South Africa February 8, 2007

Imran pulls Pakistan out of trouble

162

There was a moment when Pakistan's one-day series could have got even worse, and it happened early on. Kamran Akmal had been trapped LBW, shouldering arms, and the pressure was on Imran Nazir on his overdue return to international cricket.

The pitch was bouncy and South Africa were keen to test his mettle. Imran responded by pulling every short ball that came his way. With venom and a strong bottom-hand, he plays an exciting pull shot. A Pakistani batsman was prepared to go toe to toe with South Africa's fast bowlers, and crucially he did it with confidence and skill. In fact little has changed about Imran's approach except that he looks more in control.

Shahid Afridi made a dramatic return of his own and should have won the man-of-the-match award, but it was Imran who pulled the intitiative back for Pakistan and set them on their way to a match-winning total. Imran Nazir has always been capable of fireworks, of course, but over the next few days we will discover whether or not he has learnt consistency to go with his destructive talent.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zeeshan nabi bakhsh on February 21, 2007, 9:57 GMT

    It is a very good and accorate decision to bring Imran in to the side. But if we realize nuterly then i think we will reach at a point that a player of that nature could had been spoil by the PCB, if he was suppose to play regularly in the team, i think upto this time spain he could got more and better confidence because there are more things which can never be teach or tell, a person learns if right from the expereince and playing an International Cricket is itself a matter of boosting and getting the self confience. A player could not learn it even by the heros, i.e. to beare the pressure of a big game like a final or else, but experience will let u allow to learn and apply. Imran does possess some of good characterstics of a world class batsman, but still lacking for many things, like he is a good, aggrassive and bold bats man and man cause to blast every type of bollar, but a batsman must have to have some other charactestics like to built up his/her inning, to organize inning and converting it from 50, 60 to 100 and more, because a world class player mean he/she is the most suitable for this crucial position, which is the base for setting the decision of Win or Lose. Again if some one is along the side will definitely florish and up rise his/her flows etc. Any way Imran's consideration in the team is a good sign from PCB. I appriciate it. May Imran full fill the hopes which nation wants it from. (AAMEEN)

  • usman zia hidayat on February 14, 2007, 16:47 GMT

    this was the man for the man of match not any tom dick or harry. he gave the pakistanies a good start and right tempo which they had not seen for dont know how long and pakistan just followed that tone but imran yaar thora say haath hola raka karo u dont have to go after every ball be selective and know ur shots keep ur head up when going through the shot otherwise well done man and u have to make ur place in the team by scoring heavly or pakistan seletors will try some one else instead of letting u take ur time.

  • usman zia hidayat on February 14, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    this man has got some chance and realy deserves a better chance than pakistan selectors have given him.he definatly needs a bit of coaching to correct his temperment and agression to perform consistantly at the international level which takes a bit of getting us to but that is not a valid excuse to drope him.if he needs coahing and which he has not been given GOD knows why we have coaches who are paid millions for their jobs. pakistani openers need a mental coach and much better domestic pitchs more than a coach.

  • cricketer on February 12, 2007, 6:10 GMT

    any one for Imran Nazir opening for the world cup after watching him im the 3rd and 4th SA ODIs???????

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on February 11, 2007, 10:08 GMT

    Firstly, Well done Imran Nazir, but it was done only once in three ODIs, so it as well as was any other Pakistani.

    Secondly, Shahid Afridi and Mohammed Yousef deserved the Man-of-the-Match, and not Mohammed Younis. I guess Afridi and Yousef, did not get MOM because of their 'Beards' and more fundamentalistic looks, while Younis being a 'Clean-Shaven' and with his Western outlook is being considered one among themselves.

    ICC, like they penalise players for every single move, should also consider accountability for their officials and umpires.

  • Altamish Ahmad on February 11, 2007, 5:50 GMT

    I do not believe that one good innings can wipe away the humiliation and the actual truth about Pakistani cricket. It is not the opening pair and neither the mental toughness or whatever you may want to call it, that Pakistan lack. It is in fact an excess of something that we have in PCCB. An excess of foolishness and egotism. We are at the eve of World cup with our team at its most lowest ever. Our players are either unfit or injured and the ones who can play are trying to get banned. Shahid Afridi has done his part for Pakistani cricket. When a body organ becomes gangrenous then to save the rest of the body , it has to be cut away. Afridi is bad for team morale and bad for his country. He has brought more disrepute to Pakistan in the last couple of years than anyone else. He can almost be considered a criminal. When he tried to tamper the pitch in Pakistan that should have been enough to permanently send him out of the team. Now he has done another incident and has been banned. Every time his team depends on him he is not there, not any more at least. A country's respect is more than an individual. In regards to rest of the team, Inzi is unfit to be the captain of this team. A captain leads by example and if he is the example then Allah help us, we are doomed. Where are those standards with which we judjed Imran Khan, Wasim, Waqar, Majid Khan and the likes of those players and Captains. What happened where we had leaders with a heart. We have all these world renowned and battle proven leaders in our country and we do not utilize their experience and knowledge. It is because the heads of PCB do not have Pakistan's good in mind but their own agenda. Why don't we use Imran Khan and Wasim Akram or Waqar Younus. These people can not only train your team and coach them they can teach them how to be leaders. They can continue the dynasty of Pakistani cricket. Inzi is probably the most ineficient skipper ever in Pakistan's history. He may have won matches but because of other peoples extraordinary efforts or luck.

    We need a strong captain who can command respect from his teammates and lead by example. There is not one player in the team who can do this at this time. This world cup is already history for Pakistan. Hopefully we can plan better for next one.

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 11, 2007, 2:08 GMT

    Dear Kamran:

    The true objective of team supporters here is not just to dish out criticism but to analyze any given situation, voice concerns and finally give their humble opinions.

    Next, we need to see team Pakistan shaping up in time for the Cricket World Cup. Pretty soon, you need to start a blog about the probable make up of the Pakistan team for the World Cup.

    The following two set of conditions would apply in the West Indies:

    1. Slow and low pitches at some venues 2. Fast and bouncy tracks at other grounds

    The venues within the Islands comprising "The West Indies" are well spread out in terms of distances involved and conditions do vary greatly as indicated above.

    The team selectors and well wishers would do everyone favor to keep those conditions in front while finalizing the sixteen allowed probables for the World Cup.

    With a bit of luck and the right combination of sixteen players, team Pakistan can make it to the big occasion.

    Let's hope and pray that Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul can recover to an extent where they make it to the final eleven. Their inclusion in the team would be a significant factor for a smooth sail (they are not only experienced but strong sailors and would pull the boat along well with their muscle power).

    Otherwise, even if the batting clicks - it would be more of a bumpy ride with a lot of hiccups!

    One final comment!

    Inzimam's role as a non performing captain who is blindly putting faith behind a couple of players is under the microscope as well.

    No one is bigger than the game. Inzi, better take note of that and in time before we ask Kamran to start the next blog seeking remedy of this situation. Hope you understand this!

    The team selectors and others including Bob Woolmer should continue to share their thoughts here as we have common objectives. The end goal is the same. Never mind, some difference in opinion and approach. Towards that end, I would ask Bob Woolmer to please convey our thoughts to Inzi. This may perk him up a little. After all, a strong fifty plus score is rather overdue of him for long now.

    Thanks Bob!

    Mohsin Malik

  • Amir , Toronto on February 10, 2007, 22:10 GMT

    Well said Mr. Woolmer. It is very interesting that you put your thoughts in Pak Spin.

    Gentleman(woolmer) Me and our most of my fellows would be agree that Nazir & Afridi are not as good as they should be to play higher level. But I wonder you are coaching Pakistan team for last couple of years and can't you find any player according to your own likes. or they were hafeez farhat, and others. Mind you gentle man Most of my fellows still prefer Nazir rather than other. He has few flaws in his techniqe but he has potential enough to be like slater and Gilli. Basically I m from punjab too and I did play cricket in Lahore and then UK but personally I didn't like your debate.

    Finally plz mr. woolmer rana and inzi should be omitted from our world cup team. What do you think ?

  • Saiful Ansari on February 10, 2007 on February 10, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    Pakistan has been looking for a reliable opening pair since Aamir Sohail and Anwar Saeed called it a day. The selectors have tried many combinations and all including Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat have fallen terribly short of expectations. They are all good players and on their day capable of scoring big runs.

    The inconsistency is due to poor technic. Nothing the batting coaches could not have fixed. Besides technic the openers seem to lack mental toughness. They need professional psychological help to develop confidence. Senior cricketers can teach them the importance of grafting the innings. Recently even in test matches both Hafeez and Imran Farhat have opened the batting, as if they were playing a limited overs game.

    Coming back to Imran Nazir, who was responsible for the flying start that Pakistan enjoyed in their 2nd ODI against South Africa after losing Kamran Akmal very early in the innings. Imran Nazir played extremely well and definitely boosted the moral of batsmen who followed him. Having said that Imran Nazir, should have learnt to stay at the crease and to convert 50's to 100's. In the present one day game throwing away wickets and wasting good starts is a recipe for disaster. Imran Nazir must realize that great Batsmen in the modern day cricket convert good starts to centuries and win games. The mentality to strike every ball and dispatch it to boundary serves well as long as the batsmen play on the merit of the ball. Imran Nazir has to remember this wisdom and having got out cheaply in the 3rd ODI right after another good start reaffirms that unless he keeps his temptation to take a swipe at every ball undercheck his inconsistency will continue like that of Hafeez, Imran Farhat and Salman Butt.

  • abdullah on February 10, 2007, 16:33 GMT

    Well Imran NAzir played a good knock but he needs to build some temprament as he can do well in opening slot in the West Indies. He got the talent just need to correct his short selection moreover if we can continue with below average players like yasir hameed, hafeez and farhat then i think it a better option to have imran nazir open with salman butt for the world cup as if imran fires he will ensure a win and if the other named fire they will ensure a loss due to there snail pace scoring and butt can be a perfect foil for him he got strokes and he was the only one who played well in australia in away series i mean test matches, and it would give an added edge of left right combination. Afridi is best at number six, and we can do away with akmal and ask younis khan to keep wickets to accomodate an extra bowler in the world cup, as we are for the first time weak in this department after the wasim and waqar dominant era.

  • zeeshan nabi bakhsh on February 21, 2007, 9:57 GMT

    It is a very good and accorate decision to bring Imran in to the side. But if we realize nuterly then i think we will reach at a point that a player of that nature could had been spoil by the PCB, if he was suppose to play regularly in the team, i think upto this time spain he could got more and better confidence because there are more things which can never be teach or tell, a person learns if right from the expereince and playing an International Cricket is itself a matter of boosting and getting the self confience. A player could not learn it even by the heros, i.e. to beare the pressure of a big game like a final or else, but experience will let u allow to learn and apply. Imran does possess some of good characterstics of a world class batsman, but still lacking for many things, like he is a good, aggrassive and bold bats man and man cause to blast every type of bollar, but a batsman must have to have some other charactestics like to built up his/her inning, to organize inning and converting it from 50, 60 to 100 and more, because a world class player mean he/she is the most suitable for this crucial position, which is the base for setting the decision of Win or Lose. Again if some one is along the side will definitely florish and up rise his/her flows etc. Any way Imran's consideration in the team is a good sign from PCB. I appriciate it. May Imran full fill the hopes which nation wants it from. (AAMEEN)

  • usman zia hidayat on February 14, 2007, 16:47 GMT

    this was the man for the man of match not any tom dick or harry. he gave the pakistanies a good start and right tempo which they had not seen for dont know how long and pakistan just followed that tone but imran yaar thora say haath hola raka karo u dont have to go after every ball be selective and know ur shots keep ur head up when going through the shot otherwise well done man and u have to make ur place in the team by scoring heavly or pakistan seletors will try some one else instead of letting u take ur time.

  • usman zia hidayat on February 14, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    this man has got some chance and realy deserves a better chance than pakistan selectors have given him.he definatly needs a bit of coaching to correct his temperment and agression to perform consistantly at the international level which takes a bit of getting us to but that is not a valid excuse to drope him.if he needs coahing and which he has not been given GOD knows why we have coaches who are paid millions for their jobs. pakistani openers need a mental coach and much better domestic pitchs more than a coach.

  • cricketer on February 12, 2007, 6:10 GMT

    any one for Imran Nazir opening for the world cup after watching him im the 3rd and 4th SA ODIs???????

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on February 11, 2007, 10:08 GMT

    Firstly, Well done Imran Nazir, but it was done only once in three ODIs, so it as well as was any other Pakistani.

    Secondly, Shahid Afridi and Mohammed Yousef deserved the Man-of-the-Match, and not Mohammed Younis. I guess Afridi and Yousef, did not get MOM because of their 'Beards' and more fundamentalistic looks, while Younis being a 'Clean-Shaven' and with his Western outlook is being considered one among themselves.

    ICC, like they penalise players for every single move, should also consider accountability for their officials and umpires.

  • Altamish Ahmad on February 11, 2007, 5:50 GMT

    I do not believe that one good innings can wipe away the humiliation and the actual truth about Pakistani cricket. It is not the opening pair and neither the mental toughness or whatever you may want to call it, that Pakistan lack. It is in fact an excess of something that we have in PCCB. An excess of foolishness and egotism. We are at the eve of World cup with our team at its most lowest ever. Our players are either unfit or injured and the ones who can play are trying to get banned. Shahid Afridi has done his part for Pakistani cricket. When a body organ becomes gangrenous then to save the rest of the body , it has to be cut away. Afridi is bad for team morale and bad for his country. He has brought more disrepute to Pakistan in the last couple of years than anyone else. He can almost be considered a criminal. When he tried to tamper the pitch in Pakistan that should have been enough to permanently send him out of the team. Now he has done another incident and has been banned. Every time his team depends on him he is not there, not any more at least. A country's respect is more than an individual. In regards to rest of the team, Inzi is unfit to be the captain of this team. A captain leads by example and if he is the example then Allah help us, we are doomed. Where are those standards with which we judjed Imran Khan, Wasim, Waqar, Majid Khan and the likes of those players and Captains. What happened where we had leaders with a heart. We have all these world renowned and battle proven leaders in our country and we do not utilize their experience and knowledge. It is because the heads of PCB do not have Pakistan's good in mind but their own agenda. Why don't we use Imran Khan and Wasim Akram or Waqar Younus. These people can not only train your team and coach them they can teach them how to be leaders. They can continue the dynasty of Pakistani cricket. Inzi is probably the most ineficient skipper ever in Pakistan's history. He may have won matches but because of other peoples extraordinary efforts or luck.

    We need a strong captain who can command respect from his teammates and lead by example. There is not one player in the team who can do this at this time. This world cup is already history for Pakistan. Hopefully we can plan better for next one.

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 11, 2007, 2:08 GMT

    Dear Kamran:

    The true objective of team supporters here is not just to dish out criticism but to analyze any given situation, voice concerns and finally give their humble opinions.

    Next, we need to see team Pakistan shaping up in time for the Cricket World Cup. Pretty soon, you need to start a blog about the probable make up of the Pakistan team for the World Cup.

    The following two set of conditions would apply in the West Indies:

    1. Slow and low pitches at some venues 2. Fast and bouncy tracks at other grounds

    The venues within the Islands comprising "The West Indies" are well spread out in terms of distances involved and conditions do vary greatly as indicated above.

    The team selectors and well wishers would do everyone favor to keep those conditions in front while finalizing the sixteen allowed probables for the World Cup.

    With a bit of luck and the right combination of sixteen players, team Pakistan can make it to the big occasion.

    Let's hope and pray that Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul can recover to an extent where they make it to the final eleven. Their inclusion in the team would be a significant factor for a smooth sail (they are not only experienced but strong sailors and would pull the boat along well with their muscle power).

    Otherwise, even if the batting clicks - it would be more of a bumpy ride with a lot of hiccups!

    One final comment!

    Inzimam's role as a non performing captain who is blindly putting faith behind a couple of players is under the microscope as well.

    No one is bigger than the game. Inzi, better take note of that and in time before we ask Kamran to start the next blog seeking remedy of this situation. Hope you understand this!

    The team selectors and others including Bob Woolmer should continue to share their thoughts here as we have common objectives. The end goal is the same. Never mind, some difference in opinion and approach. Towards that end, I would ask Bob Woolmer to please convey our thoughts to Inzi. This may perk him up a little. After all, a strong fifty plus score is rather overdue of him for long now.

