is just one example of how things can go wrong when someone with no vision at all gets all the bucks.

    What will happen to the team when Inzamam goes out after the World Cup? We have been harping on Younis Khan who doesnt even deserve a place in the ODI team, what to say of his childish on-field attitude. If Inzamam is sluggish, Younis is over-active and can be a nuisance for the players. So we need to look out for a balanced personality to succeed Inzamam after his long due retirement. Let's just wait for a saviour to descend from heavens to rescue us from this precarious situation.

    P.S. JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA, once said is enough. I think there is no need to beat about the same bush i.e. the bhai culture. Besides, it is a blog, not a space provided for putting up theses. Thanks

  • chacha Koora Kircut on January 5, 2007, 8:54 GMT

    '@JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA.

    I couldn't agree with you more about using the terms 'bhai' etc.

    This is part of the problem in the Pakistan team and in Pakistani culture in general. Regrading Inzamam's captaincy credentials, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to work out that he lacks the aggression, wisdom, emotion and charisma. But who else do we have?

    I say Shoaib for captain! How about that?

  • Indian on January 5, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    Some captain control the thing through aggressive nature and team mates look towards captain always. But somebody control the thing quietly and team mates/subordinates keep looking towards boss. Inzi is of second category, actually he has much better control over team mates than Imran had. When Imran was captain there was only Javed Miandad a senior player and contender for captaincy but recent past suggest everybody in Pakistan team can be a contender for captaincy now.

  • Jasim on January 5, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    Why criticize Inzi when no other person in this pakistan team could have got this team which contains less superstars than the past but more fighters to perform consistently well over the past 2 years. We are ranked 3rd in both rankings and this is quite exceptional considering the constant nature of the Pakistani board to put their own team down. I am a Pakistani supporter from England and find it baffling that Inzi has so many critics. The only way he could improve his captaincy is to kill teams off when pakistan are in a dominant position (Champions Trophy vs South Africa)but apart from that we should get behind him and support him in the WC. I wholeheartedly agree with the dropping of Shoaib and Afridi as we need players who do take their place in the team seriously. Remember when you represent your country it is the greatest feeling in the world, we do not want guys who miss cricket for a month and totally lose fitness and break down from injuries and players who bat in test matches as if it is a 10 over slogfest constantly throwing their wickets away and disappointing fans in their method of dismissals. Also Shabbir has missed 1 year of cricket so is not match fit and I agree with his non selection. He has made some decisions which other captains would not have the grapefruits to make and finally who cares if he goes on about his religion, he is a muslim so he can talk about religion if he wants, after all it is being used as a positive influence to create unity within the team and the team seem to get along with each other well so for all those having a go at him for this come up with better excuses or KEEP QUIET! He is the captain till the WC respect and support his decisions. Trust me Inzi is a lot smarter than he makes out. Good luck Pakistan in WC 2007.

  • ashaq on January 5, 2007, 4:41 GMT

    Mr Javed.A.Khan Although I have the utmost respect for your opinion your obsession with Bhai Culture as you call it is frankly getting boring.

    AS for Inzi having over all control over the team what is wrong with that. As Captain he is the battlefield commander he has the right to choose his own foot soldiers.People he trusts to deliver and ones that wont undermine him.

    As for Abdul Qadir being a better spinner then Mushy there is no doubt.The question should be is Abdul Qadir a better coach then Mushy.

    THe best players dont always make the best coaches.As far as I know Abdul Qadir has a very tough personality which can rub people up the wrong way similar to Mr Safraz Nawaz.

    Mushy on the other hand is very popular not only among Pakistani players.Also across the County circuit in the United kingdom he is highly respected as a natural motivator with a brilliant cricketing brain.He has been Magnanimous in his praise for his main rival Danish kaneria.Thats proof in enough off his Character and Maturity.

    When asked as to how Sussex managed too achieve Success this season.With out even taking the remotest amount off credit he said that the entire staff at sussexx where responsible including the tea ladys and the secretarial staff for the support they had given the players.Mushy is indeed the best.He would make the Ideal replacement for Bob Woolmer.

  • Moin Madraswala on January 5, 2007, 4:26 GMT

    Another awesome article. Great job. I think from the attitudes of people you can tell a lot, when Pakistan lost to India in Test Series in Pakistan you could see tears in Inzi's eyes but during the same series when they were losing Shoaib was mingling with Indian player and laughing while he was batting, I agree that at point Pakistan has lost the match but what kind of player are you when you can laugh at the moment when your team islosing, I heard legendary basket ball coaches like Pat Riley saying that players like Magic Johnson and Kareem crying after losing matches so any player that smiles and says it is just a game is not the correct player of any team in any sports. In my opinion and Younis and Shoaib are like that and I hope that it changes. Someone gotta to tell Younis not to say it is just a game, that is not correct statement. May be he does not know what he is saying

  • kaz on January 5, 2007, 3:48 GMT

    theres always contrevosey in pakistan cricket and always rumours and problems. there is never that sort of problem in english cricket or austrailian. why? because the media let them do the job on the pitch and ex players and managers don't attack the team and over criticise

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 5, 2007, 3:32 GMT

    From the time I wrote my first post in this particular thread and by the time it appeared on the blog, there have been too many posts including one from Kamran Abbassi himself. I haven't seen Kamran writing a post to clarify his point of view, but he had to and he did. As a matter of principle, I don't get influenced by people in airing my personal views, whether I agree or disagree with their views depends entirely upon my perception and my opinions vs. theirs. In this case, my opinion about Inzi & Shoaib's relationship is very much similar to that of Kamran's opinion.

    Exactly, thats the same thing that I have been saying that Inzi is free to be as much religious as he can be, BUT not at the expense of his team or his country. Being religious is good, no one is saying anything on that, and no one is comparing his beard with MOYO's. It is not a competition or even criticism on beards or on religion. Its about cricket, and about Inzi's captaincy and about his decision making and it is about his man-management skills and his inter-personnel relationship, which in my opinion is lacking.

    Earlier I used to say that Inzi is a humble giant. Now, he is only a giant, and that too with a negative frame of mind. It is obvious from the poor team selection, poor field placement, he doesn't go to his fast bowlers when they are bowling. A captain must discuss with his bowlers whether he needs to change the field or agree with the field placement? You see that in Ricky Ponting, Flintoff, even Lara was seen doing that. Probably it is too much for the lazy spud to go running back and forth from the slips region to the bowler's end. When the situation goes a little out of control he is seen either "digging his nose" or "keeping his hands on his haunches" and making sad faces.

