World Cup 2007 April 5, 2007

Bring on the calypso

Anybody who was awestruck by the West Indian teams of the 1970s and 1980s and captivated by the allure of calypso cricket will be bitterly disappointed
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Anybody who was awestruck by the West Indian teams of the 1970s and 1980s and captivated by the allure of calypso cricket will be bitterly disappointed. I remember the first time Sky showed a live Test series from the Caribbean, England were routed but the atmosphere that shone out of my television screen brightened many cold, dark evenings.

When the World Cup was awarded to the West Indies everybody expected to be touched by that same warmth, either in person or via HD, LCD, or cathode ray. Instead, the World Cup has served up a soulless experience, worsened by the death of Bob Woolmer, the elimination of India, Pakistan, and possibly West Indies, and a ticketing policy that has removed the atmosphere from the tournament. A conspiracy theorist might blame the ICC for all three of these calamities--for various reasons from match-fixing to bad planning--but that presumably would be unfair?

As a fan of West Indian cricket I want this World Cup to succeed. It still can. Belatedly, more imaginative ticketing policies are being implemented. This may be too little too late but let's hope not. There are still plenty of big matches to look forward to, and yesterday's thriller between England and Sri Lanka might be the turning point as teams become more desperate to secure points. Finally, West Indies can still qualify for the semi-finals, and I hope they do. Cricket needs to be strong in all four corners of the globe for it to grow as a sport, and anybody who loves cricket must want the West Indian team and their supporters to be a major force again.

And what's all this wishful thinking got to do with Pak Spin? Well, apart from a thrilling tournament being good for cricket and West Indian cricket in particular, I want those international losers from Pakistan (and India) to regret and curse every moment of their absence from this World Cup. I want them to view the levels of professionalism on display and understand what they need to do. I want them to be desperately hungry for success next time--so hungry that it hurts, just like it hurts their fans to see them out of the tournament.

For the sake of South Asia, bring on the pain, bring on the calypso.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kickingkinhgking95@yahoo.com on June 25, 2008, 10:45 GMT

    I'm ijaz from srilanka ,i would like 2 say to pcb please recall imran nazir and abdul razzak.we are waiting for see them in odis and t20 matches in Pakistan national side.

  • sathish kumar on April 13, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    Ultimately, what we look for is victory of this fantastic game called cricket. Let me give you a picture of an ideal world cup tournament that is based on the present format. The teams must be tied in terms of points after the super 8 and the semi finalists have to be decided on net runrate. The two semifinals must be like the 99 WC semifinal between SA and Australia and the 96 WC semifinal between Australia and West Indies. The final should be like the finals of the first WC held in 1975. I hope and wish that I would get to see a WC tournament like this in my life time. I don't care who makes it or who does not for I love the game above all.

  • Indo-Pak cricket fan on April 12, 2007, 14:21 GMT

    Here are my thoughts on the issue of captaincy of the Pakistan team. The names doing the rounds seem to be Inzi, Yousuf, Shoaib & Younus. In my opinion none of these chaps qualify. The first two are non-contenders for obvious reasons and enough has been said about them, Younus is reluctant and unpopular Shoaib dosn't have the acumen or experience to lead the team in this difficult phase. I you cap Shoaib you may actually land up loosing a good player who can contribute much more as a player. He is the fulcrum of the future Pakistan team and there is a need to preserve him at this time. This is the time to think out of the box and find somebody like how New Zealand found Lee Germone from nowhere (short stint but reasonably successful captain) or like how SA picked Smith virtually from oblivion. The need is to look into the domestic circuit and find a guy who has the intelligent and level headed to harness the wayward bunch.

  • Indo-Pak Cricket Fan on April 12, 2007, 14:02 GMT

    Ahmed I am glad you liked my post. FYI I write on a different blog on Indian Cricket. My thoughts on Indian cricket are much the same as Pakistan Cricket as you have rightly pointed out. Well the "mighty BCCI" may not remain mighty for long if the quality of cricket does not improve. You might not appreciate it but as an undying fan of Pakistan Cricket (my all time favorites are still Pakistanis Best Captain Ever: Imaran, Best Batsman Ever: Javed Miandad, Best Bowler ever: Wasim Akram) I will continue to speak my mind.

  • shuja zaidi on April 11, 2007, 21:30 GMT

    Pakistan cricket is in hot water,if some drastic deceisions are not made it will be like zimbabwaian cricket first of all make selection on merit which is impossible considering its Pakistan not Australia bring young blood i am surprised to see that we can not find decent batsman wicket keeper which is hard to believe if selectors search karachi with their eyes open i am sure they can find at least 100 wicket keeper batsmen 100 times better than the clown we got now bring Minadad back and Shoib Malik as a skipper.

  • Ayaz Arshad on April 11, 2007, 17:57 GMT

    My Choices are following:- if Nasim Ashraf is not resigning Selection Committe Chief:- Imran Khan Coach:- Javed Miandad/Aquib Javed(Domestic) Steve Waugh (International) Bowling Coach:- Wasim Akram Captain:- Younis Khan Incentives should be on performance basis not on seniority basis. Any incentive compensation expert can design that.. Fielding coach Johnty Rhodes or Azharuddin

  • WASIM SAQIB on April 11, 2007, 15:03 GMT

    Well if you guys dont have enough talent thats not our problem,the complexes you are carrying are not bcz of Punjab its your incompetence which is causing them. If you cannot have your guys selected by having all three members of selection committee from your province then I would say you guys are weak. first of all its not 9 out of 11 it is 5 out of 11 almost half the team,all I have been trying to advocate is that merit should be applied across the board,but you guys are operating on double standards,Shahid Afridi next Captain come on give me break is that merit? Ghaas Kha gaey ho kiya?

  • Hameed Masood on April 11, 2007, 9:13 GMT

    Wasim Sqib:

    You are making everyone laugh here dude. Of course you and your favorite province will be open hearted and open minded when it comes to cricket because the whole team is from punjab.

    I bet all the guys from Karachi and other places would also become open hearted if 9 out of 11 players in the Pakistan team are from Karachi and not Lahore.

    As for the selectors being from Karachi; since when did they hold any *real* power as all the ad hoc BS decision were pretty much made by INZI.

    And to all the people who think this is becoming a political forum. Why is it wrong to question the basic fundamental problem of Pakistan cricket.

    This topic should be openly debated and hopefully someday it actually may make a difference at the national cricket level. I think Merit has correctly point out the current makeup of the team in his earlier post and it should be further debated in public.

  • Shahid Faruqui, Detroit on April 11, 2007, 1:23 GMT

    Let us not turn this forum into political/racism forum. Yes... Merit should be enforced. I think Karachi is not producing top class cricketers, particularly batsmen due to socio-poilitical reasons and that has led to the fall of Pakistani cricket. Karachi used to provide good batsman and fast bowlers have come from Punjab typically. Karachi should give us at least one Miandad, Asif Iqbal and Zaheer Abbas level batsmen each year. This is not happening. I do not think it has got anything to do Punjab vs Non-Punjab. BTW Inzi is Multan born urdu speaking. So that is not an issue. Karachi lovers should accept that. The current problem is not having a structure and INZI. INZI has destroyed our cricket in the last two years. (PS: I am of the opinion that INZI is the best batsman Pakistan ever produced). Shoeb was gentleman that he played in English and Indian domestic series where dead pitches were prepared at the instruction of INZI, the moron. The captaincy is a real issue. I am not sure Younis is ready and suitable guy for the team leadership. I am of the opinion that if Afridi is made the captain, he will improve in batting but I do not know I cant say. Let us ask Imran and whatever he says we should do it. Religious actvities should be bare minimum in team matters. Of course, if someone wants to pray, so be it and if they want to pray in JAMAAT, so be it and that is it. DARS etc should be banned and TABLIGHI guys should not be allowed there. (PS: I am not against TAblighi JAmmat in general). Aqib should be given coaching job on temporary basis (one year)

  • shoaib saleem on April 11, 2007, 1:21 GMT

    shahid afridi should be a best choice then test match i think about younus khan will be awrong choice.he even did not deserve in the team.

  • kickingkinhgking95@yahoo.com on June 25, 2008, 10:45 GMT

    I'm ijaz from srilanka ,i would like 2 say to pcb please recall imran nazir and abdul razzak.we are waiting for see them in odis and t20 matches in Pakistan national side.

  • sathish kumar on April 13, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    Ultimately, what we look for is victory of this fantastic game called cricket. Let me give you a picture of an ideal world cup tournament that is based on the present format. The teams must be tied in terms of points after the super 8 and the semi finalists have to be decided on net runrate. The two semifinals must be like the 99 WC semifinal between SA and Australia and the 96 WC semifinal between Australia and West Indies. The final should be like the finals of the first WC held in 1975. I hope and wish that I would get to see a WC tournament like this in my life time. I don't care who makes it or who does not for I love the game above all.

  • Indo-Pak cricket fan on April 12, 2007, 14:21 GMT

    Here are my thoughts on the issue of captaincy of the Pakistan team. The names doing the rounds seem to be Inzi, Yousuf, Shoaib & Younus. In my opinion none of these chaps qualify. The first two are non-contenders for obvious reasons and enough has been said about them, Younus is reluctant and unpopular Shoaib dosn't have the acumen or experience to lead the team in this difficult phase. I you cap Shoaib you may actually land up loosing a good player who can contribute much more as a player. He is the fulcrum of the future Pakistan team and there is a need to preserve him at this time. This is the time to think out of the box and find somebody like how New Zealand found Lee Germone from nowhere (short stint but reasonably successful captain) or like how SA picked Smith virtually from oblivion. The need is to look into the domestic circuit and find a guy who has the intelligent and level headed to harness the wayward bunch.

  • Indo-Pak Cricket Fan on April 12, 2007, 14:02 GMT

    Ahmed I am glad you liked my post. FYI I write on a different blog on Indian Cricket. My thoughts on Indian cricket are much the same as Pakistan Cricket as you have rightly pointed out. Well the "mighty BCCI" may not remain mighty for long if the quality of cricket does not improve. You might not appreciate it but as an undying fan of Pakistan Cricket (my all time favorites are still Pakistanis Best Captain Ever: Imaran, Best Batsman Ever: Javed Miandad, Best Bowler ever: Wasim Akram) I will continue to speak my mind.

  • shuja zaidi on April 11, 2007, 21:30 GMT

    Pakistan cricket is in hot water,if some drastic deceisions are not made it will be like zimbabwaian cricket first of all make selection on merit which is impossible considering its Pakistan not Australia bring young blood i am surprised to see that we can not find decent batsman wicket keeper which is hard to believe if selectors search karachi with their eyes open i am sure they can find at least 100 wicket keeper batsmen 100 times better than the clown we got now bring Minadad back and Shoib Malik as a skipper.

  • Ayaz Arshad on April 11, 2007, 17:57 GMT

    My Choices are following:- if Nasim Ashraf is not resigning Selection Committe Chief:- Imran Khan Coach:- Javed Miandad/Aquib Javed(Domestic) Steve Waugh (International) Bowling Coach:- Wasim Akram Captain:- Younis Khan Incentives should be on performance basis not on seniority basis. Any incentive compensation expert can design that.. Fielding coach Johnty Rhodes or Azharuddin

  • WASIM SAQIB on April 11, 2007, 15:03 GMT

    Well if you guys dont have enough talent thats not our problem,the complexes you are carrying are not bcz of Punjab its your incompetence which is causing them. If you cannot have your guys selected by having all three members of selection committee from your province then I would say you guys are weak. first of all its not 9 out of 11 it is 5 out of 11 almost half the team,all I have been trying to advocate is that merit should be applied across the board,but you guys are operating on double standards,Shahid Afridi next Captain come on give me break is that merit? Ghaas Kha gaey ho kiya?

  • Hameed Masood on April 11, 2007, 9:13 GMT

    Wasim Sqib:

    You are making everyone laugh here dude. Of course you and your favorite province will be open hearted and open minded when it comes to cricket because the whole team is from punjab.

    I bet all the guys from Karachi and other places would also become open hearted if 9 out of 11 players in the Pakistan team are from Karachi and not Lahore.

    As for the selectors being from Karachi; since when did they hold any *real* power as all the ad hoc BS decision were pretty much made by INZI.

    And to all the people who think this is becoming a political forum. Why is it wrong to question the basic fundamental problem of Pakistan cricket.

    This topic should be openly debated and hopefully someday it actually may make a difference at the national cricket level. I think Merit has correctly point out the current makeup of the team in his earlier post and it should be further debated in public.

  • Shahid Faruqui, Detroit on April 11, 2007, 1:23 GMT

    Let us not turn this forum into political/racism forum. Yes... Merit should be enforced. I think Karachi is not producing top class cricketers, particularly batsmen due to socio-poilitical reasons and that has led to the fall of Pakistani cricket. Karachi used to provide good batsman and fast bowlers have come from Punjab typically. Karachi should give us at least one Miandad, Asif Iqbal and Zaheer Abbas level batsmen each year. This is not happening. I do not think it has got anything to do Punjab vs Non-Punjab. BTW Inzi is Multan born urdu speaking. So that is not an issue. Karachi lovers should accept that. The current problem is not having a structure and INZI. INZI has destroyed our cricket in the last two years. (PS: I am of the opinion that INZI is the best batsman Pakistan ever produced). Shoeb was gentleman that he played in English and Indian domestic series where dead pitches were prepared at the instruction of INZI, the moron. The captaincy is a real issue. I am not sure Younis is ready and suitable guy for the team leadership. I am of the opinion that if Afridi is made the captain, he will improve in batting but I do not know I cant say. Let us ask Imran and whatever he says we should do it. Religious actvities should be bare minimum in team matters. Of course, if someone wants to pray, so be it and if they want to pray in JAMAAT, so be it and that is it. DARS etc should be banned and TABLIGHI guys should not be allowed there. (PS: I am not against TAblighi JAmmat in general). Aqib should be given coaching job on temporary basis (one year)

  • shoaib saleem on April 11, 2007, 1:21 GMT

    shahid afridi should be a best choice then test match i think about younus khan will be awrong choice.he even did not deserve in the team.

  • R SJ on April 10, 2007, 21:40 GMT

    Aaqib Javed should be the next coach...n Shoaib Malik the Captain with Afridi as his deputy...that wud be some team...

  • Taufiq Yusuf on April 10, 2007, 19:50 GMT

    Now the time has come for the army to show to the country one more time that no one is capable in the country to do any thing . Therefore the patron should fire everyone in the PCB bring the new chairman,coach,captain and 22 players from the army Jawans. The army ruled the country for than 32 years out of 59 years since the creation of pakistan, let them bring martial law in cricket till the next world cup and see the results.

  • Craig Young on April 10, 2007, 17:54 GMT

    The Windies performance has been confounding in WC 07. They played spectacularly in the first three matches & then it appears as if they have decided to lie down & die.

    Something seems suspect to me here. Can anyone shed light on this mysterious loss of skill?

    I'm no expert but methinks there is great intrigue , calamity & drama backstage that is being displayed in the performance.

