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February 14, 2007

South Africa

I'm embarrassed, are you?

Kamran Abbasi

Well done to South Africa. They have outbatted, outbowled, outfielded, and out-committed Pakistan. Having said that, the way Pakistan have played most of this series it wouldn't have taken much to do so. The fact that South Africa have been exceptional has added to Pakistan's embarrassment. Indeed, the last two games have been a complete shambles.

Pakistan give the impression of a team without spirit, strategy, or spine. They are going backwards in all departments. This is as dejected as I've ever felt before a World Cup campaign and I've been lucky enough to witness all of them. Pakistan's progress from the last World Cup looks at the moment to be precisely zero. In a month's time, in different conditions, it might be a different story. That would be typical of Pakistan and they certainly have the players to turn it around. But when the failures are so abject and so persistent I worry about the leadership.

Bob and Inzy need to invigorate their troops, inspire them to greater heights, make them fight for every moment of their existence. The current Pakistan team looks lethargic, uninspired, and unwilling to fight. Worst of all the whole show looks unprofessional. If day in day out I was letting down 160 million people at home and many millions more abroad, I'd be embarrassed. Indeed, my shame might drive me to fight for those millions of people rooting for me.

Where is the shame? We need to know it's there, because I tell you boys there's plenty of embarrassment out there. Pakistan were once famous for being cornered tigers but they are now frightened rabbits. Where is the shame boys? Where is the pride? You might carry it in your hearts but you also need to wear it on your sleeves.

Pakistan fans are often criticised for being fickle, but the reality is--and it's obvious reading comments on this blog--that success in cricket really matters to Pakistanis everywhere. We need to know and see that it also matters to the players, captain, and coach. When this World Cup becomes history it will be the performances of the players and the achievements of the captain and coach that will be remembered. The failings--and they are genuine failings--of the administrators will be barely considered.

The bottom line is that the squad and management must succeed despite the crazy way the country's cricket is run. They might not owe it to their cricket board but they certainly owe it to their many millions of die-hard supporters. Let's hope we see a different Pakistan and different leadership in a month's time.

Pakistan's equipment went missing recently but nobody told us that they'd lost their heart as well.

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

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Posted by Ahmed Ismail on (March 6, 2007, 6:48 GMT)

well it is said right if pakistan wants to win this world cup it is damn sure they have to have team spirit on their side they need to inprove their feilding and batting we dont need55\4 we dont want 392 runs tobe on us inorder to win WC they need determination and spirt

Posted by Sarim Ali Toronto on (February 24, 2007, 21:13 GMT)

I think that there is no point of being embarrased south africa is an amazing team with brillian batting bowling and fielding. but all pakistan has right now is 1 bowler-asif, and just 2 batsmen- yousuf and younus. Our coach and captain are doing absoloutly nothing there ruining everything BOB WOOLMER IS THE WORST COACH THT IVE SEEN. pakistan has had many many legends but they go out and get a coach tht probably doesnt even know how to spell cricket.Javed miandad was a great coach and they took him out beacuse their stupid well done pcb for putting us in a crisis. The players dont even understand half of the things the coach says. AND OUR CAPTAIN ONLY SCORES IN 1 GAME OUT OF 10 AND STILL PEOPLE ARE CRAZY ABOUT HIM I JUSS DONT GET IT. HE DID NOTHING IN THE BALL TAMPERING SITUATION. ill be surprised to see pakistan make the semifinals,

Posted by Nabeel on (February 24, 2007, 5:13 GMT)

I agree to that Kamran.

Posted by Faraz, California USA on (February 21, 2007, 16:34 GMT)

May Allah save Pakistan, its people and specially its cricket...Amen

Posted by nasar freed on (February 21, 2007, 13:03 GMT)

Pakistan need to come up with a new strategy, they still play under oldskool tactics even though the game of cricket has changed. When batting, they never get off to a good start, which makes life harder for the middle order, who seem comtempt with just taking singles here n there and not going after the bowling (jus incase of further loss of wickets). As a result no one punishes the lesser bowlers in the middle of the inning. Towards the end, if wickets are in hand they hit out, which sometimes pays off, but sometimes doesnt. Therefore you never end up with a decent enough total for the opposition. Thats why pakistan are struggling....!!!!! To overcome this first pakistan need to get off to a good start, so ... One of their main batsmen needs to open, inzy is my preference. Along with yasir hammeed. Then you can have younas khan, mohd yousaf and shoaib malik come in (these three run quick between the wickets) so stragtegy should be, keep the scoreboard ticking with quick singles and boundaries (remeber they should punish the lessor bowlers, not just milk them. Then once a decent platform is made, you can have your allrounders(hitters.. afridi's, razaks, azhar's etc...) come out and paste the bowling. This way pakistan will always have a decent score posted for the opposition.

Another factor people are always overlooking is PAKISTANS FIELDING, its a disgrace. Other good fielding teams, save atleast 50 runs in the field.... pakistan, normally give away 50 runs. They need to stop giving away easy singles, make it harder for batsmen to score, get the bastmen playing risky shots. This all could be achieved, if the fielding improved dramatically. I do suggest that specialist fielding coaches are brought into pakistan, not for the current team, cos theres not much you can do to them now, but for the domestic level. These upcoming future of pakistani cricket need to be taught, whilse they are young... this way when they mke it to the senior team. They will have good fielding skills... so i hope for the future of pakistani cricket FIELDING is given as much importance as bowling and batting !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Mustafa Khalid on (February 21, 2007, 10:33 GMT)

The last line was exactly what was in my mind...the problem with our team is exactly what it was last year...the team is not going for form but for experience...but i still have high hopes from this team...and i like all other Pakistanis am praying for success in the windies...

Posted by Imran on (February 21, 2007, 8:01 GMT)

Rana is a big burden on the team. Now as he has been selected in the team I want him to play against the big teams and not the minnows and get more beating. In this world cup, Pakistan chances are not very high so atleast after the worldcup Rana not being seen in the team will be a blessing.

Posted by Jawad Ahmed, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on (February 21, 2007, 6:59 GMT)

I've referred to Qasim Saeed and not Qaiser Saeed.

Posted by Jawad Ahmed, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on (February 21, 2007, 6:41 GMT)

I 100% agree with Qaiser Saeed. Religion (Islam) is the most valuable asset we Muslims have got, other all issues are trivial against it.

Posted by Rehan Qureshi on (February 21, 2007, 5:09 GMT)

WoW ... more than 700 posts ... havent seen that before ... you really said what all of us wanted to say! "Pakistan's equipment went missing recently but nobody told us that they'd lost their heart as well."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the international editor of the British Medical Journal. @KamranAbbasi

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