    Thanks Bob!

    Mohsin Malik

  • Amir , Toronto on February 10, 2007, 22:10 GMT

    Well said Mr. Woolmer. It is very interesting that you put your thoughts in Pak Spin.

    Gentleman(woolmer) Me and our most of my fellows would be agree that Nazir & Afridi are not as good as they should be to play higher level. But I wonder you are coaching Pakistan team for last couple of years and can't you find any player according to your own likes. or they were hafeez farhat, and others. Mind you gentle man Most of my fellows still prefer Nazir rather than other. He has few flaws in his techniqe but he has potential enough to be like slater and Gilli. Basically I m from punjab too and I did play cricket in Lahore and then UK but personally I didn't like your debate.

    Finally plz mr. woolmer rana and inzi should be omitted from our world cup team. What do you think ?

  • Saiful Ansari on February 10, 2007 on February 10, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    Pakistan has been looking for a reliable opening pair since Aamir Sohail and Anwar Saeed called it a day. The selectors have tried many combinations and all including Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat have fallen terribly short of expectations. They are all good players and on their day capable of scoring big runs.

    The inconsistency is due to poor technic. Nothing the batting coaches could not have fixed. Besides technic the openers seem to lack mental toughness. They need professional psychological help to develop confidence. Senior cricketers can teach them the importance of grafting the innings. Recently even in test matches both Hafeez and Imran Farhat have opened the batting, as if they were playing a limited overs game.

    Coming back to Imran Nazir, who was responsible for the flying start that Pakistan enjoyed in their 2nd ODI against South Africa after losing Kamran Akmal very early in the innings. Imran Nazir played extremely well and definitely boosted the moral of batsmen who followed him. Having said that Imran Nazir, should have learnt to stay at the crease and to convert 50's to 100's. In the present one day game throwing away wickets and wasting good starts is a recipe for disaster. Imran Nazir must realize that great Batsmen in the modern day cricket convert good starts to centuries and win games. The mentality to strike every ball and dispatch it to boundary serves well as long as the batsmen play on the merit of the ball. Imran Nazir has to remember this wisdom and having got out cheaply in the 3rd ODI right after another good start reaffirms that unless he keeps his temptation to take a swipe at every ball undercheck his inconsistency will continue like that of Hafeez, Imran Farhat and Salman Butt.

  • abdullah on February 10, 2007, 16:33 GMT

    Well Imran NAzir played a good knock but he needs to build some temprament as he can do well in opening slot in the West Indies. He got the talent just need to correct his short selection moreover if we can continue with below average players like yasir hameed, hafeez and farhat then i think it a better option to have imran nazir open with salman butt for the world cup as if imran fires he will ensure a win and if the other named fire they will ensure a loss due to there snail pace scoring and butt can be a perfect foil for him he got strokes and he was the only one who played well in australia in away series i mean test matches, and it would give an added edge of left right combination. Afridi is best at number six, and we can do away with akmal and ask younis khan to keep wickets to accomodate an extra bowler in the world cup, as we are for the first time weak in this department after the wasim and waqar dominant era.

  • Mawali on February 10, 2007, 13:54 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, some very interesting issues being debated here. Pakistan again finds itself mired in controversy and confusion. First though, a score of nothing less than 280 could be considered a safe score. Just my opinion obviously! Now, my sincerest to Shahid Nazir for dragging him into a debate which he had absolutely nothing to do with, for all I know the poor bloke most likely was back somewhere in Pakistan deciding between a Meetha or a Saada Khusbu and good for him. Anyhow, to come back to the real culprit Imran Nazir, I cannot help but agree with the self proclaimed “Bob Woolmer” (what ever happened to creativity) and Mohsin malik of the Bay area on the technique of the aforementioned. Imran Nazir is an exciting player, but one who is in need of coaching and correction on the technique. Predictability as they say is death and Imran Nazir gives himself away to an observing eye.

    As for my man Afridi’s new found troubles, besides form. Not having seen the footage hard for me to comment, however, I am of the opinion that the onus of restrain lies mainly with the player. There are too many damn yahoo’s looking for a fast buck and fame and an unsuspecting player is easy prey. However, I totally agree with Zaheer Gorsi that to play the racism card is insulting. My naiveté in check, of course racism exists and will always exist, and there are no choir boys here. But to bring racism into every debate, further demeans the victim in addition to the charge being leveled.

    Now on to our man flint; Inzi Bhai (MBBS) has the unmitigated gall to make this statement on GEO that “unless you produce your position in the team is not safe”. Hello, I know hangovers are tough, but would some one provide Inzi Bhai (MBBS) his record of the recent past. Do as I say, don’t do as I do. Love it! AMF!

  • umer on February 10, 2007, 13:02 GMT

    Well alot of you guys have good points in this disscusion, yes i am one of those who wanted to see imran nazir get back in the team after all we have brought back Yasir,farhat,hafeez and umar on more then one occasion i would like to see the same team that came out on odi2 for world cup except rana i would put pindi express or the Gull man, and if afridi gets suspended i would include salmaan but i think he still has a shot, i dont think we should give up on him yet. well guys i see you guys in windies anyone else going there is a group of 30 from htown is heading there.

  • Asad Sanghar on February 10, 2007, 12:53 GMT

    Imran Nazir needs to be complimented with an opening partner who plays well on the front foot. This way he can be relieved of pressure ininstances where he is not scoring freely. Someone like Salman Butt.

  • Hasan Ali on February 10, 2007, 11:43 GMT

    I was really happy to see pakistan playing so well.Praise should not only go to imran or afridi but also to m.yosuf and y.khan.m.asif and s.malik also bowled really well.pakistan won this match by the contribution of the whole team.I think its high time we asian contries to act against ICC.Just see Nel say all that nonsense to pakistani players.i am really fedup with all that unfairness against pakistan.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 10, 2007, 10:50 GMT

    The 3rd ODI abandoned, even though Pakistan i think did put up a fighting score and would have troubled the South Africans and I think it was any body's game. Having said this I must also mention here that we actually did not play well, for South Africans had a plan and the wicket too was a bit fast. In my previous mail I had suggested that Kamran should be braught in the lower middle order and Hafeez be partnered with Imran for the opening slot. I stated this with some rationale as I had anticipated Imran to be under pressure so Hafeez who has ben in South Africa for long enough and has the ability to stay there at the wicket could have helped reduce the pressure on Imran added to the fact that hafeez also plays attacking cricket once he settles down and in case Imran falls (which actually happened) Hafeez would still be there to build the innings with Younis. The second point that I mentioned was of resting Inzamam and I gave the reason that he looks out of sorts with his fitness and now it seems that he is out of sorts with his battind as well so it imparetive that he be rested and asked to go to nets to work out his problems and then come back for the world cup ( which I sincerly believe will be his last stint with the Pakistan team). This would also have given an opportunity to Younis to prove his credentials as a captain. Thirdly I had recommended the inclusion of Sami in place of Naveed, again the logic behind my suggestion was because naveed looks horribly out of form and really does not deserve to be there in the playing eleven, Sami's inclusion would also have given us pace in our attack because all the four fast boulers that we have in the team are more or less of the same pace. Coming to the $th ODI i would still stick with my original suggestion and would like to see Imran open with Hafeez.

  • Haseeb , Kuwait on February 10, 2007, 9:51 GMT

    In addition to the comments of Mr.JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA . These are politics against pakistan to make them weak in worldcup by removing their key players. They don't want to ban afridi for south africa series, they want to ban him for early worldcup matches.

  • Discrimination by bilal on February 10, 2007, 8:40 GMT

    i would like to highlight the discrimination factor in case of shahid khan afiridi by icc match referee, i wana outlook of facts 1. gibbs case and punishment clearly after reflexive action. 2. referee/south african board should provide more security to players to avoid contact. 3. done option#2 in case of south african players. proof, 2nd one day, way of ground towards dressing room ,south african players are protected by line of police man in the way to avoid contact of spectators wiht players 4.discrimation held when afridi shown bat towards spectator, view there is not a single security man to avoid interactin between players and spectotors 5. as a reflexive action, afridi did that thing. gibbs has been punished over reflexive action? is it gibbs.

    thanks

  • ali on February 10, 2007, 5:34 GMT

    Well, I did finally see the Afridi - crowd incident thanks to the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqgTZUw09T8 provided by someone. It looks like Afridi will face some sort of ban the way he waved his bat. But I would also point out that also look at the action of the person who was making the comments. It is quite possible that he would have said insulting to Afridi for him to react that way. So If I were Afridi, I would definitely point this out as crowd does not have a full right to go overboard either. Personally as the commentator pointed out the security guard should have intervened - they should be instructed to be proactive in preventing these incidents. But I would strongly disagree with Mr Speed about 8 match ban, I don't think it could be more than 2 matches as Mr Gibbs verbal abuse only cost him 3 games. If Speed gives Afridi 8 game match, I think Pakistan should walk out of WC in protest. Because I just read that Nazir was cleared by Chris Broad for exchanges with Nel. Why doesn't Mr Speed looked at these videos + that of Kallis verbal provocations to Yousuf in 2nd Test or the Aussie team's behavior at the Champions trophy ceremony and for a change? Ponting did not apologize till top Indian cricketers blasted Aussie team, and I believe Mr Speed was there and did not say about any conduct unbecoming ... say to be a professional? This is the reason we get upset and this is how the racism talk starts, it is double standards for different teams. If its equal treatment across the board you will not see this or other blogs talking about it.

    Enough said ...

    Now back to Mr Bob Woolmer comments about Imran Nazir. Bob implies that Nazir and Afridi are walking wickets. Well what do you think about Adam Gilchrist's batting - granted he's a great cricketer? He is a big hitter too, but I don't see too many Aussies complaining. I haven't paid too much attention to Imran Nazir's batting before, so needless to say I was very impressed. The audacity with which he played his stroke was simply stunning. He was fast and powerful in his strokes, something you don't see in Pakistani openers. He definitely set the tone of the match, without his powerful batting Pakistan would not have the momentum to score that high. Granted you cannot play every innings like that but the effect that this had on opposition was mesmerizing. I could not help myself laughing while looking at Nel, Pollock, Smith and Ntini faces, they were all shocked, stunned and speechless. I believe a batting like this does a lot to demoralize the other team - so Pakistan should use this style of game more often. Moreover Nazir was fearless of fast bowling, something you don't see in Pakistan batting usually.

    Of course as SA pointed out Nazir showed some weaknesses on fuller balls - but this is where one would expect Mr Bob to pitch in. Instead of writing articles on how good Mr Warnie was or how people from Punjab expect big hits, he should concentrate more on his coaching...

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 10, 2007, 2:51 GMT

    WHAT IS DISREPUTE in the game of cricket? I think it is about time that the cricketing bodies especially the Asian Block should demand from the ICC to redefine the concept of bringing disrepute in cricket. With the ever increasing hazards and changes in crowd behaviour and violence erupting among the spectators all over the world, be it cricket, hockey or soccer - the recent example; when a spectator threw a home made bomb on the face of a policeman in Italy and killing him - the amount of security that is needed to protect the players and what is expected of the players and the umpires inside the ground while interacting with each other needs to be reviewed, redefined and approved by ALL playing member country representatives, instead of leaving it at the hands of just a bunch of hypocritical jokers like Malcom Speed & Co. who are controlling the ICC.

    Talking about Afridi's case on Supercricket website, Brian Murgatroyd, the ICC media and communications manager said: "The ICC Code of Conduct says the four umpires, the team managers and the CEO of the home board can all lay a charge (if they deem fit), but they must do so within 18 hours of the end of the match. The fact of the matter (in Afridi's case) is none of these people did so. Any decisions that are taken by ICC officials are made on the merits or otherwise of each individual situation and to suggest otherwise is misguided. I resent any implication that the ICC is biased or that we refuse to act because we want to maintain good relations with Pakistan and are afraid of antagonising them."

    No one reported that incident and the matter was presumed dead. Now, there is a new twist and new turn that Malcom Speed has the VETO power and he will decide whether Afridi be punished or not? Presently Speed is in the Caribbean and apparently someone from South Africa must have thought its a good time to take revenge of the Herschelle Gibbs incident and therefore, a video copy was rushed to Speed with a message to nail down Afridi.

    According to the ICC law, which no one knows that it exists, Speed has 5 days after the incident to see if he can take any action? And now he has decided to take action against Afridi. All this seems to be pretty organized and well planned.

    Either the rumour that, the Indian bookies have hatched the plot or the SA mafia has cooked it to frame a Pakistani players, whoever did that has managed to bait Afridi very well, and he was there for them at the right place at the right time and took the bait easily i.e., because of him being a Pathan.

    In my opinion Shahid Afridi's reaction towards the spectator was normal, most players when they are out after playing a bad shot are very upset with themselves and while returning back to the dressing room they are seen cursing themselves or talking to themselves or throwing the bat in the air or kicking the ground etc. At that moment if someone from the crowd approaches them and say something very nasty, they tend to react, after all they are human. Justin Langer was caught in a similar situation and being a white Australian he can get away without being fined or banned as no one reported his case and no one sent Speed a copy of the video. But, Langer did exactly the same thing as Afridi.

    Ricky Ponting can walk up to the umpire (Mark Benson in Malaysia in a match against India) and calls him "you are a disgrace to umpiring" Because, the umpire called back Tendulkar after consulting with the third umpire, when he earlier adjudged Tendular out whereas, the ball did not hit his bat but his shoulder. But, Ponting was not punished for his blantant attack on the umpire because Mark Benson did NOT report the incident to the match referee. As per the ICC rule, the umpire "must" report the incident otherwise no charges are laid against the players. Why didn't the umpire report? Was he bribed by the Australians? OR, was it the white brotherhood bonding? Everyone saw Ponting approaching towards Mark Benson and said that, I heard it on the TV, the TV commentators were shocked and were saying, he is gone, he is gone, Ponting is gone now! But, nothing happened. Was the match referee sleeping or he had clutter in his eyes or too much wax in his ears?

    If Pakistan is not going to protest in this case, they will always be getting this kind of treatment from ICC, its officials and the umpires. Isn't it time for Nasim Ashraf to wake up smell the beans and consult his lawyers? He can bring one of the most expensive lawyers to defend against his own player's appeal against the PCB, can't he do the same now to save not only his best allrounder from being punished before the world cup, but also to bring honour for the country?

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 10, 2007, 1:28 GMT

    Friday - February 9, 2007 5.25PM

    Bob Woolmer's comments are appropriate:

    It's most encouraging to see Bob Woolmer contribute and share his key vision here @ Pak Spin. It would be the best thing to happen here if Bob would very kindly take some time out and not only read but provide some pertinent input. This would be most appreciated by all serious minded people including Kamran Abbasi. This may also prompt the PCB heirarchy to respond at times.

    I had poured in similar thoughts earlier concerning Imran Nazir and Afridi. It's in their good to mend ways to improve their game.

    Here is the big question for Bob and we would truly appreciate his additional input in this regard:

    Players are supposed to go into a grooming session either as one on one basis and/or during team meetings. As for as Afridi is concerned, may be it would be fair to conclude that he has made a choice and that's it. He does not want to adopt a sensible approach to the game. One good showing after ten games or so is not good enough for the team to prosper. In case of Imran Nazir, many team supporters including this writer see reasonable potential. Now, the big question is are these guys not really interested in advancing their careers and what transpires during team meetings. How these players receive and respond to guidance provided. Bob's input here may be beyond the scope of his assignment but for the sake of sharing, this blog just about constitutes the only open lines of communications and we sincerely hope that respected Bob Woolmer would oblige us further here.

    Thanks in advance!

    Mohsin Malik San Francisco Bay Area

  • Danish Khan on February 9, 2007, 22:57 GMT

    I would like to mention a few things; Firstly I was pleased with the way the whole team performed today in their batting. 245/8 wasn't so bad on a pitch that most pundits got wrong -becoming a trend. Anyhow, firstly is this really Bob Woolmer the Pakistan coach writing the comments here? Well how can I be so naive is thinking so even, ofcourse he's not, and as i mentioned earlier, talent such as that of Imran Nazir is supposed to be nurtured and given the chances, Imran Farhat had more than plenty. Overall from today's match, if I dare to speculate; it would have been a very close match with more chances in favour of Pakistan, could be told if one has the right eye to observe the South Africans' body language and given how the pitch would have played. Even if play went ahead. Sure, Pakistan would have had some problems bowling properly, but so would have the South Africans with the outfield being slow.