  • Ahmed on April 10, 2007, 17:00 GMT

    indo-pak fan amazing post but you might wanna give that brief lecture of yours to the worlds largest and richest governing body in cricket..you already know...

    the mighty BCCI

  • nadeem on April 10, 2007, 16:09 GMT

    Shoaib Malik as captain. and a team of coaching staff, comprising of batting coach bowling coach and fielding coach.

  • Fakhar Masood on April 10, 2007, 14:13 GMT

    Kamran Abbasi's colum about pakistan captain and coatch is pretty good. It would be hard to add anythihg to it however I think Miandad will be a wrong choice. He is too controversial and too quarlsome but probably the most capable. We need peace and hopefully no controversary.

    Aqib is probably the best choice but ther is nothing wrong if we put Intekhab as a consultant and employ both of them. Intekhab is good enough to work with anybody who wll treat him reasonably. Captian: I am not sure if anybody is fit for that position so let us get one from Australia or South Africa. Yousaf, Afridi, Younis are good folks but none appears to be cool enough to unite the team and get the job done. I believe Shohaib Malik may be the most intelligent of them all but I am not sure about his conduct. If he has the ability to unite the people and keep a low profile then he is the best choice. We do need two to three new players and hopefully as gpood fielders as Malik and Afridi. Teams should be built around the ability to field plus other abilities otherwise we will never catch Australia.

    Fakhar Masood Huntsville Alabama USA

  • oneMK on April 10, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    To Ali Khan "you dont have to be a rocket scientist to figure out which 4 teams are going to be in the simi finals".

    That may indeed be true. But if india and pak were there in the super 8s, the same 4 teams will still go to the semis. The way those two teams played prior to the WC and during the group stage they would have stood no chance in the super 8s.

    I still stick to my point of this being a really exciting world cup. Just look what BD did to the best ranked team in the world. Yes Aus NZ and possibly SL will go throug. That leaves ENG, WI SA and possibly BD fighting for the last place. Each and every game becomes a death match for those teams. DOES IT GET MORE COMPETITIVE THAN THAT????

    Unfortunetly IND and PAK were not good enough. It would have been a good thing for cricket, at least money wise it they were in the super 8s. But lest not eat sour grapes!!!! Support the world cup for it is one of the best in recent times!!! Well don those teams that moved on with times

  • Indo-Pak Cricket Fan on April 10, 2007, 10:31 GMT

    WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE BOY NEXT DOOR BECOMES A CELEBRITY ? Cricket is next to religion in the sub-continent. It's the shortest route to instant stardom. Imagine when your boy next door gets into the national team. A virtual nobody comes under immense scrutiny from a whole nation of cricket crazy people. This is where we as cricket fans have to think and think critically about whether it is a good to blood youngsters into the national team at an early age with virtually no organizational support ? Pakistan in particular has been prolific in bringing youngsters into the national team. But is the cricket board being fair to them ? Cricket requires mental strength apart from physical fitness to succeed at the highest level. It is easy to bask in the glory of adulation when a cricketer is in good form but all cricketers go through a lean patch. This is when mental strength comes into play. Are our youngsters equipped to face such situations ? At least is there adequate help available to them in such situations ? It is easy for you and me to write about how good or bad somebody played but have we been there and done it ? At one extream English Cricketers in the 90s were nearly in their early to mid 30s when they started representing the country and on the other end Pakistan had 16 year olds playing for them. I feel that a panel of experts including cricketers and sports psychologists must put down some criteria which will determine when a cricketer is ready to represent the country. If this is not done it I am afraid going to result in wastage of talent. This can happen when a cricketer is not ready to face the pressures leading to early to burn out.

  • Indo-Pak Cricket Fan on April 10, 2007, 9:00 GMT

    Hey guys I have a point to make regarding the so called "pitch conspiracy". Ok accepted they set up a green top for the Pak match with Ireland. But so what ? Isn't Pak supposed to be one of the top teams in the World ? Ireland a relatively babies and I can't believe that you can accept the theory that a mere green top was enough to bring the mighty Pakistani cricketers on the knees. You have to be a real looser to accept that theory. I am and Indian but have been an ardent fan of the Pakistani team especially in the 80s and 90s I used to admire the way young talent virtually appeared to grow on trees for them to be put to use by a brilliant captain. Having said that I recall Imran Khans statement that cricket in Pakistan is not sound enough at the grass roots level and that the system reeks of corruption. Imran was smart enough to pick talent literally from the streets and make them into world beaters but people like Imran come once in a century or probably once in the life time of cricket. Therefore what is necessary is a good process a good system which nurtures cricketers, a process that will survive even when greats like Imran are not around any more. I agree that lack of education can be a drawback when it comes to understanding the game at a higher level but the Cricket Board should take such youngsters under its wings and impart cricket skills which will encourage them to think strategically about the game. Sachin Tendulkar for instance barely passed his primary education but his family ensured that he learnt survival skills imagine how he have faced the immense adulation and scrutiny without such skills ? Unfortunately not every cricketer has access to such support. I think this is necessary to ensure that talented cricketers learn to manage the careers and also do not get carried away by success. Asif's is a classic case someone should have advised him about the traditional medicines he was consuming.... Anyways this is a wake up call for both Pakistan and India and I am sure they will come out as better teams if they adopt a positive approach. I am wondering if it would have been a good idea for India and Pak to play some cricket against each other now that they are anyways out of the World Cup. This would have helped both in the process of finding their team for the future.

  • M. Nawaz Janjua, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. on April 10, 2007, 8:19 GMT

    ASSALMO ALAIKUM,

    West Indies have only 20% chance for semi-finals. I doubt if they can avail it. But, WC on the whole seems like a bordem now with the death of BOB Whoolmer, Pakistan & India out of WC, empty stands & problems of ticketing etc.

    Mr. Rafique Elahi, Lahore, I am agreed with you that this is the most bore WC I have ever seen (We are not even watching just listening sometimes). ICC have tried to copy Football WC format for the Cricket WC which is not at all appropriate. We have very few good teams in Cricket as compared to Football which is having lots of good contenders all over the world. They are bound to make Groups but in Cricket we have only 10 Test Playing teams plus 4 so called minnows (which ICC is thrusting in the tournament just to increase the numbers). In the beginning, if 2 or 3 good teams are out of the tournament and you are depriving the interest of half of the world cricket fans then what is left in the rest of the tournament. The exit of only 2 teams Pakistan & India has left nothing in the WC for more than a billion of people. This is a bad example of managing a world class tournament. They must have made two Groups having 8 teams each and then let the Super-8s OR Super-6s should emerge or 4 teams could go to the semi-finals. At least, each and every team must have the full opportunity to try its abilities. They may lose 2 or 3 of their initial matches but can have the chance to make a place in the next round. Now, you can watch the empty stands in most of the matches in West Indian Stadiums as a result of the bad ICC format for WC. I hope this format should not be repeated in the future WCs, otherwise, you would witness the same hopeless story again.

    I request Mr. KAMRAN to bring this matter of WC FORMAT in black & white so that ICC should not be repeating the current format again.

    Also, I would like to ask Mr. KAMRAN also why 2 of my comments were not included in this blog? Because! they were having a little religious stuff inside. I don't think that Mr. KAMRAN puts aside anything having religious discussions in relation to cricket. Whenever, somebody would comment against the religious matters, it is our duty to explain the things. May be by mutual discussions, we could become good Muslims & human beings too. I know this is a pure cricket blog but being Muslims, we can never put back our religion which is having a base for humanity.

    Now, it is the turn of Mr. P. J. Mir, Pakistan's Media Manager to blame the players for overdosing themselves with religion. Religions & Sports/games are not enemies what some of the experts are trying to prove always. Religion teaches patience, control & endurance (sportsmanship) to play the games in a good environment and restricts the players to display any type of aggressions during various unwanted situations. I can bet that religious minds would deal with all the activities of life (including sports, education, research etc.) in an appropriate and balanced way because it is the religion which has created the most balanced personalities in the world. We can give the example of our Prophet (SAWS) who is recognized as the best even by Non-Mulsims [Read Michael H. Hart's book "100 Top Personalities" in which he has ratified the Prophet "MUHAMMAD" (SAWS) as No.1.].

    My point is again the same that the "PRAYER" does not make any harm to the qualities of a player. Rather, it creates & enhances the best sportsman. We have the examples of Yousuf & Inzamam. I have a firm believe that even now they are very good sportsmen. They are never involved in any kind of aggressions & stupid talkings like many players who are always passing bad comments to others. This is the prime lesson of our religion that one should not utter any bad feelings/remarks to others in any circumstances (and even in the game) rather he should talk through his game. Mr. P. J. Mir is also one of those who is afraid of prayers/religion just for nothing. He is trying to be more cricketer than Muslim. But, it wouldn't be of any help. He is trying to find the reasons for Pakistan defeats in the WC like others. Please look at your technical shortcomings and limitations and don't blame the religion always.

    Why can't we try to be good Muslim cricketers? Give the players more confidence and trust. Don't degrade them. You cannot save your skin by blaming. If they do not have enough place to pray in the hotel (with JAMAAT) where they will pray? in the ground of course and while during practice if the time of prayer has approached, they are not going to cancel their practice and go to the hotel rooms just for praying. It is better if they can manage at the practice place for 15 minutes and that's all. What is the harm in this? What the hell people have in their minds? Why they are stressing players not to pray while playing cricket? Prayer is an obligation to Allah and the Cricket is just a game. Why can't we afford 2-3 hours out of 24 hours for five (5) prayers? My goodness what the hell is happening to us? Our own Muslim brothers are criticizing and writing against religion. Only becasue they are not praying while playing cricket. They are trying to prove that they are very loyal to their duties while totally forgetting Allah's orders & requirements. Even if you are on your duty, you have to pray in the specific times. You cannot skip it. You may delay it only in certain specific situations.

    Please don't make it an issue. Try to find an acceptable solution which should cover the religious practice and cricket together. Be a religious cum cricketing leaders. At least, believe in your dead coach Mr. BOB WOOLMER's belief that he was seeing no harm in players praying together, rather he confirmed that they seem to act like a unit which is enhancing their collaboration on the filed. Try to be realistic please and don't find Pakistan defeat's excuses in the religion.

    I am not sure whether Mr. KAMRAN would include in this blog?

    ALLAH HAIFZ & WASSALAM

  • WASIM SAQIB on April 10, 2007, 1:19 GMT

    Well since people dont do their home work before they write on this blog here are the ODIS stats for the key players for 2006-2007.

    In 2006-07 younis khan played 12 Odis scored 232 at an average of 19.33 with a highest of 93 which was his only score above 50. what a performance?

    In 2006-07 Shahid Afridi played 8 matches scored 138 runs at an average of 19.30 with one score of over 50 which was 77 however he took 9 wickets at an average of 24.66 again his average is consistent with his other pushtoon blood mate.

    Mohammad yousaf played 13 matches scored 453 runs with highest of 101 and two fifties,pretty good by Punjab standards but does not appeal non Punjabis I dont know why.

    Shoaib Malik played 15 matches scored 406 runs at an average of 45.11 took 6 wickets had 3 scores above 50, again pretty good but not enough to impress the Non punjabis.

    Inzi played 11 matches scored 190 runs highest of 45 at an average of 27.14 still better than Younis Khan and Afridi, Inzi was out of form and had a problem with self confidence or probably he put too much of faith in Younis who stabbed him in the back.

    Razzak played 12 matches scored 152 at an average of 19.00 took 9 wickets at an average of 44. Average of 19 not good by Punjabi standards should be axed from the team.

    As far as the bowlers were concerned Rana Naveed was the leading wicket taker with 12 matches 14 W best of 4/32 at an ave of 32,Umar gull played 9 matches took 12 wickets 3/36best at an average of 24.25 clearly the best bowler,sami played 5 matches took 6 wickets at an average of 31.33 close to his buddy Rana Naveed. Rao Iftikhar played 10 matches took 11 wickets at an average of 29.36 was as impresive as Umar gul. Danish only played 2 matches took 3 wickets at an average of 31 bad performance.

    I hope the comparison will help eliminate your prejudices and suspicions.The team performed badly across the board its not about players from one province.So please chill out.And next time before making serious allegations do your home work first.

  • WASIM SAQIB on April 9, 2007, 23:03 GMT

    Nadeem:

    First of all I will advise you and all those who are promoting provincial prejudice through their comments,should do their home work first. The selection committee was not comprised of Punjabis they were all from Karachi,Wasim Bari, Iqbal Qasim,and Ehteshamuddin. So if they made a wrong judgement you should blame them rather than blaming Punjabis.

    Punjabis are the most open hearted and open minded people we dont think on narrow lines.We are Pakistanis first and then Punjabi, for us the domicile of a player does not matter we cheer for players all over from Pakistan.

    Secondly I am surprised that you criticise the Punjabi players so much but the bad performance of non punjabis does not bother you at all infact you complained that after a few bad performances they are dropped,can you answer how many chances SAMI and Afridi need to prove themselves,bcz when it comes to Rana your patience ran out after his bad performance in SA and One match in WC but if you compare his performance with Sami over the years he is far better in terms of wickets per match strike rate etc.I am not trying to defend Rana here just trying to prove a point here that the under performance of Non Punjabis does not bother you at all. If you want true merit,you should get rid of the prejudices you are carrying.

    We need to find new talent on the basis of true merit not ethnicity and Domicile,In our team most of the players are way past their prime and some of them are habitual under achievers,we should replace them as soon as possible,Players like Razzak, shahid Afridi,Hafeez,and Rana should be replaced they all fall in same category as far as Kamran Akamal is concerned he is having tough time behind the wickets and with the bat,but he is young and if no suitable replacement is there to replace him we have to wait.

    As far as the Future captain is concerned I know it will be younis Khan,but we will all regret that as the guy does not possess the mental maturity to be a Captain,with his temper tantrums he wont be able to keep the team together and already their are signs of revolt in the team as Shahid Afridi and Yousaf also proposed themselves for the Job, who will get the job only time will tell.

    If the future captain has to succeed we have to make certain changes in the team to restore the balance of the team,a lot has been said about the captain leading from the front batting up the order etc this was not our main problem our problem was that our opening never clicks and our lower middle order is too inconsistent and non dependable hence putting a lot of pressure on the middle order,if we find good openers and replace Afridi and Razzak we might get some consistency from the team. But the key is Merit based on performance not domicile. We have to find the right players for each number and being a punjabi I can tell you we dont care where they come from as long as they perform well.

    Now I would like to respond about the green Pitch factor and ICC, a lot of guys do not believe that the pitch played any role in Pakistans loss against Ireland,I would like to ask them that if the toss can play a part in winning or losing a game,if Giving out the batting order in advance to the opposing team can influence the outcome of the match why not a green Pitch and why didnt any other team got similar pitch in the tournament, also why Pakistan got three pitches in a row of same nature starting from Champions trophy,does that ring a bell,and does shifting the odds mean anything,both the teams played on the same Pitch and I truly believe that regardless of the Pitch Pakistan should have won the match, but it was unfair of ICC to shift the ODDs in favour of Ireland by preparing a green pitch.Specially when nobody else got a similar track, its a neutral tournament so everybody should get same conditions.Otherwise it is very easy to eliminate the teams you dont like,by giving them pitches which expose their weaknesses and prepare flat tracks for the teams you want to win and engineer the whole tournament. But still I would say that Pakistan team should be good enough to win on any type of pitches,I only complained about the bias and unfairness of ICC. Those with an un biased approach will understand my point of view,and the rest I dont care.

