World Cup 2007 March 25, 2007

Asian giants become minnows

Some might say that the World Cup is better off without the bloated stars of India and Pakistan but it's a punishment for arrogance, decadence, and incompetence
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Some might say that the World Cup is better off without the bloated stars of India and Pakistan. As a punishment for arrogance, decadence, and incompetence it is probably well deserved. But as arrogant, decadent, and incompetent as these two cricketing giants might be, their absence from the second part of this tournament does detract from it. Yes, there is a certain romance about Ireland's progress and something exhilarating about Bangladesh's youthful dash for the Super Eights. Yes, it is tremendous to see minnows walk with giants and giants fall to minnows. But the tournament has been stripped of perhaps twelve heavyweight encounters.

The players, of course, have only themselves to blame (along with their cricket boards and their coaching staff) although being wrong footed in one match looks a harsh methodology to condemn these two great cricketing nations to four years of waiting.

While the World Cup tries to recover from the murder of Bob Woolmer more than the departure of two former Asian powerhouses, the lesson for India and Pakistan is a simple one: "You have four years to prepare a team of professional sportsmen (and that also means athletes), selected by committees that implement a ruthless meritocracy, and supported by cricket boards that run the business and the administration rather than meddle with team affairs."

Of course, India and Pakistan will do none of these things. They will flatter to deceive and then recreate this shambles in the next World Cup. This tournament has reminded us that life is more valuable than sport but it has also clarified that arrogance, decadence, and incompetence are not a formula for success. Let's hope that the introspection this World Cup has induced will help India and Pakistan understand what professionalism is all about. If they have any lingering doubts they might spend the next few weeks watching how Australia, South Africa, and Sri Lanka expect equally high standards from the aged and the inexperienced.

This World Cup has ambushed Asia's giants but it has also shown them how far they have been left behind in international one-day cricket. It will take some serious structural and attitudinal reform to be properly competitive again.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • symnfreesee on February 9, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    database that Petraeus himself stated was the best source of information and was verified by two U.S. intel agencies. Petraeus’s data comes from “Coalition and Host Nation Reporting.” I graphed everything based on eyeballing the data so the numbers are not exact.

  • Apurv on April 10, 2007, 15:42 GMT

    The problem with the Indian and the Pakistani fan is that he/she is too emotive. When we win, they dance on the streets, burst crackers and distribute sweets. When we lose, they smash television sets, stone players homes, hurl their choicest abuses even on senior players.

    We should learn that after all cricket is a game. And I believe Australia's domination will be put to an end by teams from the subcontinent, which also includes Bangladesh. It is a question of when, rather than if.

    We have everything, talent, money, stadiums, people. All we need to do is to have proper administration of cricket right from the grassroots to the top, and select players in good form, rather than looking at their reputations.

  • Anusha on April 4, 2007, 18:39 GMT

    World cup 2007 was what I was waiting for since a long time. A lot of excitemet and hope from my favourite team Pakistan went into vain. World cup lost it charm when India were also eliminated from the world cup. There is no fun at all watching cricket without these two teams. I agree with everyone that the format of the world cup is harsh. I will have to wait for another 4 years to see Pakistan and India doing well on the huge competition like this.This is turning out to be one of the uninteresting world cup I ever saw.

  • Ghufran Ahmad on April 2, 2007, 10:15 GMT

    Not minnows,but minnowest, because the minnows who entered the second round beating the Asian giants,are still called minnows, so who didn,t qualified for super eight must be called MINNOWEST.

  • Cameron on April 2, 2007, 2:48 GMT

    So K.S, we're all waiting with bated breath: what does make a professional cricketer/cricket team??!!

    Sri Lanka & perhaps now Bangladesh are the only Asian cricket teams to grasp that concept...

  • Ike Latif on April 2, 2007, 0:17 GMT

    The real hard facts..

    In my opinion we all should realise that nothing is wrong with the format if commercial aspect of the game are not important, if they are, than anything and everything is wrong with the format. The gurus at ICC contemplated that all the big teams will scrap through the preliminaries little did they realise that instead of 250 million $ Indian-Pakistan clash (match in super eight that would have been a greater clash than the finals itself) they have to be contented now to witness a Ireland-Bangladesh clash, now South Korea and Turkey semis final in football is not the same as Brazil-Argentina semis, if FIFA would have had any preference it would be later not the former. Great amount of false sportsmanship and support of associates will not mask the fact that the wicket with a green top was not fit outfit for an ODI.

    ICC had forgotten the basic Murphy’s Law anything that can go wrong would go wrong. If World Cup is about cricket, the format is lousy the top eight in the world ranking for last four years should have a go at each other, on a given day anything can happen with a green top a minnow like Ireland destroyed the entire Pakistani line-up. That is what cricket is al about, had it not been for that washed out game Imran would not have seen his team through the semis in 1992, chance and luck do play a huge role and that is why cricket is such a great game. ICC could have taken care of that. Pakistan/ Indian sibling rivalry and made sure that spirited clash of titans should have survive the initial matches of minnows and giants. The margin of error was big enoguh but who knew that Ireland /Zimbabwe match would be a draw and who knew that Bangladesh would scrap a victory over India. But it here where ruthless Murphy’s Law roared to life and destroyed the basic commercial model of the ICC, they had no chance overcome from such a improbable situation.

    The absence of India/Pakistan is being definitely felt. It is a hard fact, Aussies/South Africans/Kiwis are relatively poor cousins of the ICC membership, they cannot replace the sub-continent prowess in commercial terms. The heart beat and the warmth of the cup and the tournament lies in the back streets of Calcutta, Bombay and Lahore, you take the billon and half of the audience out, you deprive the tournament of the legitimacy of the eyeballs that is what the big tele wants.

    This 44 days long tournament is designed more about milking the most from great matches in super eight stages than testing the merits and capacities of Ireland and Bangladesh, much can be made in great sportsman spirited lectures but the fact is that ICC have a serious problem at hand, it is not only empty stands and un-affordability of sugar cane growers of Guyana to purchase a ticket but also empty living areas, no one is watching, that is a big turn off, and that scenario should have been catered for, a play offs like situation where at least Indians/ Pakistanis should have been allowed to scrap. The top teams who play test matches should be automatic qualifiers to the world cup for the sake of big money and big eyeballs, this cup has lot on both these counts, who cares about World Champion ship of baseball between Japan and USA, it is the universal level of participation by the sub-continent followers that makes the cup so important.

    Lets be honest Aussies are great and no one reaches even close to their clinical display of talent but Aussies have no money for the big teles, the world televisions rights are cornered around Indian money, getting the huge capacity of 1.5 billion cricket craze sub-continent followers to the teles, that is what the big money in the TV centred tournament predominantly

    Definitely Aussies and South Africans including England have other avenues to pursue, the pubs in London do not show a world cup match if Barcelona is playing in Spain. Ronaldino is a bigger draw not McGrath against Ashraful, very hard and bitter observation but a fact in cricket crazed subcontinent. The commercial interest of the game are as important as the other interest bordering philanthropy in game bordering charity i.e. to get the associates have a go at the giants but what about the potential loss of revenues and loss of eyeballs and passion if sums do not add up?

    The price of exactly that distant likelihood is what ICC is paying. It was not about one match therefore the format caters for 44 days of matches, so that one day mistake may not becomes a disaster, however they forgot the initial hurdle where things went wrong. That ‘buzz’ is exactly what this tournament is missing now. Best of luck to everyone, but empty stands and empty living rooms was not the technique around which this whole format was designed, yes it is turning out to be a bore , we all know why because the super eight quality is thrash, some of the teams just do not belong their.

    Let stop this ‘philanthropic bullshit’ of associates wining their desires to play additional big time cricket, yesterday Aussies reminded everyone else in the town how it is like to play with a great outfit, Bangladeshis were not a match to Aussies, but on a day they got Indians floored, big decisions and big occasions are not designed around expectations they are catered for matches that attracts commercial interest, why should anyone be interested to watch Aussies thrashing Bangladeshis in 13 over. The same clash could have been Aussies/ India clash and a different league all together. How on earth Hayden and Gilchrist would have even enjoyed their onslaught of putting Bangladesh to sword, with Dravid and Gavaskar fellow compatriots the game would have taken a different twirl. If any sensible chance exists of equal matches between super good Aussies and great South Africans was if the Indians or Pakistanis were still in play, other than Sri Lankans they can prove on a given day some competition to top guns.

    That suspense is out, the home teams nearly relegated with front loaded programme that did not foresee West Indians losing all three games, the tournament will now probably lose the indigenous remaining participation, it is turning out to be a lame duck tournament, the suspense and chance which makes cricket so interesting is so much missing, a rain washed out game where the cornered tigers were all bowled for 94 gave Pakistan a chance to go to semis, how much of that rain was Imran skills is to date an enigma, if Inzi would have won that toss and proceeded to the next super eight stage things would have been different, on a given day teams do capitulate, Pakistanis play on front foot so does the Indians that is what it is all about, the way they play their cricket, the passion they display and therefore the matches they lose or win, to keep such a great company of interesting mavericks in the tournament who bring the flair, real money and thousands of visitors was the job of ICC.

    ICC lost out on the BRIC affluence the new rising middle class of 250 millions prospective clients who had booked 27 flights from NY alone for that great Pakistan/ Indian expected clash, no one is coming for that associate clash and it is a definite lost to the world cricket, if 44 days of tournament was designed to exploit the publicity and goodwill and make money on all those counts they got it all wrong, if we are still going to fault like of Sehwag and Afridi or Inzis the problem is that even in the next 4 years they will hardly change, they will still play with the flair they play with and still display intense inclination to use their natural wrist power to hit anything outside the off stumps, they will still be caught in the slips, they will still be short of openers but the game goes on, they can be great fun in six games instead of two where their fate was sealed.

    They will still lose to Ireland but on a given day on a green top but also they can mercilessly destroy the best in the game they need to be accommodated if the eyeballs have to be counted.

    After near West Indians ejection all the remaining West Indians games are dead games. So if this is what the format was all about someone screwed it up big time. The world cup will only gather momentum as the semi finalists emerges, the three teams out of four which are to be out are already known. Ireland. Bangladesh and West Indians, the semi-finalist will be amongst rest of the five, now what was the point of making the hosts play their games far ahead of everyone else and making sure if they lose they end up playing a lot of dead games, who will watch them. This is very poor management and ICC got it all wrong.

    ICC can relish the fact that how well they have served the interest of the associates but rest assure that with top 12 cracking games in super eight replaced by meaningless associate games the fizz is out of the tournament, it is sad to see the tournament being played to empty stands, a great tournament is fizzled out in infancy, we are seeing a birth of still born 2007 world cup. Hallelujahs

  • Pier Wasif on April 1, 2007, 11:47 GMT

    Hello There, who ever says that Pakistan has a good captain in Younus Khan, please look at his attitude record from 2 days before ICC championship he should be out of the pakistani cricket, we need new team we should learn from these clown cricketeer like Younus & Inzamam these players have superiority complex they should be banned from representing pakistan in all form of international cricket, these guys are only good for themselves not for the team. We should form our own county system which include India Pakistan Sri Lanka & Bangladesh we should be free to play in each country, player should be exchanged betveen them and regular matches should be organised, I believe that new and truly deserving talent willbe produced we are no doubt a cricket loving country and we deserve better that what happened in this world cup, all the old & big name player should be history. We definately hgave better player then these big name loosers loosers.

  • Hamid on March 31, 2007, 21:03 GMT

    Advice to Baby Inzamam: What's this BS about "why do people criticize us when we lose?" My dear, may be when you were a little kid and got an F your parents might have consoled you with " it's alright, just do better next time" kind of remarks. When you are the captain of a national team most people take you for an adult. And as an adult when you fail your back will be kicked. So, don't act innocent because that's stupid. There is no doubt that your captaincy had a lot to do with Pakistan's humiliation and Pakistanis have every right to criticize you. Grow up and face the reality. You play well, you're commended, you do badly, you're criticized. That's the way it is in the real world. If someone in his thirties has trouble understanding this principle, he really needs to be looked at by specialists.

  • Atif Siddiqui on March 31, 2007, 14:10 GMT

    It is happening as I suggested earlier...

    "I think we need separate Test and ODI teams. Release all the players from there contracts, before September select 10 top batsmen, 10 bowlers(fast and spin), 2 wicket keepers from best performances in domestic cricket, have few green pitches, dead wickets, un even bounce wickets… by July short list these key players, if current players can make the list than good, otherwise I would count them out. Choose the best leader among them and vice captain, Coach should be Pakistani (Aaqib Javed) good choice, foreign coach not effective enough unless Pakistani players proof themselves to be literate enough, Pakistani staff, physios etc.

    Selectors to select 15 players, no influence from coach and captain, Captain in consultation with VC and Coach to select playing eleven. These three should sign off on the playing 11 before every game in black and white, just to eliminate any doubts, docs to be kept private and sent to selectors and PCB officials."

    I wrote just two days ago :)

  • Kollengode Narayanan on March 31, 2007, 8:54 GMT

    One of the remedial measures to improve performance of players is for the Board to prohibit contracted players from appearing on advertisements and endorsements. All endorsements shall be approved by the board and shall be from the team as a whole. All revenues will be shared between the contracted members and the Board.

  • symnfreesee on February 9, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    database that Petraeus himself stated was the best source of information and was verified by two U.S. intel agencies. Petraeus’s data comes from “Coalition and Host Nation Reporting.” I graphed everything based on eyeballing the data so the numbers are not exact.

  • Apurv on April 10, 2007, 15:42 GMT

    The problem with the Indian and the Pakistani fan is that he/she is too emotive. When we win, they dance on the streets, burst crackers and distribute sweets. When we lose, they smash television sets, stone players homes, hurl their choicest abuses even on senior players.

    We should learn that after all cricket is a game. And I believe Australia's domination will be put to an end by teams from the subcontinent, which also includes Bangladesh. It is a question of when, rather than if.

    We have everything, talent, money, stadiums, people. All we need to do is to have proper administration of cricket right from the grassroots to the top, and select players in good form, rather than looking at their reputations.

  • Anusha on April 4, 2007, 18:39 GMT

    World cup 2007 was what I was waiting for since a long time. A lot of excitemet and hope from my favourite team Pakistan went into vain. World cup lost it charm when India were also eliminated from the world cup. There is no fun at all watching cricket without these two teams. I agree with everyone that the format of the world cup is harsh. I will have to wait for another 4 years to see Pakistan and India doing well on the huge competition like this.This is turning out to be one of the uninteresting world cup I ever saw.

  • Ghufran Ahmad on April 2, 2007, 10:15 GMT

    Not minnows,but minnowest, because the minnows who entered the second round beating the Asian giants,are still called minnows, so who didn,t qualified for super eight must be called MINNOWEST.

  • Cameron on April 2, 2007, 2:48 GMT

    So K.S, we're all waiting with bated breath: what does make a professional cricketer/cricket team??!!

    Sri Lanka & perhaps now Bangladesh are the only Asian cricket teams to grasp that concept...

  • Ike Latif on April 2, 2007, 0:17 GMT

    The real hard facts..

    In my opinion we all should realise that nothing is wrong with the format if commercial aspect of the game are not important, if they are, than anything and everything is wrong with the format. The gurus at ICC contemplated that all the big teams will scrap through the preliminaries little did they realise that instead of 250 million $ Indian-Pakistan clash (match in super eight that would have been a greater clash than the finals itself) they have to be contented now to witness a Ireland-Bangladesh clash, now South Korea and Turkey semis final in football is not the same as Brazil-Argentina semis, if FIFA would have had any preference it would be later not the former. Great amount of false sportsmanship and support of associates will not mask the fact that the wicket with a green top was not fit outfit for an ODI.

    ICC had forgotten the basic Murphy’s Law anything that can go wrong would go wrong. If World Cup is about cricket, the format is lousy the top eight in the world ranking for last four years should have a go at each other, on a given day anything can happen with a green top a minnow like Ireland destroyed the entire Pakistani line-up. That is what cricket is al about, had it not been for that washed out game Imran would not have seen his team through the semis in 1992, chance and luck do play a huge role and that is why cricket is such a great game. ICC could have taken care of that. Pakistan/ Indian sibling rivalry and made sure that spirited clash of titans should have survive the initial matches of minnows and giants. The margin of error was big enoguh but who knew that Ireland /Zimbabwe match would be a draw and who knew that Bangladesh would scrap a victory over India. But it here where ruthless Murphy’s Law roared to life and destroyed the basic commercial model of the ICC, they had no chance overcome from such a improbable situation.

    The absence of India/Pakistan is being definitely felt. It is a hard fact, Aussies/South Africans/Kiwis are relatively poor cousins of the ICC membership, they cannot replace the sub-continent prowess in commercial terms. The heart beat and the warmth of the cup and the tournament lies in the back streets of Calcutta, Bombay and Lahore, you take the billon and half of the audience out, you deprive the tournament of the legitimacy of the eyeballs that is what the big tele wants.

    This 44 days long tournament is designed more about milking the most from great matches in super eight stages than testing the merits and capacities of Ireland and Bangladesh, much can be made in great sportsman spirited lectures but the fact is that ICC have a serious problem at hand, it is not only empty stands and un-affordability of sugar cane growers of Guyana to purchase a ticket but also empty living areas, no one is watching, that is a big turn off, and that scenario should have been catered for, a play offs like situation where at least Indians/ Pakistanis should have been allowed to scrap. The top teams who play test matches should be automatic qualifiers to the world cup for the sake of big money and big eyeballs, this cup has lot on both these counts, who cares about World Champion ship of baseball between Japan and USA, it is the universal level of participation by the sub-continent followers that makes the cup so important.

    Lets be honest Aussies are great and no one reaches even close to their clinical display of talent but Aussies have no money for the big teles, the world televisions rights are cornered around Indian money, getting the huge capacity of 1.5 billion cricket craze sub-continent followers to the teles, that is what the big money in the TV centred tournament predominantly

    Definitely Aussies and South Africans including England have other avenues to pursue, the pubs in London do not show a world cup match if Barcelona is playing in Spain. Ronaldino is a bigger draw not McGrath against Ashraful, very hard and bitter observation but a fact in cricket crazed subcontinent. The commercial interest of the game are as important as the other interest bordering philanthropy in game bordering charity i.e. to get the associates have a go at the giants but what about the potential loss of revenues and loss of eyeballs and passion if sums do not add up?

    The price of exactly that distant likelihood is what ICC is paying. It was not about one match therefore the format caters for 44 days of matches, so that one day mistake may not becomes a disaster, however they forgot the initial hurdle where things went wrong. That ‘buzz’ is exactly what this tournament is missing now. Best of luck to everyone, but empty stands and empty living rooms was not the technique around which this whole format was designed, yes it is turning out to be a bore , we all know why because the super eight quality is thrash, some of the teams just do not belong their.

    Let stop this ‘philanthropic bullshit’ of associates wining their desires to play additional big time cricket, yesterday Aussies reminded everyone else in the town how it is like to play with a great outfit, Bangladeshis were not a match to Aussies, but on a day they got Indians floored, big decisions and big occasions are not designed around expectations they are catered for matches that attracts commercial interest, why should anyone be interested to watch Aussies thrashing Bangladeshis in 13 over. The same clash could have been Aussies/ India clash and a different league all together. How on earth Hayden and Gilchrist would have even enjoyed their onslaught of putting Bangladesh to sword, with Dravid and Gavaskar fellow compatriots the game would have taken a different twirl. If any sensible chance exists of equal matches between super good Aussies and great South Africans was if the Indians or Pakistanis were still in play, other than Sri Lankans they can prove on a given day some competition to top guns.

    That suspense is out, the home teams nearly relegated with front loaded programme that did not foresee West Indians losing all three games, the tournament will now probably lose the indigenous remaining participation, it is turning out to be a lame duck tournament, the suspense and chance which makes cricket so interesting is so much missing, a rain washed out game where the cornered tigers were all bowled for 94 gave Pakistan a chance to go to semis, how much of that rain was Imran skills is to date an enigma, if Inzi would have won that toss and proceeded to the next super eight stage things would have been different, on a given day teams do capitulate, Pakistanis play on front foot so does the Indians that is what it is all about, the way they play their cricket, the passion they display and therefore the matches they lose or win, to keep such a great company of interesting mavericks in the tournament who bring the flair, real money and thousands of visitors was the job of ICC.

    ICC lost out on the BRIC affluence the new rising middle class of 250 millions prospective clients who had booked 27 flights from NY alone for that great Pakistan/ Indian expected clash, no one is coming for that associate clash and it is a definite lost to the world cricket, if 44 days of tournament was designed to exploit the publicity and goodwill and make money on all those counts they got it all wrong, if we are still going to fault like of Sehwag and Afridi or Inzis the problem is that even in the next 4 years they will hardly change, they will still play with the flair they play with and still display intense inclination to use their natural wrist power to hit anything outside the off stumps, they will still be caught in the slips, they will still be short of openers but the game goes on, they can be great fun in six games instead of two where their fate was sealed.

    They will still lose to Ireland but on a given day on a green top but also they can mercilessly destroy the best in the game they need to be accommodated if the eyeballs have to be counted.

    After near West Indians ejection all the remaining West Indians games are dead games. So if this is what the format was all about someone screwed it up big time. The world cup will only gather momentum as the semi finalists emerges, the three teams out of four which are to be out are already known. Ireland. Bangladesh and West Indians, the semi-finalist will be amongst rest of the five, now what was the point of making the hosts play their games far ahead of everyone else and making sure if they lose they end up playing a lot of dead games, who will watch them. This is very poor management and ICC got it all wrong.

    ICC can relish the fact that how well they have served the interest of the associates but rest assure that with top 12 cracking games in super eight replaced by meaningless associate games the fizz is out of the tournament, it is sad to see the tournament being played to empty stands, a great tournament is fizzled out in infancy, we are seeing a birth of still born 2007 world cup. Hallelujahs

  • Pier Wasif on April 1, 2007, 11:47 GMT

    Hello There, who ever says that Pakistan has a good captain in Younus Khan, please look at his attitude record from 2 days before ICC championship he should be out of the pakistani cricket, we need new team we should learn from these clown cricketeer like Younus & Inzamam these players have superiority complex they should be banned from representing pakistan in all form of international cricket, these guys are only good for themselves not for the team. We should form our own county system which include India Pakistan Sri Lanka & Bangladesh we should be free to play in each country, player should be exchanged betveen them and regular matches should be organised, I believe that new and truly deserving talent willbe produced we are no doubt a cricket loving country and we deserve better that what happened in this world cup, all the old & big name player should be history. We definately hgave better player then these big name loosers loosers.

  • Hamid on March 31, 2007, 21:03 GMT

    Advice to Baby Inzamam: What's this BS about "why do people criticize us when we lose?" My dear, may be when you were a little kid and got an F your parents might have consoled you with " it's alright, just do better next time" kind of remarks. When you are the captain of a national team most people take you for an adult. And as an adult when you fail your back will be kicked. So, don't act innocent because that's stupid. There is no doubt that your captaincy had a lot to do with Pakistan's humiliation and Pakistanis have every right to criticize you. Grow up and face the reality. You play well, you're commended, you do badly, you're criticized. That's the way it is in the real world. If someone in his thirties has trouble understanding this principle, he really needs to be looked at by specialists.

  • Atif Siddiqui on March 31, 2007, 14:10 GMT

    It is happening as I suggested earlier...

    "I think we need separate Test and ODI teams. Release all the players from there contracts, before September select 10 top batsmen, 10 bowlers(fast and spin), 2 wicket keepers from best performances in domestic cricket, have few green pitches, dead wickets, un even bounce wickets… by July short list these key players, if current players can make the list than good, otherwise I would count them out. Choose the best leader among them and vice captain, Coach should be Pakistani (Aaqib Javed) good choice, foreign coach not effective enough unless Pakistani players proof themselves to be literate enough, Pakistani staff, physios etc.

    Selectors to select 15 players, no influence from coach and captain, Captain in consultation with VC and Coach to select playing eleven. These three should sign off on the playing 11 before every game in black and white, just to eliminate any doubts, docs to be kept private and sent to selectors and PCB officials."

    I wrote just two days ago :)

  • Kollengode Narayanan on March 31, 2007, 8:54 GMT

    One of the remedial measures to improve performance of players is for the Board to prohibit contracted players from appearing on advertisements and endorsements. All endorsements shall be approved by the board and shall be from the team as a whole. All revenues will be shared between the contracted members and the Board.

  • IndFan on March 31, 2007, 1:32 GMT

    I think Pak has definitely legitimate reasons of being knocked out so early - their two main strike bowlers were not present!! You cannot win on the backs of Rana! Pak Fans - Please imagine Asif (whom I respect a lot despite this stupid drugs issue) bowling to Ireland on that seaming wicket..add in Akhtar

    I think in India's case, we cannot have that excuse...

  • Bahadur Sherpa, Cochin on March 30, 2007, 22:50 GMT

    India/Pakistan were the most inconsistent teams along with West Indies/England. Surprisingly every worldcup tournament format got exposed due to some reason:

    - 1992 for rain rule - 1996 for RSA knockout elimination in quarter finals after winning all previous 5 matches - 1999 for Zimbabwe carrying more points than Australia in Super 6 - 2003 for politics helping Kenya reaching Semi-finals, Zim reaching Super 6. Hosts getting eliminated due to D/L.

    And now

    - 2007 for squeezing minnows so tightly that their kicks knock out inconsistent performers that are otherwise paper tigers and dollar drawers

    Next worldcup will surely have a different format.

    My personal opinion is Indians and Pakistanis were afraid of betting mafia or media pressure or something else.

  • Cricket Geek on March 30, 2007, 22:30 GMT

    I disagree with those who say that the WC format or rules should be srapped to help teams like India and Pakistab stay in the competition despite having bad days. The truth is, they had a bad day, and they did get knocked out by some little teams. But the way this format works, it allows teams like IRE and BAN to go through by beating a fellow minnow, and one of the big boys. Would a true cricket lover like to see the WC played like this, or like four years ago, when the minnows were carted to all parts of the ground in roughly four matches each against teams far better than them? Upsets happen, and for me at least, I enjoy watching the Cinderella story rather than the one where the "Super" Eights whiz through.

  • AFRIDI - part II on March 30, 2007, 19:42 GMT

    Javed A. Khan, i know u r quit busy, but read the following posts and please read the whole thing, not just the first line:

    Amyn Habib at March 26, 2007 4:15 PM

    khansahab at March 26, 2007 6:46 PM

    KRS-Vun at March 27, 2007 7:41 PM

    Naveed at March 27, 2007 9:05 PM

  • AFRIDI on March 30, 2007, 19:32 GMT

    This is for JAVED A. KHAN. I mentioned this before and i am basically saying the same thing. u were asking KRS-Vun for some backup. and try 2 read all the posts here. or search for "afridi" in this page. MOST of them have "backups"...

    In the world cups: He played 10-11 innings – highest score is 37; avg is 11; took 4 wickets; econ was 5.34

    * Last time he scored a century was in April, 2005. He played 27-28 matches after that. * Last time he scored 50+ was @ SA 2006 after playing 22-23 matches. * out of his 193 wickets; 121 came against aus, ind, NZ, SA, SL and WI. And his avg against them are aus (33.96), SA(53.22), Ind(56.5), NZ(59.89), SL(42.1) and WI(34).

    Afridi as a captain!! NO WAY! As an all-rounder, may be… or sure!

  • Rohit Philip on March 30, 2007, 7:59 GMT

    Call me a bigot, but on paper atleast the world cup is a farce.

    It was designed so that the group stages would be a farce, and the eight "superteams" would progress to the super eights.

    Fortunately or Unfortunately that didnt happen. So the end result - the super eights are reduced to a farce.

    Its a safe bet that barring any stunning upsets Ireland wont win any games, and Bangladesh will beat Ireland and if lucky the West Indies. The bottom four will be England, West Indies, Bangladesh and Ireland. So the real World Cup [atleast i repeat on paper] has only 3 matches - the semifinals and the final.

    But the beauty of cricket is that it may make me eat my words, but i dont think that'll happen!

  • Reza on March 30, 2007, 7:09 GMT

    Give Pakistanis grassy pitches at domestic level, and they will give you the ICC World Cup.

  • Hari on March 30, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    Both India and Pakistan should be thankful to WC 2007 format for eliminating these two teams in 1st round itself. This tragedy however has a very positive bright side, it has helped pakistan and specially india to identify rotten players in Team. Pak : Inzy ( old, unfit), Azhar Mahmood(I don't know why he was selected when he was not in original 30). India: Ganguli (Aged,selfish & slow),Tendulkar(choker no. 1 in crunch maches),Harbhajan(useless overhyped spinner), Agarkar( Good for nothing) All these should announce immediate retirement like Inzy otherwise they shall be kicked out by their nation.

  • wasim saqib on March 30, 2007, 0:40 GMT

    I think that the Jamaican Police is misleading the media,they are not revealing the true facts,its quite strange that a postmortem was performed and the exact time of death has not been ruled out,either the jamican police is lying or they are trying to cover up a huge blunder,anybody related to medical field will find it real hard to believe that after an autopsy, the time of murder was not ruled out,now either they are not finding anything on CCTV at that time or this entire theory of murder by strangulation is being reconsidered as initially it was suggested that there was blood and signs of diarrhea were found in the room, if it was murder by strangulation and no sign of struggle why was there signs of diarrhea and blood vomit it does not make any sense,if somebody was choking him or strangulating him,the vomit should be internal,unless it was the work of an amatuer who left him half dead in the room,this proves the other theory also wrong that its the work of a hitman or Betting Mafia was involved. I think ministry of sports should send a team of investigators and lawyers from Pakistan as I seriously believe that Jamaican Police is misleading the media and is not revealing the truth bcz of which Pakistan Players are being the target of the media because of its speculation. Anyhow the truth will come out in a few weeks as they have gotten the CCTV images, if it was a murder and the murderer was not wearing a suleimani topi I think they will be able to rule out who did it.

  • khansahab on March 29, 2007, 23:43 GMT

    Farhan, I don’t think you put your thinking cap on before you made your comment. You state that Pakistan did not perform owing to the absence of five regular players. 1) Yasir Hameed is not a regular player. He never was. He is a failed opener but should have been chosen over Nazir and Hafeez because of his greater experience and better general batting ability. 2) I have mentioned this before as well but there is only a 50% chance Akhtar would have played in either of the two matches Pakistan played. He would probably have injured himself in the warm-up match vs South Africa. If he had been omitted from the warm-up line-up, he would have injured himself in the WI or Ireland match owing to lack of practice/match fitness as he cannot keep himself fit anyway. 3) Mohammad Asif could have proved invaluable in the WI match but not even the greatest bowler in the world could have done much defending 132. He would only have 60 bowls to ball which Ireland could defend. Asif’s record proves he isn’t the best bet in ODI’s when Pakistan are defending a total- he is most threatening when Pakistan choose to bowl first on a grassy pitch. Plus, Gul, Sami and Rao were at their best anyway. So with the combination of all these factors, Asif could not have salvaged the match on his own. 4) Shahid Afridi- people, make your mind up about Afridi! When he takes a few wickets or makes 25+ you call him a key player. When he plays his usual inconsistent cricket you don’t say anything. He played in the Zimbabwe match but did not make an enormous difference; he picked up 1 middle order wicket, 1 lower order wicket and 1 tailender. 5) Razzaq- I marvel at the fact that his place is still in contention. Someone who has been appalling in Tests and dispensable in ODI’s over the past two years; can’t bat, can’t ball, can’t field. Lethargic, uninspiring, has a loose and weak personality and minimal understanding of the game. Batsmen love smacking him around and bowlers have an easy life bowling at him. The vast majority of the wickets he has taken in the past 2 years have been tailenders. Most of his memorable performances (and there are VERY FEW) in the past two years have been against below average teams. Geoffrey Boycott’s mum can do a better job than him.

    You think Aussies are weak without Lee, Ponting and Symonds? NZ have some very talented players and that’s why they beat the Aussies. Hayden, Hussey, Hodge, Hogg, to name a few, are as good as any world class players. You must be kidding me if you think Aussies win only because of those 3 players. Just look at the statistics for Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken and Mitchell Johnson if you don’t believe me.

    Ashaq, I suggest you wait until the end of the Woolmer “murder” investigation. Don’t make nationalistic comments prematurely. When non Pakistanis see comments like that they form a negative view of Pakistan and assume that Pakistanis can never think they are wrong. Let us be tolerant and see what transpires at the end.

    Mr Javed A Khan, you are a learned man and if that is what you want to prove by making us familiar with your expertise of: 1) Medical knowledge (description of cerebral hypoxia etc.) 2) Ways to kill someone (definitions to various strangulations) 3) Detective play (What happened and how did it happen?) 4) Poetry ...............then you have proved your point. Thanks.

    Finally, this goes to Ashaq, Javed A Khan and Euceph Ahmed: if you want to criticise another, do it the mature way. Don’t do it childishly as it undermines the sophistication of this blog. It shouldn’t be about who is the most knowledgeable or refined out of you all. It should be about spreading our reasonable and defensible views so that people read them, get influenced and unite in a common purpose: the amelioration of everything to do with Pakistani cricket.

  • Concerned Fan on March 29, 2007, 16:47 GMT

    Pak and India should stick to gulley-danda and kabadi, instead of playing professional sports.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on March 29, 2007, 16:21 GMT

    Roger Bond: You are only 50% right in commenting that players like Imran, Miandad, Kapil and Gavaskar used to play for their country and not for records. The later two, in the later stage of their career were playing for personal records only. One was after Allan Border's record and the other was after Richard Hadlee's. And the biggest of all the contemporary players who plays only for himself and for his records, is the "little master-batter" who was out for a duck in the last match he played and God knows how long will he be in the team?

    KRS-Vun, of course I am nuts thats why I am supporting a nut case. But, do you have any bolt in your mind who could lead the Pakistan cricket team up to and beyond 2011? Its easy to smoke weed and criticize someone but to back up or substantiate your claims is not that EZ. So, why don't you cover the "blabber beak" with a velvet pillow case and R.I.P?

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on March 29, 2007, 16:18 GMT

    Kamran Abbassi:

    "Sometimes" or should I say .....kabhi kabhi ittefaaq say..... Mr. Euceph Ahmad is right.

    I think the handling of Woolmer's murder case by the Jamaican police and the media are blowing the news out of proportion, this needs to be addressed in a separate thread.

    If you go through the time-line that appeared in the press about his death, initially it was not confirmed as a murder. Woolmer died on March 18th and the autopsy concluded within 48 hours was not conclusive and 3 days later it took a new twist claiming it to be a suspicious death? On the 4th day Mark Shields, Jamaica's deputy commissioner of police, announced it as a murder!

    In today's world forensic science is so advanced that within minutes of examining the body any forensic pathologist can tell the exact nature of the death, whether the victim died due to asphyxiation as a result of manual strangulation or whatever the cause of death is.

    There are a few ways to determine strangulation:

    Hanging strangulation - not only there are rope marks on the neck but the breaking of the neck bone is one of the main factors of death.

    Ligature strangulation - where any rope, wire or any other material if used its marks are obvious, but this is without suspension of the body in the air, hence the neck bone is not broken.

    Manual strangulation - finger prints or marks are visible to determine manual strangulation.

    strangulation by forced drowning: where the victim is forced to drown in water like, bath tub, wash basin etc., thats so very easy to determine.

    In all these forms of strangulation, the cause of death is cerebral hypoxia i.e., the brain is deprived of oxygen due to compression and thereby occlusion of the vessels supplying blood to the brain. The point here is that cerebral hypoxia in hanging is caused by "occlusion of vessels supplying blood to the brain" and not by obstruction of the airway. So, what is the problem? He was certainly not drowned in the bath tub either or was he?

    There is a report that he has broken his neck bone and that can also be determined by experts whether that was broken by force (using hands, twisting and turning it forcefully) or due to the result of an impact due to a fall?

    Can't this be the result of falling in the toilet and hitting is neck on the commode? After all he was not a teetotaler and he was also on medication. That may have caused drowsiness and the marks on the neck could be due to so many other reasons, but that is not difficult for a forensic pathalogist to determine.

    I am not Sherlock Holmes to say that, but Mark Shields & Co. are trying to ape Peter Falk or "Columbo" and making a mockery of the situation.

    On Inzi and Mushy's second interrogation by the police and the rumour that police is seeking three Pakistani men, I think its definitely unnecessary. But, what can you do if people like Justice Malik Qayyum is once again questioning the inclusion of Mushy in the team as a bowling coach when he was involved and punished earlier. Is the justice delayed, derailed or justice denied?

    I am sure Mushy must be saying this:

    mitt jayay gee makhlooq tu insaaf karo gayy... munsif ho tu abb hashrr uthaa kiyuon nahee daitay

    ikk baar hee jee bhar kay saza kiyuon nahee daitay gar harf-e-ghalat hoon tu mita kiyuon nahee daitay

  • Farhan on March 29, 2007, 15:43 GMT

    After reading so many responses, I don’t even know where to start. All that everyone is saying ‘’Pakistani team is corrupted, match fixing, President Mushraf’s fault’’ People don’t see the reason why Pakistani team performed badly. NO it’s not because they are corrupted, No there isn’t any match fixing scandal, and NO it is not President Mushraf’s fault either. You have to take this into consideration that Pakistan’s 5 main players, Shoaib Akhater, Mohammad Asif, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razaq and Yasir Hameed couldn’t play due to injuries or ban or even taking drugs or whatever reason there was. You take out 5 main players of any team, whether it is Australia or South Africa; they will have problems. Australia recently lost 4 or 5 matches in a row to England and tour to New Zealand when they got their behinds whipped by New Zealand, and they didn’t have their 3 top players playing for them (Ricky Pointing, Bret Lee and Andrew Symonds).

    Yes, I agree with everyone that Pakistan should have performed better, but past few months have been disastrous for Pakistan and it all started with England tour ball tempering scandal, which by the way was NOT Inzamam’s fault. He did what was right for the country. Then we had dopping scandal, than we had South African tour which made things worst, Afridi got banned, Razaq got injured, 5 main players out and then came the World Cup.

    I want everyone who is reading this article to be honest with themselves and think, would Australia or South Africa or any team in ANY sport perform at high level with 5 of their main players out? Basketball, American football, Soccer, or Cricket.

    Inzimam was the best player Pakistan every had and he will be missed dearly. He is a great human being and every international player/ coach has nothing but respect for him. I am not blaming anyone for Pakistan’s early exit from World Cup, even Imran Khan couldn’t have done anything better if he was the captain of Pakistan’s team now, given the players that Inzi had. What was everyone saying in 92 World cup when Pakistan had lost to West Indies, India, South Africa, and lucky break in England’s game? Pakistan’s world cup’s fate was depending on other teams losses. And don’t forget it was Inzimam who won that world cup for Pakistan. It was Inzimam’s batting Vs New Zealand in two games and in final Vs England that won Pakistan the world cup. I am disgusted by people and their comments against Pakistani team and players. People are quick to point fingers at others when things are going wrong, but they never say anything when team is performing well. In this difficult time people still don’t understand what Pakistani players are going through and still playing the blame game. Shame on people who think this way, they are the biggest HYPOCRITE and these are the people who are reason for Pakistan’s failure. Show some respect to our players and our country. True fan would support their team not only in good times but in times like these.

    PS. Bob Woolmer, We will all miss you, and I apologise on behalf of my country for treating you this way. May your soul rest in Peace. Ameen!

  • down with inzi on March 29, 2007, 14:42 GMT

    what is inzi doing in that pic(above)? preaching and telling everyone to grow a beard..

    good riddance inzi is gone!

  • Harish on March 29, 2007, 7:47 GMT

    Tendulkar should announce his retirement from ODI like Inzy with immediate effct. He is good for nothing in crunch matches. He shall be called Choker No.1 now. Disgraceful exit for Tendulkar with Zero in his final WC match.

  • S. N. Kazi on March 29, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    In my opinion the Indian and Pakistani cricketers are being very unfairly blamed for the their early exit from the World Cup .

    As far as the Indian team is concerned , the cricketers are not to blame at all . The one person who is wholly and exclusively responsible for the early exit of the Indian team is the former Indian Prime minister Indra Gandhi for having created Bangla Desh .

    As for the early exit of the Pakistan team once again obviously it is not the fault of the cricketers . Ask Inzamam , Mohammad Yousuf , Saeed Anwar or

    , Pakistan 's officiating Coach Mushtaq , they will confirm it was well planned Jewish conspiracy .

  • wasim saqib on March 29, 2007, 4:34 GMT

    A lot of people are criticizing the format of the world cup,no matter what the format is you have to play well to win.There was nothing wrong with the format however ICC did targeted Pakistan by giving them pitches which were by no means ODI pitches and we have yet to see any other match in the tournament to be played on such pitches.

    A lot of analysis has been done as to why India and Pakistan lost so easily and early,I think both india and pakistan have different reasons for their early exit. India's biggest problem is there bowling. India relys too much on its old ageing batsmen just like Pakistan,if they had one young batsman in the middle order with dinesh kartikh instead of sehwag,I think India would have moved into the second round. Also both India and Pakistan had defensive approach to the game I dont know how much the foreign coaches are to be blamed for that,but one thing is for sure that older players are highly selfish,they sacrifice younger players they influence the selection and also in domestic games they never allow the boards to prepare supporting pitches,just to prolong their careers.

    Whereas in Pakistans case an inquiry should be hold and Inzimam,Younis,and yousaf should be grilled there performance was highly suspicious, specially when you look at the selection there was no reserve batsman. The whole world was urging these three batsmen to bat further up the order,but all the appeals landed on inzi's deaf ears.The opening was weak and suprisingly even though it failed in SA miserably but inzi persisted with the same openers.All these things point in only one direction that the Big three wanted complete control in the batting department.The opening was already exposed,the lower order was non existant in the absence of Afridi and Razzak, so for me it was very strange Inzimam having played over 300 ODIs deliberately kept the batting department weak.

    I am not concerned about Pakistan teams future I think it will regain its ICC ranking within this year,those who are suggesting that pakistan will become a minnow or they sould be stripped off from their test status. is simply laughable, I think people making such comments should immediately set up an appointment with a shrink.

    Who should be the new captain? A big NOOOOOOOOOOOOO for Younis and Afridi. I think Shoaib Malik is a good choice,the other two candidates will be Yousaf and Razzak. Only time will tell if some radical and positive changes are made or we will get Old wine in new bottle.

  • Hamad on March 29, 2007, 3:52 GMT

    I agree with one of the comments higher up...this is crap that a team is judged on their survival by 2 games...I mean West Indies and Pakistan are both very decent teams, anyone could have lost that or won that, depends who was better on the day and then one game is what chooses your destiny from there? If you think about it, if Pakistan and Ireland switched schedules...Pakistan would be in the Super 8s right now just because they would have beat Zimbabwe and with so much pressure off them, beaten Ireland, but if they didn't they could still go through if they beat the West Indies...it's becoming too much of a game of luck.

  • sean - USA on March 29, 2007, 3:23 GMT

    I have enjoyed reading through some of these comments but i have to admit some of them have ruffled my feathers.

    It seems to some fans, that if your team gets knocked out its some how the fault of the organizers or the grounds man or somebody else.

    Last time I checked for a team to get knocked of the first round you pretty much needed to lose twice out of three games....

    Last time I checked the world cup whether it be Soccer, Rugby, Cricket is first and foremost a sporting contest. Nobody is entitled to progress without actually winning.. Even if you lose to lower ranked teams... I mean isn't that the purpose of having the competition to play and win?

    It is a professional game and I have little doubt there will be financial implications of both Pakistan and India not progressing to the next round. We may have lost a gazillion fans in Asia but I bet the pubs in county cork are glued to the fortunes of Ireland. But I suspect the tournament itself would be guttered if it somehow began to institutionalize a favoring some teams over others.

    I have followed cricket all my life.. firstly in Australia where I was raised and then I have had the opportunity to follow it in other parts of the world. For the teams already knocked out take heart..I remember the days when my team were beaten when "they should of won". But on those day they lost and that just cricket. The run of dominance in the Australian team over the past decade or so should be a source of inspiration to others. I remember back in the early 80's when we were the easybeats. Good management, players blessed with skill and a fighting spirit took them from the bottom to the top. The time will come when out talent pool will run a little dry and another team will step up to be the premier team(s). The great exciting thing to watch is who will those teams be?

  • pendoo on March 29, 2007, 2:21 GMT

    Someone earlier suggested this, but did not complete it. So here it is again....