    And coming now to the issue that really is not supposed to turn out that way; namely that this tour has brought with all the positives, a few pinching negatives. Positives are there to be seen and are obvious. However, this tour starting from the Gibbs issue, Afridi's incident and now coming to hear that Imran Nazir was reported by the South Africans for a verbal exchange with Andre Nel!!!!!!!!!!! I mean are they blind when they see or hear what all Nel has to say after every ball? I mean even I can make out by reading the lips on screen!! But if it was Imran who did so, is completely wrong!!?? One should look at the replays that at what happened before Imran had a few words rightfully given to Nel, because Nel as we all know is more suited for South African cinema than the cricket field, with his over actings. Obviously the relations between the two sides have eroded a little, and Smith the captain is to be blamed here, being the captain he has never intervened to stop such nonsensical dramas being thrown by his players. I am all for the exchanges, and hot headedness, but when it is thrown back at the other, it should be tolerated! Not once has an umpire come out to stop the taunts when generated by South Africans throughout this tour, did anyone make a fuss or report to the match referee when Pollock threw the ball at Younis Khan!? Such a childish act, did not prompt Smith to give a pat on the Pollock's back to say calm it brother, instead he had his shoulder's all puffed up in a tea pot stance clearly showing his backing towards what had happened! I pray Pakistan win this series! Ameen!

  • Zaheer Gorsi on February 9, 2007, 22:35 GMT

    Why is that we resort to racism every time any thing goes wrong with us? Is there any way we could rid our minds off this strange notion? To me whining about racism proves nothing but the fact we consider ourselves inferior or suppressed. It is merely a state of mind and an ugly one too. How illogical and and contradictory of us when we label Gibbs as racist when he utters ugly words, then turn around and resort to same racism card when our own commits a conduct unbecoming.

    Think if Shahid Nazir had not reported/complained on Gibb's remarks? Then I bet this incident of Shahid Afridi would have not taken place.

    By sticking ourselves with racism, we are doing no good to the game of cricket but hurting ourselves a lot. Lets be real and see things as they are. Even if we feel being discriminated against, which we are not, then fight it off in the game like Imran Khan did, insyead to whine about it. Stop bein sissies.

  • Bob Woolmer on February 9, 2007, 17:56 GMT

    As expected Imran Nazir fails in a typical fashion. He is as much a walking wicket as Afridi, but Pakistan fans, particularly those from Punjab (whoever can hit the biggest six is considered the best batsman in Lahore), obsessed with big hitting batsmen, ignored the fundamental aspects that make a batsman good and effective, when they got all too excited. Nazir has not improved a tad bit since he was last dropped and anybody who saw his top and inside edging performance in the 20/20 competition should have realized that he is far from reliable.

  • Ash Zed on February 9, 2007, 10:08 GMT

    I agree with you Ehsan, We need to clean up cricket from people like Devil Hair and Monster Speed. Lets make a group and launch the true campaign. But first we need to find out what does the ICC constitution say..... how long Speed can stay as CEO of ICC and is he has the power to change match referee decision.

    Lets do something to save this game.

  • Zahid on February 9, 2007, 9:36 GMT

    We heard last night that charge of bringing game into disripute has been laid on AFRIDI.......After his innngs against Sout Africa on Wednesday,No one noticed even Match refree let it go as it was not deemed to be serious offence. Then MAlcom speed jumped into it after 4 days of this incidence.I just want to remind you first test of this Ashes.....Australian opener Justin Langer got out and was going back to pavilion,on stairs one spectator gave some comments on him and he stood,returned and angirly exchanged words with spectator.He showed bat to him and then some security persons finished the matter.This was shown on TV many times but at that time ICC and Malcom Speed did nt recognize it as "brininging game into disripute".......No charges were laid by match refree neither Malcom speed.Why..... It happens only to Asian and specailly pakistan team.WHY this discrimination if rules are there then they should be used on all teams including Australia,SA.Andre nel can say and bark at batsman as he wishes but if Iman Nazir confronts him then poor Imran Nazir is being charged with Code of Conduct ??? Any Answers from AnyOne out there.

  • Mohammad Manzoor on February 9, 2007, 9:02 GMT

    i always knew Imran nazir was a good backfoot player,and pakistan should have taken him to Austrailia,England and south Africa..where pitches are faster and boucier. but,better late than never..HE played an innings of his life to give pakistan the initiative and a solid platform for the likes of Younis khan and yousaf to consolidate.However, he needs to be consistant if he is to play for pak for a long time.Hope he continues his form to WC... P.S: Younis khan was the right choice of MOM!

  • Hashar Muhmood Toronto on February 9, 2007, 7:04 GMT

    IMRAN NAZIR is realy talented palayer.Boundries in west indies are short.He is good hitter.He attacks the bowler and cracks the line lenght.He with Mohammad hafeez good combination. This is not good news if AFRIDI faces ban .He came back with good performance.So we will have to think right now for AFRIDI replacement.In the next 3 matches we should give chances to YASIR HAMID as opener with IMRAN Nazir and ABDUR REHMAN the left arm spinner, as wickets in west indies more helpful for spinner.both can get confidence in next 3 matches.

  • imran on February 9, 2007, 6:01 GMT

    yah good innigs from nazir.but every pakistan opener come back he did not contain that.so hope he will continue it for long....

  • Ehtasham Usmani on February 9, 2007, 5:53 GMT

    I will describe imran's innings as attacking & brave. I would like to see him play a few strokes on the front foot as well in order to become a successful opener. I dont agree wth akmal as an opener; either malik should be opening or drop malik & play hafeez as an opener.

  • sundal on February 9, 2007, 5:52 GMT

    The comment posted by Mr. Bob Woolmer Was "Lets not get too excited, Nazir's innings can be best described as lucky. The way he batted (very similar to the domestic 20/20 competition), top edges going for sixes and falling in no man's land and the manner in which he eventually got out, wasn't that reassuring." Now What BOB does not seem to understand is that at least a pakistani oprener played a match winning innings. I would like to ask BOB that out of a dozen how many pakistani opener have played match winning innings in the last two years? We should be thankful that Nazir was mentally set to take on Pollock and Ntini. Ask woolmer about Salman Butt, Hafiz, and Farhat! Ask him if they are also ready to take on these world class bowlers. Didnt woolmer see all these people edging the ball into slips countless timem both on flat and seeming tracks?? Pakistan has already been gambling at the opening slot for the last 2 years. So why not to take our chance with somone capable of playing match winning innigs. I can guarantee that the "scared rats" like Butt and Farhat can never play a match winning innings in their whole lifeee.

  • Ehsan Ur-Rehman Khan Chattar, A Kashmir on February 9, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    What Afridi did was just a sudden reaction as the man literally came into his face out of no where. I really want to know what happened to that man. Maybe he was especially sent there to provoke Afridi. I also want to know if there is any such clause in ICC constitution that match referee’s decision of not holding charges can be reversed by its Chief executive. Where was this Speedy guy when test was forfeited? Why didn’t he reverse that decision and let the game finish? I am not defending Afridi, I am just raising this question because it looks like the rules are there to be used against Pakistan when needed. When we were wining the test Devil Hair created ball tempering drama to snatch that win from us in such a shameful manner. Now this Speedy guy, who by the way is a very close friend of Devil Hair, comes to take a revenge. Speedy is a lawyer by profession, he is damn good at twisting the facts and misinterpreting the law. He is acting as a dictator and I reckon he will go down like dictators. I have a news for you Mr. Speedy and Co, even if you ban Sher pathan and stop Express and Asif from playing world cup, we have enough balls to take on any opposition especially when we are cornered. We will hit back strongly by using Kaneria, Gul and Shabir. As I said in my earlier comment our wins will primarily come from strong batting and moderate bowling. A Mahmood can seam, A Razaq can swing and both are hard working guys. Gul is also a match- winner, Shabir can put up a decent spell. Kaneria becomes an integral part in this case to fortify our bowling as we will need a specialist bowler to fill the gap. In batting order we will have to use YK as an opener and move Malik to number 5 as he can both consolidate the inning and can hit hard too. I believe if there is one player in Pakistani team who can match Afridi in destructiveness, he is Malik. Naturally, MoYo and Inzi will have to move down the order to number 3 and four respectively. They will have to lead from the front as I believe this gives us the best odds of wining even if Speedy is successful in his ill plans against us. Somebody mentioned of playing Sami in place of Rana in current SA series. I beg to differ as I still rate Rana better than Sami though he had a lot of dribbling in SA. Sami has no future in cricket in my opinion. He should try his luck at something else.

  • Usman on February 9, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    Well, Imran did it in this match, but will he do it again consistently or not remains to be seen, as for afridi blitz, nothing positive abt it, he doesn't do it consistently enough and never has he done it under pressure, when we were chasing 392 what did he do??, now when all the work had been done, the platform was set, there was malik and razzaq to follow him he threw his bat at the ball and that day he got lucky...next game comes, he will again swing his bat no matter what the situation, if he is lucky again, then he scores, else gets out doing nothing. What's the use of such a player who will perform only under favorable circumstances not when the going is tough.

  • Muzamil on February 9, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    I hope the whole team is more consistent from here on.

  • Ayub Hussain on February 9, 2007, 5:26 GMT

    Imran nazir has make great comeback with 57 of 39 balls but u also paise the performance of azhar mahmood both make there comeback after 5 years ..both are useful for west indies conditions drop drop drop drop imran farhat ,mohammad hafeez and our mohammad sami and give chance to opener imran nazir and azhar mahmood for their great performance ...........bye yoyo ayub opening problem solved

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on February 9, 2007, 5:09 GMT

    On the one hand it has been interesting to read your Blog Kamran Bhai because it throws light on the cricketing issues, but on other hand I am very concerned about the participants of this Blog. There are some people who even do not know ABC about cricket is writing in your blog. Take the example of Mr. Concerned Pakistani saying” Afridi did not win for Pakistan in the last 10 years since he is playing”. Do you all agree with this statement ?? I do not. Please ask him to go through the records of Afridi. His arrival in the international match announces the devastating batting. He still has record in his name “the fastest ODI century”. All world knows that Afridi can turn the table in a twinkling eye and can win matches single handedly provided he is used according the situation. Can you tell me Mr. Concerned Parkistani, how many cricketer in the world has been labeled “Great Marketer of the Cricket”. The answer is Shahid Khan Afridi. I agree he has not performed consistently and that is he is in and out from the team. I think people expect too much and as you know “frustration starts when expectation fails”. The best remedy for this is that we should expect too much and he will perform steadily. There are too much pressure on him. Let him play his natural game.

    Let us come to the topic about Imran Nazir’s innings. It is too early to say that we have an dependable openers. It was not only luck of Imran but Pakistani Team that all his shots were either six or fours and it could not find the fielder, besides SA balled badly. We should admit that he has some technical problem and if he is able to correct them, I am sure he will be a good ODI opener better than Farhat. Hafeez is a handy player who is the most fittest Pakistani player as well as a good fielder and bowler. In the 2nd ODI it was a good planning by Coach and Captain. They packed the team with Batter and it was predictable that they are going start firing cylinder from the first ball. They were heavily packed with fireworks and it did work. God helps who helps themselves. The Management realized that the only way to win the match is to ATTACK and it worked. The combination of the team looks perfect except in the field of Balling Department. The only problem is now Rana if gets his form back, it will be very good for the team.

    Last but not the least there is a news that Shahid Afridi faced ban is a very very bad news for us. It is irony that when he came in form, he will be banned. I have one question. Does the player not aware that the CAMERAS are behind them and every act will be filmed and it would be dangerous ?? Why the players are getting punished and not the spectators? Do the spectators have the license of abusing players?? The ICC should balance this issue.

  • rehan on February 9, 2007, 4:46 GMT

    after the first game there was nothing good to say about pakistan. They win and it is praise for imran nazir and shaid afridi. I still saw a lot which did not go right. all we have is asif in bawling. is this what naveed will do in the world cup. if umar gul and shoaib play the world cup where is the practice and will they be fit.after one match we cannot say we have found good openers.kamran akmal a big question mark how many catches will he drop in the world cup. i enjoyed the game and only pray for miracles in the world cup.

  • Hasan on February 9, 2007, 4:23 GMT

    Nel has been making a fool out of himself for the whole series and he doesnt get banned or even warned. While Imran Nazir replies to his nonsense and is called up by the match refree(coz he played well like Afridi). Why doesnt the ICC just ban Pakistan from the world cup. There is no use going for world cup without Shoaib, Asif, Afridi and Imran Nazir. Am i missing anyone else Mr Speed???

  • Amin S. on February 9, 2007, 4:19 GMT

    Yes Sir, you are absolutely right. It was Imran Nazir who started the positive approach followed by his seniors with confidence. Imran played an excellent inning and hope he continues the good form in future matches. Can anybody tell me why we are still playing Rana Naved? What was the justification for dropoing Sami who scored some runs in the 1st ODI and keep Rana who is continuing his poor performance. I hope not to see Rana in the 3rd ODI. His place should go either to Sami or Iftikhar Rao. I think Rao has better line and length then Sami or Rana. It is sorry to hear that ICC again decided to do something to disturb Pak team this time by putting Afridi into trouble. They never like Pak team get going. I hope either they clear Afridi or give him the minimum ban. By the way Kamran was not out on the LBW decision prompted by excessive appealing by SA players so he should not be blame for poor show. However I do prefer to see Hafiz opening with Imran and Kamran bat at NO.7. Good luck Pak team for the 3rd ODI. Play positive, work hard and leave the result in God's hand.

  • sohaib... on February 9, 2007, 4:14 GMT

    yea mashallah what a win well deserved indeed..however pakistan showed their inconsistency again after losing 2 matches and winning this one...they need to be at their level best in the next couple of matches as well. I would suggest opening with shoaib malik and imran nazir...whatever happened to malik opening...i mean he used to open before or go one down...now hes being wasted...if we hav the likes of mahmood...afridi...razzaq and akmal at 5-8; then its best if we open with malik n imran nazir. I also dont understand what is wrong with rana naveed...he seems to be out of sorts and he needs proper guidance(i.e. not mushtaq ahmed)......asif as usual at his resounding best...lets hope pak winz tomorrow...and hereafter..

  • Omer Admani on February 9, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    Imran Nazir was my man of the match. He attacked the new ball, took their best bowlers Pollock and Ntini to task, and helped Pakistan overcome the mental barrier. The technique is still not perfect, but I saw him pulling length balls for boundaries which means he has an excellent eye (along with the bottom hand of course). South Africa would have studied his batting and will pitch it much fuller to him in the next game. It will be interesting to see how he responds to that challenge. I bet he has got them thinking at least though. Note: If Pakistan can attack Pollock again, they can further demoralize them. Same holds for Mcgrath against Australia. Both teams really feel pressure when you attack these bowlers.

  • fhs on February 9, 2007, 3:13 GMT

    I agree with you, Kmaran!

    Imran who not only set things up for Pakistan but also showed other batsmen how to play (and punish) shorts balls of Pollock and Nitni. He provided the confidence which we needed at the right time. Lets hope he will be keep playing!

    Does anybody know when Inzy will make "few" runs? Also, what is the reason of getting Asif all 10 overs bowled out straight?

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 9, 2007, 3:11 GMT

    INTERESTING if it is true. I was talking to someone who is an ardent follower of cricket and he told me that there was a stage set by the Indian bookies to provoke a Pakistani player and they targeted Afridi and or Mohammad Yousuf. Luckily, they managed to catch the Pathan by his toes at the right time and the right moment and they got what they wanted.

    I am not surprised if that white man was one of the pawns planted by the bookies. The recent news on cricinfo about West Indies player Samuels' involvement with Mukesh Kochchar, an alleged Indian bookie and now this Afridi incident is not shocking at all. If it is true then Afridi took the bait and that Mukesh Kochchar or MUD got the booty. I am also not surprised at this kind of betting, because people say that in Sharjah the bookies used to place their betting on every single ball. Like, so much money for a four or a six or for a wicket. If they can bet on anything this is something more sinister than what meets the eye. A ban for Afridi from the world cup means a lot for the Indians and a big blow for Pakistan cricket. How on earth people can stoop so low and get involved in such petty affairs?

