New age May 15, 2007

Redemption comes cheap, anger comes quickly

This week Pakistan cricket begins a new era
109

This week Pakistan cricket begins a new era. It might be a new era that begins without a coach, the fastest bowler, and the presumed captain-in-waiting. It might begin with a rookie captain and a novice deputy but it is a new era that begins with guarded optimism—as every new era should.

Pakistan cricket is a fragile creature that carries the hopes and dreams of millions around the globe, sometimes fulfills them, but too often lurches from one disaster to the next. But as my fellow writer Nauman Niaz put it in a comment in response to a previous blog, redemption comes cheap.

Today we stand in optimism behind Shoaib Malik, an intellectual lightweight—see Nadia Khan’s interview if you disagree—but an enthusiastic heavyweight. Many of us dare to believe that this time it will be different, youth will sweep away the anti-professionalism of Big Inzy’s era. We have gifted redemption for nothing in return. The rest of the world—including Pakistan fans of the pragmatic school—believes us redemption-comes-cheap wallas to be mad fools. And so be it—it’s more fun that way.

Now all Shoaib and the Boyz need do is to vindicate us. When they face World Cup finalists Sri Lanka in the furnace of Abu Dhabi, Pakistan will be the ones with a point to prove, hungry for success. Sri Lanka, shorn of their mighty bowlers and sapped of desire, should be the Bangladesh to Pakistan’s India.

If the Boyz stumble at this first surmountable hurdle they might rediscover that just as redemption comes cheap, anger comes quickly. The next two years will be a rocky road and we should be patient in judgment—but sometimes it is too hard to bite your tongue.

This moment feels like a step into the unknown. I hope it stretches into a triumphant leap. That is exactly what the cheap redemption of millions deserves.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kay on June 20, 2007, 9:34 GMT

    http://www.dawn.com/2007/06/20/spt2.htm

  • pbw on May 18, 2007, 6:05 GMT

    malinga chucks (he he he) have you people heard of phases like "look who's talking or you should listen to yourselves. Javed bla bla bla have you ever played cricket? if so you would know that it is not a maths exam!!!(pls stick to banking)in cricket the only rule applicable is over and under arm and since you yourself state that its overarm nothing to talk aboubt. the degree of the arm my guess is less than 10 degrees way below the allowed 15 degrees so nothing to argue is there? Considering that pakistan has the least anti doping, most legal actions and the least players involved in match fixing, guess you guys are in a very suitable position to give opinion about talanted up and coming fast bowler who you guys used to produce on regular basis ... Breaking News - Lasith Maling & Ishra Imarasinghe (Suprise wpn) is going to rip through your batting line up, the score less than 200 want to bet?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • zain kazmi on May 18, 2007, 5:19 GMT

    I endorse khansahab's comments about mixing religion with cricket, i also saw shaoib's appearance with some beard in an interview, so the disease has been penetrated.......

    Surely, surely this will destroy our cricket....!

    To all those ppl who r giving there views in favor of mixing religion with the game,,,, plzzz think it with sincerity ,honesty and out of emotions that we r not criticizing our players for offering prayers etc, we r just requesting them not to do 2 things at one time, if they want to "tableegh" then they could quit cricket can fulfill their desire.

    thats why i thougt PJ Mirr was totally right in pointing this issue , he atleast took the step to public it...

    otherwise we could imagine that if a cleric start playing game and a player start giving fitwas and doing tableeg .... the balance will be destroyed and both will suffer.

    Pakistani players r insulting our religion by doing this.... and than taking shield under its umbrella..!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 18, 2007, 3:50 GMT

    SHOAIB AKHTAR is available now! Was he was outta stock earlier? IF you are standing on top of a building and looking down on the street and see Shoaib Akhtar on a Zebra Crossing what will you say? Now you see him, now you don't, now you see him now you don't, now you see him now you don't. This is exactly what he has been doing in the past. "I am fit, I am not fit, I am fully fit, I am not fully fit, I wanna be super fit." Geez stop these fits man, come on apply some rouge and mascara on your forehead and make up your. Or should I say redeem your mind?

    It was expected that ICC will object Mohammad Asif's inclusion in the playing XI before the Wada thingi is over. So, they did and imo, its more because of the publicity due to his appointment as a vice captain. ICC will never miss any opportunity in harming Pakistan or any of its players. The Shahid Afridi incident in SA was considered as a nothing case until they discovered the loop hole in the rules where only "Speedy Gonzales" could have penalized Afridi by using his super duper authoritarian VETO and so he did. Obviously someone made a strenuous effort to make it happen. It shows how much they hate Pakistan.

    Awas ki duniya kay dost, I don't think I can convince you on the subject of consuming alcohol and it is neither my intention nor my desire to do so, you are free to use it or abuse it. What you are forgetting is alcohol is such a laanat, that ultimately it takes control over human minds no matter how strong you are and that is the reason it is forbidden in Islam. By trying to prove your point that in the Western world liquor is a part of their diet and it is healthy to take it in moderation, you are trying to prove that the Western dietary norms are better than our religion, Islam? I am sorry, I don't buy this argument.

    Secondly, meray bhai, peenay valaon ko peenay ka bahana chahiyeh and they are the ones who abuse it. Just like, to buzz off, Flintoff needs Smirnoff vodka. Its a proven thing and most alcoholics have admitted that initially they started off like Flintoff, I mean drinking in moderation before they were labeled as 'drunk, skunk and sunk.' Its just like in, "Ashq", I mean in "Ishq", pehlay jaan, phir jaan-e-jaan, phir jaan-e-jaanaan ho gaye! Similarly user say abuser ho gaye! Ashaq - am I right bro? ;-) You might say; "Ashaq" hoon par "Mashaq" faraibi hai mera kaam --- Sharaab ko bura kehti hai botal meray aagay!-- Don't say, yae tou, 'hota hai tamasha shab-o-roze meray aagay.' JK.

    So, far no one has seriously predicted who will win the series in Abu Dhabi? Perhaps the bookies have but, not the bloggers. Just for fun, Pak 2, Sri Lanka 1, howz dat? The track is reportedly flat and good for batting. Pakistan, if they win the toss must field and restrict Sri Lanka under 240. Its a day and night match, toss would be crucial and team bowling second will have problems due to the dew. So Malinga won't be that effective with a slippery ball. I hope my predictions are not as bad as Kamran Abbassi's. :-) So, lets see!

  • Aftab Qureshi on May 18, 2007, 3:47 GMT

    Inconsistent as ever. In one breath, you ask that we should not rush to judgment, in the next you pronounce him to be an intellectual lightweight, and you do so even before poor Shoaib Mallik has gone for his first toss as captain!

  • Ashaq on May 18, 2007, 3:14 GMT

    Awas my brother I fail to see your point concerning Alchohol.In your previous post you were trying to justify the consumption of alcohol,Now you state that was not what you were saying.

    I think every body on this blog is aware that Alchohol consumption is considered pretty normal in the west.How exactly does that translate to the Pakistan team? I appreciate that some westerners claim that there are health benefits in wine but so what?

    Afterall if we are going to use western view point to justify the use of alchohol.Then why not apply the same criteria to justify the use of religion in sport.Whilst the Europeans may have an aversion to religion. In the icon of the west the United States of America being an upright christian is seen as a strength.You have athletes from virtually every major sport in America making public displays of religion.Praising there lord and master Jesus Christ in interviews,and press conferences.They are not attacked or ridiculed for doing so.You have athletes partaking in group prayers before games, and attending bible study classes after games.Majority of the coaches in virtually every major sport in America consider a strong religious conviction to be a strength.Whilst I have yet to read the comment were a coach considers an athlete finding what you called "solace in Whisky" a strength or appropiate.In fact any athlete who sought "solace" in the bottle would be told to seek help, It is also considered extremely unprofessional for an athlete to be out drinking prior to games. So why the double standard as regards Islam?

    Your second comment regarding the master of contradictions P.J.MIR. and him being in hiding cos a fatwa was issued against him.

    This is what MR.P.J.MIR stated 01 may 2007 in an interview with CNN-IBN journalist Sanjay Suri you can view the video in their archives.

    Snjay Suri: Have you attracted a Fatwa for your views?

    Pj Mir:Well one of the cricketers sadly has appealed to the Ulema(religious scholars) that there ought to be fatwa on me.

    Sanjay Suri:Which cricketer?

    P.j.Mir: Rashid Latif.

    Sanjay Suri:There is some suggestions that these (religious)tensions could have been reponsible for Woolmers death.

    P.J.Mir: I dont think so.

    Yet a few days later on the BBc panorama programme he claimed a Fatwa was issued against him and that one may have also been issued against Woolmer.So what changed in the course of those few days? It seems to me the wily Mr.Mir realised that making these allegations was far more financially rewarding.The British press and media would lap it up and pay him handsomely for interviews.

    The word fatwa means legal ruling.so far P.J.Mir has failed to come up with a single name of any Islamic Scholar for issuing this alleged fatwa.or the contents of the fatwa.After all the Fatwa if there is one could merely state that P.J.Mir should refrain from making such remarks. P.J.mir has taken advantage of the blind ignorance in the west as regards the meaning of the word Fatwa. Where the word Fatwa is wrongly presumed to mean Death penalty.He also claimed that he had fled Pakistan in fear of his life and was going in to hiding.In fact Mr.Mir is living in his Villa in Dubai.As he has been for the last few years.

    So Awas it seems to me that your very naive to accept these ridiculous assertions by P.J.Mir.

  • Hassan on May 18, 2007, 2:07 GMT

    So people do not want him because of his punjabi accent? Ok fair enough, lets have a terrorist mohajir from Karachi as captain spitting "pan" around.

  • WAQAR-USA on May 18, 2007, 1:27 GMT

    AWAS- What u call enlightened moderation in reality is enlightened bastardization of our country,Can u imagine moderation or freedom without true democracy,its a shame that u blamed every thing on the poor CJ and totally failed to examine the role played by sind govt and rangers in karachi fiasco under any human rights convention the rule of Musharaf and the way he is raping the constitution and plundering the resources of the country is deplorable,but u blinded by your enlightened moderation or your political and ethnic affinity see no problem with it,we are quick to criticise PCB officials and yet fail to criticise the Patron in chief who is indirectly controlling all the shots. As regards your `comments about drinking,you can drink like a skunk or die like a punk who cares, if u have the right to be not religious,others can have the right to be religious,your behaviour is no different than the Taliban who have no tolerance for others.Strangely u live in Uk u are quite impressed by the Idea of drinking with restraint but the Idea of freedom to practice ones religion without getting discriminated couldnt cross your mind.I have no sympathies for the Taliban or other extereme organizations,but to brand everybody with a beard a Taliban is completly Idiotic. And if u are ashamed to say Pakistan Zindabad bcz of your complexes thats your Problem,no matter what our problems are that is a seperate issue we will never be shy to say Pakistan Zindabad.

  • Atif on May 18, 2007, 1:23 GMT

    Well being honest when they made Shoaib Malik the new captain it was surprising. What eas even more was naming Mohammad Asif as his deputy. I was thinking it would be Shahid Afridi but hey no one could have guessed.......its PCB. Secondly it was surprising they even went to Younis khan after what he said for the first time. He shouldnt be even allowed to play in the team anymore....On the other hand i agree with you.....for being patient and let him do and show what he can do.

    Long live Pakistan........I hope they win

  • khansahab on May 17, 2007, 23:54 GMT

    Awas, thank you for your appreciation. That comment regarding Mushy Bhai was a light-hearted one. I put a :) next to it as an indication of humour but perhaps you overlooked it.

    Muhammad Munir, sir, thank you too.

    Shan, this is not the first comment I have made about Malinga on this blog. I have given Shoaib Akhtar's example previously where I asserted that if Malinga must be banned, so must Akhtar. Same goes for all the others who have remarked the same regarding Akhtar. I know Akhtar is a match-winning bowler but we have got used to winning without him.

    Saqib and Rauf, before pointing out "flaws" in my argument please realise the context I am using my arguments in. I do not condemn Mohammad Yousuf for his religious zeal because he has not let that affect his performance. But a captain must keep his focus entirely on cricket during his "work life". That is what I am trying to say. Let cricket be only about cricket. Blame yourselves when you lose and not your sorry fate. Rauf, it looks to you that I would prefer an alcoholic captain over a Tableeghi captain? Yes is the answer- IF the former can captain like Imran and bat like Miandad. I would definitely choose the alcoholic over the Tableeghi in that context. After the alcoholic's death if Allah wants to smack the alcoholic, then that is between the alcoholic and his Creator.

    I have stated before I follow my religion to the best of my ability and I am more religious than most of my friends. I am a Law student; when I attend my seminars or write my exams I don't start with "First of all thanks to Allah" although I say Bismillah in my heart. I don't blame my kismet when I perform badly; I blame my mindset, laziness/lack of preparation. Professional athletes look dim blaming isolated notions which they have no control of.