    Like the FIFA, football(soccer), ICC should create 2 leagues, the champions trophy & the UEFA league. If the teams that are not performing to a high standards, that Australia has set, then they would be relegated to a lower leagues. This will teach the countries like Pakistan and India to get their house in order. This is the only way to ensure good high class cricket that we all have come to expect from our teams, no excuses. I dont know how most of you feel about this, but something has to be done to improve the level of cricket in Pakistan & India. Now for those, who feel Bangladesh & Ireland do not deserve this.....DONT BE A SORE LOOSER. They won fare and square. There balls did not shrink when they stepped on to the battle filed, that was the difference between the India & Bang OR Pak & Ireland. There is nothing wrong with ICC format. Everyone got a fare and equal chance to in the prelim rounds.

    Pendoo

  • Rajiv on March 29, 2007, 1:24 GMT

    Both the teams are a waste of time. they dont want to play and represent their country, they want to make money. They should have been thrown in the pacific and who ever swam back to their country would have stayed in the team.... the rest, shark food. The only thing we should be sad about, is the death of the coach. he was a good human being and an honest soul...god rest his soul in peace. Now go home Mr Abbassi and have a drink...things wont improve, neither in Pak nor in India...so lets not waste more of our time...cheers

  • Mujtaba on March 29, 2007, 1:12 GMT

    Pakistan players are the worst at making the switch from one form of the game to the other. Yousuf who is brilliant in Tests, looks like someone else in the one day games. Abdul Razzaq who is so explosive in 50 overs gets bogged down in tests, plus Afridi who looks completely uninterested in Tests. More and more the reason to have specailist teams for Pakistan more than any other country. Maybe a core of 5 players who play both forms of the game, though I only see Asif, Malik and Younis worthy of being in both sides.

  • Masrur on March 29, 2007, 0:59 GMT

    Just wanted to bring up a few things. 1) Shame on those who bad mouth Mr. Abbassi. This is his weblog, therefore, he should be entitled to his opinions. Are we forgetting that if it weren't for his blog, where would a debate like this be taking place? 2) Enough with the grumblings over the World Cup format. There is nothing wrong with it. And more importantly, it is not a "white" conspiracy against us "browns". Australia or South Africa could have lost, too, just like Pakistan or India did. 3) If there are any problems (and trust me, there are!), they lie within the Indian and Pakistani cricket infrastructures. Pakistan needs to decide on it's domestic cricket format, and then stick to it. The teams should be selected on merit, not on who knows who. India has a much better domestic cricket format, but, like their neighbors, suffer from the same nepotism bug. 4) We need to stick with coaches from abroad, atleast for the next five to ten years. Surely both Pakistan and India have plenty of experienced past and present cricketers. However, we can't trust them with running cricket affairs. Why? Almost all of them (no matter how talented) are a product of the corrupt systems in place. The same should be done with selection committees. The respective boards should hire experienced cricketers from other nations (not even think about swapping Indians in Pakistan or vice versa - for reasons cited above - we are the same people!!). 5) Both countries should select permanent B teams, and regularly send them abroad for exposure. For example, send a team to England that stays there the entire cricketing summer, and plays local teams, even if they are just one day matches against county second XIs. Then, send one to New Zealand or Australia, the next season/year, to take part in grade cricket. Similar type of arrangements could be made between Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, where each can send in a second string side to take part in one domestic competition of the other (even if it is every other year!). Having three foreign teams in one season would be logistically difficult, that could be worked out by taking turns. For example, Pakistan in Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh in India, one year, then India could go to Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to Bangladesh, the next year, and so on.

  • Nath on March 29, 2007, 0:31 GMT

    I am not sure about India. They are not tough under pressure and do not seem to have the fitness level of some other teams, but they have too many class players to become minnows. I think it is a terrible shame that the 'little master's' probable last innings in a World Cup ended without him scoring. That doesn't seem fair.

    The way forward for Pakistan, on the other hand, seems quite simple. Stop the match fixing, ball tampering, drug taking, and pitch damaging behaviour of this team and get them back to just playing cricket, if that is possible. If it is not, Pakistan should be stripped of it's Test nation status because the behaviour of this team is a serious blight on the game.

  • JNS on March 29, 2007, 0:21 GMT

    Relax people. It's just a sport. Both Bangladesh as well as Ireland beat us fair and square. They deserve to be in the Super 8 and we do not. Enjoy the cricket.

  • Junaed on March 28, 2007, 23:33 GMT

    Im very happy that Bangladesh beat India, not only because of the fact that it paved the way for the team to go to the second round, but also because it taught the Indians a lesson for being so arrogant. While our south asian brothers Pakistan and Srilanka both hosted us in test match series, India has never done so because hosting bangladesh wouldn't generate enough revenue for their cricket board.

  • Nadeem Shafee on March 28, 2007, 22:36 GMT

    Players from PUNJAB got many chances. And replace by same type of players.

    After missed 14 dismissals in one match Kamran Akmal was the part of Pakistan world cup cricket team.

    PCB or Inzi includes Naveed-ul-hasan in World Cup (squad, 11) after his continuious miserable performance from last one year.

    Imran Nazir got his unusefulness century (with several chances) after unlimited apperance. He was completely out of form when we need it, he performed vey bad in SA tour but he was in WC squad.

    He scored century with several chances against Zimbabve, when we alreday out from tournament.

    Under Inzi Captain ship we tried openers as below:

    Hafeez, Salman Butt, Taufeeq Umar, Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat etc.

    What is common in all above openers? PUNJAB ATTA

    Inzi kicked out Yasir Hamid (He had best batting average than all openers listed above)

    But on other hand players from other provinces such as Hasan Raza, Yasir Hamid, Faisal Iqbal, Danish, Sami, Asim Kamal played one bad match they are out in next one.

    Even more Asim Kamal out after his extra ordinary performance. Inzi kept out him for there years with out any reason. He scored nine fifties out of his twelve matches but was out of the team.

    Inzi only like punjabi ATTA.

    Is it TABLIGUE JAMAT?

    Nadeem UK

  • Atif Siddiqui From Toronto on March 28, 2007, 22:22 GMT

    I am the biggest supporters of minnows playing in the world cup. Now just because my favourite team Pakistan is out of the world cup, I would not blame green pitch, toss, weather, and minnow in the WC.

    I think it is better to face the reality, if Pakistani batsmen cannot play on green turfs, I think it is time to get back to drawing board. It is quite possible that Ireland can pull off another upset on another green turf; we have to wait and see even if not they will learn and get huge experience from here, a country which is not known for cricket, certainly got the attention of not only their media but Prime minister granted more money to support Ireland’s extra stay through the rest of the world cup. It is good for the game, cricket which is far behind in popularity from soccer, rugby, tennis… especially in North America where short and quick sports rules, 3 hour sports make huge money.

    Pakistan’s win over Zimbabwe, I think on this batting track it was ok, plus a chanceful innings from Nazir, he got out long before, luckily survived, then what would have happened, another loss? It seems to me that Pakistan is the only team which always severely affected by bad decisions they can’t recover, In the game against Ireland there were few bad decisions could not go Pakistan’s way on the bowling of Sami and Azhar, but Pakistan just cannot recover few decisions going against there way, they should have bowled out Ireland. They lack mental toughness, I think Super 8 is tougher and it is good that we exited early, otherwise winning a couple games in S8, would not have shaken our cricket structure.

    I think we need separate Test and ODI teams. Release all the players from there contracts, before September select 10 top batsmen, 10 bowlers(fast and spin), 2 wicket keepers from best performances in domestic cricket, have few green pitches, dead wickets, un even bounce wickets… by July short list these key players, if current players can make the list than good, otherwise I would count them out. Choose the best leader among them and vice captain, Coach should be Pakistani (Aaqib Javed) good choice, foreign coach not effective enough unless Pakistani players proof themselves to be literate enough, Pakistani staff, physios etc.

    Selectors to select 15 players, no influence from coach and captain, Captain in consultation with VC and Coach to select playing eleven. These three should sign off on the playing 11 before every game in black and white, just to eliminate any doubts, docs to be kept private and sent to selectors and PCB officials.

    Let’s look towards the new beginning, and cheer for Srilanka or Bangladesh.

  • Gaurav Gupta on March 28, 2007, 20:33 GMT

    I think you are being a little too judgemental about india and pakistan. i agree totally that its a pretty serious cricketing matter, the way both teams have been knocked out so early but these results necessarily do not mean that something is "inherently" wrong with the system..the simple fact is that these 2 teams had a bad tournament. end of story. win or lose, its part of sport and you have to live with it. these good teams have played a bad tournament.

  • Ashaq on March 28, 2007, 20:04 GMT

    How about Pakistan taking a sabbatical from all forms of international cricket for the next 2 years or so.

    We can organise our own domestic tournament along the lines of six teams as Imran Khan has been calling for.

    World cricket needs Pakistan . Pakistan does not need world cricket

    The last time such a savage attack was launched against Pakistan.Was When the young Miss Jemima Goldsmith. We where led to believe that Jemima would locked up in some dungeon. As it happens the Marriage lasted years.A very long innings for a celebrity marriage.

    It has also transpired that the initial autopsy results where inconclusive.Yet Mr Celebrity Cop Mark Shields from the out set has been claiming Woolmer was Murdered .And not so subtly Pointing fingers at the Pakistan Team.

    So the Questions we need to ask are why the second opinion was not sought initially.

    Why Mark Shields is claiming that beyond any doubt the cause was murder. Whilst the most obvious explanation that it was an accident. With Woolmer falling and hitting his head against the sink being over looked.

    It seems to me that this is not a case off murder.But a case of Police officer wanting his 15 minutes of fame.

    It is time the Pakistani government took a stand on this issue.

  • Samir on March 28, 2007, 19:56 GMT

    If cricket is supposed to be the "game of glorious uncertainty", I wonder why people are so frustrated about India's and Pakistan's exit.

    At first I was quite worried about the tournament's structure: 4 groups with 2 strong teams against 2 weak teams would be a walk in the park for the 2 strong teams and leave the super eights open for the top eight teams. But now I rejoice at Ireland's and Bangladesh's progression to the next round, since it serves as a stark reminder to the bigger teams that they should not take their "giant" status lightly. (I wonder if people here would have created the same fuss if Kenya made it to the super eights rather than England, or Zimbabwe made it instead of West Indies)

    To the Indian and Pakistani supporter crying about their "one loss": grow up! Sure, Pakistan and India can beat Ireland and Bangladesh in the next five matches that they play each other, but the fact remains that these two teams failed to deliver in the big event, not once but TWICE!

    If Bangladesh and Ireland "don't deserve to be in the super eights", then I'd say that India and Pakistan don't deserve to be in the super fours (i.e. semi finals). Or even better, we could just play one final game with the two top ranked teams, Australia and South Africa, and not let any of the other teams compete to be world champions.

    What is the point of having a "world" cup if we are going to restrict participation to only a handful of "giant" teams? If this is the case, we might as well restrict world cup football to Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, England and Italy. At least in world cup football, the initial group games are followed by elimination rounds, where the "minnows" have every opportunity to rub salt into the wounds of the "giants" (Korea knocking out Italy in 2002, Romania knocking out Argentina in 1994, too many examples!). Perhaps in this case, the super eights itself is a farce, because a "giant" can be upset by a "minnow" but still make it to the semi finals by beating other teams, while the "minnow" can end up losing to other teams and be eliminated. Where is the justice in that?

  • Rahul Jain on March 28, 2007, 19:39 GMT

    I am sorry, its as simple as this....Every Game Counts..if you cannot win against the likes of Ireland and Bangladesh you do not get the respect of other oppositions

  • khansahab on March 28, 2007, 17:40 GMT

    Mr Abbasi,

    One of the reasons I love this blog is that we get to see various shades of cricket fans. The comment by “Imran”, the Bangladesh supporter, was enlightening for me insofar making me feel frightened whether Pakistan would be classified a “minnow” in the next 2/3 years.

    There is so much corruption and mayhem in PCB at the moment that all ends for Pakistan seem blocked. Unless radical measures are implemented it will be the same old story and Pakistan will never really have the mindset to win a World Cup. The more I think about it, the more frightening that possibility seems. I think Pakistan won WC 1992 because it had excellent, irreplaceable players like Imran Khan, Wasim, Javed etc. Somehow the present system can’t produce players who have that passion or consistency.

    However it is in human nature that we don’t like “risks” because risk can grant you failure just like it can grant you success. What is there to be done? Someone else said that we can all call for drastic measures to be taken but at the end of the day we will stick with the same spineless, inconsistent players. That is worth a thought, too. Think about it; we might classify Mohammad Yousuf to be incompatible with ODI’s owing to his lethargic and uninspiring attitude on the field. I support Yousuf’s inclusion in the team but there are calls for him to be restricted to Tests only. Younis is already a misfit in ODI’s as he is average in the top order but when he is demoted to the middle order, it does not seem to do “justice to his talent.” I don’t know what WADA will declare for Akhtar and Asif. Akhtar will not change but Asif is an exciting prospect. If Asif is banned Pakistan really only have Umar Gul they can consistently rely on. Who knows- tomorrow Umar Gul might become so inconsistent that Pakistan looks for other bowlers.

    If this instability continues Pakistan is likely to be classified as a minnow in the near future. The opening problem will never be sorted if domestic openers are made to open in international matches. Even if Asif appears in the international arena after serving his ban from WADA (provided they do ban him), he might become lacklustre, like how Shabbir Ahmed appeared after this long break from international cricket.

    All those people criticising Mr Abbasi for classifying Bangladesh as a “minnow”, you lot are considering the BANG vs IND match. I suggest you have a look at the BANG vs SL scorecard and then you will realise what “minnow manhandling/thrashing” means. It’s true BANG have improved but they still have some years before they can be classified as a potent threat. Imran the Bangladeshi fan has also stated the same.

    Finally, Asad, you have raised a sensitive issue and I don’t think I can disagree with you. I don’t know whether our Punjabi players can be classified as “mediocre” or not, but the chief culprits in the sorry enterprise, save Younis, seem to be from Punjab: Inzi (captain and chief blame bearer), Mushtaq (useless), Nazir (opener- his bat did not work in the matches which mattered), Hafeez (it is criminal to open with him) and Yousuf (arguably the best batsman in the team, who was poor in the ‘Cup).

  • Madhu on March 28, 2007, 16:22 GMT

    hmmm...what to say? nowadays cricket is becoming like hockey...in last century, Both India and Pakistan taught the world how to play hockey...but now the situation is "Reciprocle". Now cricket also becoming like that in both asian countries....in india, the cricket players are becoming "Ultra Models". they forget how to play cricket.... we should ban the cricketers acting in advertisements..... it was disgraceful defeat for the both countries... we must overcome from this situation, otherwise cricket will become hockey in both nations.

  • Asad on March 28, 2007, 16:14 GMT

    I cant say much about India, but for Pakistan after all the song and dance; we will go right back to 9 mediocre players from Punjab and a few superficial representation from other places.

    So, all this talk about how great an opportunity to bring change and restructure this and that is pure crap.

    The fact will remain the same that the favoritism towards one province will continue to be the bane of Pakistan cricket.

  • raghu on March 28, 2007, 15:54 GMT

    Hi,

    Just saw some comments suggesting that india and pakistan had become minnows and bangladesh had become the giants. If 2 or 3 bad matches makes you conclude this there can be no further argument. Sure they gave bad performances and were complacent but that does not take away the class of players they have. Whether it was a home series or noe, India still won against srilanka and won the opening matches warm up comprehensively against westindies.

    Give them some time and they will hit back. Lets not conclude and brand a team a loser for eternity with every loss and the best in the world with the next win

  • Boze on March 28, 2007, 15:41 GMT

    India's knockout of the worlcup came a moment too soon of Pakistan's exit .Now ! the premature exit will be hard to bear ,flak will be aplenty ,suffering for most will be unbearable, yet they were made to share this together .Aren't these signs for these two great nations ? It's not just about cricket ; cricket was the messenger.

    Hers's some cricket : The ICC definitely didn't want an Asian invasion into the super 8 that's why they pitted two giant's and bangladesh not far behind India and Sri Lanka (or should i say giant killers )in the same group knowing fully that only two teams can qualify .

  • ehsan on March 28, 2007, 15:17 GMT

    Quote " "But the tournament has been stripped of twelve heavyweight encounters." it shows your lack of knowledge about cricket or those particular teams you ve been calling minows..

    i would like to ask you if you watched bangladesh india match and bangladesh played like a chempion . and you expect india to give a fight. you should improve your knowledge about cricket. i m not interested about pakistan cause they r a real mess . they dont even worth playing in world cup . cheers for irland and bangladesh .

    i m not sure about irland but i dont take bangladesh as minows ..

  • Faisal S on March 28, 2007, 13:05 GMT

    While watching Pakistan pummel Zimbabwe in the final group match, a peculiar feeling of self-loathing engulfed me.

    I hate myself for hoping that Imran Nazir scored the first 200 in ODI history. I hate myself for believing that a few lusty blows from Shahid Afridi would have provided me with some kind of tonic for the punishment I have endured. Luckily, this introspection led me to a realisation.

    I am relieved that Pakistan came away from this tournament with nothing at all.

    You see, the differential between expectation and talent reached a dangerously disproportionate level before the World Cup. We should have expected to struggle given that we are the ONLY team besides the minnows that possess an untried, opening partnership with individual averages in the 20s to late teens and arguably, the worst bowling attack of the major test nations. If you promote us into the ICC envisioned super eight, I have to say that I would swap our bowling attack with any other team in the tournament save for perhaps England.

    In fact, which of our players would get into any other super eight side? I would argue again that besides Umar Gul replacing Mick Lewis or Jimmy Anderson for England or maybe Daren Powell for WI, there is no other team in the super eights that would want ANY of our first eleven. What of the so-called big three? Can you honestly tell me that you would drop any of Pieterson, Flintoff, Kallis, Gibbs, Lara, Sarwan, Dravid, Yuvraj, Tendulkar, Jayawardene, Sangakarra, Oram, Vettori, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Hodge, Symonds for any of these flat track bullies who, apart from Younis Khan, are complete liabilities in the field?? What about our wicketkeeper? I would take an out of form Boucher, Sangakarra, Gilchrist, Dhoni, or McCullum over Akmal, leaving only Nixon and Ramdin in his peer group.

    Aridi is the one player who best captures this disconnect between rabid expectation and brutal reality. Again I ask, would you drop Gayle, Symonds, Oram, Flintoff, Kallis, Sangakarra for him? Honestly, it is only blind nationalism that made me omit Dhoni from that list.

    Suddenly, I am not sure why I am disappointed.

    We lack players, heart, leadership and infrastructure. It will take a generation for us to be taken seriously again.

  • Shahid Khan on March 28, 2007, 12:53 GMT

    Pakistan cricket is all about corruption and match fixing. We have a corrupt system from top to bottom in our country and the corruption also visible in our players. ICC does not have enough powers to stop the nonsense of Asian cricket playing countries. Pakistani players only care about the money and they don't play for the country. Imran Khan is the only honest man in the country and I really admire him for everything he had done for our country. Pakistani players will never play this game honestly and I will never watch them playing again. All Pakistanis should stop watching cricket as our star batsmen really sucks. Our top players ( Inzi; Younus & Yousuf)earns around 2.5 lakhs rupees per month plus the match fees and actually this is a huge amount. In the end I will just say Shame on you Inzimam. You have brought disgrace to the country. Just by growing beard and praying five times a day does not make you a good Muslim. May Allah will give us wisdom to do something good for our country. Ameen.

    Shahid Khan

  • Hasnain Raja on March 28, 2007, 12:21 GMT

    This early exit has given an excillent oppertunity for Cricket Governing Bodies of the both countries to correct the negative approach they have been following. Both boards are not paying attention towards Domestic Cricket which is the root of excellent teams like Australia and South Africa. International players playing in domestic competition will give the local players to improve when playing with likes of Tendulkar, Dravid, Yousaf, Shoaib, Asif and this is the only survival for crickets of both nations.

  • kpsverma on March 28, 2007, 12:12 GMT

    you have hit the nail. but one of the reasons we are in this state is because we have no patience. when allan border was appointed catptain of australia, he had a bunch of lads to perform. naturally the performance of australia dipped. but the lads were given opprtunities to do better and better and results started coming and the border led lads won world cup 1987. what happened in india. same thing happened to south africa who appointed smith as captain but now the team is where SA wanted it. at the top. we discarded players like raina and kartik who were among the best fielders in the world and brought back oldies who took no run when single could be stolen and took one when every other team will take two. in filelding, some players developed the method of safe diving after the ball was gone so that all concerned think that effort has been made. good try was what they aimed for and not a make or break effort which will stop the ball but may also cause injury. all oldies were excellent triers which will not result in run saving but will not attract comments. india's last two captains have been worst fielders and runners between wickets and hence perform poorly whenever there is relatively difficult pitch where boundaries can be hit. in dravids case he may score on difficult pitch will ensure run out of at least one player on average.

    let us have new lads and give them 4 years, even if that means losing lot of matches. but these lads have to be great athelets and not afraid of injuries. at least we will enjoy good fielding.

  • Imran Shah on March 28, 2007, 11:20 GMT

    Yes both Pak and India especially Pak is left way behind the world in One Day Cricket. Pakistan has to make a complete change in the board, selection committee and the team offcourse. Make Imran Khan the Chairman of the PCB (i.e. if he accepts working under Mr. Musharraf) Inzamam is out already take Younis Khan, Afridi & Shoaib AKhtar out of the side make Shoaib Malik or Razzak the captain and give 14-15 players a longer run to show their skills and capabilities.

  • Chaudry on March 28, 2007, 11:06 GMT

    Although it really hurts to have lost 11/12 potentially great fixtures involving Pakistan and India, lets be realistic about matters. Everyone, including Pakistan and India, were well aware of the tournament format for a while and should have realised that no opposition should be underestimated. Unfortunately for both countries they displayed fatal signs of complacency which, ultimately, proved costly. West Indies and Sri Lanka were also exposed to the same potential banana skins but put in more professional performances.

    I agree that some of the fixtures involving Ireland could prove to be mis-matches, but they have earnt their right and should be encouraged. What I don't agree with is the criticism that has been directed at Bangladesh. Even before the tournament started, I have been highlighting to my friends, colleagues (or anyone willing to listen to me for more than 2 minutes) that Bangladesh should not be underestimated. They are a capable team that have developed immeasurably in the one day arena since the last world cup, and the fixture against the much vaunted, but perpetually overrated and pampered Indian team, was likely to be a competitive and worthy duel in that group.

    Regardless of this well-deserved victory, they are not being given any respect and are still being termed as minnows despite beating New Zealand in the warm up, India in the group stages and that memorable victory against Australia in 2005. I feel this Bangladesh team could have a few more surprises in store for the so-called big guns. For the good of the game and this bloated tournament, lets hope so……..

    Going forward, they need to seriously consider a pre-qualifying event similar to what we saw at the Champions Trophy or that used by FIFA for the world cup. Teams can be put into groups of 4 (or 6) and invited to play home and away fixtures against other group teams over a two year period. This will encourage fixtures with developing countries, avoid punishing teams for one bad day and, ultimately, allow the world cup to be a showcase for the best 10 teams in the world who can play a league format against each other. In addition, associate countries such as Ireland, Kenya, Canada, Scotland and Holland will be exposed to a higher level of cricket on a regular basis and not just once every four years. Everyone's a winner…….

  • GEorge on March 28, 2007, 10:30 GMT

    I dun think its fair to couple Ireland and Bangladesh as minnows. I think over the next few weeks we will see that Bangladesh will be competitive in almost all their matches, and we will see Ireland get smashed. Remeber Ireland were very lucky to away with a tie with Zimbabwe and won a very good toss against Pakistan (No excuses, Pakistan should have won no matter how bad the conditions were) Whereas Bangladesh took care of India pretty comfortably, they batted and bowled pretty well. Bangladesh is not minnow anymore, but they are not quite a giant yet either

  • Imran on March 28, 2007, 8:59 GMT

    Hi I am a Bangladesh fan and I have some Advise for Indian, Bangladesh and Pakistani Fans.

    Indian Fans: Please stop making these cricketers God. When they win they are God and when they lose you guys burn stuff on the road. This is pretty pathetic and funny in a way. People just laugh at you looking at these.

    Bangladesh Fans: Yes Bangladesh is in the super 8 but you guys need to keep your foot grounded. Sometimes the Bangladeshi fans can over celebrate a win become a little arrogant. That is not going to help Bangladesh cricket. Remember at this moment India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are still better team than Bangladesh but I can guarantee that in 3-4 year they will be as good or even better. But until then please keep your foot grounded and don’t try to fly too high.

    Pakistanis Fans: I am impressed with the Pakistani fans handling their defeat against Ireland better than India. But remember Pakistan did not have their best team in this world cup in my opinion. You guys need to stop bringing up this Match Fixing issue every time your team loses to a weaker team. Maybe Pakistan is not as good as they used to be once.

    To the author: Please stop blaming the format of the tournament. The way India and Pakistan are playing, I don’t think they would have been able to win a single match except for the one in which they play one another. Judging by their performance they were not good enough. Just because they are India and Pakistan does not mean they have to be in the super 8. Time is changing and we all have to accept this fact.

  • hasan on March 28, 2007, 8:31 GMT

    "The players, of course, have only themselves to blame (along with their cricket boards and their coaching staff) although being wrong footed in one match looks a harsh methodology to condemn these two great cricketing nations to four years of waiting."

    unfortunately, you found it out only after getting booted from the WC. other than that, its a nice article. you are very true about the media hype and arrogance of players.

  • Ash Zed on March 28, 2007, 8:11 GMT

    As far as India is concerned, their downfall is mainly due to the following reasons:

    1) Players more interested in individual records. No one cares about the team. 2) Team is basically media made. It is media hype that puts Indian team second to Australia. In reality they are nowhere near what they are being projected by the media. 3) Too much engagement on advertising campaign by the players where they make more money than what they make in cricket.

    As far as Pakistan is concerned, first of all it is a week team and secondly the religion factor has ruined the team completely.

    Here I just want to reproduce a news clipping about the religious extremism that says all.

    A bunch of disgruntled players requesting anonymity, voiced their concerns regarding the religious drills they were made to go through on the short stint in the Caribbean and during the trip to London.

    At times some of us questioned ourselves whether we have come here to play cricket or on a religious mission. We were not really focused. Just before the parade during the opening ceremony, our assistant coach asked us to line-up for prayers while other teams participated in the official turnout,” narrated one of younger players in the side.

    “Before taking the flight to London the assistant coach once again asked us to congregate at the Kingston Airport lounge for prayers and during the flight to London, despite objections from the cabin staff, a number of us were asked to offer prayer in the aircraft gallery as the rest of the passengers watched in bewilderment.”

    Mushtaq was well known for his part in match fixing in his playing days. After making tremendous amount of illegal money, he wants to be a god Muslim…………. WHAT A JOKE!!!!!!

  • Naz on March 28, 2007, 7:36 GMT

    Pakistan have been ranked 3rd for a number of years in both forms of crickets, only Australia have kept such a consistent grasp by remaining No1 in either form. Pakistan had a terrible build up to the WC, compounded by a single-minded but thoughtless captain. The team looked to him for inspirtation to pull through the early setbacks and got none.

    Pakistan cricketers do lack professionalism there is no doubt, but more so lack the cricketing brain which should improve with every game. No matter how good the coach is the student needs to apply the logic passed to him! Our past cricketers also showed more desire, however, this was instilled in most of them at an early age by Imran....cornered tigers, Inzi was breeding pussy cats.

    I think it is ridiculous for Pakistan to be pushed as a associate for this performance and other goings on (posted by DAN of OZ). We talk about knee jerk reactions, two defeats dont make you a weak side! Secondly, if we think of the other goings on....drugs case, Pakistan is criticised for its low literacy level - if 2 players complain a lack of awareness that is only consistent with the other ills in the country. I think it is far worse for Warne to have been caught in a country which prides itself in Sports Science.

    With regards to the death of Woolmer, i think the Western Media (led by Rupert Murdoch - deranged Aussie) should be embarrassed for such poor journalism and accusing the Pak team of guilt without any evidence......u can only think if an Aussie/Eng coach has been murdered would the finger of blame ever go to the team, never!!! That is the white world of reporting - only see one colour. Lastly, the Oval fisaco has proven how money grabbing and limelight seeking Hair is -he's an Aussie too!

    I'd agree with Gavaskar, Aussies are the best yet will never be fondly remembered - this sentiment is not without cause!

    India's issues are similar and different to Pak. They need to stop thinking of the commercial aspect and look at how many of their players are playing for the team. Sachin amongst others should be expected to miss occasional games if his form is not right, this such a taboo subject even now....he cannot play/perform forever!

    I agree with an earlier post, ODI cricket requires a combination of athlete's who play good to excellent cricket - rather than 11 talented players who tire too quickly! If Inzi was starting his career or midway through, he would never cope with modern ODI cricket....game has moved on.

  • Eshwar Salivati on March 28, 2007, 7:27 GMT

    It is sad that after a long time that India and Pakistan do not face each other in the world cup.The amount of pressure on each team is tremendous especially the Indian Team with over a billion expectations,sponsors pressure ,media frenzy etc. After disappointing losses to Bangladesh for India and Ireland for Pakistan, the so called minnows we have become minnows.

  • M. Sathish Kumar on March 28, 2007, 7:17 GMT

    Leaving aside our respective patriotism, India and Pakistan, the way they played, does not deserve to be in the super eights. Playing conditions cannot be an excuse at this level! But the irony is that neither Bangladesh nor Ireland deserve to be in the super eights.

  • M. Sathish Kumar on March 28, 2007, 7:04 GMT

    India and Pakistan are no longer giants at the international level (were they ever?).

  • Fazal on March 28, 2007, 6:54 GMT

    I noticed a lot of people blaming the ICC format for the knockout; one bad day they say. Perhaps their memories fail to recall that both India and Pakistan had two bad days, not one. Both teams failed to put up much of a fight in their matches against their fellow test nations (WI and Sri Lanka). India atleast had the benefit of playing Sri Lanka last and thus were masters of their own fate to a greater extent than Pakistan. No excuse for either team.

    Still I agree to an extent about format. The '92 World Cup format was the best. Just let the top 8 nations play each other and advance to the semis and the finals, both of which should be best of 3. That way ICC can get some more matches and more of its precious money which is obviously the only reason we have minnows in a World Cup anyway.

  • Rizwan Liaqat on March 28, 2007, 6:51 GMT

    I will say what Imran Khan has always stressed, first class cricket in Pakistan needs to improve. This point was raised by Inzy himself before the world cup. Whereas Australians can choose from completely developed cricketers, the finished products, in Pakistan we have to unearth talent, give them a run in the team and polish them. As long as this continues, Australian dominance will continue.

  • Taimur Saad on March 28, 2007, 6:34 GMT

    What i think is that right now, we only need an agressive captain, who is not afraid to take attacking decisions during the match. Only agressive players in current Pakistan Squad are Afridi and Akhtar.I think they should try Afridi as a captain for few tours and if he is successfull,then make him a permanent captain. Problem with Akhtar is that he gets injured soo many times, so its difficult to make him a captain. Best coach right now for pakistan can be Aqib javed or Waqar younis and they should also have a batsmen coach like miandad or zaheer abbas.

  • Majid khan on March 28, 2007, 6:13 GMT

    Its just a game move on ppl stop blaming everone

  • Dilon de Silva on March 28, 2007, 5:13 GMT

    I can't really understand whats going on with Pakistan cricket, they have highly talented cricketers in their squad but them lacking the killer instincts and not gelling well as a team is the main reason why they are not doing well.

    Inzi, One of the greatest batters of all time... Yousuf, Stylish & elegant and one of the most consistence batsmans... Younis, Pleasure to watch him when he's in full swing... This list goes on...

    But they have a dent in their bowling line up but that wasn't exposed...

    Same thing goes with the Indian cricket but the difference in Sri Lankan cricket & Bangladesh Cricket is how they gel as a team and specially Sri Lanka how they go for the kill...

    After Mahela was appointed as the captain along side coach tom moody they brought the Killer ability which has taken Austalia to the top...

    Sri Lanka has the ability to go to the top and Bangla chaps in four years time with the guidance of Whatmore they will be a serious threat to so called giants... Also Ireland has grown rapidly over the years and when they stop exporting players and decide to think about their own cricket they will benefit soon... Morgan, Joice brothers and some more who are currently playing in English set up, if they can bring them back they will be a power to reckon...

    In Asian cricket, Politicians has to stay out of it and let administration to be done by ex-cricketers and the marketing to be done by marketeers...

  • shaukat on March 28, 2007, 4:59 GMT

    For crying out loud. Accept reality India & Pakistan are out of the world up and have noone to blame but themselves. Its time we stopped blaming the World cup format for our early exits from the tournament. But the I wonder how long it will be before I one the the rich sponsors comes up with their own World Cup that would only feature India and Pakistan. It could have all ingredients for holding the ICC hostage after all its all about money - is it not.

  • UK on March 28, 2007, 4:24 GMT

    RE: Dan of Brisbane

    Senseless comments.

  • shareq on March 28, 2007, 3:55 GMT

    to the people who keep on saying india and pakistan had one bad day.. hello? they got beaten by bangladesh and ireland, and also got thrashed by sri lanka and westindies.. and managed to beat zimbabwe and berumuda on thier what the word " good day" so they defintely deserved to get the boot

  • anonymous_coward on March 28, 2007, 3:45 GMT

    This cricket world cup, oops sorry, ICC Cricket World Cup reminds me of the 2002 fifa world cup.. many heavyweights, like france, portugal and argentina got knocked off the first round.. and mind you, france didn't even score a single goal in the entire tournament..

    i didnt hear any one speak about match fixing or corruption.. or that players are paid too much or money is spoiling the game.. i would also like to highlight that the money involved in cricket is NOTHING compared to the amount in football..

    why this sarcasm? why this cynicism? or is it because of bob woolmer's murder?

    every team has its bad day.. that happened to be against bangladesh for india and against ireland for pakistan.. and their other matches with sri lanka and windies respecitevely, i think they just lost to the better team THAT day..

    certainly india and pakistan have to improve their game.. but i dont think that they have hit rock bottom, like what all of u'll seem to suggesting - so much so as in to sack every single player,change the entire system,blah, blah.. some one even suggested that both teams be relegated to icc associate status.. c'mon man? just because they lost 2 games???? lol~

    this very same indian team reached the finals of the last world cup. and this world cup they got knocked off. france reached the finals in 1998 but kncoked off in first round in 2002.. and in 2006 they reached the finals again..

    my point is simple.. give both teams a break.. they will sort themselves out..

  • ali a on March 28, 2007, 2:48 GMT

    I believe that India and Pakistan lost because of their lack of professionalism and responsibility (as I have pointed out this before during the SA tour). Their performances were simply repeat of champions trophy last year and it did not improve.

    It also serves PCB the lesson of playing Shoaib and Asif into the WC squad when they were not going to make it. It took the team focus out.

    There has been speculation from Mr Hamid Mir who has suggested on Indian media that Inzi should be investigated by Jamican police for Woolmer's murder (shame on Mr. Mir for even suggesting that). But he's has pointed out that team literally missed their match practice before Ireland's game. If that's true then its very disappointing that they did not take this game seriously.

    I would also want to highlight the fact that how come other teams' had not faced a fast and lively track like Pakistan did against Ireland? Pakistan also got a bad wicket in India during champions trophy last year. Was it a coincidence or a set up? Of course, it was a setup again it was no excuse for their bad batting.

    I also believe that one reason for their failure was lack of fitness due to fatigues. They should not have played so much cricket going into WC.

    I think Pakistan needs to take a break from cricket for a while, analyze their losses and move cautiously in playing future series. They should not just say okay to every series to please the board or ICC and make money. They should play only upto their capacity.

    As fas as captain is concerned I don't think we have too many choices except Younis or Afridi. We should definitely bring Waqar and Wasim as our bowling coach (forget about all controversies about match fixes - we are losing anyways). Why wast their skills to other nations. It is quite obvious that our bowling struggles w/o Shoaib or Asif. We should have more stock bowlers with skills so we cannot be hampered with injuries. We should also play both Azhar and Razaq interchangeably. This would create a healthy competition in the all rounder dept and will force them to perform.

    I don't think we should go with all out new team, this tried formula of 2003 has failed miserably. Had we retired Waqar and Anwar respectably after last WC, our team would have matured much better.

    While it was sad to see Inzi go and cry, one just wondered why it was such a big deal for him to bat at no. 5? I still think we should play him (may be not as captain) in test matches, because we need his experience. I believe this time he will be better in his performance as he probably wants to forget this WC and leave on a good note.

    Let me just say that WC groups were not organized well. Australia and SA got the easiest of team (Netherland and Scotland). While Pakistan and India got the difficult pool with two test playing teams (Bangladesh and Zibawawe). Also Australia and SA did not play each other till Mar 24, almost two and half weeks into it. It got them a lot of match practice before that with minnows.

    Irrespective, WC is definitely boring w/o India or Pakistan but as others pointed out only they have to blame.

  • kunal savarkar on March 28, 2007, 2:45 GMT

    how can you make sachin the captain. the poor guy did not even realise match fixing was happening! he was so caught up in thinking about the TVS victor (which made him smile), the MRF bats (which were so useful to score runs once in a while), the Fiat Palio S-10 (which sold at a 30% discount) - that he never realised matches were being fixed- an offence for which azhar, jadeja and others were banned. - 'see no evil ,hear no evil, speak no evil', what?

  • kunal savarkar on March 28, 2007, 2:03 GMT

    i agree with most people here about india and pakistan not deserving to go out. the format was harsh- but WHO would have thought that Pakistan would lose to Ireland, and India to Bangladesh!!! This is the problem with India and Pakistan- they are too unpredictable. In the case of Pakistan- they have such talented cricketers that one wonders what stops them from winning th ecup each time. Shahid Afridi is a batsman who finishes the game in the first ten overs. younis khan and mohd yousuf do it with some more finesse. shoaib akhtar can blow out the aussies on his day, as can sami, not to mention kamran akmal, abdur razzaq and others. in the case of india our 'superstar' cricketers don't have the time to practice and train- and the board encourages them to do so. happily i have realised the futility of watching india play- sorry the BCCI XI play- and have switched to watching bollywood potboilers. the bcci xi told the parliament - very famously- that the team is a BCCI XI that represents BCCI and not an Indian team representing India. the public however is stupid and insists on wasting time watching them.

  • Colin on March 28, 2007, 1:41 GMT

    I think everyone is missing the point. Pakistan and India did not perform to their expectations and were eliminated. Both teams knew the format of the World Cup and no doubt had national input to the format through the ICC so no complaints should be accepted. If teams get their house in order and play to their potential then there should be no complaints (maybe disappointment but no complaints.) Australia came to the World Cup with 5 consecutive defeats and just had to work hard to get back on track and the same application from other teams may see them succeed. After all cricket is only a game and should not be taken as seriously as it is in India and Pakistan. It is nice to win but also great to compete to the best of ones ability which is obviously what Ireland and Bangladesh have done. Enjoy the cricket and forget the fervent nationalism that goes with it in some countries.

  • Peter on March 28, 2007, 0:20 GMT

    Can I just say, to everyone who is complaining about the unfair WC system, whereby Pakistan can have just one bad game against a so called minnow and be knocked out... am I the only one who saw them lose to the West Indies?

    They lost 2 of their 3 matches. The WC system as it stands it fine. Saying that the competition has been robbed of the chance to watch Pakistan take on the super 8 sides, but then saying that Pakistan had only one bad game (thus being resigned to the fact that Pakistan cannot compete with teams such as the West Indies) is just plain contradictory and rediculous.

  • kris rajkumar on March 27, 2007, 23:41 GMT

    Hi Kamran, Whilst you have made some interesting comments, you have failed (or pretend to forget) to mention the hard truth. Indians and pakistani cricketers can never become true professionals; be it physically or mentally. They are fat cats who survive on advertisement income and also make sure the younger generation follow them albeit be grossly substandard.Groupism is rife in the teams and the concept of team play doesn't exist in their dictionaries. Personal pride and acheivement is paramount than the team's success. PCB & BCCI heads can change but the attitude of players never will. The only way these disgraced misfits can be punished is by the fans deciding not to watch them run a circus. Then again we are the soft hearted, readily forgiving sub continental people that in a years time we will start claiming all is well. There in lies the problem!!!! I am not sure who needs a kick up the back side; the cricketers or us the foolishly dreaming fans.

  • Nik Patel on March 27, 2007, 21:50 GMT

    I don't understand why everyone after Indian and Pakistan team. I understand they had one odd game against Bangladesh and Ireland. The way tournament setup, any loss like that could be very costly and that's what happened to them. In past, westindies lost to Kenya in 1996 and Pakistan lost to Bangladesh in 1999 and both team reached to Semi-Final and Final stage respectively.. I understand Pakistan team was in disarray without their strike bowlers and premium all-rounder but some team selection problems but India's team was well-balanced and one of the favorites. Even though they were slow in field, they lost because of batting and no one can argue over their ODI skills - Sehwag, Dravid, Ganguly, Sachin, and Yuvraj are performers and you can't just drop them forever and restart. Why we Indians and Pakistanis hate or love our team so passionately? It's just a sport. One bad day, you are out of tournament. It happens to any team.

  • Naveed on March 27, 2007, 21:05 GMT

    Kamran I can tell you knowing what happens in Pakistan and in India too ( can't speak for sure as never been there) that nothing is going to change. See change is a slow process and that after the right base has been built. And I don't agree with this approach of building a team for next worldcup - things don't happen like that - Grooming a player or Captain thats bull. The approach needs to be that we will win every match from now onwards and have the best team to play all times-this is needs belief and strength and taht comes from character! Javed from montreal mentioned to make Afridi a Captain - thats the biggest joke of the century so far- The guys who jumps on the pitch and throws a bat in spectators face in this era of cricket is the most irresponsible person on earth and can no way lead a team.

  • sudhakar reddy on March 27, 2007, 20:40 GMT

    the main problem with indian cricket is our players cant play on surfaces that offer assistance for bowlers.in the bangladesh game, the pitch was doing a bit in the initial stages and the batsmen struggled.i strongly feel we need pitches with a bit of bounce,the feilding should improve and running between wickets.

  • Hassan Kausar on March 27, 2007, 20:27 GMT

    According to the news so far, If Woolmer was really poisoned than strangled by possibly more than one person..than to me that sounds a bit too too calculative and planned. If for arguments sake our cricketers had done something like that it would have been a sloppy crime of passion, ( with mullah dhari hair all over Bob's room) I am sure with very obvious traces leading to them.

    I cant believe that after loosing the match they planned to poison him, dodge obvious footage on the cctv cameras, strangle him, hide all traces, obvious fingerptints and than calmly played the match against Zimbabwe the following day, with Inzi giving his 'I is , we is interview'. If our players were that good in planning and clean execution than they would have been in the super eights by now and none of this would have happened.

    Not believable at all. Also I am having trouble believing that these mullahs were match fixing matches and some one got a hit man to murder Bob.

  • Nishant on March 27, 2007, 20:20 GMT

    This is simply opportunistic writing. One day Pakistan is winning the WC, other day every one including team and administration is pathetic. Mr. Abbasi, I would expect you to have a point of view that is far more consistent as you are perhaps closest to the team, the administration and in general the way cricket is run. Instead, you have consistently chosen to feed us with what you think people want to read. I didnot hear anyone speaking about poor administration of cricket in India for last few months or couple of years. Suddenly, after a shock loss everything is in poor shape. In fact what is in poor shape in both these countries is culture of accountability. And believe me, it is going to take a lot more than changing a few team members and administrators to change this culture. Even if we were to discard all the senior players on these teams, take my word that the so called younger players would have cemented their place in the team and will become seasoned seniors by the time next world cup is around. Why so? Because they are not accountable to anyone. For players and administrators, it is their passion. They are willing to make money from it but refuse to treat it as a job where they are responsible and accountable to deliver results. Professionalism is neither developed by hiring foreign coaches, trainers and equipments nor by simply taking younger players. I am sure these things will not change by next world cup. Yes, they will perform well here and there because of their talent, passion and sometimes sheer hunger of a few players but they will not achieve the level of consistency that we seem to demand from them, at least not in the recent future.