    The fact remains that he does not communicate with his team mates on the field which is very important for a captain. The notion that he has kept the dressing room atmosphere clean by calling everyone to pray behind him or giving them lectures on Al-hadith is not the issue here, right now he is the only choice that Pakistan has to lead the team in to the World Cup and to win. Like he is a good batsman and he has fought several lone battles on the field as a batsman also won so many matches single handedly for Pakistan, he needs to pull one last trick from his hat to show that he is a good captain, a good leader who is there on the field to inspire them and talk to them, motivate them, the team needs a captain on the field more than just a batsman or a father figure in the dressing room. Imran wasn't just an allrounder, he was a shrewed captain. Imran would have never left Shoaib or even Afridi behind for the SA tour.

  • mohsin ali on January 5, 2007, 3:27 GMT

    Pakistan keep getting it worng over and over again good luck to them in south africa, even a half fit shoaib is an asset compared to a fully fit sami, how many opportunities does sami need to prove himself his bowling average would be pleasing to the eye for most batsmans, sami must have a few friends in high places to get back in time after time if he plays in any of the test matches the board and selectors must take a hard look at what direction they are trying to take pakistan. Faisal Iqbal what joke this guy cannot play the rising ball to save his life, he has been bounced out so many times averages 27 he might do fine on slow and low wickets but he got found out in england and the only thing he did well in england was sledge, Inzi where to start he seems to leave the field and leave younis khan in charge if shoiab did the samething people would question his heart what about inzi any minor injury hes off in a flash, in Australia two years back most of the former test players said inzi should be stripped of his captaincy cause he doesnt have the heart for a fight samething at old trafford quick bouncy wicket he takes a blow and hes gone for ever, lets not have double standards one rule for everyone im not saying shoaibs attitude is right but lets look at everyone do you see any other test captain behave like inzi i dont think so, he goes and comes as he pleases hes not even a bowler did imran khan use to do that no, it wasnt to long ago people said what an asset shoiab is now because of the drug scandal hes become a bad guy again we saw in england how ordinary our attack was without him, hes only going to be around for a couple more years and lets enjoy what he brings to the game. I didnt see anyone stop cheering him when he destroyed england in the home series.

  • sohaib syed on January 5, 2007, 3:23 GMT

    hi kamran and everyone just to let kamran know that you shuold make these articles about pakspin more often as i am always waiting to read it and our friends views now to point Inzimam good person , humble and strong but i think he sometimes is too defencive and thats what wrong about him and shoaib akhtar i think is left about by inzi it is his planning cause you guys must remember when shoaib was left out of west indies tour then he came back strongly and performed very well picking up 17 wickets and that was the only time i saw him playing as a team player . i think he need that doze every now and then to get into his right mindset so therefore i don't think so there is any captains pwer invovled inzi is saving him for worldcup and i think it is good move by him

    As far as appointment of Mushi is concerned it is good for our team players last time he was appointed in India tour you guys must have watched Pakistan bowling so i think he brings that extra bit of motivation in the dressing room as well as giving sopport to Our Danish i watched anil kumble bowling against south africans so i think this is very good move by PCB

    so guys plz keep your faith in our team and its palyers

  • Hamad on January 5, 2007, 3:17 GMT

    Salams, Yaar kya sab funda hai, har koi yahan par cricket specialist hai. Well guys, no one is perfect so neither Inzi, but one thing no one can deny about him is he has solidified pakistan team. He may not have aggressive attitude, but he has enough guts to stand tall and win the match. I sincerely wish him the best!! Allah Hafiz

  • Asif Ahmed on January 5, 2007, 3:00 GMT

    Kamran has never given Inzi a fair shake, and so this column doesn't surprise me. In fact, his clarification is probably the most praise that he has been willing to give Inzi as far as I can remember.

    I am the first to admit that Inzi is not the most astute captain in the world. Sometimes his decision making, particular field placement and bowling changes leave a lot to be desired. However, he has been a lot better about deferring some of these decisions to Younis when on the field in the recent past.

    However, my point is this--not since Imran Khan have we had a captain who has enjoyed an extended run without any internal controversy or rifts tearing the team apart. Wasim, Waqar, Moin, Rashid Latif, Younis, the list goes on and on and on. Inzi has had the unconditional unified support and respect of his entire team, and that team harmony has translated to success on the field. Nobody should ever underestimate the detrimental effects that internal fracturing has on this Pakistan team, and therein lies the greatest value of Inzi, something which outweighs the negatives. I am sure that there are at least 6 or 7 players on the team who think that they should be captain after Inzimam. Be careful what you wish for, Kamran, you just might get it; all mayhem will break loose when Inzi finally retires that will make the doubters pray for a time when Inzi was present.

    By no means am I saying that Inzi is the perfect captain, and he cannot be compared with Imran. Frankly, I don't know that he has as much influence over team selection as Kamran is giving him. Nobody knows for sure that there is a rift between him and Shoaib, but if there is, then maybe it is for the best that Shoaib stay out of the team for awhile in order to prove once again that no single player is more important than the team. I see nothing negative from Inzi at this point. I am almost sure that Shoaib will be back to play in the ODIs.

    We have a very important tour of SA and the World Cup coming up. We may struggle at times, and there will be plenty of opportunity to criticize them in future. Right now, at the outset of the tour, let's be positive and show as much support as we can for our team Pakistan.

  • Faraz on January 5, 2007, 2:59 GMT

    Bravo Javed, thanks for bringing sanity back to this specific blog. In UNIX world, I would have issued the command: #stty sane. Well you did just that!

    Let me be a bit daring here -If Kamran "Bhai" may allow me ;)- Inzy with all his batting accolades is no captainship meterail..actually quite far from it. As long as he is captain I expect Pakistan to win only by way of miracle not with razor sharp decision making, tactfulness or that public relations personna... Here is what I think should be done in response to Kamran's concern: let Inzy retire in the world cup but not as captain...I know YK was dissappointing in his captaincy stint but he is the one option we have...the other being Afridi.

  • Jamil on January 5, 2007, 1:50 GMT

    just saw the following in an interview of Justin Langer after 2005 tours of Australia to India and Pakistan to Australia - just to stress the point I was writing earlier and what has been written in the blog:

    "How does Pakistan create a positive team spirit after the hammering it got in Australia?

    Positive team spirit comes from respect and winning -- it is pretty well as simple as that. If you respect yourself and your team mates then you are half-way there. Respect is crucial."

    and he also says:

    "Danish Kaneria seems to have improved in leaps and bounds in recent times. How does India counter the leg-spinner who was Pakistan's best bowler in Australia?

    Danish is developing into a superb leg spin bowler. He has good control, he is very aggressive and, on the outside, seems to have a true belief in his own ability. I would be very surprised if he doesn't become one of the leading wicket-takers in the world by the end of his career."

    When Inzi was asked on the podium after a match about the bowling attack not working, his reply was:

    "Yes, our batting was ok but our bowlers bowled poorly and I am disappointed about it" - i believe it was the india vs pakistan series. I have seen Tahir Naqqash, Salim Jaffer and Waqar Younis costing important tournaments when Imran was a captain but never did he insult his team members in open - although you could see and hear him swearing in the ground - but not on record!!