    Any particular reason why Aussies have better kismet than Pakistanis? Has Allah just made them superior beings, meaning we can never compete with them? These questions have to be asked. When I ask these questions the fundamentalists say that I must not question faith. I am not questioning the existence of the Creator nor of his final prophet (PBUH). I question merely the mechanics the Creator employs to run Existence. If you think I should not ask questions and just accept that whatever is written in my kismet will occur (so Inzi and Malik etc are right when they say that winning and losing is a part of the game and it depends on your kismet) then I suggest you rent yourself a cave somewhere in a far-off land and make that your humble abode. Because this internet that you are using to read my comment is a construct of the curious human mind which seeks to advance its knowledge by asking questions.

    And by the way. Call me a “deviant” or “infidel” but it was my in my kismet that I post these “deviant” comments which have irked you. You, who believes that the Islam you follow, based on your personal judgements, observations and psyche, is the Correct Islam which gives you the authority to raise a finger against me and label me a “deviant”.

    So sue me.

  • kay on June 20, 2007, 9:34 GMT

    http://www.dawn.com/2007/06/20/spt2.htm

  • pbw on May 18, 2007, 6:05 GMT

    malinga chucks (he he he) have you people heard of phases like "look who's talking or you should listen to yourselves. Javed bla bla bla have you ever played cricket? if so you would know that it is not a maths exam!!!(pls stick to banking)in cricket the only rule applicable is over and under arm and since you yourself state that its overarm nothing to talk aboubt. the degree of the arm my guess is less than 10 degrees way below the allowed 15 degrees so nothing to argue is there? Considering that pakistan has the least anti doping, most legal actions and the least players involved in match fixing, guess you guys are in a very suitable position to give opinion about talanted up and coming fast bowler who you guys used to produce on regular basis ... Breaking News - Lasith Maling & Ishra Imarasinghe (Suprise wpn) is going to rip through your batting line up, the score less than 200 want to bet?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • zain kazmi on May 18, 2007, 5:19 GMT

    I endorse khansahab's comments about mixing religion with cricket, i also saw shaoib's appearance with some beard in an interview, so the disease has been penetrated.......

    Surely, surely this will destroy our cricket....!

    To all those ppl who r giving there views in favor of mixing religion with the game,,,, plzzz think it with sincerity ,honesty and out of emotions that we r not criticizing our players for offering prayers etc, we r just requesting them not to do 2 things at one time, if they want to "tableegh" then they could quit cricket can fulfill their desire.

    thats why i thougt PJ Mirr was totally right in pointing this issue , he atleast took the step to public it...

    otherwise we could imagine that if a cleric start playing game and a player start giving fitwas and doing tableeg .... the balance will be destroyed and both will suffer.

    Pakistani players r insulting our religion by doing this.... and than taking shield under its umbrella..!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 18, 2007, 3:50 GMT

    SHOAIB AKHTAR is available now! Was he was outta stock earlier? IF you are standing on top of a building and looking down on the street and see Shoaib Akhtar on a Zebra Crossing what will you say? Now you see him, now you don't, now you see him now you don't, now you see him now you don't. This is exactly what he has been doing in the past. "I am fit, I am not fit, I am fully fit, I am not fully fit, I wanna be super fit." Geez stop these fits man, come on apply some rouge and mascara on your forehead and make up your. Or should I say redeem your mind?

    It was expected that ICC will object Mohammad Asif's inclusion in the playing XI before the Wada thingi is over. So, they did and imo, its more because of the publicity due to his appointment as a vice captain. ICC will never miss any opportunity in harming Pakistan or any of its players. The Shahid Afridi incident in SA was considered as a nothing case until they discovered the loop hole in the rules where only "Speedy Gonzales" could have penalized Afridi by using his super duper authoritarian VETO and so he did. Obviously someone made a strenuous effort to make it happen. It shows how much they hate Pakistan.

    Awas ki duniya kay dost, I don't think I can convince you on the subject of consuming alcohol and it is neither my intention nor my desire to do so, you are free to use it or abuse it. What you are forgetting is alcohol is such a laanat, that ultimately it takes control over human minds no matter how strong you are and that is the reason it is forbidden in Islam. By trying to prove your point that in the Western world liquor is a part of their diet and it is healthy to take it in moderation, you are trying to prove that the Western dietary norms are better than our religion, Islam? I am sorry, I don't buy this argument.

    Secondly, meray bhai, peenay valaon ko peenay ka bahana chahiyeh and they are the ones who abuse it. Just like, to buzz off, Flintoff needs Smirnoff vodka. Its a proven thing and most alcoholics have admitted that initially they started off like Flintoff, I mean drinking in moderation before they were labeled as 'drunk, skunk and sunk.' Its just like in, "Ashq", I mean in "Ishq", pehlay jaan, phir jaan-e-jaan, phir jaan-e-jaanaan ho gaye! Similarly user say abuser ho gaye! Ashaq - am I right bro? ;-) You might say; "Ashaq" hoon par "Mashaq" faraibi hai mera kaam --- Sharaab ko bura kehti hai botal meray aagay!-- Don't say, yae tou, 'hota hai tamasha shab-o-roze meray aagay.' JK.

    So, far no one has seriously predicted who will win the series in Abu Dhabi? Perhaps the bookies have but, not the bloggers. Just for fun, Pak 2, Sri Lanka 1, howz dat? The track is reportedly flat and good for batting. Pakistan, if they win the toss must field and restrict Sri Lanka under 240. Its a day and night match, toss would be crucial and team bowling second will have problems due to the dew. So Malinga won't be that effective with a slippery ball. I hope my predictions are not as bad as Kamran Abbassi's. :-) So, lets see!

  • Aftab Qureshi on May 18, 2007, 3:47 GMT

    Inconsistent as ever. In one breath, you ask that we should not rush to judgment, in the next you pronounce him to be an intellectual lightweight, and you do so even before poor Shoaib Mallik has gone for his first toss as captain!

  • Ashaq on May 18, 2007, 3:14 GMT

    Awas my brother I fail to see your point concerning Alchohol.In your previous post you were trying to justify the consumption of alcohol,Now you state that was not what you were saying.

    I think every body on this blog is aware that Alchohol consumption is considered pretty normal in the west.How exactly does that translate to the Pakistan team? I appreciate that some westerners claim that there are health benefits in wine but so what?

    Afterall if we are going to use western view point to justify the use of alchohol.Then why not apply the same criteria to justify the use of religion in sport.Whilst the Europeans may have an aversion to religion. In the icon of the west the United States of America being an upright christian is seen as a strength.You have athletes from virtually every major sport in America making public displays of religion.Praising there lord and master Jesus Christ in interviews,and press conferences.They are not attacked or ridiculed for doing so.You have athletes partaking in group prayers before games, and attending bible study classes after games.Majority of the coaches in virtually every major sport in America consider a strong religious conviction to be a strength.Whilst I have yet to read the comment were a coach considers an athlete finding what you called "solace in Whisky" a strength or appropiate.In fact any athlete who sought "solace" in the bottle would be told to seek help, It is also considered extremely unprofessional for an athlete to be out drinking prior to games. So why the double standard as regards Islam?

    Your second comment regarding the master of contradictions P.J.MIR. and him being in hiding cos a fatwa was issued against him.

    This is what MR.P.J.MIR stated 01 may 2007 in an interview with CNN-IBN journalist Sanjay Suri you can view the video in their archives.

    Snjay Suri: Have you attracted a Fatwa for your views?

    Pj Mir:Well one of the cricketers sadly has appealed to the Ulema(religious scholars) that there ought to be fatwa on me.

    Sanjay Suri:Which cricketer?

    P.j.Mir: Rashid Latif.

    Sanjay Suri:There is some suggestions that these (religious)tensions could have been reponsible for Woolmers death.

    P.J.Mir: I dont think so.

    Yet a few days later on the BBc panorama programme he claimed a Fatwa was issued against him and that one may have also been issued against Woolmer.So what changed in the course of those few days? It seems to me the wily Mr.Mir realised that making these allegations was far more financially rewarding.The British press and media would lap it up and pay him handsomely for interviews.

    The word fatwa means legal ruling.so far P.J.Mir has failed to come up with a single name of any Islamic Scholar for issuing this alleged fatwa.or the contents of the fatwa.After all the Fatwa if there is one could merely state that P.J.Mir should refrain from making such remarks. P.J.mir has taken advantage of the blind ignorance in the west as regards the meaning of the word Fatwa. Where the word Fatwa is wrongly presumed to mean Death penalty.He also claimed that he had fled Pakistan in fear of his life and was going in to hiding.In fact Mr.Mir is living in his Villa in Dubai.As he has been for the last few years.

    So Awas it seems to me that your very naive to accept these ridiculous assertions by P.J.Mir.

  • Hassan on May 18, 2007, 2:07 GMT

    So people do not want him because of his punjabi accent? Ok fair enough, lets have a terrorist mohajir from Karachi as captain spitting "pan" around.

  • WAQAR-USA on May 18, 2007, 1:27 GMT

    AWAS- What u call enlightened moderation in reality is enlightened bastardization of our country,Can u imagine moderation or freedom without true democracy,its a shame that u blamed every thing on the poor CJ and totally failed to examine the role played by sind govt and rangers in karachi fiasco under any human rights convention the rule of Musharaf and the way he is raping the constitution and plundering the resources of the country is deplorable,but u blinded by your enlightened moderation or your political and ethnic affinity see no problem with it,we are quick to criticise PCB officials and yet fail to criticise the Patron in chief who is indirectly controlling all the shots. As regards your `comments about drinking,you can drink like a skunk or die like a punk who cares, if u have the right to be not religious,others can have the right to be religious,your behaviour is no different than the Taliban who have no tolerance for others.Strangely u live in Uk u are quite impressed by the Idea of drinking with restraint but the Idea of freedom to practice ones religion without getting discriminated couldnt cross your mind.I have no sympathies for the Taliban or other extereme organizations,but to brand everybody with a beard a Taliban is completly Idiotic. And if u are ashamed to say Pakistan Zindabad bcz of your complexes thats your Problem,no matter what our problems are that is a seperate issue we will never be shy to say Pakistan Zindabad.

  • Atif on May 18, 2007, 1:23 GMT

    Well being honest when they made Shoaib Malik the new captain it was surprising. What eas even more was naming Mohammad Asif as his deputy. I was thinking it would be Shahid Afridi but hey no one could have guessed.......its PCB. Secondly it was surprising they even went to Younis khan after what he said for the first time. He shouldnt be even allowed to play in the team anymore....On the other hand i agree with you.....for being patient and let him do and show what he can do.

    Long live Pakistan........I hope they win

  • khansahab on May 17, 2007, 23:54 GMT

    Awas, thank you for your appreciation. That comment regarding Mushy Bhai was a light-hearted one. I put a :) next to it as an indication of humour but perhaps you overlooked it.

    Muhammad Munir, sir, thank you too.

    Shan, this is not the first comment I have made about Malinga on this blog. I have given Shoaib Akhtar's example previously where I asserted that if Malinga must be banned, so must Akhtar. Same goes for all the others who have remarked the same regarding Akhtar. I know Akhtar is a match-winning bowler but we have got used to winning without him.

    Saqib and Rauf, before pointing out "flaws" in my argument please realise the context I am using my arguments in. I do not condemn Mohammad Yousuf for his religious zeal because he has not let that affect his performance. But a captain must keep his focus entirely on cricket during his "work life". That is what I am trying to say. Let cricket be only about cricket. Blame yourselves when you lose and not your sorry fate. Rauf, it looks to you that I would prefer an alcoholic captain over a Tableeghi captain? Yes is the answer- IF the former can captain like Imran and bat like Miandad. I would definitely choose the alcoholic over the Tableeghi in that context. After the alcoholic's death if Allah wants to smack the alcoholic, then that is between the alcoholic and his Creator.

    I have stated before I follow my religion to the best of my ability and I am more religious than most of my friends. I am a Law student; when I attend my seminars or write my exams I don't start with "First of all thanks to Allah" although I say Bismillah in my heart. I don't blame my kismet when I perform badly; I blame my mindset, laziness/lack of preparation. Professional athletes look dim blaming isolated notions which they have no control of.

    Any particular reason why Aussies have better kismet than Pakistanis? Has Allah just made them superior beings, meaning we can never compete with them? These questions have to be asked. When I ask these questions the fundamentalists say that I must not question faith. I am not questioning the existence of the Creator nor of his final prophet (PBUH). I question merely the mechanics the Creator employs to run Existence. If you think I should not ask questions and just accept that whatever is written in my kismet will occur (so Inzi and Malik etc are right when they say that winning and losing is a part of the game and it depends on your kismet) then I suggest you rent yourself a cave somewhere in a far-off land and make that your humble abode. Because this internet that you are using to read my comment is a construct of the curious human mind which seeks to advance its knowledge by asking questions.