  • Abhijit on March 27, 2007, 20:14 GMT

    There is a huge dilemma in India and Pakistan about implementing a "meritocracy". Both countries have poor 1st class infrastructure, lack of popularity of the domestic game and audiences who want instant gratification. If either was to go through the difficult phase that Australia went through in Border's early days as captain, the team and selectors and boards would be pilloried no end. However, that phase in Australia saw true reform and set the seed for the current 10 year dominance of the Australians, from getting a competitive Pura Cup tournament to sticking with players (groomed in the adversity of Pura Cup play) in the national team even through bad patches, keeping consistency in the side, and developing a strong A side so that there is bench strength. At least a couple of years ago Australia A would favorably compare with most Test teams. Unless the subcontinental fan and administrator can stand a lean patch of developmental work for the long term benefit of a strong system and bench strength, no improvement can take place. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have kept their teams consistent, inducted good youngsters who are paying off in spades now (Silva, Malinga, Ashraful come to mind) and provided solid leadership up front.

    I agree with most comments that we will get the same old song and dance again from both PCB and BCCI. However, it would behoove both boards to remember the truism that repeating the same process and expecting different results is a definition of insanity. However, on past records, and with the intrinsic involvement of politicos in sports administration in both countries (a phenomenon possibly only seen in the Third World), there is not much hope for true progress

  • Ravi Singh on March 27, 2007, 20:13 GMT

    The World Cup is meant to be tough. If India & Pakistan lost their matches to the minnows then it's not the fault of the ICC or the minnow nations. I don't recall Australia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand, the real heavyweights, losing their matches. You have a match to play and if you don't win, you lose, duh! Don't blame the format, blame the team. Congrats to Ireland & Bangladesh!

  • Some Indian on March 27, 2007, 20:11 GMT

    I cant blame the world cup format fully for what happened because I didnt like the format for the opposite reason when I first heard about it. I told my friend "This is a meaningless round. 2 strong teams and 2 weak teams in every group. And you select 2 teams for the next round from each group so automatically the 2 strong teams will go to the next round without any problems." But I was proven wrong by Bangladesh and Ireland. I have no complaints regarding it.

  • salman jamshed on March 27, 2007, 19:48 GMT

    Dear Kamran I agree that this format of ICC world cup was not fair.But this is the rule in most games .It is THE DAY that matters.Whatever the team ranking or their capacity and talents are if they cant stand up on THE DAY.One day cricket is not an hours game and does not depend on one player.They have 50 overs and 11 players to show themselves .We cant blame anyone but the spirit less performance of Pakistani Team.

  • Sheraz on March 27, 2007, 19:47 GMT

    Pakistan cricket can never get back to level of the 1990's unless politics, favoritims and egos are left at the door of the PCB academy. The day when the team is selected on merits is the day when Pakitan cricket will come to the top again (Inshallah). When you want to be the best you try to copy the best in their cricket work ethic, their devoution, their habits and their minds. Australia has been in the finals of last three WCs and has won 3 of the last 5 and probably will win this year. Think about how many players from the current WC Pakistan team will of made the Aussie team. Maybe one. Pakistan cricket is at this lowest level due to politics, egos and corrupted leadership from captain to the head of PCB. Let people that know cricket, manage the team. Let the people that have played at the highest level at a excellent level put together the team. INSHALLAH, Pakistan cricket will be back on top.

    As for the super 8 format. 11 matches is the correct number since India and Pakistan would of played 6 each with one being against each other.

  • KRS-Vun on March 27, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    To JAVED A. KHAN,

    Man you are absolutely Nutts!

    Making Shahid Afridi a captain? when he's not even good enough to make the ODI team? When he's not even playing because of his stupid antics that get him banned? When he's too busy arguing with everyone and creating discord among Players? You call these "captain-like qualities"?

    What are you smoking dude? A CAPTAIN IS A LEADER, and a leader leads from the front. Now are you telling me Afridi leads from the front?

    Definately NOT! No one on the Pakistan team has more ducks than him. And aside from that, the pitch tampering, berating/hitting fans, and inconsistant batting does NOT even warrant a position on the team.

    So please do us a favor and watch some other sport...preferably, one that doesn't require much thought.

  • NASIR DOC on March 27, 2007, 19:08 GMT

    Oh another thing Kamran. I am angling for the job of chairman of PCB [only since you havent shown any interest, otherwise I would have stepped aside}I am a physician based in the US, am articulate,have a pleasant personality and usually get along with people and lastly I have an infinite reserve of patience with ineptitude and incompetence. I am easily cowed down and have not been known to stand up for anything worthwhile except for my own pay raise. Any suggestions as how to go about it.

  • nasir doc on March 27, 2007, 18:55 GMT

    Ayaz Amir the famous columnist quotes quite frequently that when the gods want to destroy they first make you go crazy. Will someone please tell me the rationale of having a former leg spinner as bowling coach for a pace attack.At best its the most ridiculous thing we have heard and trust me, we have seen and heard a lot. And at worse it stinks to high heaven. Who ordered this stroke of genius and why. And why was he persisted with, despite reservations about his role in the infamous match fixing saga. Ofcourse there could be an innocent explanation that he was a close croony of powers that be.

  • Atif Siddiqui on March 27, 2007, 18:24 GMT

    Next Green Top, wild guess: Ireland vs Bangladesh

  • Chiradeep on March 27, 2007, 18:13 GMT

    If something had to change, it would have changed when Pakistan exited the 2003 WC and when India got walloped first in WI and then in SA.

    At the same time, I don't quite agree with folks who say the world cup is now of a higher value with the soft-belly teams out. For the life of me, I fail to see how Bangladesh and Ireland can keep competing at this level and pulling off even one victory each (although, truth be told, I don't even know how Pak or Ind might have). I know the format is harsh and that the World Cup is not richer by our exit, but let's look inside ourselves rather than point fingers. In a world class tournament where fitness and agility of the Aussie, Proteas or SL kinds is on show, did Ind and Pak really fit in? What element was it that would have attracted cricket connoisseurs to our games? Given our present forms, I can't think of any. For all their runs, what help were Mohd Yousuf or Sachin to their teams, even Inzi for that matter? I guess the mentally weak will point at the format but the determined ones will say it's a lesson well-learnt and it gives us a chance to strengthen our cricketing cultures and regimen. It is a fact than India and Pakistan are not the best fielding sides in the world and this world cup is going to be one by the side with more muscle and more agility and accuracy on the field. With the advent of 20/20, this is especially true. Perhaps this additional break for the two teams will help them introspect rather than pray to Ram or Allah every time they get into a precarious position and lose. Perhaps, if the lessons are learnt, we'll have Ind and Pak for the 20/20 World Cup finals later this year.

    Till then, knowing all of this is wishful thinking, let's sit back and enjoy the truly most committed sides in the world show their wares.

  • sushmita on March 27, 2007, 17:54 GMT

    Firstly, I think it is wrong to blame the format of the World Cup. India should have beaten Bangladesh and Pakistan should have beaten Ireland, period. I think it is great that Bangladesh have qualified for the Super 8's. This is how an inexperienced team will gain valuable experience and progess in the future. India need to retract the star status that has been given to the players and the players need to focus on their job, winning the games. There is no aggression in the team, no hunger to win, this needs to be reestablished with a new coach and younger players.

  • Omer Admani on March 27, 2007, 17:46 GMT

    Dear Saima, Old wine is always better than new wine.

  • Syed Abdul Basit on March 27, 2007, 17:20 GMT

    First of all the format of the World Cup shud be reviewed. Although, initially it seemed to b very competitive. But now it is clear that only bad day or a bad pitch will do it for an unlucky team like Pakistan or India.

    Moreover, About the next captain. I think Pakistan shud choose some one from young players to lead the team. Shoab Malik can b a possible candidate, just like South Africa did.

  • Dr Tanzil Ahmad on March 27, 2007, 16:00 GMT

    I think it is pretty obvious that there needs to be a huge structural reform in the asian game, in particular Pakistan. Fitness and athleticism have to be prioritised so that we can compete with the likes of Australia and South Africa. Also it goes without saying that playing on green top wickets must be sorted out sooner rather than later.

  • safwan on March 27, 2007, 15:47 GMT

    there has to be some honest and knowledgable guy taking charge of the PCB rather then some fake, president-pushed candidate for this job who know s nothing about the game and its administration.

    Its hight time special emphasis is put upon player fitness and athleticsm, we need 11 fit, strong athletes on the field rather then 11 old, crumbling men(like in the world cup).

    its an utter shame that an event that was so eagerly anticipated by all pakistanis for 4 years has ended in such shame. Although inzi was a great great player and i am a big fan of his, one good thing out of his retirement is that Pakistani can now appoint a young, exhuberent and aggressive captain who takes the game by the scruff of its neck...someone like younis khan or shahid afridi MAYBE!

  • aftab bhai on March 27, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    pakistan need imran khan and javed miandad at the helms of pakistan cricket... the PCB should be trying there utmost to get imran khan into the pakistan cricket scene... mushtaq ahmed/waqar younis/wasim as bowling coaches, as they were the finest pakistan have ever produced...

    its time the pakistanis took the fingers out of there cakeholes nd did something constructive.

  • iqbalsh on March 27, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    I only got as far as the 1st reply to this blog and discovered this gem:

    "only 100% fit players must be there.No more compromises on fitness atleast,then salman butt should be back in the side,he is the most talented of the openers and future captain(going to be the 1st agressive captain of pakistan after a long time inshalah)."

    Way to go! 100% fitness levels and then mention Salman Butt in the same sentence!!!!!!

    This 20- something made the likes of Inzi, Yousaf and Razzaq look like Jonty Rhodes in the field.

    And herein lies the dilemma, unquestionably Butt has enough quality and talent to play International cricket -- but if we are to compete with the likes of Lankans, Aussies, Kiwis and Saffers then we need to identify athletes who posses the requisite bat/bowl skills not the other way round. Otherwise we will continue to have more bad than good days and continually flop in the major series/tournaments.

  • Freesia on March 27, 2007, 15:17 GMT

    People are blaming the WC format because IND and PAK are out of the WC.There is a famous quote "When reason turns again man, man turns against reason". These two teams are out simply because of the bad performance not only in one match but two matches. Their players don't have the energy and stamina that their opponents showed. WC is always won by a team that has passion, energy, stamina, committment and a will to win.

  • GenreX on March 27, 2007, 13:47 GMT

    If everything should have gone according to plan and the 8 significant teams should have made it to super 8s.... then wave the world cup good bye as Australia should win it anyway! Ireland and Bangladesh won fair and square and proved to be better teams than Pakistan and India. Considering their performance, I see some more "upsets" in super 8s. One bad day shouldnt matter? Of course it should! One bad day can turn into a man's last! Who do I blame for Pakistan's performance? The players! Board, Coach, Captain, selectors blah blah... its the TEAM that goes into the field and performs... if they dont... they should be fired like for any other job... if you dont perform... you're fired!

  • Ali Khan, Cambridge UK on March 27, 2007, 13:15 GMT

    "Harsh WC format", "one billion fans" these are all lame excuses. If you apply the same reasoning to hockey one can argue that Pakistan and India should qualify automatically for WC and Champions Trophy. Infact these countries have a right to participate in the football WC because after all they have a combined population of 1.2 billion! I don't know why but somehow Pakistanis and Indians are always under the illusion that their respective countries possess the best cricketing talent in the world. And any defeat is just a result of poor coaching, captaincy or bad team selection. We need a doze of reality. The truth is that both the countries don't have a single decent opener who can face the likes of Bond, Bracken, Pollock and Ntini on a supporting pitch. Sure we have dead wicket bullies like Sehwag, Uthapa, Salman Butt and Nazir. In the bowling department Pakistan have genuine talent as does India in the middle order. But look at SA, Aus and NZ. They have all 11 players performing in all departments of the game. Finally a lethargic side consisting of over-aged, spineless and past-their-prime cannot win ODIs.

  • Omair Ali on March 27, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    Hi Kamran and anyone reading this. PAKISTAN team has fundamental flaws. cricket is played with the brain. psychologically working up the tempo in the game. more importantly creaing opportunities. shane Warne for instance, coaxes batsmen and even umpires into making mistakes. Ricky Ponting, commands his team well, leads from the front, plays in high tempo and scores runs when the situation demands. both these players have character and a good cricketing brain. in pakistan we don't have anyone like that! shall i tell you why.. because the younger and newer players have got that mentality of playing tape ball cricket in pakistan. the batsmen can smash the ball a mile away and take bowlers for excess of 15 an over. This rarely happens in an odi!So in games they come undone because they try to replicate their feats with tape ball. THE PAKISTAN TEAM needs to pick up the quick singles and the doubles to accumulate a total. they have the firepower for plenty of sixes and fours. but singles and doubles are very important. it also rotates the strike. disrupts the bowlers plans -mistakes are made -loose balls are bowled - you pounce. i recount my last visit to pakistan where i played a bit of tape ball with the locals. i went into bat and started playing my normal game. knocking the ball for 1's and two's rotating the strike, working out the bounce or rather lack of it in the surface, as i had been accustomed to playing all my cricket in the UK. immediately the cries of 'test match player'flew around from the locals watching on. it is because of these pathetically insipid remarks from ignorant individuals which creates players who go in and try and smash the leather of each ball. i don't see pakistan players running many ones and two's. and they always hit the ball in the air. favourite one. CAUGHT AT POINT! Caught in the slips or in the deep. its all the same. SORT IT OUT. IT LIES AT GRASS ROOTS. . HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED TIP AND RUN. TRY IT?

  • Dinakar on March 27, 2007, 12:49 GMT

    TO put india's loss to Bangla in same bracket as Pak's loss to Irland is pathetic and more importantly far away from reality. I am indian but i am proud to see the way bangladesh played and acknowledge they deserve to go forward even if it is at India's expense. This doesn't mean on a given india would have not done well. Let's be brutally honest. Two teams who are highly talented but normally slow starters were knocked as they lacked intensity from word go!! Cricket is a sport and let it be that way.

  • Kanga85 on March 27, 2007, 12:28 GMT

    If Pakistan threw the match with Ireland, or sections of it, do they diserve to go on to the final eight?

  • menaz chamisa on March 27, 2007, 12:07 GMT

    I think the asian teams have been dealt a big blow by the format of his world cup.We all know Pakistan and India deserve to be in the Super 8's.Now we have minnows who are all going to be thrashed by all the teams there.We therefore have a situation where teams in the Super 8's are already at an advantage.Aus,NZ are almost guaranteed for the semi final because they will beat BAN and IRL.The disadvantaged teams are WI,SL becoz although they carry 2 points with them,the minnows will also be thrashed by everyone else.RSA,England have all to do in this tournament.They cannot afford to lose a game..Catch my drift??? Menaz- Zimbabwe

  • Tabs Farooq on March 27, 2007, 11:44 GMT

    I had tickets for Aus v Pak and Pak v Ind, which are Aus v Ireland and Bangladesh v Ireland........i feel sick to the gut, had planned this holiday for almost 2 years!! I am now going to start up playing golf...I hear there are some nice courses in barbados!!

  • Mamoon Qureishi on March 27, 2007, 11:34 GMT

    To Mr Dan of Brisbane - I am sure that when the Australian umpires kept both India and Pakistan of winning in Australia and when Shane Warne and Mark Waugh admitted to match fixing you wanted to ban all these men from cricket as it was bringing a bad name to the gentleman's game of cricket didnt you? brilliant you are so upfront and honest that i would like you to be the next president in running for both India and Pakistan. Grow up Mr Dan being from Australia doesnt give you the right to pin point fingers - we indians and pakistanis are quite good at it.

  • Sajjad on March 27, 2007, 11:26 GMT

    The primary reason for the debacle of pakistani cricket team in the world cup is not bowling or batting its religious beliefs or "tabligh". How can you expect a person to perform when he does not even believe in his abilities? When he things that his hard work is not going to bring him any rewards? When he believes that kismat is going to decide the fate of the game?

  • Aman on March 27, 2007, 11:19 GMT

    ICC could more than recover their financial losses by organizing a 7 match India-Pak ODI series in Sharjah. That would give World Cup viewership a run for their money!!

  • kunal on March 27, 2007, 10:38 GMT

    i agree to it

  • Jordan H on March 27, 2007, 9:54 GMT

    If India and Pakistan want to address their problems I think the coaching staff they choose will have a lot to do with it. Woolmer was a great coach and so is Chappell but neither had any idea of what it is like to represent the countries they were coaching. I beleive this is vitally important for all teams. As with NZ, Aus, SA and England the coaches understand how the players feel representing their country and IT IS different with each country. An Indian coaching India would have some idea of the huge pressure etc the players are under. Former coaching credentials may have something to do with choosing the coach but the way that the coach can relate to and interact with the players is most important.

  • Dan on March 27, 2007, 9:36 GMT

    I find it interesting to note that many bloggers blamn the format for the departure of India and Pakistan. Several seem outraged that "one bad day" cost them. But surely that's part of the excitement of sport. It's why the Cup is not simply presented to the No.1-ranked team. You must perform on the day. Australia had only one bad day in the 1996 Cup. Were we hard done by? Of course not. On the day, when it really mattered, Sri Lanka were the better team and thoroughly deserved to take the Cup home.

    Incidentally, I'm pretty sure that to be knocked out Pakistan and India both needed two bad days. With three opportunities to show it deserved to progress, India managed only one win. With the same three opportunities, Bangladesh won twice. With the same three opportunities, four of the super-8 won three times. That seems to have sorted out the wheat from the chaff most effectively.

  • SAFDAR HUSSAIN on March 27, 2007, 9:32 GMT

    It is due to a fool, a dumb and as lazy as tortoise that whole Pakistan nation had to see this day,the darkest day of their cricket history.Due to a man called INZAMAMULHAQ.

  • Monzurul Haque on March 27, 2007, 9:26 GMT

    It saved India and Pakistan from 11 more blushings!

  • srivathsan on March 27, 2007, 9:20 GMT

    Not withstanding the fact that both india &pakistan did not deserve to be in the hunt for the Worldcup , I feel the WCFORMAT need to be changed.One bad day for a good team should not cost them the event itself.Both india & pak can beat bangladesh & ireland 99 out of 100 matches.So a comprehensive shedule say two matches against each team or inter group matches in addition to intra group matches will be a better format to assess the potential to qualify for quarter finals.Even australia plays best of the three finals in their home matches.This in no way to negate the overhaul reqd. in selection,administration & Imparting discipline in our players.Following are the few things to be kept in mind. 1.performance & current form should be the sole criteria.No basking on past records. 2.fitness is the key. 3Fielding ability & runnig betwwen the wickets,not withstanding point 1. 4.No mixup of religion& sports.Game is the religion. 5.Country's pride & honour before personal recotds. 6.Impeccable integrity. 7.Players should be above politics & personal ego 8. LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST -NO ENDORSEMENT AS LONG AS THEY PLAY FOR COUNTRY EXCEPT FOR SOCIAL CAUSES.THIS APPLIES MORE TO INDIAN PLAYERS. IF THESE THINGS ARE TAKEN CARE OFF, BOTH INDIA & PAKISTAN WILL RULE THE CRICKETING WORLD.

  • Richard on March 27, 2007, 9:14 GMT

    Structural Changes in PCB

    We should forget the personal differences and think about building the Pakistani team by appointing the following personnels.

    Head: Imran Khan as we need someone who is a strong leader and can represent Pakistan effectively in the ICC (a person who is honoured and respected internationally in the cricketing world).

    Coach: Miandad, as he is a true fighter and no one in Pakistan knows more about the game than him.Plus he is a true patriot and brings the fighting spirit in the players

    Bowling coaches: Wasim, Waqar,Aquib, Qadir

    Fielding: For this we will have to depend on a foreign coach.

    The selectors should be someone who is capable and not afraid to take bold and hard decisions.

    Intil and unless we do not do this the performance of Pakistani team is not going to improve.

  • Suhail Khan on March 27, 2007, 8:40 GMT

    I find it very annoying whenever Pakistan loses to a less capable side, especially to the so-called 'minnows', most of us - fans and media alike - are quick to suspect 'match fixing'. Why is this not the case with other nations, who also have had major match fixing scandals in the past. After India lost to Bangladesh, I did not find a single remark on match fixing allegations in Indian print and electronic media. Players' houses were attacked, etc. but no mention of match fixing. Is it becuase we in Pakistan have no trust in ourselves or are we just very bad losers?

    I, for one, do not believe the Ireland match was fixed. You just need to see the match - Ireland's disciplined bowling & excellent fielding, and Pak team's worried and disappointed faces). Yes, they screwed up big time (and all teams do sometime) but not because of match fixing.

    And let's stop this rubbish about these teams being arrogant. Pakistan and India are not arrogant teams. If arrogance is the yardstick for failure, then Australia should be the first team to exit. In fact, we need a doze of arrogance and exuberance to instill self-belief in our players.

  • Richard on March 27, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    The defeat of the team reflect the true picture of the Pakistani nation today. There is no commitment and respect towards the nation. Everyone is working for their personal gains and no one cares for the country or nation as such. These people do not realise that it the image of the nation and the country as a whole which is being reflected through them.

    The instability of our Government is reflected in PCB as there are no clear guidlines to follow and adhocism is the name of the game.

    It is not that there is a dearth of sincere people in the country, but they are either not given the opportunity or not allowed to work freely by the concerned athorities. It is high time that we should realise that the country and nation's image is much more important than small personal gains and merit should be the only criteria for the selection of any post, may it be an office bearer or player.

  • Robert on March 27, 2007, 8:19 GMT

    Guess it's a simple case of they just weren't good enough. Bit of a shock for the fans, and pundits alike. Fair enough Bangladesh are a test playing nation, but Pakistan losing out to Ireland. Pakistan should go back to the drawing board and rebuild the entire team. Those that pinned their hopes on Shoaib and Asif... those that pinned their hopes on Inzy and co... were just left utterly dissapointed.

    It's no secret that as an SA fan Pakistan did little on their tour to inspire any support from me at this tournament. But from a neutral point of view their whole setup is seriously in need of help - from any quarter! Wonder if Ireland will lend them a hand?

  • TK on March 27, 2007, 7:41 GMT

    Transparency, apolitical approach, professionalism, and democratic set up are some of the pre-requisites for cricket to flourish in Pakistan and India. Worship of superstars ought to stop. No more one- man-ad-hoc- shows! The contemporary cricket requires sharp reflexes and absolute physical fitness. The WC’s first round has revealed the weaknesses of superstars, in words of famous Urdu poet Akbar Allahabadi:

    Joo Ghuba’ray thay woh aah’kher ghir hey gaiy Joo Sita’ray thay woh aah’kher chamuk’tay hey rah’hay

    English translation/gist is:

    Those who were balloons, finally landed on the ground Those who were stars, finally kept on shinning.

    The present depths of despair of Indo-Pak cricket can be depicted by one of Ghalib’s Persian poems, the translation is as follows:

    The Wind is contrary, the night pitch dark, And the sea is lashed by storms; The anchor is broken And the ship’s master is asleep.

    And the state of grief, which the Indo-Pak cricket fans are experiencing, can be illustrated by a Quatrain by Faiz Ahmed Faiz:

    Zaabt kaa Aah'had bhey hay, Shock kaa Pay’maan bhey hay Aah'had-o-Pay’maan Say Guzaar ja’nay koo Jee Chah’tah hay Dur’d It'nah hay kay her rug main hay Mah’shur bur’pah Aur Su'koon Aai’sah kay mur Janay koo Jee Chah’tah hay

    English translation/gist is as follows:

    My vow of restraint/self-control, also my desire’s covenant But I wish to move beyond both pledges and promises Pain so intense, there’s a riot/mutiny in every vain And such tranquility/calm that I’d rather cease to be.

  • TJ on March 27, 2007, 7:30 GMT

    It's really strange that people are calling the first phase of the tournament a knockout. Remember, India and Pakistan were also comprehensively beaten by SL and WI respectively. Both of them would be in the tournament if they managed to beat these teams, which they didn't. Even if teams in a group played each other twice like upto 1987, there is a very good chance India would have lost to SL again and it's not unlikely that they would lose to BD again. So, stop crying or just decide that the 8 teams of your choice would go to the second round regardless how horribly they play in the first round.

  • wasif on March 27, 2007, 7:28 GMT

    some of you are questioning the format of the WC. this is very naive. the format is just fine. better than the last three. 1992 format was best but it cannot be possible now with so mny teams. one bad day is enough and should be enough! we are not talking about aussies having a bad day against pakistan or west indies, this "bad day" occured against teams like bangladesh and ireland! so wat if there were clouds, wat if there was a green top. i admit green tops are death beds for our batsmen but these very green tops should have been heaven for our bowlers! we werent good enough thats the bottom line

  • Hari on March 27, 2007, 6:54 GMT

    India like pakistan certainly started becoming minnow since WC 2003. Many are euphoric that we reached finals then, but how did we reach finals.We got thrashed in 1st match against Aus. we were lucky to reach 2nd round by day night enounter against Eng. where the bowling second helped seam bowling. similarly pakistan played badly by playing under pressure as they were on verge of knock out and not that we played well because we had no pressure as we had already qualified. 2. In 2nd round we had to play kenya and other lowly teams such as SL and NZ. Against SL, Jaysurya was already injured but he still played. We somehow huffed and puffed against NZ. We also huffed and puffed against Kenya. We were lucky to get kenya in semis. We all know what happened in finals, Aus showed our real place. So in 2007, Bangladesh team showed where actually we belonged , not fit for group of top 8. SO don't get depressed, India was always like this overhyped, overpaid. Don't expect anything from them in any future WC.

  • Subhasish Bhattacharya on March 27, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    I'm an Indian fan. Sure I was disappointed at our exit. Mainly because we'll probably never get to see Sachin, Sourav and Rahul in a world cup match again. I doubted that they had a chance to make it to the semis but I thought they'd atleast make it to the super 8s. I'm over the defeat now. I'm probably catch a few good games but I'll ignore the rest of the world cup.

    What I'm enjoying now is how Indians and Pakistanis are united in interacting together on a message board whining about their teams. For a change we are not fighting with each other - we have something in common - out useless cricket teams :)

  • Adrian Gallyot on March 27, 2007, 6:13 GMT

    Im a proud Indian supporter, and am the first to admit that the Indians are not "Minnows", because they have been unprepared for the standard of this World Cup.Im getting tired of watching the Indian Cricket Board blaming World Cup failure on players and coaches. Its the system and the standard of training that need to improve!!!...I dont believe that burning posters and death threats to players are going to change this team's fortunes. Rather like most intelligent cricket lovers who actually watched the games have said, the methods of training need improvement. FIELDING in particular is an area where that has just been ignored, strength training and stamina training should also be considered to improve the overall conditioning. However instead of concentrating on these performance related things, the BCCI is more cocerned with the financial losses that have resulted from this poor showing. This is a professional sport now and as demonstrated time and time again by SA, Australia, NZ and the like, Athletic standards MUST to be improved. I was disappointed to see Suresh Raina, Mohammed Kaif not included in the squad to begin with. These are players that need to be included in India's new look ODI squad, because as bigger fan as I am of Ganguly, Dravid and Tendulkar, they are simply not going to be quick enough to keep the increasing the standard of One Day Game for much longer. And with the 20/20 format becoming more popular,India need to stop relying on the "BIG GUNS" to perform constantly with the bat to get them out of trouble. Wake Up INDIA

  • khoushik on March 27, 2007, 5:55 GMT

    dear Kamran Professionalism? Our cricketers are only prefessional actors and part-time cricketer. Board is professionally administrated as corporate to make money and not to administer cricket. As for as india is concerned, as long as the format of regional selectors are there, you can be rest assured talent will be given the lease priority. What great names india has got. Sachin, Ganguly, Dravid, Shewag. Nobody would have ever seen sachin bail india out of knock out match. but still regarded as top player due to scoring centuries in non-consequential matches. Bengal tiger is more self centered, having established his place in two matches, he didn't bother to stay in the third. as he knows he can't be dropped. In india if you score a centuty, you are assured of few crores of rupess in ad and a permanent place in the team irrespective of your on filed performance afterwards. Ofcourse he will be performing in off field acting in ad and making endorsements. How many minutes dhoni was on the filed. I can assure you, his time spent in acting before the world cup is much more than his stay in the middle. Shewag, what a character he is, a consistent non-performer, but has the support of the mild manner captain. Captain's job is not to have his friends in the team, but to see what is good for the team.

    It's time we put ban on the players and the board indulging in marketing the game. True spirit of playing is lost.

  • Ehsan on March 27, 2007, 5:46 GMT

    I can't believe people are suggesting it is actually due to the format of the World Cup that India and Pakistan have been eliminated. I'm sorry but that is really pathetic. Blame the teams not the format. Basically, what you guys are suggesting is that the format should support the qualifications of Pakistan and India by giving them a bunch of matches, while at the same time taking matches away from minnows/associate countries. Some people are suggesting these associate countries shouldn't be allowed to play and why? Only because it doesn't give their teams the opportunity to lose half their games and still go through to the next round. Shame on you guys! Bangladesh and Ireland are both hardworking teams even if they lack the talent pool and star power of the Indian and Pakistani teams. Give them credit for earning their spot. Also, some countries that are doing so well now are there because they got chances as minnows. Look at Sri Lanka for example. If they weren't given chances maybe they'd never have developed as the powerhouse they are today. Yet they remain humble and aren't arrogant like some (not all) of the Indian and Pakistani players. If any of you guys watch the soccer world cup, the format is very similar. There are groups of 4 with 2 teams advancing from each. No one is crying about that are they? Please learn to accept that the World Cup is a big event and every game counts. Teams have to perform well from the beginning and not take those days off like they have (Ind with Ban and Pak with Ire). And those of you who say that because Bangladesh and Ireland qualified, 11 games are going to go down the drain...that those games are a waste...please try to have some respect.

  • James on March 27, 2007, 5:41 GMT

    The cricket fans of Pakistan and India are obviously doing it tough at the moment, and I feel for them. But I'm not convinced by the various claims above that Pakistan and India have been sandbagged by an unjust tournament format that punishes a side for playing one bad game. The format used for this World Cup is not at all egregious, given the number of teams participating and the goal of the tournament (to produce a worthy champion, rather than a complete rank-ordering of all participating teams). The group stages here - like those in the soccer world cup - are designed to give the top seeds an *easier* time than the lower seeds, while still giving lower-ranked teams some chance to get through. Recall that the top eight teams here faced genuinely weaker opposition than the other teams in their groups (Ireland, say, had to face two top eight teams in the qualifying stage - Pakistan had to see off only one). Moreover, in the group stage each top eight team can get away with one stumble - a team with a 2-1 record ordinarily gets through. The real problem here is that each of Pakistan and India was beaten *twice*, one defeat in each case being to a team ranked far lower (and, to boot, a team that, across all their group games, had to tackle a set of opponents with a much higher average ranking).

    This isn't to say the overall better team went through in each case; Pakistan and India are still fine outfits deserving serious respect, and as a fan of Inzy no less than Dravid, I wish both were still around. If each team played each other twice, say, in the group stage, Pakistan would surely have gone through after all (I think Bangladesh are on the up, and India might have had a harder time clawing back a game). But it would be graceless to insist this wish become reality against the achievements of Bangladesh and even Ireland. After all, we could wash out the vicissitudes of luck most effectively by factoring in *all* games played in the last four year period, abandoning the tournament altogether and assigning one-day champion status to whichever team was first on the ICC's one-day rankings (well done, South Africa). Naturally, this system would give neither Pakistan nor India any chance at all to now take the crown against the ranking odds, since past games are done and dusted. I think those of us supporting teams other than South Africa have little ground to complain of a format that can allow the lower ranked team to get the better of the higher ranked team. Cheers.

  • Usman on March 27, 2007, 4:58 GMT

    My dear Kamran

    I have failed to understand that if Jamacian police is not ignoring any factor why they and all the international media (specially Indian 'super-active' media) have falied to pinpoint one MAN on this planet who happens to be the common 'victim' of Inzamam's team and late Woolmer. Yes there is only one person who will be happy to know that Woolmer is gone for ever and Pakistan team is in trouble. After Daryl Hair's career was 'terminated' because of these two parties. He is an Australian so nobody is talking about him. My last point is what would been the attitude of press, police and ICC had we had Shoaib Akhtar with the WC squad? Even my grade 7 son would have been not been hesitated to declare him a suspect No. 1.

    So if whites can not kill or can't hire somebody to kill somebody. If this is the case then I have no point.

    Fianlly I am all for Inzamam who helped us to forget Miandad's departure from Pakistan Cricket. He is a great player and he will remain in our heart as Pakistan's greatest fighter batsman. May he live long. Ameen

  • MILIND RAJPUT on March 27, 2007, 4:45 GMT

    I cant speak for Pakistan , because I am an Indian. However since both teams were kicked out of WC I feel it is important to highlight a few points,common to both teams. 1)PCB and BCCI,both have interference from politicians and thats the reason the best teams are not picked.Both the teams had 3-4 players who did not deserve to be in the team at the expense of some solid performers but without Godfathers in the their respective cricket boards. 2) The players in both countries seem to have forgotten that they should play for the pride of country.To me, it seems money and fame is the only reason why they play cricket. It is a known fact that when a human becomes greedy for these 2 things,then be it any profession,failure is ultimate result. 3) Foreign coaches??/ Dont we have old world class players who know the game very well.Do foreign coaches have more knowledge of the game than Miandad,Wasim,Shastri,Sandeep patil(I am naming only ex players who are interested in coaching but are overlooked for gori chamdi coaches)).I dont think so any coach is better than the vast knowledge these asian coaches can give). Only qualification seems to be white skin is better mentality.

    The day these 3 basic problems are taken care of,the 2 countries will again be back to a better position in terms of quality cricket teams.

  • Nasser on March 27, 2007, 4:27 GMT

    Things are never as good, or as bad, as they may seem. In the case of Pakistan cricket, they are not as bad - at least we seem to have hit the bottom and seem to be rebounding with the news out of Jamaica that no one in the Pakistan team is suspected in the Woolmer murder. A couple of days ago, I was panicked at the thought of that possibility.

    Now here is why I think Pakistan cricket is going to be okay - especially Test Cricket which I personally care more for. First, we are going to have a change of captain. While Inzi did a reasonable job for a while, he was a terrible role model because he did not work hard at his cricket. Younis, the likely next captain, is known to be a very hard working cricketer. In addition, he is very fit, aggressive, and a good fielder (In fairness, Inzi was a good fielder as well - I don't recall him dropping something he should have caught). That will naturally rub off on the younger players as they tend to emulate their captain.

    Second, we have a reasonable mix of experience and youth. Yousuf, Malik, Kaneria, Asif, Gul, Rao (One of the few players who was a revelation in the WC - he can bat as well), Sami (on the comeback trail but showed good promise), Nazir (deserves an extended run in the ODI squad), Akmal (talented but needs to work on his keeping - the rest should do him good), Butt (unfairly overlooked and sorely missed - should be given an extended run since he has the right temparement for the opening slot), Razzaq and Afridi. In addition, we have Shabbir with his remodeled action and Shoaib with his remodeled knees (they should be able to give us another couple of years), the chirpy Faisal Iqbal, Yasir Hameed, Fawad Alam (everyone is raving about his potential), the under-19 hero Anwar Ali (and maybe Jamshed Ahmed as well), Samiullah Niazi and Yasir Arafat. Rana Naved, sadly, seems to be past his prime and the evidence against both Hafeez and Farhat is damning. Hafeez seems like an intelligent cricketer but he really needs to work on his batting technique. Farhat on the other hand is the stereotype of a Pakistani cricketer - talented but wreckless. He does not have the mental capacity to play a long innings and therefore we should cut our losses. I am sure I have missed several other players with lots of talent but the point I am making is that we have plenty of talent, the time off will do our team good, and a new coach (if we can find one) will rejuvenate the side (at least for the first 18 months). The challenge, once again, will be to maintain that level of consistency for four years until the next world cup. Hope does spring eternal.

    And one final thought for "Dan from Brisbane". If it was up to some Australians, then cricket would only be played between Australia and England - and that too when the English team is "competitive". I would point out that Australia has the option of withdrawing from the cricketing community and just play domestic cricket. I am sure it is more competitive than international cricket and your superb players will not have to waste their time against mere mortals from Pakistan and India. And, finally, good luck against Ireland. I am sure it will be a thrilling encounter.

  • Roger Bond on March 27, 2007, 4:11 GMT

    I do not understand why everybody is doing such a big analysis of Subcontinent cricket. To me the answer is simple. In olden days players like Gavaskar,Miandad,Imran,Kapil and most of them played for country and not for records or money.The focussed on playing and winning for the country and if world records and monetary benifits came their way it was considered a bonus. Now its the other way round,records and money is more important and if a win comes their way for the country it is considered a bonus and a favour on the fans. ChaNGE the mentality of players and all will be ok. Right now SL and Bangladesh players play for love of the game and country and not money. So they are doing well.

  • Rafique Elahi Lahore on March 27, 2007, 4:02 GMT

    I disagree. Both Pakistan and India had one bad match ,one bad day and the stupid ICC format gave them no realistic second chance. Ok I agree Bangladesh and Ireland played good cricket for a day(and on that day both India and Pak played bad or had a bad day). But can Ireland and Bangladesh play good cricket in super 8. My prediction is they will be bashed around. The glamour of super 8 is gone and to top it all the road becomes easier for aus nz SL and SA. I can bet all my money that if a match ODI series is kept now between Ind-Bang and Pak-Ireland they will be thrashed 5-0 by both India and Pak. One bad day for both and stupid ICC format robbed the WC of competitiveness

  • subbu on March 27, 2007, 3:19 GMT

    Couldn't agree more with the author! Don't know about Pak, but in India these fellows are catapulted to demi-god status in no time. Most of them will identify with Lord Byron's classic line after "Childe Harold" - "I woke up one morning and found myself famous"! So, you see Amitabh Bachchan maybe 65 but he is still expected to smash all villians to pulp on screen. Thus, Tendulkar is still expected to smash bowlers all over the park - never mind some of those younger ones are firing at horsepowers that he used to 20 yrs ago! Indeed, SERIOUS reform to get competitive again, Kamran. But, at least as far as the Indian team goes, I simply don't think it will happen. Those who love the game for its own sake have been tossed aside.

  • basit on March 27, 2007, 3:14 GMT

    Dear Kamran,

    I completely agree to your topic and further the material written in the article.I know you write for DAWN so there is one request regarding publishing of an article on the issue presented in the next paragraph. I was a cricketer myself but only upto the GCSE as then the education got tougher so i gave up cricket.Please somehow pass this message to PCB:Induct educated player's.

    The players should be atleast A-level or FSC pass. There are about 90% youngsters who want to pursue cricket as their career and likely future.To attain this goal they leave their much needed education and start concentrating on the game,fitness,e.t.c.After all these sacrifices only 11 players play for the team and the rest are left out. What do they do? Burden on unemployment plus they spike the illetracy rate. If instead we have a certain experiece and academic entry requirement;they will work as an attractive tool's for the youngsters firstly attaining education and then getting into the game.These players will go on and will be able to represent a country as they will be disciplined,focused,quick learners and above all can prove to be the great ambassidors for Pakistan.Illetrate people cant become good leaders( captains) in the world of today.We may sacrifice some of the talent this way but at the end of the day it can prove to be more fruitful and i just hope you present this idea in the media highlighting the key issues.

    Regards,

    Basit

  • M. Shehzad Moorad on March 27, 2007, 3:11 GMT

    Pakistan and India need athletes before cricketers. General fitness requirements must be taken care of. After a player is a competent runner and fielder, then only must he be assessed on his batting/bowling skills. Fitness is the foundation of every sport. Anything built on a weak foundation is bound to collapse. It would be fair to say that Indian players are far more fit than their Pakistani counterparts. However, India does not seem like they're in much trouble when compared to Pakista. Pakistan have four years to assess their mistakes, make ammendments and leave the past behind. Lack of talent is a lame excuse. There are plenty of under 19 players with the spirit and determination required to win big games. This is the time for them. They must be exposed to the international scene and with the right guidance and training they can be moulded into superior performers.

  • Michael Fernando on March 27, 2007, 2:29 GMT

    Does anyone really enjoy the run-fests put on by Australia and South Africa? There's a lot to be said about watching good bowling. They need to go back to good bowling wickets and large grounds. Otherwise cricket will become just another bat-ball sport where you just try to smack the ball as hard as you can every single time ... hello baseball.

    Then again, the best baseball games I've seen have been 1-0 games with really good pitchers. Yes, Cricket can learn a thing or two from a sport where they keep track of fielding errors along with the score.

  • Noman Yousuf Dandore on March 27, 2007, 2:21 GMT

    Agreed with all your statements barring one:

    "But the tournament has been stripped of perhaps twelve heavyweight encounters."

    The correct number is eleven (11). Do your maths :)

    Cheers!

  • Tristan on March 27, 2007, 2:18 GMT

    Not making excuses for Pakistan & India, but it was one bad day, and it has cost them. The format of the cup is wrong, instead of 4 groups of 4, it should of had 2 groups of 7. With 2 less "minnows" at the world cup. Under this format the teams play 6 matches, if they have a bad day, they can still recover and find form. The top 3 team from each pool can then progress to a super six, not eight stage. The rest would follow the same format of this tournament with the semi's & final. To reach the world cup the "minnows" can play before the world cup in a mini tournament, with the 4 best teams to join the other 10 countries in the world cup proper.

  • John Boxsell on March 27, 2007, 2:07 GMT

    There are a disturbing number of people blaming the tournament's structure. Before the WC, people were criticising the structure because it supposedly gave free passage to the Big 8. Indeed, I do not think it was a co-incidence that India, WI, England and Australia were in different pools - these are the biggest cash cows and Pakistan of course was also in a relatively soft pool. Every team knew the structure of the tournament and they only have themselves to blame for being knocked out.

    India lost to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Pakistan to Ireland and the West Indies. Can we really say that they deserve to continue on in the World Cup? No! The Cup started with the Group matches and they failed to win more than one match (which was against a minnow).

    In 2003 the structure was criticised when Pakistan and SA were eliminated and now it is being criticised again for the opposite reasons. I think it is good for cricket that at least some of the big boys fail to qualify. Government enquiries meamn that the game is serious! We don't need automatic qualification for everyone and if teams fail to win matches, then they don't deserve to progress.

  • Saif on March 27, 2007, 1:49 GMT

    Kamran,

    So its only one bad day for India and Pakistan right? Let's change the rules then. From now on the lesser teams will only be allowed to participate as long as they don't win any games against the big(?) teams. For any reason if they win then we will say... oh no that can't happen.. we will be robbed of good games.. so they will play again against the big teams and until they lose they will keep playing.. That's a full proof idea right? By the way what's the definition of big teams Mr. Kamran? If I remember correctly there were times when SriLanka was a minnow... and now you don't feel bad if they win the World cup. How about only Australia and South Africa play 51 games with each other in the World Cup? That way no one will be deprived of any heavy weight encounters... You talk about the arrogance of the cricketers... What I see is the arrogance of writers like you who doesn't even have a clue for the definition of word.

  • Hasan on March 27, 2007, 1:11 GMT

    Firstly the PCB needs to get rid of the chairman. Nothing has gone right since Sharyar Khan resigned and the "Doctor" took over. I would be in favour of bringing back Sheryar Khan as Pakistan did enjoy a fairly stable and consistent run when he was the head but I think age is not on his side anymore. It is a good thing that we will have new selectors as well, lets hope they are not as incompetent as the old ones. Lastly, although Inzamam was a great batsman, his fitness was the poorest out of all sportsman. His departure should be the dawn of a new era. Pakistan cricket needs fit players who are good, agile fielders and runners between the wickets. We need natural athletes like Afridi and Imran Nazir. Yousuf will probably follow Inzamams footsteps and therefore, he does not deserve to be the captain even though he is the most experienced player in the team right now. Younis Khan should be made captain as he is more aggressive and consistent (at least in Test matches) then the rest of the lot and Shoaib Malik should be the VC. On a different note, I think Pakistan did not deserve to advance to the Super 8 because of their internal politics, the sad part is after the 2003 debacle we all waited for 4 years to go through the same feeling if not worse. Yes, the format is not ideal because one bad day knocks you out but they really should have been able to chase 240 against the west indies in the first game and score more than 132 against Ireland. Lastly even though I am a Pakistani supporter, I think India had the kind of team to atleast take them to the semi finals and they were one team that on their day could even upset Australia. (Remember how they started the 2003 WC and then made it to the finals ?) It is their bad luck that they did not bat well in this tournament but make no mistake Bangladesh is no longer a minnow. I wish all the best to both teams in the future.