    Just a point ...

  • Jamil on January 5, 2007, 1:16 GMT

    Inzi's attitude towards a team is as clear to everyone as his great batsmanship. He has feat upon feat of brilliance and excellence - a characteristic of individualism. There is little doubt about his lack of team spirit and therefore cricket experts and critics had suggested Younis Khan to be a captain and have Inzi play as a senior player in the team. Younis messed up and we saw him sucking up to the players in the champions trophy while his earlier work during indian and english visit was a wholly different show.

    Even in this world cup like the ones before, Inzi will come out as one of the best in the game, but will he be able to take his team along him. I don't know - i don't believe so either. But it is a cultural issue more than Inzi's nature (which has its own problems). We are 'street players' where the better playing guys dictate the game - every single ball and step of the way - play slow, 'tuk tuk ker', 'average poori kar' - 'bus seedhi tangon per ball kara' etc etc. I have lived in a few countries for a few years each and worked there. Team spirit and coordination is on a totally different level there. I though having Woolmer et al will change some attitude of the team and may even act like professionals - but Inzi is still acting like a 'street player' - examples are issues of shoaib, sami, butt etc. There has to be a difference between strategy and dictation - strategy is based on the skill set of participants not forcing them to act as dummies. We saw a collapse a few years ago when we had three different groups in pakistani team. I believe we already have two distinct groups within the team and if Inzi doesnt start thinking team spirit, these groups will be very apparent. He is captain on the ground of a cricket team - not controller of school kids in the ground.

  • Syed M. Hasan on January 5, 2007, 1:05 GMT

    Well i sure hope Inzi remains captain for as long as it for Younis to get some captaincy sense. I don't wouldn't want to hand over captaincy to Mo Yo for that could put too much pressure on him. I don't realy wan't Younis to become captain, but who else is there. Malik is too young n Razzaq n Afridi r fading. Pak cricket is gonna have some captaincy issue after the world cup. Well it won't be anything new. We always have some kind of an issue.

    As for Javed A. Khan, If some1 wants to refer to some1 as bhai i think its allright. Iam not saying that it always is but religeon can Infact be a motivation for some ppl. Iam not saying every1, but it is for some ppl. Its not used for flattering or anything its just a sign of respect.

  • Fatik on January 5, 2007, 0:50 GMT

    Shoaib has been left out for whatever, bad form, fitness, rift with Inzi (don't really think that's true), saving him for the world cup, or because nandrolone is still in his body...Inzi is not wrong to leave him out for any of these reasons. Personally, I believe the true reason for leaving him out was simply form and fitness.

    But it seems to me that everyone (including Imran Khan), think that leaving out Shoaib Akhter is a negative move on the part of Inzi...but I think it's actually the complete opposite! Sure, Shoaib on the South African bouncy pitches would have been awesome. But Inzi is not at all being negative here…He is actually saying that the team we have can win in South Africa without Shoaib too! Which is a very positive attitude, and this attitude will be instilled into our current bowling line-up. Umar Gul and Rana Naveed have come back to form and with the return of Asif, Inzi is saying to them, “this should be enough”. All our bowlers are being given enormous confidence by their captain, which is exactly what our attack needs heading into the world cup. This isn’t only good for the team, but also for Shoaib; as now he can regain match fitness and come in for the one-dayers as the fierce bowler that he is. All I say is…thumbs up Inzi!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 4, 2007, 23:50 GMT

    COME on Sami Syed you don't have to call Kamran "Bhai" to express your views and also to make your point appear more valid in saying that, we are unique in promoting this "Bhai Culture and Religion in sports."

    I have worked for a multi-national corporation, (ethnic majority) where Pakistanis used to address their superiors by addressing them: "Saab", "Sir" or "Bhai" by adding suffixes or prefixes to their names and it was very obvious that they are buttering them. Its a fact that these very people, when talking about the very same people (seniors, superiors) behind their back used to add suffixes and prefixes of "MC, BC, Sala" and what not. Respect should be shown in its own honesty and purity BUT NOT through unnecessary flattery.

    It is exactly what the people of the sub-continent do when they are in the Middle East, when they are addressing to any dummy Arab, they say: Arbaab; (Master) Taal Umrak (may God bless you a long life) Ya Sheikh (he may be Sheikh's peon or his driver) Your Excellency, Your Highness etc. And, I have seen an average white collar American or a British guy calling the Sheikhs by their first name, not even the title "Sheikh." and they used to get along very well.

    Its nothing but the sense of insecurity and the scars of slavery that is imbued in the psyche of our people from the times of the British Raj. Some people still say or write: "I beg to state humbly ....... I beg to differ .... I beg to bring this to your kind attention .... and instead of yours truly they write, yours obediently or yours humble servant." This is an old, old, way of expressing your sentiments to the Gora Sahib who, otherwise may think that we are not showing any respect towards him? This is just muddled thinking and nothing more than inferiority complex. Get real, this is 21st century, freedom of expression doesn't mean flattery and it also doesn't mean showing disrespect towards others.

    Coming to the point of Shoaib and Inzi. Once again people love this "Character Analysis" business and delve deeper in to the personal life of players. Please leave their personal lives alone and also their compatibility, because this is not a marriage. If Shoaib cannot cope with Inzi; its something mutual between the two of them, Inzi also cannot cope with Shoaib. Because, they are from different school of thought. But, as a captain, Inzi should have been more shrewed to include a wicket taking bowler in his team, a bowler who can intimidate the opposition and other bowlers in his team can benefit from his presence. Imran and Miandad never got along at personal level, but I have heard and seen Imran showing great respect towards Miandad for his cricketing brain and knowledge that Miandad possessed and he showed respect towards Miandad and kept him in his side for the benefit of his team and for the country in general. Thats what is missing in Inzi and it is called man management capabilities and inter personal relationship. Its too late to teach new tricks to an old dog.

    About Mushy's inclusion, why this sudden U-turn from Nasim Ashraf now? It appears that Inzi and Mushy have something in common. Aren't there any ex-great bowlers in Pakistan? What about Sarfaraz Nawaz? OK, we have Waqar as a fast bowling coach so forget Sarfaraz, and Mushy is a spinner thats why he is in? What about Abdul Qadir? He was a more successful leg spin bowler than Mushy. Its just because Mushy and Inzi are from the same school of thought they blend together and think alike thats why Mushy is in. This is all BHAI BANDAGI and Bhai Culture. We need to get rid of it and be realistic, truthful and honest in team selection and keep in mind that its not something personal, but its for the team and for the country. Finally, please, don't mix religion with sports. I am not referring to the small gestures of a sajda after a 100 or to start a speech with Bismillah thats fine .... but, I am.talking about the notion of "religion as a motivator to cricket". Oh come on Please !!!