    And by the way. Call me a “deviant” or “infidel” but it was my in my kismet that I post these “deviant” comments which have irked you. You, who believes that the Islam you follow, based on your personal judgements, observations and psyche, is the Correct Islam which gives you the authority to raise a finger against me and label me a “deviant”.

    So sue me.

  • Waqar on May 17, 2007, 21:35 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, I don't agree with your comment that Shoaib Malik is an intellectual light-weight. Firstly, he is too young to show his intellectual side. Secondly, some people may have the 'intellect' in them, but they just don't throw it here and there. Lastly, Shoaib is a sports personality, not someone from creative arts. He definitely seems to have a cricketing brain and has the potential of doing good.

    Another thing I feel is how so many people have criticized freely, yet most of them have little or no practical experience with this game. 'Jitnee moon, utnee baaton' wala hisaab lagta hei.

  • Nauman on May 17, 2007, 21:30 GMT

    It would be very silly to observe the proceedings of this series and commenting about redemption, it would be absolutely harsh in general and upon players like Shoaib Malik, Asif & couple of youngsters in particular. Its a long, painstaking process, and it deserves the due deliberation. With that said, periodic scrutiny and fixes in bits and parts are essential. Our cricket has been plagued by some issues for years and years, but no hint of progress has been observed. Ordinary openers, mediocre fielding, poor fitness levels have been the hurting the spine for years...today is the time to ask about the redemption for the steps that were (or should have been taken) at the end of World Cup 2003 to address these. The answers are no where to be found. Our cricket has not seen much progress what so ever in last 5 years. We lost our last good opener in Saeed Anwar 4 years ago, no one is yet to be found. We lost the services of Waqar & Wasim, but have only been able to see some promise from Asif in last year and a half. We lost the guile of Mushtaq Ahmed & Saqlain, to be filled in by Danish Kaneria (I am not a stats person, but I dont recall him ever taking 5+ wickets for less than 100 runs against a proper test playing nation), the street fighting abilities of Moin Khan were shunned for ever-so-confused Kamran Akmal. People like Afridi, Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar have grown indifferent about their form and complacent about their place. Younis Khan has gotten arrogant enough to call when he would captain, when he would not; and now to the extent that he choose which series is appropriate for him to play, and when he would prefer money and county over cricket. And we keep on hoisting our hopes on these shoulders !!! I recall PCB taking a very tragic turn back in 2001, when they sent an entirely fresh squad to New Zealand and that bunch played well enough (the game in which Sami made his test debut, got 5 in the first innings). That group fought compitetively, for they all were under less burden of politics around them. I wish PCB had experimented the same for this series. I wish people like Younis would have been told you were not needed before he comes up and says he would prefer county, I wish Shoaib Akhtar was told by the PCB to work harder on his fitness, before he himself declared the verdict that he would wait a bit. One man I must salute, and can't blame for anything is Yousuf. He is a true cricketer, its people like him that had made cricket, a gentlemen's sport.

  • Awas on May 17, 2007, 21:14 GMT

    Khansahab

    Again excellent comments. It would be a shame if Tablighi culture comes back with vengeance.

    Dawar, LA USA

    Yes mental strength is paramount. That is the main reason Asian teams particularly Pakistan and India are far behind Australia, South Africa and Newzeland. Simon Wild of Times (UK) interviewed Bob Woolmer just before his death and one of the most striking things he mentioned Bob said was “Sometimes the Pakistani players can be extraordinarily childlike”.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to add on the previous thread. I think Kamran is finished with that. So would like to say as follows:

    Saqib

    Instead of mindless slagging with words like “outrageous, biased, absurd” you have said nothing sensible with a shred of debate to counter what I said. I don’t mind criticism. So please say something sensible to counter what I said or are you just too bloody minded?

    Khansahab

    In your earlier posting you said lets talk about some other cricket issues mentioning various issues and then the way you said lets talk about “whether Mushtaq Ahmad killed Woolmer” I couldn’t hep laughing just the way you put it with a straight face. You really had me in stitches. Brilliant! When news broke out that the Champagne Bob had, came from Mushy it must have run people’s imagination wild. Now seriously, you don’t really think that do you? Remember you are presumed innocent unless proven guilty. Be prepared though with a barrage of criticism you may get from bloggers. Another suggestion: what about including the issue of PJ Mir. As mentioned in BBC’s Panorama the poor guy is running scared for his life after saying religiosity had taken over cricket and getting a Fatwa.

    JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA

    Well said on the matter of evils of drink and quite agreeable. But just a correction, I wasn’t at all making it justifiable for Muslims. What I said was that in the Western world where its part of their culture it is not so monstrous when taken moderately as part of their normal diet. The evils that you mention are when it’s abused. As you know, it’s a matter of fact that alcohol not only has many healthy properties if taken moderately; it is widely used in medicine as well just like many hard drugs. You may say well that’s a necessity and that’s exactly what I am talking about.

    Ashaq

    I must have misunderstood you. Well commented, appreciate and agree to mostly what you said but disagree a little on Flintoff. He was punished because of partying till wee hours of the morning before match day and drinking. As drinking I believe is banned for a couple of days before match. But issue was not because he was drunk it was a matter of breaking rules and getting punished. If he had got drunk say on Xmas or any other day it wouldn’t have mattered just as in the Ashes parade. General public didn’t give a toss that he got drunk as most do in their life.

  • Ashesh Prasann on May 17, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    Shoaib was either too drowsy or plain uninterested in that Nadia Khan interview. He didnt seem to think through his replies and came off looking distinctly juvenile. Afridi, on the other hand, too interviewed in the spirit of the show but seemed to command more presence and could have been an fascinating captain. Maybe his time will still come.

  • Ibrahim on May 17, 2007, 18:46 GMT

    Dawar, your comments on Abdul Razzaq's attitude are completely wrong. He was one of Pakistan's positives on that tour--he made 89 off 61 balls in the warmup match, complete with four fours and six sixes, and he took 4 wickets and made a matchwinning 63 not out in a later match. Please don't go overboard with your suspicions of everything regarding the team.

  • nasir on May 17, 2007, 17:40 GMT

    I will never accept Shoaib Malik as captain because he threw a match whilst captaining a domestic side. That behavior should never be acceptable. Yet he was awarded by being made the captain of the national team. Our country and team are a joke.

    To make things worse we make a player found guilty of taking banned substances, vice captain of the team even before he has been cleared by WADA. How come all this irresponsible behaviour is being rewarded?

    Ashraf is acting just like Musharraf. If this trend continues, Pakistan will never win anything and our controversies and troubles will continue no end.

  • Jafar Akram on May 17, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    The PCB has made more errors, i think ODI captain should of been Shahid Afridi and Test Captain Mohammed Yousaf and Vice Captain Shoaib Malik for both forms of the sport.... but i think the squad selected is the best we could come out with atm with the return of shoaib akhtar nd younis khan it shud be further strengthened and i hope to see Salman Butt, Nazir nd Hameed shine in the top order. AH. nd gud luck to the pak team!!!

  • Dawar, LA USA on May 17, 2007, 14:53 GMT

    Slogan for our selection process.

    " Merit becomes cheap in team selection, POWAA players entered quickly in team selection".

    Dawar LA , USA

  • Merit. Merit, Merit. on May 17, 2007, 14:45 GMT

    Did selectors include best batsman and bowler of recent Quaid-e-Azam trophy in the team?

    Answer is NO NO NO.

    Did selectors include best openers (by average or runs) of our recent domestic season in the team?

    Answer is NO NO NO.

    Did selectors include our best perfomer behind the stumps in the team? (Wicket Keeper)

    Answer is NO NO NO.

    where is the merit?

    Some of you said above, May ALLAH bless our team or other religious belive with our team success. Do you think ALLAH will bless us on our wrong doings?

    NO way, only SATAN will help us on our wrong doings.

    ALLAH will bless us for our good deeds and justice.

    First of all, my request to all of you to do not bring religion in the cricket. PCB and Players acts are not representing our religion. So there is not point to inovlve ALLAH.

    PCB should impliment merit for the results.

    where are Khurrum Manzoor (best opener we find in our dometic season), Khalid Latif (another opener who is performming good from last three years), Jamesgead (Under 19 Fast bowler from Lahore), Anwar Ali (Another under 19 fast bowler from Karachi), Hamayu (Wicket Keeper from Faislabad), Sarfaz Ahmaed (Under 19 Wicket Keeper from Karachi) etc. They all done great in recent domestic seasons plus they won under 19 world cup for us. Thier mental stenght is high.

    They scored with bat, they got wickets, they catch behind the stump.

    If you see the statistics of last one year they all done better job in their area than any current player in Pakistan cricket team.

    Merit Pakistan

  • Antumul Alona on May 17, 2007, 14:34 GMT

    Lets be reasonable. First of all you are basing your opinion of Malik on an oversmart talk show where the purpose is mere entertainment of the hormonally challenged youth of Pakistan. Then you are proposing that the Captain of the team needs to be a genuis of the arts, science or other. Where as the fact is that what a cricketer needs is phsyical fitness, talent, skill and the ability to win or atleast fight hard. I am really dissappointed in this low punch from you Mr. Abbassi.

  • Soul on May 17, 2007, 13:54 GMT

    Lots of folks in this blog consider Mr. Malik has some good cricketing brain. How about this one, the guy from day 1 of his captinacy wants a left hand and right hand combination for openners. The Smart ass thinks that this is the ultimate combination. If the guy have this mindset to start with, than I feel sorry for the future of Pakistan cricket under his captinacy. If we look at current top teams, did Australia, Srilanka have this combination. If we go back in history, Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail, Mohsin and Mudasser proves this theory wrong. Man, believe me this guy is immature to lead a club side. The reason why PCB / selectors have gone with almost the same team is that this guy does not have the experience to wisely use young talent.

  • Owais on May 17, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    This current team with Shoaib Malik as captain, Asif as vice captain is doomed for disaster and further humiliation. Not because I dont like Malik or Asif, to the contrary, I believe they are among the few shinning lights, along with Yousuf, Gul and Kaneria and to the extent of tests only, Younis as well. The problem is that same mindframe is continued. Presence of Kamran Akmal in the team highlights the lack of foresight and continuity of old policies. Just like keeping Geraint Jones in Ashes down under highlighted the fact that there was no planning but just a hope that old faces will deliver again, no matter how high are the odds stacked up against such a line of action. I have no hope for this team - an odd win here or there is not the objective. In recent interviews, Malik has failed to impress either, same old lip service and (though I hope not) same old humiliation, one after the other !!!

  • Addeel on May 17, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    Shoaib has an excellent cricketing brain, and at the start of his captaincy i believe a few concessions to the old regime may have to be made, but i believe Shoaib has the ability to stamp his authority on the team and lift us out of this depressing era. As for those doubting his abilities, he averages 48 batting at number 3 in ODI's and has not been given a real opportunity in Test matches. Opening the batting is not his forte and given the chance to come in the middle order i believe he has the ability to become an excellent asset for us. As for the current squad Inzi and Younis should be dropped, Younis because of his lack of commitment to the team and his childlike behaviour. Sami, Imran Farhat and Mohammed Hafeez should be dropped and never recalled. This would give Shoaib and the team the chance to rebuild without the shadow of inzy hanging over them, and with all the deadwood cleared out some new energetic players could be included to give us that extra verve out in the field. The final factor on our road to success would be seperation of religion from the game. Players are free to practise Islam in anyway they see fit. However those who do practise Islam need not feel the need to pressurise those on the team who do not practise Islam, or the way in which it is practised. Shoaib must also understand this in order for the team to succeed. Good luck to the lads for tommorows game!!

  • Arsalan Khan on May 17, 2007, 12:34 GMT

    Redemption comes cheap, and so does shame. This is a system run by morons, always blaming each other. It's a circus where every lota gets a chance to display his desperation in the form of "patriotism". Cricket in Pakistan's become an A-grade joke thanks to the retarded system-- and yes the example is set from the very top. See also: "The ad-hoc committee" BLAAAH!

    When you've been set on fire, it's sort of better to rush towards the water and set the fire off instead of being optimistic and waiting for the fire to extinguish itself. because really.. when it's gonna end-- everything's going to be ashes.

    see also: the zimbabwean cricket board.

    P.S Save this thread.. four years later you'll be needing it again.

    -Ak

  • srivathsan on May 17, 2007, 11:25 GMT

    KHANSAHAB has made a fair assesment of the team.I fully agree with him that sports & religion should not be mixed up. While everyone is entitled to their personal belief , it should be resticted to their room & not a public show.Any thing too much is bad & when you try to club it with your passion (here cricket) ,things look ugly unless you strike a right balance.We have now seen how things went wrong for pakistan & a team which was once capable of beating any team in the world was reduced to the ignominy of exiting in the first round itself in the WC.In the case of india though abve prolems are not there,their exit is on account of carrying confirmed failures (SOCALLED SENIORS),scheming by few,politics & more than all inconsistancy.Too many endorsements have turned their head off .despiote changes pakistan still carries the burden of confirmed failures(SENIORS).It is high time we look for youngsters both in india & pakistan.Let us lose with juniors rather than headlong seniors.