  • Euceph Ahmed on March 27, 2007, 1:09 GMT

    Kamran, you can fill the team with hall-of-famers from number 1 to 11 but they will not perform unless they're playing for a common cause. That common cause has got to have its roots in the trust that fans put in their players. That trust then takes the shape of pride, and shows through as the passion with which the players play their game. Why do you think Bangladesh is winning? Because they're playing with the same passion that Pakistan played its cricket in the '70s and the '80s. Sri Lanka tops that, they're mixing professionalism with passion - the same recipe employed by Australia and South Africa - and it shows in every move of their body language. The question, for both India and Pakistan, then is how to find that passion and where to get some semblance of professionalism. Unfortunately, in these same blogs, you have been making a strong case for the thoroughly unprofessional, money-hungry non-athletes like Shoaib Akhtar to be part of the team simply because you want the team to win at all cost. It doesn’t matter to you how the team wins. Again, at the root of professionalism is the question of “ethics”. When you, the media, can set all your own ethics aside and ridicule world bodies such as WADA in order to protect unethical and non-professional players, what can you expect from others? At any rate, all this talk about restructuring is fine, but to me, at least, the issue at hand is the handling of Woolmer’s murder by the Jamaican police. There will be plenty of time to talk about other issues. Meanwhile, a lame attempt is being made to implicate the Pakistan players and an even lame attempt to insinuate that the fundamentalist Pakistani players were somehow responsible for Bob’s death. I thought that Inzamam and Mushtaq’s questioning for the second time was totally uncalled for and was only orchestrated to send out all the wrong signals. Then, Shields’ statement that he couldn’t have detained Pakistan players for fear of a diplomatic row was clearly designed to say that he suspected the players but couldn’t detain them. A life has been lost, and that too of a very important person. Imagine if something like that had happened in Pakistan. The world cup or the galactic cup, it would surely have been called off. The PCB and the rest of the Pakistani leadership don’t have the “gooda” in their pants to demand a halt to the tournament. You should step forward and make that call. This cricket world cup needs to be stopped and scrapped.

  • eddy on March 27, 2007, 1:09 GMT

    the entire cricket structure of pakistan needs to be changed if pakistan can think of a future in cricket. Cricket in South Asia is losing like hockey, Pakistan and india use to be on top and now are in the bottom. Another solution is that pakistan and india just play against each other on dead wickets and make all kind of runs and records

  • Omer Admani on March 27, 2007, 0:55 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, you need not worry. After the world cup, Pakistan will have the strongest bowling. We can bring in Asim Kamal for Inzamam; bring in Butt, Taufeeq Umer, and Hameed to open. Younis Khan should become the next captain. Then we need a home series with Australia and South Africa. Make all the tracks flat like Multan. Look at the Aussies: No more Shane Warne and the daddy scientist will also retire after the world cup. We can give the Aussies and the Saffers a tour of the life time. We might not win, but if the Aussies do, they will have to earn it (though I think we will win). We have to keep an eye on what is coming next, and begin preparations asap. Otherwise it will indeed be the beginning of the death of cricket in Pakistan.

  • naveed on March 27, 2007, 0:42 GMT

    as a pakistani, i think that this is the worse time on us,we should forget the past now and think about the feature not on the wc 2011, but on domestic structure.in wc our main problem was operners and lot of all rounders in the team.i think that we should play with 2 reguler operners rather than one allrounder on top order.in 1999,2003 and 2007 we lost only due to grassy pitches, why nt we prepare these pitches in pakistan so that our batsmans are used to of these pitches.if our batting improves we can beat any team in the world.this is problem with us from the start of cricket in our country, and nobody neverever try to do for it. younis khan will be a good captain becoz he dont need to woory about his baating becoz he is not a world class batsman.and the best man for the coach is WASIM AKRAM.looks his result as a captain.he and IMRAN KHAN are two person in pakistan which can improve our standard of national cricket team.

  • Zeeshan on March 27, 2007, 0:20 GMT

    India and Pakistan are out of the world cup.

    Does that mean that they are mediocre teams. Of course not. The Indian or the Pakistani cricket team are still one of the top 5 teams in the world. I read a few blogs criticizing the whole domestic set up, selection process, ageing stars etc. My question is that if these stars would have clicked, and India and Pakistan were in the super eights, what would be the opinions of these impulsive critics. All this criticism would be replaced by praises.

    Let me give you an example. “Tendulkar & Inzamam, the best batsmen in the world, the young stalwarts Dhoni and Shoaib Malik” instead of “Kick those old players out of the team, change the whole set up and the coaching staff”

    India lost due to a Bangladeshi side that played better on that day. It does not mean that the Bangladeshi side is better than the Indian team. This is one day cricket. The better team on that day wins. Pakistan lost hopefully because of the same reasons, unless the speculated conspiracy theory of the underworld forcing hands is true.

    In either case, I would like to remind the masses that there is nothing drastically wrong with our players, the internal set up or the selectors. The best 15 were picked and the best preparations were done under the circumstances.

    So stop criticizing the teams that we would loved with all our heart if they made it to the super eights. Support them and encourage them to do better next time. They need it !!

  • Saadia Anwar on March 27, 2007, 0:16 GMT

    Some points about the world cup format. It should not be a knock-out tournament especially in early stages. There should be a separate league for minnows or world cup qualifying matches and two best teams should participate in world cup from minnows league. Each team should play every other team in the world cup and there should be best of three finals between the two teams with most points.

  • Qasim on March 27, 2007, 0:16 GMT

    I beleive we all agree that Pakistan & India disappointed their nation without any guilt. No matter how bad the format of the WC, is it a valid excuse for humiliating defeat. Look at other teams that have lived up to expectations. Let's all our player's a---- but they are the one who has put us in such a terrible situation.

  • Asim Shahid -USA on March 27, 2007, 0:00 GMT

    I think the elimination of India and Pakistan in the first round is not good for the tournaments or sponsors. I think it is their bad luck that they both had a bad day against minnows and the format of the tournament doesn't allow one bad day.Atleast Pakistan have always been slow starters as I remember in 1992 they lost a string of matches initially and nobody gave them any chance but they bounced back strongly and in 99 they lost to Bangladesh but still played final. I think this is the best available talent Pakistan had and unless they make their domestic structure very strong so that they produce mentally strong and talented players like Australia, the same thing will continue, no matter how hard they prepare for next world cup. I am sick of people saying things like we should have Salman butt, or Imran farhat etc. I don't see any difference in all the openers Pakistan has, one have some issue and other have a different one. For example, Salman butt was getting out a lot chasing the moving ball outside off stump before he was dropped and everyone was calling for his head at that time and now they want him back. Similarly Imran Farhat has a habit of playing a wild shot to get out when he is in 20's, Yasir Hameed has a poor stance and technique and cannot succeed against good attacks, plus he is slow in scoring and play selfish cricket. Imran nazir on his day can blast any attack but most other days get out playing chancy shot early in the innings and similar is with Afridi. So in summary what I am trying to say is that unless we change basic things such as make domestic structure competitive, prepare green bouncy pitches etc then nothing will change and we can leave everything on luck. Captain and coach as good as team they get and if they don't have enough strong players than why calling for their head because the question is that are people produced by domestic cricket who will replace them are good enough or the same thing continues?

  • imtiaz on March 26, 2007, 23:56 GMT

    I think its a total BULL CRAP that woolmer was murdered.Why would somebody do that , If ireland has won it cannot hurt book makers because this is where ppl make all money putting them on minnows. Secondly the SOB mark shields is trying all his best (if there is anything like best in him) to give ambiguous hints which are trying to point fingers towards pakistan team. and look at this bunch of idiot jokers (pakistan team) they are being apologetic and afraid had they done that to australian or indian team and Mark shields' name would have been written as Former Deputy commisioner of police in Jamica. Pakistan should kick the butt of ICC especially that clown Malcolm (retarded) speed and the useless organisation commitee of the Jungle (westindies) , is there anything in this tournament except BS matches and terrible weather and shitty arrangements or probably derangements. all nations should stop participating in ICC sponsored tournaments till this retartded administration is there and it will take a 100 years for westindies to stage a tournament like this.

    imtiaz

  • Babar Zia on March 26, 2007, 23:41 GMT

    YELLOW JOUORNALISM BY CRIC INFO!!!

    Apologies first for being off the topic, a request to let this be printed.....

    While the tragic murder of Bob Woolmer is being ivestigated the international news media, with cricinfo shamelesley leading from the front have engaged in sensational headlines splattering with not so disguised innuendos that someone in the pakistani team is involved in this murder (which i hope and pray is not the case, but like n e one else i do not have the answer to)....

    This sensationalism can almost be forgotten as a marketing gimmick or overlooked as just following the herd mentality......but I for one held cricinfo to a higher standard than this....

    maybe journalist like u mr abbasi were holding judgement till the pakistani players were cleared by the jamaican police.

    I read timesofindia sometimes to follow up on news, and over the last week they had two news items there...

    mark shields was reported as saying that everyone at the hotel is being interviewed and fingerprinted to eliminate them.....and today they r reporting that even brain lara was interviewed and fingerprinted as a routine procedure......

    in the end i blame the dumbass pakistani media manager and manager for handling this crisis like they did (surprise surprise)....they should have been holding press conferences every day explaining situations and demanding answers....

    I hope ppl in the cricket world and specially pakistanis will never forget who bob woolmer was and how he served pakistani cricket in particular and cricket in general

  • Matt on March 26, 2007, 23:41 GMT

    Goodness me, what soul searching. There is such a cast of characters to blame: ICC, Country boards, coaches, captains, senior players, ground staff, you name it. the fact is in most sporting contests the winners get there through greater determination, belief, preparation and a good dose of luck.

    Let's address some delusions posted here:

    - are we seriously suggesting that the World Cup rules applicable for every team should be changed to accomodate those that fail? If Australia or England had fallen (and England v Kenya was no certainty) would there have been such an outpouring of sympathy? I think not.

    - 1 bad day? I believe teams going through had to win two matches. Pakistan and India won1 each. So they then had to win 1 OUT OF 2 GAMES. They each got TWO chances. One loss may be bad luck, but two?

    I believe the complacent attitude of "we'll definitely beat the minnows" directly lead to the downfall of both Pakistan and India.

    When Pakistan were struggling against the West Indies (let's face it - not the strongest team in world cricket over the past 10 years) you could almost see the acceptance of the loss because "never mind, we'll definitely win the next two". So they GAVE AWAY 1 OF THEIR TWO CHANCES. Then poor luck, good preparation by the Irish who were on a high after the tie with Zimbabwe and a crisis of confidence was enough to sink Pakistan.

    India, after losing to Bangladesh had an easy eqation - beat Sri Lanka. This was their SECOND CHANCE and they failed to take it - full stop. If India were genuine title contenders, and many in the sub-continent media seemed to assume a semi-final spot was reserved for them, they should have beaten Sri Lanka. Remember India had all the motivation here. Sri Lanka had already won twice and did not have to win this game to advance. And still India could not produce under pressure.

    So I think two chances is enough.

    Could you imagine if Australia had lost to Bangladesh (and they have), that they would have lost again? Look at 1999, they were out of the tournament and had to win 7 straight to survive. Look at India in 1983, they just kept winning when they had to. The current Indian line up is not made of such stern stuff.

    - Green pitch? I bet no one would have claimed an ICC conspiracy if Pakistan had won the toss! Was the coin weighted? If Shoab and Asif had not been exposed as drug cheats, you could have argued that the venue, selected before their unfortunate "injuries" ruled them out, would have been tailor made for Pakistan, particularly for Asif who has good claims as the best young bowler in world cricket. And if the ICC wanted to scuttle Pakistan, I think they would have been up against Kenya and Bangladesh in the Group stage and not Ireland and Zimbabwe. Even given the group they were in I think the "fix" would have occurred in the Zimbabwe match as they were (we all thought) the better minnow in the group.

    So no conspiracy.

    And no match fixing either. The West Indies game maybe, because Pakistan could have lost that and then expected to beat the minnows and advance to the Super 8's. Did they "sell" their first chance to bookmakers?

    To change the subject I hope Dravid is not made a scapegoat for India. He has been their best performer for many years, but he is on the wrong side of the Ganguly fight so we'll see what happens.

  • Pradeep on March 26, 2007, 23:40 GMT

    I think it is really unfair to blame Pakistan too much for their exit. They had it tough, were missing their two most effective players. India on the other hand were top heavy. It makes my stomach turn when people say we are the best batting lineup in the world - bollocks! With a fit Asif, Pakistan would have been a force to reckon with - and my heart goes out to your team. They really got a rough deal. As for India, I am confident that things are going to change now. We need new blood in the team, and Sachin is going to feel the heat. They should have dropped him before the world cup and he would have come back so strongly that it would have made everyone cry. Alas, they left it for too late though.

  • JEJA BUTT on March 26, 2007, 23:31 GMT

    Well Sir Jee, we should leave crikut to these furungis and with india work on our Kabadi. That way us or them will be world champions as no other nations plays this game. As oppose to crikut a big tond has good use in Kabadi so our inzimam bhai and sehwag bhai would look sensual in kabahi attire (dazzy dukes). The prolbems will occur if damn aussies pick up the game...

  • Asim on March 26, 2007, 23:30 GMT

    Dan of Brisbane writes... "I would support the termination of Pakistan's current status as a cricketing nation, and drop them to Associate nation status, either for a set period (i.e. six months to a year) or until they get their act together both as an administration and as a team. It will only do them good, and that will subsequently do good for world cricket. Also it should give the Associates the decent competition they have been crying out for (i.e. Kenya).

    India would be put on probabation, however the same result would apply if significant changes to Administration and subsequently the team were not made within a period of say six months to a year. A further assessment would be made at the end of this period, and if the situation had not improved, they would be relegated to Associate status like Pakistan. Again it would only do them good.

    Zimbabwe would of course have it's status completely revoked and a ban put on matches against the country. Zimbabwe is currently on the verge of civil war, and until their problems are revolved it would be criminal of the ICC to turn a blind eye.

    Bangladesh and Ireland should be rewarded for their efforts in this World Cup by the ICC, by providing them with more matches in their home countries. It is a prime opportunity for the ICC to promote the game, but the window will close if they do not act quickly."

    And you should be appointed the Queen of England

  • AAA on March 26, 2007, 22:50 GMT

    Please Mr. Abbasi, take some time off from being a fool. This is the format that the so-called "Giants" wanted so that the number of 'inconsequential' games are reduced. I don't think ICC just conjured this format out of thin air, they wouldn't dare displease the BCCI or PCB, if they didn't want it. I remember Indian fans walking around all cheerful and happy thinking how the fixture suited them perfectly - a couple of warm up games before big one against Sri Lanka. They lose to Bangladesh, and it seems that the world is nearing an end. And why on earth are you saying that these teams had one bad day on the field? The last time I checked, both teams lost 2 out of their 3 matches. Call Bangladesh 'Minnows' or whatever you may please, in 4 years from now, they will be better than Pakistan, unless they also start the moronic backward march like Pakistan cricket (they are already better than Pakistan in the age group cricket, even with the 23 year old Pakistani U-19 players). Pakistan could never form a 'team' in all these years, it has always been a bunch of extremely talented cricketers jockeying for position. You can go ahead, close your eyes, bury your head in sand and pretend to be invisible, or whatever childish game you want to play, unless you get a reform in pakistani domestic structure and some team oriented players, you will continue crashing out in the first round.

  • Pakistan Cricket Lover on March 26, 2007, 22:49 GMT

    Simple explanation! When players become bigger than the game. Please donot blame the format. The two teams got beat fair and square. People of Pakistan take it like a man. Please donot cry like babies.

  • Saif on March 26, 2007, 22:37 GMT

    Regardless of how bad India and Pakistan played, the format of the world cup is silly. I agree with the comments that one bad day's play should not deprive a billion plus population of entertainment and cause billions in losses.

    Secondly why cannot the world-cup held every year, like every major sport in the US. Having a super bowl, world series (baseball), NBA or NHL does not diminsh the demand for the sport.

    I beleive that once a year 30 day period would be entertaining for all viewers (after all it all about entertainment. Then rather then playing ODI/Test Series, teams can spend the other 11 months just playing tests.

  • Obaid Qureshi on March 26, 2007, 22:21 GMT

    Pakistani team has never performed well since the 1992 world cup; and until then we had one man who did all: Imran Khan. The team needs leaders like Imran and Kardar not bureaucrats. Unfortunately team is now performing the same way the Pakistani leaders are; they have no clue how to do the job other than collect maximum benefits buy hook or crook!

  • Suhail from Cleveland on March 26, 2007, 22:19 GMT

    Reading your fans' comments, if nothing, one good came out of the world cup. In all the blogs I have read over the years, this is probably the first topic that has bipartisan support along the LOC. Both your Indians and Pakistani fans are in agreement. Causes of failure for both the teams are different in some respect, but it is good to see mature discussion without insanely biased comments. I think for technical stuff you can always get batting and fielding coaches. But we need a disciplinarian with a stick and the cricket players should not be treated any different then first year army recruits, no matter how much money they are making. Coaches should have full control over their life and should have a pool of players in every category and should suspend players for any offense.

  • Rahil Khan on March 26, 2007, 21:44 GMT

    Look. Cricket is by chance. Esp. if you can "level" the playing field a bit by way of the following:

    Pakistan: Take out Shoaib Akhtar, Asif, A Razzaq and Afridi. Don't tell me Irish were not simply lucky to have found a depleted Pakistani side. With circumstance like the above, any team can beat any team on a given day.

    India: They lacked a key fast bowler (an in form Irfan Pathan or another young find to partner Munaf Patel). Someone to rattle the opposition. The rest of the pieces of the puzzle are in place.

    No need to make radical changes just yet as far as getting back to winning ways.

    Board organization and cricket structure changes would be nice as well.

    Thanks,

    // Rahil Khan California, USA

  • Aziz on March 26, 2007, 21:41 GMT

    Just a thought, why not have a bilateral series between India and Pakistan, from lets say the 12th - 28th of April. We have over 70% of cricket viewer-ship, Sharjah is a good venue. I think there would be two outcomes from this:

    1) The fans will be happy 2) These two cricket boards will get a bit richer and thus will have more money to spend on their respective domestic circuits 3) Both teams are baddly bitten by their losses to minnows so at such a time, they will be eager to rebound, hence I anticipate the quality of matches to be extremely high 4) ICC will lose loads of money from sponsorship so they will realize that one good day for a minnow does not mean they deserve to be in the super eights!

  • shaz on March 26, 2007, 21:31 GMT

    The sad truth about this cup is that India at least played cricket Pakistan did not even do that. They never turned up. Why? We don't know how good or bad they were because they did not do anything at all. It was like watching a boxer who goes in the ring and doesn't punch. Sure he lost the fight but how can you say how good or bad he was.

  • J Ahmad on March 26, 2007, 21:30 GMT

    Pakistan would've lost badly in the super 8's so i think its a blessing in disguise that they got knocked out first round. But calling them arrogant is very harsh indeed. They are probably the most down to earth individuals on the cricket scene. The only arrogant individual didn't make it to the WC (Akhtar).

    If you want arrogance, look no further than Australia and South Africa. Success just gets to their head. Ricky Ponting is arrogance personified!

  • Vas on March 26, 2007, 21:30 GMT

    The warning signs were in clear view in the ICC Champions Trophy. The subcontinent teams should have heeded this as a lesson to what would follow. Sri Lanka learnt from their failure to make the semis there. India and Pakistan didn't. They simply assumed that they could hit through the line and rack up 300+ with minimum fuss.

    This is comeuppance for the total lack of variety in the wickets produced in the subcontinent. To an extent, Sri Lanka has this problem too, but their quality lies in the excellence of their fielding and the versatility of Vaas as a bowler to use more cutters and slower balls on less responsive wickets. The current crop of Indian and Pakistani pacemen possess neither of these qualities.

    The game between Australia and India in the Champiosn Trophy at Mohali should have served the BCCI with clear cut signs as to what to produce. The wicket was an absolute ripper that offered something for batsman and bowler concerned. As such, India's technical deficiencies with the bat were exposed in full view. They should have made more pitches of this nature to further improve this aspect. But true to form from the BCCI, they continue the dusty roads with 350 easily achieved, thereby ignoring the problem than choosing to address it. And the worst part is, when their teams make the 350, the fans get back on the bandwagon. And now theyve fallen off. India play Australia for 3 ODIs in Dublin in June. Who's to say that if India win that series, that the fans wont immediately jump back on?

    The whole cricketing culture is, for lack of a better word, screwed. Indulgement is found through mediocrity, and debasement is encountered in failure. With such extreme behaviour, it makes for a culture that is hardly conducive to quality...

  • Owais on March 26, 2007, 21:28 GMT

    To be honest, I believe Indian team was better than Pak team. They lost to Bangladesh, a much better team than Ireland that comprises part timers.

    Having said that, I must say Pakistan were extremely unlucky along with the fact that they played really really poorly. Remember Ireland tied with Zimbabwe, when clearly Zimbabwe had the upper hand throughout much of the time, giving them this one extra point. Secondly they were made to play on wicket that was no way a one day wicket, not even a grassy track, it was "heavily" grassy, even Aussie would have had quite a few raised eyebrows on the first look at the track. Finally they lost the toss as well. It makes me think maybe the bookies actually bribed the groundsmen and/or ICC officials involved knowing that it would be worst possible turf from the point of view of Pakistanis and best one for Irish players who are used to such grassy tracks (or at least better prepared than Pakistani flat track bullies)!!!

    Mr. Sheilds, here is my suggestion to you, check the officials and/or groundsmen. We should not forget, Woolmer was really upset about the pitch and he voiced his concern to the match referee...it was Chris Broad.

  • Quazi Zaman on March 26, 2007, 21:11 GMT

    Out of the gate, I am Bangladeshi living in America, who is also a Pakistani and Indian cricket fan. After reading through this long thread, I felt like couple of points were amazingly missed out.

    Cricket system: No doubt, Pakistan and India is blessed with incredible talents. But unfortunately, a healthy system is lacking from the grassroots (School Cricket System) to the State level and onwards. For example, I think the performance of Bangladesh can be credited to the under-19 system which has been in development for the past 10 years. There is an Australian coach who is running the point in identifying and building talents from the youth cadre in this system. Dave Whatmore who is the Coach of the national team works with him very closely to identify and then bring about fresh talents like, Tamim, Nafees, Razzak, etc. This does not mean that it is a perfect system, but a good system is in place for farming the grass root talents.

    National League: Cricket is like tree. It needs to be nurtured. The national league, should be established and prioritized for creating the right talent so they can get seasoned.

    Captaincy. I admire Inzamam, he is one of the best Pakistani batsmen, but I do not think he was the right Captain for this WC. PCCB should have taken the giant step to bring in a new captain for this World Cup under the guidance of Inzamam. They missed out on the opportunity.

    I agree this Super 8 match structure needs to be relooked at. Maybe it should be Super 12. On another note, why should the World Cup happen every 4 years, why not every year. Super Bowl, World Series, etc. happens every year. The semi-final should be a shoot out in a best of three matches and the final in a best of five matches. Oh, dont forget the change the bowling side every 5 overs to speed up the game. :-)

    Both Pakistan and India needs to reinvest in their internal infrastructure and only then will they reap the benefit of rich talent. They should also look at player burnout. All players are human beings and the two most playing nations not reaching the Super8 may be a sign. I believe both India and Pakistan should also host the minnows like Bangladesh and other countries to have a first hand observation of how they are progressing, rather than getting blind sided.

    To support an earlier comment, Cricket should be run as a business with a bit of touch of humanity with this. I think it is time to let the old guards hand over the reigns to the new ones.

  • Sarim Ali Toronto on March 26, 2007, 20:49 GMT

    I think that im almost all normal now beacuse India lost just like us.We both need a fresh strt and a new begining.Good thing Inzi is gone im startin to hate him now.I think Abdul Razzaq would be the right one day captain and Mohammed Yousuf for test.Pakistan need to get good batting and bowling coaches.I believe Javed Miandad would be prefect for a batting coach. In bowling we should have wasim or waqar or maybe even aqaib javed.

  • An Angry Fan on March 26, 2007, 20:48 GMT

    India need huge changes atleast to their ODI outfit. Discard all the players who are unlikely to be there when the next World Cup comes around. I know that means scrapping Dravid, Ganguly and Tendulkar, but it is necessary because they all will be 38+ by the time 2011 cup arrives. I do not think test team needs too many changes. For Pakistan they need to focus on on-field issues rather than off-field ones. They already know that they lost inzy. All They need is a stable environment to thrive in and do not loose focus from cricket to other issues like drug bans and injuries.

  • vinod on March 26, 2007, 20:46 GMT

    once again tendulkar blinked when India needed him most .True GREATS like Kapil Dev( remember the catch to dismiss Viv Richards and THAT 175) Jimmy Amaranath( the most important 30 runs EVER scored in any match) , Viv Richards , Clive Lloyd ,Imran Khan , Wasim Akram , Inzamam Ul Haq , Aravinda De Silva , Steve Waugh , Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting have the ability to ABSORB PRESSURE and SINGLE HANDEDLY win IMPORTANT matches . In this aspect Tendulkar has time and again failed the acid test on BIG matches . Sachin’s supporters claim that his 98 against Pakistan in the 2003 world cup as a shining example of his big match temperament , but let me REMIND you that even BEFORE the match was played India had qualified for the Super 8 whereas , for Pakistan it was a ‘must win’ situation . i.e. India had nothing to lose and all the pressure was on Pakistan , so Tendulkar comes out blazing all guns in yet another INCONSEQUENTIAL match but fired only blanks in the final , whereas Ponting played a blinder and for god’s sake he hit 8 sixes in a world cup final ! Now, that is a record that will never be broken ….a good batsman can hit a hundred in a world cup match or hit 8 sixes , but to do BOTH is no mean achievement and a feat that is impossible even in Sachin’s dream.

    Sure , there are 11 players and it’s a team sport , but the afore mentioned LEGENDS have the ability to SINGLEHANDEDLY turn a match on its head and affect the outcome in a HIGH PRESSURE WINNER TAKES ALL encounter . Sadly , Tendulkar has not been able to raise his game in crunch situations.

    There is no point in having a high average and the highest no. of centuries if a champion cannot win on the biggest occasion. Mohammed Ali will not be Ali if he did not win the world title thrice .

    This obsession by Tendulkar to have a good average and playing for records and posterity should stop . Winners do not trot out excuses for their failures nor do they expect help from a team mate , they just go out and do the job ……When Steve Waugh had to bail out his team against South Africa in the 1999 Competition , he scored 120 priceless runs as did Aravinda by scoring 66 in 1996 semi final against India, in addition to the century in the final. Champions do not buckle under pressure . Even in the test arena , Sachin unlike Dravid or VVS LAXMAN , has not played LONE RANGER in big matches against big opponents . In this aspect Lara , towers head and shoulders above Sachin by virtue of making match winning centuries against the best team at home and abroad ( N.B key words , match winning , best teams, home and abroad ) .

    It used to be sacrilegious to criticize Sachin , and for this reason he has been mollycoddled and protected , whereas similar courtesy and RECOGNITION was not extended to Kapil Dev , Jimmy Amaranath , VVS Laxman , Dravid or the tireless and genuine match winner Kumble . Also what a waste Kambli is , here was a rough diamond that the public and the selectors did not take to heart , for whatever reasons . But Sachin was the golden boy who could do no wrong and given money , fame and national awards et al , but has he given India what he should ? Anyway Who cares about a world cup win as long as Sachin has the highest no. of centuries and a good average ! LONG LIVE RECORDS AND AVERAGES. INDIA IS NO 1 and WORLD CHAMPS IN RECORDS .

  • CricketcrazyinUSA on March 26, 2007, 20:46 GMT

    It is easy to blame the format and say anybody can lose a one day game. But that is precisely why Pakistan and India do not deserve to be in the Super 8s. They had 4 years to plan and prepare in order NOT to play like amateurs. Pakistan lost to ireland AFTER losing to the West Indies - in other words they could not find the professionalism and fire needed to win a must win game. India also failed to take care of the so called easier game against Bangladesh. Any kid knows you tackle the easy questions on a test paper before worrying about the hard ones.

  • Zain on March 26, 2007, 20:40 GMT

    sort out the domestic system if you want any of these teams to be world champions again

  • Pakistan Cricket Lover on March 26, 2007, 20:37 GMT

    Kamran here is my issue. Why did the Pakistan team leave WI? They should have stayed back and left with the body of Bob Woolmer. It would be the right thing to do. Now that they are all gone they must make arrangements that whenever the body is allowed to leave WI that all the members of the Pakistani team are in WI and accompany it to South Africa and be present for the funeral. They say that coach Woolmer was like a father to them. You donot leave your father behind.

  • Srivatsan Sathyamoorthy on March 26, 2007, 20:34 GMT

    Kamran,

    Very succint article. Note that the politics and regional bias in both the countries will hamper progress in any field, let alone cricket.

    I dont agree with some of the comments here relating to "knock-out" oriented WC. I think India and Pakistan was fantastically overrated buffons in the cricket ground. If they loose to Ireland and Bangladesh, whats the point in arguing about the WC format. Actually, on the contorary, this WC has given all teams enough games to get into "groove" before the Super Eight. What else can you ask for?

    In the case of India, I think Greg's process was sidetracked by one of the influential team member, I think its the Captain, Dravid. Because of which, the fielding is subpar and batting is poor. I think if we continued with it, the team would have fought tooth and nail against Bangladesh.

    In the case of Pakistan, combining presonal preferences such as religion into sports is not the right way. One is very private and the other is very public. How can one find "middle ground" ? Also, Shoaib's off-pitch activities should not be too much of a concern when during the match series, he is within the "curfew" imposed by the team management and outside any series, if he is cricket-fit.

    I firmly think that these failures are great for both the countries ( by the way, I am an Indian). I hope (99.99% wont happen) that we will come back stronger....

    Srivats

  • Hassan M on March 26, 2007, 20:18 GMT

    Whatever be the case of defeat, more than one billions fans of the two nations are disappointed that their teams are not in super 8, we love this game so much that we cant wait for 4 years or next series. Lets have a 5 match one day series and enjoy, we all want cricket.

  • Junaid on March 26, 2007, 20:12 GMT

    politics, safarishs and poor selections have raped Pakistans cricket. Pakistan deserved it. continue like this and Pakistan is out of the world arena. Funny that Pakistan is only one who cant see that.

  • Saahil on March 26, 2007, 19:59 GMT

    bullshit, i can c people blaming ICC for the format, the format is good, just admit it, the pakistani n indian team wasnt good enough. the FIFA world cup has the almost the same format too, the group stages part...after that is the knockout stage...y dont football fans complain about that...bcuz they are not sore losers like indians n pakistanis...i am a indian, i am feeling hurt for this indian loss, but i dont blame anyone except the BBCI for this nonsence, there are so many good players they left out...our weakest part was our fielding and batting, they could have easily taken better players from the domestic level...come on guys grow up and stop blaming the ICC for the format, its the system both countries have, its the BBCI excutives that eat our money under the table...better luck to the both teams...inshallah one of us will win the cup...

    cheers

  • Macjoubert on March 26, 2007, 19:48 GMT

    Pakistan : Got the rotten end of the stick, the format is sticky and silly, one bad game doesn't mean the caliber of the team is bad, on the contrary EVERY great team has a great loss, just look at Australia's recent hammering at the hands of the Kiwis, does that make Australia a "weak" team - hell no. Its the format, Pakistan got a bad game in against Ireland, we all know they start slow and then accelerate at breathtaking pace.- This from a non Pakistani - take my take to the bank. India : As usual undue adulations even before the friggin competition began, but even a team that recently walloped SL 7-1 and that was so utterly defeated deserves a chance to progress. The ICC has to take into consideration that good teams WILL succumb to weaker ones once in a while, but play them again and they're sure to massacre them. Should we punish teams for one off failures? Comon ,subcontinental viewership is what pays for the ICC and its excesses, they should know that. I say let the minnows play each other , the top 3 play in the Super Eights with everyone else, and its anybody's game at that time.

  • Roland Booth on March 26, 2007, 19:40 GMT

    Ireland and Bangladesh deserve to be in the Super eights. India and Pakistan knew along time what they had to do to get to the Super Eights. You fail to do that, and you are out and it is simple as that.

    Unless we have no intention of allowing the associates to develop, but we are only intent on keeping the old boys club intact by "fixing" the competition. Those that now comment and refer to the talent of Sri Lanka should also remember that they were once a "minnow". "Fixing" the competition to ensure that the big eight advance is just ludicrous.

    After all cricket is a game and should be about entertainment and fun. The match between Bangladesh and Bernuda showed that. Reduced to 21 overs it had all the drama. Great bowling by Bangladesh, big hitting by Bermuda at the death, awesome swing bowling by Saleem Mukuddem, a stunning catch by Kevin Hurdle and the confidence and developing skill of Mohammad Ashraful. So bye bye Pakistan and India from CWC 2007 and all the best to Ireland and Bangladesh.

  • anwar,los angeles on March 26, 2007, 19:29 GMT

    we should be happy and thankful to ALLAH for what ever talent we have in pakistan...i wonder why we were expecting from our team to go through second round..when our team was manage and run as an personal estate..by a guy "inzimam" who has talent he wabut no brain...he may be a street smart...but other teams are alot more professional then pakistan...they don't have a team captain who take a national sport as a pesonal property...and yet shame on our board and chairman..(who is crying as a baby and doing this dirty laundry on international level) that inzimam was the power behind our entire cricket operation....no wonder why we end up like this...if the guys like inzimam running the show than we never stand a chance in any sports in the future...get rid of these aaloo's and tamatars and bring some on who should run our cricket on merit only..not the guys who has beards....keep religion out of the sports atleast....

  • MSR (Boston, MA) on March 26, 2007, 19:26 GMT

    Now that so called “minors” took 2 out of 8 spots in the next round, even before a ball been thrown, the pundits are starting to predict how minors will be trashed in their respective games. ……………………………I think these are the same people who questioned why do we need minor nations in the WC? There is a wide gap between Australia/SA and rest of the world……………why the in the earth we need to play………..just give them the cup to keep and share……………..till rest of the world become more competitive…………….perhaps reemergence of "heavyweights" like India & Pakistan!

  • jagmohan maani on March 26, 2007, 19:21 GMT

    patron in chief wants to invole nation in any debate/busy and wants to clear his way to rule, he is quite successful. he doesnt bother if you lose or win, he just wants to place people who follow his orders and create less demand, as he is doing for bosses. he himself is nonprofesional and doing job he has no qualification how can he bring professionalism in any sector, that why instead of abundance of talent we are going down instead of up. ad-hoc people just passing day unsure about tomorrow and as nonprofessional how they can match and support which required at international level. yes it is cruel to be exited because of one bad day, but pressure and media people who do tricks and kind of support to other teams is just opposite to these two teams. it could have been any other two teams, but bad luck for india and pakistan. the more people are against the more power they will get, and it is main threat to mr. bosses and their slaves. the people who are doing this they are right but bit immature because same thing happened to me, so you guys keep on doing this, but if i ask what is your identity, status and respect overall, think seriosly over it. few guys with lot of expectations of naive people without any professional and mature support they deserve results are not so bad.

  • Sai on March 26, 2007, 19:07 GMT

    BCCI is completely to blame for Indian teams pathetic performance. That organization is corrupt and political. Sharad Pawar couldn't get anything done in politics so he decided to manage the rich cricket board. This guy and his cronies should be removed immediately and the entire BCCI management should be handed over to people who love the game. The Indian team and their coach are dealing with a lot of politics and that is taking away their time from actually focusing on the game. Also what about a program to develop young talent? The BCCI is not interested in any new programs. They are interested in one thing - MONEY! This corrupt greedy organization should be dissolved and replaced with a with a clean body.

  • sarim siddiqui on March 26, 2007, 19:00 GMT

    While I agree that things need to be fixed for the Asian Giants but there is no doubt that both India and Pakistan are better teams than Bangladesh and Ireland. One upset loss does not tell much about the quality of the respective teams. We have had many examples in one day cricket where a minnow has beaten a Giant or came very close to doing it. This does not mean that all of a sudden now the giant becomes a minnow and vice versa. Any team can have one unexpected loss on a bad day. What if Australia's loss against Bangladesh had come in a worldcup match and they had gotten beaten in their next game against South Africa (which South Africa is very capable of doing). While things need to be improved, lets not over-react. People were fantasizing that India or Pakistan may win the worldcup and same people are now saying that India and Pakistan are the worst team. Both are example of being emotional and over reacting.

  • Masaood Yunus on March 26, 2007, 18:47 GMT

    I believe the only way the system can change in Pakistan is if the players understand that they are not stars. They are, infact employees who are out there to do their job. This employment is at will and once you are below par the standards set by your employer - PCB, you will be made an OSD or can be fired. This concept of star cricketers, who regularly fail to shine, has plagued cricket in India and Pakistan, has to go and a proper professional system should take place. This is how Australia or South Africa works (If thats our target) and this is how you get results. I am however afraid that this might not be the case and we will again be indulged in the same discussion four years from now. Lets see if PCB has learnt its lesson. One thing for sure, PCB by their policies, handling of affairs and especially regular blasting of Pak's deceased foreign coach by Pakistan media will never see a foreign official helping out Pakistan at the higher level of cricket again. Again lesson learned but have we understood what needs to be done for now on ? Only time will tell.

  • khansahab on March 26, 2007, 18:46 GMT

    I was shocked by India’s exit from the WC. You can expect high grade drama from Pakistan any day but inconsistency I believe is the only factor which makes Pakistan and India alike. Apart from that both teams are completely different. Mr Abbasi states that the two teams have been left behind in ODI cricket. Pakistan has also been left behind in Test cricket if you ask me. I suppose another aspect which makes Pakistan and India similar is that very seldom do we see them playing for pride. Pakistan certainly demonstrate no mental strength, no tenacity and no concentration. You can tell from their attitude that they don’t think about the feelings of the millions of supporters globally. Nonetheless, why India was ousted from the WC is more easily digestible, not because I am a Pakistani supporter, but because India lost to better teams than Pakistan did. Bangladesh have beaten Australia and although I still don’t believe they are a serious threat to the established eight Test sides (WI, England, SA, Pak, IND, SL, AUS and NZ) they still have the talent to upset teams on their day, which means that no one should take them lightly. SL vs India was always a tight contest. But Pakistan lost to WI, who still have not played with the zest a home team should play on its home soil. I believe we are still to see the best of WI in this tournament. The less said about playing against the club side Ireland, the better.

    I would disagree with Javed A Khan insofar Mr Abbasi’s comments as to the reasons why Pakistan were ousted. I believe Inzi was arrogant and very incompetent. Owing to these two attributes he probably became decadent too. Inzi is the reason Pakistan was ousted before the Super Eights. If he had implemented those strategies which most people asked of him, he could have gone at least to the Super Eights stage. I hope we don’t see such an incompetent captain again. Also, Mr Khan, what is the guarantee that Akhtar being in the squad, would not twist his ankle or injure his knee in the practice match or training sessions? What is the guarantee Asif on his own could have helped get Ireland out for less than 130 odd? The bowlers did their bit in the match and if you ask me Sami and Rao performed above than their current potential. You are just speculating. As for Akhtar, there is only a 50% chance that he would have played in the Ireland match and as for Asif- Gul, Sami and Rao bowled their best and I don’t think Asif playing instead of, say, Sami would have caused a great deal of difference. Afridi is always a gamble. Do not be fooled into making any certain remarks about Afridi. He is never a key player before any given match; if he scores only then he is a “key player.”

    Again, Mr Khan, I believe you err in your report on possible captains of the team. Jayawardene and Lara, even Fleming are decent captains but are not overly aggressive or condescending in their personalities or playing style, like Graeme Smith is. Afridi as a captain? Since when did he cement his place in the Test side? You are only recommending Afridi’s potential as a captain because he made 49 in that Twenty20 match against Peshawar. I can only say that Afridi can captain Pakistan in any Twenty20 tournament. That innings of 49 was the only remarkable or outstanding innings he played in that tournament. You can’t base your judgement on one solitary innings. Afridi has to improve his game if he is to be promoted to captain. Yes, owing to the current mayhem and desperation he might be made captain but I would equate that to how Inzi was the natural choice after Anwar, Akram, Latif and Waqar were sacked. Inzi was naturally the most experienced player then, and Afridi is the most experienced player now, so he can only be captain from that perspective. If you ask me Afridi only just makes his place into my preferred ODI side as well, and that also only because over the past two years his bowling has improved. Pakistan has plenty of spinners who can bat such as Hafeez, Malik and Afridi. When you say Afridi is a “good fielder” you probably do not take into account the many catches he drops. His ground fielding is good according to Pakistani standards but he isn’t the safest catcher of the ball so I wouldn’t say his fielding prowess is a factor I would consider if I would want to include him in my team. If Razzaq improves his form I would keep him in my team instead of Afridi if I had a choice, because Pakistan could really do with a good medium pacer who can consistently score 25-30 runs in ODI’s.

    Finally, I do agree with you over one point. I don’t think it’s a good idea to sack senior players at this stage because, as we witnessed post 2003 WC, there were many gaps left in the team’s ability with the departure of Wasim, Waqar, Anwar, Latif etc. Of course I’m up for sacking Younis, Afridi, Inzi and the openers in ODI’s provided people like Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam, Anwar Ali, Misbah ul Haq and Yasir Hameed can take their place. With the exception of Misbah ul Haq and Yasir Hameed the rest hail from Sindh so that deters their selection. So perhaps it’s better Younis and company stay because if they are sacked they will not be replaced with mature and consistent players. Curse me for discussing provincial politics again, but I know for sure that Kamal’s, Alam’s and Ali’s inclusion in the WC squad would have taken Pakistan far.

  • Gul Khan UK on March 26, 2007, 18:24 GMT

    I'm amazed at the number of excuses that I have been reading on this blog. Firstly, both Pakistan and India lost twice. The tournament was conveniently set up so the seeded teams had an easy ride into the Super 8s. Its the fault of players/coaches that they didn't qualify not the fault of the tournament format. These two powerhouses (I use the term with tongue firmly in cheek) need to look at themselves and realise they owe an obligation to their fans to be at their peak physical fitness when playing. Though India have made great strides in recent years, I'm shocked at the lack of fitness of the Pakistani players and also their abysmal fielding. The players are paid a handsome wage for their services and get to travel around the world while thier fans struggle to put the money together to follow their teams. As fans we deserve more and as cricketing boards the BCCI and PCB have to deliver more. Will there be an improvement by the next world cup?? I doubt the players have the right commitment or professionalism within the current structure of pakistan cricket. Get your act together and make us fans proud. One last note, I don't for a second believe that the tournament has been devalued by the absence of these two teams in the latter stages. Ireland and Bangladesh deserve to be there on merit and I hope them every success for the rest of the tournamet

  • Mohammad Ali Ilahi on March 26, 2007, 18:12 GMT

    wat v need 2 do rite now is 2 put off hte slippers and buy 2 dozen eggs and g8 thez pakistani cricketers beards off................the best word 2 describe them is chutiyay

  • Richard Minnows on March 26, 2007, 18:04 GMT

    Absolute rubbish,to try to change the format or anything else,just to accommodate teams that can't or did not perform on a specific day.That,s why it's called one day cricket and as long as you sign up to play,you take your chances like all other competitors. If Michael Johnson were competing in the Olympics 200m,and because of some misfortune he fell and came way down field,certainly we would not talk of prolonging the games for this reason,so why do we want to amend the conditions now in an effort to keep the so called minnows out. I say they,ve played their games and won,so more power to them.If the so called top teams are not good enough to get beyond the first stage,they deserve to go home.Hands off the again-so called minnows-who are really GIANT KILLERS.

  • Nabeel on March 26, 2007, 17:59 GMT

    Why dont't they have a loser series now between these two countries? To see who sucks the most... hahahahahahahahahhaha

  • Srini, Atlanta, Ga on March 26, 2007, 17:45 GMT

    Hello Kamran: Great to read your opinion and you have quite a fan following... Wow! Reading through the responses is opening my eyes. Isn't it amazing that India and Pakistan are so alike ... in feelings and opinions; attitude and aproach; organization and management; unrealistic expectations and disappointments; and above all hopes and hopes about their team until the last wicket or the last ball! It is fun following through cricket. I didn't care much about India or Pak winning the world cup. But I sure will miss that one game in the entire tournament -- India versus Pakistan. That's the World Cup within World Cup for me. Well, I will wait for that match of the matches in the next world cup, Insha Allah!