  • Jawad Abbasi on April 9, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    Well put Kamran Bhai. The grief that the Pakistan Cricket team have caused us cricket fans is ineffable. I used to watch great players like Inzamam and Younis Khan put on a great show for Pak fans, but in recent years, this standard has seemed to drop at an alarming rate. Yes, one must blame the PCB for bad selecting etc, however, what remains certain is that the Pakistani players failed to give their 100% and achieve the required results in the World Cup. For this, the Pakistani team, should watch in awe, as teams like Ireland put up a better fight in the World Cup than they did. There is a serious need for reform in Pakistan cricket as a whole. Our cricket seems to be dominated by politics and corruption. As a person mentioned earlier, a functional merit-based system needs to be adopted so that we can find the best of the best to play for our country. Until we do this, Pakistan cricket will stay as it is; a mess.

  • Ahmed on April 9, 2007, 16:33 GMT

    pakistan should hire Phil Jackson from the Lakers to coach the team, he will do the trick.aahah

  • Ahmed on April 9, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    I guess the old saying about pathans is correct reading there posts on this blog..u already know what i am talking about...Mr Merit u are one very angry person against the punjabis, we do buy a lot of Chai from you when we are up there on a vacation so why be upset at us. dude merit younis khan doesnt deserve to be a captain becuase he cant play ODI when was the last time we saw younis khan when pakistan a few ODI's hmmmm, refrish my memory merit. Since I am not so bias i will say that afridi should be captain becuase of his agresive nature. he is a very well player in odi's and responsibility will make him better.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 9, 2007, 13:43 GMT

    Dawar

    Thanks for the link on Shoaib Malik.

    As a player he has a cool head and he has played some real good innings for Pakistan and despite all that, I still want him to be in the Pakistan team. Shoaib Malik as a future captain, I had other views about him before seeing this video that he is very submissive and humble and not suitable to take on the lead role. But, this video reveals yet another facet of Malik's personality, which is so full of arrogance, attitude, and a negative mindset.

    I think his final response to Ramiz Raja's question must have impressed Inzamam and the rest of the tableeghi's which is why he earned a spot in the team.

    I have said before that for any player and especially for a captain, it is better to have some ego rather than NO ego at all. But, not like the one Shoab Malik has demonstrated in the video.

    About this incident, I had only read it in the newspapers or on cricinfo but, this video clip speaks in volumes and confirms that he has an inflated ego, conceited pride, excessive vanity and personal vendetta or a score to settle, which he demonstrated with remorse and anger and ruined the the spirit of the game in the name of religion. "They say that hens do cackle loudest when, there's nothing vital in the eggs they've laid." It was definitely a boo boo imo. No wonder why he is reacting so humble after this debacle and willing to play in the team at any given position.

    On Shahid Afridi's scuffing the pitch, someone told me that it was Shoaib Malik's brainwave and the later prompted and planted that idea in Afridi's mind, hence the 'Akhroat' reacted without even giving it a thought about its repercussion. My response was: Rubbish! There is no proof about that, whereas there is ample proof of Afridi scuffing the pitch. Upon hearing that, the person showed me a video clip. The clip shows that seconds before the incident, Afridi and Malik were standing near the pitch and talking, and the body language of Malik is very clear about what he was suggesting. It confirms that Malik prompted him to do that. Still, I hold Afridi responsible, and what he did was foolish and paid a price for that. But, this domestic cricket video on Malik confirms that he sure has a more sinister personality which is so well obscured by his cosmetic humility.

    On match fixing and Pakistan loosing to Ireland, I don't buy Sarfaraz Nawaz's story. What has people got to say after South Africa loosing to Bangladesh two days ago? They too have a history of match fixing, remember Hansie Cronje & Co., and his mysterious death in a plane crash and Herschelle Gibbs recently cleared by Indian Police. May be the bookies have something to do with Bob Woolmer's death, but I doubt Pakistan lost to Ireland due to betting and match fixing. May be I am naive, call me anything I still cannot buy this story.

  • khansahab on April 9, 2007, 10:39 GMT

    Calgary Highlander, I am the self proclaimed Pacifier and The Great Negotiator of this blog but your recent comments have failed to restrain my wits. You condemn people for posting one-liners and (in your opinion) trivial comments like “Nicely worded Mr Abbasi” but yet you have posted “So, Kamran, feel like starting a new topic?” yourself. Pardon me but this reeks of double standards.

    Nick, what are you smoking these days? Why are you English and Australian lot becoming so racist? You’re all inviting trouble for yourselves. Most of the individuals on this blog totally denounce Inzamam for blaming the green top pitch for the defeat against Ireland. Please, I assure you that most individuals on this blog have reasonable education and mental aptitude. This is not a “Manchester” or “Bradford” blog so you do not need to worry about thick prats who make a lot of useless noise.

    Ali Khan from Cambridge, if you seriously believe that there is no discrimination against cricketers from NWFP and Sindh, you need a reality check. The way the very system runs, ignores the needs and interests of cricketers from these provinces. I do agree that Karachi has had its share of international cricketers (by no means is it a “fair share” though) but the vast majority of them have been included owing to nepotism. When I was a child my father told me once, “A cricketer from Karachi can only make a permanent place in the national team if he has the talent of Miandad.” I kept telling myself this could not be true as I thought Pakistan was Utopia, which I suppose every child brought up in Pakistan believes. However, come adulthood I realised my father was true.

    Shahid Afridi does not want Younis Khan to be captain but neither do Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik or Mohammad Yousuf. In fact, if you ask me the latter three belong to the same school of thought and would support one or the other of their group to be captain. Younis is aware that he has stiff opposition and in practical terms it would very difficult for these cricketers to surrender their egos and play for the benefit for the country. No one, and I repeat no one, is willing to play for the interests of their country. The battles fought within the PCB and the national side are personal battles of ego. Since it is almost impossible to remedy the problem of ego and regionalism, Shoaib Malik might be the new captain. This very well may mean that we again have a consistent flow of young inconsistent blood from Punjab which has lately been the bane of Pakistani cricket. Someone commented that all cricketers involved in match fixing have been Punjabis. As much as I would love to disagree with that, it is true. We never heard the names of Javed Miandad (true fighter who fought for Pakistan despite enormous resistance from Punjab), Rashid Latif etc being involved in match fixing. Unfortunately most of the heroes we have come to adore such as Wasim, Waqar, Mushtaq, Inzi, Salim Malik, Saeed Anwar etc all have strong links with Punjab and have been allegedly involved in betting/match fixing. Those you want to challenge my analysis, I have already stated before that most of the people I meet in Manchester are from Punjab. I have heard many Punjabis feeling ecstatic about Inzamam being captain solely because of the fact that Inzamam is a Punjabi himself. Hence, according to them a person’s roots or lineage is more important than his ability or character. This is the sad story of Pakistan, my friends.

  • Han From China on April 9, 2007, 7:43 GMT

    I don't understand the game of cricket much. I just start to picking it up, after watching headlights on the TV. I kinda like the support and set out to follow it. I wish that just the only the best time among all to be win the cup as its the beauty of the game. Just the great one deserve to be won.

  • calgary highlander on April 9, 2007, 5:05 GMT

    So, Kamran, feel like starting a new topic?

  • nick on April 9, 2007, 3:34 GMT

    You all make me laugh tears!! So pakistan lost because of a green wicket, against the big beatem up bullies...IRELAND. wait a minute please..PAKISTAN..WITH HOW MUCH??? international cricket experience, over how many years?? LOST because they had to play on a GREEN top against IRELAND??DID THEY MAKE THE PITCH FLAT FOR IRELAND or was it green still??? HA HA HA keep looking for conspiracy, LOOK hard enough and you will find one. I take it you would settle for any at this point, no matter how fickle. HERE is your PROBLEM..380 games.. to fat too slow too tired. Players more interested in the money than the game, selectors with their heads too firmly entrenched where the sun dont shine. If you look hard enough at the AUSTRALIAN team you can see some similarity, in that we too put up with out of form players a bit too long. THIS is because of the financial side/backers of the game wanting marketable people to publicise the game. THIS brings us to the world cup issue of WEST INDIES. They will fail in their quest because of the lack of up and coming youth to pick players from. For this the bl;ame is o the feet of of the ICC and the ICC alone. Instead of financing minnows into world cricket they should have invested more in the current areas that are struggling. The BCCI let gfo of massive amounts of financial rescourses to put new stadiums in the west indies for the world cup and in so doing this priced the public out of the games. This money would have been better spent on the game in the INDIES not stadiums. THE stupid wise men of the ICC then went on to ban a myriade of things from the grounds making it into a sterile spectacle. Correct me if im wrong but wasn't the point of having the games in the West Indies, meant to be a culural experience as well as a cricket showcase?Some shopw case eh? the locals cant afford the ticket price, cant get re-entry, cant take their music, cant drink their local drop and in general, cant have fun...OH yes please, Lets go to the cricket..NOTTTTT!!! OH and as for AUSTRALIA forfieting if they get into the finals..NOt likely mate..but hey ..they have to get over the KIWIS..something we haven't been too good at doing of late. Before i go, chew this over. The game had bigger crowds and following pre professionalism, pre stadium era, pre mega dollar era..since the rich have taken it over for financial gain we have had what? Top Teams dropping games that even the most cricket ignorant minded cant fathom,( i call it throwing..my opinion) and players getting a kings ransome from the game thinking they own the national teams, and will play when they want untill they want on their say so. Cricket is ann awesome game, take away the money and you will find that people with a love of the game will continue to play, not for financial reward, just the reward of having had a good game. Something the big corporations are taking away.

  • cb fry on April 8, 2007, 23:51 GMT

    God save us from pj mir. who the hell is this bloke and which hole has he appeared from?

  • Dawar on April 8, 2007, 18:36 GMT

    In one of very important domestic tournament one of our main international cricketer admitted that how he threw away the match on purpose as a Captain.

    This guy is taunted to be Pakistan's future captain.ALLAH save Pakistan Cricket

    Please see the link below for the video. Please do not forget to turn on ur speakers.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6846012691398407951

    Look how angry Shoaib Malik is in this video while being interviewed by Rameez Raja. Rameez Raja tries to cool this fellow down but Shoaib continues venting his anger. Rameez Raja later gives up on him being himself annoyed by Shoaib's child like behavior. This guy is taunted to be Pakistan's future captain. God save Pakistan Cricket

    Recently we lost World Cup. After that so many ex-cricketers starts blaming Pakistani cricket players. One of our ex-hero fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz openly claimed that match was fixed. Most of us (Including me) do not trust on Sarfraz Nawaz comments. But after watching above video , lost against regular team like Ireland & read Justice Quayyum report etc my views are shattered.

    Dawar LA, USA

  • Ash Zes on April 8, 2007, 8:13 GMT

    Dear Kamran,

    Write something about religious overdose of Pak team. Ask the readers to give their view on this. I am sure that would be very heated and debatable blog.

  • Omer Admani on April 8, 2007, 5:01 GMT

    Merit, Merit, Merit,

    I shall endear you and embrace you (and your opinion) :P. Why didn't Inzamam play Asim Kamal when he had the opportunity despite consistent failures by the alternatives in the past few series? I think the name of the old game is dominance. The simple thing is, anyone who wouldn't bow to Inzamam (he mantained his authority as a religious leader) wasn't going to be in the team. As simple as that. Moreover, Asim Kamal also threatened Inzamam's place in the team directly. If Asim Kamal had established himself as a good batsman till now, he would be easily replacing Inzamam in the test team. It is almost unbelievable after seeing Kamal's average against Australia and South Africa. It would be unjust, yet it would be, that Kamal will not play for Pakistan anymore. As a reaction to the world cup, the PCB will most likely adopt a policy of chopping the old men to quench the anger of the people. I am afraid the PCB will never change. Not with 11 paindus in the team who would be very uncomfortable in the team with someone with a bit of etiquette and thought. And, no sir, I am not being racist. It is the way it is.

  • Omer Admani on April 8, 2007, 0:44 GMT

    One thing I had to say. We lost to ireland, India lost to Bangladesh. As I read on cricinfo, India has taken steps to improve the system, chopped and changed, hoping for the better. What have we done, except defer what needs to be done. The doctor is on a vacation in America?

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 7, 2007, 23:26 GMT

    IF WISHES were horses everyone would have been riding on them, but Kamran Abbassi's wish has just taken off from the ground, ref. his quote from this thread: "I want those international losers from Pakistan (and India) to regret and curse every moment of their absence from this World Cup." Bangladesh has pulled yet another convincing win in this WC and this time its against the best team in the world, or should I say against the team which has a "Chokers Tag." They were almost beaten by SL and this time they couldn't escape against the BD tigers.

    It was a stunning display of batting, bowling and superb fielding by the Bengal Tigers. Young Tamim and Ashraful were so full of strokes, Ashraful in particular together with Mortaza took the match away from the South Africans, especially Ntini was punished severely 61 in 10 overs. Nel, took 5 wickets but, as usual he was "disgustipatingly" ugly with his body language and was trying to win a mental battle against young Ashraful with his usual antics and eventually got him. But, the BD spinners nailed down their openers and the middle order and SA was never in a comfortable situation. Bravo Bangladesh for the superb victory.

    Its weird that SA commentators especially, Daryll Cullinan and Barry Richards were constantly lamenting about the pitch. They kept repeating again and again that "the wicket has no pace or bounce in it and South Africans are not used to this kinda wicket." Loosers! When Pakistan, rather Inzamam complained about the green top most of these critics were saying well, it was the same pitch for Ireland too. Now, how come this pitch was suddenly so different for South Africa? It was hard for them to swallow the bitter pill that their batsmen were unable to play the spinners. Both Rafique and Abdur Razzak bowled bowled superbly and did not concede any boundary in their alloted 10 overs. Pakistan should note this weakness.

    Now, the WC is more open for England and West Indies to proceed further, I wish SA does not even reach the semi-final :-). India on the other hand must be feeling comfortable that they are not the only team to be beaten by Bangladesh but, the best team in the world got the worst treatment and were beaten with a bigger margin. Well, this is another version of saying, "the train went without me" instead of "I missed the train." However, as I have said before, Indians are quick in decision making and not only the captain and the coach has been announced but, they have also announced their tours to Bangladesh, Ireland and England.

    Pakistani bureaucrats are still contemplating and telling the nation that this inquiry commission's report would come out for the public in the same manner as the famous "Hamood-ur-Rahman Commission Report."