  • Ibrahim on May 17, 2007, 10:44 GMT

    All the best to Shoaib Malik and Pakistan. By the way, Mr Abbasi, this article was one of your best--except for one small point... See, it's not Shoaib Malik--who has not has so much opportunity--it's Kamran Abbasi who's always struck me as a bit of an intellectual lightweight. Ah, but we all love his column, don't we? Cheers

  • Shahid Mahmood on May 17, 2007, 10:39 GMT

    Wisdom is polished through education and education is nothing our crickters know. PCB should develope not only playing cricketing skills but should think of converting academies to cricket schools. It's a gentelman's game and we need som personalities in it.

  • Abid Butt on May 17, 2007, 10:02 GMT

    This feels like deja-vu. 4 years ago Pakistan was going to play Sri Lanka after our first round exit in the 2003 world cup in Sharjah (there was also a minnow in that tournament). 4 years later the venue is a few miles away, the captain has changed, and so have some players. But it is after another first round exit that we find ourselves hoping for something to change. I predict nothing will. I predict that we will again be in the same place 4 years from now.... unless we start listening to Imran and revamp our domestic structure.

  • Saj Shah on May 17, 2007, 9:38 GMT

    Let's give the boys in Green a Chance, I more than most was very upset and angry how pakistani performed during the ICC WCC, but what can I do as a mere mortal and spectator. Whether the failing were delibrate or Ireland got lucky?? well we'll never now. I still believe Shohib Mailk despite in his early/mid twenties could give the boost which at times under Inzi they lacked. Look at Grahem Smith for South Africa and Ricky Ponting for Australia, they fired up throughout a ODI or a test match. I just think Inzy lost the flare and passion sometime ago. Come on Shohib make the difference. I disagree with the vice captain as good as bowler Mohammed Asif is I would have like Shahid Afridi in that spot. He has served pakistani well if not with the bat at times, produces wickets and has that hunger for Pakistani to do well. Anyone who can hit a Six like Afridi has great mental strengh and power despite not being a Jacob Oram of New Zealand the Giant.

  • jawed khan on May 17, 2007, 9:18 GMT

    Bakwas is Bakwas in Urdu or English

  • ravi on May 17, 2007, 9:03 GMT

    khansahab, if Malinga is a chucker, then so is Shoaib Akhtar. If Shoabib is not a chucker, then neither is Malinga

  • Rauf on May 17, 2007, 9:01 GMT

    To khansahab:

    From some of your posts that I have read it looks like you prefer a clean shaven, non-tablighi, Western style, alocohol drinking looser rather then a bearded Islamic looser.

    Don't you see a flaw in your own argument? What difference does it make if a person has beard or not. You want to blame something for the lack of team's performance so you jump on the easy PJ Mir bandwagon to blame their beards rather then blaming the obvious... their performance on the pitch.

    I am no big fan of Inzi's captaincy but he said it best in a Geo interview when asked about PJ's comment that players were praying on the plane. Please ask PJ if there was a net practice on the plane that players left to pray.

    While I agree that some players do go over the top to show their faith, I do not agree that religion is the cause of their demise or lack of it for that matter. It's their skill/will and performance on the pitch that will win them a match. More power to them if they also practice their faith on top of that.

  • Saqib on May 17, 2007, 8:53 GMT

    AOA

    Mr. Khansahab it’s for you. You have to have better understanding of Islam. Islam teaches you how to live a life as being a Muslim. Islam gives you guide line how to live your life as a Muslim. This blog is not for some one to talk about some ones personal matter and religion is personal matter of every one. You are here to discuss cricket not religion. And always do some research before starting writing about some thing so you have some clue about that.

    ALLAH HAFIZ

  • Tughral Turab Ali, Pakistan on May 17, 2007, 8:47 GMT

    Isnt it about time we started looking at the positives, rather than whine incessantly about one thing or the other all the time?

    One big positive for me is that the PCB has broken from past tradition and appointed a young man at the helm who has leadership qualities and aggression (not to mention age on his side, normally associated with Captaincy. This move itself deserves some credit; after all I wonder how much you lot would've whined if lack-a-daisical Muhammad Yousaf or permanently unfit Shoaib Akhtar or unpredictable Afridi or lackluster Abdul Razzak had been made captain.

    Now of course we choose to whine about Shoaib Malik and Muhammad Asif (both bold moves) becoming captain and vice captain just because they have been selected.

    What are the options, I'd like to know? Some fools were even harping on about bringing in complete unknowns and installing them as Captain to have 'a new look'. Well .. hello? the unknowns are unknowns precisely because they arent good enough to play in the first 11, new look or not. Or maybe some armchair expert has spotted a talent in his muhalla while playing tape ball cricket on the road, and would like him to make an international debut?

    "The next two years will be a rocky road and we should be patient in judgment—but sometimes it is too hard to bite your tongue"

    Perhaps biting down really hard would do everyone a favour.

  • BombayDadarUnion_boy on May 17, 2007, 8:29 GMT

    I have had the opportunity to watch Shoiab Malik bat - his bowling is - basically trundling.

    The man Shaoib, knows his limits and my cricketing gut sense tells me he will be a better captain of Pakistan than Inzi or Javed were.

    Hey, he is a young, enthusiastic kid, so lets all support him.

    Time Pakistan cricket, got a break from primma donna captians.

    'What do they know of cricket, .... ???'

  • Sajid Ahmed on May 17, 2007, 7:47 GMT

    Where is Samiullah Niazi, the young up and coming fast bowler?

  • Hasan, Singapore on May 17, 2007, 7:13 GMT

    Hi I am an avid reader of your blog Mr.Abbasi but ddo not really have the time to write entries of my own or read others'.However this time round I have read most of what has been written. I guess the talk of choosing a captain with a punjabi and i mean a really thaith punjabi accent and this not representing our country properly is a very unfair and unrealistic comment. Open your eyes, wake up do you guys have any idea what our country's literacy rate is. Half our country cannot read or write in english or in urdu, and you are saying that this guy with a punjabi accent doesnt reperesent our country fairly. This is a country where more than half the masses dont know what a crises this country is going through let alone give a shit about democracy. A lady here says Shoaib made a minor disrespectful comment about women.Smell the coffee lady here women are raped infront of a whole village with their own family's full cooperation. Its not about cricket or the board or the president.Its us we have to change the way we think. We can talk of uneducated cricketers but unless someone is brave enough to allow their children to pursue a career in sports this will be the norm.Talkin of salman butt he was 1 year senior to me in Lahore during A levels his grades were 2 Us and a D.No wonder he went in to cricket.And his intellectual ablility ends with his english. Anyway enough of this stupid rant.Good luck Pakis and ill always support you as i am stupid enough to write a rant this long about which nobody will care and only a few if any will read

  • Rahat Minhas on May 17, 2007, 6:32 GMT

    All the anger should be at PCB Management the reason may be that the PCB Adhoc committee has appointed an Adhoc captain? Shoaib Malick has been appointed on a series to series basis that indicates that PCB Management dont have confidence in their decisions. How can they appoint a captain series by series and then hold him accountable if he doesnot know that he will be a captain for one more series after the one that he is being appointed the leader? In Shoaib Malick's case he should have been appointed for at least two years or he should never had been appointed!!PCB should immedietly appoint Shoaib for two years before its too late...This seems very logical or otherwise PCB would be responsible for this wrong decision of they change a captain after every series and also considering if they are looking to the 5-10 year future horizon..and not to the present horizon which is series by series..basis.

  • HardBall on May 17, 2007, 6:25 GMT

    Well...a country where a uniformed general is a president and a ruthless dictator, and he still is so power hungary that he wants to be all powerful patron in chief of the cricketing affairs, what on the earth a sensible loving pakistani can expect.............Ah, just whisper or he would let loose the MQM on you! What a pitty!!

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on May 17, 2007, 6:11 GMT

    Kamran Sahib,

    You talk about CRICKET and cricket lover like Javed Bhai, Khansahab and others opine about TABLEEG. In my opinion this blog is getting more TABLEEGI rather than CRICKET.

    Can anybody deny RELIGION in this world????

    My fellow writers, Kamrab Sb's article is one of the best heart touching note which sums up "Pakistan cricket is a fragile creature that carries the hopes and dreams of millions around the globe......"

    Poor Shoaib Malik has still to start his stint as Captain and we all have started criticized. I am not against criticism but a healthy one. It demoralizes the moral of the cricketer. Let them play cricket and enjoy them. We should be proud that after travelling so many countries, they are doing tableeg and not forgetting ALLAH. How come you deny the fact that ALLAH is everywhere ?? So, my sincere request is that we should all talke about cricket and not about TABLEEG.

    In a short, I look forward some articles from Kamran Sahib on the ICC and the failure of this World Cup.

  • Amanzeb Khan on May 17, 2007, 5:05 GMT

    We can only hope for the best. But let us as the fans of Pakistan cricket also enter a new era. Let us support the team through this rebuilding phase. Let us support the team as we would support a child through tough times. Let us not build unrealistic expectations and give the team time to rebuild. Let us feel for the team as one of our own. Lets look for all the positives in the months to come and be encouraging in defeat. And most of all let us rediscover the joy of watching the game and supporting our team.

  • Shan on May 17, 2007, 5:02 GMT

    @Khansaheb: "But that chucker Malinga is still there (I don’t care if his action is technically correct, an action is either dodgy or not i.e. either a bowler bends his arm to gain an unfair advantage or he does not)"

    I hope you follow the same standards when talking about Shoaib Akhtar. Or is it that in his case it's "natural hyperextension" and "he has been cleared by the ICC" etc.

  • Azfar Alam on May 17, 2007, 4:59 GMT

    Both Pakistan & India hit an all time low in their Cricketing History in the recent World Cup. Just consider Pakistan's predicament, finding a man to captian the side proved difficult and now no one is willing to be the coach. This situation was unimaginable six months back. Hope is good but the fans need to be realistic. If Pakistan is able to give fight to Sri Lanka, that will be a good result. The average Indian (I am an Indian) & Pakistani fans do't really understand the game.They think that scoring a hundred is great. Whether that hundred was a selfish innings, whether it deprived the team of a win is generally ignored. That's precisely the reason a man like Tendulkar who is a statistical giant but has never performed against quality opposition and in crunch situations in the last 4 yours, is still a huge star. The avegare fan talks about performance but doesn't really understand what that is. Even a 20 scored in nerve racking situation which leads to the team win is better than a double hundred scored in the mindless drawn game. Sometimes even the cricket officials fail to understand this and just point at the stats of the players. I think this is something to do with our culture, we are not naturally team players. Till we start understanding the dynamics of how a team works and to appreciate and credit real performance we will never reach the pinnacle of any team game.

  • aftab on May 17, 2007, 4:51 GMT

    As for SM's intellectual capabilities, your comments remind me of what someone said about the political capabilities of Imran Khan - that he is very good in running a few yards and throwing a ball. I don't know who said it, but that person is not important unlike Imran Khan, who was very good in throwing a ball. It's cricket; take it easy. If Malik wins a few series for Pakistan, I will consider him a highly valuable asset. I still don't care what he tells Nadia, as long as it is within the 'norms', that is. If he fails he will be remember as a regular skipper in a time that PCB likes to forget anyway. Anyone remembers Wasim Bari's skills as a leader of Pakistan team. I am sure most don't and that's the point.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 17, 2007, 4:32 GMT

    I haven't seen the TV interviews of Shoaib Malik, Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar and I would like to see them when they are up on u-tube. Its a request from my side to my fellow bloggers to post the link here, if ever they find it and remember it. Thank you all in advance.

    The Abu Dhabi farcical series is about to start and very soon we all shall be seeing Salinga Malinga in action. So, its better to talk about his action now instead of waiting till the Pak cookie crumbles under his pace and then people will say, hey you guys are whiners and finding an excuse after a defeat. Defeat or win is not that important, its the game that matters and it is the fighting spirit that is important rather than "tu chall mai aya" attitude, which the Pak team is so capable of doing it so often.

    khansahab you have brought back the subject of Salinga Malinga's bowling action into this thread so whether you care if it is technically correct or not......I am taking it further. I think we need to discuss it and I do care about keeping the bowling actions clean. In the previous thread I think it was EMIRAN who wrote in support of Malinga's action and compared it not only with Jeff Thompson but, also with Waqar Younis.