  • Ifty on March 26, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    This is a response to Ali Hasan’s posting. Please read his posting and see if he makes any sense or not.

    Ok Ali you think that what you said makes sense right? Well I know that this is going to hurt you but let me tell you that you are nothing but a moron.

    You said: “I have been discussing the format of this tournament for some time now and to most that I've talked to the format is too harsh on a team for just one bad day.”

    Format is wrong? Everything is fine with the format; it worked with all other teams. Just because your team didn’t win doesn’t make the format wrong. It shows that your team sucks. I agree with you that one bad day shouldn’t be enough to kick a team out of a tournament, but what about two days? India and Pakistan lost 2 matches out of 3. Still you are complaining? I have seen kids play much better cricket on the streets of Bangladesh. The fact is you can’t accept that your team sucks.

    You said: “India was actually one of the strongest team on paper going into the tournament”

    You say India is one of the strongest team on paper? Does it matter? Anybody can write anything on paper. If I say I jumped so high that I touched the moon, does that mean that in reality if I jump high I can actually touch the moon? Paper is paper. What is its significance if you can’t prove what the paper says?

    You said: “It is therefore useless to have a format that doesn't take into account factors such as a bad toss or a green top with a cloud cover or several other things that can really cause a major upset.”

    Ali you are a funny man. You really are. Take into accounts such as bad toss or green top with cloud cover? I laughed so hard when I read this I farted a little. OOOPPSS. Cloud cover? I mean India and Pakistan lost so it is the fault of clouds? Funnyyyyy. This is the most ridiculous excuse ever. You can’t blame your players yet you are blaming clouds? Since you are putting in such ‘real’ excuses you might as well take into accounts such as ‘we lost because the earth is round’, ‘we did not win because the moon is round’, ‘we did not win because there might be life on Mars’……..Let me get this straight to you the only reason a major upset takes place is when the teams suck.

    You said: “Super 8's is supposed to have the eight best teams of the tournament against each other. We can now ask, are Ireland & Bangladesh two of the best teams in the tournament?”

    Well they proved that they are two of the best teams in the current tournament. Yes Ireland and Bangladesh are not great teams, but in this tournament they proved to hot handle for the Pakistanis and Indians and that makes them a much better side. Bangladesh was considered an underdog but with India we played like tigers and put India in the shadow. We also put the final nail into India’s coffin when we beat Bermuda. Now go home and keep burning effigies and attack player’s houses, do what you do best.

    You said: “The format should have aided in selection of the best teams. It was instead put forward as means of fitting in the minnows.”

    Don’t you think the format has succeeded in doing what it is supposed to do? Do you think if Pakistan or India went to the Super 8’s they would have made a difference? Crap is crap wherever they go and it is a fact. The format is fine and it did what it is supposed to do that is filter out the trash.

  • amar on March 26, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    no i dion't agree for opening with shoaib malk and salman butt. salamn might be a good option but along with imran nazir, one of the future great batsman of pakistan. malik would be much better and usefull in the midle order, in fact he could take inzy bhai's place at n°4 or 5. khan is useless, with his experience and talent, if he still throw his wicket away like debutants than he is useless for the team. finally i can't understand why noone think about ramiz raja as a coach, he might be good there because of his good cricketing sense.

  • dhoosra on March 26, 2007, 17:35 GMT

    I've got an idea, India & Pakistan can play non stop end to end test matches & one days between each other........the great rivalry for the subcontintenal wooden spoon.

    Both the boards will be happy with the revenues, the bookmakers will be happy, joe public will be treated to an artificial spectacle....and everyone lives happily ever after.

    Dhoni can show of his hi-lites, the other indian prima-donna's can score runs in meaningless matches.

    Playing on flat & dead tracks the Pakistanis openers cam finally hit form and we'll all start making bullish statements about the HOT form these two neighbouring teams are in...and how they are favourites for the 2011 world cup.

  • ram on March 26, 2007, 17:25 GMT

    Reading some of the above posts, it seems like people actually think that having the Super 8s without India and Pakistan is ILLEGAL. Get a life people - qualification to the Super 8s is not a god-given right. The team has to earn it. Bottom line, the two teams performed miserably and are really not as good as the Asian media will have you to believe.

    If necessary, why doesnt India and Pakistan have their own little world cup? Keep the sub-standard cricket within the mainland of Asia and let the real cricketers play it out in the Caribbean.

  • Jamil on March 26, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    I think what happened to Pakistan and India is exactly what they prepared for: unfit players with a street-player mentality - without plan, risk mitigation and lack of professionalism. One bad cannot be an excuse - almost all the international team sports have similar structure. Individual sports are even tougher e.g. Tennis etc. What it comes down is the long-term planning. Having issues with Asif and Shoaib, had the team lined up alternatives? Were bowlers like Shabbir, Niazi, Khalil etc given enough exposure in the last 3-4 years to prepare the second generation of bowlers? Were alternatives to part-timers like Afridi, Malik etc prepared? Did we give Butts, Kamals etc enough chances and favours as we did to Maliks, Afridis? No, we didnt - It was all about who is liked by whom. Butt is probably the finest batsmen I have seen since Saeed Anwar's era - he needed polishin and coaching. Younis, Yousaf and Kamal are the finest RHB but Kamal was not given enough chances. We have to move away from favoured players and go towards the merits. Pontings, Haydens and Ashrafuls don't get ready in 2-4 years - it takes ages and we have all the talent in the world - but missing the key ingredient: patience!!

    God Bless Bob (he had his share of mistakes) and God Save us from future Inzis - if Inzi of '92 is to become an Inzi of '06 - '07, we rather not have an Inzi - at least our cricket will be following a evolutionary path !!)

  • Nadir on March 26, 2007, 17:14 GMT

    Regarding bringing Javed Miandad back as coach, given that match-fixing is back in the spotlight, do we need a coach who is now linked by family to Dawood Ibrahim, one of the biggest match-fixers and gangsters on the planet?

  • H.Malik on March 26, 2007, 17:08 GMT

    Dear Mr Abbasi , "as you sow so shell you reap" ideally fits on both the Cricket boards in general but the Pakistani board & team in particular. Interesting scenarios have appeared THREE TIMES and these both teams were there . India won wc 1983 , Pakistan 1992 Pakistan Played Final of 1999 and lost , India 2003 and lost Pakistan was kicked out of 2007 first round , India follwoed the suit . Our CBM custodians MUST REJOICE , both nations are coming close and close atleast the 3 worldcups scenarios tell us .... OU YOYOS WOULD LIKE TO STAY AT THE ROCK BOTTOM , OUR INDIAN CUSIONS ARE FOLLOWING THE SUITS

  • Nayef on March 26, 2007, 17:03 GMT

    If you'd want the heavyweight matches only at the world cups, then why not just ban all countries ranked #9 downwards? Don't you believe that it is exactly this "holier than thou" attitude which stops the game from spreading. Disappointing it may be for the Indian and Pak fans, but if you are trying to atract a neutral supporter, he wouldn't care is BD and Ireland are getting massacared .. as long as he knows that these teams are the surprise packages of the tournament.

  • Jawad Gee on March 26, 2007, 16:54 GMT

    ******************************** Why are we beating around the bush here. Pakistan's board is on adhoc basis, too much player politics, captain not aggressive but these are not the cause of Pakistan losing to Ireland. The main reason was technique on green pitches. Pakistan was made to play on green pitchs in ICC champions trophy and in worldcup as well and it was done delibrately by ICC as ICC makes pitches for their own tournamnets. We were robbed. Why there were no green tops in group A and B matchs, look at recent AUS vs SA match. Are pollcok & co that bad that they were hit for 378 in 50 overs. That pitch looked like a dessert. We even got a green top against SA in a practice match, luckily we won the toss and were able to beat SA as green top is not that dangerous in the 2 innings. Fact of the matter is that we lost because we lost the toss on a green pitch. What can we do about it is to learn how to play on a green pitch or replace malcome green and bring an asian to operate ICC.

  • atta-ur-rehman,md on March 26, 2007, 16:54 GMT

    I know you will not published this blog, but Iam still writing it. For god sake Kamran,I didnt see such an optimistic person before. You were telling that earlier that only team which could beat Pakistan is Australia. Now you are upset at the format of the tournament. As in all the different world cups such as hockey and soccer. The big teams played with weak teames and move on the next stage. If these so called minnows(I dont think BD is minnow,after the way they put Auusies in the corner at Fattallah)beat strong sides in earlier rounds. Where would they get exposure to real cricket if not the WC. Let me talk about Indian elimination. I think after beating WI in practice game they were on the moon and they take BD so easy that they took such a blunder to bat on the seaming pitch in morning. They thought that there batting is very strong and they will rollover BD easily. But if they had seen current record of BD,they probably take them serious. I would say that was a bad day an underestimation of team and put themselve in trouble. Because SL game was always hard. Now turn to Pak, after Bobs death if anybody still belive that it was a bad or off day,will be innocent/clueless. Pak crick is the culture of curruption. We have lost BD in 99. Everybody knows that Pak team made million of dollars from that game. The way PAK played in that match, it is obvious that PAK played for money and lost the game. It is hard to go the whole WC and made 50lakhs. Instead of that lost to Ireland and made 50 crore. Pak will never won in the cricket,untill we will not cleanup the mess of matchfixing. Put the people on trial and give them punishment,instead of rewarding them. Thank you

  • Rich on March 26, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    @Caroline "What you call arrogance in the Aussies, I call enormous self-belief and confidence that comes not from class and privilege, but from years and years of very hard work amongst the toughest competition, and from strong team bonding, from supportive mateship" Uniting in Abuse againts opposing teams, regular dissent against umpiring decisions can hardly be called mate-ship or sportsmanship or bonding! There's a well-marked line separating self-belief and arrogance. Australian teams have crossed that line innumerable times and justified it with your "bonding" arguments. We aren't talking about on-field behaviour right now, but India/Pakistan aren't half as abusive/arrogant as Australia on the field. We're currently talking about winning and losing. If you're suggesting that an Australian victory can't be achieved by hard-work alone and has to be supplemented by abusive "bonding" and "mate-ship", that's a shame! Comparing Ponting's and Gavaskar's behavior on the field is a no-brainer. Yes, Gavaskar did protest against one or two grossly unfair decisions, but he didn't sledge/curse/abuse opponents on a regular basis!

  • G.Rasul on March 26, 2007, 16:31 GMT

    I understand that you guys are UPSET over your teams failure but some of you making it look seem like its the ICC's fault that they lost. If you cant win how can you expect to go on. Dont blame the so called MINNOWs. They are here to play. ONE more thing, I dont think it is justifiable to call Bangladesh a minnow. As they kicked some Indian butt by no LUCK but by their skills. Guess what, Bangladesh can take on any team on any given day, just let them mature a little bit more. Just look at how SRILANKA plays, they play as a team. young and old.

  • "Mushy was interesting when he said in 1992" on March 26, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    The mindset of our assistant coach can be well defined by RIP Woolmer as under... "Mushy was interesting when he said in 1992 they only started winning at the end, not much solace as we now have to beat both Zimbabwe and Ireland in order to get through."

  • Aman Khan Milan, Italy on March 26, 2007, 16:18 GMT

    Perhaps first time in the history of World Cup Cricket matches, two Asian cricket giants, India and Pakistan have been eliminated from the preliminary round. Both teams miserably failed to live upto the expectations of their respective fans thanks to their poor performance in all departments, batting, bowling and fielding.

    Though I am not expert on the technical aspects of the game, but as an ardent well-wisher of Asain team, I feel deeply disappointed by the poor performance of Pakistani side. The disastrous performance of our side really exposed that Pakistani side is nothing but a paper lion. Notwithstanding westindies, an excellent side with killing instinct, it appears to me, Pakistani side has been reduced to a kid who becomes helpless when asked to lift a 20kg bag of rice. But our fans in million number demand high performance from the team, which they fail to deliver.

    It goes without saying asain side has always been reputed as winning side for one-dayers quit for several years, but the current appalling situation warrants some soul searching exercise by the team management. As suggested through today's leading, senior players who have become defunct should be replaced by younger generation because there are considerable youngsters who wait for the mercy of selectors and sitting in the pavilion. Once new-comers are inducted into the team, they could be handicapped because of the lack of experience but such youngsters should be inspired with all support from the board so as to instill confidence in them.

    One of the criteria which I have noted while selecting the team is that, personal relations is considered while selecting members to the team. I think such criteria should not be applied since it can help out-of-form players to sneak into the team. Another aspect is that, both Indian and Pakistani sides have almost identical problems. Against this backdrop, there should be regular matches between India and Pakistan since both will gain considerable tactical experience from such matches. But due to various political reasons, both countries refrain from such ventures.

    I feel it is high time Pakistan board looked into this area and organize regular matches, particularly one-dayers on regular basis without with, both countries will be losers and ultimately, our cricket history will be met with the same fate of Internal Hockey where we both are no where at present.

    These are just some instant response which came in my mind when witnessed the disastrous performance of Asain giants.

    Let us all look forward to a bright future for our Indian team

  • Amyn Habib on March 26, 2007, 16:15 GMT

    If you put a lot of lipstick on a pig, will it turn into a beautiful woman?

    No. It will become, perhaps, a slightly prettier pig, but it will remain a pig.

    The problem with the Pakistan team is that it is full of mediocre players. It is unreasonable to expect from them a high quality and a talent they do not possess. Sane observers of Pakistan cricket had commented that this was the weakest team ever to have entered the World Cup ever. Sadly, the team could not perform even to its limited potential (i.e. beat Ireland).

    I agree both with your prescription of “ruthless meritocracy” (well said) and also share your pessimism about the prospect of real change. I would add professionalism as a key ingredient to success.

    There is some inconsistency, however, in your call for ruthless meritocracy, and your constant peddling of some players with long records of failure and underperformance in this forum.

    I share EAMIRAN’s horror at the prospect of a Shahid Afridi’s captaincy. This would be like proclaiming the village idiot is to become the king. I am at a loss to understand what you mean by the passion of Afridi. Are you referring to his tendency to strike spectators with his bat? Or about his penchant for repeated failure and underperformance combined with a complete lack of professionalism and inability to bat under pressure?

    India, I would say, are a much better team. They stumbled against Bangladesh, but against Sri Lanka, they were outplayed by a superb effort from the Sri Lankans. The format of this tournament is unforgiving.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on March 26, 2007, 16:06 GMT

    LOL @ Saima Kamal - March 26, 2007 5:05 AM

    Your analogy of "old wine in a new bottle" for the cricketing Mullah's must be a sinful comment and you must be punished and tried on the charges of blasphemy according to the tableeghi rules of cricket ! Jokes aside, your concern about Javed Miandad and what new ideas or professionalism can he bring into the team, needs to be addressed.

    First of all when it comes to winning a game, a coach's role is restricted only up to a certain extent. Even a captain's role is limited but, it encompasses / surpasses the coach's role because, he is a man on the spot. Still, it is not an individual's game but, a team effort that lifts the game. So, to expect from one man to play miracles is asking too much.

    A coach is not a new book of ideas, even new ideas are not really new, sometimes the old ideas with a new approach work wonders. At one of the seminars, the guru of all the management gurus Tom Peters said, "at the end of this seminar if anyone of you - while leaving this room - thinks that you have learned a few new things from me today, I would say, either you are an idiot or I have not done my job properly. I want all of you to think that, oh, I already knew this and why the hell have I not been practicing it?"

    William Wordsworth's Daffodils "I wandered lonely as a cloud .........." is another example, I 've read this poem in grade 4 and then in the college, and again at the Uni and at every stage my analysis and understanding of that poem is different. You read Qura'an from childhood days till the time you are 70 - 80 or whatever, and each time you read, your understanding improves, because of your own knowledge, experience and the environment that you are in. My point here is only about our own perception and our understanding and how it changes, and I am NOT comparing people with subjects or scriptures.

    The dilemma of choosing between a foreign coach or a desi coach is in the minds of the people, its a quandary or perplexity of the choices that you give them and make them believe, that one is better than the other and you have to choose between the two of them, it is human nature to go for the rarity and such are the horns of dilemma. There are four short stories on dilemma, it could be a false dilemma -- still worth reading, check out these two links:

    http://www.answers.com/topic/dilemma-story http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9030446/dilemma-tale

    Change doesn't mean foreign (ex) change, but a change for improvement with a positive frame of mind and that too from the winning perspective, and winners must learn to relish change with the same enthusiasm and energy that they have resisted it in the past.

  • Shiva on March 26, 2007, 16:03 GMT

    I felt sorry for Indian cricket on Friday, i really tought they would have beaten the sri lankans and go into the second round, but Sri lanka played some good cricket on friday, and credit must go to them. After the sad events that have taken place in this world cup thus far, i just hope the indian population does not take the defeat to badly and look to hurt players, coaches and managers etc. Because that will be carrying it way to far, its just a game at the end of the day. Something just went wrong with the batting on friday, they have the firepower in that team to run down totals in excess of 300 expecially on that queens park pitch...any way as I said before credit to sri lanka for defending that 254. As for Pakistan, their domestic cricket seems to be struggling as much as that here in the West indies or is it that the selectors are playing the wrong side, I tought that guys like taufeeq, yasir hammeed and salman butt missed out, sami should have been picked for the match against west indies, you saw what he did in the two other games he played. I understand that they were missing key players but they still had the quality to compete with any of the big teams that qualified for the super 8’s just as India.

  • Matt Edmonds on March 26, 2007, 15:55 GMT

    I cannot believe that there are so many people that have claimed that Pakistan and India only had one bad day's cricket to miss out on qualifying for the Super 8 round. This was NOT the case. BOTH TEAMS PLAYED THREE GAMES AND LOST TWO OF THEM. If India had beaten Sri Lanka after losing to Bangladesh, they would have qualified, and Pakistan would have qualified if they had beaten the West Indies in their first match. They played poorly, and were soundly beaten in two of their first 3 matches.

    Show me any sport in the world at the highest level where a team or individual gets to stay in after losing 2 of their first three games. Look at the major sporting championships in the world, the soccer world cup, rugby world cup, basketball world championships, losing 2 out of 3 games in your pool would knock you out in any of these sports. Let's compare it to tennis where the margin of error in a Grand Slam tournament is even less, a single loss at any stage will knock out even the top seeded player.

    Given the same opportunities, Bangladesh and Ireland played more professionally over THREE GAMES than their more fancied rivals Pakistan and India who could both learn alot from them.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui, Jeddah - Saudi Arabia on March 26, 2007, 15:50 GMT

    Every body seems to be talking about the green top and bad days. Are we so naive to let this green top thing serve as an excuse for the way Pakistanis played against Ireland, rubbish really even to think that this was the cause. Why should they not prepare green top wickets, is it some thing alien to cricket are the professionals not supposed on any type of wicket. Why are the players paid so much when they cannot deliver, and do we really think it was because of a green top wicket that we lost to Ireland. India and Pakistan have all the ODI records the most runs and so on....Inzy, Yousuf, Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and so on.....how many runs have they scored ....some thing like 50.000 runs and yet they have always failed to deliver at the right time. Look at the results of otehr countries, their batsmen have not scored as many runs as ours but the number of victories of their teams are much higher than ours. Can we not see that these players only perform against weak teams or only when they play on their local featherbeds. The have the highest runs and have played the highest number of ODI's still they keep having bad days and teams like Australia, South Africa they never have bad days.

    Are we the only two teams who are so bloody dependants on the type of wickets and the types of days.......utter nonsence.

    It is very simple folks these inflated individuals lack professionalism and have no morals and yes they are bloody arrogant as well. They are only interested in milking money and for themselves only.

    Rgds.....pakigreen

  • K.S. on March 26, 2007, 15:47 GMT

    Caroline, like Ricky Ponting and Mark Waugh (hardly a paragon of "respecting" cricket culture given his admitted involvement with bookies) you completely miss the point of what Gavaskar was saying. Incidentally, what he said was no different to what others, including some Aussies, have said about the Aussies, but interestingly only Gavaskar comes in for a huge backlash. Ponting can criticize Gavaskar's own behavior on field - that's a fair target - but he erred by dragging the performance of the current Indian team itself into it. This is not about whether teams win or lose a match or how often but was a comparison between how different sets of champions behave while they are winning - in this case the 1980s West Indians and the 1990s and 2000s Aussies. All he was saying is that not everyone values the "winning ugly" philosophy. And before you get all preachy, I've read columns by Aussies accusing their own team of "winning ugly". I don't even think it's a cultural difference, but a personal one. Not every Australian approves of the behavior of some of their team on field and not every Indian sees the Aussies as being boorish on field at times. So I don't think this had anything to do with national character of either India or Australia.

    Gavaskar never questioned the Aussies' skills, dedication to the sport, talent and ability to win cricket matches. Indeed, he fully expects the Aussies to win again and had high praise for them in these departments. What he did question was some of their behavior on field. You call it working class confidence and self-belief. Others don't think it's necessary for a man like McGrath to show his self-belief and self-confidence by making unnecessarily vulgar comments to Ramnaresh Sarwan and then bristle hypocritically when it backfires on him. If you need to make comments like that to believe in yourself, then there's something wrong with you and you are insecure at heart or just ill-mannered and badly brought up. Again, this is supposed to be a contest between grown men not bullyboys in the schoolyard. There's banter-like sledging and then there's really immature, vulgar and boorish and tiresome behavior. That's the difference. You say you don't see the humility etc. of the subcontinental players, unlike the Aussies. You are entitled not to see the humility of the subcontinental players, but don't expect others to believe that the Aussies are paragons of humility and just "good working class guys" either.

    As for this whole myth that the Aussies are humble working class good guys whilst the Indian/Pakistani teams are a bunch of privileged, silver-spoon-in-the-mouth players - please. Only Ganguly comes from a really wealthy family, and even his arrogance is exaggerated by some Aussies and Brits (but not all - some fair and reasonable Aussie and Brit journalists have written quite favorable impressions of him and describe him as fairly humble and soft-spoken off the field. I've met Aussie fans who met Ganguly in person and had nothing but good things to say). Tendulkar may be fabulously wealthy now, but he comes from a very ordinary middle class family that was probably poorer than the average Australian middle class family. He worked hard for what he has and supports charities in a very humble manner without drawing attention to these efforts, unlike other cricket celebrities. Others like Munaf Patel, Pathan and Dhoni come from considerably poorer families. I doubt many of the Pakistani players come from privileged backgrounds. How many of the Aussie players come from families that couldn't afford proper shoes growing up and had to go barefoot? Pathan and Patel do. So enough of this "they live in an ivory tower" nonsense. If they do so now, it's mostly because of fan pressure. Are they a little spoiled? Perhaps, but so are most sports people in some way or the other, including the Aussie team. But when you grow up with next to nothing and cricket is a sport that is unstable as a living, you can excuse some of them for trying to make hay while the sun shines. I mean if someone like Kevin Pietersen (and he has every right to) can write his autobiography, for God's sake, when he hasn't even hit 30 yet, why begrudge someone from the much poorer subcontinent?

    This is not to excuse the Indian team from their shameful performance at this World Cup and they deserve bric-a-brats. Yes, they took Bangladesh for granted and paid the price. But their exit had nothing to do with unsportsmanlike behavior on the field towards others or ungenteel behavior, as you insinuate. Neither did Pakistan's exit. They exited because they just didn't play up to their potential and were arrogant and sluggish in that regard. But they were not overtly arrogant or rude to the Bangladeshis or Lankans on the field. Their behaviour only affected themselves and their fans, not their opponents. Being professional doesn't just mean playing as a team, winning and having a work ethic and being dedicated to the sport.

    The reality is, there is some truth to what outsiders say about the subcontinental cricketers and there is some truth to what the subcontinentals say about Aussie and other non-subcontinental cricketers. We just don't like hearing it from each other :)

  • Pratik on March 26, 2007, 15:46 GMT

    Now if we were to ask what is NOT wrong with Indian and Pakistani cricket, we might have to enumerate fewer points :-)

  • KAM on March 26, 2007, 15:41 GMT

    After watching Pakistan play cricket over the last few months I have come to the conclusion that there is no simple solution for the problems. We all have our own opinions but unless these opinions are implanted by the PCB, what good are they??

    Pakistan has good fast bowlers as was shown in our second string bowling line up in the world cup. Currently, Shoaib (maybe), Asif and Gul as the front runners with Sami, Rao Iftikhar, Rana as replacements. Not forgetting the potential bowlers coming up through the ranks. The U19 world cup bowlers were excellent and hopefully by 2011 will be ready and firing.

    I remember watching the U19 world cup final last year, and what I saw was THE PAKISTAN, a Pakistan that we all once grew up with, a Pakistan that once were!! These bowler’s need to be seriously groomed and give attention. Most of all what I saw was passion, yes passion which I can’t see in the national side at this moment. When was the last time Akmal looked at his fielder’s with horrid eye’s when they made a blunder. When was the last time the bowler’s had a go at the fielder’s for dropping a catch. Not in this modern era, that’s when!!!

    Batting is another story altogether, first thing is simple as most have suggested, change the pitches!! Get new groundsmen if needs be. Then we can judge who is really good and who need’s technical help. Although Pakistan are renowned for their bowlers, I also believe that our batsman are more then capable. The talent is there but just needs to blossom.

    Please pass this email on to the PCB. I believe there is only one man for the job and that is none other then Imran Khan, an inspirational leader. Let him come and pick his own committee and run the team the way it should have been run for many years.

    With hope, a true Pakistan supporter. Ameen.........

  • Zuluboy on March 26, 2007, 15:38 GMT

    PLEASE can all the Pakistani and Indian cricket supporters stop whinging about the early exit of thier underperforming teams from the worldcup!! You all seem to be making the same 'silly' comments in your arguements; "nothing to be gained from losing Ind./Pak." ,"the minnows mean a loss of revenue", "structure of tournamnt is wrong", "1 bad game & your out".

    Guys, Both teams lost "2" games not 1. Why do only losses to the Windies and Sri Lanka count as 'legitimate' losses? Im pretty sure Bangladesh and Ireland practiced just as hard, if not harder than any other team in the tournament.

    The structure of any world cup tournament is an evolving system, but i dont believe it should be tinkered with to aid 'bad performance'. And lastly, as far as your belief in the minnows costing cricket billions of viewers because their sides are not in the world cup...i say good riddence. Those who love good cricket will watch good cricket, regardless of who is playing. Pakistan were/are a favourite of mine but unfortunatly, at the end of the day thats what makes a tournament like this special, & its because ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!!

    P.S. R.I.P Bob Woolmer

  • Nafis on March 26, 2007, 15:37 GMT

    These attempts to shift the blame of the failure to the tournament format, among all things is absolutely pathetic.

    Just to remind you, the biggest tournament of them all, the Fifa World Cup, follows exactly the same group format. The world cup demands that the best team brings their best game, every game. Bangladesh and Ireland did that while India and Pakistan certainly didn't.

  • Javed California on March 26, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    We always look for foriegn aids, We tried to hire foriegn coaches to fix cricket, economy, system, administration and what not. We asked generals to fix policatical systems, social systems, sport systems. We hired DNA, Ghumman, Shakut Aziz, Woolmer to clean our mess. GOD help those who help themselves. We are ready to praise and reward who never delvier to Pakistan. People think that China will take care of our defence. Afghanistan will protect our border from west. USA is our partner, go and ask anyone on street what they think of Pakistan. We never believe in ourselves or we beleive too much on ourselves. Imran Khan is a self-proclaimed leader of pakistan who has always promoted regionalism, favortism and he always took karachi as a foreign land and it players as foriegn players. His so-called discoveries[Akram,Waqar,Inzi,Akmal] deliver Satta, M-Fixing, rudeness, arrogance, laziness and everlasting shame to pakistan. He refused to play under Javed Miandad, what was that[Mutiny].WC92 was a good luck for pakistan cricket to build something on top of that but we never understand the importance of merit. Imran,Bari, Salim Altraf, DNA, Tauqeer, Sharyar,Salim Malik, Rana, Akmal are representing our system and result of regionalism and failure of quota system

  • Munir on March 26, 2007, 15:33 GMT

    I read all the comments with great interest. I noticed that some of the readers is blaming the format of worldcup which allows 'minnows' like Bangladesh and Ireland to move to the Super Eights. Well, that fact is, they earned it. Nothing wrong with the format. If so called giants like India and Pakistan failed to win a game, tough luck. Accept it. The game of cricket does not belong only to the Indians and Pakistanis. Time has come now to think if India and Pakistan are really that good as they are being publicised. Welcome to the reality!

  • Mian Gul Muhammed on March 26, 2007, 15:33 GMT

    I have read some comments from Faisal Khan and I would like to ask the same question to ICC. I know we have been beaten badly and we should have never lost to Ireland despite whatever the playing conditions were. We had expereinced professionals and these professionals should adopt to any available conditions: change game plans, technique etc. that is why these bunch of players are called "Professionals". However, we lost becuase it is quite evident and world known fact that Pakistan and Indian batsmen are not technically very well equiped to play on bouncy, grassy and seaing wickets. Fine, we accept we have this short coming in our techinque and we need to do some thing about it, otherwise we will be humilated time and again. But I would like to ask, ICC a question here, how comes the track which was offered to Pakistan play ODI had so much grass? All other games so far, in this world cup, inclduing the ones which have been played on the same ground hav had batsmen friendly wickets? Flat tarcks for the games of South Africa and Australia where about 700 runs have been scored in nearly 100 overs. Millions of people around the world deserve an explaination from ICC for such difference of pitches offered to different teams. Yes ICC can trun around and say "Different fields, cities, etc." But I wonder was that the case? Now coming back to Pakistan and India, we need to change a few things. >> Forget about seniority, status etc when naming captains. Captains do not have to be the best players of the team but they do need to posses: leadership,good communication, strong character, analytical skills and above all be role models in terms of discipline etc. >> Prepare bowler freindly wickets i.e. green tops, seaming and bouncy tracks etc. during domestic competation so that, our batsmen are not termed as flat track bullies only. During champions trophy we have seen that such tracks can be made in India or Pakistan. >> We can easily find 25 players from millions who play cricket. Any players who do not perform in one series should be replaced automatically, regardless how big the name is. >> Make seperate teams for test and odi as these both are two different ways of playing cricket. >> Get honest, educated and true professional managers to run boards not generals, politicians, doctors, diplomats true professional managers who run businesses as such shrud nature individuals will have only one objective that is performance of their team because this is what it will help them to make money. Come in guys think about it, next wc is being played in our countries and we should win it.

  • Asif on March 26, 2007, 15:29 GMT

    Assalamalaikum Mr. Kamran,

    I don't know if you read your blog comments, but I hope you read this one because this is a dissenting voice amid your like-minded lovefest going on here. Like one Mr. Atherton in the Telegraph yesterday, your article tells us we are supposed to bemoan the entry of Ireland and Bangladesh into the second round. "the tournament has been stripped of perhaps twelve heavyweight encounters" you write. Absolutely, but not the encounters between the eight best team in the tournament. Meritocracy starts at home. I invite you to stop sympathising with teams based on reputation (India)or parochial nationalist sentiments (your own country), and put your support firmly behind the teams that have held the South Asian banner high in this World Cup. Then perhaps the meritocracy you wish to see in Pakistan might just show in your own column. Lastly, please don't believe what one of these comments asserts: that the two Ws have helped the Bangladesh team by coaching them. This is our moment of glory, and Pakistanis had very little to do with it! A patronising attitude from our northern neighbours (India still has not invited us to play a test series) should not be confused with help. For help, see Gordon Greenidge or Eddie Barlow.

  • Ty on March 26, 2007, 15:26 GMT

    stop making excuses for india and pakistan's exit from the world cup. who cares if they have a bigger reputation than teams such as ireland and bangladesh? in the end they are playing in the same tournament and everyone has an equal chance of winning, and if pak and india can't deal with it, they shouldn't be playing in it. you can't win the world cup on arrogance and reputation

  • Zarook on March 26, 2007, 15:24 GMT

    Nice one from "Sri lankan". I'm pasting it again if any of you havent read it. I think inzi and all the Tableeghis here should read it

    Posted by: Sri Lankan at March 26, 2007 6:32 AM

    Kamran what I’m gonna say is something outside the subject here. But I felt compelled to write abt it To all of them who say religion is different from cricket and religion cannot be brought into cricket – I would like to ask them where in islam does it say that when you are on duty your first priority should be to propagate islam????? Or where does it say, if you are a captain or leader you should always give preference to only bearded good muslims irrespective of how good hes to perform that job even when you know there is someone more deserving for that particular job??????????? With all due respect to inzi can someone PLS REPLY TO THIS Working hard to be an expert in your field (as long as the work you do doesn’t go against islam) is also part of being a good muslim. Its not just worship which most people fail to realize So just because some so called “Muslims” don’t follow the guidelines of Islam you cannot blame religion for that. Islam is a way of life which we need to implement in every aspect of it. Some people think islam should be followed only during sicknesses, at funerals and may be on Friday nights, but NOT during work and play because that’s the part of our lives we think we can handle on our own. May Allah forgive us for even thinking this way. Aameen!!!

  • P.Satish Kumar on March 26, 2007, 15:22 GMT

    If India and Pakistan are so damn weak then how come these two teams are ranked nos. 4 and 3 resp. in test cricket while the "more agile", "more athletic", "better fielding", "better running between the wickets" side of SL, SA, and NZ are ranked 5,6, and 7.

    ODIs have become about atheletes while Test cricket continues to test skill in batting and bowling.

    The only issue as far as the ODIs are concerned is that since a WC is played for them it is easier to judge teams and players not that.

    But remember two teams that had pathetic 2003 campaigns SA and NZ have turned things around. There is no reason why India and Pakistan cannot.

  • Aftab alam on March 26, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    Calm professionalism does not come by chance, there is alot of hard work, thinking and brainstorming involved. I hate the statement that there is no lack of talent in pakistan, infact there is no lack of talent in Ethiopea either, its a mater of how you groom this talent. Our national psyche is to have players who would, with messianic disdain dessimate opposition rather than compete at human level with respect for other teams and their talent.

  • Gavin Lee on March 26, 2007, 15:06 GMT

    Just let me start by responding to Ali Hasan. It is unfair to blame the world cup format for the early elimination of both Pakistan and India. They all knew the rules as did the minnows and it is unfair to take away there victories due to the lack of preparation and thought that went into the matches that India and Pakistan lost. They did not have one bad day as you suggested, the groups very much favour of the 8 teams which the ICC would have loved to be playing in the Super 8. The major problem with cricket in Pakistan and India, is not so much the players, but the media,management staff comprising coaches,selectors etc. and the fans...yes the fans. Firstly the media creates this hype about new promising players and immediately they are turned into celebrities and then the fans start to have unrealistic demands every time they represnt them. The pressure placed on the likes of Tendulkar and Dhoni are probably reasons for India's poor performance in the World Cup. Every time an Indian player goes out to play cricket , he has to be worrying about his performance,the media reports and the safety of his personal assets at home. Cricket is a mind game that requires concentration and focus and it was impossible for the players to do that with so many other things happening off the field. The media created this hype of stating India as a favourite.They were never favourites ,at least not in my book. No team can win a competition without having at least a competent bowling attack. They have a strong batting lineup on paper and I say on paper because a line up on paper does not take into consideration personal pressure and thats what all top 7 Indian batsmen with the exception of Yuvraj Singh and Utappa were faced with.This is the same Indian team that lost a series 4-1 to the West Indies a year ago when the West Indies were not playing as good as they are now. I will state what I have stated on previous blogs that the pitches in the Caribbean are not flat tracks like they have in the sub - continent so batting here takes a lot more application. Take for example Sri lanka which I had stated as one of my teams to make the semis even before a ball was bowled, the other 3 were the W.I, Australia and New Zealand. The Sri Lankans are not that far ahead of that Inidia team as the defeat on Saturday would suggest, well except for the bowling , but man for man the Indians are right up there with the Sri Lankan batsmen, but the difference on Saturday was that the Sri Lankans were only concentrating on cricket. The expectations of there team by the Sri Lankan people is not as high as that of the pakistanis or the Indians and that is just creating false hope which leads to anger by the Pakistani and Indian suppoters. An Indian board member stated that the team was a dissapointment because the team had been given the resources it needed to do well, that I say is the problem,fincial backing and the right resources are just a part of the step towards success. The biggest part is the comittment and the love for the game which most international cricketers lack today. Ireland and Bangladesh are by no means big names in cricket but their commitment and fight which was non existent in two of the big names in world cricket which is why Ireland and Bangladesh are in the Super 8 now, no media hype, no celebrity status in their homelands, limited resources, and smaller contracts. I would like to say that India and Pakistan has 4 years to solve the problem but the only problem is the Indian and Pakistan board members along with the fans will not accept what the real problem is. A little comment for Mukul,a so called journalist who had written a degrading article about the prospects of W.I chances in the world cup,the probabilty of them winning the world cup is now 1/6 and the probability of them making the semis is 4/6 thanks to your hopeful winners India not making the 2nd round and Pakistans internal distractions.You can start looking back at that article you wrote because when the W.I play Australia, you and many others will be left in awe, I guarantee, and oh you also said if W.I won the world cup that the ICC would need to look at the state of world cricket, but guess what, you need to 1st look at the state of Cricket in India and Pakistan if they cant win at least 2 matches against 3 other teams ranked below them by the same ICC.( The last paragraph is dedicated to a journalist who has helped to create the problem of Asian cricket, I personally enjoy watching teams from the sub continent play cricket as they play similiar to W.I style of cricket which is entertainment and I truly hope that Cricket in India and Pakistan can recover quickly.

  • spagyrizt the great on March 26, 2007, 15:00 GMT

    Well all i can say is that four years is a hell of a lot of time to prepare for the world cup FOR PAKISTAN We talk about professionalism in one go and then blame the format of the tournament for our defeat. I think the Pakistan team knew that they had to win 2 matches and if they are incapable of doing that they don’t deserve to be in the super 8. We may all talk about the 1992 miracle but I assure u guys this team wouldn’t have won the world cup. They lack that character. My dear friends I can assure u if Pakistan had a dry track for that match they would have murdered Irish team but then can the track be excused for the defeat against Irish part-time amateurs. For god's sake let’s look at reality. Pakistan team failed because they are a bunch of ill-disciplined amateurs who do not know how to play cricket except on batting tracks. Is that what cricket is all about? Being able to bat....... Any sport requires professionalism. We need a major revamp of our attitudes. What I see in every aspiring young cricketer of Pakistan is being famous like Wasim Akram or Imran Khan. None of them is given the methodology that to work their way up to success requires full time dedication and commitment. We see commercials of Pepsi and other sponsors showing them winning girls’ hearts and that’s what is embedded in their minds. To become famous. We need a total change of character. Until and unless that has happened no cricket board in the country will be able to get this team to win the World Cup again. We have seen a major decline of cricket. We need to save it before it gets much worse. FOR INDIA. All I can say is that if u are heroes in the eyes of the people then u must live up to the expectations of the millions of the people. If u cannot do that then u have no right to promote commercials and become famous at the cost of doing damage to the country’s finances. I still think India’s team lacks that character which makes the champion. They are a good team but if u want to see a great team don’t look at India

  • Najeeb Huda on March 26, 2007, 14:54 GMT

    To all the sore losers in the Pakistan India supporter camps:

    Dont humiliate yourselves further by blaming the WC format, the toss etc etc for the early exit of Pakistan and India.

    Instead spend your time wisely by burning effigies, attacking the houses of your players, holding mock funerals, endlessly debating the matter on Tv shows and so on.

    Cheers

  • Zakir Khan on March 26, 2007, 14:53 GMT

    Kamran Sahib Sorry to say but Pakistan is not a cricketing giant by any strip of imagination.its peak point was winning World Cup in 1992 under Imran Khan leadership.the day he left the team,Pakistan cricket was in termoil.World Cup 92 made every Dick & Harry a superstar over night and from here on the down fall of Pakistan Cricket started and it continued for the next decade till this date.during this period Pak team achieved some modest sucess occassionally but they were as ever pathetic against the strong oppositions like Australia and S Africa in both forms of the game. Our cricketers forget all their cricket when they are exposed to green tops and bouncy tracks.I believe that if u can't perform in different conditions than u have no right to consider urself a player let alone to be considered as a cricketing giants. the current state of Pakistan cricket is in shambles.this is the second time that we have been eliminated from the World Cup in the very 1st round.now this is not a bad luck or just being wrong footed in one match.in between the four years it shows that we have gone from bad to worse.our current side is a bunch of flat track bullies who can't deliver on seaming & bouncy tracks.on helpful conditions they are not even good enough to withstand a club level side. if we want to be considered as serious cricketing nation,than we need some drastic changes and the first change should be creation of green top and bouncy tracks in our domestic cricket. secondly,as Imran Khan pointed out time and again that our current domestic cricket structure is not producing world class players.already after so much experimentation with our cricket I feel we can afford to implement his suggestions and than see what happens. thirdly we need a professional body to run our cricket.the current PCB administration is just a joke.PCB has got a huge amount of money and I think rather than sitting on this money they should spend it on the development of World Class cricket strucutre in the country.

  • Dawar, LA USA on March 26, 2007, 14:52 GMT

    Both had white Coaches in the world cup, And both (Pakistan & India) were out on early stage of the tournament.

    Especially for Pakistani team, I wonder how did they communicate with Bob?

    I mean, in which language. Without communication you can not build the team.

    Both Pakistan & India should reconsider their decision to keep foreign coach.

    They should take expertise from their own soil legends like Azhar-uddin, Kapil Dev, Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Rashid Latif, Waqar Younis etc

    Kuwa Chaala Hanse ki Chaal Apni Chaal Kho Betta

    Dawar LA, USA

  • A Broken Heart on March 26, 2007, 14:46 GMT

    I do not like the Format of Tounament. Just one big upset Pak vs Ireland and India vs Bangladesh and both team are out of world cup. I am sure Ireland or Bangladesh playing their next 10 macthes against India or Paksitan, they can not not even win one. Just think of 92 World cup, if it has same Format as this world Cup. Can you think Pakistan can win. It is not good for Cricket 120 Million hopes burnt to air. Kamran Abbasi please write something about it as well. Just one bad match and world no.3 team from last 2 year becomes minnow.

  • Miten on March 26, 2007, 14:46 GMT

    Ponting will be stubborn enough not to admit that his silly comment about not allowing minnows to play in the WC was arrogant. Sri Lanka would have been considered minnows up to the mid 1990's and now after having been world champs, they are back as a powerhouse with good chances to contend with South Africa and Australia for the WC. Ind and Pak dissappointed and I would have enjoyed seeing them play in the Super 8's but looking unselfishly, this is great for Ireland and Bangladesh, many stars rise when such wonderful things happen. 1999 was Pakistan's turn and 2003 provided India with their best opportunities respectively to bring the trophies home, I dont think they will compete for a while. Their core of players are good but not good enough to form a legacy.

  • Jay Khan on March 26, 2007, 14:44 GMT

    Suit yourselves - India and Pakistan. The cup format was tailor made for the so called giants to progress. Losing two games out of three is more than a handful. Skills win games not hype. You concede it would be no better next world cup. Thank God we have been spared this year's farcical displays they would have put up in the next round.

  • oneMK on March 26, 2007, 14:38 GMT

    just a quick point. Few people have commented about the green pitch that was prepared for PAK vs IRE game. PAK was ranked number 4 in the world, they are a test playing nation and as such their battes should be able to perform to a decent level on any pitch. They SHOULD have beaten Ireland any day on any wicket, weather it be grassy, dusty, flat or even Icy!!! simple as that. So please lets not blame the pitch or the pitch curator.

  • SarmadR on March 26, 2007, 14:29 GMT

    http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/03/26/this_innuendo_about_the_pakist.html

    this is a wonderful wonderful blog..bout time ppl read it..please do post the link kamran,i especially respect 'kokomo's reply to the blog..do have a read and post the link if u can.. thanx! or just go to Guardian unlimnited blogs and search Mike Marqusee

  • khalid durrani on March 26, 2007, 14:07 GMT

    I do not agree with the idea of making Younis Khan Captain.Look at his performance in ODIs for last one year. To me he do not deserve to be in the team and you are suggesting him as Captain.