  • Tariq Javed on February 9, 2007, 2:38 GMT

    Imran nazir,s body posture and face expressions are like a warrior .He seems to me a brave person who plays for the day without worrying for future that he might be out .But as it is said that live like a lion only even for one day than to live like a jackal for thousands years. Well done Imran. Keep it up.

  • Imran on February 9, 2007, 2:33 GMT

    I posted a bunch of comments on this blog when Gibbs was suspended in favor of the suspension. Although I am a Pakistan fan this incident from Afridi is no different and in ways is worse since it has a physical aspect to it. I hope he doesnt get an 8 game ban but rules are rules and he broke them. He deserves some punishment. That is why its important to be selfless and control your emotions when you are representing a country. There is much at stake and Afridi will deserve what he gets although Pakistan will suffer the consequences. Check out the clip, he could have taken the guys head off with his bat. Not cool, not cool at all. I dont care what the guy said. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqgTZUw09T8

  • Andrew G on February 9, 2007, 2:23 GMT

    Hi Kamran,

    I posted on the "Hair Thread" that people should consider the whole picture before labelling someone. So I have gotten on my Soap Box again after seeing JAVED from MONTREAL going on about racism. About 10 years ago Merv Hughes and I think Ian Healy had blow ups with South African spectators. Racism is an obvious part of South African history - but don't let that cloud the fact that they are very parochial, just ask Kevin Pietersen. South Africa have come along way with dealing with racism - I don't think people should presume it was a racist inspired remark that got under Afridi's skin. What if the remark was actually benign and Afridi was furious with himself and the teams poor form.

    Onto the main part of the thread - I hope they continue with Akmal at the top of the order - Imran did well but I would like to see Afridi open as well. However, as mentioned earlier in the thread Afridi in a roving role in the order could work - I just think with the power plays if he bats for 5 overs he could turn a match - let alone 11!

  • AAMIR JADOON on February 9, 2007, 2:06 GMT

    I think that Imran Nazir has got the tremendous talant but what he need to do of consistantcy and choice of the right shot on the right ball. He is a very good backfoot player only few in pakistan are very good backfoot players. And importantly he is a very good player of the fast bowling, But his technique needs to be improved against the spin attack. And also some times he get back to play the balls at the pitch which do not have enough bounce and that caused the LBW for him. I saw that so many time he got out LBW. But now he is improved alot and i think that now Pakistan must think to give him a more chance to get back the confidance. Second important player is the Sulaiman Butt, I never forget his inngs in india when he made a brilliant hundred, I never forget his hundred in the Australia on a bouncy pich where he made a tremendous hundred against the worlds best attack. He is the most talanted opening batsman recently in Pakistan, He had a very good technique, He had a good defense and at times when needed he can score run a ball. So with Imran Nazir, Sulaiman Butt is a very good combination, I think that kamran akmal should play in the depth coz he dont have the good technique against the new ball because he slashes the ball all the time, and new ball is always swinging and also he has a weaknes to cut the ball in the gully region so every one knows that just give him a room for a cut short and he will give the wicket easily. So he must play down the order because he will be more usefull there. But he definately needs to improve his keeping becuse so many time he made a huge trouble for Pakistan by droping very crucial catches and those catches lead pakistan to lost. An other very important point i want to discuss here that Pakistan has a verry good bowling talent and i saw one or two bowlers who are very talanted but still waiting for the chance those for example Mohammad Irshad he realy is an amaizing bowler with 90M/H pace and very good bounce as well So he deserves to get a chance and second very good bowler is Muhammad Khalil he also is a very good bowler left arm fast medium and seeming the ball out and in he got a chance in india where the pitches are not very friendly for the fast bowlers. I think that in the absence of Shohaib, Umar Gul, PCB must give a chance to Mohammad Irshad because he deserves to get a chance, he is a more more talanted bowler than Mohammad Sami. At the end I finish my comments on this sentence that Paksitan is a very good and talanted team but they need to fit physically and that is not the fault of the players infact they need more facilities at the grass root level then they can improved there physical fitness and also we must give the chance to the Mohammad irshad, Mohammad Khalil, and Sulman Butt. And at the moment Kamran Akmal needs some rest.

  • Muhammad Usman Aslam (Melbourne) on February 9, 2007, 1:43 GMT

    For HOw long can Players like Rana Naveed keep earning from PCB's pockets by giving such useless impotent performences..

    All Pakistan need now is to give Imran Nazir a full run in the WC... forget abt the Muhammad Hafeez.. Imran Farhat and Yasir Hameed. They've proved their worth as just a useless worth of 30's players..

    Shoaib Malik should open with Imran Nazir.. Its a new young dynamic and sensible opening pair who match each other in play making and strokes.. One flamboyant and the other sedate n sensible..

    All the Brilliant hardworking ASIF needs is GUL alongside him... SAMI .. RANA .. NAZIR have been given so many chances and should be thrown back into the domestic competition for years now..

    Go the Men in Green !!

  • ali on February 9, 2007, 1:41 GMT

    I have not seen the video of Afridi waving his bat at the spectator. But the question is why ICC did not act there and then. Just like Gibbs they should have kicked the spectator out and banned afridi there. Now I see he"ll be allowed to play till hearing is done - it is quite obvious the aim is to ban him during the WC. I think compared to the garbage that Mr Gibbs spilled out this offense is less severe. I first thought Afridi hit the guy, but after reading articles, he just waved his bat at the guy. How is he bringing the disrepute to the game, while Gibbs comments did not? If you think Afridi misbehaved, ban him now-

    Banning him for 8 ODI only shows the manifestations of Mr Speed mental prejudices against Pakistan. I guess he wants to get even for Hair's punishment.

    Can't Pakistan officially challenge Mr Speed's discretions?

    On the other front great batting from Nazir and Afridi. Hope they continue to show this class throughout this series and in WC.

    But it is becoming obvious that Pakistan bowling is showing cracks without Waqar as a coach. He or Wasim Akram should be appointed as bowling coach. Wasim has already given tips to Brett Lee and Irfan Pathan. Why are we not getting benefit of their experience? I think Bob and Inzi should not let their ego make decisions here. We also need to rest Asif for the next ODI or after. I realize that he is vital for this series, but he is necessity for WC. We should start playing the backups now to give them more experience before WC. Sami should be given more chance and Rana needs 101 from Wasim Akram. As Wasim pointed out on Geo last week that Waqar should be reinstated as the reverse swing has already stopped in Pak bowling. The other day Intikhab pointed out that all the other captains are leading from front, but Inzi is so stubborn that he would not go above no. 5. This is not a good sign for Pakistan as Inzi continues to struggle (except for his innings of 92 in 2nd test).

  • guymed on February 9, 2007, 1:36 GMT

    I hope he is in for WC.

  • thirdin2horserace on February 9, 2007, 1:31 GMT

    You hit the nail right on the head, Kamram. That's exactly what I have been thinking since the end of the second one dayer. For Imran to come back after a near three to four year hiatus from international cricket and to immediately get into his trot, speaks volume of the talent this kid possesses. I have never watched (though followed) much cricket, let alone Imran, but I saw him once against the Aussies at the Gabba, and his short arm jabs over midwicket and strong pulls were quite impressive and equally deceiving of his slight stature/figure.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 9, 2007, 1:27 GMT

    THE EUPHORIA may soon be over when ICC will BAN AFRIDI for his swinging his bat at one of the spectators. That is going to be a very, very SAD BLOW for Pakistan, and for Afridi personally it must be devastating. He is back in to form and then, this! What a shame, that he couldn't control his emotions. But, there must be some way to determine why on earth these things happen ONLY in South Africa? First, it was Gibbs vs. ethnic crowd and now Afridi and this white man. The crowd is definitely very RACIST. It has got a history for the last so many centuries and the white people have always shown their hatred towards the blacks and the browns.

    The man from the crowd, must have said something very, very nasty, either personal or racial that made Afridi turn around and swing his bat at him. Although it was nothing like a pull shot or a hook shot, but more of a table tennis racket kinda gentle swing with one hand only, a gesture to say get lost. But, in any case he shouldn't have done that. After all players are supposed to control their emotions. A cool cucumber like Inzi got flared up in Toronto, a West Indies player threw a brick at the crowd, all these actions are unacceptable and players must learn to practice patience, endurance as much as possible. Till such time Chris Broad comes up with a decision, its a speculation of how many matches ban shall be imposed on Afridi.

    Mr. Euceph Ahmad are you missing me? The way you said: " The whole team fired and the whole team deserves the man-of-the-match award." sounds like Inzamam's speech after the 2nd test, "All Boyz are working hard and All Boyz are man of the match.. Are you emulating Peer Zamam ul Hook? And Mr. Mawali we know that you don't like Inzi but you don't have to recite it like Sadaqallah ul Azeem, like a holy recital of AMF! And btw, it is Imran Nazeer not Shahid Nazeer. Like Mr. Euceph Ahmad says you are writing long posts and not keeping a track of what you are saying! Once again, I would like to bring this Afridi ban issue to conclude this post by saying. May God bless the furious Pathan and pardon him for his suden and emotional outbursts.

  • Danish Khan on February 9, 2007, 0:41 GMT

    I would also like to comment on Afridi's issue that so conveniently NOW propping up!! This is absurd with Mr. Speed coming to the forefront and threatening 8 ODI bans!!! It should have been handled there and then. This delay raises a few questions. And yes Afridi did lose it on provocation, and a ban is still easily justifiable but 8 freaking ODIs?!?! I've seen the video and it was a poke compared to Inzi's going up to the stands with a bat, and really was far more threatening than Afridi's slight swipe, and Kashif Malik is right that he was only banned for 2 ODIs.

  • Giovanni Torre on February 9, 2007, 0:32 GMT

    I never lost faith in Afridi. His bowling at first class level has been brilliant. His 2/42 off 10 in S.Africa's 393 was brilliant. Another superb performance! If you have a front-line spinner scoring 23 at 108 in ODIs (Afridi's average), he is doing his job.

  • wasif chaudhry on February 8, 2007, 23:45 GMT

    wow, what a game, have we ever seen pakistan like this before in past 5 years. people we have batting line up all the way down to rana who was going to bat at 10 and then we have 7 bolwers as we all know nazir can also bowl well. i would say please fire hafeez and farhat because they get lucky after 10 matches and make 30 runs and still think they have place in team. now somebody said that hafeez is good player because he can play shots well if you all look at rana's batting in test series and how he played shots and then his 2 sixers in 20/20 game, does that make him for opeing job i dont think so. now i just praying that we can see afridi and nazir opening tomorrow if pakistan bat first. plus the if you all read first there were no charges again afridi and now as the saw him in form and i guess world just cant handle a strong pak team.

  • Euceph Ahmed on February 8, 2007, 23:36 GMT

    Where is Javed A. Khan, Montreal, Canada in all of this??? Khan Sahab...pitch in please, I'm kind of missing your input. Even Mawali is slowly getting tempted to write newspaper-length articles in your absence. Others are writing research papers. This blog kinda feels empty without your emotional outbursts... :) :) :) LOL.

  • Ali Akram on February 8, 2007, 23:10 GMT

    Well he is a nice talent but can easily fade if he doesnt improve on his technique and also emotions...i do fear he can be more aggresive then the situation demand and need to find a balace as Saeed Anwar was able to find before becoming the greatest opening batsmen ever in Pak history

  • SAMI SYED from TORONTO on February 8, 2007, 23:00 GMT

    Simply,

    In previous blogs there were a lot of people saying drop AFRIDI. I'm sure now we recognize the value of such a player in the line up. If not for his batting then definitely for his bowling and if not for that then his team spirit and motivation. Anyone who watched the ODI's so far should agree.

    BY FAR, AFRIDI WAS THE BEST BOWLER FOR THE FIRST TWO ODIS. (Asif is consistently the best and for the sake of arguement lets leave him out of the comparison because he is simply world class.) AMONG THE OTHER BOWLERS AFRIDI HAS GOT 5 WICKETS AND THE BEST ECONOMY IN THE TWO ONE DAYERS AGAINST A FORMIDABLE BATTING LINE-UP OF SOUTH AFRICA.

    I HOPE AND PRAY THAT AFRIDI DOES NOT GET BANNED FOR THE SAKE OF HIM AND OUR WORLD CUP CHANCES.

    AFRIDI ZINDABAD, TEAM ZINDABAD, PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!!!

    SAMI

  • haroon on February 8, 2007, 22:56 GMT

    the big question is can he play innigs like this consistently. to me i have always found this guy inconsistent. but i would perfer him over hafeez and iqbal any day.

  • cheri powers on February 8, 2007, 22:53 GMT

    He was great - Younis was great - and Afridi was amazing...to actually see him finish a match not out was a unique experience. But now in what I think is a tit for tat with SA, the ICC is going to kick his butt for being rude to a fan...not to get into the paranoid conspiracy theories, but the initial idea was to let him go, but I think SA was pissed as Gibbs had been chastised - so at least he can play tomorrow. But we may not be seeing him around for yet another while. Good thing he is young.

  • Kashif Malik on February 8, 2007, 22:34 GMT

    fantastic innings by Nazir, in my view the real man of the match. this was his come back game, and after losing a wicket in the first over many others may have folded under pressure. If he hadn't played the way he did i doubt whether the others who followed may not have played the way they did.

    What Afridi did was untenable, however, charging him now is a clear Abuse of process. Afridi was catergorically informed by the match refree that no action would taken and therefore giving rise to a legitaimate expectaion that the matter was closed.

    The ICC should have acted at the first opportunity and not after external pressures to take action.

    If I recall correctly wasn't Inzi banned for just two ODIs for the same charge?

  • syed tawhid on February 8, 2007, 22:04 GMT

    The way nazir has returned after two years, with style aggression and confidence is a real positive for pakistani cricket. The prospect of having a solid, hard hitting, RELIABLE opener is unfamililar teritory after the retirement of saeed anwar.

  • Hena Siddiqui on February 8, 2007, 22:01 GMT

    Mr Kamran, i have been a regular reader of ur coments and find it very interesting, recent columns that were written about the PCB chief and the composition of the team has promted me to add somethng to it. player power has actually plagued Pakistan cricket,so much so that the team has suffered to a great extent, this situation arises only when you have non professional people managing the orginization.Pakistan cricket board does not need a cricketer as its chief because it is not cricket but an industry and has to be run by prfessional managers/technocrats.Having said this i must also add that we have unfortunately very few educated cricketers in our coffers as such i find it hard to see anybody from our past cricketers filling in the gap and at best we will have to rely on non cricketing but highly skilled , professional managers able to run this industry.Secondly every Tom Dick and Harry in Pakistan is coming out of his pants iun criticizing Bob Wulmer for the pathetic performances of our team which is totally unclled for and this is only becoz our past cricketers were either uneducated or nonqualified in the art of coaching have been instigating a disinformaiton campaign agaist the coach and cannot see the existance of a forieng coach becoz this will take away their bread and butter. Pakistan team has had many former cricketers as their coach and i aleways felt that they were notihng more than a masseur.the most celebrated of the Pakistani coaches that we had was Intakhab Alam who at best could manage only to coach the Punjab cricket association's (INDIA)team and this is the caliber that we have while he credentials of Bob Wulmer speaks for himself so i would like to request Zahir Abbas and his likes to just shut up becoz only a fool would say that playing 78 test matches as compaered to the 18 test matches (that Bob played for England during his career)makes him more qualified than Bob.Cricket coaching is an art and its the same thing as batsmanship but one must understand that a good batsman cannot necessarily become a good coach, this is an entirely different feild.This also goes for the nonsensical presenter of GEO TV's programme BOLIEN KYA BAAT HAI who also has the stupid notion of a good batsman can be a good coach im referring to Iqbal Zaidi.In the end i would really like to put on record my deepest appreciation for the good wwork that u Mr Abbasi are doing by writing these excellent comlumns and im a frim believer of the fact that u have generated alot of interest in the cricket loving people of Pakistan by mentioning the truth and just the truth not like the other balcksheeps of the sports jounalism who are up their forsale and shamfully penny a piece.Keeping this in mind i must also extend my appreciation for the gr8 sservice that u are rendering to Pakistani cricket and i pray to Allah that ur efforts do not go in vain.