    I have also heard and read that Thompson and Malinga's action are similar and based on that I wrote in my previous post that the Australians will not touch Malinga because, of the similarity of bowling action with Jeff Thompson. To be very honest, until that time I was not sure, because its a long time and I may have seen Thompson's bowling, but I may not have paid much attention to it, to remember his action in that much detail, except for the fact that his action is a bit different from others and his arm is not closer to the head like most bowlers. Therefore, to make sure I got a few clips from u-tube on how Jeff Thompson used to bowl. Here he is in action:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8tFgtzeA2M

    I have noticed that a big difference in the delivery of the ball and even the angle of the arm is different. No one can bowl or release the ball at 90 degrees angle all the time, but generally it is more or less between 85 to 90 degrees angle. Whereas, Thompson's arm action or the angle of his arm at the time of releasing the ball is close to 80 degrees. Now, take a look at Malinga's action by clicking on the link below and see the vast difference:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7j0K_lmDDE

    It is obvious that Malinga releases the ball almost at 45 degrees angle, which in my opinion is chucking. I have not seen any bowler whose bowling action is so low from the shoulder level at the time of releasing the ball. The run up, the jump or the stride is immaterial if the arm is not going above the shoulder level, therefore, it is a controversial delivery. Malinga b4 releasing the ball, first pulls his arm a little back and then brings it forward with a jerk and its a completely slanting action, in my opinion, if he brings his arm up to an angle of 80 degrees or more, then he may not be able to generate that much pace.

    Below are a few more links of Malinga in action including his famous 4 wickets in 4 balls, I am copy pasting these links because, in one of the clips there is an ultra slow motion replay of Malinga's action which will give you a far better understanding of how his arm is jerked and how much low he keeps it below his shoulder.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uqoT3J7yAo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvocnlHfcWE&mode=related&search=

    There is no way Waqar Younis could be compared with Malinga. Waqar's action was absolutely clean like, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and even Mohammad Asif's. Shoaib Akhtar's action is also clean (generally) but, his faster one where he bends his wrist to generate more speed is a doubtful delivery and so is Shuan Tait's faster one. Among the spinners, Shahid Afridi's faster one, Murali's and Harbhajan's doosra are also questionable. Why do we see so many chuckers these days? Is it the speed that they are after? But, no one seems to be after Malcolm Speed, shouldn't someone chuck him out?

  • faraz shaikh on May 17, 2007, 4:26 GMT

    Thanx for the new thread Mr,Kamran I`ve been waiting for it. Well rightly said that its a new step , a new beginning, may be the beginning of the era of pakistan,who knows.I think we as a nation are very eager in pinpointing the mistakes and the wrong deeds instead of jus giving the boys a slap at the back and to tell them to give it another shot.I had read some of the other comments on your blog and i am sorry to say that much of the guys are still pinpointing on various sections for eg:shoaib is not presenting any civilized nation, asif is not fit to do a vice captain role, players have no mental strength,what is all of this.I think we need players in the team who can play well not the intellectuals who can sit and say something in bloody civilized manner.When are we going to understand that whenever there is a new beginning there are some problems who everybody has to face.If the same team wins the series at Abu-dhabi then everyone would be praising them then why not now, why cant we start believing in then from now onwards why cant..I know the road is long and our team have to face several up and downs but atleast we as a nation should back them up and tell them that we are with them not to pinpoint them but to give them a hand when they fall down..what u guys think...........

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on May 17, 2007, 4:17 GMT

    It really feels good to see all the greats of this blog, the likes of Khansahab, Ashaq, Javed A. Khan of Montreal Canada, Euceph Ahmed, Wasim Saqib, etc., who have contributed in their own ways, and it seems that they were really looking forward to this new thread to vent their feelings. Great job guys, this blog is much more fun with your contributions. (though at times we miss Ms. Kiran for her gallantry).

    Carry on the good works all, and let the PEACE prevail !!

    Khansahab, your write-ups were really nice and I fully agree with all that you have said, specially, the feelings of us fans, I mean you were so true when you wrote that “And you know what else, even if Butt and Nazir fail, Gul becomes injured, or Malik grows a beard, I will still wait for them to perform in the Twenty20 cup. Our passion and craze won’t end. These lousy, lethargic and loony cricketers can test us all they want, but our craze and madness will certainly keep testing them until the end of time.”

    We really love our team no matter what they do or not do 

    I for one, will be in Abu Dhabi watching all the games.

  • Rahat MInhas on May 17, 2007, 3:59 GMT

    Victory or defeat are important but the more important thing is the means by which you reach the goals. Losing or winning to Sri Lanka in this tournament is not the most important thing as has been projected by various writers. The main thing is as was pointed out very intelligently by Shoaib Malick in his interview with Nadia Khan he said that he expects to give his best shot for the team and no less, results will follow. So the encouragement to the team will be to build that fighting spirit that comes from good leadership.Defeat in world cup was not the main problem it was the method of defeat the disgrace of being beaten without a fight,,,that was disgusting.

  • Rahat Minhas on May 17, 2007, 3:49 GMT

    People may jump to conclusions simply stating that this Abu Dhabi matches will bring more anger than redempttion in case Pakistan loses. This is far from the truth. Shoaib Malick answered this question very intelliegently in a question from Nadia Khan stating that victory and defeat are important but the his main effort as a captain would be to do his best for the team to provide the leadership to make the players give their best . Therefore he stated emphatically that means are far more important than the results. So what we are expecting from this intellegent cricketer is provide the fighting spirit no matter what the result which he proved in his gallant innings aginst West Indies in 2007 world cup as well.Losing in 2007 world cup was one thing but the main problem was the lack of fight and the way the team lost in these two world cup matches, that has hurt cricket followers in the country. So, we expect a changed team that would be fighting unit, well led and a unified team that never gives up easily to the last ball of the match nothing less.Only a good leader can provide the impetus for changing the negative thinking that has crept in the Pakistani team lately.

  • Sam Khan on May 17, 2007, 1:30 GMT

    Saw the Nadia Khan interview on Youtube. She's hot and has a reallly nice voice...but she's gotten a tad chubby. Sorry, what were we talking about??

  • WaqqaS on May 17, 2007, 0:33 GMT

    Salam & HIZ 2 all.. :) well how Kamran nd others are juz trying 2 make things complicated even dey know its very simple...Trying 2 put weight juz 2 justify S-Malik as a captain nd new era of pakistan team.. Nadia Khan wants Trophy back ??? which Trophy she is talkin about...Every one including Kamran nd Nadia iz thinkin of themself as Cricket Guru.. Nothing gona change Pak success rate under inzi iz very high as well it does't mean dat we r gud team against SA nd class of AUssis .. nd this gona happen again .....

  • Haseeb Ahmed on May 17, 2007, 0:00 GMT

    I admire your optimism. Alas, it is unfounded. Random events happen; but if they were to occur with any regularity, they would cease to be random. And to expect this bunch of eleven cricketers to win against serious opposition with any regularity is asking for predictable randomness, an impossibility. That conclusion must surely be the outcome of your reasoning. But I admire your heart, and will shed a happy tear should you be proven right.

  • Usman Malik, Mississauaga, Canada on May 16, 2007, 23:16 GMT

    I wish the team good luck in their matches with Sri Lanka. I think it is a good opportunity for all new comers, by new comers i mean Shoib Malik in his role as captain , Mohammada Asif in his new role as Vice captain, and not least of all the new selection committee. The new selectors also have a point to prove . People like Salahudin have been selectors in the past with some experience. This is also a test for the new coach . The previous regime failed miserably to resolve the opening pairs issue , the team was subject to too many injuries etc. Let us see how the new comers perform . My prediction is that they will lose the series, and go back to the drawing board to make the necessary changes. I think in this instance a loss would be a good thing for Pakistan cricket because it will make the decision makers work harder to get the right combination going

  • Al on May 16, 2007, 22:50 GMT

    Yes! Pakistan can beat sri lanka only if they are full of confidence and vigor.

  • Zaidi on May 16, 2007, 21:36 GMT

    Even if Malik stumbles and does not win the upcoming series or matches, we should not worry too much. Let him start his journey. He has a strong opponent captain in the name of Mahela Jayawerdene, who at the moment is at the top of his captaincy and game. Lets back our captain and give him all the support we can in the start of his career as a National team's captain.

  • Imran From Rawalpindi on May 16, 2007, 21:24 GMT

    I think that i am not alone to think that shoaib has K-2 mountain to climbe. Shoaib not only has to rediscover the glory of pakistan cricket but also find new hights in his leadership and as a player. What he needs to concentrate on is to make sure that each and every player is hungry for success at all times and most of all lay out strategy for every player to go about demolishing any opposition without any remorse. Shoaib must also bring back the dignity of pakistan cricket in cricketing world. Shoaib has to emphasis on each player that they are playing for Pak team and they have to improve on all departments all the time especially fielding. Shoaib has our faith and we should give him some time to settle down in his new post. As long as shoaib keeps merit above politics of cricket in pakistan he will do just fine. May allah help him. Thanks

  • Dawar, LA USA on May 16, 2007, 21:13 GMT

    I am agree with you Kamran. I'd like to add some thing more in your analysis.

    We also need to work on mental strenght of our players. Best thing to replace old players with weak mental strenght by young players with poistive attitude and strong mental strenght.

    here what I mean by mental strenght,

    Our few players always became unfit prior to play against strong opponents like SA or Australia or big event like World Cup & ICC tournament.

    Before the last WC & Test & One Day series against South Africa several Pakistani players became unfit.

    Specially, without playing any match against South Africa, Abdul Razak & Shoaib Malik was not fully fit. Abdul Razak missed the whole series & world cup.

    Shoaib Malik missed test series against SA.

    The only good thing that time was Abdul Razak announced his fitness problem prior to aboard.

    From some time performance of some players like Abdul Razak, Kamran Akmal, Imran (F)/(N), Rana & Shoaib Malik (whole team) is not satisfactory.

    Specially, tour outside the country most of our players are not performing well but also faces fitness problem.

    If you see the past history of Abdul Razzak quite often he become unfit in big events or against strong team like Australia.

    Last time when our cricket team visited to Australia, Abdul Razak found his sickness just before the match. He woke up and found himself seriously unfit (with Asthma and Weakness).

    He did not play against strong Australian team.

    As soon as Pakistan cricket team came back to Pakistan, he recovered from his sickness remarkably.

    And become the part of national cricket team without any proper treatment. Did he really a Sick? Board should consider fitness and form of all players. Especially, against good team like Australia, South Africa.

    It looks mental level to take stress is not very strong.

    Before select any player PCB should also consider fitness along with the form. Otherwise player can be unfit before any crucial match.

    I think PCB should work on their mental strength.

    Regards, Dawar LA, USA

  • waj on May 16, 2007, 21:01 GMT

    Agreed, In order to be successful for the future Pakistan need to get some of their stars from the under 19 teams of the past some valuable playing time and experience. The likes of Fawad Alam, Anwar Ali, Zulqarnain Haider etc. are sure to produce some big wins collectively.

  • ahsan khan on May 16, 2007, 20:19 GMT

    Yaar, is this cricket or gali ka match. A captain who is not even fit to be in the eleven of every match. No coach. Ad-hoc management. To Hell with pakistan cricket and their money grabbing everyone, from the president to the chokidar.

  • Saima Khan on May 16, 2007, 19:46 GMT

    Yes, you are correct Kamran. I saw Nadia Khan’s interview and I was very disappointed to see Shoaib.

    The way, Shoaib Malik gave answers were not representing any civilized nation. How sad, he became Captain of our national cricket team? Specially his proud PUNJABI blood tone was very bad and you can see how he thinks?

    He should know he is representing PAKISTAN not a PUNJAB. I am sorry for non-Punjabi cricketers who are waiting to representing Pakistan. Most probably they need a long wait.

    On one stage he also insults women. I am a women and its hurts me a lot.

    Under his leadership, I do not see any good future for our Cricket team. Please remember we were unite as a nation we were unbeatable in Hockey. Almost same attitude applied on Hockey and today we are behind Korea, Argentina, Malaysia etc.

    We should learn from our defeat against Ireland & West Indies. Unfortunately we are not willing to learn from our mistake.

    Same team, same PCB officials, same attitude & NO MERIT.

    Saima Khan Islamabad

  • jamjar on May 16, 2007, 19:44 GMT

    Dear Kamran,

    Yet again, another thought provoking and interesting blog. Having not been previously exposed to the persona of the much touted Shoaib Malik, I took your advice and watched the Nadia Khan interview. Prior to your mention of the chat show host, i had no idea the even show existed. I was also surprised at your comment of Mr Malik lacking slightly on the intellect side - this after all was a chap who had been singled out for leadership by the late, great Bob Woolmer (amongst others).

    What presented itself on the show was a delinquent who acted like he was just given the sweets from the sweet shop. When asked why he had been given the captaincy, he reacted and said someone saw a dream. Right, thats the problem solved of a strong and confident leader then! Is this dude really going to the great captain that Pakistan soo desperately requires? I was much more impressed by Afridi on an earlier version of the show!

    People should really watch them both and compare the personas of the incumbent and rival. I'm backing the rival, although I accept we should give Malik a chance to prove his worth.

  • Moin on May 16, 2007, 19:43 GMT

    I do not have high hopes from this team. I am glas Asif is back in the team but one thing i do not understand, Why is Shoib Akhtar out. Oh yes, he is unfit, that's what they say! Why cant we put the politics aside and pick one of the best bowlers in the world and help our chances.