    Everyone thought that our bowling was weak but look who let us down ? The batsmen ! who lacked fighting spirit. It is time now to have separate ODI team from that of Test ?

  • Nair on March 26, 2007, 13:50 GMT

    I agree with Bhel. I am a big cricket fan and Indian supporter but this WC was a disappointment. Every team will have a good day or bad day (may thats not true for Australia and SriLanka). I still think pressure got the most out of India. They are all good players and I still think if ICC would have changed it to stright super 8 or super 10 (with 2 minnows) and each team play against each would have made the WC more enjoyable and entertaining. Unlike others I still think Indian side is a very good side and proud of the team but it was a bad run thats all. Also whats with the people distroying properties and protesting etc,. It is a sport, enoy the game. I am sorry but for crying out cloud, this is just a game.

  • justin on March 26, 2007, 13:47 GMT

    Wake up! Both India and Pakistan failed in not one game, but two games out of three. Otherwise they would be through. If you can't win more than one game out of three qualifiers, no matter how weak or strong they may be, you have not earned the right to proceed further in the tournament.

  • Tahir Naqqash on March 26, 2007, 13:43 GMT

    I think the key word is HUNGER! The Sri lankans, the Bangladeshis, the Irish - theyre all hungry. They crave success, and work their socks off to get it. The Australian team is a prime example of sustained hunger - a basic need that drives them to perform better and better. Unfortunately the Pakistani and Indian superstars seem to have lost that very craving. Surrounded by a fawning public and spoilt by corporate sponsors, they have begun to believe the hype that surrounds them. The blood and sweat, the grit and determination is missing. These pampered stars go out on a field and expect things to go like a breeze. Reality check - nothing comes easy in sports.

    The Pakistan captain Inzamam became a larger than life figure who was hell bent on being the unquestioned leader at the expense of professionalism. Spurred on by doting fans he had no one to answer to. Same goes for the board. The fans themselves want to see their superstars play fashionable cricket. As a result of this need to be fancy, happy go lucky characters like Imran Farhat and Faisal Iqbal were given chance after chance. Gritty players like Asim Kamal never got a look in. Inevitable result - when the going got tough the movie stars couldnt get going. Will we learn our lesson this time?

  • Syed on March 26, 2007, 13:25 GMT

    Hmm.. Well enough said about the teams, and the format. What happened is a chapter of past, we need to move on and take it as a bad chapter of our sports history. Also the nation should think about their second religion (cricket) as a game. I would like to suggest open trials before any fixture. Eagles did that in 1976 and midn you these people in NFL have a better coaching staff than any sports.

  • haroon (south africa) on March 26, 2007, 13:21 GMT

    for once i think strike action is the way to go,

    all indian fans , and pakistani fans, should not go out and watch their teams play.

    total blackout dont watch the match on tv , or at the grounds, dont listen to commentary,

    let the players and the board know that losing happens, but we the fans are ashamed at the manner in which the most talented teams in world cricket lost

    seriously, the members of the team players and officials alike must see, that without their fan base they are all nothings

    noone will remember them. or talk about them

    try it for the next home series

    and if it doesnt help, then we can go back to supporting them like fools if we want, but if it works then the teams must no, that they are gonna be held accountable for below par performance, playing your heart out and losing is perfectly okay.

    from a paki fan from childhood, (i'm not even pakistani), you have just killed this world cup for me, as i cant bare to watch.

    all sad faced

    hoping to smile again

    boycott the matches people boycott the matches

  • shamik on March 26, 2007, 13:18 GMT

    good article, unlike what mukul wrote. yes, the two teams are to blame for being idiotic, but the tournament will miss out badly. india and pakistan might have lost the games they would have played in the super 8's if they went there instead, but the quality would always be greater. ireland isnt better than pakistan and bangladesh isnt better than india, unlike what some people are saying. These were one-offs. flukes. sri lanka and bangladesh stand no chance against aus, SA, NZ, and dare I say even england, as they proved against aus in the best of 3 finals that they have genuine ability.

  • asif on March 26, 2007, 13:15 GMT

    "although being wrong footed in one match looks a harsh methodology to condemn these two great cricketing nations to four years of waiting."

    i wonder if respective indian and pakistani fans would be saying same if their teams got through. Fact of the matter is ALL teams were subject to the same conditions, and India/pakistan simply did not make the mark. Being a 'giant' does not impart progression as a right. These two teams are certainly not 'giants' anymore, but merely passengers at check-in on the return flight home.

    If one simply rests on ones laurels (sic India/pakistan) what is the point of holding a tournament?

    australia, south africa, et al, made it to the next round. For, they, like Bangladesh and Ireland, played good cricket.

    Both India/Pakistan did not simply loose, but did so heavily against both fancied (Sri Lanka/ W Indies) and not-so-fancied (Bangladesh/Ireland) sides.

    No, it is better for cricket that bloated egos not matched by talent have been sent packing home.

  • Pakster in the Mix on March 26, 2007, 13:14 GMT

    I have more respect for people who work their backsides off to get somewhere in life than i do for the lazy, arrogant and generally useless Pakistani cricketers. They are given god like status by US, the cricket mad fans, who could do with a life quite honestly. The fact that i read Kamran's blog and have posted a comment is a good enough indicator for me that i need a life. And so do the rest of you, stop kidding yourself.

    So before i go out there and start searching for a life, i want to openly declare that chaiwalas, doctors, bus drivers, teachers, nurses, etc etc are my REAL heroes. And the pakistani cricketers can just go to hell.....

  • Dan of London on March 26, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    Dan of Brisbane should be ban from this blog for atleast 6 months, cricinfo should check his mental state of mind after six months and decide if he is normal to write any commens or not.

  • Atul Kumar on March 26, 2007, 13:06 GMT

    There is a fundamental error in IND and PAK cricket teams. That is there is no "team mentality" and there are rather a bunch of infalted egos with individual self-interest peddleing mougauls that inherint the positions without a single threat of accountability for their poor dedication to that TEAM. Just watch a match between AUS/SA or AUS/SL or SL/SA in comming weeks and you will learn that self promoting perrfomers are the threat to the success of any ODI team. They all will work hard and show that they all are deseved to be in the respective natinal teams no matter how experienced.Their selelection process is such that no one is beyond scalp.They will put the team in front of any self promotion of individuals to achieve results. Just think about the fact that, Jayasuria, Hayden,Gibbs, Attapattu, Symonds have all had to endear the ignornimity of being dropped from their teams for the right or wrong reason due to their lack of performance in the last 12 months leading to WC. Even when they loose, fight will be carried until the last ball is deliverd an will be proud of the lost fight. Because every one of them are aware and were subjected to scrutiny with ONLY the performance amd foarm taking precedence over any other factor in selection. Couk we even imagine the uproar from commercial interest and selfserving administers dismay if it may to happen in IND or PAK teams. There is no shame in losing to a team that did better than you no matter they are minows or stalwarts. But ther is no limit to the shame by not putting up atleast a semblence of a performance that has some fighting spirit without discarding your opprtunity expecting to be carried forward to the next level because IND/PAK holds greater influence on the cricketing business. Shame on every one that think it is all ICC's fault.Truth is there no body else to blame except yourself. You have ineffectual selsction with political bias, you have "reputaion" taking ahead of talent and fitness, you have no sustainable grass root developments, you have no high quality county tournament and you expect to win world cup just because players are all plastered on bill boards and on TV peddling soap for finacial gain. Please do all of us a favour. Fix your internal administrative problems, get rid of political clout in judgment and create a competitive culture in your appauling teams, before trying to fix ICC.

  • rupesh on March 26, 2007, 12:51 GMT

    They deserve this.

  • MD. Ashraful on March 26, 2007, 12:46 GMT

    I cant understand one thing.Football is a 90 min sport and upset is more likely there.Moreover WC is the only and truly Global tournament for football.FIFA WC also have same group format ICC just introduced.No one criticise this format although we saw Argentina and France eliminated from group round in 2002.If u fear upsets and criticise group format,u r actually showing frustration of elimination,nothing else.....

  • Rush on March 26, 2007, 12:44 GMT

    The opening two sentences couldnt have been better said. A punishment for arrogance, decadence, and incompetence.

    The talk about the competition being unfair on better teams is bollocks. These minnows earned their spot in the super eights by collecting the points, simple as that. The arrogance of Pakistani and Indian teams and some their fans, would have you believe they deserve a spot in the super eights just because they are a top eight side, but with all world cups no matter what sport; its not a matter of being near the top in the long term, rather, earning the points when it matters. That's what makes the world cup so great, a chance for the minnows to flash some potential and give the bigger teams reality checks now and then. I mean come on, surely any unbiased cricket loving fan would agree.

    If you want to see your teams long term success reflected, look at the team rankings. The world cup is best the way it is, ruthless to those that falter.

  • nasir on March 26, 2007, 12:43 GMT

    Both Pakistan and India were soundly and rightly beaten and eliminated from the World Cup. They can have no excuses.

    Pakistan batted poorly against West Indies and Ireland failing tp post anything over 200. India failed to post over 200 against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. That is evidence enough of their poor form.

  • Naser Ranjha on March 26, 2007, 12:34 GMT

    Dear Kamran Bhai,

    Koi gora parh na le toh iss leeai urdu mai likh raha hoon. cricinfo pakistan ke khilaf shaed koi agenda le ke bethi hai. Aaj phir aik dafa Rahul Bhattacharya ne apne coloumn "Bangladesh show their growing independence" per facts ko skew ker ke pakistan ke khilaf likha hai. Is article ke akhri paragraph mai bataya ja raha hai ke pakistan ne bangladesh ko INVADE kya tha..lol..koi apne muluk ko bhi invade karta hai? mai ne Martin Williamson UK ka editor hai use is bare mai bhout tameez se email kee toh us ne bhout hee unreasonable sa jwab dya, aur apni baat per arra hua hai..iss se phele cricinfo ne pakistan ke khilaf misinfomration kee aik aur koshish kee..jis mai aik tasveer mai yousuf youhana ke effigie ko bob woolmer kee effigie bataya gya caption mai, woh to kher mai ne remove karva dya ab yeh nai misinformation spread ker rehe hain. I request you that you look into it, and let Osman Samiuddin know about this sort of below the belt hitting and propoganda spreading by certain kaam karne wale cricinfo ke leeai.

    Cricket mai political propoganda phelane kee kya zaroort hai? Agar bangladesh mai invasion hui hai to india ne kee thi..pakistan ne pakistan mai to invasion nahi karni thi..lol

  • Mahmood Syed, Bangladesh on March 26, 2007, 12:29 GMT

    As someone who has followed and supported the Pakistan team since Imran's famous tour of India, I think the World Cup will be the poorer for this untimely exit. But India and Pakistan have only themselves to blame. All the teams signed up to the format beforehand, and if you lose two games out of three, you dont deserve to progress. Pakistan should turn this crisis into opportunity. Get rid of the Inzi regime and the Ashraf autocracy. Build a professional team like the Sri Lankans and the Bangladeshis are trying to build. Stop the rot from within. Cricket needs a strong Pakistan, and a strong India.

  • Mamun on March 26, 2007, 12:27 GMT

    I see many people are trying to console themselves by terming those 2 matches as upsets. Well, to be realistic India weren't much better than Bangladesh. India beating Australia or Sri Lanka would have been much bigger upsets.

    Ireland and Bangladesh didn't play good all of a sudden. Bangladesh beat New Zealand and Ireland almost beat South Africa in the warm-ups. Bangladesh beat the associates so comfortably that it was clear they're much closer to the big nations than many want to demand.

    I rather feel sorry for Pakistan. They didn't get any chance of recovery. India got. But what they could do? Bully over Bermuda and lose to Sri Lanka as comfortably and professionally they lost to Bangladesh.

    You can't win with emotions or bignames or hype but performance. That's what Sri Lanka did against all the teams in their group, even agaisnt Bangladesh.

  • Abdul Wahab on March 26, 2007, 12:23 GMT

    Although Pak team failed miserably in their world cup campain, all the comments above r mere reactions n not comments, Dun forget Pak was the 2nd best team for quite a long period of time n 3rd best when it come to test matches. In ICC ratings this team got the HIGHEST points ever by a Pakistani team, my request is not to overlook those facts, Inzi is has given us alot and if u c the books he was the most successful captain Pak ever had.

  • Afzaal Virk on March 26, 2007, 12:22 GMT

    I just want to say onething, these both countries will never learn from there mistakes. This is in our blood and i am sorry to say this is will remain like that untill hell falls on them.

  • Jonathan Ellis on March 26, 2007, 12:14 GMT

    I'm sick of all the patronizing "minnows do not deserve a place at the giants' table" comments, or "one loss can knock someone out of the World Cup". Remember that both India and Pakistan lost TWICE, not once. And that Ireland and Bangladesh only have one loss each...

    Also. Remember things like the football World Cup. North Korea 1, Italy 0, knocking them out of the 1996 World Cup? 1990 - the success of Cameroon, beating the much more highly fancied Romania, Argentina and Colombia? 1994 - Bulgaria 2 Germany 1, again a "favourite" knocking out a small nation? Or, Saudia Arabia 1 Belgium 0, resulting in the latter's elimination in the group stages? 2002 - South Korea beating both the highly-fancied Italy and Spain on their way to the semi-finals, or Senegal beating France in a first-round match that saw Senegal qualify and France fail?

    The travesty is that there's a second round-robin group stage instead of proper quarter-finals, semi-final and final. Cups are all about *knockouts* - lose once and you're out. Even the first round group stage is a bonus: lose once and you go through, as long as you win the other two. India and Pakistan lost TWO matches out of three - they deserve to go out. Bangladesh won TWO matches out of three - they deserve to go through. Ireland had a win, a tie and a loss - they only lost one match: Zimbabwe and Pakistan lost two each.

    Results matter.

  • Wierd - Dubai on March 26, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    First of all, Thanks to ALLAH who give us the chance to exit the world cup sooner than we expected. I think the boys work very hard and made sure that we dont play the second round (WE Miss this the most by INZI).

    The effect and motivation encouraged the INDIANS to follow our footsteps. Obviously the Indain NATION has more surprises for their heroes. Thier coffins await them, thier houses are attacked and advert contracts are cancelled. LOL. You just cant imagine how nice it makes feel me to see all this.

    But it was not coincidence and ONLY a well planned and well thought decision for the ONE ABOVE. Imagine from the beginning, Afridi is out for 2 world cup games, Shoaib and Asif dont go to the Carribean, Woolmer is murdered (not to forget the tussle the two had between themselves, imagine if Shoaib was along), Inzy retires. I still think the worst is still to come. A new breed of cricketers will appear in the ASAIN ARENA SOON. Ones who will fight like the WHITES. One who will rely more on their mental strenght rather thier influence with the captain. Ones who will have fighting spirit, more like SURVIVOR of the Fittest. Kill or GET KILLED !!!!!. Cricket will soon revive itself in ASIA.

    If this doesnt happen then, forget it guys... enjoy GOLF.

  • guru/muzi on March 26, 2007, 12:00 GMT

    well dont 4get v've got a 20 20 wc comin hu knows paki and indians may make it to tht.always live up wid hopes cz widout em u;ll b ruined

  • Atul Kumar on March 26, 2007, 12:00 GMT

    There is a fundamental error in IND and PAK cricket team. That is there is no team and there are rather a bunch of infalted egos with individual selfinterest peddleing mougauls that inherint the positions with out a single threat of accountability for their poor dedication to tha TEAM. Just watch a match between AUS/SA or AUS/SL or SL/SA in comming weeks and you will learn that individuals perrfomers are the threat to the success of any team. They all will work had and show that they all are deseved to be in the respective natinal teams. They will put the team in front of any self promotion of individuals to achieve results.Even when they loose, fight will be carried until the last ball is deliverd an will be proud of the lost fight. There is no shame in losing to a team that did better than you no matter they are minows of stulwarts. But ther is no limit to the shame that you gain by not putting atleast a semblence of a performance that has some fighting spirit without discarding your opprtunity expecting to be carried forward to the next level because IND/PAK holds greater influence on the cricketing business. Shame on every one that think it is all ICC fault.Truth is there no body else to blame except yourself. You have ineffectual selsction with political bias, you have "reputaion" taking ahead of talent and fitness, you have no sustainble grass root development, you have no high quality county tournament and you expect to win world cup just because players are all plastered on bill boards and on TV peddling soap for finacial gain. Please do all of us a favour. Fix your internal administrative problems and create a cometitive culture in your appauling teams before trying to ICC.

  • sgbsgb on March 26, 2007, 11:45 GMT

    Both India and Pakistan did not just have one bad day. They also lost to Sri Lanka and West Indies respectively. The format was designed by the ICC so the Super8 would contain all the major countries, do not blame the format for your exit. While both teams contain great batting line ups neither had the bowling firepower or fielding skills to upset the frontrunners.

  • Asad Shairani on March 26, 2007, 11:35 GMT

    Wow. I didn’t think it can get this stupid. Strip Pakistan off the Test Playing Nation Status and put India on probation! Dan, get a life. If losing the world cup (or not qualifying past the group stages) is the criteria, England should be the first to go! (Stupid, aint it?). Indians lost to a good team. The Bengalis played like a team and perhaps the Indians took them for granted and paid. The Pak team, however, wasn’t committed enough. They were messed up before they came in the World Cup, and more so when they left. The Pak board should be democratized first thing. Indians, you should also do something before making any new Commercials with the BLUES in them. :) teach them some cricket maybe .. ??

  • Ratnakar on March 26, 2007, 11:28 GMT

    Have we learnt anything from the whack on the side of our head? Well i dont think so seriously. Or else what explains the logic in pushing Tendulkar as captain. What for? He was a miserable flop as captain, and his best days as a player are over. Why dont we recognize this fact? In this respect i admire Inzy, he took the blame for the loss, and walked out with honor. Unlike our heroes who still stick like limpets. To come back from failure, we first need to accept that we goofed up big time. But what do we see, comments cribbing about format, weird conspiracy theories. COME ON YOU IDIOTS WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE. We have lost fair and square, lets learn from it. You blame everything,even after 4 years we would be doing the same thing. For heaven's sake, lets stop pretending, we are a team of world champs. We are not. We win ocassionally, thats all. We can be better, only when we accept, what we are. The moment we believe that we are doing a favor by being there, we can kiss everything good bye. Let us be realistic, we are not the best, not even second or third best. We are just a middlingly good side thats all. The day we realize this truth, and dont place exagerated hopes on our team, much the better for all of us.

  • dasfsda on March 26, 2007, 11:28 GMT

    Why is it that everytime Pakistanis have to talk about their mediocrity they have to drag India in the discussion as well? Why don't you guys just take care of your own and leave the worrying of India to Indians?

  • Kiran Bhanushali on March 26, 2007, 11:15 GMT

    Im not sure if im totally right here but with the bats getting heavier grounds smaller pitches flatter and the introduction of 20-20 the game has taken a few steps towards perhaps an undesireable state. The oneday game and quite soon even the test matches will move towards a power game where people with the capacity to maintain a fast pace for the entire length of the game will keep their place. This is where the likes of india and to a certain extent pakistan will suffer. With the lethargic attitudes that are present in these two countries, it is hard to imagine how the two powerhouses will be able to keep pace. The cricket boards are characterized with a dislike to change and a totally unprofessional attitude towards the development of the game, Pakistan even more so. Gone are the days when a wasim akram or a imran khan could just pick up a 18 year old from the street and expect him to become a world beater. I think India and Pakistan have already been left behind by atleast 4 to 5 years by teams like australia and south africa and to a certain extent even new zealand. This is quite similar to hockey with the move towards astro turf. If some drastic measures and some fundamental changes are not brought about in the way cricket is administered this could well be the beginning of the end for cricket in india and pakistan

  • Sasi on March 26, 2007, 11:10 GMT

    Hi Kamran, Being an Indian I also follow and like the Pakistan cricket and the cricketers as well.I must say that term 'arrogance,decadent and incompetence' is surely over used description here.They are also players who go through tough times.Yes,the player earn more fame and enough.But for sure, those fame and money these Indian and Pakistan cricketers have earned has taken them to level of arrogance as you highlight. These players are far more humble in terms of character and behavior when compared to the Australian and SA players.The giants are out due to immense pressure created by both the Media and the people rather than due to incompetency.Let us hope(as you mentioned) that this defeat will instill some sense of professionalism among the player,authorities and the media as well.

  • Morgan on March 26, 2007, 11:09 GMT

    Why is everyone complaining that it is unfair that Pakistan and India are not playing in the Super 8's? They got beaten, that is what happens in tournaments. In the soccer world cup the world's best or most talented team certainly did not win it, they just played the best at the right times. It's not just about being a good team, but being at your best and other teams not being at their best at the right times.

    Pakistan and India are certainly in the top 5 or 6 teams in the world, that does not mean they should automatically recieve a place in the Super 8's. If they play badly enough to lose to teams they shouldn't lose to then it is their fault.

    Unless you want to see cricket stagnate globaly and not continue growing the 'lesser' or minnow nations must be apart of the global tournament that celebrates our great game. Congratulations to Ireland and Bangladesh, though I am slightly dissapointed my 'minnow-surprise pick', Kenya, didn't get through.

  • subby on March 26, 2007, 11:07 GMT

    Nothing will change. I do not know about Pakistan, but India will have a couple of home series victories against Zimbabwe and England, and Sachin will hit his 38th century against these "minnows" and everything will be forgotten and forgiven. We will start talking about how much the team had taken the WC defeat to heart, how the team had risen like a phoenix, and how well the processes have started working a bit late. Next world cup wont be too bad, because it will be played in the sub continent, we will move through the first round, and then we will celebrate as an improvement and a proof in the results for the hard work done over the past four years.

    In the meanwhile, Chappell can make or hold back whatever comments he wishes to, hiding behind the Bob tragedy, and informing us that we had not won anything since 85 and we did not deserve to win anyways. Semi Finals was not what the fans asked for, Semi Finals was Chappels objective and committment. We may have asked for a cup victory, but had definitely not bargained for round 1 elimination. This too did not happen since 1979, if Chappell is has his history right.

    I take the pledge today that I will stand by the team with unflinching faith, and the slide on a slippery slope will not dither me. That I will be relentless in my hopeless pursuit of an Indian victory in world cup. That I will not miss out on celebrating huge victories like a Sachin Fifty against Bermuda, or a Yuvaraj record against Scotland. That I wont change, and I will be true to the faith reposed by the team in Me, the Cricket Fan to back them after every ridiculous performance.

  • Luke Bull on March 26, 2007, 11:03 GMT

    The format for this WC may not be ideal but it is a long way off being a knockout. India did not just go out because they lost to Bangladesh, nor did Pakistan go out just because they lost to Ireland. Pakistan also lost to a very average West Indies team, while India were comfortably beaten by Sri Lanka (admittedly a much better team than WI). Can anyone really make a case that a team losing 2 out of 3 matches (and beating only very weak opposition in the game they did win) has any chance of winning the tournament and even deserves the chance to do so?

  • Ahmed Siddiqui on March 26, 2007, 11:00 GMT

    Dear Kamran...... A very good thread to philosophically analyse the the teams in question...I think both the teams in question are genuinely run by people with alterior motives and then player worshipping goes beyond reason both in India and Pakistan...players are not selected on the basis of merit or performance but on personal likings...hence the results are there for everyone to see..if these selections were solely based on performance then half the side from both the teams wouldn't make it...gone are the days when selections are based on how many ODI's one has played, but on performance..South Africa and Australia work on this very hard...even players like Glen Macgrath are made to sit out if their performance is in question....but here we see the same faces and we expect them to perform...Cricket is very clinical now and the leading sides play players for the occasion and they rotate batsmen so nobody gets into a comfort zone like in the sub-continent.....more over we should look at as a blessing in disguise atleast we know where these two giants stand...the incompetent cricket boards need to be revamped and appraised and run by professionals who have no vested interests and the only interest should be to see the side selected performs consistently...there is a huge telent in both these countries but this talent never reaches anywhere and is destroyed playing club cricket...In pakistan there are geniune fast bowlers practically in the streets who never make to the team or make past their prime....in India you have better players playing inter state cricket scoring yet they never make to the national side......hence our domestic system is flawed where bias,regional quota and other political reasons end up with players that are the reminents of a corrupt set-up.....

  • Ahmer Choudhry on March 26, 2007, 10:49 GMT

    pakistan needs to make 16 team's of its own I.e, pakistan A,B,C ....., prepare a comprehensive training and learning program, prepare a performance management/ review program, players should be paid as per performance. only ex-cricketer should be the chairman of pcb. lets be positive. lets prepare for undoing of our mistakes.

  • Mohammad Umair Suri on March 26, 2007, 10:49 GMT

    Hey Guys , relax dont give blame to ICC for our teams poor performance , our team deserve what they got But not their fans ofcourse, i personally think that our teams need such kicks on their asses to get them going like falcon not like pigeons. ANY WAY here i've got a very good idea Pakistan and INdian are out just think both the teams and their fans will feEl really bore , so why not both board arrange a Crush tournament best OF FIVE

    ACHA LAGEI TU KHUSH HOUJANA BURA LAGEI TU GALI NAHIN DEINA BHAIYOUN maY BE I AM COMPLETELY WRONG , ITS JST SUGEESTION WHICH SUDDENLY JUMPS IN MY MIND

    CHILLL !!!!!!!!!

  • Taz on March 26, 2007, 10:49 GMT

    The way round it would have been for the ICC to award bonus points for bigger margin wins, then you may not have seen these teams knocked out. Don't beleive though that if a team avoids giving you the bonus point they get it.

    If has worked successfully in australia in the recent CB Series, why not adopt it here ? if this was the case then India would have got an extra point for beating Bermuda by such a huge margin and Pakistan would have as well for beating Zimbabwe, if we adopt this for the next world cup even if there is a hiccup of a defeat to a 'minnow' then you can still get out of 'jail' by winning big in your next game.

  • TH on March 26, 2007, 10:44 GMT

    I HAVE TO AGREE WITH some parts written,but its no point blaming the players for corruption and etc..

    the Boards can be real corrupt and breeding grounds for bookies and even terrorists..these evil parties can affect some deaths also...

    And we cant blame players as corrupt; they cant stoop into that level.And we ve to forgive them for some extent.am Ind fan and I mean Dravid made the right choices and if we batted 1, then it would ve been eyesore for all........

    and coach tried his heart out.chappel cant change things like that now, can he???.. well its not good to bash the players and they ll go in to the shell more cause of that....

  • Farhan Shahzad on March 26, 2007, 10:39 GMT

    Whatever the reasons of failure be, the fact of the matter is that both IND and PK are out of the WC. Let's not take away the credit from the minnows and just accept that both the teams played terribly bad and paid the price. ODI cricket has underwent a lot of change over the years and currently demands a lot of professionalism and in-field dedication - there ain't any room for complacency and there ain't any second chance. You play bad cricket one day and you could see the results.

    What both IND and PK need is to re-evaluate their approach to this version of ODI cricket, which is increasingly getting effected due to the 20/20 spillover effects - requiring more aggression, more fitness, more agility, more menatl toughness and more street-smart in field strategic thinking. unfortunately, the talent alone and the formulaic strategies aren't doing any good to the cricket being played in these two countries.

    Let's just be a little too specific and pragmatic and not go over-board while blaming the systems, the politics of the two countries.

  • Amit on March 26, 2007, 10:36 GMT

    Well done b'desh and ireland. They deserve the place in super 8's as for india and pak, they need to be more professional in their approach and wait for their next chance.

  • R Sivasubramaniam on March 26, 2007, 10:33 GMT

    India may have the strongest team 'on paper'. If that is going to be the criterion - there is no point having the world cup - let each Board pick its 11 - then we see who is the stronger team and give them the trophy. Yes, it is a pity that the two Asian giants have not progressed to the Super 8s - BUT they were beaten by Ireland and Bangladesh! This is not the time for knee-jerk reactions - but serious thought must be given to the preparation of the players. The team must be the best 11. The fittest 11. The selectors must think of National interests - the players must work hard - the more they earn the harder they must practise. I am sure players like Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly have the resolve to fight and in four years time, I hope that there will be 4 Asian teams in the Super 8s. Siva

  • Rauf on March 26, 2007, 10:12 GMT

    Proven yet again that talent alone may win you "a match" but will not win you "the match".

  • Sridhar on March 26, 2007, 10:09 GMT

    Let's just watch the rest of the tournament and enjoy real contests like the Aus-SA match. Both India and Pakistan were shambolic and deserve to be out.The silver lining for the subcontinent as evident on this blog is that Indian and Pakistani fans are sharing their misery. Let's remember that the next time the two countries play each other.

  • Waqas Tariq on March 26, 2007, 10:03 GMT

    All of you guys BLAMING the group stages sound ediotic to me... the truth is you had THREE games you needed to win TWO of them (atleast)

    The other thing, the minnows are not so much of minnows afterall (from current situation)

    the non test playing nations DESERVE to compete with the world best 8... you guys are only thinking about our countries (PAK and IND) what about the FUTURE of cricket??? do you guys really want that by the end of 2020 there will still be 8 test playing nations?

    it would be gr8 to have 25-35 countries competing in the worcup by 2020... and make Cricket a real BIG sport in the world?

    Some comments >>> I have been googling the net and doing viki's and have learnt the 'Israel' might have a chance to compete in the 2011 world cup in indo-pak... it would be interesting seeing 'Israel' visiting Pak since we donot recognize her as a state... any comments???

  • ifzal on March 26, 2007, 9:58 GMT

    I am really disgusted with the state of Pakistani cricket at the moment. The drugs scandal, the Oval forfeiture, getting knocked out by Ireland & then the Woolmer murder. Pakistan is the laughing stock of world sports thanks to these bafoons who call themselves Pakistani cricketers.

    None of them should ever represent Pakistan again, we need a clean start.

    It would not surprise me if one of the murderers is from Pak team. What do you think the world is thinking, a bunch of terrorist lookalikes (Inzi, mushy, MoYo, Rana)& someone murdered, its not rocket science is it.

    Cricket & religion should not mix, if anyone wants to play for Pakistan they should be made to shave their beards.

    The administrators are a disgrace aswell, why do we keep getting corrupt politicians who happen to be the Generals buddies getting top jobs, they have no business in cricket. But i guess there is a lot of money involved & they cannot help themselves. And what about that idiot media manager who wanted Pak players to speak urdu to promote Pak tourism. I bet all those Americans watching these terrorists speaking some foreign language are running to the travel agents to book their holidays in Pakistan. Well done.

  • Paul Varley on March 26, 2007, 9:53 GMT

    It was interesting reading the World Cup pull-out in the Wisden Cricketer before the tournament started: they were using a mathematical "wizard" to predict the outcome of the World Cup. It gave some interesting results, including:

    1. India were the eighth most likely side to win the World Cup, behind even England (I'm allowed to say that: I'm English :p), citing the fact that India have poor form away from home. Bangladesh were the ninth most likely. Is it that big an upset when No. 9 beats No. 8?

    2. Pakistan were the sixth most likely side, above England and India but below the other five big nations.

    3. The Wizard predicted at least one victory for one of the five "qualifiers" (Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Canada, Bermuda) over one of the big eight. Which is what happened with Ireland beating Pakistan.

    I just thought it was worth congratulating the creators of the Wizard on some correct outcomes there.

  • Anjum Amin Siddiqui on March 26, 2007, 9:40 GMT

    Pakistan and India both needed to understand one thing winning is everything. The two nations have become more obssessed with television drama rather actuall cricket. Let the players realize that televsion commercials and endorsement are important only when they play the game. Before embarking on the WC assignment Inzamam and Co. were in Malaysia for shooting of a ad. Is this what needed from them befoer such an important tornament. Same goes true for Indian players the lure of big money from ads and endorsements resulted in less time for cricket.

  • Subash on March 26, 2007, 9:34 GMT

    Semi finalist have already been decided due to sudden exit of Ind and PAK 1. AUS 2.SL 3.NZ 4.WI I was sure that, Bangladesh was going to cause troubles to IND after hearing that NZ lost practise match and even more so once Whatmore declared on eve of match that their players should treat Indian as equals on field. Indians took them lightly and paid the heavy price. Similarly after loosing to WI, many bloggers actually cautioned PAK against complacency,more so because Irish captain openly declared that he was upbeat about their chances against PAK after their remarkable Tie against Zim. Pakistan took them lightly and batsmen lost the face and match. The lessons from this is Ind and Pakistan have over hyped and over paid players. Inzy has since then announced retirement. Now It is turn Indian players to do so. starting with Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguli, Kumble, & Agarkar.

  • Atul Bhogle on March 26, 2007, 9:29 GMT

    Very true... after every defeat there is talk of changes, young blood being brought in, professionalism and what not but it never happens. The board (Im talking of Ind) is only interested in making money - what else can you expect with a politician (Pawar) and a ruthless businessman (Lalit Modi) at the helm. They talk of 'India's might' in the ICC but India's team wins 1 match out of 3 in the most awaited tournament in years!

    There is no doubt that (raw) talent wise, Pakistan and India, in that order, are the best in the world but them being knocked out like this betrays such a fault in the system which cannot be repaired in just a span of four years for the next world cup, which, ironically, is scheduled to be held in the sub continent (thanks again to the 'might' of the BCCI! Hurray!). Better start now or Cricket in India and Pakistan might go Hockey's way wherein the other teams are just too well prepared and professional and have left India and Pakistan so far behind that the crowds moved to Cricket instead.

  • Mangesh on March 26, 2007, 9:27 GMT

    The consistent message coming out from most the posts seems to indicate that it is common belief that India and Pakistan deserved to be part of Super 8's simply by the virtue of being India and Pakistan. Various explanations have been offered - from format, bad toss, green top, 1 billion fans, heavyweights, anxiously awaited encounters etc etc.

    Bollocks! This is chauvinism at its most vulgar. The Super 8's deserve the 8 teams with the best results and the resultant Super 8 line up does not lie - the 8 teams delivering the results have reached there.

    The format has been known to one and is consistently applied to all teams. It is ridiculous then if a team starts crying foul. How many recorded instances are known of the winner questioning the format? Did Pakistan refuse the vital point against England which ultimately catapulated them to the World Cup 92? Was that not a "format" too? Did the world grudge them their title secured by a backdoor entry? Definitely not, since they proved their credentials in the semi and finals. Therein lies the answer.... the format only prescribes the framework and not the result - which is controlled by the team who the desire, ability and drive. Let those who still question the merit of the format reflect that a team losing 1 match still had 2 other matches (and 1 of which was a virtual walkover) to stake its claim in the Super 8's. Face it, India and Pakistan both got their chance and neither could make it count. The truth of the matter is this - if you have 2 bad days in the 3 that count, then in all likelihood, you are just not good enough to compete for the World Cup!

    Indian cricket is beset by the same problems it has been labouring under (and ignoring) for the past 20 years. Its inability to play on all surfaces and its inability to respond in the face of adversity. Give it a thought and it explains the paradox of individual stars who combine to create modest team records. The trend of all stars failing in 1 match on a wicket or a stituation to which none of them are equal is discernable and documented. Of course, they then hasten home and continue bludgeoning bowlers in the manner of most flat track bullies. Why is a matter of surprise if India has failed yet again? If you strip India's 2003 WC performance, the only notable wins were against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. Against Kenya, they found themselves with their back to the wall in the Super six game; aganst England, they were assisted by a raging seamer friendly pitch; the win in the semis was a merely a banana skin game they won. When it came to the crunch in the finals, they got blown to smithereens. Pakistan's progress to the finals in 99 is not an entirely different story. Contrast this then with Australia's triumps in 99 and 03 when they turned games against extremely strong sides when a loss would have meant elimination. I suspect that the Australians are hated not so much for their well documented shortcomings as much for their ability to win against all odds - something which the rest of the cricket world has been dismayed to discover they cannot emulate no matter what they try. Small wonder then that the Australian supremacy continues unchallenged - their drop in an arithmetically administered ranking system notwithstanding

  • Amit on March 26, 2007, 9:25 GMT

    Not having wiped the tears off from the Friday disaster and the ignominy of being at the receiving end of Bangaladesh...Hell no !! How many can even can get the name of their captain right !! Leave alone the thought of getting the playing eleven on tip of the tongue. Both India and Pakistan have been shown the door not by the spit and fury of the tempest (Australia or SA) but by the minnows (do the newly annointed Super 8s deserve this tag still is another question though !!)whom none suspected even in the wildest fantasies to rise.They did and soared over us.There is a difference in getting beaten,down-shadowed,overpowered and plundered. Indians have been plundered to the highest intensity in what can be termed as a disgusting,eerie and harrowing expereince for 1bn strong crowd and rooted for them. Emotions will show and flow for next couple of months or may be even a little longer but as with everything else ,it will be "chalta hai" attitude as we get back to our idolizing ways and make demigods out of cricketers. Being normal in abnormal conditions is virtue of brave but here our cricketers simply surrendered like lambs to Srilanka facing a target, more than which they have chased umpteenth times in the recent times. Collective responsibility is the buzz word but what it means is a democracy of all sorts wherein no one is guilty and everyone is exonerated. Heads should roll and strict actions have to be taken.Australians might give us a fodder for thought with respect to Waugh brothers episode.In sub-continent can one imagine to fire world cup winning captain and a leading batsman? Past is like a rear view mirror.It shows you what u have left behind rather than showing the road ahead. The road seems to be ridden with potholes and we are destined to again fall into them by the virtue and misfortune of our destiny... My world cup dreams rest in peace !!!!

  • sarmadr on March 26, 2007, 9:25 GMT

    i agree with Ashaq that we should seriously seriously be discussing the trial by media of the whole pakistan nation...how Fox Sports (ofcourse) and many British Papers just go on about how somethin like this could only happen in pakistan, how ppl in pakistan bet on every passing thing (i though that was india not pak) and how, generally, the entire nation is involved in the murder....shame on these papers...i hope ure next blog could be about that... but wait......let the suspects come out of CCTV footage...otherwise it just may be us hangin our heads in shame...so just wait...until that..cos this thing that the media r doin really needs our attention!

  • Imran A Javed on March 26, 2007, 9:22 GMT

    Kamran what has happened is history. How to coup with this is what should be looked into. Merit should never be overlooked and that is the mistake that we are doing again and again. Here are few of the suggestion

    1. Panel of x no”s (As many members as the no of association i.e representation of all) of members to take over the PCB for a period of 3 month with 3 main objectives.(Any ex PCB chairmen to head that Panel)

    2. Lift the ban from the Associations and see that they carry out elections in there association. These associations should then elect a body for looking after the affairs of Cricket in Pakistan. i.e elected PCB

    3. All the association to give 11 names of players aging B/W 16 to 19.(this would give you a pool of 60 to 70 players) and then Revamp the Pakistan cricket team by just keeping the important/old 4 to 5 members only.

    4. Get a fresh selection committee (Again representation of all the associations) Get a new coach and a new leader i.e Captain.

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on March 26, 2007, 9:21 GMT

    Yes I agree! But lets be honest the players and officials are destined to make far more money than those in Australia, SA, England and Sri Lanka! albeit through unofficial and illegal channels. Yes I am referring here to match fixing.

    Justice has been done.

  • Mubashir Hanif on March 26, 2007, 9:17 GMT

    Assalmaoalikum! Let by gone be by gone. No IFs and BUTs, understood. I am thinking how many matches till now in the world cup have been played on green tops? Knowing Pakistan's weakness?I wish the inquiry into the murder of Mr. Woolmer would be true and just. To me it seems like we were trapped into it at least partly. I still wonder thinking about the crime rate and stuff, how come the security system was so leaky and then they are DNA fingerprinting my nationals multiple times?I am still in the deep shock of this pathetic move, to me BOB WOOLMER was tagged with my flag. You might think that this is an ambiguous writing, BUT I think that the losses of Pakistan and India has some thing to do with the underworld, wait and see. slaam

  • Dominic on March 26, 2007, 9:15 GMT

    (Quote)Upsets do occur now and then but to banish teams on account of one upset is truly unfair. Remember, Zim beat SA and Ban beat Pak in 1999 but both SA and Pak played so well that one reached the final and other the semi-final. SL were also beaten by Kenya in 2003 but they also reached the semis. Heck, even the mighty Australians were beaten by Ban in an ODI less than 2 years ago. On account of this year's format, all these teams would never have made it so far. I seriously feel that the ICC should have made a less stringent format than they have come up.(Unquote) - But Pakistan and India weren't eliminated based on one upset, they were eliminated based on the fact that both lost 2 games out of three. If Pakistan had beaten the West Indies, it wouldn't have mattered if they lost to Ireland, the same with India if they had beaten Sri Lanka, the loss to Bangladesh would have become meaningless. The fact is that they had 300 overs to prove themselves worthy to advance, 200 against supposedly inferior opposition whom they should have beaten easily. They didn't, and that's why they're on their way home now. I don't think the presence of "giant killers" diminishes the Super 8s at all, if anything it enhances them. It's what a cup competition is supposed to be all about...on any given day and all that. It may even mean that other nations aspire to join the elite level - which can only be good for cricket. Neither Pakistan or India are ever going to be anything BUT cricketing countries, but if cricket takes off in Ireland because of this for example, then that will only strengthen the international game. And in the end that's what makes a world cup successful.

  • Jamal Khan on March 26, 2007, 9:08 GMT

    the world cup organisers have fked up the world cup.....only three group games per team means that if a team has one bad day then they can be knocked out of the world cup? wat type of tournament is this,? minnows have ruined it. only top 10 teams should have contested. i mite sound like a sore loser but thats how it is. the minnows just are left as a banana skin

  • Ben - England on March 26, 2007, 9:05 GMT

    Anyone who says that one bad day knocked out either team is wrong - both teams won 1 and lost 2 matches. The matches against WI and Sri Lanka seem to have been overlooked - if they had been won, the Asian "giants" would have gone through to the Super 8 stage with the win carried forward.

    Many major international sporting tournaments have 4 team group stages (including the football world cup) without these claimed to be unfair. 2 wins will usually see a team through and will suffice for all teams in this tournament (Ireland have qualified with less).

    I'm surprised how overlooked the recent improvements in Bangladesh's ODI cricket have been - nobody should be too shocked to see them in the Super 8s and might get another couple of victories there. Could they beat the Aussies again?

  • Adrian on March 26, 2007, 8:50 GMT

    Both India and Pakistan have had more than one flat footed days in the caribbean and hence the elimination. Wake up, if one were to consider they were to be heavy weights, look closer to the record leading to the worldcup. In all honesty what great full teams this tow sides beat prior to the world cup? there in lies your answer. The so called minnows used thier chances on the big stage to perform to the best, and thats all was requried by the highly paid underforming asain giants. Yes Ireland and Bangaldesh may be easy picking s to many in the super eight, so be it, who knows they might have few more arrogant, complacent teams to take on and come on top.

    Finally, one may need to accept that there will come a time, the so called heavyweights in crickets, all eight of them, may not features in the group stage, if that were to happen it will be Cricket who will be the winner. World Cup should be for the best teams of that time not for perceived heavy weights or established teams.

    PS: One may consider that twelve high powered games are lost as a result of the elimination of the two Asian giants, well what if one were to find out that results of those were scripted the night before? And the events unfolding in the caribbean suggest that this could be highly possible. All it takes is one to two members of a team who are more keen on the bottom line to fall prey to such scriptures. And going by the history, these two teams do have some who have been found guilty of such offences, and why would the world cup be a stage for such Corrupt Entrepreneurship!

  • Ratnakar on March 26, 2007, 8:31 GMT

    I thought this whack on the side of our head, would be a good lesson for us to learn. But judging by events and some of the cribbing, i fear we have not learnt anything. Complaints against the format have already started, saying it was too harsh. Well had India and Pakistan won, i guess none would have any issues with it. Let us in India at least stop behaving as if we are doing the World Cup a favor by taking part in it. We knew the format, much before, we knew the risks much before, and we didnt plan for it. Let us face the bitter truth, India, does not deserve to be in Super 8. Talks of conspiracy theories may make for a good Ludlum or Forsyth thriller, but doesnt in any way alter the truth. The problem with Indian team is it has neither the ruthless professionalism of the Aussies or the sheer enthusiasm, lets go and do it spirit of the Sri Lankans. And to those who are hoping defeat would change things, ok this is what, the proposal is to make Tendulkar captain. What for, it is well known, that Sachin as a captain was a disaster. This is my recipe for getting Indian cricket back. We need a wholesale purge. And it should be merciless. Sack all non performers irrespective of their past records. Get a completely fresh team. Yes we may lose and get thrashed, but at least we can claim the lack of experience. At least we wont be watching this listless performances. And please respect thy opponent. Making demeaning comments like "Lara and 11 Dwarfs" or "Dhoni is going to hit 7 sixes against Bangladesh" is not going to help.