  • Akber on February 8, 2007, 21:59 GMT

    Afridi can make the ODI squad on bowling alone. His amazing batting is just a bonus - proof is here (in comparison with Pak strike bowler - Asif):

    Last 15 ODIs for each:

    Mat O R W BB1 BB2 Ave Econ SR 4w 5w

    Afridi 15 116.2 492 17 3/25 3/37 28.94 4.22 41.0 0 0 Asif 15 129 533 14 3/28 2/10 38.07 4.13 55.2 0 0

  • Faisal (London) on February 8, 2007, 21:47 GMT

    I still feel that there is no place of kamran akmal as a opener on pitches like in SAF, England and Australia.He should bat down the order.

  • hassan on February 8, 2007, 21:35 GMT

    It's not often South Africa get a hammering. It takes a special team to beat those guys, especially after our drubbing in the first match. What a come back! If we can do it once then we can do it again and again - all this against a full SA team, and with Zaq still to fire! Add Akhtar and Gul to the line up, then bring on the World Cup.

  • Aamir Yunus on February 8, 2007, 21:27 GMT

    We should not blame Woolmer for opener's problem. Butt, Hamid, Nazir, Hafeez, Farhat; they are all about the same. No one is consistent and dependable. That is why it is hard to select a pair. They all suck. I bet, if we find someone of Saeed Anwar's calibre, selectors will not think twice before dropping these. Right now this is the best we got and we have to pick from these mediocre. Look at other teams. Almost every team better openers than Pakistan. Gale, Hayden, Gilchrist, G Smith, Jayasuria, Tendulkar. Now if we want to compete with Bangladesh and England, then yes we have better than them. Like I said, unless we find a new talent, "Galay main paray dhool ko peetna hai."

  • MUSTAFA MIR .. toronto on February 8, 2007, 21:27 GMT

    B AFRIDI,, BE VERY AFRIDI OH! I just love it.... KAMRAN ABBASI, make it a heading ''B AFRIDI BE VERY AFRIDI''

  • Gibran on February 8, 2007, 21:25 GMT

    Did someone actually say that there was a toss up between Rana and Akthar. Keep smoking that Hashish man. Arguably the fastest bowler in the world verses a decent medium pacer who had the worst ever single ODI bowling figures in Pakistani history? Yes indeed quite a toss up. Razzaq has also lost his sting. If Akthar is healthy - then Akthar and Asif as the two main speed bowlers. Dependant upon our opopsition I would with 2 of Gul, Rana or Razzaq. Farhat and Akmal to open - with Younis one down, yusuf 2 down, inzi then malik. Followed by Afridi (whose position should change dependant on the match situation), Mahmood and then Akthar, Asif and Gul (or Razzaq/Rana depending on who is healthy and who we are playing)

  • Fahim on February 8, 2007, 21:10 GMT

    Salman Butt and Imran Nazir is the opening pair Pakistan is looking for! Recall Salman Butt, Akmal is a temporary solution, he cant be a permanent solution. SB and IN will compliment each other as well, while SB can build an innings and provide stability at the top order, IN can go ballistic at the other end. At the moment, I dont see any of the openers to cash in on a half century and go on to make a big one. Salman and Nazir is the answer.

  • MUSTAFA MIR....Toronto on February 8, 2007, 21:09 GMT

    I am just worried about Mr.malcom speed,how long we have to bear him, I totally agree with Mr. ASH ZED,,,, does anyone know about the ICC constitution ?May be Kamran abbasi can help us out. If anyone knows , e-mail me directly at mustafamir@msn.com

  • Mawali on February 8, 2007, 21:08 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, like most othe posters I am very excited about this very convincing win. However, if there is one thing consistent about the Pakistani team its inconsistency. I will savor this win and hope that the team will continue the winning ways. Having said that I do not expect the same performance from Shaid Nazir on a consistent basis. Shahid Nazir, is basically a pull hitter, eager to get the ball out of the park. The reason Nazir and Afridi succeded yesterday was because the SA's were feeding them the short balls in an effort to have them play reckless hook shots. Well, yesterday was Pakistan's day and the shots fell in open safe areas. I believe the SA's will adjust to the batting styles of both the sluggers and the results may be different. I do earnestly hope that this does not happen and Paksitan is able to scare a couple away from them. For what its worth the fireworks are worth celebrating. I will enjoy it while it lasts. I do hope Pakistan can build from this effort for the WC. AMF!

  • Jay on February 8, 2007, 20:53 GMT

    Ok so who decides if Imran is Imaran or Nazir? Pakistan (and maybe Bangladesh) are the only two countries where cricketers are referred to with their first names. What's up with that? I never saw Shane Warne's jersey reading Shane on his back. I think it's the same with Indian Sikhs as well, they go by first name too, like Harbhajan. I think its weird that anyone would be formally known with their first name. Imagine Boycott being referred to as Geoff througout a newspaper column.

    Give it a think. How did it start? Is it because Pakistani last names are not unique. For eg. Mushtaq or Javed or Younis are both first names and last. No parent ever named their kid McGrath or Tendulkar or Harmison, these are strictly last names. But then Imran is not any more unique than Nazir.

    This was a very poorly thought-out, unstructured post, and I apologize for it. But hey, if international media can put the cart before the horse by calling Imran Nazir Imran, why can't I post a miserably organized piece on a blog?

  • GAMBLER on February 8, 2007, 20:43 GMT

    will afridi criticisers shut their mouth up for 10 more matches?cuz we{not just most paki fans,but most cricket fans} would let afridi fail for 10 more games to see him perform again like he did,yes AFRIDI IS A GAMBLE,BUT SO IS LIFE TOO

  • Ehsan Ur-Rehman Khan Chattar on February 8, 2007, 20:40 GMT

    Imran Nazir has proven to be the catalyst of yesterday’s moral boosting win which has restored our pride and once again given the spark to dream for the ultimate prize, the world cup. As a keen observer and fan of Pak cricket I have been thinking for wc dream team. For wc, we should not disturb our middle order that is Yo-Yo and Inzi. Afridi is a must in the team because of his bowling and fielding ability. Talk of dropping him is nonsense. Our team should be made up of the players who are proven match winners and fighters. I Nazir has just shown that yesterday and few times before, so he should be on board too. I am sure he will look at his cross bat error in next matches. Now, we have all the ingredients of a destructive team despite fielding and fitness issues. But I believe everything will fall into place as the momentum goes our way. Here is my dream team for wc: Opening with I Nazir and S Malik then core of Yo-Yo Inzi followed by K Akmal. Now at this point if innings needs consolidation due to early departs Azhar and then Razaq should be sent b4 Afridi and if platform is good Afridi should be launched b4 them . Let me remind that A Mahmood is mentally a very tough player with much better technique than Afridi and Razaq and he is a rock in crisis. I stress Afridi is a slogger and that is what he knows and does the best. On his day he can absolutely destroy any opposition and we must use him in that capacity only as far as his batting goes. Number 10 is S Akther or Umar Gull and last Asif. I will also include M Hafiz and Kaneria in wc squad. In some matches we can drop either A Mahmood or Razaq to play Kaneria. We will need him against Australia, SA and Eng. For Ind, NZ, SL and WI we can rely on Afridi and Malik as spin options. Hafiz can cover for an injured opener as he is useful player as a bowler and fielder. I will not go with Shabir as he has no track record as a genuine match winner and he is a pretty useless one day player. He will be good for us after world cup but not in the world cup. I am also opposed to play three specialist fast bowlers in a match. If you look at Pakistan history two genuine fast and two medium pacers have won key battles for us in the past. So Asif with either Gull or S Akther should be used with new ball. First change Azhar and Razaq. Kaneria fits in as a genuine spin option against above mentioned teams. I predict that most man of the match awards will go to the batsmen and all rounders. Fast bowlers will not win those awards because of two reasons. Firstly, Pitches in Caribbean are not bowlers’ paradise and secondly there are no great bowlers like those of the past in current times. Most matches will be won with strong batting show and moderate bowling performance. All the other unmentioned players should rest for now and prepare themselves for after world cup battles. They are not good enough to be given the chance of a life time.

  • zaheer muhammad on February 8, 2007, 20:23 GMT

    with the second one day match batting line up theres only tow thing could happen either they sore "402" or (more likely) 102

  • Fareed Nasir on February 8, 2007, 20:19 GMT

    Imran Nazir batted well. He should continue playing as long as his form is good. Problem with players like Imran and Afridi is that they are totally dependent on good hand eye co ordination. There is no technique to fall back on in case the co ordination is a bit off. These sort of players will thus be either very hot or very cold. They will continue to attract crticism and praise of the highest kind. Pakistan played well, credit should go to entire team, especially Asif (I think the best in the world at the moment. Lets not get carried away though, we still have major problems in bowling department. Rana is such a key player and his form will be a major issue. I stress again we need Waqar back asap. He should have a few weeks to try and sort out whatever problem has. Other key player will be Razzaq, he has to fire especially as a bowler. I think focus should be on getting rana and razzaq firing again. Lets not depend on unfit players they may be back or they might not be. And even if fit you never know what sort of form they will be in. Pakistan or for that matter most teams world cup chances will depend on how fit the squad is and on the bench strength. Australia, Pakistan, India and srilanka will do well. These teams have variety and bench strength unlike SA ( no variety) and England (no bench strength). Out of these four the fittest and the luckiest will win. Luck we cant do anything about, fitness we can do a lot about, first step employing some Sports Medicine Specialists proper professionals to look after the team, and not brothers of politicians and sons of generals etc.

  • Masuud on February 8, 2007, 20:13 GMT

    As far as Imran Nazir's joy ride is concerned, i believe he's definitely one of those 'few' misfortunate youngsters that have been overlooked and ignored for some pathetic mind-boggling reasons, as compared to the same era youngsters who have been given ample time to prove themselves and they have failed to do so. Imran's talent was never in doubt as a batsman, the day he notched up that test century against West Indies in 2000 tour of WI against Walsh and Ambrose. Couple that with his brilliance in the field, earning him the Best ground fielder Pakistan has produced in recent years by far, where he saves around 15-20 runs per game, you get an absolute vital player in the form of Imran Nazir. I just wish he continues to perform with the confidence he did in this ODI. As for the match itself, it was simply one of the best turn arounds of a Pakistani modern day cricket team after been humiliated in the previous game the same way as they returned the favor in this ODI.

  • Ash Zed on February 8, 2007, 20:05 GMT

    So finally Shahid Afridi has been charged with a Level 3 offence of ICC code of conduct. Although he was initially cleared by match referee, but Malcolm Speed (by virtue of his dictatorship power) decided to act all by himself to take action against a Pakistani player whenever and wherever possible.

    This situation is quite amusing as well as painful. Why it is amusing because this act of Speed clearly shows he does not have faith or trust in the ICC match referee who is also appointed by him. It seems he is simply not agreeing with match referee Chris Broad who was there at the ground and thought this act of Afridi was not of a serious nature. May be Speed does not agree with Chris Broad because one of the involved party is a Pakistani player.

    The situation is also very painful because it is now almost certain it is Speed vs Pakistan after Hair saga. Speed is determined to punish Pakistan for all those reasons that brought the downfall of Hair……. an ardent friend of Speed.

    Now it will be no wonder if Afridi gets the maximum punishment and he is kept out of World Cup. It is even more interesting that after the first ODI where Afridi scored only 17, everyone at ICC thought Afridi’s act was not of serious nature but when Afridi blasted a 37 ball 77 against one of the best bowling attack, Speed suddenly woke up and charged Afridi for bringing the game into disrepute.

    It so unfortunate that this game of gentlemen is in the hands of the most wicked and evil-minded person always busy defaming Pakistan and Pakistani players. He became CEO of ICC in 2001 and God known how long he will occupy this position. Can anyone enlighten me what does ICC constitution say about the selection of CEO? Who is responsible to select/elect the CEO and for how long one can stay on this position?

    I just want to add one more thing that it is also Malcolm Speed who in association with World Anti-doping Agency, is trying to keep Shoaib and Asif away from the World Cup.

    This man is totally insane.

  • Saib Abbasi on February 8, 2007, 19:53 GMT

    Salam, No doubt this guy has the courage and desire to deliver plus his fielding is an added advantage, however its too early to say that his inclusion has settled the oppening issue. He had shown his brilliance in the past but still lacks the most needed consistency. Only time will tell how much he has grown as a player. In the present day cricket one must have the potent combination of defence and attack, undoubtly he has variety of shots ranging from drives to hook and pull but his defence is still a question mark. Out of the available lot of openers in Pak cricket, he and Salman but make a comparetively better opening pair, thus this is the high time to recall Salamn aswell.

  • Tanveer Imam, M.D. from Pennsylvania, U.S.A. on February 8, 2007, 19:51 GMT

    It seems very discouraging that Pakistanis are still seen experimenting with their openers when the ICC world cup is only weeks away. I see it futile to play 4 all-rounders at one time, while specialist batsman like Asim Kamal are left to rust. Kamran Akmal must have some friends in the PCB hierarchy and Pakistan dressing room to be still counted as a part of the team. As for Imran Nazir, he indeed looked confident and fearless. He however needs the test of time. Our batsmen need to learn to keep the ball on the carpet while hooking and pulling.

  • Mustafa on February 8, 2007, 19:48 GMT

    Another good player which is being ignored is Fawad Alam. He is performing brilliantly in domestic matches. When we look that guys like him are ignored and the likes of farhat are given so many chances karachi´s case of ignoring its players look quite promising.

  • saad on February 8, 2007, 19:44 GMT

    That is the we all wanted from IMRAN NAZIR. hope he will continue like this

  • B AFRAIDI,B VERY AFRAIDI on February 8, 2007, 19:37 GMT

    the rule is=NO PLAYER IS BIGGER THEN THE TEAM, yes true, but players like afridi and shoab akhtar are exceptions to this rule,cuz not just paki fans but most cricket fans of the world would prefer to see afridi fail again for 10 more games,and see on the 11th game afridi perform like he did today,afridi and shoab akhtars critics would never understand the thrill of watching afridi hitting the pitch with his bat{whether d ball would go outta d ground or afridi himself} or the devilish look in shoab akhtars eyes before he starts his run up. we want shoab akhtar in playing 11,with all his attitude,altitude,magnitude problems ICC chief malcom speed, too seems to be afraidi of afridi,cuz why does he wants to ban afridi for 8 ODIs, for showing his bat to a spectator,while nothing to be done with the spectator who provoked him?or is it the ICC still havent yet got over its racism attitude???

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on February 8, 2007, 19:21 GMT

    I feel relieved after commenting earlire that Imran Nazir will be a welcome addition to the ODI squad. It is interesting to note that Mohammad Hafeez who has a strike rate of less than 60 runs per 100 balls in ODI career made the way for Imran nazir who has an imressive strike rate of more than 75 runs per 100 balls. And what a welcome change it turned out to be . . .

    The issue of inconsistency can not be tagged to just one player in the team. We all know that the whole tem is inconsistent. We had won the World Cup in 1992 by defeating England, the same team who got us all out for mere 70+ in the group game! I think Imran Nazir should be groomed and this is his first time playing under Uncle Bob who may bring the best out of him.

  • Taenpatas on February 8, 2007, 19:13 GMT

    HAve to agree with Ghalib Taimur. Farhat and hafeez have been such a bloody disappointment. Immagine if Imran nazir, butt or yasir hameed start getting such a prolonged run. The fact of the matter is , these three guys play like batsman, therefore have the 'potential' to improve if given opportunities to learn. Farhat plays like a bloody dhobi brandishing his bat and Hafeez, i am afraid is to say, 'Parchi' can only go that far, he should go try his luck on something which might suit him better. I would suggest the civil services, there he can pretend that he knows what he is doing, without any body bothering !

  • l.virani on February 8, 2007, 19:07 GMT

    namste,it was great to see imran back in the side;not only is he a courageos batsman,he is also the best fielder together with younis.as for kamran akmal , he should not be opening the innings.it should go to shoib malik.even though pakistan won 2nd game i don't think their bowling apart from asif has any sting.running between wicket & fielding in genrel is bellow par.if they want to gofurther they have to pay more attention to this.