  • SID JAMES on May 16, 2007, 19:07 GMT

    Whilst all that Kamran says might be 'intellectually' right, we should not overlook one plain ,simple fact of Pakistan Cricket or more correctly of following Pakistan Cricket. And that is HYPER-EXPECTATION. We always expect heart lifting performance from supposedly professional cricketers who do not , it seems, expect the same of themselves. So while it may be alright to talk about redeeming themselves what we really ought to do is to re-caliberate our own expectancy level from the current or any future pakistan team. Maybe it is our own insane, over-zealous following which is the real factor resulting in diminishing returns from our Boyz.

    Perhaps it is time now to just ease off a little bit and let the whole thing take its natural course and then evaluate whether this team or its leader has what it takes to restore our 'Lost'pride and ground in world cricket.

  • Qaiser on May 16, 2007, 18:59 GMT

    News are comming that no new player will be given a chance even in a low profile series of abu-dhabi if true inizs era continues.

  • mubi on May 16, 2007, 18:24 GMT

    i guess paks gonna prove them selve this time--i bet pakistan fielding will improve-no doubt-batting i thing will be a bit fragile and bowling i guess will be gud--if batting works --i guess we will win--plz open with imran nazir and salman butt--hafeez down the order

  • asifchoughtai@hotmail.com on May 16, 2007, 17:53 GMT

    Kami Bhai "Pakistan team is afragile creature that carries the hopes & dreams of millions!!! Now All Hopes centred to Young energetic Captain i.e. Shoiab Malik! kami Bhai may be you remember "i was the first one who give suggestion to make Shoaib as a Captain! because he is young with strong mind and he can accept the challenge! All we know how he made his place in the team with lots of struggle and when ever the task is given to him He showed his best! Insha Allah All Pakistani players now will start with new hopes, because we are waiting for a success of paki team! Shoaib, Asif, Yousaf, Razzaq, Afridi, Akhter and all other Players have the great opportunity to prove they are best & they can beat all other teams & Australians too! Good Luck Pakistan!!

  • Abdul-Basit, Calgary, Canada on May 16, 2007, 17:53 GMT

    Kamran, Your last two lines sum up the current situation of Pakistan cricket and I feel exactly in the same way. As for as the upcoming series in Abu Dhabi is concerned, I don't agree with your comparison of Pak-SL teams to Ind-BD. This Sri Lankan outfit is more proactive under Mahela-Moody combination than it was under Attapatu. Their approach has changed for good and I don't think they are coming in Abu Dhabi for a mere visit. Even without Murali & Vaas they are hard nutts to crack. As for as Pak team is concerned, our situation is diffrent from India. Their board has made sensible decisions and they know what they are doing. We have made mockery of our situation by running the performance evaluation circus and pathetic selections. We are not going to prove a point there, we are starting from scratch and thus should not expect more from our team at this stage. Instead of cheap redemption and quick angry theory, We should adopt rational approach. Looking at the ground realities of our domestic structure and the system of upbringing the players, we should not expect consistent good performances against the quality teams. There would be some good odd results due to some individual brilliances but to get the consistency we need professional approach ACROSS THE BOARD in our cricket system. Therefore if we can see the current cricket affairs with a realistic eye, we might avoid the high expectation temptation and consequently angre will not quickly for the good of us....

  • king on May 16, 2007, 17:35 GMT

    i really do hope that something comes out of this.

  • Ali Altaf on May 16, 2007, 17:23 GMT

    It is interesting that while taking the name of Shoaib Akhtar you say 'Presumed captain-in-waiting'. Well if you had heard Shoaib Akhtar's interview on Geo Super few weeks back he after every now and then said 'I am not interested in being the Captain of Pakistan Team'. The way he repeatedly said it lead me to believe that surely captaincy is on the mind of Shaoib Akhtar, that's y he says that he wants to be super fit before coming into the team. i believe this shoaib Malik experiment is going to be a temporary make shift one and in an year's time we may see another superstar of Pakistan team becoming the Captain.

  • Zaid Ilyas on May 16, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    Good article. I think this new pakistani era will bring alot of positives and will dominate cricket like we did from late 80's to early 90's. good luck to shoaib malik and very happy with his deputy selection mohammad asif who i think is pakistans' future captain.

  • sola on May 16, 2007, 16:34 GMT

    What pakistan lacked all those years since javed/zaheer/ is a worldclass middle order batsman. Who can play on each surface. And withstand the pressure of a major tournament

  • Syed Mehdi from Dallas on May 16, 2007, 16:26 GMT

    Gentlemen, let's all fasten our seatbelts!!

    Next few years will be one helluva ride. Whether the final destination we arrive at will be Successville or Failurefield with Captain Malik, no body knows, but I guess that's the excitement of Pakistan cricket.

    They say 'What doesnt kill you makes you stronger'. Well in that case what we Paki fans have endured in the past 15 months has made us IRON MEN by now!! (Oval test, doping, Younis Khan in ICC champions trophy, WC fiasco, tragedy of Bob Woolmer). And the probability of crashing in Failurefield does not scare us ONE BIT !!

  • Blaze on May 16, 2007, 16:25 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi.. you need to stop smoking whatever it is that makes you write all this... Please see a doctor!

  • Asim Khan on May 16, 2007, 16:01 GMT

    Patience is a virtue so lets give our boys all the support they need.

  • Asad Faizi on May 16, 2007, 15:50 GMT

    Kamran,

    This is not what Shoaib and Asif want to hear, when they face their first challenge. This is not what will give them confidence, when they need it most. This is not what will lift the spirits of Pakistan cricket team, when they are at their lowest ebb. This is not the right message to supporters of Pakistani cricket, who have heard nothing but depressing news from Pakistani cricket for a while now.

    Whatever happened to optimism? Whatever happened to spirit to fight back? Whatever happened to tenacity and resolve to win at all cost?

    Let us support Shoaib and Pakistani team 100%, and wish them all the best.

    Asad Faizi

  • saif ahmed on May 16, 2007, 14:59 GMT

    I like your optimism but it seems like a dream that will perhaps remain a dream. I hope it does not turn out into a nightmare, meanwhile we will keep on dreaming.

  • Shahid on May 16, 2007, 14:46 GMT

    well i still tell you that shahid afridi would have been the best choice for captain,another disaster of team revolt ,underperforming is in the waiting.watch them start to loose aginst sril lanka.

  • Masaood Yunus on May 16, 2007, 14:29 GMT

    For the next 2 years, we will see rebuilding of our team. I am not pinning any high hopes but throw my support to this new look team bubbling with youth. This support should come from all and we should be ready for both good and hard times without expecting too much from the team. Lets give them time to gel together and give us a disciplined display of cricket. Good Luck to Shoaib Malik and his fellow team mates. This is the beginning of new era.

  • salman on May 16, 2007, 14:02 GMT

    starting it from the base once more!!! we r behind u...GO PAKISTAN GO!!!!!

  • umer on May 16, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    all of our best wishes with shoib and his company we expected him a fighter and aggressive captain

  • Fraz A. Nayyar on May 16, 2007, 13:56 GMT

    The next two years should be a rocky road, and I agree with you on the analysis that we should be patient in judgment. But all said and done, a cricket nation like us, we don't follow cricket with our minds, but with our hearts...so whenever we do bad, no matter what logic dictates, we'll be severely dissapointed. So once again I am hoping that Pakistan will do well in the blistering heat of the middle east (inspite, and not due to the match fixing that comes out of that region), under the guidence of a captain that somehow does not impress me. I mean Smith was a very young captain, but there was always something extra about him (game and personality), postive or negative. Shoaib just seems too timid to me!

  • Amjad Aziz on May 16, 2007, 13:48 GMT

    Kamran Bhai. i do not really care if Shoaib Malik is not the "sharpest knife in the drawer" when it comes to his intellect - as long as he delivers on the field, than that is what counts. Obviously, in an ideal world, he will be supported by what passes as PCB infrastructure and he does not have to contend with the "in-fighting" that is synonomous with Pakistani cricket.....then again, maybe i am hoping for too much. Who knows, lets wait and see.

  • Aamer on May 16, 2007, 13:40 GMT

    Its too early to say anything; but fortunately we can't sink and deeper

  • khansahab on May 16, 2007, 13:30 GMT

    I saw a glance of Shoaib Malik on TV this morning and he appeared to have a beard. As they say nothing can prevent the inevitable. I wish luck to the Tableeghi Jamaat on their next Tableeghi destination, the “sinful” land of UAE. They have much work to do in that country. Insha-Allah.

    On Nadia Khan’s show Malik defended the stance of blaming “kismet” for defeats. He just did not get the reason. This is highly regrettable. In fact Afridi and Malik speak in an identical fashion. They have learned so much from Inzi and have begun to speak like him, starting their sentences with “Nahin” and “Theek hai”. So will this new era also be an era of Tableegh? Inzi’s goal was to cleanse the framework of the team of the “western” lifestyles players adopt and cleanse it in such a way that we do not see “deviants” in the team in the future. Now Malik and Afridi will carry on the legacy. Possible next generation Tableeghi leaders are Kamran Akmal (still in the team), Mohammad Hafeez (failed opener), Mohammad Asif (has that potential “Tableeghi persona”) and Danish Kaneria (Hindu whose religious freedom is under threat). Rana Naved has already passed the Raiwind internship.

    Whatever happened to CRICKETING PERFORMANCE? Why did we only see two new faces in the squad? Is that a move forward? Two members from the previous squad are not present (Younis and Inzi) so big deal we have two new players. We see one or two new players in every other squad! This is not “progress”. Reliance must not be placed on people like Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Sami and the incompetent openers anymore. Tableegh must be stopped. It is a danger to the success of Pakistani cricket.

    Those who need an excuse to bash me should know that I follow the moderate Muslim’s lifestyle. I pray as regularly as possible, I have never had any girlfriend and I abstain from alcohol or un-halal commodities. But I don’t have a bushy beard, I don’t preach to the next available person and I don’t mix religion with my other activities. Hence you cannot state that I’m an Islamic deviant. I am aware Yousuf turned into a better player with his conversion. That could also however have been a psychological result of greater friendliness and acceptance by his teammates. When a captain, the individual in a position of authority and key decision-maker, makes preaching his topmost priority and reason for existence, that is wrong because he should not do that when he is doing anything to do with cricket, whether that is press interviews, training or playing in matches. Inzi can be the Chief Imam of Multan for all I care; he or other players should just not mix their personal religious beliefs with cricket.

  • CHAG on May 16, 2007, 12:46 GMT

    Hello Kamran, Its sad but true...you are possibly the worst writer...there is no logic in what you write....seems like u write for the sake of writing it...

  • H.Malik on May 16, 2007, 12:43 GMT

    Dear Kamran , Wish your prophecy to be realised but have a naging feelings that UNLESS the two youppies " CAP & VP " keep their head Straight up and not burried under the So called "STARDOM" which have been bestowed upon them , its just might be that we are about to see the upward turn & swing to the greater heights of this team of track proven YOYOs. It the STARDOM gets better of them then be ready to bid farewell to the career of two talented youngmen . Let us have our fingers crossed for the rest of 2007 , hoping even if they fail in Abudhabi , PCB will give them chance enough to redeem their talents in at leaast 2 to 3 series in a row BEFORE discarding them if the failure persits on .........

  • A K on May 16, 2007, 12:39 GMT

    The new era begins with the appointment of a v.captain who is new to professional cricket, has a big question mark over the drug use (the issue with ICC and WADA has still not been resolved). Wouldn't the appointment of a more senior player as v.captain been a more positive approach as it would have helped our new captain and taken into confidence of the existing senior players (Who thinks players will be critical of their team-mates infront of camera's and in public?).

  • Haider Mahmud, Pakistan on May 16, 2007, 12:31 GMT

    Let's be patient with the new setup and give them chance to settle down. we cannot expect a dramatic turnaround. it will take a while. let's just hope that all indicator such as fielding, no balls etc. are positive from now onwards.

  • Pathan on May 16, 2007, 12:23 GMT

    Shoaib Malik may well be an intellectual lightweight, but he possesses the enthusiasm and fighting spirit to rally the team and gain the support of the 'untouchable' seniors.

    I think Shoaib has the cricketing brain to respond quickly and effectively to pressures on the field (unlike Inzi. He has been one of Pakistan's most consistent players over the last couple of years and has frequently rescued the team batting lower down the order.

    His all-round cricketing ability should inspire the team and hopefully more focus will be placed on the builing mental toughness.

    I dont care about his intellect. What I've had enough enough of is lightweight cricketing brains.

    If we can harness mental toughness with raw cricketing talent, then we will be heading in the right direction.

    All the best Shoaib....

  • Balaji on May 16, 2007, 12:18 GMT

    Why cricket in Abu Dhabi deserts in the summer? Are the planning people NUTS? I pity both Pakistani and Srilankan players for having to play in this time of the year? If they have to play in a neutral venue why not somewhere in the Europe where atleast spring is starting? Someone tell FTP guys to use their head before heading down in FTPing!