  • Jackson on March 26, 2007, 8:29 GMT

    The arrogance of the Pakistan and Indian teams is what cost them their Super 8 spot. I am amazed to see that it has done nothing to dampen the arrogance of the fans. You cannot for one minute think the world cup is diminished in any way just because 2 Asian teams failed to qualify. We are talking about number 4 and 6 in the world, not the top 2. This format is brilliant, as it makes ALL the games important. You have to concentrate throughout the whole tournament. Something Pakistan and India did not do. I for one am glad to see Pakistan cricket fall even further than anyone's worst nightmare. I firmly believe that only now can they (and India)clean house properly. Replace the whole board, stamp out the betting syndicates that are ruining the game and only then can you rebuild into the great teams we have come to admire in the past.

  • Usman on March 26, 2007, 8:17 GMT

    Yes. Giants on papers but worst than minnows in reality. There is serious lack of proffesionalism and attitude. When one becomes bigger than sports than these things happen. I can say this for India for sure. For Pakistan i think its more of a psychological issue. There was only one person in the team who we can say was authoritative and that was the captain. But i think everyone else was just lacking the mental strength to compete in such a big event. We need players who can hold thier nerves. On the issue of the format of the tournament, i agree that its not the best. I think the format used in the champions trophy was better one. I think they should have a pre-tournament for no 9-16 teams. and there should be one qualification and then they can play single league like the 92 world cup. Everybody got a fair chance and the lucky winners prevailed in the end. One day game is such that you cannot say what is going to happen. One bad day, one bad toss and you are out. I am not against small teams but its not fair as a whole. I am sure Ireland will provide the teams with plenty of records. And who knows next one is a 500 or a double century. I am almost positive one of these two will happen. Organizers need to think out of commercialism and bring back the game to its real shape.

  • S.N. Kazi on March 26, 2007, 8:14 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abbasi

    I thought after Pakistan 's dismal performamce in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa , Pakistan 's focus was entirely on the present , 2003 World Cup Cup . At the previous South Africa World Cup Pakistan 's performance had been so bad that it was thought that it coluldn't get ant worse . However , we proved that we have an uncanny ability to sink to the lowest depths .

    First of all , the Chairmen of TCF , one after another they have been nincompoops . Inzamam didn't have the intelligence to be made Captain . Thinking for him always had been a bigger strain then running for a second run or speaking in English . Inzamam was allowed to select the players he wanted even Assistan Coaches were selected and removed by him . ( Appointment of Maulvi Mustaq and removal of Waqar Younus ) He never allowed promising openers such as Salman Butt or Yasser Hamid to settle down in the team as openers . Similarly , even though Asim Kamal , Sami and Zulqrnain were selected they were not given a chance or an adequate chance to perform .

    Nasim Ashraf 's resignation has not been accepted up to now .This is begining to look dangerous for the future of Pakistan cricket . If he is kept as Chairman , PCB then Pakistan should make an official application to join the ranks of Associate Members of ICC.

  • Ratnakar on March 26, 2007, 8:11 GMT

    Hi Kamran, while i am an Indian, i always admired the Pakistan team, for their sheer fighting spirit, and their ability to come from behind. I had often wished our Indian team was like that. Alas it is not to be. You have four years to prepare a team of professional sportsmen (and that also means athletes), selected by committees that implement a ruthless meritocracy, and supported by cricket boards that run the business and the administration rather than meddle with team affairs." Tough luck Kamran, i have been following Indian cricket, since 1983, and every time a debacle occurs the same old words are parroted. We all know the weaknesses, running between wickets, fielding, fitness levels. But so far we have been brushing them under the carpet. But for how long. The ship was leaking, but we neglected to repair the holes, and like the Titanic it has sank. Well Kamran, if India and Pakistan, do seriously learn something from this, well and good. Else it will be the same story again.Like i said, this whack on the side of the head, is good, if we can learn from it, or else, we will keep getting whacked again and again.

  • Imran Zia on March 26, 2007, 8:10 GMT

    The format in this World Cup ensures that there is no room for late starters. We must admit that Ireland, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are the more stronger teams from the minnows and the just happened to be in the groups concerning India and Pakistan. Pakistan may have seemed to suffered due to the brilliance of the groundsman who suddenly had sympathy for the bowlers. Never in my life i have seen a wicket with so much grass in a one day game. I don't think the batting display by Pakistan was careless apart from Mohd Yusuf no top order batsman got out playing an attacking stroke. As far as India is concerned they were beaten comprehensively by Bangladesh. Both these nations will suffer but the World Cup has become hollow and the ICC and hosts West Indies will have to feel the wrath of the exit of the Asian giants

  • tanveer on March 26, 2007, 8:09 GMT

    agree totally that it is probably the kick up the backside that these 2 teams needed but i doubt anyone who matters will take heed.we need to get rid of the power hunters in senior positions of the boards and find a world class team.i find it difficult to believe that 2 cricket mad nations can't find 11 top players in the millions of populations.

  • Gohar Ayub on March 26, 2007, 8:03 GMT

    Kamran, you are right in pointing out that we need to bring structural and attitudinal reforms to have any future. But the real question is what those structural reforms would be, what changes need to be done in domestic competitions. Imran Khan has been voicing for a long time now that we should adopt the infrastructure of Australia and South Africa. In my opinion he is absolutely right...best time to start implementing new structure is now. There should only be 6 to 8 teams on national scene who play with each other regurarly. The tracks should be bouncy and gounds well maintained. Fielding should be the main criteria for selection. If a batsman or bowler has continous technical problems he should be dropped and forced to be worked at national cricket academy. There should be eligible & well paid selection commitee who should be bound to go to remote areas to discover special talent. The player who has the ability to judge ability in others should be made captain. The COO of the board should be a highly ranked former test crickter. I am quite that the board has adequate resources & ability to implement above said measures.

  • srivathsan on March 26, 2007, 8:01 GMT

    I fully agree that giants have become minnows & deserved to be got eliminated after their sorid & sineless performance.As regards india it is a complete letdown by so called stalwarts & i really pity the captain & the coach.There appears to be a conspiracy to defame the captain & the coach i u colly analise the SL match.saurav & yuvraj deliberately got out which is evident from the manner of their dismissals.Harbhajan intentionally bowled badly & the fielding of these three by allowing even the shots played stright to them.Dravids biggest mistake was to drop kumble despite his good performance.What a captain & a coach can do if such a thing happens.Agarkar went for a rash shot & got out depite pleading by dravid to stay put so that he can control the things.It is interesting to note that yuvi & harbhajan are close associates of ganguly & openly declared that also.By this they hit two mangoes with a single stone at the cost of country's honour & pride .Of late who cares for that? No point in removing the coach & sacking the captain unless u remove such bad elements .If at all india has won many games under ganguly ,it is solely because of dravid'sstupendous performance & not due to any innovative captaincy.This appers harsh but truth is always bitter.This is not the end .both india & pakistan continue to perform badly as long as players are allowed to sign endorsements.

  • 3rdin2horserace on March 26, 2007, 7:57 GMT

    The elimination of these two teams is not what has detracted from this tournament, its the loss of a precious life. Nobody except for their lunatic supporters will mourn the loss of these two teams. There is amazing on talent on display with the Kiwis, the Proteas, and of course the mighty Aussies still in the hunt. Sri Lanka I think are over-rated, and don't have the venom in their bowling attack to trouble the stronger contenders in the next stage of the tournament, but then again what do I know.

    May the best team win, and again RIP Bob.

  • M. Nawaz Janjua on March 26, 2007, 7:44 GMT

    ASSALAMO ALAIKUM,

    Kamran Bhai, Asian giants have got what they have invested and the minnows have worked hard anyway to overcome the giants. That is the fact. Now, let the minnows enjoy playing some more cricket to enhance their experience. While the giants should take a break, have some hot drinks and watch the rest of the matches to learn something better. They would definitely have to make the solid preparations for 2011 WC and wait for four years again to show their muscles. We wish them all the best especially the Pakistani team.

    ALLAH HAFIZ & WASSALAM

  • Faisal Khan on March 26, 2007, 7:39 GMT

    I do not see Pakistan was arrogant. Who said that? Arrogance creeps in when you are at the top. They were not even close to that. It was matter of survival for Pakistani team at least, especially when the two main bowlers were ruled out.

    Now can someone answer me? Is this World CUp about test matches or ODIs? If the answer is ODIs then can someone answer my next question? Why was there a "green top" in PAK vs IRELAN match? If the answer is we do not know? then again a question, have we seen any other green top in matches involving Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanks and New Zealand?

    I would leave it at that so that people can think and make up their own mind.

    What is the ICC ruling on it. No Green top during ODIs or green top for some but not for others?!?!?!?!?

  • Augi on March 26, 2007, 7:37 GMT

    Ah Kamran, now you are giving the ICC honchos ideas to spin (more) money. I would not be surprised if ICC comes up with a new format for the next edition of the world cup where they say "India and Pakistan" need to win only one match to enter the super8. Or to put it in a more subtle way "The Asia Cup (they would come up with one) champions and runners up get automatic qualification into the Super8".

    Mohinder Amarnath once called the indian selectors "A bunch of Jokers". Today, I wish the ICC realised that the same applies to them! Look how FiFa runs football. Look how the UEFA controls the europen clubs. Time for ICC to go back to school, if not someone fix up their SPINE!

  • MUHAMMAD hammad khalid on March 26, 2007, 7:35 GMT

    well,i do believe the fact that the exit of india is very surprising,but for pakistn we were expecting that but due to to my astonishmnet our batting collapsed,instead of missing key bowlers.both the teams are facing different problems,but if we look at pakistan we are the most balanced team around and the better than india we have the taste of both world clas bowlers and batsmen whereas india only have strong batting line up. what problem pakistan encounter is their poor managemnet of players ,the management should be changed, and chairman should be give lessons on good behaviour .

  • Sal - Hong Kong on March 26, 2007, 7:28 GMT

    I do not think the recent failure of Pakistan and India is an issue of technical incapacity. What they need is some who can harness the ingenuity and the enormous yet wayward talent into some sort of a channel.

    I do not think they need a cricket coach. What they need is a disciplinarian who can help put together their approach towards achieving their goals not only in cricket but in other major aspects of their lives; attitude, organization, team-work, or maybe a crash course of Stephen Covey's Seven Habits, which at large in a turn-around will impact on their profession.

    For the cricket authorities it may very well prove to be a far-sighted investment to improve the quality of the game by improving the personalities of the players, cricket skills aside.

  • vibhu on March 26, 2007, 7:26 GMT

    Perhaps not a popular heading... not to mention the timing of this title.. But I really could not find much fault with Chappel or Dravid in this debacle. And not because of just this tournament, most of the ideas and strategic decisions were actually quite reasonable.

    This is sport afterall... And it is such surprises that make it worth the excitement.. for if it was predictable, it would be boring. So let us look at some of the things that transpired in last couple of years...

    It all started with Saurav being taken out of his comfort zone. And honestly, no matter how keen a fan I am of his One-day strength, I could not find a fault with Chappel regarding his assessment of the team and individuals. Before we go further, I would also like to divide this discussion in two separate sections: One for Tests and other for One-dayers because these are different games with different parameters... Much like a 400 meters is different from a Marathon.

    Let us take the proverbial bull by its horns and start with why the Prince of Kolkata had to take a break. To me, he has been the most effective opening one-day batsman India ever had. Better than Srikanth, better than Sehwag... and at times, even better than Tendulkar (especially when no bouncers were allowed). Given his reluctance to run and preference to hit boundaries made him a perfect choice to bat when field was up. Someone like Sehwag or Uthappa being the perfect partner - which was the case in this World cup as well.

    However, his One-day prowess was somehow mistaken for his Tests as well. This was a huge mistake that was persisted with over the years (long before Chappel came). Commentators, awed by this One-day achievements would take his name alongside Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar - which I think was improper to say the least. When it comes to tests, you become great when you have proved your mettle against the best. Gavaskar is not great because he scored 34 test centuries, but he is a legend because he made 13 of those (close to 3000 runs) against the might of the Windies of that era when no-one else could cross 3. He brought out his best against the best. Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman fit that bill therefore... as they have been their best against the best. Centuries, Double centuries, match winning and saving innings in India against abroad against the best of bowling attacks. The prince of Kolkata fails in this test. Whether in India, or abroad, he has failed to make a century or a double century against quality opposition attack - a little wonder that his test century count is a ZERO against South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies and the sole century against Australia was in a drawn match with no Mcgrath, Lee, Warne... And even against the current England team with a better bowling attack, he came a cropper. Just no justification no matter how fond I am of his One day game (at least before world cup). In a way, he was - and still is, no different from a Vinod Kambli - great start to the test career, but never again - when the going got tough.

    In tests, against quality opposition therefore, his was a wicket wasted... His test career in a way (not his fault at all) came in way of the likes of Laxman at times, and at times Yuvraj and did not do well for the balance of the team - an unfortunate development indeed.

    Chappel, given his keen eye and no favorites, saw through this. And I can not find a fault with that... no objective person would. Where it became ugly was when it was assumed that he is not good in One dayers as well. Perhaps a better way would have been to assure him of his place in the One day team and manage his career in that form of the game. But then the ugly politics, greed for power and money turned this whole affair into a media delight and polarized the team. So although he made it back to the side, it was inevitable that this would destroy the team spirit - something that was visible in the World cup. There was no team. It was natural, expected and unfortunate.

    Had Ganguly continued to be an integral and assured part of the One day setup and opted out of the test arena, that would have been a sane, objective, honest and best possible solution.

    Lets move to Tendulkar now. Again, a hero of millions and perhaps the most talented ever. But to me, he is a like a child prodigy, a genius, an artist who can exhibit and delight his fans... when not under pressure. Period. As long as it is not the fourth innings of a test with pressure on, you can expect him to deliver. As long as he is not chasing a tricky total in a crucial one day game (say finals of tournaments), you can expect artistry. He is a natural... and nature nurtures when there is no oppression. In his case, pressure makes his mind go into extra cautious approach and he then falters. As a captain, I dont remember seeing him 'ENJOY' the game. Always seemed tensed, stressed and not at his innovative best. As a coach, Chappel perhaps understood that. I also felt that him moving down the order was a good move simply because that clears his mind a bit. If he goes into bat after 20, 25 or even 30 overs, knowing he needs to score, he would go for his shots backing his natural ability. So as a strategy and assessment, I think Chappel was spot on here as well.

    Laxman is perhaps the most unfortunate of the lot. Best test player against the best teams. It is fine not to keep him in the team when playing on flat-beds where 300 is par score, but when on pitches where 250 is more than par and opposition is good, he needs to be in the team. But as long as his Test career is not compromised, I think he should be an asset for next few years.

    Chappel, however, got a bit unlucky when some of the experiments did not pay off. The caribbean tour was a disaster and as a result, selectors imposed their will and Ganguly was back. He was not the Ganguly of the One-dayers that we all knew. In the world cup match against Bangladesh, his super-slow batting in a way put pressure on the likes of Yuvraj to go for big shots. He seemed more keen on securing his place rather than playing for the team. You can't blame him for feeling insecure given all that had transpired before. He would have been his best had he not been dropped from the One day squad in the first place - because he deserved to be in there in the first place. But just like the selectors did not have the judgement initially to confuse his One day success with Test success, they confused his Tests limitations with One day limitations.

    It is about time people see beyond paper facts and look at real capabilities of these players. To overlook Kumble and Pathan off late is another aspect that needs review. If instead of Agarkar and Harbhajan, Pathan and Kumble had played these matches, things might have been different. Overall, I think, the current set of team members and order:

    Utthappa, Ganguly as openers Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Pathan in the middle and Zaheer, Munaf, Kumble as tail

    is really the best combination we could have had for the World Cup.

    So let's learn from these mistakes and not support our local or regional or state heros, but rather examine the intent of the coach and objectivity of the individual team members.

  • Muhammad Rehan Ghazi on March 26, 2007, 7:20 GMT

    Totally agree with you, Kamran on this. Every cricket team needs to remember that they can only win on the strength of their perfomance of that particular day on the field and not on the strength of their reputation.

  • chintaka on March 26, 2007, 7:16 GMT

    I suppose that this particular article is too painful for the Pakistanis to respond to.

  • Anum on March 26, 2007, 7:03 GMT

    Pakistan Crcket Board has been fooling us since the last 4 years. After the team was knocked out of the first round in WC 2003, the same picture has been presented to us in this World Cup, although it is far more dismal. So now what needs to be done. Should the PCB start perparing for the 2011 WC and throw dust in our eyes for the third time? I think we need a big change and we need a chairman who is devoted to Pakistan cricket. That way perhaps we can save the game.

  • khalid mannan, vancouver on March 26, 2007, 6:59 GMT

    kamran totally agree with the fact about the lack of athleteism, with all due respect inzi is a great batsman but from no where he looks like an athlete. where is the concept of providing proper weight traning and maintaining fitness. Look at Mcgrath the guy is 36 years old and is probably in a better shape then shoaib has sever been. And most imprtatnly the most incompetent chairman in pcb's history is going up to inzamam and give him advice on how to perform it is obvious what the results will be about.Circket in pakistan requires a board of directors and I assure u it will be a much better organization. The whole God damn organization is run like the coutnry itself , by a dictator.

  • Rasif on March 26, 2007, 6:56 GMT

    The future looks better for Pakistan with Mohammed Asif waiting to come back. Shoaib Malik could be made captain with a long vision. India do not have any match-winners outside of their current squad and no possible inspirational captain. At the same time I feel both Rahul Dravid and Mohammed Yousuf should survive any major chopping and cutting.

  • Ashwin Raj on March 26, 2007, 6:34 GMT

    Kamran, u r right on the money. the format, to me, seems seriously flawed. to eliminate 2 giants for playing like pygmies in just 1 upset each is too harsh. ind & pak have been traditional slow starters,even in the tournaments they won, but have invariably picked up the pace later on. with all due respect to bangladesh & ireland, they're still a few years away from seriously challenging the top teams,so for them to advance on the basis of 1 win is simply not on in cricket's major tournament which rolls around once in 4 years. it would have been unfair even the other way round-what if ind & pak had won ?? these 2 fast-improving teams (ban & ire) would have bowed out of the cup and nobody would have given a thot to it.nobody grudges minnows their upsets,it's nice to have new teams come on ,but they have to be better earned to be rewarded.now after a harrowing league stage comes the super 8 where a loss or two may not prove as costly - now that is ridiculous !! wc tournaments shud get tougher as they go on , not easier !! if u recall the 1983 world cup, india were minnows but went on to win overcoming a double-leg league-which was newly instituted after the 1st 2 editions to reduce the chances of an upset ! nobody cud complain then b'cos inspite of the format being lengthened, the minnows bucked the odds to stay consistent thro' the tournament to win. anyways, congrats to both ban & ire and hope they cause more than a flutter in the tournament and in the coming years.

  • wasif on March 26, 2007, 6:34 GMT

    i agree with the view that india and pakistan have been left far behind in one day cricket (more pakistan than india)...but to say that there absence will affect the super 8 is foolish. i also thought that pakis adn indians might do better in the super 8's and given the surprising antics of the pakis to be giants one day and miniscule little ants the next one or two upsets would have been possible. but watching the aus vs SAF game all my illusions are gone. both the teams would have been battered to a pulp! and besides the chances for pakis and indians upsetting aussies or SAF are equal to bangla or ireland upsetting them. all said and done the deserving teams have progressed.

  • Sri Lankan on March 26, 2007, 6:32 GMT

    Kamran what I’m gonna say is something outside the subject here. But I felt compelled to write abt it To all of them who say religion is different from cricket and religion cannot be brought into cricket – I would like to ask them where in islam does it say that when you are on duty your first priority should be to propagate islam????? Or where does it say, if you are a captain or leader you should always give preference to only bearded good muslims irrespective of how good hes to perform that job even when you know there is someone more deserving for that particular job??????????? With all due respect to inzi can someone PLS REPLY TO THIS Working hard to be an expert in your field (as long as the work you do doesn’t go against islam) is also part of being a good muslim. Its not just worship which most people fail to realize So just because some so called “Muslims” don’t follow the guidelines of Islam you cannot blame religion for that. Islam is a way of life which we need to implement in every aspect of it. Some people think islam should be followed only during sicknesses, at funerals and may be on Friday nights, but NOT during work and play because that’s the part of our lives we think we can handle on our own. May Allah forgive us for even thinking this way. Aameen!!!

  • alizai on March 26, 2007, 6:20 GMT

    well said.Now we all think about the future .Leave the past.Now pakistani cricket board has to take good and bold decisions.There should be no coach in pakistani team and captain should have maximum powers.Pakistan should try to produce some more Fast bowalers.And finally for GOD sake make your pitches fast as Australia or South Africa.Else you will repeat the history.

  • Fraz from USA on March 26, 2007, 6:19 GMT

    Very happy to see both Pakistan and india out of the world cup. It is time for the 2 boards of cricket in both countries to wake up PCB and BCCI. If they want their players to play good crieket they need to wake up and see why they fail again and again on foreign pitches. The TRUTH is both India and Pakistan have the worst pitches in the world. Batting pitches. Our batsmen don't know the ABC of playing on foreign pitches. Only sometimes few of our Indian and Pakistani batsmen get lucky. Hardly anyone is consistent. Look at the greats and they failed time and time again Sachin and Inzi; top 2 of the world's highest ODI run scorers and just look at their pathetic performance. If the ball moves a little bit our batsmen look like under 13 cricketers who are just starting their crieket. This will happen again and again and in every single tournament. As long as PCB and BCCI do not start making world class pitches and our batsmen don't start playing alot of home cricket on good fast green tracks they will fail each and every time. We do not have bowlers like Imran, Wasim, Younus and Shoaib (maybe 2 more years) any more who will bail the team our each and every time. We have average bowlers now and it's time our batting need to make hugh totals which the bowlers can defend e.g. over 300 in each match. Hope PCB and BCCI will make some good tracks so that our teams can finally start winning in Australia, England, W.Indies, South Africa etc.

  • Farooq Anees ---- Lahore on March 26, 2007, 6:15 GMT

    Serves them right as they are better off while making ad films......but they are not to be blamed fully for the failures the management is also the culprit. In the case of Pakistan the board prepared dead pitches for our players to practice and play and they fail when the pitch is a grassy top they fail totally like in the case of Ireland's match...so we need to have pitches like that so it is easy for them to adjust to the seaming conditions.

    We also need a change in the board management and hire our ex-players who can help the junior players and same goes for India. Winning and loosing is a part of game it depends on luck as well as the professional approach towards the game....so we have to groom our players in a professional manner to handle pressure situations....Long live the Asian giants they have the capability to bounce back with a force

  • Harish on March 26, 2007, 6:08 GMT

    Both India and Pakistan have only themselves to blame for the first round exit. They very well knew that potential dangers of banana skin encounters in such format. This is what exactly happened.Murphy's law says, things if can go wrong , they go wrong at most in-appropriate time. This is what happened, both of them were given knock out punches on the same day ie 17th march. It is wrong to blame Bangladesh and Ireland for robbing the exitement in WC. They are here to win and let others win irrespective of opposite team status. The fact is both India and Pakistan never deserved to be in second round. Both are over hyped and full of underperformers. So lets hope in next WC in sub continent we'll be able to see Ind-Pak encounter. Hopefully with young and fresh blood it promises to be mouth watering. But for that to happen both have to play well enough to progress further.

  • murtaza hussain on March 26, 2007, 5:59 GMT

    thanks for your thoughts mr. abbas. i guess pakistan needs to play with minnows,i.e the babies of cricket in-order to find some genuin form.

    i also strongly believe that the future of pakistan cricket is in complete darkness and according to me only a few cricketing brains like the IMRANS, ZAHEERS, AKRAMS, WAQARS, RAMIZ ( in the roll of selectors & coaches) will be able to bring back the glory by selecting a strong and competant team

  • Amir Khan on March 26, 2007, 5:59 GMT

    Another giant laid low!!!

  • Syed Kashif Imam on March 26, 2007, 5:58 GMT

    i doubt PCB will do anything seriously over restructuring of board and team as they failed to do so after last world cup as well where pakis showed equally shamefull performance

  • Haider on March 26, 2007, 5:47 GMT

    India vs Pakistan series ANYONE ???????

    ahahahahhahahahahahah

  • zain on March 26, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    kamran , nothing will happen all remains the same even after 50 years we r a different nation all together.

  • Khurram on March 26, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    India and particularly pakistan have indeed been left Way behind in the constantly evolving and improving world ODI cricket… Pakistan specifically shud take a cue with the way Australia, South Africa and New Zealand have been playing…they are constantly scoring close to 350 runs in each match while Pakistan can do that only after every 30-40 matches… this simply implies Pakistan are 20 times at least lower than these three teams when it comes to ground reality and not just the stats of the so called stars in Pak team…

    The problem is not much with the player technique but its in their mentality… to be literally correct, the Pak players are plain stupid individuals and as a Pak cricket fan, this is the most disturbing aspect… the game has evolved so much that all the old doctrines like holding ur wickets till the end to launch in the last 10 overs etc have been obsolete long way back in 1996 when Srilanka demolished that concept… Aussies picked up from where SriLanka left and thanks To Gilchrist and Co. never looked back… Pak on the other hand always live in the past… after the early fall of openers Pak Team Always go in ‘Block every ball’ mode till 35-40 overs and when they say ok let’s wake now…all the wickets tumble as they terribly try to smash every ball…. Simply Hopeless Intellect….

    As Kamran mentioned, the team needs to throw away this arrogance and approach the game with an objective open mind… We don’t need stars like old Inzi and so called Future captain Younis (even when he has an avg of just 30!)… we need a thinking cricketer in the first place… We shud do a South Africa here, bring in a new young captain from domestic arena…I believe Hassan Raza is the best choice as age is in his side, he is among the best batsmen in the domestic arena for the last 10 years and He not only captains Karachi team but also Habib Bank team that include all stars… so With inzi gone, Younis shud b sacked as well to be replaced by Hassan Raza and Asim Kamal… and for God Sake pls. remove the clown Kamran Akmal, no other wicketkeeper had missed 12 chances in one test series and he managed to do that in just one match… If he is selected for his batting, then Younis can b included in the squad to bat at No. 7 and keep wickets…Pls. dun even think he’s among the best wicketkeeper batsmen around even in these days as Gilchrist, Sangakkara, Boucher, Dhoni and McCullum are way consistent, destructive and better than him!

  • Brijesh on March 26, 2007, 5:37 GMT

    It’s for you to do the next thing - Boycott the products

    Burning posters of Indian players and beat the pictures with sandals doesn’t help at all. We have next series with Bangladesh and once we started winning one or two home series everything will be forgotten. But if you are determined and a real fan than this is what can be done to reflect your real anger.

    Boycott the products endorsed by the cricketers till we get the next World Cup is home. This means, you will try all other options before opting for products endorsed by cricketers.Last biscuit you will pick from rack will be Sachin’s Fit Kit. Look for any other insurance first before taking up Dravid’s Max life insurance. Similarly, for Dhoni’s 7 up, Hero Honda, Reebok, BPCL's premium fuel Speed, Sona Chandi Chyavanprash, Mysore Sandal soap, Bank of Baroda, these should be the last of the brand’s we should pick till we have other options. Also any next brand where you see the cricketer with it, that should be on your next boycott list.

    This we should do till we get the next World Cup home NO EXCEPTIONS!

    Tell this to all your friends who are real Cricket fans and you will do some good to Cricket.

  • AZAD on March 26, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    I being a Sri Lankan would say that Both Pakistan and India are very talented teams packed with players who can hit the ball well and bowl.

    Unlike the Australians, the Asian Cricket Officials do not for what reason prefers to retain the big names such as Tendulkars and Sehwags when there are better players who have perfomed better than them.

    Tendulkar may have created records, but can he win matches in his current form, no ? Sehwag, a match winning batsman in poor form, who hit a century against the minnows, but against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka he could do nothing !!!

    Haq should have given way long time ago, I believe religion is important in several ways, but one cannot mix religion with sports, can you ?

    Pakistan does have very talented bowlers and batsman, but why do they suddenly rise and then die a natural death ?? They have extermely super bowlers and there are so many available in the country. Why can't these bowlers having potential be guided and coached by the two W's and mould them into a team where they can be match winners ?

    I would say that politics should stay out of sport, follow the example of Australia where even a good batsman such as Hayden was dropped. He practised, got his technics right and has become a better batsman !!! Also the Aussies knows when they have to go and they do it in style too or else they are asked to go !!!

    Politics out of Sport, let the respective officials run it and one will find a better Pak and Ind outfit.

    Azad

  • rajen panikkar on March 26, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    How very appropriate that cronyism should lead to the downfall of the BCCI team -would anybody in their right mind call it an 'Indian' team - and to think that man of supposed great integrity Dravid would be the crony corporate capitalist in chief. Meritocracy-shamatocracy Dravid was doing what the modern corporatised Indian does, and as for expecting change you might as well these modernists to address the exponentially growing gap between the have nots and the haves, in the new ersatz model of free market democracy that is New India. At least a Gavaskar and Dev had gumption and still speak their mind, Tendulkar used to but he is now just as ersatz a model of Tendulkar, adept more at making easy money than scoring hard runs. Isnt that why we loved him so much before, for making hundreds at Perth and South africa where all around him beta a retreat to square leg. How ignominious a farewll but how appropriate perhaps. How I wish he would prove me all us wrong now.

  • Peter on March 26, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    "But the tournament has been stripped of twelve heavyweight encounters."

    So, if Pakistan & India had made it through, their match-ups against the other sides would have been classified as 'heavyweight encounters'??? Why? Neither side deserved to get through, and neither side deserves to still be thought of as one of the cricket world's heavyweights. Use that description for the sides that have earned it...

  • Amanzeb Khan on March 26, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    One day cricket has suddenly transformed over the last year or so. Over 300 scores have become a norm and previously quiet periods in the game have been replaced by constant aggression. In this changing game fitness, mental toughness and clinical professionalism is the need of the hour and our teams lose out on all three counts. Its 50% about ability and 50% about method now. Lets hope are teams are able to bridge this yawning gap. Initially I had thought the world cup format was brilliant with the top 8 teams qualifying to the super 8s and playing each other. But i was wrong. The format should ideally elevate only teams who are serious contenders for the cup into the next round. That has not happened. There should be a sterner test in the first round and qualification should not be based on one upset as was the case for Bangladesh and Ireland. But i guess no format can be fool proof.

  • Saad on March 26, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    Agreed, it will surely take some major attitudinal reform to turn things around with Pakistani cricket and there is every chance that we might be writing the very same lines after four years. If Sri lanka can do it so can we. I just hope that next in charge is more competent and determined.

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on March 26, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    Embrace new reality: --------------------

    While both India and Pakistan have dipped to new lows in their cricketing history, Bangladesh has scaled new heights and is basking in glory.

    Out of the two South Asian heavyweights though, only Pakistan with its current fiasco can be termed as a dysfunctional giant. The cricketing affairs in Pakistan are being run on an ad-hoc basis with direct intervention from the top which is a sorry state of affairs to continue for so long.

    It’s a matter of time before the truth in its entirety comes to the fore. Now it is becoming an open reality that the team captain had more than total sway over the selection process and related matters. It seems that even the selection committee had a token role. This speaks volumes of the dysfunctional status of PCB.

    The foremost need of the hour is to resurrect PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) as an independent institution and free it from the yoke i.e. the Presidency. Nothing short of this would suffice! How the hell on earth, the head of the state that has a plethora of domestic issues as well as heaps of political problems at hand to deal with at the international level would retain focus on this entity is beyond comprehension.

    We strongly believe that the fall out for the PCB and the game of cricket in Pakistan is going to be positive.

    To label team India which had a stable look going into this World Cup as such is a little harsh and an unjust overreaction. Mega stars like Tendulkar, Ganguly, and others who racked up lucrative deals in the past are going to be affected the most as they stand to loose new corporate sponsors as a result of the team making an early exit from the World Cup.

    On their part, the players had no motive other than to play good cricket to the best of their abilities. How, it did not translate into a success story is for a different reason, altogether.

    The defeat against Bangladesh was in part attributable to loosing the toss but again this should take nothing away from a resurgent and an aspiring team who have been knocking around/at the door for rather long and are just about ready to make a splash in to the big pool. This is a factual reality and should be recognized as such.

    For their part, Sri Lanka continued their build up with a strong all around talent and hardly had a weak spot showing anywhere down the order. This apparently was not the case with India and certainly a far cry for Pakistan.

    In the case of Pakistan, the harsh reality has dawned for those at the helm of affairs after it’s too late. The supporters can draw their own parallels in the case of India but again the reckoning would be a little late!

    We have no choice but to embrace the new reality that has dawned wearing a different look.

  • Muzaffar on March 26, 2007, 5:21 GMT

    well india's performance is somehow similar to pakistan performance in 2003 too strong on paper and rubbish on ground. i want to say something about cricket. pakistan always need a bit of cushion I think each team need a cushion but we are not the kind of team that can hit the ground running. In this tournament if u loose one match u are in big trouble. In 1992 we all know that at what stage of the tournament Pakistan played like a team. If you know what I mean.

    I think inzi is slightly right that you need a bit of luck. Pakistan is always a shaky starter they always show their true game in the latter stages and I am afraid that if this gona be the format for the next worldcup we are in big trouble. I am sure if India and Pakistan would have gone to the next stage they would be difficult teams to beat but cricket world cup should have a format in which teams can recover from error the margin of error should not be this narrow

  • wasim saqib on March 26, 2007, 5:18 GMT

    I dont think that WC will benefit in anyways by the early exit of India and Pakistan as the world cricket is surviving on the money generated by these two countries,Pakistan was never a favourite to win this cup bcz of the recent scandals,but India's early exit was unexpected. There is a chinese proverb "In every crisis lies an opportunity" both these countries will have to change their domestic cricket,administrative culture,and instead of sticking with big names they might induct young talented players on merit. I think Pakistan and India will take care of their cricket structure, but the question is who will fix ICC,I think Pakistan team was ambushed by ICC we have still not seen any hard green seaming pitch in the WC other than Pakistan Matches. The Umpiring Row,the conditions they all show how fair ICC is towards Pakistan. Even if Pakistan had progressed in the second round they would have been taken care off by some dubious decisions in key matches we have seen it in the past. BoB's murder and the pitch of pakistan and Ireland match are directly related,the Irish team clearly had the heads up about Pakistan team and the Pitch. It is evident from the fact, the way Irish bowlers bowled and the way their field setting for each and every player was right on the money was a little astonishing we have seen experienced Captains stuggling at times,a new captain with limited experience could not have done that without inside information about the opposition and a heads up about the playing conditions, This is also reinforced by the fact that heavily favorite Pakistan was not the favorite just before the match Ireland was 1-8 favorite on the betting sites.Also it is known that SA coach gave information about Pakistan team to Irish team,but such information was only relevant for SA conditions and the Pitch prepared by ICC was exactly according to SA conditions.

    Now why Bob was killed ? Did he bet on Pakistan and failed to Pay? Did he leaked inside information on Pakistan and was punished by the rival betting groups who got effected? Some people are suggesting that Pakistan deliberately lost to Ireland, this notion does not hold bcz of the fact that they knew losing to Ireland will end their chances to progress in the WC and also End the careers of some Big Players. No matter how much the money is involved no player would like to end their career in such humiliation secondly the current team never had such reputation also. Long story short people investigating Bobs murder should start within ICC and should question and investigate Chris Broad as a start.

  • Rahul Taneja on March 26, 2007, 5:13 GMT

    I couldn't agree more with Kamran Abbasi. It was disappointing to see Inzamam and Sachin bow out of the World Cup without showing even a glimpse of their tremendous talent. Till such time as the Cricket Boards in India and Pakistan do not get their acts together the teams from both countries will continue to flounder on the International stage. Arrogance and over confidence is possibly genetically inherited by both countries. Bangladesh deserved to progress to the Super 8 stage as did Ireland, good luck to both

  • GG on March 26, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    I completely agree with Kamran's assessment of the way India and Pakistan fared in this World Cup. It was indeed refreshing to see the numerous 20/21 year olds from Bangladesh do so well! Would it be so bad to axe jaded veterans such as Sehwag/Tendulkar/Ganguly and Inzamam/Younis Khan for now and give some youngsters a chance to prove themselves on the big stage?

  • Saima Kamal, USA on March 26, 2007, 5:05 GMT

    Hi Bloggers.

    One of the main problems in Pakistan cricket is that we keep going around in circles. It is a vicious cycle of under achievement that we cannot seem to break. After every heartbreak there is an outcry. Heads roll, promises are made - but when the dust settles Pakistan cricket goes back to its lethargy. Its all old wine in a new bottle. The same ideas that were tried in the past - and failed. Will this time be any different?

    There is talk of bringing back Javed Miandad? What new ideas or professionalism will Javed bring that he couldnt implement during his first tenure? We have to think professionally. Otherwise cricket will go the way of hockey.

    Saima Kamal New Jersey

  • Madhumita on March 26, 2007, 5:00 GMT

    Absolutely right the early exit of two asian giants is good for cricket and now the boards will concentrate on cricket.

  • law on March 26, 2007, 4:51 GMT

    Think about the lost viewership. The lost revenue. The 12 useless games we will see as the lucky minnows that made get a grip on reality. There might be one or two more upsets, but it is clear from here that the Super 8's (more like Super 6 and Lucky 2) format won't allow the lucky to forge ahead. Of course, they will cause for painful viewing while they last. It might be a blessing in disguise for the likes of me, those unhealthily addicted to the game: Rather than look forward to each and every game, and so miserably fall behind in my studies, I get to have days off from watching cricket on those "lucky" days. Overall, the progression of the minnows to the next level is great at their respective national levels. It is otherwise an unfortunate development really. I am sorry if I sound overly demeaning. But if Australia were to bat first and post 350-odd, I would rather watch Dravid and co. have a go at it. but maybe that is just me...

  • Siddharth on March 26, 2007, 4:43 GMT

    Well said Karman! But after all giants are giants no matter what ! May be we needed this push in the back to take us to the next level in the future. The talent in India and Pakistan needs to be tapped properly and some serious efforts are required now from the people who matter in cricket in these countries. I am sure we would be back with a bang and countires like Bangladesh or for that matter Sri lanka will be shown their 'true class' 2011 world cup. Take my words....

  • vikas on March 26, 2007, 4:42 GMT

    Well said; and for India and Pakistan - well deserved.

    The teams on the basis of early performance (natural or bookie induced) did not deserve to go ahead. However, a format like this also robs the charm of Super 8 - not because our teams are not there - because going by what happened in later matches (Bd vs SL and Ir vs WI) the only match Ireland and B'desh are likely to win are the one they play against each other in the Super 8's.

    This makes a mockery of the system. The Super 8 is down to a Super 6. If you take the current form and erratic nature of England and West Indies it is not difficult to guess who are the last 4. With India and Pakistan the chances that they would raise their game in proportion to the pressure back home was always there and a few surprises could be expected. In any case I can not remember when India and Pakistan have had a great start and end to any WC campaign. Its been either of the two - a great start or a great end.

    However, it does not take anything away from the determination and professionalism showed by Ireland and Bangladesh. Sport is about being better on the given day and they were the better teams by far. Congratulations and best wishes to them.

  • Tausif Kidwai on March 26, 2007, 4:42 GMT

    The exit of two great giants from this world cup is pretty harsh because they just had one bad day in office and they knocked out of this world cup. atleast they both deserves a fair chance or wild card to play in super eiaght.I hope ICC should look at it.

  • Faridoon on March 26, 2007, 4:40 GMT

    Such pessimism Kamran sahab?

    But I guess it's not unfounded. The Pakistanis only brush with any form of professionlism has ended with the tragic demise of Bob Woolmer. The next coach will difinitely be a Pakistani, not only because the masses want a desi coach but also because no foreign coach will take up this challenge at least for a long time.

    It's depressing, but our team will learn the true worth of having Bob only now after he is gone.

    And yes, four years down the road, I expect nothing more from this team then what they've achieved so far.

    Can someone please brainwash Imran Khan somehow to take over PCB as coach, chairman, chief executive or some other post we can create for him. All cricketers respect him and he does have great intuition for the game. After the departure of Bob and Inzi from the team, the boys need a strong figurehead to look up to.

    Imran bhai, I implore you... the Pakistani people need you to take care of their cricket much more than their politics right now...

  • Srinath on March 26, 2007, 4:35 GMT

    The early exit of India and Pakistan has injected the much needed curiosity and has made this world cup all the more unpredictable. Kudos to the ICC for structuring the initial stage of this tournament in it's present form. This kind of setup provides equal oppurtunity to every team in the group to make it big and at the same time does not provide an unfair advantage to the top two teams in the group. An early banana skin match could well ensure your early ouster. This is exactly what happened to India and Pakistan. For India it was a case of missed opputunities and for Pakistan a ruthless shock and a great loss. On the flip side India now has 15 permanent models who can walk the ramp for one month. It is heartening to note that productive man-hours would not be wasted and fans can catch up on their sleep.

  • Usman on March 26, 2007, 4:33 GMT

    Well its good that new teams come and perform but its bad that 2 big gaints of the criecket history out of the game.Its not the matter that these teams perform bad,these teams have to perform bad bcz of many reasons. 1. Captaincy problem in both team. 2. Coach problem 3. Match Fixing and many many more.....

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on March 26, 2007, 4:31 GMT

    Well Kamran, once again I disagree with your views that the teams lost due to, "arrogance, decadence, and incompetence." Definitely Pakistan's exit out of the world cup is not due all those reasons. To a certain extent incompetence yes, but not the other two. In my opinion, the main reason being, their three key players were not in the team i.e., Shoaib, Asif and Afridi, if they were there, Pakistan would have been on the top in their group. I am not relying on the theory of "IF's & But's" You may call it introspection and I would call it retrospection as well as the analysis of what actually happened and it gives you that much information about Pakistan's failure to reach the super 8.

    Whereas, India had a full strength team, and on paper they were the best batting line up in the world. Calling them "Paper Tigers" might be like rubbing salt on their wounds, but thats a fact. It is for the Indian fans to decide whether they agree with your views or not. But for Pakistan, I can say they were not arrogant. In fact they were too docile in their approach and thats due to the overdose of humility and lacking professionalism.

    The last match Inzamam played against Zimbabwe was, the Inzamam we remembered, the Inzamam we were so used to see batting at number three, he batted aggressively and with authority BUT, he ran out of his luck, or his luck deserted him on St. Patrick's Day. There is no need to cry over split milk now. What Pakistan needs now is to choose a young captain and then the whole team later on.

    So, first lets see who is capable of taking that captain's role? I know a lot of people will not agree with my views, but thats not important for me, I am not here to win a popularity contest, but to express my views like everyone else on this blog.

    Mohammad Yousuf is a great batsman and he should not be put under pressure with additional burden. And, he is not young from cricketing point of view. Pakistan needs a captain who can lead them beyond 2011 and NOT announcing his retirement in the next world cup.

    Younis Khan, he is not a player for ODI's and definitely not for twenty20's. He came into limelight because of the sharp contrast to Inzi's laid back, lackluster attitude. At times his decisions are too weird and he is kinda obstinate in his strategy. His proverbial GodFather Imran Khan is again canvasing for him and also asking for Salman Butt and Yasir Hameed's inclusion. But, do we need his raving, ranting and rambling?

    Shoaib Malik, he is too docile and very humble to be a leader. He has proved his humility and willingness by accepting to bat at any position (its good to see that he played well in all those slots) but for a leader thats a kinda spineless characteristic and not a prerequisite of a leader. He can be groomed and start as a vice captain.

    I won't hesitate to reiterate my earlier opinion because, its my opinion, not egoistically but, as a matter of fact and given the circumstances and the resources available, Shahid Afridi would be the ideal candidate. He is charismatic, flamboyant and shows his exuberance in every department of the game. He is only 2 runs short to score 5000 runs in ODI, with that he will probably be the third player in the world after JayaSuriya and Jacques Kallis to score 5000 runs and take 200 plus wickets in ODI's.