  • asim pervez on April 7, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    kamran is the best he just gets to the points and by reading his comments all the time i can tell he is a true pakistan fan like most of us pakistanis and not a pcb man blessing the team and making excuses i never thought any pakistani pundit could write as good as he does i always go on cricinfo and check wether he has posted anything new. his new comments kamran bhi i wish pakistan could play as die hard with the thirst to win as us fans want to see our team win inshallh sometime we will see lionhearts in the first team because in the u19 team they are always going all out to win no matter what score it is they got the thirst no one knows what hs happened to these lot they should be in the team even if we loose which i think is less likely than this team our a team has beaten ireland we will see die hard action thirst an ready to shed blood one day we will see it

  • Razi Ahmed - USA on April 7, 2007, 16:01 GMT

    Dear Kamran, Time for public opinion 'Pakistan more focused on preaching during World Cup' We would like to know, do we need to pay 4-5 crore per player and million of dollors for coaching and training why not add Lal Masjid Imam into the squad free of cost.

  • Ali Khan, Cambridge UK on April 7, 2007, 15:54 GMT

    It was quite amusing to read some of the posts above. Although most were off topic, they made a fun read. Although I don't respond to posters today I just can't resist.

    To Jon: absolutely spot on! Cricket is not war. It is a SPORT.

    To Haider: yet England is still in the tournament and Pakistan is not!

    To Merit. Merit, Merit: I don't think Asim Kamal and Yasir Hameed's exclusion has anything to do with their birth places. Many players from Karachi have undeservingly played cricket for Pakistan and many talented Punjabis have been neglected. Yes the selection is not merit based but there are many reasons why this is so. Nepotism, player politics, lobbying, media pressure etc. As far as Atiq-ur-Rehman is concerned, are you talking about this guy?

    http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/39280.html

    His record is mediocre at best. Maybe he was fast but the faster it comes the faster it goes!

    To H.Malik: your comments as preposterous as Inzi's obsession with making Pak team a Tableeghi Jamaat!

    To onemK: you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out which 4 teams would make it to semis.

    To Terry Gonsalves: Murali WILL become the highest wicket taker in tests. So plz LEARN TO LIVE WITH IT!

    Coming to the point I believe the current WI side making the semis would be a disaster. Surely we should back SL and NZ to go all the way. Particularly the way Stephen Fleming has made a team of few stars into a world beater is quite amazing. Despite their limited resources and lack of a broad player base NZ have returned more thrilling moments than any other side in recent times. Being nostalgic and hoping to see WI the force they once were is one thing. But to wish their current team success is completely another. I think the results of this WC so far have been an absolutely fair reflection on the preparation and talent of the participating teams. And I hope the best four teams Aus, SA, NZ and SL make the semis.

    About the Caribbean music and dance: Yes the WC needs a dose of that. This WC has undoubtedly been utterly mismanaged. For the sake of the sport I hope the ICC turn it around in the coming matches.

  • MB on April 7, 2007, 15:43 GMT

    NZ can beat Australia but they have a history of choking in the semis, lets wait and see. I think it was unfair when Fernando didnt bowl that last ball to Bopara and walked back. It was smart thinking but i think its as cheap as the infamous undrarm ball, it gives the bowler an unfair advantage. I think once you turn your arm over it should be a no ball if it dont leave your hands. I think the ICC should take a lead from the American Football league where the coach/captian is allowed to challenge 2 of the umpires decisions and refer them to the action replay.

  • khansahab on April 7, 2007, 15:02 GMT

    The matter is official now. PJ Mir, the media manager has confirmed that religion/tableegh took the forefront during the WC campaign. So Inzi was lying when he said that the focus was on cricket and not tableegh. Suddenly everything is now falling into perspective. Right from the appointment of Mushtaq as assistant coach. Shortly after Bob’s death the media was desperate to video Pakistani players. Most of the media only got a chance to film the team when they were offering namaz outside. They want to make their spirituality a public display. That is why they prefer saying namaz in the aeroplane galleries rather than private cabins/private seats. Whenever Inzi is interviewed on a non Pakistani channel he always begins with his trademark “First of all......” comments. Most of the times I have seen him being interviewed on any Pakistani channel, he begins straightaway without even saying “Walekumsalam.” This is evidence of his attitude of promulgating his religious beliefs to the outside world. Inzi’s first excuse as to why Pakistan lost to Ireland was that it was God’s will. Other allegations, like playing poor shots, a green top pitch and underperformance of senior players, took a backseat. When that is the attitude a captain adopts during his analysis of a result, you can expect what attitude he will adopt during team preparation. The situation is so pathetic (and PCB deserve entire blame for this) that if Inzi was not captain, we would have the near certainty of a disunited team. If Inzi is captain then we have the problem of intransigent captaincy and tableegh focus. So Pakistan were stuck in a quagmire. If you have seen “V for Vendetta” the movie, you would recall that although the desecration of Parliament was not essential as the freedom fighters had already been successful in transferring their influence to the general public, they still wanted to create an image, an icon, of the catastrophe so there could be some visually entrenched icon in memory of individuals. They went ahead and destroyed Parliament. This destruction would be an unpleasant sign which would remind people not to pursue the same doomed ideas of fascism and intolerance ever again. In Pakistan’s context, we have already seen the disaster and now the icons of the humiliating defeat and Bob’s death must be entrenched in PCB’s memory to remind them constantly of what happens when focus on cricket, gameplanning and merit is lost and that focus is diverted to tableeghism.

  • Shazad Ali Khan ( Johannesburg, South Africa) on April 7, 2007, 14:35 GMT

    Hello Kamran. I am not here to comment about the current topic. I want to request you to please discuss the very difficult topic of religion in the pakistani team. Lets us see what people say about it. Its a fascinating topic and we hope to have a heated debate.

  • Marty on April 7, 2007, 13:20 GMT

    Shakeel - stating 'no disrespect' doesn't automatically mean your comments are in fact respectful. Irrelevant of where you think Ireland are in relation to everyone else as they defeated Pakistan in the most important ODI competition on the calendar. If the supposedly superior Pakistan side was up to the task they would have duly dispatched them but they didn't.

    I am aware that upsets happen (such as Bangladesh v. Australia in 2005) but getting it right during the WC is the true test of a champion.

    David - Have to agree that the Kiwis are going very well at the moment and perhaps an ANZAC final is on the cards. I particularly enjoy the fact that NZ are so versatile and everyone seems to be an allrounder! With regard to form and rankings, I think no real judgement could be passed until NZ (and all the others) have faced consistently stiffer opposition.

    With regard to the comments being directed at fans of respective nations, I would argue the following;

    - football hooligans are irrelevant as we are talking about cricket on a cricket website, even if their antics are ridiculous and immature.

    - burning effigies of coaches and players is midly disturbing but I am not personally aware if this is commonplace on the sub-continent or not. I think the cricket boards of India and Pakistan have greater concerns getting their houses in order than worrying about being set on fire!

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on April 7, 2007, 12:41 GMT

    Dear Kamran Sb.

    People might be thinking why "Pak Spin" is one of the most read blog in this world. The reason being that you always bring something new for its reader. I am sure, all the cricket lovers in this world might be feeling the heat of the exit of India and Pakistan and now, quite possible, WI. This WC will be remembered as one of the boring and all credit must be given to ICC. Look at the fixture of this WC and the pattern. One bad day and you are out of this mega WC cup. This is not cricket. How come you can understand the talent and stamina unless you are not in a position to show you SHOW ??? You know what I mean. For the sub continent cricket has become passion, religion and money making machine and we are only responsible for that. In WI, they were very hungry about cricket and all the world is not watching the empty stand. Whom to blame???

    As regards to bring back the hunger for India and Pakistan. I am of the opinion that nothing is going to change as we are used to "NAI SHARAB PURANI BOTTLE" and sometimes "PURANI BOTTLE NAI SARAB". Rahul Dravid has been made captain for three years, new fielding coach and new bowling coach. Will they be able to bring charisma. Not all unless the system and planning is to be looked after. Some measures are being taken by BCCI but some drastic has to be made such as shunt all the 11 playing for at least ONE YEAR as a token of punishment who are responsible for WC exit so that they could understand what all about is cricket. If they can not live up to the expectation then bring back fresh legs so that can do something and they can also earn money. Do they have courage ??

    It is not that Inzi, Rahul, Ganguly, Sachin are at their fag end but they have to learn from Jayasurya who still has enthusiasm like 1996. The passion he has shown is tremendous and I think if plays cricket in 2011, he will be the man of the series in the subcontinent because he has passion, energy, and will. The body langauge is extra ordinary.

    Let us wait and watch what action is being taken by PCB and I think nothing major is going to be happened, but at least it is high time that the adiminstrator should think and plan strategy in consultation with some ex-cricketer to bring back the memory of 1992. At the present pool of cricketer only SHOAIB MALIK is a committed cricketer and he is one of the front runner of captaincy. We talk about Younis Khan who can make tonnes of run but when needed, flip flop. He is not a committed cricketer and he should never be made captain due to his performance in this WC & Champions Tropy. He is the man responsible for exit due to wrong shot selection and his poor fielding. Had he not dropped Sarwan on zero and if he did not play wrong short Pakistan would have never be defeated by WI and Ireland. There should be a performance policy in their service card so that they are aware of their responsibility as millions of hope sink in their wrong shots.

  • Hamid on April 7, 2007, 11:37 GMT

    This is Hamid from Auckland. I am surprised to see many posts talking about Shahid Afridi as the future captain. This man does not even deserve a spot in the team, one-dayers or tests! I would go for Shoaib Malik instead. He has captained Sialkot well in the past and should be given a chance at the national level. Also, the PCB should make sure that all players perform to the best of their capabilities under any captain. If someone is found underperforming, he should be thrown out no matter how big a name he is. I have strong doubts about Younis Khan, the way he has thrown his wickets on many occasions in the last 6 months under the captaincy of Maulana Inzamam-ul-Haq Multani. Does not deserve to be a captain!

  • Ramzan on April 7, 2007, 9:51 GMT

    This may not be directly related to the topic, but seems very importnat... I wonder what happened to Mir and Dr. Ashraf, now they put blame on religion that the team did not perform well. Didn't they notice that they were praying, offer early morning/morning prayers..etc before they left to carribian..I think they just want to find something to put their blame on instead of finding the real problem (they themselves) and cure it...I think they will try to find some players who are totally away of Islam and do not know principles of Islam to play for the team..lets see if they can win next WC...shame on Mir and Dr. regarding their statement

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 7, 2007, 6:28 GMT

    After the World Cup fiasco the Indians have been quick in making decisions in choosing the captain. I don't agree with the reappointment of Dravid. IMO, they should have made either Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh or Irfan Pathan and not just for the time being but, for 2011 and beyond. Since Dravid is retained, I have a feeling that Tendulkar and Ganguly will also stay.

    Very recently, Navojot Sidhu has asked Tendulkar to retire gracefully and with dignity. He cited the example of Kapil Dev, who was booed not only at his home ground but, also on the streets of Mohali - his homeland. The time for Tendulkar and Ganguly has come to call it a day, before they are booed on the streets of Mumbai and Kolkata or even attacked by the mobs. Such is the cricketing culture of the sub-continent.

    Pakistan is still busy in setting up an inquiry commissions and will take another 30 days to compile a report and end up with nothing. Once again imo, they will do what is expected of them i.e., appoint the "Dummy Captain" to take the lead and, Intikhab Alam is expected to take the role of a "Dumb Coach". I wonder if Shoaib Akhtar has to play, how would he be coping under Intikhab Alam? Especially after Alam has openly criticized Akhtar's personal life style and accused him for consuming alcohol and even called him a womanizer! It is so wrong of Alam to stoop so low and accuse Akhtar with such trivia and that too with so much authority and arrogance. Intikhab Alam should have acted more responsible since he was one of the three members of that doping inquiry commission at that time. And now he will be re-appointed as a coach? WTF is wrong with Naseem Ashraf? How much damage he is going to inflict on Pakistan cricket?

    Personally, I have nothing against Younis Khan or any player for that matter, but to me he appears to be an extremely over confident and a very hyper person, and definitely he is not a one day player. For the last two years he became very popular, number one, its because of his scoring a few double hundreds at home and in India in test matches. Number two, he was blessed and baptized by Imran Khan to be the automatic choice to replace Inzamam.

    First of all Inzamam was not a captain material. Secondly, the general misconception people have is, anyone who is senior should be an automatic choice to lead the team. Younis is not senior to Mohammad Yousuf, Afridi, Razzaq or Shoaib Akhtar. Yousuf is a good batsman like Inzamam but, he is too weak to handle any pressure and he has past his prime for a leadership role and, as a batsman he has maximum 3-4 years. Pakistan needs a long term captain and not just a captain for the sake of a captain, but a leader who can lead and win matches.

    Shahid Afridi's inconsistency has been questioned by many and, not once but many times. Apart from his own mood and temperament the selectors, coach and the captain is also partly responsible for that. He has been in and out of the team several times in his 10 years cricketing career. Even the best of best will loose his concentration and the momentum if he is in and out so frequently. He is still 27 and have at least 7-8 years ahead of him to play good cricket. Pakistan needs a young dynamic aggressive captain for a long term and he has all those qualities in him. Among the lot that Pakistan has, he is the number one choice. The role of captaincy will also make him more consistent, but people should not expect him to be just a boom boom.

    PCB's responsibility does not end after announcing the name of the captain, it is their duty to make sure they groom the captain not only from cricketing aspects but, also to provide the captain with lessons and courses on man management and leadership roles that is to acquire and hone those skills at least near to perfection. The kind of inner strength that is needed to take the lead role does not only come from religious faith, but faith in yourself and in your abilities and faith in your team. And that faith in the team is instilled by the leader.

    The leader can motivate his team better from the center and not as much as from the top or the front. I would emphasize the word "center" and for a few people it may sound very unorthodox and unconventional, but in my opinion it would be very effective. I believe that, the pyramid kinda Organogram needs to be changed because, the responsibilities are thrown down from the top of the pyramid to the bottom tier of the management or the team. That is the reason the team members start believing in and, accepting in the false notion that there is a first best, and a second best and so on, which is a very wrong set of belief and a self destructive method. That is the reason when the first best or the second best or whatever, fails or flops the panic button is triggered and the pyramid crumbles like a house of cards.

    If the leader remains at the centre, then he is not far away from others, like the heart is at the center of the body whereas, the mind is obviously at the top. We use our mind to think but, we feel from our heart, make decisions on the basis of what our heart tells us. A heart is not a piece of flesh in our body but, the center of all our feelings, emotions, motives, rives, aspirations, remembrance and attention. Therefore, imo, if the leader is at the center, he can become the heart of the team and be able to inspire, motivate and support the team. The reason Australia or South Africa are the top teams is due to the fact that Ricky Ponting Graeme Smith and even Ian Flemings are seen at the center and in the thick and thin of every situation rather than standing in the slips with one hand on the haunches and the other busy in combing the bushy beard.

    I understand that everyone has a different opinion, and whatever I have expressed above is my opinion, and I know it doesn't matter to the policy makers and their decisions are usually OTT and without any deliberate thinking involved in making those decisions. All I can do is hope, like Oscar Wilde says: "We are all living in a gutter and some people are gazing at the stars, and that is HOPE."