  • Muhammad Asif on May 16, 2007, 12:05 GMT

    After all cricket is a game & games are meant for some entertainment. And entertinment has nothing to do with the result. Empty stadiums tells you the real story. Spectators provide a color. Everyone would love to watch a game that provides entertainment. I just want some entertaining cricket from these players.

  • Aamir UK on May 16, 2007, 11:59 GMT

    Although only time will tell... I believe Shoaib will do an excellent job insha'Allah. We just need to be wary of knee-jerk reactions whilst he settles into his new job. Undoubtedly there will be peaks and troughs along the rocky road to consistency.

    Now all we need is Dav Whatmore to become coach. He's presided over remarkable turnarounds in Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi cricketing fortunes, and therefore has experience of coaching sub-continental countries and bringing out the best in them.

    What does everyone think of the Shoaib & Dav dream team?

  • ali on May 16, 2007, 11:36 GMT

    COME ON WE CAN DO THIS !!!!!!! STILL THINK YASIR ARAFAT SHOULD BE PLAYING THOUGH

  • nadia khan on May 16, 2007, 10:43 GMT

    hi guys and girls its nadia here, from the nadia show, just want to wish pakistan cricket good luck for the forthcoming series. from what i heard from shoaib malik, he is a very enthuastic about the series and pakistan cricket!

    gud luck and bring back the trophy!

  • Niaz Khan on May 16, 2007, 10:16 GMT

    I agree with you that it would be journey in to the unknown for Pakistani players. I wonder how long more Shoab would take to get back to normal? In acse Pakistan lose to reduced Sri Lankas they perhaps need more than face lifting.

    Wishing all the best in furnace of Abu Dhabi for Pakis!

  • Fahad Jalil on May 16, 2007, 9:54 GMT

    Considering the fact its the Pakistani, people by now should be prone to unpredictability and vulnerablity. However, I have always stayed optimistic about the team since the optimism has brought us all the excitement and success in the past. However, its a bold step to have a young vice-captain who has shown temperament at the top level unlike other candidates whose performances have been in pataches, be it injury, form, pitches, opposition or mood! The last think you want to think with this optimism is if the same is gonna happen with the cricket team like the hockey and squash era. Another thing, do you gys believe that after the 2007 WC, the era or face of cricket has changed. I could'nt have thought of cricket without Lara, Warne, McGrath, Akram, Inzi & Co. the big match players i.e

  • srivathsan on May 16, 2007, 9:14 GMT

    KAMRAN,I agree with what you say about redemption. Not only fans but also the PCB has to be patient as the pakistan team is in a moulding stage.The captain should be given all the encouragement, support so that he can freely lead the side with confidence.I always believe that nobody is indispensible.There is always some body better waiting in the wing.Who knows shoaib may prve the critics wrong .Let us give him some time to settlein.Talent search is need of the hour both for india & pakistan.We have plenty but efforts are missing in locating them.Favourtism,politics & other considerations blind their eyes in selecting right people.Indiscipline should be dealt with firmly however great a player is.Quality should be the criterea & not which region he belongs . If a team is selected on these lines Both india & pakistan would be world beaters.Australia is an example & the results are there to see.

  • MANSOOR hAZIR on May 16, 2007, 9:12 GMT

    Kamran,

    I dont know why I read your comments when most of what you say turns out wrong especially when the writing was on the wall (world cup comments). I dont know how influential your comments are for selection in Pakistan, but they dont seem to work.

    As for me I would have said that there should have been two Captains. Mohammad Yousuf for Tests and Shoaib Malik for One dayers. This way egos would have not been hurt. I dont think Yousuf has done that much wrong to be totally written off. Vice- Captain for this tour should have been with a bit more expereience, education and class. Why not Salman Butt? Why do we get all these gully boys as Captains and vice? These people represent us.

  • saad on May 16, 2007, 7:38 GMT

    dude.... believe me...its not as complicated as you are making it sound like. Wats happening is pretty simple actually... Pakistan play their first match after a worldcup thrashing.. FULLSTOP!!!

  • Tariq Ashfaq Dubai on May 16, 2007, 7:12 GMT

    Dear Kamran: i think we have to give these guys enough time to gel together and perform. we should not be expecting them to perform very first day and will all the games they play. Its a long procedure and will take a lot of time. Aussies and Lankans are prime example of this process. If they win its good and if they looose we should be ok with it. Morover we should not get our expectaions too high even if they won against lanakans as they dissapoint us very shortly. Time, hard work is the key to sucess. we also need to give fair chance to youngsters and allow them to gel with team Regards

    Tariq

  • Humayun Mirza on May 16, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    Cannot believe that the captaincy and vice captaincy of a national team can be reduced to such a cheap commodity. Gone are the days when these were honors to be earned and respected. How Pakistan Cricket has fallen! Now it is the process of exclusion rather than provenance that determines who wears the coveted cap. Next time a rookie makes a century on debut or takes five wickets he can entertain hopes of being the captain or at least vice captain by the end of the series. God help Pakistan Cricket!

  • Hania on May 16, 2007, 6:37 GMT

    A good reason that this cricket frenzied nation has been surviving various catastrophes--from politics to sports, to politics in sports-- is its never ending optimism. Barely two months ago I had given up all hope re Pakistan cricket, yet couple of days before Pak-Sri series, I am all hopeful, optimistic and actually looking forward to the "new-look" team. This, despite knowing very well that apart from a change in captaincy (which is a very common phenomenon in Pak cricket)little has changed in fundamentals. We continue to hope.

  • Haroon Rao on May 16, 2007, 6:13 GMT

    Ya, its sometimes really difficult to bite the tongue! I am also among the optimistics, and expect great from the young blood. World cricket history is has always seen great players from Pakistan but from last few years most of it has gone bad to administration side. Some blind un-deserved decisions, that have caused us to this stage of time. Now there was no optimum solution but re-engineering, so PCB now has really taken bold and most wanted stand. May they go along for longer period! Ameen.

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 16, 2007, 5:22 GMT

    Well the road to redemption is a long one,the first test on the road to redemption was selection and PCB has already failed to redeem itself on that.I see no reason to be optimistic as PCB is not moving in the right direction, Only two young players have been selected and already the news are they might not get a chance to play,this was a low profile series and PCB should have tried all the youngsters who have been performing well in the domestic arena,if we look at Srilanka they rested their three Key players and will test three young players,thats how you groom players by giving them experience at the internatinal level.

    Nothing predicts behaviour like behaviour,based on the past behaviour I can foresee that the seniors will feast on a weak Srilankan side which is coming without four of its key players,and all the out of form mediocre players will cement their place in the team at least for another year. Razzak,Afridi,kamran Akmal,Hafeez they all have been performing poorly Internationally but they are renowned for coming back into form against Asian teams in Asian conditions,these players should have been left out regardless of their performance in practice matches. PCB and the players have shown they dont care about anger from the fans and their actions suggest they have no intention of redemption, the attitude of Younis Khan is Prime example of that. We are living Under dictatorship the PCB chairman knows his buddy will not fire him,no matter how much he screws up,he is only answerable to one person and not the whole nation. Under such circumstances the chances of redemption are remote,especially in the long run.

  • Euceph Ahmed on May 16, 2007, 5:18 GMT

    What can be worse for a new captain than an ill-timed, ill-planned, purposeless exercise in futility arranged in match-fixing haven? But what does a wannabe care? He's been given the captaincy to keep his mouth shut and just play. Who gives a poop about crap like pride and purpose as long as you win a few and lose a few but keep things a bit even stevens so no eye brows are raised.

    Redemption really does come cheap in this world where "lota" is such an accepted norm. From the president down to the cricket blogger, the lota artform requires immense talent in taking U-turns. Talk real big today, go back on it tomorrow like today never existed. Say what you, Mr. Abbasi... is it really that much fun this redemption-comes-cheap walla lota thingi?

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 16, 2007, 3:36 GMT

    As a banker, by redemption I understand exchanging a coupon, a trading stamp, or a similar document for a discount or at a premium and based on that, I wonder what kinda redemption are we expecting from the Tableeghi juniors? Are they going to pay & do the cricketing transactions for the nation or for their own pride, vanity and ego? Or for the benefit of the bookies? In that case what is the rate of redemption? Or should I say; "bhao kya hai?" Well, I do not wish to make my own post dry and boring like the profession of banking itself, so lemme cut my own crap for the benefit of others. ;-)

    Kamran Abbassi - Sir, by adding the word new to any era does not really make it a new era. These are chips of the same block and there is nothing new about them, the same names, the same attitude, the same style, the same everything. I would say man its nothing more than a Déjà vu. I won't say that I feel like I've seen this team before, 'coz thats the way Retrofuturism works on our brains, hence the impression of having seen or experienced something before by adding accolades such as new or newness is not gonna make it new. And who was that who said on this blog, 'old wine in new bottle'? Doesn't matter who said, but its something like that.

    And the reason there is no coach is because the poor coach is dead and people are yet to find out how he died. Can't they simply say, he died because his time was up instead of going around in circles and creating all sorts of rumours and speculations, he has been buried so lets bury the speculations too. And there is no biggy if there is no coach for a brief and uninteresting encounter in Abu Dhabi, and mind you it was not Sri Lanka but, Ireland defeated Pakistan in the WC, so there is no question of any anger or revenge, hence there is no redemption and no salvation. Its the $750K that has some redemption value for the PCB coffers or should I say PCB's Zambeel ?

    Yes, the next two years would be tough for the Pakistan team and they should be prepared for a rocky road and a bumpy ride, there is no 4x4 SUV or a FJ Cruiser, they have to be on their own feet without a coach, on top of that they have to carry the extra baggage of two mediocre mules i.e., a captain and vice captain. For the rest of the players I am quoting Mustafa Zaidi's verse, which is very apt:

    Inhi (not Inzi) patharaon pay chal kar agar aa sako tou aao Meray ghar kay raastay may koi kahkashaan nahee hai.

    That is how success is going to embrace them and, there is no short cut to success except for hard work................but with some brains!

  • Ashaq on May 16, 2007, 0:16 GMT

    Well lets hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.I suppose that will lessen our dissapointment when things go wrong.

    Professionalism for the Pakistan team is proving as elusive as the search of Atlantis for Archaeologists.

    Most of the concepts concerning training, strategy,and mental application are nothing new.I would like to quote an example from a hundred years ago concerning the art of Fielding.

    Frank Bettger in his book "how I raised myself from failure to success in sales".Speaking about the importance of "ENTHUSIASM" talks about his first career as a professional BaseBall Player he states How in 1907 as a young player he was fired for having a 'lazy attitude' the manager said."You act like a veteran who has been playing for twenty years why do you act like that if your not lazy?". Young Frank tried to plead his case by explaining "I get so nervous so scared that I want to hide my fear from the crowd ,and especially from other players on the team.Besides I hope by taking it easy I will get rid of my nervousness." However the manager Bert Conn was having none of it he promptly fired him with the parting advice "Put some life and ETHUSIASM in to your work".

    Young Frank relegated to the lower leagues made a resolution no one would accuse him of ever being Lazy again.

    In his first match for his new club he played like a man electrified. He states "I wouldnt have been surprised if I had dropped over with sunstroke the way I ran around the field. Three things happened: 1) My enthusiasm almost entirely overcame my fear.I played far better then I ever thought I was capable of playing. 2)My enthusiasm affected the other players on the team,and they too became enthusiastic. 3)I felt better during the game and after it was over then I had ever felt before.

    Within 10 days Frank was back Playing for his former team he states"Nothing but the determination to act enthusiastic increased my income by 700% in 10 days".

    Yet a hunred years on from the example I cited the Pakistan team is just now trying to grasp the importance of fielding.With guys like Abdul Razzaq and Kaneria acting like geriatrics in the field.

    I would like to leave you with a quote from the greatest sportsman of them all.

    "Champions are made from something deep inside them.A desire, a dream, and a vision.They have to have the skill and the will.But the WILL must always be stronger then the skill". MUHAMMAD ALI.

  • faisal on May 15, 2007, 22:51 GMT

    i think it is a good decision that shoab malik announced as captin but only for one series i never understand this policy why they make captin like this they could have annouced for one or two years i hate PCB's fragile policy they never think strong they don't have courge actually they don't have self-confidance. I think that kind of decision keeps a player under-pressure to perform. I don't know why is PCB not learning from other Boards of the world

  • khansahab on May 15, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, Thanks for this new thread. This one has also been written with eloquence and reason as many of your past articles. I’m glad you agree Malik is an “intellectual lightweight”. Or maybe he became slightly uncomfortable/over-conscious in the company of the ravishing Nadia. I would too if she interviews me :)

    I am crestfallen that although the PCB made the best choice as regards the captain, the selectors could have chosen a better squad for Abu Dhabi. A new beginning with the same old faces of failure? Hence I don’t believe this has been a positive start. Some players in the current squad should have definitely been rested. This is the time to experiment and commence the preparation for WC 2011. The only reason I can think of why this squad was chosen is because the PCB has lost a lot of money and public interest in the game after the WC disaster and they did not want to send an inexperienced squad to UAE for fear of that team underperforming and PCB losing more money and public interest. Perhaps a remote possibility, but a possibility nevertheless.