  • Kamran Abbasi on January 4, 2007, 23:46 GMT

    Thanks for your comments but too many of you are missing the point. The point of this blog is not to reopen the debate about Shoaib--you've already produced over two hundred comments on that. Nor is the point of this blog to question Inzy's religious devotion--as far as I'm concerned he can be as religious as he likes provided he doesn't discriminate against those who can't match his beliefs. The point of this blog is to question the wisdom of one man (ie Inzy) being so dominant in team selection and strategy, particularly when he can be negative and defensive in outlook. Inzamam is the best choice to captain Pakistan until the end of the World Cup but he needs to be careful that he doesn't inhibit his team or feel that he is the only one with the answers. Inzy is on a mission to win the World Cup-that's great--but this isn't just his mission, it's also the mission of his country, his countrymen, his team, and his coaching staff. Inzy can pull it off, but he can't without getting the most out of the resources he has available to him--and that includes players and coaching staff.

  • shahid on January 4, 2007, 23:40 GMT

    well let me first inform everyone that there is no rift b/w shoaib akhtar and inzamam....and this is just reported by stupid media...shoaib himself has'nt said anything himself...inzamam is the oval hero he saved pakistani nation's pride and that's why everyone is after him now to degrade him in any way possible...much like abdul qadir khan was degraded...but i think this won't work until inzamam got media access too :D....2nd point is machoo Asharaf is brougth to the reality after saying balance b/w religion and cricket and inzamam is doing a terrific job Masha-Allah and we have high hopes of him keep it going inzy.... no one can defame Inzy Insha-Allah....I use to like kamran's post but not anymore....Salam

  • Junaid on January 4, 2007, 23:17 GMT

    Don't mind Kamran he is bias for Shoaib Akhter. Shoaib is a sight to cherish when on complete song. However it looked like he lacked fitness during the twenty20 cup and he was rightly dropped from the team. Lets hope he regains some fitness and comes back for the ODI's.

  • Aftab on January 4, 2007, 22:10 GMT

    I want to thank Sami Sayed from Toronto for his comments posted above. I restrained myself from commenting on Mr. Abbasi's take on religion's role in the team skippered by Inzi. I did so because I wanted to focus on two critical points: media's role in kicking up this controversy and the possibility that Shoaib's body fluids may still be retaining traces of Nandrolone. But I am glad that Sami has spoken. I am not a mullah, nor do I approve of the role the mullah is able to play in our society. I don't think mullah and Islam are synonymous. If anything, most of the mullah's preachings and true Islamic teachings are at odds with each other. There is no need for any one to be appologetic about (or criticize) Inzi and others in the team being practicing muslims. "Namaz" has been a binding force for the team and seems to have definitely contributed to the team's enhanced performance. If you have any doubts, Mr. Abbasi, then read agian what Bob Woolmer had to say about this phenomenon a few months ago!

  • Atif Irfan on January 4, 2007, 21:45 GMT

    I hate people like Kamran Abbasi when they try to have their influence on team tactics and are too negative towards Inzi. Mr Abbasi you should stop criticizing Inzi and get a life. What msg you are trying to convey to the readers that you have no confidence in your own captain?? Inzamam may not have the personality like Imran but he has always done is his best with the best available team. I am sure you are not blind enough to see the results of Pakistani team without Inzi in Champions Trophy. As for the matter of Shoaib Akhtar, it could be a team tactic for South Africa nothing else, you never know may be they will call him back for the 2nd or 3rd test and obviously for One dayers.

    Imran khan has lost his mind, I am glad that he has stopped singing songs of Younis Khan since CT disaster but now again he is at Inzi for different reasons.

  • Aftab Qureshi on January 4, 2007, 21:38 GMT

    Every human being goes wrong in judgment from time to time. Mr. Kamran Abbasi has done so twice in a row. He is himself one of the mediamen to have kicked up the controversy that Shoaib Akhtar has been left behind by Inzamam. But he wants to deny Inzamam the right to clarify his position. So much for objectivity and fairness, which we should and do take for granted from mediapersons!

    My sympathies, best wishes and prayers in this situation, which is becoming uglier by the day, are with team Pakistan, particularly the actors being named in the media. Let me ask Mr. Abbasi and all his fond readers to respond to the comment made by one Mr. Sikander Rashid on Mr. Abbasi's previous story on Shoaib Akhtar. In this comment, Mr. Sikander Rashid has said (speculated?) that the real reason for leaving Shoaib behind may be that he is still testing positive for Nandrolone (while Asif is not). I personally give this possibility an even chance. But I wish some one was in a position to bring out the truth. In any case, by continuing to cast aspersions on Inzi, we can only contribute to divisiveness of the team. Do we want it? If not, then let's please put up or shut up. I think in this whole controversy, Shoaib Akhtar is the only one who has acted in a mature manner, by keeping quiet, which in a way is acceptance of the selectors' decision. I wish him good luck and quick return to competitive international cricket. I also believe Inzi when he says that Shoaib has a fitness issue. He is probably refraining from making a direct reference to the dope issue.

  • Ali Majid on January 4, 2007, 21:14 GMT

    Inzamam ul-Haq is definitely one of the most successful Pakistani captains. It is always very convenient to point out an individuals flaws and highlight the points in his career which ae not always considered to be the most accomplished. The kind of consistency that the Pakistan team has displayed over the last two years (defeats in only two out of nine series) is something that Pakistani fans had not experienced since the departure of the great Imran. Inzi has united the Pakistan team and achieved something that Wasim and Waqar (even Javed) could not do. He has inspired an average team to deliver incredible performances. The youngsters in the current team (and there are many of them) place blind trust and faith in Inzi and this has enabled the team to fight back from many situations where all seemed lost (remember Mohali 2005). These are the qualities that Inzamam brings to the setup and instead of questioning him, one should query the attitude of a certain fast bowler that has let his team down on countless occasions but still found a way of ensuring that people ignore his shortcomings and question the judgement of individuals that have the teams best interest at heart.

  • Afridi on January 4, 2007, 20:43 GMT

    well. inzi have been a great leader for pakistan and whatever decisions he has make... almost most of them have been correct.. rather then looking at what he does... just look at how much matches pakistan have won under his leadership... and how much pakistan cricket team is stable... which had never happened before.. look at other captains they had great players to work with like wasim.. waqar.. saeed and other players but inzi had averaged players to work with and he has made them into superstars now.. one example is shahid afridi he had a great season its just that he has been out of formm lately but every batsman goes through that other batsman is younis khan he has emerged into a greatt batsman... So i think inzi is the best captain pakistan ever had

  • Rehan Najam on January 4, 2007, 20:24 GMT

    I agree with Kamran that there is a one man show going on and the power is in the hands of Inzamam-ul-Haq like Mushtaq Ahmed became the assistant coach once again and Shoaib has been dropped once again.If Inzi has the power he should use that in the right place like he should have insisted the selection of Fawad Alam who is the best batsmen and the bowler of twenty-20 cup.He should include the upcoming youngsters as the Weord Cup is just around the corner.