  • H.Malik on April 7, 2007, 5:54 GMT

    Dear Rauf , At least there is some one who considered my views being "clean shaven" as amusing cum absurd . I guess you are seeing TVs news and after hearing what Mr P J Meer ( The media manager of the team "YoYo" , you would be in a position to understand my utterance with an open mind and would be ready now to say it " it makes sense ". These "Bearded YoYos" were more inclined and engaged in religious activities rather than concentrating on the prime goal , they have been sent to Cribeans at the cost of national exchequer and 160 millions of hopes. If they had this in mind to do that , they would have stayed back and gone to Raiwand and if the team has to be kicked out of the WC , then why to have such beared primadonna YoYos to play with the aspirations of the nation ? our under 19 or under 17 team as a whole could have done much better than these Mullahs . Hope you undertand now my views in a better and with an open mind

  • Faridoon on April 7, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    I don't think the world cup is coming back to the West Indies for a long long time. So far, it has been in shambles. The crowds are pathetic, the quantity not the quality of them. In a country that is so passionate about cricket, it is hard to imagine that crowds wouldn't show up if they could. The tickets must be exhorbitantly priced.

    As for the murder of Bob Woolmer, a friend rightly pointed out over the weekend that the PCB should be taking the ICC and WCB to task on the lack of security for its players and coaching staff. Instead we have gone into a defensive shell. The Pakistan media should be at the forefront of questioning security arrangements for teams in the world cup. Imagine if you will, if a gora team, say New Zealand or England were visiting Pakistan for a tour and their coach got murdered. Can you imagine the media s#$@storm that would hit Pakistan cricket. How cruelly would we be butchered and battered in every news story around the globe?? Paksitan has been at the wrong end of the "security concerns" hogwash due to which so many teams have refused to play in Pakistan. Where's the security now??

    So, in a message to the PCB and Pakistan media I say get over the shock of defeat and of the coach's murder. It's time to attack, get out of your crease and slog a few out of the park!!

  • Omer Admani on April 7, 2007, 0:06 GMT

    Mr Awan, I have been writing all that pre-tournament (pre-worldcup). Just notice Akmal's shot against Ireland, him dropping Lara against West Indies. Also, he almost single-handedly (well, along with Rana when he played) lost us the series in England and South Africa. But I guess his child-like gestures amuse people so they like him. Most of the people on the blog jumped at Azhars's inclusion. I had argued that he can barely hold a bat. Besides, Razzaq always was the backbone of the team, the only one who always played in pressure. For some reason, his absence was hailed as a blessing in disguise. But believe me most of the people here will still support the players you have mentioned, and Azhar Mahmood, and then be all bitter about it when we loose yet again.

  • Omer Admani on April 6, 2007, 23:56 GMT

    Jon, I understand your concern. What can I say, except that we never produced a Shakespere like you guys, who could remind us after every defeat, "What win I if I gain the thing I seek?"

  • Tauhira from Jamaica on April 6, 2007, 23:31 GMT

    Oh yes, I'm bitterly dissappointed ... with most of what has happened. Ofcourse, many thought that India and Pakistan would have atleast made it to the Super 8's, but what the heck, life goes on.

    The death of Bob has rocked the cricketing world and has somehow left a dark cloud hanging over the rest of the tournament. Well, things seem to have gotten back on track, I guess.

    I really still have some hope for ma boys. Their performance during their 3 matches in the Super 8's so far has been poor. They failed in almost every department. Caribbean supporters have to really go out and support them, they need it!

    Well, Good Luck to ma Windies!

    -Peace!

  • Fareed Nasir on April 6, 2007, 20:42 GMT

    Kamran you are a cruel man. Pakistani players have been trough hell. Yes they lost to Ireland on that dreadful day after loosing toss on a vicious green pitch and deserved to suffer for that. They have had huge criticism from home, lost Woolmer in tragic circumstances, being blamed for match fixing, implicated in murder, treated like criminals. Many of them will never come out of this debacle and this will be the end of their careers. What more do you want in punishment?? Stoning to death or mob lynching. One of the factors that makes our team loose is fear of loosing. As long as they are under this much pressure they will never win on a consistent basis. Have you ever noticed Australians body language on field, compare that with pakistani players. The difference is not lack of desire to win its fear of loosing.

  • nasir doc on April 6, 2007, 19:52 GMT

    A long time ago, about 20 years or so, I was seated next to a legendary West Indian opening batsman during an Trans-Atlantic flight. Those were the days when the cricketers would fly economy and would actually mingle with the public. To make a long story short, the gist of the conversation was that Pakistan could never achieve greatness unless the divide between Karachi and Lahore camp was bridged. I was surprised at the depth of his insight in our affairs, more so with his remark that all we (the opposition)have to do is to look who the captain of Pakistan's team is and the rest of the team selection and the game plan we can figure out ourselves. I like any proud Pakistani did'nt take him seriously until I saw with my own eyes that the victorious Pakistani team from the world cup refused to even come out to acknowledge the fans at Karachi airport until Javed Miandad actually pleaded with Imran and unlike Lahore they just went to a balcony and waived at them for exactly two minutes. Yes there is deep seated mistrust and at times even hostility between the two groups. Probably during Inzi tenure it did get mellowed down only to be replaced by religous preferences.

  • Gulab Khan on April 6, 2007, 19:33 GMT

    I am totally agree wioth views of "Merit. Merit, Merit" above.

    Gulab Khan Peshawer

  • Merit. Merit, Merit. on April 6, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    Wasim you said:

    " Naddem I agree with you that merit is a key to success but you were quick to point out the Punjab factor,what about Younis khan, shahid afridi,and Sami they didnt performed any wonders"

    How many times Sami was out from the team? If he performed bad in one two matches, he is out from the team. what about Rana, Kamran Akmal (drop 14 catches in one match) or all other players I mentioned above. Regardless of thier bad performance they are perm member of the team.

    How many time Afrid was out from the team ? Becuase of Afridi we were able to make one day serise against India. But one or two bad innings from him and he was out for one year.

    How much punjab against Younis, I did not meet any one from Punjab who support Younis Khan as a captain. Remember YK make his place by his extra ordinary perfomance. he can bat on any number, he faces the challenges. Otherwise Punjab always looking fwd to get rid off from him. Go back few years, Wasim Akram denies proposal of his captain ship and said he has no permenent place in the team, how could be a Captain? He got only support from Imran Khan from the Lahore and probably because Imran is a Phattan and also lives in a Punjab.

    PUNJABI wants Razzak or Shoab Malik as a Captain. They both need mental & physical strenght. Go and see thier performace and fitness in last three four years. Against the good team especially out side Pakistan they become injured or unfit. Recently, in test series against the SA , both were unfit. Shoaib Malik came back in one day seriese.

    But before he was also unfit in ICC tournament. During Austrlian tour, Razzak wake up in the morining and found him self asthmatic and other serious sickness just two hours b4 the match against GIANT Austrlian cricket team in Austrlia .He did not play match against Aus under Rashid's captainship. As soon they came back to Pakistan and serise was held against Bangladesh. He become 100 % fit. In last SA tour to Pkaistan both were fit & unfit atleast once, also depends on wicket.

    But Punjabi wants them as a Captain. Please note: All players involves in match fixing are from lahore or from central punjab.

    Nadeem

  • khansahab on April 6, 2007, 18:31 GMT

    Since the subject matter of this thread is not as contentious as other threads recently and arguably does not warrant elaborate elucidation and debate, I would like to focus another topic which is vaguely related and has been propounded by “Merit” and “Ayaz”. I would largely agree with these comments. I may appear to be Anti-Punjab from the general nuance of my comments but I do not mind if our national side is filled with Dars, Butts, Choudharys or Maliks, provided they all perform. It is unfair if someone like Asim Kamal is sidelined and players like Imran Farhat are played throughout the course of a year. Instances like these reek of discrimination. What is the justification of Inzi and the selectors? Could Pakistan not do with a left hander who can play with good temperament and stick to his crease? Mohammad Khalil was played in one series and the apparent reason was that he is a left handed bowler who can bowl with an unusual angle and hence trouble the batsmen. He did not perform and was accordingly chucked out. But Asim Kamal is a left hander who can cause difficulties for bowlers because of the very fact of him being left handed and because Pakistan does not have many left handed players anyway, but he is relegated despite consistent performance! It has to be about merit. Faisal Iqbal has a good record domestically but has been a failure in international cricket. I do not support his inclusion in the national side. Someone on this blog recently stated that Pakistani batsmen do not have good first class averages and that the batsmen in the World Cup squad were the best batsmen in the country. I do not recall that person’s name, but it is clear to be that he did not look at the first class averages of players from Karachi. I suggest people compare the averages of players from Karachi and Punjab; you can look at the recent drawn match between Sindh and Punjab. Hasan Raza averages 50 which is more than Younis Khan’s first class average. I know Raza played some international cricket, but then he was too young and a mere shadow of what he is now. He definitely deserves another chance to perform internationally. Fawad Alam averages 47.60 which is phenomenal. This is not to say that Sindh is a stronger side than Punjab, all I am advocating here is that in form players should be played and out of form players should be chucked out. When in form players like Asim, Hasan and Fawad are ignored, it seems discriminatory. At the moment two pacers from Karachi are also doing remarkably well- Anwar Ali and Rajesh Ramesh. They are young, dynamic and in-form. Sajid Shah from NWFP also has an amazing domestic record and is 32 years old now. One wonders why he has not been given a chance. The problem with Pakistani cricket and Pakistani society in general is that there is no viable system of checks and balances. Captains can have complete authority and can rule like dictators (Imran Khan and in the 2007 WC, Inzi). We all know that Inzi, more than Wasim Bari or anyone else, supported the inclusion of Hafeez and Nazir as openers for the WC. Hence, if the captain gets involved in the talent hunt there will always be a bias factor in his selection because he will spot talent from a base which is convenient for him to travel to or stay in. Can we imagine Inzi coming to Karachi and observing the players in the nets for a talent-hunting purpose? Since Inzi lives in Punjab and like most Punjabis, has strong links with Lahore, that is where he spots talent from. Hence we have a “vicious circle” situation where most senior players happen to be from Punjab, get involved in the talent hunting process, happen to recruit talent from their city of residence or nearby areas and we come up with a situation where most of the young blood is also from Punjab. Again, if this new talent works and performs consistently, I don’t have a problem with that. But in the case of our Punjabi openers and players like Mohammad Khalil and Yasir Arafat, who looked so ill at ease in their respective debuts that one thought they are not even suited to club cricket, I do have a right to complain and bring this bias to light. That is why I support provincial quotas because problems like the one mentioned above are difficult to remedy. I suppose if I lived in Karachi, was captaining the team and wanted to embark on a talent hunt for players who would be playing in an imminent series, I would be unwilling to go to Peshawar as I would be busy with so many other assignments. The thought would probably not even cross my mind. However, if there is an entrenched rule in the PCB Constitution that at least two players from Sindh or NWFP each always need to feature in a given international squad, the selectors can do their job and pick out the best players. For the sake of impartiality I think everyone will agree that there will always be at least two outstanding players from both the provinces who deserve a place in the national side and are determined to succeed.

  • David on April 6, 2007, 17:46 GMT

    thanks Nauman for mentioning NZ. NZ is usualy patronisingly overlooked, o condescendily duly noted by the british press but, I'd figure that other X-colonial countries would not do the same. Nz has 4 players in the top11 of this cup so far, and 3 batsmen in the top ten. thats better than any team n the tournament.

    It's refreshing to see that not everyone in the subconinent is busy hero worshipping. The biggest obstacle to south asian crickets domination of the cricketing world is an inability to look at their players realistically. With a focus on the team and players being rewarded on merit, talent and hardwork NOT reputation then Pakistan and India will be on the way to recovery.

  • Shakeel on April 6, 2007, 17:28 GMT

    Kamran, you are right on the money. This morning i turned on tv and went on to see what match was playing. By mistake i turned on to the PPV channel that i subscribed to see pakistan presense in WC2007. Guess what, they were showing PAK vs IRE highlights. I can't tell how bad i am feeling this morning. With no disrespect to IRE, this team has no potential to be in Super 8. The way pakistani players through away their wickets in that crucial match made IRE team looked like AUS. I know many people has said, their MUHALLAH team could have beaten IRE team. Until this WC07 is over, my pain will continue when i watch any other teams match and see the misery of IRE team get beaten by each and every super 8 team.

  • Mir Awan on April 6, 2007, 16:32 GMT

    Good post Merit ...

    Hey I don't mind having 11 players in the team named BUTTS or DARS, as long as they PERFORM or at least have the same caliber has M. Yousuf but we are talking mediocrity here.

    AND TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO THINKS THAT RANA NAVED UL HASAN IS OUT OF FORM, PLEASE GET REAL.

    THE GUY JUST SUCKS PERIOD!!!

    AND THE SAME GOES FOR HAFEEZ AND AKMAL.

    Whew, that felt good!!! smile

  • Nauman on April 6, 2007, 16:17 GMT

    Can anyone please talk about the good performances shown by New Zealand so far in the tournament. Heard enough of Pakistan, India being eliminated, WI on the brink of elimination, Ireland & Bangladesh getting knocked around and Australia being out-and-out champions. Is someone even looking at New Zealand. For starters, they are still unbeaten in the tournament. In Fleming they have one of the most experienced and intelligent captains. Again, with Fleming in great form, they have an assuring figure at the top of the order. Their middle order is as strong (not only on paper, but in terms of performance) as it ever had been. Their lower order boosted by bowling all-rounders is a sign of concern for every opposition. Their bowling led by Shane Bond and complemented effectively by likes of Oram, Vettori & Styris is examplary. Their fielders have always been a model of professionalism. The overall attitude is healthy, spirits high...if they get people to rally for them, they have all the ingredients to knock of Australia and win the cup. Go Kiwis Go...for once they are not underdogs, but real contenders.

  • Ayaz on April 6, 2007, 16:04 GMT

    To,

    Merit. Merit, Merit.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you ...

    Thank you for being so blunt. I dont understand why Kamran can't write a blog on influence (bad influence) of Punjab on Pakistan Cricket.

    But then again he might have his own domicile from the favorite province, smile.

    The Punjab is doing the same thing to Cricket what they have done to Hockey. Not really surprising...

    It would be nice to actually read some day in the paper that the Cricket Academy has moved to Karachi. And that the Selection committee is based out of Peshawar. Or how about an opening pair with no Punjab connection ...

  • muhammad asif on April 6, 2007, 15:05 GMT

    I think that as the world cup is now cver for pakistan.pcb should try to bring all the current players as well as new players .take advices from all the players and then select a captain.I think afridi is the best choice for p[akistan because we havw seen in domestic as well as in twenty twenty and I am clearly ammased to see all the leadership ofg afridi the way he uses his bowlers and field placements is superb and as captain afridi also plays well and the responsibility himself and every now and rhen shuffle hius own batting order

  • Terry Gonsalves on April 6, 2007, 14:31 GMT

    Kamran. Please enter into dialogue, regarding some of the greatest chuckers of the game. Surely, Murali must be at the pinnacle. I wonder what he must be saying, each time he takes a wicket. " Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am the greatest chucker of them all and I have fooled them all". What a disgrace to the game and the spineless bureaucrats of the ICC. Joining him on this list would be Lock,Meckiff,Shabbir Ahmed,Shoaib Akhtar,Shoaib Malik,Marlon Samuels,Shaun Tait and many others, however Murali must lay claim to the title of "KING CHUCK".