  • Hasan ali on February 8, 2007, 18:59 GMT

    hello kamran bhai.pakistan performed brilliantly with the bat.it was pleasant to see them batting so well.i hope they will bat like this always.i always knew that imran nazir was agood batsman.as for afridi i am not sure if he will continue his good form.but still afridi should have gotten the man of the match award.i know that yonis scored 93 runs but still afridi 77 came of 35 balls.he was also not out.he bowled very well too.he took 3 wickets of 9 overs with the economy of 2.77 so this all points out that afridi should have gotten the MOM award.

  • Amir Malik on February 8, 2007, 18:49 GMT

    Yeah its a fact that Imran was the person who set the tone for Pakistan though most of the people are giving credit to Afridi. If Razaq was sent at Afridi`s position he would have done the same.I could not understand why Rana Naveed was in the team.Soth Africa once chased 440 against Australia and if there are bowlers like Rana its not hard to chase even 500.Pakistan was lucky that they managed to defend.Thanks to Asif.He is an amazing talent.

  • danish abbasi on February 8, 2007, 18:47 GMT

    I believe imran nazir is a fine talent for pakistan cricket team he just lacks as is the case with other pakistani cricketers the consistency. Consistency is the order of the days if you want to make substantial contribution for the side. Shahid afridi again showed what he again do if he play sensibly and to control his short selection. As berry richards mentioned about our players that they are slow learners of the game so they need to change their impression by removing this tag of unpredictablity from them.

  • Awais on February 8, 2007, 18:42 GMT

    By bringing Nazir back, the PCB has made the right choice. The way to go is by playing match winners. Sure its a risk, but on their day, they will single handedly win a match, and thats how it should be. If you pack a team with 8-10 match winners, one or two of them are bound to play well. Atleast statistically. Therefore, bring back Salman Butt as well; he will win you matches on his day. PCB also made the smart choice by bringing back Afridi and Azhar Mahmood. These guys, on their day will win you games. We now have : Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Inzi, Yousuf, Younis, Akmal, Razzaq, Asif and hopefully Akhtar (for the WC) who are capable of winning games on their own.

    Things looks good. Finally some sense from the PCB. But Afridi is goes and gets himself banned?? Idiot!

    Anyways, hope every one has a good day

    Awais

  • Mansoor Hazir on February 8, 2007, 18:39 GMT

    What happened in Durban is history but whats taking place now has to be seen. For a start I think Malcolm Speed has it against Pakistan. If Afridi was out of form why bother. Nobody wants to proceed against him. He scores runs and gets wickets, in comes Mr Malcolm Speed and decides to have action taken. Pakistan should not come together. Wouldnt be surprised some other action is not planned to create further disruption. They cannot have an Asian teams coming together. While I have keyboard going I would like to add that I dont understand Osman Samiuddins negative comments on Pakistans state of affairs all the time. I dont know why he cant leave the subject of doping alone. People want to get on with it. My friend Blair and Bush moved into Iraq on false charges. What have you done about it. One has to move forward.

  • Dr K Ashraf on February 8, 2007, 18:33 GMT

    Hi Kamran, I am slightly distracting and focusing on the Level 3 offence being laid out on Afridi by Malcolm Speed & ICC. Afridi was rash and they think he brought the game to disrepute. But why didn't Mr Speed react when Ponting, Martyn and Co. literally pushed the BCCI chief and Indian Minister of the stage after/amidst their ICC Champions Trophy celebrations- with the whole world watching ..wasn't that bringing the game to disrepute. Mr Speed why is it that your fellow Aussies can get away with murder and our poor Afridi has been singled out by you when he was exonerated by the match referee initially?? P.S. Afridi was just beginning to get on top of his game and we may again lose a matchwinner to non-cricketing issues. Saddens me.

  • amma ahmad on February 8, 2007, 18:31 GMT

    I rate Imran Nazir very highly. We should give him at least 5-6 more matches to judge his comeback! Between Imran Farhat, Butt, Yasir Hameed and Nazir my bet would be on Imran Nazir. He is definitely a good fielder then the above. Imran and Hafeez can be a decent opening pair for the world cup.

    ICC again has shown its white color of going to ban Afridi. Why 4 days later Malcum Speed realized what had happened in the stands. He needs to adopt a hobby.

  • qaisar sheikh on February 8, 2007, 18:19 GMT

    fewer people are saying that imran is not going to be successful on bowling wickets, may some one tell me where the hell in this whole world one day cricket is being played on bowling wickets. there could only be bouncy tracks for one dayers and that it was. 99% of one day cricket around the world is being played on placid tracks so it is more then worth to have an explosive player like him up their with a solid one like younis. younis should dare to come up and i am pretty sure he will adjust there quickly. he can fail for a while but with his solid technique he will fill that place efficiantly. imran was droped only bcoz he was bit too much aggressive ,was not choosy and his footwork was poor but in this match we saw all three faults covered though he needs to be sensible bit more but till now its ok.time will make him perfect and i think he should be given chance atleast as much as they gave to imran farhat. he can prove himself.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 8, 2007, 18:15 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, I am really turning into a fan of yours, your comments are really nice. and very true. Imran did play a good innings, he has a big heart and really takes it on to the opposition. He had always had potentials but the sellectors (who are nothing more than a bunch of Idiots) never really gave him a long run instead applied an in and out policy with him. It reminds me of Saeed Anwar's case when he was sent back to Pakistan from Australia by Imran after he scored 3 hundreds in one dayers there on the pretext of him not being suited for the test match series, this was back in 1985 I guess. A move that surprised every one including ppl like Ian Chappel and company who went on to say that one has to be stupid to send such a player back on the asumption of him not being useful for test matches, perhaps Ian didnt know that such things are a common phenomina in pakistan. The same Saeed Anwar came back with vengence and proved Imran & company wrong as he became one of the best openors that Pakistan ever produced in both forms of the game. Saeed Anwar however was a very disciplined person and he managed to fight out odds and came back with a style to prove the pundits wrong and not every body is so lucky. The responsibility of PCB and in perticular the sellectors is to spot the talent and groom him, which in Imran's case was missing and he along with many others were left to straighten out things themselves. it really is unfortunate and by this way we have lost many a budding talent, some names do come in mind and those are Naveed Lateef, Wajahatullah Wasti, Hasan Raza, Ghulam Ali, Zahid Fazal, the list can be a never ending one, and in the end who is the looser. I personally feel that its not just these players who lost out on wearing Pakistan colours, but a greater looser is Pakistan cricket. How londg are we going to live with such things, why are the PCB officials not answerable to any one, why is the Ministry of Sports quiet on this issue and also why is the Patron In Chief not asking the board chief about such things for it is him who has been appointing the Chief's of PCB directly.

    Coming back to the ODI's in South Africa I think teh line up for the remaining matches should be as follows Imran / Hafeez / Younis / Yousuf / Shoaib Malik / Shahid / Kamran / Azhar Mahmood / Razzak / Sami / Asif. My team does not have Inzamam in it for we should try and build up a taem for the world cup and its never too late. Inzamam is a certainty for the World Cup, at the same time he is prone to injuries so he must be rested and Shoaib should be tried as a possible substitute/cover for him at the World Cup. This would also give an opportunity to Younis to prove his worth as captain for If Inzamam falls unfit during the World Cup then he is there ready and battle hardened. I only wish the powers to be in PCB have some brains and try this out. One thing i must also add and that is that Imran, Kamran, Azhar, Shahid must always be there in any ODI out fit that Pakistan tries out for these are very valuable players and there presence does make the opponents think twice. Now about Salman Butt, he is a class act for both the forms of the game and also is a captaincy material. He should be braought back in the team and be given a confidance that he is there to atay and not just be a part of the in and out policy of PCB. I see in him a very good future captain and to be honest he alongwith Younis are the only one amongst all the Pakistani Cricketers who can handle the press with some confidance. It surprising to see Inzamam who has been playing international cricket since 1990, speak like an Idiot whan faced with the press both in english and Urdu as well. he has been theer for almost 17 years and touring with the team for such a long time, yet his english is so poor. Not only his english (which has a very big ZERO), but the way he speaks (even in urdu)gives an impression of a man lacking confidance and I would definately not accept that it is because he is a shy person. It is his job and if he cannot face the press properly than he does not justify his job and I wonder what PCB has done as far as this is concerned. Have they ever tried to groom/train him in this vital area, if not then may i ask why for I believe it is an integral part of the job that he has been assigned to do. He is very clever in other things like having Mushtaq in as assistant coach and manipulations to bring his trusted friends in the team, the likes of Razzaks and Naveeds, and keeping the ones he dosent like out of the team. He has lerned all these wrong things very fast and we still say he is shy. To me he looks more like an operator and not a shy person.

  • mohidin gundroo on February 8, 2007, 18:08 GMT

    Too early to say if Imran Nazir is the rightman to be trusted the job of a opner considering his poor technique, he is more of a slogger that carries its own risks.what we need is solid openers who can face atleast first 8-10 overs aiming no mor than 4/5 runs per over.we all know it pakistan rarely recovers if it loses wickets early on.it is worth trying malik with yasir hamid with akmal at 8/9.how about trying younus khan as a wicket keeper.it is not the right time with world cup so close to try a new wicket keeper for such a big occasion.akmal had good match as a wicket keeper that should help his confidance to score big in forth coming matches.we need to remind ourselves world cup will be played on pitches very different than SA pitchs which hopfully will suit our team.pakistan will need maximum 3 spcialist bowler and maximum alrounders with proven match winner at no 9, thanks to our thoughtless selectors, we cannot take azhar with us.pakistan must strengthen its batting lineup and score big enough to give chance to our bowlers, as we did yesterday.return of GUL should stenghthen our bowling.same applies to Shohaib but personnly mentally i will prepare for world cup with out relying on him

  • Ali on February 8, 2007, 17:56 GMT

    i think it was Nazir who starts what Afridi Finished, i think Pakistan Should Open with Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik, because he better then Kamran Akmal opening. And Afridi Should Play at nº 6

  • Masaood Yunus on February 8, 2007, 17:48 GMT

    Kamran, agreed but yet again will he be consistent or not ? This questions has plagued the team for so many years now. I am a big fan of his game and can clearly see that he isn't getting out in the slips anymore .. atleast for now. Every new opener comes, bats brilliantly in the first few games and suddenly hits the bad patch or say "bad technique finally expolited by the opposition". He played brilliantly, no doubt but the way he got out exposed his flaw as well. Next few games will witness his rise or will we witness "another bites the dust" ?

  • faheem on February 8, 2007, 17:35 GMT

    i said in a post on another blog that pakistan can play as if they are playing a schoolyard team, and rip them apart or play like the schoolyard team itself!, this is a blunt reminder to people saying we dont have the talent, indeed, no one in the world has as much talent as pak, and as much as it pains me to criticise pak after that mauling of SA, i must echo what people on this blog are already saying, youve shown us you can do it, but now show us that you can do it 90%+ of the time!

    Peace 2 all

  • Jibran on February 8, 2007, 17:34 GMT

    Whatever they say, Imran looks and feels More confident than all the other Openers on display!

    But mind you, this was the first ODI, And teams are pretty good at figuring out weaknesess. Imran will have to be Intelligent about his play in the next three games. He got 1 free in his first outing.. Lets see how he copes when the South Africans pitch it up to him.

    However, he's a very pretty player to watch when in full flow.. I distinctly missed his cover drives.

  • Gohar Abbas on February 8, 2007, 17:34 GMT

    Everybody is trying to sing the same song,Imran is this Afridi is that and so on and so forth.But the key factor to rap up all in one shot is it is important for all the players to play as a teem and not to depend on individual performances,they all should emphasize in all departments of the game especially on feidling,they should plan their game according to the circumstances they are facing,to stay calm and be composed and concentrate on their game. They should try to win the series and to keep eye on the forth coming world cup.

  • Mustafa Moiz on February 8, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    I really enjoyed Imran Nazir's innings because if he didn't perform he might have been dropped again. Afridi is getting too much praise, at least with the bat. In the last match, when it was needed, he got 17. Now, when Malik or Razzaq, who are both bigger hitters than Afridi, could have come in, he perfoms. He did it when it wasn't as important. Malik or Razzaq's innings aren't talked about that much because, unlike Afridi, they help Pakistan more by waiting until its time to hit out, and then they get better shots and more runs than Afridi. In my mind, Afridi still shouldn't be in the team. The difference between Nazir's innings and Afridi's was that Nazir was playing well and playing properly. He started the runs flowing for Pakistan and he didn't look like he was about to get out. And as the commentators said, the difference between someone like Afridi and a class player like Yousuf was that Yousuf was finding the gaps; Afridi was hitting straight to the fielder.

  • zam on February 8, 2007, 17:26 GMT

    imran played a true warrior innings; he changed the face of paksitani batting, needs to continue in same manner....bravo!

  • Riaz Hussain on February 8, 2007, 17:26 GMT

    At last we won agianst SA a much needed win before to bolstter the team's confidence for the rest of the series and eventually for the World Cup. My congrats to Pakitsan Team and their big supporters around the world. Nazir, Younis, Yousuf, Asif and Afridi all played extremely well, BUT AFRIDI was awesome and should have the Man of the match. Regarding opening pair, I think Nazir/Hafeez or Nazir/Salman Butt would be a good opening composition. Regarding bowling we need a Fit Shoaib Akhtar or Umar Gul back in Team. A combination specialist bowlers of Asif, Shoaib and Gul will be an ideal. In this situation we might need to get rid of one allrounder. Regarding Captaincy, which is very important on the field, is that Inzi does not have captaincy capabilty, he never seems to be motivating bowlers, no sense of filed placing, no capable of making strategy and right decision on the field, example does not make bowling changes when it needed.

  • Talal Hasan on February 8, 2007, 17:24 GMT

    Lets not now get carried away. That was an excellent performance from pakistan. I concur with kamran. The performances need to be consistent.

    Lets just hope this was not just a flash in the plan.

  • damien martin on February 8, 2007, 17:12 GMT

    You have rightly pointed out that it was Nazir whose aggressive innings laid the foundation for pakistan. Nazir is one of the better pullers and hookers in pakistan team. I remeber him playing a very good innings in Australia in 2003 where he got a dashing 50. I think he should learn to be more consistent and convert those 50's into hundreds

  • Riz on February 8, 2007, 16:58 GMT

    finally Nazir gets a chance after 2 years. He should make the most of it, and hopefully he will be picked for the world cup

  • Swaroop Vijayakumar on February 8, 2007, 16:54 GMT

    Pakistan played superbly in the second ODI against SAImran Nazir set the tempo for a faboulous first innings score. He is the opener Pakistan have been looking for, and they should try Malik as an opener as Akmal failed yet again.think yesterdays's team had a poerful batting line-up we just need Umar Gul or shoaib Akthar instead of Naved Pakistan have roared back in to the series and who better to announce their thumping and slightly belated arrival than perhaps the two players that are so capable but also guilty of letting the team down on innumerable occasions in the past.

  • zeeshan on February 8, 2007, 16:50 GMT

    pakistanis did show some positive and exciting cricket,everybody knows what are they capable of and it was pressure that came out at the right time, kamran akmal needs some rest , hafeez and nazir is a good opening pair to go for rest of the series and it will give them some time to settle down and build up a cordination together. it was paksitan's day yesterday and there could be more if there focus stays on the game. bravo pakistan. keep up the good spirit.

  • yours_shahiq on February 8, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    Mr.Abbasi though I enjoy reading each & every of your article & do appreciate of your work , but don;t you think it's a tad early to say "Imran pulls Pakistan out of trouble" . No doubt he played very well & laid the platform for the Pak win but I think he isn't yet a certain choice for the opening spot until he performs once again at least in the remaining matches which I'm sure he's gonna play . He's sure;ya great fielder & very talented player but he needs to be consistent , & should not need to get lost like the likes of Salman Butt , Yasir Hammed & many more who impressed with their start but failed to produce what was expected with them . I can only hope that he do takes Pakistan out of this opening dilemma .

    Also , I would like him to open with Hafeez who I think have an outstanding technique & if guided in the right direction can prove to be a future champion . In turn , either of Malik or Mahmmood or Razzaq should be opted to sit out (now when the blue eyed Afridi has fired , expecailly malik as it would maintain the balance) .