    Shoaib Malik is enthusiastic and he looks to be a proactive individual. I do believe he will be a thinking captain. What I am worried about is how much fighting spirit will he possess? I was disappointed watching his interview with Rameez Raja after he threw away that match when he stated something like his accountability is only to Allah and his family, after he was asked of the media/public reaction for his immature act (I do not of course remember his exact words but I think he said something akin to what I have stated). That is a dangerous path he is treading there.

    Sri Lanka are of course without their (arguably) three most resourceful players- Murali, Vaas and Sangakarra. But that chucker Malinga is still there (I don’t care if his action is technically correct, an action is either dodgy or not i.e. either a bowler bends his arm to gain an unfair advantage or he does not) and Jayasuria will look forward to manhandling the likes of Sami. I wonder if we will see more of Sami after this series. He is improving but I think he has just lost his spark. As I have stated before Inzamam did interfere in his bowling, so with Inzi out of the way we might see the old Sami back, but it’s still a tough ask.

    So it has not been the best of starts, but inevitably some lessons will be taught to the Pakistanis in this series. Whether the key actors in this new era learn from those lessons and mistakes is to be seen. And you know what, being the crazy Pakistani cricket fan I am, I wait obsessively and relentlessly to see Afridi smashing Malinga to all parts of the ground. I wait to see Salman Butt showing consistency. I wait to see Umar Gul’s yorkers and bouncers and Asif’s control of late swing. And you know what else, even if Butt and Nazir fail, Gul becomes injured, or Malik grows a beard, I will still wait for them to perform in the Twenty20 cup. Our passion and craze won’t end. These lousy, lethargic and loony cricketers can test us all they want, but our craze and madness will certainly keep testing them until the end of time.

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  • khansahab on May 15, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, Thanks for this new thread. This one has also been written with eloquence and reason as many of your past articles. I’m glad you agree Malik is an “intellectual lightweight”. Or maybe he became slightly uncomfortable/over-conscious in the company of the ravishing Nadia. I would too if she interviews me :)

    I am crestfallen that although the PCB made the best choice as regards the captain, the selectors could have chosen a better squad for Abu Dhabi. A new beginning with the same old faces of failure? Hence I don’t believe this has been a positive start. Some players in the current squad should have definitely been rested. This is the time to experiment and commence the preparation for WC 2011. The only reason I can think of why this squad was chosen is because the PCB has lost a lot of money and public interest in the game after the WC disaster and they did not want to send an inexperienced squad to UAE for fear of that team underperforming and PCB losing more money and public interest. Perhaps a remote possibility, but a possibility nevertheless.

    Shoaib Malik is enthusiastic and he looks to be a proactive individual. I do believe he will be a thinking captain. What I am worried about is how much fighting spirit will he possess? I was disappointed watching his interview with Rameez Raja after he threw away that match when he stated something like his accountability is only to Allah and his family, after he was asked of the media/public reaction for his immature act (I do not of course remember his exact words but I think he said something akin to what I have stated). That is a dangerous path he is treading there.

    Sri Lanka are of course without their (arguably) three most resourceful players- Murali, Vaas and Sangakarra. But that chucker Malinga is still there (I don’t care if his action is technically correct, an action is either dodgy or not i.e. either a bowler bends his arm to gain an unfair advantage or he does not) and Jayasuria will look forward to manhandling the likes of Sami. I wonder if we will see more of Sami after this series. He is improving but I think he has just lost his spark. As I have stated before Inzamam did interfere in his bowling, so with Inzi out of the way we might see the old Sami back, but it’s still a tough ask.

    So it has not been the best of starts, but inevitably some lessons will be taught to the Pakistanis in this series. Whether the key actors in this new era learn from those lessons and mistakes is to be seen. And you know what, being the crazy Pakistani cricket fan I am, I wait obsessively and relentlessly to see Afridi smashing Malinga to all parts of the ground. I wait to see Salman Butt showing consistency. I wait to see Umar Gul’s yorkers and bouncers and Asif’s control of late swing. And you know what else, even if Butt and Nazir fail, Gul becomes injured, or Malik grows a beard, I will still wait for them to perform in the Twenty20 cup. Our passion and craze won’t end. These lousy, lethargic and loony cricketers can test us all they want, but our craze and madness will certainly keep testing them until the end of time.

  • faisal on May 15, 2007, 22:51 GMT

    i think it is a good decision that shoab malik announced as captin but only for one series i never understand this policy why they make captin like this they could have annouced for one or two years i hate PCB's fragile policy they never think strong they don't have courge actually they don't have self-confidance. I think that kind of decision keeps a player under-pressure to perform. I don't know why is PCB not learning from other Boards of the world

  • Ashaq on May 16, 2007, 0:16 GMT

    Well lets hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.I suppose that will lessen our dissapointment when things go wrong.

    Professionalism for the Pakistan team is proving as elusive as the search of Atlantis for Archaeologists.

    Most of the concepts concerning training, strategy,and mental application are nothing new.I would like to quote an example from a hundred years ago concerning the art of Fielding.

    Frank Bettger in his book "how I raised myself from failure to success in sales".Speaking about the importance of "ENTHUSIASM" talks about his first career as a professional BaseBall Player he states How in 1907 as a young player he was fired for having a 'lazy attitude' the manager said."You act like a veteran who has been playing for twenty years why do you act like that if your not lazy?". Young Frank tried to plead his case by explaining "I get so nervous so scared that I want to hide my fear from the crowd ,and especially from other players on the team.Besides I hope by taking it easy I will get rid of my nervousness." However the manager Bert Conn was having none of it he promptly fired him with the parting advice "Put some life and ETHUSIASM in to your work".

    Young Frank relegated to the lower leagues made a resolution no one would accuse him of ever being Lazy again.

    In his first match for his new club he played like a man electrified. He states "I wouldnt have been surprised if I had dropped over with sunstroke the way I ran around the field. Three things happened: 1) My enthusiasm almost entirely overcame my fear.I played far better then I ever thought I was capable of playing. 2)My enthusiasm affected the other players on the team,and they too became enthusiastic. 3)I felt better during the game and after it was over then I had ever felt before.

    Within 10 days Frank was back Playing for his former team he states"Nothing but the determination to act enthusiastic increased my income by 700% in 10 days".

    Yet a hunred years on from the example I cited the Pakistan team is just now trying to grasp the importance of fielding.With guys like Abdul Razzaq and Kaneria acting like geriatrics in the field.

    I would like to leave you with a quote from the greatest sportsman of them all.

    "Champions are made from something deep inside them.A desire, a dream, and a vision.They have to have the skill and the will.But the WILL must always be stronger then the skill". MUHAMMAD ALI.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 16, 2007, 3:36 GMT

    As a banker, by redemption I understand exchanging a coupon, a trading stamp, or a similar document for a discount or at a premium and based on that, I wonder what kinda redemption are we expecting from the Tableeghi juniors? Are they going to pay & do the cricketing transactions for the nation or for their own pride, vanity and ego? Or for the benefit of the bookies? In that case what is the rate of redemption? Or should I say; "bhao kya hai?" Well, I do not wish to make my own post dry and boring like the profession of banking itself, so lemme cut my own crap for the benefit of others. ;-)

    Kamran Abbassi - Sir, by adding the word new to any era does not really make it a new era. These are chips of the same block and there is nothing new about them, the same names, the same attitude, the same style, the same everything. I would say man its nothing more than a Déjà vu. I won't say that I feel like I've seen this team before, 'coz thats the way Retrofuturism works on our brains, hence the impression of having seen or experienced something before by adding accolades such as new or newness is not gonna make it new. And who was that who said on this blog, 'old wine in new bottle'? Doesn't matter who said, but its something like that.

    And the reason there is no coach is because the poor coach is dead and people are yet to find out how he died. Can't they simply say, he died because his time was up instead of going around in circles and creating all sorts of rumours and speculations, he has been buried so lets bury the speculations too. And there is no biggy if there is no coach for a brief and uninteresting encounter in Abu Dhabi, and mind you it was not Sri Lanka but, Ireland defeated Pakistan in the WC, so there is no question of any anger or revenge, hence there is no redemption and no salvation. Its the $750K that has some redemption value for the PCB coffers or should I say PCB's Zambeel ?

    Yes, the next two years would be tough for the Pakistan team and they should be prepared for a rocky road and a bumpy ride, there is no 4x4 SUV or a FJ Cruiser, they have to be on their own feet without a coach, on top of that they have to carry the extra baggage of two mediocre mules i.e., a captain and vice captain. For the rest of the players I am quoting Mustafa Zaidi's verse, which is very apt:

    Inhi (not Inzi) patharaon pay chal kar agar aa sako tou aao Meray ghar kay raastay may koi kahkashaan nahee hai.

    That is how success is going to embrace them and, there is no short cut to success except for hard work................but with some brains!

  • Euceph Ahmed on May 16, 2007, 5:18 GMT

    What can be worse for a new captain than an ill-timed, ill-planned, purposeless exercise in futility arranged in match-fixing haven? But what does a wannabe care? He's been given the captaincy to keep his mouth shut and just play. Who gives a poop about crap like pride and purpose as long as you win a few and lose a few but keep things a bit even stevens so no eye brows are raised.

    Redemption really does come cheap in this world where "lota" is such an accepted norm. From the president down to the cricket blogger, the lota artform requires immense talent in taking U-turns. Talk real big today, go back on it tomorrow like today never existed. Say what you, Mr. Abbasi... is it really that much fun this redemption-comes-cheap walla lota thingi?

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 16, 2007, 5:22 GMT

    Well the road to redemption is a long one,the first test on the road to redemption was selection and PCB has already failed to redeem itself on that.I see no reason to be optimistic as PCB is not moving in the right direction, Only two young players have been selected and already the news are they might not get a chance to play,this was a low profile series and PCB should have tried all the youngsters who have been performing well in the domestic arena,if we look at Srilanka they rested their three Key players and will test three young players,thats how you groom players by giving them experience at the internatinal level.

    Nothing predicts behaviour like behaviour,based on the past behaviour I can foresee that the seniors will feast on a weak Srilankan side which is coming without four of its key players,and all the out of form mediocre players will cement their place in the team at least for another year. Razzak,Afridi,kamran Akmal,Hafeez they all have been performing poorly Internationally but they are renowned for coming back into form against Asian teams in Asian conditions,these players should have been left out regardless of their performance in practice matches. PCB and the players have shown they dont care about anger from the fans and their actions suggest they have no intention of redemption, the attitude of Younis Khan is Prime example of that. We are living Under dictatorship the PCB chairman knows his buddy will not fire him,no matter how much he screws up,he is only answerable to one person and not the whole nation. Under such circumstances the chances of redemption are remote,especially in the long run.

  • Haroon Rao on May 16, 2007, 6:13 GMT

    Ya, its sometimes really difficult to bite the tongue! I am also among the optimistics, and expect great from the young blood. World cricket history is has always seen great players from Pakistan but from last few years most of it has gone bad to administration side. Some blind un-deserved decisions, that have caused us to this stage of time. Now there was no optimum solution but re-engineering, so PCB now has really taken bold and most wanted stand. May they go along for longer period! Ameen.

  • Hania on May 16, 2007, 6:37 GMT

    A good reason that this cricket frenzied nation has been surviving various catastrophes--from politics to sports, to politics in sports-- is its never ending optimism. Barely two months ago I had given up all hope re Pakistan cricket, yet couple of days before Pak-Sri series, I am all hopeful, optimistic and actually looking forward to the "new-look" team. This, despite knowing very well that apart from a change in captaincy (which is a very common phenomenon in Pak cricket)little has changed in fundamentals. We continue to hope.

  • Humayun Mirza on May 16, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    Cannot believe that the captaincy and vice captaincy of a national team can be reduced to such a cheap commodity. Gone are the days when these were honors to be earned and respected. How Pakistan Cricket has fallen! Now it is the process of exclusion rather than provenance that determines who wears the coveted cap. Next time a rookie makes a century on debut or takes five wickets he can entertain hopes of being the captain or at least vice captain by the end of the series. God help Pakistan Cricket!

  • Tariq Ashfaq Dubai on May 16, 2007, 7:12 GMT

    Dear Kamran: i think we have to give these guys enough time to gel together and perform. we should not be expecting them to perform very first day and will all the games they play. Its a long procedure and will take a lot of time. Aussies and Lankans are prime example of this process. If they win its good and if they looose we should be ok with it. Morover we should not get our expectaions too high even if they won against lanakans as they dissapoint us very shortly. Time, hard work is the key to sucess. we also need to give fair chance to youngsters and allow them to gel with team Regards

    Tariq