April 5, 2007

World Cup 2007

Bring on the calypso

Kamran Abbasi

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

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Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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

Posted by 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?

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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)

Posted by 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.

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Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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