    I have played and watched cricket for 48 years. A beautiful game has been brought to shame. "Ole, Ole, to the umpires that have no balled these cheaters and cannot do so any more".

  • Amirali on April 6, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    I completely agree with Mike that Pakistan and India didn't deserve to go through. Even if they had made it to Super 8s, does anyone think that they have the fitness, professionalism and team spirit to compete with the likes of Australia, Sri Lanka and South Africa? They might have won a game or two through an innings of individual brilliance or more likely, through the work of lesser heralded _ and less egotistical _ bowlers. Maybe its better that they were eliminated early, rather than us having to see their inadequacies repeatedly exposed against the better teams.

  • Ashaq on April 6, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    It is quite clear the status quo will remain. The chances off anything changing as regards the structure are slim and none. as for Slim his thrown in the towel.

    Imran Khan has come up with the idea of having only 6 domestic teams.With the players having to compete to feature in those teams. It would be nice if this idea was put in to practice.

    With Younis Khan being made captain.We can expect a return to the bad old days off dressing room rivalries and squabbles.

    Pakistan will remain a colourful,controversial and unprofessional side. We might as well just enjoy the rollercoaster ride.

    Virtually all those who have been involved in Pakistan cricket in a coaching capacity.From Mudassar nazar to Richard Pybus and Jonty Rhodes have all cited a lack off professional attitude and player discipline as the main obstacles.

    Logic dictates that even minnows can compete with the big guns by focusing on the basics off fielding and running between the wickets. If a coach such as Woolmer who was regarded as a one day specialist coach cant have a significant impact. What hope is there.

  • Muhammad Asif on April 6, 2007, 13:17 GMT

    Only Green-Top pitch in Pakistan, Jinnah Satdium Sialkot. Last International match was played here on Dec 06, 1996. This is the same wicket where Pakistan played its 1st ever One day International Oct 16, 1976. Very small city of Pakistan, but with big achivements, latest one is Sialkot International Airport built by local buisnessmen. Hats for the people of this small city..........

  • onemK on April 6, 2007, 10:32 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi I know you are a pakistan fan and ou ob is to write about pakistan crickt. And as a fan I know that you must be dissapointed about the way pakistan performed. We all are. But it is redculous to even contemplate that ICC had any influence on the matter. As far as the groupings of this world cup are concerned t was tailor made for so caled big teams to progress through to the super 8s. India only had to beat bermuda and bangladesh while pakistan only had to beat zimbably and mighty ireland. If they cant do this then they dont deserve to be in the super 8s, cos they just aint super!! ICC had done their very best with the groupings to make sure that IND and Pak as well as other big teams go through. the fact above two failed is not ICCs fault. This world cup crickt wise is one of the most exciting ones ever. we are half way thourgh super 8s and no one is entrely sure who would go onto the semis. exciting cricket played by the most professional, athletic, skilled and united teams. the teams that hadnt moved with the times are watching it HD, LCD etc. tough luck!!!11

    And for those who blame the green pitch for pakistans loss to ireland, come on, grow up!!! Thank mike

  • Rauf on April 6, 2007, 10:13 GMT

    To H.Malik

    "the condition to be considered selected for the national team should be a clean shaven individual"

    This is absurd and amusing at the same time. I am leaning more torwads amusing as it sounds so childish. Since when did the facial hair, or lack of it, was a creteria to be a good player?

    You may not have noticed it recently but we also have plenty of clean shaven "YOYO's" as you put it. I don't need to name names. Furthermore, Indian team is pretty much all clean shaven yet they are also in the same boat as Pakistani cricket team i.e. bunch of overpaid, larger then life egos yet zero on the pitch when it counts.

    Playing good cricket and practicing one's faith are two separate things. One should not be dismissed at the expense of the other. Problem with Pakistani cricket is not how long or short a player's beard is or if he bows down after scoring a century. It's the gamesmanship (if this is a word) and the total attitude towards the game. Absent that and you will have a team of clean shaven "YOYO's" as opposed to bearded "YOYO's".

    Give me a talented team of players who are disciplined and would strive to win a match for their country. As long as one stays within the behavioral boundaries of the country/culture one belongs to while being a member of the national team, I don't care if one is a Muslim, Christian or Hindu, beard or no beard. If one practices one's individual faith and are also a good player to deserve a spot on the team, then more power to that person.

  • Aadil NZ on April 6, 2007, 9:52 GMT

    I Think it shld be NZ or SL...both deserve to win this tournament for what they have come up with...Gritty performances and good comebacks which is detrimental to win the cup...as for WI i would like them to but they have no faint chance leave alone outside chance...NZ and SL victory will be a win for cricket.....

  • Faraz Hashmi on April 6, 2007, 7:38 GMT

    i totally agree with H.Malik, Islam has nothing to do with cricket, i wrote in my earlier blog that inviting people for Islam is different thing and practising Islam is all together different from playing decent cricket, If Yousuf things his nerves have rested and he is settled well he has cleared his personal doubts and eventually that has calmed him down, those who beleive reciting a verse from the holy quran would help them not edge a swinging one always are taking help from God , God would help at times and luck plays a part but Allah clearly says work hard and make an effort, Inzi couldnt work on his fitness and supported players like Rana Naved when maybe Sami Ullah Niazi was praying to the same allah that he could get a chance but what if he was clean shaven ,Secondly I tell Inzi and his fellow players if you were that Islamic Invitee's and Religious people then Bob Woolmer would have been the first one to embrace Islam, meaning that these Religious scholars of cricket werent scholars after all, they were cricketers, i talk to people here in dubai on the streets, taxi drivers from our province NWFP and somehow it has struck my mind that i should share with you, Inzi also mentioned in a statement in southafrica that the enviornment was not conducive for practicing islam and the open beaches, he also said we werent mentally tough, I thought i prayed five times a day i can sit in a club and be myself i wont drink but i will never be overshadowed by a foreigner , the answer is these players have an inferiority complex accept shoaib,afridi,butt !and yes Islam should help in bringing the best out of a person, then how come these highly paid muslims who do not live a simple life get mentally bogged down!!!!

  • Owais on April 6, 2007, 7:36 GMT

    Good one from you Kamran !!! I must say, lately I have started agreeing with you. Yes our cricketers need to have that "hunger" for winning in big tournaments. I always liked the attitude of teams in football, hockey and even cricket that give their heart and soul to go down fighting in a losing cause and their captain, their key players are crying, being consoled by people around the team. I cant forget tears in the eyes of Marodonna, Paolo Maldini, Franco Brasey, Michel Platini who all lost their finals or semi finals in football worldcup one time or the other. I never see this spirit in Pakistan cricket and hockey teams. Why does the defeat not kick similar emotions. Why do they have a look on face telling me they are shit scared of fans' reactions. Where is that agony, tears ??? I think thats lack of hunger for win and hate for a defeat !!! The internal drive to achieve is over shadowed by external elements, ie, fear of reaction from supporters.

    As for technique, we should now understand that all our batsmen are flat track bullies, yes even inzi and yousuf. Younis is only for India and for other teams maybe one good innings in 6 outings. Our bowlers are much better but what they gain in talent and ability, they lose in terms of physical fitness. I dont see our team competing well with aussies, SA and even England on foreign grounds. Unless ofcourse, we start preparing all sorts of wickets, improve our cricketing structure and infrastructure. Even in that case the results will start coming in next 5 to 10 years.

  • Rizwan Shah on April 6, 2007, 6:47 GMT

    The biggest problem we face im the Subcontinent is the ability to face reality. We lost (India & Pakistan) to better teams, we are not as good as we think. Just like field hockey the other teams have caught up to us and figured out how to beat us. Our flat pitches back home make us look like superstars but outside of India & Pakistan out studs look like duds. Prepare better sporting pitches at home so our players can get used to cricket everywhere else in the world.

    In pakistan we have been complaining about not picking the best players but frankly speaking Asim Kamal or Yasir Hameed could not have won the world cup for us either. And for Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif it serves them right for making the wrong choices. If I cheated at school I would be kicked out and if I did the same at work, I would be standing in the umemployment line.

    In India, they need a lot of help since the talent beyond the current team is very limited. But good luck explaining that to the average Indian fan. Dravid can hold his wicket on the crease on an average day but not his players anymore.

    As far as West Indies is concerned apart from home field advantage they have no advantages since the team and talent both lack the ability to win the world cup.

    For cricket's sake go Sri Lanka!!!

  • SHEHZAD on April 6, 2007, 6:24 GMT

    Hello all. My comments are relevant to the above topic rather they are on the situation going on in India. DO GREAT PLAYERS MAKE GREAT COACHES ? We have seen what Javed Miandad did in his two stints as Pakistan Coach. Now see what has happened in India with another GREAT player being appointed as coach. Does it sound similar. If I am not mistaken King Viv has also done a stint as coach of W.Indies and now Clive Loydd is thier MENTOR not coach. Great players hardly make good coaches for senior sides. The senior Team of any sport be they good or bad are the stars and superstars good of thier show. Great players hogg that lime light or as they say rain on thier parade, so it is a very difficult situation for both of them to accept each other and know thier boundaries. Great players should be asked to coach younger sides under 17's or 19's and the senior side should have a coach or even coaches with the skills of man management and resource planning. Good Captains and players win matches not Great Coaches case in point John Buchanan, Mickey Arthur, Bob Woolmer (YES), Dave Whatmore Tom Moody Etc.

  • H.Malik on April 6, 2007, 6:18 GMT

    Dear Kamran These ego driven, Self Praising, Supper Star " YOYOs " will NEVER , no matter what Disco/Clypso you bring on. 1999 shameless loss to BD and humilating final drubbings , the clueless behaviour at 2003 WC COULD NOT have any bearings on their performance. Being accross the boder Old Cousins and duly affected by the on going Confidence building measures , INDIAN also started to be same , "YOYOs" . so what you are talking about , these are just the flat track bullies who know only to talk bullshittingly . IT IS A DISGRACE TO THE WORD ITSELF , if any one can or should call them PROFESSIONALS . Blaming " the heavens " for the loss to Ireland is the most idoatic , most ambarrasing and YET THE MOST ISLAMIC utterance we heard from the MULLAH INZI. i suggest to PCB , (May be my proposal will bring huge out cries in this blog " , the condition to be considered selected for the national team should be a clean shaven individual and any moment any sense of RELIGIOUS trend is found in any play , he must be thrown out regardless of his stature in the team . The staying power in the team MUST BE only Performance based from series to series and only then perhaps THESE YOYOs will have their feet on earth and will strive professionally to win each time they go on the field .

  • FAISAL on April 6, 2007, 5:50 GMT

    I can' understand why nobody is complaining about the dead pitches that the Pakistan captain (Inzi) creates for the matches in Pakistan so that they don't lose those matches as well and the big three (Inzi, Yousuf and Younus) can improve their batting averages. If you want to be in the top three teams in the world, you cannot just keep complaining about one bad pitch you had to bat on in one match, the other team batted on the same pitch. Australia or SA or Srilanka would have scored more than 100 (Pakistan got 30 extras comprising wides and noballs along with helpful umpiring decisions in that match) on those pitches against such low rated bowling.

  • Jaanasheenster on April 6, 2007, 5:07 GMT

    Totally agree with you Merit, Merit Merit. This favoritism towards one province is killing the team. We are gonna keep losing if we continue to ignore players from other areas especially Karachi. Asim Kamal's example is an eye opener. He was a perfect partner for long inings for someone like Yousuf and could have done wonders in the test arena (may be still can but I won't be banking on it).

  • Aleya Khan on April 6, 2007, 4:49 GMT

    kamran bhai , make shahid afridi the captain, he would do wonders for the team, salman butt vice captain. Younis Khan already tried and tested, Wasim akram the coach, ok he would fix matches but at least he would fix them in the big ones give us a chance first besides that wasim has a brilliant cricketing mind, intikhab is an old man the coach of 92, i think we are going round in circles

  • Tahir Khan on April 6, 2007, 4:15 GMT

    Writting all the way from Canada, I must say that reading your pakspin has been a treat sir. I am a 26 year old basketball player born and raised in Canada who loves cricket (unfortunatly pakistan cricket) because of having been introduced to it sicne I was young by my father and it is the one way we can connect. I unfortunatly have chosen to start following pakistan cricket again during a very dark and disturbing time. It began shortly before the Oval incident. Now living here in Canada and following sports the one thing I can say for a fact is that give us or the states the ammount of talent that Pakistan possess and you would never see these debacles. There are athletes in the NBA making between $20-30 million dollars who are screamed at by coaches and who are pushed every day in order to earn that paycheck.

    The problem with our cricket system is not the players, but the way it is managed and the culture that has developed and now we are seeing the same trend in India. These players think they are gods gift to man because they can swing a bat and throw a ball. Indian and Pakistani players should be embarrassed and should beg the Sri Lankans to teach them the meaning of hard work. I seriously hope that pakistan get rid of much of this team and rebuild with younger, hungrier players! We need to get rid of bums like Shoaib Akhtar because that fool has always thought of himself to be bigger than the game itself.

    And as for Younis Khan i am torn because I think he is a good leader however his "dummy captain" stunt and his lack of showing up for BOTH the world cup and the champions trophy makes me question his worth in the ODI's. I love Shoaib Malik and everything he represents and think he should be the next captain. I would love for Affridi to be the captain but he is just too much of an innconsistent player. Mohammad Yousuf is just too old and he doesnt seem to have a captain's personality.

  • khurram on April 6, 2007, 3:50 GMT

    C'mon guys, ICC's conspiracy theory to kick Pakistan out, give me a break??. Can't anyone here accept reality. The reality is Pakistan sucked and whatever happened was expected, if one was just willing to see the signs, which were so very obvious since last 6-7 months.

    Only if we, for once, start taking a hard look at ourselves and start learing from our mistakes. But we always take the easy way out, blame ICC, play the racism card, blame the pitch, blame the weather etc etc. With this national attitude, nothing is ever gonna change. Four years down the road, we will again be sitting here and crying over another first round exit.