  • Imran on February 8, 2007, 16:43 GMT

    Yeah he played a good innings but depends how consistent he is. I would like you to write an article on Naved Ul Hasan. What a lucky bowler he is. By looking at him I just wonder if I would have been a friend of Inzi I would have been in the team too. I don't know how long he will stick with the team but sooner we get rid of him, the better it will be.

  • Imran Iqbal on February 8, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    Guys, stop complaining about ability of Imran & Afridi to score on flat wickets. One day cricket is all about batting and flat wickets. How many sporting wickets we see these days any ways?? Important thing is they should perform more often...

  • Sibtain on February 8, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    Yes..finallyyy! Imran Nazir is back in the Pakistan team.. he should have been in the team after the warm up game against India where he killed the Indian bowlers. To this day i dont understand why he was dropped in the first place? I mean on his day he can destroy any bowling attack and he is a great fielder... probably the best in Pakistan.. i mean the guy dives for the ball instead of waving is hand for the fielder behind him. I am not saying that he is the only one, there is Afridi, Shoaib Malik & thats it. I think the board said something about him not being consistent or some BS like that... heck is our board consistent in anything that it does? By the way the board has to do something with Rana Naved... for some funny reason i think he is very well connected or something because I cannot understand how this guy is in the team. I think PCB should think about giving those 2 under 19 bowlers a chance. I think their names are : 1) Anwar Ali Khan and 2)Jamshed Ahmed or something(basically a carbon copy of Wasim Akram)

  • Euceph Ahmed on February 8, 2007, 16:33 GMT

    The whole team fired and the whole team deserves the man-of-the-match award. Even Kamran Akmal made a nice stumping and didn't drop a catch. Inzamam made a diving stop, what else can you ask for?

  • Arshad M. Anjum on February 8, 2007, 16:32 GMT

    Imran Nazir deserve accolades, as he badly destroyed South African's game plan, at very earlier stage. He is capable to carry on as a solid and reliable opener for Pakistan. Although Pakistan bowling department contained South Africans for mere 210, still needs much more improvement, especially for all seamers.

  • Tariq on February 8, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    Azhar Mahmood's knee was being attended to as the match ended. Will he be yet another casualty taking a flight back home after a short stay in SA?

  • ali on February 8, 2007, 16:27 GMT

    Every opener pakistan has played over the past couple of seasons has shown signs of brilliance. Talent is not lacking mental toughness is. I think nazir is an ideal odi player specially because he is an excellent fielder. the guy is one of the most talented players we have produced but he needs to score big runs. i give him credit for coming back into the side under a situation where previous pakistani sides would have packed up and gone home but his counterattack gave the whole team confidence. I have said this forever mcgrath and pollock and even asif can be hit u need to be bold though. u need to know how to hit the pull.

  • Bob Woolmer on February 8, 2007, 16:24 GMT

    Lets not get too excited, Nazir's innings can be best described as lucky. The way he batted (very similar to the domestic 20/20 competition), top edges going for sixes and falling in no man's land and the manner in which he eventually got out, wasn't that reassuring. He is as much a walking wicket as Afridi. And lets not forget the flatness of the track and the fact that Saffers bowled horribly throughout the game. I am willing to predict that this innings would be the best effort from Nazir we will see in the whole series. He won't be crossing the fifty mark anytime soon.

  • malik on February 8, 2007, 16:20 GMT

    I think openers have been a long time problem for pakistan now, but it's not because we do not have potential but because they don't play consistantly well, what I don't understand is that where does Mr. Bob Woulme stand in all this?, isn't this a coach's job to let any playe know of their bad habits as a batsman or a bowler, that everybody has, or is it all about showing us his labtop in every game. He has to talk with players about their weaknesses also, to help them built their careers and good totls for pakistan.

  • Abu Bakar on February 8, 2007, 16:18 GMT

    I think we might have perfected the final XI for the world cup...but what shud be changed is that shoaib malik who i think has like 3 centuries as an opener brought back to number 2 and kamran akmal allowed to play more freely in the lower middle order...Rana Naveed should be sent back to the academy to work out his problems and Azher Mahmood retained as a 12th man cover

  • Haris Akhtar on February 8, 2007, 16:15 GMT

    the Pakistan team needs some consistency to have good world cup, all that is needed is the return of Umar Gul and Shoaib Akhtar and they will be full strength, Nazir needs to prove himself

  • Ghalib Taimur on February 8, 2007, 16:08 GMT

    Yes..for how log have we been saying bring back Imran and he finally shows his true colour.He set up the innings perfectly.Now get back Salman Butt and Pak have a gr8 opening pair.

  • syed omer ali qadri on February 8, 2007, 16:08 GMT

    imran nazir has shown true potenial..however he needs to be consistent. i belive this was the best team pak has fieled since a long time. We need shoaib or gul back so that asif can get a good support. rana sami or rao are completely useless. they cant keep batsmen under pressure for a long time like asif and shoaib. I belive Malik should open with nazir. so that when nazir is slogging, malik can anchor the other end and then with yousaf younis and inzi he can build the innings. Then we'll have akmal, afridi, razzaq & mahmood for sloging overs.

  • Asad Bangash on February 8, 2007, 15:59 GMT

    Pakistan is Backkk and Backkk with a Bang !!

  • Aftab Amin on February 8, 2007, 15:56 GMT

    PCB has some serious issues. Its full of people who sit back hands on stomachs and pretend to act like they are doing some work. Reintroducing Azhar is a hit and miss move much like the adhoc commitees and meetings they have. I felt that Imrans return was pointless. However Imran and Shahid played very well and i feel that pehaps Afridi should have recieved the man of the match he was deserving it and reciveving recognition would have fired him up for the coming match.

  • Ammad Siddiquii on February 8, 2007, 15:54 GMT

    Here we go again. Is it just in our blood or Imran Nazir really that good? I know there have been many calls for him to be in the team, but one match is no good. His domestic form isnt too great, imagine what will he be able to at the international level. Even though I do want him to succeed for the sake of a reliable opener, but I just dont see that happening. Well lets just pray he succeeds big time. Why not bring back Malik as opener instead of wasting him down the order. Akmal would be better down.

  • Symposium on February 8, 2007, 15:53 GMT

    Bill Shankly the legendary liverpool coach once said team sport is like a piano.You need Three people who can play it and the rest can carry the damn thing.It is very important for pakistan fans to be patient with this team.I heard an overzealous SA reporter asked Inzamam about a possible whitewash.He was rightly irritated.Pakistan is justfiably the 3rd best team and people shouldnt worry too much about the number of all rounders,they will all play a role for the team in the world cup.The problem with subcontinent teams is they want demi gods to be the only players in the team.It now time for a good batsman who can field to be chosen ahead of a classy batsman.pakistan will never reach aussie or west indian heights if the fielding does not improve.i mean its bad enough having mohammed yosuf in the team in terms of running,even khan looks to have caught on.Right now there is a bowling crisis and besides the injuries it seems bowlers are not improving.who knows,maybe asif could follow naved.People need to realise that afridi is in the team as a bowler only.batting is a bonus.there is no way you can drop kamran after watching the video of him and razzaq save the test in india.you just have to pray that he improves.younnis no matter what people thinks has to play in the odi squad,even just as a fielder.He is the only player who plays with a genuine plan,its just that his batting limitations mean his plans dont come of.He was the best batsman during the test series.He may not be flamboyant but there is more to cricket than classy shots.Its time bob and the PCB gave central contracts to at least 18 players and definetly there is no way shoaib and inzy can continue playing both forms of the game.Shoaib no matter what some think is a legend to most young players and pakistans best test bowler.The problem is every time he comes back he upsets the balance of the team like michael vaughn does for england.No wonder Bob was hurt.He knew pakistan would not win the series without their most experienced quick.Rana definetely cannot play test cricket and Hafeez I believe has the best technique for test cricket at least.The best young opener is salman butt not because of technique but because he has a cricket brain.i like what I saw in Imran and if he can field he can play for my life.L am more worried about abdul,he seems lost and malik is a class player.

  • Chx asif on February 8, 2007, 15:52 GMT

    I think yesterdays's team had a poerful batting line-up we just need Umar Gul or shoaib Akthar instead of Naved

  • Mohamed Admani on February 8, 2007, 15:49 GMT

    Pakistan played superbly in the second ODI against SA. However they need to reflect on how they won. This is due to a brilliant platform set by Imran Nazir and helped along by YO-YO. Afridi came in to do what he does best - slog. My reason is that he performed well was because he had no pressure as a solid base was set up with plenty of wickets in hand. Overall a very good performance and i hate to see Kamran Akmal being criticised as he took a couple of hard chances behind stumps. Batting needs improvement - maybe a different batting position. Open with Shoaib Malik and Imran Nazir. Hope to see the 3rd ODI and hoping Pakistan win

  • Syed Tawhid on February 8, 2007, 15:46 GMT

    I agree Afridi should have been man of the match, and Imran Nazir set the tempo for a faboulous first innings score. He is the opener Pakistan have been looking for, and they should try Malik as an opener as Akmal failed yet again.

  • mustafa on February 8, 2007, 15:44 GMT

    Imran was the real man of the match he changed the whole psychi of the pakistani team. Turned the likes of pollock and ntini under pressure who never recovered. I also think that south Africans bowled a lot of short deliveries on a good batting pitch. They took pakistan lightly and payed the price. More consistency is needed from Imran Nazir. He is talented like Afridi, certainly better technique then him but the same temperament and short selection. What they both do in the coming days will really show the right picture. Asif bowling 10 straight overs i dont think he will make it to the end of series. Another pakistani way of destroying talent. Azhar is back in the light he also has to prove himself.

  • Danish Khan on February 8, 2007, 15:40 GMT

    And Kamran bhai, thank you for making Imran's knock a headline; true Younis, Yousaf and Afridi's knock, and for that matter Inziiiiii's run out :) are more than worth a praise. Imran's 50 is nothing short of either.

  • tahir saeed on February 8, 2007, 15:37 GMT

    imran played a special knock here,as a openner u always doesnt need perfect technique,as chris gayle or v.sehweg, every batsman have its weakness,but u need 2 show consistencey,but both oppeners(gayle & sehweg) are lucky there partners are very senior ,sehwag have tendulkar and gayle have chander paul,if nazir get inzamm who is wasted himself at no 6,then its good for him,its the only solution 2 solve our betting problem.

  • Danish Khan on February 8, 2007, 15:37 GMT

    Correct me if I am wrong, but Viv Richards had highly spoken of Imran Nazir; and apart from his highlighting of Imran's talent, I myself was a big fan of his strokeplay, especially against McGrath. Which is why I was so amazed that he has been dropped from the side!! Although we have missed a lot of him, it is still pleasant to know that he is back -and in such a way. Talent needs to be nurtured and given chances, he is of more right to this than Imran Farhat.

  • Ali Majid on February 8, 2007, 15:36 GMT

    An emphatic performance to seal a most emphatic victory. Pakistan have roared back in to the series and who better to announce their thumping and slightly belated arrival than perhaps the two players that are so capable but also guilty of letting the team down on innumerable occasions in the past. Nazir and Afridi showed yesterday that the Pakistani lineup is capable of brilliance on its day but the major problem remains is how often does that particular day occurs. It was definately Nazir's innings that swung the pendulam in Pakistan's favour as it was the early onslaught that basically announced to the South Africans that Pakistan might go down but will go down with a bang. Nazir looked to be in prime form (although he did commit the cardinal sin of throwing away a century that was there for the taking). What is needed now is for him to show some kind of consistency otherwise a week from now all Pakistan supporters will again be scratching their heads and trying come up with opening combinations. One thing that has been proven by this performance is that the Pakistani brand of cricket is most effective when it is in the form of attacking, adventurous and high paced cricket. One more point that I would like to make is that the situation yesterday was perhaps an ideal platform for Afridi to launch his assault. I have my reservations about his batting position when Pakistan are say 93/4. For this reason and as far as being adventurous is concerned, would the idea of opening the innings with both Nazir and Afridi be one that might be considered in the next three matches? I think that it might work although some might say that there is a difference between being adventurous and being stupid.

  • concerned pakistani on February 8, 2007, 15:36 GMT

    Imran Nazir and Shahid Afridi can play only in flat wickets because fo their wrong batting technices. And in West Indies batting is very difficult as the pitches are very slow, where we need batsmen who can accumulate runs like hafeez, yunis and yusuf. Both Imran and Afridi are highly inconsistent, Afridi scoring a match winning innings may be after every 30-40 matches. They should learn from Dhoni how he bats according to the situation. I think how many matches Dhoni single handedly won for India in 2005-2006, Afridi did not win for Pakistan in the last 10 years since he is playing. So its too early to count on them. Can we rely on these 2, the way they play, they are susceptible to get out each ball. I hope Pakistan takes a balanced team to the world cup.

  • Junaid Aho on February 8, 2007, 15:36 GMT

    its weird that Imran is not playing at the team when he is more stable and make more runs than the other openers who came in with politics. and its also weird that players like afridi and kamran akmal and to an big extent inzamam isnt dropped after a whole year without any runs. If Imran haves just 2 or 3 bad matches he is dropped from the team just like yassir hameed. Why this different?

  • AZFAR on February 8, 2007, 15:31 GMT

    Enjoyed the 2nd ODI. It was good to see Pakistan win with good performances. I have only word as I described earlier, lets see how long can we carry on. Yes, the word is... you got it.. CONSISTENT. Show me repeats, repeats, repeats, no matter we win or loose, there should be some bone to our show at all times! Keep watching with a ANTACID

  • M Mahboob Hossain on February 8, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    The topic shows how desperate Pakistan is for a reasonable opener. Yes, Imran did play a scintillating knock, specially after coming back (One of my greatest surprise, why he is dropped from ODI? Effectively his average of 25 is better than most Pakistanis 35, since he contributes at least 10 in the field). But, his innings had some typical Pakistani essence (Flaw) - Going after the new ball with insanity, brilliant stroke play as well as some cross batted slog, pre-determined shot selection & most importantly, not balancing the mode of attack & defense, which eventually has resulted to so many Pakistani Openers since Sayeed & Amir – dismissed at a critically wrong time & invariably courtesy of a wrong shot selection to an inappropriate ball. He had South Africans at his mercy, the hard work was done, only had to adopt the attitude of selfishness, to play for his century. Younus & Yousuf this time covered for him, but against a good side, not every time Pakistan can afford, a cross-batted brainless slog, when the score is 80 @ around 7 & your opener is on 57 of 39.

    The difference between the Aussie or Indian & the Paki opener is that is that, they struggle at the start & stroll through to 100, taking the game away from opposition, these fellows starts brilliantly & through it, only from the opposition to crawl back.

    3 more games to go, wish Imran at least once shows the tendency to survive, for he plays with arguably the current best combined 3, 4 & 5, followed by most destructive 6, 7 & 8. Come young man, play for your career. 57 of 39 sounds good, but 114 of 139 will count higher.

  • Khurram Ahmed (Jamaica) on February 8, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    I've been among those long awaiting the return of Imran Nazir, but don't think one innings should guarantee him spot on the squad of 15. He needs to do what he did at least once more.

    People too often criticize Afridi's inconsistency with the bat and forget what he brings with the ball and on the field. Let's not forget that he had Kemp cleanly trapped LBW, but never got the decision.

    Akmal did a decent job behind the stumps but Haider deserves his opportunity. So does Abdur Rehman. Please tell me they came to South Africa for a reason.

    When SA were 5 or 6 down and the req. run rate was approaching 8 RPO, Inzamam should have brought Rana back for one more spell to determine whether the pacer deserved a chance in the next match. As it is, I don't think his space can be justified.

    Younis was a great call for the Player of the Match award. Selfless and more fluid than Yousuf. He also came in when the score was 1 for 1. And no one else on the Pakistani side could have taken his catch on Ashwell Prince.

    Azhar outplayed Razzaq but lost all his steam in 4 overs. How did he pass a fitness test that Shoaib Akhtar and Shabbir failed?

    If Asif had been anything less than perfect, the match would have been very, very different. He didn't get enough credit for his work. What more does a bowler have to do for the Player of the Match award?