  • Mustafa Moiz on January 4, 2007, 19:58 GMT

    Finally and probably the only time ever, you are right. Inzamam should not be captain. Razzaq, Malik or Yousuf.

  • Umair Muzaffar on January 4, 2007, 19:36 GMT

    Dear Kamran,

    I fail to agree with you on the fact that exclusion of Shoaib is critical. On the contrary, I feel that as Inzamam nears his retirement we need to train Yousuf/Younis to take his place while their places in the side need to be picked up by the likes of Asim Kamal and Faisal Iqbal. Thus this short tour will test these players with bounce and pace and allow them to gain confidence and show off their talents.

    While Shoaib’s exclusion from the side is undesirable yet it is clear that he too has reached his final years and other like Gul, Asif and yes Sami and to some extent Rana Naved and Shahid Nazir need to pick up their game once Shoaib is no longer available. In addition we all have seen how frail Shoaib it is not a smart idea to get him in a TEST match and loose him in the second over of his first spell of the match. Shabbir’s last outing was more of a throwing at the batsman rather then bowling to the batsman – therefore his exclusion is practical until the likes of Michael Holding can view his action and clear him.

    Therefore, it is in my opinion a very balanced team even though I agree with you about Sami – he needs to push PACE – that is what he has to offer.

    Inzamam did work well with Shoaib in the series with India and England and it was great seeing them working together - although both of them have different ways of life.

    Regards, Umair

  • Khan Akram on January 4, 2007, 19:30 GMT

    During Inzamam’s 3 yr. tenure, at least, no other player has been the cause of consistent disharmony which is well documented. An English county’s circuit team called him out for the same but an entire country does not have the guts to do so, tsk tsk.

    If Inzamam kicked him out for his attitude, he rightfully deserves the boot. Afterall who’s the captain…..that’s good leadership skills right there…..

    In hindsight though, I suspect he will join the ranks shortly, both on the S.A. tour as well as the Worldcup.

    I agree at the moment he's getting the treatment called: tough love (excellent term used above on an earlier post above).

  • moin qasim on January 4, 2007, 18:47 GMT

    salaam kamran. i dont agree with the fact that inzi is not a intelligent or smart captain. everybody keeps saying that he needs to listen to others for advice and all that, but you have to realize inzi has done really well being a captain of the pakistan side. inzi in my eyes is a very good captain that pakistan has had in a long time. just look at his record and it speaks for it self. i believe inzi has a really good plan for the team. this is the first time maybe in pakistans history that the whole team is made up of unselfish players that are very humble including inzi. this only selfish player might be shoib akhtar and when u r trying to build a team or team culture u cannot have players or a player that will disrupt the team culture. just look at the way players talk during the interviews and u get the feeling that the players do not care about their personal records and this mindset is the result of inzi's captaincy. people keep comparing inzi to imran. these are two different personalities we are talking about. imran was a different kind of a captain and it worked for him and same goes for inzi. the way inzi captains the team is not the wrong way. there is no right way or wrong way as long as whatever u do as a captain works for the betterment of the team. finally i think highly of inzi as a captain, he is good under pressure just look at his batting performances under pressure. this is what u need from the captain more than him looking good under the camera. inzi has a vision i believe and that vision is creating a team culture. as we all know there is no i in team!!!!and if that i is shoib than u have to leave this great player out of the team

  • SHAQ ATTACK on January 4, 2007, 18:05 GMT

    I have mention it before that Inzi is one of the best batsman Pakistan have ever produce, but that does not qualify him to become the best captain of the history of the Pakistan cricket, it make me sick to read when media compare him with Imran Khan, he is more of a spiritual leader than a good captain. I thought that Mr. Nasim Ashraf will be a different type of chairman for the PCB, since he has lived away from Pakistan's dirty politics. But unfortunately he is doing almost the same thing what others have done in the past, and i guess he has done all that only to save his own chair. He is playing a save game, and waiting till the world cup to make the changes. He knows that Woolmer have failed to improve the fielding and bowling department, Waqar Younus have brought more consistency in bowling and the youngsters are doing hard work in the field. I think after the world cup it will be end of Woolmer and Inzi, since we all know that Inzi is not capable to lead the team on the oneday matches, but he have some "close friends" in the team who have let down Younus Khan on purpose after the game against Sri Lanka in ICC Champions Trophy. There is a big communication gap between Coach and players and now to fill the gap they have appointed Mushtaq Ahmed in the team (that is another joke) where you have only one spinner in the team. Like other matters in the country, we will leave it to Allmighty God (Allah) to make it happen.

  • NAYAB MOHAMMAD on January 4, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    well kamran..i agree with you..that one man vision wont work..at this time pakistan team need to be unite.for world cup.there is one thing inzy have fail to do is to keep the team unite ..i agree that inzy had perform as captain wiser..but the question is why only one person???shoaib??why it is always like that ..and leaving shahid..means its bogus..who say that inzy is fit..after every threee matches he go out of the game..see his structure..come onn..he is not fit..if inzy and shoaib unite together..trust me..pakistan will be unbitten..but they both are pulling each other lugs..thats not fair.first rashid latif solved this problem..and lets seee now how will solve this problem..but there is one thing..that whenever inzy on ground have called shoaib to ball..he have performed well..our team need both..inzy and shoaib.and as kamran you have sai about inzy old song that past is forgetten we are all for one and one for all..inzy always say that..and i have seen inzy at the airport when he was talking to press..when media takes the name of shoaib..inzy face was swallon up like ome one have punched him so hardly..this show there relationship..which is not right.why inzy cannot cooperate with shoaib.and as ashaq you have said that drugs ..gambling..etc etc..destroy the player..plzzz stop thinking like that shoaib akhtra is not that much bad..i dont think so..that he is always drunk..and druger..no way..i cannot believe that..to conclude my comment that plzz inzy and shoiab unite each other..kamran..plzz show your blogs to both of them.inzy and shoaib.and i think the bobwoolmer should go...he is the one who create problems..from the starter it is seen that bob dont wnat shoaib..and afraidi..i can easily see that..soo lets see what happens.

  • Sami Syed from Toronto on January 4, 2007, 17:20 GMT

    Firsty, I believe that Kamran bhai sometimes were contradictory. I believe I had read a blog in regards to captaincy after the Champions trophy that Inzamam is the right choice. Enough said.