    Given that privilege of leading the team he would probably become more sober in his batting style and goes on scoring more runs in the years to come. Compared to Younis Khan (30), he is (27) three years younger in age and four years senior than him in the team. Therefore, if age or experience is a criteria in deciding the role of captaincy, he is a better candidate than Younis Khan. Don't judge him as a batting all-rounder but, judge him as a bowling all-rounder. He is also a very good fielder.

    As regards players respecting the Captain, if the Board announces that irrespective of his performance, the Captain is there till 2011 and beyond, it will make a big difference in the attitude of the players that the Captain has full backing of the Board.

    Induction of youth in the team is good but, I am against "a total revamp" of the whole team or sacking of the senior players as an immediate action to please the nation after the world cup defeat.

    Pakistan has already experienced the problems they had in the past when all of a sudden all the senior players were sacked. It took a long time to rebuild the team. They definitely need to make two or may be three teams i.e., for tests, ODI's and twenty20 and both Y & Y should be playing in test teams only.

    I don't like Shoaib Akhtar's tantrums and "dramay baazi & pangay baazi" but, he should be in the team for at least a couple of years i.e., if he can survive without getting injured and remains fit. People of Pakistan should not get emotional about punishing the players or asking them to take retirement etc., they have to be realistic, calm, composed and supportive. Induction of new and young players should be gradual. It will not only help them in building the confidence of those younger players but, it also acts like an antidote when there is a the sudden rise, fame to stardom status occurs, it gets into their head.

    India and Pakistan's media, commentators, even general public is very good in making comparisons like, Salman Butt is a new Saeed Anwar. Mohammad Asif is Pakistan's Glenn McGrath, Kamran Akmal is better than Adam Gilchrist, Suresh Raina is the new Tendulkar, Irfan Pathan is India's Wasim Akram etc. Dhoni is another example from hero to zero.

    So, people should let go this tendency of praising, worshiping their heros and then discarding them as zeros.

    So, chosing a captain and a coach is the first step. And step by step approach is the best approach.

  • Anand on March 26, 2007, 4:27 GMT

    Yes kamran, agree with you on all counts. Firstly, the World Cup has indeed been robbed of 12 massive encounters and in all probability we'll see the other stronger teams make a feast out of the 2 minnows that caused the demise of the Asian giants. But then, the last 2 world cups have had such surprises, Zimbabwe squeezed through to the Super 6s in 1999 and Kenya was in the Semis in 2003(have we forgotten that). Having said that, its sad to see the likes of Inzy, Sachin and Dravid go out in their last world cup(most likely for Sachin and Dravid too) without a fight and in the most unsuited of ways. You're right. Nothing will change, there will ups and downs and by the next world Cup all would have been forgotten and media will be in a frenzy..ooh aah India/Pak will again rule TV screens, effigies will be burnt, houses of players will be stones and we shall march on to yet another edition unchanged.

  • kashif on March 26, 2007, 4:27 GMT

    I agree with your article and specially where you comment that India and Pakistan needs athletes.

    I think in that statement itself is the solution to our woes. It is really very simple instead of looking for talent alone in respect to a players selection in our part of the world, i feel that we should be looking instead at the prospect from the point of view of how good is he as an athlete.

    And as an athlete we have to determine how good they are mentally and physically to play this game and when this has been ascertained and weighted highly in any selection do we then look at the level of talent in that prospect.

    For a superior athlete/cricketer will always prevail over a talented cricketer case in point the australians.

    For all we have as part of the Indian and Pakistani team are talents and nothing else, and this talent fails us time and time again. Lets look for athletes, those who not only crave to compete but also justify their stardom by achieving new heights consistently.

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on March 26, 2007, 4:22 GMT

    Dear All, Mr. Kamran Abbasi has been doing a courageous journalism for a long. I appreciate his writing and he has always been doing his best highlighting the facts of the situation. No doubt minnows has become giants and giants have become minnows. In my opinion the Twos (Ind & Pak) were not aware of the format of this WC hence, they did not prepare themselves. They were hyped by media about their strength and winning the world cup, but sadly they must understand that there is no ifs and buts in cricket and one bad day can ruin your planning. This is what happened with the two cricket crazy nations. I do not agree with you Kamrab Sb that there is going to be a major changes in the Board and their functioning. It is easy to say and hard to work. We need courage to do this but they can not do. Politics is there and it is a dirty game. There is no dearth of talents in these two countries but it is a matter of professionalism as to how we polish the talent. One day game is the game of youth and enthusiasm. India bite dust with Bangladesh just the ageing factor and against Sri Lankan they were just beaten because of ageing as the fielding was superb. This is the area the Sri Lankans are better than India and Pakistan. In ODI we need fit of the fittest player in the playing eleven but we have unfit of the unfittest in the playing eleven. How come you win a tournament if our fitness level is below mark. Results will automatically come if you have young guns and fittest in the line to play. As I expressed earlier in my writing that The Sub Continent Teams will emerged victorious and Sri Lankans looks more contender than India and Pakistan. Now the two neighbourers are out and Sri Lankans are there to fight the battle for me. The way they are playing, I guess they will carry this World Cup. But they have worked very hard and all credit goes to their Coach Tom Moody who is the youngest coach of any team and I believe his inputs are valuable. He visited Carribian before the WC to assess the situation. It is very beneficial. It is a long planning of four years journey. It is time for Indian and Pakistani to forget this WC and start refurbishing for the next 2011 which will be played in the sub continent. Let us keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best otherwise, minnows will be giants and giants will be minnows in 2011.

  • Anand on March 26, 2007, 4:20 GMT

    Yes kamran, agree with you on all counts. Firstly, the World Cup has indeed been robbed of 12 massive encounters and in all probability we'll see the other stronger teams make a feast out of the 2 minnows that caused the demise of the Asian giants. But then, the last 2 world cups have had such surprises, Zimbabwe squeezed through to the Super 6s in 1999 and Kenya was in the Semis in 2003(have we forgotten that). Having said that, its sad to see the likes of Inzy, Sachin and Dravid go out in their last world cup(most likely for Sachin and Dravid too) without a fight and in the most unsuited of ways. You're right. Nothing will change, there will ups and downs and by the next world Cup all would have been forgotten and media will be in a frenzy..ooh aah India/Pak will again rule TV screens, effigies will be burnt, houses of players will be stones and we shall march on to yet another edition unchanged.

  • Mufti on March 26, 2007, 4:19 GMT

    noting gonna change. we sub-continentals never were sports persons.. actually we dont deserve to play any sport for we lack the passion and desire that is needed to compete or even simply participate.. sports merely are not a test of your skill but your character and mental strength also which unfortunately we sub-continentals lack.. can anybody imagine any our teams competing like australia, south africa or even newzealand, thinking you can win even after you concede 400 runs. the answer simply is a big NO.

  • ASIF SOFI on March 26, 2007, 4:14 GMT

    in pakistan, as long as u do not produce some well educated cricketers, cricket will always remain a quandry.

  • Night_rider on March 26, 2007, 3:59 GMT

    "But the tournament has been stripped of twelve heavyweight encounters." Looking at the way India and Pakistan played,I would say that the tournament has been blessed with the removal of 12 over-hyped mismatches in Super 8. Maybe the game between India and Pakistan could have been a heavy-weight tussle. But no point ruing what has gone before. Both teams had their chances and true to their type, they flunked the test.

  • Khurram on March 26, 2007, 3:58 GMT

    Right on money Kamran but unfortunately ground reality is that nothing will change for Pakistan cricket. As long as we have illetrate cricketers coming, having no clue of what to do once getting big, nothing will change. And mind you, when i say illetrate, that does not mean knowing how to speak English. Its all about a certain behaviour, your getup, the way you move around etc etc; a behaviour acquired only when you have exposure to world outside your village/town. Case in point, just look at the cricketers in the 70s and 80s, it was just a different breed.

    No matter how fancy coach Pakistan gets or how powerful selection committee is formed, unless and until you start getting a breed of cricketers i just mentioned above, there won't be any change. Four years later, we still would be talking about the same issue. Professionalism is not a quality which one is born with but it is rather instilled. However it requires the right attitude which unfortunately Pakistani players do not have.

  • Fahd Masood on March 26, 2007, 3:57 GMT

    It was just a couple of weeks ago when many poeple thought that the non test playing nations would affect the flow of the tournament. Well, they surely have done something extraordinary about but for the delight of their own fans and not for poeple from cricketing mad nations like India and Pakistan. I think the moving on for Ireland and Bangladesh into Super Eghts are upsets in themselves but surely happened for the betterment of this game. Being a Pakistani, my heart has been hurt quite badly but still it makes me feel happy that cricket is moving in the right direction.

    Good Luck Ireland and Bangladesh !!!

  • srikanth on March 26, 2007, 3:55 GMT

    It wouldnt be the wc if the minnows dont surprise many of us and take out a major contender. In 2003 Kenya surprised all of us and reached the semis. It is unfortunate though that it had to be Ind and Pak to be knocked out but cudos to Bangladesh and Ireland to progress as far as they did

  • Asad on March 26, 2007, 3:51 GMT

    Dear Kamran,I have been following your blog for a while now,keep up the good work.As far as Pakistan and India are concrened,it might be a blessing in disguise.Especially for Pakistan with unfortunate demise of Bob and resignation of Inzi.We can blame the team(boys and PCB)up to certain extent.They are the product of their enviornment which unfortunately does not reward hardwork,honesty and professionalism(last term is alien to most Pakistanis).Mostly its hollow slogans,moral corruption,croniism and cockiness!Like we say in punjabi"nirry phunay Khani". Unfortunately look at whats happening in the country; judicial crises,EU ban of PIA,war in the tribal areas and last but not least strange plotical bedfellows(Benazir and Sharif),do we expect sane and responssible citizens let alone cricketers.The difference is that these poor cricketers have to go out and compete on one one basis at the intrenational level with far superior bunch of professionals. I am not gonna go near match fixing,a whole different beast.My suggestion, hire a local coach (Imran says Aiqab?)anybody for heavens sake, and istill some sense of pride,teamwork and PROFESSIONALISM.Imran says ther is no dearth of talent.After all these years fate has put him back in his place(feel bad for his kids),perhaps he should rethink his political carrier and join the 'cricket' club. Asad. USA.

  • Nabeel Ahmed on March 26, 2007, 3:50 GMT

    The picture you have used in your blog is as they say equal to thousand words. Look at Inzi lifting his finger in almost preacher like manner and sitting on the ground is so unprofessional I know it's our culture but when you are competing in high performance sports you follow the norms. I remember Inzi did a similar sit down right in the middle of Multan Stadium after loosing a test to India. I am so glad Inzi as a captain has retired but very sad that Inzi the batsmen will no longer be available to entertain us.

  • Noman on March 26, 2007, 3:42 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, I seriously think it was not the arrogance of the India and Pakistan that saw them out, but their fearfulness and lack of courage. As for pakistan, I believe it was the pakistani teams's new found excessive religiosity bordering on superstition and submitting to "Qesmat" instead of taking things in their own hand. I have not seen many people writing about this, but seriously, what the Pakistani team has turned into, from a proud and self-reliant who drew spiritual support from religion, to one completely letting decide their qismat.

  • Saadia Anwar on March 26, 2007, 3:35 GMT

    I am not very hopeful that there will be any change in board's working particularly in Pakistan. After every match, every series, every world cup, there are huge cries for change that never will be because there cannot be, as the people involved are happy with the status quo of just making money and hell with everything else. Just take a look at what Mr. Shaharyar Khan has written in his article. I just want to ask him that if you were aware of such things why did not you take some strict action, why did you let the things be the way they were, if you could not do anything why did not you simply resign citing your differences. The same is the case with all the other chiefs that we have had and all the others that we will have. Its better just to forget cricket as we have forgotten hockey and squash and other sports.

  • Vas on March 26, 2007, 3:31 GMT

    Until the priorities of the BCCI and the PCB shift to cricketing aptitude rather than financial endorsements, Indian and Pakistani will be perenially stuck in this state. The respective boards have showed the unwillingness to compromise their own financial profit for the sake of the cricket team. Personally, I dont believe any sport athletes deserve the kind of sums they enjoy. Definitely not after performances in the 2007 World Cup.

    You are quite right in your perceptions Kamran. Unfortunately though, you speak as an optimist that the future can be brighter for both Indian and Pakistani cricket. The men who run these organisations are businessmen whose interest lie only in the money they make, not the results the cricket team yields. And they are businessmen who have such pulling power in the Powers-That-Be, so who exactly is in a position to take them down? Only more businessmen, whose interest lie along similar lines.

    Unless there is a radical upheaval of the BCCI and the PCB, this merry-go-round of mediocrity will continue, and Indian and Pakistani fans will continue to bemoan their team's lack of success. Mind you, I think they play a major problem as well, with their unabashed fanaticism of the game. Maybe if they were to boycott the game and resist taking part in the profiteering schemes of the BCCI and PCB, then maybe the interests may just shift slightly to cricket...

  • Caroline on March 26, 2007, 3:12 GMT

    I read this articel with interest. While not being in the postion to really comment on the accusations, I find them somewhat ironic in light of the the criticisms made against the Australian team by Indian and Pakistani commentators and fans for years, particularly recently from Sunil Gavasksar, about their arrogance and poor sportsmanship.

    Perhaps Gavaskar might now eat his words? In light of the ast year, I really don't think either India or Pakistan, especially Pakistan, are in any position to talk about poor sportsmanship and genteel behaviour, even without agreeing with the point of view expressed in this article.

    As for arrogance, maybe it is the cultural differences, but I don't see the much vaunted humility and gentility that many subcontinental fans and writers say their players possess, unlike the Aussies. I see "living in an ivory tower" petted princes who lack a real work and team ethic, what australians call working class ethics. What you call arrogance inthe Aussies, I call enormous self-belief and confidence that comes not from class and privilege, but from years and years of very hard work amongst the toughest competion, and from strong team bonding, from supportive " mateship".

    Yes, the Australian team aren't perfect, but they are professional, and they play for team and for their team pride as much as for themselves. That is what creates their high standards. And when they lose or play badly, they don't immediately then blame it on someone else.

    Yes, do go and watch them and the other professionals in the next few weeks, India and Pakistan. I don't think the Cup will be devalued by your absence, but by the "unsporting" attitudes that lead to your exits.

  • Zarak Khan on March 26, 2007, 3:03 GMT

    Let us look on the bright side of things.One Day Cricket is like a pyjama;every one fits into it.

    Nobody travels on the road to success without a puncture or two. You cannot make Omelets without breaking the eggs.

    However, you've got to choose between tightening your belt or losing your pants.

    When you fall on your back side the only place you can look is up.

    Compliments to Navjot Sidhu for his wisdom

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg VA, USA on March 26, 2007, 2:59 GMT

    Out go the Giants

    The giants of the sub-continent had exposed their soft bellies and the minnows did not flinch to take their prized scalps. Both Bangladesh and Ireland deserve to play in the Super 8, much to the chagrin of the shocked Indian and Pakistani fans.

    In any competition, Goliath can be vanquished by David and both India and Pakistan should not be depressed by their early exit. The boards, selectors and officials instead of tendering resignation and taking responsibility for the poor performance of their teams, should professionally analyze the reasons behind the poor performance of their teams in WC 2007 and take appropriate measures to prevent a repetition of such shocking display in the future competitions including the next World Cup.

    The Cricket control Boards in Pakistan and India have to address the issues responsible for the early exit of their teams, which were being described as leading contenders for WC 2007. Even as a lay man, after watching their performance in the Champions Trophy, I did not think India or Pakistan had any potential to win the World Cup 2007. Even than, I had hoped like millions of other fans that both these teams will go to the round of Super 8's. I still find it hard to swallow that India and Pakistan have been eliminated by the Minnows.

    Games are won by teams who have professional athletes, selected purely on grounds of merit and prepared to play to their full potential.

    The Indian and Pakistani teams relied on their aging stars, who failed to deliver in the hour of crisis. Under stress, the teams crumbled and allowed opponents with lesser names and lowest rankings to conquer and eject them from the tournament.

    Cricket is a professional sport and teams have to be built around professionals, who can be counted on delivering a consistent and predictable performance. A mix of young and old is not bad at all, provided the best talent is on display and the world can applaud the spirit of every member in a cricketing squad committed to play at the highest possible level.

    If India and Pakistan can learn from their mistakes, overhaul their boards, improve their selection process and put in place a clean and effective management system, these two teams will come back strongly to stun the very best in World Cricket.

  • Peter on March 26, 2007, 2:58 GMT

    It is ironic that the two countries who play the most one day international cricket and place the greatest importance on it will be missing from the competition proper. The nature of cricket is that upsets are always a possibility and every major cricket country has suffered a loss to a minnow at some point over the last few years. It is just that Pakistan and India were unfortunate that it happened at the World Cup. The more disturbing trend is the burning of photos and stoning of houses has now almost become accepted as the norm following losses. This all combines to make create pressure on the players, who after all, don't lose cricket matches on purpose.

  • Abdul Waheed - USA on March 26, 2007, 2:44 GMT

    Kamran,

    First, let me start by saying I have never felt so much pain in my heart at the demise of anyone whom I had no relation and had never met. It was first Wasim Raja last year and now Bob Woolmer. Loss against Ireland became irrelevant after I learnt the news of Woolmer’s Demise. Still, it got worst after Jamaican Police conformed that some cruel hands took his life manually. Like many of your other readers I can not wait to see justice handed to those who have committed this heinous crime.

    Now, to your Blog I would rather say “Minnows trying to walk into Giant Shows”. Ever observed a child trying to walk into his or her Father, Mother Older Brother or Older Sister’s shows? How happy the child feels taking few steps in Giant shows only to trip over and get hurt. All children love to walk and act like elders. It has never happened that a child’s feet grew bigger overnight just because he/she tried his/her elder’s shows the night before. Similarly, minnows may have spoilt Giant’s party at the world cup (and yes, I agree with you the Giants have themselves to blame rather then the skills of these minnows) but to me, these upset results would do more harm than good to the game. Should the sport be promoted among associate teams? Yes. Should these minnows be allowed to participate in a competition of the magnitude of World Cup? Absolutely not! All it will do give the cricketers and followers of these minnows a false notion that they are ready to lock their horns in all kinds of Bull fights, only to get batter and bruise time and again. For years, I, among many other followers especially from the sub continent believed we have the talent therefore we could rule the cricketing world the way other top teams have. We could be like Australia. But boy, harsh reality hit like a Heavy weight punches a light weight out of the ring. After being hit and thrown out of the ring many times, I now firmly believe that talent and good wishes alone are never going to make Pakistan and Indian cricket teams dislodge Australia from its rightful place. If any team is going to dislodge them from top spot for a considerable period of time will be a team that will improve on all standards set by Australians on and off the field. For this, we have to go through a rigorous grind of what you have mentioned in your blog.

    There are no short cuts for the Giants.

    There will be no Short Cuts for the Minnows.

  • Abdul Sajwani on March 26, 2007, 2:42 GMT

    I'm not so sure what to make of your artical Kamran. What I agree with is the ideal of meritocracy. The strength of Australia, Sth African and even England & NZ has come from hard fought domestic competition. No player in the top side feels safe while hearing how well players in the domestic comp are playing.. just look at how old hussey was and how well he was performing before he could get into the Aussie Side.

    We must adopt a strategy of what we know, not who we know.

    Finally I am deeply disturbed at the death of Bob Woolmer. I don't know if I can continue to support Pakistan after such a case. I would have assumed top level security for the coach of a such a volatile nation. We honestly didn't deserve him... if he can take 1/3 the salary of his neighbour coach, accept all the politics of our system, work around our arrogance, accept failure where there shouldnt' have been any, then should we really repay him and his family with this grief..

    With India out now as well, we should really be looking at what you earlier commented on a couple of days ago on wether or not commercialism is being prioritized higher than performance. I'm sure ESPN is right now..

    But congrats to Ireland, they look the goods and well done to bangladesh, they're now about as old as Sri-Lanka was before they started to make a mark on world cricket and I think mohd ashraful is wonderful batsmen.

  • T. Varadaraj on March 26, 2007, 2:40 GMT

    I can't speak for Pakistan but you may as well kiss cricket in India goodbye after it was taken over by a third-rate politician. It'll go the way of hockey, football and athletics.

    Until and unless there is an air-tight law banning politicians or their cronies from controlling sports-bodies, India will not win any international trophies.

  • Adnan Haq on March 26, 2007, 2:39 GMT

    This 'preparing for the next WC' baloney should end. Professional sides should make it their mission statement to win each and every tournament. Until India and Pakistan focus on excellence rather than WC success there will be no end to this quadrennial madness

  • Harris on March 26, 2007, 2:35 GMT

    When Pakistan failed to make the super six stage in the 2003 World Cup, all Pakistani fans were given the hope that the preparations for the 2007 event had begun. For four long years we waited to see those preparations in the field and saw Pakistani team hit rock bottom. My prediction is that nothing will change in the next four years. The knee jerk reaction of sidelining the senior players in the name of grooming a fighting unit will fall on its face once more. After trying all gimmicks, foreign coaches, religiosity, computer analysis and seminars; maybe its time we tried something more basic like professionalism. Instead of crediting Allah for wins and blaming Qismet for defeats, maybe we should try teamwork and never say die attitude. 1992 World Cup winning team had no foreign coach, didn't have the luxury of computer analysis of opponents and they didn't have an overdose of religion for the team. What they did have was a captain who refused to surrender, an experienced street fighter as a pillar of middle order batting and a team that was lead from the front. I think it's time to try that recipe once more.

  • penheiro on March 26, 2007, 2:31 GMT

    Yes, Bangladesh!! This South Asian minnow turned giant is not an overnight phenomenon. It has its deep roots to a long learning-mentoring dependency of it neighbors India and Pakistan.

    Although I've not been following cricket as I did 6/7 years ago, I remember the days when WWs (Wasim and Waqar), and the likes of its contemporaries from Pakistan and India came to Dhaka, Bangladesh for coaching and mentoring its bretherns in the east. In turn, Bangladesh learnt how to apply such highly professional and unparallel skills in some big games.

    Their triumph against Pakistan and India in the later years proved that they were only learning through the mentorship of their idols and gurus - a testament of an evolution of cubs to tigers.

    South Asian cricket has come a long way. For the rest of the world cup '07, lets divert our focus to the two current 'giants' representing the region - the Lions and the Tigers. What other wild and tough personality do the world cup want from the south Asians. Its a pity that all eyes are still on the departed India and Pakistan.

    To all my Indian and Pakistani fans, lets root for the roaring lions (and don't forget the lesser wilder kind.. the tigers)!!

  • Taimur Huk on March 26, 2007, 2:27 GMT

    i think its a good thing that ind and pak are out of wc because they didn't show the fight and spirit required 2 win the cup. as far as pakistan is concerned, there is a long road ahead. alot of work has to be done. the first-class structure has to improve and we must have proper academies to train the players. we should also make different kinds of pitches other than flat pitches so that our batsmen improve their performance on these pitches. and we must arrest bookies around the country and get rid of match-fixing ONCE AND FOR ALL.

  • Muhammad Asif on March 26, 2007, 2:19 GMT

    I don't agree with you on the comments "The players, of course, have only themselves to blame (along with their cricket boards and their coaching staff) although being wrong footed in one encounter looks a harsh methodology to condemn these two great cricketing nations to four years of waiting". Because cricket is all about one; i.e; one ball, one run, one catch, one drop,..etc. Again our own pathetic approach, i.e; if we are out of the WC, the world will miss good criket. Again I would say, grow up dude, cricket would be at its best.

  • Waqas on March 26, 2007, 2:15 GMT

    Assalam u alaikum Kamran, Yes, I do agree with you when you say that these two teams didn't play as well as they could have. Infact, both of them played very very bad cricket. However, at the same time, I am not particularly impressed with the format of this WC too. It seems more of a knockout than anything else. As you said, 12 matches will do down the drain with Ireland and Bangladesh playing. Upsets do occur now and then but to banish teams on account of one upset is truly unfair. Remember, Zim beat SA and Ban beat Pak in 1999 but both SA and Pak played so well that one reached the final and other the semi-final. SL were also beaten by Kenya in 2003 but they also reached the semis. Heck, even the mighty Australians were beaten by Ban in an ODI less than 2 years ago. On account of this year's format, all these teams would never have made it so far. I seriously feel that the ICC should have made a less stringent format than they have come up.

  • Ravi on March 26, 2007, 2:13 GMT

    Dear Kamran,

    You must be joking when you talk about meritocracy (Definitely not in India especially when politicians or people with vested interests run cricket boards).

    In addition to this, you have regional factions, political factions, quota systems etc, etc.

    India got what they thoroughly deserved. Indian batting superstars, barring a few, are all flat track bullies.

    MONEY IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF ALL EVIL. Put an end to this & cricket might reach the glory days again.

  • CS on March 26, 2007, 2:12 GMT

    Well all left to say is that both the teams have to start preparing for the next one in four years and definitely there will be some new faces in the team and also in the management

  • Awais Ahmad on March 26, 2007, 2:10 GMT

    I agree. I am pakistani, and do think that its good for future of Cricket that Pakistan and India are not going through. Its time to face reality. Cricket indeed is losing its soul, and the irate obsessive effergy burning fans of india and pakistan are not helping. It is but a just a sport.

    I am glad we are both out so that we can spend 4 years reflecting on what has happened here. Every cricket fan who has played backyard cricket or at any other level should ask themselves why they keep playing the late cut when it always gets them out, instead of throwing objects at the cricket players's homes.

  • Dinesh on March 26, 2007, 2:05 GMT

    Mr Abbassi,

    I think you have hit the nail on the head on this issue.

    I agree with every facet of your critique on the respective teams bar one.

    Understandably the prospects of having the likes of matches such as India vs Aus or Pak vs South Africa etc, would be exciting, and would look pretty at face value and on drawcards. But all this would determine is the vast gap in quality when comparing players and administration from Pakistan and India to that of the other top 8 nations.

    They do not deserve to scrape through when they are beaten and beaten comprehensively by these so called minnow teams.

    At the end of the day the world cup is about the best team that performs, not about the names of the countries these players represent, because if this were truly the case then I think India and Pakistan would be two very disgraced nations, a view which I do not hold.

    There is an air of arrogance and a problem of corruption that India an Pakistan Cricket must come to terms with. Otherwise results like these will become the norm, and these two countries will sadly, if not already, become the laughing stock of world cricket.

  • Waseem Ahmad on March 26, 2007, 2:02 GMT

    I was hoping that any one of South Asian teams would bring the world cup home. This would make the next world cup very interesting as this region would be hosting and defending the cup. With the shocking elimination of Pakistan and India, the onus is onto Sri Lanka now. Bangladesh has done well but they are still a long way from reaching the final. Pakistan has been eliminated for its poor leadership. I am sure they have a very good captain in Yunus Khan available to them. They will definitely rebound.

  • Satya on March 26, 2007, 1:49 GMT

    Rightly said so, however, more than Pakistan, India will feel the heat. There are several unbiased reasons for this. First of all, the huge amount of commercial advertisment and sponsorship money that went into the hopes of India winning the world cup. Up to 3000 crores were invested, and this amount is angering the fans too. But the fans do not care too much about the financial aspects as much as the loss of respect for this sport in a cricket mad nation. Pakistan never looked like a team urging with confidence and a well prepared team, with controversies regarding Shoaib Akhtar and Mohd Asif having hit the team hard. There was unrest among the players always and no such unity and I always believed this was never Pakistan's world cup. Although I was pretty shocked when they were handed the defeat by the Irish, I expected them to qualify for the super eight stage easily. Then again, it horrifies me to say this, but I firmly believe the betting mafia is behind this loss. But, the failure behind India is not that the players did not care, but the administration and the FANS themselves that have pampered them too much and made them bigger than the "Bollywood" stars. In terms of quality Ricky Ponting matches and even goes par the quality possessed by Sachin Tendulkar, yet he is the highest paid cricketer in the world with more than 50% of that salary coming from advertising revenues! How many advertisements do you see Ricky Ponting in? None. The difference between Australia's management and India's management is there aim. BCCI is like a "cash cow" and just wants to be rich at the expense of pride and integrity. Australia wants to develop the finest players in the world so that when they play the sport everybody knows who they playing against. Half of the job of getting the victory by Australia is done when a country knows they going to play against Australia. That is so because those countries know that when they step on to that circular field, they are gonna expect nuthing less than ruthless agression. Australia will never succumb under pressure and that is why the opposition knows that the only way to beat them is to be better than them on that day. India possesses the quality of players but doesnt possess a well unified team. They succumb easily under pressure. 48/2 and you know that the team is done and they are goona loose. Australia wont even say die if they are 48/9 Down. Brett Lee will come and hit 50 runs and save there face. As a true Indian cricket fan, I do not loathe India's loss every country loses, but I hate the way they lose and do not committ towards the game. There is no fighting spirit, they decide the game evern before its over. THEY SELF DESTRUCT! What I fear is, there will be changes to the team and a lot of other repecurssions, but after few months when India plays a new series and the world cup fever is gone, BCCI will be back to its normal roots of "MONEY MAKING" and fans will forget whatever happened and cheer on their so called GODS. Very few true cricket fans like me will actually understand now that "I SHALL NOT WASTE MY MOMENTS OF LIFE IN SUPPORTING CORRUPTION; BUT ONLY THE SPORT ITSELF!"

  • EAMIRAN on March 26, 2007, 1:45 GMT

    My, my ---- from euphoric articles where Pakistan was the only team capable of beating Australia to this! However, you have finally got it right - we are rapidly being left behind in both forms of International cricket.

    Even though it may be a favourite topic of subcontinental sports writers and its incompetent cricket administrators, let us not dwell and write on the next World Cup as it is 4 years away. How many times have we heard. years in advance, that "this game-or-that (no matter how meaningless) was good preparation for the World Cup". Does everything have to revolve around the World Cup? Is it the sun and are we the planets circling around it? In which case Australia must be Jupiter, SA Saturn, and Pakistan (pls feel free to interchange with India)must be Uranus (pun intended!) Instead, as suggested, Pakistan should concentrate on "structural and attidunal reform", it's immediate schedule, and more importantly on real cricket (yes - Test cricket!).

    P.S. If anyone suggests that Shahid Afridi should become the next captain of our cricket team, should bungee of Minar-E-Pakistan without the cord. In my opinion, this single celled being is one of the reasons our young batsmen have adopted a "lapaytoo" style of batting.

  • Muzafar on March 26, 2007, 1:39 GMT

    It could be a Blessing in disguise. Now atleast, we will be back to drawing boards(very important) and prepare some good enough plan for the years to come.

    i got an idea.. let the RUDE teams play ALONE in the carrabian! and start our OWN world cup!!! both teams are free now :). The best thing: both India and Pakistan will be in the Final and a subcontinental team will win :D!!!

  • Dan of Brisbane on March 26, 2007, 1:37 GMT

    I would support the termination of Pakistan's current status as a cricketing nation, and drop them to Associate nation status, either for a set period (i.e. six months to a year) or until they get their act together both as an administration and as a team. It will only do them good, and that will subsequently do good for world cricket. Also it should give the Associates the decent competition they have been crying out for (i.e. Kenya).

    India would be put on probabation, however the same result would apply if significant changes to Administration and subsequently the team were not made within a period of say six months to a year. A further assessment would be made at the end of this period, and if the situation had not improved, they would be relegated to Associate status like Pakistan. Again it would only do them good.

    Zimbabwe would of course have it's status completely revoked and a ban put on matches against the country. Zimbabwe is currently on the verge of civil war, and until their problems are revolved it would be criminal of the ICC to turn a blind eye.

    Bangladesh and Ireland should be rewarded for their efforts in this World Cup by the ICC, by providing them with more matches in their home countries. It is a prime opportunity for the ICC to promote the game, but the window will close if they do not act quickly.

  • Samir on March 26, 2007, 1:34 GMT

    Now hold on there........i dont get it y the world cup is given so much importance????i mean yeah it is the biggest tournament in the sport of cricket but its not the only thing.....the 4 years in between world cups are not only to build up for the next world cup .many other important tournaments also take place during this time.......getting knocked out from the world up does not mean the end of the world!!!!!!!!!

  • najib zaman on March 26, 2007, 1:33 GMT

    well its about time PCB and BCCI will come to some sense. i just wonder like we could probably make a TV show like "the next great cricketer" something like that to get around ur country and look around for more talent and I am sure we will find some great cricketers in our country who will make our country proud.

  • Behl on March 26, 2007, 1:18 GMT

    No matter how badly Pak and India played OR you can say how good their opponents were on that day, I would put 100% blame on ICC. More than 1 Billion passionate fans in the two countries, people deserve better than three games to watch in the current format of WC. We all know upsets could happen at any stage, and match fixing cannot be ruled out either, regardless neither Bangladesh nor Ireland are better teams overall than Pak and India. This WC comes after four years and majority of cricket lovers were deprived watching the premium cricket tournament by having groups and qualifying requirements for the top ICC test nations.

    We already have such grouped format called ICC knockout tournament that we witnessed in 2006, WC is something that would have given a world champion title and ICC should not forget that Pak did manage to win the WC in 1992 after being almost out of the tournament. I believe the idea of Super8 came from failures of ICC from previous WC in 2003 where unfortunately South Africa was left out with Kenya going into the semi finals due to stupid rules. However ICC failed to realize the upset factor and hence failed to realize that we may not get the top 8 ranked teams by ICC in super8.

    My recommendation would be to scrap the group system completely. Have the minnows play in groups and practice games with test nations. Super8 should be the top 8 teams in the past four year’s performance and shall play round robin to truly judge who is superior. Minnows, ICC can bring two top minnows based on the group performance into super8 or super10. Current Super8 will definitely represent true winner as it’s a round robin format, unfortunately, you will not have the two strong teams with maximum number of viewers participating in this battle.

    I am sure and everyone would agree, teams tend to bounce back and have done so in the past given the opportunity. In 2007 WC, such opportunity was not presented to India and Pakistan. I am Indian fan and I really wanted to see how India would have performed against all top ICC teams, which was deprived due to idiotic rules of ICC. I hope ICC would learn from this mistake and correct the future of cricket, they better learn as they would be losing 70% of total estimated revenues by not having India and Pakistan participating in the True world cup stage.

  • Rajan on March 26, 2007, 1:16 GMT

    pak cricket has recd more than its fair share of criticism...most of the post ireland reactions were overreactions. fact is, they were ranked 3, before the world cup, for quite a long period of time...that they slipped in one match doesnt indicate that teams like NZ, SL, Eng and WI have become better.

  • Hasan on March 26, 2007, 1:15 GMT

    I think the truly depressing thing about the disgusting state of Pakistani cricket today is that it is really a microcosm into our equally disgusting society. We as Pakistanis keep trying to look at cricket as the only thing that is above the rot in our society, and hold these players to higher standards than we hold our politicians, civil servants and generals. These guys are also Pakistanis and they have grown up in the same depraved society. I agree with you Kamran...... in four years the Pakistani team will be held to the same unreasonable standards and will fail once again.

  • Moazzam on March 26, 2007, 1:09 GMT

    Only thing I agree with is that Super 8 stage is deprived of 11 not 12 heavy weight matches. Bangladesh has beated Australia in England. Any team can lose one-day match and thats what happened with India and Pakistan. I am sure, they are capable to win next 20 matches in a row against Bandladesh and Ireland without any problem.

  • Razi Ahmed - USA on March 26, 2007, 1:04 GMT

    This blog is an eye-opener to the cricketing authorities in Pakistan. We have failed miserably in every sports, we know that how much resources have been allocated to 16 people. This is not only failure of our cricket team but also a true reflection of our system. We have been ruled by two percent majority of this country who learned all the rules from west but never implemented anything in Pakistan. Criket is an industry like IT to be run as Microsoft Corporation. We need a corporation run by Marketing, Finance, Organization major guys

  • Ashaq on March 26, 2007, 0:49 GMT

    I think we should be discussing the trial by Media that is taking place off not only the team.But Pakistan as an entire nation.

  • Ali Hasan - Boston, MA on March 26, 2007, 0:47 GMT

    I have been discussing the format of this tournament for some time now and to most that I've talked to the format is too harsh on a team for just one bad day. I'm glad that you've raised this point. Some might call it an excuse asking why only India and Pakistan had to see that one bad day. But it can be safely claimed that no matter how incompetent these two sides were, they were at least good enough to be in the super 8's. An elimination from there would have surely happened, for both weren't good enough to get to the semis (At least Pakistan wasn't, India was actually one of the strongest team on paper going into the tournament).

    We all know how ruthless every other side will be in the next round, and it's safe to bet that Ireland will go home without a triumph. Although, Bangladesh are strong enough to upset at least England and New Zealand, they will definitely not make it to the semis. It is therefore useless to have a format that doesn't take into account factors such as a bad toss or a green top with a cloud cover or several other things that can really cause a major upset. Super 8's is supposed to have the eight best teams of the tournament against each other. We can now ask, are Ireland & Bangladesh two of the best teams in the tournament? The format should have aided in selection of the best teams. It was instead put forward as means of fitting in the minnows.

  • Najeeb Huda on March 26, 2007, 0:42 GMT

    "But the tournament has been stripped of twelve heavyweight encounters."

    My foot. If Pakistan and India were both comprehensively beaten by Bangladesh and Ireland, what chances do you think they would have had in the Super 8's? They would have gotten rolled over by the other "heavyweights" just they got rolled over by West Indies and Sri Lanka.

    End of story.

  • Alfie on March 26, 2007, 0:37 GMT

    Arithmetic error - the tournament has been stripped of eleven heavyweight games (if at all that), not twelve.

  • Wasim zahid from karachi on March 26, 2007, 0:28 GMT

    I guess both pakistan and india should be more and more agressive and professional in their approach if they want to survive in international circuit as heavy weights.Otherwise both of them have seen what their future is going to be if they are taking defensive decisions,having aged players,defensive captains,poor management.Now i would like to talk about pakistan,first of all i think they must have a strict and agressive person as Chairman of cricket board,more like touqeer zia rather than Shehryar or Ashraf..etc ..i think intikhab alam should be the new coach,younis khan or shoaib malik captain.only 100% fit players must be there.No more compromises on fitness atleast,then salman butt should be back in the side,he is the most talented of the openers and future captain(going to be the 1st agressive captain of pakistan after a long time inshalah).He and malik should be the openers,middle order is fine.now i ll like to say that shoaib and asif are more responsible for this defeat,they must be punished atleast.

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  • Wasim zahid from karachi on March 26, 2007, 0:28 GMT

    I guess both pakistan and india should be more and more agressive and professional in their approach if they want to survive in international circuit as heavy weights.Otherwise both of them have seen what their future is going to be if they are taking defensive decisions,having aged players,defensive captains,poor management.Now i would like to talk about pakistan,first of all i think they must have a strict and agressive person as Chairman of cricket board,more like touqeer zia rather than Shehryar or Ashraf..etc ..i think intikhab alam should be the new coach,younis khan or shoaib malik captain.only 100% fit players must be there.No more compromises on fitness atleast,then salman butt should be back in the side,he is the most talented of the openers and future captain(going to be the 1st agressive captain of pakistan after a long time inshalah).He and malik should be the openers,middle order is fine.now i ll like to say that shoaib and asif are more responsible for this defeat,they must be punished atleast.

  • Alfie on March 26, 2007, 0:37 GMT

    Arithmetic error - the tournament has been stripped of eleven heavyweight games (if at all that), not twelve.

  • Najeeb Huda on March 26, 2007, 0:42 GMT

    "But the tournament has been stripped of twelve heavyweight encounters."

    My foot. If Pakistan and India were both comprehensively beaten by Bangladesh and Ireland, what chances do you think they would have had in the Super 8's? They would have gotten rolled over by the other "heavyweights" just they got rolled over by West Indies and Sri Lanka.

    End of story.

  • Ali Hasan - Boston, MA on March 26, 2007, 0:47 GMT

    I have been discussing the format of this tournament for some time now and to most that I've talked to the format is too harsh on a team for just one bad day. I'm glad that you've raised this point. Some might call it an excuse asking why only India and Pakistan had to see that one bad day. But it can be safely claimed that no matter how incompetent these two sides were, they were at least good enough to be in the super 8's. An elimination from there would have surely happened, for both weren't good enough to get to the semis (At least Pakistan wasn't, India was actually one of the strongest team on paper going into the tournament).

    We all know how ruthless every other side will be in the next round, and it's safe to bet that Ireland will go home without a triumph. Although, Bangladesh are strong enough to upset at least England and New Zealand, they will definitely not make it to the semis. It is therefore useless to have a format that doesn't take into account factors such as a bad toss or a green top with a cloud cover or several other things that can really cause a major upset. Super 8's is supposed to have the eight best teams of the tournament against each other. We can now ask, are Ireland & Bangladesh two of the best teams in the tournament? The format should have aided in selection of the best teams. It was instead put forward as means of fitting in the minnows.

  • Ashaq on March 26, 2007, 0:49 GMT

    I think we should be discussing the trial by Media that is taking place off not only the team.But Pakistan as an entire nation.

  • Razi Ahmed - USA on March 26, 2007, 1:04 GMT

    This blog is an eye-opener to the cricketing authorities in Pakistan. We have failed miserably in every sports, we know that how much resources have been allocated to 16 people. This is not only failure of our cricket team but also a true reflection of our system. We have been ruled by two percent majority of this country who learned all the rules from west but never implemented anything in Pakistan. Criket is an industry like IT to be run as Microsoft Corporation. We need a corporation run by Marketing, Finance, Organization major guys

  • Moazzam on March 26, 2007, 1:09 GMT

    Only thing I agree with is that Super 8 stage is deprived of 11 not 12 heavy weight matches. Bangladesh has beated Australia in England. Any team can lose one-day match and thats what happened with India and Pakistan. I am sure, they are capable to win next 20 matches in a row against Bandladesh and Ireland without any problem.

  • Hasan on March 26, 2007, 1:15 GMT

    I think the truly depressing thing about the disgusting state of Pakistani cricket today is that it is really a microcosm into our equally disgusting society. We as Pakistanis keep trying to look at cricket as the only thing that is above the rot in our society, and hold these players to higher standards than we hold our politicians, civil servants and generals. These guys are also Pakistanis and they have grown up in the same depraved society. I agree with you Kamran...... in four years the Pakistani team will be held to the same unreasonable standards and will fail once again.

  • Rajan on March 26, 2007, 1:16 GMT

    pak cricket has recd more than its fair share of criticism...most of the post ireland reactions were overreactions. fact is, they were ranked 3, before the world cup, for quite a long period of time...that they slipped in one match doesnt indicate that teams like NZ, SL, Eng and WI have become better.

  • Behl on March 26, 2007, 1:18 GMT

    No matter how badly Pak and India played OR you can say how good their opponents were on that day, I would put 100% blame on ICC. More than 1 Billion passionate fans in the two countries, people deserve better than three games to watch in the current format of WC. We all know upsets could happen at any stage, and match fixing cannot be ruled out either, regardless neither Bangladesh nor Ireland are better teams overall than Pak and India. This WC comes after four years and majority of cricket lovers were deprived watching the premium cricket tournament by having groups and qualifying requirements for the top ICC test nations.

    We already have such grouped format called ICC knockout tournament that we witnessed in 2006, WC is something that would have given a world champion title and ICC should not forget that Pak did manage to win the WC in 1992 after being almost out of the tournament. I believe the idea of Super8 came from failures of ICC from previous WC in 2003 where unfortunately South Africa was left out with Kenya going into the semi finals due to stupid rules. However ICC failed to realize the upset factor and hence failed to realize that we may not get the top 8 ranked teams by ICC in super8.

    My recommendation would be to scrap the group system completely. Have the minnows play in groups and practice games with test nations. Super8 should be the top 8 teams in the past four year’s performance and shall play round robin to truly judge who is superior. Minnows, ICC can bring two top minnows based on the group performance into super8 or super10. Current Super8 will definitely represent true winner as it’s a round robin format, unfortunately, you will not have the two strong teams with maximum number of viewers participating in this battle.

    I am sure and everyone would agree, teams tend to bounce back and have done so in the past given the opportunity. In 2007 WC, such opportunity was not presented to India and Pakistan. I am Indian fan and I really wanted to see how India would have performed against all top ICC teams, which was deprived due to idiotic rules of ICC. I hope ICC would learn from this mistake and correct the future of cricket, they better learn as they would be losing 70% of total estimated revenues by not having India and Pakistan participating in the True world cup stage.