Politics April 23, 2007

A strategy for seniors

One solution to a tussle between seniors is the "Two captain strategy"

Despite public proclamations of unity, the Pakistan board (PCB) will have to find a way of keeping their venerable "seniors" on board. One solution to a tussle between seniors is the "Two captain strategy" (one in one-day cricket and the other in Test cricket). But the PCB has sensibly concluded Malik can do both, in which case I propose the "Two vice-captain strategy." In a nutshell, it goes something like this:

1 An age-old technique for reining in a delinquent elder is to give him some responsibility.

2 Pakistan has a few of these, so why not appoint two vice-captains?

3 Younis Khan has ruled himself out of both positions. In any case there's no point him being deputy to Malik since he has decided not to captain Pakistan. Younis's moment has gone (he remains a certainty for my Test XI though).

4 Salman Butt, the champion of the adolescent vote, has enough on his plate re-establishing himself as an international cricketer to have an extra distraction. Salman's moment is yet to come.

5 Abdul Razzaq has captained but it was a performance that helped his opponents rather than his own team. Razzaq's moment was best forgotten.

6 Shoaib Akhtar should have contaminated his chances of winning a position of responsibility just as he contaminated his blood and urine with nandrolone. Shame, he might have been a fascinating leader. Shoaib's moment is wishful thinking.

7 Shahid Afridi should be in every one-day team but he might miss the cut in Test cricket. Give the gusto of Afridi a blast. It is the moment to make him one-day vice-captain.

8 Mohammad Yousuf should be in every Test team though half an eye on the next World Cup might render him quickly irrelevant in one-day cricket. Give the lofty elegance of Yousuf another try. It is the moment to make him Test vice-captain.

9 Once a future successor (it may be a long time in the future) is identified he should take over from Yousuf as the Test vice-captain. The successor's moment is not now.

10 Oh yes. Inzamam should do a Lara, announce a farewell Test in the next home series, and watch the boys play well without him. The big man deserves a parting moment of splendour.

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