    As far as the involvement of religion is concerned, well I think that shouldn't be criticized. Simply, because many teams/coaches/captains struggle to find a unanamous motivator for the team. In this case I believe religion serves the purpose of being the only motivator to promote brotherhood and unity in the team, to pormote respect in the team. After all if its about Pakistan cricket, then we should all be reminded that the Pakistani cricket team represents the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The team represents its land, its roots, its culture, its religion and its people. So "bhai" calling is part of culture calling their elders brother doesn't mean that someone is sucking up for a place on the side. That said, I do believe that a team should be picket on merit and thats why even though religion is part of the team but definitely not a hinderence like other people think so, why else would Danish Keneria be on the team if it wasn't based on MERIT! The current side I believe is fine.

    The exclusion of Shoaib is just based on his performance alone. There could be other possibilities because he is a top celebrity in cricket all over the world, the drug issue could have come up so maybe they want to let that settle. It is possible that because Shoaib is old and injury prone they want to save him for one-dayers and get him ready for the World Cup. Similarly, it is possible that there is rift between him and Inzamam, so be it, one should respect their captain and their team. One person can demoralize and demotivate a team, this is why the team is more important than an individual. TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More!!! Remember that.

    Anyway, we can speculate about Shoaib all we want and still not rest the issue. Let's talk about Mushtaq Ahmad, well it may be possible that he is back on the team because of Inzamam but he should've never been fired in the first place and here the blame goes to Naseem Ashraf alone for sacking him and not to Inzamam for getting him back on. I am not familiar with Mustaq's resume but I do know that Mohammad Yousuf really praised him after he broke all his records because he did help coach MOYO with his technique and balance etc. Enough said.

    Lastly, I want to conclude by saying all though the Pakistan team was contraversial and divided in the past, this is not the case anymore, widely due to Inzamam. So let's come out of the stone age in to the current and stop making up contraversies. One thing I'll agree with is that PCB and Naseem Ashraf are people who shouldn't be there. If anything that should be talked about is that where and how these people get these positions from. I believe the hiring process of PCB should be more judicial and based on qualifications etc.

    Thank you, Sami Syed

  • Waqqas on January 4, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    Re: david furrows, I think outside of pakistan cricket, people believe inzamam is dim and slow witted. in fact when he speaks (in urdu) and develops some sharp witted remarks he is in fact an intelligent man. Inzamam has done quite well during his tenure, pakistan has become a very strong home team again, and it seems as though away series are plagued by injuries. I think some people are overly crictical of him, for example he received a lot when he made a late decleration against the Windies in Karachi. But in the press conference after the match the decision was justified and made perfect sense. Also regarding the appointment of Mushy, Mohd yousuf and Rana recently have spoken very well of his coaching and motivation. He also spoke well during his commentary stints during the 20-20 pak domestic series. He seems a positive influence on the team and brings everyone together.

  • Chacha Koora Kircut on January 4, 2007, 17:02 GMT

    Yes! Imran did harness the likes of Miandad but he also destroyed the careers or tried to, of Qasim Omar, Salim Malik, Mudassar Nazar and Iqbal Qasim to name a few. These players were of exceptional ability.

    No player should be above the team and country. Shoaib I'm afraid has failed in this respect. I hope he realises now that no player is indespensible!

  • Cricket on January 4, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    Someone above raised the question whether Shoaib plays for the team or not. Come on, who really cares? As long as he gets all those wickets, makes the crucial breakthroughs, it really does not matter whether he is playing for his team or not. Fact is, he is a wicket taker, he is the most aggressive bowler pakistan currently possesses, he is the ideal bowler on South African pitches.

    'ashaq' I don't think Imran Khan would ever leave such a strike-bowler/wicket-taker out of the team, what he would do is learn to cooperate with that individual. This is probably where Inzimam has failed.

    However, we should also not take the 'fishy' side of the story. Inzimam may perhaps have not included Shoaib Akthar purely because Shoaib Akthar was in poor form. I think the whole of Pakistan knows that Inzimam is too simple and honest to tell a lie, so why start assuming there is a rift between Shoaib and Inzimam?

  • AL JIHAD- THE STATS CRICINFO HIDES on January 4, 2007, 15:24 GMT

    Salam, Kamran bhai I agree with you on the part that Inzy bhai is very, very, very negative captain and guys like YK and Afridi (as he showed in the domestic 2020)are far more agressive and positive captains who have the intention to win games while Inzy at times lest games drift with the attitude of firstly trying to avoid defeat and then focus on winning. However power in the hands of Inzy is not such a bad thing as when in our history bar when Imran was skipper did such a captain earn respect from his peers. Inzy has led from the front at times with his inspired batting displays when Pak have most needed them, I just wish Inzy was a bit more aggressive and positive in his decision making. Shoiab is being looked after for the WC and will return for the odi series.

  • ashaq on January 4, 2007, 14:55 GMT

    I think captaining pakistan is a thankless task. Inzi seems too be condemned for what ever he does.

    With inzi captaincy we have had a stable side with no dresssing room disputes for the first time in almost 15 years.Instead for being praised for that he is being condemned and undermined constantly for that.

    Indeed the captain needs to manage young players who are coming in to the squad.Shoaib Akhtar has been around for a decade he is 31 years old he needs to grow up and stop acting like a child.

    The legendary boxing trainer Cus Damato once stated "the greatest tragedy is a man who is beaten not by an opponent but by himself " kind off Ironic that he was the original coach off Tyson.

    Shoaib akhtar seems to be following the path off sporting geniuses who were consumed by the ravages of fame.Tyson, Maradonna,george best and countless others who once the band had stopped playing and the hangers on had disappeared.Where left with nothing. Destroyed by alcohol, drug and gambling addiction.Only because the people around them where not strong in enough to stand up too there self destructive behaviour.

    Indeed Inzamam ul haq should be Congratulated for standing up too Shoaib Akhtar I think what is needed here is tough love.

    I hope sincerely that Shoaib Akhtar is not beaten by himself.Indeed Akhtar reminds me off Leon Spinks who nearly 20 years ago beat Muhammad Ali for the richest prize in sport.After spending many years just having one big party the wealth has disappeared the friends have long gone to day he is earning a living as a cleaner having also spent time living in homeless shelters.

    I hope that Shoaib Akhtar does not a decade from know end up as another sporting tragedy.A man who is beaten by himself.

    As for Imran Khan he stated in an interview "one thing that I would not tolerate was a guy who did not play for the team but only for himself". SO why then criticise inzi for doing the same thing.

    As for Mushy he has matured as a person and one only has too look at the impact he has had at sussex.Also the coaching sessions he has had with yousaf to realise that Magical mushy is a brilliant Motivator and coach who is always willing too help players. Mushy is an assett.