  • chiranjeebee on February 8, 2007, 15:29 GMT

    With the return of Imran Nazir as an explosive opener, Pakistin's side lookes like full of fireworkers. While Afridi returned in is dangerous form, there is already Abdul Razak down the order who is another afridi in the final overs. also there is rock solid middle order comprising yunis, Inzi and Yousuf. Now the only problem is in bowling department. In absence of Sohaib Akthar and Gul the fast bowling depends on superb Asif and the spin depends on the alrounders. So there is an immidiate need of either Kaneria or Rahman as a specialist spinner.Also, Akmal's form is very importent for pakistan. It would not reasonable to drop him in the eve of WC. he has done very well with the bat as well as with the gloves in the past. so just let him play down the order where he feels most comfortable. It is better to get back Afridi in the opening now.

  • Atif on February 8, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    Its far too earlier to comment on Imran nazir's progress as one day opener, considering the fact that he has failed once in tour and blugeoned other time around. But if you go by basics i am failed to understand why pakistani selectors keep giving chances to Imran farhat with no or little batting & fielding talent (excuse me farhat). Imran Nazir is a destructive player and Pakistan certainly need someone who can take the game on from the start but can last for 30-40 balls, so our middle order can do what they are good at, and in later part of the innings we certainly have few players who can clear the rope easily. Pakistani team should not depend on Shoaib Akhtar during world cup as he might only be able to play 2-3 matches max, so we need fit and firing gul , asif , razzaq , shabbir/Sami.

    Inzamam is out of sort for quite sometime in one days.

    All in all Pakistan can do better in WC, but i am not betting for the whole tournament.

  • Sohaib khan on February 8, 2007, 15:26 GMT

    Yet another opener comes into contention and he fires on his path of comeback, but can they hold the seat long enough that is question one should ask. We have long lamented for the returns of players like imran farhat, salman butt, taufiq umer, and yasir hameed. But the story is the same Inconsistency, yes it was nice and everyone can jump on Imran nazir bandwagon yet again. But for me and any pakistani with enough sense just hold on and wait. I hope he can destroy every attack just like he did SA, but can he provide us with some sensible and responsible innings..that's yet to happen from any opener ...we all have seen glimpses but someone has yet to put their hand up.

  • Hussain on February 8, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    Not to undermine other's performances but I think his 57 were more valuable than yousuf,younis and afridi's score cuz he put the pressure on the bowlers, gave the other batsmen confidence with a flying start. To me he was the man of the match

  • Atif Irfan on February 8, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    Imran Nazir should have been in the team long long time ago but anyway ''dairr ayed durustt ayed'' now we should open with Younis Khan and Nazir combination. One is very destructive and the other one is best 'thippoo' ever produced by Pakistan. That will make a best opening pair and Kamran Akmal can slip back at no 6.

  • bilal chaudhry on February 8, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    For the first time in the last month or so i did not see a pakistani opener dancing on the pitch ,squaring up and eventually giving a nice little edge to the slips.....well done imran i ve always been a staunch supporter of imran.He should never have been dropped at the first place.He has that ability to dominate just like Gilcrist or Jaysuria.Neither does he tries to hit every ball nor does he leave every bad ball.Imran should be the opener for pakistan in the world cup.A good start from the opener is so vital ,it gives the whole batting line up a momentum .Immran is far beter than any other opener pakistan have tried over the last two years.He is an energetic fielder as well.Imran just needs to learn how to be consistent and he can easily cement his place in the team.

  • Ash on February 8, 2007, 15:22 GMT

    It was good innings which set the tone for rest of the Pakistani innings, but was it just one good innings like Afridi or is he the answer to our long lasting opening problem, that remains to be seen. it's sad to see we are still in search of one reliable opening pair when world cup is just around the corner.Nonetheless he is worthy to be picked up for opening place in the World Cup.

  • Sohaib on February 8, 2007, 15:19 GMT

    Indeed - one ODI is not enough to decide an opener - we have already had our hopes high for Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed and Mohammed Hafeez. Inzi was right when he said that there is a limit to the number of chances a player can be given. If Imran Nazir plays well in the next few ODIs, Pakistan should have him and Akmal open, or even open with Younis Khan, since he opens anyways! Then bring in Shoaib Malik and number 3, followed by Yousuf and Inzi. The other four positions are taken by Afridi, Akmal, Razzaq and Mahmood. Asif needs a partner for number 10 - Gul get fit!

  • BH Syed on February 8, 2007, 15:18 GMT

    No one should ever doubt the potential Pakistan's cricket team has. What has always, however, been in question is their consistency. That is exactly the reason Pakistan cricket has more fans than one can believe. You never know what's coming. The crescendo-decrescendo emotions you experience being a Pakistani fan is second to none.

    Come to think of it, being an Aussie fan must be pretty boring as the outcome is rarely in doubt.

  • Imaduddin Ahmed on February 8, 2007, 15:17 GMT

    I was really happy to see the return of Imran Nazir and Shahid Afridi. Though he didn't get much to do in the match, it was also great to see Azhar Mahmood back. This might have been the strongest team Pakistan can field - I think it's a toss up between Shoaib Akhtar and Naved; Shoaib can get the wickets but Naved, when he's on song, is stingy.

    Oh - there's one more who could also be welcomed back - Saqi. How about having the world's finest finger spinner represent in the WC?

  • Muhammad Amer on February 8, 2007, 15:14 GMT

    I think it is too early to "praise" Imran and Afridi. I agree they both have shown class with great confidence and need encouragement but unfortunate to say they both lack in what they call consistency. Needless to say both of them have secured next couple of games but do you have faith in them as a reliable batsman..is a million dollar question ? Amer

  • umair on February 8, 2007, 15:14 GMT

    Yes, its really true that Imran has given pakistan the start they have wantyed to level dice.But we cannot say everything is perfgect now unlesss he carries on the same momentum to the upcoming games.

    Reagrding kamran akmal i still believe he a class act and treat to watch if he overcomes his fears which are around him for long time otherwise definately we requre zulqarnain into his place but i am not sure about his batting abilities as compared to kamran at his best.

    Finally i must say pakistan has the most gifted players but all run in different directions apart from focusing on single goal like they have done yesterday by taking a perfect revenage from their counterpart. we can really pray that we will see same performances from all pakistani player like they have done yesterday.

  • Ahsan on February 8, 2007, 15:14 GMT

    I agree. I think Imran Nazir's innings was the most valuable in terms of putting our team on track. If he'd fallen cheaply, the pressure would have been on Younis & Yousuf.

    He did his job as an opener: he gave the rest of the batsmen a rocking start.

  • Shahid on February 8, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    Kamran you got it absolutely right. It is really important that Imran shows consistency. I think Pakistan have two very good openers now in the form of Imran and Hafeez and they have potential and if we can give them a long run they should prove to be a handful for the opposition. Hafeez has shown good technique and if he can learn not to throw his wicket away after getting a good start. I hope both Imran and Hafeez start showing consistency, if not then i would have Inzi open the inning for Pakistan instead of just wasting him down the order. He should learn to lead from the front just like Ponting, Fleming, Dravid, and Graeme Smith. Glad to see that Pakistan still remains a threat for the WC 2007. Keeping our fingers crossed. May Allah help them.

  • Muazzam Siddiqui on February 8, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    I was surprised myslef when Afridi did not get man of the match award. Imran Nazir did play very well but he needs to be consistent to carve out a spot in the world cup squad, and so does Afridi.

  • intoxicated on February 8, 2007, 15:10 GMT

    It was great to c pakistan getting a good start just for a change, but the questions are still arising in my mind. Is Kamran Akmal good enough to face the other attacks in the world if we leave alone Australia.May b if Imran nazir is in good form then he could be an option to attack the oppsition.If Younus Khan has to come in within the first five overs in every game, then why cant we play him as an opener for better stability. Inzimam apears to have no scense atall when it comes to bowling changes.Razzaq bowling his first over, when the slog was on in the 46th over of the innings. why cant someone go and tell him that a fast bowler needs 2-3 overs to get warmed up and to be in the rythm.Why cant someone tell him that Asif is his ace in the world cup and after bowling 100 plus overs in the tests it is very cruel to him to ask him to bowl 10 in a trot in such heat............

  • Irfan Ali on February 8, 2007, 15:08 GMT

    thats right kamran he did look good and looks a good choice as opener for pakistan. however it is only one game and he needs to prove himself over the next three games against south africa if he is going to be pakistans opener in the world cup.Talking about kamran akmal I still he should open the innings.I am still positive that he can prove himself in the next couple of games ahead of the world cup.

  • Kiran Zubair (New York) on February 8, 2007, 15:05 GMT

    Imran Nazir proved what a lot of us fans have been saying for a very long time - ie - Imran Nazir is 10 times better than the likes of Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez and Yasir Hameed. Despite all this, Nazir was kept out of the team for far too long. He is the best fielder in Pakistan, and one of our most exciting ODI batsman. Pakistan should stick with Nazir for a very LONG time from now on - sure, he will fail occasionally as everyone does, but his talent and ability make him a MATCH-WINNER, something that the likes of Yasir Hameed, Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat never were. Farhat,Hameed and Hafeez have never played a match winning innings for Pakistan ever, whereas Nazir has done so on many a occasion. I think Nazir will be equally destructive in the West Indies, where he already has a test and ODI century to his name in those conditions. After the World Cup, I hope Pakisntan recalls Salman Butt, and then we can finally have a world class ODI opening pair in Butt and Nazir.

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on February 8, 2007, 14:57 GMT

    Yes! He got Pakistan off to a flyer! CHanging the psyche of the top order early on. I doubt he will be consistent enough. One hot day doesn't make a summer!

  • rodzilla1010 on February 8, 2007, 14:45 GMT

    salam, yes you pointed out well, but before the wagon departs let me add a few words. Imran's techinique regardless of the runs scored is woeful. THe way he got out on 57, playing accross the line is not how a "specialist" opener should play. He got 57 on a flat track, but if he continues with this technique he ont be ablt to cross single figures on pitches which ask for more. I know i will get some drubbing for it, but Imran seems no different from Hamid or Butt or farhat or Hafiz. however, lets enjoy it while it lasts.

    On the second hand, finally Afridi was sent at the right position and by the right position i dont mean #6, i mean when Pakistan needed a slogget. He should be sent to batwhenever Pak needs quick runs not when we need consolidation, And the Imporatant thing is expct a 50 every 20th match not every 2nd, he is a slogger and days when he will score bulks will come less often.

    PS- Younis deserved the MOM. The most selfless innings of the match.

  • Sohail on February 8, 2007, 14:44 GMT

    Read any blog, any forum, or woolmer site itself. The most requests ever made for any player to bring back was about Imran Nazir. Without any doubt there was reason behind it. The guy has aamazing talent. He proved it. I was afraid, the way PCB selectors are they might just drop him right after 20/20. Lets hope he brings more glory to PAK in world cup. Believe or not a lot of praise has gone to Afridi, younis and Yousaf yesterday, but the guy who really set the tone and platform was Imran. If it was up to Hafeez or Frahat, best scenario would have been 30 scratchy runs before they get out and the rest of team will be playing under pressure.

  • Mohsin Irshad on February 8, 2007, 14:29 GMT

    Yeah he is an exciting puller ofthe bowl, not many have forgotten his 70 odd runs in Sharjah , when smashed SA attack to every part of the ground

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  • Mohsin Irshad on February 8, 2007, 14:29 GMT

    Yeah he is an exciting puller ofthe bowl, not many have forgotten his 70 odd runs in Sharjah , when smashed SA attack to every part of the ground

  • Sohail on February 8, 2007, 14:44 GMT

    Read any blog, any forum, or woolmer site itself. The most requests ever made for any player to bring back was about Imran Nazir. Without any doubt there was reason behind it. The guy has aamazing talent. He proved it. I was afraid, the way PCB selectors are they might just drop him right after 20/20. Lets hope he brings more glory to PAK in world cup. Believe or not a lot of praise has gone to Afridi, younis and Yousaf yesterday, but the guy who really set the tone and platform was Imran. If it was up to Hafeez or Frahat, best scenario would have been 30 scratchy runs before they get out and the rest of team will be playing under pressure.

  • rodzilla1010 on February 8, 2007, 14:45 GMT

    salam, yes you pointed out well, but before the wagon departs let me add a few words. Imran's techinique regardless of the runs scored is woeful. THe way he got out on 57, playing accross the line is not how a "specialist" opener should play. He got 57 on a flat track, but if he continues with this technique he ont be ablt to cross single figures on pitches which ask for more. I know i will get some drubbing for it, but Imran seems no different from Hamid or Butt or farhat or Hafiz. however, lets enjoy it while it lasts.

    On the second hand, finally Afridi was sent at the right position and by the right position i dont mean #6, i mean when Pakistan needed a slogget. He should be sent to batwhenever Pak needs quick runs not when we need consolidation, And the Imporatant thing is expct a 50 every 20th match not every 2nd, he is a slogger and days when he will score bulks will come less often.

    PS- Younis deserved the MOM. The most selfless innings of the match.

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on February 8, 2007, 14:57 GMT

    Yes! He got Pakistan off to a flyer! CHanging the psyche of the top order early on. I doubt he will be consistent enough. One hot day doesn't make a summer!

  • Kiran Zubair (New York) on February 8, 2007, 15:05 GMT

    Imran Nazir proved what a lot of us fans have been saying for a very long time - ie - Imran Nazir is 10 times better than the likes of Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez and Yasir Hameed. Despite all this, Nazir was kept out of the team for far too long. He is the best fielder in Pakistan, and one of our most exciting ODI batsman. Pakistan should stick with Nazir for a very LONG time from now on - sure, he will fail occasionally as everyone does, but his talent and ability make him a MATCH-WINNER, something that the likes of Yasir Hameed, Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat never were. Farhat,Hameed and Hafeez have never played a match winning innings for Pakistan ever, whereas Nazir has done so on many a occasion. I think Nazir will be equally destructive in the West Indies, where he already has a test and ODI century to his name in those conditions. After the World Cup, I hope Pakisntan recalls Salman Butt, and then we can finally have a world class ODI opening pair in Butt and Nazir.

  • Irfan Ali on February 8, 2007, 15:08 GMT

    thats right kamran he did look good and looks a good choice as opener for pakistan. however it is only one game and he needs to prove himself over the next three games against south africa if he is going to be pakistans opener in the world cup.Talking about kamran akmal I still he should open the innings.I am still positive that he can prove himself in the next couple of games ahead of the world cup.

  • intoxicated on February 8, 2007, 15:10 GMT

    It was great to c pakistan getting a good start just for a change, but the questions are still arising in my mind. Is Kamran Akmal good enough to face the other attacks in the world if we leave alone Australia.May b if Imran nazir is in good form then he could be an option to attack the oppsition.If Younus Khan has to come in within the first five overs in every game, then why cant we play him as an opener for better stability. Inzimam apears to have no scense atall when it comes to bowling changes.Razzaq bowling his first over, when the slog was on in the 46th over of the innings. why cant someone go and tell him that a fast bowler needs 2-3 overs to get warmed up and to be in the rythm.Why cant someone tell him that Asif is his ace in the world cup and after bowling 100 plus overs in the tests it is very cruel to him to ask him to bowl 10 in a trot in such heat............

  • Muazzam Siddiqui on February 8, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    I was surprised myslef when Afridi did not get man of the match award. Imran Nazir did play very well but he needs to be consistent to carve out a spot in the world cup squad, and so does Afridi.

  • Shahid on February 8, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    Kamran you got it absolutely right. It is really important that Imran shows consistency. I think Pakistan have two very good openers now in the form of Imran and Hafeez and they have potential and if we can give them a long run they should prove to be a handful for the opposition. Hafeez has shown good technique and if he can learn not to throw his wicket away after getting a good start. I hope both Imran and Hafeez start showing consistency, if not then i would have Inzi open the inning for Pakistan instead of just wasting him down the order. He should learn to lead from the front just like Ponting, Fleming, Dravid, and Graeme Smith. Glad to see that Pakistan still remains a threat for the WC 2007. Keeping our fingers crossed. May Allah help them.

  • Ahsan on February 8, 2007, 15:14 GMT

    I agree. I think Imran Nazir's innings was the most valuable in terms of putting our team on track. If he'd fallen cheaply, the pressure would have been on Younis & Yousuf.

    He did his job as an opener: he gave the rest of the batsmen a rocking start.