  • Ahmed on April 6, 2007, 3:14 GMT

    calgary boi... i been reading ur posts for time.. please do not take serious offence....can you please stop bringing up you irelevant topics in to blogs that are discussed one specific matters then bringing in your own new subject...appreciate that and please do not diss the hell of out of me now.thanks

  • AAMIR JADOON on April 6, 2007, 3:08 GMT

    Well Kamran you are right that this world cup has lost its taste after some very disastrous happens at the beginning, in the form of the lost of India, Pakistan and then the Death of Bobwoolmer. And now the there are chances of West Indies to exit from the world cup also, because I think that miracle need for West Indies to reach the semifinals, From the current situation three teams have already qualified for the final, these are Srilanka, Australia and Newzeland, and South Africa is the strongest contester in the remaining teams, and I think that these four teams are the favorite for the semifinals and also they deserve it. My best wishes are with the West Indies but I am afraid that after this world cup West Indies will go in a huge trouble especially after the retirement of the Great Lara. Because I remember once I read the interview of Ian Bishop Former fast bowler of West Indies he said that cricket is very expensive game for the people of West Indies that’s why now young People start playing Volley ball and Basket Ball, and because of poverty and bad infrastructure its very difficult to produce the players like Richord, Garry Sobers, Marshal, Ambrose, Walsh, Lara, Holding, Gorner, Cliveloyed, So it’s a truth that even if you have a Natural talent but with out management and planning you can not survive and history is showing that. You can see in Pakistan once we have a great talent in the squish and hockey but because of the poor management, we lost our dominancy in these sports and now it is with the cricket. Coming towards the Pakistan and its future in the cricket. I think that we need to do the big steps, we have to correct our infrastructure from the grass root level to the highest level, and we have to prepare the good and supporting pitches so that our batsmen get use of these conditions and do not find difficulties when the situation arrives. You have seen in the world cup on the green top wicket against the newly born baby team our batsmen just frightened, as they will die on the wicket. In addition, they were under innumerous pressure this was not happened first time with the Pakistani team, if you remember we made a green top wicket in Pakistan against the Zimbabwe and we lost the match on that wicket so it means that we are missing the trick. We have a great nursery of fast bowling in Pakistan, but we are still doing the unjust ice with our talent by giving the job to make the wickets to the people like Agha Nasir and Bashir Achooo. Why we are not making the good supporting wickets in our country? We have to take this bold step otherwise; we will suffer forever in the future. Pakistan has produced the great fast bowlers in the past, like Imran, Wasim, and Waqar. However, unfortunately there record is not as good as they deserve. Although they have a very good record but I believe if they played on the supporting wickets, they have even better record than the current one. If Wasim and Waqar were the Australian players then no one could even reached there record. Therefore, if we want to get the success in the future we have to take some bold steps, other wise Allah hafiz for our team and according to Rashid Latif, we will be even worse position in the next world cup. I know that my opinion don’t have any value, but I just wrote here what I feel and thank to Kamran Abbasi for giving us the opportunity to express our feelings and suggestions here in the cricinfo blog.

  • Haider on April 6, 2007, 2:39 GMT

    Jon, we remain amazingly impressed by your gentile behavior - what a great man you are. Oh, btw have you noticed the sheer lack of talent in the English team - thats why they lose... in case you did not realize that. And the passions are not invoked in the british public for their team because there is nothing there to have any big expectations for.

  • EAMIRAN on April 6, 2007, 1:57 GMT

    "I want them to view the levels of professionalism on display and UNDERSTAND what they need to do."

    Understand is the operative word. Maybe if they were semi-literate they would understand.I have to say the current team is possibly the dumbest Pakistan team ever fielded in history. They could make a movie about this team, and call it "Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest".

    To all the provincialist commentators on this blog- get a life! We have 2 players from Sindh who are chronic underachievers: Sami and Kaneria. 3 players from the Frontier, 2 who are pretty good (Younis and Gul) and one who can play the lead role in the aforementioned movie (no 2nd guesses please). Approximately half the team is non-Punjabi! According to the logic presented by our esteemed rocket scientists, this is what should be done: Drop the 2 best batsmen, i.e, Inzi and Yousuf and the two best bowlers, Shoaib and Asif - because they happen to be from the Punjab, and substitute them with the following matchwinners; Yasser Hameed, Asim Kamal, Riaz Afridi and XYZ-Baloch from Quetta! Yes - I can see Pakistan winning lots of matches with the changes mentioned ------ against Bermuda!

  • WASIM SAQIB on April 6, 2007, 0:37 GMT

    Naddem I agree with you that merit is a key to success but you were quick to point out the Punjab factor,what about Younis khan, shahid afridi,and Sami they didnt performed any wonders either,we all agree that the selection was not right,but selection is a thankless job bcz everybody becomes wise after they have seen the results.The root problem is the standard of our domestic cricket so lets not make it a race issue.

    Coming back to news from Pakistan, Younis khan has been offered captaincy by Nasim Ashraf, which he initially declined but said,in the interest of the nation he can reconsider his descision,provided he is given more power and full control over the team and full cooperation from all the players.

    I think if he gets the captaincy, by next year everybody will be missing Inzimam,I think the guy is highly tempramental and will be a disaster for the team,he does not exhibit the calmness and maturity of a leader,and if he is made the captain the team will further divide,he is acting like if he will be doing a favour to Pakistan by accepting the Captaincy,I think the way he performed in the world cup he should have been more concerned about his place in the team,his SHOKHA PUN has costed us the world cup,people say he is too energetic and bubbly,I think he is a SHOKHA who has temprament issues and lacks maturity totally unworthy of leading the team, the way he batted in the World cup and in South Africa time and again he threw his wicket and i seriously doubt his integrity,we all know his capabilities, a player of his stature cannot throw away his wicket in similar fashion so many times.

    I think the cat is out of the bag, both YK and Yousaf have announced their willingness to lead the team.Both of them were the leading scorers for Pakistan in 2006 and just in a month, as soon as the world cup started they had some sort of metamorphosis which transformed them from world class batsmen to club level cricketers.

    I dont know what were they trying to achieve,but one thing is for sure we should not reward them for their disgusting performance,thats also a way of bringing discipline in the team.

    Time and again we have seen that senior players under perform in key events just to dethrone the captain,we should punish such behaviour,by taking away from them what they are after.

  • calgary highlander on April 5, 2007, 20:46 GMT

    Can ppl plz stop with the one liners. “I agree with u Kamran. ", or “Very well put Kamran. " I'm sorry but one liners are super annoying. If ur gonna say anything it should be constructive and help further dissect the topic.

    I think next time around the team will be hungry cuz their captain won't have eaten 2 plates of Nihari n' Biryani, followed by a giant bowl of chola. Wait that was only the appetizer. 10 plate of Korma and just for the hell of it, 20 lbs of ghee, and 2 bottles of oil. And I won't even go near the dessert. Anyways my point is that while Inzi was a fantastic player, one of the best even, he was a terrible captain. Friendly giant? I think so, but he was very stubborn. Corrupt with the power that he had held for too long. That is why I suggest Pakistan has two captains. Wacky? Yes. Will it work? Well, we haven't tried it. When Younis Khan loses a match Shahid Afridi will become captain and when Afridi loses YK will be captain again. And if YK says “I don’t want to be a dummy captain”, kick him off Pakistan for good n’ let Malik be the other captain. Competition always forces ppl to do a better job.

    Humayun, I totally agree with you on monkey Rana, but I think Akmal had a decent time behind the stumps. I don't think I've heard Akmal bashing for along time. We know he has the talent. He's shown it to us before. I remember that he single handedly turned around a test match and we ended up winning. We just need to keep on trying and help him reach his full potential with the gloves and the bat.

  • Sitarah Anjum-London on April 5, 2007, 20:30 GMT

    Well, as I currently live in UK which is my second home and after the humiliating exit of Pak I’d support England and Sri Lanka being the Asian team playing in the tournament. I hope to see them in Semi- Finals. WI is similar to Pak, hot and cold. They also lack consistency. I do not see any reason why Kamran Abbasi wants to support WI and not Sri Lanka or any other team. Just because they’re host does not mean that a professional team like Sri Lanka who’s an Asian team should be ignored. At least we have East Pak (Bangladesh) in the tournament to threaten the teams in case they cause another upset. We all can see IRE is not even close to cause any more upset to other teams. The only 2 rubbish teams that can afford to be out of mega tournament as a result of such upset are Pak & Ind! IRE did not win against Pak bcos they were good they won bcos Pak was rubbish and unprofessional in their approach at that day. The blame goes to all the 11 players as not a single man played well. I don even call it game of cricket what they showed on that day. I can not forgive these greedy people who make millions of rupees due to fame and support of media and fans. This is media and fans that make them heroes and when they do badly they must be prepared to face criticism as well. Inzamam no doubt is a good cricketer but captaincy made him more arrogant and stubborn and the way he took his anger on media was childish. The way he mentioned about losing the three games he sounded as if it was not a big deal losing it at all!!!! How many times would we see the same repeat performance by this selfish, thick arrogant bunch of losers? I am not ready to accept any apology from anybody, be it the entire team, PCB, selection committee or Musharraf. They are all responsible of bringing the shame and disaster. There should be proper investigation of it and all the players must be heavily fined, specially the SO-CALLED BIG THREE!!! I don care about their records or experience if it’s of no use in the mega tournament event like WC. What good is their experience if they can not even play a minnow like IRE!! Shame on all of them specially Inzamam, Yousaf and Younas who were supposed to give support at this time of crisis but the way they thrown their wickets away makes them rabbit and unprofessional greedy players who only care about their match fees and salaries. They don care if team loses or wins. What example are they setting up for the youngsters? Do you people still think people like Younas or Yousaf deserve to be the next captain at all? What have they done so great? They can’t play in Aus, NZ, SA and England due to bouncy wickets. They’re just dead wicket’s bullies!!

    By the way does anyone dare raising question over the quality of pitches used for Pak matches in WC and champion’s trophy? Mr.Abbasi, it’s your duty to write on this topic as well!! Don’t you think ICC deliberately made such pitches for Pak as they know they can’t play on such wickets! God damn, all I see is CONSPIRACY everywhere. Tell me a place where there’s sincerity and integrity and no animosity or hostility against others. ICC’s chief taking out his anger on Pak for giving him touch time! What the hell is this? Should this happen in the major tournaments at all?

  • Omar Ansari on April 5, 2007, 20:23 GMT

    Hmm Pakistan's early departure from the world cup was definitely sad... but as Jon said, the Pakistani fans over reacted. There is a limit to everything, the way Sarfaraz Nawaz and the other retards started digging up conspiracy theories was extremely disgusting. As if that wasn't enough, the pakistani fans started chanting death slogans and stuff.... the sick spectacle made me feel like hurling on the retarded protesters....

    The World Cup so far has been mind numbingly dull, there have been just a couple of good matches till now. For the world cups and crickets sake, I hope we see fireworks from all the teams soon....

  • Humayun on April 5, 2007, 20:17 GMT

    Ireland was better than Pakistan on that day too. Pakistan was done over by the all dictatorship of Inzamam. We need a major boost and change in everything our cricket is made of. Lets hope new faces and better talent comes and that everyday people have to work hard for their places in the team, and that they are not guaranteed based on favoritism. Please dont bring back Rana & Kamran Akmal. For God's sake, try another keeper.

  • WASIM SAQIB on April 5, 2007, 19:47 GMT

    The World cup 07 has been a failure,I sincerely hope that it gives a financial jolt to ICC also in future sponsorship revenues,as ICC is biased and racist and did played its part in designing the elimination of Pakistan from WC not only that if we start from Oval they have been extermely heavy handed on Pakistan,although i am not in anyway exonerating the team. West Indian team will never make it to the semis the way they are playing looks like they have made pakistan team as their role models,however the world cup did brought a complete overhaul to west indian cricket facilities I think their team will benefit from it in future. As far as Pakistan and India are concerned they will remain mediocre teams untill they eliminate corruption from their cricket,they will remain hungry but not for wins for money.

  • Ahmed on April 5, 2007, 19:46 GMT

    tru say ubaid tru say, green pitch just for pakistani game hmmmm supsicion. I was going for WI to tear things up in the tournament cuz of the way they were playing prior to the WC...rite now they are playing wiht out any urgency what so ever..hopefully gayle,sarwan and lara can click and do some bigh things if not then australia has this cup locked down again!...and honestly people have to stop acting like Lanka is all big in this tournament.. there bowling attack will not be spared by the australians and new zealand...everytime lanka played decent teams such as England and South Africa they were Ok.. people think they can win from australia....Riiiiiiiiiiiteee.

  • Amin on April 5, 2007, 19:01 GMT

    I was thinking of filing a law suit against the Pakistan team for mental torture. But just realised all the lawyers are on strike. Whats this country coming to?

  • Gollumbird on April 5, 2007, 18:47 GMT

    Saeed sahib, apparently neither do you!

  • Kareem Shah on April 5, 2007, 18:42 GMT

    Kamran- watching the WC2007 so far have confirmed my worst fear, cricket is a dying sport. If there cant be sellout crowds when the home team is playing then what hope do we have. I feel that ICC should promote Twenty20 much more than the 50 over and the 5 day version. That will be the only way to ignite passion back into cricket fans.

    As for Pakistan and India, I think they did the best they could. Too bad they didnt go far. I do have a question/suggestion for anyone though. Why dont they communicate a day before the game what kind of pitch its going to be so the teams can prepare accordingly? Atleast that will give everyone an equal chance and will take the guesswork out of it.

  • Amyn Habib on April 5, 2007, 18:38 GMT

    There is really no end to the suffering and pain of the Pakistan cricket fan. To have to suffer these awful one sided meaningless games, like Australia beating up Bangladesh. On the other hand, perhaps the early Pakistan exit was a blessing for which we should thank Ireland. Who knows what horrors would have unfolded had Pakistan gone to the Super 8?

  • Hasan on April 5, 2007, 18:34 GMT

    Jon, may i remind you what happened yesterday in the Man U. vs. Roma champions league clash? English fans are violent, rowdy, and plain stupid. Maybe this doesn't happen in cricket but this is because you are not as passionate about the sport as we (South Asians) are. When it comes to football you are far worse in regards to behaviour. As for the World Cup, as much as I pray that the West Indies make it to the semi's, it's just not going to happen. They're simply just not good enough.

  • Merit. Merit, Merit. on April 5, 2007, 18:09 GMT

    I agree with you Kamran.

    But I would like to add some thing for all cricket playing countries.(specially for Pakistan & India)

    We have lot of cricket talent in our countries. Does every one get chance on merit?

    For Pakistan: Do you think we do not have any good openers in 16 million population countiries, where half of the nation play cricket or atlest attach to the cricket.

    Problem is IQRIBA PERWARI or RACISIM. In Pakistan you should have Lahore or Punjab domicle to be the permenat member of the team. Regardless of performance they will keep selecting you if you are from PUNJAB.

    Recent examples Kamran Akmal (Drop 14 cates in one match just b4 the WC, but selected for the world Cup), Naveed ul hasan (he is totally out of form from last few serise but was the part of losing WC squad). In last fouir years we tried different openers from punjab as below: Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Omer, Salaman Butt, Kamaran Akmal, Shoaib Malik. Inzi & PCB tried all of them but all of them failed as an opener. All belongs to Punjab. But PCB tried them again & again. Yes, we found young talented player, who played as a opener and number three position is last four years and has better avergae than all above players (Yasir Hamid) but he was not selected for the World Cup. If some one outside PUNJAB perform bad in one or two innings they are out for whole season. But PCB keep given chance players from PUNJAB on regular basis. Imran Nazir is the current example. He badly perform against SA but was selected for WC squad. Did not perform well in first two matches, when we need it & we lost. But still he played third match and scored century (with four drop catches also one umpire decission on his favor) against zimbave to reserve his sit for next four years. Last time he scored century four years ago against also zimabave.

    We need to bring MERIT system.