  • Furqan on January 4, 2007, 13:34 GMT

    If we see logicaly you might be right kamran but isnt that whenever we have critisized the tactics and the captaincy of inzimam he has always proved us wrong. I think it is his luck or his unusual captaincy style that always succeds him in the ground. And i think it is pakistani style, and pakistani wants "danda". See what happened when we had week captains it was always fightings and gruopings. With a strong captain it is posible to unite the team and win matches. As a news report said that when Nasim Asraf went to Pakistan dressing room he saw respect for inzimam. Talking about Shoaib's affair, i personally think he has never shown commitment.He is bowling good in one inning and in the same innings he bowls like he is playing for other team. He bowls so fast and so out of line that i have always suspected he is doing on purpose. He set feild for one side and bowls other side and seems that he never wanted a wicket. And i can bet that if he would have gone he would have played only two tests, sick for third test and one day series and again present himself for world cup. Isnt it unjust with other bowlers. He gets to select himself without playing a match and other suffer. Se what happened to him in 20twenty. He was hit badly by street/first class batsmans. He need to follow discipline. And i think inzimam iswise enough to know that with the autocracy he has he need to win matches other wise he is out.

  • David Furrows on January 4, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    Inzamam will almost certainly have retired from all forms of cricket three months from now when the World Cup ends.

    It has been good to see Pakistan have a strong leader again, but unfortunate that the fact that his IQ is probably around 25 less than Imran (120 versus 95 I would guess) has meant a tendency to resemble the Bush White House in terms of the prominence of religion rather than objectivity in the camp.

    Just as the 96 World Cup farewelled Javed Miandad the 2003 World Cup marked the end of Saeed Anwar, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

    Pakistan needs strong leadership from Inzamam in South Africa. He turned in a despicably gutless and cowardly performance the last time they played on hard, bouncy wickets in Australia two years ago. This time the team needs Inzamam, Younis and Yousuf to show the guts and application against short-pitched bowling which they did not show when they visited South Africa four years ago.

    India has a classier batting line-up than Pakistan but has passed 260 only once in 5 innings so far in South Africa. If Pakistan wants to win it needs Inzy to fight and lead strongly against a barrage of short-pitched bowling.

    After all, in three months he will be joining Brian Lara, Glenn McGrath, Nathan Astle, Sanath Jayasuriya and, I suspect, Shaun Pollock in retirement.

  • Bash Khan on January 4, 2007, 12:49 GMT

    If this is referring to a probable rift between Shoaib and Inzi, i have to say maybe it is correct to leave out Shoaib IF he has been having attitude problems. Shoaib has acheived success and fame via cricket and it is important he doesn't let his ego take over. He needs a good kick up the backside, if all this is true.

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  • Bash Khan on January 4, 2007, 12:49 GMT

    If this is referring to a probable rift between Shoaib and Inzi, i have to say maybe it is correct to leave out Shoaib IF he has been having attitude problems. Shoaib has acheived success and fame via cricket and it is important he doesn't let his ego take over. He needs a good kick up the backside, if all this is true.

  • David Furrows on January 4, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    Inzamam will almost certainly have retired from all forms of cricket three months from now when the World Cup ends.

    It has been good to see Pakistan have a strong leader again, but unfortunate that the fact that his IQ is probably around 25 less than Imran (120 versus 95 I would guess) has meant a tendency to resemble the Bush White House in terms of the prominence of religion rather than objectivity in the camp.

    Just as the 96 World Cup farewelled Javed Miandad the 2003 World Cup marked the end of Saeed Anwar, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

    Pakistan needs strong leadership from Inzamam in South Africa. He turned in a despicably gutless and cowardly performance the last time they played on hard, bouncy wickets in Australia two years ago. This time the team needs Inzamam, Younis and Yousuf to show the guts and application against short-pitched bowling which they did not show when they visited South Africa four years ago.

    India has a classier batting line-up than Pakistan but has passed 260 only once in 5 innings so far in South Africa. If Pakistan wants to win it needs Inzy to fight and lead strongly against a barrage of short-pitched bowling.

    After all, in three months he will be joining Brian Lara, Glenn McGrath, Nathan Astle, Sanath Jayasuriya and, I suspect, Shaun Pollock in retirement.

  • Furqan on January 4, 2007, 13:34 GMT

    If we see logicaly you might be right kamran but isnt that whenever we have critisized the tactics and the captaincy of inzimam he has always proved us wrong. I think it is his luck or his unusual captaincy style that always succeds him in the ground. And i think it is pakistani style, and pakistani wants "danda". See what happened when we had week captains it was always fightings and gruopings. With a strong captain it is posible to unite the team and win matches. As a news report said that when Nasim Asraf went to Pakistan dressing room he saw respect for inzimam. Talking about Shoaib's affair, i personally think he has never shown commitment.He is bowling good in one inning and in the same innings he bowls like he is playing for other team. He bowls so fast and so out of line that i have always suspected he is doing on purpose. He set feild for one side and bowls other side and seems that he never wanted a wicket. And i can bet that if he would have gone he would have played only two tests, sick for third test and one day series and again present himself for world cup. Isnt it unjust with other bowlers. He gets to select himself without playing a match and other suffer. Se what happened to him in 20twenty. He was hit badly by street/first class batsmans. He need to follow discipline. And i think inzimam iswise enough to know that with the autocracy he has he need to win matches other wise he is out.

  • ashaq on January 4, 2007, 14:55 GMT

    I think captaining pakistan is a thankless task. Inzi seems too be condemned for what ever he does.

    With inzi captaincy we have had a stable side with no dresssing room disputes for the first time in almost 15 years.Instead for being praised for that he is being condemned and undermined constantly for that.

    Indeed the captain needs to manage young players who are coming in to the squad.Shoaib Akhtar has been around for a decade he is 31 years old he needs to grow up and stop acting like a child.

    The legendary boxing trainer Cus Damato once stated "the greatest tragedy is a man who is beaten not by an opponent but by himself " kind off Ironic that he was the original coach off Tyson.

    Shoaib akhtar seems to be following the path off sporting geniuses who were consumed by the ravages of fame.Tyson, Maradonna,george best and countless others who once the band had stopped playing and the hangers on had disappeared.Where left with nothing. Destroyed by alcohol, drug and gambling addiction.Only because the people around them where not strong in enough to stand up too there self destructive behaviour.

    Indeed Inzamam ul haq should be Congratulated for standing up too Shoaib Akhtar I think what is needed here is tough love.

    I hope sincerely that Shoaib Akhtar is not beaten by himself.Indeed Akhtar reminds me off Leon Spinks who nearly 20 years ago beat Muhammad Ali for the richest prize in sport.After spending many years just having one big party the wealth has disappeared the friends have long gone to day he is earning a living as a cleaner having also spent time living in homeless shelters.

    I hope that Shoaib Akhtar does not a decade from know end up as another sporting tragedy.A man who is beaten by himself.

    As for Imran Khan he stated in an interview "one thing that I would not tolerate was a guy who did not play for the team but only for himself". SO why then criticise inzi for doing the same thing.