    Why the west is top in very sports? Beasue of the Merit system. See England team, they have one muslim, one Sikh, One hindu and one or two players are originally from SA.

    They choose thier teams on merit. In Pakistan we have better pace bowlers than Shoaib Akhtar but who will bring them in the team?

    In past (1980s) we lost Atiq-ur-Rehman (The fastest bowler of Pakistan history, who broke the helmet of grate Zaheer Abbas in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy semi final match, I was watching that match. Dennise Lille was amazed & surprised that Atiqur-rehman is not the part of Pakistan cricket team, he comapred Atiq with Jeff thompson and thinks he could be faster because he is young & energetic. But unfortunately he was from the lower class area (Korangi) of the Karachi. First he was from Karachi, second part he was from lower middle class family. Both level of discrimation he had to go through (natinol level & local level)

    Same thing happened with Asim Kamal, he belongs to lower middle class area (Malir) and ex captain of Pakistan Mr Inzi put him out from last four years. This was happened after Asim's good perforamnce. Scored 9 fifties in 12 matches but never tried by so-called religious Inzamam URF Inzi.

    Naddem UK, London

  • Muhammad Asif on April 5, 2007, 18:04 GMT

    In this Market-Oriented world, Do ask the sponsers to fill the stadium with colorful spectators. In return you would get more sponsership, more money,............. Agian, if you are sincere with cricket......... Because with empty stadiums, the future of cricket would be dark.

  • Saeed on April 5, 2007, 17:42 GMT

    U people dont have anything else to do?

  • Jon on April 5, 2007, 17:35 GMT

    India and Pakistan were eliminated from the World Cup because India don't travel well and perhaps some of their stars are maybe slightly past their best.

    As for Pakistan they lost because they did not have any team spirit, the players play for themselves and not the team.

    Both teams are not helped by the idiotic minority of fans who get so upset about a loss that they apppear to want to injure or kill the offending players. To those foolish fans I say "get a life" it is only a game.

    I will be disappointed if England are eliminated but I will be able to accept it without resorting to violence againt the players or their families.

  • khansahab on April 5, 2007, 17:27 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, once again, impeccably put.

    Yes the WC must be set alight on fire. The tournament must be entrenched in every cricket lover’s memory long after its cessation. I hope to see more nail-biters after the England vs Sri Lanka match.

    Inzi’s attitude after the humiliation has been regrettable to say the least. Yes he has confessed responsibility (although I have my doubts whether he really feels it was his fault or whether it was God’s will?) but he has also blamed the pitch and in the aftermath of the disaster, the media. Does he want people to greet him with flowery necklaces and “laddoos”? This is the height of “baigharati”.

    Passionate supporters like me are desperate to know who coach will be, the players, what will be the magnitude of the changes implemented etc. Shoaib’s and Asif’s immediate futures remain uncertain because of the WADA involvement. There was speculation that Shoaib might be banned for life or for a period so long that effectively it would end his career. If Asif gets banned for a year, we never know how effective he may be upon his return. Shabbir Ahmad’s return has been far from spectacular after his break from international cricket. For the sake of Pakistan’s success, I can only hope that the WADA appeal is not heard until Shoaib is 34 odd so that his career is almost over anyway.

    I was looking at the top pace bowlers in Pakistan and I was surprised to learn that a few bowlers with impressive strike rates have never been tried at international level. In my opinion and I am sure Imran Khan will agree, the most important attribute for a bowler is his strike rate. I would put that much above his bowling average and his economy rate. I have been amazed why Sajid Shah, Abdur Rauf, Jaffar Nazir and Rajesh Ramesh have not been tried at international level. The former three are also fairly experienced and I think their track record warrants a chance to perform at international level now that we may not see Shoaib, Rana, Sami etc for a while.

    On the point about West Indies, I was of the opinion that WI would be dominant in the Super Eights but now I am uncertain because of their successive defeats. I would concur with Euceph Ahmed insofar Sri Lanka’s progress. Pakistan do need to learn from them the virtues of professionalism and consistency. I would like to remind people that India do not deserve as much condemnation as Pakistan do because they lost to better teams; Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Mere words can’t describe the grief Inzi and his men have brought upon Pakistan fans. The pity of it is that the grief could have been averted so easily if some common sense would have been infused in the enterprise.

  • saad on April 5, 2007, 16:59 GMT

    I agree with you.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 5, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    KAMRAN is it "bring on the calypso" or "Apocalypse now"? I know you are talking about the Trinidad or West Indian music that is often referred by the West Indies cricket players for their fast bowlers bowling in tandem and in perfect rhythm and harmony. And I am talking about the movie... Apocalypse Now.

    Anyways, on my last visit to the USA at one of my older cousin's house, (he had a collection of classic cricket matches) I was fortunate enough to see the last bit of the historic test match in black & white between West Indies and Australia, played in Brisbane in December 1960 which was tied, and what a match, what an ending. Australia needed 6 runs with 4 wickets in hand and all their last 4 players were run out by the superb fielding and tight bowling. Here is the link from cricinfo for those who would like to check the scorecard.

    http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1960S/1960-61/WI_IN_AUS/WI_AUS_T1_09-14DEC1960.html

    And Kamran in the last paragraph you wrote: "I want them to be desperately hungry for success next time--so hungry that it hurts, just like it hurts their fans to see them out of the tournament."

    Do you want to see us in pain again by bringing back the likes of Inzamam, Tendulkar, Dravid, Kumble & Ganguly dada etc.? For your information Inzamam is one guy who cannot remain hungry. And Tendulkar, the less you talk about the little master batter the better it is. He has now spoken in Hindi "kewn kay paani sar say ooncha ho gaya hai" thats why he had to speak against Greg Chappell now LOL. Before the team's departure to the Caribbean when Greg Chappell praised Tendulkar by saying he can bat for another three years and he will be the player to watch in the World Cup. Then, the flood gates were prolly not open and now the little master batter is sinking under the defeat, not short of runs - which he is since the last three years - but his major concern is to hang on with his sponsors to make more money! So, his hunger is different from Inzamam's. It is Nihari Vs. Nama or Rokra in his mother tongue.

  • Shoaib M Ahmed on April 5, 2007, 15:22 GMT

    I too hope that W.Indies can make it, just for the love of the game.

  • Euceph Ahmed on April 5, 2007, 15:06 GMT

    It won't be anything but sheer luck if the West Indies end up winning this thing, but that prospect has the potential of much more excitement than a metronomic, clinical job done by either South Africa or Australia. One can almost argue that Australia, for the sake of cricket, should forfeit if they make it to the finals.

    Personally, I like what the Sri Lankans are doing and, as unfortunate as it is, both India and Pakistan have a lesson or two to learn from them at least in the ODI format. Dav Whatmore has left a much larger legacy in Sri Lanka than Woolmer could ever manage in Pakistan. This is not to take anything away from Woolmer, but it has a lot to do with the character of the current Pakistani cricketers. They simply don't have it in them, and the unfortunate part is that you can't do anything about it. They just don't have the character to see a certain symbolism in Woolmer's death to raise their game for his sake.

    Pakistani and Indian cricketers have become beggars at the doors of their respective boards beelining for that one chance which will ensure them a livelihood. They play for money, or small money, should I say. Pride, passion, glory, professionalism, are words that become meaningless in the absence of a purpose. And when there's no purpose, you can hope against hope but the fire just won't be there.

  • ubaid on April 5, 2007, 14:07 GMT

    It would be curious were it to come out that ICC themselves are involved in match fixing. Andy atkinson, not too happy with pakistan over being blamed for the multan pitch and subsequent defeat comes up with a green top in jamaica, just for the pakistan match. It is not a big secret, which team would be favoured by this. Grass was shaved off immediately afterwords. I don't know if this was done with the blessing of malcom speed who has not been happy at the pressure put on him to dismiss his countryman darrel hair, and who also came out with a belated charge on shahid afridi to stop him from playing cricket. All this falls to the wayside however if certain individuals show character e.g a bloke with 380 odd ODI's dosen't want to come in when he is needed most just because of his pessimist nature and a weak hart. People will not come to the grounds to see that because it is not inspiring.

  • S. Sheikh on April 5, 2007, 13:22 GMT

    So very true Bhai Kamran.

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  • S. Sheikh on April 5, 2007, 13:22 GMT

    So very true Bhai Kamran.

  • ubaid on April 5, 2007, 14:07 GMT

    It would be curious were it to come out that ICC themselves are involved in match fixing. Andy atkinson, not too happy with pakistan over being blamed for the multan pitch and subsequent defeat comes up with a green top in jamaica, just for the pakistan match. It is not a big secret, which team would be favoured by this. Grass was shaved off immediately afterwords. I don't know if this was done with the blessing of malcom speed who has not been happy at the pressure put on him to dismiss his countryman darrel hair, and who also came out with a belated charge on shahid afridi to stop him from playing cricket. All this falls to the wayside however if certain individuals show character e.g a bloke with 380 odd ODI's dosen't want to come in when he is needed most just because of his pessimist nature and a weak hart. People will not come to the grounds to see that because it is not inspiring.

  • Euceph Ahmed on April 5, 2007, 15:06 GMT

    It won't be anything but sheer luck if the West Indies end up winning this thing, but that prospect has the potential of much more excitement than a metronomic, clinical job done by either South Africa or Australia. One can almost argue that Australia, for the sake of cricket, should forfeit if they make it to the finals.

    Personally, I like what the Sri Lankans are doing and, as unfortunate as it is, both India and Pakistan have a lesson or two to learn from them at least in the ODI format. Dav Whatmore has left a much larger legacy in Sri Lanka than Woolmer could ever manage in Pakistan. This is not to take anything away from Woolmer, but it has a lot to do with the character of the current Pakistani cricketers. They simply don't have it in them, and the unfortunate part is that you can't do anything about it. They just don't have the character to see a certain symbolism in Woolmer's death to raise their game for his sake.

    Pakistani and Indian cricketers have become beggars at the doors of their respective boards beelining for that one chance which will ensure them a livelihood. They play for money, or small money, should I say. Pride, passion, glory, professionalism, are words that become meaningless in the absence of a purpose. And when there's no purpose, you can hope against hope but the fire just won't be there.

  • Shoaib M Ahmed on April 5, 2007, 15:22 GMT

    I too hope that W.Indies can make it, just for the love of the game.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 5, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    KAMRAN is it "bring on the calypso" or "Apocalypse now"? I know you are talking about the Trinidad or West Indian music that is often referred by the West Indies cricket players for their fast bowlers bowling in tandem and in perfect rhythm and harmony. And I am talking about the movie... Apocalypse Now.

    Anyways, on my last visit to the USA at one of my older cousin's house, (he had a collection of classic cricket matches) I was fortunate enough to see the last bit of the historic test match in black & white between West Indies and Australia, played in Brisbane in December 1960 which was tied, and what a match, what an ending. Australia needed 6 runs with 4 wickets in hand and all their last 4 players were run out by the superb fielding and tight bowling. Here is the link from cricinfo for those who would like to check the scorecard.

    http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1960S/1960-61/WI_IN_AUS/WI_AUS_T1_09-14DEC1960.html

    And Kamran in the last paragraph you wrote: "I want them to be desperately hungry for success next time--so hungry that it hurts, just like it hurts their fans to see them out of the tournament."

    Do you want to see us in pain again by bringing back the likes of Inzamam, Tendulkar, Dravid, Kumble & Ganguly dada etc.? For your information Inzamam is one guy who cannot remain hungry. And Tendulkar, the less you talk about the little master batter the better it is. He has now spoken in Hindi "kewn kay paani sar say ooncha ho gaya hai" thats why he had to speak against Greg Chappell now LOL. Before the team's departure to the Caribbean when Greg Chappell praised Tendulkar by saying he can bat for another three years and he will be the player to watch in the World Cup. Then, the flood gates were prolly not open and now the little master batter is sinking under the defeat, not short of runs - which he is since the last three years - but his major concern is to hang on with his sponsors to make more money! So, his hunger is different from Inzamam's. It is Nihari Vs. Nama or Rokra in his mother tongue.

  • saad on April 5, 2007, 16:59 GMT

    I agree with you.

  • khansahab on April 5, 2007, 17:27 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, once again, impeccably put.

    Yes the WC must be set alight on fire. The tournament must be entrenched in every cricket lover’s memory long after its cessation. I hope to see more nail-biters after the England vs Sri Lanka match.

    Inzi’s attitude after the humiliation has been regrettable to say the least. Yes he has confessed responsibility (although I have my doubts whether he really feels it was his fault or whether it was God’s will?) but he has also blamed the pitch and in the aftermath of the disaster, the media. Does he want people to greet him with flowery necklaces and “laddoos”? This is the height of “baigharati”.

    Passionate supporters like me are desperate to know who coach will be, the players, what will be the magnitude of the changes implemented etc. Shoaib’s and Asif’s immediate futures remain uncertain because of the WADA involvement. There was speculation that Shoaib might be banned for life or for a period so long that effectively it would end his career. If Asif gets banned for a year, we never know how effective he may be upon his return. Shabbir Ahmad’s return has been far from spectacular after his break from international cricket. For the sake of Pakistan’s success, I can only hope that the WADA appeal is not heard until Shoaib is 34 odd so that his career is almost over anyway.

    I was looking at the top pace bowlers in Pakistan and I was surprised to learn that a few bowlers with impressive strike rates have never been tried at international level. In my opinion and I am sure Imran Khan will agree, the most important attribute for a bowler is his strike rate. I would put that much above his bowling average and his economy rate. I have been amazed why Sajid Shah, Abdur Rauf, Jaffar Nazir and Rajesh Ramesh have not been tried at international level. The former three are also fairly experienced and I think their track record warrants a chance to perform at international level now that we may not see Shoaib, Rana, Sami etc for a while.

    On the point about West Indies, I was of the opinion that WI would be dominant in the Super Eights but now I am uncertain because of their successive defeats. I would concur with Euceph Ahmed insofar Sri Lanka’s progress. Pakistan do need to learn from them the virtues of professionalism and consistency. I would like to remind people that India do not deserve as much condemnation as Pakistan do because they lost to better teams; Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Mere words can’t describe the grief Inzi and his men have brought upon Pakistan fans. The pity of it is that the grief could have been averted so easily if some common sense would have been infused in the enterprise.

  • Jon on April 5, 2007, 17:35 GMT

    India and Pakistan were eliminated from the World Cup because India don't travel well and perhaps some of their stars are maybe slightly past their best.

    As for Pakistan they lost because they did not have any team spirit, the players play for themselves and not the team.

    Both teams are not helped by the idiotic minority of fans who get so upset about a loss that they apppear to want to injure or kill the offending players. To those foolish fans I say "get a life" it is only a game.

    I will be disappointed if England are eliminated but I will be able to accept it without resorting to violence againt the players or their families.

  • Saeed on April 5, 2007, 17:42 GMT

    U people dont have anything else to do?

  • Muhammad Asif on April 5, 2007, 18:04 GMT

    In this Market-Oriented world, Do ask the sponsers to fill the stadium with colorful spectators. In return you would get more sponsership, more money,............. Agian, if you are sincere with cricket......... Because with empty stadiums, the future of cricket would be dark.