    As for Mushy he has matured as a person and one only has too look at the impact he has had at sussex.Also the coaching sessions he has had with yousaf to realise that Magical mushy is a brilliant Motivator and coach who is always willing too help players. Mushy is an assett.

  • AL JIHAD- THE STATS CRICINFO HIDES on January 4, 2007, 15:24 GMT

    Salam, Kamran bhai I agree with you on the part that Inzy bhai is very, very, very negative captain and guys like YK and Afridi (as he showed in the domestic 2020)are far more agressive and positive captains who have the intention to win games while Inzy at times lest games drift with the attitude of firstly trying to avoid defeat and then focus on winning. However power in the hands of Inzy is not such a bad thing as when in our history bar when Imran was skipper did such a captain earn respect from his peers. Inzy has led from the front at times with his inspired batting displays when Pak have most needed them, I just wish Inzy was a bit more aggressive and positive in his decision making. Shoiab is being looked after for the WC and will return for the odi series.

  • Cricket on January 4, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    Someone above raised the question whether Shoaib plays for the team or not. Come on, who really cares? As long as he gets all those wickets, makes the crucial breakthroughs, it really does not matter whether he is playing for his team or not. Fact is, he is a wicket taker, he is the most aggressive bowler pakistan currently possesses, he is the ideal bowler on South African pitches.

    'ashaq' I don't think Imran Khan would ever leave such a strike-bowler/wicket-taker out of the team, what he would do is learn to cooperate with that individual. This is probably where Inzimam has failed.

    However, we should also not take the 'fishy' side of the story. Inzimam may perhaps have not included Shoaib Akthar purely because Shoaib Akthar was in poor form. I think the whole of Pakistan knows that Inzimam is too simple and honest to tell a lie, so why start assuming there is a rift between Shoaib and Inzimam?

  • Chacha Koora Kircut on January 4, 2007, 17:02 GMT

    Yes! Imran did harness the likes of Miandad but he also destroyed the careers or tried to, of Qasim Omar, Salim Malik, Mudassar Nazar and Iqbal Qasim to name a few. These players were of exceptional ability.

    No player should be above the team and country. Shoaib I'm afraid has failed in this respect. I hope he realises now that no player is indespensible!

  • Waqqas on January 4, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    Re: david furrows, I think outside of pakistan cricket, people believe inzamam is dim and slow witted. in fact when he speaks (in urdu) and develops some sharp witted remarks he is in fact an intelligent man. Inzamam has done quite well during his tenure, pakistan has become a very strong home team again, and it seems as though away series are plagued by injuries. I think some people are overly crictical of him, for example he received a lot when he made a late decleration against the Windies in Karachi. But in the press conference after the match the decision was justified and made perfect sense. Also regarding the appointment of Mushy, Mohd yousuf and Rana recently have spoken very well of his coaching and motivation. He also spoke well during his commentary stints during the 20-20 pak domestic series. He seems a positive influence on the team and brings everyone together.

  • Sami Syed from Toronto on January 4, 2007, 17:20 GMT

    Firsty, I believe that Kamran bhai sometimes were contradictory. I believe I had read a blog in regards to captaincy after the Champions trophy that Inzamam is the right choice. Enough said.

    As far as the involvement of religion is concerned, well I think that shouldn't be criticized. Simply, because many teams/coaches/captains struggle to find a unanamous motivator for the team. In this case I believe religion serves the purpose of being the only motivator to promote brotherhood and unity in the team, to pormote respect in the team. After all if its about Pakistan cricket, then we should all be reminded that the Pakistani cricket team represents the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The team represents its land, its roots, its culture, its religion and its people. So "bhai" calling is part of culture calling their elders brother doesn't mean that someone is sucking up for a place on the side. That said, I do believe that a team should be picket on merit and thats why even though religion is part of the team but definitely not a hinderence like other people think so, why else would Danish Keneria be on the team if it wasn't based on MERIT! The current side I believe is fine.

    The exclusion of Shoaib is just based on his performance alone. There could be other possibilities because he is a top celebrity in cricket all over the world, the drug issue could have come up so maybe they want to let that settle. It is possible that because Shoaib is old and injury prone they want to save him for one-dayers and get him ready for the World Cup. Similarly, it is possible that there is rift between him and Inzamam, so be it, one should respect their captain and their team. One person can demoralize and demotivate a team, this is why the team is more important than an individual. TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More!!! Remember that.

    Anyway, we can speculate about Shoaib all we want and still not rest the issue. Let's talk about Mushtaq Ahmad, well it may be possible that he is back on the team because of Inzamam but he should've never been fired in the first place and here the blame goes to Naseem Ashraf alone for sacking him and not to Inzamam for getting him back on. I am not familiar with Mustaq's resume but I do know that Mohammad Yousuf really praised him after he broke all his records because he did help coach MOYO with his technique and balance etc. Enough said.

    Lastly, I want to conclude by saying all though the Pakistan team was contraversial and divided in the past, this is not the case anymore, widely due to Inzamam. So let's come out of the stone age in to the current and stop making up contraversies. One thing I'll agree with is that PCB and Naseem Ashraf are people who shouldn't be there. If anything that should be talked about is that where and how these people get these positions from. I believe the hiring process of PCB should be more judicial and based on qualifications etc.

    Thank you, Sami Syed

  • NAYAB MOHAMMAD on January 4, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    well kamran..i agree with you..that one man vision wont work..at this time pakistan team need to be unite.for world cup.there is one thing inzy have fail to do is to keep the team unite ..i agree that inzy had perform as captain wiser..but the question is why only one person???shoaib??why it is always like that ..and leaving shahid..means its bogus..who say that inzy is fit..after every threee matches he go out of the game..see his structure..come onn..he is not fit..if inzy and shoaib unite together..trust me..pakistan will be unbitten..but they both are pulling each other lugs..thats not fair.first rashid latif solved this problem..and lets seee now how will solve this problem..but there is one thing..that whenever inzy on ground have called shoaib to ball..he have performed well..our team need both..inzy and shoaib.and as kamran you have sai about inzy old song that past is forgetten we are all for one and one for all..inzy always say that..and i have seen inzy at the airport when he was talking to press..when media takes the name of shoaib..inzy face was swallon up like ome one have punched him so hardly..this show there relationship..which is not right.why inzy cannot cooperate with shoaib.and as ashaq you have said that drugs ..gambling..etc etc..destroy the player..plzzz stop thinking like that shoaib akhtra is not that much bad..i dont think so..that he is always drunk..and druger..no way..i cannot believe that..to conclude my comment that plzz inzy and shoiab unite each other..kamran..plzz show your blogs to both of them.inzy and shoaib.and i think the bobwoolmer should go...he is the one who create problems..from the starter it is seen that bob dont wnat shoaib..and afraidi..i can easily see that..soo lets see what happens.